Exposed: the negotiation courses that sell an expensive dream

Great ambition: & # 39; Flying Trader & # 39; Greg Secker owns Learn to Trade

It is using the dream of a quick and easy route to financial freedom to attract a new generation to the foreign exchange trade of risky origin.

Job ads and social networks are sweeping the country, telling the British that they can earn four-figure sums each month by spending only half an hour a day in the currency markets. The tempted are invited to free workshops or webinars, which are used as a platform to sell expensive training courses.

The software that accompanies it, said to help customers learn strategies to identify profitable transactions, is also sold as part of the package.

I attend two seminars to discover what is involved.

Great ambition: & # 39; Flying Trader & # 39; Greg Secker owns Learn to Trade

Great ambition: & # 39; Flying Trader & # 39; Greg Secker owns Learn to Trade

FREE WORKSHOP

A job advertisement that invites me to start as a forex trader, with no forex experience needed, sounds great, if unlikely.

I can get a second income immediately, become my own boss in six months and generate a "concrete and reliable" income using "recession-proof strategies". I try, since it seems that I have nothing to lose, the announcement says that the initial training is free.

When I click on the Apply button, I'm taken to a web page where I sign up for a free two-hour workshop with Learn to Trade.

My session takes place in a hotel in Stratford, East London. Our group of 18 men and women of all races and ages enters through the doors of one of the hotel suites to the dramatic and exciting soundtrack of Rob Dougan's Clubbed to Death.

When the music stops, a brief warning message of risk is played on the speakers. Then, we are shown a refined video about the origins of Learn to Trade and its founder, businessman and "Flying Trader" Greg Secker, known for completing exchanges while flying in a helicopter and donating commissions to charities. They tell us that their opinions are much sought after, along with those of Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.

The video then cuts images of Greg, the philanthropist, in a jubilant mood at a ceremony in which hundreds of new homes at the Greg Becker Foundation Village were formally delivered to their new residents in the Philippines.

The properties were built for families displaced by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. After the video, the presenter Gurdas tells us that joining Learn to Trade was something "obvious" to him and that the money that will be earned is very attractive.

Buzz: sites claim to bring commercial floor energy to homes

Buzz: sites claim to bring commercial floor energy to homes

Buzz: sites claim to bring commercial floor energy to homes

He asks attendees why they are here today. One, Dwaine, wants a better life for his family. We are all confident that trade can fit our family commitments.

Gurdas says he can put us in the same buzzing environment as professional dealers in the city, although I imagine this would require some suspension of disbelief.

As an added boost to sales, Gurdas says he is overseeing a & # 39; special project & # 39; and wants to recruit 50 people for it. As we are told, he has been presenting some seminars throughout the country in a break from his usual routine, because other people are usually hired to make these presentations.

An Internet search later suggests that this is a proven line.

The workshop focuses on everything most of us want: more time with the family, less time in the office, financial freedom from the mortgage and bills, a bigger house, money to pay for a wedding, enough to cover tuition school children, future insurance and more vacations The implication is that exchange operations will generate the necessary cash.

Follow an introduction to forex trading. Covers & # 39; pip & # 39; – a measure of movement in the exchange rate between a pair of currencies – records trends when prices go up or down and how the system works – buy, hold or sell & # 39; of Learn to Trade.

Stopping losses, used to limit losses when an operation is not done in its own way, are also discussed.

Then, it becomes difficult to sell again. Apparently, the word & # 39; work & # 39; It means "just above bankruptcy", and aspiring to a salary of £ 40,000 a year only serves to limit our ambitions. It is unlikely that this figure will be sufficient for us to achieve our objectives.

The following video is of offices around the world where the company's merchants meet in the operating room. From time to time I see the logo "Unlimited wealth" on the screen, the name of another course that is offered to students willing to pay for it.

Dramatic music plays when we see people in an office studying computers and talking.

Gurdas tells us that as part of the & # 39; special project & # 39; you are monitoring, we can access highly discounted training, mentoring and software for £ 1,997 plus VAT, a reduction in the usual price of £ 6,995 plus VAT. As we are told, this is our only financial commitment, although we must finance a commercial account to begin with.

Hard sell: the seminars focus on the desire for wealth of the participants

Hard sell: the seminars focus on the desire for wealth of the participants

Hard sell: the seminars focus on the desire for wealth of the participants

The account you recommend is with Capital Index, a broker also owned by Secker. When I review your website later, it seems to me that you admit that 79% of your retail customers lose money.

Gurdas says he will not repeat his offer since 45 places have already been filled, which means that there are only five spaces available for the 18 of us in the room.

The selected few will also be asked to participate in a charity event and share their progress for 12 months with a few words to "inspire others". for a new marketing campaign.

I decide not to accept the offer but, when I leave, I see Dwaine, the serious young man who said he wanted a better life for his family, that went straight to the forms and began to fill them with a purpose.

I am not convinced and direct my attention to the wealth of other firms that offer commercial software and training in forex through lists of jobs, pop-up ads and publications on Facebook.

An emerging ad comes from Trendsignal, which suggests that I can earn a four-figure monthly sum from currency trades, and this time I do not even need to leave the house to start.

A FREE WEBINAR

I participate in the free online webinar of Trendsignal for more information on your "Sniper Negotiation Strategy".

This is a less elegant production than the workshop, but toward the end it became the kind of optimistic sales pitch you hear in TV shopping channels.

A & # 39; complete package & # 39; It costs £ 3,300 plus VAT. Refunds are allowed for those who change their mind in the first two weeks. Operators can also choose their own agent. But instead of sharing my money, I get in touch with a former student whose testimony is on the Trendsignal website.

There are a lot of companies that offer commercial software and training in forex through job offers

There are a lot of companies that offer commercial software and training in forex through job offers

There are a lot of companies that offer commercial software and training in forex through job offers

Lisa Beaney says she is satisfied with the package and claims to have obtained a supplemental income from the negotiation. The professional photographer says: "It gives you a set of rules to follow and, in general, it made me earn money.

"You have months in which you lose, but the other months make up for it and Trendsignal is quite open about it before you start trading."

She says the downside is that while Trendsignal was interested in the trade and felt that the software was useful, she had to devote a lot of time and effort to herself: grab the brokers, the markets and the graphics options.

Trendsignal boss Adrian Buthee says: "We teach a specific set of rules for people to follow and prudent risk management techniques, we make sure we do things properly and fairly."

He describes the advertising through the websites working as & # 39; inappropriate & # 39; and says that this is not something your company does.

But he adds: "We use webinars as a way to reach people around the world who are interested in learning to trade in the markets, our customers tend to be between 55 and 60 years old and have an eye on retirement."

James Mathews, director of Learn to Trade, said: "In the last year, we have taught hundreds of people in our shopping center a series of strategies and tools to help them start to market the market."

The firm says that operators never risk more than 2 percent of their account in a single transaction. A spokeswoman adds: "People appear and lose money, but generally they are those who have not followed the rules of risk management."

WHAT IS REALLY MARKETED?

What many home-based Forex traders are entering are contracts for difference, or "CFDs".

In my Learn to Trade workshop, the risks that arise from CFDs were mentioned only briefly, just before the presentation began.

But this is perhaps the most important information. No currency is physically owned or traded: the customer is essentially betting on the movements of prices in a currency pair.

Therefore, they may be betting that the price of the pound sterling rise or fall against the US dollar in a given period.

They place their & # 39; exchanges & # 39; with a broker, who receives a cut. You can also add a & # 39; stop loss & # 39; to limit potential losses if the price of a coin falls too low. European regulators recently intervened to protect novice customers from the disadvantages of CFD transactions.

The restrictions introduced this month include preventing customers from losing more money than they entered into their trading account. This safeguard will be in force for three months and could be extended or adopted more permanently.

The Financial Conduct Authority, which oversees financial services in the United Kingdom, & # 39; fully supports & # 39; the new rules, which aim to prevent customers from taking too much risk.

It comes after the research showed that up to 89 percent of customers across Europe lose money in CFD operations, with losses ranging from £ 1,400 to £ 26,000 per account.

WHO SHOULD RISK IT?

Laith Khalaf is a senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, a long-term traditional investment broker who wants to invest in Isas, funds and stocks. It offers CFD, but only for "active and experienced investors".

Khalaf says: "Forex movements are notoriously difficult to predict with precision and that is widely applied at a time when Brexit, politics and the potential for trade wars are causing ructions in global markets.

& # 39; Buying and selling currencies is a risky business. This is not an area for first-time investors.

"Getting rich slowly is a much more reliable strategy than getting rich quickly, which can often lead to rags rather than riches."

In addition, "buy before you try" courses are a costly expense for beginners who realize that trading is not for them.

My verdict: beware of the buyer!

I learned a lot more from free online videos

Loss: Raghav is £ 7,500 down

Loss: Raghav is £ 7,500 down

Loss: Raghav is £ 7,500 down

Learn to Trade asks those who enroll in their courses to provide some words to "inspire others." But the company is unlikely to want to use the comments of student Raghav.

The independent design consultant from Coventry enrolled in a course last year, but is bitterly disappointed by the experience.

The 26-year-old says: "I have learned more through free YouTube videos.

"Learn to Trade" spent a lot of time selling the dream instead of teaching me how to achieve it.

"They made it look so good that I forgot why I came, that it was to learn."

Attracted by the idea of ​​achieving financial freedom, he enrolled in a training plan for & # 39; Unlimited wealth & # 39 ;. It was priced at £ 15,000, but Raghav could not pay that amount, so he says the company allowed him to pay £ 5,000.

After a few months of negotiation, Raghav realized that this path was not going to make him rich.

In any case, he believes that he has not done any money business, but now he has lowered £ 7,500 in course fees.

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