Psychology of Greed in Currency Trading

When Greed Hits YouI know when I am trading when greed has hit me and wants to take over. I have these mixed feelings of excitement and elation and nothing else matters. The feeling I get makes me believe I can not be wrong. In fact how could I be wrong when the last one, two, three four or more trades have gone my way. I am on a roll, invincible. Then greed kicks in. I move my position up a little, then I have a wider stop because it doesn’t matter anyway after all I can not be wrong. I even look at entering trades that are not strategy set ups.When you get the feeling of invincibility in trading and start getting the feelings and doing the actions outlined above then it is important to stop. Greed can take over in one second and send you in a spin which can easily wipe out any winnings or worse still reduce your equity curve to zero.Dealing with GreedWe all face situations in our lives when we need to deal with greed. This does not have to relate to money. Indeed there are issues with being greedy around food, possessions, time with people and so on. To deal with the whole issue on greed could take some time and would require a large amount of writing space. I am going to stick with the issue of greed when it comes to trading. When I talk about trading it can refer to forex, options, futures, stocks, commodities, indices and any other financial instrument. Here are my six tips for dealing with greed in the trading environment that I will discuss further.

Only ever trade your Strategy
Stick to your Trading Rules
Only risk between 1% and 3% depending on market conditions
Always have your Position Size relative to your Risk
Be Consistent
Do your own Analysis
Only ever trade your StrategyI have an excellent mentor who has shown me several strategies regarding trading. I tested these strategies to assess if they worked for me and I could use them to fit into my trading schedule. I am using one of the strategies for a more longer term approach which can net between 100 and 500 pips in a weeks worth of price action. If I do not see a trade that is set up with my strategy I simply do no trade.The markets have been around for many years and I am sure they will be round for more to come so as long as you know you can get a good number of pips from your strategy per month then there’s no need to force the trade. For me I actually do not want to stress out and trade all day, every day so my strategy is great for me.Have a set of rules within your strategy that tell you what criteria you are looking for to enter the market. The criteria should include when you could exit and the value within the market. As with all these rules the emotion is taken out of trading when you become more mechanical. So you have a tick list once all criteria are met and you have value in the market then the trade is good to go otherwise stay away.Stick to your Trading RulesHave a set of trading rules that you stick to like glue. This is critical to trading and will help take the emotion out of trading. You do not want to be haphazard with your trading for sure so you must have some guidelines set out detailing your behavior towards trading. So for example part of your rules will be which markets you trade, the times you trade, the time you will dedicate to trading each day and so on. This is sometimes referred to as a trading plan.Trading should be treated like a business and any organisation that succeeds has plan. So trading is no different. Therefore you must treat trading and put together a business plan (set of trading rules) that govern your behavior. You will have have your objectives with the plan so you can keep a check on your progress.If you have a plan and are able to check your progress against it then sticking to it will go some way to help combat the times greed tries to kick in. By sticking to your plan and rules you will force the decision not to enter a trade that does not contribute to your progression. Just like a business will not enter a market that is not in the business plan then you will not enter a trade that is part of your business plan.Only Risk between 1% and 3% depending on Market ConditionsThis is a straight forward rule to follow however once greed takes its hold on you then here is where the trouble starts to really kick in. The simple rule is if you have an account size of £10,000 then your risk is between £100 and £300 per trade. Simple!!! Just remember when the market conditions are difficult to trade keep your risk level low. When you have more confidence in the market dial it up to 3%. Never go over 3% because it is very easy to go on a losing run of four, five or more trades. You can even lose 10 trades, which if you have a solid strategy should not happen, and still be in the game because you will have lost £3,000 so still having £7,000 to trade.Always have your Position Size relative to your RiskOnce you know the amount you can trade with, so continuing our example from above say £300 per trade, then you can adjust your position size depending on the value you have recognized in your trade set up. If, from your analysis, you would place a stop 100 pips from your entry then your position size should be £3 per pip. If your stop loss was 200 pips away then the position size should be reduced to £1.50. So the maximum you will ever lose is the amount you have previously agreed (with yourself) as being available to risk on the trade.Be ConsistentYou will lose a trade. You will lose trades. Fact. So get used to it and live with it. What you do not want to do is lose a trade then chop and change you strategy. One of the only ways that you will be successful in trading is to ensure you have a strategy that you will stick to on a consistent basis over a long period of time. Give your strategy time to win. Now if you give your strategy time by being consistent you will know and accept the level of winning trades. Once you know and accept this you will then negate any effects of greed because psychologically you have already accepted a set of results so once you receive what you have expected you can move on with other trades that are defined within your rules.Do your own AnalysisIt is very important to do all your own analysis when trading. Yes it is great to speak with other traders and learn from them however ultimately it is you that will be pulling the trigger so you are responsible for all your trades. Now this is important in relation to greed because once you have done all your analysis and followed your rules are then in a position to make a clear decision. So based on your rules and analysis you can take greed out of the equation because quite simply it will not be an option.ConclusionGreed is only of the disciplines you must master to become truly successful at trading. You can learn more and follow my trades and analysis for free on I look forward to speaking with you on the site and helping you as much as possible.Happy trading

Why You Want to Partner With A Small Business Coach-Advisor

According to The National Federation of Independent Business [NFIB] Education Foundation, over the lifetime of any small business, 30 percent will lose money, 30 percent will break even, and just fewer than 40 percent will be profitable. The Small Business Administration [SBA] reports that 50 percent of all small business fail after their first year, 33 percent fail after two years, and nearly 60 percent fail after four years. Reasons for failure cited by the SBA include: limited vision, over expansion, poor capital structure, over spending, lack of reserve funds or too little Free Cash Flow, failure to adjust to market changes, underestimating competition, poor business execution, poor business location, failure to establish company goals, poor market segmentation and strategy, poor knowledge of the competition, no management systems, over dependence on specific individuals, and/or focusing on the technical aspects more than the strategic aspects of the business, and an inadequate business plan.Developing and growing a small business enterprise, either from a new venture or as an existing one, is difficult in a bull market, where the economy is growing. The difficulty factor is there none the less. However, in a down economy, in a recession, where the risk of business failure is magnified several times, the difficulty factor is increased by a significant magnitude. Entrepreneurs and small business enterprises find themselves working in their business as opposed to working on their business. That is, when times are tough, the small business owner feels compelled to spend all his or her time on operations just trying to keep the boat afloat, while putting off where the boat may be going. It is particularly critical in a recessionary economic cycle to spend as much time as possible on the direction of your boat, as it is on operations. If the vision is lost or clouded, it won’t really matter how hard you try to keep things afloat, at some point you may well run aground because you were not watching where you were going. Having an extra pair of eyes to help stir your ship and keep you in the right direction is critical to not only maintaining your business, but helping you to grow it. And as the principal in your small business, this is where you want to position yourself; at the helm stirring your enterprise in the direction of your vision.Successful athletes typically hire a coach to help them achieve success. Certainly this is the case in professional golf. It is the case in the world of professional cycling. And it is the case in professional team sports, such as baseball. For the entrepreneur and small business enterprise, having a coach, advisor, on the sidelines as well as in the game, to provide critical objective guidance to help them attain their business objectives can be the difference in achieving real success. As a small business enterprise, you want to be in the category of a ‘small business growth’ company, positioned for IPO, acquisition, merger or growing into a medium-sized company. A Business Coach and Advisor will work with you to help avoid becoming an SBA or NFIB Education Foundation statistic on their list of small business failures. From time to time we all need outside guidance, counsel, mentoring and advice. A Business Coach/Advisor will actually help you to become a success story. The benefits of partnering with a Business Coach/Advisory far outweigh the costs. Five critical benefits of partnering with a Business Coach/Advisor include, but are not limited, to the following:1. Accountability. A Business Coach /Advisor will help you to maintain focus on driving your business forward, and helping you to work through the temptation to work in your business and not on your business. A good Business Coach/Advisor will insist on holding you accountable for achieving your goals and objectives, and work with you to delegate operation tasks that need to be performed by key personal, and guiding you towards providing the strategic vision your business needs to grow. Your Business Coach, acting in an Advisory capacity will work with you to develop or refine strategic short- and long term goals and then hold you accountable to achieve them. You want your coach to be tough, yet personable having the capacity to understand your business and where it is you want to take it. There job is to help you formulate that and to get you positioned to attain it.2. Formulating Strategic Goals, Ideas, Objectives. A Business Coach/Advisor will work with you to develop and refine your goals, ideas and objectives. A combination of coaching and advising is necessary here, and your Coach has the acquired expertise and experience to work through these with you and knows how to adapt them to your business.3. Contributing Business Growth Strategies. A good Business Coach/Advisory will have the ability to share and communicate their experience and expertise in developing business growth strategies. Remember, no one has all the answers. No one. Not a coach or a business executive. Sharing ideas are critical. Thinking out of the box is essential. So, when you’ve just “run out of ideas” on how to market and sell your products and services, your Coach will work with you, as a partner, to develop and then implement the business growth strategy or strategies that are specific to your company and market to meet your growth objectives. To be most effective, weekly communication with your Coach will keep you on track.4. Resources. When it is needed, your Business Coach/Advisor will provide referrals to contacts or resources for your business, such as expansion capital, legal and accounting services, social media marketing, technologies, and other resources that are relevant to helping you meet your goals and objectives. My view here is that it is incumbent on a business coach and advisory to have a teaming or partnering viewpoint, and it is essential for them to do so for the benefit of you, the small business owner.5. Objectivity. A Business Coach/Advisor provides you with the necessary objectivity to see your business as it really is. This is essential for an honest assessment of where your business is in its life cycle. When you get used to the same processes and procedures, tasks, basic routine, you lose the ability to see your business with the same objective clarity that you once did. Your Business Coach provides you with a double perspective; looking into your business from the customer perspective, and looking out at the customer from your perspective. And then provide you with feedback about what works, what doesn’t and what your options are. To be effective, weekly communication with your Coach will keep you on track.Partnering with a Business Coach/Advisor should be on a retainer basis for three to nine months, preferably six months. It will normally take a good Business Coach/Advisor two months, sixty days, at least to become fully knowledgeable about your business, its practices, your strengths, weakness, your vision, and your objectives. Then another month to begin working with you to arrive at your business objectives. While three months is the minimum time needed for a good Business Coach/Advisor to begin making a difference under a single retainer agreement, nine months is the maximum under a single retainer agreement, where six months is the optimal. During a six month retainer, a Business Coach/Advisor should be able to meet all goals and place in to practice the critical elements that a small business needs to attain strategic objectives. Typically, once a small business has partnered with a Business Coach/Advisor, they retain them continuously, or as needed.In today’s troubled economic climate, the use of a Business Coach/Advisor makes strong financial sense. While you might feel you can go it alone, the resulting cost may far outweigh what it would be had you partnered with a Business Coach/Advisor when needed. It’s sort of like the old TV commercial about changing your oil, you can either do it now at the cost of an oil change, or wait until your engine blows and pay the cost then. Waiting will certainly cost you infinitely more. If you are facing a limited vision, over expansion, poor capital structure, over spending, lack of reserve funds or too little Free Cash Flow, failure to adjust to market changes, underestimating competition, poor business execution, poor business location, failure to establish company goals, poor market segmentation and strategy, poor knowledge of the competition, no management systems, over dependence on specific individuals, focusing on the technical aspects more than the strategic aspects of the business, or simply need help in growing your business, then partnering with a Business Coach/Advisor makes good financial sense.

Branding Basics for Boutique Hotels

Boutique hotels can be considered the new kid of the block. Although they’ve been in existence for several decades, operating under the banner of ‘independent’ hotels, it’s only recently that the world has exploded in its fascination for boutique hotels.Today, more than ever, travelers are looking beyond the usual frills and fancy that are offered up in the name of hotel stays. They want a more intimate, more unique experience that brings them closer to the community the hotel is located in. In such a scenario, boutique hotels stand in direct opposition to their flashier, empire-like counterparts – the chain hotels.But, despite their general appeal, boutique hotels have to make the same effort, and sometimes more, to establish their brand. Without a strong identity to guide them, it’s all too easy to lose themselves in the crowd.Why Branding?Brands can no longer be faceless entities for the consumer. We live in the age of information where the customer has access to all kinds of resources to facilitate his buying decision. These days, brands have a life and existence of their own, and customers interface with these identities on a daily basis.Take yourself. What comes to mind when someone says the word “Marriott?” You’ll immediately conjure up an image of something intensely luxurious and opulent. Large foyers, gilded ceilings, soft-spoken yet crisply smart waiters, silver tureens and state of the art facilities. Why does your brain associate all this with one simple word?That’s the magic of a brand. And the value of building it.Think about the concept of identity, like your name, or who you are. All those things that go into making ‘you’ are also the things that set you apart from the rest of humanity. The same goes for a brand. It is an entity that is distinct from other entities in the same industry. In business-speak, this is called differentiation.So, what differentiates one hotel from the other and why should we even engage in differentiation? The answers to these questions are altogether simple. Danny Meyer, the CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG), states that ‘recognition’ is the primary reason why guests wish to return to the same hotel.Recognition only stems from uniqueness, and if you want to cultivate a battalion of loyal consumers, you’d better engage quickly. The reason why boutique hotels have been on the rise in the last decade is because the modern traveler does not want a monolithic experience that he will get in any typical chain hotel. They want a uniquely curated experience that they can fondly remember, and if they get that, they will come back to you.That brings us to the next aspect – what differentiates one hotel from the other? Experience differentiates. All that your guests are exposed to, that they feel, that they’re touched by when they interact with the tangible aspects of your brand constitutes its ‘experience’.A strong brand is that which stands completely apart from its competitors. Think about it: A thousand others are vying for the consumer’s attention, essentially promising core hospitality services. Mergers and acquisitions have made it even more confusing for the customer today.The world’s 10 largest hotel chains now offer a combined 113 brands at various price points, 31 of which didn’t exist a decade ago. This makes differentiation more important. IBISWorld also pegs the boutique hotel industry at 7 billion as of June 2017; rising at a CAGR of 4.8%.Therefore, the essence of your brand needs to be different, and it needs to percolate down to all aspects of the brand – from your design, to service, to logo and so on. Let’s now run you through the standard elements that make up a brand.Brand ElementsAs things stand, the boutique hotel is distinguished from other hotel sectors by its uniqueness, personalized service, authenticity, quirky, aesthetic elements of surprise, and enhanced customer experiences that extend beyond the hotel space.We’ll start with the basic, longstanding suggestions for brand building before getting specific.Logo: This is the sign and signifier of your brand. It’s also one of the most integral parts of the brand experience, since it fosters recognition and familiarity. Good logo design is always driven by strategy unless you want people to get the wrong message. Testing your logo before finalising it is always a good idea.Tagline, and Brand Message: Construct a strong tagline and underline key attributes of your brand, which you then use to add to your brand essence. Highlighting this without being too invasive is necessary.Percolation: Your brand identity needs to show through in all aspects of the hotel experience. This distinction will appear from the way you answer phone calls to the way your staff greets people. All communication, offline and online, needs to consistently portray a message that contributes to the brand essence.Design: This does not simply extend to logo and communication design. Of course, you need to be consistent with all your creatives and colour schemes, but we’re also referring to architectural and décor-based elements, which have to carry the brand identity on their shoulders.Promise and Delivery: This is perhaps the most important. While boldness and in some cases, cockiness may be appreciated, don’t promise things that you cannot deliver. Customers shy away from such farcical engagements. For example, if your hotel is a budget hotel, then adding features that don’t exist or putting up fake pictures are extremely bad practices that you need to avoid at all costs.Boutique Hotels, Take Note… While branding guidelines may remain the same more or less across the board, boutique hotels may not always enjoy the flow of cash that bigger chains do. But, despite your tight budget, it is inadvisable to compromise on your branding efforts, or you might end up in a penny wise pound foolish situation.Phase out your expenses, by all means. Prioritize certain elements of branding over the others, but don’t ignore them completely. You don’t have to go for the most expensive options, but you must consider the most effective onesHere are a few more suggestions that boutique hotels should keep in mind before getting started with their branding efforts.

Do not be inconsistent. I understand that boutique hotels are all about personalisation, but that can be reflected in the services you offer. The brand essence needs to be unique and reinforced as such. Too many logo and design changes are also a hindrance when it comes to establishing a recognizable identity.

Segmentation: The best thing about boutique hotels is that it really is a place for everyone. From those who’re seeking comfort to the rugged backpacker, everyone can find what he wants here. And your hotel should strongly communicate that. Customize different packages for different kinds of travelers – businessmen, couples, families, etc. – and let it also reflect in your rates.

Networking: This is one of the strongest strategies for the hospitality world. Networking generates more referrals, and increases legitimacy drastically. Having a good, symbiotic relationship with the locals and the environment will be an invaluable help.

Brand Extension: Apart from your core services, you can engage in outsourcing a little. Toiletries, cutlery, linens, can all be sourced from others but branded for your benefit. Or you can indulge in co-branding, where you may tie-up with spas, décor companies and so on. This not only boosts your presences, but also gets you subsidised goods in the process. You can also invest in experiences beyond the hotel space, like customised nature walks, workshops, and more. However, choose your partners with care. They should not convey messages that are dissonant with your brand’s tone, essence, and image.

Show Restraint: Do not overemphasize, or be too wordy with your communication, unless the format demands it. You may have a lot to say, but consider presenting it in a manner that isn’t always text heavy, like videos, infographics, or newsletters.

While these are only a few suggestions when it comes to the incredibly vast field of brand building, they are an effective starting line for you. In an industry that is so full of players, brand identity and experience will be key differentiators that need careful attention and cultivation. So, get started, and build a brand that you will be proud of one day.