Beware of Binary Options (BO) Trading!


Despite its newness, BO trading has almost gone mainstream. The promise of fast and easy attainment of riches fuels its overwhelming proliferation.

People with no experience whatsoever embark on this adventure. After all, opening an account takes seconds. Placing a trade is swift and instant, and so is losing money!

The business model of the so-called binary options brokers (many of them are regulated by gambling authorities, if at all) is an old-fashion scheme, where the winners take part of the losers’ money, and the house keeps the rest. Does that remind you of any other business model?!

New brokers are popping up everywhere. The only region that doesn’t welcome them as much is North America. None of them is recognized or regulated by financial authorities in either Canada or The US.

The platforms, the graphs, the glamour, and even the so-called “rules” play on the psychology of the users, who soon become losers of hard-earned funds.

What is the split? Probably one winner in every 100 or more members. So let’s run a quick calculation. The winner is so good, he/she nets $1000 a day. The losers, on the other hand, give up an average of 50/member. Total loss: 50 *100 = 5000. The winner gets a grand, and the house keeps four; not bad at all! Keep in mind that this example assumes a very low-end of the game. Usually, the split is one winner out of at least 500. And the losers let go of more than 50 a piece.

Is that business, investment, or even trading?

No. It is not, by any measure. It’s a new form of online gambling. People talk about using technical analysis to “predict” the closing price of an asset, when the trade expires. What’s that called? Betting, right. Fighting the odds, with eyes less than half-oppened.

Financial markets are unpredictable on the long-term, let alone for minutes and/or seconds. A price graph may decide to have a “hiccup” right before expiry, costing you all the money you’ve put on that price closing higher (or lower) than the entry point. The reason could be a piece of news, High Frequency Trading (HFT), or any other unpredictable event that may have taken place momentarily, causing a trend to change direction, wiping out your “investment.”

Is that fair? Well, first, no one forces you to do it. And second, which is more important, this is an emotional rollercoaster. Very few people can maintain their composure in the face of such rapid changes. Those are the few winners, exactly as in poker, or any other money game.

Money is a vehicle to exchange real value. Playing with it isn’t healthy, both for the individual and the economy.

Please notice that nothing is being exchanged, not even futures (for example, commodities or stocks). The whole deal is about prediction and speculation. The “trader” buys the “right” to put money on a probability, which is affected by factors that are entirely outside the reach and control of the trader. Can you buy and sell probabilities? You can utilize statistical data to make an informed investment decision. Here, that piece of information has become the asset!

We need to know the traps so we wouldn’t step on them.

Go back to the articles on this blog, or any other source you trust. Gain the knowledge of real investment, real work. Know your options, and never commit money to buying fish in the ocean!

The Wealth Maker

Go Slow


Rushing is a form of greed. We can’t squeeze in a moment more than what it unfolds to offer. What does that mean? You might ask.

Each and every moment is a medium of expression and interaction. Our attitudes determine the way we interact with those moments, but nothing can “change” the nature of a moment, and what it has come to offer.

When it comes to investing, this is so rewarding, even if you can’t observe its effect immediately.

“Go slow” is not a synonym of “be lazy”. It’s an invitation to be mindful of your vision, objectives and actions.

Take your time researching a potential business; read, analyze, and discuss, but never rush to a decision under the pressure of timing the market. That strategy has proven to be misleading, at best…

Once you reach a decision, and you become ready to act, then go for it, do not delay. Here you can be bold and swift.

Now you have planted the seed. You can’t sit next to it and repeat: “Grow, grow, …”. Can you do that on a farm? Can you speed up natural processes, skip a season, harvest in February and plant in September?

The same principles apply across the board, in each and every human endeavor.

Your seed is the “wonderful business” you’ve mindfully invested in. Go slow! Learn to wait. Cultivate patience. It pays in droves at the right time.

How do you know if it is time to harvest? When the business ceases to be “wonderful”, or when it has already produced a handsome return. Before you sell, though, you should have already completed the same research process on another business, in which you intend to reinvest the profits from selling the first business. You need to have liquidity as part of your portfolio, but don’t leave too much sitting around, doing nothing (actually un-invested money becomes a burden, over time, as it loses some of its original value due to inflation and other factors).

Is that boring? You bet it is! But boring is better than losing, isn’t it?

Refrain from buying and selling for the sake of having fun and excitement. Find another venue to satisfy that desire. Investing isn’t a game to be played. It is a discipline to be followed…

Good Investing!

The Wealth Maker

The Wealth Algorithm (5) – Financing Your Dream!


 

We’re now ready to tackle the process that will take you from your current financial state (networth) to your dream (the clear intention you set few posts ago).

I’m not going to use any assumptions concerning your work status. So whether you were employed, self-employed, unemployed, running a small business, etc, our discussion would start from the networth we calculated in article (3) of this series.

There are so many ways to make money. I’ve covered a number of them in this blog. You could go back and pick the one that suits you. We’ve talked a great deal about value investing, making money online. I touched on HYIP’s. Then finally spent few articles exploring online trading, including binary options trading.

Any one of those requires an initial investment, a capital, a principal. Each method employes a certain technique to grow that capital, while preserving it (this is quite important).

The question now is this: How would you go about securing that principal?

In general, there are two ways: You could either borrow the money, or create a partnership.

The first route includes banks, friends, family, government funds, etc.

The second is a sort of business deal between two equal parties: One party provides the capital, the second provides the time, energy and expertise to grow that capital.

The first option could be difficult these days. Requesting a business loan from a financial institution (like a bank) presents two major hurdles: a) you must provide enough evidence that you’re capable, financially, of returning that loan, at the end of the term. The bank doesn’t care whether you succeed or fail!

The second issue is interest. You might end up paying 50% on top of the original loan in interest. If the loan was $100K, you would be required to pay back $150K at the end of the loan term. Those 50K would come out of your net profit. In some cases, the percentage could be more, depending on how convinced the bank would be of your eligibility for that loan.

Asking friends or family members for financial support to start a business or enter an investment adventure, would raise many eyebrows, and would put you under the spotlight for the duration of your journey. This would add to the pressure, and would exhaust a good deal of your energy.

In the next article, we’ll explore the second option, as I believe it’s the path you should take.

The Wealth Maker

Trading Secrets: When to Enter and When to Exit


 

Those are the two most important decisions a trader has to take. They sort out the winners from the losers, in this tough activity.

So how would you make these two calls?

First, let’s focus on the decision to enter a trade. Once you choose whether it’s going to be a “Buy” or “Sell” call (as explained in the previous article), you now need to pick the right entry point. For Buy trades, you need the lowest possible price. On the other hand, for Sell trades, you look for the highest possible price of the asset you intend to trade.

Let’s use an example. Suppose you wanted to trade gold on the upside (a Buy Call). You look at the price chart, and you notice that gold has been trading between $1595.00 and $1610.00 an ounce over the last 24 hours. Then you go through the latest financial news. The stock markets, say in  North America, have been going down for the last five sessions. You also look at world news: There’s a conflict in Syria, an earthquake in Japan, and the Russian army has just entered Georgia to aid the local government in its struggle against the rebels.

How does all of that affect your trading decisions? Let’s take them one by one. The slump in the stock markets makes most investors flee to safe havens, namely gold and silver, which means the prices of these two precious metals are destined to rise, at least on the short-term. The instability in Syria and Georgia points to threats to oil supply, and higher demand of weapons. Liquid cash is at play here. Again, gold and silver are easier to convert into cash than stocks. This supports the speculation that prices of these two instruments are expected to go up.

Now you are more confident that a Buy Call is the way to go. Your next step is to choose your entry point. This is tricky. If you jumped in immediately, you might lose the chance of entering at a lower price. If you waited too long, you might miss out on the window of opportunity, as prices already started to ascend rapidly.

Your target, as a wise trader, should not be to enter at exactly the lowest point, and leave at the highest possible price. If you insisted on that scenario, you would lose many trades. So what is your target? You want to have a piece of the pie, not the whole thing, in order to avoid the risk of making your pie and eating it!

Going back to the price range, you put an “order” to buy 10 ounces at $1600, and sell them at $1605. Why would you do that? To be as certain as possible that your net would catch some fish in the middle. The price may not go as low as $1595, or as high as $1610 again. But the probability, given all the analysis, of the price moving through the range between $1600 and $1605 is quite high, and that’s what you want.

This kind of trade may look modest, but it would give you $50.00 within a day. Keep in mind that this should not be the only trade you do. You should get involved in two to four trades concurrently. This serves the objective of diversification, which we’d talked about before.

In today’s online trading, all platforms give you the facility to set an entry price, a stop-loss price, and a take-profit price. Your role is to pick the right prices.

Once the trade is executed, you should keep an eye on it. If it behaved in a way that would indicate a bad result, you would need to interfere, by either closing the trade, or adjusting the stop-loss and/or take-profit prices. Your first and most important objective is to preserve your capital, then to make profits.

A wise trader would not discount a small profit if he/she felt that waiting for a higher profit might risk a good portion of his capital. A profit of $2.00 is definitely better than a loss of $10!

Another aspect of trading is repetition. If you couldn’t make the profit you had anticipated, you would go out at a lower profit, preserve your capital, then enter again, using the same asset, or a different one. The bottom line is to create momentum and good income. The kind of asset is irrelevant. It’s only a vehicle. What matters is how you handle the asset in a way that brings the best possible results, under the current circumstances.

To be continued…

The Wealth Maker

How To Trade?


Trading is different from value investment in several ways. While VI is long-term in nature, trading is short-term by definition. VI focuses on the fundamentals of the business you’re investing in, trading is concerned about price movements and technical analysis.

In the last article, I talked about a special type of trading, called Binary Options (BO) Trading. In this post, I’m going to spend some time elaborating on trading in general.

Trading, as the name implies, is an exchange of two investment aspects, over a short period of time. A trader buys an investment instrument, at an attractive price, hoping that its price will go up (or down) over a certain period of time. This is an exchange between time and money.

If the instrument’s price went up, say after three hours of purchase, the trader could “long” the asset (sell it at a profit), retrieving the principal plus the difference between the original (entry) price, and the current (higher price).

If the instrument’s price went down, below the entry price, the trader would have few options here: He could “short” the trade, meaning he would sell the instrument at a loss, to avoid further loses, he could wait, if his information and best judgement expected the asset to go back up, at least to the entry price. Or he/she could set a “stop-loss” price, at which the trading platform would sell the asset automatically. Usually, the stop-loss and “take profit” prices are set at the inception of the trade. Setting these two price limits is tricky. It takes experience, knowledge of current market conditions, vision, and decisiveness (and a touch of good luck). “Take-profit” is the price at which the platform would sell (or buy) the asset, making a preset profit for the trader.

As you can trade on the way up, you can also trade when prices go down. In this case, you wait till the price reaches a point of saturation. To determine such point, you need to use your technical analysis skills. If you looked at the asset’s price vs time graph, and noticed a clear peak, that might be an indication that a price descend would follow. You would sell the asset at that high price, and then buy it back when it fell down. Your profit would be the difference between the two prices.

Some price peaks are deceiving. The price goes down for a short period of time, then moves up, reaching even a higher peak. In that situation, a trader would lose money if he/she had traded on the speculation of a price downfall.

It’s obvious that the two most important decisions here are: When to enter a trade (buy an asset or sell it), and when to exit (sell an asset or buy it).

In the next post, I’ll shed more light on these two critical calls. The successful trader never takes these two lightly. They actually distinguish a careful and wise trader from a lousy one. Since this is not gambling, lousiness and panic are the trader’s worst enemies.

The Wealth Maker

Online Investment – Binary Options


 

Binary Options (BO) trading is probably the furthest from Value Investing (VI), when it comes to investment fundamentals. While in VI we focus on the business behind the symbol, A BO trader is almost completely concerned with current price movements. Some BO platforms offer options with a 15-minute life span!

BO is a relatively new version of day trading. Most BO transactions finish within an hour. Recently, some platforms started giving the trader the option to choose longer expiration periods.

The basic concept behind BO trading is to “predict” if the “asset’s” price is going to move up or down relative to the entry price.

Here’s an example: Let’s assume the trader is interested in crude oil’s price movements. The trading platform offers crude as one of the available BO assets. The trader needs to have some funds in his or her account in order to trade. The minimum amount per BO trade varies from one platform to another. Usually between $10 and $50.

Let’s say the platform in this example requires $30 to trade one BO asset. The trader selects crude, enters the minimum trading value, which is $30, then he or she has to decide, or “predict”, whether crude price will go up or down from the current price, say at the top of the hour.

From looking at the charts; trying to forecast price movement trends, reading the latest news, and using his/her best judgement and “gut feeling”, the trader decides to choose the “UP” option. Once he hits “Buy” or “Submit”, the platform registers the price at which the trader “entered” the trade. Let’s say the price was $91.5 per barrel, and the entry time was 10:15 AM.

The trader can either wait, or look for other trades, if he or she still has funds in his/her trading account (because the $30 for the crude trade has already been deducted from the available trading balance).

Now let’s fast forward to 11:00 AM. It’s the time when the BO trade expires. If the price was above 91.5, say 91.51, or more, then the transaction is said to be “In the Money”, and the trader would gain a percentage on top of the original $30. That percentage ranges between 70% and 85%. Let’s use 80%. This means: 30 *1.8 = $54, would be returned to the trader’s BO account balance, with a net profit of $24.

On the other hand, if the price was below the entry price at the expiration (11:00 AM in our example), say 91.49, or less, the transaction is said to be “Out of the Money”. The trader would lose the trading deposit ($30), but some platforms return between 5% to 15% to the account balance. If the trader had started with a balance of $100, he or she would end up with $74.5 (assuming the returned percentage was 15%).

In rare cases, the transaction expires “At the Money”, which is exactly $91.5. In that case, the trader gets back the $30, without any gain or loss.

From the above example, we can see why this kind of short-term investment is called binary. Because it has only two possible outcomes at the expiry of the trading transaction.

BO trading is stressful. Although the potential of making huge returns rapidly is obviously there, so many traders lose all their capital, especially when they get emotional, and try to retaliate, by investing even more to recover their loses.

There is also a factor of luck, and another of speculation here. That’s why experienced traders enter several transactions simultaneously, with the hope that more than half of the trades would end in the money.

Another aspect of BO trading is its heavy reliance on technical analysis. If you lack that skill, the process becomes closer to gambling than trading.

Most, if not all, BO platforms require a minimum deposit of $100, or more, just to start trading (this is different from the amount required per trade). They also run strict verification procedures, before a trader can withdraw any profits, especially if the platform was regulated.

Before engaging in this risky investment, you should research the provider (the BO platform) extensively. Read the FAQ. Evaluate your technical analysis capability, and only use money which you’re prepared to lose! Never use your milk or bread money…

I strongly suggest that if you’re a novice trader, you should steer away from BO trading.

All the best,

The Wealth Maker

Making Money Online


Before you start reading this article, why don’t you perform a simple Google search on the title of the post. I just did: 54,600,000 results! And counting.

Why all this interest in making an online income, whether a supplementary income, or a main one? I don’t think there’s one definite answer, but among the reasons could be the following:

1- The economy is still soft. Finding a traditional job is not that easy anymore

2- The hype: So many people have the false impression that making money online is easy, and requires minimum, or no work at all. That’s why the failure rate is more than 95%!

3- Unlike making money off-line, scam is the mainstream of most advertised opportunities

4- A lot of workers have become fed up with corporate cultures. They want to have their own thing. Unfortunately, while the frustration is understandable, securing a viable alternative online is difficult, to say the least

Does the above mean you can’t build your own online empire? Not at all. It just sheds the light on some of the facts that most of us ignore, as we become hyped up by the attraction of easy, fast money.

Millions are being promised within a month or less. When you get in, you realize that those millions were made under very special circumstances, which you can’t imitate, unless you “upgrade” to the premium “package”, spending more money on an illusion!

So what should you do?

The first step would be to ask yourself: Why do I want to make money online? Even if the answer was clear in your head, write it down, in as much details as possible. This would be your vision.

The next question is: Do I have what it takes to create some sort of an income on the Cyberspace? To answer this one, you first need to know “What it takes”, right?

I can tell you few of the factors, but you must do your own research as well.

It takes time, dedication, the ability to work alone, or in other words, discipline. It takes time management skills, and it may take some money; a starting capital. Finally, it takes finding the right, legitimate online opportunity, that fits your needs, your resources and your skills. A business that has the potential to fulfill your vision.

The third question is: How would I find such an opportunity? And how would I know it’s legitimate, not scam? You’ve got to search for it my friend! Exactly like searching for a business opportunity off-line. It could be joining an exsiting online business as an “affiliate”, making money through commissions. Or it could be starting your own online business.

I’m going to leave you now to think about this topic. Please share your thoughts and/or questions.

In the next post, I’ll talk about different categories of online opportunities. Stay tuned!

Wish you happy and safe online “work”…

The Wealth Maker

Investment Partnership™


The world of investing is full of variables, risks, challenges, surprises, and of course, rewards.

Most people delve into that ocean, preoccupied by the lure of quick riches, overnight fortunes. They turn a blind eye to the other side of the coin; the risks, the great potential of losing one’s money, or part of it.

That’s why, the first rule in mindful investing is: Never Lose Money (Ben Graham). In other words: Preserve your capital, take reasonable, calculated risks.

One way to tackle this paradox is to work with an expert. That won’t be a money or fund manager. It’s a partner, who would go with you into that ocean, and help you reach the island of safety, and prosperity.

An “Investment Partnership™” is not a very common phenomenon. Actually, it’s rather rare, if not unique in the investment world. That’s why I consider it a new and innovative concept. The way it’s presented here is covered by the copyright provisions of this blog.

You and the expert set some terms and conditions. But the key idea is this: The client provides the investing money (principal), and the expert provides the time, the work, and the expertise. They are partners in both profit and loss on a 50/50 basis.

If they made profits, it got divided between them. On the other hand, if they lost, the client would lose his/her money (or part of it), and the expert would lose his time and effort. Most often, they would make profits, since the investment activity is based on careful strategies that take into account the potential risks, and provide safeguards to minimize them as much as possible. Preserving the client’s capital is the highest priority of the partnership.

The big and clear advantage to the client would be peace of mind, and freedom from the complexity and details of the investing process. Additionally, he or she would enjoy high profits without spending any time or effort.

The expert, on the other hand, who brings his expertise, time, and energy into the activity, doesn’t work as an employee. Rather, he is a partner. He only gets paid if he makes a profit. This gives him the right motivation and inspiration to choose the best possible investments. That’s how he generates his income, and at the same time, maintains and improves his credibility as a trustworthy and reliable investment professional.

Happy Investing to All…

The Wealth Maker