Beware online investment apps and ‘experts’

Remember day trading, the fad for retail investors trying to emulate the hotshots of Wall Street from their spare bedrooms, and losing much of their money in the process? It is back with a vengeance, this time driven by a range of ‘disruptor’ apps which seek to lure risk-hungry traders by eliminating the cost of buying and selling assets. This time, the bets are even bigger. Controversially, some apps offer traders the chance to ‘leverage’ their bets: that is to borrow money to increase their gains. Or losses. The story of canny investors looking to outsmart the system — and the charismatic ‘experts’ that lead them — is as old