Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spiking sporting success the forex trading way

Gary bumps into some forex trading advocates who believe that Ghana's sporting industry needs a shot of risk to make the jump from paucity to plenty.

I have been told that my columns are usually easy to read and flow seamlessly. Today, I crave your indulgence to twist your mental faculties a bit, for forex trading is as simple as it is complex.

Fifteen months of governance have come and gone in this NDC administration. As usual, it is that time of the year where the government has to account for what it has done in the past year.

Ghana's Minister of Information, John Akologo Tia, briefed the media on what his government has been doing in the past year. He mentioned that inflation has dropped from 18.1% in January 2009 to 14:23% this past February. He also made it known that the Gross International Reserves of the Bank of Ghana has grown from U.S. $ 2 billion at the end of 2008 to U.S. $ 3.2 billion at the end of 2009.

And then, with a smile, he proclaimed that 200 newly registered companies with the GIPC are expected to create a total of about 18,789 jobs for Ghana. John Akologo Tia: "Investment inflows have already started coming in appreciable volumes, and as government continues to promote the competitive advantages of the country to the investment world, the country's job market will continue to expand and absorb the growing number of skilled labor."

Finally, he ended with a flourish that the oil and gas sector has already employed about 1000 people, and is expected to quadruple the next two years with appropriate training for the youth.

And so what?
I was explaining what the Minister's proclamations meant to two foreign nationals I had just met at the Busy Internet cafe in Accra. After listening quietly, one of them, Dan asked me: "So does that put money into your pockets?"

I had to admit, grudgingly, with a shake of the head. No matter how impressive the figures are it does not impact my pocket directly. For the purposes of this article, the figures certainly do not really dent the fortunes of sportsmen and women either. Where two or more men are gathered, football and sport is usually present. So the discussion Veer (naturally) in this direction and then Dan asks me if I have heard of forex trading.

Actually, I have. Whether I fully get it is another matter. But what has that got to do with sport? Daniel explains that if Ghana can encourage its sports industry leaders, sports-loving youth (especially graduates who love competitive sports) to take a little time to learn forex, our sporting fortunes would change. Why is that, I ask?

That is the cue for the start of Daniel's mini-lecture: "Foreign currency exchange (or forex) market is the largest trading market in the world. It yields an average turnover of $ 8.5 trillion daily." I almost do a double-take at the amount he mentions. I ask him if he means that $ 8.5 trillion is sitting there and waiting to be taken?

"Actually, yes and no That amount is there but not for the taking as you put it. It is an amount that is by forex traders TRADED."

Daniel goes on to explain that despite the perception that yields forex money quickly, there are a few lessons to be learned first before getting into it.

So, for the average sports industry leader or sports person, my friend prescriber that since many of them have a rudimentary knowledge about buying and selling, this should not be too difficult.

The best part is that, according to Daniel, the best traders of forex are not necessarily those with business education. He readily admits that this kind of orientation would give a person an edge but argues that it is mostly about following a set of rules in addition to common sense.

He warns that 7 out of 10 traders keep losing money in the forex market, while the rest of the 30% work freely from their home and earn millions annually. What makes the difference between the two types of traders? Well, the top 30% are those with forex skills and knowledge. So that means that if we take our Ministry for Sports, for instance, an education in forex trading can help change their orientation such that a fraction of the monies allocated to them in the national budget can be traded as forex.

This is a simple way of making money by analyzing and utilizing the various risk factors that everytime good business person knows. But in the long run, the best forex traders keep it simple.

This means that for whatever amount of money sportsmen and women want to trade, they have to avoid being carried away by excitement, greed, anxiety or fear. Keep it simple. It works like magic.

Why trade forex?
So, a few days after I had written the preceding paragraphs, I have been cajoled into three 2-hour courses in forex trading at the Busy Internet cafe, where I met Daniel initially. Though I found the ideas and monies involved dubious and absurd initially, I must admit that it is a whole new world.

Personally, I feel that the ability to trade forex would immensely empower our sportsmen and women who are usually paid pittances for what they love doing. We all know how these people, especially the footballers, and are cheated of their hard earned money wrung suspect by team owners and agents. In forex, you take control of your own finances. You can easily beat the returns from mutual funds, hedge funds or managed funds

So, start-up costs are low when compared with day trading stocks or futures. With a minimum of 200 Ghana cedis even, one can start trading forex. Or if you are lacking in self-confidence (which should not be the case after the courses), the experts can do it for you.

Then again, do remember that forex is the largest financial market in the world, not so it is like there are some sports administrators with access to the money are seated somewhere and waiting to deny deserving sportsmen of their earnings. And then there is the added bonus of the fact that it is convenient, as forex markets trade 24 hours a day. There is no waiting for the opening bell, like we see in the case of the Ghana Stock Exchange or similar ones worldwide.

The training (called technical analysis) that is given you to be a forex trader works very well and the market trends Sun respond to what you do. This means that the sportsman earns Whether or fails is in the power of his / her mind

The great part of all this, from my point of views sports as a business advocate, is that one can make money working only a few hours a day or week on one's computer. This is so cool, considering that the training of sportsmen schedules are hectic and crazy and this gives a leeway to make some 'spare cash' on the side in their leisure.

The only drawback that I see as a hindrance is that despite the fact that one can trade from anywhere in the world, an internet connection is must. Yet, Daniel assures me that one need not worry too much because you can regulate the trade of forex on an as-you-go basis.

Caveat Emptor
The Latin phrase above means 'buyer beware'. Despite the glitzy nature and perception that forex trading creates, I feel a responsibility to let you know that really, going to the trouble of investing currency is certainly not for everyone.

People who have no clue how the currencies affect other aspects of the financial world are certainly not cut out for the forex market and this is where most people make a mistake. You absolutely have to be honest with yourself before getting started in order to make a good decision.

That is why I said at the beginning that our leaders should take up the mantle of forex trading and not the ordinary sportsmen and women yen, many of whom honest Do Not have a clue as what country uses the. But if you are sportsman, sports administrator or sports enthusiast reading this and feel that you have got the kicks, why not? It might just work for you. Daniel and his guys at Awasce Konsult certainly think so.

Infectious confidence
Daniel's excitement at making converts to his world of forex is contagious. Soon I find myself hooked. As I go through the course, step-by-sniffing-step, I will do well to keep you updated about my progress (or Whether I will leave the whole thing prematurely). But as they say, the first impressions look good.

The bold predictions that forex trading can increase Ghana's earning power in sports by up to 12% is laudable but I guess we need to keep a cool head, analyze this whole thing before meticulously Devoting our important taxpayer funds into the whole scheme.

This piece first appeared in the the Business & Financial Times Ghana.