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Cliff Wachtel
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Cliff Wachtel, CPA, is currently the Director of Market Research, New Media and Training for Caesartrade.com, a fast growing forex and CFD broker. He covers a variety of topics including global market drivers, forex, currency hedged and diversified income investing, and is currently working on a... More
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  • Fools Russian: 1 Chart Shows Why Russia Tension-Related Selloffs A Buying Opportunity

    There are many reasons to be bearish. Fear of a protracted economic sanctions war between Russian and the West isn't one of them. Here's why and what to do if markets sell off on related fears

    Fools rush in

    Where angels fear to tread…

    …Fools rush in

    Where wise men never go

    (Song: "Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread)" -Lyrics By Johnny Mercer)

    Buy when there's blood in the streets - Baron Rothschild

    Be greedy when others are fearful - Warren Buffet

    (click to enlarge)

    Via: Business Insider/Matthew Boesler

    06 Apr. 20 04.37

    Given the facts in just this one graphic, Europe has every motivation to avoid a sanctions war with Russia.

    If the above isn't enough proof for you, the EU's real leaders have little enthusiasm for curtailing trade with Russia.

    First, consider Germany's position. Wolf Richter had a great piece on that back in March, German Exporters Fire Warning Shot About Russia "Sanction-Spiral," Banks At Risk. Highlights include:

    German Exporters Oppose Tough Sanction

    Anton Börner, president of the German Association of Exporters (BGA), which represents 120,000 companies, the lifeblood of the economy, warned at a press conference in Berlin that further escalation of the crisis in the Ukraine could hit exporters very hard. He said that the BGA expected exports to rise 3% to €1.13 trillion and imports 2% to €914 billion for a trade surplus of €215.6 billion - the highest in history. But "if the crisis in the Crimea escalates further," these wondrous forecasts of endlessly growing exports and surpluses "could turn very quickly into a mal-calculation.

    So Too Do German Bankers

    It isn't just German exporters that are fretting, and lobbying with all their might. Russia, with an economy that is already stagnating, and dogged by vicious bouts of capital flight, has$732 billion in foreign debt. Relatively little of it is sovereign debt, but nearly $700 billion is owed by banks and corporations - most of them owned or controlled by the Kremlin. Oil major Rosneft and gas mastodon Gazprom owe $90 billion combined to foreign entities; the four state banks Sberbank, VTB, VEB, and Rosselkhozbank owe $60 billion. Some of this debt matures this year and next year.

    European banks and insurance companies are up to their dirty ears in this suddenly iffy and potentially toxic Russian debt.

    When it comes due, it will have to be rolled over, and some of the companies will need to borrow more, simply to stay afloat. Alas, the current sanction regime of visa bans for the elite, asset freezes, and trade restrictions could make that difficult. Then there's the threat, now more broadly but still unofficially bandied about, that Russian companies should simply default on this $700 billion in debt in retaliation for the sanctions.

    Some European banks, including some German banks, might crater. Even the possibility of a major loss would further rattle the confidence in these banks with their over-leveraged and inscrutable balance sheets and their assets that are still exuding whiffs of putrefaction. And this sort of fiasco, as the financial crisis has made clear, has an unpleasant way of snowballing - and taking down the already shaky global economy with it.

    During the financial crisis, German exports collapsed, banks toppled and got bailed out, and the economy experienced its two worst quarters in the history of the Federal Republic. No politician in Germany has any appetite to re-experience that. And the banking industry, with its powerful and long tentacles winding their way through the hallways and doors of the German government, has been assiduously at work, quietly and behind the scenes, to whittle any sanctions down to irrelevance. (emphasis mine)

    Remember that EU banking remains as vulnerable as ever, given the EU's recent failure to agree on a serious banking union with the means to prevent future banking crises.

    I could quote similar views from French industrial groups, or from British bankers.

    Of course, as is often pointed out, Russia's economy is a mess, and it too would suffer greatly. Thus Putin has every reason to minimize the kind of blatant provocations that would force Western hands.

    All of the above is well known to all sides and to investors as a whole. Thus it's no surprise that investors remain sanguine about the crisis.

    That said, so too does Putin, and the spreading rise of Russian separatism beyond the Ukraine suggests that he'll continue to encourage apparent 'grass roots secessionist movements' as long as the West is unable to produce a credible disincentive.

    Putin's Political Advantage

    However, Putin has broad political support for his aggressive policy, whereas the West has little appetite for economic, never mind military conflict.

    Conclusion

    Therefore the potential for a sustained Russia-West crisis, and sell-off, remains. If that happens, see it as a buying opportunity.

    Whatever tensions flare up won't last. In the end the West will grudgingly yield. Diplomatic relations may suffer, but otherwise it will be business as usual.

    The West won't make serious economic or military sacrifices for the sake of Ukraine or other front-line states. Russia will.

    End of story.

    What To Do

    See our full report here for details.

    See here, here, and here for related posts on current market movers to watch.

    To be added to Cliff's email distribution list, just click here, and leave your name, email address, and request to be on the mailing list for alerts of future posts.

    DISCLOSURE /DISCLAIMER: THE ABOVE IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, RESPONSIBILITY FOR ALL TRADING OR INVESTING DECISIONS LIES SOLELY WITH THE READER.

    Apr 23 8:33 AM | Link | Comment!
  • SOCIAL MEDIA FOR FOREX TRADERS & INVESTORS IN ONE IMAGE

    A quick visual guide to social media platforms for forex investors and industry professionals

    The following is part of a continuing series of trader education posts from fxempire.com.

    (click to enlarge)

    01 Apr. 07 19.30

    Source: fxempire.com

    By definition it's an oversimplification because many have multiple uses and applications. So we presented sample posts that represented the most typical post OR uniquely distinctive feature of the site that would be most relevant for forex traders and industry professionals. The below table adds a bit of detail and commentary.

    For further details on the distinctions between the above platforms and why they matter to forex traders and professionals, see our special report: Traders' Quick Introduction to Social Media

    To be added to Cliff's email distribution list, just click here, and leave your name, email address, and request to be on the mailing list for alerts of future posts.

    DISCLOSURE /DISCLAIMER: THE ABOVE IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, RESPONSIBILITY FOR ALL TRADING OR INVESTING DECISIONS LIES SOLELY WITH THE READER.

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

    Apr 08 10:45 AM | Link | Comment!
  • AN INVESTORS'QUICK INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL MEDIA

    A one-minute guide to social media platforms for investors using forex traders and industry professionals as a sample group

    The following is part of a continuing series of trader education posts from fxempire.com.

    ONE MINUTE GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA FOR TRADERS

    The idea was to quickly demonstrate the differences in how the social platforms are used. By definition it's an oversimplification because many have multiple uses and applications. So we presented sample posts that represented the most typical post OR uniquely distinctive feature of the site that would be most relevant for forex traders and industry professionals.

    SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM

    SAMPLE POST

    COMMENTS

    TWITTER

    I JUST ENTERED SHORT EURUSD @ 1.3687

    The 140 character limit makes this suitable for a headline + sub-heading type message

    FACEBOOK

    I'M SHORT EURUSD BECAUSE…, ENTERED…PLANNED EXIT…, THINGS THAT COULD GO WRONG INCLUDE….

    Last I checked character limit is 60k, a 30-50 page MS Word document

    LINKEDIN

    SKILLS INCLUDE FOREX TRADING/PROFESSIONAL FX TRADER /HEAD OF FXLEADING FX BROKER/STARTED DISCUSSION: WHERE IS EURUSD GOING THIS WEEK/ETC.

    A platform for professionals to connect with colleagues, potential customers or vendors

    YOUTUBE

    VIDEO: HOW I'M TRADING THE EURUSD. SHOWS AN EURUSUD CHART, WITH TECHNICAL INDICATORS BEING DRAWN IN WHILE VOICE-OVER EXPLAINS TECHNICAL AND FUNDAMENTAL ANALYSIS AND REASONING BEHIND ENTRY, PLANNED EXITS, ETC.

    Typically used for posting videos that on trades or trading strategies, trader education lessons, market analysis, etc.

    INSTAGRAM

    HERE'S A VINTAGE-STYLE BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO OF ME TRADING (OR RECENT IMAGE RELATED TO THE TRADE)

    Compared to Pinterest, the other major image sharing social platform, the main difference is that Instagram focuses on photos you take, Pinterest emphasizes images you found online

    PINTEREST

    ANNOTATED CHART SHOWING MY EURUSD TRADING PLAN [OR OTHER IMAGE OF AN EVENT OR NEWS ITEM RELATED TO THE TRADE]

    See above

    FOURSQUARE

    HERE'S WHERE I'M TRADING NOW

    Useful for letting friends, fellow traders know if you're near them and finding venues where you can meet (bars, eateries, etc.)

    Last.fm

    Now listening to [song/tune/concert]

    If you want to show what you listen to while you entered the trade

    GOOGLE +

    HERE'S HOW I'M TRADING THE EURUSD [SHARED ONLY WITH THOSE IN THE CHOSEN 'CIRCLES' OF FRIENDS, EMPLOYING A VARIETY OF GOOGLE OWNED APPS TO SHARE DOCUMENTS, VIDEOS, ETC.]

     

    REDDIT

    Ask me anything about the EURUSD this week

     

    (Inspired by a more general version posted by Henry Briffel (@HenPutBrif) on twitter)

    Did we miss your favorite platform or use of it? We welcome your comments.

    Why This Matters To Traders

    A basic familiarity with the major social media platforms is essential for:

    1. Traders seeking mentors, or just input on a trade ideas, from both a broad community of traders and (via posts to specific interest groups on these platforms) narrowly defined niche communities that closely fit your personal needs.

    2. Aspiring mentors or trading experts seeking to build an online presence and reputation. This applies particularly to brokers, discretionary forex account managers and content site publishers (and those seeking work with them) that want to:

    a. -Stand out from the masses of low quality underfunded startups

    b. -Build their businesses faster via content marketing campaigns. Any serious content marketing campaign needs a steady output of both quality content and a social media presence aimed at the your current and future prospects' online hangouts.

    Want Proof? As I discuss in greater depth here, when selecting a broker, one of the easiest ways to distinguish between the contenders and the pretenders is to compare the quality and quantity of their content offerings. Compare the content offerings of the largest, most dominant brokers versus those of the small fry.

    · Comprehensive, dedicated content sites with quality analysis represent a large financial commitment that only the most successful, committed, stable players can offer. They're investment means they've got a clear interest in keeping their customers and reputations.

    · In contrast, the gambling site types, scammers, and underfunded startups will focus their limited resources into more direct online marketing aimed at those unsophisticated enough to believe "the get rich quick" themed campaigns.

    To be added to Cliff's email distribution list, just click here, and leave your name, email address, and request to be on the mailing list for alerts of future posts.

    DISCLOSURE /DISCLAIMER: THE ABOVE IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, RESPONSIBILITY FOR ALL TRADING OR INVESTING DECISIONS LIES SOLELY WITH THE READER.

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

    Tags: TWTR, FB, LI
    Apr 06 7:27 AM | Link | Comment!
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