PowerZone Trading Blog

Introduction to Currency Futures

Jean Folger - Monday, December 06, 2010
The global forex market is the largest market in the world with over $4 trillion traded daily, according to Bank for International Settlements (BIS) data. The forex market, however, is not the only way for investors and traders to participate in foreign exchange. While not nearly as large as the forex market, the currency futures market has a respectable daily average closer to $100 billion. Currency futures - futures contracts where the underlying commodity is a currency exchange rate - provide access to the foreign exchange market in an environment that is similar to other futures contracts. Figure 1 shows a price chart of one of the many currency futures contracts. more

Improve Your Investing with Excel

Jean Folger - Monday, November 22, 2010
Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet program allows investors to keep track of investment activity in an organized manner. Using Excel, investors can track positions, including entry price, periodic closing prices and returns. Another valuable feature of Excel is that it can automatically calculate an investment's or portfolio's standard deviation. The standard deviation value is synonymous with risk in regard to modern portfolio theory, and can assist investors by evaluating an investment's or portfolio's volatility. This article will briefly explain modern portfolio theory, standard deviation and how Excel can be used to enhance one's investment activities. more

Your Portfolio: Time to Cash in?

Jean Folger - Tuesday, November 02, 2010
The inevitable ups and downs in the stock market leave many investors wondering, "Is it time to cash in?" Unfortunately, there is no formula for deciding when to call it quits. Ask 10 different analysts and you are likely to get 10 different answers, each backed by reasonable logic. Each investor has a unique portfolio and personal circumstances; therefore, each investor should consider the following before determining if it is time to cash in. more

How to Invest in Everyday Products

Jean Folger - Monday, October 25, 2010
Investors often hear the advice "invest in what you know". When an investor is familiar with a company, he or she has an understanding of the company's products, market, strengths and weaknesses. This knowledge is power when it comes to investing. Warren Buffet, the Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) and one of the most well-known and admired investors of all time, teaches what he calls the "circle of competence", an investment strategy that focuses efforts on those companies that the investor best understands and has the most familiarity.

Many well-known companies that are on the Fortune 500 list manufacture the goods that we use every day, from toothpaste and mouthwash to bandages and baby care products. While this article does not seek to provide any investment recommendations, it can be used as a starting point to discovering those companies that you may already be familiar with and have an interest in learning more about. more

Stop Procrastinating! Enroll in a College Savings Plan

Jean Folger - Friday, October 22, 2010
If you envision sending your child to college, you had better start saving. The increases to college tuition and fees currently outpace inflation and this trend is expected to continue. A public four-year college charges, on average, $7,020 per year for in-state tuition and fees. Multiply that figure by four years and today's parents are looking at $28,080 per degree. Going to a private school is typically even more expensive. Fast forward 18 years and that same college experience - for tuition and fees only - will cost $105,347, assuming that the annual collage tuition increase will be approximately 7%. Thinking of four years at a private college? In 18 years, you can expect to pay about $394,271. more

Double Exponential Moving Averages Explained

Jean Folger - Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Traders have relied on moving averages to help pinpoint high probability trading entry points and profitable exits for many years. A well-known problem with moving averages, however, is the serious lag that is present in most types of moving averages. The double exponential moving average (DEMA) provides a solution by calculating a faster averaging methodology. more

6 Tips for Turning Your Kid Into an Entrepreneur

Jean Folger - Friday, August 27, 2010
We read about them in the newspaper and watch them on television every day: people who have the creativity to develop an idea, the confidence to take the risks, and the tenacity to turn the idea into a successful business. Many parents hope that one day their own child will enjoy the level of success that is attainable through entrepreneurship - not only the potential financial rewards, but also in terms of personal development and fulfillment. Here are six tips to help steer your child down the road to entrepreneurism. more

Premier Stochastic Oscillator Explained

Jean Folger - Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The premier stochastic oscillator (PSO) is a technical indicator based on George Lane's stochastic oscillator. The PSO differs in that it is normalized to register neutral values at zero, resulting in greater sensitivity to recent, short-term price moves. Additionally, the PSO is calculated using a double exponential moving average that creates a smoother and more even response to market changes. Figure 1 illustrates how the two stochastic oscillators respond differently to market changes. more

Range Bar Charts: A Different View of the Markets

Jean Folger - Saturday, August 14, 2010
Nicolellis range bars were developed in the mid 1990s by Vicente Nicolellis, a Brazilian trader and broker who spent over a decade running a trading desk in Sao Paulo. The local markets at the time were very volatile, and Nicolellis became interested in developing a way to use the volatility to his advantage. He believed price movement was paramount to understanding and using volatility. He developed Range Bars to take only price into consideration, thereby eliminating time from the equation. Nicolellis found that bars based on price only, and not time or other data, provided a new way of viewing and utilizing the volatility of the markets. Today, Range Bars are the new kid on the block, and are gaining popularity as a tool that traders can use to interpret volatility and place well-timed trades. more

The 7 Best Places to Put Your Savings

Jean Folger - Monday, August 09, 2010
Money that is considered savings is often put into a low risk, interest-earning account, rather than into higher risk investments. Although there is opportunity for larger returns with certain investments, the idea behind savings is to allow the money to grow slowly with little or no associated risk. The advent of online banking has increased the variety and accessibility of savings accounts and vehicles. Here are some of the different types of accounts so you can make the most of your savings. more