Your Questions About Paper Trading Online

Ruth asks…

Why is the world so obsessed with money?

First of all, let me explain the concept of money to everybody. You are essentially trading little pieces of paper or metal coins in exchange for objects. Doesn’t that sound a little silly to you? But then again, the government attempts to tell us what is silly or not, so I guess I can’t blame people for not thinking about it. But I don’t understand why everybody is so money obsessed. They go to school for a career that will earn them millions, yet they don’t really do much with that money except buy things they don’t need.

I come from a pretty poor family, and that’s because my parents never pursued an education and had kids they could barely afford. I think my dad went to college, but honestly I’m so distant from my parents I don’t even know. My dad is also money obsessed. He barely even talks to us unless it’s about money. If he congratulates us on going to school, it’s simply to say that with a degree we will be set for life. Not exactly. Just because you get a degree doesn’t mean you are guaranteed a job. I’m much younger than him and I understand that. Anyways, that motivated me to pursue a University education. I’m double majoring in drama and psychology. Right now I want to be an actor, a director, a writer, and I want to work backstage. Psychology is something I may pursue, but it’s not high on my list. It’s something to fall back on, but I am interested in learning psychology. I’ve been told not to pursue acting because it’s a tough life. Umm, since when is life not tough? Everyone acts like majoring in business is the easiest way to a stable life. Not in my opinion. I would imagine that because so many people major in it, it’s extremely competitive. At least with my degree, I’m pursuing my real passion, plus I’m learning abstract and creative thinking, skills that I believe are extremely important in life. Our society today would not exist without creativity and abstract thinking.

Other than that, I’ve been told I’m a very good writer. I could always use this to get me a job. It may not pay $100 dollars an hour, but I would have a job. I’ve been told by someone online to major in business. Yeah, I could run a business…run it right off a cliff that is. I don’t have those types of skills, and I’m not really interested in learning them. My reason for going to school and taking the classes I’m taking is because I am passionate about learning, and I’m enjoying what I’m learning. I’m not here simply for a degree, I’m here to get an education.

The point I’m trying to make is that, to be honest, I feel people have too much money, and it’s blinding them to what life is really about. We don’t need pieces of paper to survive; we need food and water, shelter, and safety and security. They teach you that in intro psych classes. Yes, money is a way to achieve those things, but too many people spend more than they need to on that stuff. It’s sad really, and I just can’t understand why people are like this.

What do you think?

John answers:

Money gets them what they want and when they want it – others have to ask and wait!

Robert asks…

uk residents, when you need a trades person where do you look first?

if you want an electrician,plumber gas fitter etc do you look 1st, in the local paper, yellow pages, phone book or online. i am doing some research into where would be the best place to advertise my business, thanks for taking the time to read this

John answers:

Always recommendation, I always go to see the recent work of plasterers and roofers because the person with all the talk is often the one who doesn’t measure up. Going to see a few roofs has saved me problems more than once. If I was stuck, I’d use checkatrade as a starting point.

I never advertised and I never competed on price – I made sure I charged enough that I could take the time to do a job whereby the buyer would never consider hiring anyone else thereafter. And my business cards were fridge magnets.

Lisa asks…

History Buffs!!! I have a question?

What would be a good topic to write about for a history research paper

governmental systems, social class relations, gender relations and issues, religious integration and influence, cultural diffusion through warfare or trade

what are some good online references? I can’t use wikipedia

John answers:

How did the role of women and racial minorities in war times shift throughout time? And how much did they help impact the course of the war?

Mary asks…

I know I shouldn’t have opened Pandora’s IPO “box”, but I did….what should I have done differently?

“Pandora’s box is an artifact in Greek mythology, taken from the myth of Pandora’s creation around line 60 of Hesiod’s Works and Days. The “box” was actually a large jar (????? pithos) given to Pandora (???????) (“all-gifted”), which contained all the evils of the world. When Pandora opened the jar, the entire contents of the jar were released, but for one – hope.[1] Today, opening Pandora’s box means to create evil that cannot be undone.” Wikipedia

Well, I guess I should’ve known better to invest in a stock offering called “Pandora” a.k.a. Pandora Media, but I stuck my nose where it didn’t belong, and I guess I got what I deserved. So, for all those out there who were waiting to jump down my throat… I beat you to it. Yes, I have so far had a large paper loss on my rash investment in Pandora’s IPO. I have had plenty of time for self-recrimination and spent hours watching this stock up and down, hour after hour, not know when to get out.

I have no “safety net” because I didn’t use any stop orders, limit orders, trailing stops or any of those other things people who know infinitely more than i do about equities investing probably would’ve done. I thought, (admittedly in the throes of one of my bipolar manic phases) that I could do no wrong. How hard could it be to buy this stock low and then flip it before the end of the day and make a nice, tidy sum of a few thousand, I asked myself. I was sorely mistaken.

For one thing, because I was unacquainted with the run-up, or so called IPO “pop”, I didn’t realize how freaking fast the stock would climb from 20 bucks to 26 when the horse was out of the gate, so to speak. I kept trying to buy the maximum amount of shares for what I had in my account Remember, I was going for broke here..(an apt expression in this case)..and every time I thought I was putting in the right amount of shares in my online brokerage account, I window popped up telling me I had insufficient funds, because the price of the shares kept rising, faster than my mathematically-challenged mind could keep up with it.

Finally, when I got the right number of shares for my dollars, the stock had already gone up to 24 dollars. I watched it go up to 26, and in my naiveté, I thought, well that’s okay. Then I watched in horror as it took a nose dive, For those of you who either invested in this stock, or know about it, the rest is history. I now have a paper loss of close to 5000 bucks, as of the end of trading today. It’s better than it was…at one point I was down almost 9,000, but it’s still a horror show, because I have no idea what this stock is going to do.

Every time it goes up, I’m tempted to sell, but I don’t because I want to recoup more of my losses. It’s a losing game, most likely. I’m getting tired of being glued to the computer screen every day, watching the damage wax and wane in increments of 20 cents here, 30 cents there, 15 somewhere else, up and down, for house at a time. It’s like some kind of ill-informed investor’s Chinese water torture , watching my money move in good and bad directions drop-by-freaking-drop… a real nightmare.

So my question is: what should I have done differently, BESIDES not doing anything to begin with?. Don’t worry about being responsible if I fail in my next attempt because I didn’t follow your advice properly: after all, I don’t know who you are, so I can’t sue you…(a joke).

How would you have handled this wily and unforgiving wench Pandora, if YOU had decided to crack open her IPO “box”???. .Would you have used stop orders, stop limit orders, trailing stops, trailing stop limits, and at what percentages or dollar amounts for an opening price of 20 bucks a share? .(BTW, in case the info is relevant, I bought 700 shares…yeah, I know.)

I’ve read about using stops, etc, but have only very rudimentary knowledge of it and wonder how it could’ve been used in this situation to avoid the day- in, day -out investment torture I’m now trying to survive.

I don’t even know if I can even put in any of these stops or stop limits, trailing or otherwise, NOW, that I’ve already made the initial purchase of the stock…can I? I am using as my brokerage account. Yes, I know I’m a fool for opening Pandora’s “box” but now that I did, with the results I’ve had, could I have done it a bit more circumspectly and carefully, . thus avoiding loosing at least a few of these “plagues’ upon myself? .

How do you “flip” one of these IPOs without getting “flipped off” yourself, like I did? After all, even though I “shouldn’t” I may have to tread these dangerous waters again, to recoup some of what I’ve lost….-

John answers:

You want a quick answer to something that takes years of experience. Many of the best traders and investors stay clear of IPO’s. They are… As you’ve found out the closest thing to gambling that the stock market offers.

The headline news is always about how much people made….. Not how much people lost (which is the “usual” result).

I’m a good trader. I trade based on my having an “edge”. I also use good share sizing techniques. I also place well thought out stops. In short… Risk control. Many times I buy high beta stocks, high risk. However I never buy IPO’s. There’s no history for me to base a decision on. I can’t have an “edge”. The only thing I have is what I believe…… I learned many years ago that trading what you “believe” will kill your portfolio. Now I only trade by what the market tells me & risk control. It works much better. My goal is to make money… Not to satisfy my ego by being “right”.

If you attempt to “get even” for your loss, you stand a greater risk of losing more. The most important thing with trading is psychology. After that is risk control. You need to take a stand. Place a stop. Take a loss if the stop is hit. That’s the professional way to do it. That’s why professionals make money. They look at how much they can lose… Never on how much they can make.

Donna asks…

Fashion in Western Europe from 1795-1820?

I am writing a research paper about fashion in Western Europe from 1795-1820. I am having trouble finding information, besides Wikipedia, about this subject. In my paper, I am trying to say how fashion:
(1) encouraged individualism

(2) increased trading among Eurasia,
Western Europe, and the Indian subcontinent


(3) created a higher demand for the production in textile factories.

If you could help me either:

(1) find great online sources with at least one of the above topics, (2) tell me information that you already know, or (3) have a book that would really help.

John answers:

While I am not going to do your research for you, I can suggest a few good sources.

Buying into the World of Goods: Early Consumers in Backcountry Virginia
by Ann Smart Martin
“Reconstructing the world of one upper Shenadoah Valley country merchant, John Hook from 1760 to 1810, Martin reveals how the acquisition of consumer goods created and validated a set of ideas about taste, fashion, and lifestyle in a particular place at a particular time.”

Fashion’s Favourite: The Cotton Trade and the Consumer in Britain, 1660-1800
by Beverly Lemire
This book examines the developing fashion for cotton fabrics, from an exotic import to a commonplace in European textile production, and how that development influenced fashions, international commerce, and the textile industry. It’s a bit earlier than your time-period, but an invaluable source.

The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth-Century England
by John Styles
“This book retrieves the unknown story of ordinary consumers in eighteenth-century England and provides a wealth of information about what they wore.” It will enhance your perspective on fashion as an expression of individualism, and on the market forces at work in the late 18th century.

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