Identifying Traps, Inductions, and False Moves. - Forex ...
Identifying Traps, Inductions, and False Moves. - Forex ...
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Since I angered some Chads on /r/investing here's why I think China is the next "big short".
Fellow idiots, I posted this comment which seems to have angered the highly sophisticated /investing community. I don't mind being downvoted but at least provide some counter arguments if you're going to be a dick. So in the pursuit of truth and tendies for all, I have prepared some juicy due diligence (DD) for WSB Capital on why China is on the verge of collapse. TL;DR at the bottom. Point 1: Defaults in China have been accelerating aggressively, and through July 2019, 274 real estate developers filed for bankruptcy, up 50% over last year. A bonus? Many Chinese state controlled banks have been filing for bankruptcy as well. Just google "china bank defaults" or something similar. Notice how many articles there are from 2019? When the banking system fails, everything else usually fails too. Point 2:The RMB has depreciated significantly. Last time this happened, in 2015-2016, there was a significant outflow of foreign invested capital. According to the IIF, outflows reached $725bn due to the currency depreciation.. This time is different why again? I have heard some arguments why there will be less outflow this time, but I struggle to buy them. Point 3: Despite wanting to operate like a developed economy, China still has not been able to shrug off the middle income trap. Their GDP per capita is comparable to countries we normally associated with being developing/emerging markets. Tangentially related to point 10. Point 4: China is an export-dependent economy, with about 20% of their exports contributing towards their GDP. Less exporting means less GDP, less consumption (because businesses make less money, they pay people less, who in turn spend less), which has a greater effect on GDP than any declines in exports would have at face value. Guess what? Chinese exports dropped 1% in August, and August imports dropped -1%, marking the 5th month this year of negative m/m export growth.. Point 5: Business confidence has been weak in China - declining at a sustained pace worse than in 2015. When businesses feel worse, they spend less, invest less in fixed assets, hire less until they feel better about the future. Which takes me to my next point. Point 6:Fixed asset investment in China has declined 30 percentage points since 2010. While rates are low, confidence is also low, and they are sitting on a record amount of leverage, which means they simply will not be able to afford additional investment. Point 7: They are an extremely levered economy with a total debt to GDP ratio of over 300%, per the IIF, which also accounts for roughly 15% of global total fucking debt. Here's an interview with someone else talking about it too. Point 8: Their central bank recently introduced a metric fuckton of stimulus into their economy. This will encourage more borrowing....add fuel to the fire. Moreover, the stimulus will mechanically likely weaken the RMB even more, which could lead to even more foreign outflows, which are already happening, see next point. Point 9: Fucking LOTS of outflows this year. As of MAY, according to this joint statement, around 40% of US companies are relocating some portion of their supply chains away from mainland. This was in May. Since May, we have seen even more tariffs imposed, why WOULD companies want to stay when exporting to the US is a lot more expensive now? Point 10: Ignoring ALL of the points above, we are in a global synchronized slowdown, with many emerging market central banks cutting rates - by the most in a decade. Investors want safety, and safe-haven denominated assets are where we have seen a lot of flocking into recently. Things that can be considered safe-havens have good liquidity, a relatively stable economy, and a predictable political environment. Would love to hear opposing thoughts if you think China is a good buy. I am not against China, nor any other country for that matter, but I am against losing money (yes, wrong sub etc.), and I can not rationalize why anyone would be putting in a bid. TL;DR: the bubble is right in front of your face, impending doom ahead, short everything, fuck /investing. Edit, since you 'tards keep asking me how to trade this, there are a few trades that come to mind:
US treasuries still have room to run (before the autists say that's not yolo enough you could trade OTM calls on UST-linked ETFs, US govvie futures for gainz)
Sell SPX companies with big supply chain exposure and heavy cost of capital, buy their competitors without these features.
Open up apparel factories in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and sell to the US.
Buy soybeans assuming farmers get a bailout from US
I am sure there are plenty of China based ETFs which could be played, DYOR.
Short any US listed company with mainland China domicile. If shit REALLY hits the fan between US/China, there are levers that US Govt. can pull to fuck them.
Marginal trading will save the crypto-investor’s deposit
The general enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies did not make all representatives of the crypto-community fabulously rich. Only a few of them managed to achieve a really good profit. Most crypto-traders were in the red. How and why did this happen? Has it happened due to the lack of professional actions of new stock players, or the roots of the problem lie much deeper? We talked about this and many other things with the representative of the Forex broker Larson Holz IT Ltd, the head of control and audit-Alexander Smirnov. – Exchange trading of crypto assets made some traders. fabulously rich, but most of the others parted with the lion’s share of their deposits on the first fall of bitcoin and were disappointed in crypto-trading. Why did this happen? All the fault is solely the actions of the investors themselves, isn’t it? – This is a very good question, which is much more difficult to answer than it seems at first glance. The rapid growth in the value of cryptocurrencies has turned many people’s heads. More recently, the price of the same bitcoin could increase by 20 – 25 percent in a week. The desire to earn well, while making a minimum effort, attract to crypto-exchanges lots of players who had little idea where they got and what they are going to do. Young crypto-traders who did not have time to rely on serious exchange battles really lost 70, or even 80 percent of deposits on the first fall of bitcoin. But this happened not only because the actions of investors were too risky or rash – just crypto -trading, in the form in which it was offered to them, turned out to be a one-way game, the rules of which are written so that an ordinary user in 99 percent of cases is more likely to lose than win. – What do you mean by that? – The functionality of the platforms on which crypto-traders started trading, simply did not assume any other development of events. Perhaps, if people had carefully studied the rules of the game, none of this would have happened, but all people rushed to trade, and only realizing that things were not going as well as we would like, began to delve into the essence of things. The reality turned out to be harsh: it turned out that behind the beautiful words about “freedom” from monopolists, about unhindered trade in high-yield assets and the movement to a new independent economy, there was a rather primitive design for pumping money out of the population. – So you’re saying it was a trap? – Think yourself: 99 percent of crypto-exchanges do not have functionality for both simple and technical analysis, it is impossible to put stop-losses on them, but there are big buttons “buy” and “sell”. For any more or less experienced trader at first glance it will be clear that it is not necessary to communicate with such sites, because it is not so much an exchange as a casino, where nothing depends on the actions of a player by and large. – But crypto-traders who came to earn bitcoin,were not embarrassed by interface or a very limited functionality… – Absolutely. Moreover, the loyalty of crypto-traders was almost boundless: people believed, and still believe that it is absolutely normal to have regular pauses on. platforms, “technical updates” at the wrong time, the inability to make transactions with assets over several days and even a large-scale hacking of crypto-exchanges! For 2 – 3 days, the cost of the crypto-asset can both soar to the skies and fall below the floor, and people humbly wait for the crypto-exchange to restart the servers! But any such “simple” costs tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars of net losses due to the inability to get rid of the asset that started to sharply become cheaper in time! – It turns out that trading of cryptocurrencies is a true scam? – Of course it is not. Do not turn away from crypto-trading after the first failures. As you know, they learn from mistakes, and those who managed to fill their bumps will continue to treat stock trading much more responsibly. The size of the initial deposit has decreased by half, three times? This doesn’t explain anything. Correct actions and several successful transactions will return you to success, and the deposit to its original state. – But how to trade if the account is almost empty? – Civilized trading environment knows the correct answer to this question: marginal trading. In a broad sense, it is making transactions on the stock exchange at the expense of credit funds provided to the trader by the broker under the guarantee of a certain deposit. The beauty of this trade is that with only $ 1,000 of your own funds, you can open a deal for $ 500,000 or even $ 1,000,000. If the transaction is successful-all. profit (minus interest on leverage) is yours, if not – by and large you risk only with your deposit. – That is, the risk is present in any case? – All stock trading is based on risk. The question is how big and justified it is. Marginal trading is a really handy tool that can give a trader a very good results if they follow a few simple but very important rules. First, a successful trader does not care whether the market is growing or falling: he earns on price movements. An asset rises in price – a trader opens a long position, becomes cheaper – make it shorter. Second, a good trader never works with just one asset. He switches from cryptocurrency to Fiat and back. . But the most important thing is the understanding that the success of a trader depends not only on what he does, but also where. People who know how to count money will never get involved with sites that hang out at the most interesting place or from which someone can steal something. – You would like to hint that it is better not to mess with crypto-exchanges? – I am not hinting, but saying that brokerage companies that have functionality for working with crypto-instruments look much preferable to crypto-exchanges at least because of the use of Meta Trader 4 and Meta Trader 5 trading terminals. First broker with initially specializes in crypto-trading was LH-CRYPTO. It opens for a crypto-trader all currently known trading instruments from one crypto-account. At the moment, this site, both in terms of functionality and terms of trade, simply does not have worthy competitors. Press about us: http://cryptoconsulting.info/blog/2018/09/10/marginal-trading-will-save-the-crypto-investor-s-deposit/?noredirect=en_US
Killing People With Pizza pt1. The [mostly] Sad Demographics I see delivering pizzas
Context: this winter I've taken up pizza delivery driving for a 2nd job, well sorta, I'm laid off from my main job for the winter. This is the 3rd time I've delivered pizzas in my life. I live in a college town so we do a lot of business with students. You could divide our customer base into a few obvious categories:
Dads/babysitters with kids. Probably my favorite group, they tip well, it makes sense, plus this was my experience with pizza as a little kid.
Empty Nesters. Couples in the 60s w/ no kids and usually a little yappy dog. Sad, can’t be good for people on heart meds to eat pizzas. These folks love saving $ by coming and picking up their food, which I respect.
Adolescents (almost always boys) home alone. Terrible tippers, fuck these little assholes, they destroy my average tip during school vacations.
Gamers/nerds. Usually overweight white guys or Asian forex students. Actually fairly successful and at least okay tippers on average. I know one regular in a manager at Walmart (hey that’s probably statistically above average in the US) and I see a lot of them clearly making some $$ via the internet. Literally, I am sure some regulars are WoW Gold Farmers...
Hungovehigh people in their 20s and 30s. Maybe the most frustrating clientele, as I’m in this age group, but these people are clearly living in excess and I would wager most of them have low or negative net worth, which they could improve if they cut out a couple thousand dollar a year pizza habit plus couple thousand of dollar a year drinking/weed habit.
Poor families/poor single moms. Very sad, terrible tippers, just stuck in a poverty trap. Nuff said.
Older single women. We're talking age 55+. These vary from cat ladies to just retired women. Not very good tippers. Clearly have grandkids and usually some pets. Live in working class or poor neighborhoods.
Fat successful chicks. Seemingly on the up & up professionally, have nice apartments, new cars, etc OR I deliver the them at work and they’re like middle managers at banks, realtors, etc. But they clearly don’t have good eating habits and spend a shit load on pizza. This one of our most profitable demographics. They buy a lot of overpriced items like pastas and breadsticks, because maybe those are less embarassing than ordering yourself a pizza?
College students. Self explanatory, except where the fuck are they getting the money for all this pizza? We have a lot of regular college student customers. I went to college and only remember getting delivery food once or twice a semester and it was always as a group. I deliver to a lot of students ‘studying’ or whatever who just order a single meal for a single person.
Elementary Schools. Large lunch orders are almost a daily occurrence. Some are for special occasions, but we’re actually a subcontractor for one middle school’s cafeteria. Three times a week we bring them 10 or so pizzas at some super low set rate, like $5/large pizza, and they turn around and sell that pizza by the slice for like $2. REALLY DEPRESSING, because we obviously only allow this because Domino’s knows that it will get this kids addicted to pizza… ugh [sigh].
[Shibe Market Analysis] Manipulation & the Resilience of Markets
First off, I'm terribly sorry to have essentially disappeared and stopped publishing the Shibe Market Analysis. I've been "undercover", if you will, studying how the market is manipulated by the actor called "Wukong", and other so-called "whales". Here are my findings - Signs of Whale Activity The first signal of whale activity is a sharp increase in the traded volume, typically volumes will spike as much as 10x the normally traded amounts as the whale rapidly floods the market with orders to push the price in a certain direction. Typically this begins by removing a "wall", a large amount of BTC placed as orders at a certain price, which seemingly resists price movement in a direction. The whale often owns the majority of these orders, and by cancelling them causes regular traders to observe that there is suddenly much less resistance to price movement in a certain direction, and this in conjuction with the whale rapidly filling those orders which were not his causes the price to rapidly jump or fall, which in turn triggers "panic buying/selling" on the part of traders watching the price movement and the removal of this wall, which compounds the rapid price movement and causes the market to enter a state of hysteria. A Historic Case The best example of this is on the night of January 20th and early morning January 21st. You can actually see these bars on Dogemonitor. Throughout the day session on january 20th, volumes were noticeably higher, slowly pushing prices upwards. Following this, the first massive price spike occured at 19:00, and BTC was continually pumped into the market to a price of 242 satoshis - this is the effect of the market hysteria caused by those initial large purchases knocking down "sell walls", while simultaneously publicizing the fact that a mysterious chinese investor has come to "pump" doge. Then, an orchestrated effort on their part quickly causes a massive panic selloff, whereupon a few large sell orders "juke" traders into panic selling as they fear the rapid rise will be followed by a rapid fall, and the whale grabs the panic sells as traders panic in a process known as a "shakeout" or "washing", or zhencang. This allows the whale to recapitalize their investment at a lower price, essentially juking traders into selling their assets out of fear, while the whale knows full well when the dust is settled the price will be higher. With regard to the psychological game Wukong plays, he tells those in the IRC to "hold no matter what", serving two purposes - one, it makes sure he remains in control of the bounce back, namely that no one in the IRC "jumps the gun" and pushes prices up before he has a chance to start buying at the rock bottom, and two - those who do fall for his shakeout, despite his warning, are more inclined to trust him and not themselves, as they were just juked out of gains (without realizing it was Wukong who juked them in the first place). Daily Whale Tactics Nevertheless, such a large investment ("pump") on their part is quite expensive, and to recoup and profit from their antics whales have a more insidious and profitable method of profit-generating manipulation than simply "pumping". Studying the chart over the history from January 20th to today, you will notice that within the overall down trend from the high, there are also periodic cycles downwards, where the price holds for some time, followed by upwards, where the price holds for some time. This is how the whale makes money. The process consists of placing a "wall", a large amount of BTC discouraging traders from betting on price movement in that direction, and encouraging greedy traders to bet in the same direction as the wall - e.g. a sell wall at 165 encourages traders to sell at 164, to try and "undercut" the wall. The whale knows this, and happily will buy up all the sell orders coming in at 164, causing the market to "stall", essentially pausing any movement while the whale quietly accumulates doge. Occasionally a whale will allow prices to fall even further, should the selling ramp up, and then move the sell wall down, allowing the whale to continue racking up doge at cheaper and cheaper prices. Once the whale has accumulated a hefty position in doge, he removes the sell wall and simultaneous places large buy orders at prices higher than market, pushing the market up and inciting traders to quickly buy in, in anticipation of a pump. This causes a rapid escalation in prices, and further large buys placed by the whale allow him to influence the other traders to push the market to whatever price target the whale has in mind. At this point, the whale locks in the price by placing the remaining BTC he has as a "buy order" at a price slightly lower than market, encouraging the traders to place buy orders slightly above his wall. The whale slowly sells the doge he bought earlier when prices were lower to this trickle of buyers, and can then continue to repeat this process by using walls to influence the market before rapidly changing the price, all the while extracting smaller traders' capital. This process is akin to how wolves or predatory whales intentionally herd and then trap their prey, and is very much rooted in influencing the psychology of other traders, particularly by spreading disinformation and by taking advantage of the fact that crypto-traders have less experience with valuations based on fundamentals, and are more akin to rely on technical analysis, the information immediately presented before them on cryptsy, and rumors and hearsay in making their trading decisions. It also makes great use of herd mentality and the tendency of inexperienced traders to panic. Whale Signals You may wonder what happens when two whales are present, and how whales are able to coordinate their efforts - I've found that this is done through the chart, and that before a major price movement, a whale will announce their intent to other whales that may be in the market through a high volume bar, much higher volume than those surrounding it, that will rapidly push the price in the intended direction and then bring it back down immediately, which appears on the chart as an "arrow", marked by high volume and a large extruding wick in the intended direction. Should another whale disagree, they will use the same process to signal in the opposite direction, or if they agree will re-signal the same arrow. I am murky on the details, but through this process they reach an agreement and will move the price in the intended direction once all the whales have finished their transactions at the current price. Whales realize it is to their benefit to work together, and so will swallow their pride and allow the market to move against them in the short-term in order to continue the highly profitable "milking" of smaller traders in the long-term. Extreme Price Manipulation In addition to the usage of walls, I have observed a second, more extreme technique used to move the market when the strength of small traders is not enough, which Wukong refers to as "one hand to the other". The process, when intended to push the market up, has the whale place a sell order at a certain price, and simultaneously place a larger buy order at that price, rapidly causing the price to escalate to that price and consuming all sell orders in between, including the sell order placed by the whale. This causes an even more extreme movement of small traders than simply walling, as traders watching the price rapidly flock to the movement caused by the whale, causing an even more extreme price change. Repeated usage of this technique can cause the price to soar or tumble very rapidly, and is possible because it constantly recycles the holdings of BTC and doge in the whale's portfolio. However, there is a limit set by those orders which have to be eaten in order to move the price, and this places a constraint on how far the whale can move the price with their singular portfolio - it is possible that a group of whales combining their portfolio values to move the market can cause stupendous movements, like the one on January 20th - 21st. Notes about walls It is important to remember that the "walls" that are placed can be seen by everyone, and since a whale does not want you to catch onto their activities, the walls are meant to trick you. I have observed that whales actually place very small, typically 1000-10000 doge orders, repeatedly very quickly through the use of automated "bots", programmed using the cryptsy and other exchanges API. The walls are a distraction to allow their true trades to go undetected, and smart shibes will make it a point to discount the information gleaned from analyzing the dealbook. It is much more informative to instead study the actual market order history, as these are the orders than have been placed and can't simply be removed by pressing a button - often times you will find that even though a large sell is in place, the market order history shows that BTC is flowing in to doge - meaning prices will rise shortly. What it means to you These tactics are not reserved to dogecoin, and while doge may be past the point that a single group can manipulate the price, these same tactics will be used in other crypto-markets until exchanges take it upon themselves or governments mandate that the same rules governing forex and futures markets be applied in crypto-markets. Traders should be wary in the mean time. A small trader can still compete in this environment, especially armed with the above knowledge. In the IRC, I noted one specific small trader using the moniker "WhaleWhisperer", who was able to accurately read the whale signals and profit from their manipulation. Nevertheless, constantly watching the market and playing the psychological warfare game of the whales is taxing, and being wrong without solid risk management can rapidly erase value from a trader's portfolio. Traditional advice and strategies of finance are the most solid protective measure a small trader can take against manipulation, namely portfolio diversification (try to hold a good chunk of your portfolio in BTC, perhaps some LTC or other scrypts, and never more than 50% of your crypto net worth in doge, no matter how strongly you believe in it), re-allocating your portfolio after large price movements, and proper risk management on trading (never trade more than 10% of your portfolio value, and you should aim to only actively trade 2% or less). AFK trading, by which I mean deciding on good entry and exit prices beforehand, placing your orders, and then leaving your computer, is also an excellent strategy to avoid the mind games played by whales on tired and impulsive traders glued to their screens. Finally, having a fundamental valuation method allowing you to create your own "fair value" of DOGE is probably the strongest weapon against market manipulation. If your model is sound and correct in the long-run, prices will converge to your forecast, and your mind will be all the more stronger against manipulative tactics because of your deep-seated faith in your model. Put shortly, a fundamentals-based valuation is the defining line between "trading" and "investing". In subsequent articles I will outline how you can construct and use such a fundamentals based model. Happy trading shibes, and I'm glad to be back to this wonderful community. It's truly the community at /dogecoin and the related subs that instills long-lasting value in doge, and I hope that long after we get past market manipulation and have reached the moon that the same supportive community still exists. Disclaimer: I am not psychic and do not actually know where the market is going; I'm pretty sure the market doesn't know where its going either (except TO THE MOON!). Please do not base your trading decisions solely on the above analysis, and never trade more than you're comfortable losing. Finally, please do not hate/sue me if trades don't go your way, but if they do go your way, it was totally because you read this article :) If you're looking to learn how to trade or just want a quick refresher, check out my ongoing series, or if you just want to subscribe to these market analyses check out DogeTrader.
FXCM CEO Drew Niv Discusses Firm's Future after the CHF Crisis
Hi Everyone, Our CEO Drew Niv held a Q&A with Forex Magnates which will answer many questions we have received over the past couple of weeks http://forexmagnates.com/exclusive-fxcm-inc-ceo-drew-niv-discusses-firms-future-after-the-chf-crisis/. Please understand that some questions I can't answer since we are a publicly traded company and it may be material information, but we will get to all questions in due time. What happened on January 15th after the SNB announcement? What was the immediate impact of the SNB announcement on the company’s systems? At the time of the SNB announcement over 3,000 FXCM clients held slightly over $1 billion in open positions on EUCHF. Those same clients held approximately $80 million of collateral in their accounts. As you know this was the largest move of a major currency since currencies started floating 1971. The EUCHF move was 44 standard deviation moves, while most risk management systems only contemplate 3-6 standard deviations. The moved wiped out those clients’ account equity as well as generated negative equity balances owed to FXCM of over $225 million. We believe that the FXCM system operated properly during this event. The caveat of our no dealing-desk execution system is that traders are offset one for one with a liquidity provider. When a client entered a EUCHF trade with FXCM, FXCM Inc. had an identical trade with our liquidity providers. During the historic move, liquidity became extremely scarce and shallow, which affected execution prices. This liquidity issue resulted in some clients having a negative balance. While clients could not cover their margin call with us we still had to cover the same margin call with our banks. When a client profits in the trade FXCM gives the profits to the customer, however, when the client is not profitable on that trade FXCM Inc. ends up having to pay the liquidity provider. FXCM ended with a regulatory capital shortfall. Accordingly, FXCM needed to get a loan to cover this balance, which it did. For anyone that still thinks FXCM is running an FX dealing desk, we have now demonstrated that such is not the case. Why do you think many people traded EUCHF with FXCM? Because we are a no dealing-desk broker and offset each trade one-for-one with our liquidity providers, and only make money on trades not customer losses. We published a study a few years ago called “traits of successful traders” that looked at FXCM traders over a long period of time and their general behavior to find what was destructive behavior to stay away from and what worked for clients. The study focuses on what the majority of profitable traders did to increase their odds of success. What the study found was that traders who traded during quiet range-bound market hours like Asian hours OR that traded rang- bound low volatility currency pairs tended to be more profitable. Obviously many of our competitors who are on the opposite side of their clients’ trades did not find this trade to be helpful to their bottom line, as they lose money when traders profit. We saw many of the dealing desk firms begin to increase overnight rollover cost as well as raise margin requirements to get these trades off their system and that’s why FXCM and other STP brokers had much bigger exposure. Why did FXCM require an emergency loan with such tough terms? As a regulated broker we are required to notify our regulators in a timely manner when any event occurs that may be deemed sensitive to clients. When we notified the regulators, they required FXCM Inc.’s regulated entities to supplement their respective net capital on an expedited basis. We explored multiple debt and equity financing alternatives in an effort to meet the regulator’s deadline. The deal we ended up doing with Leucadia was the only deal that could and would happen in the very short timeframe we were given by the regulators. The CEO and the president of Leucadia were here in the office working on the deal. It was a tall order for someone outside of the FX industry to come in and write a $300 million dollar check. This was the type of thing only top management could do. But they see the sustainability of FXCM, and that was everyone’s end goal. We really are very thankful to Leucadia. The deal enables us to live and fight another day and gives us time to build shareholder value in the future. You said you plan to pay back the loan with proceeds from sales of non-core assets so what are non-core assets and will that be enough? We announced last week that we anticipate that with the proceeds from the sale of some non-core assets and continued earnings we can meet both near and long-term obligations of our financing, while preserving the strength of our franchise. It’s widely known and understood that FXCM’s core business has always been retail FX; It is the majority of FXCM’s revenue. However, over the past few years, the company has spent over $250 million dollars making strategic acquisitions building up our non-core businesses, mainly the institutional side as we tried to diversify the firm. We are now looking to sell some of those non-core assets; But, we are not in a rush and are looking to get the highest valuations for these assets. We are considering closing or selling smaller regulated entities that require large sums of capital requirements, but that offer increasingly low return on capital. The latter move allows us to free up significant amounts of cash that is currently trapped. We believe that in the near term we can pay down a majority of the loan. That’s our goal. What happens after 90 days according to your agreement with Leucadia? The agreement says we need to pay back $50 million of the loan along with $10 million in fees in 90 days. If we don’t pay that $60 million, we will be assessed an additional $30 million in fees when the loan is due in 2017. So we are going to pay our $60 million and hopefully more in 90 days and then go from there. To be clear, the financing does not force us to do anything at 90 days. Will you be selling FXCM? I absolutely do not plan on selling FXCM. Like I said we will be selling non-core assets but no I don’t plan on selling FXCM. That is also why we implemented the shareholder rights plan to prevent a hostile takeover. FXCM has been independent for over 15 years and we intend to stay that way. Are client funds safe with FXCM? Yes. As we have said, we believe FXCM’s systems operated properly during this event. I’ll stress it here again, FXCM is not insolvent, has not filed for any form of bankruptcy, and is in compliance with all regulatory capital requirements in the jurisdictions in which it operates. The financing we received from Leucadia has strengthened our balance sheet and gives us the opportunity to grow our core business. With Leucadia, our pockets are even deeper and we aren’t going anywhere. Additionally, all of our regulated entities except the U.S. provide clients with segregated funds. All of our global client base in our regulated entities minus US clients would be protected under a bankruptcy. Our UK regulated entity through the FSCS even offers clients £50,000 per person in protection. Canada has similar insurance for retail traders of up to $1 million CAD. What are the relationships like with your liquidity providers after this event? Many of these relationships are long-standing relationships. The entire industry took a hit here. They understand what happened. Most everyone halted trading in EUCHF, but half of our liquidity providers kept providing prices in all other pairs the entire time. Half of the LPs did stop pricing FXCM on Friday January 16th, but most have returned. We presently only have two providers that have not yet returned, but we are optimistic that they will soon return. There is still plenty of liquidity on the platform. Most banks and other liquidity providers have been working very closely with the FXCM team. Where do you see FXCM in six months from now? We will be well on our way to paying down the loan and continue to grow our core franchise. FXCM still has the best platform for retail traders, we still provide the fairest and more transparent execution in the business and we have a slew of new trading indicators and applications that no one in the space is even considering offering their clients. We’ll still be here; We may just look a little different. Here are a few things we are working to get out in the next six months: Single Share CFDs – We are going to be offering the top 200 or so most traded US, UK, French and German stocks. We are going to offer these shares on the equivalent of NDD in FX. Improving CFD execution – Sharpening execution capabilities to match some of the benefits of our FX capabilities for Index and Energy CFDs to remove restrictions on stops and limits, allowing APIs, along with tighter spreads. Market Depth in FX – clients will be able to see the depth of liquidity which will provide them more transparency with execution quality and allow them to make more informed trading decisions. Real Volume indicators – clients will have a real volume ticker of all trades done on the FXCM system, which will show clients’ actual order flow; they can see directional volume, so long, short, net or total volume as well as balance on volume per instrument; and finally we have an indicator to show the ratio of real volume divided into transactions per period. These indicators will let clients compare our trading activity against other independent providers who also publish volumes like the CME, and clients will be able to compare execution. Sentiment Index – We will be providing FXCM’s client sentiment data in real-time as a default on the platform so clients can see where the rest of the clients are. These software updates and platform features are bringing much more transparency to the retail FX market aimed at improving the client experience in the market. With your stock price so low, is that an indication of the health of your company? While it is true that FXCM’s stock price dropped after the events of January 15th, we do not believe that the present stock price is indicative of the health of the company. The stock price does not impact our day to day operations as a company. With the injection of cash from the Leucadia financing, the core retail business is functioning completely as normal. We have excess regulatory capital in all our regulated entities and never had to pause trading or interrupt client’s trading experience. As we announced in our business update, daily volume on the retail side was on pace to set an all-time company record. Why didn’t the dealing desk brokers have these types of losses? A dealing desk broker does not have offsetting trades. If the customer is long a trade the broker is short that trade, so when the customer makes a profit on a trade the broker loses. When the customer loses on the trade then the broker is profitable. Obviously on January 15th most clients lost money so the dealer was very profitable. Even for clients that blew through their stops and had negative balances with these firms, the dealer doesn’t have a liquidity provider that it owes money to. They can essentially act like the negative balances never happened and enjoy their profits. What is FXCM changing with regards to their risk management systems? The primary change we will be making is removing currency pairs from the platform that carry significant risk due to over-active manipulation by their respective government either by a floor, ceiling, peg or band. Given what happened with EUCHF the industry is now looking very hard at any potentially similar issues, especially given the increased geopolitical risks in Southern and Eastern Europe. We will also be raising margin requirements for other pairs as well. Some of these changes will be permanent while others may change as geopolitical risks change. The pairs we are removing from the platform were not material to our volume or our revenue. Some of the currencies we are removing include DKK, SGD, HKD, PLN and CZK. FXCM made some material changes in margin requirements for clients. Are those changes permanent or temporary in nature? When you look at some of the changes we made to margin requirements, look at them in three different categories: 1. Some of the changes we made were required by regulators, and therefore we had to comply with these changes. 2. When you look at emerging market currencies, the banks and our liquidity providers were raising margin requirements to eliminate any potential risk of large gaps. 3. Previously liquid Western country currencies, like the DKK or CHF, which now carry risk because they are manipulated currencies, have become less liquid. Despite what the media thinks about leverage, we know the clients like it and want more, it’s the number 1 or number 2 request our sales staff has been getting the past week. We understand the importance of this to our clients but we just need to be smart about it moving forward. What is Black Thursday’s long-term impact on the retail foreign exchange industry? In what ways has it changed the direction the industry is going? Banks are raising their margin requirements, too. A lot of these currencies that carry any type of geopolitical risk with them are going to lose support and liquidity. Investors always had little faith in emerging market currencies but always believed in Western countries’ currencies even if they were manipulated in some way, but that’s gone. Switzerland is a Western country and if they can pull the shenanigans they did with their currency, what’s to say other western countries won’t do the same? The market is going to be very sceptical as they can only stand to lose; The risk is just too high now. It’s too bad really as these pairs historically had low volatility, were range-bound and were very profitable trades for clients.
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