13,810 pips earned in 2014! Follow The Last Bear today!

The Last Bear Trading Recommendations!

Open a demo account and check out The Last Bear

PaxForex should be your first stop to the forex market.

Follow The Pips

Earn with The Last Bear!

Forex Trading Course

Get your hands on this Forex Trading Course, an introduction for beginner's into the forex market.

1,335 pips earned in December

Get your hot trades exclusively at The Last Bear!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Syria reaches Agreement with UN

The civil war in Syria has been going on for over two years now and unfortunately the rebels and terrorists in Syria have not been silenced yet primarily due to the assistance from NATO members which to this day still puzzles me. I am walking down the wide corridor to our main conference room for a meeting with other chief executives and senior associated in order to discuss corporate matters and how we like to proceed with six of our current projects.

I am pleased that a sense of normalcy has returned after we relocated to Monte Carlo from Singapore, a move caused by the assassination attempts on three of our most senior C-level executives including my own. We were able to neutralize the thread, but our security is still working out on where the attack was ordered and sponsored. All we know it was a very sophisticated attack and a six –member assassin team worked on it.

One thing I never understood is how some NATO members fight terrorists in Afghanistan and support them in Syria. The U.S. is known to flip flop and try to stir things up, build and support a regime until it turns against them or is no longer useful which explains the growing rift between our corporation and the U.S. government which is a very sad development. We are disappointed over the UK’s pending involvement and pleased that Russia stands behind Syria to at least level the playing field.

President Bashar Assad’s government may not be liked by plenty NATO members, which does not give them the right to interfere. Syria did invite a UN team to Damascus for talks about how to move forward on an investigation which involves a chemical attack and massacre carried out by the terrorist on Khan al-Assal, a village outside Aleppo.

The UN team included chemical weapons expert Ake Sellstrom and UN Disarmament Chief Angel Kane who met Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and his deputy in Damascus. Government forces are losing ground in the north including the strategically important city of Aleppo which the rebels took control over on Monday and was under government control since March. The al-Qaeda backed terrorists engaged into heavy combat for several weeks with government forces and scored a victory.

Back in March the rebels launched an offensive on al-Assal which left 31 people dead, a mix of innocent villagers and military personnel. The rebels are accused of using chemical weapons and committed war crimes and they continue to receive support from NATO members for this. This makes no sense and it is no time to play politics and interfere in Syria which is s sovereign nation. President Assad should be allowed to put this civil war behind all Syrians which left over 100,000 dead according to estimates since official figures are not available.

Monday’s fall of Aleppo left roughly 150 troops dead, one third of them executed after they surrendered to rebels which further shows what type of worthless scam the rebels and terrorists are and what type of garbage enjoys the support of several NATO members. I am negatively surprised by the atrocities which are being committed by al-Qaeda backed rebels and how they receive the support they do. I am sure to voice my concern during our meeting as I pass the security checkpoints leading into the conference room.    

Thursday, July 25, 2013

China scares Japan

As I am driving to my office my personal assistant calls me and informs me of something she thought would make me smile. This has less to do with business and more with the global power shift from West to East. It involves a Chinese Y-8 airborne early warning system flew in international airspace by Japan’s southern islands and out over the Pacific Ocean. This was the first time a Chinese military aircraft conducted this flight. The Chinese Y-8 took the exact same path back into Chinese airspace and did not violate the Japanese airspace.

Japan scrambled fighter jets in response to the Chinese flyby and Japan’s Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera stated that this is a sign of desire for further maritime expansion by China. Relations between Japan and China have been are not good and tension between both countries have surged over a dispute of the Diaoyu islets.

The Diaoyu islets are inhabited, but offer very fertile fishing grounds as well as potential oil and gas deposits around the islets. Japan decided to increase tensions as Tokyo mayor initiated a plan to purchase and develop three of the islets which it purchased from a private Japanese owner. China claims that the islets are in its territorial waters and since tensions escalated patrol boats as well as military aircraft from Japan and China have circled the islets.

The biggest threat comes from accidental collisions which would be used to further escalate the situation. This conflict reminds of the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Once again a financially weak economy is pegged against a financial powerhouse and emerging super power. Japan does not stand a chance to win a battle on any front, but their imperialistic patriotism blinds them which means the Japanese economy will bleed assets on a conflict it can’t afford which is exactly what China speculates on.

I thank my personal assistant for this update and yes I do side with China here. They aim to operate the biggest capitalistic inspired economy together with Russia. Personally I neither care nor wish to get involved with how both countries manage their citizens, I care about how they manage the economy and they both excel and continue to improve.

Unlike their moronic counterparts in the U.S. and EU, both countries understand that sustainable economic growth is vital, a budget surplus necessary and a socialistic approach to the economy devastating. The U.S. made it a mandate to devastate its finances hoping their image from the past will suffice in order to service the debt and get preferential treatment from its creditors. This is a stupid mistake which will rip the country into pieces and crush the entire American empire.

China continues to grow economically, financially and militarily and naturally they seek to expand their influence and display their military strength at the same time. Japan can scramble all the jets it wants, the U.S. scrambled its jets whenever Russian super-sonic bombers approached their airspace which is nothing more than a dog barking and as we know a dog who barks does not bite.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

4XP Review

Today we will take a look at a forex broker who won the 2013 World Finance award for Best Educational Services; 4XP. One thing we have noticed from the start is that this forex broker has expanded its offering drastically and became much more than just a forex broker. They offer quite a nice arsenal of currency pairs which is great as it offers diversity and not too many forex brokers have a list of 51 currency pairs, including some nice exotic pairs.

Their offering does not stop there; they offer 17 commodities, 21 indices including the VIX, 94 shares, 7 bonds and 3 treasuries to traders. This is one of the most comprehensive offerings for a primarily forex broker and impressed us here. 4XP deserves praise for their diversity. Leverage on shares is severely reduced and does not exceed 1:10 while currency pairs can be traded with up to 1:300 leverage.

Unfortunately they offer the MetaTrader 4 platform which is great, but given the recent issues with MetaTrader and given the huge offering it would have been nice to see an alternative trading platform. The biggest issue with have with this forex broker is their design; a forex broker who offers such a diverse repertoire of tradable assets should invest the extra money and ensure their website is top of the line as well.

They do offer their much talked about forex educational tools labeled 4XP College. There are quite a few tools, but we did not test them and will take the word of World Finance for it. One interesting thing we came across is their 30 day protected account where new traders can trade a live account, bit for 30 days they will not record a loss which is a nice feature and helpful for new traders to test the waters.

They are headquartered in the British Virgin Islands and regulated by FMRCC and we let you be the judge if that is sufficient for you or not. They are registered as an official business and meet as well as comply with all the requirements, nothing more we can ask for here. Their management team remains unknown which is not unusual for forex brokers.

4XP offers two types of accounts; classic and ECN. While they do claim to be an ECN broker they do not offer any information on which bridge they use and have hidden this feature rather well which is unusual for a forex broker to hide their best feature. This raised a red flag and we are skeptical about this forex broker because of that. A broker who misguides new traders is a forex broker you should stay away from.

Conclusion

4XP offers a very diverse set of tradable assets which impressed us and we thought we found another great forex broker. Their design is average and does not fit with the rest of their offering. Another positive for this forex broker was their 30 day protected account which allows new trader to operate a live account without recording losses. They are shad about being an ECN broker which disappointed us severely and is the reason why we will give this forex broker two claws down; the Last Bear has roared.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Israel takes measures to protects Eilat

I like doing business in Israel and with Israeli companies as they have moved to be proud owner of most tech start-ups in the world. Yes, you read that right; Israelis are home to a very young and intelligent talent pool and they start some fantastic global business and create countless great technologies, both in the military as well as civilian space.

Israel has one little eleven kilometer stretch of beach on the Red Sea which is nestled between Egypt to the west and Jordan to the east. The Egyptian town of Taba and the Jordanian port city of Aqaba are its closest foreign towns. As much as I love Israel for their innovation and free society as well as deep talent pool, I am concerned about certain security features as it always crosses my mind.

Eilat is of particular concern as the threat of jihadist attacks is growing thanks to the moronic interference of NATO members in the Libya which lead to the killing of the leadership and the plundering of arms depots where over 7,500 MANPADs went missing. Most of those ended up in the hands of al-Qaeda and other extremists who will use them to inflict as much damage as possible.

Eilat, besides offering Israel a strategically important naval base and Asian transportation as well as trading hub, accounts for roughly 25% of all foreign currency inflow into Israel. The increase in attacks, especially on commercial flights into Eilat did not go unnoticed and Israel has started to outfit Eilat bound flights with Israel’s own C-Music system which blinds missiles fired towards aircraft.

In addition to C-Music, Israel has also deployed its Iron Dome over the city and used plenty of new high-tech systems as well as manpower on the ground in order to detect potential attacks before they are carried out. That is what a sophisticated country does, you do not wait for an attack to happen; you prevent it from happening. You deal with real-world threats and do not create incidents in order to justify action.

The good news is that Egypt cooperates very well with Israel in order to choke the jihadist and make sure they are dealt with properly. Operation Hourglass was launched and it is an Israeli-Egyptian joint operation in the Sinai desert in order to locate and eliminate jihadists. The cooperation between both countries is a very welcome development.

The massive increase in military presence is well shielded from the public in order not to drive away the tourists, both foreign and domestic, it strives to protect. Eilat averages coral blue waters and 360 sunny days a year. It has been developed and its nightlife is a very attractive location. It is also a strategically very important location for Israel.

I am glad that Israel does not only have the financial and military strength, but also the intellect to manage their country as well as it does. We have our own proposal which I have designed for Israel in order to take them to the next level on a financial base which would provide the necessary financial firepower which is needed to keep the high-tech military upgraded, updated and operational.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Panama seizes North Korean Ship

I am in between meetings right now, but thought I take the time to touch on a topic which started to unfold on Monday in Panama. Authorities in Panama seized the North Korean ship Chong Chon Gang was on its way back to North Korea from Cuba and had to cross the Panama Canal. The cargo was supposed to be 10,000 tons of sugar, but Panamanian authorities inspected the vessel on suspicions it carried illegal drugs.

Panamanian authorities were wrong as the Chong Chon Gang did not carry illegal drugs and indeed carried 10,000 tons of sugar. Between the sugar the North Korean ship also carried the following:

  • Anti-aircraft missile systems
  • Missile parts
  • 2 MiG-21 Fighter Jets
  • Fire-control radar
The list is not complete as Panamanian authorities need to check the rest of the cargo and deployed 350 workers in order to help unload the ship while it also invited UN inspectors to open the cargo. The Cuban Foreign Ministry claimed that the weapons were defensive weapons and shipped off for repair before being returned back to Cuba.

UN Security Council Resolution 1718, unanimously approved by all members, bans the direct sale of combat aircraft as well as missile systems to North Korea as well as any indirect assistance in order for North Korea to obtain those weapons. The captain of the Chong Chon Gang apparently attempted to commit suicide while the remaining detained 35 crew members remain hostile to authorities in Panama.

The U.S., short on power on all fronts, praises Panama for its behavior and feels it scored an indirect victory. Panama should thread carefully as the time is coming to make a decision on which country to be supportive off, its direct neighbors or a far away distant ally. While everyone congratulates each other on this development, the question out there remains about how many such shipments successfully arrived in North Korea and what the cargo there was.

I am a bit concerned about developments in the region which for now seem to be moderately contained. This will sour relations between two countries which do not deal with each other, but North Korea’s big ally may indirectly support its much smaller neighbor. North Korea poses a threat no doubt and it seems to be only a matter of time until the keg explodes and we are dealing with a serious global security issue.


I am headed to my second meeting as this matter is not of great importance, at least not for now. I am sure I will get an updated list with all of the cargo carried by the North Korean ship Chong Chon Gang and we will briefly discuss this development at our end-of-day meeting. I doubt too many people are even aware of what happened in Panama on Monday and it is probably better to keep the ignorant in the dark.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

PaxForex Trading Recommendations July 2013

PaxForex Trading Recommendation are published every day over at PaxForex and I want to bring them right to you as well. Follow them if you want to get on board and earn over 1,500 pips every month. Feel free to give your feedback and share your success stories here.

Monday, July 1st

AUDNZD Falling Wedge

Tuesday, July 2nd

GBPUSD halts at Support

Wednesday, July 3rd

AUDCAD Falling Wedge

Thursday, July 4th

EURUSD Pre-NFP

Monday, July 8th

USDCAD at Resistance

Tuesday, July 9th

GBPUSD Second Call

Thursday, July 11th

AUDCAD at Strong Support

Friday, July 12th

AUDNZD Second Call

Monday, July 15th

GBPCHF at Support

Tuesday, July 16th

EURJPY Breakdown

Wednesday, July 17th

USDCAD at Bearish Crossroads

Thursday, July 18th

CHFJPY Pauses at Resistance

Monday, July 22th

USDCHF Breathes at Support

Tuesday, July 23rd

EURUSD Head-and-Shoulders

Thursday, July 25th

AUDNZD Final Call

Friday, July 26th

USDCAD Rests at Support

Monday, July 29th

NZDUSD at Quadruple Resistance

Tuesday, July 30th

GBPCHF Double Bottom

Wednesday, July 31st

USDJPY at Support

Total Profits in July: 1,325 pips

PaxForex Trading Recommendations June 2013

Starting on March 1st 2013 we will publish a link to every single PaxForex Trading Recommendation here for all our readers to follow. Don’t forget to head over to PaxForex and open your live account today in order to join us on our 250 Pip-per-Week Journey through the forex market.

Monday, June 3rd

USDJPY Support Zone

Tuesday, June 4th

USDCHF Support Zone

Thursday, June 6th

AUDJPY Falling Wedge

Monday, June 10th

AUDCHF Last Call

Tuesday, June 11th

EURAUD Final Put

Wednesday, June 12th

USDCHF at Support

Thursday, June 13th

USDJPY Approaches Support

Monday, June 17th

EURUSD Bound for Correction

Tuesday, June 18th

GBPUSD Rising Wedge

Wednesday, June 19th

AUDJPY Last Call

Thursday, June 20th

NZDUSD Last Call

Monday, June 24th

USDCAD set for Correction

Tuesday, June 25th

AUDUSD Last Call

Wednesday, June 26th

CADJPY at Support Zone

Thursday, June 27th

USDCHF runs into Resistance

Total Profits in June: 1,740 pips (New Record)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Commex FX Review

Today we will take a look at another forex broker operating out of Cyprus; Commex FX. They are a legit forex broker operating out of the business friendly Cypriot island nation and accept traders from all over the world except U.S. citizens. This is due to the fact that the U.S. government ensured that U.S. citizens are not allowed to trade with good brokers and punish their population in every way they can. It is sad to preach freedom, but practice near dictatorship.

Anyway, Commex FX is open for business for all other traders which is exactly what they should do. Their website was not bad from a design perspective, at least not above the fold. As you scroll down they either ran out of money in their development budget or the designer got bored and decided to just not care. So overall we would encourage Commex FX to invest a bit more and create equal quality below the fold as they have above the fold.

Commex FX offers traders the industry standard MT4 platform as well as cTrader for more advanced as well as professional traders. You can get your MT4 account started with as little as $200 and a maximum leverage of 1:400 which should be just fine to please most traders. They do not have an adjusted minimum funding for their cTrader platform, but they offer four different account types:
  • Classic Account – Minimum deposit $200, max leverage 1:400 and min contract size 0.10 lots which is terrible for serious traders and equally bad for new traders
  • Standard Account – Minimum deposit $2,000, max leverage 1:200 and min contract size of 0.01 lots which is what you want from your forex broker
  • Premier Account – Minimum deposit $25,000, max leverage of 1:200 and min contract size of 1.0 lots which just makes no sense to take freedom away from your better funded clients
  • Institutional Account – Minimum deposit $100,000, max leverage of 1:100 and min contract size of 1.0 lots

It makes no sense to force an account with $25K and $100K to an equal lot size which shows that management is not experienced enough to understand professional trading. We are not sure how many institutional clients or even Premier Accounts Commex FX currently has, but common sense allowed us to take an educated guess of 0.

No serious forex trader would want to trade here. They do claim to be an ECN/STP forex broker which is a positive, but unless they do not better manage their offering it will not lead to fruition. Their spreads reportedly start at 0.1 pips, but we are not sure how liquid this forex broker is and how many trades and lost sizes you can actually clear at this spread.

Conclusion

We had high hopes about Commex FX and initially thought we would rank this forex broker much higher, but their non-sense account classifications made us change our mind and we have to settle with two claws down despite them being an ECN/STP broker. They have potential, but we would like severe improvement on many fronts mentioned above; the Last Bear has roared!

UPDATE

Commex FX has made an adjustment to their Classic Account and the minimum lot size is now 0.01 lots rather than 0.10 lots. We have to improve our initial finding of two claws down to one claw up and one claw down with a positive outlook. We always love a broker who does not stand still and betters itself for the benefit of its traders.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

U.S. spies on EU

The U.S. spying on the EU has been leaked almost two weeks ago, but it still concerns me due to several reasons. I have scheduled a conference for later on today with all senior executives in order to discuss how we will deal with the U.S. bugging offices and computer systems of EU officials. They have used NATO headquarters in Brussels to spy on EU diplomats from all member countries which is not acceptable.

I am very dissatisfied with the EU response and take personal offense that the EU acts like a U.S. colony. I am offended because we are operating out of Europe and while we are not in an EU country, as the Principality of Monaco remains independent with unfortunate close ties to socialist France, it is rather unfortunate that the EU does not take the same or even more aggressive measures than if the situation would have been reversed.

The EU is the world’s biggest economy and it is understandable that the U.S. does not like to be nestled in the number two spot which China is soon to snap up and throw the U.S. down to world’s number three. That does not give the rapidly falling U.S. Empire the right to spy on its closest allies and makes you wonder how they approach other countries.

I am not too surprised that Neo-Nazi Germany still eats the feces dropped by the U.S. after they found out they have been classified as a category three country which basically means the U.S. does not trust it when it comes down to it. The UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand have been classified as category two countries while the U.S. ranked itself category one which is normal and the only time the U.S. comes out on top is when they create their own rankings and model everything based on their failure.

Out of all countries, it was Germany’s ‘Der Spiegel’ who reported that former NSA contractor and current fugitive Edward Snowden offered a top secret report on how the NSA was bugging offices of EU diplomats and taped internal computer networks in order to spy on the EU and that the same document specifically labeled the EU a ‘target’.

I can only agree with the Foreign Minister of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn, who called this development ‘disgusting’. This will have severe negative implication on EU-U.S. relation s and the pending trade talks which were originally designed to create the biggest trade agreement in world history are sure to be derailed after the NSA document was leaked.

I think this perversion should end right now and all diplomatic channels need to be suspended until an entire sweep of the internal as well as external system has been conducted and until an investigation has been complete. One way or the other, the U.S. will pay the price for this breach of trust between strong allies. This plays well into the hands of Russia who call for much closer collaboration between the EU and Russia given that they are neighbors and economic partners much closer than the U.S.

I am personally disgusted with the development and we will discuss later on today how we can assist in any transition away from the U.S. and how to develop a much stricter tone when dealing with U.S. companies. I currently favor non U.S. partners as they do not have to play by idiotic rules created by a group of pathetic as well as nostalgic morons.

Friday, July 12, 2013

U.S. back to 1933 with Glass-Steagall

It was a very busy morning and we had some minor issues to handle. In general I do enjoy a busy morning and may be one of those who actually look forward to you an exciting, eventful and loaded work day rather than to just sit in the office waiting for the day to end. Yes, I love my job and that is why I enjoy busy mornings.

By now smart money has given up on positive developments out of the U.S., especially when it comes to the financial system. They have ruined their system to the point it is worth less than that of a third-world country and all non-U.S. brokers are forced to treat U.S. traders are less than those traders from the bottom of the totem pole.

Among the most idiotic regulatory changes the U.S. has raped the free market with are
All of those acts and reforms have made the U.S. financial system less competitive and despite the fact that Glass-Steagall was put together by the socialistic pesticides it was one of their own, former President Bill Clinton, who declared in 1998 that the Glass-Steagall Act was no longer valid. Dumb money cites the abolishment of Glass-Steagall as the source of the financial crisis; a claim as pathetic as their moronic attempts to navigate through financial markets.

Now it is another one among their own ranks, socialist scum Senator Elizabeth Warren, who wants to bring back the Glass-Steagall Act. In other words she wants to re-create the financial system the U.S. had back in 1933. The rest of the world innovates and evolves while the U.S, made it a mission to kill innovation and devolve while still screaming ‘We are number one!’. Being a New Yawker, this really strikes hard and it strikes home.

The socialists ruined the financial system and continue to cause to bleed to death in the streets while it forces tax payers to pay for their pathetic stupidity and now they want to put the U.S. back 80 years. It appears the Senator McCain has given up on the country and actually supports it. Of course he would, he was alive when the 1933 bill was introduced.

What is the Glass-Steagall Banking Act of 1933 (do not confuse it with the Glass-Steagall Act of 19332)?

Most people refer to four specific sections of the Glass-Steagall Act
  • Section 16 – Prohibited banks in dealing in securities for their own accounts unless the Comptroller of the Currency classified them as national bank investments or they dealt in federal, state or municipal securities classified as ‘bank-eligible
  • Section 20 – Prohibited banks from any affiliation with investment firms
  • Section 21 – Prohibited banks from taking deposits for investment purposes
  • Section 32 – Prohibited banks from having directors or officer who were also employed by investment firms
The Glass-Steagall perversion only covered banks who were a  member of the Federal Reserve System and as always with those socialistic pricks they create a two tier system and force smart money to innovate or leave the system altogether which explains why London became the financial capital of the world in early 2000 and replaced New York.

I am scratching my head and laughing at the same time as this socialistic joke by a lousy excuse of a Senator. It will tear apart the economy even further and clearly shows that the socialist bastards did not understand the problems which caused the collapse of the financial system and that they are charging after the wrong sectors.

Sections 16 and 21 are still intact, but the Gramm-Leach-BlileyAct or the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 repealed Sections 20 and 32. Now the socialistic pricks want to turn back the hands of time and ensure that every other country will frown when they hear about the U.S. financial system and doing business together with them.

It will also continue to force talent out of the country and overall decreases the available talent pool for vital positions which means that moronic feces like Bernanke will run the Federal Reserve. It is a downward death spiral which will lead to the total collapse of the U.S.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Forex.Com Review

Today we will take a look at a very mature and well established forex broker; Forex.Com. They have been around for a very long time and are a very stable and reliable forex broker. Being owned by Gain Capital does not hurt either. Before we dig a bit deeper into Forex.Com, let us mention the obvious negative here; they are a U.S. based broker which means they have to operate under the idiocy of the U.S. regulatory system.

This handicaps Forex.Com, but the good news is that being owned by Gain Capital this forex broker has a few intelligent people behind it and they set up operations in the UK as well. This does not really help their U.S. clients but for everyone else it is a positive factor. The best would be if Gain Capital follows smart money and closes down its U.S. operations while moving their headquarters into the financial capital of the world; London.

Their website is designed as we would expect a mature broker to present themselves which is in a very professional manner. All their accounts bolster a minimum deposit of $250, but we always recommend operating an account with no less than $1,000. They offer a range of great trading platforms which are:
  • MetaTrader 4 – They have improved this platform and made it much better than the out-of-the-box solution offered by many other forex brokers
  • ForexTrader Pro – This is a much higher quality trading platform for serious forex traders and fully customizable; a much better alternative to the MetaTrader 4 platform
  • GTX – This is Forex.Com’s ECN platform for all the ECN trader’s out there and is an acceptable solution, but inferior to cTrader
  • Trade – This is their brand new trading platform and may be their crown jewel from what we can tell; it is an excellent trading platform and professional as well as retail traders will find it quite user-friendly and easy to integrate

Forex.Com offers over 300 currency pairs, equities, commodities, bonds and interest rates and makes it a good addition to a serious and professional trader’s overall trading repertoire. Overall this forex broker offer tight spreads, great customer support and a fantastic parent company. An almost must-have for all serious traders and we recommend having one open account with Forex.Com which made it to the top of our Mature Forex Brokers list.

Conclusion

As mentioned above, the only negative we have to report is that they are regulated in the U.S. which is about as bad as it gets. The fact that they were smart enough to set-up shop in the UK makes up for their handicap. A fantastic range of trading platforms with very competitive pricing and over 300 assets to trade there is very little reason not to have at least one account open with Forex.Com. We give this forex broker two claws up; the Last Bear has roared!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Second-Quarter 2013 Earnings Season

Things happen rather fast and like clockwork in financial markets. We just closed the books on the second-quarter as well as first-half of the year and as the summer doldrums hit investors as well as traders which usually translated into slow summer months as smart money takes a few weeks off in order to enjoy the fruits of their hard work. I am looking forward to it and predict a great summer ahead for myself.

Not all will be that boring and while I join the rank and file among the who-is-who in the financial world I will keep up-to-date with what is happening; we all do and take work with us to our getaway destinations. Today will mark the unofficial start of second-quarter earing seasons in the U.S. with the release of earnings by Alcoa. The next few weeks will be dominated by earnings releases across the world and markets usually tend to overreact to positive as well as negative results which create great volatility and a trader’s paradise.

Alcoa will disappoint investors after the bell today and their third-quarter guidance will be extremely weak which will allow global equity markets to contract during the Asian session for a nice and healthy spillover into Europe and finally cause a weak close in the U.S. tomorrow. Asian markets already closed lower today and Europe finished off their session highs while the U.S. is giving up early gains as well.

Alcoa’s disappointment should set the stage of an extremely weak earnings season as companies are almost out of room to squeeze more productivity out of workers and cost cutting only works for so long before real economic growth is required in order to see an expansion in earnings.

As always companies have prepared for this and guided extremely low hoping that they can beat their guidance in order to avoid even steeper sell-offs in their share price. A lot of managers are compensated based on performance of the stock price which means every attempt to artificially boost it will be taken in order to qualify for hefty performance bonuses.

The absence of economic growth makes it virtually impossible for companies to report much better than lowered expectations as demand was simply not there. Of course there will be a few exceptions, but investors should prepare their portfolios for what should be a rather ugly earning season with huge disappointments in their outlooks for the third-quarter as well as the rest of 2013.

Besides earnings season we will also have plenty of AGM’s taking place around the world and they are always interesting, but only if you attend them otherwise you get rather boring press releases. I look forward to a few AGM’s taking place especially in our portfolio companies and will attend them in order to gather support for potential management shake-ups.

The close in New York is only two hours away and I am slightly excited for Alcoa to report their disappointment in earnings as well as outlook which should give futures a reason to contract. Our performance so far, although in the Top 5% globally, has rather disappointed me and we have six months to churn up the profits our investors deserve.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Morsi Ouster Positive for Egypt

By now we are all used to developments in predominantly Muslim countries. The Arab Spring has initiated a series of uprisings, but not for the better. I am sitting in my office stifling through report after report and how the problems in the Muslim world impact our business there. It is hard to commit investments to countries where the leadership changes frequently and by unnatural means.

There are plenty of countries who do require ample investment and we are not objected to it by any means, but the political risks pose a challenge. Egypt is a prime example; the Arab Spring caused a change in leadership and the election of Islamist Morsi who is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Politics and religion should never be mixed and Morsi was a clear failure and evident sign how the Arab Spring in 2011 did ring in an era of negative change.

The Egyptian military watched for over one year how Morsi mishandled the country they vowed to protect and this time Egypt needed protection from the President they elected. Last Wednesday Morsi was ousted by the military after given a 48 hour ultimatum to handle the violent protests and mismanagement of Egypt. Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood where nothing but talk and gave other Islamist groups such as Hamas, which is a globally recognized terrorist organization, a platform for cooperation.

Egypt suffered under the Morsi rule and the military could not stand to watch anymore or wait for next election. After the ouster of Morsi the Egyptian military made clear it had no intentions to rule the country and nominated Adli Mansour as interim President and since July 5th more than 1,000 were injured while 36 deaths have been reported as Islamists crashed with security forces as well as Morsi opponents.

The fast the Morsi and his Islamist Brotherhood is affiliated with Hamas makes the Islamist Brotherhood a terrible choice to govern Egypt. Having said that it will be a crucial mistake to hold elections without allowing the extremists and their political wing to be present in order to illustrate a democratic process in which Egyptians have the chance to defeat the Islamists in elections. A full exclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood in the electoral process would drive the extremist underground and breed a new generation of terrorists.

Elections should commence as soon as possible and the Muslim Brotherhood should be allowed to have their candidate on the ballot. The hope is that Egyptian voters will defeat the extremists by political means and as history shows that if extremists are elected the military is there to protect the country and oust them if necessary.

In a very positive step for Egypt, interim President Mansour held talks with Dr. ElBaradei who is a pro-reformer and used to be head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency. He is the best choice for Egypt out of all available candidates and he will at least try to reform the country and create positive change. As talks are ongoing Mansour’s administration has started to replace Morsi picked individual at key political posts which delivered another blow to the extremists. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hantec Markets Review

Today we will take a look at Hantec Markets, a forex broker out of the UK. As you can expect, Hantec Markets is regulated by the FCA or Financial Conduct Authority and given the absence of any negative events out of UK brokerages makes this one a very secure destination from the start which is not the case for U.S. brokers who are regulated.

Their website features a nice and professional design and is very easy to navigate. Visitors should have no problem to find the information they are looking for which takes away the hassle to spend time locating information. Their ‘About’ page offers plenty of information and gives visitors a good snapshot into Hantec Markets while the ‘Chairman Message’ is a much appreciated feature and Hantec Markets is also transparent about their management team. Overall we could have not asked for a better first impression.

They offer a great list of currency pairs with very competitive spreads which is excellent for more mature traders who do not only want to trade the major currency pairs, but also take advantage of currency crosses like TRYJPY and USDCZK. They also offer a few CFD’s, but to a lesser extent. You can find gold, silver and oil as well as major indices.

Hantec is a NDD or Non-Dealing Desk broker and all orders are automatically executed as this forex broker does not trade against clients and basically does not care what you trade. They offer maximum leverage of 1:200 which is just about as high as you may want to go. Unfortunately Hantec Markets does not offer deposit or withdrawal services such as Skrill and you can only deposit via bank wire or credit card.

Another great feature is that you can hedge with zero margin which makes it even more attractive for professional traders. The minimum deposit is $1,000 and it makes no sense to operate an account with less than that as you will not be able to execute proper risk management as well as operate a good trading strategy.

Hantec Markets offers just about every popular trading platform starting with MetaTrader 4 as well as Currenex Classic and Currenex Viking. The great feature is that with a $1,000 deposit this forex broker gives you the MyFX plugin for MetaTrader 4 free of charge which is an amazing upgrade and takes your MetaTrader 4 from a retail platform and transforms it into a professional trading platform. The annual subscription for the MyFX plugin is $249, but Hantec Markets gives it away free of charge to their clients.

Conclusion

Hantec Markets offers you just about everything you can ask for and they are operated out of the UK which makes it a very secure location for traders and puts them right into the financial capital of the world. There offers are hard to beat and the only thing we would like them to add is an ECN platform, reduce your spreads a bit more and offer a payment processor like Skrill. Our overall verdict is two claws up and Hantec Markets grabs our number one spot among mature forex brokers who cater to the intermediate traders; the Last Bear has roared!