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Make Money

Sheffield student copies financial traders to fund course

Liam Davies from Sheffield, a student at the University of Edinburgh, has made investments with something called 'social trading'.

Liam etoro trader

The Electrical Engineering student has found success after learning the basics of trading and investing, and then copying the trades of others on the internet.

"I was a complete novice", he admits. "I knew very little about financial markets, and made some mistakes early on that lost me money".

A turning point for Liam was when he started watching and copying experienced traders, which is the core feature of so-called social trading networks.

After carrying out some research on public profiles and portfolios on the eToro network, he followed a couple of the more profitable ones whilst paying close attention to their risk profile.

Over time Liam picked up new strategies, and messaged traders directly to get their views and insights on financial markets.

If you’re short of time, or just starting out and have very little knowledge, features like 'Copy Trader' allow you to fast-track the learning curve and get investing.

Copy Traders

Past performance is not an indication of future results. Trading history presented is less than 5 complete years and may not suffice as basis for investment decision. This is not investment advice.

From those early beginnings, Liam has learnt a lot and has since created his own successful trading strategies. As a result he now has many followers and copiers himself (currently 2,239).

He earns additional money from the platform for every person who chooses to copy his own trades. However, they can choose to leave at any time so it's vital for Liam to do his homework and believe in every trading decision he makes.

His portfolio consists of big blue chip stocks like Facebook, Amazon and Apple.

etoro portfolio

Note: This is not investment advice. Your capital is at risk.

But like most traders, Liam is honing in on an area of expertise, and for him it's cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (what is Bitcoin and where can you spend it?).

I first heard about Bitcoin in 2010. I was fascinated by the idea of this new digital currency. I did a lot of research into Bitcoin and crypto-currency in general and I’ve been trading it for a while now with some good wins.

The price of Bitcoin was just a few cents back in 2009 to topping the $1,300 mark earlier this year, but over that period has been very volatile.

Bitcoin price chart

Traders are now eagerly looking for ‘the next Bitcoin’. And Liam is one of them.

More recently I’ve discovered Ethereum. It’s still based on the same blockchain technology but it’s newer and has greater potential. It’s also being strongly funded by some large corporations, including Microsoft.

This might all sound like a lot of effort but Liam has managed to find a good balance with his trading activities and believes it has actually helped his studies.

On average I spend an hour or two a day working on my portfolio. I try to design my trading strategy to fit around my other commitments.

My studies are very important so I find it best to make longer term trades which I can check when it suits me.

Trading has allowed me to pay for a lot of things. Normally, I would have needed a part-time job instead, so it actually frees up a lot of my time, allowing me to focus on my studies.

Online trading is not without its risks, of course. Just as you can win big, you can also lose big. And Liam is very aware of the higher volatility (compared to stocks) that you can get in markets like Bitcoin and Ethereum, where the price can go up and down dramatically, even in just a single day of trading.

Absolutely. They are risky, volatile markets. Ethereum, like Bitcoin, is not without its issues, and those issues can create a lot of price volatility, but that can also be good for short-term trading opportunities.

As Liam will testify, before investing any money it's really important to first get an understanding of the markets and risks involved with trading. If you're interested in learning about the markets, start with a free demo account on eToro that gives you virtual money to practice with.

George Thomson, another student using eToro, has written a full eToro review.

Disclaimer: eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFDs.

Please note that CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Past performance is not an indication of future results. Trading history presented is less than 5 complete years and may not suffice as basis for investment decision.

Copy trading is a portfolio management service, provided by eToro (Europe) Ltd., which is authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission. Cryptoasset investing is unregulated in some EU countries and the UK. No consumer protection. Your capital is at risk.

eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro.


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