With the increasing accessibility of Forex trading comes an immense number of beginners. Anyone can trade Forex from the comfort of their bedroom if they like. It can be a mere hobby, or it can become your dayjob.

Of course, this has led to many people losing big amounts of money. Brokers are part of the problem. Some of the most popular ones pretend that traders will make money in no time with absolutely no training. It becomes more like gambling than making responsible, well thought out decisions.

To succeed at Forex trading, you need to get a bit of a background first. There are many online courses on how to trade Forex, but the best way to learn is through practice. Brokers now provide demo Forex accounts that allow you to trade with no financial consequences. They give you virtual money, and it’s yours to lose.

But just as you shouldn't go into real trading blind, you shouldn't go into demo trading blind either. Here are 3 things you need to know about trading with demo Forex accounts.

1. They can be too much of a good thing

Forex demo accounts can unfortunately steer you in the wrong direction. One of the major reasons this happens is that they provide you with too many opportunities that you won’t have in real life. For example, you can start trading with $50,000 of virtual money on a demo account. That seems great, as it will give you a lot of leeway to make both good and bad decisions and learn from them. However, trading with that amount of money is essentially different from trading with smaller sums. You'll make very different decisions on how to use that money, with losses being absorbed by massive profits, and the psychology of it differs. If you want a realistic experience, trade with a realistic amount.

2. They have their critics

While many agree that demo Forex accounts are a good idea, there are critics who advise staying away from them. Their biggest concern is trade psychology. They worry that a demo account will get you used to trading without fear, and you'll bring that attitude into live trading. However, if you treat your demo account as if it’s real, this should not be a major problem. After all, if Monopoly taught us anything, it’s that fake money can be the source of some very big emotions!

3. They're not just for beginners

Demo Forex accounts are brilliant for beginners, but their use does not stop there. Many expert traders use demo accounts to test new strategies. Demo accounts allow them to put ideas to the test before risking real money on them. So, while demo accounts might be most closely associated with amateurs, they are useful for experts as well.

Conclusion

If you're a beginner who wants to test the waters, or an expert looking to experiment with new strategies, demo Forex accounts are a perfect tool. However, go in with a good idea of how they work and what could go wrong, and have no illusions that they're exactly the same as the real thing.

Once you've been trading Forex for a while, the thrill starts to wear off. While small earnings may have once buoyed you along, they're no longer sufficient. You want to earn real money, not just some extra pocket change. And while you're gradually getting better at it, and building up a nice vacation fund, you want to take it further.

And you should. Forex trading does not need to remain a hobby for the rest of your life. It can become your primary source of income if you approach it smartly and strategically. It’s not going to happen overnight, but there are steps you can take to get there. It will take a change of attitude, as well as a willingness to work hard and take some risks.

But with the right approach, you will succeed. Here are 5 valuable tips to increase your Forex success.

1. Turn trading into a business

tips to increase forex successThere are a few reasons people start trading Forex. If you've found your career as a trader has stalled, chances are you were drawn in by one of two preconceptions. One is that you saw it as a chance to gamble with better odds. The Forex market for you was a casino, except that your bets had more of a foundation behind them and weren't random guesses. Alternatively, you saw it as an exciting hobby. You were interested in financial markets and knew you had an aptitude for it, and relished the enjoyment. The money was an attractive incentive, but not the main point.

If you started trading for one of these reasons, it’s no wonder your success has stalled. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – after all, if you were after a hobby, you've found what you were looking for. However, you need to change your attitude to Forex in order to increase your success.

Start treating Forex trading as a business. Build your success with the same discretion you'd give any other business. This will prevent you from taking unnecessary risks, or settling for less than you realistically can achieve. If you just think of your earnings as revenue and your losses as costs, you'll immediately make better, more considered decisions.

2. Calculate expectancy

Now that you view trading as a business, you can start analysing your success in a realistic way. Instead of haphazardly going with what you think is working, do a full calculation of your expectancy. Expectancy is what you use to calculate how reliable your system is. You need to go back in time and assess your trades. Take account of your winning trades as well as your losing trades. Then determine how profitable your earnings were against your losses.

You'll already have a clearer view of how well you're doing. Successful Forex traders do more than simply making educated guesses. They anticipate the move a currency pair is making by developing a system to help them make ongoing decisions, and continuously analyse how that system is doing. This will allow you to keep treating trading like a business, as you bring order to chaos.

3. Delve into your psychology

You probably did not expect to do any deep psychological analysis as a Forex trader. But the truth is, your psychology plays a huge part in how successful you are. As much as we’d all like to deny it, we never make objective decisions. There are always psychological factors at play, emotional reasons one idea sounds better than another. Accessing completely clear logic is impossible.

However, we can come as close to it as possible, and for that you need to know yourself. The more you know your own internal biases, the more you know what to look out for. Also, there are universal psychological biases, and a basic introduction to trading psychology will help you get a handle on them. You can’t avoid emotion completely, but by being self-aware, you're giving yourself a huge advantage, and you can commit to checking in every so often on what tricks your mind is playing.

4. Do not overtrade

This is directly related to the previous point. Most traders have the problem that they overtrade. If you're guilty of this, it’s imperative that you stop. By overtrading, you're necessarily running up your costs. And because you have your fingers in so many trades, your accuracy is going to be compromised. You won’t make twice the amount of money if you execute twice the amount of trades, but rather you'll end up making losses.

The reason people overtrade is that their emotions get the better of them. They're excited by the thrill of making money, and convince themselves they could be making even more. If you're on top of your own psychological biases, you'll know what to look out for, and can avoid this common stumbling block.

5. Perform weekend analysis

During the week, while the market is open 24 hours, you don’t have much time to do analysis. This is the time that you're executing trades, and making basic decisions based on what you already know and the plans you already have in place. When the market closes for the weekend, it’s timeto do some analysis.

There’s a lot of work to be done, as you surely know by now. Analysis should involve poring over the charts to identify patterns, looking at economic and world news which might affect a currency’s performance, and reassessing your strategies.

If you're not already making the money you'd like to as a Forex trader, don’t despair. There are some simple changes you can make to your approach in order to optimise your success during the hectic trading week. By following these trading tips, you'll find yourself far better equipped to make the decisions you need to reach your goals.

The zero sum represents a situation in gaming theory in which one person is losing an amount equivalent to someone else's gain. The overall implication is that there is no net change in wealth or benefit. The game may be played by two or millions of players. Options' trading is widely regarded as a zero-sum game but is it true? This article puts forward different arguments that may help you to draw a reasonable conclusion as to whether options trading is a zero sum game.

Scenario 1: A case of Profit in Stocks

Most people regard options trading as a zero sum game because whenever you trade, someone takes the other side and whenever one of you gains the other person loses an equivalent amount. Basing your argument on this simple fact, it becomes difficult to argue that zero sums don't apply to options trading but that simple definition is not enough evidence to base on while terming options trading as a zero sum game.

Let us take an example of a trader who decides to sell his/her holdings when the price increases to let's say $100 per share. It is the sole decision of the trader to make a mental shop or in this case, enter a good till canceled scenario with his/her holdings once the stock is completely sold on the stock market such as CMC markets, the dealer is happy with the outcome. Chances are, the stock may move up and the from this perspective, it is easy for one to argue that the trader lost money by selling and the buyer gained money through buying. Analyzing this situation from this point of view guarantees that options trading are indeed a zero-sum game, but there is a different point of view which disregards the conclusion.

One may argue that yes the buyer gained money, but it wasn't at the expense of the seller. The trader, in this case, made the profit that he/she was hoping to make and transferred the ownership of the shares to the buyer. Once the trader loses the possession of the shares, he/she doesn't make any loss neither does she/he make any profit. Any new variations in the value of the shares affect the buyer and not the seller. What happened was a mutual exchange of the shares for a profit and one trader gracefully exited the scene to usher in a new one.

Scenario 2: Looking at Options Differently

Consider this scenario; If a trader purchases a call option and earn a profit by selling it at a higher profit is there any substantial reason to believe that the buyer took a loss corresponding to that of the seller of the call option? After all, the seller may have played some tricks and earned a larger profit than the buyer. In terming options trading as a zero-sum game, it is assumed that all trades are standalone games that if one player gains then the other player have lost.

Scenario 3: The Risk Transfer Trading

The primary reason why options were designed was to help in transferring risks. Following the described example above, the seller accepted to cash the shares to reach a targeted profit margin. The trader willingly took the money to cap the profit potential of the trade. The point is that there was no more potential profit which was sacrificed. The seller had the option of selling the shares at a lower price hence earning less profit. The path taken by the trader in the described scenario limited the risk. In all this, nothing resembles a zero-sum game. The various scenarios can best be described as hedged options transactions. Although some people may argue that this is a shallow thinking of options trading, the art of terming options trading as a zero sum game is an oversimplification of the whole thing. Where does this argument leave you as a trader? Pick your trades carefully and make sure that you understand them well. Explore proper hedges with your trade options and let the other competitors worry about their own profit/loss ratios.

When it comes to funding your child’s education, we may have the best intentions but ‘life happens’ and suddenly the post-secondary years are on the horizon. That’s why you should consider opening aRegistered Education Savings Plan (RESP) when your child is young – not only will you have more time to save and benefit from compound growth, the more likely you will be to reap all its benefits – like maximizing government education grants that can add $7,200 to your savings and tax-deferred growth.

There are a number of mistakes Canadians makethat can lower the value of their education savings.An RESP specialistcan walk you through the ways to make the most of your savings, but it’s up to you to adopt healthy finance habits. To help you make the right choices for your child, here are the five most common RESP mistakes to avoid:

Setting Up an RESP and Forgetting About it

It’s advised to pay into your RESP regularly. Saving early, and saving often is the key to success. Set a savings goal and contribute each month, even if it’s as low as $10. Reach your goal sooner by turn money gifts, tax refunds or extra money like the Canada Child Benefit into additional contributions to your RESP.

Not Treating ItLike an Investment Account

A key aspect of an RESP is that it is an investment plan meant to grow overtime. Choose an RESP that suits your investment style and tolerance for risk. Janet Brick, manager of RBC’s RESP initiative, says “invest in growth-oriented investments when the child is young — if you have a 15 or 18-year window before you’re going to need to draw the money out. But as the child enters high school, you want to be sure that it’s in investments that have less fluctuation, that are going to have more stable values.”

If you a more conservative investor, keep in mind there are RESP choices where professional money managers will make investment decisions on your behalf, all with the goal of providing steady growth over the long term.

Not Taking Advantage of ‘Free Money’

According to the latest report from the Canada Education Savings Program, almost half of eligible children have yet to benefitgovernment grants. And those who are saving with an RESP are not saving enough to take full advantage of government grants. The average contribution among young Canadian families to their RESPs is actually less than $1,500 per child.

The Canada Education Savings Grant matches RESP contributions by 20% each year for each child with an RESP to a lifetime maximum of $7,200. Other provincial grants like the British Columbia Education and Training Grant (BCTESG) and the Quebec Education Savings Incentive can enhance the value of your RESP even further.

Starting Too Late

The earlier you start saving, the better-- but if you open an RESP when your child is older, no worries! The most important thing is to get started by choosing an RESP that offers flexible contribution options, setting a goal that you can afford, and add to your savings as your financial situation changes. Keep in mind however that you won’t get grants if you don’t open an RESP before your child is 15.

Thinking That All of the Money Can Only Be Used for University

A common assumption is that all of the money in an RESP can only be put towards university. Money from an RESP can be used to any post-secondary program that meets the following criteria:

  • Minimum three consecutive weeks in duration
  • 10 hours of instruction per week
  • Full- or part-time studies
  • Recognized institution and program according to the Income Tax Act

A lesser known feature of an RESP is that the plan can be kept open for 35 years. The contributions can be withdrawn at any time tax-free, and the grant and investment income can be used to pay for most post-secondary programs including short-term studies and certificates.

Keeping an RESP open a little longer gives those who choose to postpone or prolong their post-secondary studies the opportunity to receive benefits from the RESP.

Now that you know some of thedo’s and don’ts of RESPs, you can start your child off on the right track towards a rewarding education.Contact Knowledge First Financial today to learn more.

Author’s Bio

Yunas Chaudhry is a super-connector with AYC Web Solutions who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, Photography, branding and networking. He frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing, digital photography, Darkroom Clicks Photography and focuses his efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

Insurance is a perfect way of managing financial losses. Many different products are offered by insurance companies these days, each of them containing some kind of assurance against the loss to the insured in return for the premium. Each plan gives benefits by lessening the consumer’s dangers and rousing increased feelings of serenity. Moreover, in some cases, individuals or organizations are required to have certain sorts of insurance with a specific end goal to secure others.

People often get confused between buying insurance online or offline. Let us help you briefly understand the difference between online insurance and offline insurance.

ONLINE INSURANCE

Online insurance always brings exciting news of savings, as companies are introducing online insurance plans for lesser premiums. Apart from such savings, buying insurance online has many other benefits. A few of those benefits are explained below in a simplified manner:

Transparency: Buying insurance online helps you in knowing all hidden clauses, salient features, terms and conditions, and all the detailed information about the insurer and its various plans.

Comparison: You can compare insurance quotes online before buying it. Comparison between these plans can get you more savings.

Time and money saving: Online insurance is the fastest and most inexpensive way to buy a policy. Your insurance policy is just a click away from you, and moreover, there is a direct contact between you and the policy issuing company. There is no involvement of agents or brokers, which eventually saves your time, money, and on the top of it, your energy.

Environmental Friendly: Online transactions are environment–friendly, as they don’t need any papers for records. Purchasing insurance online contributes to environmental sustainability in the long run.

Free Assistance & Reminders: Apart from above benefits, online insurance assists you without any additional cost. Reminders regarding timely premium payments make you a responsible policyholder, which is beneficial for you in some or other ways. People facing problems to operate online insurance portal can also avail the facility of live chat, provided by insurance companies for the utmost convenience of their existing and prospective customers.

The practice of purchasing insurance policies online is expanding almost every day. Considering the technical framework offered by online platforms, the online insurance sector is getting more preferred by people more than the offline sector.

OFFLINE INSURANCE

Offline insurance is a traditional way of buying insurance. Benefits of offline insurance are:

Personal Service: Purchasing insurance policy online makes you interface specifically with the insurance company and dispose of the part of insurance agents. Also, the administration of insurance agent, which keeps you informed and updated about the status of your policy, help you in claim settlement won't be accessible through the online insurance.

Minimal frauds: Aside from different cons of purchasing online insurance, you can better make sure the insurance product you are purchasing is authentic and the platform you are utilizing is official and realistic. Purchasing insurance products offline does not include presenting your money-related data to the organization’s site, but paying through a cheque or demand draft. You better be cautious in selecting the offline insurance seller and ensure that it is a well-known insurer and offers authentic products with no hidden terms and conditions and cost too.

Direct Interaction: In the case of purchasing insurance offline, you can gain as much information as you want. Because of the direct interaction with the agent, you can clear all your doubts and can purchase a policy without and tension.

You can read about: IRDAI Increases Third-Party Insurance Premium Rates in 2016

CONCLUSION

In this way, it is nowhere difficult to see that there are a few advantages of purchasing insurance offline from an agent and not online. However, the online process helps you to think about insurance policies without a bias and may help you to pick the privilege, reasonable product, and help you to save more cash. You should recollect that less expensive premium alone should never be the criterion for picking a policy. Aside from the premium, all of the above variables should also be considered before agreeing to a policy. We firmly advocate that online insurance plans are most appropriate for people, as the platform offers a variety of advantageous policies, combined with the perfect guidance of insurance experts.

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