The Growing Popularity of Trading

There’s no doubt that trading has become more popular over the past decade or more. For some investors, working from home, where ever home might be, and earning consistent profits through trading stocks, options, futures, or currencies, is both appealing and lucrative.

On top of that, markets are more accessible than ever, information is readily available and internet access has become widespread. Perhaps even more importantly, experts are willing to share their knowledge, so mentoring and coaching help are accessible.

However, no one is saying that trading to earn money is easy. You need market knowledge, a willingness to dig deep on technical patterns and an understanding that all trading requires some level of risk.

Successful trading also requires a specialized mindset, an idea explored in my 2014 co-authored book, The Winning Way.

3 Traits Every Trader Needs

In The Winning Way book, we look at three psychological mindsets that are necessary for a trader, regardless of experience, to be successful. Those mindsets are: one, accept market uncertainty; two, focus on the “now”; and three, think probability.

I thought it would be useful to outline these qualities in a little more detail here.

Accept Market Uncertainty

You have to believe that each trade is a random event and the outcome is out of your control and beyond any kind of analysis. Unless you know what each of the millions and millions of investors and other market participants are betting on each day, it’s impossible to predict what the markets will do.

I began making a trading profit when I started to believe in my own tools and systems for trading. I accepted that markets are uncertain and that leads to randomly distributed winners and losers, at least in the short term. However, in the long run, I trust that my edge gives me a higher probability of winning than losing.

Focus on Now

We’ve all been conditioned to learn from past experience. That works, mostly, since a change in behaviour usually leads to a different outcome. But in trading, it is detrimental to associate current trading decisions with past results. As every mutual fund prospectus tell us: Past results are not indicative of future performance. Professional traders understand that each trade is random, operating independently of previous trades.

Great traders focus only on opportunities that are happening right now.

Think Probability

The focus on uncertain markets can be difficult for some traders as they wonder how to achieve consistent and profitable results in such an environment. Although markets are uncertain in the short run, long-term predictable results are achievable. Your own trading strategies and systems give you an edge. You will have both winning and losing trades in the short run, and in the long run your edge will give you a higher probability of winning than losing. Being able to understand probability also helps you become a more disciplined trader. You will be able to trade with less emotion, allowing you to think more clearly and ultimately make better trading decisions.

My Story

I started trading in 2001. By 2003, my initial success had disappeared. I was spending thousands of dollars on complex trading systems that just didn’t work. In short, I was struggling to find a new path that would suit my goals.

At that time, I was fortunate enough to meet the late George Fontanills, one of most respected options traders in the world. I needed George to help me understand my trading personality and what type of trading would be most suitable for me. More importantly, I needed a mentor to send me on the path of developing a winning mindset.

George mentored me on trading strategies and techniques, but most importantly, he guided me to my own trading personality. He knew I wasn’t suited to day trading, because I hated the idea of staring at a screen all day. He also knew I didn’t have the patience for long-term trading. So he came up with the idea of short-term or swing trading.

Swing Trading

The timeframe of my trades is anywhere from a few days to a few months, depending on the stock and market volatility. And because swing patterns are highly repetitive and happen over and over again, stock movements can be predicted with a high degree of accuracy.

George was able to pinpoint my strengths and weaknesses as a trader. He taught me valuable risk management skills and how to protect my trading capital. He also taught me how to trade small but win big, and how to scale up. Under George, I learned to focus on mastering one or two markets before expanding into other areas of trading.

In conclusion, I believe that you must apply the three psychological mindsets mentioned above at all times to keep trading simple. If you can do all that, you will see a breakthrough in your trading, and very soon you will become a consistent and profitable trader well on your way to achieving success.

Risks of Business Where Product Transportation Is Required

If you’re a business owner looking to make some money, you may or may not run into a situation where you have to transport your goods. Depending on the size of your product and where you created it and where you ship it to, there may be some transportation involved. This situation may mean you have to transport via truck, or post office, or train, or even airplane. In all those cases, issues can happen that affect your stock’s movement.

If your product is in a truck, there’s always the risk of an accident. If you don’t know where your product is produced, you could run into issues with non-transparent outsourcing. Any time there’s transportation, there can be delays in movement. And warehousing logistics can be a nightmare depending on the reliability of the locations that you use.

Trucking Accidents

On the road, accidents happen. That means if you’re using a truck to transport goods, there’s always a chance there could be a trucking accident on the highway. Not only do you have to deal with the fallout from a vehicle accident report, but your products may also be damaged or ruined that were in the vehicle itself. Making sure you have the right kind of insurance and also know legal implications of trucking accidents is a good idea before you put your items on the road.

Non-Transparent Outsourcing

For larger companies, product development, creation, and transport may happen outside of the view of the people in charge. When this occurs, sometimes transparency suffers. Managers and owners may not understand the exact details of production facilities, employee safety, or transportation method. It is risky to trust everyone in your production line to handle all of the essential details and quality control of your product, but it is a necessity after your company reaches a certain size.

Traffic and Transport Delays

Especially if you’re shipping your products from one geographic region to another, there can be all sorts of traffic and transport delays. Consider that trucks have trouble transporting goods over icy mountains, or that certain weather conditions make it so that your shipment of products don’t make it from one major urban center to another in the right amount of time. There’s always a time risk when you’re trying to move items from one place to another.

Warehousing Logistics

It can often be inefficient to own a warehouse. That means that you have to rely on another company to house your products. And then when people order things from you, you aren’t always going to own the trucks that move items from the warehouse to another location. Again, this is where risks come into play if you aren’t intimately familiar with the equipment and the people that are in charge of your stock.

How a foreign investor can set up a Dutch BV

The Netherlands is a top investment destination in Europe and one of the most performant economies of the European Union which is why it attracts many foreign enterprisers who feel at home there. They benefit from incentives in emerging industries like research and development, renewable energy, financial technology and blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

No matter the field one wants to activate in, there are a few steps to be completed, from both a legal and non-legal point of view. These steps are related to the registration of the business form.

Among the non-legal procedures which are not mandatory, but optional and recommended, is choosing the type of structure. Among the types of companies preferred by foreigners is the limited liability company, shortly known as the BV in the Netherlands.

What does a foreigner need to start a BV in the Netherlands?

Foreigners have the same rights as local investors when choosing to open a company in the Netherlands. Actually, it would be fair to say that there are some tax advantages for foreign citizens moving to this country, so the state makes no difference between a local and a foreigner who wants to open a Dutch BV.

We’ve mentioned earlier some optional steps for foreign investors who decide to start any type of business in the Netherlands. These would be a market research and a viable business plan which will help them once they start. Then, the legal procedure will follow.

The legal steps to register a Dutch limited liability company

There is nothing to fear when it comes to the actual registration of the company with the competent authorities, which in the Netherlands are the Trade Register and the tax authorities. One will first need to prepare some documents and find a location to serve as a registered address or company seat. Also, a manager for the company must be appointed before registering the company.

The business owner will also want to have some company names prepared in order to submit them with the Trade Register. Out of the two or three names, one will be approved as the company’s trade name.

The first stop will be at a public notary’s office where the incorporation documents of the company will be drafted and notarized. These must be drafted in Dutch.

The business name reservation, together with the incorporation documents and passport copies will be filed with the Companies Register for approval. Once they are approved, the company will be issued a certificate of incorporate and a unique number called a registration number.

Additional requirements after registering the company

The business registration process does not stop once the company has its registration number, as there are a few more steps to complete. We mentioned the tax authorities earlier, so the next stop should be there in order to obtain the tax and VAT registration numbers. Based on these, the company will be ready to engage into commercial activities.

An important aspect which should be considered when starting a business in the Netherlands is the license to operate. The procedure here will differ from one activity to another. There are various requirements and specific documents which must be filed for approval with the authority in charge of the respective field. Luckily, most of these procedures are completed online.

Setting up a Dutch BV is not complicated thanks to the government which has streamlined the procedures and documents as much as possible. The authorities here also do a very good job, as most of the process is completed online, so a foreigner can have this type of company registered in almost a week.


5 Essentials to Finding an Online Forex Broker to Explode Your Forex Profits

Forex trading is continuously growing and getting more and more popular with each passing day. The reason for such a vigorous increase in Forex trading and investment is the fact that it lets the users be a part of global market and access to global currencies at any time out of the 24 hours of the day. If you are willing to invest in Canadian currency market through Forex brokers Canada, the following tips will help you in finding matchless Forex brokers Canada that will maximize your profits.

Validate IIROC regulations

When we talk about Forex trading in Canadian currency it is essential to determine that the online broker which you are looking at must be regulated by IIROC. IIROC is the acronym of Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and it has the responsibility of looking after the investments made on the federal level. IIROC regulation is a must have for Forex brokers in Canada. By following this major step, you ensure that your potential Forex Brokers Canada comply with the rules and disciplines determined by this agency thus, eliminating any chances of illegal and fraudulent actions. You can find out whether a Forex brokers Canada are regulated by IIROC or not by performing due diligence of central registry of this Commission or by directly checking on commission’s website.

Deduce currency pairs

All the forex trading currencies are segregated into three major categories which are briefed as

  •    Major pairs include the USD currency along with the seven most traded currencies
  •    Minor pairs have the most-traded currencies excluding the USD currency
  •    Exotic pairs comprise upon all the lesser traded currencies.

When picking online Forex brokers Canada, make sure that you are getting profiting currency pairs from each category.

Investigate the Spread offered

Spread, in terms of Forex trading, refers to the difference which is obtained by analyzing the buys and sales prices of the allotted currency pairs.  If the spread is high, the brokers make more profit and vice versa. In usual conditions, tight spreads are offered on popular and major category currency pairs. Whereas, the spreads offered on less popular currencies have a wider value. The spread offered by one broker is not the same as that of the next broker. Therefore, pick your Forex brokers Canada wisely.   

Determine leverage risks

The extra amount of investment spent on Forex trading, leverage, shall be carefully decided as it can lead to drastic consequences in case of misfortunate trading. It is advised to carefully weigh all the risks and dangers before making any leverage in Forex trading.

Decide the type of trading platforms

Forex brokers Canada either offers an online Forex trading platform or a PC downloadable trading platform.  Responsive trading platforms and Meta-trading platforms are also other options. Do research before deciding on any kind of platform.

Find out the payment options, fees and time taken

It is essential to ask and determine the deposit options, transfer and conversion fees as well time taken by the Forex brokers Canada to process it. Although perceived as minor considerations, these factors can actually boost up your profit by saving extra expenses.

Why you need to trade the market with a professional broker

Trading profession is one of the most sophisticated business in the world. You have to use your intellect to find the best trades. Those who are trading the market for a long period of time always consider this profession as their business. You have to develop a simple trading strategy to make consistent profit from this market. Those who consider this trading industry as a shortcut way to becoming rich always lose money. On the contrary, the expert traders always consider the risk factors of the market. Some of you might think that you can cut down your trading cost by using a low-grade broker but this is not true. It’s true that the low-end broker will give you different kinds of bonus but this will never help you to become successful traders. Let’s learn why you should trade the market with a reputed broker.

Offers you high-quality trading environment

The retail traders are not concerned about the quality of their trading environment. If you become a day trader it’s highly imperative you have access to the premium trading environment. A single second delay in your trade execution can cause catastrophic loss to your trades. Your broker needs to offer lightning-fast trade execution since it is the best way to save yourself from the slippage. But never think that you will have zero slippage in the retail trading industry. Regardless the quality of your brokerage firm you will always have face to face slippage. But choosing a reputed broker will save a huge amount of money in the long run since you will have minimum slippage most of the time.

Access to professional trading platform

You have to gain access to the advanced trading tools to do the perfect market analysis. If you trade with the low-end broker you will never gain access to the premium trading platform. Due to this fact, many expert traders often consider Asian introducing broker as their primary broker. They offer one of the best trading platforms in the retail trading industry equipped with advanced trading tools. Some of you might say that you don’t need any access to the premium trading tools but this is not all true. If you start doing the market analysis with advanced tools, you will find significant improvement in your trading career.

High-quality customer service

You have to understand the importance high-quality customer service in Forex market. If you trade with a low-grade broker you will never find a quick solution to an existing problem. As a full-time trader it’s very likely that you will face some problems with your live trading. In such case, the expert customer service will give you a very clear guideline to solve your problem. Some of you might even face a problem with deposit and withdrawal process. This is where the expert customer service will become helpful to you.

Safety of your funds

Those who really want to consider trading as their full-time profession should always consider professional brokerage firms. If you trade with an average broker you will never get proper safety for your investment. Due to this fact, many people are considering Juno market as their primary broker since they have all regulations to conduct their service in the retail trading industry. Trading is not about making consistent profit from this industry. It’s how well you manage your trade in the Forex market. So make sure you do some extensive research and find the perfect broker for your trading. Stop trading the market with an average broker since it will significantly increase your risk exposure.

If you can understand these three key advantage of reputed broker you will never trade with the low-end broker. Being a full-time trader, it’s your duty to ensure your fund’s safety.

4 Alternative Investments Every Investor Should Know

When it comes to investments, most people place their bets on stocks and bonds. Some adventurous investors may put money in an REIT (real estate investment trust) or a metals ETF as a way to invest in real estate or metals.

But there are other investment options out there that don’t involve a broker.

1. Gold

Gold is one of the oldest and most popular forms of alternative investment. It’s a tangible, liquid asset that offers long-term value. Even today, it remains a strong competitor to stocks. And when economies fall on hard times, gold becomes a rescue asset; a safe haven.

Purchasing physical gold is one way to get involved in this investment vehicle. Many people prefer this option because they can hold the gold in their hands. But you also have the option of investing indirectly through gold mining futures or stocks.

2. Real Estate

There will always be a demand for real estate – people need housing. There are some schools of investors who prefer real estate to stock or bonds.

You have a few options when investing in real estate. One way is to invest directly by purchasing property and renting it out. This can be an apartment complex, condo, single-family home, duplex, or a multi-family home. Just make the down payment, and the bank finances the rest.

When purchasing property directly, location is everything. There has to be demand, and there has to be a high probability of a good return.

Let’s say you purchased a condo in Myrtle Beach, a hot tourist destination. A one-bedroom condo with an ocean view could run you $60,000 or more. The price is right and the local economy is booming, but who will rent out your place? There’s a good chance you’ll have higher demand from tourists than residents looking for a permanent rental. In this case, your income isn’t as reliable, as tourist season fluctuates. You may be booked up for the summer, but have little-to-no income during the late fall and winter months.

If you’re looking for this type of property (vacation rentals), that’s one thing. But if you were hoping for a stable, reliable stream of rental income, you need to choose a location that is favorable to long-term renters.

3. Investments in Private Companies and Start-Ups

Private companies and start-ups need funding just like any public company. You can choose to invest directly into a start-up, known as angel investing, or a private company.

This type of investment is not for the faint of heart, however. Start-up investment is a high-risk, high-reward strategy, as many start-ups never get off the ground.

Investing directly in private companies may be a little safer, as you can target more mature companies that have established a market share.

4. Wine

Investors can enjoy a return of 6-15% annually when investing in fine wine. Prices of certain vintages can vary from one year to the next, but wines from the most sought-after vineyards tend to increase eventually as the supply becomes scarce.

How You Can Learn to Trade on Rules-Based Trading

We are creatures of habit. Habits form patterns that become rules of a sort for how we live our lives in a dependable way.

One of the most compelling illustrations of this is Danish photographer Peter Funch’s “42nd and Vanderbilt” project. He stood at that corner in New York City and from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. between 2007 and 2016 took photos of commuters on their daily pilgrimage. Many of them were the same people, day in and day out, just more grey and grizzled over time. Their faces always had the same expressions, mostly grim. Many wore the exact same shirts in 2016 that they wore in 2007, or shirts in a similar color and style. They also consistently did the same things, like holding a to-go coffee cup the same way.

That sort of habitual consistency is also frequently seen in the stock market. People who figure out how to read the patterns and act accordingly can make a lot of money, and because of that consistency, they can do so in a way that mitigates a lot of the risks of playing the market.

It’s called rules-based trading, and I should know because it’s a strategy I’ve used and share.

Rules-based trading is really a dependable approach for beginners and those with a low appetite for risk. It’s quite simple, actually, for those who do their homework and who are mindful of and keep to schedules.

It’s a way to piggy-back off the seasonal buying and selling that marks the activities of the institutional investment community, and reflects both bullish and bearish environments. Here are some examples.

On the bull side, take a look at Rockwell Automation. Between Nov. 13 and Dec. 26 in 21 of the last 23 years, the stock has gone up, with an average return of 5.76 percent. The return on options plays: 50 percent to 100 percent.

On the bear side, there’s Skecher, whose stock has declined between Sept. 14 and 27 in 17 of the last years, showing an average 6.82 percent decline. Putting options on that play will get a return of 50 percent to 100 percent.

Here’s why this system is a good one to put in place. You know what you’re getting. It’s designed to “set and forget.” You place your trade and don’t do anything more with it until it’s stopped out, the target is reached or you hit a trailing stop loss. You’re set as long as you keep it all within the precisely defined windows.

You avoid the psychological pressures of trading, but still get the fun of watching how it’s going without having to constantly be monitoring and analyzing new information. However, you do have to do your homework to identify likely targets (through data available on platforms like Yahoo Finance and Bloomberg) and apply the option strategy that fits.

Rules-based trading is an excellent way to build market knowledge and discipline that, over time, you’ll be able to take to the proverbial bank.

Certus Trading makes it easier to get into rules-based trading with our Profit Scheduler Club for options. We do the data analysis and show what options strategies will apply best, equipping you to comfortably make the trade.

Why Canadians are Investing in Real Estate Abroad

Affordability is a serious issue in Canada’s housing market. In Toronto, the average Canadian family would have to spend 45.9% of its income to cover the cost of home ownership.

Many Canadians are heading south or abroad where housing markets are more affordable.

Between April 2016 and March 2017, Canadians spent $19 billion on real estate in the United States. Experts say the exorbitant housing prices in popular cities like Vancouver and Toronto have driven many Canadians to America.

Much of the investment activity is taking place in Florida, California and Texas. We’re also seeing Canadians investing in South Carolina in cities like Myrtle Beach, which offers 60 miles of beaches, and Charleston, which is a booming market overall for investors.

Lack of inventory has pushed housing prices in the U.S. higher, but prices have increased more quickly in Canada. The market is reaching a point where real estate in the U.S. is competitive.

Canadians purchasing real estate in the U.S. spent, on average, $560,844 on property in 2017. The median purchase price also increased to $288,615 last year, up from $223,310 the previous year.

More high-net-worth Canadians are taking their real estate investments overseas. A survey from Sotheby’s International Realty found that 80% of high-net-worth clients owned at least two properties, and one-in-five owned property outside of their home country. That statistic holds true for wealthy Canadians.

Wealthy Canadians are looking to achieve long-term capital appreciation and steady yields from rental income.

Along with the United States, Canadians are buying real estate in Europe and other parts of the world. London is a favorite city for investment, although prices have increased by double-digit percentages in recent years.

Brexit has some investors fleeing the London market for more favorable areas, like Geneva or Berlin. Real estate prices in Berlin increased by 10% in 2016.

Portugal has quickly become a popular investment destination for wealthy Canadians. Villa prices have increased by almost 4% year-over-year and rental yields have exceeded 5%.

Some Canadian investors are turning to Turkey, where a penthouse apartment can be purchased for $200,000 in Istanbul. An authoritarian government and political instability may turn off some investors, but others are finding the reward is worth the risk.

In the eastern Caribbean, investors are buying properties in St. Martin, St. Barth’s and Anguilla. The Dominican Republic is another favored spot for investment, but it’s still a developing nation with “improving infrastructure.”

Turks and Caicos offers a solid high-end rental market, and is a popular destination with Canadian travelers.

Investors with even higher budgets are moving further south to South America. Panama’s stable real estate market attracts many wealthy investors.

Outside of Panama, the gateway to South America, Chile offers Canadians more for less. While the country’s currency has fallen significantly in recent years, it’s capital city of Santiago is clean and modern.

While some investors are venturing out into these higher-risk markets, experts say that most wealthy Canadian investors are sticking to tried-and-true markets, or choosing new ones based on business or ancestry.

Is a Condo a Good Investment?

If you’re looking to dive into real estate investing but don’t have the capital to invest in a development project or a single-family home, a condo may sound like a good compromise. Condominiums are generally cheaper than a detached home, and landlords have fewer maintenance issues, as the association takes care of the lawn and exterior of the building.

But just like any other investment, it’s important to thoroughly research all of the benefits and potential concerns you may face when investing in a condo.

“Too many Canadians are being seduced by the pretty pictures and stories of easy lifestyle and they end up buying into a building that is a time bomb of costs,” Kur Rosentreter, senior adviser at Manulife Securities Inc., told The Globe and Mail.

The Potential Pitfalls of a Condo Investment

Many potential investors consider condos because they sound like an attainable option. They’re cheaper than a detached home or the cost to buy into a major development project.

But experts warn that outside of the purchase price savings, condos may wind up costing more than a house.

In urban areas of Canada, the property taxes can be high. The monthly maintenance costs can also add up quickly. In addition to these costs, potential landlords must also consider that they are still responsible for the interior of the condo. If the water heater breaks, you will be in charge of replacing or repairing it.

Many condo owners also deal with unforeseen expenses. If the pool valve breaks or the community requires a major repair, condo owners will collectively be responsible for these costs.

The Potential Benefits of Investing in a Condo

Still, condos manage to remain a popular investment option, and buying in the right place has a lot to do with the success of your investment.

If the high-priced housing markets of Vancouver or Toronto are out of your reach, you may consider foreign investment if you have the means. In the United States, condo investments in along the Florida coast or in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina often provide a reliable stream of recurring income.

If you prefer to keep your investments in Canada, you may be able to capitalize on the high costs of single-family homes. Because homes are out of reach for many young people, they are left with no other option than to buy a condo.

While you must consider property taxes and maintenance costs, there is the benefit of not having to maintain the grounds. The association takes care of lawn and building maintenance. The only thing you’re responsible for is the interior of the home.

Additionally, condos offer unique amenities that attract certain types of people. Many have gyms, business centers and pools that residents are free to use. These amenities can be promoted to attract potential renters or buyers.

Ultimately, the numbers will determine whether a condo is a good investment. If you can get a nice return from selling or a decent income stream from renting, this investment option may be worth your while.

Gold Investments Remain a Solid, Long-term Component of an Investment Portfolio

Gold ended the week of March 5th with prices rising on Friday to erase a week of losses. The precious metal’s price is up over 9.93% in the past year, but it is down 16% over the course of five years. The precious metal hit highs in 2011.

USA Today discusses how gold held up against the stock market over a nine-year period.

The U.S. stock index between March 2009 and March 2018 rose 325%, providing investors with extensive returns in the process.

Gold prices were strongest following the recession, with investors turning to the precious metal in times of economic uncertainty. Gold rises when the financial world struggles or inflation rises. The price of gold has risen 43% over the nine-year period.

The precious metal has been struggling to gain traction, as the financial crisis led to a period of low inflation rates. Investor fears had also been kept under control as stock prices continued to rise, leading to gold being a less attractive investment vehicle.

A series of scams also led to investor fears rising against the precious metal. Investors chose to buy gold online, but some online sellers scammed investors out of their money. Investment scams came from companies that “held” on to their investors’ gold rather then send investors bars or gold bullions.

The gold companies didn’t have the gold stores available when investors wanted to cash out.

Investing in gold has changed, with numerous investment options available:

  1. Bullion. Direct gold ownership is offered with the gold bullion. The bullion doesn’t need to be a coin or large bar. Instead, the bullion is any form of pure or near-pure gold, which may include bars, coins or any other form of gold. Large bullion sizes make it difficult to sell a portion of your investments, so investors often choose smaller bullion bars or coins to offload their investments easier in the future.
  2. ETFs and Mutual Funds. Gold-based ETFs and mutual funds are an option. Shares represent a fixed amount of the precious metal. Funds are fast and easy to purchase or sell, and the investor doesn’t need to store the gold. Annual expense ratios are very low for gold funds, and this means that it’s an affordable investment vehicle.
  3. Futures and Options. Future contracts and options are also available in gold. The options allow for an investor to hold gold for a certain period of time and sell it off based on the expiry date. Options allow the investor to purchase gold at a pre-set price for the duration of the option if wanted.

Mutual funds may dedicate a portion of their portfolio to precious metals, but few funds will dedicate the entirety of their operations to investing in precious metals. Gold mutual funds that are gold-only have a low cost, minimum investment and don’t require significant research by the investor.

Investors can also choose to invest in gold mining companies or jewelry companies to leverage the gold market in a different way.

Owning physical gold is a top choice for large investors that find security in a tangible investment.