We analyse Jameel Ahmad, vice-president of corporate development & market research at ForexTime.
If someone came to you tomorrow with US$100m to invest in any asset class, what would it be?
I wish I was asked this question a week ago, because I would have said emerging-market currencies!
I think the forex market as a whole still represents opportunities, but trader education is essential and trading is not something someone can simply jump into. One of the advantages of the forex market is that you can take a position on both a falling and rising market, meaning I would currently sell the dollar, as I feel it has peaked, whereas I would still consider buying gold and yen due to ongoing market uncertainty.
However, this all comes with a big disclaimer: when investing in any asset class, you have to take the individual’s circumstances into account.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I wish I was more technologically savvy!
What was your first job?
Working in one of the most famous retail shopping outlets in Europe — Bicester Village. I worked at luxury watch manufacturer Jaeger-LeCoultre.
What are the most important qualities a trader should have?
Discipline and an appetite for education are absolutely essential. These markets are volatile and changeable, and this means there are frequent opportunities to make money. However, successful trading is a skill that can only be developed with a firm grasp of the principles that make the markets.
If you could turn back time, what would you change in your life?
I was guilty of putting myself under a lot of pressure to achieve from a young age. While this helped me progress early in my career, it is only recently that I have begun to really enjoy the experiences of what I do. My advice is that it is very important to set targets throughout your career, but these should not limit your ability to enjoy other aspects of your life and the rewards your career can bring.
What’s your favourite song?
I don’t have one particular favourite. I do enjoy John Legend, though, and think "Love Me Now" is fantastic.
How much was your first pay cheque and what did you do with it?
It was approximately £140 and I remember thinking I could adopt a 50/50 rule where I would save 50%. But that did not last long! I spent £70 on a monthly gym membership and a rugby shirt.
If you found a lottery ticket tomorrow that had won US$100m, what would you do?
I would invest half in several different charitable funds.
I would also set aside about $20m to donate to different scholarship funds in the developing world, as not everyone has the privilege of a good education.
As for the rest, this is still a life-changing sum of money and would ensure a comfortable lifestyle.
I would make sure my loved ones were well looked after, but I would continue to work in my field because I love the environment and don’t see it as work.
What is your most treasured possession?
I think most people would admit that they are addicted to their phones, but for me it is my Xbox One!
While I don’t get as much time to play as before, it would still be one of the first items I would pack if I had to move somewhere.
What was your last purchase?
I had no idea SA would be so cold in winter, so I had to buy a coat.
What travel experience is on your bucket list?
I would absolutely love to travel across Latin America, starting from Mexico and making my way into South America, stopping at all the countries in between. Brazil and Peru in particular are on my bucket list!
On what occasion do you lie?
I was admittedly optimistic that England would win the European Championship in football last year!
I also admit that I used to lie about enjoying education, mainly because I was afraid of the social connotations — enjoying school was not something I thought would be popular when I was growing up.
What’s the best investment you’ve ever made?
It was, without a doubt, my education. I am very thankful to have been raised somewhere where education is accessible, and I don’t regret investing in continuing my education at university.