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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
My company:
THE SENSIBLE GUIDE TO FOREX
My blog:
THE SENSIBLE GUIDE TO FOREX
My book:
The Sensible Guide To Forex: Safer, Smarter Ways To Survive & Prosper From The Start
View Cliff Wachtel's Instablogs on:
  • 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!
  • 4 Rules For Using Double Bollinger® Bands To Avoid Buying At The Top

    A Short Illustrated Primer On How To Use Double Bollinger®Bands To Avoid Buying At The Top Or Selling At the Bottom

    This is part of FXEmpire's continuing series of special features on trader education, and provides a solid basis for understanding double Bollinger bands.

    From late 2007 to mid-2011, gold kept hitting new highs. Those seeking an entry point had no prior support and resistance for guidance, and so many delayed and missed what were ultimately cheaper entry points? How could they have identified lower risk entry points, or at least gotten some assurance that they weren't buying at the top? When that top came, how could they have more easily identified it?

    Today, many stock investors face the same dilemma. For example, the S&P 500 remains near its all-time highs.

    (click to enlarge)

    Chart A: S&P 500 Weekly Chart, From Week Starting March 24 2013 to Week Starting March 24 2014

    Key: Yellow Bollinger®Bands: Settings Of 2 Standard Deviations, 20 Periods

    Red Bollinger®Bands Settings Of 1 Standard Deviation, 20 Periods

    Center Red Line: 20 Period Simple Moving Average

    01 Mar. 27 12.35

    Does the bull market still have life in it?

    With US and other stock indexes, and other global asset markets, at or near all-time highs, here's a helpful tool to avoid buying at the top (and also selling at the bottom).

    The following is a brief illustrated summary of the 4 rules for using double Bollinger bands (DBBs), and their application to Chart A above.

    Like any technical indicator signals, these should be confirmed by your preferred combination of technical and fundamental evidence. For background information, full details and illustrations of each rule, see our articles here and here. For a video introduction to double Bollinger®bands based on my book, see fxacademy's free coursehere. For more detailed coverage, and examples, see Chapter 8 of the book, The Sensible Guide To Forex.

    RULE 1: Go Short & Stay Short, When Price Is In Or Below The DBB "Sell Zone"

    When price is in the sell zone, downward momentum is strong enough for the odds to be in favor of continued downtrend. This rule applied from the week of September 7th (arrow A) until the week of December 14th (arrow B) in Chart 1 below.

    (click to enlarge)

    CHART 1: S&P 500 Weekly Chart Sept. 7th - Dec. 14th 2008 - SELL ZONE Framed By Arrows A and B Within Highlighted Area

    Source: MetaQuotes Software Corp, www.fxempire.com,www.thesensibleguidetoforex.com

    01 Feb. 25 20.10

    RULE 2: Go Long & Stay Long, When Price Is In Or Above The DBB "Buy Zone"

    When price is in the buy zone, upward momentum is strong enough for the odds to be in favor of continued downtrend. The rule applied for most of the period between arrows 1-4 in Chart 2 below.

    (click to enlarge)

    CHART 2: S&P 500 Weekly Chart March 8 2009 - April 4, 2010 BUY ZONE Framed By Arrows 1 To 4 Within Highlighted Area

    Highlighted area: April 19, 2009 - 31 January 2010

    Source: MetaQuotes Software Corp, www.fxempire.com,www.thesensibleguidetoforex.com

    06 Mar. 24 12.45

    RULE 3: Don't Trade Trends Based On DBBs When Price Is In The Neutral Zone

    When price is in the middle, neutral zone, momentum isn't strong enough for trend trading in your current time frame.

    Instead:

    • Trend Traders Should Cease Trading: Wait for the next entry into the buy or sell zone when momentum is strong enough.
    • Switch To Range-Trading Strategies: As we discuss in our book, in these situations it's especially helpful to also look at the range using a shorter term time frame, typically a fourth or fifth of your normal time frame. For example, those using weekly charts consult daily charts, and those using daily charts consult 4-6 hour charts.

    For example, see the period between (but not including) arrows 5 to 8 in Chart 3 below.

    (click to enlarge)

    Chart 3: S&P 500 Weekly Chart, January 31, 2010 - February 20, 2011 NEUTRAL ZONE is area between (but not including) Arrows 5 To 8 Within Highlighted Area

    Red Arrows Highlighting weekly candles of April 25 (5), 2010, May 16, (6), August 1 (7), Sept. 12 2010 (8)

    Source: MetaQuotes Software Corp, www.fxempire.com,www.thesensibleguidetoforex.com

    12 Feb. 19 18.25

    Rule 4: Minimizing Risk: Enter Longs At Bottom Of Buy Zone, Shorts At Top Of Sell Zone, Or Enter In Stages

    The purpose of this rule is to minimize your risk of buying at the high or selling at the low.

    For example, enter near or at the red Bollinger bands of the Buy and Sell Zones shown in Chart 4 below.

    (click to enlarge)

    CHART 4: S&P 500 Weekly Chart August 17, 2008 to October 3 2010

    Source: MetaQuotes Software Corp, www.fxempire.com,www.thesensibleguidetoforex.com

    14 Feb. 19 19.58

    In other words, arrow A indicates a low risk point to enter a new short position. Arrows 1, 2, 3, show low risk entry points for long positions. See Part 2 for details.

    The Big Qualification To Rule 4

    Do not attempt 'bargain hunting' if your full range of fundamental and technical evidence suggests that the move isn't just a technical pullback but instead the start of a trend reversal. If so, then avoid the trade, or take only partial positions until the trend resumes, and use conservative stop losses to minimize damage if in fact the trend you're playing breaks down.

    For example, in Chart 4 above, this bargain hunting strategy worked for taking new long positions around the times of arrows 1, 2, and 3, but not around the times of arrows 4 and 5.

    Applying The Above Rules To The S&P 500 Today: New Long Entry Point?

    Given the above rules, the current level of the S&P 500 shown in Chart A above suggests we're at a good relatively low risk entry point. If price makes a decisive move below the buy zone, we know right away the trend has lost momentum and we can exit with a small loss by setting a stop loss just below the buy zone. Again, you'd have to weigh your other technical and fundamental evidence.

    For full explanations of double Bollinger ®bands and their uses, seePart 1 and Part 2. For a video introduction to double Bollinger ®bands, see fxacademy.com's course, based on the material from my book, here.

    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.

    Mar 29 7:19 PM | Link | 3 Comments
  • 16 TOP PRODUCTIVITY TIPS FOR INVESTORS AND TRADERS

    16 New Year's Resolutions For A More Rewarding Year

    The following is a partial summary of the conclusions from the fxempire.com weekly analysts' meeting in which we share thoughts about what's driving major global asset markets.

    The Xmas and New Year holiday season means that markets go quiet, so current news stories of note become scarce or non-existent. For financial writers that means we seek out 'big picture' topics like:

    1. Reflections on the prior year and forecasts for the coming year.

    2. Ways to improve performance in the coming year, mistakes we learned to avoid, etc.

    The following is a variation on #2 (still working on the forecasts).

    Over the past few months I've been reading Eric Barker's blog, Barking Up The Wrong Tree, which focus on on life and career lessons, and a few recent posts served as the inspiration (and sometimes source, along with those from The Sensible Guide To Forex, winner of 2013's Best Forex Book Award) for the following collection of trader productivity tips

    Much of the following is all about

    · Maintaining or increasing your peak hours

    · Minimizing the things that reduce these

    Some of the following are obvious, some are not. All are worth reviewing, and integrating into your list of highest yield New Year's resolutions

    PART 1: EXPLOIT, MAINTAIN, RECHARGE YOUR PRIME TIME HOURS

    Part 1 is all about exploiting and extending the time when your energy, mind, and mood are at their best.

    1. Match Your Best Hours To Your Most Demanding Tasks Of The Day

    If you don't have that much control over your schedule, then do what you can to move your peak hours to the hours of those tasks.

    The Principle

    Maximum productivity means organizing your tasks around your best hours. Match up the most demanding of your most important tasks of the day to the hours when you have the most energy. Allocate the second most demanding and important tasks to your next best hours, and so on.

    The Explanation

    Energy, not time, is the key to top performance.

    Working on time management skills will yield limited results without considering that for humans, unlike machines, all hours are not equally productive.

    Know if you're a morning or night person. Few of us have more than 3-5 peak hours a day. If you need more, experiment with nap length and scheduling. Learn how well your body responds to coffee, tea, and other available stimulants can extend those hours, both with and without a nap. Use these with discretion. Many of us find that these are more like taking loans on energy that must be repaid. We also build tolerances to these, which limits their long term benefits if they're overused.

    Most of us with jobs don't have full control over when those most important and demanding tasks come, so it's up to us to make sure we've had the right combination of sleep and simulants

    Example

    I reserve trading or investing decisions for hours when my mood and energy are good. I might do research, trade diary review and entries, during less productive hours, but final review of decisions to enter positions, and order placement, waits for those hours.

    I use the non-peak times for less demanding and less critical tasks like:

    · Responding to emails

    · More enjoyable ones that I'm more motivated to do even when tired

    Applying It

    Identify the most demanding tasks of your day and do whatever you can to turn hours available for them into your peak hours.

    See here for the rest of the post.

    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.

    Dec 31 2:57 PM | Link | Comment!
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