Meet Debodun, founder of Stock Pickers Academy, a non-advisory community of beginners and experienced investors
coming together as one to leverage each other to create wealth. At SPA, beginners have information about their respective fields and life experiences, whilst experienced investors have the technical expertise to turn those trends into investing ideas. Debodun manages other people’s ideas by applying safe entry and reasonable exit price points in a non-advisory manner. He is also transparent with every single transaction that he makes. The community gets to see the ups and downs of his investments and track record.
At SPA Debodun provides group courses, where he teaches specific proven strategies, mentoring – for ongoing learning and support, an alerts service and provides a portfolio review service. Joining Stock Pickers Academy provides a good entry point for stock trading beginners and those interested in learning about the stock market.
Here is how the conversation went, when I caught up with him.
What were you doing before you started the business?
Up until 2018 SPA has been running concurrently whilst I was working as a way to give back knowledge. It only became a business during lockdown. In addition to this, I run UrbanFounders to connect startups with Investors, and City Jobs Coaching where I work with Diversity recruitment agencies and universities to coach ethnic minorities both graduate and experienced hires into roles around the city and Investment Banking.
How and when did you get into trading?
I first started trading at university but it was virtually and mainly forex trading. I was doing very well and winning so many competitions. However, it wasn’t real money and after securing highly competitive summer internships on trading floors of Santander and Barclays Investment Bank I eventually landed a full time job at Goldman Sachs.
Which charater from ‘The City’ reminds you of yourself when you used to work in the city?
I would say Harper but only her character inside the office not the socials – The serious side.
After a decade of working as a trader, why did you give it up?
My last role was at a Quantitative Hedge Fund in the Channel Islands – I was there for 3 years and eventually got bored of the Island and decided to relocate back to London. It was a bit of a gamble but I thought I’d be ok and land something here.
What were some of the challenges that you faced when you first started Stock Pickers Academy?
The stock market is always moving so time management and prioritising questions for existing clients on their positions, managing money and teaching new clients is always a challenge. It is impossible to just turn my eye away from the markets for long periods of time. Lockdown has helped me to focus but some aspects of what I do are not scalable. First movers got a big advantage as my model switches from 1-2-1 service to groups and online
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How do you decide which stocks you buy?
This sounds like a simple question but a lot of thought goes into my answer – I have combined my own ideas with those from the diverse community I have created. I like to keep my methods simple and that is what makes it easier to pass on. I find an industry I believe in and prioritise stocks in that. Then I diversify by lots of different factors, volatility, beta, market value and so much more which I teach on my course. Then I have a strategy on how I execute on my transactions. My portfolio returned 129% last year and I have published that on Instagram. This is despite holding 35% as cash.
What’s the most you’ve ever lost on a position and what went wrong?
Realised loss of £4000 – company went into administration. Canadian Lithium mining company which was meant to be a play in Electric Vehicle batteries raw materials. They still exist under a different trading name so I feel share holders were cheated but hey. That was 15% of my portfolio but still managed to return 129% in the same year so no complaints.
What are your thoughts on the future of banking?
We are moving more into a Big Data/Ai/Robots world as part of this technological revolution. More investment is going into tech and automation. Less risk is being taken and Regulatory reform is the order of the day. Block chain is also here to stay and getting more institutional attention. On the recruitment front diversity is getting more attention and hopefully that lasts.
What advice would you give to a recent graduate who wants to become a trader?
Start putting in the work and study from 1st year of uni. It is so competitive that you need to be on top of the knowledge and getting experience early. Work hard at uni too as a good degree is important for the entry criteria. From a technical perspective commercial awareness is very key. Download finimize and follow @StockPickersAcademy on Instagram to get 34% off the annual subscription. Invest in yourself as having good commercial awareness and genuine interest is so important. Learn about the products and there is a good book called All you need to know about the City.
What are your plans for Stock Pickers Academy this year?
I just want to see people winning financially. The plans themselves are still a bit go with the flow – I didn’t expect the demand I’m currently facing so finding solutions on the fly has been interesting and fun. I would like to create SPA kids/teens at some point as well as put a bit more work on the podcast and the other non-investing fronts. I want to get some of the black celebs involved and really diversify my client base. Long story short I want to scale and carry others along the journey with me.
If you are interested in investing in stocks, learning how to trade or simply looking for a community you can discuss trade ideas with, then visit Stock Pickers Academ here