Million Dollar Traders

2009 ,    »  -   49 Comments
Ratings: 8.34/10 from 56 users.

Million Dollar TradersEight ordinary people are given a million dollars, a fortnight of intensive training and two months to run their own hedge fund. Can they make a killing?

The experiment reveals the inner workings of a City trading floor. The money is supplied by hedge fund manager Lex van Dam: he wants to see if ordinary people can beat the professionals, and he expects a return on his investment too. Yet no-one foresees the financial crisis that lies ahead.

The traders were selected in spring 2008, before the US credit crisis gathered pace. The successful candidates were chosen, trained and dispatched to their specially created trading room in the heart of the Square Mile. Among them are an environmentalist, a soldier, a boxing promoter, an entrepreneur, a retired IT consultant, a vet, a student and a shopkeeper.

As the novices learn the dark art of trading stocks and shares, the financial markets start to buckle. Making money takes second place to basic survival as the brutal realities of global economics take their toll on the traders. How do they cope? Will they secure themselves a bonus, or walk away with nothing?

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49 Comments / User Reviews

  1. MatarD

    Once I made a ghost portfolio (fake money) on a site for fun, of 10 000$, and this amount became 18 000$. Most of the profit came from a company that speculated that it had found a large gold deposit in Sweden, and I emphasize speculated.

    Naturally this was before the crisis, and I have not checked the account since. Much due to that many of the stocks were split. However, it opened my eyes and ill defiantly go back once i get funds. Now lets see what the doc has. to say about it.

  2. Tony Chung

    Gold, silver, US index what's next?

  3. Achems_Razor

    Years past I took many courses and training in commodities, not day trading though, studied commodities graphs, charts, all the nuances of trading in such, that was when gold was peaked at 300$ per troy ounce... If I had the money then to buy into gold, would be a millionaire many times over.

  4. Guest

    This reminds me of a reality show. Can't get into it!

  5. manohar sullad

    No one can make money without a trading plan (and sticking to it )and money management rules.
    The non professional traders who get instant success to the trading are the people from army and navy. WHY?? Because they have a discipline to follow it unlike others from other professional.
    This experiment in this doc should have considered taking these army into this experiment.
    Let's see what the Doc says

  6. Lucy Saw

    "The US is over for a generation." Indeed!

  7. Guest

    "Yet no-one foresees the financial crisis that lies ahead."
    When u are taught only lies in todays mainstream economic schools, what else do u expect? Followers of other economic schools rather than mainstream neoliberalists, not only predicted the financial crisis many years ahead, they successfully projected loosers and gainers of the crisis in an extreme way of accuracy. Google: Peter Schiff was right. :D

    Ironically, when crisis hit and all those "false" economists get caught sleeping in bed with the banksters, the monopoly kingdom of FED and the Wall Street gets together and create the ultimate conspiracy of all time: Privatize all corporate profits, sosialize all corporate losses. The bailout package (legalized robbery) made up with trillions of dollars of crap loan, mortgage and other fantacy financial products were given to government as hostage, while the perpetrators of this economic crime of the century go back to sleep with their Swiss accounts once again hoarding all the nations wealth in their private hands :D

  8. Petar Vitanovich

    Austrian Free Market System... that's all I have to say. Ron Paul in 2003 told people what was exactly going to happen because of the Keynesian, neo-socialist system we implement today. And you know what??? He was exactly right. The problem with Wall Street is that it is all about winning, they don't care about the foundations of their system, all they care about is ways to abuse it to make profit. Since profit is the goal, they are blind by design to the cracks in the base structure of the market... Now that is what a true proffesor not involved in the market should teach about economics.

  9. Tyler Partridge

    In my personal opinion this doc belongs in the physhology section. I guess it depends how you interpret it.

  10. capriciouz

    Awesome series. 3 episodes long, and once you get through the first one I highly doubt you can stop watching until the end :)

  11. capriciouz

    Also, a very bad documentary to put on to fall asleep to. Damn, now it's almost 4 AM! hahaha

  12. His Forever

    I don't handle stress all that well. Just reading the summary made me anxious! I want to know what happens in the end without watching 3 hours of stress and pressure!

  13. His Forever

    Really? Sounds stressful!

  14. Guest

    by 4am even stress is about to go to sleep!

  15. John Gros

    Amazing how much you can learn from listening to both the winners and the losers, and also the managers.

  16. anuragawasthi

    The most imp rule of gambling is that the 'House always wins'...........not matter how clever you are in day trading and FnO you are always shown
    'snake eyes' most of the time sooner than later

  17. henrymart81

    i love trading :)

  18. Rocky Racoon

    What this show tells me is there is nothing special about the people who work in the stock market and that practically anyone with the least amount of training can do it, which is a far cry from the nonesense you hear coming from Wall Street and the specialized knowledge that traders have and the other crap they spout in order to justify their outrageous bonuses. And now with these computerized trading gizmos' they use to manipulate the market at the speed of light.....We need to get rid of this political economy. All of the extraneous damage done to the environment and the level of damage done to people physically and emotionally-like war profiteer's- which used to be illegal....the corruption from top to bottom is ruining our world. What was done on 9/11 we do everday somewhere in the world. How much longer are we going to let it continue? Another day is one day to many as far as I am concerned.

  19. Matt Kukowski

    The most imp rule of gambling is that the 'House always wins... Excellent and true.

    The stock market was invented to price discover. But, now they do not care about price discovering and ONLY about selfish money making. This is why inequality rules. These stock traders on the planet need to be retrained or gotten rid of.

  20. Rich M

    That 32*32 is an interesting trick question that is actually easy--especially if you are versed in computers.

    32 is 2^5 (2-4-8-16-32). If you double from 32 five more times you can get the answer in your head......64-128-256-512-1024

  21. silkop

    (Spoilers ahead)

    This film is not about trading. It is not about psychology of the participants either. It is not even about questionable morality of guys from the City. What is it then? A cleverly (!) disguised advertisement for the producer's new business. If you look up the guy, you will find out that he's founded a "trading school" and is making a reliable buck from it, much unlike the vast majority of traders (there are hard statistics to confirm that).

    I love his final tongue-in-cheek remark that he's going to rethink his career. Oh yes, but not for the reasons he misled his viewers to believe! The whole setup is an admirable piece of misdirection. The message that he wants you to take away is that certain traits of character, like discipline, are important, and that professional training is only secondary; that in essence you, like everyone, can do it ("it" meaning become his customer rather than a successful trader, but that's not being told, of course). Note the not so subtle means of persuasion. The characters who are "kicked out" are portrayed as inadequate, yet lovable, suckers. An over-emotional lady, a softie environmentalist, an impulsive simpleton, a colored loser, an impatient too-old-for-this grandpa. On the other hand, the characters who stay are portrayed to look as "just like you": an ambitious student, a tough-it-out passionate yet cool-minded soldier, and (most notably) an average housewife. As with any well-arranged confidence scam, the point is for you believe you have identified the sucker and are smarter, while in reality you are the sucker being taken advantage of by the scammer. Obviously the TV reality show format with its infinite possibilities for editing is an excellent tool for Mr. van Dam. Most of the remaining comments here so far also hint at a job well done.

  22. Far Spam

    As others have said its an advert for a trading school and not a real hedge fund/trading desk.

    Also you can see that it was a bit of a setup. All the people made the most basic trading against trend ..... trading into News.... blah blah blah....

    However the whole thing was very interesting as it reaffirms what attitude types can and cant trade.

  23. Rainmaker

    This doc is at the right place. It was organized and shot by a hedge fund owner, who, first of all, wanted to see what it takes for down-to-earht people to run a hedge fund. At the same time, elements of psychology are all around us in our daily life.

  24. Rainmaker

    It's funny and sad at the same time that during the training they did not learn THE MOST important in investment banking: DIVERSIFY YOUR PORTFOLIO! How difficult is that?!

  25. supbra

    This seems a little contradictory. Do you trust in free markets in all circumstances because you support Ron Paul? Or do you think speculators are substantially harming the stock markets like Keynes?

    Hopefully, it reassures you to know that criticism of stock markets were common place in my economics classes

  26. Liebewitz

    -could waste time here -doing a personality assessment-but not doing so

    just to say Mike---is a Mike Foxtrot.

  27. Liebewitz

    Mike -has a psychopathology!

  28. Liebewitz

    diagnosis infra -after 1 or 2 episodes.

  29. Thunderb0lt

    Typical that the woman in the group crumbles and bursts into tears. And the feminists moan that there aren't enough women in the upper rungs of banking/finance? It's because they don't have balls. Nothing wrong in saying that, it's just the way we are made.

  30. Captian America

    Thats a good thing in business...

  31. MrT

    black dude won :0)

  32. Liebewitz

    I agree CA

    I knew -as I was writing the comment -but I just hoped 'he=Mike'
    would read it-n get a gut check-rethink.

    He probably is 'doing' well!

  33. Liebewitz

    I agree CA

    I knew -as I was writing the comment -but I just hoped 'he=Mike'
    would read it-n get a gut check-rethink.

    He probably is 'doing' well!

  34. Mintsz

    Your comment is incorrect. I see you've ignored the fact that there were two women in the documentary; one was called the 'best trader of the group' and described as 'calm and collected'.

  35. Hugo Medrano

    I love this documentairy. I hope people understand the psychology of trading as business. I started learning just like the guys. I saw myself making those mistakes. They should have been told to focus on the chart. In trading, there is one big statement: EVERY THING THAT IS KNOWNED AND KNOWNABLE IS REFLECTED IN THE PRICE.
    News just push price from one level to another level. Those novice should have be taught to just trade extreme price point from level to level.
    I beleive all of them can be execellent trader with proper discipline and money management.
    Hope to see another run. everybody deserves a second chance.

  36. Will Lentjes

    Yes but they aren't running an investment bank!


    I don't think it is wise to teach people to be short-termist sheep like the rest of the investment industry.

    I think the show would have been very different if these people were trading their own money they'd had to put up to be on the show!

    I trade... as a hobby and I beat the pros almost all the time.
    I've been playing my family's, and now my own, money since the mid-1980s... so what do I know!

    The big gains are predictable... 700% is easy as is total losses. The hard part is WHEN. Timing is everything and I'm NOT talking minutes or hours, people... I trade perhaps once or twice every few months. You know something's going up but when? Maybe sometime in the next three years! Can't wait to see THAT tv show!!!

    Most of the 'normal standard' investment 'rules' are nothing of the sort and are things that are done only by people with no patiience and massive greed playing with someone else's cash.

    I ONLY trade what I understand... I like small cap oil and pre-production mining. Everything else... like tech, is garbage, slow-to-zero-growth or a froth-and-wind.

    Best way of LOSING money is diversification!
    Why? Let me explain the logic...
    Because you diversify to protect yourself against market falls BUT WHEN THE MARKETS FALLS IT IS LIKE THE TIDE GOING OUT AND ALL THINGS GO DOWN!
    Diversification is simply a form of insurance that when you come to need it, it screws you. It is the expectation of a disconnected market of discrete sectors and stocks (one falls but rest don't), when the opposite is true.
    You wanna protect against a market fall? Get out of the market into cash... that is diversification... into CASH!

    The traders WON'T tell you that because they don't make any money out of you if you pick up your chips and head out the door... they want you to stick around so they can steal some more from you!

    Traders do not win if you win! You win alone!

    But what do I know... I only trade next month's food on table, petrol for car and roof over head... so it's not like I know anything about it! All praise to the professional who is successful/lucky (*delete as appropriate)!

    Read "The Black Swan" and "Fooled by Randomness" by N N Taleb for more details!
    Also "When Money Dies" by Adam Fergusson re. the German Hyperinflation is well worth a read right now... coming to a usa near you soon! LOL eg. Doctor in 1924 Germany became a barber... doctors get paid slowly since they issue bills to patients BUT a barber is paid immediately! Handy when money is worth less daily! Read. Be informed! Smile more!

    As for trading, when the market works, one can stay in a tight sp growth sector that you understand, like and have experience sufficient to allow you to know the things that are red-flags or blue-flags to the sp (share price)... and you make decent money.
    What do you think puts food on my table?

    I bet my own money so I am more careful than some bank gimp who is betting somebody else's life savings on froth and wind that he calls a controlled risk... if he had to live in a cardboard box in a storm-drain if he got it wrong or they towed away his limo, he'd be a tad more careful with 'his' account.

    Greed has lost me money. Having fun has made me money.

    But what do I know... Only been doing it since I was a kid!

    Just my two bits...

  38. S├ębastien Talbot-Vachon

    this show is like The Office, but not funny and real.

  39. smartguy12

    the introduction of technical analysis was not mention with people ask when to buy and sell i mean come on

  40. timmeh12

    lmao.. ok? What the hell are you trying to say? I can't stand you FOOS that are so ignorant. You think if a Caucasian won.. someone would comment.. "white dude won"? :0) ... no! Just a ridiculous comment from a nuga

  41. Josh Christian

    Free Markets...Like Chile? Like Argentina? Like the Russian Federation...Poland etcetcetc Free Marketism leads to military regimes. The shock of extreme poverty as wealth is created is too much for a society to bare. The only way to make it work is to force it on the people... this I believe is the direction we are headed Globally. And while Social Darwinsim makes the winners in the system feel like macho warriors, the fact is they need standing armies and their technologies to defend them... So ironic that Free Marketeers rely on the nanny state for protection. Because if we are all to be as ruthless as we need to be to survive, then its back to jungle law and these banker types will not fare well in that environment.. people with skinny bodies and big heads die fast in the trenches...

  42. William Ivan Po Lim

    mate! getting rid off somebody cause they just done things that aren't comfortable for you isn't a quite pleasent

  43. Tyson Poulos

    gos to show how ignorent your race is, when you have to announce that a black person won. Do you think we would be writing "a white guy won!!!!!" if such was the case? Your just pathetic.

  44. SenatorJohnMcCain

    Yeah "gos" to show a lot doesn't it? "Your" right. It's pathetic.

  45. SenatorJohnMcCain

    Let your racism show brother! WHITE POWA!!!

  46. SenatorJohnMcCain

    Right. That's why a woman was there in the top 3. But go on with your predetermined conclusion.

  47. Odd Sigve Tendenes Tengesdal

    Infomercial for telling us how hard it is to be among the 1%.

  48. Rampage

    Black people in North America, and Europe are generally considered a minority, if white people in say japan had won, and they were the minority it should be fine had someone mentioned a white guy won, or white American/German/Eskimo etc..

    Now you stereotyping a "race" as more or less ignorant than another "race" is as ignorant as it gets, which is very much pathetic. Furthermore, race is subjective(look that up), and consider not addressing racial issues until you reach at least adult hood.

  49. What do I Know

    This was an interesting documentary - aside from the journey of the individuals it gets you thinking about how everything in the world is connected these days and if you know what your looking at you can exploit the happenings in the world to make a quick buck. It's just a shame that most traders seem unethical and are a large contributing factor to the problems of this world.

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