About Shawn Lucas

Shawn Lucas is the founder and fund manager at Apiary Fund. He began his career as a broker for Fidelity and Charles Schwab where he worked the trading desk and processed orders for high net worth investors. An expert in the field of technical and economic analysis of the financial markets, Lucas has since established his reputation as a thought leader and guest speaker for several financial companies including Reuters and TD Ameritrade. He has traveled extensively throughout the world providing lectures, training, consulting, and expert testimony to companies and individuals on the art and science of financial analysis. Lucas has authored sixteen books and studies on the use of technical and economic analysis in stock, option, and futures trading. His simple and methodical approach to the markets has helped thousands of investors better understand and improve their performance and profitability in the financial markets.

Author Archive | Shawn Lucas

Apiary Fund – Does your Personality Affect Personal Investing?

Yes! There are so many variables to investing; often it is difficult for the average investor to know where to begin. To make it easier for investors to understand their personal investing type, Apiary Fund launched its Investor Profile.

The Investor Profile helps traders identify their individual strengths and areas for improvement when investing or trading. The personality assessment helps investors recognize natural internal characteristics either helping or hindering financial success.

The Investor Profile started out as a project aimed to identify what makes an investor successful. We quickly realized that every investor is different and success comes when you can identify your strengths and weaknesses and then play to them.

Motivation, confidence, commitment, self-esteem, reasoning, and emotions are all contributors to the inner qualities influencing your ability to make investment decisions.

The Investor Profile determines the investor’s personality through 28 questions that have them select one of four words with which they most and least identify. Each investor receives a primary and secondary personality type that will help identify their overall profile.

It focuses on four personality types of traders:

  • Aggressive – Quick to enter a trade, but may exit quickly when a loss appears
  • Intuitive – Relies on emotional intuition to get in and out of trades
  • Analytical – Analyzes every possible variable before taking action
  • Methodical – Likely to trade on a system, not much regard to gains and losses

There is no such thing as a ‘bad profile’ for an investor. The Investor Profile simply identifies characteristics that people should know about themselves before they invest. After the assessment, the investor can see traits they may need to adjust and how they might respond to market changes.

After getting the results of the Investor Profile, participants have the option to obtain an eBook that goes into more depth about each of the 16 possible profile personality types. The additional information includes areas such as how you view yourself, basic desires and motivations, behavior under pressure and possible areas of improvement.

Author: Shawn Lucas |

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Keeping a Positive Perspective

The Apiary Fund has a goal.  We want every associate who joins our community to become a consistent and profitable trader.  The road our associates travel is marked with several milestones along the way.  Sometime is easy to lose the perspective of progress along the way.

I am reminded of a story about two boys who were digging a hole in front of their home. As they were digging, one of boys came up with an idea.

“What if we could dig a hole all the way through the earth and come out the other side?”

After some discussion, they decided to give it a try and started shoveling with great earnest.

Meanwhile, a few of the neighbor kids noticed the hole they were digging and, out of curiosity, came over to see what was going on.

“What are you doing?” asked one of the neighborhood kids.

“We’re going to dig a hole all the way through the Earth!” answered both of the boys excitedly.

The neighbor kids began to laugh and told the boys that digging all the way through the Earth was impossible. The boys were clearly disappointed with the lack of support from their peers.

However, after a minute of silence and reflection, excitement returned to the eyes of one of the boys and he picked up a jar full of spiders, worms, and insects.   The boy removed the lid and showed the contents of the jar to the scoffing kids, “Well, maybe we can and maybe we can’t, but even if we can’t, you should see some of the cool stuff we’re finding on the way!”

As you work and toil in pursuit of the Apiary Fund goals, there are three lessons we can learn from the boys who tried digging through the earth:

Never underrate the value of your progress.  Reaching the goal is not the ultimate measure of success.  There is great success in the progress.  There is great satisfaction in the milestones.  There is great joy in the journey.  Here is one of my favorite quotes:

“Life is like an old time rail journey…delays…sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling burst of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, 1910-2008)

Don’t surrender to negativity.  No matter what progress you’ve made in your goal, not everyone will see the full vision of your success. But you don’t have to surrender to their negativity.

Pick up treasures along the way. It’s important to remember as you pursue your goals that you can pick up a lot of “cool” things in the course of your journey.  I remember wishing I had a mentor who could take me under his wing and show me everything I needed to know to become a successful trader.  The fact is, I had many mentors and they all gave me treasures of wisdom that has benefited me in great measure throughout my life.

Learning to trade is a journey – an old rail journey – full of bumps and jolts and dust and smoke.  The unpleasantness of the journey is also part of the marvel.  It’s part of what makes the journey unique.  In fact, it only helps elevate the magnificence of the success.  Sure, others may scoff and poke fun, but successful traders look beyond the naysayers and keep a positive perspective.

Author: Shawn Lucas |

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3 Easy Ways to Find Extra Investing Cash

You have precious little time to make income in life. If you divide life into fourths, you only have a quarter of your life – or 20 years – to really grow your lifetime earnings. Lifetime earnings are the collective income a person receives through a myriad of sources throughout the span of their life. The primary source of lifetime earnings is your job, but experts say that may not be enough. It’s becoming more and more important to use investing cash as a significant source for lifetime earnings.

According to data received by the Census Bureau, the average per capital income in 2011 is a paltry $27,915 with households earning only $52,762. Studies show that the shortfall between lifetime income and lifetime needs is over $50 billion in America and inflation and taxes are making the trend worse. With the gap between lifetime income and needs growing, having some investing cash is important since its one of the only sources of income that is able to extend a person’s lifetime earnings without extending the amount of hours they work.

But let’s face it. Investing cash is hard to find – especially in our economy. With rising taxes and increasing inflation whittling at your wages, finding those extra pennies requires much more than a pinch.  Fortunately, there are ways of finding investing cash beyond your annual income. Here are some suggestions to help you get started:

Sell Some Assets to Make Investing Cash

Most homes have a tidy sum of investment money sitting in closets, out in the garage, or stuffed in a drawer. The expected ROI (return on investment) for a closet full of old clothes is much less than the cash equivalent invested in your favorite mutual fund. So have a yard sale and make a little extra investing cash!

Stop Going to McDonalds and Save Investing Cash

The size of the fast food industry in 2010 was $184 billion. Needless to say, the gap between lifetime earnings and needs could be drastically reduced with fewer trips to McDonalds. Saving $5 on fast food and convenience stores can add up to $25 a week, or up to $100 of investing cash a month.

Investing Groups Offer Free Investing Cash

Another source of investing cash is the financial industry itself. It is common practice in the industry to provide investment money to people who have a successful investing track record. The challenge is becoming successful without having the cash to prove it.  One solution might be Apiary Fund. Apiary Fund is an investor education company that gives people investing cash to manage while they learn from professional investors how to manage money. It’s kind of like on-the-job training. You must complete their training program, which requires a small tuition fee and practice in a simulated account, before they fork over the investing cash, but they pay cash for your share of the profits, so it’s a fantastic way to earn while you learn!

Look no further than a list of the world’s wealthiest people and you’ll discover that producing income from investing cash is an effective way to increase your lifetime earnings and you don’t have to be a huge wage earner to do it. Through small – yet effective – resources, you can pull together a nice sum of investing cash that you can put to work to grow your lifetime earnings.

Author: Shawn Lucas |

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Investing Skills Can Be Developed

Investing skills are developed over time like learning to play the piano.  You wouldn’t expect to play a concerto the day you first sit down at the piano, so why do people expect a great performance when they place their first investment?  It’s interesting to me that people put more time into learning an instrument than they do in learning to manage their assets more effectively.  The probability of positive returns is so small in music, yet we commit so much time.  Contrastingly, the probability of a positive return is so great in the financial markets, yet we commit so little time.  It’s an anomaly.  Let me suggest three things you can do to improve your investing skills:

1. Make Time to Develop Your Investing Skills

Investing skills requires time to develop.  My daughter’s piano teacher expects a half an hour of practice everyday.  The book Outliers, by Malcom Gladwell, puts forth the premise that to be an expert in your field requires a devotion to one’s craft for at least 10,000 hours.   I am not sure that successful trading requires 10,000 hours, but I do know that if you do not set aside time to practice, you’ll never master the craft.  The fact is simple:  successful investors – professional or otherwise – set time aside to master their investing skills.

2. When Your Practice Your Investing Skills, Keep it Real

One challenge in practicing to develop your investing skills is that simulation is easy to cheat.  Whether you’re trading on paper or through a demo platform, it’s easy to let things go.  Going back to my little piano performer, she sometimes gets sloppy in her posture, fingering, timing and tempo.  I remember her teacher telling her, “Practice does not make perfect.  Perfect practice makes perfect.”  Since investing is a skill, keep things as real and disciplined as possible so that you practice is beneficial in real life environments.

3. Keep Your Eyes Open for Ways to Develop Your Investing Skills

The good Lord gave you eyes to learn. When practicing your investing skills keep your eyes open and stay observant.  Watch how the market forms, how it develops.  Watch how your strategies interact with the market during the repetitive iterations of your practice sessions.  Skill is developed through testing, observation, adjustments and more testing, but skills development cannot occur if you don’t see the details in both the big AND small picture.  My daughter’s performance on the piano can be altered dramatically depending on the position and pressure of the strike of her finger on the keyboard.  Developing your investing skills requires your attention to detail and your attention to detail will pay dividends in your performance.

I know that not everyone shares my love and passion for investing.  I know there are returns from learning an instrument that cannot measured in monetary forms.  I know that not everyone has the capacity to put the time into practicing his or her investing skills as I have.  Fortunately, investing skills can yield positive returns quickly and a little practice goes a long way.  Investing is a skill that has a high probability of success.  Investing skills can be learned by anyone with the desire to master it.

Author: Shawn Lucas |

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Seven 2013 New Year Resolutions to Avoid Your Personal Fiscal Cliff

With Christmas 2012 now behind us, most people turn their attention to the new year. Many will make New Year resolutions to better themselves and their families. If one or more of your New Year resolutions for 2013 are financial related, we encourage you to consider seven possible resolutions to help you avoid your own personal fiscal cliff.

 

  1. Resolve to diversify your income. You can diversify your money by taking a small portion of your income and putting it to work for you in other investments. Doing so will put your money to work and give you additional forms of income in addition to your job earnings. Even $50 – $100 more per week in earned income can have a significant impact on your personal finance situation. It allows you to trade money for money instead of just time for money.
  2. Resolve to use leverage. Like any industry that uses tools, leverage is the tool of choice in the financial world. Using small amounts of collateral or money deposits to control larger amounts of investment gives your money a bigger bang for your buck. A lot of people don’t understand what leverage is or how to use it. If you resolve to learn how to use it properly, it can become a powerful tool to allow you to do things with your personal investments that you couldn’t do before.
  3. Resolve to diversify your risk. Risk diversification is key to financial success, but most people fail to diversify risk correctly by forgetting most of their assets are in U.S. dollars. Diversifying some of your assets in foreign denominated currency can add that last bit of safety you need in case of a deterioration of the U.S. dollar.
  4. Resolve to invest in yourself. You don’t need to eat the entire financial elephant in one sitting, instead commit to investing a small amount of time each week learning new financial strategies and concepts. In just a few short weeks, your new found knowledge can sharpen your financial skills and senses.
  5. Resolve to follow your personal investing style. Just as certain physical traits are more conducive to different sports or certain personality traits are helpful in different professions, each person has financial traits conducive to different styles of financial management – financial traits that are good for success. Learn what makes you tick and invest based on your personal financial trait.
  6. Resolve to always pre-calculate your risk of loss. Any time you put money to work, there is a risk of loss. Risk of loss should not be a problem if you correctly calculate the risk before you invest and are financially willing to accept some predicted loss. A good investment is one where the potential gain is greater than the pre-calculated loss.
  7. Resolve to mix-up your markets. There are more markets than just the stock market – or the mutual fund market. There are five separate and independent financial markets: stocks, bonds, derivatives, commodities, and currency. Not all markets move the same way at the same time. This opens up new opportunities for profit as well as protection. Learning what the other markets are and their structure and advantages can give you a leg up in your financial future.


Apiary Fund is a great source for you to use in achieving these and many other resolutions in 2013 that can help you shore up your finances and supplement your income. If nothing else, it provides great training and education on how to successfully trade currency. Once training is complete, you can supplement your income by becoming an Apiary trader. There is no risk, no investment required – you are given an account to trade Apiary’s funds and share in the profits of your successful trades.

We wish everyone a very happy and prosperous 2013!

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