Category Archives: Speculating

Read the Prospectus

Read the Prospectus is a great site for traders interested in technical analysis.  It is an even better site for traders who use Think Or Swim as their trading platform.  Read the Prospectus is a master thinkscipt programmer and regularly gives away excellent thinkscripts.  If you use Think Or Swim then you MUST read this blog.

Even if you dont use Think or Swim, this blog is still very much worth reading if you use or are learning to use technical analysis in your trading.  You see the writer of this blog doesn’t just write indicators and trading systems but also explains why he decided to write it.  If he needs an indicator that no one else has then he builds it.  Who wouldn’t love to know the exact originations of stochastics and whey the investor needed it (attributed but not really invented by George Lane, and not really stochastics either)?  Or sit along side Appel as he figured out MACD and how to use it.

This blog gives you this opportunity as Read the Prospectus lets you come along for the ride as the writer discusses the why and the how of each of his indicators.  In addition he still has them for free.  This is a wonderful resource for all technical analysts, and a must have resource for fellow Think or Swimmers.

Happy Trading and Blogging,

Team Blograter

Commodities Trading

Ever since the bull market in commodities started towards the end of 2001 there has been a huge influx of good and bad commodity related sites and blogs.  Some do  great job of teaching proper research and trading skills while others absolutely suck.  We figured we would go through and point out a few of the good ones.  Here is a very NON exhaustive list but it is a start.  Over time we will be adding to, and modifying this list.  In addition we will be doing some reviews of some of the better commodity blogs over the next few weeks.

Quotes

Barchart.com

Bloomberg

Commodity Commentary and Research

Hard Assets

The Macro Trader

Basic Commodity Info

Commodities and Futures

commodity trading basics

gold investing

DailySpeculations.com

DailySpeculations.com

DailySpeculations.com is Victor Niederhoffers blog. It started because he has long had an e-mail list named “the spec list.” He is the man who runs it but everyone from the spec list contributes to it. So what do they talk about? You might think that because it is called Daily Speculations and the owner of the site runs a hedge fund that it only deals with stocks and other tradeable securities but you would be wrong. DailySpeculations deals in stocks, bonds, futures, options, statistics, software, philosophy, literature, history, people. world events, etc. Basically Victor has a bunch of really intelligent people contribute whatever they feel like. The result for the most part a very insightful blog where you can learn something or at least get a different perspective on something almost every day.

So who is Victor Niederhoffer? If you have been trading for a long time you have heard of him. He was one of the most successful hedge fund managers for about 15 years ending in 1998 when he had a series of unfortunate events and a case of overleverage leading to his fund “blowing up” and the saying goes. He then came back and had a wonderful three year run but once again getting hit very hard back in August. A lot of people do not like listening to him because they don’t want to hear anything from someone who has blown up twice but there are a few reasons to read his writings. First if you have read his two books “Education Of A Speculator” and “Practical Speculation” you have learned a lot. You have learned to question and test everything if nothing else (and I would venture to say you have learned a lot more). Second is that you can look at the other fruits of his labor, namely that his shop has helped produce such trader legends as Monroe Trout, Toby Crabel, Roy Niederhoffer, and several other successful traders. So why has he blown up twice you might ask. I am not totally sure but I think it is probably the psychological aspect of trading that has gotten him and not his processes for finding trades. Basically a little overconfidence now and then when you are leveraged can wipe you out in a short time. Enough about Vic and back to the blog.

Here are some fairly recent insightful posts.
Vic on Practice
Levered ETF’s
Fired
Capitalism In Schools

These are illustrative of the types of writings you will find over at DailySpeculations.com It is a treasure trove of insights into all sorts of things. Go and read it and then go and read more of it. There is a lot of content and lot of good content.

Happy Blogging,
Blog Raters

TheMacroTrader.com

TheMacroTrader.com

TheMacroTrader.com is the blog to the newsletter of the same name. Macro trading as explained in this post is basically looking at any asset class, in any country, using a variety of strategies looking for the best risk to reward opportunities in the globe. They are trying to fill the void in good global research. We all hear about George Soros, Paul Tudor Jones, Bruce Kovner, and several other legendary Macro Managers but we never get to see research reports that explain what global markets to invest in or why precious metals should go up or why emerging market bonds are a good buy. TheMacroTrader.comis aiming to narrow that gap with their newsletter and blog.

One of the more recent posts Global Watch List gives charts of the countries currently passing their proprietary liquidity/trend screens. They have also shown us some of the criteria they look for when investing in foreign markets here with this post on the Singapore EWS etf.

We have found that with a few exceptions the majority of investment or stock blogs out there cater almost exclusively to the US stock market and while there is nothing wrong with that there are several other opportunities out there to exploit and profit from. TheMacroTrader.com focuses on every market that they can. So far their posts have covered global stock indexes, junk bond/high yield bond trading models, and systematic vs discretionary trading.

Basically if you want a glimpse into what global macro is all about and more specifically you want to see some examples of the type of trading a global manager does you would be well advised to stop by TheMacroTrader.com often and add it to your feed reader.

Happy Blogging,
Blog Raters

VIXandMore.com

VIXandMore.com

If you trade stocks you probably look at the VIX. Some people use it more than others and some have even built trading systems that focus almost entirely on the VIX. Now you can even trade the VIX in the futures and options markets. So where other than the CBOE can we get good info about the VIX’s uses? One of the better sites that we have seen that deals with the VIX is VIXandMore.com. They look at the VIX from several diifferent angles such as for an indicator of sentiment to a trading vehicle.

The writer at VIXandMore also writes about some different model portfolios and trades that he does. Obviously the VIX and market sentiment are an integral component to his trading. Looking at a lot of his charts he also uses Bollinger Bands a lot. So you can tell that he is a fan of volatility as a tool to trade.

If all this kinda sounds like praise it is because it is. We have followed VIXandMore for a while now and appreciate his sound advice and insights into how this space of the market works. If you trade add this site to your RSS reader.

Happy Blogging,

Blog Raters

RGE Monitor.com

RGE Monitor.com Roubini
RGE Monitor.com Setser

Are you one of those type of people that not only want to sound informed and sound smart but actually be better informed and understand what you are talking about? Well if you do and you like talking investments than this is one of the better blogs to read. These guys run a subscription based service that is known on the street as a great piece of research. They pump out timely economic advice and discuss different perceptions on a wide array of topics. Well lucky for all of us they also have two great blogs. Nouriel Roubini and Brad Setser are both excellent analysts and economists. Lately they have covered a lot of topics regarding energy, oil, and all things Asia.

Want to know all about Level 3 mark to model? Do you even know what that is? Well if the answers to those questions go Yes, but No, then you will want to read this Level 3 If you have read about it anywhere else then they probably got there info from these guys.

They aren’t perfect but if you want to be far better informed then anyone you know. Or just like knowledge for knowledge sake you can’t miss making RGE Monitor a regular stop in your RSS reader.

Happy Blogging,
Blog Raters

TicketStrategies.com

TicketStrategies.com

We came across this blog on BloggingZoom.com and liked it right off the bat. The author while not like an old school scalper that stands at the corner of all your favorite events selling tickets does sell and broker tickets to several different events.

First off before you go thinking “well I don’t like scalpers” let us ask you something. Do you buy clothing at the store? Do you buy groceries? Do you buy anything? If the answer is yes then ticket brokering shouldn’t bother you at all. They are just working within the confines of the law of supply and demand. If people want it bad enough and can’t get it somewhere else cheaper than they can buy it from me. That is what selling anything be it a car, jeans, watermelon, a DVD, etc. So if you are a capitalist ticket brokering is all right. Besides if you don’t like the prices the broker is offering the tickets at then find them cheaper. Oh you are saying that you can’t find them cheaper? Well at least someone has them for you.

Back to the blog. We here at Blograters loved the concept immediately because in our younger years a few of us made more than a couple of bucks at it. In high school and college a group of us went to anything and everything that came our way and we did it all for free (actually usually we went at a profit) and that “free” price usually included out ticket, our dates ticket, dinner, t-shirts or CD’s from the concert, and we usually still had a couple of bucks left over. A few times we had a lot of bucks left over.

At ticketstrategies.com they have several articles explaining everything from how to sell tickets to how to get discounts, advance purchases, and other perks that ticket insiders know. We being veterans of the whole ticket broker world have still managed to learn a lot. For instance did you know that many times you can buy tickets before they go on sale to the regular public? Well you don’t “need” a black American Express card (Although it can help) you just need to know where to look. How about if you just want group discounts on tickets. Yes, they exist and that link can show you how.

Basically this site shows you the ins and out of tickets. If you like concerts, sporting events, etc. and you don’t like spending a fortune this is a great site for you to check out and learn some of the tricks.

Happy Blogging and Scalping…..oh I mean Brokering,
Blog Raters

TheKirkReport.com

TheKirkReport.com

The Kirk Report is one of the deans of investment blogs. Kirk was there pretty much from the beginning and he continues to provide excellent information in his posts. He posts on everything from trading/investing strategies to trader psychology. He also has regular LinkFests where he discusses market related news. There are a lot of sites out there that do this but he is definitely one of the best.

One of the nice things about Kirk is that his posts are very useful and sometimes even actionable. What do I mean buy “actionable?” Basically that you not only learn something but if you trade you could implement what you learned today. On many blogs they provide a lot of info on different topics but when you can actually do something with the info the true value really comes through.

If you invest/trade, would like to, or just like learningThe Kirk Report.com should be on your regularly read list and if you use RSS you should be subscribed. It is definitely worth yout time.

Happy Blogging,
BlogRaters

Bespoke Investment Blog

Bespoke

As new as blogging is the folks down at Bespoke are pretty good at it. They launched their blog at the start of May and are already getting rave reviews from several other investment blogs and news sources such as WSJ and CNBC. How did they accomplish all of this in such a short time? By doing two things. One is that they provide good quality content. The other is that they left another quality blog at TickerSense to start their own. In addition to the blog they have premium services but the free posts are very much worth your time if you are interested in investments.

This review might sound like an advertisement but this is actually a non-solicited review. That of course means that we at Blog Raters actually like and read this blog regularly. As bloggers we like how fast they were able to grow their blog and accumulate 3,267 backlinks already (according to Yahoo). They are also some of the first people to leave one successful blog and launch their own while seemingly retaining the majority of their readers. As investors we like the insight that they provide into the markets. They do a lot of quantitative analysis as well as some common sense/chart analysis.

Altogether this is an interesting site for both the blogger looking to see how to grow their business and for the investor trying to get an edge or hopefully a bigger edge.

Happy Blogging,

Blog Raters

Way Of The Turtle.com

Way Of The Turtle.com

If you have been following the trading game for a while or have read “The Market Wizards” by Jack Schwager you have probably heard of “The Turtles.” Basically Richard Dennis bet his business partner William Eckhardt that you could teach people how to trade a system and they could do pretty much as well as they did. William Eckhardt didn’t think that “anyone” could be a trader. He felt that you needed some special skills to be successful. So they did an experiment by running an ad in the Wall Street Journal and interviewed a few hundred people for positions as traders for their trading firm.

Well Richard Dennis ended up winning the bet. While several of the candidates ended up blowing up (losing all their money) a few did extremely well more then making up for the losses of others. Well these people became known as the turtles. The turtles signed a lot of non-disclosures and so they did not talk to the press except in extremely general ways for years. But the past few years that has changed. Curtis Faith (the most profitable of the turtles) came back to the public eye. He built Trading Blox Software a back-testing system building software, wrote a book, and most recently a blog.

His blog is filled with great trading related entries such as this one on Fundies vs. Technicals, this post on The Four Levels of Competence, and here is one on Thinking. Basically you get to read posts related to trading by a man who has been successful trading hundreds of millions of dollars at a time. In addition to the blog he has his book and while I am not trying to sound like a commercial the book is excellent and worthy of your time if you are into trading. Here is another blog to add to your RSS reader so you don’t miss any posts.

Happy Blogging,
Blog Raters