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Trading Indicators Provide Water to Community in India with CharityWater

April 15, 2015 in Blog

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Our world of trading and money management can often feel impersonal.  Everything is reduced down to numbers and statistics.  We attempt to make unemotional decisions based solely on the data and insights indicators reveal.

Hamzei Analytics is one of these leaders in financial analytics, providing proprietary indicators such as the MAC+ Streamer, described in technical terms as " non-confirming divergence tool for daytrading S&P 500 Index futures, using one-minute and five minute barcharts."

Yet, in the March 2015 issue of Timer Digest where Hamzei Analytics' founder Fari Hamzei is featured as the top market timer, we discover profits made possible by their trading indicators now provide potable water to a community in India.  CharityWater.org has drilled a well in Chauba, Birauna, India, named the "Hamzei Analytics Well."  This well was funded from profits generated by the Denver-based hedge fund TrueNorth Investment Management, which uses Hamzei Analytics proprietary indicators for buy and sell decisions.

According to CharityWater.org, before the project was repaired, the community of Chauba had limited or no access to clean and safe drinking water. Now they have improved access to clean water, sanitation and a water committee trained in promoting best hygiene practices.

"To me, this is the best of all possible worlds—”following the money” to success—and also to significance by helping others less fortunate," Fari Hamzei said in Timer Digest.

Beyond the P&L, the advances in technology and market analytics can help generate the funds to live a lavish lifestyle, or improve the most basic qualities of life.  As a affiliate of MarketHeist, we would like to commend Fari Hamzei for his market timing calls this year, but more so how successful market performance can be translated into something good and humane.

Read the whole Timer Digest article here.

 

About Charity Water

Charity: water is a non-profit organization that provides clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. The organization was founded in 2006 and has helped fund 13,641 projects in 22 countries, benefiting over 4.6 million people.

Charity: water focuses on life’s most basic need -- water. But to significantly cut down disease rates in the developing world, water is just the first step. Almost everywhere charity: water builds a freshwater well, we also require sanitation training. In some communities, we build latrines; at the very least, we promote simple hand-washing stations made with readily-available materials. Clean water can greatly alleviate the world’s disease burden, but only with education and hygienic practice. charity: water is committed to using water as a gateway to sanitary living.

 

About Hamzei Analytics

Hamzei Analytics multiple proprietary indicators for equities, options, foreign exchange and index futures that are used by professional traders, hedge funds, and institutional trading departments.

Follow Hamzei Analytics on Twitter.

Are You Taking Too Much Risk?

January 25, 2015 in Advice, Investing

Are You Taking Too Much Risk?

Home run hitters strike out a lot. If you're on a quest for big returns, is it possible that you've taken on more risk than you're comfortable bearing? Risk is subjective, but a few telltale signs of tightrope investing are universal. Here are a few warning signs as well as a few fixes for unnecessarily risky investments.


Managers take a big fee for themselves, and a lot of little fees from constant trading.

The Risk: You Trade Too Often, Or Invest in Funds that Trade Too Often

It costs money to trade. Trading too frequently racks up fees that can quickly gobble up any hint of a return. But it's also important not to invest in funds whose managers trade too frequently - and there are plenty of them who do just that. The Economist estimates that managers in the 1950s turned over mutual funds at a rate of 15 percent. By 2011 it was 100 percent.

The Fix: Buy Passively Managed Funds

Index funds are passively managed - they only mirror the exact dimensions of the index that they're designed to track. Therefore, they don't have meddling managers who rack up all kinds of trading fees every time they have a hunch or a tip or a feeling about a stock - or just because they need to show that they're doing something.

The Risk: You Love Small-Cap Stocks

Small-cap stocks are more exciting and have the potential to produce greater returns than blue chips. They are also undeniably more risky. Small-cap stocks absolutely have a place in all kinds of balanced, thoughtful portfolios. But if you can't resist the urge of going all-in for small caps, you might want to add some weight to the conservative side of your portfolio.

The Fix: The Larry Portfolio

The article "Investing: What the Heck is a Larry Portfolio," calls the Larry Portfolio "intelligently risky". The portfolio, named after the investor who created it, gives you your small-cap fix -  and plenty of it. Every single stock in Larry is a small cap. That risk, however, is mitigated by a healthy dose of bonds, which are on the other end of the safety spectrum.


Small-cap stocks come with the potential for big reward, and also big risk - hedge your bets!

"Diversify your portfolio" is probably the most overused piece of canned advice in the history of investing. What good is diversification if frequent trading leaves you with returns that are barely able to outrun your fees? Small caps have great potential but they are more volatile and the funds that contain them usually charge more. They require a counterweight, like bonds. Take an honest inventory of the risk you're currently assuming, if you see a red flag, don't ignore it!

Photos: Flickr users Mary and Shailesh Saraf.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance business writer. He covers personal finance and investing.

Is It Too Soon To Invest In Big Data?

January 18, 2015 in Advice, Investing

Is It Too Soon To Invest In Big Data?

Investing is all about timing, and the coming year just may be the perfect time to invest in big data. Initially hailed for its prowess in the marketing research sector, big data - and all of its related platforms - is now becoming a familiar technology at many of the biggest and most successful companies in the world. Big data investing has already gained considerable momentum, but the field is not yet saturated by any means. This is the investment sweet spot that indicates the time may be perfect to get in on the action.


The biggest companies in the world are betting on big data - and their bets are backed by serious investment money.

Many - Soon to be Most - Big Companies Are Buying into Big Data

As discussed in the article "2014 Big Data Trends and Industry News: A Wrap-Up," 2014 was the year that big data took hold, and 2015 is poised to be the year that it takes off.

32 percent of all Fortune 500 companies had adopted Hadoop by the end of 2014, and that number is expected to grow by 36 percent in 2015. When nearly 70 percent of the world's biggest companies are all following the same trend, that trend can not be ignored by investors. Big data is established enough that it can not be written off as a fad or a service designed only for a specific niche - yet it still has a long way to go before it peaks.

Big Money Is Rarely Wrong

The end of 2014 witnessed an extraordinary influx of money into big data from firms that aren't known for rolling the dice on maybes. Cloudera and Hortonworks are both Hadoop providers. Cloudera has raised nearly a $1 billion from venture capital firms, as well as from a major investment by Intel. Hortonworks raised $100 million. An analytics startup firm called Platfora pulled in a cool $38 million.

That is industry-changing capital from companies that don't put that kind of money behind weak prospects. Now that professional financiers have acted as the canary in the coal mine, everyday investors can be much more comfortable following the trail that they blazed.


The most successful investors in the world are putting money into big data - why not the average investor?

There are many ways to invest in big data. Investors can buy into companies such as Equifax that incorporate big data into their enterprise, they can invest in a company that specializes in storing massive data sets, or they can buy stock in a company like TIBCO, which utilizes big data for giant companies. Either way, even small investors can now profit by buying into big data.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance business writer. He covers investing in the technology sector.

Investing as Part of Your Retirement Plan

December 17, 2014 in Investing

Planning for retirement is all about saving money - and you can save money in different ways. You can hide your money in a secret hole under your floorboards, but then you're actually losing money because of inflation. You can put it in a savings account, but most savings accounts bear so little interest that they just about break even with the average three percent inflation rate. The other option is to invest. Whether you're investing in stocks, bonds or any other vehicle, you're actively adding to your wealth - and the financial health of your retirement.


Retirement planning doesn't have to be expensive or stressful.

Special Retirement Funds

If you have an employer-based 401(k), an IRA or a Roth IRA, you're already investing. So many Americans use these vehicles because the government provides lucrative incentives to do so. You are - depending on your age and other factors - allowed to put money away into these funds free of any tax burden. The catch is - with a few exceptions such as medical emergencies - that you can't withdrawal your money until a certain age. The good news is, if you're an older investor, you can add even more tax-free money in every year than younger investors.

Stock Investing

Instead of tax-sheltered retirement accounts - or in addition to them - many Americans choose the stock market as the place to try to grow their money for retirement. Many retirement funds include stocks, but you can also venture out on your own. The stock market - like all investing - comes with the potential for risk and the potential for reward.

Don't Lose Money

Although this is easier said than done, the best strategy for stock investing is - if nothing else - to not lose money. Even if your investments succeed, you can lose money over time through the slow bleed of fees. Only licensed brokers can legally execute trades, so every time you buy a stock, the broker gets a commission - for every different purchase.

Funds

One way to avoid constant broker fees is - instead of buying lots of stocks and paying lots of commissions - to buy into a fund that contains a wide range of securities. The most common method to do this is through mutual funds. Mutual funds, however, are actively managed by "experts" who you never get to meet or talk to and who receive really big salaries, which are paid by the fund's investors. Every time he or she makes a trade within the fund, a commission is paid to a broker - that also comes, in part, from you.

Index Funds

Index funds are great for those interested in investing in stocks for retirement because they are passively managed and therefore have much lower fees. They merely mirror a specific index, like the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average. As discussed in the "One Senior's Perspective on Navigating this Stock Market," financial crashes like the Great Recession of 2008 can crush retirement accounts. But over time - even including the Great Depression - the market averages about 11 percent. If an index fund merely mirrors that, you're beating virtually all mutual funds - without the high fees.


A well-chosen index fund can be all you need for retirement planning.

Stock investing is tricky, but so is retiring without enough money. Look over your current retirement fund and consider adjusting it by switching your holdings over to an index fund. It certainly beats that hole in your floorboards.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance financial writer. He covers the stock market and retirement planning.

Investing Strategies for Beginners

December 10, 2014 in Investing

For those considering starting out in stock investing, it's important to have a grasp on the stock market basics. From there, you can begin to formulate a strategy based on your tolerance for risk, your budget, your age and your goals.


Diversity is the key to long-term investing success.

Different Kinds of Funds

A common thread seen in most credible investment strategies is diversification. Spreading your money out so it's not shackled to one single investment, one vehicle or even one sector is a key to long-term growth. A great way to achieve this - as opposed to buying lots of securities individually - is to buy into a fund.

Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are collections of all kinds of investment vehicles (stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.) that are chosen and run by a mutual fund manager. There are all different kinds of funds of all different sizes. You stick your money in, and an expert handles all of the decision-making. The drawbacks, however, are that you never get to meet or talk to that "expert," who is paid handsomely for his or her services. Also, every time an adjustment is made (e.g., a security is bought or sold), a commission goes to the broker who executes the trade - all of this is included in the fund's fee.

Index Funds

When you're just learning the stock market basics, it may be wise to look into index funds. Index funds are a great stock investing strategy because like mutual funds, they include a wide range of holdings and therefore provide diversification. Unlike mutual funds, however, index funds are not actively managed, and therefore come with incredibly low fees (there is never a need to pay a fee of more than 0.4 percent on an index fund).

They do not aim to beat the market (which the vast majority of mutual funds do not achieve), but only to mirror it. If you buy a fund that mirrors the Dow Jones, for example, you buy a tiny chunk of that index in the exact same proportions. When the Dow rises (which it inevitably does, over time), so does your investment.

ETFs

Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are funds that trade like stocks on the exchange, hence the name. Mutual funds often require a substantial minimum buy-in price and require you to leave your money untouched for a specified time period. ETFs, on the other hand, allow you to buy into funds the same way you would a stock - they are sold in shares on the market during business hours.


Mutual funds are run by skilled managers - but expertise comes at a cost!

For beginning investors, trying to beat or time the market is an almost certain ticket to the poor house. Invest with your eye on the long game, and you still are unlikely to beat the market - but with a well-chosen fund, you might be able to mirror it, and that would put you way up on top.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance business writer. He covers the stock market, personal finance, and profiles top content firms, such as MediaShower.com.

Hiring a Broker? Don’t Be Afraid to Conduct Online Interviews and Meetings

December 7, 2014 in Advice, Investing

Investing in stocks requires a broker to legally make the trade on your behalf. Low-cost firms provide only that service, but for more serious stock investing, a broker becomes a familiar, trusted figure in the investor's life - like a doctor or a barber. Just as with both of those occupations, when you find a good broker, you don't want to let them go.

Brokers do more than make trades. They offer advice, help develop your strategy and adapt that strategy as time moves on. The broker/investor relationship is about trust, and that trust should start with a meeting. In the modern age, the initial meeting can take place online. Follow this guide to conducting an online interview with your broker.


You can have a professional meeting with your broker without leaving the comfort of your own home.

Formality and Appearances

As discussed in "Why Online Meetings Are the New Normal," online meetings carry the same weight and should be treated with the same seriousness as an in-person meeting. Be on time and practice formality in speech, dress and environment. Just because you're lounging around your house doesn't mean you should dress like it. If you would shower and put on a shirt and tie for an in-person meeting, do the same here.

Don't chew gum, pay attention to grooming and be mindful of your background. The area behind you should be blank (a wall) or neat and professional (an orderly bookcase).

Be Prepared

Part of the online call is getting to know your potential broker and letting him or her get to know you. This is the person who will be investing in stocks on your behalf - you must have a list of questions regarding his or her background and philosophy, and finally, about what you want, expect or believe. Prepare more questions than you plan to ask, and mention any philosophical or ethical issues you have regarding stock investing.

Content

Although you shouldn't fly by the seat of your pants, don't be too rigid, either. Prepare an outline, but let the conversation develop naturally around it. It is here that you'll find out what commission your broker makes, what percentage they'll charge you, how much their consulting services cost, what their minimums are and how account withdrawal works.

No matter how friendly you and your broker become, stock investing is business. He or she is in it to make money, as are you. You can bet that the broker has his or her bases covered regarding fees and income - you should, too.


A good broker is a trusted, long-term figure in an investor's life.

Choosing a broker is a monumental - perhaps lifelong - endeavor. It requires a meeting, but that meeting doesn't have to take place face to face. It does, however, have to be treated with the same level of seriousness and formality that a traditional meeting would carry. We've advanced so far that the technological part is now the easy part. There are a million free online meeting services with reliable VoIP video and audio - the hard part is, as it's always been, nailing the interview.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance business writer. He covers stocks, investing and small business.

Mobile Hot Spots and Other Tech Gadgets Every Investor Should Own

October 26, 2014 in Advice, Investing

When it comes to stock investing, a sharp mind is the most reliable gadget a person can own. But even the sharpest, most detail-oriented among us can stand to gain a little from the miracle of modern technology. Do you go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning thinking about investing in stocks? Get a leg up with help from some of these amazing gadgets.


A mobile hotspot turns wherever you are into an Internet cafe.

Mobile Hotspots

Timing is everything when it comes to stock investing. If you're playing the market in the digital age, you've got to be mobile. A mobile hotspot enables you to work from wherever you are, without having to rely on WiFi being provided by the restaurant, hotel or coffee shop you're in when an opportunity presents itself. Simply switch it on and watch your laptop or tablet come to life.

Convertible Computers

Convertible computers are the next revolution in mobile stock investing. Part tablet, part laptop, hybrids were novelty toys for people who could afford more than one computer just a few years ago. But now, new high-end models like the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 have enough power to function as the only computer for the modern investor. The detachable tablet offers touch-screen - and even stylus pen - capability, but with the full familiarity of keyboard typing.

Paper Scanners

Virtually all stock investing is done online - but that doesn't mean that investors don't stack up a ton of paper clutter. From a lengthy prospectus that you received in the mail to investment-related receipts you're saving for tax time, investing in stocks is still a business that is done on paper. Paper scanners, like the Neat Connect line of cloud-based paper scanners, free your life from paper clutter. Scan any item and it becomes a searchable document. Since it goes right to the cloud, it doesn't even take up space on your hard drive.

Wireless Printers

You're going to need a fast, reliable printer, but you can't be shackled to a specific workspace. You're going to want to visualize and write on physical copies of charts, graphs, prospectuses and other documents. With a wireless, WiFi printer, you'll be able to print instantly and remotely from your laptop, your tablet - even from your phone. Wireless, all-in-one printers are cheaper than they've ever been, and when you're not using them for stock investing, there are a million ways to use them for personal printing.


Hybrid computers blend laptop power with tablet mobility.

A meticulous mind, relentless attention to detail and persistence in the face of frustration are the best tools an investor can possess. With those in place, however, exciting new technology can boost your productivity and - hopefully - profitability. Your competition is stocking up on any gadget that will give them an edge. You should, too.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance technology writer. He covers business technology and reviews new tablets and computers.

How to Protect Yourself from Investment Fraud

October 20, 2014 in Advice, Investing

If you're investing in stocks as part of your retirement plan, you have a great, big target on your back - especially if you're an older investor. There is an entire industry - and a big one at that - designed to con investors by playing on their hopes, fears and, yes, their greed. You're trying to take money out of the stock market - but con artists are trying to take money out of your account. Take steps to protect yourself.


Don't be a target - protect yourself from swindlers.

If it Sounds Too Good...Don't Let Your Hopes Cloud Your Judgment

The article "Retirement Investing: 7 Ways to Protect Your Retirement from Investment Frauds" reiterates a truth that most of us learned at a very young age: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Even the safest investments come with risk. No investment - especially one that involves the stock market - is "foolproof," "guaranteed" or "100 percent." If someone pitches an investment that doesn't come with risk, run.

If They Say "Buy Now!", You Say Goodbye

Investing in stocks is a lot like any other transaction where money changes hands - watch out for the hard sell. Swindlers don't want you to contemplate their offer, ask around or do research. They want to get whatever they can from you as soon as they can get it. The stock market has a lot to do with timing, and they will play on this. You should never have to decide right now, today, by 5pm. When someone pitching a stock investment is trying to create the illusion that you're running out of time with every second you think about it, it's probably because they don't want you to think about it.

The Enemy Within

Sad but true: More than one-third of elder financial abuse comes from family members, friends or neighbors - often those who were most trusted by the victim. Be wary of anyone asking to have their name added to your accounts, or of anyone who requests personal information - and that means anyone. No one ever needs your Social Security number, your passwords or any of the information that are common security check answers (your mother's maiden name, your first dog's name, etc.).


Keep an eye on your piggy bank - you're not the only one who wants what's inside.

Investing in stocks is a great way to save for your future. But it also advertises to the world that you have money to spend - or, in the case of the many unscrupulous people among us, money to be taken. Be smart, use common sense and control your emotions - specifically hope and greed. Watch out for people close to you, and never trust a deal that the seller doesn't want you to sleep on.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance personal finance writer. He covers personal investments and retirement planning.

Ergonomic Furniture to Help You Withstand Those Long Investing Sessions

October 12, 2014 in Advice, Investing

With stock investing, timing is everything - and most days, getting it right can take a very long time. Hours spent stationary, poring over charts, stats and movements is great for your strategy but horrible for your body. If your body is going to keep up with your mind, office ergonomics are a must.


A comfortable work environment can make stock investing much more exciting.

Sitting on a Good Investment

With the exception of huge dividends, a good chair is the best friend of someone who makes money from stock investing. The place where you park for countless hours is not the time to play it cheap - but you don't have to spend a fortune, either. There are a range of ergonomic chairs for under $100 at most big retailers' websites. Try to spend just enough to get free shipping, which is usually around $50.

Height-Adjustable Furniture

A sedentary lifestyle can contribute to all kinds of health risks, including obesity and heart disease. Successful stock investing entails a lot of sitting in front of a computer. But with the simple addition of adjustable furniture, you change change positions without interrupting your work. Just moving from sitting to standing alone can dramatically reduce the problems associated with static positioning.

Lighting Is Everything

The right light can mean the difference between a comfortable work day and one fraught with headaches, fatigue, irritability and trouble focusing. Don't rely on overhead fixtures. Add bright, focused, personal lighting to your workspace to remain alert and focused without straining your eyes.

Monitor Height

Ideally, the top of your computer monitor should be at or near eye level. Any more or less and you not only strain your eyes, but you risk slumping posture, which negates the whole point of having a good chair and desk. Monitor arms allow you to adult the height of your screen so it's always at the perfect height, leading to greater comfort and greater efficiency.


Stock investing requires a lot of sitting behind a computer screen - get comfy!

Even if you're seeking short-term gains, investing is a long process and a day-to-day grind. Uncomfortable office furniture and accessories can lead to back pain, leg pain, strained eyes and serious problems in the wrists and hands. You're investing in the stock market to invest in your future. Take the time to invest in your body. Comfort is not a luxury, it's a necessity.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer who covers home business and office management.

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