TICN In The Press: March 3rd, 2004

"New York’s Wall Street deals come to Westport" from Western People
In a darkened Westport hotel-room they gathered, 20 men, each with his own agenda but united in one common goal. Seated around a large oak table, their concentrated expressions lit only by the flickering light of the large computer screen at the end of the room. Their eyes teeming with concentration searched the graphs and numbers on the screen intently as the information changed second by second. Each rise or dip in the graphs was met with nods of approval or sighs of resignation.

Last Thursday evening the West Coast Dealers had their monthly meeting. The men who populate the Westport-based share club have been dealing in the stock market for the past three years and this time ‘The Western People’ was there too and talked to the man who is the inspiration behind the club.

Martin McFadden has always been financially minded. Raised in Belclare just outside Westport he took the well-trodden emigration trail to England when his school days came to an end. The construction industry was booming and Martin joined thousands of his countrymen as they built England’s infrastructure. Every morning he would rise before dawn and wait for the van to arrive to take him to one building site or another, the daily paper under his arm and his choice gave a clue to his love of financial dealings. “The other lads would be looking at the football, racing or the latest gossip while I would be there reading the financial pages. They thought I was mad but I loved reading about stocks and shares and the likes.”

Life moved on and Martin return to Westport where he took up employment in the local Allergan Pharmaceuticals plant and he was soon immersed in the world of shares. “In 1989 the company brought out an option plan where employees could become shareholders in the company but only two of us in the whole plant joined on the first day. Many of the other lads thought I was mad but later when they saw the benefits they changed their minds.”

Martin’s interest developed and when the computer age was born he found another outlet for his interest. Browsing through the Internet he saw that shares could be bought and sold on-line at a very attractive price.

“I was intrigued by this but didn’t know how to get involved until I picked up a paper one day and saw an ad for a course which would explain the whole process to me. I signed up and as soon as I attended my first meeting I knew immediately that I had found my niche in life.”

TICN, the company running the course were setting up a share club in Castlebar and invited Martin along to the first meeting but the Belclare man didn’t join. Instead he left the meeting determined to set up a similar club in Westport.

“I asked around and a lot of my friends were interested so we got one of the lads down from TICN to tell us how to set up a club. It didn’t go according to plan however because many of those present thought they could become millionaires overnight and when they found out that it was a long process of learning all about the business of shares many weren’t interested.”

But he was determined not to fail and gathered around him twenty like-minded individuals and in January 2001the West-Coast Dealers was born. The process sees each member contribute €60 a month for five years and every month they meet and decide what shares to buy, sell or hold. Over the five years they attend courses and support evenings with TICN to further their knowledge of the business and as time passes they become more and more familiar with the whole process.

“It’s a five-year learning process and many of the lads have their own private portfolios now because they have learned about the markets and understand how to follow certain trends and the likes. It is a very interesting club to be involved with and everyone seems to be enjoying it. Three more clubs have started in Westport since we took the plunge and they are going from strength to strength also.”

As the evening progressed and the Westport men bought and sold, lost and gained interesting phrases echoed round the room, ‘Cisco Kid, trend-lines, defensive strategies, trading patterns, live in the market and fact files’ all hung in the air. Amid all the buying and selling sat the man who had started it all. Martin McFadden seemed completely at home in the share trading business.

“If I had my life to live over again I would love to work in the stock market but this is the next best thing and I love it,” he concluded as another graph popped up on the screen.