How to Analyze the Veracity of Investment Newsletters
When trying to analyze whether a promotional ad for an investment newsletter or a market timing investment trading system is worthy of investigation, the following questions should be asked:
Does the strategy have a track record? Without this you are really allowing your emotions to be in play. All of us want to believe that if someone says something it must be true. Yet the sad fact is the truth is probably just the opposite. Most ads and promotions are put in print for self interests first, and all else second. One has to view anything on the web with a skeptical eye. The minimum that an investment strategy should give you is a previous track record. The longer the track record is the better. Something that has worked for a matter of months is usually not long enough in the trading world to be considered successful. Some promoters do not release their track records because they say that "past performance is not an indication of future results". This is true but certainly no performance is not an indication of future results either. Some promoters do not release their track records because they say "we used to do a track record but subscribers got upset if the strategy lost money when they subscribed even though it made money over a yearly period." That may also be true but it is also part of the game. Subscribers can not expect to make money from day one when trading a long term strategy. However, that should be self evident in the track record. And some promoters do not release their track records simply because they don't have one or they have a bad one. It's as simple as that no matter what they say.
Is the track record that they are promoting in real time or was it simulated in a computer based on past data? What does this really mean? Real time means that the trading signals that were used to produce the track record results were actually generated at that specific moment in time. In reality. Most track records on the investment web sites are not real time even when they say they are. Even if they did not use a computer and it was done by hand, if the data taken from the last five years but the web site is only a year old then it can't be so. Why is this so important? Because trading is not trading if human emotions are removed. No greed, no complacency, no panic, no hysteria. Almost all computer-generated trading programs fail miserably when actually implemented because either the data was too short a time period or the human factor was ignored. That is assuming the human that input the data did it without human emotion. I once had an acquaintance who told me he had a system that returned 80% per month for the last 6 months. He said he implemented it 6 months in real time. I asked how much he had invested in this strategy. He said nothing because he was paper trading. I said that there is no such thing. He proceeded to tell me what paper trading was. I replied that I knew what he thought paper trading was but it is not trading because when you paper trade your emotions are not in play. Human greed and ego has a way of making you believe something to be real without looking objectively at the data. But once actual real money is at risk the complexion of the situation dramatically changes.
How can you tell if the track is in real time if they lie about it being in real time? This is not always easy but there are some basic tell tale signs. If it is a short term system that risks very little and trades often, say 10-50 times per month. Yet it has an 80-90% trade success ratio, which is almost impossible statistically. Most day traders and position traders are doing well if they are winning 40-50% of the time. If they risk more and do not use tight stops, then the win loss ratio goes up but the size of the drawdowns or the size of the largest loss has to go up. Longer term trader may have a slightly better win loss ratio but only if their risk is also larger. To make a general statement, the larger the win loss ratio is the more I would be skeptical.
What if the track record is a combination of partly historically back tested signals and partly real time signals. How should I analyze that? The first thing to look at is if the win loss ratio has changed dramatically over the track record time period. For example, if it is a 5 year time period, and the promoter claims that the trade signals went live 2 years ago yet the win loss ratio changed dramatically only 6 months ago, beware. The hardest thing to detect on the web is when you're being conned about a hypothetical track record because there is no real way to tell when a web sites track record was edited deleted or revised. Some web sites use an independent tracking site but there are no real ways for a consumer to know other than that.
I hope that the previous ideas will help to determine fact from fiction in the world of investment newsletter promotions.
Fundamentals of Option Pricing
When one begins to consider an option, it is very important to figure out how the premium is calculated. Option premiums depend on a variety of factors including the time left to expiry as well as the price of the underlying security. There are two parts to an option premium: intrinsic value and time value. Consequently, several different factors have an influence on intrinsic and time value.
The Three Legged Stool
My paternal grandparents were born near Lake Como, Italy. My grandfather learned how to farm, and he did just that until he died chopping wood at age 88. As a boy, I would walk into the barn where I watched him milking cows. Never got the hang of it, but I liked hearing the ping of fresh milk in the galvanized bucket. In order to get where he needed to reach, Popper would sit on a three legged stool. That wooden stool causes me to think of three investment legs for every household or business endeavor. As you know, lots of things come in sequence or synergy of three, even sneezes.
Easily Finding A Good Stock
There is a tremendous amount of software, complicated high priced newsletters, radio and TV stock pickers and Internet web sites that will help you find a stock that is going to make you rich.
Press Release Scams and Successes: Reading Between the Lines
Press releases are a means through which companies can keep the public up to date regarding their recent affairs. It is the duty of every public company to keep its investors and indirectly potential investors aware of what is going on in the company. It should not be forgotten, however, that it is in the ultimate interest of the company for the price of the stock to increase. Consequently, companies are increasingly selective about what and how information is presented in such releases. Your mother always told you, "If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is." That popular adage holds particularly true with regard to penny stock companies' press releases. Certainly all press releases are optimistic; companies would not release them otherwise. But when looking to invest in a company, be aware of overly ambitious, optimistic, and unsubstantiated press releases. A company that has had annual revenues of 10 and 11 million for the past two years and that claims that the coming year will bring revenues of 40 to 50 million, better have a darn good reason. Examining press releases by breaking down the argument into its underlying logic is an excellent way of uncovering reasoning that has been intentionally muddled to appear better than it is. For example, if a company says that its software sales increased 300% over the past year but do not indicate what percentage of their total revenue was composed of software sales, be suspicious. If a company does not lay out a detailed plan explaining how they will make money and increase earnings, it is likely that their only source of revenue is selling valueless shares to sucker investors.
Gold; What Type of Gold to Buy
Stocks: Reduce Risk Yet Maximize Profits
It is important to note that every smart investor wants to minimize risk while maximizing profit potential. Yet conventional investment theory tells us that in order to increase returns, you have to increase risk.
Has your broker ever told you that a stock is "overbought" or "oversold"? He probably went on the explain that the stock you own (I hope you didn't) had gone down so far that it now was oversold and due for a rally. He might also have encouraged you to buy an equal amount to "dollar cost average" your position so that when ("if"- he didn't say that, I did)) it did go back up you could "get out even". He might even say you "could make a fortune".
Learn How to Lose and Risk Management
One of the leading traders on Chicago Mercantile Exchange, because of a single trade lost everything!
Have You Ever Seen A Map of the World Turned Upside Down?
For those accustomed to viewing things a certain way, it is quite disconcerting. One almost expects the ocean to pour out. It just seems wrong. Yet, the way we view the globe is entirely arbitrary, based largely on the way we've always seen it.
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
I am sure you have probably read about the power of compound interest. And how if you invested $10,000 at 10% return and let it compound for 50 years you would have a little over 1 million dollars.
Just what is Arbitrage Investment?
In the simplest of terms, Arbitrage means to exploit price differential.
I've been in and interested in the stock market so long (one year shy of forty years) I can remember when the mutual fund pages in my home town paper were just one page! Now it looks like there are more mutual funds then there are stocks listed on the New York stock exchange.
Retirement is Never Urgent Until
If you're like many people, your retirement savings have not been growing consistently over the years. We're not referring to the wild fluctuations in the stock market, but rather the fluctuations in our short-term needs. Every once in a while, it just seems like a good idea to yank ALL those retirement savings out and pay for something.
Chinas Inscrutable Currency Strategy
Purpose: Expose Opportunities for Smart Investors
Lobster Trapping for Investment Ideas
Recently, my family and I took a trip to Maine to visit relatives. During our stay, we toured the rocky shore lines and took in the beautiful architecture of the old towns.
25 Ways to Find Companies to Buy
When you start your program to purchase your "ideal" company, you quickly realize that your ultimate success will depend on two primary skill sets: 1) Your ability to FIND viable companies that are for sale, and 2) Your ability to effectively qualify the potential acquisition investment once found.
Trading Baskets Part I
Q. What is a basket?
The Benefits of Laddering Your CD Investments
If you've decided to stock some money away in a certificate of deposit, why not reap the highest benefit over time by laddering your CD investments? What's a CD latter? I'm glad you asked.
It Must Be Joe Cockers Market
Agonizing displays of poor theatrics failed to entertain my mind one recent Saturday evening. I scrolled across several television channels hoping for an engaging program. Finally, one particular concert intrigued my senses. There on the stage performed one of rock and roll's most expressive singers.
High Volatility Investments
Penny stocks and options are high volatility investments that attract both the trader and the long term investor because of the small amount of capital required to make substantial gains as compared with less volatile higher priced stocks. The long term investor buys a stock believing that a company's value will increase over time and the stock price along with it. When he buys an option it is usually to reduce the risk in owning the underlying stock. The short term trader looks at things a little differently. Typically a trader looks for large percentage price movement over a short period of time. Large percentage, short term price movements can be found both in options and certain penny stocks.
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