3 Reasons To Take Bitcoin Seriously

A lot of people are still inclined to dismiss Bitcoin as a fad or a non-factor in financial circles. Truth be told, those people will probably get by just fine. We’re still very far from a world where Bitcoin is a necessity in day-to-day transactions, and as a potential asset for investment it’s still just one of many options. In other words, there is no need to buy up Bitcoin, despite what some of the cryptocurrency’s most ardent proponents would have you believe.

But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea to get involved. Bitcoin has proven to have some staying power all over the world, and has the potential to be a lucrative resource. Here are three reasons to take it seriously in the coming years.

1. The Price Is Soaring

Back of November of 2013, Bitcoin reached an incredible peak in value, just under $1000. It was viewed by digital currency enthusiasts as a major validation of what they’d been arguing all along—that Bitcoin was valuable and that it would endure. But it crashed so quickly that just a month later an article in the Los Angeles Times asked Bitcoin supporters if they felt silly for buying in. In a matter of weeks it crashed from $979 to $638. By April of 2014 it was $421, and by early 2015 it was barely hovering above $200.

All that is to say that Bitcoin has spiked before. But the 2013 peak came out of nowhere and was quickly corrected. By contrast, Bitcoin has been rising steadily since that low point in 2015. Though it’s dropped off a bit in January, it started the year at an all-time high of $985. That doesn’t mean it will stay there, and it does mean, naturally, that buying up Bitcoin has become expensive. But the fact that it’s now trading at such soaring values, and that it returned to its 2013 peak, means it’s worth keeping an eye on.

2. It’s Not Like Other Alt-Currencies

We tend to view Bitcoin and subsequently developed cryptocurrencies like a unique phenomenon—some sort of technological revolt against traditional currency. The truth is that the idea of alternative currencies goes back hundreds of years. People have always come up with different ways of paying for goods and services and exchanging wealth. However, looking at the history of alternative currencies they’ve almost always fizzled out without causing any sort of major disruption.

This wouldn’t seem to bode well for Bitcoin. One thing to note though is that it’s not necessarily being looked at as an alternative currency by the bulk of users. Instead, many are beginning to treat Bitcoin like a commodity to be used for investing purposes. That could wind up giving it more staying power than some of its historical predecessors.

3. Practical Usage Is Up

Even if Bitcoin’s staying power is seemingly being boosted by its status as a commodity, it still helps for it to have practical utility. While a handful of major online retailers are among the most significant merchants to have adopted Bitcoin use, small businesses are an emerging market for the cryptocurrency as well. We’re beginning to see independent stores and restaurants allowing Bitcoin payments, which should put the currency in higher demand.

None of this is to say that it’s absolutely necessary to buy up Bitcoin, but as we head into 2017, it’s time to reject the narrative that it’s a flash in the pan. Bitcoin is at least worthy of our attention.

The Ins and Outs of the SEC’s Tick Pilot Program

Getting into the weeds with day trading can be fun for some, excruciatingly boring for others. For me and the traders at Warrior Trading, it is fascinating. All the little rules and loopholes and math that affect how money moves around the globe every day. It is really pretty crazy when you think about it.

There are a whole bunch of SEC rules and regulations that affect how much profit a day trader can make and how quickly he or she can make it. Understanding these rules requires quite a bit of reading and studying. But the payoff is great. It will give you insight into how markets works and how you can make money from day trading in those markets.

Let me tell you about tick size, for one thing. Basically, before April 2001, all stocks on the U.S. exchanges were traded in fractions of either ⅛ or 1/16. What that meant was that stocks trading at ⅛ spreads had a 12.5-cent spread, while those at 1/16 had a 6.25-cent spread. Not very conducive to computer trading. On April 9, 2001, all stocks above $1.00 began to trade with 1-cent increments. Which means that stocks that used to have 8 price points or 16 price points now had 100 different price points. Decimalization was upon us.

Not everyone was happy about it. Lots of market watchers and traders complained that the move forced people away from small-cap stocks to large-cap stocks and long-term holds because the spreads on small-cap stocks got so small.

What does that mean for today? Well, the SEC has picked 1200 stocks to participate in a tick pilot program, where in October 2016, all those stocks began trading at a minimum of 5-cent ticks. The spreads got a little bigger and the theory is that investment banks might get back into the game of actively making markets on these stocks, which would improve liquidity.

The first responses to the program have noted that it has reduced volatility in the small-cap markets. Which can be good for large investment banks that want to get involved, but, maybe not so good for day traders that make money off big daily movers in the markets.

To understand more detail about the tick pilot program and the 5 cent tick pilot, go to http://warriortrading.com/5-cent-tick-size-pilot-program/. It has a long history decimalization, the reactions to it at the time and the run-up in this decade to the SEC studying a tick pilot program and implementing a solution.

Financial Twitter Accounts You Should Be Following to Stay Updated On The Markets

Staying up to date on the financial markets is extremely difficult, even if it’s your full time job. Those of us who are part time investors face a continuous, uphill battle. There’s not enough time in the day to keep track of everything you need to know.

This is why the collective knowledge of the internet is essential in successful trading. There is no reason you need to do all the research. Others have done it for you. Thankfully, many experts use Twitter to share their knowledge.

You should be following these Twitter accounts to help keep pace with the ever changing financial world.

1. Int Money Transfers

Address: https://twitter.com/intmoneytrans

Website: http://internationalmoneytransfers.org

Description: International Money Transfers is a site focused solely on the exchange of foreign currency. Its Twitter account is filled with industry updates and market updates relating to this, as well as analysis and forecasts.

2. SEC_News

Address: https://twitter.com/SEC_News

Website: https://www.sec.gov

Description: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision is a government entity that aims to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation. Their Twitter account will keep you updated with rules and regulations, as well as reporting dodgy scams and schemes to stay away from.

3. David Buik

Address: https://twitter.com/truemagic68

Website: https://davidbuik.wordpress.com

Description: David Buik is a businessman and financial pundit for the BBC and other channels. He commentates for Panmure Gordon & Co on global financial issues. His Twitter feed shares his articles and brief updates, as well as retweeting important financial news.

4. Bank of England


Website: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk

Description: The official Bank of England website and Twitter account. They share banking news and important updates, as well as currency info and events. They also share the occasional interesting fact about the BoE.

5. ECB

Address: https://twitter.com/ecb

Website: http://www.ecb.europa.eu

Description: The European Central Bank’s official website and Twitter account. They share updates on the markets and economies around Europe, along with statistics and even the occasional job opening.

6. Hannah – money.co.uk

Address: https://twitter.com/moneycouk

Website: http://www.money.co.uk/

Description: Hannah aims to assist people who need help with money. She collates the best deals, whether credit cards or groceries. Her Twitter account shares reviews of products, updates on consumer issues, and advice on how to take advantage of the system.

7. DailyFX

Address: https://twitter.com/DailyFX

Website: https://www.dailyfx.com/

Description: DailyFX is committed to sharing information on the Forex market in particular. They describe themselves as “one of the world’s leading news sources for the currency trading community.” Their Twitter feed has constant updates on recent and predicted changes in the market.

8. Bloomberg Markets

Address: https://twitter.com/markets

Website: http://www.bloomberg.com/markets

Description: Market updates and news from the leading financial news source. They share all the news affecting the markets, posting regular updates on everything from stocks to foreign exchange.

9. World Economic Forum

Address: https://twitter.com/wef

Website: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/

Description: World Economic Forum is an international organisation for public private cooperation. The WEF Twitter account shares research, insight and analysis on global issues, as well as updates from their Annual Meetings.

10. Carl Icahn

Address: https://twitter.com/Carl_C_Icahn

Website: http://www.ielp.com/

Description: Carl Icahn of Icahn Enterprises L.P. claims to make money studying “natural stupidity” as opposed to artificial intelligence. He tweets his opinions on everything that affects the economy, from politics to big business dealings.

11. Northy

Address: https://twitter.com/NorthmanTrader

Website: https://northmantrader.com/

Description: Northy is a futures and options trader. He shares smart charts and observations to thousands of dedicated followers. If you want regular market analysis, send him a follow request. You need to be approved first!

12. Assad Tannous

Address: https://twitter.com/AsennaWealth

Website: http://asenna.com.au/

Description: The founder of Australian firm Asenna Capital tweets from this account. Tannous provides tips for traders, as well as advice on the type of person a successful trader needs to be.

13. Bullion Baron

Address: https://twitter.com/BullionBaron

Website: http://www.bullionbaron.com/

Description: The Bullion Baron provides updates and information on commodities trading. He tweets throughout the day, with much of the focus on gold in particular.

14. CNBC

Address: https://twitter.com/cnbc

Website: http://www.cnbc.com/

Description: The Twitter account of one of the top U.S. financial news sources delivers important news throughout the day. Much of it is, of course, U.S. based, but what happens in the U.S. economy affects all of us.

15. StockTwits

Address: https://twitter.com/stocktwits

Website: http://www.stocktwits.com/

Description: StockTwits is the largest social network of investors and traders, and you should be part of it. The shared knowledge of hundreds of thousands of followers brings new ways to beat the markets. They have a mobile app as well, for those interested.

16. WSJ Markets

Address: https://twitter.com/wsjmarkets

Website: http://www.wsj.com/news/markets

Description: You can’t go wrong with the Wall Street Journal. Their Twitter account is guaranteed to keep you up to date on all the recent news and analysis, as well as provide you with in-depth features on global markets and finance.

17. Investors.com

Address: https://twitter.com/ibdinvestors

Website: http://www.investors.com/

Description: Investor’s Business Daily is catered specifically to the individual investors. They provide information on powerful investing products and market education. The Twitter account shares informative articles and tutorials for investors of all levels.

18. Bespoke

Address: https://twitter.com/bespokeinvest

Website: https://www.bespokepremium.com

Description: Bespoke Investment Group is one of the most well-respected research firms on wall street. Its reports are easy to follow, and their Twitter feed keeps you constantly updated on what you need to know.

19. ForexLive

Address: https://twitter.com/ForexLive

Website: http://www.forexlive.com/

Description: ForexLive shares extremely quick updates, insights, and market movers. The Twitter account is an excellent way to stay informed in real time. They also have a great sense of humour.

20. Forex Peace Army

Address: https://twitter.com/ForexPeaceArmy_

Website: http://www.forexpeacearmy.com/

Description: Forex Peace Army does us all a great service by keeping a watch out for scams, and helping those affected resolve their problems. They also share Forex reviews, trading signals, and Expert Advisor tests.

Simple Lifehacks to Spending Less

Typically when it comes to financial advice you are told to create a budget, track spending, reduce unnecessary spending, and contributes more money to savings accounts.  Sure that is great, and each person should follow, but there are a few ways that you can cheat even further to save a little extra money in your wallet.

Keep Large Bills in your Wallet

You will be less inclined to part with large denominations of bills, making you think about making the purchase in order to break the bill.  When it comes to smaller bills, twenty dollars or less, you may think less about the aftermath of an empty wallet as you would spending the larger.

Reduce Cell Phone Data Plan

Not only will taking a GB or two off of your cell phone plan will save you money off your statement each month, but it will also keep you off surfing on your phone and leave you extra time to do other things around the house such as much needed cleaning, laundry, or taking the dog for a walk.  If anything, it will make you use the WI-FI more often, still saving off your cell phone plan.

Clear Browsing History When Booking Hotels and Airfare

Believe it or not the amount of searches for particular hotel or airfare on a specific day can generate an internet buzz if you will, causing fares to increase due to the demand that you are creating.  If you are going back to seek out new fares, make sure you clear your browser’s history so they do not see that it is you that keeps coming back to view.

Pay Attention to Your Thermostat

Programming your heating and cooling could save a substantial amount of money even shifting between a degree here and there.  If you are not home you can set the thermostat up during the summer to borderline warm, and in the winter almost too cold…adjust to comfortable temps while you are home and falling asleep.  Do not forget about trying to keep the windows open too!

Add Them Up!

If you do not believe that any significant money can be saved, try it and see the difference.  Compare your utility bills from a year ago to this upcoming year and see the savings, it may surprise you.  If you found great travel deals, brag to your friends!

Once you master the art of saving and not spending, then it’s time to actually do something useful with that money other than throwing it into a bank account that doesn’t earn any interest. If you can’t tell me, what does IRA stand for, then you should come back for my next post on putting your money to good use and preparing for retirement.