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Foreign Exchange

FX and retail investors: A match made in hell?

Social media celebrities and financial markets might seem like strange bedfellows, but there is nothing phony about the growth of retail FX trading.

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Photo: iStock

The use of Instagram to promote FX trading as a way of making a quick buck might just be one of the most bizarre pandemic trends.

Companies marketing the prospect of becoming ‘financially free’ are charging prospective traders hundreds of pounds a month for access to educational materials and mentoring.

Promises of serious returns are backed up by social media posts of FX influencers driving expensive cars or taking luxury holidays.

The Advertising Standards Authority recently banned a post from a reality TV star promoting an FX tip service that promised massive profits because she failed to disclose that it was paid for, but it appears that the message is still getting through.

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Brendan Callan, FXCM

Investment Trends’ 2021 UK Leverage Trading Report shows that the number of people in the UK trading FX increased by 23% between May 2020 and May 2021, with 34,000 trading for the first time.

Other markets appear to be going in a similar direction, with a survey by trading portal Forex Suggest indicating that the average African FX brokerage saw trading volumes rise by more than 20% last year, for example.

Yet


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