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Can you help me to identify a good career to support myself whilst I commit my youth to training to attempt to become a professional boxer?
I realise this is a really long post, there is a TL, DR at the bottom for those that are not interested in the details of my life.
So firstly, some context about me - if you're interested:
Disclaimer: I'm really sorry if I sound incredibly arrogant here, but the truth is I can't be as 'intelligent' as I think I am if I have made as many mistakes as I have in my past to end up where I currently am - just take it as though I’m selling myself for a job interview. I would consider myself to be the absolute definition of a neurodiverse generalist-specialist - in fact when I was 16 (I'm currently 20) my psychology teacher would always refer to me as the "master of all trades" (and despite as flattering as that was, there was obviously an element of hyperbole there). I am fairly autonomous; however, I am also a neophile (and my theory is that this element of myself is the biggest reason for why I am the way that I am). I am either incredibly hyper focused or completely distracted - however I have been working on developing an element of moderation to these two extremes of my character. Just to clarify though, I don't consider myself 'good at everything' - I'm actually usually the WORST at a lot of things when I first begin, and in all honesty the only thing a lot of people I know would say I'm genuinely naturally 'good at' is learning (which I really, really have come to appreciate over the years) - but I wouldn't say I have any 'innate talents' or any 'elite endowments'. For example: I'm not the best at Maths, I don't have a gift for music, I can't speak multiple languages, and I'm not the fastest or the strongest - BUT, despite whatever disadvantages I have, I have always had the supreme confidence that if I really try, and if I really dedicate myself I can reach the top ~5% of most things. In other words, I can at least do the things that don't require talent that will close the gap between myself and those at the most elite level of a particular discipline. I know this isn't unique to me, however it is something that I have had a good comprehension of since I was very young. However, the super-power I discovered is this: if I can reach the top ~5% of most disciplines, then I have the LARGEST advantage in the most multi-disciplinary subjects. The more versatility, variety, and integration a subject requires - the higher and higher I have noticed my potential to be within it (and I will relate this to boxing soon). To vaguely illustrate the point, I spend A LOT of time researching very high level multi-disciplinary subjects such as Bio-Chemistry and Physiology; Neuroscience and its connections to computation, reality, consciousness, and the practical applications of novel cognitive and neural strategies in sports and the acquisition of new 'abilities/skill'; Data science, artificial intelligence, human history, neurobiology, and systems engineering and how they could shape a society better fit for humans, their needs, desires, and purpose etc. etc. etc. I have been employed since the age of 13 and have grew up in a poor part of inner-city Birmingham, UK, from birth. My parents are 'un-skilled labourers' however have had to care for my disabled brother since before I was born, and their opportunities to progress their material conditions were, and still can be, incredibly limited; for these reasons my parents are unable to give me more support than they already do (I appreciate and love my parents a lot; they give me shelter rent free, and are always supportive of me and my ambitions). I've also always worked 'low-skilled', poor rate of pay jobs that require a lot of time investment in order to change my material circumstances: Hair salon cleaner, Fish and Chip shop, Go-kart track race Marshall, and currently I am an apprentice mechanic (21 months into the 36months required to fully qualify) - I also sold weed for some supplemental income when I was 17/18 but those days are behind me.
The 'problem' though, is this:
Despite my attraction to 'novelty' and my history of what appears to be 'commitment issues' - I've finally settled on a path that I am willing to commit my entire youth towards - but I am unable to support myself financially (and therefore at-all) if I am to make the sacrifices I need to make to be serious about this lifestyle. The main problem is time, and the second is money (go figure!). So essentially, where I'd like to be right now is: spending approximately up to 7 hours a day training (preferably most of that time in the mornings), AND saving enough money to where I have options 5-7 years from now if my efforts unfortunately do not pay off. At this point you can see why I'm having difficulty... I'm pretty sure that it's literally everyone's goal ever to earn enough money to depend on, in a minimal amount of time- however I don't need to earn a lot - just whatever is sustainable for the next 5-7 years... as long as I am able to pay for my abstract needs, with some disposable income I will be happy. THE ONLY OTHER CRITERIA is that it just can't be something monotonous. I'm here because I'd still like to develop a career suited for my skills alongside boxing if possible - but if the best case scenario is that I have to just work a minimum wage job for now, it has to be something that allows me to progress into more meaningful work that is more intellectually stimulating. Basically, a part-time job in a field that I’m interested in, where there is a very real possibility of me attaining more skilled and better paying roles.
What makes all of this complicated (sort of):
Due to a lack of personal responsibility, and a past struggle with depression I dropped out of my tertiary education (the step before getting a degree) before I received any qualifications. I do have a very, very exceptional set of secondary education qualifications - but those are only good for FURTHER education and aren't really beneficial when trying to gain employment - at least if I already had some tertiary education qualification(s) it would open up some doors to a set of slightly higher paying jobs that would (with an assumed degree of flexibility) at least enable me to work less hours and be closer to my ideal situation. I'm slightly adverse to going back into education for now, only because it will reduce the amount of time to generate some capital and train at the same time. I actually really would love to go to University (for something like Physiology with Neuroscience), but I don't want to slow down my current progress in Boxing - as time is of the essence and I will reach my biological prime fairly soon. I am fairly certain that whether my boxing career takes off or not, I will almost certainly end up going to university at a later point in my life, just because I genuinely have an interest in attaining a degree, however, as I already stated, I currently do not possess the qualifications to be accepted into University - and gaining those qualifications would also set me back in my boxing progression further. DESPITE THIS, I would be willing to complete a degree apprenticeship (so long as it’s in a field I'd consider a degree in), because I will be able to save money and sort out my finances from now, and only have to slow down my training for the next 3 years (and in all honesty that's at a push) until I'm able to (hopefully) establish a better work-life balance to, again, attain my ideal situation. At this point, I’m expecting to receive replies that will tell me to continue with my apprenticeship - especially because of the fact that I'm more than halfway through - however I will throw some spanners in the works (lol). I am already on a wage that would just about be in that range where I am able to pay for my abstract needs, with some disposable income (which is actually less than NMW here because it's an apprenticeship) - however I have gotten into debt because for the first year I was on an even lower rate of pay that was just not sustainable to meet my needs and therefore I made the sacrifice to accrue some debt, thinking it would be a worthwhile investment. Furthermore I must (and have been) buy(ing) an adequate collection of tools before my apprenticeship ends to retain employment - and tools are not cheap so this further reduces my take home pay (and will continue to do so for the duration of the apprenticeship). Not only that, but once I finish the apprenticeship, I would not like to continue my 40-hour work week - nor would I choose to stay on with my employer. Despite this, there is good potential to be more autonomous and flexible, and earn quite a lot of money by being a self-employed mechanic - but the amount of money I will have to spend to acquire the tools and facilities required to be a profitable mechanic will take me some time, further delaying my progress in boxing. Furthermore, it would be great if I had the knowledge and experience to be a self-employed mechanic, but attaining the qualification is the sole purpose of the apprenticeship - not becoming a good mechanic; I only work on newer models of a certain brand and therefore my exposure to different configurations of mechanisms, and diagnosis and rectification of different issues is limited also, which will make it difficult to have a large enough volume of potential customers to be worthwhile, unless I spend additional time in a 'backstreet' garage. I did have the thought of applying to a 'backstreet' garage and gaining these experiences and knowledge NOW, so that when I do finish, I could potentially have an easier start becoming self-employed - however I have sacrificed the amount of time that I spent being active before and this is what led me to my previous stage of being deeply depressed, and I do not want to make that same mistake again - athletic development really is my self-designated purpose in life. Disclaimer: Obviously I don’t NEED to train extensive hours every day for my mental health - but I DO need to make sure that I do not reach the age of 30/40 with regret wondering what could have been if I was courageous enough to risk it all- that's literally it. I just won't be able to live with myself if I don't at least do everything I can to try to succeed whilst I still have the opportunity. Once I’m beyond my prime, I can deal with spending my time differently, but I wake up with a sense of urgency towards becoming the most athletically developed as I possibly can every morning. I've thought about doing something like Forex or content creation - but I don’t think it's very smart to invest both my plan A and B in risky 'gig economy' style careers. I've also thought about having a career within boxing - however I don't know of any good opportunities other than competing and I'm scared anything else will kill my passion for my desire to compete also. A possibility that I have just recently began playing with though, is to begin creating an online boxing profile for myself on various social media websites - to share high quality videos of my training and performance in the hopes that I may gain a following that will enable me to gain sponsorship(s) of some sort. The only reason I hadn't done this sooner is because I have only just started to attain a level of skill and ability that I feel is 'rare' - I still have so much to work on, and this is my point, that I have no time to waste. A lot of guys will just throw themselves out there too early but, as some of my greatest idols, I follow the philosophy of Mike Tyson and Cus D’Amato - Amateurs should take their time before they start competing (I am only just about to start competing in amateurs, but coronavirus lol) because we want to dominate, and not compete. I know it may seem silly to be so, so, so focused on Boxing as a career - especially when I am not that 'tried and tested' but I know I can't just give up because I haven't yet proved myself to other people. If you've made it this far, I am incredibly impressed by your ability to focus your attention on someone else's self-absorbed first world problems for this long - and I am incredibly thankful that you continued despite my lack of concision and the horrible formatting of this huge boring wall of text. <3 What would your advise be for me?
I have a good history of low-skill employment; (In my opinion) I'm under-qualified for my level of 'intellectual capability' (through no faults other than my own), and I feel like I am already prepared for a higher-skill job - so long as I was given the opportunity to prove my ability - however I am a choosing beggar in the sense that I am trying to create a great work-life balance despite my large demands as to what constitutes 'life'; despite this I'm willing to live frugally for a while in order to make my dream a reality - but do need some disposable income to pay off some debts I have accrued and also to prepare myself financially just in-case I am unable to make my dream of becoming a professional boxer a reality once all is said and done. Therefore, with these circumstances what do you think is the best course of action to reach my ideal situation of: working part-time for (up to) 30 hours a week to begin building a career that will not feel like a form of mental torture due to the monotony of - and one that has good potential to increase earnings without increasing my commitments to work (mainly time) - something that pays me because of the extra value I can provide (funny how hard this seems - not sure if this says something about me hahaha). I have interests in all the sciences (mainly life science, but the STEM and Natural sciences are good too), public health, using tools (as long as they're not as expensive as a mechanic's hahaha), and anything that allows me to be more autonomous and learn about novel things - or at least contribute to the development of knowledge. The only thing I know is that I DO need to make sure that I do not reach the age of 30/40 with regret wondering what could have been if I was courageous enough to risk it all- that's literally it. I just won't be able to live with myself if I don't at least do everything I can to try to succeed whilst I still have the opportunity. Once I’m beyond my prime, I can deal with spending my time differently, but I wake up with a sense of urgency towards becoming one of the best boxers the world has ever seen. Edit: It's funny how one of the first things I mentioned is that I'm a 'generalist-specialist'... and then this whole post is about spreading myself too thin hahaha.
This article will breakdown the top 16 trading tips you should consider , ranging from how you should trade, the risks you need to be aware of, how learning about trading can improve your trading performance, and much more! https://preview.redd.it/5mtfgzf58u951.jpg?width=750&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d03de717ed7528061472e763cfcb4cf34771fbef 1. Create Your Own Strategy No list of currency trading tips is complete if it doesn't mention strategies. One of the most common mistakes beginner traders make is not creating an action plan. Figure out what you want to get out of trading. Having a clear end goal in mind will help with your trading discipline. 2. Learn Step-by-Step As with every new practical learning activity, trading requires you to start with the basics, and move slowly until you understand the playing field. Start by investing small sums of money, and keep in mind the old adage 'slow but steady wins the race'. 3. Take Control of Your Emotions Don't let your emotions carry you away. It can be very difficult at times, especially after you've experienced a losing streak. But keeping a level head will help you stay rational, so you can make competent choices. Whenever you let your emotions get the better of you, you expose yourself to unnecessary risks. Exercising risk management within your trading will help you to minimise the risks. 4. Stress Less This is one Forex tip that sounds really obvious – because it really is. But guess what? Trading under stress generally leads to irrational decisions, and in live trading, that will cost you money. Therefore, identify the source of your stress and try to eliminate it, or at least limit its influence on you. Take a deep breath and focus on something else. Every person has their own way of overcoming stress – some listen to classical music, while others exercise. Listen to your mental health and learn what works best for you. 5. Practice Makes Perfect Of all the Forex tricks and tips for beginners, this is the most important. You are unlikely to succeed at anything on your first try. Only constant trading practice can yield consistently top results. But you probably don't want to lose money while learning the basics, right? 6. Psychology is Key Every trader is a psychologist at heart. When you're planning your next move, you have to analyse market movements and review your own psychology. You need to ask yourself questions such as:
Did I show signs of confirmation bias?
Did I make a trade out of frustration?
What made me choose that particular currency pair?
Mastering your psychology will protect you from many losses along the trading development path. 7. No Risk, No Success Not even Forex trading tips and tricks can guarantee you success. When you decide to become a trader, you should have already accepted the possibility of failure. In case you didn't – here's a reality check. You won't make profitable trades 100% of the time. Don't let false advertisements get in your head, either. Instead, be realistic about your Forex trading methods and goals. 8. Patience is a Virtue When it comes to trading, this old saying is not just a cliché. True success is never instantaneous. It's the result of consistent work and planning. Many beginner traders look for an easy, fast path to profit. Don't bother – it doesn't exist! 9. Continuous Education Each day you trade, there's a new lesson to be learned. Look closely at the Forex market and keep all the tips you have learnt in mind. Start analysing news, trends, and financial processes, and don't neglect the Forex basics. Most importantly, study, then practise and then study some more. Repeat this process often, and you will be well on your way to fully understanding the markets. Studying will require a lot of time and effort, but it will pay off in the long run. For starters, Admiral Markets offers the opportunity for traders to benefit from a free education centre that offers Forex tips, as well as, a range of articles and tutorials offering tips, tricks, strategies, and more, for all kinds of trading. 10. Trends are Good for You One particularly important Forex market tip to follow is to learn about trends. The ability to spot trends is a valuable one. While we don't recommend jumping on the trend bandwagon every time, but outright ignoring the trend is a recipe for disaster. Trends can show you what is coming, so you can pro-actively adjust your trading, rather than reacting when it's too late. 11. Seek Competitive Conditions It's important to choose top-notch service conditions and get favourable spreads. If you're considering trading with Admiral Markets, there are a range of different options available. Why not read more about them in our account types section? 12. Plan in Advance Forex trading is not a gamble – it's a strategic game. Carefully calculate your next move before you act. You can begin formulating a plan by asking yourself some challenging questions such as:
Have I accounted for the possibility that I may lose?
What's my plan B for the different types of scenarios that may arise?
To be successful at Forex trading, you have to expect the unexpected. 13. Know the Charts You will be trading on many different markets and will need to quickly understand the information you analyse for each trade. There are numerous tools available to traders that make trading easier, but nothing is more time-efficient than charts. Charts provide you with fast access to numerically-heavy data in the form of a simple visual, so you don't have to scroll through it. 14. Don't Run out of Chances Eagerness is good, but there is a limit to everything. If you trade too much, you are probably harming your chances of achieving success. Why? Because overtrading usually leads to weakened focus and careless trades. As you develop your trading plan, indicate the maximum amount of trades you will make per day or week. 15. Greediness Leads to Risks Greediness can make you take unnecessary risks as well. Set the maximum loss and desired profit within your trading plan. When you hit this level, stop and don't go for another trade. When it comes to fund management, this is one of the most important Forex tips and tricks to follow. 16. Use Stop-Losses Our Forex daily tips don't just focus on general recommendations. We also want to mention valuable tools, such as the highly rated stop-loss. Not setting a stop-loss is basically giving you an excuse to keep a bad position open (because you're hoping that the situation improves). But bad situations rarely improve, and neither will your capital if you don't wise up fast. A correctly placed stop-loss eliminates the risk of losing all of your money on a single bad trade. The stop-loss is especially beneficial when you don't have the ability to close positions manually.
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Which are your Top 5 favourite coins out of the Top 100? An analysis.
I am putting together my investment portfolio for 2018 and made a complete summary of the current Top 100. Interestingly, I noticed that all coins can be categorized into 12 markets. Which markets do you think will play the biggest role in the coming year? Here is a complete overview of all coins in an excel sheet including name, market, TPS, risk profile, time since launch (negative numbers mean that they are launching that many months in the future) and market cap. You can also sort by all of these fields of course. Coins written in bold are the strongest contenders within their market either due to having the best technology or having a small market cap and still excellent technology and potential. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1s8PHcNvvjuy848q18py_CGcu8elRGQAUIf86EYh4QZo/edit#gid=0 The 12 markets are
Currency 13 coins
Platform 25 coins
Ecosystem 9 coins
Privacy 10 coins
Currency Exchange Tool 8 coins
Gaming & Gambling 5 coins
Misc 15 coins
Social Network 4 coins
Fee Token 3 coins
Decentralized Data Storage 4 coins
Cloud Computing 3 coins
Stable Coin 2 coins
Before we look at the individual markets, we need to take a look of the overall market and its biggest issue scalability first: Cryptocurrencies aim to be a decentralized currency that can be used worldwide. Its goal is to replace dollar, Euro, Yen, all FIAT currencies worldwide. The coin that will achieve that will be worth several trillion dollars. Bitcoin can only process 7 transactions per second (TPS). In order to replace all FIAT, it would need to perform at at least VISA levels, which usually processes around 3,000 TPS, up to 25,000 TPS during peak times and a maximum of 64,000 TPS. That means that this cryptocurrency would need to be able to perform at least several thousand TPS. However, a ground breaking technology should not look at current technology to set a goal for its use, i.e. estimating the number of emails sent in 1990 based on the number of faxes sent wasn’t a good estimate. For that reason, 10,000 TPS is the absolute baseline for a cryptocurrency that wants to replace FIAT. This brings me to IOTA, which wants to connect all 80 billion IoT devices that are expected to exist by 2025, which constantly communicate with each other, creating 80 billion or more transactions per second. This is the benchmark that cryptocurrencies should be aiming for. Currently, 8 billion devices are connected to the Internet. With its Lightning network recently launched, Bitcoin is realistically looking at 50,000 possible soon. Other notable cryptocurrencies besides IOTA and Bitcoin are Nano with 7,000 TPS already tested, Dash with several billion TPS possible with Masternodes, Neo, LISK and RHOC with 100,000 TPS by 2020, Ripple with 50,000 TPS, Ethereum with 10,000 with Sharding. However, it needs to be said that scalability usually goes at the cost of decentralization and security. So, it needs to be seen, which of these technologies can prove itself resilient and performant. Without further ado, here are the coins of the first market
Market 1 - Currency:
Bitcoin: 1st generation blockchain with currently bad scalability currently, though the implementation of the Lightning Network looks promising and could alleviate most scalability concerns, scalability and high energy use.
Ripple: Centralized currency that might become very successful due to tight involvement with banks and cross-border payments for financial institutions; banks and companies like Western Union and Moneygram (who they are currently working with) as customers customers. However, it seems they are aiming for more decentralization now.https://ripple.com/dev-blog/decentralization-strategy-update/. Has high TPS due to Proof of Correctness algorithm.
Bitcoin Cash: Bitcoin fork with the difference of having an 8 times bigger block size, making it 8 times more scalable than Bitcoin currently. Further block size increases are planned. Only significant difference is bigger block size while big blocks lead to further problems that don't seem to do well beyond a few thousand TPS. Opponents to a block size argue that increasing the block size limit is unimaginative, offers only temporary relief, and damages decentralization by increasing costs of participation. In order to preserve decentralization, system requirements to participate should be kept low. To understand this, consider an extreme example: very big blocks (1GB+) would require data center level resources to validate the blockchain. This would preclude all but the wealthiest individuals from participating.Community seems more open than Bitcoin's though.
Litecoin : Little brother of Bitcoin. Bitcoin fork with different mining algorithm but not much else.Copies everything that Bitcoin does pretty much. Lack of real innovation.
Dash: Dash (Digital Cash) is a fork of Bitcoin and focuses on user ease. It has very fast transactions within seconds, low fees and uses Proof of Service from Masternodes for consensus. They are currently building a system called Evolution which will allow users to send money using usernames and merchants will find it easy to integrate Dash using the API. You could say Dash is trying to be a PayPal of cryptocurrencies. Currently, cryptocurrencies must choose between decentralization, speed, scalability and can pick only 2. With Masternodes, Dash picked speed and scalability at some cost of decentralization, since with Masternodes the voting power is shifted towards Masternodes, which are run by Dash users who own the most Dash.
IOTA: 3rd generation blockchain called Tangle, which has a high scalability, no fees and instant transactions. IOTA aims to be the connective layer between all 80 billion IOT devices that are expected to be connected to the Internet in 2025, possibly creating 80 billion transactions per second or 800 billion TPS, who knows. However, it needs to be seen if the Tangle can keep up with this scalability and iron out its security issues that have not yet been completely resolved.
Nano: 3rd generation blockchain called Block Lattice with high scalability, no fees and instant transactions. Unlike IOTA, Nano only wants to be a payment processor and nothing else, for now at least. With Nano, every user has their own blockchain and has to perform a small amount of computing for each transaction, which makes Nano perform at 300 TPS with no problems and 7,000 TPS have also been tested successfully. Very promising 3rd gen technology and strong focus on only being the fastest currency without trying to be everything.
Decred: As mining operations have grown, Bitcoin’s decision-making process has become more centralized, with the largest mining companies holding large amounts of power over the Bitcoin improvement process. Decred focuses heavily on decentralization with their PoW Pos hybrid governance system to become what Bitcoin was set out to be. They will soon implement the Lightning Network to scale up. While there do not seem to be more differences to Bitcoin besides the novel hybrid consensus algorithm, which Ethereum, Aeternity and Bitcoin Atom are also implementing, the welcoming and positive Decred community and professoinal team add another level of potential to the coin.
Aeternity: We’ve seen recently, that it’s difficult to scale the execution of smart contracts on the blockchain. Crypto Kitties is a great example. Something as simple as creating and trading unique assets on Ethereum bogged the network down when transaction volume soared. Ethereum and Zilliqa address this problem with Sharding. Aeternity focuses on increasing the scalability of smart contracts and dapps by moving smart contracts off-chain. Instead of running on the blockchain, smart contracts on Aeternity run in private state channels between the parties involved in the contracts. State channels are lines of communication between parties in a smart contract. They don’t touch the blockchain unless they need to for adjudication or transfer of value. Because they’re off-chain, state channel contracts can operate much more efficiently. They don’t need to pay the network for every time they compute and can also operate with greater privacy. An important aspect of smart contract and dapp development is access to outside data sources. This could mean checking the weather in London, score of a football game, or price of gold. Oracles provide access to data hosted outside the blockchain. In many blockchain projects, oracles represent a security risk and potential point of failure, since they tend to be singular, centralized data streams. Aeternity proposes decentralizing oracles with their oracle machine. Doing so would make outside data immutable and unchangeable once it reaches Aeternity’s blockchain. Of course, the data source could still be hacked, so Aeternity implements a prediction market where users can bet on the accuracy and honesty of incoming data from various oracles.It also uses prediction markets for various voting and verification purposes within the platform. Aeternity’s network runs on on a hybrid of proof of work and proof of stake. Founded by a long-time crypto-enthusiast and early colleague of Vitalik Buterin, Yanislav Malahov. Promising concept though not product yet
Bitcoin Atom: Atomic Swaps and hybrid consenus. This looks like the only Bitcoin clone that actually is looking to innovate next to Bitcoin Cash.
Dogecoin: Litecoin fork, fantastic community, though lagging behind a bit in technology.
Bitcoin Gold: A bit better security than bitcoin through ASIC resistant algorithm, but that's it. Not that interesting.
Digibyte: Digibyte's PoS blockchain is spread over a 100,000+ servers, phones, computers, and nodes across the globe, aiming for the ultimate level of decentralization. DigiByte rebalances the load between the five mining algorithms by adjusting the difficulty of each so one algorithm doesn’t become dominant. The algorithm's asymmetric difficulty has gained notoriety and been deployed in many other blockchains.DigiByte’s adoption over the past four years has been slow. It’s still a relatively obscure currency compared its competitors. The DigiByte website offers a lot of great marketing copy and buzzwords. However, there’s not much technical information about what they have planned for the future. You could say Digibyte is like Bitcoin, but with shorter blocktimes and a multi-algorithm. However, that's not really a difference big enough to truly set themselves apart from Bitcoin, since these technologies could be implemented by any blockchain without much difficulty. Their decentralization is probably their strongest asset, however, this also change quickly if the currency takes off and big miners decide to go into Digibyte.
Bitcoin Diamond Asic resistant Bitcoin and Copycat
Market 2 - Platform
Most of the cryptos here have smart contracts and allow dapps (Decentralized apps) to be build on their platform and to use their token as an exchange of value between dapp services.
Ethereum: 2nd generation blockchain that allows the use of smart contracts. Bad scalability currently, though this concern could be alleviated by the soon to be implemented Lightning Network aka Plasma and its Sharding concept.
EOS: Promising technology that wants to be able do everything, from smart contracts like Ethereum, scalability similar to Nano with 1000 tx/second + near instant transactions and zero fees, to also wanting to be a platform for dapps. However, EOS doesn't have a product yet and everything is just promises still. Highly overvalued right now. However, there are lots of red flags, have dumped $500 million Ether over the last 2 months and possibly bought back EOS to increase the size of their ICO, which has been going on for over a year and has raised several billion dollars. All in all, their market cap is way too high for that and not even having a product.
Cardano: Similar to Ethereum/EOS, however, only promises made with no delivery yet, highly overrated right now. Interesting concept though. Market cap way too high for not even having a product. Somewhat promising technology.
VeChain: Singapore-based project that’s building a business enterprise platform and inventory tracking system. Examples are verifying genuine luxury goods and food supply chains. Has one of the strongest communities in the crypto world. Most hyped token of all, with merit though.
Neo: Neo is a platform, similar to Eth, but more extensive, allowing dapps and smart contracts, but with a different smart contract gas system, consensus mechanism (PoS vs. dBfT), governance model, fixed vs unfixed supply, expensive contracts vs nearly free contracts, different ideologies for real world adoption. There are currently only 9 nodes, each of which are being run by a company/entity hand selected by the NEO council (most of which are located in china) and are under contract. This means that although the locations of the nodes may differ, ultimately the neo council can bring them down due to their legal contracts. In fact this has been done in the past when the neo council was moving 50 million neo that had been locked up. Also dbft (or neo's implmentation of it) has failed underload causing network outages during major icos. The first step in decentralization is that the NEO Counsel will select trusted nodes (Universities, business partners, etc.) and slowly become less centralized that way. The final step in decentralization will be allowing NEO holders to vote for new nodes, similar to a DPoS system (ARK/EOS/LISK). NEO has a regulation/government friendly ideology. Finally they are trying to work undewith the Chinese government in regards to regulations. If for some reason they wanted it shut down, they could just shut it down.
Stellar: PoS system, similar goals as Ripple, but more of a platform than only a currency. 80% of Stellar are owned by Stellar.org still, making the currency centralized.
Ethereum classic: Original Ethereum that decided not to fork after a hack. The Ethereum that we know is its fork. Uninteresing, because it has a lot of less resources than Ethereum now and a lot less community support.
Ziliqa: Zilliqa is building a new way of sharding. 2400 tpx already tested, 10,000 tps soon possible by being linearly scalable with the number of nodes. That means, the more nodes, the faster the network gets. They are looking at implementing privacy as well.
QTUM: Enables Smart contracts on the Bitcoin blockchain. Useful.
Icon: Korean ethereum. Decentralized application platform that's building communities in partnership with banks, insurance providers, hospitals, and universities. Focused on ID verification and payments. No big differentiators to the other 20 Ethereums, except that is has a product. That is a plus. Maybe cheap alternative to Ethereum.
LISK: Lisk's difference to other BaaS is that side chains are independent to the main chain and have to have their own nodes. Similar to neo whole allows dapps to deploy their blockchain to. However, Lisk is currently somewhat centralized with a small group of members owning more than 50% of the delegated positions. Lisk plans to change the consensus algorithm for that reason in the near future.
Rchain: Similar to Ethereum with smart contract, though much more scalable at an expected 40,000 TPS and possible 100,000 TPS. Not launched yet. No product launched yet, though promising technology. Not overvalued, probably at the right price right now.
ARDR: Similar to Lisk. Ardor is a public blockchain platform that will allow people to utilize the blockchain technology of Nxt through the use of child chains. A child chain, which is a ‘light’ blockchain that can be customized to a certain extent, is designed to allow easy self-deploy for your own blockchain. Nxt claims that users will "not need to worry" about security, as that part is now handled by the main chain (Ardor). This is the chief innovation of Ardor. Ardor was evolved from NXT by the same company. NEM started as a NXT clone.
Ontology: Similar to Neo. Interesting coin
Bytom: Bytom is an interactive protocol of multiple byte assets. Heterogeneous byte-assets (indigenous digital currency, digital assets) that operate in different forms on the Bytom Blockchain and atomic assets (warrants, securities, dividends, bonds, intelligence information, forecasting information and other information that exist in the physical world) can be registered, exchanged, gambled and engaged in other more complicated and contract-based interoperations via Bytom.
Nxt: Similar to Lisk
Stratis: Different to LISK, Stratis will allow businesses and organizations to create their own blockchain according to their own needs, but secured on the parent Stratis chain. Stratis’s simple interface will allow organizations to quickly and easily deploy and/or test blockchain functionality of the Ethereum, BitShares, BitCoin, Lisk and Stratis environements.
Status: Status provides access to all of Ethereum’s decentralized applications (dapps) through an app on your smartphone. It opens the door to mass adoption of Ethereum dapps by targeting the fastest growing computer segment in the world – smartphone users.16. Ark: Fork of Lisk that focuses on a smaller feature set. Ark wallets can only vote for one delegate at a time which forces delegates to compete against each other and makes cartel formations incredibly hard, if not impossible.
Neblio: Similar to Neo, but 30x smaller market cap.
NEM: Is similar to Neo No marketing team, very high market cap for little clarilty what they do.
Bancor: Bancor is a Decentralized Liquidity Network that allows you to hold any Ethereum token and convert it to any other token in the network, with no counter party, at an automatically calculated price, using a simple web wallet.
Dragonchain: The Purpose of DragonChain is to help companies quickly and easily incorporate blockchain into their business applications. Many companies might be interested in making this transition because of the benefits associated with serving clients over a blockchain – increased efficiency and security for transactions, a reduction of costs from eliminating potential fraud and scams, etc.
Skycoin: Transactions with zero fees that take apparently two seconds, unlimited transaction rate, no need for miners and block rewards, low power usage, all of the usual cryptocurrency technical vulnerabilities fixed, a consensus mechanism superior to anything that exists, resistant to all conceivable threats (government censorship, community infighting, cybenucleaconventional warfare, etc). Skycoin has their own consensus algorithm known as Obelisk written and published academically by an early developer of Ethereum. Obelisk is a non-energy intensive consensus algorithm based on a concept called ‘web of trust dynamics’ which is completely different to PoW, PoS, and their derivatives. Skywire, the flagship application of Skycoin, has the ambitious goal of decentralizing the internet at the hardware level and is about to begin the testnet in April. However, this is just one of the many facets of the Skycoin ecosystem. Skywire will not only provide decentralized bandwidth but also storage and computation, completing the holy trinity of commodities essential for the new internet. Skycion a smear campaign launched against it, though they seem legit and reliable. Thus, they are probably undervalued.
Market 3 - Ecosystem
The 3rd market with 11 coins is comprised of ecosystem coins, which aim to strengthen the ease of use within the crypto space through decentralized exchanges, open standards for apps and more
Nebulas: Similar to how Google indexes webpages Nebulas will index blockchain projects, smart contracts & data using the Nebulas rank algorithm that sifts & sorts the data. Developers rewarded NAS to develop & deploy on NAS chain. Nebulas calls this developer incentive protocol – basically rewards are issued based on how often dapp/contract etc. is used, the more the better the rewards and Proof of devotion. Works like DPoS except the best, most economically incentivised developers (Bookkeeppers) get the forging spots. Ensuring brains stay with the project (Cross between PoI & PoS). 2,400 TPS+, DAG used to solve the inter-transaction dependencies in the PEE (Parallel Execution Environment) feature, first crypto Wallet that supports the Lightening Network.
Waves: Decentralized exchange and crowdfunding platform. Let’s companies and projects to issue and manage their own digital coin tokens to raise money.
Salt: Leveraging blockchain assets to secure cash loands. Plans to offer cash loans in traditional currencies, backed by your cryptocurrency assets. Allows lenders worldwide to skip credit checks for easier access to affordable loans.
CHAINLINK: ChainLink is a decentralized oracle service, the first of its kind. Oracles are defined as an ‘agent’ that finds and verifies real-world occurrences and submits this information to a blockchain to be used in smart contracts.With ChainLink, smart contract users can use the network’s oracles to retrieve data from off-chain application program interfaces (APIs), data pools, and other resources and integrate them into the blockchain and smart contracts. Basically, ChainLink takes information that is external to blockchain applications and puts it on-chain. The difference to Aeternity is that Chainlink deploys the smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain while Aeternity has its own chain.
WTC: Combines blockchain with IoT to create a management system for supply chains Interesting
Ethos unifyies all cryptos. Ethos is building a multi-cryptocurrency phone wallet. The team is also building an investment diversification tool and a social network
Aion: Aion is the token that pays for services on the Aeternity platform.
USDT: is no cryptocurrency really, but a replacement for dollar for trading After months of asking for proof of dollar backing, still no response from Tether.
Market 4 - Privacy
The 4th market are privacy coins. As you might know, Bitcoin is not anonymous. If the IRS or any other party asks an exchange who is the identity behind a specific Bitcoin address, they know who you are and can track back almost all of the Bitcoin transactions you have ever made and all your account balances. Privacy coins aim to prevent exactly that through address fungability, which changes addresses constantly, IP obfuscation and more. There are 2 types of privacy coins, one with completely privacy and one with optional privacy. Optional Privacy coins like Dash and Nav have the advantage of more user friendliness over completely privacy coins such as Monero and Enigma.
Monero: Currently most popular privacy coin, though with a very high market cap. Since their privacy is all on chain, all prior transactions would be deanonymized if their protocol is ever cracked. This requires a quantum computing attack though. PIVX is better in that regard.
Zcash: A decentralized and open-source cryptocurrency that hide the sender, recipient, and value of transactions. Offers users the option to make transactions public later for auditing. Decent privacy coin, though no default privacy
Verge: Calls itself privacy coin without providing private transactions, multiple problems over the last weeks has a toxic community, and way too much hype for what they have.
Bytecoin: First privacy-focused cryptocurrency with anonymous transactions. Bytecoin’s code was later adapted to create Monero, the more well-known anonymous cryptocurrency. Has several scam accusations, 80% pre-mine, bad devs, bad tech
Bitcoin Private: A merge fork of Bitcoin and Zclassic with Zclassic being a fork of Zcash with the difference of a lack of a founders fee required to mine a valid block. This promotes a fair distribution, preventing centralized coin ownership and control. Bitcoin private offers the optional ability to keep the sender, receiver, and amount private in a given transaction. However, this is already offered by several good privacy coins (Monero, PIVX) and Bitcoin private doesn't offer much more beyond this.
Komodo: The Komodo blockchain platform uses Komodo’s open-source cryptocurrency for doing transparent, anonymous, private, and fungible transactions. They are then made ultra-secure using Bitcoin’s blockchain via a Delayed Proof of Work (dPoW) protocol and decentralized crowdfunding (ICO) platform to remove middlemen from project funding. Offers services for startups to create and manage their own Blockchains.
PIVX: As a fork of Dash, PIVX uses an advanced implementation of the Zerocoin protocol to provide it’s privacy. This is a form of zeroknowledge proofs, which allow users to spend ‘Zerocoins’ that have no link back to them. Unlike Zcash u have denominations in PIVX, so they can’t track users by their payment amount being equal to the amount of ‘minted’ coins, because everyone uses the same denominations. PIVX is also implementing Bulletproofs, just like Monero, and this will take care of arguably the biggest weakness of zeroknowledge protocols: the trusted setup.
Zcoin: PoW cryptocurrency. Private financial transactions, enabled by the Zerocoin Protocol. Zcoin is the first full implementation of the Zerocoin Protocol, which allows users to have complete privacy via Zero-Knowledge cryptographic proofs.
Enigma: Monero is to Bitcoin what enigma is to Ethereum. Enigma is for making the data used in smart contracts private. More of a platform for dapps than a currency like Monero. Very promising.
Navcoin: Like bitcoin but with added privacy and pos and 1,170 tps, but only because of very short 30 second block times. Though, privacy is optional, but aims to be more user friendly than Monero. However, doesn't really decide if it wants to be a privacy coin or not. Same as Zcash.Strong technology, non-shady team.
Tenx: Raised 80 million, offers cryptocurrency-linked credit cards that let you spend virtual money in real life. Developing a series of payment platforms to make spending cryptocurrency easier. However, the question is if full privacy coins will be hindered in growth through government regulations and optional privacy coins will become more successful through ease of use and no regulatory hindrance.
Market 5 - Currency Exchange Tool
Due to the sheer number of different cryptocurrencies, exchanging one currency for the other it still cumbersome. Further, merchants don’t want to deal with overcluttered options of accepting cryptocurrencies. This is where exchange tool like Req come in, which allow easy and simple exchange of currencies.
Cryptonex: Fiat and currency exchange between various blockchain services, similar to REQ.
QASH: Qash is used to fuel its liquid platform which will be an exchange that will distribute their liquidity pool. Its product, the Worldbook is a multi-exchange order book that matches crypto to crypto, and crypto to fiat and the reverse across all currencies. E.g., someone is selling Bitcoin is USD on exchange1 not owned by Quoine and someone is buying Bitcoin in EURO on exchange 2 not owned by Quoine. If the forex conversions and crypto conversions match then the trade will go through and the Worldbook will match it, it'll make the sale and the purchase on either exchange and each user will get what they wanted, which means exchanges with lower liquidity if they join the Worldbook will be able to fill orders and take trade fees they otherwise would miss out on.They turned it on to test it a few months ago for an hour or so and their exchange was the top exchange in the world by 4x volume for the day because all Worldbook trades ran through it. Binance wants BNB to be used on their one exchange. Qash wants their QASH token embedded in all of their partners. More info here https://www.reddit.com/CryptoCurrency/comments/8a8lnwhich_are_your_top_5_favourite_coins_out_of_the/dwyjcbb/?context=3
Kyber: network Exchange between cryptocurrencies, similar to REQ. Features automatic coin conversions for payments. Also offers payment tools for developers and a cryptocurrency wallet.
Achain: Building a boundless blockchain world like Req .
Req: Exchange between cryptocurrencies.
Bitshares: Exchange between cryptocurrencies. Noteworthy are the 1.5 second average block times and throughput potential of 100,000 transactions per second with currently 2,400 TPS having been proven. However, bitshares had several Scam accusations in the past.
Loopring: A protocol that will enable higher liquidity between exchanges and personal wallets.
ZRX: Open standard for dapps. Open, permissionless protocol allowing for ERC20 tokens to be traded on the Ethereum blockchain. In 0x protocol, orders are transported off-chain, massively reducing gas costs and eliminating blockchain bloat. Relayers help broadcast orders and collect a fee each time they facilitate a trade. Anyone can build a relayer.
Market 6 - Gaming
With an industry size of $108B worldwide, Gaming is one of the largest markets in the world. For sure, cryptocurrencies will want to have a share of that pie.
Storm: Mobile game currency on a platform with 9 million players.
Fun: A platform for casino operators to host trustless, provably-fair gambling through the use of smart contracts, as well as creating their own implementation of state channels for scalability.
Electroneum: Mobile game currency They have lots of technical problems, such as several 51% attacks
Wax: Marketplace to trade in-game items
Market 7 - Misc
There are various markets being tapped right now. They are all summed up under misc.
OMG: Omise is designed to enable financial services for people without bank accounts. It works worldwide and with both traditional money and cryptocurrencies.
Power ledger: Australian blockchain-based cryptocurrency and energy trading platform that allows for decentralized selling and buying of renewable energy. Unique market and rather untapped market in the crypto space.
Populous: A platform that connects business owners and invoice buyers without middlemen. Invoice sellers get cash flow to fund their business and invoice buyers earn interest. Similar to OMG, small market.
Monacoin: The first Japanese cryptocurrency. Focused on micro-transactions and based on a popular internet meme of a type-written cat. This makes it similar to Dogecoin. Very niche, tiny market.
Revain: Legitimizing reviews via the blockchain. Interesting concept, though market not as big.
Augur: Platform to forecast and make wagers on the outcome of real-world events (AKA decentralized predictions). Uses predictions for a “wisdom of the crowd” search engine. Not launched yet.
Substratum: Revolutionzing hosting industry via per request billing as a decentralized internet hosting system. Uses a global network of private computers to create the free and open internet of the future. Participants earn cryptocurrency. Interesting concept.
Veritaseum: Is supposed to be a peer to peer gateway, though it looks like very much like a scam.
TRON: Tronix is looking to capitalize on ownership of internet data to content creators. However, they plagiarized their white paper, which is a no go. They apologized, so it needs to be seen how they will conduct themselves in the future. Extremely high market cap for not having a product, nor proof of concept.
Syscoin: A cryptocurrency with a decentralized marketplace that lets people buy and sell products directly without third parties. Trying to remove middlemen like eBay and Amazon.
Hshare: Most likely scam because of no code changes, most likely pump and dump scheme, dead community.
BAT: An Ethereum-based token that can be exchanged between content creators, users, and advertisers. Decentralized ad-network that pays based on engagement and attention.
Dent: Decentralizeed exchange of mobile data, enabling mobile data to be marketed, purchased or distributed, so that users can quickly buy or sell data from any user to another one.
Ncash: End to end encrypted Identification system for retailers to better serve their customers .
Factom Secure record-keeping system that allows companies to store their data directly on the Blockchain. The goal is to make records more transparent and trustworthy .
Market 8 - Social network
Web 2.0 is still going strong and Web 3.0 is not going to ignore it. There are several gaming tokens already out there and a few with decent traction already, such as Steem, which is Reddit with voting through money is a very interesting one.
Mithril: As users create content via social media, they will be rewarded for their contribution, the better the contribution, the more they will earn
Steem: Like Reddit, but voting with money. Already launched product and Alexa rank 1,000 Thumbs up.
Rdd: Reddcoin makes the process of sending and receiving money fun and rewarding for everyone. Reddcoin is dedicated to one thing – tipping on social networks as a way to bring cryptocurrency awareness and experience to the general public.
Kin: Token for the platform Kik. Kik has a massive user base of 400 million people. Replacing paying with FIAT with paying with KIN might get this token to mass adoption very quickly.
Market 9 - Fee token
Popular exchanges realized that they can make a few billion dollars more by launching their own token. Owning these tokens gives you a reduction of trading fees. Very handy and BNB (Binance Coin) has been one of the most resilient tokens, which have withstood most market drops over the last weeks and was among the very few coins that could show growth.
BNB: Fee token for Binance
Gas: Not a Fee token for an exchange, but it is a dividend paid out on Neo and a currency that can be used to purchase services for dapps.
Kucoin: Fee token for Kucoin
Market 10 - Decentralized Data Storage
Currently, data storage happens with large companies or data centers that are prone to failure or losing data. Decentralized data storage makes loss of data almost impossible by distributing your files to numerous clients that hold tiny pieces of your data. Remember Torrents? Torrents use a peer-to-peer network. It is similar to that. Many users maintain copies of the same file, when someone wants a copy of that file, they send a request to the peer-to-peer network., users who have the file, known as seeds, send fragments of the file to the requester., he requester receives many fragments from many different seeds, and the torrent software recompiles these fragments to form the original file.
Gbyte: Byteball data is stored and ordered using directed acyclic graph (DAG) rather than blockchain. This allows all users to secure each other's data by referencing earlier data units created by other users, and also removes scalability limits common for blockchains, such as blocksize issue.
Siacoin: Siacoin is decentralized storage platform. Distributes encrypted files to thousands of private users who get paid for renting out their disk space. Anybody with siacoins can rent storage from hosts on Sia. This is accomplish via "smart" storage contracts stored on the Sia blockchain. The smart contract provides a payment to the host only after the host has kept the file for a given amount of time. If the host loses the file, the host does not get paid.
Maidsafecoin: MaidSafe stands for Massive Array of Internet Disks, Secure Access for Everyone.Instead of working with data centers and servers that are common today and are vulnerable to data theft and monitoring, SAFE’s network uses advanced P2P technology to bring together the spare computing capacity of all SAFE users and create a global network. You can think of SAFE as a crowd-sourced internet. All data and applications reside in this network. It’s an autonomous network that automatically sets prices and distributes data and rents out hard drive disk space with a Blockchain-based storage solutions.When you upload a file to the network, such as a photo, it will be broken into pieces, hashed, and encrypted. The data is then randomly distributed across the network. Redundant copies of the data are created as well so that if someone storing your file turns off their computer, you will still have access to your data. And don’t worry, even with pieces of your data on other people’s computers, they won’t be able to read them. You can earn MadeSafeCoins by participating in storing data pieces from the network on your computer and thus earning a Proof of Resource.
Storj: Storj aims to become a cloud storage platform that can’t be censored or monitored, or have downtime. Your files are encrypted, shredded into little pieces called 'shards', and stored in a decentralized network of computers around the globe. No one but you has a complete copy of your file, not even in an encrypted form.
Market 11 - Cloud computing
Obviously, renting computing power, one of the biggest emerging markets as of recent years, e.g. AWS and Digital Ocean, is also a service, which can be bought and managed via the blockchain.
Golem: Allows easy use of Supercomputer in exchange for tokens. People worldwide can rent out their computers to the network and get paid for that service with Golem tokens.
Elf: Allows easy use of Cloud computing in exchange for tokens.
Market 12 - Stablecoin
Last but not least, there are 2 stablecoins that have established themselves within the market. A stable coin is a coin that wants to be independent of the volatility of the crypto markets. This has worked out pretty well for Maker and DGD, accomplished through a carefully diversified currency fund and backing each token by 1g or real gold respectively. DO NOT CONFUSE DGD AND MAKER with their STABLE COINS DGX and DAI. DGD and MAKER are volatile, because they are the companies of DGX and DAI. DGX and DAI are the stable coins.
DGD: Platform of the Stablecoin DGX. Every DGX coin is backed by 1g of gold and make use proof of asset consensus.
Maker: Platform of the Stablecoin DAI that doesn't vary much in price through widespread and smart diversification of assets.
EDIT: Added a risk factor from 0 to 10. The baseline is 2 for any crypto. Significant scandals, mishaps, shady practices, questionable technology, increase the risk factor. Not having a product yet automatically means a risk factor of 6. Strong adoption and thus strong scrutiny or positive community lower the risk factor. EDIT2: Added a subjective potential factor from 0 to 10, where its overall potential and a small or big market cap is factored in. Bitcoin with lots of potential only gets a 9, because of its massive market cap, because if Bitcoin goes 10x, smaller coins go 100x, PIVX gets a 10 for being as good as Monero while carrying a 10x smaller market cap, which would make PIVX go 100x if Monero goes 10x.
Finding Trading Edges: Where to Get High R:R trades and Profit Potential of Them.
TL;DR - I will try and flip an account from $50 or less to $1,000 over 2019. I will post all my account details so my strategy can be seen/copied. I will do this using only three or four trading setups. All of which are simple enough to learn. I will start trading on 10th January. ---- As I see it there are two mains ways to understand how to make money in the markets. The first is to know what the biggest winners in the markets are doing and duplicating what they do. This is hard. Most of the biggest players will not publicly tell people what they are doing. You need to be able to kinda slide in with them and see if you can pick up some info. Not suitable for most people, takes a lot of networking and even then you have to be able to make the correct inferences. Another way is to know the most common trades of losing traders and then be on the other side of their common mistakes. This is usually far easier, usually everyone knows the mind of a losing trader. I learned about what losing traders do every day by being one of them for many years. I noticed I had an some sort of affinity for buying at the very top of moves and selling at the very bottom. This sucked, however, is was obvious there was winning trades on the other side of what I was doing and the adjustments to be a good trader were small (albeit, tricky). Thus began the study for entries and maximum risk:reward. See, there have been times I have bought aiming for a 10 pip scalps and hit 100 pips stops loss. Hell, there have been times I was going for 5 pips and hit 100 stop out. This can seem discouraging, but it does mean there must be 1:10 risk:reward pay-off on the other side of these mistakes, and they were mistakes. If you repeatedly enter and exit at the wrong times, you are making mistakes and probably the same ones over and over again. The market is tricking you! There are specific ways in which price moves that compel people to make these mistakes (I won’t go into this in this post, because it takes too long and this is going to be a long post anyway, but a lot of this is FOMO). Making mistakes is okay. In fact, as I see it, making mistakes is an essential part of becoming an expert. Making a mistake enough times to understand intrinsically why it is a mistake and then make the required adjustments. Understanding at a deep level why you trade the way you do and why others make the mistakes they do, is an important part of becoming an expert in your chosen area of focus. I could talk more on these concepts, but to keep the length of the post down, I will crack on to actual examples of trades I look for. Here are my three main criteria. I am looking for tops/bottoms of moves (edge entries). I am looking for 1:3 RR or more potential pay-offs. My strategy assumes that retail trades will lose most of the time. This seems a fair enough assumption. Without meaning to sound too crass about it, smart money will beat dumb money most of the time if the game is base on money. They just will. So to summarize, I am looking for the points newbies get trapped in bad positions entering into moves too late. From these areas, I am looking for high RR entries. Setup Examples. I call this one the “Lightning Bolt correction”, but it is most commonly referred to as a “two leg correction”. I call it a “Lightning Bolt correction” because it looks a bit like one, and it zaps you. If you get it wrong. https://preview.redd.it/t4whwijse2721.png?width=1326&format=png&auto=webp&s=c9050529c6e2472a3ff9f8e7137bd4a3ee5554cc Once I see price making the first sell-off move and then begin to rally towards the highs again, I am waiting for a washout spike low. The common trades mistakes I am trading against here is them being too eager to buy into the trend too early and for the to get stopped out/reverse position when it looks like it is making another bearish breakout. Right at that point they panic … literally one candle under there is where I want to be getting in. I want to be buying their stop loss, essentially. “Oh, you don’t want that ...okay, I will have that!” I need a precise entry. I want to use tiny stops (for big RR) so I need to be cute with entries. For this, I need entry rules. Not just arbitrarily buying the spike out. There are a few moving parts to this that are outside the scope of this post but one of my mains ways is using a fibs extension and looking for reversals just after the 1.61% level. How to draw the fibs is something else that is outside the scope of this but for one simple rule, they can be drawn on the failed new high leg. https://preview.redd.it/2cd682kve2721.png?width=536&format=png&auto=webp&s=f4d081c9faff49d0976f9ffab260aaed2b570309 I am looking for a few specific things for a prime setup. Firstly, I am looking for the false hope candles, the ones that look like they will reverse the market and let those buying too early get out break-even or even at profit. In this case, you can see the hammer and engulfing candle off the 127 level, then it spikes low in that “stop-hunt” sort of style. Secondly I want to see it trading just past my entry level (161 ext). This rule has come from nothing other than sheer volume. The amount of times I’ve been stopped out by 1 pip by that little sly final low has gave birth to this rule. I am looking for the market to trade under support in a manner that looks like a new strong breakout. When I see this, I am looking to get in with tiny stops, right under the lows. I will also be using smaller charts at this time and looking for reversal clusters of candles. Things like dojis, inverted hammers etc. These are great for sticking stops under. Important note, when the lightning bolt correction fails to be a good entry, I expect to see another two legs down. I may look to sell into this area sometimes, and also be looking for buying on another couple legs down. It is important to note, though, when this does not work out, I expect there to be continued momentum that is enough to stop out and reasonable stop level for my entry. Which is why I want to cut quick. If a 10 pips stop will hit, usually a 30 pips stop will too. Bin it and look for the next opportunity at better RR. https://preview.redd.it/mhkgy35ze2721.png?width=1155&format=png&auto=webp&s=a18278b85b10278603e5c9c80eb98df3e6878232 Another setup I am watching for is harmonic patterns, and I am using these as a multi-purpose indicator. When I see potentially harmonic patterns forming, I am using their completion level as take profits, I do not want to try and run though reversal patterns I can see forming hours ahead of time. I also use them for entering (similar rules of looking for specific entry criteria for small stops). Finally, I use them as a continuation pattern. If the harmonic pattern runs past the area it may have reversed from, there is a high probability that the market will continue to trend and very basic trend following strategies work well. I learned this from being too stubborn sticking with what I thought were harmonic reversals only to be ran over by a trend (seriously, everything I know I know from how it used to make me lose). https://preview.redd.it/1ytz2431f2721.png?width=1322&format=png&auto=webp&s=983a7f2a91f9195004ad8a2aa2bb9d4d6f128937 A method of spotting these sorts of M/W harmonics is they tend to form after a second spike out leg never formed. When this happens, it gives me a really good idea of where my profit targets should be and where my next big breakout level is. It is worth noting, larger harmonics using have small harmonics inside them (on lower time-frames) and this can be used for dialling in optimum entries. I also use harmonics far more extensively in ranging markets. Where they tend to have higher win rates. Next setup is the good old fashioned double bottoms/double top/one tick trap sort of setup. This comes in when the market is highly over extended. It has a small sell-off and rallies back to the highs before having a much larger sell-off. This is a more risky trade in that it sells into what looks like trending momentum and can be stopped out more. However, it also pays a high RR when it works, allowing for it to be ran at reduced risk and still be highly profitable when it comes through. https://preview.redd.it/1bx83776f2721.png?width=587&format=png&auto=webp&s=2c76c3085598ae70f4142d26c46c8d6e9b1c2881 From these sorts of moves, I am always looking for a follow up buy if it forms a lightning bolt sort of setup. All of these setups always offer 1:3 or better RR. If they do not, you are doing it wrong (and it will be your stop placement that is wrong). This is not to say the target is always 1:3+, sometimes it is best to lock in profits with training stops. It just means that every time you enter, you can potentially have a trade that runs for many times more than you risked. 1:10 RR can be hit in these sorts of setups sometimes. Paying you 20% for 2% risked. I want to really stress here that what I am doing is trading against small traders mistakes. I am not trying to “beat the market maker”. I am not trying to reverse engineer J.P Morgan’s black boxes. I do not think I am smart enough to gain a worthwhile edge over these traders. They have more money, they have more data, they have better softwares … they are stronger. Me trying to “beat the market maker” is like me trying to beat up Mike Tyson. I might be able to kick him in the balls and feel smug for a few seconds. However, when he gets up, he is still Tyson and I am still me. I am still going to be pummeled. I’ve seen some people that were fairly bright people going into training courses and coming out dumb as shit. Thinking they somehow are now going to dominate Goldman Sachs because they learned a chart pattern. Get a grip. For real, get a fucking grip. These buzz phrases are marketeering. Realististically, if you want to win in the markets, you need to have an edge over somebody. I don’t have edges on the banks. If I could find one, they’d take it away from me. Edges work on inefficiencies in what others do that you can spot and they can not. I do not expect to out-think a banks analysis team. I know for damn sure I can out-think a version of me from 5 years ago … and I know there are enough of them in the markets. I look to trade against them. I just look to protect myself from the larger players so they can only hurt me in limited ways. Rather than letting them corner me and beat me to a pulp (in the form of me watching $1,000 drop off my equity because I moved a stop or something), I just let them kick me in the butt as I run away. It hurts a little, but I will be over it soon. I believe using these principles, these three simple enough edge entry setups, selectiveness (remembering you are trading against the areas people make mistakes, wait for they areas) and measured aggression a person can make impressive compounded gains over a year. I will attempt to demonstrate this by taking an account of under $100 to over $1,000 in a year. I will use max 10% on risk on a position, the risk will scale down as the account size increases. In most cases, 5% risk per trade will be used, so I will be going for 10-20% or so profits. I will be looking only for prime opportunities, so few trades but hard hitting ones when I take them. I will start trading around the 10th January. Set remind me if you want to follow along. I will also post my investor login details, so you can see the trades in my account in real time. Letting you see when I place my orders and how I manage running positions. I also think these same principles can be tweaked in such a way it is possible to flip $50 or so into $1,000 in under a month. I’ve done $10 to $1,000 in three days before. This is far more complex in trade management, though. Making it hard to explain/understand and un-viable for many people to copy (it hedges, does not comply with FIFO, needs 1:500 leverage and also needs spreads under half a pip on EURUSD - not everyone can access all they things). I see all too often people act as if this can’t be done and everyone saying it is lying to sell you something. I do not sell signals. I do not sell training. I have no dog in this fight, I am just saying it can be done. There are people who do it. If you dismiss it as impossible; you will never be one of them. If I try this 10 times with $50, I probably am more likely to make $1,000 ($500 profit) in a couple months than standard ideas would double $500 - I think I have better RR, even though I may go bust 5 or more times. I may also try to demonstrate this, but it is kinda just show-boating, quite honestly. When it works, it looks cool. When it does not, I can go bust in a single day (see example https://www.fxblue.com/users/redditmicroflip). So I may or may not try and demonstrate this. All this is, is just taking good basic concepts and applying accelerated risk tactics to them and hitting a winning streak (of far less trades than you may think). Once you have good entries and RR optimization in place - there really is no reason why you can not scale these up to do what may people call impossible (without even trying it). I know there are a lot of people who do not think these things are possible and tend to just troll whenever people talk about these things. There used to be a time when I’d try to explain why I thought the way I did … before I noticed they only cared about telling me why they were right and discussion was pointless. Therefore, when it comes to replies, I will reply to all comments that ask me a question regarding why I think this can be done, or why I done something that I done. If you are commenting just to tell me all the reasons you think I am wrong and you are right, I will probably not reply. I may well consider your points if they are good ones. I just do not entering into discussions with people who already know everything; it serves no purpose. Edit: Addition. I want to talk a bit more about using higher percentage of risk than usual. Firstly, let me say that there are good reasons for risk caps that people often cite as “musts”. There are reasons why 2% is considered optimum for a lot of strategies and there are reasons drawing down too much is a really bad thing. Please do not be ignorant of this. Please do not assume I am, either. In previous work I done, I was selecting trading strategies that could be used for investment. When doing this, my only concern was drawdown metrics. These are essential for professional money management and they are also essential for personal long-term success in trading. So please do not think I have not thought of these sorts of things Many of the reasons people say these things can’t work are basic 101 stuff anyone even remotely committed to learning about trading learns in their first 6 months. Trust me, I have thought about these concepts. I just never stopped thinking when I found out what public consensus was. While these 101 rules make a lot of sense, it does not take away from the fact there are other betting strategies, and if you can know the approximate win rate and pay-off of trades, you can have other ways of deriving optimal bet sizes (risk per trade). Using Kelly Criterion, for example, if the pay-off is 1:3 and there is a 75% chance of winning, the optimal bet size is 62.5%. It would be a viable (high risk) strategy to have extremely filtered conditions that looked for just one perfect set up a month, makingover 150% if it was successful. Let’s do some math on if you can pull that off three months in a row (using 150% gain, for easy math). Start $100. Month two starts $250. Month three $625. Month three ends $1,562. You have won three trades. Can you win three trades in a row under these conditions? I don’t know … but don’t assume no-one can. This is extremely high risk, let’s scale it down to meet somewhere in the middle of the extremes. Let’s look at 10%. Same thing, 10% risk looking for ideal opportunities. Maybe trading once every week or so. 30% pay-off is you win. Let’s be realistic here, a lot of strategies can drawdown 10% using low risk without actually having had that good a chance to generate 30% gains in the trades it took to do so. It could be argued that trading seldomly but taking 5* the risk your “supposed” to take can be more risk efficient than many strategies people are using. I am not saying that you should be doing these things with tens of thousands of dollars. I am not saying you should do these things as long term strategies. What I am saying is do not dismiss things out of hand just because they buck the “common knowns”. There are ways you can use more aggressive trading tactics to turn small sums of money into they $1,000s of dollars accounts that you exercise they stringent money management tactics on. With all the above being said, you do have to actually understand to what extent you have an edge doing what you are doing. To do this, you should be using standard sorts of risks. Get the basics in place, just do not think you have to always be basic. Once you have good basics in place and actually make a bit of money, you can section off profits for higher risk versions of strategies. The basic concepts of money management are golden. For longevity and large funds; learned them and use them! Just don’t forget to think for yourself once you have done that. Update - Okay, I have thought this through a bit more and decided I don't want to post my live account investor login, because it has my full name and I do not know who any of you are. Instead, for copying/observing, I will give demo account login (since I can choose any name for a demo). I will also copy onto a live account and have that tracked via Myfxbook. I will do two versions. One will be FIFO compliant. It will trade only single trade positions. The other will not be FIFO compliant, it will open trades in batches. I will link up live account in a week or so. For now, if anyone wants to do BETA testing with the copy trader, you can do so with the following details (this is the non-FIFO compliant version). Account tracking/copying details. Low-Medium risk. IC Markets MT4 Account number: 10307003 Investor PW:lGdMaRe6 Server: Demo:01 (Not FIFO compliant) Valid and Invalid Complaints. There are a few things that can pop up in copy trading. I am not a n00b when it comes to this, so I can somewhat forecast what these will be. I can kinda predict what sort of comments there may be. Some of these are valid points that if you raise I should (and will) reply to. Some are things outside of the scope of things I can influence, and as such, there is no point in me replying to. I will just cover them all here the one time. Valid complains are if I do something dumb or dramatically outside of the strategy I have laid out here. won't do these, if I do, you can pitchfork ----E Examples; “Oi, idiot! You opened a trade randomly on a news spike. I got slipped 20 pips and it was a shit entry”. Perfectly valid complaint. “Why did you open a trade during swaps hours when the spread was 30 pips?” Also valid. “You left huge trades open running into the weekend and now I have serious gap paranoia!” Definitely valid. These are examples of me doing dumb stuff. If I do dumb stuff, it is fair enough people say things amounting to “Yo, that was dumb stuff”. Invalid Complains; “You bought EURUSD when it was clearly a sell!!!!” Okay … you sell. No-one is asking you to copy my trades. I am not trading your strategy. Different positions make a market. “You opened a position too big and I lost X%”. No. Na uh. You copied a position too big. If you are using a trade copier, you can set maximum risk. If you neglect to do this, you are taking 100% risk. You have no valid compliant for losing. The act of copying and setting the risk settings is you selecting your risk. I am not responsible for your risk. I accept absolutely no liability for any losses. *Suggested fix. Refer to risk control in copy trading software “You lost X trades in a row at X% so I lost too much”. Nope. You copied. See above. Anything relating to losing too much in trades (placed in liquid/standard market conditions) is entirely you. I can lose my money. Only you can set it up so you can lose yours. I do not have access to your account. Only mine. *Suggested fix. Refer to risk control in copy trading software “Price keeps trading close to the pending limit orders but not filling. Your account shows profits, but mine is not getting them”. This is brokerage. I have no control over this. I use a strategy that aims for precision, and that means a pip here and there in brokerage spreads can make a difference. I am trading to profit from my trading conditions. I do not know, so can not account for, yours. * Suggested fix. Compare the spread on your broker with the spread on mine. Adjust your orders accordingly. Buy limit orders will need to move up a little. Sell limit orders should not need adjusted. “I got stopped out right before the market turned, I have a loss but your account shows a profit”. This is brokerage. I have no control over this. I use a strategy that aims for precision, and that means a pip here and there differences in brokerage spreads can make a difference. I am trading to profit from my trading conditions. I do not know, so can not account for, yours. ** Suggested fix. Compare the spread on your broker with the spread on mine. Adjust your orders accordingly. Stop losses on sell orders will need to move up a bit. Stops on buy orders will be fine. “Your trade got stopped out right before the market turned, if it was one more pip in the stop, it would have been a winner!!!” Yeah. This happens. This is where the “risk” part of “risk:reward” comes in. “Price traded close to take profit, yours filled but mines never”. This is brokerage. I have no control over this. I use a strategy that aims for precision, and that means a pip here and there differences in brokerage spreads can make a difference. I am trading to profit from my trading conditions. I do not know, so can not account for, yours. (Side note, this should not be an issue since when my trade closes, it should ping your account to close, too. You might get a couple less pips). *** Suggested fix. Compare the spread on your broker with the spread on mine. Adjust your orders accordingly. Take profits on buys will need to move up a bit. Sell take profits will be fine. “My brokers spread jumped to 20 during the New York session so the open trade made a bigger loss than it should”. Your broker might just suck if this happens. This is brokerage. I have no control over this. My trades are placed to profit from my brokerage conditions. I do not know, so can not account for yours. Also, if accounting for random spread spikes like this was something I had to do, this strategy would not be a thing. It only works with fair brokerage conditions. *Suggested fix. Do a bit of Googling and find out if you have a horrific broker. If so, fix that! A good search phrase is; “(Broker name) FPA reviews”. “Price hit the stop loss but was going really fast and my stop got slipped X pips”. This is brokerage. I have no control over this. I use a strategy that aims for precision, and that means a pip here and there differences in brokerage spreads can make a difference. I am trading to profit from my trading conditions. I do not know, so can not account for, yours. If my trade also got slipped on the stop, I was slipped using ECN conditions with excellent execution; sometimes slips just happen. I am doing the most I can to prevent them, but it is a fact of liquidity that sometimes we get slipped (slippage can also work in our favor, paying us more than the take profit would have been). “Orders you placed failed to execute on my account because they were too large”. This is brokerage. I have no control over this. Margin requirements vary. I have 1:500 leverage available. I will not always be using it, but I can. If you can’t, this will make a difference. “Your account is making profits trading things my broker does not have” I have a full range of assets to trade with the broker I use. Included Forex, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. I may or may not use the extent of these options. I can not account for your brokerage conditions. I think I have covered most of the common ones here. There are some general rules of thumb, though. Basically, if I do something that is dumb and would have a high probability of losing on any broker traded on, this is a valid complain. Anything that pertains to risk taken in standard trading conditions is under your control. Also, anything at all that pertains to brokerage variance there is nothing I can do, other than fully brief you on what to expect up-front. Since I am taking the time to do this, I won’t be a punchbag for anything that happens later pertaining to this. I am not using an elitist broker. You don’t need $50,000 to open an account, it is only $200. It is accessible to most people - brokerage conditions akin to what I am using are absolutely available to anyone in the UK/Europe/Asia (North America, I am not so up on, so can’t say). With the broker I use, and with others. If you do not take the time to make sure you are trading with a good broker, there is nothing I can do about how that affects your trades. I am using an A book broker, if you are using B book; it will almost certainly be worse results. You have bad costs. You are essentially buying from reseller and paying a mark-up. (A/B book AKA ECN/Market maker; learn about this here). My EURUSD spread will typically be 0.02 pips or so, if yours is 1 pip, this is a huge difference. These are typical spreads I am working on. https://preview.redd.it/yc2c4jfpab721.png?width=597&format=png&auto=webp&s=c377686b2485e13171318c9861f42faf325437e1 Check the full range of spreads on Forex, commodities, indices and crypto. Please understand I want nothing from you if you benefit from this, but I am also due you nothing if you lose. My only term of offering this is that people do not moan at me if they lose money. I have been fully upfront saying this is geared towards higher risk. I have provided information and tools for you to take control over this. If I do lose people’s money and I know that, I honestly will feel a bit sad about it. However, if you complain about it, all I will say is “I told you that might happen”, because, I am telling you that might happen. Make clear headed assessments of how much money you can afford to risk, and use these when making your decisions. They are yours to make, and not my responsibility. Update. Crazy Kelly Compounding: $100 - $11,000 in 6 Trades. $100 to $11,000 in 6 trades? Is it a scam? Is it a gamble? … No, it’s maths. Common sense risk disclaimer: Don’t be a dick! Don’t risk money you can’t afford to lose. Do not risk money doing these things until you can show a regular profit on low risk. Let’s talk about Crazy Kelly Compounding (CKC). Kelly criterion is a method for selecting optimal bet sizes if the odds and win rate are known (in other words, once you have worked out how to create and assess your edge). You can Google to learn about it in detail. The formula for Kelly criterion is; ((odds-1) * (percentage estimate)) - (1-percent estimate) / (odds-1) X 100 Now let’s say you can filter down a strategy to have a 80% win rate. It trades very rarely, but it had a very high success rate when it does. Let’s say you get 1:2 RR on that trade. Kelly would give you an optimum bet size of about 60% here. So if you win, you win 120%. Losing three trades in a row will bust you. You can still recover from anything less than that, fairly easily with a couple winning trades. This is where CKC comes in. What if you could string some of these wins together, compounding the gains (so you were risking 60% each time)? What if you could pull off 6 trades in a row doing this? Here is the math; https://preview.redd.it/u3u6teqd7c721.png?width=606&format=png&auto=webp&s=3b958747b37b68ec2a769a8368b5cbebfe0e97ff This shows years, substitute years for trades. 6 trades returns $11,338! This can be done. The question really is if you are able to dial in good enough entries, filter out enough sub-par trades and have the guts to pull the trigger when the time is right. Obviously you need to be willing to take the hit, obviously that hit gets bigger each time you go for it, but the reward to risk ratio is pretty decent if you can afford to lose the money. We could maybe set something up to do this on cent brokers. So people can do it literally risking a couple dollars. I’d have to check to see if there was suitable spreads etc offered on them, though. They can be kinda icky. Now listen, I am serious … don’t be a dick. Don’t rush out next week trying to retire by the weekend. What I am showing you is the EXTRA rewards that come with being able to produce good solid results and being able to section off some money for high risk “all or nothing” attempts; using your proven strategies. I am not saying anyone can open 6 trades and make $11,000 … that is rather improbable. What I am saying is once you can get the strategy side right, and you can know your numbers; then you can use the numbers to see where the limits actually are, how fast your strategy can really go. This CKC concept is not intended to inspire you to be reckless in trading, it is intended to inspire you to put focus on learning the core skills I am telling you that are behind being able to do this.
How to get started in Forex - A comprehensive guide for newbies
Almost every day people come to this subreddit asking the same basic questions over and over again. I've put this guide together to point you in the right direction and help you get started on your forex journey. A quick background on me before you ask: My name is Bob, I'm based out of western Canada. I started my forex journey back in January 2018 and am still learning. However I am trading live, not on demo accounts. I also code my own EA's. I not certified, licensed, insured, or even remotely qualified as a professional in the finance industry. Nothing I say constitutes financial advice. Take what I'm saying with a grain of salt, but everything I've outlined below is a synopsis of some tough lessons I've learned over the last year of being in this business. LET'S GET SOME UNPLEASANTNESS OUT OF THE WAY I'm going to call you stupid. I'm also going to call you dumb. I'm going to call you many other things. I do this because odds are, you are stupid, foolish,and just asking to have your money taken away. Welcome to the 95% of retail traders. Perhaps uneducated or uninformed are better phrases, but I've never been a big proponent of being politically correct. Want to get out of the 95% and join the 5% of us who actually make money doing this? Put your grown up pants on, buck up, and don't give me any of this pc "This is hurting my feelings so I'm not going to listen to you" bullshit that the world has been moving towards. Let's rip the bandage off quickly on this point - the world does not give a fuck about you. At one point maybe it did, it was this amazing vision nicknamed the American Dream. It died an agonizing, horrible death at the hand of capitalists and entrepreneurs. The world today revolves around money. Your money, my money, everybody's money. People want to take your money to add it to theirs. They don't give a fuck if it forces you out on the street and your family has to live in cardboard box. The world just stopped caring in general. It sucks, but it's the way the world works now. Welcome to the new world order. It's called Capitalism. And here comes the next hard truth that you will need to accept - Forex is a cruel bitch of a mistress. She will hurt you. She will torment you. She will give you nightmares. She will keep you awake at night. And then she will tease you with a glimmer of hope to lure you into a false sense of security before she then guts you like a fish and shows you what your insides look like. This statement applies to all trading markets - they are cruel, ruthless, and not for the weak minded. The sooner you accept these truths, the sooner you will become profitable. Don't accept it? That's fine. Don't bother reading any further. If I've offended you I don't give a fuck. You can run back home and hide under your bed. The world doesn't care and neither do I. For what it's worth - I am not normally an major condescending asshole like the above paragraphs would suggest. In fact, if you look through my posts on this subreddit you will see I am actually quite helpful most of the time to many people who come here. But I need you to really understand that Forex is not for most people. It will make you cry. And if the markets themselves don't do it, the people in the markets will. LESSON 1 - LEARN THE BASICS Save yourself and everybody here a bunch of time - learn the basics of forex. You can learn the basics for free - BabyPips has one of the best free courses online which explains what exactly forex is, how it works, different strategies and methods of how to approach trading, and many other amazing topics. You can access the BabyPips course by clicking this link: https://www.babypips.com/learn/forex Do EVERY course in the School of Pipsology. It's free, it's comprehensive, and it will save you from a lot of trouble. It also has the added benefit of preventing you from looking foolish and uneducated when you come here asking for help if you already know this stuff. If you still have questions about how forex works, please see the FREE RESOURCES links on the /Forex FAQ which can be found here: https://www.reddit.com/Forex/wiki/index Quiz Time Answer these questions truthfully to yourself: -What is the difference between a market order, a stop order, and a limit order? -How do you draw a support/resistance line? (Demonstrate it to yourself) -What is the difference between MACD, RSI, and Stochastic indicators? -What is fundamental analysis and how does it differ from technical analysis and price action trading? -True or False: It's better to have a broker who gives you 500:1 margin instead of 50:1 margin. Be able to justify your reasoning. If you don't know to answer to any of these questions, then you aren't ready to move on. Go back to the School of Pipsology linked above and do it all again. If you can answer these questions without having to refer to any kind of reference then congratulations, you are ready to move past being a forex newbie and are ready to dive into the wonderful world of currency trading! Move onto Lesson 2 below. LESSON 2 - RANDOM STRANGERS ARE NOT GOING TO HELP YOU GET RICH IN FOREX This may come as a bit of a shock to you, but that random stranger on instagram who is posting about how he is killing it on forex is not trying to insprire you to greatness. He's also not trying to help you. He's also not trying to teach you how to attain financial freedom. 99.99999% of people posting about wanting to help you become rich in forex are LYING TO YOU. Why would such nice, polite people do such a thing? Because THEY ARE TRYING TO PROFIT FROM YOUR STUPIDITY. Plain and simple. Here's just a few ways these "experts" and "gurus" profit from you:
Referral Links - If they require you to click a specific link to signup for something, it means they are an affiliate. They get a commission from whatever the third party is that they are sending you to. I don't care if it's a brokerage, training program, hell even an Amazon link to a book - if they insist you have to click their super exclusive, can't-get-this-deal-any-other-way-but-clicking-my-link type bullshit, it's an affiliate link. There is nothing inherently wrong with affiliate programs, but you are literally generating money for some stranger because they convinced you to buy something. Some brokers such as ICMarkets have affiliate programs that payout a percentage of the commission you generate - this is a really clever system - whether you profit or blow your entire account, the person who referred you to the broker makes a profit off you. Clever eh?
Signal Services, Education & Training Programs, Courses - If somebody is telling you they are making a killing with a signal service and are trying to convince you to join it, I guarantee they are getting a piece of your monthly fee. And better still, these signal services often work...for about a week. Just long enough to suck a bunch of poor fools into it. You see people making money, you want in so you agree to pay the $200+/month subscription fee. You follow the signals and it looks like it's making money for a few days or weeks. Then it turns sideways, you start losing money hand over fist. Pretty soon you have lost most of your trading account because you blindly followed a signal service. And better still - when you go screaming at the person running the signal service they will be very quick to point you to their No Refunds policy. To add insult to injury, the buttfucker that referred you to the signal service in the past will likely listen to you getting mad, and then come back with something like "Sorry it didn't work out, but I just joined this other amazing service and it's working great, you should come join it to earn your money back. Here's my link..." You get the point here right?
Multi-Level Marketing (MLMs) - These people are scum. They are going to offer you training and education, signals, access to forex experts and gurus, and all kinds of other shit with the promise that you will live the dream and become financially free. They are also loading you into a pyrmaid scheme where you will be hounded to recruit other people and make money off them just like you got roped into it. A really prime example here is iMarkets Live (or IML for short). Don't touch this shit with a 10 foot pole. I don't care what they are claiming, you will lose everything using them.
Fund Managers - These people make my skin crawl. It's a classic scam and it works like this - somebody will post online about how much money they are making trading forex/commodities/stocks/whatever. Most of the time they won't explicitly post they are offering a trading service, rather they just put the message out there and wait for the ignorant masses (that's you) to contact them. They will charm you. They will lie to you. They will promise you the moon if you simply wire them some money or give them API access to your trading account. Care to guess what happens next? If you send a wire transfer (or Western Union...hell any kind of payment to them) they will vanish. Happens usually after they take a bunch of suckers for the ride. You sent them $2,000 and so do 9 other suckers. They just made $20,000 and are gone. With API access to your account, you will find your account gets blown super fast or worse - possibly leaving you open to persecution by the broker you are using.
These are just a few examples. The reality is that very few people make it big in forex or any kind of trading. If somebody is trying to sell you the dream, they are essentially a magician - making you look the other way while they snatch your wallet and clean you out. Additionally, on the topic of fund managers - legitimate fund managers will be certified, licensed, and insured. Ask them for proof of those 3 things. What they typically look like are:
Certified - This varies from country to country, in the US it's FINRA (http://www.finra.org). They need to have their Series 7 certification minimum. You can make the case that other FINRA certifications are acceptable in lieu of Series 7, but the 7 is the gold standard.
Licensed - They need to have a valid business license issued by the government. It must clearly state they are an investment company, preferrably a hedge fund because they have some super strict requirements to operate (and often require $25,000+ in fees just to get their business license, so you know they at least have some skin in the game).
Insured - They need to be backed by an insurance company. I'm not talking general insurance for shit like their office burning down. I'm talking about a government-implemented protection insurance program - in the US I believe that is issued by the Securities Investment Protection Corporation (https://www.sipc.org/).
If you are talking to a fund manager and they are insisting they have all of these, get a copy of their verification documents and lookup their licenses on the directories of the issuers to verify they are valid. If they are, then at least you are talking to somebody who seems to have their shit together and is doing investment management and trading as a professional and you are at least partially protected when the shit hits the fan. LESSON 3 - UNDERSTAND YOUR RISK Many people jump into Forex, drop $2000 into a broker account and start trading 1 lot orders because they signed up with a broker thinking they will get rich because they were given 500:1 margin and can risk it all on each trade. Worst-case scenario you lose your account, best case scenario you become a millionaire very quickly. Seems like a pretty good gamble right? You are dead wrong. As a new trader, you should never risk more than 1% of your account balance on a trade. If you have some experience and are confident and doing well, then it's perfectly natural to risk 2-3% of your account per trade. Anybody who risks more than 4-5% of their account on a single trade deserves to blow their account. At that point you aren't trading, you are gambling. Don't pretend you are a trader when really you are just putting everything on red and hoping the roulette ball lands in the right spot. It's stupid and reckless and going to screw you very quickly. Let's do some math here: You put $2,000 into your trading account. Risking 1% means you are willing to lose $20 per trade. That means you are going to be trading micro lots, or 0.01 lots most likely ($0.10/pip). At that level you can have a trade stop loss at -200 pips and only lose $20. It's the best starting point for anybody. Additionally, if you SL 20 trades in a row you are only down $200 (or 10% of your account) which isn't that difficult to recover from. Risking 3% means you are willing to lose $60 per trade. You could do mini lots at this point, which is 0.1 lots (or $1/pip). Let's say you SL on 20 trades in a row. You've just lost $1,200 or 60% of your account. Even veteran traders will go through periods of repeat SL'ing, you are not a special snowflake and are not immune to periods of major drawdown. Risking 5% means you are willing to lose $100 per trade. SL 20 trades in a row, your account is blown. As Red Foreman would call it - Good job dumbass. Never risk more than 1% of your account on any trade until you can show that you are either consistently breaking even or making a profit. By consistently, I mean 200 trades minimum. You do 200 trades over a period of time and either break-even or make a profit, then you should be alright to increase your risk. Unfortunately, this is where many retail traders get greedy and blow it. They will do 10 trades and hit their profit target on 9 of them. They will start seeing huge piles of money in their future and get greedy. They will start taking more risk on their trades than their account can handle. 200 trades of break-even or profitable performance risking 1% per trade. Don't even think about increasing your risk tolerance until you do it. When you get to this point, increase you risk to 2%. Do 1,000 trades at this level and show break-even or profit. If you blow your account, go back down to 1% until you can figure out what the hell you did differently or wrong, fix your strategy, and try again. Once you clear 1,000 trades at 2%, it's really up to you if you want to increase your risk. I don't recommend it. Even 2% is bordering on gambling to be honest. LESSON 4 - THE 500 PIP DRAWDOWN RULE This is a rule I created for myself and it's a great way to help protect your account from blowing. Sometimes the market goes insane. Like really insane. Insane to the point that your broker can't keep up and they can't hold your orders to the SL and TP levels you specified. They will try, but during a flash crash like we had at the start of January 2019 the rules can sometimes go flying out the window on account of the trading servers being unable to keep up with all the shit that's hitting the fan. Because of this I live by a rule I call the 500 Pip Drawdown Rule and it's really quite simple - Have enough funds in your account to cover a 500 pip drawdown on your largest open trade. I don't care if you set a SL of -50 pips. During a flash crash that shit sometimes just breaks. So let's use an example - you open a 0.1 lot short order on USDCAD and set the SL to 50 pips (so you'd only lose $50 if you hit stoploss). An hour later Trump makes some absurd announcement which causes a massive fundamental event on the market. A flash crash happens and over the course of the next few minutes USDCAD spikes up 500 pips, your broker is struggling to keep shit under control and your order slips through the cracks. By the time your broker is able to clear the backlog of orders and activity, your order closes out at 500 pips in the red. You just lost $500 when you intended initially to only risk $50. It gets kinda scary if you are dealing with whole lot orders. A single order with a 500 pip drawdown is $5,000 gone in an instant. That will decimate many trader accounts. Remember my statements above about Forex being a cruel bitch of a mistress? I wasn't kidding. Granted - the above scenario is very rare to actually happen. But glitches to happen from time to time. Broker servers go offline. Weird shit happens which sets off a fundamental shift. Lots of stuff can break your account very quickly if you aren't using proper risk management. LESSON 5 - UNDERSTAND DIFFERENT TRADING METHODOLOGIES Generally speaking, there are 3 trading methodologies that traders employ. It's important to figure out what method you intend to use before asking for help. Each has their pros and cons, and you can combine them in a somewhat hybrid methodology but that introduces challenges as well. In a nutshell:
Price Action Trading (Sometimes called Naked Trading) is very effective at identifying when trends will start and finish. This gives you the advantage of staying ahead of the market and predicting when a change in trend direction will occur. It has the disadvantage of being really easy to screw it up if you don't plot your support and resistance lines properly and interpret the chart wrong. Because you can identify a change in trend direction, you'll generally make more profit on a new trend than a technical strategy will.
Technical Analytics (or TA) uses math and statistics to try and identify where the market is headed or confirm/reject whether a trend is happening. It has the advantage of being very math and stat driven which is hard to refute the numbers, but it has the disadvantage of being late to the party when it comes to identifying trends (hence why people call TA a lagging strategy). When people fail using TA, it's not because of the math - it's because you misinterpreted what the math is telling you.
Fundamental Analysis (or FA) uses news and macro scale events to predict what is going on. A really good example right now is Brexit, what a clusterfuck that is. Every time some major brexit news breaks it causes all sorts of choas in almost every currency pair. Fundamental trading has the highest potential profitability per trade but it also has the highest potential drawdown per trade.
Now you may be thinking that you want to be a a price action trader - you should still learn the principles and concepts behind TA and FA. Same if you are planning to be a technical trader - you should learn about price action and fundamental analysis. More knowledge is better, always. With regards to technical analysis, you need to really understand what the different indicators are tell you. It's very easy to misinterpret what an indicator is telling you, which causes you to make a bad trade and lose money. It's also important to understand that every indicator can be tuned to your personal preferences. You might find, for example, that using Bollinger Bands with the normal 20 period SMA close, 2 standard deviation is not effective for how you look at the chart, but changing that to say a 20 period EMA average price, 1 standard deviation bollinger band indicator could give you significantly more insight. LESSON 6 - TIMEFRAMES MATTER Understanding the differences in which timeframes you trade on will make or break your chosen strategy. Some strategies work really well on Daily timeframes (i.e. Ichimoku) but they fall flat on their face if you use them on 1H timeframes, for example. There is no right or wrong answer on what timeframe is best to trade on. Generally speaking however, there are 2 things to consider:
Speed - If you are scalping (trading on the really fast candles like 1M, 5M, 15M, etc) odds are your trades are very short lived. Maybe 10 minutes to an hour tops. For the most part, scalping strategies will produce little profit per trade but make up for it in the sheer volume of trades. Whereas swing trading may only make a few trades but each one could be worth a significant amount of money.
Spread (the fee you pay to the broker when you trade) - If you are a scalper, the spread is your worst enemy because you have to overcome it very fast to make a profit on your order. Whereas swing trading the spread hardly impacts you at all.
If you are a total newbie to forex, I suggest you don't trade on anything shorter than the 1H timeframe when you are first learning. Trading on higher timeframes tends to be much more forgiving and profitable per trade. Scalping is a delicate art and requires finesse and can be very challenging when you are first starting out. LESSON 7 - AUTOBOTS...ROLL OUT! Yeah...I'm a geek and grew up with the Transformers franchise decades before Michael Bay came along. Deal with it. Forex bots are called EA's (Expert Advisors). They can be wonderous and devastating at the same time. /Forex is not really the best place to get help with them. That is what /algotrading is useful for. However some of us that lurk on /Forex code EA's and will try to assist when we can. Anybody can learn to code an EA. But just like how 95% of retail traders fail, I would estimate the same is true for forex bots. Either the strategy doesn't work, the code is buggy, or many other reasons can cause EA's to fail. Because EA's can often times run up hundreds of orders in a very quick period of time, it's critical that you test them repeatedly before letting them lose on a live trading account so they don't blow your account to pieces. You have been warned. If you want to learn how to code an EA, I suggest you start with MQL. It's a programming language which can be directly interpretted by Meta Trader. The Meta Trader terminal client even gives you a built in IDE for coding EA's in MQL. The downside is it can be buggy and glitchy and caused many frustrating hours of work to figure out what is wrong. If you don't want to learn MQL, you can code an EA up in just about any programming language. Python is really popular for forex bots for some reason. But that doesn't mean you couldn't do it in something like C++ or Java or hell even something more unusual like JQuery if you really wanted. I'm not going to get into the finer details of how to code EA's, there are some amazing guides out there. Just be careful with them. They can be your best friend and at the same time also your worst enemy when it comes to forex. One final note on EA's - don't buy them. Ever. Let me put this into perspective - I create an EA which is literally producing money for me automatically 24/5. If it really is a good EA which is profitable, there is no way in hell I'm selling it. I'm keeping it to myself to make a fortune off of. EA's that are for sale will not work, will blow your account, and the developer who coded it will tell you that's too darn bad but no refunds. Don't ever buy an EA from anybody. LESSON 8 - BRING ON THE HATERS You are going to find that this subreddit is frequented by trolls. Some of them will get really nasty. Some of them will threaten you. Some of them will just make you miserable. It's the price you pay for admission to the /Forex club. If you can't handle it, then I suggest you don't post here. Find a more newbie-friendly site. It sucks, but it's reality. We often refer to trolls on this subreddit as shitcunts. That's your word of the day. Learn it, love it. Shitcunts. YOU MADE IT, WELCOME TO FOREX! If you've made it through all of the above and aren't cringing or getting scared, then welcome aboard the forex train! You will fit in nicely here. Ask your questions and the non-shitcunts of our little corner of reddit will try to help you. Assuming this post doesn't get nuked and I don't get banned for it, I'll add more lessons to this post over time. Lessons I intend to add in the future:
Why you will blow your first account and what to do when it happens
Trading Psychology (this will be a beefy one and will take a while to put together)
Exotics vs Majors and which you should focus on as a newbie (aka how to blow your account in a single trade with exotics)
I was going through old emails today and came across this one I sent out to family on January 4, 2018. It was a reflection on the 2017 crypto bull market and where I saw it heading, as well as some general advice on crypto, investment, and being safe about how you handle yourself in cryptoland. I feel that we are on the cusp of a new bull market right now, so I thought that I would put this out for at least a few people to see *before* the next bull run, not after. While the details have changed, I don't see a thing in this email that I fundamentally wouldn't say again, although I'd also probably insist that people get a Yubikey and use that for all 2FA where it is supported. Happy reading, and sorry for some of the formatting weirdness -- I cleaned it up pretty well from the original email formatting, but I love lists and indents and Reddit has limitations... :-/ Also, don't laught at my token picks from January 2018! It was a long time ago and (luckliy) I took my own advice about moving a bunch into USD shortly after I sent this. I didn't hit the top, and I came back in too early in the summer of 2018, but I got lucky in many respects. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Jan-4, 2018 Hey all! I woke up this morning to ETH at a solid $1000 and decided to put some thoughts together on what I think crypto has done and what I think it will do. *******, if you could share this to your kids I’d appreciate it -- I don’t have e-mail addresses, and it’s a bit unwieldy for FB Messenger… Hopefully they’ll at least find it thought-provoking. If not, they can use it as further evidence that I’m a nutjob. 😉 Some history before I head into the future. I first mined some BTC in 2011 or 2012 (Can’t remember exactly, but it was around the Christmas holidays when I started because I had time off from work to get it set up and running.) I kept it up through the start of summer in 2012, but stopped because it made my PC run hot and as it was no longer winter, ********** didn’t appreciate the sound of the fans blowing that hot air into the room any more. I’ve always said that the first BTC I mined was at $1, but looking back at it now, that’s not true – It was around $2. Here’s a link to BTC price history. In the summer of 2013 I got a new PC and moved my programs and files over before scrapping the old one. I hadn’t touched my BTC mining folder for a year then, and I didn’t even think about salvaging those wallet files. They are now gone forever, including the 9-10BTC that were in them. While I can intellectually justify the loss, it was sloppy and underlines a key thing about cryptocurrency that I believe will limit its widespread adoption by the general public until it is addressed and solved: In cryptoland, you are your own bank, and if you lose your password or account number, there is no person or organization that can help you reset it so that you can get access back. Your money is gone forever. On April 12, 2014 I bought my first BTC through Coinbase. BTC had spiked to $1000 and been in the news, at least in Japan. This made me remember my old wallet and freak out for a couple of months trying to find it and reclaim the coins. I then FOMO’d (Fear Of Missing Out”) and bought $100 worth of BTC. I was actually very lucky in my timing and bought at around $430. Even so, except for a brief 50% swing up almost immediately afterwards that made me check prices 5 times a day, BTC fell below my purchase price by the end of September and I didn’t get back to even until the end of 2015. In May 2015 I bought my first ETH at around $1. I sent some guy on bitcointalk ~$100 worth of BTC and he sent me 100 ETH – all on trust because the amounts were small and this was a small group of people. BTC was down in the $250 range at that point, so I had lost 30-40% of my initial investment. This was of the $100 invested, so not that much in real terms, but huge in percentages. It also meant that I had to buy another $100 of BTC on Coinbase to send to this guy. A few months after I purchased my ETH, BTC had doubled and ETH had gone down to $0.50, halving the value of my ETH holdings. I was even on the first BTC purchase finally, but was now down 50% on the ETH I had bought. The good news was that this made me start to look at things more seriously. Where I had skimmed white papers and gotten a superficial understanding of the technology before FOMO’ing, I started to act as an investor, not a speculator. Let me define how I see those two different types of activity:
Investors buy because the price is less than the value they see in the investment. Speculators buy because they think that someone will pay more in the future than they are paying now.
Investors trade on information (The white paper was really well-written, had a clear technical advantage over other alternatives, and addresses a need that I can understand and value.) Speculators trade on sentiment. (Buy the rumor! Sell the news!)
Investors usually look at the investment and themselves and can describe why they purchase in those terms (ABC-Coin provides (service) that isn’t addressed yet and matches (requirements) for an investment.) Speculators usually describe why they bought something in terms of how other people think (I think that other people think that the price will rise, so I want to get ahead of that.)
Investors don’t necessarily check the price every day. The can, and very often I do, but it isn’t required because fundamentals don’t often change on a dime. Speculators need to be glued to a price feed, because sentiment very often changes on a dime.
Investors like ideas, people, business plans, and market opportunities. Good ones are like Spock. Speculators like trends. They are tribal.
Investors have a longer time horizon than speculators. In cryptoland, the notion of a “longer” time horizon is still laughably small (months) compared to traditional markets, but it certainly isn’t weeks or days or hours, which is whre speculators often live.
So what has been my experience as an investor? After sitting out the rest of 2015 because I needed to understand the market better, I bought into ETH quite heavily, with my initial big purchases being in March-April of 2016. Those purchases were in the $11-$14 range. ETH, of course, dropped immediately to under $10, then came back and bounced around my purchase range for a while until December of 2016, when I purchased a lot more at around $8. I also purchased my first ICO in August of 2016, HEAT. I bought 25ETH worth. Those tokens are now worth about half of their ICO price, so about 12.5ETH or $12500 instead of the $25000 they would be worth if I had just kept ETH. There are some other things with HEAT that mean I’ve done quite a bit better than those numbers would suggest, but the fact is that the single best thing I could have done is to hold ETH and not spend the effort/time/cost of working with HEAT. That holds true for about every top-25 token on the market when compared to ETH. It certainly holds true for the many, many tokens I tried to trade in Q1-Q2 of 2017. In almost every single case I would have done better and slept better had I just held ETH instead of trying to be smarter than Mr. Market. But, I made money on all of them except one because the crypto market went up more in USD terms than any individual coin went down in ETH or BTC terms. This underlines something that I read somewhere and that I take to heart: A rising market makes everyone seem like a genius. A monkey throwing darts at a list of the top 100 cryptocurrencies last year would have doubled his money. Here’s a chart from September that shows 2017 year-to-date returns for the top 10 cryptocurrencies, and all of them went up a *lot* more between then and December. A monkey throwing darts at this list there would have quintupled his money. When evaluating performance, then, you have to beat the monkey, and preferably you should try to beat a Wall Street monkey. I couldn’t, so I stopped trying around July 2017. My benchmark was the BLX, a DAA (Digital Asset Array – think fund like a Fidelity fund) created by ICONOMI. I wasn’t even close to beating the BLX returns, so I did several things.
I went from holding about 25 different tokens to holding 10 now. More on that in a bit.
I used those funds to buy ETH and BLX. ETH has done crazy-good since then and BLX has beaten BTC handily, although it hasn’t done as well as ETH.
I used some of those funds to set up an arbitrage operation.
The arbitrage operation is why I kept the 11 tokens that I have now. All but a couple are used in an ETH/token pair for arbitrage, and each one of them except for one special case is part of BLX. Why did I do that? I did that because ICONOMI did a better job of picking long-term holds than I did, and in arbitrage the only speculative thing you must do is pick the pairs to trade. My pairs are (No particular order):
I also hold PLU, PLBT, and ART. These two are multi-year holds for me. I have not purchased BTC once since my initial $200, except for a few cases where BTC was the only way to go to/from an altcoin that didn’t trade against ETH yet. Right now I hold about the same 0.3BTC that I held after my first $100 purchase, so I don’t really count it. Looking forward to this year, I am positioning myself as follows:
ETH will still be my core holding. It is the “deepest in the stack” crypto investment that I have. “Deep in the stack” is a programming term that gets at the idea that most software is built on other software. If you just think about your notebook, you have your OS, and programs run on that. But even inside the OS there is a stack. The bottom of your stack is the kernel, and on top of that are the drivers, protocols, and other layers that allow the programs to talk to the OS, the hard drive, the screen, the mouse, your printer, etc. You can change your mouse or printer easily. Changing things deeper in the stack becomes harder and harder. ETH is deep in the crypto stack, so is very hard to dislodge – Around 60 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap run on top of Ethereum, so getting rid of Ethereum is something that would take a long time to do.
DNT, QTUM, ZRX, and OMG are all, to varying degrees, “deep in the stack” tokens that, once established, will be very hard to dislodge.
That said, I am peeling away some of my holdings into USD right now, because big changes are afoot and they are going to cause market disruptions. I’m going to come right out and admit that this is speculative, but I’m also going to back it up with some non-speculative facts.
The SEC has been sending out hundreds of subpoenas to cryptocurrency organizations over the past 3-4 months. These subpoenas are simply asking for information and nobody has been charged with any crimes or misdoings, but it is clear that the SEC is getting together information so that they can begin to regulate cryptoland. When that happens, other countries will follow, and that means:
Some tokens will be deemed outright scams and people will be prosecuted.
Some tokens will be deemed securities and will be regulated.
Some tokens will not be deemed scams or securities and will continue as they have.
Looking at this, it is clear to me that the tokens that escape prosecution and regulation should do better, but the short-term impact will be brutal and ugly. It would not surprise me at all to see a 50% drop in overall market cap within Q1-Q2, with Q1 being more likely.
Cryptoland has always been a bit nuts, but it is more nuts now than I have ever seen it. Back in 2011-2014 it was a freaks-n-geeks show where people were all about the technology and I would sit around for a 3-day weekend installing a *nix VM on my Windows machine so that I could compile the most recent source and run a CUDA SHA-256 routine rather than thrash my CPU. If that doesn’t make sense to you, you wouldn’t have even thought about being involved.
Now, people see Bitcoin advertisements in their Facebook feed and think “I gotta get on the BTC train!” before going to Coinbase and buying some with a credit card. They don’t know anything about crypto, and they are getting eaten alive – It is no coincidence that BTC peaked after the Thanksgiving holidays when people sat around the table and Janice got Uncle Mike and Cousin Bob all excited as she talked about going to Cancun for Christmas because of her crypto winnings. Huge amounts of fiat got transferred from newbies to BTC whales during this period, and once the whales were done, BTC had dropped from $20,000 to $12,000. It’s now back at $15,000, but for people who bought at a higher level, this sucks. As a result many have moved from BTC to ETH, with the single biggest money flow in crypto in December being the BTC à ETH flow. As a result, it’s no coincidence that ETH is at all-time highs now. The thing is, though, that even most people that moved from BTC to ETH really have no idea what they are doing. They are acting on buzzwords and emotion. They are speculators and are going to get crushed.
The stock market is quite high right now, but people are starting to worry that it is too high and that we are going to enter into a period of inflation again. This has caused gold to go up a lot the last quarter and is likely also responsible a bit for the rise in cryptos. If this view is correct, then cryptos stay stronger than if that pressure wasn’t there. If wrong, then cryptos will swing down as money exits cryptoland for more traditional markets.
I am spending most of my time and money on the arbitrage effort. The nice thing about arbitrage is that it works as the markets go up, and it works as the markets go down. When markets are too volatile, however, arbitrage can get very messy and dangerous, with each trade generating a loss instead of a profit, so I am working right now to tune the algorithms to take into account rate-of-change and add in some circuit breaker triggers. Once this is done I will expand those operations.
I am getting much more serious about systems security.
I have a Nano Ledger and recommend that anyone with >$1000 of crypto have one. The Trezor is also supposed to be good, but I haven’t used it.
I will set up a dedicated *nix notebook that is used for nothing except my crypto work. All it takes is one keylogger to get on your PC/Mac and your crypto is gone. What is on your Nano Ledger will be OK, but they will sweep out your exchange account or Coinbase account faster than you can type. A standard Linux installation with Chrome and nothing else is as about as secure as you can get in the civilian world.
If you don’t use LastPass or a similar password manager yet, you need to do that. Your password to LastPass should be at least 16 characters long and should not have a recognizable English word in it. If you think that “Iluvu4evah” is a secure password, you’re wrong.
Hackers know that “4”=”for” and “u”=”you”. Writing a script to substitute those in is trivial if they want to write the script, but it’s much easier for them to download one of the many, many programs out there that already do this.
If your password contains any string of numbers from anything that can be associated with you at any time in your life, it is insecure. Take those numbers out of the character count because they are an insignificant barrier to cracking your account.
The good news is that you probably won’t be targeted, but if you ever mention online that you are doing anything significant in crypto, that chance increased enormously.
*Never* talk with *anyone* about how much you have in crypto. You’ll notice that I haven’t here. There is no reason to tell even a family member how much you have unless you are sharing a tax form. Sure, you may trust them, but all it takes if for someone to overhead someone else mention at a party that a relative got into crypto a long time ago and made a bunch of money. That person can also then be subjected to the $10 hack and force you to send all your crypto to them.
Your password to LastPass (Or equivalent.) should look something like this -> 6k0jQMoziX&D#4W8
Yes, it’s a headache. Imagine your headache, though, were you to open your account one day and find all of your money gone.
Looking at my notes, I have two other things that I wanted to work into this email that I didn’t get to, so here they are:
Just like with free apps and other software, if you are getting something of value and you didn’t pay anything for it, you need to ask why this is. With apps, the phrase is “If you didn’t pay for the product, you are the product”, and this works for things such as pump groups, tips, and even technical analysis. Here’s how I see it.
Technical analysis (TA) is something that has been argued about for longer than I’ve been alive, but I think that it falls into the same boat. In short, TA argues that there are patterns in trading that can be read and acted upon to signal when one must buy or sell. It has been used forever in the stock and foreign exchange markets, and people use it in crypto as well. Let’s break down these assumptions a bit.
i. First, if crypto were like the stock or forex markets we’d all be happy with 5-7% gains per year rather than easily seeing that in a day. For TA to work the same way in crypto as it does in stocks and foreign exchange, the signals would have to be *much* stronger and faster-reacting than they work in the traditional market, but people use them in exactly the same way. ii. Another area where crypto is very different than the stock and forex markets centers around market efficiency theory. This theory says that markets are efficient and that the price reflects all the available information at any given time. This is why gold in New York is similar in price to gold in London or Shanghai, and why arbitrage margins are easily <0.1% in those markets compared to cryptoland where I can easily get 10x that. Crypto simply has too much speculation and not enough professional traders in it yet to operate as an efficient market. That fundamentally changes the way that the market behaves and should make any TA patterns from traditional markets irrelevant in crypto. iii. There are services, both free and paid that claim to put out signals based on TA for when one should buy and sell. If you think for even a second that they are not front-running (Placing orders ahead of yours to profit.) you and the other people using the service, you’re naïve. iv. Likewise, if you don’t think that there are people that have but together computerized systems to get ahead of people doing manual TA, you’re naïve. The guys that I have programming my arbitrage bots have offered to build me a TA bot and set up a service to sell signals once our position is taken. I said no, but I am sure that they will do it themselves or sell that to someone else. Basically they look at TA as a tip machine where when a certain pattern is seen, people act on that “tip”. They use software to see that “tip” faster and take a position on it so that when slower participants come in they either have to sell lower or buy higher than the TA bot did. Remember, if you are getting a tip for free, you’re the product. In TA I see a system when people are all acting on free preset “tips” and getting played by the more sophisticated market participants. Again, you have to beat that Wall Street monkey.
If you still don’t agree that TA is bogus, think about it this way: If TA was real, Wall Street would have figured it out decades ago and we would have TA funds that would be beating the market. We don’t.
If you still don’t agree that TA is bogus and that its real and well, proven, then you must think that all smart traders use them. Now follow that logic forward and think about what would happen if every smart trader pushing big money followed TA. The signals would only last for a split second and would then be overwhelmed by people acting on them, making them impossible to leverage. This is essentially what the efficient market theory postulates for all information, including TA.
OK, the one last item. Read this weekly newsletter – You can sign up at the bottom. It is free, so they’re selling something, right? 😉 From what I can tell, though, Evan is a straight-up guy who posts links and almost zero editorial comments. Happy 2018.
I'm doing a tribute to the 24 days of Christmas by going over the financial statements of 24 companies that are considered downrange, speculative, and just plain high risk. Our first six stops is fondly captured here. All opinions are my own, and certainly not a recommendation for or against any of them, or to buy or sell. Many are companies I've never looked at before. In some cases, I'd never even heard of them. I limited myself to 45mins to each, and kept mainly to most recent financial statements and MD&A's. You'll likely know more about the company than me if you're following them. This is only my reactions with a brief commentary about what I saw in the financial statements. LDS - Lifestyle Delivery Systems
Capital structure tastes like a 4 week old egg left on a counter. Not dissimilar within this peer set.
No fx hedging. Given forex losses equalled their gross margin…..well…..seriously. Think about that.
Good: Has revenue. Bad: Needs alot more revenue.
Relatively large spend on R&D
Cash flows to exec high relative to earnings
Capital cost is relative to peers. Still means expensive, but this seems around what it is at this stage of legal cannabis.
Curious that they front loaded share price volatility in option valuation. Haven’t seen that before. Good disclosure overall. I don’t like the sliding scale at all, but it’s not material
8.3MM long dated options - large potential trip wire in mid 2019. Most cash that can be has been wrung out
Warrants are a different story. 2018 is a big hill.
Thing feels a like an ATM for management to me. RTI - Radient Technologies
Cash poor, was able to get out of hock by paying in shares.
Issued more shares through November - crazy cheap to buyer. Large discount.
Warrants issued and outstanding very large.
Same with stock options
If their sales don’t take off soon, I put these guys at extreme risk.
They need 10x the revenue they have per month, like, next week.
More financing possible I guess. The market is paying $1.30 higher than what they’re selling shares for tho. Blech.
Of all I’ve looked at, I think this business model could work if they can wait until it actually generates revenue. Top heavy balance sheet needs concrete supports quick. TNY - Tinley Beverage Company
Why in the fuck is none of these outfits able to hedge forex exposure? Not one.
Same hideously expensive capital structure as others (note 8 & 9). Apr2018 important milestone.
Still intending and still developing. Still.
At least they had the cash to open a savings account
Note 10 - complicated. Really complicated.
Thank god, one of the shorter financials.
All sparkles and rainbows and hope. The only question is if there will be anyone who wants to buy what they make. Feedstock not well defined. Scalability a real concern. Suspect they’ll need a shit ton of money if they actually try to. Feels like campers. IMH - Invictus EDIT - Dec21 1100hrs Elves pulled a boner, covered wrong financial statements. Will be corrected after they come to later today. Replaced for now by...... iAn - Ianthus Capital Holdings
Structured financiers and bankers trying to make money off of cannabis.
Lots of contingencies nested in assets, from operations to regulatory. Risk hard to pin down and multi-faceted.
These guy’s hands haven’t touched dirt in their lives.
Cash burn is high, there are some assets being loaded, but strikes me as somewhat schizophrenic, seems constrained by what’s for sale rather than creating them.
Good disclosure on capital and optionality exposure. Not terribly impressed since that’s what these guys do for a living anyway
Related party transactions abound.
Despite decent reporting (a merciful 28 pages), it explains absolutely nothing to a business person. There’s a financial analyst out there somewhere that is drooling with their structuring.
I’d remind that analyst they’ve lost $7MM this year with another quarter to go.
Most complex financials of all so far that say the least.
A business built on excel spreadsheets by bankers for bankers. So many contingencies to revenue combined with jurisdictional uncertainty, this is simply a hedge fund. Short and mid-term operational exposure is extreme. CHV - Canada House Wellness Group Inc
Balance sheet is printed on rice paper, you can see through it if you hold it up to the light
Expenses are a cluster-fuck
I am getting a callous from reading auditor notes that include: “material uncertainties cast significant doubt about their ability to continue”. Many of these companies have it on page 1.
None of these outfits should need 30 pages of financial statements. This one has 45.
Clean disclosure on forex risk. Wish others did it. CHV does it, but on an amount that probably matches their spend on postage stamps for a decade. Immaterial.
Real problems in AP & AR. Heading for a wall.
Capital structure…..sigh. Not atypical, but this company is a great example of how capital costs impair a business. A case study for business students. Notes 2, 14, 15, and 16 should be required reading in business school.
I’m going to stop, because there’s many more to go, and there’s not much more to see here in terms of doing a high level look. This has been my favorite to do so far, because their disclosure is so good. I really like the idea of a focused, vertically integrated company too, but this company is a train wreck on paper. Whether this one can survive for another year…. EDIT UPDATE! Day after I posted this, CHV announced a $7MM convertible raise, spending 25% of it on paying debt and accounts payable. Expensive, and suggests ops aren't paying the bills. Not atypical in growth phases. Exceptionally good disclosure though. Of note, 60% of the stock is owned by only 2 investors and insiders. LIB - Liberty Leaf Holdings
One saves money on accounting costs if you don’t have any revenue to record and report.
If you need to call IR, the same guy is also the CEO and corporate secretary. Saves file size in your contacts list. Feels like a squatteopportunist though, not ops/business guy. Modest salary. Might be built as a pure flip.
Built in a $250k cash (not stock) payout for himself when he walks out the door.
Burnt $70k on a US folly for supply.
Note 12 on capital structure - similar rabbit warren to these others.
Accelerated capital structure - unlike long dates, balance sheet funding is largely compressed into 2018. This means they’d better get a licence, they’d better have production/inventory ready to go, and begin operating fast, channel ready.
Given they look only like a desk and a computer atm, significant operational risk over next 9 months.
Doesn’t look bad on paper. I’d gauge the risk on whether or not production can come in on time, what the facility actually looks like, and if they can get product sold mucho pronto. CEO has no history of anything connected to cannabis, only equity structures. Despite financial ‘health’, high risk Dive Bar goodness. Speculative is an understatement for this one. If IR can specifically address those three top things accurately, it offers focused regional cannabis exposure. Problem with that is the supply bubble potential in BC though. If they were in Manitoba….
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