15 Feb #TradeMyWay: Peter Imrie
As part of our #TradeMyWay campaign, we have asked users to send in some of their own personal trading stories. Thank you to Peter Imrie for sharing his story with us below.
It was the late 90’s, I was about 19 years old and working at a computer store during my holidays and weekends. One day I got a phone call from someone asking for me by name, I had been selected to become an elite member of a computer based trading program and join the select few who were making massive profits trading online and securing financial freedom in their early twenties. For a relatively small start-up fee (their words) and tiny percentage fee for trades, I too could be part of this elite club and be the envy of my friends. They could even guarantee doubling my money in a certain time-frame and ROI within just a few months and everything after that would be pure profit. These were the days of the dotcom millionaires and I was caught up in the very slick sales patter and agreed to meet with one of their representatives in the coming days.
Fortuitously I bumped into my Uncle the same afternoon and I told him about my upcoming meeting and how excited I was to start trading and investing. Without any judgement he asked me to join him for coffee and asked for more details. After listening to everything he then suggested I ask the following questions before meeting with the consultant:
- What criteria did they use to select me as a member of their club and where did they get my details from?
- Instead of using fractions and hard to decipher percentages could they show their fee structure using some real examples?
- What recourse was there if their guarantees of doubling money and ROI figures didn’t materialise, would I be able to get money back?
After coffee I phoned the person back and started going through the questions my Uncle had proposed I ask. The more I asked the more evasive they became until they became irate and told me I was missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime and I shouldn’t waste their time. It was at this point I realised this was some sort of scam and they were more interested in their commission than having my interests at heart. I was able to call everything off and never heard from them again. Thank goodness I was able to get a second opinion from my Uncle at the time (who also provided a calm and measured approach in dealing with the situation) and I was able to learn the following:
- Never take things at face value, especially when dealing with your hard-earned money
- Ask questions so you can fully understand what is on offer
- If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is
After this experience I met with my Uncle’s broker who was able to advise the best methods of investing and trading for my situation (taking into account my variable income) and this ultimately led to me being able to fund my first overseas holiday and experience snow within 18 months while still maintain a decent share portfolio.
Do you also have an inspiring trading story? Share it with us and you could win! See the #TradeMyWay page for more information.