Once again there are a handful of open positions at the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). First Jill Sommers, then Gary Gensler and now Bart Chilton are leaving. This agency’s mandate is to regulate commodity futures and options markets in the United States. Unfortunately, it is being run by people who have never traded commodities, run a clearinghouse for commodities or sat on an exchange board.
There is something inherently wrong with this thought process. It would be like me sitting on the medical practices board. Although I am sure that all the people on the CFTC have IRAs and other brokerage accounts, that doesn’t make them experts, just like having health issues doesn’t put me in a position to regulate doctors.
What does this mean when people with so little trading experience run an agency? Simply a replay of the past. Clearinghouses and financial services firms such as Refco, MGF and PFG have collapsed as a result of faulty oversight by the very agency pledged to oversee them. It will happen again.
As the news coverage fades out please remember and please help those affected by September 11. I was in 9/11 and lost so many friends and co-workers, and as an uncle of a retired Army Ranger who is in chronic pain from injuries obtained in action, I am asking you to support a great cause.
The 3rd Annual Pike Hike to Ground Zero will take place on Saturday, September 14. The 17-mile hike will begin in Fort Lee, New Jersey and end at the Ground Zero Memorial.
This group of people was too young to feel the full impact of that tragic day as well as the pain felt from the troops coming back, but they’ve stepped out over the past few years to create a fundraising event to remember the victims of 9/11 and help wounded solders.
Please take a moment and look at this video and hit the link to the website. This is a great cause and close to the heart of all Americans. No matter how small, please take the time to donate and show your support.
On August 23, the Wall Street Journal wrote an article titled “Regulator Moves on Trading.” While it was very well written, it didn’t give any background information on why the CFTC is so behind on addressing electronic trading issues.
The CFTC has a long history of being late to the party on a majority of major issues, while being reactionary on issues that have cost hundreds of millions to the trading community. Unfortunately, in Washington many fingers are pointed and no one ever seems to be held accountable.
Since June, we have all either seen them, had them or worked alongside them. Interns, fresh from college and looking to gain experience and networking connections in the big city. But what did they really learn this summer?
Skybridge Capital’s Intern Class of 2013
My son and stepdaughter both interned this summer. My son’s internship started a few months ago, when his employer sent him books to study. He ended up reading four books on finance and woke up early to read five newspapers before commuting on the 6:50 train to New York. His paid internship was in the financial markets.
On the other hand, my stepdaughter’s public relations internship was unpaid (yes, unpaid. This was an intriguing topic between the two of them at the dinner table). She worked every day from 9 to 6 for a firm that was energetic and interesting to say the least.
When I lecture, I always ask investors what positions there are in trading. Most respond, “Long” or “Short.” A few understand that being flat is also a position. But what most don’t realize is that being flat can actually make you the most amount of money. It’s the only way to view the market at face value.
I have never met anyone who was long and felt the market was going down, or short and thought the market was going up. If they had, I would have asked why they stayed in their position if they felt the market was going against them. In today’s new world of electronic trading, cheap money, additional algorithms and funds, market moves are much more drastic. That’s why, under certain circumstances, being flat can be the best position to be in.
Whether you are new to investing or have been doing it for years, it’s time to realize that all types of investing markets have changed. This means it’s time to either reevaluate or understand what your risk appetite is.
Many people say they only invest what they are comfortable with losing. Unfortunately, many of my clients come to me after they have had a loss and realized that saying it, meaning it, and living it are very different things.
For years, we have all seen advertisements on TV and in the newspapers telling us to buy gold. We’ve been told that it is a safe investment. For the past 12 years, for the most part, it has been, depending on how deep your pockets are. However, we saw on Friday, April 12th, that gold, at any given moment, can turn and drop fast and hard – just like all markets. Continue reading →
The Martin B Greenberg Trading Room at Hofstra University
How to Start a Trading Career While in College.
We have all head stories of the guy or girl who said how they made their first fortune while trading in college. I happened to know one of these traders and, like all super stars in any field, they are part of the very small group.
If you want to start your trading career while still in college, this is how I would tell my own children to do it. Continue reading →
Former chairman and CEO of MF Global Jon Corzine testifies Dec. 15, 2011, during a Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. The committee found that Corzine personally ordered the transfer of customer funds to cover company losses. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
The trustee of bankrupt MF Global Inc. settled a dispute with J.P. Morgan March 19 that will see $546 million returned to customers. Some experts think the settlement helps to return client funds quickly while others think J.P. Morgan got off too easy.
James W. Giddens, Trustee for MF Global Inc. said, “This is a significant milestone in returning assets to former customers … ending what would have been a costly, protracted, and uncertain legal battle.” He also said that the settlement avoids yearlong delays in returning money to customers. Continue reading →
Trading Tip #12: Had a Bad Trade? Handle it Like a Bad Golf Shot. It is Your Fault. Deal With it Quickly and Always Move Forward.
One issue that holds back most new traders, and separates the good traders from the great traders, is the ability to move forward after a bad trade. How many times have you heard someone say, “I lost money the market when it went the wrong way. I should not have listened to my broker. This guy said the stock would go up I am so pissed I listened to him, I actually meant to be long”?
As a trader, you need to own your trades. No one has a gun to your head to put on a trade. It is nobody else’s fault if you lose money. When you are out talking to your friends about a good trade, do you then give credit to someone else? No, of course not. At those times, you are the superstar. Continue reading →