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Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part 3/3
Welcome to the third and final part of this chapter. Thank you all for the 100s of comments and upvotes - maybe this post will take us above 1,000 for this topic! Keep any feedback or questions coming in the replies below. Before you read this note, please start with Part I and then Part II so it hangs together and makes sense. Part III
Squeezes and other risks
Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits
Squeezes and other risks
We are going to cover three common risks that traders face: events; squeezes, asymmetric bets.
Economic releases can cause large short-term volatility. The most famous is Non Farm Payrolls, which is the most widely watched measure of US employment levels and affects the price of many instruments.On an NFP announcement currencies like EURUSD might jump (or drop) 100 pips no problem. This is fine and there are trading strategies that one may employ around this but the key thing is to be aware of these releases.You can find economic calendars all over the internet - including on this site - and you need only check if there are any major releases each day or week. For example, if you are trading off some intraday chart and scalping a few pips here and there it would be highly sensible to go into a known data release flat as it is pure coin-toss and not the reason for your trading. It only takes five minutes each day to plan for the day ahead so do not get caught out by this. Many retail traders get stopped out on such events when price volatility is at its peak.
Short squeezes bring a lot of danger and perhaps some opportunity. The story of VW and Porsche is the best short squeeze ever. Throughout these articles we've used FX examples wherever possible but in this one instance the concept (which is also highly relevant in FX) is best illustrated with an historical lesson from a different asset class. A short squeeze is when a participant ends up in a short position they are forced to cover. Especially when the rest of the market knows that this participant can be bullied into stopping out at terrible levels, provided the market can briefly drive the price into their pain zone. There's a reason for the car, don't worry Hedge funds had been shorting VW stock. However the amount of VW stock available to buy in the open market was actually quite limited. The local government owned a chunk and Porsche itself had bought and locked away around 30%. Neither of these would sell to the hedge-funds so a good amount of the stock was un-buyable at any price. If you sell or short a stock you must be prepared to buy it back to go flat at some point. To cut a long story short, Porsche bought a lot of call options on VW stock. These options gave them the right to purchase VW stock from banks at slightly above market price. Eventually the banks who had sold these options realised there was no VW stock to go out and buy since the German government wouldn’t sell its allocation and Porsche wouldn’t either. If Porsche called in the options the banks were in trouble. Porsche called in the options which forced the shorts to buy stock - at whatever price they could get it. The price squeezed higher as those that were short got massively squeezed and stopped out. For one brief moment in 2008, VW was the world’s most valuable company. Shorts were burned hard. Incredible event Porsche apparently made $11.5 billion on the trade. The BBC described Porsche as “a hedge fund with a carmaker attached.” If this all seems exotic then know that the same thing happens in FX all the time. If everyone in the market is talking about a key level in EURUSD being 1.2050 then you can bet the market will try to push through 1.2050 just to take out any short stops at that level. Whether it then rallies higher or fails and trades back lower is a different matter entirely. This brings us on to the matter of crowded trades. We will look at positioning in more detail in the next section. Crowded trades are dangerous for PNL. If everyone believes EURUSD is going down and has already sold EURUSD then you run the risk of a short squeeze. For additional selling to take place you need a very good reason for people to add to their position whereas a move in the other direction could force mass buying to cover their shorts. A trading mentor when I worked at the investment bank once advised me: Always think about which move would cause the maximum people the maximum pain. That move is precisely what you should be watching out for at all times.
Also known as picking up pennies in front of a steamroller. This risk has caught out many a retail trader. Sometimes it is referred to as a "negative skew" strategy. Ideally what you are looking for is asymmetric risk trade set-ups: that is where the downside is clearly defined and smaller than the upside. What you want to avoid is the opposite. A famous example of this going wrong was the Swiss National Bank de-peg in 2012. The Swiss National Bank had said they would defend the price of EURCHF so that it did not go below 1.2. Many people believed it could never go below 1.2 due to this. Many retail traders therefore opted for a strategy that some describe as ‘picking up pennies in front of a steam-roller’. They would would buy EURCHF above the peg level and hope for a tiny rally of several pips before selling them back and keep doing this repeatedly. Often they were highly leveraged at 100:1 so that they could amplify the profit of the tiny 5-10 pip rally. Then this happened. Something that changed FX markets forever The SNB suddenly did the unthinkable. They stopped defending the price. CHF jumped and so EURCHF (the number of CHF per 1 EUR) dropped to new lows very fast. Clearly, this trade had horrific risk : reward asymmetry: you risked 30% to make 0.05%. Other strategies like naively selling options have the same result. You win a small amount of money each day and then spectacularly blow up at some point down the line.
We have talked about short squeezes. But how do you know what the market position is? And should you care? Let’s start with the first. You should definitely care. Let’s imagine the entire market is exceptionally long EURUSD and positioning reaches extreme levels. This makes EURUSD very vulnerable. To keep the price going higher EURUSD needs to attract fresh buy orders. If everyone is already long and has no room to add, what can incentivise people to keep buying? The news flow might be good. They may believe EURUSD goes higher. But they have already bought and have their maximum position on. On the flip side, if there’s an unexpected event and EURUSD gaps lower you will have the entire market trying to exit the position at the same time. Like a herd of cows running through a single doorway. Messy. We are going to look at this in more detail in a later chapter, where we discuss ‘carry’ trades. For now this TRYJPY chart might provide some idea of what a rush to the exits of a crowded position looks like. A carry trade position clear-out in action Knowing if the market is currently at extreme levels of long or short can therefore be helpful. The CFTC makes available a weekly report, which details the overall positions of speculative traders “Non Commercial Traders” in some of the major futures products. This includes futures tied to deliverable FX pairs such as EURUSD as well as products such as gold. The report is called “CFTC Commitments of Traders” ("COT"). This is a great benchmark. It is far more representative of the overall market than the proprietary ones offered by retail brokers as it covers a far larger cross-section of the institutional market. Generally market participants will not pay a lot of attention to commercial hedgers, which are also detailed in the report. This data is worth tracking but these folks are simply hedging real-world transactions rather than speculating so their activity is far less revealing and far more noisy. You can find the data online for free and download it directly here. Raw format is kinda hard to work with However, many websites will chart this for you free of charge and you may find it more convenient to look at it that way. Just google “CFTC positioning charts”. But you can easily get visualisations You can visually spot extreme positioning. It is extremely powerful. Bear in mind the reports come out Friday afternoon US time and the report is a snapshot up to the prior Tuesday. That means it is a lagged report - by the time it is released it is a few days out of date. For longer term trades where you hold positions for weeks this is of course still pretty helpful information. As well as the absolute level (is the speculative market net long or short) you can also use this to pick up on changes in positioning. For example if bad news comes out how much does the net short increase? If good news comes out, the market may remain net short but how much did they buy back? A lot of traders ask themselves “Does the market have this trade on?” The positioning data is a good method for answering this. It provides a good finger on the pulse of the wider market sentiment and activity. For example you might say: “There was lots of noise about the good employment numbers in the US. However, there wasn’t actually a lot of position change on the back of it. Maybe everyone who wants to buy already has. What would happen now if bad news came out?” In general traders will be wary of entering a crowded position because it will be hard to attract additional buyers or sellers and there could be an aggressive exit. If you want to enter a trade that is showing extreme levels of positioning you must think carefully about this dynamic.
Retail traders often drastically underestimate how correlated their bets are. Through bitter experience, I have learned that a mistake in position correlation is the root of some of the most serious problems in trading. If you have eight highly correlated positions, then you are really trading one position that is eight times as large. Bruce Kovner of hedge fund, Caxton Associates For example, if you are trading a bunch of pairs against the USD you will end up with a simply huge USD exposure. A single USD-trigger can ruin all your bets. Your ideal scenario — and it isn’t always possible — would be to have a highly diversified portfolio of bets that do not move in tandem. Look at this chart. Inverted USD index (DXY) is green. AUDUSD is orange. EURUSD is blue. Chart from TradingView So the whole thing is just one big USD trade! If you are long AUDUSD, long EURUSD, and short DXY you have three anti USD bets that are all likely to work or fail together. The more diversified your portfolio of bets are, the more risk you can take on each. There’s a really good video, explaining the benefits of diversification from Ray Dalio. A systematic fund with access to an investable universe of 10,000 instruments has more opportunity to make a better risk-adjusted return than a trader who only focuses on three symbols. Diversification really is the closest thing to a free lunch in finance. But let’s be pragmatic and realistic. Human retail traders don’t have capacity to run even one hundred bets at a time. More realistic would be an average of 2-3 trades on simultaneously. So what can be done? For example:
You might diversify across time horizons by having a mix of short-term and long-term trades.
You might diversify across asset classes - trading some FX but also crypto and equities.
You might diversify your trade generation approach so you are not relying on the same indicators or drivers on each trade.
You might diversify your exposure to the market regime by having some trades that assume a trend will continue (momentum) and some that assume we will be range-bound (carry).
And so on. Basically you want to scan your portfolio of trades and make sure you are not putting all your eggs in one basket. If some trades underperform others will perform - assuming the bets are not correlated - and that way you can ensure your overall portfolio takes less risk per unit of return. The key thing is to start thinking about a portfolio of bets and what each new trade offers to your existing portfolio of risk. Will it diversify or amplify a current exposure?
Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits
One common mistake is to get bored and restless and put on crap trades. This just means trades in which you have low conviction. It is perfectly fine not to trade. If you feel like you do not understand the market at a particular point, simply choose not to trade. Flat is a position. Do not waste your bullets on rubbish trades. Only enter a trade when you have carefully considered it from all angles and feel good about the risk. This will make it far easier to hold onto the trade if it moves against you at any point. You actually believe in it. Equally, you need to set monthly limits. A standard limit might be a 10% account balance stop per month. At that point you close all your positions immediately and stop trading till next month. Be strict with yourself and walk away Let’s assume you started the year with $100k and made 5% in January so enter Feb with $105k balance. Your stop is therefore 10% of $105k or $10.5k . If your account balance dips to $94.5k ($105k-$10.5k) then you stop yourself out and don’t resume trading till March the first. Having monthly calendar breaks is nice for another reason. Say you made a load of money in January. You don’t want to start February feeling you are up 5% or it is too tempting to avoid trading all month and protect the existing win. Each month and each year should feel like a clean slate and an independent period. Everyone has trading slumps. It is perfectly normal. It will definitely happen to you at some stage. The trick is to take a break and refocus. Conserve your capital by not trading a lot whilst you are on a losing streak. This period will be much harder for you emotionally and you’ll end up making suboptimal decisions. An enforced break will help you see the bigger picture. Put in place a process before you start trading and then it’ll be easy to follow and will feel much less emotional. Remember: the market doesn’t care if you win or lose, it is nothing personal. When your head has cooled and you feel calm you return the next month and begin the task of building back your account balance.
That's a wrap on risk management
Thanks for taking time to read this three-part chapter on risk management. I hope you enjoyed it. Do comment in the replies if you have any questions or feedback. Remember: the most important part of trading is not making money. It is not losing money. Always start with that principle. I hope these three notes have provided some food for thought on how you might approach risk management and are of practical use to you when trading. Avoiding mistakes is not a sexy tagline but it is an effective and reliable way to improve results. Next up I will be writing about an exciting topic I think many traders should look at rather differently: news trading. Please follow on here to receive notifications and the broad outline is below. News Trading Part I
Why use the economic calendar
Reading the economic calendar
Knowing what's priced in
First order thinking vs second order thinking
News Trading Part II
Preparing for quantitative and qualitative releases
Data surprise index
Using recent events to predict future reactions
Buy the rumour, sell the fact
The mysterious 'position trim' effect
Some key FX releases
*** Disclaimer:This content is not investment advice and you should not place any reliance on it. The views expressed are the author's own and should not be attributed to any other person, including their employer.
Whatsup forex! As a few of you know (those who read my initial post anyway) I went live this week with 250AUD. Just thought I'd give a quick update for those who care, if it's not appropriate mods please let me know and I'll be on my merry way. I took 2 trades this week. As per the laws of the universe, my first ever live trade was a bust, annihilated by a full day's ATR worth of reversal. I lost 1.78%. Second trade went better, ended up taking 3.55% and finishing the week up 1.67%. That's about 4AUD. It was largely a boring affair, and I made a small adjustment to my process. Having real money on the table, even if it's only 4 bucks, has actually helped me be much more focused this week which has been cool. Anyway just wanted to share, feel free to ask whatever, I don't think two live trades make me an expert but hey. Cheers.
Autistic "Super Powers"? I think my "super strength" comes from Austim, as well as all other mental and physical gifts I have, and find being autistic/asperger a true gift. This is not a joke, have a video to show it's true.
Hi all, I found I am Asperger some weeks ago, explain that at the end, and want to find other cases like me, or opinions about these gifts and Asperger. But, does any of you see Asperger Syndrome as a wonderful think like I do? I always loved to be who I am, and now I found that probably all the "gifts" I have come from Asperger Syndrome. One of them, I really want to know if it's related to Asperger, is "super strength", and would like to know if any of you aspies like me have also an abnormal physical strength. Here you'll see what I am physically capable of, without any training at the time, 5'11'' tall by 140lb bodyweight (body mass index of 19/20): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zuabvEjcdQ I found this when watching Stan Lee Superhumans, I decided to imitate and noticed I could do those things, roll frying pans, bend horseshoes, etc. Other physical characteristics: - No Cold - I don't feel cold in my country, have tried to be some hours at the snow (below 0ºC or below 30 Farenheit), use just a tshirt the entire year even near 0ºC and below heavy rain and with fog, and dropping water from my clothes, I can feel the weather is colder, but doesn't affect me or give me pain, or something (correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this can relate to pain tolerance as an autistic characteristic); - Never Get Sick - Even being at the rain, with 0ºC I never get a cold, etc; - Pain Tolerance - Have bent (have it in video) a St. Croix 2 horseshoe barehanded the first time I've tried it, heart and paperclip shape (think it's an autistic trait sometimes also); - Hyper sensitivity to light (but see very well at dark and love to be like this); - Hyper sensitivity to sounds (hear very well, but seem deaf while in shoppings because of the noise); - Can be the entire day without eating or drinking and even carrying heavy weights at night without getting weak; - Etc; Psycologically (sorry about my English) it was always great: - I'm a self-taught polymath, learn everything very fast, start computer programming as a child, created softwares, freewares, developing now a C++ 2D game engine, developed mechanical trading systems, one of them gave 19,000% profit in Forex in 3 years, created new statistical and math formulas, wrote ebooks teaching how to invest, in my country, created successful websites, and teams to manage them, etc; - Done lots of jobs, system administrator and software developer both in the biggest IT companies in my country, done also as electronics, trading, banking, consulting, etc (liked to try new things), but only did 12 years on school didn't want to go to universities; - Can do the tests neuro-typical(or all?) people say that it's not possible to do, even wrote 2 different sentences, in 2 keyboards, on hand per keyboard, at the same time, while looking at a person talking to her at the same time (3 different things); - My motor skills are (in my point of view) perfect for me, even done skateboarding tricks that only Rodney Mullen from US would be able to do at that time, like "shove-it 180 to late underkick-flip 360", etc; - Tried arts, on my first day with a synthesizer, created several musics without ever having learned how to play, it's like I was already born knowing how to play. Example of first tries: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWE0vUWAHEI&index=2&list=PLswCft9xAHt9AAf81r1odbyMzsx-220dI&t=0s Or slow ones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Q_Yfy0SA-k&index=5&list=PLswCft9xAHt9AAf81r1odbyMzsx-220dI&t=0s On the first two weeks created several and then stopped. - For one month I painted in soft pastels and also drawn in carbon, and made photo realitic drawings of people's faces, did some cool paintings also. I've read Music is like Mathematics, but paintings? - Studied several areas, and keep thinking some geniuses were sometimes dumb, like Einstein is a genius and I have the upmost respect for him, but in my point of view we can never reach a TEO with Time because Time doesn't exist, it's an abstract concept we use objectively, Space isn't mixed with Time, I think several things Hawking said are plain stupid, I don't agree with super string theory, M theory, etc, and I could be the one wrong anyway, but I always strangely never considered these geniuses's theories like, bullet-proof theories, while everybody does. Like I probably have too much self-confidence. But Time doesn't exist anyway lol. - Memory - Remember the most incredible things from my past like if it were videos, from 40 years ago, including sounds, smells, etc. - Ageing - People say I look a lot younger, I'm 40-43 at the videos (is this a trait?). Well, I don't know how to explain, but whatever I try to do I always was able to learn quickly and do well or it seemed (like in arts) that I was already born knowing, not sure how. So I always thought it was born with me, in my genes but didn't know how. Some weeks ago I found some hidden papers from my mother, from 1977-1981 when I was 2 to 6 years old, saying I was autistic, I didn't talk, I had pendular motions, etc. I was amazed, it was my name that was there, because I felt always the smarted guy in my schools, although I never studied and had an average of only 14/20, because I didn't care, but to see that, saying I couldn't speak well, didn't want to speak, etc, was strange to me. At that time, in my country, a child was considered mentally retarded when autistic, or else, a normal child. So my mother refused to accept I was autistic and put me into school and my doctor approved because he believed I could adapt. And I didn't. I've done some asperger tests some weeks ago, and noticed I was asperger, and had a friend psychiatric doctor confirm it to me. From 32 to 40 on the regular tests, still exibit 9 to 11 of the 14 autistic traits that are in some papers, etc. But nobody ever noticed that in my, I don't have anything visible, just being called eccentric, sometimes being caught with 2 hands in the air imagining stuff (like in the movie Aviator), used the same equal clothes everyday (black), ate the same food 5 years everyday (because I don't like to cook haha vegan raw food was quicker), used just the same spoon and fork and knife to eat, walk in mathematical patterns in the street (fibonacci, etc), notice car plates all the time, like to be alone, don't like people to touch me, love to see water flowing, am always spinning pens in my hand, very distracted (I thought I just had ADHD because I give positive on those tests), but it was strange how I could program 10 hours in a row without stopping, like a machine, very quickly, etc, etc (people call it being in "the zone" in computer programming). I mean, I knew I was different but didn't know why. When I found I was asperger, everything made sense, even why I sometimes didn't understand why people are so sensitive to some stupid words and sentences and consider me insensitive sometimes or rude. But I like being like this, don't want to change, I'm not rude, but I'm now a very sensitive guy to human things anyway, just to animals (I'm an ethical vegan). My friend told me that my mind compensated (I don't know my IQ I just know it's a lot higher than the limit they had at the tests they gave me at the time, I've done everything well and well before time and never wanted to know, I feel it's irrelevant), and it made me have no bad traits. I even eliminated the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder I had, nowadays I just walk in patterns but I like it, it's like a game. He says I just have nowadays what I can't remove, what my mind can't correct, which is the distraction, the not understanding why people is so sensitive to some things, not having the will to be with friends often, etc. Some years ago (3/4) I read that not looking people on the eyes was a weak trait (on job interviews) so I practiced it and now can be 1 minute or more looking someone in the eyes, don't like it but got used to it. And over-think things, get obsessed to find answers, routines, using equal clothes, etc. But all cool things, nothing that I consider bad. But I can make friends, I can talk in the stage in front of 1000 persons, I've gone to the tv, I can make conversation with strangers and be friends, I can always guess who have the fake smiles on photo tests, I can recognize emotions (although sometimes when distracted or furious I forget that and even had 2 persons crying with things I said, unintentionally). My friend said my mind probably compensated that and I learned how to identify emotions and fake smiles, etc, artificially, and now I don't know it's artificially because I didn't try to learn intentionally. So probably I learned that throughout life. So basically, it's like I just had left the cool things, that don't affect my life much. And I consider them like "super powers", I know this seems stupid, but that's how I feel, and love to have these traits. I say "don't affect my life much" because one girlfriend in 2009 stopped walking when talking to me, and when I noticed and turned back she was like 15 meters from me furious that I didn't listen to her. Anyway, I see Asperger as the source of all these gifts I have, physically and mentally. I even think that above peak human performance strength can be also a rare trait from autism. Da Vinci had it, not only me! Because people said I looked like da vinci for being a polymath but I said "No, I can bend steel bars with my hands!" but then I found Da Vinci had an abnormal strength, was asperger, and could bend horseshoes with his hands also! So I even created a video in English (terribly spoken though): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jy0K4UvVOo4 To try to convince other oldtime strongmen to do the asperger tests, because if I found more than 1% of aspergers in steel benders/oldtime strongmen, like 10%, 20%, I could statistically prove something. And I bet several of them are as I now recognize their behaviours as typical aspergers. But they don't want to answer it, maybe they are afraid of admiting or knowing, some seems to be for other reasons (believing other things). So, does any of you have an abnormal strength also? Is there any study that related strength and aspergers? And do any of you think of asperger syndrome / austism like a source of "super powers"? I would like to have your opinions on this. Sorry for my terrible English I've written this in a few minutes, and I'm Portuguese. But I really want to find out if are there other cases like me, that moved from a (severe?) autistic child (or maybe just autistic? not even know as I don't have more papers from that time, just found 2), to a kind of "borderline" aspie like me. I'm not sure if I can be considered "borderline" because I have 9 or 11 from the 14 general autistic traits, rate 32-40 on the regular basic tests, and others also high. Although on the empathy tests I have usually 20 or higher, not below (above 30 seems to be the typical). But as I love to be who I am and can do whatever I want, make friends (just don't like to be with them all the time or feel the need to), etc, I consider myself a "borderline" aspie, I was a much more severe case in my childhood, took 2 years in the primary school just to adapt my teacher was great, never went to special schools. I consider myself a borderline aspie (ignoring test results) because I don't have "clumsiness", read people's faces, predict human behaviour well, can manipulate people, read fake smiles, use and abuse of sarcasm and irony (although I think some stuff people think it's funny is not funny at all anyway), etc. Am I a "borderline" aspie for this, or with all my traits a regular aspie but learned to appear "borderline"? Anyway I would like to know if there are cases here like me, and that think being asperger is a gift (or source of gifts), and specially if are there very strong aspergers, I need to prove to myself that there is a link between autism and "super strength". Can anyone tell me something about the Da Vinci - Asperger - Super Strength connection? Am I being crazy? Are there kinesiologists, or psychiatric doctors focused on Aspergers that could study this? I would gladly allow some studies like D.R. has done in Stan Lee Superhumans, if this could help us learn more about Autism. Thanks! Sorry for writting too much, I can't write few words. And thank your help in advance.
"Satoshi Nakamoto" the mysterious creator of Bitcoin is no other than the CIA
Bitcoin has surged to all time highs, Who created Bitcoin, and why? The creator of Bitcoin is officially a name, “Satoshi Nakamoto” – very few people believe that it was a single male from Japan. In the early days of Bitcoin development this name is associated with original key-creation and communications on message boards, and then the project was officially handed over to others at which point this Satoshi character never appeared again (Although from time to time someone will come forward saying they are the real Satoshi Nakamoto, and then have their posts deleted). Bitcoin could very well be the ‘one world currency’ that conspiracy theorists have been talking about for some time. It’s a kill five birds with one stone solution – not only is Bitcoin an ideal one world currency, it allows law enforcement a perfect record of all transactions on the network. It states very clearly on bitcoin.org (the official site) in big letters “Bitcoin is not anonymous” : Some effort is required to protect your privacy with Bitcoin. All Bitcoin transactions are stored publicly and permanently on the network, which means anyone can see the balance and transactions of any Bitcoin address. However, the identity of the user behind an address remains unknown until information is revealed during a purchase or in other circumstances. This is one reason why Bitcoin addresses should only be used once. Another advantage of Bitcoin is the problem of Quantitative Easing – the Fed (and thus, nearly all central banks in the world) have painted themselves in a corner, metaphorically speaking. QE ‘solved’ the credit crisis, but QE itself does not have a solution. Currently all currencies are in a race to zero – competing with who can print more money faster. Central Bankers who are in systemic analysis, their economic advisors, know this. They know that the Fiat money system is doomed, all what you can read online is true (just sensationalized) – it’s a debt based system based on nothing. That system was created, originally in the early 1900’s and refined during Breton Woods followed by the Nixon shock (This is all explained well in Splitting Pennies). In the early 1900’s – there was no internet! It is a very archaic system that needs to be replaced, by something modern, electronic, based on encryption. Bitcoin! It’s a currency based on ‘bits’ – but most importantly, Bitcoin is not the ‘one world currency’ per se, but laying the framework for larger cryptocurrency projects. In the case of central banks, who control the global monetary system, that would manifest in ‘Settlement Coin’ : Two resources available almost exclusively to central banks could soon be opened up to additional users as a result of a new digital currency project designed by a little-known startup and Swiss bank UBS. One of those resources is the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system used by central banks (it’s typically reserved for high-value transactions that need to be settled instantly), and the other is central bank-issued cash. Using the Utility Settlement Coin (USC) unveiled today, the five-member consortium that has sprung up around the project aims to help central banks open-up access to these tools to more customers. If successful, USC has the potential to create entirely new business models built on instant settling and easy cash transfers. In interview, Robert Sams, founder of London-based Clearmatics, said his firm initially worked with UBS to build the network, and that BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, ICAP and Santander are only just the first of many future members. the NSA/CIA often works for big corporate clients, just as it has become a cliche that the Iraq war was about big oil, the lesser known hand in global politics is the banking sector. In other words, Bitcoin may have very well been ‘suggested’ or ‘sponsored’ by a banker, group of banks, or financial services firm. But the NSA (as we surmise) was the company that got the job done. And probably, if it was in fact ‘suggested’ or ‘sponsored’ by a private bank, they would have been waiting in the wings to develop their own Bitcoin related systems or as in the above “Settlement Coin.” So the NSA made Bitcoin – so what? The FX markets currently represent the exchange between ‘major’ and ‘minor’ currencies. In the future, why not too they will include ‘cryptocurrencies’ – we’re already seeing the BTC/EUR pair popup on obscure brokers. When BTC/USD and BTC/EUR are available at major FX banks and brokers, we can say – from a global FX perspective, that Bitcoin has ‘arrived.’ Many of us remember the days when the synthetic “Euro” currency was a new artificial creation that was being adopted, although the Euro project is thousands of degrees larger than the Bitcoin project. But unlike the Euro, Bitcoin is being adopted at a near exponential rate by demand (Many merchants resisted the switch to Euros claiming it was eating into their profit margins and they were right!). And to answer the question as to why Elite E Services is not actively involved in Bitcoin the answer is that previously, you can’t trade Bitcoin. Now we’re starting to see obscure brokers offering BTC/EUR but the liquidity is sparse and spreads are wacky – that will all change. When we can trade BTC/USD just like EUUSD you can bet that EES and a host of other algorithmic FX traders will be all over it! It will be an interesting trade for sure, especially with all the volatility, the cross ‘pairs’ – and new cryptocurrencies. For the record, for brokers- there’s not much difference adding a new symbol (currency pair) in MT4 they just need liquidity, which has been difficult to find. So there’s really nothing revolutionary about Bitcoin, it’s just a logical use of technology in finance considering a plethora of problems faced by any central bank who creates currency. And there are some interesting caveats to Bitcoin as compared to major currencies; Bitcoin is a closed system (there are finite Bitcoin) – this alone could make such currencies ‘anti-inflationary’ and at the least, hold their value (the value of the USD continues to deteriorate slowly over time as new M3 introduced into the system.) But we need to pay Here’s some interesting theories about who or whom is Satoshi: A corporate conglomerate Some researchers proposed that the name ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ was derived from a combination of tech companies consisting of Samsung, Toshiba, Nakayama, and Motorola. The notion that the name was a pseudonym is clearly true and it is doubtful they reside in Japan given the numerous forum posts with a distinctly English dialect. Craig Steven Wright This Australian entrepreneur claims to be the Bitcoin creator and provided proof. But soon after, his offices were raided by the tax authorities on ‘an unrelated matter’ Soon after these stories were published, authorities in Australia raided the home of Mr Wright. The Australian Taxation Office said the raid was linked to a long-running investigation into tax payments rather than Bitcoin. Questioned about this raid, Mr Wright said he was cooperating fully with the ATO. “We have lawyers negotiating with them over how much I have to pay,” he said. Other potential creators Nick Szabo, and many others, have been suggested as potential Satoshi – but all have denied it: The New Yorker published a piece pointing at two possible Satoshis, one of whom seemed particularly plausible: a cryptography graduate student from Trinity College, Dublin, who had gone on to work in currency-trading software for a bank and published a paper on peer-to-peer technology. The other was a Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, Vili Lehdonvirta. Both made denials. Fast Company highlighted an encryption patent application filed by three researchers – Charles Bry, Neal King and Vladimir Oksman – and a circumstantial link involving textual analysis of it and the Satoshi paper which found the phrase “…computationally impractical to reverse” in both. Again, it was flatly denied. THE WINNER: It was the NSA The NSA has the capability, the motive, and the operational capacity – they have teams of cryptographers, the biggest fastest supercomputers in the world, and they see the need. Whether instructed by their friends at the Fed, in cooperation with their owners (i.e. Illuminati banking families), or as part of a DARPA project – is not clear and will never be known (unless a whistleblower comes forward). In fact, the NSA employs some of the best mathematicians and cryptographers in the world. Few know about their work because it’s a secret, and this isn’t the kind of job you leave to start your own cryptography company. But the real smoking Gun, aside from the huge amount of circumstantial evidence and lack of a credible alternative, is the 1996 paper authored by NSA “HOW TO MAKE A MINT: THE CRYPTOGRAPHY OF ANONYMOUS ELECTRONIC CASH” The NSA was one of the first organizations to describe a Bitcoin-like system. About twelve years before Satoshi Nakamotopublished his legendary white paper to the Metzdowd.com cryptography mailing list, a group of NSA information security researchers published a paper entitled How to Make a Mint: the Cryptography of Anonymous Electronic Cash in two prominent places, the first being an MIT mailing list and the second being much more prominent, The American Law Review The paper outlines a system very much like Bitcoin in which secure financial transactions are possible through the use of a decentralized network the researchers refer informally to as a Bank. They list four things as indispensable in their proposed network: privacy, user identification (protection against impersonation), message integrity (protection against tampering/substitution of transaction information – that is, protection against double-spending), and nonrepudiation (protection against later denial of a transaction – a blockchain!). It is evident that SHA-256, the algorithm Satoshi used to secure Bitcoin, was not available because it came about in 2001. However, SHA-1 would have been available to them, having been published in 1993. Why would the NSA want to do this? One simple reason: Control. As we explain in Splitting Pennies – Understanding Forex – the primary means the US dominates the world is through economic policy, although backed by bombs. And the critical support of the US Dollar is primarily, the military. The connection between the military and the US Dollar system is intertwined inextricably. There are thousands of great examples only one of them being how Iraq switched to the Euro right before the Army’s invasion. In October 2000 Iraq insisted on dumping the US dollar – ‘the currency of the enemy’ – for the more multilateral euro. The changeover was announced on almost exactly the same day that the euro reached its lowest ebb, buying just $0.82, and the G7 Finance Ministers were forced to bail out the currency. On Friday the euro had reached $1.08, up 30 per cent from that time. Almost all of Iraq’s oil exports under the United Nations oil-for-food programme have been paid in euros since 2001. Around 26 billion euros (£17.4bn) has been paid for 3.3 billion barrels of oil into an escrow account in New York. The Iraqi account, held at BNP Paribas, has also been earning a higher rate of interest in euros than it would have in dollars. The point here is there are a lot of different types of control. The NSA monitors and collects literally all electronic communications; internet, phone calls, everything. They listen in even to encrypted voice calls with high powered microphones, devices like cellphones equipped with recording devices (See original “Clipper” chip). It’s very difficult to communicate on planet Earth in private, without the NSA listening. So it is only logical that they would also want complete control of the financial system, including records of all electronic transactions, which Bitcoin provides. Could there be an ‘additional’ security layer baked into the Blockchain that is undetectable, that allows the NSA to see more information about transactions, such as network location data? It wouldn’t be so far fetched, considering their past work, such as Xerox copy machines that kept a record of all copies made (this is going back to the 70’s, now it’s common). Of course security experts will point to the fact that this layer remains invisible, but if this does exist – of course it would be hidden. More to the point about the success of Bitcoin – its design is very solid, robust, manageable – this is not the work of a student. Of course logically, the NSA employs individuals, and ultimately it is the work of mathematicians, programmers, and cryptographers – but if we deduce the most likely group capable, willing, and motivated to embark on such a project, the NSA is the most likely suspect. Universities, on the other hand, didn’t product white papers like this from 1996. Another question is that if it was the NSA, why didn’t they go through more trouble concealing their identity? I mean, the internet is rife with theories that it was in fact the NSA/CIA and “Satoshi Nakamoto” means in Japanese “Central Intelligence” – well there are a few answers for this, but to be congruent with our argument, it fits their profile. Where could this ‘hidden layer’ be? Many think it could be in the public SHA-256, developed by NSA (which ironically, was the encryption algorithm of choice for Bitcoin – they could have chosen hundreds of others, which arguably are more secure): Claims that the NSA created Bitcoin have actually been flung around for years. People have questioned why it uses the SHA-256 hash function, which was designed by the NSA and published by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). The fact that the NSA is tied to SHA-256 leads some to assume it’s created a backdoor to the hash function that no one has ever identified, which allows it to spy on Bitcoin users. “If you assume that the NSA did something to SHA-256, which no outside researcher has detected, what you get is the ability, with credible and detectable action, they would be able to forge transactions. The really scary thing is somebody finds a way to find collisions in SHA-256 really fast without brute-forcing it or using lots of hardware and then they take control of the network,” cryptography researcher Matthew D. Green of Johns Hopkins University said in a previous interview. Then there’s the question of “Satoshi Nakamoto” – if it was in fact the NSA, why not just claim ownership of it? Why all the cloak and dagger? And most importantly, if Satoshi Nakamoto is a real person, and not a group that wants to remain secret – WHY NOT come forward and claim your nearly $3 Billion worth of Bitcoin (based on current prices). Did the NSA create Satoshi Nakamoto? The CIA Project, a group dedicated to unearthing all of the government’s secret projects and making them public, hasreleased a video claiming Bitcoin is actually the brainchild of the US National Security Agency. The video entitled CIA Project Bitcoin: Is Bitcoin a CIA or NSA project? claims that there is a lot of compelling evidences that proves that the NSA is behind Bitcoin. One of the main pieces of evidence has to do with the name of the mysterious man, woman or group behind the creation of Bitcoin, “Satoshi Nakamoto”. According to the CIA Project, Satoshi Nakamoto means “Central Intelligence” in Japanese. Doing a quick web search, you’ll find out that Satoshi is usually a name given for baby boys which means “clear thinking, quick witted, wise,” while Nakamoto is a Japanese surname which means ‘central origin’ or ‘(one who lives) in the middle’ as people with this surname are found mostly in the Ryukyu islands which is strongly associated with the Ry?ky? Kingdom, a highly centralized kingdom that originated from the Okinawa Islands. So combining Nakamoto and Satoshi can be loosely interpreted as “Central Intelligence”. Is it so really hard to believe? This is from an organization that until the Snowden leaks, secretly recorded nearly all internet traffic on the network level by splicing fiber optic cables. They even have a deep-sea splicing mission that will cut undersea cables and install intercept devices. Making Bitcoin wouldn’t even be a big priority at NSA. Certainly, anonymity is one of the biggest myths about Bitcoin. In fact, there has never been a more easily traceable method of payment. Every single transaction is recorded and retained permanently in the public “blockchain”. The idea that the NSA would create an anarchic, peer-to-peer crypto-currency in the hope that it would be adopted for nefarious industries and become easy to track would have been a lot more difficult to believe before the recent leaks by Edward Snowden and the revelation that billions of phone calls had been intercepted by the US security services. We are now in a world where we now know that the NSA was tracking the pornography habits of Islamic “radicalisers” in order to discredit them and making deals with some of the world’s largest internet firms to insert backdoors into their systems. And we’re not the only ones who believe this, in Russia they ‘know’ this to be true without sifting through all the evidence. Nonetheless, Svintsov’s remarks count as some of the more extreme to emanate from the discussion. Svintsov told Russian broadcast news agency REGNUM:“All these cryptocurrencies [were] created by US intelligence agencies just to finance terrorism and revolutions.”Svintsov reportedly went on to explain how cryptocurrencies have started to become a payment method for consumer spending, and cited reports that terrorist organisations are seeking to use the technology for illicit means. Let’s elaborate on what is ‘control’ as far as the NSA is concerned. Bitcoin is like the prime mover. All future cryptocurrencies, no matter how snazzy or functional – will never have the same original keys as Bitcoin. It created a self-sustained, self-feeding bubble – and all that followed. It enabled law enforcement to collect a host of criminals on a network called “Silk Road” and who knows what other operations that happened behind the scenes. Because of pesky ‘domestic’ laws, the NSA doesn’t control the internet in foreign countries. But by providing a ‘cool’ currency as a tool, they can collect information from around the globe and like Facebook, users provide this information voluntarily. It’s the same strategy they use like putting the listening device in the chips at the manufacturing level, which saves them the trouble of wiretapping, electronic eavesdropping, and other risky methods that can fail or be blocked. It’s impossible to stop a cellphone from listening to you, for example (well not 100%, but you have to physically rewire the device). Bitcoin is the same strategy on a financial level – by using Bitcoin you’re giving up your private transactional information. By itself, it would not identify you per se (as the blockchain is ‘anonymous’ but the transactions are there in the public register, so combined with other information, which the NSA has a LOT OF – they can triangulate their information more precisely. That’s one problem solved with Bitcoin – another being the economic problem of QE (although with a Bitcoin market cap of $44 Billion, that’s just another day at the Fed buying MBS) – and finally, it squashes the idea of sovereignty although in a very, very, very subtle way. You see, a country IS a currency. Until now, currency has always been tied to national sovereignty (although the Fed is private, USA only has one currency, the US Dollar, which is exclusively American). Bitcoin is a super-national currency, or really – the world’s first one world currency. Of course, this is all great praise for the DOD which seems to have a 50 year plan – but after tens of trillions spent we’d hope that they’d be able to do something better than catching terrorists (which mostly are artificial terrorists)
How to stop being so obsessed with becoming successful and rich?
AskReddit How can I stop obsessing over success ? u/tgpop Hey guys, long story short, i'm a 23 year old male, and have had a whole host of anxiety issues (OCD, general anxiety, some mild depression thrown in there too for good measure). I've been to therapy, am on meds (beta blockers to treat the physical symptoms of anxiety; some prozac to control the cognitive side of things) and yet, most of the time, I have a chronic state of tension and stress, and I believe it's due to early teen experiences. I'll not go into too much detail, because If I do people will only pick apart what I'm saying. Basically when I was 14 I got very,very unhealthily addicted to stock trading/forex trading. Spent thousands of hours refining a method, and at one point when I was 18 was offered some money to trade. I turned that opportunity down because I felt way out of my depth and was burned out from forex and stock trading (for anyone involved in the markets, i'm sure you get what I mean, even as a swing trader it is impossible to fully switch off). I guess ever since I give that opportunity up, I have always hated myself and the sense of regret is overwhelming. Every time I try and dabble back into the markets, I end up doing ok and all of a sudden (like now) , I just get absorbed totally by it again, and it's constantly on my mind. So what have I done, aside from trading in the meantime? After I quit trading at 18,I actually had to take a year off before heading to university to build some confidence in myself. Of course, I don't deny that brain chemistry plays a role here as well. Starting that year out at 18 I was suicidal and seriously burned out. I had stress-induced hair loss, insomnia etc. I was diagnosed with OCD and general anxiety at the time. No matter what self help book or therapist I went to said, I couldn't shake the anxiety or stress. What amazed me was that during that year out, I actually took a job in a busy subway store. And I freakin' loved it. worked 100+ hour weeks for months on end, became the stores youngest manager, learned the ins and outs of the fast food business. Didn't even care that it was minimum wage, it was just so satisfying to be an ace at something, no matter how 'petty' a subway store may seem. I then went to university, focused on getting good grades, and told myself not to look at trading ever again. I came out with the top marks in my university year three years in a row, and landed a training contract with a big 4 accounting firm after not screwing up on a summer internship. That's basically where I am now. I'm really enjoying accounting. But , still ongoing, is this pressure to succeed at business, trading,investing or something along those lines. I just can't shake this off, and whilst I know I do enjoy accounting, I really can't help lose this sense of self hatred and materialism. I'm certain that my brain chemistry plays a massive role. And logically speaking, I would objectively say someone with my personality is probably suited to a stable, rewarding career with constant stimulation and challenging tasks. Despite that, it's just something I can't switch off, I literally cannot stop thinking about markets, trading, stocks, investing. Worse still, any time I do 'get back in' to it, I am completely in the zone, infatuated with the whole experience of trading. I am just really confused to be honest. My OCD makes it very difficult to make decisions or come to conclusion on issues like this. On one hand, I can't keep myself in check or obsessing about markets when I do dabble in them. On the other hand, no matter how rewarding some other pursuit it, I am always trying to 'fill a hole' in one area or another. Heading into accounting? cool, let's make partner in 15 years. At the gym? Right, lets get super ripped and start a successful fitness business. Like working at subway? save up all your money and start a franchise-business. I would really appreciate any help here. I just feel like a sack of shit if i'm not achieving something 'great'. I can literally not relax. If i'm not doing something productive I am stressed and down. I do not want to end up twice divorced and a depressed alcoholic at 40.
I am an idiot. Please help me not be an idiot anymore.
I have a bit of a cringeworthy story about my first 2 months in the stock market. I asked one of the mods if it would be ok to post here and they thought it would be good for this sub. A little entertainment for the weekend. Keep in mind I am a college student, that saved about $7k over the summer. Ok, here we go: I made a very dumb choice. One of the worst any new investor could make. I decided to start my investing experience in penny stocks. It all started back in Aug. after the "crash". It seemed like a great time to get in. I checked a few subreddits and came across NETE (I'm still not sure exactly what they even do. Something about mobile payments.) It was all good for the first few weeks and I learned the basics to the stock market. However, I was down by about 5% but only had $200 in so no big sweat, right? Well I thought I was ready for real money (Biggest mistake of my life), so I invested $1300 more in it to cover my losses. This was money I already planned on investing. Later that week I lost another 10%, price just dropped out of no where. Strange, but I wasn't too worried. The pumpers set my mind at ease and told me it would recover soon, so average down. After a few days there was no news looming, except a some insider investing and a pending SEC filing. So I thought, what the hell. Cant hurt to throw another $1000 at it. 10% up and I'll cover my losses and then some. The next day, it was announced that they were filling for reverse split and wanted to vote in a few months on it. Literally drove my portfolio down another about 10% in a day. I died a little inside but I accepted defeat. While all this is going on I did happen to make a little money on the side with GBSN. $20 here, $40 there. So I decided to move my money there so I could make $200 here, $400 there. I was even more confident since, they just released some news that customer acquisition was up and the only thing against them were some outstanding warrants. But it seemed as though the warrants already drove the price down as much as it could go, so I was in a good place. I got in with about $800 at 0.08 and watched it go to 0.10, cool beans right? Wrong again. I was invest investing in GBSN in increments to get the best average price possible. And had about $500 left so I got the bright idea out of thin air to YOLO my money in RXII because it was up about 0.10 that day and reached about 0.60 (mind you I had only over this stock on my Robinhood watch list a couple times). I thought I was catching it on a swing down since it dropped down to 0.55. I was going to ride it back up to 0.60 and get out. Well it went up to about 0.56 and just went down after that. For the rest of the day it lingered around 0.53-0.54 and then dropped down to 0.48 the next day. It was like the universe decided to hit me over the head with a sludge hammer and flip me off. I came to find out the price fell all because some penny stock alert told a bunch of people to pull out. So at this point I'm in dumbfounded in complete awe. I didn't even make much money on GBSN because it was countered by RXII. Angered, I decided to stick with my original plan and pull out of GBSN (@ 0.09) and RXII (@ 0.48) and buy back in on the next swing down to .08. It usually made it back up to 0.09 some time in the week so it seemed like a quick trade. I put another $1000 and bought back in @ .083. Well the SAME DAY., Nasdaq issued a delisting warning for GBSN and the price dropped lower than my IQ. Over the next couple of days it went all the way down to 0.06 and I decided I had enough. I finally got out at .059. After a few days of thinking I had it all settled, I decided I would get back in GBSN at .045 and ride the wave back up to at least .07. So I sold on Monday and waited for all of my money to clear, on Thursday so I could get back in and the price should be 0.05 or lower. Well just to my luck, Wednesday it went down to like .051 and shot up over 30% to like .07. I died a little more inside. I had to sit there and watch my brilliant plan go to shit while I'm sitting in class taking a test (teacher was sleep). I woke up thursday morning and saw it was down for a bit but then jumped back up to like 0.075 so I got back in on a swing down to 0.072. It went back up to 0.075 but I just knew it was gonna go higher. Well it didnt. I literally went down to 0.07-0.0718 and stayed in that range for about 2hrs. I set my stop loss @ 0.0675 when I saw it drop break below 0.07 for the first time. It bounced between 0.068-0.071 but about an hour later it sold my position and GBSN was dropping ever since. At that moment I told myself I was done gambling like a bafoon and deleted all the penny stocks in my watchlist. I added Bank of America, Apple, Nokia, Netflix, and Ford to take their places. I had been watching these on and off for a while and doing a little dd on them. Tl;Dr: Wanted a check, got REKT. A message to new investors. Stay out of penny stocks! For now at least. It can be a great way to make a lot of money, when you know what you're doing. And you are probably smarter than me, but its a whole different beast than your standard day trading. They need CONSTANT attention. I spent most of my class periods and work hours glued to my phone, trying to make sure I didn't lose too much at once. Still got destroyed anyway. Right now I have about $3100. I will not be adding any more in the see able future. I am tired of making idiotic decisions and want to turn my portfolio around. Please help me:
How do you properly do DD? (List the things I should know before making any type of investment)
How long should I watch a stock before getting in?
What catalyst are most influential in affecting a stock's price?
Are there any other suggestions on how to properly invest?
EDIT: Ok so a lot of people are stating "Hey, you were just gambling. You need to change you're mindset if you want to ever make any money. Stop investing in penny stocks" Thank you. I get it. I knew I was really just gambling instead of investing and wanted to change that. 1) The point of this is to warn others not to follow my mistakes, 2) Get some advice on how to change, 3) Give you guys a good story to laugh at. Edit 2: I forgot to mention this, STAY THE HELL AWAY FORM STOCKTWITS. Especially if you do decide to get into penny stocks. It is literally ALL pumpers. No one listens to the bears and calls them crazy. You won't have a clear understanding of a company if all you listen to is the good? Edit 3: Now I keep hearing people say I lost half my money and would have to double my current position to get it back in 6 months. 1) I didn't lose half of my money $1500+$3100=$4600. I don't have to double my money I to get it back. What I lost is about half of what I have seculeded right now for future investments. But honestly Im only focusing on a $1000 since I set that as my goal. 2) Im not expecting to make it back in exactly 6 months from today. I said 6 months to a year but I'm leaning closer to a year. And this is only after I believe I'm ready to get back in. Which may be awhile from now. Sorry about the miscommunication there Just remembered something funny. My cousin was trying to me into the forex market and I thought I was going to take the easy way out with the stock market. One one hand the stock market is still not child's play and I underestimated it. On the other hand forex trading would have bankrupted me in days.
10-16 02:23 - 'Hurling Rocks at Caimans: A Cowboy's Tale' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/mine_myownbiz13 removed from /r/Bitcoin within 56-66min
''' In 1991, my mother had the foresight to leave Venezuela for the United States. She sacrificed a medical profession, her family, her friends, and the comforts of her own land and culture. It was before Chavez, before communism, before famine, before societal collapse. She didn’t know it at the time (perhaps she felt it), but she was saving our lives. Recently, I was asked by her brother, my uncle, to give some words of advice to his youngest son, whom he sent to live in upstate New York earlier this year in the hopes that he might find some opportunity there. He’s 17 and fascinated by cryptocurrencies, but knows next to nothing about them. I wrote this letter for him. Hello Cousin, I write you in the hopes that you will take away something useful from my own experience. There’s a saying in English that’s always stayed with me, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” In other words, nothing in life is easy, not money, not love, not anything. Nothing worth your time is ever going to be easy. There’s no free lunch! I first got into trading in 2008. Your dad had heard from a friend that Citigroup stock was going to pop soon and that he should buy it. The US Stock Market can only be traded by U.S. citizens and special types of corporations, so he asked me to act as a proxy for his investment, and I did. I did it because I thought it would be a get-rich quick rich scheme that I could learn to do on my own. At this time I was in graduate school and unsure of what to do with my life. I’ve always been good at school. It’s easy for me. I had professors telling me I’d make a great scholar or a great lawyer, but at the time I was teaching middle-school English in a poor neighborhood of Miami. I had a big decision to make. Naturally, I decided to get rich quick! I spent 2-3 months reading books on stock trading and executing simulated trades on practice accounts. I learned to work a variety of trading platforms so that I could trade several markets around the world, which I did. I quit my job in the fall of 2008 and took my entire life savings of $20,000 into the market. The broker gave me 3.5 times leverage on my money and I had $70,000 of available trading capital. When your dad made his deposit my account had a trading capacity of over $2,000,000. With that kind of margin, I was able to turn $20,000 into over $160,000 in less than 9 months! I was making over $15,000 a month. As a teacher, at the time, I think I made about $2,700 a month. So, as you can imagine, I thought I was a genius! I was getting rich quick, right? Wrong. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. When your dad sold his share of stock being held in my account I was also forced to liquidate my own positions. I had bought call options on the future price of Apple stock, and the way that kind of trading works is that your money is locked until the future event you are betting on occurs. If you liquidate before a certain date there may be a penalty to pay. In my case, it was $35,000. After this, I had the good sense to step away for a moment, to cash out my chips and think about what came next. Also, I didn’t have a $2,000,000 trading desk anymore, and without the added margin, there was no way I could continue to trade the way I wanted to. I wanted to make medium to long term trades, because one of the first things I learned along the way is that short term trading (day-trading, scalping) is, for the most part, a scam. There are technical reasons for this, but trust me, short-term trading any market, be it cryptos, stocks, or commodities is a bad idea. You will lose money with an almost 100% guarantee. I walked away from the stock market in 2009 with $150,000 cash but no market to trade it in. So, I did the next best thing: I bought a nice new car (in cash), took a crazy trip to Europe, and consumed over $25,000 worth of shit I didn’t need, and when it was all said and done, I went back to teaching. I taught at an even poorer neighborhood this time. I had gang members in my class. There were arrests on a monthly basis. Some of the kids had psychological problems, emotional problems, learning disabilities, and many of them were being abused at home in one way or another. This was a middle school. Twelve year-olds. I did that job and others like it because I believe in morality and in helping people. That’s the reason I’m writing you this letter, because I want to help you, and I think it's the moral thing to do. And you’ll see what I mean by that when I tell you about cryptocurrencies and the blockchain later on. Anyway, during that year of teaching I discovered a new market to trade. One that would give me 100 to 1 leverage on my money. One where I could manage a $5,000,000 trading desk with only $50,000! That market is called FOREX, and its the global “fiat” currency market. It’s the opposite of the crypto market, which is the global “digital” currency market. More on what all that means later, but for now just understand that FOREX is the most liquid and highly traded market in the world. After the school-year ended in May of 2011, I took that summer off to research the FOREX market. I read many new books on trading, which were specific to the currency markets. I watched hundreds of hours of video on technical analysis and even more hours of “financial news,” which is mostly economic propaganda, but I won’t digress here. The point is that by late August of 2011, I was once again ready to dive head-first into trading. This time, I thought, it would be even better, because I’d have even more money to “play” with! This time, I thought, I’m going to get rich! I’ll stop here and tell you that the journey up until this point had not been the smoothest. While trading stocks there were many days when I lost hundreds, thousands, and even tens of thousands of dollars in hours, sometimes in minutes! You may imagine the added level of stress I had to deal with because I was trading with my entire life’s savings and my wife had just given birth to our son, Sebastian. He was a toddler at the time. I’ll give you a brief example of trading’s unpredictable nature, and the unpredictability of financial markets in general: I had spent several months preparing for my first live trade. I’d read many books and practiced my ass off until I thought I was ready. I had a system, a strategy. I was going to get rich, quick! The first week I traded stocks I lost $10,000 in 3 days. I will never be able to fully articulate what it feels like lose 50% of all the money you’ve ever had in less than 72 hours. All the while knowing that if you fail, it will be your family who suffers the most. You might be wondering: “Shit, why’d you do it?” or “Why’d you keep doing it?” That’s understandable. After all, my academic background is in history and political science, not finance and economics, not statistics. Well, cousin, I did it because I’m a cowboy. A risk-taker. I’ve always been one. I remember being four or five, at our grandfather’s farm, and lassoing calves in the cattle pen by myself. Men were around, but they let me do it. Although, in retrospect, some of those calves were twice my size and could have easily trampled me, I don’t ever remember feeling scared---I loved that shit! I remember sneaking out and walking down to the pond, then going up to the water’s edge to see if I could spot the caiman that lived there. I would even hurl rocks at it sometimes, just to see it move! Another time, I found myself alone in the dark with a 15-foot anaconda not more than a yard away, and all I could do was stare at it, not out of fear, but wonder. Again, in hindsight, probably not the best of ideas, but I’ve never been scared to follow the path laid out by my own curiosity. I am a natural risk-taker. I tell my city-slicker friends that it's because I come from a land of cowboys, where men are born tough and always ready for a challenge. Cowboys are risk-takers by nature, they have to be, the land demands it of them. There’ll be more on risk-taking and the role it plays a little later, but for now, let’s focus on FOREX and what I learned from it. After the school-year ended in May of 2011, I took that summer off to research the FOREX market. I read many new books on trading, which were specific to the currency markets. I watched hundreds of hours of video on technical analysis and even more hours of “financial news,” which is mostly economic propaganda, but I won’t digress here. The point is that by late August of 2011, I was once again ready to dive head-first into trading. This time, I thought, it would be even better, because I’d have even more money to “play” with! This time, I thought, I’m going to get rich! Trading FOREX was not easy. The hardest part was that it had to be done between 3:00 am - 11:00 am, because these are peak trading hours in London and New York, where the majority of the market’s money resides. This means major price moves, the price swings that can be traded, for the most part, happen during this time window. For me, this meant I had to live a type of quasi-vampiric lifestyle, waking up at 8:00 pm and going to sleep at noon, every day. At first, it takes a toll on your social life, and eventually starts to affect you mentally and emotionally. There is a certain degree of isolation that comes with it, too. You are awake when your friends and family are asleep, and asleep when they are awake. It can get lonely. However, my first six months of trading FOREX were OK. I wasn’t making $15,000 a month anymore, but I was making more than I would have been, had I been teaching. However, I had a deep-rooted feeling of uncertainty. Although I’d had some initial success in trading stocks, and now currencies, I’d always felt, at the back of my mind, that I’d just been lucky, and nothing more. This fear materialized itself in June of 2012 when the strategy I’d been using for some time was no longer profitable. I panicked. I started experimenting with new strategies, which only made matters worse, and lead to even more panic. It is no exaggeration to say that trading is one-third mathematical, and two-thirds psychological. No amount of books, videos, or paid mentorships, which I also consumed, had prepared me for this eventual reality check: I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. I had no clue. I left FOREX humbled, with barely enough money to buy a decent car, much less trade any time soon. The next two years, 2013-2015, were some of the hardest of my life. Harder even than 1991-1993, which, up to that point, had been the worst couple years I’d ever experienced. Those were my first years in the United States, and they were full of hardship. A type of hardship I’d never experienced before, and never have since. Remember the school I mentioned? The one with the gangs and the troubled kids and all the poverty? Well, I attended schools just like that as a kid, too, until I turned 15. I had many more encounters with caimans and anacondas there, except now they had first names, and for some reason, were always more prone to strike! Anyway, those were tough times, but not as tough as the post-FOREX experience. Failure at FOREX took a mental toll on me. After all, I had gambled everything, my entire future on the bet that I could earn a living as a professional trader. I realized I had failed because of my own intellectual laziness. I always knew I had been lucky, and instead of using the wonderful gift of leisure-time the universe had granted me through that initial success to fill the knowledge gaps I knew would keep me from true and long-lasting success, I let my ego convince me otherwise, and talked myself into making decisions I knew to be extremely dangerous and outside my expertise. I wanted to wrestle the caiman! Cowboy shit. Irrational, youthful folly. Needless to say, I lost 80% of my account, which was also my family’s savings, in less than four months. Now, I had a real problem. How was I going to pay the bills? What was I going to do with my life? I was 30 years old, had a five-year old son, very little real-world work experience and a college degree in history and political science. How was I going to make money? Serious money? Enough money to help my mom retire and give my son all the advantages I never had? Enough to deliver on the promises I had made to my wife during all those years she put up with my crazy hours and wild ideas about getting rich quick? What was I going to do now? I tell you, cousin, these are the kinds of questions you will find yourself asking if you do not heed my advice. I didn’t want to teach anymore. I didn’t want to do anything anymore. I was depressed. I had what we call here in the United States, “a quarter-life crisis.” I abused alcohol and drugs to cope with the pain of my failure. I was weak. I was unprepared for the realities of life. I did not yet understand, even at 30 years old, that there is no such thing as a free lunch. I won’t dwell on the specifics of the hardships I endured during these two years, except to say that I almost lost it all, including my life, but I’m grateful I didn't. However, it was also during this period, 2013-2015, that I began to fill gaps in my knowledge about markets, economics, and the nature of money itself. Gaps I knew would need to be filled one way or another, if I was ever going to trade or invest in anything again. Luckily, towards the end of my FOREX days, I had come to realize there was something wrong with all the information I had been given by the mainstream media, specifically on the topics of economics and finance. I noticed that nothing they ever said about the markets turned out to be accurate, that mainstream financial “news” could not be trusted for investment purposes. It took tens of thousands of dollars in losses and several years of headaches before I learned that lesson. I’m glad I finally did. I decided to use the last bit of money I had left to buy some gold and silver (by this time I had begun to understand the definition of sound money) and to open up a brick and mortar business. I did not want to work for anyone else, only for myself. I wanted to be an entrepreneur. The trouble was that the only business I had enough money for was a mobile car wash. So, a friend and I bought a van, some pressure cleaners, a whole bunch of soap and got to work! We were going to hustle hard, work warehouse and shopping center parking lots, save enough to reinvest into our business and go after the luxury car market. We were going to charge rich people $1000s to detail Ferraris and Lamborghinis, and it was only going to take six months, tops! Great plan, no? Easy money, right? Well, we washed cars for exactly one day before we realized what a terrible mistake we had made. It turns out car-washing is a backbreaking, low-paying, and degrading business. There’s no free lunch, remember that. My friend and I were lucky. We quickly transitioned our business from a mobile car wash to a painting/pressure cleaning company, and had immediate success. In less than two months we were hired as subcontractors by a much larger company and I was more or less making what I had made teaching, but working for myself. After a couple of months, my partner and I were already envisioning the hiring of our first employees. Cool, right? No. About a year after we started the business, my partner, a high-school friend of mine, a guy I’d known for more than ten years, decided he didn’t want to do it anymore. That he was too tired of the hardships that come with that kind of work. Tired of making the constant sacrifices required to be successful in business. So, he quit. I lost everything I had invested, because without him, I could not operate the business on my own, and our corporate partner dropped us. I begged him not to quit. I told him that business takes time, that there’s no free lunch, and that we would be rewarded at some point for our hustle and hard work; that we would be able to hire laborers to do the work in less than 6 months, and that we would then focus on sales, and start to make some real money. He did not care. He had his own demons, and chose to steal from me and end our friendship instead of facing the hardship head-on. By this time, however, I was already used to failure, and although I was still coping with the mental stress of having failed at something I once had thought would be my profession, it still did not stop me from following my curiosity, as I always have. It was during these years that I first learned about Bitcoin. About blockchain. About the nature of money, economic history, the effects of monetary policy on financial markets. I’d wake up at 6:00 am every day, paint houses, pressure clean dirty sidewalks and walls, spend over 2 hours commuting back home every night, and then stay up for as long as my body would allow learning about macroeconomics and the history of markets. I researched the nature of debt and gold a medium of exchange. I read about counter and Austrian economics. I became a libertarian, later, an anarchist, and, after almost two years study, I began to discover legitimate sources of financial news and information, intelligent voices that I could trust. I had acquired enough knowledge and experience to discern the truth from the propaganda, and it was during these same years, these terrible times of hardship, that I finally learned a most valuable lesson on money and markets: capital preservation is the key. Remember, when I said we’d come back to risk-taking? Well, the trick is not to take it, but to manage it. The secret is education, knowledge. Knowledge truly is, power. Traders are only as successful as the depth of their own knowledge, because it's the only way to keep in check that inherent, paralyzing fear which “playing” with money eventually engenders. As a trader, you must have complete confidence in your “playing” abilities, and this is something only achieved through much study and practice. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, ever. I want you to know that Bitcoin, the blockchain, and cryptocurrencies are NOT get-rich-quick schemes. They are NOT Ponzi schemes either. They are cutting-edge financial technology, and an emerging asset class. The blockchain has been compared to the agricultural revolution of the Neolithic age and the invention of writing by ancient Mesopotamians, in terms of its importance and potential impact on human civilization. It is a technology which will eventually affect and reshape almost every single industry in the global economy. In the next two decades, all types of industries will be impacted and disrupted by this technology--banking, real estate, healthcare, the legal industry, politics, education, venture capital, just to name a few! This technology allows for something called “decentralized store of value.” Basically, it allows for the creation of an alternative financial system, one where power resides in the hands of the people, instead of corrupt governments and corporations, so that currency crises like the one Venezuela has recently experienced, may one day be completely eradicated, like polio, or bubonic plague. I will tell you that, at 17 years old, you have an amazing opportunity to set yourself up for incredible success in this brand new industry called the blockchain. There are entire professions that will be birthed into existence in the next 5, 10, and 20 years, in the same way the internet made possible millions of people around the world to work from home, wearing their pajamas, doing a million different things--things which were unimaginable to those who knew the world before the advent of the internet. Of course, it will require a great deal of work and effort on your part, but I assure you, it will be totally worth it! Today, I am 35 years old. I run a successful ghostwriting business that I manage from the comfort of my own home. I invest exclusively in Bitcoin and precious metals, and hope to retire by the time I’m 40. Well, not really retire, but start on a much-anticipated new phase of my life, one in which I don’t have to worry about financial independence anymore. To that end, cousin, here is my advice:
Forget about getting rich quick. There’s no free lunch!
Learn the English language, it is one of the tools you'll need for success.
Work or go to school. Either way, dedicate yourself to learning about this new technology as much as you can, and begin to save, as much as you can, in Bitcoin.
I reviewed the website you told me about, [[link]3 , and while I respect, and to a certain extent admire what those gentlemen are doing, I can tell you, unequivocally, that taking those courses won’t turn you into a trader. It won’t make you rich quick. Far from it. In fact, there is nothing that these "warriors" will teach you, that you could not teach yourself for free at [[link]4 . I’ll end it here. Hopefully, you made it to the end and took away a nugget or two. Please feel free to ask me anything you want about any of it, cousin. I’m always here to help. ''' Hurling Rocks at Caimans: A Cowboy's Tale Go1dfish undelete link unreddit undelete link Author: mine_myownbiz13 1: ww*.cri*toguerre*os*c**/ 2: w*w***bypips.com/ 3: www.criptoguerreros.com]^^1 4: www.babypips.com]^^2 Unknown links are censored to prevent spreading illicit content.
I was the #1 ranked short bias hedge fund for 3 years and then tried investing as i got too greedy...overall made 2%/year over 4 years, still #1 ranked in my category, see details Link to tim.ly i accept your apology for your laziness.
Because i expose scams and those scammers spread lies...already sued one penny stock promoter and won, but their skillset is spreading misinformation on the internet so it works well to smear me...but they couldnt stop Link to tim.ly or Link to tim.ly and as i create more millionaires, more people will realize i'm 100% right...until then let the haterade flowww.
Its Etrade PRO but I don't recommend them -- I only use them as I'm superstitious and have made too many millions of dollars with them over 15 years...Otherwise I'd recommend Link to stockstotrade.co as it has great scanning/screening tools too.
I am more aggressive in my trading when my account is small, I'd use 30-50% per play but watch the play like a hawk...for example I shorted ARTX yesterday at 4.50, today it dropped to 3.90...if i had $15k I would've shorted 1,500 at 4.50 and tried to cover at 4ish today to lock in $750 profit...then rinse and repeat and gradually grow the account.
I was hoping that would happen when I first got into teaching so I could get more sleep! Sadly only a few people take the time to learn...I also buy and am up 100% in 4 months in 2014 mostly buying too.
As I say in my Link to timothysykes.com DVDs, I try to think of myself as a retired trader who only comes out of retirement for the perfect setups when I know I'll feel guilty missing...otherwise I'm retired ALL the time, understand?
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