Do Not Buy Precious Metals if You are Looking for a Good Return on Your Investment

By JT Philips

You learned in basic economics that the business environment goes in cycles. During the economic expansion of the 2000s, silver, gold and other commodities significantly increased in value. Gold, the most popular precious metal has exceeded $1200 in the most recent run up.

You hear advertisements on the radio all the time telling you that gold prices have soared to four times it's original value over the past 30 years.

While gold and other precious metals seem to have exploded in value - there would be no gold in your pot at the end of the rainbow since the value has not kept up with the cost of living.

Over the centuries gold and silver have served as a basis of exchange because they have intrinsic value. Gold and silver represent commodities whose value can stand the test of time.

Gold and silver investments perform well during times of inflation and economic uncertainty.Gold and silver prices rose by more than 500 percent and stocks faced severe losses during the mid seventies. As you may have well noticed gold has skyrocketed again during this latest economic crisis.But with the economic collapse the recently surging prices seem to be driven fear, not inflation, which is not a good basis for investment.

Investing in gold and silver, over the long term, has not produced any significant benefit.There aren't any dividends and their price increases barely keep up with the cost of living. If you are keeping your cash in your sock drawer, investing in precious metals would be a good idea, otherwise invest in stocks. The best returns come not from gold and silver but stocks, bonds and real estate. If you truly want to invest in gold and silver, then you can earn a better long-term return by investing in a mutual fund of stocks of gold and precious metals companies. - 29849

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Details Of The Gold Rush Of Australia

By Jack Wagon

A Gold Rush can make a common man a millionaire in an instant. It can be defined as a period of intense migration of labour into an area where there has been a discovery of vast quantities of gold. Gold rushes occurred in the'th century in Australia, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, and the United States.

Gold rushes are normally marked with the optimistic, and positive approach towards something that is free-for-all. This makes it feasible for any person to turn into utterly affluent instantaneously. The explanation mentioned earlier is what a gold rush was. Plenty of people connect gold rushes to the Californian gold rush, even though it is a reality that the Australian gold rush remains up till now as the wealthiest gold rush of the planet.

In'51, the Australian gold rushes began, when Edward Hammond Hargraves went to Lewis Pond Creek with his guide John Lister. When they filled and washed a few pans, and then they got to know that the pots had gold. This information was spread over the world, and then during the next few weeks, large number of people from every where were seen digging, as if their living depended on this.

Hargraves did not get an immense luck from gold. However, Hargraves named the Bathurst goldfield Ophir. Afterwards, James Tom, who was a planter, stated that it was not Hargraves, but actually he, himself who discovered the gold. Even then, the decision of the government went in opposition to him. Hargraves was known as the Crown Land Commissioner of New South Wales. William Tom, and John Lister detained one more enquiry, just earlier than he died in'99, and then it came in support of the maintenance alleges that were made. (According to brother of James Tom)

The foremost discovery occurred in New South Wales, then in Clunes, Buninyong, Ballarat, and lastly Bendigo Creek. Soon after that gold was found in nearly all states of Australia. The earliest license of gold was given during'51 in Victoria. It was the time when a number of licenses were issued within the whole country.

The Victorian gold rush, after the Californian gold rush was the most immense amongst gold rushes of Australia. The gold rush had a massive significance, since it proved to be a turning point in monetary and political growth of Melbourne, and Victoria. During'51, more or less 250,000 ounces of gold was found.

The Australian gold rushes provided so much support for the progress of important parts of the city. Telephone lines and Railways were built. The abrupt crowd of people supported multi-culture, and racism

In'52, 370,000 migrants entered the country, and the economy received a welcome boost. Victoria alone contributed to almost one third of the total gold output of the world in the'50s. In two years, the population had increased from 77,000 to 540,000. A fun fact to note here is that the total number of immigrants was more than the total number of criminals of the past 70 years that had landed there. The total population increased three fold from'51 to'71, from 430,000 to 1.7million people. - 29849

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Sell Your Gold And Silver To Weather The Recession

By Eric Hoover

Times are tough. Those who haven't already lost their jobs are concerned they might in the near future. Meanwhile, the cost of living is rising for millions of families. You may be a college student who needs funds for tuition and books. Or, you might be a stay-at-home mom trying desperately to make ends meet. Whatever your circumstances, there may be a solution hidden in your dresser drawers: gold and silver.

Many people have old jewelry, tooth fillings, and coins that contain a healthy store of value due to their gold or silver content. These items sit at the bottom of drawers and are all but forgotten. If you need cash to weather the recession, selling these assets may be the quickest solution. Below, we'll explain why more people than ever are selling their gold and silver. We'll also give you a few tips for selling your precious metal.

Stability In A Volatile Economy

Regardless of the economic climate and the fluctuations of currencies (for example, the U.S. dollar), precious metals experience little variance in value. Of course, prices have risen and fallen over the years, but most economists agree that gold and silver tend not to deviate much from their normal price band.

If you own precious metals, there's a good chance they are worth as much or more than their worth at the time you acquired them. They are a store of value, especially during a recession. Close observers of the market will have noticed that the prices of gold and silver have climbed over the past few years. Now may be the time to sell both for extra money.

Where To Sell Your Assets

There are several ways to sell your precious metals. Many people do so through online auctions and gold parties. Auctions are a hit-or-miss event; your assets may fail to generate interest. Gold parties are usually organized by a host who gathers a group of people along with a local buyer. The buyer will weigh each piece brought by attendees and make an offer.

Selling to online buyers has become far more popular. The process is simple and low-maintenance, and sellers usually enjoy better prices.

Getting The Best Deal For Your Assets

In a way, the online market is similar to a swap meet. There are many buyers who are willing to make an offer for your precious metals. Some will offer a better price than others. Some will be more trustworthy than others. One of the advantages to selling online is that reputable buyers list the prices they're willing to pay. It's easy to compare them.

One note of caution: don't choose an online buyer solely on the merit of the price they're willing to pay. Remember, some are unreliable. Sending your assets to them can be risky if you don't conduct a bit of due diligence. Call them on them phone to personally speak with them. Read the agreement on their website. By taking a few precautions, you'll receive a competitive price while enjoying a problem-free experience. - 29849

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Profit More With A Commodities Benchmark

By Selwyn Petrov

A commodities benchmark is some type of standard which you can compare an investment by. A standard is very helpful for people trying to figure out how much profit they are making compared to other investments. People looking for high rates of returns may want to use other standards than those looking for long-term and safer purchases.

The primary goal for those choosing a commodity benchmark is to find an index that is relevant to your investment. You want to measure your investment compared to other investments that are designed for similar purposes.

If you want to know how your investments are doing relative to the entire market, then you will want to look into the CRB Index. This is great because it gives you the averages of many commodities available to you. By knowing how you are doing relative to this index, you will know if you are in a good or bad investment. If you are doing better than this index, then you will know you are in a highly profitable commodity investment.

A very common index used to compare various commodities is the Rogers International or RICI, while others include the CRB, the Goldman Sachs and DJ AIG commodity index. Using these indexes allows you to measure how your investments are doing compared to the whole market. By knowing how your investments are doing compared to the whole market, you will know if you are in the right area of the commodity market. This will be able to help guide you to the right place for your money. By using this strategy, you will be able to put your money in the most profitable parts of the marketplace.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is also a great way to compare your investments to the entire market. This index is formed of many large companies that go up and down with the overall movements of the market. This is a great way to compare your investment to the market also, because if you are doing as good as this market, you are doing as good as the average investment available anywhere in the market.

When you are looking for a commodities benchmark, you want to find an index that is relevant to your investments. An index that is full of relevant investments will increase or decrease in a similar way to your investment's value. This helps you understand how your investment is moving proportionately to the industry you are involved in. By performing these comparisons, you will also understand the price movements of your investments better.

When investing in commodities, you will want your investment index to be tracking commodities. You may also want to compare your investment to the large indexes, because this will let you know how good the investment is doing relative to all of the investments available on the market.

If you want a broad view of how an investment is doing compared to commodities, then you will want to use a commodities index. This will give you guidance as to how your investment is performing compared to other investments of a very similar nature. When you use properly chosen benchmarks to judge your investment's performance, you are able to guide your capital to the most profitable investments available for your money. - 29849

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Using LEAP Options

By Ahmad Hassam

Great Britain was finding it difficult to stay within the tight exchange rate band set by the European Monetary Union (EMU) in the early'90s. One person who made history with options was George Soros who is famously known as the man who broke the Bank of England.

George Soros is a famous name in the world of investing. He had always believed in contrarian investing. Contrarian investing means doing exactly opposite of what the crowd is doing. George Soros had this intuition that the Bank of England would be forced to devalue British Pound. So he bought call options on German Marks and put options on British Pound. He made a bet of $10 Billion by leveraging all the assets in his hedge fund.

Within a few days, Bank of England was brought to its knees as it was unable to sustain the immense selling pressure on the British Pound. Bank of England was forced to devalue British Pound in view of the speculative attack on the British Pound.

George Soros made a cool $1 Billion profit on his bet in a matter of a few days. When you a strong intuition, you should go for the big kill. Can you make such a bet? Maybe not but this one example show the immense power options have if used correctly. Options are risky; there should be no doubt about it.

Most people who trade options lose money, plain and simple. Options give you the right to buy or sell an underlying security like stocks, futures, commodities or currencies at a price before a certain date. This price is known as the Strike Price. This date is known as the Expiry Date. However, in European Style options you can only buy or sell on the expiry date not before that.

Time factor is very important when valuing an option. Further out the options contract is from expiration, you will have to pay a higher premium. As the options contract approaches the expiration date and if it is out of money, it loses its value very fast.

Have your heard about the LEAP options? LEAP stands for long term equity anticipation. It basically means that the option is much like the regular option except that the timeframe to expire is greater than 1 year. LEAP options are basically long term options. Leap options can help you profit over the long haul. You can use LEAP options in options strategies like the covered calls, straddles, spreads and so on.

LEAP options can be incredibly profitable if used correctly. However, LEAP options are risky because the option writer usually demands a hefty premium for taking on the long term risk. The buyer of the LEAP options has the right to exercise the option prior to expiration should the price of the underlying stock move in the money. Long timeframe means that the possibility of the LEAP options moving in the money is always high hence a high LEAP options premium.

LEAP options can be a great trading vehicle for swing traders as they mitigate some of the time decay that is inherent in short term options. See, closer the out of money option is to expiration, faster its value drops. What this means is that the buyer of the options loses the premium that was paid for getting the right to buy or sell the underlying security. - 29849

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Autotrading Exposed

By Ahmad Hassam

Can autotrading make you rich? Well, it depends on your autotrading system. Many hedge funds and other entities that manage money through forex trading use some form of autotrading in their daily activities. Autotrading is common in the currency trading.

Previously these autotrading programs also known as Expert Advisors or Forex Robots were expensive costing like thousands of dollars and only wealthy individuals or big institutions like hedge funds could afford them.

Many private individual traders have also begun to adopt autotrading to execute their thoroughly backtested and highly optimized forex trading strategies. The recent advancement in computer programming has made it possible for professional forex traders to team up with a software expert to develop their own autotrading systems.

The price of these Expert Advisors has also come down to around a few hundreds that can be easily purchased by ordinary investors like you and me. Metatrader platform makes it real easy to program such type of Expert Advisors.

So what is autotrading? You must have heard or read a lot about the benefits or advantages of autotrading. Recent advancements in computer programming has led to the development of trading platforms that allow an API ( Application Programming Interface) which connects the trader's system to the dealer's trade execution structure through the trading platform.

The trading system needs to be ruled based and mechanical in nature with clear cut entry and exit rules. Once all of the trading rules and criteria are determined by the trader, programming an API can be relatively straight forward for anyone with programming experience. APIs requires programming skills on the part of either the trader or a programmer hired by the trader. After the specific trading rules and criteria are determined, the trading strategy is backtested with positive results.

When this occurs not only trades entered when predetermined technical criteria is met but trade exits in the form of stop loss and take profit rules can also be programmed into the API. Autotrading is almost as simple as flipping a switch to begin the trading process.

However, before an autotrading system is put on live trading, it is thoroughly backtested and forward tested to make sure the likely success of the autotrading system. This creates an entirely self contained autotrading system. So autotrading can actually execute real trades on current real time market prices. When a predetermined signal emerges, the software actually places a trade automatically.

In fact, if the trader has optimized and perfected this type of black and white trading strategy that runs devoid of human judgment, autotrading is perhaps the best way to achieve it. Any nondiscretionary technical trading strategy that has clear cut, unambiguous rules is a good candidate for autotrading. Autotrading effectively eliminates all human biases, errors and emotions in the trading process.

There are a number of successful autotrading systems now available in the market for the ordinary retail investors. The best two are FAPT and Ivy Bot. - 29849

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ETF Piggyback Strategy

By Ahmad Hassam

You have to do a lot of research while selecting yours stocks. Here is a very simple strategy that you can use to choose the hottest stocks best for swing trading. When a large financial firm builds an ETF, the first step is always to choose an index of stocks that is expected to outperform the market. The premise of the piggyback strategy is to use the large dollar research of the major financial firms to come up with new and fresh swing trading ideas.

The ETF is then based on this index of stocks. The price of the ETF then changes as the basket of stocks within the index moves. Large financial firms spend millions to choose the index on which they will base their ETF. Why not piggyback on that research and save yourself a few millions? Cool, huh!

How do you implement this ETF piggyback strategy? Your first step should be to analyze ETFs. You need to make a list of ETFs that have outperformed in the last 3 to 6 months. This will give you an idea where the big money is flowing and which ETFs have buying momentum behind them.

Mutual funds are supposed to be a safe investment. You can also piggyback mutual funds while picking stocks for your swing trading ideas. Now ETF piggyback strategy is still the best keeping in view the fact that only 20% of the mutual funds beat the passive benchmark over the long term. You can ride on the coat tails of fund managers who fall into this 20% category. However, ETFs are better than mutual funds as investment vehicles and in recent years have become highly popular with the investing public so stick with ETFs. After making your list of top 20, narrow it down to the five top performers and choose a few areas worth trading. Choose the best performing ETF in your opinion to begin with. Now you need to analyze the top ten holdings of that ETF.

How do you research an ETF? You can do it yourself or you can subscribe to the newsletter of Big A, a former fund manager who recommends the hottest ETFs. If you want to do it yourself, just go to the website of the ETF. You can also use ETF is a great resource for information on ETFs and closed end funds. With thousands of potential stocks to choose from, the piggyback trading strategy allows you as a swing trader to choose stocks that have a buying momentum behind them. What makes this trading strategy great is that it often generates fresh ideas for swing traders.

Now another advantage of this piggyback strategy is that it can identify stocks that may not be household names to the average trader. ETFs can be utilized to find stocks for swing trading ideas that are based outside the US.

The way to do that is to use the ETF piggyback strategy with either single country ETFs or regional ETFs. The single country ETFs invests 100% of their assets in one country. A good example can be the iShares MSCI Mexico ETF (EWW), an ETF that invests only in companies headquartered in Mexico.

You can choose industry specific as well as market specific ETFs as well. Country specific ETFs and region specific ETFs have been just used as an example to illustrate how to hedge your risk. Hedging your risk is what a good investment strategy is all about. Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket, you should try to diversify your investment. A regional ETF covers several countries concentrated in a region. The iShares S&P Latin America 40 ETF (ILF) invests in Brazil, Mexico and Chile. So if you want to find international stocks for your swing trading strategy than you should begin by picking the region or the specific country.

You must be thinking why you need to think outside of US Stocks. The traders who refuse to consider international stocks only hurt themselves because with the US in the mature business cycle, the real growth and volatility that you need as a swing trader can only come from international stocks. - 29849

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