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The Odds Are Never In Our Favor

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Flash BoysHow would you feel if you went to the store to buy something, and someone rushed ahead of you and purchased it first and then sold it to you at a higher price?  Well, in the financial world this happens millions upon millions of times.  In fact, this practice has become so popular that it has spawned an entire industry known as “high frequency trading”.  At this point, high frequency trading makes up about half of all trading volume on Wall Street, and it is costing the rest of us billions of dollars a year.  And the funny thing is that this is all perfectly legal.  High frequency trading firms are exploiting a glitch in the system, and by allowing this to go on, the authorities have essentially given them a license to steal from the rest of us.  Sadly, this is just another example that shows that the odds are never in our favor.  The “little guy” never seems to be able to win, and those at the top of the food chain like it that way.

Making money in the stock market is supposed to be about making wise investment decisions.  It isn’t supposed to be about finding a glitch in a video game and exploiting it.  But that is essentially what these high frequency traders have done.  They have spent an extraordinary amount of time and energy figuring out ways to make pennies (or sometimes just fractions of a penny) on the trades that the rest of us make.

Fortunately, this practice was exposed in front of the entire world by 60 Minutes the other night.  Steve Kroft interviewed a former trader named Michael Lewis that just released a new book entitled “Flash Boys” that is all about the evils of high frequency trading.  The following is an excerpt from that interview…

Steve Kroft: And this is all being done by computers?

Michael Lewis: All being done by computers. It’s too fast to be done by humans. Humans have been completely removed from the marketplace.

“Fast” is the operative word. Machines with secret programs are now trading stocks in tiny fractions of a second, way too fast to be seen or recorded on a stock ticker or computer screen. Faster than the market itself. High-frequency traders, big Wall Street firms and stock exchanges have spent billions to gain an advantage of a millisecond for themselves and their customers, just to get a peek at stock market prices and orders a flash before everyone else, along with the opportunity to act on it.

Michael Lewis: The insiders are able to move faster than you. They’re able to see your order and play it against other orders in ways that you don’t understand. They’re able to front run your order.

Steve Kroft: What do you mean front run?

Michael Lewis: Means they’re able to identify your desire to, to buy shares in Microsoft and buy ’em in front of you and sell ’em back to you at a higher price. It all happens in infinitesimally small periods of time. There’s speed advantage that the faster traders have is milliseconds, some of it is fractions of milliseconds. But it”s enough for them to identify what you’re gonna do and do it before you do it at your expense.

Steve Kroft: So it drives the price up.

Michael Lewis: So it drives the price up, and in turn you pay a higher price.

You can watch the entire interview right here.  Unlike most mainstream media news reports, this one is actually worth your time.  I have watched the entire thing, and I highly recommend it.

Of course there have been many that have been screaming about high frequency trading for many years.  Zero Hedge is just one example.  This practice has gone on year after year and the federal government has looked the other way.

These high frequency trading firms do not add anything to society.  As Barry Ritholtz noted recently, one of these firms has an average holding period for stocks of just 11 seconds, and at one point it stated that it had “not had a losing day of trading in four years“…

The only surprising thing about Lewis’s assertion was that anyone could be even remotely surprised by it.

The math on trading is simple: It is a zero-sum game. One trader’s gain is another trader’s loss. Only in the case of HFT, the losers are the investors — by way of their pension funds, retirement accounts and institutional funds. The HFT’s take — the “skim” — comes out of these large institution’s trade executions.

The technology behind HFT may be complex, but the math is that simple. Once the Securities and Exchange Commission allowed stock exchanges to share with traders all of the unexecuted incoming orders, it was hard not to make money by skimming a few cents or fractions of a cent from each trade. Several years ago, the founder of Tradebot, one of the biggest high-frequency firms, had said that the firm had “not had a losing day of trading in four years.” The firm’s average holding period for stocks is 11 seconds.

How in the world does that kind of behavior add any value to society?

They are just skimming money that should be going to others.  Billions of dollars is essentially being stolen from pension funds and retirement accounts, and it is time that people started getting outraged about this.

Unfortunately, even if this practice is outlawed, the truth is that the odds will still never be in our favor.

There are millions of Americans that dream of getting ahead, but they never seem to be able to get there.  They work incredibly hard, but the more they earn, the more the government taxes them.  If somehow you do manage to scrape together a little bit of money to invest in the financial markets, any profits that you make will be endlessly eroded by fees, commissions and even more taxes.

And it is important to remember that in the financial world, the “little guy” is regarded as easy prey by the hungry wolves that are all too eager to find a way to transfer your money into their own pockets.  If you don’t know what you are doing, it is all too easy to get absolutely slaughtered.

On Wall Street, there are winners and there are losers.

Most of the time, “the little guys” end up losing.

But at least they could try to have a system that at least has the appearance of fairness.  As long as high frequency trading exists, that will never be the case.

Flash Boys


  • Rodster

    Max Keiser on his Keiser Report said that computers now handle roughly 80% of all trading action and in the not too distant future they will account for 95% of all trades. As he said, you don’t need human traders anymore because they are not as fast as computers.

    • El mico

      So do these computers get bonuses?

      • xander cross

        Yes, they got more upgrades.

    • nekksys

      Mostly because computers can do trend analyses in milliseconds that cover vast time periods whereas humans would require hours or days to perform the same analysis.

      Of course, as an IT guy I would love to see the guts of one of these machines just to get a glimpse at the sheer horsepower these machines possess.

  • markthetruth

    Stocks were meant to be a INVESTMENT in a Company you worked for or believed in , but now they turn into a DIVESTMENT of the peoples money .

    the end…

    • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

      Very well said.


    • Syrin

      Yep, one of the multitude of reasons I took everything I could out of the market 18 months ago.

      • chilller

        Me too brother…as I’ve said before, giving Wall Street your 401k money to “invest” only feeds he beast.

        • Hammerstrike

          Think of it as a IQ taxe.

  • Guest

    There are no free markets. All of them are rigged. My only consolation is knowing that eventually this oppression will end.

    • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

      Are you sure it will end?

      Perhaps it will just take another form.


      • guest

        No, it will end.

        • Kim

          I believe it will. It’s not sustainable.

          • Frank Bell

            NO, it isn’t going to end.

            The last 5 years have shown us that the party will go on.

            It is your money – and they will take it. They have the power to do so.

          • Kim

            You’re right. They will take it until there is no more to take.

          • Drud

            Of course it will end. All things end. That is not the question. The real question is How much damage will they do in the fall? I read a great article comparing the global financial elite to a locust swarm: it is cooperative, orgiastic for all the locusts involved, completely destructive for everyone and everything else, and goes on until the land is stripped bare and the locusts starve, along with a lot of other things. Of course, when the locusts are starving that is when they finally turn on each other. So, I pose this question: is a locust swarm a conspiracy? No, it is just human nature that continually leads society down this path. The most ruthless and greedy rise to the top of any hierarchical structure. They are true addicts, need drives them to always have more, and then the law of diminishing returns ensures they need even more to maintain their buzz. Ultimately, it is simply a sad process for all involved. The other point I would like to make is this: They do not have any power that we (the masses) do not give them. When Jefferson said governments derive “their power from the consent of the masses…” he was not speaking of an ideal world, he was simply stating fact. The issue is people can never band together until there is a genuine need, until they are desperate, and still only a small percentage will every truly fight. This is also human nature. Over time (a few more years? a decade or two? who knows?) this structure will collapse and if the few of us that truly crave liberty are brave and tireless (and lucky), we can make the future bright once again.

          • opinionsoutloud

            Didn’t something like this happen in France one time in history? Didn’t something like this also happen in America one time in history (and the French understood so well that they went to the aid of the Americans that had braved a trip across the ocean to get away from the “elites?”).

        • markthetruth

          Not ! Look at Bitcoin . Con Artist are smarter then the Average and the Elite .

          the end…

      • Syrin

        It will end. It might not end peacefully, and millions if not billions will go bankrupt, but eventually it will end. The elite watch the “The Hunger Games” and think of it as an instructional video.

      • TVP

        It will end indeed, as people worldwide evolve out of the following mode and reject external authorities along with all associated systems of oppression.

  • MeMadMax

    Yep. The whole system is screwed.
    Food, ammo, and gold…

    • muldoon55 .

      It is true that the system of human rule is about over, along with all the greedy elements such as wall street . Yes society will break down and hysteria will reign, but make no mistake that God’s Kingdom ,in the hands of Jesus Christ, is in complete control of this transfer of world power. It will be a violent world wide event resulting in immense loss of life. Money, gold will be useless in that day.
      The only thing of value will be a persons’ complete submission to, and belief in a Heavenly Father’s abilty to bring him through the greatest tribulation to ever hit this earth.
      Submit to God’s messianic King now while there is time and stop looking to earths rulers in whom no salvation lies. Psalms 146:3

    • nekksys

      You can’t eat gold and there’s no garantee it will retain any value. Food and food production skills as well as ammo / weapons manufacture and primitive living skills will be the new currency.

      • Gay Veteran

        “…no garantee it will retain any value….”

        how many 1000s of years has it retained its value?

        • nekksys

          Look at any investment prospectus and you’ll find:

          Prior returns do not guarantee future performance.

          There is still no guarantee gold will retain value. You can’t eat gold either. From our Bible, remember that Esau gave away his birthright (his position which guaranteed him wealth) for a bowl of soup. When you’re starving, you’ll surrender everything you have in order to eat.

          • Gay Veteran

            ask people in Argentina or Venezuela if they would like some gold as their economies go down the toilet

          • nekksys

            Still not getting it, I see…

            In a collapsing world where maintaining the status quo is most important, then by all means, keep your gold and silver. However, in a collapsing world where keeping yourself and your family alive is most important, food and water take a higher priority.

            It’s still quite simple:

            YOU CAN’T EAT GOLD!!!!!

            Try this situation as well: You have to cross a desert on foot. The trip will take at least 4 days. You have a bar of gold, a bar of silver, a large container of water, a bag with some bread in it, and a small brown plastic tarp. You have carry space for no more than 3 items. Which items do you take with you and why?

          • Gay Veteran

            once again: ask people in Argentina or Venezuela if they would like some gold as their economies go down the toilet.
            I’m NOT talking about a totally collapsed economy, a Mad Max world.

          • nekksys

            Still does not matter… What did you choose for the scenario I presented?

  • K

    Just remember, this is only one way the market is rigged. Today with the release of this story, the market should have gone down. The shock and surprise that the market is crooked, should have cost it 200 points down. Instead, up by 134 points This is the in your face reaction. Tell the general public anything you want, they are too stupid to do anything about it. I sure wish they were wrong.

  • Cynical Guy42

    Buying an investment just to re-sell it later is a flawed strategy. The price will not go up forever, so someone down the line will be screwed.

    • Nicknakthetruthspeaker

      Called a “sucker”

      • Cynical Guy 42

        Call it what you want, but that person will lose money.

  • Bill

    This is just another game of greed and how to screw thy neighbor. I wonder if it does any good to point out all the bad stuff whether in the private sector or government. I’ve often used the word complacent and it seems to fit here. Who cares, a bad trader here or a corrupt government official there, life goes on and America disintegrates.

    I live in an area of many Mennonite groups. Some use buggies, some automobiles. They are aware of America’s ills but their lives go on also but in a much different way. They are the “plain people” leading simple humble satisfying lives where greed is unknown. Perhaps it is time for a Mennonite cure for complacency.

    • Tim

      I admire the Mennonite and Amish ways of life. If (when?) the economy collapses, they will be a lot better off than most of us.

      • selaretus

        You’re crazy these “Amish’ are making money off the modern world and depend upon it just as much as we do.

        • Tim

          The Amish are much more self-sufficient than “the English”, as they refer to us. They will fare much better than most of us as things get worse.

          • K

            Sorry, most of the Amish will not last the first month. Most will not use a firearm, against their fellow man. Not even in self defense. Sadly if things go as I suspect, that will be a fatal disadvantage. Wish it were not so.

          • chilller

            Don’t discount the Amish…while peaceful…they are not stupid and very resourceful.

          • neal

            So those communities with both Amish and English will end up with the the Amish growing the food and the Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Mormons etc providing the security to protect the overall community.
            Any troublemakers who show up will be repulsed by the hundreds of guns of the non Amish and decent folk will be either invited into the expanding community or given what assistance that can be spared.

          • FirstGarden

            Don’t the Mormons have their own food stash? I think they would go independent.

          • El mico

            What is some idiot with a gun going to gain buy shooting some Amish peeps. A pitch fork? Amish would have to be the best preppers.

          • K

            You answered that yourself, their preps. Worse, they are known to have them, and to be peaceful. For the predators among us, like ringing a dinner bell. They are fine folks. But your better example, was the frontier farmer of the old west. Lived mostly the same life style, with one difference. Always kept a shotgun handy, for predators of all sorts.

    • Bill

      Although I appreciate the discussion that has developed I wonder if there is any interest in the point I was attempting to make. Michael’s article is trying to show another aspect of America’s deteriorating economy. While most Americans show their dissatisfaction with nearly everything, the life of Mennonites seems so much more fulfilling as their expectations are so much different. That may be why they are just “plain people”.

    • Mudpie

      I agree. But those lifestyle principles can be applied to modern life as well. We are seriously considering moving to a remote, small city that offers something of a combination of both in a state where freedom still reigns.

  • Kim

    Apparently, according to ZH, the Feds just launched a probe into this practice.

    • Drud

      Hooray! A “probe” by the Feds, all our problems are solved.
      (Please note: none of my sarcasm is directed at you Kim)

  • Selaretus

    It’s all just legalized gambling anyway; for you to make money, somebody has to lose money. It is sick.

  • Brigadon

    The only thing that protects humans from Tyranny is upwards Mobility.

    Every time a human becomes ‘elite’ the first thing they do is try to shut the door that led them there in order to prevent their power from being diluted or replaced (Through monopolies, trusts, con games, market manipulation, etc.). Nearly all laws for the last 50 years have been about shutting down upwards mobility and destroying the middle class (the upwardly mobile class).

    It’s human nature. The trick is neither to try and change humans (communism) nor to allow the behavior unrestrained (feudalism and bureaucracy) both of which destroy humanity and individualism in favor of a stagnant elite… The trick is to prevent the elite from closing the doors against the upwardly mobile… once you prevent that, capitalism irons itself out, and you enter a golden age.

    • Hammerstrike

      “once you prevent that, capitalism irons itself out,”

      Except when the “elite” controls the money supply.

      • Brigadon

        fiat currency, usury, high frequency trading, and corporate immunity are the ‘con games and market manipulation’ I was talking about. Guess I should have been more specific.

  • mleblanc138

    I am actively trying to become a “financial wizard” of sorts. I am currently playing around with mostly triple zero sub penny stocks. As in, $100 can buy like 250,000 shares. I have seen some of these stocks ten bag or even better.(went up by 10x or more in a short time) My main research tools are the InvestorHub forums and staring at charts. I don’t know “traditional” ways of valuing stocks, but I would like to learn how to spot companies like Plug Power Inc(NASDAQ) that went from $0.50 a share to $10.00 a share in a few months.
    The sad part is that even if I succeed beyond my wildest dreams, I would be taxed at 40%.

  • nepenthean

    HFT adds liquidity to the marketplace. If you do not find an edge, stop bitching.

  • rentslave

    The way to win is to sell,not buy,options.You get an instant payout.The worst that could happen is that you have to buy the stock at a lower price.What’s not to like?

  • Nicknakthetruthspeaker

    It s called free market.
    It s legal to find a sucker who will find another sucker.
    Between each transition, irs make sure to take a slice of the cake to play war, so it won’t stop. Market is a pyramid scheme. Want play and make me rich? 😀

  • Spy#1

    There is a way around this. Learn how to be a trader and know when to enter a trade. Of course, American Idol and Walking Dead are more important than learning how to manage and trade ones money.

    • Guest

      No, thats the point. There is no way around it. It knows what you’re going to do when you enter that trade, so it buys what you were going to buy and sells it to you. In fractions of milliseconds.

      • Spy#1

        You can use an entry technique called a buy stop limit order. I wouldn’t cry over spilled milk. If you know how to trade, you will make money.

  • OldUncleDave

    It’s gambling in a rigged game and they get to pay taxes at the capital gains rate instead of gambling winnings rate.

  • FDominicus

    You do not have to buy it. There is the useful thing called limit. You should try it out.

  • Nicknakthetruthspeaker

    Time to buy bitcoins.

  • dadelaw

    Hate to rain on anybody’s parade here but the whole story is a giant farce. HFT has no effect on the market at all for one very simple reason: the huge orders on one side of the market MUST BE MET WITH HUGE ORDERS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MARKET so they cancel each other out. Not very exciting, I’m afraid, but true. All this nonsense about the perceived advantages are utterly meaningless to ordinary investors who will not see one jot of difference to their investments despite people like Michael Lewis who are desperately trying to make a fast buck talking up a problem that doesn’t exist. (And yes, I DO know what I’m talking about!)

  • blackciti_fo5

    I have been thinking of getting into investments for a while now. I know only very little about it though. I am a beginner at this. I want to make more money but I don’t know what to do, where to start or who to trust. After reading this article, I am still interested in investing but I want to try and elimanate as much risk as possible. I’m not greedy so i’m not going to jump into this head first.

  • DJohn1

    I think it is called insider trading. I believe it is outlawed. You would know better than I would with your background in law.. Except for the crooks in Congress exempted themselves from the law so they could do it. Only the method has changed.
    If I used precognition to predict the market, the government people would be on my doorstep in a heart beat. I would have to prove that I had no prior knowledge of how things would go even though I did. They would still be on my case.
    I have the idea that it is a floating crap game like no other in the world. Amateurs get fleeced every day. Some not so amateur investors are being fleeced as we speak such as pension funds. And that is where the common person is in trouble, big trouble.
    Those pensions are all going broke, even in a relatively good market. When that happens an entire major segment of our population is going bankrupt.
    The government idea is to merge all the pension funds into one big fund to pay everyone out of. The idea will float some people and cause other people to lose up to at least a third of the money that they now receive.
    Many states tax pensions. Shame, Shame, Shame on them. That money was already taxed when they paid into the pensions. Some people have no ethics.
    That is the biggest reason to relocate to Florida after you retire. No State Tax on pensions.
    I believe the entire thing has been predicted many times by various people opposed to capitalism. The common man can not win in a crooked game.
    The best thing you can do is use a credit union instead of a bank to do all your everyday things like paying bills and getting car loans. Many even have plans set up so you are not soaked if you accidentally overdraft a checking account. The bank will fine you big time.

  • Thomas Dahl

    I live in the Chicago area, and several years ago we met one of my wife’s friends from college days, and her new boyfriend. I wasn’t exactly ignorant of HFT, though not knowledgeable as well. Anyway, her boyfriend (now husband) was a programmer for a large fund in Chicago, and he actually wrote the code for these HFT programs. The way he described it, or the way I understood his description, was that there might be a difference in price for the same stock in New York versus Chicago, and the programs were able to trade so quickly as to take advantages of those price differences, even though they only lasted milliseconds. But I also wonder, if the individual investor has to pay a fee every time s/he trades, how can these organizations make millions of trades per second using this technology and not have to pay the associated fees? If you’re only making cents per trade (or less), but have to pay a fee per trade, it wouldn’t seem like they could make any money, But obviously they do…

  • Leigh

    So this is off topic for this post, but if you were given a 1000 dollars today what would you do with it? Buy physical silver or gold? Build up a food store? stock up on ammo? Pay off debt? Hide it under the mattress? Spend it on a family vacation so we can add more great family memories traveling while it is still safe and inexpensive? I was recently given this amount and am undecided what I should use it for. We have a gun safe with a number of guns and a few thousand rounds of ammo, about a month or two worth of food, 2 K in cash and silver hidden in safes in the house and am just trying to think of the best use for this money. Clearly from this article investing it in the stock market is a useless endeavor! Having said that we do have retirement saves and an emergency fund and we are blessed to have great jobs with benefits, I am just interested to hear what everyone’s suggestions are. In fact I would love to hear Micheal’s view point…maybe even an article on preparedness if you had just 100, 500 or 1000$ to spend. Since many people may be getting a tax refund around this time!

    • Guest

      I would use the money to pay off debt.

    • Drud

      Already having the preps you do I think there are 3 perfectly valid choices, 2 you touched on 2: 1) spend it on forming good memories/bringing your family closer (vacation or other) 2) Buy more silver or keep it in cash under the mattress (no one knows if crash will be inflationary or deflationary, so it is good to have both) or 3) give it away to whomever you think might benefit most. Honestly, any of the three would be a very good use of the money.

      • Gay Veteran

        keep cash and precious metals in a fire resistant safe in your home

    • Roger Smith

      You should just put it in a safe place for 2 years. By then you can blow the whole grand on a carton of cigarettes.

    • Gay Veteran

      “…Buy physical silver or gold? Build up a food store? stock up on ammo? Pay off debt? Hide it under the mattress?….”

      all of the above, good choices

  • Yasha7

    “They (we) work incredibly hard, but the more they earn, the more the government taxes them.” Exactly.

  • Boksu

    For all these fraud and more, people are still pro-US, pro-west, pro-NATO against Russia. Being dupe, they act almost blind. Truth be told, Russia will HAVE to nuke USA to radiation ash (as said by a russian tv host).

  • Malcolm Reynolds

    Why now? To give cover for the Fed when the economy crashes.

    • Mike Smithy

      The banksters know that they can’t artificially levitate this thing much longer and are desperately searching to implement a plausible false flag cover story. The level of disinformation propagated by President Zero’s administration would make Lenin blush.

  • Wally

    One mans opinion:

    Is it not possible the Stock Market with a new high seemingly every day is stealing every last possible dime it can from ever little guy until the economy collapses and then every little guy every where that had any money is gone?

  • davidmpark

    Well, that would explain a lot.

    Same thing happens in corrupt land deals, commodities trading, and so on. The idea that a person can become wealthy today has little to do with stock investments, anyway. Owning multiple income streams is where the real money is. Stocks are just one method if bought right: S&P 500 High Yield “Dividend Aristocrats”, Blue Chips, and bonds are the usual method at this level.

    Also consider tacking on rental equipment, residential and business rental properties, a privately owned business or two, farm land, and water and mineral rights. A healthy mix will produce a good income flow.

    But also cover your assetswith securities (actual securities): cash savings and deposits, Annuities, T-Bills (if not dead yet), money market funds, multiple insurances.

    And to cover that, have a healthy mix of real wealth: precious metals, hard commodities, house with land, cash on-hand, closed system utilities, tools and equipment.

    And support all of this with your skills and talents, a loving family with your spouse and children, a healthy faith in Jesus Christ and hope in His atonement and charity in His name.

    No matter what man does, the Lord says that scales must eventually balance.

    • davidmpark

      Okay, The Wall Street Journal today has an op-ed from one of these companies that does this High Frequency Trading (HFT) practice. The company is claiming that the author is just trying to push his book, the profit’s reported by the book are misleading, and that HFT practices LOWERS prices for investors.

      I’m going to look into that. The company might have a point if the author’s data is misleading.

      Innocent until proven guilty…

      • Gay Veteran

        never give the benefit of the doubt to Wall Street banksters

  • Trailer Park Investor

    off topic:
    Anyone catch the news where 4 politicians from Pennsylvania got busted big time for taking bribes by the FBI. But the St. Attorney General said it was a racist bust as 3 members were black Democrats and one female white Democrat. The Penn. St. Attorney General just happens to be Black and a Democrat. Said the bust was motivated by racism.
    BUT wait they got these losers ON TAPE negotiating for the sale of their votes for a new casino in Penn. And a couple of them even came back and asked for more money and one asked for a $2,000 Tiffany Bracelet as part of the bribe, they got it and kept the bracelet. (I wonder if they will still vote for the casino?) These are the kind of low, dirty, rotten scoundrels, lower than wale crap In the bottom of the ocean and you get them on tape asking, negotiating the selling of their vote for a new casino and they STILL will NOT be prosecuted. Only in Amerika, you get the best Politicians money can buy).
    The END of Amerika is upon us, when good is called bad and bad is called good. How much longer do we have to wait for God to destroy Amerika, NOT LONG.
    You can feel it in the wind, hear it in the breeze, sense it in your soul, time is very short America, PREPARE…

    • xander cross

      You mean like how Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell take bribes and they’re not charged with anything? Oh I see, you all change the laws when it benefit you just like Newt Gingrich took bribes and spent millions at Tiffany’s for his many mistresses.

  • BenguluruHuduga

    it never was in the favor. You need to impute the cost of tax for any meaningful gain of ur invesment. So invest X, wait for it to rise to X + Y + 30% Y where Y is the gain. In the meantime hope that the price doesn’t crater.

  • Priszilla

    Nearly every trade works this way: someone buys something and then sells it to you for a higher price.
    From the difference he gets rich.

    The richest men in Germany are the Albrecht Brothers, founders of the ALbrecht DIscount Shops ALDI.

    • Tim

      Theo Albrecht died a few years ago. He was the owner of ALDI as well as Trader Joe’s. I believe both companies are now owned by a family trust.

      • Priszilla

        His brother still owns Aldi Sued.

        en wikipedia org/wiki/Aldi

  • gfmucci

    A person can get hosed in any field of endeavor in which he doesn’t know what he is doing. This happened to me on ebay a few days ago. I lost out to another bidder on an expensive item because 1) I was not practiced in the world of ebay bidding, 2) I did not know the real value of the item I was bidding on, and 3) I didn’t devote the required attention to the entire process all the way to the end.

    These “lessons learned” apply to every area of human endeavor. Playing in areas we are ignorant about or ill-equipped to master will most certainly result in failure . The stock market is one of those areas. This seems like a no brainer. There are other ways to make a living and successfully invest beside the stock market.

    The sophistication required to be successful in the stock market has created other more investor-friendly products that have less risk. However, I do know several individual small investors who do quite well in the stock market because they devote the time, effort, and attention (the things I lacked with my ebay bid) in learning and working the system.

  • 2Gary2

    are about choices and values. House Republicans have chosen to protect
    tax breaks for the wealthiest rather than create opportunities for
    middle class families to get ahead.

    Yes folks this is why the repubes are going down hard.

    We need to tax the rich and spread the wealth.

  • 2Gary2

    I heard a good joke the other day. when ever people say that islam is a religion of peace you can agree-a piece of you there, a piece of you over there, a piece of you there etc.

  • 2Gary2

    wall street is a rigged game to fund politicians careers.

    • xander cross

      That is true. Just look at the republican senators like Rand Paul who destroyed the state of Kentucky.

  • 2Gary2

    it should be abundantly obvious by now that the right wing is not in
    the slightest bit serious or realistic when it comes to fiscal matters.

    all, they wasted $24 billion on a government shut down for no other
    purpose than to score points with their wealthy political donors. they
    spent BILLIONS in order to get millions for themselves. this is the
    very definition of investment stupidity. it’s the stock market
    equivalent of “buying high, and selling low.” this is their modus
    operandi when it comes to money. why does anyone trust them with it?

    proof of this will be seen in things like the adelson right wing
    primary, where candidates gathered in las vegas to kiss the wrinkled a**
    of a far right wing fanatical billionaire in order to get campaign
    contributions from him.

    the hypocrisy of keeping the tax revenue from the ACA while slashing its benefits cannot be overstated.

    right wing war on the earned benefits known as social security and
    medicare is the worst of all. the problem is not these programs. the
    problem is that their trust funds have been raided for decades in order
    to pay for other things and the money stolen from them has never been
    repaid. so now the solution is not to get repayment from the people
    who stole the money in the first place, like war profiteers, but to
    take it from the people who have ALREADY paid into it to try and keep
    themselves out of poverty in their older years.

    these cuts are
    being made to pay the credit card bills of a group that waged two
    unfunded wars, and enacted unfunded tax cuts for the very wealthy. the
    fact that ryan’s waste of paper proposes to further cut taxes for the
    wealthy while increasing poverty and hardship for the most defenseless,
    would be jaw dropping if not for the fact that it’s so predictable.
    and in no way will it do anything to reduce america’s debt. in fact,
    it will only increase it, and accelerate the ultimate and inevitable
    financial collapse from such a system.

    the demonization of the
    poor and the vulnerable needs to be stopped. the people who voted for
    ryan have a chance to begin their own personal path to forgiveness by
    getting him OUT of congress this november. he and others like him
    would not have the soapbox for their insanity if not for voters, who
    must finally take responsibility for their mistakes in electing such
    disgraceful, shameful people to office.

    i have grown to hate
    these people because they hate america, they hate its people and they
    are nothing but bullies. even ayn rand would hate him, for taking away
    her medicare and social security.

    • Drud

      I absolutely agree with everything you say about the republicans…everything. What I cannot fathom is how you can possibly be so naive, so indoctrinated to believe that the Democrats are any different. Well, perhaps they are…they may be better at pretending to be on the side of the little guy, while doing everything on your list the instant the cameras are off. This isn’t funny any more. The hour is getting late and we need awake, aware individuals who recognize the 2-party scam and are willing to stand up to a tyrannical, over-reaching government and demand liberty. People who let a letter do their thinking (either side, and I routinely bash those with blind faith in the elephant) for them are of no use.

      • Gay Veteran

        totally agree.
        btw, Gerald Celente says conservatives actually believe the BS they peddle while liberals are hypocrites

  • El Pollo de Oro

    That abomination known as the Federal Reserve continues to pay record-low interest rates in the hope that people will get into the stock market in search of a better ROI. But the roulette wheel in Atlantic City is safer than the stock market at this point. The banksters know it, the Fed knows it, the Democraps and Republi-Cons who serve the banksters know it. This Ponzi scheme is bound to collapse, and the monsterbanks that were “too big to fail” in 2008 are going to run into even worse problems than before. Much worse. It’s going to be absolute hell for millions of Americans, and when the money stops flowing down to the man on the street, the blood begins to flow in the streets (Gerald Celente). Get ready for the blood to flow…..lots of it.

  • Mudpie

    Another reason it adds nothing to society is that it is a type of fraud. In fact, it detracts on that basis alone.

    I think that an honest, transparent stock market is a good thing.

    But this is sick.

  • kyle T

    dont wait for economic collapse. it aint coming. just get government job. if they can manipulate this long, it will go on forever

  • nekksys

    There was a comedy made some years back about this same kind of thing: skim a few fractions of a cent from every transaction and the money grows quite quickly due to the high frequency at which transactions occur. You may well remember this film: Office Space. If you remember it, check it out again and see if you don’t agree. If you’ve never seen it, do watch it when time permits.

  • 2Gary2

    I cashed out of the stock market when I cashed in my 403B when I was unemployed for a time in 2006. I cashed in at the top and made a good sum of money (yes I was taxed to death on it). It was dumb luck that I cashed in at the top and through no skill of my own. I have never done more than dabble (under 1000) since and I am glad I am out. The game is rigged.

    • none

      the table is tilted folks the game is rigged and nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care

  • retired

    Of course it is rigged,the whole economy is rigged so why would the financial markets be different? Sources I have read state that the F.I.R.E.economy (financial sector) account for 41% of domestic corporate profits.The Stock Markets,as well as the rest of the financial sector,are for almost all real purposes unregulated.The S.E.C. is a joke & a rubber stamp which allows widespread fraud.Because of this lack of real oversite the stock market hustlers can do pretty much what they like with little fear of being prosecuted.
    At 41% of the Domestic Corp.Profits the FIRE industry is robbing the wealth(and availability of credit) out of the real,productive economy.This is why we are heading for a crash.They are destroying the real economy!

  • Wally

    Everything is fake, everything is a lie. You cannot believe or trust anyone. There is no truth is government, no truth in advertising, no truth in polls. Even music artists are faking performances. The “Elite” are not going to be happy until every last dime of every joe schmo is gone. What happens when poof, every bank account, retirement account, etc. etc is gone? In a decade the US could be completely or almost completely out of resources such as water. If they meaning the “Elite” don’t do something now then life as we know it will be at the end. Mass depopulation is the only possible way in their eyes. Don’t be surprised if a Mass Pandemic or prolonged blackout occur. Millions maybe even Billions will die.

    This is becoming all too surreal.

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