Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
interestrateripoff

Day Trading: 'i Lost £200,000 In A Day' Spreadbetting

Recommended Posts

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/persona...0-in-a-day.html

Spread betting was meant to be just a hobby to keep Martin Hickman busy while his wife was out at work, but now it dominates his life.

"I was going to be a house husband, I was going to look after the dog and do a little trading on the side," he said. "But then things escalated. I am hooked – it has taken over my life."

Mr Hickman's alarm goes off every day at 6.30am. "I switch the computer on straight away – before turning on the kettle – and it stays on until well after midnight. I will sit there all day watching and waiting," he said. "I bore my wife silly about it, but she understands."

Mr Hickman has made some serious money spread betting. He claims to have made about £300,000 last year alone. The cash has allowed him to build up a substantial property portfolio and take his family on luxury cruises and high-class breaks at the Waldorf hotel in London.

"I have been a trader nearly all my life," he said. "I was a futures trader trading sugar for 17 years before it became computerised, then I traded oil." In retirement he decided to give spread betting a whirl.

"I've always been a bear market trader. I only sell the FTSE," he said. It meant he made almost straight losses for the first three years in the early Noughties as the FTSE 100 index soared. He was still shorting the FTSE in 2007 when it neared 7,000 points. But then came the crashes of 2008.

"In January 2008 I made £70,000 in one month. All in all, 2008 was a fantastic year for me. I made about £300,000," he said. Despite the FTSE's gains at the end of last year Mr Hickman, who trades through WorldSpreads.com, continued to short the FTSE.

He claimed to have made a further £173,000 in the first three months of 2009 when the FTSE slid to just above 3,500. Since then things have not been so rosy, as the FTSE has come back. He said daily profits and losses could easily swing from £40,000 down to £40,000 up.

"On the worst day this year I lost about £200,000," he conceded.

But the 54-year-old won't even consider giving up. "What else can you do that is this much fun and you can make so much money from?" he asked. "The real beauty is you can do it when you want, from wherever you want – I often place trades while on the deck of cruise ships with a drink in my hand."

So spreadbetting could rescue BTL.

I mean what could go wrong?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least the guy has a background in trading.... all the little guys who get into it with little experience dreaming of a quick buck I'm pretty sure for the most part will lose money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
He has been shorting the FTSE from 2000!! Yeah he made 200k in 2008... but how much did he lose from 2000-2007 I wonder.

It is quite possible his great profits are true. He probably wouldnt want to talk about if he had lost.

In 1999, the FTSE 100 index peaked at around 6900. Now it is around 4400, a huge fall over 10 years given that inflation normally boosts the index even when there is no real growth.

Anyone who had stuck to a sell only strategy would have made a lot of money during this time period on average. It has certainly been a golden 10 years for a ftse shorter.

Sometime in the next 10 years, my guess is, that he will lose the lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

he sounds like the sort of tw@t that gives traders a bad name, it seems his methodology amounts to no more than gambling and putting a finger in the air, he doesnt seem to have any sense of money management and whilst i also prefer shorting to buying its ludicrous to only play one side of the market although he may well do very well over the next few years

Edited by Tamara De Lempicka

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
At least the guy has a background in trading.... all the little guys who get into it with little experience dreaming of a quick buck I'm pretty sure for the most part will lose money.

Now repalce trading with property in that sentence... hmmm ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anyone who had stuck to a sell only strategy would have made a lot of money during this time period on average. It has certainly been a golden 10 years for a ftse shorter.

complete rubbish, lets just ignore 2003 to 2007 when the above strategy would have lost them their shirt shall we

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest DissipatedYouthIsValuable
complete rubbish, lets just ignore 2003 to 2007 when the above strategy would have lost them their shirt shall we

Get back in your box, Maria.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It is quite possible his great profits are true. He probably wouldnt want to talk about if he had lost.

It's a trait of most gamblers that they mainly remember their wins rather than their losses.

[oops, beaten by contractor!]

Edited by mikthe20

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been thinking about dabbling small amounts in spread betting myself recently and have been spending time formulating a strategy. I am glad that everyone seems to think the man's strategy is bizarre at best and piss poor at worse. Why would you only short a market? It also sounds like he is betting large sums at a time and has seriously poor risk management. This guy used to be a professional? Hard to believe from the article frankly. I'd be glad to be rid of him if I was his boss.

Talking of total ********, has anyone else seen the FTSE blog on the Guardian today?

Apparently if the FTSE ends up over 4350.12 then we are saved and the financial crisis is over!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/ju...e-marketturmoil

:blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've been thinking about dabbling small amounts in spread betting myself recently and have been spending time formulating a strategy. I am glad that everyone seems to think the man's strategy is bizarre at best and piss poor at worse. Why would you only short a market? It also sounds like he is betting large sums at a time and has seriously poor risk management. This guy used to be a professional? Hard to believe from the article frankly. I'd be glad to be rid of him if I was his boss.

Talking of total ********, has anyone else seen the FTSE blog on the Guardian today?

Apparently if the FTSE ends up over 4350.12 then we are saved and the financial crisis is over!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/ju...e-marketturmoil

:blink:

Volatility tends to be higher.

It's impossible to judge his money management without knowing his capitalisation.

FTSE fell from '00 to '03 and from '07 to present so it's not even possible to know how he performed during 04/07.

Some people like to fade.

Overall though I think it's probably a placed advert for the firm mentioned in the article.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why is everyone so down on this bloke?

DYIVs implication that he's not contributing much to the world seems the only valid criticism.

If he wants to gamble, why not, if it's his money?

At least he and his wife will pay the price if he fails, unlike the banksters.

OK so he's a BTL, so he gambles there too.

In addition , some of the criticisms are pretty ignorant, skilled gamblers can make money in any conditions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The final nail in the coffin for American population control will be allowing internet gambling. You could become a junk food addicted TV/Sports/Porn watching drug taking gambling alcoholic!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Volatility tends to be higher.

It's impossible to judge his money management without knowing his capitalisation.

FTSE fell from '00 to '03 and from '07 to present so it's not even possible to know how he performed during 04/07.

Some people like to fade.

Overall though I think it's probably a placed advert for the firm mentioned in the article.

I see your point, but if he is losing £200k in a day it suggests to me that he is averaging losses at the very least.

Ok, the market goes down swifter than it goes up, but when you have a clear upward trend wouldn't be an idea to buy, rather than try to profit on the dips?

But yeah I think you are right it is probably just an ad. Particularly this quote "The real beauty is you can do it when you want, from wherever you want – I often place trades while on the deck of cruise ships with a drink in my hand." which really pisses me off - it just encourages get rich quick merchants, whereas I think money can possibly be made, but slowly and cautiously.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why is everyone so down on this bloke?

DYIVs implication that he's not contributing much to the world seems the only valid criticism.

If he wants to gamble, why not, if it's his money?

At least he and his wife will pay the price if he fails, unlike the banksters.

OK so he's a BTL, so he gambles there too.

In addition , some of the criticisms are pretty ignorant, skilled gamblers can make money in any conditions.

Not so much down on this guy, but the article just encourages get rich quick merchants and unrealistic expectations. His story doesn't seem to add up particularly well either. I don't care if he makes money or loses his shirt - it is the whole get rich quick thing that bothers me personally, especially when it appears to be a dodgy story

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trading on a computer screen isn't my idea of fun, but I did sign up to a foreign exchange live trading game to have a go at seeing how well I could cope with the pressure.

I played around for a couple of weeks and lost phenomenal amounts of money.

But about a year later I had another go with a simple strategy. Look at any currency market. Make a rough estimate of the volatility. Wait for a dip, buy and place an order to sell as soon as a modest profit had been made. Don't use a stop loss. Repeat for as many markets as I can be asked to look at - which was about twenty. After a few days I had made some modest profits and had huge paper losses. I have just looked at the account and all my trades bar one have made a profit - albeit about 3 months after I placed them.

This seems like such an obvious strategy that it must have been tried before. Is there some risk I haven't spotted yet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Trading on a computer screen isn't my idea of fun, but I did sign up to a foreign exchange live trading game to have a go at seeing how well I could cope with the pressure.

I played around for a couple of weeks and lost phenomenal amounts of money.

But about a year later I had another go with a simple strategy. Look at any currency market. Make a rough estimate of the volatility. Wait for a dip, buy and place an order to sell as soon as a modest profit had been made. Don't use a stop loss. Repeat for as many markets as I can be asked to look at - which was about twenty. After a few days I had made some modest profits and had huge paper losses. I have just looked at the account and all my trades bar one have made a profit - albeit about 3 months after I placed them.

This seems like such an obvious strategy that it must have been tried before. Is there some risk I haven't spotted yet?

I thought the rule with currency trades was very simple.

If you don't know anything about the currency markets don't trade.

If you do know anything about the currency markets don't trade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Trading on a computer screen isn't my idea of fun, but I did sign up to a foreign exchange live trading game to have a go at seeing how well I could cope with the pressure.

I played around for a couple of weeks and lost phenomenal amounts of money.

But about a year later I had another go with a simple strategy. Look at any currency market. Make a rough estimate of the volatility. Wait for a dip, buy and place an order to sell as soon as a modest profit had been made. Don't use a stop loss. Repeat for as many markets as I can be asked to look at - which was about twenty. After a few days I had made some modest profits and had huge paper losses. I have just looked at the account and all my trades bar one have made a profit - albeit about 3 months after I placed them.

This seems like such an obvious strategy that it must have been tried before. Is there some risk I haven't spotted yet?

Thats basically a similar play to the carry trade

I would suggest the risk of a sudden and rapid devaluation caused by the international currency markets taking fright at a country's balance of payments and/or debt positions cf. the fairly recent runs on the Icelandic Krona, Sterling, the NZ Dollar, any Eastern European currency, etc.... :o

Apart from that its a winner ;)

Edited by Neverland

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I thought the rule with currency trades was very simple.

If you don't know anything about the currency markets don't trade.

If you do know anything about the currency markets don't trade.

I am a big hairy bear and very cautious, I won't be putting any real money in without a lot of research. I can't be bothered to do the research as I have lots of things I want to do that I know will pay off, so I am not likely to become a currency trader any time soon.

I was just wondering if anyone could point out the error in my strategy that was all. I am sure there is one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I see your point, but if he is losing £200k in a day it suggests to me that he is averaging losses at the very least.

Ok, the market goes down swifter than it goes up, but when you have a clear upward trend wouldn't be an idea to buy, rather than try to profit on the dips?

But yeah I think you are right it is probably just an ad. Particularly this quote "The real beauty is you can do it when you want, from wherever you want – I often place trades while on the deck of cruise ships with a drink in my hand." which really pisses me off - it just encourages get rich quick merchants, whereas I think money can possibly be made, but slowly and cautiously.

I'm not really bothered by this either way, but just to pick up on that point - He says he's been doing it since 2000. The market is lower today that it was then, so in purely nominal terms, without considering dividends the overall trend since 2000 must have been down, not up. In real terms of course it is has been in a significant downtrend.

As for the £200k in a day thing, it really is impossible to know without knowing his capitalisation. If he has £500k then clearly that is ludicrously reckless. If he has £10m then it's 2%. I suspect he's somewhere in between.

As for all the comments about gambling, most people on this site are short houses/long cash (or equities or gold or currencies or a combination) and have been taking a long-term punt on that trend since perhaps '04 - 3 years before the house price uptrend broke down. In the case of gold the volatility has often been higher than on the FTSE, both up and down, and many have gold shares which are a leveraged play anyway. So I'm not sure if people just aren't thinking or don't know what they've been doing. :rolleyes:

Edited by Red Kharma

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • The Prime Minister stated that there were three Brexit options available to the UK:   289 members have voted

    1. 1. Which of the Prime Minister's options would you choose?


      • Leave with the negotiated deal
      • Remain
      • Leave with no deal

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.