Another day, another sad tale of a forex trader gone belly up:
After cleaning the dinner dishes, she would spend her evenings buying and selling British pounds and Australian dollars, much of it through margin trading, a potentially lucrative but risky method that uses borrowed money.
When the turmoil struck the currency markets last month, Itoh spent a sleepless week as market losses wiped out her holdings. She lost nearly all her family’s $100,000 in savings.
. . . Itoh recalled that she had wanted to cry as she watched the yen jump as much as 5 percent in value in a single day, Aug. 16.
“But I had to keep a poker face, because my husband was sitting behind me,” Itoh said. She did not sell her position, thinking the yen would fall again. But by the next morning, only $1,000 remained in her account, she said.
. . . Indeed, most of the half dozen homemaker-traders interviewed said they were already trading again, and the rest said they soon would be – including Itoh, who said she would probably invest her remaining $1,000 in savings.
“There’s no other way to make money so quickly,” she said.
Given the typical lifespan of an FX trader is a mere 45 days, one hopes that the industry would take a more proactive approach to educating speculators about the dangers of leverage. But that would be like a casino telling their patrons that gambling is bad…