The Wait for the iPhone 5 Hits Asia Tech Stocks

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In the past, releases of the Apple iPhone have usually been well received by consumers, with sales numbers being quite good for Apple, even if not all users and technology reviewers were completely satisfied with the features of the device.Many are anxious to see what the iPhone 5 will be able to do when it comes out in September, but this waiting has started to have a negative effect on some Asian stocks. Apple’s quarterly earnings have been below expectations lately, mainly because many consumers are holding off purchasing a new iPhone until the 5th edition comes out in a few months. This has had repercussions not only for Apple, but also for its supply chain.

While Apple has developed the device, it relies on a supply chain in Asia to manufacture many of its components, such as the circuit boards and the screen. It is thus normal that when Apple’s numbers are down, Asian tech stocks belonging to firms in Apple’s supply chain take a hit. Some of the companies whose stocks went down include Foxconn, the company that assembles the iPhone and makes some of its components.

This is because a large amount of revenue for the company comes from production of Apple devices, such as the iPhone and the iPad tablet. Japanese companies such as Ibiden, which manufactures circuit boards and Toshiba, who make memory chips, have also seen their shares go down.Anyone investing in Asian technology stocks should seek advice from a professional financial adviser, preferably one that has experience in tech stocks in the Asian market. While these shares may eventually rebound, exactly when this will happen is open to some speculation. Some market analysts are now predicting that Apple’s earnings may not be too good for the next quarter and may continue to be low until the iPhone 5 launches later in 2012.

While current predictions say that the device is going to be ready for launch in late September of 2012, it should be noted that no official release date has been put forward by Apple for now. Therefore, the exact moment where the earning of Apple and tech stock prices in Asia are going to be up is not yet known.It makes sense that periods where stock prices are down would be times where it may be profitable to buy shares. However investors will need to know that the Asian tech market is subject to volatility, especially among companies where a large percentage of their revenue is tied to one specific device. Investors should be careful where they will be putting their money, diversifying their portfolio regularly and following technological news and trends so that they have a better idea of how their stocks will do.

Still Too Early to Cheer Housing Starts

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We recently learned that housing starts “beat” expectations in November, rising 3.9% over the previous month. I am not a housing expert, but I thought increasing supply in an already oversaturated market with depressed demand is a bad thing. However, a recent Bloomberg article discusses why more homebuilding is a positive for the economy as it would add a significant amount of jobs to the economy. While this may be true, I believe improvement would be offset by a continuing decline in home prices.Home prices still falling:- Despite the dubious calls that say housing has bottomed or that real estate is the buy of the decade, the fact of the matter is that home prices are still falling in most areas of the country. The most recent Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller composite home price index showed home prices fell in all 20 cities that the index tracks in October from the previous month. This was even worse than September, when only 18 of 20 metro areas posted declines from the previous reading. In October, the index fell by 1.3% from September, which is good for 0.8% decline year-over-year. That is pretty substantial, folks, especially in the face of the declines that have already occurred.Zillow Real Estate Research estimates that by the end of the year, home prices in the United States might fall by more than $1.7 trillion, which is also significantly higher than the $1 trillion drop last year.Another huge hurdle for the industry is the still-increasing number of foreclosures that add to the housing inventory. In fact, in the third quarter, more than 288,000 homes were foreclosed on a record high that was an increase of 7% over the previous three months and 22% year-over-year increase. The number of foreclosures in the fourth quarter is expected to decline as a result of banks like Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM), and PNC Bank (NYSE: PNC) placing a temporary moratorium on foreclosures because of the Robo-signer fiasco. However, the banks’ issues do not change the fact that many homeowners are still underwater and at risk of foreclosure.Conflicting views on housing:- Some turned more bullish on housing and the homebuilders in particular when Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL) recently reported a profit after 11 straight quarterly losses, even though the profit was primarily because of tax benefits from a reversal of a valuation allowance. Nonetheless, the company’s CEO said he expects to see improvement in the market in 2011 and that 2012 will be a “big year.”We also recently heard from another good indicator of the housing market: home improvement retailers Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW). While both companies posted decent quarters thanks to cost-cutting and operational efficiencies, neither of their CEOs was bullish on the housing market and said consumers have been slow to spend money on their houses.Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock does not yet see any upside in the housing market and believes that home prices will continue to fall next year.No home improvement:- The number of new homes being built does remain at historically low levels, which I believe is a good thing as the data I reference shows a housing market in which stabilization has still not occurred and home prices that on average are not poised to rise in the near future. While opinions may differ, I believe the time is still not right to cheer an increase in housing starts. Perhaps the headline this month should read that housing starts “missed” expectations. At least then I could get more bullish on the housing sector.

3 Easy Ways to Boost Your Stock Market Profits

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People always want to know how they can improve their profits in the stock market. And I keep telling them it’s simple. There are three easy things you can do right now to boost your returns. It’s so easy.It really is.Here are the 3 steps you can take:1. Only buy the best ETFs – ones that are already going up 2. Avoid high fees 3. Keep a risk balanced portfolio.That’s it. Those are pretty easy things you can implement immediately. If you can do this, you can make money in the stock market.

The rules for successful stock market trading aren’t hard. But despite that, the average 401k investor in the stock market gets creamed by the stock market.A formal study from the stuffy Journal of Pension Benefits documents the horrible performance of most investors. Here’s what it says:”The elephant in the room that no one seems to want to discuss is that individual investors as a whole do a poor job managing their own is, by and large, a recipe for has long been known that individual investors don’t typically fare well in their efforts at do-it-yourself investing.”This notion has been validated by numerous studies, including one by Dalbar, Inc., which revealed the staggering margin by which the average individual investor trails the returns of the broader market.

Here’s what Dalbar, Inc. says:”Wow. Nobody wants to talk about it, it’s that bad. When the stock market only makes 8% per year, giving away 6% eats up almost all of the possible returns. In fact, it’s possible you’ll get a better return from Social Security than you will from the stock market.”Fortunately, there is help.Improving Your Returns with True DiversificationThere is more to making money than just blindly hopping on the trends.If you want to really make money, you need to take active control of your can’t just sit back and gripe about your lousy returns when you’re not doing anything to prevent best way to improve the performance of any trading strategy is to balance the risk taken on each trade.Diversification works wonders for increasing returns. But it only works when you actually diversify.Most people do not get similar exposure to the risk of their investments. They dramatically over-invest in some of their portfolio, and under-invest in others. It’s like only watering ?? of your garden but expecting it all to grow.To get great returns, you need to give each and every investment a fighting chance to make money for your portfolio. Each investment needs to be able to provide meaningful returns for you to make real money.

Many people split their portfolio 50-50 or 60-40 between stocks and bonds. This doesn’t work. It ends up being only slightly better than burning $100 bills in a fire. Why? Stocks are 3-4 times more volatile than bonds. All of the returns and risk are due to what happens to the stocks in the portfolio.The only way bonds will have equal impact on the portfolio is for the allocation to be 75% bonds, 25% stocks – or even higher.You can balance the dollar amount allocated to an ETF selection by the risk taken by each ETF. You can do this in your other accounts also.You can take into account how much risk each ETF has, and then adjust the amount of shares to trade. That way you know you get equal exposure to each of your investments. This came in extremely helpful this month for me because the month allocated extra dollars to real estate and preferred stocks,which have outperformed the S&P 500. That’s how true diversification can help you also.As a result, your system could be up about .5%, while the S&P 500 is down nearly a full percent. Instead of under-performing the stock market by 6% a year, your system can outperform the stock market, in this case by nearly 8% per year.

When you create a system to allocate your funds, your system should tell you exactly how many shares of each ETF to buy so you’re not under- or over-investing. Risk balancing works great for really pushing returns upwards. If you want to know the steps – and are a real math geek – here you go:1. Find ATR: Find the Average True Range (ATR) for each of your Stocks/ETFs 2. Find Volatility: Divide the ATR by the Price of the Stock/ETF 3. Invert Volatility: Take 1/(Step 2) for every stock Find Total Vol: Total up Step 3 for your entire portfolio 4. Find Percent Allocation: Divide Step 3 by the total given Step 4Step 5 will give you the percentage of your account that you should allocate to that investment. It’s a bit complicated, but you can do it. An easier way would be to have someone else do it for you. Either way, you can outperform the S&P and give your accounts the boost you want.Copyright ?? 2012 Trend Following 101

Gain The Expertise To Identify The Perfect Time To Buy Shares

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People invest in shares and most of them do not make enough profits in selling them because they do not know the exact time to buy shares. Having the expertise to understand the movements of the market and the trends which indicate the correct time to collect shares from the market will help you to when get a substantial profit when you sell. There are experienced people in the share trading circle, who are able to identify the right time to buy shares of a particular chip.

The main indicator is the stock market, which has its own ups and downs resulting from different pressure points on economy. The stocks may even slide down during a positive economic trend and may push up even in when the economy is experiencing dull conditions. In short, there is enough scope to collect shares when the market is weak by paying lower prices for them. However, the true value of shares cannot be estimated in this condition. The indications spell out a simple formula to sell when the market is high and buy shares when the market is dull.

Make a study and buy shares
Study the value of the shares you are interested in before you buy shares. Dividend estimation is a qualified measurement scale for knowing the value of a particular share. The dividend yield is to be computed on the current price of the share and the dividend declared for the next phase. The market goes down with low dividend yields and the mood of the investor is always in favor of a higher dividend to buy shares.

The market may appreciate – lower prices with higher dividends – and may respond positively to them in this situation. The dividend yield can make a long-term trend of shares and you can buy shares during this condition. The price-dividend declaration is another important aspect of estimating the market for a particular share. This is the dividend yield expressed in terms of percentage.

Dividends are taken out of the company’s earnings, but they do not fluctuate – unlike the earnings – and are always paid by the company to shareholders irrespective of the functioning of the company. When you are ready to make your investments and buy shares, you do not have to look at the earnings of the company. Instead, you must understand the dividends declaration from the company for your profits.

There is another aspect that you should also look into: the value of a share in the company?s book. This is the book value of a share of the company. It is estimated from the net worth of the company in relation to the number of shares. With the book value of a share, you are able to know the current condition of the price of the share – i.e., whether it is undervalued or overvalued. When the price of the share is low relative to the book value (or undervalued), you should buy shares in the situation. Conversely, when the price of a share is exceptionally high relative to the book value of the share, it is the right time to sell for profit.

Investment Products Fixed Deposit Versus Stocks

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Before understanding the importance and the use of fixed deposit calculator it is essential to know the meaning of fixed deposit.Well, a fixed deposit is an investment product. It is one of the most popular options available in the financial market today; especially for people who would like their money to be safe and at the same time seek guaranteed protection from the vagaries of financial markets.In simple terms, a certain amount of money is placed with the bank, as deposit. This deposit earns interest depending upon the prevailing rates.

The accrued interest along with the principle amount is then returned to the account holder at the end of the term which can range from fifteen days to ten years. Interest is calculated on monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or on annual basis and then added to the principle amount.Typically, the funds cannot be withdrawn before the end of the term.Here are some of the advantages of fixed deposits.1. Extremely safe.2. Protection against market vagaries.3. Loans can be availed on such deposits (up to 75%).A fixed deposit calculator is an application to calculate the maturity amount. Many websites offer this software.

The user simply inputs various parameters such as amount, deposit period to get the net amount payable to them after the end of the term.They are Bombay Stock Exchange or BSE and National Stock Exchange or NSE. It is advisable to screen the stocks before buying. Stock screeners are basically research tools, some of which are free, while some come with a big price tag. BSE stock screener helps in identifying the weaknesses and the strong points of a company.Once you have understood the risk factor involved and screened the stock, the next step is to select a broker who will help you in buying or selling as the case maybe.You will also need to learn the technical terms of stock trading, such as market order, stop loss, margins and block purchase. They may sound difficult to interpret but over a period of time and with the help of your broker, these terms may not overwhelm you.Finally, you will need an account with a bank to trade in stocks.

Will This Great Stock Turn Around?

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While some U.S.-listed Chinese stocks are enjoying renewed enthusiasm from investors, many are not doing anything in this market. Business is great, but most investors still don’t have the appetite right now for highly speculative securities. This is not a surprise.

Case in point: Focus Media Holding Limited (NASDAQ/FMCN). This is one exciting company that is uniquely positioned in an industry that is flourishing in Asia.

I first wrote about this company in this column back in November 2006 and have been following it ever since.

Focus Media runs the largest advertising network in China, using flat-panel screens in all kinds of places from supermarkets to elevators. The company’s televisions provide the platform for big corporate customers to advertise directly to a wealthier, white-collar target market. Some of the company’s customers include Motorola, P&G, China Telecom, and Toyota.

November of last year was a turning point for the broader stock market, and for many U.S.-listed Chinese stocks like Focus Media. At that time, Focus Media hit a new record high of a split-adjusted $66.30 per share, more than double its price from a year earlier. Not surprisingly, this stock pulled back significantly with the correction and is now trading around $37.00 per share.

Of course, the company’s fundamentals haven’t changed and the stock didn’t move lower because of lots of selling. It pulled back more so from an absence of buyers.

The thing about investing in speculative stocks is that you never really know if or when the stock will take off. A company like Focus Media is an innovator in its industry and its stock is now much more attractively priced. The only question is: will the stock turn around? And if so, when?

Commodity Trading Blunders I, Part 2 – My Early Days As A Novice Trader

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There is always “year one” for every commodity futures trader. I had mine and made every mistake a trader can make and more. Here’s my story of how I stumbled into the lion’s den, got gored a few times and even made some money. My hope is that beginners will read this and avoid some of the more obvious stuff. Here’s to all new traders!

The final day the Boston Broker From Hell called, I was loaded for bear. I asked him how much?he charged for commissions. He balked and tried to sidestep it. After a while I got him to admit they were taking $4,500 off the top to cover commissions. $4,500 chopped from a $15,000 account! That?s over 30%. He said that over a year’s?trading?I would blow that much in futures commissions anyway. I later figured out they would put you into a futures contract position and let it sit until the margin call came or they rolled it into another trade. If the money grew, they would want another cut off the top. Gads. Needless to say, I insulted him and hung up.

A month later he called back and beat me up again. Sugar future contracts was now at 15 cents and I would have been up $16,000! Well, after their commission chop, make that $10,500. The kid was cockier than before and was really sounding smug. Now he wanted me to get into lumber futures.

But by this time I had read a commodity trading book called, ?Trident – a trading strategy,? written by Lindsey. A young Larry Williams was one of the promoters for the seminars. It was a $1500 seminar. I didn?t attend – just read the book. I was now enlightened. I told the Kid from Boston, ?the swing objective of sugar is 18 cents.? I asked him why I needed to pay his $4,500 commissions when I had all the answers… HA! He realized I was a lost cause and said good bye for good.

As a fitting epitaph, I understand the CFTC shut them down and they were fined for violations years later. I guess I dodged a commission bullet. Despite it all, I might have lucked out and made money?in?this great sugar bull market. Commodity bull markets can often forgive stupid blunders and mistakes along the way. We can be sloppy as heck and still do well at times, until the bull party ends.

Reading can be a powerful thing, especially with today?s wonderful internet. Be fully informed before you make a decision ? especially if you’re new to the game. Just because firms and commodity brokers are registered with the NFA and CFTC doesn’t mean a few won?t try to take advantage of you.

The modern day version is the so called, ?$200 commission commodity houses.? They usually put your entire $5,000 account into five $800 options at a $250 commission each. To demonstrate how heavy these expenses are, if you broke even with entry and exit price on FOUR successive trades, your account would be wiped out from option commissions alone. FOUR trades (five options each trade) equal $5,000 in commissions. Yikes! Then there’s the offshore Forex option scams. Please be careful out there.

Part Three of Four – Next!

There is substantial risk of loss trading futures and options and may not be suitable for all types of investors. Only risk capital should be used.

Trading Commodity Futures – Intuitively Day Trading The S&p 500 And E-mini – Part 4

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Every trading market has its own special patterns and oddities that will communicate its intentions. Patterns don’t always work every time of course, but even that can be a clue of underlying extreme weakness or strength. Just like knowing a spouse well, learning to read your special market can pay dividends. Read on to learn more…

More Observations From My Trading Notes:

“After a BIG, major e-mini decline, wait for the secondary test ? the first spike is TOO EARLY ? the second test pays off faster and may even be a better buy. It?s also a chance to see if the ticks confirm a higher bottom, volume comes in and price action looks like the market is going much lower to scare the sheep. If this scary secondary low does not hold, then something is definitely wrong and the market is likely going MUCH lower afterwards.”

Yes, the old panic and double bottom. ?Scaring the sheep? is one of my favorite sayings with the e-mini market. The sheep usually herd themselves into the middle ranges. They love to buy and sell there to feel comfortable.

The middle is a nice place to enter at first, but actually, the risk is higher later. When the e-mini market swings hard to the rails, it always dumps some of the sheep out of the truck onto the road for the wolves to get. The other sheep are watching and hoping it won’t happen to them, also. They hold on tighter but some of them jump to their deaths anyway. That?s what you want to see. If you train yourself to be an extreme range commodity futures buyer and seller despite feeling this fear, then you are progressing. It’s an unnatural thing to do. That’s a good thing.

This fear is a good indication of an intermediate pivot point. It’s nice to be on the sidelines ready to enter. This is a great position in itself. You want to feel scared without even having your money in yet – that?s what you’re looking for. Feeling comfortable about entering an e-mini futures trade is a red flag, believe me. You want a ?shaky hand? on the mouse when it clicks. No one is so good and confident in their forecast not to feel fear, unless they are a market psychic (unlikely) or have nothing personal to lose. (more likely)

Observation:

?Much patience is needed for a move to evolve, once entered.?
?
We?ve talked about this before. I guess I kept writing it down throughout my notes because I often violate it. In fact, if I read over the full fifty-five pages, I see themes that emerge. To become a better e-mini futures trader than you are now, you need to write this stuff down and constantly review it. I?m always amazed at how much I forget, even after reading it over and over.

But after a long time of reviewing, it becomes second nature and part of your instinctive intuition. That?s your goal. You want the lessons and rules you have observed over time to trigger something inside your body whenever an e-mini turning point is taking place. When it happens with me I feel this funny swinging of my head, like I?m getting into balance. I also get a fearful feeling knowing that I soon need to put myself at risk. Your own trading trigger will probably be different.

Effective, intuitive, discretionary, e-mini commodity futures trading is acting on your own internal signals when they occur in real time. (read that again) It’s not easy. If it was easy for everyone to learn, the market would not pay much for this skill now, would it?

Good Trading!

There is substantial risk of loss trading futures and options and may not be suitable for all types of investors. Only risk capital should be used.

Online Stock Brokers

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ONLINE stock brokers: the experts of ideas

Oh! So you have heard about online trading. But are you aware of aviate experience of online brokerage. Well it?s not your fault if it sounds only faintly familiar. Technology has ensured that one is well acquainted and familiar with traditions of increasing technology while other may be left totally ignorant over the scene. Let me clear this concept.

Online brokerage is the amount charged from online traders to trade online in return of better assistance to deal in stocks. This brokerage is paid to brokers who act as facilitators of trading in stock exchange. Unlike, traditional way of trading, here a trader may trade directly but the firm or individual he is associated with has to be paid off. Obviously not every investor can afford the heavy duty direct licenses to trade in stocks.

Hence, these brokers are mediators to sort out that trading. They are not only mediators; they act as supporters for traders. They guide day trading concepts to ad up to better understanding and get optimized profits. They are experienced and provide their expertise to beginners and experts too.

Now the question arises from where these stock brokers can be contacted from. The answer lies in the laps of technology. Yes, they are available online. Most of today?s share brokerage firm posses their websites from where the details regarding their brokerage terms and past records are available.

Being a competitive brokerage, the situation gets biased to the investors. The brokerages offered are as low as $3 for each transaction. Deep discount brokerages serve a decent opportunity to grab to. A low as $1 and so is charged per trade that allows investor to cut off the brokerage expenses. These opportunities tend to increase the trading in stock market at low bites from the investments made.

Apart being acting as catalyst these firms provide useful tips to trade in stocks. These tips may include the forecasted mood of share markets and the expected fluctuation in the price of a share, hence, catering to the need of clearing the cloudy environment while investments.

For all these benefits, all you have to do is to go to the chosen firm?s website and get an account opened there. With in few clicks you can open your account to trade as enjoy the services provided by online brokers. Opening an account with a firm provides you to access the stock exchange on your PC as the relative software is uploaded by the members of those firm. For beginners, they generally provide guidelines of how to trade and how to use trade persisting software?s. The benefits of online brokers? lies in the fact that the useful tips are received sitting at your laptop trading from home.

However, few cautions have to be considered before opening an account with any firm. The past records and the brokerage rates are the most important to be analyzed. The amount of brokerage has to be paid with each transaction; hence, lower brokerage favors the traders. Moreover, the facilities and mode of transferring payments should also be checked so as to avoid any confusion in relative future.

As such, discount brokerages provided by the firm act as sheer combination of meaningful trade at low rates, however, these are generally offered to people with large turnovers, but no more grievance to this clause as increasing competition is letting the brokerage rates fall every time and letting even small investors enjoy the benefits of low commission rate online brokerages.

Commodity Futures Trading – What Is Your Trading Edge? – Part 3

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Finding your very own unique commodity trading edge is a worthwhile goal. Without one you are lost in the masses, struggling to push your head above the sea of expenses. Trading edges do exist, though for short periods of time. Psychological edges are more permanent. You need many. Read on to find how to go about finding yours.

It?s breathtaking to watch a certain trading method working well and then see the market find a way to destroy these same participants in one sharp move. An example is when commodity option traders are writing (selling) options over an extended period of time. They?re taking in premiums like fat cats. Happy. Quiet market. The percentages can be upwards of 90% accuracy selling way out-of-the-money futures options in a dull or choppy market. The profits are small, but consistent.

Then the day of reckoning arrives and a move way out of the standard deviation spikes like a lightning bolt. They drag some option writers out by their boots. A well known example was in 1998 when a famous money manager was selling thousands of out-of-the-money S&P 500 puts. The market took a free fall dive. He lost a big chunk of his $100 million+ managed commodity fund in a few days. I remember it well because a partner and I were long an eighty-lot of put options on the other side of his trade. We made the biggest score of our lives. But it had much to do with luck and being there at the right time. It happens at least once to everyone. Heck, just being born is the longest shot going.

Right now I love the S&P 500 futures contract (e-mini) day-trading game. I?ve traded it actively for the last twelve years. It pays to focus on one or two commodity futures markets and learn it well. This is the key to getting an edge when day-trading. Some day-traders can spread themselves out and apply similar techniques to many commodity markets. God bless them. But I find I need to learn all the patterns, habits, and idiosyncrasies of one market to be competitive. Just like doctors who specialize.

Can you imagine a heart surgeon trying brain surgery, or even doing plastic surgery? It?s the same with markets. The more you focus and specialize, the better job you can do competing against the best minds in the commodity world out there. I have some methods I will suggest in later articles to focus and better learn your favorite futures market. This doesn’t mean you can’t hold long-term positions of other commodities while day trading. You can do both, but for day trading itself, you should focus on only one or two markets.

As I?ve said before, it’s so important to train your brain to intuitively and subconsciously identify likely turning points as they occur. With practice, you will find signals going off in your body. It?s different for everyone. Your body will let you know when it?s time to put on or take off a commodity trade. But, it takes training and looking at the right indications with a trained mind. More to come in future articles.

Good Trading!

There is substantial risk of loss trading futures and options and may not be suitable for all types of investors. Only risk capital should be used.