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Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part II

Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part II
Firstly, thanks for the overwhelming comments and feedback. Genuinely really appreciated. I am pleased 500+ of you find it useful.
If you didn't read the first post you can do so here: risk management part I. You'll need to do so in order to make sense of the topic.
As ever please comment/reply below with questions or feedback and I'll do my best to get back to you.
Part II
  • Letting stops breathe
  • When to change a stop
  • Entering and exiting winning positions
  • Risk:reward ratios
  • Risk-adjusted returns

Letting stops breathe

We talked earlier about giving a position enough room to breathe so it is not stopped out in day-to-day noise.
Let’s consider the chart below and imagine you had a trailing stop. It would be super painful to miss out on the wider move just because you left a stop that was too tight.

Imagine being long and stopped out on a meaningless retracement ... ouch!
One simple technique is simply to look at your chosen chart - let’s say daily bars. And then look at previous trends and use the measuring tool. Those generally look something like this and then you just click and drag to measure.
For example if we wanted to bet on a downtrend on the chart above we might look at the biggest retracement on the previous uptrend. That max drawdown was about 100 pips or just under 1%. So you’d want your stop to be able to withstand at least that.
If market conditions have changed - for example if CVIX has risen - and daily ranges are now higher you should incorporate that. If you know a big event is coming up you might think about that, too. The human brain is a remarkable tool and the power of the eye-ball method is not to be dismissed. This is how most discretionary traders do it.
There are also more analytical approaches.
Some look at the Average True Range (ATR). This attempts to capture the volatility of a pair, typically averaged over a number of sessions. It looks at three separate measures and takes the largest reading. Think of this as a moving average of how much a pair moves.
For example, below shows the daily move in EURUSD was around 60 pips before spiking to 140 pips in March. Conditions were clearly far more volatile in March. Accordingly, you would need to leave your stop further away in March and take a correspondingly smaller position size.

ATR is available on pretty much all charting systems
Professional traders tend to use standard deviation as a measure of volatility instead of ATR. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Averages are useful but can be misleading when regimes switch (see above chart).
Once you have chosen a measure of volatility, stop distance can then be back-tested and optimised. For example does 2x ATR work best or 5x ATR for a given style and time horizon?
Discretionary traders may still eye-ball the ATR or standard deviation to get a feeling for how it has changed over time and what ‘normal’ feels like for a chosen study period - daily, weekly, monthly etc.

Reasons to change a stop

As a general rule you should be disciplined and not change your stops. Remember - losers average losers. This is really hard at first and we’re going to look at that in more detail later.
There are some good reasons to modify stops but they are rare.
One reason is if another risk management process demands you stop trading and close positions. We’ll look at this later. In that case just close out your positions at market and take the loss/gains as they are.
Another is event risk. If you have some big upcoming data like Non Farm Payrolls that you know can move the market +/- 150 pips and you have no edge going into the release then many traders will take off or scale down their positions. They’ll go back into the positions when the data is out and the market has quietened down after fifteen minutes or so. This is a matter of some debate - many traders consider it a coin toss and argue you win some and lose some and it all averages out.
Trailing stops can also be used to ‘lock in’ profits. We looked at those before. As the trade moves in your favour (say up if you are long) the stop loss ratchets with it. This means you may well end up ‘stopping out’ at a profit - as per the below example.

The mighty trailing stop loss order
It is perfectly reasonable to have your stop loss move in the direction of PNL. This is not exposing you to more risk than you originally were comfortable with. It is taking less and less risk as the trade moves in your favour. Trend-followers in particular love trailing stops.
One final question traders ask is what they should do if they get stopped out but still like the trade. Should they try the same trade again a day later for the same reasons? Nope. Look for a different trade rather than getting emotionally wed to the original idea.
Let’s say a particular stock looked cheap based on valuation metrics yesterday, you bought, it went down and you got stopped out. Well, it is going to look even better on those same metrics today. Maybe the market just doesn’t respect value at the moment and is driven by momentum. Wait it out.
Otherwise, why even have a stop in the first place?

Entering and exiting winning positions

Take profits are the opposite of stop losses. They are also resting orders, left with the broker, to automatically close your position if it reaches a certain price.
Imagine I’m long EURUSD at 1.1250. If it hits a previous high of 1.1400 (150 pips higher) I will leave a sell order to take profit and close the position.
The rookie mistake on take profits is to take profit too early. One should start from the assumption that you will win on no more than half of your trades. Therefore you will need to ensure that you win more on the ones that work than you lose on those that don’t.

Sad to say but incredibly common: retail traders often take profits way too early
This is going to be the exact opposite of what your emotions want you to do. We are going to look at that in the Psychology of Trading chapter.
Remember: let winners run. Just like stops you need to know in advance the level where you will close out at a profit. Then let the trade happen. Don’t override yourself and let emotions force you to take a small profit. A classic mistake to avoid.
The trader puts on a trade and it almost stops out before rebounding. As soon as it is slightly in the money they spook and cut out, instead of letting it run to their original take profit. Do not do this.

Entering positions with limit orders

That covers exiting a position but how about getting into one?
Take profits can also be left speculatively to enter a position. Sometimes referred to as “bids” (buy orders) or “offers” (sell orders). Imagine the price is 1.1250 and the recent low is 1.1205.
You might wish to leave a bid around 1.2010 to enter a long position, if the market reaches that price. This way you don’t need to sit at the computer and wait.
Again, typically traders will use tech analysis to identify attractive levels. Again - other traders will cluster with your orders. Just like the stop loss we need to bake that in.
So this time if we know everyone is going to buy around the recent low of 1.1205 we might leave the take profit bit a little bit above there at 1.1210 to ensure it gets done. Sure it costs 5 more pips but how mad would you be if the low was 1.1207 and then it rallied a hundred points and you didn’t have the trade on?!
There are two more methods that traders often use for entering a position.
Scaling in is one such technique. Let’s imagine that you think we are in a long-term bulltrend for AUDUSD but experiencing a brief retracement. You want to take a total position of 500,000 AUD and don’t have a strong view on the current price action.
You might therefore leave a series of five bids of 100,000. As the price moves lower each one gets hit. The nice thing about scaling in is it reduces pressure on you to pick the perfect level. Of course the risk is that not all your orders get hit before the price moves higher and you have to trade at-market.
Pyramiding is the second technique. Pyramiding is for take profits what a trailing stop loss is to regular stops. It is especially common for momentum traders.

Pyramiding into a position means buying more as it goes in your favour
Again let’s imagine we’re bullish AUDUSD and want to take a position of 500,000 AUD.
Here we add 100,000 when our first signal is reached. Then we add subsequent clips of 100,000 when the trade moves in our favour. We are waiting for confirmation that the move is correct.
Obviously this is quite nice as we humans love trading when it goes in our direction. However, the drawback is obvious: we haven’t had the full amount of risk on from the start of the trend.
You can see the attractions and drawbacks of both approaches. It is best to experiment and choose techniques that work for your own personal psychology as these will be the easiest for you to stick with and build a disciplined process around.

Risk:reward and win ratios

Be extremely skeptical of people who claim to win on 80% of trades. Most traders will win on roughly 50% of trades and lose on 50% of trades. This is why risk management is so important!
Once you start keeping a trading journal you’ll be able to see how the win/loss ratio looks for you. Until then, assume you’re typical and that every other trade will lose money.
If that is the case then you need to be sure you make more on the wins than you lose on the losses. You can see the effect of this below.

A combination of win % and risk:reward ratio determine if you are profitable
A typical rule of thumb is that a ratio of 1:3 works well for most traders.
That is, if you are prepared to risk 100 pips on your stop you should be setting a take profit at a level that would return you 300 pips.
One needn’t be religious about these numbers - 11 pips and 28 pips would be perfectly fine - but they are a guideline.
Again - you should still use technical analysis to find meaningful chart levels for both the stop and take profit. Don’t just blindly take your stop distance and do 3x the pips on the other side as your take profit. Use the ratio to set approximate targets and then look for a relevant resistance or support level in that kind of region.

Risk-adjusted returns

Not all returns are equal. Suppose you are examining the track record of two traders. Now, both have produced a return of 14% over the year. Not bad!
The first trader, however, made hundreds of small bets throughout the year and his cumulative PNL looked like the left image below.
The second trader made just one bet — he sold CADJPY at the start of the year — and his PNL looked like the right image below with lots of large drawdowns and volatility.
Would you rather have the first trading record or the second?
If you were investing money and betting on who would do well next year which would you choose? Of course all sensible people would choose the first trader. Yet if you look only at returns one cannot distinguish between the two. Both are up 14% at that point in time. This is where the Sharpe ratio helps .
A high Sharpe ratio indicates that a portfolio has better risk-adjusted performance. One cannot sensibly compare returns without considering the risk taken to earn that return.
If I can earn 80% of the return of another investor at only 50% of the risk then a rational investor should simply leverage me at 2x and enjoy 160% of the return at the same level of risk.
This is very important in the context of Execution Advisor algorithms (EAs) that are popular in the retail community. You must evaluate historic performance by its risk-adjusted return — not just the nominal return. Incidentally look at the Sharpe ratio of ones that have been live for a year or more ...
Otherwise an EA developer could produce two EAs: the first simply buys at 1000:1 leverage on January 1st ; and the second sells in the same manner. At the end of the year, one of them will be discarded and the other will look incredible. Its risk-adjusted return, however, would be abysmal and the odds of repeated success are similarly poor.

Sharpe ratio

The Sharpe ratio works like this:
  • It takes the average returns of your strategy;
  • It deducts from these the risk-free rate of return i.e. the rate anyone could have got by investing in US government bonds with very little risk;
  • It then divides this total return by its own volatility - the more smooth the return the higher and better the Sharpe, the more volatile the lower and worse the Sharpe.
For example, say the return last year was 15% with a volatility of 10% and US bonds are trading at 2%. That gives (15-2)/10 or a Sharpe ratio of 1.3. As a rule of thumb a Sharpe ratio of above 0.5 would be considered decent for a discretionary retail trader. Above 1 is excellent.
You don’t really need to know how to calculate Sharpe ratios. Good trading software will do this for you. It will either be available in the system by default or you can add a plug-in.

VAR

VAR is another useful measure to help with drawdowns. It stands for Value at Risk. Normally people will use 99% VAR (conservative) or 95% VAR (aggressive). Let’s say you’re long EURUSD and using 95% VAR. The system will look at the historic movement of EURUSD. It might spit out a number of -1.2%.

A 5% VAR of -1.2% tells you you should expect to lose 1.2% on 5% of days, whilst 95% of days should be better than that
This means it is expected that on 5 days out of 100 (hence the 95%) the portfolio will lose 1.2% or more. This can help you manage your capital by taking appropriately sized positions. Typically you would look at VAR across your portfolio of trades rather than trade by trade.
Sharpe ratios and VAR don’t give you the whole picture, though. Legendary fund manager, Howard Marks of Oaktree, notes that, while tools like VAR and Sharpe ratios are helpful and absolutely necessary, the best investors will also overlay their own judgment.
Investors can calculate risk metrics like VaR and Sharpe ratios (we use them at Oaktree; they’re the best tools we have), but they shouldn’t put too much faith in them. The bottom line for me is that risk management should be the responsibility of every participant in the investment process, applying experience, judgment and knowledge of the underlying investments.Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital
What he’s saying is don’t misplace your common sense. Do use these tools as they are helpful. However, you cannot fully rely on them. Both assume a normal distribution of returns. Whereas in real life you get “black swans” - events that should supposedly happen only once every thousand years but which actually seem to happen fairly often.
These outlier events are often referred to as “tail risk”. Don’t make the mistake of saying “well, the model said…” - overlay what the model is telling you with your own common sense and good judgment.

Coming up in part III

Available here
Squeezes and other risks
Market positioning
Bet correlation
Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits

***
Disclaimer:This content is not investment advice and you should not place any reliance on it. The views expressed are the author's own and should not be attributed to any other person, including their employer.
submitted by getmrmarket to Forex [link] [comments]

Forex Trading Strategies Reddit: What you need to know to start Forex trading.

Forex Trading Strategies Reddit: What you need to know to start Forex trading.

FOREX Strategies

What are FOREX Strategies?
https://preview.redd.it/ihmphstzguv51.jpg?width=960&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=81f6b73c367d8695605514f8d32aaf3e2aeabc6e
You may have noticed that most of people confuse the terminology and refer to FOREX Strategies in the wrong way. There are methodologies, systems, strategies, and techniques. The most effective methodology is Price Language (Trend Tracking). Combined with a correct reading of mass psychology presented by the charts.
We know that in the Stock Markets there are thousands of strategies. FOREX, like the rest of the markets, presents you with the opportunity to apply similar strategies to win consistently. Taking advantage of repetitive psychological patterns.
First, the Price Language methodology has created great fortunes in FOREX, and the next fortune may be yours. But this methodology must be implemented within a framework of advanced concepts of Markets. Without forgetting the basics. And working hard day by day.
Second, a strategy is a set of parameters and techniques that together give you the advantage to act in any situation. Thus for example in war, generals have attack strategies and counterattack strategies.
FOREX strategies alike are entry strategies and exit strategies. All beginners should know these FOREX strategies for beginners. That way you will get a general idea of ​​the game and understand that trading is a war against the Market and its Specialists. Only applying FOREX strategies revealed by the same Specialists and using their own techniques,
... you can survive in this war.
Do not fall into the trap of the many "systems" and "methods" that are offered on the internet about operating in the FOREX Market. They just don't work in the long run. They are strategies based on indicators for the most part. Using rigid parameters. That if they can work and give profitability during a certain period of time, they will always reach a breaking point when the market changes its dynamics.
Instead, take advantage of your precious time and learn the Language of Price or Price Action.
The Language methodology will allow you to adapt to each new phase of the Market. If you combine this knowledge with the appropriate psychological concepts, you can live comfortably from speculation in FOREX.

Forex Trading Strategies Reddit - Basic FOREX Strategies

You have two basic FOREX strategies, one entry, and one exit. Both follow a general strategy that helps you capitalize on the collective behaviors of the Market. That is, of the total of participating speculators.
This behavior causes the formation of cycles that repeat over and over again. Driven by the basic emotions (uncertainty, greed, and panic) of the speculators involved that can be taken advantage of with the aforementioned FOREX strategies. Specialists identify these emotions in the order flow and capitalize on these events every hour, every day, and every month.
Basic FOREX Strategies - The Price Cycle
These repetitive cycles consist of 4 phases:
  1. Accumulation
  2. Upward trend
  3. Distribution
  4. Downward trend
https://preview.redd.it/6dvk2w0pduv51.png?width=300&format=png&auto=webp&s=a3ab65ca4eab6d20174b3327b862d8b59dcc13b7
The two trends can be easily identified by their notorious breakdown. And the two areas of uncertainty (accumulation and distribution), due to their notorious range trajectories.
This general behavior determines the core of our FOREX strategies.
You buy when the price of a pair has broken and has come out of one of its congestion formations (accumulation or distribution). You implement one of the Forex strategies, in this case, the entry one.
The multi-time technique will help you find the point of least risk when entering your initial buy or sell order. In the same way and using the same strategy but this time to close your position, the multiple timing technique will also show you how to close your operation obtaining the highest possible profit.
The most consistent way to extract profits in the market is by trading the start of trends within a cycle . Once confirmed by their respective breaks from the areas of uncertainty. This is the mother of all FOREX strategies . And in a market that operates 24 hours, we have more frequent cycles and therefore more opportunities.

Forex Trading Strategies Reddit - Advanced Forex Strategies

There are many advanced FOREX strategies that are generally used by professional speculators working for large financial firms.
Among these firms are banks, Investment Fund managers and Hedge Fund managers. The latter is an investment modality similar to Investment Funds, with the difference that Hedge Funds use more complex investment strategies. Its operations are more oriented to aggressive speculations in the short and medium-term.
Among the most common strategies is hedging (hedging), carry trade, automated systems based on quantum mathematics. And a large number of combinations between the different option strategies.

The Carry Trade

The central idea of ​​Carry Trade is to buy a pair in which the base currency has a considerably higher interest rate than the quoted currency. To earn the difference in rates regardless of whether the price of the pair rises or falls.
Suppose we buy a $ 100,000 lot of AUDJPY, which according to the rates on the chart would turn out to be the ideal instrument in this example to use the Forex carry trade strategy.
As our capital is in US dollars we have to assume for our example, the following quotes necessary to perform the place calculations:
AUD / JPY = 80.00 USD / JPY = 85.00
What happens internally in your broker is this.
  1. By placing as collateral $ 1,000 of your $ 50,000 of capital (assumed for this example), deposited in your account, you have access to $ 100,000 virtual (this is what is known as leverage); that is, you put in $ 1,000 and your broker lends you 99,000.
  2. With those $ 100,000 virtual dollars, your broker borrows on your behalf ¥ 8,500,000 Japanese yen (85 × 100,000) at 0.1% annual interest from a Japanese bank.
  3. With those ¥ 8,500,000 Japanese yen, your broker buys A $ 106,250 Australian dollars (8,500,000 / 80) and deposits it in an Australian bank where it receives 4.5% annual interest on your behalf.
  4. One year later (and regardless of the profit or loss generated by the pair's movement), your profit will be the difference between the AUD rate and the JPY rate, that is:
Profit = (AUD rate) - (JPY rate) - (costs of the 2 currency exchanges) Profit = (4.5%) - (0.1%) - (0.1% to 1%)
The great advantage of carry trade FOREX strategies is that this percentage profit is applied to the $ 100,000 of the standard lot; the broker transfers all of the profit to you, even if you only contributed $ 1,000. On the other hand, if you carry out the inverse of this operation, this benefit of the Forex carry trade becomes a cost (swap), and you assume it completely.
Remember that FOREX carry trade strategies are recommended for pairs with considerable interest rate differences, such as the one we have just seen in our example.
These FOREX strategies should also not be used in isolation. The idea is that through technical analysis you identify when would be the ideal time to enter the market using your carry trade Forex strategy and multiply your profits considerably.

What FOREX Strategies Do Hedge Funds Use?

The FOREX strategies used by large fund managers do not constitute an advantage in terms of percentage results for them, nor do they constitute a competitive disadvantage for you.
The vast majority of them fail because of their big egos. In fact, there was a firm made up of great financial geniuses, including 2 winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics, who developed a strategy based on quantum mathematical calculations.
With an initial base capital of about 3 billion dollars, and after 3 successful years obtaining annual returns of over 40%, the firm Long-Term Capital Management, begins its fourth year with losses. To counteract these losses the geniuses decide to multiply the initial capital several times, while the losses continued.
The year closed with the bankruptcy of the fund, and with a total accumulated loss of 1 trillion dollars, due to the great leverage used. And all for not admitting that the FOREX Strategies of Long Term Capital Management were not in line with the dynamics of the Market.
There are an overwhelming number of opportunities in the stock markets to make money interpreting the Language of Price.
You don't need to use complex "advanced" strategies that have been created to handle hundreds or billions of dollars.
The reasons for using these FOREX strategies are very different from what a "retail trader" pursues with his small speculation business.
As you can see, you should not worry about wanting to integrate any of these advanced strategies into your arsenal. They are only beneficial for managing hundreds or billions of dollars, where the return parameters are very different when you handle small amounts of capital.
Do not worry about collecting hundreds of free FOREX strategies that circulate on the internet, that great accumulation of mediocre information will only serve to confuse you and waste your valuable time.
Spend that time learning Price Action,
… And you will always be one step behind the Specialists, identifying each new Market condition, and anticipating the vast majority of reversals of all prices.
Ironically, the most successful fund managers indicate that their most profitable trades are those based on the basic trend-following strategies of the Price Language. The same ones that you will learn in this Free Course.
Dedicate yourself to perfecting them and believe me you won't need anything else. As long as you have good risk management, taking into consideration the following points ...

Styles of Investments in FOREX

The Investment FOREX long term is not recommended for small investors like you and me. If we take into account the term investing literally as large investors do who buy a financial product today to sell it years later.
We both have a better niche in the short and medium-term.
You may have noticed that the big multi-year trends in the Forex Market do exist. But minor swings within a big trend are usually very wide.
These minor movements allow us to easily double and triple the annual return of the big general trend, motivating most traders to speculate in the short and medium-term.
These minor oscillations or trends that occur within the large multi-year trends owe their occurrence mainly to two reasons.
First, the FOREX Market presents 3 sessions a day each in different cities of the world with different time zones (Asia, Europe, and America). This causes more frequent trend changes than in the rest of the stock markets.
Second, the purpose for which it was created also plays a role. The modern Foreign Exchange Market, since its inception in 1972, was conceived by the global financial system as a tool for speculation. To obtain benefits in the short and medium-term (from several days to 1 year).
These two points are basically the reasons why we observe the immense speed with which the FOREX market changes trends.
For example, for those who live in America, in the early morning (Europe) the EURUSD pair may be on the rise, in the morning or afternoon (America) it may be down, and then finally at night (Asia) it may return to the rise.

Define your Own Style for your FOREX Investments

One of the first decisions you will have to make is to choose your style as a trader or investor.
There are 4 types of well-defined styles.
Most professional traders tend to have multiple styles, although they always identify with one primary style for their FOREX investments. Study the characteristics of the 4 main styles to make your investments in FOREX :
1. Long Term: recommended for anyone who is going to enter the market for the first time and who can dedicate a minimum of one hour per month to their investments in Forex. The period of an open position ranges from 1 year to 5 years.
2. Medium Term: recommended for anyone who is going to enter the market for the first time and who can dedicate a minimum of one hour per week to their investments in Forex. The period of an open position ranges from 1 month to 1 year.
3. Short Term: recommended for anyone who is going to enter the market for the first time, or who already has a certain time operating in the long and medium-term, showing constant profits, and who can dedicate a minimum of one hour per day to your investments in FOREX. The period of an open position ranges from 1 day to 1 month.
4. Intraday : recommended only for people with a fairly solid earnings record in the short term, and with a capital greater than $ 50,000. As we have noted, this option constitutes a full-time job.
People who start investing in FOREX , should start executing short-term (weeks) and medium-term (months) transactions only, and not pay attention to intraday oscillations (day trading).
If you are interested in being an intraday speculator, I recommend that you first exhaust at least a year doing operations in the short and medium-term to assimilate the correct strategies and to develop the necessary mentality to carry out this work.
The second option would be to participate in some kind of intensive training.
I remind you that self-educating is almost impossible in speculation. You are likely to accumulate a lot of knowledge by reading books and attending courses. But you will probably never learn to make money with all the incomplete "systems" circulating on the internet.

Mistakes to Avoid When Looking for Your Style

Many people who are new to FOREX investments make the mistake of combining these styles, which is a key to failure.
I recommend that if you are not getting the results you expected by adopting one of these styles, do not try to change it. The problem sure is not in the style, but in your strategies or in your psychology.
A successful investor is able to make a profit in any longer trading time than he is used to. I explain. If you are already a profitable operator in the short term, it is very likely that you will also be profitable in the medium and long term,
… As long as you can interpret the Language of Price or Price Action.
In the opposite case, the same would not happen. If you were a medium-term trader, you would need time to adjust to the intraday. The reality is that long, medium and short term traders have very similar personalities. The intraday trader is completely different.

The Myth of the Intraday in Investments in FOREX

If you are already successful in the short, medium and long term, you will notice that the sacrifice and the hours necessary in front of the computer to operate intraday is much greater. The intraday style will be useful to increase your account if it is less than USD $ 100,000 in a very short time in exchange for 8 to 12 hours a day of hard work but ...
You must first develop the necessary skills to operate the intraday.
The ideal is to combine all the styles to get more out of the Market and carry out more effective transactions and have a diversification in your investments in FOREX.
There are intraday traders that are very successful, but the reality is that there are very few in the world that make a profit year after year. If you want to become an intraday, you just have to prepare yourself properly through intensive training.
Otherwise, I recommend that you don't even think about educating yourself to adopt the intraday style. It is not necessary to go against a probability of failure greater than 99%. Unless
... your ego is greater than your common sense.
The main reason why this style of investments in FOREX is not recommended for the vast majority of us "retail investors" (the official term "retail traders"), is the high operational cost.
The real commissions in this market range between $ 2.0 and $ 2.50 for each lot of 100,000 virtual units. This means that a complete operation (opening and closing) is approximately $ 5.00, for each standard lot traded ($ 100,000 virtual).
Another fundamental reason is the advent of robotic traders (HFT = High-Frequency Trading), which tend to manipulate the market in the shorter intraday swings. Please do not confuse HFTs with automated systems that we find daily on the internet, and that can be purchased for a few hundred dollars and often for free on FOREX forums / groups.
These HFTs to which I refer, they are effective. They cost millions of dollars and have been developed by the large Wall Street financial firms to manage their investments in FOREX.
The reality of the intraday trader is that you execute orders for large lots at the same time, to profit from the smallest movements in the market. It is an activity based on reflexes. The slightest oversight or distraction can turn into a catastrophe for your FOREX investments.
I recommend that you start investing in FOREX using slow time periods such as H4 or Daily. For some reason, all Goldman Sachs intraday FOREX investments are made with algorithms.

Finally…

To choose your style as a trader and manage your investments in FOREX, first determine what your degree of experience is, analyze the points mentioned below and the rest you will discover when you execute your first operations.
The points that will affect your decision are:
  • Capital
  • Time available each day
  • Level of Experience
  • Personality
Discovering your style is a search process. For some it will be a long way to find the right time frame that matches their personality. Don't be put off by the falls. After all, those who continue the path despite the falls are the ones who reach the destination.
And I hope you are one of those who get up over and over again. The next lesson will boost your confidence when you discover the main reason that moves currencies ...

Fundamental Analysis in Forex Trading Reddit

The fundamental analysis in Forex is used mostly by long-term investors. Players as we saw in the styles of operators, start a negotiation today, to close it years later.
I always emphasize the importance that the mass media give to this type of analysis to distract the great mass of participants.
It is all part of a great mass psychological manipulation. For centuries the ignorance of the masses has been organized before the great movements begin.
The important news are the macroeconomic reports published by the Central Banks and other government agencies destined for this work. All reports are made up. 99% of them are corrected months later.
These events are tools to justify fundamental analysis and price cleaning movements. Any silly headline does the job. With this, it is possible to absorb most of the existing liquidity, before the new trend phase is projected.

Reaction!

Except in rare situations, the result of an economic report of the fundamental analysis is generally already assimilated in the graph. In most cases, there are financial institutions that already have access to this information and are organizing and carrying out their operations in advance.
The phrase buy the rumor and sell the news is a very old adage on Wall Street. And its meaning contains what we have just explained. For the investor who can interpret the Language of Price, fundamental analysis is of little importance. Well, in general, their disclosure does not indicate that you have to take any action in your open trades , as long as your entry strategy provides you with a good support cushion.
This reality of fundamental analysis causes a lot of confusion for investors who lack in-depth knowledge of the forex market.

Macroeconomic Data

The data published in these events is irrelevant. Both for speculators and for the people in general. They are false. They lack reliability.
The price can go up or down with the same result of the data. The main ones are:
- Interest Rates - GDP (gross domestic product) - CPI (inflation) - ISM (manufacturing index) - NFP (payroll) - Double Deficits (deficit = fiscal + balance of payments)
If you are initiated, I recommend you avoid operating near these events. It is only a matter of having the time pending. Use the economic calendar for Fundamental Analysis of Forex Factory.
There is a probabilistic advantage in operating these fundamental analysis events. But it takes preparation, experience, and practice. They represent a way of diversifying in the general operation of a speculator.

The Uncertainty of Fundamental Analysis

On many occasions after the disclosure of an economic report, the price movement of the currency pair that is going to be affected tends to move in the opposite direction to the logic of the report.
I show you an example of a fundamental analysis report. Imagine that the EUR / USD pair is trading at 1.2500, and the FED (US Federal Reserve) issues a statement announcing that it has just raised inter-bank interest rates from 0.25 points to 0.75 points. Very positive news for the US dollar that logically implies an appreciation of the currency and consequently an instantaneous collapse of the EUR / USD pair (up the dollar and down the euro)
However, minutes after the release of said fundamental analysis report, the pair after effectively collapsing to 1.2400, returns and returns to its levels prior to the report (1.2500). This situation is very common , but it is not so easy to identify it when it is occurring, but after the damage is done.
Traps like these devour the accounts of beginners who approach the market with little experience, with weak strategies, and especially with very little experience.
That is why I reiterate that you forget the fundamental analysis for now. Just keep in mind when operating, that there is no publication scheduled nearby. Just check the economic calendar for the day and forget about the numbers. Let the economists mess around with the data.

FOREX Market Correlation

The Forex market correlation exists between pairs with similar "base" currencies and not always under the same circumstances. The correlation in the Forex market that is most followed and that has the greatest impact on fundamental analysis is that of the US dollar (USD).
The USD is the most traded monetary unit with a volume greater than 80% with respect to the rest of the currencies. This fact determines why their correlation is the most important, the most followed, and perhaps the only one worth following in the fundamental macro analysis.
The 7 major pairs are usually in sync . These 7 pairs all include the USD and present a fundamental analysis correlation almost 75% of the time. Influencing the rest of the currency pairs.

Advantages of the FOREX Market Correlation

In the fundamental analysis the most basic FOREX correlation is the following. When the USD appreciates, the USD / CAD, USD / CHF, and USD / JPY pairs tend to go up in price. This indicates that the Canadian dollar (CAD), the Swiss franc (CHF), and the Japanese yen (JPY) are losing value against the USD.
We must bear in mind that this correlation does not occur 100% of the time. In fact, the JPY generally tends to move in the opposite direction , since in recent decades this currency has been used as a source of financing to invest in other financial instruments.
On the other side is the FOREX market correlation that generates a movement almost in unison in the other 4 major pairs EUR / USD, GBP / USD, AUD / USD, and NZD / USD. These tend to fall in price, homologous the appreciation of the USD. But not always.
In this case the fundamental analysis correlation works most of the time, between 65 and 85% of the time. Small differences are noted in the extent that each of these pairs experiences.
There is also a correlation in the secondary FOREX market, where the pairs of all currencies that do not include the USD participate, but I recommend you not to waste time on them for now. There are more important things about the Language of Price to know first.

FOREX Commodity Correlation

In this part I will explain to you in a basic way the Correlation Commodities - FOREX of the fundamental analysis.
There are three currencies that have a direct correlation with commodities. They are usually called: "COMDOLLS" which is short for "Commodities Dollars" (Commodities Dollars), since all three obey the dollar denomination. These are:
- The New Zealand Dollar (NZD) - The Australian Dollar (AUD) - The Canadian Dollar (CAD)
These three currencies make up the group of the 8 largest together with the euro, the pound, the yen, the franc and the US dollar. Together, they merge to produce the major pairs traded in the FOREX Foreign Exchange Market.
The FOREX Commodity Correlation has an affinity in most cases greater than 75%. And each of them has its different raw material of correlation. You will notice that the NZD and the AUD are two currencies that act practically in unison. Both present minimal discrepancies in their fluctuations in the short, medium and long term.
This is mainly because their economies are very similar and their economic and fiscal policies are too. Their main production items also show great similarities, despite the fact that the Australian economy is much larger than the New Zealand economy.
The raw materials that follow the movement of the AUD are mainly gold and copper. If you put the history of these three quotes during the last decade of the year 2,000 together on the same chart, you will notice a very similar upward movement between the three quotes. Pure correlation of fundamental analysis.
This strong correlation with commodities in the metals area for the AUD has provided Australia with an economic advantage enviable over the other major powers that have seen their currencies devalue sharply against the AUD. At the same time, they experience a constant decrease in the purchasing power of their citizens.
The NZD maintains a correlation with raw materials related to agriculture and livestock, mainly including milk and its derivatives. It is one of the countries that dominates the world export of these economic items, and also has important exports of metals , although in smaller quantities than Australia.
Finally, you have a correlation with raw materials in the energy area. For historical reasons the CAD, which is not the largest oil producer in the world, but an important supplier to the largest consumer that is the US, has seen its currency oscillate in line with oil prices.
To make long-term investments in the Foreign Exchange Market, it is necessary to take into consideration at least one Commodity Correlation - FOREX in your fundamental analysis.

Forex Technical Analysis Reddit

The technical analysis is the methodology that interprets the movements of the price. Specialists look for liquidity to fund their business. The repetition of the strategies used by the specialists in their work generate repetitive patterns.
If you were an analyst, you would develop the visual ability to identify such patterns on a graph. If you were a programmer you would quantify them mathematically using complex formulas.
And if you could learn to interpret the Language of Price, you would have the ability to anticipate 90% of all movements that occur on a chart. And in this business, anticipating is what will make you money.
Market prices are reflected and framed on a horizontal time axis and a vertical price axis. Prices go up or down according to the aggressiveness of the participating operators. In an efficient or balanced market these oscillations should be imperceptible.
But in reality this is not the case, since the Market works thanks to the digital printing of hundreds of billions of units of paper money systematically distributed by the Central Banks through the banking system. These resources serve as a tool to manipulate 100% of the movements that occur in the FOREX Market.
Are you looking for Technical Indicators? All technical indicators were created from the 70's. How do you think that for more than 200 years the speculators of the past accumulated great wealth?
With the Language of Price. The best timing is given by the price itself. Indicator-generated entry signals usually occur at the wrong time.
The basis of technical analysis is human psychology. Unfortunately, human beings are not perfect and are loaded with emotions that dominate their behavior in similar situations, creating repetitive and highly predictable behavior when it occurs in masses.
The study of technical analysis through indicators and subjective training, originates and shapes the collective thinking on which all the traps that specialists execute every day to maintain their business are designed. If the majority won, the Market would cease to exist.
Although you already know that the patterns are not generated by the masses , but the repetitive behavior of the Specialists in the face of the action response of the masses. It is very easy for speculaists, because they can see everyone's orders in their books.
And they also exert a great influence on the decisions of the masses through the mass media. It is what I call the war between the Egg and the Stone , if you hit me you win and if I hit you also you win.

The Deception of Modern Technical Analysis

Through the centuries thousands of people have been able to extract great benefits from the financial markets by applying the basic strategies of technical analysis and the psychology of the Price Language.
More than 200 years ago when the markets began to operate officially, fundamental analysis predominated, which was only used by large financial institutions. As this analysis tool began to become popular, these institutions began to apply the strategies of technical analysis.
In recent decades and with the massification of internet technology, technical analysis has begun to be handled by anyone who has a computer with internet access. The same financial institutions, which have been present for more than a century and as a result of this overcrowding , establish a strategy to confuse and misinform about the true strategies of technical analysis.
This has been accomplished in the following manner. Currently there are hundreds, if not thousands of technical indicators that have been developed by so-called "gurus" of technical analysis and that sell their magic indicators packed in a "system" or "method" that usually cost thousands of dollars, or simply with the publication of a book with which they generate large profits. Double benefit.
The aim is to confuse the initiates in speculation and create the collective mentality that will originate the same behaviors over and over again. About 95% of these new entrants completely lose all the capital they invest in their early stages as investors.
Leaving them with a negative experience and creating the idea and the image that financial markets are an exclusive area for geniuses with high academic levels and that only they can produce returns in the markets year after year.
The initiate, having lost all his original capital, turns to these “gurus” for help and teachings. You spend more capital on the products they offer you and the cycle repeats itself . Obviously, the vast majority do not relapse and completely forget to re-engage in the stock markets.
I hope you have not been a victim of this drama.
Now I will show you the simplicity of a FOREX technical analysis , without the need to resort to any indicator as a tool to determine an effective entry or exit strategy when planning your operations.

The Price Cycle

Previously you studied in the FOREX strategies lesson, that the typical price cycle when it is reflected in a graph, presents four very specific phases and very easy to identify if you perform a technical analysis with common sense . These are:
  • Accumulation
  • Bullish trend
  • Distribution
  • Bearish trend
Remember also that the most effective way to constantly extract profits in the markets is by taking advantage of phases 2 and 4 (the trends). Combined with a correct reading of the collective behavior of the masses of speculators interpreting the Language of Price.
You will be surprised by the simplicity with which thousands of people around the world and over the centuries have accumulated large sums of money by drawing a few simple lines and applying responsible risk management with their capital.

How to Identify Trends?

Being able to determine the trend phases within the price cycle is the essence of technical analysis since it is these two phases that provide you with the probabilistic advantage you need to operate in the markets and obtain constant returns.
In the most plain and simple language, in the world of technical analysis, there are only two types of formations: trends and ranges.
The trends, in turn, can be bullish if they go up, or bearish if they go down. The ranges, on the other hand, can be accumulation if they are at the beginning of the cycle, or distribution if they are in the high part of the cycle. As I had indicated in the topic of FOREX strategies when describing the price cycle.
This sounds more like a play on words, but I will show you the practical definition to simplify your life and then you will apply these definitions on the graph so that everything makes more sense to you.
  • Bullish trend: a succession of major highs and major lows
  • Bearish trend: a succession of minor highs and minor lows
  • Floor Range: equal highs and varied lows
  • Ceiling Range: equal minimums and varied maximums
https://preview.redd.it/vvmsshf0guv51.png?width=600&format=png&auto=webp&s=c321679a7dcc03f7184778be86379ef442fddf91
Some key points from the graph:
  • The start of this big uptrend was detected when the last high (thick green line) of the previous downtrend was broken to the upside, ending the succession of lower highs, while exiting the lateral floor formation.
  • The succession of major lows in the uptrend (thin blue lines)
  • The succession of major highs in the uptrend (thin green lines)
  • The end of the uptrend was detected when the last low (thick blue line) of the uptrend was broken to the downside, ending the succession of higher lows, while exiting the lateral ceiling formation.
A tool that will help you sharpen your technical eye and identify trends on the chart is the Currency Scanner. This application is very effective and will provide you with a much-needed boost in your operations to identify reliable trends. At first, we are not sure how reliable a trend is. You will receive great help to find opportunities with the Currency Scanner .

The Common Sense, The Less Common of Senses

The central idea of ​​technical analysis consists in determining the price situation of a market, that is, in which phase of the pattern of its cycle it is currently conjugated with the collective thinking of the masses and the possible traps that the market would have prepared to remove. the capital at stake by the public.
To carry out a precise technical analysis, you will use the support and resistance lines, which can be static (horizontal) or dynamic (projecting an angle with respect to the horizontal axis).
Your common sense prevails here.
If you show a 10-year-old a chart, they will be able to tell you if the price is going up or down. You will most likely have no idea how to draw the lines, but you will be able to establish the general trend. Simply using your common sense.
By introducing indicators and other gadgets , the simplicity and effectiveness of the technical analysis created by your common sense evaporates.
The following graph conceptually shows you all the possible situations in which you could draw these lines to carry out your technical analysis of the place. You can clearly observe a downtrend delimited by its dynamic trend line and an uptrend on the right side with its respective dynamic delimitation.
https://preview.redd.it/5iehg0r6guv51.png?width=500&format=png&auto=webp&s=84c265a5d35da7ea970792c4bf40fe20b33bd8bd

Forex Charts Analysis

I want to remind you that the formations or patterns that develop on the charts (triangles, wedges, pennants, boxes, etc.) only work to execute trades that have initially been confirmed by the static support and resistance lines and to read the collective thinking of the masses.
Chart formations work, but you must know the Language of Price to determine when the Specialists will exploit a chartist figure, or when they will allow it to run. In fact, you will learn with the Language that you can operate a chart figure in any direction.
Much of the "mentalization" that the masses receive is to believe that the figures are made to be respected. Which is an inefficient way of working. Simply because you could wait days or months for a perfect chart figure to occur in order to perform a reliable trade. When in fact there are dozens every day.

Japanese Candles

Of all the tools you have to carry out technical analysis, perhaps the best known and most popular is the Japanese technique of candles (candlesticks).
Candles are mainly used to identify reversal points on the chart without resorting to confirmation of horizontal trend lines and only using a previous bar or candle breaks.
Its correct use is subject to a multi-time analysis (multiple temporalities) and a general evaluation of the context proposed by the market in general at the time of each scenario.
Later I will show you all the important details to take into account so that you use Japanese candles in a simple and very effective way.
Do not forget ... Trading in your beginnings based on formations (chartism) and candlestick patterns conjugated with hundreds of tools and technical indicators, constitutes the perfect path to your failure. Before using any strategy or technique I recommend you focus on learning the Price Language, which includes 3 basic things:
  • The Price: structure and dynamics
  • Market sentiment: relative strength, external shocks, etc.
  • Psychology: flexible mindset and risk acceptance
After you acquire this solid foundation, I guarantee that you will be able to trade any trading system that exists, any strategy, technique or chart figure in a profitable and consistent manner.
Specialists make money every day at the expense of the collective behavior caused by the use of these strategies and techniques. With which you will only manage to lose your capital and your time by putting the cart in front of the horse.
People who do the opposite, at best become,
... Philosophers of Speculation, or indocile Robot Assistants or Expert Advisors.
To make money in any market condition, range or trend, you must use the technical analysis based on the Price Language and combine it with a correct psychological reading of the price. This knowledge can only be acquired through proper education and lots of supervised practice. Like any other career in life.
I hope you've found this guide helpful!
submitted by kayakero to makemoneyforexreddit [link] [comments]

Good free/cheap forex hourly data?

Does anyone know a good public dataset for forex historical hourly data? I looked at the wiki but I am not satisfied with the choices.
I am currently using fxmarketapi.com which offers 10 years of daily data for free. The pro version seems cheap and provides hourly data with no time limit. Is anyone using this? Is it good?
submitted by BBDante to algotrading [link] [comments]

When will we bottom out?

PART 2 : https://www.reddit.com/wallstreetbets/comments/g0sd44/what_is_the_bottom/
PART 3: https://www.reddit.com/wallstreetbets/comments/g2enz2/why_the_printer_must_continue/
Edit: By popular demand, the too long didn't read is now at the top
TL;DR
SPY 220p 11/20
This will likely be a multi-part series. It should be noted that I am no expert by any means, I'm actually quite new to this, it is just an elementary analysis of patterns in price and time. I am not a financial advisor, and this is not advice for a person to enter trades upon.
The fundamental divide in trading revolves around the question of market structure. Many feel that the market operates totally randomly and its’ behavior cannot be predicted. For the purposes of this DD, we will assume that the market has a structure, but that that structure is not perfect. That market structure naturally generates chart patterns as the market records prices in time. We will analyze an instrument, an exchange traded fund, which represents an index, as opposed to a particular stock. The price patterns of the various stocks in an index are effectively smoothed out. In doing so, a more technical picture arises. Perhaps the most popular of these is the SPDR S&P Standard and Poor 500 Exchange Traded Fund ($SPY).
In trading, little to no concern is given about value of underlying asset. We concerned primarily about liquidity and trading ranges, which are the amount of value fluctuating on a short-term basis, as measured by volatility-implied trading ranges. Fundamental analysis plays a role, however markets often do not react to real-world factors in a logical fashion. Therefore, fundamental analysis is more appropriate for long-term investing.
The fundamental derivatives of a chart are time (x-axis) and price (y-axis). The primary technical indicator is price, as everything else is lagging in the past. Price represents current asking price and incorrectly implementing positions based on price is one of the biggest trading errors.
Markets ordinarily have noise, their tendency to back-and-fill, which must be filtered out for true pattern recognition. That noise does have a utility, however, in allowing traders second chances to enter favorable positions at slightly less favorable entry points. When you have any market with enough liquidity for historical data to record a pattern, then a structure can be divined. The market probes prices as part of an ongoing price-discovery process. Market technicians must sometimes look outside of the technical realm and use visual inspection to ascertain the relevance of certain patterns, using a qualitative eye that recognizes the underlying quantitative nature
Markets rise slower than they correct, however they rise much more than they fall. In the same vein, instruments can only fall to having no worth, whereas they could theoretically grow infinitely and have continued to grow over time. Money in a fiat system is illusory. It is a fundamentally synthetic instrument which has no intrinsic value. Hence, the recent seemingly illogical fluctuations in the market.
According to trade theory, the unending purpose of a market is to create and break price ranges according to the laws of supply and demand. We must determine when to trade based on each market inflection point as defined in price and in time as opposed to abandoning the trend (as the contrarian trading in this sub often does). Time and Price symmetry must be used to be in accordance with the trend. When coupled with a favorable risk to reward ratio, the ability to stay in the market for most of the defined time period, and adherence to risk management rules; the trader has a solid methodology for achieving considerable gains.
We will engage in a longer term market-oriented analysis to avoid any time-focused pressure. The market is technically open 24-hours a day, so trading may be done when the individual is ready, without any pressing need to be constantly alert. Let alone, we can safely project months in advance with relatively high accuracy.
Some important terms to keep in mind:
§ Discrete – terminal points at the extremes of ranges
§ Secondary Discrete – quantified retracement or correction between two discrete
§ Longs (asset appreciation) and shorts (asset depreciation)
- Technical indicators are often considered self-fulfilling prophecies due to mass-market psychology gravitating towards certain common numbers yielded from them. That means a trader must be especially aware of these numbers as they can prognosticate market movements. Often, they are meaningless in the larger picture of things.
§ Volume – derived from the market itself, it is mostly irrelevant. The major problem with volume is that the US market open causes tremendous volume surges eradicating any intrinsic volume analysis. At major highs and lows, the market is typically anemic. Most traders are not active at terminal discretes because of levels of fear. Allows us confidence in time and price symmetry market inflection points, if we observe low volume at a foretold range of values. We can rationalize that an absolute discrete is usually only discovered and anticipated by very few traders. As the general market realizes it, a herd mentality will push the market in the direction favorable to defending it. Volume is also useful for swing trading, as chances for swing’s validity increases if an increase in volume is seen on and after the swing’s activation.
Therefore, due to the relatively high volume on the 23rd of March, we can safely determine that a low WAS NOT reached.
§ VIX – Volatility Index, this technical indicator indicates level of fear by the amount of options-based “insurance” in portfolios. A low VIX environment, less than 20 for the S&P index, indicates a stable market with a possible uptrend. A high VIX, over 20, indicates a possible downtrend. However, it is equally important to see how VIX is changing over time, if it is decreasing or increasing, as that indicates increasing or decreasing fear. Low volatility allows high leverage without risk or rest. Occasionally, markets do rise with high VIX.
As VIX is unusually high, in the forties, we can be confident that a downtrend is imminent.
– Trend definition is highly powerful, cannot be understated. Knowledge of trend logic is enough to be a profitable trader, yet defining a trend is an arduous process. Multiple trends coexist across multiple time frames and across multiple market sectors. Like time structure, it makes the underlying price of the instrument irrelevant. Trend definitions cannot determine the validity of newly formed discretes. Trend becomes apparent when trades based in counter-trend inflection points continue to fail.
Downtrends are defined as an instrument making lower lows and lower highs that are recurrent, additive, qualified swing setups. Downtrends for all instruments are similar, except forex. They are fast and complete much quicker than uptrends. An average downtrend is 18 months, something which we will return to. An uptrend inception occurs when an instrument reaches a point where it fails to make a new low, then that low will be tested. After that, the instrument will either have a deep range retracement or it may take out the low slightly, resulting in a double-bottom. A swing must eventually form.
A simple way to roughly determine trend is to attempt to draw a line from three tops going upwards (uptrend) or a line from three bottoms going downwards (downtrend). It is not possible to correctly draw an uptrend line on the SPY chart, but it is possible to correctly draw a downtrend – indicating that the overall trend is downwards.
Now that we have determined that the overall trend is downwards, the next issue is the question of when SPY will bottom out.
Time is the movement from the past through the present into the future. It is a measurement in quantified intervals. In many ways, our perception of it is a human construct. It is more powerful than price as time may be utilized for a trade regardless of the market inflection point’s price. Were it possible to perfectly understand time, price would be totally irrelevant due to the predictive certainty time affords. Time structure is easier to learn than price, but much more difficult to apply with any accuracy. It is the hardest aspect of trading to learn, but also the most rewarding.
Humans do not have the ability to recognize every time window, however the ability to define market inflection points in terms of time is the single most powerful trading edge. Regardless, price should not be abandoned for time alone. Time structure analysis It is inherently flawed, as such the markets have a fail-safe, which is Price Structure. Even though Time is much more powerful, Price Structure should never be completely ignored. Time is the qualifier for Price and vice versa. Time can fail by tricking traders into counter-trend trading.
Time is a predestined trade quantifier, a filter to slow trades down, as it allows a trader to specifically focus on specific time windows and rest at others. It allows for quantitative measurements to reach deterministic values and is the primary qualifier for trends. Time structure should be utilized before price structure, and it is the primary trade criterion which requires support from price. We can see price structure on a chart, as areas of mathematical support or resistance, but we cannot see time structure.
Time may be used to tell us an exact point in the future where the market will inflect, after Price Theory has been fulfilled. In the present, price objectives based on price theory added to possible future times for market inflection points give us the exact time of market inflection points and price.
Time Structure is repetitions of time or inherent cycles of time, occurring in a methodical way to provide time windows which may be utilized for inflection points. They are not easily recognized and not easily defined by a price chart as measuring and observing time is very exact. Time structure is not a science, yet it does require precise measurements. Nothing is certain or definite. The critical question must be if a particular approach to time structure is currently lucrative or not.
We will complete our analysis of time by measuring it in intervals of 180 bars. Our goal is to determine time windows, when the market will react and when we should pay the most attention. By using time repetitions, the fact that market inflection points occurred at some point in the past and should, therefore, reoccur at some point in the future, we should obtain confidence as to when SPY will reach a market inflection point. Time repetitions are essentially the market’s memory. However, simply measuring the time between two points then trying to extrapolate into the future does not work. Measuring time is not the same as defining time repetitions. We will evaluate past sessions for market inflection points, whether discretes, qualified swings, or intra-range. Then records the times that the market has made highs or lows in a comparable time period to the future one seeks to trade in.
What follows is a time Histogram – A grouping of times which appear close together, then segregated based on that closeness. Time is aligned into combined histogram of repetitions and cycles, however cycles are irrelevant on a daily basis. If trading on an hourly basis, do not use hours.
Yearly Lows: 12/31/2000, 9/21/2001, 10/9/2002, 3/11/2003, 8/2/2004, 4/15/2005, 6/12/2006, 3/5/2007, 11/17/2008, 3/9/2009, 7/2/10, 10/3/11, 1/1/12, 1/1/13, 2/3/14, 9/28/15, 2/8/16, 1/3/17, 12/24/18, 6/3/19
Months: 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 6, 6, 7, 8, 9, 9, 10, 10, 11, 12, 12
Days: 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 5, 8, 9, 9, 11, 12, 15, 17, 21, 24, 28, 31
Monthly Lows: 3/23, 2/28, 1/27, 12/3, 11/1, 10/2, 9/3, 8/5, 7/1, 6/3, 5/31, 4/1
Days: 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 5, 23, 27, 27, 31
Weighted Times are repetitions which appears multiple times within the same list, observed and accentuated once divided into relevant sections of the histogram. They are important in the presently defined trading time period and are similar to a mathematical mode with respect to a series. Phased times are essentially periodical patterns in histograms, though they do not guarantee inflection points*.*
We see that SPY tends to have its lows between three major month clusters: 1-4, primarily March (which has actually occurred already this year), 6-9, averaged out to July, and 10-12, averaged out to November. Following the same methodology, we get the third and tenth days of the month as the likeliest days. However, evaluating the monthly lows for the past year, the end of the month has replaced the average of the tenth. Therefore, we have four primary dates for our histogram.
7/3/20, 7/27/20, and 11/3/20, 11/27/20 .
How do we narrow this group down with any accuracy? Let us average the days together to work with two dates - 7/15/20 and 11/15/20.
The 8.6-Year Armstrong-Princeton Global Economic Confidence model – states that 2.15 year intervals occur between corrections, relevant highs and lows. 2.15 years from the all-time peak discrete is April 14th of 2022. However, we can time-shift to other peaks and troughs to determine a date for this year. If we consider 1/28/2018 as a localized high and apply this model, we get 3/23/20 as a low - strikingly accurate. I have chosen the next localized high, 9/21/2018 to apply the model to. We achieve a date of 11/14/2020.
The average bear market is eighteen months long, giving us a date of August 19th, 2021 for the end of the bear market - roughly speaking.
Therefore, our timeline looks like:
As we move forward in time, our predictions may be less accurate. It is important to keep in mind that this analysis will likely change and become more accurate as we factor in Terry Laundry’s T-Theory, the Bradley Cycle, a more sophisticated analysis of Bull and Bear Market Cycles, the Fundamental Investor Cyclic Approach, and Seasons and Half-Seasons.
I have also assumed that the audience believes in these models, which is not necessary. Anyone with free time may construct histograms and view these time models, determining for themselves what is accurate and what is not. Take a look at 1/28/2008, that localized high, and 2.15 years (1/4th of the sinusoidal wave of the model) later.
The question now is, what prices will SPY reach on 11/14? Where will we be at 7/28? What will happen on 4/14/22?
submitted by aibnsamin1 to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

Stocks vs Options vs Forex vs Futures to develop an algo

Guys, this post is kinda long, so if you want to jump to my question just skip the first 5 paragraphs.
I have been trying to develop algos to make money on the stock market. Some have shown huge gains, only to be f'd by the bid ask spread afterwards.
In addition, it is complicated to obtain bid ask data for free. What I did was to use present values of the bid ask (from yfinance) and assume they were always like that. Additionally, I had to use only daily prices (open, close, low, high) and assume I would make an action exactly at open or close.
I had some algos who worked OK under these simplifications. But I don't trust them. For instance, at open the bid ask spread is higher. Also, the assumption of the constant bid ask spread may be very wrong.
I have thought about buying historical data. I found historical data of the Russell 3000, by 30 mins, with the bid ask, since 2009, for 500 dollars. And have thought about buying it. But I am still unsure whether I should buy it. First I want to try other things.
I have started to think about learning other types of trading types, such as futures, options or forex. They may have different pros and cons. And maybe better data (for free).
So the aim of this post is to know which trading would you recommend and/or what are the pros and cons from each.
Which one can give the highest returns with algos?
Which one has more free data available? For example: the data by minute, or the bid ask. (forex maybe?)
Which one would I have not to worry so much about the bid ask spread? Small bid ask
Which one has more data? I will assume stocks, since forex does not have that many exchanges compared to the number of stocks.
And more important, which one do you recommend from personal use?
submitted by vcarpe to algotrading [link] [comments]

Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad (5199.KL)


https://preview.redd.it/gp18bjnlabr41.jpg?width=768&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=6054e7f52e8d52da403016139ae43e0e799abf15
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In light of the recent fall in oil prices due to the Saudi-Russian dispute and dampening demand for oil due to the lockdowns implemented globally, O&G stocks have taken a severe beating, falling approximately 50% from their highs at the beginning of the year. Not spared from this onslaught is Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad (Hibiscus), a listed oil and gas (O&G) exploration and production (E&P) company.
Why invest in O&G stocks in this particularly uncertain period? For one, valuations of these stocks have fallen to multi-year lows, bringing the potential ROI on these stocks to attractive levels. Oil prices are cyclical, and are bound to return to the mean given a sufficiently long time horizon. The trick is to find those companies who can survive through this downturn and emerge into “normal” profitability once oil prices rebound.
In this article, I will explore the upsides and downsides of investing in Hibiscus. I will do my best to cater this report to newcomers to the O&G industry – rather than address exclusively experts and veterans of the O&G sector. As an equity analyst, I aim to provide a view on the company primarily, and will generally refrain from providing macro views on oil or opinions about secular trends of the sector. I hope you enjoy reading it!
Stock code: 5199.KL
Stock name: Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad
Financial information and financial reports: https://www.malaysiastock.biz/Corporate-Infomation.aspx?securityCode=5199
Company website: https://www.hibiscuspetroleum.com/

Company Snapshot

Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad (5199.KL) is an oil and gas (O&G) upstream exploration and production (E&P) company located in Malaysia. As an E&P company, their business can be basically described as:
· looking for oil,
· drawing it out of the ground, and
· selling it on global oil markets.
This means Hibiscus’s profits are particularly exposed to fluctuating oil prices. With oil prices falling to sub-$30 from about $60 at the beginning of the year, Hibiscus’s stock price has also fallen by about 50% YTD – from around RM 1.00 to RM 0.45 (as of 5 April 2020).
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While the company is domiciled in Malaysia, its two main oil producing fields are located in both Malaysia and the UK. The Malaysian oil field is commonly referred to as the North Sabah field, while the UK oil field is commonly referred to as the Anasuria oil field. Hibiscus has licenses to other oil fields in different parts of the world, notably the Marigold/Sunflower oil fields in the UK and the VIC cluster in Australia, but its revenues and profits mainly stem from the former two oil producing fields.
Given that it’s a small player and has only two primary producing oil fields, it’s not surprising that Hibiscus sells its oil to a concentrated pool of customers, with 2 of them representing 80% of its revenues (i.e. Petronas and BP). Fortunately, both these customers are oil supermajors, and are unlikely to default on their obligations despite low oil prices.
At RM 0.45 per share, the market capitalization is RM 714.7m and it has a trailing PE ratio of about 5x. It doesn’t carry any debt, and it hasn’t paid a dividend in its listing history. The MD, Mr. Kenneth Gerard Pereira, owns about 10% of the company’s outstanding shares.

Reserves (Total recoverable oil) & Production (bbl/day)

To begin analyzing the company, it’s necessary to understand a little of the industry jargon. We’ll start with Reserves and Production.
In general, there are three types of categories for a company’s recoverable oil volumes – Reserves, Contingent Resources and Prospective Resources. Reserves are those oil fields which are “commercial”, which is defined as below:
As defined by the SPE PRMS, Reserves are “… quantities of petroleum anticipated to be commercially recoverable by application of development projects to known accumulations from a given date forward under defined conditions.” Therefore, Reserves must be discovered (by drilling, recoverable (with current technology), remaining in the subsurface (at the effective date of the evaluation) and “commercial” based on the development project proposed.)
Note that Reserves are associated with development projects. To be considered as “commercial”, there must be a firm intention to proceed with the project in a reasonable time frame (typically 5 years, and such intention must be based upon all of the following criteria:)
- A reasonable assessment of the future economics of the development project meeting defined investment and operating criteria; - A reasonable expectation that there will be a market for all or at least the expected sales quantities of production required to justify development; - Evidence that the necessary production and transportation facilities are available or can be made available; and - Evidence that legal, contractual, environmental and other social and economic concerns will allow for the actual implementation of the recovery project being evaluated.
Contingent Resources and Prospective Resources are further defined as below:
- Contingent Resources: potentially recoverable volumes associated with a development plan that targets discovered volumes but is not (yet commercial (as defined above); and) - Prospective Resources: potentially recoverable volumes associated with a development plan that targets as yet undiscovered volumes.
In the industry lingo, we generally refer to Reserves as ‘P’ and Contingent Resources as ‘C’. These ‘P’ and ‘C’ resources can be further categorized into 1P/2P/3P resources and 1C/2C/3C resources, each referring to a low/medium/high estimate of the company’s potential recoverable oil volumes:
- Low/1C/1P estimate: there should be reasonable certainty that volumes actually recovered will equal or exceed the estimate; - Best/2C/2P estimate: there should be an equal likelihood of the actual volumes of petroleum being larger or smaller than the estimate; and - High/3C/3P estimate: there is a low probability that the estimate will be exceeded.
Hence in the E&P industry, it is easy to see why most investors and analysts refer to the 2P estimate as the best estimate for a company’s actual recoverable oil volumes. This is because 2P reserves (‘2P’ referring to ‘Proved and Probable’) are a middle estimate of the recoverable oil volumes legally recognized as “commercial”.
However, there’s nothing stopping you from including 2C resources (riskier) or utilizing 1P resources (conservative) as your estimate for total recoverable oil volumes, depending on your risk appetite. In this instance, the company has provided a snapshot of its 2P and 2C resources in its analyst presentation:
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Basically, what the company is saying here is that by 2021, it will have classified as 2P reserves at least 23.7 million bbl from its Anasuria field and 20.5 million bbl from its North Sabah field – for total 2P reserves of 44.2 million bbl (we are ignoring the Australian VIC cluster as it is only estimated to reach first oil by 2022).
Furthermore, the company is stating that they have discovered (but not yet legally classified as “commercial”) a further 71 million bbl of oil from both the Anasuria and North Sabah fields, as well as the Marigold/Sunflower fields. If we include these 2C resources, the total potential recoverable oil volumes could exceed 100 million bbl.
In this report, we shall explore all valuation scenarios giving consideration to both 2P and 2C resources.
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The company further targets a 2021 production rate of 20,000 bbl (LTM: 8,000 bbl), which includes 5,000 bbl from its Anasuria field (LTM: 2,500 bbl) and 7,000 bbl from its North Sabah field (LTM: 5,300 bbl).
This is a substantial increase in forecasted production from both existing and prospective oil fields. If it materializes, annual production rate could be as high as 7,300 mmbbl, and 2021 revenues (given FY20 USD/bbl of $60) could exceed RM 1.5 billion (FY20: RM 988 million).
However, this targeted forecast is quite a stretch from current production levels. Nevertheless, we shall consider all provided information in estimating a valuation for Hibiscus.
To understand Hibiscus’s oil production capacity and forecast its revenues and profits, we need to have a better appreciation of the performance of its two main cash-generating assets – the North Sabah field and the Anasuria field.

North Sabah oil field
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Hibiscus owns a 50% interest in the North Sabah field together with its partner Petronas, and has production rights over the field up to year 2040. The asset contains 4 oil fields, namely the St Joseph field, South Furious field, SF 30 field and Barton field.
For the sake of brevity, we shall not delve deep into the operational aspects of the fields or the contractual nature of its production sharing contract (PSC). We’ll just focus on the factors which relate to its financial performance. These are:
· Average uptime
· Total oil sold
· Average realized oil price
· Average OPEX per bbl
With regards to average uptime, we can see that the company maintains relative high facility availability, exceeding 90% uptime in all quarters of the LTM with exception of Jul-Sep 2019. The dip in average uptime was due to production enhancement projects and maintenance activities undertaken to improve the production capacity of the St Joseph and SF30 oil fields.
Hence, we can conclude that management has a good handle on operational performance. It also implies that there is little room for further improvement in production resulting from increased uptime.
As North Sabah is under a production sharing contract (PSC), there is a distinction between gross oil production and net oil production. The former relates to total oil drawn out of the ground, whereas the latter refers to Hibiscus’s share of oil production after taxes, royalties and expenses are accounted for. In this case, we want to pay attention to net oil production, not gross.
We can arrive at Hibiscus’s total oil sold for the last twelve months (LTM) by adding up the total oil sold for each of the last 4 quarters. Summing up the figures yields total oil sold for the LTM of approximately 2,075,305 bbl.
Then, we can arrive at an average realized oil price over the LTM by averaging the average realized oil price for the last 4 quarters, giving us an average realized oil price over the LTM of USD 68.57/bbl. We can do the same for average OPEX per bbl, giving us an average OPEX per bbl over the LTM of USD 13.23/bbl.
Thus, we can sum up the above financial performance of the North Sabah field with the following figures:
· Total oil sold: 2,075,305 bbl
· Average realized oil price: USD 68.57/bbl
· Average OPEX per bbl: USD 13.23/bbl

Anasuria oil field
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Doing the same exercise as above for the Anasuria field, we arrive at the following financial performance for the Anasuria field:
· Total oil sold: 1,073,304 bbl
· Average realized oil price: USD 63.57/bbl
· Average OPEX per bbl: USD 23.22/bbl
As gas production is relatively immaterial, and to be conservative, we shall only consider the crude oil production from the Anasuria field in forecasting revenues.

Valuation (Method 1)

Putting the figures from both oil fields together, we get the following data:
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Given that we have determined LTM EBITDA of RM 632m, the next step would be to subtract ITDA (interest, tax, depreciation & amortization) from it to obtain estimated LTM Net Profit. Using FY2020’s ITDA of approximately RM 318m as a guideline, we arrive at an estimated LTM Net Profit of RM 314m (FY20: 230m). Given the current market capitalization of RM 714.7m, this implies a trailing LTM PE of 2.3x.
Performing a sensitivity analysis given different oil prices, we arrive at the following net profit table for the company under different oil price scenarios, assuming oil production rate and ITDA remain constant:
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From the above exercise, it becomes apparent that Hibiscus has a breakeven oil price of about USD 41.8863/bbl, and has a lot of operating leverage given the exponential rate of increase in its Net Profit with each consequent increase in oil prices.
Considering that the oil production rate (EBITDA) is likely to increase faster than ITDA’s proportion to revenues (fixed costs), at an implied PE of 4.33x, it seems likely that an investment in Hibiscus will be profitable over the next 10 years (with the assumption that oil prices will revert to the mean in the long-term).

Valuation (Method 2)

Of course, there are a lot of assumptions behind the above method of valuation. Hence, it would be prudent to perform multiple methods of valuation and compare the figures to one another.
As opposed to the profit/loss assessment in Valuation (Method 1), another way of performing a valuation would be to estimate its balance sheet value, i.e. total revenues from 2P Reserves, and assign a reasonable margin to it.
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From the above, we understand that Hibiscus’s 2P reserves from the North Sabah and Anasuria fields alone are approximately 44.2 mmbbl (we ignore contribution from Australia’s VIC cluster as it hasn’t been developed yet).
Doing a similar sensitivity analysis of different oil prices as above, we arrive at the following estimated total revenues and accumulated net profit:
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Let’s assume that the above average of RM 9.68 billion in total realizable revenues from current 2P reserves holds true. If we assign a conservative Net Profit margin of 15% (FY20: 23%; past 5 years average: 16%), we arrive at estimated accumulated Net Profit from 2P Reserves of RM 1.452 billion. Given the current market capitalization of RM 714 million, we might be able to say that the equity is worth about twice the current share price.
However, it is understandable that some readers might feel that the figures used in the above estimate (e.g. net profit margin of 15%) were randomly plucked from the sky. So how do we reconcile them with figures from the financial statements? Fortunately, there appears to be a way to do just that.
Intangible Assets
I refer you to a figure in the financial statements which provides a shortcut to the valuation of 2P Reserves. This is the carrying value of Intangible Assets on the Balance Sheet.
As of 2QFY21, that amount was RM 1,468,860,000 (i.e. RM 1.468 billion).
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Quite coincidentally, one might observe that this figure is dangerously close to the estimated accumulated Net Profit from 2P Reserves of RM 1.452 billion we calculated earlier. But why would this amount matter at all?
To answer that, I refer you to the notes of the Annual Report FY20 (AR20). On page 148 of the AR20, we find the following two paragraphs:
E&E assets comprise of rights and concession and conventional studies. Following the acquisition of a concession right to explore a licensed area, the costs incurred such as geological and geophysical surveys, drilling, commercial appraisal costs and other directly attributable costs of exploration and appraisal including technical and administrative costs, are capitalised as conventional studies, presented as intangible assets.
E&E assets are assessed for impairment when facts and circumstances suggest that the carrying amount of an E&E asset may exceed its recoverable amount. The Group will allocate E&E assets to cash generating unit (“CGU”s or groups of CGUs for the purpose of assessing such assets for impairment. Each CGU or group of units to which an E&E asset is allocated will not be larger than an operating segment as disclosed in Note 39 to the financial statements.)
Hence, we can determine that firstly, the intangible asset value represents capitalized costs of acquisition of the oil fields, including technical exploration costs and costs of acquiring the relevant licenses. Secondly, an impairment review will be carried out when “the carrying amount of an E&E asset may exceed its recoverable amount”, with E&E assets being allocated to “cash generating units” (CGU) for the purposes of assessment.
On page 169 of the AR20, we find the following:
Carrying amounts of the Group’s intangible assets, oil and gas assets and FPSO are reviewed for possible impairment annually including any indicators of impairment. For the purpose of assessing impairment, assets are grouped at the lowest level CGUs for which there is a separately identifiable cash flow available. These CGUs are based on operating areas, represented by the 2011 North Sabah EOR PSC (“North Sabah”, the Anasuria Cluster, the Marigold and Sunflower fields, the VIC/P57 exploration permit (“VIC/P57”) and the VIC/L31 production license (“VIC/L31”).)
So apparently, the CGUs that have been assigned refer to the respective oil producing fields, two of which include the North Sabah field and the Anasuria field. In order to perform the impairment review, estimates of future cash flow will be made by management to assess the “recoverable amount” (as described above), subject to assumptions and an appropriate discount rate.
Hence, what we can gather up to now is that management will estimate future recoverable cash flows from a CGU (i.e. the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields), compare that to their carrying value, and perform an impairment if their future recoverable cash flows are less than their carrying value. In other words, if estimated accumulated profits from the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields are less than their carrying value, an impairment is required.
So where do we find the carrying values for the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields? Further down on page 184 in the AR20, we see the following:
Included in rights and concession are the carrying amounts of producing field licenses in the Anasuria Cluster amounting to RM668,211,518 (2018: RM687,664,530, producing field licenses in North Sabah amounting to RM471,031,008 (2018: RM414,333,116))
Hence, we can determine that the carrying values for the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields are RM 471m and RM 668m respectively. But where do we find the future recoverable cash flows of the fields as estimated by management, and what are the assumptions used in that calculation?
Fortunately, we find just that on page 185:
17 INTANGIBLE ASSETS (CONTINUED)
(a Anasuria Cluster)
The Directors have concluded that there is no impairment indicator for Anasuria Cluster during the current financial year. In the previous financial year, due to uncertainties in crude oil prices, the Group has assessed the recoverable amount of the intangible assets, oil and gas assets and FPSO relating to the Anasuria Cluster. The recoverable amount is determined using the FVLCTS model based on discounted cash flows (“DCF” derived from the expected cash in/outflow pattern over the production lives.)
The key assumptions used to determine the recoverable amount for the Anasuria Cluster were as follows:
(i Discount rate of 10%;)
(ii Future cost inflation factor of 2% per annum;)
(iii Oil price forecast based on the oil price forward curve from independent parties; and,)
(iv Oil production profile based on the assessment by independent oil and gas reserve experts.)
Based on the assessments performed, the Directors concluded that the recoverable amount calculated based on the valuation model is higher than the carrying amount.
(b North Sabah)
The acquisition of the North Sabah assets was completed in the previous financial year. Details of the acquisition are as disclosed in Note 15 to the financial statements.
The Directors have concluded that there is no impairment indicator for North Sabah during the current financial year.
Here, we can see that the recoverable amount of the Anasuria field was estimated based on a DCF of expected future cash flows over the production life of the asset. The key assumptions used by management all seem appropriate, including a discount rate of 10% and oil price and oil production estimates based on independent assessment. From there, management concludes that the recoverable amount of the Anasuria field is higher than its carrying amount (i.e. no impairment required). Likewise, for the North Sabah field.
How do we interpret this? Basically, what management is saying is that given a 10% discount rate and independent oil price and oil production estimates, the accumulated profits (i.e. recoverable amount) from both the North Sabah and the Anasuria fields exceed their carrying amounts of RM 471m and RM 668m respectively.
In other words, according to management’s own estimates, the carrying value of the Intangible Assets of RM 1.468 billion approximates the accumulated Net Profit recoverable from 2P reserves.
To conclude Valuation (Method 2), we arrive at the following:

Our estimates Management estimates
Accumulated Net Profit from 2P Reserves RM 1.452 billion RM 1.468 billion

Financials

By now, we have established the basic economics of Hibiscus’s business, including its revenues (i.e. oil production and oil price scenarios), costs (OPEX, ITDA), profitability (breakeven, future earnings potential) and balance sheet value (2P reserves, valuation). Moving on, we want to gain a deeper understanding of the 3 statements to anticipate any blind spots and risks. We’ll refer to the financial statements of both the FY20 annual report and the 2Q21 quarterly report in this analysis.
For the sake of brevity, I’ll only point out those line items which need extra attention, and skip over the rest. Feel free to go through the financial statements on your own to gain a better familiarity of the business.
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Income Statement
First, we’ll start with the Income Statement on page 135 of the AR20. Revenues are straightforward, as we’ve discussed above. Cost of Sales and Administrative Expenses fall under the jurisdiction of OPEX, which we’ve also seen earlier. Other Expenses are mostly made up of Depreciation & Amortization of RM 115m.
Finance Costs are where things start to get tricky. Why does a company which carries no debt have such huge amounts of finance costs? The reason can be found in Note 8, where it is revealed that the bulk of finance costs relate to the unwinding of discount of provision for decommissioning costs of RM 25m (Note 32).
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This actually refers to the expected future costs of restoring the Anasuria and North Sabah fields to their original condition once the oil reserves have been depleted. Accounting standards require the company to provide for these decommissioning costs as they are estimable and probable. The way the decommissioning costs are accounted for is the same as an amortized loan, where the initial carrying value is recognized as a liability and the discount rate applied is reversed each year as an expense on the Income Statement. However, these expenses are largely non-cash in nature and do not necessitate a cash outflow every year (FY20: RM 69m).
Unwinding of discount on non-current other payables of RM 12m relate to contractual payments to the North Sabah sellers. We will discuss it later.
Taxation is another tricky subject, and is even more significant than Finance Costs at RM 161m. In gist, Hibiscus is subject to the 38% PITA (Petroleum Income Tax Act) under Malaysian jurisdiction, and the 30% Petroleum tax + 10% Supplementary tax under UK jurisdiction. Of the RM 161m, RM 41m of it relates to deferred tax which originates from the difference between tax treatment and accounting treatment on capitalized assets (accelerated depreciation vs straight-line depreciation). Nonetheless, what you should take away from this is that the tax expense is a tangible expense and material to breakeven analysis.
Fortunately, tax is a variable expense, and should not materially impact the cash flow of Hibiscus in today’s low oil price environment.
Note: Cash outflows for Tax Paid in FY20 was RM 97m, substantially below the RM 161m tax expense.
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Balance Sheet
The balance sheet of Hibiscus is unexciting; I’ll just bring your attention to those line items which need additional scrutiny. I’ll use the figures in the latest 2Q21 quarterly report (2Q21) and refer to the notes in AR20 for clarity.
We’ve already discussed Intangible Assets in the section above, so I won’t dwell on it again.
Moving on, the company has Equipment of RM 582m, largely relating to O&G assets (e.g. the Anasuria FPSO vessel and CAPEX incurred on production enhancement projects). Restricted cash and bank balances represent contractual obligations for decommissioning costs of the Anasuria Cluster, and are inaccessible for use in operations.
Inventories are relatively low, despite Hibiscus being an E&P company, so forex fluctuations on carrying value of inventories are relatively immaterial. Trade receivables largely relate to entitlements from Petronas and BP (both oil supermajors), and are hence quite safe from impairment. Other receivables, deposits and prepayments are significant as they relate to security deposits placed with sellers of the oil fields acquired; these should be ignored for cash flow purposes.
Note: Total cash and bank balances do not include approximately RM 105 m proceeds from the North Sabah December 2019 offtake (which was received in January 2020)
Cash and bank balances of RM 90m do not include RM 105m of proceeds from offtake received in 3Q21 (Jan 2020). Hence, the actual cash and bank balances as of 2Q21 approximate RM 200m.
Liabilities are a little more interesting. First, I’ll draw your attention to the significant Deferred tax liabilities of RM 457m. These largely relate to the amortization of CAPEX (i.e. Equipment and capitalized E&E expenses), which is given an accelerated depreciation treatment for tax purposes.
The way this works is that the government gives Hibiscus a favorable tax treatment on capital expenditures incurred via an accelerated depreciation schedule, so that the taxable income is less than usual. However, this leads to the taxable depreciation being utilized quicker than accounting depreciation, hence the tax payable merely deferred to a later period – when the tax depreciation runs out but accounting depreciation remains. Given the capital intensive nature of the business, it is understandable why Deferred tax liabilities are so large.
We’ve discussed Provision for decommissioning costs under the Finance Costs section earlier. They are also quite significant at RM 266m.
Notably, the Other Payables and Accruals are a hefty RM 431m. What do they relate to? Basically, they are contractual obligations to the sellers of the oil fields which are only payable upon oil prices reaching certain thresholds. Hence, while they are current in nature, they will only become payable when oil prices recover to previous highs, and are hence not an immediate cash outflow concern given today’s low oil prices.
Cash Flow Statement
There is nothing in the cash flow statement which warrants concern.
Notably, the company generated OCF of approximately RM 500m in FY20 and RM 116m in 2Q21. It further incurred RM 330m and RM 234m of CAPEX in FY20 and 2Q21 respectively, largely owing to production enhancement projects to increase the production rate of the Anasuria and North Sabah fields, which according to management estimates are accretive to ROI.
Tax paid was RM 97m in FY20 and RM 61m in 2Q21 (tax expense: RM 161m and RM 62m respectively).

Risks

There are a few obvious and not-so-obvious risks that one should be aware of before investing in Hibiscus. We shall not consider operational risks (e.g. uptime, OPEX) as they are outside the jurisdiction of the equity analyst. Instead, we shall focus on the financial and strategic risks largely outside the control of management. The main ones are:
· Oil prices remaining subdued for long periods of time
· Fluctuation of exchange rates
· Customer concentration risk
· 2P Reserves being less than estimated
· Significant current and non-current liabilities
· Potential issuance of equity
Oil prices remaining subdued
Of topmost concern in the minds of most analysts is whether Hibiscus has the wherewithal to sustain itself through this period of low oil prices (sub-$30). A quick and dirty estimate of annual cash outflow (i.e. burn rate) assuming a $20 oil world and historical production rates is between RM 50m-70m per year, which considering the RM 200m cash balance implies about 3-4 years of sustainability before the company runs out of cash and has to rely on external assistance for financing.
Table 1: Hibiscus EBITDA at different oil price and exchange rates
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The above table shows different EBITDA scenarios (RM ‘m) given different oil prices (left column) and USD:MYR exchange rates (top row). Currently, oil prices are $27 and USD:MYR is 1:4.36.
Given conservative assumptions of average OPEX/bbl of $20 (current: $15), we can safely say that the company will be loss-making as long as oil remains at $20 or below (red). However, we can see that once oil prices hit $25, the company can tank the lower-end estimate of the annual burn rate of RM 50m (orange), while at RM $27 it can sufficiently muddle through the higher-end estimate of the annual burn rate of RM 70m (green).
Hence, we can assume that as long as the average oil price over the next 3-4 years remains above $25, Hibiscus should come out of this fine without the need for any external financing.
Customer Concentration Risk
With regards to customer concentration risk, there is not much the analyst or investor can do except to accept the risk. Fortunately, 80% of revenues can be attributed to two oil supermajors (Petronas and BP), hence the risk of default on contractual obligations and trade receivables seems to be quite diminished.
2P Reserves being less than estimated
2P Reserves being less than estimated is another risk that one should keep in mind. Fortunately, the current market cap is merely RM 714m – at half of estimated recoverable amounts of RM 1.468 billion – so there’s a decent margin of safety. In addition, there are other mitigating factors which shall be discussed in the next section (‘Opportunities’).
Significant non-current and current liabilities
The significant non-current and current liabilities have been addressed in the previous section. It has been determined that they pose no threat to immediate cash flow due to them being long-term in nature (e.g. decommissioning costs, deferred tax, etc). Hence, for the purpose of assessing going concern, their amounts should not be a cause for concern.
Potential issuance of equity
Finally, we come to the possibility of external financing being required in this low oil price environment. While the company should last 3-4 years on existing cash reserves, there is always the risk of other black swan events materializing (e.g. coronavirus) or simply oil prices remaining muted for longer than 4 years.
Furthermore, management has hinted that they wish to acquire new oil assets at presently depressed prices to increase daily production rate to a targeted 20,000 bbl by end-2021. They have room to acquire debt, but they may also wish to issue equity for this purpose. Hence, the possibility of dilution to existing shareholders cannot be entirely ruled out.
However, given management’s historical track record of prioritizing ROI and optimal capital allocation, and in consideration of the fact that the MD owns 10% of outstanding shares, there is some assurance that any potential acquisitions will be accretive to EPS and therefore valuations.

Opportunities

As with the existence of risk, the presence of material opportunities also looms over the company. Some of them are discussed below:
· Increased Daily Oil Production Rate
· Inclusion of 2C Resources
· Future oil prices exceeding $50 and effects from coronavirus dissipating
Increased Daily Oil Production Rate
The first and most obvious opportunity is the potential for increased production rate. We’ve seen in the last quarter (2Q21) that the North Sabah field increased its daily production rate by approximately 20% as a result of production enhancement projects (infill drilling), lowering OPEX/bbl as a result. To vastly oversimplify, infill drilling is the process of maximizing well density by drilling in the spaces between existing wells to improve oil production.
The same improvements are being undertaken at the Anasuria field via infill drilling, subsea debottlenecking, water injection and sidetracking of existing wells. Without boring you with industry jargon, this basically means future production rate is likely to improve going forward.
By how much can the oil production rate be improved by? Management estimates in their analyst presentation that enhancements in the Anasuria field will be able to yield 5,000 bbl/day by 2021 (current: 2,500 bbl/day).
Similarly, improvements in the North Sabah field is expected to yield 7,000 bbl/day by 2021 (current: 5,300 bbl/day).
This implies a total 2021 expected daily production rate from the two fields alone of 12,000 bbl/day (current: 8,000 bbl/day). That’s a 50% increase in yields which we haven’t factored into our valuation yet.
Furthermore, we haven’t considered any production from existing 2C resources (e.g. Marigold/Sunflower) or any potential acquisitions which may occur in the future. By management estimates, this can potentially increase production by another 8,000 bbl/day, bringing total production to 20,000 bbl/day.
While this seems like a stretch of the imagination, it pays to keep them in mind when forecasting future revenues and valuations.
Just to play around with the numbers, I’ve come up with a sensitivity analysis of possible annual EBITDA at different oil prices and daily oil production rates:
Table 2: Hibiscus EBITDA at different oil price and daily oil production rates
https://preview.redd.it/jnpfhr5n9br41.png?width=814&format=png&auto=webp&s=bbe4b512bc17f576d87529651140cc74cde3d159
The left column represents different oil prices while the top row represents different daily oil production rates.
The green column represents EBITDA at current daily production rate of 8,000 bbl/day; the orange column represents EBITDA at targeted daily production rate of 12,000 bbl/day; while the purple column represents EBITDA at maximum daily production rate of 20,000 bbl/day.
Even conservatively assuming increased estimated annual ITDA of RM 500m (FY20: RM 318m), and long-term average oil prices of $50 (FY20: $60), the estimated Net Profit and P/E ratio is potentially lucrative at daily oil production rates of 12,000 bbl/day and above.
2C Resources
Since we’re on the topic of improved daily oil production rate, it bears to pay in mind the relatively enormous potential from Hibiscus’s 2C Resources. North Sabah’s 2C Resources alone exceed 30 mmbbl; while those from the yet undiagnosed Marigold/Sunflower fields also reach 30 mmbbl. Altogether, 2C Resources exceed 70 mmbbl, which dwarfs the 44 mmbbl of 2P Reserves we have considered up to this point in our valuation estimates.
To refresh your memory, 2C Resources represents oil volumes which have been discovered but are not yet classified as “commercial”. This means that there is reasonable certainty of the oil being recoverable, as opposed to simply being in the very early stages of exploration. So, to be conservative, we will imagine that only 50% of 2C Resources are eligible for reclassification to 2P reserves, i.e. 35 mmbbl of oil.
https://preview.redd.it/mto11iz7abr41.png?width=375&format=png&auto=webp&s=e9028ab0816b3d3e25067447f2c70acd3ebfc41a
This additional 35 mmbbl of oil represents an 80% increase to existing 2P reserves. Assuming the daily oil production rate increases similarly by 80%, we will arrive at 14,400 bbl/day of oil production. According to Table 2 above, this would yield an EBITDA of roughly RM 630m assuming $50 oil.
Comparing that estimated EBITDA to FY20’s actual EBITDA:
FY20 FY21 (incl. 2C) Difference
Daily oil production (bbl/day) 8,626 14,400 +66%
Average oil price (USD/bbl) $68.57 $50 -27%
Average OPEX/bbl (USD) $16.64 $20 +20%
EBITDA (RM ‘m) 632 630 -
Hence, even conservatively assuming lower oil prices and higher OPEX/bbl (which should decrease in the presence of higher oil volumes) than last year, we get approximately the same EBITDA as FY20.
For the sake of completeness, let’s assume that Hibiscus issues twice the no. of existing shares over the next 10 years, effectively diluting shareholders by 50%. Even without accounting for the possibility of the acquisition of new oil fields, at the current market capitalization of RM 714m, the prospective P/E would be about 10x. Not too shabby.
Future oil prices exceeding $50 and effects from coronavirus dissipating
Hibiscus shares have recently been hit by a one-two punch from oil prices cratering from $60 to $30, as a result of both the Saudi-Russian dispute and depressed demand for oil due to coronavirus. This has massively increased supply and at the same time hugely depressed demand for oil (due to the globally coordinated lockdowns being implemented).
Given a long enough timeframe, I fully expect OPEC+ to come to an agreement and the economic effects from the coronavirus to dissipate, allowing oil prices to rebound. As we equity investors are aware, oil prices are cyclical and are bound to recover over the next 10 years.
When it does, valuations of O&G stocks (including Hibiscus’s) are likely to improve as investors overshoot expectations and begin to forecast higher oil prices into perpetuity, as they always tend to do in good times. When that time arrives, Hibiscus’s valuations are likely to become overoptimistic as all O&G stocks tend to do during oil upcycles, resulting in valuations far exceeding reasonable estimates of future earnings. If you can hold the shares up until then, it’s likely you will make much more on your investment than what we’ve been estimating.

Conclusion

Wrapping up what we’ve discussed so far, we can conclude that Hibiscus’s market capitalization of RM 714m far undershoots reasonable estimates of fair value even under conservative assumptions of recoverable oil volumes and long-term average oil prices. As a value investor, I hesitate to assign a target share price, but it’s safe to say that this stock is worth at least RM 1.00 (current: RM 0.45). Risk is relatively contained and the upside far exceeds the downside. While I have no opinion on the short-term trajectory of oil prices, I can safely recommend this stock as a long-term Buy based on fundamental research.
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US Venezuela Policy is About Oligarchy, Not Democracy

US Venezuela Policy is About Oligarchy, Not Democracy

The proven oil reserves in Venezuela are recognized as the LARGEST in the world, totaling 297 billion barrels.
While ignoring (and even supporting) the atrocities of authoritarian regimes in places like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Uzbekistan, US oligarchs have targeted Venezuela for “regime-change” in the name of “democracy”.
Currently, the US is engaging in economic warfare against Venezuela to foment a coup and remove its democratically elected president Nicolás Maduro.
Without providing solid evidence, our corporate-controlled government and mainstream media portray Maduro as a corrupt, repressive, and illegitimate leader with little to no support.

Ask yourself:

Do I ever see officials from the Venezuelan government appear in corporate news shows to tell THEIR side of the story?
What people DO get to comment on Venezuela and what are their credentials and agenda? Are these people essentially public relations agents for the US-orchestrated coup?
Does corporate news provide me with historical background of US imperialism in Venezuela to put these current events in context?

What Corporate-Controlled Media will NOT Tell You

The CIA was involved in the failed coup against Venezuela's popular leader Hugo Chavez in 2002.
Venezuela is not a strictly socialist country; it has a “mixed” economy - not unlike Norway or other Scandinavian countries.
Venezuela is a DEMOCRACY - unlike US-allies Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait.
In 2012, Jimmy Carter went on record saying:
“As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we've monitored, I would say the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world”
The opposition to Maduro knew they were going to lose the last election and so boycotted it in attempt to delegitimize the results.
The US actually tried to dissuade Maduro’s opponents from running!
Maduro invited international observers into the country in 2018 to monitor the last election but the opposition asked the UN not to send observers!
More than 80% of the Venezuelan population had not even HEARD of Juan Guaidó before Trump and the US state proclaimed him the “rightful” president.
Maduro’s approval ratings within his country are on par with opposition-controlled National Assembly. According to an October poll by opposition-aligned pollster Datanalisis, Venezuela's National Assembly, of which Juan Guaidó is president, has a disapproval rating of 70%.
Venezuela WANTS to sell its oil to the US – the US is their largest market and refines a majority of their oil.
US companies Chevron Corp, Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes and Weatherford International all have operations in Venezuela, and are allowed to continue to engage in transactions and activities with PDVSA and its joint ventures through July 27.
“No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. The foregoing principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the State or against its political, economic, and cultural elements.” Organization of American States Charter

Why is the US Corporatocracy so Keen to Remove Maduro?

While Venezuela’s economy is not a strictly-state-run economy, its oil industry is nationalized and uses its revenues for the benefit of its citizens (especially the poor).
After years of crippling US sanctions Maduro stepped over a crucial line in October when his government announced that Venezuela was abandoning the US dollar and would be make all future transactions on the Venezuelan exchange market in euro.
Saddam Hussein also went off the dollar in favor of the euro in 2003 – we started dropping bombs on him the next month.
A similar decision by the Gadhafi government in Libya (2011) was quickly followed by a devastating US-orchestrated conflict - culminating in Gadhafi's capture by radical Islamists who sodomized him with a bayonet before killing him. Since then, Libya has gone from Africa's wealthiest country to a truly failed-state complete with a slave trade! To make matters worse, after the collapse of the Libyan government, its military arms were smuggled out of that country and into the hands of ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria - enabling US-orchestrated chaos in those countries.

Who cares what currency a country uses to trade petroleum?

Answer: US oligarchy

The US dollar is central to US world economic domination.
Like all other modern currencies, it is a fiat currency – backed by no real assets to prop up its value.
In lieu of a “gold standard” we know operate on a de-facto “oil-standard”:
"After the collapse of the Bretton Woods gold standard in the early 1970s, the United States struck a deal with Saudi Arabia to standardize oil prices in dollar terms. Through this deal, the petrodollar system was born, along with a paradigm shift away from pegged exchanged rates and gold-backed currencies to non-backed, floating rate regimes.
The petrodollar system elevated the U.S. dollar to the world's reserve currency and, through this status, the United States enjoys persistent trade deficits and is a global economic hegemony." Investopedia
“The central banking Ponzi scheme requires an ever-increasing base of demand and the immediate silencing of those who would threaten its existence. Perhaps that is what the hurry [was] in removing Gaddafi in particular and those who might have been sympathetic to his monetary idea.” Anthony Wile

US Foreign Policy is about Oligarchy Not Democracy

Since World War II, the US has attempted to over-throw the 52 foreign governments. Aside from a handful of exceptions (China, Cuba, Vietnam, etc.), the US has been successful in the vast majority of these attempts.
US foreign policy is not about democracy – it is about exploiting the world’s resources in the interests of a small, ultra-wealthy global elite.
This exploitation benefits a small percentage of people at the top of the economic pyramid while the costs are born by those at the bottom.

US CIA Coup Playbook:

How to Plunder Resources from Foreign Countries While Pretending to Support Democracy
  1. Find a country with resources you want.
  2. Send in an “Economic Hitman” to offer bribes the country’s leader in the form of personally lucrative business deals. If he accepts the deal, the leader will amass a personal fortune in exchange for "privatizing” the resources you wish to extract.
If the leader will not accept your bribes, begin the regime-change process.
3) Engage in economic warfare by imposing crippling sanctions on the country and blame the ensuing shortages on the leader’s “socialist” policies.
4) Work with right-wing allies inside country to fund and organize an “astroturf” opposition group behind a corporate-friendly puppet.
5) Hire thugs inside country to incite unrest and violence against the government in coordination with your opposition group. Use corporate media to publicize the orchestrated outbursts as popular outrage and paint a picture of a “failed state” mired in corruption and chaos.
6) When the government arrests your thugs, decry the response as the brutal repression. Use corporate-owned media to demonize the target government as a despotic regime while praising your puppet opposition as champions of democracy.
7) Work with right-wing military leaders to organize the overthrow the government (offer them the same business deals the current leader refused).
8) If a military-led coup cannot be organized, create a mercenary army to carry out acts of terrorism against the government and its supporters. Portray the mercenaries as “freedom fighters” and their acts of terrorism as a “civil war”.
9) If the target government has popular and military support and is too well-defended for your mercenaries to over-throw: label the country a “rouge state” and wait for the right time to invade. Meanwhile, continue to wear the country’s government and populace down using steps 3 – 8.
10) Escalate the terror campaign within the country to provoke a military response from the country against the US. If they won’t take the bait , fabricate an attack or threat that you can sell to the US population as justification for an invasion.
11) Once the government is removed, set up your puppet regime to provide the illusion of sovereignty. The regime will facilitate and legitimize your appropriation of the country’s resources under the guise of "free" trade.
12) As you continue to extract the country’s resources, provide intelligence and military support to the puppet regime to suppress popular dissent within the country.
13) Use the demise of the former government as yet another example of the impracticality of “socialism.”
What Can I Do?
Call your senators and representatives to voice your opposition to US regime-change efforts in Venezuela.
https://www.commoncause.org/find-your-representative/
Please share this message with others.
Sources included at: https://link.medium.com/8DiA5xzx4T

‘Venezuela’: Media’s One-Word Rebuttal to the Threat of Socialism

ALAN MACLEOD FEBRUARY 8, 2019
A recent Gallup poll (8/13/18) found that a majority of millennials view socialism favorably, preferring it to capitalism. Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in the United States, while new leftist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (AOC) policies of higher taxes on the wealthy, free healthcare and public college tuition are highly popular—even among Republican voters (FAIR.org,1/23/19).
Alarmed by the growing threat of progressive policies at home, the establishment has found a one-word weapon to deploy against the rising tide: Venezuela. The trick is to attack any political figure or movement even remotely on the left by claiming they wish to turn the country into a “socialist wasteland” (Fox News, 2/2/19) run by a corrupt dictatorship, leaving its people hungry and devastated.
Leading the charge have been Fox News and other conservative outlets. One Fox opinion piece (1/25/19) claimed that Americans should be “absolutely disgusted” by the “fraud” of Bernie Sanders and Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, as they “continue to promote a system that is causing mass starvation and the collapse of a country,” warning that is exactly what their failed socialist policies would bring to the US. (Back in the real world, while Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez identify as socialists, Warren is a self-described capitalist, and Booker is noted for his ties to Wall Street, whose support for his presidential bid he has reportedly been soliciting.) A second Fox Newsarticle (1/27/19) continues in the same vein, warning that, “At the heart of Venezuela’s collapse is a laundry list of socialist policies that have decimated its economy.”
The Wall Street Journal (1/28/19) describes calls for negotiations in Venezuela as “siding with the dictator.”
In an article entitled “Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn and the Starving Children of Venezuela,” the Washington Examiner (6/15/17) warned its readers to “beware the socialist utopia,” describing it as a dystopia where children go hungry thanks to socialism. The Wall Street Journal (1/28/19) recently condemned Sanders for his support of a “dictator,” despite the fact Bernie has strongly criticized Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, and dismissed Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez, as a “dead Communist dictator” (Reuters, 6/1/16).
More supposedly centrist publications have continued this line of attack. The New York Times’ Bret Stephens (1/25/19) argued: “Venezuela is a socialist catastrophe. In the age of AOC, the lesson must be learned again”—namely, that “socialism never works,” as “20 years of socialism” has led to “the ruin of a nation.” The Miami Herald(2/1/19) cast shame on Sanders and AOC for arguing for socialism in the face of such overwhelming evidence against it, describing the left’s refusal to back self-appointed president Juan Guaidó, someone whom less than 20 percent of Venezuelans had even heard of, let alone voted for, as “morally repugnant.”
This useful weapon to be used against the left can only be sustained by withholding a great number of key facts—chief among them, the US role in Venezuela’s devastation. US sanctions, according to the Venezuelan opposition’s economics czar, are responsible for a halving of the country’s oil output (FAIR.org, 12/17/18). The UN Human Rights Council has formally condemned the US and discussed reparations to be paid, with one UN special rapporteur describing Trump’s sanctions as a possible “crime against humanity” (London Independent, 1/26/19). This has not been reported by any the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN or any other national US “resistance” news outlet, which have been only too quick to support Trump’s regime change plans (FAIR.org, 1/25/19).
Likewise, the local US-backed opposition’s role in the economic crisis is barely mentioned. The opposition, which controls much of the country’s food supply, has officially accepted responsibility for conducting an “economic war” by withholding food and other key goods.
For example, the monolithic Empresas Polar controls the majority of the flour production and distribution crucial for making arepa cornbread, Venezuela’s staple food. Polar’s chair is Leopoldo Lopez, national coordinator of Juan Guaidó’s Popular Will party, while its president is Lorenzo Mendoza, who considered running for president against Maduro in the 2018 elections that caused pandemonium in the media (FAIR.org, 5/23/18).
Conspicuously, it’s the products that Polar has a near-monopoly in that are often in shortest supply. This is hardly a secret, but never mentioned in the copious stories (CNN, 5/14/14, Bloomberg, 3/16/17, Washington Post, 5/22/17, NPR, 4/7/17) focusing on bread lines in the country.
Also rarely commented on was the fact that multiple international election observer missions declared the 2018 elections free and fair, and that Venezuelan government spending as a proportion of GDP (often considered a barometer of socialism) is actually lower than the US’s, and far lower than most of Europe’s, according to the conservative Heritage Foundation.
The London Daily Express (2/3/19) demonstrates that redbaiting works equally well on either side of the Atlantic.
Regardless of these bothersome facts, the media has continued to present Venezuela’s supposedly socialist dictatorship as solely responsible for its crisis as a warning to any progressives who get the wrong idea. So useful is this tool that it is being used to attack progressive movements around the world. The Daily Express (2/3/19) and Daily Mail (2/3/19) condemned UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for his “defense” of a “dictator,” while the Daily Telegraph(2/3/19) warned that the catastrophe of Venezuela is Labour’s blueprint for Britain. Meanwhile, the Greek leftist party Syriza’s support for Maduro (the official position of three-quarters of UN member states) was condemned as “shameful” (London Independent, 1/29/19).
“Venezuela” is also used as a one-word response to shut down debate and counter any progressive idea or thought. While the panel on ABC’s The View (7/23/18) discussed progressive legislation like Medicare for All and immigration reform, conservative regular Meghan McCain responding by invoking Venezuela: “They’re starving to death” she explained, leaving the other panelists bemused.
President Trump has also used it. In response to criticism from Senator Elizabeth Warren over his “Pocahontas” jibe, he replied that she would “make our country into Venezuela” (Reuters, 10/15/18).
The weapon’s effectiveness can only be sustained through a media in lockstep with the government’s regime-change goals. That the media is fixated on the travails of a relatively small and unimportant country in America’s “backyard,” and that the picture of Venezuela is so shallow, is not a mistake. Rather, the simplistic narrative of a socialist dictatorship starving its own people provides great utility as a weapon for the establishment to beat back the domestic “threat” of socialism, by associating movements and figures such as Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jeremy Corbyn with an evil caricature they have carefully crafted.

Corporate Propaganda Blitz Against Venezuela’s Elected President: MSM Will Not Let Facts Interfere With Coup Agenda

Facts Don’t Interfere With Propaganda Blitz Against Venezuela’s Elected President Joe Emersberger
Guaidó, anointed by Trump and a new Iraq-style Coalition of the Willing, did not even run in Venezuela’s May 2018 presidential election. In fact, shortly before the election, Guaidó was not even mentioned by the opposition-aligned pollster Datanálisis when it published approval ratings of various prominent opposition leaders. Henri Falcón, who actually did run in the election (defying US threats against him) was claimed by the pollster to basically be in a statistical tie for most popular among them. It is remarkable to see the Western media dismiss this election as “fraudulent,” without even attempting to show that it was “stolen“ from Falcón. Perhaps that’s because it so clearly wasn’t stolen.
Graph: Approval Ratings of Main Venezuelan Leaders Nov 2016 - July 2018 Data from the opposition-aligned pollsters in Venezuela (via Torino Capital) indicates that Henri Falcón was the most popular of the major opposition figures at the time of the May 2018 presidential election. Nicolás Maduro won the election due to widespread opposition boycotting and votes drawn by another opposition candidate, Javier Bertucci.
The constitutional argument that Trump and his accomplices have used to “recognize” Guaidó rests on the preposterous claim that Maduro has “abandoned” the presidency by soundly beating Falcón in the election. Caracas-based journalist Lucas Koerner took apart that argument in more detail.
What about the McClatchy-owned Miami Herald's claim that Maduro “continues to reject international aid”? In November 2018, following a public appeal by Maduro, the UN did authorize emergency aid for Venezuela. It was even reported by Reuters (11/26/18), whose headlines have often broadcast the news agency’s contempt for Maduro’s government.
It’s not unusual for Western media to ignore facts they have themselves reported when a major “propaganda blitz” by Washington is underway against a government. For example, it was generally reported accurately in 1998 that UN weapons inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq ahead of air strikes ordered by Bill Clinton, not expelled by Iraq’s government. But by 2002, it became a staple of pro-war propaganda that Iraq had expelled weapons inspectors (Extra! Update, 10/02).
And, incidentally, when a Venezuelan NGO requested aid from the UN-linked Global Fund in 2017, it was turned down. Setting aside how effective foreign aid is at all (the example of Haiti hardly makes a great case for it), it is supposed to be distributed based on relative need, not based on how badly the US government wants somebody overthrown.
But the potential for “aid” to alleviate Venezuela’s crisis is negligible compared to the destructive impact of US economic sanctions. Near the end of the Miami Herald article, author Jim Wyss cited an estimate from the thoroughly demonized Venezuelan government that US sanctions have cost it $30 billion, with no time period specified for that estimate. Again, this calls to mind the run-up to the Iraq invasion, when completely factual statements that Iraq had no WMDs were attributed to the discredited Iraqi government. Quoting Iraqi denials supposedly balanced the lies spread in the media by US officials like John Bolton, who now leads the charge to overthrow Maduro. Wyss could have cited economists independent of the Maduro government on the impact of US sanctions—like US economist Mark Weisbrot, or the emphatically anti-Maduro Venezuelan economist Francisco Rodríguez.
Illegal US sanctions were first imposed in 2015 under a fraudulent “state of emergency” declared by Obama, and subsequently extended by Trump. The revenue lost to Venezuela’s government due to US economic sanctions since August 2017, when the impact became very easy to quantify, is by now well over $6 billion. That’s enormous in an economy that was only able to import about $11 billion of goods in 2018, and needs about $2 billion per year in medicines. Trump’s “recognition” of Guaidó as “interim president” was the pretext for making the already devastating sanctions much worse. Last month, Francisco Rodríguez revised his projection for the change in Venezuela’s real GDP in 2019, from an 11 percent contraction to 26 percent, after the intensified sanctions were announced.
The $20 million in US “aid” that Wyss is outraged Maduro won’t let in is a rounding error compared to the billions already lost from Trump’s sanctions.
Former US Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield, who pressed for more sanctions on Venezuela, dispensed with the standard “humanitarian” cover that US officials have offered for them (Intercept, 2/10/19):
And if we can do something that will bring that end quicker, we probably should do it, but we should do it understanding that it’s going to have an impact on millions and millions of people who are already having great difficulty finding enough to eat, getting themselves cured when they get sick, or finding clothes to put on their children before they go off to school. We don’t get to do this and pretend as though it has no impact there. We have to make the hard decision—the desired outcome justifies this fairly severe punishment.
How does this gruesome candor get missed by reporters like Wyss, and go unreported in his article?
Speaking of “severe punishment,” if the names John Bolton and Elliott Abrams don’t immediately call to mind the punishment they should be receiving for crimes against humanity, it illustrates how well the Western propaganda system functions. Bolton, a prime facilitator of the Iraq War, recently suggested that Maduro could be sent to a US-run torture camp in Cuba. Abrams played a key role in keeping US support flowing to mass murderers and torturers in Central America during the 1980s. Also significant that Abrams, brought in by Trump to help oust Maduro, used “humanitarian aid” as cover to supply weapons to the US-backed Contra terrorists in Nicaragua.
In the Miami Herald article, the use of US “aid” for military purposes is presented as another allegation made by the vilified Venezuelan president: “Maduro has repeatedly said the aid is cover for a military invasion and has ordered his armed forces not to let it in, even as food and medicine shortages sweep the country.”
Venezuela Accuses U.S. of Secretly Shipping Arms After Weapons Found on Plane with Possible CIA Ties | Democracy Now!
Calling for international aid and being democratically elected will do as little to protect Maduro’s government from US aggression as being disarmed of WMD did to prevent Iraq from being invaded—unless there is much more pushback from the US public against a lethal propaganda system.

When Is a Democracy not a Democracy? When It’s Venezuela and the US is Pushing Regime Change. Venezuela has as much right to call itself a democracy as does the United States. Until that is understood by enough people, the Trump administration will continue to devastate Venezuela’s economy with illegal sanctions and push it towards civil war.
Suggested Reading:
UN Rapporteur: US Sanctions Cause Death in Venezuela
Guaido is playing it fast and loose with the Bolivarian Constitution to justify a dictatorship
Trump’s Economic Sanctions Have Cost Venezuela About $6bn Since August 2017
How could Venezuela's president 'steal' the 2018 election from an unknown who didn't run?
In other news...
The Largest Protest Ever Was 15 Years Ago. The Iraq War Isn’t Over. What Happened?
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