Lay People Learn the Bears and the Bulls

Originally published on, February 5, 2009.

In their desire to cash in on the global economic crisis, housewives, teenagers and even the unemployed in Dubai are learning the ropes in stock market trading.

The Online Trading Academy (OTA) said some Dubai residents are taking matters into their own hands after getting "disappointed" with investment companies that lost their savings in the worldwide economic slump.

"Residents got disappointed with other people managing their money. They don't understand where their money went – or why they lost it," said Merlin Rothfeld, a visiting faculty member at OTA.

Now, using real money and live market data from local and international stock exchanges, the amateurs are trying their hand at share trading as part of a 10-day course that OTA offers.

"You can still ‘short' the market," said Asma Chaudri, a British homemaker in Dubai taking the OTA's Professional Stock Trader course. Shorting means to borrow shares that are expected to drop in value, sell them immediately, and buy them back after prices fall.

The shares are returned to the lender, and the difference between the two trades generates the profit.

Shorting, however, is not allowed in the Dubai Financial Market, said Rothfeld.

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