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What I learned: Introduction to investing

Valuable information for new investors
Warning. Looooong post. TL:DR in the bottom.
Recently I have been chatting a ton with people who are very new to investing. I don’t claim to have mastered anything, however I have been able to help a lot of people through chats and messages. I’ve given advice and answered questions, and through that I found out a lot of problems new people run into, and decided to compile some of the points I found important. I will start this with the primary compiled information I usually give people when prompted, and then move on to specific questions I found important. A final note is that this is my own opinion and views, so feel free to disagree! I’d love input, even if I feel confident about this advice.
First off I’d recommend searching for posts about starting out & learning the basics, both here and on other investing/trading subreddits. The question has been asked hundreds of times, and you’ll find some amazing answers if you look.
The first thing you need to understand is that finance is all about information. If you want to learn, you need to take in information. All of the information. Books, news, financial statements, press releases and earning calls. Read everything. You will find hundreds of words you don’t understand, so look them up (investopedia have a majority of them). In the beginning you will struggle, however, as time goes by, you will start to understand. If you do not like reading, learn to like it. There is no way around this. If you find yourself investing without reading tons, you are going to lose.
Books to recommend: Anything written by Warren Buffet, A random walk down wall street by Burton Malkiel (how I started), Stress test by Timothy Geithner & The intelligent investor (“thick” but all important).
Pick out your favorite company in the world, and check if they are public. If they are, head over to their investor relations page and read the transcript to their latest earnings call. Read their financial statement (10-Q). If you don’t understand a word, look it up. This is frustrating but required. This method of reading, finding things you do not understand and looking it up (and learning it), will be the absolute unavoidable key to improvement.
There are 3 things you should consider buying as your first investment:
Large cap companies. These are the most risky you should consider buying. These large companies (Apple, Banks, Microsoft, 3M, JnJ, Walmart and the like) are stable, but can for sure give you a great return.
Specific ETFs. An ETF is a basket of stocks, often with some sort of focus. It gives you instant diversification. The specific ETFs are less risky than the single stocks, but hold risk nonetheless. Specific ETFs are baskets of stocks of varying number, letting you buy one security, and get a tiny portion of many companies. This lets you bet on a sector. Say you think that robotics and automation is the future, you can bet on that by investing in $ROBO. Other examples of these are $KWEB, chinese e-com, $FNG, media and tech, $ITA, aerospace and defence and $SOXX, semiconductors. These let you invest in a promising industry, without having the risk of a single company failing.
Lastly, and by far the best choice, is indexing. These are ETFS like $VOO, $VTI, $VWO and $VOOG, and is a way to take on the least amount of risk while still gaining along with the market. You get a wide basket of stocks, focusing on things like the S&P500 ($VOO), which is an index of large (minimum 6.1 billion USD) US companies. Historically , you can expect 7% annual gain here. That’s realistic. Anything offering much more than that without risk has tons of risk without disclosing it, per definition. $VOOG indexes growth companies, focusing less on the giants and more on the up and coming. $VWO focuses on emerging markets, getting places like brazil, russia and all over asia. Indexing is by far the best choice, and will very often gain you a steady growth. The final and great choice is $VTI, which is the global basket which contains the market as a whole.
Remember, if you have to ask simple questions, you should be indexing. Asking questions is very important and a great way to learn, however, you should not make specific investments unless you can make the call 100% yourself with confidence. If you are not sure, you are making a mistake in purchasing.
Lastly, and honestly most importantly, here is a list of things you should ALWAYS be able to answer before buying a security, equity or derivative:
  • Why am I getting this instead of an index? Where is the upside?
  • If the stock goes up, what action do I take? When do I sell? At what price or % gain.
  • If the stock goes down, when do I sell? At what % loss or a price.
  • What risks are there? How does the worst case realistic scenario look like?
  • Why am I making this investment right now? Is there a better time?
  • What exactly am I buying?*
And finally, always, without exception, perform your own Due Diligence. Don’t take advice from other people without understanding the situation yourself. If you have to ask questions, you should not own the equity. Ask about what you do not own. If you have to ask questions about an equity you already own, you have messed up, and should rethink your strategy.
A last but VITAL note is to keep a journal. You should note down every stock purchase you make or decided to not make, noting down the stock, price, date and answers to the 6 questions. This will help massively over time, where you can look back how you felt before and why you made decisions. It helps to keep temporary emotion out, as well as self reflecting which is the most vital learning method of any craft.
Q&A
Should I buy cheap stocks like $XXX for 4 dollars per share, or expensive stocks like $YYY for 500 dollars per share? IT DOES NOT MATTER. The price of the individual share have no effect whatsoever on the price of the company, how much you will gain or how much risk there is. If you buy 10 A-stocks for 1 dollashare, and if you buy 1 B-stock for 10 dollars/share, both these purchases are EXACTLY the same, in practice. If stock A gains 10% you earn $1.00, if stock B gains 10% you earn $1.00. Then the stocks are valued at $1.1 and $11 respectively. But there is no different. Don’t let the price of the share fool you. The only thing that matters is the market cap, which is the (number of shares*price of 1 share). The market cap is the cost of ALL the shares in the entire company. Some stocks like being expensive to seem exclusive and expensive, but it’s really the company's choice.
What numbers matter the most for the companies so I can compare? Well, that's complicated. DIfferent investors value different things. Some value P/E (price per earnings) and some value margin changes. You have to decide for yourself what matters, which leads to tons and tons of reading. Really, if you don't like reading and analyzing, this isn't something for you. Look at ETFs then. As a rule of thumb, 1 or 2 numbers is not enough to gauge the HUGE and COMPLEX being that is a corporation, so don’t get caught on something like P/E. Compare everything.
Will I be able to profit? Probably. As a new investor, especially a young one, will see both success and failure over time. This is natural. I recommend investing a smaller amount of money. Either you will gain a few % and be excited to learn and continue, or you will lose a few % and you find the ultimate opportunity to analyze what your mistake was.
Is $XXX enough money? Probably. It depends on your broker and fees. Any amount invested into the market is great, and a 10% increase is a 10% increase no matter how much you invest. Depending on your broker though, it might be easier or harder. With high commission, a smaller amount will be eaten by fees. With smaller amount, some expensive stocks (see $BRK.A) might be out of your reach. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem though.
What broker should I use? The best one for you! Hard question. It is country dependent. Look around. You want low commission and any perks you require. To start out, depending on how much money you have to invest, look for low-commission brokers. $0 - $3 is a good range per stock purchase. If you pay more than 2% on your investment, you lose 2% to buy in. This would generally cause stock to not be worth to buy. So do some thinking on your own, to invest you will have to get used to it. Some brokers let you buy partial shares as well, which might be a plus if your capital is low to buy the more expensive stocks.
What should I invest in? There are so many things! Like said above, cheap funds and common stock are good places to start. They are the core of investing, and should be your start. After that, move on and understand bonds. It will be all important during your career in investing. On top of that there are warrants, options, forex, commodities, and all kinds of additional derivatives. Stay clear of those completely until you can confidently make the call to try it out.
My stock increased/decreased in value. Should I sell?
Asking this question means that you weren’t thorough enough when you made the purchase. You should always have it written down on a paper. When do you get out? A valid answer is never. If you believe in the business and they prove themself strong, why ever sell? Some people like selling if they gain 30% or lose 30%. Some do the same on 15% respective 10%. It comes down to how much long term faith you have in the company, when you’ll need the money and what your risk tolerance is. Personally, when I buy a company, I will ignore it until something changes in the core business. I re-analyze each company each earning. It takes a lot of time, but its my method. If I buy something more high risk, I will sell at a set loss-% (20-40% loss) and the same on gain.
How does taxes work and how should I plan for taxes? Taxes are hard and complicated, but it is something you must understand how it works. Capital gains taxes are vital to understand. Sadly, they work differently in each country, so there is no easy answer except for you to look up it yourself. But know it, it is vital.
To end, these are the most important 4 rules of learning how to do all this:
  • Read. Everything.
  • Keep a journal and record the answers to all 6 questions each time you make a purchase, or decided in the end to not.
  • Each time in your reading if you come over a concept, word or idea that you do not understand, get used to looking it up and learning what it is. It’s key.
  • When you succeed, analyze if you got lucky or if your actual reasoning was the correct call. When you fail, analyze what your mistake was and write it down in your journal. Both are vital.
TL:DR: Investing is about reading. You should probably start by reading this now or give up. If you read it all, success! Keep going!
Disclaimer: Don't invest money that you can't afford to lose. You might lose all your funds. Probably don't.
lykosen11
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financial advisory full definition

The financial advisory full definition

A Monetary Advisor's Many Roles

A monetary advisor is your planning associate. To illustrate you need to retire in 20 years or ship your youngster to a non-public college in 10 years. To perform your objectives, it's possible you'll want a skilled professional to assist make these plans an actuality, and that’s the place a monetary advisor is available in.
Collectively, you and your advisor will cowl many subjects, together with the amount of cash you need to save, the sorts of accounts you want, the sorts of insurance coverage you need to have (together with long-term care, time period life, and incapacity) and property and tax planning.
The monetary advisor can be an educator. A part of the advisor's job is that will help you perceive what's concerned in assembly your future objectives. The schooling course of could embrace detailed assist with monetary subjects. At first of your relationship, these subjects could possibly be budgeting and saving. As you advance in your data, the advisor will help you in understanding advanced funding, insurance coverage, and tax issues.
The 1st step within the monetary advisory course is knowing your financial health. You'll be able to correctly plan for the long run without understanding the place you stand immediately. Sometimes, you can be requested to finish an in-depth written questionnaire. Your solutions assist the advisor to perceive your state of affairs and make sure you do not overlook any essential data.
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The Monetary Questionnaire

The advisor works with you to get an entire image of your property, liabilities, revenue, and bills. On the questionnaire, additionally, you will point out future pensions and revenue sources, venture retirement wants and describes any long-term monetary obligations. In brief, you’ll checklist all present and anticipated investments, pensions, items and sources of revenue.
The investing element of the questionnaire touches upon extra subjective subjects, reminiscent of your risk tolerance and risk capacity. An understanding of threat assists the advisor when it’s time to find out your funding asset allocation. You may let the advisor know your funding preferences as nicely.
The preliminary evaluation additionally contains an examination of different monetary administration subjects reminiscent of insurance coverage points and your tax state of affairs. The advisor wants to pay attention to your present estate plan (or lack thereof) in addition to different professionals in your planning group, reminiscent of accountants and legal professionals. When you and the advisor perceive your current monetary place and future projections, you’re able to work collectively on a plan to fulfil your life and monetary objectives.

Creating The Monetary Plan

The monetary advisor synthesizes all of this preliminary data right into a comprehensive financial plan that may function a roadmap to your monetary future. It begins with an abstract of the important thing findings out of your preliminary questionnaire and summarizes your present monetary state of affairs, together with internet price, property, liabilities, and liquid or working capital. The monetary plan additionally recaps the objectives you and the advisor mentioned.
The evaluation part of this prolonged doc drills down into a number of subjects, together with your threat tolerance, estate-planning particulars, household state of affairs, long-term care risk, and different pertinent current and future monetary points.
Primarily based upon your anticipated internet price and future revenue at retirement, the plan will create simulations of doubtless best- and worst-case retirement eventualities, together with the scary risk of outliving your cash, so steps may be taken to forestall that end result. It's going to have a look at cheap withdrawal charges in retirement out of your portfolio property. Moreover, if you're married or in a long-term partnership, the plan will contemplate survivorship points and monetary eventualities for the surviving associate.
After you assessment the plan with the advisor and modify it as mandatory, you’re prepared for motion.

Advisors Plan Motion Steps

A monetary advisor is not only somebody who helps with investments. Their job is that will help you with each facet of your monetary life. In truth, you may work with a monetary advisor without having them handle your portfolio or advocate investments in any respect.
For many individuals, nevertheless, funding recommendation is a significant purpose to work with a monetary advisor. If you happen to select this route, right here’s what to anticipate.
The advisor will arrange an asset allocation that matches each your threat tolerance and threat capability. The asset allocation is solely a rubric to find out what proportion of your complete monetary portfolio might be distributed throughout varied asset lessons. An extra risk-averse particular person can have a better focus of presidency bonds, certificates of deposit and cash market holdings, whereas a person who's extra snug with the threat will tackle extra shares and company bonds and maybe funding actual property. Your asset allocation might be adjusted to your age and for a way lengthy you could have earlier than retirement. Every monetary advisory agency will act in accordance with the regulation and with its firm funding coverage when shopping for and promoting the monetary property.

Monetary Advisors and Investments

It’s essential for you, as the buyer, to grasp what your planner recommends and why. You shouldn't blindly comply with an advisor’s suggestions; it’s your cash, and you need to perceive the way it’s being deployed. Preserve an in-depth eye on the charges you're paying, each to your advisor and for any funds purchased for you.
Ask your advisor why they advocate particular investments and whether or not they're receiving a fee for promoting you these investments. Be alert for potential conflicts of interest.
A commonality amongst corporations is that monetary merchandise is chosen to suit the shopper’s threat profile. Take, for instance, a 50-year-old man who’s already amassed sufficient internet price for retirement and is predominantly fascinated with capital preservation. He could have a really conservative asset allocation of 45% in inventory property (which can embrace particular person shares, mutual funds and/or ETFs) and 55% in fixed-income assets reminiscent of bonds. Alternatively, a 40-year-old girl with a smaller internet price and a willingness to tackle extra threat to construct up her monetary portfolio could go for an asset allocation of 70% inventory property, 25% fixed-income property and 5% alternative investments.
Whereas bearing in mind the agency’s funding philosophy, your private portfolio will suit yours wants primarily based on how quickly you want the cash, your investment horizon, and your current and future objectives.

Common Monetary Monitoring

As soon as your funding plan is in place, you’ll obtain common statements out of your advisor updating you in your portfolio. The advisor can even arrange common conferences to assessment your objectives and progress and to reply to any questions you could have. Assembly remotely by way of cellphone or video chat will help make these contacts occur extra typically.
Along with common, ongoing conferences, it’s essential to seek the advice of together with your monetary advisor once you anticipate a significant change in your life that might impact your financial picture, reminiscent of getting married or divorced, including a toddler to your loved ones, shopping for or promoting a house, altering jobs or getting promoted.

Indicators You Might Want an Advisor

Anybody can work with a monetary advisor at any age and any stage of life. You don’t should have an excessive internet price; you simply have to seek out an advisor suited to your situation.
The choice to enlist skilled assist together with your cash is an extremely private one, however, any time you’re feeling overwhelmed, confused, wired or scared by your monetary state of affairs could also be a very good time to search for a monetary advisor.
It’s additionally advantageous to strategy one once you’re coming from a place of energy however need somebody to make sure that you’re heading in the right direction and recommend potential enhancements to your plan which may make it easier to obtain your objectives extra successfully.
Lastly, should you don’t have the time or curiosity to handle your funds, that’s one other good purpose to rent a monetary advisor.
These are some basic causes you would possibly want an advisor’s skilled assist. Listed below are some extra particular ones.

None of Your Financial savings Is Invested or You Don’t Know How you can Make investments

As a result of we dwell in a world of inflation, any cash you retain in money or in a low-interest account declines in worth annually. Investing is the one technique to make your cash develop, and until you could have exceptionally excessive revenue, investing is the one approach most individuals will ever come up with the money to retire.

You Have Investments, however, You’re Constantly Dropping Cash

Even the perfect buyers lose cash when the market is down or once they decide that doesn’t prove as they’d hoped, however general, investing ought to improve your internet price significantly. If it’s not doing that, hiring a monetary advisor will help you discover out what you’re doing incorrect and proper your course earlier than it’s too late.

You Don’t Have a Present Property Plan

A monetary advisor may make it easier to put collectively a property plan to ensure your property are dealt with in response to your needs after you die. And should you aren’t correctly insured (or aren’t positive what insurance coverage you want), a monetary advisor will help with that, too. Certainly, a fee-only monetary advisor could possibly supply a much less biased opinion than an insurance coverage agent can.

Serving to You Attain Your Objectives

Monetary advisors can help you with investing and reaching your long-term objectives in so some ways. Listed below are 5:
  1. Experience. Monetary advisors know extra about investing and managing cash than most individuals. They'll information you to higher selections than you would possibly make by yourself.
  2. Accountability. Monetary advisors assist hold you on the monitor by speaking you out of constructing emotional choices about your cash, like shopping for an inventory that’s been skyrocketing or promoting all of your inventory funds when the market plummets.
  3. Recommendation. It’s within the title: Monetary advisors could make strategies about the perfect methods to implement to enhance your funds, from what to investments to make to what insurance coverage to purchase.
  4. Evolution. As your life circumstances change, a monetary advisor will help you modify your monetary plan in order that it at all times suits your present state of affairs.
  5. Motion. Many individuals don’t take the steps they need to handle their funds as a result of they’re too busy or too unsure about what to do. Working with a monetary advisor means another person can deal with what you don’t have time for and ensure your cash is being deployed in one of the simplest ways.

The Prices of a Monetary Advisor

A rule proposed by the Division of Labor (DOL) would have required all monetary professionals who work with retirement plans or give retirement plan recommendation to supply recommendation that's within the shopper’s greatest curiosity (the fiduciary standard), versus merely appropriate for the shopper (the suitability standard). The rule was handed, its implementation was delayed after which a courtroom killed it.
However within the roughly three-year interval between President Obama's proposal of the rule and its eventual demise, the media shed extra mild than it had beforehand on the other ways monetary advisors work, how they cost for his or her companies and the way the suitability commonplace may be much less useful to shoppers than the fiduciary commonplace. Some monetary advisors determined to voluntarily transfer to a fiduciary commonplace or extra closely promote that they already operated underneath that commonplace. Others, reminiscent of licensed monetary planners™, already adhered to this commonplace. However, even underneath the DOL rule, the fiduciary standard wouldn't have utilized to the non-retirement recommendation – an ordinary certain to trigger confusion.
Below the suitability commonplace, monetary advisors work on a fee for the merchandise they promote to shoppers. This implies the shopper could by no means obtain an invoice from the monetary advisor. Then again, they might find yourself with monetary merchandise that charger greater charges than others available on the market – however, pay the advisor an excessive fee for placing shoppers into them.
Below the fiduciary commonplace, advisors cost shoppers by the hour or as a proportion of the property underneath administration. A typical proportion charge is 1%, whereas a typical hourly fee for monetary recommendation ranges from $120 to $300. Charges range by location and the advisor’s expertise. Some advisors could supply decrease charges to assist shoppers who're simply getting began with monetary planning and mightn't afford a lot. A preliminary session is commonly free and supplies an opportunity for each the shopper and the advisor to see in the event that they’re a very good match for one another.
Financial advisors can also earn a mixture of charges and commissions. A fee-based monetary advisor is not the same as a fee-only financial advisor. A fee-based advisor could earn a charge for growing a monetary plan for you, however nonetheless earn a fee for promoting you a sure insurance coverage product or funding. A fee-only monetary advisor earns no commissions.
The Securities and Alternate Fee proposed its personal fiduciary rule referred to as Regulation Best Interest in April 2018. In some methods, it will be much less strict than the DOL’s fiduciary rule would have been, doubtlessly addressing the considerations of a number of the DOL rule’s critics. In one other approach, it will be broader: It might not be restricted to retirement investments.

Contemplating a Robo-Advisor

A digital monetary advisor, or robot-advisor, is an organization that makes use of pc algorithms to handle your cash primarily based in your solutions to questions on your objectives and threat tolerance. Robo-advisors don’t require you to have a lot of cash to get began they usually price lower than human monetary advisors. Examples embrace Betterment and Wealthfront. These companies can save you time and take the emotion out of investing.
However, a robust-advisor can’t communicate with you about one of the simplest ways to get out of debt or fund your youngster’s schooling. It can also speak you out of promoting your investments out of concern when you have to be holding on to them for the long term. Nor can it make it easier to construct and handle a portfolio of particular person shares. Robo-advisors usually make investments shoppers’ cash in a portfolio of ETFs and mutual funds that present inventory and bond publicity and monitor a market index. And if in case you have a posh property or tax problem, you want the extremely personalised recommendation that solely a human can supply (for now, anyway).
Some corporations, nevertheless, mix digitally managed portfolio funding with the choice for human interplay – at an extra price. One such service is Personal Capital. Some individuals name these companies digital advisors as a result of interactions occur by cellphone or video chat as an alternative of an individual; others use the phrases “robot-advisor” and “digital advisor” synonymously.

What's a Monetary Advisor

A monetary advisor supplies monetary recommendation or steerage to clients for compensation. Monetary advisors, or advisers, can present many various companies, reminiscent of funding administration, revenue tax preparation and estate planning. They have to carry the Series 65 license to conduct enterprise with the general public; all kinds of licenses can be found for the companies offered by a monetary advisor.

BREAKING DOWN Monetary Advisor

"Monetary advisor" is a generic time period with no exact business definition, and plenty of various kinds of monetary professionals fall into this basic class. Stockbrokers, insurance coverage brokers, tax preparers, investment managers and monetary planners are all members of this group. Property planners and bankers can also fall underneath this umbrella.

Completely different Examples of Monetary Advisors

What could cross as a monetary advisor in some situations could also be a product salesperson, reminiscent of a stockbroker or a life insurance coverage agent. A real monetary advisor needs to be a well-educated, credentialed, skilled, monetary skilled who works on behalf of his shoppers versus serving the pursuits of a monetary establishment. Typically, a monetary advisor is an unbiased practitioner who operates in a fiduciary capability through which a shopper’s pursuits come earlier than his personal. Solely Registered Investment Advisors (RIA), who're ruled by the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, are held to a real fiduciary commonplace. There are some brokers and brokers who attempt to follow on this capability, nevertheless, their compensation construction is such that they're certain by the contracts of the businesses the place they work.

The Fiduciary Distinction

For the reason, that enactment of the Funding Adviser Act of 1940, two sorts of relationships has existed between monetary intermediaries and their shoppers. These are the “arms size” relationship that characterizes the transactions between registered representatives and shoppers within the broker-dealer area, and the fiduciary relationship that requires advisors registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as Registered Funding Advisors to train duties of loyalty, care and full disclosure of their interactions with shoppers. Whereas the previous is predicated on the precept of “caveat emptor” guided by self-governed guidelines of “suitability” and “reasonableness” in recommending a funding product or technique, the latter is grounded in federal legal guidelines that impose the best moral requirements. At its core, the fiduciary relationship depends on the need {that a} monetary advisor should act on behalf of a shopper in an approach the shopper would act for himself if he had the requisite data and abilities to take action.

What's a Monetary Adviser

A monetary adviser (or advisor) is knowledgeable who supplies monetary steerage to shoppers primarily based on their wants and objectives. Sometimes, they supply shoppers with monetary merchandise, companies, planning or recommendation associated with investing, retirement, insurance coverage, mortgages, school financial savings, property planning, taxes and extra. Another name for monetary adviser embraces "funding advisor" and "registered representative." Monetary advisers can be insurance coverage brokers, accountants or attorneys.

Breaking Down Monetary Adviser

A big problem to think about when evaluating a monetary adviser or deciding on what sort of adviser to me is how they're paid. Some monetary advisors are paid a flat charge for his or her recommendation and are thought-about fiduciaries, whereas others earn commissions from the merchandise they promote to their shoppers. Some advisors, reminiscent of within the case of a hybrid adviser or dually registered advisor, cost charges in addition to earning commissions relying on the product they're promoting or the service they're offering. Charge-only preparations are broadly thought-about to be higher for the shopper.
Monetary advisers are required to fulfil a fiduciary commonplace. In keeping with the Securities and Alternate Fee, advisers should:

How Monetary Advisors Are Compensated

The commonest approach advisers are paid is predicated on a proportion of complete property underneath advisory, normally about 1-2% (or decrease the bigger that sum will get). Some advisors are paid by way of commissions from insurance coverage or monetary merchandise they promote, although this could result in a battle of curiosity due to the motivation to advocate the perfect product commission-wise and never essentially the only option for the shopper. Such an individual is appearing as a salesman and should merely meet a suitability commonplace slightly than an extra-stringent fiduciary commonplace. Hybrid advisors, a fast-growing phase of the advisory enterprise due to its flexibility, are paid by way of fee for promoting some merchandise and likewise charges for companies and recommendation as a fiduciary. This association is also known as "fee-based" (versus "fee-only," which refers to a 100% fiduciary). Some advisers are paid by way of an hourly charge, or a flat charge for particular companies or tasks, or by way of every day (typically quarterly) retainer charge.

How you can Discover a Monetary Adviser

Except for asking family and friends for referrals, skilled organizations just like the Monetary Planning Affiliation (FPA) and the Nationwide Affiliation of Private Monetary Advisors (NAPFA) will help a person discover an adviser. When selecting a monetary adviser, it is essential to ask if they've any FINRA licenses or official credentials. Licensed Monetary Planner® (CFP®), chartered monetary analyst (CFA), chartered monetary guide (ChFC), and registered funding advisor (RIA) are good indicators of an adviser's {qualifications}.

How you can Change into a Monetary Adviser

Many international locations require people to finish coaching or receive a license to turn into a monetary advisor. In America, monetary advisors should carry a Sequence 65 or 66 licenses as stipulated by the Monetary Trade Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In keeping with FINRA, funding advisors, brokers, accountants, insurance coverage brokers and monetary planners can use the time period "monetary adviser." The North American Securities Directors Affiliation supplies a very good brief overview of financial adviser requirements.

Monetary Adviser vs. Advisor

Whereas 'adviser' spelt with an 'e' is the official spelling as per the Funding Advisers Act of 1940, 'advisor' with an 'o' is appropriate to confer with somebody who supplies recommendation. Nonetheless, when utilized in reference to the authorized designation 'adviser' needs to be used.

What Is a Fiduciary?

A fiduciary is an individual or group that acts on behalf of one other individual or individuals to handle the property. Primarily, a fiduciary owes to that different entity the duties of good faith and belief. The best-authorized obligation of 1 social gathering to a different, being a fiduciary requires being certain ethically to behave within the different's greatest pursuits.
A fiduciary may be answerable for basic well-being, however, typically the duty includes funds—managing the property of one other individual, or of a bunch of individuals, for instance. Cash managers, monetary advisors, bankers, accountants, executors, board members, and company officers all have fiduciary accountability.

Fiduciary Defined

A fiduciary's obligations or duties are each moral and authorized. When a celebration knowingly accepts the fiduciary duty on behalf of one other social gathering, they're required to behave in the perfect curiosity of the principal, the social gathering whose property they're managing. That is what is called a "prudent individual commonplace of care," an ordinary that initially stems from an 1830 courtroom ruling.
This formulation of the prudent-person rule required that an individual appearing as fiduciary was required to behave at the start with the wants of beneficiaries in thoughts.
The fiduciary is anticipated to handle the property for the advantage of the opposite individual, slightly than for their very own revenue, and can't profit personally from their administration of property.
Usually, no revenue is to be constituted of the connection until express consent is granted on the time the connection begins. For example, in the UK, fiduciaries can not revenue from their place, in response to an English Excessive Court docket ruling, Keech vs. Sandford (1726). If the principal supplies consent, then the fiduciary can hold no matter profit they've acquired; these advantages may be both financial or outlined extra broadly as an "alternative."
Fiduciary duties seem in all kinds of widespread enterprise relationships, together with:

Fiduciary Trustee/Beneficiary

Property preparations and applied trusts contain a trustee and a beneficiary. A person named as a belief or property trustee is the fiduciary, and the beneficiary is the principal. Below a trustee/beneficiary obligation, the fiduciary has authorized possession of the property or property and holds the ability essential to deal with property held within the title of the belief.
Nonetheless, the trustee should make choices which might be in the perfect curiosity of the beneficiary because the latter holds equitable title to the property. The trustee/beneficiary relationship is a crucial facet of complete property planning, and particular care needs to be taken to find out who's designated as trustee.
Politicians typically arrange blind trusts with the intention to keep away from conflict-of-interest scandals. A blind belief is a relationship through which a trustee is accountable for the funding of a beneficiary's corpus (property) without the beneficiary understanding how the corpus is being invested. Even whereas the beneficiary has no data, the trustee has a fiduciary obligation to speculate the corpus in response to the prudent individual commonplace of conduct.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Board MembeShareholder

An identical fiduciary obligation may be held by company administrators, as they are often thought-about trustees for stockholders if on the board of a company, or trustees of depositors if service as director of a financial institution. Particular duties embrace:

The Obligation of Care

This is applicable to the best way the board makes choices that have an effect on the way forward for the enterprise. The board has the obligation to completely examine all potential choices and the way they could impression the enterprise; If the board is voting to elect a brand new CEO, for instance, the choice shouldn't be made primarily based solely on the board's data or opinion of 1 potential candidate; it's the board's accountability to analyze all viable candidates to make sure the perfect individual for the job is chosen.

The Obligation to Act in Good Religion

Even after it moderately investigates all of the choices earlier than it, the board has the accountability to decide on the choice it believes greatest serves the pursuits of the enterprise and its shareholders.

The Obligation of Loyalty

This implies the board is required to place no different causes, pursuits or affiliations above its allegiance to the corporate and the corporate's buyers. Board members should chorus from private or skilled dealings which may put their very own self-interest or that of one other individual or enterprise above the curiosity of the corporate.
If a member of a board of administrators is discovered to be in breach of their fiduciary obligation, they are often held liable in a courtroom of regulation by the corporate itself or its shareholders.

Fiduciary as ExecutoLegatee

Fiduciary actions may apply to particular or one-time transactions. For instance, a fiduciary deed is used to switch property rights in a sale when a fiduciary should act as an executor of the sale on behalf of the property proprietor. A fiduciary deed is helpful when a property proprietor needs to promote however is unable to deal with their affairs as a consequence of sickness, incompetence, or different circumstances, and wishes somebody to behave of their stead.
A fiduciary is required by regulation to confide in the potential purchaser the true situation of the property being offered, they usually can not obtain any monetary advantages from the sale. A fiduciary deed can be helpful when the property proprietor is deceased and their property is a part of a property that wants oversight or administration.

Guardian/Ward Fiduciary

Below a guardian/ward relationship, authorized guardianship of a minor is transferred to an appointed grownup. Because the fiduciary, the guardian is tasked with making certain the minor youngster or ward has acceptable care, which may embrace deciding the place the minor attends faculty, that the minor has appropriate medical care, that they're disciplined in an inexpensive method, and that their everyday welfare stays intact.
A guardian is appointed by the state courtroom when the pure guardian of a minor youngster just isn't capable of taking care of the kid any longer. In most states, a guardian/ward relationship stays intact until the minor youngster reaches the age of majority.

Legal professional/Consumer Fiduciary

The legal professional/shopper fiduciary relationship is arguably one of the stringent. The U.S. Supreme Court docket states that the best degree of belief and confidence should exist between a legal professional and shopper—and that a legal professional, as fiduciary, should act in full equity, loyalty, and constancy in every illustration of, and coping with, shoppers.
Attorneys are held accountable for breaches of their fiduciary duties by the shopper and are accountable to the courtroom through which that shopper is represented when a breach happens.

Fiduciary Principal/Agent

An extra generic instance of fiduciary obligation lies within the principal/agent relationship. Any particular person individual, company, partnership, or authorities company can act as a principal or agent so long as the individual or enterprise has the authorized capability to take action. Below a principal/agent obligation, an agent is legally appointed to behave on behalf of the principal without the battle of curiosity.
A standard instance of a principal/agent relationship that means fiduciary obligation is a bunch of shareholders as principals electing administration or C-suite people to behave as brokers. Equally, buyers act as principals when choosing funding fund managers as brokers to handle the property.

Funding Fiduciary

Whereas it might appear as if a funding fiduciary could be a monetary skilled (cash supervisor, banker, and so forth), a funding fiduciary is anyone who has the obligation for managing any person else's cash. Which means should you volunteered to take a seat on the funding committee of the board of your native charity or different group, you could have fiduciary accountability. You will have been positioned able of belief, and there could also be penalties for the betrayal of that belief.
Additionally, hiring a monetary or funding professional doesn't relieve the committee members of all of their duties. They nonetheless have an obligation to prudently choose and monitor the actions of the professional.

Suitability vs. Fiduciary Customary

In case your funding advisor is a Registered Investment Advisor, they share fiduciary accountability with the funding committee. Then again, a dealer, who works for a broker-dealer, could not. Some brokerage corporations don't need or permit their brokers to be fiduciaries.
Funding advisors, who're normally fee-based, are certain to a fiduciary commonplace that was established as a part of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. They are often regulated by the SEC or state securities regulators. The act is fairly particular in defining what a fiduciary means, and it stipulates an obligation of loyalty and care, which implies that the advisor should put their shopper's pursuits above their very own.
For instance, the advisor can not purchase securities for his or her account prior to purchasing them for a shopper and is prohibited from making trades that will end in greater commissions for the advisor or their funding agency.
It additionally implies that the advisor should do their greatest to ensure funding recommendation is made utilizing correct and full data—principally, that the evaluation is thorough and as correct as potential. Avoiding conflicts of curiosity are essential when appearing as a fiduciary, and it implies that an advisor should disclose any potential conflicts to put the shopper's pursuits forward of the advisor's.
Moreover, the advisor wants to put trades underneath a "greatest execution" commonplace, that means that they have to try to commerce securities with the perfect mixture of low price and environment-friendly execution.

The Suitability Rule

Dealer-dealers, who are sometimes compensated by a fee, usually solely have to satisfy a suitability obligation. That is outlined as making suggestions which might be in keeping with the wants and preferences of the underlying buyer. Dealer-dealers are regulated by the Monetary Trade Regulatory Authority (FINRA) underneath requirements that require them to make appropriate suggestions to their shoppers.
As an alternative of getting to put their pursuits under that of the shopper, the suitability commonplace solely particulars that the broker-dealer has to moderately consider that any suggestions made are appropriate for the shopper when it comes to the shopper's monetary wants, aims, and distinctive circumstances. A key distinction when it comes to loyalty can be essential: A dealer's major obligation is to their employer, the broker-dealer for whom they work, to not their shoppers.
Different descriptions of suitability embrace ensuring transaction prices aren't extreme and that their suggestions aren't unsuitable for the shopper. Examples that will violate suitability embrace extreme buying and selling, churning the account merely to generate extra commissions, and often switching account property to generate transaction revenue for the broker-dealer.
Additionally, the necessity to disclose potential conflicts of curiosity just isn't as strict a requirement for brokers; funding solely must be appropriate, it would not essentially be in keeping with the person investor's aims and profile.

A broker-dealer follows the suitability commonplace: Funding selections have to be appropriate for the shopper, however, can nonetheless be extra helpful to the dealer than the easiest choice; the dealer's major accountability is to their agency, not their shopper.
The suitability commonplace can find yourself inflicting conflicts between a broker-dealer and shopper. The obvious battle has to do with compensation. Below a fiduciary commonplace, a funding advisor could be strictly prohibited from shopping for a mutual fund or different funding for a shopper as a result of it will garner the dealer the next charge or fee than a choice that will price the shopper much less—or yield extra for the shopper.
Below the suitability requirement, so long as the funding is appropriate for the shopper, it may be bought for the shopper. This could additionally incentivize brokers to promote their very own merchandise forward of competing for merchandise that will price much less.

The Brief-Lived Fiduciary Rule

Whereas the time period "suitability" was usual for transactional accounts or brokerage accounts, the Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule, proposed to toughen issues up for brokers. Anybody with retirement cash underneath administration, who made suggestions or solicitations for an IRA or different tax-advantaged retirement accounts, could be thought-about a fiduciary required to stick to that commonplace, slightly than to the suitability commonplace that was in any other case in impact.
The fiduciary rule had a protracted—and in the end unsuccessful—implementation. Initially proposed in 2010, it was scheduled to enter impact between April 10, 2017, and January 1, 2018. After President Trump took workplace it was postponed to June 9, 2017, together with a transition interval for sure exemptions extending via January 1, 2018.
Subsequently, implementation of all components of the rule was pushed again to July 1, 2019. Earlier than that would occur, the rule was vacated following a June 2018 decision by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court.
submitted by Red-its to worldAds [link] [comments]

1broker copy guide - avoiding extreme losses

First off, let me state that I am not even close to a professional when it comes to trading. I got in a few months ago for passive income from copying 3.14fx and have come a long way since then, quadrupling my initial investment and losing half of it. I've watched traders such as cfdtrader, Lumyo, Robot, and crypto_chris lose several hundred percent after a fail from opening multiple positions. I got into 1broker to make money without monitoring it, but instead I learned a lot about trading and risk management, even profiting off several of my own trades. It's a valuable experience in itself even if you're not profiting and I wouldn't give it up for anything. If these losses are enough to make you quit, so be it. Investing comes with risks that some people can't handle. It's not free money.
https://www.dailyfx.com/calendar is the economic calendar that I use while trading. High importance events can easily trigger a 80% loss or gain depending on the direction you choose. It's highly risky to trade when someone of great importance such as Draghi or Yellen are speaking.
Even if you follow a general MAX 5% rule, you will still lose up to 16% of your account if somebody opens 4 of the same positions and they stop at 80%. Making back money is also tougher than losing it, as once you lose 16% of your account, 5% of your account is a lot less than before. Therefore, you have less capital per trade.
Also, be careful when changing your copy amount. I often see copiers saying things like "Great work, I'm upping my copy amount" and "Increased copy amount from x to x". In my opinion, increasing a copy amount should only be done when your initial amount is already low. Losses on a higher copy amount may wipe out the gains on a smaller copy amount. (-50% loss with 0.1 btc = +100% gains with 0.05 btc) Always stick to a 5% max rule unless you're feeling risky.
Then, there comes the gambling/greed phase that many new copiers often do. (Guilty of this myself). After extreme success, a copier may feel the need to upgrade their copy reward to maximize profit. Or after extreme failure, a copier may feel they need to upgrade their copy reward to make up for losses. All of these are mistakes.
1broker is not filled with market professionals. Most of us here are either self taught or complete novices. Professionals would not be sharing their trades for about $70-80 for each trade (at best). They won't be asking for copiers on other traders' profiles. They won't be using a Pikachu as their profile picture. They won't be using a broker that isn't heavily regulated and insured. They would be using their own capital to make millions off of trades.
Remember, any newbie can easily accumulate winning trades by gambling with high leverage. As long as they have around $1300 as of now, they can easily create a profile that suggests that they are a professional, when in reality they are entering at random points and exiting when a position turns into profit, rather than using technical analysis and watching economic calendars.
And even the best of traders will have their ups and downs. I've stuck with 3.14FX even when he reached -100% this month because he's had a great history on this site. I feel that he can make the money that he loses back. And even though he has doubled up on a position yesterday (not sure why, probably was extremely confident), it was a success.
Can you really trust anyone? No way! Unlike regular trading, 1broker is more unregulated. Signing up requires no personal information so any user with malicious intent can build up a steady reputation and perform an exit scam (or have a massive failure) without any reparations. Robot has no link to any social media or anything in his profile. For all we know, he could own another account that has -100%, and he is depending on luck while opening multiple positions to accumulate followers. (I just used Robot as an example, my intent is not to accuse him of multiple accounts)
Then there are potential exit scams (from a trader, not 1broker itself) that will drain a decent portion of your account. There's a reason why you have a choice to choose how many trades maximum you can copy per day. This hasn't happened yet, but it will definitely happen in the foreseeable future. Somebody will set up an order for 50 shorts and 50 longs and set the take profit and stop loss the opposite of each other. Then after closing, they'll withdraw their bitcoin never to be heard of again.
When you put your trust in a trader, you should trust them to carefully monitor a trade. Unfortunately, there's currently no way to tell if your copied trader is online or not, so you'll never know if they're in a coma and won't be back for another 6 months. My suggestion is to either take profit when you think that the conditions are correct or just trust the trader. Nobody can see the future. If you think that you'll rather close the trade before the weekend, it's your choice. If you think upcoming news will destroy the trade, feel free to close early. However, be prepared for regret if it goes up, or a great feeling that you dodged a bullet if it goes down. It's all a part of trading.
1broker's copy system is seriously flawed at the moment. Of course, there's no easy way to fix it. Why would a great trader want to share one of their trades if they're not getting much out of it? This encourages opening multiple positions to maximize copy rewards, which can result in massive losses. Robot is one of the traders exploiting this.
So how can you prevent massive losses? There's really no way. You're putting your trust in random people without an identity, who can easily be a scammer. When it comes to people like Robot, I put 1-2% of my funds because I know that he opens multiple positions. This is why I'm always sticking with 3.14FX, he established himself a long time ago and he knows what he is doing. Somebody who has been on the platform for over 3 years with several losses is preferable to an anonymous newcomer who just registered but appears to be good at trading.
Also, the percentage on 1broker is misleading. You may think "Wow, I'm going to get an 500% of my initial investment if I copy Lumyo!" In reality, you should only be using 5% max of your capital per trade. If you copied him from the beginning (I started copying at around 90%), you should have only gained 25% rather than 500%. But still, 25% of your initial investment is huge.

My opinion on several traders

vits2015: If you watched vits2015 from the beginning, you would know that their style of trading is... off. 15 positions on UK100, all short, some of them at -30% when I first saw him as a successful trader. What does that tell me about him? He can open up to 6 positions on the same trade at once, and is willing to hold them as long as possible to get a profit. (Average holding time 8 days)
gtfann: Even with recent losses, he still appears to be a decent trader. It seems that he upped his usual leverage due to the crowds of traders flocking to copy him though. Multiple positions with a lower leverage isn't really something that I like either, but I'm sticking with him for now until there's a drastic change.
vaiono: He lets his losses play out and even though he has a decent track record,it's still risky to play with. Silver is extremely volatile and due to leverage, a small move in any direction can either be a huge loss or huge gain.
Snortex: Pretty much a meme on 1broker. He acknowledges his trading style and warns his copiers. I like him as a person due to his warnings, but still wouldn't recommend copying him unless you can afford to lose a lot. Edit: After examination of his trades, I feel like he's not only gambling like his description suggests. His entries are planned out carefully (Although that has hurt him when there was a flash crash). You'll take several 80% losses but you may take several 400% gains. He seems to have a habit of chasing a trade, which can lead to multiple 80% losses. However, once the trend reverses, his profits go through the roof. When you're copying, copy for the long term! Of course, feel free to uncopy if you feel that the bottom is still far away.
noIDea: He has had bad stretches in the past, but still makes his way back. I think he's a good trader and even though he opens multiple positions, he's one of the best at setting stop losses so the risk is not as high as others who open multiple trades.
Gold_Gangsta: Name change from Crypto Chris for some reason? Be wary of multiple positions as the USDJPY fiasco shows. Seems to be doing fairly well with gold as of now.
1monk2: Multiple positions fairly often, even says that he's drunk in the description. This is gambling.
knightlife999: The description definitely shows promise. There is no proof to those claims on the site, but I feel it's safe to allocate some of your funds toward copying him with his track record.
HedgeCryFx Risk 5: Decent trader, pays attention to economic calendar as well. The only problem is that he lets losses play out to 80%
boogi: I would be wary about the higher losses, but then again, there's a good track record.
sergiomc: Seems to be decent at trading stocks. With an average holding time of 14 days and leverage of 10, you should be expecting to lose about ~3.92% of your gains to financing, which is not actually that much.
Cool Hand Luke: Low leverage trading. If you were to copy him, I would recommend only using 1% or 2% of your account max per trade if you plan on copying others as well. He's a great trader for slow steady gains, but if you're looking to get rich fast or go broke trying, this is not the guy for you.
eylemc: Quick trades with minimal profit and no losses so far. As of now, it may be too early to judge, but I think that he's somebody that might be worth copying. Edit: Seems to let losses play out to 80%. Be wary.
3.14fx: Back in the game, doing well with stocks and USDJPY recently. High leverage, but usually stops losses within a reasonable range.
SunnyNet: Small gains, huge losses. Be wary as your first copied trade could easily be a -80%.
SatoshiReport: Trading using a neural network, after looking deep into the trade history, I'm not so sure about it. Correct me if I am wrong, but the bot doesn't take into account important news and events. Edit: This bot has too many flaws to continue copying in my opinion. Even with the previous gains, it opens the same position as soon as one closes, negating the 33% stop loss AND forcing a loss due to the spread. The only thing that keeps it out of the negative is the rare 80% gains that you might find once in a while.
CryptoMessiah: The image being shown on his twitter has weird numbers on it (USDJPY at 100-103 in the matter of minutes), I think it's a simulator so it isn't actually "proved". Also, asking people to copy for "free money" is misleading as anything can go wrong in the forex market, there is no guaranteed money. I copied with a minimum 0.001 btc and will update this post if the bot proves to be successful. Edit: Tons of losses trying to get the right direction and then huge wins. I would say it's ok, but you're better off with a human capitalizing on gains. The only advantage to this bot is 24/7 hour trading.
kosanet: His description says it all. Be careful while copying, but don't be discouraged to place an amount you can afford to lose. He seems to have a great history of monitoring losses (positions never get below 20%) but it's still a new profile who clearly states that he's not a pro. May open multiple trades and trading with USDJPY a lot. His scalping strategy means that overnight fees won't be an issue. Edit: Now he's starting to be a little more risky with his trades as more copiers arrive. Be careful, he never reached liquidation at 80% yet but he could at any moment.
google: A bit late to the party, but what can I say? I honestly can't believe he accumulated 190 copiers but he seems to have faded out quickly. Golgo13 is having a fun time on all of his trades
KillerWhale: Extremely high risk with all of those multiple positions. Like google and robot, don't be fooled by performance recently and look through their whole account. People who saw the 220% recently may have missed when he was in -475% a few days ago.
SoontobeWW3: Great trader in my opinion. However, I think emotion plays a role in his trading as every huge loss is often followed by more.
APPoh: Seems to know what he's doing. However, there is a very short trading history and we're never sure. Positions can reach 50% without closing, so it's very possible that he might let losses play out to 80%.
dingo: Not much to say. Good with 1 position at a time, and even with the 80% loss last month, still ended in profit. Be careful as he might sometimes not stop a position and instead wait for it to recover and a 80% loss is huge compared to his gains.
Edit August 12: Will stop adding new traders now. Before copying someone, remember:
  1. Check their trading history, ALL OF IT. You're entrusting them with your money, you should be 100% sure.
  2. Wait until they've established themselves. Sure, you can be frustrated about potentially losing 200% profit, but it sure beats 700% losses.
I already expressed my views on Robot and 3.14FX above. Lumyo is currently inactive.
Last tip: Don't uncopy people if you feel like they can make it back. If you choose to copy someone, you're in it for the long run. Now this may contradict some of my earlier statements, but if you have somebody that you believe in, don't uncopy them after a loss. Eventually, they will make their way back up and after you see their success again, you'll be tempted to copy again. Of course, if you are copying somebody who you have no faith in, feel free to drop them. Cutting your losses short is important to learn in trading.
submitted by FCatarina to 1Broker [link] [comments]

The era of artificial intelligence: how robots manage capital

The era of artificial intelligence: how robots manage capital
Interview with Alexander Tatarsky, creator of the quantum fund
How well do you know artificial intelligence? Perhaps you have never heard of it, or maybe it’s quite the opposite and robots are already managing your capital.
We were able to interview Alexander Tatarsky — an experienced trader, co-founder and financial director of the Mercury Foundation — a fund that manages capital through A.I.! Alexander introduced us to the concept of his organization and explained the unique idea behind the project.

https://preview.redd.it/bulvn62tuw021.jpg?width=700&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=7c6357c83fe7c7afd904a8e9718447801fbdc8a1
Alexander, why did you start trading? How did you start and why did you decide to choose this particular field?
Many people know that the Chinese word “crisis” consists of two hieroglyphs. One means “danger”, and the other one — “opportunity.” I considered a global financial crisis of 2008 an opportunity. That’s when I began my professional career in the financial markets. Before those events, I was always very interested in economics (thanks to my economic education!) and financial markets, but I focused on 2 aspects: first is financial markets as an instrument of global management of peoples and their well-being, second — financial markets as an example of the fundamental laws of nature. I always wanted to get closer to understanding the essence of these processes.
However, until 2008, I was just a curious observer. I read books, watched major events, learned to compare facts. I was running a business that had nothing to do with the markets. The events of 2008 encouraged me to make my first profitable deals. And then I realized that this field is not only about self-development and curiosity — it could also become a source of permanent income. With the right approach, this income can be much higher than in other sectors of the economy. So the choice was made.
What were the reasons for creating an Investment Foundation managed by artificial intelligence?
Anyone who is professionally engaged in money management considers automation at some point. Computers are much more efficient than human when it comes to assets management. Robots are taking over, so it was a logical step for us. From the very beginning, we realized the inferiority of the ready-made solutions on the market and did not even consider using other people’s services. We could use the A.I, and we did. It was actually not even a question, it’s like asking an artist — why are you painting? Because we are the best at managing money.
What is the market share (in particular, on cryptocurrency market) of the investment funds (including funds managed by artificial intelligence) and how do you handle the demand?
If we talk about traditional financial markets, then, according to the latest data, the share of investment funds in the total volume of transactions amounts to 70%. At the same time, quantum funds account for at least 27% of all transactions on US exchanges. As for the cryptocurrency market, they are so riddled with fraud and unrealized projects that we have long since ceased to care about the competitors.
There are many ordinary funds, but 80% of them close in a year and 95% of them — in three. We do not consider them competitors, as we are focused on long-term work. All their clients will eventually come to us. In long-term, the manual traders do not stand a chance against the robot.
Are there any companies similar to yours in the world?
Yes, sure. In our industry, only a few succeeded in achieving the degree of automation that we have. The most successful of our colleagues use qualitatively different algorithms that still require regular manual testing and customization. In most cases, those “algorithm factories” constantly have to adapt to the new market conditions. Our algorithms require human participation only at the development stage. Simply put, in most cases, operators with remote controls always follow their robots, but our robot can walk on its own.
The market offers a huge number of different robots that promise to increase your capital in Forex, binary options, cryptocurrency. How are you different from them? Is it possible to earn money with such robots?
Yes, certainly. If you are good at trading and investing. If you have clear money management rules backed by math. If not, you can only lose. And robots have one more limitation — they cannot bring you the profit all the time. Such robots offer a huge number of strategies, half of which is profitable, and the other half is not. Because a person is ultimately responsible for choosing strategies. That is, it is not the robot that makes the decisions, but the user who sets the trading rules. In some cases, it helps to earn quickly, and in others — to lose quickly. Such robots do not guarantee earnings, they only ensure fast trading. We have a radically different approach. Bruce Lee said: “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who had practiced one kick 10,000 times”. Therefore, instead of ten thousand strategies, we have been developing only one strategy for several years.
The robots you are talking about are the first level. There are many of them and to me they are useless. Among our competitors, there are funds that trade in traditional markets using second-level robots. There are not many of them, but they all deliver consistently good results. One of the leaders in our industry is the Medallion Foundation, created by Renaissance Technologies. For several decades, their mathematical model has been continuously multiplying their capital.
We consistently implement the same model of asset management, completely removing a person from decision-making process. Development will take a few more years, but even now, our robot is already trading at the professional level. The robot needs a person only for controlling and learning new functions.
Some believe that technical analysis does not apply to cryptocurrency, what do you think about this statement?
I actually do not care; it is rather a question of how competent is the person who said this. If it works for you, you can use it. I think you will agree that a professional can play even on one string, and the amateur can find a thousand reasons to give up. The only thing I can do is ask in return — what can the market offer instead of technical analysis? Intuitive news trading? Fundamental analysis? Neural network?
Technical analysis is a complex discipline and it takes a lot of time and mental strength to fully master it. It could take a trader 10 years to learn it. Not everyone succeeds, so technical analysis does not work for everyone.
I favor a more specific approach: if it doesn’t work for someone, they should figure out why, because it is working for us quite well.
Where does your Foundation operate?
We advertise ourselves as a global foundation. In today’s world, good business has to be global. Among our clients are representatives of the Russian Federation, the European Union, Great Britain and China. We continue to expand our reach. As for trade, over the next 6 months we will be able to manage capital on all largest exchanges of the world.
Why is there a minimum deposit amount of $ 10,000?
There are several reasons. First, we need funds to maintain client accounts. We do not charge a monthly fee, only a percentage of the profits. Therefore, the size of the deposit has a lower limit.
Second, $10k is not much for our target audience. It also acts as a filter that shows the solvency and how serious the intentions of a potential client are. We do not target the mass market and do not deal with dumping. On the contrary, we provide long-term, high-quality services for those who can afford it.
Third, the robot independently manages risks and simultaneously controls all portfolios. We don’t like it if someone can’t enter the position because the share calculated for him by the robot is not allowed on the exchange due to restrictions.
Are there any differences in the management of different amounts of investment? If yes, what are they and are there any similarities in the management of investments of one quantitative segment?
Our job is to describe all the differences with strict mathematical formulas and test them thousands of times under all possible conditions. Therefore, there is no big difference for us between a 5 mln purchase or 5k purchase. Everything is described, tested, calculated, everything works.
Differences in the management of large capital are even more drastic. The psychological factor in this case becomes critical. The same trader managing a demo account or a million dollar account will behave like two completely different people and make fundamentally different decisions. Our task is to completely eliminate the human factor from the money management process.
What are the chances for new instruments to get into the Foundation’s portfolio? What is the basis of the selection of certain tools? Are there any common priority tools for different segments of investors?
Any promising liquid instrument can be included in the portfolio of the Foundation, and the choice depends on many factors. The robot evaluates and filters the instrument on the basis of special algorithms and determines the share of an asset in the portfolio based on the results of the evaluation. All decisions must be mathematically justified, taking into account the analysis of the maximum possible amount of data. The more data on the instrument we have, the higher the quality of the decisions made and the share of the instrument in the portfolio. The choice does not depend on the category of investor. If the instrument is promising and liquid, all our clients will get profit.
Can you tell more about the terms of settlements between the Foundations and investors?
If someone in our market guarantees you a good profit and even specifies when you could get it, then I in turn guarantee that this is a fraud. We are most interested in customer profits, as this is the only way to offset the costs of managing his account. Imagine the following situation:
The new client opened a 10k deposit and a month later, he had a total of 12k in his account. At the beginning of next month, we will ask you to transfer us 1k as a fee. 11k remains on his account, but a month later, suppose, unsuccessful deals were made and there is 10k on his account again. In this case, we do not require any payments until the deposit exceeds 11k.
Suppose a month later he has 12k again. Then we will charge 50% of the difference between 11k and 12k, i.e. $500. The fact that the entire team of our foundation has long transferred the management of all its assets to our robot could also count as a guarantee. We have a direct motivation to make trading as successful as possible. We do not use the services of other funds or managers. And the second fact is that the portfolios of all clients, including our personal ones, are managed simultaneously.
Can you share the success stories of the Foundation?
We want to implement a demo account for this purpose. We plan to fill it with transactions and statistics from 2017, copied from real accounts, but without disclosing personal data. The demo-account will include a history of the average client from the beginning of 2017.
It will explain how the robot trades and what profit you can expect from it.
Do you believe that private investors, to some extent, are competitors to investment funds? What, in your opinion, is it more efficient and profitable: being a private investor or investing with funds?
No, we consider them not competitors, but clients. The vast majority of our clients already have experience in investing. Beginners often think they are the smartest, that they don’t need to pay someone 50% of the income when they can easily buy and sell themselves. I admit that in the short run a private investor can earn more than a robot — but definitely not over a long period. The robot ensures a stable result day after day, year after year, while people are prone to stress, illness and psychological weakness.
Also, funds, compared with private investors, have more compelling ratio of risk and return. At some time, a private investor may gain the same profit as a fund. However, the fund will achieve the same profit with much less risk. My money is controlled by a robot, although I believe in my capabilities as a trader.
Does the Foundation have an affiliate program?
Yes, we have an affiliate program, and at the same time, we are interested in collaborating with specialists for mutually beneficial cooperation. For example, we could consider providing service for the service for really good experts in design, advertising and marketing. If you have such specialists, let them send me their proposals and CVs. See contact details on our website.
What kind of future do you see for ordinary investment funds and funds like the Mercury Foundation?
It is clear to me that the share of funds managed by robots will grow steadily. Most likely, in a couple of decades only old-timers will manage money manually.
Robotization applies to all spheres of life and investment has already come into play. For example, the head of Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund — the world’s largest pension fund — believes that artificial intelligence will soon completely replace asset managers. And I fully agree with him.
And the largest hedge fund Bridgewater Associates is developing a decision-making algorithm that can replace all management personnel over time.
How do you look at the cryptocurrency market from a global perspective? Will the Bitcoin climb to 20,000$ again? And what will happen to the altcoins?
If we talk about the long term prospect, like 3–5–7–10 years, then I’ll say that today we see the early stage of the cryptocurrency market. Over time, its capitalization will be measured in trillions of dollars. The best projects of this field will become an integral part of our lives. Many of them will become new Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.
However, this will happen gradually. In order to become a mature sector of the economy, this market will have to go through many challenges. It will face issues of legislative regulation and technical problems. The scaling and bandwidth issues of most networks are still relevant, as well as legal issues. Most states are just beginning to explore the risks and opportunities associated with these technologies. And the promotion of such technologies is still very dependent on states and supranational bodies. If we talk about the short and medium terms, the prospects are not very bright.
I think that in the near future the bitcoin will certainly not reach the 20,000$ mark. We are witnessing the strongest bear market and must act accordingly. The time for positive medium-term forecasts has not yet come. The industry was severely overcrowded in 2017. There was too much hot money, many economically unfeasible projects and excessively high expectations. The market will need time to stabilize and consolidate. Most likely, we are in for a rather complicated and dangerous period of instability in the market. Obviously, this will be accompanied by some cleansing of the market from weak, incompetent and unclaimed participants.
This is a necessary stage on the path towards development. I think that 80% of altcoins known to us will depreciate and disappear in the next year or two for objective reasons. It will be a time of natural selection. However, strong players will only strengthen their positions in the market. Unfortunately, there will not be many of them. Therefore, in the near future, all investors will need to take a good care of the management of their portfolios. Despite the rather grim short-term and medium-term expectations, there will be some positive developments on the market. Some cryptocurrencies are likely to exceed their all-time peaks next year. And some will just look stronger than the market. This will be enough to generate profitability even under such difficult conditions. Therefore, the main task for the near future is to manage risks in a competent and very conservative manner and select the best ones on the market for investments.
From a professional point of view, what would you wish to partners of our club?
Depends on their goals. If they invest for the sake of emotions, then I wish them good luck and health. If they do it to earn money, I advise you to consult with professionals. This applies not only to investments, but also to any area of life. If you want the task to be solved as accurately as possible — always contact the best professionals available. And always keep learning. Your knowledge is your most reliable asset.
What books would you recommend for beginner traders?
If you decide that you are ready to turn trading into your profession, then start eagerly exploring everything available to you. Everything about financial markets, about macroeconomics, about psychology, about analysis and forecasting. Do not forget that money management skills play a huge role here. Ralph Vince will help you figure it out. Even if your analysis of the markets is very good, you will lose everything eventually if your money management skills are subpar. Now is a great time to learn, you have hundreds and thousands of books available on all aspects of this profession. Someone will enjoy the works of John J. Murphy or Jack Schwager, someone will learn from William D. Gann or Robert Prechter. And remember: knowledge is more important than capital!
We thank Alexander for such a detailed story about the Foundation, as well as for his sincere desire to share his opinions and forecasts. If you want to entrust the management of your funds to the Mercury Foundation, type “I want to invest in the Mercury Foundation” in the personal messages of the group.
submitted by Golden_Island_Club to u/Golden_Island_Club [link] [comments]

DEMYSTYFYING CRYPTOCURRENCIES, BLOCKCHAIN & ICO IN SIMPLE ENGLISH – REFLECTIONS AND WAY FORWARD FOR 2018

DISCLAIMER: The authors of this article by no means are advocating, advising or persuading anyone to invest in Cryptocurrencies, ICOs or any other form of investment. Investments are subjected to market risks and you must do your own research before investing and seek financial advise and help from qualified personnel. Any businesses or companies quoted in this article have not paid us financially or through any other means for profit or gain. The authors also do not intent to challenge, disrespect or disobey any specific government, institution or personnel of authority including Banks, Financial regulators, governing bodies and laws of the land. All viewpoints in this article are our own and does not relate to any company, partner, employment or body that we are associated with in our day to day life.
THE HEADLINE: As we reflect upon on 2017, it is probably fair to make a bold statement that it has been a phenomenal leap forward for the trio of Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and the ICO. Here is why: • Bitcoin (the most popular cryptocurrency and once defamed as a ‘hyper-coin’) hit another all-time high passing $8000. Today, Bitcoin is worth about $50 billion and has been accepted under the law and tax frameworks of Canada, Australia, and Japan. • Ethereum network (platform) and its own fuel ( coin) Ether has appreciated more than 2,800% since it was launched in 2015. • Underlying Blockchain technology is no more a hype, it is disrupting every industry through its secure public ledger • ICOs have raked in over 3.6 Billion Dollars, the largest ICO in 2017 has been Filecoin raising over 257 Million Dollars. This is the just beginning of the ICO revolution where IPOs and traditional stock exchanges are going to become a thing in the past.
Let’s admit it. We either have a tribe of people who love the whole concept of decentralized and autonomous Peer to Peer network completely secure and away from the control of the regulators and bureaucrats OR you still belong to the other tribe, you think Cryptocurrencies are dark alleys and ‘good’ people should stay away lurking in these areas. We respect views on either side and we would like to just attempt to demystify few basic practical concepts here that one should know if you are new to this so called “Crypto Tribe”.
EVOLUTION OF CRYPTO AND BITCOIN The first internet currency, known as DigiCash, was created by David Chaum and is said to have its origin from Netherlands. This was arguably the first attempt, but the idea failed and the company went bankrupt in 1998. Keeping up with the trend PayPal ( one of the global leaders in Payments Industry) was next to follow-up and became highly successful, but did not create an actual cryptocurrency. So history was made when the first real cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was invented by someone went by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 and went online in 2009. There has been several failed attempts to identify this person. This ground breaking and revolutionary makes it possible to take to replace central authorities, government, watchdogs bureaucrats and politicians with the decentralized blockchain, and take power away from Wall Street. Bitcoin has already broken its own records several times since it started. The chart below will obviously blow your mind if you have not tracked Bitcoin recently. In less than 8 years Bitcoin has given over 8000% return. From 0 to 8000 USD per coin. And ofcourse there are talks of the next bubble and market for Bitcoin crashing down anytime. Really? Let’s address them a bit later in this paper.
The legacy of crypto goes back to the days of World War II when cryptographic systems were devised to securely transmit messages between various parties. All has happened is the technology and evolution has progressed since with the advancement of Computer systems and underlying hardware and software. We hence now have a very powerful system on the network for anyone to harness.
WHAT IS BLOCKCHAIN? A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block typically contains a hash pointer as a link to a previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data. A blockchain can serve as "an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way not in citation given. For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires collusion of the network majority. And that is the latest Wikipedia definition for you. However, in layman terms, what is the best way to explain it? Let’s think of a used-car for a purpose of illustration. The new buyer would like to ensure that the car is genuinely owned by the seller, that the car servicing history is fully up to date and any major issues has been picked up transparently in the car service history. In real world that may not be possible always. Let’s take another example. We go to our regular family doctor ( GP). Their computer has full history of our health records from illness, diagnosis, medicines and treatments. If we go to another city, it would be very important that the new doctor has full information as well. Sometimes things do not work that way. And this is where the power of Blockchain comes into play. Blockchain is like a decentralized and distributed computer or electronic database existing on multiple computers at the same time ( but not owned by any big company specifically atall). The database keeps growing continuously as new sets of key information, or ‘blocks’, are added to it. Each block contains a very important information - timestamp and a link to the previous block. These then actually form a chain, everyone in the network gets a copy of the whole database but the database is not managed by any particular body, person or corporation. Entire old block are preserved forever and new blocks are added to the ledger irreversibly, making it next to impossible to manipulate by faking documents, transactions and other information. And yes, hackers know this and they have no interest in this area as they cannot manipulate here. They will most likely to continue to pry on large private businesses and public sector for ransom not Blockchain for a very long time or may be forever! It is also worthwhile mentioning here that since Blockchain runs on a public network, there are concept of ‘mining’ and rewards to the ‘miners’. In simple terms, people are rewarded for allowing their computers to be used for harnessing the ‘processing power’ of Block execution. Every new transaction on a block ofcourse needs to be executed. Now that you have got a bit of history of the whole Cryptocurrency and Block chain technology mumbo-jumbo, you may be thinking what about another term ICO which everyone keeps talking at the Pub and every now and then on various websites and journals. What are ICO really? Let’s get that out of way as possible.
THE DAWN OF INITIAL COIN OFFERING ( aka ICO) You are probably already familiar with the traditional stock market and the concept of Initial Public Offering ( IPO), so we will not go too deep into it. But in a nutshell, until recently businesses have raised money from the public by listing their businesses on the famous stock exchanges. Ofcourse, it is not possible for Mr. John Smith from a little village selling his home made secret strawberry jam globally until he has deep pockets. Neither he can even dream of getting his business listed on a stock exchange to raise cash from public. Hence listing businesses and raising cash has remain the forte of the big and bold with the backing of Venture Capitalist firms, Private Equity firms and the Brokers. And ofcourse there has been the means of the “Angel Investor” who would give cash by taking significant equity stake in a business started by the entrepreneur with their blood and sweat. Then emerged the concept of “Crowd Funding”. Online project funding websites like kickstarter, crowdcube, seedrs emerged. They allowed entrepreneurs to request for funds from the public. But these methods have raised limited funds, grossly regulated by the local authorities and not everyone could raise money from here. So you may ask what IPOs and Crowdfunding has anything to do with Blockchain technology and ICOs? Well what if we say that there are investors out there who believe in the disruptive nature of Blockchain Technology and are also early adopters of cryptocurrency such as bitcoin. Then there is whole liberal aspect of the unregulated market which makes the whole world shift towards a very different perspective. Now an entrepreneur could actually raise money for building their business from very early stages ( sometimes from just a concept level) and accepting the money not in traditional currency ( aka Fiat currency) but Cryptocurrency. And further, each of these new projects could even release their own version or token of an underlying cryptocurrency or digital currency. Now that’s sexy and awesome isn’t it? Well, we are not going to down the route here to inform the readers it is good or bad practice in this paper. We will leave that opinion formation to yourself. Now that you got a high level understanding of ICOs, the next thing you may want to know is that it is pretty straight forward to invest into an ICO ( we will cover more in this paper later). But you need to understand is ICOs just like an IPO are for short duration. Usually they last for few weeks (typically 4 weeks). You get bonus Tokens or the crypto coin to invest early. Once the ICO minimum target is reached ( Softcap) the coins gets listed on the CoinExchange and they start trading. Coinexchange? What are these then? Quite simple, just go back to the analogy between a traditional stock and traditional stock exchange. Very simple concept really. How you buy, sell and do the nitty-gritty just differs. Since there are no brokers or regulators involved here. The whole process is really simple and quick. It may worthwhile sharing a quick snapshot of the ICO market worldwide: It is mind boggling to see that new businesses in really concept stages are raising more money than traditional businesses in just few hours of ICOs getting listed. Obviously this is really bothering lot of people in high ranking posts. We are not here to again debate who is right or wrong here. What we essentially want you to understand is some of these ICOs are really shaping the next wave of revolution.
How many of you believed that a Smart Phone with a so called ‘mobile app’ would be worth billion of dollar? Look at Uber, Alibaba, Airbnb, Facebook. Why no one complains about their valuation? May be because these businesses have backing of very large venture capitalists, Private Equity firms? But who runs these VCs and PE firms? Do you really need 70 Billion Dollars to run a Taxi mobile app? We honestly do not know. But what we know for sure is disruptive technologies and businesses built on top of them always have an edge. And then you combine the technology and handover its power to the people you create a social eco-system that is so strong and powerful that it can override and form its own status. And that is what is happening with the ICOs. People are investing into their trust and belief. Now that’s more powerful than any single bank, government or institution !
If you have followed this paper so far, you should have started to get an idea of what is really going on here about the trio – Blockchain Technology, Cryptocurrencices and ICO. However, I am sure you still have may have zillion questions about how you do certain things. Let us try give you answers to some of the most common questions asked by those who really want to get involved.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Question 1: I am interested in buying and investing into a Cryptocurrency. Should I buy Bitcoin? Answer: Bitcoin is one of the most popular cryptocurrency. We can not advise you anything specific as you need to do your own research. The number of cryptocurrencies available over the internet as of 6 November 2017 was over 1172 and growing. A new cryptocurrency can be created at any time. By market capitalization, Bitcoin is currently (2017-08-19) the largest blockchain network, followed by Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple and Litecoin.
Question 2: I am interested in investing into a ICO that what research and due-diligence I need to do ? Answer: We are glad that you mentioned the two magical words “research” and “due-diligence”. That is the most important golden nugget that we want you to take-away from this paper. Never-ever invest into a ICO unless you have researched it for how long it takes to build a strong opinion. Here is a good article that gives some really good tips. One quick tip from us would be ensure that Team is really strong and they are genuine people. http://mashable.com/2017/10/25/survive-ico/#CDVyGFJOiiqF
Question 3: How do I find out about upcoming ICOs and useful related news and press releases? Answer: There are plenty of websites now that can give you early headsup and keep you well informed. Our favourites are ICOBENCH, COINDESK, ICOALERT.
Question 4: Where can we buy and sell ICO and cryptocurrencies? Answer: If you are newbie, it may be a good idea to ask someone in your close network to guide you. There are lots of information and instructional video available on Youtube and other social media network and blogs. Sometimes too much information leads to confusion. You may also want to look into tutorials and training available at UDEMY.COM. But please steer away from self-proclaimed gurus. Do not buy any quick rich scheme related courses and scams. We have found that for beginners https://www.myetherwallet.com/ or https://parity.io/ are good starting point for Ethereum Blockchain related transactions.
Question 5: When is a good time to invest in Cryptocurrency? Answer: We wish we had the crystal ball to give you the answer. If we had this crystal ball in 2009 ( when Bitcoin started), we would be very rich people right now. But with a bit of research and education, you can master this. You need to make your own decision when is the right time for you.
Question 6: ICO and Cryptocurrency are all hype and dodgy? Answer: We are assuming you are a beginner, you do not know enough about Blockchain technology and how it works, you possibly have not spent enough time learning and tracking about cryptocurrencies. There is also a possibility you have never invested in a cryptocurrency or ICO. Or possibly you invested in a ICO that was a scam. You possibly could be a sophisticated investor in property, traditional shares, gold, forex and much more. But may be you do not want to know any more about Digital currencies or Technology as it is not your “comfort zone”. So the question is how much of homework you have done to assess if this whole concept for you is really interesting or completely ruled out? The decision end of the day is yours.
AUTHOR: Avijeet Jayashekhar: Has over 20 years of entrepreneurial, management consulting , Technology leadership in UK Financial Services Industry. He also has a long successful property investment business in UK. In his last stint, as Vice President of Barclays Bank UK, he managed large Technology Programme in next generation technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process automation and Digital Payments including Blockchain. He has track record of setting up 3 successful global Technology businesses. Integrally part of the London Fintech and PropertyTech businesses, he is a popular mentor and speaker. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic and Computer Science, a Business Management Qualification and Project Qualification from Stanford University. He is a British Citizen of Indian origin and lives near London with his family. Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/avijeetjs/
REFERENCES: https://icobench.com/stats https://www.coinbase.com/ https://www.icoalert.com/ https://www.coindesk.com/information/what-is-a-distributed-ledge https://tokentarget.com/the-evolution-of-the-ico-2017-and-beyond-2/ http://www.ilovegrowingmarijuana.com/the-basics-of-cryptocurrency/ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/0/cryptocurrency/ https://themerkle.com/top-10-cryptocurrency-icos-throughout-2017-to-date/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockchain http://mashable.com/2017/10/25/survive-ico/#CDVyGFJOiiqF https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cryptocurrencies https://en.insider.pro/tutorials/2017-09-04/what-blockchain-laymans-terms/
submitted by techevangelistuk to CryptocurrencyICO [link] [comments]

[Table] IAmA Goldman Sachs Investment Banker AMAA

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2013-01-12
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Link to my post
Questions Answers
I have a good friend who is a VP at your firm . They blamed the entire Financial crisis on ' poor people who could not afford their mortgages ' they said this was pretty much he opinion among the investment banks . How do you feel about what happened to Greece and Goldmans hand in it ? That is not true. Opinion is very much split within the investment banks and there is no right or wrong answer. I personally don't believe at all that the crisis was caused by 'poor people' - and I don't like that sort of categorization of people in the first place. There are perhaps 15/20 different institutions you could blame for the crisis, there's no way of isolating individuals. I'm not sure what exactly you think GS's hand in the Greece affair was. Of course it's a sad story and I feel remorseful - I recently donated £50,000 at a charity ball to help rebuild one of the islands which has almost been burned to the ground. But ultimately Greece employed GS at the time because they wanted to fudge their finances so as to meet entry requirements for the Euro i.e. the greek government was knowingly employing GS to help perform an extremely risky task - GS didn't force anything upon them. If the experiment explodes 10 years later (as it did), should GS really be the party to blame?
The next day, you are flipping through television channels and randomly come across a pre-season CFL game between the Toronto Argonauts and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Knowing your inevitable future, do you now watch it? Yes of course i fucking do. The future is inevitable. Chuck Klosterman i like your name.
I love seeing the ignorance that emerges in these AMA's relating to investment bankers. I am really interested in a career in either IB or Consulting, have a few questions for you. Thank you to fletch below for answering this question.
1) How did you cope with the hours? I like working hard, I like working for my money but I also like enjoying free time and having a social life. When working a 100 hours as an analyst that would certainly have to suffer 2)What were you academic results like through your degree? I'm currently in my second year and will be realistically looking at 2.2, 2.2, 2.1 and 2.1 (years 1-4). This summer I'd hope to get an accountancy internship in one of the big 4 followed by an internship next year in one of the large IBs. I know there's more to a candidate than solely their academic credentials + internship but would this stand me well for a BB in London? (Top Irish university, undergrad will be in Business and French) 3) What is it that makes you enjoy this job? I know the paycheck is certainly a bonus but you've said there's more to it than that? Whatever your breakdown between modules is, you need a 2.1 overall. Even if your average is 60% or 61%, that's enough to get you past the minimum requirements and through to interviews. After that it's up to you - they'll take someone with a good business mind and strong communications skills irrespective of whether they average 60 or 78 or 92. I disagree with him. My job is extremely rewarding and i wouldn't swap it for any other industry at the moment. If you want evidence of people enjoying their jobs look at the number of years they spend at their respective firms. Most of the partners at GS are 'home-grown' and have spent 20/30 years sweating away but don't regret it for a second.
Do you realize that in countries like Spain you're seen as an evil person that only wants to get profit and don't have any soul or feelings and probably kicks puppies for fun? If so, how do you feel about it? Yes and understand their anger but it should be re-directed to politicians!
Proof? and of course... how much did you make in 2012 approximately? Approx 600k. How do upload proof e.g. photo evidence?
Sorry, new to reddit!
Do you have free ticket for me? Always looking for handouts. What is it young people say, lolz??
I'm very curious of your opinion of Secretary Geithner's role in LIBOR. Do you think he was guilty? innocent? Thanks! LIBOR scandal is way too complicated to explain at 2.30 am after a few beers. Many active players are implicated and i think he will be seen in the wrong eventually like many others.
What hours do you work? Approx 80 hours a week not incl. flight time I go to festivals in Europe but would love to go it. Do you have free ticket for me?
If the concept and idea of a monetary system was replaced with something better (hypothetically) what would you do? As in for a career or what not since now you are jobless. Resources will always be scarce so someone will have to ensure an optimal allocation. There will always be a market of some kind whether it be a public market or an internal government one.
Hypothetically we could have unlimited power, molecular production, and master matteenergy conversion. Would that change your answer? Good interview question. I'll keep it in mind.
In your view, are there any regulations that could meaningfully alter the moral hazard typified by the 2008-2009 bailout of the financial sector? If so, what might they be? And if not, to what extent does regulatory capture play a role? Regulatory capture is a seriously problem not just in banking e.g. also in the energy business. How do you reduce it? It won't happen unless the public demand it, as everyone with power tends to benefit from it and so they won't make meaningful steps to change anything, i.e. its a win win situation for government and business. However it needs more than just 'occupy movements' but rather i am talking the mass voter population.
Have you seen @gselevator on twitter? if so have you ever contributed/is it legit? Haha yes i have seen it and no its not legit, well at least i think its not. Seriously though the elevator chats can be quite entertaining and revealing.
Do you use a mouse when you work on excel? Are you joking?
No.
In your opinion, do you think the money you make is worth the hell that you go through to make it? I love my job and so i am lucky that the money is not the only motivator.
But yes i love checking my bank balance at an atm.
How can i break into finance with a sub-par gpa? Network and try non BB firms.
A company founded by 100 duck sized horses. or A company founded by 1 horse sized duck? 100 duck sized horses every time. Basic risk management theory - don't put all your eggs in one basket. If that 1 horse sized duck isn't exceptional, your business is going down the tubes.
Prior to the collapse, did you have any idea what was about to happen? It was getting obvious that there was a bubble, but never predicted how great the fallout would be and that in 2013 we would still be suffering
What do you do day to day? I work in the energy field in Europe but don't want to get too specific. Day to day we advise natural resource companies on all things financial such as m&a and financing strategy and then execute on their behalf. So I am on the corporate finance side rather than sales and trading. However I work closely with the syndication and sales guys such as if we are executing an IPO or a follow-on share offering.
I have a buddy who's small but established clean tech company needs money building biodiesel manufacturing plants around the US that run off garbage and wood chips. The technology is actually coming from a company based in Sweden. Can you help him on the money side? Send me a link to their website.
I find clean tech very interesting.
How did you get your job? Did a summer internship then got FT conversion.
What college did you go to? I went to LSE (university in the UK)
What jobs did you work before getting this one? Did another internship whilst at university at an oil company.
At what age did you get this job? 22.
I hear the GS company culture is like " a frat on steriods" true or false? False more than true but depends on team.
Is it as cut throat as I have heard with the bottom 50% of people getting sacked each year to make way for new guys who will probably be sacked the year after? Bottom 5% is more accurate. 7-8% in a bad year, 3-4% in a good year. It's a fine line between 'cut throat' and having a 'healthy competitive atmosphere'. But we'd be out of business very quickly if we kept firing half of our staff every year...
Is there any stock I should look into in 2013? Long term or short term. Short term- African Barrick Gold. The chinese walked away and so the share price plunged and despite serious operational issues, the massive drop has presented a golden buying opportunity.
Long term- anything to avoid inflation, inflation scares the crap out of me and is going to be a big problem in the Uk and elsewhere in the future.
Also buy into soft commodity boom e.g. meat in africa, think zambeef etc if you can find an attractive entry point.
What's the best preparation for an interview with an i-bank? I'm over here in the states and come from a non-target. Read WSO, the forums are full of useful hints and tips especially for non target guys. Depending on what area you are applying for, make sure you know some really good examples and stock pitches as it is amazing how many candidates lack knowledge e.g. if applying for ECM for god sakes know some of the recent IPO's and likewise for equity research have good stock pitches and have conviction when presenting. Best of luck!
How important is your undergrad majogpa I'm double majoring in Econ/Conflict resolution studies with a possible minor in poly sci (depending on how the credits work out) I got a 3.9 gpa last semester but it only brought my overall gpa to a 2.4 because fuck klonopin. I should have at least a 3.0 by graduation, but I'm wondering its worth it to pay for and retake my first semester. Can I have $373 dollars? :D :D I promise only to get moderately drunk with this money. Sorry, a lot of questions, thanks for answering. Oh also, one last thing, all else being equal, is calc I enough math to apply for analyst job? or do I need more? Undergrad course choice is not that important for IBD but obviously for more quant roles you need maths skills Again i am sorry but i am not very clued up on GPA Ok i give you money but first you have to register yourself as a charity so that you can gift aid it and get much more!
Where did you go to college? LSE.
As an undergrad? How hard was it? I hear it's very difficult. Yes, undergrad.
Harder than most places depending on your course. Especially as you are competing with loads of kids from Asia who do extra calculus to relax.
How do you see regulation affecting the overall banking culture? Everything I have been reading and what people have been saying is that the culture is changing. Have you been seeing this? I recommend reading "The Culture of Success" by Lisa Endlich.
Also how do you like the goldman culture? Regulation is hurting us...but: Link to business.financialpost.com
How much total did you make in each of your years at the firm? I don't want to get into specifics.
But for your first three years as an analyst roughly 50k-70k (£ not $)
As an associate 120k-160k.
After that the numbers get exciting.
What tools do you use on a regular basis? Excel, Outlook, Excel, Outlook, Excel, Outlook...powerpoint.
What is the biggest reward of working in IB? Where I study, students with high grades are pushed to chase the prestigious internships firms like GS, MS, etc offer. Their reasoning why they chase these jobs is that they think it is the highest (prestige) in finance they can go or are attracted by the money. It seems shallow to me. What does IB offer that makes your career personally fulfilling? Why didn't you choose to work elsewhere? I find what i do at the front end of the energy sector fascinating. If your interested in business or globalisation or other similiar areas then IBD is pretty much at the cutting edge of it.
Thanks for the reply! When you were first starting out at GS, were you able to balance a personal life aside from your work? Has it gotten easier as you have gained more experience? Would you recommend IB as a field to pursue to your own children today? Thanks again! I'd say during my first 3 years as an analyst the 'balance' was almost non-existent i.e. i was regularly working 100+ hours/week. Since then it's become easier year by year and i think that's true for most. And yes certainly i would encourage my children to pursue it - not that i have any yet.
Where did you go to uni what was your gpa? how many physics majors work their? did you start off as an intern? sorry for rapid firing questions. LSE (london school of economics) - first class honours but don't know how that translates into GPA.
I know only 3/4 physics majors in the office at the moment.
Yes started as an intern.
Do banker run the world? how much political influence do they really have? It works two ways. Some bankers have their fingers in politics in a way they perhaps shouldn't. But equally many politicians have their fingers in banking and can force our hands.
How hard is it for a non ivy leager studying finance to get an entry level job at GS? what about internships? Tough. But with enough internship experience beforehand it's possible.
What do you think of Forex? Would you ever trade on it with your personal money? Difficult to answer - you can trade forex in a million different ways - some ways are more interesting than others. I don't personally trade it, but others forge a very successful career out of it.
What was your bets investment in? (If that's how it works) That's not really my role in IBD.
But outside GS I invested in the Shanghai property market a decade ago or so. My 4 flats there are now worth 10-12 times what they were worth then.
WTF caused the 2010 flash crash? Good question. Nobody knows for sure.
From the link you've provided, I find no.2 the most plausible explanation. But I would also add 6. UBS did something stupid again.
As hardcore capitalists what is your feeling about (management of) banks that seem to live under the impression that profits are for a happy few while losses should be carried by tax-payers? That's not what I believe at all.
And by the way all of us are tax payers too. The top 5% contribute approx. 50% of the government's taxation revenue. So if losses are being 'carried by tax-payers' - that doesn't exclude people in the banking industry by any means.
Matt Levin at Dealbreaker (former GS guy) describes Investment Bankers as "Travelling money salesmen". Do you feel that this description is apt? The operative word in your question is 'former'
Do you think that's how he described investment bankers whilst he was still with the firm?
People tend to get very bitter and sensitive after they get fired. See Gregg Smith for further evidence..
Is an MBA necessary to be competitive when looking for a job or is a B. Comm enough to compete with others when looking for jobs in the industry? Depends on what entry point - if you do an mba then you apply for associate entry whereas b.comm is an undergrad degree and so you apply for analyst roles. If you do a b.comm at a top university/college and get some internships then you should be well placed. Good luck!
Do any of your co-workers frequent Reddit? I imagine less than 0.1%.
Then again 2 people on this feed at least have claimed to be my co-workers, so who knows...
Since you're new to Reddit, what made you want to do an ama here? I'd like to alter the public perception of bankers - not all of us are the obnoxious greedy individuals you read about in the media.
I'm also extremely interested in hearing what non-finance people see as our key economic issues at the moment - this seemed a good way to find out.
Proof? How do i upload photos? i will upload photo proof. Sorry not very experienced with reddit!
I am a senior in high school and I am interested in majoring in either accounting or finance, but I don't think I know enough about either career path to make the best decision, can you explain the large differences the two paths I would go down depending on major, or any advice that may influence my decision that I would not know at this point? What you choose to study doesn't necessarily determine the industry you'll end up in. We have guys in the office who studied history, languages, even medicine. Just go for what interests you the most and focus on getting high marks.
Curious as to what kind of degree you hold/what was your GPA in college? BSc. Economics degree from LSE. First class honours, don't know about gpa
I used to work for the swiss banks and swiss stock market indirectly, and have a few friends in the banking business, including GS and Nakamura in London. What is your personall opinion on prostitution, cocaine, and medication misusage in your business? Also, also what is your stance on GS' questionable involvment in Backpage.com? With regards to backpage.com, the guys on the deal did not do their KYC checks properly. KYC checks are crucial for banks- your reputation and future success is more important than any single customer. Look up riggs bank and the Obiang family and then you'll see!
Possible. But realistically those kind of excuses are given no matter what really happened. For a company as big and powerful as GS I can only take it with a grain of salt. Are you content in the way GS does business from a moral point of view? It's either a pinch of salt, or a grain of sand...
Thanks. I'm not a native english speaker and have not used it regularly for years, so it's gotten pretty shit. Any chance you answer the other questions? Yes, apologies. I think some of our deals have been morally reprehensible in the past. The same goes for any major investment bank. But i think we've done a very good job in 'cleaning up our act' over the past few years and the public has played a large part in that. With any luck we will see a much healthier banking industry soon.
How accurate is what is said on the Twitter handle @GSElevator? It's grossly exaggerated, but not entirely inaccurate...
You guys got trolled hard. A GS IBD guy not knowing how to upload something to the internet? Seriously wtf. Probably some guy from wso who wanted to feel like he was "in". Link to i.imgur.com Just doing some work now! Link to i.imgur.com In case you wondered what Lloyd's signature looked like.
Is there anyway you can help me out, connections or anything, someone I should talk to to get a interview? Can you interview me, I shall forward you my resume! Private message me and we will discuss. Sure i can help you out. I know how tough it is for you guys who are trying to get in!
Any thoughts on the MSI/SSG mini-scandal this week? Yes but won't comment.
Very hush hush.
I also work for GS. Which building are you in? I'm based in PBC. Also IBD, North. Would do an AMA and provide proof. I'm in PBC too, moved from RC quite a few years ago. I'm not sure exactly what sort of proof i'm supposed to provide...?
Would you say you were groomed for this kind of work from a young age? LSE is an elite school. Did you go to elite private schools growing up or were you an exceptional student at a normal school? Yes, Jimmy groomed me from four years old
Do you like your job, or should i say career? Yes. If i did not then i would go and sail around the world again.
From your experience, how relevant is CFA nowdays? Definitely worth doing.
How large was your Xmas bonus and did it get taxed over 50%? See below - total comp was c.600k and yes taxed above 50%
You said in other replies that you were 22 when you got this job and make 600K now. How old are you now, and how long did it take you to get the that salary level? Is it all commission? Was analyst at 22 and then moved up the ranks. Just turned 30, feeling old now!.
Can you give some insight on the business model of Investment banking? (I have no clue to be honest) . And what does a portfolio manager do exactly? Portfolio manager is not IBD. He/she would work in investment management e.g. for blackrock or GSAM or a hedge fund.
I'm currently writing a thesis on the future of rentierism in the gulf with an emphasis on Saudi Arabia. I don't have much of an economic background apart from this, but the international energy market is obviously important to my research. Can you recommend any good (preferably free or low cost) primers and newsletters on the subject? Hmm there are many on energy market but not too sure about rentier specific ones. Will have a think. I did my university thesis on Saudi and so will have a dig around.
How do you live with yourself? Knowing that the company that you work for doesn't give a fuck about you or anybody. All they care about is money. They have ruined america many times over. Seriously, how do you live with yourself? Actually our business is dependent on America and more importantly the rest of the world's prosperity. So actually our interests are nicely aligned.
Link to www.rollingstone.com. Seems to me like your bosses and former bosses don't give a flying fuck about anyone but themselves. Can you name one good thing Sachs has done since you have been there? I think you meant 'don't give a flying fuck" in your comment.
Do you happen to work with quantitative analysts? Depends which deal we are working on. Sometimes we need them, other times we don't.
What's your retirement savings invested in? Property (international and uk), shares mainly through tax efficient ways e.g. isa and EIS, pensions and artwork.
No swiss bank account i am afraid.
"The first thing you'll realize is that they are extremely disciplined. You would never come across a Goldman employee, who would, after two or three beers, say "My colleagues are a bunch of dickheads" From Money and Power William D Cohan. What do you have to say about this? I agree with it.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in going into finance and is currently in university. What would you have liked to do in your time spent at LSE now looking back? Party more! You only live once. You can have that advice for free.
Thanks for the AMA. Do you know anybody I could speak with regarding interviewing and internship opportunities? Private message me.
Doing an AMAA are you putting your job at risk for releasing company secrets/opinions whatever? I've not released a single company secret.
Edit: added an A to AMA. There's nothing in my contract to say I can't express my own opinions.
What do the hopes and dreams of Americans taste like? Raspberry sorbet, in my opinion
What is your feeling on the separation of traditional banking and investment banking as is proposed by the FSA? I think overall it's sensible - Barclays being the best example of why they should be separated.
At GS specifically of course we're not involved in traditional retail banking at all so it's not the most pressing issue for us at the moment.
You mentioned 80 hour work weeks. Could you explain the timeline for your typical work day. Do you work 7 days per week? Is your work more project based where you go non stop and have some time off between projects? There's no typical working day - some days are 18 hours and others are 12. Depends entirely what stage of a deal we are at. Generally I work 5/6 days a week, but keep in email contact with the office 24/7.
Yes, entirely project based. But if we are doing our jobs properly there's not much 'time off' in between.
I'm currently on target for a 2:1 or a first at university in my economics degree. But due to a slight hiccup in my a-levels, in which i got A* A C, still managed to go to a top 10 university but do they look at the C, which was in maths. Your university grades are definitely more important. If you do well in a mathematical module at uni that will allay any fears they have about an A-level grade.
Do they look at a-level grades and expect a minimum maths grade? I'm not bad at maths by any means, just an unfortunate anomaly in the exam season. Which uni are you at and what do you study?
Manchester and economics BA - but i have econometric modules and another mathematical module for 2nd year. Any chance of switching it to a BSc? Immediately reassures employers about your quantitative skills..
Hello there, first of all I want to thank you for doing this AMA. I am a dutch college student and currently I'm writing an essay about the BRIC countries. I used your book to write down predictions of their economic future, and I'd like to ask: did you participate in writing that book? Are you referring to Jim O'Neill's book? I have a copy on my desk, but no I wasn't involved in writing it.
What do the guys at GS think about @gselevator? See same q&a earlier on!
How often do interns get recommended to come back? In a good year, approx. 50% of an intern class will get hired.
In a bad year (2008 for example) perhaps only 10% or 20%
Any opinion on Nautilus Minerals? Can't comment on that company i am afraid.
How do you feel about manipulating the currency markets to screw over the average retail trader? I don't know what you are talking about.
Have you ever seen American Psycho? Yes.
I am going to copy and paste this in an email and send it around my team. You will famous at the firm, well at least in my team in london anyway! Yes of course i fucking do. The future is inevitable. Chuck Klosterman i like your name. That would also be an awesome interview question! And i give them 5 secs to answer.
I highly doubt GS interns work for free. I've almost never heard of an internship in finance that didn't pay -- most firms I've encountered usually pay the same base wage as the first year full timer positions you are interning for. Interns in front office at GS in london get circa £42k pro rata. So not bad for a summer job and remember no tax as they are below threshold across the year!
Gold Mansachs. Not sure about that one.
I prefer Goldman Snachs, the name of our canteen.
Yes, Jimmy groomed me from four years old But yes went to a private boarding school before. Widening the diversity of applicants in IB is a key target for HCM.
What is the future of investment banking in a new world order where both governments and the people are fed up with the excesses that led us into this credit crisis. The industry is always evolving, that's what makes it an exciting industry to be in. I imagine it will take us a good few years to fully regain the trust of certain clients, but ultimately if this whole saga causes us to readdress our methods and practices to improve our service then in the long run it's a positive outcome.
PS. Do you not think people should be fed up with the governments too, as well as the banks?
Not OP but I can answer this as a 2012 intern who got converted for Programming. A Math degree is a good +. There are 2 ways. Either join in as a programmer, show your merit and change departments, ie move to Quant side. Other option is to get a MBA, and join the I-Banking dept you want. What's your name?
Do you have any books or resources you'd recommend the layman for learning investment skills (i.e. the wealthy barber) I ask because i feel there is a lot of crap out there and would like to genuinely learn. I have never heard of the wealthy barber.
Last updated: 2013-01-16 15:54 UTC
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[Table] IAmA: We Are the Hosts of the Let's Talk Bitcoin! Show! We just spent 4 days at Bitcoin2013, Ask Us Anything!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2013-05-24
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Questions Answers
Hi all! I was wondering, what do you think it would take to get bitcoin from a niche currency used mainly by internet denizens to go mainstraim? I know the slow creep of more small companies accepting bitcoin helps, but what do you think that final cusp will be, and will it ever come to that? Thanks for taking the time to do this! There are several potential tipping points, but my favorite one is a large corporation accepting Bitcoin.
Amazon has an incredibly small operating margin, less than 1% - They have more than that in transaction costs, so if they were to accept Bitcoins for product and offer Bitcoins as payment to their affiliates it would cause a rush of other companies to jump onboard for the same reasons.
Once that happens with one large company, it sets a precedent. Doing something new is scary, and when the regulatory environment is uncertain like it is with Bitcoin the choice to accept could potentially cost you a lot of money later if it's retroactively made not OK and the value of the currency plummets.
But once a company like Amazon or Google jumps in, they have enough political swing and momentum that attacking Bitcoin becomes attacking them, and they'll fight that tooth and nail if it's saving them money.
Another example of a tipping point would be a country, ANY country, adopting it as their formal currency OR issuing a new currency with Bitcoins as the transparent backing of it. With bitcoin you can have a functional gold standard, because the gold doesn't need to be hidden from sight.
It is the hiding that makes gold standards dangerous - The people who issue currency with the gold as backing have no reason to issue the correct amount when only they know how much is out there, and how much gold they have.
I guess the Supreme Court has decided this does not apply to taxes, which is crap. Or are you talking about other countries? Thank you :) I actually mean something along the lines of "It is illegal to trade dollars for any cryptocurrency that does not have a real name and social security associated with it"
Will bitcoins ever be able to be traded like other recognized currencies in similar ways to Forex? More specifically, will there ever be retail brokers offering margin trading accounts that allow you to buy and sell bitcoin with leverage? There are already really small niche sites you can trade Bitcoin at leverage with, but it's just a bad idea. With a "normal" commodity market, like say chickens, if you think chickens are undervalued and want to profit from them you can buy forward production of say, a million chickens. Then when the option comes due, if you're on the profitable side of the trade you can essentially sell it for cash and the chickens never need to be delivered. In that way, it almost doesn't matter if the chickens ever existed to begin with because you never intended to take posession. With Bitcoin, it's different - Converting a bitcoin options contract into US dollars, yen, whatever actually is more expensive and time consuming than just "accepting delivery" of the bitcoins themselves. You can still sell them for whatever currency you want, but it is at the time of your choosing rather than at the point of settlement. What that means is that if you sell an option and the Bitcoins don't really exist, you could be screwed. You either default or buy them at market price which can be very painful given how volatile the pricing is right now. It is a bad idea to play with leverage in Bitcoin because if you lose, you potentially lose very big. Additionally, it's bad to buy an option because you introduce the possibility of the counterparty (supply) not being able to deliver, whereas if you just bought Bitcoins you have the Bitcoins.
Do you believe bitcoin is important locally as well as on the internet? If so, how are you promoting bitcoin in your local communities? Cryptocurrencies (of which Bitcoin is the most prominent) are the first real competition to the types of money we've used all our lives. With Dollars, Yen, Whatever - Ultimately there are a handful of people who get to decide how and why the currency should be managed.
If they did a good job, it might be fine - But the reality is the decision made affecting all users of the currency are to the benefit of a very few , at the cost of the many.
Bitcoin is different - The rules that govern it, are the rules that govern it. Nobody can break them, and if they're ever broken it's because more than 51% of the distributed power in the system (anyone can buy a mining rig and join this group). For me, that's incredibly important. Rules should apply evenly to everyone because otherwise they're not rules at all.
Local communities can benefit because it removes payment processors from merchant relationships, removes chargeback risk, and basically acts like Cash on the internet.
What are some of the more exciting things you (each of you?) envision for Bitcoin in the short to medium term? Discounts :) We've been talking about the deflationary business model, and during this period where the value is going to go up pretty fast (over the next several years) as adoption ramps up, businesses are going to be giving major discounts to those who choose to spend them.
From the merchants perspective, this is actually a huge win - They get to have lower prices than their US Dollar (or local currency) competitors, and the value of the Bitcoins they receive goes up over time instead of going down with printed currencies. Once this becomes pervasive in the Bitcoin economy, it will mean that even at those discounted prices they are STILL profitable because their suppliers are also offering them discounts to pay in Bitcoin.
Right now we're at the beginning of this cycle, you can see BitcoinStore.com is attempting it (Disclosure - They have sponsored us in the past, we run a 30s advertisement for them per show) but it's hard to be the first one doing it because it looks like you're sacrificing yourself when really it's just the model that makes the most sense.
Not to be the doom and gloom person but in the future what do you think will/would be the "last nail in the coffin" for Bitcoin? It depends what you mean by "last nail in the coffin"
How did you meet/find Andreas and Stephanie and how did you persuade them to be part of your show? I put out a call for staff several months ago, Andreas found me through that and joined the team initially as a correspondent providing expertise and commentary while Mt.Gox was having a lot of problems. Once we re-started the show as a twice-weekly, he graciously offered to join the hosting staff and gladly took him up on it.
I found Stephanie through her show Porc therapy, and a listener named Justus - He mentioned she did voicework, and I hired her to do some of our early introductions and advertising spots. When we went through the re-organization I offered her an occasional hosting role, and never bothered finding other hosts because I was so happy with our dynamic and varied viewpoints.
Both of the other hosts on the show are real professionals, and it's been my distinct pleasure to work with them.
Thanks for responding! Andreas is my fave (though I enjoy yours and Stephanie's comments too). Everybody has their favorite :) I think the fact that we all have people disagreeing with us at times means we're doing the job, and providing multiple and varied perspectives.
What recording tools are you using? We started off using Skype, Virtual Audio Cables (VAC) and Adobe Audition (creative suite)
Now we use Mumble instead of Skype, but the rest is the same.
I edit the host segments for content (sometimes we go on and on and on) and I edit the interviews for presentation, rarely removing any content. Many times the skillset that enables you to have a really smart idea is not the same skillset that lets you present that idea, perfectly, the first time. Our interview subjects tell me all the time "I love how smart I sound" and I get to say "You are smart, I just removed the brain processing noises"
Assuming bitcoin reaches critical mass, how does bitcoin cope with the criticism of rewarding early adopters? Do you see a potential uproar about inequity? Is there outrage against people who bought Apple stock at $30? Bitcoin is a currency that right now, and for the next few years, acting like an IPO. People who got in early got in cheap, but there was a whole lot of risk because people weren't using it much, there wern't vendors accepting it, so the use case is much more speculative.
We're very much still in the early adoption phase right now - Less than %.01 of internet users are Bitcoin users, as that number grows while the number of coins being added to the total pool grows at a much slower rate, the price per coin has to go up. If Bitcoin fails and everybody abandons it, this works the opposite way - but it actually solves a number of problems (microtransactions, fees, international money transfers, automated payment systems) so I'm not super concerned about that.
One of my favorite quotes, by Douglas Adams.
>It is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto non-existent >blindingly obvious. The cry 'I could have thought of that' is a very >popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn't, and a very >significant and revealing fact it is too.
What do you make of the download trend of the bitcoin client software in China? Isn't this a big story? China has lots of restrictive controls on their local currency, so Bitcoin has a real use case there. This is one of many scenarios where given even 1% adoption, the price must go very much above where it is now.
You commented on a recent episode about how Satochi Dice was going to block US traffic to the site due to uncertain regulations. Can't bitcoin work around that? If you send bitcoin to the addresses of the various bets - it still works right? Thanks for your show - I await each new podcast. Yes, if you already have the specific betting addresses it doesn't matter where you are in the world. It is only the website that does not allow US IPs, they did this to be very clear they were trying to respect the US gambling laws.
I spoke with Erik Voorhees about this among other things at the conference, you can find that interview here Link to letstalkbitcoin.com
I'd like to thank all three of you for doing this podcast, it's always thought provoking and fun to listen to. Plus, Stephanie does have a very sexy voice... But I do have a question, Right now, I don't know the answer to that question.
How do miners determine which transactions will be confirmed first and which get put to the back of the line? Shouldn't they be confirmed in a 'first come, first serve' basis? But the development team has made it clear they're moving towards a market-based mechanism where Miners set the minimum transaction fee they will accept, and process on a first-come/highest-fee model. People who want their transaction to process fast will put a higher fee and it will be prioritized, while people who don't care about delivery time will be able to send no fee and be subsidized by those paying higher fees.
*edit: As well, do you still plan on using some time on the show to go into more detail about mining? I think it was mentioned a few weeks ago that the topic might be explored in further detail. There will be fewer miners who accept free or very low fee transactions, so there you go.
How would Bitcoin change our financial system as we know it? In the same way the automobile changed the horse-and-buggy system as they knew it. If you play out the logic, one functionally obsoletes the other. I was talking with a financial reporter the other day who has been coming around to bitcoin, and he said to me "You know, if they were building the banking system from scratch today I think this is pretty close to what it would look like"
Andreas answered a question below about bitcoin and self driving cars, fixing spam on the internet by using Bitcoin addresses with tiny amounts of BTC in them to prove you're a real person and not a single-use bot, there are so many crazy and impossible things that become actually probable when you're talking in the context of a world built on decentralized, rules-based, cryptographically secured, instantly transmittable, person to person internet cash.
I have never been so hopeful for our future as I am now that I've thrown my days into bitcoin. Bitcoin 2013 was a fine conference and a wonderful experiance, so many very smart people have quit their jobs or left their studies to do the same thing I have.
We know we're building the future, and it's a better one than we have today.
Have any of you heard about how in Africa much of the exchange in value is done with mobile phone minutes? It seems to me - whatever the US attempts to do with Bitcoin - there will be other places that it will bubble up in. What about Argentina and other places where they actually understand what damage a desperate government can do to a currency? I would agree with you. Until recently it's been impossible to use Bitcoins on a "dumb cell phone" - That changed recently with Link to phoneacoin.com and others.
Bitcoin solves problems that the world has had for decades, it takes the power to destroy the currency away from government so they cannot do it no matter how much they want to, or how desperately they think they need to.
No government wants to destroy a currency, they just don't want to acknowledge they've trapped themselves with debt and have no way out.
Who invented Bitcoin? What is to stop whoever did so initially issuing themselves the equivalent of $79 zillion in Bitcoin currency prior to it taking off? Is there commission charged on each transaction that occurs? If so, how much, and who receives this? The true creator is not known, he went by a false name "Satoshi".
He actually holds about 250,000 coins if I recall correctly because he was the first miner. Bitcoin is a protocol, a set of rules. It's open source, and anyone who wants to look at it can see that there is not a mechanism to just create more coins by typing in a magic word. There are no commissions, although there are fees that go to the miners who process and verify transactions.
Great podcast, can't wait for the next one! It depends on the mesh. If the mesh was never connected to the internet, it would be a parralel Bitcoin network able to transact with itself but if it was ever connected to the larger network any conflicting transactions would be "lost" as the two ledgers (the big one, and the disconnected one) try to reckon their differences. Only one winner, so that means there is a loser.
You discussed mesh networks in 3rd world countries and how bitcoin could be used in such a scenario. If the [mesh] network is disconnected from the internet, how would transactions on the blockchain be verified? Couldn't the time the mesh network was disconnected make it vulnerable to hacking the [mesh network's] blockchain? More interesting might be disconnected communities running their own fork or version of Bitcoin, that way if they're ever connected it can be an exchange process (trading their coins for "bitcoins" rather than a reckoning (Seeing who has a bigger network and canceling out transactions on the smaller one that conflict)
1) The price for one Bitcoin seems to fluctuate quite a bit. The most successful currencies remain relatively stable over time (e.g. the Dollar). Will Bitcoin ever need to reach a certain level of stability to be a successful unit of trade? and if so, what do you think needs to happen before then? 1 - Yes! Once everyone who has purchased Bitcoin has purchased them, the price will stabilize. In practice this will start happening long before absolute stability, and as soon as people start thinking about prices in terms of BTC instead of their local currency it almost doesn't matter.
2) If Bitcoin ever becomes a widely accepted form of payment (seems a lot of businesses already accept it), how do you think the US government will proceed/react/regulate/etc. considering that technically only the feds can issue currency? 2 - "The Feds" are not the only ones who can issue currency - They have legal tender laws which mean people MUST accept their money, but nothing prevents you from circulating a voluntary currency like Bitcoin.
Do you foresee companies like paypal incorporating bitcoin into their businesses in the future as a more credible exchange than these ones that are currently running? No. Paypal again is the proverbial horse-drawn-buggy manufacturer- Sure they might go to the worlds faire and while observing the new fangled automobiles say to themselves 'we might integrate this into our existing machines!' when the fact is that it obsoletes those existing machines.
Paypal makes their money by standing in the middle of transactions collecting fees, Bitcoin serves its function by connecting people who want to do commerce directly to one-another, and what fees are paid are a tiny fraction of what Paypal does. If paypal accepted Bitcoin, it would not be Bitcoin any more because they would have mechanisms to freeze accounts at the very least to mitigate risk. That is not possible with Bitcoin by itself.
Thanks for the well thought out response, I genuinely appreciated that you took the time for this! I do have a follow up question, how does one get bit coin in an easy way? Lets say I have 300$ that I want in bit coin.. whats the best way to approach this? Probably a company like bitinstant.com, bitstamp.com, or btcquick.com - For larger amounts they don't make too much sense but at that level its your best bet.
Not to be rude, but how do you expect for a currency without a standard like gold silver etc. to not crash down in a blaze of glory? What standard is your currency backed by?
Hi There. I was at the San Jose convention hall last weekend attending Big Wow Comicfest and that's where I saw Bitcoin2013! Mostly Bitcoin 2013 was an opportunity for people building the future of Bitcoin to meet each other and network. There were speakers talking about a wide variety of issues, and vendors of Bitcoin services who were showing their latest innovations and systems.
What information was presented at this event that couldn't be done justice disseminated over the internet? The information will eventually be online, but the probably 200 people I got to meet in real life will not (in real life)
What resources do you think I should review as a total newbie to bitcoin? Or if possible, what's the one sentence pitch to get a newb involved? For people brand new, www.weusecoins.com is a good place to start For people who want to learn how it works, www.letstalkbitcoin.com/learn will direct you to the Bitcoin Education Project, which is a series of free and very high quality lectures that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know and more about Bitcoin, How it works, and all the little sub-topics that you'll eventually want to learn about.
The pitch is "It's like cash that lives on the internet, and is as easy to spend on the internet as buying a candybar in a store with a dollar"
Would any of you hazard a guess at the bitcoin exchange rate at the end of 2013? Sure, i'll make a wild guess.
$1000.
If and when a large user comes onboard, I think thats the next price at which we'll bounce around for a while, just like 100 became the sticky point after the last major bout of adoption.
How do bitcoins relate to the law? For example, what would be the crime if somone hacked your account and stole your bitcoins? It's not exactly theft of money, or is it? Bitcoins are your property, it's illegal for someone to steal your property whether it is money or not. Right now there is little that can be done about theft, but eventually I expect a class of "Blockchain Forensic Investigators" to emerge who will track down your stolen coins for a % based fee.
On your last show you mentioned the diversity of the Bitcoiners who attended BitCoin2013 - which nation was most represented in your opinion? Were there any Chinese nationals present (we've heard that they've suddenly gotten the bitcoin bug in the last month)? Did the other nations talk about regulatory problems or is that just a US concern? I met the gentleman from BTC-China, but other than that I actually didn't see any obvious chinese nationals. We saw lots of eastern europeans and south americans.
Other nations are not talking about the regulatory issue as far as I can tell, it seems like everyone is waiting to see what the US does, which is not abnormal in a very new situation like this.
Isn't having an inherently deflationary currency a terrible idea? How is bitcoin different from geeky goldbuggery? Because you can't divide a gold coin into .0001 without incurring cost and expense. That's not the case with Bitcoin, so the deflationary aspect of it is largely moot.
There is a tendency to listen to modern "economics" which makes this arguement, saying that the money supply must expand because otherwise it drives down profitability in a race to the bottom.
I think in practice we'll find that people don't work against their own best interest, and while during the initial adoptions stages of Bitcoin there will be significant discounts offered to those who pay with Bitcoin vs. legacy currency, once the market becomes saturated and the price levels out those discounts will be scaled way back.
Right now it makes sense to heavily discount, because the expectation is that the value of the Bitcoins will go up during this period of adoption, that won't always be true and the discount is a reflection of anticipated future returns.
Was it bad when people saved money in banks that paid 10% interest? No, that's called capital formation. There is a thought that given a deflationary currency nobody will spend any money, that's nonsense. Just because your currency gains value over time doesn't mean that you no longer have costs that must be paid for. What Deflationary currencies do is say "Ok, you could spend it on that, but is it worth it relative to what you'll gain by not?"
That's a good thing. Our system right now works on the opposite theory - Spend money NOW because if you're dumb enough to keep it in the bank it will actually lose value over time between the couple points of "official" inflation and less than 1% artifical interest rates. The situation is like this now because the fed is trying to make people spend as much money as possible with the hope that the flows will "restart the economic engine"
Too bad this isn't how things work, not that it'll stop us from trying it over and over again.
In the 2008 financial crash, govts bailed out the banks because there was no other way to maintain the whole financial ecosystems of payrolls, invoices and trade, all of which go through the banking system. Honestly? No. Bitcoin would be great in this role, but governments around the world rely on their ability to expand the money supply (print money, or sell debt) in order to fund their deficits. They also manipulate interest rates to be low so that debt is very inexpensive.
Can you envisage another financial crash in the future where govt says, "We don't need to do a bailout, as we've got this alternative payment system" and then instructs businesses and employees to just get themselves a bitcoin address and work through the Bitcoin system? Bitcoin doesn't have a central control mechanism, so there is no group or person who can say "OK - the interest rate is 1%" - If that's really what the interest rate wants to be based on market forces, it'll be that - But if not, there isn't much anyone can do to stop it.
What type of notes and agenda does the team coordinate on before a show? We use Basecamp, and it really depends. Right now we have a show prep thread that has 30+ posts in it for episode 11, we'll probably use 5 of those.
The agenda is really basic - As we get near recording time topics are selected (generally by me, but I like to get the other hosts to do it since they provide most of the commentary in Host segments) and I form a schedule, then we run through the recording session hitting each topic.
Over the last weeks we've brought two researchers onto the team, so that has helped a TON.
I first learned about Bitcoins on an episode of The Good Wife. The one with Jason Biggs as the creator of BitCoin. Have you watched that episode and how accurate does that episode portray what's happening with Bitcoin in terms of legal stuff? Not having seen it but knowing TV, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say "not very well" Satoshi has not been identified, was a throw-away identity that was cryptographically secured, so probably never will.
Are there any conferences in Chicago anytime soon? I think a Q&A in public would be helpful for your show as well as bitcoin. I'll be speaking at an event in NYC on July 30, there will be one or two meetups while I'm there. There is also an event in October in Atlanta. I remember talking with a guy at Bitcoin2013 wearing a shirt that said "BitcoinChicago" so I'd suggest looking for a user-group.
We're planning on doing Q&As often, but none of us are really near Chicago so it's tough. Happy to do virtual Q&As over skype, live or recorded.
Oh dear. You're not all perfectly grammatical orators on the first try? I'm crushed! I really value my own time, and I know other people out there do too. I try to make the show as information dense as possible, thats the criteria we've been operating under from really day one.
We're actually talking about cutting the show in half and releasing it more often (still recording the same amount) because people can get tired of listening to such dense content for an hour or more.
US Treasury recently issued a directive stating they would be monitoring any entity attempting to exchange virtual currency for USD (or any other currency, goods, or services), indicating that federal authorities take a dim view of what amounts to private coinage. Do you anticipate a Supreme Court case here defining what is and is not private coinage? 2.And given bitcoin's noted extra-legal uses, do you have any indication it is being decrypted by NSA? 3.Taking it a step further, do you think it could be a national security-sponsored international sieve for money laundering? It may eventually go to Supreme Court.
I think the market has done fine for bitcoin so far. I think the market will continue to take care of bitcoin. The idea of giving in willingly to regulation makes me cringe. There are two camps. Some people think that regulation is inevitable, and since it's going to happen anyways it's better to participate in the process and try to make it less bad. The other side thinks that by participating, you accept their authority to regulate it when really they have no right to regulate money and have proven to do a very bad job at it now for quite a number of years.
Thanks so much for doing this, I love the Bitcoin system, but hate the volatility. How do you recommend dealing with that? I've heard to convert it quickly to the currency of choice after any exchange has been made to avoid any more changes to the price. The easy solution is just buy and hold - If you need to buy something, do it when you need to and not before. Do not pre-order anything.
What is your prediction of the price for 1 btc in USD, exactly one year from now? Just for fun, since I know it is impossible to even guess the day to day price swings. As a wild guess number I'd say $1000 or less than a dollar. Very little middleground because if it's regulated out of existence it will still exist, but be hard to find and cheap - If adoption continues to path the price should accelerate with wild spikes up and down.
My partner is buying into bitcoin as well as litecoin. Any advice for him? (I personally don't understand it) Don't panic, invest for the long term, and don't buy any more than you can afford to lose 100% of because there are still things that could dramatically reduce the price of bitcoin (mostly regulatory stuff, I answered this elsewhere in the thread)
Hello, I just wrote a long post about the functions of using BTC to facilitate a 'free bank' using the principals of free money, similar to the WIR bank. Link to en.wikipedia.org Do you think that something like this would be possible using Bitcoin? Probably. Not really my area of expertise.
Why did bits take a dive at the same time gold took a tank? I don't pay attention to price, sorry.
We take full credit for any rise and blame others for any decline. Feel free to tip us from your gains! Lol.
Just wanted to say I love your show. I encourage you to please continue making high-quality podcast episodes. Thank you. I'm really excited to be able to be a journalist in such an exciting field in a time when journalism is under attack. Not sure if you've been following the so-called "AP scandal" but now is a weird time to be trying to report the truth in this world, and we couldn't have picked a more controversial topic to the global macro picture.
Bitcoins are the stupidest investment anyone could ever make. Pass. Link to static.quickmeme.com
Unfortunately, quickmeme doesn't let you copy image urls directly. Link to i.qkme.me
Yes, but they started being worth a set value. bitcoin was never backed by anything so its value was kind of made up. how do you expect to make a non goverment currency anybody with a computer can print to retain value? Because the pie is only so large, the more people who have computers devoted to the work just each get a smaller and smaller piece.
The rate of issuance for Bitcoin is currently 25 bitcoins every 10 minutes. Only one person or pool gets the whole 25 bitcoins, it's a race to find them. If there are 10 people looking, chances are pretty good you'll find some. If there are 100,000,000 people looking, chances are much less good that you'll find them first, but if there are that many people looking those 25 coins are probably worth a whole lot more.
The system is self balancing in this way, unlike the government currency system where they create 65 billion USD worth of new value every month to buy mortgage backed securities for face value to try and prop up the market. With more than a trillion USD being added in this way each year, how can a government currency retain its value?
Because the governments "pie" does infact have limits to making it, and only dropped gold standard after over 150 years of the doller having a defined worth, unlike bitcoin, where a random hacker can just print endless money. I'd direct you to security researcher Dan Kaminsky. Link to www.businessinsider.com
You'll find it's a little harder than you're describing. Like, impossible.
Last updated: 2013-05-29 11:06 UTC
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