Blog

Blog

With our fingers on the pulse of the global markets, in this blog we offer commentary, news and reviews from our in-house traders and trainers regarding the markets and the events that influence them. 

 

 

Why you can’t read a textbook and beat the banker

Posted by on Apr 22, 2014 in Featured, Learning to Trade? | 0 comments

Why you can’t read a textbook and beat the banker

Recently I have been connecting to a number of different traders on social media platforms. I find it very interesting to find out how and why people became involved in trading (especially in the ForEx market) and how they set about educating themselves about the market. A common theme amongst those that I have asked is research and reading up on the industry. I agree that this is a great way to gain knowledge on the industry and to get an insight into the world of trading. It is always essential to understand the theory behind a skill but it is vital to gain real experience before you trade. It is a common theme in so many industries that people have all the theory and knowledge that they need to understand something but when it comes to putting it into practice the ideas that you have been taught may seem idealistic. Very rarely do people warn you about the emotional impact losing money in the market can have on a person and the psychology that should be understood before entering a trade. Trading is a skill that needs to be nurtured and developed and while having the theory is fantastic live trading can be completely over-whelming. We have all been over-whelmed by the market and our wins or losses no matter how long we have been trading. After teaching delegates the notions behind the market Plan B Trading offer people a chance to trade live, in the hope that people will walk away from the course knowing exactly what to do when they are ready to trade. Experience is key in trading industries and it is important that people know not only how to read the market but how to navigate software and ensure that they can opt out at any given time. Educating yourself is innovative and fantastic but putting those concepts into practice is invaluable. Plan B Trading can help no matter what stage of trading you are at. Click here to get in touch and find out how we can benefit...

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People don’t succeed because they don’t ask

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in Featured, Learning to Trade? | 0 comments

People don’t succeed because they don’t ask

A common issue that I have found, not only in trading but also in many different aspects of business and in general day-to-day life, is that people refuse to ask questions. I believe that people view asking questions as a weakness and there’s a certain amount of pride that would be negotiated by asking these questions. Personally I think it’s a shame that so many people are unwilling to ask for help. There’s a few sayings that spring to mind such as ‘if you don’t ask you don’t get’ and ‘there’s no harm in asking’. When you look back to our mannerisms as children, our curiosity was a driving force for the way we learnt and processed information. As we age, in many ways, it is a shame that we lose that thirst for knowledge and for asking questions. Whilst having a look around on the internet about the psychology behind people’s reluctance to ask for help I came across this great article from Pick The Brain about why people don’t like to ask questions and how to get the most out of asking these questions – well worth a read when you have a spare minute. In my experience, when anyone asks me a question I am more than happy to answer to the best of my ability and explain how and why I know the answer. Equally if I am unsure I will be honest and guide people to other sources, which will hopefully be able to provide more information. When it comes to trading I find it quite astounding that people are so reluctant to seek help. You may be a full-time trader or have traded on the side for several years but when the market takes an unexpected turn – especially the ForEx market being as volatile as it is – there is no shame in asking for advice or seeking out an expert opinion. At the end of the day do you think the most successful traders (or anyone who is at the top of their profession) got there and achieved their status without asking questions? Do you believe that successful brokers made millions by avoiding questions and coaching? If you have any questions about the ForEx market please do not hesitate to get in touch or contact Plan B Trading via Twitter. Alternately you can book a 30 minute, 60 minute or 120 minute coaching session  where I will be happy to answer your...

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Foreign Exchange vs Stock Exchange

Posted by on Apr 8, 2014 in Featured, Learning to Trade? | 0 comments

Foreign Exchange vs Stock Exchange

When you are looking to begin your journey as a trader the first important decision you will make is the market that you want to trade in – the foreign exchange market or the stock exchange market. Having traded in both, ForEx is my personal preference due to its liquidity and how much quicker the market moves in comparison to the stock exchange market. One of the main differences between the two is where they are traded. The stock exchange market has a fixed location such as the London Stock Exchange whereas the foreign exchange market is not geographically tied; in fact it is referred to as an over-the-counter (OTC) exchange and can even be accessed through mobile apps, allowing users to trade whilst on the move. When trading stock, markets have set hours (usually around 8 hours a day) set by the exchange which can limit traders if it is not their full time occupation. People can trade ForEx more or less 24 hours a day Monday to Friday. This allows traders to be more flexible and trade along side their full-time job, especially with how accessible the market has become. The ForEx market is generally cheaper to invest in as users can put down small deposits and there are lower transaction costs. The stock exchange market has more regulations and limits restricting users and can be more expensive to initially invest in. Have a look at this blog from Street Directory about the Foreign Exchange Market Vs. Stock Exchange Market and see the comparisons that they make between the two. I personally find the foreign exchange market more interesting and certainly more accessible but would love to hear your thoughts. What do you trade? How did you become interested in trading? Please leave a comment or get in touch via...

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Forex London Network

Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 in Events, Featured, Learning to Trade?, Market News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Forex London Network

Profit and Loss are a company that specialise in financial markets and business and technology information. They also hold forex events throughout the world and there just so happens to be one in London later this month. Personally, I thoroughly enjoy going to events such as these. Hearing expert opinions while meeting other traders from the Forex London Network is a great way to spend the day. On Wednesday 23rd April 2014 Profit and Loss have secured some fantastic speakers and a great variety of subjects for them to speak about. The sessions are as follows: – Better Execution: Do best execution rules reflect the changing market structure and modern technology available? – FX Options, The Year We Find Out: Is 2014 the year the ‘new’ options market evolves? – Vision of the Future: How do service providers react and adjust? How will the industry build an efficient structure for the next decade? – New Channels, New Challenges: What are the pros and cons of new trading medians and how does the market infrastructure need to adapt to cope? – Think Tank: Lit, Dark or Dusky? The future of the marketing model. The speakers we are most looking forward to are Joanthan Wykes and David Holcombe. Jonathan Wykes is the head of e-FX sales, EMEA and the global head of FX Algo Sales at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He will be one of the speakers throughout the better execution session. We are keen to hear his experience of when he was a key player in advancing the execution services Algo product from equities into FX. David Holcombe is the senior MD, FX, Nadaq OMX. David will be speaking about the future and challenges of technology and how existing services will evolve. What Forex events are you looking forward to this year? Leave us a comment and let us know or get in touch via Twitter, also follow the event by using the hashtag #ForexNetworkLondon and check out @Profit_and_Loss Twitter...

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Demo Accounts

Posted by on Mar 25, 2014 in Featured, Learning to Trade? | 0 comments

Demo Accounts

Are you learning to trade? Demo accounts are a great way to get a feel for the way that the system works but my advice to you would be to limit the period of time that you use the account for. I would personally advise that you only use the account for roughly a month. Of course if you are not feeling confident by all means continue using the demo account, however it’s important to be aware that when you trade in the market it will feel completely different. There are a lot of different factors that will start to influence your decisions when you are trading with real money because with real money comes real emotions! While using a demo account, you will obviously be doing what you can to ensure that you make a profit from your days trading but if you do lose it is no real loss. One of the most difficult factors of trading is keeping your emotions at bay and I believe that the only way to do this is through experience and by only investing money that you are prepared to lose. There is a very complex psychology behind trading in the market and the majority of it does come down to emotions. Avoid pitfalls by keeping tabs on traits such as arrogance and greed – I thoroughly believe that the market gives you warning signs (most of the time) before the rate is about to drop. Do the smart thing! If you would like advice on demo accounts or keeping your emotions in check please don’t hesitate to get in touch. If you have any questions, please leave a comment or get in touch via Twitter...

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The Wolf of Wall Street

Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in Featured, Learning to Trade? | 0 comments

The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street was one of the years most highly anticipated films and has been nominated for 5 Oscars as well as 2 Golden Globes and 4 BAFTAs. It really is a great story but what many people are struggling to get their head around is the truth behind it. The film was adapted from Jordan Belfort’s tell-all (or as much as he wants to reveal) book. Now while I can appreciate the entertainment value I can’t help but feel that the film portrays trading (albeit stocks rather than ForEx) to be a much easier profession than it is in reality. It would not have made the most interesting film to see Leonardo Dicaprio’s Belfort learning the industry as a complete novice but I feel it may have left some viewers with the wrong impression about trading. It has to be said there is something compelling about Jordan Belfort – I’m not condoning his behavior (although it is rather hilarious) but the characteristics he possessed made him a phenomenal leader. He had this over whelming self-belief, which may have gone too far. Belfort had focus (again that may have been misplaced) and drive. He had made his money from nothing, which made him inspirational and believable and he had a way of motivating people around him and persuading them to see things from his point of view. These are great qualities to have – of course in moderation. Films such as these glamorize the profession but it is important to keep in mind this is a Cinderella story if you will. Trading is not a get rich quick scheme despite how rapidly it seems to happen in the film. It is about investing the time into gaining knowledge about the market and making the most of the resources that are available to...

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Kiwi in Flight

Posted by on Mar 14, 2014 in Commentary, Featured, Market News | 0 comments

It’s been a long time coming. Of the major currencies commonly traded, there have been no interest rate increases since 2010 when Australia last increased its overnight rates. Australian rates didn’t last long at those levels and were reduced in stages soon afterwards, matching the other major economies. This time though, things feel different. On Wednesday evening this week, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand announced a rise in interest rates from 2.5% to 2.75% (well, Thursday morning in New Zealand at the time). An interest rate increase in any of the major currencies is as rare as New Zealand’s national bird, the kiwi. It’s currency, nick-named the kiwi was already strong and on the announcement, it flew higher. This might not be great news for mortgage holders in New Zealand and it might not get picked up by many commentators, but to me, this is a significant turning point. New Zealand is a small economy, not even in the top 50 in terms of GDP. Yet it’s currency is traded as one of the 8 majors. During the economic crisis and fall out after 2008, interest rates have been slashed. Other major economies went further and adopted measures such as quantitative easing (QE) to stimulate their economies. The talk is still of how to reduce the dependence of measures such as QE and “normalise” economies. In this regard, the Fed has its own tapering programme running at the moment. To me, the significance of the announcement is that it marks the beginnings of what could be called “normal” again. The New Zealand economy has been growing strongly. Export demand is healthy and many economic indicators suggest strong demand in the local economy with the prospect of inflation. How refreshing to see interest rates being used once more as a weapon to protect against inflation. As for the rest of the Western economies, I suspect they’ll be looking enviously at the Kiwi success. In Europe and the USA, the spectre of deflation has not been totally eliminated. In Japan, they are still working at creating inflation. In the UK and USA, we still have greatly indebted consumers, companies and governments. We’ve had the artificial stimulus of ultra-low interest rates for several years to get our economies bumbling along. Let’s hope the kiwi in flight is the light at the end of the tunnel we all hope...

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Invest the Time

Posted by on Mar 11, 2014 in Featured, Learning to Trade? | 0 comments

Invest the Time

There is a lot of white noise around trading. People seem to think of it as a get rich scheme, whereas the reality of it is quite different. Trading is a skill and like all skills it takes time and effort to develop and learn. Think of the job that you are currently in. Are you good at your job? I’m hoping that the answer is yes! Now think back to your first day at your job, chances are your skill set has developed significantly since then and this is the same as in trading. People ask my advice on forex trading nearly every day and my advice will always be the same. Invest the time to really understand the market, the terminology and even what you hope to achieve by entering such a lucrative and rapidly-changing market. Use all the materials that are available to you and one thing I cannot emphasise enough is to accept the help that is on offer to you. Not just at the beginning of your journey but throughout the course of your trading career. Seek out guidance and advice from experts, even if you are not a novice to the forex market. The market is a volatile place and things can change almost instantly. If something has not worked out the way you had anticipated it to do not be ashamed to ask others why. Chances are that people will be more than willing to share their answers and advise you on factors you may have overlooked. If you do have any questions about the forex market please do not hesitate to get in touch. If you are ready to invest the time and to invest in educating yourself and your future I would recommend one on one training. Here at Plan B Trading we offer 30, 60 or even 120 minute consultations to help you advance on your trading...

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Spring arrived this week

Posted by on Mar 10, 2014 in Featured, Market News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Spring arrived this week

You may have heard that the British spend a lot of time talking about the weather. It’s true. But there is another nation that beats us on this score, the USA. In my view, they spend more time discussing the weather in the USA. They even have a dedicated weather channel on TV. Anyone following the US weather will be aware of their big winter freeze this year with exceptionally low temperatures. In her recent testimony to Congress, even Janet Yellen spoke of the impact of the freezing weather on economic activity in the USA. She mentioned that more data is needed as it is difficult to quantify the impact. When spring arrives, our collective mood improves and we feel more positive. The days are getting lighter, the weather is kinder and plants burst into growth. There is an impact on the economy as we head out and spend more. If people have to dig their way through snow drifts and fight off polar bears at the end of the street, they are hardly likely to be out there spending money and driving the economy forwards. Having said all that, the first green shoots of spring arrived this week. And they came from a surprising source – Europe. In his press conference on Thursday afternoon, Mario Draghi referred to the more positive data coming from Europe. Just the mention of growth caused the Euro to leap in value against the US Dollar. With spring arriving in Europe, it was only a short time to wait for the US figures (NFP) on Friday. Evidence from January and February suggested these figures were going to disappoint and the US economy was running out of steam. The dollar sold off again early on Friday giving a further opportunity to profit ahead of the figures. I was watching a trade in the market some 20 minutes ahead of the figures, I detected some buying of the US Dollar, not what I was expecting. As a trader, I am there to act on evidence though. It was this early buying that led me to close my Euro trade for a profit. At that time, I said to a fellow trader that I felt these figures are going to be better than the market expects. Nice when your gut feeling is right. Come the NFP announcement, the figures were better than expected and the previous month’s figures were revised upwards. Buy the dollar. It was an apt reminder that spring always follows winter. After the severe winter in the US, it was inevitable spring would arrive sooner or later. Following in Europe’s footsteps, the US NFP figures announced that spring arrived this...

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My 5 Favourite Traders

Posted by on Feb 24, 2014 in Featured, Learning to Trade?, Uncategorized | 0 comments

My 5 Favourite Traders

It’s always interesting to see the trades that other people are making and the advice that they are giving. Here are my 5 favourite traders on Twitter at the moment, please note they are in no particular order.   The first is @MWellerFX. Matt Weller is a global market strategist and has been actively trading since 2005. Enthralled by the liquidity and the accessibility of the market, Mr Weller now offers timely updates on a vast range of currency pairs. Follow him now for great guidance.   @break_retrace3. Howard Friend also offers information on his trading activities, giving information about the time he sells and exits the market. Having been in financial markets since 1988 his information on currency pairs is definitely to be taken into consideration.   @forexfortress offers followers information on short and long trades on a number of different currency pairs – always advising users on when to get out. Good luck and good trading! Another of my favourite traders is @optionalpha. Kirk Du Plessis offers a great variety of content not only on the foreign exchange market but also on current affairs. His tweets include relevant blog posts and great quotes. Last but by no means least we have a personal friend of mine @FXTraderPaul. Paul Walas (surprisingly no relation) offers frequent updates on the forex market and stock exchange (mainly gold), when you have a spare 5 minutes take the time to read his great blog too. So there you have it my 5 favourite traders at the moment. Who do you love to follow? Leave me a comment and let me know, or get in touch via Twitter...

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