We see a lot of people being mentored and enrolling in Trading Gurus and Scaminars to learn about stock trading, some of them are good and some of them are pure scams or as the community term “Scaminars”.
Trading Gurus – Someone who teaches trading strategies and gives insights about the market.
Scaminar – A seminar that is a scam.
Trading communities are great for the market, we learn more about the market, share knowledge and socialize, but with the rise of social media platforms and groups, some of these so-called trading gurus use these tools to gather followers and take people’s money to teach trading strategies that you can actually learn for free. So we made a checklist so you can spot if your trading Guru is the real deal, if he does not fit to any of the lists below he could be a scammer.
1. He is acknowledge by a Broker or PSE.
He has active ties with an existing brokerage firm, local brokers sometimes do a partnership with an Individual to promote their broker. We sometimes see them actually attending and getting invites to Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) and broker events like market briefings and PSE Seminars. He has a face and using his real name, we see fake Trading Gurus using an alias or hiding under a fake Facebook profile. This goes without saying “Do not transact with people that you do not know”, ask for an ID a certification, or anything that can prove his identity.
2. He is an active Trader.
He rarely does seminars because he is too busy trading his own portfolio/s. Fake Trading Gurus are very active on social media because they make money in scamming newbie traders. He gets positive reviews from his followers and Livestream his sessions, unlike fake gurus they kick or block you out of the group if you give them bad reviews and they only give you a screenshot of their fake/edited portfolio showing gains. A successful trader bets his own money to time to beat the market, works on technical and fundamental analysis, and set news alerts, this requires a ton of effort and focus.
3. He has a good Professional Profile.
He could be an active or ex-stock broker, accountant, financial advisor/analyst, economist, or have strong ties with the financial industry and has a credible profile. Everyone can be a trader, you just need to open an account with an online broker and do the trading for your own account. But it takes a lot of work to be a licensed stockbroker etc., and pass the certification exam of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
He could have an active blog or published a good book about the market or trading which shows that he is really proud of his work. Remember it’s your money on the line here not theirs, don’t let fake gurus trade your account, only a licensed broker can trade on the account of others as per SEC rules.
4. He only gives Facts.
He’s not promising you the moon and the stars, and only provide facts as he sees them. There is no foolproof trading strategy or system and no one can consistently predict the market, you will not get constant gains every time you trade and this is a fact. Even successful traders have bad trading days, and here we see fake trading gurus saying they have mastered the game and has a sure-fire system to beat the market, it just absolute nonsense.
What to do when scammed?
Rule number 26.3. Prohibited Representations, Dealings, and Solicitations
It shall be unlawful for any:
- Person to represent that he has been registered as a securities intermediary with the Commission unless such person is registered under the Code. Provided, registration under the Corporation Code shall not be deemed to be registered under the Code;
- Person, whether as principal or agent, to buy, sell or deal in securities or solicit investments in securities and other investment contracts, unless he is a registered broker, dealer or licensed salesman of a broker-dealer and the securities are registered under the Code or exempt from registration pursuant to Sections 9 and 10 thereof.
- Dealing in securities includes making or offering to make with any person, or inducing or attempting to induce any person to enter into or to offer to enter into any agreement for or with a view to acquiring, disposing of, subscribing for securities.
- Solicitation is the act of seeking or asking for business or information which includes the act of providing information about a security or investment product being offered for sale with the view of making another person a client or closing or bringing in a sale or purchase of security or investment product.
- The solicitor needs not be a signatory to any contract relative to such offer or sale of the security. An investment contract means a contract, transaction, or scheme (collectively “contract”) whereby a person invests his money in a common enterprise and is led to expect profits primarily from the efforts of others. An investment contract is presumed to exist whenever a person seeks to use the money or property of others on the promise of profits. A common enterprise is deemed created when two (2) or more investors “pool” their resources, creating a common enterprise, even if the promoter receives nothing more than a broker’s commission.
The securities or investment product should likewise be registered with the Commission before it can be offered to the public as provided for by Sections 8 and 12 of Republic Act 8799 or the Securities Regulation Code (SRC). Those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents of an UNREGISTERED ENTITY who is selling or convincing people to invest in the scheme being offered by these entities including solicitations and recruitment may be prosecuted and be held liable under Section 28 of the SRC. If adjudged guilty, they can be penalized with a maximum fine of Five Million Pesos (PhP 5,000,000.00) or penalty of Twenty-One years of imprisonment or both pursuant to Section 73 of the SRC.
The stock market has been around for more than 200 years now, the time has changed, millions of books have been published about the stock market, now we are at the information age and there are thousands of blogs, articles, and videos that you can read or watch over the internet about stockmarket for free.
It’s okay to enroll in seminars as long as you get what your money’s worth, my point here is there is no shortcut to being a successful trader it takes a lot of work, simply beware of scams and fake groups/organizations. Roughly 1-2% of Filipinos invest in stocks, we are still a growing economy we need to educate as many Filipinos as we can to boost the economy and financial literacy in the country, let us not take advantage of beginners in the market.
Let me just put these here; It’s the job of brokers to educate their clients about the stock market, trading, and investing, if they are not helping and educating you then you have the wrong broker. If you accumulated massive losses already in stock trading maybe it is not for you. More: Trading VS Investing.
Stockbytes PH, June 3, 2020
*The owner of StockBytes PH is a licensed stock broker, contact us if you want to open an account.
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