Sunday, January 27, 2008
The Fibonacci application is an indicator and strategy for the trader to predict the movement of the market and go with the trend. They will use the numbers in the series that are in fact present all around us, and some we use unknowingly in our daily lives as well. But while dealing in foreign currency we make specific use of these to help us tide over the sudden shifts that could occur in the market. They also allow the traders to make specific stop loss orders and help in earning decent profits at every investment made.
When the Fibonacci application and strategy for trader are computed it automatically reflects on what the support and resistance levels are, that will arise. This allows the trader to know when he must enter the market and when it is time for him to pull out of it. It helps them to identify the times of change and when the rates are likely to dip. For many beginners who are not familiar and well versed with the various indicators, this Fibonacci series would look like a string of numbers that just does not make any sense. But when they gain experience, they will realize that these are actually great life savers.
If a person is ready to take the necessary risks and use the Fibonacci application as a strategy, he will be able to identify the size of the position taken by the currencies he has traded in. If he wants to place a stop order close to the support and resistance levels, there is increased chance of leveraging and increasing the earnings. The Fibonacci is also a tool through which the profit objectives can be predetermined, and this is possible only in this strategy. For a person to have gains in the long run, they need to understand how the series works thereby cutting their losses and risk factor down. For more monetary success, combine the techniques of Fibonacci with that of the famous trader Gann.W.D.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Investment Advisors 101 - Ask Some Questions
Investment Advisors (IAs) come in all different intellectual, professional, and alphabetical varieties. They range in educational qualifications from High School dropout to PhD, and can be professional Accountants, Insurance Salesmen, Stock Brokers, Investment Managers, Dentists, Lawyers, TV personalities, and Gourmet Chefs. Anyone can be an Investment Advisor! It seems reasonable that your trust should gravitate toward those who have educational credentials, hands on experience with their own money, and no direct financial benefit from the advice provided. Stay safer by finding a fee only advisor who has just one profession... and the ability to say NO.
Why do people become Investment Advisors? Call me skeptical, but I don't think it's the ethereal glow they feel after implementing your new Financial Plan. Actually (once you appreciate that IAs are the primary delivery system for Wall Street's huge collection of one-size-fits-all products), you'll realize that it's the money. No conspiracy here, just a subtle brainwashing that has convinced you that the Advisor's primary objective is to protect your family. In reality, the primary goal of commissioned advisors is to protect their own families, and they accomplish this by selling Investment Products. The Investment Advisor label has become a euphemism for product salesperson just as Financial Planner nearly always means Insurance salesperson. Stay safer by finding a fee only advisor who has just one profession... and the ability to say NO.
Serious IAs can be identified by acronyms following their names (also by dark three piece suits and facial hair), RIA and CFP being the most common. As professional as this seems, designations do not create trustworthiness, for several reasons: IAs must become RIAs to be licensed to sell investment products. Most practitioners affiliate themselves with major Wall Street Institutions to defray their start up costs and many are subsidized in return for pushing their sponsor's products. Finally, most advisors will remain in bed with one company at a time throughout their careers, constantly touting the present firm's products as "best". Hmmm. Hundreds of companies, thousands of IAs, convincing millions of shoppers (investors) that they have just purchased the one very best product to achieve their financial goals. From cradle to grave, most IAs dance to a tune that's not being played by their clients.
Over the past several years, Wall Street has managed to invade the once respected Insurance Industry by attaching Mutual Funds to life insurance and annuity products, making them far too speculative to achieve their once guaranteed objectives. But the "variable products" scam dwarfs in potential long-term impact to the more recent high crime against investors. This is the one that ignores the (in-your-face-obvious) Conflict of Interest when Accountants sell investment products! Many professionals have multiple degrees; few have multiple practices. You deserve a specialist. If your CPA/Lawyer/Doctor (who's next) can make a living in his primary practice, why sell investment products? Greed? Hubris? And why does Wall Street allow these non-professionals to push investment products? Don't be naive, the more people out there pushing Investment Products, the bigger the bonus for the Captains of the Universe. Stay safer by finding a fee only advisor who has just one profession... and the ability to say NO.
In spite of the fact that the "burn out" rate among IAs compares with that of restaurants and Mutual Fund Managers, and that the advisory business itself is a cut-throat, competitive battlefield, the Financial Institutions that employ the majority of IAs prosper, multiply, and produce more product for your "eyes wide shut" consumption... because you, your products, and the management fees remain! A caring and successful Investment Advisor makes an excellent income and should; a successful financial institution buys other financial institutions!
The hierarchy of commissions paid to IAs can exceed 10% on "private deals", limited partnerships, and a litany of speculative products and services. On the more controlled substances (sic), Annuity commissions can run above 8% with 10-year lock up provisions common and Mutual Funds provide a generous 4% to 6% whether you see them or not. New issues, odd lot Bonds, and other securities that don't show a commission, include marketing fees and mark ups that can be substantial. What ever happened to individual Equity portfolios? It's a combination of in-greed-ients... products are less work and produce more money. Stay safer by finding a fee only advisor who has just one profession, the ability to say NO, and who knows something about individual securities.
Most people need Investment Advisors. Life Insurance protection is vital; fixed annuities are helpful for people of limited means; Mutual Funds are the only option (pity) in most self-directed retirement plans. The vast majority of employed Americans are Investors, actively or passively, with little time or expertise to select securities and manage portfolios. (If the Democrats would accept this, they just might win an election.) But recent experience confirms that we all have a responsibility to our own money, a responsibility that we should only delegate to a professional if we know what the professional is supposed to know. The fact that he or she is an XYZ Fund representative just isn't enough. You need an independent advisor that has ideas rather than products and an understanding of markets, not marketing. If you are willing to ask the right questions, you can find an IA who might just be able to help you (and herself) at the same time. Try these for starters: Do you sell any products? Do you have a personal portfolio that I can review? Do you provide a "fee only" advisory service? How long have you been in the financial services business, and is it your only business? (It's not your job to educate "newbies"!) Are you affiliated with any other financial services companies? Do you have at least five non-family clients who you have been advising for at least five years... that I can contact directly? Will you be compensated for referring me to someone? Stay safer by finding a fee only advisor who has just one profession and the ability to say NO.
The ability to say NO? An advisor will tell you not to do something that he feels is inappropriate... a salesman will do what you tell him to do.
10 Essential Trading Elements
1. You can't take more risk than you are comfortable with - emotion is the enemy of the trader. Most of us are slaves to our emotion, which is why most traders fail despite the apparent simplicity of trading. To be successful, you have to manage emotion, and the first step toward emotional mastery is to not take more risk than you are comfortable with. If you can't sleep at night over the potential of losing more than $500 on a stock trade, then you should not risk more than $500 on a stock trade. The less you care about the outcome of a trade, the smarter you will execute it.
2. Stops loss orders must be used - one big loss can wipe out the gains of five winning trades. Success requires that you don't take big losses, so utilize stop loss orders. Once you are entered in a trade, enter a stop loss order and stick to it. If your brokerage does not provide the ability to execute stop loss orders, then change brokers.
3. No one cares more about your money than you - only you really care whether you make money or not. Therefore, do not depend on others to make you money; you have to take control and know what is going on. You can use the skills of others to help you make decisions, but ultimately, your success in the market will come down to what you do.
4. Losers react, winners predict - the market does not care about what happened in the past. If you are using publicly available information to make trading decisions, then you are using old information. The stock market moves on what it expects to happen in the future, and not on what has already happened. Use what has happened in the past to provide clues to what may happen in the future, but don't make decisions on information that is widely known.
5. The stock market is not fair - Within every stock, there are a small group of investors who know more than the general public. They have an advantage, because they can better predict what a company will do in the future. To be successful, we have to figure out what the investors with better information are doing, and then do the same.
6. Information is biased - the financial industry wants you to buy stocks. The brokerages that finance the companies, the newsletters that get paid to advertise company stories, the promoters that get paid to promote stocks, the media that sell more advertising in an up market and of course, the companies themselves all benefit when stock prices go higher. The more buyers, the higher prices go. Trust no one when making investment decisions, because everyone can have a bias. Only the market can not lie (although it can seem pretty stupid sometimes), therefore, trust what the market tells you.
7. Hard work does not make money in the market - you need to work hard to learn how the stock market works. You need to work hard to learn how to manage your emotions. You need to work hard to learn discipline. However, the most money is made in a market that is trending, one where there are lots of opportunities and it seems easy to make money. When the market is not trending, it is harder to find opportunities. Working harder when the going gets tough will cause you to take marginal trades. Take the obvious trades, they are more likely to work.
8. Black boxes don't work - there are a lot of companies selling trading systems that magically spit out buy and sell recommendations. The stock market is like a flu virus; just when you think you have it figured out, it changes in to something else. Therefore, systems too must evolve with the market. A system that worked in the past may not work in the future. However, what seems to always work is understanding how humans and crowds behave. Learn that, and you can begin to pick stocks in any market condition. More importantly, learn the art of trading well, knowing that you can not always be right, that you have to limit losses and let profits run and that you have to understand what motivates people to buy and sell. Systems, indicators, and computer programs are simply tools to help you make better decisions.
9. The stock market is usually efficient - actually, stock, futures, currencies and any other market that has enough people trading them are usually efficient. That means, most of the time you can not beat the markets. To do better than the masses, you have to identify situations where market efficiency is breaking down. That occurs when the crowd is emotional or when small groups of investors are trading on private information. Usually, that is most easily found when stocks are trading abnormally in terms of price and volume. Focus your attention on abnormal behavior when looking for trading opportunities.
10. Discipline is essential - you have to manage risk effectively, you have to use stops loss orders, you have to always be looking for high probability trading opportunities, you have to avoid taking too much risk and you have to let winning positions run. The laws of trading are nothing if you don't have the discipline to follow them.
The very first sentence:
"Successful trading of the stock market requires a lot more than knowing what to buy or sell. "
In other words....
IT'S NOT WHAT YOU TRADE, IT'S HOW YOU TRADE IT!
Mark developed his own momentum stock trading method that takes away all the stress from trading but still maintains fantastic returns in the stock market. He personally ran a $5,000 up to six figures trading a few minutes every week.