Tag Archives: Greece

An Introduction To Forex Trading, And What You Need To Know

The word ‘Forex’ is a contraction of ‘Foreign Exchange’, and is interchangeable with ‘Foreign Exchange Market’ and ‘Currency Market’. At the simplest level Forex trading is about buying one form of currency, and selling it in exchange for a different currency, making a profit as you do so.

For example, if you purchase a sum of money in one currency, and then a few weeks later the exchange rate fluctuations mean that the value of that currency has grown relative to a different currency, then you might sell that sum in exchange for the other currency, effectively increasing the value of the sum you started out with.

Many people assume that to have any success with Forex trading you need a real understanding of how foreign markets work, of trading in currencies and of carrying out detailed financial research. In fact whilst this is all certainly true, there’s something else which is perhaps more important, and that’s simply an awareness of what is going on in the world.

If you read or watch the news, and have a reasonable idea of what’s happening politically in terms of the relationships between various countries then you have a sound basis for moving into trading in foreign currencies.

For example, if you had purchased a stock of Euros a few weeks ago you may well have watched the news and seen Greece’s financial problems escalating, and you may have guessed that this could have a detrimental effect on the value of the Euro in relation to the US dollar This would in turn have led you to convert your Euros to dollars. In fact Greece’s problems did result in a significant fall in the value of the Euro, and those who moved into a different currency early on made either the most profit, or the lowest losses.

But obviously whilst a sound understanding of how the behaviour of the leaders of various countries may affect the exchange rates, it is also important to have a sound understanding of how the foreign currency trading system works. There’s nothing like practical experience to help you achieve this, but practical experience can be expensive. That’s why it is often recommended that for anyone starting out in Forex Trading it is best to open a demo account and try your hand at virtual foreign currency trading. This allows you to gain practical experience without risking your own cash.

One thing which you will often hear is that Forex Traders have a gut instinct, and work very much on gut feeling. If you believe this then you’re best off forgetting foreign markets and instead take up Blackjack or Roulette.

Forex trading requires careful analysis, sound plans and specific goals, and it requires note taking and a good deal of learning from mistakes and successes. This is why it is particularly important to try virtual Forex trading before ‘spinning the wheel’ and losing large sums of capital you can’t afford to.

What was the first bank

What was the first bank?

A grocer deals in food, a hardware store in household items, and a banker in money. The main business of banks is to lend money and to handle money which has been deposited with them. Of course, banks today provide many more services than just these, but it all has to do with the handling of money.

Ever since man had a kind of money, it has been necessary for someone to hold it for him safely, or to lend him some when he needed it. For example, in ancient Babylon, even before coins had been invented, there were men who made a business of borrowing, lending, and holding money for other people. They might be called bankers, though they were considered moneylenders. Some of that business was in the hands of the priests in the temples, and there were laws that regulated this business. In ancient Greece, there were moneylenders, too. In Roman times, there were already large banks in existence and they carried on business with firms in widely separated parts of the Roman Empire. There were Roman laws that regulated some of the banking methods. So we might say that the first bank came into existence with the first moneylender, and that banks as such go back at least to ancient Roman times.

In medieval times the business of lending money was no longer thought of as lawful. In many places, laws were passed forbidding it. Those who did continue to lend money often had their places of business on benches in the market place. The Italian word for bench is banco, and this is where we get the word “bank.”

In England, the business of holding and lending money was chiefly in the hands of goldsmiths. These trusted craftsmen received people’s money and valuables for safekeeping and in return gave goldsmiths’ receipts. These receipts passed from hand to hand, much as bank notes did later, for people were willing to take them in payment for goods and for debts.

In 1694 a group of businessmen agreed to lend a large sum of money to the English Government in return for permission to establish the Bank of England, which today is one of the greatest financial institutions in the world.

Continued Market Volatility – 5 Reasons Why It’s Not All Bad

Reading the recent business headlines, confidence surveys and economic strategy reports regarding the market volatility in Greece and the US, it is apparent that we are all concerned about things continuing to head downhill. This market volatility, including the insolvency issues in Greece and high unemployment rates in the US, will continue as governments reluctantly accept this outcome and in the aftermath global economic growth (and consequently investment returns) will remain below average for years to come. However, there are still some positive areas to be encouraged by, amongst the long list of worrisome points.

1. Share valuations are reasonable. The price-to-earnings ratios in New Zealand, Australia and the US indicate good value for investors. The NZ market is currently trading at an average PE ratio of 13.5 (slightly less than its long-term average of 13.7) and the AU market is at 11.7 (some way below its long-term average of 14.3). The US market PE is currently 12.2, not quite as cheap as the lows reached in the financial crisis, but also much lower than the highs of over 16 that were reached in 2007.

2. Dividend Yields Above Long-Term Average Dividend yields are (in a lot of cases) higher than those available in term deposits and fixed interest may provide some share price support as income-seeking investors have limited choice. NZ Shares & Property Trusts generating an annual dividend yield of 7% AU Shares yielding around 5% are achievable US Share yield on 10yr treasury bonds being outpaced by share markets average dividend yield (rare occurrence).

3. Interest Rates Likely To Remain Low For some time Official Cash Rate expectations have taken a turn from the expectation that they would be raised by 0.5%, with local interest rates on hold for now and any move in the AU rates likely to be down rather than up. The vast majority of us are sitting on floating mortgage rates keeping costs low for borrowers, assisting consumer and business sentiment and also helping yield the gap between shares and other forms of investment.

4. Oil Prices Have Fallen From Their High Oil is a key component for most sectors of industry, and oil prices have a large impact on consumer confidence. The West Texas oil is 25% lower than its May high and Brent crude is 12% off its highs.

5. Corporate balance sheets are much stronger than they were in 2008. The corporate world is on a much more secure footing than it has been in the past. Average debt levels in Australia are now at 27% (compared with the long term average of 50%). Corporate debt levels in New Zealand and the US have fallen by a similar amount.