Swing Trading Strategies | 5 Powerful Strategies For
Swing Trading Strategies | 5 Powerful Strategies For
Swing Trading Strategy Guide | Ally
How to Trade with Margin and Rapidly Grow Your Account
Swing Trading Strategy Basics: Turning Small Gains Into
Swing Trading: Strategies For Becoming A Successful Swing
Do you mainly trade or hodl? Do you regret doing what you're doing?
I guess I'm wondering how many people here actively trade (chase pumps, swing trade, margin trade, etc.), and how many people just buy, hodl, buy the dips, and hodl. I'm mostly a hodler to avoid the risk of fucking up my stack, but it has lost tremendous sat value since September. I'm thinking of swing-trading the next big pump to double my stack by selling at the top... It's definitely very tempting. Ironically, if I just hedl my BTC, I'd be way up now. Are you a hodler or trader? Did you make more trading instead of hodling, and vice-versa?
Market Surveillance August 9: BTC Swings in and out of its wallets The OKEx margin trading goes wrong All markets eventually correct themselves
Exchange The exchange service is designed to create a regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets,” according to a person familiar with the matter said. What is coming up in the thrill, believing that it can be worth it for you. Given that, I am thinking I have been arbitraging USDT/USD prices for years and this is the largest drawdown in Bitcoin history.
WTF happened to this stock at 4 am? Institutional investor? I swing traded it and made huge gains on margin because the 9 different indicators I was looking at, across several different time charts, told me to hold overnight. Can someone ELI5 me that 4 am single-candle spike?
[uncensored-r/CryptoCurrency] Do you mainly trade or hodl? Do you regret doing what you're doing?
The following post by simplisticallysimple is being replicated because some comments within the post(but not the post itself) have been openly removed. The original post can be found(in censored form) at this link: np.reddit.com/ CryptoCurrency/comments/7guyv7 The original post's content was as follows:
I guess I'm wondering how many people here actively trade (chase pumps, swing trade, margin trade, etc.), and how many people just buy, hodl, buy the dips, and hodl. I'm mostly a hodler to avoid the risk of fucking up my stack, but it has lost tremendous sat value since September. I'm thinking of swing-trading the next big pump to double my stack by selling at the top... It's definitely very tempting. Ironically, if I just hedl my BTC, I'd be way up now. Are you a hodler or trader? Did you make more trading instead of hodling, and vice-versa?
Would you like to entertain yourself with a story about one of the greatest schemes in the history and, maybe, learn a few plays? This story is about three brave autistic brothers, who almost cornered the entire commodity and how one (not so brave, but shrewd) bank did it without anyone noticing. As in any good fable – there’s a moral and a strategy that you could draw from it. The year is 1971. Nixon temporarily abolishes gold standard. And every temporary government program is never reversed, as you know. Trading price of gold went sky high: from 270s to 800s in two years or so. Enter Hunt brothers, sons of H. L. Hunt, oil tycoon, one of, if not the, richest man in the world at that time. Hunt family was, what one might describe as, right-wing libertarian and anti-globalist. They believed that Keynesian economics and the US shift to the left in the 60s will lead to the debasement of the US dollar and monetary collapse. Thus, return to the gold or silver standard was the way, as they thought. Allegedly, Hunts also had a feud with Rothschild family and other financial speculators, and were resentful towards the US government for doing nothing to protect their oil assets in Libya, confiscated by Gaddafi. So they started their move against America, alpha-silver bug style. In 1973 Hunts began buying all the silver they could. And, instead of just speculating futures contracts, they actually took delivery. Initial price was $1.5/oz. Silver was shipped to Switzerland in secretive and costly operations and stored in vaults (brothers feared confiscations – remember, private citizens were still prohibited from owning gold in the US). The following events are quite vivid and include the efforts to create a cartel similar to OPEC, talks with Iran and Saudi monarchs, pump and dump publicity and large scale purchases of miners. But we will spare the details, except one: Hunts even tried to corner the soy market at the same time. Reminds you how WSB slv gang quickly switched to corn gang. But the soy scheme didn't fly and they focused on silver only. Their efforts pumped the price to almost $50/oz by early 1980. At some point Hunts controlled around 230 million oz of silver and the majority of what was traded. Hunt brothers laughing at your pump&dump effort Of course, when you are such a smart ass, you become a target. Chicago exchange officials became very concerned citizens by 1979. They started issuing numerous regulations limiting the amount of market share one can accumulate in one hands. As all American concerned citizens, they had financial incentive to do so: Hunts managed to prove that Chicago exchange board members had short positions against silver. Finally, CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) issued a ruling that basically forced Hunts to liquidate part of their portfolio by February 1980. This sent silver prices down dramatically and brothers started to get margin calls which they could not cover. And so their story ended with bankruptcies and heavy fines for the family. Shortly after, Reagan and Volcker raised interest rates and silver price never recovered to $50/oz ever since. We skip to the year 2008. Global financial crisis is in full swing. Bear Stearns is royally fucked, as due to all bears. Before the music was over, they mastered paper speculation of futures contracts like no one else. Bear Stearns accumulated world biggest naked short position on silver. What could go wrong? Stonks go up, silver goes down. Until it reversed and silver skyrocketed from $11 to $21. This became one of the margin calls to screw Bear Stearns. JP Morgan is asked by the FED and co. to buy out BS and to save the entire market. Since BS's shorts are now deeply down - JPM gets the whole bank with pennies on a dollar. But the problem is that JPM themselves have massive naked short position on silver. Combined with BS it will exceed anything permitted by the CFTC. Since Obama administration was in a rush, they push CFTC to grant JPM basically a carte blanche to accumulate any position over the limit for a period of time. Period of time comes due and turns out that JPM not only didn’t trim the shorts significantly – they even bought more shorts at some point. Even with all the fines, it went very much their way, because in 2009 silver dropped. So they pocketed hundreds of millions of dollars. But come 2011 and silver spiked again, dramatically. JPM, now bleeding cash on shorts, could close short positions, like any of us would do, right? Nope, fuckyall says JPM and starts hedging short futures positions with… physical silver. 'But wouldn’t that be even more control over the commodity?' - you might ask. See, nothing in the rules of CFTC says you can’t do that, because to help cronies speculate with paper futures contracts, made of thin air, CFTC basically started treating physical silver and futures as two different instruments (it’s, actually, even more complicated than that: google difference between physical, eligible, registered and so on). In the next 9 years JPM becomes the world biggest holder of both short contracts and physical silver. The later they 'loaned' to SLV trust, of which they are custodian. This way upkeep of physical silver, which otherwise would be a liability for hedging, becomes an asset, because we, retards, who own SLV pay the maintenance. People are often confused here, because SLV is issued by Black Rock, not JPM. Well, there is a difference between being an operator of a financial instrument and being a custodian providing backing. Now, to confuse you even more – JPM is one of the major holders of Black Rock itself with 1.6% or sth like that. By estimates of Theodore Butler, JPM acquired 900 million oz of physical silver since 2011. That’s 4 times more than what Hunts owned. Just shows you, that banks can get a pass with something that even the richest individuals can not. And you have to give it to JPM - their play was very clever. Instead of risking it all on a margin call, they make money on every turn. As of 2020, JPM still holds both shitton of physical silver and short COMEX contracts. You can call this the most epic straddle of all time. With such mass they can swing prices in any directions and profit from this on any given day. Latest example you’ve seen on the August 11th. Why am I bothering your poor gambling soul with this wall of text, you might ask? Market makers manipulate the market as they please, what’s new about that? Well, here we come to the conclusions and a strategy. How can a small retard replicate what the big boys are doing? Conclusions:
There will not be a linear up or down with silver and the swings might be dramatic. The reason being not only the sentiment of investors, but the ease of manipulation that is eligible to big players.
If we believe that speculation will throw the price of silver in all directions – it is unwise to go only long or short on silver, especially on a short term;
What shall we do? a) Only long expiration dates and calls; no weekly expiration, not even monthly. Ideally – at least half year options; b) Go long on certain silver stocks. Maybe I’ll do a write up on good silver stocks to buy; c) Sell covered calls on long positions; d) Buy 1-3 month puts on your long positions as a hedge; Now, day trade with those positions: on red days sell your puts and buy back covered calls. On green days – reload puts and sell calls. Repeat until lambo. P. S.: I gathered these facts from the open sources, since these events were of interest to me. Some facts are intentionally oversimplified, google for more details, there are good reads. And feel free to correct me if you know contradictory facts. P. P. S.: JPM, plz don’t whack me.
I was watching the market for 2 years. Never had money. I was there for Tesla and apple and many more but with no money..... but hey. I finally started trading in AUGUST....So I'm down like 30% on my portfolio and it sucks. Many here have further proven my claims that from March-June, it was a party for ya'll. And in typical 2020 fashion, I happen to show up when it's over. Just got out of $HMHC, lost over $50 of my $400 that was left.....
Margin Isn't Dangerous & Why I'd Still Use It If I Had Less Than $25,000
Cash vs. Margin
TL;DR- Use Margin if you're trading securities and either above or below 25k. If you know how to size positions, it won't matter if you move $4,000 into a trade or $4,000,000. As long as you sized the position correctly. If you're limited to 3 trades, then take 3 PERFECT trades: https://imgur.com/a/SpPOERQ I see lots of people discussing contrasting ideas although they attempt to justify using both. Here are some things I see said and written frequently from people that doesn't add up for me:
"Use a cash account to avoid PDT" - (Totally fine, in some cases such as certain options traders. Not if you're trading securities.)
"Risk 1% of your account" - (So if your account is at $25,500, I risk ~$255 and if I lose 2R I'm below PDT. Doesn't sound too great to me if I were to lose the first 2 straight trades.)
"Margin is a double-edged sword" - (It's only dangerous if you don't set hard stops or size your positions correctly.)
"Never take on a trade that is worth more than your account" - (I can agree if you were swing trading but in terms of IntraDay trading, this is hindering your ability to grow your account. If you're risking $100 on a trade that costs less than your account value.. then $25 on a trade because of your account value.. then you're adding unneeded variables. Remember: "Consistency.")
If I were to go back to when I was below $25,000 some years ago. I'd still use a margin account while being limited to 3 trades per week. Here's why:
Formulas you have to know: Position size formula = Risk ÷ Stop Size Stop Size Formula = Entry - StopLoss
Stock ABC, Entry = $10.00 StopLoss = $9.90 StopSize = 10¢ Risk = $100 In Live Trading: $100 ÷ $0.10 = 1000 Shares 1,000 shares at $10.00 = $10,000 position
Stock XYZ, Entry = $385 StopLoss = $383.00 StopSize = $2.00 Risk = $100 In Live Trading: $100 ÷ $2.00 = 50 Shares 50 shares at $385 = $19,250 position. *$10,000 CASH account: CANNOT trade Stock XYZ and must wait 3 days for his entire account to settle after trading Stock ABC. If it was a margin account, they'd still be able to take 2 more trades this week. *$10,000 MARGIN account: CAN trade Stock XYZ and can trade both scenarios while still able to trade 1 more time in a 5 day rolling period.
Then the next point made is, "Just won't trade anything above $20".
Ok. great rebuttal, but why? Let's remember this: StopSizes aren't always directly correlated to the price of a stock. YES you're more likely to have a wider StopSize on a higher priced stock and a tighter StopSize on a lower priced stock. But remember this: 1¢ of slippage on 1,000 shares is 10% of his risk ($10)... It will be even more slippage if his stop loss market order is hit. Even a Sell-StopLimit order will have slippage within the amount you allow for when you enter a position. Stock XYZ would have to be slipped 20¢ just to equate the amount of slippage on Stock ABC.Highly liquid and available stocks such as AAPL, AMD, NVDA etc don't have 20¢ spreads. Not even 10¢. Rarely 5¢. Most of the time. Just a couple cents. Of course there could be more right out of the open but the spread in my years of experience is tightened within 2 minutes of the open. Yes, these small amounts in pennies do hold lots of merit if you're looking at having any longevity in this business, it WILL add up over the years.
Both trades have the same risk [in perfect world theory].
If both stop market orders were hit (StopLoss). Both traders would exit with a $100 loss on each. Although 1 trade required $10,000 in capital and the other trade required $19,250 in capital. Use margin. If I had to go back to when I had less than $25,000 in my account, I'd still do it the same way I did it with margin. I highly suggest using margin even if you’re limited to 3 trades per week. I get asked all the time when I began trading. If you watched my last video, I showed my first ever deposit with Scottrade (Old brokerage that was bought out by TDA a few years ago) in 2015 although I don't consider that's when I started trading because I didn't treat it the way I do today. I really consider myself starting as a trader in 2017 when I: •Wrote a business plan •Understood statistics •How to research. All this being said, slowly over time I noticed that I am taking less and less trades and increasing my risk size. Why? EV: Expected Value. - Margin has zero negative effect if you're sizing your positions the same every time. Margin allows you to take on more expensive positions that are showing your edge. Bonus: Being limited to 3 trades a week isn't fun, I remember that feeling from years ago. Just remember to take 3 perfect trades a week. Sometimes "Perfect Trades" don't work out in your favor while some subpar situations hit target. Some weeks you might take your 3 "Perfect Trades" by Tuesday. Some weeks you might take only 1 "perfect trade". If you follow my watchlists on Twitter (Same handle as my Reddit), I keep my Day Trading Buying Power transparent. Not always is it growing perfectly linear. And not always am I posting every single day because sometimes, my edge isn't there. Just because the market is open doesn't mean you HAVE to trade. My watchlists aren't littered with 15+ tickers. Rarely do they have more than 7. That may work for other traders, but for me, I demand quality. It's either there or it isn't. No reason to force a trade. I'd rather focus heavily on a few tickers rather than spread myself thin across multiple. Trading isn't supposed to be exhilarating or an adrenaline rush. It can be boring. I said that in the post I wrote back in April. Also if you make money, even if its just $20 in a month. Take that money out and buy something. Shrine it. Cherish it. You ripped that money out of WallStreet. Be proud of it. It takes a lot of courage to do this business. Realize that the P/L is real money. Sometimes even just buying a tank of gas or a book will help you realize that. Spend it from time to time. Get something out of your trading account. You may or not be trading for long, get something that is tangible to always remember the experience in case you don't last. Make it your trophy. That's all I've got for right now. Maybe I'll make another post or 2 before the year ends. I hit my 1 year full-time mark in September. Best wishes! -CJT2013
So, I said I would write a post on this, here it is. The title was partly to get you interested and partly a little cheeky throwback to the bad old days when u/plucky26 went off meds… Anyhow, this is a longish post about FA and TA so scroll to the TLDR if reading isn’t your thing, or ignore it. Or if you know more about it than me put a comment in… FA: FA attempts to measure the intrinsic/inherent value of a stonk. You can do this a lot of ways but what your working out is whether the SP represents undeover value or fair value. A lot goes into FA, but if you want a basic cheat sheet then here it is: - What does the company do?
Who runs the company?
What direction are they heading?
Where have they come from?
How do they stack up against the competition?
What are the other economic/social/political factors that impact their future?
These are the 6 basic questions you need to answer when trying to arrive at a conclusion. So, how do we get answers? Reading mutha fuckers, reading…… You need to read and understand the product. That’s the answer to question 1. What do these fucks actually do, does anyone care, doe they make tendies? The answer to question 2 is probably the most undervalued thing in FA IMHO. People, more than products, leave a legacy they transport form place to place. DO NOT DISREGARD THIS STEP… If old mate is about to get bent over by the Feds for embezzlement, or his wife’s BF has filed a claim against him for watching them through the window, or if he has bankrupted the last 6 places he went then this will impact the SP once its out. Working out where they are heading runs parallel to the SP more than you might think. The market, in a broader context, is future based. There isn’t a shortcut around this step, its reading, reading reading bitches…. Although Stonk history tells you a story, its more useful for seeing what they have come up against in the past and how the SP reacted to it. What made it Dip, what made it rocket? What is the ROI? And more, all this historical shit gives you a template but not a guaranteed direction. Question 5 and 6 are where you start to delve into the nuts and bolts. P/E ratio’s, cash runways, market index rankings per sector and all the snooze button shit that hides the details. Im not going to describe what all this is, DR Google is smarter than me and I’m a few stubbies in already so I might lose track of what the fuck I am saying. Here is a great link https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/fundamentalanalysis.asp At the heart of FA is whether you believe the narrative the numbers and words tell you. IMHO if your only interested in FA, then avoid micro caps. 0.03c - 0.05c SP and a $300 -$500 SP is the same % difference but a world apart in the ability of a Stonk to fluctuate under their market cap and FA just doesn’t give you the type of info you need to accurately make a profit within those margins on micros. (Happy to be proven wrong on this if you think otherwise.) That’s fucking great pal you might say, but fast forward to the part where it gets me on the rocket ship before it blasts off…. Ok, well here is a clue. If you have read this far and your already impatient or scrolling down to the TLDR, FA might not be your particular brand of vodka. So lets get into the occult, the witchcraft that is TA…. TA: Being technically anal is actually easier than you might think. TA is about trends, historical data and volumes. Sure its about more shit than that but it also kind of isn’t. Its basically saying this stonk already has a template and I can predict where it will go next if I understand that template. When stonk go up, what does the chart look like? When stonk go down, what does chart look like? Yes, it involves funny squiggly lines and colors. You’ll also come across all sort of stuff like golden (showers) crosses, cups and handles, head and shoulders, descending triangles and other weird phrases but all they are really doing is describing a pattern. And patterns are predictable once you can see them. I am tempted to get super into these patterns, but this post is already long so here is a link: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/technical-analysis-of-stocks-and-trends.asp#:~:text=Technical%20analysis%20is%20the%20study,data%2C%20including%20price%20and%20volume.&text=The%20two%20most%20common%20forms,needed%20to%20make%20a%20profit. If you a commsex user, then send a tendie to chief Tom because as an avid reader of ASX_Bets he has clearly been up to the R&D spooks over there and told them to improve the graphs on the app. You can’t do the super technical stuff, but go backwards over any of last weeks rockets (CRO, HYD and some of the smaller cap ones) and go to the 1 day, 5 day and 1 month graphs respectively. Click on the chart style indicator (the funny line that looks like the ‘Stonks only go up symbol’) and change it to candlesticks. This gives you indicative buy/sell data in pretty colors so its easier to work out. Then look at the uppelower indicators, you can change it to show you volume, price tracking lines, Bollinger etc.. Have I lost you yet? That’s ok… Zoom out the 3 month charts with the same settings and OMG, a pattern emerges…. Zoom out again to 6 months, another pattern… Zoom back in, heres that funny old pattern again… But wait you say, this stonk keeps hitting a certain point on the graph, then those red columns get huge and it stays there or bounces down again. Hello resistance line, hello seller volume, hello traders with pre determined exit points. These guys are not super interested in the FA or the intrinsic value of a long term hold, they are interested in making the 5/10/15% what-the-fuck-ever percent and bouncing out. Hold the fuck on, when it hits a different level those green dildo’s start popping out in the bottom graph and it stays there for a bit then heads up again…. Aloha support level… Just go look at Zippy with the above parameters on commsex app, youll see exactly what short sellers, swing traders and the like see…. Fair warning: going backwards on the app helps you to recognize patterns but to do the proper witchcraft TA you need the proper tools and programs Yes matey you’ll be saying again, very interesting but how the fuck does this get me on the rocket ship before blast off? Well IMHO, there are 3 ways to board the rocket. 1: You have a mate who tells you or they post it somewhere. 2: You jump on after blast off and play the gambling game, freaking out when it dips and missing all your sweet tendies or pretending diamond hands are the only way and watching it dump then losing all your tendies, or bag holding forever. Or you get lucky and pop out at a high, but TBH your really only gambling (someone please comment ‘Sir, this is a casino, I love that shit 😊) 3: You do both of these methods.
FA alerts you to the stonk. You do the reading and think it’s a winner.
-TA sets your entry point so you board before take off and exit before crash landing.
FA helps you determine whether it’s a good hold as its got the legs to break multiple resistance levels over time
TA helps you recognize the famous P&D and set an exit point to bail before you become the proud owner of a piece of shit.
Both methods have their role. Yes you can use OBV and Fibbo numners to scan for potential like I do sometimes, but that’s a whole other spectrum of TA and its already past bedtime. FA IMHO is better generally for Mid/Large cap because they are generally less volatile and FA has seasons where its super useful (Earnings months etc…) TA is better for bouncy bounce plays on micros and mid/large. But don’t go neglecting either at any time, TA tells you things the FA misses and vice versa. You can always subscribe to a service that does this for you. Intellegent investor is good-ish, so is wallet investor. Motley fuckwit has some ok picks sometimes but gets the fuckin dick from me because they just don’t stop with the fucking propaganda…. Disclosure: Generally the posts on here do ok, but you gotta know when to get off… Unless your planning to holder forever like uncle Wazza, but that just doesn’t seem to be the vibe here… For what its worth , (before you all tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about) I have posted about 3 stonks on here in the last few months. (admittedly I shit-post a lot too…) AFG, which went up 18% 2 days after the post, then dumped and has dribbled ever since but if you’re a long holder you’ll do OK and… EDIT: up another 3.19% after this post... ICU, which is a micro and went up 15.5% the day after the post. Both were the result of FA/TA combination and both delivered tendies of the succulent variety. EDIT: ICU went up a further 52% 2 days since posting then retraced a touch... OPY which went from an open of 3.14 up to a high of 4.80 the next day, a 52.8% raise then leveled out around the 3.70’s EDIT: up another 13.7% since this post... Sorry about the long post, I got finished washing the wifes BF’s car early and he let me have the WIFI password… TLDR: Gamble if you want or learn some shit and make tendies… Edit: some really good comments below. I have made far more $$ by choosing good Stonks and holding them over the years than I have ever made day trading. FA is my primary method for choosing and accounts for probably 75% of my decision making and TA fills the gaps to help maximize profit making.
My misery can now be your gain - Quick tips from my options trading
Hi Fellow Autists, I've been trading options (badly) for a few months now and figured I'd put down some of the things I've learned. I've lost a lot of damn money because I didn't know enough but now I've managed to find some stuff that have helped me stop losing money.
Indicators - I thought I could just fly the market by my "gut" feelings and win. This... is... BULLSHIT. Math is > than your stupid feelings / gut. Get over yourself and your feelings and start using the math that has decades of work behind it. They've already done all the hard work you just have to turn them on and learn what they mean. The biggest indicators I've found that help me are:
MACD - This is your best damn friend on determining Up / Down swings in a stock. Use this across different charts (1 min, 5 min, 10 min etc) to see which direction a stock is moving. See more here: https://school.stockcharts.com/doku.php?id=technical_indicators:moving_average_convergence_divergence_macd tl;dr - If the 2 lines cross that means the stock is shifting direction in the time interval you have selected. (Do NOT just depend on the 1 min chart unless you're day trading) Bollinger Bands - This will overlay a "blob" over your chart that shows a moving "Resistance / Support" window for the stock. If a candle on the chart pops out of the bubble in a direction that may indicate the stock will move in that direction. There are a number of different known "patterns" for the BB that you can watch for that can signal a specific shift in the stock. See more here: https://school.stockcharts.com/doku.php?id=technical_indicators:bollinger_bands Quick BB Patterns chart - https://i.redd.it/u7pxhg28lszy.png RSI - Here if a stock is ~70 and the end of the chart is pointing down the stock should start heading down. If it is at ~30 and the end of the chart starts pointing up the stock should start heading up. Use all of these together to help determine up / down trends
200%+ Gainz GTFO - I know this is going to be a hard one for most of the people on this board and you may be able to get more out of something if you are using the aforementioned indicators above and do not see an upswing / downswing in any of them. In any other case or a change in direction is indicated GET THE FUCK OUT NOW YOU DUMB ASS SELL SELL SELLLLLLL. There have been a number of times where I was up 250% on an option and didn't sell because "THERE IS MORE TO GO". There is (usually) only so far up / down a stock price can go in a day. So if you get to those kinds of gains either sell part of your lot to lock in some of the gains or sell them all. No matter what FUCKING SELL SOME OF THEM so when the rest crashes into the dirt you can at least buy yourself some tissues with the profits you made selling 1 of your 100 (now worthless) options.
DO NOT FIGHT THE TREND - This was another really difficult item for me as (mentally) I've been a hardcore 🌈 🐻since the whole virus thing started. Why? Because it makes sense, logically speaking since the whole country is seemingly burning down around us, but as we all know with JPOW and his damn printer the market makes NO FUCKING SENSE. The sooner you learn this the sooner you'll start making money and stop cursing the shitty FED and their shitty money printer. If the market is moving in a direction GO WITH IT. Use the indicators above to help determine direction. If you keep fighting in the opposite direction you're just going to get broke.
HEDGE YOUR BETS - I think this is definitely the hardest for most folks on here to grasp but you should learn it and learn it well as this is the best way to save your ass from massive losses. This involves different options strategies like Spreads (Verticals), Condors etc. If you are selling options you NEED a credit spread to protect yourself from huge jumps in the wrong direction. (Once again fuck you TWLO) If you are buying options you can do a debit spread to lower the cost of the options you are buying.
DO NOT BREAK Credit Spreads / Verticals - This is where I learned shit the hard way. If you are doing credit spreads DO NOT EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER (Did I mention ever?) BREAK THE FUCKING SPREAD. I don't give a shit what kind of voodoo magic bullshit you have conjured up in your head to give you a reason to sell one leg of the spread DO NOT FUCKING DO IT. The second half of a credit spread is there to protect you from miserable shitty soul ending losses. It also limits the margin requirements needed to sell / buy the spread. So if you break the spread you open yourself up to massive losses and instantly much higher margin requirements.
tl;dr - DO NOT FUCKING BREAK THE SPREAD!
Avoid buying options on Friday - This mainly depends on the expiration date of the options you are buying but this is WSB so no one is buying long dated options right? You have two days to lose option value. No matter what you have 2 days of no trading where your option price will decay. Two days for bad / good news to impact your option prices. This can be good or bad, but still adds a large window to lose money if it swings the opposite direction.
Daytrading - If you still have your 3 free day trades or are lucky enough to be flagged as a PDT (Pattern Day Trader) I have found that the most volatility in a stock occurs in the first few hours of open. What I mean by this is that the stock should have it's highest swing high or low within those few hours. In other words, if you buy in, in the direction the stock is going at open you should get out within those first few hours as that is where you will make the most money and have the lowest chance of loss. The rest of the day doesn't seem to move nearly as much (albeit with some variations due to big news alerts etc).
Prices only move so much up / down in a day - This links up (more) with DayTrading but still applies to everything else. Like most of the people in WSB I started off super fucking greedy and kept expecting my option buys to shoot to the moon for 100001234123% gainz. This of course never materialized because this is the real fucking world where that doesn't happen every day on every stock. Generally speaking this applies 99.9999% of the time. The only time this doesn't apply is when soul crushing news happens that murders a stocks price or sends it to the moon (Fuck you TWLO, you know what you did). So if you made a shit load on an option sell that shit!.
tl;dr - Price only moves so much in a day, get gains GTFO.
Fed Repo Schedule - One last item that I found recently is the Repo schedule for the Fed. Whatever you do, do not be a 🌈 🐻 on the week when the fed has a double repo (Overnight and daytime repo). I've gotten hit in the nuts two different times because I didn't know the schedule. The next schedule releases on 7/13. So once it goes live you'll know what days / weeks to avoid. See here:
You may have heard about off-shore tax havens of questionable legality where wealthy people invest their money in legal "grey zones" and don't pay any tax, as featured for example, in Netflix's drama, The Laundromat. The reality is that the Government of Canada offers 100% tax-free investing throughout your life, with unlimited withdrawals of your contributions and profits, and no limits on how much you can make tax-free. There is also nothing to report to the Canada Revenue Agency. Although Britain has a comparable program, Canada is the only country in the world that offers tax-free investing with this level of power and flexibility. Thank you fellow Redditors for the wonderful Gold Award and Today I Learned Award! (Unrelated but Important Note: I put a link at the bottom for my margin account explainer. Many people are interested in margin trading but don't understand the math behind margin accounts and cannot find an explanation. If you want to do margin, but don't know how, click on the link.) As a Gen-Xer, I wrote this post with Millennials in mind, many of whom are getting interested in investing in ETFs, individual stocks, and also my personal favourite, options. Your generation is uniquely positioned to take advantage of this extremely powerful program at a relatively young age. But whether you're in your 20's or your 90's, read on! Are TFSAs important? In 2020 Canadians have almost 1 trillion dollars saved up in their TFSAs, so if that doesn't prove that pennies add up to dollars, I don't know what does. The TFSA truly is the Great Canadian Tax Shelter. I will periodically be checking this and adding issues as they arise, to this post. I really appreciate that people are finding this useful. As this post is now fairly complete from a basic mechanics point of view, and some questions are already answered in this post, please be advised that at this stage I cannot respond to questions that are already covered here. If I do not respond to your post, check this post as I may have added the answer to the FAQs at the bottom.
How to Invest in Stocks
A lot of people get really excited - for good reason - when they discover that the TFSA allows you to invest in stocks, tax free. I get questions about which stocks to buy. I have made some comments about that throughout this post, however; I can't comprehensively answer that question. Having said that, though, if you're interested in picking your own stocks and want to learn how, I recommmend starting with the following videos: The first is by Peter Lynch, a famous American investor in the 80's who wrote some well-respected books for the general public, like "One Up on Wall Street." The advice he gives is always valid, always works, and that never changes, even with 2020's technology, companies and AI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRMpgaBv-U4&t=2256s The second is a recording of a university lecture given by investment legend Warren Buffett, who expounds on the same principles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MHIcabnjrA Please note that I have no connection to whomever posted the videos.
TFSAs were introduced in 2009 by Stephen Harper's government, to encourage Canadians to save. The effect of the TFSA is that ordinary Canadians don't pay any income or capital gains tax on their securities investments. Initial uptake was slow as the contribution rules take some getting used to, but over time the program became a smash hit with Canadians. There are about 20 million Canadians with TFSAs, so the uptake is about 70%- 80% (as you have to be the age of majority in your province/territory to open a TFSA).
Eligibility to Open a TFSA
You must be a Canadian resident with a valid Social Insurance Number to open a TFSA. You must be at the voting age in the province in which you reside in order to open a TFSA, however contribution room begins to accumulate from the year in which you turned 18. You do not have to file a tax return to open a TFSA. You do not need to be a Canadian citizen to open and contribute to a TFSA. No minimum balance is required to open a TFSA.
Where you Can Open a TFSA
There are hundreds of financial institutions in Canada that offer the TFSA. There is only one kind of TFSA; however, different institutions offer a different range of financial products. Here are some examples:
The Canadian big 5 bank branches and most other financial institutions offer a TFSA that allows you to buy mutual funds, hold cash, GICs, term deposits, and possibly ETFs. This is a good choice if you want guaranteed returns or diversified investing.
There are a number of on-line banks such as Tangerine, Simplii Financial, Oaken Financial, and many more that offer the TFSA.
The discount DIY brokerage arms of the big 5 banks give you more choices, including stocks, warrants, bonds and options. There are also standalone brokers like IBKR Canada, Questrade, Qtrade, and Virtual Brokers, among others, that offer this.
Some brokerages and financial advisors also offer TFSAs that give you these investment choices, in different formats such as:
Traditional brokerage, where a stockbroker invests your money (BMO Nesbitt Burns, RBC Dominion Securities and others)
Financial advisor who will invest your money according to a plan you put together with the advisor (TSI Network and many others)
"Robo" advisors such as Wealthsimple, RBC InvestEase, BMO SmartFolio, or Wealthbar
BMO's AdviceDirect, which is a semi-directed hybrid between standalone DIY investing and fully-advised investing, where you operate on a DIY basis but have access to a registered investment advisor (a live person) who can give you suggetions and advice.
Your TFSA may be covered by either CIFP or CDIC insuranceor both. Ask your bank or broker for details.
What You Can Trade and Invest In
You can trade the following:
GICS, mutual funds, term deposits
individual common and preferred stocks listed on an "approved exchange" which is the TSX, TSX-V, NASDAQ, NYSE, and about 20 other exchanges worldwide, but not the US OTC pink sheets. Many examples, such as Suncor, Linamar, Apple, any of the big banks, and many thousands of others, when you want to buy into an individual company
stock-like securities like REITS, ETFs and ETNs, including 2x and 3x leveraged
gold and silver certificates
cash of many countries (CAD/USD/EUGBP/AUD/NZD/JPY/CHF and many others)
government bills and bonds of most countries, subsovereigns like Canadian provincial bills and bonds, and most corporations
options that trade on the Montreal Exchange or various options exchanges in the USA and the rest of the word (see FAQ for details)
gold, silver bullion certificates
shares in certain private companies -- but consult your tax advisor on this
What You Cannot Trade
You cannot trade:
commodity futures contracts
option spread positions (see FAQ for details)
anything that requires a margin account, meaning, a special kind of account that allows you to borrow money directly from the broker against the assets you have in your account and the assets you intend to buy.
crypto (although there exist crypto ETNs that you can buy)
Again, if it requires a margin account, it's out. You cannot buy on margin in a TFSA. Nothing stopping you from borrowing money from other sources as long as you stay within your contribution limits, but you can't trade on margin in a TFSA. You can of course trade long puts and calls which give you leverage.
Rules for Contribution Room
Starting at 18 you get a certain amount of contribution room. According to the CRA: You will accumulate TFSA contribution room for each year even if you do not file an Income Tax and Benefit Return or open a TFSA. The annual TFSA dollar limit for the years 2009 to2012 was $5,000. The annual TFSA dollar limit for the years 2013 and 2014 was $5,500. The annual TFSA dollar limit for the year 2015 was $10,000. The annual TFSA dollar limit for the years 2016 to 2018 was $5,500. The annual TFSA dollar limit for the year 2019 is $6,000. The TFSA annual room limit will be indexed to inflation and rounded to the nearest $500. Investment income earned by, and changes in the value of TFSA investments will not affect your TFSA contribution room for the current or future years. https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/tax-free-savings-account/contributions.html If you don't use the room, it accumulates indefinitely. Trades you make in a TFSA are truly tax free. But you cannot claim the dividend tax credit and you cannot claim losses in a TFSA against capital gains whether inside or outside of the TFSA. So do make money and don't lose money in a TFSA. You are stuck with the 15% withholding tax on U.S. dividend distributions unlike the RRSP, due to U.S. tax rules, but you do not pay any capital gains on sale of U.S. shares. You can withdraw *both* contributions *and* capital gains, no matter how much, at any time, without penalty. The amount of the withdrawal (contributions+gains) converts into contribution room in the *next* calendar year. So if you put the withdrawn funds back in the same calendar year you take them out, that burns up your total accumulated contribution room to the extent of the amount that you re-contribute in the same calendar year.
E.g. Say you turned 18 in 2016 in Alberta where the age of majority is 18. It is now sometime in 2020. You have never contributed to a TFSA. You now have $5,500+$5,500+$5,500+$6,000+$6,000 = $28,500 of room in 2020. In 2020 you manage to put $20,000 in to your TFSA and you buy Canadian Megacorp common shares. You now have $8,500 of room remaining in 2020. Sometime in 2021 - it doesn't matter when in 2021 - your shares go to $100K due to the success of the Canadian Megacorp. You also have $6,000 worth of room for 2021 as set by the government. You therefore have $8,500 carried over from 2020+$6,000 = $14,500 of room in 2021. In 2021 you sell the shares and pull out the $100K. This amount is tax-free and does not even have to be reported. You can do whatever you want with it. But: if you put it back in 2021 you will over-contribute by $100,000 - $14,500 = $85,500 and incur a penalty. But if you wait until 2022 you will have $14,500 unused contribution room carried forward from 2021, another $6,000 for 2022, and $100,000 carried forward from the withdrawal 2021, so in 2022 you will have $14,500+$6,000+$100,000 = $120,500 of contribution room. This means that if you choose, you can put the $100,000 back in in 2022 tax-free and still have $20,500 left over. If you do not put the money back in 2021, then in 2022 you will have $120,500+$6,000 = $126,500 of contribution room. There is no age limit on how old you can be to contribute, no limit on how much money you can make in the TFSA, and if you do not use the room it keeps carrying forward forever. Just remember the following formula: This year's contribution room = (A) unused contribution room carried forward from last year + (B) contribution room provided by the government for this year + (C) total withdrawals from last year. EXAMPLE 1: Say in 2020 you never contributed to a TFSA but you were 18 in 2009. You have $69,500 of unused room (see above) in 2020 which accumulated from 2009-2020. In 2020 you contribute $50,000, leaving $19,500 contribution room unused for 2020. You buy $50,000 worth of stock. The next day, also in 2020, the stock doubles and it's worth $100,000. Also in 2020 you sell the stock and withdraw $100,000, tax-free. You continue to trade stocks within your TFSA, and hopefully grow your TFSA in 2020, but you make no further contributions or withdrawals in 2020. The question is, How much room will you have in 2021? Answer: In the year 2021, the following applies: (A) Unused contribution room carried forward from last year, 2020: $19,500 (B) Contribution room provided by government for this year, 2021: $6,000 (C) Total withdrawals from last year, 2020: $100,000 Total contribution room for 2021 = $19,500+6,000+100,000 = $125,500. EXAMPLE 2: Say between 2020 and 2021 you decided to buy a tax-free car (well you're still stuck with the GST/PST/HST/QST but you get the picture) so you went to the dealer and spent $25,000 of the $100,000 you withdrew in 2020. You now have a car and $75,000 still burning a hole in your pocket. Say in early 2021 you re-contribute the $75,000 you still have left over, to your TFSA. However, in mid-2021 you suddenly need $75,000 because of an emergency so you pull the $75,000 back out. But then a few weeks later, it turns out that for whatever reason you don't need it after all so you decide to put the $75,000 back into the TFSA, also in 2021. You continue to trade inside your TFSA but make no further withdrawals or contributions. How much room will you have in 2022? Answer: In the year 2022, the following applies: (A) Unused contribution room carried forward from last year, 2021: $125,500 - $75,000 - $75,000 = -$24,500. Already you have a problem. You have over-contributed in 2021. You will be assessed a penalty on the over-contribution! (penalty = 1% a month). But if you waited until 2022 to re-contribute the $75,000 you pulled out for the emergency..... In the year 2022, the following would apply: (A) Unused contribution room carried forward from last year, 2021: $125,500 -$75,000 =$50,500. (B) Contribution room provided by government for this year, 2022: $6,000 (C) Total withdrawals from last year, 2020: $75,000 Total contribution room for 2022 = $50,500 + $6,000 + $75,000 = $131,500. ...And...re-contributing that $75,000 that was left over from your 2021 emergency that didn't materialize, you still have $131,500-$75,000 = $56,500 of contribution room left in 2022. For a more comprehensive discussion, please see the CRA info link below.
FAQs That Have Arisen in the Discussion and Other Potential Questions:
Equity and ETF/ETN Options in a TFSA: can I get leverage? Yes. You can buy puts and calls in your TFSA and you only need to have the cash to pay the premium and broker commissions. Example: if XYZ is trading at $70, and you want to buy the $90 call with 6 months to expiration, and the call is trading at $2.50, you only need to have $250 in your account, per option contract, and if you are dealing with BMO IL for example you need $9.95 + $1.25/contract which is what they charge in commission. Of course, any profits on closing your position are tax-free. You only need the full value of the strike in your account if you want to exercise your option instead of selling it. Please note: this is not meant to be an options tutorial; see the Montreal Exchange's Equity Options Reference Manual if you have questions on how options work.
Equity and ETF/ETN Options in a TFSA: what is ok and not ok? Long puts and calls are allowed. Covered calls are allowed, but cash-secured puts are not allowed. All other option trades are also not allowed. Basically the rule is, if the trade is not a covered call and it either requires being short an option or short the stock, you can't do it in a TFSA.
Live in a province where the voting age is 19 so I can't open a TFSA until I'm 19, when does my contribution room begin? Your contribution room begins to accumulate at 18, so if you live in province where the age of majority is 19, you'll get the room carried forward from the year you turned 18.
If I turn 18 on December 31, do I get the contribution room just for that day or for the whole year? The whole year.
Do commissions paid on share transactions count as withdrawals? Unfortunately, no. If you contribute $2,000 cash and you buy $1,975 worth of stock and pay $25 in commission, the $25 does not count as a withdrawal. It is the same as if you lost money in the TFSA.
How much room do I have? If your broker records are complete, you can do a spreadsheet. The other thing you can do is call the CRA and they will tell you.
TFSATFSA direct transfer from one institution to another: this has no impact on your contributions or withdrawals as it counts as neither.
More than 1 TFSA: you can have as many as you want but your total contribution room does not increase or decrease depending on how many accounts you have.
Withdrawals that convert into contribution room in the next year. Do they carry forward indefinitely if not used in the next year? Answer :yes.
Do I have to declare my profits, withdrawals and contributions? No. Your bank or broker interfaces directly with the CRA on this. There are no declarations to make.
Risky investments - smart? In a TFSA you want always to make money, because you pay no tax, and you want never to lose money, because you cannot claim the loss against your income from your job. If in year X you have $5,000 of contribution room and put it into a TFSA and buy Canadian Speculative Corp. and due to the failure of the Canadian Speculative Corp. it goes to zero, two things happen. One, you burn up that contribution room and you have to wait until next year for the government to give you more room. Two, you can't claim the $5,000 loss against your employment income or investment income or capital gains like you could in a non-registered account. So remember Buffett's rule #1: Do not lose money. Rule #2 being don't forget the first rule. TFSA's are absolutely tailor-made for Graham-Buffett value investing or for diversified ETF or mutual fund investing, but you don't want to buy a lot of small specs because you don't get the tax loss.
Moving to/from Canada/residency. You must be a resident of Canada and 18 years old with a valid SIN to open a TFSA. Consult your tax advisor on whether your circumstances make you a resident for tax purposes. Since 2009, your TFSA contribution room accumulates every year, if at any time in the calendar year you are 18 years of age or older and a resident of Canada. Note: If you move to another country, you can STILL trade your TFSA online from your other country and keep making money within the account tax-free. You can withdraw money and Canada will not tax you. But you have to get tax advice in your country as to what they do. There restrictions on contributions for non-residents. See "non residents of Canada:" https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/cra-arc/formspubs/pub/rc4466/rc4466-19e.pdf
The U.S. withholding tax. Dividends paid by U.S.-domiciled companies are subject to a 15% U.S. withholding tax. Your broker does this automatically at the time of the dividend payment. So if your stock pays a $100 USD dividend, you only get $85 USD in your broker account and in your statement the broker will have a note saying 15% U.S. withholding tax. I do not know under what circumstances if any it is possible to get the withheld amount. Normally it is not, but consult a tax professional.
The U.S. withholding tax does not apply to capital gains. So if you buy $5,000 USD worth of Apple and sell it for $7,000 USD, you get the full $2,000 USD gain automatically.
Tax-Free Leverage. Leverage in the TFSA is effectively equal to your tax rate * the capital gains inclusion rate because you're not paying tax. So if you're paying 25% on average in income tax, and the capital gains contribution rate is 50%, the TFSA is like having 12.5%, no margin call leverage costing you 0% and that also doesn't magnify your losses.
Margin accounts. These accounts allow you to borrow money from your broker to buy stocks. TFSAs are not margin accounts. Nothing stopping you from borrowing from other sources (such as borrowing cash against your stocks in an actual margin account, or borrowing cash against your house in a HELOC or borrowing cash against your promise to pay it back as in a personal LOC) to fund a TFSA if that is your decision, bearing in mind the risks, but a TFSA is not a margin account. Consider options if you want leverage that you can use in a TFSA, without borrowing money.
Dividend Tax Credit on Canadian Companies. Remember, dividends paid into the TFSA are not eligible to be claimed for the credit, on the rationale that you already got a tax break.
FX risk. The CRA allows you to contribute and withdraw foreign currency from the TFSA but the contribution/withdrawal accounting is done in CAD. So if you contribute $10,000 USD into your TFSA and withdraw $15,000 USD, and the CAD is trading at 70 cents USD when you contribute and $80 cents USD when you withdraw, the CRA will treat it as if you contributed $14,285.71 CAD and withdrew $18,75.00 CAD.
OTC (over-the-counter stocks). You can only buy stocks if they are listed on an approved exchange ("approved exchange" = TSX, TSX-V, NYSE, NASDAQ and about 25 or so others). The U.S. pink sheets "over-the-counter" market is an example of a place where you can buy stocks, that is not an approved exchange, therefore you can't buy these penny stocks. I have however read that the CRA make an exception for a stock traded over the counter if it has a dual listing on an approved exchange. You should check that with a tax lawyer or accountant though.
The RRSP. This is another great tax shelter. Tax shelters in Canada are either deferrals or in a few cases - such as the TFSA - outright tax breaks, The RRSP is an example of a deferral. The RRSP allows you to deduct your contributions from your income, which the TFSA does not allow. This deduction is a huge advantage if you earn a lot of money. The RRSP has tax consequences for withdrawing money whereas the TFSA does not. Withdrawals from the RRSP are taxable whereas they are obviously not in a TFSA. You probably want to start out with a TFSA and maintain and grow that all your life. It is a good idea to start contributing to an RRSP when you start working because you get the tax deduction, and then you can use the amount of the deduction to contribute to your TFSA. There are certain rules that claw back your annual contribution room into an RRSP if you contribute to a pension. See your tax advisor.
Pensions. If I contribute to a pension does that claw back my TFSA contribution room or otherwise affect my TFSA in any way? Answer: No.
The $10K contribution limit for 2015. This was PM Harper's pledge. In 2015 the Conservative government changed the rules to make the annual government allowance $10,000 per year forever. Note: withdrawals still converted into contribution room in the following year - that did not change. When the Liberals came into power they switched the program back for 2016 to the original Harper rules and have kept the original Harper rules since then. That is why there is the $10,000 anomaly of 2015. The original Harper rules (which, again, are in effect now) called for $500 increments to the annual government allowance as and when required to keep up with inflation, based on the BofC's Consumer Price Index (CPI). Under the new Harper rules, it would have been $10,000 flat forever. Which you prefer depends on your politics but the TFSA program is massively popular with Canadians. Assuming 1.6% annual CPI inflation then the annual contribution room will hit $10,000 in 2052 under the present rules. Note: the Bank of Canada does an excellent and informative job of explaining inflation and the CPI at their website.
Losses in a TFSA - you cannot claim a loss in a TFSA against income. So in a TFSA you always want to make money and never want to lose money. A few ppl here have asked if you are losing money on your position in a TFSA can you transfer it in-kind to a cash account and claim the loss. I would expect no as I cannot see how in view of the fact that TFSA losses can't be claimed, that the adjusted cost base would somehow be the cost paid in the TFSA. But I'm not a tax lawyeaccountant. You should consult a tax professional.
Transfers in-kind to the TFSA and the the superficial loss rule. You can transfer securities (shares etc.) "in-kind," meaning, directly, from an unregistered account to the TFSA. If you do that, the CRA considers that you "disposed" of, meaning, equivalent to having sold, the shares in the unregistered account and then re-purchased them at the same price in the TFSA. The CRA considers that you did this even though the broker transfers the shares directly in the the TFSA. The superficial loss rule, which means that you cannot claim a loss for a security re-purchased within 30 days of sale, applies. So if you buy something for $20 in your unregistered account, and it's trading for $25 when you transfer it in-kind into the TFSA, then you have a deemed disposition with a capital gain of $5. But it doesn't work the other way around due to the superficial loss rule. If you buy it for $20 in the unregistered account, and it's trading at $15 when you transfer it in-kind into the TFSA, the superficial loss rule prevents you from claiming the loss because it is treated as having been sold in the unregistered account and immediately bought back in the TFSA.
Day trading/swing trading. It is possible for the CRA to try to tax your TFSA on the basis of "advantage." The one reported decision I'm aware of (emphasis on I'm aware of) is from B.C. where a woman was doing "swap transactions" in her TFSA which were not explicitly disallowed but the court rules that they were an "advantage" in certain years and liable to taxation. Swaps were subsequently banned. I'm not sure what a swap is exactly but it's not that someone who is simply making contributions according to the above rules would run afoul of. The CRA from what I understand doesn't care how much money you make in the TFSA, they care how you made it. So if you're logged on to your broker 40 hours a week and trading all day every day they might take the position that you found a way to work a job 40 hours a week and not pay any tax on the money you make, which they would argue is an "advantage," although there are arguments against that. This is not legal advice, just information.
The U.S. Roth IRA. This is a U.S. retirement savings tax shelter that is superficially similar to the TFSA but it has a number of limitations, including lack of cumulative contribution room, no ability for withdrawals to convert into contribution room in the following year, complex rules on who is eligible to contribute, limits on how much you can invest based on your income, income cutoffs on whether you can even use the Roth IRA at all, age limits that govern when and to what extent you can use it, and strict restrictions on reasons to withdraw funds prior to retirement (withdrawals prior to retirement can only be used to pay for private medical insurance, unpaid medical bills, adoption/childbirth expenses, certain educational expenses). The TFSA is totally unlike the Roth IRA in that it has none of these restrictions, therefore, the Roth IRA is not in any reasonable sense a valid comparison. The TFSA was modeled after the U.K. Investment Savings Account, which is the only comparable program to the TFSA.
The UK Investment Savings Account. This is what the TFSA was based off of. Main difference is that the UK uses a 20,000 pound annual contribution allowance, use-it-or-lose-it. There are several different flavours of ISA, and some do have a limited recontribution feature but not to the extent of the TFSA.
Is it smart to overcontribute to buy a really hot stock and just pay the 1% a month overcontribution penalty? If the CRA believes you made the overcontribution deliberately the penalty is 100% of the gains on the overcontribution, meaning, you can keep the overcontribution, or the loss, but the CRA takes the profit.
Speculative stocks-- are they ok? There is no such thing as a "speculative stock." That term is not used by the CRA. Either the stock trades on an approved exchange or it doesn't. So if a really blue chip stock, the most stable company in the world, trades on an exchange that is not approved, you can't buy it in a TFSA. If a really speculative gold mining stock in Busang, Indonesia that has gone through the roof due to reports of enormous amounts of gold, but their geologist somehow just mysteriously fell out of a helicopter into the jungle and maybe there's no gold there at all, but it trades on an approved exchange, it is fine to buy it in a TFSA. Of course the risk of whether it turns out to be a good investment or not, is on you.
Remember, you're working for your money anyway, so if you can get free money from the government -- you should take it! Follow the rules because Canadians have ended up with a tax bill for not understanding the TFSA rules. Appreciate the feedback everyone. Glad this basic post has been useful for many. The CRA does a good job of explaining TFSAs in detail at https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/cra-arc/formspubs/pub/rc4466/rc4466-19e.pdf
Unrelated but of Interest: The Margin Account
Note: if you are interested in how margin accounts work, I refer you to my post on margin accounts, where I use a straightforward explanation of the math behind margin accounts to try and give readers the confidence that they understand this powerful leveraging tool.
The importance of crosshair placement, why you're doing it wrong, and how to fix it.
Valorant and the importance of crosshair placement.
Introduction Hey guys, I'm Twix, and I'm back with another informative post, this time concerning the aspect of crosshair placement. Through this post I will be discussing the importance of crosshair placement within the tac shooter genre, going over the most common mistakes I see people make in my experience as a coach, and offering structured routines to remedy the majority of these mistakes. If you haven't read through any of my posts before ( I wouldn't they're too long ) I am an FPS player which mainly played CS:GO competitively, with around 7k hours and multiple level 10 faceit accounts and LAN wins in the past 5 years, who transitioned towards the end of my CS:GO days into being an FPS coach, I mainly worked with people trying to gain a competitive edge in CS, but later moved to coaching Apex players, and following the closed beta release of Valorant, I have been coaching Valorant players for the past few months, with unanimously positive feedback. If you haven't read my first post which is a comprehensive general guide for players looking to improve in Valorant, I highly recommend you look at it here before continuing on to this post. In relation to other qualifications / achievements, I have hit top 30 as hitscan DPS in Overwatch, maintained top 500 ranking in Apex ( PC ) for a couple of seasons, and hold numerous 1% rankings on various Kovaak's FPS Aim Trainer maps. My main goal in creating these posts is to contribute to the Valorant community by sharing my knowledge gained over 10k collective hours of FPS experience ( mainly Tactical fps ) and hopefully help the people reading my posts improve and gain that competitive edge they need to progress into their desired ranking. For those of you interested in learning more about my coaching service, or looking for a community of Valorant players looking to improve, I will link my Discord server at the end of this post.
Why is crosshair placement important?
If I was asked about the importance of consistent crosshair placement in games such as PUBG, Apex, Overwatch, Fortnite, etc. I would probably answer by saying that while it's beneficial to maintain solid crosshair placement, it's by no means the most important aspect in relation to performing well in those games, in tactical shooters however, it's a whole different story. Tactical shooters are low TTK ( time to kill ) games, and for the most part, a single bullet to the head is enough to eliminate a player, this means that in contrast to AFPS games, or games like Overwatch or Apex, which have a much higher TTK, first shot accuracy is of extreme importance in Valorant, inevitably leading to the fact that crosshair placement is also extremely important. In a game with higher TTK, even if your first shot accuracy isn't perfect in an aim duel, you can win the fight if you land more shots on the opposing player over x amount of time that you trade with them, while in Valorant, whoever needs to make the least amount of adjustment to their crosshair when engaging in a 1v1 scenario wins the exchange. It doesn't matter if your raw aim is out of this world, even if you have the most precise flicks known to the FPS community, if your crosshair placement is sub-optimal, you will lose vs. someone with consistent crosshair placement, this is simply due to the fact that all they need to do, is click once your head moves into their crosshair, often without even needing to move their mouse. Crosshair placement may very well be the most important aspect in relation to gunplay and generally the mechanical aspect of tac shooters such as CS:GO or Valorant, as it's the deciding factor in the majority of aim duels.
A large amount of players tend to underestimate the importance of crosshair placement in Valorant, and especially the underlying complexity of maintaining consistency in that context. People think that all you need to do to maintain solid crosshair placement is aim high enough to hit headshots, meaning that the only factor that affects crosshair placement is vertical positioning, others still stick to making their main source of information on game improvement being players who make statements as un-informative and vague as "just click heads", my main goal is to break down and explain the multiple factors that go into proper crosshair placement. Lets start with the basics: Vertical Positioning: As mentioned above, one of the elements which ties into crosshair placement is vertical positioning. this is the set distance that you need to position your crosshair at in relation to the ground to be able to align your crosshair's horizontal axis with player model head-level. The good thing about vertical positioning, is that you can get accustomed to the head level that the player models have in Valorant quite rapidly, as the hitbox sizes in this game are identical, meaning you can always use the ground as a point of reference to determine where the enemy player's head would be. In Valorant, the head level always remains a set distance from the ground In order to train your general ability to place your crosshair at the correct height, try to make a habit out of constantly reminding yourself to place your crosshair at head level, regardless of where you are or what you're doing on the map. What I mean by this, is that even if there isn't any imminent threat of enemy players peeking you, try to keep constantly keep your crosshair at head level, the more time you spend doing this, the faster it will become a habit and become something you do subconsciously, without having to actively focus on the action. This habit allows you to build muscle-memory during otherwise useless down-time, another way to do this is to track your teammate's heads with your crosshair while rotating, leaving spawn etc. While vertical positioning is something that people get used to relatively easily, I have come across a recurring issue among the VODs of people I coach, and that is that people generally struggle with adapting the vertical component of their crosshair's position to varying points of elevation. Here's an image to help you visualize a scenario where this could be an issue: Peeking C Long, Positions marked: Cubby ( right ), Platform ( left ), back-site ( back ) In the image above I am peeking into C back-site from C long on the map 'Haven', I have highlighted three different positions / angles where an enemy could potentially peak from in an in-game reenactment of this scenario, Platform, Cubby, and back-site. What you'll notice is that these positions all have different points of elevation, meaning that while using the ground as reference will allow me to maintain my crosshair at head-level if someone peeks my position from ground level on C site, in order to clear cubby and platform, I would need to adjust my crosshair accordingly, using their lower levels as a reference for where the head-level position would be in those angles. Unfortunately, if you are struggling with this due to the fact that you aren't familiar with the map layout yet, the only thing that will remedy your situation is more time spent playing the game, if however, your issue stems from a mechanical inability, meaning that your mouse control isn't good enough to allow you to make such adjustments comfortably, the routine provided later in the guide may help you get past that issue. Horizontal Positioning: Just as with vertical positioning, horizontal positioning is pretty self-explanatory in terms of it's function. Knowing at what height to position your crosshair at in relation to the environment is far easier to do than knowing where to position it on a horizontal axis, the reasoning behind this is that with vertical placement you will always have the ground or lower level of the object the opponent is standing on as a point of reference which allows you to instantly know at what height head-level is. When focusing on the horizontal aspect of crosshair placement, there isn't a set point of reference at all times; Sometimes you need to hold wide angles, sometimes you need to move along with the object you're playing against, and sometimes you need to pre-aim to swing effectively, all this variability makes it much harder for a newer player to grasp crosshair placement and horizontal positioning is just as crucial as vertical positioning if not even more important. A very common mistake which I see a lot of in the VODs I review as a coach, is newer players holding angles too tightly, meaning that they're playing in a position where they anticipate an enemy push and are waiting for the engagement, and their crosshair is a position where it's hugging the edge of the wall the enemy will peek from. Here is a visual representation of what I'm talking about: Example of incorrect horizontal placement In the image above, I'm holding an angle where if someone crosses moving parallel to the wall I'm looking at, I'll have under 50 ms to react, my crosshair is so close to the edge of the wall that I will need to click my LMB the milli-second I see the enemy. By holding this angle, chances are that by the time I click the enemy will have already crossed to the left of my crosshair resulting in a miss and most likely my death; It would take inhuman reaction times for anyone to hit a player while holding like this, especially if the enemy player is swinging. Instead, you should allow some distance from your crosshair to the edge of the angle you're holding, allowing yourself to spot the enemy's player model, and then time your click effectively. Here is a visual representation of correct crosshair placement while holding the same angle: Example of correct horizontal placement As you can see, in the image above I am allowing for some space between the wall and my crosshair, giving me a significantly longer time window to spot an enemy player and react. Holding an angle that's too "tight" would mean I need to make a larger adjustment to hit the enemy, and therefore I increase my margin of error due to vertical overshoot ( see below ). There are exceptions to the rule when it comes to the distance you need to hold at, if the angle you are holding only allows forward movement ( into your crosshair ) you can hold a narrow line of sight. If you are clearing an angle ( moving along it to check for enemies ) and you are the agressor, you can hold tight and move along with the wall / LOS to allow for a faster reaction if you spot an enemy during your movement. If you are the agressor and you want to swing into an angle that you believe / know an enemy is holding, it is sometimes optimal to pre-aim, meaning you position your crosshair in a way where without moving your mouse it will be aimed at the enemy's head once you swing out the angle. Vertical Offset: The final common issue I would like to bring up which ties into both crosshair placement and horizontal click-timing, is something I call "vertical offset" or "vertical overshoot", this is a player's inability to move his crosshair horizontally while maintaining the same vertical placement. Vertical offset is a big issue when it comes to switching angles or flicking horizontally, I have seen many scenarios where a player is holding an angle properly with their crosshair at a pixel-perfect vertical position in relation to head level, only to make a 30 degree turn to check a different angle and end up shooting at an enemy's chest and losing the duel. Usually, the larger the movement, the more the player's crosshair deviates vertically. Here is a depiction of what vertical offset / overshooting looks like in-game: Example of margin of error caused by vertical offset / overshooting In the image above the green dot is where the crosshair should end up in an ideal scenario while flicking from it's current position to the target dummy, while the green lines represent a theoretical margin of error for overshooting. Fortunately for people that face this issue, I have come up with multiple Kovaak's maps and firing range excercises to help combat it and largely reduce your margin of error when moving your crosshair / flicking horizontally.
Settings: What sensitivity / crosshair should I use?
This part of the post discusses a topic which is highly subjective, both the sensitivity you use and the crosshair you use are something preference-based that you should decide upon on your own, the reason I'm adding this section into the post is for players which are newer to the tac-shooter genre; There are a few guidelines that will help them narrow down the settings that work the best for them. First off, don't by any means copy your favorite pro's config, just because something works for a professional player that has probably spent well above 10,000 hours playing FPS games and decided upon their ideal sensitivity and crosshair within that massive period of time, doesn't mean that it's going to work for you, use whatever you're most comfortable with. Other than individual preference, and having gotten used to their sensitivity, the Pros you watch may be using gear which feels different at their sensitivity setting. A lighter mouse, faster mouse-pad, and faster feet can feel very different in terms of mouse movement, even if you're playing on the same sensitivity value on paper. In relation to grip-styles and what mice are ideal for each hand size, make sure to check out my first post in this sub before moving forward with this guide, as playing on hardware that caters to your individual preferences plays an important role in increasing your mechanical potential. Sensitivity: As I stated in the paragraph above, sensitivity is something quite subjective and while there's no general rule as to which single sens value is superior, Valorant and CS:GO professionals tend to stick to e-dpi or cm/360 much lower than professional players in other titles and FPS subgenres. Your e-dpi is your in-game sensitivity value multiplied by your mouse's DPI setting. The average e-dpi used by Valorant professionals is around 250 e-dpi, which would be a value of 0.625 in-game @ 400 DPI, or around 50 cm/360. Pro player & Streamer sensitivity settings (e-dpi) cm/360 is a universal format for sensitivity measurement, it's the amount of centimeters you need to move your mouse in order to perform a full rotation. This is the format adopted within aimer communities due to the simple fact that you asking someone "what sensitivity do you play on?" And them responding with "1.5 in CSGO" is pretty useless information as they could be playing at any DPI range, and you don't necessarily know what each CSGO sens corresponds to in relation to physical movement, or even movement in other games. "e-dpi" solves the issue of different DPI x Sens measurements within the same game, but the cm/360 format is easily transferable from title to title. The reason professional players in the tac shooter genre use lower sens on average, is due to the fact that in contrast with other FPS games, tac shooters don't require larger or extended movements, instead they require you to hold or clear angles while maintaining stable crosshair placement, the least adjustments you need to make to your crosshair's position on your screen, the better your "aim" will be. The majority of players I have coached report that it has been significantly easier for them to maintain consistent crosshair placement at lower sensitivities. For newer players that still haven't found a "main" sensitivity that they feel comfortable on, I would recommend for them to stick to the range of 200-300 e-dpi, while for more experienced players coming from CS or other similar games, I would recommend a similar range with a higher cap, at 200-400 e-dpi ( very few professional players play above 300 e-dpi ). Crosshair settings: This is something even more subjective and preference-based than sensitivity even, so what I will do in this section is simply post my own settings which I use for my in-game crosshair, and explain why I picked each value within the menu. Crosshair Settings So, lets break my crosshair down setting by settings:
Color: I use "Cyan" as it stands out quite well for me with my current color settings, any color that doesn't match your enemy outline color works perfectly fine here.
Inner Line Opacity: This setting basically determines how see through your crosshair will be, I like setting mine at "1" as It makes the crosshair stand out more.
Inner Line Thickness: I set this to "1" which is the lowest value, a lot of professional players like to use "2", I think setting the value to "1" makes it easier to align your crosshair with heads or with other objects in the environment, it is also less obstructive, so I highly recommend either this or "2" to newer players
Inner Line Offset: This setting determines how large the gap is in your crosshair, I like setting this to "1" as the gap is as small as possible without disappearing, larger gaps make it more difficult to determine where the exact center of your screen is, which can act as a hnderance in your first shot accuracy at longer range engagements.
Movement & Firing Error: These settings just turn your crosshair into a dynamic crosshair and make the gap widen significantly while moving or shooting respectively in order to give you a visual representation of how the innacuracy factor works. Useless and distracting, would highly suggest that you keep these both off unless you're very new and still don't understand how movement / spray accuracy works.
Outer Lines: Everything is off here, I don't think playing with outer lines provides any benefit whatsoever and it's an extra distraction.
Crosshair Placement Improvement Routine:
A large portion of improving your crosshair placement is based on simply playing the game more, crosshair placement is largely based on muscle memory, part of having good crosshair placement is simply based on having experience in-game allowing it to become a subconscious habit, and the rest is based on your ability to anticipate player model movement and learn to make horizontal movements without simultaneously your crosshair vertically. The routine I will provide is not only a great way to work on your crosshair placement, but also highly beneficial to the click-timing aspect of your aim, which is basically the only element of aiming required in Valorant, as good tracking is unecessary in such a low TTK game. If you are already training using a daily routine on Kovaak's ( as you should be ) you can just implement this into your daily scenarios. Kovaaks: ( These are all maps which require you to make horizontal movements without overshooting vertically, thus good aim training for those struggling with crosshair placement, see my other posts for a larger variety of Kovaaks maps )
1 wall 2 targets horizontal - 10 minutes ( focus on your flicks, work on hitting both targets in the same movement, not pausing in between )
Valorant Small flicks - 10 minutes ( Great routine as head level is that of Valorant, and vertical deviation will cause you to miss, forcing you to maintain head level as you play through it )
PatTarget Switch small - 10 minutes ( Works on your ability to swap from one target to another while maintaining head level crosshair placement, keep LMB held while playing, only go for heads )
Valorant doesn't currently offer it's own deathmatch servers, therefore the next best thing is practicing in CS:GO. HSDM is a headshot only modifier for community FFA servers in CS:GO. To access these maps go to "Community Server Browser" and simply type in "HSDM", any server with decent population will do ( preferably 128 tick ). Playing FFA on headshot only forces you to maintain head-level crosshair placement as body shots don't count. I advise going for taps rather than spraying, as it limits the RNG, also spraying in CS:GO isn't transferable to Valorant as a mechanic. Make it a challenge for yourself to maintain positive K/D while playing. Use the AK in rifle servers, and the USP-S in pistol servers.
Set the target dummy position to static, and practice your click timing by only going for the targets furthest to the left and furthest to the right interchangeably, do this for around 10 minutes.
Play Spike Rush and set it to hard. When set on "Hard" the AI will one shot you as soon as you peek if it has seen you, and one shot you after around half a second if you shift-peek it. Pretty decent warmup in relation to crosshair placement as you will die every single time if you aren't instantly headshotting the targets the moment you peek. Play this for another 10 minutes.
Link to my Discord server for further questions / coaching inquiries:
Earning Plays for Dummies: $UA is Under Water (Basic TA & Obvious Catalysts)
TL;DR: $UA is taking on a lot of debt because of historically low retail sales causing near bankruptcy cash flow. Largest athletic apparel retailer or not, when the business isn't making money it's losing it. Taking on LARGE amount of debt, to raise cash, to keep the doors open is not the nail in the coffin, but it is damn near close. ER this Friday 7/31 could be a historic miss and future projections, margins, growth and competition will cause a sell off. Super BEAR: 7/31 $8.50-$9 Puts Conservative BEAR: 8/14 $7.50-$8 Puts
To Bearish Autists,
Alright retards, this DD is not done by a professional CFA, CPA or single employee LLC day trading firm. I'm a college grad, with a BS in Chemistry, and i'm 100% self taught on trading for the last 5 years. It's a hobby that pays for other hobbies, not a job and definitely not a thing i do without being informed. That being said heres my hypothesis.
$UA Has Struggled
This is no secret as many of us have brand name recognition of $UA and many of us own it. We know its not Nike and it's a step above Champions and other retail store brands, but it is simply the cost efficient/value brand for people that want quality and but aren't willing to pay Nike prices or get chafed nipples from the $WMT brand. It's become the largest athletic apparel brand in the US, with growth potential in China, signing one of the NBAs biggest star Steph Curry. Heres the problem, the company is facing increased competition and Covid may of burned down the house when they closed retailers. $UA helped prove there is a middle ground between $NKE and $WMT in quality and price, but they failed to build beyond that, and now $AMZN and other other brands have saturated the market. When i need workout clothes, i look online, a small part of $UA business model. I look for value, and although i'm not buying Nike i'm not buying $UA either. There are tons of other brands that provide the same quality cheaper, and i don't care about brand at they gym, just comfort. $UA failed to build a signature style, they got Steph Curry, but i never hear a 24 year old sneaker head dying over their new pair of shoes. They failed to push online channels of distribution, "have you been to their website?", and some compare their pandemic model to $LULU but they are completely different brands by quality, price and consumer segment. The companies lack of success could be bad marketing, they have the largest athletic apparel market share, but they can't turn a decent YOY earnings report. So it comes down to poor financial management and high levels of competition driving lower margins. In 2016 $UA was nearly $50/share and its lost billions YOY. Now it's facing an unpredictable pandemic, and record low revenue on a house of debt.
Important Factors for ER
The pandemic closed retailers and one of the largest retailers of $UA is Kohl's ($KSS). Because nearly 80% of the companies worth is in their merchandise revenue, this is a major hit. The other 20% is a licensee program that they get from selling the right to 3rd party manufacturers to make and sell the brand. They get revenue from licenses, but i'm not sure about royalties. This means that wholesale manufacturers could sell to other online retailers at a lower competitive rate than $UA if they are crafty enough, and their is supposedly low oversight on this. You can buy $UA on $AMZN but that doesn't mean you will be buying directly from $UA, and this could be true in open retail stores now. from 2017 to Q1 2020 online sales on $UA website have only grown 4%. $UA has had a tough time to have a direct to consumer channel over the past two quarters. The pandemic has lead to huge losses in retail sales, and the brands themselves. This leads us to our next subject.
DEBT DEBT & More DEBT
$UA Market Cap: $4.837 Billion Liabilities: $3.387 Billion (Q1 2020) Assets: $1.550 Billion (Q1 2020) Cash is KING and $UA is in desperate need of it with a recent convertible note offering that raised over $400 million dollars. I'm not a finance expert, but here's a snippet that explains the liquidity crunch.
As of March 31, Under Armour had just $959 million in cash. Now, it recently raised another $460 million or so in a convertible note, so its total liquidity is about $1.41 billion. But if it burns through $400 million over the next two quarters, the balance would fall to $600 million or so. At that point, the company would likely have to raise permanent equity and/or a mixture of equity and debt. Right now the company’s tangible book value per share (TBVPS) is just $1.02 billion, or $2.26 per share, according to data compiled by Seeking Alpha.>So, here is the problem: By the end of Q3, with another $800 million in FCF loses, the tangible book value will fall to $224 million or so, and the TBVPS will be just 49 cents per share. If that’s the case, there is no way that UA stock would still be trading at $9.28 per share, where it was earlier this week.-InvestorsPlace (Mark Hake)
Simply put they need to be frugal and cut cost to prevent bankruptcy. this is shown further in the last two weeks when $UA announced they will sell their running/social app, MyFitnessPal. They also sought to break a sponsorship deal with UCLA to conserve cash (nearly $20mil/year). The price tag for MyFitnessPal in 2015 was $425million, i don’t think $UA will have a easy time getting anyone to buy it, much less gain on the investment. Also the sponsorship deal isn’t broken, yet, and if they do it may come with a huge monetary penalty....exactly what they want to avoid. This weeks earnings report will announce a huge amount of new liabilities along with massive reductions in revenue expectations. This is the most important part of the ER this week.
Good news this week for $UA is that they won a branding lawsuit in China this week...against a competitor that you nor I have and will never hear of. China is a very interesting component in the American economic and political world. They are a huge market, but politically they are neither our ally nor our foe. India will give us the same problem in 10-15 years. With increased tensions between DC and Beijing the risk of tariffs and american companies suffering are on the rise, especially retail and manufacturing. However, China presents a huge growth opportunity to whichever lucky retailers and brands can bribe the right officials and not get caught. $UA is one of those lucky companies, but they are competing in a tough sector. Nike, Adidas, New Balance, a zillion new brands that nobody has heard of and of course knock offs. I lived in Shanghai for a year in college, and theirs “Fake mall” everywhere selling the new Jorban’s and Rolex’s and of course $UA and the Chinese government will never stop it because they don’t practice fair trade practices, at least correctly. 30% of revenue for $UA is international business including several asian and european countries and Australia. China could eventually be more of a cash cow than the US for $UA. The international opportunity is real, but $UA may never see the light at the end of the tunnel due to this dark period of financial ruins and a competitive marketplace.
The ER for $UA is going to be devastating as it has been in quarters past. you’d be insane to think any differently as the company has only seen worse and worse circumstances with little navigational correction. The only thing that could prevent a total 15-25% downside is some sort of good news. What possible good news could they have, i personally can’t think of any if they are being honest and don’t give BS projections like $TSLA. IF you think of any, or i’m missing any honest upside to this ER please comment.
EPS: -0.4$ (Big miss) Revenue: $536mil (Near miss) Revenue is key, but the Cash flow and added liabilities will be the dagger.
A LITTLE TA & CHART PRICE ACTION
6 month Daily candle The price of $UA has been hovering around $6.40 & $10.60 for nearly 5 months. $UA has found a solid support at $8.25 and has an upward channel trend, and this has been a very slow recovery relative to other retail brands. RSI is inching toward overbought. MACD is unsure of the last two months progression and is looking to swing one way or the other after the ER, my bet is down. i expect that $UA will continue on trend nearing $10.60, if the stock price does not fall below the three day trend line(Lilac) then i will wait until thursday afternoon to buy the Puts for the morning ER Call. IF it falls below the lilac line before thursday afternoon i expect my downward channel to be correct and i purchase puts immediately. Still pondering my strategy for entry and optimizing the return, between there two option ideas. Super BEAR: 7/31 $9-$9.50 Conservative BEAR: 8/14 $7.50-$8 Puts $UA has a great value product. It has not done a good job financially due to massive oversight in fiscal management, not creating a better direct to consumer interface, and not being competitive enough in a market with stagnant margins and retail competition that can undercut and or be more popular than the other with celebrities and fashion. $UA is not $LULU, and its drowning in debt with no end in sight. Their model has failed, and their leadership has failed. I suspect retail traders who know $UA by name recognition are propping this up, not understanding their in trouble. As soon as institutional money abandons so will the pocket investors, not to poke fun at you retards. But hey, i may just be a fucking retard. P.S. - IF $UA goes under, or is bought out, which athletic apparel company gains the most? My guess is $NKE (long) or $AMZN. Edit: 7/27 today the SEC notified $UA that they will enforce action against the company for accounting practices seen as fraudulent in 2016 and 2017. It keeps getting worse. Edit: 7/30 today will most likely be the best opportunity to get cheap 10-20% OTM puts for Friday’s earning call. The stock is shrugged off SEC notices to top executives and a gloomy prediction for earnings. But the market isn’t rational right now, if it ever is, and the stock is looking to squeeze out of its channel past $10.60, and people will take profit before the crash after ER. Edit: 7/30 AH. 2500 shares pushed the stock up nearly 4%...still expecting big downward projection come morning. Bought 8/14 $8.50 puts this AM. Edit: 7/30 AH. 10,000 volume pushed the stock up 10% when it moves 1-2% on 5-7 million volume days. I smell stock manipulation by an insider who want to distract from the ER. Result: AH high of $12.80 and down to $10.25 pre market, I didn’t expect price action to play such a large role in this ER. Final: watching for 8/14 $8 put, won’t hold till expire most likely. AH/PM on 7/31 was wild and ruined the lotto for 7/31. I’m convinced it was manipulated, why else would a stock increase 25% AH before earnings and drop 27% thereafter from the AH high...in the first hour of trading...they wanted the stock to have buffer and show a new price action target/action...should of dropped below $9 but $9.49 from $12.80 high at least validates my opinion to some degree. $9.31 new support for monday, may blow past support channel at $8.90 and then drop to $8.20 soon after. OR there could be a retracement to the idiotic $12.81. All in all Lost 1% of my account on a yolo, truly retarded. Daily Candles 1min candles - Note AH pump...
1500 USD, have made 70$ in the past 2 months “swing trading”, need something less ...slow.
Ok degenerates, gonna vent a bit, poor fag here with a little chode of an account and I am fucking bored and tired with swing (boomer) trading. Put half my CERB savings into an IB tfsa beginning of June (like 1600 CAD or so) have been slowly adding and basically the only money I have made so far was just off the AMD rally (and a decent bump off Sony not nearly the same as amd though). Pretty much got in at the bottom ( which I think was 50-52 then) And sold at 84, pretty fucking stoked to say the least to be up 20% in the first month.... But then amd and Sony dipped a little, everyone says buy the dip, but It just kept dipping, pretty much 70% of those gains gone, so basically I opened this account in June I have only made like 70$. After losses 2 fucking months to make 70$, i make that in 3.5 hours of work at my shitty day job, not to mention all the hours of learning and research I have put into trading/looking for stocks etc etc etc (TL:DR this is not my first foray into trading I got into it a couple years ago during the weed bubble but then unfortunately went bankrupt for non-trade related reasons so I had to empty my accounts). I’m way too flighty and impatient for this shit, on that same day I see some RH tween post about his stimulus check filled account, turning 4K into like 25k in like 2 weeks HOW THE FUCK! Essentially, my whole strategy is based around earnings, I work nights and live on the west coast so trading open just doesn’t work (trust me I tried and got burned out real fast) and never mind pre-market low float plays. 7:30 is the best I can do waking up and by that time 80% of any move on most stocks is already done, and end of day rarely has the same moves as open, I don’t have nearly enough margin power to trade futures/forex to trade so this strategy makes the most sense...except it’s slow as fuck, a 1 dollar move when you can only buy 10-20 shares isn’t exactly exciting. So, now I’m looking at options. I can’t afford calls on Tesla or Apple since 1 contract is more than my account, so maybe I will try QQQ or some shit.... what do you degenerates do when you wanna yolo but have fuck all cash to trade? Should I even yolo calls? Can I even do that with 1.5k USD? Lay it on me and roast my pathetic account.
Ten Reasons why Artifact will be the biggest eSport title, ever
Ten Reasons why Artifact will be the biggest eSport title, ever Written by Michael "rokman" Weldon Hello Artifact! Before I get into the meat of the article, I thought I’d introduce myself. My card game experience comes from the Pokemon Trading Card Game. I started collecting and playing way back in the nineties. After nearly a decade playing casually, I ended up moving toward the competitive scene for a handful of years. I had a few big tournament wins and a lot of success playing the game. There was even a point that I was a paid writer for a Pokemon Trading Card Game website known as SixPrizes, you can see my articles here. Within the eSports world, I have worked in the production side of things at a few major tournaments. As a Production Assistant and Camera operator, I worked at IGN Pro League 3 in Atlantic City (Here’s a picture of me and Idra), as well as IGN Pro League 5 in Las Vegas (Here’s a photo before we opened the main stage). Live eSports events are so unbelievable to witness, as a fan. Twitch is convenient, but it is just not the same. Being there, LIVE, with people who share your interest, who will shout and scream with you when your favorite team wins? There is nothing like it. You have to go to a live event for your favorite game, if you haven’t already. The last thing about myself I’d like to cover is what drew me to Artifact. I’ve always been a fan of the RTS genre. DotA, Heroes of Newerth, League of Legends, you name it. If you played HoN, you might remember that “Too Bad it’s Me, Blacksmith” meme? Yeah, that was me. Sorry! Ha! Truth be told, I’ve had an off-and-on relationship with all of these games. Going from riding a high of winstreaks to the inevitable burning out when paired with casual players who are playing to have fun and goof around. Who even plays games to have fun? Totally insane, right? Sheesh! So finally, there’s Artifact, a game that I can only blame myself when I lose. One versus one in an RTS style game, based around trading cards, it’s basically the exact type of game I’ve been looking for my entire life. That’s why I’m writing this article on reddit, and that’s why I know Artifact will be the biggest eSport title, ever. Here’s ten reasons that’s going to happen --
Valve has such an incredible track record of PC titles. Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Team Fortress, Portal, Left for Dead, DotA 2, it’s actually unbelievable. And when Artifact was announced at the DotA International 7, it wasn’t received well. But that’s because those people in the crowd were just plain ignorant. (Yeah, I said it!) They were thinking Valve was piggy-backing off of Hearthstone’s success. I guess you can’t blame them for thinking that, many developers have entered the genre of digital trading card games, but none of them have had Hearthstone’s financial success. And damn, Hearthstone has been an extremely profitable title. In the most recent Financial report from Activision Blizzard, the company was reporting that pre-orders for the Boomsday Project were exceeding any previous expansion. That’s actually off the charts, because Hearthstone has been around for over FOUR YEARS now! But there’s a few things Hearthstone hasn’t done right, from a competitive standpoint. And now that I think about it, has Blizzard ever handled eSports correctly? If you ask me, they’ve only ever been interested in making games that are popular, which is fine, and clearly worked for them as a business model. But that doesn't translate into a competitive eSport. But Valve though? Get out of town! They’ve been a major player in eSports for many years. Just take a look at the DotA International’s prize support! Here’s a list of the Top Games awarding prize money across all tournaments. DotA 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are the top games. But get this, after adding up ALL of the prize support between the next THIRTY games on this list, you STILL don’t exceed the total prize support from DotA 2 and CS:GO. That’s BONKERS! I know what you’re going to say, and I agree, prize support isn’t everything. But it’s definitely a massive part of a game’s success (And by extension, the developer of that game). Think about all the people involved when a game is successful, other than players. Production crew at live events (I was one of those guys!), camera crews, media companies, eSports organizations, even a company like Twitch, which live streams events. All of this infrastructure keeps the whole thing in motion, so having massive prize support for players is the very reason all of these other companies have spawned underneath a video game title. And that’s why Valve is the number one reason I think Artifact is going to take over eSports. They know what they are doing. They organize these events. They create the prize pool for the DotA International. And they do that by offering all players the ability to buy cosmetics, with a portion of their purchases funding the actual tournament. I put all my faith in GabeN and Valve to do this right. They’re the best in the business when it comes to this type of thing. But that’s not the only thing you need to take over eSports. You KIND OF need a good game, right? Well, let me introduce you to --
Dr. Richard Garfield
Is there really anything else I need to say? The man himself, the CREATOR of the modern collectible card game. If the out-of-this-world success of Magic the Gathering isn’t enough to convince you, his understanding of skill versus luck in a game should do the trick. This is an hour long presentation he gave. If you haven’t listened to it, you should do so immediately. Many of the following reasons on my list will reference some of the concepts Dr. Garfield covers in his presentation. Also many mechanics in Artifact are built on these concepts presented here, and because of that, there isn’t much more I need to elaborate on, for now. If you weren’t aware, Magic the Gathering is the biggest card game, ever. Despite the current drama taking place, Magic the Gathering has been the premier card game to play if you were looking to make a career out of cards. While it isn’t always a profitable career path, there are a small group of players that have raked in quite a bit of prize winnings over the years. Take a look at the Top 200 All-Time Money Leaderboards. That’s some eye-popping dollar signs, if you ask me. But Dr. Richard Garfield doesn’t only want to cater to that tiny small percent of players, working toward big paychecks, and Magic the Gathering has recognized the different archetypes of players, known as Timmy, Johnny, and Spike. Dr. Garfield has even explained that he builds all kinds of cards, with these different player archetypes in mind. I’d even say some of the core strategies amongst the four colors in Artifact embody a lot of the Timmy/Johnny/Spike concepts. This is important to mention because it means Dr. Garfield will cater to various playstyles in Artifact, which will allow people to be creative with their decklists, tailored to their individual style. And if you ask me, that is a recipe for some very exciting Artifact games! So, looking at where we are now, we’ve got Valve developing a game designed by Dr. Richard Garfield. Already, that should be enough for you to believe in this game’s success. But I’m going to break it down even further. For a game to be the number one eSport, I think the most important thing has got to be the most obvious, a --
High Skill Ceiling
Let’s take a look at Basketball. There’s many levels of basketball, from friendly pickup games on the street, to community leagues at the local recreation center, to high school, to college, to professional foreign markets, to the very top at professional NBA basketball. In each of these levels, you would imagine anyone in one level could take on a person in a level below theirs, and beat them greater than 99% of the time. While that isn’t always the case (Haven’t you heard of The Professor?) it clearly shows the extremely high skill ceiling of Basketball, just because it can facilitate so many different levels of expertise. This isn’t a difficult concept to grasp, I just wanted to go over it briefly. For a video game title to completely dominate the eSport world, it has to have an extremely high skill ceiling. And this is a broad concept to cover, so I’m only going to cover one aspect of it, which is the one I think defines it the greatest… Decision making. In Artifact, the number of decisions you make, and their future impact is one of the biggest elements that separate Artifact from other card games. Within the umbrella of decision making, are concepts like Hero deployment, spending resources in one lane over another, when to give up a lane, and many other specific examples like these. (I’ll probably cover this topic directly in it’s own article at another time.) Comparing Artifact to Hearthstone, the average number of decisions per game has to be an astronomically different number. Unfortunately, I’m not able to play Artifact currently so I can’t give you these statistics. But I’m basing this assumption off of PAX West game videos that I watched. And I think a lot of people can agree with my assumption here. If not, go ahead and tell my why you disagree in the comments. By having so many instances where players have to make decisions, even in a perceived simple concept like initiative, your game will automatically open itself up to a high skill ceiling. Bare with me here, I’m going to break this down, as simple as I can…
Assumption one, Artifact is a game that forces players to make MORE decisions over the course of a single game, when compared to other card games.
Assumption two, when faced with those decisions, the higher skilled player will make BETTER choices over the course of a game, giving them a higher percentage chance to win.
Similarly to basketball, you would assume that 99% of the time, the higher skilled player will win? Obviously the numbers won’t be that high. Nobody can say for sure what that number is for Artifact, but many experts believe that in Magic the Gathering, the higher skilled player has somewhere around 60 and 70% of winning. Let’s hope Artifact is above that number. Now let’s take a look at the opposite of skill. That pesky thing that everyone says is the worst part of Artifact. And the one thing I think they are all dead wrong about, of course it’s --
How many different possible unique games of Tic-Tac-Toe are there? The answer is 255,168. That’s every single unique series of plays you can make in Tic-Tac-Toe, period. But how many unique games of Dota 2 are there? Well, before the game even begins there over two quadrillion possible team compositions. (I don’t do math. These guys did though) And that’s before the games even begun! What about professional sports, like Baseball? I’d say it’s essentially infinite, when taking into consideration so many variables about the athlete's body, different flights of the ball on a pitch, various types of swings, and if the bat makes contact, the nearly infinite points of contact that a baseball could land in a stadium, and that’s not even taking into consideration random things like a player tripping, or a fan in the audience interrupting the play. You get the idea. This is an incredibly important detail when considering how successful a game can be in the eSports space. Card games are at a massive disadvantage, there’s only so many possible things that can happen, it’s actually a fairly small finite number of unique games, when compared to something like DotA 2. So what’s the deal with adding in paths in front of creeps? What about the RNG Flop at the beginning of the game? These things are SO INCREDIBLY good for the game, it honestly perturbs me how many people following Artifact are unsure of this design choice. By adding in these variables into the possible unique games of Artifact, it increases the number by a HUGE MARGIN. I would argue this makes Artifact the number one card game, when it comes to the number of possible unique games. But why is this a good thing? Two reasons --
One, it makes the game more fun to play.
Even with a small deck of forty cards, you’ll have tons of unique games, even when facing opponent decks that are all the same decklist. Each game can be very different based on the minute RNG built into the game! That means you won’t get burn out playing the same decklist. Meta is stale and boring? At least your games will play out slightly different!
Two, it makes the game so much more interesting to spectate.
How does a player react to certain possible Flops? How does a player recover from poor creep spawns during redeployment phases? These variables create a much more exciting spectating experience! Which brings us to the next point --
LuminousInverse, SUNSfanTV, SirActionSlacks, and fwosh did such an amazing job commentating games during the PAX West live streams. If you haven’t had a chance to watch them, I’d highly recommend it. During the commentary, in many situations, the commentators would talk about potential lines of play from the Challengers on stage. In almost every scenario, there were multiple plays to choose from, and many of them were fairly equal in perceived value. In many other card games, there is a clear best play from your hand, every turn, and any other line would be called a “misplay”. But in Artifact, that line separating a viable play and a misplay is quite blurry. Without knowing future creep deployments, some plays could end up being better than others, even when they aren’t necessarily the number one best option at face value. This creates a scenario where commentators have A LOT to talk about during matches, sometimes too much. On YouTube, you can find a guy making videos named Jackson Walters. I highly recommend his videos and would like to mention him for one specific reason. He uses a program to draw on the screen when he does his gameplay commentary. If you’ve ever seen an NFL broadcast, you would know this is a common feature during a replay. A yellow line, drawing over a freeze frame of the last play. No other video game I know of uses this type of technology, and Artifact is absolutely an AMAZING candidate to take advantage of it. There is so much going on, when choosing a lane for a hero to go to, when choosing a spot for a creep to spawn in lane, potential pathing of units, all of these examples would make this technology great for commentators to relay pertinent information to the audience. But those two things aren’t the only thing that makes Artifact a great spectator eSport. And this is a topic that is debated frequently amongst the community. Is Artifact going to have good “streamability” on Twitch? My answer is a resounding YES. Because Valve has done such an unbelievably good job designing the User Interface, a lot of things are clearly displayed to the audience. Even to people who have very little knowledge of the game, just understanding the basics, they’ll be able to recognize when a player is put in a bad position (Here’s a hint -- there’s giant red X’s all over his units!) and the audience can understand when a player is forced to make a big play to turn things around. Furthermore, with the UI clearly labeling Tower health and incoming Tower damage, the audience is given obvious indicators for “points” or a way to keep track of the “score” in the game. Which actually isn’t that common amongst many popular eSports titles. Speaking of eSports titles, let’s talk about the biggest thing Artifact has, that other card games don’t --
“Valve is even working on a deck sharing system that will let you lend a deck to a friend for a match just like you would in a physical card game.” Excuse me? I actually can’t believe this! I know a lot of you young people won’t appreciate how awesome of a concept like this really is, but I’m going to break it down for you. Before the internet existed and everyone had everyone’s decklist, people actually had to work out decks on their own, and with their friends. I personally have spent hundreds of hours “solitairing” decks against no opponent, testing a deck’s consistency and working kinks out of the list. With the current state of electronic card games, people can get detailed statistics of all the top deck lists in the game, what the best players are using on ladder, and so on and so forth. Even in some games, at top tournaments, everyone’s deck list is public knowledge before it begins! This is not how things have always been. Back in my day, people could go to major tournaments and whip out a completely unknown, Secret.dec, that no one has seen before. That player and his group of friends have already tested it a thousand games against the most popular decks in the meta. When things like this happened, people LOST their freaking minds. And to be honest, this is how some stars were born within some trading card game circles. With Artifact’s Deck Sharing, Players will be able to put multiple decks together and give them to their friends, without them needing to invest money in the game, bring them in and use them as exclusive testing partners. While this might understandably sound a bit insane, I can see small groups of friends using this feature for testing purposes. Other than the obvious, it being a gigantic tool to bring more players to Artifact, I’m looking at it from the competitive perspective. I could even solitaire games against myself, playing both decks simultaneously! Nice! While this feature is great at bringing new players in and keeping the cost of entry low, there is something else Artifact has already taken into consideration, you guessed it --
Black Lotus $6,500. Ancestral Recall $3,363. Time Walk $2,628. Yikes. This is the exact reason Valve has gone on record stating that they don’t want this to happen. Their first step in preventing this, at least in the first set, which releases on November 28th, is only having three rarities of cards. Common, Uncommon, and Rare. Also guaranteeing that one of the twelve cards included in each two dollar pack is a Rare. They’re going to take things even further for an electronic trading card game, and allow players to buy and sell cards on the steam marketplace. Looking at it from a business standpoint, how genius is that? They not only sell every card pack in client, but they ALSO get a cut of every transaction made on the secondary market! Absolutely genius! (~15% of all secondary market sales goes right into Valve’s pocket!!!) As of now, nobody can predict the average costs of cards, or the average cost to create a popular meta deck. But one thing is certain, we won’t have to buy hundreds of booster packs hoping to open some specific super-rare necessary-for-laddering “legendary cards” that can’t be resold in a secondary market! Yeah, I’m looking right at you, Hearthstone! So we’ve got a situation where the game is designed by Richard Garfield, developed by Valve, has a high skill ceiling, with RNG that makes things interesting, great for spectating, allows deck sharing, and will have accessible cards? What’s even missing in something so amazing like that? Oh, I know, SirActionSlacks favorite topic --
Let’s say the 482,000 average players of DotA 2 won’t be interested in the amazing game I just described above. Well, I’d call them crazy, but let’s go with this for a moment. What is the one other thing that could potentially make them want to at least open the game and poke around? Yeah, it’s all those interesting characters they’ve known for years, it’s that universe they have spent thousands of hours playing in. A massive chunk of that playerbase might be interested in Artifact, just for the LORE. And if you haven’t seen it already, definitely check out SirActionSlacks Loregasm videos on youtube. I had no idea how much lore was actually in the DotA universe, and it gave me a whole new appreciation for the game I spent many hours playing. From the bits and pieces I’ve been able to piece together during the card reveals, inspecting the artwork and reading the flavor text in the tweet’s on the official Artifact Twitter page, it seems to me that the first set will be based around the Bronze Legion and the Red Mist Army. There’s plenty of great lore to explore there, but it might even give us some clues about the first expansion set for Artifact? Maybe an Abyssal Horde expansion? Or even just a straight up Roseleaf Expansion? Only time will tell… Even though I covered this subject briefly before, I’d like to mention it again, in it’s own bullet point --
Remember when I linked the Top 200 All-time Money leaders from Magic the Gathering? Number one on the list is Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, with total winnings of $497,785. That’s quite a bit of money playing a card game! Well, that is until someone is crowned victor of the first Artifact Tournament, slated for the first quarter of 2019. First place gets a cool $1,000,000. That’s more than DOUBLE any Magic the Gathering player has made... in all of it’s 25 year history! Yikes! None of the details have been released yet, but if you play close attention to the Artifact website and the Official twitter @PlayArtifact, they’ll be announcing it soon, hopefully. Many players hoping to take a stab at that prize pool are anxiously waiting to hear how they could potentially qualify for the big tournament, myself included. But as I’ve mentioned before, a giant prize pool isn’t the only key to success as an eSport, it’s many other things. What I would like you to remember, is how many industries can be supported when a prize pool gets that large. But money doesn’t just bring in a bunch of companies underneath it, it also brings in SPONSORS! Sponsors support all those gaming organizations, that sign pro players to represent them, and allows for such a competitive space to become an eSport. This in turn creates an environment where many people can provide for their families, support each other, and their communities, all from a video game. If that doesn’t get you excited, then you’re truly dead inside. Or your a hundred years old and don’t know what a video game is. And finally, the above nine things would make a pretty great game, but there’s still one last thing that makes all the difference. In my opinion, it’s the most important piece of success for a video game title to be the number one eSport...
Here’s a list of some of the best content creators out there right now, making amazing content for Artifact. If you aren’t already following all of these guys, I highly recommend you do so immediately, not just because what they’re making is awesome, but also because they are giving away beta keys! Artifaction The Artifaction podcast is hosted by SUNSfanTV and SirActionSlacks. They just held a massive create-a-card competition for 2 beta keys! If you missed it, that’s unfortunate, because it was great watching how miserable these two were after they reviewed over a thousand cards on stream (Which was only half of the submissions!). BTS Podcast Hosted by LuminousInverse and Hotbid. One of my favorite podcasts out there right now, these guys are great. Hotbid is a natural talent for keeping the podcast moving and making sure everyone on mic stays opinionated, taking hard stances. That’s what creates discussion, that’s what makes a podcast interesting. Creating debates. I can’t recommend these guys enough! Artificer’s Guild This is an all encompassing youtube channel, covering news, card releases, reviews, lore, it’s a great channel to have on subscribe. Check out their videos, they come out every few days! RobAJG What a great twitch channel this guy is running! He’s offering gameplay reviews, interviews, card reveals, as well as personal commentary. He does stream a lot of games other than Artifact, but when he streams Artifact, he can bring the house down. Jackson Walters While a newer content creator for Artifact (he’s only got three videos up), these videos are absolutely PACKED with amazing information you can break down. He is on another level when it comes to breaking down some pinpoint decision making moments in games. If you want to play on a high level in Artifact, definitely watch his videos. Swim Swim is a top Gwent streamer and dabbling with the idea of moving to Artifact. Personally, I think he’d be an amazing addition to the Artifact community and he’s got only one video up currently, breaking down the Black cards and revealing his own card, Slay. Make sure you give him plenty of love because he is a great creator! Lastly, I’d like to include myself in this list of content creators. You can check out my twitter here. I’m looking to write more articles like this in the future (If you guys enjoyed it, that is) Some of the topics I’ll be covering are going to be pretty heavy, like this article, but also decklists, analyzing metas and tournament results, maybe patch notes (if Valve decides to patch Artifact and change cards), interviews, pro scene topics, maybe even tracking cards on the marketplace, and predicting future meta shifts! I’d also like to do a card reveal, if Valve is interested in spreading the love. Seriously, Valve, I’d die if you sent me a card reveal... In conclusion, because of the ten reasons stated above, I believe Artifact will be the biggest eSport title, ever. I’d love to hear why you agree or disagree, so comment below! Also, one last thing, I do have a beta key to give away, if you follow me on twitter @rokmanfilms, I might do something fun to give the key away. I know you fiends are only motivated by the chance of winning a key! Ha! Thanks for reading! I’ll be posting again soon…
Michael “rokman” Weldon
ONE LAST THING -- I am interested in being a writer for a publication or website. If you’re interested in adding a writer like me to your team, you can Direct Message me on twitter, message me on Discord at rokman#5483, or message me here on Reddit! Sorry, not sorry, for the shameless plug!
[Modern] [Discussion] Death's Shadow in an Uro/Prowess World
Alright, I've been working on a bit of a project for a couple months now. This project is to break down actual game play of Death's Shadow in modern, rather than focus on theory. What does this mean? Essentially, I got tired of hearing "x matchup is a bye. We just thoughtseize their threat, drop a shadow, and battle rage. GG." Sure, why didn't I think of that? That sounds fantastic! For the 5% of games that play out exactly like that... But what about the rest? How are these matchups playing out when our lines get muddled, or they have a second threat, or our creature is answered? That's what I hope to uncover in this dive. For the purpose of this experiment, we'll be looking at the current hotness, 4 color Death's Shadow. I'm going to go over the general setup of this project, some interesting matchup breakdowns, and end on some closing thoughts as well as brief experience from Grixis Shadow. The data collected has come from personal play of approximately 300 matches over about 55 Modern leagues on MTGO and a few Modern Challenges/Preliminaries (300 sounded like a pretty rounded number to stop and give an update). Over this span, we achieved a 206-94 record, good for a 69% win rate. Here is an "average" list to give an idea of what we were working with. I'll go over changes from traditional 4 Color Shadow lists. 4 Death's Shadow 4 Tarmogoyf 4 Street Wraith 1 Lurrus of the Dream-Den 4 Mishra's Bauble 2 Cling to Dust 4 Stubborn Denial 4 Fatal Push 3 Inquisition of Kozilek 4 Thoughtseize 3 Traverse the Ulvenwald 1 Drown in the Loch 2 Temur Battle Rage 2 Dismember 1 Breeding Pool 1 Overgrown Tomb 1 Watery Grave 1 Blood Crypt 3 Nurturing Peatland 4 Polluted Delta 4 Verdant Catacombs 2 Bloodstained Mire 1 Swamp Sideboard: 2 Ceremonious Rejection 2 Nihil Spellbomb 2 Veil of Summer 2 Assassin's Trophy 2 Collective Brutality 2 Ashiok, Dream Render 1 Plague Engineer 1 Aether Gust 1 Kolaghan's Command Let's go over some general questions before we get in to the meat and potatoes. Why 4 Color over Grixis/Jund/other Shadow variant? Short answer: It boils down to personal preference. For me, 4 Color provides a strong balance between threat density/consistency, and the additional disruption and protection from late game top decks that stubborn denial provides. The general rule of thumb is that grixis is going to provide the best disruption and protection, but lowest threat consistency. Jund provides the highest threat density and explosiveness, but at the loss of threat protection and general disruption. 4 Color finds itself somewhere in the middle, with the ability to lean one way or the other. Any changes from stock lists? 3 Peatland instead of the popular 4. Shadow decks have always had a propensity for flood, simply due to your deck being so efficient that any extra lands become extremely noticeable. My personal opinion is that if the game goes long for you to need to crack multiple peatlands, your odds of winning against the grindier decks is so low that it doesn't particularly matter. Redrawing off a peat land is great, but less so when your opponent has a Jace/ seasoned pyromance Uro/ Liliana out. In its place, I've opted for the 4th Stubborn Denial in the main. I've seen lists moving the 4th to the board, as well as some cutting the 4th altogether. In my opinion, stub is one of the top 3 reasons to play Death's Shadow at all, and leaving home with less than 4 is nothing short of blasphemy. Force of Negation is the only card doing the same job more efficiently, and we don't have to lose an extra card to use ours. Surprising matchup results: Temur Uro: 13-5 (72%) This is one that has evolved a bit since I started testing 4 color. In the beginning, these decks were running Ice-Fangs, which is a nightmare card for shadow to beat (can't stub, gives them card advantage, trades 1 for 1 with our threats). However, when Ice-Fang started getting replaced with reclamations and fact or fictions, our win rate skyrocketed. Who has two thumbs and preys upon 4 mana sorcery speed spells? This guy. (Insert picture of thumbs pointing at self). Some keys to the matchup include getting threat down under remand. We need to get on the board quickly. They don't have good answers for our creatures, especially shadow (aether gust often comes in for goyf), so keeping a hand that allows for a turn 2 threat on the play, or hand disruption in to a threat on the draw can often put them on the back foot quickly. That makes the second priority preventing Uro from causing nightmares. Spellbomb, Ashiok, any non-dismember removal can accomplish this. Pushes aren't where you want to be in the matchup, but sometimes leaving 1 in if you don't have more to board is fine. We often don't care about Uro hitting the field from hand or escape, we just don't want it sticking around and road blocking us. Veil of summer gets significantly better if they're on archmage's charm, but is pretty unnecessary if they aren't. Sultai Uro (3-2, 60%) is a much tougher matchup, as their interaction lines up way better against our threats. Veil really shines here. UR Prowess: 15-6 (71%) Another matchup that has evolved in recent months, since the printing of Stormwing Entity. Hands that were fantastic against Mono R (think push, inquisition, stub, drown, goyf) are pretty disastrous in the face of a 3/3 prowess flyer with a 5 cmc body that dodges everything but dismember. This is one of the primary reasons I'm running trophy in multiples out of the board. Understanding that we can play patiently is crucial here, and putting emphasis on finding goyfs can be a game changer. Since we don't have to lower our life aggressively for a goyf, we can often force opponents to point multiple spells to get it off the field (hopefully in to a stub). Post board, answering a stormwing is huge. I'd almost go as far as saying I would mull the VAST majority of hands simply because they didn't have an answer to it in one way or another (dismember, thoughtseize, trophy). The first couple of turns are often the most critical, so give your opponent as few openings as possible. Some examples include: if you have the fatal push for the 1 drop, consider fetching on your turn. Fetching on your opponents' turn to kill a creature turns on spectacle for light up the stage, even if they didn't hit you. A soft stub on a manamorphose turn 2 can prevent a huge turn, often giving you time to get a threat down or stop a stormwing from hitting the battlefield for another turn or 2. Siding in a single spellbomb isn't terrible to force inopportune lava darts and prevent bedlam reveler from sealing the late game. Focus on the creatures. You don't want them getting extensive chip damage with guys, or the likelihood of a top deck sprite dragon/swifspear with a couple sandbagged burn spells being lethal goes up tremendously. Don't forget, if you board out all 4 wraiths, you can board out Lurrus and use it as a companion. This can be extremely useful if you find yourself wanting to board in at least 5 cards (ex: 2 trophy, 2 brutality, 1 aether gust). Mono R Prowess (6-1, 86%) much easier since they aren't running stormwing. Be careful of blood moon post board, and again, focus on knocking off creatures aggressively. RB Prowess (2-5, 29%): ugh... this matchup feels atrocious. Their ability to hit you with hand disruption if you sandbag threats and let them hit you, combined with their ability to grind out games with abbot, lurrus, cling to dust, and holding cards like seal of fire on board makes it very difficult to interact optimally. Stopping the grave becomes much more important, and holding a piece of hand disruption for lurrus can shift things in your favor a bit. Eldrazi Tron: 14-6 (70%) Much better matchup for 4 color than for Grixis. A thoughtseize or inquisition on turn 1 often means our goyfs will be bigger than smashers (since artifacts, planeswalkers, and the occasional tribal all is dust are all solid hits). Best stub targets include mazemind tome, Karn, the Great Creator, and chalice of the voice (though we're far less susceptible to Chalice than grixis). Don't be afraid to diversify your creatures. "But traversing for a second shadow gives me two really big guys!", but their ability to top deck expedition maps and blast zones can make that quite the dangerous move. "So just get two tarmogoyfs." E map also get scavenger grounds. So prioritizing one of each can help protect you from a larger number of top decks. Post board, we want to prioritize hands with a dude. If that hand also has a piece or two of interaction, fantastic, but we need to get on the board to turn on stubs, and make chalices worse. If you're running damping sphere, please don't bring it in here. You're taking a turn off to slow them down a turn. It's not worth it. But cards like trophy, rejection, and k command totally are. I often board out some of our grave-relient pieces like a traverse, drown in the loch, as well as some number of fatal pushes. Inquisition has become more acceptable recently due to mazemind tome and their need for cards like dismembewarping wail/chalice to stay alive. Even if they assemble tron on turn 3, I likely wouldn't lean towards using trophy on a land. The amount of times I've seen nat tron in to matter reshaper makes me care way less than just holding the trophy for Karn/smashebridge. UW/x Control (non-Uro, path and planeswalker based): 8-4 (67%) First off, this matchup is NOT as good as the record indicates. I was fortunate that I ran in to UW multiple times during a period where I was explicitly testing out multiple cards as hate for UWx, including Autumnal Gloom, Lazotep Plating, and Thrun, the Last Troll. That being said, I'll try to get some decent pointers to even out the matchup as much as possible. You often have to overextend in to verdict and "hope they don't draw it." Unfortunately that's a big part of our plan, as they are able to answer our threats 1 for 1 on an extremely efficient basis. T3feri has made the matchup significantly more difficult, as stubborn denial is often our best way to interact by a mile. Cling to dust has given us some game against mystic sanctuary, but we absolutely cannot let them resolve a planeswalker unless we already have multiple threats on board. Stealing game 1 is a huge part of winning the match, as they often keep hands that are lacking in some area, and we have the opportunity to exploit that. Maybe it's a hand with 4 lands, path, cryptic, and Jace, and we can take path and get under their walker. Maybe it's a hand that needs to draw white mana and we can get pressure early while we hold up stub for when they do. Post board, these opportunities dwindle and it becomes far more important to keep solid, all around hands. Don't be afraid to board out every piece of removal in your deck, you can always leave a piece or two in if you expect or have seen stoneforge. Veil of summer isn't great here. We get under their counters, and you might get to stop a t3feri or jace bounce, but they still have a value engine on board that we have a tough time dealing with. Their white based removal just ignores veil completely. If you're looking for spice, Lazotep Plating has been discussed in the discord as a replacement that also stops field of ruin tempo turns, consider giving it a try and see if it works for you. Otherwise, trophy, k command, spellbomb, and ashiok are board-in considerations to deal with planeswalkers, grind ability, and mystic sanctuary, respectively. Gruul Midrange: 9-5 (64%) Oh, where to begin. So many directions this matchup can go. I think it's one of the more fun matchups in modern at the moment. We'll have some notes about play patterns a little later that apply here. For example, in the blind, on the play game 1, holding up stub is often better than thoughtseizing turn 1. This applies here, as being able to stub a utopia sprawl before untapping and seizing a second sprawl/impactful 2/3 drop can often act as a pseudo time walk. From here, it progresses to a bit of a priority system. Number 1) can I do something to get a threat down. Red based removal is often terrible against Shadow and Goyf, so getting a dude down often means it's sticking around forever. Number 2) do they have something that stops me from playing the game? Blood moon and magus of the moon are typically the first cards that come to mind here (potentially klothys if your grave is taxes and you're relying on traverse. Taking these before they land or having answers lined up in hand helps make sure you're not just stopped in your tracks. Number 3) where is their advantage coming from? Bloodbraid and Pyromancer allow them to rebuild after hand disruption/removal/counters early. If you can deal with the rest, consider taking the value pieces to reduce their ability to grind back in the mid game. Post board, I've seen a few different suggestions, so I'm going to give what's working alright for me. Don't keep a hand without a threat or the ability to find one quickly. You need to protect yourself from a blood moon + veil/ability to pay for stub. The best way to do that is to get a threat down before that happens. They love boarding in a bunch of veils and relics, so Lurrus and traverse can often become liabilities. I wouldn't board out traverse if you're on a basic forest, but I board out 2 with just the swamp. Between relic, scooze, and klothys, the second traverse if often completely dead. Play to your hand. If you're sitting on a shadow, you probably don't care about klothys at all, but if you have goyf, it can really nerf your clock. Tag a chandra and you can often be looking at a 7/8 goyf. Seasoned pyromancer is probably the best card against us, as the blockers it provides can buy them several turns. You can consider bringing in plague engineer to help, but it's often too slow on the draw. Otherwise, trophy and gust are pretty solid boards. Don't be afraid to trophy a utopia sprawl'd land early on, as it can slow things down long enough to get a dude under prison pieces. Example, trophying a turn 1 sprawl'd forest on the play means you can have a goyf down on turn 3 plus hold up a stub, while they get to untap for their third turn and gain access to their third mana, instead of 4th for moon + veil. General tips: Turn 1 in the blind, if you have the option to seize/inquisition or hold up stub, go with stub. The amount of turn 1 non-creature pieces that create a huge advantage in modern is nuts. Play to that. Vial, sprawl, amulet, map, stasphere, inquisition/seize, neoform, shriekhorn... you get the idea. The decks that aren't playing these pieces, I can just about guarantee that the thoughtseize you're sitting on is just as, if not more, impactful on turn 2. The amount of times that I could have prevented getting burned by holding up stub, as opposed to seizing in to double vial/ star + sphere with stirrings and scrying and no green source/ double amulet/ double neoform with rider + pact is insane. Stub allows you to get value on turn 1 plus more from your thoughtseize, where that stub could just be dead from that point on if you seize in to duplicate 1 drops. We play on such tight margins that we can't afford to not get value from our cards. You don't have to be aggressive every single turn. Let me repeat that for those who didn't hear me. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE AGGRESSIVE EVERY SINGLE TURN. "But you're playing shadow, you want a lower life total to make a bigger shadow." Makes sense. What if they thoughtseize your shadow and you took yourself down to 5? What if you never draw the shadow? Know the matchup. Up against burn? Don't fetch and shock without a good reason. Up against tron? Fetch and shock away, just be weary of ballista. But the amount of times I've played the mirror and had opponents fetch and shock and wraith 3 times and play a shadow on turn 2 just to have it pushed, and then die to 1 swing off a goyf because they didn't have a plan, is through the roof. The last thing you want to do is give your opponent a free win because you didn't have a goal. The deck has a lot of ways of lowering life, sand bagging a few can often be more useful than using them without purpose. If your opponent is playing hand hate, please have a very, VERY, good reason before you pop that bauble on your turn. Opponent tapped down and you can turn on delirium to traverse for a shadow this turn? Absolutely, go for it. You have a fetch and want to scry? You can do that on your opponent's turn and not run the risk of drawing in to something you can't afford to lose. Goes along with that "don't have to be aggressive" comment. Just because you have things you CAN do, doesn't mean you SHOULD do them. Maximize your value, not your plays per turn. Final words: if you've made it this far, this might be the deck for you. It takes reps and dedication to get a feel for how games are going to play out. But it is by far one of the most rewarding archetypes in all of modern. Unfortunately I don't have links to the discords, but I'm sure people in chat can leave them if necessary. Otherwise, if you're looking for another resource for game play content and discussion, feel free to come check out my stream: https://www.twitch.tv/the_cntrlfreak where we play Shadow variants and test new options/underplayed cards Monday-Friday from 2pm CST until we decide to stop. Vods also available for previous leagues if you'd like some current content. We have a fantastic community of Shadow enthusiasts and new players to keep the discussion flowing wherever you decide to get your fix. As always, thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings and thoughts. Looking forward to the next innovator to come along and redefine the archetype.
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