What Are the Benefits and Danger of Online Currency Trading

Currency trading in simple terms means trading of currencies. The currency trading market is the largest financial market in the world with the daily volume of trade being more than $2 trillion. This is far more than the approximate $50 billion worth of transactions that take place at the New York Stock Exchange. Currency trading is, in other words referred to as forex or FX, which is the short for foreign exchange.

Each country in the world has a currency and these currencies have their own value in relation to one another. These values are not fixed or permanent but keep fluctuating due to several reasons. The first of these reasons is the presence of the real market. We live in an open market scenario where countries have trade with other countries. In this regard, the corporate firms and business establishments doing overseas business need to send and receive payments to and from other countries. The demand and supply of these currencies then lead to changes in their value. The other reason for the fluctuation of the value of the currency is speculation. In the recent years, the second reason has become the prime reason for the currency value fluctuation as more traders are getting into the currency-trading arena with a view to make profits from the change in the currency value.

Currency trading, until a few years back was limited to large financial conglomerates and banks. These were considered the movers of the forex market. However, with the recent advancement in technology and the inclusion of newer types of financial instruments for trading has made the forex market available to the retailers as well. Individual investors, too, can now benefit from the enormous returns available at the forex market and that too at a lower risk and with no extra market knowledge.

Until a few years back, the best option to invest was the stock market. However, with the stock markets around the world taking a beating due to different reasons, people have migrated to other financial instruments, forex being one of them. Currency trading provides several benefits over traditional stock trading. Some of these benefits are:

  • The low spreads available in currency trading is a good reason for a trader to enter the market, as the costs to him are low.
  • There are very good chances of earning high profits as there is high volatility in the currency market. Therefore, a trader can generate high returns with a small price change.
  • Leverage: probably the most appealing factor, leverage is the facility of using different financial instruments like margin accounts to enhance an investment’s probable returns. The leverage ratio for stocks can be as high as 100:1, whereas for the forex market, a leverage ratio of 400:1 is common.
  • Lesser choice is beneficial: considering the listed stocks, an investor has to choose from a large number of stocks. In comparison, when forex trading with the major currencies, the choice is limited to just five to six. Therefore, with lesser choice, a trader is able to maintain his focus and prepare his trading plans. He can concentrate on a particular currency pair and accordingly conduct research and make his advances.
  • Earning both ways: there are no restrictions to short selling in the forex market. This means that an investor can earn both ways. He can go short or long. This means that there is profit potential either way, though a trader must remember that the risk factor is also there.
  • No intermediaries: stock trading has to be carried over through a broker. However, there are no such intermediaries in forex trading. Since there is no central location or market for currency trading, all transactions are routed through the currency selling financial institution. This is beneficial for the investor as there are no additional costs and the deals get finalized directly. Moreover, there are no commissions by these brokers as their charges are included in the bid/ask prices.
  • Not be influenced easily: the forex market is enormous and this makes it nearly impossible to get influenced by forces, external or internal. Fluctuations in currency value occur due to economic factors or such factors, which are beyond the control of the market movers. Therefore, the banks, the government and even hedge fund managers are not able to control or manipulate the working of the currency trading market. It is the sheer size of the currency market, which insulates it from being influenced.
  • Round the clock trading: the equity markets are driven by the opening and closing bells of their respective stock markets. However, this is not the case with forex trading, as this market is accessible round the clock. Investors can place their trades at any time during the day, as there is the time difference between the various markets such as the European, Asian and the U.S. An investor can thus schedule his trading time and trade conveniently.

With so many benefits in favor of the forex trading, it is not a surprise that traders are supplementing their equity portfolios with forex trading. However, it is an individual’s perception of diversifying his investment portfolio. Some traders have foregone stock trading completely in favor of currency trading while there are some investors that have partial stakes in both.

As a word of caution, I would like to mention that forex trading is not completely risk-free. A trader should take note that, if currency trading has the potential to bring in high returns, it also has the ability to make a trader lose money quickly. The risk factor is inherent and a trader cannot overlook that. He must consider all aspects and do his homework well to succeed with forex trading. The volatility factor, which brings in high returns, can also be a reason for the loss of huge sums of money. Therefore, the best option is to go with a trading plan and use risk management techniques.

Top 10 Tips to Increase Online Bingo Payouts

The game bingo has been around for many years and as more and more popular past times have migrated to an online environment, it was only natural bingo would follow suit with a large amount of players preferring to sit in the comfort of their own armchairs than go out into the cold to a bingo hall.

Now with an excess of over half a million regular online bingo players and well over 300 online bingo sites, everyone seems to be getting into the fun that can be had with online bingo. I certainly have my own top bingo sites but what about actually winning? Joining in is great but winning is even better!

I have played many games of bingo over the years on some of the best bingo sites and I’ve learnt a few tricks that ensure I get the best chance of getting top payouts from the bingo sites.

Below are my top 10 tips:

1. Don’t play in crowded rooms

We all like to join in on the popular games and rooms to have a chat and win some money, but remember, the less people in a room the more likely it is that you will win. Although the less popular rooms might have smaller jackpots you have a much better chance of winning multiple times to accumulate those winnings.

2. Discover what you’re up against

The chat rooms on online bingo sites are brilliant for a little bit of socialising and even making new friends, but they can also be used to your advantage to suss out the competition! Try to figure out how many bingo cards other people in the same game as you are going to play and try to double that amount. That way you will always be top of your game when it comes to the number of bingo cards and will increase your chances of winning.

3. Pick the right time of day

It’s obvious that the most popular time of day to play bingo is between 6pm – 11pm in the evening during week days. If you can, try to get online during early morning or very late evening when the bingo rooms are a little quieter. This will increase your chances of winning as there will be significantly less people playing.

4. Take advantage of the offers

Most online bingo sites will offer incentives to sign up, often doubling or even tripling your first time deposit. Take advantage of this and use that free cash to play bingo using the 3 tips I’ve already provided. This way there is a lot less risk for reward.

5. Do your maths before playing

A little bit of simple math can give you a good indication of your chances of winning in any particular room. A lot of bingo sites now tell you how many cards are in play in the game. Which is more important than knowing how many players are playing with you. Simply dividing the total number of cards purchased for that game against the number of cards you’ve purchased, will give you the percentage of your chances of winning on that game.

6. Keep an eye out for free games

From time-to-time bingo sites will have a promotion for BOGOF bingo or even completely free bingo games. Although often very popular it is worth taking advantage of these offers while they are around on the best bingo sites.

7. Take a break if you’re not winning

Often you will go through spells of not winning anything on bingo sites. This can often be very frustrating and sometimes force you into throwing more and more money at the situation until your luck turns again. I find this is very rarely the case and it’s better to take a rest and come back to it another day when your luck might just have changed.

8. Get some insider knowledge

We all love to have a natter and find out the latest gossip but there is also another advantage to making friends with other bingo players online. The more experienced bingo players will be able to give you tips and advice on how to increase payouts.

9. Jackpots come at weekends

Statistics show that the largest jackpots are won at weekends. Although this will be the most popular time to play its worth just holding back on a couple of games during the week and purchasing some of the more expensive bingo cards at the weekend to increase your chances of a big payout.

10. Check reviews

It seems simple when you think about it. Before signing up to any bingo site check out reviews for the site on one the many bingo review sites out there to see which ones are the best payout bingo sites. They will often give you an interesting insight and indication of the likelihood of success on a site you’re considering signing up to.

Most importantly have fun! Bingo is in reality a game of chance and there are no guarantees you will be successful while playing. But with the above tips you can at least increase your chances.

8 Reasons to Start an Online Business in 2009

The economy is down, we’re in probably the worst financial crisis since the great depression, and unemployment is shooting through the roof. Sounds like the worst time to start an online business right? Wrong! 2009 could be the perfect time to start a business if you are smart about it. Here’s the reasons why:

1. It’s Easy to do

Starting an online business is simple to do. It’s not like starting a normal business. It doesn’t take as much money or time to create an online business. There are many different ways to make money online including retail stores, affiliate advertising, creating a successful blog, article writing, or website/graphic design etc. All those ideas are legitimate online businesses that have made a ton of money for a ton of people who are doing what they love. You can even create a successful online business in your spare time. You don’t have to quit your day job to be a success.

2. It’s Cheap

Creating a website is extremely cheap compared to starting up a store or office. Even if you don’t design your website yourself you can pay someone else to do it and you can get it done cheap by free lancers through sites like Guru.com. After you get your site designed you will need to pick a domain name. You’re going to want to pick a domain name that relates to what you are selling. After that you will need to pick a web host. Web hosting is a service that takes all the files that make up your website and stores them on a server that is connected up to the internet 24/7/365. From their users will be able to access your website all the time. You can find reliable web hosting for $10-$20 a month. After initial start up costs, the cost of maintaining a website are very small which allows you to be very profitable. All the choices you have to make here are extremely important ones for your site, but they can all be very cheap.

3. Creating a Website is Easy Now!

You don’t have to know HTML to create a good looking website now. Using programs like Adobe Dreamweaver allows you to create the design of your website and it creates the HTML that goes along with the design. There are simple tutorials all over the internet that tell you how to create a website. You can use sites like Yahoo’s Site Builder to drag and drop pictures to design your website. If you wanted to create a blog you can use free blog hosting sites like Google’s Blogger and create a blog in minutes.

4. E-commerce is Succeeding even in a Down Economy

While regular brick & mortar stores are struggling to even stay in business, e-commerce business is growing. According to the Department of Commerce U.S. Retail E-commerce sales numbers are up all around. The 2nd Quarter of 2008 saw $34.6 billion in sales which was a 2.9% increase from the 1st quarter and a 9.5% increase from the second quarter of 2007. Just recently on “Cyber Monday” (the online world’s “black Friday”) the online world saw another positive sign, consumers spent $846 billion on cyber Monday which was an increase of 15% over 2007’s cyber Monday.

5. Marketing is better/faster/more measurable online

Marketing online is all around better online. There’s an estimated 1.5 billion people who use the internet worldwide. That’s 21.9% of the world’s population. It has grown 305% from 2000-2008 and that number will only continue to grow as the populations in emerging markets like China, the Middle East, and Africa continue to get modernized. The Internet is a force that you cannot ignore. There’s a lot of people that use the internet and the great news is they are easy to reach and easy to target. A survey by Hearst Electronics Group and Goldstein Group of business to business marketers showed that the “migration of communications budgets from traditional media to online has accelerated to the point where nearly half of all spending, 47 percent, is spent on online marketing techniques today.” The businesses are doing that for a reason, they can track their marketing methods online a lot easier so they can understand what their ROI is and decide where to put the money. Also it is easier to target people online than it is in the real world so it takes less money to make more sales. Some of the ways to advertise online include search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click ads, article marketing, blogging. All but the pay per click ads can be free. SEO is the technical term for optimizing your site and link building with the goal of getting to the top spot in search engines for a certain keyword. This is important for the success of your online business because the majority of online users use search engines like Google to find what they are looking for. Being at the top spot in Google gets you the most traffic for the cheapest amount….free! There are tons of easy and cheap ways to market your website online.

6. Tracking…Online Analytics

I touched on this in the previous paragraph but this deserves more attention. Tracking how your business is doing in all aspects is important, no matter what type of business you have. When I say tracking your business I mean figuring out if you are putting your dollars in the right place. If users are leaving your site right away (a term called “bouncing”) maybe it’s because your site is not user friendly so you must re-design your website, if users are reading the content of your site but then leaving during the check out process maybe it’s time for a new shopping cart, it’s also important to know where your users are coming from and where they are going. You can tell all of this by using analytics software that you can get online. Google Analytics is perhaps the best program that you can use to track your website and the best part is it’s completely free. All it involves is placing code that Google provides you on every page that you want the program to track. On a daily basis you can check to see how many people visited your site, what they looked at, how they came to your site, how long they stayed, where they exited from, and most importantly if they were a conversion and how they got there. That type of measurability is critical to any business and that and so much more is possible online.

7. Starting in a Bad Economy is a Good Thing!

Starting up a business in a bad economy can be a good thing if you are passionate about what you are doing. As Paul Graham pointed out in his essay the economy does not necessarily affect a startup it is the founders that make or break the company. Just ask Bill Gates of Microsoft or Steve Jobs of Apple both of which were started in the terrible economy of the 1970’s. A down economy is an opportunity if looked at in the right light, by opportunistic entrepreneurs. A down economy means less competition, more companies/people looking to make deals, people looking for ways to save. It has become a well known fact that online is the place to get deals on just about anything you need. Retailers offering aggressive online discounts this year were able to increase sales from last year because they were able to adjust to a down economy because of the flexibility of online business. Online businesses are cheap to start up and cheap to maintain, those saving get passed onto the customer in the form of great discounts. At the same time do not ignore the economy creating a website that shows people creative ways to save money would be a great site in a down economy, or a debt consolidation website, or shop and compare sites, or a community forum that lets people share the best deals. There are countless opportunities waiting to be filled in the online world.

8. It’s About Time You Start Doing What You Want to Do!

Who doesn’t want to own their own business? You get to be your own boss, make your own hours, and feel the joy of successfully having your own company. If you’re tired of your job or even just want to turn your hobby into a profitable venture an online business is the way to go. The best part is it does not have to take over your entire life. With an online business you can do a lot of the work in a short amount of time which means you do not necessarily have to quit your day job. Do you like writing? Become a blogger, blogging is the hot thing in the online world right now and it takes all of 5 minutes to create a blog on blogger and not too much more time to create your own site with a wordpress themed blog. You can write what you feel like writing about and make money doing it. Do you like a certain topic and you know a bunch of other people do? Why not start an online forum about it, that’s a great way to do what you want and profit off of it. There are plenty of businesses out there and an online business is the easiest way to get started.

As you can see there are great reasons to start an online business in 2009. It’s the easiest, cheapest, fastest way to start your own business and it’s a growing market that basically anyone can be successful in, if your passionate about what you are doing. Make 2009 your year to start an online business, Get out there and Get Started.