Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Dividend Reinvestment Plans: Investing on Automatic Pilot

If you're like many investors who squander those small dividend checks from your stock portfolio, a Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRP) might be just what you need. Just as its name implies, a Dividend Reinvestment Plan allows you to reinvest some or all of those dividends into more stock of the issuing company. Unlike purchases made through traditional means, partial or fractional shares, as well as whole shares, are available.

Technically, there are two types of DRPs. The first type involves buying shares at the market through an outside trustee. Although the company may subsidize the transaction costs, buying shares at a discount is not allowed.

The second type allows you to purchase directly from the issuing company, which may provide a discount from the market price. This is a distinct advantage over buying from an outside trustee.

Besides giving dividends a better purpose than sitting in your pocket or in a brokerage cash account, a DRP may offer other advantages as well. By buying on a regular basis, you are dollar cost averaging your purchases, an investment strategy designed to reduce volatility. Dollar cost averaging involves continuous investment in securities regardless of fluctuation in the price. Of course you should consider your ability to continue purchasing through periods of low price levels. This type of plan does not ensure a profit or protect against loss.

Secondly, many companies offer added options with their DRPs, including purchasing stock at low minimums and sometimes even offering shares at a discount (often 3-5%) off current market prices.

From a tax standpoint, you are subject to income taxes on the value of the dividends whether you reinvest them or not. Your tax basis for all your shares including the reinvested dividends is the amount paid for the original shares plus the dividends, minus any costs deducted from your dividends as a service charge as part of the DRP.

Keeping good records is a necessity, especially if you plan to continue participating in a DRP over a number of years. Without the records, it may become very difficult to track all your purchases. A little bit of effort now can save you big headaches later on.

Usually, you will receive a quarterly statement outlining your DRP account. Among other things, these quarterly statements will detail your on-going investments, how many shares are held by the program, how many shares are held be you, and the value of all your shares.

Not all companies offer DRP's but, for a list of one's that do, there are many web sites dedicated to these plans. These internet sites not only have a full list of companies with DRPs, they also offers online enrollment services. For securities held in a brokerage or wrap account, check with your brokerage firm to determine if they have the means to enroll you. If all else fails, try either the company itself or its transfer agent.

Although it is easy to see the advantages of DRP programs to the investor, we should not overlook the benefits to the issuing company. Besides helping to stabilize market prices, a DRP is a relatively efficient way to raise capital and, because companies only promise to continue these programs in the future, the issuing company controls when and how much capital will be raised.

Over 1,000 companies currently offer some type of Dividend Reinvestment Plan and, with a little research, you should be able to get on the path of automatic pilot investing for the future.

Glenn (Chip) Dahlke, a senior contributor to the Living Trust Network, has 28 years in the investment business. He is a Registered Representative of Linsco/Private Ledger and a principal with Dahlke Financial Group. He is licensed to transact securities with persons who are residents of the following states: CA. CT, FL, GA, IL. MA, MD. ME, MI. NC, NH, NJ, NY.OR, PA, RI, VA, VT, WY.

If you have any questions or comments, Chip would love to hear from you. You may contact him at dahlkefinancial@sbcglobal.net. You may also contact him by going directly to the Living Trust Network web site located at http://www.livingtrustnetwork.com

Copyright 2005. LivingTrustNetwork, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the written consent of the Living Trust Network, LLC.

Why Get Involved in FOREX Trading

PREMISE: Trading Foreign Exchange carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for all investors. There is a possibility that you could sustain a loss of all of your investment and therefore you should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. You should be aware of all the risks associated with Foreign Exchange trading.

The cash/spot FOREX markets possess certain unique attributes that offer an unmatched potential for profitable trading in any market condition or any stage of the business cycle. It leaves one to wonder why bother?

The answer to that is very simple. It boasts:

A 24-hour market: A trader has the chance to take advantage of all of the profitable market conditions at any time which means that there is no waiting for the 'opening bell' like the exchange.

Highest liquidity: The FOREX market is the most liquid market in the world. That means that a trader can enter or exit the market whenever they want during almost any market condition minimal execution barriers or risk and no daily trading limit.

High leverage: A leverage ratio of up to 400 is normal when compared to a leverage ratio of 2 (50% margin requirement) in the equity markets. Of course, this makes trading in the cash/spot forex market awkward as well because it makes the risk of the down side loss much higher in the same way that it makes the profit potential on the upside much prettier.

Low transaction cost: The retail transaction cost (the bid/ask spread) is actually less than 0.1% (10 pips) under the normal market conditions. At larger dealers, the spread could be less than 5 pips, and may expand a great deal in fast moving markets.

Always a bull market: A trade in the FOREX market means selling or buying one currency against another. In essence, a bull market or a bear market for a currency is defined in terms of the outlook for value against other currencies. If the outlook is positive, you get a bull market where a trader profits by buying the currency against other currencies. However, if the outlook is negative, we have a bull market for other currencies and a trader profits being forced to selling the currency against other currencies.

In either case, there is always a bull market trading opportunity for a trader.

Inter-bank market: The foundation of the FOREX market consists of a global network of dealers that communicate and trade with their clients through electronic networks and telephones. There are no organized exchanges like in futures that are there to serve as a central location to facilitate transactions the way the New York Stock Exchange serves the equity markets.

The FOREX market actually works a lot like the NASDAQ market in the United States operates, and because of this, it is also referred to as an over the counter or OTC market.

No one can corner the market: The FOREX market is so large and has so many participants that no single trader, even a central bank, can control the market price for an extended period of time. Even the interventions conducted by mighty central banks are getting to be increasingly ineffectual and short-lived. This means that central banks are becoming less and less inclined to intervene to manipulate market prices.

It is Unregulated: The FOREX market is seen as an unregulated market although the operations of major dealers like commercial banks in money centers are regulated under the banking laws.

The daily operations of retail FOREX brokerages are not regulated under any laws or regulations that are specific to the FOREX market, and in fact, many of these types of establishments in the United States do not even report to the Internal Revenue Service.

Bryan Thorby is the publisher of "Your Guide to Successful Forex Trading" available at http://www.oneworldbiz.net/finance/forex-trading.html and provider of Forex Trading resources at http://www.managing-your-finances.com/forex/ where you can Learn about Forex Trading - Training Programs, Forex Software, free demo Forex Accounts, and learn how to trade like the professionals.

The Foreign Exchange Market (FOREX) Uncovered

The foreign exchange market, or forex, has been very well known as the domain of government central banks and commercial and investment banks. The term Forex is taken from the words 'Foreign' and 'Exchange' and basically means to take part in trades involving the exchange of one countries money with another country. Even if you have not heard of forex trading before the chances are you have already done it in one form or another without actually realizing it. If you have ever traveled to a foreign country before and had to exchange monies at your local bank then you have already taken part in Forex. Granted this is far less exciting and profitable, however, the point is you were participating in the Forex.

The Foreign Exchange Market is a great trading market for new investors. The details of the currency trade are pretty straight forward and easily accessible to the average individual. Typically you will find that it requires a low initial investment to get started. New investors can start out small and work their way up to larger trades as they feel more comfortable. Now, more than ever, individuals are seizing the forex market as you can trade 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Today it is the largest and most liquid market in the entire world! Daily dollar volumes of monies traded in the currency market exceeds $1.9 trillion.

Since profit can be made from both increases and decreases in a currency it means the Forex market is highly appealing and can be very lucrative for anyone willing to give it a try. Forex is traded with a leverage, in other words, if you trade with $100 you do not get $100 of currency, in fact, you will get many times more than this perhaps as much as $40,000! This means that you can earn a percentage of that $40,000 if the currency shifts in your preferred direction, either up or down. This is quite valuable because in Forex currency trading fluctuations are oftentimes just fractions of a cent.

You can select your pair of currencies and your amount whether the market is moving up or moving down - and still make a profit. You can decide to buy Euro and sell dollar or buy dollar and sell Euro. Additionally, it is not necessary that physically have the currency in hand that you choose to buy and sell. The quickest and by far easiest way to get started is to find a Forex market site, open an account, deposit your money, and then just start trading. Most reputable companies will provide you with training, support, and advice to help you get started.

Forex trading has been around for a long time but is still misunderstood by a lot of people. Those that do know what Forex trading is have come to love the excitement that trading can bring. Many of these individuals go on to devote their whole lives to the art of trading. In order to make a profit on the Forex market investors only need to know one rule - buy cheap and sell high. The profit part comes in as you experience the fluctuations within the exchange market for currency you are trading.

Forex trading is all about exchanging currencies and taking advantage of the fluctuations in exchange rates. Contrary to popular belief, it is very easy to learn and begin making profits. Most importantly, please understand that before you go rushing to deposit money and start trading make sure you fully understand the market.

For more information about FOREX and currency trading visit our comprehensive website at "Ultimate Currency Trading Guide"

Day Trading Systems - How to Make Big Consistent Profits

How do you pick a day treading system that makes big consistent profits and look at day trading systems that can help you win.

So, how can you pick the best day trading system to help you make big consistent profits?

Lets find out.

The hype

On the Internet there are a huge number of systems sold in day trading and they sound great earn 70% profits, scalp 10 -20 pips everyday etc and all for a few hundred dollars or less!

So what makes a great day trading system?

Well the answer is:

Nothing Because the logic of day trading does not work PERIOD

Dont believe me?

Then consider the following:

1.Have you ever seen a day trading system publish a track record of real profits thats made in the market NOT a hypothetical simulation?

No neither have I.

Ask any vendor selling a system for a real time track record over the longer term and you wont get one.

How day trading system vendors make their money then?

These vendors are not stupid enough to trade the system themselves! They sell them, despite the fact the logic does not work and can never work.

They will take you money for the system so they win, then you trade it and lose, thats simply the way it is.

So why cant you win at day trading?

Its common sense really:

Volatility in daily and hourly frames is random.

Using daily ranges, support, resistance pivot points, or any other technical tool is a complete waste of time, as prices can go anywhere in a day and do.

The only people who look at daily ranges and consider them significant are day traders and their a very small losing minority of the millions of traders in the market.

Dont fall for the hype of day trading.

Its a fact that day trading system vendors dont produce real time track records as they are sensible enough not to trade their systems.

They know they lose money.

So why not write some great copy and make up a simulated hypothetical track record and make some money selling the system instead?

People who believe day trading works are either:

Stupid, naive or both.

Dont fall into the trap of thinking day trading will make you money it wont and if you dont believe me ask for the proof of a real time track record of long term gains before you buy,


On all aspects of becoming a profitable trader including features, downloads and some great FREE Trading PDF's visit our website at http://www.net-planet.org/index.html

E-Currency Exchange: 4 Great Income Streams and Counting

This article provides a brief overview of the 4 sources of income we can take advantage of as a participant in the e-currency exchange trading system.

Specifically, I am refering to the e-currency exchange program through DXinOne. DXinOne is by far the leader in facilitating e-currency conversions. The fees charged to account for these transactions is how DXinOne makes money. They are in essence a clearing house.

So how do I make money in this? The first and most important income source is the Portfolio. The first thing you will want to do is open an account and start building a portfolio. It does not cost anything to open an account. Fund the account with as little as $25 and start building your portfolio. As you progress you will be able to use leverage to increase the overall value of the portfolio. It is not uncommon to see portfolio growth of 20 to 40% per month. This is accomplished by combining the daily profits and the leverage to add to your portfolio. The average daily profits on your portfolio will range from about .15% to .35% depending on the supply and demand in the system.

The second source of income in the e-currency exchange program is to become qualified as a Merchant. Don't get excited, you aren't selling anything. Merchant is just a term given to signify those that have qualified to participate in the actual e-currency exchange process. Thousands of times each day there exists the need to convert from one e-currency to another or e-currency to hard cash etc. This is where the Merchants come in. The Merchants receive a fee of 4 to 14% for making funds available to make these conversion transactions possible. To qualify as a Merchant you must have a portfolio value of at least $5,000 and you have had a DXinOne account for at least 90 days.

The third source of income is the P4 Program (Pre-Paid Profits Program). This program provides non merchants the ability to earn a per transaction fee for exchanging with active merchants. Merchants need liquidity to perform their functions and are willing to pay a fee for this liquidity. The fee paid to the non merchant ranges from 5 to 7% of the transaction. Caution: I have seen a lot of advertising boasting the P4 Program as "Huge instant profits" and "You get paid first" etc. Unfortunately, you do not have the whole picture. The rest of the picture is 2 part. The first is, when you have completed a transaction you will have to exchange those funds in order to do anything with them. This exchange will cost you upwards of 3%, so the real returns are cut in half or so. The second part of the picture is the reality of the time required to perform the e-currency exchange process. As of the writing of this article the process is extraordinarily long. Expect the process to take 2 weeks or longer depending on how the system is flowing and how much you are trying to exchange. So maybe the truth is 2 to 4% return every 3 weeks. Still not too bad for passive income.

The fourth source of income is for webmasters. This is called the AdsExposed Program where advertising is placed on your website. You will receive pay per click revenue from those ads.

So now you have the 4 sources of income currently being offered by DXinOne. The great thing is DXinOne is a progressive organization. They have many other programs and services in the works that will be launched as time goes by.

Merv Thompson Author and operator of http://www.futures- brokers-review.com a website providing tools, resources and reviews for todays trader.

Get detailed information on e-currency trading at e-Currency Exchange

Money Market Investing - Learn The Secrets To Making A Fortune With Money Markets

Is money market investing a good option for your money? Fits of all, here is a brief explanation of what a money market fund is. A money market investment fund is essentially a mutual fund.

However, instead of taking your money and investing it in stocks, the fund manager will invest it in safer options such as government t-bills, savings bonds, certificates of deposit, etc. So, is money market investing a wise option for your money?

Again, as Ive said before, it all depends on your level of financial expertise. If, for instance, you are very financially savvy, can read a financial statement of a company and determine its profitability and future outlook, then there really is no reason for investing in a money market account, or any mutual fund, for than matter.

The basic premise behind a mutual fund is that the investor is not money savvy enough to make their own investment decisions for themselves, and thats why they are depositing their money to be handled by an expert.

For most people, this is a wise option, as most people generally arent interested in learning about reading the financial statement of a company and determining sounds investments. However, if you are one of the few who is capable of this, than there is no need for you to invest in a mutual fund.

Therefore, whether or not you should be investing in a money market fund really depends on your investment savvy. Keep in mind that a money market fund offers less of a growth potential than a traditional mutual fund.

Often times, you can actually end up losing money with money market investing if the growth rate doesnt keep up with the inflation rate. Therefore, you definitely want to be sure that his is the best option for you before investing.

As always, it is highly recommended that you do your own research, become financially savvy, and be able to make your own investment decisions. If, however, this isnt possible, then a money market account may be the way to go for you.

For more info on how to buy stocks, and tips for investing in the stock market, visit http://www.stock-investing-tips.com, a popular site that teaches how to make a fortune from your investments.

Overseas Property Investors Beirut Could Be The Answer To Your Dreams

Once known as the party and culture city of the Middle East Lebanon's capital Beirut is now the place overseas property investors are looking toward. The image etched in the minds of Europeans for example is that of a war torn Beirut. Its now time to think again as the region now offers great prospects for property investors. Beirut's low property prices combined with new inward investment make it to set to be a good place to invest.

Beirut the capital.

Beirut is benefiting from investment from abroad and is undergoing a major face lift. The new construction boom is taking place and will help Beirut return to its former glory. This property boom is being fuelled by expats and overseas buyers who have already seen the great potential in this region.

Developers are heading Beiruts way.

Damac Properties is investing in the region with a $150m real estate venture called La Residence a 27 storey luxury tower designed by Ivana Trump. Other developers have also seen the potential and Beirut will be offering off plan investments to investors world wide.

Tourism is set to increase.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) are upbeat about the future of tourism in Lebanon. Lebanon's travel and tourism industry is expected to generate $4.4 billion in revenues in 2006, rising to some $8.7 billion in 2016. The report expects the Lebanese travel and tourism industry's activities to grow by 6.2 percent in 2006 and 4.4 percent per annum, in real terms, between 2007 and 2016. It added that tourism is expected to rise from 10.9 percent of Lebanon's GDP, or $2.4 billion, in 2006 to 14.4 percent, or $5.5 billion, in 2016

Beirut's education system is impressive.

Beirut has important universities targeted from major Arab countries seeking for certain level of education. The most notable is the American University of Beirut (AUB); others are the American Lebanese University (ALU), Beirut-Arab University, and the Lebanese Maronite University. Lebanon today is facing an unprecedented property boom with property prices soaring.

Beirut's nightlife is electric.

Beirut is a party town with bars and nightclubs open to the early hours. It has a social feel of Ibiza and New York City its people exhibit an overwhelming thirst for life. Visitors are spoilt for choice and wealth is in the air with some exclusive places to dine and dance.

Beirut's stock exchange.

After eleven years of absence, the Beirut Stock Exchange returns with vigour. The stock exchange is set to play an important role in attracting investment to Lebanon. The Beirut exchange has optimism in the future. Foreign interest in Lebanon was shown at meetings with the International Monetary Fund in Madrid.

Overseas investors.

All property investors know that part of your profits is made on the purchase price. Beirut's low prices and apparent sound financial future make it a place that overseas investors need to examine.

Copyright 2006 Nicholas Marr

Written by Nicholas Marr CEO of Marr International Ltd a UK based property marketing company that run one of Europe's fastest growing overseas property web sites at http://www.homesgofast.com

Forex Trading Strategy - 6 Simple Steps To Success

If you want to win at forex trading you need a forex trading strategy that can help you enter the elite 5% that make money and avoid joining the vast majority of losers. This article is all about devising a forex trading strategy for success in 5 simple steps.

1. Accept Responsibility

The first point to keep in mind is that you are responsible for your own success if you think you can buy success from a vendor for a few hundred dollars - you are going to lose.

Only you can make yourself successful and this means you have to develop your forex strategy on your own. The good news is, everything about forex trading can be specifically learned and is free on the net.

2. Learn the RIGHT knowledge

Forex trading is all about learning the right knowledge This is an important point, many traders simply think the more the better in terms of knowledge, but this is simply NOT true.

You get rewarded for results in currency trading and the accuracy of your trading signals, not the effort you make.

Your forex trading system that you use in your trading strategy should be kept simple and easy to understand. This way, ensures it will be robust in the face of ever changing market conditions.

Simple systems work far better than complicated ones and have the added benefit of being easy to understand by you This means that you will have the confidence to follow it with discipline.

3. Deciding Your Methodology

You will need to decide if you want to a technical or fundamental trader.

By far the easiest is to be a technical one and use forex charts to spot trading opportunities. You need to get the odds on your side and this means NO forex day trading! It doesnt work, as all short term volatility is random. Instead, base your forex trading strategy on swing trading, or long term trend following.

Both these methods will work and the one you choose is personal preference.

You then need to have a clear understanding of support and resistance and some momentum indicators to help you get into trades ( this is covered in our other articles )essentially you need to confirm price momentum is on your side when you trade. Finally, learn the concept of breakouts its a timeless very profitable methodology.

4. RISK and Money Management

If you dont like risk dont trade forex markets. Most traders dont understand risk and are so frightened of it, they end up being to cautious and lose. If you want to make money you need to take calculated risks, at the right time. You need to have the courage of your conviction. If you come into forex trading thinking you can risk 2% of your equity and make money do something else, as you will lose.

5. Trading is in the head

Most traders fail because they cannot obtain mental discipline, to follow their forex trading system through bad periods i.e. they lack discipline due to lack of confidence.

If you develop your forex trading strategy yourself, you will understand exactly how and why your system works - this will instill confidence and from confidence flows discipline. Keep in mind if you dont have discipline to follow your system you have no system!

6. Realism

Sure people get rich quickly but thats the norm for most currency traders. You need to have a realistic forex trading strategy and that means aiming for 50 100% per annum. If you can achieve this you will be up there with the best and this will compound to a lot of money over time.


You dont need to buy any material to construct your forex trading strategy, its all free online. You just need to research it and avoid people telling you that you can buy success from them, for a few hundred dollars you cant, there are no shortcuts. The good news is, everything about forex trading can be specifically learned and you can do it all on your own, if you are prepared to put in a little time and effort.


More on becoming a profitable trader some critical FREE Trader PDF's and more FREE Forex Education visit our website at http://www.net-planet.org/index.html

Does Value Investing Still Work?

The essence of technical analysis involves studying of past financial market data to forecast price trends and make an investment decision based on this. Technical analysis only takes into consideration price behavior of the market. Unlike in value investing, technical analysis doesnt care about the value of a company.

What's the use of analyzing past market data when the market is random. There can be a 50% chance of going up and another 50% of going down, why do we still need to study Technical Analysis.

As I explained in the earlier article about how psychology affects investment, investors move in a crowd approach (causing a trend) and this cause support (lowest price point of this trend) and resistance (highest price point of this trend) levels to be formed until something drives the stock higher or even lower.

Technical analysis is useful only if you want to 'predict' short term stock performance. Technical analysis is not so useful in predicting long term stock performance.

In a short run, stock prices are the effects of the actions of investors and , the prices are governed by intrinsic value of underlying business and past price movements and current or future news and rumours affects the decision of investors.

Even though technical analysis is not beneficial in a way to long term investors, i still believe its important to keep an open mind when it comes to investing and to read and learn as much as possible.

To summarise, value investors basically follows the below criterias when identifying potential stocks
1. Undervalued stocks
2. Low Price/Earnings ratio
3. Low Price/Cash flow ratio
4. Low Price/Book value ratio
5. Sound financial statements, low long term debt. The company must have enough cash flow to pay its long term debt with 3 financial years
6. Positive earnings in an upward trend
7. Strong management team and strategy
8. Competitive advantage of a company

How is technical analysis useful to value investors? Value investors can use technical analysis to identity investments who are over speculated. Over speculated stocks are hardly undervalued. They are usually overvalued due to the overcrowded speculation. Now, lets look back at rule number 1 of value investing, to identify stocks that are overvalued and have strong potential.

Now value investing is becoming too popular as its backed by Warren Buffett's success and everyone is learning and using the system of value investing. Do you still think value investing techniques will stick work since there are more people using value investing? I believe it will still work in some extend as we are dealing with long term investment as compared to short term investment. The criterias that we have identified for valued stocks for ways of identifying good companies. Good companies = strong financial potential and growth.

If you have any comments about the future of value investing, do drop me an email at keith@bewarrenbuffett.com More articles available at http://bewarrenbuffett.com

Success Trading: Yet More Basic Terminology for New Traders

In this day and age of online brokers for virtually every market out there, there are some very useful tools that will help protect your account and lock in profits when you have them. It is our recommendation that you use a good online broker and take advantage of not only the low commissions they offer, but also the automated tools that are available. These tools are virtually idiot proof if you use them. The number one reason that peoples accounts go belly up in the markets is because they lack the discipline to stick with their trading plans and let emotions drive their trading decisions. This approach is a guaranteed way to lose in the markets. Oh, you might get lucky on occasion, but eventually the market will take your money. Let discuss some of the trading tools were talking about.

Stop Loss Also called a stop, this is the price at which your position will be automatically closed. If you buy IBM at $50 per share, and then enter $45 as your stop level, then your position will be sold when the price hits $45. So this enables you to protect your account from a large loss. Bear in mind, however, that this stop level only triggers the closing of the position and doesnt guarantee youll get out at that price. A quick price drop might mean your order was executed at $42 instead of $45 because of market volatility but this would be an extreme case. Also, if you carry the position overnight and IBM opened at $40, then thats the price it would be sold. Keep in mind that if you had shorted IBM at $50, then your stop would be placed above $50 to protect your account. When the stop is triggered on a short position, you would be buying to cover the position.

Buy Stop The description above pertains to a sell stop, but there are also buy stops that can be very useful. These are used to enter a position at a certain point. Suppose youre using a trading system requires that you buy when a stock breaks above a certain price level. Lets say that you are waiting for IBM to break out of a channel and to do so, it would need to reach $51. In this case, you simply place a buy stop at $51 for the number of shares you desire and your online brokers system will buy that for you automatically whenever IBM hits $51. The only thing you would have to do and check back occasionally to see if the order has been filled.

These two tools, the sell stop and buy stop are invaluable to traders especially those who are just starting out. Make this a habit from day one in your trading ALWAYS place a stop loss immediately after getting an order filled. Obey this rule and the market will never hurt you very badly youll take a hard sting every now and then, but youll stay alive to come back another day!

Chuck Cox is a Technical Writer and Industrial Scientist by professional with a background in statistics. He has used mathematical and statistical methods to invest and trade in the stock, futures, and options markets. Chuck has owned various businesses and presently operates several websites. To learn more about trading the markets, visit his website, http://www.earncashathometoday.com/trading-stocks.htm

Trendline Forex Entry Signal - Two High Probability Setups

A reliable Forex entry signal usually involves a combination of factors which all come together at the same time.

No single indicator can provide the ideal entry level and the new Forex trader has to grapple with this stark reality. Many find this hard to accept and spend countless weeks and months and hard earned cash in search of what could be termed the 'holy grail.'

Learning to trade the Forex is hard work and needs to be treated like a business, the same as any other business. It requires a large investment of time, energy, mental discipline, and a cautious investment of cash until the necessary skills are acquired.

Trendlines are just one of the tools seasoned traders use along with other indicators to provide a reliable Forex entry signal.

Here we spell out two distinct ways in which trendlines can be used safely. Using a higher time frame candlestick chart such as a 60 minute, 4 hour, or even daily chart, a trendline is drawn along the most significant lows in an uptrend or across the most significant highs in a downtrend.

1. Momentum Combo

As price moves upward in an uptrend or downward in a downtrend, it will retrace and bounce off the trendline at certain times. However, using a trendline bounce by itself as a Forex entry signal is too risky. There have to be other factors.

Once you have drawn the trendline you now have a graphical representation of price movement and you will be able to see where price has to retrace to test the trendline once again.

Now use other indicators to see if that level where price would need to retrace to test the trendline combines with other factors.

Calculate your daily pivot points and draw horizontal lines on your chart to mark them.

Run your eyes left on the chart and note if there were any significant highs or lows that formed support or resistance within the last few days. Support and resistance on higher time frames usually provide more substantial reference points.

Use the Fibonacci tool on your charting software and mark retracement and/or extension levels on a variety of swing highs and lows and see if any intersect the trendline.

Also make sure you have the 200 EMA (Exponential Moving Average) line shown on your charts and note whether this also intersects near or at the trendline.

Now if you have a combination of two or three of the above indicators meeting at the same place you have now identified a Forex entry signal that can be regarded as high probability.

Put in your entry order to be take in long at this point where the trendline intersects with the other indicators and set a reasonable target limit for what probably will be a profitable trade.

For a downtrend, simply use the above indicators going the other way.

2. Break Combo

The second way to identify a reliable Forex entry signal using trendlines is to watch for a break of a trendline on a higher time frame such as the 60 minute, 4 hour, or daily chart.

Some traders sent an entry order to go long or short once price has broken the trendline by a few pips. That works for some.

There is however a safer way to trade a trendline break.

It will be observed that often (not always, nothing is absolutely certain when trading the Forex) once price has broken a trendline and moved 15-30 pips, it will come back, retrace, and test the backside of that trendline.

This is where again you use the combination of factors mentioned in the previous strategy.

Look to see if the point at which price may come back to test the backside of the trendline coincides or combines with factors such as:

  • Pivot points
  • Previous swing highs or lows marking support and resistance
  • Fibonacci retracement or extension levels
  • 200 EMA

Now when you place an entry order to be taken in at that level you are doing so on the basis of a clearly defined Forex entry signal.

For a graphical example of the above, see the resource box below.

Be aware that trading trendline signals on lower time frames such as 30 minute, 15 minute, or even 5 minute charts are very high risk trades. Price will break these short term time frames frequently during the course of a day and catch a new trader frequently by luring them into a trade they later regret.

Be patient and wait for things to setup as described in the two methods above for high probability trades triggered by a combination Forex entry signal.

For an actual trading example using the trendline strategy above click here:


Click here to learn how to use another indicator, the 200 EMA, in a simple yet powerful way:


For the best free economic calendars plus a free pivot point calculator and Fibonacci calculator click here:


Venture Lending: Babson MBAs Get the Low-Down on Venture Debt Financing

Recently, several students from the Babson College MBA program called requesting an interview. They were researching the venture debt market and wanted an insiders view of how this segment compares with venture capital. Their questions were thoughtful and I thought the discussion was worth sharing. An excerpt from the interview appears below:

Q. How does venture lending (VL) differ from venture capital (VC) as it relates to fund- raising expenses?

A. Fund-raising expenses in connection with venture loans are generally lower than for venture capital transactions. Legal fees are one of the largest expenses in many transactions. Lenders typically negotiate venture loan arrangements using their standard documents. Venture capitalists, however, usually use newly created stock purchase agreements. These agreements add considerable expense to these transactions since outside legal counsel is used. Other VC expenses include a more expensive and comprehensive due-diligence process.

Q. What about the flexibility of agreement terms?

A. It is difficult to compare the flexibility of terms between the two forms of financing. Flexibility can vary from lender to lender and from VC to VC. Generally, venture capital is a more flexible form of financing than venture debt since the proceeds are allowed to be used for many purposes. Usually, no collateral is required and there are fewer agreement covenants than lenders require. Venture loans often limit the use of proceeds to the acquired capital assets or for specific working capital purposes. Venture lenders usually require collateral and they may incorporate several covenants and conditions into their loan agreements.

Q. Are there VL companies that focus on segments other than technology or life sciences (e.g., retail, restaurants)?

A. There are not many venture lenders that specialize outside of those areas at present. The universe of venture lenders is relatively small, particularly in comparison to the VC industry. There are probably fewer than thirty U.S. firms that specialize primarily in venture lending or leasing. Most are involved in the segments that you mentioned.

Q. How much time does it normally take to get money from a venture lender? How many visits does an entrepreneur have to make to a venture lender before a final decision is made?

A. Most venture loans take at least thirty days to complete from the point of meeting the prospect to actual funding. Completion time can range up to sixty days or more, depending on the complexity of the credit. Most lenders will meet with the prospect a few times before committing.

Q. Can an entrepreneur continue window-shopping if a venture lender has started due-diligence?

A. Yes, but lenders frown upon shopping because of the time they commit to processing the transaction. The norm in the business is to bind a transaction with a commitment letter and fee. If the borrower/lessee continues shopping and chooses another provider, the fee is usually forfeited.

Q. Ideally, at what stage would an entrepreneurial company be considered safe for venture lending (e.g., a startup seeking the first round of financing or a company that already has a first equity round and is seeking a second round)?

A. Most venture lenders get involved after the company has successfully raised at least $5 million or more from a reputable venture capital sponsor - that is, after the A round.

Q. What are collateral requirements for a growth capital loan?

A. Collateral requirements vary. Some venture loans/leases are collateral specific. The lender requires collateral in the form of the equipment being financed. Other transactions are more flexible, allowing the proceeds to be used for general growth purposes and working capital. In the latter arrangements, the lenders may require an all-asset (blanket) lien on the borrowers assets.

Q. Would venture lenders invest in a company not sponsored by VCs? Are there any exceptions?

A. Generally, venture lenders invest only in companies backed by VCs or reputable investors with future capital to commit. The reason these sponsors are needed is that the enterprise usually is not approaching the point of profitability and will require additional funding rounds. There are exceptions and it depends on the other strengths of the credit. For example, a particularly strong cash position and strong collateral can entice a lender to relax the requirement of ongoing VC support as long as the lender has confidence in the management team. Other factors may also influence the decision.

Q. What are the top four or five characteristics that you consider before deciding whether to finance a startup?

A. We look for talented and experienced senior managers, strong VC sponsorship from reputable VCs, a compelling business plan and enterprise track-record since inception, an acceptable cash position and burn-rate, and acceptable collateral quality.

Babson MBAs: Mr. Parker, thanks so much for taking time to speak to us about venture lending. Your talk has given us an opportunity to gain valuable insight into this exciting industry.

George Parker: It has been my pleasure. I hope you find this information helpful and that you will consider venture lending as you form your career plans. Good luck in your research and give me a call if you need more information.

George Parker is a co-founder, Director and Executive Vice President of Leasing Technologies International, Inc. (LTI). A twenty-five year industry leader, George is a frequent panelist and author of several articles and e-books, including "Using Venture Leasing As A Competitive Weapon" and "101 Equipment Leasing Tips".

Headquartered in Wilton, CT, LTI is a leasing firm specializing nationally in direct equipment financing and vendor leasing programs for emerging growth and later-stage, venture capital-backed companies. More information about LTI is available at: http://www.ltileasing.com

Forex-Trading Foreign Exchange Using Risk Management Tools

Trading in the foreign exchange (FOREX) market offers both tremendous profits and substantial risks, as does many business opportunities. Have you ever wondered how you could trade the FOREX while controlling and/or reducing the risks involved? Has the fear of losing in a big way kept you from entering this fast-growing market? This article explains several steps you as a trader can take to better protect your investment in this dynamic marketplace.

For starters, understand that your long-term survival and ultimate success necessarily depend on a cautious approach to the market from the start. Among other things, this means that the percentage of margin put at risk in each trade must be reasonable. Within reason, limit the amount of money put at risk. Naturally, what is reasonable to one person may have a different meaning to the next person.

Regardless of the amount of available margin in the account of the investor, the percentage traded must not be so great as to significantly deplete the trading resources if a trade turns unfavorable. Many successful traders refuse to exceed one percent of the tradable margin when executing their orders, while others may go high as ten percent. Putting an amount higher than ten percent at risk would probably qualify as aggressive trading.

Because the amount of leverage applied to the trade can have a profound impact on the outcome, it is better to trade at a level of leverage that matches your trading experience, proficiency and style. Beginning traders may not fully understand that leverage is a double-edged sword, capable of enhancing profits as well as losses. A conservative application of leverage should certainly be the practice of every new trader.

As the proficiency and confidence levels grow, a higher level of leverage may be utilized. Many brokers offer online platforms which allow the trader to pre-select the amount of leverage sought. Depending on the broker, the leverage allowed may go as high 400:1. The average maximum leverage allowed by most online brokers is closer to 100:1.

Consider utilizing the built-in safety features such as the stop loss, trailing stop and limit to help control the risks. A stop loss is a feature offered by virtually all online trading platforms. It allows you to predetermine at which price level your trade will automatically closed if the market moves unfavorably against you. News traders and day traders will typically utilize a smaller stop loss as opposed to the wider stop favored by long-term traders whose positions may be open for several days or longer. A trailing stop will allow the stop loss to be moved in the direction of your profit and has the net effect of incrementally bagging your profits as the price movement continues to move favorably.

The limit provides a capping of the profits much in the same way that the stop loss minimizes the losses. Similarly, it automatically shuts the trade down once the predetermine threshold is reached by the moving price. It is quite advantageous in circumstances where the market experiences a major whipsaw or in the event of a disconnection from the brokers server or the traders internet service provider while the trade order is open.

The occasional loss aside, trading does not have to be a traumatic experience. As the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Still, your trades must be properly planned, executed and managed. Utilizing the safety tools designed for the protection of your trading positions is a smart way to ensure your longevity in a business where so many fall by the wayside as a result of failing to understand and properly manage the risks.

Sandy Robinson, J.D.
Copyright 2007

If you are ready to change your future by stepping into the exciting world of trading FOREX, go to http://www.winningtradersassociation.com for more information. Author Sandy Robinson, J.D. is part of the Winning Traders Association, an educational organization founded by John Beiler, President. The organization consists of a network of committed trainers and motivated traders willing to provide support to those interested in trading foreign exchange. Many of the members work from home.

SAS Update - Caporicci & Larson - San Diego, Orange County, Oakland, and Sacramento

In May of 2006 the Office of Management and Budget issued a new revised supplement for OMB A-133. This revised supplement had several changes made to grant program narratives on the program requirements, which resulted in other parts of the compliance supplement also being changed. The changes range from minor verbiage changes to specific changes in program requirements as a result of Hurricane Katrina. A brief over view of the changes can be seen in Appendix V of the 2006 Compliance Supplement.

The major Program requirement changes were in the following parts of the supplement:

Part 3 - Compliance Requirements
Part 4 - Agency Program Requirements
Part 5 Clusters of Programs

The significant change made in Part 3 was in Section D, which was the creation of a disaster waiver for Davis Bacon requirements as a result of Hurricane Katrina. On September 8, 2005, the President of the United States issued a proclamation suspending the Davis-Bacon Act for the payment of Davis-Bacon wages in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. The waiver was rescinded as of November 8, 2005.

For further information and guidance on the disaster waiver refer to Appendix VI of the 2006 Compliance Supplement.

Another notable change made in Part 3 was in Section I (Procurement, Suspension and Disbarment). This section has been changed to clearly state the compliance requirements pertaining to procurements as it applies to the implementation of OMB Circular A-102 Common Rule and OMB Circular A-110, which was effective November 26, 2003.

Local governments and Indian tribal governments which are not sub-recipients of States will use their own procurement procedures provided that these procedures conform to applicable Federal law and regulations as well as the standards identified in A-102 Common Rule.

Institutions of higher education, hospitals, and other non-profit organizations shall use the procurement procedures that conform to applicable Federal law and regulations and the standards identified in OMB Circular A-110.

This section has also added procedures and references for identifying contractors who have been suspended and/or disbarred from participating in Federal award programs. This verification may be accomplished by checking the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS), which is maintained by the General Services Administration (GSA). For further information on EPLS refer to Part 3 Section I of the 2006 Compliance Supplement.

PART 4 This part of the 2006 Compliance Supplement mainly summarizes program requirements for various grants. These requirements are summarized and then organized and presented in the order of Federal agency and then CFDA number. The changes made to these programs range from basic verbiage changes to significant compliance requirement changes. The Following is a list of the Federal Agencies that have made changes to their grant programs:

Department of Agriculture (CFDA# 10.XXX)
Department of Commerce (CFDA# 11.XXX)
Department of Defense (CFDA# 12.XXX)
Department of Housing and Urban Development (CFDA# 14.XXX)
Department of Labor (CFDA# 17.XXX)
Department of Transportation (CFDA# 20.XXX)
Department of the Treasury (CFDA# 21.XXX)
National Foundation of the Arts and Humanities (CFDA# 45.XXX)
Department of Energy (CFDA# 81.XXX)
Department of Education (CFDA# 84.XXX)
Department of Health and Human Services (CFDA# 93.XXX)
Department of Homeland Security (CFDA# 97.XXX)
United States Agency for International Development (CFDA# 98.XXX)

If you have any grant award from any of these agencies you should review the list of grant programs listed in Appendix V of the 2006 Compliance Supplement to determine if any of the changes will affect the grants which have been awarded to you.

As a result of the changes made in Part 3 and 4 of the Compliance Supplement the list of grant clusters were changed.

As a result of the changes made in Part 3 and 4 of the Compliance Supplement the various exhibits, reference sources and explanatory information contained in the Appendices were changed.

Traditionally the Office of Management and Budget has reviewed OMB A-133 Compliance Supplement on an annual basis to assure that the information contained is as current as possible to assist in evaluating program compliance on federal award programs. These revisions are normally made available on their web site in May of each year. Therefore it is advisable to become familiar with the web site and monitor it for updates and other pertinent information pertaining to the Single Audit Act.

Brian Kelly is a Senior Auditor with Caporicci & Larson, a California-based CPA firm specializing in government compliance auditing. Their website can be found at http://www.c-lcpa.com/

Top 5 Technical Terms the Media Misuses

It's time for people to start using proper technical terminology, especially people in the media. It's bad enough when a complete moron is trying to describe technology they know nothing about. It's even worse when the simple terms aren't used properly. Most journalists are guilty of these offenses and it's time we started getting it right.

1. The Internet and World Wide Web are not the same thing.
Recently, a TV news reporter reported "peer-to-peer programs allow users to download video and music over the World Wide Web". Kazaa, Limewire, EDonkey and most peer-to-peer applications don't use web technology at all. They go over an Internet connection and that is all. Need a definition to tell the two apart?


2. Palm Devices are not PalmPilots.
Palm devices haven't been titled PalmPilot in over 8 years now. It's time to stop calling them PalmPilot's. You can thank a lawsuit by the makers of the Pilot pen for this. They are to now be called Palm devices or Palm Treo, Palm V, Palm VII, Palm PDA, etc.

3. Cell phone's aren't cellular anymore.
Most phone companies don't use cellular technology anymore. Yet nobody uses the term "wireless phone". Calling today's wireless phones "cellular" is like calling a CD a cassette tape. Yes there are still some cellular networks, but why call a phone that doesn't use cellular technology a cell phone?

4. iTunes are not MP3's.
Although you can play MP3 music in the iTunes application, you cannot download MP3 files from the iTunes network. You'll also find that it's almost impossible to locate an MP3 player that you can use with downloaded iTunes music. Music from iTunes are in a completely different format than MP3. This is how Apple gets you to buy the iPod.

5. 56K modem dialup is not high speed.
Thanks to advertisers of dialup internet providers, the term "high speed" is used for 56k dialup modem connections. This was fine about 7 years ago. With today's DSL and cable connections available, these should now be called "high speed" now. If you're using a modem, just call it "dialup". Simply calling it "high speed" won't make it so.

This article is featured at Technipages where you can find articles and downloads related to anything technical.

Submit your own technical article or post a message at the Computer Help Forum to obtain free computer help.

Hedge Fund Advertising

Have you seen all those big full page ads for hedge funds in the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Investors Business Daily? You havent. Maybe they are being drowned out by the regular mutual funds who continually tell you how great they are.

Shucks! I forgot. Hedge funds are not allowed to advertise. I wonder why. Maybe they think that their potential customers are too dumb to know that hedge funds are a poor investment. Could be. The Securities and Exchange Commission is trying to protect investors I think?

To be able to buy into a hedge fund the smallest investor must have a net worth of $1,000,000 and an income of more than $200,000 per year. Maybe the SEC doesnt think these folks are bright enough to know a good thing when they see it.

There are other groups that are major investors with the hedge funds. Literally billions of dollars are invested by university endowments, charitable trusts, state and corporate pension plans. Could it be that they have a better return than regular mutual funds? Naw! The media would tell you wouldnt they?

The media is there to report the facts. It is hard to believe that just because a large portion of their income is from advertising revenues of mutual funds that they would be lax about this.

If you were a fund manager and your fund was under performing and it was reported in the local paper, TV, or radio would you pay them to carry your advertising? You sure would not want to be compared with performance of a hedge fund.

What is it that makes the difference of a standard mutual fund with a hedge fund? Why does the smart money gravitate to them? One word. Performance. A regular hedge fund manager is paid on HOW MUCH money he has in his fund and not on how much he makes for the investor. The hedge fund manager is paid a percentage of the PROFITS he makes for the investors. No profit means no bonus so he better do the job or he will be out of a job. Smart money moves. It moves to where the profit is being made.

The SEC will not allow standard mutual fund managers to be compensated in this manner. Their claim is that it will be too dangerous for the small investor. Hog wash! If a fund is losing money the little guy should be selling his current funds like the smart money and finding a better performing fund. None of the media recommend this to the little guy.

My guess is there are enough intelligent fund managers who would like to be paid for performance and would set up no-load funds to attract investors. The SEC seems to think more of the funds than they do of the smaller investors.

It is a shame you cant check the advertising claims of standard mutual funds against the returns of hedge funds.

Copyright 2005

Al Thomas' book, "If It Doesn't Go Up, Don't Buy It!" has helped thousands of people make money and keep their profits with his simple 2-step method. Read the first chapter at http://www.mutualfundmagic.com and discover why he's the man that Wall Street does not want you to know.

Copyright 2005

Jim Rogers Forecasts Higher Oil - Gas and Uranium Prices

We talked, in a taped telephone interview at his home in Singapore, with Billionaire Jim Rogers, legendary commodities trader, who picked the bottom of the commodities bull market in 1999. With George Soros, Jim Rogers co-founded the Quantum Fund in 1970.

Over the next decade, Quantum Fund grew by more than 3,300 percent. Rogers retired, later a guest professor of finance at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, and still later circumnavigating the globe to firsthand discover new investment opportunities. He is widely and often quoted in the media about his views on the commodities market. Bestselling author, investment biker, adventure capitalist and widely followed, Jim Rogers talks about what he's now investing in.

StockInterview: In an interview with Reuters, about a month ago, you told the reporter that cleaner burning fuels, such as natural gas would out-perform oil. Do you still believe natural gas will perform well, comparative to the rest of the commodities in this bull market?

Jim Rogers: Oh, yes. As I said, the bull market is not over yet. The bull market has years to go, as far as I can see. Speaking specifically of natural gas, on a historic basis its much cheaper than crude oil, or even coal, at this stage. Its gotten whacked down because there has been a glut of natural gas in the U.S. anyway which is one of the main markets for natural gas. But longer term, natural gas production is declining in North America.

StockInterview: How does coalbed methane gas fit into this picture?

Jim Rogers: As long as its economic, it is a viable source of energy. You will see people using methane. Youll see people using lots of viable alternatives as the price of energy stays up and goes higher and higher.

StockInterview: Speaking of cleaner burning fuels, how do you feel about uranium and nuclear power? Both uranium and nuclear energy appear to be undergoing a renaissance.

Jim Rogers: Well, there is a revival of nuclear power. Nuclear power is cheaper than many other sources of energy, and so it is having a comeback, if you will. In many parts of the world, it never went away. The French never stopped using nuclear power. The Koreans never stopped using nuclear power. Other people are now coming to nuclear power. The Chinese are going to build at least 25 nuclear power plants in the next fifteen years or so. Even in the U.S., some of the environmentalists are starting re-examine nuclear power because it is cleaner than coal, or some of the other carbon based energy sources. If its controlled properly, then nuclear power can be extremely attractive, both cost-wise and environmental-wise. The huge stockpiles of uranium, which were built up during the cold war are being used, are being depleted. So, I see a great future for uranium and nuclear power.

StockInterview: Spot uranium prices have steadily risen for nearly six years without a correction. How do you look at uranium as a commodities trader?

Jim Rogers: Well, whenever something goes straight up for six years, without even a correction, one has to be worried. Obviously, corrections are normal in financial markets. Whether theres going to be a correction in the next year or two, I dont have a clue. More or less, it is following the oil market, as you probably know. If and when oil has a big correction, I suspect uranium will too. They dont necessarily move together, but to some extent they have and probably will. Until somebody brings a lot of new uranium on stream, though, the surprise will be how high the price of uranium stays, and how high it eventually goes. There arent any big uranium mines being opened anywhere in the world. Uranium is still worrisome to some people, so I would suspect it will take more than a decade to bring a new big uranium mine on stream, anywhere in the world.

StockInterview: Its been about twenty years since a new uranium deposit was discovered.

Jim Rogers: Thats what Im saying. It takes a long time. Expanding a mine is different from opening a new mine. There has been one lead mine opened in the world in 25 years. Some people are starting to expand production from lead mines and copper mines. But this idea of bringing huge new mines on the scene is just not happening anywhere in the world in most commodities. One reason is because in the last 25 years, unfortunately, nobody got an engineering degree. Everybody was getting MBAs in stocks and bonds. So, there is a huge shortage of engineers in the world right now; not just engineers, even workers to work in mines. All the people got old or retired or died out. And not only engineers and workers, you cant get tires for your tractors. You cant get tractors. Theres a shortage of everything because nobody has been investing in productive capacity. Youve got to have tractors. Youve got to have tires. Youve got to have engineers. Youve got to have everything to bring new capacity on stream. While there are shortages of all these things, thats why the bull markets last so long. Bull markets historically have lasted 15 to 23 years. This one probably will too.

COPYRIGHT 2007 by StockInterview, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

James Finch contributes to StockInterview.com 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 http://www.stockinterview.com

Tyranosaurus Rex

Everyone knows T Rex was the most fearsome of all dinosaurs. He could and did kill everything in his path for food or maybe stupid meanness. His brain was very small and he did not survive.

There is a T-Rex among us today and it is disguised, but it is killing us in another way. This T-Rex is killing and eating our retirement portfolios. You may have noticed your stock account has lost some of its value during the past 3 years. Something or someone is nibbling away at it. It has gotten so bad that many people dont even want to look at their statements every month. Is there a way to keep the beast, whatever its name, from completely eating everything? Yes, there is.

Currently there is an advance in the stock market and you have been told by the talking heads on CNBC-TV that the bull market has resumed and it is best to "put whatever cash you might have into the market. Dont lose this opportunity to make back what you have lost".

This is a very sneaky T-Rex. It is out in the bushes and it may not have seen you yet. If you still currently own any equities you want to protect them from the beast. If this is a new bull market you may want to participate. OK, buy something, but you must know where to run to hide should the T-Rex come out again. How?

Now, I said now, you must decide how much you are willing to risk from here, not where you were 3 years ago. Dont try to get even. You cant. As this market rises you should be following every stock you own with an open stop-loss order. It could be 8%, 10%, 15%. Whatever you feel comfortable with. Do not try to outsmart the beast. Listen for his return and have your protection in place so it will automatically be triggered when T-Rex returns.

None of us knows how long you will be able to graze in the green pastures. It may only be days, but could be months or longer. If you are cautious the monster will not get you. The market itself will tell you when to run for shelter. No guessing. That is the wisdom of a stop-loss protection.

Take a few moments to review your stock and mutual fund holdings of 2000. Look up the price at that time for each issue. If you had placed loss protection on each one how much would you have saved?

In a bear market the best offense is a good defense. Dont let T-Rex get you.

Al Thomas' best selling book, "If It Doesn't Go Up, Don't Buy It!" has helped thousands of people make money and keep their profits with his simple 2-step method. Read the first chapter and receive his market letter at http://www.mutualfundmagic.com and discover why he's the man that Wall Street does not want you to know. Copyright 2004

Setting Your Sites on Netpreneurship

Building a home business takes several key factors in order to make it work. One crucial factor is Internet marketing that works to drive traffic to your site and customers to your virtual or brick and mortar door. There are several types of Internet marketing that can help grow your home business. These include affiliate marketing, advertising on other sites and newsletters, search engine optimization and writing articles for the Web. Your home business Internet marketing has to start with a great Web site, however. Your home business Web site is the focal point of all other Internet marketing you do. Without a Web site that promotes your home business and perhaps is even e-commerce enabled to take payments for and arrange delivery of your home business products all the other Internet marketing you do is just about worthless.

The first thing you should focus on, then, as you start your home business, is building a dynamic Web site. Lets look at the basic ingredients of a business Web site that works.

First you must have a business plan and that home business plan will be the guide youll use for your Web site. The site must have a purpose and that purpose should be to promote your home business. Without a home business mission and business plan, therefore, you wont have a Web site that succeeds. You also must know if your Web site is driving your business. More often than not new netpreneurs will set out with all the right equipment and ingredients such as bookkeeper, business plan and staff, but wont take the time or install the software that lets them track the progress their home business is making on the Web.

Thats always puzzling. Why go to the trouble of setting your home business up, making all the right moves to get started including Internet marketing and not put in place the programs and products that will let you know what worked? Sure, you might look at the bottom line and see that its gone from red to black and think you have no need to track further. But think about all the time and money youre spending. Would you and should you not want to know if the affiliate marketing is paying its way, or if the search engine optimization is the best place to put your money?

Yes, tracking the results of your Internet marketing is crucial to your marketing strategies and your expenses.

Your Web site design is crucial. You dont have to have the snazziest site on the Web unless of course, your business is selling snazzy site building services. But you do need a site thats attractive to look at, easy to navigate and offers a clear look at your products and service. You must identify yourself and provide easy to find contact information that includes physical address. Folks who come to your Web site from a distance cant come to your brick and mortar location to meet you. You might not even have a brick and mortar location. You must ease their trepidation about giving their money and personal information to strangers by personalizing yourself as much as you can.

Once you have your clear, attractive and easy to use Web site in place you can begin to promote through Internet marketing.

Peter Ris has a back ground in Economics. After working for 20 years in foreign exchange trading at major investment banks in a few of the main financial centers of the world, he retired to Spain back in 2001. Since then he worked as an investment consultant, web entrepreneur, and hotel manager http://retirewithpeterblog.com

United States Savings Bonds How Do I Calculate US Savings Bond Values?

A savings bond is a treasury security for investors. In essence, investors are loaning the government money. They are issued both as paper bonds and electronic savings bonds. They cannot be traded but can be redeemed after only one year. There are no dividends, per se, with a savings bond, as the interest payments are simply added on to the value of the bond, but as tax-deferred items, the interest doesn't have to be reported to the government until the bonds are cashed.

The value of a savings bond varies with the kind of bond purchased - series A, B, C, D, E, EE, F, G, H, HH, I, J and K. It also depends on when it is cashed and what kind of interest it has been assigned. Since 1935, the treasury has issued savings bonds in alphabetical progression. For example, series A bonds were offered the first year, Series B bonds followed in 1936, Series C ran from 1937-1938, and Series D were issued from 1939-1941. Series E bonds, longest running of the treasury savings bonds, ran from May 1941 until they were discontinued in 1980.

Series EE bonds were brought out in 1980 to replace the series E. They can be purchased at half or full face value. They come in amounts between $50-$10,000, and carry a maturity date of between eight to thirty years. Those cashed in before the fifth year are penalized three months' worth of interest. If EE bonds are purchased through a bank or other financial institution, it is also known as a Patriot Bond. There were more kinds of savings bonds, including the series F and G (which were offered to all investors except banks), series H, HH, Series I, J and K.

How do we calculate the value?

The value of a savings bond can be calculated by taking note of the face value of the bond, the interest rate from the time the bond was issued until the present time, and whether there are any penalties that have to be deducted. In addition, it is important to note that a bond that is issued at half the face value will be worth the face value at maturity, while a bond that is issued at face value is worth twice this amount at the time of maturity. Savings Bonds can also increase in value if they are redeemed past their maturity date, in which case the interest must be calculated on a year-to-year basis.

On http://www.bond-trading.org/ you will find articles on municipal bond investments and how do savings bonds work.

Finding a Credit Card That Fits Your Lifestyle

There are hundreds of credit card offers to choose from and chances are you already have one or more them. All of the credit cards offer some form of incentive whether it is a free flight or just a low annual percentage rate. Doing some comparison shopping up front will go a long way in finalizing you decision.

First there are a few key questions you need to ask yourself

Do you plan on carrying a balance? - Generally cards that offer reward incentives carry a higher APR, if you dont plan on carrying a balance then this does not affect you. Also many of the rewards programs have restrictions on them when you miss a payment or when your account is not in good standing.

Where are you going to make the majority of your purchases? - What do you use your credit card for? Is it general retail spending? Do you travel a lot? Depending on your spending habits it may be beneficial to hold multiple cards, one for travel and one for general spending.

Are you adding a card to your portfolio or replacing one? If you are looking to replace a card you currently have, you want to ensure that the new card allows balance transfers; you will also want to investigate the fees associated. Many cards offer a zero interest introductory rate on balance transfers. Some offer zero interest until the balance is paid off a very attractive incentive if you are transferring a large sum.

There are an array of reward programs to choose from however there are three main categories, miles, points and rebates.

Miles You earn Miles for airline ticket purchases or other predetermined purchases

These cards are designed for the frequent flyer. If you do not fly often and are hoping to earn a trip with one of these cards think again. Miles cards almost always have a $75 - $100 annual fee. By the time you earn a flight through retail spending you will have paid this fee a few times. Generally the airline associated with the card with offer double points when you fly with them.

People who use airline travel frequently can definitely benefit for this type of rewards program despite the annual fee.

Points You earn a predetermined ratio of points to dollars spent on purchases

Without a doubt this is the most popular of the rewards systems. With many variations, all of the points systems have one thing in common. In the end you are trading your points for a product or service the issuer makes available in their rewards program. Gift cards have become a popular points reward among the major issuers.

These cards are designed for people who do a lot of retail spending. If you have a favorite store find out if there is a credit card that will reward you for shopping there.

Rebates You are reimbursed a predetermined percent of your purchase

These cards offer the most straight forward rewards Cash back in your pocket. The general cash rebate cards offer around 1% - 2% on all of your purchases. Yours saving a percent on everything you buy with the card. Some offer introductory cash rebate percentages as high as 5%.

There are also more specific rebate cards for gas, hotel, auto, etcThis is and excellent way to track and control spending while receiving a rebate on frequently purchased products or services

If you want someone else to benefit from your spending there are also cards that offer charitable rewards for health related and environmental causes. When you make a purchase with the card a predetermined percent or amount is donated.

Keep this in mind. All of the rewards, points, miles and introductory rates are only as good as your credit habits. Missed payments often void your introductory rates and many times will negate the rewards you have earned. Always read the issuers detailed terms and conditions before applying for a card so there will not be any surprises

The best way to find a card that is right for you is through an online directory. You can browse and compare credit card applications from all of the major issuers

Bryan Dufresne - Freelance writer based in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Your Retirement

You have completed the fixed years in your service and its time to retire or you have a business or a profession other than a job and you have decided its time to bid good bye. T he process starts a little bit earlier than you think. The preparation begins before. Preparation is done by two entities you and the government department responsible for handling retirements.

You prepare mentally to agree that you are old enough to rest and play with your grandchildren. Sometimes government does it for you. Prepare for the retirement before. It may be mentally, physically, emotionally, and socially. Plan for retirement and plan for afterwards. Your retirement planning includes how much money you want to have when you retire, what to do to get that much of money, where to invest when you get the money etc. In United States there is Social Security system to take care of the workers after their retirement. In India, there is no such organization or trust to look after you. You get your pensions from the respective departments. In some jobs you do not get pensions. After your retirement you get a good sum of money. Then what you do. Deposit it in the bank and occasionally take the needed money out.

Or fix a part of the money to get a double on that. You decide how much money you will need to live a good life after retirement. The total money needed can be calculated with the help of different retirement calculators available with the different companies. The amount will depend on many internal and external factors. Internal factors may include what is your earning and investment capability right now, how many years are there to your retirement etc. External factors are like inflation, rising living costs, any other adjustment etc. Pension plans are offered from various companies. Invest in such schemes after choosing carefully. You can invest in different schemes that are available with different companies. You can invest in shares and stocks, mutual fund, bonds or any other such investment options.

While investing you should see the return and the risk associated. For the money you get after retirement be very cautious. Investing in stocks is a quiet risky business. If you are totally familiar with the stock market then invest directly in stocks. But if are not familiar, but want to grow the money quickly then go for mutual funds. Bonds are less riskier. You income Interest Interest from the money you deposit in bank, bondsDividend from mutual funds investments, from investment in stocks. Retirement means you leave your job or your business to other after doing it for a fixed time. Retirement is the point where you stop employment. You generally retire upon reaching a determined age, when physical conditions don't allow you to work any more, or even for personal choice like having adequate pension or personal savings.

Retirement age

In most countries, the idea of a fixed retirement age is of recent origin, being introduced during the 19th and 20th centuries. Prior to that workers continued to work until death, or relied on personal savings or the support of family or friends. Nowadays there are systems to provide pensions on retirement, which may be sponsored by employers or the state. The retirement age varies from country to country but it is generally between 55 and 70. In some countries this age is different for male and females. The most dangerous or fatiguing jobs generally have an earlier retirement age In the India, while most view 60 as normal retirement age. But you may retire before then, because of certain causes such as job-loss, disability or wealth.


When you retire, you may support yourself either through superannuation, pensions, or savings or take help from your family. In most cases the money is provided by the government by a scheme like social security. Sometimes you get pension from your private employer also. Early Retirement You can take early retirement at any age, but is generally before the age needed for eligibility for support and funds from government or employer-provided sources. Thus, if you retire early, you will have to rely on your own savings and investments to be initially self-supporting, until you start receiving external support from the schemes by state or your employer.You need savings for early retirement. Life after retirement Retirement changes your life. Your economical, social, physical, emotional state changes. You have a new life. Retirement might coincide with important life changes. You might move to a new location, for example a specialised retirement facility like assisted living, retirement home, nursing home, independent living etc. While selecting the living option, be extra cautious because you will be living there and you my not be able to change as and when you want to. Many people in the later years of their lives, due to failing health, require assistance, the highest degree of assistance is being provided in a nursing home. Those who need care, but are not in need of constant assistance, may choose to live in a retirement home. This gives the retired person some degree of freedom, yet with close-by medical assistance to handle emergencies.

How should you prepare for retirement?

The three major elements of your retirement portfolio are benefits from pensions, savings and investments, and Social Security benefits

Planning for your retirement

You should plan for your retirement. This planning will include when to retire, how much money you should have for future, what will be you retirement living source, in which options to invest money etc.Source of future finance is important. You may get money form your social security system or from your employer through the scheme like 401 (k) plans. In private schemes like 401 (K) plans you set aside money for future and you employer also may contribute or may not. So find out whether they contribute it or not. Then find out how much money you will receive from these two sources from the state and from private sources. Put aside maximum money possible in these schemes.Get all the information needed about Social Security eligibility and apply for it.

Social Security may be great help for you. Social Security planner provides detailed information about your Social Security retirement benefits under current law and points out things you may want to consider as you prepare for the future.


When you still have time for retirement, find out about your retirement ages, the benefits, learn about Social Security programs. You may use benefit calculators to test out different retirement ages or future earning amounts.If you are already near retirement age, you can discover your retirement options, get information about how members of your family may qualify for benefits, find instructions on how to apply for benefits and what supporting documents you'll need to furnish, and then apply for retirement benefits. A comfortable and secure retirement is every worker's dream. And now you are living longer, healthier lives and so you can expect to spend more time in retirement than your parents and grandparents did. Planning retirement makes this dream possible for you.

Bikash is an MBA who works as an freelance writer. He worked for one of the best private banks in India. He has been writing for the last 5 years. He has worked with many US,UK and Indian clients.
Visit him at http://bikiassam.tripod.com

8 Stunningly Beautiful Exotic Woods

The sheer beauty and versatility of exotic woods adds enormous value to the wood-crafting industry. Exotic woods come from all corners of the globe and each one has its own unique and prized quality.

African Blackwood

The African Blackwood tree has a lustrous wood that comes in a range of dense red to black shades. This wood is very versatile and can be used for making Egyptian furniture as well as a range of woodwind instruments including clarinets.

East Indian Rosewood

The wonderfully exotic East Indian Rosewood has a magnificent striped appearance and contains a few resin properties. This wood is easy to work with and is popularly used for crafts that involve a lot of wood turning.


Getting its name from its distinctive lace-like appearance, Lacewood is softer than many of the exotic woods and is widely used in veneers and in projects that require turning.

African Mahogany

There are several splendid African Mahogany species available including the Khaya Mahogany, which could range in color from light pink to reddish brown. Its rich tonal qualities make it great for use in making guitars.


A rare, exotic Brazilian hardwood, the grain pattern of the Leopardwood is distinctive and resembles a leopards skin. This wood is popularly used for smaller sized decorative items including jewelry boxes.


Ebony is easy to recognize by its distinctive black color. This dense wood is a mainstay in several musical instruments, exquisite chess sets, pistol grips and ornamental art.

Desert Ironwood

One of the densest of all exotic woods, Desert Ironwood is grown exclusively in the Sonoran desert area of the US and Mexico. This wood is not very easy to work with but its beautiful sheen when finished is much sought after in the construction of knife handles, jewelry and art pieces.


Though the Bocote wood is very hard and heavy, it is quite easily worked on. This exotic wood is highly resistant to decay and marring and is often used in custom knife handles, smoking pipes, pool cues as well as hi-end cabinetry and flooring.

Find exotic woods and wood blank stock at our site.

Seven Deadly Trading Mistakes - Part Five

By now you might be thinking that this trading business requires somewhat more effort than you first thought. And you would be right! In fact, that's the subject of todays lesson.

Mistake Number Five - Not Putting In The Required Effort

It's a strange phenomenon that seems almost unique to the field of internet trading; people believe that they can read a book, open an brokerage account, and start making huge amounts of cash just like that.

I used the analogy of an airline pilot in the last article, so lets continue with that theme here. Not many people would expect to decide on Monday that they wanted to fly long-haul airliners, buy and read a book on the principals of flight on Tuesday, and start work as a Captain on Wednesday. But with trading, such a short learning curve appears to many to be perfectly expected.

Whilst I certainly agree that, proportionally in relation to other activites day trading can provide much greater returns for much less effort, it nonetheless does require some effort to get going.

Trading, like any other skill, takes time and commitment to learn and become proficient. However, unlike many other skills, that time to become sufficiently adept need not be costly, or at the expense of existing obligations. In other words, a novice trader can learn the markets and practise their trading whilst continuing in their day-job, and without significant outlay.

Indeed I would advise any would-be trader to have a steady source of income when they start out. The absolute need to generate a profit can have a hugely detrimental effect on trading decisions.

A problem a lot of student traders I work with have is that they start out with a healthy dose of motivation, but when the going gets tough they start to lose interest. Suddenly it becomes too much like hard work. The first losing trades make for a powerful reality check. Motivation goes out the window, and plans to quit the day job are quietly forgotton about. Part of this problem is down to unrealistic expectations at the outset, and part is due to a lack of accountability. In a regular job, we're normally answerable to someone. If something doesn't get done, there's usually someone higher up the food chain ready to kick our butts.

When we're trading our own account, that concept no longer exists. We're only accoubtable to ourselves. For many people that's a first. The solution is to get back to that written trading plan. If the plan has been well thought out, it will include the all important mission statement, and perhaps a set of attainable goals. Re-reading these every day will help reinforce self-accountabilty and motivation.

Trading isn't difficult (something I'll talk more about in the next article), but neither is it an instant source of riches there for the taking. Like anything worthwhile, you get back what you put in. The difference between trading and other activities is that once you have mastered the skill, relative to the amount of time you spend "working" you will get back much more more than you ever put in!

About The Author
Harvey Walsh is both a trader and trading coach. He can be contacted via his website, where you can also read more about his day trading book - http://www.day-trading-freedom.com day-trading-freedom.com

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, http://www.TradingNewbies.com

Stock Market Trading Tip - Personal Balanced Stock Portfolios Guard Against Recession

Creating an evenly balanced investment portfolio by dividing assets among such diverse classes as stocks both foreign and domestic, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, cash equivalents, and private equity can help guard against recessions. Determining how much to invest in each asset group depends upon the investors individual situation and future needs.

Throughout most of American history it has been more profitable to invest in stocks rather than bonds. However, there have been times when stocks are unattractive compared to other assets. For example, right before the tech bubble burst in late 1999 these stocks had prices so high earnings yields were non-existent. The wary investor could have weathered this situation by diversifying stock investments into real estate investments or other types proven to be less risky.

Making major changes in ones portfolio should be done at various stages in the investors life. A young investor is less risk-averse, that is, he is less susceptible to market corrections for the simple fact that he has a lot of years left to make up for the losses. This investor is looking more to the long-term and wealth accumulation in the distant future. This investors portfolio would be mostly invested in the riskier assets such as carefully researched foreign and domestic stocks. Still, the young investor needs to have some balance to guard against market setbacks.

As retirement approaches, perhaps 10 years before, the investor should start diversifying holdings into income-oriented assets. These include government and corporate bonds that pay a fixed return rate on the investment. Certain blue chip stocks with long, proven track records of dividend payments can also be included as an income-oriented asset. Yearly, as retirement approaches, a larger percentage of the investors portfolio should be income-oriented until that total is 100% at retirement. After all, as an investor, the ultimate goal should be a comfortable retirement. Once at retirement the time to take risks is over and income must be guaranteed.

Discover stock market trading tips on approach balanced investing value when you visit http://www.tradingsphere.com - online stock portal for stock market valuation and performance reviews