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BETWEEN THE TRADING

FLOOR

AND THE

FINAL

SCORE...

The battle for the forex markets has begun issue 11 SEPT 2011 £3.95

Celebrity Traders: KEVIN KEEGAN & ROBBIe SAVAGE

HOW TO COPE WITH VOLATILITY

US ELECTION 2012: MARKET IMPACTs?

CITY GUIDE: BERLIN

......................SPREAD BETTING......................FOREX......................CFDs....................FUTURES.............................


Why trade FX anywhere else?

Š Citigroup, Inc., 2011. All rights reserved. Citi, Citi and Arc Design and CitiFX Pro are trademarks and service marks of Citigroup Inc. and used and/or registered throughout the world. Trading foreign exchange involves a high degree of risk. CitiFX Pro offers trading on margin. The leverage created by trading on margin can work against you as well as for you, and losses can exceed your entire investment. Before opening an account and trading, you should ensure that you understand the risks and can withstand the losses and that you seek advice from your advisors as appropriate, please see www.citifxpro.com for further details. This information is directed only at persons in the UK who qualify as Professional Clients (as defined in the rules of the Financial Services Authority) and CitiFX Pro is only available to Professional Clients in the UK. Classification as a Professional Client may require an assessment of the person’s experience and knowledge (in rolling spot or similar instruments or markets). CitiFX Pro is a service offered to you by Citibank International plc which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registered Office: Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5LB. VAT registration number GB 429 625 629. The main business of Citibank International plc is banking and securities business. It is entered on the FSA register under number 122342. * See www.citifxpro.com for details of our premium account pricing.


We are a global leader in FX trading Citi has a legacy of over 100 years in the FX markets. During this period, we have served leading corporations, hedge funds and other investors, banks and governments. CitiFX Pro is available to professional individual traders and small to mid-sized institutions. Trading with CitiFX Pro means you have a direct relationship with a leading FX brand, institutional grade research and commentary, special events with CitiFX strategists, tight spreads & more.

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THE OPEN | WELCOME

EDITOR’S LETTER Summer lovin’…not so much Is it really September already? Well then that’s the summer over I guess, so thanks for all the memories. I can’t actually remember any of those long, hot, hazy days we’ve all enjoyed in seasons past at the moment, but I’m sure they’ll come back to me at some point. There are few things I can recall though. My personal highlights of the latest instalment of the great British heat wave included a fake stag weekend (it’s a long story) to Newcastle, where it rained a lot. Another day was spent at The Open Golf Championship, which returned to my hometown for the first time in eight years but was extremely wet, and my first Glastonbury festival, where the weather was…well I think you get the picture. Throw into the mix the fact that for the past three months we’ve been incredibly busy at The Exchange, which is always a good thing but has kept us all tied to our desks for weeks, and it’s no surprise that I’m pining for just a few more days of sunshine in the month ahead. And it’s not as if we haven’t earned it. As I’m sure every man and his dog has already told you the weather this summer was the worst it’s been since 1993 (so I’ll repeat it for your pleasure just one more time). The buzz word in the markets last month was volatility, which in turn resulted in one of two things. Heavy price swings means money moving all over the place, so for traders who managed to ride the crest of a trend or two it’s been an incredibly profitable few weeks. But, for everyone with a trading account in the black this month there was at least one caught out by the sinking FTSE. It’s been something of a cold month in more than one sense for many. Forget that, it’s time to look ahead then I hear you cry. I couldn’t agree more, and there’s no better place to start than with this month’s magazine issue. As well as the usual dose of fundamental market analysis you can get up to speed with the best forex providers in the market from the UK and US, read our review of the revamped Playboy Club and pick up tips on how to make a profit betting on the US Open and Rugby World Cup.

4 | THE EXCHANGE | September 2011

Away from the markets the biggest plus at this time of year, in our office at any case, is that the football season is well and truly underway. The transfer market is closed until January, meaning we can get on with the business of actually playing some games for the first time since May. I’ve made no secret of my Manchester United roots (which are spiritual, if not geographical), and made a promise in a blog a few weeks ago to lay off the old enemy (if you’re 24 and started really getting into football in the late 90s) Arsenal. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it, but right now I feel like it would be the equivalent of bullying a small child if I made I a comment on last week’s result, which is a shame because victory over the Gunners is usually the highlight of my football calendar. Seriously, watching Arsenal go down 8-2 was almost as depressing for me as it was for the Gooners I was watching the game with. If Wenger can’t resurrect his troops to something near to an acceptable standard I’ll have no choice but to stop following my second team; whoever’s playing Arsenal. Good luck with Yossi Benayoun by the way, Arsene. He couldn’t even get a squad number at Chelsea, but I’m sure he’ll be dynamite for you. Ok that is the last dig, for definite. Anyway that’s enough from me, I hope you enjoy the issue and have a profitable month in the markets. I’ll just be praying for a bit of sunshine.

ALEX HAMMOND EDITOR

EDITOR Alex Hammond ART DIRECTOR ALEJANDRO GUERRA-PALACIOS Writers & CONTRIBUTORS SANDY JADEJA Jonathan AssIA DECLAN FALLON KEN FISHER RICHARD PERRY MARK SOUTHERN ANDREI TRATSEUSKI Michael Hewson Peter Webb ZOE FIDDES SIMON SMITH GREG MICHALOWSKI ATIF LATIF SVETOSLAV GEORGIEV KELLY BREWER STACEY WRIGHT VICTORIA POWER DIGITAL CONTENT & MARKETING ANDREW CAPEL Public Relations Mark Southern Polygon PR SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Simon wiltshire SUBSCRIPTIONS subscription@theexchangemagazine.com

PUBLISHED BY The exchange

admin@theexchangemagazine.com

ISSN: 20472625

© 2011. The Magazine is published by The Exchange. All rights reserved. The publishers declare that any publication of any advertisement does not carry their endorsement or sponsorship of the advertiser or their products or services unless so indicated. Contributions are invited and, whether or not accepted, submissions will be returned only if accompanied by a stamped addressed envelope. No responsibility can be taken for drawings, photographs or literary contributions during transmission or while in the Managing Editor’s hands. Proof of receipt is no guarantee of appearance. In the absence of an agreement, the copyright of all contributions, literary, photographic or artistic belongs to the The Exchange. This publication (or any part thereof) may not be reproduced, transmitted or stored in print or electronic format (including, but not limited to, any online service, database or part of the internet), or in any other format in any media whatsoever, without the prior written permission of The Exchange. The Exchange accept no liability for the accuracy of the contents or any other opinions expressed herein.


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CONTENTS

28 20

contents

the open

the spread

FEATURED

the close

12 Ups & Downs 14 Book Club 16 Five good minutes with... 20 Celebrity Traders: Kevin Keegan & Robbie Savage 24 Trader TV

28 The FX War

58

6 | THE EXCHANGE | September 2011

the long

36 The Swiss Franc Factor 38 Sovereign Debt Market 40 Ken Fisher 42 Less popular currency pairs 44 Getting started in forex 46 Trading through volatility 48 Looking for a guiding light 50 Anticipating a trend 52 Chart wonk 54 Measuring Volatility 56 Market Update 58 Sports spread betting

64 Restaurants 66 The Playboy Club 70 City Guide: Berlin 74 Weekends 76 Sweet Suite 78 Five Best

82 Flights 84 Who’s Who 86 Glossary 90 Killa Villa

66


TRADING THE EURO IS EASY? BULL .

Forex is tough. It takes skill to avoid being gored by the unpredictable. Can you handle volatility when it charges?

isforexhard.com

Trading off-exchange foreign exchange on margin carries a high level of risk and is not suitable for all investors. Running of the Bulls, Pamplona, Spain


Your rightful place Becoming a Club Wembley member will give you guaranteed access to world-class events* until 2018, in the finest seats within Wembley Stadium. You can also experience the exclusivity of the Club Wembley concourse with a variety of restaurants and bars for you and your guests. To guarantee you’re here to enjoy our next big event call Harry Tyndall on 020 8795 9781 or email harry.tyndall@wembleystadium.com

*Subject to licence agreement. Concerts are options events. Matches that form part of a tournament where The FA are not the owner such as the Olympics Games, the Rugby World Cup or The UEFA Champions League Final are not included.


The greatest views from the greatest stadium Club Wembley is the finest way to enjoy all the action at one of the world’s greatest stadiums. Choose the right seat for your business needs from commanding corner views to fantastic half-way line seats or even the exclusivity of your own Corporate Box. A Club Wembley seat licence is the only way to guarantee access to the best events until 2018* including: • • • • • •

All England Senior home games The Football League Cup Final The FA Cup Final Both FA Cup Semi-Finals The FA Community Shield The Rugby League Challenge Cup Final

In addition, members have first option to purchase tickets or hospitality packages for other world class sporting events and concerts*. This year’s events calendar sees the return of the 5th NFL International Series^ game at Wembley Stadium in October, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosting the Chicago Bears, and the UEFA Champions League Final* is set to return in 2013.

Working hard for your business

The ultimate stadium. The ultimate club.

As competition to maintain professional partnerships and win new business continues to grow, the need to establish lasting relationships with clients becomes increasingly important. Corporate hospitality has long been seen as an ideal opportunity to nurture these relationships.

Club Wembley offers more than just the best seats in the house for the greatest events, there a number of additional benefits available to members.

Club Wembley is a powerful and rewarding way to entertain guests. It builds loyalty with existing clients and makes potential clients feel valued as well as making staff and colleagues feel rewarded. Members have access to the exclusive Club Wembley concourse which offers a kilometre of restaurants and bars. Choose from the formality of The Venue and Arc Restaurants which offer traditional cuisine to The Venue and Arc Brasseries which offer a more informal atmosphere with a contemporary hot and cold buffet. For a light snack, the Champagne and Seafood bars offer a more relaxed environment. To make the journey to the Stadium easier, all Club Wembley members have use of the complimentary train service which brings passengers into Wembley Stadium station. Tickets are available for London Marylebone, Beaconsfield, Bicester North, Warwick Parkway and Birmingham Moor Street.

• Club Wembley Connections gives members access to a range of exclusive offers and discounts with top name brands plus access to a whole host of tickets and hospitality outside of Wembley Stadium including the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, London Bierfest, Wimbledon and so much more... • Exclusive opportunities to attend a variety of exclusive Member Events including golf days, networking events and and post-match conferences**.

Interested? Find out more... Contact Harry Tyndall on 020 8795 9781 or harry.tyndall@wembleystadium.com for more information about Club Wembley or to arrange a meeting.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Club Wembley is also an ideal setting for spending valuable time with friends and family. Whoever you decide to bring with you to Club Wembley will always remember their experience at this exciting venue. ^Subject to availability *Excluding the FIFA World Cup Finals tournament; the UEFA European Championship Finals tournament; the Olympic Games; any association football match staged at the Stadium where The FA or the Football League is not the owner. We will however try to secure tickets for these excluded bid events where possible. ** Member events are subject to availability and may change year on year. Places will be limited to each event. Details of these events will be communicated to Club Wembley members with prior notice. Club Wembley reserves the right to change or withdraw member events at anytime.


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SPREAD BETS | CFDs | FOREX / gftuk.com / +44 (0) 20 7170 0770 GFT Global Markets UK Ltd. is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.


LET’S GET GOING

OPEN THE

IN THE OPEN UPS AND DOWNS BOOK CLUB FIVE GOOD MINUTES WITH... CELEBRITY TRADER TRADER TV

Bulls & Bears on the Box

Manchester United to float stake in club on Singapore market In a move that has surprised many of the club´s supporters, Manchester United announced last month that it is to sell off a stake in the club , in the most part to pay off their gross debts of £515m. The Glazer family, who took control of the club in 2005 on the back of huge bank borrowing, removed the club from the LSE but will now be looking to sell of a minority stake off through the Singapore Stock Exchange.

It was initially hoped that the share offering of between 25% and 30%, which could raise up to £600m for the Glazers, would be completed in as little as four months, but this now looks unlikely, with the SG stating that the procedure could take up to two years. As well as United’s debt issue, analysts have seen the Singapore listing as an aggressive move by the club to create an even bolder presence in Asia.

September 2011 | THE EXCHANGE | 11


THE OPEN | UPS AND DOWNS

UPS&DOWNS

From news stories to trading issues, a round-up of the things that have caught our eye this month

Send us your news, views, and unprintable gossip at: editor@theexchangemagazine.com

Market closed, but was £485m invested or lost?

China manufacturing expands for first time on four months Manufacturing in China expanded for the first time since April last month, despite a slowdown in a number of its key markets. In contrast to expectations China’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) increased by 0.2 in August, from 50.7 to 50.9 the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) reported, although it also said it expects harder times and uncertainties in the near future. China is still the world’s largest exporter, however it is now having to cope with the fact that demand for exports in its key markets in

12 | THE EXCHANGE | September 2011

the US and Europe has declined significantly as economic growth in much of the Western World continues to slow down. The knock-on effect of this reduction of exports will be an inevitable slowing down of growth in China as well. An increase in the cost of raw materials is also having an impact on supply costs, and many analysts now predict that, in conjunction with falling demand, this will be the determining factor in the continued deterioration in growth of the Chinese economy.

In the financial sector we’re used to having access to the markets 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For others though, including the powers that be at England’s biggest football clubs, the markets are much more limited. The transfer window officially closed on 31st August, closing the door on what had been one of the busiest sending periods in British football in recent memory. Premier League clubs alone spent £485m in the summer transfer window, business analysts Deloitte have reported, £120m more than the same period last year. Where the money will come from to cover such an outlay is a question for the Premier League’s money men to ponder, but the only question football fans are interested in is “was the money well spent?” The answer, of course, is that only time will tell. Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United have spent over £50m apiece in the last three months, but it will be results on the pitch that will be the deciding factor as to whether the finance has been well invested or simply poured down the proverbial drain. The Manchester clubs, armed with new recruits including Ashley Young, Phil Jones and Sergio Aguero, are currently looking like the class acts of the field. But with nine months to go there’s a lot of football to be played before we’ll know whose money has talked and whose has walked into the sunset, for this year at least.


THE OPEN | UPS AND DOWNS

New season of Forex Championship kicks off Amateur traders and complete novices are looking forward to being able to trade like the big boys this month, as September sees the highly anticipated return of the Forex Championship for a fourth year. The foreign exchange trading competition, in which entrants trade virtual money but can win money prizes every month and at the end of the season depends on their trading results, begins on 1st September, although accounts can be registered after this date. The Forex Championship is the largest

Trading Contest in the Forex brokerage industry, with the volume of transactions exceeding €3.5bn in the competition last season, and €264,000 being handed out in monthly prizes. Over €1m was also distributed via the tournament’s MILES system, giving players free margin on real accounts at forex broker RTFX who manage the event. RTFX are also claiming many new features and improvements on last year’s tournaments, meaning that this year looks set to be the biggest and best Forex Championship to date.

Irish spread betting firm hit with fine after investigation regulations breached An Irish financial spread betting firm once based in Dublin has been fined €40,000 by the Central Bank after it was determined that it had inadequately implemented rules aimed at protecting consumers. Pan Index Ltd, which closed in July 2011after failing to make a significant impact in the UK markets, was found to have breached European regulations relating to the level of customer care it supplied to new account applicants. It failed to ask potential clients about their knowledge and experience of the spread betting and CFD markets, which regulations dictates all spread betting companies must do when assessing whether services being sought by the potential client are approproriate. The regulation breaches were detected during an inspection carried out by the Central Bank in March earlier this year. Although the fine doesn’t appear to directly affect the spread betting consumers in the UK It is currently unclear how this judgement will influence other more prevalent spread betting companies in the UK.

FSA fines Swift Trade £8m for multiple accounts of market abuse The Financial Services Authority has slapped a Canadian company Swift Trade with fines worth £8m for manipulating the London Stock Exchange for its own benefit. Swift Trade is now a dissolved business and a tribunal will now assess whether the FSA fine is to be upheld, but the regulator has insisted the record fine is appropriate due to the seriousness of the offence. Swift Trade had been placing tens of thousands of orders to give “false and misleading impression of supply and demand”, which

was in clear contravention of market regulations. It is believed Swift Trade made £1.75m from manipulating prices on the LSE between January 2007 and January 2008. Suspicions were raised by the FSA as early as 2007, but once these became public Swift Trade simply refined its trading patterns in an attempt to evade detection of its flouting of market restrictions. The decision to fine the company was made in May this year, but due to court orders and proceedings the details were only released last month.

September 2011 | THE EXCHANGE | 13


THE OPEN | BOOK CLUB

The Exchange Book Club The thinking trader’s answer to Oprah

Each month the Exchange takes you through the trading literature you’ll need to amass the ultimate spread betting library. This month: Steve Ward’s High Performance Trading, Spread Betting the Forex Markets by David Jones and The Naked Trader’s Guide to Spread Betting by Robbie Burns High Performance Trading In 2005, sports and performance psychology coach Steve Ward received an invitation from an unexpected quarter: a major trading institution in London. Up to that point he had only worked with elite athletes, sports teams and corporate clients, teaching key techniques for operating at top performance under mental pressure. He then found himself on a trading floor in the heart of the City, tasked with helping traders to improve their profitability. The two worlds turned out to be surprisingly similar. Over the next year, Ward led the traders through a course that focused on maximising performance by reducing psychological weaknesses and bolstering discipline and resilience. With the traders making strong advances by the end of the year, he went on to work with other financial institutions across the globe. He even began trading himself. The results of all this work are now available in his well-regarded book High Performance Trading, which brings together 35 core psychological strategies for successful trading. The book is structured around the three key stages of trading: preparation, execution and evaluation. For each, the author introduces a range of techniques to help minimise unhelpful trading behaviour and maximise effective actions. Appropriately, the book has a strong practical dimension, with exercises and examples throughout, and the advice is all reassuringly concrete – so whilst the subject matter is often psychological, things never descend into psychobabble. Successful traders know that an effective trading strategy is only one half of the battle. There couldn’t be a more helpful handbook for those who want to get on top of the other: the mental game of the markets. 14 | THE EXCHANGE | September 2011

Spread Betting the Forex Markets: An expert guide to spread betting the foreign exchange markets Spread betting and the foreign exchange markets are areas of finance that have increasingly piqued the interest of traders in recent years. Developments in technology and the improved access private traders have gained to the financial markets in the past decade have made spread betting and forex extremely hot topics. In this lucid and instructive practical guide, IG Index’s David Jones explains the basics of spread betting, outlines the essentials you need to know to trade the forex exchange market, and shows how you can use spread betting to trade forex. The topic of risk is also covered extensively; Jones explains that it is critical to take risk seriously from the off if you are to trade this market successfully. In the latter section of the book Jones provides real value for readers, as he develops trading strategies for use in the forex markets. These are approaches that you can put into practice straightaway using spread betting and at a level of risk that suits your own particular circumstances. If you are a beginner to forex trading this book will provide you with an expert introduction – helping you to succeed by avoiding the most common pitfalls of this highly volatile but fascinating market.

The Naked Trader’s Guide to Spread Betting The Naked Trader is the highly successful everyman’s guide to trading the stock markets, written by Robbie Burns, a former journalist turned private trader who has made more than £1million on his own in the markets. Much of what made it so successful can be found in his recent sequel: The Naked Trader’s Guide to Spread Betting. For anyone already au fait with their trading, of course, some of the nuts and bolts that it goes over can be happily skipped. The rest remains compelling: a selection of well-thought-out strategies, backed up with numerous examples; plenty of practical advice on risk management; and some memorably grisly true trading tales. The book skips over charts, taking a resolutely fundamental approach. This may not be to the liking of some, but Burns is an eloquent evangelist for his common-sense methods – detailing at length how to make money from a range of market situations. All this and a nice light tone (with cartoons and amusing details dotted throughout) makes it the perfect introductory guide to spread betting – ideal for a funny and sometimes provocative refresher or to give to anyone who’s ever asked you to explain just what spread betting is.


Central Markets Media Room

Play the markets with insight Introducing the new Central Markets Media Room. Essential market commentary and data from our Chief Market Strategist, Richard Perry We are pleased to inform you that we have now launched the Central Markets Media Room. Within the room you can download market reports, press articles and also watch the latest television interviews with our Chief Market Strategist, Richard Perry. The Media Room is fully accessible for all Central Markets clients and investors and it is invaluable to those who wish to gain a broader perspective of the finacial markets whenever they wish. Everyone can visit the media room and have access to a selection of reports. To gain access to the complete suite of information you must register your details. What Central Markets can offer you: •

Access an archive of Richard Perrys TV interviews and market commentary

Download the Richard's latest reports and market insights

Press reports and interviews

Free Reports

Register online for the latest of our free no obligation reports.

Subscribe now at: http://www.centralmarkets.co.uk/contact-daily.html

Give the media room a visit: www.media.centralmarkets.co.uk

+44 (0) 207 265 7900 | www.centralmarkets.co.uk

Risk Warning: The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not necessarily get back the amount you invested. Contracts for difference (cfds) and fx are leveraged products and carry a high level of risk to your capital. It is possible to lose more than your initial investment. These products may not be suitable for all investors, therefore ensure you understand the risks involved and seek independent advice if necessary and only speculate with money you can afford to lose. Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Authority - No 473312


THE OPEN | FIVE GOOD MINUTES

Five Good Minutes With… Gary Tilkin, President & CEO, GFT How long have you been in the forex industry and how has it changed over that time?

What is the profile of the protoype GFT retail

GFT was founded in 1997 as one of the first brokerage firms in the United States to offer online forex trading, but by then I’d already been trading futures and currencies for nearly 20 years. As technology has progressed, so has this industry, across continents and the ever-shortening distance between the markets and the consumer. There’s never been a time in history where the markets were this convenient to access.

There really isn’t one. Since every trader is different, it would be quite limiting to appeal to just one type. Instead, GFT strives to serve traders of all types: first time traders to advanced, casual speculators to full time traders.     

trader, or is there not one?

Can we expect any technological developments from GFT in the near future? GFT is always looking for ways to remain competitive in the marketplace. Not just in our pricing, but also our technology. We’re working on several new product offerings and automated trading platforms. We’re also working on several automation initiatives to revolutionise our application and funding processes. Look for these to debut in the UK market this year.

Where does GFT currently fit into the UK retail forex market? GFT is a global leader in online currency trading and currently offers spread betting, CFD and spot Fx retail products to our customers in the UK, and those in surrounding countries who paper through our London office. Our pricing is competitive - as low as 0.8 for currencies, 0.3 index points for CFDs - and on-par with or better than other UK-based dealers. This is a great market with some great traders and looking ahead, we’re excited about some new offerings that are just around the corner for this region.

What distinguishes GFT from other forex trading platforms? The pride of GFT has always been our awardwinning DealBook® suite of software. The desktop platform DealBook® 360 is mostknown for its robust charting and completely customisable interface. We also have a web-based and mobile application, so you can take the markets with you virtually anywhere. GFT is known among savvy traders as having some of the best execution in the business during both quiet and volatile times, coupled with 24/7 service. GFT customers know that they can reach us 24/7 with any trading or software questions that might arise.

16 | THE EXCHANGE | September 2011

“GFT is known among savvy traders as having some of the best execution in the business during both quiet and volatile times, coupled with 24/7 service”

Are the markets currently conducive to profitable FX trading? The very nature of the markets can be summed up in one word – Volatile. And any time there are market movements, there are opportunities. But volatility does not always mean opportunity. Traders must be careful to fully understand and be prepared for the risks involved. With enough analysis, education, and a good trading plan, a smart trader can learn to make the most of this volatility.


There’s no best trading platform

because the best is the one that is best for you. Every trader has different habits and different needs, and that is why easy-forex® has different options. If you prefer the flexibility of an online system, then you’ll probably go for our award winning Web Trading platform. If you want the added power of a desktop platform, then you may choose the easy-forex Trade Desk™ or MT4. All platforms come with one unique feature as standard, the legendary personal service of the easy-forex team. We are always open to talk forex. We’ll help you choose the right platform, and we’ll give you one on one training to help you make the most of it.

Let’s talk forex. And when you decide you are ready. trade

Get the easy-forex mobile trading app!

James easy-forex Dealer

EASY-FOREX.COM London, UK Office: 020 7283 4316

Please note that Forex trading (OTC Trading) involves substantial risk of loss, and may not be suitable for everyone. easy-forex® Trading Ltd is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) (License Number 079/07).


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the open | CELEBRITY TRADER

CELEBRITY TRADER Every month CityIndex and The Exchange present you with Celebrity Trader. We take unsuspecting celebrities to the trading floor, give them some

Netting the big Score This month’s celebrity traders are ESPN football pundits Kevin Keegan and Robbie Savage. They’ve won on the pitch, scored in the commentary box and earned reputations as two of the sharpest analysts on television. But will that translate to success on the trading floor? It’s time to kick off and find out.

20 | THE EXCHANGE | September 2011

Being ex-footballers it comes a little surprise that Robbie Savage and Kevin Keegan are competitive. Savage, a combative midfielder, made a name for himself as the fierce spark in the Leicester City engine room before leading Birmingham City and Blackburn Rovers through successful seasons in the notoriously cut-throat top tier of English football. Keegan is nothing short of legend across the British Isles, but particularly in Liverpool, where he won three First Division Championships and a European Cup, and Newcastle, whom he managed into the Premier League and to two runners up spots behind Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United. Despite stepping back from the front line of British football both Keegan and Savage are still heavily involved with the game they love. As well as offering insightful commentary of English football as it unfolds in 2012 across a number of different media outlets Robbie and Kevin will team up on ESPN to give match-day analysis all season of some of the best games in the Premier League and FA Cup. They are renowned for not pulling their punches and have been known to take provocative stances on the state of the British game and its footballers, which is just one reason ESPN’s football coverage is must-see for soccer fans. When it came to being our celebrity traders, both ex-pros were quick to tackle the markets with the tenacity that helped make their names on the pitch. Robbie dived right into the forex markets, electing to trade USD/ JPY. This was immediately profitable, scoring the Welshman a solid win to kick off his campaign. This opening day win was backed up by

another success straight afterwards, when a punt going long on the UK 100 found the back of the net, bagging Robbie a £240 profit. After a promising start Robbie elected to take on the gold markets as he thought this could potentially be where his biggest profits would lie. Initially this decision looked to be a mistake, and he immediately suffered losses when an increase in market confidence drove gold price downwards. However, undeterred Robbie pressed on and hit the market with a counter attack, scoring a brace of big wins to finish his trading season with a very profitable trading account. Kevin also had a feeling that trading gold would be the surest way to a steady profit, and kicked off his celebrity trader account by shorting the commodity. This was a wise move and netted the former Liverpool ace a strong profit, but having seen Robbie score in the USD/JPY market he elected to switch tactics and dip into forex trading instead. This substitution proved to be an error, with all three trades in the USD/JPY market being closed for a loss. However, sensing that the change hadn’t worked in a style reminiscent of the days he prowled the St. James Park sidelines, Keegan reverted back to his original plan and went full throttle on the offensive. Going long on gold was the tactic of choice, and it was the correct action to take. Although he left it late, a profit of over £550 in his final trade lifted Kevin to a strong celebrity trader win. Once we get back to the subject that’s their bread and butter, it’s unsurprising that both men have a lot to say about what football fans should expect from the next nine months. And just like during their time on the trading floor, it’s not often they the two


Simon Jessop

Simon Jessop

THE OPEN| CELEBRITY TRADER

September 2011 | THE EXCHANGE | 21


Simon Jessop

the open | CELEBRITY TRADER

TRADER’S VIEW Kishan Mandalia,

Senior Sales Trader at City Index Kevin Keegan: £725.53 profit Kevin started out with a big win, shorting Gold and taking home £340. He followed this with two minor losses on gold and USD/JPY and a further major loss on USD/JPY taking a long position and falling £188 down on profit. His final trade turned it all around however when he took a long position on Gold and making a whopping £572 profit! Robbie Savage: £960.17 profit Clearly Robbie is the winner here. He placed more trades over a longer period of time and made small but consistent wins. He started by buying USD/JPY taking a nice profit of £90. His next buy was on the UK 100 rolling, doubling his initial win and taking £240. Not a bad start. From then on he took a few losses on Gold, Charter International and the UK 100, but finished his spout of trading with two big wins, both long on Gold, £298 and £420.

22 | THE EXCHANGE | September 2011

pundits can find something to agree on. When asked about the upcoming season Robbie is adamant that come May it will be Manchester United, armed with a deep squad containing both youth and experience, that will be holding the Premiership trophy aloft in celebration. Kevin, an ex-Manchester City manager himself, is quick to counter Robbie’s assertions, and believes that it will be the blue half of Manchester that will be crowned Premier League champions for the first time (and their first title in the top tier of English football since 1968). And when it comes to the other end of the table they’re still unable to find a lot of common ground. Neither pundit believes Swansea will survive their first season in the Premiership, but that’s as far the agreement goes. Kevin picks newly-promoted Norwich and Wigan, who themselves seemed destined for relegation in 2011 before escaping on the last day of the season, to fall into the Championship, but Robbie plumps for QPR and one of his old teams, Blackburn Rovers to join Swansea in going down. But what if they could buy stocks in footballers themselves? Well, for Robbie the only way to go would be blue chip players, and that means Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo. Kevin, on the other hand, would put his money on a low risk, dependable stock

and cites Alan Shearer, whom he managed at Newcastle and England, as the consummate pro who you could rely on to perform each and every week. The key to making a fortune though is spotting a trend early, so are there any young players they’d be prepared to take a punt on? The question gives both men the opportunity to show just what a wealth of knowledge they have about the English game, and as the list of up-and-coming talent goes on and on the names become more and more obscure. Topping the list though is Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, who both believe has the potential to become one of the best players in the world. Sounds like a solid investment indeed. Unfortunately us traders can’t invest in our favourite footballers quite yet, but as Robbie and Kevin proved this month footballers can certainly trade the markets. As well as providing coverage of Premier League and FA Cup all season long, this year ESPN also offers ESPN Goals, a free app for smartphones that delivers exclusive video of all the goals scored in all 380 Premier League matches throughout the current season.


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THE OPEN | TRADER TV

Bulls & Bears on the Box Trader TV has finally arrived

24 | THE EXCHANGE | September 2011


THE OPEN | TRADER TV

1990 will forever be remembered as the decade when, whether we liked it or not, the internet arrived on the scene and immediately demanded to play a bigger part in our lives. This in turn resulted in an opening of the gates for savvy new products such as CFDs and Financial Spread Betting to rival traditional stocks and shares trading. The product was revitalized and introduced to retail investors and traders in the late 90’s, with companies such as City Index, Finspreads and IG Index being amongst the first to launch online trading platforms with a range of new products that had never previously only been offered by brokers. With the launch of online trading markets had become free and accessible to all whom desired to dabble in them. But despite the growth in access and popularity, little has been done to educate traders in strategy, technical analysis or trading psychology, especially in the visual media. Financial news is readily available via Bloomberg of CNBC, but what about the essentials, like knowing when to get in and out of a trade? All that is set to change with the introduction of Trader TV - a dedicated new channel launching for traders and investors alike. Whether you’re new to the world of financial spread betting, CFDs, FX trading or see yourself as a seasoned veteran, Trader TV will provide all you need to know about financial matters and global economics. As well as daily financial news updates from specialist producers such as Reuters & ITN Trader TV also promises to deliver daily market round ups from key analysts and commentators on FX, commodities, stocks and indices and specialist analysis on medium-term market trends with top economists and strategists and technical analysis and strategy guides from the experts. This is a huge and exciting launch for Europe’s largest dedicated gaming TV network ‘Gaming Media Group’ who successfully launched The Poker Channel back in 2010, conquering online global audiences and more than 30 million cable and satellite homes in Europe and Latin America in the process.

Now the gaming TV network will be launching their newest trading channel to a further 30 million TV subscribers in 30 different countries including the UK on Sky and Freesat. The TV network sensed the need for a dedicated outlet for traders, and a certain gap in the market which needed filling, much like The Poker Channel, being that the two activities are known to draw so many similarities. Whilst you might not immediately think of playing poker and trading as being similar, the two actually share a fair bit in common. And these similarities aren’t just theoretical; there have in fact been many examples of traders giving up the world of pips for poker, and vice versa. Both endeavors offer many of the same rewards (including working from home and potentially making well over $100,000 per year) and reward the same basic skills. Successful traders and winning poker players come from a dynamic range of backgrounds, and there’s no one single indicator that determines whether or not you’ll make money in the long run trading Forex, any of the other underlying markets or playing poker. At the end of the day it really comes down to personal choice. As part of the venture into this previously unchartered trading water, Trader TV will be launching a 5 part weekly series entitled ‘Trading Aces’ which will follow a group of six poker players. The lucky chosen will swap the card rooms for the trading floor to see if their poker skills can cut it in the fast-paced world of finance. Tensions will rise as they will all attempt to harness the risk and control to bet on the markets and pull in the profits. Trader TV will be exposing the reality of trading, that reality being the psychology behind a successful trade. Totally unique in its offering, as the gaming network stirs away from the fundamentalist approach of news updates, Trader TV will be offering a range of programs to develop the skill set of a novice trader or that of an advanced trader. Trader TV kicks off at the end of this month, and we cant wait to see what’s in store.

Sandy Jadeja – Chief Market Analyst at City Index, one of the leading FSB, CFD and FX trading companies, highlights how good trading is only made up of a mere 30% of Technical Analysis knowledge and knowhow, and emphasizes this is something we can all learn. The other 70% however, is down to ‘Trading Psychology’ and this is always a lot tougher for people to grasp. “These are decisions based on uncertainty, it is essential that as a trader, you learn to separate the emotion from the action”. It would seem the poker world has been viewed in a similar way to the world of trading, with a lot of writers who focus on the tactical side of poker, and a few more who focus on poker strategy. Few write about the psychology of poker -- the mental side of the game, much like the world of Financial Trading. Poker players and traders alike are their own greatest allies, be it at the poker table or on the trading floor, but too often they can end up their own greatest enemy for a variety of personal, "inner" reasons. In both pursuits, the ability to control your emotions and deal with the losses is incredibly important, if not crucial and detrimental to the outcome of the trade. The Achilles heel of many traders is the inability to let go of their losses. Either hanging on to a losing trade for too long, or continuing to trade in a certain currency that was a big looser in the past, irrationally trying to get back lost money.

September 2011 | THE EXCHANGE | 25


FEATURE

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FEATURE

That’s right. The US invasion force has landed on British shores as is looking to take over for good. And with a host of impressive weaponry in its arsenal, it’s going to take the best of the home guard to keep Team USA from the infesting the capital. We are of course talking, tongue-in-cheek, about forex. The industry is awash with providers from the UK and USA all offering new clients different and unique account packages as they look to corner the retail market. But from a consumer point of view, just which is the right platform to plump for? Are the best offers to be found here at home or abroad? It’s a difficult question to answer, but one that could determine how profitable your trading will be just as much as what and when you decide to buy and sell. So here at the Exchange we decided to compare some of the top providers from both sidea of The Atlantic. “But how to do it?” we hear you ask. Well, the answer is the only way we know how of course, a forex Ryder Cup (yes we know Ryder Cup is Europe vs USA not the UK vs USA but we’re not going to nit-pick). Will the brave boys for the UK stand firm against the onslaught from their cross-Atlantic cousins? Or will they be cast aside as the American corporate machine succeeds with yet another globalisation-inspired invasion? Let’s find out.

September 2011 | THE EXCHANGE | 27


FEATURE

Match One: A Platform For Professional Traders CitiFX Pro v Alpari (UK)

Although almost every forex platform attempts to cater for retail traders of all levels of experience and financial capabilities, because each has their own individual strengths and weakness some are more suited to novice traders and some are tailored more for the experienced, professional and quasi-professional retail trader. In sizing up the top forex brokers from the UK and USA we will use this difference to create two categories to compare the two groups. Let’s look at platforms catering for professional traders first, representing the USA will be CitiFx Pro and Alpari (UK) will be representing the UK platforms. CitiFX Pro is not a platform for the novice trader to experiment with the markets, but for the professional retail traders this is a good thing, because of how specific to the needs of experienced trader it is. As Sanjay Madgavkar, Global Head of Margin FX Trading at CitiFX Pro, explains “CitiFX Pro is a platform for experienced traders. Our typical client is a sophisticated FX trader - either an individual or a small institutional entity - who relies on Citi for liquidity, pricing and high-quality trading technology. We offer several features that set us apart from other trading platforms. We offer our clients outstanding liquidity and pricing which have a direct positive impact on their bottom line.” To emphasise the point that CitiFX Pro is

28 | THE EXCHANGE | September 2011

not a platform for amateurs there are reasonably high barriers to open an account. “CitiFX Pro accounts are meant for experienced clients who have the knowledge and experience to trade in the leveraged FX markets” Madgavkar explains. “They will need to answer some questions as a part of the application process to establish they meet the knowledge and financial capability requirements. This is important to ensure clients that are transacting FX meet our suitability requirements.” The minimum deposit a client has to make to open an account with CitiFX Pro is £7,500, and to open a premium account, which offers clients the full range of CitiFX Pro’s services, new traders will need to deposit a minimum of £30,000. Alpari (UK) is not as one-tracked as CitiFX Pro in catering specifically for professional retail and small institutional clients, but is still an exceptional platform for pros to trade on. Tight spreads, non-dealing desk execution, leverage up to 1:500 on some accounts and a wide range of currency pairs are all available through Alpari (UK) trading accounts, as well the Alpari Direct Pro platform, an institutionallevel platform for individuals offering optimum liquidity and prices from the world’s leading banks. Spreads also start at 0 pips on the Alpari (UK) Pro account, and with superb financial market analysis and market research tools also available to customers, Alpari (UK) offers experienced traders everything they could possibly need to reach maximum profitability in the markets. To open a Pro Account at Alpari (UK) new

clients will have to deposit a minimum of $20,000, although other accounts with a lower minimum deposit are available. Verdict

Alpari (UK) is a great all round platform to trade forex whether you’re a novice or professional trader as it has a variety of different account to accommodate for different trading abilities and account balances. CitiFX Pro is extremely specific in the clients it targets and caters for best. However, because CitiFX Pro’s desired clients fall into a much narrower band client account capabilities are slightly more conducive to helping those with knowhow and financial clout reach their maximum profit potential. In many ways Alpari (UK) does have the edge on its rival, but in a straight up duel as to which suits professional traders better the point has to go to Team America. Score: Europe 0 – 1 USA

Match Two: A Platform for Novice Traders Easy Forex vs eToro

For novice traders two factors determine whether any trading platform is a better fit for them when making their first forays into the financial markets: educational material and platform simplicity. Two platforms stand above the competition in these regards. easy-forex has over 40 currency pairs as well as precious metals and energy commodities


Attend the EVENT Everyone is talking about …

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Come and meet the following Speakers at the London Investor Show:-

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Peter Temple Columnist and Investment Author

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Alpesh Patel Market Commentator and Trader

Rodney Hobson Financial Author and fundamental investor

Tom Hougaard Active Trader and Technical Analyst

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FEATURE

available for trading. Not only is the platform perfectly simplistic and far easier to understand and navigate than the vast majority of forex trading providers, but easy-forex does a fantastic job of educating and managing its novice traders. Markos Solomou, Risk Manager at easyforex says: “We target the retail market, from the novice retail forex trader who wants to use a simple easy trading platform coupled with support and guidance, to the more experienced retail trader who values support and wants to deal with a regulated, trustworthy, recognised brand and trade with a platform which allows him to efficiently access the forex market. “We are flexible in what we offer to our traders and are able to cater to personal needs or requirements to suit every trader. All our traders have to do is express their preference to their account manager and we tailor their account to suit their needs. Our platforms are unique due to the simplicity of the user interface, no maintenance margin requirements and fixed spreads which can be tailored to the needs of each individual trader. We also cover slippage for our traders, which mean if they set a limit or stop order, they can rest assured that these orders are guaranteed at the requested rate. We encourage our traders to have a dialogue with us and we tailor our service to meet the needs of all types of traders ranging from novice traders looking for education and training to the more savvy experienced trader looking for fast, consistent and proactive service. However, we understand it is important for our traders to understand forex as it is a

30 | THE EXCHANGE | September 2011

high risk investment. We always stress the importance of only investing what you can afford to lose and, as part of our commitment to education, we regularly run free webinars in a variety of languages as well as support our clients by supplying market updates, educational videos and research and analysis. We also have dedicated personal account managers and personal dealers who guide and educate our traders on a one-on-one basis, bespoke to each individual’s needs and level of experience.” The one thing you can say with certainty about eToro is that there is no other platform like the social trading network. There are clearly a host of advantages that come from being a member of a social trading network, but by a distance these are most noticeable for novice traders. As Yoni Assia, founder & CEO of eToro explains “the great thing about online foreign exchange trading is that it democratises the financial markets. Once a field for professionals only, thanks to a new wave of online platforms the currency market and its inexhaustible opportunities have been opened up to anyone interested in financial investment. However, many beginner traders still find their first steps in the currency market challenging, and are even tempted to quit after a string of bad trades. After all, it takes time to acquire the knowledge and the discipline to trade responsibly and to achieve a consistent success rate. However, in the busy rat race of modern day life, most of the people that get involved in financial trading simply don’t have the time or the patience to educate themselves

in this way.” “So what is a novice trader to do? Absorb the losses and try to slowly improve, or just give up the dream of a career as a financial trader? eToro’s groundbreaking OpenBook application makes sure that you don’t have to do either.” “The idea behind eToro OpenBook is that trading expertise can be shared. There is no reason for every trader to go through the same teething pains when they begin trading currency when there is a entire community of expert traders who have already paid their dues and know how to make consistent profits in the market. By connecting traders with each other, OpenBook unleashes the power of social networks onto the financial markets and enables users to trade more smartly together. It is a place of sharing ideas and collaboration, a giant lab of creative thinking about financial trading.” The advantages that OpenBook brings to the inexperienced investor are enormous. Instead of fumbling alone in the darkness of the unknown trading terrain, novice traders can observe more experienced traders as a guide and follow them as they make their trading decisions. This means that they can learn and gain experience from watching experts make their moves in the market instead of learning the hard way - making mistakes that are often costly and completely avoidable. Verdict

This a tricky one, because both are great platforms for novice traders, but in different ways. Easy-forex is a great traditional trading


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platform for novice traders to cut their teeth in the foreign exchange markets. The ease of navigation around the platform and easy-forex’s openness to new traders makes it an obvious choice for first time depositors. eToro’s benefits lie in the fact that new traders can learn from and copy actual traders with proven results, meaning that they can be profitable immediately rather than learn the markets through making their own mistakes. This sounds great, but because eToro’s philosophy is so different to every other forex broker it inevitably won’t be to everyone’s taste. Many novice traders will love the social networking service eToro provides, but for some its concept is just too radical, making easy-forex the sensible option. And because of that split, this round has to go down as a draw. Score: Europe ½ - 1 ½ USA

Match Three: A Platform For Mobile Traders GFT vs City Index

Stepping up to the plate for Team UK in the mobile trading category is spread betting and CFD giant City Index. City Index were the first spread betting platform in the market to launch an iPhone app in 2009, and have stayed ahead of the chasing pack ever since. The trading app provides all the latest market movements, prices and global investment news as well as allowing the trader to open and close positions, set stop and limit orders, monitor positions using unique positions charts and

32 | THE EXCHANGE | September 2011

review their personal trade and order history. And not only can traders perform all the functions through mobile trading that they can through their desktop computers, but they can also do so with the confidence that trades are executed as quickly and securely as they would be through a PC. Now with mobile apps designed specifically for Android, Blackberry, iPad and Windows mobile as well as the iPhone, it doesn’t matter where you are and what you’ve got in your pocket, you’ll never be away from your trading desk. And if you’re still unconvinced by the impact the City Index mobile trading is having then cop a load of this stat: in 2009 mobile trading accounted for 2% of City Index’s trade volume, in 2011 it accounted for 20%. You cant a more glowing endorsement of a mobile trading platform than that. Countering for the Yanks is GFT with its DealBook Mobile application, the mobile trading arm of its multi-award winning DealBook platform. DealBook, led by the ultra-impressive DealBook 360, is a fantastic series of platforms and DealBook Mobile doesn’t fail to deliver on giving the trader the feeling of being sat in front of their desktop every time they pull up the GFT mobile trading feature on their iPhone or Blackberry. DealBook Mobile gives traders on the move access to real-time market news and analytics as well as everything GFT account holders need to be successful in the markets from anywhere in the world. From technical indicators and charts to historical market data, with DealBook Mobile there won’t be anything going on in the

currency markets you won’t know about, be it sat at your desk or sat on a desert island in the middle of the ocean. And with the ability to open positions together with pricing for over 120 forex pairs it couldn’t be easier to convert that knowledge and analysis into profit remotely. Verdict

GFT and City Index are both right at the top of the currency trading industry in a multitude of ways, despite the fact that they are very different platforms offering very different services, particularly in regard to forex. Both mobile trading platforms are great, but for overall performance the slight edge goes to City Index. They were the first to spot the huge potential in mobile trading when many thought it would just be a fad, and after launching the first iPhone trading app in the UK they have managed to stay one step ahead of the competition in both innovation of its products and delivery of its service. Score: Europe 1 ½ - 1 ½ USA

Match Four : Best Platform For Market Analysis FXDD vs FxPro (UK)

Representing the forex giants from the other side of the Atlantic in this category is global forex giant FXDD. FXDD is a premier educator in the financial markets and provides robust education, free of charge to its account


FEATURE

holders, as well as contributing outstanding analytical editorial content to publications including the Exchange. FXDD has a vast online library of webinars, which are available in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic. FXDD strategists host 10-12 free webinars every week, keeping account holders completely up to date with the entire goings on in the marketplace. In addition to weekly webinars FXDD provides customers with fundamental market analysis videos, forex news and a live market commentary blog at http://Forex.fxdd.com/ and www.forexlive.com. FXDD’s Director of Education and Technical Research James Chen and chief market strategist Greg Michalowski are two of the premier technical market analysts in the forex industry and contribute heavily to the platform’s market commentary. As well as being FXDD’s chief market analyst Michalowski, who writes a regular technical analysis column for The Exchange, is also a published author, whose latest book “Attacking Currency Trends” was published earlier this year and has worked at some of the world’s leading financial institutions. Countering for the UK is FxPro (UK), led by chief strategist Michael Derks and Chief Economist Simon Smith. Both are regular columnists for the Exchange and provide a fascinating and unique insight into the markets. Exchange readers will already know first-hand the quality of the FxPro (UK) team’s insight into the inner workings of the financial

markets, but for FxPro (UK) customers this is only the tip of the market analysis on offer. An excellent daily forex brief (also available through The Exchange’s website), news and opinion blogs can be found on the FxPro (UK) website as well as FxPro TV, on which can be found market-related informative videos. The regularity of FxPro (UK)’s market analysis keeps customers up to date and provides an essential tool for fundamental and technical analysis-based traders when opening and closing positions in the markets. Verdict For quality of market analysis there’s little doubt that FxPro (UK) is right up there at the top of the game ahead of the majority of platforms who offer regular daily market analysis. Frequency, accuracy and insight are the most important factors when determining how useful a platform’s market analysis is, and FxPro (UK) excels in all of these areas. If traders are looking to open an account with a forex provider that also offer the highest quality market analysis then a very prudent choice of platform would be FxPro (UK). However, for sheer amount of market analysis on offer no forex platform either side of the Atlantic can compare with the service offered by FXDD. Its webinars, videos, technical analysis, fundamental analysis news and blog are unparalleled in the market, and are of such an insightful quality that they act as an essential tool in helping their customers be profitable. Whilst there is no fault I could make

about FxPro (UK)’s market analysis and I would recommend it above almost every other platform’s to anyone, given a choice between the two FXDD offers a larger scope of information in more media formats.

Final Result: Europe 1 ½ - 2 ½ USA

Conclusion Every matchup was predictably close, but perhaps surprisingly it’s the Tiger Woods-less Team USA who are hoisting trading’s version of the Ryder Cup this year. That being said Team UK shouldn’t feel the need to head for hills quite yet as any notion of a foreign invasion monopolising the British forex market would be an exaggeration to say the least. There are some very good forex platforms in the USA (including a number that haven’t even been mentioned in this article) but there are also some exceptional platforms in the UK and Europe, and as always we would encourage all traders, be it novices looking to open their first account or individuals looking to take a further step towards becoming a professional retail trader, to shop around and do their own research to find the platform that suits their needs best. After all, when it comes to forex its not where the market makers are from that’s important, its whether they can help you get where you want to go that makes all the difference.

September 2011 | THE EXCHANGE | 33


By

Up to 50% bonus* on your first deposit! Promotional code: theexchange Contact an eToro representative at www.etoro.com for more information. * Limited to July, up to 1000£ The eToro trading platform is a product within International Capital Markets Pty Ltd (ABN 12 123 289 109, AFSL 335 692). Trading of contracts for differences, foreign exchange contracts, derivatives and other investment products which are leveraged, can carry a high level of risk, and may not be suitable for all investors. It is also important to note that past performance of financial products or investments is no assurance of future performance and it’s recommended that you seek independent professional advice. A Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) is available from our website www.etoro.com.au or by calling us on 1300 466 256 and should be considered before making any decision to deal in our products.


THE THINKING PAGES

LONG THE

IN THE LONG GREG MICHALOWSKI ATIF LATIF SIMON SMITH KEN FISHER ZOE FIDDES RICHARD PERRY

MICHAEL HEWSON PETER WEBB SVETOSLAV GEORGIEV DECLAN FALLON YONI ASSIA ANDREI TRATSEUSKI

Economic uncertainty leads to flight to physical commodities? As economic uncertainty increases and stock markets fall, the neutral to negative correlation between fine wine (as a physical commodity) and equities may benefit wine in the medium term. In the light of current economic uncertainty, the key physical commodity gold saw further market highs. South Korea increased its gold reserves significantly, which spells for strong grow in the Wine market also. The benchmark fine wine index, the Liv-ex 100, is up 6.8% year to date and 19.3% year on year.

The Wine Investment Fund has reported a summer with lower trading volumes, and with continued weak demand for Bordeaux first growth wines. June’s market bounce was reversed in July – the main indices fell by 1.56% (Liv-ex 100) and 1.81% (Liv-ex Claret Chip). The potential for growth in demand for fine wine from the Indian market has also risen since India and the European Union came closer to a free trade agreement which would reduce India’s high import tariffs on wine, meaning now really could be the time to expand a fine wine portfolio.

September 2011 | THE EXCHANGE | 35


THE LONG| ANALYSIS

In times of volatility, statistics show the CHF is the currency of choice, says Svetoslav Georgiev of Hantec Markets

Over the past two years few currencies have attracted investors’ attention. The Swiss Franc is one stark exception to this rule. The Swiss Franc has traditionally been attractive in times of uncertainty and inflationary fears, as some may still remember from the 1970s, when the Swiss government had to use a range of measures, including negative interest rates, to prevent foreigners from maintaining deposits in Swiss Francs. The Franc’s perceived stability has pulled capital flows during recent market turbulence along with other safe assets such as Gold and, to a lesser extent, government bonds. The Franc is special to investors not only because of the stable macroeconomic indicators of the Swiss economy, with an inflation rate below 1%, healthy growth of around 2%, and consistent trade surplus, but also because of its

36 | THE EXCHANGE | September 2011

long established appeal as a safe asset. Recently, slow recovery of equity markets and sovereign debt crises have intensified investors’ quest for alternatives. In this environment the Swiss Franc has emerged as a favourite choice for anyone looking to lay low until the storm has passed. Massive flow of capital to the Swiss currency has also created a number of problems. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) calls the currency “massively overvalued” and is concerned about the effect on economic growth and exports. Many companies suffer from converting earnings into Swiss Francs, where even after profiting from operations in other countries end up in a loss in Swiss Francs. Nevertheless, the Franc now stands together with Gold as a preferred asset for risk averting investors. Safe haven assets are associated with low risk


THE LONG| ANALYSIS

and abundant liquidity, assets investors turn to during periods of economic uncertainty. From this perspective a safe haven asset acts as a hedge to conventional instruments such as stocks (Kaul and Sapp, 2006) or at least does not track their movement in time of uncertainty. To explore the safe haven effect of the Swiss Franc we can relate the value of the currency to the price of Gold and to the benchmark equity index Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) over time. The historical data covers a period of approximately 2 years, characterized by unsteady economic recovery, profound uncertainty in the economic environment, and continued growth of precious metals as alternative safe investment. Furthermore, in order to identify the short term risk aversion effect, the most recent period of stock market stress after the US sovereign credit rating downgrade by Standard & Poor’s is considered. While risk aversion effects are often displayed within short time spans in reaction to a particular high-stress economic event, it is also important to look for a long term shift to holding the Swiss Franc as a safe asset. Market volatility has been considered in the past as a determinant of a short term risk aversion effect for the Swiss Franc and clear evidence has been provided that immediately after a high-stress event the currency appreciates (Soderlind, 2008). A reference to flight to quality as an effect in times of economic uncertainty is also due. Market crashes spill over international borders and investors respond with reservation, conservatism, and demand for safety. These motives are especially relevant in times of near zero interest rates in the developed world, when a traditional driver of currency trading-the interest rate differential is nearly eliminated. Thus, any visible shift in demand for a currency will be a display of demand for safety. The first graph of the US Dollar to Swiss Franc exchange rate, on an inverted scale, and Gold clearly shows the co-movement of the currency and the precious metal over the past years. It is especially noticeable in the second and third quarters of 2011, when the sovereign debt crises in Europe surfaced and the concerns about the US economic recovery made the possibility of a double-dip recession tangible. A statistical time series model revealed a highly significant direct relationship between the value of the Swiss Franc and the price of Gold. For the specified

period for every $100 of increase in Gold price the Swiss Franc gained 2.69 centimes. At the same time, the value of the Franc climbed consistently with the DJIA index over the two year period. Despite being unexpected, this result reflects deep concerns permeating markets in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, a period when safe haven appeal remained active together with gradual shift of investments to traditional asset classes. Asset prices grew fuelled by expansionary monetary policies, especially the Quantitative Easing programs of the Federal Reserve. In this environment, the value of the Swiss Franc was explained in over 70% of the days within the period, by the values of Gold and the DJIA. When the data is considered (second graph) at a more granular level, for the months of July and August 2011, an inverse relationship between the value of the Swiss Franc and DJIA is clearly identifiable. More importantly, within the short-term sample the change in value of the Franc could be explained in 87% of the cases based on the price of Gold and the level of DJIA. In confirmation of previous results, risk

“we can look at past data and observe repeating similarities that can be applied to the future”

aversion motives drove the peaks in demand for the Swiss Franc and pushed its rate to a record at 0.72 centimes for one US Dollar. Once again, investors afraid of holding traditional risky assets turn to the refuge of the Swiss currency. High market volatility is the signal that triggers this capital flight to quality. Unquestionably, an expensive Franc is a headache for the SNB, posing a threat to economic growth and pressuring exports. Nevertheless, at times of short term economic stress and during prolonged periods of uncertainty, the Swiss Franc attracts investors as a safe store of value, which protects assets from extreme market volatility and inflationary pressure. The immediate risk aversion effect appears at times of economic stress, observed at a more granular level over a short period of time. This effect was visible during the recent weeks of extreme market volatility in the aftermath of the US downgrade and European sovereign debt crisis contagion fears, taking the Swiss Franc to all time high against the US Dollar. The Franc acted as a perfect hedge to equity markets collapse. On the other hand, when the Swiss Franc is benchmarked against Gold during the last two years, its safe haven effect also appears. This long term shift of investors’ preferences to holding the Swiss currency is a signal of deep concerns about the global economic recovery and diminishing investment alternatives perceived as safe. The rise of Gold and the Swiss Franc to a position of central assets in investors’ portfolios is a reminder of the long road to global economic recovery still ahead.

September 2011 | THE EXCHANGE | 37


THE LONG | ANALYSIS

We’re all sovereign specialists now

38 | THE EXCHANGE | September 2011


THE LONG | ANALYSIS

The importance of understanding the debt market, by Simon Smith, Fx Pro

There was a time when FX markets barely glanced at the fiscal credentials of any of the major currencies. When investing in FX, the issue of whether a country was triple-A rated or thereabout did not come into the equation, at least directly. Far more important was what a central bank was likely to do, the state of the economy and the overall level of risk appetite. Furthermore, when investors did look at the fiscal dynamics - as in the case of Japan - their fears came to nothing more often than not. There have been clear signs over the past year that this is changing and there is every reason to believe that, when trading FX, ignoring sovereign risk dynamics in the coming years could be a very costly mistake. Clearly, it was the euro that led this change. The euro’s negative correlation with the iTraxx SovX CDS index for Europe has varied over the past year, but the rolling 2-mth correlation has remained in negative territory nearly 85% of the time. In other words, when sovereign risk has increased it has pushed the euro lower. This is understandable given the extent of the default risk that has emerged in some of the eurozone’s peripheral nations. There are other signs however that sovereign risk is becoming a more relevant issue for markets. The behavior of the Swiss franc and Japanese yen are prime examples. Apart from times of extreme stress, historically there has been more in common between the franc and yen to hold them together than drive them apart. Both have had relatively low interest rates and low inflation. Both countries have populations more inclined to save and both have run current account surpluses for the past thirty years. This stability has broken apart recently, with the Swiss franc appreciating some 30% against the yen over the past year. This is the fastest pace of franc appreciation against the yen seen since the early ‘90s, when conditions were very different for both currencies. The franc’s sensitivity to sovereign risk in the eurozone has been much greater than that of the euro, the extent of the negative correlation over the

“when trading FX, ignoring sovereign risk dynamics in the coming years could be a costly mistake”

past year is more than twice as strong as for the euro as a whole. Of the top six major currency nations (USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, AUD and CHF), Switzerland is the only one to have run a budget surplus throughout the financial crisis. There are two primary reasons why, from a currency perspective, sovereign risk will matter far more in the future. Firstly there’s the inflation angle. History tended to show that governments are far more likely to inflate their way out of a deficit problem once overall debt is more than 80% of GDP. Leaving aside Japan - a separate matter - this level has been breached by all of the major currencies, apart from the Aussie and the Swissie. There are two caveats however. The first is that more recently, independent central banks have limited the ability of governments to engineer inflation on a sustained basis. Secondly, in a balance sheet deleveraging cycle - as Japan has been in for the majority of the past twenty years - deflation risks becoming the more dominant force.

The second reason is the belief in the solvency of governments. The early days of the credit crisis showed the inherent fragility of the banking model with a highly leveraged balance sheet of long-duration illiquid assets funded by short-term borrowing and with limited capital buffers. Although not as stark, government balance sheets had a similar in-built brittleness. Governments can live beyond their means for many years - spending more than they receive in taxes - comforted by the knowledge that, if all else fails, they can avoid default by effectively printing money. Before we get to that stage, there is the faith in the ability of the economy to grow at a speed sufficient for tax receipts to outpace the growth in interest payments. Once that faith evaporates, as we’ve seen in the eurozone periphery, there’s little to stop a government slipping into insolvency. Beyond the obvious issue of slow growth, a factor making the situation worse has been the intransigence of governments around the world in terms of dealing with the fiscal implications of aging populations. The recent US debt ceiling debacle was the most extreme example of this. Politicians tasked with sorting out a problem that will have short-term costs and only the very long-term gains (decades rather than years) have little incentive to do the right thing. The US is at most two years away from a potential change of president or shift in power in the House of Representatives. It is held up as a virtue of democracy, a means by which the electorate can hold the legislature to account easily, but as recent events have shown, it is inherently flawed when it comes to making painful but necessary choices. The only real surprise in the recent downgrade of US debt from S&P is that it didn’t come sooner. Current US policies project deficits as far as the eye can see and no policies designed to stabilise government debt. The dollar’s status as a reserve currency insulates the US from the consequences of this but it would do well to take note of what we see elsewhere. Sovereign risk matters, and in the FX space it will matter ever more in the coming years.

September 2011 | THE EXCHANGE | 39


THE LONG | KEN FISHER

KEN

FISHER

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THE LONG | KEN FISHER

In his latest column Ken Fisher tells us why not matter who wins the US Presidency RACE in 2012, the result will be rosy for the markets One thing about next year is certain. Americans will re-elect a Democrat or newly elect a Republican. Obvious? Yes. But something nobody is yet to notice in this dilemma is the sweet spot intersection of markets and politics. I really don’t know who will win the electoral race. Incumbents are devilishly tougher to beat than anyone ever envisions. In the history of the S&P 500, fourteen Presidents have attempted to be re-elected. Only three failed Ford, Carter and G.H.W. Bush - meaning 79% of those fourteen Presidents kept their seat in office. It’s hard to dismiss a President seeking re-election. Gerald Ford in 1976 had never won national office on his own. He was appointed Vice President and then thrust into the limelight after the resignation of Richard Nixon. He then almost lost the Republican primary - unheard of in modern US politics - to Ronald Reagan! Carter beat a weak Ford but subsequently lost power to that same Reagan - arguably the best Republican campaigner of the 20th century - maybe ever, and widely labelled “The Great Communicator” because his oratory skills. G.H.W. Bush ran in 1992 against the background of a recession that started on his watch and for which he was widely blamed. He too lost to one of the Democrats’ all time best campaigners - Bill Clinton - who knew the recession was over but argued it wasn’t, using “It’s the economy, stupid” as his primary campaign slogan. Obama’s approval rating is very low. But other incumbents have had lower polling numbers and gone on to be re-elected, Harry Truman, for example. Even some who support Obama compare him to Carter! But Carter lost to Reagan. Will Republicans run a Reaganesque character? Well maybe, but if so who? If they do, Obama would face a tough fight but could still win. As I’ve already said, incumbents are devilishly tough to beat. Either way, for shares at least, it doesn’t much matter who wins - election years have been very good historically for US shares. It’s a pattern most either don’t see or simply disregard making it more powerful. Historically US presidents almost always lose relative power in

mid-term elections - they know this. Therefore, they push their landmark legislation in the first two years of office. Legislation is simply redistribution of money, property rights and regulation. It’s been proven people hate losses much more than they like gains. So when the risk of legislated redistribution increases in first half of presidential terms, risk aversion increases overall and we get more variable returns. Since 1926 (the start of the S&P 500) US shares averaged 8.1% and 9.0% in years one and two of presidents’ terms and have been negative 43% of all years. But returns in year three and four are more uniformly positive, averaging 19.4% and 10.9% respectively, and only been negative 14% of those years! Why? A more gridlocked congress can’t agree on much - and the risk of redistribution decreases. This little

“IT doesn´t much matter who wins - election years have been very good historically for US shares” noticed factor is so powerful that you can observe the same pattern reflected in global shares. There’s another little-noticed yet fundamental and therefore powerful pattern in election years (year four, i.e., 2012) and inaugural years (year one). Republicans are widely seen as more “pro-business” than democrats, they know this and consequently campaign using market and economy-friendly policies and promises. Statistics show that markets like this, averaging a 15.6% increase in years a Republican is elected. Democrats (like Obama) are seen as more interested in social causes and are less business-friendly. This scares

markets. When Democrats have been elected stocks average just 6.7%. That’s election year. But something perverse happens in inaugural years, and remarkably consistently in history. The elected Republican immediately starts thinking about re-election. He knows that there is no legitimate political threat to his credibility amongst his Republican base because there is no other party to vote for, so he starts appealing to the political middle, Independents and moderate Democrats. He doesn’t come through with his promise of lower taxes and de-regulation as promised. The markets discover he’s not their probusiness champion, he’s just a politician, and disappointed markets average just 0.8% after a Republican’s first year. The phenomenon is reversed when a Democrat comes to power, and for the same reasons. He doesn’t go after Wall Street fat cats as promised. (Wall Street fat cats are rich sources of campaign funds the Democrat needs to win re-election!) He too tries to appeal to the middle, because it’s the middle that matters most, and so markets are relieved, rising an average 14.9% his first year of office. Why is that good for 2012? Well, because the most surprising political/economic correlation is the one that fewest people recognize and it’s this, there are huge differences historically between years of a new Democrat President and a re-elected one. When we re-elect a Democrat, we already know he’s just a politician. We may like him or not—but we know his schtick is just that—schtick. Markets aren’t nearly as scared of an incumbent Democrat—years we re-elect a Democrat, US shares average 14.5%! And years we newly elect a Republican, remember, markets buy his probusiness talk, pushing US shares up at an even higher average (And, again, you see this same pattern reflected globally). And now we see how US politics can have such a profound impact on global markets in 2012. Because whether the USA decides to elect a new Republican or re-elected Barack Obama, stocks will feel the benefit that result. The scenario doesn’t get much better for investors. It’s good to be biased bullish in such an environment.

September 2011 | THE EXCHANGE | 41


PSYCHOLOGY

42 | THE EXCHANGE | September 2011


FEATURE

by Michael Hewson, Market Analyst, CMC Markets While foreign exchange markets can be highly lucrative they can also carry a high level of risk due to their short term volatility. Understanding how to deal with these risks in a methodical and practical way and then knowing what actually moves the market, whether that is fundamental news or technically, via price action on the charts, is where education courses, online articles and regular FX blogs can be extremely helpful. Market Analysts write regular daily blogs, and companies like CMC Markets hold courses specifically aimed at the FX trader. Learning from seasonal traders and following their interpretations of the market can give you a great insight into FX trading and give you an edge when making your trading decisions. One of the reasons that currency markets are so appealing to seasoned traders, as well as first time traders, is that they are open 24 hours a day during the week. In addition the spreads between the bid and offer prices in currency pairs such as the EURUSD, GBPUSD are extremely tight, which means that when trading the pair doesn’t have to move that much for the trader to generate a quick profit. With the advent of the financial crisis in 2008 and the monetary easing and stimulus methods employed by the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, the focus of a lot of investors has shifted to alternative currency pairs in Asia where interest rates are quite a bit higher. One of the downsides of looking outside the main currency pairs is that dealing spreads are a little wider, for example in GBP/AUD it can be as high as 10 pips at 1.5443/1.5453. One of the main gainers in this shift of capital eastwards has been currencies like the Australian and New Zealand dollar, as investors go in search of yield in order to maximise their returns away from currencies which currently have negative interest rates. With negative interest rates the value of cash on deposit is exceeded by inflationary pressures in the economy, meaning that in real terms the value of your cash is eroded. The UK economy is a case in point where ISA rates are in the

“australia has interest rates of 4.75%, meaning that investors rotate their capital into the australian dollar in search of yield� region of 3%, while inflation is running in excess of 5%. So while the UK has base rates of 0.5% Australia has interest rates of 4.75%, meaning that investors rotate their capital into the Australian dollar in the search of yield. They will also hope to make a capital gain in the likely event the Australian dollar appreciates against the pound. In the last 12 months the pound has fallen from a value of 1.75 to a low of 1.4760 against the Australian dollar, a fall of 15% due to the large interest rate differential between the two currencies. Over the longer term the pound has dropped 25% in the last two years. Traders entering this trade in the last 12 months have therefore had the double bonus of holding Australian dollars, and earning interest on their cash to the tune of 4%+ while at the same time gaining on the currency appreciation as well. As with any currency transaction there is always a risk involved especially if traders are looking at interest rate differentials, but recently this has been less of an issue. Investors are simply buying Australian dollars and then putting them on deposit for a fixed term to earn interest at the rate available at the time. To offset that they sell sterling and then borrow sterling to fund the overdraft on their sterling holdings at the lower rate for the same period. This equates to a positive carry as they

earn interest at the higher rate and pay interest at the lower rate. When looking at entering a trade of this type it is also important to look at the long term outlook for interest rates. This becomes important when deciding whether to go long or short of a particular currency as the shorting of a carry trade currency gives rise to a negative carry, which means you have to balance the risks of losing money on the carry with the likelihood of a strong down move. This is when looking at economic data and the narrative of central bank meetings is extremely important. For example, the general consensus is that the Bank of England is likely to keep interest rates unchanged at their current low levels for some time to come, despite the current elevated levels of inflation in the UK. It is therefore important to look at the outlook for Australian interest rates over the next 6-12 months, as these seem more likely to move. With inflationary pressures in Australia until recently being quite high, speculation amongst economists has been that the next move in interest rates in Australia will be higher, towards 5%. This would further weaken the pound against the Aussie dollar. However a couple of weeks ago Westpac Bank published a report that suggested that, because of a slowdown in Chinese growth inflationary pressures, the pressure for a rise in rates could well ease. This would mean that the next move in rates in Australia could well be lower, and not higher. This perception would change the interest rate differentials between the two in the futures markets, and the spreads would start to narrow. This in turn would prompt profit taking as traders sell their Australian dollars and buy back their sterling to realise their capital gains. This change in perceptions could also account for the rebound in the pound against the Australian dollar since the beginning of July, after it hit all-time lows. Other currency pairs that can be traded this way include the New Zealand dollar against the US dollar, the pound or even the Swiss franc, where interest rates have also recently been cut to zero.

September 2011 | THE EXCHANGE | 43


THE LONG| STRATEGY

10 Pointers for Getting Started in the World of Forex The essentials of how to get ahead when opening a forex account for the first time, by Jonathan Assia, CEO of eToro

44 | THE EXCHANGE | September 2011


THE LONG| STRATEGY

Foreign exchange is one of the fastest growing financial markets for retail investors, with day trading volumes currently being estimated at £145 Billion per day. While the FX market might sound overwhelmingly complex to novice traders, it can be mastered by individual investors if they are presented with the right training, tools and have access to other traders to learn from their experience.

Here are some best practices that can boost success for first time traders. 1

know your platform

Many systems provide data feeds, charts, and graphs that take time to absorb and interpret. When starting off in the Forex market you should select a user friendly platform that will take no longer than a couple of minutes to master. Systems designed to include all the professional tools you’ll need in a convenient and user friendly way speeds up the learning process and adds to success. 2

Don’t trade alone

When should you open a position? And just when should you close the trade? Well, via an online trading community you can immediately receive answers to your questions, and compare your trades to other professional traders. eToro’s answer to this problem is CopyTrader, with which you can instantly copy the trades of their preferred experts based on track record and risk levels. When the copied experts close their trades, all the copied trades are also automatically closed. This feature enables anyone to trade like an expert without the need for specific expertise in foreign currency trading. 3

Take advantage of e-tutorials

Many systems include tutorials that walk through the fundamentals of forex trading including the basics of the economic indicators, currency pairs and movements. If you take the time to understand the underlying facts and analysis you will feel much more confident when opening your first trade. 4

Knowledge is Power

Remember that no one is born a trader. Even though it does take a couple of trades to get the hang of things, never stop sharing tips and tricks, using education tools, and analysing your trades and your peer’s success to continuously improve your portfolio’s performance. 5

Customizable leverage

Leverage is a term used to describe a situation where a trader can open a larger trade than his/her account balance. While this is a major advantage of the Forex market, new traders are often bamboozled by the option of leverage,

consequentially causing losses. Before opening your first position fully understand this term, as it will help you to customize your positions’ sizes, to match your account balance. 6 A 24 hour market, with 24 hour support

The currency market is also the only market that is truly open 24 hours a day with decent liquidity throughout the day. For traders who may have a day job or just a busy schedule, it is an optimal market to trade in. The important thing when starting off in this market is to develop a trading strategy that suits your daily lifestyle. 7 No one can corner the Forex market

The Forex market is the largest financial market in the world meaning no single firm or even central banks can corner the market, or manipulate the prices, especially if a country has adopted a floatable rate exchange. This arena is perfect for new traders who haven’t yet decided whether to become a full time trader. 8 getting into the right frame of mind

Emotions are the number one cause of losses. A major part of our introductory course is to help you get your mind set. One must accept that a part of this market is losing trades, but with the right coaching teaching you correct portfolio management, your profitable trades should cover your losses, allowing your account balance to increase. 9

Momentum and the Trend

New traders are often unaware that as a new trend starts, momentum tends to increase. Additional traders jump on for the ride, strengthening the trend as it continues to climb higher. Try to trade with the market’s momentum on your side, as it will often push your trades in the right direction, hitting your take-profit sooner than you expect. 10 Don’t waste your time on a losing trade

If you find yourself in a losing position, remember that sometimes it’s better to cut your losses and move on to the next trade. The Forex market is full of profitable opportunities, just waiting to be taken.

September 2011 | THE EXCHANGE | 45


THE LONG | ANALYSIS

46 | THE EXCHANGE | September 2011


THE LONG | ANALYSIS

By Atif Latif, Guardian Stockbrokers

On the 8th July 2011 the FTSE 100 Index hit a high of 6084.08 points and on the 9th of August 2011 the index traded down to 4791.01 points. In a matter of four weeks the FTSE 100 had fallen circa 22% and in the process wiped off over £160bn of value from the UK’s 100 largest companies. Other indices losses over the same period include the Dax to the tune of £74bn, €13.6bn from the CAC40 and in the US the S&P500 lost over $843.6bn of total market value. Unless investors had hedging mechanisms in place or pension fund managers had protection in place then this sell off will have affected pension holders to the tune of being £125bn worse off. Due to the advances in trading platforms, market information and products, investors can now take control of their pensions and finances by making their own investment decisions. This can be either shorting companies and sectors to hedge existing positions or by placing pairs trades to take a market neutral view by buying and selling equities in the same sector. This type of pairs trading is commonly known as statistical arbitrage, spread trading, sector neutral, beta neutral and market neutral. The intention of this trading is to take advantage of price anomalies to exploit mispricing in historical correlations that are intended to return to form and to eliminate all systematic market risk. Pairs trading can be used on equities, indices, commodities,

“ON THE 8th JULY 2011 the ftse 100 index hit a high of 6084.08 and on the 9th august 2011 the index traded down to 4791.01 points. in a matter of four weeks the FTSE 100 had fallen circa 22% and in the process wiped over £160bn of value from the uk´s 100 largest companies”

FX and other types of derivatives that have a historical correlation. The challenge involves being able to spot and price these trades by selecting a basket of longs that will perform better than a basket of shorts. If correct correlations can be identified,the intention of this type of trading is supposed to be

consistent and low risk by being profitable in any market conditions, but as with any investments risks are high. When markets are hugely volatile we often see price discrepancies in the same sector. For example if there has been a profit warning in Company X then this will have follow through effect throughout all sector peers. This usually results in the anomalies appearing alongside profit potential as the correlation is usually temporarily out of sync and should result in moving back into parity. Another way to view this would be to take the view that one of the companies is overvalued or has outperformed against the sector/index and the other is undervalued or underperformed. To place a trade would be to simultaneously buy the undervalued company and sell the overvalued company to profit from price divergence. Some suggest that this is a low risk strategy by having a market neutral position but we would heed caution and highlight that it is a high risk strategy due the risk that the correlation might not return back in line or it could be a trade that might take a long time to achieve profit. Other mistakes that investors make is exiting the profitable leg of the trade and holding onto the other therefore giving naked market exposure which may not have been the intention of the trade. Below are examples of spread narrowing of LLOY/ RBS and VED / RIO where the spread has widened.

September2011 | THE EXCHANGE | 47


THE LONG | ANALYSIS

48 | THE EXCHANGE | August 2011


THE LONG | ANALYSIS

Fear and Uncertainty need tackling before investors can look again to the upside says Richard PErry of Central Markets

Uncertainty has dogged financial markets throughout 2011, whether it be uncertainty over the fate of the Eurozone, uncertainty over political instability in North Africa and the Middle East, or uncertainty over the US debt ceiling. The major stock markets held up remarkably well in the face of some significantly bearish global factors such as commodity price inflation and hawkish Chinese monetary policy. Despite “known unknowns” such as the European sovereign debt crises and the “unknown unknowns” such as the Japanese earthquake, in the larger scheme of things investors had proven to be extremely resilient. On several occasions the FTSE 100 even tested the key overhead resistance around 6100. However, once the curtain came down on the pantomime that was the US debt ceiling, traders quickly reassessed the market and with fear in their eyes took a view. They saw the dreaded “R” word back on the horizon, as talk of double dip recessions resumed. Investors quickly fled from risky investments and consequently markets tumbled. A significant catalyst for one of the sharpest sell-offs in recent memory was the desperately disappointing surveys of manufacturing purchasing managers from around the world. According to HSBC, the US Lead Indicators suggest that within a few months the Manufacturing ISM figure will be back at an extremely weak 45 (sub 50 suggests contraction). However, the consensus forecast for global growth in 2011 is currently around 4.0%, while the US is at c. 2% and the UK c. 1.3%. At this stage it seems far more likely that a period of stunted growth will be seen. The stellar growth of the emerging economies of Latin America and Asia may come down, while the more traditional economic powerhouse countries lag behind. However, at this stage calling the situation an outright recession is not on the cards. The US Government bond yield curve continues to slope upwards and is therefore not pointing to any upcoming recession. All previous recessions since 1970 in the States

“US UNEMPLOYMENT remains at a crippingly high level of 9.1%, despite the latest Nonfarm Payrolls data coming in ahead of expectations” have been preceded by an inverted yield curve, with an average time from inversion to recession of 12 months. The longer dated treasuries continue to yield more than shorter dated notes. The 10 year government bond yield is above 2%, the 5 year yields less than 1% and the 2 year less than 0.2%. While this remains the case the market is not expecting recession in the US. However, US unemployment remains at the cripplingly high level of 9.1%, despite the latest Non-farm Payrolls data coming in ahead of expectations. This is certainly not conducive to an economic recovery built on solid ground. It is going to remain choppy for a while to come. The key factor would be the knock-on effects of slowdown in the US on an already wounded Eurozone (although some say fatally wounded). Fear of a global recession took Brent Crude oil below $100 for the first time in six months, it has also seen gold storm above $1700 per troy ounce. The FTSE 100 became the most technically oversold at any time since at least 1994. Whilst the S&P 500 was the most oversold since September 2001 in the fallout from the World Trade Centre attacks. Although these moves seem extreme this is what fear can do to investors. Huge selling volumes were seen as the decline in stocks accelerated. Much has been made of the impact of electronic trading and the big banks with their complicated algorithms. However investors trading on leverage certainly contributed to the decline as

margin calls resulted in multiple stop outs of accounts. Clearly no one could have predicted the speed of the sell-off, but perhaps it should have been expected. Previously the market has reacted badly to the withdrawal of stimulus. In April 2010 as the first round of Quantitative Easing (QE) was withdrawn the FTSE 100 fell over 1000 points in three months, while the end of QE2 in July 2011 precipitated a 1200 point decline at the nadir (so far). What is needed now is stability and a path for growth. The chances of the Fed embarking upon further quantitative easing are slight given the divisions and dissenting voices within the FOMC. Investors see that if the withdrawal of stimulus creates such a sell-off, then clearly the positive impact of QE as a policy tool on the stock market is flawed. Investors are focused on the US delivering growth, which QE does not appear to have secured. The first reading of Q2 GDP came in at a disappointing 1.3% (1.9% had been expected). Rather than the cheap money of QE and short term fixes, investors are looking for longer term solutions. The Fed has announced that with the recovery being “considerably slower” than it had previously anticipated it has been discussing a range of policy tools to bolster the economy. Whilst this does not rule out QE3, perhaps the Fed is now considering something a little more sophisticated. The Fed has a big job on its hands to persuade the market that it is promoting growth. Choosing to keep interest rates at record lows until 2013 is just one step. Having said that, with GDP estimates being lowered with anaemic levels of growth, the validity of price-earnings multiples as a valuation metric may increasingly come into question. Corporate outlook statements remain challenging and analysts may begin to trim expectations for future earnings which remain quite high. In the meantime, perhaps investors will once again plump for good honest companies with solid revenue streams, earnings growth, cash flow and dividend growth. Who’s for investing old school style?

August 2011 | THE EXCHANGE | 49


THE LONG | STRATEGY

Making Sense of Forex Trading It’s All about Anticipation

Greg Michalowski

is the Chief Currency Analyst at FXDD www.fxdd.com He is also the author of “Attacking Currency Trends” www.attackingcurrencytrends.com

50 | THE EXCHANGE | August 2011


THE LONG | STRATEGY

I have always thought that good athletes and good traders have a lot in common. Both have to be disciplined, and patient. Both often fail more than they succeed. Both need to limit the loss from failure and take advantage of the trends from success. Both need to perform well under pressure. In a recent issue of Sports Illustrated – the acclaimed weekly US sports magazine – I was drawn to an article by David Epstein titled “It’s All about Anticipation”. In the article, he speaks of how athletes are successful, not because they have faster reflexes that allow them to hit 95 mph baseballs, return 150 MPH rocket tennis serves, or consistently hit a cricket ball safely over and over, but from their ability to see the future by anticipating what may happen. Retail Forex Traders Do Not Capitalize in the Q1 Trend

Forex traders also need to anticipate what may or may not happen in the market to be successful. If traders can anticipate a trend, they stand to do the equivalent of hitting a home run, smashing a return or hitting for a century. The simple and logical reason for this is that trends tend to be fast. Trends are directional. Trends tend to have large ranges. If retail traders can anticipate the trend, recognize it and then get on the trend and stay on the trend, profits will accumulate. The problem is retail traders tend not to trade trends well, meaning losses can and do accumulate. Looking at the first quarter of 2011, the EURUSD trended from a low of 1.2873 on January 10th to a high of 1.4247 on March 22nd. The trend move of 1,374 pips in the most active of currency pairs should have led to positive returns if traders were trading with the trend. However, statistics of profitability in US accounts showed that 68 percent of traders lost money (source: www.forexmagnet.com). The trend was not a friend for the retail trader in Q1. The reasons for the failure to profit from the move are varied, and given the size of the sample (over 100,000 domestically traded clients), will likely never be known. However, if traders had taken a page from the athletes’ book and anticipated the future (i.e. the trend), it would stand to reason that they would have been in a better position to stay with the trend rather than trade against it. Anticipate What Might Happen, then Manage

Figure 1.0 is a daily chart of the EURUSD. In the five weeks that preceded the trend move to the upside (i.e. yellow area), the price range for

the EURUSD was confined, narrow and nontrending. Non-trending markets will eventually transition into a trending market either to the upside or the downside. The “when” is unknown but the longer the wait, the better the chance for a move. It is during long non-trending periods that forex traders can start and anticipate a trend move either to the upside or the downside. Figure 1.0 EURUSD Trends Higher

In our example, when the market breaks below the lower floor of the range and the 200 day MA (green MA line) the conditions are right for a trend to the downside (red area in the chart). Traders should anticipate a move lower by selling and indeed the price moves lower. However, the caveat is defining where the trend reverses and when the trade should be stopped out. In the example, the trend will remain down if the price stays below the 200 day MA (green line) and the old floor from the yellow shaded area. Four days after the break, the price was back above these key break levels. Can traders still anticipate a trend? The answer is “Yes.” The market was non-trending for 5 weeks. The break to the downside failed after four days and the trade should be exited for a small loss. Remember athletes fail too, but the best never give up. The trading failure should shift the focus to the buy side, with a stop on a move back below the 200 day MA and the floor. Traders should now anticipate a move higher. The price did indeed rally strongly. Fourteen days after moving above the red area at 1.30588, the price peaked at 1.38607 (802 pips). A correction that took the price down toward

the 100 day MA (blue line), a 38.2 percent retracement, and to the old ceiling from the yellow zone, stalled the decline and at point 2, the price based. Traders can anticipate the start of another bullish leg of the uptrend. Risk can be defined and limited to a move below the green shaded area. At points 3 and 4, traders could once again anticipate support and a resumption of the bullish trend. At point 3, the EURUSD finds support against the now solid trendline, and at point 4, the trendline and the old high at 1.38607 provide two strong reasons to buy and anticipate another leg to the upside. The trend accelerates once again, corrects off the topside channel trendline, but fails on the break below the bottom trendline at point 5. The failure leads to a final surge higher that accelerates the price moves above the trend channel (orange area). When the price fails and moves back into the channel, traders can now anticipate a move lower. The trend is over at 1.4778, or 1720 pips from the start at 1.3058. It is all about Anticipation

Traders should take a clue from athletes and anticipate what may happen on their playing field. There are often clues in the charts that provide low-risk trading opportunities that take advantage of a potential trend. Traders, like athletes, do not know for sure if the trend move will pan out. Failure is part of sports and trading. However, by defining risk, the downside is limited while the upside could lead to a home run.

September 2011 | THE EXCHANGE | 51


THE LONG | STRATEGY

CHART WONK #11

Commodity Channel Index Define cyclical trends with the Commodity Channel Index.  The Chart: Apple (AAPL) from Zignals.com charting application

What does it all mean? The Commodity Channel Index (CCI) is a momentum indicator developed by Donald Lambert in 1980. The indicator was developed to study cyclical trends in commodities, but it can be used to measure overbought and oversold conditions in any asset. The indicator works by measuring the relationship between an asset’s price and a moving average of asset price. A high CCI value represents an asset which is extended above its moving average and represents strength, a low CCI value for an asset which is extended below its moving average and implies weakness. How does it work? The typical price of an asset is compared against a moving average of typical price. The difference between price and the moving average is divided by the mean deviation between price and the moving average. A constant is applied to ensure up to 80% of CCI values fall within the range of -100 to +100. The period setting of CCI defines the length of the moving average employed; a

52 | THE EXCHANGE | September 2011

shorter period will be more volatile and more prone to extreme CCI values than a longer period setting. Unlike many momentum indicators, the CCI is unbound. Therefore there are no upside or downside limits, although the majority of swings occur around the -100 to +100 range. The lack of definition makes overbought or oversold conditions more difficult to identify. Particularly as asset volatility plays a significant role in defining the upper and lower ranges. So what are the signals to look for? When the CCI crosses above +100 it’s considered a buy signal, and a drop below -100 is a sell signal. However, extremes in CCI can lead to counter trades. Overbought or oversold conditions, identified using historic CCI ranges, can lead to reversion-to-mean reactions in price. For example, a push through +100 may signal a buy, but a move past +200 may signal a price extreme - to the extent a cross below +200 is treated as a sell signal. As a momentum indicator, the CCI can

also utilize bullish and bearish divergences to anticipate trend reversals. Although divergences can exist for extended periods during strong trends, reducing their efficacy as reversal triggers. To minimize false signals, confirmation can require a break of support or resistance in price, and/or a cross of the zero line in the CCI. Alternatively, the CCI works well in conjunction with other oscillators and can be used to confirm extreme peaks and valleys in an asset’s price. In our Apple example, the CCI offered good entry opportunities in March 2009, March 2010, September 2010 and July 2011. Despite the recent carnage in the broader market, Apple has remained remarkably resistant. Despite the selling, Apples’ CCI (as of August 8th) had yet to cross below the zero line, let alone cross below -100. The strength of Apple’s bullish trend is made more apparent when the CCI sell signals are studied. In each CCI cross below -100, in January 2008, September 2008 and June 2011, Apple simply traded sideways before it rallied past the price associated with the -100 signal cross. Whether Apple can resist forming a new down trend on its next cross below -100 remains to be seen. When do I make my move? At its simplest, crosses below -100 are sell signals and above +100 are buy signals. Because the goal is to ride newly established trends based on extremes in the CCI it’s a good idea to employ a stop strategy based on price volatility, for example, a stop based on the Average True Range (ATR). Alternatively, traders may set orders along Fibonacci retracements extended over the range of the reaction swing to the price at the CCI signal. With this strategy, traders can avoid entering or exiting at price extremes, although trades may not trigger if prices don’t return into the defined Fibonacci zone. Support or resistance can also be helpful. When a CCI signal is triggered, instead of a straight entry on the signal, a break of the nearest swing high or low is used to determine a trade.


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THE LONG STRATEGY

As Zoe Fiddes of Easy Forex explains, when there´s volatility in the air it´s important to know just how rocky the ride is about to become

Currencies and commodities tend to be more volatile than stocks, which means measuring volatility is particularly important in order to help you identify risk and profit potential. Volatility is specific to each product, be that a specific currency or commodity, and analysts base their volatility forecasts on previous movements over specific time periods. Knowing how much volatility to expect can help you better calculate your stop-loss level and, at the same time, you can estimate a realistic profit target by placing your take-profit appropriately. For example, when trading in an uptrend it is not common for the price to move straight upwards; instead a trend normally moves in a zigzag fashion making it is near impossible to get in at exactly the optimal moment. It is common to wear some loss before the trend goes your way into a profit. But the question is how much loss will you take before getting out? In a trend trade, placing the stoploss too close can be dangerous because the

54 | THE EXCHANGE | September 2011

volatility will take you out every time. J Welles Wilder, best known for his commodity technical trading systems, developed the Average True Range (ATR) indicator as a tool for a more precise calculation

of market volatility, and which is now available on most charting packages. The True Range (TR) measures the movement of a price bar and the ATR is a moving average of the TR values over a period of time which you, the trader, can


THE LONG STRATEGY

set. If, for example, you added the ATR on to a one hour bar chart and set the period to 24 the indicator would calculate the average volatility of each bar over the last 24 hours. A currency pair with a higher ATR reading implies higher market volatility and hence you should look to place a wider stop-loss. If you compare the ATR value of EURGBP with EURJPY, under the same parameters, you will find that the JPY cross tends to shift more. Furthermore, the ATR for crude oil reveals just how volatile this slippery commodity is, easily moving 50 points in an hour. There are various methods for using this indicator; Wilder used daily charts with seven or 14 day periods, which gives the daily average price movement over the previous week or two

weeks respectively. There are also some methods which suggest setting stop-losses two to four times the ATR. However, if you are a day trader and hence look for short-term trades with smaller risks you can amend the parameters to suit your strategy. The ATR does not provide an indication of direction, only volatility; therefore you can combine this with another indicator that does provide buy or sell signals. The Alligator Signal is one that works best in trending markets.

This is based on three exponential moving averages (EMAs); five period, eight period and a 13 period EMA. These are usually coloured green, red and blue respectively. When the price rockets you will see the five period EMA (green line) react the quickest. This is because the current price has a larger bearing on the shortest EMA, which is why it is called the ‘fast line’, and the 13 period EMA (blue line) is referred to as the ‘slow line’. These lines move around each other. When the lines diverge or separate the price is normally pushing strongly in one direction and the further the separation between lines the stronger the trend. When the lines become tangled and remain close the price is normally trading sideways and unfortunately we don’t get clear signals. However, in a trending environment a signal to buy, looking to follow the start of an up-trend, is when the fast EMA (green line) moves above the middle EMA (red line) and then above the slow EMA (blue line). If the green line continues to move above the other two lines it shows that the trend is still pushing in that direction. The lines will order themselves with the green line at the top, red line in the middle and blue line underneath. In the chart here showing the alligator indicator, on 5th August, see how the green line moves to the topside of the red and then the blue confirms the uptrend where the price continued move up by approximately 300 pips. The opposite is true when identifying a downtrend; when the green line moves from above to below the other two EMAs your signal to sell is when the lines move further apart after they have crossed. Since this strategy indicates when to follow a trend it could be used in accordance with resistance and support levels where a trend may be indicated. And when deriving where to place your stop-loss and take profit orders you may want to use the ATR indicator in the timeframe you are studying. This will reveal the minimum distance you should place your stop-loss to decrease the risk of getting stopped out as the price whips back and forth in the trend. It will also give you an idea of how much the price could potentially move in your direction and hence a sensible level to place your first profit target. Don’t forget this indicator works best in a trending environment so take time to choose the timeframe and currency pair correctly. A larger timeframe or more volatile pair will require a wider stop-loss. And, as a last note, remember to always calculate your risk reward ratio before you enter the trade.

September 2011 | THE EXCHANGE | 55


THE LONG | ANALYSIS

The Forex Market Update

By Andrei Tratseuski, Currency Analyst, Forex Club 56 | THE EXCHANGE | September 2011


THE LONG | ANALYSIS

An abundant amount of volatility continues to dominate the currency market. During a volatile market, it is important to take a step back and pay attention to longer term trends in the marketplace. Noise in the marketplace could throw off even the most experienced traders - if they get caught up in small details. Instead of focusing on small time frames, it is prudent to analyse weekly charts on a recurring basis. Bearing the following factors in mind, we will gradually analyze the overall trends on longer time frames, while negating the noise that plays into the marketplace on a daily basis. Economic problems continue to linger on the both sides of the Atlantic. The US economy is severely underperforming, which resulted in the downgrading of its AAA sovereign credit standing. In the meantime, the problems of the peripheral nations in the Eurozone are severely undermining any optimism in the 17-nation union. On a daily basis, the EUR/ USD spikes in both directions, yet there is no definitive trend. However, when we take a look at the overall picture of the EUR/USD, we can understand why the market is ranging. The lack of a definitive trend is primarily caused by a structuring bullish flag formation. In a bullish flag formation, price consolidation tends to occur within the flag portion of the pattern. The pole of the formation began making its presence in the beginning of 2011, starting at 1.29. After running upward all the way to nearly 1.50, the currency pair started to recede to the downside. Running the Fibonacci extensions from a low and high made in 2010, we find that the price action this year stalled precisely at the 127% level of a Fibonacci extension. After reaching the high of this year at nearly 1.50, the EUR/USD started to drop slightly to the downside, yet a range bound trading originated – structuring a bullish flag formation. Despite some abnormalities, the EUR/USD remains entrenched in a well-defined upward channel. A 50% Fibonacci retracement of 2011 high and low is acting as a strong level of support and continues to inch in an upward direction, attempting to breach the upper portion of the flag formation – potentially causing a bullish rally. In the meantime, the Relative Strength Index (RSI) is also making advances to the upside, breaking above 50 – a bullish notation. It is prudent to include fundamentals in any type of market analysis. Given the fact that peripheral problems continue to undermine the EURUSD,

“taking a step back and looking at the overall perspective of the market is an important trick to deriving important trends”

any deviation away from risk aversion by a temporary solution could trigger a rally. Therefore, if risk appetite is reignited due to a potential solution to peripheral dilemmas and the upper portion of the flag formation is breached, the EUR/USD could stand to gain ground, and may likely push towards this year’s high of 1.50. The British economy continues to severely underperform amid extensive austerity measures. The Bank of England is beginning to clearly focus more upon the growth of the economy instead of the current level of inflation. The Bank of England firmly believes that the inflationary pressures will recede in a downward direction in an intermediate timeframe. If the Bank of England continues to use a hawkish tone, the interest rates are likely to remain at historical lows of 0.50% for a prolonged period of time. Delaying an interest rate hike could severely hamper the performance of the GBP/USD currency pair. Looking at the longer-term performance of the currency on a weekly chart, we notice that the market is clearly looking for more information before making any speculation. Since the beginning of this year, the GBP/USD has been entrenched in a relatively tight range trading zone between 1.54 and 1.68. Currently technical analysis is giving us a neutral picture. Nonetheless, a break of structured support or resistance levels may prompt the GBP/USD into a certain trend. The GBP/USD is structuring a defined Head & Shoulder formation. The left shoulder was formed at the end of 2010; the head was

structured by this year’s high, while the right shoulder appeared just last month. The neckline is extended from the low of this year through the low reached during the summer of 2011. A break of a neckline could potentially lead the currency pair to lose an abundant amount of value, with a potential drop to 1.53 level. Current resistance structured the right shoulder and was once a support line, which extended from a low of 2010 through a low of this year. After the GBP/USD dipped below the support line, support became the current resistance level. Further to the upside, a horizontal resistance makes its presence at 1.68, a level that was not been breached since 2010. The current support lingers at 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level of 2010’s low and this year’s high, a breach of which could allow the GBP/USD to lose more ground. The RSI is making gains in an upward direction, suggesting that positive momentum is beginning to be structured. Nonetheless, the current state of the GBP/USD is neutral to slightly bearish biased. If the Bank of England continues to act ultra-hawkish, the currency and the economy will remain in a dire state and the GBP/USD may continue to press in a downward direction. Any escalation of the risk aversion mentality may prompt the currency pair to drop severely below levels seen this year. Taking a step back and looking at the overall perspective of the market is an important trick that may be used to derive important trends. Negating noise is an important factor that allows for a more efficient trading without being caught up in nuances of the market.

September 2011 | THE EXCHANGE | 57


THE LONG| STRATEGY

As Peter Webb explains in his latest article, tennis truly is a young man’s game

When tennis players step up to play a Grand Slam tournament each hopes the event could be the defining moment in their career. Many times I have watched as one player surges through the rankings to reach their peak, only to fail to close out that all elusive Grand Slam title. But on the flip side, previously invincible tournament winners can’t continue at the top of the sport forever and eventually their dominance fades; this, in my opinion, is where a lot of opportunity exists. Human nature is a wonderfully poor guide to reasoned judgement. Its flaw is that it tends to lead people to extrapolate past trends into future ones, and that applies to sports and sports betting very well. When a team or individual is performing well then it often seems like nothing can stop them‌ but someone always does! If

58 | THE EXCHANGE | September 2011

you have a team or player who is at the top of his game, they can trade for ridiculously short odds. What better way to find value than to oppose such short odds? I have learnt to be contrary in nature in order to seek the best quality opportunities in any market and it was this that led me to seek a method to identify tennis players in likely decline. They key question I was trying to answer was whether there was a defining characteristic by which could tell you if somebody is likely to be turned over at short odds? I think there is. I began by analysing the performance of past Grand Slam winners to see if there were any key trends. I was more interested in where winners came from, how long into their professional career it took them to get there and who their direct competitors were. Learning about their journey would mean I could get some key insights into how a


THE LONG| STRATEGY

“Can you tell whether someboby is likely to get turned over at short odds?”

September 2011 | THE EXCHANGE | 59


THE LONG| STRATEGY

star is born, how they mature and eventually fade into retirement. I analysed players’ performances in key tournaments to form a rating against which I could plot in a graph and compare to an average. This gave me a neat way of looking at the development of a player and their progress through their expected career. It’s not without error, as getting into infinite detail, such as injuries and retirements from competitions would require a lot of work. But, as expected, patterns soon started to emerge even without this detail. Most tennis players are groomed from a young age and if they show real promise they will certainly turn professional while they are still in their teens. Potential superstars may go professional even earlier. Rafael Nadal turned professional aged just 15! Typically, the average age for turning professional is just shy of 18 years old. Playing sport at any level is tough and tennis is no exception. Therefore most tennis players retire as they get into their early thirties and it’s very rare to see a player continue beyond the low thirties. On average, a player will have a career spanning around 14 years in total. The timings for these figures are fairly close for players as a whole and this means we can start to plot the average career of a player. The reason you would want to do this is to try and identify potential, or a decline, in a top player. If you can anticipate an up and coming performer you will likely be able to back them at large odds to do well, if not win a tournament. It’s not perfect as these players are up against well-established peers. I did identify Caroline Wozniacki however, the current womens world number one, as having strong potential early on using this method. Plotting the ratings curve picks up new stars very well, but it also predicts when players are past their peak. Peak tends to occur approximately year eight into a career; it then levels off and then slopes gently downwards as the player starts to decline from there. It’s interesting to note that the climb to peak performance is quite rapid but the slide into obscurity is less so, instead it’s much more of a gentle ride into the sunset. The predominant factors on both sides of the curve and its peak can seemingly be easily explained. When you are young and enthusiastic anything is possible and this leads to a rapid rise to your peak. On that curve it’s not only physical maturity that is gained, but psychological maturity as well. The peak is a natural one and something little can be done to avoid. At the age of 25 physical prowess is at its maximum and your ability to defeat less

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“If you can anticipate an up and coming performer you will likey be able to back them at large odds” mature competitors, or older less able ones, at its peak. You will be at the zenith of your capabilities at the age of 25 or thereabouts. Add 2/3 years either side of this number to capture the height of the capability of a Tennis player. From there it’s a case of hanging in there physically against younger more athletic opponents and this is aided by using your now superior mental abilities and wealth of experience to maintain your status at the top of your sport. This is sufficient to hold a position near the top for a short while but ultimately it’s a losing battle and age, along with younger competitors, will eventually defeat you. By the age of 30+ you are well into the twilight of your abilities. If we take this cycle and apply it to Andy Murray then we can see he is only just entering the period of maximum performance and, if we rebase his current form, probably just below his maximum capacity. There are still a couple of years before he could peak, and he should be able to maintain this level for a few years.

There is still a good chance he could win a Grand Slam. Nadal is slightly older and will fade first but Murray’s most likely future nemesis comes in the form of Novak Djokovic, who is the same age as Murray and someone who is clearly approaching his prime. While Murray still has a chance, it looks like the top tier will develop into a familiar battle of wits between incumbents. This seems to be a common theme throughout tennis history. Nadal will be 25 this year and in his prime. Last year was his best year yet according to my rankings, and he has performed well for the last five years. This was year 8 of his climb and this means he probably has a couple left at this level. Djokovic also hit peak last year, is on form in 2011, and at 24 is still on the climb according to our graph. Roger Federer was forecast to start fading in 2008/2009 and this seems to have been born out so I would lean on the side of a continued decline of his career. However note this is only a decline in relative terms, Federer is still a very good player and easily ranks above all but the top two players in the world on the merits we have constructed. Robin Soderling is performing above expectations despite being past his peak, I would be surprised to see his form continue because at 27 he is approaching the twilight of his career. People will remember his recently excellent form only, and therefore he should be a value lay. Andy Murray is still on the climb, see the illustration, so while he keeps hitting these bad patches of form his career is far from waning at this stage and should continue to have upward momentum. Outside of the top five David Ferrer is past the peak of the graph and it would be a surprise to see him maintain his ranking, a possible value lay. Tomas Berdych and Fernando Verdasco are at their likely peak and are possible back value candidates. Further down the list, Andy Roddick, Juergen Mezler, Mikhail Younzny and Mardy Fish are in the declining phase. Gael Monfils,, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Nicolas Almagro, Victor Troicki and Marin Cilic and still on the climb and may throw up a surprise. So, after a bit of research, it seems there is an underlying cycle in tennis and it’s quite a simple one at that. While skill is obviously an important factor on the court, age is a huge determining factor in success on the court. And with the majority of punters unaware as to age’s true value as an indicator of success, expect to find good value in spread betting at the big tennis tournaments.


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IN THE SPREAD... CITY GUIDE: BERLIN RESTAURANTS THE PLAYBOY CLUB SWEET SUITE WEEKENDS POLO

Rib Room Returns Fifty years after it first opened its door, The Rib Room Bar & Restaurant is back on the London map after undergoing an extensive restoration courtesy of designer Martin Brudnizki and the arrival of new Michelin-starred head chef Ian Rudge. The Knightsbridge establishment, which has been a favourite of celebrities from the likes of Hollywood stars to royalty, has been completely reinvented and now features a glamorous cocktail bar and private dining rooms as well as a remodelled restaurant. The restaurant’s signature dish, a Duke of Buccleuch Estate Aberdeen Angus rib of beef is still the centrepiece of the Rib Room’s exciting menu, alongside a host of cleverly re-invented Modern British dishes. The Rib Room is set to open at the beginning of October, we can’t wait and we know we’re not the only ones.

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THE SPREAD | RESTAURANTS

Restaurants of the Month

We’ve been diligently traipsing the streets of London once again to bring you our best findings of the month

Sauterelle The Royal Exchange, EC 3 If you are looking for a stylish, secluded retreat where you will be superbly catered for, Sauterelle is ideal. Set in the sophisticated, chic arena of the Royal Exchange, this dining experience offers a unique, exquisite ambience of opulence and romance. Warmly welcomed and seated in perfect timing, the waiters and waitresses ensured exceptional service was maintained throughout all courses. Their politeness and etiquette gracefully practised complements the atmosphere and setting of the French cuisine at Sauterelle. Expertise of the waiters and waitresses is evident at all times, leaving guests at ease and as comfortable as one could imagine. Staff at Sauterelle demonstrated their talent by judging guests accordingly and carefully to allow complete freedom of choice in both food and drinks whilst ensuring that guests are aware of their available skills. To start, the Clare Island organic salmon is a tasteful intensively pleasant dish which is lovely accompanied by a glass of Sancerre “La

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Vigne Blanche“ . Alternatively the Cornish crab ravioli with cucumber, samphire and lemon grass is also a dish well matched to the same wine. The main course menu is carefully and professionally chosen to ensure all guests enjoy yet another amazing dish to suit their taste. If you enjoy fish and a lighter main meal, the sea bream is excellently cooked, served with vegetables and light crisp potato brandade. Another recommended dish is the lamb, slowly cooked to perfection this succulent dish is served with cabbage, crushed peas and potato hotpot. The atmosphere captured by Sauterelle is an excellent reflection of the elegance and uniqueness of the Royal Exchange itself. Tables are set with delightful views from the mezzanine allowing guests to enjoy a relaxing, pleasant dining experience suited to your personal tastes and preferences. www.sauterelle-restaurant.co.uk


THE SPREAD | RESTAURANTS

Bedford & Strand The Strand, WC2E There aren’t too many places in London with a Jekyll and Hyde personality, that one minute has the feel of a central London wine bar and the next has you feeling as though you’re eating in a family-run local bistro. One place that does buck the trend though is Bedford & Strand. From the moment you step foot through Bedford & Strand’s door and head downstairs into the below-ground bar and bistro you’re transported a million miles away from the grind of life in central London. Despite being located in a prime location for both pre-theatre dining or an afterwork supper Bedford & Strand’s most striking feature is its fantastic atmosphere, as it succeeds in giving its customers the impression of being in an intimate, local establishment. The restaurant offers a simple but highly effective modern European menu, and the kitchen more than delivers on its promise of mouthwateringly good food. The bar options are plentiful (our recommendation if you’re looking to try something new are the house specialty cocktails) but the real star of the show is the delicious food of the restaurant. Starters are traditional and include steak tartare with quails egg, pot of Cornish crab and chicken liver parfait, but our recommendation is a terrine of smoked duck served with bread and soured apples, which combines fantastic flavours superbly into a dish so good you’ll wish you could eat it all night. Main courses are as lip-smacking as they are varied, with excellent meat, fish and vegetarian options to choose from. Order the cottage pie or panfried sardines and you won’t be disappointed, but the highlight of our visit were some sumptuous haddock fishcakes, which might just be the best we’ve had in the capital. www.bedford-strand.com

Plateau Canary Wharf, E14 When you feel like adding a ray of sunshine to a dreary day in London, a dining experience situated on the fourth floor of Canada Square hardly springs to mind. But despite all your predispositions let me tell you Plateau truly is that ray of sunshine: in particular its mid-20th century Manhattan decor complementing an elegant main dining room, dramatic views across London’s rooftops, and bespoke fitments of a quality DIY giants could only dream of - all enhanced by elegant art deco lighting. This high-quality D&D restaurant is headed by Chef Allan Pickett and his team, providing a selection of the finest French cuisine while choosing wines that uniquely complement the abundance of flavours The entire menu sounds delectable, and every dish tried exceeded our expectations. The appetisers shone and dazzled. The Foie gras had a creamy melting texture, mild to moderately livery, and of course very rich and packed full of flavour. We are a nation that has a scandalous disregard for game, far preferring the bland safety of chicken to anything with even an inkling of flavour. Grouse is often seen as exotic, as if one bite will assail the taste buds. That said the pungent main course was jaw smacking and a delightful tickle on the tongue, lightly garnished with sweet tasting crisps and perfectly presented. Dish after dish wowed with its balance of flavours and subtlety of expression. A selection of fine French cheeses and with a crisp chilled bottle of Sancerre, Andre Neveu rosé makes for a perfect ending to a fantastic evening. The Plateau is more than a restaurant, it’s a mini-break. www.plateau-restaurant.co.uk

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THE SPREAD | PLAYBOY

PLAY HARD, PARTY HARDER The Playboy Club is back! One of London’s most iconic venues made a triumphant return to the capital after thirty years away when a rejuvenated Playboy Club opened its door to the public two months ago. With gambling, partying and Playboy bunnies all on the menu The Exchange absolutely had to get inside to see if this gentlemen’s playground delivered on its huge promise.

In its heyday The Playboy Club was one of the most talked about and fashionable establishments in town. The who’s who of the London social scene could regularly be found enjoy a glass of champagne amongst the club’s plush interior, and visits from some of the biggest celebrity stars of the day were commonplace. The Playboy Club had everything, but above all it had style and panache. However, by the early eighties the sixties glamour and The Playboy Club’s lore had worn off. Despite being one of the most profitable casinos in the world the original venue closed its doors for the last time in 1981, and that was the last we thought we would see of a oncegreat institution. But we were wrong, because now The Playboy Club is back, claiming to be better than ever. And after stepping foot back inside some of London gaming’s most hallowed turf, we couldn’t agree more. Combining the best London has to offer in both top level casino gaming and luxury nightclubbing, the Playboy Club v.2 is a high roller’s paradise. The club is split distinctly into two, as the casino floor and dance floor are simultaneously a stone’s throw away and yet worlds apart. Club members can dance the night away in the bespoke Cottontail Lounge, work their way through one of the finest drinks menus London has to offer in Salvatore’s cocktail bar, spin the wheel of fortune on the tables, or better still do all three in the same night. And, despite the distinctly modern makeover, the Club has lost none of the chic

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intimacy that drew in London’s high society forty years ago. The qualities that pulled the rich and famous through Playboy’s doors like a magnetic are back in abundance, and the club sits within an affluent Mayfair backdrop effortlessly at ease with the wealth and glamour that surrounds it. Whether it’s a quiet drink or the night of your life you’re after, if you want to do it in style there’s really only one place you want to be. So does the new Playboy Club exude the appeal and charm of its predecessor? Well, we certainly think so. And with so much to encase

and enthral the senses under one roof we’re pleased to endorse the club as London’s newest place to be. Just a few of our highlights are: Salvatore’s Located on the ground floor of the Club, Salvatore’s is The Playboy Club’s elegant and spacious cocktail bar. World renowned cocktail expert Salvatore Calabrese has hand-sculpted a venue oozing with class, and despite being large enough to comfortably accommodate large groups as well as small, Salvatore’s is the perfect drinking spot for anyone looking to spend an


THE SPREAD| PLAYBOY

“THE CLUB HAS LOST NONE OF THE CHIC INTIMACY THAT DREW IN HIGH SOCIETY FORTY YEARS AGO”

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THE SPREAD | PLAYBOY

evening enjoying some of the finest and most original beverages London has to offer in a relaxed, intimate environment. As well as an exciting mixology menu crafted using Calabrese’s wealth of historical cocktail knowledge, Salvatore’s shelves are burgeoning with a huge variety of different delights. The Maestro’s personal collection of a hundred vintage cognacs, which proudly adorns the wall at the venue’s entrance, is the highlight of a truly fantastic selection of alcoholic treasures. Calabrese’s intention is to make his cocktail bar one of London’s premier night spots, and with its luxurious décor and exciting mixology menu Salvatore’s is certainly that. The Cottontail Lounge Ideally placed alongside Salvatore’s is the Playboy Club’s party hub, The Cottontail Lounge. A vibrant nightclub that would easily attract a capacity crowd if it stood on its own, The Cottontail Lounge fits seamlessly in with the rest of The Playboy Club as a sleek urban setting fit for party seekers and high rollers alike to kick back and revel in. Individual tables and seating mean that club members can enjoy the Cottontail Lounge’s sybaritic atmosphere in privacy, or alternatively take centre stage on the club’s dance floor. Small and large groups are excellently catered for, the club’s iconic Playboy bunnies cover the floor attending to customers’ every need. As well as superb house DJs turning the tables every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, special guest performances some of the biggest names in the music industry are regular, making a table at The Cottontail Lounge truly the hottest ticket in town. The Casino The business end of the Playboy Club, (or even more pleasurable end depending on what floats your boat) can be found upstairs on the casino floor. Pictures from a bygone era adorn the club’s staircase as well the casino’s walls, it’s up here where you truly get a sense of the fantastic history enshrined in the Playboy tradition. Only the feeling you get is far from being stuck in a time warp, because this is The Playboy Club version 2.0. The key components of the original sixties glamour-spot are all still here to see, only with a definite 21st century facelift. The décor is fresh and original, but still welcoming, ensuring that it stands well apart from its rival gaming venues in every sense. The Playboy Club’s casino really is the heart

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of the venue, with an array of table games including roulette, blackjack and Punto Banco, and slot machines standing to attention from wall to wall it really is every inch the gambler’s paradise casino manager Adam Roberts intended it to be when the project to resurrect the institution was launched. Private rooms are also available for high rollers looking to wager away from the more energetic atmosphere of the gaming floor. The bunnies are out in force again upstairs, but this time as the club’s professionally trained croupiers and operating the Player’s Bar which serves those too engrossed in the tables to take a break for sustenance. The Player’s Bar is a great place to sit back and relax in itself, and with a number of wide screen televisions it’s also an ideal location to catch the best sporting action, including all the premier pay-per-view boxing fights from both sides of the Atlantic. The Dining Room Tucked away in a secluded corner of the Club is The Dining Room. By no means an afterthought behind the casino and nightclub, the restaurant kitchen delivers excellent quality food under the guidance of Head Chef Judy


THE SPREAD| PLAYBOY

Joo. Having studied the art of fine dining cuisine under a number of Michelin starred chefs including Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsey, Joo has taken to the task of turning out fantastic food to the Playboy Club’s expectant diners by storm. The Dining Room’s menu has a distinctly American theme running through it and with a main restaurant in close proximity to the gaming floor as well as a more private dining space secluded away that’s available to hire free of charge Chef Joo offers the perfect eatery companion to both the club’s casino and nightclub which makes for the complete evening’s entertainment. Gentlemen’s Tonic Last but certainly not least of the Playboy Club’s excellent facilities is Gentlemen’s Tonic, a top of the range barbershop and gentlemen’s grooming service located on the club’s upper floor. Offering a unique service perfectly placed in the heart of Mayfair, the state-of-the-art salon will have you looking as good as you feel, whether it be for a business meeting or merely for a night on the tiles.

Membership To become a member of The Playboy Club you have to apply through the club’s website or in person. All applications will be considered by club management and judged on their own merits. The cost of an annual membership is £1,200 per year + £1,000 initial joining fee, or £15,000 for a lifetime membership. Annual membership privileges include admission to the club with a guest at any time and access to the other Playboy Clubs across the world, whilst lifetime members can also enjoy benefits including annual dinners, bespoke wine lists and pricing, complimentary upgrades at Caesar’s Palace, VIP access to Playboy Clubs in Las Vegas, Macau and Cancun, and a guided tour around the Playboy Mansion from a Playboy Playmate. For more information on membership or to apply to become a Playboy Club member please visit www.playboyclublondon.com

September 2011 | THE EXCHANGE | 69


THE SPREAD | CITY GUIDE

BERLIN:

CAN IT TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY? Back in 1986 soft-rock band Berlin famously soundtracked Tom Cruise’s high-flying, Top Gunning adventures with their ode to inhalation. Our maverick reporter Mark Southern jetted to the German capital to discover if the city that nobody’s favourite rockers took their name Hype is a funny old creature. Decades of celebrity tabloid tittle-tattle and ever-increasing hyperbole have conditioned us to a life where even the most mundane of things claim to be the biggest or the best, the most this or the greatest that. And, just as it’s not possible to leave the house without being beaten across the face with a Harry Potter broomstick, the hype machine has worked its mechanical tentacles into international tourism. So we get New York telling us it’s the busiest, Vegas the most ‘fabulous’, Paris the most romantic, and Dubai the fastest growing. It’s a global game of mine’s bigger than your’s, and one which almost everyone’s playing. The truth is nearly always a long way removed from the tourist board’s spurious claims. But there’s one city out there that you don’t often hear from, and you absolutely should. It’s a city that could make a serious claim to being the most historically significant of the past hundred years, that could state a case for being the most welcoming destination on the planet and, less positively, a pretty decent argument for having the worst food in Europe. That city is Berlin, and it is remarkable. Perhaps the most remarkable city you’ll go to, and they can put that on the poster if they like. But they won’t be putting that on any promotional material because, unlike almost every tourist destination anywhere else, you’ll struggle to find a more self-effacing and humble people than the residents of Berlin. For whilst most cities you’ll visit wear their history on their sleeve like a proud symphony of the past, the modern Berliner walks amongst visual icons they’d wish had never happened every day. From dozens of World War museums and monuments to the parts of the infamous Wall still visible, the chilling past is displayed in

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a respectful way that complements the bustling metropolis the German capital has become. It’s a truly astonishing place for anyone with even the smallest hint of historic interest, and it makes for possibly the best weekend break you’ll ever take. From fascinating retellings of the bleak past in the lovingly maintained museums to the reconstructed Checkpoint Charlie, the modern history of this beautiful city is laid out in a very honest and open way. They don’t hide anything, but simply accept the city’s past and try to make a better future both for themselves and the people that visit. This frank and sincere attitude has itself stamped across everything and everyone you’ll meet, and it’s genuinely moving to see how the people of this great city have come together to create a capital that is a credit to its nation. President Kennedy once famously said in 1963, “Ich bin ein Berliner”. Nearly fifty years

later, the world would be a much better place if we could all say the same thing. Where to Stay

As you would expect from a city with so much to see there are plenty of hotels in town. However, to visit Berlin and not stay at the world-famous Hotel Adlon Kempinksi would be the kind of mistake you’ll wake up regretting in years to come. Situated just yards from the Brandenburg Gate, the hotel is a subtle blend of classic epic quality with a modern flourish. Everything from the stunning lobby to the exquisitely appointed rooms is done in the most stylish of styles, with pieces of the original hotel not destroyed in the war lovingly restored in the most seamless of ways. Don’t be cheap though, and splash out on quite literally the very best hotel room in the city, the Presidential Suite. Not only is


THE SPREAD | CITY GUIDE

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THE SPREAD | CITY GUIDE

the spacious suite one of the most gloriously decadent you’ll ever experience, with a birds-eye view of the Brandenburg Gate, but you’ll also be able to tell friends you stayed in the now infamous suite where Michael Jackson hung his baby from the window. When we say history is around every corner in this town, we’re not kidding. Whilst there, make sure you take at least a couple hours out to visit the hotel’s awardwinning spa, and book two hours in the self-contained private spa rooms, which feature your own hot-tub, sauna and steam room. In a weekend where you’ll be on your feet a lot (hint, take sensible shoes; it’s a big place, and you’ll walk most places), the hotel’s spa is a lovely way to kick back and relax. www.kempinski.com Where to Eat

For all of Berlin’s many, many qualities, culinary heaven it is not. There is a reason why Germany, along with Britain, is the butt of chefs’ jokes from around the globe, and don’t be expecting a tremendous taste experience on

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every street corner. However, there are some excellent places around, including the gourmet fine dining restaurant at the Hotel Adlon, Lorenz, where the tasting menus are as good as any you’ll find. If you’re looking for something different try dining in pitch darkness at the Unsicht Bar, where diners are served by blind waiters who can navigate the complete blackness with ease. The added sensation of losing the sense of sight takes a while to get used to but is worth it for the increased taste. www.unsicht-bar.com Where to Party

In the 1920‘s Berlin was considered the most partylicious hotspot in Europe, with a liberal anything-goes attitude to its nightlife. Now it’s the 21st century and it’s getting that reputation back, with hundreds of cool bars and clubs dotted around the city. For something memorable (or not as the case may be), get along to the Absinthe Depot for a tasting session of the finest vintages of the green

fairy that you’ll ever experience. Hosted by a fun and knowledgable English speaker, guests taste a variety of absinthes and party the night away. Just don’t blame us if you start seeing things. Getting About

Berlin is a big old city, and taxis are sometimes tricky to find. However, it’s also the kind of place you really need to see from the ground level with an experienced guide who can talk you through some of the century-defining history you’d otherwise miss. The very best way of doing this is via segway. Regular readers of this column will know we’re quite the segway fans with its high-tech, gravity-defying nature, but it’s in Berlin that this really comes into its own. Being a progressive city, much of it is very cycle friendly, with wide open squares and safe road-side paths, and zipping around at 20kph on a segway is the perfect way to get a feel for the place. Very highly recommended. www.citysegwaytours.com/berlin


THE SPREAD | CITY GUIDE

Culture

Simple words cannot hope to do justice to the sheer number of important landmarks and museums in Berlin. The handy thing is that many of the most can’t-miss destinations are within close proximity of each other, and on a visit to Museum Island you can learn about everything from German culture to ancient Egyptian art. However, it’s the World Wars and their subsequent fall-out museums that hold a special interest in this city above all else, and the Topography of Terror and the Wall Museum are both fascinating beyond belief. www.topographie.de Something Different

The contrast between the beautiful classic German architecture and the far less attractive but pragmatic Soviet communist buildings is as stark as you would imagine. A great way of taking all this in is to go up the TV tower and enjoy the stunning views of Berlin by sky, whilst enjoying a cocktail or even dinner in the rotating restaurant. www.tv-turm.de Getting to the Airport

The trek to the airport is a hassle that most frequent international travellers have learnt to manage over the years. However, forget all you think you know and instead change your habits to get valet parking from the truly brilliant www.looking4parking.com, who will collect your car from outside the terminal front doors, and return it to you on your return spotlessly clean. Try it on your next trip and we’re confident you’ll never look elsewhere again.

Getting There

BMI fly to Berlin from Heathrow, and their business class has become truly world class, with great food, service, comfort and lounge. Check it out on your next flight as it’s not to be missed. www.flybmi.com

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THE SPREAD | WEEKENDS

Mixing Business With Pleasure The proverbial business and pleasure maxim doesn’t have to mean illicit Mr and Mrs Smith liaisons with Claire from Marketing. After all, if you’re having to stay overnight somewhere for work, why not make it as luxurious as it can be? Mark Southern picked up his briefcase in one hand and suitcase in the other to discover the best British hotels for making business travel as relaxing as possible.

Number Ten Manchester Street LONDON Nestled close but not too close to London’s business district, Ten is a sensational example of a hotel that understands business travellers’ needs, and making everything as easy as it can be, all the while demonstrating a near peerless sense of style. The food here is excellent, meaning afternoon meetings simply must be accompanied by the truly delightful afternoon tea, whilst evening meetings can be conducted on the Cigar Terrace over some unique cocktails created by the in-house mixologist. Make sure you book the Grand Suite too, and kick back in the free-standing bath after a hard day’s work. Probably the best boutique hotel in London, so definitely not to be missed. www.tenmanchesterstreethotel.com

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THE SPREAD | WEEKENDS

The Frogmill Hotel Cheltenham With many businesses upping sticks to the South West of England, you’d have thought that high class hotels would be commonplace in the West Country. However, you’d be wrong. One place which bucks this trend, however, is the Frogmill Hotel in Cheltenham. Nicely placed for business trips to Bristol, Cardiff or even futher WEST, the hotel is as notable for creating an environment which is conducive to bustling work as its luxurious country class is for putting your feet up. The hotel takes its food seriously too, with both an unmissable afternoon tea and a superb gastro-pub feel to its restaurant for workaholics in need of nourishment. www.bespokehotels.com/thefrogmillhotel

The Lowry Hotel MANCHESTER As the media steadily migrates North, the spotlight on Manchester as one of the fastest growing cities in Europe continues, with business aplenty drawn by its flourishing gravitational pull. As you’d expect, there’s plenty of good quality places to stay, but for the discerning business traveller there’s only name to remember; The Lowry. Overlooking both Manchester and Salford from its riverbank location, The Lowry is a 21st Century hotel that blends chic decor with a decadent sensibility. Meeting spots are plentiful, from private rooms to conference suites, and the award-winning food is outrageously good. www.thedorchester.com

The Royal Horseguards Hotel London For those occasions when boutique won’t do, the five-star Royal Horseguards offers an elegant haven from the hustle and bustle of London life. It’s no surprise this grand and luxurious hotel has won AA London Hotel of the Year 2010-2011 in the most part due to its top-quality dining, tasteful decor and excellent service. Make that boring afternoon meeting a little more palatable with an exquisite afternoon tea in the elegant lounge, or treat your clients to a sumptuous dinner in the stylish yet comfortable AA Rosette-winning restaurant. www.guoman.com

The Glasshouse Edinburgh For those work trips have them venturing North of the border, head to the The Glasshouse, a stylish Edinburgh boutique hotel, for a luxury experience unlike any other in Scotland. Nestled into a stunning setting, The Glasshouse shines like a beacon of contemporary coolness against its more traditional counterparts. Take meetings in the sumptuous Conan Doyle boardroom before heading back for a more relaxed brainstorming session in the living area of the Deluxe Suite that it’s almost criminal to not book into (hint, it’s Scotland so you’ll find the complimentary decanter of whisky useful for keeping customers happy). www.theetoncollection.co.uk

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THE SPREAD | SWEET SUITE

Sweet suite#3:

The Presidential Suite, Hotel Majestic Berriere, Cannes At The Exchange Magazine, we have to admit to a bit of a fondness for the Leading Hotels of the World seal of approval, and we’ve yet to come across a member of this elite group that doesn’t fully deserve it’s place amongst its luxurious contemporaries. However, there’s a small handful of these that contain a suite so special it transcends the humble word ‘hotel’ and becomes something even more exceptional; a kind of special place that very few will see but those lucky enough to

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do so will remember forever. The Presidential Suite at the Hotel Majestic Berriere in Cannes is one such example in this pantheon of hotellianic greatness. In this 450m square living art installation, Kings, Queens, Moviestars and Rockstars have come and had their lives forever altered, for once you have gazed at perfection, how do you go on knowing every other hotel room will be soiled? The suite takes up the entire seventh floor of the palace of decadency and includes a private

spa, home cinema, gym and even a personal hair salon. It being Cannes, a private pool is essential, and this is found on your own private sun terrace. If you’re lost, just ask the butler and he’ll point you in the right direction. Next time you’re down in the South of France, make a beeline for it. However, do book into hotel therapy immediately after to manage the come-down you’ll feel the next time you set foot in anything else. www.lhw.com/majesticca


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THE SPREAD | POLO

1870 ‘Only the Best’ Mix it up - with Adrenalin Victoria Power reports on a day of ‘Polo for beginners’ with Adrenalin Polo , sponsored by 1870 Great British Mixers. Tensions have been rising higher and higher in the city this month, the markets have been turbulent to say the least with no real knowledge of whn things will straighten up and you just can´t seem to switch off and unwind. It´s time to take action. What you really need is an activity that will completely indulge the senses and provide you with the ultimate distraction from the city and its tiresome rat-race, in particular you need to be plucked from the concrete heat and submerged in the beautiful English CountrySide to sooth the mind. What you need is a 45min trip from the capital to embark on an experience like no other, Adrenalin Polo.

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Now, Polo definitely is a feel good sport with a competitive edge. In fact, its affectionate title as ‘The Sport of Kings’ stems from its rich history dating as far back as the 5th century BC, originating from Persia and making its way to Argentina, where it is now heralded as a national sport. The game was initiated as a training drill for cavalry units, but quickly became so much more. Its popularity and presence has continued to spread across the globe throughout the centuries and is vastly becoming more and more accessible, due to Polo training clubs, such as Adrenaline Polo, making it not only a game for Kings and Royalty, but for university


THE SPREAD | POLO

“ONCE YOU ARE ON THAT POLO PONY; CANTERING DOWN THE FIELD; CHARGING FOR THE BALL, EVERYTHING ELSE SLIPS AWAY”

students, competitive business minds and equestrian enthusiasts alike. Learning to play the ‘The Sport of Kings’ with Adrenalin Polo at Ranelagh Farm is a guaranteed antidote to clearing a clouded mind from City Stresses, as seasoned Polo instructor Georgiana Crofton states, “Once you are on that Polo Pony, cantering down the field, charging for the ball, everything else slips

away”. Not only is polo the perfect antidote to a clouded mind, but it would seem that it is the much needed ego boost to the system one might be striving for after a hefty week at the office. Playing polo, and riding a horse well is all a matter of style. “If you look cool, you feel cool, and if you feel cool, you’ll have confidence. And when you have confidence you

will ride and play well” states Georgiana, it’s really that simple! And she should know, she has been teaching people to ride and play polo for over 20 years. By combining the revitalising joie de vivre of ‘British Countryside’ living and luxurious frivolity polo is fast becoming a newly accessible way for us as fully grown and functional career minded adults to let loose and escape, creating the perfect opportunity to make time for that all important selfindulgence. Situated in the breath-taking county of Berkshire, Windsor; Adrenalin Polo is set in true horse-country, surrounded by glorious forests of needle fine trees and lush country fields. Surely the sight of all this luscious greenery should suffice as at least one of your 5-a-day? Introduction to Polo days can be arranged from £150 and, despite being a non-rider, under Georgiana’s skilful eye you’ll be rising to the trot and cantering across open fields just in time for lunch where an authentic Argentinean Asado (BBQ) can be arranged for 10 or more people. After lunch you’ll have the confidence to battle it out on the field, ball and stick style in your very own instructional chukka. 1870 the Great British Mixers Drinks company, who are themselves, active members of Adrenalin Polo, have taken heed of polo’s powerful presence, understanding the feel good nature of the sport and witnessing its growing popularity. The drinks company which produce refreshing beverages such as 1870 lemonade, ginger ale and tonic (to double that classically British G & T combo) have become official sponsors for Guards polo club, with their own aptly named 1870 polo team. Julian Aitken, Sales and Marketing Director at Silver Spring, sees the two as a natural fit, as he reveals the history behind the drinks brand: ‘Silver Spring was founded in 1870 at the same time that Polo was introduced to the UK, as a result we feel that the heritage of our 1870 mixers and Polo is a strong and natural link.’ 1870 mixers can be found at Waitrose and other leading stores. 1870 are currently offering you the opportunity to try playing polo, whether you’re new to the sport or brushing up on old tricks. Simply visit their competitions page for an opportunity to win a lesson and get a taste for the furious action yourself! Visit the Adrenalin Polo website for full details and booking.

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SAVING THE BEST ’TIL LAST

CLOSE THE

IN THE CLOSE FLIGHTS WHO’S WHO GLOSSARY OF TRADING KILLA VILLA

Countdown to kick off almost up If sports trading is part of your profitable portfolio then big tournaments are perfect opportunities to make even more money from the markets. Much like their financial counterparts a higher volume of trades (and an overwhelming increase in amateur punters entering the market) in the sports betting market increases volatility, meaning that for those in know the upcoming Rugby World Cup is a potential goldmine. Whether in-play markets are you bet of choice or not there are always plenty of opportunities to make a trade, and the rugby won’t be bad either. New Zealand will be a powerhouse on home soil and will start the tournament as the overwhelming odds on favourites, but punters shouldn’t discount Australia, South Africa and France, who play in All Blacks in the group stages. Even England will be turning out a decent team led by perennial hero Jonny Wilkinson, so a bet on our boys isn´t guaranteed to be money down the drain. And despite the very early kick offs all England games taking place at the weekend, meaning that there won’t have to be any awkward conversations with the boss trying to explain that

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THE CLOSE | FLIGHTS

BMI Airline: Business Class Flying Class: A+ In: k Chec ALounge Quality: ACabin DĂŠcor: A Seat Comfort: B+ Technology: B+ Entertainment: AFood: A Wine: A+ ice: Cabin Crew Serv AOverall:

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THE CLOSE | FLIGHTS

BMI BUSINESS CLASS British Midland has come a long way over the past decade, and has recently refitted Business Class across its fleet. And what a good job they’ve done. Having the advantage of surveying the competition for what works and what doesn’t, BMI has created what just may be the fastest business class check-in service you’ll ever experience, taking less than five minutes from airport arrival to relaxing in the lounge above the gate you’ll fly from. For the regular traveller weary of such trivial holdbacks as checking-in this is a revelation, and one that cannot be praised more highly. The Heathrow lounge is very nice and presentable and, once again, service has been

prioritised over every other feature, meaning you’ll feel like the VIP you are. This top quality service is also echoed on-board, where you’ll be fussed over just about the right amount to be pleasing and not irritating. Entertainment-wise, choices could be a little better, but this is a small niggle and overall you’re left with a sensation that you’re flying with an efficient boutique airline, with firstclass service, and a route-map which is growing by the month. We love BMI’s Business Class, and you will too. Find out yourself and book your Business Class ticket today at www.flybmi.com

September 2011 | THE EXCHANGE | 83


THE CLOSE | INFORMATION

WHO’S WHO Whether you’re new to financial markets or just looking for a better deal, The Exchange has all the info you need. By Toby Anderson

ETX CAPITAL ETX Capital is the trading name of Monecor (London) Limited. The company joined interdealer broker Tradition in 2000 and in 2002 Monecor became the retail derivatives arm of Tradition. In 2007 Robin Houldsworth and Peter Shalson acquired Monecor for an undisclosed sum from Tradition UK. The name ETX Capital was adopted in 2008. What’s their pitch? ETX Capital provides institutional, high net-worth and retail customers with multi-asset dealing capability through contracts for difference and financial spread betting products. It seeks to offer high levels of customer support and guarantees total client confidentiality. ETX offers spreads from just 1 point and margins from 1%. Anything for newbies? ETX Capital provides up to £250 cover if the client is not in pro to within the first 10 days of trading. Contact www.etxcapital.com 020 7392 1430

PROSPREADS ProSpreads is a Gibraltarincorporated division of London Capital Group. What’s their pitch? ProSpreads’ advanced trading technology provides the same functionality as direct market access, delivering execution in a fraction of a second, extremely

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tight spreads and no re-quotes. It offers speculators a unique trading platform with direct market access functionality to trade the major indices, commodities and currencies. Anything for newbies? Clients can open an account with £1,000 and take advantage of the same technology used by direct market access brokers and futures traders. Account holders have access to a complete package of trading tools and a number of education options, including a demo account allowing them to test trading strategies. Contact www.prospreads.com 0800 804 8772

GEKKO GLOBAL MARKETS Used to be known as VDM, the company now styles itself Gekko Global. We are not sure quite why. Users rate the speed of execution and the simple-to-use platform. What’s their pitch? They claim to have highly competitive spreads (1 point on the UK 100 through the day and up to 8pm), low initial deposits, low minimum trade sizes, a userfriendly platform, free guaranteed stops and cutting edge technical research. All of which ticks a lot of boxes for us. Anything for newbies? You bet. A cash bonus of 25% of your initial stake up to a maximum matched amount of £500. That’s the most generous offer out there. Contact www.ggmarkets.com

020 3326 2131

CANTOR INDEX Cantor Index is a financial spread betting company, established in 2000. Part of the global Cantor Fitzgerald group, Cantor Index is open 24 hours a day, and offers bets on a wide range of markets from shares and indices to bonds and commodities. What’s their pitch? Cantor Index has a comprehensive data service which allows clients access to detailed market reports as well as news from third-party sources, and state-of-the-art stock screening tools. With specialised forex and commodity pages, as well as an economic and company diary, the data service has detailed financial information available free to all account holders. Anything for newbies? Cantor Index offers new clients a £50 account opening bonus. To qualify for the offer clients simply have to fund at least £250 and have placed a minimum of two non-equity bets (each with a stake of at least £2 per point) within 1 month of account opening. The offer is available until the 30th November 2010. Contact www.cantorindex.co.uk 0207 894 8040

PAN INDEX Pan Index was established in Ireland in 2001 and focuses

predominantly on China but also retains operations in Europe. What’s their pitch? Pan Index seeks to offer clients secure online access to trade on stock indices, forex and commodities, with competitive spreads and low margin requirements. The company has a multi-lingual customer service team that operates 24 hours a day. It offers streamed spread trading news, analysis and professional charting, giving clients continuous access to up to date market information. Anything for newbies? Compared with many, Pan’s front end is easy to use and negotiate – important for beginners. Contact www.panindex.com +353 1855 9404

SPREAD CO The Spread Co group of companies, with offices in London and Singapore, is a specialist provider of retail derivative trading products worldwide. It provides the facility to bet on CFDs, forex and the usual range of spreads. What’s their pitch? “The Spread Co trading platform is the simplest and most userfriendly CFD platform I’ve seen,” says Alpesh Patel, a professional trader. Anything for newbies? A new account funded with £300 or more allows the client, once having placed four qualifying trades, the opportunity to take on Head Trader Rajesh Patel in a one day, head to- head challenge. If the client beats him, Spread Co will double the client’s profit by


THE CLOSE | INFORMATION

SPREAD BETTING

up to £150. If the client happens to lose on the trade, but still fares better than the trader, the company will refund losses on that trade up to £150. Contact www.spreadco.com 01923 832 682

FINOTEC Offering forex, commodities and CFD trading, Finotec serves serious retail as well as institutional clients. The minimum contract sizes on forex, for example, underline that this is a site for the more committed trader. What’s their pitch? The Finotec Trading Platform offers one of the most diversified range of products in the industry, including currencies (at least 32 pairs), options, commodities and CFDs on all major indices. New products are regularly added and the platform is regularly upgraded. The level of trading capital and volume generated through Finotec allows it to negotiate inter-bank conditions with liquidity providers. Forex can be traded with margin requirements of up to 0.5%, and up to 5% for CFDs – among the lowest available in the market. Anything for newbies? The Finotec Demo Account enables clients to simulate trades and spread bets in real market conditions. Clients can trade with $100,000 in virtual money and learn how to use trading tools and real-time charts. Contact

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FOREX

www.finotec.com 0207 398 0170

WORLDSPREADS WorldSpreads was founded in 2000. It offers a range of services to retail clients, specifically spread trading and CFDs. The WorldSpreads head office is in Dublin, and it has offices in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Madrid and Kuala Lumpur What’s their pitch? WorldSpreads offers zero – you read it right, zero – spread on a range of 10 instruments with plans to bring more on stream. It aims to provide high quality financial trading services to a global audience. Services offered include trading of contracts for difference and spread betting. Anything for newbies? Clients opening new accounts with a minimum deposit of £500 can receive up to £300 in cash back against realised losses. Good deal. Contact www.worldspreads.com 0207 398 5220

ODL Markets / FXCM Originally founded in 1994 as an options house, ODL Securities was bought by FXCM Holdings LLC. It has 200,000 live trading accounts and over 700 employees worldwide. Voted Best Retail Platform by FX Week last year. What’s their pitch? ODL allows clients to spread bet on forex, oil, gold and global

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CFDs

stock indexes. Functionality is a strong suit; you can trade in one click, and direct from the chart you’re looking at. The software works on all manner of smart phones and mobile devices. Anything for newbies? ODL requires a minimum deposit of £300 for all new accounts. Also, should everything go south, there’s a no-debit deposit guarantee, so you can’t lose more than your deposit. Contact www.odlmarkets.com 0207 903 6550

MF GLOBAL SPREADS MF Global Spreads provides the opportunity to trade in forex, futures and options and to spread bet. What’s their pitch? MF Global Spaces offers news and views throughout the day as a guide to the client’s trading decisions. Clients are able to monitor the markets and stocks they want by creating watchlists in My Markets. Subscribers to MF’s My Markets Product will soon be able to access content via iPhone or other mobile devices. Anything for newbies? New clients will be given a £2 free FTSE index bet with a 1-point spread, a year’s free access to technical analysis worth £300 and access to a special discount book club. Contact www.mfglobalmarkets.com 0207 144 5678

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FUTURES

DELTA INDEX Delta Index was founded in 2001 by Joint Managing Directors Conor O’Neill and Technology Specialist Micheal O’Shea. The team is led by non-executive Chairman, Dermot O’Donoghue, former Head of Treasury at AIB. What’s their pitch? Delta Index seeks to provide transparent and tight pricing throughout its range of markets, whether trading through its online trading platform XDeal or speaking to its traders over the phone. Clients can trade commodities, shares, forex and indexes. “Where the traders trade” is their tagline. Anything for newbies? The offer of one-on-one training beats anything the rest of the pack offers, like videos or tutorials. You can also sign up for the Trading Ideas service which will send you info like buy and sell signals. Contact www.deltaindex.com +353 1 664 8500

SPREADEX Spreadex was formed in 1999 by former City dealer Jonathan Hufford who was hooked on the sheer fun offered by spread betting and decided to set up his own company to make spread betting more accessible and user-friendly. What’s their pitch? Spreadex offers leveraged access to trade on a huge range of global financial markets including

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THE CLOSE | INFORMATION

indices, shares, commodities, currencies, interest rates, bonds and exchange traded funds all via a professional yet simple-to-use trading platform. The firm offers a full suite of charting tools, tailored phone trading service, some of the most attractive margin rates in the industry and also provides credit, subject to client status. On the sports side of the business, Spreadex offers thousands of sports spreads and fixed odds prices on a range of sporting events with hundreds of markets offered in-play, all from one platform. Anything for newbies? New customers at Spreadex can qualify for up to £400 in offers and once signed up they can receive £50 for every friend they refer to Spreadex. On the financial platform, new clients can gain up to £200 cashback on net losses on trades in the first two weeks providing a minimum of five opening trades have been placed in that time. There are sports deals too. Contact www.spreadex.com 08000 526 570

ShortsandLongs.com ShortsandLongs.com is an arm of Spreadex Ltd and was formed in October 2008 as a unique alternative from the existing spread betting firms. The aim was to make trading cheap, simple and hassle-free while also offering spread bettors much greater risk-control. What’s their pitch? ShortsandLongs.com has some

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of the tightest spreads in the industry on key markets such as the UK 100 daily, Wall Street daily, gold, light and Brent crude and major spot currency pairs. It also offers a further weekly half-price spread reduction on its most popular markets and provides guaranteed stop losses completely free of charge on every trade. Coupled with a full charting package and fast and easy to follow trading platform with no re-quotes, ShortsandLongs.com is the ideal choice for either the novice spread bettor or for day traders who wish to be in complete control over their positions. Anything for newbies? New customers can enjoy £100 of risk-free trading in their first 14 days with ShortsandLongs. com. Provided they have placed a minimum of two opening trades, any net losses in that period will be refunded up to a maximum of £100. Contact www.shortsandlongs.com 01727 895 140

CMC MARKETS CMC Markets started when Peter Cruddas put £10,000 into a firm he called Currency Management Corporation. In 1996 he launched the world’s first online forex trading platform, from where CMC Markets has evolved to become one of the largest financial spread betting companies, with over 26 million trades executed annually. What’s their pitch? CMC says it wants to become the world’s leading online retail

financial services business, constantly innovating to differentiate its content, services and products. “You bet in pounds sterling and you can keep your bets open as long as you like,” the company says. Anything for newbies? CMC provides demo accounts and the front-end is going to look familiar to anyone who’s done a lot of video gaming. That said, if you haven’t, it still looks slick and is easy to drive. There’s also a handy ‘Insights’ section which tells you essential trading details but also tells you what influences price and there’s a news feed too. Contact www.cmcmarkets.co.uk 0207 170 8201

INTERTRADER InterTrader.com says its aims are simple: to make the markets accessible to all, to make trading affordable and to provide a service that the client can trust. InterTrader.com is a trading name of London Capital Group. What’s their pitch? Clients can take their own positions on global markets. InterTrader.com covers a variety of markets from stock indices and FX to commodities, oil and metals to UK, US and international equities. Anything for newbies? InterTrader’s cash loyalty programme allows clients to receive a monthly rebate on trading costs of up to 10%, dependent upon the volume of trades. Also, sign up before the end of the year

and they’ll add 10% to your starting deposit, up to £500. Contact www.intertrader.com 0207 456 7677

CITYINDEX City Index was established in the UK in 1983 and is part of IPGL – a privately owned company with substantial shareholdings in the derivatives broker ICAP plc. The company has over 600 employees worldwide and offices in the UK, US, Poland, Singapore, China and Australia. It transacts in excess of 1.5 million trades every month for individuals in over 50 countries worldwide. What’s their pitch? CityIndex says it seeks to provide consistently competitive spreads (like 1 point on the FTSE) and margin access on thousands of markets worldwide including indices, shares, currencies, commodities, bonds, interest rates and more. Award winning mobile platform. Anything for newbies? There’s a four-week ‘Learn to Trade’ program where you can trade lower-than-normal value bets to get your eye in, like 25p per point on spreads. Contact www.cityindex.co.uk 0207 550 8500

FINSPREADS Finspreads offers access to thousands of instruments on the world’s financial markets. It claims to have pioneered fully interactive


THE CLOSE | INFORMATION

online spread betting in 1999. It is part of the City Index group. What’s their pitch? Finspreads sells itself on transparent and fair prices. It publishes the size in which it is prepared to deal at its quoted price, meaning what you see is what you get. Anything for newbies? New account holders are offered up to £100 in trading credit and while you’re learning the ropes you can trade as little as 10p per point for the first eight weeks of your account. After that, trades start as low as 50p per point. Contact www.finspreads.com 0207 150 0400

GFT UK GLOBAL MARKETS GFT Global Markets is a whollyowned subsidiary of the US forex and futures dealing firm Global Futures & Forex and a sister company to worldleading online forex dealing firm Global Forex Trading. What’s their pitch? GFT’s trading software, DealBook 360, is capable of handling virtually any kind of order. Except your lunch. DealBook is a software platform that streams data direct from the dealing desk to the client, allowing them to operate using the most up to date prices. Anything for newbies? GFT offers a 5% deposit matching scheme for all of its new spread betting customers, hoping to draw even more attention to the potential tax benefits offered to investors by way of spread betting.

Contact www.gftuk.com 0207 170 0770

IG INDEX IG Index was initially established to give investors the opportunity to bet on movements in the price of gold, without having to actually buy or sell the physical commodity in the market. When founder Stuart Wheeler hit upon the idea of trading the price of gold as an index, IG Index was born, laying the groundwork for financial spread betting as it is now known in the UK. The IG Group has over 120,000 clients worldwide, making more than four million transactions per month. What’s their pitch? IG Index has been responsible for pioneering several types of financial spread betting products, including the innovative Binary and Bungee Bets, which offer clients yes/no and bounceback propositions. All this is available on its PureDeal trading platform which features Price Improvement technology and one-click dealing. There’s a mobile phone platform too. Anything for newbies? IG offers two types of account: the Limited Risk Account will cost a few points in terms of the spread, but it means you’ll have risk management in place and won’t lose more than your deposit. The Plus Account has tighter spreads and options on order types including Limited Risk orders and Trailing Stops.

Contact www.igindex.co.uk 0207 896 0011

PADDY POWER Paddy Power Trader is a unit of the ever-popular bookmakers. Incidentally, there was no Paddy Power; the name comes from a result of the merger between three bookmakers, none of whom was called Paddy. What’s their pitch? PPT aims to be the best value offer in the market with, for example, just a two-point spread on cable. There is a strong analyst and recommendations offering, with targets and suggested stop-losses. There’s a useful long/ short percentage indicator so you can see what your fellow PP traders think about various bets. Anything for newbies? Deposit £200, trade four times, and they’ll top you up by £100. In addition there is the usual suite of seminars and online help videos. Contact www.paddypowertrader.com 0207 456 7041

CAPITAL SPREADS Capital Spreads is another division of London Capital Group, providing the expectation of a solid platform and financial stability to the CS offer. What’s their pitch? Capital Spreads allows clients to trade in many financial products using one of the several major currencies from one platform. It also offers a limited margin policy, where clients are required

to deposit only the maximum value of their stop-loss (plus 20%). This means that large sums of capital are not tied up funding the spread betting account. It also says it offers ‘extremely’ tight spreads and offers them for far longer than many of its competitors. Anything for newbies? A nice interactive tutorial, and a load of other learning tools: ‘take a tour’, user manual, FAQs section, free seminars plus the usual practice account stuffed with 10,000 practice pounds. Contact www.capitalspreads.com 0207 456 7020

TRADEFAIR Linked to the phenomenally successful Betfair, Tradefair offers a wide variety of markets. The no-nonsense interface offers customers thousands of financial instruments with some of the tightest spreads on one of the most reliable spread betting platforms. What’s their pitch? Simple but sophisticated frontend with low spreads. Nothing much new there. The USP here is Autochartist, which can send signals about significant potential trading triggers as well as allow you to customise your own charts. Anything for newbies? Free subscription to info service ADVFN, plus £100 matching when you deposit and make a few trades. Contact www.tradefair.com 020 7456 7071

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THE CLOSE | INFORMATION

TRADING GLOSSARY Welcome to The Exchange financial glossary. We’ll be updating every month and we welcome additions (decent and clean, please) – bottle of champagne for each issue’s best suggestion. contact@theexchangemagazine.com

A

ABS Asset-backedsecurities; ie. securitiesbacked by mortgage loansor suchlike which areobtainable if the creditor defaults. ACTUALS The physical assets behind commodity securities. ADR American Depositary Receipt. These are sharesof foreign companies listedon exchanges in the US. ALEXANDER’S FILTER A method that measures the rise or fallof a share price in percentageterms over a given period. Afast rate of increase suggestsa buy; the reverse, a sell. AMERICAN OPTION Can be exercised at any time during thelife of the contract. Europeanoptions, by contrast must beexercised on the expiry date. ARBITRAGE The action of profiting from the differencein price for similar securitiesin different markets.

B

BACK MONTH The traded future or option that is due to expire latest.

BACKWARDATION A situation within futures markets wherethe cash price is greater than the price for future delivery.Such a scenario often occurs when supply of a particular commodity is short but the futuresprice remains low because the expectation remains that further supply will come online in the near future. See Contango. BEAR An investor who is essentially pessimistic about the fundamentals of a given market. So called because a bear fights on its hind legs, moving its paws in a downward motion. BEAR RAID The attempt to push down the price of a security, most often by SHORT

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SELLING. BEAR TRAP The belief that the market will start to fall having risen significantly, there by leaving short sellers trapped by increasing prices, forcing them to cover their positions by buying stock at higher prices. BED AND BREAKFAST DEAL A transaction where by stock is sold and subsequently bought back after the end of the tax year, allowing shareholders to register either or a loss or a profit for tax purposes. BELLS AND WHISTLES Feature sadded to a security put up for sale to attract investors or reduce the costs assumed by the issuer. BID/ASK SPREAD The difference between the price at which adealer is prepared to buy and the price at which they will sell. The spread between the best bid and the best ask (or offer) is sometimes known as the touch. BLUE CHIP COMPANY A long-established company with a long and strong record of profitability and endurance. The term is taken from the most expensive chip on a poker table. BOTTOM FISHING The practice of buying shares when they lie at a level the investor believes is unlikely to decline further. The same term is also used with respect to companies buying competitors that are cheap or failing. BOTTOM UP An investment strategy whereby investors pick stocks, rather than rely upon achieving a balanced weighting in each sector. Such a strategy is based upon the management of individual companies rather than market or economic trends. The opposite of Top Down. BUCKET SHOP A brokerage, often from overseas, that sells shares with little underlying value at, by definition, elevated prices.

BUFFER STOCK A stockof commodities held by an international entity, which seeks to buy and sell from its stockpile as a means of maintaining price stability. BULL An investor who believes that the market will rise. So called because the raising ofthe head (denoting a command to buy a security) is redolent of the action of a bull raising its horns before attacking. BULL MARKET A market where prices have risen significantly over a prolonged period of time.

C

CALL An option giving the holder the right to buy an instrument for a particular price within a set time.

CALLABLE Callable bonds give an investor the right to redemption at a set price on a set date. CIRCUIT BREAKERS When an exchange imposes the closure of trading after prices have fallen by a certain percentage- a move designed to restrict so-called panic selling. COCKTAIL SWAP A mixture of different kinds of swaps. Often used to spread risk on large deals. CONTANGO A situation in which futures prices rise progressively as the maturity date moves further away from spot. The increase reflects the addedcost of storage and insurance for commodities. Contango isthe opposite of backwardation and is the normal relationship between spot and future prices. CREDIT RATING The assumed creditworthiness of a company or sovereign nation issuing debt securities and their ability to repay the investor. Credit ratings affect the ability of a government or company to secure financing from banks and also inform the price their securities might command on the open market.

D

DEAD CAT BOUNCE A rise in a security or broader market following a sustained drop, followed by another precipitous drop due to a lack of change in the fundamentals of said financial instrument or market. DISCOUNT A derivative that is trading below the current market price it is said to be trading at a discount. DOUBLE DIP A second drop in a market or economy after significantly dropping for first time. DUTCH AUCTION An auction in which the price is gradually lowered until a bid is secured. That bid then becomes the price at which the offering - such as US Treasury Bills - is then sold. The term is often synonymous with tenders.

E F

EXPIRY DATE The date at which a security matures. It can no longer be traded thereafter. FAIR VALUE The priceat which a security canbe expected to trade.

FALLEN ANGELS Bonds that have fallen below a previously held investment grade, becoming junk. FIBONACCI NUMBERS A mathematical phenomenon described by 13th century mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci, whereby the sum of any two consecutive numbers equals the next highest number. The system is used by technical analysts to establish price objectives. FILL OR KILL An order to buy or sell stock at the particular moment that a security reaches a certain price. FOKs are usually initiated when an investor wants to buy a large chunk of stock at a particular price.


THE CLOSE | INFORMATION

FRONT RUNNING 1) The practice whereby a trader illegally deals on his own behalf prior to carrying out a client’s order to buy or sell a specific security when he knows the client’s transaction will likely move the price. 2) A brokerage’s trading in shares ahead of publication of its own research report.

G

GFD A term signifying that an order can only be filled on the day it islodged and will expire at the close of business. GUARANTEED ORDER An order that limits losses to anamount specified both duringand outside office hours.

H

HAIRCUT The difference in price between market value and the value o fthe collateral used in repurchasing agreements. (see repurchasing agreements) HEDGE FUND An investment fund, usually only open to wealthy clients, that seeks to produce high returns from short-term markets. They use a broad range of strategies but aim absolute returns, rather than returns benchmarked to an index or asset class. HEDGING A strategy whereby investors seek to minimize risk. Hedging often involves buyingassets in one market to offset potential losses in another. HIT Jargon for the acceptance ofan offer to buy or sell a security.

I

IN THE MONEY A term used to describe an option when the current price for the underlying security is above the exercise for price for a call and below the price for the exercise for a put.

K L

KERB MARKET A term applied to trading outside official market hours. LIBOR London inter bank offer rate.

LIMIT UP/LIMIT DOWN When an exchange imposes either a floor ora ceiling on a security price, closes or suspends trading in order to

prevent extreme changes in price.

M

MARGIN The use of a margin allows an investor or a spreadbetter to trade without them being in full possession of the necessary funds. The margin is the part payment of costs to cover contractual obligations, thereby protecting the investor or better against unlimited losses. MARGIN CALL The call made by a spread betting company to a client whose account has fallen below the minimum requirement. MARGIN TRADING A process that allows investors to borrow funds from a brokerage at a particularrate of interest. The added gearing will however cost the investor more money should the market move in the opposite direction tothe way they had anticipated.

O

OUT OF THE MONEY When the current market price of an instrument underlying an option is below the exerciseprice for an option to buy and abovethe price for an option to sell.PPUMP AND DUMP A formof fraud whereby falselyoptimistic about a company’searnings are circulated aheadof their official publication with aview to pushing up the share price.PUT/CALL RATIO The ratio of thenumber of options to sell traded inrelation to the number of options traded to buy. The number is viewed as a gauge of market sentiment.

R

RED HERRING A term used for preliminary prospect uses for a new issue used to measure market sentiment for the in the security. The keyfigures on such an announcement, such as the profit forecast, will always be deliberately left blank. REVERSAL DAY A term used to describe the day on which a security makes a significant change of direction in terms of its price. The term is not applied until the security has made a significant change in the opposite direction to the previous trend. RSI Relative strength indicator. A technical indicator (see page 38) based on the momentum of prices in a preceding 14-period block. A reading above 70 (out of 100) is classed as ‘overbought’; a reading below 30 is deemed oversold. RESISTANCE The price level at which a security

or index will tend not to rise above, either for technical reasons regarding the price or psychological ones, for example gold rising above $2000 per ounce.

S

SCALPERS Futures andoptions traders who switch their positions within a very short time in order to make money from small gains frequently. SHORT SELLING A transaction whereby an investor borrows stock from a shareholder for a fee and with a guarantee to return theequity at an agreed later date. In theory, the borrower is anticipating a decline in the share price, which will allow them to benefit from the differential between the price at which they sell the borrowed stock and the price at which they repurchase it. For spreadbetters, it is selling the hope that the stock will decline. The trade is then closed by buying – the‘long’ – to balance the book. SPOT The price of a security for immediate delivery. This is usually executed two days after the trade. SQUEEZE A short squeeze happens when investors buy shares to cover short positions. The term is also used when a particular commodity is in tight supply. STOP LOSS The level below the purchase price at which a spread better automatically closes their position. STOP ORDER The instruction to buy or sell below the current price of the financial instrument in question. STRADDLE An options trading strategy whereby the investor buys one call and one put option with the same execution and expiry date. This allows the buyer to take advantage of price movement in both directions. STRANGLE An options investment strategy, whereby the investor purchases a call and a put option with different strike levels but the same expiry date. The investor will then make a profit if prices break above a set range. The strategy is basically a bet on volatility. STRIKE PRICE The agreed price atwhich an option can be exercised.

SUPPORT The price level at whicha security or index will tend not to fall below, either for technical reasons regarding the price or psychological ones, for example gold falling below $1000 per ounce. SWAP A security, agreed between two parties, that seeks to offsetinterest rate or currency fluctuationsto match the parties’ assets to their liabilities. The security is basedupon cash flow rather than the underlying amount of fixed debt. SWAP SPREAD The difference between a swap interest rateand the benchmark government bond yield at the set maturity.

T

TOP DOWN An investment strategy whereby the investor seeks a balance by buying stocks in particular sectors. Such a strategy is basedupon historical and forecasted economic and market trends. TRIPLE WITCHING A quarterly event whereby stock index futures, stock index options and options of individual stocks expire. The event usually results in increased market volatility.

U

UP AND IN An option that is triggered when the price of the underlying security reaches a set level. The reverse of this isknown as Up and Out.

V

VANILLA BOND A bond with no unusual features. Such paper pays a fixed rate of interest and is redeemable upon maturity. VARIATION MARGIN The amount of money owed by a spread better when holding open positions and they are in a negative position. VARIABLE REDEMPTION BOND A bond, the redemption value of which is determined by a variable such as the exchange rate between two different currencies or perhaps the performance of a stock index.

W

W/I When issued.Trading in bonds can start in the so-called grey market as soon as the formal announcement of their issuance has been made but before they are delivered. Thisis also known as free to trade.

September 2011 | THE EXCHANGE | 89


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90 | THE EXCHANGE | September 2011


Profile for EXCHANGE MAGAZINE

Issue 11 - September 2011  

The Exchange Magazine. Britains no1 trading magazine.

Issue 11 - September 2011  

The Exchange Magazine. Britains no1 trading magazine.

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