June 30th, 2009
01:39 PM GMT
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LONDON, England– Another beautiful sunny morning and I'm back in the City. It's a shame, but I'm not feeling nearly as bright as the weather. I was up very late reading through the course work and trying to get my head around the technicalities of trading. I also slept fitfully, dwelling upon what David Buik said yesterday about my needing to have money as one of my gods.

After much thought I've decided to take what David said with a big pinch of salt. Yes, money may not be a major motivating factor for me, but as personality types go I'm very competitive. I like to win and will work very hard to do so. I've come to the conclusion that my trading motivation will be to pit my wits against the market and win. Whether my profit is hundreds or thousands of pounds or just a few pence won't matter - just so long as I come out on top. The challenge will be more important than the reward.

Am I heading for a fall?

Back in the classroom and Ryan O'Doherty at CMC Markets takes me through the process of placing a trade. I'm introduced to the order ticket and the spread, the difference between the price at which I can buy or sell. I'm shown how to calculate margin, which is effectively the deposit I have to put down in order to trade.

I'm also shown how to place stop and limit orders, both of which will get me out of trades at a pre-determined price, realizing my profits or limiting any loss. It's all beginning to make sense and I leave at lunchtime feeling much more optimistic.

Over at IG Index it's more of the same. The trading platforms look very different but do exactly the same thing. Order tickets, spreads, deposits, stops and limits. Yes, I think I’ve got it.

Before heading for home and another evening of course work I visit the London Metal Exchange, a global trading centre for the likes of aluminium, copper and zinc. The LME is the last open outcry trading pit in Europe. Traders have been yelling across its trading floors since 1877. As I arrive it's nearly 5pm and the markets are about to close. Traders are ramping up the noise and striking last minute deals. The hubbub is unbelievable.

It's amazing to watch but I should imagine that it's an incredibly stressful environment in which to work. Open cry trading requires a particular breed of person. It wouldn’t suit me and I thank my lucky stars that when I finally get to start trading I'll be in the quiet comfort of my own home office.

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



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