My Money Mistake is a weekly PiggyVest series that explores the worst money mistakes real Nigerians have made, and the lessons they learnt from it.
For this week’s episode of My Money Mistake, we spoke to a 29-year-old banker who lost all his savings due to a misstep by a forex trader. He tells us about how he got into forex trading, how he lost his money, and the lessons he learnt from the experience.
Could you tell me about your money mistake?
I discovered forex trading through some friends who were into it. Eventually, I decided to try my luck. So, I’d hustle really hard to ensure I made more money, take out the little I needed to sustain myself from my pay, then put everything else into forex.
Unfortunately, the whole thing crashed and I lost all my money. It was a really challenging period for me because that was all I had. My hope was to grow my investment significantly to the level where the returns from it could cover my monthly expenses.
I’m so sorry about that. What convinced you to put your funds into it though?
From my research and some courses online. Those gave me a general idea of how the market worked. I was also convinced by the idea of a life of freedom in forex trading, that eventually, I wouldn’t need to work for anyone.
At the time, I was juggling multiple jobs simultaneously — graphic design, driving, and working at a car dealership — just to make ends meet. So, forex trading seemed like a logical choice. Moreover, my friends who were into forex trading were doing well.
So the courses were all you needed to get started?
Yes, they were. But trading by myself at the beginning wasn’t bringing in as much returns because I was still new to the market. I decided to transfer the risk to someone by having a friend trade for me with his account.
He’d been trading since 2014, and that’s how he takes care of his family’s financial needs. In the end, he lost all the money, including over ₦55 million in his own account. His family was in disarray. And the cause of the issue was a mentee he was training.
Damn. How did that happen?
My friend went to his child’s school for a PTA meeting and entrusted his trading account to the mentee. Unfortunately, the mentee didn’t monitor the account as he should have. My friend checked the account during the meeting and noticed that it was already in the red.
Do you remember how much you lost?
My account had about ₦1.3 million. That was my savings over half a year.
It was. I can laugh about it now, but not then. My mother suffered a stroke, and I was essentially the breadwinner. That’s actually why I initially ventured into forex trading — I desperately needed to be financially free
I had nothing else to my name outside of forex trading. It was tough.
So what did you do?
I told a few friends about it, they consoled me and I had to move on. That experience eventually led me to start applying for jobs, and that’s how I landed my current position at a bank.
It’s ironic because working in a bank now involves engaging in forex trading, but in a more secure environment, of course.
How long did it take to get your life back together?
Everything happened towards the end of 2021 and into early 2022. After I finished grieving, I returned to my various side hustles. This continued until the middle of 2022, when a friend convinced me to apply for the Graduate Trainee program at the bank where I currently work.
By September, I had received the offer letter and joined the training school in October. It concluded in May 2023, after which I was officially confirmed as a full-time staff member.
Congratulations! How about your friend?
We still talk till today. I’m the one who now gives him support because things are still tough for him.
What lesson did you learn from this experience?
I’ve learnt that when it comes to investment, it’s unwise to put all my eggs in one basket, which is a lesson I should have already learnt as an accounting student.