Forex trading is becoming hugely popular in the country. While it comes with its scores of risk, it also promises huge returns. Nigerians either trade themselves or give a capital to “traders” or “investment companies” to trade on their behalf and get a return on investment. Both can go wrong, so we asked 6 people to talk about their experiences.
I served in a financial investment firm during NYSC, and I was taught various trading strategies and trained to trade forex. I was retained after my service, and the company gave me my own account with an initial balance of $1000. Now, I started trading with real money.
For 7 months, I hardly made a significant loss. On a good week, I was making between $1k -$3k in profit. Within three months, they increased my trading balance to $18k. But the working conditions got too hard for me, and I resigned from the job. I opened my own account and started trading with a capital of $500. My run continued, and in less than 6 months, I grew my capital to $6k.
There’s this thing called flash crash in forex trading — it happens when the market suddenly becomes volatile, and you can make thousands of pips in profit or loss within seconds or minutes. That happened with some AUD pairs I was trading and changed everything for me. The flashcard went in the opposite direction. Unfortunately. I wasn’t tracking my trades because I was on the profit side the last time I checked, and I had a projected point I was expecting the market to reach before I left the trade. I didn’t use the stop loss feature either — I didn’t think I needed it. When I returned to it, my capital and profit had been wiped out, and I had only $1.40 left. I lost everything I made over 6 months in less than 30 minutes.
I paid someone ₦15k to teach me forex trading when I was in university in 2010. After trading with a demo account, I figured out that it required more effort than I could give it at the time, so I let it go. In 2018, a guy I met at work training made close to $11k in 30 minutes. Nonfarm payroll had come out that day, and the market swings dramatically depending on if the number is positive (higher than projections) or negative (lower than projections) The guy traded using the data and made more than my annual salary in less than an hour.
I flipped. I knew I had to get back in. However, he wasn’t taking outside funds that were less than ₦10M. I convinced him to share his trading tools with me and joined his trading community. I practised with a demo account for more than a month before I went to the market. It still ended in premium thousand dollar tears.
The plan was to use $100 for each trading opportunity, so I had only 20 shots at getting it right. I projected a minimum return of $300 in 4 trades. If I got this result, I would have an ROI of $1200 minus $600 depending on my stop loss.
Of course, it didn’t happen. I lost half my capital in little time. But I wasn’t ready to stop. I changed my strategies and continued trading. then I lost the other half. I had only $100 left when I left the market. In hindsight, I could have been less emotional and more patient. But we move.
Forex trading was the rave in my school in 2019, and I decided to join the fun. All my friends were practically doing it, so what could go wrong? I gathered my savings, including the money I was keeping to buy a laptop, and my house rent, and invested with someone — everything totalled 250k.
I was supposed to get my capital and 20% returns on investment at the end of each month. I got the first returns without a problem. After that, it started to go wrong. Apparently, the person I invested with was also investing with someone else. It was some sort of pyramid scheme. The person at the top of the pyramid tried to abscond and people caught a whiff of it. They had him arrested, but that was the last I heard of him. I never got my money back.
I gave it another try in October 2020. I was in a weekly contribution program with a few friends, and we decided to invest the ₦150k we had saved. When the first investment cycle ran its course, we reinvested the capital and ROI. Last month, the guy who had our money informed us that they won’t be paying people until March. There is a chance that we won’t get our money back. It didn’t even hit me the way the first experience did. I’ve accepted that this forex thing is not for me. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. There will never be a fool me thrice.
Last year, a classmate told me about another classmate who had invested in forex trading and was making good returns every month. I called her and she confirmed that it was true. I thought about giving it a try too. The profit margin didn’t seem unreasonable — ROI was 20% at the end of the month rather than the 50-100% everyone else was throwing around. Besides, it seemed like the guy knew what he was doing — he threw words like risk and asset management around. He even sent me a signed ‘Memorandum of Understanding’, stating the capital and expected returns. I invested ₦100k for a start, and I got it back with the promised ROI at the end of the month. A few weeks later, I increased my capital to ₦250k and let it roll over in the following months. I wanted to take my money out in December because I’d started seeing some disturbing signs. But I thought I should chill for an additional month. A week before payout, he informed me that he would be paying only the interest on capital for three months because he’d locked the capital somewhere. My money had grown to over ₦500k, and till today I haven’t gotten it back.
My story started in 2018. A friend whose church member worked at an investment company told me about the opportunity. I did my research and went to the company, and everything checked out. The company’s boss is a lawyer and a former judge, so I felt I could trust them.
I told a few friends about it, and together we raised ₦7M and invested with the company to trade for us. We were supposed to get our capital and 50% ROI after four months.
The payment was due in March 2019, but nothing came. At first, they claimed they were having issues with money transfer. Then I noticed that the owner of this company had turned off his phones and deleted his social media accounts. It didn’t make sense because he’d just completed a state of the art building. I reached out to the company’s lawyer and found out that the man was the only person linked to the company’s account, so nobody but he could authorise payment. This man is still in the wind — he left his wife, children, mother and ran away. Last month, I heard that he owes his investors about ₦7billion.
I first heard about Forex trading during a SAED class at NYSC camp, but I didn’t put a lot of thought into it. Later, my mum told me about it — she had a colleague who was into it. Well, it wasn’t illegal, and the source was solid. So, I put ₦100k into it and got ₦36k in returns at the end of each month.
After a few months, I told some friends about it and brought them on board. Sometime in 2018, the trader warned us that the market was volatile and that he would have to stop the monthly payouts for a few months. But he offered us a chance to take out our money if we wanted to. I don’t know if it was greed or blind faith, but nobody did. And that was the last time we got a payout.
The timeline he gave passed, and he kept posting us. People tried to track him down, but nobody found him. I wouldn’t have been bothered so much if I hadn’t brought people to invest. Their investment ran into millions of naira. I had gotten more than my initial capital, but my friends had over ₦5M in it and never got a dime back.