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rsagi

Finding a MENTOR / Course - Things to Look Out for

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Hi all,

 

Thought I'll say a few words about finding a mentor or course/education:

 

Though I never got "burned" by some Snake Oil based course or Mentor - I have a suggestion based on personal experience which I believe helped me avoid various scams.

 

The MOST IMPORTANT thing is to ask anyone who claims to be a mentor to SHOW YOU THE MONEY ...and what I mean by that is that they open their brokerage account in from of YOUR EYES and show you their account size - if it's got more than a million ...most chances 99.9% they are the real thing.

 

I met a person here in the Boston area that gave a lecture about his style of trading - being the skeptic that I am - he connected to the broker he uses and hold and behold - he had 1.5 MILLION $$$.

 

Now, assuming he didn't inherit this - I would say he must be doing something right or just got lucky once and made this - but I met him a few times and it seems the guy is genuine.

 

Don't settle for a screen capture of performance or a manipulated Photoshoped data sheet - ask the person to connect in REAL time to the broker they use - period.

 

Also, watch out for those who try to LAY SERVICES ON YOU (There are always exceptions to the rule) but if someone is trying to hook you up with a broker most likely he is making money from this introduction (COMISSION - cha -ching)

 

I think a good mentor should be HIGHLY compensated - juts watch out for the Charletons (cant remember how to spell it - thats what you get for being a foreigner) out there.

 

Best,

Steve

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IMHO, a good mentor doesn't charge a dime. A good mentor does not claim to be anything. They just are. Just as the old saying goes " When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."

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That may be. However, don't forget that many times you get what you pay for ...:)

 

If you are sitting with a mentor during market hours and he is mentoring you loosing money - then he should be compensated.

 

The person I was talking about did not ask for anything, another person I know is asking for $600 to teach futures for 4 weeks on the weekends. I asked him why he charges that - he said he is not making his money having 2-6 students - he was actually seeking potential good trader students that can work for him since he manages other peoples money - kinda like a mini hedge fund.

 

My point at the beginning was to help newbies avoid scams.

 

 

Best,

Steve

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Mentor with 1mln+ at brokerage account? Sounds good. But what can you get from him for the money you offer? Couple of hours?

 

I do believe in word of mouth. Ask other traders...

Regards

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To Whom It May Concern, don't assume that any qualified mentor is going to jump at the chance to work with you simply because you're ready to write a check. If he doesn't first determine whether or not you're willing and capable of doing the work, you will likely be dropping your money down a well.

 

A good mentor has better things to do than suckle fledgling traderettes who are incapable of helping themselves. What will you be bringing to the table other than money? If you don't know, or you're thinking "nothing", then you're not ready to interview anybody.

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Paul,

 

Not sure what you are asking. Are you saying that a person with a large account isn't wiling to train/mentor? Maybe I miss read your post and you think his account is small ... :)

 

I am assuming he was willing to share his success with others for free - since he wasn't asking for any money - nor was he trying to sell anything.

 

This person belongs to a group that meets on a regular basis and shares ideas mostly about swing/long term trading. He is one of the only people doing day trading so there was a lot of demand from the group to hear how he day trades.

 

His strategy is all about price action/pressure.

 

Steve

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Db,

 

I agree with what you are saying - there is no conflict there. The problem is that so many "so called" mentors take peoples money without assessing their skills/will power to trade successfully.

 

Either way, If someone wants to mentor me and asks for money - they better show me their brokerage account before I accept. Performance statements can easily be manipulated using Photoshop ... :)

 

Personally, I'm the kind of person that if I found a good mentor - I would do revenue sharing with him for a while so it would be a win-win situation (again, this is only after verifying his account balance ... ;)

 

Steve

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I think my point was missed. So lets do it this way..

 

Which would you rather do:

 

(A: Your Mentor) I show you my brokerage account and teach you to trade my way for $10k. And off you go.

 

or

 

(B: My Mentor) I don't show you my account, teach you to trade your way, once I know you are ready, if you want let you trade for me using my money, pay you 30% of the profit, I take all the losses. At any point from day one that you are ready to leave you are free to go. All that you are out is time.

 

Newbies will jump on your mentor because it appears to be the easiest route. But if you really want to learn this business, you are better off with mine.

 

Chris

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Hi Chris,

 

You introduced a new scenario in which I agree with you. If a mentor is willing to teach a newbie + let them use HIS money + provide "revenue sharing" - and let them find their "own" style - then it is a good deal as all you have to loose it TIME.

 

Too many newbies fail to find a genuine mentor - and this is the reason I started this thread - to give them another "tool" to decipher and find higher chances of the truth+ success rate.

 

To every rule - there is also an exception .. :)

 

Best,

Steve

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I think an account size of $1 million plus is meaningless. He could have been successful in another line of business or profession which as we all know does not translate into success in trading ! Or he could have simply obtained it through inheritance or illegal means. The best way to find a mentor is through relatives and friend of the family, but most of us are not that lucky.

The next best way is to work as an assistant to a top trader and don't mind getting coffee for everyone in the morning.;)

I think you ae just throwing your money away if you go for someone that advertise themselves as mentors. That is just my opinion.

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I think an account size of $1 million plus is meaningless.

 

Especially if he started off with 5 :)

 

The problem with most beginners is that they don't know what they want. This makes them easy prey. And since they tend to think of themselves as Goldilocks anyway, and the mentor community as The Bears, this leads to a usually foreseeable conclusion.

 

Bootstrap made a good point earlier, whether one wants to learn how to trade as somebody else trades or to receive help in finding his own way. But there is also the issue -- rarely addressed -- as to whether one wants to learn to trade or to make money. Most (all?) beginners think they want the former when they actually want the latter, hence the reluctance to read, to research, to put in the screen time, to create a trading plan, etc, and the dogged insistence on beginning to trade as soon as they've figured out how to place an order.

 

I realized long ago that beginners don't want to make money; they want to trade. If they really wanted to make money, then they'd do whatever was necessary to make that money. But they don't. They'd rather trade. So instead of making money, they lose it. As far as they're concerned, it's all a big casino, only without the all-you-can-eat buffet.

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Mentoring is essentially an altruistic pursuit. I would be wary of anyone that wanted money and question the reason for that (to prove your seriousness perhaps?). The reason someone will mentor you is if they like you and as Db points out, feel that you have potential. If they ask for money then thats a red flag. But.........

 

Having said that what makes a would be trader think that they deserve to be mentored? No financial recompense is likely to match what the mentor can make in the markets. Why do you think someone would want to mentor you (if its clearly not for money).

 

Bootstrap what you are talking about sounds similar to the prop shop model (another way to fleece would be traders). Do you really think a successful trader would teach you to trade (the way you want to learn rather than the way they want to teach) for absolutely nothing, next you' will be saying they should fund your account (oh wait you are saying that!) Do you also expect a wage while you learn? :) come on do you really expect that to happen?

 

Worth looking for a post by Mark 'Nihabashi' either here or ET that goes in to detail about what a Mentor is likely to expect from you. If they don't chances are they are just after your money.

 

OP good advise most self styled mentors are not.

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Mentoring is essentially an altruistic pursuit. I would be wary of anyone that wanted money and question the reason for that (to prove your seriousness perhaps?). The reason someone will mentor you is if they like you and as Db points out, feel that you have potential. If they ask for money then thats a red flag. But.........

 

Well, maybe not.

 

Mentoring can be altruistic, but much depends on the mentee and the time and effort required. Some require no more than an occasional nudge. Others are like adolescent birds who are all over their mothers, flapping their wings and whining, demanding to be fed when they should have been feeding themselves long ago. And if the mentee is paying nothing, that is very likely how he will value what he's getting. If nothing else, he is far more likely to hit the road as soon as the going gets tough.

 

I've had to think about this in a practical way, and it seems to me that the best way of dealing with this situation is to charge by the hour. This has the benefit of encouraging the mentee to make the most of whatever time is being spent -- literally -- with the mentor. It also helps to avoid the "I paid $5000 for this and it was a complete waste of money" complaint. The mentee ought to be able to figure out in an hour whether the mentor knows what he's doing or not. It also gives the mentor an out if he learns fairly quickly that this kid just doesn't have what it takes.

 

Something for all you would-be mentors out there to think about.

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Interesting thread. I've actually thought about the mentoring thing but as is pointed out in this thread, it's a double-edged sword - for both the mentor and mentee.

 

I think if I did it, it would be local and w/ someone that I knew first. I'd want the face-to-face interaction.

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Db I agree it dosen't have to be completely altruistic. In the past I have 'mentored' people and to do that effectively have employed them. (This was not in the trading business btw it was actually 'knowledge' based). In many endeavours people can be somewhat productive more or less from day one. Trading is rather different.

 

In any commercial arrangement things go wrong when expectations of the parties do not match. Be crystal clear before you start. Of course those that are in the business of selling hopes and dreams may not be exactly candid in laying out what they offer. Fledgling traders are quite likely to have un-realistic expectations too. A recipe for disaster!

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Db I agree it dosen't have to be completely altruistic. In the past I have 'mentored' people and to do that effectively have employed them. (This was not in the trading business btw it was actually 'knowledge' based). In many endeavours people can be somewhat productive more or less from day one. Trading is rather different.

 

In any commercial arrangement things go wrong when expectations of the parties do not match. Be crystal clear before you start. Of course those that are in the business of selling hopes and dreams may not be exactly candid in laying out what they offer. Fledgling traders are quite likely to have un-realistic expectations too. A recipe for disaster!

 

You said it BF. The 'mentor' in the biz of selling, does just that - sell. Those are the mentors you see through a google search.

 

IMO a real mentor/mentee relationship is like finding a needle in a haystack, but when you do it could be extremely profitable. It's almost more of a who you know type thing. For example, if a good friend was serious and approached me, I would probably do it. Now if I was approached on a random message board, I doubt I would even give it serious consideration.

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There is a lot of good discussion going on here.

 

...as the old saying goes "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."
It's almost more of a who you know type thing.
Both of these are very true. Being at the right place (many times with knowledge) at the right time and having connections are always big items when looking for success. One should constantly strive to put themselves at the right place so they can take advantage when the time comes.

 

I never had an official mentor, but there were some very important pieces of information along the way that would have flown right over my head without a strong grasp of the prerequisites from constantly studying both new information and the market. A non-trading example is one can't expect to understand and use advanced mathematics to the fullest without first knowing simple arithmetic.

 

In my opinion there are three different types of mentors:

 

  1. Not actively trading (success unknown) but knowledgeable.
  2. Actively trading (success minimal if at all) but knowledgeable.
  3. Actively trading and being consistently profitable.

Most authors fall into the first two categories. If you are looking for a mentor, I would fit your potential mentor into one of those categories and then think about their motivation and what they can realistically provide. If you wanted to, you could split the 3rd category into two...those that can and cannot teach. Just because they can do it doesn't mean they can teach you how. By the way, the first two categories do serve a purpose but most times can only take you so far. Also, the potential mentor should only be placed into the 2nd or 3rd spot upon proof. :)

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I still think many of you have still missed the point. BlowFish said it first, and he's absolutely right.

 

YOU can't reliably find a mentor. I don't believe that they actively look for students (at least, the good ones don't). THEY find YOU.

 

When a mentor can see real desire, genuine interest, and an honest dedication to work hard, he/she will determine for themselves whether you are worth their time to step in and assist. Yes, this significantly limits the number of people who have been truly mentored. It requires being in the right place, at the right time, or knowing the right people. But THEY (the mentors) decide who they will teach. And they'll likely be very picky about choosing the right clay to mold.

 

Those who ask for cash aren't mentors; they're tutors. And there is a big difference in the quality of education they provide.

 

"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and you have fed him for a lifetime."

 

A real mentor will teach you how to think. He won't tell you how to think.

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Especially if he started off with 5 :)

 

I realized long ago that beginners don't want to make money; they want to trade. If they really wanted to make money, then they'd do whatever was necessary to make that money. But they don't. They'd rather trade. So instead of making money, they lose it. As far as they're concerned, it's all a big casino, only without the all-you-can-eat buffet.

 

Db this is a very interesting and valuable comment. Can I ask if you are referring to the tendency many of us had in the beginning to think that trading was easy? By that I mean new traders hear about trading and then jump in the pond without taking the proper procedures to learn? Then the true traders are distinguished by the ones that understand and take on a role of hard work and constant learning of trading whilst the others leave the market unwilling to put in the time and effort?

 

If there is something different that I have completely missed from your comment can you please explain it further?

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Maybe there are different stages of development in a trader's life. Perhaps a beginning trader has different needs and different questions than someone who has some experience and may be thought of as an itentermediate-level trader. I would think, too, that an intermediate-level trader has different needs and different questions than a trader we might consider to be advanced, who will have different questions and differnt needs than others. If there are different levels of students, might there be different levels of mentors, or at least mentors who understand that there are different levels of information to be taught depending on the level of the student?

 

Try not to disparage beginners. Beginners are at the level of beginning. There is nothing wrong with this; it is simply a level, no better or worse than any other level. One Zen monk said that there is high value in beginner's mind -- something we can all strive for.

 

Eiger

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Db this is a very interesting and valuable comment. Can I ask if you are referring to the tendency many of us had in the beginning to think that trading was easy? By that I mean new traders hear about trading and then jump in the pond without taking the proper procedures to learn? Then the true traders are distinguished by the ones that understand and take on a role of hard work and constant learning of trading whilst the others leave the market unwilling to put in the time and effort?

 

In a word, yep :)

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I'll put my 2 cents regarding some of the interesting comments.

 

Being a technical instructor early in my career, I ran into some VERY (few) bright/genius students and asked them why are they attending my class as it seems that they know a lot of the material and/or are able to study on their own . I was given an answer by one specific student that changed the way I think, he said -"I know that I can study on my own, but I need a framework as I am known to defocus and an easy prey for distractions"

 

Being an entrepreneur and a founder of a high-tech startup these days, I truly believe that it's 99% who you know - not what you know - this is in regard to a previous post about being in the right place at the right time. It's also a numbers game - the more you try - the higher the probability you'll succeed.

 

Anyway, deviating a bit from the main subject - but I thought I'll comment on some thoughts from previous threads.

 

Best,

Steve

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You said it BF. The 'mentor' in the biz of selling, does just that - sell. Those are the mentors you see through a google search.

 

IMO a real mentor/mentee relationship is like finding a needle in a haystack, but when you do it could be extremely profitable. It's almost more of a who you know type thing. For example, if a good friend was serious and approached me, I would probably do it. Now if I was approached on a random message board, I doubt I would even give it serious consideration.

 

I agree.

 

The "mentors" I've had didn't exactly teach me new things like one would expect. But they helped me in other ways move to the next level. They held me accountable for the most part, and helped me with some of the smaller things that I wouldn't have seen on my own. When I screw up, they help show me where I screwed up. They don't send me their trades or give me their trading system, they help me figure it out on my own.

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Some may, in fact, be looking not for a mentor but a coach:

 

Trader education has become a hot topic in recent years. Everywhere you look there is someone offering some course, seminar, training program, or whatever. Many are very pricey, and we can certainly debate the real value of quite a few. The proliferation of the products and such can’t help but bring up some of the commonly debated topics related to whether traders can be taught or just have some innate talent which allows them to succeed. This article makes its own contribution to that discussion.

 

In the interest of openness, my personal view is that anyone can learn to trade effectively. By that, I mean we are all capable of trading toward a reasonable and rational set of goals and/or objectives determined by our own personal situation and means. Can everyone become George Soros, Paul Tudor Jones, or Warren Buffett? No, of course not. If we could all do that, those names wouldn’t be as big as they are. Most people simply don’t have the kind of resources traders like that have at their disposal. We all do, however, have the means to trade well within the scope of the money, time, risk tolerance, and other elements of our trading focus.

 

The starting point of effective trading, as with anything else in life, is education. There are certain things one needs to know in order to trade effectively. What those are vary a bit based on the market traded and instruments utilized, but there are some fundamentals. For example, all trading is based on the bid-offer mechanism at some level. There are numerous types of orders for entry in to positions and exit from them. There are exchange hours and instrument specifications. Brokerage commissions are a feature in most markets, and in all one needs to understand how profits and losses are determined. I think we can all agree that these are some of the basic building blocks of knowledge and understanding required to even contemplate trading.

 

At the next level we start getting more in to comprehension of the market action, its interpretation, and knowing how that translates in to profit opportunities and risk. On some level, trading requires analysis to make buy/sell decision – fundamental, technical, or quantitative. For the mechanical trader, that analysis is done through research in the development of one’s trading system. For the discretionary trader it is more an on-going process. Likewise, some kind of risk management program is a requirement, regardless of trading style or analytic method.

 

All of this kind of core knowledge and understanding can, in my opinion, be learned from books, lectures, seminars, courses, etc. It is akin to earning a degree. In order to get that diploma, one must prove that certain things have been learned, skills gained. Once that is done, however, one’s development becomes a more personal journey. It is the same thing in trading. There is a basic set of knowledge we must gain, but after that it is up to us to forge our own path in the markets as our own personal situation dictates.

 

Here is where things start getting muddled.

 

We must each determine our own course in trading, ideally based on a good assessment of the resources we have available to us. There are so many ways we can go, though. Everywhere there are people telling us that this path or that path is the one we should take. How are we to decide? Most of us end up stumbling along through a trial and error exploration of various systems, methods, techniques, and whatnot. Some of us find something that works. A great many do not, and quit in frustration, or broke. This is where having a coach or mentor can make a huge difference.

 

We need look no further than the world of athletics to see how important the role of a coach is to one’s development. I happen to coach high level collegiate volleyball, so please permit me the indulgence of using that sport as an example.

 

There are certain physical attributes which can be strong determining factors for one’s success in volleyball – height and jumping ability being two of them. As the saying goes, you can’t teach height, and while a coach can help one jump higher, genetics goes a long way to determining what a given athlete can do in that regard. Being tall and able to jump high, however, does not guarantee success, and one can be quite good at the sport without being a top physical specimen. There is a lot more to volleyball, and that is where coaching comes in.

 

The role of the coach is basically that of facilitator. He or she aids the athlete in the development in their skills and the refinement of the game. For the novice that means a lot of teaching in regards to skill execution. When working with experienced players, it become much more a question of refinement and showing them how to apply what they know to the best effect given the situation at-hand.

 

Coaching or mentoring in trading should be the same thing. The advantages of having someone to oversee your development are many. There is the obvious element of teaching, as it is often assumed that the coach knows more about the markets and has more experience in them than the trainee. Possibly even more important, however, is the coach’s role as external observer.

 

When I coach volleyball, I can see things a player is doing incorrectly that they cannot see because they lack the proper perspective. I can then tell them what they are doing wrong and help them correct it. A trading coach can do the same sort of thing.

 

At the same time, there is the mental and emotional element to coaching which is separate from the teaching one. Especially in the case of experienced athletes, it is often more a question of maintaining a proper level of motivation and a high degree of confidence to ensure peak performance than anything else. The same can be said of trading, where one’s mental state often seriously influence one’s performance just as it does in athletics.

 

The question of where one finds a coach or mentor is a difficult one. Brett Steenbarger (author of The Psychology of Trading and a contributor to this site on the topic of trader development) and I recently discussed this very topic. There are certainly a great many experienced traders out there willing to share what they know in one way or another. But are they really prepared to provide the guidance needed? Some may be good teachers – imparters of knowledge – but lacking in the ability to be a coach in the full sense of the word. Others might be great motivators, but perhaps do not have the breadth of knowledge and/or experience needed for the educational element of coaching.

 

There are two major obstacles to finding a good trading coach. First of all, it is the tendency of many people to look for someone who’s had a great deal of success as a mentor. The problem with that is in a many cases those people are not well equipped to coach. It’s something seen in athletics all the time. Look to the ranks of coaches in your favorite sport. How many of them can you point to and say he or she was a great player? Now consider how many were good players, but not superstars. There are way more of the latter in the coaching ranks than the former because the average players tend to have to work harder and become better students of the game to be competitive.

 

The other difficulty in finding good trader coaches is that there are no real training programs for these people. As a volleyball coach I can go to training seminars and courses, earn national and even international levels of certification, and work under the direction of other coaches more knowledgeable and experienced than myself. As yet, there is no such readily available structure in trading. We cannot look, for example, at someone’s resume and see that he or she is a Level III certified coach, having been so declared by a recognized training and testing organization.

 

So where does that leave us? Well, clearly there is value in having a coach to help us maximize our performance in the markets. As things currently stand, though, finding a good one for our particular situation is going to remain a challenge. It requires the discipline to not just look at someone’s returns and assume that they can teach you how to do that yourself (remember, teaching you a trading system is not the same as coaching you through applying a trading system). It also requires legwork to check out a possible coach. Have they coached others before? Get references. Make sure you find someone who will fulfill your particular requirements and be a good match. If you can do that, you should see your development as an effective trader really take off. (John Forman)

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By May this year, the halving will bring that figure down to 6.25 Bitcoin token per block reward. This feature has been pre-programmed into Bitcoin’s system. What This Could Mean for Mining Lesser block rewards are not the only reason Bitcoin is scarce. It has gotten significantly harder to mine Bitcoin and receive rewards. This is because mining is now more difficult as more miners are entering the system thereby increasing competition. Consequently, an increase in competition means miners require more sophisticated tools to solve cryptographic Algos. Over the years, miners have created what is known as “mining pools” to better handle the rising competition of mining. Mining pools are a network of miners, collectively working towards achieving block rewards. Block rewards in mining pools are distributed according to the percentage of effort put into earning a block. Improved Stock-To-Flow Ratio Halvings have several profitable impacts on Bitcoin. One such effect is that it boosts the Stock-To-Flow ratio of Bitcoin. A commodity’s STF ratio is calculated by dividing the quantity of the asset held in reserves, by the quantity manufactured in a year. The greater the STF ratio, the lesser the annual inflation on that asset. Commodities like gold possess a very impressive STF ratio as its available quantity is limited. Presently, Bitcoin has a significantly lesser STF ratio, unlike gold. Regardless, more halving occasions will boost the Bitcoin’s STF ratio. It is even believed that someday, Bitcoin will surpass gold in the STF ratio rating and will be an even better store of value. This is probably why Bitcoin is dubbed “digital gold”. After-Effects of Previous Halvenings 2012’s Halving The first Bitcoin halving happened on the 28th of November. On that day, the cryptocurrency recorded a 6.5% trade range. Regardless, to the surprise of many, the price remained at a consolidated state months after the occasion. This was partly because Bitcoin was still in its infancy and so, not many people were engaged with it. Also, media coverage at the time was not what it is today, which means many people were not informed of what was going on. Based on the information on Bitcoin’s BNC Liquid Index, the price of BTC attained a high of about $32 on the 8th of June 2011. The price of BTC never broke above the $32 mark until the 28th of February 2013 (4 months later), where price witnessed a climb to $260 after which a drop was experienced and the price stayed below that level for several months. Fast forward to the 30th of November 2013 (close to a year after the 2012 halving), Bitcoin rallied dramatically and peaked at $1,167, which was a whopping 9,686% increase from the initial price of $11 on halving. 2016’s Halving On the 9th of July 2016, the second halving, the price peaked at $664 but did not maintain that uptrend instead fell to $626 on the same day. Subsequently, the price continued on that downward trajectory for about three months. However, things started looking up for Bitcoin from the 27th of October 2016 when price closed above the previous halving’s high of $664. Bitcoin later proceeded to smash its last all-time high of $1,167 on the 23rd of February 2017. This spike started the famous bull rally of 2017 through 2018, which witnessed a peak at $20,000 sometime in December 2017. 2016’s halving shot Bitcoin’s price from $664 to $20,000 which was a growth of 2,912%. Possible Outcomes of this Year’s Halving? In the crypto sector, the Bitcoin halving is undoubtedly among the most talked-about and anticipated occasions of the year. Presently, there are mixed expectations as to what the outcome of the 2020 halving may be. Many in the crypto sector are very optimistic and believe that, just as in the past, the price will soar dramatically either before or after the occasion. Creator of Kraken, Jesse Powell expects the price of Bitcoin to rise close to $100k or 1 million after the halving. The CTO of Morgan Creek Digital Assets also shares the belief of Jesse and expects Bitcoin to reach the $100,000 mark by 2021. He says that scarcity is a driving force for the demand of any commodity. He explains that the 2020 halving will cause Bitcoin to be more scarce. Other crypto players believe that this year’s occasion will not have a similar trajectory with past occasions and would, instead, mar the price of Bitcoin. Another possible scenario that has been observed over time is the “buy and dump” case. This scenario usually plays out when there is a highly anticipated occurrence. It works exceptionally well when the upcoming occasion is sure to have a quantifiable effect on supply and demand dynamics. The price of the asset in question experiences a huge spike just days or a few weeks to the main event. This transpires because investors stock up on the asset towards the event. After the event, however, the price of the said asset drops significantly. This kind of activity has transpired frequently in the cryptocurrency space. One such occasion was the Bitcoin futures trading releases for the CBOE and CME. Just a few days to the CME’s release, the price of Bitcoin rallied from $6,400 and peaked close to its all-time high of $20,000 in a day. Not surprisingly, the price dropped considerably in the period that followed those releases. Furthermore, some cryptocurrency experts believe that the aftermath of the halving has already been priced in. It has been observed that demand is “missing” in the Bitcoin market, this could be a clear indication that the halving has been priced in. Usually, months before a halving, a boost in demand and price of Bitcoin is always noticeable. This time, however, no increase can be observed in neither of the stated areas. In this case, it could lead to a lateral trading period which might be a good thing for traders. At the moment, Bitcoin is still struggling to break above the $7,200 mark and there are no signs of a reversal happening soon. Whatever the result may be one thing is for sure, the price of Bitcoin is set to experience drastic changes this year.   Source: https://learn2.trade 
    • Your All-Round Guide To Security Token Offerings Security token offerings (STOs) are one of the most revered investment options in the crypto space at the moment. It has even been termed the “future of fundraising”. But what exactly are STOs and what is the rave all about? This article aims to break down STOs, what it is all about, and how it can be beneficial to you. What Exactly is a Security Token Offering? STOs, simply put, provide a means of tokenizing fungible financial assets such as stocks, bonds, and REITs, and introduces the tokens to the public through regulated channels. STOs are a lot like ICOs as they generally involve the same processes. However, the differentiating factor between STOs and ICOs is in the tokens being sold. With ICOs, the tokens are usually non-descriptive and could range from anything digital currencies to utility tokens. With STOs however, the token is a “security”, meaning that it is exchangeable and possesses a set monetary value. Breakdown of Security Tokens Security tokens function as digital versions of the assets they represent. Here’s a list of some popular security token representations: 1- Capital markets: Firms can convert their shares into tokens, allowing investors to own parts of the firm. In some cases, owners of tokens receive dividends and can execute votes on the affairs of the firm. 2- Equity funds: Equity funds can also tokenize their shares for sale. 3- Commodities: Commodities like gold, natural gas, coffee can be tokenized. 4- Real estate: The equity of this asset class can be tokenized, much like how REITs function. STOs do not change the underlying securities, instead, it makes these assets more readily accessible on a digital platform. Unlike other digital assets, security tokens can only be traded on certain regulated exchanges. Some exchanges require interested investors to meet some set qualifications. Advantages of STOs STOs are formulated with regulatory-compliance in mind, unlike ordinary token sales. Security tokens provide its owners with several legally binding rights. Some security tokens even bestow its owners with rights to dividends or other defined streams of income. Security tokens are also beneficial to their issuers. From the onset, the entities issuing the tokens are aware that their tokens are being purchased by accredited and verified investors and so, they don’t have to worry about the credibility of their investors. Other advantages of STOs include: 1- It is adequately regulated: Entities issuing security tokens must operate under the guidance of designated regulatory agencies in the region like SECs and FTCs. 2- You can rest assured that STOs won’t falter in the future: Unlike ICOs that cannot be guaranteed, STOs are sure to always deliver because it is properly regulated. 3- STOs offer great convenience: Procuring security tokens is easy, straightforward, and stress-free. All you need to do is to adhere to the STO requirement in your jurisdiction and you’re good to go. 4- It can be programmed: Security tokens are programmable and can be facilitated by smart contracts. 5- Automated dividend disbursement and voting: Some security tokens are structured to send dividends automatically through smart contracts. Also, some security tokens provide the bearer with exclusive voting rights in the affairs of the entity offering the tokens. 6- It is a globally accessible investment vehicle: Investors across the globe can procure security tokens regardless of their location. 7- It is not susceptible to manipulation: Considering the mode of operation STOs are run by, big players cannot manipulate its movements. 8- STOs are very liquid: It is a very promising investment option as it has an impressive liquidity quality and can be traded easily. With benefits like these, STOs are for sure transforming the fundamentals of the financial sphere. Disadvantages of STOs As with every other form of investment, security tokens has its limitations and shortcomings. Some of these limits are: 1- It is considerably more costly than utility tokens: STOs, unlike ICOs, hosts many organizations in their fundraising campaigns. Also, regulatory fees are not cheap which makes it more capital-intensive to host STOs. 2- Investor Qualifications: Countries like the US have certain qualifications an investor has to scale before becoming eligible to engage STOs. According to the SEC to be an “Accredited investor”, you must have an annual income rate of $200k and above or a minimum of $1 million in the bank. 3- Specific trading conditions: STOs can only be traded on certain designated exchanges. Also, these tokens are time-bound meaning that you are allowed to trade these tokens between investors for a set period after the STO. The Howey Test Usually, tokens are said to be securities, by law, when they pass certain thresholds. One such way to identify a security instrument is by applying the “Howey Test”. But first, let’s look at a piece of quick background information on how the Howey test came to be. In 1944, a citrus plantation called the Howey company of Florida leased out a large portion of its land to several investors in a bid to raise funds for much-needed developments. The buyers of the land were not skilled or versed in citrus farming in any way and decided instead to just be “speculators” and let the experts do their jobs. The lease was made on the premise that profits would be generated for the investors by the lessor. Not long after the business transaction the Howey company was sanctioned and accused by the United States SEC of failing to register the sale with the authority. The SEC maintained that the company was dealing with unregistered security. Howey denied the claims however, assuring that what it offered wasn’t a security. After much debate, the case ended up in the Supreme Court, which later ruled in favor of the SEC that Howey’s land leasing were undoubtedly securities. It remarked that investors were purchasing land mainly because they saw an opportunity to make a profit off the deal. Howey was then ordered to register the sale. This was the story of the enactment of the Howey test. Today, per the Howey test, anything is deemed to be a security if it satisfies the following criteria: 1- The investment included money. 2- The investment was made on an enterprise. 3- Profit will be made from the efforts of the providers of the investment. The Howey test has become a stronghold name in the crypto space. In 2017 and 2018 (during the “Heydey boom”), many ICO providers were completely consumed with scaling the Howey test as it was a major determinant used in ascertaining the legality of an ICO by the SEC. Failure to pass the test meant the offering was illegal and was sanctioned by the authorities. Some ICOs even advertised their tokens as investment instruments that had no value, describing their tokens as “utilities” used only for interactions on the platform. The Inception of STOs The very first STO was released by Blockchain Capital on the 10th of April 2017. The release pooled about $10 million in one day. Several STOs have been released following the first event including tZero, Sharespost, Aspen Coin, Quadrant Biosciences, and many more. STOs have since gained widespread acceptance and relevance in today’s market. Understanding the Distinction Between Security Tokens and Tokenized Security Confusing security token for tokenized securities is a common trap that people fall into. The main distinction between the two is that the former is usually a recently issued token that functions on a distributed ledger system while the latter is just a digital manifestation of pre-existing financial instruments. Apart from similarities in appearance and nomenclature, security tokens have absolutely nothing in common with tokenized securities. What Entities are Involved in an STO Issuance? Assuming a business entity plans on issuing security tokens as an embodiment of equity in its establishment, the next necessary step for that business would be to involve certain players and follow certain directives. It has to formally contact an issuance platform to serve as a medium for issuing the tokens. Popular issuance platforms include Polymath and Harbor, which consist of service providers like custodians, broker-dealers, and legal entities to carry out secure processes. Who Can Invest in STOs? STOs are available to the general public for the taking, regardless of location. However, as mentioned previously, the US has certain rules guiding STO investments. In the US, it is mandatory to be an “accredited investor” before you can invest in this instrument. An accredited investor is an individual with an annual cash flow of $200k and above for at least 2 years or a net worth of $1 million and above. More nations are starting to adopt the United States’ classification method and have begun restricting certain classes from investing in STOs. It is advisable to always research on the STO rules and regulations of the jurisdiction you’re planning on investing with. Final Word STOs provide businesses with the prospect of raising funds in an easy and regulated setting. It gives both investors and issuers a good deal of benefits, while also ensuring insurances against fraudulent or malicious practices, unlike ICOs. Issuers are not limited to any industry, they can vary from several sectors including real estate, VC firms, and small and medium enterprises. Moving forward, we will likely witness prominent firms venture into the STOs.   Source: https://learn2.trade 
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    • Good news is my posts no longer seem to need moderator approval! Beginning tomorrow, I will be day-trading two currency pairs: EUR/JPY and GBP/USD. I'll trade during the morning and afternoon hours, New York time.  I'll be using an Oanda "core pricing + commission" account. I plan to trade a "practice account" through the end of January, then a small "live" account beginning February. I've set my charts up to closely resemble the format popular in the RCRT thread (NinjaTrader + MetaTrader). My trading style will primarily consist of what I've learned from that thread. I'll track my performance in terms of R-multiples.  The purpose of this thread is just for a little fun with some bonus accountability. I've got nothing to sell/teach, and I will probably lose money! 😁
    • HotForex Celebrates 10 Years of Trading Excellence. Dear Client, This year, we are celebrating our ten year anniversary, during which time we have become a firmly established market leader with 35+ of the most prestigious industry awards and 2,000,000 live accounts. Our revolutionary Zero Spread Account, unique proprietary HFcopy copy trading platform and market leading insurance up to €5,000,000 are just some of the ways we have already made our mark on the industry, and we are constantly looking for new ways to enhance our services. HotForex CEO George Koumantaris said: “We are committed to being a global market leader known for our customer service, and always keep our loyal clients at the heart of everything we do.  To show our appreciation of their support, we constantly work to ensure that our products and services reflect the very best that the industry has to offer, and look forward to doing so for another ten years and more!” To learn more about HotForex, please visit our website by clicking here. Thank you for all your support! The HotForex Team
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