The show is now over. Congratulation to John Walsh as winner. If you want to watch the series you are still able to watch all episodes on YouTube.
Here I want to look back on what I feel are the good and bad points of the series.
I like that people fairly new to trading will have got a good insight into spread betting, and how difficult and daunting it can be when you are just starting out. Many people go through the same thing so it can be good to see others experience what you experience.
They chose good contestants to be involved, although each episode is short what we do see of them they come across as good honest people. And from different backgrounds which makes it interesting. The guys working for CityIndex are likeable chaps as well giving the show a good feel. It does have a serious feel to it, but not overly serious.
The series was very nicely produced with all the fancy TV graphics and dramatic background music. In a similar style to ‘The Apprentice’. It was enjoyable to watch.
And of course a positive is this will give the contestants a chance of success in the future compared to before they went on the show. And John Walsh now has a lovely lump sum of cash, so congratulations to the guy, he seemed the right choice as winner, and it is always great to see someone pocket a big windfall!
I would have liked to have seen the series last longer. Perhaps record it all before and then release weekly episodes once the contest is completed. It takes a hell of a lot longer than 6 weeks to learn to trade. And yet the winner received 100K, which is a substantial amount of money. I think a better format would have been each episode covering 2 weeks trading, and the whole series being recorded maybe over 3 months. You would then get a much better feel for who is learning, and it would smooth out the luck factor. If I was in their shoes I would have been devastated to have got the chop in the first couple of weeks. When I began trading I think I lost money every month for the first 5 months! But now I do well. It takes time.
It also didn’t come across very well at all in the program about how they taught them, it just felt like they gave them a few tips and then said on your way. I also don’t like that they described it as:
City Index will demonstrate that with the right education and support, anyone can learn to trade the financial markets.
This is a very bold claim. And I personally don’t believe you can teach everybody to become a good trader, they may be able to learn, but long-term will they be able to do it for a living, I simply don’t believe everyone can do it. I would rather they said they can turn someone with the raw attributes necessary into a fantastic trader.
Another thing I was uncomfortable with was how they made them trade much higher stakes way too fast. Seeing them trading at £1000 per point after 5 weeks trading is mental! And would they do that with their own money, I highly doubt it, and I sure hope they wouldn’t. I just worry it sends the wrong message to newbies.
I also didn’t like the constant focus on the leaderboard in the opening weeks. Some of the contestants became obsessed with it. Rather then learning to become a good trader they were just focusing on not being in the bottom 3 of the table. When learning you should also be learning to ‘trade the method’. You can trade badly and over a short number of trades still come out profitable, because at the end of the day sometimes it will go in your favour, even if you flipped a coin whether to go long or short. I would have liked to have seen more emphasis on those trading the method, rather then just getting a good ROI. Because long-term only those who trade well will earn a living from it.
In fact the whole thing is about winning the competition and getting the 100K. As opposed to focusing on what matters, and that is becoming a good trader. I didn’t like that focus at all.
The way I see trading is it is not a competition with others. At the end of the day you are trying to earn a living from it for yourself, not beat anyone else. I would like to have seen that drummed into them more, rather then looking at the next guy and worrying why he is beavering away and they aren’t.
I also worry people new to the industry may look it and think “look, it only takes a couple of months and you can make huge sums of cash”, unfortunately it isn’t as easy as that.
Will a Second Series Happen?
I hope so. I think the idea of the competition is good, and it’s enjoyable to watch. I would like to see the prize lowered, I think for such a competition it is just too much money to give after 6 weeks of trading. I know the reward has to be attractive, but I think they could give half the amount given and an incentive, such as half the money they made during the time on the show. And I would prefer they scrapped the live leaderboard, and showed more of how they teach them. I would also like it to be over a longer period, as I’ve said I don’t think 6 weeks is a long enough amount of time. The first guy out only got a few days and he was gone! So there are certainly areas they can improve, and no doubt the producers know that. Hopefully they can improve it and come back with a stronger second series.
First Series Trailer
If you haven’t yet seen any of the first series and want a taster, here is the trailer.
Once again congratulations to John for the win. And to the other guys who still received 5K into an account. Hopefully this can be the start of something bright for them all.