Gear up for Online Trading

We kick off the year once more with trading: a topic that might not be directly tech-related. It however, relies heavily on online technology to help with investments and therefore, is noteworthy.

More and more millennials are getting into the habit of adopting get-rich schemes. You just have to look on Instagram and Twitter to see how gullible some of them are to Ponzi-like schemes preying on online and financial naivety.

It has become so cumbersome as most of the predators ‘befriend’ you only to present you with the offer to trade (Forex, Binary options or mine Crypto) on your behalf. Some blatantly just ask for you to deposit cash (usually increments of $500) into unknown accounts!

Nothing to perform due diligence is available and not even a website atimes – just the promise of profits of up to 30-80% weekly, monthly or whatever – it’s all click bait!

A notable 60 percent of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in Latin America alone showed high interest levels in Crypto investments in 2018.

Capgemini’s World Wealth Report 2018.

You can however, as we mentioned around this time last year, take full control of your financial destiny.

When it comes to managing an online portfolio via a broker such IQOptions, there are a few things you have to consider first before dropping cash into your trading account.

Here is a quick checklist of basic things you need before considering it:

  • Equities (Shares or stocks, ETFs, Commodities, Indices, Options, Forex, Futures and Cryptocurrency). These are all vehicles you can engage with  concurrently in the same portfolio.
    • They all also have their (moderate to extremely high) levels of risk. Learn how each of them worksShares are actually the less risky of the batch nowadays.
  • Have a plan! One does not just opt to invest in equities to “make money”. Of course you will make (or lose) money. The question is how much and within what timeframe? When are you looking to have the money back? These questions will help determine what kind of investor you are or the approach to adopt when investing.
  • Based on your knowledge, appetite for risk and the associated costs, you will either be a long, mid (mixed) or short-term investor. The latter is referred more commonly to as day-trading.
    • Long term trading works pretty much like savings. You buy the stock/share and hold it for a long period of time (shares/stocks and indices are the best vehicles for such). All the others can be bought and sold by the minute, hour, day, or weekly.
  • Pay attention to all the associated costs. It costs nothing to setup an online trading account via a broker. Your bank may charge a brokerage fee for running a separate trading account. The advantage of that mainly is just the ease of adding and withdrawing your ‘winnings’.
  • Setting up with your bank means there is also less admin when it comes to verifying your personal details such as ID, physical address and so on.
  • Be sure to have all documents ready and up to date. These are mandatory and required by local financial authorities to help prevent or determine fraud, the use of securities to launder money or fund terrorism.
    • The bank trading brokerage fee can be waivered by going for a online broker independently if you have all your ducks (paperwork) in a row.
  • Once setup, there are further internal costs that the broker will charge you. Pay attention to the commission charged when you purchase a security of choice. Some waiver it but then charge what is called a spread. Then there are other deductions such as a charge for borrowing money to trade – what is termed ‘overnight fees‘.

Some strategies

We strongly recommend actively running a trial for at least 2 months before making  your first deposit to start purchasing securities.

Before that first purchase, you should hopefully have used the trial period to learn some of the tools. Trading (or investing) is not something you do out of a gut feeling. There is about 3% ‘gut feel’ but the rest of knowledge comes from studying the tools for technical and fundamental analysis.

Courtesy of

The difference between technical and fundamental analysis is the difference between trading and investing – without any, you are outright just gambling!

Budget within your portfolio

Always start small and see how that goes before diving fully in. People get greedy and think if $10 fetches a $5 profit then $10 000 would subsequently garner $5000 or at least $500. It doesn’t always pan out that way. If it was that easy we would all be millionaires!

One must also quickly avoid the habit of topping up the account to get the next hot stock because like a business, your trading portfolio is an investment for future growth. It must therefore, be nurtured that way.

Ride the waves (with your initial investment) and reinvest your winnings by ploughing back some of the profits into less riskier securities once you make a small ‘killing’.

Switch from a short to medium term trading approach to secure your profits. Many day traders end up losing all their gains because they stay in the game for too long. The stock market always turns eventually and gets its pound of flesh!

As a rule of the thumb, purchase only after a massive drop in price – as you would in a fashion sale. When a security’s price has risen to abnormally high levels, its ‘bubble’ tends to ‘burst’.

In addition, there are tools to measure whether a stock/share or any security for that matter is overvalued. Study them!

Market trends

The markets are constantly in motion and like a rollercoaster, prices are constantly going up and down. You have to choose where (and when) to place your buys (and positions) to make your profits.

Courtesy of IQOption

Know the market (opening and closing) times so you do not miss a good deal. Many markets will either open with a big rally; cool off in the afternoon and then close with a sell-off (in the red) in the evenings in general.

What causes the up and downs is the buying and selling off respectively.

Based on that, and with the common knowledge that everyone sells at a high profit – what do you then think would happen after a massive rise in the price of a security? It is not rocket-science yet many people fall for it and end up buying at the height (peak) price of an equity.

Easier said than done. Naturally, it is hard to predict where this peak is as many inexperienced profit hunters have found out the hard way.

Markets tend to crash in predictable cycles. The Crypto market fell by a whopping 70% in 2018 – a monumental drop in market capitalization after its equally amazing 2-month bull run. Many individuals and companies who bought Cryptos in January 2018 as a result went down in flames because of such bad timing – and just plain greed.

There are however clear smoke signals in trading – preparation is key!

These are just some of the basics to help you get into an investing state of mind – more particularly with online trading. You will find a few more  useful information on the resources page.

Happy trading and remember to start of with a free trial!

General Risk Warning: The financial products offered by the company carry a high level of risk and can result in the loss of all your funds. You should never invest money that you cannot afford to lose.


Sales misconception – debunqed!

The ‘great’ art of selling is about earning and keeping your client’s trust. In business or commerce, there is nothing greater than the feeling of completing that successful sale.

By successful, we refer the whole process: from convincing the customer that your product or service will meet his/her long or short-term needs. This is after listening carefully to their requirements through thorough discovery.  The client is then able to the payment without hassles and take timely delivery of the goods.

Finally, the customer acknowledging and thanking you for it with the hopes of coming back should be the most rewarding part of the sale. That coupled with your commission of course!

A successful sale is a step-by-step process and must have all the above elements.

Anything short of that is paramount to a quick-fix or even a scam. It is only lazy salespeople (taking shortcuts) that give the trade a bad reputation.

Granted, not all of your sales interactions will turn out to be complete success. Some elements of the above process could be stymied by aspects out of your control.  For instance, the client’s lack of funds, suppliers’ delivery delays or a faulty product can mess up a good sales cycle.

A true story

Some of the most successful sales are even conducted by faceless agents. Once, while based in Johannesburg, we sold a product (that was mass produced in China) and had it delivered from New York to Cape Town via air-freight.

This was based on a demand (order) that was placed on a then operational website. The actual sales were brokered via correspondence by email and phone.

Luckily, the product (and delivery) quality was good enough not to warrant a face-to-face visit, though in those days having Skype for Business would have been a great resource to at least give ‘a face’ to the sales rep.

They were, however, willing to deal with the agent several times without having met them personally based on the quality of the (medical) product. This was in addition to the vote of confidence and guarantees provided throughout the intensive sales interactions.

This little anecdote proves that it doesn’t matter what you sell, if the product is of good quality, and meets all (compliance) requirements including the recent GDPR law – the sale actually becomes the easy part.

You will, however, still require a little bit (and the right kind) of presentation skills to position the product/service adequately enough to execute the sale.

There is no real art to selling – we all do it all the time without realizing it. From the time we apply to a kindergarten or high school, to university and finally to all the jobs in our working career.

Reinforce the brand

As salespeople, we must present ourselves (our unique skills and character) and persuade a ‘buyer’ to take us on. This is also something no automated sales agent or Chatbot can do and is an area that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will not beat us on.

And just like a brand, everything we do is intended to enhance our value and the more we beef-up our brand (with educational, mentorship and technical qualifications). The better our brand, the more demand for your offering.

250x250But back to selling. We sell people ideas: something as simple as convincing your mate to meet at the pub after work or your girls to join you for a weekend spa takes skilful persuasion. And even more so if they had other plans or options.

That is essentially what sales is about – persuading a buyer to choose your product or service over that of others using tools such as the consumer black box.

Such persuasion obviously can be genuine or fraudulent. Those salespeople trained by their leader Jordan Belfort as illustrated in the 2013 Wolf of Wall Street movie are a testimony. The revealed how persuasion can be used effectively when capitalizing on with an inherent human trade – greed.

Being truthful, however, (even if it means letting go of a sale) will determine whether you get repeat customers. This is something most successful salespeople make use of to boost their conversion rates and pipelines.

Mentorship likes to follow unconventional salespeople who use unorthodox but effective methods.  These are not necessarily the textbook style of selling but will help to inspire you to address the potential client’s needs honestly.

Such ‘on the ground’ learning is done with the help of a mentor. Shadowing one or two mentors that are passionate about what they do can rub off a few skills that can supplement traditional sales theory.

Sales is a skill best learned on the ground and you will hardly find an institution offering it as an elective course.

Such revenue-multiplying potential that repeat-customers can provide for your sales portfolio or pipeline beats getting a quick-fix by conning people no matter how big the ‘score’ is.

What you should be doing as a salesman is gaining your customers’ trust whilst solving their problem.

A trusting customer will always look you up for more purchases.

If you operate in an industry where you have multiple products or one that needs to be renewed – you earn revenue for life!