Saturday, September 29, 2007

Financial Futures - The Commodities of the Investment Business

Just as dramatic changes in the price of wheat affect farmers, bakers and ultimately consumers. So do changes in interest rates, the value of currencies and the direction of the stock market takes can send ripples and sometimes even waves crashing though the financial community. With the creation of financial futures, traders like pension and mutual funds investment managers rely on financial commodities to protect themselves against the unexpected. These traders are the hedgers of the financial futures market.

Along with the other futures markets that active with constant trading. Speculators buy and sell futures contracts depending on which way they think the market is going. World politics, trading patterns and the economy are the unpredictable factors in these markets. Rumors also play a major role. Financial speculators are no more interested in taking delivery of 125,000 francs, than grain speculators are in taking hold of 5,000 bushels of wheat. These traders are interested in making money on their gamble.

The large variety of financial futures contracts in the marketplace are always in flux. Like other commodities, they trade on specific exchanges. The Chicago Board of Trade's U.S. Treasury Interest Rate futures, is the nations most actively traded contract. Their accounts make up two-thirds of the exchanges business.

The details of financial futures trading, are recorded daily. The value of an index contract is calculated differently from other futures contracts. This is because the price index is two steps removed from the commodity. Instead of taking delivery of a contract, that is only numbers in a computer. Traders take delivery of the cash value of the contract.

Indexes, and futures contracts on these indexes, don't move in locked steps. When they are out of sync, index future contract prices will either move higher or lower than the index itself. Traders can make a lot of money by simultaneously buying contracts that are less expensive and selling the more expensive contracts. This technique is known as arbitrage, and the chief tool being used here, is a very sophisticated computer program that follows the price shifts.

To learn more about options trading and stock options trading then visit:

A Guide to Forex Courses

For anyone interested in forex trading, education is essential. There are many online forex courses. There are home-study programs, seminars, webinars, books, DVDs, free demo accounts and more. In fact, with all the information that is out there, it would be silly to begin trading without first educating.

Some of the best sites will, in fact, offer a complete package of forex trading courses that will take the beginners, who know little or nothing about forex trading, and teach them everything they need to know to become successful forex traders. In the home study forex courses, students learn vocabulary and types of orders. They learn to read forex charts, an important part of successful trading. The online forex trading courses teach investors to grow their accounts by determining market direction. Online mentoring provides access to a professional trader and one on one tutoring. A two day on-site forex course sometimes the program to reinforce everything learned.

Other interesting and helpful services that most online forex trading platforms offer is the demo account. The demo accounts are like a mini forex trading courses that will help new investors learn to trade quickly. These accounts are set up to work like a regular account, but the trades are not real. With no risk, you can learn to place orders and set stops, watch your profit increase (or your loss) as you watch exchange rates changing. These accounts also include charts with live streaming information. It is still wise to choose one of the many forex courses available, but when used along with a demo account (you usually get a 30 day trial) everything makes a lot more sense.

There are many books written on the subject of forex trading, but most of these focus on forex strategy. Before you can plan a trading strategy, you need to learn how to trade. Forex trading courses are far superior to reading a book.

It is commonly stated that 90-95% of all new traders lose their initial investment in the three to six months following their first trade. Sometimes even seasoned investors lose focus or forget to change their trading plan when indicators call for it and lose big.

Forex courses are no guarantee of big profits, but professionals agree that education reduces risk in an already risky market.

Click here to read about our recommended forex courses. Or learn more about forex at

Forex2u Forex Strategy On Successful Forex Trading

The essence of the FX2u Forex strategy is that it does not have any Forex trading system but could forecast the market trend accurately.

Every set of Forex trading system available has its disadvantages. The market trend could not be forecasted. If the market could be forecasted, by depending on the RSI, PAR, MOM analysis techniques and some other theories, Forex traders could easily make a fortune.

Many Forex traders could not obtain the anticipated outcome by using these analysis tools, and suffer huge losses. The main reason is relying on some imperfect tools to forecast the unpredictable market trend is just a waste of effort. Therefore the FX2u Forex strategy spirit is to abolish the entire subjective analysis tool.

To survive in the market is to follow the market trend, following the market trend is the essence of the FX2u Forex strategy. By using the opposite theory to enter the market, will only lead to lost. The reason is that if the market rises, it may continue to rise. If the market drops, it may continue to drop. No one is able to forecast when the market trend will stop.

By following the market trend, the market risk could be reduce to the lowest, the FX2u Forex strategy will advance the following the ten principles:

fully understand the how market function and the market trend, else dont trade

After entering the market, the Forex trader MUST immediately put a market stop.

If the stop order has been hit it MUST be executed immediately, NEVER make changes by lowering the stop order price.

If the forecast is wrong, Forex traders should leave the market immediately, then analyze again.

If the forecast is wrong, Forex traders should stop loss and should not increase trading.

Forex traders should admit mistakes, do not continuously make mistakes.

All analysis tools are imperfect, mistakes could always occur.

If the market rises Forex traders should buy, if the market drops Forex traders should sell, always follow the market trend.

Forex traders should not forecast the market price because such forecast will not be as easy as forecasting the market trend.

If the forecast is wrong, once the loss reach 10%, Forex traders must stop loss immediately, do not let it surpasses 10%, otherwise it would be difficult to recoup the capital again.

Alvin Han is the editor of;

Which Country Will Be The Largest Economy In The World?

Currently, the United States is the top economic power in the world, followed by Japan, Germany, China and France, respectively.

Will another nation eventually overtake the U.S. in this role? It has been speculated by some that China is destined to take the top spot in terms of economic GDP if it can continue its bustling double digit economic growth. This is possible, but there are several factors to consider.

A double digit growth rate generally only happens to a younger, growing economy. When a national economy matures, it generally settles into a 2-3% annual GDP growth rate. That is about what we see in the U.S. and many western European nations, for example. In recent years Ireland grew at a double digit growth rate but has since settled to a more modest growth rate.

The same may happen with China. Obviously, if it can continue such a high growth rate it will eventually overtake the U.S in this regard, but it will have to maintain this rate for some time. Since the U.S. economy is larger to begin with, China and other rival economies must sustain a considerable larger GDP growth margin in order to catch up.

But there are other factors involved as well. One is current trend of trade blocks, such as that of NAFTA. If you were to include Canada (a member of the Group of Eight leading Industrialized economies) with a huge economy in it's own right), Mexico (nearly ninety million consumers and very rich in natural resources such as Oil, Gold and Silver), and the various Central American nations which are seeking membership, this bloc would me much more difficult to catch up to in terms of market size and total GDP. In addition, there is a push in some circles for the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) which may one day include all nations in North and South America.

For that matter, the combined European Union is already a much larger economy than that of the U.S. The EU has some 450 million highly educated consumers compared to about 300 million in the United States, and it is adding new countries at swift pace. In any case, it should be noted that a number of top economists predicted back in the 1970's that both Japan and the Soviet Union would overtake the U.S. economy.

This of course did not happen, due to bank mismanagement in the former case and political dismantling in the latter. As i write this article, Yahoo news reported that 'China's stock market plummeted from record highs as investors took profits when concerns arose that the Chinese government may try to temper its ballooning economy by raising interest rates again or reducing more of the money available for lending.

The Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 8.8 percent to close at 2,771.79, its biggest decline since it fell 8.9 percent on Feb. 18, 1997. Since Chinese share prices doubled last year as investors poured money into the market after the completion of shareholding reforms, trading in Shanghai has been very volatile.' It is certainly possible that China could eventually be the top economy, but wise economic policies will probably be a biggest long term factor of whether or not this occurs.

Ryan Joseph is a writer/researcher. More news at