"I had been buying shares / tracker funds for years and thought i could walk on water I had made more in a year through the late 90's than I could earn as a wage.
I had a good share portfolio and was doing very well indeed. i wanted more, so much more, driven by the fact i wanted to retire at 50..
I bought CFD's without knowing what the hell they were really...... Bought 1500 CFs around 380, went up, bought 5000 more on the profit (still holding all) at around 430, bought 5000 more at 501 and making a killing! so bought 5000 more at 510.
It went all the way up to 586. I was so happy and was on paper very rich for me.
I was invincible and a super trader! So very confident. I made a loss of £2000 in another CFD position but learnt nothing. What was £2k when I was so far up on this one share...
i was paying around £300 - £350 month interest but the paper profits meant this was nothing... I never bothered looking at the global meltdown around me.
It started to unwind.. but I was too ignorant or stupid to work it out just yet.
It kept falling and falling, by the time I realised what was going on, I was way over my head but managed to close out the first two trades - but was left with an average of £5.05.
It fell down to around £1.08 intraday over a lengthy period.. I was in trouble..
In this period, the broker moved the margin to 30% from 10% and placed a huge call and gave me until the end of the day for the funds..I borrowed on credit cards again. I could not afford to lose, I had already sold every share I had to shore this up, I borrowed from family, I actually had a wedding looming and my job was looking shaky. I was a dab hand now at moving my maxxed out credit cards at 0% for a number of months. The next task was to borrow against the house.
Family were asked for funds but not told why. I have a good family who helped me along, whilst I was still paying this huge interest each month. I got wed to a beautiul intelligent lady in this period (which I paid for with a bank loan, the ring cost me 2 months take home wages...) who knew I was in trouble but was not in a position to help - I was so close to a complete nervous breakdown and friends were concerned as was family and the now wife..
So, cards maxxed out, 3 loans from banks (all done together to ensure it was not all registered) and then an equity release for the house. Not much left to go.. Oh yes, I asked the wife to rid the joint account for which she agreed....I now had a baby on the way and a car that was on its last legs.
The job front eased off and I managed to get a higher paid job closer to home which helped the funds....Thankfully I had enough to keep me going, just......
Oh yes, I forgot to mention that we also had a baby in this period. talk about stressed.
My health suffered greatly, I hurt my back and was off work for weeks and one of my parents suffered a heart attack. I thought they were going to die... I felt dead inside and was despairing. It would have been easy to hit the bottle but I had a good upbringing whereby you face what you have done and sort it out.
The share has only just (Jan 2011) gone above the price I bought at..... Now I am in profit and going on your course, (and reading the book), I have set my stop losses and will now make a few quid on the buy price. (ignore the £000's of interest I have paid). I have become quite hardy, although I am not sure why I did not have a complete nervous breakdown...
The moral of this story is, don't play with more than you can afford to lose, don't be a "cocky sod", (thats over confident in Northern speak), and understand what the hell you are doing and the risks. If you dont get it, then don't do it.
Before your readers start to slash their wrists, I have managd to re-build my portfolio and managed to make a good amount (for me) to the point I could make myself mortgage free. Good things can happen, eventually.
No-one knew the full extent of this until now. It has been quite a good therapy typing this to you but if just one person is "saved", then I am happy enough for you to post this.
The wife and I are fully open with each other now as i felt that although I had kept above water and protected her from the truth, she should have known. I have shown her all my accounts to show we are actually in a good position now.
I nearly lost the lot, job, health, family, house, marriage, son. I may not make retirement at 50, but I will be in a better shape and will try not to repeat my experience - it has left many mental scars.