By Your Trading Mentor
WHY IS FOREX TRADING EDUCATION UNREGULATED?
If you’re interested in forex trading, which I am guessing you are if you are reading this blog, then you may have realised that there are a lot of dodgy “gurus” out there. Some are just bad traders who are giving out bad advice and others are not even traders and just people impersonating forex traders on social media to convince other people, after a quick buck, to let them trade their money. Those people who were after a quick buck never see their money again. Turns out the “forex trader” offering 500% returns guaranteed in one week, whilst begging people for scraps of cash on instagram, wasn’t actually a real forex trader. Who’d have thought?!
My photos have been stolen by countless people on instagram pretending to be me and messaging my friends and family begging them for trading money. Luckily most people I know are aware it’s not me but there have been a few occasions when some of my friends, bless their hearts, genuinely thought I was in trouble and needed money to keep my business alive. For the record my real Instagram account is @trading_angel_caroline if it says anything other then this or has two ii’s or two dashes, its probably a scammer (plus I’ll never message you begging for trading money, I promise!).
This spate in copycat accounts led me to question why the industry ISN’T regulated in regards to trading education, I spent several hours googling this subject and trying to find a definitive answer. How come financial advisors have to pass extensive exams to give financial advice on low risk investments but ANYONE can teach anyone else how to trade a high risk, high reward market like forex? It didn’t make sense.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t find too much of a definitive answer as to why my job as a forex trading mentor is actually legal and unregulated, other then it would restrict genuine people being able to pass on their knowledge to others. However, there remains a niggle at the back of my head which tells me that maybe it should be regulated and maybe someone else will realise this soon and maybe the regulations will come into force suddenly and unexpectedly. Which would suddenly make my own job illegal for me to do.
WHO PAYS TO TAKE EXAMS FOR QUALIFICATIONS THEY DON’T ACTUALLY NEED?
Back in 2019 when I first set up my trading mentor business, Trading Angel, I remember goggling what it would take to become a fully licensed financial advisor and I remember thinking it took too long and cost too much so I ruled it out as being ridiculous. As it turns out I didn’t actually do my research properly as a level 4 DipFA, which is the minimum requirement to be a financial advisor in the UK, is only about £1,000 and only takes about a year for most people to pass AND it can be done by distance learning. So if you do the maths it’s kind of a no brainer really, and I have no idea what I read back in 2019 which scared me so much.
So to answer the question ‘why am I paying to take exams for qualifications I don’t need?’ Answer: Because I’m concerned that I may need qualifications in the future and I don’t want to stop my business for 12 months while study for them.
If you have read my previous blog post about my forex journey and how I started forex trading by self teaching and stubbornly refusing to get a trading mentor myself, you might have any idea of my incredibly cautious approach to starting something new. (If you haven’t read it yet you can read it here:)
In which case it might not surprise you that when I decided to take my DipFA I actually bought a second hand text book on eBay before I paid for the course so I could read it a couple times first and get an idea if I felt like the exams were actually passable before I decided to pay for them. Half of me looks back and laughs at how ridiculously risk averse this is for someone who trades a very risky market like forex, and the other half of me smiles smugly at how clever I am in my risk management.
ALL FOREX MENTORS SHOULD PASS THEIR DIPFA
Now I’m not actually campaigning hard for for the forex education industry to be tightly regulated just yet as I still haven’t passed all my exams so I defiantly don’t want to shoot myself in the foot here. But having read the textbook a couple times I have decided I am definitely going to go ahead and take the exams and try and get my qualification. And I think anyone else in my situation would be clever to as well. And here’s why:
- The first exam is all about the financial system in the UK as a whole and looks at regulation and how the financial system is set up – If you are genuinely interested in forex trading and helping other forex traders succeed, you’ll need a solid understanding of everything in this exam anyway.
- Forex trading is high risk, high reward which means it’s not actually for everyone, one thing which comes up a lot in the financial advisor text book is that you need to understand the persons risk appetite and advise accordingly AND this can change over time so risk appetite needs to be assessed at every meeting.
- As a forex trading mentor one thing which comes up a lot while I’m on a zoom call to my clients is that they have other financial stresses. Sometime they aren’t sure what to do about their mortgage or investments and I’m constantly having to tell them I’m not a licensed financial advisor and I can’t help. But every time I say that I wish I could help and I wish I knew the answer.
- I’m just interested in finance and I enjoy helping other people – maybe this should have been at the top – I don’t find being a forex mentor ‘work’ I find it fulfilling and it makes me happy when clients get results and are happy. And I obviously love forex and trading and all things finance related. And if I could expand into more areas of finance then its a no brainer for me, I think I would genuinely love to do this as work.
- I like being busy. I know this is weird but I’ve stopped trying to fight it and just accept it. I like having things to work towards, I like filling my days up with activities that I feel are moving me forward in life, and I like progression, I like studying for exams and having things to work towards keeps me motivated. I’m aware about 75% of people think I’m weird but I’m hoping that if you’re not in the 25% that get what I’m on about you wouldn’t be reading this blog in the first place. Maybe. Feel free to call me weird if you got this far and don’t get it.
- With so many bad trading mentors out there and people giving out poor advice I really wanted to have a qualification and the appropriate accreditation to prove that I knew the financial system in the UK well enough to pass an exam at least.
I am hoping to pass my first exam towards my DipFA in April 2023 so I will keep you updated on how I get on with this! If you’ve take it yourself and have any insights or thoughts on this subject I would love to hear them.
Love from your Trading Mentor x