Million Dollar Traders is a British reality TV programme developed by Century Films Productions that was first shown on BBC 2 in London, UK, early 2009. The 3 part series focused on 8 novice traders from a varied background without any prior or very limited trading experience who were trained up intensively for 2 weeks and then let loose on the UK, US and European stock markets to run a hedge fund with a $1 million dollars of real, hard cash to try and make some profit. With Lex Van Dam’s reputation and $1 million dollars (yes, it really was his money) on the line, the novices not only survived the 2 months but they also stunned the experts and came out of top beating the professionals, all during as the while as the world went into economic meltdown during the 2008 global credit crunch crisis. The ethos of the programme was to show that a person chosen at random and taught the basic rules of trading can perform as well or if not better than the professionals.
The brainchild of 42 year old Dutchman Lex Van Dam, himself a highly successful ex-Goldman Sachs and GLG Hedge Fund Trader, and who now runs his own hedge fund Hampstead Capital based in Holborn, London, it was created to specifically address the long standing myth in the square mile that to be a trader you needed a MBA or Phd and to also show Joe public that anyone could be a successful trader with adequate training.Putting his money where his mouth is, Lex personally put up just over £500k for the which at the time of the exchange rate was $1 million dollars, hence the working title!
Sourcing for the potential candidates began at the end of April,early May 2008 with adverts in the Evening Standard newspaper and trading forums. With over 3 thousand people applying, Century Films invited the top 100 candidates in for a screen test, which was again whittled down to the final 50. These 50 potential candidates were then invited in to see Lex himself and Anton who was to become the manager of the office during the series. Lex focused on making the group as diverse as possible with a good mix of age, ethnic background and gender thrown in with preference shown to people with no trading experience(this was so that time wasn’t wasted on getting rid of bad habits). Will this group of inexperience wannabe traders fail? or will they prove the public wrong and go on to make a profit?Mail this post