I am looking for a good book on Forex trading, that contains strategies that I can test and potentially use for intraday trading.
My end of day trading strategy does not apply to forex..
I have looked on Amazon and there are several books coming out over the next few months, which makes me wonder if everyone is getting into this! The books that are listed mostly have bad reviews or seem low quality..
If anyone has any suggestions for good forex strategy books, please add a comment to this post with your recommendations in. Everyone can use this a resource for good books..
Archive for September, 2008
I am looking for a good book on Forex trading, that contains strategies that I can test and potentially use for intraday trading.
Spread betters seminar
Malcolm Pryor who write the ‘The spread betters handbook’ is holding a seminar on the 1st November 2008, in London. I have written a lot about his book in previous posts and this would be an ideal time to meet him.
The course is £350 + VAT if you book in advance and the places are limited to 12. I am not going as I think the course material might be a little too basic, however, for a good start this seems like it would be a really nice day.
You can find out about his seminar at http://www.sparkdales.co.uk
He also has a website which looks very informative. This can be found at http://www.spreadbettingcentral.co.uk
If anybody does go to this seminar, please feedback how it went and what you learnt in the comments.
Posted in Business owner, The journey, tagged campaign, CRM, customer relationship management, future clients, Google AdWords, marketing, New media age, NMA, sales on September 27, 2008 | Leave a Comment »
Now that all the sales material is ready, business cards and letter heads have been ordered and the website is complete, it is time to actually contact clients and try to win some business.
I have subscribed to a trade magazine NMA (New Media Age) which is the leading magazine for the website and advertising / marketing industry. The people who read, advertise and are written about in this magazine are my potential clients.
I wrote a script to parse their website for the top 100 agencies, all companies who have advertised and are written about. The data has been entered into a large database of potential contacts. I have been going through the database using a small program I wrote for customer management (CRM). I have visited most of the websites and recorded who the contact details are for CEOs and other heads who I might like to talk to as well as rating them to how we might help them and provide a service and writing a short paragraph on what they do.
I am going to do a mail shot to all the likely companies and call them up to discuss how we can help them. This a major challenge for me as I have never done this before and the prospect of calling them up is quite daunting.
I am sure I will get the hang of it after a few calls.
I am hoping the mail shot will be quick in getting out there whilst I take my time of the next week or two calling up the companies. So hopefully the mail shot might generate something before I can make the calls.
I will start doing this next week after I move into the office as I will have the privacy for the calls. I am setting myself a target of 10 calls by the end of Friday.
I have also made a list of as many people as I can think of that I have worked with in the past and will contact them letting them know about the new service and asking them to recommend me to anyone who might be relevant. I have been using the web site LinkedIn.
I have also got the prices for placing an advert into the NMA as well in the hope that this might generate some sales leads too, and also I have set up a Google AdWord campaign.
This is the most excited I have been about the business so far. This is where it truly gets interesting. Up until now everything has been preparing for the moment when we actually tell the industry we are ready and our doors are wide open and now that time is upon us.
I signed up for the office as planned. I tried to speak to Regus on Monday but could not get hold of anyone, Tuesday was the same and then on Wednesday I did finally manage to get hold of the manager for London. The Essex manager is on holiday for two weeks.
He told me they had already given the office away that I had reserved and I had to sign a contract there and then if I wanted to get in quick before the other people.
I only hope this was not some feeble sales attempt to rush me into the sale as it if it was it was quite transparent. I did sign up for the office as I wanted it anyway and got a good price at the bottom end of their scale. He did not offer me the upgrade program from the virtual office I have with them and I am going to wait until the Essex manager is back before I pay anything and make sure the proper discounts are in place.
I had a virtual office meaning they answer your calls and redirect to you and also post can be sent there. However, when we signed up, they specifically said there were no call charges and this morning I got in invoice for 47p for a call charge.
I hope this is not going to be the start of a nightmare relationship. Regus are supposed to the top class, but so far, I feel like I’m doing business with a dodgy car salesman.
Has anyone else got any experience of dealing with Regus?
I have asked for my virtual office to be completely cancelled as part of the upgrade to actual office and are going to check out bestreception.com as they come highly recomended at a fraction of the cost. I’ll tell you how they compare after I have used them for awhile.
My first office
I had previously thought I would wait until I won the first client before getting an office, but with a new born in the house it is very difficult to get any work done. Also, I think having an office to work from will focus me more.
I went along to two serviced offices near where I live. The first was still be refitted and will be ready by the end of the month. The sales guy was not there so I could not get a price and they did not call me back, so I am waiting until Monday to see whether that is a good deal or not. The second office I looked around was the one at Regus which I discussed earlier. They have a corner office on the third floor coming up at the end of the month. It has glass on two walls over looking trees and greenery and is a lovely office. I am also waiting for the final price from them too.
So, on Monday I am going to sign up for one of them and move into it at the end of the month.
Having an office is a big step, both financially and psychologically. There was a great bit in the film Gattica, where two brothers are swimming, racing in the sea against each other. The stronger brother should easily have overpowered the other, but the weaker of the two won. However, the stronger guy had to save him by carrying him, swimming back to shore.
The stronger brother said how did you win? And the other said, I left nothing for the way back.
With this business, I am giving it everything, there is no way back. It is all or nothing.
Let the good times roll.
I am now a father! My son Thomas Powers, was born on the 31st August 2008 at 11.15pm. He weighed 9lbs 10.5oz (4380g) and was asleep when he was born. We had a lovely home birth with a birthing pool. He is very well and so is him mum.
He is very cute and is feeding well.
It is a life changing experience like people say, and it does change ones perspective slightly. However, with me it has just focused me more and made me even more determined to achieve my financial goals to provide an excellent life for my wife and son.
What is surprising is the lack of support for fathers in this country (UK). In all of the books I have read during the pregnancy and after, fathers get a token mention if at all. All the references are about how they should support there partners and nothing about what emotional things might be going on with them.
All the baby groups are mum and baby, there is never a father and baby class. The support is just not there.
I also found that there is not much support for home births and to guarantee you have a midwife and a birthing pool you really need to birth at home with an independent midwife. There are not many independent midwifes left as new rules have been passed which make it impossible for independent midwifes working outside the NHS to get insurance.
This is a shocking blow to families that want to have natural non-intervention births at home. Our midwifes work without insurance and take the risk of being sued upon themselves as they believe so passionately about what they are doing. We could not have had the birth we wanted without them.
This has led to the ‘natural birthing movement’ where families birth at home without any support whatsoever. This is a terrible shame as if something does go wrong, they would have no one professional there. So bad has the trust situation got between parents and midwives, that people are willing to risk this rather than subject themselves to the pressure of the NHS to have a hospital birth.
The standard procedure in hospitals is that a birth should take 12 hours. This apparently came from some doctor who worked out you can induce if dilation is not at a rate of 1cm per hour. This is just to get women out the door. Being induced means the baby comes quicker but the body is not ready for the baby. This invariably leads to an increase in the number of caesarean sections that happen, even when the family did not want this to start with.
The natural percentage of births that would need a c-section regardless due to natural complications is around 8%. However, in NHS hospitals today this is between 28 and 45% because of this policy.
When I am richer, I am going to make this problem my first philanthropic endeavour. I want to fund some sort of solution to allow more women to have the birth of their choice at home with professional support. I am not sure what form this will take as a solution, but I will work on it and when I have some spare money, I would put the plan into action.
I’ll let you know how it goes
You may recall from my previous post (Creative Destruction) how I stopped doing the day to day work on the business to managing the strategy and employing other people to do the day to day. I had lost all but one big client in this process. However, the client that I have got is very happy with the progress and the money generated for the business has been enough for me to spend the entire summer putting together an entirely new business strategy. (This client’s project naturally came to end this week, so now I have no clients! This is both extremely freeing and focussing at the same time.)
The time generated by having someone else do the day to day is amazing. Once I started looking at time as the most valuable thing and not money, the money has taken care of itself and I have been able to focus on the bigger picture, spend time with my new son and sit out in the garden on the rare occasion of sunny weather. Life is good!
I have made just enough money each month to pay expenses but not save or invest. This is the main reason I have been focusing on trading so much and not property investment as my investment capital has not been growing.
I have reviewed every project I have ever worked on over the last 10 years and identified all of the things that have gone well and things that have gone poorly. Out of this, and researching the latest methodologies, I have put together an entirely new approach to completing projects and interacting with clients.
This has taken a few months but is now complete.
My next stage is to take this and show it to my existing client and to network with as many new people as possible to share the ideas with. I have also been reviewing all my old contacts, no matter how obscure, and creating a database with all their details in. I have been keeping my internet social networking sites information up to date that are related to business such as linkedIn. In this way I am building quite a good network of possible contacts.
We got a new receptionist company today, that answers the phone in the name of the business and passes calls or messages. We also got a professional business address that will make us seem much more professional.
I am seriously considering getting an actual office set up much earlier as with a newborn in the house it will be difficult to get any work done! (I have always worked from home and managed people who work remotely before).
I am confident that it will not be long before things start to take off with the business as everything is now in place; it is just a matter of following the plan and adjusting with any new information that comes in.
Posted in Courses & Exhibitions, Spread betting, The journey, tagged designing a trading system, sharescope, sharescript, Spread betting, traders university, trading on September 15, 2008 | 4 Comments »
Designing my own trading system
Recently I wrote about how I had discovered that Sharescope has a bespoke language built into the program called Sharescript which allows you to write scripts to interact with the trade data. After spending a few hours getting my head around the basic commands, I decided to write a script that tested the Traders University trading system out.
I used a 400 day period from today back to 400 days ago. I revised the exact system from the notes they gave me on the course and programmed the script to place pseudo trades if all the criteria were met. I programmed in the exit strategies for being stopped out and taking profits or losses.
I also added in the ADX filter criteria defined in the ‘The spreadbetter’s handbook’ which was also recommended to me by my one to one mentor from TU. The difficult part was programming in a trend but I used the position of the MAs and the ADX filter to achieve this.
I ran the script across the entire FTSE350 for the 400 day period and found that the system makes a consistent loss. By altering the parameters away from the TU specified parameters I managed to only lose £20 instead of £500 using their criteria, with a starting capital of £2K. No matter what parameters I entered I could not make a profit.
I am pretty sure that I have programmed the script accurately, but I am still unsure whether the script correctly identifies a tradable trend. I have got each trade printing out to an excel spreadsheet. If I can not definitely determine the trend part, I will go through each trade and determine that part manually. There are not actually many trades in that period, so it should not take too long.
The only way the strategy can win is if there are many trades that lost money during this period that would not have been placed due to the incorrect identification of a tradable trend. I’ll let you know when I had a chance to go through and see and remove these.
I am reading a book recommended to me by a reader of this blog, which is nice. It is called, ‘Trade your way to financial freedom’ by Van K Tharp. It is a book about creating your own trading system that reflects you individually. The first part is about the psychology of trading, which I have now spent some time on due to reading the book ‘Trading in the zone’. The next parts are about putting the system together.
I am really enthused to get this right now and to put together something that consistently earns money, it is both challenging technically but also psychologically and really good fun.
At the beginning of this journey, I wondered if any of my attitudes or views on life would change, well reading ‘Trading in the zone’ has certainly opened my eyes about some things and I would even go so far as saying it has helped shape a ‘cornerstone’ of my believes about reality. I am still going to write a post on that book, but I have decided to read it again before I do.
I have also reviewing my entire business over the past two months and our new website is now finished and the new sales materials are complete. The next part is to complete the sales strategy.
I have a very good feeling about the next few months; so expect some interesting posts J
Whilst having my haircut today, my hairdresser told me she had just bought her first flat. It is a two bedroom apartment in a brand new block that will be completed in October. What amazed me, was the offer she got.
The deal was that she can move in for free. She has to get a 75% mortgage and the developers will loan her at zero percent interest for five years the remaining 25%. After that the interest goes up to 3% per year.
This seems like a great deal to me as I could rent out the flat, and pay off the mortgage and the free loan well within the time.
I decided to visit the web site of the company and visit the flats to see what they were like.
I checked out the deal online, you can view it here: http://www.crestnicholson.com/microsites/Base/assets/pdfs/EasyBuy.pdf
It seemed like a good idea, but the 25% is not fixed. It is 25% of whatever the market value of the house is at the time of repayment. If the house increases in value, so does the loan.
This deal seems like a wolf in sheep’s clothing to me. It comes with the promise of a desperate market begging for you to take their free home of their hands, but in the medium term of 5 -10 years, you are left with an unknown loan amount to cover. In all likelihood, you would have to sell the flat to cover the loan and lose any gains in the short term. It therefore doesn’t work for buy to let investors as you want to own the house for as long as possible.
I nearly got excited over that one. If anyone finds any good deals out there that don’t have a hidden bite in them, please post a comment or drop me a line.
Extending Sharescope with ShareScript
I have now finished the book ‘Trading in the Zone’ and feel refreshed and ready to start trading again. I will review that book in a different post as it truly deserves an entire post of its own.
This post is about making sure you have an edge that actually works. I wanted to make sure the ‘edge’ that I have which I learned at Traders University and refined using the book ‘The spread betting hand book’ by Malcolm Prior really worked.
The idea of an edge as described in ‘Trading in the Zone’ is a methodology that clearly describes entry and exit points that over many trades gives a more favourable outcome than a random result. We accept that any given trade has a purely random outcome but that over a given number of trades there will be a bias towards to particular outcome. Knowing this and using it when executing trades is what gives you an edge over the market.
The real question is how do you know the edge works. One way is to retrace that edge back in time as though you had been trading for say two years and see how much money you would have made (or lost) using that edge. I have done this manually with the TU methodology and found that
a) It takes awhile to complete for a large number of trades
b) There is no quick way to see what happens if you changed a few parameters to your edge, to see if you could refine it as you learn more about technical analysis
I decided I would spend a month or so, putting together a spreadsheet with some formulas defined that would allow me to manually go through the FTSE350 to prove or disprove and to refine the edge I have.
Thankfully, before I started, I decided to see if there were any ways I could write a script to automate some of the calculations. Being a computer programmer, this sort of thing comes easily to me and would save a lot of time.
There is a rich body of supporting material and I very quickly (about 2 hours) put together a script that works out the current trades that fit the edge I have. This script is much better than the filters given by TU and will save hours of time. The filters given by TU are quite basic and still show many shares that do not fit their own criteria for the edge. By writing the script more accurately I can now show only the exact shares which fit the edge and are worth trading.
What is more important however, is the next step which is to write a script which tests the edge with historical data across the whole FTSE 350. I can test the edge and vary the parameters that create the edge extremely quickly and rerun the script. In this way, I can refine the edge based on historical data, see which shares it works for, and change the script as market conditions change so that the edge is always up to date.
Without sharescipt this would take months or even be impossible.
I am very excited about this, as it will really allow me to define a professional edge. As far as I know, no one at TU has done this and this could push me well ahead of the game as far as what they are doing. Not that, that really matters, but it is nice to know as all of the people I have spoken to from the course seem to have lost money.