November 20, 2018 · Loan Agreements · (No comments)

By Lance Beggs

I was driving in my car the other night with my twin daughters when the conversation somehow turned to what they wanted to do when they grow up.

Naturally, being only nine years old, they had many ideas. There were those that I was very happy with – an astronomer, a veterinarian, a professional soccer player, or a guitarist in a rock band. And there were some suggestions that I just didn’t like at all. Not that it’s my decision! I’ll naturally support them in whichever path they chose for their life; however let’s just say a nine year old should not know what a Forensic Scientist does.

I asked if either were interested in trading, to which Caitlin replied, ‘But isn’t trading just guessing?’

That was unexpected! I was a little taken aback and frankly quite annoyed that she thought that all I did was ‘guessing’. I replied by explaining that there was a lot more to trading than just guessing which way the market went. But the conversation quickly moved on to other areas, as appears normal when speaking with nine year olds.

That night I put a little more thought to our discussion, not so much out of concern about my daughter’s perception of my career, but rather my emotional reaction to her statement. Why should I allow myself to feel a little insulted by claims that all I do is ‘guess’ market direction?

What do I actually do in the markets?

I assume risk in the markets, with an expectation of profits. But surely it’s not just guessing, or gambling, or taking a punt. I take positions on my terms only. It’s a calculated business decision. Through skillful analysis of past and current price action and an assessment of likely future price action I am able to identify opportunities to profit from market trends. And I combine this with action designed to reduce or eliminate any risk while seeking to maximize that profit. This is no different to any other business.

I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in a number of other ‘cool’ careers, but nothing has satisfied that need within my soul for a meaningful existence like being a trader does.

And I certainly believe that the career of a trader does provide significant benefits for society (a subject for another future article perhaps).

But when you really get down to the nuts and bolts, is what I do any different from guessing?

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The definition of guessing according to the American Heritage Dictionary is:

a)To predict (a result or an event) without sufficient information.

b)To assume, presume, or assert (a fact) without sufficient information.

The common point here is ‘without sufficient information’, a phrase which certainly applies to the world of market analysis.

A novice trader expects that certainty can be found through better analysis or better indicators or indicator parameters. And so they get stuck for several years on this search for the Holy Grail solution. It’s only when all attempts at this have failed and they’re willing to accept it as a misguided attempt to hide from their fear of uncertainty, and are willing to embrace that uncertainty, can they take the next step on the path towards professional trading.

The fact is that market analysis cannot predict the future. All future events cannot be known. And even if they could be known, then we still don’t know how these events will be perceived by the market participants and will therefore influence price.

A trader operates in an uncertain world. And all trading decisions are made without sufficient information, based on an assessment of the probabilities and a minimization of risk to protect your capital when you get it wrong.

Essentially, my daughter was correct – I ‘guess’ market direction.

The difference is that some traders guess market direction without any real plan or guidelines for formulating that decision, with an inadequate appreciation of both risk and opportunity and with an undisciplined, unprofessional and emotionally influenced execution of their trade. And their losses feed the account of those who guess market direction based on a documented, tested and proven plan which is designed to contain risk when they’re wrong and maximize opportunity when they’re right, combined with consistency in execution of their plan.

I guess market direction, but I do so within a framework provided by my business plan and an understanding of the probabilistic nature of the markets.

I had assumed I was at a stage where I was comfortable with who I was and what I did. It appears now that this assumption was false and I have more work to do on myself. It makes sense – personal growth shouldn’t be expected to ever end.

Why was my ego bruised at claims that I’m just a ‘guesser’? There are many possible reasons that I need to address in more detail:

— At a deep level I really want my daughters to be proud of me. Perhaps for a moment I suspected they weren’t?

— Maybe my own self-importance was inflating at too rapid a rate (finally reaching an overhead resistance for a great shorting opportunity)

— Maybe at some level I still have concerns that being a trader is a Way of life that adds limited value to society?

— Maybe I still have some doubts about my long-term survivability in this industry, and so feel that by ‘guessing’ I am gambling my family’s future?

Who knows? I’ve got more work to do in understanding this.

Your beliefs about what trading is and why you do it are fundamental to the success of your trading business. You cannot expect to operate in a consistently profitable manner if you have conflicting beliefs about the value of yourself, of your chosen career or of your ability to succeed at it.

So when your ego takes a little hit from someone’s comments about trading, take the time out to examine your own beliefs. It doesn’t matter what the comment is:

— Suggestions that it’s impossible to profit from the market.

— Claims that you’ll never be able to make it.

— Cutting comments about how those losses could really have been better used elsewhere.

If it produces an emotional response in you, take some time out to ask why? What does your emotional response mean in terms of your beliefs about yourself and your chosen career as a trader?

That self-examination may reveal the breakthrough you were seeking, to take you to the next stage of your career or personal development.

Happy guessing,

Lance Beggs

About the Author: Would you like to learn more about how I daytrade the forex and equity index markets? Check out the articles, videos and trading resources on my website right now at


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October 24, 2018 · Loan Agreements · (No comments)

By Faranak Groves

1. Pay down or pay off all of your credit cards. This will help your credit score more than paying off any installment loans that you may have will because the FICO model and Vantage scoring system both place more weight on credit card debt. For this reason you will want to keep each of your credit cards and your total revolving line all under 25%. In order to do this you will need to forget about paying off your high interest rate credit cards first and opt to pay down the balances those credit cards where you will be able to see the most improvement instead.

2. You shouldn’t use your entire credit line every month, even if you pay off your full balance each month. This is because your available credit is averaged over a billing cycle, which can sometimes be less than 30 days and so if you use your entire balance each month your credit score is going to plunge. Even if you are using your business credit card to purchase goods and supplies for your business, you still need to be careful. These credit cards will show up on your personal credit report because you must personally guarantee your personal credit card. So, if you have to use all of your credit cards, it may be time to think about getting another credit card so that you can spread things out some. 3. Make sure that your credit report is correctly reporting your credit limits for your credit cards. If it isn’t, you will need to contact your credit card issuer and ask them to update this list. It is also possible to challenge the limits with the credit bureaus. 4. If a credit card issuer doesn’t report your credit limit, then don’t use them. This is usually only a problem whenever you are using a secured credit card but you should also know that both American Express and Capital One don’t report credit limits either. Instead, they will simply use your highest balance to determine your credit limit. This will make you look like you are maxed out though. 5. Talk to a family member or a friend whom you trust to see if they are willing to add you to one of their old credit cards that they haven’t used in a while as an authorized user. The reason this will help is because the older your credit history is, the better it will look. For instance, if someone agrees to add you to a credit card that they have had for 20 years you will see your credit score dramatically increase. You don’t even have to have this credit card in your possession either in order to see this great increase. 6. If you have been a good customer for several years but encountered a rough spell during which you missed a payment, then you could ask your creditor to erase this negative listing. You simply need to write the creditor a goodwill letter with this request therein. While there is no guarantee that your creditor will do this for you, a lot of people have been successful doing this. 7. Consider entering into a “rehab program” if you have a student loan that you have defaulted upon or even if you have just missed a few payments on it. This will help you to get back onto track within about 12 months as this is a short-term strategy. Your credit status will be upgraded to “Paid as Agreed” by Sallie Mae once you have made at least 12 payments on time. 8. It is important to dispute any old negatives. For instance, if your insurance company never completely paid a medical bill and thus it went into collections, you will want to protest it as being unjust by contacting the credit bureau and claiming that it is “not mine.” The older and smaller the collection account, the more likely it is that the collection agency will not have updated their information with your correct information and thus they will not be able to show proof that this really is your bill. 9. Set up an agreement with a debt collection agency whereby they will remove a debt from your credit report if you pay it. This is known as “Pay for Delete” and works great whenever you owe $500 or less, especially if it is a medical debt. It also works well with those banks who have gone through major mergers within the last 10 years or who have been purchased by other banks. However, you should make sure to get the agreement in writing before you pay any money and then only send a money order to them once they do agree. 10. Target any “easy” errors that are on your credit report and can bring you big bang for your time and money. This includes: a. Negatives such as charge-offs, collections and late payments that don’t belong to you. b. Any accounts that are not listed as either “Current” or “Paid as Agreed” if you have paid them on time or in full. c. Accounts that are listed as unpaid but were included within a bankruptcy. d. Negative items that are more than 7-years-old and thus should have automatically been removed from your report. e. Any account that is list as “Closed by the Credit Grantor” whenever it hasn’t been. The first three items are concerned with paying down your credit balance because high credit balances will kill your credit score even if you have what is otherwise considered to be perfect credit. This is because it is weighted very heavily whenever your credit score is determined. For this reason, you will want to take special care to get these balances down.

About the Author: farnak goves has 20 years plus experience in the world of finance and credit repair. for more information and tips visit her site


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