Monday, September 17, 2007

Playing With Money - And Making More

Ready to start playing with your money? Not interested in complicated businesses or boring bank C.D.'s? Here are some methods that aren't quite a business because you can do them once, or just whenever you feel like it. Start small and the risk is small.

Loan Sharking

Years ago a friend got a good job when I loaned him $300 to buy the necessary tools. I charged a $6 per week loan fee (don't call it interest) until he paid in full. That's more than 100% annual interest, and yes, we're still friends. Check the laws in your area if you try this, and take collateral. I don't loanshark any longer, but in my early twenties I loaned as much as $2,000 at a time ($100/month loan fee), and only once was stiffed on a small loan.

Investing In Other's Expertise

John showed me several car magazines before I understood why an old fiberglass car was a good deal at $2,300. What's a Corvette? He convinced me to put up the money, and after a new transmission for $900, he sold the 1976 Corvette for $4,300, netting us $1,000. I took half the profit ($500) for putting up the money for the two weeks.

I've done this many times with friends who know cars but don't have cash. Incidentally, if I had paid a $50 cash advance fee and 18% interest to raise the money with a credit card, my profit would still have been over $400, and John did all the work. I love playing with money. Do you have any friends who know about boats?

Buying Estates

My wife and I met a couple who buy out estates, sell some of it at flea markets, then run the rest through auctions. They've made a living at this for years. After negotiating to buy a whole house full of stuff, thay load up their trailer. If they don't want to do the flea market thing, they auction everything on Sunday afternoon for a nice profit.

If you're a good judge of value and have an auction nearby, you could also do this with rummage sales. Offer $100 for everything, then auction it off piece-by-piece. An auction near us lets anyone in, with no fee to enter - just a 25% commission on anything sold.

Playing With The Casino's Money

When I worked the roulette wheel at a casino I saw many people foolishly writing down the numbers that came up. Their theories were mostly nonsense. Casinos welcome these players and even hand them the pen and paper.

One man, however, was actually scientific about it. He found a bias in the wheel, after "charting" it for more than 5,000 spins. A number pays 35 to 1, but one of the numbers, due to manufacturing imperfections or whatever, was appearing 1 in 27 spins, instead of the average 1 in 38 spins.

He bet $10 a spin, and he profited $80 for every 27 spins of the wheel in the long run, or about $100 per hour. Since the ups and downs are dramatic, this is not for the faint-hearted. Even though he made tens of thousands, I saw him lose as much as $700 in a night. Remember too that not all wheels have biases (the casino eventually replaced that wheel). Have you ever tried "card counting" in blackjack?...

Steve Gillman has been studying every aspect of money for thirty years. You can find more interesting and useful information on his website;

Yes, Let's Make A Deal!

I received an inquiry the other day from an organization thats inviting me to speak before its staff.

Small problem: they cant pay me my standard fee.

Well, scratch them off them off the list, right?


If Ive learned anything in my consulting career, it is the wisdom in the phrase, Mighty trees come from tiny acorns. A prospect may seem small, but thats only what a snapshot will reveal. Look deeper, and youll start to detect its potential, which can be phenomenal.

Here are seven things that should be considered before we dismiss a potential deal as being impossible to make:

(1)What additional forms of compensation can they offer, besides money?

My dad, an astute businessperson and salesman, was very fond of trading goods and services. For instance, the hot, Black Mustang convertible he drove was traded for advertising time on the radio. (His best trade, from my point of view!)

If you cant do a 100% trade, consider making a deal for part-cash and part-trade. Airlines are often willing to make these arrangements.

(2)Will this experience enable you to penetrate a new market?

Some industries are difficult to break-into. Glamorous movie studios have no problem lining up vendors, and they can be very picky about hiring you, especially if you havent worked in "the biz. So, that inquiry you get from a tiny, independent studio may be just the credential you need to take you from being an outsider to becoming a chummy insider.

(3)A well-managed start-up may be tomorrows mega-firm.

Youre not just a salesperson, a marketer, or a businessperson. Youre investing in your clients in a way, by deciding to expend effort with them. If you think they are on the upswing, start with them on the ground floor. Youll take-off, together.

(4)Provide creative financing.

Defer some of your earnings, as ballplayers sometimes do, in order to allow management to temporarily strengthen its financial condition. Theres a risk, but you can moderate it if you devise a suitable and fair schedule of payments.

(5)Cut quantity, but not quality.

Their eyes may be bigger than their wallets, right now, so see if you can pare back the order, a little. The price will become more modest, but youll still be able to serve them.

(6)Consider sending them to a struggling competitor.

Why help the competition? Youll be taking the high road, and youll make two new friends, at once. And who knows, some day, that competitor may return the favor, or be open to a merger or acquisition overture.

(7)Will I feel better by saying no, or by saying yes?

There is an emotional consequence to making or passing on every deal. I regret having passed on about half of the deals that I thought I shouldnt do. Some would have had tremendous upside potential.

So, the next time you feel that you just have to say no, try your best to say yes, lets make a deal!

Dr. Gary S. Goodman 2005

Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of, is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service. A frequent guest on radio and television, worldwide, Garys programs are offered by UCLA Extension and by numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations in the United States and abroad. Gary is headquartered in Glendale, California. He can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at:

Remembering The Obvious

Traders are notorious for making the same mistakes over and over again. They abandon their risk limits. They sell earlier than their trading plan dictates, or hold on to losing trades too long. It's human to make mistakes, but long-term profitability in the challenging field of trading requires firm discipline, which is often hard to maintain. Humans are prone to hesitate and act on impulse. How can you fight impulses? One straightforward method is to develop simple plans and remind yourself as to why you need to follow them.

There are times when we try to make things more complicated than they really are. Humans tend to over-think matters and look for complexity. We may wonder why we make common trading mistakes, and as we wonder, we may search for a "hidden" unconscious reason for it all. Perhaps we secretly feel we don't deserve the profits we make and want to give back what we've made to return everything to the status quo. Maybe we secretly see money as the root of all evil and have trouble accumulating wealth. If you do hold these beliefs, they can severely hamper your trading performance, but not all traders are influenced by such unconscious motives. Sometimes a lack of discipline just reflects a very human inability to make simple plans and follow them.

Psychologists have long noticed that people have trouble following simple plans. Whether it is managing their time, losing weight, or trying to stop smoking, people have difficulty controlling their behavior. One effective strategy is to take a few obvious steps: Make a simple plan, observe and write down the conditions that stop you from following your plan, and remind yourself of the benefits for following your plan. For example, if you have trouble maintaining your risk limits, it could be for simple reasons. You may be tired during the trading day and allow your objective state of mind to hesitate. Or you may get bored during the trading day and want to seek out a little excitement. Whatever it is, it is necessary to outline the specific conditions under which you do the undesired behavior that you are trying to change or control. Once you know these conditions, it will help you anticipate when you are prone to fall prey to them.

The next step is to write down why changing your behavior is important. For example, if you want to avoid risky trades, then you need to write down why it's important to avoid such trades. You might write down on a card, "I cannot afford to keep losing capital or else I will blow out my account." Once you write this fact down, you will have to repeat it to yourself over and over again. Will repetition of this fact guarantee that you will change? Unfortunately, no! But it will go a long way toward making you change. There's something about human nature that is hard to change, but if you repeat the reasons you need to change over and over again, it may stick with you.

Sometimes self-control is just a matter of willpower and reminding yourself you can maintain control if you try. It's like standing in line at the grocery store. If the line is long and there is only one checker available in the whole store that is impossibly slow, you may be tempted to leave, but if you decide that you want your groceries no matter how long it takes, you can convince yourself to wait patiently. You can repeat over and over again, "I'll eventually get out of here if I just wait my turn. I'm determined not to leave." Repeating this mantra over and over again will help you stay in the line. But if you think, "I don't have the time to wait. Maybe I can walk out the door and go to another store," leaving will start to seem like a good idea and you will do it. A similar strategy can be taken with trading. If you want to avoid selling a trade early, it is useful to repeat to yourself over and over again, "Stick with the trading plan. Don't sell until the price reaches my profit objective." Repetition is the key strategy. Repeat what you want to do and remind yourself over and over again why you want to do it. Focus only on the trade at hand, and repeat what you want to do over and over again. It may seem obvious, but it works.

Peter Bain is the Internet's #1 Forex coach and mentor. He is famous for his unique ability to uncover new and innovative ways to harness the power of the Forex. Peter has long been known for his passion for commodity and currency trading. Peter learned trading in the early days of his career from some of the top traders in trading houses. Over the years, he has developed his instincts for a simple yet powerful trading system based on his Pivot Program, which has been continuously refined over the years. His system is the same system used by many trading houses today. For more information, please visit

Jim Rogers: How Long Will the Commodities Bull Market Last

We talked, in a taped telephone interview at his home in Singapore, with Billionaire Jim Rogers, legendary commodities trader, who picked the bottom of the commodities bull market in 1999. With George Soros, Jim Rogers co-founded the Quantum Fund in 1970.

Over the next decade, Quantum Fund grew by more than 3,300 percent. Rogers retired, later a guest professor of finance at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, and still later circumnavigating the globe to firsthand discover new investment opportunities. He is widely and often quoted in the media about his views on the commodities market. Bestselling author, investment biker, adventure capitalist and widely followed, Jim Rogers talks about what he's now investing in.

StockInterview: You began investing heavily in commodities, at very close to the bottom of the cycle. What led you to believe the commodities boom would begin in 1999?

Jim Rogers: I could see that nobody had been investing in productive capacity in crude (oil) specifically. For instance, there had been virtually no offshore drilling rigs built since 1981. There had been virtually no offshore tugboats built to service the offshore rigs since 1981. In the 1970s there were dozens of them built every year. I could see that people had cut back their exploration budgets enormously. It was pretty clear that nobody had been investing for fifteen or twenty year, in looking for new (oil) fields. There hadnt been any gigantic fields discovered since the 1960s. It was clear the world reserves were running down. That had to lead to a bull market. It so happens that I got almost the exact bottom. Im not a very good market timer or trader, but I got within a few weeks of the absolute bottom to my surprise. Then you extend that to nearly everything else, whether zinc mines or lead mines or wheat production or anything else, and you have the ingredients for a new bull market.

StockInterview: Will the recent Central Bank rising interest rate policy, which is intended to deflate the commodities bull market, fail?

Jim Rogers: Well, yes. They may cause recessions, and they probably will. Weve often had recessions. That will affect some commodities markets. But in the 1970s, we had horrible economic conditions everywhere in the world, or nearly everywhere in the world. That did not prevent one of the great bull markets of all time in commodities because supply was going down faster than demand. Remember that these markets are made up of supply and demand. If the supply goes down faster than demand goes down, you still have a bull market. There will be setbacks and consolidations, but thats just the way the world works. All bull markets have corrections, as I have said before.

StockInterview: What has convinced you to stay in the commodities bull market for this long?

Jim Rogers: Throughout history, bull markets in commodities have lasted a long time. Theyve averaged about 18 years or 19 years. The shortest I could find was fifteen years; the longest was 23 years. It takes a long time to bring new production on stream for commodities. If you and I decide to go into the lead business today, weve got to go find a lead deposit. Then, weve got to try to raise money. Weve got to deal with unions, environmentalists, governments and everybody else. And put in infrastructure. It takes on average about ten years for any new mine to be opened these days, not just in the U.S., but anywhere in the world. So, thats why the bull markets last so long. Eventually, new supplies come to market, and the bull markets have always ended. But, it takes a long, long, long time for that to happen. Its not like bringing in new shares of a dot com or something, where we go into the garage and start a company and next week we sell stock. Mines and oil fields are much different animals.

StockInterview: Is the commodities bull similar to the Internet boom of late 1999? Does it have a few more years to run, as strongly as it has?

Jim Rogers: Well, theres a bit difference. As I said before, you and I could go into the garage and start a dot com company and bring it public next month. Thats a little bit different from bringing a zinc mine on stream, much harder to bring new production to commodities compared to some of these other things. I do know, if history is any guide, were now seven years into this bull market in commodities. If its going to last 15 to 23 years, were maybe a third of the way through, so we have another 9 to 16 years to go, I guess.

COPYRIGHT 2007 by StockInterview, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

James Finch contributes to and other publications. StockInterviews Investing in the Great Uranium Bull Market has become the most popular book ever published for uranium mining stock investors. Visit

Currency Traders Secret Weapon - Support & Resistance

Do you know why only five percent of all currency traders are successful? Do they know something that we don't? The truth is that successful forex traders use the same technical indicators that you and I use. The difference lies in accurately interpreting these indicators. A common indicator used by forex traders is support and resistance. Let us see how support and resistance are used in forex trading.

Support and Resistance is the foundation of most of the top trading systems. Support and resistance levels represent pauses in the trend when investors reconsider all information. The idea of support and resistance is vital to understanding and interpreting the forex market. Support and resistance are basically price bands where the price will probably stop falling or rising respectively. Support and resistance are created because price has memory. Support and resistance are by far the most important forex trading technical indicator you will ever find, and the best forex trading option if you want to be on the right side of the market.

Support and resistance are like a floor and ceiling, with prices contained between them. Support like resistance is rarely a precise price; it is more often a relatively contained price range, frequently in the vicinity of past technical patterns. Support and resistance levels on bar and candlestick charts are a major component in the study of technical analysis. Support and resistance come in all varieties and strengths. The length of time that a support or resistance level exists helps to determine the strength or weakness of that level. When a level of support or resistance is penetrated, price tends to thrust forward sharply as the crowd notices the breakout and jumps in to buy or sell. When a level is penetrated but does not attract a crowd of buyers or sellers, it often falls back below the previous support or resistance.


Support is defined as a price level below which it is supposedly difficult for a currency pair or market to fall. Additionally it is a price level at which a currency pair or other security stops falling at least temporarily, hence the name. Support represents the level at which buying pressure is strong enough to absorb and overcome selling pressure. Support defines that level where buyers are strong enough to keep price from falling further. Support lines turn into resistance and resistance lines turn into support.


Resistance is the opposite of support and represents a price level or area over the market where selling pressure overcomes buying pressure and a price advance is turned back. Resistance defines that level where sellers are too strong to allow prices to raise further. By the time the price reaches the resistance level, it is believed that supply will overcome demand and prevent the price from rising above resistance.

So we have learned that: Understanding the concept and significance of support and resistance is important for profitable forex trading. One aspect of its unique quality is that support and resistance is defined as an area or a zone not a single price level. One of the basic precepts of support and resistance is that once a support level is violated it becomes a likely new resistance level and when a resistance level is penetrated it becomes a new support level.

Start practice trading using support and resistance on a demo account right away. Go out there and continue to research this indicator as well as other technical indicators. Once you master interpreting forex technical indicators profits will surely follow.

Have you ever desired the income and freedom of being a home based forex trader? Visit the author's (Kenneth Aikens) website for more powerful forex trading information: forex training - forex article directory.