How To Start Day Trading

So you want to be a day trader. Honestly, there is no better way to become your own boss and gain financial freedom. If you have the desire, dedication and discipline the sky is the limit for your profits. But how do you get started? Get into a free chat room.

When you spend time in a free chat room, you can start to understand how to get better at day trading right away. You will learn new lingo, make new friends and watch veteran traders in action. That is, you can can see them call out positions and work their way towards good and bad trades and see their reports after all the trades go down.

A free chat room can be an excellent intro into day trading education. Spending time in one will hip you to a very important lesson: There are only a few stocks worth trading on any given trading day. It is very hard to find those stocks. Many big trading firms use big, expensive propriatry software systems to trade. Those powerful algorithms make it hard to beat them.

So the key is to try not to beat them. The key is finding another way. Finding a needle in a haystack by diving around and nosing around is not advisable. So you need the right strategies to see the potential needles. Spending time learning from other day traders is a great way to start to get those techniques down.

But not all free chat rooms are created equal. You want to find one where an accomplished trader is livestreaming the desktop and talking through real-time trades. That is a great way to learn. Day trading is unpredictable, so it helps to be able to see people do it in real time. Having a portion of the chat room screen dedicated to streaming news, stocks to watch and trade alerts is a great feature as well. It allows you to maximize monitor space.

Actionable breaking news headlines are very important in a chat room as well. If a chat room is not providing you will news nuggets that help you make trades, it is not worth your time to be in there. Breaking news is a very big part of taking advantage of the fluctuations in the day trading market.

Then you need to make sure there is a discussion space where you can ask questions and interact with other traders. That is the only way to get better and learn. You need to be able to converse with other traders and get plenty of information out of them.

Spending time in a free chat room is a perfect way to determine if you like trading in that particular community. As with any industry, it helps to find your tribe. The quality of your days is determined by the people that you hang out with. It makes sense to test out these groups before you commit time to working within them.

How to Give Your Home Curb Appeal On a Budget

how to give your home curb appeal on a budget

While the housing market is still not fully out of the red, there has been some positives in 2016. For one, millennials are finally starting to enter the market, which is a generation that some experts were concerned would never purchase homes, according to this Forbes article by real estate writer, Samantha Sharf. Sharf also noted that mortgage rates remained historically low in 2016. And although cities are still facing affordability issues, despite the increase of wages, homes are appreciating in value due to the decrease in demand to build new homes. In short, things seem to be looking up, even if it is at a slow pace.

Given the above, perhaps you’ve been considering selling your house to relocate or simply have a change of scenery. Or, conversely, maybe you’re simply interested in increasing your property’s value now so that, if or when the time comes, you’ll be ready. This could easily be a costly project, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how to give your home curb appeal on a budget:

How to Give Your Home Curb Appeal On a Budget:

Sidewalks and Shutters

You may not realize it, but the simplest of tweaks can add a world of difference. It is often advised to pull out any weeds from between the sidewalk path leading to your home, tighten screws on any shutters to make sure they aren’t crooked or appear as though they may fall over, and the like. These fine details may be an effective (and simple) starting place.

Landscaping

Before planting anything new, make sure you have healthy soil or see where your current shrubbery could use improvements. Trim up overgrown bushes, clean up dead leaves, get rid of weeds in the grass and along the house, and so on. Quora user and real estate agent Andrey Sokurec recommends getting a spray tank and bottle of weed killer (available for roughly $42 total) and treating your yard with granulated fertilizer to make it greener longer.

Other landscaping tips to consider are to purchase colorful flowers for a nice pop if your exterior lacks color. You can incorporate shadow boxes below windows or on your porch railings, which will save money on mulch to line your house with flowers. Additionally, if you have space, you can look into planting trees on each side to frame your entry way. But, planter beware: Make sure to look into how large the trees will get first to avoid your home, particularly your front door, becoming hidden by them. Alternatively, you can use large potted plants to use at your doorway.

Paint

It’s amazing what a coat of paint can do, and this holds true for adding curb appeal. Painting your entire exterior will be costly, but you can simply paint your door, the trim, or shutters to provide the house with an updated look without breaking the bank.

Clean Up House

Keep your house looking nice on the outside by making sure toys are kept out of the yard, patio furniture isn’t damaged or looking decrepit, and the sidewalk and porch are swept. You should also try to power wash the outside of your home, especially if it is built with siding, to help give it a fresh face. Other than the cost of time, this will be essentially free to do.

Other ways to “clean up house” include but are not limited to:

  • Repainting or replacing your mailbox
  • Upgrading the numbers on your house
  • Replacing exterior lighting

But, before you start:

Even if you have no plans to sell your house anytime in the near future, you can still make these upgrades that will make you happy to come home to each time. But, before you start, you should determine what will look best with your home instead of trying to fit in an aspect that doesn’t work. Consider the following:

  • Take pictures. Interior designer Adrienne Kushner advises taking pictures of the exterior, including the sides and back of the house. This can help you see things you might otherwise miss. These photos can also assist in choosing shrubbery and colors that are right for your home.
  • Pick the right flowers and plants. Don’t plant anything without doing a little research on the type of plant and whether it will be a good fit for your environment and location. For example, flowers often need a lot of sunlight, and if your home is shadowed by surrounding trees, your flowers of choice may not be able to survive. It may also be more cost-effective to choose flowers that bloom annually rather than only live one season.
  • Choose colors that complement not take away from your home. With the pictures you take of your home, you may want to bring those with you to a local paint shop or home improvement store to see if they have any input on color choices for you. Let them know what style you’re going for, and they will likely provide you with some really helpful information, especially since they want you to buy paint from them.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t go overboard with shrubs and plants; simple is best to avoid a cluttered look. Need some inspiration? HelpMeBuild.com has some great suggestions here.
  • Have a budget in mind. Before you start any project, create a budget so that you do not go overboard and unnecessarily waste or spend money. If applicable, talk with your spouse first so that you are on the same page with spending.

What tips would you add on how to give your home curb appeal on a budget?

A FIREcalc Review: Is It Useful?

firecalc

We may all have our own interests and beliefs, but, if there is one thing we can all agree on it’s that everyone needs a retirement plan. Hiring a financial planner to help us with such a feat can be costly, though, and knowing where to start can also be a mystery. Before speaking with any retirement consultants, it may be wise to obtain an idea of what you can live off each year with your current portfolio as well as how much you might need to invest in order to live off your goal amount.  Luckily, the internet has come to the rescue with FIREcalc. But, what is it, exactly, and is it useful?

How FIREcalc Works:

FIREcalc is an online retirement and financial independence planning tool that gives you an idea of whether or not you can live off your current lifestyle with what you have in retirement. More than that, it actually compares how well your portfolio would have done throughout some of the toughest economic times in history dating back to 1887. Through this analysis, it helps to give you an idea of how well your investments will do in the future.

firecalc

To get started, you simply enter your goal annual spending amount, your current portfolio, and how many years you plan on using your retirement funds. Once applied, the FIREcalc simulation will calculate a simulation based on 30-year increments from the last 117 years. What will be produced is a color-coded graph with year-end balances. From here, FIREcalc states that you’ll be able to see the “big picture” of your current strategy.

firecalc graph

 

Pros:

The best part of FIREcalc is that it is free to use. There is absolutely no payment required nor do you even need to put a credit card on file. You’ll also not need to worry about creating an account, and you can use the retirement calculator as often or as many times as you need. You’ll be able to play out different financial scenarios with only the cost of time.

The homepage of the site provides an overview of what to expect, and, when you click on “How It Works,” you’ll find an informative FAQ that will be important to review prior to actually using the calculator. It explains the importance of evaluating the market throughout history as well as a step-by-step guide to FIRECalc.

Because this free online tool uses trends from the market since 1887, it automatically calculates the average success rate of your plan over time. The higher your success rate, the better your plan, obviously. There is no waiting for these results as they are generated as soon as you click “Submit.”

As you can see from the above results, the success rate of a $900,000 portfolio with a $40,000 annual withdraw for 40 years had a 71% success rate on average. This shows the user that changes need to be made to improve their success rate, and, because there are unlimited uses, the user can continue to crunch numbers to see what would be better for their current portfolio along with seeing how much they may need to increase it to achieve the desired yearly withdrawal amount.

Cons:

Although quick to use, the visuals of the site are a little underwhelming and overbearing with text. If you use the calculator without reading through the content you may find yourself easily confused, especially considering the historical factor FIREcalc uses to calculate results. It can also be easy to miss the calculator on the first page, as it is not visible right away, even when you click “Calculator” along the top tab.

It’s also important to note that FIREcalc is not meant to predict what will happen, but rather what will not happen. There are limitations, so even though you can incorporate your social security, you can’t tweak it to get the results you want. Part of this limitation includes not incorporating taxable versus non-taxable portfolios, leaving more room for inaccuracies.

Is It Useful?

The FIREcalc tool may not be 100% accurate, but because it is based on predictions, it can still give you an idea of how strong your portfolio is. The sooner you can start making adjustments, the better for your financial future. If nothing else, it’s another free retirement planning tool that shows you what you should consider setting aside to live the life you want. Just remember, the goal is to give you a general idea and is not an end-all solution to retirement planning.

Have you ever used FIREcalc? What are your thoughts?