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Why Moving Averages Are Simple But Powerful Indicators for Investors

Moving Averages are simple but powerful indcators for investors as they reflect a prevailing trend in the price of a stock, fund or indices, over the short, mid and long term. They can be used alone or in combination with technical analysis or Dow Theory, for example, to chart both primary trends and secondary counter cyclical trends.

There are two principal moving averages used by investors:

1. A Simple Moving Average is a historic weighted average price indicator for a stock, fund or market indices. The objective is to provide an average weighted indicator of the stock price that evens out daily or weekly fluctuations in price. A simple moving average takes the artihmetic "mean" of historic prices over a set period of time whether that is 9, 15, 20, 50, 100 or 200 or more days in the past.

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The Mainstream Media Can Help Investors, but Not Always in the Ways You Might Think

Is the mainstream media a voice you can trust when it comes to helping you manage your wealth? While you may see some good articles on occasion, by and large the mainstream media is there to shock and awe! it's important to remember that the mainstream media's primary objective is to get viewers attention. In order to do that, it needs to utilize copy for headlines that will grab people's attention. It's only business one could say. Sure, but this business can have a significant impact on people's emotions and when it comes to making decisions about matters that impact your finances, emotions can and do play a significant role in peoples decision making.

A neutral headline rarely get's people's attention. When stocks drop or rise significantly, the headlines will capture the mood of "elation" or "depression". The "Sky is falling" is typically the mood when the stock market drops significantly or, alternatively, the mood of "Everyone is making money like it is growing on trees" prevails when the stock market is rising or company "x" is going to go up for ever.

The above is a common default position of the media and while the content will of course be different in every case, the emotion of "fear" or "greed" is underlying the content depending on whether the market or a company is going up or down.

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What is BETA & It's Role in Risk Management?

Beta is a "relative" measure of volatility when measuring a stock or fund against a set market index, in this case the S&P 500. Whether the S&P 500 goes up 1%, 5% or 50% the S&P 500 has a constant Beta value of "1". So, "Beta" is a value assigned to a company based on how it performs over time compared to the S&P 500.

So, for example, if the price of Company A's stock - over a period of time - tends to go up by 2% each time the S&P goes up 1%, the Beta of Company A will be "2". Conversely, if the S&P 500 falls by 1%, Company A will decline by 2%. The higher a company's Beta value is, the more volatile the price deviations will be when compared to the S&P 500 percentile moves.

A company with a high beta value above "1" might describe a young promising but unproven company with high growth prospects. As the overall market goes up, it's value goes up by a multiple of the percentage move in the S&P 500.

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What is Dow Theory & Is it Still Relevant?

Dow Theory Charles Dow and Edward JonesDow Theory was first conceived and developed at the end of the 19th Century by Charles Dow, who along with Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser founded the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1896. While Dow Theory was developed by Charles Dow, he was unable to complete his ideas around this as he died in 1902. it was later expanded upon by by William Hamilton in the 1920s, Robert Rhea in the 1930s, and E. George Shaefer and Richard Russell in the 1960s.

So what is Dow Theory? Dow Theory is a trading methodology that is based on the efficient market hypothesis. Charles Dow believed that the market was - in aggregate - a good indicator or measure of the the state of the economy or confidence in the economy. Therefore, if one could analyze the overall market, one could identify trends that could forecast the direction of the market and individual stocks.

Part of the analysis included an observation that markets experience three layers of trends. The primary layer or trend is that markets are either in a bull or a bear market. Within each of the latter primary trends there are secondary trends working against the primary trend such as pullbacks or rallies, but these occurr in the context of the primary trend which prevails while in motion. These secondary trends can last from 3 weeks to several months. Lastly there a tertiary trends which are minor and may last for a week or two or three and represent static noise.

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Short Term Trading vs. Long Term Investing - Who Are The Winners?

With so much talk in the news of day traders and investors, we thought it would be useful to discuss whether the allure and excitement of short term trading outweighs the more boring strategy of long term investing. On the surface, day trading or short term trading appears to be a relatively easy way to make money. With Tesla and Apple and other tech stocks posting such enormous gains in a relatively short time frame, what is so complicated about doing that?

The reality is that timing the markets and individual stocks in the short term is very challenging for the professional traders with all the tools and technology at their disposal, which makes the odds of success even more stacked against non-professional short term traders. There are periods in time where short term trading strategies can work swimmingly but this this is not the case over the long term.

It is well documented that in general for the most part, buy and hold investors often outperform short term traders (after tax and other costs are factored in) by 6-7% per annum. There are always a small number of day or short -term trader success stories that are promoted by the media of course, but the reality is that over the long term most day or short term traders are not successful and eventually lose money.

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Phone: 925-906-9800
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