Sunday, September 30, 2007

What Separates the Good Traders from the Bad Traders?

There are many forms of investing online. While I can give you a list that is a mile long, these are the most common forms of successful investments. Some of the following know how to invest terms are:

1. Option trading
2. Future trading
3. Currency trading
4. Stock trading
5. Future trading
6. Forex trading (or) foreign exchange trading

I want to start this investing online critique out with a story... On a beautiful late spring afternoon, twenty-five years ago, two young men graduated from the same college. These men were very much alike. Both, better than average students, were personable and filled with ambitious dreams for the future.

For the sake of my example, I will set both college graduates off online trading using a day trading plat form. Through a gift, both start with the same online investing investment risk capital, the same daytrading plat form, and the same trading system with precise rules for entry and exits.

Shockingly, there is a difference. After one month, one day-trader went broke / bust, while the other day trader returned a 20% profit.

Have you ever wondered, as I have, what makes this kind of difference in people's trading? It is not always a native intelligence, talent or dedication. It is not that one person wants success and the other does not.

The difference lies within the psychology of the brain. Your psychological mind set is likely to play a larger role in your trading online career than your chosen technique or any other details associated with your day-to-day practice.

Here are some good examples:

1. One person looks at a glass empty, while the other personality looks at that same cup as full.

2. Someone may look at problems and call them stress, while another individual looks at troubles as challenges.

3. Another one may look at a ship in a storm as an adventurous roller coaster ride, while another human being sees the same situation as a hurricane that has a death call.

I am not the only one to discover this

In his book, Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom, the renowned American psychologist Dr. Van Tharp discusses the role psychology plays in trading success. He divides trading into three Ingredients.

In his pie chart:

-- System is 10%
-- Money Management Success is 30%, and
-- 60% pertains to the psychology of thought and emotion.

Tharp discovered that the trader's psychology make up of the mind has more to do with his success than anything else does.

However, what exactly is the psychology of the mind?

In short, the psychology of the mind refers to your thinking and emotional actions and responses to any given situationIn trading, fear, greed, vanity, pride, hope, jealousy, denial - all these can affect investment decisions. Although, your aim in the market is to maximize your profit and minimize your risk, thinking and emotions often make this easier said than done.

FOR EXAMPLE - Traders, who cannot control the psychological process of thought and emotion, make the wrong decision - such as the common amateur mistake of holding a losing position in the belief that someday it will become a winner.

Loss aversion is a classic mistake. By nature, humans value a loss. Therefore, you suffer almost twice as much pain losing $1 as you would in gaining $1. Loss aversion compels most traders to hold a losing stock while it plummets downward. This clouded judgment clearly contradicts the trading adage: cut your losses and let your profits run.

Emotional investors hold losing positions because they view paper losses differently from realized losses. An investor also engages in other forms of irrational behavior.

EXAMPLES are attributing success as natural and losses to bad luck.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. When talking about the other devastating effects of trading, if you do not have the psychology of your thought and emotions in the proper prospective the consequences can be devastating.

This is what opens up problems for new traders, and then they lose manage money very quickly in the markets. Most people completely wiped out their finances within the first year of trading. So, as you can see, your thinking and emotions play a big part in determining whether you fail or succeed, but did you know that thought and emotion make up two different spheres pertaining to trading success?

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How To Invest Money In Hungary And Romania

Hungary - In my view Hungary isn't best pick for long for year 2007. Politic situation doesn't support growth as government debt is 10% of GDP, CPI is 9%.

Hungarian stocks index BUX gained 9% in last 12 months which is even less than EURO STOXX 50 (15%). On the other side due to those politics instabilities BUX P/E ratio is 12.6 which is the lowest eastern european. Your investment to hungarian financial instruments could support also currency appreciation as central bank is probably going to do intervention in favour of hungarian Forint.

Basis of BUX:
bank OTP 35.8% of BUX, gas company MOL with 28.3%, telco Magyuar Telecom 13.7% and pharmaceutical Gedeon Richter with 14.5%.
All together those 4 blue chips represent 92% of BUX!

And how to invest in Hungary? In EUWAX, I have two favourite open-end index certifikates.
1. ISIN CH0021606022 from UBS for index BUX (included dividend payments which are btw 13%!).
2. ISIN AT0000454194 from Raiffeisen Centrobank for index HTX (w/o dividends).

Romania - Romania as a EU newcomers is a emerging country with high potential. Main index BET is composed mainly of financial and mining. it is around 60% of market cap. Traded blue chips are Petrom, BRD, Banca Transilvania, C.N.T.E.E. Transelectrica. As in other transition economies local romanian companies are targets for acquisitions. In bank's sector BRD acquired by Societe Generale, Banca Transilvania by austrian Erste Bank.

On AMEX you have only few ETF focused on central and eastern europe only with fraction of romanian shares. Better way is to use certifikates at Xetra Wien or Stuttgart. Main emitents are Raiffeisenbank, Erste bank.

Originally posted at:
Blog about investing in Eastern Europe

What the SEC Really Thinks About Mutual Funds!

Lets go into the details of why non-indexed mutual funds are such a bad deal. When Arthur Levitt became the head of the Security Exchange Commission in 1993 he had to sell off all of his individual stocks so that people would not claim that he was doing any dirty inside dealing. He decided to put the cash from selling off his stock portfolio into mutual funds.

Mr. Levitt grew very angry when he tried to decipher how particular mutual funds divvied up their cash into specific stocks. He couldnt make heads or tells from the fancy brochures of the mutual funds called prospectuses. He had been a major player in the stock brokerages for over 25 years at that point and knew that if he couldnt understand the mutual funds prospectus then he knew public investors couldnt either; it had to be a big scam to suck money out of the public.

In 1980 the US public invested $100 billion into the 500 mutual funds that existed at that time. By 1993 the public put $1.6 trillion into the more than 3,800 mutual funds that existed in that year; talk about growth! By the end of February 2003, at the bottom of the bear market there were 8,200 mutual funds and the public had pumped in $6.3 trillion dollars. Wow! That is a lot of money. What is important to note is that at least 40% of mutual fund money comes in from 401(k) retirement accounts. Today these mutual funds own about 20% of all publicly traded shares of stock. Mutual funds act like a herd of cows buying and selling the same stocks at the same time. This increases the wild price volatility swings in the stock market.

These funds are also sold and managed on pure hype, short term trading, and with key information withheld from the public. All of these factors I teach finance students and investors to avoid! The industry confuses investors by focusing on past performance, which should not be a factor to consider. Many mutual funds are able to cheat the public with excessive fees because investors dont understand how these big costs destroy their profit. Mutual funds have no interest in educating investors because it is easier to hoodwink the ignorant!

Dont put your trust in mutual funds unless they are fully indexed. Indexing means that the mutual fund simply uses a computer to buy and sell stocks in the mutual fund portfolio so as to mimic the composition of a major stock market index like the S&P 500. This means that there is no fund manager sucking out needless fees. A good example is the first fully indexed mutual fund called the Vanguard 500 (VFINX) which is also now the largest of its kind.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Scott Brown, Ph.D., a.k.a. The Wallet Doctor, is a successful futures trader, real estate investor, and stock investor. Dr. Brown holds a Ph.D. in finance from the University of South Carolina. His 1998 articles in Technical Analysis of Stocks and Commodities were prophetic in predicting an impending stock market crash. He has helped many people become profitable investors by teaching them to look out over many years to spot stocks that are low and primed for rise in the new bull market. His second article met with approval by Dr. Bob Shiller of Yale University. Dr. Shiller is the economist that Alan Greenspan most highly regards who coined the term Irrational Exuberance. In 1998 he shouted to the world to get out of the stock market but now he is shouting to everyone that it is time to get in! The Wallet Doctor is not only sought after for investment advice and coaching in stock investing but also in futures trading and real estate investing.

Visit Dr. Browns site at or sign up for his investment tips at

Forex System Addiction, Don't Let This Happen To You!

It is a process many new traders in forex go through. Find a system that people seem to be making money with and start trading it. At fist you make some pips but inevitably you experience some losses and then move onto the next system. We have all fallen victim to this process, it's what kills many new traders. At the first sign of a loss you move onto the next best thing and this process repeats its self over and over. Some traders can be trapped in this circle for many years.

It is the quest for the perfect system, let me assure you there is no perfect system, you will not find a system that never looses. However you can find a system that wins more than it looses, this is all you need in order to make money in the forex market. All we are looking for is an edge, an edge that over 10-20 trades will bring you out on top with a profit. Once you have this edge all you need to do is keep trading it, trade it like a machine.

Trading for a living can be very boring at times, we all enjoy experimenting with the latest indicators and systems but try to keep them separate from you main bread and butter trading system. Don't let new systems distract you from your trading routine, it is imperative in this business to find a system you like and stick to it. Focus on your solid edge that will pay you over time.

If you are wondering which profitable edges you should trade I recommend you study some price patterns, find one that appeals to you and back test it manually. You could then add this edge to your favourite system as a filter or trade it with discretion. You will be surprised how much price action can improve a system's results. Record your back testing results over a large period of time so you can know what to expect in your live trading.

Let's take a simple system and add price action to demonstrate this. For my example I will use a simple 10ema 21ema moving average cross. Everyone knows if you just trade every cross of moving averages you will end up losing your account, however this is not what we are going to do.

The cross of the moving averages is our signal to look at price action. I will only use one candle stick pattern in this example the 'engulfing candle'. Once you have a cross of the moving averages look for a small retrace with an engulfing candle in the direction of the cross, take the trade on the close of the candle with your stop behind it. I can guarantee you will be surprised with the results of this simple system, go ahead and test it out, try shooting stars also as they can be a great formation to trade on with the trend.

Although you may think that this is far too simple to work, I assure you this is why 95% of forex traders fail, they try to complicate trading too much. Keep it simple and you will succeed.

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Buy And Sell Stocks Online

All dreams can be realized, as long as you do not dream something that is humanly unachievable. But, dreams can be realized with proper planning and with the help of strong willpower. However, before you apply both these, have a look at an easier way to gain success, i.e. money. You need strategies here too; some prudent strategies that help you to reap profits on your invested money. It is to buy and sell stocks online.

Consider this, someone needs money to start a business and you lend it to him. But here instead of taking any interest from him, you ask him to give you some percent of the profit he makes with the business. When you are buying stocks you are actually doing this, you buy stock or shares from some company and give it some money to invest in the business. As the business starts earning profit with your money, you have some share in the total capital of the company. The company gives you some share of profit.

You do not do anything else and you are paid the profit your money earns. Your money grows by itself and offers you profit. You must be feeling the urge to dive into this buy-sell stock business right now. But wait. As told before, it is a business the company does with your money. Businesses may end in a loss or a profit. And if the company faces a loss, it will charge a loss on your share too, resulting in a fall in your share price. Therefore, it is essential to observe caution while doing stock trading.

But, dont get disappointed. If you use your experience and take some expert advice, your chances of losing are very less. A good and efficient stockbroker can help you in this context. Brokers are people who help you and suggest you the best stock to buy and hence increase your chances of gaining through the stock market day trading. He, in exchange of his service, charges a small amount of commission.

However, in the world where computers and Internet have invaded everything, it is quite common that you can get this all stuff online. So, try finding a brokerage site. It is better that you find one online. Online brokerages site helps you in making the right decision by offering the right products and right information.

User-friendly site can really guide your money well by deciding the best stock to buy now factor. Several options should be there when you open an account and it must suit your budget and investment plan.

Compound Interest Return and Dollar Cost Averaging can be great features. Dollar cost averaging is a system where investment is made at regular intervals over the same dollar value of shares. The use of the Compound interest return by this site really maximizes your long-term profit. Monthly, weekly or daily automatic investments provide you yet another comfortable option. The firm should charge low commissions.

I wrote this article to share my views about buy stocks online and buy cheap stocks

Variable Annuities

The term annuity derives from a Latin term meaning annual and generally refers to any circumstance where principal and interest are liquidated through a series of regular payments made over a period of time. A deferred annuity is an annuity in which both the income, and any taxes due on growth inside the contract, are pushed into the future, until they are actually received by the owner.

A commercial, tax-deferred annuity is a contract between an insurance company and a contract owner. In a typical situation, the contract owner contributes funds to the annuity. The money put into the contract is then allowed to grow for a period of time. At some future date, the contract owner has the choice to: 1) Annuitize the accumulated funds paid out, generally through periodic payments made over a specified period of time, the life of an individual, or the joint lives of a couple. 2) Continue to let the money grow or 3) Take withdrawals of amounts he would like.

A variable annuity is a type of annuity in which the contract owner directs the overall investment strategy for the funds placed in the contract.

Two primary annuity types are fixed and variable annuities. Although these annuities have many features in common, the key differences between them arise from the means used to grow the funds contributed by the contract owner.

Fixed annuities: Fixed annuities are characterized by a minimum interest rate guaranteed by the issuing insurance company. Typically, a minimum annuity benefit is also guaranteed. The funds contributed to the contract by the annuity owner are placed in the insurance companys general account, and the investment risk involved rests entirely on the insurance company. With a fixed annuity, the focus is on safety of principal and stable investments returns. Variable annuities: In contrast, a variable annuity contract generally has no guarantees as to investment return or annuity benefits. The funds contributed by the contract owner are placed in special, variable annuity subaccounts. Within these subaccounts, the annuity owner may choose to invest the funds in a wide variety of investment options. Annuity benefits depend upon the investment results achieved, and the investment risk rests entirely on the contract owner. With a variable annuity, the goal is to provide benefits that keep pace with inflation.

During the accumulation phase, the contract owner contributes funds to the contract through either a single lump sum, or a series of payments. Any increase or decrease in the market price of the underlying investments is always reflected in the value of each accumulation unit.

If a contract owner decides to annuitize the contract, the accumulation units are exchanged for annuity units. The number of annuity units received will depend on the price per unit, and certain insurance company assumptions regarding income, mortality and expenses. Once determined, the number of annuity units remains constant. The amount of periodic income payable is determined by multiplying the current value of each annuity unit by the number of units. As the value of each annuity unit increases or decreases, so does the periodic income.

There are a number of key contract provisions that a buyer of a variable annuity contract should be aware of. Among these are: Guaranteed death benefit: The contract will pay the named beneficiary the greater of the investment in the contract (less any withdrawals) or the contract value on the date of death. Enhanced death benefit: Some variable annuities offer an enhanced death benefit option. This feature provides that upon the death of the annuitant, the beneficiary will receive the greater of the accounts value on the date of death, or the highest contract value ever reached during the accumulation years. The ultimate death benefit is subject to the claims paying ability of the insurer. Prospectus: Variable annuities are considered by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to be a security. The SEC requires that the purchase of a variable annuity be given a prospectus, which provides detailed information on how the annuity contract works, and the subaccounts available. The SEC also requires individuals selling variable annuities to be licensed to sell securities. Contract fees and charges: A contract may include charges for investment management, administrative and mortality risk charges to cover the insurers basic expenses, as well as the cost of the guaranteed death benefit provision.

The tax treatment of payments made from an annuity will vary, depending on where in the life cycle of the annuity the payments are made. In general, the following rules apply:

Withdrawals: Funds withdrawn from an annuity contract prior to annuitization are considered to be made first from interest or other growth. These earnings are taxable as ordinary income. If the annuity owner is under age 591/2 at the time a withdrawal is made, the earnings are also generally subject to a 10% IRS penalty. If earnings are completely withdrawn, and payments are then made from the owners initial investment, the withdrawal is treated as a tax-free recovery of capital.

Annuitization: Regular annuity payments are treated as being composed of part earnings, and part return of capital. The earnings portion is taxable as ordinary income. Once the owner has completely recovered his or her investment in the contract, all remaining payments are fully taxable as ordinary income.

Estate taxes: Any amount payable to a beneficiary under an annuity contract by reason of an owners death is includable in the owners gross estate. If an annuitant/owner receiving payments under Lie Only annuity contract dies, no further payments are due, and nothing is includable in his or her estate.

Tax-deferred annuities are primarily intended to be long-term investments. Because of this, and because of the complexity of many annuity contracts, an individual considering the purchase of a tax-deferred annuity should carefully consider all aspects before entering into the contract. The advise and counsel of appropriate tax, legal, and other advisors is highly recommended.

Mark K. Lund, CRFA, has spent almost a decade as a Wealth Manager, serving the retirement planning needs for clients in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mark is one of a very small number of retirement planners across the country trained in retirement tax strategies. Most financial professionals typically take only one aspect of your personal finances and attempt to make it grow in a very linear, single-dimensional fashion. Thats why they dont bother to correlate other items or tax issues in your total financial picture! Mark looks at all four phases of wealth accumulation to plan the most effective way to manage your wealth. To learn more about Mark, please visit

Hong Kong Clothing Industry


Textile quotas were eliminated among WTO members at the first day of 2005 in accordance with the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC). However, resistance to quota removal spread in the US and EU. Subsequently, China reached agreements with the EU and the US in June and November 2005 respectively. The China-US agreement, effective from January 2006, governs the exports of a total of 21 groups involving 34 categories of Chinese textiles and clothing products to the US during 2006-2008. The China-EU agreement, effective from June 2005, covers 10 categories of Chinese textiles and clothing exports to the EU during 2005-2007.

On the other hand, the mainland and Hong Kong agreed in October 2005 to further liberalise the mainland market for Hong Kong companies under the third phase of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA III). Along with other products of Hong Kong origin, the mainland agreed to give all products of Hong Kong origin, including clothing items, tariff-free treatment starting from 1 January 2006. According to the stipulated procedures, products which have no existing CEPA rules of origin, will enjoy tariff-free treatment upon applications by local manufacturers and upon the CEPA rule of origins being agreed and met.

Hong Kong clothing companies are reputable for ODM and OEM production. They are able to deliver quality clothing articles in short lead time, as foreign importers and retailers request clothing suppliers to tighten up supply chain management to ensure the ordered merchandise reaching the store floor at the right time. Increasingly, Hong Kong clothing companies, the established ones in particular, have shown enthusiasm for brand promotion.

Hong Kong's total exports of clothing rose year-on-year by 9% in the first 11 months of 2005. While Hong Kong's re-exports of clothing rose by 20%, domestic exports fell by 14%. In the first 11 months of 2005, Hong Kong's clothing exports to the US and EU rose by 11% and 18% respectively. While Hong Kong's clothing exports to Japan levelled off, those to the Chinese mainland declined by 11%.

Industry Features

The clothing industry is a major manufacturing sector of Hong Kong. Its gross output is one of the highest among all manufacturing sectors, amounting to HK$35.9 billion in 2003. It is the largest manufacturing employer in Hong Kong, with 1,673 establishments hiring 28,752 workers as of June 2005. It is also the leading earner in terms of domestic exports, taking up 40% of the total in the first 11 months of 2005.

Hong Kong's geographic boundary has never constrained the development of the forward-looking clothing industry. The majority of clothing manufacturers have set up offshore production facilities in an attempt to reduce operation costs. Relocation of production facilities offshore has however resulted in a steady decline in the number of clothing manufacturers in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is not only a leading production centre but also a hub for clothing sourcing globally. Companies doing garment trade in Hong Kong are experienced in fabrics procurement, sales and marketing, quality control, logistic arrangements, clothing designs and international and national rules and regulations. The professionalism that they command and the combined services offered are not easily matched elsewhere. With a total of 15,190 establishments hiring 95,889 workers, they form the largest group involved in import-export trade in Hong Kong.

Performance of Hong Kong's Exports of Clothing

Hong Kong's total exports of clothing rose year-on-year by 9% in the first 11 months of 2005. While Hong Kong's re-exports of clothing rose by 20%, domestic exports fell by 14%. The contrasting performance of Hong Kong's re-exports and domestic exports was basically ascribed to the increasing relocation of garment manufacturing to the Chinese mainland, resulting from the removal of quotas under WTO's Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC). But the declining trend of domestic exports has been reversed somewhat in recent months, due to the re-imposition of quantitative restraints on mainland-made textiles and clothing by the US and EU.

Retail sales in the US held firm in the first 11 months of 2005, rising by nearly 6% from the same period in the previous year. In the first 11 months of 2005, Hong Kong's clothing exports to the US rose year-on-year by 11%.

In the first 11 months of 2005, Hong Kong's total clothing exports to the EU surged year-on-year by 18%. Clothing exports to major EU markets like France, Germany and Italy recorded growth rates in excess of 20%.

On the other hand, Hong Kong's clothing exports to Japan levelled off in the first 11 months of 2005 partly due to the trend of direct shipment. On the back of the rising income however, Japanese consumers tend to resume their spending spree on premium clothing items. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's clothing exports to the Chinese mainland dropped by 11% in the first 11 months of 2005, compared with the same period last year.

Product-wise, Hong Kong's exports of woven wear rose by 12% in the first 11 months of 2005. While woven wear for women/girls grew by 13%, those for men/boys recorded a growth of 8% from the same period in the previous year. Knitted wear grew by 2%, with women/girls and men/boys rising by 1% and 6% respectively. While clothing accessories declined by 3%, other apparel articles, for their part, increased by 13%.

Sales Channels

Hong Kong's clothing manufacturers have forged strong relationships with their customers. They are able to understand and cater for the preferences of very broad customer bases. Exporters also have good knowledge of international and national rules and regulations governing clothing exports, such as rules of origin, quota restrictions, tariff rates and documentation requirements. Cut, make and trim (CMT) arrangements are common although many Hong Kong manufacturers have moved to higher value-added activities such as design and brand development, quality control, logistics and material sourcing.

A few well-established local manufacturers have entered into the retailing business, either locally or in overseas markets. Many of them have retail networks in major cities around the world including Beijing, London, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei and Tokyo. Some well-known manufacturing retailers include Baleno, Bossini, Crocodile, Episode, Esprit, G-2000, Giordano, JEANSWEST, Moiselle and U-2.

As a global sourcing hub in Asia, Hong Kong attracts a number of international trading houses and major retailers. Buyers sourcing from Hong Kong include American and European department stores (e.g. Macy's, JCPenney, Federated, Karstadt Quelle, C & A), discount stores (e.g., Sears, Target and Carrefour), specialty chains (e.g., The Gap, The Limited) and mail order houses (e.g. Otto and Great Universal Stores). Many international premium designer labels -- such as Calvin Klein, Donna Karen, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Yves Saint Laurent -- source clothes in Hong Kong through their buying offices or other intermediaries.

Hong Kong's fashion designers have been gaining worldwide reputation for their professional expertise, sensitivity to current trends and ability to blend commercialism with innovation. Medium to high-priced fashion clothing bearing Hong Kong designer labels is being sold/have been sold in renowned department stores overseas such as Bloomingdale's, C & A, Harrod's, Isetan, Macy's, Marui, Mitsukoshi, Nieman Marcus and Seibu.

Trade fairs and exhibitions remain common places for buyers and suppliers of clothing to congregate. To establish connections and explore market opportunities, Hong Kong manufacturers and traders have involved themselves actively in international shows led by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), including the ones in Beijing, Chengdu, Dalian, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Hong Kong, Moscow, Mumbai, Paris and Tokyo. 'Hong Kong Fashion Week' is organised twice a year and attracts international suppliers and buyers to participate in the exhibition. Organised by TDC, 'World Boutique, Hong Kong' is the first independent event in Hong Kong dedicated to promoting designers' collection and brands from around the world.

Industry Trends

Changes in retail landscape: In the US and EU, large-scale retailers are undergoing drastic restructuring and consolidation, in particular, the growing prominence of hypermarkets such as Wal-Mart. To strengthen competitiveness, Sears and Kmart have merged to form the third largest retail group in the US.

Growing importance of private labels: Private labels, in essence, have become an increasingly effective marketing tool among garment retailers. In order to differentiate as well as upgrade the image of their products, major retailers have started to put a stronger emphasis on their own labels. According to Cotton Incorporated, private labels accounted for 45% of total US apparel sales in 2003, up from 39% in 2001. In some adult apparel categories, such as skirts, private labels accounted for as high as 76% of the total sales. It is also estimated that 45% of products sold in the EU are sold under private labels. Renowned retailers such as H&M, Marks & Spencer, Orsay, Palmers, Pimkie, Springfield and Kookai have owned their private labels. As consumers desire to have private labels on everyday garments like jeans, accessories and T-shirts, the doors are also open to the supply of these clothing items to private label owners.

Growing interest in China's domestic market: The rapid expansion of mainland's economy has attracted great interest of Hong Kong clothing companies to explore its clothing market. A TDC survey on mainland's garment shoppers indicates that Hong Kong brands are ranked number one by the respondents in the mid-range segment. While international brands are most preferred in the high-end segment, mainland brands dominate the low-end. In addition, the same survey finds out that in the eyes of mainland consumers, Hong Kong companies are very strong in casual wear, as they are generally of good design and quality. In essence, many mainland consumers have developed a stronger awareness of Hong Kong brands through tour to and shopping in Hong Kong. Therefore, Hong Kong's casual wear has successfully projected a positive image to mainland consumers.


On 18 October 2005, the mainland and Hong Kong agreed to further liberalise the mainland market for Hong Kong companies under the third phase of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA III). Along with other products of Hong Kong origin, the mainland agreed to give all products of Hong Kong origin, including clothing items, tariff-free treatment starting from 1 January 2006. According to the stipulated procedures, products which have no existing CEPA rules of origin, will enjoy tariff-free treatment upon applications by local manufacturers and upon the CEPA rule of origins being agreed and met. But non-Hong Kong made clothing products will remain subject to tariff rates of 10-25% when entering the mainland.

The promulgated rules of origin for clothing items to benefit from CEPA's tariff preference are basically similar to the existing rules governing Hong Kong's exports of these products. Generally speaking, the principal manufacturing process of cut-and-sewn garment is sewing of parts into garments. If linking and/or stitching is/are required, such process/processes must also be done in Hong Kong. For piece-knitted garment, if it is manufactured from yarn, the principal process is knitting of yarn into knit-to-shape panel.

If the piece-knitted garment is manufactured from knit-to-shape-panels, the principal process is linking of knit-to-shape panels into garment. If stitching is required, it must also be done in Hong Kong.

Trade Measures Affecting Exports of Clothing

According to the ATC, textile quotas were eliminated among WTO members at the first day of 2005. However, resistance to quota removal spread in the US and EU. Particularly in the US, China-specific safeguards on 10 categories of clothing items from China were invoked. Against this background, China reached agreements with the EU and the US in June and November 2005 respectively.

The China-US agreement, effective from January 2006, governs the exports of a total of 21 groups involving 34 categories of Chinese textiles and clothing products to the US during 2006-2008. It allows an annual growth of 10-15% in 2006, 12.5-16% in 2007 and 15-17% in 2008. The China-EU agreement, effective from June 2005, provides for an annual growth of 8-12.5% in 10 categories of Chinese textiles and clothing exports to the EU during 2005-2007. In addition, both EU and US agreed to exercise restraint in invoking China-specific safeguard against Chinese textiles and clothing that are not covered in the agreements.

Product Trends

Formal Dressing: While casual wear accounts for the bulk of clothing sales, a general trend towards stricter corporate dress codes has led to a rising demand for formal dressing, particularly suits. According to a survey by Cotton Incorporated in late 2004/early 2005, 38.5% of respondents believe that people dressed too casually at work. This is a 6.5 percentage point increase over the same year-ago.

Teenager: One of the major driving forces of clothing market appears to be the teenagers in the coming years. The number of teenagers in the US expects to increase from 31.6 million in 2001 to 34.1 million in 2010. A recent survey by Teenage Research Unlimited found that teens are saving money by value shopping. While JCPenney is their favourite department store, Target and Wal-mart are their favourite hypermarkets. In addition, Old Navy is their choices among specialty apparel stores.

Silver Market: Ageing population becomes a common phenomenon in many developed countries in Europe as well as Japan and the US. Elderly people constitute a major market segment called 'silver market'. Supported by savings, social security benefits and pensions, many elderly people have rather strong spending power. It is estimated that the age group of 65 year and above accounted for about 21% of Japan's consumption expenditure in 2000. A survey conducted by the Japanese government also shows that people who are 60 years old and above possess almost three times the financial assets of those in the 40-50 age group. In the US, those aged at or above 65 amounted to 18.1 million in 2001, and the number is expected to swell to 26 million in 2015.

Plus-size Market: The plus-size market has been an area of growth for many years, and the trend is expected to continue in the coming future. It is estimated that 65 million women in the US wear size 14 or above. This group represents one-half of the US female population. It is reported that some renowned brands have already responded to the trend by offering merchandise of larger size; these companies include Liz Claiborne, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.

Easy-care Clothes: Clothes made of stain-resistant and wrinkle-free fabrics are well received in the market. It is estimated that about a quarter of apparel is now made of easy-care fabrics, and its popularity is expected to continue in the next few years. While major apparel brands like Dockers and Liz Claiborne have already marketed extensively easy-care clothes, major hypermarkets, like Wal-Mart, also offer more merchandise of such quality.

Source: Hong Kong Trade Development Council - Leading B2B Portal and Marketplace of Global Textile, Apparel and Fashion Industry offers Free Industry Articles, Textile Articles, Fashion Articles, Industry Reports, Technology Article, Case Studies, Textile Industry News Articles, Latest Fashion Trends, Textile Market Trends Reports and Global Industry Analysis.

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Copyright 2006

Saturday, September 29, 2007

You Cannot Build a Free-Market Economy Going Half-Way - China

China has posted year over year growth of about 10% and many economists say that is where the money is. Indeed there is a lot of capital flow there, but we have just witnessed a near disastrous stock market correction. What is going on in China? Is China really interested in free-markets? Well let's look at some of the issues?

The Chinese Government subsidized airlines selling tickets 50% cheaper than South Korean Airlines. That is dumping. China continually practices Mass Media control and censorship, for instance their censorship of TV, Radio and Internet. China practices Currency Manipulation or currency gaming along with protectionism in their domestic markets.

What about Patent Piracy of your preferred trading partners technologies? You see, you cannot build a Free-Market Economy going half-way and therefore obviously China is not interested in building a free-market, they are interested in what is best for China and not in what's in the best interest for all concerned nor should anyone expect that from China.

Recently when asked about their pollution by the coalition for Global Warming, China responded that they would in the future consider the affect as they build new infrastructure, but would never let the Global Warming issue to slow their growth? Interesting because China's pollution is completely outrageous.

So, what is China going to do with this mess on their hands as 25% has disappeared in their market in just over a weeks period? What would you do? Will there be more manipulation or will there be a huge shifting of wealth, as more money pours in after rock bottom is hit?

L. Winslow is an Economic Advisor to the Online Think Tank, a Futurist and retired entreprenuer

Currently he is planning a bicycle ride across the US to raise money for charity and is sponsored by and all the proceeds will go to various charities who sign up.

Online Trading: Where Should I Start?

New to the trading scene? Overwhelmed by all the trading jargon out there and dont know where to start? Dont worry, you are not alone! Virtually all traders go through this experience! Allow me to share my opinion with you.

Where you should start depends firstly on your preference to risk. The tradable financial markets basically get split up into two main categories. The first category is Stocks or Shares and everything else I would classify as Derivatives, which include CFDs (Contracts for Difference), Options, Warrants and Futures (Indexes, Forex, Commodities, Currencies etc).

For those of you who have never traded before, I suggest you start off with trading plain and basic shares or the underlying stock. An example of this would be buying and selling shares in Microsoft. When you buy shares in Microsoft, you own a part of Microsoft. When Microsoft shares go up by $1, then you make $1 for every share that you have purchased in Microsoft. This flip side is also true. When Microsoft shares drop by $1, you lose $1 for every share you hold in Microsoft. Very Simple.

When you get into trading derivatives, the underlying method of trading is essentially the same. You will pick trades in the same way, exit trades in a very similar way, however, there is one major point that you must understand, and that is of leverage. Essentially, with a derivative product, you can control a much larger position size with the same amount of money. That being said, when a position goes in your favor, you make more money, however, when a position goes against you, you also lose more money. This is where money management rules become paramount. I will post an article giving examples of leverage at a later date.

Now that you understand a little about the types of products out there, how do you choose which one to trade. I cant offer you specific advice on that, but I can give you a little guidance.

I started off trading stocks in my home country, Australia. I feel that when you trade local stocks, you have a better connection with them. So if you are from the United States, go with the local markets. Likewise with anybody from any other country.

Initially, I believe you just have to get a feel for how the stock markets work. With a little experience in placing trades, you will get a feel for how volatile your local markets are, what the potential returns are, how frequent do trading opportunities come along and so on. Over time, you will better understand your preference for risk and your style of trading.

I would describe my style of trading as momentum trading. I dont try to pick highs and pick lows, as I believe that that is a very difficult thing to do. My trades range from a few days to a few months long. Trading is my full time job and I trade from home.

I have met many people who get started in trading but have unrealistic expectations to begin with, and lack the discipline to execute their particular trading plan.

My honest belief is that ALL trading systems work, provided they have been proven and tested. The only thing in the way is the human element. More on this topic in future articles.

Still confused? Still dont know where to start? Well, post a comment and I will do my best to steer you in the right direction!

By Peter Yin,

12 Basic Stock Investing Rules Every Successful Investor Should Follow

There are many important things you need to know to trade and invest successfully in the stock market or any other market. 12 of the most important things that I can share with you based on many years of trading experience are enumerated below.

1. Buy low-sell high. As simple as this concept appears to be, the vast majority of investors do the exact opposite. Your ability to consistently buy low and sell high, will determine the success, or failure, of your investments. Your rate of return is determined 100% by when you enter the stock market.

2. The stock market is always right and price is the only reality in trading. If you want to make money in any market, you need to mirror what the market is doing. If the market is going down and you are long, the market is right and you are wrong. If the stock market is going up and you are short, the market is right and you are wrong.

Other things being equal, the longer you stay right with the stock market, the more money you will make. The longer you stay wrong with the stock market, the more money you will lose.

3. Every market or stock that goes up will go down and most markets or stocks that have gone down, will go up. The more extreme the move up or down, the more extreme the movement in the opposite direction once the trend changes. This is also known as "the trend always changes rule."

4. If you are looking for "reasons" that stocks or markets make large directional moves, you will probably never know for certain. Since we are dealing with perception of markets-not necessarily reality, you are wasting your time looking for the many reasons markets move.

A huge mistake most investors make is assuming that stock markets are rational or that they are capable of ascertaining why markets do anything. To make a profit trading, it is only necessary to know that markets are moving - not why they are moving. Stock market winners only care about direction and duration, while market losers are obsessed with the whys.

5. Stock markets generally move in advance of news or supportive fundamentals - sometimes months in advance. If you wait to invest until it is totally clear to you why a stock or a market is moving, you have to assume that others have done the same thing and you may be too late.

You need to get positioned before the largest directional trend move takes place. The market reaction to good or bad news in a bull market will be positive more often than not. The market reaction to good or bad news in a bear market will be negative more often than not.

6. The trend is your friend. Since the trend is the basis of all profit, we need long term trends to make sizeable money. The key is to know when to get aboard a trend and stick with it for a long period of time to maximize profits. Contrary to the short term perspective of most investors today, all the big money is made by catching large market moves - not by day trading or short term stock investing.

7. You must let your profits run and cut your losses quickly if you are to have any chance of being successful. Trading discipline is not a sufficient condition to make money in the markets, but it is a necessary condition. If you do not practice highly disciplined trading, you will not make money over the long term. This is a stock trading system in itself.

8. The Efficient Market Hypothesis is fallacious and is actually a derivative of the perfect competition model of capitalism. The Efficient Market Hypothesis at root shares many of the same false premises as the perfect competition paradigm as described by a well known economist.

The perfect competition model is not based on anything that exists on this earth. Consistently profitable professional traders simply have better information - and they act on it. Most non-professionals trade strictly on emotion, and lose much more money than they earn.

The combination of superior information for some investors and the usual panic as losses mount caused by buying high and selling low for others, creates inefficient markets.

9. Traditional technical and fundamental analysis alone may not enable you to consistently make money in the markets. Successful market timing is possible but not with the tools of analysis that most people employ.

If you eliminate optimization, data mining, subjectivism, and other such statistical tricks and data manipulation, most trading ideas are losers.

10. Never trust the advice and/or ideas of trading software vendors, stock trading system sellers, market commentators, financial analysts, brokers, newsletter publishers, trading authors, etc., unless they trade their own money and have traded successfully for years.

Note those that have traded successfully over very long periods of time are very few in number. Keep in mind that Wall Street and other financial firms make money by selling you something - not instilling wisdom in you. You should make your own trading decisions based on a rational analysis of all the facts.

11. The worst thing an investor can do is take a large loss on their position or portfolio. Market timing can help avert this much too common experience.

You can avoid making that huge mistake by avoiding buying things when they are high. It should be obvious that you should only buy when stocks are low and only sell when stocks are high.

Since your starting point is critical in determining your total return, if you buy low, your long term investment results are irrefutably better than someone that bought high.

12. The most successful investing methods should take most individuals no more than four or five hours per week and, for the majority of us, only one or two hours per week with little to no stress involved.

C.C. Collins is a Financial Planning Advisor and Author of Scientific Wealth Strategies at Find more information at

The Secret to Stock Market Trading

Think stock market trading and you see images of pin-stripe suits, leather brief cases and the sweet smell of money. Of course there is also the vision of Gordon Gekko, the fictional version of a cut-throat Wall Street manipulator. Is the secret to stock market trading known only to these insiders? No, this secret is available to any investor if you practice the essential elements.

Element of Reality. Applying the secret to online stock trading starts with planting feet firmly on the ground. Profits can be made fast and fortunes lost just as fast. Online trading may have the same stomach turning impact of piloting a supersonic jet, but even jet pilots have to know how to land safely back on earth. Online stock traders have to accept that winning and losing depends on factors outside of your control. And when you lose, traders need to bounce back quickly and get back into the market.

Element of Learning. Traders can be so busy reading reports and newsletters that they fail to learn from the best teacher of all, experience. Every investment whether a winner or a loser presents a valuable lesson. In learning from experience, the secret is to examine the emotional as well as technical aspects of the trading decisions. When traders acquire a strong sense of self checked by motivations, they discover influences on trading that hidden beneath the surface. Dont be surprised if you learn more from your losses than from winners.

Element of Suspense. Online stock traders must be ok with uncertainty. The best research and an ideal stock choice can be turned upside down with the impact of external events, government policy changes, oil prices or just about any world crisis. Successful traders enjoy the game. They thrive on responding to the unexpected and savor profits rescued from crisis all the more. Traders who cant take suspense need to go for long term buy and hold strategy or just drop their cash into a mutual fund and let the pros manage it for them.

Element of Flexibility. The stock market is a fluid environment. Online stock traders, who are ready to go with the flow, even if it means tweaking their trading strategy, respond most effectively to market swings. Projections are merely the hoped for scenario. For day traders its particularly important to be flexible, accept any losses and get back on track after adjusting the market changes.

Element of Confidence. Online trading fluctuations can cause traders to doubt their strategies. Losing money in the market does not make you a loser. Keep a clear separation between what you do and who you are. Online traders who maintain strong belief in their system, research and instinct get back in the winners circle faster than traders who are driven by emotion.

Traders who combine these elements are on the way to mastering the Secret to stock market trading success over the long haul.

Get your Momentum Stock Trading System and sign up for my free weekly online trading system newsletter here at:

Friday, September 28, 2007

Lessons in Entrepreneurial Success - Failure

In virtually every culture around the globe and at many socio-economic levels, owning a business remains a dream. And with that dream are hopes, fears, fantasies and illusions of what it is really like to start a business and run a company. Yet the promise of financial independence and the ability to be self-determining carries strong appeal. I know because Ive been an entrepreneur since I was 22 years old. I also had the opportunity of being a venture capitalist. It looks different on each side of that desk and here are some things I learned about failure that may help you succeed.

The process of beginning a business embodies the mysteries of birth and creation. How does it really begin? How do you make something happen? It requires a mind-set that simultaneously holds opposites of what isnt and what could be as possible realities. In the earliest stages, one has to believe fervently and work tirelessly toward something that does not yet exist.

A business is not just an activity. Golf is an activity. A business must produce something of value. It must create something that someone, somewhere, somehow will pay to have. This sounds obvious to state, but is often overlooked: business is about creating value. And the personal satisfaction or intangible value derived by the owner is in many ways incidental. The value must manifest in terms of products and services generating revenues and profits, as well as benefits to customers and stakeholders.

Why do some businesses succeed and other seemingly similar companies often fail? The recipe for success is unknown, but the secrets are in the details. And the attitude of the entrepreneur may be the most important ingredient.

Any business is truly a series of secrets. Those secrets are discovered through a series of experiments. Sometimes entrepreneurs complain that business is difficult. One can consider it to be hard or recognize that if it were that easy or obvious, everyone would be doing and there would be very little opportunity for you. Try to keep in mind that you want to create a mindset that empowers you. The extent to which you think it is difficult, will correspond to the amount of struggle and suffering you undergo. Instead try to create an attitude of Its just a game or Im curious how this can work. You will enjoy it more and probably get better results more quickly.

An experienced entrepreneur is like an experienced scientist who designs the experiments recognizing the probability of failure, and in fact, the necessity of it. The design of these experiments can have a rapid prototyping effect for failing fast and often. By performing experiments with clear measurements for monitoring empirical data can get the team closer to those secrets.

Most of us do not want to fail. Ever. From childhood, were taught that its bad, even shameful. This is a young conversation that needs to shift if you want to ultimately reach your vision. It doesnt empower anyone and its not helpful.

So, you have to be willing to fail. Entrepreneurs who expect not to fail are going to be in trouble. Those who dont have an emotional context for failure and those who feel very badly when early experiments dont work out, are going to suffer a lot. And it may even jeopardize their chances of ultimate success. Not only do you need to fail fast and fail often, you dont have time to feel bad about it. You have to reframe failure so that its not bad and it doesnt mean anything other than you are that much closer to the next secret.

How many times did Thomas Edison fail to create electric light bulb? At last, when those experiments start to succeed, its time to capture it. Be observant enough to recognize when its working. Then those successes must be developed into systems that produce predictable and profitable, scalable results. These results are the wins that entrepreneurs and investors alike are searching for in their ventures.

Always, the entrepreneurial team needs to be asking themselves whats the most important thing to do next? Where can we get the best results? What will move us closer to our next goals?

Planning is the lifeblood of young businesses. Companies must develop plans for each and every aspect of their business, while maintaining tremendous flexibility. These plans need to be tested and assessed. You even need to plan for failure. (Not plan to fail, but plan to know when you are failing, when to stop, and what to do to get back on track.) The strategies, failures, and successes need to be continually evaluated. Assumptions need to be identified and questioned. Results need to be analyzed. Thats how companies learn and grow. Thats how they uncover their business secrets.

In the process of uncovering these secrets, young companies and their leaders need to find or create a support structure. You may even fail in that. If you are failing to find support, you need to rethink your vision. Do you believe in what you are doing? Why or why not? Tell the truth. Entrepreneurs need to answer the question, Who is going to be passionate about your company and why? With so many innovative and high potential companies, entrepreneurs soon realize that their business vision has to be compelling in order to attract and keep customers. It has to be exciting enough to motivate investors. It has to be promising to attract good management. If you are not getting the support and involvement, consider restating your vision and mission. What part of you is not sure? Why are you really doing this? What difference does it make to whom? Why is it important that it succeed? Why does the world need this?

Ultimately, its not about your secret sauce. Its about leadership. Its about you. And you are the only element in this equation that is truly within your control. While a proprietary technology or methodology is exciting, it takes more than this to make a companys vision compelling. Remember, it has to really matter to someone. And you have to be able to speak this vision as the leader. Then it takes well-defined strategies that can be executed by mature leadership to build a solid company and generate shareholder value.

Remember to look at Reality. The Real Reality, not the one you want to happen, thats called denial. You have to know that you dont know. Hypothesize and test results. Constantly create your Plan. Test the Plan. What happened? Okay, now modify the Plan. Test the Plan. Adjust and improve. Build your strategies and tactics. This is the process of developing a business and its thrilling to see the results. Be courageous.

So what if its never really easy. It can be the most exciting journey of your life.

Rebel Holiday has 25 years experience establishing and developing companies. At age 22 she started her first company on the proverbial shoestring and built it into a successful business in just a couple years. She originally began speaking to share her business ideas. Now a professional speaker, Ms. Holiday has presented to hundreds of diverse audiences in corporations and associations internationally, traveling to 43 countries. She assisted over 200 entrepreneurial companies launch with early-stage venture funds in the Washington D.C. Metro area. Ms. Holiday has taught classes on topics related to entrepreneurship and business to graduate students in MBA programs at American University, Georgetown University, Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) and University of Maryland.

She now works with companies through Emergence Growth Consulting, Inc. and

She passionately maintains that conscious entrepreneurship, intentionality and collaboration can shift the quality of life on our planet.

US Stock Market - Investment Opportunities

The US stock market has a long history dotted with a lot of ups and downs. The stock market is made up of two exchanges - the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations system (NASDAQ).

More then a century and a half have passed since New York Stock Exchange was established which has the highest volume of stocks traded in the world in terms of dollar.It comes second if we compare it based on volume,NASDAQ being the first which is another exchange in US stock market.NYSE has got the highest market capitalization in the world running into trillions of dollars.

A common stock holder can easily trade his or her stocks by buying and selling them at the United States Stock Market. They can trade them electronically at both exchanges or on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchanges. However, direct trading on the floor is only available for members or "seat owners". These seats are highly prized as there is a limited number. To own a seat, you must pay a fee, currently valued at 4 million dollars.

An index of stocks reflects the general trend in the prices of stocks. Each major stock exchange has an index constructed from the prices of significant stocks that are quoted and traded in the exchange. The NASDAQ index, the Dow Jones index and the S&P index are the three most important indices in the US. These indices are further enlarged to include stocks of all major sectors in order to indicate sector wise trends.

Stock exchanges use stock symbols for denoting the stocks. These are essentially short forms of the company names. You can easily look up the history, current quotes and trends of any company from the stock exchange websites if you know the symbol.

The stock market history of US is interesting as well as informative. Year 1929 has significant marking in the long history. The year witnessed worst crash. Black Tuesday a day when largest amount of stock sale was settled in a day; is noted as worst day in the history of US stock market. The magnitude of the crash was such that it caused a loss of more than $100 million of investors' assets. This amount is equivalent of several hundred times more in today's value of currency.

Now a days people, who do not have the expertise to manage their own investments, have several avenues available to invest their spare money. Such avenues are invest stocks and mutual fund organizations. Even though these companies manage their investments professionally, one should be aware that all of them are not equally good. One should make their own research before investing through any of these avenues. Hence if you have some money to spare, it would be a wise idea to invest stocks.

There are several avenues available for people who may not have the expertise to manage their own investments. These include invest stocks and mutual fund companies. The us stock market offers a convenient means by which a common stock holder can trade in stocks, by easily buying and selling them. Such trading is done electronically in both exchanges, and also on the trading floor in the case of the NYSE. Stock exchange has an index in order to know the general trend of the individual stock price movement. In order to denote the stocks, stock exchanges use stock symbols.

Eat Your Carbs, They're Good for You!

You may think after all of the talk lately about carb reduction that you need to avoid eating carbohydrates. But the exact opposite is the case. The kinds of carbohydrates you get from fruits and vegetables are a necessary basis of your daily diet. Instead of helping you pack on the pounds, they actually help you to burn fat. They are also a major source of fuel for your body, especially your muscles, brain and nervous system.

Carbs occur in two types: simple and complex. They are broken down into glucose, or blood sugar, which is metabolized by your body for energy. Glucose not immediately used by you is stored in your muscles as glycogen, but if your body has an excess of glycogen, it is converted into fat. However, because carbs prime your metabolism, you need them in order to burn fat. This is one of the major reasons you must not starve yourself and eat too few carbs. You must eat a good intake of complex carbs, such as those found in fruits and veggies.

Simple carbs, such as those found in candies and sweets, and also fruit, are turned into glucose quickly. These are the kind which can add to your weight problem. Complex carbs, such as those found in brown rice, veggies, legumes (peas, beans and lentils), and whole grains breads and cereals are digested and thus used at a much slower rate, giving your body time to prime its metabolism.

There are four calories in each and every gram of carbohydrate. Nutritionists say that 50% of your diet should consist of complex carbs. Simple carbs are high in calories but low in vitamins and minerals. These are the so-called empty calories that you find in sodas, deserts and other such sweets, and to some extent in fruits -- especially fruit juices and fruit juice drinks. You should be getting your major carb intake from whole fruits, whole grains and vegetables.

Good high carb veggies are peas, peppers, pumpkin, radishes, spinach, squash, succotash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and turnips. Succotash, sweet potatoes and green cooked peas are the highest in carbs. You need several servings per day of complex carb foods such as these to maintain your energy levels and keep you from getting those sluggish feelings that make you feel sick and tired.

By eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day, you will be boosting your health through better carb consumption. The National Cancer Institute recommends that you have fruit juice -- or better yet fresh fruit every day for breakfast. You should have a fresh fruit or vegetable snack every day. You need to stock up on dried, frozen and canned fruits and veggies. You must make these foods visible and easy to access throughout your daily routine. And you have to sample the delicious spectrum when it comes to the many different colors and varieties of fruits and vegetables.

You will get your five a day if you eat one cup of dark, leafy greens, one half cup of red tomatoes, one half cup of yellow peppers, six ounces of orange juice and one half cup of blueberries. This is only one example of how you can consume five a day of fruits and vegetables to keep your complex carb ratio up. Please notice this includes only one serving of fruit juice. Various nutrition experts state that you should eat whole, fresh fruits more often than drinking fruit juice, which keeps those simple sugars from adding to your weight problem.

This is because simple sugars are more concentrated in fruit juices than in whole fruits. You should eat at least two cups of fruit a day, in a variety of fresh choices, such as one small banana, one large orange and one quarter cup of fresh or canned apricots or peaches. Also, eating fresh fruit adds more fiber to your diet and helps flush toxins from your system better than only drinking fruit juice does.

You should also eat plenty of dark, leafy green veggies, which are among the best foods for you. Eat broccoli and kale, as well as mustard greens and spinach. Also, you should eat orange veggies such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and winter squash. For peas and beans, among the best are pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, split peas and lentils. Foods such as these are extremely healthy, low in fat, and terrific for raising your energy levels.

Eating fruits and veggies will also greater lower your risk for cancer. Researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University have made top ten lists of the best antioxidant (anti-cancer) fruits and vegetables. Here are some of the most antioxidant members of the fruit and vegetable families of foods:

1)Fruits: prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, plums, oranges, red grapes and cherries

2)Veggies: kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, beets, red bell peppers, onions, corn and eggplant

While the average American seldom gets as much as two servings of these good foods per day, nutrition experts say that five to seven servings a day need to become a staple of the ordinary American diet. You can easily sneak these into your familys eating patterns. Try serving raw veggies at every meal, and take advantage of packaged, prepared veggies. Put veggies into your breakfast and lunch, and start each family dinner with a mixed green salad. Serve a salad entre dish once per week, fill your spaghetti sauce with vegetables, and begin ordering a weekly pizza with an extra serving of healthy vegetables.

If we were to eat more veggies and fewer processed foods, we as a country would lose weight, clean out our clogged arteries, balance our blood sugar and shut down a large number of hospitals in the process. This would roughly solve Americas growing health and obesity problems in a nutshell.

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Real Estate Investing - Time Is Money

Which sounds better to you? An investment in the stock of a company upon whose management you will have to depend not to cheat, lie, steal, or simply be ineffective in marketing their product or service, in a stock market which is hysterically sensitive to the fluctuations of world events over which you have no control?

Or an investment in a piece of real estate in which you may be able to live, or rent to someone else for income, or simply go an walk around on, knowing that you have purchased something over which you are in control about which you can make all the decisions?

Land ownership had, until the twentieth century, been the measure of a mans character. As archaic and unfair as that practice may now seem, land is a limited commodity without which no other business can function, and which has inevitably increased in value for those who remain patient. While millions of people have turned to the stock market as a way of growing their assets, real estate investing, for a longer period of time, has proven itself the much safer way to accumulate wealth.

The New Era Of Real Estate Investing
Up until the 1960s, in fact, real estate investing was the exclusive domain of the very wealthy and international conglomerates that had the financial substance to purchase and develop land for commercial uses like industrial parks and shopping centers. But today, with the arrival of the Real Estate Investment Trust, or REIT, the small investor can join with many other small investors and experience the benefits of real estate investing without ever having title to a single piece of property.

The secret to succeeding in real estate investing is to do it with OPM, or Other Peoples Money. You leverage a little of your own money with a lot more of someone elses. And you can buy more property than you would ever be able to afford on your own. Your risk is much lower, and your chances of profiting are much higher.

Leverage Vs. Margin
Leverage is to real estate investing what margin is to the stock market, but without the volatility. Stock market trading has violent swings on a daily or even hourly basis, but the pace of change in real estate prices is seldom above a crawl.

For those in real estate investing to see their portfolio values rise ten percent in a year is an almost unheard of event; but on the other hand, while the gains from real estate investing be small, they almost never become losses. Those who can get into real estate investing when everyone else is getting out, as is happening now in the housing market, and who can stay invested over time, are looking at the chance of an investing lifetime.

You can also find more info on Real Estate For Sale and Real Estate Investing. is a comprehensive resource to get information about Real Estate.

Have a Blast Visiting Central Park, New York

When going on a tourist trip to New York, the sheer amount of things to tick off the list seems staggering, especially in terms of places to go. The Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, perhaps taking a visit to watch stockbrokers yelling at each other on the trading floors of the New York Stock Exchange - it all adds up. So why not take a break by visiting Central Park to recharge your batteries?

The mere concept of Central Park is quite amazing - a landscaped park area, measuring 843 acres (twice as large as Monaco and eight times as big as Vatican city), the park lies slap-bang in the centre of the borough of Manhattan - one of the most expensive property areas in the world, second only to central Tokyo. The value of the land Central Park occupies is estimated at nearly $529 billion, making it by far the most expensive area of parkland in the world.

Whilst much of the area looks like natural wooded grassland, the entire park is in fact painstakingly and exquisitely landscaped. The park contains many attractions, including several natural lakes with fondly-given nicknames, many walking trails, a wildlife sanctuary, a large open area devoted to sporting pursuits, two ice-skating rinks and many playgrounds for children. Additionally, the area is hugely popular with native New York joggers, being the only open area for miles across the Manhattan borough.

Many professional races are run in and through the park, including sections of the New York Marathon. This finishes inside Central Park next to Tavern on the Green, an extremely famous restaurant that's featured in such films as Wall Street and Ghostbusters.

But sport is not the only activity for which Central Park is most cherished - entertainment is also very high up the list, with many famous music acts having performed concerts there throughout the years, including legendary performances from Simon and Garfunkel and Dave Matthews Band.

Central Park has it's own fair share of talent and celebrity too - local folk singer/songwriter David Ippolito, more often known by his usual moniker of "That Guitar Guy From Central Park", has been regularly performing every summer weekend in the park since 1992 and regularly draws crowds of up to 500 people, locals and tourists alike. In fact, such is his love for Central Park, it is the only place he ever performs.

So when you're on holiday, take a little time off from the clamour of Fifth Avenue and Times Square. You'll be able to find a range of hotels near Central Park from which you'll be able to access the area's tranquillity with ease and spend some quiet time revelling in the more laidback side of the hectic Big Apple lifestyle.

Adam Singleton is an online, freelance journalist and keen amateur photographer. His portfolio, called Capquest Photography is available to view online.

Enhance Gains With Timing Diversification

As we have written so many times, "market timing is the following of a long term strategy to profit from the financial markets, that also protects us from the inevitable down trends that occur along the way."

Many investors, who understand the potential of market timing, pay little attention to the potential of diversification. Many novice market timers jump right into an aggressive timing strategy with little thought about how they will handle a period of losing buy and sell signals.

But there is a way to jump right in, and also realize the long-term potential of even the most aggressive strategies. It does require a bit more work, but not all that much. Just a few minutes a day to check for changes and make adjustments.

Aggressive Market Timers Can Benefit

Many market timers already follow well-defined investment plans that include diversification. But as we just discussed above, some do not.

If you are one of those who do not... consider changing. Diversification is not only for those who are afraid of volatility. It has an important place in even the most aggressive of portfolios.

We have been market timing since the early 1980s and although we are quite aggressive, we diversify our timing funds, not just for safety, but also to "enhance" our profit potential.

Those who follow our Bull & Bear Pro Timer strategy will make a great deal of profit over long time frames. Because the markets tend to trend most of the time and the aggressive strategies will catch all trends in "both" directions.

But non-trending markets can be quite frustrating, and aggressive market timers in our experience, become frustrated more quickly than most.

Aggressive timers.... try this strategy: Use the Bull & Bear Pro Timer strategy for 20% and no more than 30% of your timing portfolio. Use the Sector Fund Strategy for the other 70% to 80%.

Although the sector funds go to cash on sell signals, these industry specific funds are big winners when they trend. Often they will trend much further, by 100% to 200%, than the rest of the market.

When the bear growls, you will have 20-30% of your portfolio profiting on the short side, plus those sector funds that are hot even during a bear market (there are always some).

You will make money, but have only a small percentage of your timing portfolio at risk.

During a bull market, you will be fully invested most of the time, except in those few industry sectors that are not doing well.

Diversified portfolios have a dramatic effect in controlling volatility and drawdowns. Yet they can be extremely profitable over time. The best of all worlds.

Even Conservative Investors / Market Timers Can Benefit

Those conservative market timers who are willing to devote at least a little extra time, can enhance their profits by adding the Sector Timer strategy as a percentage of their timing portfolio.

Being conservative does not mean you cannot be active. Using the Conservative Timer strategy will always do well over the years because it is designed for long trending markets, and makes changes infrequently.

But if you used it as a base for your timing portfolio, say for 50% to 60% of it, you can easily be more active with the other 40% to 50%, and still be well within the guidelines of "conservative" investing.

Again we suggest using the Sector timer. In this case "because" it goes to cash during sell signals, and because it follows a diversified strategy of its own (multiple positions are always used), it can add considerably to your profit potential (sectors tend to trend longer and higher during bull markets). Another possibility is using the Sector Timer for 33% of your timing portfolio, Small Cap Timer for 33% and Bond Timer for 33%. This will create an excellent diversified portfolio for solid gains over the years.

An even more conservative yet simple portfolio might be a your core timing account stays in the Conservative Timer strategy with 70% allocated, plus 10% for the Bull & Bear Pro Timer (or Bull Pro Timer) strategy, 10% for the Bond Timer strategy and 10% for the Small Cap Timer strategy. This will cover most bases, and yet still offer an additional level of safety.

There are many variations that you can come up with using the various strategies and this is something we recommend. Any work that adds diversification will add stability to your investment portfolio.


Consider at least some diversification for your market timing funds.

We mention the Sector Timer in several the diversification scenarios above. This is because it is "already" well diversified (at least eight sectors, if not all, should be used), yet has the tremendous profit potential inherent in industry specific funds (sector funds usually trend farther, percentage wise, than the general market).

Diversification can dramatically help control volatility and drawdowns.

Diversification, when properly applied to your portfolio, will actually enhance your profit potential over time.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Uranium Bull Market: Only Tip of the Iceberg

In mid September, Mitchell Dong, chief investment officer of Solios Asset Management told a news wire service, I think we are seeing the tip of the iceberg of financial investors entering the physical uranium market. At the Platts Nuclear Fuel Strategies conference in Washington, this past week, Mitchell Dong was a pit bull. Not only did he take extensive notes during the speeches, but he was first-in-line to question the majority of the speakers after their presentations.

Clearly, whatever initial purchases his fund or funds had made, in entering the physical uranium and equities markets, he probably wasnt finished loading up. Nearby, a trio of Greenwich, Connecticut hedge fund managers quietly listened to the presentations. Later, they lunched alone at their table while we observed them huddled in deep discussions about what bets they might place in the uranium bull market.

Long-time insiders have kept trying to put this bull market into whatever context they could. A difficult task since many of them endured a twenty-plus-year uranium drought, which only came out of hibernation the past few years. Some admitted they had nearly given up on the sector as the years passed by. Now, they and everyone else involved is trying to figure out how to make the Big Score on this amazing nuclear renaissance.

Of course there were opposing views on how to deal with the uranium price. Charles Peterson, an attorney at DC-based Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, hinted at a more transparent market, hoping uranium might be offered on a future exchange. He compared to the accessibility of other metals where traders use speculators. Later in the day, Patricia Mohr, Vice President for Economics, at Canadas Scotiabank warned the industry that if uranium were traded on a futures market, its volatility might already have it trading at $100/pound.

Again, the uranium price worried many at the conference. Ending the HEU hung around at the back of the minds of utility executives probably because many wondered where future SWU would come from, should the Russians terminate supplies to U.S. utilities. Should preparations not be taken at this time, it would not surprise us to see a super-spike in the price of uranium which Sprott Asset Managements Kevin Bambrough has occasionally warned us about. U.S. utilities remain complacent, assured the Department of Energy will come to the rescue at the last minute. But will they?

On the outside chance we might get insights into the complex and secretive Russian mind, we cornered Andrey A. Orekhov, counselor for the Science and Technology Department at the Embassy of the Russian Federation. He briefly attended the conference to eavesdrop on what Ronald Lorentzen, Director of the Office of Policy within the U.S. Department of Commerce, had to say at his presentation with regards to ongoing Russo-U.S. negotiations. We tested the waters by talking about the new generation of nuclear reactors, and brashly asking him if he could introduce us to Sergei Kirienko, head of Russias atomic energy agency, Rosatom. Instead he referred us to a lesser light for an interview.

Then, we asked him if we had been accurate in reporting that Russias aggressive nuclear ambitions would drive the uranium price to $100/pound. Pondering our question for a while, as if weighing whether the wrong answer would lead to his next meal in a Russian prison, Orekhov looked off into a far corner of the room and responded, Who knows?

His question concisely summarized the collective thoughts of the conference. No one really knows how much higher the price of uranium will run, whether it will reach $100/pound (and higher) and how soon it might arrive at the century mark. As we noted in an earlier part of this series, Dustin Garrow remarked of a possible run to the $80 to $100/pound level. The Florida Power and Light spokesman believed $52/pound was too high.

Renaissance Could Hit a Wall

Garrow made an interesting point at the beginning of his presentation, announcing, There are now more than 400 uranium companies. The implications of his comment are wide-ranging should one pause to ponder what he meant. Fuel Cycle Week senior editor Nancy Roth addressed this in the October 3rd issue. She reported upon the events and revelations at the Platts conference, writing, Several speakers mentioned serious technology and equipment deficits that are a legacy of this dormant period (the uranium depression: 1980 2003), along with the dearth of nuclear personnel from uranium miners to nuclear engineers.

These observations swipe at both sides: uranium producers and utility end-users of the uranium. If the labor and equipment shortages fail to provide sufficient uranium for utilities, then the price is likely to rise much higher. At the same time, should nuclear power plants fail to staff up their operations, or construction delays impact the building of new reactors, a lesser quantity of supply, less than what has been projected, will be required.

To make it short and simple: this industry is still too new to realize all of the complications required to move forward. As Ms. Roth wrote in an email to us, I think the uranium industry has a real chicken-and-egg problem in reinventing itself, and I think a key indicator of the severity of the problem might be in these production costs. The cost to which she was referring was the expense required to extract uranium from the ground. In the United States, there are a handful of in situ recovery operations. That is an insufficient number to adequately calculate an average production cost for a mining operation.

What happens when another half dozen uranium properties commence new mining operations? One of the hidden problems within the uranium development sector is the lack of proven miners. Over the past year, a few existing U.S. uranium producers experienced employee raids by the newly arrived development companies. We suspect more will take place, as several companies move closer to the mine development stage. Raids are taking place because of a lack of skilled and proven personnel.

Patricia Mohr brought up another of many interesting points. Increased mining output during 2004 and 2005, but in the first half of 2006 Mohr observed, Mine production probably dropped in the first half of 2006. She believes production was about 20 percent of companies planned. She pointed out Australias Ranger mine production was lower because of a cyclone; Olympic Dam because of declining ore grades. Rugged granite, from which Namibian uranium is mined, has reportedly caused problems at this countrys Rossing mine. Mohr believes the mines output could slow down in the second half of the year.

We believe the production costs for many of the up-and-coming projects are going to be greater than expected. When was the last time a new uranium mill was built? Not in this century. When was the last great uranium deposit discovered? Twenty years ago. How does a new company calculate its start-up and operating mining and milling costs in todays dollars? Some might believe they know the answer, but we wont really know until the actual production scenario takes place. And that might be two years down the road at the very earliest. Factors such as those do puzzle the forecasters, the analysts and the industry insiders. They truly do not have a proven benchmark against which to make an accurate evaluation. The last time they could was during the uranium bull market of the 1970s.

What about those 400 uranium companies? Do you read their news releases? asked Nancy Roth. She does, we read many of them. Arent most of them just hype? she inquired. We had to agree with her assessment. But in understanding the junior uranium companies, it is the news release which attracts investors to provide market support for their stock prices. Some have no real plans but to mine the stock market, as author and long-time uranium insider Julian Steyn once told us. Over dinner, Ms. Roth provided us with an important insight. She covers the NRC hearings for various companies hoping to move their projects forward. Those who are actually meeting with NRC arent doing so for a free trip to Washington at the expense of their shareholders, but instead to bring their project into the mine development stage. Among the most recent applicants were some of our favorites, such as Uranerz Energy (AMEX: URZ), UR-Energy (TSX: URE) and Energy Metals (TSX: EMC). Another was the privately held Concentric Energy Corp.

Coincidentally, StockInterview fan Laura Stein had been emailing us to meet with Ralph Kettell, Chief Executive of Concentric Energy. Because of Ms. Steins insistence, and our review of Mr. Kettell, we met with him about his project. Aptly, he chose the Greenbelt exit on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. For those unfamiliar with this exit, it is the road to NASA. As an electrical engineer, it was for NASA that Kettell designed the radio frequency (RF) portion of the Space to Space Communications System used in the construction of the International Space Station. Kettell also likes to seriously dabble in natural resource stocks, having been the lead investor and a director in AuEx Ventures.

No stranger to the uranium market, he had written an article for a resource website in 2003, proclaiming the coming bull market in uranium. Kettell forecast that some of his favorite stock picks, such as Strathmore Minerals then trading for about C$0.30/share, would jump by 1000 percent. Strathmores 2006 high was C$3.00.

Kettell had created an index of five uranium stocks (there werent 400 to choose from, back in 2003) from which he started at a base number of 100. Kettels favorite stocks were Cameco Corp (NYSE: CCJ), Denison (TSX: DEN), International Uranium Corp (TSX: IUC), JNN Resources (TSX: JNR) and Strathmore Minerals (TSX: STM). He told us this past spring, the value of his index had soared to the 3,000 level up 30 times from when he began tracking his favorite uranium stocks. Since then, the index had dropped to 2,200. We asked him in which direction he believed it was heading next. He responded, Ive looked at the technicals (technical analysis), and it should blow through the 3,000 level in 2007.

By early 2007, Kettell believes his private company, Concentric Energy, should be publicly trading. He told us he had rounded up the support of Jim Dines, Doug Casey and other newsletter writers for his private placement stock. Kettell said Pinetree Capital (TSX: PNP) was one institution backing his project. His company plans to develop the Anderson uranium mine, about 75 miles northwest of Phoenix, Arizona. The property had produced about 33,000 pounds in the 1950s. Additional exploration by Unocal and Urangesellschaft in the late 1970s demonstrated sufficient promise in the property. He told us Unocal was planning a 2,000-ton-day mill in 1978 for a proposed open pit mine.

We mention this meeting to bring home a very strong point about the future price of uranium. Upon our asking Mr. Kettell what his operating costs for the milling and mining operations at the Anderson property, he told us, About $65/pound. At least he was honest. This may not be the price level U.S. utilities want to hear about, but it might become the floor price for the future price of uranium. Perhaps, Mr. Kundalkar, the vice president from Florida Power and Light whom we mentioned during the first article in this series, should pay attention to what the uranium miners are saying. We are.

COPYRIGHT 2007 by StockInterview, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

James Finch contributes to and other publications. StockInterviews Investing in the Great Uranium Bull Market has become the most popular book ever published for uranium mining stock investors. Visit

Forecasting the Future Value of Your 401(k) or 403(b)?

If youve got Microsoft Excel (or just about any other popular spreadsheet program) running on your computer, you can use its FV function to forecast the future value of your 401(k) or 403(b) account.

The FV function calculates the future value of an investment given its interest rate, the number of payments, the payment, the present value of the investment, and, optionally, the type-of-annuity switch. (More about the type-of-annuity switch a little later.)

The function uses the following syntax:


This little pretty complicated, I grant you. But suppose you want to calculate the future value of a 401(k) or 403(b) account thats already got $10,000 in it and to which you and your employer are contributing $200-a-month. Further suppose that you want to know the account balanceits future valuein 25 years and that you expect to earn 10% annual interest.

To calculate the future value of this account, you enter the following into a worksheet cell:


The function returns the value 385936.13roughly $386,000 dollars.

A handful of things to note: To convert the 10% annual interest to a monthly interest rate, the formula divides the annual interest rate by 12. Similarly, to convert the 25-year term to a term in months, the formula multiplies 25 by 12.

Also, notice that the monthly payment and initial present values show as negative amounts because they represent cash outflows. And the function returns the future value amount as a positive value because it reflects a cash inflow you ultimately receive.

That 0 at the end of the function is the type-of-annuity switch. If you set the type-of-annuity switch to 1, Excel assumes payments occur at the beginning of the period (month in this case), following the annuity due convention. If you set the annuity switch to 0 or you omit the argument, Excel assumes payments occur at the end of the period following the ordinary annuity convention.

Curious about how much money you'll accumulate in your 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plan? Just use Microsoft Excel to calculate a pretty good estimate says author and CPA Stephen L. Nelson.

LLC formation author Stephen L. Nelson has written more than 150 books. Formerly an adjunct tax professor at Golden Gate Universitythe nations largest graduate tax schoolNelson is also the author of QuickBooks for Dummies. He also edits the do-it-yourself s corp incorporation web site.

How Long Should I Backtest An Online Daytrading System?

I am frequently asked how long one should backtest a online daytrading system. Though there's no easy answer, I will provide you with some guidelines. There are a few factors that you need to consider when determining the period for backtesting your online daytrading system:

Trade frequency

How many trades per day does your daytrading system generate? It's not important how long you backtest a daytrading system; it's important that you receive enough trades to make statistically valid assumptions*: If your online daytrading system generates three trades per day, i.e. 600 trades per year, then a year of testing gives you enough data to make reliable assumptions*. But if your trading system generates only three trades per month, i.e. 36 trades per year, then you should backtest a couple of years to receive reliable data.

Underlying contract

You must consider the characteristics of the underlying contract. The chart below shows the average daily volume of the e-mini S&P:

It doesn't make sense to backtest a trading system for the e-mini S&P before 1999, because the contract simply didn't exist! In my opinion it doesn't make sense to backtest an e-mini trading system before 2002 because at that time the market was completely different; less liquidity and different market participants. I believe that a reliable testing period for the e-mini S&P are the years 2002 - 2004.

The problem is that many traders over-use the functions provided by the different backtesting software packages and think more is better. Many so-called system developers try to imply that the longer you backtest the better and more robust your system will be. That's not always true.


When backtesting you need to know these things. It's not enough to just run a system on as much data as possible; it's important to know the underlying market conditions. In non-trending markets like the e-mini S&P you need to use trend-fading systems, and in trending markets like commodities you should use trend-following methods.

Markus Heitkoetter is a 19 year veteran of the markets and the CEO of Rockwell Trading. For more free information and tips and trick how to make consistent profits with online daytrading, visit his website