Information is a valuable commodity

WITH the rapid and continuing expansion of spread betting in the UK, providers are continually seeking ways to differentiate themselves from the rest. One of the big ways that providers are trying to stand out is in the quality and range of the seminars and the education programs that they provide.

David Jones, chief market strategist at IG Index points out “the idea that we are like a bookies who stand to win from a client’s loss, while a popular misconception ten years ago, is completely wrong. We want to see our clients trading successfully 10 years in the future. Our average retail client starting out in spread betting is someone who may well have bought and sold shares in the past and we have an education program to help them feel confident with the system and other markets that are available to trade.”

Although the rise in popularity of spread betting that we have seen would be almost impossible without the internet, it is the human aspect of live seminars that is a big draw. According to Ryan O’Dougherty, product manager at CMC Markets: “people like to have face to face meetings. We have a long history of running our Trading IQ program and are in the process of revamping it. At the same time we offer our demo platform for life, rather than just a trial, allowing people to test new trading techniques and strategies that they have picked up at our seminars and online presentations.”

There is clear benefit to both parties when it comes to seminars offered to those new to spread betting, but that doesn’t mean that once you’ve learned the ropes, you’re on your own. ETX Capital offers a full education program as part of its client package including technical analysis and trading strategy, followed by a mentoring program for experienced traders as they go along.

Attending a trading strategies seminar offered by Capital Spreads and presented by an independent strategist, the demographic of the group was not necessarily that of a room of people who had clocked off work at one of the hundreds of banks and investment houses within a stone’s throw of the building. Yet they had read the books, done the research and wanted to sharpen their techniques. The seminar packed in three hours of analysis of charts, trend spotting and strategy, but the most emphasised advice was the basic one of always having a written plan.

Though for those spending their days sat in front of a Bloomberg screen, the idea of going back to school may not appeal, for those who have become stuck in a rut or want to get an edge to their forays into spread betting, some of the advanced courses offered by the various providers may be just the thing.