In Part 5 of this series, I shall be covering my experiences of Stock Market/Forex Trading courses. When I moved to Hong Kong, I became interested in learning about the Stock Market. The financial culture is very different in Hong Kong, compared to the UK – every bank in HK has a TV screen and number-pad for customers to type in their stock quotes and see the price of their shares. I started getting books out of the library to learn about Stock Market Trading, bought some books and then tried putting into practice what I had learnt with a demo trading account. I learnt very quickly that it certainly isn’t as easy as the books made it seem, and as I had only just graduated and was not earning a huge wage, my Stock Trading aspirations were put on hold.
A number of years later, back in the UK, I somehow came across an online Forex trading platform, which also offered a series of training courses. Again, I found the studies quite easy, and the demo account showed that the theory was much easier than real life. Money was tight, I couldn’t afford to lose any, so I did not take the risk of using my hard-earned cash.
A few years after that (can you see a pattern forming here?) I came across another course, this time trading Options and Forex. At the time I was also having fun learning the programming language Python, so I took the opportunity to combine these two interests and wrote some software that pulled stock market data, analysed and charted it. I didn’t have internet access at home, so I wrote most of it in my local library. I’m sure some of the other visitors thought I was half-baked, muttering to my laptop whilst trying to sort out some coding issues… When I finished the software and started testing it with an imaginary trading account, I found that my golden rules were not actually that great at predicting the stock market movements – shocking, I know!
Roll on another few years, and I found yet another trading course (rather expensive!), which actually taught me some key details the other courses hadn’t. This, combined with my previous knowledge, meant I was definitely going to make it big in the Stock Market… except the cost of the course, plus the cost of the charting software, plus the cost of the trading accounts would have completely wiped out my meagre savings. Instead of committing financial suicide, I decided not to pursue this.
One thing I have learned is to never put money into Trading that you cannot afford to lose. As I have never had money that I cannot afford to lose, I have yet to overcome this barrier. Another thing I have learned is that a lot of these software charting packages come with eye-watering monthly fees, as do the trading accounts themselves. Some are free, and there are many different types of trading platforms now available, including a few which, at least to me, seem an awful lot like gambling. I would still like to have a Trading Portfolio, one day, but for now the only shares I own are for the company I work for (which I would hardly consider to be a Trading Portfolio, especially as I couldn’t even choose the company and am not allowed to sell them for at least 3 years!)
Perhaps the only way I will realistically be able to start my Portfolio is to find a very wealthy, single lady; sweep her off her feet, somehow get her to marry me, then live the rest of my life as a toy-boy/chew-toy. But we can all dream…
If you happen to be or know such a heavenly creature, please respond in the comments below!