Top 10 Best ECN STP Forex Brokers List 2020 [Non Dealing Desk]
Top 10 Best ECN STP Forex Brokers List 2020 [Non Dealing Desk]
No Dealing Desk Brokers Comparison + FREE Forex Calculator
NDD Forex Brokers List: Top 10 Best NDD Brokers (2020)
Forex Broker Types: Dealing Desk and No Dealing Desk ...
10 Best No Dealing Desk Brokers (NDD Execution) in 2020
What’s Better? Dealing Desk vs. No Dealing Desk Forex Brokers
15 Best No Dealing Desk Brokers 2020 - Comparebrokers.co
1. Regulated Forex Scams? You Bet
Yes, Regulated Forex Brokers Commit Scams
When one typically hears the phrase “forex scam” one automatically assumes that it is being perpetrated by an unlicensed or unregulated forex broker. For the most part, that assumption is correct. All you have to do is a quick google search and you will find numerous articles detailing reprehensible acts committed by unregulated forex and binary options brokers. However, there have been numerous instances of regulated forex brokers skirting the rules.
Not all regulated brokers are trustworthy
Unfortunately, there are numerous regulated forex brokers that have defrauded unsuspecting clientele as well. Last year on the CFTC slapped a $7 million fine on Forex Capital Markets (FXCM) in a civil monetary penalty for engaging in fraudulent and misleading solicitations, spanning from September 4, 2009, through at least 2014. Additionally, the CFTC emphasized that FXCM had misrepresented that its ‘No Dealing Desk’ trading platform had no conflicts of interest with its clientele. Instead of running a true ECN execution platform where trades are performed directly in the interbank market, their clientele’s trades would be redirected to a Effex Capital LLC, which was originally designated to be an independent market maker but was, in reality, an extension of FXCM. Effex Capital would take very aggressive forex trades against the investors in order that they would lose and in return, FXCM would be the beneficiary of some very high kickbacks, which they received under the table from FXCM.
FXCM barred from the U.S.
Because of their duplicitous practices, the CFTC withdrew their regulation and FXCM was no longer allowed to service U.S. customers. Additionally, FXCM was caught by the FCA in yet another forex scam. They took away their investors’ positive swaps, causing them to only receive negative swaps. Surprisingly, the FCA did not remove their regulation.
Beware of OTCapital
OTCapital, forex broker regulated by ASIC has been swindling numerous investors. Broker Complaint Registry has received numerous complaints from those who have been victimized by their reprehensible practices. Complaints have ranged from not allowing clients to withdraw their earnings to never receiving a call back after they had deposited. Unfortunately, ASIC has not taken any action against OTCapital.
Protect yourself from a forex scam
Before you deposit money with a broker you must first make sure that the broker is regulated by an entity such as the CFTC, FCA, ASIC or the IIROC. Remember not all regulatory bodies are created equal. For example, if the broker that you are interested in has only a CySEC (Cyprus) regulation it would be wise to steer clear. Although they have gotten tougher on rulebreakers, CySEC is still lax in numerous areas. Additionally, do your research. This means reading reviews, looking at various forums, and so on. It is not enough that the broker you are interested in has a regulation. You must vet them. If you have fallen victim to a cryptocurrency scam, send a complaint to at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]), and we will do our very best to get into contact with you as soon as we can to initiate your funds recovery process. Visit www.fundsrecovery247.com for more information or Contact - [email protected] com.
HEALth... A back story leading me to seek some answers
I would just like to share my experience with veganism and diet in general.. Before December 2018, I was in a very unconscious state of being. In 2016 my parents divorced after 20 years, I was sexually assaulted 2 different times when I was 16 and one of those times was in a horrific accident in the same night. Long story short, I had plenty of healing to do on my plate. Leading up to December 2018 I had done acid many times and never had any crazy breakthroughs OTHER than the fact I truly saw the universal energy all around and wasn’t able to depict what it even was till years later. It was fun, opened my mind a bit and taught me some little lessons regardless. Summer 2018 right when I graduated high school I ate mushrooms for my first time by my self because I was desperate, suicidal, self destructive as fuck... Deep down I knew there was nothing left to lose. This first mushroom trip I remembered the ecstasy of what it is to be alive, I cried tears of gratitude and joy for even existing for hours. Internally I began forgiving myself and others for all of the pain... It was life altering to say the least in the best way possible. This experience was in July 2018ish, I still had so much unraveling of all my traumas to do that I wasn’t fully aware of yet... From July 2018- Dec 2018 I still lived out my self destructive ways of being; drinking till I was blacked out, not eating the best, sleeping around with whomever would give me the slightest bit of acknowledgment. Mind you, I had everything I could’ve needed materialistically my entire life.. Both my parents were still alive, I just graduated, I had food water and shelter and clothes and many other nice things that would appear on the outside like I was set and had all I needed. I ate pretty balanced my entire life, my mom cooked great and I’ve always been what I would consider healthy and vibrant even when I ate an omnivorous diet all of my life. I’ve always struggled with dairy my entire life and that was it really so it was exempt from my overall intake anyways. Come December 2018 I was in what felt like the densest, darkest hole in my entire existence. I was extremely suicidal, I thought about it every day and how I was going to be successful with it.. I was truly living out some of the most self destructive behaviors I could ever imagine now. A few weeks into Dec 2018 I started hanging out with someone I went to school with and briefly knew. His name was Dan. Dan and I ate acid one of the first nights him and I hung out and he informed me about all of the things about the Matrix and how it was created to keep us trapped and how all of the things that exist within it; tv, food, media, work did it. I already had a little background on 9/11 and flat earth and stuff so I already had a basis on which I was skeptical on quite a few things already but nothing like what was presented to me by Dan. This same night I found myself being attracted to Dan and what he was sharing with me despite me truly understanding any of it at the time. He looked at me with disgust and informed me that he could see in my energy I had a lot of things to go “deal with”... I did not understand what this meant for some time. I was very attracted to Dan from the jump meanwhile he repelled me and did not show any interest. This same night Dan advised me to stop eating any and all animal products, get rid of TV, social media, start trading Forex and learn how to work for myself... This night I stopped consuming any and all animal products, gave up alcohol that I had so heavily relied on- cold turkey, got rid of my TV, bought a desk and started investing in my self and books... Weeks go by from this night and I spent every day from this night pondering all the information I’d been given from Dan. I was doing a lot of research on the matrix and a lot of things started making sense. On December 31st 2018 I decided to eat mushrooms alone, again. I was still feeling very suicidal. Once again, feeling like there was absolutely nothing to lose. This experience was truly one of the most ineffable out of the ones I’ve had. It started great feeling good and it took a very unexpected turn... The walls started melting, I was soaked in sweat, I was crying so hard, my ego was in the midst of a death that saved my life... During the crying, sweating and walls melting a voice said to me “are you sure you’re ready to leave? have you really done all that you feel like you came here to do? because you can but the choice is yours” and from there I exclaimed out loud “No I am not ready to die. I have so much to do still” My soul seriously felt like it was going to leave my body right then and there if I said yes I was ready..... And from here..... My life completely changed. Dan and I started hanging out everyday. He tried teaching my how to trade forex and everything he could about breaking out of the Matrix. Our entire lives revolves around this for awhile.... I was vegan for 6+ months. I felt great for a while, I felt light and clear. I was breaking out so bad frequently which I felt like was either from kissing Dan who had acne which spread to me, or all of the vegan alternatives that were wrecking havoc on my system, the constant state of stress I was in.. It was probably a mix of things. I apprentice plumber and live in New England so by the time winter came around I was starting to feel fatigue and brain fog.. So I started eating meat again and felt back to my balanced, healthy self. During all the time I was vegan I became intolerant of almost all food it felt like... Couldn’t do any gluten or sugar and any time I did resulted in bloat and discomfort for hours on end... Because of Veganism I tried soooooooo many different variations of diets. I juice fasted for weeks, ate nothing but raw fruits and veggies for a while... Fasted a lot I’m general. I was farming for a while so while I was I felt amazing even without meat... And then like I said winter came and my body started taking a turn for the worst it seemed.. My bile was basically water every single time. It seemed like I had a reaction to every single thing I ate until I started eating meat again... And not every day either- it was a very intuitive thing and I ate it when I felt like I needed it. I do not support animal cruelty whatsoever which is why veganism was so appealing to me. I never ate meat because I wanted to hurt animals in the first place. I ate what I was raised by my entire life.. and looking back the way I ate never seemed to be the cause of issues in my life.. It always genuinely came down to lack of emotional support from my caregivers and those around me even myself, traumas that had happened to me.. etc etc. During my 6+ months of no animal products- I binged regularly, I had incessant cravings all day every day for any and everything it seemed like... I was extremely emotionally unstable... Meanwhile on the outside it was ALL “LOVE & LIGHT :D”.... Inside I was suffering so deeply and just didn’t feel balanced. I was supplementing with Cymbiotika and a bunch of other vegan replacements. The more I heal my wounds and become more of what feels like my true self the more I feel like I am able to listen to what my body and Self truly needs to feel healthy and that comes down to my body truly thriving better when I implement strictly local and grass fed beef.. I ritualize this process as much as I am able to. I still think about all of the vegan ideologies and animal suffering which is why I try to be as mindful as possible about all of my consumption. One part of me says “eating meat will interfere with spiritual channel within”, there is no justifying killing any and all animals, live for the animals meanwhile restricting Self of that which it knows it wants and needs to have healthy life... The other part says “what about the plants? Why aren’t they acknowledged for their sentient intelligence?”, why is all the focus just on animals and how they feel? Why don’t vegans or plant based individuals consider the suffering that may be caused by a plant being disconnected from its network (family) + roots? Why isn’t ripping a plant out of the ground to be consumed considered to be just as cruel as raising animals to be consumed? I don’t have all the answers... But vegan, plant based, carnivorous, omnivorous all share one thing in common which is considering the energy and place of that which you may be getting any of these things come from.. Plants and animals come from the Earth, therefore they are natural.. Especially when grown and raised with awareness and given their best lives possible... If we are all one and all interconnected why are plants and animals given such a distinct separation that one is more valuable than the other? Or one feels more than the other? There is no justifying animal cruelty but that also just goes back to the energy and place of that which you are getting your products to consume from... Getting ANY thing whether it’s plant based or not from any where that you don’t know where it comes from seems to be the real issue.. Being disconnected from our source... You can buy all the plant based sources from the grocer you want, but if it’s not local or grown to the best of abilities, given proper tlc, coming from any place that you don’t know- it’s exactly the equivalent of buying meat off the shelf at any grocer having the same disconnect from both sources... Life and death are inevitable. We are mortal beings here on Earth and for some reason I feel there is a lot of premonition that if you are Vegan you are more spiritual, will be healthier, live longer.. Why do I feel more balanced and grounded when I consume meat then? Why do I have more concentration when I consume meat? Why does my body seem to thrive when I consume meat? The answer comes down to individuality at the end of the day... & the quality of that which you use as a source of consumption for ANYthing.... not just meat. When you eat a plant, you interrupted it’s life for your survival. When you eat an animal, you also interrupted its life for your survival. For what? So we can live... & continue the eternal cycles of life and death... When we die, Mother Earth eats at our decay for food for herself... & it appears to be a never ending cycle... I’m doing what appears to be working for me. But I can’t seem to rid myself of the very low level of guilt I’ve programmed into myself from the times I’ve not consumed any animal products.. Just seeking some perspectives If anyone has any to share. I don’t think I am right and anyone else is wrong.. I just feel like there’s so much information along the lines of these things that it can cause confusion if one doesn’t know themselves or their bodies... So any discussion to distinguish some clarity amongst all of it is very much welcomed... I send you so much love, I truly do. I hope we are all eventually able to radically accept and integrate what it means to be healthy and human and do whatever it takes to be humane about doing that in whatever fashion best suits each individual...
A Day in the Life of a Stock Trader - Blog | Horizon Institute
Section 1 – What does a stock trader actually do The life of a trader is often glamorised by films such as The Wolf of Wallstreet and Margin Call – a view that is shared by many who have no direct experience with the wider investment industry. It is also true that different types of traders have very different workloads. Trading emerging markets is not the same as trading FTSE stocks or the forex markets. Let’s start by defining what traders, broadly speaking actually are: “Professionals in finance who buy and/or sell assets on the financial markets.” A day in the life of a trader: Behind the scenes These are people who usually have a background in finance, either through traditional education (think degrees in finance, accounting, economics, investment management etc) or through practical experience at companies working within financial services. This is to say that the day-to-day activities of a trader is to either buy assets (such as stocks, futures, commodities) or to sell assets (such as stocks, forex, bonds). Two distinct roles in trading can be summed up in the Buy side, and the Sell side in terms of execution. A broader categorisation would include participants within the financial markets who trade securities. This encompasses independent traders working from home to large multinational financial institutions which see billions of dollars a day flow from and to their order books. The Buy Side The Buy side is concerned with purchasing assets, and this generally involves taking orders from management or clients and then sending those orders to the broker to be executed. This role is being gradually replaced by technology, specifically automation and AI, and its hard to see a future for buy side traders 20 years from now. There is also a distinctly bad reputation associated with buy side traders, these are often just messengers, and have been known to treat brokers with incredible hostility and bitterness over recent years. The Sell Side Alternatively, the Sell side is just the opposite – these traders are only concerned with selling positions either the firm or the firms clients holds. Again technology is eliminating this role over time, and today both buy and sell side traders simply take message, and pass it along either electronically through an online platform or via telephone for the perhaps more traditional establishments. Private Hedge fund managers Many successful traders have gone on to start hedge funds with private companies and from private investors. This is a highly privileged position to be in, as hedge fund managers are in control of both the broad strategy for the investments and receives the greatest compensation should the strategy be profitable. Private Portfolio Managers Portfolio managers working at a private company (such as a large hedge fund) is again a much sought after position. Portfolio managers generally create a positive or negative selection portfolio, which allows them to implement their own strategy to make the best returns with the lease risk – although these parameters are often set outside the control of the individual portfolio manager. The same also exists within commercial banking, but it is usually more focused on creating a very balanced portfolio that exists to hedge risk as opposed to making real returns. Analysts Analysts do the number crunching and quantitative prep work for the portfolio or hedge fund managers. This role involves applied finance and taking a close look at various assets fundamentals. This includes the balance sheet, income statement and cashflow statement for analysts looking at stocks. This is usually a relatively junior role, and those who are successful here tend to become traders, portfolio managers and eventually hedge fund managers over the course of a successful career. Investment Banking There are still plenty of traders left at investment banks, despite the decline over the last few decades. As much as 90% of the time is spent dealing with clients such as Hedge and Pension Funds. Investment Bank Traders As much as 90% of the time is spent dealing with clients such as Hedge and Pension Funds. The trader is then Making Markets in Assets the clients want to buy/sell, such as stocks, currencies, commodities and bonds. The other 10% of time is Proprietary trading, utilising the banks large balance sheet to create a positive selection portfolio. Market Makers (Agency) Market making is the primary task of an investment trader (~80% of market making business) Split into two sections: Agency Business – Client holds risk Risk business – Investment Bank holds risk Investment Bank charges commission on these activities at a typical rate of 5 basis points or 0.05% Example – Buy £10,000,000 of BP stock at £100 per share = 100,000 BP shares. Commission for bank - £10,000,000 X 0.005 = £5,000 Risk free for bank – algorithm executes trades based on client orders In terms of basis points, 100 = 1% Proprietary Trading This type of trading can happen in two ways, the first where small investors at home use their own capital to trade for a direct gain or commercially where a firm uses its own capital to make trades to be the prime beneficially of the rewards should the trade go well. This is in contrast to how hedge funds would normally just earn a commission, by also utilising internal capital the firm is able to take larger risks, which tend to come with the larger rewards. Here’s another interesting fact: “Only 6% of candidates end up making it as a professional trader” (Business Insider, 2011) This statement alone shows just how competitive the industry is, and to make a successful career is even harder, with only ~5% of traders ever making it to a managerial level. A day in the life of a trader: Behind the scenes Section 2 – How does 8 hours day break down? 6:00 AM Traders usually start the day at 6.30 AM and start to catch up on news that broke overnight that may A) affect current positions or B) provide opportunities for new positions. These changes are digested, and areas of special interest are noted for further analysis later. 7:00 AM Arrive at trading floor at 7:30, 30 minutes before markets open. This is the time where traders prepare themselves for the day. It also serves as an opportunity to talk to colleagues. For most hedge funds and other long-term traders, team meetings will happen in the morning to ensure all traders are up to speed and playing from the same game plan. 8:00 AM Markets open: based on overnight news there may be buying / selling activity to adjust the traders portfolio based on the latest information. Many traders prefer not to trade at the market open due to higher volatility as traders from around the world react to overnight news. 9:00 AM A common task around 9:00 AM would be to scan the market for short term opportunities, or to catch up on fundamental company analysis of companies in the watch list. 10:00 AM Continuation of analysis or opportunity seeking based on the traders own intuition, experience and judgement. This is also prime time for internal meetings with the team and meetings with clients, potential clients etc. 11:00 AM Here we see lower volume and volatility, and so short-term opportunities diminish, traders are thinking about lunch at this point. Finishing up financial models and analysis done in the morning. Another prime time for meetings with the team and clients. 12:00 PM Most long-term traders take lunch, some short-term traders will stay at the desk as timing can be critical to a successful day. 1:00 PM As investment banks and other major institutions return from lunch volatility in the markets increases and short-term traders get back to work. Long-term traders generally get back to analysis, risk management or strategy functions with only a cursory interest in the current market prices and volatility. 2:00 PM Day traders will spend this time monitoring positions and executing trades as necessary. Long-term traders use this period in a variety of ways, as mentioned above. 3:00 PM Short-term traders now think about closing existing positions and stop looking for new opportunities. This is also where the administrative functions of cancelling unfilled orders, or for long term traders, finalising analysis of the day and presenting it to stakeholders. This is the last chance to exit positions for the trading day. 4:00 PM The markets are now closed. Traders often look back at the day, seeing what went well (and what didn’t). Management will often check in and with-it bureaucracy and paperwork. 5:00 PM Time to leave the office and go home. The advent of mobile internet means most traders are now reading the latest financial news, following commentary and thinking about the strategy for tomorrow. 6:00 PM If all went well arrive home, if not then its likely the trader will still be at the office working to meet the deadline of the day, from financial models to briefing management and clients. 7:00 PM Outside of the general workday, traders will spend much of the evening doing research and analysis – everything from learning about the markets to experimenting with financial models to taking an advanced excel course. Section 3 – Why you might want to be a stock trader We meet a lot of traders, its what we do – and here are a few of the top reasons traders we spoke to continue to do what they do. Love the Game Many traders are extremely fond of the game that is the financial markets. Day traders talk about the rush as fast-paced action that runs from 8am to 4pm 5 days a week. The same holds true for long-term traders, and while lacking the constant adrenaline of day trading the highs of closing a trade that’s been on-going for months is just as great a feeling – the analogy one trader used was whereas day traders get Christmas every day, long-term traders get all of their Christmases at once, 4-5 times a year. Financial Freedom This is not just about the ability to make a living from trading and the financial markets, but from having the knowledge and understanding of the world of finance to make sound financial decisions, whether that be in deciding between a fixed or variable mortgage, or the best ways to allocate capital to save for school fees. Intellectual Challenge There is undoubtedly both an intellectual and an emotional challenge in trading successfully. While it is said that day traders trade emotion, long term portfolio managers trade on intellect and sound financial decision making. Style & Expression Traders all trade differently, from value investors to crypto speculators each trader develops a style and method of trading that fits their way of life and the perception they have of the world around them. If you are emotional in-tune with the wider world, then day trading can be exceptionally profitable. The same holds true for value investors like Warren Buffet, a trader who enjoys digesting and analysing reams of company reports to find what Buffet calls “Great companies at fair prices”. This post has hopefully given you an understanding of the typical day in the life of a trader. If you feel your ready to take the next step towards a career in trading and finance, Horizon provides a comprehensive introductory course on Investing for Beginners. https://blog.hioim.com/post/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-stock-trade
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GunnerMC's Staff Application Enjoy. IGN: GunnerMC (https://namemc.com/profile/GunnerMC.1) Age: 17 (27/02/2001) Timezone: GMT (+0) - England Past experience: I would say I am a fairly experienced player. I have really only been staff on one HCF like server, VeltPvP around 1 or 2 years ago. From this experience I learned my things, how to understand people and their situations from their perspective. I learnt how to screen share and deal with different types of players. I think this is a very important skill to understand how to work with different types of players and staff, because this can help yourself out trying to help another person.I also understand how to deal with large groups of people. From this experience, I had learnt to communicate with players better. I have been staff on a few other servers but they was not HCF/Soup related, 2 Faction servers, a vanilla server, as well as a prison server. All of these servers had a small player base of around 100-300. I learnt from this experience how to communicate with different people, e.g less mentally able people, younger people and toxic players. I fully believe these skills are very important because being a staff member consists of dealing with a variety of players, sometimes in big groups. What can you bring to our server: I think I can bring a positive outcome to the server, helping it out as much as I can. I would like to take this opportunity and try become apart of the team. I want to be a person that people can look up to. I am fairly known on the server, I have played for a few months actively, although I have been on the server back in 2013. I feel like I am fit for the position and would like to be given a chance. I think I would enjoy being a staff member than playing on the server, also I think this experience would benefit myself as a whole, by meeting new people, improving my personality, learning new skills and generally helping other people. I would also would like to be staff because I can see a lack of staff, and I think I could be the extra staff member to help out the team and build a all round strong staff team. I really feel like I can make a difference, positively to the server, benefiting myself and the server. During my time of playing Chain, or any other server, there are always cheaters in the game. Although there will always be cheaters in this game, I want to try my best and get rid of these people and help the people who have been affected by them cheaters. Even if a player is being rude or disrespectful to me, I would never be rude back to them - everyone is treated equally. If I get accepted, I hope to put a lot of effort into this server, making the biggest change I can, I never waste time or be lazy. I want to gain trust from the higher staff, giving my self a positive reputation for myself and showing a good role model. I have a good knowledge of how to be a staff member and like said before, how to communicate with different characters and personalities. I understand psychology and how different people work. I personally think this is an essential skill, because every staff member should understand different people, for example why someone does something. I am a very honest person, I know that being truthful will make myself prepared for any issues that can occur and I understand I should not lie to anyone, staff member or player. If I make any sort of mistake, I will be fully responsible and own up to that mistake, even if it leads to some sort of demotion, I would never not say something that I have done wrong to stop me getting punished, because I know eventually someone is going to find out and the consequences will be even worse. I understand I must take full responsibility for my actions and try to resolve any problems I have caused. This element of a staff member is key because I understand we are left with a lot of responsibility. I think I can understand people better than others, for example if someone is in a bad situation or is struggling, it is a staff members role to help them get through it. I have a quite happy personality, I like to have a joke, but I know when to stop. When I start something I like to finish it, or until I have the perfect outcome. I want to get to know a different side to the community, and get to meet new people. I would say I am a patient person - I am very respectful, calm and understanding. These qualities are vital to a staff member, in my opinion. Overall I am very mature for my age, I am always ready for any job. I am against favouritism, and I fully understand I cannot pick sides as a staff member, everyone is equal no matter who they are. I am a fairly calm and chill person and quite confident. In this job confidence is key, as it is in any other job. I love to talk to different people, I am not toxic nor disrespectful to anyone. I understand that some people can come across as toxic, but I keep myself calm and use my skill of knowing how to manage and communicate with different types of personalities. How long have you played ChainCraft: I have played Chain for around 5-6 months now, but I joined the server in around early 2013 when I started playing Minecraft originally with IGinge, this was one of my first servers. I used to really enjoy the server but I took a break and recently I decided to play Soup again and I got back into the server. I think I am reasonably experienced for the staff job. How active will you be: I am a very active player, I currently am working but am able to play still atleast 6-8 hours a day. Do you know how to screenshare properly: Yes I do know how to screenshare. I have been screenshared personally myself multiple times and I have also screenshared other people on 2 other servers. I haven't screenshared in the past 5 months but I am willing to learn and catch up. I would not ban anyone without providing solid proof or out going a screenshare. I personally use AnyDesk to screenshare, because I find it the easiest for myself and the other player. I use BLSquad screenshare tool but I dont know if that is outdated or not. I am always willing to learn new things as a staff member. Do you have a working mic: Yes I do have a decent working mic (Razer Kraken 7.1) and I also have a spare TurtleBeach mic which I use for my PS4 which I can use if my current mic faces any problems. I have access to TeamSpeak, Skype, Discord and Telegram, I am willing to download any other social media platform if needed. Any extra info: My real name is Lewis and I was born on the 27th of February. I am a Graphics Designer, Forex Trader and I live in the United Kingdom. I have an interest in programming, gaming, economy and technology. In my spare time I like to trade Stocks and Foreign Exchange Currencies. I enjoy playing FootBall and playing sports outside. Thank you and I appreciate you for taking the time to read though my application. Kind Regards Lewis.
I feel like with all the cheating and drama going on with spot fx we should at the very least have a dedicated section on the right for guidance on futures contracts. The shady Cypriot brokers and ones on other random islands are lying and selling a dream so let's take a look at the reality of spot fx... Currency markets are the most liquid and active markets of any sector. However, there is also a great deal of misinformation, slick advertising, and even outright deception regarding this $2 Trillion Dollar a Day marketplace. For starters, a large percentage of that $2 Trillion is traded through what is referred to as the interbank market. The interbank market is the top-level foreign exchange market where banks exchange different currencies. This trading between banks is not accessible to retail traders and is estimated to account for the vast majority of the Trillion Dollar liquidity factor that attracts so many retail traders in the first place. Here are a few of the reasons to trade futures: -Level playing field for all participants -Deep liquidity on major currency contracts -Safety and security of central clearing If your Forex brokerage firm uses a dealing desk, your buy and sell orders never actually reach the true Forex market. In other words, you do not have access to the inter-bank market. Instead you are buying and selling at prices set, and potentially manipulated by the dealing desk. This is known as conflict of interest. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange guarantees each transaction. Futures contracts are legally binding! This means that if you go long a currency futures contract and your speculation was correct, you will walk away from the trade with your profit even if the person that took the other side of the trade fails to pay. This is what we call counterparty risk. Take a moment, have a break and take a look at all the horror stories on forex factory, for instance. Whether you are a large institution or an individual trader, everyone is on equal footing when it comes to pricing currency futures. EVERYBODY gets the same price regardless of who you are (individual or mega bank). Best price wins, it is as simple as that — something that is not always the case in the fragmented OTC FX market. The spreads are also very tight if you trade liquid future contracts. Spot fx brokers also control their price feeds. They can widen the spreads as they see fit and they can really screw you over if they want to. Believe me when I say that most fx brokers don't want you to win! Even the ones that claim to have liquidity providers... Those are nothing but price feeds. Quotes. Nothing more.... And Forex firms offering a "fixed" 3-5 point spread may not be charging traders commission outright, or even in a form that shows up on an account statement, but there are significant costs built into the synthetic market that they provide to you. No middle man, no market maker. Yes, Forex is an electronic market, but your order still ends up on a "dealing desk" where a human handles your order. Or an algorithm... Basically, a Market Maker. He could make you or break you. With E-mini Futures you have a level playing field. You trade on a centralised and CFTC regulated exchange. Whether you're Goldman Sachs or Joe from Idaho, you get equal treatment! If you're worried about Liquidity - 1.5-3m contracts trade hands everyday on the S&P 500 E-mini Futures Contract. If you want in or out of a position, there is almost always someone waiting and willing to take the other side of your trade (24/5) just 1 tick away. This simply isn't true for all Forex Pairs. Low Cost of Doing Business - Commissions on a self directed SP500 E-mini Trade (ES) should be no more than $3.00 per side or $6.00 per round turn. While many Forex Brokers tout "Zero Commission", we all know there's no free lunch. Forex Brokers don't need to charge a commission because they make money off of the bid/ask spread "they create" and then take the other side of your trade. Run the numbers... for every $100 in profits or loss, you will spend a larger % in "cost of doing business" in the Forex Market than you will in the S&P E-mini Market. Don't take my word for it... go take some real trades and you'll quickly see the truth. Zero Interest - If you you trade the ES intraday, expect to put up $500 per contract as a "bond" for lack of a better term. That's it. No hidden cost. Forex however, has a "cost of carry" associated which means interest may be charged or paid on positions taken. Fiduciary Responsibility - Even regulated US Forex firms are not required to segregate customer funds. If a regulated firm goes under, you do not have the protection of the CFTC and the NFA as you do in the Futures Markets. Turn ON The Volume Please - In Forex, since there is no centralised exchange, it is impossible to get a true read on volume. Not so with the S&P 500 "ES" E-mini. Simply turn on the volume indicator and you have exact numbers for Volume Analysis. GS and CITI have huge research departments with hundreds of employees, but they know nothing about volume that you don't know via a free indicator on your direct access trading platform. Just one more example of the level playing field we constantly speak of. Centralised Clearing - All trades are cleared via the CME - Chicago Mercantile Exchange. All trades, including time and sales, are public information and posted in real time. Edit: By the way, if you're worried about discrepancies, currency futures charts look almost exactly the same as their spot fx siblings! So you can easily apply your current strategy to this market, too! A great example would be "M6E" vs "EUUSD" SO GUYS, LET'S ACCEPT REALITY AND LET'S DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. DO YOU AGREE? Source: cfrn.net
Regarding the ability of traders to see all orders and rates
This environment employs no intervention of a third party which ensure the transparency of the live prices reflecting the fact of no Dealing Desk. so, regarding the ability of traders to see all orders and rates which reflects the market trends, the traders are able to have better buying and selling decisions. Meanwhile, the higher leverage is the more risks adverse when it is flexible. #brokersguru #FanaraFilippo #best_forex_brokers
CLAES' Staff Application Hello, thank you for visiting my application, I did have another application but I decided to delete it a week ago because I felt it was not a good time to apply, but I am re applying now and I think it would be a better time after the rule changes. Enjoy. IGN: CLAES (https://namemc.com/profile/CLAES.5) [Famous Rank] Age: 14 (05/11/2002) Timezone: GMT (+0) - England Past experience: I would say I am a fairly experienced player. I have really only been staff on one HCF like server, KoonKraft around 1 or 2 years ago. From this experience I learned my things, how to understand people and their situations from their perspective. I learnt how to screen share and deal with different types of players. I think this is a very important skill to understand how to work with different types of players and staff, because this can help yourself out trying to help another person. I was staff on this server for around 2-3 months, until it became less popular. At the time the server had a fairly large player base of around 300-600 players. Although Chain is not as big as this, I still understand how to deal with large groups of people. From this experience, I had learnt to communicate with players better. I have been staff on a few other servers but they was not HCF/Soup related, 2 Faction servers, a vanilla server, as well as a prison server. All of these servers had a small player base of around 100-300. I learnt from this experience how to communicate with different people, e.g less mentally able people, younger people and toxic players. I fully believe these skills are very important because being a staff member consists of dealing with a variety of players, sometimes in big groups. What can you bring to our server: I think I can bring a positive outcome to the server, helping it out as much as I can. I would like to take this opportunity and try become apart of the team. I want to be a person that people can look up to. I am fairly known on the server, I have played for a few months actively, although I have been on the server back in 2013. I feel like I am fit for the position and would like to be given a chance. I think I would enjoy being a staff member than playing on the server, also I think this experience would benefit myself as a whole, by meeting new people, improving my personality, learning new skills and generally helping other people. I would also would like to be staff because I can see a lack of staff, and I think I could be the extra staff member to help out the team and build a all round strong staff team. I really feel like I can make a difference, positively to the server, benefiting myself and the server. During my time of playing Chain, or any other server, there are always cheaters in the game. Although there will always be cheaters in this game, I want to try my best and get rid of these people and help the people who have been affected by them cheaters. Even if a player is being rude or disrespectful to me, I would never be rude back to them - everyone is treated equally. If I get accepted, I hope to put a lot of effort into this server, making the biggest change I can, I never waste time or be lazy. I want to gain trust from the higher staff, giving my self a positive reputation for myself and showing a good role model. I have a good knowledge of how to be a staff member and like said before, how to communicate with different characters and personalities. I understand psychology and how different people work. I personally think this is an essential skill, because every staff member should understand different people, for example why someone does something. I am a very honest person, I know that being truthful will make myself prepared for any issues that can occur and I understand I should not lie to anyone, staff member or player. If I make any sort of mistake, I will be fully responsible and own up to that mistake, even if it leads to some sort of demotion, I would never not say something that I have done wrong to stop me getting punished, because I know eventually someone is going to find out and the consequences will be even worse. I understand I must take full responsibility for my actions and try to resolve any problems I have caused. This element of a staff member is key because I understand we are left with a lot of responsibility. I think I can understand people better than others, for example if someone is in a bad situation or is struggling, it is a staff members role to help them get through it. I have a quite happy personality, I like to have a joke, but I know when to stop. When I start something I like to finish it, or until I have the perfect outcome. I want to get to know a different side to the community, and get to meet new people. I would say I am a patient person - I am very respectful, calm and understanding. These qualities are vital to a staff member, in my opinion. Overall I am very mature for my age, I am always ready for any job. I am against favouritism, and I fully understand I cannot pick sides as a staff member, everyone is equal no matter who they are. I am a fairly calm and chill person and quite confident. In this job confidence is key, as it is in any other job. I love to talk to different people, I am not toxic nor disrespectful to anyone. I understand that some people can come across as toxic, but I keep myself calm and use my skill of knowing how to manage and communicate with different types of personalities. How long have you played ChainCraft: I have played Chain for around 3-4 months now, but I joined the server in around early 2013 when I started playing Minecraft originally with CP3, this was one of my first servers. I used to really enjoy the server but I took a break and recently I decided to play Soup again and I got back into the server. I think I am reasonably experienced for the staff job. How active will you be: I am a very active player, I make a couple videos on the server, but I hope to create a staff series on the server if I get accepted. I usually hop on in the morning and after school then I go to the gym then spend the rest of the night on the server or do any homework. Here is a rough schedule if it helps: (Normal School Week)
Monday - Thurday: 6:00pm - 10:00pm
Friday: 6:00pm - 4:00am
Saturday: 9:00am - 1:00pm then 4:00pm - 3:00am
Sunday: 11:00am - 9:00pm
(School Holiday/Break) - Pretty much all day, same as a weekend. Do you know how to screenshare properly: Yes I do know how to screenshare. I have been screenshared personally myself multiple times and I have also screenshared other people on 2 other servers. I haven't screenshared in the past 5 months but I am willing to learn and catch up. I would not ban anyone without providing solid proof or out going a screenshare. I personally use AnyDesk to screenshare, because I find it the easiest for myself and the other player. I use BLSquad screenshare tool but I dont know if that is outdated or not. I am always willing to learn new things as a staff member. Do you have a working mic: Yes I do have a decent working mic (Razer Kraken 7.1) and I also have a spare TurtleBeach mic which I use for my PS4 which I can use if my current mic faces any problems. I have access to TeamSpeak, Skype, Discord and Telegram, I am willing to download any other social media platform if needed. Any extra info: My real name is Adam and I was born on the 5th of November. I am a Graphics Designer, Forex Trader and I live in the United Kingdom. I have an interest in programming, gaming, economy and technology. In my spare time I like to trade Stocks and Foreign Exchange Currencies. I enjoy playing Rugby and I currently go to a private grammar school in the country side of England. Thank you and I appreciate you for taking the time to read though my application. Kind Regards,- Adam (CLAES)
GunnerMC's Staff Application Enjoy. IGN: GunnerMC (https://namemc.com/profile/GunnerMC.1) Age: 16 (27/02/2001) Timezone: GMT (+0) - England Past experience: I would say I am a fairly experienced player. I have really only been staff on one HCF like server, VeltPvP around 1 or 2 years ago. From this experience I learned my things, how to understand people and their situations from their perspective. I learnt how to screen share and deal with different types of players. I think this is a very important skill to understand how to work with different types of players and staff, because this can help yourself out trying to help another person.I also understand how to deal with large groups of people. From this experience, I had learnt to communicate with players better. I have been staff on a few other servers but they was not HCF/Soup related, 2 Faction servers, a vanilla server, as well as a prison server. All of these servers had a small player base of around 100-300. I learnt from this experience how to communicate with different people, e.g less mentally able people, younger people and toxic players. I fully believe these skills are very important because being a staff member consists of dealing with a variety of players, sometimes in big groups. What can you bring to our server: I think I can bring a positive outcome to the server, helping it out as much as I can. I would like to take this opportunity and try become apart of the team. I want to be a person that people can look up to. I am fairly known on the server, I have played for a few months actively, although I have been on the server back in 2013. I feel like I am fit for the position and would like to be given a chance. I think I would enjoy being a staff member than playing on the server, also I think this experience would benefit myself as a whole, by meeting new people, improving my personality, learning new skills and generally helping other people. I would also would like to be staff because I can see a lack of staff, and I think I could be the extra staff member to help out the team and build a all round strong staff team. I really feel like I can make a difference, positively to the server, benefiting myself and the server. During my time of playing Chain, or any other server, there are always cheaters in the game. Although there will always be cheaters in this game, I want to try my best and get rid of these people and help the people who have been affected by them cheaters. Even if a player is being rude or disrespectful to me, I would never be rude back to them - everyone is treated equally. If I get accepted, I hope to put a lot of effort into this server, making the biggest change I can, I never waste time or be lazy. I want to gain trust from the higher staff, giving my self a positive reputation for myself and showing a good role model. I have a good knowledge of how to be a staff member and like said before, how to communicate with different characters and personalities. I understand psychology and how different people work. I personally think this is an essential skill, because every staff member should understand different people, for example why someone does something. I am a very honest person, I know that being truthful will make myself prepared for any issues that can occur and I understand I should not lie to anyone, staff member or player. If I make any sort of mistake, I will be fully responsible and own up to that mistake, even if it leads to some sort of demotion, I would never not say something that I have done wrong to stop me getting punished, because I know eventually someone is going to find out and the consequences will be even worse. I understand I must take full responsibility for my actions and try to resolve any problems I have caused. This element of a staff member is key because I understand we are left with a lot of responsibility. I think I can understand people better than others, for example if someone is in a bad situation or is struggling, it is a staff members role to help them get through it. I have a quite happy personality, I like to have a joke, but I know when to stop. When I start something I like to finish it, or until I have the perfect outcome. I want to get to know a different side to the community, and get to meet new people. I would say I am a patient person - I am very respectful, calm and understanding. These qualities are vital to a staff member, in my opinion. Overall I am very mature for my age, I am always ready for any job. I am against favouritism, and I fully understand I cannot pick sides as a staff member, everyone is equal no matter who they are. I am a fairly calm and chill person and quite confident. In this job confidence is key, as it is in any other job. I love to talk to different people, I am not toxic nor disrespectful to anyone. I understand that some people can come across as toxic, but I keep myself calm and use my skill of knowing how to manage and communicate with different types of personalities. How long have you played ChainCraft: I have played Chain for around 5-6 months now, but I joined the server in around early 2013 when I started playing Minecraft originally with IGinge, this was one of my first servers. I used to really enjoy the server but I took a break and recently I decided to play Soup again and I got back into the server. I think I am reasonably experienced for the staff job. How active will you be: I am a very active player, I currently don't go to school as I am in a period of break. This is due to me starting an apprenticeship later on this year. Do you know how to screenshare properly: Yes I do know how to screenshare. I have been screenshared personally myself multiple times and I have also screenshared other people on 2 other servers. I haven't screenshared in the past 5 months but I am willing to learn and catch up. I would not ban anyone without providing solid proof or out going a screenshare. I personally use AnyDesk to screenshare, because I find it the easiest for myself and the other player. I use BLSquad screenshare tool but I dont know if that is outdated or not. I am always willing to learn new things as a staff member. Do you have a working mic: Yes I do have a decent working mic (Razer Kraken 7.1) and I also have a spare TurtleBeach mic which I use for my PS4 which I can use if my current mic faces any problems. I have access to TeamSpeak, Skype, Discord and Telegram, I am willing to download any other social media platform if needed. Any extra info: My real name is Lewis and I was born on the 27th of February. I am a Graphics Designer, Forex Trader and I live in the United Kingdom. I have an interest in programming, gaming, economy and technology. In my spare time I like to trade Stocks and Foreign Exchange Currencies. I enjoy playing FootBall and playing sports outside. Thank you and I appreciate you for taking the time to read though my application. Kind Regards Lewis.
In case you missed it: HSBC trader found guilty of front running the spot fx market. Detailed court charts provide insight into how bank money moves markets and including actual position size/duration information.
One of the things that surprises many newbies to the forex world is that some forms of insider trading aren't illegal. Front running is the practice of taking a position with the knowledge that there is a large order coming through behind you to push the market in your favour, and it's been generally accepted that this is just the way of things in the spot market, even if it's been outlawed in futures and equities. However, a recent landmark case means that this may no longer be the case.
Former HSBC Holdings Plc currency trader Mark Johnson was found guilty of fraud for front-running a $3.5 billion client order, a victory for U.S. prosecutors as they seek to root out misconduct in global financial markets. He was convicted on Monday on nine of 10 fraud and conspiracy counts after a month-long trial in Brooklyn, New York.
(https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-23/ex-hsbc-currency-trader-is-convicted-of-fraud-for-front-running) It is hard to know exactly what impact this will have on the markets, given that many traders will look at this case and note that: a) there was fall out because the HSBC desk execution acted against the interest of their client, rather than the front running per se b) there was active conspiracy with other traders c) the run was into the fix, rather than less watched times of the day. I haven't read the case details though, so perhaps there is actual specificity against the practice. Systemic risk averse (not the same as market risk aversion) institutions may be less willing to engage in the practice, and certainly it seems to continue the push towards removing the human element altogether. -- // -- What's even more interesting for spot traders who can't front run, is the detailed look behind the scenes that the case gives us, as it clearly outlines the actual events in the real world that translate into price movement. Timeline of events 1) Cairn Energy PLC, an oil and gas company begin talks to sell a 51.8% share of their Cairn India subsidiary in late 2010 for $8.7 billion 2) Approval from the Indian government doesn't come through until September 2011 3) Cairn Energy place an order with HSBC to convert 3.5 billion dollars from the asset sale to pounds in December 2011 4) HSBC desk traders accumulate GBPUSD longs in anticipation of the big order 5) The desk trader responsible for putting through the 3.5 billion trade 'ramps' the order through just before the fix, all traders then close out positions. References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cairn_Energyhttps://www.law360.com/articles/972069/expert-tells-of-hsbc-trading-frenzy-around-3-5b-forex-dealhttps://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-05/ex-hsbc-trader-says-boss-ordered-him-to-ramp-up-price-of-pound -- // -- Now for those of you who are already aware that this sort of activity occurs, this isn't news, just open confirmation of what was assumed to take place. More fascinating though are the position size and timing information, which give proper insight into market dynamics. You should read this full article to get the best understanding: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-10/in-hsbc-currency-trade-charts-u-s-offers-its-theory-of-a-crime -- // -- These are the charts in question: Reuters Buying Market M5 volume chart showing HSBC share https://i.imgur.com/bXBN2BC.jpg For all that's said about spot forex having 'no true centralised volume' etc, this is an incredibly telling graphic of just how much a major player can dominate the interbank market and leave a very meaningful and tell-tale spike, even at the fix. Additionally that's 1.6BN notional moved in five minutes. Prop book position sizes for HSBC London and HSBC NY https://i.imgur.com/MhRPGWJ.jpg https://i.imgur.com/krBztbX.jpg There is a lot of information in these charts if you're willing to dig down into them. You can see the size of individual HSBC bank traders' positions, how much they change them, how long they hold them for, and how quickly they exit them. It's worth nothing that the increments on the horizontal axis are 6 minutes, meaning the standard position hold length was often only in hours, with size reaching up to $70M for the NY traders. The London traders had quite different styles, one of them running a frequently adjusting multiple small trades inside their larger position, one of them running a static short for much of the day before flipping to the long as they were alerted to the front-running opportunity. In addition to liquidating their positions into the $3.5bn client order, many also shorted off the peak, although didn't close out in the given time period. Actual spot price vs HSBC trader position size https://i.imgur.com/Qc1Kart.jpg This is particularly fascinating, because it's rare to see the spot price superimposed over the genuine very high volume buying activity. Having looked through these charts, it's important to take a step back and think about how it all fits together: corporate activity outside of the market, leading to a major forex order, leading to the constant aggressive buying driving price up over an hour, and then the sharp position exits causing price to peak. How you would have perceived this depends on your lens to the market. Perhaps it looked to you like a particular candle formation, maybe a test of resistance, maybe a breach of resistance. Perhaps you saw it as a big volume stomp on the DoM. Maybe it was just 'noise' (even though it represented a genuine commercial event). Maybe it formed part of harmonic, or crossed an average, triggered an automated algor entry. But price doesn't move about for abstract reasons from minute to minute, hour to hour - it's driven by real world events that will never register on your radar, like the Cairn's Indian subsidiary sale, which then manifests when bank traders make decisions with client money and bank prop money on the side. Whether or not this should factor into your trading depends on a combination of your personality, mental model of the market and your trading style. But new traders should always be very wary of approaches to the market that can not account for the information that can be seen about how the market operates when criminal investigations pull back the curtains.
10-16 02:23 - 'Hurling Rocks at Caimans: A Cowboy's Tale' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/mine_myownbiz13 removed from /r/Bitcoin within 56-66min
''' In 1991, my mother had the foresight to leave Venezuela for the United States. She sacrificed a medical profession, her family, her friends, and the comforts of her own land and culture. It was before Chavez, before communism, before famine, before societal collapse. She didn’t know it at the time (perhaps she felt it), but she was saving our lives. Recently, I was asked by her brother, my uncle, to give some words of advice to his youngest son, whom he sent to live in upstate New York earlier this year in the hopes that he might find some opportunity there. He’s 17 and fascinated by cryptocurrencies, but knows next to nothing about them. I wrote this letter for him. Hello Cousin, I write you in the hopes that you will take away something useful from my own experience. There’s a saying in English that’s always stayed with me, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” In other words, nothing in life is easy, not money, not love, not anything. Nothing worth your time is ever going to be easy. There’s no free lunch! I first got into trading in 2008. Your dad had heard from a friend that Citigroup stock was going to pop soon and that he should buy it. The US Stock Market can only be traded by U.S. citizens and special types of corporations, so he asked me to act as a proxy for his investment, and I did. I did it because I thought it would be a get-rich quick rich scheme that I could learn to do on my own. At this time I was in graduate school and unsure of what to do with my life. I’ve always been good at school. It’s easy for me. I had professors telling me I’d make a great scholar or a great lawyer, but at the time I was teaching middle-school English in a poor neighborhood of Miami. I had a big decision to make. Naturally, I decided to get rich quick! I spent 2-3 months reading books on stock trading and executing simulated trades on practice accounts. I learned to work a variety of trading platforms so that I could trade several markets around the world, which I did. I quit my job in the fall of 2008 and took my entire life savings of $20,000 into the market. The broker gave me 3.5 times leverage on my money and I had $70,000 of available trading capital. When your dad made his deposit my account had a trading capacity of over $2,000,000. With that kind of margin, I was able to turn $20,000 into over $160,000 in less than 9 months! I was making over $15,000 a month. As a teacher, at the time, I think I made about $2,700 a month. So, as you can imagine, I thought I was a genius! I was getting rich quick, right? Wrong. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. When your dad sold his share of stock being held in my account I was also forced to liquidate my own positions. I had bought call options on the future price of Apple stock, and the way that kind of trading works is that your money is locked until the future event you are betting on occurs. If you liquidate before a certain date there may be a penalty to pay. In my case, it was $35,000. After this, I had the good sense to step away for a moment, to cash out my chips and think about what came next. Also, I didn’t have a $2,000,000 trading desk anymore, and without the added margin, there was no way I could continue to trade the way I wanted to. I wanted to make medium to long term trades, because one of the first things I learned along the way is that short term trading (day-trading, scalping) is, for the most part, a scam. There are technical reasons for this, but trust me, short-term trading any market, be it cryptos, stocks, or commodities is a bad idea. You will lose money with an almost 100% guarantee. I walked away from the stock market in 2009 with $150,000 cash but no market to trade it in. So, I did the next best thing: I bought a nice new car (in cash), took a crazy trip to Europe, and consumed over $25,000 worth of shit I didn’t need, and when it was all said and done, I went back to teaching. I taught at an even poorer neighborhood this time. I had gang members in my class. There were arrests on a monthly basis. Some of the kids had psychological problems, emotional problems, learning disabilities, and many of them were being abused at home in one way or another. This was a middle school. Twelve year-olds. I did that job and others like it because I believe in morality and in helping people. That’s the reason I’m writing you this letter, because I want to help you, and I think it's the moral thing to do. And you’ll see what I mean by that when I tell you about cryptocurrencies and the blockchain later on. Anyway, during that year of teaching I discovered a new market to trade. One that would give me 100 to 1 leverage on my money. One where I could manage a $5,000,000 trading desk with only $50,000! That market is called FOREX, and its the global “fiat” currency market. It’s the opposite of the crypto market, which is the global “digital” currency market. More on what all that means later, but for now just understand that FOREX is the most liquid and highly traded market in the world. After the school-year ended in May of 2011, I took that summer off to research the FOREX market. I read many new books on trading, which were specific to the currency markets. I watched hundreds of hours of video on technical analysis and even more hours of “financial news,” which is mostly economic propaganda, but I won’t digress here. The point is that by late August of 2011, I was once again ready to dive head-first into trading. This time, I thought, it would be even better, because I’d have even more money to “play” with! This time, I thought, I’m going to get rich! I’ll stop here and tell you that the journey up until this point had not been the smoothest. While trading stocks there were many days when I lost hundreds, thousands, and even tens of thousands of dollars in hours, sometimes in minutes! You may imagine the added level of stress I had to deal with because I was trading with my entire life’s savings and my wife had just given birth to our son, Sebastian. He was a toddler at the time. I’ll give you a brief example of trading’s unpredictable nature, and the unpredictability of financial markets in general: I had spent several months preparing for my first live trade. I’d read many books and practiced my ass off until I thought I was ready. I had a system, a strategy. I was going to get rich, quick! The first week I traded stocks I lost $10,000 in 3 days. I will never be able to fully articulate what it feels like lose 50% of all the money you’ve ever had in less than 72 hours. All the while knowing that if you fail, it will be your family who suffers the most. You might be wondering: “Shit, why’d you do it?” or “Why’d you keep doing it?” That’s understandable. After all, my academic background is in history and political science, not finance and economics, not statistics. Well, cousin, I did it because I’m a cowboy. A risk-taker. I’ve always been one. I remember being four or five, at our grandfather’s farm, and lassoing calves in the cattle pen by myself. Men were around, but they let me do it. Although, in retrospect, some of those calves were twice my size and could have easily trampled me, I don’t ever remember feeling scared---I loved that shit! I remember sneaking out and walking down to the pond, then going up to the water’s edge to see if I could spot the caiman that lived there. I would even hurl rocks at it sometimes, just to see it move! Another time, I found myself alone in the dark with a 15-foot anaconda not more than a yard away, and all I could do was stare at it, not out of fear, but wonder. Again, in hindsight, probably not the best of ideas, but I’ve never been scared to follow the path laid out by my own curiosity. I am a natural risk-taker. I tell my city-slicker friends that it's because I come from a land of cowboys, where men are born tough and always ready for a challenge. Cowboys are risk-takers by nature, they have to be, the land demands it of them. There’ll be more on risk-taking and the role it plays a little later, but for now, let’s focus on FOREX and what I learned from it. After the school-year ended in May of 2011, I took that summer off to research the FOREX market. I read many new books on trading, which were specific to the currency markets. I watched hundreds of hours of video on technical analysis and even more hours of “financial news,” which is mostly economic propaganda, but I won’t digress here. The point is that by late August of 2011, I was once again ready to dive head-first into trading. This time, I thought, it would be even better, because I’d have even more money to “play” with! This time, I thought, I’m going to get rich! Trading FOREX was not easy. The hardest part was that it had to be done between 3:00 am - 11:00 am, because these are peak trading hours in London and New York, where the majority of the market’s money resides. This means major price moves, the price swings that can be traded, for the most part, happen during this time window. For me, this meant I had to live a type of quasi-vampiric lifestyle, waking up at 8:00 pm and going to sleep at noon, every day. At first, it takes a toll on your social life, and eventually starts to affect you mentally and emotionally. There is a certain degree of isolation that comes with it, too. You are awake when your friends and family are asleep, and asleep when they are awake. It can get lonely. However, my first six months of trading FOREX were OK. I wasn’t making $15,000 a month anymore, but I was making more than I would have been, had I been teaching. However, I had a deep-rooted feeling of uncertainty. Although I’d had some initial success in trading stocks, and now currencies, I’d always felt, at the back of my mind, that I’d just been lucky, and nothing more. This fear materialized itself in June of 2012 when the strategy I’d been using for some time was no longer profitable. I panicked. I started experimenting with new strategies, which only made matters worse, and lead to even more panic. It is no exaggeration to say that trading is one-third mathematical, and two-thirds psychological. No amount of books, videos, or paid mentorships, which I also consumed, had prepared me for this eventual reality check: I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. I had no clue. I left FOREX humbled, with barely enough money to buy a decent car, much less trade any time soon. The next two years, 2013-2015, were some of the hardest of my life. Harder even than 1991-1993, which, up to that point, had been the worst couple years I’d ever experienced. Those were my first years in the United States, and they were full of hardship. A type of hardship I’d never experienced before, and never have since. Remember the school I mentioned? The one with the gangs and the troubled kids and all the poverty? Well, I attended schools just like that as a kid, too, until I turned 15. I had many more encounters with caimans and anacondas there, except now they had first names, and for some reason, were always more prone to strike! Anyway, those were tough times, but not as tough as the post-FOREX experience. Failure at FOREX took a mental toll on me. After all, I had gambled everything, my entire future on the bet that I could earn a living as a professional trader. I realized I had failed because of my own intellectual laziness. I always knew I had been lucky, and instead of using the wonderful gift of leisure-time the universe had granted me through that initial success to fill the knowledge gaps I knew would keep me from true and long-lasting success, I let my ego convince me otherwise, and talked myself into making decisions I knew to be extremely dangerous and outside my expertise. I wanted to wrestle the caiman! Cowboy shit. Irrational, youthful folly. Needless to say, I lost 80% of my account, which was also my family’s savings, in less than four months. Now, I had a real problem. How was I going to pay the bills? What was I going to do with my life? I was 30 years old, had a five-year old son, very little real-world work experience and a college degree in history and political science. How was I going to make money? Serious money? Enough money to help my mom retire and give my son all the advantages I never had? Enough to deliver on the promises I had made to my wife during all those years she put up with my crazy hours and wild ideas about getting rich quick? What was I going to do now? I tell you, cousin, these are the kinds of questions you will find yourself asking if you do not heed my advice. I didn’t want to teach anymore. I didn’t want to do anything anymore. I was depressed. I had what we call here in the United States, “a quarter-life crisis.” I abused alcohol and drugs to cope with the pain of my failure. I was weak. I was unprepared for the realities of life. I did not yet understand, even at 30 years old, that there is no such thing as a free lunch. I won’t dwell on the specifics of the hardships I endured during these two years, except to say that I almost lost it all, including my life, but I’m grateful I didn't. However, it was also during this period, 2013-2015, that I began to fill gaps in my knowledge about markets, economics, and the nature of money itself. Gaps I knew would need to be filled one way or another, if I was ever going to trade or invest in anything again. Luckily, towards the end of my FOREX days, I had come to realize there was something wrong with all the information I had been given by the mainstream media, specifically on the topics of economics and finance. I noticed that nothing they ever said about the markets turned out to be accurate, that mainstream financial “news” could not be trusted for investment purposes. It took tens of thousands of dollars in losses and several years of headaches before I learned that lesson. I’m glad I finally did. I decided to use the last bit of money I had left to buy some gold and silver (by this time I had begun to understand the definition of sound money) and to open up a brick and mortar business. I did not want to work for anyone else, only for myself. I wanted to be an entrepreneur. The trouble was that the only business I had enough money for was a mobile car wash. So, a friend and I bought a van, some pressure cleaners, a whole bunch of soap and got to work! We were going to hustle hard, work warehouse and shopping center parking lots, save enough to reinvest into our business and go after the luxury car market. We were going to charge rich people $1000s to detail Ferraris and Lamborghinis, and it was only going to take six months, tops! Great plan, no? Easy money, right? Well, we washed cars for exactly one day before we realized what a terrible mistake we had made. It turns out car-washing is a backbreaking, low-paying, and degrading business. There’s no free lunch, remember that. My friend and I were lucky. We quickly transitioned our business from a mobile car wash to a painting/pressure cleaning company, and had immediate success. In less than two months we were hired as subcontractors by a much larger company and I was more or less making what I had made teaching, but working for myself. After a couple of months, my partner and I were already envisioning the hiring of our first employees. Cool, right? No. About a year after we started the business, my partner, a high-school friend of mine, a guy I’d known for more than ten years, decided he didn’t want to do it anymore. That he was too tired of the hardships that come with that kind of work. Tired of making the constant sacrifices required to be successful in business. So, he quit. I lost everything I had invested, because without him, I could not operate the business on my own, and our corporate partner dropped us. I begged him not to quit. I told him that business takes time, that there’s no free lunch, and that we would be rewarded at some point for our hustle and hard work; that we would be able to hire laborers to do the work in less than 6 months, and that we would then focus on sales, and start to make some real money. He did not care. He had his own demons, and chose to steal from me and end our friendship instead of facing the hardship head-on. By this time, however, I was already used to failure, and although I was still coping with the mental stress of having failed at something I once had thought would be my profession, it still did not stop me from following my curiosity, as I always have. It was during these years that I first learned about Bitcoin. About blockchain. About the nature of money, economic history, the effects of monetary policy on financial markets. I’d wake up at 6:00 am every day, paint houses, pressure clean dirty sidewalks and walls, spend over 2 hours commuting back home every night, and then stay up for as long as my body would allow learning about macroeconomics and the history of markets. I researched the nature of debt and gold a medium of exchange. I read about counter and Austrian economics. I became a libertarian, later, an anarchist, and, after almost two years study, I began to discover legitimate sources of financial news and information, intelligent voices that I could trust. I had acquired enough knowledge and experience to discern the truth from the propaganda, and it was during these same years, these terrible times of hardship, that I finally learned a most valuable lesson on money and markets: capital preservation is the key. Remember, when I said we’d come back to risk-taking? Well, the trick is not to take it, but to manage it. The secret is education, knowledge. Knowledge truly is, power. Traders are only as successful as the depth of their own knowledge, because it's the only way to keep in check that inherent, paralyzing fear which “playing” with money eventually engenders. As a trader, you must have complete confidence in your “playing” abilities, and this is something only achieved through much study and practice. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, ever. I want you to know that Bitcoin, the blockchain, and cryptocurrencies are NOT get-rich-quick schemes. They are NOT Ponzi schemes either. They are cutting-edge financial technology, and an emerging asset class. The blockchain has been compared to the agricultural revolution of the Neolithic age and the invention of writing by ancient Mesopotamians, in terms of its importance and potential impact on human civilization. It is a technology which will eventually affect and reshape almost every single industry in the global economy. In the next two decades, all types of industries will be impacted and disrupted by this technology--banking, real estate, healthcare, the legal industry, politics, education, venture capital, just to name a few! This technology allows for something called “decentralized store of value.” Basically, it allows for the creation of an alternative financial system, one where power resides in the hands of the people, instead of corrupt governments and corporations, so that currency crises like the one Venezuela has recently experienced, may one day be completely eradicated, like polio, or bubonic plague. I will tell you that, at 17 years old, you have an amazing opportunity to set yourself up for incredible success in this brand new industry called the blockchain. There are entire professions that will be birthed into existence in the next 5, 10, and 20 years, in the same way the internet made possible millions of people around the world to work from home, wearing their pajamas, doing a million different things--things which were unimaginable to those who knew the world before the advent of the internet. Of course, it will require a great deal of work and effort on your part, but I assure you, it will be totally worth it! Today, I am 35 years old. I run a successful ghostwriting business that I manage from the comfort of my own home. I invest exclusively in Bitcoin and precious metals, and hope to retire by the time I’m 40. Well, not really retire, but start on a much-anticipated new phase of my life, one in which I don’t have to worry about financial independence anymore. To that end, cousin, here is my advice:
Forget about getting rich quick. There’s no free lunch!
Learn the English language, it is one of the tools you'll need for success.
Work or go to school. Either way, dedicate yourself to learning about this new technology as much as you can, and begin to save, as much as you can, in Bitcoin.
I reviewed the website you told me about, [[link]3 , and while I respect, and to a certain extent admire what those gentlemen are doing, I can tell you, unequivocally, that taking those courses won’t turn you into a trader. It won’t make you rich quick. Far from it. In fact, there is nothing that these "warriors" will teach you, that you could not teach yourself for free at [[link]4 . I’ll end it here. Hopefully, you made it to the end and took away a nugget or two. Please feel free to ask me anything you want about any of it, cousin. I’m always here to help. ''' Hurling Rocks at Caimans: A Cowboy's Tale Go1dfish undelete link unreddit undelete link Author: mine_myownbiz13 1: ww*.cri*toguerre*os*c**/ 2: w*w***bypips.com/ 3: www.criptoguerreros.com]^^1 4: www.babypips.com]^^2 Unknown links are censored to prevent spreading illicit content.
FXCM CEO Drew Niv Discusses Firm's Future after the CHF Crisis
Hi Everyone, Our CEO Drew Niv held a Q&A with Forex Magnates which will answer many questions we have received over the past couple of weeks http://forexmagnates.com/exclusive-fxcm-inc-ceo-drew-niv-discusses-firms-future-after-the-chf-crisis/. Please understand that some questions I can't answer since we are a publicly traded company and it may be material information, but we will get to all questions in due time. What happened on January 15th after the SNB announcement? What was the immediate impact of the SNB announcement on the company’s systems? At the time of the SNB announcement over 3,000 FXCM clients held slightly over $1 billion in open positions on EUCHF. Those same clients held approximately $80 million of collateral in their accounts. As you know this was the largest move of a major currency since currencies started floating 1971. The EUCHF move was 44 standard deviation moves, while most risk management systems only contemplate 3-6 standard deviations. The moved wiped out those clients’ account equity as well as generated negative equity balances owed to FXCM of over $225 million. We believe that the FXCM system operated properly during this event. The caveat of our no dealing-desk execution system is that traders are offset one for one with a liquidity provider. When a client entered a EUCHF trade with FXCM, FXCM Inc. had an identical trade with our liquidity providers. During the historic move, liquidity became extremely scarce and shallow, which affected execution prices. This liquidity issue resulted in some clients having a negative balance. While clients could not cover their margin call with us we still had to cover the same margin call with our banks. When a client profits in the trade FXCM gives the profits to the customer, however, when the client is not profitable on that trade FXCM Inc. ends up having to pay the liquidity provider. FXCM ended with a regulatory capital shortfall. Accordingly, FXCM needed to get a loan to cover this balance, which it did. For anyone that still thinks FXCM is running an FX dealing desk, we have now demonstrated that such is not the case. Why do you think many people traded EUCHF with FXCM? Because we are a no dealing-desk broker and offset each trade one-for-one with our liquidity providers, and only make money on trades not customer losses. We published a study a few years ago called “traits of successful traders” that looked at FXCM traders over a long period of time and their general behavior to find what was destructive behavior to stay away from and what worked for clients. The study focuses on what the majority of profitable traders did to increase their odds of success. What the study found was that traders who traded during quiet range-bound market hours like Asian hours OR that traded rang- bound low volatility currency pairs tended to be more profitable. Obviously many of our competitors who are on the opposite side of their clients’ trades did not find this trade to be helpful to their bottom line, as they lose money when traders profit. We saw many of the dealing desk firms begin to increase overnight rollover cost as well as raise margin requirements to get these trades off their system and that’s why FXCM and other STP brokers had much bigger exposure. Why did FXCM require an emergency loan with such tough terms? As a regulated broker we are required to notify our regulators in a timely manner when any event occurs that may be deemed sensitive to clients. When we notified the regulators, they required FXCM Inc.’s regulated entities to supplement their respective net capital on an expedited basis. We explored multiple debt and equity financing alternatives in an effort to meet the regulator’s deadline. The deal we ended up doing with Leucadia was the only deal that could and would happen in the very short timeframe we were given by the regulators. The CEO and the president of Leucadia were here in the office working on the deal. It was a tall order for someone outside of the FX industry to come in and write a $300 million dollar check. This was the type of thing only top management could do. But they see the sustainability of FXCM, and that was everyone’s end goal. We really are very thankful to Leucadia. The deal enables us to live and fight another day and gives us time to build shareholder value in the future. You said you plan to pay back the loan with proceeds from sales of non-core assets so what are non-core assets and will that be enough? We announced last week that we anticipate that with the proceeds from the sale of some non-core assets and continued earnings we can meet both near and long-term obligations of our financing, while preserving the strength of our franchise. It’s widely known and understood that FXCM’s core business has always been retail FX; It is the majority of FXCM’s revenue. However, over the past few years, the company has spent over $250 million dollars making strategic acquisitions building up our non-core businesses, mainly the institutional side as we tried to diversify the firm. We are now looking to sell some of those non-core assets; But, we are not in a rush and are looking to get the highest valuations for these assets. We are considering closing or selling smaller regulated entities that require large sums of capital requirements, but that offer increasingly low return on capital. The latter move allows us to free up significant amounts of cash that is currently trapped. We believe that in the near term we can pay down a majority of the loan. That’s our goal. What happens after 90 days according to your agreement with Leucadia? The agreement says we need to pay back $50 million of the loan along with $10 million in fees in 90 days. If we don’t pay that $60 million, we will be assessed an additional $30 million in fees when the loan is due in 2017. So we are going to pay our $60 million and hopefully more in 90 days and then go from there. To be clear, the financing does not force us to do anything at 90 days. Will you be selling FXCM? I absolutely do not plan on selling FXCM. Like I said we will be selling non-core assets but no I don’t plan on selling FXCM. That is also why we implemented the shareholder rights plan to prevent a hostile takeover. FXCM has been independent for over 15 years and we intend to stay that way. Are client funds safe with FXCM? Yes. As we have said, we believe FXCM’s systems operated properly during this event. I’ll stress it here again, FXCM is not insolvent, has not filed for any form of bankruptcy, and is in compliance with all regulatory capital requirements in the jurisdictions in which it operates. The financing we received from Leucadia has strengthened our balance sheet and gives us the opportunity to grow our core business. With Leucadia, our pockets are even deeper and we aren’t going anywhere. Additionally, all of our regulated entities except the U.S. provide clients with segregated funds. All of our global client base in our regulated entities minus US clients would be protected under a bankruptcy. Our UK regulated entity through the FSCS even offers clients £50,000 per person in protection. Canada has similar insurance for retail traders of up to $1 million CAD. What are the relationships like with your liquidity providers after this event? Many of these relationships are long-standing relationships. The entire industry took a hit here. They understand what happened. Most everyone halted trading in EUCHF, but half of our liquidity providers kept providing prices in all other pairs the entire time. Half of the LPs did stop pricing FXCM on Friday January 16th, but most have returned. We presently only have two providers that have not yet returned, but we are optimistic that they will soon return. There is still plenty of liquidity on the platform. Most banks and other liquidity providers have been working very closely with the FXCM team. Where do you see FXCM in six months from now? We will be well on our way to paying down the loan and continue to grow our core franchise. FXCM still has the best platform for retail traders, we still provide the fairest and more transparent execution in the business and we have a slew of new trading indicators and applications that no one in the space is even considering offering their clients. We’ll still be here; We may just look a little different. Here are a few things we are working to get out in the next six months: Single Share CFDs – We are going to be offering the top 200 or so most traded US, UK, French and German stocks. We are going to offer these shares on the equivalent of NDD in FX. Improving CFD execution – Sharpening execution capabilities to match some of the benefits of our FX capabilities for Index and Energy CFDs to remove restrictions on stops and limits, allowing APIs, along with tighter spreads. Market Depth in FX – clients will be able to see the depth of liquidity which will provide them more transparency with execution quality and allow them to make more informed trading decisions. Real Volume indicators – clients will have a real volume ticker of all trades done on the FXCM system, which will show clients’ actual order flow; they can see directional volume, so long, short, net or total volume as well as balance on volume per instrument; and finally we have an indicator to show the ratio of real volume divided into transactions per period. These indicators will let clients compare our trading activity against other independent providers who also publish volumes like the CME, and clients will be able to compare execution. Sentiment Index – We will be providing FXCM’s client sentiment data in real-time as a default on the platform so clients can see where the rest of the clients are. These software updates and platform features are bringing much more transparency to the retail FX market aimed at improving the client experience in the market. With your stock price so low, is that an indication of the health of your company? While it is true that FXCM’s stock price dropped after the events of January 15th, we do not believe that the present stock price is indicative of the health of the company. The stock price does not impact our day to day operations as a company. With the injection of cash from the Leucadia financing, the core retail business is functioning completely as normal. We have excess regulatory capital in all our regulated entities and never had to pause trading or interrupt client’s trading experience. As we announced in our business update, daily volume on the retail side was on pace to set an all-time company record. Why didn’t the dealing desk brokers have these types of losses? A dealing desk broker does not have offsetting trades. If the customer is long a trade the broker is short that trade, so when the customer makes a profit on a trade the broker loses. When the customer loses on the trade then the broker is profitable. Obviously on January 15th most clients lost money so the dealer was very profitable. Even for clients that blew through their stops and had negative balances with these firms, the dealer doesn’t have a liquidity provider that it owes money to. They can essentially act like the negative balances never happened and enjoy their profits. What is FXCM changing with regards to their risk management systems? The primary change we will be making is removing currency pairs from the platform that carry significant risk due to over-active manipulation by their respective government either by a floor, ceiling, peg or band. Given what happened with EUCHF the industry is now looking very hard at any potentially similar issues, especially given the increased geopolitical risks in Southern and Eastern Europe. We will also be raising margin requirements for other pairs as well. Some of these changes will be permanent while others may change as geopolitical risks change. The pairs we are removing from the platform were not material to our volume or our revenue. Some of the currencies we are removing include DKK, SGD, HKD, PLN and CZK. FXCM made some material changes in margin requirements for clients. Are those changes permanent or temporary in nature? When you look at some of the changes we made to margin requirements, look at them in three different categories: 1. Some of the changes we made were required by regulators, and therefore we had to comply with these changes. 2. When you look at emerging market currencies, the banks and our liquidity providers were raising margin requirements to eliminate any potential risk of large gaps. 3. Previously liquid Western country currencies, like the DKK or CHF, which now carry risk because they are manipulated currencies, have become less liquid. Despite what the media thinks about leverage, we know the clients like it and want more, it’s the number 1 or number 2 request our sales staff has been getting the past week. We understand the importance of this to our clients but we just need to be smart about it moving forward. What is Black Thursday’s long-term impact on the retail foreign exchange industry? In what ways has it changed the direction the industry is going? Banks are raising their margin requirements, too. A lot of these currencies that carry any type of geopolitical risk with them are going to lose support and liquidity. Investors always had little faith in emerging market currencies but always believed in Western countries’ currencies even if they were manipulated in some way, but that’s gone. Switzerland is a Western country and if they can pull the shenanigans they did with their currency, what’s to say other western countries won’t do the same? The market is going to be very sceptical as they can only stand to lose; The risk is just too high now. It’s too bad really as these pairs historically had low volatility, were range-bound and were very profitable trades for clients.
Tips for avoiding card fees and banking charges when traveling abroad long-term
I’m leaving on January 1 for open-ended travels, and I thought some of you might find it helpful to see how I am planning to use credit cards, debit cards and cash to minimize fees and currency-exchange costs while abroad. First, though, I should point out that I’m from the US and using US-based cards, so all the research I’ve done is from that perspective. And my first several destinations will definitely be in Europe, so I assume I’ll be able to use a credit card at most of the places I’ll go. On past trips, I mostly tried to spend cash everywhere. I have a Chase checking account, and at the beginning of each week I was abroad, I would take out cash for 7 days from a local ATM, for which Chase would charge a flat $5 plus a fee for converting the cash. Most months, this worked out to about $25 in charges, and I just sort of wrote that off as a necessary expense. This time, I want to be smarter about both avoiding fees and security — I was tempting fate by using a debit card exclusively for all these years. Here is my plan: The Cards I’m Bringing On My Trip First, I’m following the advice of Marcello Arrambide at Wandering Trader and setting up two accounts with my bank, still Chase. One has a debit card attached to it, and the other doesn’t. That way, I can easily control the amount of cash my debit card has access to. Second, I’ll bring a Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, which is what I’ll use for all of my non-cash payments. That card has no fees for foreign transactions, and that’s the main reason I got it. Here are a few other American credit cards with no foreign transaction fees, courtesy of Nomadic Matt:
Capital One VentureOne Card
Chase Ink (business card)
United Mileage Plus
Some Discover cards
Barclays Arrivals Plus World Elite Mastercard
There are many more such cards, so just about anyone who qualifies for a credit card in the US can find a decent card to use abroad. Tips for Using Credit Cards
Don’t let a merchant charge you in any currency other than the local one. This dynamic currency conversion comes with a fee, which can be as much as 5%. So, you’re basically paying 105% for whatever you buy when you do this.
Rick Steves even points out that some merchants will hand you a receipt with totals in both the local currency and one in your home currency. In those cases, his advice is:
Circle or check the amount in the local currency before you sign. If your receipt shows the total in dollars only, ask that it be rung up again in the local currency.
As /protox88 pointed out in a Money Matters thread a while back, don’t use your credit card to take out cash. That’s what your debit card is for.
Ideally, you would be able to put most of your spending on your no-transaction-fee credit card and pay that off each month. That would be the cheapest way to spend money abroad — but far too many places are cash-only for that to work. So, you’ll likely have to eat a charge for taking out money. The trick is to strike a balance between going to the ATM only sporadically and not carrying around fat wads of cash. Getting Cash No matter how you pay, you’ll lose a little bit of money on exchange rates. Credit cards tend to have the smallest spreads. After that are ATM withdrawals (and worst is exchanging cash at a currency exchange / bureau de change desk). When withdrawing cash, it’s best to use an ATM inside of a bank rather than one on the street. I’ve had my debit card data stolen a couple of times by opting for convenient ATMs at a metro station (usually during a night out). The cheapest options for using an ATM are if your card is from a bank that’s a part of the Global ATM Alliance, and you’re withdrawing from an ATM that’s part of that alliance. Keeping ATM withdraws within this network mostly eliminates foreign ATM charges, though there are some exceptions. Again, protox88 has some helpful advice: Alliance members might still charge a forex spread (the cost of exchanging currencies) of 2.5% on your withdrawal. No matter what, you’ll likely get charged something for taking cash out of an ATM because it costs banks money to exchange currencies.
Open a Schwab checking account and you'll have no fees at any ATM worldwide.
Exchanging Currencies Currencies and forex are a huge topic, and one that used to make my eyes glaze over. After a few years of dealing with this stuff, I’ve learned a few things:
Don’t exchange money at an airport currency exchange kiosk. Their spreads — the difference between what they’ll buy and sell a foreign currency for — are terrible. Use an ATM at the airport before exchanging money.
Keep an eye on spreads as you travel. Usually, a currency exchange will set its buy price 2.5% lower than the official exchange rate and its sell price 2.5% higher. So, if the euro is trading at US$1.10, you’re getting a good deal if a currency exchange will buy your dollars at US$1.09 per euro or sell you euros for US$1.11. I spent a lot of time in the Baltic states, and some of the sketchiest little currency exchange booths had the best exchange rates you’d find in Riga or Vilnius.
Also, keep an eye on exchange rates in general. If your spending money is denominated in dollars right now, you’ve got more buying power in most countries than you would have 15 months ago. I was in the Eurozone when 1 EUR = US$1.50, and that was painful. Now, it’s just below US$1.10, which isn’t far off from some US retail prices once you factor in state sales taxes.
I am a painter, one of those wannabe kind working on convenience store to fund art school fee and other bills. Not a grand beginning for the story, I know, but that’s life..
Graduating from school was easy, granted the school standard isn’t that great, climbing up from being nameless artist is not. A slump after slump and I found myself stuck with the same routine of working late night behind counter waiting for the next customer. Filling the downtime with dreams of all kinds of landscape I could have painted during the day. Sadly most of it didn’t came out as good as I imagined in reality, a little bit off color here and there, fuck up with the perspective and other stuff.
So here I am; Staring at another empty canvas a few minutes before going to work, bills loitered on my feet; I don’t even bother to open them. All my attention are focused on the canvas, my supposed masterpiece to pay for all the failed ones.
Money from my parents’ death insurance have all but dried up now, I only had this empty canvas and a few others as the only way to bail out from being homeless. My family home occupied quite a large plot of land, and taxes…
There’s advice from my friend to rent some room to counteract the bills, but the thought of someone else walking inside our house, using my parents bedroom and shits on their toilet is no go for me. My social anxiety really hits at it worst.
Discarding all negative thoughts from my head. I closed my eyes; Clenching it tightly even. Brain worked hard to fill the empty dark space with a majestic landscape. Yet, what I saw is the most lackluster imagination ever.
My workplace, just a normal convenience store with nagging manager behind the counter. His face grimmed as if telling me to swap with him so he can smoke cigarette in the back alley. The only reason I was able to stand his tyranny is because of the higher than average payroll, and as if this jackass knew about it, he would work us twice as hard to take advantage of it.
Sometimes I wonder if that’s the reason why no one applied the job vacancy for another clerk. There’s only three of us working regularly apart from him. Me, James, the day-specialist, and Tom, our one way drive for all customer support. Things are okay between the three of us, our mutual dislike for the manager may be a small grease on our relationship.
James are studying for his night class law school. Already garnering enough money to last until graduation and job hunting. I once asked him why he didn’t just put the pedal on the gas and look for a more comfortable workplace; to which he answer “The moment some miserable sap took that vacancy offer you will not see me near this place again; To be honest, the only reason I’m staying is because of you and Tom. I’m still leaving after graduating though.”
Tom is one of those people seem to be bred for the purpose of customer support. Outgoing, cheerful, not blowing up when the customer asked stupid questions. On his day off he would be climbing mountains or snorkeling some mythical saltwater filled with fishes and coral I have never seen before.
His souvenir for me is always a dozen of landscape photos, which is a gold pile for me. I always found it to be pretty funny, a landscape painter who is afraid of going outside because he can't paint while someone is watching, or worried that someone might be; So he only could sit inside his room, staring at his friend’s photos before magically transferring it into the canvas. Oh, how the wolf would howl at the moon. Desiring it despite incapable of reaching it. There’s often times I began to question my life choices, but I no longer have any money to start learning other trades. So here I am, sitting on plastic chair with eyes closed in front of empty canvas hating my boss and contemplating my life. Nope, this isn’t going to work. Not today at least. I put the canvas cover back, covering my failure of creating some art worthy of a penny once again. Barely stood up before my hand phone vibrate on my desk. A message from James asking me if I’m available to replace him right now, a few hours before schedule. Apparently he just remembered an important assignment due tomorrow, and that Stalin-reborn-and-worse doesn’t allow him to work on it during downtime.
Sure, why not, I’m not doing anything productive anyway. Might as well get some extra cash.
The day was uneventful. Average number of customer, average number of unclear scolding, average number of extra hours to pay for not-so-average bills.
Tom, being an amazing person that he is. Offered a night out at local bar nearby after we closed the store. Being a poor sob that I am, rarely went out to night entertainment and currently near bankruptcy, almost instantly refuse his good intentions. The keyword is ‘almost’ , as he finished his sentence with two first drinks on his tab. Free alcohol during rough times is as good as water for fishes, and I am a big, thirsty fish right now.
The bar itself is nothing stellar, no young underage kids doing drugs or puking in the corner. Although I have to give A+ for their beverages collection.
So here I am, trying not to abuse Tom’s kindness, ordered a simple drink before he does it for me; No mixes, no fancy name, just your normal convenience store middle-class alcohol I recognized on their shelf.
The bartender gives me a stern look, as if asking what I’m doing there.
“Easy there John, he is with me. Be kind to him.” said Tom from behind me.
The so-called John just grunted and went to grab some glasses for both of us while pointing to a table in the middle of the room.
“What’s the deal with him?” I asked Tom after we sit on our destined table.
“I forgot to tell you, John only serve to old-timer and their friends. Visit a few times and perhaps he will acknowledge you as customer; if not?, better don’t try to come here without me. John is a bit eccentric, but nothing could beat his drinks.” Now, that’s one weird business practice. I want to ask more about it, but Tom was already busy answering greetings from fellow customer. So I had to satisfy my curiosity with a good look around the bar. Wondering how good his drinks is to be able to maintain steady flow of customer with low rate of first-timers.
A good bump on the table made me turn my head with the acceleration of Ferrari. John’s face is right in front of me once again with previous stern look, making me wonder if that’s his normal expression. His eyes are locked at me, silently ordered me to stay still on my chair and be nice.
“Thanks John, you are quick as always!” Tom already finished his greetings and nonchalantly tapping John’s shoulder without a care of showdown between us.
“Umm.. I haven’t ordered yet.” My brittle voice slowly raise a question in response of three unknown liquor John brought. Trying my best to avoid the rage of the bartender in front of me.
“Those two are your initiation drink. John will measure your worth and bravery for a fair price of half the usual, which of course, went into my tab. A great deal is it not?” Tom smirked on me, as if he just shared a surefire way to get rich quick on Forex.
I normally would jump at any deal for half the price, being as broke as homeless right now; But still,I am not that desperate enough to just accept suspicious drink for someone who is staring dagger on me, at least if he’s not twice as big as I am and the drink is payed by someone to console me.
The first drink torches my throat, and I can't remember the second one, as well as the rest of the night.
Tom’s laugh and John’s face is all I could remember before everything went fuzzy. although John’s smiling face is somewhat disturbing enough for me to doubt its accuracy. Made me seriously reconsider the value of gap moe.
I woke up the morning after with serious hangover and lack of water in my system; After bumping into all edges on my house furniture, I finally reach the fridge and get a nice cool bottled water to reinvigorate it.
Not too soon after finishing the whole bottle, I heard my phone ringtone from somewhere inside the house. I followed the sound into my bedroom, where the phone just laid itself on the bed.
The screen showed the current call is from Tom, as well as plethora of missed call and message. 13:04 is current time, damn that was one serious hangover.
I raised the phone to my ear and accept the call. Almost missing the ear-hole due to how dizzy I am still.
“Yo Tom, what’s up?”
“Your goddamn ass is up. Where the hell have you been!? “
“Well, maybe I have a hangover? Because last night someone took me to a bar and serve me some weird stuff.”
“Don’t you read my message man!? Barry is dead, they found him laid on top of the counter with store’s money scattered on top of him! The police is looking for you right now because you didn't answer their call!”
“Barry? Barry who?”
“Barry our shitty manager you slowpoke! Our boss is dead and you better call the police station right-”
I couldn’t hear what else Tom had to say, as the phone dropped to the floor as soon as I opened the canvas on the side of my bed.
Someone had moved it here from my study room, and only managed to pull cover over half of it, revealing obvious sign of a painting hidden beneath it.
A monstrous and horrifying painting, the exact same layout as I imagined it before going out to work yesterday, albeit with one addition.
A body, laid atop the counter, with blood dripping from it onto the floor. His eyes look directly to me from inside the painting with the same grim; death grim.
My knees gave out and fell to the floor. My eyes directly in front of a scratch of red paint on bottom corner of the painting. A signature.
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