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Chaikin Analytics Review and Free Trial

July 8th, 2014

One of the biggest hurdles that the individual investor faces in trying to create a nimble, smart portfolio is the competition.

Investment bankers, quants, mutual fund companies, and big Wall Street firms are employing Ph.D. researchers with degrees in everything from finance to physics to create model portfolios. They use the latest and most powerful technology to guide their buys and sells.

The little guy doesn’t have a chance.

That’s what I thought, until last week. George and I had a chance to see a demonstration of Chaikin Analytics, probably one of the most complete set of investment tools and stock market model-building technology that’s available for the money. Or at least I’ve ever seen.

The Chaikin Analytics Dashboard

The Chaikin Analytics Dashboard

How does Chaikin level the playing field?

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Business Strategy, Internet, Investing, Money, US Economy , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How Can You Avoid the Next MtGox Bitcoin Meltdown?

March 1st, 2014

mtgox

Bitcoin was supposed to be a safe haven — away from the greedy hands of corporations and bankers and far from the idiotic brains of mindless speculators. It was a popular people’s currency.

The evaporation of Bitcoins in MtGox has caused every fan of the crypto-currency to re-think this. And it’s making them ask: How can we avoid putting our Bitcoins in the next MtGox?

Short answer: you can’t. What seemed to be lost in the idealism of Bitcoin — that it’s some weapons that would only be wielded by the good against those who are evil — was the critical idea that Bitcoin, and every other crypto-currency for that matter, is that it’s only a tool. And tools can be misused and crafted into weapons very easily. It all depends on the hands that are using it.

Whether MtGox debacle was one of greed, or one of incompetence, remains to be seen. But just because MtGox went down due to either fraud-or-fuck-up dynamic does not mean it won’t happen again.

While there’s no way you can completely avoid the mess, you can consider some risk-assessment strategies to pull the needle back to your side.

Insist on Transparency
Bitcoin is supposed to be about transparency; its exchanges should be equally transparent. If you believe that the exchange you’re using isn’t completely open, find another.

Remain Cautious
Continually monitor the Bitcoin situation. There were rumors that MtGox was sketchy. Only the smart ones got out in time.

Panic, then Assess
People tell you not to panic. But if you sense that your exchange is faltering, get your Bitcoins out immediately and redistribute them elsewhere. If it is just a drill, you can move them back.

Read more…

Business Strategy, Internet, Investing, Money ,

Bitcoin 101: The Ultimate Source for Understanding Bitcoin

December 27th, 2013

Bitcoin1large

Bitcoin, an alternative currency that is challenging the rights of states to be the exclusive provider of currencies, continues to be hotly debated. Are they wave of the future for currency, or just the next Internet-based bubble? Is Bitcoin a viable form of currency, or simply another form of speculation?

Before you can answer the question, though, you need to find out just what the heck a Bitcoin is. Here, then, is a comprehensive list of information sources, as well as sources of insights, predictions and tutorials on Bitcoin.  This is a perfect place to start if one of your resolutions this year is to start exploring — and possibly investing in — this alt-currency.

This is a beginner’s guide to Bitcoin from Bitcoin Intro.

Go to Udemy and you can learn to stop worrying and love crypto. From the course intro:

The course is divided into several sections. The Core Lecture Path serves as a comprehensive introduction for beginners on all relevant topics necessary to have a deep understanding of Bitcoin including why Bitcoins have value, why they can be used for anonymous transactions, the current economy of Bitcoins, how they are made and distributed as well as speculation.

Take a course in Bitcoin from Khan Academy, one of the leaders in alternative online education.  In this course, you’ll get to hear answers from an expert on questions such as: “What are some general advantages to using Bitcoins in a transaction vs. using Dollars, Euros, Pesos, etc.– i.e., what is the point of their existence? As if the concept of paper money isn’t hard enough to comprehend; now, digital money.”

Here’s another Video Course on Bitcoin.

Need something even more basic? You can find a Bitcoin Wiki and learn how to use Bitcoins at this site.

Start Bitcoin walks you through the Bitcoin process.

Here’s a simple explanation of Bitcoin from Medium.com.

Interesting Bitcoin Investing Alternatives

If you’re ready to level up to beyond-the-basics, Bitcoin is inspiring entrepreneurs to create side businesses and investment alternatives.

This blog examines trading signals for Bitcoin — BTC Trading 

A group of founders created a investment trust called the Bitcoin Investment Trust. The minimum investment is $25,000.

Prediction Sources

The direction Bitcoins will take in 2014 is impossible to predict. There are too many variables and not enough historical data to offer some notion of how Bitcoins will react to different market conditions.

Conversations are divisive about the alt-currency. We have backers  and detractors.

It’s important to point out that we’ve seen pessimistic predictions proven wrong and optimistic forecasts dashed. However, expectations are high for 2014.

Happy learning! And have a Happy New Year!

Please feel free to pass on your comments, questions, and concerns.

Accelerating Technology, Internet, Investing, Online Investing AI , , ,

Five Reasons to Buy Bitcoin Alternatives

December 7th, 2013
Bitcoin

Bitcoin ain’t the only fish in the pond.

A lot of people are miffed that they missed the Bitcoin explosion. The cryptocurrency went from a few dollars early last year into the $1,500 range  and then — Kaboom! — another collapse, to where it is currently trading.

The rise of Bitcoin has been a wild ride. It’s never been an Apollo moon rocket launch straight into space; the trajectory has traced a path more like one of those experimental rockets zigzagging across the sky. Bitcoin has seen a period of jumps and a period of cliff diving drops. That’s to be expected. In a way, Bitcoin is an experimental ship and we’re just beginning to understand these wild gyrations.

Even though Bitcoin gets most of the headlines — and, also, most of the criticism — it’s not the only alternative currency out there.

Here are just a few:

Litecoin — made from Bitcoin’s source code. It’s probably the biggest competition to Bitcoin.

Ripple — This is both a currency and a payment system. So. Bonus. And it’s backed by a lot of big players: Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, FF Angel LLC, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Vast Ventures and Bitcoin Opportunity Fund.

Opencoin — This currency was started in 2007, so the system has been around for a relatively long time.

(We’ll look at more options in future posts.)

Here are some reasons why you may want to keep an eye on Bitcoin, as well as some alternative currencies.

You May Pick a Winner, a Big Winner

One of these currencies become a standard online currencies. It could be the Amazon.com or the Google of e-currencies. And if a dominant currency arises, owning a piece of it would make it more valuable than either of those companies.

It’s a little like playing the lottery, sure, but if you play responsibly, the payoff might be huge!

Read more…

Accelerating Technology, Internet, Investing, Money

Is this the Start of the next Bitcoin Bubble?

October 22nd, 2013

Bitcoin has started to rise again, and it looks like it might be the start of the next Bitcoin bubble. Although many people have known about Bitcoin for years, most people have not purchased any coins and do not understand it.

Image courtesy bitcoincharts.com

Image courtesy bitcoincharts.com

How is this bubble different?

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Accelerating Technology, Dreams Come True, Internet, Money, Success, US Economy , , , , , , ,

Is this a good time to buy gold?

August 11th, 2013

Many people think that this is a great time to buy gold. However, the same people who are saying that now were saying it when gold was at $1,800 per oz.

The price of gold has fluctuated over the last 5 years.

The price of gold has fluctuated over the last 5 years.

Personally, I think it is better to hold gold than dollars. The dollar is collapsing, and I think it will continue to collapse over the next decades. However, that does not mean that everyone should go out and buy gold.

Read more…

Internet, Investing, Money, Success, US Economy , , , , , , ,

Can You Invest a Little Money?

July 15th, 2013

invest_gokd

When most people want to invest, they never start because they think you need thousands of dollars to start. That’s not true — and it’s just another psychological barrier to keep lower- and middle-income folks out of the investing game.

You actually don’t need a lot of money to start. The key is to invest a little and keep on investing a little. One of the first investments I made was a bond fund that let me chip in $25 a month. Initially — as you can imagine — it was slow going. That’s another barrier. People want to make millions overnight an retire. That certainly didn’t happen, but during the last few years — over a decade after my initial investment — I am starting to see a pay off.  The dividends that are automatically reinvested every month are now more than double my own monthly investment and the balance has grown nicely, even though this was a horrible investment era.

I mentioned another tip. Reinvest all of your dividends and other profits.

Over the years I have branched out into other investments. I own direct-investment stocks (stocks I buy without a broker) and mutual funds. I like to trade using cheap discount stock brokers, like Sharebuilder. I also own precious metals and precious metal ETFs. All of this was started with a small initial investment that I’ve built up over time.

I also buy penny stocks with a few extra bucks, but I consider that more gambling than investing. Still, an individual investor can mess with penny stocks with little risk and little money.

Here is a great article from Investor Junkie about how you can start investing with about $500.

 

Automated Trading, Business Strategy, Internet, Investing, Money , ,

The Next Step for Bitcoin

May 20th, 2013

Bitcoin has gone through its second bubble, and it is interesting to see how it survives. Although many people thought that the price would crash to a small fraction of its high of $262, it seems to have stabilized in the $100 to $120 range.

Image courtesy BitcoinCharts.com

Image courtesy BitcoinCharts.com

The popularity of Bitcoin has exploded over the last 6 months, and it was clear that the bubble would burst. However, it seems that Bitcoin has gained enough traction to make it survive through the price crash. The chart looks quite strong at the moment, but only time will tell if Bitcoin continues to rise in value.

Read more…

Accelerating Technology, Dreams Come True, Internet, Investing, Money, Success , , , , , , , , ,

The Luckiest Unluckiest Generation

May 6th, 2013

The National Journal makes the point that the Millennial Generation is the unluckiest generation.

Sorta.

Because it is also the luckiest.

The Millennial Generation is loosely defined as the generation of Americans born in the 80s or 90s. Obviously, a lucky generation wouldn’t have the exact date of their creation, right? Just like every tool becomes a weapon and every weapon becomes a tool, technology has shaped this generation’s limitations and opportunities as no other.

The National Journal’s main point — although they’re a little wishy-washy about it — is that technology has replaced a lot of the jobs that former generations could access. Computers have increased production and automation has totally transformed the job market. That’s all true, too. And this is just beginning. We haven’t seen nothing yet.

However, the article stumbles a bit on just what advantages that technology has introduced. After all, Millennials have more computer power in their pockets than most university computer labs had in their facilities just a few decades ago. The technology has created turmoil, but every period of massive change has a transition period.

Technology is also starting to break the chains of wage slavery for this next generation of workers. More Millennials can create their own businesses online. They have access to apps and tools that give them the power of dozens of corporations at their fingertips. There are also more ways to earn money–blogs, websites, app development, affiliate businesses, etc.. We can’t forget, either, that  more Millennials can arrange their work in ways that just was not possible in previous generations.

The jar is definitely half-filled for Millennials.

Or is it half-empty?

What do you think?

 

 

Accelerating Technology, Dreams Come True, Internet, Money, Online Investing AI , ,

Crapitalism: The Market Doesn’t Work and That’s Why the Market Works

April 15th, 2013

north_korea

The market is broken and the free market system is not fair — it’s a sham.

I hear that all the time. And it’s absolutely correct.

The free market is not fair. In fact, it can be downright mean.

There’s plenty of evidence that this is correct. You only have to look at the recent economic meltdown to see that the market has failed millions of people in the world. Hard workers have lost jobs. Dishonest investors have screwed honest investors. Businesses and money evaporated overnight.

It’s difficult to tell people who have endured some of the pain of this crash this, but it’s true: the market doesn’t work and that’s why the market works. In other words, systems that can’t fail on their own, never grow on their own. This is adaptation at its finest.

Despite the pain of deep economic corrections, people are struggling back on their feet devising new ways to handle the problem. I don’t know whether Bitcoin will ever be the next currency — but it’s a sign of that innovation process and it’s a process that is happening all over the country.

The ability for the market to readjust is why it continues to be the worst — and best — system we have. Socialism, at best, subsidizes poor economic choices and ideas for as long as possible, then it collapses in a heap. Most countries that are embroiled in socialism rarely see this. It’s just a modern twist on feudalism. There are a group of lords — mainly industrialists and politicians — who provide the bread and circuses; in exchange, the citizenry doesn’t threaten their castles with torches and doesn’t threaten their entrenched businesses with competition.

It can be much worse.

Read more…

Business Strategy, Internet, Investing, Money, Online Investing AI