Meet The Newest Addition To The Apiary Family!

Hello everyone! It is a real pleasure to work for Apiary Fund. The environment here is awesome, and I am so blessed to work with great people with great energy, attitude, and an ability to always make you feel welcome.

Let me introduce myself, my name is Xavier Parra. I come from Ecuador: a small country in South America. Located in the middle of the world, Ecuador has nice beaches, mountains, and weather-summer all year long!

Some more about me. I have been in the US for over 10 years, and I enjoy having 4 seasons. It seems like time goes faster when you have 4 seasons (I might be the only one who feels that way, who knows). I have a Masters Degree in Economics, and was introduced to the currency market while studying Macroeconomics. I was intrigued by how currencies interact between each other, so I started learning more about this “mysterious market.”

One of the best things about FOREX (at least from my perspective) is that you are interacting with hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. You can feel the pulse of this market by checking the charts. The market keeps me current on the most important news around the world, because based on the news I can establish my positions (either to buy or sell certain currency pairs).

I am here to help people who share the same passion as me. I want to help people learn to love the things they learn from the market everyday.

Thanks!

-Xavier

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Big Thanks To And From Support

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We just want to say thank you to everyone who has been sending us feedback for Alveo. It’s because of that our IT department knows exactly what to work on each day to make the Alveo platform better for everyone to use.

We also wanted to say thank you for all of your patience to those who have called into support the last month or so because we have been training some new support staff. As we all know, there is A LOT of information that is needed to know about trading-and Apiary Fund-to be successful. It can be a bit overwhelming at times for someone new-especially when everyone looks to you for answers when calling into support. We just want to give a shout out to Aeron, Vincent, and Pete for putting all of their hard work into being the great support team that we are!

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How To Form A Trading Strategy

“Trading System” and “Trading Strategy” are two words that are often used interchangeably, but have two entirely different meanings.

A Trading System is the plan you put in place to accomplish specific goals in the market.  Your trading system incorporates your trading goals, resources, and strategies into a plan to accomplish your purpose in the market.

Most of the time, when people talk about trading systems they are actually talking about a trading strategy.  A trading strategy defines a set of rules you will follow in order to take advantage of a specific opportunity you see in the market.  To build a trading strategy you would follow the following steps:

Step 1.  Define what filters you will use to identify your opportunity in the market.

Step 2.  Create the rules for your setup.

Step 3.  Identify your trigger.

Step 4.  Identify your target.

Step 5.  Identify your stop.

Step 6.  Determine your position size.

Step 7.  Apply any trade management techniques.

Step 8.  Track your results

Step 9.  Review each trading sessions.

Step 10.  Use stats to adjust your strategy.

Here’s what we did this week in our training on developing a successful trading strategy:

On Wednesday, April 1, we walked through the steps to developing a trading strategy.

Then, in the Trading Room on Thursday morning we traded the strategy-resulting in 4 winning and 1 losing trade.

Finally, that night in a class we reviewed the performance and identified a couple of areas we needed to adjust for better performance and better results.

It was a great experience.  Some of you have not had the opportunity of developing a trading strategy and this was a very “hands on” demonstration of the process.  If you want to review the steps yourself, go to the calendar and click on the links from April 1st and 2nd to review the recordings.

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High Probability Trade Qualities

A frequently asked question is, “What is a high probability trade?”

When you sit down for a good trading session, finding a trade setup isn’t that hard-but there are trading setups, and then there are high probability trading setups.  In fact, in any given trading session you’ll only have a few setups with that coveted high probability quality that pays so handsomely!

So what are those qualities in a setup that make it high probability?

We’ve identified qualities of a high probability trade: (In order of importance)

1.     Trend.  Does the trend support the direction of the trade?

2.     Momentum.  Is momentum building or slowing?

3.     Support and Resistance.  Is the trigger above or below support?

4.     Pattern.  Is there a pattern to support the trade?

5.     Volatility.  Is there enough volatility to create a profit?

6.     Time.  Are you at the beginning of a time cycle?

7.     Indicators.  Does your favorite indicator support the setup?

Like a good attorney, you can use the qualities listed above to build a solid case for a high probability trade.  If you don’t have everything aligned, then the probability of successful trade drops.  If your trading setup has these qualities in perfect alignment, then there’s a high probability the trade will work to your favor.

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Success on the Field

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Everyone knows that Apiary fund is made of traders, but did you know that we have a professional football player right here in our midst? That’s right. Drafted by the BC Lions in Vancouver, Paul Allen grew up playing ball and decided to play for BYU in 1959.

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In 1961 Paul was a running back and special teams BYU Football player. He holds the record for the longest average punt return yardage. He was a tank whose tenacity and perseverance allowed him to carry the ball an average of 40.1 yards each punt return.

When asked about his success, he said it mainly came because he ran fast-and because he was really scared. Well, we say tongue-in-cheek that it takes a lot more than fear to hold a record like that. He still holds the record, and it has stood for over 50 years. For more information about what the Legacy reward is, click here:http://thejetaward.com/the-jet-award-story/ You can see Paul’s stats at http://byucougars.com/athlete/m-football/paul-allen

 

Paul has brought that same record making tenacity and perseverance that brought him success on the field into his work. He loves helping and developing traders. His patience in seeing the lay of the land both on and off the field has been a great asset to Apiary. Paul has been instrumental in counseling traders, helping them get into funded accounts, and becoming successful in the stock market.

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What your Forex Broker Doesn’t Want You To Know

When it comes to trading foreign currency, most investors have at least heard of the two main camps that most forex brokers fall into. There are Electronic Communications Networks (ECNs) and Market Makers. Let me begin by first introducing each of these.

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Market Makers behave pretty much as you’d expect from their name – they “make” the market. They have the ability to internally set both the bid and ask price of the quotes they provide and they can do this because of the actual liquidity that a typical Market Maker brings to market. In other words, they have to take the opposite side of your trade. So order fills can be a bit better with a Market Maker, as long as you understand that the “fill” you are getting begins and ends with your broker. Another important point with a Market Maker is they will usually have smoother spreads. What I mean by smoother is that the spread they offer is usually more predictable. Because they aren’t making money through commissions (usually), they make most of their money by offering a spread that they set. So as you might imagine, if you were a Market Maker you might think the same way – “This is my money that I’m using to fill your order, so I’m going to give you the price that works best for me.”

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ECNs operate a bit differently. A true ECN will aggregate prices from multiple providers (like banks and even Market Makers) and offer you the best bid and the best ask. Their philosophy is very different from a Market Maker, because they will not manipulate the quotes nearly as much. They offer this because their money isn’t made in the spread, they make their money in charging you a commission on every trade. A fill on an ECN is not always guaranteed, which can make some traders miss their ideal price. Because ECNs offer quotes from many different sources, their prices are often more volatile which, depending on your style, can make it very difficult to be profitable. A common limitation that an ECN will have is on their servers. Due to the fact that they pull in multiple quotes from different sources, when those are aggregated they are also throttled. It wouldn’t be possible for them to provide every quote they receive to each of their traders. That would be very difficult, or at the very least it would be fiscally detrimental. Now that we have introduced both, let me explain how the Apiary Fund works.

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Apiary Fund operates like a hybrid of each of these camps. Lets just say we made our own camp. We have an interest in adjusting the spread like a Market Maker, except we don’t want to widen it for our profit. We want to tighten it so that the trader can profit. Also, we don’t take a dime of commission on any trade because we don’t want to add burden to any order regardless of direction. Like ECNs, Apiary works to negotiate with multiple liquidity providers to offer the best bid and ask with every quote. Unlike ECNs, Apiary works very hard to ensure that every quote we receive makes it to our Alveo trading platform. This is evident by watching a quote screen on Alveo compared to a quote screen on other platforms. When getting a new quote means the difference between your trade being profitable or not, wouldn’t you like to get them from a fire hose instead of a garden hose? We certainly think so.

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Bottom line, where in the world does the Apiary Fund make money if this is true? The answer is simple. When our traders make money. We want to make that very clear. When one of our TRADERS MAKE MONEY then APIARY MAKES MONEY. It’s that simple. Our goal is to create as many profitable traders as we possibly can. So as you can see, our incentives are aligned with that of our traders. Just like in a beehive (aka apiary), the more honey each bee makes, the more sustainable life is for everyone. That’s our philosophy.

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A Constructive Review

Silas shares his story on how he got involved with Apiary fund.

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How

I started working for Apiary Fund in 2013. Before I got involved, I had never traded before; I don’t think I had even used a computer. I had been a union worker out of Local 27 for ten years. I never had enough money to even think about trading, or learn what forex was. If it wasn’t for Shawn, I know I wouldn’t be here…

 

I was injured in a construction job, which led me to find a new home, and meet an awesome man.  He introduced me to his company, the Apiary Fund. He offered me a job-something I had no experience in.

Since I started last year, I have worked my way into a funded account. Trading is something that I can do for the rest of my life. I enjoy that fact that can work from my home and spend time with my family, but no matter where I am, as long as I have a computer, I can trade.

I am very grateful for the turn of events in my life: the support I receive from my now close friend Shawn, the opportunity to come to his Apiary family, my amazing co-workers, and the many, many great people I get to meet on the phone daily.

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One Million Reasons Apiary’s Alveo Trading Platform Is Set To Succeed

It happened sometime during the wee hours of the morning on January 26th 2015…

Since it’s official launch in October 2014, Apiary’s new trading platform – Alveo – has officially processed 1,021,602 trades.

Processing 1 million trades is a major development for Alveo and Apiary.  It represents a significant milestone in a project that is over two years in the making.

While MT4 is the industry standard trading platform in the forex market, we realized long ago that the risk of building Apiary’s trading tools on top of a platform that is notorious for changing the rules of the game on a whim was not in our best interest.

During a 6-month period last year, MT4 conjured up over 80 updates to its server or client software. It caused Apiary to be in a constant state of “fixing” broken tools.  The sheer number of hours dedicated to keeping Apiary working on MT4 quickly crossed the line of diminishing returns; couple that with an ever increasing cost structure in both software and hardware resources, and we realized that we needed to make a change – fast!

And so in October 2014, amid pressure from hardware providers, Apiary launched the Alveo trading platform.  However, squaring up with the MT4 Goliath has not been easy.  In fact, the first couple of months were down right rocky.  We found ourselves fighting both a battle of stability (trying to keep the platform stable) and perceptions (trying to maintain confidence in the platform). All while we worked out a major connectivity issue with our liquidity providers.  These issues are not new to financial software, but they are wrinkles that a 10-year head start seems to smooth out.

Undaunted, we’ve trudged forward – fixing bugs, stomping out errors and putting in countless hours to develop stability and connectivity.  However, this time they were hours well spent – hours we know we won’t have to repeat with every new version or update.

While processing 1 million trades is certainly a drop compared to the ocean of trades being processed by MT4, it does illustrate the progress being made by Alveo.

Like a breakout trade that builds confidence, speed, and momentum, Alveo is experiencing a breakout moment. We want to share with the world a million reasons why Alveo is positioned to be a great trading platform, but for now we’ll just stick with the speed, liquidity, slippage, and income earning advantages of Alveo. We are very excited with this milestone that we’ve hit, and can’t wait to see what else Alveo can accomplish.

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How To Take On The Market And Come Out On Top

Sometimes it seems like the market is out to get you; every trade you make goes against you like some sniper waiting to shoot you down.  Rest assured that you are not alone in feeling this way. In fact, it is a common feeling among both seasoned and novice traders.

However, what I’m going to tell you may poke at your ego a bit so brace for impact! :) The truth of the matter is that the forex market really doesn’t care who you are or where your trades are placed. Some may say that the broker has it out for them-which is also incorrect because if you lose your money and close your account they miss out on future commissions. The market can seem cold and callous. It can also seem happy and spritely. How can the same market have such extremes? The answer is simple, psychology.

In addition to supply and demand, the major factors that move the market are fear and greed. When you give into these feelings, regardless of who you are, the market will swallow you whole, chew you up, and spit you out. Sometimes it seems like you can’t get a straight answer out of the market-like a scene straight out of the Notebook. It feels like you’re pulling teeth just to make a pip. This is all part of psychology.

We all fall victim to these traps every now and then, but the best way that I have found to overcome getting discouraged and/or giving up is to write down my trading plan again. I write down the specific patterns I need to look for. Then, I write down what I am feeling when I place a trade. Finally, I try to follow the old adage, “plan your trade and trade your plan.”

Most errors come in the form of adjusting your trades outside of your trading plan when faced with a candle or trade that goes against you, but if you develop a solid system you won’t have to worry about the ups, the downs, the sideways, or the spikes. You can trust your lifejacket of a trading plan, and as long as you follow it all will be ok.

Keep in mind that trading is not always just a+b=c, and when a=%^& instead of c… then we have a tendency to freak out and ask why. Sometimes accidents happen, and sometimes the market does what it wants. As long as we keep that in mind we can smile when it shoots up, grin when it climbs down, and learn to go with the flow. Remember, those who give up on something will never be successful at it.

Keep calm and put your stoploss on. :)

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Will The Dollar Continue To Strengthen Through 2015?

From it’s low in May of 2014, the dollar has posted 32 weekly highs against the Euro.  With such an impressive rally, most experts are predicting the strong dollar rally to continue through 2015, but are those predictions right?

Reasons for the dollar rally to continue

The dollar is currently the only major currency with improving growth prospects:

  • The Commerce Department has revised the estimate for GDP growth to 5% – the highest rate in 11 years!
  • The growth is coming from personal consumption and business investment, which are the largest and most influential components of GDP.
  • The consumer is happy – recording the highest level of consumer sentiment since 2007.
  • Lower gas prices are giving the consumer a shot of financial caffeine by freeing up more cash that is being spent in other sectors of the economy.
  • The current unemployment rate is 5.6% and trending lower.
  • The Fed has implied they might begin to raise interest rates as early as April 2015.  Higher rates in the US mean more demand and higher prices for the dollar.
  • Most major economies are stagnant, slowing, or both.  Europe is on the brink of another recession. Japan continues trying to jump-start its economy with more stimuli.  China shows signs of slowing growth. Britain is mired in stagnant growth.

These signs are real, and investors across the world are buying dollars at an extraordinary scale.  With such a strong case for buying dollars, you may be wondering, ‘why is Shawn writing this article?’

Reasons why the dollar rally may not continue in 2015

Well, in reality, the dollar may not be as sure a bet as most pundits are pedaling.

  • The strong economic projections have already been priced into the market.  The dollar index has strengthened over 9% since May of 2014.
  • Sequentially stronger economic reports in the form of “stronger than expected” data will be needed to keep the trend alive. With data coming in as expected, the dollar is just as likely to drop as it is to go up. Reports that are worse than expected will surely have a negative impact on the dollar.
  • It is not certain whether the Fed will raise rates this year. The Fed will only raise interest rates when the economy nears full capacity and inflation starts heating up.  Currently, the five-year forward projection for inflation is the lowest it’s been since 2011.
  • Unemployment numbers have been dropping partly because a large number of workers between the ages 25-50 are leaving the workforce. There is evidence that that trend cannot continue, and those people will be re-entering the job market-putting greater pressure on wage growth.
  • Financial turmoil in the global economy could flare at any moment.  Any financial problems abroad could put downward pressure on the dollar as governments that hold US treasury debt start dumping bonds to support their domestic currency and stabilize their financial system (a flood of selling in the bond market would drive up yields, and put the brakes on growth in the US).

With all the uncertainty in the global financial system, it is difficult to project over long time frames. This is an argument for a good short-term analysis with nimble response. Try not to let your opinion be swayed by the experts.  If you are quick to recognize momentum shifts, you should be able to weather the storms that are sure to happen!

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