Saturday, May 02, 2020

The Short Guide to Billions

We all love a good show. There is nothing better than to relax and have a marathon of your favourite TV series, but guess what’s even better? When a show can teach you things you can use in your life as a trader. That’s when the show ‘Billions’ comes in handy.

CBS’s Showtime TV series ‘Billions’ is back, and it is a wild ride. A must-see for any trader, this show might become your guideline to the Forex slang and main events that might happen any day in the daily life of a Forex broker (some extreme situations excluded, it’s a work of fiction, after all).

‘Billions’ is a story of Bobby Axelrod, a hedge fund king, and his daily fight for success (including legal battles). Is it the most accurate representation of all Forex traders? Probably not. But does this show teach us important things we can use in our trading? Oh, yes, definitely.

If you are watching this show for the first time or you are relatively new to the world of Forex, some terms might be extremely confusing and hard to understand, so let’s take a quick review of the most basic terms you will hear throughout this show.

Billions from A to Z

Alpha: the excess return that a hedge fund gets. You use it to see how well a fund manager performs.

Blue-chip: the most stable companies with an impeccable reputation, known for their stability.

Cut bait: selling all the losing positions and making room for new, potentially much more successful investments in your portfolio.

Dead cat bounce: brief stable point in the price of a declining stock, followed by a downtrend.

Expense account: corporate account used to pay the company’s employees who used their own funds while conducting business.

Family office: a private company that manages the funds of a person, their family and, possibly, of their company’s employees.

Hedge funds: a pool of funds gathered from a high net worth investors used to create a portfolio managed by a tried-party company.

IPO: an initial public offering. When a company goes public for the first time, its shares are available to the public to raise capital.

Lock-up period: a timeframe within which investors cannot sell their shares. This period may last 3 months or longer.

Mosaic theory: an investment method that suggests gathering and analysis of information from different sources to create a strategy for investment.

Non-solicitation agreement: a contract and employee of a hedge fund signs that prevents them from soliciting clients or investors in case of contract’s termination.

Prime broker: an investment bank that offers services to the hedge fund.

Quant funds: an investment fund where statistics is preferred over human analysis.

Rally: an increase in the price of a security over a specific time period.

Spinoff: the new company created after a split of a previous one.

Takeover: buying a majority stake of a company to get full control of it.

Window dressing: selling losing stocks and purchasing strong stocks before the quarterly financial statements. Often used as a deceiving strategy.

‘Billions’ gives us a glimpse of what a life of biggest investors and fund managers is, but it also gives us a chance to learn new things in a fun and entertaining way, so, basically, it’s a win-win situation. Don’t miss the 5th season premiere on May 3, 2020.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

How The Gift Of Giving Can Bring You Closer To Success

The gift of giving is perhaps one of the most important things you can do to get you closer to achieving success. It's definitely important to focus your efforts on getting to your goal, but the one problem with goal setting is that you tend to have a "Me" focused attitude. You should focus on the gift of giving, and find a way where you can add value to someone else. Zig Ziglar said it best: "You can have everything you want in life if you will just help enough other people get what they want."

If you want more courage, use the gift of giving and find a way to encourage someone else. If you want confidence, instill confidence in someone who needs it more. My mentor told me a story about how one of his employees developed self-confidence by simply instilling confidence in someone else. In this article, let's call him Amin. When my mentor conducted a performance review, he discovered that Amin lacked the self-confidence to perform his role to the highest standards. He knew that Amin had a great deal of potential, so he decided to help him build his self-esteem and self-confidence.

My mentor knew that pep talks and positive reinforcement were not enough for Amin to boost his self-confidence. He knew that Amin would need to help someone else gain confidence in himself before he could develop his own confidence. So he encouraged Amin to spend some time with someone who lacked self-confidence. Amin knew a friend who lacked confidence. Amin talked to him and found out that he enjoyed rugby, but did not excel in it, so he didn't feel confident in himself. Amin excelled at rugby, so he decided to coach his friend as his gift of giving. After spending time coaching him, Amin noticed that his self-confidence grow dramatically. When Amin saw how his friend grew in confidence right before his eyes, his own self-confidence started to grow because he knew the value he was contributing to his friend's life. Once his self-esteem and self-confidence expanded, my mentor mentioned that his performance increased dramatically.

While it's important to stay focused on your goals and doing everything you can in your power to achieve them, take a step back once in a while and think about what area in your life you would like to develop. Then find someone who needs it more, and helps that person develop in that area. Through that gift of giving, you will see yourself making improvements in that area without even thinking about. Just remember what Zig Ziglar said about helping enough people get what they want first, and then you can have anything you want.