I became a self-made millionaire by the age of 25. I have forged a successful career in Forex Trading. I am a life coach with years of financial expertise and business experience, and I am unafraid to be bold about my achievements.
I want to state these facts because as a woman in a male dominated industry, I have continually faced challenges to my authority and skills, and I have needed, more often than I’d like, to prove my acumen to my fellow traders.
Growing up in a highly conservative Asian family in the Midlands, it was a fight to realise my dreams of becoming a successful Forex trader, and I have worked incredibly hard across my career to become the entrepreneur and life coach I am today. I’ve often felt the pressure to conform to the hidden rules imposed upon women in business; whether that’s keeping my head down in the boardroom or hiding my success, and I have seen first hand how this can affect the trajectory of a promising career.
Within the trading world, women are often surreptitiously steered towards sales focused positions, faced with casual or overt sexism, and consistently go undervalued despite the profits they generate. Despite some advances in changing the culture of the workplace, only ten percent of the UK’s private Forex traders are women1, and the image we retain of a trader continues to be a man in an expensive suit shouting rapid commands into a phone.
However, with the advent of increasingly user-friendly software and online trading, women are finding real success within the private, virtual sphere. Research has shown that women consistently outperform men in this arena largely because of the very traits that are often denigrated in the industry; being risk averse, cautious, and considerate when trading2. Women are more likely to take a cautious approach to trading; buying when the markets are falling and prices are low, and trading with smaller amounts. Whilst the initial short-term returns are lower, this approach ultimately generates increased profit as losses are minimised should the currency continue to fall, and gains are maximised in the event of a rise. Significant losses are often the result of ego driven trading, and in my professional experience, female traders excel due to their predilection towards stable risk management.
Women are thriving in the Forex community, and according to a recent study, 48.1 percent of female traders self-describe as trading at a professional level, higher than the 45.5 percent of men who said the same3. Professional, private trading is generating a consistent and viable source of income for thousands of women, and these statistics highlight the discrepancy between our pre-conceived notions of the gender bias within trading, with women reporting a quiet self-confidence and high levels of skill.
Whilst people may dispute the necessary personality needed to trade, ours is an industry that relies solely upon delivering results, whether you’re a man or a woman. With an increasing proportion of trading taking place in the home environment, there are however fewer opportunities to be openly and visibly successful amongst peers. This means that the professional achievements of countless successful female traders are going unacknowledged, and this is a real issue if we are to attract more women into the field.
I therefore decided early on that I would not be quiet about my achievements. Not because I want to boast or find fame, but because I want other women to know that there are countless successful female traders, entrepreneurs, and property moguls busy succeeding financially, as well as in their careers and personal lives.
I have also made the decision to be vocal about the mistakes I’ve made along the way, including losing tens of thousands of pounds in a single day of trading. This is not because I believe this shows weakness, but because I want to demonstrate that success is born of failure and a willingness to learn. I want to help women gain the confidence in their own judgment and skills, and to be a role model for the next generation of traders, and this is why I founded the Fortune Academy in 2016. We offer clear, experience led coaching in all aspects of trading, and whilst my course are mixed gender, I have a particular interest in making sure that the courses we offer will appeal to, and deliver returns for women. I benefitted greatly from mentorship in my early years, and a strong female trader being outspoken about how she has succeeded is a powerful tool for inspiring future entrepreneurs.
All of my students, male or female, bring their own unique life experiences to my courses at Fortune Academy, and it’s my job to help them use their past to build a strong foundation for success in the future. I want to demonstrate that you do not need to change who you are to create success; and that the only rules that exist are self-imposed. I am determined to continue to raise the profile of successful women making headway and generating profits in the trading world, and I will not do so quietly.
Professional Forex Trader and founder of Fortune Academy
1.Figures provided by BrokerNotes web analytics, with a sample size of 12,807 traders, 2016
2. Barber and Odean, ‘The behaviour of individual investors’, 2011.
3. Figures provided by BrokerNotes web analytics, with a sample size of 26,000 traders.