Archive for April, 2016

How to Get Better at Trading Binary Options

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 04.26.2016 (7:27 am)

Binary options are a bit deceptive. On the surface, it looks like trading options should be relatively easy. After all, you’ve probably heard all about how binary options can do well in any market. You can also pick from a long list of underlying assets too, which is especially helpful for those who already have a background in investing. Therefore, if you haven’t seen any outstanding results yet from your time trading options, it can be easy to get frustrated. Before you give up, though, consider the following ways of getting better at binary options.

Consider Your Broker and Software

binary options, trading binary options, trading options, getting better at binary options

If your broker isn’t pulling their weight, you’re always going to be suffering from poor results when trading binary options. Due to the unique features of this type of trading, brokers are probably more important to those who invest in binaries than any other type of investor.

Likewise, the software brokers provide their clients will play a huge role in their success (or lack therefore).

As such, if you’re currently trading binary options, but not seeing the returns you had expected, it makes sense that you should take a good, hard look at your broker.

Learn More about Your Market

Still, it might not be fair to blame your broker. It could be that your lackluster track record with trading options is because you don’t actually understand the market you’re focusing on. This means not just having a grasp on the underlying asset you favor, but the market you’re doing your trades in. If you haven’t picked both of these yet, that’s definitely the problem.

However, even if you have picked an underlying asset and market to focus on, it might be time to hold off on trading while you study both of them a bit more.

Trade More

Provided that those first two issues are definitely not the problem, you may be surprised that the solution we recommend is to actually make more trades. After all, practice makes perfect. At the moment, if you’re not regularly trading binary options, it’s definitely going to take you a significant amount of time before you begin posting big profits.

How much trading is enough? That will really depend on your budget and schedule. Again, though, the more you practice, the faster you’ll improve.

Fortunately, you can sign up for practice accounts that allow you to trade like the real thing, but without actually putting up any money.

Manage Your Money Better

Be honest with yourself: are you currently seeing small profits because so much of your returns get mitigated by big losses? If that’s the case, you need to start managing your money better. Lower your monthly budget so you’re forced to make better decisions and can’t keep funding your investing when it’s clear you need to take a breather.

You can get help with this from a spouse or pick a friend to be your accountability partner. Tell them what your monthly budget is and then make sure you follow up with them regularly about your current status.

Until you’re able to manage your finances and stick to a budget, none of these other tips will do much for you. In fact, they may simply contribute to a situation that ends up costing you dearly.

Getting better at binary options is something that could take years. However, the financial rewards are worth it. If you’re currently trading binary options but know you could do better, apply the above advice to your situation and expect results.

For more information:



Four Power Tips for Making Smart Investments

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 04.20.2016 (3:44 pm)


Investors are in the business of using money to make more money. Investors are not concerned with capital preservation (of course, they don’t want to lose money); rather, investors are more interested in capital multiplication. However, to double, triple, quadruple, or grow your trading capital, you’ll need to step out of the comfort zone of making conservative investments to the not-so-comfortable zone of making speculative investments.


Many people are scared of making speculative investments because they are afraid of taking on risks. However, you can still take on speculative investments without fears if you have diversified the investments in your portfolio. Diversification simply means that you should not put all of your investments eggs in the same basket. This article seeks to explore four simple things every investor could do in order to have a diversified but balanced portfolio.

Variety is the spice of life

To start with, a diversified investment portfolio is a portfolio that has different kinds of investments. If you put all of your money in stocks and the stock market crashes; you’ll lose all of your investment – many people had that experience during the 2008 global financial crisis. Now, gold is the best performing commodity in the market. It has 17% gains in the YTD and many investors are putting all of their money into gold – it is highly risky because they could lose everything if gold crashes.

A diversified portfolio should have a mix of stocks, bonds, real estate, speculative plays, international investments, and cash. In broad terms, you should have a mix of conservative and speculative investments.

Conservative investments include mutual funds, stocks of blue-chip companies, and precious metals among others. Binary options is a good way to start investing in speculative plays that could deliver exponential returns on investments – you should look for a recommended binary options broker. You might also want to learn more about futures and options as other type of speculative plays that promises massive returns.

Asset allocation should take proper planning

In diversifying your investments, you should also figure out a way to determine how much money you should put in your different investments. Asset allocation is the concept that ensures that your portfolio is weighed and balanced with different kind of investments. You’ll find many rules about asset allocation – some experts will suggest that you subtract your age from 100 and put the remaining percentage in stocks and bonds.

One of the commonest asset allocation rules you’ll find in the market will suggest that you invest between 25% and 50% of your money in stocks, 5% in bonds, 10% in REITSs, 10% in real estate, and the rest in other speculative plays.

However, I think asset allocation should basically be between allocating money between speculative investments and conservative investments.  I suggest that that you should subtract your age from 100 – put your age in conservative assets and put the rest in speculative assets. You can also check Finpari Broker Review to get started on speculative trades and investments

Diversify within the same category

Smart investors diversify their investments between different assets class and they go further to diversify the investment within the same asset class. It is good to diversify between stocks, bonds, binary options, precious metals, mutual funds, and real estate among others. However, you should also endeavor to diversify within the same asset.

For instance, while buying stocks, you should buy a mix of tech stocks, bluechips, financials, industrials, and healthcares stocks among others – of course, you should understand the business of the underlying company before you buy the stock. However, if you don’t have deep pockets, diversifying within the same category could cost you a lot of money in the form of transaction costs & fees.

However, you might want to consider “index” funds, EFTS, and mutual funds as a means to diversify within an asset class. Nonetheless, it is important that you conduct extensive due diligence, examine the past performances of a fund, and gather insight into its future performances before you put your money into any fund or before you commit your money to any money manager.

Balance risks with expected returns

The main reason you are being advised to diversify your investments is that diversification spreads out your exposure and it reduces your risk in any single market sector. However, diversification should be a tool for reducing risk but not a tool for locking yourself in an investment prison. There’s no point in putting all of your money in conservative investments without making speculative plays.

One of the mistakes that investors make is that they forget that the risks and rewards are blood brothers – low risk investments yield low rewards, medium-risk investments bring medium rewards, and high-risk investments often deliver high rewards. When diversifying your portfolio, pay attention to how much risk you are willing to take and buy up investment vehicles accordingly.


Should You Lock Your Mortgage?

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 04.20.2016 (5:06 am)

Everyday, there is something to say about the economy. Since the 2008 market crunch everybody has their take on what is going to happen next. It has created a huge point of interest.

At the end of 2015, the FED raised their daily interest rate for the first time since the beginning of the crisis back in 2008. Even though, it was a small increase, it was enough to put several financial journalists and financial analysts in their seats to write some forecasts on their laptops (it’s funny to think that they don’t need to find a financial topic to write about… they are given by the 6pm news 😉 ). Now we are told that we should consider locking in our mortgage rates.

Interest rates don’t rise overnight

I don’t know if it’s because we are overloaded by information, or because the media business model is not very lucrative so they try to become more sensational, but I don’t see how interest rates could suddenly increase by 5%!

In fact, with global economy going sideways, resources prices going up and down each day, the FED eyes all macro-economic data and will proceed with caution. During the latest meeting in March, they decided to keep rates where they are until they see strong sign of economic growth. Therefore, we will more likely see another raise of the short term interest rate by the end of 2016, but don’t expect an important raise by any means.

So should you lock-in your mortgage rate?

We will all have someone around coming back with the stories of the high interest rate period of the 80’s and claim that we could see the prime rate at 7% in no time.

The thing is that you probably won’t pay your mortgage off over the next 5 years (if you will, then perhaps it’s a different game). And over the life of your mortgage (25 to 30 years), it has always been advantageous financially to keep a variable mortgage rate, (provided you can still sleep at night!)

You can probably lock in your fixed rate home loan rate for 5 years at 4.00% right now. However, if you stay with a variable rate, you are paying between 2.25 and 2.75%. So, worst case scenario: you are still paying 1.25% less than a 5 year fixed mortgage rate.

Therefore, if you are about to lock your mortgage rate at 4.00%, I have a prudent suggestion for you:

Calculate your payment at 4% and make this payment on your variable rate mortgage (that is currently much lower). You will then create a buffer and pay off your mortgage faster. You will protect yourself from a rate increase while benefiting from the lowest rate on the market.

Finally, the best move you can do is always the one that will make you sleep well at night. If you keep your variable rate and can’t stop worry about it, maybe you should consider to lock in your rate.


Stocks I Follow (2016 Update)

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 04.20.2016 (3:00 am)

$CTRPIt has been some time since I was able to do a proper update to the list of stocks that I follow. Over the past 12-18 months, I was able to add a few names that either become public or were the result of spin-offs from my existing universe. Hopefully this also frees me up a bit to look at some names that have been suggested in recent weeks.

Public Companies

IAC Interactive (IAC): No real change here apart from the ticker changing from IACI to IAC

Removing Some Foreign Names: I’m still working very hard on finding reliable ways to stay up-to-date on the Chinese web companies. Not only is there an incredible opportunity in the 2nd biggest web market in the world but a lot of these companies do seem to be working on expanding their global presence and will collide with stocks that I follow. That being said, some of the names I’m getting nowhere with and will remove (at least for now from my universe). Why remove names? Over the past 2 years I’ve been mostly adding names but that also means I follow news, earnings, management calls, etc. The more stocks I follow, the less attention I can give to each one. If I’m not even close to being able to trade a name and can’t see that changing anytime soon, time to take it off. Today I will be removing: International Ltd (CTRP)
Yandex NV (YNDX)
Youku Tudou Inc (YOKU)

$uberPrivate Companies

Oh, this list is a painful one for me to look at in a way. So much missed opportunity in the fact that I can’t (realistically) invest into these companies. Obviously, more than ever, I’d love to be able to trade Uber, Airbnb, Dropbox and Snapchat. The sad part in a way is that this list remains basically unchanged. Companies such as Uber and Airbnb are huge and a few years ago they would have been on a clear path to turn public. But a very liquid private market as well as an uncertain

Here is my updated list:

Adobe Systems Inc (ADBE)
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA)
Alphabet Inc (GOOG) Inc (AMZN)
Apple Inc (AAPL)
Baidu Inc (BIDU)
BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY)
Blue Nile Inc (NILE)
Box Inc (BOX)
Demand Media Inc (DMD)
DHI Group Inc (DHX)
eBay Inc (EBAY)
Etsy Inc (ETSY)
Expedia Inc (EXPE)
Facebook Inc (FB)
Fitbit Inc (FIT)
Glu Mobile Inc (GLUU)
Groupon Inc (GRPN)
IAC/InterActiveCorp (IAC)
King Digital Entertainment Plc (KING)
LinkedIn Corp (LNKD)
Match Group Inc (MTCH)

Microsoft Corp (MSFT)
Monster Worldwide Inc (MWW)
Netflix Inc (NFLX)
Oracle Corp (ORCL)
Pandora Media Inc (P)
PayPal Holdings Inc (PYPL)
Priceline Group Inc/The (PCLN)
QuinStreet Inc (QNST)
Rackspace Hosting Inc (RAX)
Rosetta Stone Inc (RST) inc (CRM)
Square Inc (SQ)

Travelzoo Inc (TZOO)
TripAdvisor Inc (TRIP)
Twitter Inc (TWTR)
WebMD Health Corp (WBMD)
XO Group Inc (XOXO)
Yahoo! Inc (YHOO)
Yelp Inc (YELP)
Zendesk Inc (ZEN)
Zillow Group Inc (Z)
Zynga Inc (ZNGA)


What To Consider Before Borrowing Money

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 04.16.2016 (8:06 am)

Borrowing money has really worked out for him and yielded some solid profits. Borrowing money and using debt as leverage can be an excellent financial strategy. The thing is that many of us are not savvy enough to borrow money and profit off it in the long run. Many young people are guilty of borrowing money today and worrying about the consequences tomorrow. This is why today I wanted to look at what you should consider before borrowing any money at all:

Why are you borrowing this money?

Do you absolutely need to borrow this money? Many times there are two viable options to not borrowing money: delaying the purchase or not making the purchase at all. A new car may seem like a good idea at the moment, but is it really needed? At other times the purchase can also be delayed (home purchase) by a few months or years until you have the sufficient funds needed. Of course you run the risk of losing out on a great bargain. This is why you need to clearly understand why you are borrowing this money.

Will you be able to repay this debt?

How steady is your income? When you’re making lots of money and many great investment opportunities come your way, it’s easy to rack up debt to be used as leverage. The critical question here though is whether or not you’ll be able to sustain this income in the long run and successfully pay off the debt? If you have a stellar plan to repay this debt then by all means go for it. You just need to have a backup plan in case you can’t pay off this debt.

What’s the interest rate?

With an amazing credit score you could potentially find yourself a low interest rate on a loan. In my opinion, the interest rate should be a deal breaker. If your poor credit score constitutes a high interest rate, then the interest paid on borrowing this money could be much more expensive than any profits you might gain. I found you can find good loan options at

What’s your level of risk tolerance?

Can you sleep at night knowing that you’re thousands of dollars in debt? We all have different levels of risk tolerance. Some of us can engage in complex investment strategies and feel perfectly comfortable with everything. Others get nervous just having to make car payments. Before you borrow any money at all it’s important that you assess your own personal risk tolerance to debt.

What type of debt are you acquiring?

I won’t get into the whole good debt vs bad debt argument. That’s another debate for another day. Why you borrow money and how much you borrow should depend on the type of debt that you’re acquiring. You could borrow money to go for your MBA, increase your income by $20,000+ a year and then pay off your debt with your increased income, and feel great with your new position. You could borrow money to buy a new car and then want to switch cars after a few years. There are many different reasons to borrow money (education, car, home, personal, investment, and emergency). The type of debt you acquire should really dictate why you borrow money and how much you borrow.

Have you borrowed money recently? What’s the deciding factor for you when it comes to borrowing money?

New Trade: Long Match Group ($MTCH) & Short IAC Interactive ($IAC)

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 04.14.2016 (4:05 am)

Today I am opening my 12th trade of the year between 2 stocks that trade at similar forward P/E ratios. I do usually stay away from recently turned public or spun off companies. I decided to make an exception here partially because there is a decent history of companies that were spunt out of IAC. As is always the case you can see the existing live trades here:

Let’s start off by looking at the numbers:

TickerNamePricePE RatioPE Next YearReturn YTDSales GrowthAnalyst ratingBook ValueBetaEarningsRevenue/ShareSales 5Y Avg GrowthEPS 5Y Avg Growth
MTCHMatch Group Inc10.62N/A11-23.9914.884.111.12N/A5/11/20165.84N/AN/A

The longer term numbers are not out for Match yet so I will only display the decelerating growth from IAC

IAC_MTCH_chart (3)


$MTCHLong Match Group Inc (MTCH)

Match Group is by far and away the leading player in the online dating world with brands such as Match, Tinder, OkCupid, PlentyOfFish, etc. It’s an extremely competitive segment but I do think MTCH has done a very solid job of trying so many different models assuring itself a decent position no matter how things evolve. Clearly, the top play right now is Tinder which should generate solid growth for the company. Currently MTCH isn’t available to trade as a contract for difference on most online cfd trading platforms, future growth however and the potential monetization
of Tinder may see it becoming available on these platforms

IAC_MTCH_chart (1)


Next earnings: May 11th 2016

Short IAC Interactive (IAC)

IAC has had a truly impressive record over the years when you look at some of the companies that have been sput out of Barry Diller’s IAC. That has though resulted in lower growth as it keeps spinning out higher growth segments. I’m not necessarily bearish about the company but I do think that the valuations of these makes MTCH a much more attractive valuation.


Just look at the chart of traffic from Google trends:

Next earnings: April 26th 2016

Disclaimer: This trade on MCTH-IAC will be done on today’s opening,

Closing Trade ($PYPL, $RAX)

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 04.11.2016 (3:00 am)

Happy Monday! This morning I will be closing one of the 7 existing trades as the Long Paypal (PYPL), Short Rackspace (RAX) went over its stop-loss. The bad news? This is a trade that actually did not turn out well with the trade currently standing at -24.11%. It will be closed on Monday morning’s opening.  Shorting Rackspace always carries a certain amount of risk based mostly on the possibility that it could end up being acquired either by one of the big 3 cloud players (AMZN, MSFT, GOOG) or someone that aspires to join that club. When Google and RAX announced a strategic partnership, RAX shot up and while I have not seen much writing about it, I do think this increases the odds that such an event could happen so I’m fine with taking the loss on this one and will likely stay away from a short RAX trade for a little while.

As is always the case, you can see the 2016 (and previous years) long & short trades here

The portfolio year-to-date currently stands at+10,55%

PYPL_RAX_chart (1)

New Trade: Long Paypal ($PYPL) & Short Twitter ($TWTR)

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 04.01.2016 (3:57 am)

Today I am opening my 11th trade of the year between 2 stocks that trade at similar forward P/E ratios. In terms of finding a trade, this was my most challenging of the year. Part of it is having 6 live trades (thus 12 stocks that are not available out of my universe). I also can’t remember having so many of my stocks on “hold” because I do not have a good enough feeling on them. In the end, I did hesitate between a long MTCH vs short IAC trade and this one. Let me make the case why I’m going for PYPL vs TWTR. As is always the case you can see the existing live trades here:

Let’s start off by looking at the numbers:

TickerNamePricePE RatioPE Next YearReturn YTDSales GrowthAnalyst ratingBook ValueBetaEarningsRevenue/Share
TWTRTwitter Inc16.55N/A21.9-27.558.093.566.291.284/26/20163.35
PYPLPayPal Holdings Inc38.637.5121.996.4915.244.0911.24N/A4/27/20167.57

The growth story is very interesting. Looking at this chart, you could probably argue either way so give me a shot at explaining my perspective on this one


Long Paypal (PYPL)

Paypal is one of those traditional players that I’ve been writing about for years. Of course, now that it’s no longer part of EBAY, it becomes easier to trade. Paypal has been under threat for years but has been able to keep up its growth. I do think that smaller players like Stripe but also giants like Apple and Google will end up taking decent market share in the payments space over time but that will likely take quite a bit of time and I do think that Paypal will be able to keep up its steady double digit growth for several more years making it an attractive buy at these levels.


Next earnings: April 26th 2016

Short Twitter (TWTR)

I have a love-hate relationship with Twitter. On one hand, it is perhaps my most used app, a product i truly love to follow live events, and the subjects that interest me most. It is also a fascinating company with a troubled history. As a company, Twitter continues to struggle to appeal the mainstream. Part of the problem is being compared to Facebook but even without that comparison, the user growth has been incredibly disappointing. Yes, revenue growth has been very impressive because of an increased revenue/user but that will be very difficult to keep up and I am now a doubter. Having a part time CEO isn’t great either by the way. I would love for TWTR to make a comeback but just hopefully not in the near term:)

Just look at the chart of traffic from Google trends:

Next earnings: April 27th 2016

Disclaimer: This trade on PYPL-TWTR will be done on today’s opening,