About Tom

Tom Lund is the Content Manager at Apiary Fund where he began his career in 2012. He creates and edits the educational material that Apiary Fund uses to train new foreign exchange traders. Lund researches and writes the investing news and tips for the Apiary Fund blog and website. He graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in English.

Author Archive | Tom

Traders Trade — Money Managers Get Funded

At any other fund in the world, you’d find a bunch of traders being managed by a single fund manager. This fund manager’s single directive is “Don’t lose money.” The traders aren’t money managers; it’s the fund manager’s job to make sure the fund only grows bigger—never smaller.

At the Apiary Fund, we have a risk manager over the fund, but we also believe that every trader should really be a money manager who manages their own risk. We’ve put together such a thorough curriculum because Apiary Fund traders have to be money managers. On top of the principles of risk management that we teach, we also have risk management software that monitors our traders and makes sure that our risk management parameters are never exceeded.

For some coming into the fund, even those with some experience under their belt, this can feel oppressive and controlling. But in reality, Apiary’s risk management parameters are on par with industry standards for money management companies.

Like we’ve said before, the Apiary Fund has a vested interest in its traders. Because we are taking 100% of the risk, we have to manage that risk. And because we have to manage that risk, we try to teach and encourage all our traders to operate withing the risk management parameters!

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Top 3 Features Apiary Offers for Free

We at the Apiary Fund are very proud of the great products we’ve created to help our traders succeed. So proud, in fact, that we have offer some of them to the public for free! In this blog post, we’ve listed our top three free features:

1. The Investor Profile
The Investor Profile is a personality assessment we launched last year to help traders recognize character traits in themselves that will affect how they trade. Because every trader is different, identifying and understanding your strengths and weaknesses is crucial to finding success in the markets. How can you play to your strengths if you don’t know them?

2. The Sessions Clock
The sessions clock is a tool the Apiary Fund developed to help traders keep time. Because the forex market is a 24-hour market, there is always at least one market open. Knowing when each market opens and closes will help you avoid any unexpected jumps in volatility. So, whether you’re on the road or just experimenting with trading at different times of the day, the sessions clock can help you keep things straight!

3. The Trader Development Preview
The Trader Development Program is Apiary’s training curriculum, developed to help our traders learn the ins and outs of the market in the most effective way. As a preview, The Apiary Fund offers the first course to the public for free! Just enter your name and email on the Apiary Fund’s homepage!

While we do offer some great features free of cost, we don’t just put our best stuff in the window. We have a wealth of knowledge and resources to help make Apiary Fund traders successful!

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3 Ways to Full Utilize Apiary’s Trading Education

For new traders, we at the Apiary Fund understand there’s a lot to take in. So much, in fact, that you may find yourself initially disoriented, need direction. Allow me to stress the top three ways you can start taking advantage of the Apiary Fund’s trading education resources:

1. Follow the Curriculum

We at the Apiary Fund have put a lot of time and effort into making a highly-structured education curriculum. So it always surprises me to hear when people don’t take full advantage of it. Because people learn at their own pace and in their own way, we’ve designed the courses to keep our students engaged! Some sections will be presented as ebooks, and others as video clips and modules. Throw in some accountability in the form of quizzes and you’ve got a very valuable resource at your fingertips. Don’t waste any of it!

2. Attend Live Classes & Discussions

While the live classes and discussions are offered as a purely supplementary resource for your trading education, I’d be lying if I said they weren’t one of the most beneficial aspects of your trading education. There are usually at least a couple discussions and classes per day, all at various levels of difficulty. There are two common mistakes I have observed in regard to the live trainings, though:

  • You should not feel obligated to attend ALL of them. Remember, these are supplementary to the core Trader Development curriculum, so burn yourself out by thinking you need to be at every live event!
  •  Be honest with yourself about your experience level. If you’ve only been trading for three weeks, you probably shouldn’t attend live classes rated Hard. You’re not going to do anybody any good by going to a class that’s completely over your head.

3. Trade!

As they say, practice makes perfect. If you want to swim in the deep end someday, you’re going to have to jump in the pool sooner or later. So you might as well get started now! If you’re new to trading, don’t worry–we’ve got your back! We know that the first couple months are usually rough, so our risk managers won’t hold it against you when it comes time to talk about funded accounts. But the risk managers will want to see that you’ve made lots of trades, so use what you’re learning in the trading education and start trading!

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Tips for Managing Position Size

Large position sizeAt the heart of money management is the decision of increasing or decreasing your investment. To illustrate this, imagine you own a store that sells athletic equipment. Because no sport lasts all year, you’d find yourself changing your floor inventory based on which sports are approaching, which are in full swing, and which are ending soon.

When it comes to changing position size, the rule is to increase your position size during favorable market conditions for your product. In your store, you’d have more football equipment on the sales floor during the fall when you know conditions are favorable for that sport. The other side of this rule is to decrease position size during unfavorable conditions. As football season winds down and basketball season begins, the products in your store would decrease inventory to reflect the new season.

Small position sizeFortunately, in the market there are two seasons: highly predictive and less predictive. You’ll want to increase your position size in highly predictive conditions and decrease your position size in less predictive conditions. Controlling your investment size is key to keeping your losses to a minimum. This, in combination with other elements of money management as emphasized by the Apiary Investment Fund, will ultimately lead to profitable trading!

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Time is Money: Discipline and Accountability

One problem new traders frequently face is the issue of time. With other responsibilities and obligations scrambling for their place in the schedule, traders often feel overwhelmed at the thought of devoting time to a new venture. But never fear!

We at the Apiary Fund are here to debunk two myths—First, that you don’t have enough time, and second, that trading requires too much time. As far as a lack of time goes, we’re all given the same 24 hours per day.

How those 24 hours are spent is up to you! Any opportunity to improve your lifestyle will require some time and effort, so here’s a question to ask yourself: Are you willing to put in that time? Are you wasting your time, or investing your time wisely?

Don’t get us wrong—we would never say that a person should spend every waking moment at work. After all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!

Besides, a lack of time usually isn’t the real problem.

It is, however, indicative of the problem: a lack of focus and discipline. But this is nothing new to us at the Apiary Fund! Whether it’s risk management or time management, we stress discipline in trading! Many of our traders are part of the Trading Partners program, in which an experienced trader and a not-so-experienced trader work together. This program is very successful due to the fact that discipline and accountability often walk hand in hand. Improvement drastically increases when you set and report goals with another person! Further in this vein, the Apiary Fund is currently designing a new Trading Groups program to promote discipline, mutual support, and accountability.

This concept is by no means new. In fact, you probably already know about it! Most of us have trouble setting aside time for regular exercise, but when you commit to go to the gym with a friend, or a group of friends, you’re much more likely to go! At the Apiary Fund we believe that if you make your trading not only a commitment to yourself, but also to others, you’re that much more likely to succeed! If you’d like to learn more about the Apiary Fund’s Trading Partners program, feel free to give us a call at 1-801-701-1650 or email us.

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The All-New Sessions Clock from the Apiary Fund

Sometimes its hard to keep track of which markets may be open when you jump online to trade.  Well, the Apiary Fund has a solution for you! It’s called the Sessions Clock, and if you like to trade at all hours of the day, then youll be fast friends.

 

Sessions clock

It’s a simple visual tool that lays the four markets around a 24-hour clock to help illustrate market opens, closes, and overlaps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sessions clock liquidity

Below the Sessions Clock, just for quick reference, is a graphic illustrating average liquidity throughout the day.

 

 

 

 

 

We want all of our traders to be successful, and in order to do this we’re trying to give you some great tools to use! So if you’re traveling and want to trade on your laptop, don’t hesitate to check the Sessions Clock with your new timezone!

In case you missed the link above, the Sessions Clock can be found here.

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Don’t Be the Jack of All Trading Systems

Have you met my friend, Jack? He’s fairly good at lots of things, but I wouldn’t say he’s really great at anything. And I think I may have figured out why.

At the Apiary Fund, we not only offer a very thorough education curriculum, which we call the Trader Development Program, but we also conduct live discussions. Now don’t get these confused – the live discussions are there to supplement the core education. Think of it as added value!

Too often I see new traders get lost jumping between the Trader Development course material and the live instruction. If you’re new to the world of foreign exchange, then this might be problematic in your efforts to learn. While our established course material is aimed at the very newest of beginners, our supplementary live instruction is not. The difficulty of the live material varies greatly, with much of it aimed at more experienced traders.

So, if you’re struggling to find a foothold between the Trader Development courses and the live instruction, you could be spreading yourself too thin! If you’re keeping busy in the Trader Development material and attending all the various live classes and discussions, then hats off to you! We love to see our traders enthusiastic and committed! However, this could be unnecessary, or worse, detrimental to your development as a trader.

We at the Apiary Fund stress finding a trading system that works for you. That’s why we’ve developed the Investor Profile! Once you find an effective trading system, strive to develop different strategies within that system and stick with it! If you’re bouncing around system to system from one day to the next, how are you ever going to master one?

Just remember what Brent always says: “Don’t mistake activity for achievement.”

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The Summit and Trading Groups

Well, the Traders’ Summit is over, and we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! We heard great stories, valuable instruction, and, when the American and European markets overlapped, we saw some expert traders in action!

We also saw the announcement of Apiary’s newest feature: Trading Groups.

If you’ve ever resolved to lose weight and get in shape, then you probably know how easy it is to lose that resolve. It’s not easy to get up at the crack of dawn and hit the gym before work every day—especially if you’re by yourself. But when you go with a friend, you’re more likely to keep with it. It’s this feeling of accountability that helps you stay motivated in the face of hard or inconvenient circumstance.

With Apiary’s new Trading Groups, you can now have that degree of accountability and structure within the hive! To find out more about Apiary’s Trading Groups, give us a call at 1-801-701-1650!

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January Wrap-up — Investor Profile, Traders’ Summit

Well, this is been something of a power month for the Apiary Fund, and we couldn’t be more anxious for what’s coming up! As a part of our January wrap-up, let’s take a look at our biggest headline:

 The Investor Profile

An early release of the Apiary’s Investor Profile was actually announced in December, and it’s been a huge hit! This month we extended beyond Apiary associates and launched the Investor Profile to the public.

As our traders have taken the personality test, it’s been interesting to see the many different personalities that have all come together to form this great community. And it hasn’t just been beneficial for us! The Investor Profile has provided our community of traders an opportunity for serious introspection and trading system adjustment. The new Investor Profile can be found here.

As for what’s coming up, I hope you’ve marked the Winter 2013 Traders’ Summit in your calendars! The three-day event starts on February 25, and there will be plenty of Q&A, so come prepared with any questions or topics you want to discuss with Apiary’s instructors and risk managers! There will also be some live trading sessions and training activities! Visit the Traders’ Summit site to learn more and reserve your seat!

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How Does Leverage Work in Forex?

Traders new to the world of foreign exchange often don’t understand the very tool that makes their trading possible: Leverage. Though the concept of leverage has gotten some negative heat in recent years,  it’s one that makes the markets accesible to new traders with little funds!

Leverage is like a short-term loan a broker gives a trader to allow for more buying power. Laws vary around the world, but in the Unites States, brokers are allowed to give traders fifty-to-one leverage. This means that whenever a trader puts $1 into an investment, a broker will match it with $49. This leverage is a great advantage afforded to currencies traders, as it can significantly expand a trader’s profit potential.

Let’s take a quick look at how leverage works:

You see indications that the US dollar is going up in comparison to the Japanese Yen. So you want to purchase 1 regular lot, which is going to cost you $100,000. Your broker, however, has given you 100 to 1 leverage. This means that you can borrow $99,000 from your broker as long as you have at least 1% of the lot size in your account.

Since you were buying at a 1% margin, $1000 US dollars are set aside so that you can open up the trade. You now control $100,000 US dollars worth of Japanese Yen. Let’s assume the exchange rate does indeed rise one cent and you close your position. At first glance this might sound like just a slight increase, but that seemingly insignificant climb earned you a cent for every dollar you had leveraged. You made roughly $1,000 US dollars.

We can simplify this idea by thinking about a home loan. I don’t have the money to buy a $200,000 home outright, but I do have $20,000. I can use that $20,000, or 10%, as a down payment, and the mortgage lender will match it with the remaining 90%. Then, if the house’s value has appreciated in five years, I can claim a profit! However, if the house depreciates to $150,000, not only do I have to take the loss, I still have to pay back my loan.

Amplifying a movement’s effect works two ways; with greater profit potential comes greater risk, so losses can be very large as well. With this in mind, it’s not hard to understand why Apiary teaches strict risk management methods!

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