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Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part 3/3
Welcome to the third and final part of this chapter. Thank you all for the 100s of comments and upvotes - maybe this post will take us above 1,000 for this topic! Keep any feedback or questions coming in the replies below. Before you read this note, please start with Part I and then Part II so it hangs together and makes sense. Part III
Squeezes and other risks
Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits
Squeezes and other risks
We are going to cover three common risks that traders face: events; squeezes, asymmetric bets.
Economic releases can cause large short-term volatility. The most famous is Non Farm Payrolls, which is the most widely watched measure of US employment levels and affects the price of many instruments.On an NFP announcement currencies like EURUSD might jump (or drop) 100 pips no problem. This is fine and there are trading strategies that one may employ around this but the key thing is to be aware of these releases.You can find economic calendars all over the internet - including on this site - and you need only check if there are any major releases each day or week. For example, if you are trading off some intraday chart and scalping a few pips here and there it would be highly sensible to go into a known data release flat as it is pure coin-toss and not the reason for your trading. It only takes five minutes each day to plan for the day ahead so do not get caught out by this. Many retail traders get stopped out on such events when price volatility is at its peak.
Short squeezes bring a lot of danger and perhaps some opportunity. The story of VW and Porsche is the best short squeeze ever. Throughout these articles we've used FX examples wherever possible but in this one instance the concept (which is also highly relevant in FX) is best illustrated with an historical lesson from a different asset class. A short squeeze is when a participant ends up in a short position they are forced to cover. Especially when the rest of the market knows that this participant can be bullied into stopping out at terrible levels, provided the market can briefly drive the price into their pain zone. There's a reason for the car, don't worry Hedge funds had been shorting VW stock. However the amount of VW stock available to buy in the open market was actually quite limited. The local government owned a chunk and Porsche itself had bought and locked away around 30%. Neither of these would sell to the hedge-funds so a good amount of the stock was un-buyable at any price. If you sell or short a stock you must be prepared to buy it back to go flat at some point. To cut a long story short, Porsche bought a lot of call options on VW stock. These options gave them the right to purchase VW stock from banks at slightly above market price. Eventually the banks who had sold these options realised there was no VW stock to go out and buy since the German government wouldn’t sell its allocation and Porsche wouldn’t either. If Porsche called in the options the banks were in trouble. Porsche called in the options which forced the shorts to buy stock - at whatever price they could get it. The price squeezed higher as those that were short got massively squeezed and stopped out. For one brief moment in 2008, VW was the world’s most valuable company. Shorts were burned hard. Incredible event Porsche apparently made $11.5 billion on the trade. The BBC described Porsche as “a hedge fund with a carmaker attached.” If this all seems exotic then know that the same thing happens in FX all the time. If everyone in the market is talking about a key level in EURUSD being 1.2050 then you can bet the market will try to push through 1.2050 just to take out any short stops at that level. Whether it then rallies higher or fails and trades back lower is a different matter entirely. This brings us on to the matter of crowded trades. We will look at positioning in more detail in the next section. Crowded trades are dangerous for PNL. If everyone believes EURUSD is going down and has already sold EURUSD then you run the risk of a short squeeze. For additional selling to take place you need a very good reason for people to add to their position whereas a move in the other direction could force mass buying to cover their shorts. A trading mentor when I worked at the investment bank once advised me: Always think about which move would cause the maximum people the maximum pain. That move is precisely what you should be watching out for at all times.
Also known as picking up pennies in front of a steamroller. This risk has caught out many a retail trader. Sometimes it is referred to as a "negative skew" strategy. Ideally what you are looking for is asymmetric risk trade set-ups: that is where the downside is clearly defined and smaller than the upside. What you want to avoid is the opposite. A famous example of this going wrong was the Swiss National Bank de-peg in 2012. The Swiss National Bank had said they would defend the price of EURCHF so that it did not go below 1.2. Many people believed it could never go below 1.2 due to this. Many retail traders therefore opted for a strategy that some describe as ‘picking up pennies in front of a steam-roller’. They would would buy EURCHF above the peg level and hope for a tiny rally of several pips before selling them back and keep doing this repeatedly. Often they were highly leveraged at 100:1 so that they could amplify the profit of the tiny 5-10 pip rally. Then this happened. Something that changed FX markets forever The SNB suddenly did the unthinkable. They stopped defending the price. CHF jumped and so EURCHF (the number of CHF per 1 EUR) dropped to new lows very fast. Clearly, this trade had horrific risk : reward asymmetry: you risked 30% to make 0.05%. Other strategies like naively selling options have the same result. You win a small amount of money each day and then spectacularly blow up at some point down the line.
We have talked about short squeezes. But how do you know what the market position is? And should you care? Let’s start with the first. You should definitely care. Let’s imagine the entire market is exceptionally long EURUSD and positioning reaches extreme levels. This makes EURUSD very vulnerable. To keep the price going higher EURUSD needs to attract fresh buy orders. If everyone is already long and has no room to add, what can incentivise people to keep buying? The news flow might be good. They may believe EURUSD goes higher. But they have already bought and have their maximum position on. On the flip side, if there’s an unexpected event and EURUSD gaps lower you will have the entire market trying to exit the position at the same time. Like a herd of cows running through a single doorway. Messy. We are going to look at this in more detail in a later chapter, where we discuss ‘carry’ trades. For now this TRYJPY chart might provide some idea of what a rush to the exits of a crowded position looks like. A carry trade position clear-out in action Knowing if the market is currently at extreme levels of long or short can therefore be helpful. The CFTC makes available a weekly report, which details the overall positions of speculative traders “Non Commercial Traders” in some of the major futures products. This includes futures tied to deliverable FX pairs such as EURUSD as well as products such as gold. The report is called “CFTC Commitments of Traders” ("COT"). This is a great benchmark. It is far more representative of the overall market than the proprietary ones offered by retail brokers as it covers a far larger cross-section of the institutional market. Generally market participants will not pay a lot of attention to commercial hedgers, which are also detailed in the report. This data is worth tracking but these folks are simply hedging real-world transactions rather than speculating so their activity is far less revealing and far more noisy. You can find the data online for free and download it directly here. Raw format is kinda hard to work with However, many websites will chart this for you free of charge and you may find it more convenient to look at it that way. Just google “CFTC positioning charts”. But you can easily get visualisations You can visually spot extreme positioning. It is extremely powerful. Bear in mind the reports come out Friday afternoon US time and the report is a snapshot up to the prior Tuesday. That means it is a lagged report - by the time it is released it is a few days out of date. For longer term trades where you hold positions for weeks this is of course still pretty helpful information. As well as the absolute level (is the speculative market net long or short) you can also use this to pick up on changes in positioning. For example if bad news comes out how much does the net short increase? If good news comes out, the market may remain net short but how much did they buy back? A lot of traders ask themselves “Does the market have this trade on?” The positioning data is a good method for answering this. It provides a good finger on the pulse of the wider market sentiment and activity. For example you might say: “There was lots of noise about the good employment numbers in the US. However, there wasn’t actually a lot of position change on the back of it. Maybe everyone who wants to buy already has. What would happen now if bad news came out?” In general traders will be wary of entering a crowded position because it will be hard to attract additional buyers or sellers and there could be an aggressive exit. If you want to enter a trade that is showing extreme levels of positioning you must think carefully about this dynamic.
Retail traders often drastically underestimate how correlated their bets are. Through bitter experience, I have learned that a mistake in position correlation is the root of some of the most serious problems in trading. If you have eight highly correlated positions, then you are really trading one position that is eight times as large. Bruce Kovner of hedge fund, Caxton Associates For example, if you are trading a bunch of pairs against the USD you will end up with a simply huge USD exposure. A single USD-trigger can ruin all your bets. Your ideal scenario — and it isn’t always possible — would be to have a highly diversified portfolio of bets that do not move in tandem. Look at this chart. Inverted USD index (DXY) is green. AUDUSD is orange. EURUSD is blue. Chart from TradingView So the whole thing is just one big USD trade! If you are long AUDUSD, long EURUSD, and short DXY you have three anti USD bets that are all likely to work or fail together. The more diversified your portfolio of bets are, the more risk you can take on each. There’s a really good video, explaining the benefits of diversification from Ray Dalio. A systematic fund with access to an investable universe of 10,000 instruments has more opportunity to make a better risk-adjusted return than a trader who only focuses on three symbols. Diversification really is the closest thing to a free lunch in finance. But let’s be pragmatic and realistic. Human retail traders don’t have capacity to run even one hundred bets at a time. More realistic would be an average of 2-3 trades on simultaneously. So what can be done? For example:
You might diversify across time horizons by having a mix of short-term and long-term trades.
You might diversify across asset classes - trading some FX but also crypto and equities.
You might diversify your trade generation approach so you are not relying on the same indicators or drivers on each trade.
You might diversify your exposure to the market regime by having some trades that assume a trend will continue (momentum) and some that assume we will be range-bound (carry).
And so on. Basically you want to scan your portfolio of trades and make sure you are not putting all your eggs in one basket. If some trades underperform others will perform - assuming the bets are not correlated - and that way you can ensure your overall portfolio takes less risk per unit of return. The key thing is to start thinking about a portfolio of bets and what each new trade offers to your existing portfolio of risk. Will it diversify or amplify a current exposure?
Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits
One common mistake is to get bored and restless and put on crap trades. This just means trades in which you have low conviction. It is perfectly fine not to trade. If you feel like you do not understand the market at a particular point, simply choose not to trade. Flat is a position. Do not waste your bullets on rubbish trades. Only enter a trade when you have carefully considered it from all angles and feel good about the risk. This will make it far easier to hold onto the trade if it moves against you at any point. You actually believe in it. Equally, you need to set monthly limits. A standard limit might be a 10% account balance stop per month. At that point you close all your positions immediately and stop trading till next month. Be strict with yourself and walk away Let’s assume you started the year with $100k and made 5% in January so enter Feb with $105k balance. Your stop is therefore 10% of $105k or $10.5k . If your account balance dips to $94.5k ($105k-$10.5k) then you stop yourself out and don’t resume trading till March the first. Having monthly calendar breaks is nice for another reason. Say you made a load of money in January. You don’t want to start February feeling you are up 5% or it is too tempting to avoid trading all month and protect the existing win. Each month and each year should feel like a clean slate and an independent period. Everyone has trading slumps. It is perfectly normal. It will definitely happen to you at some stage. The trick is to take a break and refocus. Conserve your capital by not trading a lot whilst you are on a losing streak. This period will be much harder for you emotionally and you’ll end up making suboptimal decisions. An enforced break will help you see the bigger picture. Put in place a process before you start trading and then it’ll be easy to follow and will feel much less emotional. Remember: the market doesn’t care if you win or lose, it is nothing personal. When your head has cooled and you feel calm you return the next month and begin the task of building back your account balance.
That's a wrap on risk management
Thanks for taking time to read this three-part chapter on risk management. I hope you enjoyed it. Do comment in the replies if you have any questions or feedback. Remember: the most important part of trading is not making money. It is not losing money. Always start with that principle. I hope these three notes have provided some food for thought on how you might approach risk management and are of practical use to you when trading. Avoiding mistakes is not a sexy tagline but it is an effective and reliable way to improve results. Next up I will be writing about an exciting topic I think many traders should look at rather differently: news trading. Please follow on here to receive notifications and the broad outline is below. News Trading Part I
Why use the economic calendar
Reading the economic calendar
Knowing what's priced in
First order thinking vs second order thinking
News Trading 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 mysterious 'position trim' effect
Some key FX releases
*** 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.
I've been out of control for 2 years, spending an average of 7154,85€ / month...
Yes, this is the day. My accountant made the calculations for 2019 income and corporate tax. It's 37580,39€ combined which i have to pay at the end of feb 2021. I was shocked, to say the least. My business is doing well, so i will have no problem paying that, but that really got me thinking, i need to get frugal NOW! So here are my expenses, which i never displayed like this before: 2020 expenses This shit is not sustainable (it is, but i hate to pay taxes and wasting money like this) and i will cut back pretty hard this year.
....a little background... I started selling stuff online mid 2014 and got to 1Mil gross/year in 2017 netting around 12-15%. I was young (31 lol) and stupid, so i bought 2 cars, expensive ones, 0% loans at least(wow i'm so smart).... Fast forward, i now pay 7154,85€ every month to keep this useless bimbo lifestyle which ich absolutely HATE looking at these numbers... I do prepay some incometax but it is not nearly enough, so i anticipate to pay 2k/month on top of this for the next year starting March 2021
As you can clearly see, i did and am doing all the mistakes a douchbag can do
pissing money away on Amazon.
buying the most expensive gas for your car because it can only use that...
Takeout at least 4-5 times a Month.
Saving money where you should not save, on food.
taking private loans for even more useless stuff.
I hate myself so much right now, seeing all the money drained which could have doubled my income when used the right way, i'm in tears... I did trade a lot of forex in 2010 to 2012, of course loosing money on the way, one thing i learned tho was to use a stop loss, which will cancel any open trade when reaching a certain value. So i'm pulling the stop loss on my spending right now, as i can't take it anymore.
I will be living in my office by the end of this year, bringing Rent, Internet and Netflix from around 1000€/month to ZERO.
One car will be paid in full on feb 2021, will sell it immediately using the money to pay of the private loan, bringing the private loan from 1000€/month to ZERO.
cutting back on Amazon, charging the amazon account with only 100€/Month, saving at least 500€/month.
No more fucking MCD and BK! I'm fat as hell....saving 127€/month.
Driving only when necessary. I hope to get it down to around 100€ / month. Gas is so expensive, i'm from germany, you know, it's expensive as hell....
I will not be paying using cash money anymore, as i can't trace it later...
This measures will free up around 3500€/month at least, which will go to tax prepayment and the other car loan. Oh boy, writing this down has done so much for me the last hour, i will go even further, cutting everything i can. Can you believe that the isurance for my car is 1000€/year? lol, hear's to having a 300 hp car. New tires are ~850€. I'm fucking done with all this, the only thing i will spend more on is my body and mind, healthier food, sports. I can't wait. Thank you for reading, if you did. Hope you don't make the same mistakes i do/did.
Photo: Internet What is the European Union? The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 27 member states located primarily in Europe.EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital within the internal market. Due to EU countries having close economic and trade relations, the EU's establishment can effectively prevent wars. The EU has helped foster long periods of economic prosperity, and it's helped keep the region at peace. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. What is Brexit? Brexit(a portmanteau of "British" and "exit") is the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU). Following a UK-wide referendum in June 2016, in which 52% voted in favour of leaving the EU, and 48% voted to remain a member, the UK Government, which was then led by Theresa May, formally notified the EU of the country's intention to withdraw on 29 March 2017, beginning the Brexit process. Why Britain left the EU? The appealing part of the EU was that it made it easier for European countries to share in one another's prosperity. But, as with any union, cooperation means weathering downturns together — and that hasn't always been so easy. For example, the 2008 financial crisis. Many economists agree that the European Central Bank failed to respond effectively, leading to a recession that was much more severe than it needed to be. Unemployment rose, and tax revenue fell. Banks needed bailouts, and debt in a number of EU countries soared. According to data from the UK Ministry of Finance, the UK paid 18.8 billion pounds to the EU in 2014, equivalent to 361 million pounds a week. After the financial crisis, worries about immigration, rising right-wing forces, split within the party, etc. Former Conservative Prime Minister Cameron finally promised that if he wins the 2015 election, he will hold a Brexit referendum. David Cameron to quit after UK votes to leave the EU. When might Britain actually leave the EU? UK left the EU on 31 January 2020, but that is not the end of the Brexit story. That's because the UK is in an 11-month period, known as the transition, that keeps the UK bound to the EU's rules. The transition (sometimes called the implementation period) will end on 31 December 2020. Top of the to-do list will be a UK-EU free trade deal. This will be essential if the UK wants to be able to continue to trade with the EU with no tariffs, quotas or other barriers after the transition. Both sides will also need to decide how far the UK is allowed to move away from existing EU regulations. Aside from trade, many other aspects of the future UK-EU relationship will need to be decided. For example, Law enforcement, data sharing, and security; aviation standards and safety; access to fishing waters; supplies of electricity and gas; licensing and regulation of medicines. Photo: BBC What will happen to the UK after the Brexit? In terms of economy, the UK, which has withdrawn from the European Union, saves 8 billion pounds (this amount of money is equivalent to 0.5% of the UK's GDP) every year it pays to the EU's finances. After Brexit, immigration policies can also be further tightened to free up more jobs and labor benefits. Finally, Brexit can get rid of the red tape of the EU (about 70% of the laws in the UK are governed by EU laws), for example, no longer implementing the EU's common agricultural policy. However, after Brexit, tariffs will inevitably increase, and these tariffs will be transferred to commodities. To make better profits, many companies in the UK will rush to run away. For example, Dyson has moved its headquarters from the UK to Singapore. Many established British companies have left the UK because of Brexit. The news that Japanese car company Honda announced that it would close its British plant even shocked Britain. Besides, the City of London carries 74% of EU foreign exchange transactions, 40% of global Euro transactions, 85% of EU hedge fund assets, and half of EU deposit insurance. After Brexit, London's dominance in the foreign exchange market, including euro transactions, will decline. The current international order is the best since World War II, but Brexit shows how to make all countries truly unite and help each other, humankind still has a long way to go. After the Brexit, there will be more influential in the financial market in the future. TOP 1 Markets will keep an eye on it with you. https://preview.redd.it/ic5tdpzgh1n51.png?width=686&format=png&auto=webp&s=e4b46fa72fb484475b7743c2ced235f0d8a0493e https://preview.redd.it/j5bm785jh1n51.png?width=686&format=png&auto=webp&s=1c15796b88ef4a93354587c545d4c3cd67891040 For more information please download “TOP 1 Markets” at APP store or google play. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.top1.trading.forex.commodity.cryptocurrency.indices top1markets： https://itunes.apple.com/my/app/id1461741702 top one： https://itunes.apple.com/tw/app/id1506200136
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.
What are some of the best apps you have on your Mac? here are mine
I have just upgraded my 2012 MBP to the latest one and am reviewing the software I have installed and going through what I use frequently enough to merit keeping on the brand new system. Figured I would share the list here and get some good recommendations from the community as well. Paid or free, does not matter. I love discovering new and useful apps and hope you find something new and interesting in this list too. Here is what I use frequently or semi-frequently:
Cost: Free (all core functionality) with paid features (themes and editor customizations) Site: https://standardnotes.org/ It is an open-source, end-to-end encrypted, cross-platform text based notes application. End-to-end encryption means no one (not even the company itself) can read the notes you keep here unless they have access to your password. It syncs flawlessly on all devices and the bulk and most useful features are free.
Cost: Free Site: https://www.mowglii.com/itsycal/ Great little utility that provides you with the calendar in the menu bar. Its provide a more concise but slightly less attractive menu calendar option than Fantastical 2.
Cost: $40 Site: https://flexibits.com/fantastical If you have been using MacOS for more than a few months then you surely have heard of it. It is a great calendar replacement.
Cost: Free Site: https://quassel-irc.org/ An open source and cross-platform IRC application. It is slightly less polished than the paid Textual 7 IRC app for MacOS but I use it because it provides the Core/Client capability. So I have the core running on an always on Windows server on my home network and I use the client app on my Mac and Windows computers to connect to the same IRC session. Sort of an always on IRC solution.
Cost: Free for one device, subscription for multiple devices Site: https://protonvpn.com/ An awesome VPN that provides unlimited bandwitdth for free for one device (at a time, so you can install on your iphone and ipad too but can only have one active connection at a time, for example, when travelling)
Signal Desktop Sync
Cost: Free Site: https://signal.org/ Free, open source, cross platform (no ipad) encrypted messaging app recommended by Edward Snowden.
Cost: Free on one device, Subscription for sync on multiple devices and features Site: https://dayoneapp.com/ A diary and journaling app that provides (for subscription) end-to-end encrypted syncing for your diaries on all your devices (iOS, iPadOS, MacOS only, no Windows and the web app does not support end-to-end encrypted journals).
MS Remote Desktop 10
Cost: Free Site: Get from Mac App Store Remote Desktop app for connecting to all Windows machines on your network or at work
Cost: Free Site: https://calibre-ebook.com/ Free, open-source, cross-platform ebook management system. Must have if you have an ebook reader like Kobo or Kindle
Little Snich 4
Cost: $40 Site: https://www.obdev.at/products/littlesnitch/index.html A beautifully designed outbound firewall that lets you keep track on which apps on your computer are making outbound connections and where to. Run it in silent mode and then check every once in a while to ensure no apps are leaking your information to places that they shouldn't be. For example you can block certain apps from reporting to Google Analytics if they haven't asked for your consent to collect analytics.
Cost: $50 Site: https://moneydance.com/ A cross-platform personal finance/budgeting app (no mobile syncing for investments). I only use it for its portfolio (stocks, forex etc.) tracking and end-to-end encrypted syncing capabilities.
App Cleaner & Uninstaller
Cost: Free and Pro for $10 Site: https://nektony.com/mac-app-cleaner Just a little bit more thorough than the free App cleaner from freemacsoft but that one shoud be good enough for you too.
Cost: Free 5 GB. +1GB/each referral Site (link with referral for +1GB upon signup): https://www.sync.com/?sync_refer=8940a2ba0 An end-to-end encrypted dropbox alternative. Use it to backup important documents on the cloud without having to worry about the service/hackers being able to get at the information on the server side.
Better Touch Tool
Cost: $7.5 Site: https://folivora.ai/ Great utility to customize touchbar on your Macbook Pro. Use it with one of the available customization packages to get started.
Cost: $50 (or $40 with code: LEARNSCRIVENER) Site: https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scriveneoverview Porbably the best long-form wirting tool on Mac (and even Windows). I prefer it over Ulysses because it's not subscription based. Free trial available, try it out.
Cost: $15 Site: https://pasteapp.me/ A clipboard manager that prganizes copied information in a great card based system. Allows iCloud based sync too that is optional.
*////reopened due to lack of follow through with first batch*///// Hey, Anyone interested in a study buddy skype group for algo trading? I'm a complete noob to it but whenever i throw myself into something i am usually the last guy standing still doing it. I think it would be nice to collectively build something with some other people. Im a complete novice programmer, expert in Excel and VBA, pivot tables... used to grind online poker in 2006-2012.. say 50K-200K HANDS_PLAYED a month depending on my free time. So sample size and data is my thing, programming and trading is not my thing, i know the basics to get by but just need to bump heads a few like minded people. Ideally bumping heads with an experienced soul in forex and the same in algos would be my ideal scenario. I am mainly interested in metals, forex, crypto and 5-10% open to anything else. I think the next couple of years are a crazy opportunity to make a bucket tone of money which is why I could go on this journey on my own and get where i want to be in like 5 years..... but ideally, i want to get there like yesterday. Looking ideally for say a group of 3-6... people will drop out they always do, as i used to do this a lot in online poker and then make besties with a couple of like minded folk and still talk to them now. I'm on GMT time so bare this in mind when dropping me a pm. I hope this is ok mods? Cheers
Don't get [FOREX] scammed! (Long post but worth the warning)
I bet Im not the only one who sees ads like this on Facebook. LearnToTrade claims to be a Forex coaching company that was going to make you so rich, you'd throw your paperwork on your boss's face and buy a yacht next month. I was impressed as the venue for the free seminar was at a swanky building in BGC (sa ibabaw ng Lamborghini lol). One day, I saw one of their ads and because I had time to spare, I dragged my girlfriend along to check it out since we live around the area. During the two-hour ordeal, all the speaker did was: 1) Put Greg Secker (their founder) on a pedestal of flowers. The guy appeared on a video which served as his "speech" and appeared to be messianic as fuck. There was something about the guy and the way he was reverred that was so unsettling. (More about him later) 2) Exaggerate on how genius traders their students turned out to be. (A 13yo is now trading millions monthly and lawyers quit being lawyers because they apparently realized they started earning more from trading because of what they learned from LearnToTrade) 3) Badmouth other trading companies. I couldn't keep track with how many times she lambasted COLfinancial (not even a Forex competitor) for ripping off arms and legs with their "ridiculous commissions". She asked if anybody in the room uses COLfinancial for trading stocks. I do but I decided to keep quiet to hear what she had to say. She was saying shit like "Imagine, 40% ng kinita ng pera nyo, sakanila mapupunta." That's when I realized nangbubullshit sya because the commission is only 0.25%. It could've been an honest mistake but... 4) Practically try to force us to "not hesitate" in enrolling at THREE-SESSION COACHING WORTH 90K. And wait, discounted na yan! Promo daw eh! So she said, when you start attending the classes, don't tell your classmates because they paid 400k daw for those classes. WTF? 5) Focus on the participants' desire for wealth. No remote feel that they were there to educate. Although I was obviously not sold, I went home with a nagging feeling that I just wasted more than 2 hours of my life. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! They kept calling me for daysss (sayang I switched phones so di ko na maprovide yung call logs) trying to convince me to enroll. SUPER KULIT. I got so pissed, nagsungit na ko sa caller and started doing my research. Here are what I found out: 1) Greg Secker, the self-styled "internationally acclaimed" trading genius, was never even a trader. He was only affiliated with the big financial corporations that he LOVED to name-drop - as an employee. 2) For someone who claims his company can teach anyone to be really rich, the dude is allegedly operating at a loss. 3) His companies' incomes are mostly from the "enrolment fees" the more gullible trusting people throw in - not from actual effective trading. And soooo much more sketchy stuff. Up to you to give them a chance. Here are some links to foreign articles about Greg Secker and LearnToTrade: The Guardian article BBC UK article DailyMail UK exposé article Greg Secker labeled as a "snake oil salesman" LOL Quora forum Philippine exposé vlog And on and on... It's surprising that even after getting exposed left and right, he's still able to stay in the business. Im not here to smear shit on LearnToTrade or call Greg Secker a charlatan, I just think you should at least know what you're getting into and not listen to someone sell alchemy. Total waste of time. I know somehow there are honest people in that company, but I think they can only be the naive ones. PS: Just found out they're NOT registered with the SEC and was raided by the NBI as a syndicate halos last month lang. Hohoho. Pero may ads parin sa Facebook? Help me report pag may nakita kayo. :)
I was going through old emails today and came across this one I sent out to family on January 4, 2018. It was a reflection on the 2017 crypto bull market and where I saw it heading, as well as some general advice on crypto, investment, and being safe about how you handle yourself in cryptoland. I feel that we are on the cusp of a new bull market right now, so I thought that I would put this out for at least a few people to see *before* the next bull run, not after. While the details have changed, I don't see a thing in this email that I fundamentally wouldn't say again, although I'd also probably insist that people get a Yubikey and use that for all 2FA where it is supported. Happy reading, and sorry for some of the formatting weirdness -- I cleaned it up pretty well from the original email formatting, but I love lists and indents and Reddit has limitations... :-/ Also, don't laught at my token picks from January 2018! It was a long time ago and (luckliy) I took my own advice about moving a bunch into USD shortly after I sent this. I didn't hit the top, and I came back in too early in the summer of 2018, but I got lucky in many respects. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Jan-4, 2018 Hey all! I woke up this morning to ETH at a solid $1000 and decided to put some thoughts together on what I think crypto has done and what I think it will do. *******, if you could share this to your kids I’d appreciate it -- I don’t have e-mail addresses, and it’s a bit unwieldy for FB Messenger… Hopefully they’ll at least find it thought-provoking. If not, they can use it as further evidence that I’m a nutjob. 😉 Some history before I head into the future. I first mined some BTC in 2011 or 2012 (Can’t remember exactly, but it was around the Christmas holidays when I started because I had time off from work to get it set up and running.) I kept it up through the start of summer in 2012, but stopped because it made my PC run hot and as it was no longer winter, ********** didn’t appreciate the sound of the fans blowing that hot air into the room any more. I’ve always said that the first BTC I mined was at $1, but looking back at it now, that’s not true – It was around $2. Here’s a link to BTC price history. In the summer of 2013 I got a new PC and moved my programs and files over before scrapping the old one. I hadn’t touched my BTC mining folder for a year then, and I didn’t even think about salvaging those wallet files. They are now gone forever, including the 9-10BTC that were in them. While I can intellectually justify the loss, it was sloppy and underlines a key thing about cryptocurrency that I believe will limit its widespread adoption by the general public until it is addressed and solved: In cryptoland, you are your own bank, and if you lose your password or account number, there is no person or organization that can help you reset it so that you can get access back. Your money is gone forever. On April 12, 2014 I bought my first BTC through Coinbase. BTC had spiked to $1000 and been in the news, at least in Japan. This made me remember my old wallet and freak out for a couple of months trying to find it and reclaim the coins. I then FOMO’d (Fear Of Missing Out”) and bought $100 worth of BTC. I was actually very lucky in my timing and bought at around $430. Even so, except for a brief 50% swing up almost immediately afterwards that made me check prices 5 times a day, BTC fell below my purchase price by the end of September and I didn’t get back to even until the end of 2015. In May 2015 I bought my first ETH at around $1. I sent some guy on bitcointalk ~$100 worth of BTC and he sent me 100 ETH – all on trust because the amounts were small and this was a small group of people. BTC was down in the $250 range at that point, so I had lost 30-40% of my initial investment. This was of the $100 invested, so not that much in real terms, but huge in percentages. It also meant that I had to buy another $100 of BTC on Coinbase to send to this guy. A few months after I purchased my ETH, BTC had doubled and ETH had gone down to $0.50, halving the value of my ETH holdings. I was even on the first BTC purchase finally, but was now down 50% on the ETH I had bought. The good news was that this made me start to look at things more seriously. Where I had skimmed white papers and gotten a superficial understanding of the technology before FOMO’ing, I started to act as an investor, not a speculator. Let me define how I see those two different types of activity:
Investors buy because the price is less than the value they see in the investment. Speculators buy because they think that someone will pay more in the future than they are paying now.
Investors trade on information (The white paper was really well-written, had a clear technical advantage over other alternatives, and addresses a need that I can understand and value.) Speculators trade on sentiment. (Buy the rumor! Sell the news!)
Investors usually look at the investment and themselves and can describe why they purchase in those terms (ABC-Coin provides (service) that isn’t addressed yet and matches (requirements) for an investment.) Speculators usually describe why they bought something in terms of how other people think (I think that other people think that the price will rise, so I want to get ahead of that.)
Investors don’t necessarily check the price every day. The can, and very often I do, but it isn’t required because fundamentals don’t often change on a dime. Speculators need to be glued to a price feed, because sentiment very often changes on a dime.
Investors like ideas, people, business plans, and market opportunities. Good ones are like Spock. Speculators like trends. They are tribal.
Investors have a longer time horizon than speculators. In cryptoland, the notion of a “longer” time horizon is still laughably small (months) compared to traditional markets, but it certainly isn’t weeks or days or hours, which is whre speculators often live.
So what has been my experience as an investor? After sitting out the rest of 2015 because I needed to understand the market better, I bought into ETH quite heavily, with my initial big purchases being in March-April of 2016. Those purchases were in the $11-$14 range. ETH, of course, dropped immediately to under $10, then came back and bounced around my purchase range for a while until December of 2016, when I purchased a lot more at around $8. I also purchased my first ICO in August of 2016, HEAT. I bought 25ETH worth. Those tokens are now worth about half of their ICO price, so about 12.5ETH or $12500 instead of the $25000 they would be worth if I had just kept ETH. There are some other things with HEAT that mean I’ve done quite a bit better than those numbers would suggest, but the fact is that the single best thing I could have done is to hold ETH and not spend the effort/time/cost of working with HEAT. That holds true for about every top-25 token on the market when compared to ETH. It certainly holds true for the many, many tokens I tried to trade in Q1-Q2 of 2017. In almost every single case I would have done better and slept better had I just held ETH instead of trying to be smarter than Mr. Market. But, I made money on all of them except one because the crypto market went up more in USD terms than any individual coin went down in ETH or BTC terms. This underlines something that I read somewhere and that I take to heart: A rising market makes everyone seem like a genius. A monkey throwing darts at a list of the top 100 cryptocurrencies last year would have doubled his money. Here’s a chart from September that shows 2017 year-to-date returns for the top 10 cryptocurrencies, and all of them went up a *lot* more between then and December. A monkey throwing darts at this list there would have quintupled his money. When evaluating performance, then, you have to beat the monkey, and preferably you should try to beat a Wall Street monkey. I couldn’t, so I stopped trying around July 2017. My benchmark was the BLX, a DAA (Digital Asset Array – think fund like a Fidelity fund) created by ICONOMI. I wasn’t even close to beating the BLX returns, so I did several things.
I went from holding about 25 different tokens to holding 10 now. More on that in a bit.
I used those funds to buy ETH and BLX. ETH has done crazy-good since then and BLX has beaten BTC handily, although it hasn’t done as well as ETH.
I used some of those funds to set up an arbitrage operation.
The arbitrage operation is why I kept the 11 tokens that I have now. All but a couple are used in an ETH/token pair for arbitrage, and each one of them except for one special case is part of BLX. Why did I do that? I did that because ICONOMI did a better job of picking long-term holds than I did, and in arbitrage the only speculative thing you must do is pick the pairs to trade. My pairs are (No particular order):
I also hold PLU, PLBT, and ART. These two are multi-year holds for me. I have not purchased BTC once since my initial $200, except for a few cases where BTC was the only way to go to/from an altcoin that didn’t trade against ETH yet. Right now I hold about the same 0.3BTC that I held after my first $100 purchase, so I don’t really count it. Looking forward to this year, I am positioning myself as follows:
ETH will still be my core holding. It is the “deepest in the stack” crypto investment that I have. “Deep in the stack” is a programming term that gets at the idea that most software is built on other software. If you just think about your notebook, you have your OS, and programs run on that. But even inside the OS there is a stack. The bottom of your stack is the kernel, and on top of that are the drivers, protocols, and other layers that allow the programs to talk to the OS, the hard drive, the screen, the mouse, your printer, etc. You can change your mouse or printer easily. Changing things deeper in the stack becomes harder and harder. ETH is deep in the crypto stack, so is very hard to dislodge – Around 60 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap run on top of Ethereum, so getting rid of Ethereum is something that would take a long time to do.
DNT, QTUM, ZRX, and OMG are all, to varying degrees, “deep in the stack” tokens that, once established, will be very hard to dislodge.
That said, I am peeling away some of my holdings into USD right now, because big changes are afoot and they are going to cause market disruptions. I’m going to come right out and admit that this is speculative, but I’m also going to back it up with some non-speculative facts.
The SEC has been sending out hundreds of subpoenas to cryptocurrency organizations over the past 3-4 months. These subpoenas are simply asking for information and nobody has been charged with any crimes or misdoings, but it is clear that the SEC is getting together information so that they can begin to regulate cryptoland. When that happens, other countries will follow, and that means:
Some tokens will be deemed outright scams and people will be prosecuted.
Some tokens will be deemed securities and will be regulated.
Some tokens will not be deemed scams or securities and will continue as they have.
Looking at this, it is clear to me that the tokens that escape prosecution and regulation should do better, but the short-term impact will be brutal and ugly. It would not surprise me at all to see a 50% drop in overall market cap within Q1-Q2, with Q1 being more likely.
Cryptoland has always been a bit nuts, but it is more nuts now than I have ever seen it. Back in 2011-2014 it was a freaks-n-geeks show where people were all about the technology and I would sit around for a 3-day weekend installing a *nix VM on my Windows machine so that I could compile the most recent source and run a CUDA SHA-256 routine rather than thrash my CPU. If that doesn’t make sense to you, you wouldn’t have even thought about being involved.
Now, people see Bitcoin advertisements in their Facebook feed and think “I gotta get on the BTC train!” before going to Coinbase and buying some with a credit card. They don’t know anything about crypto, and they are getting eaten alive – It is no coincidence that BTC peaked after the Thanksgiving holidays when people sat around the table and Janice got Uncle Mike and Cousin Bob all excited as she talked about going to Cancun for Christmas because of her crypto winnings. Huge amounts of fiat got transferred from newbies to BTC whales during this period, and once the whales were done, BTC had dropped from $20,000 to $12,000. It’s now back at $15,000, but for people who bought at a higher level, this sucks. As a result many have moved from BTC to ETH, with the single biggest money flow in crypto in December being the BTC à ETH flow. As a result, it’s no coincidence that ETH is at all-time highs now. The thing is, though, that even most people that moved from BTC to ETH really have no idea what they are doing. They are acting on buzzwords and emotion. They are speculators and are going to get crushed.
The stock market is quite high right now, but people are starting to worry that it is too high and that we are going to enter into a period of inflation again. This has caused gold to go up a lot the last quarter and is likely also responsible a bit for the rise in cryptos. If this view is correct, then cryptos stay stronger than if that pressure wasn’t there. If wrong, then cryptos will swing down as money exits cryptoland for more traditional markets.
I am spending most of my time and money on the arbitrage effort. The nice thing about arbitrage is that it works as the markets go up, and it works as the markets go down. When markets are too volatile, however, arbitrage can get very messy and dangerous, with each trade generating a loss instead of a profit, so I am working right now to tune the algorithms to take into account rate-of-change and add in some circuit breaker triggers. Once this is done I will expand those operations.
I am getting much more serious about systems security.
I have a Nano Ledger and recommend that anyone with >$1000 of crypto have one. The Trezor is also supposed to be good, but I haven’t used it.
I will set up a dedicated *nix notebook that is used for nothing except my crypto work. All it takes is one keylogger to get on your PC/Mac and your crypto is gone. What is on your Nano Ledger will be OK, but they will sweep out your exchange account or Coinbase account faster than you can type. A standard Linux installation with Chrome and nothing else is as about as secure as you can get in the civilian world.
If you don’t use LastPass or a similar password manager yet, you need to do that. Your password to LastPass should be at least 16 characters long and should not have a recognizable English word in it. If you think that “Iluvu4evah” is a secure password, you’re wrong.
Hackers know that “4”=”for” and “u”=”you”. Writing a script to substitute those in is trivial if they want to write the script, but it’s much easier for them to download one of the many, many programs out there that already do this.
If your password contains any string of numbers from anything that can be associated with you at any time in your life, it is insecure. Take those numbers out of the character count because they are an insignificant barrier to cracking your account.
The good news is that you probably won’t be targeted, but if you ever mention online that you are doing anything significant in crypto, that chance increased enormously.
*Never* talk with *anyone* about how much you have in crypto. You’ll notice that I haven’t here. There is no reason to tell even a family member how much you have unless you are sharing a tax form. Sure, you may trust them, but all it takes if for someone to overhead someone else mention at a party that a relative got into crypto a long time ago and made a bunch of money. That person can also then be subjected to the $10 hack and force you to send all your crypto to them.
Your password to LastPass (Or equivalent.) should look something like this -> 6k0jQMoziX&D#4W8
Yes, it’s a headache. Imagine your headache, though, were you to open your account one day and find all of your money gone.
Looking at my notes, I have two other things that I wanted to work into this email that I didn’t get to, so here they are:
Just like with free apps and other software, if you are getting something of value and you didn’t pay anything for it, you need to ask why this is. With apps, the phrase is “If you didn’t pay for the product, you are the product”, and this works for things such as pump groups, tips, and even technical analysis. Here’s how I see it.
Technical analysis (TA) is something that has been argued about for longer than I’ve been alive, but I think that it falls into the same boat. In short, TA argues that there are patterns in trading that can be read and acted upon to signal when one must buy or sell. It has been used forever in the stock and foreign exchange markets, and people use it in crypto as well. Let’s break down these assumptions a bit.
i. First, if crypto were like the stock or forex markets we’d all be happy with 5-7% gains per year rather than easily seeing that in a day. For TA to work the same way in crypto as it does in stocks and foreign exchange, the signals would have to be *much* stronger and faster-reacting than they work in the traditional market, but people use them in exactly the same way. ii. Another area where crypto is very different than the stock and forex markets centers around market efficiency theory. This theory says that markets are efficient and that the price reflects all the available information at any given time. This is why gold in New York is similar in price to gold in London or Shanghai, and why arbitrage margins are easily <0.1% in those markets compared to cryptoland where I can easily get 10x that. Crypto simply has too much speculation and not enough professional traders in it yet to operate as an efficient market. That fundamentally changes the way that the market behaves and should make any TA patterns from traditional markets irrelevant in crypto. iii. There are services, both free and paid that claim to put out signals based on TA for when one should buy and sell. If you think for even a second that they are not front-running (Placing orders ahead of yours to profit.) you and the other people using the service, you’re naïve. iv. Likewise, if you don’t think that there are people that have but together computerized systems to get ahead of people doing manual TA, you’re naïve. The guys that I have programming my arbitrage bots have offered to build me a TA bot and set up a service to sell signals once our position is taken. I said no, but I am sure that they will do it themselves or sell that to someone else. Basically they look at TA as a tip machine where when a certain pattern is seen, people act on that “tip”. They use software to see that “tip” faster and take a position on it so that when slower participants come in they either have to sell lower or buy higher than the TA bot did. Remember, if you are getting a tip for free, you’re the product. In TA I see a system when people are all acting on free preset “tips” and getting played by the more sophisticated market participants. Again, you have to beat that Wall Street monkey.
If you still don’t agree that TA is bogus, think about it this way: If TA was real, Wall Street would have figured it out decades ago and we would have TA funds that would be beating the market. We don’t.
If you still don’t agree that TA is bogus and that its real and well, proven, then you must think that all smart traders use them. Now follow that logic forward and think about what would happen if every smart trader pushing big money followed TA. The signals would only last for a split second and would then be overwhelmed by people acting on them, making them impossible to leverage. This is essentially what the efficient market theory postulates for all information, including TA.
OK, the one last item. Read this weekly newsletter – You can sign up at the bottom. It is free, so they’re selling something, right? 😉 From what I can tell, though, Evan is a straight-up guy who posts links and almost zero editorial comments. Happy 2018.
Trump Didn’t Kill the Global Trade System. He Split It in Two.
This article is taken from the Wall Street Journal written about nine months ago and sits behind a a paywall, so I decided to copy and paste it here. This article explains Trump's policies toward global trade and what has actually happened so far. I think the article does a decent job of explaining the Trade War. While alot has happenedsince the article was written, I still think its relevant. However, what is lacking in the article, like many articles on the trade war, is it doesn't really explain the history of US trade policy, the laws that the US administration is using to place tariffs on China and the official justification for the US President in enacting tariffs against China. In my analysis I will cover those points.
When Trump entered the White House people feared he would dismantle the global system the US and its allies had built over the last 75 years, but he hasn't. He has realign into two systems. One between the US and its allies which looks similar to the one built since the 1980s with a few of quota and tariffs. As the article points out
Today, Korus and Nafta have been replaced by updated agreements(one not yet ratified) that look much like the originals. South Korea accepted quotas on steel. Mexico and Canada agreed to higher wages, North American content requirements and quotas for autos. Furthermore, the article points out Douglas Irwin, an economist and trade historian at Dartmouth College, calls these results the “status quo with Trumpian tweaks: a little more managed trade sprinkled about for favored industries. It’s not good, but it’s not the destruction of the system.” Mr. Trump’s actions so far affect only 12% of U.S. imports, according to Chad Bown of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. In 1984, 21% of imports were covered by similar restraints, many imposed by Mr. Reagan, such as on cars, steel, motorcycles and clothing. Protectionist instincts go so far in the US, there are strong lobby groups for both protectionist and freetrade in the US.
The second reflects a emerging rivalry between the US and China. Undo some of the integration that followed China accession to the WTO. Two questions 1) How far is the US willing to decouple with China 2) Can it persuade allies to join.
The second is going to be difficult because China's economic ties are greater than they were between the Soviets, and China isn't waging an ideological struggle. Trump lacks Reagan commitment to alliance and free trade. The status quo with China is crumbling Dan Sullivan, a Republican senator from Alaska, personifies these broader forces reshaping the U.S. approach to the world. When Mr. Xi visited the U.S. in 2015, Mr. Sullivan urged his colleagues to pay more attention to China’s rise. On the Senate floor, he quoted the political scientist Graham Allison: “War between the U.S. and China is more likely than recognized at the moment.” Last spring, Mr. Sullivan went to China and met officials including Vice President Wang Qishan. They seemed to think tensions with the U.S. will fade after Mr. Trump leaves the scene, Mr. Sullivan recalled. “I just said, ‘You are completely misreading this.’” The mistrust, he told them, is bipartisan, and will outlast Mr. Trump. both Bush II and Obama tried to change dialogue and engagement, but by the end of his term, Obama was questioning the approach. Trump has declared engagement. “We don’t like it when our allies steal our ideas either, but it’s a much less dangerous situation,” said Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute whose views align with the administration’s more hawkish officials. “We’re not worried about the war-fighting capability of Japan and Korea because they’re our friends.”
The article also points out unlike George Kennan in 1946 who made a case for containing the Soviet Union, the US hasn't explicitly made a case for containing the Soviets, Trump's administration hasn't, because as the the article explains its divided Michael Pillsbury a Hudson Institute scholar close to the Trump team, see 3 scenarios
New Cold War with drastically reduced economic ties
China resolve their tensions, integrate and run the world together
Transactional US-China relationship of the sort during the 1980s
Pillsbury thinks the third is most likely to happen, even though the administration hasn't said that it has adopted that policy. The US is stepping efforts to draw in other trading partners. The US, EU and Japan have launched a WTO effort to crack down on domestic subsidies and technology transfers requirement. US and Domestic concerns with prompted some countries to restrict Huawei. The US is also seeking to walloff China from other trade deals. However, there are risk with this strategy
Other countries like Japan and South Korea to dependent on China. Too integrated.
Raise objections to Belt and Road. But no alternative
My main criticism of this article is it tries like the vast majority of articles to fit US trade actions in the larger context of US geopolitical strategy. Even the author isn't certain "The first goes to the heart of Mr. Trump’s goal. If his aim is to hold back China’s advance, economists predict he will fail.". If you try to treat the trade "war" and US geopolitical strategy toward China as one, you will find yourself quickly frustrated and confused. If you treat them separately with their different set of stakeholders and histories, were they intersect with regards to China, but diverge. During the Cold War, trade policy toward the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc was subordinated to geopolitical concerns. For Trump, the trade issues are more important than geopolitical strategy. His protectionist trade rhetoric has been fairly consistent since 1980s. In his administration, the top cabinet members holding economic portfolios, those of Commerce, Treasury and US Trade Representative are the same people he picked when he first took office. The Director of the Economic Council has changed hands once, its role isn't as important as the National Security Advisor. While State, Defense, CIA, Homeland Security, UN Ambassador, National Security Advisor have changed hands at least once. Only the Director of National Intelligence hasn't changed. International Trade makes up 1/4 of the US economy, and like national security its primarily the responsibility of the Federal government. States in the US don't implement their own tariffs. If you add the impact of Treasury policy and how it relates to capital flows in and out of the US, the amounts easily exceed the size of the US economy. Furthermore, because of US Dollar role as the reserve currency and US control of over global system the impact of Treasury are global. Trade policy and investment flows runs through two federal departments Commerce and Treasury and for trade also USTR. Defense spending makes up 3.3% of GDP, and if you add in related homeland security its at most 4%. Why would anyone assume that these two realms be integrated let alone trade policy subordinate to whims of a national security bureaucracy in most instances? With North Korea or Iran, trade and investment subordinate themselves to national security, because to Treasury and Commerce bureaucrats and their affiliated interest groups, Iran and the DPRK are well, economic midgets, but China is a different matter. The analysis will be divided into four sections. The first will be to provide a brief overview of US trade policy since 1914. The second section will discuss why the US is going after China on trade issues, and why the US has resorted using a bilateral approach as opposed to going through the WTO. The third section we will talk about how relations with China is hashed out in the US. The reason why I submitted this article, because there aren't many post trying to explain US-China Trade War from a trade perspective. Here is a post titled "What is the Reasons for America's Trade War with China, and not one person mentioned Article 301 or China's WTO Commitments. You get numerous post saying that Huawei is at heart of the trade war. Its fine, but if you don't know what was inside the USTR Investigative report that lead to the tariffs. its like skipping dinner and only having dessert When the US President, Donald J Trump, says he wants to negotiate a better trade deal with other countries, and has been going on about for the last 35 years, longer than many of you have been alive, why do people think that the key issues with China aren't primarily about trade at the moment.
OVERVIEW OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE ORIENTATION
Before 1940s, the US could be categorized as a free market protectionist economy. For many this may seem like oxymoron, how can an economy be free market and protectionist? In 1913, government spending made up about 7.5% of US GDP, in the UK it was 13%, and for Germany 18% (Public Spending in the 20th Century A Global Perspective: Ludger Schuknecht and Vito Tanzi - 2000). UK had virtual zero tariffs, while for manufactured goods in France it was 20%, 13% Germany, 9% Belgium and 4% Netherlands. For raw materials and agricultural products, it was almost zero. In contrast, for the likes of United States, Russia and Japan it was 44%, 84% and 30% respectively. Even though in 1900 United States was an economic powerhouse along with Germany, manufactured exports only made up 30% of exports, and the US government saw tariffs as exclusively a domestic policy matter and didn't see tariffs as something to be negotiated with other nations. The US didn't have the large constituency to push the government for lower tariffs abroad for their exports like in Britain in the 1830-40s (Reluctant Partners: A History of Multilateral Trade Cooperation, 1850-2000). The Underwood Tariffs Act of 1913 which legislated the income tax, dropped the tariffs to 1850 levels levels.Until 16th amendment was ratified in 1913 making income tax legal, all US federal revenue came from excise and tariffs. In contrast before 1914, about 50% of UK revenue came from income taxes. The reason for US reluctance to introduced income tax was ideological and the United State's relative weak government compared to those in Europe. After the First World War, the US introduced the Emergency Tariff Act of 1921, than the Fordney–McCumber Tariff of 1922 followed by a Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930. Contrary to popular opinion, the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 had a small negative impact on the economy, since imports and exports played a small part of the US economy, and the tariffs were lower than the average that existed from 1850-1914. Immediately after the Second World War, when the US economy was the only industrialized economy left standing, the economic focus was on rehabilitation and monetary stability. There was no grandiose and ideological design. Bretton Woods system linked the US dollar to gold to create monetary stability, and to avoid competitive devaluation and tariffs that plagued the world economy after Britain took itself off the gold in 1931. The US$ was the natural choice, because in 1944 2/3 of the world's gold was in the US. One reason why the Marshall Plan was created was to alleviate the chronic deficits Europeans countries had with the US between 1945-50. It was to rebuild their economies so they could start exports good to the US. Even before it was full implemented in 1959, it was already facing problems, the trade surpluses that the US was running in the 1940s, turned to deficits as European and Japanese economies recovered. By 1959, Federal Reserves foreign liabilities had already exceeded its gold reserves. There were fears of a run on the US gold supply and arbitrage. A secondary policy of the Bretton woods system was curbs on capital outflows to reduce speculation on currency pegs, and this had a negative impact on foreign investment until it was abandoned in 1971. It wasn't until the 1980s, where foreign investment recovered to levels prior to 1914. Factoring out the big spike in global oil prices as a result of the OPEC cartel, it most likely wasn't until the mid-1990s that exports as a % of GDP had reached 1914 levels. Until the 1980s, the US record regarding free trade and markets was mediocre. The impetus to remove trade barriers in Europe after the Second World War was driven by the Europeans themselves. The EEC already had a custom union in 1968, Canada and the US have yet to even discuss implementing one. Even with Canada it took the US over 50 years to get a Free Trade Agreement. NAFTA was inspired by the success of the EEC. NAFTA was very much an elite driven project. If the Americans put the NAFTA to a referendum like the British did with the EEC in the seventies, it most likely wouldn't pass. People often look at segregation in the US South as a political issue, but it was economic issue as well. How could the US preach free trade, when it didn't have free trade in its own country. Segregation was a internal non-tariff barrier. In the first election after the end of the Cold War in 1992, Ross Perot' based most of independent run for the Presidency on opposition to NAFTA. He won 19% of the vote. Like Ross Perot before him, Donald Trump is not the exception in how America has handled tariffs since the founding of the Republic, but more the norm. The embrace of free trade by the business and political elite can be attributed to two events. After the end of Bretton Woods in 1971, a strong vested interest in the US in the form of multinationals and Wall Street emerged advocating for removal of tariffs and more importantly the removal of restrictions on free flow of capital, whether direct foreign investment in portfolio investment. However, the political class embrace of free trade and capital only really took off after the collapse of the Soviet Union propelled by Cold War triumphalism. As mentioned by the article, the US is reverting back to a pre-WTO relations with China. As Robert Lighthizer said in speech in 2000
I guess my prescription, really, is to move back to more of a negotiating kind of a settlement. Return to WTO and what it really was meant to be. Something where you have somebody make a decision but have it not be binding.
The US is using financial and legal instruments developed during the Cold War like its extradition treaties (with Canada and Europe), and Section 301. Here is a very good recent article about enforcement commitment that China will make.‘Painful’ enforcement ahead for China if trade war deal is reached with US insisting on unilateral terms NOTE: It is very difficult to talk about US-China trade war without a basic knowledge of global economic history since 1914. What a lot of people do is politicize or subordinate the economic history to the political. Some commentators think US power was just handed to them after the Second World War, when the US was the only industrialized economy left standing. The dominant position of the US was temporary and in reality its like having 10 tonnes of Gold sitting in your house, it doesn't automatically translate to influence. The US from 1945-1989 was slowly and gradually build her influence in the non-Communist world. For example, US influence in Canada in the 1960s wasn't as strong as it is now. Only 50% of Canadian exports went to the US in 1960s vs 80% at the present moment.
BASIS OF THE US TRADE DISCUSSION WITH CHINA
According to preliminary agreement between China and the US based on unnamed sources in the Wall Street Journal article US, China close in on Trade Deal. In this article it divides the deal in two sections. The first aspects have largely to do with deficits and is political.
As part of a deal, China is pledging to help level the playing field, including speeding up the timetable for removing foreign-ownership limitations on car ventures and reducing tariffs on imported vehicles to below the current auto tariff of 15%. Beijing would also step up purchases of U.S. goods—a tactic designed to appeal to President Trump, who campaigned on closing the bilateral trade deficit with China. One of the sweeteners would be an $18 billion natural-gas purchase from Cheniere Energy Inc., people familiar with the transaction said.
The second part will involve the following.
Commitment Regarding Industrial Policy
Provisions to protect IP
Mechanism which complaints by US companies can be addressed
Bilateral meetings adjudicate disputes. If talks don't produce agreement than US can raise tariffs unilaterally
China uses joint venture requirements, foreign investment restrictions, and administrative review and licensing processes to require or pressure technology transfer from U.S. companies.
China deprives U.S. companies of the ability to set market-based terms in licensing and other technology-related negotiations.
China directs and unfairly facilitates the systematic investment in, and acquisition of, U.S. companies and assets to generate large-scale technology transfer.
China conducts and supports cyber intrusions into U.S. commercial computer networks to gain unauthorized access to commercially valuable business information.
In the bigger context of trade relations between US and China, China is not honoring its WTO commitments, and the USTR issued its yearly report to Congress in early February about the status of China compliance with its WTO commitments. The points that served as a basis for applying Section 301, also deviate from her commitments as Clinton's Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky paving the way for a trade war. Barshefsky argues that China's back sliding was happening as early as 2006-07, and believes the trade war could have been avoided has those commitments been enforced by previous administrations. I will provide a brief overview of WTO membership and China's process of getting into the WTO. WTO members can be divided into two groups, first are countries that joined in 1995-97, and were members of GATT, than there are the second group that joined after 1997. China joined in 2001. There is an argument that when China joined in 2001, she faced more stringent conditions than other developing countries that joined before, because the vast majority of developing countries were members of GATT, and were admitted to the WTO based on that previous membership in GATT. Here is Brookings Institute article published in 2001 titled "Issues in China’s WTO Accession"
This question is all the more puzzling because the scope and depth of demands placed on entrants into the formal international trading system have increased substantially since the formal conclusion of the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations in 1994, which expanded the agenda considerably by covering many services, agriculture, intellectual property, and certain aspects of foreign direct investment. Since 1994, the international community has added agreements covering information technology, basic telecommunications services, and financial services. WTO membership now entails liberalization of a much broader range of domestic economic activity, including areas that traditionally have been regarded by most countries as among the most sensitive, than was required of countries entering the WTO’s predecessor organization the GATT. The terms of China’s protocol of accession to the World Trade Organization reflect the developments just described and more. China’s market access commitments are much more far-reaching than those that governed the accession of countries only a decade ago. And, as a condition for membership, China was required to make protocol commitments that substantially exceed those made by any other member of the World Trade Organization, including those that have joined since 1995. The broader and deeper commitments China has made inevitably will entail substantial short-term economic costs.
What are the WTO commitments Barshefsky goes on about? When countries join the WTO, particularly those countries that weren't members of GATT and joined after 1997, they have to work toward fulfilling certain commitments. There are 4 key documents when countries make an accession to WTO membership, the working party report, the accession protocol paper, the goods schedule and service schedule. In the working party report as part of the conclusion which specifies the commitment of each member country what they will do in areas that aren't compliant with WTO regulations on the date they joined. The problem there is no good enforcement mechanism for other members to force China to comply with these commitments. And WTO punishments are weak. Here is the commitment paragraph for China "The Working Party took note of the explanations and statements of China concerning its foreign trade regime, as reflected in this Report. The Working Party took note of the commitments given by China in relation to certain specific matters which are reproduced in paragraphs 18-19, 22-23, 35-36, 40, 42, 46-47, 49, 60, 62, 64, 68, 70, 73, 75, 78-79, 83-84, 86, 91-93, 96, 100-103, 107, 111, 115-117, 119-120, 122-123, 126-132, 136, 138, 140, 143, 145, 146, 148, 152, 154, 157, 162, 165, 167-168, 170-174, 177-178, 180, 182, 184-185, 187, 190-197, 199-200, 203-207, 210, 212-213, 215, 217, 222-223, 225, 227-228, 231-235, 238, 240-242, 252, 256, 259, 263, 265, 270, 275, 284, 286, 288, 291, 292, 296, 299, 302, 304-305, 307-310, 312-318, 320, 322, 331-334, 336, 339 and 341 of this Report and noted that these commitments are incorporated in paragraph 1.2 of the Draft Protocol. " This is a tool by the WTO that list all the WTO commitment of each country in the working paper. In the goods and service schedule they have commitments for particular sectors. Here is the a press release by the WTO in September 2001, after successfully concluding talks for accession, and brief summary of key areas in which China hasn't fulfilled her commitments. Most of the commitments made by China were made to address its legacy as a non-market economy and involvement of state owned enterprises. In my opinion, I think the US government and investors grew increasingly frustrated with China, after 2007 not just because of China's back sliding, but relative to other countries who joined after 1997 like Vietnam, another non-market Leninist dictatorship. When comparing China's commitments to the WTO its best to compare her progress with those that joined after 1997, which were mostly ex-Soviet Republics. NOTE: The Chinese media have for two decades compared any time the US has talked about China's currency manipulation or any other issue as a pretext for imposing tariffs on China to the Plaza Accords. I am very sure people will raise it here. My criticism of this view is fourfold. First, the US targeted not just Japan, but France, Britain and the UK as well. Secondly, the causes of the Japan lost decade were due largely to internal factors. Thirdly, Japan, UK, Britain and France in the 1980s, the Yuan isn't undervalued today. Lastly, in the USTR investigation, its China's practices that are the concern, not so much the trade deficit.
REASONS FOR TRUMPS UNILATERAL APPROACH
I feel that people shouldn't dismiss Trump's unilateral approach toward China for several reasons.
The multilateral approach won't work in many issues such as the trade deficit, commercial espionage and intellectual property, because US and her allies have different interest with regard to these issues. Germany and Japan and trade surpluses with China, while the US runs a deficit. In order to reach a consensus means the West has to compromise among themselves, and the end result if the type of toothless resolutions you commonly find in ASEAN regarding the SCS. Does America want to "compromise" its interest to appease a politician like Justin Trudeau? Not to mention opposition from domestic interest. TPP was opposed by both Clinton and Trump during the election.
You can't launch a geopolitical front against China using a newly formed trade block like the TPP. Some of the existing TPP members are in economic groups with China, like Malaysia and Australia.
China has joined a multitude of international bodies, and at least in trade, these bodies haven't changed its behavior.
Trump was elected to deal with China which he and his supporters believe was responsible for the loss of millions manufacturing jobs when China joined the WTO in 2001. It is estimate the US lost 6 Million jobs, about 1/4 of US manufacturing Jobs. This has been subsequently advanced by some economists. The ball got rolling when Bill Clinton decided to grant China Most Favored Nation status in 1999, just a decade after Tiananmen.
China hasn't dealt with issues like IP protection, market access, subsidies to state own companies and state funded industrial spying.
According to the survey, 39 percent of the country views China’s growing power as a “critical threat” to Americans. That ranked it only eighth among 12 potential threats listed and placed China well behind the perceived threats from international terrorism (66 percent), North Korea’s nuclear program (59 percent) and Iran’s nuclear program (52 percent). It’s also considerably lower than when the same question was asked during the 1990s, when more than half of those polled listed China as a critical threat. That broadly tracks with a recent poll from the Pew Research Center that found concern about U.S.-China economic issues had decreased since 2012.
In looking at how US conducts relations foreign policy with China, we should look at it from the three areas of most concern - economic, national security and ideology. Each sphere has their interest groups, and sometimes groups can occupy two spheres at once. Security experts are concerned with some aspects of China's economic actions like IP theft and industrial policy (China 2025), because they are related to security. In these sphere there are your hawks and dove. And each sphere is dominated by certain interest groups. That is why US policy toward China can often appear contradictory. You have Trump want to reduce the trade deficit, but security experts advocating for restrictions on dual use technology who are buttressed by people who want export restrictions on China, as a way of getting market access. Right now the economic concerns are most dominant, and the hawks seem to dominate. The economic hawks traditionally have been domestic manufacturing companies and economic nationalist. In reality the hawks aren't dominant, but the groups like US Companies with large investment in China and Wall Street are no longer defending China, and some have turned hawkish against China. These US companies are the main conduit in which China's lobby Congress, since China only spends 50% of what Taiwan spends lobbying Congress. THE ANGLO SAXON WORLD AND CHINA I don't think many Chinese even those that speak English, have a good understanding Anglo-Saxon society mindset. Anglo Saxons countries, whether US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland are commerce driven society governed by sanctity of contracts. The English great philosophical contributions to Western philosophy have primarily to do with economics and politics like Adam Smith, John Locke, David Hume and Thomas Hobbes. This contrast with the French and Germans. Politics in the UK and to a lesser extent the US, is centered around economics, while in Mainland Europe its religion. When the Americans revolted against the British Empire in 1776, the initial source of the grievances were taxes. Outside of East Asia, the rest of the World's relationship with China was largely commercial, and for United States, being an Anglosaxon country, even more so. In Southeast Asia, Chinese aren't known for high culture, but for trade and commerce. Outside Vietnam, most of Chinese loans words in Southeast Asian languages involve either food or money. The influence is akin to Yiddish in English. Some people point to the Mao and Nixon meeting as great strategic breakthrough and symbol of what great power politics should look like. The reality is that the Mao-Nixon meeting was an anomaly in the long history of relations with China and the West. Much of China-Western relations over the last 500 years was conducted by multitudes of nameless Chinese and Western traders. The period from 1949-1979 was the only period were strategic concerns triumphed trade, because China had little to offer except instability and revolution. Even in this period, China's attempt to spread revolution in Southeast Asia was a threat to Western investments and corporate interest in the region. During the nadir of both the Qing Dynasty and Republican period, China was still engaged in its traditional commercial role. Throughout much of history of their relations with China, the goals of Britain and the United States were primarily economic, IMAGINE JUST 10% OF CHINA BOUGHT MY PRODUCT From the beginning, the allure of China to Western businesses and traders has been its sheer size I. One of the points that the USTR mentions is lack of market access for US companies operating in China, while Chinese companies face much less restrictions operating in the US.
China uses joint venture requirements, foreign investment restrictions, and administrative review and licensing processes to require or pressure technology transfer from U.S. companies.
China deprives U.S. companies of the ability to set market-based terms in licensing and other technology-related negotiations.
Trade with China has hurt some American workers. And they have expressed their grievances at the ballot box. So while many attribute this shift to the Trump Administration, I do not. What we are now seeing will likely endure for some time within the American policy establishment. China is viewed—by a growing consensus—not just as a strategic challenge to the United States but as a country whose rise has come at America’s expense. In this environment, it would be helpful if the US-China relationship had more advocates. That it does not reflects another failure: In large part because China has been slow to open its economy since it joined the WTO, the American business community has turned from advocate to skeptic and even opponent of past US policies toward China. American business doesn’t want a tariff war but it does want a more aggressive approach from our government. How can it be that those who know China best, work there, do business there, make money there, and have advocated for productive relations in the past, are among those now arguing for more confrontation? The answer lies in the story of stalled competition policy, and the slow pace of opening, over nearly two decades. This has discouraged and fragmented the American business community. And it has reinforced the negative attitudinal shift among our political and expert classes. In short, even though many American businesses continue to prosper in China, a growing number of firms have given up hope that the playing field will ever be level. Some have accepted the Faustian bargain of maximizing today’s earnings per share while operating under restrictions that jeopardize their future competitiveness. But that doesn’t mean they’re happy about it. Nor does it mean they aren’t acutely aware of the risks — or thinking harder than ever before about how to diversify their risks away from, and beyond, China.
What is interesting about Paulson's speech is he spend only one sentence about displaced US workers, and a whole paragraph about US business operating in China. While Kissinger writes books about China, how much does he contribute to both Democrats and the Republicans during the election cycle? China is increasingly makING it more difficult for US companies operating and those exporting products to China.
Tesla earned $ 143 million in net profit in the third quarter of 2019
Tesla ended the third quarter of 2019 with a net profit of $ 143 million or 80 cents per share, according to the company's statements. Most analysts expected the company to end the quarter at a loss, Bloomberg notes. https://preview.redd.it/1cxiial5rhu31.png?width=1050&format=png&auto=webp&s=1024aa9bba9dc0b3748901f22f6c6e98ba9926c2 Revenues in the third quarter amounted to $ 6.3 billion against $ 6.8 billion a year earlier. The company's revenue year on year declined for the first time since 2012, Bloomberg points out. The last time Tesla made a quarterly profit in the fourth quarter of 2018, then it amounted to $ 139 million. For the first three months of 2019, the loss amounted to $ 702 million. In the second quarter, it decreased to $ 408 million. The company linked profit-making with a reduction in operating costs - they are at the lowest level since the start of Model 3 production, Tesla noted. In particular, in 2019, the company conducted staff reductions and tightened cost control. The company reported: • The balance of money and cash equivalents in accounts increased by 80% compared to the third quarter of 2018 and amounted to $ 5.3 billion. The free cash flow is $ 371 million. • The third quarter was a record for the volume of production and supply of cars: Tesla produced 96 thousand and delivered to customers 97 thousand cars. • The new Gigafactory factory in Shanghai is ahead of the launch schedule and has already begun a trial assembly of vehicles. • Work on the Model Y crossover is also faster than the plan. Serial production was planned for autumn 2020 but will start in the summer. • For 2020, a limited edition of Tesla Semi trucks is planned. • The commissioning of Gigafactory in Europe is planned for 2021. The company promised to announce the location later. Investors positively evaluated the quarterly results of the company. In an additional session, after the close of significant trading, Tesla shares rose 20% to $ 306 apiece. You can find more information about the stock market, commodity market, and FOREX on the ITRADER site. This material is considered a marketing communication and does not contain, and should not be construed as containing, investment advice or an investment recommendation or, an offer of or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 84.16% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Legal Information: ITRADER is operated by Hoch Capital Ltd., a Cypriot Investment Firm (CIF), authorized and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) under the license no. 198/13, in accordance with the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II).
Hey everyone, This a huge story for me. It hurts me badly still and only like 2 people know the whole truth of happened to me these past few years. I didn't know this sub existed and I think getting this off my chest and let other people know might help me get perspective on what my life was and still is today. This is a throwaway account because people in my life browse Reddit. My ex best friend Let's name him John. I met John initially in high school. We had multiple class together. We played on the same sports team (yes I'm being purposely vague). We went to nightclubs in a lot our 20's. We studied both studied finance in different universities. We just had a lot in common. I had full trust in him since we were best friends from more than 10+ years. I am naturally someone who loves to help others so I was always there for him if he needed something. He wasn't as much and I didn't care and thought about it really at that time. Keep that in mind. How do I know all these things you may ask yourself while reading my story.. I was a close friend at the time and I was the computer geek so I installed every computer he had, created every business domain he held and I was an administrator on those accounts. John was not knowledgeable at one particular thing and that was I.T. The story 1ST PART: I know it sounds stupid but we made a promise to each other when we were teenagers that we would be millionaires by age 25. We didn't know why, what, how... we could achieve such goal but we kept this idea in our heads all the time. People were mocking us and called us delusional but we didn't care. One day.. John calls me up and tells me he is working on a big big project that could lend us the millions of dollars we promised to each other. An uncle from a mutual friend (let's call him Uncle Denis) spoke about an investment opportunity in a gold mine in 2012. John had to find 500 000$ for him to be able to be part of this project. John always had a thing to convince people and make them feel like he is the more trust worthy guy in the world. He ask me if I was interested but I had no money. He then told me that if someone I know could be interested in such a project. I call up close friends and some family members and some of them bites the bullet and invest directly through John. (Why everything had to go either through him personally or through his personal company..?) Right here is where all my bad decisions started pilling up. John wanted to be in the center all of this success that was about to happen. He found the 500 000$, made a ''private placement'' in this mining company that was listed on the TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange). People caught wind of what he was doing and gave him money to invest in this project. He told that this mining company was about to get bought out and we would make a lot of money. His lifestyle started to change before anything happened. Bought new clothes, bought a Mercedes Benz, new watch... you get the picture. For us, we thought that this meant, his success.. our success. The only thing is, it was only true THIS TIME. We were got all fooled later on because of this successful project. Keep in mind, he was using money to do expensive things that he couldn't afford before banking on this project. So nobody cared because everybody made some money... including me! One day, we all get the news. The mining company gets bought. He becomes Mr. credible + as well as Mr trustworthy! He makes 1.5 million dollar approx. 2ND PART : John begins to pay back the money and profit to everyone but starts telling people that they could invest some of it back into his new trading platform. John had no prior knowledge on how to trade (and especially how to trade enormous accounts). Nobody knew that of course. They all just thought he was a finance expert since the mining project. He started trading forex (currencies trading). One night he calls me like very very late to tell me he lost a lot of money. I ask him how much!? He says over 600 000$. I am utterly shocked and have no words for what just happened. He tells that he will come up with a plan and make it all back.. For a few months, he kept trading forex until he admitted he couldn't make considerable profits to repay people their money. Everyone was in the dark at that moment. Something changed in him during that time. The feeling of losing money, to not being honest, spending the money he didn't have turned him into someone else. John finally made an appointment to everyone who had money invested in his company to tell them the truth. (but probably not the whole truth). There was no money left and that's it. He gave people a choice which was the first step of a smart way to get out of this whole he dug himself into. He offered a new investment opportunity. A way for everyone to get back the money he lost. So what could it be? A new mining project (just like the first time around). But what was the catch? You had to sign a debt acknowledgment contract first. After, you had a share purchase agreement to transform his debt into shares of a new company he just opened. And just like that, he almost got rid of every debt he held to investors. Some people didn't want to initially but you know John.. he convinced everyone after a while. 3RD PART : John moves in a new luxury condo, gets a 2nd Mercedes Benz and starts going out a lot more during that time. He continues to promote this new mining project and new people start investing. This project is trying to do almost the same thing as the first one.. but this time around Uncle Denis and him were the supposed owners of the mining titles. Not someone else. They had full control over this project. I learnt that Denis has no clue about John old debts to investor and where the money was coming from. John made everyone make cheques to him personally or to his company.. not directly in the company who holds the mining rights. John always needed more money to keep thing afloat and to help the mining project move forward. People kept investing in him. He all told us that many buyers were interested and he was working to get the best deal possible. Let's not forget also that during that time he kept going to nightclub spending over 10 000$ a night sometimes. Again, we all thought like the first time around, his success is our success. Now let's jump a few months in the future. John blames that Uncle Denis is the reason no deal was made. He know this as we all receive an email from John stating that. Also stating that he did everything possible to make it work but the mining project is DEAD. He sends us all financial statements of his company in an excel sheet (WHAT A JOKE). A close friend and myself starts calling up mining companies that were close to John project to know if they would be interested in such mining titles. We found 2 that were interested. We let John know to put them in touch but John refuses to deal. We find this very strange but we can do nothing about it. We decide to call John to know what is happening with the project. His tone suddenly changed.. he became very with us. He told us that the project was basically dead. There is no money left. He then says that if we get into his work email again, we are dead. We asked what about Uncle Denis... and he says if he tries something, hes dead too. The conversation finishes like this to our disbelief. We all receive an official email (all the investors) coming from John that says the project is no more. He states that he tried everything to make it happen but couldn't as he says that Uncle Denis was the one stopping the progress and wouldn't sign the buyout papers. I for a fact know that is bullshit... here's why THE EMAILS: I saw some unbelievable stuff in that work email. I saw excel spreadsheets of the company filled with only restaurant bills (4 months = 14000$ spent). I saw emails with lawyers saying that he owed them over 50K for all the share purchase agreement and other stuff he made us sign. but he transferred this bill to Uncle Denis (which he wasn't a part of). I saw an attached file of a paper he wrote himself which he states that he wants us to be transferred to another company to disempower himself from all the investors... and then another paper where he puts up 3 new companies which are now held by private off-shore companies (in Panama) that would be the new title holders of the project. John got in touch with the mine titles owners and he is starting the project all over again but without all the investors. THE AFTERMATH We filed a complaint against him to our local police station.. but they told us they couldn't do anything. We went to the AMF and spoke to a detective several times. We told her our story and brought all our evidence against him. This investigation is still on-going. John tried to sue me in small claims court over money he owed me... (what a douche) I won the case. Then I learned a month later that he filed for bankruptcy 4-5 months prior to trial. In his bankruptcy papers, there is a false address, false claims about his past & future spending and projects. John didn't include the 2 companies where the investors shares were (and money). MYSELF All this experience had a very negative impact on me. I was such a positive and stress free person.. and now I struggle so much with anxiety. I'm afraid of everything. I thought many time of suicide but couldn't go through with it. I lost friends that I knew since high school because of this. I lost so much money... money from my own family, close friends and myself. I live paycheck to paycheck to paycheck and have so much debt... I wish I just could go back and never met the guy. Thank you for reading... if the made it through it. I left out some back story as I didn't want to build more of this wall of text. I don't know if I feel better by sharing my experience... but its something I guess If I would give any advice.. that would be : never mix friendship, family and money. If it goes bad, the price to pay is too high for the reward it might bring. Thank you all.
NOTE: I did not write this article below. I simply copy and pasted the article. Please click the following link to view the entire article. The article includes charts and images which were not transferred to the text below. https://steemit.com/cryptocurrency/@lennartbedrage/the-ripple-xrp-effect-fundamental-analysis The Ripple(XRP) Effect - Fundamental Analysis: lennartbedrage44 in cryptocurrency ripple.jpg Lately, there’s been a tremendous amount of buzz around Ripple(XRP), but is it only because of the massive growth we’ve seen in the past few 30 days, or is there something more? In this article, I’ll dive into a brief back ground of Ripple, objectively examine the arguments for and against it, explore its potential from a economic standpoint, then close with potential threats to your investment and a summary. Meet Ripple(XRP)- Released in 2012, Ripple aims to enable “secure, instant and nearly free global financial transactions of any size with no chargebacks” through their real-time gross settlement system (RTGS) and currency exchange and remittance network. Ripples distributed open-source internet protocol consensus ledger was created as basic technology for interbank and regulated financial institutions to integrate Ripple into their own systems. This differs from the Bitcoin full node and other crowdsourced altcoin consensus networks in several ways: Ripples common shared ledger is a network of independent validating servers which compare their transaction records, rather than the full network of nodes coming to consensus prior to each transaction, enabling faster transaction speeds. Although their protocol is open source, it was not created as a plug & play solution, like bitcoins full-node software, nor does it rely on crowd-sourced support. Unlike Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and other Alt-coins, Ripple is recognized as legal tender by several governments, which gives it instant liquidity via financial institution, as well as purchasing power over material goods. Because of this, it cannot be evaluated in the same ways as other coins, which are largely evaluated based on assumptions & speculation. In terms of value, it’s more like cash than a commodity. Because of this, it is evaluated in a much different way than Ethereum(ETH) and other alt-coins with intrinsic value, but is accepted much more rapidly because it’s easy for the mass-market to understand. Remember: without market acceptance, there is not value, regardless of how innovative something may be. Just 4 short years after its release, on 01MAY17, Ripple announced that a consortium of 47 banks have successfully completed a pilot implementation of Ripple in Japan, making it the first country in the world to enable domestic and international real time money transfers via the cryptocurrency. This event lead the XRP value to sky-rocket from $0.051580 USD to an all-time high of $0.430085 in just 16 days… but why? Is it 100% speculation, or is there something else going on here? “It’s not a real cryptocurrency!” Or is it? Well, those whom bring this argument to the table are probably referencing facts that I’ve mention during my introduction to Ripple: Its a centralized and regulated crypto-currency which does not need global consensus for transfers, and it is built specifically for (and potentially by) financial institutions. Though a lot of the Anarcho-Capitalists may want to steer clear of this one due to its highly regulated nature, regular capitalist may believe these core differences to be its greatest strengths: Regulated - As I mentioned in my analysis on Ethereum(ETH), Bitcoin’s lack of regulation was likely he reason (or at least, that’s what they told us) that the proposed ETF failed to pass the SEC’s evaluation several months ago. If adhering to some sort of trusted regulatory standards, this could drive federal confidence, which in turn drive bank and lending institution faith…trickling all the way down to the consumers. This insures rapid mass market acceptance. Consensus - As mentioned before this is much different process than Bitcoin’s global consensus, which means that transaction times are nearly instant regardless of volume transferred. Additionally, all transfers adhere to distributive ledgers DLT standards, which is a requirement for many financial institutions to be insurable. Institutional Management - You’ve probably guessed this one already. Although the demand and speculative value is driven at some capacity by ‘the people’, this currency is about as close to the World bank and SWIFT as you can get. This is largely due to the amount Deliberate - It feels like a big bank, because it is. Ripple was built specifically for the financial markets, which is why they specifically targeted regulatory compliance. shutterstock_289877267_long_read_cover_large.jpg Economic Value As mentioned in the last point, Its easy to see that Ripple offers tremendous value to financial-institutions and retail investors. These two groups make up 358 billion (numbers from 2013) non-cash cross-country annual transactions, and the FOREX market which sees more than $5.1 trillion $USD each day. Per a report released by Capgemini and The Royal Bank of Scotland, this is growing at an average rate of about 7.5% each year globally, though China and other Emerging Asian economies have been leading the charge at around 21%. Seems like a lot, right? Well, for sake of uncovering the immediate value of XRP, we will zoom into the recent adopters of the distributed ledger technology: Japan, India, and the Central Europe, Middle East & Africa(CEMEA) regions. Japan.jpg Japan is the third largest economy in the world by nominal GDP ($6.11 trillion), fourth by purchasing power parity(PPP) and second largest developed economy. Currently, their GDP per capita is roughly $48,412 (vs $56,430 in US) and their major trade partners include the US, China, Hong Kong, Australia and South Korea. Japan GDP.png Aside from the speculation that they maybe soon pressure their trade partners (excluding the US and China) to adopt a system which allows for instant, near free transfers of funds, here’s where it gets interesting for the immediate future: Japan has already started accepting Ripple(XRP) as legal tender. If Ripple raises to just 25% of the overall transaction volume of P2P, P2B & B2B within Japan itself (represented in the chart by Other Services, Real Estate, Retail, Transport, Communications, Finance & Utilities) which is equal to about 20% of their overall economy, Ripple would be handling roughly $1.27 trillion USD in Japan – alone - every year. To put that in perspective, the current (at the time of writing) market capitalization of Bitcoin(BTC) is $30.7 billion USD (or >0.4%). Unlike Bitcoin, Ripple is legal tender which means that it can be exchanged for material goods and services, which means that it’s likely to have explosive acceptance in the local area. India.jpg India-based Axis Bank announced in April that they will soon begin leveraging distributed ledger tech for cross-border transactions and to make banking simple and convenient for their customers. About 15 days’ prior, another large financial institution, Yes Bank, also announced that they would be adopting Ripples ledger for the same reasons. If Ripple continues to grow in acceptance at this rate in India, we could see another economy, roughly 1/3 the size of Japan’s ($2.074 trillion USD) add to Ripples annual transaction value. Now, from an economic stand point, this is most interesting because agriculture represents more than 50% of India’s employment, which means that India would be the 2nd case of consumer trading Ripple for staple foods. India GDP.png It is likely that Ripple will not handle as large of a percentage of overall transaction volumes in India because only two major banks have adopted this currency and it is not the only Crypto. The latter is probably one of the most important variables, as this means that Ripple will be duking it out for market dominancy. As all of my projections are fairly conservative, I would estimate that Ripple will handle roughly 10% of India’s over all transaction volume in the next 365 days, equal to roughly $311.1 billion USD. One last thing that I would like to mention is that India is literally the ‘I’ in BRIC and roughly 13% of the BRIC countries total output. If the BRIC comes to fruition, India may be able to convince it’s other close trade partners to jump on the XRP-Train as well. Dubai.jpg Abu Dhabi Bank, the National and largest bank of the UAE, has already begun offering cross-border transaction services with Ripples distributive ledger technology as well. As they deal extensively with their middle eastern neighbors, such as Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, the UAE is likely to set a trend for other CEMEA countries to follow. UAE GDP.png This might be a surprise to some people, but Dubai’s largest industry is the energy sector (shocker!) followed closely by Real Estate and their Finance industry (double shocker!). Although their GPD is much smaller than Japan and India’s (about $370 billion USD), I am anticipating Ripple to handle a larger percent of the UAE’s transaction volume (31.11%), especially in the finance, Real Estate, Retail and Logistics industries. This is due largely to the fact that their population is only roughly 9.157 million, but most Abu Dhabi nationals are very financially inclined (or at least heavy spenders). Potential Threats As this threatens SWIFT (unless they are completely on board) and the US dollars’ supremacy in the economic & financial markets, I would not be surprised to see a false flag attack, in which the NSA attacks Ripple and blames it on North Korea or China. Frankly, this would be a cake walk compared to Stuxnet or WannaCry and they could probably hand the task to an MIT intern. Where semi-centralization is Ripples strength in terms of transaction speed and regulation, it is also the biggest security flaw and may open it’s user to some heart ache, hair loss and heavy drinking over the next several years. Possibility So, what is possible in terms of value over the next few years? Well, if we consider the following scenario: XRP accounts for roughly 20% of Japan, India full GDP, but 31.1% UAE’s GDP ($7.152 Trillion USD) total exchange volume in the next 2 years Max XRP Supply stays at 100 billion No other countries adopt XRP (not likely) No hacks or other catastrophic events remove confidence Exclude speculation, demand, rallies, and GDP growth projections for each country Then we’re looking at each Ripple(XRP) market capitalization over ~$1.75 Trillion USD, making each coin $17.52 in real value. This means that if you were to invest today at $0.362794, your ROI would be about 4,989%. That said, I think that it’s likely it will go over $30 in the next 2 years, due to speculators flooding the markets and other countries signing up. Again, these are conservative numbers are based on total transaction value in USD equivalent. For those whom subscribe, I will update as new variables are available to my appraisal Bottom Line Although it was most definitely created by an insider of the banking industry and does not ‘feel like a crypto’, I personally feel that due to its rapid market acceptance, liquidity and position as legal tender in 3 large economies, Ripple(XRP) is both primed for explosive growth in the near future and likely to be one of the safest value based Crypto-investments we can make today. Another thing, China is the anchor of the West Pacific, so we should all watch their evaluation of Ripple, very closely. If they were to jump on the XRP-Train, you are likely to see Australia, South Korea, Indonesia and Singapore do the same. If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share & subscribe, as I have kept my proprietary models and will update as major events and additional countries begin to adopt this currency. If you feel that I have missed something or am just flat out wrong, please be sure to let me know in the comments below! Planned articles for the next 14 days: ICO advice from a Venture Capitalist (Follower Request) Paper Wallets (Follower Request) VIVA Analysis (Follower Request) Segregated Witness(Segwit) : Friend or Foe? A Kraken ate my gains... Fundamental Analysis: Stellar Lumens(XLM) Dual-Citizenship and Banking in Panama Rich vs. Wealthy All analysis, numbers and projections are my own. Core information was gathered from reliable sources, such as the World Bank, IMF, CIA world fact book, eia.gov and more.
10-16 02:23 - 'Hurling Rocks at Caimans: A Cowboy's Tale' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/mine_myownbiz13 removed from /r/Bitcoin within 56-66min
''' In 1991, my mother had the foresight to leave Venezuela for the United States. She sacrificed a medical profession, her family, her friends, and the comforts of her own land and culture. It was before Chavez, before communism, before famine, before societal collapse. She didn’t know it at the time (perhaps she felt it), but she was saving our lives. Recently, I was asked by her brother, my uncle, to give some words of advice to his youngest son, whom he sent to live in upstate New York earlier this year in the hopes that he might find some opportunity there. He’s 17 and fascinated by cryptocurrencies, but knows next to nothing about them. I wrote this letter for him. Hello Cousin, I write you in the hopes that you will take away something useful from my own experience. There’s a saying in English that’s always stayed with me, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” In other words, nothing in life is easy, not money, not love, not anything. Nothing worth your time is ever going to be easy. There’s no free lunch! I first got into trading in 2008. Your dad had heard from a friend that Citigroup stock was going to pop soon and that he should buy it. The US Stock Market can only be traded by U.S. citizens and special types of corporations, so he asked me to act as a proxy for his investment, and I did. I did it because I thought it would be a get-rich quick rich scheme that I could learn to do on my own. At this time I was in graduate school and unsure of what to do with my life. I’ve always been good at school. It’s easy for me. I had professors telling me I’d make a great scholar or a great lawyer, but at the time I was teaching middle-school English in a poor neighborhood of Miami. I had a big decision to make. Naturally, I decided to get rich quick! I spent 2-3 months reading books on stock trading and executing simulated trades on practice accounts. I learned to work a variety of trading platforms so that I could trade several markets around the world, which I did. I quit my job in the fall of 2008 and took my entire life savings of $20,000 into the market. The broker gave me 3.5 times leverage on my money and I had $70,000 of available trading capital. When your dad made his deposit my account had a trading capacity of over $2,000,000. With that kind of margin, I was able to turn $20,000 into over $160,000 in less than 9 months! I was making over $15,000 a month. As a teacher, at the time, I think I made about $2,700 a month. So, as you can imagine, I thought I was a genius! I was getting rich quick, right? Wrong. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. When your dad sold his share of stock being held in my account I was also forced to liquidate my own positions. I had bought call options on the future price of Apple stock, and the way that kind of trading works is that your money is locked until the future event you are betting on occurs. If you liquidate before a certain date there may be a penalty to pay. In my case, it was $35,000. After this, I had the good sense to step away for a moment, to cash out my chips and think about what came next. Also, I didn’t have a $2,000,000 trading desk anymore, and without the added margin, there was no way I could continue to trade the way I wanted to. I wanted to make medium to long term trades, because one of the first things I learned along the way is that short term trading (day-trading, scalping) is, for the most part, a scam. There are technical reasons for this, but trust me, short-term trading any market, be it cryptos, stocks, or commodities is a bad idea. You will lose money with an almost 100% guarantee. I walked away from the stock market in 2009 with $150,000 cash but no market to trade it in. So, I did the next best thing: I bought a nice new car (in cash), took a crazy trip to Europe, and consumed over $25,000 worth of shit I didn’t need, and when it was all said and done, I went back to teaching. I taught at an even poorer neighborhood this time. I had gang members in my class. There were arrests on a monthly basis. Some of the kids had psychological problems, emotional problems, learning disabilities, and many of them were being abused at home in one way or another. This was a middle school. Twelve year-olds. I did that job and others like it because I believe in morality and in helping people. That’s the reason I’m writing you this letter, because I want to help you, and I think it's the moral thing to do. And you’ll see what I mean by that when I tell you about cryptocurrencies and the blockchain later on. Anyway, during that year of teaching I discovered a new market to trade. One that would give me 100 to 1 leverage on my money. One where I could manage a $5,000,000 trading desk with only $50,000! That market is called FOREX, and its the global “fiat” currency market. It’s the opposite of the crypto market, which is the global “digital” currency market. More on what all that means later, but for now just understand that FOREX is the most liquid and highly traded market in the world. After the school-year ended in May of 2011, I took that summer off to research the FOREX market. I read many new books on trading, which were specific to the currency markets. I watched hundreds of hours of video on technical analysis and even more hours of “financial news,” which is mostly economic propaganda, but I won’t digress here. The point is that by late August of 2011, I was once again ready to dive head-first into trading. This time, I thought, it would be even better, because I’d have even more money to “play” with! This time, I thought, I’m going to get rich! I’ll stop here and tell you that the journey up until this point had not been the smoothest. While trading stocks there were many days when I lost hundreds, thousands, and even tens of thousands of dollars in hours, sometimes in minutes! You may imagine the added level of stress I had to deal with because I was trading with my entire life’s savings and my wife had just given birth to our son, Sebastian. He was a toddler at the time. I’ll give you a brief example of trading’s unpredictable nature, and the unpredictability of financial markets in general: I had spent several months preparing for my first live trade. I’d read many books and practiced my ass off until I thought I was ready. I had a system, a strategy. I was going to get rich, quick! The first week I traded stocks I lost $10,000 in 3 days. I will never be able to fully articulate what it feels like lose 50% of all the money you’ve ever had in less than 72 hours. All the while knowing that if you fail, it will be your family who suffers the most. You might be wondering: “Shit, why’d you do it?” or “Why’d you keep doing it?” That’s understandable. After all, my academic background is in history and political science, not finance and economics, not statistics. Well, cousin, I did it because I’m a cowboy. A risk-taker. I’ve always been one. I remember being four or five, at our grandfather’s farm, and lassoing calves in the cattle pen by myself. Men were around, but they let me do it. Although, in retrospect, some of those calves were twice my size and could have easily trampled me, I don’t ever remember feeling scared---I loved that shit! I remember sneaking out and walking down to the pond, then going up to the water’s edge to see if I could spot the caiman that lived there. I would even hurl rocks at it sometimes, just to see it move! Another time, I found myself alone in the dark with a 15-foot anaconda not more than a yard away, and all I could do was stare at it, not out of fear, but wonder. Again, in hindsight, probably not the best of ideas, but I’ve never been scared to follow the path laid out by my own curiosity. I am a natural risk-taker. I tell my city-slicker friends that it's because I come from a land of cowboys, where men are born tough and always ready for a challenge. Cowboys are risk-takers by nature, they have to be, the land demands it of them. There’ll be more on risk-taking and the role it plays a little later, but for now, let’s focus on FOREX and what I learned from it. After the school-year ended in May of 2011, I took that summer off to research the FOREX market. I read many new books on trading, which were specific to the currency markets. I watched hundreds of hours of video on technical analysis and even more hours of “financial news,” which is mostly economic propaganda, but I won’t digress here. The point is that by late August of 2011, I was once again ready to dive head-first into trading. This time, I thought, it would be even better, because I’d have even more money to “play” with! This time, I thought, I’m going to get rich! Trading FOREX was not easy. The hardest part was that it had to be done between 3:00 am - 11:00 am, because these are peak trading hours in London and New York, where the majority of the market’s money resides. This means major price moves, the price swings that can be traded, for the most part, happen during this time window. For me, this meant I had to live a type of quasi-vampiric lifestyle, waking up at 8:00 pm and going to sleep at noon, every day. At first, it takes a toll on your social life, and eventually starts to affect you mentally and emotionally. There is a certain degree of isolation that comes with it, too. You are awake when your friends and family are asleep, and asleep when they are awake. It can get lonely. However, my first six months of trading FOREX were OK. I wasn’t making $15,000 a month anymore, but I was making more than I would have been, had I been teaching. However, I had a deep-rooted feeling of uncertainty. Although I’d had some initial success in trading stocks, and now currencies, I’d always felt, at the back of my mind, that I’d just been lucky, and nothing more. This fear materialized itself in June of 2012 when the strategy I’d been using for some time was no longer profitable. I panicked. I started experimenting with new strategies, which only made matters worse, and lead to even more panic. It is no exaggeration to say that trading is one-third mathematical, and two-thirds psychological. No amount of books, videos, or paid mentorships, which I also consumed, had prepared me for this eventual reality check: I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. I had no clue. I left FOREX humbled, with barely enough money to buy a decent car, much less trade any time soon. The next two years, 2013-2015, were some of the hardest of my life. Harder even than 1991-1993, which, up to that point, had been the worst couple years I’d ever experienced. Those were my first years in the United States, and they were full of hardship. A type of hardship I’d never experienced before, and never have since. Remember the school I mentioned? The one with the gangs and the troubled kids and all the poverty? Well, I attended schools just like that as a kid, too, until I turned 15. I had many more encounters with caimans and anacondas there, except now they had first names, and for some reason, were always more prone to strike! Anyway, those were tough times, but not as tough as the post-FOREX experience. Failure at FOREX took a mental toll on me. After all, I had gambled everything, my entire future on the bet that I could earn a living as a professional trader. I realized I had failed because of my own intellectual laziness. I always knew I had been lucky, and instead of using the wonderful gift of leisure-time the universe had granted me through that initial success to fill the knowledge gaps I knew would keep me from true and long-lasting success, I let my ego convince me otherwise, and talked myself into making decisions I knew to be extremely dangerous and outside my expertise. I wanted to wrestle the caiman! Cowboy shit. Irrational, youthful folly. Needless to say, I lost 80% of my account, which was also my family’s savings, in less than four months. Now, I had a real problem. How was I going to pay the bills? What was I going to do with my life? I was 30 years old, had a five-year old son, very little real-world work experience and a college degree in history and political science. How was I going to make money? Serious money? Enough money to help my mom retire and give my son all the advantages I never had? Enough to deliver on the promises I had made to my wife during all those years she put up with my crazy hours and wild ideas about getting rich quick? What was I going to do now? I tell you, cousin, these are the kinds of questions you will find yourself asking if you do not heed my advice. I didn’t want to teach anymore. I didn’t want to do anything anymore. I was depressed. I had what we call here in the United States, “a quarter-life crisis.” I abused alcohol and drugs to cope with the pain of my failure. I was weak. I was unprepared for the realities of life. I did not yet understand, even at 30 years old, that there is no such thing as a free lunch. I won’t dwell on the specifics of the hardships I endured during these two years, except to say that I almost lost it all, including my life, but I’m grateful I didn't. However, it was also during this period, 2013-2015, that I began to fill gaps in my knowledge about markets, economics, and the nature of money itself. Gaps I knew would need to be filled one way or another, if I was ever going to trade or invest in anything again. Luckily, towards the end of my FOREX days, I had come to realize there was something wrong with all the information I had been given by the mainstream media, specifically on the topics of economics and finance. I noticed that nothing they ever said about the markets turned out to be accurate, that mainstream financial “news” could not be trusted for investment purposes. It took tens of thousands of dollars in losses and several years of headaches before I learned that lesson. I’m glad I finally did. I decided to use the last bit of money I had left to buy some gold and silver (by this time I had begun to understand the definition of sound money) and to open up a brick and mortar business. I did not want to work for anyone else, only for myself. I wanted to be an entrepreneur. The trouble was that the only business I had enough money for was a mobile car wash. So, a friend and I bought a van, some pressure cleaners, a whole bunch of soap and got to work! We were going to hustle hard, work warehouse and shopping center parking lots, save enough to reinvest into our business and go after the luxury car market. We were going to charge rich people $1000s to detail Ferraris and Lamborghinis, and it was only going to take six months, tops! Great plan, no? Easy money, right? Well, we washed cars for exactly one day before we realized what a terrible mistake we had made. It turns out car-washing is a backbreaking, low-paying, and degrading business. There’s no free lunch, remember that. My friend and I were lucky. We quickly transitioned our business from a mobile car wash to a painting/pressure cleaning company, and had immediate success. In less than two months we were hired as subcontractors by a much larger company and I was more or less making what I had made teaching, but working for myself. After a couple of months, my partner and I were already envisioning the hiring of our first employees. Cool, right? No. About a year after we started the business, my partner, a high-school friend of mine, a guy I’d known for more than ten years, decided he didn’t want to do it anymore. That he was too tired of the hardships that come with that kind of work. Tired of making the constant sacrifices required to be successful in business. So, he quit. I lost everything I had invested, because without him, I could not operate the business on my own, and our corporate partner dropped us. I begged him not to quit. I told him that business takes time, that there’s no free lunch, and that we would be rewarded at some point for our hustle and hard work; that we would be able to hire laborers to do the work in less than 6 months, and that we would then focus on sales, and start to make some real money. He did not care. He had his own demons, and chose to steal from me and end our friendship instead of facing the hardship head-on. By this time, however, I was already used to failure, and although I was still coping with the mental stress of having failed at something I once had thought would be my profession, it still did not stop me from following my curiosity, as I always have. It was during these years that I first learned about Bitcoin. About blockchain. About the nature of money, economic history, the effects of monetary policy on financial markets. I’d wake up at 6:00 am every day, paint houses, pressure clean dirty sidewalks and walls, spend over 2 hours commuting back home every night, and then stay up for as long as my body would allow learning about macroeconomics and the history of markets. I researched the nature of debt and gold a medium of exchange. I read about counter and Austrian economics. I became a libertarian, later, an anarchist, and, after almost two years study, I began to discover legitimate sources of financial news and information, intelligent voices that I could trust. I had acquired enough knowledge and experience to discern the truth from the propaganda, and it was during these same years, these terrible times of hardship, that I finally learned a most valuable lesson on money and markets: capital preservation is the key. Remember, when I said we’d come back to risk-taking? Well, the trick is not to take it, but to manage it. The secret is education, knowledge. Knowledge truly is, power. Traders are only as successful as the depth of their own knowledge, because it's the only way to keep in check that inherent, paralyzing fear which “playing” with money eventually engenders. As a trader, you must have complete confidence in your “playing” abilities, and this is something only achieved through much study and practice. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, ever. I want you to know that Bitcoin, the blockchain, and cryptocurrencies are NOT get-rich-quick schemes. They are NOT Ponzi schemes either. They are cutting-edge financial technology, and an emerging asset class. The blockchain has been compared to the agricultural revolution of the Neolithic age and the invention of writing by ancient Mesopotamians, in terms of its importance and potential impact on human civilization. It is a technology which will eventually affect and reshape almost every single industry in the global economy. In the next two decades, all types of industries will be impacted and disrupted by this technology--banking, real estate, healthcare, the legal industry, politics, education, venture capital, just to name a few! This technology allows for something called “decentralized store of value.” Basically, it allows for the creation of an alternative financial system, one where power resides in the hands of the people, instead of corrupt governments and corporations, so that currency crises like the one Venezuela has recently experienced, may one day be completely eradicated, like polio, or bubonic plague. I will tell you that, at 17 years old, you have an amazing opportunity to set yourself up for incredible success in this brand new industry called the blockchain. There are entire professions that will be birthed into existence in the next 5, 10, and 20 years, in the same way the internet made possible millions of people around the world to work from home, wearing their pajamas, doing a million different things--things which were unimaginable to those who knew the world before the advent of the internet. Of course, it will require a great deal of work and effort on your part, but I assure you, it will be totally worth it! Today, I am 35 years old. I run a successful ghostwriting business that I manage from the comfort of my own home. I invest exclusively in Bitcoin and precious metals, and hope to retire by the time I’m 40. Well, not really retire, but start on a much-anticipated new phase of my life, one in which I don’t have to worry about financial independence anymore. To that end, cousin, here is my advice:
Forget about getting rich quick. There’s no free lunch!
Learn the English language, it is one of the tools you'll need for success.
Work or go to school. Either way, dedicate yourself to learning about this new technology as much as you can, and begin to save, as much as you can, in Bitcoin.
I reviewed the website you told me about, [[link]3 , and while I respect, and to a certain extent admire what those gentlemen are doing, I can tell you, unequivocally, that taking those courses won’t turn you into a trader. It won’t make you rich quick. Far from it. In fact, there is nothing that these "warriors" will teach you, that you could not teach yourself for free at [[link]4 . I’ll end it here. Hopefully, you made it to the end and took away a nugget or two. Please feel free to ask me anything you want about any of it, cousin. I’m always here to help. ''' Hurling Rocks at Caimans: A Cowboy's Tale Go1dfish undelete link unreddit undelete link Author: mine_myownbiz13 1: ww*.cri*toguerre*os*c**/ 2: w*w***bypips.com/ 3: www.criptoguerreros.com]^^1 4: www.babypips.com]^^2 Unknown links are censored to prevent spreading illicit content.
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