The decision that changed my life: Meet Popular Investor Ufuk Inci

While it may have seemed like a small decision at the time, Ufuk Inci’s choice to leave France and study at the University of Warwick in England would have a significant impact on his life. Before he knew it, he was on the trading floor in Hong Kong. Although spending a good deal of time trading in Asia, Ufuk is now back at home in Marseille, where he combines real estate, restaurants and investing on eToro. Known on the eToro platform as uinci1103, Ufuk advises copiers to take the time to research a Popular Investor whom they might consider copying. By doing so, he explains, you will have confidence in that person’s ability to navigate your investments even in uncertain times, and you won’t be second-guessing yourself if things don’t turn out as planned. Ufuk was generous enough to share his background and investment strategy and we hope you enjoy the interview.

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Copy trading does not amount to investment advice. Your investments value may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.

Tell us a little about yourself!

My name is Ufuk, I have Turkish origins, but was born and raised in Marseille, in the beautiful South of France! After spending my entire youth under the French sun, I decided to go a little bit north and studied International Management at the University of Warwick, England. Yes, different in terms of weather, but it was well worth it as it enabled me to head all the way to Hong Kong for an unforgettable exchange program that changed my personal and professional life forever.

Not only did it trigger a passion for travelling, backpacking and partying in every Asian city I could think of, it also kick-started my career in finance, as a trader for Asian markets.

I am now back in Marseille working with my brother in another area that I love, and that is real estate. I am also the proud owner of a vegan/vegetarian restaurant on the Marseille waterfront . Combining real estate investments as well as full-time trading activity on eToro fill up most of my time and I hope to continue this combination.

What’s your background in finance?

It all started at uni, during my International Management Bachelor’s degree at the Warwick Business School. I interned in financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs in London, and Credit Suisse in Hong Kong. The latter is what really started it all professionally as I had the opportunity to be on one of the most dynamic trading floors in the world. My internship there led to a full-time job in the equity markets and I became an analyst, trading cash equity for Hong Kong and China, before joining Macquarie Bank three years later to work as a block traderfor all Asian markets. 

The idea now is to move towards a full-time eToro trader type of role thanks to the Popular Investor Program, which allows me to put all that experience to work for myself, as well as for my followers & copiers.

What is your strategy and have you changed it recently to adapt to the volatile markets?

Steady, healthy and consistent returns over the long run is the name of the game for me. I do not wish to take on more risk than necessary as my objective is to generate good returns on a monthly basis.

For that, risk management is key to our strategy. This requires me to be proactive in my approach while being able to adapt to volatile markets such as the ones we are living through at the moment.

Generally, I keep a highly diversified, well-hedged portfolio, with long exposure to high quality, fundamentally strong names across different markets and asset classes when pertinent. On the other hand, I will always have a portion of my investments in what we could call “capturing alpha” in the short-to-medium term when opportunities arise. Those could be technical-based or prior to earnings, for instance. I will tend to keep a little cash on hand to open new positions, in the long-term approach or the opportunistic one, if needed.

The current context has forced us to adapt and diversify even further. For example, opening positions in FX and commodities that play good hedging roles in that case, but also, raising even further, cash holdings in hand, as risk is to the downside.

In short, diversification (both geographically and in terms of asset class) is important for me to manage risk appropriately while keeping value names for the long run as well as growth trades in hand. All that while keeping an eye on macro and geopolitical events that can, at times, overtake completely the micro side of investments.

So, I will keep doing my research using a top-to-bottom approach. First, I will use major media channels to analyse and adapt to big macro headlines (e.g., Russia, Fed etc…), then dig into micro analysis, using both technical analysis and deep dive types of fundamental research to decide what will eventually constitute our portfolio in the long- and short-term.

How has eToro impacted the way you trade?

eToro has significantly impacted the way I trade. First, it has allowed me to diversify a lot more, as I am able to open positions across the globe, as well as in FX, crypto, and commodities.

The minimum needed in place to open new positions across these assets allows investors to use their capital in a much broader way and not be limited to small amounts of trades. Also, having a community to discuss with, share ideas with, and interact on a daily basis has changed the way I look at certain instruments at times. Having a two-way stream with my followers and copiers helps in my research and analysis.

Last, but not least, I have considerably reduced the amount of commission that I pay yearly on trades as most of my portfolio is in stocks, which are commission-free on eToro. That’s a big win by itself for me.

Which assets or industries do you have your eye on now? Why?

I am currently closely monitoring currencies and commodities given the geopolitical tensions across the globe. More specifically, I am keeping an eye on the Turkish lira as the economy there is suffering from super high inflation numbers and internal political risks. Also, I’m trading around natural gas, which is a key asset during this unfortunate Russia-Ukraine war.

When it comes to stocks, I am continuously looking at the tech industry to find out the new long-term up-and-comers by monitoring innovations. Also, consolidation could take place as Web3 and the emergence of the metaverse might create new opportunities.

The real estate sector is also constantly on my radar given my background in the industry.

Finally, looking at the food industry as the end of Covid could help put those “surviving” institutions in a much healthier position for the longer run.

What was your favourite/least favourite trade over the past year? Why?

Let’s talk about failures as I am not perfect and I make mistakes.

My least favourite trade of the past year was most definitely Zillow.

I loved the approach and risk-taking business segment of Zillow Offers which basically meant that Zillow bought some of the listings itself, at a discount, with the goal to renovate (or not, I guess) and flip them.

Being in the real estate game, I would love such an actor in France too.

The reality looked a little more harsh for Zillow though, as they announced that they would shut down that business as it was not profitable. Zillow kept falling over the months and the rise of interest rates in the US has not helped much. I still think that this could be an extremely interesting business, but I had to remain disciplined and cut my losses when it hit our stop-loss.

What’s your long-term trading goal?

My objective is to consistently generate a steady return on investments, month after month, year after year, while managing risk properly, in order to be financially secure in the long run. I set myself a +2530% performance on a yearly basis and with the effect of compounding, we should be in a very good place over the next 1020 years.

Any message to copiers or potential copiers?

Perhaps, think long-term, be patient and be diversified, at least partially. For myself, thinking short-term will lead to bad decisions during difficult times, and even to panic moments.

If you copy someone, take the time to decide who you want to copy, why you want to copy that person and not someone else, and define your strategy and choose accordingly. That way you will have faith in the Popular Investor and their ability to navigate the investment world successfully. 

Finally, be disciplined. Having profit taking targets will help you eliminate greed if things go well and setting educated stop-loss, will prevent panic.

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Copy trading does not amount to investment advice. Your investments value may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.