Prior to Friday’s report, IMF currency data was limited to the US dollar, euro, Japanese yen, UK pound sterling, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar and Swiss franc, and an indistinguishable category of “other currencies.”
“With the separate identification of reserves in RMB [Renminbi], eight currencies are now distinguished,” the IMF publication stated.
Chinese holdings of US dollars were $5.1 trillion at the end of 2016, compared with $10.8 trillion in total foreign currency reserves, the report explained.
The remainder was divided among other currencies, with euro holdings the largest at $1.6 trillion, according to the IMF.
Fill the “profit gap” with the right things…
In his books and seminars, Mark Douglas often refers to something he calls the “profit gap”. What he is talking about is basically the difference or “gap” between the potential profit you could achieve if you had just followed your trading method and what your actual bottom line results are.
Traders often begin trading a method with very high hopes. They want to produce an income they can rely on and get consistent results from their trading. However, this is only possible if you are trading an effective method with discipline and consistency, which most people simply do not do and as a result, they experience the profit gap that Mark refers to.
The key point that Mr. Douglas makes about this profit gap is that traders typically try to fill the gap by learning more about the market, changing methods, spending more time in front of their computers etc. However, what they really need to learn is more about themselves and how they interact with the market. Essentially, they need to acquire the “proper mental skills” to trade their method as they should and to get the most out of it, in order to properly fill the profit gap.
Winning and being a winning trader are two different things…
Anyone, and I literally mean anyone, even a 5-year-old child, can find themselves in a winning trade. It does not require any special skill to get lucky on any particular trade and hit a winner. All you have to do is open your trading platform and push a few buttons and if you get lucky, you can make a lot of money in a short amount of time.
As a result of the above, it’s natural for a trader who has not yet developed his or her trading skills to take the leap from “it’s easy to win” to “it can’t be that much harder to make a living from this”.
This is how many traders’ careers get started. Needless to say, it is also how they get on the path to losing a whole lot of money just as fast or even faster than they made it.
A winning trader has the mental skills to realize, understand and utilize the FACT that any particular trade he or she takes has basically a random outcome. That is to say, they cannot possibly know the outcome of that trade until it is over. The winning trader knows this and they also know that they must trade in-line with this belief over a large series of trades and ignore all the temptations and feelings that get kicked up on each trade they take. They are able to do this because they keep their eyes on the bigger picture. That bigger picture is the fact that IF they execute their method flawlessly, over and over, over a long enough period of time / series of trades, they will come out profitable.
Thus, do not mistake a winning trade for you being a winning trader, yet. A very easy trap to fall into.
Although Jessie’s life ended too early, his words of wisdom live on for discovery. The book is filled with obscure references and colorful characters long forgotten by the general public, but the key themes of the text remain as relevant as ever. Therefore, I’ve pulled out my favorite quotes, below, though I highly recommend reading the entire text.
- There is nothing new in Wall Street. There can’t be because speculation is as old as the hills. Whatever happens in the stock market today has happened before and will happen again.
- The desire for constant action irrespective of underlying conditions is responsible for many losses in Wall Street even among professionals.
- I never lose my temper over the stock market. I never argue the tape. Getting sore at the market doesn’t get you anywhere.
- They say you can never go poor taking profits. No, you don’t. But neither do you grow rich taking a four-point profit in a bull market. Where I should have made twenty thousand I made two thousand. That was what my conservatism did for me.
- Remember that stocks are never too high for you to begin buying or too low to begin selling.
- A man may see straight and clearly and yet become impatient or doubtful when the market takes its time about doing as he figured it must do. That is why so many men in Wall Street…nevertheless lose money. The market does not beat them. They beat themselves, because though they have brains they cannot sit tight.
- After spending many years in Wall Street and after making and losing millions of dollars I want to tell you this: It never was my thinking that made the big money for me. It always was the sitting. Got that? My sitting tight!
- Losing money is the least of my troubles. A loss never bothers me after I take it…But being wrong—not taking the loss—that is what does the damage to the pocketbook and to the soul.
- Prices, like everything else, move along the line of least resistance. They will do whatever comes easiest.
- The speculator’s chief enemies are always boring from within. It is inseparable from human nature to hope and to fear. In speculation when the market goes against you hope that every day will be the last day—and you lose more than you should had you not listened to hope—the same ally that is so potent a success-bringer to empire builders and pioneers, big and little. And when the market goes your way you become fearful that the next day will take away your profit, and you get out—too soon. Fear keeps you from making as much money as you ought to. The successful trader has to fight these two deep-seated instincts…Instead of hoping he must fear; instead of fearing he must hope.
Russia’s Central Bank purchased record amounts of gold in 2016, and plans to accelerate its purchases, retaining its spot as global leader in the growth of gold reserves. That’s according to a recent survey by the GFMS analysts at Thomson Reuters. Russian economists explain the thought process behind the Bank’s purchases.
According to GFMS analysts, Russia’s Central Bank purchased 201 tons of gold in 2016, more than the central bank of any other country. The Bank made its purchases over 11 consecutive months, with purchases accelerating to an average of 36 tons per month between October and November as gold prices fell.
The analysts expect Russia to continue buying large volumes of gold in 2017, predicting about 200 tons in purchases, regardless of fluctuations in gold prices, oil prices and even exchange rates. For comparison, the report estimates the total purchases of gold by other Central Banks to amount to roughly 250 tons for the year.
As of March 1 2017, Russia’s sitting on 1,654.7 tons in gold reserves, making its reserves the sixth-largest in the world, behind the United States, Germany, Italy, France and China.
Commenting on the Central Bank’s moves, economist Valentin Katasonov, professor of the faculty of international finance at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, told Russia’s Svobodnaya Pressa online newspaper that the Bank is making the right move.
“The Bank is doing the right thing. Specialists know that the today the price of the precious metal is undervalued, and significantly so. Therefore, investors looking for long-term results are investing in gold,” Katasonov said.
“Of course, from the perspective of the short-term investor, such an investment means possible losses. The gold market includes very large speculators, who periodically reduce prices artificially for some period of time, making it possible for interested investors to buy gold at a lower price. But this market also has its own written and unwritten rules.”
Katasonov reiterated that as far as Russia is concerned, the Central Bank’s decision to stock up on gold is almost exclusively beneficial. “Among other things, it allows us to support the domestic gold mining industry, which in the 1990s and the early 2000s faced a very difficult situation. And what is especially insulting is that most of its output at the time went abroad.”
NTT Docomo is partnering with a Tokyo Marine Group unit to roll out a new type of medical insurance this summer. Policyholders will be paid refunds depending on the number of steps they take each day.
The policy is part of a recent trend in which insurers are developing new products based on personal technology.
The policies will go on sale in August exclusively at some 35 shops in the greater Tokyo area that are directly run by Japan’s leading mobile phone operator. Come autumn, the policies will be available at Docomo shops across the nation.
Policyholders will be contractually obligated to wrap a device — to be leased for free by the operator — on an arm. The wearable will measure the number of steps taken every day.
The device will be linked to the holder’s smartphone via a Docomo app. After two years, if the app says the wearer has averaged more than 8,000 steps a day, he or she will be refunded anywhere from 1,200 yen to 3,600 yen ($10.78 to $32.33) the following year.
Talking to a journalist a few days ago I realized that I can now add “30-year Wall Street veteran” to my list of epithets. It’s not as catchy as “wily Odysseus” or “wine dark sea”, but then again my life on the Street doesn’t really qualify as Homeric either. Rather, it’s been more like watching an old school Broadway musical, complete with lots of big personalities whose stories are often best told with small anecdotes.
Along the way those people have taught me everything I know about a career in New York finance. They all bubble up to what sound like clichés, but only because they are true. But below the surface… Well, how you learn those clichés is never boring.
Lesson #1: Set expectations and then beat them. Everything on Wall Street carries with it the weight of expectations, from careers to asset prices. In both cases, their values only change when outcomes differ from what was expected.
The best example I ever saw: Years ago I worked with a wily investment banker who played the expectations game better than anyone else I ever saw. He knew that the success of an Initial Public Offering or secondary share issuance often came down to perception. Did the institutional buyside think he was marketing a hot deal, or a cold one?