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Investing & Online Stock & Share Trading: Money & Risk Management – Atkinson Portfolio Planner (1)




This article was originally featured in Daryl Guppy’s ‘Tutorials in Applied Technical Analysis’, voted no 1 trading newsletter in Australia by Shares magazine & no 4 in the world by US Stocks & Commodities magazine and is reprinted here with Daryl’s permission.

In addition to developing sound technical analysis skills, strong trading psychology coupled with well thought-out money and risk management are also vital key secrets for success when trading or investing in the market.

From real life experience and lessons in portfolio management learnt the very hard way, John Atkinson originally designed his series of three Money and Risk Management spreadsheets to help his own trading. Through the help of programmers Stephen Parsons and Peter Tamsett, he recently added several user friendly macros and has now made them available as simple to use and very affordable tools to help traders and investors plan and manage their portfolios.

They are designed to assist in the planning and developing of profitable portfolio growth, by putting structured money & risk management control in place and as a means of keeping simple and accurate records.

Many investors and traders spend less time planning the risk of individual trades and their overall portfolio for their wealth creation than they do planning their grocery shopping. Many do not plan, accurately track or review their progress at all.

Some think that spreading or ‘diversifying’ their portfolio into several large positions in ‘safe’ blue chips is their way to address money & risk management. They do not realise that overloading in too many positions or too large a position can put their portfolio seriously at risk.

Without proper planning one may end up with a portfolio that is a disaster waiting to happen. We know. We’ve been there & we wouldn’t want you to go through the sleepless nights and gut wrenching fear, financial and emotional loss that we and a few traders we know have experienced as a result.

A major reason why we lost our Sydney waterfront home in 2000 and more since was not developing or adhering to correct risk & money management rules – so our series of three portfolio tools has been created from our own personal very hard knock experience at a very real financial cost of literally hundreds of thousands of dollars and at a huge emotional cost.

We subsequently went looking for the information which we wish we’d looked for, or had been advised of, prior. These tools are based on various ‘world’s best practice’ principles and strategies taught by this newsletter, Daryl Guppy’s books and by other trader authors such as Alan Hull, Louise Bedford, Dr Alexander Elder and Dr Van Tharp.

They consist of the:

o Atkinson Portfolio Planner © – to plan your stock selection & overall sector & portfolio risk in advance

o Atkinson Trade Optimizer © – which stock to buy when you have a few to choose from & funds only available for one?

o Atkinson Portfolio Manager © – stop loss, targets, individual stock & combined portfolio equity curves, expectancy of closed trades and much more

Over the coming weeks we will discuss each of these tools in detail.

We start this week with the Atkinson Portfolio Planner ©.

This tool is designed to help you plan your portfolio correctly so you can sleep at night, knowing you have a balanced portfolio and are not too exposed in any one trade, volatility grouping or sector.

Also, that you have planned the correct number and size of open positions to ensure that your total portfolio risk does not exceed your specified criteria.

This easy-to-use tool allows you to check your planned allocation of:

Mix of high, medium and low volatility shares

Mix of shares between sectors

Individual risk of each position as a % of your portfolio

Maximum % of your portfolio in any one position

Total risk of your combined portfolio

Once you have entered your requirements, the Atkinson Portfolio Planner © will calculate the above essential factors and even flag red alerts if any of your planned or open positions exceed your personal risk profile.

This allows the user to ensure in the planning stages that your hard earned capital will be apportioned correctly to conform to risk levels selected by your own Trading Plan.

It is the responsibility of the user to research and select the criteria to be applied for his/her Trading Plan and as key input to the Portfolio Planner © e.g. volatility and sector allocation, stop loss levels and % risk factors; and for the ultimate selection of which stock(s) to buy and the applicable position size(s).

Putting all or most of your available funds into one stock or sector; placing at risk a large % of one’s portfolio in any one position or having too many open positions with an unacceptable total % of portfolio at risk are recipes for potential disaster.

Experience of other traders shows that it is also wise to diversify their capital in a chosen proportion between a range of high, medium and low volatility stocks to maximise annual growth of their portfolio.

Experienced traders and investors have varying rules for money and risk management.

The following are some typical examples from the literature:

1. In his books and this newsletter Daryl Guppy chooses 1/7 (14.3%) in high volatility (e.g. ‘speculatives’); 2/7 (28.6%) in medium volatility (e.g. ‘mid caps’) and 4/7 (57.1%) in low volatility (e.g. ‘blue chips’). Others may choose a maximum of 10% in high volatility. The final choice is the user’s responsibility

2. For small portfolios, in his book Share Trading #, Daryl Guppy provides an example of building from $6k to $21k, by starting with $2k (i.e. 1/3rd) in high volatility and $4k (i.e. 2/3rd) in low volatility stocks; then splitting this back to 1/7; 2/7 and 4/7 when the portfolio has grown to $14k.

3. Maximum position size as a % of total portfolio: commonly 20-25% absolute max; some reduce to 15% or less for large portfolios or speculative stocks.

4. Maximum Equity Risk: No more than 2% of portfolio to be placed at risk in any one trade – some choose to reduce this 1 % or 0.5% for larger portfolios or for more highly volatile positions.

5. In my book ’10 Ways Not to Lose Your Home in the Stock Market’ (due 2005) I wrote “What we also failed to realise was that instead of spreading our risk, we were magnifying our risk. For instance, using a stop loss of 2% portfolio risk, let’s say a trader has ten positions. That means if the market takes a sudden dive and all stops are triggered, they risk losing 20% of their entire portfolio value. Expand that out to twenty positions, then 20 x 2% = 40% of their portfolio is at risk. It can happen – it did happen. If you freeze or have margin loans, the destruction can be far worse….

Dr Elder refers to the 2% risk rule as protection against shark attack and extends the concept further to a 6% rule to protect against piranha attack i.e. to close out the whole portfolio if it drops by 6% in the past month.

Taking this to its logical extension, Dr Elder describes how, using this strategy, also limits traders to three positions (at 2% risk) to start off with, until some of them rise into profit, before opening any additional positions.”

(Readers may wish to refer to my Home Study course module on Money & Risk Management which is based on and includes Daryl Guppy’s Share Trading & Better Trading books and includes my portfolio tools – available at our site. Also refer to books by Louise Bedford (e.g.Trading Secrets) and Dr Alexander Elder (e.g. Come into my Trading Room) for further explanation.)

In the next article I discuss how we use the Atkinson Portfolio Planner to ensure that the following planned risk and money management criteria are met:

1. The maximum total value spent in each volatility grouping

2. The maximum total value spent in any sector

3. The maximum position size as a % of total portfolio

4. The equity risk for each position

5. The combined total portfolio risk exposure


Source by John Atkinson


Where to Find Those Efficient and Hardworking Affiliates?




Everyone wants a hardworking affiliate, employee, associate, partner, or even spouse, and why not? It’s the next best thing to doing the work yourself. However with the massive outbreak of work and income opportunities available online, how can you beat everyone else and find that one (or more) ideal person who will make your online business explode with success? Here are some of the most ingenious and uncommon ways to snag the idea affiliates for your affiliate program

Direct Sales Agents

Direct sales people are really one of the most enterprising, hard-working individuals in business. They mostly work on commissions or rebates and are willing to literally go door-to-door offering their products to anyone and everyone they bump into. Imagine how much easier their job would be if they could be an affiliate and simply work via the Internet and a mobile device or desktop.

Also, most direct sales people tend to carry more than one brand in their product arsenal so signing up as an affiliate would be almost the same type of work but using a different approach.

Colleges and Universities

Many college kids would be interested in a part-time income opportunity if it would mean funds to help pay for their education, loan, or partying. All you have to do is make sure to offer them products they can endorse as a student.


Did you know that the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest annual report show that 75% of U.S. businesses used freelancers in 2011? Freelancers earned a whopping US$990 billion in 2011 which is a 4.1% increase from the previous year. The only industries where the number of freelancers decreased were in insurance, finance, and construction. Most probably your affiliate program isn’t a part of these 3 industries.

Furthermore, online business and finance experts are predicting the growth to increase incrementally every year even with an economy that is improving. People just want income security and more control over their earnings. With the spate of lay-offs, it’s understandable why many would prefer to work as an affiliate than as an employee.

Scout For Them At Affiliate Conventions

There are annual affiliate conventions held in different cities around the country. You should try to catch one when it is held somewhere near your location. The average turn-out for these types of conventions has increased regularly over the years. Last year, many of them were sold out weeks before the event.


The US Census Bureau has said that as of 2012, 15% of Americans are poor, 43% of young adults depend on their parents to some extent for money. Even more surprising is that the median income of young adults in 1982 was $31,583 and last year it was $30,604 for the same age group! Income is dropping and people are looking for ways to earn additional income outside of their 9 to 5 jobs. That’s where you can come in playing the hero and helping others realize their dream income.

Finally, go online and talk about your product. Make the affiliate marketers come to you and have the luxury of picking the best candidates. You will need some help in marketing your affiliate program so target a marketer who’s experienced in affiliate program and SEO.


Source by Lina Stakauskaite

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Recession Is Here… Six Costly Mistakes Home Sellers Make During Recessions And How To Avoid Them




The U.S. is officially in a recession. What is a recession? A recession is a business cycle contraction or general economic decline due to significant drop in spending and other commercial activities. Most pundits and politicians will blame Covid-19 crisis for the recession, but even pre-Covid-19 the proverbial writing was on the wall.

The U.S. had over 120 months of economic growth, which was the longest expansion in the modern history. Other indicators, such as negative yield spread on treasuries (long term bonds having lower interest rates than short term T-notes), were pointing to an imminent change of the economic cycle and an impending recession. The only real question was: when and how bad?

Then Covid-19 came… If the cycle was going to change anyway, Covid-19 acted as a huge and unexpected accelerant to make the recession much more immediate and severe.

Inevitably during recessions all classes of real estate, including residential homes and condominiums, will be negatively impacted as lower consumer spending and higher unemployment rates affect real estate prices and marketing times.

Here are the six costly mistakes home and other real property sellers make during recessions and how to avoid them:

Mistake #1: This will pass and real estate market will be hot again soon

First thing to remember is that real estate cycles are much longer than general economic cycles. Even if the general economy recovers, which eventually it always does, a typical real estate cycle takes as long as 10 to 15 years. The cycle has four key stages: Top, Decline, Bottom and Rise.

Let us consider the last real estate cycle, which lasted approximately 14 years:

  • 2006 – Prices hit the Top
  • 2006 to 2012 – Prices Decline
  • 2012 – Prices hit the Bottom (Trough)
  • 2012 to 2019 – Prices Rise*
  • 2020 – Prices hit the Top
  • 2020 to? – Prices Decline

*NOTE: In 2016 the national residential real estate price index reached its pre-recession 2006 peak levels. It took 10 years for the real estate market to recover.

The way to avoid this mistake is to recognize that real estate cycles take years to run and plan accordingly. Additionally, nobody knows for sure when the prices will hit the top or bottom until after the fact.

Mistake #2: Low interest rates will make the economy and real estate market rebound

Between 2006 and 2011 the interest rates (Fed Funds) were continuously cut by the Federal Reserve Board and went from low 5% to almost 0%. However, that did not stop the real estate recession and depreciation of property values.

Undoubtedly, low interest rates made the economic decline and real estate recession less severe and saved some properties from foreclosures, but it still took six painful years for the real estate market to hit the bottom and then four more years for the prices to go back to their pre-recession levels.

Some markets had never fully recovered. For example, residential home prices in some parts of California, Arizona and Nevada are still below their 2006 highs.

To avoid this mistake, one needs to realize that although low interest rates help stimulate the economy and the real estate market, they do not cure them.

Mistake #3: I don’t need to sell now, so I don’t care

If you do not need to sell until the cycle plays out, which typically is over ten years, then you will not be as affected, especially if you have a strong equity position, limited mortgage debt, and solid liquid assets.

However, it is good to keep in mind that “life happens” and either professional or personal circumstances can change and we may need to sell property before the downturn runs its course.

Furthermore, if a property has a mortgages and its value declines to the point being “upside down,” meaning the mortgage loan balance exceeds the value of the property, then the options of selling, refinancing or even obtaining an equity line of credit, will be significantly limited.

This does not mean that everybody should be rushing into selling their real estate if there is no need to do so, just keep in mind that circumstances may and often do change and property options will be affected, so plan in advance. As one wise proverb says: “Dig your well before your thirst.”

Mistake #4: I’m selling, but I won’t sell below my “bottom line” price

This is a common and potentially very costly mistake. Generally speaking, every seller wants to sell for the highest price and every buyer wants to pay the lowest price. That’s nothing new. When selling real estate, most sellers want to achieve a certain price point and/or have a “bottom line.”

However, it is important to understand that the market does not care what the Seller, or his/her Agent, think the property value should be at. The market value is a price a willing and able buyer will pay, when a property is offered on an open market for a reasonable amount of time.

Overpricing property based on Seller’s subjective value or what is sometimes called an “aspirational price,” especially in a declining market, is a sure first step to losing money. When a property lingers on the market for an extended period of time, carrying costs will continue to accumulate and property value will depreciate in line with the market conditions.

Additionally, properties with prolonged marketing times tend to get “stale” and attract fewer buyers. The solution is to honestly assess your selling objectives, including the desired time-frame, evaluate your property’s attributes and physical condition, analyze comparable sales and market conditions, and then decide on market-based pricing and marketing strategies.

Mistake #5: I will list my property for sale only with Agent who promises the highest price

Real estate is a competitive business and real estate agents compete to list properties for sale which generate their sales commission incomes. It is not unusual that Seller will interview several agents before signing an exclusive listing agreement and go with the agent who agrees to list the property at the highest price, often regardless if such price is market-based.

Similarly to Mistake #4, this mistake can be very damaging to Sellers, as overpriced properties stay on the market for extended periods of time costing Sellers carrying expenses such as mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance.

Furthermore, there is the “opportunity cost” since the equity is “frozen,” and it cannot be deployed elsewhere till the property is sold. However, the most expensive cost is the loss of property value while the real estate market deteriorates.

During the last recession, we have seen multiple cases where overpriced properties stayed on the market for years and ended up selling for 25% to 40% below their initial fair market values.

The solution is to make sure that your pricing strategy is based on the market, not empty promises or wishful thinking.

Mistake #6: I will list my property only with Agent who charges the lowest commission

Real estate commission rates are negotiable and not set by law. A commission usually represents the highest transactional expense in selling real properties and is typically split between Brokers and Agents who work on the transaction

Some real estate agents offer discounted commissions, in order to induce Sellers to list their properties with them. But does paying a discounted commission ensure savings for the Seller? Not necessarily.

For example, if the final sales price is 5% to 10% below property’s highest market value, which is not that unusual, due to inadequate marketing, bad pricing strategy, and/or poor negotiation skills, it will easily wipe out any commission savings and actually cost the Seller tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenues.

The solution is to engage an agent who is a “Trusted Advisor,” not just a “Salesperson.” A Trusted Advisor will take his/her time and effort to do the following: 1) Perform Needs Analysis: listen and understand your property needs and concerns; 2) Prepare Property Analysis: thoroughly evaluate your property and market conditions; 3) Execute Sales and Marketing Plan: prepare and implement custom sales and marketing plan for your property; and 4) Obtain Optimal Results: be your trusted advocate throughout the process and achieve the best possible outcome.

Finding such a real estate professional may not be always easy, but it certainly is worth the effort and will pay off at the end.

In conclusion, this article has outlined six costly mistakes real estate Sellers make during recessions and how to avoid them. The first mistake is not understanding that real estate cycles are long and take years. The second mistake is a misconception that low interest rates alone will create a recovery. Another mistake is not realizing that circumstances may change and not planning in advance. Mistakes number four, five and six pertain to understanding the market value, proper pricing and selecting the right real estate professional.

By understanding and avoiding these mistakes, real estate Sellers have significantly better chances of minimizing the negative impact of a recession while selling their properties.


Source by Robert W. Dudek

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Useful Tips To Build The Best Gaming Computer




Every gamer will want their computer to be the best gaming computer among their peers. Sometimes, with a little knowledge and tips and tricks, it is possible to build the best gaming computer and show it off to your peers. This article will show you how:

1) You can’t get the best gaming computer from computer retailers

If you want to get the best gaming computer, you have to build your own. Different gamers have different requirement for their gaming machine. Unless you are willing to pay a high price, you will not be able to buy a commercial computer that fulfills all your gaming needs. The only option you have is to build your own gaming computer.

2) You don’t have to be rich to build the best gaming computer

It is not necessary to burn a hole in your pocket to build the best gaming computer. With some due diligence, do some market research and compare prices around the marketplace. Merchant such as TigerDirect and NewEgg give regular discount to their products and you could save a lot of money if you catch them during their promotional period.

3) Most expensive parts do not have to be the best part

Sometime, the latest model or the most expensive model does not have to be the best part for your computer. It requires various components to work together to form the best computer system. When choosing a computer part, what matters is how well it can integrate with the rest of the components. Compatibility is more important than individual performance. What use is there if you spend lot of money on the latest quad-core processor and find that your motherboard doesn’t support it?

4) You don’t need to change the whole PC to own the best gaming computer

It is a misconception that you have to change the whole gaming machine to build the best gaming computer. If you already have a good barebone system, what you need to do is to upgrade the necessary parts and your gaming computer can roar back to life instantly.

5) Brand is important

Unless you want to see your computer system malfunction every few days, it is important that you purchase the parts from branded manufacturers with strict quality control. Motherboard brand such as Gigabyte, ABIT, ASUS are some quality brands that you can consider

If you follow diligently to the tips stated above. You will be on your way to build the best gaming computer. While price can be an issue, it is better not to scrimp on important computer parts such as motherboard, CPU, RAM and graphics card as it will cost you more to upgrade in the future.


Source by Damien Oh

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