Monthly Archives: October 2016

Financial Services in Canada: Fintech vs. The Bank

Ernst & Young is out with a new report about Canadian consumer banking highlights. I really think the Canadian financial services landscape is at a very interesting point. On one hand, the big banks are making record profits.  But on the other…

Financial technology (fintech) companies are nipping at their heels like never before. I don’t think financial services in Canada have been this ripe for disruption in a long time. One of the key drivers, as shown below, is that Canadians are (finally) getting more comfortable with digital banking and online financial services. Can the banks adapt?

Curious to learn more? Check out the executive summary. Or take a look at the infographic below…




Investing In Alternative Trading

The following is a third-party contribution:

You have to face facts – the currency market is becoming more difficult for traders. The markets are battling to make money as liquidity is drying up and investors are reluctant to take risks, which amounts to quicker currency terms. Where it once took weeks and sometimes months for prices to adjust, now in 2016 it is happening very quickly, creating stress for traders.

This is why it is so important to choose your broker carefully. In forex trading, for instance, there are a host of issues that confront traders. A trader therefore wants their broker to have a responsive customer service department – those who will attend to your requests promptly.

The Potential to Make Profit with Falling Market Prices

With spread betting you want answers and CMC Markets, a UK-based financial derivatives dealer, offers online trading in spread betting, a tax-efficient way of leveraging the financial markets. CMC Markets will predict where a price of anything will stand at a specified time in the future. The prediction is in the form of a spread which is the range between low and high estimates. The trader than bets on those prices, buying at the high price if they believe the price will rise from current levels and selling at the low price if they believe it will fall.

Spread-betting profits aren’t liable for capital gains tax, but spread-betting losses can’t be set against other gains to reduce tax.

A financial spread bet is known as a derivative – it isn’t regarded as live share. Traders can take a position against the value of an underlying financial instrument moving down- or upwards in the market place. With spread betting, the trader doesn’t actually own the stock they are betting on – they simply speculate on the direction that the spread of the price of that stock will move.

Trade on Wide Range of Markets

The advantage in this is that the trader can also make money on a stock that goes down. With spread betting, apart from stocks and shares, there are other money market instruments like currencies, indices, gold, oil etc that have spreads to bet on.

The main benefit is being able to bet on things going down – to make money during the good and the bad times. Spread betting offers leverage or margin so that when placing a bet, you don’t have to put down the full value of the bet – you only have to put down a fraction of the total value of the transaction. What this does is it frees up the rest of your money to spend as you wish elsewhere. You can therefore have many bets placed at the same time, as opposed to having all your money put on one single action. Spread betting allows for potentially greater gains.

You can make a bet without taking down the full value of the position. Your funds are not tied up in one trade, and you can use the rest for other investments. Some other benefits of spread betting are:

  • spread bets are designed for short-term trading. They gave advantages over normal dealing such as the ability to trade on margin and the ability to go short.
  • no fees or commissions
  • thousands of markets to trade online
  • 24 hours dealing
  • mobile trading – apps give you an advantage to trade from anywhere.
  • spread betting providers are regulated
  • limit your losses – a risk management system means you’re able to manage your account easily. The simple order functionality means that limiting losses and maximising returns is as easy as ever

Spread bets are a simple but effective way to invest in financial markets. It is particularly attractive for those investors who don’t have pots of risk-capital available. Its advantage lies in that fact that it offers trades a stake in a larger number of shares, meaning the gains can be far higher than if they just bought the actual shares.

Get Going – without Large amounts of Money

If you’re new to trading and still getting into trading, spread betting is a great way of gaining trading experience. This is one of the huge benefits of spread betting for beginners – simply it doesn’t require you to bet with large amounts of money.

How Do Gold, Bitcoin and the US Dollar Stack Up?

Rosland Capital recently released an informative infographic which I posted below. It shows some of the ways that Gold, the US Dollar, and bitcoin compare based on information from their page on precious metals IRAs. Given the big moves in gold and the growing prominence of bitcoin, it makes sense to try and learn get educated about them, especially with the US Presidential coming. Enjoy!



What’s the Difference Between Spread Betting and Stock Investing?

The following is a 3rd party contribution:

If you look at spread betting and traditional stock investment casually, it might be difficult to understand the difference. In reality, these two investment types couldn’t be more different. They both have their place in the life of the smart investor, but it’s important to understand what the differences are so that you can include them in your portfolio appropriately.

First of all, spread betting and stock market investment may have a lot of the same stocks involved, but this doesn’t mean that they are the same thing. With stock market investment, you are buying up small pieces of different companies. With stock, you are a real owner of a portion of a company. With spread betting, there is no ownership whatsoever. You are making financial speculations about the way a stock’s value is going to change (spread betting also included things like currencies, indices, commodities, and other financial entities).

Second, stock investing and spread betting are totally different in the risk incurred when waiting for that return. With stocks, prices can and do fluctuate very quickly. But most sound investors don’t invest in just one or two stocks at a time. Instead, they diversify, so that if one stock tanks the other ones’ growth balances out that loss. Spread betting is totally different. Since there is no ownership, diversification doesn’t matter in the same way. No matter how many stocks you are focused on (you might be betting on the whole stock market!), you are only concerned with a single price: does it rise or does it fall, and did the value change in the direction that you picked?

Third, stock market investment and spread betting take place in entirely different platforms. Trusted spread betting platforms like ETX Capital allows you to trade on Forex as well as commodities and indices, but (again) they’re not actually selling you ownership in anything. As such, they are regulated completely differently than traditional stock brokers are. If you want to buy stocks, you’ll have to go through a company that is licensed and regulated for the sale of stocks and bonds.

Finally, stocks take time to make money for their investors, especially if the investor is well diversified. Some people strike it rich by picking winners in the stock market, but most people know that this is extremely risky and opt instead for diversified funds. These usually take decades to grow to great levels. On the flipside, spread betting investments can resolve in minutes, hours, days, or weeks. The time period is almost immaterial because you are just concerned with the direction the price changes, beyond the limits of the buy and sell spread.

At the end of the day, stock market investment and spread betting couldn’t be more different, even though they both focus on many of the same financial options. There are investors who prefer one or the other, and many who like both. Both investment forms have their place. At their best, spread betting can provide fast growth and stock investment can give sure, steady growth. Why not try both?

Investing in Running

Investing and running might not seem like similar pursuits. One is physical, the other is mostly mental. But I think there are important complimentary qualities.

For instance…

Running and investing both take discipline. You set goals, come up with a plan to achieve them and then push yourself to execute. In running, you compete against the clock. Investors fight against the market. Both are objective benchmarks. And at the end of the day you’re primarily competing with yourself and your own insecurities.

I think running helps my investing in other ways, too. I hate to sound cliché, but running is meditative. If you can’t think your way through an investment problem during a 2 hour run, then you’re probably never going to get there.

Running gives me time to think about investments, listen to trading podcasts and take in new stimuli which can provide fuel for future stock ideas.

So although I’ve never written about it here, running has become a bigger and bigger part of my life in recent years. When I’m not busy working or researching new stock picks, I’m probably going for or recovering from a run.

For these reasons (and many more) I wanted to let you know I’m further increasing my investment in running by launching a new website. Announcing:!

So if you’re a runner, or a Torontonian, I highly encourage you to check it out.

So what should you expect? Well, I’m going to be updating this running blog regularly with my own running exploits, as well as tips, tricks and resources to help others run faster, farther and easier.

Finally, I’m planning to check out the numerous running clubs across Toronto and report back with my findings. I think it will be a fun project that helps keep me excited about running and documents what I’m learning. So check it out!