Celebrating female leadership in FX – Valeria Bednarik (FXStreet)

Rick Steves

Ultra-modern, highly technologically advanced, and at the cutting edge of the world of financial services and technology, the FX industry heralds executives who are ambitious, enthusiastic and upwardly mobile. In its relative infancy compared to the hierarchical, wood-paneled institutions of traditional banking, FX represents all that is urbane and fast moving, hence the lack of […]

Valeria FXStreet

Ultra-modern, highly technologically advanced, and at the cutting edge of the world of financial services and technology, the FX industry heralds executives who are ambitious, enthusiastic and upwardly mobile.

In its relative infancy compared to the hierarchical, wood-paneled institutions of traditional banking, FX represents all that is urbane and fast moving, hence the lack of a metaphorical ‘glass ceiling’. With this dynamism comes the rise to success of several ladies whose prominence in senior management positions across the entire FX industry, from social trading, to interactive educational systems, to signal provision, platform engineering, events, and brokerage.

FinanceFeeds’ spoke to Valeria Bednarik – Chief Analyst at FXStreet, one of the industry’s leading global online FX trading portals based in Barcelona, Spain.

How did you get into the industry and where did it all start?

I’m a CPA, and in the past century, I was the managing director of a small local company.  The best friend of the owner, was bringing new “super-business  investments”  almost every month  that always ended on my desk to be studied. One of those investments was one with a 200% return in a year, through something called “forex.” I automatically thought “scam” and dismissed it. But later that day, I googled forex, and got over 1 million results! Remember, I’m talking about something that happened like 15 years ago.  That result told me that the one in my desk could be a scam, but there was something there to take a look at.

Back in those days, I discussed with them and tried to find a fund manager, and after meeting a couple of scammers, I decided that if wanted it to be well-done, I needed to do it myself. That’s when I began a technical analysis course, the kick-start for my forex career.

Have you faced any challenges and how did you overcome them?

Life itself is  a challenge.  It was a challenge to study, a challenge to understand that no course was enough, a challenge to dominate fear and greed.  I guess I overcame all of them simply because I’m too stubborn, and I really wanted to succeed in being financially independent. Also, I was not completely comfortable with my work. I wanted to improve my financial situation, because South America – I live in Argentina –  is a really male chauvinist society and I was making much less than a man in my position.

Any interesting anecdotes from your own background and how this helped you succeed?

I would say being in the International Traders Conference, the traders’ event organized by FXStreet in Barcelona, in 2009. I met traders from all over the world, some of them professionals, some of them just beginners. It was an eye-opener as beyond the cultural differences  and the many different approaches to the market, there were certain common places in all of their strategies, particularly among professional ones. I confirmed many of my own ideas, and learned some new ones.

The “click” to success comes when you understand that the answer to trading is not the tool you use, but how much you understand how your tool works, its strengths and its weakness. Also, I would like to add that you are closer to succeed when you learn that you won’t get rich overtrading a $1,000.00 account. Money management is as relevant as the correct use of technical tools.

Any views on the role of women within the financial services?

I do believe that, despite being much fewer than men in the financial world, women have more chances to be successful, only because, generally speaking, women have less ego.  I’ve always thought that ego is the worst enemy of any trader, and that’s something  one usually learns the hard way, when the market hits you one, and twice, and again and again. For men it is harder to overcome a negative trade, particularly at the beginning of their trading career, because they take it as a personal failure.

No matter what, you need to be humble when approaching the market, and if you don’t ,you are condemned to fail.  Also, women tend to be less eager to take large risks, and more cool blooded when it comes to taking a trade.  And being humble does not mean a lack of character or strength to face tough situations.

As for the industry in general, women are still far from having a relevant role  as senior staff in financial companies. It’s funny, because women face more challenges to reach senior leadership roles in financial services, which means that when they get there, if they do, they are far more prepared than any man. Anyway, it’s still a male´s world and things are changing there way too slowly.

Any additional thoughts or information that you would like to share?

When I began with forex, I lived to work. It was hard for me to understand things needed to be exactly the opposite.  Now, I’m very proud of saying that I work to live and that by no means I let work takes center stage in my life.  The road to this point was long and painful, but I have no regret whatsoever and would gladly do it all over again to be where I am today.

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