Young women of colour navigate the risky world of forex trading

Young women of colour navigate the risky world of forex trading

For 21-year-old Lina Khalid, it‘s her grandmother’s dream of visiting Mecca that drives her while trading currency.To get more news about WikiFX, you can visit wikifx.com official website.

  “I‘m gonna do it. Even if I have days where I’m not going to sleep, Im gonna do it,” she says. A car for herself, some Air Jordans for her sister and being able to spoil her mum would also be nice, she adds.

  The Wolf of Wall Street is what comes to mind for most people when thinking of the world of high-stakes finance, but Khalid, who works as a dental nurse, says she is one of a growing number of young women of colour who have taken up foreign exchange (forex) trading during lockdown, whilst remaining conscious of the risks.

  The risks are significant and have led many to advise young people against taking part in currency trading, one of the riskiest form of trading there is. While traders who work in banks work with other peoples money, those who do it at home take a huge gamble with their own – and risk losing their life savings.

  Khalid and 20-year-old Cheila Gongo Balde, who took up currency trading after she was furloughed, feature in a Channel 4 online short called The Wolf of High Street, along with two other women. The short film follows the group as they navigate the risky world of forex trading, while supporting each other in group chats, sharing tips and advice.

  The film explores how social media, including YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok, has introduced a new generation to trading. Technology has simplified the process: people can now download an app and start trading from their phones.

  Ayo Akinwolere, a broadcaster who co-owns Milk First, the production company behind the short film, with Alex Thomas, says they were keen to capture both the highs and lows of this industry. He describes the women as being part of a growing trend among young people to find “side hustles” to survive in the cities they have grown up in.

  “Whats important … is that we tell an authentic story about the people we were talking to. These are all young women that grew up in areas like the ones me and Alex grew up in,” he says.

  Kia Commodore, the 22-year-old founder of Pennies to Pounds, a financial literacy platform created to demystify the world of finance for young people, agrees there has been an explosion of interest in finance. As well as trading, many are also keen to learn more about investing since the country first went into coronavirus lockdown.Commodore says those interested fall into two camps. “There‘s people who during the pandemic have lost jobs or income. They have to tighten their belts and try to get through this period as best as they can. Then there’s some people who have been unfazed by this or even managed to get salary increases in this time. As they‘re not travelling to the office any more, they’ve cut down on costs and there is this extra pool of money.”

  Before lockdown, Pennies to Pounds had 4,000 followers across its social media accounts. It now has almost 10,000 followers on Twitter and 20,000 on Instagram, as well as a podcast. People come seeking advice on pensions, mortgages and credit cards.

  While Commodore has welcomed the increased interest, she stresses there is an important difference between trading and investing, and wants young people to focus on the latter. “We‘re not looking to make a return in the next half hour, we’re looking to make a return in the next five years.”

  The women in the film speak openly about the predatory undercurrent driving the increased interest in forex trading. The Financial Conduct Authority has warned people are increasingly being targeted by “unauthorised forex trading and brokerage firms offering the chance to trade in foreign exchange, contracts for difference, binary options, crypto-assets and other commodities” and offering “very high returns and guaranteed profits”.