Million Dollar Traders

Million Dollar Traders

Ratings: 8.17/10 from 66 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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6 years ago

"Reminiscences Of A Stock Operator" is a very old book that is worth every penny about the stock market, especially the back chapters to give you a taste of the snake pit you are jumping into if you decide to try trading short term.

Actually Cleo, the young emotional gal had a good head of logic when she stated that it doesn't make sense to be putting on trades when the stocks are at levels where it doesn't makes sense to trade them. If you look at the end results, which even the two pros running the thing stated was the end all, if they would have followed her logic, they wouldn't have lost. People who trade their own dough get out when the market is too volatile to make sense of. To me she seemed like a natural longer term investor. She had immense difficulty in forcing herself to do something that didn't make good logic to her. Plus she hated losing and saw that to be highly likely, which proved out. Hating losing is a very good trait. It keeps you from just jumping in like Simon the older gent. Hats off to the mom for putting her kids first and not going with the stress. She never really saw adversity, and that happens in such a group. Some see it at different times. Down the road she may have had some tough bumps that come sooner or later.

What they don't tell you is a lot. When 70 percent or more of trading for the day is High Frequency trading, much of it designed by Goldman Sachs and similar firms. Goldman Sachs runs theirs on their huge computer co-located next to the NYSE house computer only bigger and faster. It see the same inputs and more but faster so it has the advantage. This is only one of the ways the markets are rigged against the average joe trying to day trade or shorter term trade. They get to see your orders and trade against you with larger dough on auto pilot. The flash crash some years ago... I'd bet money on GS computer not programmed for the particular set of circumstances which occurred. You can tell who runs the show when if you had a bad trade because of that auto pilot manipulation, you had to eat the loss. If you gained from it, you had your trade busted by the regulatory agency and didn't get to keep it. GS wins again when they cause the problem. Heard that before? Yes, the mortgage crisis of 2008-9 etc. They can easily estimate where your stops will be and often take them out and then reverse back to the former trend that caused you to get in. They were giving their cronies the ability to trade mutual funds overnight when no one else could. Hand slaps instead of jail time. A person could go on and on about the corruption and market manipulations the big boys are allowed to do but you and I would be behind bars for doing. Has any of that really stopped? Or has it gotten worse? Most financial news is designed to get you to do the wrong thing so they can take your dough. In reality either direction can be the wrong thing because they regularly whipsaw the market grabbing the day traders dough.

Make no mistake, if you lose, it is your fault because you chose to play a game rigged against you ... and they have had quite a number of years to figure out what most people will do in any given situation.

To give a prime example, not so long ago when the world had and oversupply of oil and the glut was bound to grow while the economy was tanking under the "obama miracle" an short oil ETN (exchange traded note) shot up, traders took profits. When it settled back down and many got back in again for good reason. After a bit, just as it was starting to climb they decided to cancel the fund(note) rather than have to pay. The weasel brokers didn't even notify their clients of the date when it was supposed to close so they could get out, even though the date was known and on their website, no reason to go there unless notified. So after that cancel date the fund price dropped significantly and many people got shafted. Actually most got shafted by the outfit who didn't mind raking money in for years as crude rose, just didn't want to pay when it fell. Where are the regulators? Crickets.

Never let people talk you into going against your instincts. If you don't know the price you are going to get out at, profit or loss, then you should never get in; be it short term or long.

A great trade rationale means nothing if there are other factors at play that you cannot know ...and there is always something that you cannot know, like the largest oil futures run up in history from 2003 to 2008 which exceeded all measures of supply/demand, war premium, inflation measured by gold, etc. It was pure manipulation when the banksters leased oil tankers, filled and parked them to keep oil off the market. When they built several new tank farms to hold oil off the market. That in the face of oversupply and oil should have been falling; but instead they ran it up to new highs. A great way to steal and where are the regulators? Crickets.

Just realize that it is not the smart who win, it is the market riggers who win. If you can find a method of beating the market manipulators, great. Just don't have any illusions about "trading the free markets" that is not even close to the situation.

What do I Know
8 years ago

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.

10 years ago

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

11 years ago

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

11 years ago

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

Hugo Medrano
11 years ago

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.

12 years ago

black dude won :0)

12 years ago

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.

12 years ago

diagnosis infra -after 1 or 2 episodes.

12 years ago

Mike -has a psychopathology!

12 years ago

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

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

12 years ago

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?!

12 years ago

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.

12 years ago

(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.

12 years ago

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

12 years ago

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.

Rocky Racoon
12 years ago

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.

12 years ago

i love trading :)

12 years ago

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

12 years ago

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

His Forever
12 years ago

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!

12 years ago

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

12 years ago

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

12 years ago

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

12 years ago

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.

12 years ago

"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

12 years ago

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

12 years ago

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

12 years ago

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

12 years ago

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.

Tony Chung
12 years ago

Gold, silver, US index what's next?

12 years ago

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.