Wednesday, September 26, 2012

10 Tips to Succeed With Futures and Commodities

Trading in Futures and Commodities has advantages not found in more traditional forms of investing. In fact, investing may be the wrong word to use. Most who trade in Futures and Commodities are more like speculators, because the time a trader will hold onto a position is usually much shorter than the time investors tend to hold positions.
One of the big advantages of trading Futures and Commodities is the leverage. For a relatively small amount of money, the futures trader can control many times that of the underlying product, may it be Wheat, Crude Oil, Gold or one of the Currencies.
This type of leverage provides the opportunity to make a lot of money from a small amount of money. However, leverage is a two-edged sword, and that means you can also lose a lot of money if you do not know what you are doing.
In this article I will touch on 10 tips to help you avoid unnecessary losses and give you a head start towards being profitable. But beware that this is just the beginning. When it comes to training in futures, there is no end to education.
1. Read all you can about how the Futures Markets work and get familiarized with the products and their specifications. You can learn much of this by visiting websites of the exchanges where these futures are traded, such as the Commodities Merchantile Exchange (CME).
2. Be sure to shop around for a good discount broker. These days you will find more services being offered for much less than what it was just a few years ago. Be sure they specialize in futures and provide good electronic and phone trading support. You will not only want to pay as little as possible for each "round-turn" in commissions, but you also want to be sure you can get ahold of someone at anytime, day or night, to get you out of a position in the event your Internet goes down or you lose connection through your trading platform. If you are new to trading, see if you can trade a dummy account with the brokerage to get familiar with the platform they offer and to practice trading before you use real money.
3. Be sure your trading account is well-funded. Most traders who start with an account that is under-funded end up being wiped out. The reason for this is that when you trade with a small account, you will have the tendency to trade scared (fear). These days where many of the markets have big daily ranges and often are volatile, it is difficult to enter a trade with a tight stop-loss unless you day trade using minute charts. This is one reason why many opt for daytrading. But even if you decide to daytrade, you should not open an account for anything less than $5000, although more is better.
4. Trade with the trend. Let me say this again. Trade with the trend! It is a statistical fact that you will have better odds of making profits with less losses if you trend with the wind at your back. Learn methods and indicators that will help you discover the trend and then take only trades that are supported by that trend.
5. Always use a stop-loss order at the same time you enter a trade. Never, ever enter a trade and put off entering an opposing stop-loss order. Even if you are uncertain as to the best place to put it, at the very least you should put it at a price that works as an "emergency exit" in the event some news comes out and causes the market to move violently against you. Whatever you do, do not put your stop-loss beyond the day's maximum move threshold, the limit price level. Futures markets have daily limits that if price were to move to that limit that prices would not be allowed to go any further. Often, the reason that prices went limit in the first place can also cause prices to go LOCK LIMIT due to price pressure. If this happens against your position, you may not be able to get out and could face additional days of limit moves against you. This is a trader's nightmare! So be sure you have your stop-loss at least at some price level BEFORE that limit price to avoid being stuck in multiple limit moves. There are several strategies for deciding on where to put your stop-loss. Learn them to help you effectively use them.
6. Learn about support and resistance, especially when it comes to trends and retracements. If the trend is bullish, for example, the bullish waves will usually be greater than the bearish retracements (moves against the trend). According to W. D. Gann, prices tend to retrace in increments of quarters and eights. The major levels are 38%, 50% and 62%, especially in strong trends. These mark your support and resistance levels, and they provide good levels to look for prices to enter trades as well as places to put your stop-loss orders for protection.
7. Learn Money-Management. This is very, very important. With a good money-management system, even a trading method that has less than 50% win/loss ratio can result in overall profits. The key is to determine the right percentage of the total account to risk on any single trade and to stick with that formula. W. D. Gann advocates 10%, although these days it is suggested that you not risk more than 2-3%. This is another reason why you need a well-funded account so that you will not end up with stop-loss orders being too close to your entry or having to miss lots of good trade setups due to the risk exposure exceeding your risk allowance. If you spend enough time learning good money-management and you stick with it religiously, you can do quite well even when your timing skills are still lacking.
8. Learn Top-Down Analysis. This is one of my favorite tips to give to traders. If you trade on a DAILY time-frame, it would be to your advantage to view the WEEKLY, even the MONTHLY charts to get a sense as to the longer-term direction of the market. Focus on trading your chosen time-frame in the direction of the longer-term time-frame. It is not difficult to get a sense of trend direction. For example, you can simply apply a 20-bar and 50-bar moving average and note the slope of the lines as to whether they are moving up or down, and whether the 20 is above or below the 50. Whatever method you use to determine trend, having the longer-term trend in mind is extremely valuable when trading the lower-time frame.
9. Never chase a trade and never move a stop-loss deeper into negative territory. If you planned a trade and then missed the price area you wanted to enter from, DO NOT chase it and enter at the worse price. This is a big mistake and is usually motivated by emotion. The same for your stop-loss price level. Suppose you decide a good place to put your initial stop-loss. Once that order is placed, suppose the market starts moving against you and now you see that your stop-loss order may get filled. Whatever you do, DO NOT change your stop-loss order to allow for even greater losses. This is how many traders become ex-traders. They do not want to accept losses, and they get it in their head that if they just give the market a little more room, and a little more, that they may not have to experience a loss at all because the market should turn soon in their favor. Bad bad emotional trading. Do not do this. You have decided ahead of time what your risk will be, and if it reaches it, so be it. This is what separates the winning traders from the losers.
10. Keep learning to be better at TIMING. This is my speciality, timing the market to the very day when a bottom or top is highly likely to occur. There are many timing methods. Naturally, I am biased towards the FDates timing method. However, I respect that many will want to try all kinds of methods out, and that is fine. Keep working on this, because a good timing method, such as FDates, allows you to trade with less risk exposure. When you can keep your risk exposure down, this enhances any money-management plan and allows for greater flexibility. In addition, the less risk you are exposed to, the less effect your emotion of fear will play in your trading.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

6 Facebook Page Features You're Overlooking

Facebook makes changes and adds new features so often that it's hard to keep track of them all. But there are a lot of features that could be very beneficial in managing your Facebook business page and your marketing strategy.
Here are six features that you might not have noticed:
New Insights Metrics
You can see the performance of your posts based on the reactions of your fans, including:
  • Lifetime of post reach
  • Lifetime of post paid reach
  • Lifetime of post impressions
  • Lifetime of post paid impressions
  • Lifetime of post stories
  • Lifetime of people who engaged with posts
  • Lifetime of people talking about your posts
To find these metrics, click on Page Insights, then Export Data, choose data type, then Post Level Data, choose the data range, and click Download.
Onsite Notification
If you combine your personal profile with your business page management. You can get notifications of fan messages and comments, new posts and likes. To start getting these notifications, click on Admin Panel, then Edit Page, hit Manage Notifications and then Onsite Notification. Just check off the box to enable these notifications.
Arrange Posts By Metrics
You don't have to view your posts only in chronological order anymore. Now you can have them listed based on certain metrics, such as Engaged Users, Reach, Virality, and Talking About This. This lets you see what posts are performing better without having to scroll through date-by-date. You can change the order simply by clicking on the label on the table.
Use The "Voice" to Change Identity
You can switch between your brand profile and your personal profile when you want to engage with users on your Facebook page by clicking on Voice at the top of your profile. This lets you respond to comments as your company or yourself.
If you want to post as your brand outside of your own page, click on the dropdown arrow at the top of your profile page and click Use Facebook As and then your page.
View Page Subscribers
People can now subscribe to your Facebook page without liking it. This adds your page to their Interest List. You can see your page subscribers by clicking New Likes, then See All. Click Subscribers from the dropdown menu. To see the total number of subscribers in your Insights.
Targeted Page Posts
You can now target your posts based on several criteria: relationship status, gender, interests, education level, age, language and location. This can be really helpful if you use Promoted Posts to ensure that you are reaching a specific part of your audience. This feature is available to pages with more than 5,000 fans. The post will only appear in News Feeds of fans who meet your targeting options but will also be visible to anyone who looks at your Timeline.
To stay on top of your social media marketing game, you need to keep up with all of the new changes to Facebook pages. Know what tools they are making available to you and you will have more success from all the effort you are putting in.
What Facebook features do you think are the most helpful? What types of features would you like to see in the future?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Planning Canada Migration As Teacher?

The procedure of the overseas movement may be rather long and exhausting, despite the fact that which nation one could be making efforts to gain admission into. On the basis of the given drive--at the time of the filing of a petition for citizenship--some applicants could have a somewhat briefer waiting time frame, as compared to others.
The Federal Skilled Workers, or the FSW, are of much value to a nation, and hence of a superior priority--more so in the industries which may be recession-proof. For instance, dentists, doctors & teachers are the professionals which will always be in much need. It's positive news, in case one happens to be a teacher and keen to shift to the Maple Country, i.e., Canada.
Selection Grounds for the FSW Sanction
1. Topmost level of education concluded; superior to high school diploma.
2. Work experience which reveals not less than 1 complete year of work which comes into one of these vocational classes, namely, professional, managerial or skilled/technical.
3. Fluency in French English and/or (both used for speaking purposes in the Maple Country)
4. Existing age
5. General compliance (regularly tested, via an appraisal quiz)
6. Existing state of job (or offer)
Existing Restrictions
As of July, 2012, the concerned organization, the CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada), has stopped the acceptance of petitions for the program of the FSW. When the revised requirements of the program become effective, the petitions will be admitted one more time. It is believed to be in full force towards the starting of 2013. Still, this stop does not impact the candidates who: 1. Have an existing job offer (already arranged inside the Maple Country) or 2. Are globally enrolled, or were registered inside the past year in a program for PhD of the country.
Cost of Living Evidence
Since the Maple Country does not permit anyone to sleep or loiter around inside its borders aimlessly, it will wish to find out how one intends to start his life once he has entered the country. Any dependents one may have will also be duly taken note of. Having lots of money, minus a paper trail, is a speedy manner to get one's submission rejected; while not having sufficient funds to suitably maintain one's family for over 30 days or a month will usually conclude in the same manner.
Automatic Dismissal
In all likelihood, some candidates will be refused right away. It is essential to make certain that none of such inconsistencies get in one's path, prior to moving ahead: 1. A case of human/international rights violation, 2. A criminal background, 3. DUI charges--either due to alcohol or drugs, will most likely get one rejected, 4. Ties or past involvement with organized offense, 5. Showing certain, more so infectious, health implications, 6. Lack of evidence of, or not sufficient financial backing, 7. Discrepancies in submissions, 8. Non-compliance with Immigration & Refugee Protection Act of the nation, also called the IRPA, 9. Relation with a prohibited individual

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Understanding The Forex Time Zones

You want to trade currency, because you understand it's markets are a 24 hour 6 days per week markets that are liquid to the magnitude of about 4 TRILLION DOLLARS daily. You also understand that there are four primary sessions, world time clocks, and Greenwich Mean Time GMT to consider. Add to these a little trick called daylight savings time and you can become a bit confused.
While understanding session times is seems daunting at first, learning them will improve trading outcomes. There are four sessions that can be considered major sessions.
The Forex week begins Monday morning at 8:00 am in Sydney Australia ( 5:00 PM Sunday eastern standard time; 9:00 PM Greenwich mean time). Think of Sydney as being the start of the Forex day. The Tokyo session opens three hours later. The London session opens 7 hours after that and finally the New York session opens 5 hours later. Each session runs nine hours. So:
Sydney runs from 9:00 PM till 6:00 AM GMT
Tokyo runs from 12:00 AM till 9:00 AM GMT
London runs from 7:00 AM till 4:00 PM GMT
New York runs from 12:00 PM till 9:00 PM GMT
NYC is in the Eastern Standard Zone see below
If it helps see it this way as an example of the conversion necessary:
New York opens at 8:00 am to 5:00 pm EST (EDT),
Tokyo opens at 7:00 pm to 4:00 am EST (EDT),
Sydney opens at 5:00 pm to 2:00 am EST (EDT),
London opens at 3:00 am to 12:00 noon EST (EDT).
Here is a helpful chart reproduced from The site is a wonderful source, having as much information about the GMT as any self- reliant trader will ever need. Another even more interactive chart can be found here AT Live Forex Market Hours Monitor. The real beauty of the web to me is that information is accessible to anyone and everyone in the way you best can accept it.
You need to know the number of hours your current time zone is away from GMT. Then know the GMT time for the session or sessions you wish to trade and make a simple addition or subtraction. Example (USA EST NYC ) is 5 hours earlier than GMT So to trade the open of the London (8:00 am )session need to be ready to go at 3:00 am EST. I learned to convert my from review of the Forex Factory sessions chart. It's easy to remember if you do it this way. Another way to get good at it is to download an app to your smart phone called the world clock. Set the clocks for the cities of the zones and you do not need to even think... you can spend more time on AG homework.
One more important aspect to calculating the sessions is the topic of DST. In March April of each year a majority of the world observes Day Light Savings Time (DST) until September November. The tricky issue is that one of the four major sessions is located in a city that does not observe it. (Tokyo) has no DST in 2012. More over,the directional movement of the clocks is not uniform either. Here is the line up for 2012. It is also subject to change every year so you must check every year.
Sydney Oct 6th 2:00 am move clocks forward to 3:00 am
Tokyo No DST in 2012 so you will need to verify each year
London Oct 28th Move clocks backward to 1:00 am
NYC Nov 6th Move clocks back to 1:00 am
This year in the USA DST began on March 11th 2012 at 2:00 am and DST continues until November 4th 2012 at 2:00 am. You can always remember how to move your clocks with the phrase Spring forward Fall back in Western Hemisphere meaning to always set time ahead one hour and set time back in November. Now since the dates are not uniform and there is not room in this brief article to fully address every time zone for all of our many ACE Gazette citizens I am providing an all-inclusive comprehensive link to more about DST than any trader could ever wish to know. So as DST approaches check in and get it right. You can always consult a world clock site.
Each trading session has a personality and unique characteristics that you should learn. One of the most important is volatility or as I call it "pip swings". If you begin to keep records you will see that certain pairs are more active and pip swings more and less violent dependent on the session trading. There are charts on the web to help you with this but my advice is to chart the four major pairs and the pair or pairs you trade for 60 days by session high and low and you will grasp value in these facts better than reading any chart.
The Aussie session, while the start of the trading day, can be considered to be a mere "opening act" as the world money is far quieter than any other time of the day. However when the Asian power begins to move in with the open of the Tokyo session get ready for more action. Be mindful that with the yen, the third most traded currency behind the EURO and the USD, power volatility and opportunity increases for the astute trader. When the Asian world begins to wrap up their trading day, the main acts are ready to take the stage.
If Sydney is an opening act, and Tokyo is Act 2, then London open is the main show for many if not most of the traders of the world. London is the Forex capital of the world. Pip ranges, liquidity, and opportunity increases dramatically. Placing trades at this time frequently can be done with smaller spreads. Beware... the pros are here ready to take the money of the novice trader. Consider what a shark must think when he is near shore with hundreds perhaps thousands of unsuspecting people swimming a few yards away. He has one thing on his mind... lunch. The professional speculators and traders are eager to separate you from your money so before trading the London session make sure to do lots of homework at Ace Gazette Traders Academy or similar location for education and support.
When New York begins and the overlapping of London occurs think the perfect storm... opportunity and risk rise dramatically and you need to be on your toes. Trend reversals, breakouts and news events again create a wide ranges that can yield great profits or cause great loss.
The most currency trades per hour occur typically during the overlap. Since a large percentage of all currency involve USD on one side of the other the swings often are really violent. Traders from the previous sessions are taking profits or losses.
So there you have it... when the FOREX world begins and ends. One last thing when you think you have it all figured out... think again Forex is a living breathing organism that is continually changing. The session times are fixed but the traders will and often do move to a session when there are unsuspected and pounce on the novices. Find the session or sessions that best fits your personality and ability. Consider the spreads and opportunity but also consider the risks. Please contact me if you have questions or suggestion for improvements for the content of this article.