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Crackdown on share trading software

ADVERTISEMENTS for computer share trading software offering quick and easy returns have been hard to avoid over the past two to three years.

More than 60 groups have been marketing these software packages around Australia – an amazing number, considering the product is designed for the rapidly shrinking breed of active day traders.

The advertisements may become less common and more cautious in their claims, however, following a crackdown by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

ASIC deputy chair Jillian Segal said the commission launched a surveillance and enforcement campaign last year after receiving a significant number of complaints about share trading software.

ASIC warned vendors to ensure their claims were not false or misleading, and has taken court action in several cases.

Ms Segal advised investors that: “no computer software can make you get-rich-quick and consumers should be particularly wary of ‘black box’ systems which give trading advice or recommendations in addition to providing purely factual information about securities.

“Some of these programs sell for thousands of dollars and you should seriously investigate the product you’re buying, and question whether you’re getting value for money.

“Consumers should be particularly careful of overseas offers that are made over the Internet, as there may not be any legal avenue for help within Australia if something goes wrong.”

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