They call it a pipe dream; a get-rich-quick scheme. The internet is full of the kind of fluff that backs this up. Countless holy grails, supposedly foolproof and spewing lottery scale returns. No wonder the vast majority fail.
There are a couple of recommended routes to a career in trading. The first is the more conventional — get a job at a bank. Here you will start by learning how not to lose money. Then there is the prop shop or proprietary trading arcade. The best known and perhaps only such facility in the Middle East is Dubai’s Professional Trading Group (DPTG) located in Jumeirah Lakes Towers. Such places are equipped with the infrastructure and expertise required to introduce you to the profession in the right context.
There is a month-long course that costs about $2,000 (about Dh7,340), which involves hands-on teaching on how to interpret and trade futures markets using a simulated account. There is then the option of going live on your own after completion of the course and requisite time spent practising on the simulator. The tools and guidance provided are indispensable.
The course itself is taught by Jamie Lear, CEO of DPTG and a trader with almost 20 years’ experience, having started out in the pit of the Liffe exchange in London. The software provided is the best in the market — Trading Technologies’ X Trader, and FutureSource charting program. DPTG has dedicated servers that connect you directly to the Eurex Exchange via a high-speed low-latency connection. There is direct market access, hence brokers are bypassed and cost of trading is very low — a very important consideration.
The trading floor itself is an imposing spread of trading screens, making it look like a Nasa command centre. Occupying the space are several independent traders with years of experience, open to giving advice to newbies. A couple of risk managers monitor the activities of traders, taking necessary action when needed.
When one starts out, DPTG takes it upon itself to ensure that you don’t fall prey to human emotions while trading, which inevitably lead to the demise of most traders. If you lose a certain amount on any given day, you are sent home. Teaching focuses on the German treasury futures contracts — or the bunds. Pursuing trading by oneself can be a lonely existence, and a lack of direction can be disastrous. In this sense, DPTG is a necessary medium to ensure you give yourself a fighting chance.