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2014/06/18

Loyalty cards are so common these days.

If you are like me then there’s a good chance that you sometimes even have done a bit of maths on a piece of paper to find out what’s the cheapest place to buy fuel.

I am NOT going to say that loyalty programs are useless. I think they are really good win-win solutions for both us clients and the companies we deal with.

I recently bought my first car so I was obviously observing for best fuel deals.

In the UK many super markets offer combined loyalty programs which basically combines your shopping with your fuel purchases and get rewarded.

It was when I tried to find the best loyalty deal for fuel purchases that I found out THE BEST LOYALTY PROGRAM EVER. it doesn’t matter what country you are from.

So What’s the best loyalty program?

Right, the best loyalty program in the world is to be LOYAL TO YOURSELF.

Wait, just before you turn away, read the below line or two…

It doesn’t matter what loyalty program you use, the benefits you get are minuscule.

For example if I top up my fuel tank with the best loyalty program this is what I get.

The best deal I found was a deduction of 2 pence a litre (roughly about 3 cents in US$) – sounds awesome right?

Well then I did the calculation – our car has a pretty big tank that can hold about 50 litres. — good so we should save more money.

So how much do I save?

2p x 50 = 100p => £1.

Yes, I could save a pound by being so loyal to my supermarket.

Now how much did I save by being Loyal to me and my family?

1

I will give just 2 recent examples.

I love our car so I used to fill it with super-petrol - just because everyone was recommending it. After researching I found that the super petrol was only slightly better with the RON value (in fact only up by 2).

So next time I filled up with normal unleaded petrol.

How much did I save?

Price difference per litre: 5p

Saving: 5p x 50 = 250p => £2.50.

2

When I went shopping, I just avoided buying the extra sandwich and chocolates and other knick-knacks.

Saving: between £3 – £5  repeatedly (at almost every shopping).

The bottom line…

Do stick to the best loyalty program – work out on paper and see who offers best.

BUT dont forget that you can save more by being loyal to you and your family…

being financially sensible is a great way to be loyal to your family…

Hope this helps…

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SMS

2013/05/17

I have been working hard for about 10 days to submit details about the “Very simple budget and expense manager” (damn it’s a long product name ;) ) on as many website as possible.

It’s difficult to find websites that actually allow you to submit your products free but there are still many of them. They are just hidden under a pile of other sites. Had to Google a lot.

The most common problem is most sites are (apparently) getting a lot of requests and they cannot risk to publish products without reviewing due to virus and other security issues.

So it takes a very long time for many sites to review and publish the product after you submit it.

Well I am happy I have submitted my product so it’s already in the queue in many sites!

I hope this would increase exposure and hopefully start bringing in some sales.

Would you agree? Please comment.

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SMS

May 17th, 2013 | Tags:

2013/05/12

My licence database showed me the first trial version record today (12/05/2013)!!!

I have been logging in everyday to check the records just to see an empty table till today. What happy feeling to see this record!

2013/05/13

The second download! Fantastic!!!

Do you know tips about increasing the exposure of a new product like mine? Please comment if you are happy to share your knowledge.

Thanks in advance!

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SMS

May 17th, 2013 | Tags: ,

17/05/2013

(I am writing this a little later – this approval actually took place about 10 days ago)

I uploaded the Very Simple Budget and Expense Manager to Cnet downloads hoping to give it a kick start.

It took about a week but finally we got the approval from Cnet!!!

You can give it a check at cnet link

It has been downloaded 4 times so far!

Hope this goes well… Well, No that’s wrong, Let’s make this go well!!!

I know this is just a post where someone narrating about what he’s doing but if there’s anything that interrests you or if you have advice then please feel free to comment!

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SMS

02/05/2013

The site is ready now. The product (installer) and th euser manual is ready to download.

The main site is up but not ready to perform yet!

http://budgetandexpense.localglobeplc.com

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SMS

April 26th, 2013 | Tags:

26/04/2013

Since our main web site is taking a bit longer than anticipated, I have prepared a temporary web site for now.

The main page is ready now. Just need to include the trial version and read me download.

1 day overdue from the target :(

Had to prepare for an interview yesterday.

http://budgetandexpense.localglobeplc.com/

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24/04/2013

I was going to create a temporary web site for the product until my brother finishes the work on main website.

When I was thinking about a name for the sub domain it suddenly struck me that the current name only has the word “Expense” on it.

Even though it could manage expenses the product can do tons of other stuff.

Anyway I did a quick search on Google and found out I was thinking right. Most of the results showed up for “Simple Expense Manager” could only manage expenses.

This could mean that the targeted audience for this product could be easily mislead by this name.

So a quick name change is required. It has to be quick I don’t want to get into infinite modifications syndrome that many software development mangers have and suffer badly during releases :)

I also thought about the audience and it appeared to me that the name must be simple and must communicate best.

Therefore I decided that the new name would be “Very Simple Budget And Expense Manger” I know it’s a sentence rather :)

Anyway, I wont waste any more time on this. Quickly updated the “About” dialog box and the title of the main window. Will change the help file later.

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Feel free to comment if you find anything interesting; your support is highly appreciated!

24/04/2013

Yesterday I was working on the help file and just completed it a moment ago.

While trying to describe features in the system I realised how simple the Simple Expense Manager and how important it is for users to learn the system.

Great achievement:

Almost every task in the system would take 3 or more steps. The only exception is the budget manager which is still very simple with just 6 steps.

This lead for the answer for the long waited question – a slogan for the product.

I think it should be “Simple as ABC, Reliable as 123″ :)

Back to target:

The target is to launch the product before tomorrow (25/04/2013)! Back to work!

Feel free to comment if you find anything interesting; your support is highly appreciated!

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22/04/2013

The product is ready to use, it has all the features working fine.

The thing is I just can’t make my mind to call it “complete” my mind keep bringing me new ideas and concerns.

For example, my mind keeps telling me “what if someone find a loop-hole in the licencing system?”, etc… :)

This has to stop. So, The plan:

  1. Create a help file
  2. Create a setup (installer)
  3. Run and test a trial
  4. RELEASE!!!

ETA – 3 days… (Target 25/04/2013)

Feel free to comment if you find anything interesting; your support is highly appreciated!

Menol

18/05/2012

In the simplest explanation, Hedging means taking steps to reduce the risk of losing in a trade. This way, even if things go in the opposite direction to what you predicted, you will still be protected or will lose less.

Read this article or google if you are new to the word.

In Fx trading, you can hedge the risk of your trade by opening a trade in the opposite direction. Therefore, if you start to lose from the trade you opened you will automatically start to profit from the hedging trade you opened in the opposite direction.

Lets consider an example:

You think the market for ABC/XYZ is going down so decide to sell ABC/XYZ.

Let’s consider two possible scenarios with and without hedging.

Original trade – Sell ABC/XYZ Pair At The Rate Of 1.1234

Hedging trade – Buy ABC/XYZ Pair At The Rate Of 1.1234

Scenario 1:

The market behaves opposite to what you speculated (predicted) and goes up making you a loss.

Let’s see how you will lose with and without hedging:

heging demo - scenario 1

So, with hedging you have managed to eliminate your loss. Don’t jump into conclusions till we consider the second scenario.

 

Scenario 2:

The market behaves as you speculated (predicted) and goes down making you a profit.

Let’s see how you will lose with and without hedging:

heging demo - scenario 1

As you can see hedging has justified your profit just like it did for your loss.

So this is not the best way if you are into making money. The above mentioned strategy is the Risk-Eliminating strategy which eliminates your risk of losing money. But in real world this is not very useful.

The Risk Reducing Strategy

This is the interesting part of hedging. This is where we use hedging to minimize our risks and use it to make us more profits under best case scenario (where everything goes as we predicted) and less profits otherwise.

How to do this?

Instead of blindly creating an equally opposite hedge trade, we consider market trends and optimize the hedge trade by changing the size, start position, Take Profit and Stop Loss limits. Perfectly conducted, this method can double or triple you profit and can make more money in a situation where you could have actually lost if you did not use hedging.

Lets consider an example:

During early days of May, 2012 Euro zone has been having big problems due to financial instability of Greece, Spain and some other countries. As a result the Euro has been losing its value continuously.

This could sound like a great opportunity to make money by selling EUR/USD but how can you say that the Euro will continue to drop? When will it stop? What if it turns back suddenly?

This is a perfect place to occupy your hedging skills.

I will explain the strategy I used as an example:

Lets assume the current value for EUR/USD is 1.2690

  • The continuous fall of the pair indicates to me that this should fall more before things reverse. But I have no idea how far this fall will continue.
  • Eevn though EUR/USD is going down at the moment, it is a universal priciple that any market should settle over time. So The chances are very high that at a particular time the market will reverse and head back up.
  • Considering above two facts, I can come to following openion:
  • The market has a probability to fall even further down and it is almost definite that big-heads in Eurozone will do everything they can to settle their issues so the market will slow down and return at some point.
  • In other words Fall of rate is short term and less probable and the Rise of it is long term and Highly probable.
  • Considering these factors I assign a weight to these movements. The fall will have a probability of about 30% and the Rise back is 70% probable.
  • Therefore I will invest 30% of the amount I wish to invest on the downward movement and 70% on the upward.
  • So I will be making two trades one hoping the rate would fall and another to cover the rise.

When to open these trades?

The Sell Position

Since the current market movement is downwards, I’d open the Sell position at the current rate (1.2690)

Assume I decide to invest 30 dollars for the Sell (Falling) position and 70 for the Buy (Returning) Position

As the fall could be reversed and any time, I’d use a short take profit limit (about 20%) so I will have more chance to make some money before the rate reverse. If the rate seem to be dropping even more then I’d adjust the TP limit later.

I will set the the stop loss to as much as I have invested on the selling position so if the market return before reaching my take profit, The maximum I will lose will be the amount I invested for the Sell position (30 dollars).

Following are the Limits for the Sell Position:

Opening Rate : 1.2690

The Take Profit Rate : 1.2670

Stop Loss Rate : 1.2790

 

The Buy Position

As the market is going down at the moment it will be a waste to open the Buy position at the same rate as the Sell position. Instead I will place an order to Buy EUR/USD at the rate of 1.2710 so if the market returns and pass this mark this trade will start to hedge my losses of the Sell Position.

Since I am investing more on the buy position, I will get wider range for this trade. So I will be able to get a stop loss value with will be way below the Take Profit value of my sell position and a value that I am confident will not be reached by the current fall.

My Take profit for the Buy position will be a high rate (about 50%) because I am confident the market will return to its original values sooner or later.

So the Limits for the Buy Position:

Opening Rate: 1.2710

Take Profit Rate : 1.3000

Stop Loss: 1.2400

Following diagram illustrates my two positions:

 strategy

Now let’s consider several scenarios that could happen:

Scenario 1 Best case scenario

The rate will continue to fall and turns back at 1.2500 and over a week reaches 1.300

Outcome:

I will earn the profit from the sell position at 1.2670 and will earn from the buy position at 1.3000 this will make a significant profit overall :)

Scenario 2 Not the best scenario

The fall returns before reaching the take profit of the sell position and goes above its Stop loss making a loss of 30 dollars. However, this movement will also make a profit from the Buy position. Since I invested more on the buy position, my profit will be greater than my loss making an overall profit :)

Scenario 3 A bad scenario

The market falls below the take profit of the sell position making me some money and continues to fall unexpectedly even below the Stop loss limit of the But position. Even though this would make me a profit from the sell, the loss made for me from the Buy position will be greater because I have invested more on the buy position. This will be an overall loss :( but still the loss is hedged (minimized) by the profit I made from the sell position.

Scenario 4 The Worst Case Scenario

The market turns around unexpectedly and goes above stop loss level of the selling position but returns to fall back before reaching the Take profit of the buy position. then continues to fall below the stop loss of the buy position. This will make the worst loss from two trades :(

In A Nutshell

As you can see hedging can be used effectively to increase your profits and reduce your losses. The key is creating a strategy that will not go in the worst possible path. This is not very difficult when you consider news and graphs. Because by looking at previous data you can decide more stable stop-loss levels that are not easily breached.

Please comment.

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