[SOUTH AFRICA] Global Trader 247 will be the first online spread trading application in
South Africa when it launches early 2001. The company tested their system (available
for download from the site ) by inviting 750 traders to see who could make the most
profit in 6 weeks. The winner, Wayne Muller, announced this weekend, made R3
million in 6 weeks, and received an Alfa Romeo 156 and R12000 in petrol vouchers.
The Global Trader system gives retail investors access to spread trading, which is
speculation on underlying market volatility. Global Trader allows investors to
speculate on the price movements of indices, stocks and gilts without actually owning
them, through a product known as contracts-for-differences (CFD).
This kind of product is normally only available to professional traders due to the large
deposits needed: trading the Safex industrial index, for example, generally requires R70
000 for R100 exposure for each point movement in the index.
CFDs break a bond contract into chunks, allowing retail investors to gain the same
exposure for a much smaller capital investment. The Global trading system allows
trading in 5 main asset classes: Stock Indices, Bonds, Commodities, Equities and
Trading is real-time via a dynamic, automated database system and is tax and
commission free. Confirmation of deals is on-screen and via e-mail, eliminating
paperwork and manual orders while allowing risk-management mechanisms such as
stop-loss and take-profit limits. While business is encouraged over the Web site, the
service will also be available over the phone.
The South African market is estimated between 5,000 and 10,000, a relatively small
market. Combined with low local development costs, this makes South Africa an ideal
testing ground and incubator for Global Trader. The company will focus on the South
African market for 6 months, then look to expand into Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe –
anywhere competition is low and demands are high.
With Global Trader 247 the financial markets continue opening up to the small investor,
a trend that the Internet has firmly established. But small investors shouldnt let it go
to their head and must do as much research as possible before investing. The
capability to invest via the Internet is exceeded by the Internet’s power to deliver
information; investors should utilize the latter before they utilize the former.