As I write this, I’m nursing a bit of a sore head and an empty wallet. In the last four weeks I’ve lost almost £30,000 spread Tiger111 com for about an hour a day five days a week. So I managed to blow around £1,500 an hour. That’s really quite a chunk of cash. Actually, it’s not quite as bad as it looks. Fortunately, I was betting using a few spread-betting companies’ demo sites.
These are simulations of their live betting sites that allow you to practice before you start betting with real money. I realise that I am no financial genius otherwise I would have been rich long ago. However, the fact that I managed to squander so much money so quickly does pose the question – if spread betting seems so easy, why do so many people get completely wiped out extremely quickly?
We’re increasingly seeing advertising for spread betting in investing and money management publications. In the one I subscribe to, four or five different spread betting companies take full-page colour ads each week, outnumbering any other type of advertising. Spread betting ads are already common in the business sections of many weekend newspapers and will probably soon start to appear in the personal finance sections.
Spread betting could appear deceptively attractive to many savers. After all, money in a bank, shares or unit trusts will at best give us about a miserable five per cent a year before tax. Yet a reasonable run on spread betting can easily let you pocket ten per cent a week – five hundred per cent a year – completely and gloriously tax-free. So spread betting can let you earn in just one year what it would take a hundred years or more to achieve with most other investments.
Spread betters gamble on price movements of anything from individual shares, currencies. And commodities to whole markets like the FTSE, Dax or S&P. It is called spread betting because the company providing the service makes most of their money by putting. An additional spread around the price at which something is being buy or sell.
Industry estimates suggest that around ninety per cent of spread-betters lose most or all of their money. And close their accounts within three months of starting. There seem to be another eight per cent or so who make reasonable amounts of money on a regular basis. And there are around two per cent of spread-betters who make fortunes. I’ve been to a few presentations run by spread betting companies. And at one of these the salesman let slip that over eighty per cent of his customers lost money. Even many professionals lose on about six bets out of every ten. But by controlling their losses and maximising their returns when they win, they can increase their wealth.