A nice day out – London Investor Show 2014

London Investor Show

The first presentation was from Stockopedia. I was quite impressed, and plan to return to this one in more detail in a later post.

Alpesh Patel

Next up was Alpesh Patel with what was billed as the keynote welcome speech but felt more like a pitch for his newsletter, his tweets and a 4pm workshop he was holding on FX trading. The underlying message was that we all need help and he could offer it.

Alpesh talked us through his year as a “hedge fund manager”.  He was keen to stress how trading had changed, showing slides of trades placed on smartphones from pavement cafes. The tone was that of a motivational speaker, or an evangelist preacher and lots of the techniques used were similar.

The talk was a combination of  name-dropping to establish credibility (Goldman’s, JP Morgan, FT column, behavioural finance lectures at Oxford, his hedge fund manager friends etc.) and jargon to demonstrate superior knowledge.  Alpesh’s role models are Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King and Gandhi.

In contrast to the Stockopedia presentation which targeted experienced investors looking to simplify their process, Alpesh seemed to  be targeting people new to the markets and selling a vision of a future where they could graduate from a second income through trading to running their own mini-fund with assistants to do all the leg work – the good life.1 His advice was to fail quickly and to try again.

lee sandford

The third speaker was Lee Sandford (turn down the speakers before clicking on that link) – another trader and an ex-Stoke City footballer. He’s been trading for 20 years and full-time for 12. He day trades and also swing trades over days or weeks, using a variety of techniques (Fibonacci series and Elliott waves, symmetry, trends and mean reversion) and markets (FX, stocks, indices and commodities).

Lee was pushing training courses – “education is vital” – where he would teach us how to spot where the novices were trading, and how to take their money off them.  His style was very interactive, asking the audience questions and seeking confirmation via a show of hands (“we’re all here to make money, aren’t we guys?”).

His recommendation was to begin trading with FX, which is simplest, least volatile, open 24 hours and has the most amateurs for the pros to take money from. Presumably a training course would allow us graduate to the winning side.

Commodities are the opposite end of the spectrum with high volatility and exchange closure when price moves exceed limits. Stocks are in the middle with limited opening hours (8am to 9pm for London and New York combined) and an issue with price gapping in the US from earnings surprises.

Lee explained how to use moving averages (MAs: 20- and 50-period exponential, sometimes 8- or 200- period) and to buy on pullbacks. He doesn’t believe in MA crossovers.  He uses daily, then 60-, 15- and 5-minute charts, or weekly for long-term investments. He stressed the importance of a trading plan, of avoiding over-trading, of risk management, and of allocating time each day to trading.

He’s not a fan of spread betting – although the exchanges make money from the spread and from overnight margin charges, there is still a conflict of interest because you are betting against the house and it’s in their interest for you to lose in the long run, or at least for you to become disillusioned with their service and find another provider.

See also:  Amati on AIM stocks

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  1. I’m not picking on Alpesh here, he was just the first of his type to speak. The style of his presentation was similar to others, and he did admit that trading isn’t easy. []

Mike is the owner of 7 Circles, and a private investor living in London. He has been managing his own money for 35 years, with some success.

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2 Responses

  1. March 13, 2015

    […] first presentation in the main auditorium at the London Investor Show was by Edward Page-Croft from Stockopedia, a company which sells subscriptions to a stock-screening […]

  2. May 18, 2015

    […] up was Sandy Jadeja, who we’ve met previously at the London Investor Show back in October. At that show he gave a fast-paced and somewhat confusing talk about technical […]

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A nice day out – London Investor Show 2014

by Mike Rawson time to read: 6 min