Starting this site has probably been my best decision ever.
There are plenty of times that I’ve wanted to bash my keyboard into oblivion, or spray my monitor with spite filled saliva. But reflecting back on these events, it’s dealing with this adversity that has allowed us to continue to improve, offering our clients genuine value and a haven from the charlatans of the industry. My original mission was to make money for clients; then the site would be a guaranteed success and after 5 years I believe we’ve achieved!
What have I learned during that time?
Here’s a rundown of the wisdom I’ve gathered over the past 5 years. Hopefully, you can grab a pearl of two to help you on your journey.
Forex trading is difficult. I started trading forex because I wanted to get rich without working hard. Simple. I’ll admit, I got sucked into the typical marketing hype that we so often see in the industry, but the reality of forex trading is, it’s bloody hard.
I’ve lost count of the number of traders who claim to be professionals, produce a sexy myfxbook, stroke my ego and then disappear. Never to be heard of again. This industry (and maybe life in general?) is full exaggerations and bullshit. If someone tells you they’re making money trading, I’ll bet you a bucket of pips that they’ve lost more than they’ve gained.
It’s not impossible to make money, but it’s really really hard. I gave up trading my own funds, aside from a few small accounts, long ago. It’s emotionally taxing and utterly absorbing, which is fine if you’re making money, but I wasn’t. So now I get my trading fix by allocating my money to our small team of professionals. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the market and am slightly addicted, but it works better for me to watch the trades being placed on my account instead of making the trading decisions directly.
Our first ever home page back when our domain was LiveForexTrading.info
The forex industry is always changing. When I started the site in 2012, the landscape was very very different. Zulutrade (remember them?) was the biggest social trading site in the world, EA’s like Million Dollar Pips, Forex Growth Bot and FapTurbo were on fire. Interestingly, years later I met the developers of a mainstream EA (I won’t say which one). And over a few beers they divulged how they’d sold over 50,000 copies, netting $3mil in only 12 months. Meanwhile, they only made $500 from actually trading it. Crazy hey! EA’s were an internet marketer’s wet dream back then.
These days clients are more savvy, with EA’s and signals gradually dying. As an example, Myfxbook and MQL5 have invested millions in their signal & trade copying products, and almost nobody uses them. When you consider their combined database is over 10,000,000 traders, yet they don’t have more than a few thousand paying clients between them, you have to ask yourself why.
Why is automated trading dying? Because these traders, the ones behind each strategy, are like 21year old college kids on spring break. Pump and dump baby! If someone can get lucky for 3-6 months on a small account and convince 50 other suckers to pay $99/mnth for as long as their luck continues, it’s not a bad deal. Provided, of course, you don’t have a conscience. Once a paying client has been burned once or twice they quit, and like an inflatable boat with a hole in the side, they can’t pump enough new customers in to keep it afloat for long.
So, where is it all going? The industry is now primarily centred on trader education. People want to learn how to trade themselves, which I get. I just wish they knew what I knew… Unless one is willing to dedicate his/her life to this, they will almost certainly fail.
Home page in 2013
Running an online business is awesome. One of my proudest moments was when we promoted my colleague Arturo Ferracuti, to the head our support desk. Arturo’s from El Salvador, one of the poorer countries in South America. When he joined us back in 2014 he’d been working for another forex vendor getting paid a few hundred dollars per month. He worked diligently, taking on additional responsibilities with open arms and in just a few short years he has changed his life. He’s now receiving a substantial wage and continuing to challenge himself.
We now employ 17 people across 10 countries. They support our 5 independent forex websites with over 5,000 active clients running 24hrs per day. Dotted across the globe, we all work remotely. Building up the company to this size has been a challenge, but one that I’ve loved. What’s more, I only ever invested $5,000 of my own money and have never had to pay for marketing, our growth is entirely organic.
Creating and growing an online business that aligns your interests with your clients (helping them make money in my example) and provides opportunities for employment has been fricking awesome. If you’re naturally curious, love to solve problems and not afraid of working around the clock, I certainly recommend it.
All forex brokers are both honest, and dishonest at the same time. Honestly? Yeah, honestly. It’s almost laughable the number of occasions traders have told me their broker has cheated them. Traders do a great job of losing money all by themselves! There’s no need for brokers to intervene. The idea that a broker is sitting on the other side of the trade, moving price a few pips so they can get an extra $7.53 out of your account is just ludicrous.
But what people don’t know is that most brokers “internalise” clients trades, which means they’ll take the risk/exposure internally instead of pushing it through to the market. Therefore if you win, they lose. Or the more likely scenario is you lose (because you’re a retail trader with a poor strategy) and they win.
Before you jump up and down, think of this from a business standpoint. Assume you’re a broker and have a new client that deposits $1,000 into a trading account. Statistically, this client is likely to lose all or most of their account over the next few months. Don’t get upset; it’s just the circle of life. This client will likely trade somewhere between 100 and 300 times during the period with the broker earning a commission of $20-$50 for pushing the trades through to the market. ALTERNATIVELY, The broker can hold the trades internally and keep any client losses, a bit like a casino.
If you take the time to read the T&C’s from your broker you’ll almost certainly find this in the fine print. You’d be surprised to know it’s not illegal or even frowned upon by regulators, this is just the way it is. But nobody will publically tell you this information because they don’t love you as much as I do.
If I had my time again what would I change?
I would learn the importance of strategy analysis and understanding how to quantify a trader’s returns sooner.
I would only work with traders that have at least a 12-month track record.
I would be more proactive when cutting traders once warning signs emerged.
I would hire an assistant earlier (I did the books for the first 4 years and was terrible at it).
I wouldn’t believe anything a trader told me unless it could be proven (I’d sooner believe a story from a used car salesman than a forex trader).
I wouldn’t have marketed traders so aggressively (promoting several failed strategies damaged my and the site’s reputation over the first few years).
I’ve had a blast running this site and getting to know so many of you over the past 5 years. I can’t wait to see where we are at the end of the next 5. Hopefully I’ll be writing it from 30,000 feet in my Wifi enabled private jet along with my 17 foster children in tow.
I’d love to hear your questions or comments. Please post in the section below.