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[Not my post] The Structure of Forex Brokers
Originally posted by Darkstar at Forex Factory. Disclaimer: I did not write this. I found this post on ForexFactory written by a user called DarkStar, which I believe a lot of redditors will benefit from reading. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ There has been much discussion of late regarding borker spreads and liquidity. Many assumptions are being made about why spreads are widened during news time that are built on an incomplete knowledge of the architecture of the forex market in general. The purpose of this article is to dissect the market and hopefully shed some light on the situation so that a more rational and productive discussion can be undertaken by the Forex Factory members. We will begin with an explanation of the purpose of the Forex market and how it is utilized by its primary participants, expand into the structure and operation of the market, and conclude with the implications of this information for speculators. With that having been said, let us begin. Unlike the various bond and equity markets, the Forex market is not generally utilized as an investment medium. While speculation has a critical role in its proper function, the lion’s share of Forex transactions are done as a function of international business. The guy who buys a shiny new Eclipse more then likely will pay for it with US Dollars. Unfortunately Mitsubishi’s factory workers in Japan need to get their paychecks denominated in Yen, so at some point a conversion needs to be made. When one considers that companies like Exxon, Boeing, Sony, Dell, Honda, and thousands of other international businesses move nearly every dollar, real, yen, rubble, pound, and euro they make in a foreign country through the Forex market, it isn’t hard to understand how insignificant the speculative presence is; even in a $2tril per day market. By and large, businesses don’t much care about the intricacies of exchange rates, they just want to make and sell their products. As a central repository of a company’s money, it was only natural that the banks would be the facilitators of these transactions. In the old days it was easy enough for a bank to call a foreign bank (or a foreign branch of ones own bank) and swap the stockpiles of currency each had accumulated from their many customers. Just as any business would, the banks bought the foreign currency at one rate and marked it up before selling it to the customer. With that the foreign exchange spread was born. This was (and still is) a reasonable cost of doing business. Mitsubishi can pay its customers and the banks make a nice little profit for the hassle and risks associated with moving around the currency. As a byproduct of transacting all this business, bank traders developed the ability to speculate on the future of currency rates. Utilizing a better understanding of the market, a bank could quote a business a spread on the current rate but hold off hedging until a better one came along. This process allowed the banks to expand their net income dramatically. The unfortunate consequence was that liquidity was redistributed in a way that made certain transactions impossible to complete. It was for this reason and this reason alone that the market was eventually opened up to non-bank participants. The banks wanted more orders in the market so that a) they could profit from the less experienced participants, and b) the less experienced participants could provide a better liquidity distribution for execution of international business hedge orders. Initially only megacap hedge funds (such as Soros’s and others) were permitted, but it has since grown to include the retail brokerages and ECNs. Market Structure: Now that we have established why the market exists, let’s take a look at how the transactions are facilitated: The top tier of the Forex market is transacted on what is collectively known as the Interbank. Contrary to popular belief the Interbank is not an exchange; it is a collection of communication agreements between the world’s largest money center banks. To understand the structure of the Interbank market, it may be easier to grasp by way of analogy. Consider that in an office (or maybe even someone’s home) there are multiple computers connected via a network cable. Each computer operates independently of the others until it needs a resource that another computer possesses. At that point it will contact the other computer and request access to the necessary resource. If the computer is working properly and its owner has given the requestor authorization to do so, the resource can be accessed and the initiating computers request can be fulfilled. By substituting computers for banks and resources for currency, you can easily grasp the relationships that exist on the Interbank. Anyone who has ever tried to find resources on a computer network without a server can appreciate how difficult it can be to keep track of who has what resources. The same issue exists on the Interbank market with regard to prices and currency inventory. A bank in Singapore may only rarely transact business with a company that needs to exchange some Brazilian Real and it can be very difficult to establish what a proper exchange rate should be. It is for this purpose that EBS and Reuters (hereafter EBS) established their services. Layered on top (in a manner of speaking) of the Interbank communication links, the EBS service enables banks to see how much and at what prices all the Interbank members are willing to transact. Pains should be taken to express that EBS is not a market or a market maker; it is an application used to see bids and offers from the various banks. The second tier of the market exists essential within each bank. By calling your local Bank of America branch you can exchange any foreign currency you would like. More then likely they will just move some excess currency from one branch to another. Since this is a micro-exchange with a single counterparty, you are basically at their mercy as to what exchange rate they will quote you. Your choice is to accept their offer or shop a different bank. Everyone who trades the forex market should visit their bank at least once to get a few quotes. It would be very enlightening to see how lucrative these transactions really are. Branching off of this second tier is the third tier retail market. When brokers like Oanda, Forex.com, FXCM, etc. desire to establish a retail operation the first thing they need is a liquidity provider. Nine in ten of these brokers will sign an agreement with just one bank. This bank will agree to provide liquidity if and only if they can hedge it on EBS inclusive of their desired spread. Because the volume will be significantly higher a single bank patron will transact, the spreads will be much more competitive. By no means should it be expected these tier 3 providers will be quoted precisely what exists on the Interbank. Remember the bank is in the business of collecting spreads and no agreement is going to suspend that priority. Retail forex is almost akin to running a casino. The majority of its participants have zero understanding how to trade effectively and as a result are consistent losers. The spread system combined with a standard probability distribution of returns gives the broker a built in house advantage of a few percentage points. As a result, they have all built internal order matching systems that play one loser off against a winner and collect the spread. On the occasions when disequilibrium exists within the internal order book, the broker hedges any exposure with their tier 2 liquidity provider. As bad as this may sound, there are some significant advantages for speculators that deal with them. Because it is an internal order book, many features can be provided which are otherwise unavailable through other means. Non-standard contract sizes, high leverage on tiny account balances, and the ability to transact in a commission free environment are just a few of them… An ECN operates similar to a Tier 2 bank, but still exists on the third tier. An ECN will generally establish agreements with several tier 2 banks for liquidity. However instead of matching orders internally, it will just pass through the quotes from the banks, as is, to be traded on. It’s sort of an EBS for little guys. There are many advantages to the model, but it is still not the Interbank. The banks are going to make their spread or their not go to waste their time. Depending on the bank this will take the form of price shading or widened spreads depending on market conditions. The ECN, for its trouble, collects a commission on each transaction. Aside from the commission factor, there are some other disadvantages a speculator should consider before making the leap to an ECN. Most offer much lower leverage and only allow full lot transactions. During certain market conditions, the banks may also pull their liquidity leaving traders without an opportunity to enter or exit positions at their desired price. Trade Mechanics: It is convenient to believe that in a $2tril per day market there is always enough liquidity to do what needs to be done. Unfortunately belief does not negate the reality that for every buyer there MUST be a seller or no transaction can occur. When an order is too large to transact at the current price, the price moves to the point where open interest is abundant enough to cover it. Every time you see price move a single pip, it means that an order was executed that consumed (or otherwise removed) the open interest at the current price. There is no other way that prices can move. As we covered earlier, each bank lists on EBS how much and at what price they are willing to transact a currency. It is important to note that no Interbank participant is under any obligation to make a transaction if they do not feel it is in their best interest. There are no “market makers” on the Interbank; only speculators and hedgers. Looking at an ECN platform or Level II data on the stock market, one can get a feel for what the orders on EBS look like. The following is a sample representation: You’ll notice that there is open interest (Level II Vol figures) of various sizes at different price points. Each one of those units represents existing limit orders and in this example, each unit is $1mil in currency. Using this information, if a market sell order was placed for 38.4mil, the spread would instantly widen from 2.5 pips to 4.5 pips because there would no longer be any orders between 1.56300 and 1.56345. No broker, market maker, bank, or thief in the night widened the spread; it was the natural byproduct of the order that was placed. If no additional orders entered the market, the spread would remain this large forever. Fortunately, someone somewhere will deem a price point between those 2 figures an appropriate opportunity to do something and place an order. That order will either consume more interest or add to it, depending whether it is a market or limit order respectively. What would have happened if someone placed a market sell order for 2mil just 1 millisecond after that 38.4 mil order hit? They would have been filled at 1.5630 Why were they “slipped”? Because there was no one to take the other side of the transaction at 1.56320 any longer. Again, nobody was out screwing the trader; it was the natural byproduct of the order flow. A more interesting question is, what would happen if all the listed orders where suddenly canceled? The spread would widen to a point at which there were existing bids and offers. That may be 5,7,9, or even 100 pips; it is going to widen to whatever the difference between a bid and an offer are. Notice that nobody came in and “set” the spread, they just refused to transact at anything between it. Nothing can be done to force orders into existence that don’t exist. Regardless what market is being examined or what broker is facilitating transactions, it is impossible to avoid spreads and slippage. They are a fact of life in the realm of trading. Implications for speculators: Trading has been characterized as a zero sum game, and rightly so. If trader A sells a security to trader B and the price goes up, trader A lost money that they otherwise could have made. If it goes down, Trader A made money from trader B’s mistake. Even in a huge market like the Forex, each transaction must have a buyer and a seller to make a trade and one of them is going to lose. In the general realm of trading, this is materially irrelevant to each participant. But there are certain situations where it becomes of significant importance. One of those situations is a news event. Much has been made of late about how it is immoral, illegal, or downright evil for a broker, bank, or other liquidity provider to withdraw their order (increasing the spread) and slip orders (as though it was a conscious decision on their part to do so) more then normal during these events. These things occur for very specific reasons which have nothing to do with screwing anyone. Let us examine why: Leading up to an economic report for example, certain traders will enter into positions expecting the news to go a certain way. As the event becomes immanent, the banks on the Interbank will remove their speculative orders for fear of taking unnecessary losses. Technical traders will pull their orders as well since it is common practice for them to avoid the news. Hedge funds and other macro traders are either already positioned or waiting until after the news hits to make decisions dependent on the result. Knowing what we now know, where is the liquidity necessary to maintain a tight spread coming from? Moving down the food chain to Tier 2; a bank will only provide liquidity to an ECN or retail broker if they can instantly hedge (plus their requisite spread) the positions on Interbank. If the Interbank spreads are widening due to lower liquidity, the bank is going to have to widen the spreads on the downstream players as well. At tier 3 the ECN’s are simply passing the banks offers on, so spreads widen up to their customers. The retailers that guarantee spreads of 2 to 5 pips have just opened a gaping hole in their risk profile since they can no longer hedge their net exposure (ever wonder why they always seem to shut down or requote until its over?). The variable spread retailers in turn open up their spreads to match what is happening at the bank or they run into the same problems fixed spreads broker are dealing with. Now think about this situation for a second. What is going to happen when a number misses expectations? How many traders going into the event with positions chose wrong and need to get out ASAP? How many hedge funds are going to instantly drop their macro orders? How many retail traders’ straddle orders just executed? How many of them were waiting to hear a miss and executed market orders? With the technical traders on the sidelines, who is going to be stupid enough to take the other side of all these orders? The answer is no one. Between 1 and 5 seconds after the news hits it is a purely a 1 way market. That big long pin bar that occurs is a grand total of 2 prices; the one before the news hit and the one after. The 10, 20, or 30 pips between them is called a gap. Is it any wonder that slippage is in evidence at this time? Conclusions: Each tier of the Forex market has its own inherent advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your priorities you have to make a choice between what restrictions you can live with and those you cant. Unfortunately, you can’t always get what you want. By focusing on slippage and spreads, which are the natural byproduct of order flow, one is not only pursuing a futile ideal, they are passing up an enormous opportunity to capitalize on true inefficiencies. News events are one of the few times where a large number of players are positioned inappropriately and it is fairly easy to profit from their foolishness. If a trader truly wants to make the leap to the next level of profitability they should be spending their time figuring out how identify these positions and trading with the goal of capturing the price movement they inevitably will cause. Nobody is going to make the argument that a broker is a trader’s best friend, but they still provide a valuable service and should be compensated for their efforts. By accepting a broker for what it is and learning how to work within the limitations of the relationship, traders have access to a world of opportunity that they otherwise could never dream of capturing. Let us all remember that simple truth.
You can use TD Ameritrade's real-time equity data for free, for paper trading without the 20-minute delay.
In case people didn't know, if you use a platform which "contains" a paper trading acccount, rather than relying on the TOS platform entirely, you can take advantage of the free real-time US equity data for paper trading. So to keep this simple you can get NinjaTrader for free here, it's generally considered a free platform for those who didn't know. https://ninjatrader.com/FreeLiveData When you get NT through this method, you can pick Futures or Forex data. You can go back and fill out each one if you'd like say, do Futures first (that'll be through CQG and give you a lot of data for 7 days or 14, I can't recall) and the Forex through FXCM. Regardless, you don't have to use either one if you don't want. After that you'll be able to download NT installer, I always go with NinjaTrader 8, it works well. Rather than 7, that is. Simply click "connections" in the main panel once it's open, and add a TD Ameritrade connection with the same login/pass you'd use to login to TOS or your TD/AT online account. One important thing to note: If you want tick data, at the least NinjaTrader will say give you 10 tick, 2, 1 tick or even intervals like 1s (literally type 1s or 10s or 1t 3t 10t etc and hit enter when you have a chart open) but I believe it's derived from the bar data, if that makes sense. Also if you're viewing anything less than the 1 minute bar timeframe, itll just start off at the time you've opened the chart with such tick/second/range/interval data, and no historical on the chart. So if I'm doing that I like to open a second chart in another tab of the same instrument to show the historical data. So the paper trading account is within the NT platform, and so long as you make sure you have set up your default account to be say Sim101, the usual name of the default paper trading account, you won't be actually executing trades through the TD Ameritrade broker, but you get to trade on real-time data. Between this being free data, the possibility of using Rithmic, CQG and FXCM trials for futures and forex, you can get basically all free data. For a paper trader like me, that's nice because I have no skin the game... I think that's the saying. Keep in mind I'm not promoting NinjaTrader in any commercial capacity and have no affiliation with them whatsoever as a company or in any manner I can conceive. There's one other platform I use which isn't free that's compatible with TD Ameritrade's data and that's called MotiveWave. It also does support simulated trading very very well. I suggest checking it out and I'll just say Google MotiveWaveTM 4.2.8 Ultimate Edition ;) Hope this isn't just old news everyone here has known. If so, let me know. Happy trading and hope this coming trading week is a good one. Edit: Some other resources which at least have free trials available without necessarily needing any payment info I find useful are: 1) www.livesquawk.com (Especially Steve K's market signals... I've only heard of McAffe's signals but never tried them, however Steve K is a good guy and seems to really know what he's doing. Tl;dr, they work for me in paper trading). 2) https://www.tradethenews.com - you need a linkedin with 5 or more connections to get the free trial but they have a great squawk service with a guy from NYC who seems to be on literally almost 24 hours a day 5 days a week. 3) https://pro.benzinga.com - a Bloomberg Terminal alternative basically, but not as fancy... for more fancy see: 4) http://www.metastock.com/fundsoft4 This one isn't really explained the best on their own site, in my opinion but I've been using the free 30 day trial and what it is, is Metastock's own way of selling Reuters Eikon service. Eikon is about the best Bloomberg Terminal alternative I've found yet in many years of searching. I'm more into looking at data and figuring out how plats work than the actual trading in some ways. Important note on this one: Once you do have a trial, and they take a little while to rubber stamp it so be patient with the emails they send, you can login through the regular Reuters Eikon web login if you wish rather than using the Windows standalone program. They're the same one's just web-baed. 5) Lastly for now, https://www.money.net - definitely worth checking out. Has it's own live squawk for news during trading hours and definitely no payment info needed for a trial. You can login once trial acquired via login.money.net or the now 'legacy' installable platform. They're both good but I'm not crazy about the iOS/Android versions at all.
Hey everyone. A while back I made the decision to moderate this subreddit because I was once in your shoes. I honestly did not know where to begin. I would type in “daytrading” in google and come up with so many companies trying to sell me the dream. “Make $$$ while you sleep!” “Look at how much I made today!!” etc. I wanted to make this post to first give new people a place where to start and to even offer some resources that can get you started in the right direction. If I have anything else to add I will add it here.
Open up a papertrading account with Think or Swim. It is free and you can get live data just by requesting it from support. All you have to do is ask them to add live data to your papertrading account. Do not pay monthly for any papertrading account. There are a lot of free videos out there that can help you get started with Think or Swim. The program looks complicated at first but it is very powerful. I spent a few days with the program and at the end of the week I was fairly comfortable with understanding where everything was. I have never had a 60-day limit with my papertrading account by the way. https://www.thinkorswim.com/t/pm-registration.html Start here and start taking trades! It is all fake money and will give you some insight into how the program works as well as how the markets move.
One other tip for setting up your papertrading account is to only set it up with a reasonable amount of money. I know a lot of papertrading accounts give you 100k right off the bat but realistically, how many of us are going to have that much money to start out with? Set it to something more reasonable like 10-20k if you are trading forex (or even less if all you have is 1-5k to trade with) or 25k+ if you are going to daytrade stocks only because the regulations require you to have at least 25k in your account at all times to daytrade (In this case, I would probably give yourself 30k just to be safe). If you are looking for a stock screener, ThinkorSwim has a pretty good one. A personal favorite of mine is www.FINVIZ.com which has an awesome screener for finding different chart patterns and conditions (such as prices crossing above 20 bar EMA, trending up, etc) Think or Swim has stocks, forex, futures, and options. Options are an entirely different beast all together but stocks, forex, and futures are all "yes-no" type of trading while options give you a little more leeway with your mistakes. If you are interested in learning about options, message me and I can help guide you with the right direction and best resources I used to learn options. EDIT: Due to the amount of PM's I was getting, I have decided to post the options course I started with here https://www.udemy.com/learn-options-trading-courses/ You shouldn't pay more than 10 bucks for it as Udemy does a ton of sales throughout the year. You can also just do a "Udemy coupon" search on google and see what you pull up. Its about 10 hours worth of content and in my opinion it is worth every penny if you are wanting to learn more about options. There are a ton of other great classes on Udemy as well for learning just about anything. Just make sure to read the reviews! Stocks is kind of the well known market for new comers but I would argue that Forex can also just as easily be traded by a newcomer. Also the benefit of trading Forex is that there is no commission off the bat. Most brokers will charge what is called a spread of some number of pips that you are essentially paying back. Futures trade in ticks and each tick nets you a gain of some amount or a loss of some amount so I do not suggest any new person to jump into futures until you understand the way markets work. Futures charge commission on each contract you buy or sell. It can be sort of related to Forex since a tick and a pip are essentially the same. The huge benefit to trading Futures and Forex is that there is NO pattern day trading rule. This means you can buy and sell as many times as you want without being flagged for not having 25k in your account.
Tradimo is a great resource for getting your feet wet with technical analysis. It is free and shows you the ropes with how you can start looking at prices and charts: https://learn.tradimo.com/courses
If there is ever a company you want to pay to help you learn, please do your research first. Type in the company’s name along with “review” at the end of your search and make your educated decision off of that. A lot of these companies have amazing advertising but will never teach you the right way to trade. A lot of them are scams too. I read that there was one trading system which the guy had the secrets of the “code of trading” and only he knew the code but would sell it to you for hundreds of dollars. So many people come into trading with high expectations that if I just pay this company to teach me, I can be like them when in reality that may never happen. Always look at their testimonials with a grain of salt. Read the reviews just like you would on amazon for buying a product. I also like to type in the company's name and add "scam" at the end to see if I get any hits on that. Read the good reviews but also the bad to understand the bigger picture here. Very few will actually teach you how to trade. Also, Reddit is a great place to read up on things like this too. Just add "Reddit" at the end of your search and read up on other users reviews.
Investimonials is also a good place to use as well (but do not use it as your only review source!!! Fake reviews are everywhere) http://www.investimonials.com So before you drop that 1-2k on a course, make sure you do your homework. Don't be fooled by smooth advertising.
A high probability indicator or a holy grail strategy is not out there. If it was, everyone would be using it and making money. And if there does happen to be one, do you really think anyone will want to share it? The only way to get good at trading is to be able to read the charts and read where prices are going. This is through support and resistance and understanding channels. I cannot recommend Mack’s price action YouTube channel enough. https://www.youtube.com/usePATsTrading I am a firm believer that price action is the basis for understanding price movement. Reading an indicator may help but you should not rely on solely indicators to guide you with trading as they may give you a signal to buy when you are at a major resistance level or sell when you are at a major support, both of which could burn you.
My only other advice is to look into markets that let you maximize profits. For some, it is not possible to buy 1000 shares of Apple. While trading low priced stocks lets you buy hundreds and maybe even thousands of shares at once, those stocks are too unpredictable because they can be influenced by individuals who do what is called a "pump and dump" schemes. Plus they can be difficult to read as far as what they are going to be doing next (going up or going down). My recommendation (and it is only my recommendation so only use this as guidance to make your own decision) would be to look into trading forex if you do not have a lot to start out with as some brokers (like FXCM) allow you to buy "micro" lots which let you invest as little as 100 dollars in some cases and have a much better chance of working in your favor due to the amount of people trading the same instrument. Note: There are some discussions about forex market makers adjusting the markets so you get stopped out prematurely. While I have not experienced this, it could theoretically happen? So if you do decide to trade Forex make sure you pick your broker carefully and again read the reviews!
EDIT: I have read that what I mentioned above about Forex is outdated and the brokers are under stricter regulations. Do your own investigation and do not let what I said steer you away from trading forex if you really want to. The big Forex brokers you are able to open an account with in the US are FXCM, Oanda, and Forex.com. You have a lot more options if you are in another country. EDIT 2: Well it looks like FXCM may get banned from having clients in the US. Apparently they took some trades against their clients to profit on their end and have been using clients accounts to fund their extra expenses. Tread on your own risk.
Above all, do not invest money that you are not willing to lose. I cannot emphasize this enough. Work on a simulator until you feel that your strategy works. This means putting in the time to sit down and analyze every trade you took which worked as well as the ones that didn't work. You need to go back over your mistakes and review why your trade did not work the way you thought it would. Was it because you bought at a high and sold at a low? Was it because you bought at a major resistance level thinking the stock would still go up? Was it because you were impulsive and entered in too early? Was it because you were too slow and entered in too late? This is the most important part about learning how to trade. Putting in the time and work to analyze what you did right and what you did wrong. You will never get better if you do not do this.
Consider subscribing to a free daily financial newsletter such as The Morning Brew. It’s a free subscription that is delivered Monday through Friday to your email before the markets open around 5-6 am central time. It summarizes the big financial topics of the morning in short easy to read sections that you can read over a cup of brew.
I wouldn’t say this is essential for daytrading but it’s nice to read if you are wanting to stay up to date on the financial markets as they will write about companies and stocks to look out for. It’s also not spammy or filled with ads though there are one or two that are listed as “sponsored”. They don’t typically put out a weekend read but instead send it M-F. https://www.morningbrew.com/?kid=08944ba0 I want to make this subreddit not only as a resource for newcomers but also for those who wish to improve their skills with learning how to day trade. I do not want this subreddit to become spam and companies trying to sell dreams. We all need to keep a realistic vision on what learning the market entails because this is a journey. No one becomes a doctor in a day or even a week and you should expect the same becoming a trader. Making consistent money in the markets can be very challenging and most wont ever make it, but it can be very satisfying once things start to click and you can live a very different life if this ever happens.
To summarize my experience with the "product." It is 99.9% stalling and wasting your time with shit like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=za3tUUoj2iQ and hyping their own products. Dudes acting like "whaaaaaaaa" and showing phone screens with profits. Facebook is flooded with these people showing off how their boy "[insert name here]" is selling money and yada yada. Most of the content they post and host is just recruitment hype videos to bring more people in. Seriously... Like all day every day it felt like. Most the videos feature some hipsters and text screenshots of them being like: "OMG I gots some mad pips brah, 100 million pipz lulz #winning [intense sarcasm]." Do yourself a favor and unfriend anyone who tries to sell you this shit. Because they are not your friend, and they view you as a $35 a month paycheck if you sign up. Most the common stuff you see in groups is people touting the wins, but don't fool yourself... Everyone is keeping their losses quiet because no one wants to make a fool out of themselves. I mean who makes videos of them watching someone else in video chat? Someone who doesn't know what the hell their doing or how to work technology... Which they happen to have some miracle program that will "change" your life. Oh, and the haters, HA you should just ignore them because they all don't like grape koolaide. TL:DR Oh, look ma some YOLO saying swag fags are saying they can teach me to make mad bread. But it is just a job selling a job selling jobs to other people who in turn will be selling said jobs to others who will do the same. 4/24/16 EDIT This is the kind of shit that constantly keeps popping up in my feeds and spamming my cell phone in texts. I just got started with Global Visionariez and iMarketsLive, What is next?! First off, Welcome to our family! My name is[removed name of person] Founder of GV, an organization that is changing lives and lifestyles around the globe. 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The first thing you want to do is be able to get activated on your services and plugged into the sessions. 🔌 STAY PLUGGED IN AROUND THE CAMPFIRE 🔸 Subscribe To GV Updates [removed link] 📡Want to EARN before you LEARN and get connected to the Automatic Mirror Trader? [link removed] (1) FIRST create your broker account (Trading Funds Account) Choose the broker of your choice, we suggest Tradersway or FXCM 🔸 Tradersway ($8/month on FxSignalsLive - Better Leverage) INCLUDING PROMOTION (Less Deposit Fees, 18+, Deposit Bonus) [link removed] 🔸 FXCM (FREE on FxSignalsLive): [link removed] (2) How To Set Up Your Mirror-Trader? [more yolo swag links removed...] 📈📉 Want to start trading yourself? It's CRUCIAL to LEARN before you try to EARN trading yourself! Practice, practice, practice before you go LIVE. RULE #1, Don't EVER EVER EVER try to PREDICT the markets yourself, Don't have a gambling mindset! Be smart, Be strategic. 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To be successful, money must be both a medium of exchange and a reasonably stable store of value. And it remains completely unclear why BitCoin should be a stable store of value.
No one will deny that Bitcoin is currently extremely volatile. This is not an examination of that point. This is focused purely on the question of whether, historically, Bitcoin has proven to be a good store of value. No one can predict the future, so the best we have is historical data. This is particularly of interest to me, give the recent tumble in Bitcoin price, as well as recent reports of the third worst collapse of the dollar in the past decade. Methodology To examine the quality of Store of Value, I examined the historical prices of seven different assets. I envisioned a buyer of the asset purchasing it on a given day, and holding it for some length of time (X), ranging between one day and about 3.5 years (which is all the data we have for Bitcoin). The measurement is this: if you choose a random day to buy the asset, and you buy it at the mid-point price that day, and hold it for X days, what is the probability that it will still have 100% of its value after X days. It seems like a reasonable assumption is that an asset that is a good store of value would perform well in this scenario, and retain 100% of its value a high percentage of the time. The seven assets were:
Bitcoin Freely Exchangeable: For this measurement, I used Mt. Gox prices as mentioned above, until May 13, 2013 (the day before the US Government seized funds), and Bitstamp prices since then. This is an attempt to eliminate the odd pricing on Mt. Gox due to the withdrawal challenges.
The Dow Jones FXCM Dollar Index, data provided by Google Finance. The data for this index was available going back to 4/18/2011. It's an index of the dollar, presumably comparing to other currencies. (This may be mislabeled, calling it a fund. Not sure.)
Spider Gold Shares GLD, an ETF for Gold. Data provided by Yahoo Finance. This data goes back to 11/18/2004.
Spider Gold Shares GLD, for the period that Bitcoin has been traded. Same data source as #5, but a subset of the data.
In all cases, I used the average of the daily high and the daily low, when available. In the case of the Dollar (1914-2013), I used monthly inflation rates. In all cases, I set the purchase date to one of the days that the asset was traded. In the case of the Dollar (1914-2013), I utilized the first of the month. And I set the ending valuation date as the next time the asset traded, after X days elapsed. In the case of the Dollar (1914-2013), this would be the first of some future month, after X days had passed. Results Here's the Graph. The best performing asset was buying Bitcoins on Bitstamp. In all cases historically, if you held the asset for 274 days, the asset was still worth 100% of your original investment. Mt. Gox and the Freely Exchangeable Bitcoin measurements were similar: After 622 days, 100% of the time, your original invested value was retained. The Dollar fund (index, actually) underperformed all Bitcoin options, when measuring periods less than 243 days. But for periods of between 471 days and 1033 days, 100% of the time, the dollar fund retained its complete value. (No data for periods longer than 1033 days). The Gold ETF underperformed Bitcoin, whether you looked at the period of Bitcoin being on the market, or the life of the ETF. And, no surprise, the dollar as measured by inflation, came in dead last. In the past 100 years, it has only retained its value month-over-month about 15% of the time. And the longer you held it, generally, the worse off you were. All data is available at the sources above, and the computations are available. The graph of the results is licensed for you to use widely with attribution. I hope this helps when you are talking to the Krugmans of the world. (Edit: it's -> its)
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