Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

5 Trends to Watch After Trump Takes the Oath of Office

By: IS | Date posted: 01.17.2017 (2:42 pm)

President-elect, Donald Trump will take the oath of office on January 20 and he’ll officially become the president of the United States. In the last few weeks of being the president –elect, his actions and inactions have been moving the markets. However, Trump’s ability to move the market will be amplified exponentially once he takes the oath of office.

The chief reason why president Trump will be a major market mover is that he is opinionated, blunt and he doesn’t have the career politician’s ability to sugarcoat words. If Trump doesn’t like your company, you can be sure to expect some damning tweets that could send your stock spiraling. Boeing already found out the hard way that Trump’s tweet could cause a stock to tank and Amazon’s Jeff Bezo is trying hard to get off Trump’s black book. This article provides insight into 5 trends investors must watch after Trump takes the oath of office.

Broad Equities could have a strong pullback

Equities have rallied strongly in the last nine weeks since Trump became the president-elect. The S&P 500 has gained 6.71% and the Dow Jones Industrials has gained 8.91% as seen in the chart above. The main reason behind the gains in equities is that Wall Street is speculating that Trump’s economic policies such as tax reductions could provide a boost for U.S firms. However, if Trump is unable to effect his proposed economic policies, stocks could give back most of those recent gains in an abrupt pullback.

Healthcare stocks could suffer bigger losses

Trump has been vocal about his plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare). Opinion is divided on how dismantling Obamacare could affect the average American and it is hard to separate the fact from the sensational noise.  However, we do know that Trump thinks that pharmaceutical companies are enjoying oversized margins and he’ll push for regulation to reduce the price of drugs. More so, we can submit that repealing obamacare could have a negative effect on the stocks of healthcare and insurance companies at least in the short term.

Construction and Defense Stocks might fare better

Trump has also been vocal about his plan to adopt a tougher stance on immigration, chief of which is building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. If Donald Trump continues along the usual lines of riling Mexico, we can reasonably expect the stocks of construction firms to see as boost with the expectation of increased government infrastructural spending in building a wall.

The outlook in emerging Economies will remain gloomy

Investors with exposure to emerging market economies such as Turkey and Mexico can expect to see a weakening in emerging market currencies against the USD in the forex market. The Mexican Peso is already down to all-time lows against the Dollar. We won’t see the end of the decline in the Mexican Peso until Trump makes a final decision on whether or not to build the wall. The Turkish Lira is also down to historical lows against the dollar as macroeconomic concerns continue to make investors uneasy.

The Economy might suffer more risk-off trade

Donald Trump is also very vocal about his distaste for China. He has accused China of manipulating the Yuan in order to undermine the U.S. economy. He has also taken issue with the migration of many American manufacturing jobs to China. However, Trump’s outbursts against China could lead to more risk-off trade in Asia because China is not the only country “stealing” America’s manufacturing jobs.

Nobody knows the specifics of Trump’s foreign policy and it would be interesting to see how he handles China. Nonetheless, investors with exposure to American firms who making or selling their products to China might want to prepare for increased uncertainty going forward.

Final words…

It is hard to predict how the market will react under Trump because Wall Street has defied expectations at practically every turn by going against analysts’ consensus expectations. For instance, Trump’s victory in the election didn’t lead to a stock market crash as analysts had predicted. The performance of the financial markets in the next couple of weeks will provide clues on some trends to watch when Trump officially becomes POTUS.



Top Assets to Trade in Binary Options Format

By: IS | Date posted: 01.10.2017 (2:39 pm)


2017 has arrived, and already investors are reorganizing their financial portfolios to hedge against possible shocks. Several major geopolitical events occurred in 2016, including the Chinese stock market meltdown in January, the Brexit vote in June, and the surprise victory of Donald Trump in November. These critical events reshaped the financial markets. For example, day traders were able to capitalize on the collapse of the Shenzhen composite index and the Shanghai composite index, by shorting Chinese stocks on Wall Street, the LSE and other European bourses.


Currency traders cashed in on the melee by shorting the CNY against other top-performing G10 currencies. Within weeks, it became apparent that the Chinese economic growth engine was stuttering. Commodities imports to China were drying up an inventory levels were rising. This had an immediate effect on copper demand, iron ore, and other metals. Countries like Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Russia, and India all suffered the fallout from the slowdown in China.

Understanding geopolitical events and trading binary options

The Brexit referendum on June 23, 2016 sent shockwaves through the global community. Nobody expected Britons to vote 52%/48% in favour of a break from the European Union. Net short positions on the GBP were evident with binary trading UK brokerages. The GBP went into freefall, from 1.48 to the greenback down to 1.21. The GBP/USD pair plunged to a 31-year low within short order. Traders cashed in on GBP weakness by shorting the currency against the USD, JPY, EUR, and CAD. For the most part, these speculative assessments of the GBP proved correct. That the FTSE 100 index has been able to rally in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum is notable. However, the reasons for the rally are found in the weakness of the GBP. Analysts calculated that the double-digit percent gain for the FTSE 100 index is only a low single digit gain when valued in USD, not GBP.


In other words, the bubble effect that we are seeing taking place on the FTSE 100 index is not a true reflection of the performance of the UK economy. It is a result of the currency cross exchange rates. 75% of companies listed on the FTSE 100 index are based outside of the UK. This means that their repatriated earnings are worth more in GBP, with currency cross exchange rates. For traders, the choice is clear: go long on the FTSE 100 index as long as Brexit uncertainty places pressure on the GBP. The fundamentals of the UK economy appear to be sound, especially manufacturing, and this is going to help mitigate any negative effects on the GBP for the short-term. However, if financial companies start relocating from the City of London to Europe, the GBP will falter and manufacturing will fall below the key 50 level (50+ represents growth and 50 – represents contraction).


The Trump effect on trading

Donald Trump is a polarizing figure, but he is the President-elect of the United States of America. His shock victory on November 8, 2016 sent Wall Street markets into the stratosphere. His economic policies include massive fiscal stimulus for infrastructure development. Trump has promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, rebuild the American military, rebuild infrastructure, and restore American pride.

He plans to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to do this, and generate hundreds of thousands of jobs in the process. Trump is seen as pro-business, with his tax cut policies (15% or 20% for corporate taxes) and his anti-regulation approach to the corporate sector. The Dow Jones is trading close to 20,000, the S&P 500 index is rallying, as is the NASDAQ composite index. As long as Wall Street indices are in the black, safe haven commodities like gold are no go options for investors.

However, binary options traders are cashing in on gold price weakness with put options on the precious metal. Gold prospers when a risk-off approach is adopted to equities markets, or when geopolitical shocks rock economy. 2017 presents multiple opportunities to profit big the state to the financial markets. The USD, Dow Jones, and FTSE 100 are clearly bullish, while the GBP, EUR and ZAR are on the bearish side.

How tax optimisation can maximise the returns on your investment property

By: IS | Date posted: 12.20.2016 (5:00 am)

This article has been writen by George Kachmazov, managing partner of


If you’re not careful, taxes can eat away at the bulk of the income you should be earning on your foreign investment properties.

This fact alone sends chills down the spines of property investors everywhere. A recent survey conducted by revealed that 18% of property investors believe structuring purchases for maximum tax optimisation is the single most difficult part of acquiring real estate abroad.

To further complicate matters, more than 100 countries have committed to the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), an initiative developed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

In accordance with the CRS, between 2017 and 2018 countries around the globe will launch the automatic exchange of financial account information, dispelling the opacity that previously enabled wealthy citizens to squirrel their money away into foreign bank accounts in order to dodge tax obligations in their home countries.

In light of the shifting realities of tax optimisation, I want to offer you some advice on how to acquire foreign properties with tax optimisation in mind. Please note that this is general advice. I strongly encourage you to consult a tax advisor who is familiar with the nuances of your situation before you purchase any property.


Pros and cons of purchasing a property as an individual vs. via a legal entity


If tax optimisation is a key priority, you would do well to begin by determining whether it would be wisest to purchase your property as an individual or via a legal entity.

Because tax rates and terms differ considerably between these two categories, your choice in this matter will have a key impact on your total tax obligations in connection with the property.

The table below outlines some of the basic differences:


  Individual Legal entity
Advantages — No need to pay the costs associated with maintaining a company;

— Capital gains taxes can be lower for individuals than for legal entities (some countries provide capital gains tax exemptions after a few years of property ownership)

— If the property generates significant profits, tax rates may be lower for legal entities than for individuals;

—  The possibility of exemption from capital gains and dividend taxation if the rules of strategic participation apply;

—  In some countries, i.e. Germany and France, no inheritance tax applies to property acquisitions by a company;

—  Increased flexibility with respect to selling shares or the property itself;

—  Greater protection against the disclosure of information.

Disadvantages — Income tax can be higher for individuals than for legal entities;

— No flexibility with respect to withdrawing from the sale

— It is impossible to conceal the identity of the beneficiary.

— There are costs associated with running a company;

—  In some countries, i.e. the United Kingdom and France, specific property taxes apply to legal entities.



* Please note that the information contained in the table above is subject to variation depending on which country you’re purchasing property in and a wide range of other factors. It’s always important to consider your unique circumstances and consult with relevant professionals before making any purchase.

When our clients are considering purchasing a property valued at about EUR 1.25 million or less, we generally recommend that they make the purchase in their individual capacities. It is typically cheaper and easier to do so due to the additional expenses associated with opening and maintaining a company.

However, this isn’t universally true; in some countries, individuals are subject to higher income tax rates than legal entities, which can offset any advantage of purchasing as an individual. This tends to hold truer the higher the individual’s income.

If the property is worth upwards of about EUR 1.25 million, it is typically advantageous to make the purchase via a legal entity. In this case, lower income tax rates and greater opportunities for tax optimisation tend to offset the company-related costs.

This is largely attributable to the fact that a relatively expensive property would usher in relatively high income, which in many countries would expose an individual owner to higher tax rates than it would a legal entity.

Consider, for example, a property in Germany that generates rental income of more than EUR 50,000 per year. An individual owner would pay some 40% in taxes, while a company would pay a comparatively meager 15%.

Generally, such savings would fully offset the cost of launching and maintaining a company. However, this holds primarily true in cases where the company and its owner are both tax residents of the same country. Otherwise, dividend taxes would negate any tax benefits derived from purchasing a company as a legal entity.

What taxes do legal entities usually need to pay for properties?


If a legal entity owns income-generating real estate overseas, it will typically be subject to the following types of taxes:

  • Taxes on any income generated by the property (rental income, capital gains from the sale of the property or the sale of a portion of the legal entity or its shares)
  • Property tax (usually compensated by tenants)
  • Land tax
  • Inheritance tax, if applicable (exemptions often apply)
  • Tax on dividends (exemptions typically apply if the investor refrains from distributing dividends and instead reinvests the funds in the same country, for example into another property).


Tax rates for individuals and legal entities in the United Kingdom, Germany and France

Data: Tranio

  Income tax/profit Capital gains tax Estate tax Property tax
United Kingdom Individuals 20-45%


20-28% (not applicable to the sale of a primary place of residence) 40% (this does not apply between spouses) Not applicable*
Legal entities 20 % 20 % Not applicable From GBP 3,500 for properties valued at more than GBP 500,000*
Germany Individuals 14-47.47 % 14–47,47 % (not applicable after 10 years of ownership ) Up to 50 % Not applicable *
Legal entities 15.825 % 15,825% (not applicable if the owner invests in another German property within four years of the sale)


Not applicable under certain circumstances** Not applicable *
France Individuals 20-45% 20-45 % (Not applicable after 22 years of ownership) 5-60 % (this does not apply between spouses) Not applicable *
Legal entities 33.33% 33.33 % (not applicable after 22 years of ownership) Not applicable upon registration with a Société Civile Immobilière


3 %*

* There are property taxes, but it’s the tenants responsibility to pay them.

** The business must operate for a minimum period of seven years after the acquisition of the property, and total salary expenditures must exceed the original salary expenditures by more than eight times, or the number of employees must exceed 20.


Taxes on rental income


 Rental income tax is included in the corporate tax rate and is payable in the tax jurisdiction where the property is located. As a general rule, if a company is liable for taxes in a foreign jurisdiction, and a double taxation treaty applies between the company’s home jurisdiction and their foreign jurisdiction, the amount of taxes paid overseas is to be subtracted from the amount of taxes that is supposed to be paid home. The difference should be paid in the home jurisdiction. If the tax overseas is bigger, then there will be no taxes home.

In order to reduce your income tax base, you will need to scour the tax regulations for deductible expenses that apply to your purchase, ownership and maintenance of the property. Such deductions may include:


  • The cost of acquiring a founder loan;
  • The cost of acquiring a bank loan;
  • Building depreciation;
  • Leasehold improvements;
  • Transaction execution expenses;
  • Property tax;
  • Property management and maintenance expenses;
  • Other expenses during the ownership period.

Taken together, the aforementioned deductions can significantly reduce a property owner’s income tax base during the first decade of ownership. The table below outlines a typical German example.

Sample calculations for legal entities in Germany, Euro

Data: Tranio


  Standard tax scheme         Effective tax scheme
Tax base calculation
Property price 500,000
Annual rental income 30,000
Building depreciation deduction (2 %) 10,000 10,000
Deduction of mortgage interest
(LTV 50%, 2% per annum)
Deduction of founder loan interest (LTV 50%, 4%
per annum)*
Tax base 20,000 5,000
Tax calculation
Corporate tax (15 %) 3,000 750
Solidarity surcharge (0.825 %) 165 082.50
Total tax sum 3,165 832.50
Annual income after taxes 26,835 32,417.50
Percentage of annual rental income that taxes account for under both schemes 10.55 2.5

* The interest rate on the founder’s loan can be increased, thus reducing the effective income tax rate to zero


A founder loan could enable you to save part of your income from dividend taxes.

Founder loan interest is subject to the investor’s personal tax obligations in the country of his or her tax residency. But the investor must also be ready to pay founder loan taxes in the country where that interest was generated.


Capital gains and asset transfer tax


Whether you will be obligated to pay capital gains tax or asset transfer tax depends on the ownership structure at the moment of the sale. This can occur either when you sell the property itself (asset deal), or when you sell the company that you purchased the company through (share deal).

In the case of an asset deal, capital gains tax is typically calculated as the difference between the sale price and the carrying amount of the property. The carrying amount is the cost of the property, less accumulated depreciation. While depreciation decreases the carrying amount, it increases the capital gains tax base.

Let’s say, for example, you purchased a property for EUR 1 million and sold it for EUR 1.1 million. You owned the property for three years, during which you had a 2% depreciation allowance, amounting to EUR 60,000 over the course of your ownership. Your carrying amount is thus EUR 940,000. Your capital gains tax base will amount to EUR 160,000 – the difference between the sale price and the carrying amount.

In the case of a share deal, the property’s carrying value is of no importance for tax purposes. In this case, profits from the sale of shares are taken into account to calculate asset transfer taxes.

Say, for example, you purchased a company in order to purchase a EUR 1 million property. You then sold the company for EUR 1.1 million. Thus the tax base for asset transfer tax is calculated by deleting the purchase price from the sale price, so in this case your tax base would be EUR 100,000.

In the context of the above examples, it would make more sense financially to purchase the property through a company; doing so would save you EUR 60,000. Investors who already have an exit strategy in mind when purchasing a property – such as those who plan to purchase a property, flip it, and sell it at a profit five years down the road – typically favor this model.

While it’s possible to structure real estate purchases in such a way as to ensure you’ll be exempt from capital gains tax, it’s not easy. Doing so requires extensive research of and familiarity with local legislation in the country that you’re planning to purchase in. It will also likely require corporate ownership and elaborate deal structuring, which is best left to seasoned professionals.


Double taxation laws


Another key issue that can have a considerable impact on capital gains tax is the existence of double taxation laws or relevant treaties between the county where the real estate is located and the country where you registered your company. Double taxation regulations can protect taxpayers from paying the same tax twice.

For some practical examples of this, we spoke to Dmitry Zapol, an international tax advisor at London-based tax practice IFS Consultants. Mr. Zapol explained that UK residents are required to pay income tax on foreign source rental income at their marginal rate. In other words, foreign rental income is added to the UK resident’s other types of income, and the total amount received during the tax year determines the applicable income tax rate.

However, UK law protects taxpayers from double taxation even in the absence of a double tax treaty.

“If foreign rental income suffers withholding tax [in the source country], it is credited towards UK tax liability in order to avoid double taxation. In order to calculate the tax credit, the taxpayer calculates the actual amount of tax paid abroad and sets it off against UK tax liability,” said Mr. Zapol. “In the end, this results either in having to pay the difference between the two amounts (if UK tax is higher) or brings no further tax liability (if UK tax is smaller), although in the latter case the difference will not be refunded. In calculating the tax liability, it is necessary to take into account the difference between UK and foreign tax years, which usually do not run concurrently.”

He added: “Normally, the relief is offered under a double taxation agreement concluded by the UK. However, unlike in some countries like Russia, the relief is also available in the absence of the agreement… Normally, the UK resident must submit proof that tax was withheld outside the UK to be able to credit it against his UK tax liability.”

Generally, the ways in which you can benefit from double taxation laws or agreements hinge on whether you purchased the property via a company or as an individual. In order to determine which taxes you’ll be on the hook for in your home country, you will need to familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of the relevant policies.

Mr. Zapol noted that the relevant UK laws are complex. “Broadly, if a UK tax payer buys a foreign company that receives foreign rental income, he must declare its income as if it were his own and pay tax on it or alternatively declare dividends and also suffer tax liability. Interestingly though, if he receives the same company as a true gift from someone else, there is no tax liability until a distribution is made. Also, if the person is domiciled outside the UK, he can claim the remittance basis and stay outside the scope of the transfer of assets abroad rules,” said Mr. Zapol.

Prior to any purchase, I recommend that you consult a tax specialist.  Should you have any questions, Tranio will always be happy to help. We can provide you with a comprehensive overview of the tax and legal issues that will apply to your purchase of any overseas property, and help you achieve the optimal transaction structure.


George Kachmazov, managing partner

4 Vital Financial Management Tips to Keep Your Business Successful

By: IS | Date posted: 10.24.2016 (12:42 pm)

Running a business, whether big or small, is never simple. There are unlimited issues and problems along the way that you have to overcome. Be that as it may, if you are serious about it and determined, then you will beat every one of the difficulties coming your direction.


One thing you have to keep an eye of the most in your business is your finances. All entrepreneurs ought to put more consideration regarding their records to track everything that includes cash. This part may thoroughly be extreme, particularly in the event that you don’t have extensive experience with bookkeeping. However, it is fundamental that you need to learn it all together for your business to become successful or ask some assistance from the experts, like Kikka.


In any case, funds are a fundamental part of maintaining a business. Regardless of how hard it is to deal with your expenses, still you have to commit to keep your business off the ground. You need to guarantee that you track your funds every once in a while, so you can get ready for a few possibilities that may happen unexpectedly.


Thus, here are some valuable financial management tips to aid you in taking care of precarious money-related matters:


Oversee debts efficiently

Debts are a part of maintaining a business. Nevertheless, you need to know how to oversee them legitimately. You have to learn business debt management, so you will have enough information of the different finance choices that you can swing to from time to time.


Know your regular income

A standout amongst the most imperative things that you need to consider when maintaining a business is understanding your regular income. It is no surprise that not at all times your business’ deals hit high sales. You simply have to observe the slow months and ensure that you have no less than three or four months of money cushion to keep your company operating, regardless of the inactive periods.


Guarantee a lean business operation

As a business owner, you need to keep away from various capital consumptions. Make it a point to think ahead of time and decide extremely well before spending on something that you will lament later on. It is about organizing the vital things first to keep your business running easily. In addition, adaptability is expected to handle things, on the off chance that startling circumstance happens.


Set apart business accounts from personal ones

Regardless of the possibility that you deal with your own business, it is still important to keep up isolated records for business and personal use. Be sure to keep records of your business funds all the time and never mistake it for your own expenses. Hence, you can avoid any issues that will emerge and things will be less demanding and more straightforward to handle.


These useful financial management tips mentioned above will help you organize your business’ expenses. It will be easier for you, as an entrepreneur, to manage your money matters if you follow these things. So, keep all your finances orderly and make your company grow.

Rookie Forex Tips­

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 01.15.2016 (9:52 am)

Forex is short for foreign exchange with the underlying asset being currency. The FX market is by far the largest global market and operates around the clock. Currencies float freely against each other, meaning that the intrinsic value of each one varies greatly, this is where you can make money.

It’s very simple, the aim of any trader is to make a profit, but FX trading is slightly different. You can almost bet on whether the value of a currency will rise or fall, allowing you to make money on either result, unlike conventional trading.

Forex trading works as follows: Say you ­want to buy the AUDUSD (Australian Dollars/American Dollars) currency pair. If you were to buy the AUDUSD pair at 1.0715 and it then moved up to 1.0800 then the trade was close, you would make a profit on the trade of 85 pips. Alternatively if the pair had moved down in value to 1.0700 at the time the trade was closed, you would have made a loss of 15 pips.

Currency trading is a macroeconomic endeavour. A currency trader needs to have a solid understanding of various economies and the role they play on each other in order to grasp the fundamentals that drive currency values

Trading Tips

Stick to what you understand

As a rule of thumb, if you’re unsure of what you’re doing then back away. It’s also wise to avoid trading on the basis of rumours or hearsay, ensuring that you understand both the positive consequences, and the adverse results that may result from any given trade.



Before you start on any journey it’s obvious that you need to know where you’re going and how you’ll get there. Whether you’re aiming to achieve financial independence or just to generate some extra income, it’s wise to outline a plan for at least the start of your trading career. Knowing what you constitute as failure and define as success is imperative to gaining the insight necessary for successful trading.


Keep it simple 

Forex trading isn’t rocket science, however overcomplicating things can make it feel like it. You needn’t be a maths genius or economics wiz to be successful. Clarity of vision alongside well-defined, carefully chosen goals and techniques offer the best path to a successful career.


Never add to a losing position

While this seems to be common sense, many people have fallen victim to this when trying to claw back a loss. It’s impossible to know how a currency pairing will shift during any given time frame. You can always calculate an educated guess, but you’ll never have a solid knowledge of where a price will be even in a short amount of time. Therefore, however tempting, it’ never wise to pump more money into a losing position.


Don’t go against the markets

As a beginner you’d never be advised to trade against the market. Joining trends allows you peace of mind. Fighting the trends, is a one way street to constant stress, fear and significant losses, they are trends for a reason. As a rule of thumb, never go against the markets unless you have the patience and financial resilience to stick it out as part of a long term plan.


Forex trading is simple to grasp but exceeding difficult to master. Years of practice are required to master the craft but sticking to a simple set of rules, abiding by a plan and being sensible with your trading will ensure you enjoy your trading and hopefully remain profitable! If you’d like to find out more about FX Trading then visit ETX Capital.

Forex 2015 Review

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 01.13.2016 (9:28 pm)

Forex is the most popular global means of trading and the average daily market turnover is around £3.5 trillion ($5.3 trillion). Trading Forex markets Trading Forex Markets is a matter of simultaneously exchanging one global currency for another at an agreed price. Traders speculate on rising currencies and sell off currency already held. Successful Forex traders deal on the 24-hour Forex market by profitably speculating on floating currency rates.

Best Forex Brokers 2015

Some of the most highly rated Forex brokers for 2015 include:


  • com – a good platform for novice Forex traders, providing four trading platforms with an auto trading function which allows traders to follow top Forex traders. Demo accounts give options to trial Forex before making monetary deposits


  • Ava Trade – this is a high quality platform, with a very good reputation. Has great mobile and web platforms for customers and provides auto trading facilities


  • com – with no need for minimum deposits, this is a good platform for novice traders. Customers can begin trading with when they deposit as little as $5 to the site. Clients can access up to nine different platforms and live customer support means customer queries can be resolved immediately


  • eToro – this is a reliable broker, popular with novices and experts. The education center provides learning for novice traders, giving valuable insights into dealing


Other popular brokers for 2015 include ETX Capital, Plus 500, 24Option, Easy Forex, and YouTradeFX.

Mobile features are hot in 2016

One common feature of the best Forex brokers in the modern market is interactivity and ease of use with mobile devices. Traders are placing more reliance upon accessing services via mobile devices, so brokers who cannot produce a valuable customer experience on smaller screens stand to lose more and most custom.


Auto Trade becoming more popular

The abilities to simulate and follow deals conducted by the top-rated Forex dealers on auto trade is also an indication of popularity within the Forex broking market. Many of the top-rated brokers like CMC Markets give a welcome bonus to new clients, and offer continual promotions and prizes, this may encourage fluctuating levels of clientele, however one of the best features provided to any loyal customer is the opportunity to benefit from building a solid rapport with a personal account manager.

One additional factor to recognize is that while all eyes may be focused upon the Asian markets, the influence of the United States Federal Reserve was once again illustrated in December. By raising its benchmark interest rates for the first time since before the global economic crisis, it is quit clear that the western hemisphere still plays a critical role within worldwide finance. As some analysts feel that the dollar and the euro may reach parity in the months ahead, any CFD trades within the Forex markets could very well prove to be rewarding positions. It is wise to keep a close eye on such movements.


Still Alive! And Closing 2 Trades

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 09.14.2015 (3:00 am)

Good morning to all of you. First off, a big apology as I have been basically missing from this blog for a few months now. I’m not really going to try to explain, it was nothing tragic or that would be that interesting to write about:) Just being extremely busy with work, family, the kids, some travelling, etc:) I’ve not only been basically missing from this blog but have also not been trading much. And it’s been one of those tough years in the markets as well, especially in the technology sector which is not ideal given my higher than average exposure to the sector. Despite that, my bigger positions, Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB) and TripAdvisor (TRIP) continue to do pretty well. Here is the YTD chart for those 3 compared with SPY:



TRIP is trailing but overall but they’re outperforming greatly. One thing that has not really recovered (yet) is the my long & short tech stock picks portfolio. It is more or less flat since the last update at -11% YTD and it’s certainly not looking good to extend my streak for another year. Especially given the fact that in recent years I’ve stopped adding new trades after the end of August. Given how little I’ve traded in the past few months, I’ll extend trading for an additional month this year. I’ll hopefully be able to open a few new trades and who knows, the performance might improve (or not!).

Before doing that, I will be closing 2 of the existing trades:

Long Google (GOOG) and Short eBay (EBAY)+Paypal (PYPL): This trade is actually standing at +13,4% but had been started as a GOOG vs EBAY trade and when EBAY spun off PYPL, that affected the trade. I’ll close it this morning and could re-open a new trade involving these names in the near future but as a 1 long and 1 short:)

Long Apple (AAPL) and short Blue Nile (NILE): This trade is a bad one and currently stands at -33% with AAPL having a tough time this year while NILE has actually done very well.

You can also see all of those trades here:

I’ll do more commentary in the coming days and weeks on these names!

Small Break:)

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 08.22.2014 (4:00 am)

Summer Picnic Wide Desktop BackgroundGood morning, I just wanted to send out a quick message to say that even though no new blog posts appeared this week (or will in the coming week), everything is going well, great in fact:) I’m just getting a bit of rest before the end of summer, and did not have any new long & short trades to open anyway (all 7 trades are within my open/close limits).  Hopefully we get more trading volatility this fall (especially if Europe continues to struggle), which should create more trading opportunities.

I hope you’re all doing well, some fascinating stuff is going on and I can’t wait to get back to writing about it:)

All the best!!

Ecosystems Rule The World ($AAPL, $GOOG, $MSFT, $AMZN, $FB)

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 08.07.2014 (3:00 am)

ecosystemI’m sure that some of you think I should move on from this topic. I can’t:) I’m sorry but even though this gets talked about a decent amount, I still feel like most of us underestimate the impact of the ecosystems in this new “digital” era. The bigger ecosystems are able to create a world where they can leverage the network in multiple ways. I’ve discussed the fact that I consider there are currently 5 core ecosystem plays:

-Apple (AAPL)
-Google (GOOG)
-Microsoft (MSFT)
-Amazon (AMZN)
-Facebook (FB)

Each have their own strenghts and weaknesses but they are all gradually taking over the world. Think I’m exagerating? Look at the top 5 (by market cap) technology stocks in the US?

AAPL 575.73B
GOOG 392.50B
MSFT 357.01B
IBM 193.11B
FB 189.06B

And if you are wondering how long IBM can hang on here, just look at this chart:

IBM Market Cap Chart

IBM Market Cap data by YCharts

Of course, IBM will not just stand still. Their biggest move lately has been to team up with Apple in what is a great alliance, especially for Apple.  The company led by Tim Cook has had a lot of success in the past few years but one area where it has clearly lagged is having a strong presence with big corporations. Apple has never been a player willing to compromise/bend over in order to go after those contracts and will now have IBM working on doing just that.

Who Are You Betting On?

As you might already know, I already have significant positions on Apple (AAPL) and Facebook (FB) and will likely add some others in the near future.  I’m also looking for smaller players that could eventually do well in this new world.

Have any of you been investing based on this new world?

Weekend Readings

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 07.18.2014 (3:00 am)

General Readings

How Russian hackers stole the Nasdaq @ BusinessWeek

Tech Stock Readings

Kara Swisher, a tech journalist legend @ NYMag
Amazon a friendly giant as long as its getting fed @ NYT
Uber, Lyft and reinventing the ride @ NYT
Box, Uber and 29 cent tacos @