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October 31, 2016, 8:40 am

Stay Protected And Profit In Uncertain Markets With XTrade

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Investment, Market and Risk

If you’ve ever been to a financial advisor you’ll know that there’s no easy way to build serious wealth through investing. It takes an enormous amount of research and there are no shortcuts. At least, that’s what your conservative financial advisor will tell you.

 

He’ll say you need to ‘save’ as much as possible and keep your money in a safe place – like the bank – even though doing these things pay you no income. Saving is great, but what if there was another way?

 

Trading pairs through online brokers such as XTrade offers you a way to invest and grow your wealth yourself.

 

Banks

Strangely enough this way of building wealth still involves banks. No, not saving in the banks, but following what they trade. Banks account for a large chunk of the forex market. If they aren’t working, then the volume of transactions being carried out is greatly reduced. Many traders on XTrade and other leading platforms can attest to seeing a null period when the banks aren’t trading. This can lead to either really static markets or on worse still, erratic markets that can send any trader into a downwards spiral. Banks tend to trade the Forex markets at least once a day for balance sheet reasons and can also trade a number of times throughout the day for speculation reasons. They need a certain amount of each currency to meet the demand of their customers, both personal and business, that will need to buy foreign currency from the bank or exchange their foreign currency for their local currency.

 

 

Keep your money safe while trading pairs

Online platforms such as XTrade should have good reviews by their traders. To ensure successful pair trading, you need to choose shares that generally move together but are showing an abnormal deviation in share prices. And to profit from this deviation, you need to get the weighting right.

 

By this, I simply mean that you want to place the same monetary amount on each trade.

This will protect you and will isolate the move you’re looking for.

 

This is just one strategy showing how you can use CFDs and single stock futures to profit in the fast paced world of trading.

 

Maintain a diversified investment interest

Consider going between trading pairs and CFD’s. By selecting a mix of trades that invests in a variety of markets, you are minimizing risk of a single big loss. Online trading platforms such as XTrade offer you a wide variety of markets to trade in – all from one single trading account.

 

Keep it together

Whilst learning to deal with the common trading psychological pitfalls such as fear and greed are very important, the real key to trading success is learning to be comfortable with uncertainty. No matter how great any trade or setup may look, a trader must learn to accept that every outcome is uncertain. Whilst a trader may have a trading edge that does not mean they will win every trade and learning to deal with the uncertainty of when the winners will come and when the losers will come is the key to profitability overall.

 

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October 24, 2016, 6:04 pm

The importance of transparency in an advisor-client relationship in preparation for CRM2 

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Investment, Market and Risk

 

Whether the upcoming effects of CRM2 are groundbreaking or an incremental change is of question. For advisors, the impact on the transparency of fees to clients will be very real. However, can the new rules deliver a win-win situation for all?
It is vitally important that advisors now get on board because more Canadians are expressing dissatisfaction and heading for the door. A recent survey from Accenture’s Global Consumer Pulse Research group confirmed that 49% of Canadian consumers have switched their investments to retail oriented companies in the past year due to poor customer service.

 

Remarkably, 80% said they could have been retained before switching. Since many clients are unaware of the fees they are paying , the new rules could be the catalyst to trigger wholesale defections

 

Combine this with the fact that competition is intensifying. Banks and stock brokers, who previously targeted clients with assets greater than $1 million to invest, are starting to look further down the ladder to increase revenue. Increased competition from robo-advisors also means that traditional investors are becoming more aware of the opportunities and advantages of digital investment services. This essentially allows advisors to support smaller accounts with a low maintenance service model.

 

To succeed in this new investment world, advisors will have to be better relationship managers and optimize their practice, likely using different tools and outsourcing models. Cookie-cutter solutions do not always provide the optimal results and clients with smaller accounts want to feel they are not just receiving a highly commoditized, pre-package offering.

 

Meanwhile, wealthier clients have access to other diversification alternatives, like hedge funds, and managed commodity funds. Advisors need to meet the needs of both and offer clients customized solutions, if they are willing to shift from a product-centric approach to a client-centric approach.

 

Technology has been a great equalizer allowing advisors to offer formerly complex and costly services to less wealthy clients. Advisors may become extinct if they do not integrate such online efficiencies. This includes optimizing tax efficiencies by holding portfolio assets in optimal asset locations, such as RRSPs, TFSAs and non-registered accounts, etc.

 

To compete, advisors will need to focus more on fostering relationships rather than on technical expertise, which can be outsourced to more specialized investment management firms. Practicing behavioral coaching can help clients avoid making costly mistakes during periods of volatility. Canadians need for sound financial advice has never been greater. Faced with longer life expectancies and volatile markets the need for prudent financial counsel is more imperative than ever. To enhance client relationships, advisors can also offer tax planning services or succession plan seminars.

 

With the upcoming changes, prosperous advisors will need to be highly versatile and focus their efforts on activities that have a greater probability of adding value to clients, such as holistic wealth management and financial planning advice. This approach, rather than a product push approach, is necessary to grow a practice, increase profitability and better service clients.

 

Chris Ambridge, is President of Transcend Private Client Corp. and President & CIO of Provisus Wealth Management. Chris has nearly 30 years of experience in the investment industry and works with independent financial advisors across the country.

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July 5, 2016, 1:51 pm

The 3 Greatest Moments in Stockbroking History

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Investment, Market and Risk

 

Stockbroking has been around for centuries. The stock market was initiated on wanting to invest on a business and from that make profit off of its performance. This still remains the same today. Stock markets are very important today for they also help economic growth in countries all over the world. Stock markets do emerge because this way they get the public to continue investing or begin to invest their money into stocks.

 

Stocks aren’t the only thing the public can invest in there is also bonds from the government. Next we will speak on three great moments in the history of stockbroking.

The Birth of Stock Exchange

The first stock exchange to ever happen was in Belgium. Antwerp was where it all happened, back in 1531. The way this stock exchange worked was by dealing with it with promissory notes as well as bonds. In the 1500’s there were no real stocks meaning that there was no real share. Beurzen’ was what early stock markets were called.

 

This was due to the influence of the Van der Beurze family whom was a resident of Belgium. This stock market resembled a lot of what’s going on today in companies such as CMC Markets and the stockbroking world. The way they were organized and ran was very similar to what we have today. The only major difference was what was being traded. No real company trading shares were being traded.

The East India Company

 

Belgium might have had the first stock exchange happen, but East India had the first publically traded company. Simply because they were willing to take the risk that everyone else didn’t. No company was willing to take the risk to go across the planet. This company was called Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading with the East Indies.’ So what was different about this company aside from taking the risk?

 

They came up with a plan that was a lot more intriguing when it came to investing. Investors would no longer have to invest everything on one voyage and take the risk of losing everything. They would now be able to invest and purchase share in more than one company. This meant that if ships were lost the investors would still make a profit instead of it being a complete loss.

The First Major Stock Exchange in the U.S.

 

The New York Stock & Exchange Board was the first major stock exchange in the U.S. This stock was initiated in 1792 in New York City’s infamous Wall Street. NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) grew quickly, so quickly they had to relocate to a much bigger and spacious building in order to keep the large amount of traders they had.

 

NYSE is one of the most well-known and largest stock exchanges in the world. CMC Markets keeps traders up to date by following the world’s largest stock exchange. In 2000 NYSE launched an electronic trading platform that introduced a lot more transparency with a more accessible way to the OTC energy markets. It has continually kept growing with inspiration from their customer’s needs. They strive to keep their markets, clearing, risk management, listings, technology, data and customer service up to date to keep customer needs in top priority.

These three great moments in the stockbroking history definitely changed the world of stock exchange. Shaping the stock exchange into the way it is today and still learning from important events like these. Nowadays basically every country has it’s own stock market. Millions and trillions of dollars are being traded on the daily in the stock market all around the world. Of course major stocks have gone through the ups and downs of having a crash at some point. Some of the biggest crashes include one’s like Black Thursday and Terrible Thursday back in 1929.

 

The electronic trading had it’s own crash in 1987 which nobody saw coming. Stock markets that are on the rise as of today include the Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai, India, BM&F Bovespa in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Today there are 18 major stocks exchanges in the planet. A big rise of online trading has made it quite easier to trade stocks all over the world.

 

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February 1, 2016, 8:49 pm

The Best Way To Learn Forex Trading Online

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Investment, Market and Risk

Forex (foreign exchange) trading is one of the most lucrative ways of making money online. It involves buying and selling of commodities/currencies based on tiny variations (or gaining and losing) of the same to make profits. The commodities or currencies are traded in pairs from which he/she relies on economic data forecasts, and trends to make trades.

 

While forex trading is a straightforward investment, a proper understanding of the market and how to carry trades is needed to make profits. This is the reason forex trading brokers encourage newbies and anyone willing to start trading to open demo accounts and learn forex trading through practice before engaging in a live account.  Discussed below are a few methods and ways in which you can use while learning to trade online.

 

3 Important Steps To Learn Forex Trading

 

  1. Use practice accounts: Almost every forex broker allows both new and existing traders to open and use practice accounts also known as demo accounts. The demo account helps traders learn forex trading, new tricks and familiarize themselves with the actual trading platform. The best thing about using practice accounts is that you can run trades, make orders, or even learn how to stop loss without risking your money.

 

You can use the practice account to learn new tricks on how to make more money trading online, and determine what currencies to major on while trading.  Most people do not go past using practice accounts when training to become professional traders online.

 

  1. Signup with an online trading academy: This is considerably the best way to learn how to learn forex trading online.  These colleges employ trading experts to help mentor and train newbies into becoming qualified traders. Through these tutors, you get to learn most of the principles you would not be able to learn on your own such as leveraging returns, stop loss, interpreting financial graphs, and how to carry trades successfully. These academies also use live data and trading accounts to demonstrate how to make trades and many other principles related to the same.

 

Many of the successful trading experts have been through the hands of online trading academies. Although signing up with a training academy involves digging deeper into your pockets, this may be the only way to prevent massive losses as a trader.

 

  1. Look for a mentor: This is especially recommended for traders who taught themselves how to trade. It is through a mentor that you can learn forex trading fundamentals and tricks on how to make good money online. It would however be advisable to look for a trustworthy mentor and someone with experience in the same. You can find a mentor online on forex trading forums and blogs. Forums also pose a great avenue for anyone to learn new tricks on how to execute trades to increase profits and reduce risks. Signing up with these forums is recommended as well.

 

The first step to becoming a successful forex trader is by identifying platforms you are comfortable with while trading. It would however be advisable to try every available trading platform/software before choosing the best one is recommended. Some of the available trading platforms include meta traders, browser based trading platforms, and mobile platforms. It would also be advisable to choose the best forex trading broker to be successful as a trader.

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March 27, 2014, 5:04 am

Index Investing; Is It Always Better Than Mutual Funds?

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Investment, Market and Risk

 

 

Sometimes, I have the feeling that people think that managing their investments is as easy as making a peanut butter sandwich in the morning…

 

From what I’ve read in the financial industry for the past ten years, high management fees (called MERs) charged on mutual funds hurt a small investor’s portfolio. In fact, if we look at the Canadian industry, most investors pay about 2% (and sometimes more!) to invest in mutual funds. In other words, if you invest $1,000 and your fund make 5%, you only earn $30. The other $20 is paid to the mutual fund company to cover their management fees (and the advisor selling the fund). When you think about it, this is a 40% commission based your investment return.

 

It gets worst: imagine if the fund you invest in dropped -5% during a bad market. Your statement shows -7% or a loss of $70. Mutual fund companies will get their 2% no matter what, the rest goes in (or out!) of your pocket.

 

Unfortunately, mutual funds were, for a long time, the only way one can diversify in multiple products (company shares or bonds) managed by professional in a single trade. An investor could buy one mutual fund including a part of safer investments (like bonds), Canadian companies along with American and international company shares. For someone who doesn’t know how to invest, mutual funds are expensive but do the job.

THE ETF REVOLUTION

 

As is the case in any industry; when a product is overpriced or shows high profit margins, other players come to the market to offer an alternative. The first player to come with an alternative to mutual funds was probably Vanguard, one of the first ETF firms in the US. ETFs (exchange traded funds) are another way to buy multiple stocks (or bonds) with one trade.

 

Explained simply, an ETF is a group of investment products (mostly company shares or bonds) representing a “basket”. For example, the ETF iShares S&P/TSX 60 (XIU on the stock market) represents the 60 biggest companies traded on the Canadian market (the TSX). Someone buying 1 unit of XIU is buying a basket containing the 60 biggest companies traded on the Canadian market. He doesn’t have to know them, he doesn’t even have to manage them in his portfolio, the ETF does it all for him.

 

What’s the difference between buying a Canadian stock mutual fund or the XIU? About 2% in management fees! While most Canadian stock mutual funds will charge over 2% in management fees, the XIU fees are set at 0.18% (source ishares.com). Therefore, the portfolio manager taking care of the mutual fund must outperform the ETF by 2% before generating $1 for the investor. Here’s a quick example:

Investment Fees Investment Return Net Return $1000 Invested
Mutual Fund

2.18%

5%

2.82%

$28.20

XIU

0.18%

5%

4.82%

$48.20

 

As you can see, there is a big discrepancy between the mutual fund and the ETF even if they show the same investment return (before fees).

 

SO WHY DO PEOPLE STILL INVEST IN MUTUAL FUNDS THESE DAYS?

 

Here’s my answer: because it’s harder to manage your portfolio than it is to make peanut butter sandwiches!

 

Then, some people will suggest a “coach potato” investing style. The coach potato approach is to select a few ETF indexes that reflects your risk tolerance. Let’s say you want a balanced portfolio (roughly 50% in the stock market and 50% in bonds). You could build a portfolio with only 4 ETFS:

50% in a bond ETF replicating the DEX universe (Canadian bonds in general)

25% in an ETF tracking Canadian stocks

15% in an ETF tracking US stocks

10% in an ETF tracking International stocks

 

I agree that pretty much anybody with a calculator, a sheet of paper and a pen can build such portfolio. Then, you rebalance your portfolio twice a year to make sure you always show the same % (sell high, buy low). That’s a pretty effective method to manage your portfolio and track your investment return to the markets (95% of portfolio managers don’t beat their benchmark on the 5 year return). On top of this, your management fee is under 0.50%… this is at least 1.50% cheaper than the same investment in a mutual fund. If you invest $100K in this portfolio, you save $1,500 per year just in fees!

 

But it’s not that easy. Nope: managing your portfolio is not that easy.

 

HERE’S WHAT HAPPEN WHEN THE GAME CHANGES

 

Last years, bonds were paying a ridiculously low interest rate and bonds started to lose value upon the rise in interest rates. This is why XBB (a Canadian ETF tracking bonds) shows a negative return of -2.37% over the past 12 months. Add the bond interest rate paid by this ETF (3.26%), you get a small investment return of 0.89%.

 

How can you explain that most mutual funds did better with their fixed income (bond) portion? After a good talk with a friend of mine who’s a super fan of ETF investing, I noticed that his bond performance weren’t that great over the past 3 years. This was mainly explained by the poor Canadian bond returns.

 

At first, I assumed it was the same environment for everybody… until I checked a few mutual funds performance records. Most mutual funds show better returns during the same period… how can this be possible? It’s not because portfolio managers were better. It’s because they included other classes in their fixed income portfolio such as high yield bonds, international bonds and US bonds. This is how, for the past 3 years, mutual funds are able to beat a classic coach potato portfolio: because they include several other investment classes.

 

YEAH… BUT YOU CAN REPLICATE THE SAME MODEL WITH ETFs

 

It is true that if you had replicated the exact same model with 8 or 10 ETFs, you would probably have beaten the mutual fund. But here’s the thing: who is going to tell you how to make such a portfolio if you adopt a coach potato investment style? Not your online broker, he simply performs the trades. Not your advisor because you don’t have any. Your neighbor? Maybe.

 

I guess now you can see where the problem with ETF investing lies: you still need a good financial background to build and manage your portfolio. If you do it only after reading a few books, chances are that your investment returns will be lower than mutual funds even after their huge fees.

 

I wouldn’t risk opening the hood of my car to start working on the engine to solve a problem, I wonder why people think it’s that easy to invest money…

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