Best Startup Business Advice I have Heard in a While

I always read a few positive articles in the morning, regardless of what my day holds.  It reminds me that there are other successful people out there that started where I did.  I refuse to read any “regular” news anymore, talk about depressing.  This quote is from Forbes’s Christopher Steiner.  He is talking with Hamdi Ulukaya from Chobani Greek Yogurt about his rise from $0 to $700 million in four years. The full article is here.

CS: There are parallels and advice that’s valid to anybody growing a business, yogurt, tech or otherwise.  What are your main tenets to starting and growing something successfully?

Ulukaya: There are five main things I focus on:

No. 1:  Keep your product simple.  Know what you do and do it better than anybody.

No. 2:  Invest in your core.  For us, that’s our yogurt plant.  We have the biggest best plant in the U.S., maybe in the world.  We’ve invested $220 million in taking that plant from a capacity of 50,000 cases to 1.4 million.  It’s the backbone of what we do and we treat it that way.

No. 3:  When you market your business, know that can fool almost nobody anymore.  There is too much information available to anybody who wants it.  Be real.  People can tell—or easily find out—when you’re not.

No. 4:  Focus on profit.  I run my business like a mom and pop store.  Cash is everything.  Without it you can’t increase production and it’s hard to be innovative.

No. 5:  Lead as an example.  If you make yogurt, go to the plant.  Work with your people; if you want people to work on Sunday, be there next to them.

And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @bgin2end

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Thank You for the Unsolicited Advice OANDA.

This made me laugh.

I download the reports from OANDA for every month and quarter of my trading.  It is a really nice feature and details all of the $$’s and %’s in one easy to read format.  At the end of the PDF, I noticed something new.  A “Personalized Trading Feedback” letter.  I thought, “Great! Maybe they have something insightful to say!”  I was wrong.  Read the letter below…

Trading without Stop Loss/Trailing Stop

Your open positions do not have associated stop-loss limits. Failing to include stop-loss limits leaves unattended positions vulnerable to exchange rate fluctuations. For example, your trade #xxxxxxx58 (long xxxxxxx units of EUR/JPY) was open for over 4 days without stop-loss or trailing-stop limits and was eventually closed at a loss of 268 pips.

Using stop-loss limits enables you to limit losses to a tolerable amount by setting the maximum you are prepared to lose on a given trade. Trailing-stop orders allow trades to continue to gain in value when the market price moves in a favorable direction, but automatically closes the trade if the market price suddenly moves in an unfavorable direction by a specified distance.

When setting a stop level keep in mind that you should consider the volatility of the market otherwise your stop-loss order may trigger too early on short-term market swings. You can read more about trailing-stop orders at (link)

Adding to a Losing Position

In several instances you opened new trades in a pair in which you already had a losing open position. For example, on Apr 5, 2011 22:16 EDT you executed trade #xxxxxxx63 (short xxxxxxx units of EUR/USD) at 1.425910 while you already had an open EUR/USD short position of xxxxxxx units with an average unrealized loss of 191 pips per unit. The new trade you opened was later closed with a loss of 210 pips.

The practice of adding to a losing position (also known as averaging down) is controversial as this risks available margin. Even though the market may eventually turn around and the open position becomes profitable, this ties up capital and could lead to a margin call.

On the other hand, adding to a winning position (also known as averaging up) is a popular strategy because it ensures net worth of the position is rising as new trades are opened and market continues the momentum to move in trader’s favor. Of course traders must monitor the market continuously and close open positions before a trend reversal leads to an unacceptable loss.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for trading with OANDA.

Kind Regards, fxTrade Team

Don’t get me wrong; I love OANDA, however recently they have been difficult to work with via their customer service.   I didn’t know they were in the business of teaching traders or recommending strategies.

This year alone I have already put my account up 20% (click for verification) in the EUR/USD using the strategies they are telling me not to use.  I am not a conspiracy theorist but I do find it interesting that (in other reports) they advise the use of take profits and stop losses in your trading…hmmmm.  Makes you think.

Here is what I do that they don’t like.

  • I double my position if I am down over 100 pips (not arbitrarily, but at the next S or R area)
  • If my trade is in the negative, but not more than 100 pips down, I only add to my position what my last trade was.
  • If my trade is in the positive, @ +100 pips, I add half of my position.
  • I NEVER use defined stop losses or take profits. I use %’s and feeling to determine when to get out of a trade regardless of profit or loss.
  • I don’t let anyone tell me how to trade. I do it and I learn from it, good or bad.

Still here.

Still alive.  I moved (again.) Started a new job. Got a new puppy (almost a full-time job.) Remodeling our entire house. Way to close to launching a new business. Busy, just like the rest of you.

In case you are wondering, I am still VERY bearish on the Eur/Usd.  For many different reasons.  In fact, even more-so since my several posts in the recent past where I was selling.

FYI – The Philadelphia Union are in first place in the Eastern Conference…GO UUUUUNNIIIOOOOON… #doop

Keep it real. Keep it profitable. Keep it fun.

New Look

Well, if this is your first time here, welcome…you probably don’t notice anything different.  If you are returning, you’ll notice that this blog has a new look.

I had a spring cleaning/rearranging surge, kinda like when you were a kid and you moved your bed to the other side of the room…it just feels like a new room every time you walk in.  This change has given me a renewed excitement with writing about my trading, so hopefully I’ll do it more often.

On a different note – The Philadelphia Union play their second home match of the season.  The first one they won, however they have lost all of their away games putting them at 1-5-0 and the bottom of the power rankings.  If anyone is in Philly, I’ll be tailgating in the Wachovia Center parking lot out of the back of a big white F-150.  Stop by if you see me!

Busy Busy Busy…

Hello all of my faithful readers.

My deepest apologies for not keeping up with this blog, it has been a fun and exciting time in my life, but too busy to write on here.  I have started a NEW job, started 2 new businesses and have continued to trade for my clients; as you can see this blog is expendable.

I do have a series of posts that I have planned and you can count on about 1 post/week unless something crazy happens, in which case I will let you know.  In addition, I plan to do weekly trading plans (bare-bones and short) on Sunday nights as well as hanging out in my chat room for a few hours to talk about the upcoming week.

See you all soon.

New Career

If anyone is still out there that might stumble on this blog and read it, I want to let you know that I have started a new career.  I am no longer the owner of a sign company but now I am an Agent with New York Life.  I am proud of my new position and extremely excited at the idea of working with the top Company in this field.  To clarify, YES, I am a Life Insurance (oh noooo, the horrors!!!!) agent, but I want to make sure that people understand it is more than that.  I work in the 3 financial phases of life, protection, accumulation, and distribution.  I do sell life insurance, but it is a tool that helps in all three.  I can help people with protecting their family in the event of the death of the breadwinner, I can help a young family save money to buy a house, and I can help as people reach the retirement age with making sure they will never run out of money. My goal is to help as many people as I can.  The question becomes, can I help you? Please email me @ mdgoldsborough (at) gmail (dot) com.

As this blog continues to evolve, I will be posting still about trading and what I am doing in the markets, but mixed in here will be little financial tidbits that I hope will be of some use to my readers as they plan their financial futures.

As for my trading, it has taken a break due to the rigorous training program NYL has me going through, but it will pick up soon.  I did however take advantage of the Divergence on the E/U and rode it down for a bit…I still have a short in and will add to it as it moves against me.

 

 

Every New Day

If you’re wondering what the title of this post is from, it’s one of my favorite bands from when I was in high school.  The song is called “Every New Day” – click on the song title for the lyrics, I also recommend getting the song off i-Tunes.

Like I said in my previous post, a lot has changed.  My wife and I went from moving back to TN to staying up here for a bit longer, I have picked up painting along with running the sign company and trading, my wife finished her last clinical rotation and is now looking for her first Occupational Therapist job, and things with my mom are looking a little bit brighter.  Don’t get me wrong, her cancer is VERY bad, but the DR’s think that they can contain it and extend her life.

As for trading, I have become more consistent.  I am, very slowly, increasing my account size – my biggest problem is under capitalization, I am working on remedying that right away.  It amazes me how much confidence can be gained simply by being consistent – by sticking to the plan that you have written out.  I have a pretty detailed plan of how I trade and when I stick to it strictly, I am profitable, it’s when I go astray that leads me to losses.

A lot of you know that I pay attention to Support and Resistance lines and the Price action off of those areas.  I have actually stopped trading the 4H and Daily time frames due to the variance all the brokers have and when those bars open and close.  For instance – a Pinn bar on my feed can look great, but since someone on another feed has a different GMT then their bar closes 2 hours later and doesn’t see the same patterns that I do.  I have come to know a few things – everyone’s Hour ends at the same time – so PA off of that time frame looks the same in any part of the world on any feed (same goes for the 1/2 hour) – I mainly trade off of the 1 hour to 30 min charts – using the 1H’s for my S&R and the 30M for my PA and entries.  As for the longer term stuff what I do is based mainly on the weekly’s and the monthly’s – those time frames are so big, that a weekly bar that closes or opens an hour of 2 off of mine isn’t going to really effect the shape of the PA.  I also take into account the larger economic picture when trading longer term – more of a fundamental approach.

One big thing that I have learned from David over at VeriteFX.com is this statement – “The more things stay the same, the more they have to change.”  If you take that one point of view and really think about it, it’ll change the way you trade.  I know when I started writing this blog that I was a huge advocate of trend trading (and I STILL am), but to wait for a trend to develop and then jump in when it is confirmed is 1. a very difficult thing to do and 2. really only works on longer time frames.  On the shorter time frames, what you can see is a quick movement one way and then a correction back almost immediately…I urge you to check out fxiguidebook.com, this is the site that was moderated by the same guy who runs VeriteFX.com – brilliant man named David that has a very unique and effect method of trading.  Everything he does is for free and the community that he has put together over there is nothing short of spectacular.

I am working on a few different projects right now, but I am trying to keep up with this blog as best I can.  Thanks for sticking around and I’ll see you soon.