Four Types of Forex (FX) Trend Indicators

Former investment bank FX trader: news trading and second order thinking

Former investment bank FX trader: news trading and second order thinking
Thanks to everyone who responded to the previous pieces on risk management. We ended up with nearly 2,000 upvotes and I'm delighted so many of you found it useful.
This time we're going to focus on a new area: reacting to and trading around news and fundamental developments.
A lot of people get this totally wrong and the main reason is that they trade the news at face value, without considering what the market had already priced in. If you've ever seen what you consider to be "good" or "better than forecast" news come out and yet been confused as the pair did nothing or moved in the opposite direction to expected, read on...
We are going to do this in two parts.
Part I
  • Introduction
  • Why use an economic calendar
  • How to read the calendar
  • Knowing what's priced in
  • Surveys
  • Rates decisions
  • First order thinking vs second order thinking

Introduction

Knowing how to use and benefit from the economic calendar is key for all traders - not just news traders.
In this chapter we are going to take a practical look at how to use the economic calendar. We are also going to look at how to interpret news using second order thinking.
The key concept is learning what has already been ‘priced in’ by the market so we can estimate how the market price might react to the new information.

Why use an economic calendar

The economic calendar contains all the scheduled economic releases for that day and week. Even if you purely trade based on technical analysis, you still must know what is in store.

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Why? Three main reasons.
Firstly, releases can help provide direction. They create trends. For example if GBPUSD has been fluctuating aimlessly within a range and suddenly the Bank of England starts raising rates you better believe the British Pound will start to move. Big news events often start long-term trends which you can trade around.
Secondly, a lot of the volatility occurs around these events. This is because these events give the market new information. Prior to a big scheduled release like the US Non Farm Payrolls you might find no one wants to take a big position. After it is released the market may move violently and potentially not just in a single direction - often prices may overshoot and come back down. Even without a trend this volatility provides lots of trading opportunities for the day trader.

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Finally, these releases can change trends. Going into a huge release because of a technical indicator makes little sense. Everything could reverse and stop you out in a moment. You need to be aware of which events are likely to influence the positions you have on so you can decide whether to keep the positions or flatten exposure before the binary event for which you have no edge.
Most traders will therefore ‘scan’ the calendar for the week ahead, noting what the big events are and when they will occur. Then you can focus on each day at a time.

Reading the economic calendar


Most calendars show events cut by trading day. Helpfully they adjust the time of each release to your own timezone. For example we can see that the Bank of Japan Interest Rate decision is happening at 4am local time for this particular London-based trader.

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Note that some events do not happen at a specific time. Think of a Central Banker’s speech for example - this can go on for an hour. It is not like an economic statistic that gets released at a precise time. Clicking the finger emoji will open up additional information on each event.

Event importance

How do you define importance? Well, some events are always unimportant. With the greatest of respect to Italian farmers, nobody cares about mundane releases like Italian farm productivity figures.
Other events always seem to be important. That means, markets consistently react to them and prices move. Interest rate decisions are an example of consistently high importance events.
So the Medium and High can be thought of as guides to how much each event typically affects markets. They are not perfect guides, however, as different events are more or less important depending on the circumstances.
For example, imagine the UK economy was undergoing a consumer-led recovery. The Central Bank has said it would raise interest rates (making GBPUSD move higher) if they feel the consumer is confident.
Consumer confidence data would suddenly become an extremely important event. At other times, when the Central Bank has not said it is focused on the consumer, this release might be near irrelevant.

Knowing what's priced in

Next to each piece of economic data you can normally see three figures. Actual, Forecast, and Previous.
  • Actual refers to the number as it is released.
  • Forecast refers to the consensus estimate from analysts.
  • Previous is what it was last time.
We are going to look at this in a bit more detail later but what you care about is when numbers are better or worse than expected. Whether a number is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ really does not matter much. Yes, really.

Once you understand that markets move based on the news vs expectations, you will be less confused by price action around events

This is a common misunderstanding. Say everyone is expecting ‘great’ economic data and it comes out as ‘good’. Does the price go up?
You might think it should. After all, the economic data was good. However, everyone expected it to be great and it was just … good. The great release was ‘priced in’ by the market already. Most likely the price will be disappointed and go down.
By priced in we simply mean that the market expected it and already bought or sold. The information was already in the price before the announcement.
Incidentally the official forecasts can be pretty stale and might not accurately capture what active traders in the market expect. See the following example.

An example of pricing in

For example, let’s say the market is focused on the number of Tesla deliveries. Analysts think it’ll be 100,000 this quarter. But Elon Musk tweets something that hints he’s really, really, really looking forward to the analyst call. Tesla’s price ticks higher after the tweet as traders put on positions, reflecting the sentiment that Tesla is likely to massively beat the 100,000. (This example is not a real one - it just serves to illustrate the concept.)

Tesla deliveries are up hugely vs last quarter ... but they are disappointing vs market expectations ... what do you think will happen to the stock?

On the day it turns out Tesla hit 101,000. A better than the officially forecasted result - sure - but only marginally. Way below what readers of Musk's twitter account might have thought. Disappointed traders may sell their longs and close out the positions. The stock might go down on ‘good’ results because the market had priced in something even better. (This example is not a real one - it just serves to illustrate the concept.)

Surveys

It can be a little hard to know what the market really expects. Often the published forecasts are stale and do not reflect what actual traders and investors are looking for.
One of the most effective ways is a simple survey of investors. Something like a Twitter poll like this one from CNBC is freely available and not a bad barometer.
CNBC, Bloomberg and other business TV stations often have polls on their Twitter accounts that let you know what others are expecting

Interest rates decisions

We know that interest rates heavily affect currency prices.
For major interest rate decisions there’s a great tool on the CME’s website that you can use.

See the link for a demo

This gives you a % probability of each interest rate level, implied by traded prices in the bond futures market. For example, in the case above the market thinks there’s a 20% chance the Fed will cut rates to 75-100bp.
Obviously this is far more accurate than analyst estimates because it uses actual bond prices where market participants are directly taking risk and placing bets. It basically looks at what interest rate traders are willing to lend at just before/after the date of the central bank meeting to imply the odds that the market ascribes to a change on that date.
Always try to estimate what the market has priced in. That way you have some context for whether the release really was better or worse than expected.

Second order thinking

You have to know what the market expects to try and guess how it’ll react. This is referred to by Howard Marks of Oaktree as second-level thinking. His explanation is so clear I am going to quote extensively.
It really is hard to improve on this clarity of thought:
First-level thinking is simplistic and superficial, and just about everyone can do it (a bad sign for anything involving an attempt at superiority). All the first-level thinker needs is an opinion about the future, as in “The outlook for the company is favorable, meaning the stock will go up.” Second-level thinking is deep, complex and convoluted.
Howard Marks
He explains first-level thinking:
The first-level thinker simply looks for the highest quality company, the best product, the fastest earnings growth or the lowest p/e ratio. He’s ignorant of the very existence of a second level at which to think, and of the need to pursue it.
Howard Marks
The above describes the guy who sees a 101,000 result and buys Tesla stock because - hey, this beat expectations. Marks goes on to describe second-level thinking:
The second-level thinker goes through a much more complex process when thinking about buying an asset. Is it good? Do others think it’s as good as I think it is? Is it really as good as I think it is? Is it as good as others think it is? Is it as good as others think others think it is? How will it change? How do others think it will change? How is it priced given: its current condition; how do I think its conditions will change; how others think it will change; and how others think others think it will change? And that’s just the beginning. No, this isn’t easy.
Howard Marks
In this version of events you are always thinking about the market’s response to Tesla results.
What do you think they’ll announce? What has the market priced in? Is Musk reliable? Are the people who bought because of his tweet likely to hold on if he disappoints or exit immediately? If it goes up at which price will they take profit? How big a number is now considered ‘wow’ by the market?
As Marks says: not easy. However, you need to start getting into the habit of thinking like this if you want to beat the market. You can make gameplans in advance for various scenarios.
Here are some examples from Marks to illustrate the difference between first order and second order thinking.

Some further examples
Trying to react fast to headlines is impossible in today’s market of ultra fast computers. You will never win on speed. Therefore you have to out-think the average participant.

Coming up in part II

Now that we have a basic understanding of concepts such as expectations and what the market has priced in, we can look at some interesting trading techniques and tools.
Part II
  • Preparing for quantitative and qualitative releases
  • Data surprise index
  • Using recent events to predict future reactions
  • Buy the rumour, sell the fact
  • The trimming position effect
  • Reversals
  • Some key FX releases
Hope you enjoyed this note. As always, please reply with any questions/feedback - it is fun to hear from you.
***
Disclaimer:This content is not investment advice and you should not place any reliance on it. The views expressed are the author's own and should not be attributed to any other person, including their employer.
submitted by getmrmarket to Forex [link] [comments]

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What Is Capitalism?

Capitalism is an economic system in which private individuals or businesses own capital goods. The production of goods and services is based on supply and demand in the general market—known as a market economy—rather than through central planning—known as a planned economy or command economy.
The purest form of capitalism is free market or laissez-faire capitalism. Here, private individuals are unrestrained. They may determine where to invest, what to produce or sell, and at which prices to exchange goods and services. The laissez-faire marketplace operates without checks or controls.
Today, most countries practice a mixed capitalist system that includes some degree of government regulation of business and ownership of select industries.
Volume 75% 2:05

Capitalism

Understanding Capitalism

Functionally speaking, capitalism is one process by which the problems of economic production and resource distribution might be resolved. Instead of planning economic decisions through centralized political methods, as with socialism or feudalism, economic planning under capitalism occurs via decentralized and voluntary decisions.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Capitalism is an economic system characterized by private ownership of the means of production, especially in the industrial sector.
  • Capitalism depends on the enforcement of private property rights, which provide incentives for investment in and productive use of productive capital.
  • Capitalism developed historically out of previous systems of feudalism and mercantilism in Europe, and dramatically expanded industrialization and the large-scale availability of mass-market consumer goods.
  • Pure capitalism can be contrasted with pure socialism (where all means of production are collective or state-owned) and mixed economies (which lie on a continuum between pure capitalism and pure socialism).
  • The real-world practice of capitalism typically involves some degree of so-called “crony capitalism” due to demands from business for favorable government intervention and governments’ incentive to intervene in the economy.

Capitalism and Private Property

Private property rights are fundamental to capitalism. Most modern concepts of private property stem from John Locke's theory of homesteading, in which human beings claim ownership through mixing their labor with unclaimed resources. Once owned, the only legitimate means of transferring property are through voluntary exchange, gifts, inheritance, or re-homesteading of abandoned property.
Private property promotes efficiency by giving the owner of resources an incentive to maximize the value of their property. So, the more valuable the resource is, the more trading power it provides the owner. In a capitalist system, the person who owns the property is entitled to any value associated with that property.
For individuals or businesses to deploy their capital goods confidently, a system must exist that protects their legal right to own or transfer private property. A capitalist society will rely on the use of contracts, fair dealing, and tort law to facilitate and enforce these private property rights.
When a property is not privately owned but shared by the public, a problem known as the tragedy of the commons can emerge. With a common pool resource, which all people can use, and none can limit access to, all individuals have an incentive to extract as much use value as they can and no incentive to conserve or reinvest in the resource. Privatizing the resource is one possible solution to this problem, along with various voluntary or involuntary collective action approaches.

Capitalism, Profits, and Losses

Profits are closely associated with the concept of private property. By definition, an individual only enters into a voluntary exchange of private property when they believe the exchange benefits them in some psychic or material way. In such trades, each party gains extra subjective value, or profit, from the transaction.
Voluntary trade is the mechanism that drives activity in a capitalist system. The owners of resources compete with one another over consumers, who in turn, compete with other consumers over goods and services. All of this activity is built into the price system, which balances supply and demand to coordinate the distribution of resources.
A capitalist earns the highest profit by using capital goods most efficiently while producing the highest-value good or service. In this system, information about what is highest-valued is transmitted through those prices at which another individual voluntarily purchases the capitalist's good or service. Profits are an indication that less valuable inputs have been transformed into more valuable outputs. By contrast, the capitalist suffers losses when capital resources are not used efficiently and instead create less valuable outputs.

Free Enterprise or Capitalism?

Capitalism and free enterprise are often seen as synonymous. In truth, they are closely related yet distinct terms with overlapping features. It is possible to have a capitalist economy without complete free enterprise, and possible to have a free market without capitalism.
Any economy is capitalist as long as private individuals control the factors of production. However, a capitalist system can still be regulated by government laws, and the profits of capitalist endeavors can still be taxed heavily.
"Free enterprise" can roughly be understood to mean economic exchanges free of coercive government influence. Although unlikely, it is possible to conceive of a system where individuals choose to hold all property rights in common. Private property rights still exist in a free enterprise system, although the private property may be voluntarily treated as communal without a government mandate.
Many Native American tribes existed with elements of these arrangements, and within a broader capitalist economic family, clubs, co-ops, and joint-stock business firms like partnerships or corporations are all examples of common property institutions.
If accumulation, ownership, and profiting from capital is the central principle of capitalism, then freedom from state coercion is the central principle of free enterprise.

Feudalism the Root of Capitalism

Capitalism grew out of European feudalism. Up until the 12th century, less than 5% of the population of Europe lived in towns. Skilled workers lived in the city but received their keep from feudal lords rather than a real wage, and most workers were serfs for landed nobles. However, by the late Middle Ages rising urbanism, with cities as centers of industry and trade, become more and more economically important.
The advent of true wages offered by the trades encouraged more people to move into towns where they could get money rather than subsistence in exchange for labor. Families’ extra sons and daughters who needed to be put to work, could find new sources of income in the trade towns. Child labor was as much a part of the town's economic development as serfdom was part of the rural life.

Mercantilism Replaces Feudalism

Mercantilism gradually replaced the feudal economic system in Western Europe and became the primary economic system of commerce during the 16th to 18th centuries. Mercantilism started as trade between towns, but it was not necessarily competitive trade. Initially, each town had vastly different products and services that were slowly homogenized by demand over time.
After the homogenization of goods, trade was carried out in broader and broader circles: town to town, county to county, province to province, and, finally, nation to nation. When too many nations were offering similar goods for trade, the trade took on a competitive edge that was sharpened by strong feelings of nationalism in a continent that was constantly embroiled in wars.
Colonialism flourished alongside mercantilism, but the nations seeding the world with settlements were not trying to increase trade. Most colonies were set up with an economic system that smacked of feudalism, with their raw goods going back to the motherland and, in the case of the British colonies in North America, being forced to repurchase the finished product with a pseudo-currency that prevented them from trading with other nations.
It was Adam Smith who noticed that mercantilism was not a force of development and change, but a regressive system that was creating trade imbalances between nations and keeping them from advancing. His ideas for a free market opened the world to capitalism.

Growth of Industrial Capitalism

Smith's ideas were well-timed, as the Industrial Revolution was starting to cause tremors that would soon shake the Western world. The (often literal) gold mine of colonialism had brought new wealth and new demand for the products of domestic industries, which drove the expansion and mechanization of production. As technology leaped ahead and factories no longer had to be built near waterways or windmills to function, industrialists began building in the cities where there were now thousands of people to supply ready labor.
Industrial tycoons were the first people to amass their wealth in their lifetimes, often outstripping both the landed nobles and many of the money lending/banking families. For the first time in history, common people could have hopes of becoming wealthy. The new money crowd built more factories that required more labor, while also producing more goods for people to purchase.
During this period, the term "capitalism"—originating from the Latin word "capitalis," which means "head of cattle"—was first used by French socialist Louis Blanc in 1850, to signify a system of exclusive ownership of industrial means of production by private individuals rather than shared ownership.
Contrary to popular belief, Karl Marx did not coin the word "capitalism," although he certainly contributed to the rise of its use.

Industrial Capitalism's Effects

Industrial capitalism tended to benefit more levels of society rather than just the aristocratic class. Wages increased, helped greatly by the formation of unions. The standard of living also increased with the glut of affordable products being mass-produced. This growth led to the formation of a middle class and began to lift more and more people from the lower classes to swell its ranks.
The economic freedoms of capitalism matured alongside democratic political freedoms, liberal individualism, and the theory of natural rights. This unified maturity is not to say, however, that all capitalist systems are politically free or encourage individual liberty. Economist Milton Friedman, an advocate of capitalism and individual liberty, wrote in Capitalism and Freedom (1962) that "capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom. It is not a sufficient condition."
A dramatic expansion of the financial sector accompanied the rise of industrial capitalism. Banks had previously served as warehouses for valuables, clearinghouses for long-distance trade, or lenders to nobles and governments. Now they came to serve the needs of everyday commerce and the intermediation of credit for large, long-term investment projects. By the 20th century, as stock exchanges became increasingly public and investment vehicles opened up to more individuals, some economists identified a variation on the system: financial capitalism.

Capitalism and Economic Growth

By creating incentives for entrepreneurs to reallocate away resources from unprofitable channels and into areas where consumers value them more highly, capitalism has proven a highly effective vehicle for economic growth.
Before the rise of capitalism in the 18th and 19th centuries, rapid economic growth occurred primarily through conquest and extraction of resources from conquered peoples. In general, this was a localized, zero-sum process. Research suggests average global per-capita income was unchanged between the rise of agricultural societies through approximately 1750 when the roots of the first Industrial Revolution took hold.
In subsequent centuries, capitalist production processes have greatly enhanced productive capacity. More and better goods became cheaply accessible to wide populations, raising standards of living in previously unthinkable ways. As a result, most political theorists and nearly all economists argue that capitalism is the most efficient and productive system of exchange.

Capitalism vs. Socialism

In terms of political economy, capitalism is often pitted against socialism. The fundamental difference between capitalism and socialism is the ownership and control of the means of production. In a capitalist economy, property and businesses are owned and controlled by individuals. In a socialist economy, the state owns and manages the vital means of production. However, other differences also exist in the form of equity, efficiency, and employment.

Equity

The capitalist economy is unconcerned about equitable arrangements. The argument is that inequality is the driving force that encourages innovation, which then pushes economic development. The primary concern of the socialist model is the redistribution of wealth and resources from the rich to the poor, out of fairness, and to ensure equality in opportunity and equality of outcome. Equality is valued above high achievement, and the collective good is viewed above the opportunity for individuals to advance.

Efficiency

The capitalist argument is that the profit incentive drives corporations to develop innovative new products that are desired by the consumer and have demand in the marketplace. It is argued that the state ownership of the means of production leads to inefficiency because, without the motivation to earn more money, management, workers, and developers are less likely to put forth the extra effort to push new ideas or products.

Employment

In a capitalist economy, the state does not directly employ the workforce. This lack of government-run employment can lead to unemployment during economic recessions and depressions. In a socialist economy, the state is the primary employer. During times of economic hardship, the socialist state can order hiring, so there is full employment. Also, there tends to be a stronger "safety net" in socialist systems for workers who are injured or permanently disabled. Those who can no longer work have fewer options available to help them in capitalist societies.

Mixed System vs. Pure Capitalism

When the government owns some but not all of the means of production, but government interests may legally circumvent, replace, limit, or otherwise regulate private economic interests, that is said to be a mixed economy or mixed economic system. A mixed economy respects property rights, but places limits on them.
Property owners are restricted with regards to how they exchange with one another. These restrictions come in many forms, such as minimum wage laws, tariffs, quotas, windfall taxes, license restrictions, prohibited products or contracts, direct public expropriation, anti-trust legislation, legal tender laws, subsidies, and eminent domain. Governments in mixed economies also fully or partly own and operate certain industries, especially those considered public goods, often enforcing legally binding monopolies in those industries to prohibit competition by private entities.
In contrast, pure capitalism, also known as laissez-faire capitalism or anarcho-capitalism, (such as professed by Murray N. Rothbard) all industries are left up to private ownership and operation, including public goods, and no central government authority provides regulation or supervision of economic activity in general.
The standard spectrum of economic systems places laissez-faire capitalism at one extreme and a complete planned economy—such as communism—at the other. Everything in the middle could be said to be a mixed economy. The mixed economy has elements of both central planning and unplanned private business.
By this definition, nearly every country in the world has a mixed economy, but contemporary mixed economies range in their levels of government intervention. The U.S. and the U.K. have a relatively pure type of capitalism with a minimum of federal regulation in financial and labor markets—sometimes known as Anglo-Saxon capitalism—while Canada and the Nordic countries have created a balance between socialism and capitalism.
Many European nations practice welfare capitalism, a system that is concerned with the social welfare of the worker, and includes such policies as state pensions, universal healthcare, collective bargaining, and industrial safety codes.

Crony Capitalism

Crony capitalism refers to a capitalist society that is based on the close relationships between business people and the state. Instead of success being determined by a free market and the rule of law, the success of a business is dependent on the favoritism that is shown to it by the government in the form of tax breaks, government grants, and other incentives.
In practice, this is the dominant form of capitalism worldwide due to the powerful incentives both faced by governments to extract resources by taxing, regulating, and fostering rent-seeking activity, and those faced by capitalist businesses to increase profits by obtaining subsidies, limiting competition, and erecting barriers to entry. In effect, these forces represent a kind of supply and demand for government intervention in the economy, which arises from the economic system itself.
Crony capitalism is widely blamed for a range of social and economic woes. Both socialists and capitalists blame each other for the rise of crony capitalism. Socialists believe that crony capitalism is the inevitable result of pure capitalism. On the other hand, capitalists believe that crony capitalism arises from the need of socialist governments to control the economy.
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submitted by MattPetroski to ItalicoIntegralism [link] [comments]

Getting Started

Hey guys! I found a super cool list of everything a new forex trader would need to get started! Originally made by to nate1357. Link to original thread http://redd.it/328cjr
Free Resources
Education:
www.babypips.com/school
www.informedtrades.com/f7
www.forex4noobs.com/forex-education
www.en.tradimo.com/learn/forex-trading
www.youtube.com/useTheTradeitsimple
www.traderscalm.com
www.orderflowtrading.com/LearnOrderFlow.aspx
www.profitube.com
Calendars:
www.forexfactory.com/calendar.php
www.dailyfx.com/calendar
www.fxstreet.com/economic-calendar
www.forexlive.com/EconomicCalendar
www.myfxbook.com/forex-economic-calendar
www.investing.com/economic-calendar
Free News Websites:
www.forexlive.com - Daily live news, analysis and resources
www.financemagnates.com - FX industry news and updates
www.fxstreet.com - Daily news, analysis and resources
www.forextell.com
www.forexcup.com/news
www.bloomberg.com/markets
Forums:
www.reddit.com/forex
www.forums.babypips.com/
www.forexfactory.com/forum.php
www.elitetrader.com/et/index.php
www.forex-tsd.com/
www.fxgears.com/forum/index.php
www.trade2win.com/boards
Margin / pip / position size calculators
www.myfxbook.com/forex-calculators
Brokerages:
There are many factors to consider when choosing a brokerage. Regulations typically force US traders to only trade at US brokerages, while international traders have more choice. After considering location you need to consider how much capital you will start trading with as many have minimum deposit levels. Once you’ve narrowed that down you can compared spreads and execution. ECN brokers execute your orders straight through to their liquidity providers, while market maker brokers may pair up your trades with other clients. Market maker brokers typically will partially hedge your positions on the interbank market. Many consider this to be a conflict of interest and prefer to trade at an ECN broker who would have an active motive to see you succeed. Lastly, brokers run inherently risky business models so it is important to consider the risk of bankruptcy.
www.forexpeacearmy.com - Aggregates broker reviews. Be warned though that people only seem to make bad reviews.
www.myfxbook.com/forex-broker-spreads - Live comparison of executable spreads
United States & International-
-Interactive Brokers
International Only-
-LMAX (whitelabel DarwinEx)
*DMA broker based in the UK. Note that as a DMA broker LMAX eliminates the ability for LPs to last-look transactions. This may result in reduced liquidity during volatile times as liquidity providers would be likely not to risk posting liquidity to LMAX's pool. *Tight spreads *Minimum deposit $10,000 *Fairly well diversified
-Dukascopy
*ECN based in Switzerland, but available elsewhere depending on local regulations.
*Tight spreads *Minimum deposit $100 *Fairly well diversified
-IC Markets *ECN based in Australia *Fair spreads on standard account, tight spreads on professional accounts. *Minimum deposit $200 *Fairly well diversified
-Pepperstone
*ECN broker based in Australia. *Fair spreads on standard account, tight spreads on professional accounts. *Minimum deposit $200 *Not well diversified
Software / Apps:
Desktop/mobile
Terminology/Acronyms:
www.forexlive.com/ForexJargon - Common terms and acronyms
FAQ:
I need to exchange money, how do I do it?
This isn’t what this sub is for. Your best bet is using your bank or an online exchange service. Be prepared to pay a hefty fee.
I have money in one currency and need to exchange it into another sometime in the future, should I wait?
Don’t ask us this. We speculate intraday in FX and shouldn’t be relied on to tell you what’s best for you. Exchange the money when you need it.
I have an FX account, should I start trading demo or live?
This is highly debatable. You should definitely demo trade until you have mastered how to use the trading platform on desktop and mobile. After that it’s up to you. Many think that the psychology of trading live vs demo trading is massively different. So it may pay to learn to trade live. Just be warned that most FX traders lose almost their entire first account so start with a low affordable balance.
What’s money management?
Money management is a form of risk management and is arguably the most important aspect of your trading when it comes to long term survival. You should always enter trades with a stop loss - the distance of the stop allows you to calculate how large of a percent of your account balance will be lost if your trade stops out. You can run a monte carlo simulation to figure out the risk of having a number of trades go against you in a row to drain your account. The general rule is that you should only risk losing 1-4% of your account per trade entered.
More on this here: www.investopedia.com/articles/forex/06/fxmoneymgmt.asp[35]
www.swing-trade-stocks.com/money-management.html[36]
What about automated trading?
Retail FX traders have been known to program “Expert Advisors” (EAs) to automate trading. It’s generally advisable to stay away from that until you’re very experienced. Never buy an EA from a developer because the vast majority of them are scams.
What indicators are best?
That’s up to you to test and find out. Many in this forum dislike oscillating indicators since they fail to capture the essence of what moves price. With experience you will discover what works best for you. In my experience indicators that are most popular with professional traders are those that provide trading “levels” such as pivot points, fibonacci, moving averages, trendlines, etc.
What timeframe should I trade?
Price action can vary in different timeframes. In longer term timeframes the price action and fundamentals are much more clear. Unfortunately it would take a very long time to figure out whether or not what you’re doing is successful on longer timeframes. In shorter timeframes you can often tell very quickly if what you’re doing is profitable. Unfortunately there’s a lot more “noise” on these levels which can prove deceptive for those trying to learn. Therefore the best bet is to use a multi-timeframe analysis, working from top-down to come up with trades.
Should I trade using fundamental analysis (FA) of technical analysis (TA)?
This is a long standing argument in these forums and elsewhere. I’ll settle it here - you should have an understanding of both. Yes there are traders who blindly ignore one of the other but a truly well rounded trader should understand and implement both into the analysis. The market is driven in the longer term through FA. But TA is necessary to give traders a place to enter and exit trades from a psychological risk/reward standpoint.
I’ve heard trading Binary Options is an easy way to make money?
The general advice is to stay away from binaries. The structure of binary options is so that when you lose the broker wins. This incentive has created a very scammy industry where there are few legitimate binary options brokers. In addition in order to be profitable in binaries you have to win 55-65% of the time. That’s a much higher premium over spot FX.
Am I actually exchanging currencies?
Yes and no. Your broker handles spot FX is currency pairs. Although they make an exchange at the settlement date they treat your position in your account as a virtual currency pair. Think of it like a contract where you can only buy or sell it as a pair. In this sense you are always long one currency while short another. You are merely speculating that one currency will appreciate or depreciate vs another.
Why didn't my order fill?
Even if price appears to cross over a line on your chart it does not guarantee a fill. Different charting platforms chart different prices - some chart the bid price, some the ask price and some the midpoint price. To fill a limit order price needs to cross your limit's price plus the spread at the time that it is crossing. If it does not equal or exceed the spread then it will not fill. Be wary that in general spreads are not fixed. So what may fill at one time may not at another.
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[Table] IAmA: I am Timothy Sykes: Ask Me Anything

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2014-04-22
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
So you've managed to be in the green during the years when any idiot could throw darts at a dart board for stock picks and derive gains. What happens when a bear market comes along? LOL I love my haters/doubters, why are u all so inept? I do BETTER IN BEAR MARKETS, I'M A SHORT SELLER YOU MORON! LOLOLOLOLOL.
You also manage less than $4M and only have $1M in your trading accounts right now. I wouldn't trust a lot of the people I know with more than that in their accounts for advice (and neither would they, that's why their money is managed by others). So, what exactly is it that makes you qualified to give advice for long term success for other investors to follow you? I could trade with $20 million and probly make $10-15 mil/year but then i wouldnt be able to teach which i love more.
Do you know the success rate of all of your subscribers as a whole, including the ones that didn't stick through your "program", do you have any stats? Not just the two millionaires? U can see alll my students trades, add up the profits, go fetch, Link to profit.ly
LOL I love my haters/doubters, why are u all so inept? I do BETTER IN BEAR MARKETS, I'M A SHORT SELLER YOU MORON! LOLOLOLOLOL. As a sell-side analyst who has worked on Wall Street for several years and has met analysts and portfolio managers at the largest hedge funds and investment banks in the world, I'd like to ask everyone reading this a question: would you entrust your life savings to a guy who talks like this? Do you think the people at Goldman Sachs or Third Point talk like this? The good thing is i dont manage other people's money, all i do is teach lessons i've learned over 15 years...ignore my rules at your own risk, nobody forces u to learn them...
How did that hedge fund you started work out? I was the #1 ranked short bias hedge fund for 3 years and then tried investing as i got too greedy...overall made 2%/year over 4 years, still #1 ranked in my category, see details Link to tim.ly i accept your apology for your laziness.
I do BETTER IN BEAR MARKETS. Have you traded in a bear market before? Because to me it looks like you started trading shortly after the crash. i could trade with $20 million and probly make $10-15 mil/year. Then why not put more money into your trading account, it's not like holding more than half your in assets in cash is somehow going to improve your awesome performance? but then i wouldnt be able to teach which i love more. If you love it so much, why don't you offer it at a more discounted rate than $1200/year per person? For that much money most people could buy all the best investing books on the shelves. Are yours somehow better than everyone who has come before you? As well, at $1200/year, if you only have 10k in your account, that's 12%/year. For 12% a year you could hire some of the best money managers in the world, or even for a flat rate fee, you could find at least a half-decent financial planner. What advantages do you offer over those people? u can see alll my students trades, add up the profits. After factoring in relative risk, and performance relative to the market, how does this fare? I mean if all your students at so successful why not display that front and center on your page, I'm sure it'd draw in more customers and there would be more faith in your advice. Your own success and the success of a few hand picked students isn't a lot to go on. How do you become a better sprinter, do you ask the world's fastest sprinter, or their coaches? Do you judge these coaches based on the performance of the most skilled students (who likely had an innate ability to begin with), or do you assess them based on the sustained increase in performance across the board, relative to other coaches? Generally the guy with $500k in his bank account is going to have an easier time making 1M than the guy with $5k in his account is. I'm not hating on you, I'm just asking why some of this data hasn't been gathered to show just how successful your students have been, relative to the rest of the people in the markets they've been trading in. go fetch. Are you aware of what selection bias and survivorship bias are? Also have you considered offering a full refund for people who have blown up their account after buying your books? Where do you see your investment future headed with these sizable gains so quick in your short career? Do you think your performance will compare to that of Berkshire Hathaway, or the Medallion Fund in the long term? Yes i've traded bear markets, i made my 2nd million dollars 2000-2002, u have a long comment but u didnt bother researching me so i have no time for lazy people, sorry!
In the wake of Flash Boys, if you could recreate the market to your specs how would you want it? Single exchange? No maketaker? No darks? Trading pauses? Cancel fees? No Internalization? People whine too much, i could care less about HFTs.
Why does google have more scam accusations than success stories when I search your name? Because i expose scams and those scammers spread lies...already sued one penny stock promoter and won, but their skillset is spreading misinformation on the internet so it works well to smear me...but they couldnt stop Link to tim.ly or Link to tim.ly and as i create more millionaires, more people will realize i'm 100% right...until then let the haterade flowww.
I love how so many of the people asking questions here are ~5 hour old accounts...Got a bunch of your students pumping and dumping your AMA too? I just sent the link out to everyone we dont give a crap about reddit, stupid hater.
My question keeps disappearing for some reason. ??? On a $15,000 account, what position size ($) would you risk, max, and what % gain target would you shoot for to minimize risk in partial fills/no-fills? I know this depends greatly on volume. I answered it in long before, no time for double questions.
You are quite the heartless prick. You publicly laugh at all the traders when your short brigade tanks a stock price. Has anyone recognized you in public, walked up and threatened you? Nah actually everyone who meets me is very thankful for my tireless work and EDUCATION...anyone who hates on education deserves to be poor.
Do you want to eventually settle down with a wife and have kids and get out of the spotlight?? And do you ever get tired of the fame? Of course but i never get tired of trading/teaching.
What indicators do you use to find earnings/contract winners? What news sources do you read through? How do you find them? Go watch Link to timothysykes.com
2pac or biggie? Eminem.
If you're so fucking rich why do you need to sell shit? Why did you make this AMA? To get more customers. Those who can't do, teach. Link to www.timothysykes.com
You're a typical lazy, inept hater, u accuse before u do research, sad.
Tim, big fan, love the instagram photos. Quick question, why not use options to position for trades (assuming they are availalbe in a particular name at all), rather than long/short? I've had problems getting margin approval (long story) even though i make six figures a year, so buying calls and puts is where im at right now. thoughts? Less serious question, "on a scale of Moses to Hitler" (Andy Samburg quote), how Jewish do you consider yourself? Favorite brand of coffee? Favorite toy? My stocks arent usually optionable, oh how i wish they were :) i dont drink coffee and no time for toys.
TIM SYKES. If you had a son or daughter, which majors would you want them to study? STEM field? Liberal arts? Other. Pic related: Link to i.imgur.com. College is useless, I'd want them to live and learn in the real world.
How was the conversation with Wolf when you guys ended the little Twitter war? What caused that whole mess? It was me probing whether he was a stock promoter or not and i'm confident that he's just a naive newbie.
Are you familiar with BullsOnWallstreet? What do you think of their trading education, chatroom, and hedgefund? Yah, nice guys but i dont know their teachings/track record, try to get them to post publicly on profitly.
What % of your income is from trading, what % from subscribers/dvds/marketing etc.? Link to mixergy.com
Hi Tim, what advice would you give a new trader with a very small account ~$500. on the best way to grow the account over time? Focus on volatile stocks and realize my top student started with just $1500 and turned it into $1.71 million in 3 years...anything is possible if u study and work ahrd.
Tim, what is the tech analysis software you use in all of your video lessons. Is it thinkorswim? Its Etrade PRO but I don't recommend them -- I only use them as I'm superstitious and have made too many millions of dollars with them over 15 years...Otherwise I'd recommend Link to stockstotrade.co as it has great scanning/screening tools too.
Tim, as happy as I've been with my Silver sub so far, I was a day trader for four years in forex and am a bit burned out on it. But I do love swing and positional trading and have really fallen in love with options over the last six months. Right now I am thisclose to buying Tim Longterm. Do you get a lot of optional stocks in the TL program? Cool yes timlongterm has more optional stocks.
How did you become interested in the stock market? Read Link to timothysykes.com
How has your self-made wealth changed your lifestyle? Yes i live very well now :)
Where do you see yourself in five years? Depends how many millionaire students i can create.
Was trading stocks your first career choice? I never thought about careers, i just made a ton of $ when i was young and liked doing that so i wanted to do it more.
Tim, I've been a silver sub for about three weeks now and have made some nice trades and done well so far, including a sweet +13% on ARTX (would have made more if I'd waited for it to break support). But I haven't seen any of the big-spike penny pumps happening so far. How often do you see them happening? Cool, big spike penny pumps were every day in dec, jan, feb...they'll be back but u just missed the busiest season in 15 years.
How would you invest / what would you buy for $100 ? I'd buy a good sushi lunch for that amount, it's too low for stocks.
How much does it cost to become one of your students? Go look Link to timothysykes.com prices rising soon too so i'd lock in current prices for life if i were u.
I should've clarified, how much is it to become one of your millionaire challenge students? Depends, we offer different options, gotta apply and be accepted first anyway.
Differences between the Tim Sykes Challenge and the silver membership? See Link to timothysykes.com
Do you regularly give talks/seminars at colleges and universities. Would you ever consider coming to a smaller university to give a lecture on stock trading and smart investing? Yes hit up Link to timothysykes.com
What do you think about forex? I just started larning about forex, because here in méxico there is not much information about penny stocks; and As i said before I want to make the amount to take you challenge. Too low odds of success for me to care.
How backed up are your email responses for trader challenge requests? And what is the difference between silver and being accepted into the challenge. And by differences i'm referring to benefits. 75,000 emails or so.
Thoughts on fspm? Below technical resistance so its irrelevant.
When you were growing up Tim, in your teens, did you look into the future and want to be wealthy? Was it a dream of yours to be where you are today or did you decide so much later on? Always wanted to be wealthy, thought i needed to go to a good school & get job on wall street to make it happen.
When you first started out.. How did you handle the stress when you weren't trading? I'm having some crazy up days $12k+ and then when I make a shitty trade and lose $3k I wanna throw something... No stress if u stick to rules...i didnt have rules at first and that was stressful...i didnt have a mentor either...luckily for u with me in the picture u now have both :)
Dear Tim, I have a dream of making an automated trading machine out of your system, I have experience and the trading floor access. In your opinion, why shouldn't it work ? (I can automate: market research, stock picks, technical indicators, risk management, money management etc.) Do it up, i'm sure it would work I just havent had the time and I'm more interested in teaching people to be self-sufficient.
When did you start trading? Go read Link to timothysykes.com and stop being so lazy.
Would you accept a deal to start being your student? I sent an email but i'd like to know what do you think, if the answer is not, it's ok; but i want to know what do you think; No time for deals, only looking for dedicated students.
Any plans to expand the conference / speaking opportunities for you and your other gurus? I loved the Vegas event and think there is a large opportunity for smaller, regional Saturday events. Thoughts? Ha nah in person events are a biatch, focus on online teaching is better.
I have to ask how often do you check twitter for hot news/tips? Also have you heard of Mark Gomes he is more like long term investor. I can't do margin on my ira so lose out on a lot of opportunities when trading. Gotta let the funds settle. I could care less about news/tips, I'm ALWAYS searching for good patterns though.
Amazing call on artx I'm now number 1 in my finance class stock game Nice!
I'm 23 years old, looking for stock investment options. What type of stocks should I be looking at with about $500 to spend? Nothing, forget about investing with $500 and learn trading, watch these free videos Link to tim.ly
On a $15,000 account, what position size ($) would you risk, max, and what % gain target would you shoot for to minimize risk in partial fills/no-fills? I know this depends greatly on volume. I am more aggressive in my trading when my account is small, I'd use 30-50% per play but watch the play like a hawk...for example I shorted ARTX yesterday at 4.50, today it dropped to 3.90...if i had $15k I would've shorted 1,500 at 4.50 and tried to cover at 4ish today to lock in $750 profit...then rinse and repeat and gradually grow the account.
How much money do you have in your checking account right now? I dunno exactly, a few million last time I checked.
How often do you take money out of your trading account to spend? monthly, quarterly, annually or as needed? Annually.
Hey Tim I am a big follower of yours on twitter and am considering purchasing your news letter. I got lucky and got in some marijuana stock in November and pretty much didn't look at it until February when I sold. I quickly found out how lucky I was afterwards by not taking profits on other stocks I had purchased. I was looking for another 10 bagger and quickly realized how rare it is for that to happen. My question for you is what type of percentage gains do you look for before securing profit? Nice, normally i go for 10-30% gains, watch Link to tim.ly
What is the best product on your site to strictly see your stock picks? The best bang for my buck? My newsletters at Link to timothysykes.com but picks do little good without knowledge/education behind WHY I am trading them.
Last one from me. I know you say to not be long before ERs but what do you think about Facebook with their upcoming ER ? Last time they jumped $10 but with the WhatsApp acquisition their stock has fallen back to where it was before last ER. Don't guess on earnings.
You say college is useless, and I agree. What do you think should change in the education system to make it more relevant? I'm doing EXACTLY what i think more teachers and their students should be doing.
What's the douchiest thing you've ever seen? Too many characters needed, basically any Wall Street/Murray Hill party/event.
What would happen if too many people caught on to your short sale strategy? What strategy would you then adopt? I was hoping that would happen when I first got into teaching so I could get more sleep! Sadly only a few people take the time to learn...I also buy and am up 100% in 4 months in 2014 mostly buying too.
Where can I find more information about the event in Harvard? Just moved to Boston. U cant it sold out within minutes but we'll have it recorded for ya!
Thank you for the AMA and your reply. I bought your DVDs recently, but haven't finished. What ratio would you say your income is based on, trading vs. teaching? I ask because I think I would prefer teaching, but I need to learn first. So should I be learning to teach, or learning to just invest personally? Teaching vs trading is something like 10-1...the cool thing is EVERYONE wants to be rich, the sad part is not many are willing to study hard to get there.
Hey TIM, I am a Pennystocking Silver member for about 2 months now and have been trying to figure out what is the maximum size position you can take when long on a stock? How do you know when to buy 100 shares or 100,000 shares? I have been making sure not to buy more than 2% of a stocks daily trading volume, I think I heard that in one of your DVDs, is that accurate? There is no set maximum or minimum, every play is different...just gotta be comfortable and understand your risk/reward BEFORE making the trade and then stick to the rules during the trade.
Any recommendation to control overtrading? Btw I am flying all the way from Miami to Boston to be at Harvard on saturday, someday not too far I will be one of your top students :) As I say in my Link to timothysykes.com DVDs, I try to think of myself as a retired trader who only comes out of retirement for the perfect setups when I know I'll feel guilty missing...otherwise I'm retired ALL the time, understand?
In An American Hedge Fund you mention that you met a trading coach at a large hedge fund you were interviewing for. Later you said you bought all his books. Would reccommend his books/ mind sharing his name? It was Dr. Ari Kiev, sadly he died, but he's written some great books, use Google.
Besides your book that I enjoyed, do you have a few other books you would recommend? Yes go read Link to investimonials.com
How did you know to short it since it gapped down right at open? I shorted yesterday, see my video lesson I sent out mid-day yesterday too.
How long do you think BIOF will stay up before it will start going down? and what is holding it so far? Irrelevant chart pattern, gotta focus on Link to tim.ly patterns if you want better odds.
Tim! Which actress do you think is the hottest? I like Scarlett Johansson a lot! (and thanks for changing my life!) Nobody can compete with my girlfriend :)
Make sure she reads that post ;) I will :)
Who would win in a fight you or superman(supertrades)? Superman, he's strong and fit, I'm overworked and out of shape.
Here's my question: What is your favourite stock? Also you should come into this chat: Link to webchat.freenode.net. It is the official unofficial chat for /wallstreetbets -- a sub which adores your trading style. Thanks for taking the time. Link to tim.ly
Hey Tim, huge fan, ive watched ALL of your DvD's expect for the how to read SEC filings. And i've been following your exact strategy for finding stock picks that you showed in your TIMfundamentals part deux DvD but i never find the same one's that you trade, for example ARTX did not come up on my watchlist. Did you change your strategy on finding stock picks? If so, what's new? Link to profit.ly
Have you ever considered world domination? Nah thats boring, my focus is world education.
I haven't read all about the challenge information yet, but how much is the amount I have to bring in ? Different for everyone first u need to apply and get accepted Link to tim.ly
Can you make a gif animation of you flying to da moon and post it every time you tell us your stock picks? Sure I'll put it on my to do list.
Tim I am I college student and I started trading this year mostly because of your story. I have bought into the company TWD (tweed marijuana inc.) Do you have any suggestions for me? Ps, they're all just haters. Cool, the companies don't matter and TWD's chart is a mess, focus on Link to tim.ly patterns.
Right on, is the Vegas conference going to be a DVD also this year or is that the video you are talking about? BTW can't wait for the conference this year hopefully its the best one yet. Nah brand new DVD going over all the basics.
I'm low on funds so more newsletters or getting equity feed? About the same price so just pick one Data is cheap, good information from newsletters is more useful, use Link to tim.ly sale while its still on.
Hey Tim, I was accepted to your challenge but was unaware about needing $7500 to begin. Any way around that? I think what you do and how you help people is great. I'm guessing you have someone answering your emails so I thought this was the best way. Thanks. Gotta invest in your financial education, my program is a steal given the value of what u learn...skimp out on everything in life, but not education.
To start off, you are my biggest inspiration for trading stocks. That being said, in the future I would love to trade with you like Tim G and your other students in the Maldives or other crazy places you go. I currently trade my own strategies and am making pretty good money. Do I need to become one of your challenge students to hang out/trade with you? Yup Link to tim.ly students get first dibs on everything.
Hi Tim, TimAlerts subscriber here, When you started out with $12,500 what was the lowest your account went to in the beginning, did your ever drop below $10,000 ? Go and look at the first 1,000 blog posts on Link to timothysykes.co i tracked EVERY trade.
Hello Tim, Big fan here & Silver Subscriber! Been watching a lot of your videos and I've read your book. I live in Denmark, so a lot of brokers won't accept me as a customer. Only broker I can find is SureTrader. What do you think? Cool i use suretrader they have shorts every now and then.
Do you lift? I used to, no time now.
Tim! I've been following you now for a while and have learned a great deal from you! I live in Boston and would love to come see your talk! Is there ANY WAY I can get a ticket?? Cool, sorry my Harvard talk sold out within minutes, but it'll be recorded.
What trading platform do you use? Read Link to tim.ly multiple brokers.
What is the best path i should take if i want to be sitting beside you on your next yacht adventure? Apply at Link to tim.ly then study your butt off!
Do you watch game of thrones? If not you should get on it. Yes its great, wish I had more time to watch them all a second time.
What do you think about the wild west of cannabis stock trading and do you think that it stands apart from the internet .com boom since it is ACTUAL product as opposed to a dozen guys in an office? Are they good for long term investments aside from possible law retractions being an obvious danger? Just the latest stock market sector craze, little different from nanotechs, 3d printing oil, gold, ethanol, alternative energy...pump and dump, NOT longterm holds.
How long will your 60% off newsletter be on? I want to buy it but my money is locked up in the market and will take about a week for me to have enough to get it. tia Just a few days more we cant have Link to tim.ly sale last forever!
Thanks for doing your AMA Tim! I currently am a TimAlerts subscriber and saving money to start trading some day as a (succesfull) European student of yours. I saw you are going to speak at Harvard in a few days, will there be a video of it afterwards? Cool yes my Harvard speech will be recorded!
Why are they not longterm holds? because its the early stages of the industries development? Theyre mostly scams and pump and dumps, development my ass LOL.
Any plans on doing a seminar anywhere on the West Coast some time soon? Yes hit up Link to timothysykes.com to be added to the earlybird list.
Question - how did you manage to post losses of almost 40% in '06/07 when the market was doing so incredibly well? I'm a short seller for one and second read Link to tim.ly I detail my losses in depth.
Timothy. My mentor. Why your loosing trades show profit in your page ? 4/10 MDBX $23.25 $22.1 $4365. Tell me how you enter at 23.25 and exit at 22.1 making $4365 in profit please. You have to teach me this magic !! It's called short selling you incredible nitwit.
How much money do you make in a year from your DVDs, trading challenge, and subscriber alerts? Link to mixergy.com
I lost 70% on SPLI, 40% on ERBB, and, 40% on MYEC, and 30% on MINE, should i hold? Sorry to hear, they can always come back, but I wouldn't bet on it...gotta learn my Link to tim.ly rule #1 cut losses quickly.
I'm a college senior. Would you recommend me working at an investment bank or tech startup? Do both, make connections everywhere.
What characteristics do you look for when people apply to your "Tim Challenge?" Dedication, ability to follow instructions, hunger for immense wealth.
How many cars do you have? I have 2, a Lamborghini and Porsche.
Is e-gear hard to drive? I have a automatic setup on my cayman s. Nah its easy.
Can you annotate a chart of any instrument with price action or indicators? Yes.
Tim, you have mentioned you have students from outside the US. Have you recommended them any brokers in particular or do you happen to know witch they use? Trading the OTC seems to be a common problem for us folks outside the US. Any input on this would be appreciated. My preferred Link to tim.ly all accept international customers.
Hi Tim, NEWBIE. What brokerage account do you recommend? Thanks Read Link to tim.ly
Actually didn't know that. Thank you for your time Tim. YES!
Can my girlfriend borrow $500 to adopt her dog? Nope.
Hey Tim, I am a Pennystocking Silver subscriber and newbie to trading, and have been studying your teachings for about a month. Thank you for doing this AMA. In your book you say that the most valuable classes you took in college were micro and macro economics. I am an econ major and am curious as to how you apply econ theory to trading. Why do you value those classes so much, and what is the most important economic concept you apply to trading? Cool always important to know supply/demand, that basically sums up all of penny stocks.
Last updated: 2014-04-26 15:42 UTC
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