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Flushing business offers classes on trading

Wilson Chen is the president of IFG Trade, a new Flushing business focused on introducing new traders to the foreign currency and commodity markets.
TimesLedger Newspapers

In Asian countries including Japan, China and South Korea, stay-at-home mothers have spawned a trend of chasing big bucks as day traders, and a new Main Street business is hoping to bring the same opportunities to Flushing.

IFG Trade is in a pristine white office on the second floor of a brick building near 37th Avenue, but the computers in the main room keep a watchful eye on financial transactions taking place all over the world without the throngs of stock traders shouting over each other like on the floors of Wall Street.

In fact, potential investors have the power to get a foothold in the futures, commodities and foreign exchange markets with the click of a mouse.

“The old model is gone. The Internet took the place of everything,” said Winston Cheng, president of the new company. “People can go online and do it themselves cheaper and faster.”

Winston’s company not only specializes in trading foreign currencies, commodities and stock futures, but in training anyone interested in how to do it themselves.

The company runs classes to introduce even the greenest of traders to the basics.

“A lot of people like to trade themselves at home these days,” he said. “But if you blind trade, you’re basically giving out money.”

For beginners, the classes don’t focus on the nuances and intricacies of market fluctuations, since they can take years to master. Instead, Cheng and his staff teach a solid foundation and how to use technical analyses — a sort of formula of how a market might behave based on decades of trends.

Stock futures refer to a buyer and a seller of a commodity, like gold or corn for example, who agree on a price for the future to avoid market fluctuations in the short term. That agreement is in the form of a contract, and that contract can be bought and sold on the futures market as well.

The foreign exchange market, often referred to as Forex, is the simultaneous buying of one currency and the selling of another. Traders basically bet on whether a currency will go up or down in value compared to other currencies.

The Forex market is how several stay-at-home mothers in Japan made fortunes from their home computers, according to a report by Reuters.

A woman named Mrs. Watanabe is the inspiration for a contingent of copycats who became influential traders in the yen market, the report said, and the trend has spread to countries like China and Korea.

“IFG Trade is helping introduce to the United States a phenomenon that has already made waves in Asia — foreign exchange and commodities trading,” said John Choe, director of the community economic development center One Flushing. “If successful, IFG could make Flushing a leading force in helping ordinary people — thousands of housewives in Japan, Korea and China have already taken the plunge, becoming the next George Soros.”

One advantage of trading in the foreign exchange markets, and why it has become popular with the advent of Internet trading, is because the markets were just recently opened up to individual traders a few years ago, and potential investors have access to markets all over the world 24 hours a day, according to Chen.

Trading basically moves in a seamless transition from one financial center to another. For example, as soon as the New York currency exchange closes, the market in Sydney opens.

IFG Trade is on the second floor of 37-01 Main St. More information is available by calling 718-662-3838 or by visiting ifgtrade.com.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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