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THROW YOUR FD's in FDS

Factset: How You can Invest in Hedge Funds’ Biggest Investment
Tl;dr FactSet is the most undervalued widespread SaaS/IT solution stock that exists
If any of you have relevant experience or are friends with people in Investment Banking/other high finance, you know that Factset is the lifeblood of their financial analysis toolkit if and when it’s not Bloomberg, which isn’t even publicly traded. Factset has been around since 1978 and it’s considered a staple like Bloomberg in many wealth management firms, and it offers some of the easiest to access and understandable financial data so many newer firms focused less on trading are switching to Factset because it has a lot of the same data Bloomberg offers for half the cost. When it comes to modern financial data, Factset outcompetes Reuters and arguably Bloomberg as well due to their API services which makes Factset much more preferable for quantitative divisions of banks/hedge funds as API integration with Python/R is the most important factor for vast data lakes of financial data, this suggests Factset will be much more prepared for programming making its way into traditional finance fields. According to Factset, their mission for data delivery is to: “Integrate the data you need with your applications, web portals, and statistical packages. Whether you need market, company, or alternative data, FactSet flexible data delivery services give you normalized data through APIs and a direct delivery of local copies of standard data feeds. Our unique symbology links and aggregates a variety of content sources to ensure consistency, transparency, and data integrity across your business. Build financial models and power customized applications with FactSet APIs in our developer portal”. Their technical focus for their data delivery system alone should make it stand out compared to Bloomberg, whose UI is far more outdated and complex on top of not being as technically developed as Factset’s. Factset is the key provider of buy-side portfolio analysis for IBs, Hedge funds, and Private Equity firms, and it’s making its way into non-quantitative hedge funds as well because quantitative portfolio management makes automation of risk management and the application of portfolio theory so much easier, and to top it off, Factset’s scenario analysis and simulation is unique in its class. Factset also is able to automate trades based on individual manager risk tolerance and ML optimization for Forex trading as well. Not only does Factset provide solutions for financial companies, they are branching out to all corporations now and providing quantitative analytics for them in the areas of “corporate development, M&A, strategy, treasury, financial planning and analysis, and investor relations workflows”. Factset will eventually in my opinion reach out to Insurance Risk Management a lot more in the future as that’s a huge industry which has yet to see much automation of risk management yet, and with the field wide open, Factset will be the first to take advantage without a shadow of a doubt. So let’s dig into the company’s financials now:
Their latest 8k filing reported the following:
Revenue increased 2.6%, or $9.6 million, to $374.1 million compared with $364.5 million for the same period in fiscal 2019. The increase is primarily due to higher sales of analytics, content and technology solutions (CTS) and wealth management solutions.
Annual Subscription Value (ASV) plus professional services was $1.52 billion at May 31, 2020, compared with $1.45 billion at May 31, 2019. The organic growth rate, which excludes the effects of acquisitions, dispositions, and foreign currency movements, was 5.0%. The primary contributors to this growth rate were higher sales in FactSet's wealth and research workflow solutions and a price increase in the Company's international region
Adjusted operating margin improved to 35.5% compared with 34.0% in the prior year period primarily as a result of reduced employee-related operating expenses due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Diluted earnings per share (EPS) increased 11.0% to $2.63 compared with $2.37 for the same period in fiscal 2019.
Adjusted diluted EPS rose 9.2% to $2.86 compared with $2.62 in the prior year period primarily driven by an improvement in operating results.
The Company’s effective tax rate for the third quarter decreased to 15.0% compared with 18.6% a year ago, primarily due to an income tax expense in the prior year related to finalizing the Company's tax returns with no similar event for the three months ended May 31, 2020.
FactSet increased its quarterly dividend by $0.05 per share or 7% to $0.77 marking the fifteenth consecutive year the Company has increased dividends, highlighting its continued commitment to returning value to shareholders.
As you can see, there’s not much of a negative sign in sight here.
It makes sense considering how FactSet’s FCF has never slowed down:
https://preview.redd.it/frmtdk8e9hk51.png?width=276&format=png&auto=webp&s=1c0ff12539e0b2f9dbfda13d0565c5ce2b6f8f1a

https://preview.redd.it/6axdb6lh9hk51.png?width=593&format=png&auto=webp&s=9af1673272a5a2d8df28f60f4707e948a00e5ff1
FactSet’s annual subscriptions and professional services have made its way to foreign and developing markets, and many of them are opting for FactSet’s cheaper services to reduce costs and still get copious amounts of data and models to work with.
Here’s what FactSet had to say regarding its competitive position within the market of providing financial data in its last 10k: “Despite competing products and services, we enjoy high barriers to entry and believe it would be difficult for another vendor to quickly replicate the extensive databases we currently offer. Through our in-depth analytics and client service, we believe we can offer clients a more comprehensive solution with one of the broadest sets of functionalities, through a desktop or mobile user interface or through a standardized or bespoke data feed.” And FactSet is confident that their ML services cannot be replaced by anybody else in the industry either: “In addition, our applications, including our client support and service offerings, are entrenched in the workflow of many financial professionals given the downloading functions and portfolio analysis/screening capabilities offered. We are entrusted with significant amounts of our clients' own proprietary data, including portfolio holdings. As a result, our products have become central to our clients’ investment analysis and decision-making.” (https://last10k.com/sec-filings/fds#link_fullReport), if you read the full report and compare it to the most recent 8K, you’ll find that the real expenses this quarter were far lower than expected by the last 10k as there was a lower than expected tax rate and a 3% increase in expected operating margin from the expected figure as well. The company also reports a 90% customer retention rate over 15 years, so you know that they’re not lying when they say the clients need them for all sorts of financial data whether it’s for M&A or wealth management and Equity analysis:
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/factset.asp
https://preview.redd.it/yo71y6qj9hk51.png?width=355&format=png&auto=webp&s=a9414bdaa03c06114ca052304a26fae2773c3e45

FactSet also has remarkably good cash conversion considering it’s a subscription based company, a company structure which usually takes on too much leverage. Speaking of leverage, FDS had taken on a lot of leverage in 2015:

https://preview.redd.it/oxaa1wel9hk51.png?width=443&format=png&auto=webp&s=13d60d2518980360c403364f7150392ab83d07d7
So what’s that about? Why were FactSet’s long term debts at 0 and all of a sudden why’d the spike up? Well usually for a company that’s non-cyclical and has a well-established product (like FactSet) leverage can actually be good at amplifying returns, so FDS used this to their advantage and this was able to help the share’s price during 2015. Also, as you can see debt/ebitda is beginning a rapid decline anyway. This only adds to my theory that FactSet is trying to expand into new playing fields. FactSet obviously didn’t need the leverage to cover their normal costs, because they have always had consistently growing margins and revenue so the debt financing was only for the sake of financing growth. And this debt can be considered covered and paid off, considering the net income growth of 32% between 2018 and 2019 alone and the EPS growth of 33%
https://preview.redd.it/e4trju3p9hk51.png?width=387&format=png&auto=webp&s=6f6bee15f836c47e73121054ec60459f147d353e

EBITDA has virtually been exponential for FactSet for a while because of the bang-for-buck for their well-known product, but now as FactSet ventures into algorithmic trading and corporate development the scope for growth is broadly expanded.
https://preview.redd.it/yl7f58tr9hk51.png?width=489&format=png&auto=webp&s=68906b9ecbcf6d886393c4ff40f81bdecab9e9fd

P/E has declined in the past 2 years, making it a great time to buy.

https://preview.redd.it/4mqw3t4t9hk51.png?width=445&format=png&auto=webp&s=e8d719f4913883b044c4150f11b8732e14797b6d
Increasing ROE despite lowering of leverage post 2016
https://preview.redd.it/lt34avzu9hk51.png?width=441&format=png&auto=webp&s=f3742ed87cd1c2ccb7a3d3ee71ae8c7007313b2b

Mountains of cash have been piling up in the coffers increasing chances of increased dividends for shareholders (imo dividend is too low right now, but increasing it will tempt more investors into it), and on top of that in the last 10k a large buyback expansion program was implemented for $210m worth of shares, which shows how confident they are in the company itself.
https://preview.redd.it/fliirmpx9hk51.png?width=370&format=png&auto=webp&s=1216eddeadb4f84c8f4f48692a2f962ba2f1e848

SGA expense/Gross profit has been declining despite expansion of offices
I’m a bit concerned about the skin in the game leadership has in this company, since very few executives/board members have significant holdings in the company, but the CEO himself is a FactSet veteran, and knows his way around the company. On top of that, Bloomberg remains king for trading and the fixed income security market, and Reuters beats out FactSet here as well. If FactSet really wants to increase cash flow sources, the expansion into insurance and corp dev has to be successful.
Summary: FactSet has a lot of growth still left in its industry which is already fast-growing in and of itself, and it only has more potential at its current valuation. Earnings September 24th should be a massive beat due to investment banking demand and growth plus Hedge fund requirements for data and portfolio management hasn’t gone anywhere and has likely increased due to more market opportunities to buy-in.
Calls have shitty greeks, but if you're ballsy October 450s LOL, I'm holding shares
I’d say it’s a great long term investment, and it should at least be on your watchlist.
submitted by WannabeStonks69 to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

Factset DD

Factset: How You can Invest in Hedge Funds’ Biggest Investment
Tl;dr FactSet is the most undervalued widespread SaaS/IT solution stock that exists
If any of you have relevant experience or are friends with people in Investment Banking/other high finance, you know that Factset is the lifeblood of their financial analysis toolkit if and when it’s not Bloomberg, which isn’t even publicly traded. Factset has been around since 1978 and it’s considered a staple like Bloomberg in many wealth management firms, and it offers some of the easiest to access and understandable financial data so many newer firms focused less on trading are switching to Factset because it has a lot of the same data Bloomberg offers for half the cost. When it comes to modern financial data, Factset outcompetes Reuters and arguably Bloomberg as well due to their API services which makes Factset much more preferable for quantitative divisions of banks/hedge funds as API integration with Python/R is the most important factor for vast data lakes of financial data, this suggests Factset will be much more prepared for programming making its way into traditional finance fields. According to Factset, their mission for data delivery is to: “Integrate the data you need with your applications, web portals, and statistical packages. Whether you need market, company, or alternative data, FactSet flexible data delivery services give you normalized data through APIs and a direct delivery of local copies of standard data feeds. Our unique symbology links and aggregates a variety of content sources to ensure consistency, transparency, and data integrity across your business. Build financial models and power customized applications with FactSet APIs in our developer portal”. Their technical focus for their data delivery system alone should make it stand out compared to Bloomberg, whose UI is far more outdated and complex on top of not being as technically developed as Factset’s. Factset is the key provider of buy-side portfolio analysis for IBs, Hedge funds, and Private Equity firms, and it’s making its way into non-quantitative hedge funds as well because quantitative portfolio management makes automation of risk management and the application of portfolio theory so much easier, and to top it off, Factset’s scenario analysis and simulation is unique in its class. Factset also is able to automate trades based on individual manager risk tolerance and ML optimization for Forex trading as well. Not only does Factset provide solutions for financial companies, they are branching out to all corporations now and providing quantitative analytics for them in the areas of “corporate development, M&A, strategy, treasury, financial planning and analysis, and investor relations workflows”. Factset will eventually in my opinion reach out to Insurance Risk Management a lot more in the future as that’s a huge industry which has yet to see much automation of risk management yet, and with the field wide open, Factset will be the first to take advantage without a shadow of a doubt. So let’s dig into the company’s financials now:
Their latest 8k filing reported the following:
Revenue increased 2.6%, or $9.6 million, to $374.1 million compared with $364.5 million for the same period in fiscal 2019. The increase is primarily due to higher sales of analytics, content and technology solutions (CTS) and wealth management solutions.
Annual Subscription Value (ASV) plus professional services was $1.52 billion at May 31, 2020, compared with $1.45 billion at May 31, 2019. The organic growth rate, which excludes the effects of acquisitions, dispositions, and foreign currency movements, was 5.0%. The primary contributors to this growth rate were higher sales in FactSet's wealth and research workflow solutions and a price increase in the Company's international region
Adjusted operating margin improved to 35.5% compared with 34.0% in the prior year period primarily as a result of reduced employee-related operating expenses due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Diluted earnings per share (EPS) increased 11.0% to $2.63 compared with $2.37 for the same period in fiscal 2019.
Adjusted diluted EPS rose 9.2% to $2.86 compared with $2.62 in the prior year period primarily driven by an improvement in operating results.
The Company’s effective tax rate for the third quarter decreased to 15.0% compared with 18.6% a year ago, primarily due to an income tax expense in the prior year related to finalizing the Company's tax returns with no similar event for the three months ended May 31, 2020.
FactSet increased its quarterly dividend by $0.05 per share or 7% to $0.77 marking the fifteenth consecutive year the Company has increased dividends, highlighting its continued commitment to returning value to shareholders.
As you can see, there’s not much of a negative sign in sight here.
It makes sense considering how FactSet’s FCF has never slowed down
FactSet’s annual subscriptions and professional services have made its way to foreign and developing markets, and many of them are opting for FactSet’s cheaper services to reduce costs and still get copious amounts of data and models to work with.
Here’s what FactSet had to say regarding its competitive position within the market of providing financial data in its last 10k: “Despite competing products and services, we enjoy high barriers to entry and believe it would be difficult for another vendor to quickly replicate the extensive databases we currently offer. Through our in-depth analytics and client service, we believe we can offer clients a more comprehensive solution with one of the broadest sets of functionalities, through a desktop or mobile user interface or through a standardized or bespoke data feed.” And FactSet is confident that their ML services cannot be replaced by anybody else in the industry either: “In addition, our applications, including our client support and service offerings, are entrenched in the workflow of many financial professionals given the downloading functions and portfolio analysis/screening capabilities offered. We are entrusted with significant amounts of our clients' own proprietary data, including portfolio holdings. As a result, our products have become central to our clients’ investment analysis and decision-making.” (https://last10k.com/sec-filings/fds#link_fullReport), if you read the full report and compare it to the most recent 8K, you’ll find that the real expenses this quarter were far lower than expected by the last 10k as there was a lower than expected tax rate and a 3% increase in expected operating margin from the expected figure as well. The company also reports a 90% customer retention rate over 15 years, so you know that they’re not lying when they say the clients need them for all sorts of financial data whether it’s for M&A or wealth management and Equity analysis:
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/factset.asp

FactSet also has remarkably good cash conversion considering it’s a subscription based company, a company structure which usually takes on too much leverage. Speaking of leverage, FDS had taken on a lot of leverage in 2015:

So what’s that about? Why were FactSet’s long term debts at 0 and all of a sudden why’d the spike up? Well usually for a company that’s non-cyclical and has a well-established product (like FactSet) leverage can actually be good at amplifying returns, so FDS used this to their advantage and this was able to help the share’s price during 2015. Also, as you can see debt/ebitda is beginning a rapid decline anyway. This only adds to my theory that FactSet is trying to expand into new playing fields. FactSet obviously didn’t need the leverage to cover their normal costs, because they have always had consistently growing margins and revenue so the debt financing was only for the sake of financing growth. And this debt can be considered covered and paid off, considering the net income growth of 32% between 2018 and 2019 alone and the EPS growth of 33%

EBITDA has virtually been exponential for FactSet for a while because of the bang-for-buck for their well-known product, but now as FactSet ventures into algorithmic trading and corporate development the scope for growth is broadly expanded.

P/E has declined in the past 2 years, making it a great time to buy.

Increasing ROE despite lowering of leverage post 2016

Mountains of cash have been piling up in the coffers increasing chances of increased dividends for shareholders (imo dividend is too low right now, but increasing it will tempt more investors into it), and on top of that in the last 10k a large buyback expansion program was implemented for $210m worth of shares, which shows how confident they are in the company itself.

SGA expense/Gross profit has been declining despite expansion of offices
I’m a bit concerned about the skin in the game leadership has in this company, since very few executives/board members have significant holdings in the company, but the CEO himself is a FactSet veteran, and knows his way around the company. On top of that, Bloomberg remains king for trading and the fixed income security market, and Reuters beats out FactSet here as well. If FactSet really wants to increase cash flow sources, the expansion into insurance and corp dev has to be successful.
Summary: FactSet has a lot of growth still left in its industry which is already fast-growing in and of itself, and it only has more potential at its current valuation. Earnings September 24th should be a massive beat due to investment banking demand and growth plus Hedge fund requirements for data and portfolio management hasn’t gone anywhere and has likely increased due to more market opportunities to buy-in.
submitted by WannabeStonks69 to investing [link] [comments]

The Next Crypto Wave: The Rise of Stablecoins and its Entry to the U.S. Dollar Market

The Next Crypto Wave: The Rise of Stablecoins and its Entry to the U.S. Dollar Market

Author: Christian Hsieh, CEO of Tokenomy
This paper examines some explanations for the continual global market demand for the U.S. dollar, the rise of stablecoins, and the utility and opportunities that crypto dollars can offer to both the cryptocurrency and traditional markets.
The U.S. dollar, dominant in world trade since the establishment of the 1944 Bretton Woods System, is unequivocally the world’s most demanded reserve currency. Today, more than 61% of foreign bank reserves and nearly 40% of the entire world’s debt is denominated in U.S. dollars1.
However, there is a massive supply and demand imbalance in the U.S. dollar market. On the supply side, central banks throughout the world have implemented more than a decade-long accommodative monetary policy since the 2008 global financial crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the need for central banks to provide necessary liquidity and keep staggering economies moving. While the Federal Reserve leads the effort of “money printing” and stimulus programs, the current money supply still cannot meet the constant high demand for the U.S. dollar2. Let us review some of the reasons for this constant dollar demand from a few economic fundamentals.

Demand for U.S. Dollars

Firstly, most of the world’s trade is denominated in U.S. dollars. Chief Economist of the IMF, Gita Gopinath, has compiled data reflecting that the U.S. dollar’s share of invoicing was 4.7 times larger than America’s share of the value of imports, and 3.1 times its share of world exports3. The U.S. dollar is the dominant “invoicing currency” in most developing countries4.

https://preview.redd.it/d4xalwdyz8p51.png?width=535&format=png&auto=webp&s=9f0556c6aa6b29016c9b135f3279e8337dfee2a6

https://preview.redd.it/wucg40kzz8p51.png?width=653&format=png&auto=webp&s=71257fec29b43e0fc0df1bf04363717e3b52478f
This U.S. dollar preference also directly impacts the world’s debt. According to the Bank of International Settlements, there is over $67 trillion in U.S. dollar denominated debt globally, and borrowing outside of the U.S. accounted for $12.5 trillion in Q1 20205. There is an immense demand for U.S. dollars every year just to service these dollar debts. The annual U.S. dollar buying demand is easily over $1 trillion assuming the borrowing cost is at 1.5% (1 year LIBOR + 1%) per year, a conservative estimate.

https://preview.redd.it/6956j6f109p51.png?width=487&format=png&auto=webp&s=ccea257a4e9524c11df25737cac961308b542b69
Secondly, since the U.S. has a much stronger economy compared to its global peers, a higher return on investments draws U.S. dollar demand from everywhere in the world, to invest in companies both in the public and private markets. The U.S. hosts the largest stock markets in the world with more than $33 trillion in public market capitalization (combined both NYSE and NASDAQ)6. For the private market, North America’s total share is well over 60% of the $6.5 trillion global assets under management across private equity, real assets, and private debt investments7. The demand for higher quality investments extends to the fixed income market as well. As countries like Japan and Switzerland currently have negative-yielding interest rates8, fixed income investors’ quest for yield in the developed economies leads them back to the U.S. debt market. As of July 2020, there are $15 trillion worth of negative-yielding debt securities globally (see chart). In comparison, the positive, low-yielding U.S. debt remains a sound fixed income strategy for conservative investors in uncertain market conditions.

Source: Bloomberg
Last, but not least, there are many developing economies experiencing failing monetary policies, where hyperinflation has become a real national disaster. A classic example is Venezuela, where the currency Bolivar became practically worthless as the inflation rate skyrocketed to 10,000,000% in 20199. The recent Beirut port explosion in Lebanon caused a sudden economic meltdown and compounded its already troubled financial market, where inflation has soared to over 112% year on year10. For citizens living in unstable regions such as these, the only reliable store of value is the U.S. dollar. According to the Chainalysis 2020 Geography of Cryptocurrency Report, Venezuela has become one of the most active cryptocurrency trading countries11. The demand for cryptocurrency surges as a flight to safety mentality drives Venezuelans to acquire U.S. dollars to preserve savings that they might otherwise lose. The growth for cryptocurrency activities in those regions is fueled by these desperate citizens using cryptocurrencies as rails to access the U.S. dollar, on top of acquiring actual Bitcoin or other underlying crypto assets.

The Rise of Crypto Dollars

Due to the highly volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, USD stablecoin, a crypto-powered blockchain token that pegs its value to the U.S. dollar, was introduced to provide stable dollar exposure in the crypto trading sphere. Tether is the first of its kind. Issued in 2014 on the bitcoin blockchain (Omni layer protocol), under the token symbol USDT, it attempts to provide crypto traders with a stable settlement currency while they trade in and out of various crypto assets. The reason behind the stablecoin creation was to address the inefficient and burdensome aspects of having to move fiat U.S. dollars between the legacy banking system and crypto exchanges. Because one USDT is theoretically backed by one U.S. dollar, traders can use USDT to trade and settle to fiat dollars. It was not until 2017 that the majority of traders seemed to realize Tether’s intended utility and started using it widely. As of April 2019, USDT trading volume started exceeding the trading volume of bitcoina12, and it now dominates the crypto trading sphere with over $50 billion average daily trading volume13.

https://preview.redd.it/3vq7v1jg09p51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=46f11b5f5245a8c335ccc60432873e9bad2eb1e1
An interesting aspect of USDT is that although the claimed 1:1 backing with U.S. dollar collateral is in question, and the Tether company is in reality running fractional reserves through a loose offshore corporate structure, Tether’s trading volume and adoption continues to grow rapidly14. Perhaps in comparison to fiat U.S. dollars, which is not really backed by anything, Tether still has cash equivalents in reserves and crypto traders favor its liquidity and convenience over its lack of legitimacy. For those who are concerned about Tether’s solvency, they can now purchase credit default swaps for downside protection15. On the other hand, USDC, the more compliant contender, takes a distant second spot with total coin circulation of $1.8 billion, versus USDT at $14.5 billion (at the time of publication). It is still too early to tell who is the ultimate leader in the stablecoin arena, as more and more stablecoins are launching to offer various functions and supporting mechanisms. There are three main categories of stablecoin: fiat-backed, crypto-collateralized, and non-collateralized algorithm based stablecoins. Most of these are still at an experimental phase, and readers can learn more about them here. With the continuous innovation of stablecoin development, the utility stablecoins provide in the overall crypto market will become more apparent.

Institutional Developments

In addition to trade settlement, stablecoins can be applied in many other areas. Cross-border payments and remittances is an inefficient market that desperately needs innovation. In 2020, the average cost of sending money across the world is around 7%16, and it takes days to settle. The World Bank aims to reduce remittance fees to 3% by 2030. With the implementation of blockchain technology, this cost could be further reduced close to zero.
J.P. Morgan, the largest bank in the U.S., has created an Interbank Information Network (IIN) with 416 global Institutions to transform the speed of payment flows through its own JPM Coin, another type of crypto dollar17. Although people argue that JPM Coin is not considered a cryptocurrency as it cannot trade openly on a public blockchain, it is by far the largest scale experiment with all the institutional participants trading within the “permissioned” blockchain. It might be more accurate to refer to it as the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) instead of “blockchain” in this context. Nevertheless, we should keep in mind that as J.P. Morgan currently moves $6 trillion U.S. dollars per day18, the scale of this experiment would create a considerable impact in the international payment and remittance market if it were successful. Potentially the day will come when regulated crypto exchanges become participants of IIN, and the link between public and private crypto assets can be instantly connected, unlocking greater possibilities in blockchain applications.
Many central banks are also in talks about developing their own central bank digital currency (CBDC). Although this idea was not new, the discussion was brought to the forefront due to Facebook’s aggressive Libra project announcement in June 2019 and the public attention that followed. As of July 2020, at least 36 central banks have published some sort of CBDC framework. While each nation has a slightly different motivation behind its currency digitization initiative, ranging from payment safety, transaction efficiency, easy monetary implementation, or financial inclusion, these central banks are committed to deploying a new digital payment infrastructure. When it comes to the technical architectures, research from BIS indicates that most of the current proofs-of-concept tend to be based upon distributed ledger technology (permissioned blockchain)19.

https://preview.redd.it/lgb1f2rw19p51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=040bb0deed0499df6bf08a072fd7c4a442a826a0
These institutional experiments are laying an essential foundation for an improved global payment infrastructure, where instant and frictionless cross-border settlements can take place with minimal costs. Of course, the interoperability of private DLT tokens and public blockchain stablecoins has yet to be explored, but the innovation with both public and private blockchain efforts could eventually merge. This was highlighted recently by the Governor of the Bank of England who stated that “stablecoins and CBDC could sit alongside each other20”. One thing for certain is that crypto dollars (or other fiat-linked digital currencies) are going to play a significant role in our future economy.

Future Opportunities

There is never a dull moment in the crypto sector. The industry narratives constantly shift as innovation continues to evolve. Twelve years since its inception, Bitcoin has evolved from an abstract subject to a familiar concept. Its role as a secured, scarce, decentralized digital store of value has continued to gain acceptance, and it is well on its way to becoming an investable asset class as a portfolio hedge against asset price inflation and fiat currency depreciation. Stablecoins have proven to be useful as proxy dollars in the crypto world, similar to how dollars are essential in the traditional world. It is only a matter of time before stablecoins or private digital tokens dominate the cross-border payments and global remittances industry.
There are no shortages of hypes and experiments that draw new participants into the crypto space, such as smart contracts, new blockchains, ICOs, tokenization of things, or the most recent trends on DeFi tokens. These projects highlight the possibilities for a much more robust digital future, but the market also needs time to test and adopt. A reliable digital payment infrastructure must be built first in order to allow these experiments to flourish.
In this paper we examined the historical background and economic reasons for the U.S. dollar’s dominance in the world, and the probable conclusion is that the demand for U.S. dollars will likely continue, especially in the middle of a global pandemic, accompanied by a worldwide economic slowdown. The current monetary system is far from perfect, but there are no better alternatives for replacement at least in the near term. Incremental improvements are being made in both the public and private sectors, and stablecoins have a definite role to play in both the traditional and the new crypto world.
Thank you.

Reference:
[1] How the US dollar became the world’s reserve currency, Investopedia
[2] The dollar is in high demand, prone to dangerous appreciation, The Economist
[3] Dollar dominance in trade and finance, Gita Gopinath
[4] Global trades dependence on dollars, The Economist & IMF working papers
[5] Total credit to non-bank borrowers by currency of denomination, BIS
[6] Biggest stock exchanges in the world, Business Insider
[7] McKinsey Global Private Market Review 2020, McKinsey & Company
[8] Central banks current interest rates, Global Rates
[9] Venezuela hyperinflation hits 10 million percent, CNBC
[10] Lebanon inflation crisis, Reuters
[11] Venezuela cryptocurrency market, Chainalysis
[12] The most used cryptocurrency isn’t Bitcoin, Bloomberg
[13] Trading volume of all crypto assets, coinmarketcap.com
[14] Tether US dollar peg is no longer credible, Forbes
[15] New crypto derivatives let you bet on (or against) Tether’s solvency, Coindesk
[16] Remittance Price Worldwide, The World Bank
[17] Interbank Information Network, J.P. Morgan
[18] Jamie Dimon interview, CBS News
[19] Rise of the central bank digital currency, BIS
[20] Speech by Andrew Bailey, 3 September 2020, Bank of England
submitted by Tokenomy to tokenomyofficial [link] [comments]

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Swaps* (*But Were Afraid To Ask)

Hello, dummies
It's your old pal, Fuzzy.
As I'm sure you've all noticed, a lot of the stuff that gets posted here is - to put it delicately - fucking ridiculous. More backwards-ass shit gets posted to wallstreetbets than you'd see on a Westboro Baptist community message board. I mean, I had a look at the daily thread yesterday and..... yeesh. I know, I know. We all make like the divine Laura Dern circa 1992 on the daily and stick our hands deep into this steaming heap of shit to find the nuggets of valuable and/or hilarious information within (thanks for reading, BTW). I agree. I love it just the way it is too. That's what makes WSB great.
What I'm getting at is that a lot of the stuff that gets posted here - notwithstanding it being funny or interesting - is just... wrong. Like, fucking your cousin wrong. And to be clear, I mean the fucking your *first* cousin kinda wrong, before my Southerners in the back get all het up (simmer down, Billy Ray - I know Mabel's twice removed on your grand-sister's side). Truly, I try to let it slide. I do my bit to try and put you on the right path. Most of the time, I sleep easy no matter how badly I've seen someone explain what a bank liquidity crisis is. But out of all of those tens of thousands of misguided, autistic attempts at understanding the world of high finance, one thing gets so consistently - so *emphatically* - fucked up and misunderstood by you retards that last night I felt obligated at the end of a long work day to pull together this edition of Finance with Fuzzy just for you. It's so serious I'm not even going to make a u/pokimane gag. Have you guessed what it is yet? Here's a clue. It's in the title of the post.
That's right, friends. Today in the neighborhood we're going to talk all about hedging in financial markets - spots, swaps, collars, forwards, CDS, synthetic CDOs, all that fun shit. Don't worry; I'm going to explain what all the scary words mean and how they impact your OTM RH positions along the way.
We're going to break it down like this. (1) "What's a hedge, Fuzzy?" (2) Common Hedging Strategies and (3) All About ISDAs and Credit Default Swaps.
Before we begin. For the nerds and JV traders in the back (and anyone else who needs to hear this up front) - I am simplifying these descriptions for the purposes of this post. I am also obviously not going to try and cover every exotic form of hedge under the sun or give a detailed summation of what caused the financial crisis. If you are interested in something specific ask a question, but don't try and impress me with your Investopedia skills or technical points I didn't cover; I will just be forced to flex my years of IRL experience on you in the comments and you'll look like a big dummy.
TL;DR? Fuck you. There is no TL;DR. You've come this far already. What's a few more paragraphs? Put down the Cheetos and try to concentrate for the next 5-7 minutes. You'll learn something, and I promise I'll be gentle.
Ready? Let's get started.
1. The Tao of Risk: Hedging as a Way of Life
The simplest way to characterize what a hedge 'is' is to imagine every action having a binary outcome. One is bad, one is good. Red lines, green lines; uppie, downie. With me so far? Good. A 'hedge' is simply the employment of a strategy to mitigate the effect of your action having the wrong binary outcome. You wanted X, but you got Z! Frowny face. A hedge strategy introduces a third outcome. If you hedged against the possibility of Z happening, then you can wind up with Y instead. Not as good as X, but not as bad as Z. The technical definition I like to give my idiot juniors is as follows:
Utilization of a defensive strategy to mitigate risk, at a fraction of the cost to capital of the risk itself.
Congratulations. You just finished Hedging 101. "But Fuzzy, that's easy! I just sold a naked call against my 95% OTM put! I'm adequately hedged!". Spoiler alert: you're not (although good work on executing a collar, which I describe below). What I'm talking about here is what would be referred to as a 'perfect hedge'; a binary outcome where downside is totally mitigated by a risk management strategy. That's not how it works IRL. Pay attention; this is the tricky part.
You can't take a single position and conclude that you're adequately hedged because risks are fluid, not static. So you need to constantly adjust your position in order to maximize the value of the hedge and insure your position. You also need to consider exposure to more than one category of risk. There are micro (specific exposure) risks, and macro (trend exposure) risks, and both need to factor into the hedge calculus.
That's why, in the real world, the value of hedging depends entirely on the design of the hedging strategy itself. Here, when we say "value" of the hedge, we're not talking about cash money - we're talking about the intrinsic value of the hedge relative to the the risk profile of your underlying exposure. To achieve this, people hedge dynamically. In wallstreetbets terms, this means that as the value of your position changes, you need to change your hedges too. The idea is to efficiently and continuously distribute and rebalance risk across different states and periods, taking value from states in which the marginal cost of the hedge is low and putting it back into states where marginal cost of the hedge is high, until the shadow value of your underlying exposure is equalized across your positions. The punchline, I guess, is that one static position is a hedge in the same way that the finger paintings you make for your wife's boyfriend are art - it's technically correct, but you're only playing yourself by believing it.
Anyway. Obviously doing this as a small potatoes trader is hard but it's worth taking into account. Enough basic shit. So how does this work in markets?
2. A Hedging Taxonomy
The best place to start here is a practical question. What does a business need to hedge against? Think about the specific risk that an individual business faces. These are legion, so I'm just going to list a few of the key ones that apply to most corporates. (1) You have commodity risk for the shit you buy or the shit you use. (2) You have currency risk for the money you borrow. (3) You have rate risk on the debt you carry. (4) You have offtake risk for the shit you sell. Complicated, right? To help address the many and varied ways that shit can go wrong in a sophisticated market, smart operators like yours truly have devised a whole bundle of different instruments which can help you manage the risk. I might write about some of the more complicated ones in a later post if people are interested (CDO/CLOs, strip/stack hedges and bond swaps with option toggles come to mind) but let's stick to the basics for now.
(i) Swaps
A swap is one of the most common forms of hedge instrument, and they're used by pretty much everyone that can afford them. The language is complicated but the concept isn't, so pay attention and you'll be fine. This is the most important part of this section so it'll be the longest one.
Swaps are derivative contracts with two counterparties (before you ask, you can't trade 'em on an exchange - they're OTC instruments only). They're used to exchange one cash flow for another cash flow of equal expected value; doing this allows you to take speculative positions on certain financial prices or to alter the cash flows of existing assets or liabilities within a business. "Wait, Fuzz; slow down! What do you mean sets of cash flows?". Fear not, little autist. Ol' Fuzz has you covered.
The cash flows I'm talking about are referred to in swap-land as 'legs'. One leg is fixed - a set payment that's the same every time it gets paid - and the other is variable - it fluctuates (typically indexed off the price of the underlying risk that you are speculating on / protecting against). You set it up at the start so that they're notionally equal and the two legs net off; so at open, the swap is a zero NPV instrument. Here's where the fun starts. If the price that you based the variable leg of the swap on changes, the value of the swap will shift; the party on the wrong side of the move ponies up via the variable payment. It's a zero sum game.
I'll give you an example using the most vanilla swap around; an interest rate trade. Here's how it works. You borrow money from a bank, and they charge you a rate of interest. You lock the rate up front, because you're smart like that. But then - quelle surprise! - the rate gets better after you borrow. Now you're bagholding to the tune of, I don't know, 5 bps. Doesn't sound like much but on a billion dollar loan that's a lot of money (a classic example of the kind of 'small, deep hole' that's terrible for profits). Now, if you had a swap contract on the rate before you entered the trade, you're set; if the rate goes down, you get a payment under the swap. If it goes up, whatever payment you're making to the bank is netted off by the fact that you're borrowing at a sub-market rate. Win-win! Or, at least, Lose Less / Lose Less. That's the name of the game in hedging.
There are many different kinds of swaps, some of which are pretty exotic; but they're all different variations on the same theme. If your business has exposure to something which fluctuates in price, you trade swaps to hedge against the fluctuation. The valuation of swaps is also super interesting but I guarantee you that 99% of you won't understand it so I'm not going to try and explain it here although I encourage you to google it if you're interested.
Because they're OTC, none of them are filed publicly. Someeeeeetimes you see an ISDA (dsicussed below) but the confirms themselves (the individual swaps) are not filed. You can usually read about the hedging strategy in a 10-K, though. For what it's worth, most modern credit agreements ban speculative hedging. Top tip: This is occasionally something worth checking in credit agreements when you invest in businesses that are debt issuers - being able to do this increases the risk profile significantly and is particularly important in times of economic volatility (ctrl+f "non-speculative" in the credit agreement to be sure).
(ii) Forwards
A forward is a contract made today for the future delivery of an asset at a pre-agreed price. That's it. "But Fuzzy! That sounds just like a futures contract!". I know. Confusing, right? Just like a futures trade, forwards are generally used in commodity or forex land to protect against price fluctuations. The differences between forwards and futures are small but significant. I'm not going to go into super boring detail because I don't think many of you are commodities traders but it is still an important thing to understand even if you're just an RH jockey, so stick with me.
Just like swaps, forwards are OTC contracts - they're not publicly traded. This is distinct from futures, which are traded on exchanges (see The Ballad Of Big Dick Vick for some more color on this). In a forward, no money changes hands until the maturity date of the contract when delivery and receipt are carried out; price and quantity are locked in from day 1. As you now know having read about BDV, futures are marked to market daily, and normally people close them out with synthetic settlement using an inverse position. They're also liquid, and that makes them easier to unwind or close out in case shit goes sideways.
People use forwards when they absolutely have to get rid of the thing they made (or take delivery of the thing they need). If you're a miner, or a farmer, you use this shit to make sure that at the end of the production cycle, you can get rid of the shit you made (and you won't get fucked by someone taking cash settlement over delivery). If you're a buyer, you use them to guarantee that you'll get whatever the shit is that you'll need at a price agreed in advance. Because they're OTC, you can also exactly tailor them to the requirements of your particular circumstances.
These contracts are incredibly byzantine (and there are even crazier synthetic forwards you can see in money markets for the true degenerate fund managers). In my experience, only Texan oilfield magnates, commodities traders, and the weirdo forex crowd fuck with them. I (i) do not own a 10 gallon hat or a novelty size belt buckle (ii) do not wake up in the middle of the night freaking out about the price of pork fat and (iii) love greenbacks too much to care about other countries' monopoly money, so I don't fuck with them.
(iii) Collars
No, not the kind your wife is encouraging you to wear try out to 'spice things up' in the bedroom during quarantine. Collars are actually the hedging strategy most applicable to WSB. Collars deal with options! Hooray!
To execute a basic collar (also called a wrapper by tea-drinking Brits and people from the Antipodes), you buy an out of the money put while simultaneously writing a covered call on the same equity. The put protects your position against price drops and writing the call produces income that offsets the put premium. Doing this limits your tendies (you can only profit up to the strike price of the call) but also writes down your risk. If you screen large volume trades with a VOL/OI of more than 3 or 4x (and they're not bullshit biotech stocks), you can sometimes see these being constructed in real time as hedge funds protect themselves on their shorts.
(3) All About ISDAs, CDS and Synthetic CDOs
You may have heard about the mythical ISDA. Much like an indenture (discussed in my post on $F), it's a magic legal machine that lets you build swaps via trade confirms with a willing counterparty. They are very complicated legal documents and you need to be a true expert to fuck with them. Fortunately, I am, so I do. They're made of two parts; a Master (which is a form agreement that's always the same) and a Schedule (which amends the Master to include your specific terms). They are also the engine behind just about every major credit crunch of the last 10+ years.
First - a brief explainer. An ISDA is a not in and of itself a hedge - it's an umbrella contract that governs the terms of your swaps, which you use to construct your hedge position. You can trade commodities, forex, rates, whatever, all under the same ISDA.
Let me explain. Remember when we talked about swaps? Right. So. You can trade swaps on just about anything. In the late 90s and early 2000s, people had the smart idea of using other people's debt and or credit ratings as the variable leg of swap documentation. These are called credit default swaps. I was actually starting out at a bank during this time and, I gotta tell you, the only thing I can compare people's enthusiasm for this shit to was that moment in your early teens when you discover jerking off. Except, unlike your bathroom bound shame sessions to Mom's Sears catalogue, every single person you know felt that way too; and they're all doing it at once. It was a fiscal circlejerk of epic proportions, and the financial crisis was the inevitable bukkake finish. WSB autism is absolutely no comparison for the enthusiasm people had during this time for lighting each other's money on fire.
Here's how it works. You pick a company. Any company. Maybe even your own! And then you write a swap. In the swap, you define "Credit Event" with respect to that company's debt as the variable leg . And you write in... whatever you want. A ratings downgrade, default under the docs, failure to meet a leverage ratio or FCCR for a certain testing period... whatever. Now, this started out as a hedge position, just like we discussed above. The purest of intentions, of course. But then people realized - if bad shit happens, you make money. And banks... don't like calling in loans or forcing bankruptcies. Can you smell what the moral hazard is cooking?
Enter synthetic CDOs. CDOs are basically pools of asset backed securities that invest in debt (loans or bonds). They've been around for a minute but they got famous in the 2000s because a shitload of them containing subprime mortgage debt went belly up in 2008. This got a lot of publicity because a lot of sad looking rednecks got foreclosed on and were interviewed on CNBC. "OH!", the people cried. "Look at those big bad bankers buying up subprime loans! They caused this!". Wrong answer, America. The debt wasn't the problem. What a lot of people don't realize is that the real meat of the problem was not in regular way CDOs investing in bundles of shit mortgage debts in synthetic CDOs investing in CDS predicated on that debt. They're synthetic because they don't have a stake in the actual underlying debt; just the instruments riding on the coattails. The reason these are so popular (and remain so) is that smart structured attorneys and bankers like your faithful correspondent realized that an even more profitable and efficient way of building high yield products with limited downside was investing in instruments that profit from failure of debt and in instruments that rely on that debt and then hedging that exposure with other CDS instruments in paired trades, and on and on up the chain. The problem with doing this was that everyone wound up exposed to everybody else's books as a result, and when one went tits up, everybody did. Hence, recession, Basel III, etc. Thanks, Obama.
Heavy investment in CDS can also have a warping effect on the price of debt (something else that happened during the pre-financial crisis years and is starting to happen again now). This happens in three different ways. (1) Investors who previously were long on the debt hedge their position by selling CDS protection on the underlying, putting downward pressure on the debt price. (2) Investors who previously shorted the debt switch to buying CDS protection because the relatively illiquid debt (partic. when its a bond) trades at a discount below par compared to the CDS. The resulting reduction in short selling puts upward pressure on the bond price. (3) The delta in price and actual value of the debt tempts some investors to become NBTs (neg basis traders) who long the debt and purchase CDS protection. If traders can't take leverage, nothing happens to the price of the debt. If basis traders can take leverage (which is nearly always the case because they're holding a hedged position), they can push up or depress the debt price, goosing swap premiums etc. Anyway. Enough technical details.
I could keep going. This is a fascinating topic that is very poorly understood and explained, mainly because the people that caused it all still work on the street and use the same tactics today (it's also terribly taught at business schools because none of the teachers were actually around to see how this played out live). But it relates to the topic of today's lesson, so I thought I'd include it here.
Work depending, I'll be back next week with a covenant breakdown. Most upvoted ticker gets the post.
*EDIT 1\* In a total blowout, $PLAY won. So it's D&B time next week. Post will drop Monday at market open.
submitted by fuzzyblankeet to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

COMPREHENSIVE Forex Trading SOLUTION/ANSWER; FEEDBACK NEEDED

The following is a comprehensive response outlining a viable, reasonable, scalable, and sustainable solution for achieving financial independence/prosperity. Please let me know what you think as I would appreciate your feedback.
Trade the financial markets, specifically Forex trading. It's a fkin trillion dollar industry! There are a plethora of businesses online that sell software to meet the trading/investment needs of various demanding clients.
Just look up online EAs (Expert Advisor, which is automated/algorithmic trading, for Meta Trader 4), verify results using the myfxbook website (i.e. a reputable independent third-party website that certifies and tracks the record/performance of various trading strategies/systems, including commercial EAs), purchase the EA, verify results again by running/performing both a backtest and a forward test (i.e. paper trading on a demo account), and then, and only then can/should you use the EA with real money trading on a live/real account.
You can verify the EA's reliability by performing a backtest for a "significant" time period (for example 5-10 years; or depending on the "frequency" of trades placed from the EA) coupled with 2-3 months of forward testing (i.e. paper trading on a demo account) and if the results are "consistently" profitable (i.e. "overall consistent" "monthly" profits from both backtesting and forward testing) with drawdowns being not "too much/high/extreme" AND not "too frequent", then you can go live and trade using real money.
It's okay to expect a particular trading strategy/system to expire (i.e. lose its edge, or for profits to weaken/deteriorate/diminish). When that time comes, simply go onto the next “hot/trendy” EA or if you were fortunate enough to accumulate significant profits, you can store those profits in an interest-savings account and receive periodic income that way.
The purpose of backtesting and forward testing is to ensure drawdowns are not "too much/high/extreme" AND not "too frequent", AND that there is proper risk management "embedded within the EA", thus minimizing/avoiding the risk of "extreme" drawdown or "extreme" losses when using real money.
Note: The switch to "another" hot/trendy EA should be made when the profits earned from the "current" EA have reached a point/level where it no longer appeals to the individual's interest/preference. However, if there is an "unusual/unexpected/unanticipated" "significant" drawdown (according to the performed backtest and forward test), then that would unfortunately represent an actual/real risk/loss incurred by the individual (and would still require a switch to another hot/trendy EA). This risk can be "mitigated/minimized" by performing a backtest "AND" a forward test (both for a "significant" time period, i.e. depending on the "frequency" of trades placed from the EA), AND by conducting a proper psychological evaluation of the EA seller (as an "individual" entity), i.e. evaluating their reliability, logic, and confidence when it comes to addressing/answering relevant/crucial questions pertaining to Forex/Finance/Trading/Investing (rather than asking for or needing specific details regarding their intellectual property or proprietary strategy/system/software, i.e. their source code or trading methodology).
Ultimately, it comes down to “risk tolerance” while taking into account the results obtained from backtesting and forward testing, as well as the level of confidence and trust you impart/place on the person/group selling/distributing the EA.
Note: refer to the Investopedia website for definitions on the following terminology/vocabulary: backtesting, forward testing (i.e. paper trading on a demo account), drawdown (DD), maximum drawdown (MDD or MaxDD), and monthly/annual ROI (return on investment, as a percentage).
Also, note: "focus" on testing for maximum drawdown (MDD or MaxDD) (making sure drawdowns are not "too much/high/extreme" AND not "too frequent"; for example, not greater than 30%-50%, depending on your risk tolerance or preference) and looking for a "track-record" of "overall consistent" "monthly" profits from both backtesting and forward testing, i.e. paper trading on a demo account (both for a "significant" time period, depending on the "frequency" of trades placed from the EA). This "track-record" can be "verified" either through the "myfxbook" website or through the combined use of backtesting and forward testing.
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Each and every year, students graduate from college and university. How is it "economically feasible" to provide jobs for all or most of these people? My understanding is that people need to display a good understanding of the psychology of first impression, which includes genuine/authentic personality, trustworthiness, and competency (reflected in education); in other words, honest, reliable, and competent in relevant matters, or integrity, energy, and intelligence.
Problem: The individual's attainment of their “desired dream/career job", which is their ultimate purpose for pursuing "rigorous" higher education (i.e. college or university) or "rigorous" professional education (i.e. apprenticeship or trades).
I believe that a lot of people attend college and university with the hope that they will obtain a job after they graduate, a job that will support them financially. If money is the primary reason for their pursuing higheprofessional education, shouldn't they be "informed" (as part of a global/collective civic/social responsibility) that there are alternative ways of making money (personally, namely, trading the financial markets), ones that will actually lead them to, or at least have a higher probability of leading them to, financial independence/prosperity, since the chances of them achieving such goal upon graduation from college/university is realistically slim – if not the problem of difficulty finding employment related to their “desired careedream job”, then the problem of a dead-end mediocre job with a “fixed” “small” salary?
Should we, as a society, steer people away from college/university, often temporarily, since, let's be honest, our society is currently producing "a lot" of "mediocre" individuals with no real chance of obtaining a job that they were initially in pursuit of? Can we, as a society, do a better job of "realizing" and "maximizing" the talents/skills of these "mediocre" individuals, i.e. individuals who have no real chance of obtaining a job which they had been (or currently are) pursuing/studying rigorously for?
After going through a proper evaluation of current circumstances and current options, I've realized that people need to get certain things in their life straight "before" working on pursuing higheprofessional education – i.e. Health > Wealth > Education/”Prestige”.
The mass of people who pursue college and university because their program is in high demand are ones that are studying the program not for its unique intricacies, but rather only for graduation with the expectation that they "deserve" to be rewarded a job. As opposed to, respect and appreciation to the language their subject takes on (whether that be Accounting language or Computer Programming language, etc.). Respect and appreciation for a subject or field is displayed when the person engages with the subject or field with a “critical thinking” mindset, with the main purpose/goal of analyzing and critiquing thoroughly the accuracy of any statement presented to them that is related to their chosen subject or field, i.e. effectively utilizing journaling and documentation (see relevant section below, point #1 of 2 under “ESSENTIAL/CRUCIAL” for more details); this main purpose/goal is often rooted from a genuine desire/interest/passion for pursuing/studying their chosen subject or field.
The simple fact remains that it is simply not economically feasible to provide jobs to meet the constant influx of supply being produced by colleges and universities, "each" and "every" year. As a result, why are people making the foolish decision to incur immense amount of “DEBT” (keyword) while pursuing higheprofessional education when the economic reality simply does not provide enough jobs for society, i.e. jobs that are specifically expected of from college and university graduates?
Quoted from someone else: "Our societies have for so long told us that education can and should equate to professional success, which should equate to economic success, yet we are entering a period where that simply can't occur. The foundation that those notions were created upon doesn't exist any longer, given how we have evolved and grown as a species, and we have yet to make the transition to a new set of notions."
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Some ESSENTIAL/CRUCIAL characteristics of an individual who exhibits genuine desire/interest/passion for pursuing/studying their chosen subject/field (especially at the higher education or professional education level) are as follows:
1) Effective "Information Management" strategy (utilizing journaling and documentation). The individual had made it a priority to create and compile personal notes or online documents for the purpose of future-reference and documentation – for potential revision, self-reflection, self-correction, or discovery, as this is crucial for knowledge retrieval, knowledge retention, as well as knowledge synthesis and creating/generating new knowledge. Note: information becomes knowledge when you regard the information as valuable and when you make the conscious decision to keep it as part of your notes with the expectation/option of using it in the future; knowledge is information in action, so actually using the information, instead of dismissing it as irrelevant.
Response from another individual/writer:
  • I don't mean that all information has to be kept as notes, nor that other strategies/tactics of finding/retrieving information aren't valuable. I don't even mean that it's impossible for someone to exist/operate without ever taking any notes. Most saliently, I'm more saying that to categorically omit note-taking from one's information management capabilities/strategy is to invite unnecessary trouble, likely to the point of dysfunction, unless one happens to never be doing anything that involves any significantly elusive information to begin with.
  • My bias toward this assessment is reinforced by 25+ years of highly-technical work that has resulted in literally thousands (or tens-of-thousands) of pieces of information, extremely valuable to me, that can't be readily found anywhere but in my notes.
  • Some of it is information specifically originating with myself – there's no one or nowhere else from which it can be gotten. Some of it is information that took me immense amounts of time, thought, and effort to find/acquire, and I would never want to have to try to find it again. Most of these things are in my notes because they have either already disappeared, or are likely to disappear, off of the internet, or don't lend themselves well to simple bookmark-able reference.
  • Another way of saying this is that personally-kept notes are a reflection of the time/effort/insight one has had to put into acquiring the information, combined with the value of retrieval efficiency (organized for one's own retrieval needs). To subject yourself to relying on reproduction of that time/effort and self-organization is to either admit that the time/effort isn't significant (i.e. the information is rather trivial or ubiquitous in nature), or that your own time/effort spent isn't worth much (if you're willing to repeat it).
  • Also, if one assumes that the information is always going to be right where you can easily find it, or even right where you found it before, that's actually just naive.
  • While its true you still need to expend time/effort into locating the info, it has been organized specifically how YOU determine it should be, and thus truncates any actual "overhead" involved in the typical "location" process, not to mention the guarantee that it's actually there to find. Note: overhead expense refers to an ongoing expense of operating a business; it is also known as an "operating expense".
  • As a simple/clear example: if you've never spent hours sifting through the deluge from the Google sewer pipe flooding into your browser, just to find anything remotely relevant to the fairly elusive technical scenario you're trying to resolve, then you're probably not acquainted with really anything I'm talking about, and your dismissal would then represent simply being unaware.
2) The individual is ASSERTIVE and NOT PASSIVE towards the subject they are studying. They are WILLING to articulate and share important ideas and concepts from the subject they are studying. The individual is not seen as someone who is under the spell/act (i.e. false and disingenuous impression of superior intelligence) of mindless regurgitation but rather, the individual is able to offer their OWN UNIQUE interpretation on the subject they are studying, while also citing important concepts or ideas where citation is necessary. In other words, the individual demonstrates "individual competency" THROUGH the subject they are studying and are ultimately/inherently passionate about. The individual's competency (i.e. his/her opinion or interpretation of what is relevant or accurate information) is demonstrated through the individual's pattern of logical and coherent thinking, as well as through the individual's writing style (which displays "CONFIDENCE" in what the individual is presenting as relevant or accurate information).
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Relevant response from another individual:
Decide where you fall on the self-directed spectrum.
Highly self-directed: technical books and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
Average: an online community + curriculum like Free Code Camp or theodinproject.com
Not very self-directed: An in-person coding boot camp like Hack Reactor or App Academy; similar to “subpamediocre” college/university “classroom” learning.
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There are only so many ways of acquiring wealth (with only some methods actually leading to long-term/sustainable financial independence/prosperity):
1) Real Estate
2) Owning a business; being an entrepreneur
3) Career Job requiring higher education (i.e. college or university) or professional education (i.e. apprenticeship or trades)
4) Minimum Wage Jobs
5) Trading the financial markets; making financial “investments” (stocks, forex, futures, options, equities, commodities, etc.)
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Pseudo-Intellectual versus Intellectual (the following is a response from another individual/writer):
An intellectual follows the values and attitudes of Critical Thinking, and exercises good thinking habits. Their interest lies in discovery and self-correction.
The traits of a true intellectual are as follows:
  • intellectual humility – recognizing the limits and sensitivities of one's experience.
  • intellectual courage – ability to examine things and/or state results or potentialities, even if it may be costly/risky to your personal beliefs, or social acceptance, established norms or theories. The ability to put things at risk. Even if they are your own cherished ideas or beliefs that you are putting at risk.
  • intellectual empathy – knowing that you have to imaginatively put yourself in the place of others in order to understand them.
  • intellectual autonomy – being able to think independently, to carry through without constant guidance from others, and sometimes even to come to different conclusions.
  • intellectual integrity – holding yourself to the same standards you hold others, and holding all beliefs to the same standards.
  • intellectual honesty – being willing to admit discrepancies and avoid overlooking exceptions, even to oneself.
  • intellectual perseverance – having the patience to struggle through difficult or complex problems.
  • confidence in reason – willingness to follow the logic where-ever it leads.
  • fair-mindedness – avoiding making unjustified special exceptions or privileges. Holding all viewpoints to the same standards. This does not mean that all views are equal; it means they all are held to the same universal standards. They might end up meeting those standards very unequally. For instance: the theory of evolution vs the fable of creation, or climate change vs science denialism.
A pseudo-intellectual does not do these things. Their interest lies not in discovery and self-correction, but in confirmation of what is already believed. Confirmation Bias. Their "thinking" style is characterized by cognitive biases, a lack of self-reflection/self-correction, a lack of rigor and completeness, and applying woefully different standards to beliefs/ideas that they cherish, and any information that calls them into question.
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Feedback Needed

The following is a comprehensive response outlining a viable, reasonable, scalable, and sustainable solution for achieving financial independence/prosperity. Please let me know what you think as I would appreciate your feedback.
Trade the financial markets, specifically Forex trading. It's a fkin trillion dollar industry! There are a plethora of businesses online that sell software to meet the trading/investment needs of various demanding clients.
Just look up online EAs (Expert Advisor, which is automated/algorithmic trading, for Meta Trader 4), verify results using the myfxbook website (i.e. a reputable independent third-party website that certifies and tracks the record/performance of various trading strategies/systems, including commercial EAs), purchase the EA, verify results again by running/performing both a backtest and a forward test (i.e. paper trading on a demo account), and then, and only then can/should you use the EA with real money trading on a live/real account.
You can verify the EA's reliability by performing a backtest for a "significant" time period (for example 5-10 years; or depending on the "frequency" of trades placed from the EA) coupled with 2-3 months of forward testing (i.e. paper trading on a demo account) and if the results are "consistently" profitable (i.e. "overall consistent" "monthly" profits from both backtesting and forward testing) with drawdowns being not "too much/high/extreme" AND not "too frequent", then you can go live and trade using real money.
It's okay to expect a particular trading strategy/system to expire (i.e. lose its edge, or for profits to weaken/deteriorate/diminish). When that time comes, simply go onto the next “hot/trendy” EA or if you were fortunate enough to accumulate significant profits, you can store those profits in an interest-savings account and receive periodic income that way.
The purpose of backtesting and forward testing is to ensure drawdowns are not "too much/high/extreme" AND not "too frequent", AND that there is proper risk management "embedded within the EA", thus minimizing/avoiding the risk of "extreme" drawdown or "extreme" losses when using real money.
Note: The switch to "another" hot/trendy EA should be made when the profits earned from the "current" EA have reached a point/level where it no longer appeals to the individual's interest/preference. However, if there is an "unusual/unexpected/unanticipated" "significant" drawdown (according to the performed backtest and forward test), then that would unfortunately represent an actual/real risk/loss incurred by the individual (and would still require a switch to another hot/trendy EA). This risk can be "mitigated/minimized" by performing a backtest "AND" a forward test (both for a "significant" time period, i.e. depending on the "frequency" of trades placed from the EA), AND by conducting a proper psychological evaluation of the EA seller (as an "individual" entity), i.e. evaluating their reliability, logic, and confidence when it comes to addressing/answering relevant/crucial questions pertaining to Forex/Finance/Trading/Investing (rather than asking for or needing specific details regarding their intellectual property or proprietary strategy/system/software, i.e. their source code or trading methodology).
Ultimately, it comes down to “risk tolerance” while taking into account the results obtained from backtesting and forward testing, as well as the level of confidence and trust you impart/place on the person/group selling/distributing the EA.
Note: refer to the Investopedia website for definitions on the following terminology/vocabulary: backtesting, forward testing (i.e. paper trading on a demo account), drawdown (DD), maximum drawdown (MDD or MaxDD), and monthly/annual ROI (return on investment, as a percentage).
Also, note: "focus" on testing for maximum drawdown (MDD or MaxDD) (making sure drawdowns are not "too much/high/extreme" AND not "too frequent"; for example, not greater than 30%-50%, depending on your risk tolerance or preference) and looking for a "track-record" of "overall consistent" "monthly" profits from both backtesting and forward testing, i.e. paper trading on a demo account (both for a "significant" time period, depending on the "frequency" of trades placed from the EA). This "track-record" can be "verified" either through the "myfxbook" website or through the combined use of backtesting and forward testing.
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Each and every year, students graduate from college and university. How is it "economically feasible" to provide jobs for all or most of these people? My understanding is that people need to display a good understanding of the psychology of first impression, which includes genuine/authentic personality, trustworthiness, and competency (reflected in education); in other words, honest, reliable, and competent in relevant matters, or integrity, energy, and intelligence.
Problem: The individual's attainment of their “desired dream/career job", which is their ultimate purpose for pursuing "rigorous" higher education (i.e. college or university) or "rigorous" professional education (i.e. apprenticeship or trades).
I believe that a lot of people attend college and university with the hope that they will obtain a job after they graduate, a job that will support them financially. If money is the primary reason for their pursuing higheprofessional education, shouldn't they be "informed" (as part of a global/collective civic/social responsibility) that there are alternative ways of making money (personally, namely, trading the financial markets), ones that will actually lead them to, or at least have a higher probability of leading them to, financial independence/prosperity, since the chances of them achieving such goal upon graduation from college/university is realistically slim – if not the problem of difficulty finding employment related to their “desired careedream job”, then the problem of a dead-end mediocre job with a “fixed” “small” salary?
Should we, as a society, steer people away from college/university, often temporarily, since, let's be honest, our society is currently producing "a lot" of "mediocre" individuals with no real chance of obtaining a job that they were initially in pursuit of? Can we, as a society, do a better job of "realizing" and "maximizing" the talents/skills of these "mediocre" individuals, i.e. individuals who have no real chance of obtaining a job which they had been (or currently are) pursuing/studying rigorously for?
After going through a proper evaluation of current circumstances and current options, I've realized that people need to get certain things in their life straight "before" working on pursuing higheprofessional education – i.e. Health > Wealth > Education/”Prestige”.
The mass of people who pursue college and university because their program is in high demand are ones that are studying the program not for its unique intricacies, but rather only for graduation with the expectation that they "deserve" to be rewarded a job. As opposed to, respect and appreciation to the language their subject takes on (whether that be Accounting language or Computer Programming language, etc.). Respect and appreciation for a subject or field is displayed when the person engages with the subject or field with a “critical thinking” mindset, with the main purpose/goal of analyzing and critiquing thoroughly the accuracy of any statement presented to them that is related to their chosen subject or field, i.e. effectively utilizing journaling and documentation (see relevant section below, point #1 of 2 under “ESSENTIAL/CRUCIAL” for more details); this main purpose/goal is often rooted from a genuine desire/interest/passion for pursuing/studying their chosen subject or field.
The simple fact remains that it is simply not economically feasible to provide jobs to meet the constant influx of supply being produced by colleges and universities, "each" and "every" year. As a result, why are people making the foolish decision to incur immense amount of “DEBT” (keyword) while pursuing higheprofessional education when the economic reality simply does not provide enough jobs for society, i.e. jobs that are specifically expected of from college and university graduates?
Quoted from someone else: "Our societies have for so long told us that education can and should equate to professional success, which should equate to economic success, yet we are entering a period where that simply can't occur. The foundation that those notions were created upon doesn't exist any longer, given how we have evolved and grown as a species, and we have yet to make the transition to a new set of notions."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Some ESSENTIAL/CRUCIAL characteristics of an individual who exhibits genuine desire/interest/passion for pursuing/studying their chosen subject/field (especially at the higher education or professional education level) are as follows:
1) Effective "Information Management" strategy (utilizing journaling and documentation). The individual had made it a priority to create and compile personal notes or online documents for the purpose of future-reference and documentation – for potential revision, self-reflection, self-correction, or discovery, as this is crucial for knowledge retrieval, knowledge retention, as well as knowledge synthesis and creating/generating new knowledge. Note: information becomes knowledge when you regard the information as valuable and when you make the conscious decision to keep it as part of your notes with the expectation/option of using it in the future; knowledge is information in action, so actually using the information, instead of dismissing it as irrelevant.
Response from another individual/writer:
  • I don't mean that all information has to be kept as notes, nor that other strategies/tactics of finding/retrieving information aren't valuable. I don't even mean that it's impossible for someone to exist/operate without ever taking any notes. Most saliently, I'm more saying that to categorically omit note-taking from one's information management capabilities/strategy is to invite unnecessary trouble, likely to the point of dysfunction, unless one happens to never be doing anything that involves any significantly elusive information to begin with.
  • My bias toward this assessment is reinforced by 25+ years of highly-technical work that has resulted in literally thousands (or tens-of-thousands) of pieces of information, extremely valuable to me, that can't be readily found anywhere but in my notes.
  • Some of it is information specifically originating with myself – there's no one or nowhere else from which it can be gotten. Some of it is information that took me immense amounts of time, thought, and effort to find/acquire, and I would never want to have to try to find it again. Most of these things are in my notes because they have either already disappeared, or are likely to disappear, off of the internet, or don't lend themselves well to simple bookmark-able reference.
  • Another way of saying this is that personally-kept notes are a reflection of the time/effort/insight one has had to put into acquiring the information, combined with the value of retrieval efficiency (organized for one's own retrieval needs). To subject yourself to relying on reproduction of that time/effort and self-organization is to either admit that the time/effort isn't significant (i.e. the information is rather trivial or ubiquitous in nature), or that your own time/effort spent isn't worth much (if you're willing to repeat it).
  • Also, if one assumes that the information is always going to be right where you can easily find it, or even right where you found it before, that's actually just naive.
  • While its true you still need to expend time/effort into locating the info, it has been organized specifically how YOU determine it should be, and thus truncates any actual "overhead" involved in the typical "location" process, not to mention the guarantee that it's actually there to find. Note: overhead expense refers to an ongoing expense of operating a business; it is also known as an "operating expense".
  • As a simple/clear example: if you've never spent hours sifting through the deluge from the Google sewer pipe flooding into your browser, just to find anything remotely relevant to the fairly elusive technical scenario you're trying to resolve, then you're probably not acquainted with really anything I'm talking about, and your dismissal would then represent simply being unaware.
2) The individual is ASSERTIVE and NOT PASSIVE towards the subject they are studying. They are WILLING to articulate and share important ideas and concepts from the subject they are studying. The individual is not seen as someone who is under the spell/act (i.e. false and disingenuous impression of superior intelligence) of mindless regurgitation but rather, the individual is able to offer their OWN UNIQUE interpretation on the subject they are studying, while also citing important concepts or ideas where citation is necessary. In other words, the individual demonstrates "individual competency" THROUGH the subject they are studying and are ultimately/inherently passionate about. The individual's competency (i.e. his/her opinion or interpretation of what is relevant or accurate information) is demonstrated through the individual's pattern of logical and coherent thinking, as well as through the individual's writing style (which displays "CONFIDENCE" in what the individual is presenting as relevant or accurate information).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Relevant response from another individual:
Decide where you fall on the self-directed spectrum.
Highly self-directed: technical books and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
Average: an online community + curriculum like Free Code Camp or theodinproject.com
Not very self-directed: An in-person coding boot camp like Hack Reactor or App Academy; similar to “subpamediocre” college/university “classroom” learning.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There are only so many ways of acquiring wealth (with only some methods actually leading to long-term/sustainable financial independence/prosperity):
1) Real Estate
2) Owning a business; being an entrepreneur
3) Career Job requiring higher education (i.e. college or university) or professional education (i.e. apprenticeship or trades)
4) Minimum Wage Jobs
5) Trading the financial markets; making financial “investments” (stocks, forex, futures, options, equities, commodities, etc.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Pseudo-Intellectual versus Intellectual (the following is a response from another individual/writer):
An intellectual follows the values and attitudes of Critical Thinking, and exercises good thinking habits. Their interest lies in discovery and self-correction.
The traits of a true intellectual are as follows:
  • intellectual humility – recognizing the limits and sensitivities of one's experience.
  • intellectual courage – ability to examine things and/or state results or potentialities, even if it may be costly/risky to your personal beliefs, or social acceptance, established norms or theories. The ability to put things at risk. Even if they are your own cherished ideas or beliefs that you are putting at risk.
  • intellectual empathy – knowing that you have to imaginatively put yourself in the place of others in order to understand them.
  • intellectual autonomy – being able to think independently, to carry through without constant guidance from others, and sometimes even to come to different conclusions.
  • intellectual integrity – holding yourself to the same standards you hold others, and holding all beliefs to the same standards.
  • intellectual honesty – being willing to admit discrepancies and avoid overlooking exceptions, even to oneself.
  • intellectual perseverance – having the patience to struggle through difficult or complex problems.
  • confidence in reason – willingness to follow the logic where-ever it leads.
  • fair-mindedness – avoiding making unjustified special exceptions or privileges. Holding all viewpoints to the same standards. This does not mean that all views are equal; it means they all are held to the same universal standards. They might end up meeting those standards very unequally. For instance: the theory of evolution vs the fable of creation, or climate change vs science denialism.
A pseudo-intellectual does not do these things. Their interest lies not in discovery and self-correction, but in confirmation of what is already believed. Confirmation Bias. Their "thinking" style is characterized by cognitive biases, a lack of self-reflection/self-correction, a lack of rigor and completeness, and applying woefully different standards to beliefs/ideas that they cherish, and any information that calls them into question.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
submitted by gentlestream to algotrading [link] [comments]

Feedback Needed

The following is a comprehensive response outlining a viable, reasonable, scalable, and sustainable solution for achieving financial independence/prosperity. Please let me know what you think as I would appreciate your feedback.
Trade the financial markets, specifically Forex trading. It's a fkin trillion dollar industry! There are a plethora of businesses online that sell software to meet the trading/investment needs of various demanding clients.
Just look up online EAs (Expert Advisor, which is automated/algorithmic trading, for Meta Trader 4), verify results using the myfxbook website (i.e. a reputable independent third-party website that certifies and tracks the record/performance of various trading strategies/systems, including commercial EAs), purchase the EA, verify results again by running/performing both a backtest and a forward test (i.e. paper trading on a demo account), and then, and only then can/should you use the EA with real money trading on a live/real account.
You can verify the EA's reliability by performing a backtest for a "significant" time period (for example 5-10 years; or depending on the "frequency" of trades placed from the EA) coupled with 2-3 months of forward testing (i.e. paper trading on a demo account) and if the results are "consistently" profitable (i.e. "overall consistent" "monthly" profits from both backtesting and forward testing) with drawdowns being not "too much/high/extreme" AND not "too frequent", then you can go live and trade using real money.
It's okay to expect a particular trading strategy/system to expire (i.e. lose its edge, or for profits to weaken/deteriorate/diminish). When that time comes, simply go onto the next “hot/trendy” EA or if you were fortunate enough to accumulate significant profits, you can store those profits in an interest-savings account and receive periodic income that way.
The purpose of backtesting and forward testing is to ensure drawdowns are not "too much/high/extreme" AND not "too frequent", AND that there is proper risk management "embedded within the EA", thus minimizing/avoiding the risk of "extreme" drawdown or "extreme" losses when using real money.
Note: The switch to "another" hot/trendy EA should be made when the profits earned from the "current" EA have reached a point/level where it no longer appeals to the individual's interest/preference. However, if there is an "unusual/unexpected/unanticipated" "significant" drawdown (according to the performed backtest and forward test), then that would unfortunately represent an actual/real risk/loss incurred by the individual (and would still require a switch to another hot/trendy EA). This risk can be "mitigated/minimized" by performing a backtest "AND" a forward test (both for a "significant" time period, i.e. depending on the "frequency" of trades placed from the EA), AND by conducting a proper psychological evaluation of the EA seller (as an "individual" entity), i.e. evaluating their reliability, logic, and confidence when it comes to addressing/answering relevant/crucial questions pertaining to Forex/Finance/Trading/Investing (rather than asking for or needing specific details regarding their intellectual property or proprietary strategy/system/software, i.e. their source code or trading methodology).
Ultimately, it comes down to “risk tolerance” while taking into account the results obtained from backtesting and forward testing, as well as the level of confidence and trust you impart/place on the person/group selling/distributing the EA.
Note: refer to the Investopedia website for definitions on the following terminology/vocabulary: backtesting, forward testing (i.e. paper trading on a demo account), drawdown (DD), maximum drawdown (MDD or MaxDD), and monthly/annual ROI (return on investment, as a percentage).
Also, note: "focus" on testing for maximum drawdown (MDD or MaxDD) (making sure drawdowns are not "too much/high/extreme" AND not "too frequent"; for example, not greater than 30%-50%, depending on your risk tolerance or preference) and looking for a "track-record" of "overall consistent" "monthly" profits from both backtesting and forward testing, i.e. paper trading on a demo account (both for a "significant" time period, depending on the "frequency" of trades placed from the EA). This "track-record" can be "verified" either through the "myfxbook" website or through the combined use of backtesting and forward testing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Each and every year, students graduate from college and university. How is it "economically feasible" to provide jobs for all or most of these people? My understanding is that people need to display a good understanding of the psychology of first impression, which includes genuine/authentic personality, trustworthiness, and competency (reflected in education); in other words, honest, reliable, and competent in relevant matters, or integrity, energy, and intelligence.
Problem: The individual's attainment of their “desired dream/career job", which is their ultimate purpose for pursuing "rigorous" higher education (i.e. college or university) or "rigorous" professional education (i.e. apprenticeship or trades).
I believe that a lot of people attend college and university with the hope that they will obtain a job after they graduate, a job that will support them financially. If money is the primary reason for their pursuing higheprofessional education, shouldn't they be "informed" (as part of a global/collective civic/social responsibility) that there are alternative ways of making money (personally, namely, trading the financial markets), ones that will actually lead them to, or at least have a higher probability of leading them to, financial independence/prosperity, since the chances of them achieving such goal upon graduation from college/university is realistically slim – if not the problem of difficulty finding employment related to their “desired careedream job”, then the problem of a dead-end mediocre job with a “fixed” “small” salary?
Should we, as a society, steer people away from college/university, often temporarily, since, let's be honest, our society is currently producing "a lot" of "mediocre" individuals with no real chance of obtaining a job that they were initially in pursuit of? Can we, as a society, do a better job of "realizing" and "maximizing" the talents/skills of these "mediocre" individuals, i.e. individuals who have no real chance of obtaining a job which they had been (or currently are) pursuing/studying rigorously for?
After going through a proper evaluation of current circumstances and current options, I've realized that people need to get certain things in their life straight "before" working on pursuing higheprofessional education – i.e. Health > Wealth > Education/”Prestige”.
The mass of people who pursue college and university because their program is in high demand are ones that are studying the program not for its unique intricacies, but rather only for graduation with the expectation that they "deserve" to be rewarded a job. As opposed to, respect and appreciation to the language their subject takes on (whether that be Accounting language or Computer Programming language, etc.). Respect and appreciation for a subject or field is displayed when the person engages with the subject or field with a “critical thinking” mindset, with the main purpose/goal of analyzing and critiquing thoroughly the accuracy of any statement presented to them that is related to their chosen subject or field, i.e. effectively utilizing journaling and documentation (see relevant section below, point #1 of 2 under “ESSENTIAL/CRUCIAL” for more details); this main purpose/goal is often rooted from a genuine desire/interest/passion for pursuing/studying their chosen subject or field.
The simple fact remains that it is simply not economically feasible to provide jobs to meet the constant influx of supply being produced by colleges and universities, "each" and "every" year. As a result, why are people making the foolish decision to incur immense amount of “DEBT” (keyword) while pursuing higheprofessional education when the economic reality simply does not provide enough jobs for society, i.e. jobs that are specifically expected of from college and university graduates?
Quoted from someone else: "Our societies have for so long told us that education can and should equate to professional success, which should equate to economic success, yet we are entering a period where that simply can't occur. The foundation that those notions were created upon doesn't exist any longer, given how we have evolved and grown as a species, and we have yet to make the transition to a new set of notions."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Some ESSENTIAL/CRUCIAL characteristics of an individual who exhibits genuine desire/interest/passion for pursuing/studying their chosen subject/field (especially at the higher education or professional education level) are as follows:
1) Effective "Information Management" strategy (utilizing journaling and documentation). The individual had made it a priority to create and compile personal notes or online documents for the purpose of future-reference and documentation – for potential revision, self-reflection, self-correction, or discovery, as this is crucial for knowledge retrieval, knowledge retention, as well as knowledge synthesis and creating/generating new knowledge. Note: information becomes knowledge when you regard the information as valuable and when you make the conscious decision to keep it as part of your notes with the expectation/option of using it in the future; knowledge is information in action, so actually using the information, instead of dismissing it as irrelevant.
Response from another individual/writer:
  • I don't mean that all information has to be kept as notes, nor that other strategies/tactics of finding/retrieving information aren't valuable. I don't even mean that it's impossible for someone to exist/operate without ever taking any notes. Most saliently, I'm more saying that to categorically omit note-taking from one's information management capabilities/strategy is to invite unnecessary trouble, likely to the point of dysfunction, unless one happens to never be doing anything that involves any significantly elusive information to begin with.
  • My bias toward this assessment is reinforced by 25+ years of highly-technical work that has resulted in literally thousands (or tens-of-thousands) of pieces of information, extremely valuable to me, that can't be readily found anywhere but in my notes.
  • Some of it is information specifically originating with myself – there's no one or nowhere else from which it can be gotten. Some of it is information that took me immense amounts of time, thought, and effort to find/acquire, and I would never want to have to try to find it again. Most of these things are in my notes because they have either already disappeared, or are likely to disappear, off of the internet, or don't lend themselves well to simple bookmark-able reference.
  • Another way of saying this is that personally-kept notes are a reflection of the time/effort/insight one has had to put into acquiring the information, combined with the value of retrieval efficiency (organized for one's own retrieval needs). To subject yourself to relying on reproduction of that time/effort and self-organization is to either admit that the time/effort isn't significant (i.e. the information is rather trivial or ubiquitous in nature), or that your own time/effort spent isn't worth much (if you're willing to repeat it).
  • Also, if one assumes that the information is always going to be right where you can easily find it, or even right where you found it before, that's actually just naive.
  • While its true you still need to expend time/effort into locating the info, it has been organized specifically how YOU determine it should be, and thus truncates any actual "overhead" involved in the typical "location" process, not to mention the guarantee that it's actually there to find. Note: overhead expense refers to an ongoing expense of operating a business; it is also known as an "operating expense".
  • As a simple/clear example: if you've never spent hours sifting through the deluge from the Google sewer pipe flooding into your browser, just to find anything remotely relevant to the fairly elusive technical scenario you're trying to resolve, then you're probably not acquainted with really anything I'm talking about, and your dismissal would then represent simply being unaware.
2) The individual is ASSERTIVE and NOT PASSIVE towards the subject they are studying. They are WILLING to articulate and share important ideas and concepts from the subject they are studying. The individual is not seen as someone who is under the spell/act (i.e. false and disingenuous impression of superior intelligence) of mindless regurgitation but rather, the individual is able to offer their OWN UNIQUE interpretation on the subject they are studying, while also citing important concepts or ideas where citation is necessary. In other words, the individual demonstrates "individual competency" THROUGH the subject they are studying and are ultimately/inherently passionate about. The individual's competency (i.e. his/her opinion or interpretation of what is relevant or accurate information) is demonstrated through the individual's pattern of logical and coherent thinking, as well as through the individual's writing style (which displays "CONFIDENCE" in what the individual is presenting as relevant or accurate information).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Relevant response from another individual:
Decide where you fall on the self-directed spectrum.
Highly self-directed: technical books and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
Average: an online community + curriculum like Free Code Camp or theodinproject.com
Not very self-directed: An in-person coding boot camp like Hack Reactor or App Academy; similar to “subpamediocre” college/university “classroom” learning.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There are only so many ways of acquiring wealth (with only some methods actually leading to long-term/sustainable financial independence/prosperity):
1) Real Estate
2) Owning a business; being an entrepreneur
3) Career Job requiring higher education (i.e. college or university) or professional education (i.e. apprenticeship or trades)
4) Minimum Wage Jobs
5) Trading the financial markets; making financial “investments” (stocks, forex, futures, options, equities, commodities, etc.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Pseudo-Intellectual versus Intellectual (the following is a response from another individual/writer):
An intellectual follows the values and attitudes of Critical Thinking, and exercises good thinking habits. Their interest lies in discovery and self-correction.
The traits of a true intellectual are as follows:
  • intellectual humility – recognizing the limits and sensitivities of one's experience.
  • intellectual courage – ability to examine things and/or state results or potentialities, even if it may be costly/risky to your personal beliefs, or social acceptance, established norms or theories. The ability to put things at risk. Even if they are your own cherished ideas or beliefs that you are putting at risk.
  • intellectual empathy – knowing that you have to imaginatively put yourself in the place of others in order to understand them.
  • intellectual autonomy – being able to think independently, to carry through without constant guidance from others, and sometimes even to come to different conclusions.
  • intellectual integrity – holding yourself to the same standards you hold others, and holding all beliefs to the same standards.
  • intellectual honesty – being willing to admit discrepancies and avoid overlooking exceptions, even to oneself.
  • intellectual perseverance – having the patience to struggle through difficult or complex problems.
  • confidence in reason – willingness to follow the logic where-ever it leads.
  • fair-mindedness – avoiding making unjustified special exceptions or privileges. Holding all viewpoints to the same standards. This does not mean that all views are equal; it means they all are held to the same universal standards. They might end up meeting those standards very unequally. For instance: the theory of evolution vs the fable of creation, or climate change vs science denialism.
A pseudo-intellectual does not do these things. Their interest lies not in discovery and self-correction, but in confirmation of what is already believed. Confirmation Bias. Their "thinking" style is characterized by cognitive biases, a lack of self-reflection/self-correction, a lack of rigor and completeness, and applying woefully different standards to beliefs/ideas that they cherish, and any information that calls them into question.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
submitted by gentlestream to Forex [link] [comments]

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COMPREHENSIVE Forex Trading SOLUTION/ANSWER; FEEDBACK NEEDED

The following is a comprehensive response outlining a viable, reasonable, scalable, and sustainable solution for achieving financial independence/prosperity. Please let me know what you think as I would appreciate your feedback.
Trade the financial markets, specifically Forex trading. It's a fkin trillion dollar industry! There are a plethora of businesses online that sell software to meet the trading/investment needs of various demanding clients.
Just look up online EAs (Expert Advisor, which is automated/algorithmic trading, for Meta Trader 4), verify results using the myfxbook website (i.e. a reputable independent third-party website that certifies and tracks the record/performance of various trading strategies/systems, including commercial EAs), purchase the EA, verify results again by running/performing both a backtest and a forward test (i.e. paper trading on a demo account), and then, and only then can/should you use the EA with real money trading on a live/real account.
You can verify the EA's reliability by performing a backtest for a "significant" time period (for example 5-10 years; or depending on the "frequency" of trades placed from the EA) coupled with 2-3 months of forward testing (i.e. paper trading on a demo account) and if the results are "consistently" profitable (i.e. "overall consistent" "monthly" profits from both backtesting and forward testing) with drawdowns being not "too much/high/extreme" AND not "too frequent", then you can go live and trade using real money.
It's okay to expect a particular trading strategy/system to expire (i.e. lose its edge, or for profits to weaken/deteriorate/diminish). When that time comes, simply go onto the next “hot/trendy” EA or if you were fortunate enough to accumulate significant profits, you can store those profits in an interest-savings account and receive periodic income that way.
The purpose of backtesting and forward testing is to ensure drawdowns are not "too much/high/extreme" AND not "too frequent", AND that there is proper risk management "embedded within the EA", thus minimizing/avoiding the risk of "extreme" drawdown or "extreme" losses when using real money.
Note: The switch to "another" hot/trendy EA should be made when the profits earned from the "current" EA have reached a point/level where it no longer appeals to the individual's interest/preference. However, if there is an "unusual/unexpected/unanticipated" "significant" drawdown (according to the performed backtest and forward test), then that would unfortunately represent an actual/real risk/loss incurred by the individual (and would still require a switch to another hot/trendy EA). This risk can be "mitigated/minimized" by performing a backtest "AND" a forward test (both for a "significant" time period, i.e. depending on the "frequency" of trades placed from the EA), AND by conducting a proper psychological evaluation of the EA seller (as an "individual" entity), i.e. evaluating their reliability, logic, and confidence when it comes to addressing/answering relevant/crucial questions pertaining to Forex/Finance/Trading/Investing (rather than asking for or needing specific details regarding their intellectual property or proprietary strategy/system/software, i.e. their source code or trading methodology).
Ultimately, it comes down to “risk tolerance” while taking into account the results obtained from backtesting and forward testing, as well as the level of confidence and trust you impart/place on the person/group selling/distributing the EA.
Note: refer to the Investopedia website for definitions on the following terminology/vocabulary: backtesting, forward testing (i.e. paper trading on a demo account), drawdown (DD), maximum drawdown (MDD or MaxDD), and monthly/annual ROI (return on investment, as a percentage).
Also, note: "focus" on testing for maximum drawdown (MDD or MaxDD) (making sure drawdowns are not "too much/high/extreme" AND not "too frequent"; for example, not greater than 30%-50%, depending on your risk tolerance or preference) and looking for a "track-record" of "overall consistent" "monthly" profits from both backtesting and forward testing, i.e. paper trading on a demo account (both for a "significant" time period, depending on the "frequency" of trades placed from the EA). This "track-record" can be "verified" either through the "myfxbook" website or through the combined use of backtesting and forward testing.
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Each and every year, students graduate from college and university. How is it "economically feasible" to provide jobs for all or most of these people? My understanding is that people need to display a good understanding of the psychology of first impression, which includes genuine/authentic personality, trustworthiness, and competency (reflected in education); in other words, honest, reliable, and competent in relevant matters, or integrity, energy, and intelligence.
Problem: The individual's attainment of their “desired dream/career job", which is their ultimate purpose for pursuing "rigorous" higher education (i.e. college or university) or "rigorous" professional education (i.e. apprenticeship or trades).
I believe that a lot of people attend college and university with the hope that they will obtain a job after they graduate, a job that will support them financially. If money is the primary reason for their pursuing higheprofessional education, shouldn't they be "informed" (as part of a global/collective civic/social responsibility) that there are alternative ways of making money (personally, namely, trading the financial markets), ones that will actually lead them to, or at least have a higher probability of leading them to, financial independence/prosperity, since the chances of them achieving such goal upon graduation from college/university is realistically slim – if not the problem of difficulty finding employment related to their “desired careedream job”, then the problem of a dead-end mediocre job with a “fixed” “small” salary?
Should we, as a society, steer people away from college/university, often temporarily, since, let's be honest, our society is currently producing "a lot" of "mediocre" individuals with no real chance of obtaining a job that they were initially in pursuit of? Can we, as a society, do a better job of "realizing" and "maximizing" the talents/skills of these "mediocre" individuals, i.e. individuals who have no real chance of obtaining a job which they had been (or currently are) pursuing/studying rigorously for?
After going through a proper evaluation of current circumstances and current options, I've realized that people need to get certain things in their life straight "before" working on pursuing higheprofessional education – i.e. Health > Wealth > Education/”Prestige”.
The mass of people who pursue college and university because their program is in high demand are ones that are studying the program not for its unique intricacies, but rather only for graduation with the expectation that they "deserve" to be rewarded a job. As opposed to, respect and appreciation to the language their subject takes on (whether that be Accounting language or Computer Programming language, etc.). Respect and appreciation for a subject or field is displayed when the person engages with the subject or field with a “critical thinking” mindset, with the main purpose/goal of analyzing and critiquing thoroughly the accuracy of any statement presented to them that is related to their chosen subject or field, i.e. effectively utilizing journaling and documentation (see relevant section below, point #1 of 2 under “ESSENTIAL/CRUCIAL” for more details); this main purpose/goal is often rooted from a genuine desire/interest/passion for pursuing/studying their chosen subject or field.
The simple fact remains that it is simply not economically feasible to provide jobs to meet the constant influx of supply being produced by colleges and universities, "each" and "every" year. As a result, why are people making the foolish decision to incur immense amount of “DEBT” (keyword) while pursuing higheprofessional education when the economic reality simply does not provide enough jobs for society, i.e. jobs that are specifically expected of from college and university graduates?
Quoted from someone else: "Our societies have for so long told us that education can and should equate to professional success, which should equate to economic success, yet we are entering a period where that simply can't occur. The foundation that those notions were created upon doesn't exist any longer, given how we have evolved and grown as a species, and we have yet to make the transition to a new set of notions."
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Some ESSENTIAL/CRUCIAL characteristics of an individual who exhibits genuine desire/interest/passion for pursuing/studying their chosen subject/field (especially at the higher education or professional education level) are as follows:
1) Effective "Information Management" strategy (utilizing journaling and documentation). The individual had made it a priority to create and compile personal notes or online documents for the purpose of future-reference and documentation – for potential revision, self-reflection, self-correction, or discovery, as this is crucial for knowledge retrieval, knowledge retention, as well as knowledge synthesis and creating/generating new knowledge. Note: information becomes knowledge when you regard the information as valuable and when you make the conscious decision to keep it as part of your notes with the expectation/option of using it in the future; knowledge is information in action, so actually using the information, instead of dismissing it as irrelevant.
Response from another individual/writer:
  • I don't mean that all information has to be kept as notes, nor that other strategies/tactics of finding/retrieving information aren't valuable. I don't even mean that it's impossible for someone to exist/operate without ever taking any notes. Most saliently, I'm more saying that to categorically omit note-taking from one's information management capabilities/strategy is to invite unnecessary trouble, likely to the point of dysfunction, unless one happens to never be doing anything that involves any significantly elusive information to begin with.
  • My bias toward this assessment is reinforced by 25+ years of highly-technical work that has resulted in literally thousands (or tens-of-thousands) of pieces of information, extremely valuable to me, that can't be readily found anywhere but in my notes.
  • Some of it is information specifically originating with myself – there's no one or nowhere else from which it can be gotten. Some of it is information that took me immense amounts of time, thought, and effort to find/acquire, and I would never want to have to try to find it again. Most of these things are in my notes because they have either already disappeared, or are likely to disappear, off of the internet, or don't lend themselves well to simple bookmark-able reference.
  • Another way of saying this is that personally-kept notes are a reflection of the time/effort/insight one has had to put into acquiring the information, combined with the value of retrieval efficiency (organized for one's own retrieval needs). To subject yourself to relying on reproduction of that time/effort and self-organization is to either admit that the time/effort isn't significant (i.e. the information is rather trivial or ubiquitous in nature), or that your own time/effort spent isn't worth much (if you're willing to repeat it).
  • Also, if one assumes that the information is always going to be right where you can easily find it, or even right where you found it before, that's actually just naive.
  • While its true you still need to expend time/effort into locating the info, it has been organized specifically how YOU determine it should be, and thus truncates any actual "overhead" involved in the typical "location" process, not to mention the guarantee that it's actually there to find. Note: overhead expense refers to an ongoing expense of operating a business; it is also known as an "operating expense".
  • As a simple/clear example: if you've never spent hours sifting through the deluge from the Google sewer pipe flooding into your browser, just to find anything remotely relevant to the fairly elusive technical scenario you're trying to resolve, then you're probably not acquainted with really anything I'm talking about, and your dismissal would then represent simply being unaware.
2) The individual is ASSERTIVE and NOT PASSIVE towards the subject they are studying. They are WILLING to articulate and share important ideas and concepts from the subject they are studying. The individual is not seen as someone who is under the spell/act (i.e. false and disingenuous impression of superior intelligence) of mindless regurgitation but rather, the individual is able to offer their OWN UNIQUE interpretation on the subject they are studying, while also citing important concepts or ideas where citation is necessary. In other words, the individual demonstrates "individual competency" THROUGH the subject they are studying and are ultimately/inherently passionate about. The individual's competency (i.e. his/her opinion or interpretation of what is relevant or accurate information) is demonstrated through the individual's pattern of logical and coherent thinking, as well as through the individual's writing style (which displays "CONFIDENCE" in what the individual is presenting as relevant or accurate information).
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Relevant response from another individual:
Decide where you fall on the self-directed spectrum.
Highly self-directed: technical books and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
Average: an online community + curriculum like Free Code Camp or theodinproject.com
Not very self-directed: An in-person coding boot camp like Hack Reactor or App Academy; similar to “subpamediocre” college/university “classroom” learning.
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There are only so many ways of acquiring wealth (with only some methods actually leading to long-term/sustainable financial independence/prosperity):
1) Real Estate
2) Owning a business; being an entrepreneur
3) Career Job requiring higher education (i.e. college or university) or professional education (i.e. apprenticeship or trades)
4) Minimum Wage Jobs
5) Trading the financial markets; making financial “investments” (stocks, forex, futures, options, equities, commodities, etc.)
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Pseudo-Intellectual versus Intellectual (the following is a response from another individual/writer):
An intellectual follows the values and attitudes of Critical Thinking, and exercises good thinking habits. Their interest lies in discovery and self-correction.
The traits of a true intellectual are as follows:
  • intellectual humility – recognizing the limits and sensitivities of one's experience.
  • intellectual courage – ability to examine things and/or state results or potentialities, even if it may be costly/risky to your personal beliefs, or social acceptance, established norms or theories. The ability to put things at risk. Even if they are your own cherished ideas or beliefs that you are putting at risk.
  • intellectual empathy – knowing that you have to imaginatively put yourself in the place of others in order to understand them.
  • intellectual autonomy – being able to think independently, to carry through without constant guidance from others, and sometimes even to come to different conclusions.
  • intellectual integrity – holding yourself to the same standards you hold others, and holding all beliefs to the same standards.
  • intellectual honesty – being willing to admit discrepancies and avoid overlooking exceptions, even to oneself.
  • intellectual perseverance – having the patience to struggle through difficult or complex problems.
  • confidence in reason – willingness to follow the logic where-ever it leads.
  • fair-mindedness – avoiding making unjustified special exceptions or privileges. Holding all viewpoints to the same standards. This does not mean that all views are equal; it means they all are held to the same universal standards. They might end up meeting those standards very unequally. For instance: the theory of evolution vs the fable of creation, or climate change vs science denialism.
A pseudo-intellectual does not do these things. Their interest lies not in discovery and self-correction, but in confirmation of what is already believed. Confirmation Bias. Their "thinking" style is characterized by cognitive biases, a lack of self-reflection/self-correction, a lack of rigor and completeness, and applying woefully different standards to beliefs/ideas that they cherish, and any information that calls them into question.
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