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How Do I Invest in Today’s Market?

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Financial repression; this term has to the defining factor of the last few years in the world of investments. Central banks promoted consumption with all the tools that they have while forcing savers into riskier and riskier assets in search of the non-existent yields. The fight against deflation and a global credit event changed the playing field in financial markets.

Stock markets roared to new all-time highs, while government and corporate yields collapsed to historic lows. But for now, both of those asset classes have been squeezed dry of prospective returns by investors, actually, stocks already had a two year period with no meaningful returns before the Trump-rally started last November.

Today, in the developed world, there is a huge vacuum of reachable yield, and as I concluded in my article on central banks, I think that this creates a dangerous environment for passive investment strategies, and you should be aware of the risks of relying on pension plans and government transfers due to the sorry state of the global financial system.

What is the Answer?

Now you might ask what do I do in this situation. Well, the recipe is one that probably won’t be too popular with most of the people out there: Save more, do your homework, and invest selectively. I believe that passive stock and bond investments, especially in the US and Europe, simply won’t make it if you are counting on double digit annual returns for the next 10-15 years—not even mid-high single digits for that matter.

So what are the alternatives? Real estate, individual stock and bond picks, “exotic” stocks, farmland, commodities, cryptocurrencies, arts, vintage cars… there are a lot of fields of investing that you can venture into, besides running your own business of course. From the above list, I have an interest in almost every segment, with an unwantedly big part in real estate, due to a family bankruptcy event that required my help, and used up virtually all my liquid investments a couple of years ago. Since then, I try to focus on hard and/or naturally yielding assets, while trying to stay independent from the long-term debasement of fiat currencies.

My Savings Rate

I am falling shy of the target of the 33% club when it comes to savings, although it has to be said that my income (part from trading stocks, cryptos, and forex; and part from journalism) is volatile, so sometimes I am even able to save around 40%, but in practice the average for the past two years around 20%. Granted, I spend a lot on traveling and getting to know the world, but I believe that that’s a good way of “wasting” money.

My Portfolio

I, together with my partner, have a real estate investment (Airbnb) in downtown Budapest, yielding a nice 7% after tax and amortization, with some potential for capital appreciation (50% of my savings). I have an interest in a hazelnut-plantation that will hopefully yield 8-10% annually starting in 2018 (10%). I hold a portfolio of government (US, Hungarian, Russian, Mexican) and corporate bonds (10%), with an average duration of 4 years and an intention to hold them until maturity.

I have around 10% each in gold and cryptocurrencies, and I am putting a monthly fix amount into an emerging market fund focused on South-East Asia and Africa where I see the bulk of the growth in the coming decades (5%). I also try to have around 5% in fiat (US Dollars and Euros) for every day and emergency expenses.

The Problems with my Portfolio

I believe that although it’s a relatively balanced portfolio, and it is more or less in line with my view of the world, liquidity is an issue. Right now, I’m trying to put more and more of my active and passive income into liquid, short-dated bonds and cash, to have enough dry gunpowder for a possible major pull-back in stocks that would provide better valuations, and a good environment for stock picking.

Some of you would say that the 10% in cryptos is a small amount, and sure enough I am letting that increase naturally, as my core positions outgrow the rest of my portfolio; but some of my other holdings have great tax-benefits accompanied by very low volatility which make them great choices for the long run.

My stock exposure is laughably low, and I might be proven wrong by another few years of bull-market action, but for now I feel comfortable with this ratio. Also my gold holdings are all paper, and I am only in a planning phase of going physical, but I hope I won’t regret that decision.

What’s your take?

So there it is, you are free to criticize my investments, but don’t get me wrong, I know it’s not optimal as of now. As I started rebuilding my savings in 2015, the composition is what you could call “eclectic”. I will update you as my view of the world changes, and I will share my investment ideas in real-time. Use them at your own risk :).

So, what do you think about my positions? Do you see risks that I don’t? Let me know in the comments below, and of course, I would be happy to discuss Your portfolio as well.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 317 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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  1. embersburnbrightly

    June 28, 2017 at 8:15 am

    Thank you for sharing this. I am in no position to make a judgement call on your portfolio, as someone who is relatively new to investing myself; but even if your portfolio is admittedly not yet perfect, you have provided some very good points to ponder here. As someone who would like to diversify outside of just cryptocurrency investments, I would be very interested to read how one would get involved in trading between fiat currencies in a way that is legal and above reproach here in the U.S. My great fear is that I would take a misstep and end up losing a large amount (or all of it) in penalties and taxes. I know taxes will be involved with any significant profits, I just don’t want to have to pay more than my fair share —
    by doing everything the right way. Any future articles that might be able to focus on the legalities of investments in cryptocurrency and other assets would be wonderfully appreciated. Thank you!

    P.S. I know you and others hers would not be able to give actual specific legal advice, and that each individual portfolio is going to have its own set of legalities around it — but maybe just some general guidelines for investors to follow when first getting into investments in different areas, especially fiat and cryptocurrency? Lastly, I understand if this request is beyond the scope of what is able to be covered on this site, but thank you in advance for any consideration made toward it!)

  2. embersburnbrightly

    June 28, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Just caught a typo in my comment above, sorry — the one line should have read, “I know you and others here would not be able to give actual specific legal advice…”

    (Not “…others hers…”)

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My CFD Journey: 72,000 USD Up Today

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Wow the indexes are falling globally now. Dax is down with 1% today – same as Dow Jones. I would love to do a short call on these indexes, but that have seriously hurt my financial standings previously since we still are in a “bull” market with earnings reports beating forecasts and macroeconomic numbers excelling analysts viewpoints. I only want to trade by using trend following, so even if the markets are down, I love to do short buy calls as they most likely will rebound to new ATH (all time highs). The reason for just doing short buy calls is that we might be on the tipping point to a bearish market, but that’s something I would like confirmation on from e.g. macro numbers, earning reports and such. Until then, I’m quick in and out.

Here is my results

Order Entry Price Take Profit Stop Loss USD Bank Roll USD % Change
Start 258 064,52
Day 1 25.01.2018 Dax Buy 13268 13274 13262 6 472,52 264 537,03 2,51
Day 2 26.01.2018 Dax Sell 13342 13318 13392 7 642,84 272 179,87 5,47
Day 3 29.01.2018 Dax Buy 13331 13336 13313 12 508,39 284 688,26 10,32
Day 4 30.01.2018 Dax Buy 13226 13233 13176 6 625,94 291 314,19 12,88
Day 5 31.01.2018 Dax Buy 13217 13230 13187 26 474,06 317 788,26 23,14
Day 5 01.02.2018 Dax Sell 13291 13265 13327 10 834,58 328 622,84 27,34
Day 6 02.02.2018 Dax Buy 12797 12825 12772 72 314,97 400 937,81 55,36

Using ProRealTime

As I wrote yesterday, I’m using IG.com to trade CFDs. They got a tool called ProRealTime that I started to use yesterday. It’s a great tool with many more indicators and tools, and best of all, you get a good look at your stats. Here is my stats so far on ProRealTime in NOK (1 USD = 7.65 NOK – click on the images to get a larger view):

As you can see from the image above, I got 8 winning trades and 1 losing trade. I tried to buy the dip on Dax but managed to enter a bit too early. The Dax index fell quite rapidly after I initiated this trade and I wanted to keep it open as long as possible as I knew a rebound would happen. But I was not comfortable enough to sit it through so I closed it. Still feeling certain that the price would rebound I entered a buy position yet again at what I thought would be the lowest low. And thankfully, that worked and it rebounded above my initial entry point for the first trade. To ensure that I got the profits I wanted, I did a third trade buying Dax when RSI showed a trend reversal (rose above 50). I closed the trades once I was happy with the profits and because I became nervous that the price would turn back down. Then I initiated the last trade of the day going long on Dax yet again.

Here is the total overview of my trades today:

I would again like to highlight that trading CFD is very risky, and I’m still significantly down in total these last 3 years.

My trading rules

  1. Only risk max 2% of my bank roll per trade.
  2. Have 0 active positions during the night (first of all, I lose sleep, second; you are charged an interest fee for leaving a leveraged product overnight.)
  3. Always trade on last month’s trend including the previous day(s). If they do not correlate, I will not trade.
  4. If one position is lost, I’ll double the amount (martingale) and do a second trade. I’ll only stop doubling after 3 consecutive losses.
  5. Do not think about lost trade opportunities.
  6. Markets to trade: Dax & Dow (minimum spread).
  7. Stay updated on economic releases prior to entering a trade.
  8. Do not have emotional ties to the money. I like to call them “points”.
  9. Only enter a position when an asset is overbought or oversold shown by both RSI & Stoch at the same time.
  10. Always write down your trades and elaborate what went right or wrong.

What is the meaning of this?

Why I’m I writing all these posts? My main goal is to find a working strategy trading CFDs and be able to mentor Hacked.com members and do live sessions together. However, I would like to keep going for at least one month until I feel comfortable that the strategy I have, actually works. I would rather lose my own money, than lose any of yours.

I wish you all a great weekend. We are going to visit our family this weekend and have a nice time.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Who Moved My Cheese?

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It’s been a while since I wrote a post. I’ve been busy with creating CCN.com and migrate CryptoCoinsNews.com over to the new domain with a fresh design. And It’s been Christmas with daily family dinners. I decided to quit my job at Wilhelmsen.com as a Digital Trainee. I’ve worked there for a year now, and with the growth of CCN and Hacked.com I had to take a choice. I want to make CCN and Hacked to one of the strongest crypto sources and our team is rapidly expanding. We are now more than eight full time employees and more than 20+ as part timers.

I also bought hvy.com in December, and I want to develop MoneyMakers.com into something more during the coming year. We are building a small media empire with a very decentralized structure. I love the team, and I especially love our dedicated readers and members.

I started 2017 by posting the following:

  1. My own longterm goals, what are yours?
  2. Join me to my first goal of $1 000 000
  3. My First Investment Towards $1 000 000

What is a bit ironic, is that I reached my “longterm” goal last year. It should have taken at least ten years, but I managed it in one. I managed it because of a few things:

  1. Dedication
  2. Team work
  3. Luck

Who would have thought that the crypto scene would blow up like it did last year? It was insane, and we still keep setting records.

Then to a few “lost activities” on hacked.com. The 33% club lost some steam this fall, purely due to my priorities at that time. I’ve still been investing, and I now have approx. 1 million USD in different assets (not cryptos). I will continue the 33% club from February and onwards, and I want you all to join. I will do a new post later in January with a better setup.

Then to my “Robot” affair. First weeks I made $5000, but then things started to go terribly wrong. I had multiple issues with using robots on MetaTrader 5 (I used Roboforex as my trading platform). One of the main issues I found was that the robots did well on certain days, but then when they made the wrong moves, I lost twice of what they originally made. And sometimes, my VPS went down and the orders were stuck until I manually exited them. Mostly with a huge loss. I do not think there’s any good robot out there where you can just leave your money and “forget them”. I’ve decided to focus more on investing my money in secure assets, stocks, indexes, and bonds. I’m still looking for the golden opportunity, and once I find it, I’ll share it with all the members on hacked.com.

Who Moved My Cheese?

I read a short book here the other day called Who Moved My Cheese? and it’s really worth reading. It’s stupid simple, but it’s so true. Basically it says that people who are stuck in the same patterns will end up depressed and “broke”. Your “cheese” or “money” will always be fluctuating, you have to chase it to new grounds. You might think that you can work for your employer until you die, but that will most likely be a terrible mistake. To believe that what you have now will be lasting forever. Successful people manage to change quickly, spot new opportunities, and move forward with their lives. I personally have experienced being stuck for a while, but now I feel free and I want to keep chasing the cheese in new arenas or mazes. Risk and failures are a part of your learning curve. Same can be applied in so many aspects of my and your lives. I recommend reading that book.

After I’m done 31st January at Wilhelmsen (my regular 9-5 job) I’ll focus more on Hacked.com and its community, and I’ll definitely write more and share my thoughts with you.

Thank you for a great 2017, now let’s make sure 2018 becomes even better for all of us.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Searching for the Meaning of Life in Dubai

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Last week I traveled to Dubai with a group of people in Wilhelmsen, where I work as a Digital Trainee, for our third module in Design Thinking with Pracademy. We are a group of 24 people which Wilhelmsen considers to be Leadership Potentials. We are fortunate to be a part of this year’s company program, and we have all learned so much about ourselves. In this post, I will try to communicate what we learned during last week’s module. Be aware that this is a four months program, and it’s hard to get the feeling of it by just reading about it. But I hope I can share some of the knowledge that I acquired and get you more interested in improving your own life.

Find your passion and go all in!

Most motivators and teachers say that you need to find your passion, make work a hobby that you enjoy every single day. I have even caught myself saying that over and over again (on Hacked). However, as I learned during the sessions in Dubai, more than 80% of us do not know what their passion is. I started to wonder if I knew what my passion is. And I’m still insecure about that. I do know that I want to contribute to the world, I want to help and serve people. I want to create things that I know other people will love; I want to leave a footprint on this earth.

I often have this mind experiment where I picture myself as 80 years old with bad health in my nursing home. Do I think that I managed to get the most out of life? Am I satisfied with all the things I achieved? Or do I have regrets and feel remorseful? The goal for every person on this earth is to be satisfied with your life when you’re near the end. I guess most people aren’t in reality. And that’s a big shame. Some people might regret that they worked too much, had too little fun, too few good experiences with their loved ones, too few memorable memories.

I pray that I will be happy with my life and what I accomplished.

How to find your passion

If you do not know what your true passion is, there’s still hope for you. You can spend years trying to find your ultimate passion. Think of what makes you happy, what you enjoy or care for. My strong passion for creating things started in my childhood. I always drew new inventions on a piece of paper and started small kid businesses. I played music; I was a drummer in a nu-metal band, I started to sing and rap and create songs. I painted and used my creative skills to visualize my thoughts. I traveled during holidays and experienced new cultures, new food. Oh, I love good food. I love cooking a great meal for family and friends.

I could probably achieved anything that I had/have passion for. I could have been a:

  • Cook
  • Artist
  • Painter
  • Drummer
  • Entrepreneur

I chose to become an entrepreneur mostly due to financial possibilities. As being financially independent was and is very high on my priority list. But that does not mean that I wouldn’t have a meaningful life being an artist with less money on my hands.

Economist Angus Deaton and psychologist Daniel Kahneman researched happiness and money in 2009 where the focus was on US standards, and it’s population:

So, where does the $75,000 come into play? Researchers found that lower income did not cause sadness itself but made people feel more ground down by the problems they already had. The study found, for example, that among divorced people, about 51% who made less than $1,000 a month reported feeling sad or stressed the previous day, while only 24% of those earning more than $3,000 a month reported similar feelings. Among people with asthma, 41% of low earners reported feeling unhappy, compared with about 22% of the wealthier group. Having money clearly takes the sting out of adversities.

At $75,000, that effect disappears. For people who earn that much or more, individual temperament and life circumstances have much more sway over their lightness of heart than money. The study doesn’t say why $75,000 is the benchmark, but “it does seem to me a plausible number at which people would think money is not an issue,” says Deaton. At that level, people probably have enough expendable cash to do things that make them feel good, like going out with friends. (The federal poverty level for a family of four, by the way, is $22,050.)

So if you live in the US, a goal for financial freedom could be $75 000 or $100 000 as income per year. If you make more than that, you won’t necessarily become happier just because of the money.

However, if you make too much money and you are in an in-group where your peers make much less than you do, you can be in a situation where jealousy and envy will affect your life. And that is not a good feeling at all. I believe that the people in the middle of the scale live the happiest lives. There have been numerous cases where people that won in the lotteries have ended their lives due to envy and jealousy from their friends and family. Where they thought winning a lot of money would make them happier, while it only magnified their problems.

Empathy

In Design Thinking, empathy is a crucial part of the process. The ability to feel compassion for other human beings. To understand their problems, feelings, and emotions and to share their pain, grief, happiness or sadness. I know for a fact that I could be much more empathic and that is something I will improve. See the video below that shows what empathy is:

We saw this video in Dubai, which almost made me cry (we were in a particular mood..):

There’s so much going on in that video. Mo Cheeks felt empathy with the girl singing the national anthem, and he could feel compassion since he had a daughter at that age.

Things change when you get a child, for me that has a daughter who is seven months, I can relate to the video above. You might not.

What characterizes a great leader?

We did a session where everyone in the room in Dubai explained what a great leader is for them. The list included:

  • Good listener
  • Empathic
  • Understanding
  • Good motivator
  • + more

Most of the points we as leadership potentials defined as a great leader had nothing to do with “IQ.” Most of them had everything to do with “EQ,” emotional intelligence. It is mindblowing that we do not learn more about emotional intelligence during school, and that all businesses focus on “IQ” when hiring, not “EQ.” I believe that is skewed and is important to reflect upon.

Mindfulness

We also learned how to be more mindful. They encouraged us to use 30 minutes to sit quietly, close our eyes, focusing on the now. Breathing slowly and try to get as calm as possible. There’s scientific research on how mindfulness can help you become more happier, healthier and more successful:

And then one of the many guides on mindfulness:

Communication

We did a session where we were paired up to use mindfulness to listen and repeat. A was given 6 minutes to talk about a challenge at work, B was given 3 minutes to repeat what he/she heard, A was then given 2 minutes to clarify what B might have misinterpreted, B was then finally given 2 minutes to repeat what A clarified. This was a session that made me realize how easy it is to misinterpret. This can be used in every aspect of your life. It is so easy to misunderstand what a person is saying or meaning, so try to ask a question after a discussion: “Did I understand you right, that you want…” or “Could you please clarify what you meant by…”.

Writing

A professor of culture and psychology from South Korea gave us a session on writing. How writing in a notebook can help you learn better and understand what was communicated. From now on, I’ll always bring a notebook in meetings and write with my hand. Then I’ll add the written information to my computer later on.

Emotions

We often say: “I am angry.” That is a big mistake. We are not angry, but we do feel anger. So whenever you “are angry, sad, or irritated,” say in your head that you are “feeling angry, because..” and you will be able to control your emotions in a much more sufficient manner. Do not let the feeling itself take over who you are. You are not your feelings, you simply feel them and they will pass.

And Finally, you have the Siberian Railroad: SBNRR: Stop, Breathe, Notice, React, Respond.

 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.2 stars on average, based on 56 rated postsFounder of Hacked.com and CryptoCoinsNews




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