Archive | July, 2015

Bunnies and Money Management

It is essential to understand money management before you enter the market. In fact, learning the essentials is important before you try anything. I learned this lesson years ago while caring for my neighbors animals.

babybunnyLast summer, my neighbors went on their annual camping trip to Beaver, Utah. Every year they ask me to take care of their pets while they’re away. The number of pets they have is always growing, and that year consisted of 12 chickens, 2 fish, 1 cat, and 4 bunnies. I never have, and am doubtful that I ever will, own a pet, but I agreed to help them out. I received 3 pages of typed instruction, and training on how to place the labeled chicken food into the labeled chicken pen using the labeled chicken scoop (I may have accidently mixed up the cat and chicken food the year before). I even practiced feeding the chickens with their daughter two days in advance. They left feeling reassured that not even I could mess up their detailed instructions, and I watched them go feeling confident in my ability to keep their animals alive for five days (one year the cat jumped into the fish tank, resulting in a decrease in the fish population).

The next day: I fed the fish, I fed the cat (not the fish), I fed the chickens, gathered the chicken eggs, and opened the door to the bunny cage. Unfortunately, the bunny in there ran out as soon as the door was opened, and I spent the next hour chasing it around the backyard. Finally, with the bunny safely in my arms, I returned it to the cage with the other bunnies. I replaced the food and water, and left feeling like a champ.

The next five days passed uneventfully, and I was delighted with my success. My neighbors returned, and immediately checked to see if their dear pets were still alive. I happily informed them that they were all alive and well. Their daughter, inspecting the bunnies, turned around and said, “Mom? Why is the boy bunny in with the girl bunnies?” One month later, they had 34 baby bunnies.

Truthfully, I’m uncomfortable with animals. They sound easy to take care of, and I had the instructions and means to take care of them, but I had no experience or any idea on how to actually handle them. Now, relate this to money management. I know it can feel like a stretch comparing caring for animals to your money (though I wish my money could reproduce as fast as those rabbits), but the similarity isn’t between animals and money. It’s between knowing how to handle and care for them.

Proper care and handling of money in the markets is key to successful trading.  In the same way improper handling of the neighbors farm resulted in unintended consequences, improper handling of money can have unintended effects – loss of capital, longer hold periods, lost opportunities.  However, with some basic knowledge, a good set of instructions, close attention to details and discipline you’ll discover that you can manage your results with much greater control…  And who knows, maybe your monies can grow like bunnies.

Happy Trading!

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The Traffic Laws of Trading

 Awww yeah, that would be life. Cruising down the highway in your sleek new ferrari… or maybe not.

ferrari-458_lA few years ago, a driver of a candy red Ferrari Testarossa managed to nail a $290,000 speeding fine while driving 85 mph through a village in Switzerland. In Switzerland, they base their speeding fines off of income, and since this was a repeat offense they were not messing around. After reviewing the case, the court said, “the accused ignored elementary traffic rules with a powerful vehicle out of a pure desire for speed.” That’s a high price to pay because you forgot one of the most basic traffic laws. speed_limit_25_sign

We can all relate to the pit that drops to your stomach when you look in the mirror and see those blue lights flashing. And while most traffic fines aren’t that hefty, just in the United States they generate between $3.8 billion to $5.4 billion a year in revenue.  Now, relate this to your trading. How many times do we let our emotions, or our pure desire to make the trade work, cause us to forget one of the most elementary trading rules-get out of a losing trade. When we get emotionally involved in a losing trade, we get caught-and you’ll end up with a ‘ticket.’ Just like the driver of that candy red Ferrari let his desire to go fast cloud out the danger (and high price) of speeding, we can forget that taking a small loss is better than big one. So just slow down, follow the traffic rules of trading, and have a good day in the market!

Happy Trading!

One way to not get caught in a losing trade is to have  trading plan or a set of rules you follow when you trade. Here’s the link to a couple of our blog posts about having a trading plan.

http://www.apiaryfundblog.com/how-to-form-a-trading-strategy/

http://www.apiaryfundblog.com/take-market-come-top/

http://www.apiaryfundblog.com/our-philosophy-on-success/

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Good “Luck” Trading

If good trading is all about luck, then Apiary has sown the seeds for success…  quite literally!  About a year ago, Shawn had a vision of turning an ordinary fescue lawn into a factory of four leaf clovers!  While most gardeners might balk at the idea of purposefully growing clover, (clover is considered a weed in most places) at the Apiary Fund we find it quite delicious. With thousands of hungry bees working at the office (mostly real bees, and a couple of human bee-ings) nobody balks at a fresh batch of clover honey – or a fresh batch of clover juice – to keep the trading session lively!

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We got a new juicer for the office Monday and tested it out with a frothy glass of  “Luck O’ the Irish”  clover juice – straight from the lawn!  Disclaimer. We don’t actually know if drinking freshly juiced four leaf clovers will give you luck in the market but we figured, hey, it couldn’t hurt!

Obviously, there are other great ways to find success in trading that don’t depend on ‘good luck’ charms.  Trading forex isn’t about magic tricks or superstitious rituals and it’s definitely not based on luck like the slot machines in Vegas.  Instead it’s honest, consistent effort and discipline that will bring home the green in the currency market!

Here’s some links to a couple blog posts about being a successful trader.

http://www.apiaryfundblog.com/our-philosophy-on-success/

www.apiaryfundblog.com/8-expectations/

Happy Trading!

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Trading the Summer Doldrums

I am sitting here remembering how much I loathe trading the summer doldrums.  A few minutes ago I received a text from the Apiary Fund development team asking me to place a few live execution trades through one of our new liquidity providers.  It is about 4:46pm Mountain Time and there is nothing happening.  The chart is so flat it makes the Utah Bonneville Salt Flats look like mountains!  And trading is so slow that I’ve started keeping track of which comes first; a new tic or a new minute.  So far the minutes are in the lead!

Welcome to trading the summer doldrums.  The doldrums are the period of time between close of the US market and the open of the Asian market when even sleep takes a nap and nothing happens in the currency markets.  And if you thought the doldrums were bad, then the summer doldrums take it a notch slower!  Summer is notoriously slow as traders take a break from trading and head out on vacation!

While most internet company’s in the world look at midnight to perform maintenance on servers and so forth, in the currency markets we use the doldrums.  Its a time when many brokers perform some of the mundane tasks such as calculating your carry interest.

When you trade currencies you borrow money in one currency to buy a different currency.   You have to pay interest on the money that you borrow.  Fortunately, you get paid interest on the currency that you buy.

If the interest rate of currency you borrow is greater than the interest rate of the currency you bought, then you’ll end up paying the broker a little bit of interest.  If the opposite is true and the interest rate of the currency you bought is greater than the interest rate of the currency that you borrowed, then instead of paying the broker, the broker will pay you!  Which is good, because sometimes that’s the only money you’ll make during the summer doldrums!

As for me right now, I suppose I’ll just have to wait for Aussie’s to stir things up a bit!

Happy Trading,

-Shawn

 

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What Are The Costs To Trading Forex?

While there are many costs to trading forex, most costs are categorized in three ways:

Explicit Costs, Implicit Costs and Optional Costs

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Explicit costs: are the fees your broker charges. Examples of explicit costs include commission, spread, margin costs, account and management fees, software fees, and data fees.

Implicit costs: are costs that are not charged by the broker, but by the market. For example, a losing trade could be considered an implicit cost. Other implicit costs include slippage, gaps, opportunity costs, etc.

Optional costs: are just that – they’re optional – they are services that may help you make better trading decisions. Optional trading costs include education, better technology, newsletters, trading systems, or advisory services.

As with anything, trading costs can get expensive. However, it’s not necessary to pay high costs while trading.

For example, to beat the high explicit costs of trading, take time selecting a good broker: be selective and do your homework. Brokers can be tricky at masking fees, so there is no better way to understand the true cost than by opening a small account and testing them out.

Implicit costs are kept in check by improving your knowledge and trading skills. Take time to develop your skills: observe, practice, and learn.  Companies like the Apiary Fund provide excellent education and skill development training to mitigate your risk and costs while you’re developing your skills.

It’s important to know that there will always be costs to trading forex. These costs should not discourage you from trading, but encourage you to be a better trader. The benefits can far out-weigh the expense if you’re willing to be careful, and understand the costs before you dive in!

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