Osram (DE000LED4000) jumps 11% – acquisition offer from China – I sold the stock

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According to the news a Chinese company San'an Optoelectronics has offered about €70 per share and the acquisition is "in all likelyhood". Osram provides no comments.

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Gold down -3%, silver -5% – an opportunity to buy?

Well, if you have no position, then likely yes (as usual, start gradually, with 1% or 2% of your trading capital). I bought today, unfortunately a little bit prematurely. If tomorrow the prices recoil, I will halve my position. But I don't regret the purchase, anyway, it is a good diversification for my stock portfolio.

Five lessons to learn from The Big Short (film).

Usually I warn against making conclusions from fiction books or films about financial markets. However, the Big Short gives some genuine lectures, at least between the lines.

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Oil WTI short: why it will likely fall (29.09.2016)

OPEC agrees on oil cut at Algiers meeting ... oil price jumped more than 6% ... a good opportunity to short WTI!

  • OPEC members may agree on whatever they want but it is unclear how they will control the agreement and penalize violators.
  • As soon as price grows the production of shale oil in USA will be increased.
  • The current Brent price is $49.13 and WTI costs $47.69. Respectively, the spread is $1.44, which is pretty narrow (normally it is about $2) so it will likely widen, thus it is better to short WTI, not Brent.
    Yes, there we times as the spread was tighter and even negative, but by those times both WTI and Brent tended to fall.

Update 04.10.2016
So far the oil price keeps growing though I was right with shorting WTI, not Brent, since the latter grew more intensively; the spread is now normal, about $2.
Today it was a price dip, so I halved my position with a minimal loss and keep about 1.5% of my trading capital in WTI short.

Two opportunities on German stock market: K+S und Lufthansa (27.09.2016)

K+S, a German producer of кalium salt, has reached its historical minimum, falling intraday below €16. .
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The power of diversification and its limits by the example of DAX

Summary

  • Sometimes (esp. to fool inexperienced retail investors) the diversification is claimed to be a silver bullet (even in a financial crisis).  I show that in crises the diversification effect weakens significantly but still persists (esp. for "defensive" stocks).
  • I argue that in a normal (non-turbulent) market the diversification is very helpful in theory but also critically consider its applicability in practice.
  • The results that we obtained for the DAX / German stock market should be extrapolated with caution for other markets. You will also see why it is better to watch and know the market (rather than to blindly rely on quantitative analysis and common sense).

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Stripping down the robo-advisors: sparrow-brains inside

Robo Advisor - Sparrow Brains

Summary:

  • Robo-advisors promise the risk profiling in a few easy steps, which is unrealistic both from mathematical and behavioral points of view.
  • The "optimal" portfolios are usually based on Markowitz-like models, which are inapplicable in practice due to their extreme numerical sensitivity to the market parameters estimation errors.
  • Robo-advisors lure investors with low management fees but minimizing fees and maximizing the wealth is not the same. Moreover, the compound costs are not so small in the long term.
  • A positive side: Robo-advisers do not (yet) foist toxic financial products upon you.

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Numeracy for Traders- Lesson 1 – Fractions

Fractions is a topic from elementary mathematics but surprisingly even some Ph.Ds in math have problems with them. After this lesson you will be able to read pie diagrams, calculate portfolio weights and weighted average returns. This lesson does not substitute systematic learning but helps you to recall fractions and demonstrates their usage in trading context.

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Mystery and misery of the martingale betting system: why it will not make you rich

Summary:

  • The martingale strategy asymptotically implies infinite capital or infinitely divisible stake. In reality you have a limited capital and there is a lower (in casino also an upper) bound of the stake.
  • In a fair game (with 50/50 chance of profit and loss) the probability of profit after a series of losses is still 50% (because the outcomes of bets or trades are independent from each other).
  • Typically, if you win then your profits are moderate but if you lose, the losses are severe (you can lose your capital just after a small series of unlucky bets).
  • If you make pretty many bets, you might make a good profit but the probability to make profit at all decreases with the number of bets. Losses stays severe.

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Binary Options: you may earn in a short term but eventually you WILL lose

Summary: 

  • Gambling with binary options you either lose 100% or earn about 90% of your stake. The win lose/ratio of 90/100 = 0.9 is worse than by the European roulette (36/37 = 0.973) and even by American roulette (36/38 = 0.947).
  • A trade takes just a couple of minutes, which allows (and implicitly encourages) you to commit a lot of trades. Due to the law of large numbers and negative odds, the more you trade, the more you lose.
  • Don't trust numerous "success stories" in Internet. Virtually all of them are fake and they are just a marketing trick of brokers or those who earn with brokers' affiliate programs.

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