Many investors just jump right in and then they make mistake after mistake costing them a ton of money. If you know what these mistakes are and you avoid them you will be way ahead of the game. This is why I decided to post Jim Cramer's list of the 5 worst investment mistakes.

1. Buy and Hold isn't a Strategy

The single worst and widespread mistake out there is Buy and Hold. Buy and hold is a thing of the past. Buy and hold isn't a strategy, it gives you a false sense of security. When you buy and hold you think "my work here is done", it's an excuse to be lazy. It needs to be "Buy and Homework". Listen in on conference calls. Check for Management confidence. You should be spending at least an hour a week studying, per stock.

2. Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

If only I bought this or that. Don't dwell on missed opportunities or bad mistakes. When you can't get over your mistakes it becomes counter productive. Being an Investor is emotionally brutal. You have to be tough minded. Focus your time on making good decisions in the present. Learn from your past then move on. It is our nature to regret mistakes, but overdoing it won't get you anywhere. Don't let it throw you off your game. This is what really separates the good investors from the bad

3. Tips are for waiters. Not for Traders

You can get great stock tips. These are the ones from insiders who actually know company's future moves. These types of tips are illegal. The other types of tips are usually from someone who has an agenda. If someone wants to give you a stock tip it should send up a red flag. That being said there is a difference between a "stock tip" and a company that does the homework for you and gives you recommendations.

4. Lack of Diversification

Diversify. Diversify. Diversify. Don't keep your entire portfolio in one sector. You should not have more than 20%, even in a very hot sector. Remember the tech bubble. Enough said.

5. Buying your whole position at once

Sometimes you are your own worst enemy. In these times you need rules to suppress your instincts. Arrogance is a sin that will cost you a lot of money. Buying your whole position in a stock at one time is the most arrogant thing one can do. When you buy your whole position at once you are saying "this stock is not going any lower from this point on." That is arrogance. Build a position over time, not all at once. Patiently wait for good entry points. It's hard to time stock perfectly...Yet another reason to buy slowly.

Good Luck and Good Investing!

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You've heard the stories... "two geeks create revolutionary stock trading system" or "former investment banker makes millions off legal investing program." Folks, the stock trading robot programs lurking on the internet are the biggest scams in the industry. These websites typically rely on the whole "white lie" advertising schemes to have you thinking that you are coming across a quasi-legal advanced technology that nobody else has... all you are getting is a smack in the face, and here's why!

The first thing about these websites that should set you off is the obvious "getting rich off the stock market" ploy. Anyone who is proposing "$3,500,000,000+ profit" and/or "average 102% increases" from trading stocks is taking you for a ride. In fact, anyone who says you'll be earning over 20% profit from the stock market is a liar.

Case in point, all these programs do is feed you worthless penny stocks. What is a penny stock? Basically a non-company that has issued some cheap form of stock to raise capital. If you own MSFT (Microsoft) at $30.42 a share, then if the shares trade up, lets say $0.50... you make a 1.64% gain on the day. However, if you buy one of these ultra high-risk penny stocks from the stock trading robot for $0.20 per share, you would make 250% profit in just one day! Fantastic.

I think not!

There's a reason that these websites typically never mention downside, not once, on the entire front page. There's a reason that the professionals, and heck, even educated amateurs, don't waste their money in penny stocks. There is going to be almost NO news for this stock, NO research to base things on, and NO history to look back on. You can't compare penny stocks to get an attractive valuation, all you have is random guessing and speculation. You might get lucky and see 100% profit on a day, but you are more likely to lose it all with a huge -300% profit than anything else.

The crooks at these stock trading robot websites try to pass this "software" off as being worth $28,000 per license. I beg to differ. In fact, my friend over at Trainee Trader researched the coding of one of these programs and found it wasn't a program at all. The program in question just fetched a preloaded pick from a server once a day, pretending to do work along the way. I have never seen one of these programs that has actually done "work"... and I've tried them all. What you typically have is a progress bar that pretends to make progress, while all it is going to do is pump back the one stock that's already been pre-loaded by the criminals taking your money in the first place. No math, no complex algorithm, nothing! You are simply paying for a dud.

You'll often see some charts thrown up on these stock trading robot scam pages, trying to get you to believe they have made some sort of achievement in technical analysis. Here's some news for you, they haven't. Technical analysis has been around for years, and is especially unreliable on penny stocks. You can't judge a trend when stocks boom and bust day after day, sometimes completely random!

These scam websites make me angry every time I see an advertisement for them, which is far too often. You simply can't win if you are playing the market with penny stocks... its not going to happen. They talk about their "operations" where they are analyzing all of these risky stocks and actually finding something special. What jerks! Throw a couple of "technical analysis" graphs up, and these things actually look legitimate.

Now on to the worst part by far. The "success" stories.

This is pretty much all they are, stories. I am going to be maybe the first to do this, but I think the guys operating the various robot-trading scam sites are paying off people to make these videos claiming things work. Every video is so rehearsed, they never sound real. Nobody is going to make a serious claim that these programs have helped, they just talk about reaping insane profits without mention of their losses... which by simple mathematics should occur more often than profits.

Don't buy into this crafty, sneaky, suspicious or whatever you want to call it "software." These scams typically operate by making you purchase their $30, $40 or $50 software, which they make sound like a bargain by throwing out a random multi-thousand dollar "retail value."Then they will smack you with a newsletter or subscription fee to get more picks every day. You don't need any of that garbage. Getting your hopes up that you can beat the system, which is essentially run by the big dogs on Wall Street, is foolish.

The famed "stock trading robots" are scams. Believe it. The fact that people are advertising the heck out of these programs to try and make a quick dime off of your false hope doesn't make it any better.

Bottom Line: You can't make money on the stock market in excess of 20% with any degree of reliability... its just not going to happen. The stock trading robot programs on the internet are some of the biggest scams in the business, and have made a lot of people rich off others' misfortune. Don't be a fool, and stay bullish on the net!

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This article introduces the key concepts of accounting for investors. Its intention is to better enable investors to understand and interpret the financial statements of businesses they might invest in.

Accounts provide a (hopefully) objective analysis of the state and performance of a business. Accounts of listed companies must be prepared according to both the law and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

Listed companies must have their accounts audited by qualified, independent, auditors to verify the accounts conform to the law and GAAP. Look closely at the auditor's statement. Any hint of concern here should be cause for alarm.

The four basic accounting principles are accruals, prudence, consistency, and viability.

* Accruals - Items are recorded when their income (or expenditure) arises, not when it is actually received or paid.

* Prudence - Figures must be shown in a conservative (pessimistic) way.

* Consistency - Accounting methods can vary from company to company, however, for a given company the methods used must remain consistent from year to year. If a company changes its accounting methods, this change must be reported.

* Viability - Accounts are prepared on the assumption that the company will remain in business.

Because companies can legitimately adopt different accounting methods it is not always possible to directly compare the accounts of one company with another. However, because of the consistency principle, it is possible to monitor a particular company's performance over time from its financial statements.

Financial statements usually include letters from the chairman and board of directors. These will usually serve to tell you what a great job the management team have done, but can sometimes provide useful hints as to likely future initiatives.

The three key financial statements are the Profit and Loss Account, the Balance Sheet, and the Cash Flow Statement.

Profit and Loss Account

The Profit and Loss Account summarizes a business's performance over a period (usually a year).

Sales (turnover) = total sales revenues.

Cost of Sales = production overheads, raw materials, employees, product development, changes in stock levels, depreciation.

Gross Profit = Sales - Cost of Sales.

Operating Costs = costs of administration, distribution, marketing.

Operating Profit = Gross Profit - Operating Costs. (Also referred to as profit before interest and tax, PBIT).

Profit Before Tax = Operating Profit - Profit (+ Loss) on Sales of Fixed Assets - Net Interest Payable.

Balance Sheet

The Balance Sheet is a snapshot of a business's financial position (what it owes and owns) at a particular moment in time.

The Balance Sheet is based on the accounting equation:

Assets = Liabilities + Owners' Equity

Fixed assets are assets that a business does not buy/sell as part of its business.

Tangible assets are physical things, eg buildings, machinery etc.

Intangible assets include brand names, patents, licenses, goodwill (the amount by which the price of a business exceeds its assets) etc.

Current assets are assets that can be converted to cash within a year, eg inventory (stocks of goods for sale or raw material), debtors (money not yet received for sales), investments, cash etc.

Current Liabilities are debts due in the next 12 months, eg creditors (money owed to suppliers), accrued expenses (phone, rent... incurred but not yet paid), outstanding dividends, tax due within next year.

Long Term Liabilities money owed but not due within next year, eg bank loans.

Net Current Assets (working capital) = Current Assets - Current Liabilities.

Total Assets less Current Liabilities = Fixed Assets + Current Assets - Current Liabilities.

Net Assets = Total Assets - Total Liabilities.

Shareholder's funds (owners' equity) must equal net assets.

Share Capital is the money put into the business by shareholders.

Retained Profit is the cumulative retained profit from the Profit and Loss Account since the business started.

Revaluation Reserve results from a business revaluing assets (eg buildings) at current rather than original costs.

Cash Flow

The last (but certainly not least important) financial statement is the cash flow statement. This statement shows the movements of cash into or out of the business. No matter how healthy the profit & loss account and balance sheet may appear, without sufficient cash a business will fail.

The Operating Profit (from the Profit and Loss Account) is adjusted for non-cash items.

* Depreciation is added back in.

* Any increase (decrease) in inventory is subtracted (added).

* Any increase (decrease) in debtors is subtracted (added).

* Any increase (decrease) in creditors is added (subtracted).

These adjustments give the Operating Cash Flow.

From the Operating Cash Flow the following are subtracted to give Cash Flow before Financing:

* Interest paid.

* Dividends.

* Taxation (actually paid in year).

* Capital expenditure (eg on fixed assets).

* Any other exceptional costs (eg settling a legal action).

* Financing shows cash generated from or lost to external financing, eg changes in loans, issues of share capital etc.

Movement in Cash is the sum of Cash Flow before Financing and Total Financing, and must agree with the change in cash figures on the current and previous year's balance sheets.

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There can be no doubt that for investors 2008 has had a very bad start. For some it has been a nervous time and for others it has been a disaster. Values have fallen and if you have borrowed money to finance your shares you are probably feeling some anxiety.

From my research there are few stocks or funds, not to mention markets that have not taken a hit since January 1 (most since about mid November).

What amazes me about the market slump is the wide variety of opinions in how the market will preform for the remainder of 2008. On the negative side I have heard numerous financial and economic commentators remark that we have not seen the worst and that the sub-prime mortgage problems in the United States. This problem, will in turn affect China and other Asian markets and the smaller markets such as in Australia are in for some pain.

However, it should be noted that the chorus of this happens every 5 to 7 years anyway is definitely growing in both numbers and statue. History indicates that after a slump there is a strong rise. May be there are right!

Further, to this argument is that many companies have continued with project CAPEX (capital expenditure) for the immediate future and are still predicting high cash flows for the future. This is highlighted by many Australian mining companies predicting a rosy future.

I read a really insightful article from an Australian investor last week who noted that there are many cheap shares and funds available at the moment. It is an interesting thought. Anyone will tell you that the BEST time to buy is when the market is down and sell when the market is at a peak.

In November 2007 the Australian stock exchange peak at over 6800 points and I am sure many people bought that day. I wonder how many of them selling now. What a financial disaster for them

The only benefit in this strategy is that you are 100% sure that your current stocks are really bad and that any new stocks you purchase are about the sky rocket. A gamble it is

Further to this, who sold their stocks in January - March 2008. I have read that many on line systems that are used by "mums and dads" to buy and sell shares actually crashed during some days of January 2008 - but did the investment funds sell? I still don't know the answer but I suspect not.

May be we should hold our nerve and sit tight (may be like the big investment funds are doing).

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Big day on the stock market yesterday...

Amid doom and gloom from everyone that can read the business section of a newspaper, International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE/IBM) reported that its earnings in the first quarter of 2008 jumped 26% to $2.32 billion. IBM even raised its earnings forecast for the year.

Another technology company, eBay, Inc. (NASDAQ/EBAY), said that it made 22% more profit in its first quarter. The stock is up 28% since mid-March.

And JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE/JPM) announced Wednesday that it was raising $6.0 billion in its biggest ever sale of preferred stock. Of course, the money will be used to shore up JPMorgan's balance sheet.

With oil prices at a record $115.00 a barrel yesterday... with home foreclosures, personal bankruptcies and defaults on loans all up sharply in the U.S., we have some very big American corporations posting excellent record-breaking profits.

What gives with the stock market?

From 2005 until the end of 2007, until I was blue in the face and until no one else would listen, my interpretation of stock market action was quite negative. While many analysts were bullish on the stock market, I took the contrarian view and was a big bear.

If we look at the S&P 500 today, it is trading at about the same level it did in 2005: An investor would have been better advised not to have invested in the general stock market during that 24-month period.

But an interesting event took place in late 2007. The stock market, and in particular the S&P 500, topped out early in the fourth quarter of 2007. After hitting a peak of 1,576.09 in October 2007, the S&P fell 20% by the first quarter of 2008.

The stock market had spoken: It had declared that the economy would get very difficult in the months ahead. And, as is always the case, the stock market was right. (As I've always said, to make money in the stock market, one needs to only follow the actions of the stock market!)

Today, the stock market is telling a different story. The S&P 500 is up 8.5% since its March lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up a huge 1,110 points since its January lows - a gain of 9.6%!

With this action, the stock market, as I have noted before in this column, is telling us that the economy will get better and that the worse may be behind it. And I'm going against the popular opinion again and taking the contrarian view that everything Fed Chief Ben Bernanke has done for the economy will result in the economic turnaround we need.

Yes, we'll hear more about home foreclosures and consumer loan defaults, but the stock market is telling us that the damage has already been done. And when you see record profits by IBM and eBay, when you see JPMorgan easily raising $6.0 billion, you get confirmation of the stock market's positive action and outlook.


It's very early in the current earnings season, but, so far, the numbers haven't been too bad. In fact, quite a few Dow companies reported first quarter earnings that beat consensus estimates.

Many corporate outlooks that have been reported are not too shabby either, which is helping investor sentiment in the broader stock market considerably.

The stock market really needed an earnings season to begin because it was stuck in a rut in the first quarter. The market couldn't seem to get past all the bad news being reported. Any good news was met with indifference.

Right now, investor sentiment is improving, but it's hard to figure out how long this will last. After the first quarter earnings season is finished, my best guess is that the market will go back to worrying excessively.

It's possible that the stock market is rallying now because the numbers so far haven't been as bad as the market had previously worried they would be. This is not a good way to look at things, and I wonder how a stock market can go up when the underlying economy is in a funk.

The real estate price cycle always takes longer than other components of the economy and so the current state of the real estate market could be unchanged for many years to come. And, as if there wasn't enough to worry about already, inflation remains a dangerous threat that could create the next depression.

If inflation comes into the economy at higher rates in a sustained manner, the only way the Federal Reserve can fight it is to increase interest rates, which would kill the current stimulus that's trying to jumpstart the economy. However things develop in the future, I think it's going to be a difficult period for the next decade or so.


You have been working in a company for the last five years. But why is your account balance is low? Do you invest? If you are not aware of the importance of an investment plan, you must wake up now. Think what will happen if you need money urgently - in such a situation, your savings will only help you come out of that grim situation. Those who do not understand the need of financial security often face problems. So, why welcome such problems - invest now and live happily all through your life.

In today's competitive world, there are several investment options available. But, which one is most beneficial is a million dollar question. No doubt, online trading today is a better option as compared to other investment options. Being online, anyone can invest and trade from any corner of the world. And if you have your own laptop and an Internet connection, then you can start trading at any place such as at your home or on the beach.

In addition to easy trading system, online stock trading is also safe. All transactions done by the trader are kept secured on the Internet. Since, you operate online on the stock trading company website, security tools installed on the website provide more safety. And once you login to your account, you get attached with online stockbroker who actually does all kinds of transaction, once you tell him to do. Brokers also provide valuable information such as information about major company shares, market moods, when to buy and sell stocks and more.

So, if you have really planned to invest in stocks then the first step you would need to take is to make a proper investment plan. This may include the amount you want to invest, for how long you want to invest and finally, how much profit you expect from your investment plan. You can definitely measure these things, at least up to some approximation. And it is always better for new investors to discuss their plan with online financial experts.

If your groundwork is perfect then you can proceed further easily and without any hassle. The next step you would need to take is to learn more about the market. There are various open resources available on the Internet - read the content and know the volatile market in a better way. It is really important for every investor to understand the volatile nature of the market. And the best way to understand is through market analysis. Today, company websites come equipped with trading tools - analyze the data and then trade accordingly. The stock market analysis will give you a view of the share price fluctuation rate to some extent.

There are many investors who do not follow these strategies and often fail to enjoy the benefits from their investment plan. So, don't follow them - it is not only the trading system where you need a good market knowledge - even if you want to sell a particular product in the market, you need comprehensive market report, which may include the demand for that particular product, competitors for that product and so on. So, learning is important. Gain knowledge about the market, invest intelligently and enjoy the benefits, always.


The Basic Functions

The old standard was to pay a broker to make transactions and do trading for you. But with the emergence of the Internet people can do their trading electronically for as low as $6.95 a trade. People think this is a great deal so they eagerly jump into the stock market without having any prior knowledge whatsoever of what they are doing. And what once looked like a great deal has turned over a huge profit to trading firms due to excessive trading and low maintenance.

It's very simple how it works. You can sign for a brokerage account at a variety of places; the most popular being Scottrade, Ameritrade, and ETrade, but there are many out there that offer better savings. Once signed up, you can begin purchasing and selling stock almost instantaneously.

The Stock Symbol

Each company before being listed on the New York Stock Exchange or other exchange will have a dedicated symbol (usually up to 4 characters on the NYSE). For example, Walmart is known as WMT, Target is known as TGT, and Ford is known as just F. You can lookup symbols through Google or yahoo or even using your online brokerage account, but you will need the symbol before you can make a purchase. Please be careful that you do not transpose or mistype a character because you may accidentally end up with the wrong stock.

Buying and Selling - Limits, Stops, and Stop Limit Orders

When you go to buy or sell a stock you have several options that you can put in place to protect yourself against immediate losses and if used improperly can reduce your capital gains.

Market Price

Generally speaking if you don't use any of the options than you would buy or sell the stock ar market price. This means that whatever the going rate or quote is for that stock at the time of transaction is what you will receive.

Stop Order (Stop Loss)

A Stop Order is where you will set a certain amount. In buying for example, let's say you wanted to pay 30 dollars for Walmart (WMT) stock but no more. Let's also say that Walmart is currently trading at 28 dollars at the session open but is rising in value due to a good earnings report but you don't want to purchase the stock until it hits 30 dollars to make sure that is' really going to rise. By placing a Buy Stop Order of 30 dollars your online brokerage account will wait for the stock price to hit 30 dollars and then turn into a market order where it will try to purchase the stock at market value. Now let's say that you own Walmart and you paid 30 dollars for it but you don't want to lose a lot of money so you place a Sell Stop Order of 29 dollars. Your transaction will not become active until Walmart reaches 29 dollars at some point during the day. Once it reaches 29 dollars your order becomes a regular market order and it will make it's best attempt to fill your order at market price.

Limit Order

With a Limit Order you will set maximum and minimum prices you are willing to buy and sell at. When placing a Buy Limit Order on a company what you are saying is that I want to buy this stock as long as it as less than this amount. For example, if I put in a Buy Limit Order on Vonage (VG) for 10 dollars and the stock is currently trading at 7 dollars then it will continuously try to buy Vonage stock until it surpasses the 10 dollar mark. When placing a Sell Limit Order you are saying that I want to sell my stock but I am not willing to sell it for any price under my limit. For example, if you currently own Vonage and it's trading at 7 dollars and you decide that you want to sell it but for no less than 6 dollars than you would place a Sell Limit Order with a target price of 6 dollars. The brokerage services would continually try to fill your order up until the point when Vonage drops below 6 dollars.

Stop Limit Order

This is a combination of both a Stop Order and a Limit Order. When buying you will be able to set two prices, which have to be set above the current trading price. For example, let's say that Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is currently trading at 20 dollars a share. You would like to buy them but not until they reach a price of $20.50 and you aren't willing to pay more than $21.00. You would then set your Stop price to $20.50 and your Limit Price to $21.00. The brokerage service would then try to fill your order once the $20.50 mark has been reached up until the point when it hits $21.00. If the price goes over $21.00 then your order will not be filled until it drops back below $21.00 for whatever time frame you specified your order to be active for (usually 1-30 days). Remember that a Stop-Limit Order is just a combination of the two. When the stop price is reached it then converts into a Limit Order. So if AMD were to hit the stop price of $20.50 it would still fill the order even if it dropped below $20.50 before filling. In fact, your order would be converted to a Limit Order so it would continuously try to buy AMD until it exceeds $21.00 regardless of how low the stock price dropped. A Sell Stop Limit works in the opposite fashion. If you owned AMD and it was currently trading at $20 and you wanted to sell it if it were to hit $19 but you don't want to sell it if it goes below $18 before it's filled then you would set your Stop Price to $19 and your Limit Price to $18.

Put and Call Options

There is a way to participate in the stock market without ever actually purchasing stock in a company. It's very similar to making predictions on which way you think the stock price of a company is going to go and then betting money on it. These are called options and it is a technique used by mainly professional investors to make money in the stock market regardless of whether it is going up or down. For every bet that is made there is a bet against it and using these two opposing bets a contract is formed between the buyer and the seller. A contract is usually considered 100 shares.

Put Options

A Put Option allows the purchaser of this contract to sell a commodity at a pre-set price agreed upon in the contract. The contract usually expires within 30 days and it doesn't have to be exercised. For example, if Bob thinks Google (GOOG) is going to plummet after their next earnings report from $400 to $300 then Bob may wish to use a Put Option and find a contract that allows him to sell Google(GOOG) at $400 anytime within the next 30 days or whatever time frame is necessary for this prediction. Bob buys 5 contracts (500 shares) paying a $20 premium per share for the contract ($10,000 total) and Google does indeed drop but only to $350. Bob could now exercise his option and sell his 5 contracts which will give him (500 shares * $400) minus (500 shares * $350) minus the $10,000 he spent on the contract. This would give him a ($200,000 - $175,000 - $10,000) $15,000 capital gain from this transaction. Let's say Google (GOOG) went up instead to $450. Bob is not required to exercise his transaction because it would result in a loss and the $10,000 he spent on the contract is non-refundable.

Call Options

Call Options work the opposite way of Put Options. Taking the same scenario above let's say that Bob thinks google will go up to $500 after the earnings report is released from $400. Bob uses a Call Option and buys 5 contracts (500 shares) of Google paying a premium of $20 per share ($10,000). The earnings report is released and Google increases to $550. Bob has the right to purchase 500 shares of Google at $400 from the writer of the contract and can now resell them at $550 if he exercises his option. So Bob gets ($550 * 500) - ($400 * 500) - ($10,000 premium) $65,000 from exercising his option. If Google were to drop instead of increase then Bob has the right not to exercise his option and he would then forfeit his $10,000 on the expiration date of the contract.

Trading on Margin

Trading on margin is an excellent way to amplify your gains when you make the right picks but it is also an excellent way to amplify the losses as well. Most brokerage firms allow you to buy on margin of up to 50%. That means you could purchase $20,000 of a stock only using $10,000 of your own money and borrowing the other $10,000. It's a really good way to capitalize on short term investments but has never been recommended for long-term holdings because the $10,000 you borrowed usually comes with an APR of around 10% that you pay each month from your account. Also, incase of a sudden market crash, most brokerage services require you to keep at least 30% and sometimes even 50% Current Market Value in your account.

Therefore, if you purchase stock for $20,000 using $10,000 of your own and $10,000 borrowed than you must maintain 30% of the $20,000 at all times which is $6,000 of your own money in the account. Keep in mind that the money you borrow will never change so if that $20,000 in stock lost 20% of it's value then you would have ($20,000 * .8) $16,000 in stock left; $6,000 which is of your own money and $10,000 which is still the lenders money. If the stock fell anymore than that they are allowed to sell your shares unless you add more cash to the account.

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When it comes to investing in stocks, investors usually spend a lot of time in determining what particular stock to buy and the quantity they should buy. The process involves tracking not only the performance of the stock they are interested in but also the market in general before a decision is made to buy. The same holds true when selling your holdings.

Although most people handle their stock investments through brokers, it is best to do your own homework and not be at the mercy of somebody whose only interest is to make money - regardless if that is exactly the same motive you have for investing.

If you have chosen your stock portfolio wisely, chances are you do not have to sell them for a long time. You can hold on to them even if their value does not go up as much as the others because of their stability. However, there are instances when you do have to sell and that is when the dilemma comes in - when is it time to really sell your stock holdings?

For most investors, the rule of thumb is to sell only when you have already realized your financial goals, not before.

Considering that the value of stocks is similar to a roller coaster ride and is highly dependent on the world economy in general, people mistakenly believe that whenever there is worldwide recession that then is the right time to unload stock holdings. However, stock values are as unpredictable as the weather - there are times when they go up and down for no reason at all. When stock values drop, even your broker may advise you to sell, however, this is not always the logical course of action.

Stock values may drop due to attrition or overall market conditions, because the stocks of companies A, B, C and D dropped, stocks of company E may also drop not because of the same reasons but as a market reaction to the situation of A, B, C and D.

More research must be done and a careful analysis of the variables involved studied in order to determine the causative factor for the drop in value of the stock of E. There are only three reasons why you should sell your stock holdings, these are:

1. Sell your stock portfolio only if you have already achieved your financial goals. This is the perfect time to unload your stock holdings and put them in safer investment portfolios like government bonds, treasury notes or time deposits.

2. Secondly, if the company you invested in diversifies into uncharted business waters and the general consensus among market analysts is that the move may cause the company's stock to go down. When this happens, sell your holdings as soon as possible in order not to get burned. Of course, the opposite may happen but that is a risk you have to take.

3. The best time to sell is when the value of your holdings goes ballistic. Since what goes up must come down, it is best to sell at this point, regardless if the value continues to go up at least you would have at least already gained 50 to 75 per cent (or more) of your original investment.

A simple word of advise is always to consult a broker or financial adviser; not one but two in order to have a second opinion on the matter and always do your own research instead to totally relying on the decision and advise of others. This way you will reach your financial goals sooner than you planned.

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You will always be wondering if you should have bought this stock, if you should have sold that stock or if you should hold on to a stock. As time goes on your gut will give you more and more, but the stock exchange is a wondering game, so don't let that wondering stop you from getting involved now.

Making money on the stock market requires experience, practice, patience, education and skills. It's best that you start with some basic research. That basic research will give you more knowledge and as time goes by you will find yourself learning more and more. You need to learn the basics to get to that point.

Being a beginner is much easy today than it ever has been. Now being a beginner is much easy because of the Internet you can now start by entering the stock market online. To get you started we have compiled a list of things to do for online stock market trading, for beginners.

* If you are a beginner, online stock trading can be scarey. The very first thing you need to do is read this list and go through our advice, you will then feel comfortable to build on our advice and make your own way.

* The second point in our guide for online stock trading for bginners is to find out about your markets. Learn about stock trading, forex trading, what kind of markets are available at the moment. You can do this by signing up to free newsletters and looking about websites. You might also want to get familiar with local and not so local business newspapers. You don't have to purchase them, you can generally find out about these newspapers online and read them on their websites.

* Online stock trading can be worrying for a beginner who has done all the reading and in most cases it would be benifical for you to make contact with a few online traders. Online traders will generally charge you less in commissions because they don't have to spend many man hours with you. You need make sure your trader will offer you up to date information and perhaps send you notification when your stocks go up, down, should be sold or have been sold.

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You needed a broker to help you understand what you were spending your money and their time doing.

Brokers used to hate screening. Why? Well brokers only get pair commissions when they actually sell your stocks. For that matter they only get good commissions when they sell your stocks for a good price. So when a broker spends hours reading old annual reports and screening the current rates, they might spend all their time doing research and very little time making money. SO the general rule of thumb was to act on the industry and the way it is flowing and on their gut.

Now, because of the Internet there is a better and easier way. Online screening programs and website can give you the heads up by doing all the research for you and your trader. Online screening has given us all the ability to find out what the market is doing and what you, the investor, should be doing. Online screening programs and websites don't replace the need for a broker, but they do free up some time so that you or your broker can do more selling than reading.

Online screeners cut off hundreds of man hours and give you the ability to quickly search for the information your need. Literally all it takes is a few seconds, like a basic Internet search. You will generally need to identify stocks that meet certain criteria and screening will do that in a search type function. You can also screening with qualifiers like industry type, market cap, sales, dividends, and so forth. Generally the better the screener the more qualifiers you will have.

So you have you screening sorted? So now you need to get started with a market that your comfortable with. How about the penny stocks?

Penny stocks are stocks that are price extremely low, that offer small players the opportunity to get into the game without huge outputs. While Penny stocks look like a non risky game, the truth is if you have a lot of penny stocks it is very risky.

Because of the high risks and alluring prices of penny stocks traders should be mindful of a few things;

• Traders should spend some time investigating the current ownership distribution.

• Be careful of illegitimate stocks - do your research and make sure that you are spending your pennies in the right place.

• Take a look at the companies history - there could be a good reason why the stocks are placed so low.

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Stock market corrections occur every once and a while. they are not to be feared. In fact many traders can make money when these corrections happen. A correction is simply when stocks after a long time of going up head down. They are called corrections because they are said to bring over priced stocks downward. This corrects the price of the stock, or brings it back down to a reasonable level.

They occur once every few years. The average correction last about 18 months, in that time the market the average loss in the overall market is about 30%. Stock market corrections do not need to be feared however. There are ways to make money in the market. Shorting is normally one of the easiest ways to make money when stocks fall. It involves borrowing stock from your broker and selling it.

When the stock is at a lower price you would want to buy it back and return it to your broker. You keep the difference between the price you sold it and the price you bought it. This strategy can be very rewarding during a market crash. In fact many professional traders will actually prefer to trade during a downward moving period then trading during an upward moving time period.

It does make sense. The markets tend to go down faster then they tend to go up. Shorting stocks can lead to greater returns in shorter time periods then buying stocks. Many stocks may go from $80 to $40 in only a couple months when they fall.

Traders who short should treat that trade like they would treat any other trade. They should have certain entry and exit rules. They must also use proper risk management. Other traders will prefer to still look for bullish opportunities. There are always going to be stocks that go up. The only problem with this is the markets are not agreeing with them. This could cause certain surprises during corrections.

Everyone prefers to trade the markets differently during a correction. But there still is money to be made during this market. If you learn it well you could bring home money by the barrel-full.

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We live in interesting times...

You cannot switch on the TV or read a newspaper without hearing of doom and gloom. If it's not property and stock market falls it's oil prices going through the $100 level, and the situation in Iraq seems to be deteriorating.

Well, we will stay clear of most of that, except the issue of markets across the world going down. At this point we feel like saying please take a deep breath everybody.

It's certainly true that the 'sub prime' crisis has badly affected the confidence in the markets. Just as has the Northern Rock fiasco in the UK and the Bear Stearns collapse in the US. Are there any more 'nasties' around the corner people will rightly ask?

The answer is yes there could be, and things may take several more months for any residual problems to make an unwelcome appearance.

So what has happened?

Well, in a nutshell, it's partly down to greed.

In the last few years many banks have devised complex products to sell on at a profit, with the full ramifications of what they were selling not known at the time.

They packaged various types of debt together - good, average and poor quality - and sold it on. The banks priced these packages with a formulae devised by themselves.

With the benefit of hindsight, it could be argued that they got it wrong in spectacular style.

Roughly speaking, the high risk debt became worthless, the medium grade debt halved in value, and even the high quality reduced in value by circa 30%. This was made worse of course because in forced sales you tend to get less.

There is also the issue of how banks lend to each other, called the Interbank rate, so that they have the money to lend to people like us.

Gone are the days (but coming back?) when the bank used purely savers' money to then lend. So when confidence is hit, and banks are reluctant to lend to each other, and any lending they do do they charge a lot more for.

What we need of course is a period of stability, with bad debt being written off, and Interbank rates settling down. Working capital needs to be found, with wealthy companies called Sovereign funds helping - at a price.

As a background to all this, it must be said that the last 15 years have been quite amazing with low interest rates and high growth. This 'Goldilocks' period is ending, with growth down and inflation up. This brings to mind the dreaded word stagflation, and this is perhaps worse than recession.

Another point is that compared to other periods of stock market volatility the fall in the markets has not looked huge. Compared to the end of 2007 the FTSE is down around 14% and of course may fall further or recover. But in 1974 the market fell 51%, before bouncing back in 1975!

So what should investors do?

Well, if you don't need your invested capital now (or within 1-3 years) our advice is to hang on. Don't turn paper losses into real losses by selling low. We have seen new clients tell us that they have sold when the markets went down, and bought again when they went up.


Well, they simply felt that this was the 'sensible' thing to do.

This is the classic way for investors to lose money, time after time. For example, if you had missed the best 25 days out of the 7,300 days between 1986 and 2006, your compound annual returns would be 6.72% instead of the 11.74% the market returned.

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The internet has helped boost stock buying options round the globe for lots of investors in all types of fields. But safe buying practices need to be adhered to online and off, otherwise, poor investments could be made causing the investor to be not only money but time, effort and possibly even his or her identity and related accounts.

So before you rush out and buy stock, online or off, print out these tips and keep them to read over for handy reference. Top stock buying points you should know include:

1) Before you invest anywhere, check out the company or financial site where you want to make your purchases. Look for complete contact information including a real street address (not just a P.O. Box) and phone number. Also look for a secure connection for ordering with "https" (and not just "http") in the browser when you go to check out.

2) In a stock market, company stocks, sold in the form of shares, are sold to the general public. The math involved is basically this: the greater number of shares an investor purchases of a company, the greater the amount of stock that person has in that company.

3) The stock market is comprised of two markets. The first or primary market is when companies are coming up with funds for their operating expenses by selling shares to investors. The other market, the secondary one, is when investors seek to buy or sell those shares to fellow investors. Buying and selling decisions are based upon an ever-changing marketplace.

4) When you decide to buy or sell stock, you need to contact a broker or brokerage service.

5) Here is some basic math with regards to stock buying and selling: if you buy 100 shares of a company stock at $20.00 per share, and the price increases to $25.00 per share so you decide to sell, your 100 shares will net you $500.00 profit (minus any selling fees).

6) The stock market does not guarantee any type of profit at all. Investing in it is at your own risk.

7) Many investors opt for long-term investment in the stock market, to better absorb the ups and downs in the economy, seasonal business fluctuations and other timely concerns. In short, the better a person is in reacting to the changes at the stock exchange, it is said that the better his or her chances are for profit.

To sum up, study the market of your interests before you invest. If you want to invest in technology, for example, of health products, study the industry and companies in your proposed portfolio before you invest your funds in their stock. And don't be afraid to seek help at any time throughout the process.

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It's still a very difficult market out there for equity investors. The broader market's been rallying just a little, but with earnings season upon us, all bets will be off.

From the Street's perspective, the market isn't expecting a lot from corporations, both large and small. Just about everyone expects the first quarter to be slow. Investors are clearly looking to see what corporations will be saying about the future, as the market has already discounted weaker first quarter earnings.

It takes courage to be a buyer in this market. The current environment is definitely more attractive for long-term investors with lots of cash waiting to be put to work. Still, even if you take on new positions right now, they very well might not do anything at all for the rest of this year.

There's no doubt in my mind that 2008 is a transition year for stocks. The tides have turned and only the test of time will get us out of it. I say this because I don't think we can expect much more in the way of monetary stimulus. We might get a few more interest-rate reductions from the Fed, but the central bank is beginning to run out of room to maneuver.

On the fiscal front, the only thing left for the government to do is to cut spending, but this is very unlikely considering that it's election time.

Really, the last five years on the stock market have been very good, especially considering the size of the technology meltdown after 2000. Just look at a chart of the S&P 500 index. Even though the current stock market correction is due to a number of factors, including the credit crunch precipitated by the subprime mortgage market, general weakness in real estate prices and a slowing of the general economy, it's not unreasonable to have a down year in stock prices when the last five have been so solid.

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Stocks are a big part of our society today. If you are new and do not know how to invest in stocks, this article will give you the gist of it. You will be amazed at how much money you can potentially earn just by trading stocks. The key is research and understanding what you are doing.

Before getting into further details, it is important you understand what a stock is. A stock is a paper asset that various companies use to raise money. By purchasing a stock you are becoming a part owner of the business depending on how much you purchase. So how do you know how well you and your company are doing?

Each company that has stocks is given a ticker symbol to be used as an identification tag. You can then follow your company by looking for the symbol and reading up on how they are doing. When it comes to companies selling stocks, there are a couple of different stocks including blue chip and penny stocks.

If you are going to invest in stocks, typically blue stocks are the ones you want to go with. They are the best stocks and are considered the safest for you. What makes a stock a blue chip stock is that the companies stocks are financially secure. This way you know the company is not going to go bankrupt, allowing you to safely invest a little more money than usual.

When investing in stocks you have a few options. One method is to go through the company's direct stock purchase plan. Not every company has a direct stock purchase plan, but many do. Do your research to see which companies offer one.

A second method is using a DRIP program. Many companies that do not have a direct stock purchase plan have a dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) you can get into. This is a great tool to allow you to grow your portfolio.

A third method is purchasing a stock through a specialized service. There are a number of companies that sell individual stocks if you want to just get your feet wet first. After purchasing a few stocks, you can then buy more later.

Everything mentioned thus far does not have to do with a broker, but getting a broker is another option. Using a broker is great if you do not want to deal with stocks directly yourself. But you do have to realize that using a broker calls for you paying a commission to pay for their fees.

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What insider trading is
First of all, it is important to note that there are two different meanings for insider trading. The first one is illegal and it refers to anyone who makes a trade on the stock market and profits (or avoids loss) based on information about that company that was not public information at that time. The second one refers to a company officer trading company stock, which is not illegal unless they were using inside information to make a profit.

Martha Stewart
Perhaps the most famous example of insider trading in recent history is Martha Stewart. What exactly did she do wrong? Well, a company she invested in, ImClone, had a cancer drug that had been rejected by the FDA but that information was not available to the public at that time. The SEC believes that her friend Sam Waksal told her about this rejection and recommended selling her shares in ImClone immediately, which she did. By doing so, she avoided a huge loss when the stock price eventually dropped. That is a textbook case of insider trading, and she faced prison time for it.

Why it is illegal
The Securities and Exchange Commission sets and enforces rules to make the stock market as fair a place to trade as possible. They believe that when someone trades using information that is not well-known, it is not fair to the general public. A publicly-traded company is required to share its financial reports and any significant news with the world so that shareholders and potential shareholders can make informed decisions. After all, the company is owned by the shareholders and they deserve to know what is going on with their company.

How to avoid trouble
Probably the easiest way for you to get into trouble is if you work for a publicly-traded company and try to trade your company's stock for a profit based on information you heard around the office that has not been made public yet. Sharing or receiving this information from a friend at another company is just as bad. These situations are very tempting, and understandably so. It is hard to profit on a trade after the news has already hit the market. However, that is exactly why it is illegal, so you should try to avoid it. There are many gray areas on what is considered inside information, but if you are in doubt, do not trade your company's stock. There are thousands of other companies you can invest in.

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Trading after exchange hours

The main advantage of trading stocks out of hours is that if news breaks while the exchange is closed you are able to act on any such buying/selling opportunity straight away. However liquidity is a lot lower out of hours meaning there is usually a much greater amount of volatility in prices, with a lot less volume. Also the market is dominated by institutional investors and as a result it can be very expensive for the smaller investor to trade in the market.

Employee purchase schemes

If you company has one of these make sure you join. Such schemes work in a variety of ways however most usually let you purchase shares at a discount to the market price, or offer you free shares if you buy a certain amount out of your own money. Either way you are getting some value for nothing. Unless you are bearish about the prospects of you company then you should seriously consider joining any scheme that is on offer to you.

Do not follow the crowd

Often by the time you have read about a great stock it may be too late. Most investors that lose money do so by conforming to the herd mentality. If you research your stock picks well and are confident enough in your skills then you should be happy buying unfavourable stocks. Think about it. It is best to buy at the bottom and sell near the top, than buying near the top and selling at the top.

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The Last Cheap Asset Class

The year is 1980...

While everyone else has been losing money, you've made an absolute killing. You've made so much money in fact that you move out of your $75,000 house into a $150,000 mansion. You also treat yourself to a couple designer pin stripe suits with extra large shoulder pads.

What's your secret, investment genius?

One word: GOLD.

While everyone investing in stocks watched their portfolios get decimated- last year BusinessWeek published its legendary cover "Equities Are Dead"- you rode gold from $35 to over $650. You even flirted with an all time high of $850. Your stake has increased more than five fold in two years... while the S&P 500 languished around 130.

Fast forward to today.

The S&P 500 has risen ten fold. Today it trades around 1,360. Similarly, housing prices have more than doubled to $195,000... and that's after the housing bubble's collapse. Emerging markets, which barely even existed in 1980, are near all time highs today. Just about every investment you can name has exploded upwards in the last 27 years.

Except gold.

In 1980, gold peaked at $850 per ounce. Today it's only slightly higher. Name one other investment that trades where it did 27 years ago. You can't. There are none. And bear in mind, inflation has been eating away at the dollar over the last 27 years. So 2007 dollars are worth a lot less than 1980 dollars.

I know, we've all heard the claim before: based on inflation gold would have to trade above $2,000 an ounce to match its 1980 high. However, it's only when you really consider the precious metals' performance relative to other assets -stocks, real estate, etc- that you begin to see what value gold has even as it hits record highs.

Since 2001, gold has outperformed stocks, bonds, and just about every investment you can name. And it's done this with no yield, no cash flow, and no Wall Street gurus pushing it on their clients. Yet I would wager that less than 1 in 10,000 investors actually own the stuff. Only 10% of worldwide demand for gold is for investment purposes.

This won't last for long.

Globally, entire gold markets that didn't exist in 1980 are now beginning to buy the precious metal. Vietnam started trading gold futures in June 2007. Already the exchange trades around $100 million in gold futures a day. China's Shanghai Futures Index started trading gold futures just a few months ago. The latter country has already surpassed the U.S. as the second largest consumer of gold behind India.

Gold is a great inflationary hedge. However, in light of the growing number of gold investors, it's going to be a great investment simply due to supply and demand as well. Sure, $2,000 gold may sound ridiculous. But $1,000 gold sounded ridiculous just three years ago. And we flirted with that level earlier this year.

I strongly suggest buying gold during this recent pullback if you haven't already done so. Bear in mind, I'm not a trader. I'm an investor. I look for investments of value. And to me, gold remains one of the last cheap asset classes relative to its historic levels.

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Looking to make a large profit in the stock market? Then maybe small cap stocks are right for you. Small Caps are often labeled as a good investment because of their ability to grow, however the old saying is true - the greater the risk the greater the reward. If you can see the potential in such stocks and are willing to take risks, then investing in small cap stocks is the way to play the game.

Small cap stocks have a relatively small market capitalization, generally between $300 million and $2 billion. To calculate market capitalization (market cap), take the number of outstanding shares and multiply it by the current per share price.

Despite the risks associated with small cap stocks, there are some good reasons to consider adding them as a modest portion (usually no more than 5% - 10%) to your portfolio :

• Every successful company today started out small. Who knows where the next Google is going to come from, so keeping an eye on small cap stocks can be a huge advantage. Just think, if you invest in the next big technology giant when they are small fish in the sea, what kind of profit you can make!

• Everyone has known that the best way to get rich on Wall Street is to buy stocks that are undervalued and have room to grow. If you take the time to research small cap companies, you can often invest a small amount of money with the expectation of a high return.

• It is easier for a small company to double its sales than it is for a large company. Fast growth is easier for small cap stocks.

• Small companies tend to be less affected by market attention. This keeps prices from being driven too high or dropped too low.

So, how do you find a good small cap stock? It requires more work than investing in the larger, better-followed companies since there may not be much information available. The best thing to do is visit small cap stock promoter websites, because what they do is get the word out on small cap companies' news and information. You can find information through small cap stock forums, press releases, and blogs as well. Look for positive news with growth, acquisitions, mergers, and better than expected earnings. Just be wary of people that tell you to "buy now!" - find small cap stock promoters that are objective with the information that they give.

Overall, the question that you need to ask yourself before investing in small caps is, "Does the reward outweigh the risk or vice versa?" Before you invest in any small cap stock you need to decide how much of a reward you are looking for and how much of a risk you are willing to take.

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Long term vs. the short term, which one is better to invest in? This is a question that is very debated. Many investors will say long term is the best way to make money.

At the same time many traders will say that compound interest make short term trading the best way to trade.

Let us look at the advantages of long term trading first. When you trade for the long term you get away from all of that short term volatility. As a result you will be right a lot more. After all, a good stock should eventually go up in the long run.

Another advantage is that you can collect dividends. Many stocks can pay out nice dividends to their shareholders month after month. This could produce a nice monthly income for you.

One of the biggest benefits of trading long term is taxes. When you make money in the stock market you are taxed differently for long term and short term trading.

Long term trading has nice advantages over short term trading. So why would someone want to trade short term?

For one thing short term trading can pay the bills. Many long term investors will say that dividends will give you monthly income. This may not be the best way. Think about it most dividend stocks will pay you maybe 5% of the stock's value every year.

Divide this by 12 months and you only get .416% a month. So if you invested $100,000 into a dividend paying stock you may get $416 a month. Nice, you can't live off it but it's nice. However if you took that $100,000 and made $6-$8,000 a month you can do pretty well with that.

The other advantage of short term interest is compound interest. If you wanted it to grow you can just reinvest what you make. If you take that $100,000 and invest it at 15% a year after 2 years you would have $132,250.

If you took that same $100,000 and made 5% a month off it after 2 years you would have $322,509. Short term investing gives you a much greater growth advantage then long term.

Still long term investors will stay long term. They prefer the less risk, almost guaranteed profits of long term investing.

Some traders will have both a long term and a short term account. This way their money can get exposure to both slow and fast growth. It is really down to the individual trader.

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I love stock trading. I've actively traded in the stock, bond, options and futures markets almost every day for over 30 years, and I've learned some secrets to significantly improve my success. I will share them with you.

The cardinal rule it's this: "Don't get your ego involved!"

Always remember you're in this game to make money, not to impress your friends. You don't need to be right all the time... it's virtually impossible. So learn to take losses when a trade isn't working - and take them quickly and move on.

W.D. Gann had a great trading rule: "Cut your losses short, let your profits run".

I am a swing trader and I live by that rule. If a trade is working I hold it. If it violates my stop price I exit. Usually I like to hold trading positions for two weeks to three months, rarely longer.

These days with the proliferation of ETF's and options it's just as easy to be short as long. So we no longer need to worry about the direction of the market, or whether we're in a recession, going into a recession or in the middle of a boom... every day is a good day in the market. There's always an opportunity out there... we just have to find it.

I'm not going to teach you how to invest - I'm a stock trader - I'll teach you how to trade. If you want to invest... buy a bond!

Your capital is your weapon... guard it well. Don't trade with a full service broker - the fees will kill you until you have enough money to demand a big discount.

Here are some rules to help you:

1. The market is made up of stocks in a variety of industry groups that are all in different stages of rally or pullback. Your first job is to define these groups, follow them daily and get to know how they trade. The main groups I like to follow are financial services, technology, energy and metals and mining.

2. Trade in the larger stocks that trade lots of volume every day. Choose a handful of stocks in each group and follow them daily on your charts. I know a lot of you want the big killing on the junior market and I have a suggestion about that later, but that's another game entirely. If you find a $50 stock that makes $10 swings every 3 months and you can clip $5 out of each swing, that's $20 a year on a $50 stock - 40% - not bad.

If you want more action than that then use deep in the money options that have virtually no premium built in to the price and get your leverage that way.

3. Try not to have an opinion about the broad market direction... it's totally unimportant to your trading future. Instead, follow your groups and form a loose opinion of the direction of each group. If gold is going up then likely financials are going down so be long a gold stock and buy the Bear ETF on the financials.

If the general trend of your group is down then focus on taking the short trades in that group because the down moves will be bigger and vice versa.

4. Find some stocks that follow the 3 month cycle rhythm. Preferably stocks that tend to stay in trading ranges for quite a while and watch their charts every day, learn their patterns; lay in wait for them to come to you and then take your position either long or short. Don't feel you have to take any old trade that comes along... wait for all of your indicators to flash you the go signal.

5. I find it's critical to use some sort of momentum indicator like Slow Stochastics or MACD or RSI to give me the overbought/oversold readings as my first signal that a trade may be on. When the oscillator readings get to the 20 or 80 levels I get ready. Now I start to watch for a trendline break in the price or a breakout from a small consolidation pattern and I take a position. I place a mental stop below the last low or above the last high or for a maximum dollar amount I am willing to lose and I execute on that stop and get out.

6. Whatever money you have available, divide it into 10 and look to take 10 different positions, long or short it doesn't matter, usually it's a mix of both.

7. Be patient. You don't need to have all of your money deployed all of the time. Wait for the trades to come to you. If you get a sudden windfall move in a stock triggered by some news event and it takes the price into an area of support or resistance... grab your profit. These moves are reversed a big percentage of times and it hurts to watch that windfall disappear.

I am in process of writing a book that will give you a hands-on method for consistently making trading profits. But it isn't ready yet so in the meantime here is a resource you might want to look into.

This software works with low priced stocks and it can give you an unfair advantage. It can monitor hundreds of stocks at one time developing what professional traders call a "sixth sense"... a sort of "feel" for how the stock will behave in any given situation.

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Many years ago, Martin Zweig, a prominent financial advisor during the 1970s and 1980s, coined a catchy investment axiom: "Do not fight the Fed and do not fight the Tape." Applied to the present market, when the Fed is aggressively reducing interest rates and doing its best to resuscitate the financial markets, the odds should favor the long side. However, in contrast, the market tape remains unfavorable, with price, breadth and volume indices making new lower bear market lows.

How this dilemma will eventually be resolved is anybody's guess. In the short term my own bet is still on the tape indicators, also called technical indicators. The charts provide a clear picture of what this market downtrend looks like. Since October 2007, the broadest index of NYSE common stocks, the NYSE Composite, has been making new lower lows on a daily closing price basis.

The same trend has been followed by the daily NYSE Advance/Decline and the Upside/Downside Volume Lines. The only difference is that they both had already topped out in June 2007. Their failure to confirm the new October 2007 highs for the NYSE Composite, and other NYSE price indices provided an early bearish warning of things to come. The same pattern of trading has also been is evident in many global bourses.

Two weeks ago, most North American and Asian indices made new bear market lows, breaking below the previous lows of January 22/2008. Among the few indices that are still holding above the January 22/2008lows are Canada's TSX Composite and the Dow Jones Transports. Supported by the stocks of commodity producers, the decline in TSX Composite, from its October 2007 top, has been limited to 17%, at the lowest point.

Looking beyond the short-term implication in the bearish consensus of technical indicators, the Fed's frantic rescue actions to mitigate the meltdown in the credit market should in time revive the equities and the badly sinking economy. Regrettably, the experience of the 2000-2002 bear market shows that it may take as long as two years from the time of the initial rate cut to the start of the next of new bull market.

Putting aside the contradiction between bearish short-term technical indicators and bullish long-term monetary indicators, for the intermediate outlook, I find the bullish standing of the sentiment indicators very encouraging. Over the last five to six weeks, the consensus of sentiment indicators in our keep has reached the most bullish level since the 2002 market bottom.

As a result of the bullish standing of monetary and sentiment indicators, my proprietary leading market indicator, which we call our "Marketmeter," now stands at a bullish +34%. Since I developed Marketmeter some 26 years ago, all readings in Marketmeter higher than +20%, were followed by market gains of no less than 20% within the subsequent six months.

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I entered in the stock world around 2002 and only recently have I seen some really cash flow entering on my bank account.

Like everyone else I did all the newbie mistakes, which went from taking bad advice from people pretending to be "stock gurus" to buying tons of books regarding this subject. I lost ~$2000 during those dark times.

But you won't commit the same mistakes because...

1. Because You Have a Brain

If you're in the game for a while you will quickly realize if you want to make more money you need to multi-task and delegate assignments to other people in order for you to focus on what's really important... making money.

2. Unlike Most Scams Out There It Actually Works

I'll be honest, when I first heard about Marl, The Stock Trading Robot my scam senses were tingling, but since two of my close friends recommended it I decided to try it out.

One month later I got a nice cheque of $4572, just from Marl!

3. It's Cheap And They Have a Refund Policy

Even though most internet scams gloat about how they are going to take you from rags to riches in a matter of days, many of them don't have the refund policy, which means if you buy that expensive product that taught you nothing, your money is gone and some rich bastard is laughing while going to the bank.

Marl The Stock Trading Robot is actually the #1 business item being sold on Clickbank right now. That alone should convince you to try it out. Try it, make money. Don't like it? Get a refund, no questions asked.

But I promise you will not regret it because this is the real deal folks!

You can thank me later!

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Good penny stocks are a subject that a lot of investors really have not figured out yet. There are a lot of questions out there about penny stocks and how to obtain the good ones. Here are the 5 most oftentimes asked inquiries about good penny stocks:

1. Are good penny stocks difficult to find?

Yes and no. Penny stocks are painless to find if you've a system that shows you dependable stocks. If you do not own something like this, then it's unquestionably still achievable but it could be difficult work since you have to analyse the market awhile to ascertain the common penny stock trends. This could be time consuming but the endeavor is worth it if you are able to profit. Personally though, I'd advocate finding a dependable system to apply.

2. Can penny stocks make you rich?

Certainly, but you shouldn't entirely center your efforts on penny stocks. There are a lot of other dandy investing vehicles out there that will not make you returns as speedily but could carry little risk. Most other investments do not call for a particular system to invest, though one could be useful. If you're searching for good returns in a matter of weeks, penny stocks are in all likelihood your best choice, even with the added danger. Remember, a beneficial system will help to do away with that risk.

3. Do you require much money to invest in penny stocks?

No, you don't. Having a lot of money will allow you make more money initially, but you'll be able to do just fine with small funds. You shouldn't commit your life savings into penny stocks, but assigning an adequate amount of money is a advisable investment. Just appropriate a little of your usual investment money to penny stock investing. This ought to be plenty to get going.

4. Should all investors invest in good penny stocks?

I believe that all investors had better at least have a look at it. It might or might not be for them. For most though, I believe they are a perfect means for turning a minute amount of money into much more in a brief amount of time. If you cannot accept the risk, then penny stock investing may not be for you, but I still believe you ought to give it a whirl, just to see how it suits you. A good penny stock system will help make the process simpler, though you still make the final judgment about when to buy or sell.

5. What is the most effective penny stock system to utilize?

You might think that this would be a tough question to answer, but really, after taking a look at all the tools available I would have to say that if you are looking for good penny stocks, then a site called "Doubling Stocks" would probably be your best bet. Give yourself the best shot at succeeding with penny stocks! This site will tell you which good penny stocks to invest in and when to sell them for a great profit.

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