Financial Spread Trading For Beginners

In this article, I want to show what factors to take into account when making a spread trading strategy in the financial markets. Such a strategy should be custom-designed for each person! After all, would you wear clothes made for another person? So it is with trading strategies.

Profit potential in the financial markets is huge – this is its main attraction! As an example, if you had sold the FTSE short in April 2010 and taken profits 1,000 points lower in June, a £ 5 down bet would have produced a profit of £ 5,000 on a margin (deposit) of only £ 500 or so – a 10: 1 home run.

But first, why do we trade the financial markets and what is actually traded? We are all familiar with the Stock Markets, Gold, Crude Oil, Currencies. Take just the Stock Markets – there are many types of participants. There are the big institutions, such as pension funds, mutual funds / unit trusts, hedge funds, and there are private investors, some with long-term horizons, and some with short-term capital-gain interests. We are concerned with the latter here, as these are called traders (that's us).

WHAT IS TRADED IN THE FINANCIAL MARKETS?

What is actually traded and what or who decides on market prices? My interest is in trading the main stock indices, such as the FTSE, the Dow Jones Industrials, the S & P 500, and the NASDAQ. These are all indexes of a basket of company shares averaged in some way. They reflect the general trends in the market, up or down. They are all derivatives.

As a trader, who is someone interested in buying and selling for a profit, and not at all interested in taking possession for any other reason, we want to discover methods which can identify when to buy and when to sell. That is where a simple, semi-mechanical method using technical analysis is necessary, together with a sound money-management scheme.

WHAT OR WHO DETERMINES MARKET PRICES?

What does move market prices? All public markets are what we call 'auction' markets where prices are set by the buying bids and selling offers of the various participants. Have you ever been to a live auction at an auction house? Sometimes, when an object comes up, there is a group of two bidders, both desperate to own that object. The bids ratchet up and up – and up to reach what many would say is a very high price. Now imagine the auction if those two bidders had played golf instead. Of course, the price achieved would have been far lower – and for the very same object!

So what was the true market price for that object? Of course, the concept is meaningless. The market is what the market is. This shows that market prices are determined by emotion, rather than rationality. This explains the various bubbles in financial markets we have seen recently. As traders, we can take advantage of this! Traders love bubbles both in the inflating and the deflating phases.

WHAT STRATEGY FOR YOU?

If you are reliably starting out as a spread trader, you need to determine what type of personality you are (I have explained this in a companion article). You need to match your chosen trading time-frame with your personality type.

If you like staying with a well thought-out trade for weeks and months, then you will be looking primarily at weekly and daily charts and using Elliott Wave and Fibonacci analysis methods (again, described in a companion article). For your money-management plan, you will be placing protective stops somewhat far away from your entry price, but always well within your estimated maximum loss.

If you like short-term trading, you will be looking at daily and 60-min, 30-min, and even 10-min charts in real time. It is almost a full-time commitment. But with expert advice at hand, it can be very profitable

A Guide to PC Memory

When it comes to improving the performance of your PC, purchasing additional RAM is despite the least expensive yet most effective route a person can take. While the solution appears simple, the dizzying array of memory available for purchase today can make the actual decision process problematic for all but the tech-savvy individuals. A very wide selection of differenting RAM types are available for purchase today, SDRAM, EDO, RDRAM, and DRAM to name a few. Knowing how to determine what RAM types are compatible with your current PC setup and what RAM choice will give you the greatest performance are key to making the correct decision.

The purpose of this guide is to give the reader a general understanding of what RAM is, what types of RAM exist, and how to decide what RAM would make the best purchase choice.

What is RAM?

The acronym RAM stands for Random Access Memory. RAM is where data is stored within your PC so that said data can be accessed by your PC's processor, or CPU. RAM should be considered as temporary memory within your PC, in order for RAM to maintain its data storage it must receive a continuous pulse of electricity. Any data that exists solely within a PC's RAM will be deleted when the PC is shut off or loses power.

PC's utilize several common technologies to store data internally on a more permanent level than RAM. These storage mediums include ROM – Read Only Memory, Hard Drives – which store data magnetically in a permanent – or depending on your usage – semi-permanent fashion, CDRWs, DVDRWs, Floppy Disks and Tapes. All of these data storage methods can be considered more reliable than RAM data storage, although none of them offer the speed of data access that RAM does.

RAM stores data that is essential for a PCs immediate operation and does so in an extremely fast and reliable way. RAM allows for a PC to operate at speeds that would be unachievable if it were replaced by more permanent data storage mediums. Think of RAM as a "fast lane" on an expressway. RAM allows for a function or application's most important data to have the fastest possible access to the processor. RAM exists as a "fast lane" for data that needs immediate attention by your PCs CPU. As such, the more RAM your PC has accesses to, the more "fast lanes" that are available for your PC's functions and applications to access your PC's CPU, the faster your PC will perform.

Types of RAM

SDRAM, DDR-SDRAM and RAMBUS are the three major types of RAM, or PC memory, in use today.

Modern RAM

Before the introduction of SDRAM, PC memory is operated asynchronously from a PC's Clock Speed. This asynchronous operation would create data bottlenecks within a PC itself and slow overall performance. Clock speed is the speed at which a microprocessor executes instructions; Every computer contains an internal clock that regulates the rate at which data is processed and synchronizes a PC's individual components. As it stands to reason, the faster a PC's clock speed, the faster a PC's CPU can process data. Before RAM was synchronized to operate at the same speed as the rest of a PC's components, a PC's CPU would be would be forced into the occasional delay while waiting for the RAM to be available to accept data. In theory, as long as SDRAM operated at the same speed as the system clock, it would be available to the system on a regular and consistent basis – thus eliminating data bottlenecks. By regulating RAM and tying its performance to the system clock, memory manufacturers have been forced to increase memory performance to match PC clock speeds.

SDRAM:

SDRAM – Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory – was the natural result of the PC industries search for better RAM and PC performance.

SDRAM is available 66, 100 and 133MHz speeds, known as PC66, PC100 and PC133 respectively. 66MHz RAM, in theory, would perform 66.6 million cycles per second and would be compatible with a 66MHz clock speed. Generally memory is considered to be backward compatible, so a pc with a clock speed of 100MHz could accept a memory module with a clock speed of 100MHz. The drawback being that the memory will only operate at the 100MHz speed.

SDRAM is no longer the memory of choice for modern PC's, however, due to the many PCs still on the market that utilize SDRAM, it is certain that memory manufacturers will continue to produce this memory for some time. SDRAM has been in the marketplace for some time and as such is widely available for purchase as a used yet guaranteed product. This used availability offers the buyer the opportunity to save a great deal of money on its purchase, yet sacrifice a bare minimum with regard to reliability as RAM has no moving parts and is generally very durable and long lasting.

DDR-SDRAM:

DDR and DDR2 – Double Data Rate SDRAM – was again a natural result of the PC Industries search for better RAM and PC Performance. DDR memory has been available since the late 1990's and is a great leap forward in RAM performance. Essentially, DDR RAM achieves its improved performance by transferring data to the processor twice, instead of once in the case of SDRAM, per clock cycle. Theoretically, a RAM module that refreshes the processor twice per clock cycle should equate to twice the performance offered by SDRAM. In reality DDR does not really offer twice the performance of SDRAM, however it is a signaling improvement over the older standard.

Types of DDR and DDR2 memory that are available include PC1600 – 200MHz, PC2200 – 533MHz, PC4200 – 533MHz, PC4200 – 533MHz, PC3500 – 400MHz, PC3500 – The first number represents the maximum memory bandwidth, in megabytes, that a RAM module can provide per second. The second number, MHz, is the clock speed that the module is compatible with. As with SDRAM, the memory is backward compatible, a PC2100 chip with a 266MHz clock speed with work with a PC with a clock speed of both 266MHz and 200MHz.

DDR and DDR2 memory are the current standard in the PC industry and will continue to be manufactured for some time. As with SDRAM, DDR and DDR2 types have been in the market for some time and are available as used or refurbished. Both used and refurbished DDR memory can offer substantial savings when purchased while giving the user similar reliability to new product.

RAMBUS:

RAMBUS – RDRAM – was developed by the RAMBUS Corporation and can be considered to be a proprietary version of RAM as only the RAMBUS company manufacturers it. RAMBUS is a high-performance version of RAM generally found in high-end business class PCs. Today very few manufacturers use the RAMBUS standard as DDR and DDR2 memory offers similar, and in some cases better performance. RAMBUS memory can be found in speeds of PC800, PC1066 and PC1200. Usually you can purchase RAMBUS PC800- () the () will contain a number that references the chips speed in nano-seconds, ie PC800-45.

Memory and Performance:

While adding more memory does not ensure faster performance, not enough memory will guarantee slow downs. Having plenty of memory installed on your PC helps to ensure that your PC operates at its peak speeds and efficiency. Adding memory almost always results in a performance boost, especially if you run larger applications or multiple applications simultaniously. It is important to note that if you triple your current installed memory you will not see a three-fold boost in performance. You will almost always see some gain in performance, but you will go a long way in eliminating slow downs.

It will always be my contention and a good rule of thumb that you can never have too much memory. Maxing out you configuration with memory will help to guarantee the peak performance of your PC.

How to Choose Memory:

Choosing memory is dependent on several factors. First is the consideration of compatibility. Whether you are building a new PC or simply adding memory to an existing system, it is of key importance that the memory you purchase is compatible with your motherboard. Most motherboards accept a specific standard of memory, SDRAM, DDR, DDR2 or RAMBUS. To determine what type of memory that your PC will accept, you can either consult your motherboards owners' manual, or, if this is not available, inspecting the motherboard for brand and model number will allow you to go online and determine the compatible memory type .

Generally a motherboard that accepts SDRAM will accept memory modules that have a higher rated speed in MHz than what is specified by the board's manufacturer. For example, if your current motherboard has a clock speed of 66MHz and accepts PC66 SDRAM, you can install either PC100 or PC133 RAM chips. The board will only utilize the memory at its maximum speed however, so a PC133 SDRAM module will only operate at 66MHz speed. It is important to determine what RAM speeds – MHz – that your board is compatible with before making a purchase.

You should also consult either you owners manual or online documentation to determine the maximum memory that your board will support and physically inspect the board to determine how many available memory slots there are. Usually you will want to use the largest and fastest RAM chips that your board will support and fill all available slots with matching memory speeds. For example, your board has three available slots and currently one is in use by a DDR PC2100 266MHz RAM module. You discover that your board will accept DDR RAM up to PC2700 333MHz speeds. If you were to fill the remaining to slots with PC2700 memory, your memory would only function at the speed of the slowest RAM module, in this case 266 MHz.

New vs. Used:

Due to the sheer amount of memory manufactured within the last years, you will find an abundance of used memory for sale. When it comes to getting the most for your money, it should be noted that purchasing used memory is a great way to save money while getting similar reliability and performance as compared to new. RAM has no moving parts to speak of and as such is highly durable and reliable.

Spend some time researching prices between new and used memory modules. If you can purchase used or refurbished modules from sellers who will offer warranties, you may be making a major mistake spending that extra money on new RAM.

A little research on your part can help you to not only ensure that you see the maximum performance out of your PC set up, but also go a long way toward saving you money both in the short and long term.

Copyright 2006 www.hcditrading.com , Brad Calli

The History of Modern Furniture

It was in the 19th century after the industrial revolution had given birth to a new class of people that modernistic ideas evolved. The traditional dark, gilded or carved wood, covered with heavy richly patterned fabrics cave way to light and simple looking furniture. Between the nobility and the down trodden poor the middle class had emerged.

They cast aside anything that was related to the rich who had trampled the poor ruthlessly. Also influences from Africa, Asia and especially Japan had a lasting effect on designing of modern furniture. Functionality, practicality and economic feasibility were the new order in furniture. Technology and industrial advancement were already playing their role in making of simplistic yet practical furniture.

Michael Thonet an Austrian German cabinet maker was the first to experiment in making bent wood furniture and using glue for joining wood pieces. His coffee shop chair also known as 'Konsumstuhl Nr 14' became world famous and till 1930 over 50 million of these chairs were produced. Another famous chair of that era was the 'Tripolina chair'. It was made of wood, metal and canvas and was patented by Joseph Fendy in 1877. This chair was widely used by the British troops during the colonial period. The director's chair is a simple folding chair that uses a scissor action to fold and is made of wood and canvas, or any other strong material that can bear the weight of the occupant. The design of this chair dates back to the 15th century and the design has been taken from ancient Roman folding stools.

Some of the iconic examples of modern furniture are the Marcel Breur's Wassily chair. This chair uses lightweight tubular steel and leather straps. The exquisite and simplistic design of these geometric shaped planes almost makes the leather straps appear to be suspended in space. The Ellen Gray side table, the Barcelona chair and Noguchi table are some of the other icons of modern furniture.

Modern furniture is functional, practical and tastefully designed to give a feeling of comfort and lightness. It differs completely from the dark and heavily embroidered medieval furniture. Metals, plastics, glass are now used along with wood in making modern furniture and a whole new generation of fabrics and colors are used. The fabrics used are of bold and bright colors which make modern furniture look inviting and artistic. Contemporary furniture has taken many forms and shapes and furniture designers use geometric patterns to create modern furniture.

Most contemporary furniture is lightweight, easy to assemble and disassemble and importantly easy to maintain. Modern furniture also has an individualistic theme, designed to suit the type of décor people want for their homes and workplaces. Colors are popularly used to make a room or office appear pleasant and relaxing. Drab, dreary and heavy colors are no longer used. If a heavy color like black is used, it will be contrasted with white or shining steel. It is modern furniture that has changed the look of the home from a formal and staid place to a casual and relaxing environment.

Reasons of Attraction for Online Shopping

In the competitive world all of us are running to save our precious time. The mass number of people do prefer online as the source of purchase as it is too convenient. The act of buying products is referred the word shopping. Sometimes this is done for a pleasurable activity and sometimes to get fulfill for your basic requirements like, food and cloth. We can see the outcome of this explosion all around us. The majority of the consumers preferred to shop online.

An individual can purchase almost everything based upon their choice and needs. Just on a single click all your essentials get delivered at your doorstep. Shopping through online is such an user friendly that you need not require to stand in a long queue to make your payment. Most of the people love online shopping because it makes things much easier and smoother. The business organizations preferred this channel as a scope to access into a worldwide network. The demands are increasing day by day.

The three important factors for every commercial organizations are acquisition, retention and enhancement can easily maintain. It helps out to reduce the pressure, save your energy while buying, and you can easily check and compare the value with other. The shoppers can shop more frequently through online portals. One can get almost everything in one place at a cheaper cost. A consumer living in any country of the world can consume their deserving product. The customers are also accepting it as a channel to give a gift that would be of superior quality, and also reasonable in price. The buying and selling through online plays an important role in many people’s lives. Online shoppers can select any time of the day or night to shop in a free mind, even you can do it from home or from your workplace. A person just needs to log onto the Internet, visit the preferred website to shop online and select the items based on their desires and easily get the delivery at the mentioned time. They can purchase a variety of things from shopping online.

Online Shopping has a numerous advantage. It is the shopping destination of the internet users across the country. E-commerce provides a way out of smarter shopping. It is designed with the modern technology for the development of internet. Shopping online permitted you to buy things without distracting your daily schedule. The English entrepreneur Michael Aldrich invented online shopping in the year of 1979. It is a strategy used to learn more about the customers need in order to make a stronger relationship with them. It’s an option to create lifetime customers by delivering on promises consistently. The market has already created its impact and has proven its uniqueness on the eye of the customer.

Some exclusive features make it more popular like you can get free shipping delivery as well as cash on delivery. The expectations of all the customers are different according to each of their age, gender, experience and culture. You want to purchase an item that are not available in your hometown area you can easily order it through online shopping. Lots of people considered it as a perfect way of shopping for getting the attractive offers at discount rate. The goodwill of online shopping helps to enhance the business. Growth and development of the industry indicate the development of the economy. It is one of the easiest technique to focus on the customer needs so that it’s in a position to provide total customer satisfaction and build customer loyalty. It fulfills all of your needs for every occasion.