Posted tagged ‘futures’

IG Group in Healthy Profits

July 29, 2009

It is the hot new way to invest and is raking in the customers each month – financial spread betting.  The market leader for spread betting, forex trading and CFD platforms, IG Group, have reported healthy profits despite the recession.  Indeed, profits were up 30% to GBP 126 million. 

So why is this trade fashion so huge?  Spread betting firms report 2,000 new customers each month.  In fact, spread betting is attractive to investors and savers who are after a new way to make money.  Low interest rates, no commission – and it is cheap to get cracking.

Spread betting is also extremely exciting to those who have an appetite for a thrill – as markets rise and fall, profits can be large….and so can losses.  Make sure you take out a stop loss!

Futures traders are under a bit of negative attention in the USA, where regulatory watchdogs are trying to prove that Futures trading on the energy market has a direct effect on oil price spikes and dips.  In the UK, the FSA says there is no evidence to suggest speculation on the markets has a negative effect on the price of a barrel of oil and are not taking action. 

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Traders Tricks to Stay on Top

July 8, 2009

How Not to Lose Money.  Or, How To Be a Successful Trader.  There are so many versions of this, so many books and articles written, all trying to give the best advice on how to be a good investment trader.  Many are merely trying to sell a product, others are telling first-hand stories of wins….and losses.

The truth is, there is no guaranteed way to make returns.  The only thing you can do is arm yourself with as many tools and as much knowledge as you can.  It may seem frustrating that there isn’t a sure-fire way to make big wins, but most traders will tell you stories of both sides of the scale, and many will say that the best thing to do overall is to:

– stay in control – only invest as much as you can afford to lose

– don’t get carried away by the ‘game’ – addiction is a real risk

do the research. This is the area that most will tell you is ultra important.  An educated trader can analyse the market and stands a better chance

– be proactive.  Don’t expect your broker or dealer to come up with the answers for you

– it is your money.  use it wisely!

– every trader risks losing all capital (plus additional funds)

– there are no guarantees

Keep some of these points in hand.  They are correlated from the advice-givers, from personal stories, from hard experience.  If you want to make money, you have to work at it – that seems to be a general view!

Oil Down….Again..

July 8, 2009

Oil prices have hit six-week lows and a barrel is now worth $62.30, down 63 cents.  Now, the question is: is there a general increase in caution in the trading community?  Is everyone worried about what is happening in the global recovery that we were all beginning to see?

Things are getting confusing again.  Ok, so let’s do a quick round-up:

  • Oil prices have risen steadily and (fairly) quickly since the start of 2009
  • The general mood of late has been of ‘bottoming out’ of the recession – things can only get better
  • Overall good news from industry sectors as demand and production increased
  • ‘Green shoots’ becomes the word du jour again
  • V-shaped is the shape of the recession, say analysts
  • Business sentiment is up in the UK and Europe

Things were definitely looking up, weren’t they?  But, now the USA as the world’s most powerful economy, has put a couple of spanners into the works – 1. the latest unemployment figures were worse than expected and 2. fresh fiscal stimulus is being speculated over

Over in the UK, the BoE is planning new asset purchasing and Alistair Darling is going to announce the new FSA guidelines for the financial sector – set to be much stricter.

So is there an overall “down” mood or is the recession more W than V?  Some are saying that the dip in oil price is merely a correction on the too-early recent rally.

Stick with risk or head to the havens?  That is the most important question for investors right now!  Commodity traders are reminding us that while oil is down, precious metals are remaining consistent!

Anti-Money Laundering Regulations in the Spotlight

July 1, 2009

Money Laundering.  When you hear the term as a child, you might imagine wads of cash in a washing machine.  But then you become an adult and you might realise just how important this is in the financial services sector.

If you type Foreign Exchange, overseas mortgages, share dealing or any trade or money transfer type into google, you will get literally hundreds of results for online brokers and services.  They are all involved in the movement of money and currencies  -in the case of the Forex market this is happening at every minute of the day across seas and continents.  So how do you know the money is ‘clean’ (in other words not obtained through criminal acts)?

Well, all financial services must comply with anti-money laundering regulations.  If a company is not compliant with these, do not touch them with a barge pole.  Or at least, find out why or go to the FSA (or main country regulating body) and ask them.

We all want our money to be in safe hands.  An area which is constantly under the spotlight for money laundering is the money transfer area – Western Union and their competition are always having to keep a close eye on clients and transactions.  Make sure you use a legitimiate service.

Oil Price Spikes

June 30, 2009

Oil prices are up again on a number of factors, including fears for supplies after Nigerian militia attacks.  Oil companies shut various fields in the region near the attacks causing oil and Futures traders to jump on the commodity.

So, the question remains – what exactly is the deal with oil?  The International Energy Agency are in their most recent report saying that demand is set to rise by a decreased percentage from the last report.  Then over in the US they are talking of a rise in fuel demand, and over in Iraq there are large tenders for oil and gas contracts happening live on TV!

At the start of this year, oil was down to just over $30 a barrel.  Slowly it rose, and ever more optimism has begun to spread over the price – forecasts being raised on what the price will be by the end of the year – $70?  $75?  Over $80?

When the price reached $69 at the start of the quarter already, the forecast really looked good.  If it was this high now, what would happen next?  Then it fell more than expected and suddenly we didn’t seem so sure.  Now it is back up to over $70.  But the likelhood that it will be hiked up to as much as last year is unlikely.

So what gives?  And what do we want?  A return to some kind of even steam is the best situation and it looks like there’s a possibility this could happen.

Oil basics.  Sometimes its good to get back to them in a market where there is so much speculation.

On the financial news front – Bernie Madoff got his 150 years.  That well and truly is the rest of his life behind bars – and just where said bars will be is not yet decided.  Some are speculating that he will be sent to a medium to high security jail, and not a nice easygoing camp for white collar criminals.  Either way, the saga that has gripped us for some time now has had its ending.  For the victims, it continues.

Oil Prices Up and Going Higher

May 28, 2009

The markets will be all a-flutter as oil prices continue to rise.  Traders on oil futures will be excited by the fact that oil prices have reached six-month highs, to over $60 a barrel.

Things had been pretty dire on the oil front for a while – after the nearly $150 a barrel in July 2008, it then dipped to $30 a barrel by the end of that year.

Dire indeed, so much so that the output levels were cut three times since September.  The main oil cartel, Opec, had decided said cuts which lowered the amount of oil barrels in circulation, thereby buoying prices.  Now, they are due to meet in Austria to possibly decide more cuts, but this may not be necessary any longer.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, has even predicted prices will reach nearly $80 before the year is out.