Quest Means Business   « Back to Blog Main
June 29, 2009
Posted: 930 GMT

LONDON, England - Just a decade ago, if I’d wanted to trade the markets I’d have had to engage the services of a stockbroker. I’d have been limited to trading, over the phone, UK and perhaps some US stocks. Every trade would have been subject to a hefty broker’s commission.

Can CNN’s Adrian Finighan cut it as a rookie trader?

Can CNN’s Adrian Finighan cut it as a rookie trader?

Today, thanks to de-regulation and a high speed Internet connection, I can trade almost anything, anywhere in the world, from wherever I happen to be at the time. I can do it 24 hours a day - and it won’t cost me nearly as much as it would have done 10 years ago.

I’ve been a financial journalist for more than 15 years. Booms. Busts. Inflation. Deflation. Mergers. Acquisitions. Hostile takeovers. Profits. Losses. Interest rates. Bond yields. Bankruptcy and fraud. I’ve covered them all over the years and I’ve learned a lot about how the markets work.

But, despite having a ringside seat I’ve never actually dipped a toe in the water and tried to make money myself.

Actually I have.

Some years ago I stupidly listened to a colleague who fancied himself as an ‘expert’ and bought shares on his recommendation. They bombed within weeks and, embarrassed by the memory, I try my best never to think of it.

But lately, as the financial markets have suffered a major meltdown and the media has vilified bankers and their "greedy, risk-taking’" traders for helping to tip the global economy into recession, I’ve begun to wonder whether I could have done any better?
As a reasonably intelligent, responsible, adult would I have been able to trade the markets without taking big risks? Would I have been able to trade responsibly and turn a modest profit without having my head turned by the prospect of big gains?

Of course, all of this is somewhat academic. I can’t answer those questions because while I know how the markets work, I know nothing of how to trade them. So, with a CNN camera crew for company, I decided to find out.

I became a Rookie Trader.

I’ll be detailing my experiences right here in this blog over the next few days.
In the interests of full disclosure I should tell you that we filmed my journey into the markets on five days across the course of two weeks in June. As the films are broadcast over consecutive days you might get the impression that I went from novice to trader in a week.

Not so.

The extra time needed to study all of the course work and additional reading material makes that impossible, as you’ll see when I go into detail later. And even now, course work and filming complete, I’m still little more than a novice with much still to learn.

* How does Adrian Finighan fare as a rookie trader? Watch Quest Means Business Monday to Friday: 1800 GMT London, 2000 CET, 0300 HK.

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Manuel Vilhena   June 29th, 2009 11:28 am ET

I am looking forward to watching those trails.

Fawad   June 29th, 2009 12:02 pm ET

Even if you lost some money this time, it won't be from your pocket.

We will see what's out there for Rookie traders.It is always good to take lessons from others' experiences.Good luck

Avinash Tavares   June 29th, 2009 12:45 pm ET

Cant say, my friend, if you'll encourage people to trade or scare the hell out of them. In any case, I wish you had done this just before the downturn in the economy; when rookie traders were eagerly lining up outside wallstreet like lamb to the slaughter.

Anthony   June 29th, 2009 1:23 pm ET

It ain't easy is it? Still, we do need more responsibility in the markets. Either self imposed or from outside.

peder   June 29th, 2009 5:02 pm ET

Just don't follow those fibonacci devotees. More often than not they re wrong and full of hot air.

David   June 30th, 2009 6:45 pm ET


Are you going to demonstrate an actual trade or two? Perhaps upload a video session of actual entry and exit points (win or loose); take us through the emotions and thought processes involved in real live trades.

Good luck

Pascal   June 30th, 2009 11:09 pm ET

Adrian and keith,

I followed your programme this even and am interested in undertaking similar lessons. Can you advise me on the best way of learning to trade in the markets?

Fionn   July 2nd, 2009 8:54 pm ET

In future everybody should train for at least three types of jobs. After Adrian has qualified as a rookie trader, I suggest he trains to become somehting completely different – a green-collar worker (un col vert – the French were in first with the new name).

Teye Patrick   March 7th, 2010 5:44 pm ET

i like that series. it made me love investments the more. i really need some more education on that. cant wait for an update

Morrison Ortega   March 22nd, 2010 3:31 pm ET

I crave to invest so much. The series awake ned that spirit. How can I study to be a rookie trader. Waiting for update.


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