What do Serious-minded Geeks do for Grown-up Amusement?
The truth is there is no one-size fits all answer to that. Such essentializing homogenization is, as any geek worthy of the title will tell you, a dubious form of oversimplification. Geeks come in all shapes, sizes and specific areas of interest.
But if you have the ability to unravel complexity, and to behave calmly, rationally and decisively under pressure, there is a way to enjoy a singularly mature, as well as potentially rewarding, set of possibilities. If this appeals, then please read on; this is for you.
Financial Market Insight
Tradefair is a company that enables the geek in the street to apply his or her calculative credentials to the world’s trading rooms. Imagine being cast in the role of a famous trader, like Warren Buffet or George Soros, and having instant access to every single major market on the planet.
The trading world is presented as your oyster. All you have to do is identify the stock, the currency, the bond or the commodity that is about to shift in value, predict the direction of that change and make your move. The rest is a matter of judgement, information, research and, perhaps most importantly of all, nerve. It is an equation tailor-made for any geek worthy of the name.
Tradefair’s website and smartphone app allow users to stake a position against a particular stock and to benefit from the accuracy of their predictions. The company is one of a series of financial spread betting (FSB) providers who, because they enable users to play with real money, offer a genuine test of nerve, as well as the potential to generate significant sums of money. The test of nerve arises, because the potential to lose is also part of the equation.
As an introduction to a world that is little known beyond the world of traders and financial experts, Tradefair’s dummy programme – where only virtual bets are levied – represents the perfect start. FSB is, nonetheless a seriously in-depth pastime that is perfectly suited to anyone with the patience and the insight to fully acquaint themselves with the business of business. It is, in all senses, a forum for grown-up fun.
Users are presented with the sort of desktop that a financial trader might recognise which charts the second-by-second moves of a range of stocks and commodities. The challenge is to predict what will happen and to buy or sell that stock accordingly. Earnings and losses are displayed in real time as the market moves moment by moment. Get it right and you could be the next Buffett. Getting it wrong can be painful.
Rather than actually buying stock, what Tradefair and their like provide is the means to bet on the movements of stock – it is what is known as a derivative-based calculation. It means there are no fees, no taxes and no bars to entry. For all the complexity of the market calculations, the essence of FSB is beguilingly simple. For every point the market moves a multiple of the original stake is either won or lost. A ten-point move equates to ten-times your stake. That’s all there is to it.
Financial spread betting is not something to leap into without doing your homework, and even then it requires a serious level of research if you are actually going to play for real. But growing numbers of people are doing just that, and some are even doing it full time. FSB is proving to be not only seriously stimulating and a rewarding way to play, it is also seriously popular.