Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Good Technical Analysis Education For Trading Stocks

Technical analysis education is the key to successful stock trading. While a number of long-term investors focus primarily on fundamentals, as traders we know that the price movement reflects most accurately what the market thinks of the stock, so we make our decisions based on the technical analysis of price movement. Technical analysis is critical. Without it, you don't stand a chance at trading profitably.
So it should go without saying that good technical analysis education is the foundation of a profit-producing trader. Some fundamentals of good technical analysis are pivot points, volume shifting and stochastics, moving averages, and trends. Here today, I'd like to focus on trends. I'm sure you've heard it before, but I'm going to say it again, "The Trend is Your Friend".
If you ignore trends, they'll smack you on the side of the head with as many losses as it takes to get your attention. But if you take the time to get to know the trend, understanding its movements, its strengths and weaknesses, you can use its leverage to your advantage. Get to know the market trend.
Before going any further, I'd like to point out the difference between the market trend and current price movement. Pretty basic stuff, but it's important and so foundational to successful trading. Here's the distinction:
A trend can be moving in one direction, while the current price movement fluctuates up and down. For example, the trend can be moving up, but that price at any given moment may be moving down. The price might be going down for a short time, but the overall trend is still pointing up.
So what does that mean to us as traders? Well, think of the trend as a magnet that's pulling the stock in a certain direction. Sure, the stock price is untamed, moving up and down, seemingly at whim. But the larger trend is clearly pulling the stock in a certain direction. So the probability of the stock going with the trend is always greater than the stock moving against the trend. This means that if a stock is moving in a downward trend, it's always a safer bet to open a position as the price movement also trends down.
Therefore, in technical analysis education, the first rule of the trend is to open trading positions when trend and price movement match.
And how do we recognize trends? Well, there are a number of stock trading tools to identify trends, such as moving averages and trend lines, but I'd like to focus on size: bigger usually carries the most weight.
What I mean is that if you're looking to enter and exit a trade in one day, you should take a step back so you can see several days or a couple weeks of action on that stock. Or if you're looking to enter a position for a few days or couple weeks, look back at the past month or two to spot a larger trend.
The bigger the trend, the more weight it carries. If you see a three-month trend reaching its boundary, be very careful to trust a single day's trend heading in the other direction. Large trends get to push around small trends and price movements, so always give them the most respect.
That sounds pretty simple, but can we always trust trends? Well, put your technical analysis education to good use and watch out for these:
1) News- Know that if news on a company or major stock market news are due to come out, this may cause the trend to be completely ignored, at least temporarily. So watch out for the news.
2) Seasonal or time fluctuations- The volume of stock trading can change drastically with certain seasons or days of the week, weakening a trend. It's important to learn the rhythm of the market.
3) Trend boundaries- I mentioned this a little bit before, but it's worth mentioning again. If a trend is reaching some point where the market has shown to be stubborn, the trend may bounce back and reverse trend for a while. It's important to use trend lines and other analytics to know where these points are.
4) And last but not least, the Unknown- the market is always allowed to do something completely unexpected and irrational. That's why it's absolutely critical to have a good stock trading plan and money management strategy with risk vs. reward ratios firmly in place.
Spotting trends and moving with price movements takes a good deal of practice and quality technical analysis education. So don't skimp on your learning. Spend the time, and when necessary the money, to prepare yourself to be a successful trader. Below are a few great sources that will educate you via. demo trading and back testing.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Skills Equals Opportunity For Educators

To many in the 30-something and beyond generations, YouTube is a strange phenomenon and a somewhat confusing business concept. Older generations do not fully understand what YouTube is about and generally avoid it. 'Kids' spending hour after hour on the computer making & sending silly video clips to each other: "What is that all about? In my day..."
Well, YouTube (and other video sharing web sites) are here to stay and that is that. And if they are here to stay, can they be used in the field of education?
Or more accurately
1. Can the skills 'kids' are picking up in using video creation and sharing be used in education?
2. Can the making of educational videos by students be used in the classroom and how beneficial might this be in improving student understand a topic?
3. Would a 'hands-on' approach to make a video essay allow students to better retain what they are learning?
This article will argue that the short answer to each of these questions is 'yes'. The key is how is it to be done and what resources are out there to help.
Kids today love making videos and sharing them via YouTube (and other video sharing web-sites). Surely these interests and skills could (and should) be harnessed? After all, what is the traditional (boring?) approach to education?
You are given an essay to write/a project to complete. To write the essay, you need to do some research; read a little; take notes; produce a 1000 word essay. Hand it in. Your teacher reads it. You get your mark. You move on and apart from revision, you never see the essay again.
What about if the end product was not a written report but one you produced as a video documentary?
Everything is the same until you get to the 'writing' stage. Tell the story you would previously have written down using visuals. Make a commentary using your notes. Tell the story. Find some suitable video clips. Go and make your own video clips. Bring in your own photographs. Make a video essay/documentary. Hand in the finished masterpiece. The teacher can then watch it or share is with the class. Promote discussion. Compare approaches to the project. Finally upload the video to the school/college web site or YouTube. In other words, the video approach opens more opportunities to learn then the written word.
So in a sentence:
Don't Write An Essay See An Essay
But what is the current state of video use (and the use of YouTube) in education?
Even in 2009, simply using YouTube as a tool for education is seen as quite radical: in a popular web site and forum for history teachers in the UK  a recent talking point was a short segment on the BBC news channel where this 'radical' idea was aired (search 'Roy Huggins school history' on YouTube). What is most interesting about this interview and the general comments on the forum afterward is the thought that these videos have to be made by the teacher community. 'Lets make videos for students and share them', is the current thinking. No discussion of letting the students make the video.
The BBC introduced an annual 'School Report' project whereby school students spend a day making new reports for broadcast on television (although mainly aimed at school web sites). The main point here is that students are encouraged to think about what goes into a news broadcast as well as the technical aspects of making the news report.
Another development is the development of a new degree course based on YouTube: "YouTube for Educators" through the Boise State University Department of Educational Technology.
A short introduction to the course is shown here, 'This is an academic course for students in an advanced educational technology program. It is my belief that YouTube, and video-sharing in general, cannot be ignored within a field of emergent technologies for learning. YouTube is having an impact on society, politics, and the lives of individuals from all walks of life.' (Search YouTube for 'csnelsonbsu ').
But this course is still a step behind giving video clips to students to create mini video documentaries.
In summary, the use of video as an educating tool is slowing creeping along the corridors of the educational establishments. But it is still dominated by a teacher-centered approach.
It is the teacher who creates.
It is the teacher who uses his/her imagination.
It is the student that watches.
To turn this around and make better use of the medium of video, students need to be given control. Students should be allowed to use their imagination and create, not teachers.
Clearly there are hurdles to be overcome to give teachers the opportunity to move into video essays. In order for students to create mini video documentaries they need access to computers, the raw video material and teachers need skills to manage it.
Other questions to add to the mix:
1. How would they physically make these videos: in the classroom? At home? Both?
2. How would schools and colleges go about using this approach to education? Group projects? And which subjects? History? Sociology? Geography? Politics? All the above and more?
3. Do schools and colleges have the staff proficient and confident enough with this new communication medium to teach the youth of today? The Future?
This article asks more questions then it answers; It has merely scratched the surface of the video in education topic.
What is important to note and cannot be over stressed, is the importance of taking advantage of the inherent new skills that the young people of today have developed in using YouTube. Putting them to an educational use is a must.
And after all, when as a student of the late 1980's, this author used the now ancient skill called 'hand writing' in submitting essays and reports; A word processor (pre-Windows, Apple, PC's and the 'net'), was some sort of alien contraption only found in classrooms belonging to strange long-haired hippie types. Today, primary school students use computers as a matter of course.
Will video use in education become the norm in the next 10 years?
The author has developed various web sites & products designed for schools, colleges and university students and teachers.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Television News Anchors So Irrelevant

Most people by this point know either subconsciously or consciously the main reasons for why CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox News regulars act like a group of preppy high school girls. Let's briefly list 4 common reasons before moving on to the underlying explanation.
1) The nature of their work as charismatic and believable presenters of information rather than experts. It is key to mention that the separation between 24 hour cable networks and brief "serious" 6 PM broadcasts on basic cable is disappearing. It used to be that the evening news audience demographic was numerically dominated by the group of elderly depression era females. This explained the need for senior citizens like Dan Rather who was ideal marriage material for the widowed viewers and delivered the authority of a small town doctor. To this day a doctor is shown by polls as the most respected wage laborer whose opinion is considered the most truthful (it makes doctors natural lead characters in TV drama series and movies). However this demographic is dying off and being replaced by baby boomer women (greater female life expectancy always tilts corporate marginal profit seeking) who respect Katie Couric's professional achievement and ability to look good at her age.
2) Support by biggest media corporations of Reagan's efforts to reduce funding for department of education (either through cheerleading it or tacit support from silence). 40 year olds watching the news on TV today were directly affected by the across the board reduction in quality of schooling. Television and newspapers thus have to use less big words and their writers are increasingly relying on baby speak, puns, and outright prepackaged talking points (Gretchen Carlson playing dumb to keep her job is one extreme example of this). Shorter attention span is not the cause but the social symptom. This directly feeds into 3)
3) MSM responding to an Australian tabloid oligarch's invasion of United States with headlong rush towards turning news into entertainment. Of course this would have happened even without the accelerating influence of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation conglomerate. The aging of current TV demographic is permanent since mostly those remain who are unable to master the use of internet two way transmission medium. Since the audience is increasingly represented by rural senior citizens who were failed by the education drives in the 50s and 60s, the intensification of circus style hysterical entertainment as seen on the radio is inevitable in the short term. Murdoch's influence must again be mentioned however. Newstartainment ( trademarked =] ) saw a publicly visible deepening split between internationalist media oligarchs (who encourage globalization since USA is not essential to their base of operations) and nationalist media oligarchs who use their media asset influence to help out USA based heavy industry. NBC Universal can be said to be an example of a nationalist oligarch mouthpiece since it is owned by General Electric (which is reliant on selling real tangible items like engine parts to US military and government organs). News
Corporation of course is not as reliant on the well being of United States military-industrial complex so its assets like Fox News can be extra irresponsible with their newstartainment. From the financial perspective it is better strategy for GE's bottom line to support nationalist Democratic party wing of the oligarchy (since better educated/healthier peasants allow US based corps to better compete abroad). That is why MSNBC leans towards democratic millionaires and their businesses. The fact that Fox News was emulated points less to its success than to a transition of formerly US tied corporations towards a more global status. For more information on who the top 10 owners of media clusters are, here is a handy chart (warning: This is from 2002 and the industry got more consolidated and monolithic since then. Use it to get the thrust of the idea).
4) Losing ad revenue to the internet since television news (and TV programming in general) did not live up to its promise of raising human consciousness as envisioned by the first head of the FCC. The internet serves as a type of American glasnost while television serves as a way to sell state propaganda and mass produced TV drama garbage at home and abroad. That is easily recognizable. Getting young people's trust back (to keep going long term as old people die) is now almost impossible and the road of least resistance is to intensify the circus. Some young people watch the news and MTV just to laugh at how terrible it is (that still is a mild boost to ad revenue). News "anchors" themselves do not come into contact with relevant information much since their networks have actively cut recruitment of journalistic investigative talent. Since it is cheaper to analyze second hand information with talking heads than hire sufficient numbers of understimulated human explorers (and pay for their plane tickets, hotel accommodation, security, etc), news anchors come less and less into real contact with knowledgeable experts. Ridiculous cowards like Wolf Blitzer for example, do not get hits to their self esteem as much from interaction with resident stay at home talking heads than with old school journalist data fiends like Michael Ware. To be fair, as Fox News anchors show, there is a lot of self censorship and dumbing down to remain on the job.
***drum roll***
And the underlining explanation is....
National news anchors and pundits are members of the wealthiest 5% or 1% of the population.
Even if they started out poor (which is increasingly becoming unlikely as key people in the conglomerate hierarchy flood these simple job openings with their children) the long cut throat climb to the top irreparably changed them. The laughing playboys on TV are completely insulated from vast majority of the problems that Americans are facing (except of course problems of taxes on income and capital gains and regulations on financial gambling). Whether they work for Fox, CNN, MSNBC, many of them are good friends and are always on the look out to jump ship to another network to bump up their salary. People like Anderson Cooper, Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity would never be caught dead riding a piece of third world joyride called the NYC subway.
To them life in America is great and getting better all the time. Every day is just an ego bolstering practice of either driving from luxurious suburbs or being driven to a place where people put make up on them, where they see their friends, and where they talk to some senior citizen politicians/celebrities (who are naturally as insulated). They sit down and chit chat about the problems of places like Detroit ( which for all intensive purposes is as foreign and distant as cities in Africa are). They are goofy and full of giggles not just because they are professional entertainers but because the anchors that elderly people get their "news" from are but middle aged preppy high school girls on the equivalent of a fashion show.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Forex Education

There is lot's of Forex education online that you need to avoid but look hard enough and you will find some great sources which will get you on the road to Forex trading success. Let's look at where to find the best Forex trading advice.
First let's look at Forex advice you should ignore and let's start with Forex software. There are a vast amount of these cheap "get rich quick" systems, all promising you financial freedom for a hundred dollars or so and even better you do no work, you just plug it in and sit back as the cash rolls in! Anyone who thinks they will get rich using one is going to be dissapointed - none of them work.
Other education you should ignore includes, advice in forums, the only people who have time to hang around forums are losers, who make themselves feel better for not making any money, by dispensing their supposed wisdom or the other group in forums, are affiliates trying to get you to buy a get rich quick system and make a few dollars commission.
You get lots of news online, all well put together and convincing but it reflects the majority opinion and the majority lose. People who trade news stories forget, that the news is not by itself important, its how traders view the news that is and that's why markets always collapse when the news is most bullish and rally when it's most bearish. Don't waste your time trying to trade news stories.
Good Forex Education Sources
Now let's look at how to win and the advice you can get online which can lead you to success.
If you want to win the best way to trade is by using Forex charts, you need know nothing about the news, all you need to do is to learn to spot trends and lock into and hold them and this is a learned skill so anyone can do it.
There is plenty of information on the chart formations that occur and reoccur and plenty of information on all the Forex indicators you can use with charts. learn them, then use basic chart formations and a few confirming indicators, to filter your trading signals. Keep your method simple, simple systems always work best as they have fewer elements to break than complex ones and you can get all this information for Free.
Learn with No Risk
You can, if you want to cut your learning curve further and not have to devise your own strategy, buy a Forex course with a ready made strategy which you can learn to apply. These courses teach you the skills you need to win, provide daily trading support and classrooms and best of all, they all have 100% money back guarantees, so you can learn with no risk.
Winning at Forex Trading
Anyone can learn to win at Forex because everything about Forex trading can be specifically learned, so you can devise your own strategy or buy a course - the choice is yours but if you make a little effort with either method, you could soon be making a great second income in 30 minutes a day or less.