FEMMES in FINANCE: Meet Moxima Gama

11 November 2016 | SA Views | Nicole Cameron

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You’re a technical analyst. Is this something you always wanted to be; and how does it differ from being a trader?

It was sheer serendipity that I landed up being a technical analyst - it wasn’t something that I knew even existed. After completing my BComm in finance, economics and risk management, I went into the finance sector with my antennae out, and was fortunate enough to spend some time being exposed to various options. I quite liked the dealing room environment but I found trading scary; it was in there though that I discovered technical analysis and I haven’t looked back. I currently consult to Sharenet and some banks and institutions through my company, The Money Hub.

Although there are similarities between being a trader and a technical analyst, I would say that being a technical analyst is more intense in terms of its studies of market sentiment and patterns. Traders are near-term and want to get in and out, whereas analysts are making predictions on the decade ahead. I do trade for myself personally, but I lack the guts of a true trader - I do all the research but struggle to press that "enter" button at the right time!

Can you describe a typical day in the life of Moxima Gama?

First a cup of coffee (laughs). Then it’s generally just looking at the markets’ movement overnight and listening to the news to stay informed. I do try to divorce myself from it however and focus rather on what the market sentiment is as that’s what you need to follow. For example, a company could release stellar earnings but is actually overdone; investors would see this on the charts and start selling on the uptake - not something someone would see in the news. After that it’s about report writing, finding any share that sticks out and is giving a buy or sell or caution signal, as well as going back on all the stocks I’ve already reported on, to see if the call still remains or whether it needs to be revised. When the markets close I sit back and relax because it can get pretty hectic! 

Best piece of career advice you’ve received?

The best advice I’ve probably been given was from my mentor who got me into technical analysis, who said exactly that above; ignore the news and look purely at what the chart is doing. He encouraged me to find my own style of reporting, because people will then either like my approach or not; and those who are attracted to it will begin to trust me because of my certain style. 

Can you pinpoint a career highlight?

There are so many of them, the best part of my career is just always going against the grain; a typical example would be when everyone thought that Telkom was a "dog stock" not to be touched. I remember calling it a buy on TV and people thought I was insane... here was this company marred with corruption etc, but to me sentiment told a different story. My highlight in most cases is making a good call and knowing that people appreciate how it has impacted their portfolio - I recently had an 80-year-old man call me to express gratitude. Moments like that make my career highly rewarding. Of course, on the flipside, there’s making a bad call - that does impact my confidence a bit, but I guess I’m just human!

There is a perception that the finance world can be a "boys club". How have you experienced this, if at all?

When I started out I definitely experienced it in this way, uncomfortably so. And while there’s no doubt that the stock market is still a "man’s playground" I must admit they have softened up to women a lot and they are becoming more accommodating and listening to us. I think age and gender together played a role in making my entry to the sector threatening; there was a sense of, "what will this young girl tell me?", but as more and more younger women, as well as younger men, come in, so the circles are being opened up. I have never reached a point where it has become an issue pertinent enough to highlight, and I have found that people generally respect me on the basis of the quality of the work I produce.

Does gender play a role when it comes to analyses/trading styles?

Not really, I think it’s more an individual thing rather than being gender based. When you trade or analyse your personality comes through - so if you’re a risk taker this is imparted; it’s your unique style and how you approach things.

What do you feel sets you apart in your approach to analysis?

I feel that ’simple’ makes it easy for me; I’ve always kept the same type of charts and have wanted to make something readable. You see a lot of analyses that are quite complicated, and when I worked for an institution that was fine, everyone understood the language, but when I started working with online shares and clients I developed a love for distilling analyses in a way that simplified things and encouraged them to explore the market. People already have a preconceived idea that the stock market is a treacherous arena so I aim to soften this notion by repeating the same terms so that people can learn my style and start to understand how to look at a stock properly, rather than just acting blindly.

Any tips for non-professionals keen to start trading?

I’ll give you two. Firstly, never trade when you’re desperate. If you’re feeling desperate, you’ll lose all your money - it clouds your thinking and puts you on edge so you start making mistakes. You also shouldn’t ever trade with money that you need - it’ll detract from any enjoyment and probably put you off completely.

The second tip is to remember that trading the stock market is not romantic. It’s about investing the time in wanting to know how to do it and getting to understand the market, which results in knowledge that no one can take away from you. So never be desperate, and don’t romanticise. Good luck! 

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Nicole Cameron

Nicole Cameron is a features writer with over twelve years’ experience, focusing primarily on the business market with a niche focus on entrepreneurship. She has written on a variety of topics for Sharenet and is excited to be focusing on women in finance in her new monthly column "Femmes in Finance". She holds a Business Science degree from UCT and is passionate about reporting on the events and people that make up the local business landscape.

The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and must not be regarded as a prospectus for any security, financial product or transaction. It is neither to be construed as financial advice nor to be regarded as a definitive analysis of any financial issue. Investors should consider this research/article as only a single factor in making their investment decision. We recommend you consult a financial planner/advisor to take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation and individual needs. The views and opinions (where expressed) in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Sharenet.

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