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Electrum Wallet Review

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Are you considering the Electrum Wallet to store your cryptocurrency? Have you been reading user reviews, trying to decide if it is the right fit for you? Choosing a wallet to store your Bitcoin securely is no easy feat, so we simplified things and did the legwork for you. Keep reading for a detailed look into the features of the Electrum Wallet, its user interface, and how its security measures up.

Features Of Electrum Wallet

OVERVIEW

Bitcoin wallets come and go in the crypto world, but Electrum is one of the few that has been around since the early days. Electrum Wallet was born in 2011, at a point in time when Bitcoin's value was negligible. However, Electrum Wallet has gained such prestige amongst Bitcoin traders that around 10% of all transactions take place on their platform.

So, what exactly is Electrum Wallet? Electrum is a Bitcoin wallet for the desktop that works with various platforms, including Linux, Mac, and Windows. It was created by a German computer scientist and is meant to be a simple and effective way to store your coins securely.

The source coding behind the Electrum platform has gone through changes and improvements over the years, making it an even stronger platform to store crypto as time goes on. While there are over 900 cryptocurrencies being traded currently and the number is steadily increasing, Electrum Wallet supports Bitcoin only to ensure it remains quick and productive for users continuously.

One of the great aspects of Electrum Wallet is its ability to integrate with other cryptocurrency wallets, like Ledger Nano S, KeepKey, and TREZOR. If you have any of these hardware wallets, you can integrate them with Electrum Wallet for optimal user experience.

Key Components

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One primary feature of Electrum Wallet is its quick and seamless transactions. When you are making transactions with your cryptocurrency, the last thing you want is to wait around for confirmations.

Electrum Wallet downloads blockchains, taking the transactional information from the platform server. This means that every transaction you do will be much faster and you will not have to wait long for your confirmation.

You will also receive encrypted private keys when using Electrum Wallet. They are not transmitted to the servers and being fully encrypted, your Bitcoins will be password protected. As you will have sole ownership of your private keys, you can rest easy knowing there is little chance of theft.

Electrum Wallet also features cold storage for your Bitcoins. They provide an offline environment, so your desktop creates private and public keys. It then utilizes the online aspect of your desktop to finish transactions and send payments. The cold storage method is the best way to ensure your funds and Bitcoin will be safe.

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Electrum Wallet offers additional security features like the ability to use Tor support to hide your IP address from outside servers. Another great thing about Electrum Wallet is that if you were to lose it, there are numerous recovery routes to take so you can get it back swiftly and painlessly.

Electrum's connection to the server makes transactions faster than ever, while the wallet continuously verifies funds you send and receive. This helps secure your wallet against loss and theft, giving you additional peace of mind.

The code behind Electrum Wallet was created using Python, a system simple to reconstruct and update as user needs require. You can also use your wallet on different desktops without worrying about faulty synchronization. Plus, the wallet is designed for a hassle-free download and installation process.

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COST

CURRENCY

ADDING CURRENCY

SENDING AND RECEIVING PAYMENTS

User Interface

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A BREAKDOWN

Whether you are a tech guru or struggle with the techno world, you are in luck with Electrum. The installation aspect of the user interface is simple and efficient.

When installing Electrum and creating your wallet, the installation wizard will trigger a prompt asking if you prefer a two-factor authentication wallet, multi-signature wallet, standard wallet, or if you want to integrate an existing wallet. Your best option is a multi-signature wallet or two-factor authentication wallet because they give your Bitcoin an extra layer of security from potential hackers. Whichever selection you make, the platform will ask you about the seed phrase approach you want to use.

You will have the option to create a new wallet with a seed, secure key, or hardware wallet, or integrate a wallet with a current seed. If you select the standard wallet, the seed prompt will be the next window that comes up. Otherwise, you will have to go through a few pages before that point.

COMPATIBLE SYSTEMS

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Electrum Wallet is designed for desktops and works with iOS or Windows. The Android component of the Electrum platform was created in 2016 and can be used with Android devices, Mac, Windows, Linux, and desktops.

OVERALL LOOK

While Electrum's home page may be confusing for newbies to navigate at first, the overall process and tab accessibility for downloading your wallet and doing transactions is a breeze. Installation takes little time, and once you select your wallet and seed preferences, you are well on your way.

The platform's “Send” and “Receive” tabs and associated pages are intuitive and simple to use. One area where the interface might fall short for novice users regards its informational resources. It offers sufficient information on how to use the actual platform, but it does not provide any other resources regarding Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency details you might need.

Security

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HOW IT WORKS

Electrum has some impressive security components to consider if you are interested in one of their wallets. You can add an extra layer of security with either a multi-signature address or two-factor authentication, which will give you considerable peace of mind as you engage in Bitcoin transactions.

These functionalities are only part of the overall security system Electrum has in place. Electrum places the power completely in the hands of users, meaning you keep your private keys on your local device at all times. You have operational control over your funds, instead of worrying about them being left vulnerable to hackers like more centralized wallets do.

THE WEAK SPOT

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One weak area of the Electrum platform's security measures bears mentioning. In the past, Electrum had a weak point in their system that made them vulnerable to hackers skilled in absconding with funds via infected web pages.

If you logged into your wallet and simultaneously had up a webpage that was infected, your Bitcoins could be stolen. The good news is, this is the only real security issue with which the platform has dealt

Electrum has worked hard to make significant updates to resolve this problem. If you go with Electrum, be sure to install any prompted updates to make sure you boost your security, since the platform does not do automatic updates.

Conclusion

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If you want an easy, user-friendly platform with negligible wait times for sending and receiving Bitcoin, Electrum Wallet could be your go-to option for safety, compatibility, and no-sweat transactions. It features key elements like private key encryption, cold storage, and 2-factor authentication for your security needs. You can also integrate your wallet on Electrum with other wallets, so you are not limited by the platform.

While Electrum is a solid cryptocurrency wallet, it has a couple of downsides; there is a lack of information on the platform for crypto novices, and it only supports Bitcoin. Despite these couple of negatives, Electrum Wallet is still an impressive wallet option with plenty of attractive features, a solid user interface, and security measures that work to beat hackers and prevent theft effectively.

So, that is our Electrum review. We hope you have found it useful in your search for a suitable cryptocurrency wallet.

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Buy The Rumor Sell The News: Risk Control

For many, the art of investing seems like an elusive phenomenon; lucrative if you can take hold of it but difficult to carry into action. Well, we are here today to dispel that myth. One key element of learning how to invest is understanding the concept of buy the rumor, sell the news.

Perhaps you have heard the phrase buy the rumor, sell the news before, or this could be your first time being acquainted with the idea. Either way, allow us to delve into what buy the rumor, sell the news means, why the strategy works in practice and not just in theory, and offer you some useful tips and tricks to invest like a pro.

What Does "Buy the Rumor, Sell the News" Mean?

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Overview

First off, what does buy the rumor, sell the news even mean, anyway? To break it down into succinct terms, this phraseology refers to the choice to purchase a security on the foundation of a rumor. Then, you move to sell the security once the news releases the rumor to the general public.

This is a common financial strategy to capitalize on securities before they hit the news, then turn around and make a profit once the story strikes. Many traders incorporate the concept of buy the rumor, sell the news into their market strategies by basing their actions on what they believe could happen in the future.

This technique is broken down into two parts. The first is buy the rumor. When a trader buys the rumor, they are still speculating on the future event by purchasing an asset.

After the future event occurs or hits the news, it is a matter of public knowledge. At this point, the trader discards the asset. They sell the news, so to speak. By doing so, the market continues to move.


Understand the Power of the Rumor

To grasp the idea behind buy the rumor, sell the news, it is imperative to understand the power of the rumor. For investment markets not a part of the foreign exchange, also known as Forex, investors and traders commonly purchase assets solely based on forecasted events and cash profits.

For example, if a company is projected to have a greater revenue flow to their shareholders than was anticipated, the traders will purchase stock all at once to capitalize on stock price or heightened dividends. Forex traders do the same thing, but they usually purchase assets because of projected interest rate movements.

If you want to learn how to invest like a pro with the strategy to buy the rumor, sell the news, it is best to look for diminished markets. This is the approach of seasoned Forex traders.

Case in point: when a rumor hits the sound waves, it shows that an asset will enjoy increased cash flow soon. This means the asset is projected to have a higher worth within a couple of weeks or months. Investors will buy the asset until the point where the asset is no longer diminished and is worth more.

Now, if the rumor was untrue, the news will break and traders will sell the asset in droves. If the news hits and the asset far exceeds the expectations of the initial rumor, the stock might remain at the point it was before the story hit or even higher.


Potential Outcomes

One issue with the strategy of buy the rumor, sell the news that frequently frustrates investors is the potential of buying a strong asset that is sold off and depreciates. This can lead to the recency bias.

Recency bias is when a trader responds slowly to the rumor while his fellow traders take action immediately. The slow moving trader may end up being the source offering liquidity for other investors after the news story either confirms or disproves the rumor.


What It Means For You

So, what does buy the rumor, sell the news mean for you as a budding investor? For starters, when a rumor is confirmed and the news story hits investor sound waves, elevating asset prices, that can be the absolute worst point to get into the market.

This is because that point in time is when all the people who purchased the stock at its initial lower price are selling off for cash flow. You never want to be the liquid source for other traders. The best thing you can do is wait for the price to retreat after a positive news event and purchase the asset at a more optimal price.

Why Does This Strategy Work?

The Future Is Key

By now, you are probably wondering if the buy the rumor, sell the news strategy works or not. Why do traders engage in this strategy? One key characteristic of the stock market is it always looks to the future.

For instance, the share prices of a particular stock do not reflect the value of a company's performance previously. Rather, the price of the stock reflects the value traders associate with its projected performance in the near future.

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When you look at it that way, buy the rumor, sell the news is logical. You buy stock only if you expect that its performance will be greater in the future. While you can look at the previous performance to get an idea of what the stock will do, the future performance is most relevant to traders.


Market Assessments

Since the stock market depends on the future, it is important to understand the role of market assessments in the buy the rumor, sell the news strategy.  When stock reacts to an event in the news, it reacts to the projected market expectations, not the news story.

For instance, if you have done your research on investing you know if a company's earnings increase by double-digits, things are looking good. If, however, the news hits that a company only enjoyed a 10 percent increase in earnings rather than the market projected 15 percent, their stock will probably go down. This does not mean that 10 percent is bad for the company, it means that the earnings increase did not match market projections for stock prices.

Tips and Tricks to Invest Like a Pro

Have a Plan

The first thing you want to do to invest like a pro, whether you utilize the buy the rumor, sell the news investment strategy or not, is to have a solid plan. You need to understand the place you are in financially and where you intend to go from there. Make a plan that includes a contingency for if your investment strategy goes awry and have sufficient insurance to meet your financial planning needs.


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Identify Your Core Investing Values

Before you decide where you want to move your assets to or what stock investments you want to make, identify what your personal set of investment values will be.

These values will determine the investing strategy you use and keep you on a steady course throughout the duration of your investing career. If you do not have a set of values in place, you may be prone to buy into nonviable investment opportunities and get burned out quickly. For instance, the strategy of buy high, sell low is adhered to by many novice investors but fails time and time again.

Research and read the investing values of seasoned traders. If you know someone already in the market, talk to them and get their advice for curating a winning investment strategy that meets your needs and future goals.


Trading Philosophy: How to Buy the Rumor, Sell the News

Now you understand how buy the rumor, sell the news works, we would like to offer tips for applying this strategy to your investing life. The first part is buying the rumor. If you have a solid notion that a company will produce an excellent earnings report, you would buy their stock well before the earnings date.

According to this train of thought, fellow traders will also purchase assets before the earnings date, which increases the price of each share. Once the earnings date hits, you can sell for a profit. Seasoned traders that can project positive news may even sell the asset for considerable cash flow before the news story ever breaks.

Once the news story hits the market and the earnings report is released, there could be a chance for short selling. If an asset's value has been increasing in the weeks before the report, the market is projecting a high stock value. This can cause a pressure to sell that brings the price of shares down, even if the news was great, leading to short selling.

Conclusion

While the concept of buy the rumor, sell the news may seem complicated at first glance, it is based on a simple premise. By purchasing assets on the rumor of their projected value, and selling them once the news story hits for cash flow, you can achieve great success as an investor. With time and patience you can fine tune your technique and determine the trading philosophy that works best for you.

Buy And Sell
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Index Fund Vs ETF: 10 Things To Know

When you compare index fund vs ETFs, you realize that both track stock index value. ETFs and index funds are used in tracking markets outside of standard equity markets such as commodities, cryptocurrencies, and even precious metals. If you are new to investing, index funds and ETFs might be confusing since they are sometimes used interchangeably. The two terms are used interchangeably because they have similarities, but they are different.

ETF VS Index Funds

ETFs and index funds are popular as they incorporate simple to understand goals and use a straightforward approach to investing. They're both investment vehicles and investors typically buy shares of these funds instead of directly investing in the underlying asset or stock group. Even so, the two are different in terms of tax treatment, minimum investments, and other aspects like expense ratios, which affect their performance. So index fund vs ETSs, which is better to invest in? This article highlights what ETFs and index funds are and provides a succinct differentiation of the two while also pointing out some of the similarities.


What Is an Index Fund


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INDEX FUNDS

Index funds are like mutual funds that mirror market index's performance, such as S&P 500. They're treated as benchmark indices. They're different from mutual funds which are actively managed by managers who pick stocks to sell or buy based on stated goals. Unlike the actively managed mutual funds, an index fund works just like a market mirror or a smaller part of it: an index. Index funds do not need fund managers to make active decisions pertaining to how and where to invest. Index funds are considered specialized mutual funds that can be bought via. the mutual fund company or through an intermediary, such as a broker.

Vanguard started trading index funds in the mid-1970s with the Vanguard 500 Index Fund, designed to mirror the S&P 500. Most investors consider it to be one of the best mutual funds in the market.


What Is an ETF


ETF

An ETF can be traded just like stocks. This form of fund includes bonds, stocks, or any other assets representative of the investment goal, and investors can buy ETFs shares via. common retail brokerages, such as a discount online brokerage. The structure of ETFs provides easy access and liquidity as investors don't have to buy through mutual fund companies or intermediaries. However, investors should know highly specialized or thinly traded ETFs can be volatile and are also characterized by large spreads between the ask and bid prices.

Most ETFs are index funds that track an index such as NASDAQ and S&P 500, other exchanges, or subsets within the market. Highly specialized ETFs are increasingly becoming popular among investors such as energy, cryptocurrency, and gold. Essentially, if a market is new and hot, as an investor, you need to be on the lookout. An ETF provides an easy way for investors to gain fast exposure to new technological trends or markets that have moved as a result of legislative changes.

Most ETF markets have grown significantly into thousands of ETFs, and some are simple index funds while others serve the purpose of highly specialized goals such as tracking treasury bills, the volatility index (VIX), or even the mortgage market. ETFs are evolving and therefore, investors can anticipate the creation of ETFs for every specialized market.


Index Fund vs ETF: 10 Things You Need to Know


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what you need to know

1. Index Fund vs ETF: Do You Invest Directly In Stocks?

2. Index Fund vs ETF: Do They Track a Market or An Index?

3. Index Fund vs ETF: Expenses and Fees

4. Index Fund vs ETF: Taxes

5. Index Fund vs ETF: Minimum Investments

6. Index Fund vs ETF: Liquidity

7. Index Fund vs ETF: Advantages

8. Index Fund vs ETF: Disadvantages

9. Index Fund vs ETF: Purchasing Methods

10. Index Fund vs ETF: Which Provides Easier Control Over the Price?


Conclusion


Index funds are mutual funds that mimic market index performance such as S&P 500. An ETF can be traded just like stocks and includes bonds, stocks, or any other assets that are representative of the investment goal. When you buy stocks, you are buying a small fraction of ownership in a company. However, for ETFs and index funds, you are given an opportunity to invest more broadly. They are different in that the expense ratio for ETFs is lower compared to that of index funds.

An investor can access an ETF with a minimum of $1 but for index funds, you need a minimum investment of $500-$3,000 initially. ETFs and index funds allow you to diversify and offer tax benefits. Although ETFs accompany higher expense ratios compared to ETFs, they are typically cheaper compared to managed funds. They have a low risk compared to other asset classes by offering steady growth. Just like ETF funds, index funds have a limited exposure to capital gains. We hope that this article has adequately addressed what ETFs and index funds are, their differences and their similarities.

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How To Short Bitcoin: A Beginners Guide

Posted on 08 March 2019

Bitcoin, the first and most famous entry into the now-burgeoning cryptocurrency market, has been in the news a fair amount in the past few years, first for its meteoric rise and then for its stunning crash. Until recently, those who wished to trade bitcoin as if it were any other commodity or currency were stuck with "buy and hold" strategies, betting that the value of the ethereal coinage would rise higher than the price at which they bought it—the so called "buy low, sell high" approach. Investors were left wondering how to short bitcoin, with no tenable solution.

Financial analysts have been ringing the death knell for bitcoin for years, despite how the currency actually performs and what value it is trading at. Traditional wisdom dictates that something like bitcoin, which has no inherent worth and doesn't physically exist, couldn't possibly hold its value. If you were one of the naysayers, you had no trading options available to let you profit on a decline in bitcoin pricing. In this article, we'll look at how to short bitcoin as a way of "betting against" the success of the fiat currency.


What Is Shorting Bitcoin?


When examining how to short bitcoin, it's useful to understand what a short sale is to begin with. A short sale is essentially an agreement to provide a commodity, stock, or currency at a given price at some arbitrary future date. The logic here is that if Trader A believes that the cost of a stock will rise and Trader B believes it will fall, they enter into an agreement whereby Trader B agrees to sell Trader A a certain number of shares of that stock at a specified date for an agreed upon price.

How to Short Bitcoin

If Trader A is right, he gets to pick up shares of a stock for below its trading value. If Trader B is right, he gets to sell those shares of stock for above its trading value. The two traders are, in effect, betting against each other.

Betting Against the Future

A short sale is, in other words, a contract to sell something at a future date at a price lower than that which it is currently valued. Bitcoin, since two Chicago stock exchanges began allowing for its trade, is now no different than any other commodity. Traders and investors who were eyeing the cryptocurrency skeptically now have the opportunity to put their money where their mouth is and bet against its future success.

Sell High, Buy Low

All of those analysts who are convinced the cryptocurrency is doomed can agree to sell it in the future for equal to or less than its current value. If they're right, they can pick up bitcoin prior to that future date for less than it is currently trading and sell it at a profit. That, in essence, is how to short bitcoin. The actual mechanics of it are a little more complicated, and we'll get into that below.


Why Short Bitcoin?


How to Short Bitcoin

Many financial advisors believe that bitcoin is over-valued and headed for a steep decline. They have some compelling arguments—a decline in trading volume and concern over tighter regulations and taxation have brought many to the same conclusion: that bitcoin has seen its heyday and will never again reach the heights it once had. If they're right, they stand to make a fortune by betting against the traders who think it will continue to increase in value.

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The Relative Safety of the Long Sale

It's worth mentioning here that shorting anything—pork bellies, bitcoin, any stock or commodity—is inherently much more dangerous than the traditional "long" sale, or buying low and selling high. If you're a buy-and-hold trader convinced that the bitcoin you buy today will be worth more tomorrow, next week, or next year, the amount you stand to lose is equal to your initial investment. If you buy $1,000 worth of bitcoin, you cannot possibly lose more than that $1,000.

The Risks of the Short Sale

If, however, you short bitcoin in the belief that it will be worth less in the future, you expose yourself to potentially exponential risk. If the value of bitcoin skyrockets, you stand to lose a great deal of money, as you're not agreeing to sell at a certain price—you're just agreeing to sell a certain number of bitcoin at a certain date regardless of price.

If that price is well below market value in the future, you are essentially giving the person buying your short sale a guaranteed discount. If the price doubles or triples, you stand to lose two to three times what you originally thought its worth would be. In this sense, the short sale is always a high-stakes gamble (or at least potentially could be. It's also possible that the future value of any given commodity is roughly equivalent to its value today.


How to Short Bitcoin


How to Short Bitcoin

Now that we've examined the potential pitfalls of shorting, and hopefully driven home the point that it's potentially very risky, let's look into how to short bitcoin in the real world.

Shorting Futures on the CBOE/CME

Shorting Bitcoin Contracts-for-Difference

Bitcoin Tracker Funds and ETNs

Put and Call Options


Conclusion


We hope we have answered the question of how to short bitcoin and done so in a way that was sufficiently clear and concise. To repeat our early warning, short selling anything—a commodity, stock, currency, or cryptocurrency—is inherently risky, and even more so if done on margin. You should educate yourself further on bitcoin market trends, closely follow regulatory and market news, and as always: never, ever invest more than you can afford to lose.

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How To Buy Litecoin: 6 Easy Steps

Posted on 01 March 2019

Investing in cryptocurrency isn't exactly a safe bet, but if you're a buy-and-hold kind of investor, it's something you want to think about. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero—the list of cryptocurrencies seems to grow every day. But unlike Bitcoin, which has been trading at thousands of dollars per coin, the cryptocurrency Litecoin is trading at dollar amounts similar to what Bitcoin was just a few years ago.

If you're looking to get in on the ground floor of an exciting and potentially lucrative investment opportunity, Litecoin is something you'll want to be looking into—but you might wonder how to buy Litecoin. First, let's explain exactly what it is.

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What Is Litecoin?


Litecoin is a fiat cryptocurrency, which means it's a currency that's not tied to a real-world commodity like silver or gold—unlike the British pound, for example, which (as its full name pound sterling would suggest) is tied to sterling silver. When the pound was first introduced over 1200 years ago, that was it's worth—a pound of sterling silver, and you could trade it for such at an exchange, which was an early precursor to the stock exchanges of today.

Lite Coins
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Unlike these so-called "hard money" currencies, fiat currency is valued at what the people who trade it agree it is worth. Litecoin, like other fiat currencies, technically has no value but like many other tradable commodities such as stocks and bonds, its value is calculated by the most recent price it can be bought or sold for on exchanges much like the New York Stock Exchange. While this might sound risky, it's no riskier than any other investment, and Litecoin, like Bitcoin, is expected to do nothing but increase in value from its current levels. In this article, we explain how to buy Litecoin.


How to Buy Litecoin?


Litecoin

Buying Litecoin can be relatively straightforward and simple, or, depending on factors like how you're trying to pay for it and where you live on the globe, rather complicated and somewhat time-consuming. We'll explain exactly how to buy Litecoin on various exchanges or platforms, and the varying methods of payment you can use, like buying with "real-world" money, credit card, PayPal, or via bank transfer.

Volatile Cryptocurrency

Geographic Location

Buying Litecoin with a Credit Card

Buying by Wire Transfer

Buying with Cash

Buying with PayPal


A Word about Security


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Litecoin should never be left on an exchange, as there have been hacks in the past, and on some occasions, exchanges have had technical difficulties resulting in a loss of cryptocurrency. Though hacks and market technical errors are rare, they can still happen, and any cryptocurrency you hold should be transferred to a "local" wallet (stored in an app on your phone). There are wallet apps for Android, iPhone, and even desktop computers, whether they're PC or iOS based.

Examine the various options there and always choose an app that's been around for a while and comes with good reviews. Remember, if you lose or damage your phone, any Litecoin or other cryptocurrency stored there could be lost for good, so back up your wallet file. The various applications have different methods to accomplish this, so look into the technicalities of your various apps. Once again: always back up your wallet, and never leave Litecoin or any other cryptocurrency on an exchange, as it could be vulnerable.


Conclusion


To recap, how to buy Litecoin depends on your location, local laws, bank partnerships, and the method of payment. If you're in the US, UK, EU or the larger Eurozone, you'll have access to different trading platforms and should use the one that appeals to you the most. If you're outside of those areas, all hope is not lost—you can still buy Litecoin in various ways, you may just have to do more research (or go with one of the service platforms we mention above). The more remote your location, the more difficult you will find purchasing Litecoin (or any other cryptocurrency).

We encourage you to persevere as more exchanges and different platforms and methods are becoming available all the time. If you're serious about trading in cryptocurrency, you may also wish to look into establishing a legal residence in a country where buying Litecoin or other cryptocurrency is easier. It can be as simple as renting a post office box or incorporating a business in a place that doesn't charge exorbitant fees for that legal service.

We hope we have answered the question "how to buy Litecoin," and we wish to offer one final word of advice. Again, never invest more in Litecoin or other cryptocurrencies than you can afford to lose. Though ups and downs are a normal part of any currency, crashes can (and will) happen, with the potential to wipe out any gains and the amount of your original investment, leaving you poorer than when you started. Caveat emptor—let the buyer beware—and happy Litecoin trading!

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How To Buy IOTA

Posted on 04 February 2019

These days, it seems like everyone wants “in” on the next cryptocurrency. Sure, they missed the Bitcoin boom. Then, they missed the rush on Ethereum. Now, they are just trying to decide which initial coin offering to throw their money at next, mainly so they can talk about how they are getting in early on the next big thing. If you feel like there is definitely something to digital currency and the associated technology involving the blockchain network but you are certain just picking a cryptocurrency at random is not a savvy investing move, then you need to know how to buy IOTA.

Not only is this digital currency practical enough to potentially power remote grocery delivery in the foreseeable future, but it is backed by a cryptocurrency platform with substantial potential and an innovative edge on the market. And, as with all cryptocurrencies, IOTA is a truly international currency which allows people to get away from traditional forms of exchange.

WHAT IS IOTA?


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If you want to know how to buy IOTA, you first need to know what IOTA stands for. Surprisingly, it stands for “Internet of Things Application.” Essentially, IOTA Is a secure network derived from blockchain research but that is not actually blockchain. The application is intended for use by all machines, appliances, and devices that can connect to the internet.

A Little History Of IOTA

In 2016, four programmers launched IOTA in an attempt to improve on the security offered by blockchain technology. Unlike Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, IOTA does not require you to mine for units, nor are you required to build something new into the system. In fact, IOTA does not even use the blockchain. Instead, it uses something called a “tangle” to keep user information and transactions as secure as possible.

The IOTA Transaction Tree

Despite its unconventional nature, IOTA is ranked 12th out of 400 cryptocurrencies in CoinMarketCap.com's recent ranking of cryptocurrencies by market value. The application's developers believe it has incredible security potential because instead of creating a straight line of verified transactions in the manner of blockchain, IOTA uses something called a directed acrylic graph (DAG) to have users verify two additional transactions before their own is processed. Interestingly enough, this actually creates a super-speedy network and, by extension, a potentially valuable cryptocurrency based on that network. Since IOTA is not a traditional cryptocurrency, however, learning how to buy IOTA can be a bit complicated.

WHERE TO BUY IOTA


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IOTA can be purchased by investing in IOTA coins. You cannot, however, purchase IOTA coins using your own country's currency. In fact, if you know how to buy IOTA, you already know you must buy other cryptocurrency first, then exchange that cryptocurrency for IOTA coins. This process often intimidates new investors because they believe they cannot afford digital currencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum even though the markets have recently settled. Remember, you can buy these digital currencies in fractional amounts, which is why crypto-to-crypto trading exchanges work.

Buying IOTA on Binance

​​​​​​​One of the most common options for crypto-to-crypto exchanges is to take your trade to the Chinese trading exchange Binance. This exchange requires that you make a deposit in either Bitcoin or Ethereum to start up your account. Once your account is funded with one of these cryptocurrencies, then you will be ready to trade for IOTA coins. When you make the exchange, Binance will charge you 0.1 percent of the trade amount. When you withdraw your IOTA, you will be charged 0.5 IOTA. You can save a little on the transaction by converting your Bitcoin or Ethereum into Binance Coin (BNB) before using the BNB to buy IOTA.

Using Fiat Currency To Fund Your Binance Account

If you do not already own Bitcoin or Ethereum, you will have to purchase some before you can explore how to buy IOTA on a cryptocurrency trading exchange. You can purchase more ubiquitous digital currencies on platforms such as Coinbase, which offer simple solutions for traders who simply want to make straightforward purchases using their country's currency, like the U.S. dollar or the Japanese Yen. Once your cryptocurrency purchase is complete, you can transfer it to Binance and start making exchanges.

Should I Buy Ethereum Or Bitcoin?

While both Ethereum and Bitcoin will work in a crypto-to-crypto exchange transaction, some traders say Ethereum is a safer option for funding your Binance account because:

  • It is less expensive than Bitcoin
  • It tends to take less time to process, leaving smaller windows where your funds are potentially available to be hacked
  • Its blockchain is usually considered sounder than that of Bitcoin

No matter which currency you choose, however, there will be some delay while you wait for the cryptocurrency to transfer to your Binance account. Binance does have a two-factor authentication protocol that has been proven to keep platform users' information and funds secure. In March 2018, hackers did manage to attack the exchange but were unable to steal anything before the Binance team stopped them.

How To Buy IOTA On Bitfinex

If you want to use your country's currency to purchase IOTA coin directly, then Bitfinex may be able to help you. This platform allows users to trade with:

  • US dollars
  • Euros
  • Cryptocurrencies

The benefit of Bitfinex is that you do not have to go through another trading platform first. Drawbacks include more fees on your transactions and that some new traders find the Bitfinex platform too advanced for comfort. If you are just learning how to buy IOTA and not getting into advanced transactions, it should probably be okay. Readers should note Bitfinex has been hacked several times, however, and users have lost money. In fact, in May 2015 and again shortly thereafter, nearly 120,000 Bitcoin were stolen from the site. However, the platform restored all lost monies to users by April 2017.

Other Options For Buying IOTA

Bitfinex and Binance are the two exchanges that post the most significant trade volumes for IOTA, but you have major options for making your IOTA purchase. These, include:

  • Gate.io, a relatively new two-factor identification system that offers crypto-to-crypto trading
  • HitBTC, a Hong Kong crypto-to-crypto exchange that requires users to purchase Bitcoin from a broker before conducting transactions

HOW TO BUY IOTA


sample chart of trading

Once you have selected your platform for purchasing IOTA and funded the account as the platform requires, it is time to put all that effort you spent learning how to buy IOTA into action. It is time to do what most platforms refer to as “making a trade,” wherein you exchange one cryptocurrency for another. We will use Binance as our example for the process.

Trade Settings And Making Your Purchase

Unless you are an experienced cryptocurrency trader, just pick “basic” for your trade settings and then scroll through the list of trading pairs. You will see the option “IOTA/[BTC or ETH]” in that long list. Select it. Note that IOTA should be first in the pair. You are not trading IOTA for Bitcoin or Ethereum. You are trading one of those currencies for IOTA. Once you select the right trade, you will fill out an order form to tell the exchange how much IOTA coin you want to buy. Once you click the big “Buy IOTA” button, the transaction is complete and you now are the proud owner of some IOTA, possibly the cryptocurrency sector's next big thing.

Putting Your IOTA In A Wallet

It might feel like you should be done with learning how to buy IOTA at this point, but there is one more important step. You must transfer that IOTA out of the cryptocurrency exchange or trading platform and into a cryptocurrency wallet. Your wallet may be kept online or offline, and is where you keep all the codes you might need to access your cryptocurrency investments. Fail in this, and you run multiple risks including being hacked or assessed additional fees by the exchange platform.

2-Factor Authentication

You will notice that many cryptocurrency platforms offer “2-factor authentication” (2FA) as a demonstration of their high levels of security. Exchanges usually will offer their own custom versions of this, but Google, for example, also offers an authenticator that may be purchased and managed via the Google Authenticator App, which is a good additional option to help you avoid security breaches. Google Authenticator is free from both Google Play Store and Apple iOS Store. Binance will also limit your withdrawal limits until you complete additional authentication steps to prove your identity, so there is a wide variety of options for creating multiple levels of security.

Get Out There And Buy Some IOTA


man in front of chart trading

Experts predict IOTA could appreciate exponentially in the next few years as the Internet of Things (IOT) expands and becomes a more commonplace concept in our daily lives. Will this relatively new cryptocurrency be the next Bitcoin or Ethereum? Only time will tell, but it certainly has potential. However, if you do not learn how to buy IOTA, your window of opportunity for finding this out will certainly close.

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How To Find Penny Stocks: Stock Market For Beginners

Posted on 01 February 2019

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Some investors use penny stocks as part of their investment strategy. Other beginner investors use penny stocks to test the waters in the stock market. Regardless of whether you are experienced or new to investing, you need to know how to find penny stocks and what makes for a good potential investment.

What Are Penny Stocks?

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Before figuring out how to find penny stocks, it's helpful to understand what penny stocks are and how they can fit into your larger investment strategy. Penny stocks are defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as stocks that trade for under $5. However, this definition is simplistic. Penny stocks can cost as much as $10 a share. It all depends on their market caps.

Market Cap and Penny Stocks

Market cap, or market capitalization, is the true determiner of whether a stock qualifies as a penny stock. Essentially, the market cap shows the true value of a company beyond its current share price. It is possible to have a $50 share in one company that, in reality, is worth less than a $10 share in another company due. Whether you are looking at how to find penny stocks or the best stocks around, you should take the company's market cap into effect.

To find the market cap, you multiply the per-share-price of a company's stock by the total number of restricted shares and shares it has available to the public; also referred to as outstanding shares or capital stock. Companies' stocks are then categorized by their market cap in the following way:

  • Mega-cap companies: $200+ billion market cap
  • Large-cap companies: $10 to $200 billion market cap
  • Mid-cap companies: $2 to $10 billion market cap
  • Small-cap companies: $300 million to $2 billion market cap
  • Micro-cap companies: Under $300 million market cap

There is some variation in the definitions once the market cap drops below $300 million, and you may hear reference to micro- versus nano- stocks. For our purposes, however, most penny stocks fall under the $300 million market cap range. A few penny stocks may come from small-cap companies, though most will not.

Penny Stocks and Specialization

Some penny stocks have a low market cap because they are in a narrowly specialized industry. One example of this is the growing medical cannabis industry. There are still heavy restrictions at the federal level which limit the growth of companies in this industry and prevent publicly-traded companies from growing to a larger market cap range.

When you learn how to find penny stocks, you will want to consider if specialization is the reason for the low share price. If the market cap for a penny stock you are investigating is in-line with others in its industry, it is a solid choice. If the market cap is higher than others in its industry, that may be a good reason to invest.

Where Are Penny Stocks Traded?

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Penny stocks are not traded on most normal exchanges since they are often too small to meet the requirements to be listed. When you are ready to purchase penny stocks, you will have to do so on the Pink Sheets or on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB). These are both over-the-counter exchanges which means buyers conduct their trades over the phone or computer.

Most penny stocks are still too small to meet the initial listing requirements of the NASDAQ or NYSE. Though, a few penny stocks have been moved to over-the-counter exchanges after being "de-listed" from the major exchanges when they faced bankruptcy and severe financial difficulties. Since both the NYSE and the NASDAQ require that companies have at least a $1 per-share-price to be listed, this makes it difficult to find shares for actual pennies on these major exchanges.

Pink Sheets

This over-the-counter exchange was originally traded on pink paper and led to the name Pink Sheets. They have no minimum requirements for companies to be listed. Companies can list on Pink Sheets without having to file with the SEC or make their account statements public. Some large foreign companies use Pink Sheets to break into the American market without having to share their budget or accounting practices. The prices on Pink Sheets penny stocks are sometimes manipulated through fraud and scams. Stocks here are consideredextremely risky since it is nearly impossible to research the companies before buying in.

Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB)

Unlike the Pink Sheets, the OTCBB provides slightly more security for traders and requires annual audits for companies listed there. Companies on the OTCBB must also adhere to the Corporate Responsibility Act of 2002, or Sarbanes-Oxley bill. This bill put in place protections and regulations around financial reporting to prevent scams and fraud, such as happened with Enron. Companies listed on this board must file quarterly financial reports with the SEC. Many penny stocks trade on the OTCBB as a first step to reaching the NASDAQ and the NYSE.

Traditional Markets

It is possible to find penny stocks on traditional markets, like the NYSE, the NASDAQ, and AMEX. Companies listed on these markets will be subject to more stringent reporting requirements. Investors should have no trouble doing in-depth research into companies listed there.

How to Find Penny Stocks

woman using laptop

Penny stocks are attractive to beginner investors because of the low costs and the potential for massive rewards. However, there are larger risks involved with these micro- and nano-cap stocks. Before purchasing, you need to know how to find penny stocks that pose the least risk with the most potential for gains.

The Importance of Analysis

Every stock poses some potential for risk. However, smaller market cap companies pose greater risks because they are not subject to as much regulation and financial reporting as larger companies. Investors must be able to analyze the financial records of a company to know whether a penny stock is worth investing in.

Beyond looking at the numbers, you will want to understand the business strategy of the penny stocks you invest in. Look for business news about new acquisitions or patents with the company. Be skeptical. Make sure you are getting objective reports on the company's news. Some small companies are prone to exaggerating or misrepresenting their potential and risks to inflate prices.

There area number of risks that penny stocks pose, especially those traded on Pink Sheets where there are no financial reporting requirements. The following are a few risks from penny stocks:

  • Low costs often mean low value and potential returns
  • Inflated prices with limited shares available
  • Appear legitimate when facing bankruptcy
  • Scammers can hide among the many available stocks
  • False or misleading information without reporting requirements
  • Inflated potential profits
  • Fraud with pump-and-dump schemes

Research Tips


  • Start with some base criteria, such as price, yield, sector, market cap or Morning star rating
  • Look up the stock's disclosures and SEC filings on OTCMarkets.com
  • Compare previous spikes with previous company news
  • Review the company's financial presentations and compare to its competitors for a reality check

Stock Screening Tools

There are tools that can help you filter through stocks that meet the criteria you're looking for. There are free screening tools available, but the more expensive tools offer more features and research to draw upon. These tools include:

  • MSN's Stock Screener (Free)
  • MarketWatch Stock Screener (Free)
  • Think or Swim (Free)
  • FinViz ($40/month)
  • Stocks to Trade ($180/month)
  • Trade-Ideas.com ($118/month)

What to Look for​​​​ in Penny Stocks

  • Buy stocks you can sell quickly for large gains on small amounts
  • Aim for stocks that trade over 100,000 shares a day
  • Purchase penny stocks that have had a year of high earnings
  • Look for news that could lead to greater profits and industry placement

What to Avoid in Penny Stocks

  • Steer away from companies that recently increased the number of outstanding shares
  • Don't buy or sell more than 10% of the stock's volume
  • Don't trust "tips" from free newsletters and emails
  • Don't trust promotions or company predictions
  • Don't sell at a loss - wait out the downturn

Fundamental Analysis vs. Technical Analysis

Once you've found some penny stocks that seem to have good potential, you will want to do some further analysis. Beginners just learning how to find penny stocks may want to focus on doing a fundamental analysis.

Fundamental analysis concentrates on a company's earnings, or profits, to get a more solid idea of its potential for reward or risk. You'll want to look at the company's earnings in context. Look at the earnings per share (EPS), price to earnings ratio (P/E), projected earnings growth (PEG), and return on equity.

Beginners who do not have a finance or accounting background will want to avoid technical analysis. It is easy to become bogged down in the charts, in-depth numbers, and correlations associated with a penny stock. As you gain more experience, you may want to begin doing more technical analyzes of potential investments. Often, fundamental analysis is enough to get a solid grasp of a penny stock's potential.

CONCLUSION

man using laptop

When you understand how to find penny stocks, a whole new world of investment will open for you. There is the potential to earn 20-30% returns on your investments in a few days. However, many penny traders lose on their investments. If you are looking to invest in penny stocks as a hobby or part of your larger investment strategy, do your research. Keep a healthy dose of skepticism when reading endorsements, advertisements and free newsletters. Penny stocks may not be a surefire way to strike it rich, but you can make decent profits on limited funds with a little effort and investigation.

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Barclays Bank To Increase Salaries And Lower Bonuses

Posted on 03 December 2009
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Barclays_Bank_PLCBritians 2nd largest lender Barclays PLC are planning to raise investment bankers salaries according to a source familiar with the bank.  This will no doubt cause upset from the public.

The source who declined to give a name as current talks are private has said that the change will effect junior and mid-level employees.  At the moment Barclays Capital the london based securities unit employs around 20,000 people just in the London offices alone.

The main reason for the financial crisis was caused by banker bonuses which encouraged bankers take huge risks.  Governments around the world have been trying hard to persuade banks not to give such high bonuses to lower the risk of this happening again. 

Although Barclays Bank didn’t receive a government bailout they are said to increase salaries after Edinburgh-based Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC said it granted the Treasury control over its 2009 bonus pool in return for receiving a 45.5 billion-pound ($76 billion) rescue.

The changes Barclays are making are complying with the G20 principles that were laid out in September 2009.

Shaun Springer has said “This is a growing trend amoung banks that will likely be adopted by more”.

Another big bank Credit Suisse Group which is the 2nd biggest bank said in October that it will raise salaries as a percentage of the total pay for about 7,000 managing directors and directors from Jan 1 2010.

Barclays have refused to give any comments.  The bank will backdate the pay rise to June to give staff money as their bonuses will be paid mostly in deferred stock.

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