Using Microsoft Is Cheaper Than Free Software Says Government Chief Information Officer
It is hard competing with the world’s largest software company, but it
can seem virtually impossible when even giving away your products is
deemed too expensive. That is the point made by UK government Chief
Information Officer for Hampshire Jos Creese and it throws a spotlight
on the huge challenge faced by any company trying to compete with a
giant like Microsoft or Apple.
“We use Microsoft [and] each time we’ve looked at open source for
desktop and costed it out, Microsoft has proved cheaper,” said Creese in
an interview with Computing.
“Microsoft has been flexible and helpful in the way we apply their
products to improve the operation of our frontline services, and this
helps to de-risk ongoing cost. The point is that the true cost is in the
total cost of ownership and exploitation, not just the licence cost.”
Creese isn’t alone. While OpenSource.com gives an example
of the adoption of open source software within the US Department of
Veterans Affairs (VA) it admits the US government does not actively
champion open source over proprietary Mac and PC solutions. This despite
a government report that said tests prove Ubuntu 12.04 is more secure
than both Windows and Mac OS. The US and UK governments have also
publicly advised users switch from Internet Explorer after a security
flaw blew holes in all versions of Windows which forced Microsoft to issue a dedicated patch to save XP after its support cut-off date in April.Meanwhile hypocrisy abounds as both the US and UK governments have also
agreed ‘survival deals’ with Microsoft to continue support for their PCs
running Windows XP.
Hoping to change attitudes is UK cabinet office minister Francis Maude (pictured below), who is championing
the adoption of open source software in government. Maude claims the UK
could save “tens of millions” of pounds per year by ditching
proprietary software and said roughly £200m ($340m) has been spent on
Microsoft Office alone since 2010.
“The software we use in government is still supplied by just a few
large companies. A tiny oligopoly dominates the marketplace,” argues
Maude. “I want to see a greater range of software used, so civil
servants have access to the information they need and can get their work
done without having to buy a particular brand of software… We weren’t
just missing out on innovation, we were paying top dollar for
Maude says some progress is being made: “One great example of the
potential from small businesses was when we re-tendered a hosting
contract. The incumbent big supplier bid £4m; a UK-based small business
offered to do it for £60,000. We saved taxpayers a whopping 98.5%.”
The Three Keys of Day-Trading (based on dailyfx article)
1. Have your strategy (and plan) set before ever placing a trade
Do you already have a trading plan with your
strategy written out? If you don’t, you should. While it may sound
overly-detailed, or pedantic; the simple act of just knowing how you
want to approach a market can have a massive impact on your overall
Discipline is a necessary trait for any
discretionary trader, and perhaps even more important for a short-term
trader: But if you don’t know what you should do or how you should do it
– how can you expect to have long-term success?
That’s where the trading plan comes in. This is like
the trader’s ‘constitution’ as to how they’re going to operate and
speculate in a market. This way, anytime a trader begins their
operations for a day they already know how they want to attack the
market, and they don’t have to make up a brand-new game plan every
2. Be selective – Trading is not entertainment
A key benefit of having the trading plan written out
is that the strategy or mannerism for placing trades is already decided
upon, and the trader simply has to look to execute as their strategy
If a trader takes a position that doesn’t fall
within the plan or the strategy, well they know that it’s their fault
for not following the plan. It’s an unfortunate truth, but in many cases
the only way discipline can truly be learned is by seeing and feeling
the ramifications of being undisciplined; and in trading, that amounts
to losing money.
I know that many traders, particularly new traders
want to eschew this testing and building and formulating because, well
it’s not all that much fun. But trading is not supposed to be
entertainment. If you want entertainment, there are movies and music and
all kinds of other things in this world to enjoy. Trading is a way to
make (or lose) money.
Surely, there’s an emotional response that human
beings get when placing trades… the potential to make or lose money
brings on the excitement or thrill of ‘the chase.’
But losing money isn’t fun… making money is. Losing
money is painful, costly, and psychologically-defeating. Over a long
enough period of losing, most people will eventually abandon their
efforts and look for greener pastures elsewhere (by quitting trading and
giving up on their goals). And it’s all because that trader couldn’t
control themselves enough to stick to their own plan.
Give yourself the best chances of success by
choosing high-probability strategies that you’re confident in so that
you can simply follow your own plan as opposed to ‘waking up in a new
world every morning.’
3. Risk management is critical to short-term traders
One of the biggest misconceptions about trading is
that winning percentages are the largest determinant of success. If you
look at most other venues in modern-day society, winning is the only
thing that matters.
In trading, this is somewhat deceiving; because the
size of the losses versus the size of the wins takes on a huge level of
importance. So much so that winning only 35-40% of the time could allow
for profitability, while a trader winning 60 or 70% of the time could
still be struggling while losing money (on net).
But many scalpers think or feel that looking for
bigger rewards than risk amounts is simply impossible in the short-term;
so they use wide stops and look to take ‘quick’ profits and they try to
win 80 or 90% of the time. This doesn’t usually work out well. Why?
It’s because we can’t tell the future. No matter how
strong your analysis, or strategy or trading plan – markets (and the
future) will always be unpredictable.
Indian Rupee Touches One-Month High on Yellen’s Comments, China Export Data
Indian rupee advanced to its highest level in a month following comments
by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that the U.S. economy will still
need further monetary stimulus to prop it up, while Chinese exports grew
faster than expected.
The rupee was trading 0.1 percent higher at 60.06 per dollar in Mumbai, based on prices compiled by Bloomberg. The currency edged up roughly 0.4 percent to 59.9225, its highest level since April 19.
Yellen told a Joint Economic Committee of the Congress that the Fed
will continue with its monetary stimulus program as the employment and
inflation indicators are yet to hit its target. China’s exports in April
surged 0.9 percent from a year ago after earlier declining for the
preceding two months, removing investor anxiety about the possibility of
a slowdown of the world’s second largest economy. Exports in March had
declined 6.6 percent, which exceeded analyst’s expectation of a
decline of 3 percent. Imports increased 0.8 percent, widening the trade
surplus to $18.46 billion.
“Yellen’s dovish comments and an unexpected pickup in Chinese trade
data have supported the rupee’s appreciation,” Vikas Babu, a currency
trader at Andhra Bank in Mumbai told Bloomberg.
“Gains were limited as there were dollar bids from oil companies and other importers,” he said.
The rupee’s one-month implied volatility, which measures the expected
shifts in the exchange rate used to assign prices to options, fell 0.09
percentage point, or 9 basis points, to 11.2375 percent.
The commerce ministry of India is expected to release data on India’s exports and imports next week.
2014-05-09 01:30 GMT (or 03:30 MQ MT5 time) | [AUD - RBA Monetary Policy Statement]
Australian Dollar Falls After RBA Monetary Policy Statement, China CPI Data
The Australian dollar weakened against the other major currencies in
the Asian session Friday and held steady thereafter, after the Reserve
Bank of Australia said it would continue to keep its accommodative
monetary policy some more time and as China's consumer price inflation
slowed in April.
In its monetary policy statement, the RBA reiterated its commitment to hold interest rate unchanged for the foreseeable future.
The board's outlook on inflation suggests that there is still space capacity in the economy. The board's view is that the current accommodative monetary policy setting is likely to be appropriate for some time yet.
the central bank raised its GDP forecast for 2014 to 3 percent from the
2.75 percent estimated earlier, it lowered its forecast for 2015 by
quarter percent point to 2.25-3.25 percent.
"These minor revisions
reflect the net effect of the rise in the exchange rate over recent
months - which is expected, at the margin, to restrain exports and boost
imports over the next two years - and a slightly stronger outlook for
consumption and dwelling investment over the coming year," according to
Consumer prices in China were up 1.8 percent on
year in April, the National Bureau of Statistics said.That was below
expectations for 2.0 percent, and the April figure slowed dramatically
from 2.4 percent in March.
Producer prices contracted 2.0 percent
on year versus forecasts for a decline of 1.8 percent following the 2.3
percent fall in the previous month.
The Australian dollar dropped
to a 1-week low of 1.0124 against the Canadian dollar in the early
Asian session, down from yesterday's closing quote of 1.0154 and held
the U.S dollar and the euro, the Australian dollar weakened to 0.9348
and 1.4799, down from yesterday's closing quotes of 0.9375 and 1.4763,
respectively and held steady thereafter.
Against the NZ dollar
and the yen, the Australian dollar declined to 1.0827 and 95.03, down
from yesterday's closing quotes of 1.0841and 95.30, respectively and
held steady thereafter.
Looking ahead, Japan's leading index for March is due at 1:00 am ET.
German trade data for March is due at 2:00 am ET.
Canada jobs data for April and U.S. wholesale inventories for March are set for release in the New York session.
The biggest banks have reinforced their dominance of the $5.3tn a day
foreign exchange market in the past year, according to a closely
watched industry survey.
The combined market share of the top five banks in currency dealing
has risen to 60.6 per cent from last year’s 57.4 per cent in Euromoney’s
annual poll. It is the first time the combined share of the top five
has risen above 60 per cent since 2009.
The main players in the currency market fight to secure their place
in Euromoney’s rankings, which serve as the industry standard although
they are based on voting by clients and claim to be no more than a proxy
for market trends.
Last year, Citigroup’s head of FX sales resorted to dressing as a
superhero in a campaign to drum up votes – and the gamble has paid off,
with Citi overtaking Deutsche Bank to take the top spot for the first
time since 2002.
But the lobbying has this year been more subdued, with several banks
deciding not to canvass clients. The poll, published on Thursday,
follows months of intense scrutiny of the forex market as regulators
around the world probe allegations that senior traders at the top banks
colluded ahead of key benchmark fixings.
More than 30 staff across 11 banks have been fired, suspended or
placed on leave and a number of senior executives have chosen to move on
at a time of turmoil in the industry.
The probes are accelerating a long-term shift from voice to
electronic trading, which many believe could favour the dominance of the
biggest operators, who are able to invest more in their trading
Scale matters in a market with high volumes but low and shrinking
margins, and there is already a big gap between the top handful of banks
and those lower down the rankings.
Euromoney said Barclays had retained third place in its rankings,
with Royal Bank of Scotland and Credit Suisse suffering the biggest
falls compared with last year. BNP Paribas and Bank of America Merrill
Lynch were among the main gainers.
Some institutions have already chosen to scale back forex divisions
that are suffering the same pressures as fixed income and commodities at
many investment banks. But relatively low capital requirements mean few
are likely to pull out entirely.
2 Methods to More Patient Trading
If you hang around trading communities long enough, you’ll hear the
wiser traders encouraging the newer traders about trading with patience
and removing emotions.
It sounds simple, especially if you are practicing with a demo account.
However, see what happens to your patience when your money is on the
A few weeks ago, we covered three common mistakes traders make during
trendless markets and how to correct them. Over the next few minutes, I
want to expand on the third mistake noted in that piece to help equip
you with two actionable methods that can promote more patient trading.
One common mistake of traders during trendless markets is that they
become impatient and close their trades prior to the stop loss or target
being reached. During trendless markets, patterns and waves are slower
to develop which breeds the impatience we feel.
To balance that impatience, practice these two methods below.
“Remember the clever speculator is always patient and has a reserve of cash.” Jesse LivermoreUse Conservative Amounts of Leverage
We assume that trades which have historically reached their profit
targets quickly should continue indefinitely into the future. Therefore,
if prices aren’t hitting their targets quickly, it must obviously not
be a good trade so we exit prematurely.
This impatience is in part due to expecting the next trade to be a big
home run. As a result, we’ll place a trade size a little larger than
normal so as to squeeze a little extra juice out of the trade in case it
goes nowhere. However, during this process, the trader ends up risking a
significant portion of their account on the outcome of that one trade.
Remember, a 25% loss requires a 33% return to get back to break even. If
a 25% loss in a fast moving market is difficult enough to overcome,
imagine how challenging it would be to overcome a 25% loss in a slow
moving market. Therefore, de-emphasize each trade and think of the next
trade simply as the first of ten trades rather than the next homerun.
You can reduce the emphasis by implementing less than 10x effective
leverage. Effective leverage is simply taking the total notional trade
size and dividing it by your account size. The result will indicate how
many times you have your equity levered. According to our research, we
recommend implementing less than ten times effective leverage.
Incorporating smaller trade sizes and less leverage will alleviate the
stress of having to produce a profitable trade. As a result, you’ll be
more likely to let the trade develop and let the trade evolve in the way
the patterns indicate.
Analyze Longer Term Patterns
Another way to become more patient is to remember what the longer term chart patterns are suggesting.
Recently, I had been trading the USD/MXN extensively and the movement
was quite choppy. It had been a while since I stepped back to review the
daily chart. Since it had been several months, the pattern on the daily
chart cleared up which affected my near term bias on the trades.
Sometimes, we can get caught up in the minutia of the day to day. Then,
we forget what the longer term patterns are suggesting and lose that
perspective in trading.
That is the benefit you get with longer term chart analysis. Longer
charts help you develop a bias of direction. With each trade you make,
there should be some method of determining a bias.
For example, trend traders look at the longer term trend and filter
their trades accordingly. Range traders will see the longer term levels
of support and resistance and make buying decisions near support and
selling decisions near resistance.
The point is that the market tries to lull us to sleep, yet the longer
term patterns are still playing out. What better time is there to
analyze charts than while the markets are slow!Good luck and happy trading!
2014-05-09 08:30 GMT (or 10:30 MQ MT5 time) | [GBP - Trade Balance]
if actual > forecast = good for currency (for GBP in our case)
U.K. March Visible Trade Deficit Narrows
The visible trade deficit narrowed on higher exports in March, the Office for National Statistics showed Friday.
visible trade gap came in at GBP 8.5 billion in March compared to GBP
8.7 billion in February. The deficit on trade in goods was expected to
widen to GBP 9 billion.
Exports of goods increased 4.9 percent month-on-month in March and imports gained 2.8 percent from February.
At the same time, the surplus on trade in services increased to GBP 7.2 billion from GBP 7 billion in the prior month.
As a result, the combined trade balance showed a shortfall of GBP 1.3 billion, smaller than February's GBP 1.7 billion deficit.
2014-05-09 12:30 GMT (or 14:30 MQ MT5 time) | [CAD - Employment Change]
if actual > forecast = good for currency (for CAD in our case)
Canadian employment change -28.9K vs. 12.0K forecast
Canadian employment change fell unexpectedly last month, official data showed on Friday.
In a report, Statistics Canada said that Canadian employment change fell
to a seasonally adjusted -28.9K, from 42.9K in the preceding month.Analysts had expected Canadian employment change to rise 12.0K last month.
Can You Trade Forex Well with a Small Balance?
“Ninety-five percent of
the trading errors you are likely to make—causing the money to just
evaporate before your eyes—will stem from your attitudes about being
wrong, losing money, missing out, and leaving money on the table. What I
call the four primary trading fears.”
“Attitude produces better total outcomes than analysis or technique.”
― Mark Douglas, Trading in the Zone
What’s the least amount I can’t start trading with?
That’s a common question running through a trader-to-be’s head when
they’re about to open a trading account. However, you’ll soon see how
that line of thinking can breed a lot of poor thinking patterns and get
you in trouble.
Let’s start off with some tough love. You’re not
trying to buy something at a discount when you put down margin for a
trading account. Less is not more and as you could understand, less is
less. Put in other words, the attitude that comes with trying to get the
best deal on a large purchase can do damage to your trading.
Here’s how. The attitude you
trade with will follow through to how you manage risk and in keeping
that mindset, you’ll likely overleverage your trading account and
potentially be forced out of trades at the worst possible point. A
better approach is to ditch the focus on a win percentage
and instead focus on preserving capital / downside risk as opposed to a
key juncture break long before an extreme pressed you out of the
market. This new attitude that focuses on risk often produces better total outcomes than analysis or technique alone.
The Limits of a Small Balance
There’s a reason Hedge Funds don’t start with $5,000
or $50,000 or even $500,000. That’s because they know their inability
to enter into a position with favorable risk: reward
is directly tied to limited capital. Now, before you think, “I’m not a
hedge fund so that doesn’t concern me,” think about this. Everyone is
trying to extract money from the market while risking as little as
possible however, there is an amount of agility that is needed to trade
well and put the odds in your favor.
In short, a small trading balance limits your
agility as a trade. Acute observations from traders with small balances
show common traits that limit agility and your edge as a trader:
Agility is a mindset that traders need to have are
often doomed without. When you’re agile, you’ll have the ability to pay
attention to what matters most in trading, which is exploiting an edge
in the market while always limiting risk. Of course, there’s an easy way
to do this without trying to find a psychologist to change your mind
The Better Path Regardless of Risk
Always think risk first regardless of your account
balance. However, the more trading capital and usable margin you have,
the easier it is to stay level headed and agile as the market moves.
It’s been said that to enter a trade without a clear risk-point in mind
is reckless and I agree. However, the more usable margin you have, which
goes hand in hand with a larger account balance, the less you’ll keep
holding out for the big winner and rather look for fewer high
probability trades. Here’s a look from the Traits of Successful Trader’s
Research that shows the correlation to high balance and better
The graph above shows a clear pattern: the less
equity you trade with, the more prone you are to use high amounts of
leverage. The more amount of leverage you utilize, the more focus you’re
likely to have on short-term gains. The only problem with an overt
focus on short term gains with high leverage is that you’re unlikely to
take a small loss in the near term which can eventually lead to a huge
or devastating loss before long.
Starting with a small account can become one of the
most expensive ways to get started. This article has opened up many of
the mental traps that lurk for those trading a small account. The
question becomes, are you willing to take trading seriously enough to
protect your mental capital and align yourself with those who have made a
success in trading before you?
I hope your answer is yes.
Two arrested in Australia forex probe
Australian police have arrested a government employee and a banker on
charges related to insider trading and abuse of public office, after a
probe into suspicious trading in foreign exchange markets.
The arrests follow the launch of a separate inquiry
by Australian regulators into the country’s $168bn forex market, as the
net widens in an international investigation into alleged price-rigging
by banks and currency traders in the forex market.
Police said on Friday they had evidence that a 26-year-old employee of National Australia Bank
had received price-sensitive information from a 24-year-old man who
worked at the national statistics bureau. The two men met at university
and were friends.
Between August 2013 and May 2014 the bank employee had used labour
force, retail sales and trade data to trade in forex derivative products
and personally profit from favourable price movements, police alleged.
The trading is thought to have generated A$7m in profits. If that is
proved, it will be one of the biggest insider trading cases in Australia
“Insider trading is a serious criminal offence that will not be
tolerated because it has the potential to destroy trust, discourage
participation and undermine confidence in the integrity of Australia’s
financial markets,” said Chris Savundra, head of markets enforcement at
Asic, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
The Australian dollar is the fifth most traded currency and accounted for $462bn in daily trades asof April 2013, according to the Bank for International Settlements.
But with an average value of daily forex trading at desks in
Australia of $168.6bn as of October 2013, it is only the eighth-largest
Mr Savundra declined to say how the joint investigation by the police and Asic had uncovered the alleged fraudulent trading.
The bank employee did not use NAB’s internal systems to trade the
derivatives. Instead, it is alleged that he used price-sensitive
information provided by his friend to place bets with online forex
trading platforms on fluctuations in the Australian dollar.
Investigators in this type of case are often tipped off by market
participants such as brokers, online trading platforms or members of the
public. Regulators also monitor markets for unusual trading behaviour.
Police said they had seized A$9,000 in cash during searches of property related to the investigation.
The statistics bureau employee faces charges of conspiracy to engage
in insider trading, receiving a bribe as a public official, and dealing
in the proceeds of crime. He is due to appear in court in Canberra on
The banker faces charges of insider trading, giving a bribe to a
public official, and dealing with the proceeds of crime. He was bailed
at Melbourne magistrates’ court on Friday.
A separate Asic inquiry into the wider Australian forex market is
looking at whether traders have shared information about client orders
and tried to move forex benchmarks.
Greg Medcraft, Asic chairman, said in March this
inquiry would take a year. At least a dozen regulators and 15 banks in
the US, Asia and Europe have been engulfed by allegations of price rigging by banks and currency traders.