Get Rich In the Stock Market

I am widely recognized as a leading expert in the stock market and especially at teaching you how to become your neighbor’s millionaire next door. I didn’t start out as knowledgeable and skilled as I am now. I started out knowing nearly nothing. I was so inexperienced in my early twenties that I could only stand by when a full service stock broker stole $85,000 from my eighty year old grandmother. I watched the nationwide stock brokerage protect the interests of the full service broker and my grandmother lost everything.

The pain of this was so intense that it drove me to complete my Ph.D. in finance — less than a hundred of us graduate in this degree worldwide annually because it is so mathematically difficult. My frustration and anger at the big rich forces behind Wall Street drove me to become a modern day master of money. This is what you have to do — wake up!!! Wake up to the fact that you can make it as a stock investor. Wake up to the fact that you control your destiny and that you can stop handing all of the control over to the Wall Street machine that could absolutely care less about your financial future. This is the first step — take full responsibility for you earnings, savings and investment.

I learned years ago from a friend of mine, Dr. Van Tharp, Ph.D., that if I didn’t take full responsibility for my investing that I would never progress — I would simply break the fragile feedback loop that allows all of us to learn from our mistakes. Any time you blame anyone for a financial mistake you destroy the opportunity to learn and thrive from the situation. The simple decision you must make is to deeply, totally, firmly, and finally, say to your self, “I am the master of my universe — I am in control — Wall Street has no power over my mind” is the key critical change you must make in your thinking.

Some people will think that you are arrogant but just blow them off and laugh all the way to the bank. Stop listening to people — are these nosy little bug a bugs in your life that so quickly nay say your investment dreams paying your bills or giving you money to move ahead — no so blow them off! They just want to give you bad advice so that you fall into their same financial loser traps. In terms of investing become an island unto yourself and very carefully cultivate relationships with people who really do know what they are doing in investing. This is exactly what I did. I started seeking out people who really understand the markets. I found them over time and I asked them lots of questions.

Evaluation Of Stocks

In order to effectively invest your money into stocks of any kind, you must know all of your stock options so that you can efficiently earn money. Because stocks are simply small shares of a company, the more stocks you purchase to more you own of a certain company. For example, if you purchase 100,000 stocks in AutoZone, an automotive store, you would have more say in what takes place in the company that someone who only purchases 1,000 shares of AutoZones stock. There are two main types of stock in that, you, the investor should become familiar with so that you can properly purchase the stock that is right for you and your monetary situation.

Common Stock

Basically stated, a common stock is, well, common! When you hear people talking about stocks in general, it is these types of stocks in that they are referring. It is simply a piece of paper that represents some degree of ownership of a corporation as well as some form of profit from that particular company. Interestingly enough, investors in common stocks receive one vote per stock owned to elect board members, the people who oversee major decisions made for the company as a whole, for a particular company. In the long- term, this type of stock means capital growth for the investor, however, if the company is forced into bankruptcy, the investor will not get paid what they are owed until creditors, bondholders, and preferred stockholders receive their payments.

Preferred Stock

In general, preferred stock is stock that is owned by preferred stockholders in that all of the companys earnings and assets go directly to the preferred stockholders first. Because preferred stockholders are paid before common stockholders, preferred stockholders choose to give up their right to vote in the election of board members. For this reason, preferred stockholders have no right in the selection process of the company. Preferred stockholders purchase stock in a certain company for monetary gain only in that their main goal in investment is earning a return on investment. Of course, there are four variations on preferred stock investments.

Voting – Preferred stock members can opt for the right to vote in a company in that they own stock. By doing this, they ensure the power to make sure that they receive all monies owed to them because they are able to bribe people into places of management. For example, Bob is a preferred stockholder who wants to ensure that his profits are paid to him no matter what happens to the company. Bob tells Tom, a man up for board election, that he will make sure Tom wins the election as long as Tom agrees to pay Bob his profits, whether the company goes into bankruptcy or not.

Adjustable Rates – Preferred stockholders receive an agreed upon profit based on stipulations provided by the company.

Convertible Stock – Preferred stockholders have the right to convert their preferred stock into common stock, allowing the investor to lock in their profit while they potentially profit from a rise in common stock. Basically, preferred stockholders are protected no matter what types of investment decisions they make.

Participating Stock – With this type of stock, preferred stockholders not only receive a set profit, but they are eligible for a certain percentage of the companys earned profit over a set period of time.

For this reason, it may seem that a preferred stockholder position is the way to go, however, with increased power comes more headaches. If you are a beginning investor, it is better to work on common stocks for a number of years before trying to get involved with preferred stocks.

Because common stocks and preferred stocks are so different, companies are not allowed to customize either type of the stocks. The reason for this is that some companies may be corrupt and want the voting power to remain with certain investors. Companies are held under law to make sure that the voting power remains fair among both common stockholders and preferred stockholders.

It is your money and your choice, however, it is suggested that you become educated when playing with the stock market. It is important to know precisely what stocks are as well as the main characteristics of a common stock as well as a preferred stock. As with any investment, the ultimate goal is to gain a profit and this can only be done with stocks if you thoroughly understand them.

Different Types of Stock Markets

There are many different stock markets in the US. In most circumstances, the main markets that you will hear of are the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) and the NASDAQ.

The markets are basically where people and companies trade securities. The market is the arena in which the players gather to trade.

The New York Stock Exchange has been around since 1792. It is located on Wall Street in New York City. The NYSE is the largest and best-known stock exchange in the country. It also has very stringent requirements for companies to join its listings. A company must be financially strong and show signs of being an industry leader to join the NYSE. Companies strive to belong to this market, and even pay annual fees for membership.

When a brokerage describes itself as a member of the NYSE it means that the firm has bought a seat on the floor of the NYSE. This means that there is actually a employee on the floor of the exchange buying and selling stock. This is an expensive investment for a firm, costing well over a million dollars.

The American Stock Exchange is similar to the NYSE in that it conducts its trading on a trading floor. The floor is filled with traders who buy and sell securities. The AMEX has been located in Manhattan since 1921. It is known as a major exchange for not only stocks, but also options. You will tend to find slightly riskier and smaller stocks listed on the AMEX, which operates under the NASDAQ-AMEX Market Group, a subsidiary of the National Association of Security Dealers.

NASDAQ, or the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations, is the youngest of the three major markets. It may also be the one you have heard the most about through the news. It lists just about every stock in the industry, but it is best known for listing technology companies. In fact, it is where you will find many major technology stocks, including Microsoft and Intel. It was launched in 1971 and was the first over-the-counter stock market. It links buyers and sellers via a computer network.

Brokers and dealers will market the stocks by maintaning an inventory in their own accounts. They will buy or sell when they receive an order from an investor. You will find that start up companies that are issuing stock in an initial public offering will often list on the NASDAQ.

When it comes to buying stock, knowing where to find certain types of stock is important. Each market often specializes in slightly different types of stocks.

Basics Of Short Selling Stocks

‘Shorting’ or short selling refers to the selling of a contract, a bond or stock or a commodity that is not directly owned by the seller. When practicing short selling, a seller is committed to purchase the stock or commodity previously sold.

Short selling stocks means to take the stock from a broker on loan and sell it off to someone else. This is done so that the seller buys back the stock, when the price falls. The shares are returned to the broker from whom they were initially borrowed. The shorting profit or the difference in price goes to the seller. Short selling of stocks is a technique used by investors to capitalize on a probable decline in the stock price.

To understand this better, let us consider a company, say, ABC whose shares currently sell at $12 each. A short seller borrows 50 shares of ABC and then sells those shares to someone else at $12 per share, for a total of $600. Now, if in future the price of shares of ABC falls to $10 per share, this short seller would then buy back those 50 shares at $500 ($10 multiplied by 50 shares), send back the shares to the original owner/broker and make a profit of $100.

Short selling is risky, if the price per share goes up instead of declining, as expected. Suppose the price per share of ABC goes up to $15 per share, then the short seller will have to cash in the previously sold 50 shares at $750, return the shares to the original owner and incur a loss of $150.

Shorting is a transaction done on margin. Most brokers do not agree to short selling stocks below $5. This enables the investors and short sellers to indulge in the high-risk trading of stocks.

Some of the following market situations help to predict a fall in price of stocks: –

– Market indexes coming near the prior resistance levels.
– Market trend showing technically overbought levels.
– Restlessness before the announcement of a state’s government.
– Market vulnerability during scandals.

Large volume selling of stocks often result in short-term high profits. However, there are certain guidelines to be followed for successful short selling. They are:

– All stocks are not ‘short’ able. Generally, brokers inform a seller whether a stock can be used for short selling or not.

– Sellers must open a margin account for short selling. This depends on the minimum balances and cash reserves. Sellers are required to sign a contract agreement with the brokers to open a margin account. This agreement clearly states that a seller will follow the rules and regulations stated by the broker.

-Target bad-performance, overpriced companies, since the probability of a fall in the share price involves lesser risk.

– Traders and short sellers should use stop orders to protect their capital from loss. Generally, brokers prevent a seller from suffering loss more than the principal. They may either compel the seller to quit the transaction or they may deposit funds to increase the seller’s capital.

The short selling of stocks involves a lot of discipline. Sellers need to be proactive, alert and disciplined when shorting stocks.

Basics Of Investing In Stocks And Shares

Stocks can be considered a tool for building wealth, as they are a part of almost every investment portfolio. They represent the ownership of a company and are bought in the form of shares. Shares refer to the stock of a particular company. Your stake in a company depends on how many shares you possess, because these are considered a part of the company’s capital.

The popularity of investing in the stock market is increasing constantly. Today, investment in stocks and shares is not limited to the well to do; even the average middle-class is getting into it in droves. The opening up of markets with advanced trading technologies has made owning shares easy for everyone. However, if you are planning to invest, do not depend on luck to get you returns. Investment in stocks is considered a very risky affair. It requires a high rate of return. You need to use a well thought out strategy and necessary tools to invest in the share market.

The allure of investing in shares and stocks, however, does not mean that every would-be investor has the know-how of this often-slippery market. If you feel that the get-rich-quick theory applies to stocks and shares, then it is a misguided notion, because stocks are not the answer to instant wealth. Just like the real estate market, the share market also involves a lot of risk. Yet, people are often under the misconception that they will get rich instantly if they invest in shares.

You can buy a share in a stock when a company first enlists on the stock market – that is, at flotation or privatization. Alternatively, you can purchase shares once they are in circulation and are traded.

You could go to a stockbroker if you want to buy stocks. Stockbrokers do business with the stock exchange. They hold the shares in an account that is created in the name of the nominee. You can also keep your shares in the form of a paper certificate. Once the buying and selling of shares is over the transaction is made complete through an electronic system. This system is responsible for linking all the banks along with the stockbroker and registrars of the respective companies.

You can invest in international stocks as well. When a company performs trading in a stock market of another country, their stocks are known as International stocks. These stocks are traded like the UK stocks or, for that matter those traded in the Nasdaq in the US. All the stock exchanges in the world work in the same manner.

There is no guarantee when it comes to Investment in stocks but if you are ready to take a big risk then you can expect great returns on your investment. Despite the risk factor this form of investment has outperformed other investment options like bonds or saving accounts. So if you have the right strategy and you make the right moves in the stock market then nothing can stop the money from rolling in.

Trading Options

In the investing world, trillions of dollars worth of shares are bought and sold each day on the major exchanges all over the world. On any given day, traders and investors can take part in the purest form of capitalism by putting their money at risk by buying into any of the major global corporations across the planet in the pursuit of profit. Yet, there is another way of speculating, trading options, which can be far superior to just trading the shares of a given company.

An option is a derivative on an underlying security that gives the right, but not necessarily the obligation, to buy the underlying security at a given set price. They come with different strike prices, expiration dates, and allow tremendous leverage as each option controls up to 100 shares of stock in a particular company. These advantages make options a far superior trading instrument than just trading stocks.

One advantage is leverage. Leverage is the ability to use a small amount of capital to control a huge asset. Like in real estate, where a small down payment allows a prospective buyer to control a huge piece of property, options allow the trader to control up to 100 shares of stock for with just a tiny bit of capital or, in this case, it is called the option’s “premium” which is the actual cost of the option.

Let’s look at an example of how options are superior to stocks in when using leverage. If you notice that ABC stock is set to rally higher and is trading at $50 a share and you then buy 100 shares of stock for a total of $5,000. A few weeks later, ABC stock has rallied to $60 a share and you sell all your shares you will have profited $1000 or a 20% return. Not too bad.

But a friend of yours sees the same setup in ABC stock and decides instead to buy an option with a $50 strike price which is priced a $2 premium for a total cost of $200 ($2 X 100 shares = $200). ABC stock rallies to $60 and your friend sells his $50 strike option for $1200 which is a 500% return! That’s the power of leverage when trading options.

Another advantage is that a trader can generate income by using credit spreads with options. If you see that ABC stock is in a trading range and is staying above support at say around $50 a share you can create a credit spread by creating what is called a Bull Put Spread. You sell the current month’s $50 put option and pocket the premium you received and then purchase the current month’s $45 put option for insurance in case the stock plummets unexpectedly. Then sit back and let the options reach their expiration date and you collect the difference between the premium received for selling the $50 put option and the cost of purchasing the $45 put option.

ABC stock can go up or stay around $50 and the position would make money. It could even decline below $50 equal to the cost of the premium that was received and the position would break even! The only time the position could lose money is if it declined below this breakeven point. Many option traders specialize in these types of option spreads only and generate often generate steady returns of 10% to 90% per position!

A third advantage is options also give you the ability to short stocks without the restrictions of short-selling stocks. When you short a stock in the anticipation that it will go down in price you not only have a larger cash outlay versus buying put options but you also have to pay interest on the stock you borrowed to short plus you have to pay the dividends back that the stock might pay during the time you hold it. With put options, you avoid all that plus you can make faster returns and much sooner since the stocks will usually fall twice as fast as they rise.

Additionally, if a stock is rumored to miss its earning projections you can make a lot of money quick by playing negative earning releases in the right market environment. The reason is that stocks can often gap down by 50% or more on bad news. That translates into a hug profit to a smart option trader without tying up a lot of capital.

That also brings up the most important advantage is that the most you risk is the actual premium you paid for the option itself. If a stock gaps up or down on news and you’re on the other side of that trade you only risk a small amount of you capital where if you had bought the stock you could lose half your position overnight! Early in 2006, Google reported strong earnings but not as great as Wall Street had expected and the stock was pummeled. Then a few weeks later, Google’s Chief Financial Officer spoke publicly about a temporary pullback in their future growth and the stock plummeted. If an options trader were long Google call options at that time that trader would have only lost a small portion of his overall trading capital versus someone who had bought the stock itself (Google’s stock had been as high as $475 before these events and then lost almost a 150 points in a couple of weeks as a result).

The advantages written here are only a few compared to the dozens that options afford traders who are disciplined enough to learn them. Stocks have been likened like playing the game checkers where options are compared to the game chess because of the tremendous opportunity and flexibility that they can give traders and investors. Stock and option traders that take the time to learn and apply a few simple strategies offered by options can better assess risks in the markets and potentially put themselves into positions to profit handsomely.

The Stock Market

A recent study indicates that Americans are saving less these days than they were 10 years ago, except for entrepreneurs and corporate executive and in one particular segment – young middle-managers who are about six to 10 years into their careers and only beginning to make headway into the higher echelons of their particular industry.

Are you one of these people? If you are, then chances are that you are currently in the process of planning or expanding your base of investments. You have probably given real estate a good look and determined that, although attractive, it is more ideal for a full-time real estate investor because it demands a lot of effort and time. You also probably have a tidy little sum invested in various banking tools like savings and time deposits as well as common trust bonds and government securities. That’s all well and good and your money is safe right there. But now you want to shoot for the moon, mainly by investing in the kind of company and industry that you may be familiar with. You are eager to try the stock market.

Here are a few basics about the stock market business.

The stock market is mainly a place where you sell or trade a company’s stock. These stocks are small shares in the company which it sells to the public in order to raise capital to finance its other ventures. Of course, you already know that capital is the money that a company spends for producing, improving, expanding, distributing and promoting its products and services. If you buy a company’s stocks, you are one of its shareholders.

The use of the term stock market also applies in reference to all the stocks that are available for trading (as well as other securities) as in the statement “the stock market performed well today.”

You can also trade bonds on the stock market. Bonds are a business IOU that indicate that the bond issuer holds the bond holder a debt. Bonds are traded directly between two parties over the counter.

You may opt to trade commodities on the stock market. The term commodities refers to agricultural products (coffee, sugar, wheat, maize, barley, cocoa, milk products) and other raw materials (pork bellies, oil, metals). For example, if you feel that the price of coffee will increase next month, you buy the coffee commodity now and reap the benefits of the price increase next month when you sell.

Stock Market Insiders

I was watching Oprah the other night. She was covering the reality of the crappy lie called the American Dream that says just work hard and everything will be Peachey keen in the land of the free and the home of the brave. She pointed out that 1% of the U.S. population now control 40% of the all American wealth. If you are not born into that 1% today, she pointed out, then it is much harder today to work your way into it. You have to work a lot more hours for a lot less pay and your extra hours are just making the 1% richer. Meanwhile if you have the right connections — especially if you are able to enter that special band of thieves called corporate insiders and play your corporate politics right — then you are instantly propelled to the top. Today with our hideously corrupt corporate governance system supported by divisions of corporate attorneys serving insiders and paid by unwitting public Joe shareholders membership pops you right into Oprah’s 1%.

So what can you do if you weren’t born into the Johnson & Johnson family and don’t have a “richer than God” old money American dream trust fund? The answer is you have to learn to buy very low and sell very high like the robber barons did in the 1800s. I know times are tough on the American middle class but there are ways for you to get ahead. First of all you have to stop chasing pipe dreams. Ignore the get rich schemes like multilevel marketing, derivatives, and real estate short selling junk people will bring your way — all endorsed by some major public figure that make the con artist at the top rich to suck you in.

Learn to take your financial future in your own to hands and make the market pay you. How do you do this? Well, first you have to stop thinking like a cow. Most people in the public make all of their opinions based on what the group has decided is right. You have to stop doing this and take the attitude that the public as a group is a pretty stupid mass of livestock heading up the cattle chute into the inside corporate executives financial slaughter house. Right now the chute is closed because the stock market has recently crashed making stocks cheap —insiders are loading up while the media is strangely bereft of “stock market rags to riches dreams” it hyped up to suck people in to the market in 2000 when insiders were dumping on the public.

Learn to get really excited about the market when everyone hates it. Right now the stock market has crashed and you don’t hear any good news out there. Ever wonder why? The big forces behind Wall Street, the secret buying consortiums, the inside corporate executives, and the experienced individual investors who are smart enough to know to buy, buy, buy when stock prices are extremely low and the Wall Street media machine is strangely quiet. There are a lot of really good companies out there at extremely low prices ripe for you to buy, buy, buy!!!

Stock Market Insiders

I was watching Oprah the other night. She was covering the reality of the crappy lie called the American Dream that says just work hard and everything will be Peachey keen in the land of the free and the home of the brave. She pointed out that 1% of the U.S. population now control 40% of the all American wealth. If you are not born into that 1% today, she pointed out, then it is much harder today to work your way into it. You have to work a lot more hours for a lot less pay and your extra hours are just making the 1% richer. Meanwhile if you have the right connections — especially if you are able to enter that special band of thieves called corporate insiders and play your corporate politics right — then you are instantly propelled to the top. Today with our hideously corrupt corporate governance system supported by divisions of corporate attorneys serving insiders and paid by unwitting public Joe shareholders membership pops you right into Oprah’s 1%.

So what can you do if you weren’t born into the Johnson & Johnson family and don’t have a “richer than God” old money American dream trust fund? The answer is you have to learn to buy very low and sell very high like the robber barons did in the 1800s. I know times are tough on the American middle class but there are ways for you to get ahead. First of all you have to stop chasing pipe dreams. Ignore the get rich schemes like multilevel marketing, derivatives, and real estate short selling junk people will bring your way — all endorsed by some major public figure that make the con artist at the top rich to suck you in.

Learn to take your financial future in your own to hands and make the market pay you. How do you do this? Well, first you have to stop thinking like a cow. Most people in the public make all of their opinions based on what the group has decided is right. You have to stop doing this and take the attitude that the public as a group is a pretty stupid mass of livestock heading up the cattle chute into the inside corporate executives financial slaughter house. Right now the chute is closed because the stock market has recently crashed making stocks cheap —insiders are loading up while the media is strangely bereft of “stock market rags to riches dreams” it hyped up to suck people in to the market in 2000 when insiders were dumping on the public.

Learn to get really excited about the market when everyone hates it. Right now the stock market has crashed and you don’t hear any good news out there. Ever wonder why? The big forces behind Wall Street, the secret buying consortiums, the inside corporate executives, and the experienced individual investors who are smart enough to know to buy, buy, buy when stock prices are extremely low and the Wall Street media machine is strangely quiet. There are a lot of really good companies out there at extremely low prices ripe for you to buy, buy, buy!!!

Common Investment Errors

Investment mistakes happen for a multitude of reasons, including the fact that decisions are made under conditions of uncertainty that are irresponsibly downplayed by market gurus and institutional spokespersons. Losing money on an investment may not be the result of a mistake, and not all mistakes result in monetary losses. But errors occur when judgment is unduly influenced by emotions, when the basic principles of investing are misunderstood, and when misconceptions exist about how securities react to varying economic, political, and hysterical circumstances. Avoid these ten common errors to improve your performance:

1. Investment decisions should be made within a clearly defined Investment Plan. Investing is a goal-orientated activity that should include considerations of time, risk-tolerance, and future income… think about where you are going before you start moving in what may be the wrong direction. A well thought out plan will not need frequent adjustments. A well-managed plan will not be susceptible to the addition of trendy, speculations.

2. The distinction between Asset Allocation and Diversification is often clouded. Asset Allocation is the planned division of the portfolio between Equity and Income securities. Diversification is a risk minimization strategy used to assure that the size of individual portfolio positions does not become excessive in terms of various measurements. Neither are “hedges” against anything or Market Timing devices. Neither can be done with Mutual Funds or within a single Mutual Fund. Both are handled most easily using Cost Basis analysis as defined in the Working Capital Model.

3. Investors become bored with their Plan too quickly, change direction too frequently, and make drastic rather than gradual adjustments. Although investing is always referred to as “long term”, it is rarely dealt with as such by investors who would be hard pressed to explain simple peak-to-peak analysis. Short-term Market Value movements are routinely compared with various un-portfolio related indices and averages to evaluate performance. There is no index that compares with your portfolio, and calendar divisions have no relationship whatever to market or interest rate cycles.

4. Investors tend to fall in love with securities that rise in price and forget to take profits, particularly when the company was once their employer. It’s alarming how often accounting and other professionals refuse to fix these single-issue portfolios. Aside from the love issue, this becomes an unwilling-to-pay-the-taxes problem that often brings the unrealized gain to the Schedule D as a realized loss. Diversification rules, like Mother Nature, must not be messed with.

5. Investors often overdose on information, causing a constant state of “analysis paralysis”. Such investors are likely to be confused and tend to become hindsightful and indecisive. Neither portends well for the portfolio. Compounding this issue is the inability to distinguish between research and sales materials… quite often the same document. A somewhat narrow focus on information that supports a logical and well-documented investment strategy will be more productive in the long run. But do avoid future predictors.

6. Investors are constantly in search of a short cut or gimmick that will provide instant success with minimum effort. Consequently, they initiate a feeding frenzy for every new, product and service that the Institutions produce. Their portfolios become a hodgepodge of Mutual Funds, iShares, Index Funds, Partnerships, Penny Stocks, Hedge Funds, Funds of Funds, Commodities, Options, etc. This obsession with Product underlines how Wall Street has made it impossible for financial professionals to survive without them. Remember: Consumers buy products; Investors select securities.

7. Investors just don’t understand the nature of Interest Rate Sensitive Securities and can’t deal appropriately with changes in Market Value… in either direction. Operationally, the income portion of a portfolio must be looked at separately from the growth portion. A simple assessment of bottom line Market Value for structural and/or directional decision-making is one of the most far-reaching errors that investors make. Fixed Income must not connote Fixed Value and most investors rarely experience the full benefit of this portion of their portfolio.

8. Many investors either ignore or discount the cyclical nature of the investment markets and wind up buying the most popular securities/sectors/funds at their highest ever prices. Illogically, they interpret a current trend in such areas as a new dynamic and tend to overdo their involvement. At the same time, they quickly abandon whatever their previous hot spot happened to be, not realizing that they are creating a Buy High, Sell Low cycle all their own.

9. Many investment errors will involve some form of unrealistic time horizon, or Apples to Oranges form of performance comparison. Somehow, somewhere, the get rich slowly path to investment success has become overgrown and abandoned. Successful portfolio development is rarely a straight up arrow and comparisons with dissimilar products, commodities, or strategies simply produce detours that speed progress away from original portfolio goals.

10. The “cheaper is better” mentality weakens decision making capabilities, leads investors to dangerous assumptions and short cuts that only appear to be effective. Do discount brokers seek “best execution”? Can new issue preferred stocks be purchased without cost? Is a no load fund a freebie? Is a WRAP Account individually managed? When cheap is an investor’s primary concern, what he gets will generally be worth the price.

Compounding the problems that investors have managing their investment portfolios is the sideshowesque sensationalism that the media brings to the process. Investing has become a competitive event for service providers and investors alike. This development alone will lead many of you to the self-destructive decision making errors that are described above. Investing is a personal project where individual/family goals and objectives must dictate portfolio structure, management strategy, and performance evaluation techniques. Is it difficult to manage a portfolio in an environment that encourages instant gratification, supports all forms of “uncaveated” speculation, and that rewards short term and shortsighted reports, reactions, and achievements?

Yup, it sure is.

stockstutor

stockstutor is leading stock based website which includes investing and trading,economics and finance and the Sheer Madness of Markets.
The mission of stockstutor.com is to provide our audience with what’s relevant behind and beyond the headline.
These thoughts utilize the 40 years of Wall Street experience we’ve amassed to share what our considerable contact network from all over the world is telling us.
You’ll get a viewpoint that is anything but narrow and will come away with a clearer perspective on what makes the markets (stocks, bonds, currencies, etc) tick.

Losing Trader

Often, I receive requests from members of my stock market trading discussion group to give my views on technical analysis of stocks that they are watching. In the course of discussion, I discovered one common factor which separates the winning traders from the losing traders.

In general, both group of traders like to scan their lists of active stocks to uncover possible trading candidates. However, the traders in the winning group are specific about their trading, and have their entry and exit points well spelt out in a specific trading plan.

In their trading,they have precise entry and exit points…so that the trade is unemotional. After they have entered a trade, either they are correct and ride the trend or they are wrong and you exit with a loss that has been predetermined. There is nothing vague in their trading.

In contrast, those who are losing money in their trades invariably do not have a trading plan, or at least a semblance of a trading plan. This group of traders jump on tips provided by others without being able to check or verify the tips from some analysis, whether technical or fundamental. They do not have any idea of when to enter the trade or to exit with a stop loss.

Again, when the winning traders have computed their entry and exit and stop loss points, these traders can approach their
trading day with guarded optimism, watching whether an expected rally is on the cards or not. By watching pre-determined price points, the trader can know whether a rally has in fact begun and to start to trade in a more aggressive manner or to stop trading on wrong expectations which comes soeasily by being influenced by tips here and there. If the trade goes against them and hit their stop loss, they take their loss unemotionally and are out of the market, thus limiting their losses.

Remember, you involve hard earned money into your trading and investment.There is nothing VAGUE about trading. Every entry and exit points is calculated before hand to enable you to control your risk, if you are to become a successful trader.

Learn how to do this well and you will be a consistent trader. Test every tip and breathe specifics into your trades and you can make profits. In every profession, it is the specialist who makes the most money. Learn to excel in your trading and you will be profitable.

Should You Put Your Money Into Stocks Or Bonds

So what is the difference between stocks vs. bonds? People today are interested to know what the better method of investing is. Trust be told, many believe that bonds are better because they are a safer investment, as you are virtually assured of achieving a positive return on your investment.

Here is a brief explanation of a bond. The company you hold a bond in has issued you a bond in exchange for your money over a certain time. When the time is up, they will pay the loan back to you with interest. Therefore, as long as the company is financially stable, you can be almost certainly to make that money back.

A stock, on the other hand, is not guaranteed and fluctuates all the time. Therefore, most people believe (in some cases rightfully so) that a bond is a better investment because they are less volatile.

However, here’s something very few investors are aware of: when done right, stock investing can actually be just as guaranteed of giving you a positive return on your investment as a bond, and maybe even more so.

You see, when you focus your investing on companies that have sound financially numbers and good prospects for the future, you can be virtually guaranteed of making money. However, when, like most investors, you try to spread your investments around and include companies on shaky financial ground, you are just asking for trouble.

The reason that so many investors lose money is that they invest in companies without looking at their financial statements. The only reason they invest at all is they think the stock price will be going up short term. Therefore, the first sign up trouble, they sell out.

On the other hand, however, when you focus on sound, stable companies, you are not only assured of making a positive return of investment, but you can make a lot more money than you would with a bond. Warren Buffet is famous for achieving a 15-20% growth rate on his portfolio nearly every single year. This wouldn’t be possible without his strategy to focus on companies he can be assured of will turn a profit.

Therefore, don’t be fooled into only focusing on bonds because they are safer. When you open your eyes, you will actually realize that there are many stocks you can invest in assured of generating you a profit.

Stocks and Bonds: Differences and Risks

In the world of investments, you’ll often hear about stocks and bonds. They are both feasible forms of investment. They allow you the opportunity to invest your money with a specific company or corporation with the possibility of future profits. But how exactly do they work? And what are the differences between the two?

Bonds

Let’s start with bonds. The easiest way to define a bond is through the concept of a loan. When you invest in bonds, you are essentially loaning your money to a company, corporation, or government of your choosing. That institution, in turn, will give you a receipt for your loan, along with a promise of interest, in the form of a bond.

Bonds are bought and sold in the open market. Fluctuation in their values occurs depending on the interest rate of the general economy. Basically, the interest rate directly affects the worth of your investment. For instance, if you have a thousand dollar bond which pays the interest of 5% yearly, you can sell it at a higher face value provided the general interest rate is below 5%. And if the rate of interest rises above 5%, the bond, though it can still be sold, is usually sold at less than its face value.

The logic behind this system is that the investors deal with a higher rate of interest then the actual bond pays. Thus, the bond is sold at lower value in order to offset the gap. The OTC market, which is comprised of banks and security firms, is the favourite trading place for bonds, because corporate bonds can be listed on the stock exchange, and can be purchased through stock brokers.

With bonds, unlike stocks, you, as the investor, will not directly benefit from the success of the company or the amount of its profits. Instead, you will receive a fixed rate of return on your bond. Basically, this means that whether the company is wildly successful OR has an abysmal year of business, it will not affect your investment. Your bond return rate will be the same. Your return rate is the percentage of the original offer of the bond. This percentage is called the coupon rate.

It is also important to remember that bonds have maturity dates. Once a bond hits its maturity date, the principal amount paid for that bond is returned to the investor. Different bonds are issued different maturity dates. Some bonds can have up to 30 years of maturity period.

When dealing in bonds, the greatest investment risk that you face is the possibility of the principal investment amount NOT being paid back to you. Obviously, this risk can be somewhat controlled through the careful assessment of the companies or institutions that you choose to invest in.

Those companies that possess more credit worthiness are generally safer investments when it comes to bonds. The best example of a “safe” bond is the government bond. Another is the blue chip company bond. Blue chip companies are well-established companies that have proven and successful track records over a long span of time. Of course, such companies will have lower coupon rates.

If you’re willing to take a greater risk for better coupon rates, then you would probably end up choosing the companies with low credit ratings, companies that are unproven or unstable. Keep in mind, there is a great risk of default on the bonds from smaller corporations; however, the other side of the coin is that bond holders of such companies are preferential creditors. They get compensated before the stock holders in the event of a business going bankrupt.

So, for less risk, choose to invest in bonds from established companies. You will be likely to cash in on your returns, but they will probably not be very large. Or, you can choose to invest in smaller, unproven companies. The risk is greater, but if it pays off, your bank account will be greater, too. As in any investment venture, there is a trade-off between the risks and the possible rewards of bonds.

Stocks

Stocks represent shares of a company. These shares give part of the ownership of the company to you, the share-holder. Your stake in that company is defined by the amount of shares that you, the investor, own. Stock comes in mid-caps, small caps, and large caps.

As with bonds, you can decrease the risk of stock trading by choosing your stocks carefully, assessing your investments and weighing the risk of different companies. Obviously, an entrenched and well-known corporation is much more likely to be stable then a new and unproven one. And the stock will reflect the stability of the companies.

Stocks, unlike bonds, fluctuate in value and are traded in the stock market. Their worth is based directly on the performance of the company. If the company is doing well, growing, and attaining profits, then so does the value of the stock. If the company is weakening or failing, the stock of that company decreases in value.

There are various ways in which stocks are traded. In addition to being traded as shares of a company, stock can also be traded in the form of options, which is a type of Futures trading. Stock can also be sold and brought in the stock market on a daily basis. The value of a certain stock can increase and decrease according to the rise and fall in the stock market. Because of this, investing in stocks is much riskier than investing in bonds.

The Wrap-Up

Both stocks and bonds can become profitable investments. But it is important to remember that both options also carry a certain amount of risk. Being aware of that risk and taking steps to minimize it and control it, not the other way around, will help you to make the right choices when it comes to your financial decisions. The key to wise investing is always good research, a solid strategy, and guidance you can trust.

Stocks to Buy for Bear Markets

When stocks are bullish – that is, when prices of the stock market in a steady rise – it is pretty easy for anyone to make money on Wall Street. Studies have any shown that in certain kinds of easy-money markets, novices did just as well as pros when it came to picking hot stocks and reaping fast profits. But the veterans of the stock market game say that the real test comes when there is a bear market and stocks fall into a general slump. Those who can make money under those conditions will gain the respect of even the most seasoned investors. But to do it requires patience, research, and discipline.

Picking the right stock for the economic climate is not impossible, however. One way to get a handle on which stocks will perform best during a bear market is to look at the overall picture of how the stock market behaves. Usually bull markets are periods that also see a strong manufacturing sector. Houses are built, cars are manufactured, and goods like appliances and clothes fly off the shelves. The companies that make and sell those consumer products do well, and those who buy their stock to share in that success drive stock prices higher. But when the party is over and inflation kicks in, we begin to budget our money. Sales volume declines, and many factory workers find themselves out of work as consumer demand slackens. As wages stagnate, so do purchases of high priced items like cars and homes, and this helps to accelerate the decline of the stock market.

But those who buy stocks that perform well even in this kind of economic recession – the stocks known as “recession-proof” stocks – can usually do relatively well, even during sluggish bear markets. Which stocks continue to reward shareholders in a recession? Generally speaking, those that are tied to fundamental basic necessities of life. We may not buy designer jeans and sports cars during a bear market, but we still buy heating oil and we still use electricity to light our offices and homes. So utility company stocks generally fare well during bear markets, as do companies that sell other basic commodities like gasoline. Gold and silver and other precious metals are also a good choice for a difficult stock market season, because when people are nervous about the future of the economy, they tend to invest in things of universal value, like gold. It provides a sense of security, because if all else fails to attract consumers, gold will still glitter and be considered an item of special value and significance. And if you buy gold before the bear market sets in, you can probably sell it for a profit once the demand for it increases.

In summary, stocks that provide a sense of stability and security through ownership of those basic necessities of life are usually a good place to invest during a bear market. And buying stocks whose prices have fallen to bargain basement prices is also a smart strategy. Many perfectly good stocks with underlying value and strong earnings get dumped when people pull their investments away from the stock market en masse. Those who are patient can buy these at wholesale or below wholesale prices, and then watch their purchases rise in value once others realize that these stocks are good buys. When the stock market begins to climb again, those stocks that are undervalued will rise quickly and you will be left holding winners that you bought at deeply discounted prices.

Stocks Or Mutual Funds

If you happen to have some money left over at the end of all the bill payments and you have no need for anymore toys, or even if you are beginning a prudent and fiscally responsible gamble on some wealth that incorporates investment opportunities, you may find yourself wondering whether investing in stocks or purchasing mutual funds will offer the best returns. You might also consider this question when considering how to set up a retirement fund.

In order to help make the decision, it is important to understand what stocks and mutual funds are.

Stocks: Most people believe they have a basic understanding of what stocks are, simply because of their exposure to the term in every day usages. Stocks are individual bits of companies that are available to be purchased by the public in open trading on the stock exchange. Stocks are often sold in bundles, and thus to purchase a stock in a specific company often entails some kind of minimum purchase. Stockholders have a vested interest in the company’s well-being, as the price of their stocks are directly related to a company’s performance. Stocks are divided according to the kind of business they represent, which is known as a sector.

Mutual Funds: Mutual funds are collective investments that pools the money from a lot of investors and puts the money in stocks, bonds, and other investments. Mutual funds are usually managed by a certified professional, as opposed to the individual management of stocks. In essence, mutual funds incorporate many different types of stocks.

The question of whether or not to invest in stocks or mutual funds will primarily come down to the personal expertise and wealth of the individual. Many people will be tempted by the “game” aspect of buying stock, as well as the chance to invest singularly in a company that is well-known or can be easily researched. The fact is, however, that by the time stocks become available on the market they are generally already highly priced, and investing in individual stocks is a highly risky maneuver as your entire process hangs on the well-being of just one company. Even wealthy investors diversify their portfolios by investing in several different types of stock, and this can simply be unaffordable for the average person.

The better bet for the beginning investor is to purchase mutual funds. Mutual funds will pool the costs of many different stocks, lessening the risk of losing your money and raising the chances of gain. Mutual funds may not provide quite the excitement of investing in a lucky stock, but they are good investments for a long-term financial opportunity. In addition, mutual funds are managed by professionals that are well acquainted with the pitfalls and opportunities of the investment sector, which will cut down on both risk and the time it would take to pick individual stocks through research and appointments. Mutual funds will also distribute the risks among several investors, and it is all managed by someone who likely has contacts within the financial world.

For the individual with some extra money, who does not have the time or the expertise to properly “play” the stock market, mutual funds will prove the better option.

Stocks Online Are Quite Varied

Anyone who decides to get into stock trading will soon find out this can be a world of ups and downs. Still, many investors find trading stocks is one of the best ways to accumulate and build on wealth. Even if it’s only a few dollars at hand to invest, stocks online can be a great consideration. Buying and selling online delivers not only a lot of perks in regard to ease, but also variety.

Stocks online now available for purchase come in all types. They can range from a few pennies to those that cost hundreds per share. For the most part, investors will find that stocks online are those that can also be purchased through a broker, paying higher fees. The advantages to online trading include not only lower fees, but also control and access to more markets in many cases.

The types of stocks online for purchase tend to include:

Penny stocks: These stocks are considered “junk” by some, but the fact is some people have managed to make very big returns on cheaper buys. Start up companies and those new to the stock market often offer their stocks at very affordable prices. While they might not actually cost a penny, these lower priced stocks are worth researching for investors without a lot of means. These are common buys online.

Blue chips: Some of America’s biggest company names fall into the blue chip category. These stocks online tend to be more expensive than others, but they are typically noted for their ability to maintain or increase price. The theory behind the blue chip stocks is that if they fall, they will generally recover their value and even increase it.

Bonds, futures: It is sometimes possible to buy into bonds and futures online, as well. These are also available for public trade and inasmuch can be great investments. Bonds can include municipal offerings and even those issued by companies. Futures tend to revolve around crops, such as oranges, wheat, livestock and so on.

In reality, those who look for stocks online will find almost everything available on the domestic front can be hand online, as well. The availability of some markets will depend on the site being used. Some traders will only offer specific markets they have access to.

Another option for online traders falls into the realm of foreign markets. Forex trading has become a very big deal with the Internet making it easier and easier for people to invest in foreign stock markets. Getting into foreign markets successfully will likely require some very serious homework on potential buys and pitfalls. The offerings on the foreign market will depend on the sites being used to invest.

No matter how stocks online are bought and sold, it’s a good idea to enter the deals with care. Do some homework on the sites being used to buy and sell, study the potential stock buys and do pay attention to major trends up or down. Even investors with a very little bit of money can make some real returns when they play the game well.

Stocks Look Pricey

The first quarter of 2006 is over. Now is a good time to reflect on stock prices and the opportunities they present.

Bargains are scarce. Equities are expensive. In recent weeks, I’ve heard several fund managers say valuations are still attractive. I don’t agree. Generally speaking, valuations are unattractive. Returns on equity are higher than historical levels. A market-wide return on equity of 15% is unsustainable. Price-to-earnings ratios may not fully reflect how expensive stocks are. Price-to-book ratios are more alarming.

There are two additional concerns. Most discussions of the relative attractiveness of equities focus on the S&P 500 and forward earnings. The S&P 500 is not the most representative index. It may not be the best index to consider when looking at market-wide valuations.

Forward earnings are (necessarily) estimates. Where current returns on equity are unsustainable, projected earnings that use similar returns on equity may overstate the earnings power of equities in general. This can occur even where the estimates appear reasonable given current earnings. If you start with unsustainable base earnings, you are likely to overestimate future earnings even if you truly believe you are assuming very modest earnings growth.

Assets in general are pricey. Value investors have few places to turn if they continue to insist upon a true margin of safety.

Bonds are unattractive. Long-term inflation risks make U.S. treasury, corporate, and municipal bonds a fool’s bet. There is little to gain and much to lose. The know-nothing investor who buys a top-quality bond today and holds it for decades may very well find his purchasing power diminished.

There may be some select opportunities in foreign equities. But, these are difficult to evaluate. Foreign government obligations are also difficult to evaluate, but that isn’t much of a problem for value investors, because most foreign government debt is priced to perfection. You’ll have to be willing to take a lot of uncompensated risks if you want to own such bonds.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. There may be a few bonds out there that are attractive. There certainly are a few attractive stocks out there. But, even those stocks that look very attractive relative to their peers don’t look nearly as attractive when compared to past bargains.

Value investors face a difficult choice. They can assume stock prices will return to historical levels, and hold cash until the correction comes. Or, they can accept the reality they currently face.

There is no logical reason stock prices must necessarily return to historical levels. During the twentieth century, real after-tax returns in diversified groups of common stocks were very high relative to other investment opportunities. There have been various reasons given for why this occurred. Many have said these returns were possible, because of the higher risks involved in holding equities. Over the long-term, risks were somewhat higher than today’s investors seem to remember, but they were hardly severe enough to justify the kind of performance spreads that existed during much of the twentieth century.

True, if you bought at inopportune times, it was possible to remain in a fairly deep hole for a fairly long time. But, if you gave no real consideration to the timing of your purchases or the prospects of the underlying enterprises, you did better than many bondholders who chose their investments with the utmost care.

This is a disconcerting problem. It may be that most investors are overly sensitive to the risk of an immediate “paper” loss in nominal terms, and therefore overlook the much greater risk of a gradual loss of purchasing power. Issuing fixed dollar obligations may be the best bet for any business or government that seeks to swindle investors.

For the sake of the common stockholders, I hope many of the best businesses continue to issue such obligations when money is cheap. Corporate debt gets a bad name, because it tends to be overused by those who don’t need it and shouldn’t want it (and, of course, by those businesses that do need it but won’t survive even if they get it). The businesses that would benefit the most from the use of debt usually appear to have more cash than they could ever need. But, it’s best to think ahead. For truly high quality businesses, the cost of capital will fluctuate far more wildly than the likely returns on capital.

If, during the last hundred years, stocks really were far cheaper than they should have been, is there any reason to believe stock prices will return to past levels? The past is often a pretty good predictor of the future – but, not always. It’s difficult to say whether, over the next few decades, valuations will, on average, be higher or lower than they are today. However, it isn’t all that difficult to say whether, at some point over the next few decades, valuations will be higher or lower than they are today. The answer to that question is almost certainly yes. They will be higher and they will be lower. Maybe for a few years or a few months. Maybe for a full decade. I don’t know.

What I do know is that value investors will have opportunities to make investments with a true margin of safety. But, should they wait?

That’s the most difficult question. Today, I am not finding opportunities that look particularly attractive when compared to the best opportunities of past years. But, I am still able to find a few (in fact, a very few) situations where the expected annual rate of return is greater than 15%.

That will be more than enough to beat the market. It will also likely be enough to provide a material increase in after-tax purchasing power. That’s not guaranteed, but it hardly seems holding cash would offer the better odds in this regard.

So, is an expected annual rate of return of 15% good enough? Is it reasonable to bet on the good opportunity that is currently available instead of waiting for the great opportunity that may yet become available?

I’ll leave that for you to decide.

Stocks Bonds

Many investors are looking into stocks and bonds investing for their financial needs. So which is better-stock or bonds for investing? When it comes to this form of investment, it is really all about your personality and individual needs.

First of all, bonds are almost always a safe investment, at least when you do so with a reputable company that is making good money. When you take out a bond, you are essentially lending money to the company, in exchange for getting your money back with interest at a certain date.

Most of the companies on the stock market are relatively safe in this form of investing. It certainly isn’t 100% guaranteed, especially if the company goes into bankruptcy. However, you can be reasonably sure of turning a profit.

A bond is really best if you want some short term money, in order to make a purchase, preferably within the next couple years. The reason these are great for an upcoming purchase is that you can be almost sure of making money in return. With a stock, you aren’t so sure of making a gain short term.

However, when you are investing in stocks the right way, you can be just about guaranteed to make a profit, albeit long term. Here’s how to do that: first of all, limit your investing to companies that have exhibited a long and profitable history, and eliminate the companies that haven’t.

Most investors have the mistaken belief that you can only make a fortune investing in the smaller, riskier stocks. In reality, whenever you invest in these smaller companies, you run a big risk of losing a lot of money, because they haven’t proven they can be successful over the long run.

Sure, some of these companies may turn out to be the next Microsoft, but it is very difficult to spot these diamonds in the rough beforehand; you always are at a big risk with newer, unproven companies. Once you’ve limited your search to a specific range of well run companies, then look at the stock price.

If the company is selling at a low price relative to it’s overall worth, then invest in it, and hold it for the long term. You wouldn’t want to use this strategy if you need money within the next few years, because short term the market always values companies according to how investors feel about them; however, in the long run, companies are always valued according to their profitability. Therefore, determine what your financial needs are, and make your stocks and bonds investing decision accordingly.

Stocks And Shares

Trading in a bull market is easier than trading in a bear market. Many traders find they can make money trading in bullish markets, but when there is a major correction underway or when the market is bearish, they literally freeze and are unable to trade successfully or find profits in their trading.

First,when a market has collapsed, it is important to accept the fact that the market trend has changed from bullish to bearish. It is human nature to find scapegoats or to find a “reason” or to rationalise away the fact that the market trend has changed. But unless the trader accepts the fact that he is solely responsible to trade his way out of a bearish market, he will find his position untenable and discover losses that add up daily as the market bearish sentiments continue. It does not pay to refuse the responsibility of your own trading action and put the blame on your broker or your friend who has given you the “tips” that led to your losses.

If you are faced with losses from a sudden collapse in prices, accept that it is your responsibility to now institute action to get out of this situation with profits.

Secondly, while in bullish markets it is easy to trade by just buying stocks that are in initial outbreaks and just holding them and coming back again after a few days to reap profits, you cannot do the same during bearish markets.

In bullish markets, you trade with the trend, and as long as the trend is up, you stand to make easy profits. On the contrary, in bearish markets, the market goes into consolidation, and trends are “shorter” in duration or the market will go into a sideways direction, with prices oscillating between ranges. During bearish markets, we are more biased towards range trading rather than trend trading. So if you do not know how to change from using trend trading to range trading, you can be caught with short term trend changes and suffer whipsaws and lose money trend trading during bearish markets.

Dealing with traders who have gone through a series of major market corrections since 1987 has led me to conclude that there is no room for lackadaisical trading during bearish markets. The margin of error for a trading signal is much lower when trading in a bearish market. I have seen traders who are able to quickly change or adapt from longer trend trading to trading shorter swings in the market or range trading to be able to make money from their trades. In bearish markets, they are contented with smaller profits, but trading more often and in higher volumes. To aid in their margin of profits, they are able to negotiate the lowest brokerage terms possible with their brokers or to use discounted online trading platforms.

In bearish markets, the trader who range trade will be the one who is best positioned to take advantage of the shorter and faster rebounds that occur as stocks get oversold and retrace upwards. Accepting personal responsibility and adapting to range trading will improve his chances to make money during bearish markets.

Way To Scan For Stocks

With thousands of stocks listed in the stock exchange for trading, how does a trader go about his stock selection? I am not refering to the fundamental approach where the trader studies the fundamentals of the company, and research the performance results of the company, check its price-earnings ratios or check its balance sheets and turnover and its dividend yield.

By and large among those successful traders who really make their living off by trading professionally in the stock markets, their preferred method seems to be the technical analysis approach.

By this, they use charting, and technical indicators applied to the stocks. They will devise filters or explorations, to scan for stocks that meet some selected indicators to show that the stocks are beginning to move or have started to move.

Professional traders who trade for a living have an array of trading tools to help them, but one of the most common tools they use to good effect is the indicator called On Balance Volume.

Popularised by Joseph Granville, the On Balance Volume or OBV in short is actually cumulative volume, where the underlying principle is that similar OBV should support equivalent price. By using this indicator, short term traders will be able to identify when there is a difference in this setting, or where OBV has outbreak already but price has still lagged behind, giving rise to the situation where an impending price jump is expected.

But how large is the impending jump? If there is indeed an OBV outbreak, and by inference the price should follow in the next few trading sessions, one must also ensure that the impending jump is of sufficient size to warrant a good margin of profit attractive enough for him to trade.

Added to this trading indicator, traders add yet another trading stipulation to nail those giant moves. We know in Elliot wave theory that the 3 and 5 waves of any stock are the impulsive and strong waves up.

I have seen much success from traders who scan their stocks with an OBV outbreak and are in their impulsive 3 and 5th waves which are their longest and strongest waves.

Armed with this understanding, when a stock is found to have just undergone an OBV Outbreak upwards and is moving within either its 3rd or 5th wave, you have an excellent candidate that will probably run away in price, and letting you reap a handsome profit within a short trading period.

Getting Started In The Market

Hollywood loves the stock market. The chaos of the stock exchange floor, the tension of boiler room day-trading, devious power brokers making back room deals; it all makes for great drama. Then you have the true-to-life stock market stories in the news: insider trading, big money IPOs, the dot com bust. All of it is enough to make you steer clear of the market for good and travel down a safer investment path. But don’t be frightened, history shows that long-term, there’s no better place to put your money to watch it grow. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Stocks 101

Simply put, when you purchase stock in a company, you become part-owner of that company. Along with other shareholders, you all combine as investors in the business, and therefore reap its rewards, or suffer its losses. Stocks are most commonly divided into separate categories depending on the size and type of the company (e.g., mid-cap, small-cap, energy, tech, etc.).

While speculation can drive stock prices in the short term, it’s long-term company earnings that determine a stocks gains or losses. Speaking of short term, that’s when stocks are extremely volatile. Over a span of just a few months or years, stocks can climb to astronomic heights or drop to pitiful lows. But, since 1926, the average stock has returned over 10 percent per year. That’s better than any other investment vehicle out there, and that’s why stocks are your best bet for long-term investment.

Picking Stocks

Before you dive head-first into the market, there are a few things you should know about picking stocks. First, the market’s performance as a whole is not necessarily a reflection of its individual stocks. Good stocks can keep growing even in a down market, while bad stocks have the frustrating tendency to drop or remain stagnant in a strong market.

Also, remember that history is not indicative of a stock’s future performance. Even solid stocks can slip from time to time. Remember that stock prices are based on a company’s earnings outlook, not its past performance. If the future looks bright for a company, a $100 dollar stock is probably a good buy. If earnings look less than promising, even a $5 stock can be a waste. Finally, investors determine a stock’s value by measuring a handful of primary criteria, most notably cash flow, earnings, and revenue.

“Diversify”

It’s the rallying cry of all smart investors. When compiling an investment portfolio of stocks, it’s smart to own shares in companies from several different industries. Consider it a “hedge bet”. When one part of the economy experiences a downturn, you’ll have other stocks in your portfolio to put your faith in.

When building your portfolio, the safest bet is to pick from financially strong businesses with earnings growth above the average. Surprisingly, that limits the lot to choose from, as only around 200 stocks today fit that bill. A solid portfolio features somewhere in the ballpark of 20 stocks selected from seven or more industries. A general rule of thumb is to invest in stocks with an above-average rate of growth and reasonable valuations.

Buy and Hold

Day trading is a great way to lose your nest egg, but quick. As we noted before, stocks over the short term are highly volatile. Sure, brokers today are offering cheap trades, but beware. There are a ton of hidden fees and taxes involved with day trading, not to mention the amount of attention required by you to monitor the blow-by-blow proceedings of the market. Our recommendation: buy and hold. A ten percent return over the long term is nothing to sneer at.

Mutual Funds

When it comes to investing your money for retirement, mutual funds are, more times than not, the way to go. If you have read a number of personal finance articles, you might notice that writers continually talk about these funds. Still, they often fail to explain the basic premise behind mutual funds; so many investors have a limited idea of what they are.

Starting Steps

Before you can fully understand mutual funds, you have to have a basic knowledge of stocks, bonds, and other important terms. Though these are simplistic explanations of these important terms, they will suffice for the sake of understanding.

Stocks

Stocks are interesting because they give you the opportunity to hold shares in a company’s ownership. Companies that offer stocks are often referred to as “public” companies because their ownership is comprised of many public entities. If you want some examples of these companies, you might look at Pepsi, Microsoft, or even IBM. Stocks are extremely popular as the most traded bit of ownership that is traded on the open market.

Bonds

With bonds, you aren’t directly investing your money into a public company. Instead, you are lending your own money to the government for their personal use over a length of time. With this type of investment, you will get not only the principal investment back, but also a set amount of interest. Rates for this type of investment are smaller, but these are safer investments.

Other than stocks and bonds, there are plenty of other types of investments that people have to consider. As mentioned before, mutual funds are popular among investors that like a safe option. They are popular for those people who don’t have a great idea of how to direct their own investment portfolio.

Mutual Funds

The basic definition of a mutual is somewhat simplistic, but it should do the trick in helping you understand their primary purpose. A mutual fund allows a bunch of investors to use their investment dollars together to achieve the desired objective. There will be one person in charge of directing the fund, who is known as the fund manager. He will make the choice of deciding which specific stocks and bonds to invest in within the mutual fund niche. Mutual fund investors actually hold shares in the mutual fund itself, as opposed to being individual shareholders of the different stocks.

Most investors like mutual funds because of the fact that they are extremely efficient investments. In fact, they are some of the easiest things to invest in. You are basically allowing someone else to direct this portion of your portfolio, but that person will be an experienced, skilled financial mind. Historically, mutual funds have been some of the safest investment options on the market, as they are specifically designed to fit the needs of safe minded investors.

When compared to stocks and bonds, mutual funds are a safe, effective way to invest money. As the market as become so volatile in recent years, it is important to have a portfolio that includes both these safe options and other riskier investment packages.

How To Pick Stocks For Stock Trading

I have found that the best stocks for stock trading and day trading are the stocks that make up the S&P 500. The reason for this is that the large Mutual Funds and large Institutional Buyers concentrate on these stocks in their never ending quest to beat the S&P 500. These stocks generally have strong relative strength and absolute performance to the S&P 500 Index. Of these stocks, I like to concentrate on those that are in the Nasdaq 100 Composite Index. It is the Nasdaq stocks that I like to trade the most because of their volatility of the stocks in the Nasdaq 100, I concentrate on those stocks that I that I like to refer to as “trading where the action is” stocks. These are stocks that show tremendous volume in the number of shares being traded during the day, at least 15 million shares and preferably 20 million shares and more. My real preference is share volume of 30 million plus per day.

In addition, the stocks must have a large daily stock trading range, which is the difference between the high price and low price of that stock for the previous trading day, and a lot of volatility. I look for a trading range of at least $2.00 per share, but I really prefer those that are more volatile and have a daily travelling range of $3.00 to $6.00 and more.

The reason for this is that I trade both sides of the market, both the long side and the short side on an intra-day basis. I have no interest in whether the stock closed in positive, or negative territory the previous day, just as long as the volume and price action are there.

All I want is the price action, high volume and the volatility. If I have these three ingredients, I know that the major players are very active in that stock and they are either increasing, or decreasing their weighting in that stock. Adding to and contributing to the price and volume action are what I call the “accelerators”, which are the momentum players, the program traders and the hedge funds who are trying to jump in ahead of the mutual funds and front run the stock, either up, or down. This is when the action really heats up and you will see “climatic volume” where each stock trade is occurring in less than a second. I have seen this many times every day. It happens all of the time.

One thing that may not be apparent to you on the surface is that what I have done when I pick stocks for stock trading is that I have used the major players as my research department. The money flow is very visible because most institutions are on the same page in terms of what they are buying and selling. This shows up in the price action, the volatility, and volume for the stocks in play. It is awfully hard for a herd of elephants to hide their foot prints in the sand.

Now with a potential list of stocks to trade. I then load those stocks into my “stock trading” watch list . In addition to that watch list I have another watch list that contains every stock in the Nasdaq 100. When the market opens I spend the first 5 minutes or so, observing the volume, price action, and direction of the stocks in both watch lists.

I am looking for certain patterns to develop and if I see a pattern that I like to day trade, I will pull the trigger and take the trade, either on the long side or the short side based on what the stock (price action and volume) tell me, what I see the market makers doing on the Level II screen, and provided the stock is trading in line with the chart of the Nasdaq 100.

I always have a fairly tight protective stop in place to protect me in case I am wrong and took the trade too soon. I may attempt that trade 2 or 3 times before I get the right entry, each time taking a small lose. But when I get the right entry, there is a lot of money to be made, especially when you are in the right stock.

One of the things I like to do is to stay with the same stock, as long as it satisfies my stock trading requirements. I may trade the same stock all week as along as it is performing for me and I am making good profitable trades with it. One of the benefits in doing this is that you really get to know the stock well, and how it trades.

To recap, in my opinion the best stocks for stock trading are those stocks with very high velocity and high volume, high volatility and a good intra-day travelling range. When you have these characteristics, you know the large institutions and the “accelerators” are involved in the stock.

For stock trading, you will need a direct access day trading account from a stock trading broker that offers direct access stock trading software. This is an absolute must have for day trading. The software will have Level II, charts, technical indicators, etc. Direct access means that your buy and sell orders are sent directly to the market by you without using a middle man to place the orders for you..

The first thing you need to do before you even attempt stock trading, and this is even if you do have some experience, is to take a good day trading course so that you really understand how the business of stock trading works, what patterns to look for, how the markets work and how everything fits together. It will be the best investment you ever make. If you don’t eductae yourself – you have better than a 90% chance of failing.

* the words stock trading and day trading are interchangeable.

Good luck and good trading,

The Maverick
Larry Schade

The Truth About The Stock Market

Did you know that the Large Mutual Funds, Money Managers, Broker Dealers, Hedge Funds, Market Makers, Specialists and Floor Brokers are the most active, successful, and profitable day traders

in the markets today. Yes, I said day traders. Most people are surprised when I tell them that. But that is exactly what they are. They can and do move markets, and in the process they make millions of dollars every day stock trading stocks with a good portion of that money being made off the backs of the uninformed individual trader and investor who blindly trades or invests in the stock market today.

When it comes to stock trading or investing in stocks, most individuals are not at all prepared, or aware of what the Wall Street professionals have in store for them. And they are very good at what they do. Things like questionable analyst upgrades for companies that are clients of the brokerage firm that the analyst works for . . . so as to facilitate the selling of stock by company and corporate insiders at a higher price than normal by selling into the momemtum and price action created by the upgrade. I honestly don’t know how some of these analyst can sleep at night, or how they can look at themselves in the mirror in the morning. But those are the facts, and it happens almost every day.

And, did you know about how the big players run and gun stocks, or tank them to make a killing off the underlying put or call options they had previosly loaded up on. Or how they manipulate the financial futures to manipulate stock prices, option prices, or the financial futures prices themselves so they can make large amounts of money, often at your expense. For every winner on a stock trade or investment, there has to be a loser. The market is a zero sum game. Is that loser you?

The truth of the matter is that the market is a game of money flow played by the big players as they move money around from stocks, to options, to financial futures, and back and forth in a number of different ways, all in the pursuit of greed and large profits. And remember, I previously mentioned that “a good portion of that money is being made off the backs of the uninformed individual stock trader and investor who blindly trades and invests in the stock market today.”

Education is the key to the success of every indivdual stock trader and investor involved in the stock market today, witkout exception. The good news is that . . . once you learn the inner secrets of how you can trade and invest with them and not against them, like the pros do . . . you can confidently and consistently trade and invest in stocks profitably most days of the year, too.

Once you know what you are really doing, it is not uncommon to make $2,500 to $5,000 and more, per day. I have done it, and continue to do it when I trade. But if you don’t know what you are doing, it is not uncommon to lose that kind of money, too. I feel very fortunate that I had the opportunity to learn from the same stock traders and investors you will meet on the pages of this site.

You can become a very successful stock trader and/or investor, but only if you are willing to invest the time and effort required educating yourself about the real workings of the stock market and how everything fits together. You won’t find a better place on the internet to get the critical information you need to succeed.

If you are losing money in the markets today stock trading or investing, or not making enough money, it is time for you get out of the markets for awhile and sit back and try and analyze what you are doing wrong. If you are honest with yourself, you are going to realize that you really don’t know what you are doing when it comes to stock trading and investing.

The best advice anyone can give you is to take a stock trading or investing traing course, either here or elsewhere, and find out what you should be doing. Some of these courses are not cheap, but the cost is really minimal when you consider the success you can have, and the money you can make in the stock market. You have to decide what you want to do. There is an old saying that goes like this “If you continue to do what you have always done, then you will continue to get what you have always got”.

Here at DowTrend.com you will find everything you need to know and learn to become successful at stock trading and investing in today’s stock market. There are free trading lessons, free trial offers, and comprehensive stock trading and investing courses from the most successful, market savy and knowledgeable traders and investors in the world. They hold nothing back. These are the same individuals that I originally learned from years ago, and yes there are many days when I make a lot more money than they do.

Spend some time looking around this site. Take your time and check everything out. There is no one around to bother you. I sincerely believe you will like what you see.

Stock Trading

Stock Trading is of great interest to many people. Stock trading is an exciting, shorter term strategy where it is you against the market. Stock trading is one of the most exciting things you can do, but it does require a lot of skill and discipline to succeed. Stock trading is done at at a stock exchanges, which are places where buyers and sellers meet and decide on a price. Stock trading is affected by supply and demand. Online stock trading is considered one of the best ways for valmost anyone to get in on the market. One of the best resources out there on the internet today for the investor looking to educate him or her self about online stock trading is http://dowtrend.com and http://tradelikethepros.com. Online stock trading is all about selecting the best stock opportunities and following your buy and sell signals.

Trading

Trading stocks online is downright fun if you enjoy the art of maximizing gains and protecting them by minimizing risks. Trading stock online has been becoming popular tremendously as a large percentage of population is having an access to the computers. Trading a stock basically means you are either buying or selling. You will need to be well-disciplined and goal orientated, as these are the main skills that separate winners and losers in the trading world. Online trading can be a good way to make a lot of money or to bring a small residual income to supplement your regular income. Being greedy in the online stock trading world can cost you a lot of money; however, you will be able to find advice everyone on the Internet about online stock trading; and if you follow the advice properly, then you may be able to make your living off of the stock market alone.

Stocks

Stocks that are well traded have a group of major traders and those traders have habits, patterns. It seems pretty easy to make money by trading stocks but predicting short term price movements and to benefit from that is very difficult in real life. You need a system or set of indicators to find stocks to trade. Fortunately, with a little education and a little research the average stock trader can decide whether online stocks are the right tools for success or if they are more comfortable sticking with traditional venues. When it comes to finding stocks, there are free stock screeners but you can also spend hundreds of dollars per month, it all depends on what you are looking for and how close to the market you want to be. Discipline is required for every decision and action you make while trading stocks. Now the easy part, finding stocks to trade. Either by viewing stock charts or using technical analysis software stocks which present good buying opportunities can be found. Please remember, trading stocks is a probability game.

Stock trading is not as difficult as many people think. Stock trading is very enjoyable and I wish you good luck. Stock trading is a very competitive field and in order to succeed you need to FOCUS on a set of simple strategies that you can implement without hesitation. Stock trading is educatiuon is so important that day traders from all over the world are indeed frequent visitors to top stock trading websites. In truth, stock trading is like anything else that requires the utmost skill and discipline to succeed. The Basics Of Stock Trading The most important aspect of stock trading is to develop a stock trading strategy that suits your needs, expectations and personality type. One of the biggest advantages option trading has over outright stock trading is to be able to take a view on market direction with limited risk while at the same time having unlimited profit potential. The only thing needed to start online stock trading is a brokerage account.

Stock Markets Of The World

“Stock Market” is a term that is used to refer both to the physical location for buying and selling stocks, and to the overall activity of the market within a certain country. When you hear “The stock market was down today,” it refers to the combined activity of many stock exchanges.

The major exchanges in the US are the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the American Stock Exchange (Amex), and NASDAQ.

The correct term for the physical location for trading stocks is the “Stock Exchange.” A country may have many different stock exchanges. Usually a particular company’s stocks are traded on only 1 exchange, although large corporations may be listed in several.

Investing Around The World

There are stock exchanges located throughout the world, and it is possible to buy or sell stocks on any of them. The only restriction is the oparating hours of each exchange. Both the NYSE and NASDAQ, for example, operate from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

Other exchanges have similar opening hours based on their local time. When you trade on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, your order will be executed sometime between 9:30 pm and 4:00 am New York time.

The locations of the major stock exchanges of the world are:

Japan (Tokyo Stock Exchange)
India (Bombay Stock Exchange)
Europe (London Stock Exchange, Frankfurt Stock Exchange, SWX Swiss Exchange)
the People’s Republic of China (Shanghai Stock Exchange)
United States.

Stock Market Fluctuations

The economic health of a country will strongly influence its stock market. When the economy is doing well the market is bullish. Bull markets occur during times of high economic production, low unemployment and low inflation. Bear markets, on the other hand, follow downturns in the economy. When inflation and unemployment are rising, stock prices are usually falling.

Stock price fluctuations are also driven by supply and demand, which in turn are dependent to a great degree on investor psychology. Seeing a stock price rise rapidly can cause investors to jump on the bandwagon, and this rush to buy drives the price up even faster. A falling price can have a similar effect in the other direction. These are short-term fluctuations. Stock prices tend to normalize after such runs.

The stock exchange is only 1 of many opportunities for people to invest. Other popular markets include the Foreign Exchange Market (FOREX), the Futures Market, and the Options Market.

FOREX: World’s Largest Market

The FOREX is the biggest (in terms of value) investment market in the world. FOREX traders buy 1 currency against another and can profit from small changes in currency value. Most FOREX trades are entered and exited in 1 24-hour span, and traders have to keep a close watch on the market in order to make profitable trades.

The Futures Market

The Futures Market is a market of contracts to buy and sell certain goods at specified prices and times. It exists because buyers and sellers of goods wish to lock in prices for future delivery, but market conditions can make the actual futures contract fluctuate considerably in value.

Most investors in the futures market are not interested in the actual goods — only in the profit that can be realized from trading the contracts.

The Options Market

The Options Market is similar to the Futures Market in that an option is a contract that gives you the right (but not the obligation) to trade a stock at a certain price before a specified date. These options can be traded on their own or purchased as a form of insurance against price fluctuations within a certain time frame.

Stocks: Low Risk, Long-Term

All 3 of these markets are considered quite risky without considerable knowledge and experience. They also require close monitoring of market movements. Stocks, on the other hand, are less risky because movements of the market are usually more gradual. Although short-term investment strategies are possible, most people view stocks as long-term investments.

Stock Market Wisdom From Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall;
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King’s horses
And all the King’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again!

You know this tragic story.

During the 45+ years that I have been a financial advisor, I have seen this over and over and over again.

A new client comes into my office and asks me to review their old portfolio. Very often it is littered with holdings that make no sense. It might have been possible that each of those holdings was purchased for a specific reason at the time, but when put together it looks like a patchwork piece of cloth, a crazy quilt.

Investment professionals refer to this as a Humpty Dumpty portfolio. This is a portfolio that is broken beyond repair. Truly, all the king’s horses and all the king’s man couldn’t put this portfolio together again.

What’s the lesson here?
How can you avoid being burdened with a Humpty Dumpty portfolio?
And, if this does happen to you, what’s the best thing to do?

The most important lesson to be learned here it is that while it is important to trust your financial advisor, it is also very important for you to pay attention to your own investments. After all, it is your money.

It is important for you to understand that your portfolio should have some coherence. It should be something that matches your long-term financial goals. Your portfolio should not be populated by the latest “stock du jour”, recommended by your broker.
The main way to avoid the problem is to find a financial advisor who understands your goals and has the ability and willingness to help you reach them.

Lastly, if this has happened to you, I’m afraid you will have to swallow some bitter medicine. You might have to sell most or all of your holdings, and start over again. There is no sense in compounding a mistake into an even larger mistake.

Conventional wisdom states that your portfolio should be built upon a very strong foundation. This strong foundation should be comprised of high quality stocks and high quality bonds. The best way to visualize the construction of your portfolio is to visualize a pyramid. As we move up along with the slope of the pyramid, you might consider having smaller and smaller pieces of slightly higher risk investments.

Conventional wisdom declares that you should have the proper amount of diversification. Conventional wisdom is never the cutting edge. You may not to double your money overnight with this philosophy but you can be relatively certain that your money will be there in the future when you need it.

Conventional wisdom is generally right. Otherwise it would be called conventional stupidity.

I grew up in Brooklyn, New York. When this specific event happened, I was far away, on a business trip, so I didn’t see it, but I know a guy who knows a guy who did see it and he claims that Dumpty was pushed.

But that’s another story.

Stock Market Wisdom

Once upon a time, there was a young hare, a hotshot rabbit investor who would always brag to anyone that would listen and that he was the smartest, fastest, best performing investor in the world. He would constantly tease the old tortoise about his slow, solid investment style.

Then, one day, the annoyed tortoise answered back: “There is no denying that you are very aggressive in your investment strategy. You take very high risks and get high returns. But even you can be beaten.”

The young hare squealed with laughter. “Beaten? By whom? Surely not by you. I bet there’s nobody in the world that can win against me, because I’m so good. If you think that you can beat me, why don’t you try?”

Provoked by such bragging, the tortoise accepted the challenge. Each of them put an equal amount of money into a new account and the race was on. The hare yawned sleepily as the meek tortoise trudged slowly off.

As might be expected, the tortoise invested in high quality blue chips, companies with household names.

The hare, as anticipated, invested his money in dotcom stocks and options.

You know the story. The aggressive hare jumped out to a big early lead. In a rising market, the highest risk stocks perform the best. This is called momentum investing. Money flows into the investments that are performing the best.

The hare, having jumped out to such a large early lead, stopped paying attention to the market environment. Basically, he fell asleep. He thought to himself, “I’ll have 40 winks and still remain way ahead of that stupid old turtle.”

The hare awoke from his sleep and gazed around looking for the tortoise, who was nowhere in sight. Unfortunately, while he was sleeping, dreaming about what he would do with his winnings, the market turned against him.

His very high-risk portfolio had taken a terrible beating and was now practically worthless.

The tortoise, a Warren Buffett style investor, had passed the sleeping rabbit long ago. He had been plodding forward, steadily, since the beginning of the contest. The Tortoise never for a moment stopped, but went on with a slow but steady pace straight to the end of the course.

The hare realized that the tortoise was way ahead of him, and away he dashed. He leaped and bounded while gasping for breath, but it was too late. The tortoise had beaten him.

There are two very important lessons to be learned here.

First – slow and steady wins the race.

Second – never confuse your own intelligence with a bull market.

Where To Find Reliable Treatment For Acne

In the 21st century there is an ever growing number of products that are advertised as being effective treatments for acne. With so many different products on the market it can become downright confusing trying to figure out which treatment regimen will best meet your needs and will best assist you in resolving an acne condition. Unfortunately, the market is now flush with an abundance of products that make dramatic promises about their abilities to treat acne — products that in reality are of no effect whatsoever. The acne product market is filled with operators that are much like the snake oil salesmen of days gone by.

By taking the time to serious examine what is available on the market in the way of effective acne treatment products, you will be able to select a product and regimen that is not only effective but that is best suited to your particular needs.

If you have what might be categorized as a more severe acne condition or if you have an acne condition that has been slow to clear up, you need to give very serious consideration to seeking professional assistance. Through professional assistance — usually from a licensed dermatologist — you will be able to benefit from a treatment regimen that likely will be able to resolve your problem. While a dermatologist may recommend products such as the ZENMED Derma Cleanse® System, a treating professional will have other suggestions for you as well. A well trained dermatologist will be able to assist you in developing a comprehensive acne treatment program suitable to the state of your condition.

The Internet and World Wide Web has become a significant resource for products and services related to the care and treatment of an acne condition. (Of course, as mentioned above, you need to take care that you access only reliable and reputable sites on the Net that market proven products such as the ZENMED Derma Cleanse® System.)

There are a number of specific benefits to utilizing the Internet as your resource for the care and treatment of acne condition. As has been referenced already, the Net is flush with sites that you can make the purchase of different acne treatment products. In addition to being able to purchase products on the Internet, you can also utilize the World Wide Web as a source of valuable information about the cause, care and treatment of acne. There are now a plethora of sites that provide detailed and authoritative information about different types of health related issues, including the cause, care and treatment of acne.

Finally, there are now actually different support groups and information exchanges designed for people that are afflicted with acne. These sites allow people — particularly men and women afflicted with adult onset acne — with the ability to share treatment ideas and to commiserate general about their conditions. Through bulletin boards and online forums, these types of resources have proven to be very helpful to people afflicted with acne. One should not overlook the valuable services and information that can be provided to you about an acne condition from a local pharmacist. The typical pharmacy in the brick and mortar world is a decent resource for information and treatments for acne. Of course, this will be your primary resource if your dermatologist ends up suggesting a prescription medication for the care and treatment of your acne condition.

Overall, your local real world pharmacist will allow you the chance to explore both prescription and over the counter treatment options. The union of a dermatologist and a pharmacist can be your best frontline resource if you have hard to treat or severe acne. As you seek out the most reliable treatment for your acne condition, be open to trying products that you have not utilized before — provided that you do so responsibly. For example, if you have not utilized a product such as the ZENMED Derma Cleanse® System, you will want to take a look at this product in your quest for the perfect treatment regimen for your acne condition.

By experimenting responsibly with different proven treatment regimens you will have a better chance of finding a care plan that is most effective for your particular condition and needs.

In the 21st century there is now a wide selection of different types of acne care and treatment products and services on the market. By taking the time to explore the possibilities, you will be in the best possible position to land on the perfect treatment regimen that will work to ensure that you are able to resolve a current acne condition and prevent a future flare up.

Don’t Squeeze That Zit

Squeezing pimples or zits, as they are commonly called, can be painful and cause serious damage. An enduring myth about acne is that squeezing blackheads can clear up the acne faster. This myth is not only false, but following this advice can also cause long-lasting harm to the skin.

Pimples can be classified into two types. There is the non inflammatory type, which is essentially whiteheads and blackheads, also called closed comodones and open comodones respectively. Whiteheads are plugged follicles below the surface of the skin. Blackheads on the other hand are enlarged plugs that look like minute black spots and push through the skin’s surface. Then there are the inflammatory types which are further classified into papules, which are pinkish in color and tender to the touch; pustules, which are small and round lesion like pimples with a red base and a yellowish centre; and nodules or cysts, which is the most severe form of acne, and are large and extremely painful and tend to leave scars.

Squeezing blackheads is more likely to harm than heal. As tempting as it can be, squeezing comedones can injure the sebaceous follicle and the tissue around it and force the contents, the bacteria, deeper into the skin tissue and also force its contents to extrude to the skin surface. This can result in inflammation of the skin. Also, scientific evidence suggests that blackheads not be removed by using blackhead extractors that are so commonly available on the Internet or magazine ads. A fully developed blackhead will not become inflamed if left alone.

Moreover, squeezing whiteheads can be potentially even more damaging. Whiteheads, also called sandpaper comedo, are so small that they can hardly be seen, and are more likely to be felt as roughness on the skin. a whitehead is more likely than a blackhead to become inflamed, and further evolve into a pustule or a papule.

When whiteheads naturally evolve into papules or pustules, they should be treated by a dermatologist. Acne can be severely exacerbated if you attempt to squeeze the inflammatory type of lesions. Also whiteheads are so small, that there is hardly any content in it to squeeze out so overall the whole squeezing experience can be rather unsatisfying! A regular acne treatment, based upon your specific type of problem, cause and skin type is by far the best way to keep your acne under control.

What You Need to Know About Benzoyl Peroxide

One of the most common ingredients found in acne treatment medications is benzoyl peroxide. It is known for its acne fighting properties. It is a chemical found in organic peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is called an active ingredient in products because it causes a chemical change upon contact with the skin. It produces a chemical compound of benzoic acid and oxygen that peels the top layer of dead cells off the skin surface. This peeling effect cleans the pores more deeply than a normal application of soap and water.

Benzoyl peroxide is found in a wide variety of products because it is known for its mildness on the skin. Another of the most common ingredients found with benzoyl peroxide is salicylic acid. A combination of these two active ingredients is found in popular acne treatment brands like Oxy-10 and Clearasil. While both have been tested for their acne fighting properties, they have not been proven to be any more effective combined. Salicylic acid can be harmful for women who are pregnant, causing birth defects. This has been proven in cases where the salicylic acid is ingested orally. It has not been totally proven in cases where the salicylic acid is applied topically, but if you’re a mother, do you really want to run that risk. The best idea is to stay away from the salicylic acid completely.

There are many products out there that are effective that have no salicylic acid in them. One of the most popular acne treatments sold today is, a product that is endorsed by many high profile celebrities including Jessica Simpson, Puff Daddy, and Lindsay Lohan. Proactiv has been tested and proven to be effective using a combination of ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide and sulfur. It also has anti-inflammatory ingredients such as aloe vera that help the skin stay moisturized. Clean, moist skin is one of the most important factors in maintaining and preventing further acne.

Of course, there are cases where benzoyl peroxide has been reported to irritate and dry out the skin. Dry and irritated skin and hair follicles have the highest susceptibility to new acne, so it is important to have the correct dosage of benzoyl peroxide for your own personal needs. has a fairly low level of benzoyl at 2.5%, which helps keep skin irritation to a minimal. There are several products out on the market today, such as NeoBenz Micro that contains higher concentrations of up to 8.5%. Because of this high dose NeoBenz is only available with a prescription.

What is Back Acne and What Can I Do About It

Like all of the other forms of acne, there is no one thing that causes back acne. As far as the medical community stands, back acne also happens when oil glands start functioning more rapidly around puberty. The hormone group androgens, found in both females and males, get overactive which in turn causes a reaction in the oil glands, which make extra oil. The oil glands are located just underneath the skin surface.

Oil glands constantly are producing and secreting oil through the pores in the skin. When too much of the oils are produced the pores and hair follicles become clogged. The clogs obstruct the way that dead cells escape the skin, which in turn results in a mess of oil and dead cells plugging the hair follicle. This attracts bacterium, which causes the acne to be formed.

Back acne can be found on any part of the body and does not necessarily have to be on a person’s back. It can be very severe with large lesions and painful cysts. Back acne may just be something that certain people are prone to or it could be caused by other things such as tight clothing or a heavy backpack. Not having anything in contact with the back is not a logical prevention step, as we all must sit down and everyone has to wear clothing.

Back acne comes in all sizes and forms of acne, ranging from mild forms like whiteheads to serious forms of acne including cystic acne. ‘Bacne’ as it is referred to in slang terms, can consist of pimples, pustules and blackheads as well. Back acne affects people ranging from age ten to age forty or older yet. Understanding the causes of back acne and available treatment options, are very important is treating and preventing the condition.

There are some differences in back acne and acne located elsewhere on the body however. Back acne is not caused by genetics as other acnes can be. Some severe cases of back acne may be genetically passed on but most likely it is just the individual’s body type or personal genetic make up. People all over the world suffer from back acne at some point in their lives. Unlike other acne, food does not contribute to the formation or flare up of back acne. There is absolutely no evidence that foods cooked in grease, or high in fat content contribute to back acne.

It is also known that excessive oil production and dirt build up does not have a huge impact on developing back acne. Perspiring excessively and not washing or showering immediately has been shown to not increase the chances of developing back acne. Back acne also does not seem to be affected by stress. There are some who think that facial acne is increased due to stress. However stress can cause back acne to not heal. Oftentimes, stress causes people to pick and bother the pimples, which make the condition worse.

It is easier to treat back acne than to try and prevent it because most people suffer from back acne at one time or another. Skin on the back is much thicker and therefore allows for stronger topical treatments, such as ten percent Benzoyl peroxide. This strength of Benzoyl peroxide is not suitable for other skin that is typically thinner and will not be able to sustain itself under harsh treatment. You can get all the same types of acne, blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules and cysts, on your back just as you can on any other part of your body.

Taking some over the counter medicines may treat breakouts of back acne in conditions that are not complex. Some skin specialists or dermatologists should treat severe forms of acne on the back, such as cystic acne. Most of the simpler forms of acne might disappear with daily washing and cleansing routines but as cystic acne goes deep into the skin and can cause permanent scarring, it should be given more serious medical attention than simple pustules or blackheads on the back.

Always speak to your healthcare provider about treatment before starting a back acne treatment program never attempt to treat severe acne on your own or with an over the counter product without consulting a professional.

What Is Acne Laser Treatment

Acne laser treatment is a method that has helped millions to get rid of acne. Each year, individuals find out that the over the counter medications that they get at their local drug store just do not provide enough help to them. They have likely tried several products and can not find method to get rid of acne. Acne laser treatment can actually help to stop acne once and for all for many individuals.

How Does It Work?

Acne laser treatment is just what it sounds like. The technician will use a very powerful and small laser to effectively trigger the acne. Usually, the procedure will be done because the acne is being caused, at least in part, by over producing oils in the skin. The laser will get to these glands that are under the skin and causing the oils and destroy them. While this seems harsh, laser acne treatment is virtually painless. There are no ramifications to having these glands destroyed either. Once the glands stop producing oils, the bacteria that cause acne will not have an optimal place to grow. This in turn effectively stops acne.

It is important to know that in most causes acne treatments will not necessary cure the acne that is already on your face or body. This will usually be done with antibiotics. Once the oils slow or stop though, there will be fewer outbreaks of acne on the face or body once these heal.

Scar Treatment

Another option for the use of acne laser treatment is that in which the acne scars can be removed. This very powerful laser can actually remove the top layers of your skin near and on the scar. When new skin grows back, it will be healthy and scars are either gone or they are not as visible. Acne scar laser treatment is fast becoming a way to get rid of acne scars that have been on a person’s body for years.

In either treatment, laser acne treatment can be quite effective. In some cases, there will be the need for several treatments to be done, though. The only bad part of acne laser treatment is that it is not necessarily cheap. With the several treatments that may be necessary, it may be quite expensive. Yet, even with that said, the results for laser treatments are amazing for many.

What Is Acne And Who Gets Acne

Acne primarily occurs when the pores of our face get clogged with whiteheads, blackheads or lumps like cysts or nodules. Acne appears on the face, neck, chest, shoulders, back and the upper arms. It is very common with teenagers but adults till the age of forty can be affected by acne. It is not at all hazardous to health but it creates blemishes on the body, which in turn is very irritating. Acne causes scarring which are often permanent.

Acne is not dependent upon race, ethnicity, color or sex. Nearly 100% of people belonging to the age group of twelve to seventeen suffer from the occasional blackhead, whitehead or pimple. Most of these young people are able to take care of this problem with some medications that can be had over the counter. For some the problem is serious and needs professional care. About 40% of adolescents and teenagers suffer from severe problems that require the assistance of a physician to be cured.

When does it start?

Acne hits between the ages of ten and thirteen. The condition persists for the next five to ten years. It normally disappears in the early twenties though it can stay till one is in their late twenties, thirties or even later than that. There have been cases when people start getting acne when they are well into adulthood.

Men or women?

There has been no concrete evidence to show whether men or women suffer more from acne. But young men are more prone to the different forms of acne than women. For men acne is far more severe and lasts really longer than women. Despite this men do not visit the dermatologist as often as they should.

Young women usually have acne that occurs intermittently. This is caused by hormonal changes that are associated with the menstrual cycle. Acne can also be caused by the use of cosmetics without understanding whether they are suitable to the particular skin type or not. These kinds of acne can happen to women who are well into their adulthood.

Where do they occur?

Acne can occur most commonly on the face but they also occur on the chest, back, shoulders, scalp, neck, upper arms and legs.

Impact

Acne may seem to be very trivial but you will be surprised to know that it does have an economic impact as well. Approximately a hundred million dollars a year are spent on non-prescriptive drugs that most teenagers buy to get rid of acne. This amount does not include the money spent on the cleansers and soaps that have been made for controlling acne. Besides this one needs to visit the dermatologist and buy the medicines that he has prescribed. This also needs money.

You have come to know that you are not the only one who is suffering from this problem. A careful skin-cleansing regimen needs to be followed to have a healthy skin.

What is acne

Acne vulgaris is an inflammatory disease of the skin, caused by changes in the pilosebaceous units (skin structures consisting of a hair follicle and its associated sebaceous gland). Acne lesions are commonly referred to as pimples, spots or zits.

The condition is common in puberty, especially among Western societies most likely due to a higher genetic predisposition. It is considered an abnormal response to normal levels of the male hormone testosterone. The response for most people diminishes over time and acne thus tends to disappear, or at least decrease, after one reaches their early twenties. There is, however, no way to predict how long it will take for it to disappear entirely, and some individuals will continue to suffer from acne decades later, into their thirties and forties and even beyond. Acne affects a large percentage of humans at some stage in life.

Symptoms

The most common form of acne is known as “acne vulgaris”, meaning “common acne.” Excessive secretion of oils from the sebaceous glands combines with naturally occurring dead skin cells to block the hair follicles. There also appeares to be in some instances a faulty keritinization process in the skin leading to abnormal shedding of skin lining the pores. Oil secretions build up beneath the blocked pore, providing a perfect environment for the skin bacteria Propionibacterium acnes to multiply uncontrolled. In response, the skin inflames, producing the visible lesion. The face, chest, back, shoulders and upper arms are especially affected.

The typical acne lesions are: comedones, papules, pustules, nodules and inflammatory cysts. These are the more inflamed form of pus-filled or reddish bumps, even boil-like tender swellings. Non-inflamed ‘sebaceous cysts’, more properly called epidermoid cysts, occur either in association with acne or alone but are not a constant feature. After resolution of acne lesions, prominent unsightly scars may remain.

Aside from scarring, its main effects are psychological, such as reduced self-esteem and depression. Acne usually appears during adolescence, when people already tend to be most socially insecure.

Causes of acne

Exactly why some people get acne and some do not is not fully known. It is known to be partly hereditary. Several factors are known to be linked to acne:

Hormonal activity, such as menstrual cycles and puberty
Stress, through increased output of hormones from the adrenal (stress) glands.
Hyperactive sebaceous glands, secondary to the three hormone sources above.
Accumulation of dead skin cells.
Bacteria in the pores, to which the body becomes ‘allergic’.
Skin irritation or scratching of any sort will activate inflammation.
Use of anabolic steroids.
Any medication containing halogens (iodides, chlorides, bromides), lithium, barbiturates, or androgens.
Exposure to high levels of chlorine compounds, particularly chlorinated dioxins, can cause severe, long-lasting acne, known as Chloracne.

Traditionally, attention has focused mostly on hormone-driven over-production of sebum as the main contributing factor of acne. More recently, more attention has been given to narrowing of the follicle channel as a second main contributing factor. Abnormal shedding of the cells lining the follicle, abnormal cell binding (“hyperkeratinization”) within the follicle, and water retention in the skin (swelling the skin and so pressing the follicles shut) have all been put forward as important mechanisms. Several hormones have been linked to acne: the male hormones testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), as well as insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I). In addition, acne-prone skin has been shown to be insulin resistant.

Development of acne vulgaris in latter years is uncommon, although this is the age group for Rosacea which may have similar appearances. True acne vulgaris in older adults may be a feature of an underlying condition such as pregnancy and disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome or the rare Cushing’s syndrome.

Misconceptions about causes

There are many misconceptions and rumors about what does and does not cause the condition:

Diet. One flawed study purported that chocolate, french fries, potato chips and sugar, among others, affect acne.A recent review of scientific literature cannot affirm either way.The consensus among health professionals is that acne sufferers should experiment with their diets, and refrain from consuming such fare if they find such food affects the severity of their acne.A recent study, based on a survey of 47,335 women, did find a positive epidemiological association between milk consumption and acne, particularly skimmed.The researchers hypothesize that the association may be caused by hormones (such as bovine IGF-I) present in cow milk; but this has not been definitively shown. Seafood, on the other hand, may contain relatively high levels of iodine, but probably not enough to cause an acne outbreak. Still, people who are prone to acne may want to avoid excessive consumption of foods high in iodine. It has also been suggested that there is a link between a diet high in refined sugars and acne. According to this hypothesis, the startling absence of acne in non-westernized societies could be explained by the low glycemic index of these tribes’ diets.Further research is necessary to establish whether a reduced consumption of high-glycemic foods (such as soft drinks, sweets, white bread) can significantly alleviate acne, though consumption of high-glycemic foods should in any case be kept to a minimum, for general health reasons.

Deficient personal hygiene. Acne is not caused by dirt. This misconception probably comes from the fact that acne involves skin infections. In fact, the blockages that cause acne occur deep within the narrow follicle channel, where it is impossible to wash them away. These plugs are formed by the cells and sebum created there by the body. The bacteria involved are the same bacteria that are always present on the skin. Regular cleansing of the skin can reduce, but not prevent, acne for a particular individual and very little variation among individuals is due to hygiene. Anything beyond very gentle cleansing can actually worsen existing lesions and even encourage new ones by damaging or overdrying skin.

Sex. Common myths state that either celibacy or masturbation cause acne and, conversely, that sexual intercourse can cure it. There is absolutely no scientific evidence suggesting that any of these are factual. It is true, though, that anger and stress affect hormone levels and thus bodily oil production. Whether or not any increases in oil production due to stress are enough to cause acne is currently being researched.