XAU/USD (Gold / USD Dollar)

Forex Overview

Each day, millions of trades are made in a currency exchange market called Forex. The word "Forex" directly stems off of the beginning of two words - "foreign" and "exchange". Unlike other trading systems such as the stock market, Forex does not involve the trading of any goods, physical or representative. Instead, Forex operates through buying, selling, and trading between the currencies of various economies from around the world. Because the Forex market is truly a global trading system, trades are made 24 hours a day, five days a week. In addition, Forex is not bound by any one control agency, which means that Forex is the only true free market economic trading system available today. By leaving the exchange rates out of any one group's hands, it is much more difficult to even attempt to manipulate or corner the currency market. With all of the advantages associated with the Forex system, and the global range of participation, the Forex market is the largest market in the entire world. Anywhere between 1 trillion and 1.5 trillion equivalent United States dollars are traded on the Forex market each and every day.
Forex operates mainly on the concept of "free-floating" currencies; this can be explained best as currencies that are not backed by specific materials such as gold or silver. Prior to 1971, a market such as Forex would not work because of the international "Bretton Woods" agreement. This agreement stipulated that all involved economies would strive to hold the value of their currencies close to the value of the US dollar, which in turn was held to the value of gold. In 1971, the Bretton Woods agreement was abandoned. The United States had run a huge deficit during the Vietnam Conflict, and began printing out more paper currency than they could back with gold, resulting in a relatively high level of inflation. By 1976, every major currency worldwide had left the system established under the Bretton Woods agreement, and had changed into a free-floating system of currency. This free-floating system meant that each country's currency could have vastly different values that fluctuated based on how the country's economy was faring at that time.
Because each currency fluctuates independently, it is possible to make a profit from the changes in currency value. For example, 1 Euro used to be worth about 0.86 US dollars. Shortly thereafter, 1 Euro was worth about 1.08 US dollars. Those who bought Euros at 86 cents and sold them at 1.08 US dollars were able to make 22 cents profit off of each Euro - this could equate to hundreds of millions in profits for those who were deeply rooted in the Euro. Everything in the Forex market is hanging on the exchange rate of various currencies. Sadly, very few people realize that the exchange rates they see on the news and read about in the newspapers each day could possibly be able to work towards profits on their behalf, even if they were just to make a small investment. The Euro and the US dollar are probably the two most well-known currencies that are used in the Forex market, and therefore they are two of the most widely traded in the Forex market. In addition to the two "kings of currency", there are a few other currencies that have fairly strong reputation for Forex trading. The Australian Dollar, the Japanese Yen, the Canadian Dollar, and the New Zealand Dollar are all staple currencies used by established Forex traders. However, it is important to note that on most Forex services, you won't see the full name of a currency written out. Each currency has it's own symbol, just as companies involved in the stock market have their own symbol based off of the name of their company. Some of the important currency symbols to know are:
USD - United States Dollar
EUR - The Euro
CAD - The Canadian Dollar
AUD - The Australian Dollar
JPY - The Japanese Yen
NZD - The New Zealand Dollar
Although the symbols may be confusing at first, you'll get used to them after a while. Remember that each currency's symbol is logically formed from the name of the currency, usually in some form of acronym. With a little practice, you'll be able to determine most currency codes without even having to look them up.
Some of the richest people in the world have Forex as a large part of their investment portfolio. Warren Buffet, the world's richest man, has over $20 Billion invested in various currencies on the Forex market. His revenue portfolio usually includes well over one-hundred million dollars in profit from Forex trades each quartile. George Soros is another big name in the field of currency trading - it is believed that he made over $1 billion in profit from a single day of trading in 1992! Although those types of trades are very rare, he was still able to amass over $7 Billion from three decades of trading on the Forex market. The strategy of George Soros also goes to show that you don't have to be too risky to make profits on Forex - his conservative strategy involves withdrawing large portions of his profits from the market, even when the trend of his various investments seems to still be correlating upward.
Thankfully, you don't have to invest millions of dollars to make a profit on Forex. Many people have recorded their success with initial investments of anywhere from $10,000 to as little as $100 for an initial investment. This wide range of economic requirements makes Forex an attractive venue for trading among all classes, from those well entrenched in the lower rungs of the middle class, all the way up to the richest people alive on the planet. For those on the lower end of the spectrum, access to the Forex market is a fairly recent innovation. Within the past decades, various companies began offering a system that is friendlier to the average person, allowing the smaller initial investments and greater flexibility that is seen in the market today. Now, no matter what economic position you are in, you can get started. Although it's possible to jump right in and start investing, it's best that you make sure you have a better understanding of the ins and outs of Forex trading before you get started.
The world of Forex is one that can be both profitable and exciting, but in order to make Forex work for you it is important that you know how the system works. Like most lucrative activities, to become a Forex pro you need a lot of practice. There are many websites that offer exactly this, the simulated practice of Foreign Exchange.
The services provided by online practice sites differ from site to site, so it is always a good idea to make sure you know all of the details of the site you are about to use. For example, there are several online brokers who will offer a practice account for a period of several weeks, then terminate it and start you on a live account, which means you may end up using your own money before you are ready to. It's always a good idea to find a site that offers an unlimited practice account. Having a practice account allows you to learn the ways of the trade with no risk at all. Continuing to use the practice account while you use a live account is also a beneficial tool for even the most seasoned Forex traders. The use of a no risk practice account enables you to try out new trading strategies and tread into unknown waters. If the strategy works, you know that you can now implement that strategy into your real account. If the strategy fails, you know to refrain from the use of that strategy without the loss of any actual money.
Of course, simply using a no risk account won't get you anywhere. In order to make money with Forex, you need to put your own money in. Obviously, it would be ridiculous to travel to other countries to purchase and sell different currencies, so there are many websites that you can use to digitally trade your money. Almost all online brokerage systems have different features to offer you so you have to do the research to find out which site you wish to create an account with. All brokers will require specific information of you to create your account. The information they will need from you includes information required to communicate with you, including your name, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address. They also require information needed to identify who you are, including your Social Security number, Passport number or Tax Identification number. It is required by law that they have this information, so they can prevent fraudulent trading. They may also collect various personal information when you open an account, including gender, birth date, occupation, and employment status.
Now that you have practiced trading currency and set up your live account, it is time to truly enter this profitable yet risky world. To make money with Forex, you do need to have money to begin with. It is possible to trade with very small amounts of money, but this will also lead to very small profits. As is with many other exchange systems, high payouts will only come with high risks. You can't expect to start getting millions as soon as you put money in to the market, but you can't expect to make any money at all if you don't put in at least a 3-digit value.
As most Forex brokers will warn you, you can loose money in the foreign exchange market, so don't put your life savings into any one trade. Always trade with money that you'd be able to survive without. This will ensure that if you get a bad trade and loose a lot of money, you wont end up on the streets, and you'll be able to make a comeback in the future.
So how does trading currency work? Logically, trades always come in pairs. For example, a common trade would be the United States Dollar to the Japanese Yen. This is expressed as USD/JPY. The way to quote a trade is kind of tricky, but with practice it becomes as natural as reading your native language. In a Forex quote, the first currency in the list (IE: USD in USD/JPY) is the base currency, and in the quote the base is always one. This means if (hypothetically of course) One USD was worth Two JPY, that the quote would be expressed as 1/2.
When trading in Forex, we use pips. Pip is an acronym for "percentage in point". A pip a certain decimal place in a number compared to the same decimal place in another number. Using pips, we track the gains and losses of a currencies value compared to another's. Let's take a look at an example. Say a value is written as 1.0001/1.0004. This would indicate a 3-pip spread, because of the 3 number difference in the fourth decimal place. Almost all currency pairs go to the fourth decimal place. The only currency pair that doesn't is that of the USD/JPY, and it goes to the second decimal place. For example, a USD/JPY quote with a 3-point spread would look like this: 1.01/1.04.
A very common aspect to the foreign exchange is leverage. Leverage trading, also known as trading on margin, is a way to amplify the amount of money you are making. When you use leverage trading, you borrow a certain amount of money from your broker and use that to make your transaction. This allows you to trade with more money then you are actually spending, meaning you can make higher profits than you would normally be able to make.
There are risks associated with leverage trading. If you increase the amount of money you are using, if a trade goes bad, then you'll loose more money than you'd usually loose. The risks are worth it though, because a big win on margin means a huge payout. As mentioned before, it is definitely a wise idea to try out leverage trading on your practice account before you use it excessively on your live account, so you can get a feel for the way it works.
Now that you're an expert on the way Forex trading works there are some things about foreign exchange that you should know. Forex is just like the stock market in that there are many benefits and risks, but if you are going to invest your time and personal money into this system, you should be fully aware of all of the factors that may change your decision to invest in the currency market.
Generally speaking, Forex is a difficult subject to opinionate on, because of the different factors that may alter the currency over the years. "Supply and demand" is a major issue affecting the Forex organization, because the world is in constant variable to change, one significant product being oil. Usually the currency of all the nations around the globe is described as a huge "melting pot", because of the fact that all of the interchanging controversy, political affairs, national disputes, and possibly war conflicts, all mixed together as a whole, altering the nature of Forex every second! Although problems such as supply and demand, and the whole "melting pot" issue, there are a numerous amount of pros to Forex; one being benefited profit from long term stock. Because of the positive aspects of Forex, the percentage of the use of electronic trading in the FX market (shortened from Foreign Exchange) increased by 7% from 2005 to 2008. Despite the controversial realm of Forex, it is still recognized today by many, and is still popular amongst many of the nations in the world.
Of all the organizations that recognize Forex, most of them practice fiscal policy, and monetary policy. Both policies are dependent on the nation's outlook on economics, and their standards set. The government's budget deficits, or surpluses against the country, is widely affected by the country's economic status of trade, and may critically inflict the nation's currency. Another factor for the nation's deficit spending is what the nation already has, in terms of necessities for the citizens, and the society. The more the country already has, prior to trade, the greater the budget for other demands from the people, such as technology, innovations in existing products, etc. Although a country may have an abundance in necessities, greed may hinder the nation's economic status, by changing government official's wants, to want "unnecessary" products, therefore ruining or "wasting" the country's money. This negative trend may lead to the country's doom, and hurt the Forex's reputation for positive change. There are some countries which hold more of a product (such as oil stated above), the Middle East dominating that sector in the circle of trade; Since the Middle East suffers much poverty, as a result of deficit spending, and lack of other resources, they demand for a higher price in oil, to maintain their economic status. This process is known as the "flights to quality", and is practiced by many countries, wanting to survive in the trading network that exists today. Interest rate, and leveraged financing, is due to the inflations that occur in many parts of the world from one point to another. Inflations wear down purchasing abilities, causing the currency to fall with it. In some cases, a country may observe the trends that it takes, and beforehand, take action to avoid any mishaps that had been experienced before. Sometimes, the country will buy more of a product, or sell more of a product, otherwise known as "overbought" or "oversold". This may aid in the country's future, or devastatingly hurt the country, because of lack of thought, as a result of fraud logic. "What started out as a market for professionals is now attracting traders from all over the world and of all experience levels" is part of a letter of the chairman of Forex, and it is completely true. There is even a 30-day trial for Forex online if anyone interested in Forex wants to learn more about the company. Although affected by leveraged financing, interest rate, and causing an increase or decrease in exchange rate risks, Forex can be a great way for quick profits and integrated economy for the country. In investing in stocks that are most likely to be successful for a long period of time, and researching these companies for more reference and background that you need to know, Forex can aid in these fields. In the Forex market of different levels of access, the inter-bank market composed of the largest investment bank firm, which contains "spreads", which are divided into bid, and ask prices. Large amounts of transactions, with large amounts traded, and requesting a small amount of difference is known as a better spread, which is preferred by many investors.
In comparison to the Stock Market, the Forex organization is just as stable, and safe, if the users on it are aware, and decently knowledgeable about the topic. The Stock Market Crash in 1929 was a result of lack of thinking, because of the extremely cheap shares, replacing the shares originally costing thousands of dollars. When the Stock Market crashed, and the New Deal was proposed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, leveraged finance was present, and utilized to stabilize the economy at the time. The United States was extremely wealthy and prosperous in the 20s (prior to the depression), and had not realized what could happen as a result of carelessness in spending. This is a result of deficit spending, and how it could damage a society, in less than a decade! When joining Forex, keep in mind that with the possible positive outcomes, and negative ones, there are obstacles that must be faced to become successful.
As a result of many catastrophic events, such as the Great Depression that occurred in the United States, people investing in the Forex organization keep in mind of the dangers, and rewards that may come upon them in a certain point in time. With more work and consideration outputted by a person, or organization in the Forex program will there be more signs of prosperity as a result. In relation to individuals such as Warren Buffet and George Soros, they have become successful through experience, and determination through many programs, and research, for security purposes. Reserving some of the most riches people in the world, to others that are just test driving it to discover its potential for them, Forex is a broad topic that experiences different people everyday. Forex may not help everyone that invests in it, but if enough outputted effort is amplified in attempts to better the economy, it is most definitely something that any person should experience first-hand.
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I am a professional Day Trader working for a Prop Fund, Hope I can help people out and answer some questions

Howdy all, I work professionally for a proprietary trading fund, and have worked for quite a few in my time, hope I can offer some insights on trading etc you guys might have.
Bonus for you guys
Here are the columns in my trading journal and various explanations where appropriate:
Trade Number – Simply is this the first trade of the year? The 10th?, The 50th? I count a trade
that you opened and closed just one trade number. For example if you buy EUUSD today and
sell it 50 pips later in the day and close out the trade, then that is just one trade for recording
purposes. I do not create a second trade number to describe the exit. Both the entry and exit are
under the same trade number.


Ticket Number – This is ticket number / order ID number that your broker gives you for the trade
on your platform.


Day of the Week – This would be simply the day of the week the trade was initiated


Financial Instrument / Currency Pair – Whatever Financial Instrument or currency pair you are
trading. If you are trading EUUSD, put EUUSD. If you are trading the EuroFX futures
contract, then put in Euro FX. If you are trading the emini S&P, then put in Emini S&P 500. If
you are trading a stock, put in the ticker symbol. Etc.


Buy/Sell or Long/Short – Did you buy or sell to open the new trade? If you bought something to
open the trade, then write in either BUY or LONG. If you sold(shorted) something to open a
trade, then write in SOLD, or SHORT. This is a personal preference. Some people like to put in
their journals as BUY/SELL. Other people like to write in Long/Short. My preference is for
writing in long/short, since that is the more professional way to say it. I like to use the lingo
where possible.


Order Type – Market or Limit – When you entered the trade was it a market order or limit order?
Some people can enter a trade using a combination of market and limit orders. If you enter a
trade for $1 million half of which was market order and the other half was limit order, then you
can write in $500,000 Market, $500,000 Limit as a bullet points.


Position Size / Units / Contracts / Shares – How big was the total trade you entered? If you
bought 1 standard lot of a currency pair, then write in $100,000 or 1 standard lot. If you bought 5
gold futures contracts, then write in 5 contracts. If you bought 1,000 shares of stock, then write
in 1,000 shares. Etc.


Entry Price – The entry price you received entering your opening position. If you entered at
multiple prices, then you can either write in all the different fills you got, or specify the average
price received.


Entry Date – Date that you entered the position. For example January 23, 2012. Or you can
write in 1/23/12

.
Entry Time – Time that you opened the position. If it is multiple positions, then you can specify
each time for each various fill, or you can specify the time range. For example if you got
$100,000 worth of EUUSD filled at 3:00 AM EST, and another $100,000 filled at 3:05 and
another $100,000 filled at 3:25, then you can write all those in, or you can specify a range of 3:00
– 3:30 AM EST.


Entry Spread Cost (in pips) – This is optional if you want to keep track of your spread cost in
pips. If you executed a market order, how many pips did you pay in spread.


Entry Spread Cost (in dollars) – This is optional if you want to keep track of your spread cost in
dollars. If you executed a market order, how many dollars did you pay in spread.


Stop Loss Size – How big is your stop loss size? If you are trading a currency pair, then you
write in the pips. If you are trading the S&P futures contract, then write in the number of points.
If you are trading a stock, then write in how many cents or dollars your stop is away from your
entry price.


% Risk – If you were to get stopped out of the trade, how much % loss of your equity is that?
This is where you input your risk per trade expressed in % terms if you use such a position sizing
method. If you risked 0.50% of your account on the trade, then put in 0.50%


Risk in dollars – If you were to get stopped out of the trade, how much loss in dollars is that. For
example if you have a $100,000 account and you risked 1% on a trade, then write in $1,000
dollars


Potential Reward: Risk Ratio – This is a column that I only sometimes fill in. You write in what
the potential reward risk ratio of the trade is. If you are trading using a 100 pip stop and you
expect that the market can reasonably move 300 pips, then you can write in 3:1. Of course this is
an interesting column because you can look at it after the trade is finished and see how close you
were or how far removed from reality your initial projections were.


Potential Win Rate – This is another column that I only sometimes fill in. You write in what you
believe the potential win rate of this trade is. If you were to place this trade 10 times in a row,
how many times do you think you would win? I write it in as percentage terms. If you believe
the trade has a 50% chance to win, then write in 50%.


Type of Inefficiency – This is where you write in what type of inefficiency you are looking to
capture. I use the word inefficiency here. I believe it is important to think of trading setups as
inefficiencies. If you think in terms of inefficiencies, then you will think in terms of the market
being mispriced, then you will think about the reasons why the market is mispriced and why such
market expectations for example are out of alignment with reality. In this category I could write
in different types of trades such as fading the stops, different types of news trades, expecting
stops to get tripped, betting on sentiment intensifying, betting on sentiment reversing, etc. I do
not write in all the reasons why I took the trade in this column. I do that in another column. This
column is just to broadly define what type of inefficiency you are looking to capture.


Chart Time Frame – I do not use this since all my order flow based trades have nothing to do
with what chart time frame I look at. However, if you are a chartist or price action trader, then
you may want to include what chart time frame you found whatever pattern you were looking at.


Exit Price – When you exit your trade, you enter the price you received here.


Exit Date – The date you exited your trade.


Exit Time – The time you exited your trade.


Trade Duration – In hours, minutes, days or weeks. If the trade lasts less than an hour, I will
usually write in the duration in minutes. Anything in between 1 and 48 hours, I write in the hours
amount. Anything past that and I write it as days or weeks as appropriate, etc.
Pips the trade went against you before turning into a winner – If you have a trade that suffered a
draw down, but did not stop you out and eventually was a winner, then you write it how many
pips the trade went against you before it turned into a profitable trade. The reason you have this
column is to compare it to your stop loss size and see any patterns that emerge. If you notice that
a lot of your winning trades suffer a big draw down and get near your stop loss points but turn out
to be a profitable trade, then you can further refine your entry strategy to get in a better price.


Slippage on the Exit – If you get stopped out for a loss, then you write in how many pips you
suffered as slippage, if any. For example if you are long EUUSD at 1.2500 and have your stop
loss at 1.2400 and the market drops and you get filled at 1.2398, then you would write in -2 pips
slippage. In other words you lost 2 pips as slippage. This is important for a few different
reasons. Firstly, you want to see if the places you put your stop at suffer from slippage. If they
do, perhaps you can get better stop loss placement, or use it as useful information to find new
inefficiencies. Secondly, you want to see how much slippage your broker is giving you. If you
are trading the same system with different brokers, then you can record the slippage from each
one and see which has the lowest slippage so you can choose them.


Profit/Loss -You write in the profit and/or loss in pips, cents, points, etc as appropriate. If you
bought EUUSD at 1.2500 and sell it at 1.2550, you made 50 pips, so write in +50 pips. If you
bought a stock at $50 and you sell it at $60, then write in +$10. If you buy the S&P futures at
1,250 and sell them at 1,275, then write in +25 points. If you buy the GBP/USD at 1.5000 and
you sell it at 1.4900, then write in -100 pips. Etc. I color code the box background to green for
profit and red for loss.


Profit/Loss In Dollars – You write the profit and/or loss in dollars (or euros, or jpy, etc whatever
currency your account is denominated in). If you are long $100,000 of EUUSD at 1.2500 and
sell it at 1.2600, then write in +$1,000. If you are short $100,000 GBP/USD at 1.5900 and it
rises to 1.6000 and you cover, then write in -$1,000. I color code the box background to green
for profit and red for loss.


Profit/Loss as % of your account – Write in the profit and/or loss as % of your account. If a trade
made you 2% of your account, then write in +2%. If a trade lost 0.50%, then write in -0.50%. I
color code the box background to green for profit and red for loss.


Reward:Risk Ratio or R multiple: If the trade is a profit, then write in how many times your risk
did it pay off. If you risked 0.50% and you made 1.00%, then write in +2R or 2:1 or 2.0. If you
risked 0.50% and a trade only makes 0.10%, then write in +0.20R or 0.2:1 or 0.2. If a trade went
for a loss that is equal to or less than what you risked, then I do not write in anything. If the loss
is greater than the amount you risked, then I do write it in this column. For example lets say you
risk 0.50% on a stock, but overnight the market gaps and you lose 1.50% on a trade, then I would
write it in as a -3R.


What Type of trading loss if the trade lost money? – This is where I describe in very general
terms a trade if it lost money. For example, if I lost money on a trade and the reason was because
I was buying in a market that was making fresh lows, but after I bought the market kept on going
lower, then I would write in: “trying to pick a bottom.” If I tried shorting into a rising uptrend
and I take a loss, then I describe it as “trying to pick a top.” If I am buying in an uptrend and buy
on a retracement, but the market makes a deeper retracement or trend change, then I write in
“tried to buy a ret.” And so on and so forth. In very general terms I describe it. The various
ways I use are:
• Trying to pick a bottom
• Trying to pick a top
• Shorting a bottom
• Buying a top
• Shorting a ret and failed
• Wrongly predicted news
• Bought a ret and failed
• Fade a resistance level
• Buy a support level
• Tried to buy a breakout higher
• Tried to short a breakout lower
I find this category very interesting and important because when performing trade journal
analysis, you can notice trends when you have winners or losing trades. For example if I notice a
string of losing trades and I notice that all of them occur in the same market, and all of them have
as a reason: “tried to pick a bottom”, then I know I was dumb for trying to pick a bottom five
times in a row. I was fighting the macro order flow and it was dumb. Or if I notice a string of
losers and see that I tried to buy a breakout and it failed five times in a row, but notice that the
market continued to go higher after I was stopped out, then I realize that I was correct in the
move, but I just applied the wrong entry strategy. I should have bought a retracement, instead of
trying to buy a fresh breakout.


That Day’s Weaknesses (If any) – This is where I write in if there were any weaknesses or
distractions on the day I placed the trade. For example if you are dead tired and place a trade,
then write in that you were very tired. Or if you place a trade when there were five people
coming and out of your trading office or room in your house, then write that in. If you placed the
trade when the fire alarm was going off then write that in. Or if you place a trade without having
done your daily habits, then write that in. Etc. Whatever you believe was a possible weakness
that threw you off your game.


That Day’s Strengths (If any) – Here you can write in what strengths you had during the day you
placed your trade. If you had complete peace and quiet, write that in. If you completed all your
daily habits, then write that in. Etc. Whatever you believe was a possible strength during the
day.


How many Open Positions Total (including the one you just placed) – How many open trades do
you have after placing this one? If you have zero open trades and you just placed one, then the
total number of open positions would be one, so write in “1.” If you have on three open trades,
and you are placing a new current one, then the total number of open positions would be four, so
write in “4.” The reason you have this column in your trading journal is so that you can notice
trends in winning and losing streaks. Do a lot of your losing streaks happen when you have on a
lot of open positions at the same time? Do you have a winning streak when the number of open
positions is kept low? Or can you handle a lot of open positions at the same time?


Exit Spread Cost (in pips) – This is optional if you want to keep track of your spread cost in pips.
If you executed a market order, how many pips did you pay in spread.


Exit Spread Cost (in dollars) – This is optional if you want to keep track of your spread cost in
dollars. If you executed a market order, how many dollars did you pay in spread.


Total Spread Cost (in pips) – You write in the total spread cost of the entry and exit in pips.


Total Spread Cost (in dollars) – You write in the total spread cost of the entry and exit in dollars.


Commission Cost – Here you write in the total commission cost that you incurred for getting in
and out of the trade. If you have a forex broker that is commission free and only gets
compensated through the spread, then you do not need this column.


Starting Balance – The starting account balance that you had prior to the placing of the trade


Interest/swap – If you hold forex currency pairs past the rollover, then you either get interest or
need to pay out interest depending on the rollover rates. Or if you bought a stock and got a
dividend then write that in. Or if you shorted a stock and you had to pay a dividend, then write
that in.


Ending Balance – The ending balance of your account after the trade is closed after taking into
account trade P&L, commission cost, and interest/swap.


Reasons for taking the trade – Here is where you go into much more detail about why you placed
the trade. Write out your thinking. Instead of writing a paragraph or two describing my thinking
behind the trade, I condense the reasons down into bullet points. It can be anywhere from 1-10
bullet points.


What I Learned – No matter if the trade is a win or loss, write down what you believed you
learned. Again, instead of writing out a paragraph or two, I condense it down into bullet points. it
can be anywhere from 1-10 bullet points. I do this during the day the trade closed as a profit or
loss.


What I learned after Long Term reflection, several days, weeks, or months – This is the very
interesting column. This is important because after you have a winning or losing trade, you will
not always know the true reasons why it happened. You have your immediate theories and
reasons which you include in the previous column. However, there are times when after several
days, weeks, or months, you find the true reason and proper market belief about why your trade
succeeded or failed. It can take a few days or weeks or months to reach that “aha” moment. I am
not saying that I am thinking about trades I placed ten months ago. I try to forget about them and
focus on the present moment. However, there will be trades where you have these nagging
questions about they failed or succeeded and you will only discover those reasons several days,
weeks, or months later. When you discover the reasons, you write them in this column.
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IQ stock broker is a Forex & bitcoin Company in USA Founded in 2012 by a team of highly motivated professionals who are very passionate about trading on the world’s financial market, and are keen on empowering

Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, forex, make money, online trade, stock exchange
IQ Stock Broker
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Trading strategies and tips using the CND bot to maximise ROI.

Hi guys, since I have never been a good short-term trader I’d love to hear some of your tips and strategies when trading the indicators from the CND bot. I thought that if we all share our strategies and tips here we could all learn from each other and hopefully, everyone could increase their ROI. I love the fact that I don’t have to spend hours anymore to research through thousands of coins, instead, I only research the one I receive an indicator for and that has a high probability. I think Cindicator can be a great tool if used properly with a good strategy and sticking to it. But I need some inputs from you guys and improve my strategy.
Some questions might sound stupid for some people but hey we are all learning here.
So here are my questions where I’d be curious to see how you guys trade those indicators. Feel free to comment and add questions I’d really like to see a lot of different inputs from everyone. The more we share the more we all gain!
*Question 1: Weekly support level
Let’s say you receive the following indicator: “The cryptocurrency Ripple settled at $0.95320 at Bitfinex exchange at 9:00 PM UTC on Wednesday, February 21. What will be the minimum and the maximum price of XRP/USD from 12:01 AM UTC on Thursday, February 22 until 11:59 PM UTC on Wednesday, February 28? Resistance level: 1.11008 Support level: 0.81”
In that situation what would you guys do? Would you just put a buy order just above the support level? And a sell order just below the resistance level? If so how much above and below support/resistance? Can you even put a sell order on a coin that you haven’t even bought yet? Where would you put your stop loss sell order?
*Question 2:
Let’s say you receive this indicator: “The cryptocurrency ABC (ABC/USD) settled at 15 USD at 10:00 AM UTC at the Bitfinex exchange on Monday, February 19. In your opinion, will ABC/USD trade above 21 USD (+40%) at any time before March 20? Indicator: 65.0%” Note: This indicator has not yet expired, the USD value and token symbol have been changed.
Do you guys size your position depending on the probability of the indicator? When sizing your position do you take into consideration the possible gains as well?
I thought for myself of investing 1% of my investing funds for indicators between 65/70%; 2% - 70/75%; 3% - 75/80%; and so forth. What are your thoughts on this?
What target price do you guys put? I am still testing few strategies and wonder if for a better guarantee of winning it is not better to sell at +10% or +20% (in that scenario) and not risk of losing the gain just acquired since I don’t know of a crypto exchange that has a trailing stop. And where would you put your stop loss? -5%; -7%
*Question 3: Forex indicators, E-mini S&P 500 Futures, Gold Futures, WTI Crude Oil Futures
Has anyone here traded those indicators? Where do you trade them and what are your strategies around them? Do you use leverage? If so how much leverage? What % of your funds would you put in them?
submitted by keuspastis to Cindicator [link] [comments]

Bitcoin price forecast, using BCG matrix

Bitcoin price forecast, using BCG matrix
BTCUSD analysis: Bitcoin forecast

Experimental analysis of BTCUSD trends by means of Boston Consulting Group matrix

Telegram channel — trading signals btc, eth, xrp
Today, I’ll go on to analyze the BTCUSD pair, as all the other altcoins depend on it.
A couple of days ago, there was quite and important fundamental event that was hardly responded by the crypto market. It is about the G20 meeting that was held in Argentina.
One of the most important agenda items was digital economy. As you know, they were discussing cryptocurrencies and the future of the crypto market. Following up on this meeting there was drafted a declaration. At first sight, it doesn’t seem to present any sensational solutions. However, the leaders of G-20 member-countries have admitted that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology has a huge potential and its development is important for global economy. On the other hand, they have again emphasized the officials’ concern about poor regulation of the cryptocurrency market. Here, a particular emphasis is put on the risks, associated with money laundering and the development of illegal markets, as well as terrorist financing.
What does it mean?
It is a good signal for alarmists, who have been already disappointed in cryptocurrencies and dumped their deposits. Nobody will ruin the crypto market. Cryptocurrencies, as a type of investment assets will always exist in one form or another. What’s the point in killing the goose that lays golden eggs?! The hype around the crypto market turned into investors those, who had never thought about investing in any assets. Economic participation of people has sharply increased. There appeared whole industrial sector that became almost national idea for particular countries. It is far easier to legalize cryptocurrency and impose taxation, rather than to fight with the products of digital economy. The Group of 20 were discussing the issue of developing a taxation system for international digital services. It means only one thing - one way or another, the whole cryptocurrency market will be split into two parts; the first one will be completely transparent not only for users but for public authorities as well. There will be institutional investors and banks, along with corporations. There, the cryptocurrency will be completely integrated into banking services and become publicly available and user-friendly. Everything will be legalized and regulated. The second part will become a part of shadow economy and will be under continuous pressure from regulators and governmental authorities. The users of such cryptocurrencies will be automatically recognized as financiers of terrorism and accomplices in money laundering. The users of such cryptocurrencies will face potential imprisonment and international prosecution.
Even if it sounds unreal now, but if the G-20 are seriously discussing the cryptocurrency matter, I’m sure that the country leaders will join their efforts to bring this scenario into reality. So, I won’t be surprised if, in a few years, there will be another bitcoin fork that will be recognized by the Group of 20, included into gold and forex reserve and will become a new payment means; and the old bitcoin will become illegal and will be traded secretly.
But now, it is still an assumption and won’t come true in the new future.
I’d like to perform technical analysis of the current bitcoin market sentiment to find out what is going to be in the near future.
https://preview.redd.it/7jfpz6euou221.png?width=1954&format=png&auto=webp&s=ed0798ef8938d6da6be3e33392b32d20054fa5b2
In my previous analysis a week ago, I offered a long-term forecast for the next 10 months, suggesting the major target at 2000 USD to be reached around October, 2019.
I still believe that the bottom at 2000 USD looks quite justified, in terms of both fundamental and technical analysis.
This scenario can be real in fact, if bitcoin will be moving in the downward channel with a corridor of about 3000 USD. Previously, BTC could be moving faster in a few days, but in the current crypto market situation, such a narrow range looks reasonable. However, Bitcoin has never moved as it was expected by the majority of traders.
I compared in detail the current market situation with the Bitcoin drop in 2014 and noticed some regularities that I emphasized in the last forecast for bitcoin future price.

https://preview.redd.it/ut5jhcpvou221.png?width=1954&format=png&auto=webp&s=a1f0582387490922b0b9aebd34a93a8cc7703948
If you look closer, you’ll see from the chart above that the bullish trend had been speeding up since August, 2014, and reached its peak in December.
I wouldn’t try to fit this into particular dates or months, but if I try to draw a direct parallel with the Bitcoin current fall, it should start falling faster.

https://preview.redd.it/rlixmzkwou221.png?width=1954&format=png&auto=webp&s=a6086ecddee8770675fdc62dafb726f544e15bad
To better explain my idea, I suggest you look at the chart above.
Many of you are likely to be familiar with the BCG matrix, is a corporate planning tool created by Boston Consulting Group. Long story short, the matrix describes the life-cycle of a product and its position in the market.
I won’t describe it in detail here. I just had an idea to analyze the price trend like a product. A trend is traded in the market like an idea, and each trader votes for it by means of their money, supporting or opposing the idea.
Based on this assumption, a trend, like a product, will pass through four stages:
  1. Entering the market - “Problem child”
  2. Developing stage - “Star”
  3. Developed stage - “Cash cow”
  4. Recession - “Poor dog”
The stage of problem child (also known as “question mark”) is the initial step. The product is just entering the market, but consumers don’t trust it, and so, it needs a large amount of investments. I marked this stage with the yellow circle in the chart above. There are two big dumps. The financial supporters of the drop were investing quite much in their bearish trend, but the buyers didn’t trust that idea and didn’t support it. Next, the product has been accepted by buyers, whose market share was quite high in the market, as well as the rate of sales, starting next. There, comes the stage of growth, the Star!
In the given example, it is the green box that highlights the zone of the steady bearish trend. It was accepted and admitted by the market, and everybody supports the idea of Bitcoin drop. Everybody likes it and thumbs it up. The next stage is the developed stage, or Cash cow. That is when investors begin to gain the yield from their product and the investment is paying off. It the blue circle in the chart above. There, it is clear that manipulators are starting to buy out and get the cheap biotin, making up their funds spent on dumps.
A sure sign of this stage is incredibly high trade volumes.
The last stage is recession, or Poor dog. Such a dog is weak and won’t live for long. The product at this stage is not appealing or demanded. Interpreting this idea, there is a clear red circle in the chart above. Market participants don’t believe in the bearish trend any longer and don’t support the idea by their money. The funders are not interested in promoting this idea as its development costs exceed the potential profit, or it may at all generate negative cash return.
Therefore, the Bitcoin bearish trend, like a product, is leaving the market, being replaced by a different idea.
https://preview.redd.it/ppki39lxou221.png?width=1954&format=png&auto=webp&s=1edcc6d841c3d623a78ac615323620868e52a605
Drawing the same parallel with the ongoing bearish trend, you see that the Problem child stage has been already finished. Due to the strong bearish trend, this stage was lasting for a particularly long time, despite the price drop from 20 000 USD down to 6000 USD. The candlesticks clearly display strong volatility and the buyers’ resistance.
Eventually, following the long fight, market gave up and the bearish entered the stage of Star. It is clear that, due to the longtime resisting, the bulls stepped back, having lost quite much; and each crypto market participant believed in the bearish idea. The stage was developing very fast, and so, it ended quite soon. And it is clear that the BTCUSD downtrend trend is entering the Cash cow stage now.
As I’ve already said, at this stage, manipulators take an advantage of the market inertia and start “milking” the cow, as the marketing specialists call it; traders would say, trick out of hamsters’ money.
https://preview.redd.it/abdwsiizou221.png?width=1954&format=png&auto=webp&s=fa8f3648a3f2a1f755f42f6e2d2deb7c640cab95
It is clear from the 15-minute BTCUSD price chart above that there are frequent buyouts; that is investors are gaining profits from the invested cash. Currently, while weak hands are losing their positions, the whales are buying out cheap bitcoins. It will go on until it becomes clear that the idea of the Bitcoin drop has been finished, and the bears don't have any more power to press the market down.
Most likely, at this stage, manipulators will repeat the same trick and start selling the bitcoins, they’ve already bought, to create stronger panic. People are extremely nervous, and so, manipulators won’t have to dump much.
https://preview.redd.it/itl4gyr0pu221.png?width=1954&format=png&auto=webp&s=7c6943a6a2bd554f1e9e7b44db7fb599c9abe263
If you gain look at the monthly BTCUSD price chart above, you see that the next wave is likely to start in February, 2019. Based on the depth of the plunge, the level at 2000 USD is such an irresistible barrier, which many will start from. I assume that manipulators anticipate this situation and will make their final buyout not going as low as this level. In the volume profile chart, it will look like a hump that I outlined by the red ark. After that, the bearish trend will start exhausting, amid trading flat and weak attempts to draw the price up to 4000 USD. The Bitcoin downtrend will enter the stage of Poor dog.

https://preview.redd.it/n8lplvt1pu221.png?width=1954&format=png&auto=webp&s=955ff6e177191986710e731e2c5158de87b115ac
This period will be dangerous because of extremely low trade volumes, allowing the manipulators to perform various tricks and attempts to crash the market in order to buy more bitcoins at the lowest price level. There is likely to be another slide down before the bearish trend of 2018-2019 will finally end. The final drop is likely to be followed by a new idea, supporting the BTCUSD growth.
The whole cycle will start from the beginning. First, funders will heat the market up, selling the idea to hamsters. Next, supported by the market natural growth, they will launch the rocket up rather high, where they’ll start gaining cash. But that is another story; it is called Bitcoin uptrend of 2019-20??
Unfortunately, the manipulators haven’t yet finished developing their bearish trend, and we’ll have to wait.
That is my updated BTCUSD global scenario.
I wish you good luck and good profits!

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submitted by Nick_Kiros to u/Nick_Kiros [link] [comments]

Overview of Current Market Valuations and Toyota Motors (TM)

Hello All,
Every now and then I do stock screens to see if there are any companies that would be a good value investment. Thanks to the bull market, the opportunities have been few and far between over the last year or two. However one company has consistently popped up in my screens. I initially ignored it as the company is in a sector I personally don't like to invest in due to the large capital requirements. The company is Toyota Motors (TM).
Simply put, the valuation seems too good to be true.
First off, let me show you what I am talking about. Here are the heat maps from FinViz:
Now as you can see, the general trend of the market is giving you discounts to Financials, Utilities, and Basic Materials, more specifically oil and gold.
Of those sectors, I really only like Financials as big oil has been in a downward trend over the past three years. Both Exxon and Chevron have produced less oil than the previous years and are both spending at near record high CapEx levels with no turnaround yet. I have continuously looked at both of them as I don't have any oil in my current portfolio, but haven't got myself to buy either of them.
Financials will continue to be attractive at these levels as investors still don't trust their book values since the financial crisis even though asset quality has continued to improve on a broad base. Over the next 5 years, interest rates will rise which will increase their spread which in turn increases their profitability.
For the most part, it appears healthcare, consumer goods, and services are currently overvalued.
Now, let's look at Toyota. Below is a quick multiples valuation against TM's peers. These are from Yahoo! Finance as GM isn't on FinViz for some reason.
P/E
Forward P/E
P/E/G
P/BV
As you can see, the whole sector looks cheap on a multiples basis, but of that bunch Toyota seems to win out on an overall valuation based on multiples.
Per my own investing rules, as I am a long term shareholder, I won't touch a company that has recently been bankrupt, therefore I rule out GM for any potential investments.
Now Toyota is too big of a company to do a full report on in a couple of days. However, of what little research I have done, this is what I have found.
First of all, on a macro perspective, the yen has weakened against both the US Dollar and the Chinese Yuan. Over the past two years, the Dollar and Yuan have both gained over 30% to the yen and over 10% this past year. This is a great thing for a Japanese multinational as North America and Asia is TM's second and third largest markets which combined are 46% of 2013's sales.
Because of this, profitability should be higher within Toyota which is also a reason to buy them over GM or Ford as the american automakers will lose money with a strong dollar overseas.
Over the past three years, TM has a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.12%. Last year, North America saw 32.8% sales growth and Asia saw 30.22% sales growth. This compounded with the yen weakening is a one-two punch.
Due to the strong demand in both North America and Asia, Toyota has had a surge in Consolidated Net Income for Fiscal Year 2014 of 135% in which ForEx is responsible for 123% of that growth alone. In this latest quarter, Net Revenues are up 23.9% with Net Income up 118%.
Toyota's Shareholder Presentation
Margins have increased across the board with their Gross Profit increasing from last year:
TM's Gross Profit Margin
As for a quick look at the balance sheet, Toyota has been de-leveraging over the past 5 years with Total Debt / Equity of 1.25 in 2009 to 1.16 in 2013. Book Value per Share has stayed relatively flat but grew 15.14% from 2012 to 2013. Compare that to a one year increase in share price of only 12.25% I believe we have a winner.
This is only what I have found off of a couple hours looking at this tonight and have only scratched the surface as to the information on this company.
However after just a small amount of research I firmly believe this is a truly undervalued company and should be bought right away.
References: Quick Stats pulled from TM's Annual Report
EDIT Thank you all for the replies. I should state that this is just beginning due diligence and there are several assumptions with this thesis, mainly that the Yen will stay depressed at least over the next year. This type of condition is a short term catalyst only and not a long term theme. As some have mentioned already, FX has been almost entirely behind TM's profit and there are real geopolitical risks between Japan and China.
Next week I will put together another post looking more into the actual underlying company's long term performance and management's strategic plan going forward. That way we can get a glimpse of what the company might look like in the future.
Again thank you all for the kind words and the intelligent discussion around this topic.
submitted by magesform to investing [link] [comments]

Looking for suggestions to secure my family’s financial future. (~$100K to allocate, earning ~$50K/yr after taxes)

Edit: TL;DR - wall of text explaining my current finances, also asking if it’s the right time to enter the housing market (and how I might protect myself if I do so). I’m very cash-heavy and looking for ideas to diversify and grow into retirement, while ensuring my wife and kid are taken care of as well.
I realize there are many different options for how to save and plan for retirement. I think I’ll be just fine, but I also recognize that I have a lot of room for improvement. More than my own personal security, I want to provide as much as possible for my wife and child, both of whom I expect to outlive me by many years.
Now, I would never share this kind of detail with someone who knows who I am irl, hence the throwaway. As far as non-immediate family and acquaintances know, I’m living paycheck to paycheck, and I’d like to keep it that way.
Some background information about me:
I’m 35 years old, serving on active duty in the US military, and I’ve been in for a little over 12 years. I’ll be eligible to retire in about 8 years, and a rough conservative estimate is that I’ll receive about $2,000/month retirement pay starting in my early-mid 40s. The plan is to continue working after I separate until, well... until I’m ready to stop. Who knows when I’ll feel too old to work? 55? 65? 85???
The idea is to have the financial freedom to “officially” retire when I’m ready to so, no sooner and no later.
I’m married and I have one kiddo.
The wife makes a pretty decent paycheck atm, but she’ll soon be looking for work when we relocate to our next assignment. She has about $15K saved up right now.
I transferred my Post-911 GI bill to the kid to help offset the cost of college, and because Uncle Sam already so generously paid for my own education while I’ve been on active duty. It would be a waste to use the Bill for myself. Still, I’d like to set aside at least enough to match it or fill the gap up to a Doctorate (just in case the kid wants to pursue that level of education- no pressure lol). The GI Bill should cover a substantial part of the first 3 years, beginning sometime around the year 2030, but I could potentially be paying as much as half of the cost of a 4-year degree, and likely most of any education beyond that. Student loans aren’t all bad, but if I can put my kid through college without having to take out a loan, that would be fantastic.
So here’s where my finances sit right now:
I’ve calculated my compensations for the next year, and a conservative post-taxes estimate is that I’ll bring home about $50K. I don’t expect that figure to change whole lot over the next 4 years at least. I’m sure my wife will find gainful employment again after we move, but I don’t have enough information to forecast what her earnings will be, so I’ll simply leave it out for now.
I’ve done a lot of research into the cost of living at our next assignment, and I keep pretty solid records of spending. Based on our current expenses, and a conservative adjustment accounting fo the location change. I expect to reliably save an average of $1,800 per month out of my paycheck. That’s about a 40% decrease in annual savings compared to the last 2 years, during which time I received some special pay and a bonus.
My family budget plan for 2018 allows for about $29K in expenses total, which sounds tight for 2 adults and a child (and it is tight), but I also know it’s easily doable. I’ll adjust that target as we settle into the new place over the next several months, and go from there.
Whatever the wife is able to earn after we move, can go straight to the bottom line. I hesitate to forecast my capital gains from investments based on past performance, because it really has been an exceptional few years. Besides, I have yet to ever withdraw from my brokerage account. All dividends and gains from closing positions has gone right back into the pot.
Investments:
I have $46K in my brokerage account. Roughly 50/50 cash and stocks (individual stocks and ETFs/ETNs etc). Here’s my current portfolio if anyone cares: MO, AAPL, WFC, AMD, BND, IAU, WMT, ARNC, SPY, XIV- roughly equal parts for all of those. They’re a mixture of speculative short-term and div-yielding long-term holds. The half I have sitting in cash is so I can quickly sell calls/average-down/BTFD whenever the next market correction/crash/recession comes. I’m adding about $1K/month to this account via automatic deposit, which I typically split between cost-price-averaging into my longs, and into my cash reserve. I balance my holdings mostly by adding to underperforming positions when I expect a rebound, and not by selling stock unless I’ve held the shares for more than a year. I also try to keep my cash balance roughly equal to the market value of my stocks for the reasons mentioned above (and so I can act if I see an opportunity for a nice swing trade).
I have a little over $20K in an interest-earning checking/debit account. This is where the majority of my paycheck lands, and it’s where the majority of my bills come out.
I have $15K in USD hard cash. That’s more than I need, to be sure. It’s mostly leftovers from when I sold one car and bought another. I’ll eventually deposit it into a bank I suppose lol.
I also have $11K in another checking account which I feed through a credit card, paying the balance off monthly. I’ve been using the credit card to buy gas and pay for other travel expenses. I don’t need a cc to do that, but it’s an easy way to build up my credit score and it helps whenever I need to rent a car or something.
Then there’s the $6K sitting in a credit union Roth IRA I opened and sort of forgot about. It barely earns interest at all and I can’t for the life of me figure out how to use it.
I own exactly 1 BTC I bought on a whim this summer. It’s hard for me to watch, because it moves around so much in value. Worth about $4.5K today. Other assets I can think of off the top of my head:
~ $4K in physical gold/silver. I guess it’s my hedge against society collapse or whatever lol. I have one of those 50g combi-bars that can be broken into smaller ingots and then a bunch of 1oz silver coins.
~ $2K in various foreign currencies, mostly Sterling. This was left over from when I spent some time in the UK pre-brexit vote. I’m sort of bag-holding it until I can exchange it back to USD for less of a loss.
On top of that, I have exactly zero debt. If I were forced to liquidate all of my assets not mentioned above, I’m confident I could come up with another ~ $40K (That’s if you figure a >50% emergency sale depreciation... I have 4 cars, 3 of which would be considered collector’s items and about another $15K in Snap-on tools + all the other random shit I own)
I realize my money allocations don’t make a lot of sense right now, but I’m an aggressive saver and the cash tends to pile up quickly. That’s a nice problem to have I guess.
One concern I have, is seeing my un-invested money take a big hit from inflation. I’m also a little worried about my bullish stock portfolio, but my plan is to build/hold it for another 15 years or so, and then slowly increase my exposure to bonds as I get into my 40s and 50s. Assuming I can stick to my long-term investing strategy, I’m hoping to be able to ride out any major correction or recession.
A major goal of mine is to buy a house. Thanks to the military lifestyle living overseas and frequent relocations though, I haven’t really been in a position to do so. Soon I’ll be moving to a stateside base, but looking at the housing market there, I’m frankly scared to buy right now. Houses in the local area have nearly doubled in just a few years, and I’d rather not spend the next 2 decades upside down in a mortgage if things suddenly take a turn for the worse. The valuations just don’t make sense to me compared with the rental market, and I suspect many of the land owners are deeply indebted in a market that feels pretty hot imo.
So there you have it. My personal finances in a nutshell. Not that I’m in financial trouble or anything, but I would love to hear any suggestions or pointers you smarties might have to offer.
I suppose some specific questions might include:
To recap my holdings:
Any/all ideas and criticisms are welcome.
Thanks for reading!
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How to Trade XAU/USD  BEST Forex Gold Trading Strategy FX Trading: How To Trade Gold (XAU/USD) - Lazy Trading Live Forex Trading Signals - MT4 FX Gold Bitcoin Buy Sell Analysis Dashboard - FREE Live Forex Trading Signals - MT4 FX Gold Bitcoin Buy Sell ... Buy and earn gold in Forex. Congratulations/July 6, 2020

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