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Burning the candle at both ends?

by Bruno Deshayes on 01 Apr 2015 permalink
In a world where the motto is doing more with less, a mental breakdown can bring your productivity to naught.

If you want to last the distance you'd better know how to manage your mount. If people of old knew how to care for their horses how much more should we care for our own well-being?

Super-heroes are for the movies. In the real world those who know how to pace themselves are the true achievers. Have you got any clue where you spent your time last week? Yes, it went like a flash - that's precisely the point. Unless you know where you spend your time you will not reach your goals by accident.

Do you have written down goals? Have you had the discipline to move from wishful thinking to deliberate time management? Have you learned to say no to all those interruptions in guise of urgent take-it-or-leave-it propositions? Do you have any idea how to measure if you are clawing back the lost time or falling further behind?

We are all equal insofar as time goes. We each have been given 24 hours each day. 8 of these should be spent sleeping, 8 of these we exchange for money is something called a job. The quality of where you spend the remaining 8 will make all the difference.

If you commute in transport do you ignore your neighbours or dare to engage in conversation with strangers to further your people's skills and have fellowship with folks from different backgrounds? If you take a lunch break do you gulp down a sandwich in front of the computer while surfing the net or do you seek who you could help and relax with?

The best way to enrich your life and regain control of your time is actually to give it away... weird but it works. Look at a mother how she gives of herself to attend to the need of her infant. See how she persistently tries all manners of non verbal communication - obviously the child hasn't learned any language yet... but their time together is precious.

If you go out and seek who you can bring a smile to, you will find that opportunities to reach your goals will come after you as a by-product. There is a law at work here. The stingier you are with your time and your money - even the little you have left will fly away. The more you seek out how to contribute to society (the people you can reach) the more opportunities will open up to you. That is simply because you will stand out a mile and people just seek someone like that.


Stockbrokers as spin doctors

by Bruno Deshayes on 30 Mar 2015 permalink
Pump and dump strategies and other shenanigans were rife before the advent of discount online brokers. As the saying goes "it's never a bad time to take a commission".

Marketing and spin is taking a whole life of its own if you can spread a rumour and have enough bystanders repeat and embellish the story for you.

Can those good old times survive or has the internet killed the opportunity for brokers to dispense investing therapy? So what made a juicy good story? How easily could greedy investors (gamblers ?) be caught?

Since inside knowledge can be turned into a trading advantage there is an in-built collusion of interest between those who know of some impending market data and those who are eager to trade that information before it becomes common knowledge.

Full service stockbrokers were notorious to cultivate a following of people who wanted to be in on a good trade. For some unknown reason it always became a bad trade. Stock manipulation is more transparent now since any good online trading platform allows you to see the course of trades entered in the market. In the past a broker could interfere with the market of an illiquid stock by withholding either buy or sell orders to cause the asking price to temporarily rise or fall on demand. Then he could place the trades of his "preferred" customers at a more advantageous price. An electronic market has blown out those cosy arrangements.

Insider_trading is a hot issue and authorities play a cat and mouse game to unravel after the facts the actions of operators ever so clever at covering their tracks. After the stock market crash of 2007 authorities had to be seen as doing something. There is even an academic who claims to have written some software to identify suspicious insider trades!

A report by the Australian Institute of Criminology reveals that as long as you don't get caught the practice is too tempting to be passed by.

But life goes on and judging by the stockbroker fraud blog there is still plenty of action going around.

Bottom line: with a fast electronic market the goal post has shifted and there is more transparency. At the same time new opportunities are being created but we will only find out about them when they have been exposed and can no longer be exploited.

One notorious IPO which surprised all the pundits was Google who handled their float themselves. In fact the original Google IPO site is still around. But if you missed out on buying GOOG shares on NASDAQ at $85 on August 19, 2004 which fetched $500 in 2010 don't despair the next hot tip is now the Facebook IPO site


Tickle my funny bone

by Bruno Deshayes on 29 Mar 2015 permalink
An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less until she knows absolutely everything about nothing...

The government promised me a stimulus package... instead I got a raft of measures.

A woman turned me down for a date... I had to explain I wanted to have dinner with her - not having her for dinner.

"My passport photo does not do me justice." "You don't need justice - you need mercy!"

French people do not like fast food. They eat snails instead.

"I can't find what's wrong with you - must be the drinking or something..." "I'm sorry to hear that doc, what about if I come back when you're sober?"

The drought forced a farmer to turn his field into an auto-parts junkyard. From that time on every year was a bumper crop.

What do you call a lump of metal, wiggling at the bottom of the sea? A nervous wreck.

If God is watching us... we'd better be entertaining...

If you're feeling unwanted or insignificant... try missing a couple of mortgage repayments.

I told my shrink I thought I was a dog At my next appointment he wouldn't let me up on the couch.

I never drink coffee at work I toss and turn at my desk all day.

A divorce lawyer put on his sign Satisfaction guaranteed or your honey back.

Marriage is the way to stop people fighting with strangers. Divorce is the way to get custody of your sanity.

I've been sacked from every job I've ever had At least you can't call me a quitter.

He's not a complete idiot ...some parts are missing.

I've got an inferiority complex. But I say it's not a very good one...

He never treats a woman like an object. But occasionally he treats an object like a woman.

The magic hasn't gone out of our marriage. He still disappears every few weeks...

Ours was a mixed marriage. She was perfect and I wasn't...

My ex-wife said she wanted to dance on my grave. So I arranged for a burial at sea.

She said she was sick of me. Undeterred I bought her a get well card.

She was so nervous on our blind date. When I picked her up she put the seatbelt around her knees.

I had a terrible nightmare. I dreamt I was eating a giant marshmallow. When I woke up my pillow was gone.


Finding the most searched long tail keywords in your market niche

by Bruno Deshayes on 28 Mar 2015 permalink
The age of website directories has long gone. People now just type a clever combination of words and somehow manage to drill down rather quickly to what they are looking for. Miss out on showing up in this kind of search and you are out of existence in cyberspace.

Time is the essence and convenience is king.

So how does a smart web surfer can cut to the chase and land only the results they are after? In a nutshell the answer is: by being specific enough.

Let's try it. You want to shop around for a computer in your area. So you type two words "cheap computer". That will return who knows what so you decide to be a bit more specific. You don't like the cheap connotation so you say low price instead. Then you don't say computer you say laptop. Now you've typed "low price laptop".

Again you find that some of the vendors are on the other side of the world so you add your location. Now we have "low priced laptop in Sydney"

The long tail label stems from the field of statistics where a distribution tapers off in a bell curve shape. A simple tool to try is http://google.com/sktool if you search "long tail keyword research tool" you are bound to return scores of services that will help you keep ahead of the pack.

So where do marketers and consumers meet? The answer: wherever new buzzwords arise. Think of all the lingo that would be unintelligible to someone who was transported in time from say 10 years ago. What would they make of social media, web 2.0, global warming, political correctness, green gas emission, stimulus package, raft of measures, ecommerce, iphone, gforce, handheld device, smartphone, etc...

For search engine advertising, each of these words combinations had become an auction where you bid against whoever wants to show up there as well.

For the savvy internet boffin which we are all becoming, the name of the game is to uncover quickly enough the results that will address our problem, appeal to our senses or just entertain us about our areas of interest.

For marketers the challenge is to pre-empt what tomorrow's jargon will be and to position yourself in front of those people before everyone else catches on.

If you have the mind of an investigator and read the leading blogs and reviews you might pick up what is hot. If you yield enough influence you might start a new trend and see if it takes off.


Why is trading such a mind game?

by Bruno Deshayes on 27 Mar 2015 permalink
One buys at the current price, one sells at the same current price. A transaction takes place: Can they be both right?

If they are both entering the market one with a long position and one with a short position obviously they have two opposite views as to what the market might do next.

So this is the game of bluff that goes on in our trading exchanges (casinos?) Has investing turned into a game of poker?

How long are you prepared to wait until you bring the bacon home? Are you rationalizing a bad trade by saying you are in it for the long term? Shouldn't that capital be used to ride on a profitable trade instead?

How far in the red are you prepared to let the market go before you call it quits? Do you have a stop in place? Are you thinking about moving it away to take more risk? Can someone see all the stop orders in place and manipulate the market to hit them all and make a quick profit when the stock returns to where it was?

"You have to be in it to win it!" Sometimes you wish you were not into anything at all. Does your trading keep you awake at night? Does your partner know what you are doing?

Do you have enough integrity to monitor your own trading performance? Do you keep a log of all your past trades and the assumption you made at the time you entered each trade? I mean do you set an entry point, an exit point and a stop point BEFORE you place a trade? That is the only way to find out if your method is profitable or not. If it is then you know how long the longest string of losing trades was. You also know that each trade you took brought home x dollars in profit.

In that case instead of fretting and if you keep to your strategy - each new trade in the long run should simply fit into your law of averages - bringing home x dollars of profit. This is simply what you earned for the risk you took, for your participation in bringing liquidity into the market...

You know all that good stuff - so why is it not working for you? The reason might be that you are cheating, have become impatient and are breaking your own rules. That's easy to fix - get back to your own discipline. Don't confuse speculation with gambling.

There is still another reason why things might go astray: the market may have changed just like tides and equinoxes do - you have to redo your analysis all over again.


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