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

Address:https://twitter.com/bankofengland

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.

Working a Repayment of a Loan into a Tight Budget

Many people live paycheck to paycheck. If you fall into this category you know all too well the problems you can encounter when life throws an unexpected expense into an already tight budget. Often what goes hand-in-hand with this lifestyle is late or missed payments, which only helps to exasperate the situation. A sudden car failure or medical bill can really put you into a difficult and stressful place that’s hard to recover from.

When this happens you may turn to a family member or friend and try to borrow the amount with every intent of repayment in short order. However, despite your best efforts to keep your promise, many times this is just not possible. This can then create a strain on even a healthy relationship.

For the immediate future, you can look into applying for installment loans through an online lender like MaxLend. They provide personal cash loans and installment loans in amounts up to $1250 as an alternative option to payday lending. Key benefits include minimal eligibility requirements, fast-funding and flexible repayment. Qualified applicants must have a social security number, an active checking account, and a verifiable source of income.

Establishing a budget that works

Now that you have even more overhead it’s time to get your finances in order and get out of the paycheck to paycheck way of life. You may think that you cannot achieve financial stability, but even on a basic salary, there are many ways to reduce your expenses and save for a rainy day.

First, you must create a budget and stick to it. The second part is only hard in the beginning. You’ll find that once you get even just a few months into it, you will never want to turn back to your old ways of handling your bills.

If you own a home and you have equity you can try to refinance for a lower rate. This will do two things for you. One, it will give you a lump sum of money that you can use to pay down or pay off your debt and two, the lower interest rate will decrease the amount of your monthly obligation to the bank. Even if you’ve been late a couple of times you should still qualify.

If you do not own a home and you are renting, it may be time to look for another place to live. Reducing the rent by $200.00 or even just a $100.00 dollars a month can help you meet your financial obligations. Utilities, your cable bill and cell phone are also other areas that you can reduce. Turning off lights and changing bulbs over to energy-efficiency LED bulbs, raising the air conditioning and lowering the heat at night and switching to basic cable are just a few examples.

Reduce your debt

It happens – you take on a mortgage, need a new car and have children in school. Before you know it your debt is out of control. Make a list of your money expenses and then deduct it from your income. Hopefully, you have money left over. If this is the case greener pastures are just around the corner.

You can cut back on eating out, bring your lunch to work and use coupons to help give you get your debt down faster. If you have several credit cards with high balances refrain from using them. Start paying your credit cards off one by one, starting with the smallest credit line. This will help to reduce the interest and increase your credit score. If your income is less than your monthly expenses then you can try and take out a personal loan to consolidate your debt into one low monthly payment. If your credit score is poor then you can take on a second job to help reduce your bills.

Financial freedom

Living paycheck to paycheck is not a preferred way of life. Things happen and just one added expense can upset an already delicate system. By changing your view of money and reducing your debt, you’ll be able to open a savings account and then when the next crisis occurs you can resolve it without the need for assistance and without breaking the bank.