Slick Instagram accounts and YouTube channels point to foreign exchange (Forex) trading as a route to extra cash. BBC reporter Dion Hesson dives into this world, meeting a host of passionate and charismatic young educators, some of whom say the Forex training they sell will put him on a path to financial independence. But what is the reality?
Dion’s journey begins within IM Academy, an American multilevel marketing (MLM) company that sells foreign exchange education. Having paid for two months membership, Dion tests his skills on the live market. He generates a profit but realises he would need to invest thousands more to cover the fees he is paying for tips and education or to come close to making a living. Dion also explores the other side to this company, the side that encourages you to sign up new members, first to cover your fees and then to make money of your own.
Next, Dion looks at a company called FTMO. It apparently offers ‘funding for serious traders’, helping people make profit through Forex trading, without risking any of their own capital. He travels around the UK and Ireland to meet smart, driven and hopeful traders who are investing substantial time and money in challenge fees and education, with the aim of trading with FTMO. But when Dion takes a closer look at the company, he discovers that traders who pass the challenge are trading on a demo account with fictitious funds and that it is up to FTMO whether any of these trades are executed in the real world or not.
Lots of people have big dreams about becoming a successful trader, but with four out of five people losing money on actual trading, Dion suggests checking out the price tag and the fine print before signing up with educators in this field.