Are Stock Market Prices an Accurate Reflection of the Value of Your Stock Portfolio?

stock-priceThe usual description of any market assumes that every trader wishes to purchase or sell a known quantity at each possible price.  All the traders come together, and in one way or another price is found that clears the market – that is, makes the quantity demanded as close as possible to the quantity supplied.

After all it has been said by the authoritative stock trader W. Haddad of B.K. Labovitch that ultimately economics is supply and demand.

This may or may not be an adequate description of the markets for consumer goods, but it is clearly inadequate when describing security markets.  The value of any capital asset depends on its future prospects, which are almost always uncertain.  Any information that bears on such prospects may lead to a, which s we know are always uncertain.  Any information that depends on its future prospects may lead to a revised estimate of value.  The fact that a knowledgeable trader is willing to buy or sell some quantity of a security or commodity at a particular price is bound to be information just of that sort.  Offers to trade May this affect other offers.  Prices may, therefore, both clear markets and covey information.

The dual role of prices has a number of implications.  For example, it behooves the liquidity motivated trader to publicize his or her motives and thereby avoid an adverse effect on the market. Thus, an institution purchasing securities for a pension fund that intends, simply to hold a representative cross section of securities should make it clear that it does not consider the financial interments under priced.  On the other hand, any firm trying to buy or sell al large number of shares that it considers wrongly underpriced should try to conceal its motives, its identity or both (and may try).  Such attempts may be ineffective, however, as those asked to take the other side of such trades try very hard as you know to find out exactly what is going on and many do well succeed in these days of rapid communications and access to many sources of information succeed.

Most securities are sold in very standard ways which requires payment and electronic notification of delivery within the standard settlement period (standard is three Business as opposed to calendar days).  On rare occasions, a sale may be made as a cash transaction requiring payment immediately on receipt.  Sometimes as a reward or as in effect a marketing or sales promotion payment may be extended over a longer time period – usually 15, 30 or 60 days.

Sometimes in the case of new issues a payment extension period is also granted for the same reasons as above.

It would be extremely insufficient if every securities transaction had to end with a physical delivery of transfer of actual share certificates from seller to buyer.  A brokerage firms might well sell 1000 shares of ABC Co. for one client. , Mr. Stevens to another client and later that day buy 1000 shares for Mr. Felon obtained by accepting delivery from her seller. Mr. Stevens’s shares could be delivered to his buyer, and Mr. Felon’s shares could be obtained by accepting delivery from her seller.

However, it would be much easier to transfer Mr. Steven’s shares to Mr. Felon and instruct Felon’s seller to deliver the 1000 shares directly to Mr. Steven’s buyer.

This would be especially helpful if the brokerage firm’s clients Mr. Felon and Mr. Stevens held their securities in street name.  Then, the 1000 shares they traded would not have to be physically moved and then the ownership would not even have to change at ABC Company.

As you can see valuation of your portfolio of stocks and securities are not always indicative of the true and exact value of your securities.  Actual logistics, human emotion and even greed play major and ongoing roles.


The First Thing You Investing in the Stock Market


When you are interested in investing in the stock market one of the first things you will need is a reliable and affordable stockbroker.

At one point in time, a stockbroker was seen as a very high priced person that was extremely hard to understand. In today’s world, stockbrokers have become much different, they have begun to make their services cheaper to obtain and in such a way that is easier to understand. This is an extremely wonderful change for the simple reason that you will not be able to trade in any way, shape, or form without a stockbroker.

stockbrokerOne of the major rules within the stock market is that no person is allowed to trade within the stock market unless they are a certified stockbroker. A stockbroker, within the United Kingdom twelve million investor’s trade in the stock market, performs every trade that occurs and each one has enlisted the services of a stockbroker.

So you are probably now wondering, what exactly can a stockbroker do for me?

There is a wide range of abilities and services that any stockbroker can offer you, at the same time there are also various ranges of fees that will be collected from them. Typically, a stockbroker will charge a commission, a set fee, or some combination of the two. In regards to the services a stockbroker can offer you, there are three basic levels that include only execution, portfolio management, and advice.

When a stockbroker only deals with the selling and buying of particular shares, per the instructions you give them, this is generally called execution only or in softer terms dealing only. With this type of service, they do not offer you any type of advice on any action you want perform. Typically, investors that are experienced or novice in investing will use this type of service. Execution only is cheaper and extremely efficient the fees the stockbroker charges can range anywhere between £20 to hundreds of pounds, this will depend on the specific stockbroker you choose.

Portfolio management is extremely detailed and the most expensive type of service performed and dealing with advice is typically a little more expensive than execution only, because the stockbroker will offer advice and views on what is happening within the stock market. The stockbroker at this level of service will also take the time to explain anything you may not understand very well.

Within the portfolio management service, you can separate these into two other categories these are advisory and discretionary. When under the advisory category, the stockbroker will create a proposal of a portfolio for you; however, he or she will not take any action without express permission from you. Within the discretionary category, your stockbroker will completely run all aspects of your portfolio and will give you reports as needs on how the portfolio is working.

Suretrader is a Leading Broker


An Introduction To CFD Trading

cfd-trading

What is CFD Trading?

Contracts for Difference, also known as CFDs, are a rapidly growing market attracting an increasing number of retail traders from around the world.

A CFD, or Contract for Difference, is an agreement between two parties to exchange the difference between the opening price and closing price of a contract.

Contracts for difference (CFDs) provide a flexible way to trade on the price movements of thousands of global financial products such as shares, indices, commodities, currencies and treasuries.

A simple & useful tutorial on CFD trading

Here’s a really simple yet useful tutorial on CFD trading that will get you up and running very quickly if you’re new to CFD trading.

By the time you finish this article, you’ll know how CFDs work, what makes them highly profitable, and understand the costs involved in CFD trading.

CFD stands for Contracts For Difference, which is a derivative product, where you profit from changes in the prices of stocks and shares.

For example, if you buy a CFD on a stock that’s $5.00 and the price rises to $5.50, then you profit from that change in price. So if you bought 1000 CFDs, then your profit is $500. That is, the value of the CFDs mirror the underlying stock prices, and you can profit on this movement.

The reasons why CFDs are a very popular trading product, and understandably so, are:

1. CFDs are traded on leverage, and this leverage is typically 10 to 1, with some CFD brokers providing 20 to 1 leverage. This means that a trader with a small float can make decent profits from trading the stock market by using CFDs. For example, you may have a stock trading system that makes a 30% return per annum. On a $5000 float, this is $1500 profit in one year. With CFDs, because of the leverage, the same system can now produce a 300% return, which is $15 000 profit in one year.

2. You can just as easily short sell CFDs as well, and therefore profit from falling markets. This greatly increases the profitability of a trading system because trading opportunities increase dramatically, and the fact that you can profit from both bull and bear markets.

3. The costs in CFD trading are relatively low when compared to stocks. This is especially so, since for a similar and often smaller cost per trade, you can gain 10 or greater times the results from a trade due to the leverage available. The 2 main costs in CFD trading are interest and leverage. We’ll come to these in a moment.

4. You can set automatic stop losses. This means that it will take you less time to trade, remove the emotion from exiting a trade when you should, and allow you to exit as the stop is hit, not a day later. You therefore avoid the slippage due to getting out of a trade later than when you intended.

5. You can place all your orders in the evenings. With many CFD providers, you can place orders to enter a position the night before. For people who are working, this is a great advantage as they can do all their trading (place their orders to enter and their stop losses) in the evenings, and not need to be at the computer screen or call their broker during the day. Also, if they have any stop losses that need adjusting, they can do so in the evenings as well. Their trading routine with a mechanical system can be about 10-15 minutes per day.

So these are the advantages of CFDs that have made trading accessible to so many people because they provide large returns for a modest float, and can also be traded once a day as well.

Now, we mentioned that there are 2 main costs in CFD trading. Let’s have a closer look now at each of them:

1. Commission. With some CFD providers, there is in fact no commission. This also greatly increases the profitability of your CFD trading systems, as well as the fact that you can benefit hugely from the leverage. With other CFD providers, there may be a commission of say 0.15% of the trade size or $15, whichever is greater, each way. These costs are similar or less than the commission associated with stock trading, especially when you consider that the multiplied profits that the leverage gives you.

2. With CFDs, there’s interest charged for long positions that are held overnight. For short positions, the interest is paid to you. The amount of interest charged is usually a reference rate plus approximately 2%, and the interest paid is usually the same reference rate minus approximately 2%. And the reference rate is usually a major bank’s overnight interest rate.

For example, the interest rate charged for overnight held long positions may be 7.5% or 0.075 per annum. To calculate how much this is for a trade, we need to make it “pro rata”. That is, we’d need to divide the 0.075 by 365, multiply it buy the number of days in trade, then multiply it by the trade size. For example, for a trade size of $10 000, held for 14 days, the interest cost is about $28. Not a huge cost. For a short trade, the interest is paid to you, so will offset the cost rather than contribute to it.

So there you have it.

You now understand the benefits of trading CFDs and why they’re a trading instrument that allows people with a modest float to make very decent returns, as well as understand the costs involved with trading CFDs.


An Industry Blueprint To Stocks And Shares

stockmarket1In this day and age, a lot of things have changed from how they used to be, which can be new and exciting for most.

Because of the large size of the stock market, beginner investors appear to feel overwhelmed as to where to even activate investing their money. To most people, the stock market presents a messy web of options but does not reveal the highway map of clarity to guide their way along way in their investment adventure. The key to investing in the stock market is to become as educated as it is possible so that you know exactly what is taking place at all times. This helps people to make plausible and sound decisions about their money, thus, dropping the stress involved with investing.

The usual person, when beginning to entertain the idea of investing in the stock market, falls into one of two categories. Class one is the gambler who feels that investing is definitely a form of betting and no question what they do, they are certain that they will drop money slightly than make money. It seems that this opinion of investing in stocks is either formed from friends and family that have been baffled by the stock market or private experience and lost money. If someone has personally made losses in the stock market, it is pretty evident that they were not educated enough at the time of their investment in the stock market. Therefore, they must become educated as to what exactly the stock market is as well as how its system works in order to become a successful investor. Class two, on the other hand, represents the “go-getter” investor, which is an individual who knows that they should invest into the stock market for the safety of their monetary future, but they have absolutely no idea where to begin. The “go-getters” lean towards avoiding their monetary decisions and leave it up to professionals; therefore, they are powerless to justify why they own a certain stock. A usual “go-getter” operates in blind faith, as one stock goes up in value, they more than likely will hold it. The “go-getter” is in poorer shape than the gambler in that they will invest like everyone else and then wonder why they receive an unsatisfactory or devastating outcome. This just proves that the typical person should become thoroughly educated about the stock market as well as stocks before investment takes place.

Essential to every economy is business…businesses that started out as small operations that have grown to become money making giants, raising capital by promoting stock in them to people who want to invest to make their futures financially secure. As small businesses start to grow, one of the supreme obstacles is generating enough money in order to develop into a superior operation. Businesses either scrounge the money in the form of a offer from a bank or venture capitalist, or someone that will invest money into a business in which they feel they will receive a high rate of return, or a reap from their investment into a business, in order to create the currency to expand. The most common choice for a business to gain money for the view of expansion is to take out a loan; however, there is no agreement that a bank will offer money to any given business.

What we have explored up to now is the most important information you need to know. Now, let’s dig a little deeper.

In this case, business owners roam to the stock market for help in the form of issuing stocks. Firm owners relinquish a tiny fraction of control over their business and in reciprocation; the stock market provides that business money that does not have to be salaried back, in order to guarantee expansion. As an added bonus, the business is permitted to “go public,” a saying that means a brand is selling stocks for itself for the first time, so that business owners no longer are required to borrow money from banks because they can merely use their own stocks for getting monies to use for expansion. Thus, as the business grows and sells their stocks to people, the better chance a sponsor has on gaining a return on their investment as opposed to a loss.

As an investor, it is to your advantage to efficiently study each and every business in which you propose to hold stocks. The more facts you know about any certain business, the easier it is to make a plausible decision as to whether you should hold stocks or want a different business in which to work with.


Dealing With Market Corrections: Ten Do’s and Don’ts

MarketCorrections

A correction is a beautiful thing, simply the flip side of a rally, big or small. Theoretically, even technically I’m told, corrections adjust equity prices to their actual value or “support levels”. In reality, it’s much easier than that. Prices go down because of speculator reactions to expectations of news, speculator reactions to actual news, and investor profit taking. The two former “becauses” are more potent than ever before because there is more “self directed” money out there than ever before. And therein lies the core of correctional beauty!  Mutual Fund unit holders rarely take profits but often take losses. Opportunities abound!

Here’s a list of ten things to do and/or to think about doing during corrections of any magnitude:

1.  Your present Asset Allocation should have been tuned in to your goals and objectives.

Resist the urge to decrease your Equity allocation because you expect a further fall in stock prices. That would be an attempt to time the market, which is (rather obviously) impossible. Proper Asset Allocation has nothing to do with market expectations.

2.  Take a look at the past.

There has never been a correction that has not proven to be a buying opportunity, so start collecting a diverse group of high quality, dividend paying, NYSE companies as they move lower in price. I start shopping at 20% below the 52-week high water mark, and the shelves are full.

3.  Don’t hoard that “smart cash” you accumulated during the last rally, and don’t look back and get yourself agitated because you might buy some issues too soon.

There are no crystal balls, and no place for hindsight in an investment strategy.

4.  Take a look at the future. Nope, you can’t tell when the rally will come or how long it will last.

If you are buying quality equities now (as you certainly could be) you will be able to love the rally even more than you did the last time… as you take yet another round of profits. Smiles broaden with each new realized gain, especially when most folk are still head scratchin’.

5.  As (or if) the correction continues, buy more slowly as opposed to more quickly, and establish new positions incompletely.

Hope for a short and steep decline, but prepare for a long one. There’s more to Shop at The Gap than meets the eye.

6.  Your understanding and use of the Smart Cash concept has proven the wisdom of The Investor’s Creed.

You should be out of cash while the market is still correcting. [It gets less and less scary each time.] As long your cash flow continues unabated, the change in market value is merely a perceptual issue.

7.  Note that your Working Capital is still growing, in spite of falling prices, and examine your holdings for opportunities to average down on cost per share or to increase yield (on fixed income securities).

Examine both fundamentals and price, lean hard on your experience, and don’t force the issue.

8.  Identify new buying opportunities using a consistent set of rules, rally or correction.

That way you will always know which of the two you are dealing with in spite of what the Wall Street propaganda mill spits out. Focus on value stocks; it’s just easier, as well as being less risky, and better for your peace of mind. Just think where you would be today had you heeded this advice years ago…

9.  Examine your portfolio’s performance: with your asset allocation and investment objectives clearly in focus; in terms of market and interest rate cycles as opposed to calendar Quarters (never do that) and Years; and only with the use of the Working Capital Model, because it allows for your personal asset allocation.

Remember, there is really no single index number to use for comparison purposes with a properly designed value portfolio.

10. Finally, ask your broker/advisor why your portfolio has not yet surpassed the levels it boasted five years ago.

If it has, say thank you and continue with what you’ve been doing. This one is like golf, if you claim a better score than the reality, you’ll eventually lose money.

11. One more thought to consider. So long as everything is down, there is nothing to worry about.

Corrections (of all types) will vary in depth and duration, and both characteristics are clearly visible only in institutional grade rear view mirrors. The short and deep ones are most lovable (kind of like men, I’m told); the long and slow ones are more difficult to deal with. Most corrections are “45s” (August and September, ’05), and difficult to take advantage of with Mutual Funds. But amid all of this uncertainty, there is one indisputable fact: there has never been a correction that has not succumbed to the next rally… its more popular flip side. So smile through the hum drum Everydays of the correction, you just might meet Peggy Sue tomorrow.


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