Friday, November 2, 2007

Expert Advisors - For and Against Automating Your Forex Trading System

An expert advisor is a piece of software which works as a plug-in for your trading platform. The purpose of an expert advisor is to automate your own (or someone else's) trading system.

An expert advisor works by monitoring any market for you 24 hours a day, looking to place trades for you once it sees that certain parameters (based on your own, or someone else trading strategy) have been met.

To build your own expert advisor, you need to have a working knowledge of the MetaQuotes Language 4 (MQL4) which is the built-in language for programming trading strategies. There are companies which will (for a fee) automate your trading strategy and build an expert advisor for you based on your own settings. There are also companies which will sell you their own expert advisors.

Most forex expert advisors are developed for the Metatrader trading platform. Developed by Russian programmers, Metatrader had become the standard trading platform for many professional traders and forex brokers.

Once you have built your own expert advisor (usually a file ending in .EX4) or purchased someone elses, the process of setting it up with Metatrader 4 is quite simple. It is just a matter of opening and installing the file into your MT4 platform.


The main advantages of trading with an expert advisor are:

1. The expert advisor has a plan. It sticks to this plan and the settings you have developed into it no matter how uncertain the market looks or how you may feel about the market at a particular point of time.

2. The expert advisor is consistent. It can eliminate the negative human aspects of trading which include fear, greed and inconsistency in trading.

3. The expert advisor frees you up from physically having to watch and analyse the charts to find a signal to enter/exit trades. It does this automatically for you so you don't have to sit in front of your computer all day.

4. Freeing you up from watching charts for entry and exit signals also has the added benefit of giving you more time to spend on actually developing your trading strategies, doing back tests and more and more tests.

5. Finally, the expert advisor (or forex robot) can monitor many markets at once, giving you access to many more trading opportunities than you can physically find and analyse by yourself.


1. The robot (expert advisor) does not and will never have the feel for the human and the soft non-programmable issues. The trader must always look at the bigger picture, the fundamentals as well as the hundreds of other important issues which affect the ebb and flow of the forex market.

2. Many traders also choose to use expert advisors for the wrong reason. They believe that simply by trading with a robot they will automatically have better results or be better traders. Essentially, all an expert advisor will help you with is with trading consistency. It will just free up your time to focus on developing and testing your trading strategies instead of physically having to look for and execute trading opportunities.

by Giselle Sanchez - Learn more about building your own expert advisor, how to set up an expert advisor with Metatrader 4 and choose from over 40 of the best forex expert advisors.

Trading Oil and Gas Contracts Using CFDs

Many traders do not realise that Contracts for Difference can be used not just for stockmarket trading, but also in the forex and commodities markets, and one of the most liquid and exciting markets is crude oil and natural gas. CFDs are usually modelled in the same way as futures contracts, and consequently there are several contracts from which to choose in each category.

It is well known that the crude oil market is normally priced either as either Brent crude or US crude. The current spread between the two is about $3.5, Brent being higher, but this varies according to supply and demand, liquidity and other geopolitical issues.

Different contracts

Within each market, several expiration months are quoted and at the time of writing (June 2007) July, August and September CFDs are available. The difference in prices between the various contracts reflects the cost of carry and other seasonal factors as it would for all commodities.

What this means is that you do not pay financing interest on these CFDs, because all positions are rolled over into expiry and the contract values already price in the cost of carry.

What can you trade?

It is possible to trade various many different CFDs related to oil prices. These include:

Heating oil, for which there is a liquid US-based quote with several expirations

UK Oil and Gas sector CFDs

US Oil and Gas sector CFDs

Individual oil share CFDs including such varied names as Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil, Total-Fina, Exxon Mobil and many smaller oil company stocks around the world

US Natural Gas CFDs with various expirations

Calculating the margin on a US crude contract

As we analyse the US crude oil market every day in our US report, it is worth looking at this contract to calculate what margin is required on a trade.

The current most liquid contract is the July 2007 CFD, priced at $65.86 to $65.92

The margin requirement on most commodities is 3% of the total contract value.

The tick size is 0.01.

The contract value is calculated by this formula:

((Quantity) x (Price))/ Point= initial margin

Therefore if you were to buy 10 US Crude Oil CFDs at $65.92

(10 x 49.50)/ 0.01 x 0.03 = $1,978 initial margin.

The exposure per tick is worth $10.

For online traders, CFDs are an excellent way to gain exposure to the oil market as a speculative play, for hedging purposes, or when searching for good arbitrage possibilities. The markets are liquid and spreads are very attractive.

Mike Estrey is the Head of Research for Blue Index, specialists in Online CFD Trading, Contracts for Difference and Online Forex Trading.

Penny Stock Investing and Trading

If you ask anyone in the finance world what they think about penny stock investing or trading , the answer that you will probably get will be: Dont do it. You will lose your money since 90% of penny stock companies are scams. Penny stock companies just want to sell shares and are not interested in developing their businesses. The truth is that investing or trading penny stocks is a very risky business. So here is the most important tip about penny stocks: Invest only money that you can afford to lose.

If penny stocks are so risky then, why do people invest in or trade them? The answer is because you can make a lot of money in a short time if you know what you are doing.

If you are still reading and have decided that you want to trade penny stocks, you need the right tools and good advice to help you survive and even win some money.

Step # 1 Finding the Right Penny Stock to Buy

To discover the right one stock, you will have to do some investigation, or Due Diligence. There are a lot of websites that will help you with your DD and you can find a list of useful ones at

The following points will guide you in learning important information about a company in which you are interested in investing:

1. Share structure: AS (Shares Authorized) and OS (Outstanding Stock) and Float.
2. Transfer agent transparency
3. SEC filing
4. Financial track record
5. Competitive position in its industry
6. Business model
7. Earnings power
8. Valuation or the potential value of the company.

For example, when looking into share structure what you want to see is that there is no dilution. A good sign is when the company has maximized the OS and is close to AS. Watching Level 2 will also give you good indication if there is any dilution from the company. A good strategy is to follow insiders who know the company better than anyone else.

Step # 2 Deciding When to Buy

After finding the penny stock that you plan to buy, you have to find your entry point and how to execute it the right way. Following the trading in that particular stock for a few days together with chart analyzing will give you a lot of valuable information. At this point it is highly recommended for anyone to learn some basic chart reading or at least let others analyze the chart for you. You can ask for help on many of the popular message boards that discuss stock trading and chart analyzing. An important tip about how to execute the trade in a penny stock is: Be very patient and always try to buy at the BID price.

Step # 3 When to Sell or The Exit Strategy

The exit strategy is something very personal to different traders or investors. It is very important to implement your strategy immediately after executing the buy order. In most cases, a good idea would be to set a sell order of 50% of your position at around 20%-30% PPS spike. Another 10%-20% rise of PPS and then sell another 50% of your current position and let the rest ride for a while. In general, your exit strategy should be very flexible and change with news, momentum, and volume. 90% of the time, though, you should sell at the ASK so it wont affect the run.

TIP: Remember always to take profits.

Happy Trading

Ron Kaye is an editor for, Stock Investing and Trading Reports website that publishes stock articles, stock news, stock reports, and shares information on undervalued penny stocks.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Forex Options Market Overview

The forex options market started as an over-the-counter (OTC) financial vehicle for large banks, financial institutions and large international corporations to hedge against foreign currency exposure. Like the forex spot market, the forex options market is considered an "interbank" market. However, with the plethora of real-time financial data and forex option trading software available to most investors through the internet, today's forex option market now includes an increasingly large number of individuals and corporations who are speculating and/or hedging foreign currency exposure via telephone or online forex trading platforms.

Forex option trading has emerged as an alternative investment vehicle for many traders and investors. As an investment tool, forex option trading provides both large and small investors with greater flexibility when determining the appropriate forex trading and hedging strategies to implement.

Most forex options trading is conducted via telephone as there are only a few forex brokers offering online forex option trading platforms.

Forex Option Defined - A forex option is a financial currency contract giving the forex option buyer the right, but not the obligation, to purchase or sell a specific forex spot contract (the underlying) at a specific price (the strike price) on or before a specific date (the expiration date). The amount the forex option buyer pays to the forex option seller for the forex option contract rights is called the forex option "premium."

The Forex Option Buyer - The buyer, or holder, of a foreign currency option has the choice to either sell the foreign currency option contract prior to expiration, or he or she can choose to hold the foreign currency options contract until expiration and exercise his or her right to take a position in the underlying spot foreign currency. The act of exercising the foreign currency option and taking the subsequent underlying position in the foreign currency spot market is known as "assignment" or being "assigned" a spot position.

The only initial financial obligation of the foreign currency option buyer is to pay the premium to the seller up front when the foreign currency option is initially purchased. Once the premium is paid, the foreign currency option holder has no other financial obligation (no margin is required) until the foreign currency option is either offset or expires.

On the expiration date, the call buyer can exercise his or her right to buy the underlying foreign currency spot position at the foreign currency option's strike price, and a put holder can exercise his or her right to sell the underlying foreign currency spot position at the foreign currency option's strike price. Most foreign currency options are not exercised by the buyer, but instead are offset in the market before expiration.

Foreign currency options expires worthless if, at the time the foreign currency option expires, the strike price is "out-of-the-money." In simplest terms, a foreign currency option is "out-of-the-money" if the underlying foreign currency spot price is lower than a foreign currency call option's strike price, or the underlying foreign currency spot price is higher than a put option's strike price. Once a foreign currency option has expired worthless, the foreign currency option contract itself expires and neither the buyer nor the seller have any further obligation to the other party.

The Forex Option Seller - The foreign currency option seller may also be called the "writer" or "grantor" of a foreign currency option contract. The seller of a foreign currency option is contractually obligated to take the opposite underlying foreign currency spot position if the buyer exercises his right. In return for the premium paid by the buyer, the seller assumes the risk of taking a possible adverse position at a later point in time in the foreign currency spot market.

Initially, the foreign currency option seller collects the premium paid by the foreign currency option buyer (the buyer's funds will immediately be transferred into the seller's foreign currency trading account). The foreign currency option seller must have the funds in his or her account to cover the initial margin requirement. If the markets move in a favorable direction for the seller, the seller will not have to post any more funds for his foreign currency options other than the initial margin requirement. However, if the markets move in an unfavorable direction for the foreign currency options seller, the seller may have to post additional funds to his or her foreign currency trading account to keep the balance in the foreign currency trading account above the maintenance margin requirement.

Just like the buyer, the foreign currency option seller has the choice to either offset (buy back) the foreign currency option contract in the options market prior to expiration, or the seller can choose to hold the foreign currency option contract until expiration. If the foreign currency options seller holds the contract until expiration, one of two scenarios will occur: (1) the seller will take the opposite underlying foreign currency spot position if the buyer exercises the option or (2) the seller will simply let the foreign currency option expire worthless (keeping the entire premium) if the strike price is out-of-the-money.

Please note that "puts" and "calls" are separate foreign currency options contracts and are NOT the opposite side of the same transaction. For every put buyer there is a put seller, and for every call buyer there is a call seller. The foreign currency options buyer pays a premium to the foreign currency options seller in every option transaction.

Forex Call Option - A foreign exchange call option gives the foreign exchange options buyer the right, but not the obligation, to purchase a specific foreign exchange spot contract (the underlying) at a specific price (the strike price) on or before a specific date (the expiration date). The amount the foreign exchange option buyer pays to the foreign exchange option seller for the foreign exchange option contract rights is called the option "premium."

Please note that "puts" and "calls" are separate foreign exchange options contracts and are NOT the opposite side of the same transaction. For every foreign exchange put buyer there is a foreign exchange put seller, and for every foreign exchange call buyer there is a foreign exchange call seller. The foreign exchange options buyer pays a premium to the foreign exchange options seller in every option transaction.

The Forex Put Option - A foreign exchange put option gives the foreign exchange options buyer the right, but not the obligation, to sell a specific foreign exchange spot contract (the underlying) at a specific price (the strike price) on or before a specific date (the expiration date). The amount the foreign exchange option buyer pays to the foreign exchange option seller for the foreign exchange option contract rights is called the option "premium."

Please note that "puts" and "calls" are separate foreign exchange options contracts and are NOT the opposite side of the same transaction. For every foreign exchange put buyer there is a foreign exchange put seller, and for every foreign exchange call buyer there is a foreign exchange call seller. The foreign exchange options buyer pays a premium to the foreign exchange options seller in every option transaction.

Plain Vanilla Forex Options - Plain vanilla options generally refer to standard put and call option contracts traded through an exchange (however, in the case of forex option trading, plain vanilla options would refer to the standard, generic forex option contracts that are traded through an over-the-counter (OTC) forex options dealer or clearinghouse). In simplest terms, vanilla forex options would be defined as the buying or selling of a standard forex call option contract or a forex put option contract.

Exotic Forex Options - To understand what makes an exotic forex option "exotic," you must first understand what makes a forex option "non-vanilla." Plain vanilla forex options have a definitive expiration structure, payout structure and payout amount. Exotic forex option contracts may have a change in one or all of the above features of a vanilla forex option. It is important to note that exotic options, since they are often tailored to a specific's investor's needs by an exotic forex options broker, are generally not very liquid, if at all.

Intrinsic & Extrinsic Value - The price of an FX option is calculated into two separate parts, the intrinsic value and the extrinsic (time) value.

The intrinsic value of an FX option is defined as the difference between the strike price and the underlying FX spot contract rate (American Style Options) or the FX forward rate (European Style Options). The intrinsic value represents the actual value of the FX option if exercised. Please note that the intrinsic value must be zero (0) or above - if an FX option has no intrinsic value, then the FX option is simply referred to as having no (or zero) intrinsic value (the intrinsic value is never represented as a negative number). An FX option with no intrinsic value is considered "out-of-the-money," an FX option having intrinsic value is considered "in-the-money," and an FX option with a strike price at, or very close to, the underlying FX spot rate is considered "at-the-money."

The extrinsic value of an FX option is commonly referred to as the "time" value and is defined as the value of an FX option beyond the intrinsic value. A number of factors contribute to the calculation of the extrinsic value including, but not limited to, the volatility of the two spot currencies involved, the time left until expiration, the riskless interest rate of both currencies, the spot price of both currencies and the strike price of the FX option. It is important to note that the extrinsic value of FX options erodes as its expiration nears. An FX option with 60 days left to expiration will be worth more than the same FX option that has only 30 days left to expiration. Because there is more time for the underlying FX spot price to possibly move in a favorable direction, FX options sellers demand (and FX options buyers are willing to pay) a larger premium for the extra amount of time.

Volatility - Volatility is considered the most important factor when pricing forex options and it measures movements in the price of the underlying. High volatility increases the probability that the forex option could expire in-the-money and increases the risk to the forex option seller who, in turn, can demand a larger premium. An increase in volatility causes an increase in the price of both call and put options.

Delta - The delta of a forex option is defined as the change in price of a forex option relative to a change in the underlying forex spot rate. A change in a forex option's delta can be influenced by a change in the underlying forex spot rate, a change in volatility, a change in the riskless interest rate of the underlying spot currencies or simply by the passage of time (nearing of the expiration date).

The delta must always be calculated in a range of zero to one (0-1.0). Generally, the delta of a deep out-of-the-money forex option will be closer to zero, the delta of an at-the-money forex option will be near .5 (the probability of exercise is near 50%) and the delta of deep in-the-money forex options will be closer to 1.0. In simplest terms, the closer a forex option's strike price is relative to the underlying spot forex rate, the higher the delta because it is more sensitive to a change in the underlying rate.

John Nobile - Senior Account Executive
CFOS/FX - Online Forex Spot and Options Brokerage

Forex Mini Account

Forex market has many advantages over other foreign exchange markets and due to its very high profitability potential most of the people around the world are looking for entering into the world of Forex trading. But one of the main worries of the new forex trader is if he needs lots of money in order to get accessed to this Fx market and also start placing trades. It is not necessary that you need to be super-rich or the owner of a big corporation. You just need a few dollars and the right strategy to start profiting from Forex trading. Mini forex trading is an outstanding way for small investors to learn about and take part in forex trading and with the most forex brokers presenting a leverage of 100:1, mini forex trading will allow you to control a $10,000 currency position with a deposit of only $100. Mini forex trading is a great way to get a feel for forex trading and learn the tricks and skills desired to succeed without having to go to great expenditure.

One greater new for the starting of forex trader is that there is no maximum trade volume when you use a forex mini account. Although the standard trade size is 10,000 units, you are not limited to trading one lot. For instance, you can trade 10,000 units or even 200,000 units. You can gradually increase the size of your positions to maximize profits as you become more seasoned and build up your confidence. The ability to customize the size of the trade will allow you to have a better risk management of your money. Once you have entered the world of Forex trading you will be finding it immediately that this field is not just about entering trades into your brokers trading station, but for gaining profits.

The only way for reaching your goal of becoming a profitable currency trader is by finding the best sources to learn forex trading. You can start practicing with a paper trading account, which is highly recommended, and this will give you the feeling of what a real trading account is as you gain the knowledge and skills you need and without the constant fear of losing your money in a bad move you may make. Once you have been profitable with a paper trading account the next natural step would be to open a mini forex trading account, but with real money. But even considering you are risking real money this time, it would be just a few dollars on the table that will be at risk; and on the positive side, you will have the chance of gaining real money from your Forex trading skills, which at the end is the ultimate aim of all traders.

Tamil Selvi is a SEO copywriter for Can contact her at

Rules of Simple IRA Your Business Needs to Know

A Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees plan, better known as a SIMPLE plan, is an IRA-based retirement plan available to employers with fewer than 100 employees.

Under a SIMPLE IRA plan, an employee can contribute a portion of his pay to his SIMPLE IRA account. An employee can make a maximum contribution of $9,000, ($10,500 if age 50 and over), to his SIMPLE IRA account for 2004. You, the employer, are required to make a contribution for every worker who receives $5,000 or more in compensation.

You can match up to 3% of the salary for the employees who contribute to their SIMPLE IRA account. You only have to match for those employees who contribute to the plan. In any 2 years out of a 5 year period, after notification to the employees, you may elect a lower matching contribution percentage but not less than 1% of salary.

Your business also has the option to select a non-elective mandatory company match of 2% of annual salary for every employee. Under the non-elective contribution formula, even if an eligible employee doesnt contribute to his SIMPLE IRA, you must still contribute to his account 2% of his salary.

Advantages of the SIMPLE IRA

  • Less expensive than a 401(k)

Disadvantages of the SIMPLE IRA

  • A special tax penalty of 25% unique to the SIMPLE IRA for withdrawals made within the first two years of opening a SIMPLE plan. (Congress is considering eliminating this tax).

  • A SIMPLE IRA is much less flexible than a 401(k) plan.

  • Employer must make contributions for all eligible employees.

  • No contributions can be made to other qualified retirement plans.

  • All contributions are immediately vested, meaning all contributions belong right away to the employee.

  • A SIMPLE IRA plan can only be terminated prospectively, beginning no earlier than the next calendar year. Contributions must continue until the plan is terminated.

  • A SIMPLE IRA must be set up at least 60 days prior to year end. Thus, October 1, is the last day to set up a new SIMPLE IRA for the calendar year.

  • No loans allowed.

While the SIMPLE IRA make senses under certain circumstances, this plan comes with a lot of strings attached. If your business has no employees and you do not expect to hire employees in the near future, consider using a Solo 401(k) with a loan feature instead of a SIMPLE IRA. And, if you have more than 20 employees, look at setting up a regular 401(k) as an alternative.

To terminate a SIMPLE IRA plan, notify the financial institution that you chose to handle the SIMPLE IRA plan that you will not be making contributions for the next calendar year and that you want to terminate the contract or agreement with it. You must also notify your employees that the SIMPLE IRA plan will be discontinued.

About The Author

Daniel Lamaute, CEO of Lamaute Capital, Inc. ( specializes in setting up retirement plans. You may visit to access a free calculator that will help you estimate what your maximum contribution might be under different plans.

Property In Bulgaria What Is All That About?

Property in Bulgaria has caused so much activity amongst all involved in the overseas property industry that you can easily get dizzy from the amount of information and property available in the region. One thing is for sure Bulgaria as an emerging market that is set to change the former member of the Soviet Union forever

Bulgarian facts

Bulgaria officially the Republic of Bulgaria is a country in Southeastern Europe, It borders the Black Sea to the east, Greece and Turkey to the south, Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia to the west, and Romania to the north, mostly along the Danube.

Modern Bulgaria

Bulgaria opened its doors to tourism and foreign investment the early 1990s. Bulgaria's 8 million inhabitants live in an area as large as England and enjoy an attractive mix of landscapes which have made Bulgaria such a popular holiday destination. Its sunny Black sea coast attracts holiday makers in the summer. Its Ski resorts in Bansko, Barovets and mount Vitosha make it an affordable place to ski in the winter. The quiet Bulgarian villages, historic buildings and cosmopolitan cities make it ideal place to visit all year round. Investors tip the Capital Sofia as a sound place to invcest in property abroad.

Property in Sofia Bulgaria

Sofia is getting richer and is definitely on its way up both business and tourism help make the city an attractive place to invest. Businesses are setting up in Sofia and evidence around the city is clear with impressive modern buildings, multi national company offices, BMW and Porsche dealerships to name but a few. Tourists visit the city all year round, helped by low cost airlines flying into Sofia Airport. The impressive architecture makes Sofia a good place to wander around; churches such as the Aleksander Nevski Memorial Church will always attract those looking for a relaxing city break. Property investors buying property in Sofia do not need to rely on seasonal tenants to fill their investment properties. The combination of local and foreign employees and visitors to Sofia make the city an attractive place to invest.

Buying property in Bulgaria the process

Buying property in Bulgaria means in most cases that overseas property buyers will need to set up a limited company. The exception to this is when a buyer purchases a leasehold property such as an apartment. In this case you do not own the land and therefore foreign buyers can buy Bulgarian property without the need to set up a Bulgarian registered company. Entry to the EU in 2007 will hopefully see these rules change

Nicholas Marr is a lifetime property investor and CEO of Marr International Ltd a UK based property marketing company that is responsible for one of the worlds leading overseas property web sites at More information re Property in Bulgaria is at

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Return of Sci-Fi - Texas Hospital Patients May Soon Be Talking To Robots

Your doctor may soon be a robot, or so the whispers warn. Sound like something out of a bad science-fiction movie? Well, maybe you should ask whichever physician shows up on-screen of the RP-7 Remote Presence Robotic System by InTouch Technologies, a maneuverable robotic system designed to allow physicians to videoconference with their patients from remote locations.

Dr. Alex Gandsas, of Baltimores Sinai Hospital and holder of stock options with InTouch Technologies, introduced the machine to hospital administrators as a way to closely monitor patients after the weight loss surgeries in which he specializes. Since its introduction, the length of his patients stays has been shorter. In Gandsas study published earlier this month in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 92 of 376 patients had additional robotic visits, and all 92 of them were medically cleared to return home faster than those who did not receive check-ins with the teleconferencing system. Shorter patient stays would be a welcome change for hospitals, health insurance companies, and patients alike -- all of which have a vested interested in sending patients home faster.

While further studies should, without a doubt, be performed by physicians who do not hold a financial interest in the technology, these preliminary results do show promise. The robotic visits were not used by Gandsas to replace his personal check-ins with patients -- only to add to them. Neither InTouch Technologies, nor Dr. Gandsas envisions the Bari, or so its nicknamed, as completely replacing personal visits with healthcare professionals. Instead, the joystick-controlled system, which employs cameras, a video screen, and microphone, is intended to supplement physicians traditional visits, and to allow patients and healthcare workers to receive advice from qualified physicians and specialists when it may otherwise be impossible. Doctors may soon be able to provide their patients with additional daily check-ins and answer questions much faster, all while sitting in their own homes or while away from the area.

Sinai Hospital isnt the only one with this technology, however. In fact, robots have been in use for some time to assist with patient care, including guiding stroke patients through therapy, and helping them play video games. Many prosthetic devices are now at least partially robotic, and if it werent for a certain amount of robotic technology, the public would not be able to communicate with such great minds as Steven Hawkins.

Johns Hopkins also has a robotic teleconferencing system to help communicate with patients who need a translator when one is not available at the hospital itself. Use of such technology could have tremendously positive effects on Texas healthcare system -- particularly in Dallas, Houston, and Austin -- which handles a high volume of patients who do not speak English. Lack of adequate communication is a major obstacle to receiving quality healthcare for many immigrants in Texas. Lack of quality healthcare, in turn, can lead to serious public health issues, including the transmission of communicable diseases.

Approximately 120 RP-7 Remote Presence Robotic Systems are currently in use around the world, with plans to implement many more in the coming years. China is already using similar systems to help deal with the lack of medical care in rural, inaccessible areas.

Dr. Louis Kavoussi, chairman of the urology department at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, took a special interest in this new trend and conducted a study monitoring the effect of the technology on patient care. The study showed no decrease in patient satisfaction, and no increase in complications due to teleconferencing visits. The technology, Kavoussi said, is rudimentary, really, in comparison to other developing systems. The need for fear is minimal.

There are relatively few of InTouch Technologies systems available, and further studies have yet to be conducted. If robotic teleconferencing is used as a supplement to personal physicians visits, however, it has the potential of dramatically improving many aspects of healthcare -- from how quickly patients questions are answered, to how many visits, in total, they receive, to whether or not rural residents receive proper care, to how well (or even if) they are provided with a translator to explain their symptoms. States like Texas, in particular, with shortages of doctors and high volumes of patients who do not speak English, stand to benefit. So maybe robots in hospitals arent something one needs to fear. In fact, they may even get your unpleasant stay over with a few days faster.

Being aware of medical technology is an important part of taking care of your health. How you take care of yourself will certainly affect you as you age, and eventually your wallet, as well.

If youre a young individual who tries to keep informed and maintain a healthy condition and lifestyle, you should take a look at the revolutionary, comprehensive and highly-affordable individual health insurance solutions created by Precedent specifically for you. Visit our website,, for more information. We offer a unique and innovative suite of individual health insurance solutions, including highly-competitive HSA-qualified plans, and an unparalleled "real time" application and acceptance experience.

Precedent puts a new spin on health insurance. Learn more at

Avoid Losing On Stock Options Part 3

In this example, you trade exposure on 100 shares of stock for exposure on 300 shares, but you avoid or delay exercise as well. At the same time, you net out additional cash profits, which reduces your overall basis in the stock. This makes exercise more acceptable later on. Of course, you can continue to use rolling techniques to avoid exercise. Another important point worth evaluating is the potential tax advantage or consequence. Options are taxed in the year that positions are closed; so when you roll forward, you recognize a loss in the original call transaction, which can be deducted on your current year's federal income tax return. At the same time, by rolling forward you receive a net payment while deferring profits, perhaps to the following year. However, because the roll forward may involve in-the-money positions, the stock profit may revert to a short-term gain instead of the more favorable long-term gain.

The roll forward maintains the same striking price and buys you time, which makes sense when the stock's value has gone up. However, the plan does not always suit the circumstances. Another rolling method is called the roll down.

Example: Repetitive Profits: You originally bought 100 shares of stock at $31 per share, and later sold a call with a striking price of 35, for a premium of 3. The stock has fallen in value and your call now is worth 1. You cancel (buy) the call and realize a profit of $200, and immediately sell a call with a striking price of 30, receiving a premium of 4.

If the option is exercised at its striking price of 30, the net loss in the stock will be $100; but your net profit in option premium would be $600, so your overall profit would be $500:

Striking price of shares $3,000
Less original price of shares -3,100
Loss on stock-100
Profit on first call sold 200
Profit on second call sold 400
Net profit$500

The roll down is an effective way to offset losses in stock positions in a declining market, as long as the price decline is not severe. Profits in the call premium offset losses to a degree, reducing your basis in the stock. This works as long as the point drop in stock does not exceed the offset level in call premium. You face a different problem in a rising market, where the likelihood of exercise motivates you to take steps to move from in-the-money to out-of-the-money status, or to reduce the degree of in-the-money. In that situation, you may use the roll up.

Example: Trading Losses for Profits: You originally paid $31 per share for 100 shares of stock, and later sold a call with a striking price of 35. The stock's current market value has risen to $39 per share. You cancel (buy) the call and accept a loss, offsetting that loss by selling another call with a striking price of 40 and more time to go until expiration.

With this technique, the loss in the original call can be replaced by the premium in the new call. With more time to go until expiration, the net cash difference is in your favor. This technique depends on time value to make it profitable. In some cases, the net difference will be minimal or may even cost money. However, considering you will be picking up an extra five points in the striking price by avoiding exercise, you can afford a loss in the roll up as long as it does not exceed that five-point difference.

Tip: Rolling techniques can help you to maximize option returns without going through exercise, most of the time. But the wise seller is always prepared to give up shares. That is the nature of selling options.

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The Secret Of Making Money In The Stock Market

You may have wondered if there are people out there who consistently make money from the stock market. And yes, there are people out there who are consistently making money from the stock market because if they were not making money from market they would not be there and the markets would not be there too. These people are no smarter than you. They do not work any harder and neither are they lucky than you.

But, unlike you, they never seem to worry about having money because they know one or two secrets of making money in the stock market. You see most people miss the big idea here. They think it takes a lot of money to make a lot of money. But that is not how it is done. The idea is to make pennies consistently and to use them to build vast personal fortunes. The stock market is a proven wealth builder and can and should benefit all participants. It is only fair that each one of us should be entitled to a piece of the action.

One thing these traders know is that the market is not an issue of trial and error but a fully quantifiable market by any fundamental Mathematics. You see, when we went to school we learn about the Standard Deviation in probability and statistics. This Standard Deviation is Mathematics and is quantifiable in modern science. Standard deviation was introduced by Mathematician Karl Pearson in 1893 although the idea was by then nearly a century old. This is the single most important idea that should explains all those mysteries, myths and legends you hear of in stock market.

Everything on this planet has properties and, or, characteristics. A stock, just like you and me, has properties and these properties are quantified by calculating the Standard Deviation of the stock. It varies from stock to stock. Our brains are lazy and what we can not understand we turn to astrology which gives our brains a rest. Rather than use planets in signs of the zodiac and financial astrology, or imagining of the latest rumors, invest that time in the study of probability and statistics. If its not you to study, who should? Probability and Statistics is that study that has to do with tossing a coin to get a tail or a head. And as simple as it may sound, tossing a coin and getting a head for only two consecutive times is an extremely very difficulty thing contrary to what our lazy brains would want us to believe.

Standard Deviation is all about vibrations. Vibrations is like in music, vibrations in a string, water vibrations, earthquake vibrations, light and electromagnetic vibrations. The stock market is like vibrations too. For the price to move it must vibrate. The stock spends a lot of time vibrating in a neutral sideway range which unfortunately we do not like. We want the stock to go to the roof the next day after we have bought it. Vibrations are waves. Waves have crests and troughs and travels from one price to another. One crest is often followed by a second crest which is followed by a third crest and so on and so forth. Every crest is separated by a trough to create an alternating pattern of crest and troughs.

Like a bouncing tennis ball, a lower bounce than the previous bounce means the ball is coming to a halt. In the stock market, strength is quantified by series of crests where each crest exceeds the highest point of the previous crest and weakness by series of troughs where each trough goes lower than the lowest point of the previous trough.

People out there will tell you to trade in the direction of trend and they go further to say getting the trend is easy : do this and that. Contrary to the believe that determining the stock's trend is easy, in real time this is very difficulty and you can not have a probability of 100%, otherwise each one of us would be a winner in the market. Some investment advisers and the media are either oblivious and always bullish or immoral, merely giving the public what it wants. It s only a question of, is it this group of stocks or that group, this sector or that sector?

Back to crests and troughs. Whenever two crests meet up with one another they produce a bigger crest which is constructive, and, whenever a crest and a trough meet one another they tend to cancel each other producing a smaller trough or crest which is destructive. If you have ever wondered why carpenters saw the wood in the directions of the grains rather than up against the grains, wonder no more - these guys find it easier and the bundles they produce are sliced clearly leaving a smooth surface with minimum defects.

A bigger crest or trough is made up of smaller troughs and crests. How many of the smaller ones makes the bigger trough and crest is the puzzle that will make our lazy brains consult astrology. Lets leave that as it is because the market moves yoyo, so we comfort ourselves.

The real forces that move the markets are the moving averages. They are a measure of accumulation of strength and weakness over time due to news, economic growth reports, manipulation, fear and greed. There are many moving averages just as there are different types of traders. It is through the dynamics of the moving averages that there are crests and troughs. The bad thing about these moving averages is that they only tell us about what happened rather than what is happing.

One of the most successful trading tool since time immemorial is multiple moving averages crossover, and the acceleration in all averages is either positive in all averages or negative in all averages that you are using. If the acceleration in averages is positive, you go long, and if the acceleration is negative, you go short. This really is multiple time frame where you trade using the shorter trend but only if the longer trend supports it.

Good trading requires you to have safety measures upfront. Always make sure that every trading position that you open has a corresponding stop loss order, repeat, every position that you open has a corresponding stop loss order. I can repeat this until breakfast tomorrow. Trading without stop loss orders is like driving an automobile with faulty breaking system. Every now and then check to see if your stop loss orders are still active. If your broker's system fails, when it come back it may come without your stop loss orders. These stops are not free. It is among those fees that should keep your broker in business and you should grandly pay him even if your stops are rarely used. And why not? And talking about brokers, get yourself a good and inexpensive broker. There are many out there. A broker who charges more than $1.0 per 100 shares of stock is expensive and if you are paying more than that, then you will develop fear of exiting trades as you contemplates the broker's commission you are to incur. A good broker should embrace modern technology and you should promote them because if its not you, then who? And never get married into certain stocks. A company and its stock are two very different things. A stock that is not making money for you is not a thing. Throw it to the dogs.

The Author's website The Secret of Making Money in the Stock Market is designed to help beginners and average traders make money in the Stock Market. In view of the above I have considered only proven mathematical logics. I now shall invite you to join me here as I attempt to intermarry all these logics and predict profitable market directions with Precision. And if you have been wondering if there are people out there who consistently make money from the stock market, wonder no more.

Selling Uncovered Calls - Part 2

You will need approval in advance from your brokerage firm before you will be allowed to sell calls. Each firm is required to ensure that you understand the risks involved, that you fully understand the options market, and that you have adequate equity and income to undertake those risks.

You will not be allowed to write an unlimited number of naked calls. The potential losses, both to you and to the brokerage firm, place natural limits on this activity. Everyone who wants to sell calls is required to sign a document acknowledging the risks and stating that they understand those risks. In part, this statement includes the following:

Special Statement for Uncovered Option Writers

There are special risks associated with uncovered option writing which expose the investor to potentially significant loss. Therefore, this type of strategy may not be suitable for all customers approved for options transactions.

1. The potential loss of uncovered call writing is unlimited. The writer of an uncovered call is in an extremely risky position, and may incur large losses if the value of the underlying instrument increases above the exercise price.

2. As with writing uncovered calls, the risk of writing uncovered put options is substantial. The writer of an uncovered put option bears a risk of loss if the value of the underlying instrument declines below the exercise price. Such loss could be substantial if there is a significant decline in the value of the underlying instrument.

3. Uncovered option writing is thus suitable only for the knowledgeable investor who understands the risks, has the financial capacity and willingness to incur potentially substantial losses, and has sufficient liquid assets to meet applicable margin requirements. In this regard, if the value of the underlying instrument moves against an uncovered writer's options position, the investor's broker may request significant additional margin payments. If an investor does not make such margin payments, the broker may liquidate stock or options positions in the investor's account, with little or no prior notice in accordance with the investor's margin agreement.

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Day Trading the Emini - Training Ground For Big Contracts

In 1997 the Chicago Mercantile Exchange created a new financial instrument known as the emini futures contract. It started off small but now is a fully mature market with excellent liquidity.

Now in 2005, the emini futures contract is an investment vehicle of choice, for beginning and experienced futures traders the world over.

In this introductory article, I just want to have a look at why that is. You see for an investment vehicle to gain wide appeal it has to have a few characteristics.

It needs to be accessible to a wide public. The emini is such a vehicle. The minimum you need is around $500 to get started, instead of $5000 or more with regular futures.

It needs to be liquid, in other words there must be enough buyers to buy when you want to sell and sellers to sell when you want to buy.

The emini is very liquid.

There needs to be a significant profit. The structure of a well traded account is such that with a small amount of start-up capital very significant profits can be made, enough actually to trade for a living.

The taxation situation is very advantageous, in many jurisdictions only being capital gains tax - you should always check with a professional before making an investment decision.

The lifestyle of a successful emini futures trader can be very comfortable, an hour or so of trading in the morning and that's it for the day. It's possible to make $500 or $1000 in an hour or so depending upon how many contracts you trade. It's also possible to lose just as much, which is my obligatory sobering statement to any gamblers out there.

It's this lifestyle that gives it such appeal to people like you and me.

  • Freedom from the man
  • Working from home
  • Spending more time with the family

But that is the positive. On the dark side, with futures and emini futures there is financial risk, so this is not something that one goes into untrained.

That would merely be gambling. Successful investing, is not so much about being right or wrong or the roll of the dice, but about money management, patience and discipline to following a system. If you are a gambler then stay away from futures, for you will surely lose and can lose big.

If you are willing to learn and trade a system, and utilise money management principles then you can join the ranks of an group of successful traders are making significant profits from home.

Graeme Sprigge is the webmaster of, a site which presents and reviews more than ten quality emini day trading courses and systems. Graeme has a keen interest in investing in options, shares and futures trading. Visit to get an eye-opening free ebook, The Truth about Day Trading

Gann His Trading Method's Made Millions Learn Them For a Profit Edge

W D Gann is one of the most famous traders of all time and his unique methods helped him make a fortune of around $50.00 million and best of all he wrote and recorded the way he did it, so anyone can have access to his trading strategy and aplly it for profit.

Trading is one of the ways that small traders can start with small stakes and build real wealth quickly.

The good news is everything about trading can be specifically learned and Gann outlined all his methods in writing for traders to profit from and enjoy today.

His methods are applicable to any financial market from forex to stocks to bonds so you can choose where to apply them, depending on the risk you wish to take.

Lets look at why you should study Gann and his methods of making money.

1. He Had a Track Record

Many e-book sellers or traders sell information but its worthless they dont trade it themselves and simply make up a track record.

Gann made money and his track record and invited newspapers and journalists to track his trades such was his confidence in how to make money.

2. Gann and the Law of the Market Movement

Gann pointed out quite rightly, that market prices depended on humans and that their psychology was constant Because human nature was constant this nature would show up in repetitive price patterns that could be traded for profit

Gann was a technical trader and like all charts believed that what happened in the past would happen again and the key to making profits was to look for recurring price patterns to put the odds in his favor

3. Ganns method
The method was based upon several concepts and one revolutionary which was his concept of price and time.

Gann believed that important price movements occurred when price and time converged.

If price and time however were in synch or did not converge, then time was more important than price.

Time for Gann was the ultimate indicator for seeking clues to price direction.

As he once said:

"Just remember one thing, whatever has happened in the past in the stock market and Wall Street will happen again."

Advances in bull markets will come in the future, and panics will come in the future, just as they have in the past. This is the working out of a natural law"

Gann had many components of his trading plan and his work with the Fibonacci number sequence and Gann angles were legendary.

5. Learning Ganns Methods

If you have never traded before you will have to make yourself familiar with the concepts of technical analysis and there is plenty of free material on the net.

Then simply buy is books and study them They take a little while to get to grips with and you will need to practice the method, but it will be time well spent.

When you have finished your study you will have a method that you can understand and apply with confidence which is the key to trading with discipline and you know it is based on sound logic as it made real dollars in real trading.

Gann has been dead for over half a century, yet savvy traders all around the world are still building wealth applying his unique and proven methods.


On all aspects of becoming a profitable trader including features, downloads and some critical FREE Trader PDF's and more FREE Forex Education visit our website at

Forex Strategies

Forex strategies are essential for a forex trader to profit from the market. Forex trading strategies make a trader more sophisticated and confident by helping him in making right calculations about the market. In a market with always changing exchange rates it is foolishness to trade hysterically by just following the emotions or advices from unreliable sources.

There are lots of forex trading strategies followed by forex traders. They can be broadly classified in to two type of strategies are profit maximizing strategies and risk minimizing strategies. The strategy differs with individuals as each trader has unique needs and has unique trading abilities. A trader must design a forex trading strategy according to many factors such as his or her initial investment, account size, trading ability, risk tolerance, currency pairs trading, geographical limitations/advantages, the broker to which he is affiliated, the trading system he/she uses, the profit goal (short-term profit or long-term profit), etc.

The most followed forex profit maximizing strategy is the leverage. Leverage allows forex traders to trade with more funds than in his or her account. The leverages are provided by the forex brokers to their clients. The usual leverage is 100:1 i.e., for $1 in account the trader can borrow $100 from his broker. Day traders get much more leverage than other traders and the ratio leverage differ with brokers and also with the account minimum, type of contract trading etc.

The most popular forex risk minimizing strategy is the stop loss order. Stop loss orders help traders to limit their loss by stopping a trade at a preset price. Forex trading systems allows traders to set their stop loss order prices. One related strategy is the trailing stop losses, which are proportional stop loss prices that come into play only when the prices are falling. There are also many other types of stop loss orders available which mainly depends on the broker to which the trader is affiliated to.

One another related strategy is the automated order entry. Automated order entry enables a trader to enter into a trade at a preset price rate automatically. The trader can set the price at his trading platform. Automated order entry methods help traders to enter the market at most favorable time. Apart from these strategies forex traders can use forex futures and forex options to cover the loss and well as to cover the profit. These contracts help forex traders to buy or sell currencies at a predetermined rate at a point of time in future.

Apart from these trading strategies, forex trader follow many other strategies for choosing currency pairs, trading hours, entrance and exit prices etc. Irrespective of the type of the strategy, all forex strategies involve risks. The success of a forex strategy depends on many factors like the market condition and the discipline of the trader.

Praveen Ortec works for, an Online Forex Trading Broker offering free advanced Forex Trading System and forex trading information through Stock and Forex Market Trading Blogs.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Nasdaq Q's (NASDAQ: QQQQ) and S&P SPYDRS (AMEX: SPY) Traders - Being Right, Or Making Money?

When a market timer trading index funds such as the Rydex Nova Fund and Rydex OTC Fund makes a trading decision based on a news event, fear of losing out on a rally or of losing money in a sell off, or even the stock broker neighbor's trading tip, he or she is trading on emotions.

Wishing Your Were Right

Trading on emotions, news events, market rallies, etc. is basically trading on a WISH.

There is no basis for the trade, at least none that can be counted on to last. There is nothing but "the moment." The trader wishes he or she will be right.

Odds of winning? Slim.

Trades made on wishes have no plan behind them. There is no exit strategy. Invariably, the trade is held until losses become painful enough to force the trader to emotionally sell at a loss.

Making Money

No one makes money on Wall Street without a trading plan. No One! There is only "one way" to be certain of being profitable.

Market timers and traders who have a strategy for entering and exiting positions, and who follow their rules, on a timely basis without hesitation, make money.

Those who trade by daily news events, daily or weekly rallies & declines, and TV hype, will "always" end up losing money. Remember, for every winning trade in the stock market, there is a losing trade on the other side. Only those who follow a plan consistently make the winning trades.

One of the most important questions you must ask yourself is:

Do you want to BE RIGHT for a short time. Or do you want to MAKE MONEY for a long time.

Ignore the news. Ignore the daily ups and downs. You have no control over them anyway. No one knows what the next day will bring. No one!

Wishing will not help. Watching the financial news religiously will not help. There is just no way to know what will happen tomorrow, or even what will happen next week.

But a successful trading plan that creates unemotional buy and sell decisions will, over time, make even the most emotional person, a successful market timer.

Frank Kollar has been timing the financial markets since 1982, with online service since 1996. He is a dedicated trend timer. Kollar is editor and chief analyst at ( which offers market timing strategies for S&P and Nasdaq index fund traders, as well as bond, gold, small cap, sector, ETF and stock trading strategies.

Real Estate Transfer Taxes Overlooked Sale or Purchase Expense

A real estate transfer tax is a one-time tax paid at the closing of a property, and is considered a stream of revenue for state budgets. This transfer tax though, once collected is not generally used for housing-related purposes. The tax is based on the value of a property as agreed to by the parties in a real estate contract.

In the excitement of selling or buying a home, often the real estate transfer tax cost is overlooked. Depending on locale, either the buyer or seller pays the tax at closing or escrow, but beware in New Hampshire both the buyer and seller pay, half of 1.5%!. In some states it can be a formidable amount, you should be prepared for what the transfer taxes will be, and who pays them, before you start a home search or list your home for-sale.

The good news is, thirteen states don't have a real estate property tax. They are: Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

The bad news is that the remaining thirty-seven states and The District of Columbia charge taxes on the transfer of a property. The tax is only levied once when a property is exchanged between parties, unlike general property taxes which are paid annually and are based on the assessed value. Real estate transfer taxes range from a low of .01% in Colorado to a high of 1.28% in Washington state.

Variations on transfer taxes include; in Arizona only charges a tax on deeds. However Alabama and Florida charge on deeds and mortgages. To avoid financial surprises, inquire early as to who pays (buyer or seller) and how much transfer taxes will be. Some states dictate who pays the tax, and some just want the tax paid. This cost can typically be negotiated between the parties. Consult an experienced real estate attorney.

A handy online link for transfer taxes for all fifty states. Resource Center/Realty Transfer Tax/Transfer tax chart.pdf

Mark Nash, is a residential real estate author, broker, columnist and writer based in Chicago. His fourth book 1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home received eighteen five star reviews on His latest book; Real Estate A-Z for Buying & Selling a Home will be published in December 2006. Mark publishes a free monthly ezine for real estate professionals. Agent to Agent features ten articles that offer free reprints for agents, home buyers and sellers through . Real estate news and book reviews, Celebrity Homestyles, Home selling and buying tips and advice, Joke-of-the-Month, Help this Agent, and agent marketing tips. Over 5000 subscribers in the U.S. & Canada. Subscribe at:

Harry, The Arrogant Bank Boss

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I promised I would share the story of what happened with the "bank boss" during the late eighties, early nineties. The story you're about to read was a time of tremendous adversity for me.

Every single person that appears on the stage of our lives has something to contribute, regardless of the outcome. They all take on the role of a teacher with a lesson plan or two.

David, the Bully, was one central character. If he hadnt approached me on the playground that day, I wouldnt have a unique story to share with my audiences. I would also not have known how much courage I really had to stand up for myself on that fateful day.

Harry is another such character. His name is fictitious to protect the innocent (or maybe not so innocent). Little did I know I was in for the ride of my life when I was transferred into his department.

It didn't take long to learn that this man had a reputation for publicly chewing out his subordinates over everything and anything that went wrong. Minor and major events were one and the same. Harry trusted no one and rarely promoted from within. His inner circle consisted of long-time cronies who were "yes-yes-yes-yes" people. Fear and intimidation often ruled the day -- no one challenged him.

Within a short period of time after my transfer, I faced each day with a sickly feeling in my stomach because I never knew what the day was going bring. Harry was like Jekyll and Hyde. One day he would be enraged and the next he'd do a complete turnabout, laughing, joking and having fun. We often knew first thing in the morning whether Harry would be in a bad mood. If he was, we joked amongst ourselves who would be the boss' "whipping boy"' that day. Yours truly certainly had his share of the whip.

At the time, Wall Street was undergoing massive restructuring due to the 1987 stock market crash where thousands were laid off. Job security was shaky at best. In fact, you were considered quite lucky if you had a job those days. This added uncertainty to an already pervasive work environment at the bank. Unfortunately, working for Harry only made things more a lot more challenging.

One day, I stumbled across Norman Vincent Peale's book, The Power of Positive Thinking. This gift of a book that seemed to come out of nowhere was exactly what I needed because one chapter, "New Thoughts Can Remake You" encouraged me to change my perception of the bank boss. In there was a powerful, yet simple idea:

To change your circumstances, first start thinking differently.

I took that sentence and ran with it as if my life depended on it. The moment I read it, I made a decision that I was going to change my attitude and perceive Harry in an entirely different light.

Every morning before going to work, I sat on my couch, closed my eyes and put the power of visualization to work for me. I imagined Harry as a frightened, insecure human being who might have ruled the office with an iron fist but was dramatically transformed into a loving, doting grandfather at home. In my mind's eye, he was seen romping around his backyard beaming and hugging his grandkids. I did this for months with dramatic results.

The reason I saw him in this way was because on the days when he was in a good mood, he would chatter incessantly about his grandchildren to everyone who would listen. As he was talking, his eyes -- often called the window to a person's soul -- gave us a rare glimpse beyond the Jekyll and Hyde facade. His million dollar smile literally knocked off your socks if you were fortunate to be nearby. It was an astonishing sight to behold.

Once this grandfatherly image took root in my subconscious, I couldn't help but transcend the illusion of power he had over me. It put a positive spin on my attitude toward him because I no longer perceived him as a tyrant.

Although he certainly wasn't aware I was doing this, he did notice a different, more positive energy about me. Naturally, this made him curious. He took more of an interest in my abilities rather than focusing on my disabilities. Eventually I was treated as an ally rather than as someone to keep at an arm's length, dramatically transforming the nature of our boss-employee relationship. No longer did I feel sick in the mornings - in fact, I actually looked forward to work!

Almost a year later, Harry did the unimaginable.

He pulled me into his office on the day of our performance reviews and gave me the shock of my life with an announcement that he was promoting me to a senior staff position! I almost fell off my chair. Within hours, the entire division heard about it. Everyone knew a miracle had happened. So did I.

A few months later, I received an opportunity to work for Merrill Lynch. It was as if the universe was telling me, "good job, you learned a powerful lesson and now it's time to move on."

Food for thought: Even people who pushed our buttons and make our lives more challenging are teachers put on our path to help us learn our lessons. They should be remembered too.

Profoundly deaf since birth, Stephen Hopson is a former award-winning stockbroker turned motivational speaker, author and pilot. He works with organizations that are ready to explore and overcome adversity because no one is immune from it - adversity does not discriminate. His professional speaking services, Obstacle Illusions, include fun and passionate presentations, especially the story of how his fifth grade teacher forever changed his young life with THAT'S RIGHT STEPHEN! You can view his website at Stephen also maintains a blog called "Adversity University" at

Currency Trading Courses - What Makes a Good Training Manual?

Many Forex courses use past information and facts as a basis for their training materials. The main problem with this is that they do not spend enough time on the practical side of investing. A better than average currency trading course should be able to help you understand the practical and technical workings of the Forex market which in turn will help yoin in developing and applying a strategy that you have formulated yourself.

Good courses should not spoon-feed you all of the information, sure they should teach you new things but it is important they also get you thinking for yourself. This is the only way you will learn how to apply the information they preach. You should be asked to think of your own approach to solving a particular problem.

Another sign that you have found a great course is if the manual is able to provide you with some first hand experience of the market or at least something simulating it. Video demonstrations, access to a safe, practice trading arena and a good level of support are always good signs that the currency trading course in question is worth purchasing.

Whilst Forex courses have their advantages, the one thing that has no substitute is confidence. A currency trading course must implant in you a confident attitude in making decisions related to Forex trading. Trading after all, is about taking risks and that is not possible until and unless you are confident about your own abilities.

When you are buying a currency trading educational course you must be sure that the material it offers you will prime you for successful trading in the real world not just in a practice environment. You will have to make a number of decisions in Forex trading and these actions that you choose will depend a lot on your instincts and on the knowledge. Therefore you are using the course to gain knowledge, which in turn builds your trading confidence and brings better results - thats the theory anyway!

It goes without saying that like any other field you want to enter, you need to have a basic understanding of the field. Forex trading is no different, if anything it is even more important to understand the fundamentals of the market than with any other market. Unlike stock trading you do not just need knowledge in one company or industry, you need global knowledge as a change in one currency can effect a change in another.

Most of the currency trading courses start with the US Dollars for the simple reason that it is the most predominant player in the market. With time, you should gain experience and knowledge about Forex trading with the US Dollar and after some practice you will find yourself more able to trade intelligently in other currencies also.

The currency trading courses can also teach you how to calculate the pip which, put simply, is the difference with which a currency rate increases or decreases. In other words, if the current exchange rate for two currencies is 1 to 45 and the next day it turns to 1 to 45.3, this means that the pip is 0.3. Calculating pip is not difficult but predicting it is essential in making profits and analyzing risk in any Foreign Exchange trade.

In summary, if you are looking to utilize a currency trading course to learn more and improve your Forex profitability then please do remember to consider the issues raised in this article carefully. A course should not be seen as a magic tutor that will bring you instant profits but should instead be viewed as a very useful learning experience that will boost your confidence and make you a more secure trader.

Paul Bryan operates Forex Reviews, News and Advice - A site aimed at bringing you the best and most independent Foreign Exchange information and articles.

Daytrading And How To Get Started

One working definition of a Day Trader is, A person whose goal is to make his or her profits from a security in the shortest amount of time [preferably during a single day.] Though this definition is simplified, the day-to-day job of a Day Trader is a far more complex series of events and strategies that must be learned and implemented.

My description of daytrading has largely been based on past experiences with the markets, as well as the changes in the markets and the global economies themselves. Keep in mind; the stock market is not your friend. Much like war, in day trading and/or short-term investing, you are pitting your wits against every other person in the market. Every dollar you make is on the back of someone else's losses. Your goal is to win with your investments and your trading, and that requires someone else to lose. Try to make sure it's not you. Never forget that, and you'll be off to a much better start in the markets.

How risky is daytrading? Well, before you read on any further, imagine taking about $10,000 in crisp, brand new one hundred dollars bills out into the backyard. Put them on the ground and douse them in lighter fluid. Then strike a match. Don't burn your money just yet, but just stand there. That's about how risky daytrading is.

Always remember: at any given time, when you are daytrading for a living, you are risking probably that much money (if not quite a bit more), and your money is in perhaps just as much risk. While we are not suggesting that you actually set fire to your money in the backyard, our analogy is fairly accurate. If that bothers you, then perhaps you might consider another line of work, or a good mutual fund, because I don't know any good day traders that haven't seen at least $10,000 go up in a puff of smoke during market hours. It's simply unrealistic to expect to be able to trade professionally and profitably from day one. Mistakes will be made; lessons will be learned; money will be lost as you learn. It's a never-ending process to a large degree. In fact, the day you feel you have mastered the markets, that's the day you get your head handed to you.

In the years I have traded, I have seen many people come and go. I've seen people make and lose large sums of money very quickly. I have made and lost large sums of money very quickly! I've seen stocks go from pennies to hundreds of dollars and back again, taking traders and investors for a ride in both directions. And yet, still, in all the years I have been in this business, I am sure of only one thing about the stock market--that I have not seen it all yet. If anyone claims to have all the answers about the stock market, or claims to be the only person you should listen to - run, don't walk away from them and/or their services.

One of the most frequently asked questions is, How much capital do I need? It is a somewhat difficult question to answer. How much do you really need in order to start day trading? How big a "stake" (a term used to refer to your starting capital) is required to get going? The only answer is that it's different for each person, and it's something you must consider for yourself before you start. However, I personally feel, in general, you should have enough trading capital to purchase between 500 to 1000 shares of any given stock. Ideally, this would be without having to use margin.

If you are in the habit of trading $40 to $80 stocks, this could mean you need as much as $40,000 to start. At the same time, one can trade with as little as $10,000 and get their feet wet. It also doesn't hurt to have enough capital to diversify into several different positions (two to five generally) at one time - each with say 300 to 500 shares. Just remember, if you are starting small, keep your expectations realistic. Certainly, someone trading with $10,000 to $20,000 is going to have a much more difficult time generating $1,000 per day than someone using $100,000 or more. As long as you keep this in perspective, it will help keep you grounded as you begin learning.

When you get into the bigger leagues of day trading, then it's nice to be able to "step on" (i.e. purchase or short) a "block" or two of stock. This would be generally defined as 10,000 shares of stock. This typically is going to require $500,000 or more of trading capital, plus some use of margin in limited situations and for a limited time. When you reach this level, it's easy to see how daytrading can become quite profitable (and quite risky!). A few points (or even a few fractions) across 10,000 shares can return quite a bit of money quite rapidly. Just remember it goes both ways; you can quickly lose quite a bit as well.

As you can see there's no right or wrong answer with regard to how much you need to start. Simply keep your objectives in perspective and reasonable. This will go a long way to giving you a good start in the markets. Also understand that if you are starting small, factoring in things such as equipment fees and transaction costs may become much more important.

Good luck in the markets!

No permission is needed to reproduce an unedited copy of this article as long the About The Author tag is left in tact and hot links included.

Ray Johns is the founder and Senior Market Editor of, Proudly serving day traders & short-term investors since 1996, at is the publishers of the award winning Morning Stock Market Report and the home of the Internets finest real time trading desk. Ray has been on the forefront of trading and investing in the markets and has appeared as a guest on a number of radio and television shows including CNBCs Market Talk. If you would like a free trail of the newsletter and the live trading desk log on to Comments and questions can be sent to

Ten Simple Investment Tips

When I first started trading the stock market, there was not the wealth of information available online like there is today. I read a lot of books and learned the terms and thought I knew everything necessary to make my fortune trading the market. I found a discount broker and started plugging away, and immediately lost my shirt.

Even though I had read these same tips in numerous places, I really didnt understand the importance of them until I had learned them the hard way. As they say, experience is the best teacher, if you survive the lesson.

These are things that I wish I had really used when I first started trading.

1.Never invest money you cant afford to lose.

2.Never invest money you are afraid to lose. If you are too uptight, you are guaranteed to make bad decisions.

3.Never buy a stock you receive in an unsolicited email or in a mass mailing. Many times, these turn out to be low cost, thinly traded penny stocks that some one is trying to pump up the price and dump them.

4.Most of them time, you should not buy stocks at the open of the market. The first hour of the trading day typically has a lot of volatility. Stocks tend to stabilize after the first hour; you could end up paying too much trying to get a stock, only to have it settle down in price 30 minutes later.

5.As a new investor, never buy stocks on margin. It is ok to have a margin account; just dont use the margin until you have enough knowledge to keep yourself out of trouble.

6.Dont worry if you think you just missed the biggest trade of the year. Never chase a stock trying to get on board, if you wait 30 minutes, another trade will come along that is just as lucrative. (This one tip would have saved me a fortune)

7.Learn how to use a trailing stop. Immediately after buying a stock, put in a stop loss order, and keep raising the stop limit. This will preserve your gains, but more importantly will preserve your capital.

8.Never buy until you have determined when you are going to sell. You need to know what point you will accept a small loss and move on. Then when you buy, keep that stop loss point; never change this point in the heat of the battle, because this is guaranteed to cost you money.

9.Never get greedy. The old market saying is Bears make money, Bulls make money, Hogs get slaughtered is very true.

10.Dont treat the stock market like it is your private Las Vegas gambling casino. Its ok for a small portion of your portfolio to gamble, but its called investing for a reason.

If you follow these simple tips, they will save you some of the misery that I went through early in my trading career. Try not to get bogged down in all of the information overload that is coming at you from all directions. Slow down, there will plenty of good trades available to you tomorrow, if your trading capital is still available.

If you would like additional trading information, please go to Trade The Stock Market or to my Forex Review Site.

Shaking Your Money Tree: Seven Ways to Make Quick Cash

Does your business have a money tree you can shake when a little extra cash is needed? Every business should have one!

What I mean by a money tree is something you can do to quickly generate revenue when you need it. Where can you find a money tree? Although you can't buy one at your local garden store, they are more common than you might imagine. Just as in a forest, there are many species of money trees, so you need to find one that is right for you. Here are a few common varieties:

The Sale Tree brings in cash by making a discount offer to customers. Buy before June 30th, and you get a lower price. This creates a sense of urgency for customers to buy now in order to save money and can create a new flow of sales for you.

The Bonus Tree can work like the Sale, but instead of a discount, customers get a free item with purchase. Buy one, get one free, for example, or buy this item and get a free accessory. You might make the bonus item something only available as a bonus, and not available to buy. Booklets, books, audio programs and other items with a low production cost and high perceived value are great bonus items.

Generate cash with the New Product Tree by introducing a new product. Customers love new things, so announce it with a flourish. You might cross the New Product tree with the Sale or Bonus tree to get a hybrid with extra appeal.

Shake the Personal Touch Tree by contacting current or former customers and reminding them it may be time to do business with you again. Perhaps the supplies they bought from you a few months ago are running low, or it's time for a follow-up service.

The Referral Tree should be in bloom all the time, but you can get better results when you tend it. Do a mailing or phone campaign to ask current customers to refer their friends and colleagues. You may be able to generate lots of sales quickly this way.

The Cold Call Tree can be hard to shake, but the results can be worthwhile. Identify your best prospects and call or visit them.

One of my favorites is the Publicity Tree. It's an odd one, in that you never know when it is going to bloom, or what it will look like when it does; however, the results are often magnificent. Provide a jumpstart in its growth by regularly sending press releases and pitches to the media.

Decide which money tree is right for your business, then nurture it and keep it growing. And, every once in a while, shake the heck out of it and watch the dollars come floating down!

Copyright Cathy Stucker. As the Idea Lady, Cathy Stucker can help you attract customers and make yourself famous with inexpensive and free marketing ideas. Get free tips, articles and more at

How To Learn Forex The Smart Way

Many people see the Forex market as a place to invest for the future. Many of these have previously invested in the stock market with mixed results and look to the currency market to increase their wealth. The problem is that most of these people ignored the fundamentals of the stock market, and are behaving the same way with the currency market. If you learn Forex trading properly, you will succeed. Ignoring the fundamentals will bring you the same results you had in the equity markets.

If you want to become a successful trader, it is important that you understand the basic principles about Forex trading. The best way of doing this is by finding a reliable trading platform that you can use to learn from. Interest in currency trading has been growing at fantastic rates. Online trading is even more spectacular because you can now trade from your home or office. Major currency dealers have met this demand by installing online trading platforms that are easy to learn and use. Once you register with one of these traders, you can begin learning currency trading without spending any of your money.

But it is not just these companies who have set up trading platforms who can help you to learn about Forex trading. A search on Google for "learn forex" will bring you hundreds of websites with different offerings. You will have to pay for some of these offerings while others are at no charge. You will also find websites run by traders who just enjoy sharing their knowledge with you. In addition, many websites provide general and specific information about the currency market.

Such sites offer a basic education to speed up your learning. You can watch videos online or download special software. You can also browse through forum posts or attend webinars. Also, these sites include ebooks and articles that can help you to gain basic knowledge about currency trading. Each site will provide you with a different method for learning about trading, and you can do all of it online, so no need for you to wait for CD's, DVD's or books to arrive in the mail. Some of these materials are also available off-line if you have a slow Internet connection. But, in almost all of these materials you will find the basic information you need to start trading.

However, if you are looking for a more personal approach, or want to speed up your learning even more, you can attend an off-line seminar. Of course, some of these seminars are also available in the form of teleseminars and webinars, but you get a physical person to talk about and discuss your concerns. You also get the support of the other seminar attendees who may have the same concerns as you do. They can also help you understand material that they have mastered.

Physical seminars are more expensive than other means to learn Forex trading because the organizers have to secure a suitable room and provide other supplies that help the attendees make the most of the training. For example, binders, photocopies of charts, graphs and other educational material. However, if you can afford the prices for these events, it is worth your while attending at least an introductory seminar. You would speed up your learning of the Forex market.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Forex Trading - The 3 Keys to a Winning Trader's Mindset

Forex trading is simple to learn, and anyone can acquire the skills - so, why is it that 95% of traders lose money? Many traders lose money because they have poor methods, though some have sound methods but still lose - because they lack the right mindset to succeed.

Here well look at the three keys for getting the mindset of the millionaire traders.

1. Desire and Passion

If you want success in anything - including forex trading, then you must desire success. If you have the desire, then youll do whats required to succeed. If you look at any of the legendary traders, they all had desire - and they loved what they did with a passion.

You must also have desire and passion for what you do. However, thats not enough - you must also avoid worrying about risk and setbacks. Currency trading success doesnt come easily so, if you cant build up the strong desire and passion required for successful trading, then you should find something else to do - as youll lose your money trading in the currency markets.

If however, you accept that its not any easy road - and youre prepared to put in the effort, then forex trading can earn you an income that most people can only dream of.

2. Confidence

You hear traders talk a lot about discipline when forex trading - but you dont hear them talk much about confidence. However, confidence is a vital component of your forex trading strategy - confidence in yourself not in some mentor, or guru youre following.

If you want to succeed in currency trading, then you have to have rock solid confidence that your currency trading system this will lead you to currency trading success. You must retain your confidence, even when youre losing money - and therell be periods when you lose money, for weeks, or months on end.

If you dont have unshakeable confidence that youll ultimately succeed, then currency trading will break you and youll throw in the towel before you become a winner.

To have confidence, you need to understand exactly how, and why your forex trading strategy works. This will give you a trading edge - and ultimately, success. If you dont know what your trading edge is, then youll be joining the majority of traders - the ones who lose money!

3. Discipline

Youve probably heard that discipline is vital to trading success - and if you think that following a system with discipline is easy then, think again.

Lets look at an example of just how hard currency trading with discipline really is: In the eighties, legendary trader Richard Dennis taught a group of traders with no previous experience, how to trade - and he gave them a method they could all use. In 14 days, these traders were given trading accounts - and collectively, they quickly made over $100 million.

They were all successful traders - yet there was a huge variation between the results of the individual traders. In Curtis M. Faiths great book The Way of the Turtle, he discusses this in depth and the lesson is: Learning a successful trading system is not enough! You need the correct mindset to execute the system correctly and nothing can prepare you for this. You simply have to experience it yourself - and its tough trying to stick with a currency trading system, when the pressure is on - and youre losing money. Money is on the line and emotions are involved.

Many forex traders try to prepare for trading, with demo accounts - and making big percentage wins. However, theres no pressure - its practice, and its easy try doing it for real, with real money thats when if becomes difficult!

Now you have them - the three keys to adopting the right mindset, in order to achieve currency-trading success. Its not easy to achieve the winning traders mindset - but when the rewards are as great as they are in FX trading, you wouldnt expect them to be.

If you can adopt the right mindset, the world of currency trading will give you immense rewards for your effort. Good Luck!

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Real Estate Foreclosure: Taming The Beast

For those who are intimidated by the prospect of investing or purchasing foreclosures for profit or simply to have a roof over your head, well don't be. Here's why.

You can easily break down the process of foreclosures into three primary stages. Ready? The first stage is pre-foreclosure the second stage is foreclosure auction and the third and final stage is bank owned foreclosures or real estate owned properties as they're interchangeably called.

In general as you move along the timeline of the foreclosure process your potential for profit will decrease the later you get to the foreclosure a property. In other words there is probably much greater profit potential if you are able to identify a property right before it enters into the initial stages of foreclosure in a market that you are familiar with as opposed to calling up the bank for real estate owned properties.

Now let me clarify one thing, this doesn't mean that one model is better than another. It's actually a bit more complicated than that. It depends on what you're looking for when all is said and done. If you're planning on making a full-time living eventually from real estate investment then you'll definitely want to learn in baby steps how to get the most out of your time and efforts.

With that said for those who are ambitious enough to do this full time you will want to learn how to find pre-foreclosures because they generally offer you the maximum leverage and profitability relative to the most deep discounted properties available via bank owned properties

However if you are simply looking for a deep discount at home without wanting to start an entire business involving marketing, distribution, and promoting yourself while driving around neighborhoods every day looking up MLS listings conducting market research and paying all all the costs overlays involved in running a business, then it is definitely advisable if you are looking to simply purchase a more inexpensive home to come to call up the bank for a foreclosure property.

Or another way is to simply subscribe to a foreclosure listings service or browse through some free foreclosure listings for a limited time. Visit for more information.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Put Buying Strategies, Part 1

Strategy 1: Gaining Leverage

There is value in the leverage gained using the put. With a limited amount of capital, the potential for profits is greater for put buyers than through stock short selling, and with considerably less risk.

Example: Safer than Shorting Stock: A stock currently is valued at $60 per share. If you sell short 100 shares and the stock drops five points, you can close the position and take a profit of $500. However, rather than selling short, you could buy 12 puts at 5, for a total investment of $6,000. A five-point drop in this case would produce a profit of $6,000, a 100 percent gain (assuming no change in time value). So by investing the same amount in puts, you could earn a 100 percent profit, compared to an 8.3 percent profit through short selling.

This example demonstrates the value in leverage, but the risk element for each strategy is not comparable. The short seller faces risks not experienced by the put buyer, and has to put up collateral and pay interest; in comparison, the put buyer has to fight against time. Risking $6,000 by buying puts is highly speculative and, while short selling is risky as well, the two strategies have vastly different attributes. The greater profit potential through leverage in buying puts is accompanied by equally higher risk of loss. However, even without a large sum of capital to speculate with, you can still use leverage to your advantage. This comparative analysis shows the flaw in analyzing two dissimilar strategies. Because the risk attributes are so different for each, it is not accurate to draw conclusions based only on potential returns.

Example: Comparing Apples to Oranges: You buy a LEAPS put for 5 with a striking price of 60 and 18 months until expiration. The stock currently is selling at $60 per share; your option is at the money. Aware of the potential profit or loss in your strategy, your decision to buy puts was preferable over selling short the stock. The luxury of 18 months in the LEAPS put is preferable over remaining exposed to short selling of stock. A drop of five points in the stock's market value would produce a $500 gain with either strategy (assuming no change in time value premium).

The short seller, like the put buyer, has a time problem. The short seller has to place collateral on deposit equal to a part of the borrowed stock's value, and pay interest on the borrowed amount. Thus, the more time the short position is left open, the higher the interest costand the more decline in the stock's value the short seller requires to make a profit. While the put buyer is concerned with diminishing time value, the short seller pays interest, which erodes future profits, if they ever materialize, or which increases losses.

A decline of five points in the preceding example produces an 8.1 percent profit for the short seller and a 100 percent profit for the put buyer. Compare the risks with this yield difference in mind. Short selling risks are unlimited in the sense that a stock's value could rise indefinitely, creating ever-increasing losses. The put buyer's risk is limited to the $500 investment. A drop of $1 per share in the stock's value creates a 1.6 percent profit for the short seller, and a 20 percent profit for the put buyer.

Potential losses can be compared between strategies as one form of risk evaluation. When a short seller's stock rises in value, the loss could be substantial. It combines market losses with continuing interest expense and tied up collateral (creating a lost opportunity). The put buyer's losses can never exceed the premium cost of the put.

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