DUBAI: Looking to get rich by investing in a miracle software that predicts financial market trends and promises unusually high returns?
Beware, it’s a rip-off! The trend predicting software which comes with a price tag of $200,000 (Dh734,000) is like any other forecasting indicator you can find online for as little as $50.
Yet so enticing is the sales pitch of the people selling it at a company in Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) that many unsuspecting UAE residents have bought the software without a second thought.
“Can you turn $78,000 into $245,000 in just two weeks? Yes you can!..It’s easier than you think,” reads the promotional material of the self-proclaimed ‘world’s most powerful business solution for futures, stocks and forex’
To ascertain the veracity of the claims, I posed as a potential client and visited the company’s office where a representative immediately got to business.
What followed was an elaborate presentation on the basics of currency and futures trading. Amidst jargon used by professional stock and currency traders, the representative demonstrated how investors could easily earn up to a 7,000 per cent return on an investment in a few months.
When asked for proof of such astonishing returns, the man presented what he claimed was a hypothetical back tested track record of the software, showing 43 per cent returns in three weeks.
Not even the most profitable hedge funds perform so well. Theoretically, it’s possible to realise very high returns, but they are not consistent and entail risks. However, the representative didn’t deem it necessary to address these concerns. Instead he said: “All you need to do is open a $100,000 account with any local or international broker for stocks or currencies. The software will tell you exactly when to buy and sell any commodity, stock or currency.” He pointed to arrows that signalled buying and selling opportunities that seemed to magically appear on various points of the price charts.
“The software does not guarantee profits, but has an accuracy rate of 80 per cent,” he boasted.
“Don’t worry. Once you buy it we will give extensive training and secret tips on how to make the most out of your investment,” he said before showing video testimonials of clients whose lives have changed since they purchased the software.
Queries about the software’s technical aspects were brushed aside. “We cannot reveal our proprietary strategies. All I can tell you is that the software has been developed by my boss whose net worth is $800 million,” he claimed.
Shows of wealth, references to unrealistically high profits and overuse of technical jargon should raise red flags rather than overwhelm investors. Do your due diligence before taking any major investment decision. Better still, consult at least two experts.
People tend to associate price with quality, and investment marketers capitalise on this association to fork out maximum money from unsuspecting investors. You would think that a software as expensive as $200,000 must really be able to give high and consistent returns, when in fact, identical trend predicting softwares are available online, some as free built in features of trading platforms and others for as little as $50.
Trend predicting softwares are helping tools at best. Even if we were to assume that a software predicts prices with high accuracy, it would never lead to consistent profits. If investors are unable to manage their risk accurately, even one wrong prediction can wipe out their entire investment.
Traders and investors need a lot more skills to be consistently profitable, the most important being the ability to exercise discretion and intuition correctly, manage risk and the extraordinary patience to stick to a trading plan. There are no ‘holy grail’ strategies or shortcuts. The easiest way out is time and practice.
The writer is a professional trader and founder www.tradeinpeace.com