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I like the idea of higher collateral. Two, I don’t know any retail investor who regularly makes money trading with margin.

1) Lending investors money is a huge profit center for B/Ds.

2) Traders buy more stock and thus pay higher commissions.

3) Losses mount up faster as inexperienced traders are reluctant to take consistent small losses.

4) Excessive debt is at the heart of every blowup and meltdown in history.

If you don’t know how to trade, by god stay away from margin. You’ll lose your grubstake much faster than otherwise.

Brokerages Cry Foul Over Higher Deposits

 

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Listen to the Alpha Masters audiobook for free by signing up for Audible’s free 30-day trial membership

maneetahuja 219x300 Maneet Ahuja Alpha Masters Podcast

Maneet Ahuja has written a great book called Alpha Masters. It delves into the lives of some of the best hedge fund managers in the world and what it took for them to get there.

Maneet was able to spend a great deal of time with these managers who include Ray Dalio, Jim Chanos, John Paulson, and Boaz Weinsten to name a few. She met them in their offices and in some cases traveled with them. In the process, she gained their trust and got an insiders, behind the scenes view that few of us are afforded.

They eventually let their guard down and opened up to her and you get that feel in the book. That’s pretty amazing given that this is her first attempt at writing a book. I’m impressed with Alpha Masters as a book and Maneet’s writing.

I believe that new and sophomore traders alike will get a lot of wisdom from this book because they’ll be able to relate to the upbringing of her subjects. These guys are pretty easy going at the end of the day, and they speak to her with a great deal of candor. They all seem to have a great deal of humility for all their success…and assets under management.

I think that this is a very gutsy book for Maneet to write, not because she’s so young and talented (she’s 27), but because she took a format that’s all but owned by Jack Schwager and she made it her own. Moreover, after having written a book of my own that took all of 18 months to write on a full-time basis, I was blown away by the fact that Maneet wrote this book while holding down her seemingly ’round the clock position as a producer for CNBC.

Readers will invariably compare this book to Jack Schwager’s books, but Alpha Masters is an entirely different book and it has a different feel. Maneet deliberately brings more biography into her book. In Jack’s books, the biographical content comes through the interview but it seems to be incidental. Integral to each chapter is the manager’s upbringing: what made the manager so great…what did he have to endure…how did he grow up. Those are items that I think readers can relate to and it’s why I thought it was a great read.

Other managers featured in the book are Peirre Lagrange and Tim Wong, Marc Lasry and Sonia Gardner, David Tepper, and Bill Ackman.

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NASDAQ CEO Robert Greifeld is going to be a no-show at an important hearing coming up. The hearing will be to address among other things why and how the volume of HFT has tripled over recent years.

Greifeld apparently has declined to testify. He knows how the rent is getting paid so that’s a optically astute decision, however much I loathe politics in the markets.

The bigger issue I have is that in not showing up he has vocalized very clearly that he is not concerned in the least about the investing public.

Time for a new NASDAQ CEO.

In the meantime, you can listen to the podcast I did with Scott Patterson, the author of the linked article and author of a great new book called Dark Pools.

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In my previous post I mentioned how it always seems to rain in time to depress the high corn prices that arise due to fears of drought.

Check out these excellent seasonal corn charts that illustrate what I mean.

Seasonal Charts: Corn | Signal Financial Group

corn screen shot 300x205 Seasonal Tendencies or Media Hype?

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This happens every year: searing hot weather spooks the analysts who conclude that it most certainly will burn the crop right out of the ground.

But it always seems to pour rain just in time to not only save the crop, but provide for a bumper crop – like in the corn market last year.

You can trade ‘em long, but you have to protect your equity very aggressively when the market eventually reverses.

Brokers cut corn, soy yield estimates as US bakes

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