Investing Online - Stock Market for Beginners - Million Dollar Traders BBC TV ShowAs a beginner in the stockmarket I was interested to see the new reality TV show on the BBC - Million Dollar Traders.
The stock market for beginners idea behind the show is that eight 'ordinary' people (i.e. people who know very little about the stockmarket and share trading) are given two weeks intensive training, then let loose on the stock market to buy stocks for two months with 500,000 quid of someone else's money to partake in a spot of online stock trading. What would Warren Buffett make of all this? Can they do better than the so-called experts? You know those people who came up with CDOs and sub-prime mortgages and who ruined the world economy and are now being bailed out right, left and centre by taxpayer money, or even non-existent money, which the Royal Mint is now busy printing?
The 'someone else' providing the money is hedge fund manager Lex van Dam : his aim is to see if 'ordinary' people (why all these references in the BBC blurb to 'ordinary' people is the implication that city traders are 'extraordinary' people ?) can beat the professionals, he also expects to make a profit - ha ha the guy is clearly an expert.
Lex Van Dam despite working in the world of high finance seems quite rational, saying : “What’s become clear over the past year is that the experts don’t know. If you just do what the experts tell you it’s probably the quickest way of losing your money."
“And if something looks too good to be true it probably isn’t true – like the Madoff fraud. You can’t trust the Government, and you can’t trust companies.”
Mr Van Dam believes passionately that you don't need a business education to be a successful trader. “When I worked at Goldman Sachs I went through a training programme and most people there had MBAs and the view was that you need lots of education to be a good trader but I don’t think so. It’s not that complicated, you just need to stick to a few rules.”
However, "no-one foresees the financial crisis that lies ahead" - that's straight from the BBC blurb and it is revealing as it is a tacit admission that none of the 'extraordinary' professionals had a clue that the world stockmarkets were heading into their worst bear market since 1929.
The eight novice traders were selected in spring 2008 and are :-
- an environmentalist
- a soldier
- a cage fighting promoter
- an entrepreneur
- a retired IT consultant
- a vet
- a student
- a shopkeeper.
The first episode was great fun and we look forward to more financial fannying about over the coming weeks!
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