BBC Airs Hedge Fund Reality Show

Jan 23 2009 | 1:02am ET

It was only a matter of time: The BBC unveiled a hedge fund reality show this month.

“Million Dollar Traders” is putting to the test the notion that anyone can run a hedge fund. Eight “ordinary people”—but none with financial backgrounds—were picked and given a million dollars to start their own funds. The show’s own Donald Trump, former GLG Partners trader Lex van Dam, gave the contestants a two-week crash-course in money management, and the would-be hedge fund managers then had two months to try their hand at running their funds, at a trading floor set up in London. Contestants are even allowed to keep some of their profits, should there be any.

The competition began in earnest in June, amidst the credit crisis and the early stirrings of the banking crisis. Like their professional counterparts, some of the contestants “take big risks, and others lose their nerve in spectacular fashion,” according to the BBC.

The three-part series will conclude on Tuesday on BBC2, with just three of the would-be hedge fund managers reaching the finish line.

Van Dam, who the BBC says put the money up for the competition, now runs his own hedge fund, Hampstead Capital.

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