2 Trading Mistakes for All Robinhood Investors to Avoid

Neckline Pump, A Dangerously Close Shave (See Comments to Trade Margin for Free)

Neckline Pump, A Dangerously Close Shave (See Comments to Trade Margin for Free) submitted by JakeTheCryptoKing to u/JakeTheCryptoKing [link] [comments]

Bitfinex suddenly froze our corporate margin trading access WHILE we have large margin positions in play. In danger of getting liquidated.

Any suggestions what to do?
We've had a corporate account with Bitfinex since early 2017 and have traded relatively larger amounts on both the exchange and margin platforms. Our account is verified as 'corporate' and approved for both exchange, margin, and funding. We're also approved for OTC trading.
We've been making 6-figure trades on margin and currently have 2 margin positions open. On Feb 7th, made some trades in the morning and then later in the morning we were locked out of margin trading. No explanation or warning of why our account can't trade on margin. Worst yet, we can't manage our margin positions. Not good in this very volatile market. We've received a couple of liquidation warning emails as the market dived down yesterday.
We sent a support ticket #535263 and probably over 7 emails. No response from Bitfinex. It appears that they haven't even opened any of the emails.
Any suggestions from the community would be welcome. We're a bit panicked to be honest about what to do.
submitted by haroldrami90 to bitfinex [link] [comments]

PSA: Understanding the dangers of Poloniex's margin trading.

Hi guys,
My apologies if you've already heard this.
Poloniex allows for margin to be posted in Ether. This has some side effects that people may not be thinking about in this rally.
If you are long Ether and you are margin trading Eth this post is for you. Normal margin trading has some nuance to it that new folks don't get but posting your security in the security you are margin trading makes things even more volatile.
OK so if you believe Eth will rise and you post 1 BTC (in BTC) of margin. You can buy up to 2.5x your margin in Eth. For this example, let's assume you are risk averse and only borrow 1 BTC to buy Eth with. Assuming Eth is at 0.01, you can buy 100 Eth. Cool. Poloniex will close your position when the price drops so that 20% of your margin + the trade value will cover the 1 BTC loan. This means that if Eth reaches 0.002 Polo will do a market sale of your Eth (netting below 0.002/Eth most likely) and will deduct the difference from you 1 BTC margin deposit. This is not what will happen if you posted the margin in Eth!
If you post your margin in Eth and you post 100Eth (worth 1BTC at 0.001), and you buy 100 Eth as above, Polo will estimate the liquidation price at 0.002ish. The problem is that if the Eth price falls, so does the value of your margin. This means that as the price drops, Polo will keep upping the estimated liquidation price! So in this case, if the price falls to 0.008, margin value is now only 0.8BTC and unrealised losses are -0.2BTC, this means your margin will be calculated at 60% even though the price has only dropped 20%. At a 40% drop you margin will be worth 0.6BTC, your losses will be 0.4BTC (because polo calculates the loan in BTC) and your position will be automatically closed. You 100Eth margin buy will be liquidated for < 0.6BTC and your margin will be liquidated up to the point where it can cover the original 1 BTC loan. Since the Eth price has dropped 66% (best case) of your margin will be liquidated at 0.006 to cover the difference. Leaving you with only about 33% (or less) of your original Eth! And this after half the price fluctuation you were lead to believe your margin would cover!
TL;DR If you post margin in Ether and buy Ether on margin, the liquidation price is wrong! It is much closer than you suspect!
submitted by sjalq to ethtrader [link] [comments]

Margin trading with 100x leverage isn’t as dangerous as this...

Margin trading with 100x leverage isn’t as dangerous as this... submitted by definitelynotdeleted to cryptocurrencymemes [link] [comments]

06-11 10:33 - 'Margin trading with 100x leverage isn’t as dangerous as this...' (i.redd.it) by /u/definitelynotdeleted removed from /r/Bitcoin within 108-118min

Margin trading with 100x leverage isn’t as dangerous as this...
Go1dfish undelete link
unreddit undelete link
Author: definitelynotdeleted
submitted by removalbot to removalbot [link] [comments]

Here we see a flock of Fenrirs. Every spring these adventurous freighters embark on a long and dangerous migration from Jita to Amarr in search of warmer weather and danker trading margins.

submitted by StephenSwat to Eve [link] [comments]

Beware of etoro

I have a post that I explained how in etoro you don’t own the stock what so ever but u just own a cfd contract even if you don’t use margin
In this post I’ll explain a little bit about how etoro pays dividends on your stocks even tho you don’t own them and the dangers of trading on this kind of brokers
“”””””””””””””””””””
As I said in one of my replay , the underlying asset is a cfd contract (cfd contracts are decaying assets ) , a cfd contract doesn’t grant you any ownership over the real stock. Let me explain again .
In one of the legit brokers I use , they have this program that if you subscribe in , you give the broker the permission to lend the stocks in your portfolio to other traders who want to short sell the stock , like I have 5 apple stocks in my portfolio, if I’m signed up to the lending programme in this legit broker , then they can take my 5 apple stocks and lend them to someone who wants to short sell them .
1 - by law I’m not paid dividends on those stocks that they borrowed from me , but the borrower is paid the dividend cause he is the owner now as long as he is borrowing my stocks .
2- said broker will pay me 50% of the interest that he charges the short seller
3- the broker will still give me my dividends equivalent but in a form of capital gain ( etoro does pay u dividends equivalent from the commission that he charges on his platform , but not real dividends, )
This might sound complicated but again this is way a broker like etoro can tell their clients that they are buying the asset which in-fact they are not , it is legal but it is a form of word play , the real danger is if etoro goes bankrupt or for any reason doesn’t wna does his part of cfd contract deal then they tottaly can , they don’t do it upfront , but they can halt trading on a certain stock , just an example , a real legit broker will never halt trading on a stock unless the exchange itself halt trading and no one in the world can buy the stock , in etoro you will find that you can’t sell a certain position or open one , while at the same time other traders on other platforms are happily buying the same stock and selling it , this is one form of etoro saying “ I don’t want to keep up to my words that and exercise the cfd contract “
Somethings I said are a bit complicated but etoro banks on the low experience and innocency of their clients .
They actually blocked a popular investor called “harshsmith” because he was allegedly scalping stocks , and he have 2k copiers , so every 1000$ he made is 2 million $ that etoro had to pay to all his copiers , they might not allow scalping and that’s their law but keep in mind , if they are a legit broker they would be happily letting him scalp cause he and his 2k copiers are paying commission, and commission is how they make their profit as they say (big lie , they make it from your losses ) , then why block and profitable popular investor with a lot of copiers paying commission? Cause they are paying him his profit from their pocket and not the real market , I don’t mind them having their own non scalping law , but why have it if your legit ?! More scalping is more commission for the broker right ? Unless it is not a legit broker such as etoro
Hope this helps
submitted by noratooo to stocks [link] [comments]

[NYTimes] Sources describe horror stories of young and inexperienced investors on Robinhood, many engaging in riskier trades at far higher volumes than at other firms

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/08/technology/robinhood-risky-trading.html
Richard Dobatse, a Navy medic in San Diego, dabbled infrequently in stock trading. But his behavior changed in 2017 when he signed up for Robinhood, a trading app that made buying and selling stocks simple and seemingly free.
Mr. Dobatse, now 32, said he had been charmed by Robinhood’s one-click trading, easy access to complex investment products, and features like falling confetti and emoji-filled phone notifications that made it feel like a game. After funding his account with $15,000 in credit card advances, he began spending more time on the app.
As he repeatedly lost money, Mr. Dobatse took out two $30,000 home equity loans so he could buy and sell more speculative stocks and options, hoping to pay off his debts. His account value shot above $1 million this year — but almost all of that recently disappeared. This week, his balance was $6,956.
“When he is doing his trading, he won’t want to eat,” said his wife, Tashika Dobatse, with whom he has three children. “He would have nightmares.”
Millions of young Americans have begun investing in recent years through Robinhood, which was founded in 2013 with a sales pitch of no trading fees or account minimums. The ease of trading has turned it into a cultural phenomenon and a Silicon Valley darling, with the start-up climbing to an $8.3 billion valuation. It has been one of the tech industry’s biggest growth stories in the recent market turmoil.
But at least part of Robinhood’s success appears to have been built on a Silicon Valley playbook of behavioral nudges and push notifications, which has drawn inexperienced investors into the riskiest trading, according to an analysis of industry data and legal filings, as well as interviews with nine current and former Robinhood employees and more than a dozen customers. And the more that customers engaged in such behavior, the better it was for the company, the data shows.
Thanks for reading The Times. Subscribe to The Times More than at any other retail brokerage firm, Robinhood’s users trade the riskiest products and at the fastest pace, according to an analysis of new filings from nine brokerage firms by the research firm Alphacution for The New York Times.
In the first three months of 2020, Robinhood users traded nine times as many shares as E-Trade customers, and 40 times as many shares as Charles Schwab customers, per dollar in the average customer account in the most recent quarter. They also bought and sold 88 times as many risky options contracts as Schwab customers, relative to the average account size, according to the analysis.
The more often small investors trade stocks, the worse their returns are likely to be, studies have shown. The returns are even worse when they get involved with options, research has found.
This kind of trading, where a few minutes can mean the difference between winning and losing, was particularly hazardous on Robinhood because the firm has experienced an unusual number of technology issues, public records show. Some Robinhood employees, who declined to be identified for fear of retaliation, said the company failed to provide adequate guardrails and technology to support its customers.
Those dangers came into focus last month when Alex Kearns, 20, a college student in Nebraska, killed himself after he logged into the app and saw that his balance had dropped to negative $730,000. The figure was high partly because of some incomplete trades.
“There was no intention to be assigned this much and take this much risk,” Mr. Kearns wrote in his suicide note, which a family member posted on Twitter.
Like Mr. Kearns, Robinhood’s average customer is young and lacks investing know-how. The average age is 31, the company said, and half of its customers had never invested before.
Some have visited Robinhood’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., in recent years to confront the staff about their losses, said four employees who witnessed the incidents. This year, they said, the start-up installed bulletproof glass at the front entrance.
“They encourage people to go from training wheels to driving motorcycles,” Scott Smith, who tracks brokerage firms at the financial consulting firm Cerulli, said of Robinhood. “Over the long term, it’s like trying to beat the casino.”
At the core of Robinhood’s business is an incentive to encourage more trading. It does not charge fees for trading, but it is still paid more if its customers trade more.
That’s because it makes money through a complex practice known as “payment for order flow.” Each time a Robinhood customer trades, Wall Street firms actually buy or sell the shares and determine what price the customer gets. These firms pay Robinhood for the right to do this, because they then engage in a form of arbitrage by trying to buy or sell the stock for a profit over what they give the Robinhood customer.
This practice is not new, and retail brokers such as E-Trade and Schwab also do it. But Robinhood makes significantly more than they do for each stock share and options contract sent to the professional trading firms, the filings show.
For each share of stock traded, Robinhood made four to 15 times more than Schwab in the most recent quarter, according to the filings. In total, Robinhood got $18,955 from the trading firms for every dollar in the average customer account, while Schwab made $195, the Alphacution analysis shows. Industry experts said this was most likely because the trading firms believed they could score the easiest profits from Robinhood customers.
Vlad Tenev, a founder and co-chief executive of Robinhood, said in an interview that even with some of its customers losing money, young Americans risked greater losses by not investing in stocks at all. Not participating in the markets “ultimately contributed to the sort of the massive inequalities that we’re seeing in society,” he said.
Mr. Tenev said only 12 percent of the traders active on Robinhood each month used options, which allow people to bet on where the price of a specific stock will be on a specific day and multiply that by 100. He said the company had added educational content on how to invest safely.
He declined to comment on why Robinhood makes more than its competitors from the Wall Street firms. The company also declined to comment on Mr. Dobatse or provide data on its customers’ performance.
Robinhood does not force people to trade, of course. But its success at getting them do so has been highlighted internally. In June, the actor Ashton Kutcher, who has invested in Robinhood, attended one of the company’s weekly staff meetings on Zoom and celebrated its success by comparing it to gambling websites, said three people who were on the call.
Mr. Kutcher said in a statement that his comment “was not intended to be a comparison of business models nor the experience Robinhood provides its customers” and that it referred “to the current growth metrics.” He added that he was “absolutely not insinuating that Robinhood was a gambling platform.”
ImageRobinhood’s co-founders and co-chief executives, Baiju Bhatt, left, and Vlad Tenev, created the company to make investing accessible to everyone. Robinhood’s co-founders and co-chief executives, Baiju Bhatt, left, and Vlad Tenev, created the company to make investing accessible to everyone.Credit...via Reuters Robinhood was founded by Mr. Tenev and Baiju Bhatt, two children of immigrants who met at Stanford University in 2005. After teaming up on several ventures, including a high-speed trading firm, they were inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement to create a company that would make finance more accessible, they said. They named the start-up Robinhood after the English outlaw who stole from the rich and gave to the poor.
Robinhood eliminated trading fees while most brokerage firms charged $10 or more for a trade. It also added features to make investing more like a game. New members were given a free share of stock, but only after they scratched off images that looked like a lottery ticket.
The app is simple to use. The home screen has a list of trendy stocks. If a customer touches one of them, a green button pops up with the word “trade,” skipping many of the steps that other firms require.
Robinhood initially offered only stock trading. Over time, it added options trading and margin loans, which make it possible to turbocharge investment gains — and to supersize losses.
The app advertises options with the tagline “quick, straightforward & free.” Customers who want to trade options answer just a few multiple-choice questions. Beginners are legally barred from trading options, but those who click that they have no investing experience are coached by the app on how to change the answer to “not much” experience. Then people can immediately begin trading.
Before Robinhood added options trading in 2017, Mr. Bhatt scoffed at the idea that the company was letting investors take uninformed risks.
“The best thing we can say to those people is ‘Just do it,’” he told Business Insider at the time.
In May, Robinhood said it had 13 million accounts, up from 10 million at the end of 2019. Schwab said it had 12.7 million brokerage accounts in its latest filings; E-Trade reported 5.5 million.
That growth has kept the money flowing in from venture capitalists. Sequoia Capital and New Enterprise Associates are among those that have poured $1.3 billion into Robinhood. In May, the company received a fresh $280 million.
“Robinhood has made the financial markets accessible to the masses and, in turn, revolutionized the decades-old brokerage industry,” Andrew Reed, a partner at Sequoia, said after last month’s fund-raising.
Image Robinhood shows users that its options trading is free of commissions. Robinhood shows users that its options trading is free of commissions. Mr. Tenev has said Robinhood has invested in the best technology in the industry. But the risks of trading through the app have been compounded by its tech glitches.
In 2018, Robinhood released software that accidentally reversed the direction of options trades, giving customers the opposite outcome from what they expected. Last year, it mistakenly allowed people to borrow infinite money to multiply their bets, leading to some enormous gains and losses.
Robinhood’s website has also gone down more often than those of its rivals — 47 times since March for Robinhood and 10 times for Schwab — according to a Times analysis of data from Downdetector.com, which tracks website reliability. In March, the site was down for almost two days, just as stock prices were gyrating because of the coronavirus pandemic. Robinhood’s customers were unable to make trades to blunt the damage to their accounts.
Four Robinhood employees, who declined to be identified, said the outage was rooted in issues with the company’s phone app and servers. They said the start-up had underinvested in technology and moved too quickly rather than carefully.
Mr. Tenev said he could not talk about the outage beyond a company blog post that said it was “not acceptable.” Robinhood had recently made new technology investments, he said.
Plaintiffs who have sued over the outage said Robinhood had done little to respond to their losses. Unlike other brokers, the company has no phone number for customers to call.
Mr. Dobatse suffered his biggest losses in the March outage — $860,000, his records show. Robinhood did not respond to his emails, he said, adding that he planned to take his case to financial regulators for arbitration.
“They make it so easy for people that don’t know anything about stocks,” he said. “Then you go there and you start to lose money.”
submitted by jayatum to investing [link] [comments]

The results are in for: LEAST Valuable Player

The NBA league office announced that all awards will be officially based on play PRIOR to the bubble. With that, the cases are locked, the campaigns are closed, and the voting will begin.
While the media may focus on the MVP award and other prestigious honors, reddit has the distinct honor of awarding the LVP. The LEAST Valuable Player. It's a tradition that dates back to 2016-17, when aging Indiana SG Monta Ellis won the inaugural trophy and then promptly disappeared from the NBA forever. In 2017-18, Minnesota SG Jamal Crawford won the (dis)honor with some incredibly bad defensive numbers. Last season, New Orleans SF Solomon Hill won LVP by helping to sink a drowning team and accelerating Anthony Davis' decision to fly the coop.
Before we announce this year's winner, let's review the criteria and caveats:
--- Obviously, the worst players in the league are the ones who sit at the end of the bench and don't get any playing time. However, this award focuses on players who log a decent amount of minutes and consequently affected their team's play the most. Simply put: the more you play, the more damage you can do.
--- And that actual "damage" is important. If you're on a tanking team, no one cares about your poor play; it may even be a positive. I'm also ignoring young players (under 21) who are still developing and can't be expected to be solid players yet.
--- Similarly, we don't want to judge players within the context of their salary any more than the actual MVP does. We also do not weigh in injuries either. For example, the Wizards would have a hard time competing with John Wall on the sidelines (0 games played, $32M in salary), but we want to focus on players' on-court performance instead.
dishonorable mentions
PG Mike Conley, Utah: 28.6 minutes per game, -0.80 RPM
We're using Mike Conley to reiterate that the LVP does NOT factor salary into the equation any more than the MVP does. But if it did, Mike Conley and his $33M salary may be in trouble.
It was a disastrous start to the season for Conley. Playing in a new role as a second fiddle to another guard, he could never find his groove. His assists plummeted (down to 4.3 per game), his free-throw attempts cut in half (from 5.8 to 2.9), and he only shot 42.9% from two-point range. That said, he still shot pretty well from 3 (37.6%) and played OK defense, keeping him off our official ballot.
SF Miles Bridges, Charlotte: 30.7 minutes per game, -2.68 RPM
Like Mike Conley, Miles Bridges seems like a great guy whom you'd hate to criticize. Alas, that's our exercise here. Caught in between positions, Bridges hasn't been able to figure out his rhythm on offense in the NBA either. He hasn't shot well (33% from three, 48.6% from two) and doesn't get to the line enough (2.0 FTA) to make up for it. The advanced stats get even worse from there (although to be fair, they get dragged down by playing in a bad starting lineup.)
Fortunately for him, Bridges is spared by his youth. At 22, he's technically over our "21 year old" threshold, but it still feels unfair to pick on his growing pains as a sophomore. Perhaps in time, he can find a role that can take advantage of his athleticism and talent. But be warned: the clock is ticking. We're taking the kid gloves off soon. Bridges and fellow analytics-allergic Kevin Knox (-7.7 RPM!) will be entering Year 3 next season and will need to step their games up to avoid LVP discussion.
SF Kyle Kuzma, L.A. Lakers: 24.6 minutes per game, -0.74 RPM
Kyle Kuzma can score if need be, but his skill set never made him a natural fit to play third banana to superstars like LeBron James and Anthony Davis. He's not a 3+D player -- he's more of a no-3 (30% this year) no-D player. At the same time, the LVP is about negative impact, and it's hard to find much of consequence here. After all, the Lakers still finished with the # 1 record in the West. Kuzma struggling to find his way is like a tree falling in the woods or a person farting in an empty elevator – ultimately it didn't matter.
SF Andre Iguodala, Memphis/Miami
It feels like ancient history now, but this past offseason, the Memphis Grizzlies acquired Andre Iguodala in a trade (under the presumption he may be dealt again.) According to official reports, Iguodala and the Grizzlies MUTUALLY decided that he wouldn't play for Memphis and wouldn't even report to the team in the meantime. Okay. Fine. We'll go along with that.
Still, that situation leaves a sour taste in the LVP headquarters. Memphis turned out to be better than expected, and could have used an extra rotational player. And even if Iguodala wouldn't have helped much on the court, he could have been a valuable mentor for their young kids. That's the least you can expect for a nice $15M in salary.
our official top 5 LVP ballot
(5) PF Anthony Tolliver (POR, SAC, MEM): 15.6 minutes per game, -3.60 RPM
I've always had a soft spot for the wise ol' owl, Anthony Tolliver. He's reportedly a great teammate and locker room presence. He also started to develop into an effective stretch four towards the end of this career.
But alas, the end of his career may have snuck up on us sooner than we expected. Tolliver disappointed for Minnesota last season, and completely flopped in his return to Portland. At age 34, he doesn't seem to be a viable rotation player anymore. He didn't play quite enough to merit LVP, but he still played more than he should have.
There's a chance Tolliver comes back next year to serve as a veteran mentor and pseudo-assistant coach somewhere, but it's more likely that he retires. If he does, he'll have played for 10 different franchises in his not-so-illustrious but very respectable career.
(4) SG Bryn Forbes, San Antonio: 25.1 minutes per game, -0.95 RPM
The NBA is all about shooting these days, and Bryn Forbes can shoot. He's hit an even 40.0% from three during his NBA career so far, and wasn't too far removed from that this season with 38.8% on 6.0 attempts per game. As a result, his true shooting percentage (57%) was above average. The Spurs lacked spacers, and Forbes fit that bill.
So what's the problem...? Turns out, basketball is more than a halfcourt game. And whenever the ball crosses that pesky midcourt line, Bryn Forbes starts to become a liability.
At only 6'3", Forbes is undersized to play the SG position, which is where the Spurs played him 74% of the time (according to basketball-reference.) Partly due to those athletic limitations, he only registered 0.5 steals per game, and blocked a grand total of 0 shots in his 1579 minutes of action. The advanced stats get ugly; Forbes ranks near the bottom at his position in DRPM, DBPM, all the alphabet formulas that you can cook up.
At the end of the day, LVP is about negative impact, and there's plenty here. Forbes is not a bad player in a vacuum, but he did not help the Spurs this year. In fact, their undersized lineup is a big reason why they're struggling so much on defense (25th in the NBA). As a direct result, they're on track to miss the playoffs for the first time in decades.
(3) SF Mario Hezonja, Portland: 16.3 minutes per game, -2.79 RPM
During the entire run of the Damian Lillard - C.J. McCollum era, Portland has struggled to figure out their wing rotation. That would be tested even more this season, with familiar faces like Moe Harkless, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Evan Turner slipping out the door. The trials and tribulations kept coming like Damian Lillard was Job, as injuries ravaged the Blazers' new depth chart. The team didn't need a star to emerge at forward -- but they needed somebody. Anybody.
In theory, that player should have been Mario Hezonja, a former lottery pick and a live body with good athleticism and size at 6'8". Signed this summer for a modest price ($1.7M), Hezonja had the chance to jumpstart his NBA career with a major opportunity on the team. Instead, he flopped like Marcus Smart taking a phantom elbow.
Hezonja's biggest problem is that, at age 25, he still hasn't found his feel on the court. He's not a good shooter (32.8% from three), and doesn't use his athleticism to find his way to the line (1.1 attempts per game.) He was a non-factor (5 PPG, 3 RPG) on a team that desperately needed him to step up. In fact, the Blazers were so desperate for help that they not only signed Carmelo Anthony, but they played him over 32 minutes a game.
Again, we see a real "LVP" candidacy here with a direct effect on the standings. The Blazers' getting a big fat nothing from Hezonja was a major part of their struggle to get to .500 this season.
(2) C Dewayne Dedmon, SAC/ATL: 17.6 minutes per game, -2.51 RPM
We're not supposed to factor in salaries into this equation, but Dewayne Dedmon's situation merits a mention for context. The Sacramento Kings signed the big man to a head-scratching 3-year, $40M deal this summer (seriously.) Clearly, GM Vlade Divac thought his young Kings were only a few veterans away from making the playoffs, bringing in (and over-paying) Dedmon, Cory Joseph, and Trevor Ariza.
Among the three, Dedmon turned out to be the most disappointing for several reasons. He didn't play well to start the season, and got usurped in the rotation by underrated Richaun Holmes. Rather than suck it up, take a deep breath, and take a relaxing dive in his new Scrooge McDuck money pool, Dedmon started to whine and complain and push for a trade. For a team that was struggling, Dedmon's headache became the last thing they needed. Ultimately, they ditched him back to where he came from in Atlanta.
Now, being difficult and being a prima donna isn't enough to get you LVP honors. You have to stink on the court as well. And sure enough, Dedmon started to check those boxes. Billed as a stretch five after hitting some threes in Atlanta, Dedmon lost his shot in the SMF airport baggage claim. He shot only 19.7% from three for the Kings, registering a 47.3% true shooting percentage on the season. His defense is OK, but it's not good enough make up for his poor offensive play. He's not bad enough to get LVP, but he hurt his team this year.
(1) PG Isaiah Thomas, Washington: 23.1 minutes per game, -2.75 RPM
We've awarded three LVP trophies in the past, and a familiar pattern is starting to emerge. The most dangerous players aren't necessarily the bad players; they're the players who used to be good. Because of their prior success, they tend to get overplayed by their coaches and drag their teams down with them.
It wasn't too long ago that Isaiah Thomas found himself in the MVP conversation for the Boston Celtics, as his incredible shotmaking helped make up for any defensive limitations he may have as a 5'9" player. That said, a small player like Thomas is always going to have a thin margin for error to remain a winning player. He needs to be GREAT offensively to make up for his defense. Unfortunately, his offense has not been great since his infamous injury. He can still make shots (hitting 41.3% of his threes), but he's not getting inside the paint and not getting to the free-throw line (1.9 attempts per game.) As a result, his true-shooting percentage lagged to 53.1%, well below league average.
If Isaiah Thomas isn't making scoring efficiently, then what is he doing to help a team win? He's not a great distributor (3.7 assists per game.) He's a very poor rebounder (1.7 per game.) And yes, that defense is still a major problem. According to ESPN's RPM metric, Thomas graded as a -4.2 impact per 100 possessions, the second worst in the league at PG after Trae Young. Basketball-reference lists his "defensive rating" at 121. For comparison's sake, the worst team defense in the league still held teams under 116. (That worst team? The Wizards.)
You can make an argument that there's still a place for Thomas in the NBA as a sparkplug scorer off the bench. Alas, that's not how the Wizards had been using him this season. He started 37 of 40 games for the team. Largely as a result of that, the Wizards' starting lineup was atrocious defensively. Fellow starters like Bradley Beal and Rui Hachimura ranked toward the bottom of their position in defensive metrics as well. When your lineup stinks defensively, a good coach may look in the mirror and say: hey, maybe we need a change here. Sadly, quick reactions are not Scottie Brooks' strong suit. He has the type of sloth-like speed that even frustrate workers at the DMV. The Wizards eventually dumped IT, but it took far too long to make that shift.
To be fair, the Wizards' options at point guard were limited with John Wall injured. Veteran Ish Smith is mediocre right now, and Shabazz Napier arrived late in the season. Still, the point here is: almost any competent point guard (like a Napier) would have helped the Wizards more than Isaiah Thomas. He had become a negative for them. The cold hard truth is that: it's very difficult to win basketball games with Thomas starting. And given that, he is our official LVP.
submitted by ZandrickEllison to nba [link] [comments]

Beware of etoro scams

Beware of etoro
I have a post that I explained how in etoro you don’t own the stock what so ever but u just own a cfd contract even if you don’t use margin
In this post I’ll explain a little bit about how etoro pays dividends on your stocks even tho you don’t own them and the dangers of trading on this kind of brokers
“”””””””””””””””””””
As I said in one of my replay , the underlying asset is a cfd contract (cfd contracts are decaying assets ) , a cfd contract doesn’t grant you any ownership over the real stock. Let me explain again .
In one of the legit brokers I use , they have this program that if you subscribe in , you give the broker the permission to lend the stocks in your portfolio to other traders who want to short sell the stock , like I have 5 apple stocks in my portfolio, if I’m signed up to the lending programme in this legit broker , then they can take my 5 apple stocks and lend them to someone who wants to short sell them .
1 - by law I’m not paid dividends on those stocks that they borrowed from me , but the borrower is paid the dividend cause he is the owner now as long as he is borrowing my stocks .
2- said broker will pay me 50% of the interest that he charges the short seller
3- the broker will still give me my dividends equivalent but in a form of capital gain ( etoro does pay u dividends equivalent from the commission that he charges on his platform , but not real dividends, )
This might sound complicated but again this is way a broker like etoro can tell their clients that they are buying the asset which in-fact they are not , it is legal but it is a form of word play , the real danger is if etoro goes bankrupt or for any reason doesn’t wna does his part of cfd contract deal then they tottaly can , they don’t do it upfront , but they can halt trading on a certain stock , just an example , a real legit broker will never halt trading on a stock unless the exchange itself halt trading and no one in the world can buy the stock , in etoro you will find that you can’t sell a certain position or open one , while at the same time other traders on other platforms are happily buying the same stock and selling it , this is one form of etoro saying “ I don’t want to keep up to my words that and exercise the cfd contract “
Somethings I said are a bit complicated but etoro banks on the low experience and innocency of their clients .
They actually blocked a popular investor called “harshsmith” because he was allegedly scalping stocks , and he have 2k copiers , so every 1000$ he made is 2 million $ that etoro had to pay to all his copiers , they might not allow scalping and that’s their law but keep in mind , if they are a legit broker they would be happily letting him scalp cause he and his 2k copiers are paying commission, and commission is how they make their profit as they say (big lie , they make it from your losses ) , then why block and profitable popular investor with a lot of copiers paying commission? Cause they are paying him his profit from their pocket and not the real market , I don’t mind them having their own non scalping law , but why have it if your legit ?! More scalping is more commission for the broker right ? Unless it is not a legit broker such as etoro
Hope this helps
submitted by noratooo to ausstocks [link] [comments]

Plain english warning about CFD trading, just something I wish someone had told me

tl;dr - trading CFD's is the equivalent of drag racing your drunk mate down the freeway into oncoming traffic. No self respecting adult would bother with them, CFD's are for cocaine-snorting thrill-seeking morons (like me apparently) who have no respect for risk management. Don't gamble with your savings.

What are CFDs
CFD's are 'Contracts for Difference'. Very simply, if you have a trading account with the right permissions you can trade in CFD's.
Why are they dangerous
Because say you trade $250, on a normal trade (ie stocks etc) if the price falls by 10% you lose $25, which sucks but isn't world ending. CFD's are NOT like that - they are 'leveraged' which just means that if you put up $50 your exposure is many many many many times larger than that
EXAMPLE
You buy 50 contracts on a stock that is trading at $100 a share.The stock then drops $10 in value.Your exposure is (50 * 100) = $5,000 BUT because your 'margin' is only 5% of that, the initial amount you put up is a mere $250.
So to illustrate:
Stock Trading
Initial Investment - $250
Value drop - 10%
Loss - $25
CFD Trading
Initial investment - $250
Value drop - 10%
Loss - $5,000

Closing remarks
These things are illegal in the US for a good reason.
CFD's are for suckers, don't listen to anything that you hear to the contrary. EU regulators say that 76% of CFD accounts lose money. Let me say that again, 76% of these things lose $&*#ing money. If the odds at the casino were 1:4 there is no fkn way anybody would go. When you trade CFD's you are essentially just gambling but with WAY WAY worse odds.Cited: https://www.iexpats.com/76-of-cfd-traders-lose-money-on-their-deals/
You can't make long investments with CFD's, they aren't a long-term strategy and they are not part of ANY investment strategy with a reasonable risk profile. Please don't make the mistake I did and get sucked into trading them, it's stressful as hell and it is pure bravado driven bullshit.

Stay safe out there folks, times are nuts
Edit 1: Formatting got stuffed up
submitted by loathingq to AusFinance [link] [comments]

Rather than panic, let's take stock of where we actually are..

As the title suggests, rather than panic, complain, bitch and go through the he sucks, and fire that, let's take a different approach...like what really happened against the Jackets and how the team has been constructed.
Regards to 'get rid of Barrie and Ceci' postsBased on how they were acquired and for what players, it was clear to me right from the day the trade was made that both of these players came aboard the Leaf roster with the intention of letting them go at the end of the year. They both were traded for players with longer contracts. Effectively Dubas traded long contracts for short ones. I firmly believe the intent to the trades was to get Sandin and Liljegren another year to gain more experience. This move also freed up 8m in cap space for next year as well.
Regards to they don't work hard enoughI'm not sure what game you were watching, but for the majority of the series, the Leafs were clearly the better team. The actual advanced stats agree. The Leafs possessesed the puck far more than the Jackets. They had more high danger scoring chances. Their expected goals were a LOT higher than Columbus. All this points to the FACT that yes, they worked hard and were the better team.
Regards to Mitch Marner being soft and not worth the cashWhile I agree, the eyeball test smelled a little bit, you cannot dispute the fact that Mitch was the #1 driver of puck possession on the Leafs. (Corsi: Marner: 58.6, Tavares: 56.7, Matthews: 55.4) On top of this, he proved his value as a 2-way player. This is determined because when he was on the ice, the Leafs outshot and out chanced the Jackets by a very large margin. Out of the big 3 (Marner, Tavares and Matthews), his numbers actually outshine theirs by a wide margin (Fenwick rating: Marner: 60.6, Tavares: 56.8, Matthews: 56.4). Add this to the fact he appears to be a fantastic penalty killer, it shows how valuable he actually is.
Regards to the series lossPlain and simple. They lost purely because of how well Joonas Korpisalo played. Period. His typical save percentage is just .911. In this playoff it was an all-world .956. The shots he was stopping were not all easy as the Leafs had TONS of high danger chances. There were at least 3-4 of them last night alone that typically would have been goals. There is no doubt, he played out of his mind. One stat to keep in mind...goals saved above average (which means how many save he made that would typically be a goal) was 4.19. This is a very glaring number. Typically it's 2.77. If he plays per his normal performance, the Leafs likely win the series 3-0. Heck, if just the pucks that hit posts go in they win the series.
The Leaf style of play cannot work in playoffsI disagree. They had the puck so much that the Jackets generated very little offense. Puck possession is a powerful thing. If you have the puck, they cannot score. Plain and simple. They got a couple of goals that were total flukes (aka the one off of Barrie last night). I think they can do just fine in playoff situations with simply having more experience.
In summary:Yes, the Leafs have a cap space problem, that is VERY clear. Yes, it will be difficult to add the defensive presence they need. Yes, COVID may (and probably will) prevent the Leafs from getting much beter without moving a player or two. That being said, the plan is, and always was to develop the prospects in the system for a few years. Austin Matthews is only in his 4th year. How long did it take Ovechkin to win the cup? Same question for Crosby? Same question for Stamkos? Winning a cup is more than having good players. They need to learn how to win. This takes time...patience is key, not knee-jerk reactions to a series that they deserved to win.
Feel free to disagree, however, I believe if you objectively look at the team, it's makeup and how this series was played, you might just feel the same way.
submitted by duck1014 to leafs [link] [comments]

Beware of etoro

Beware of etoro
I have a post that I explained how in etoro you don’t own the stock what so ever but u just own a cfd contract even if you don’t use margin
In this post I’ll explain a little bit about how etoro pays dividends on your stocks even tho you don’t own them and the dangers of trading on this kind of brokers
“”””””””””””””””””””
As I said in one of my replay , the underlying asset is a cfd contract (cfd contracts are decaying assets ) , a cfd contract doesn’t grant you any ownership over the real stock. Let me explain again .
In one of the legit brokers I use , they have this program that if you subscribe in , you give the broker the permission to lend the stocks in your portfolio to other traders who want to short sell the stock , like I have 5 apple stocks in my portfolio, if I’m signed up to the lending programme in this legit broker , then they can take my 5 apple stocks and lend them to someone who wants to short sell them .
1 - by law I’m not paid dividends on those stocks that they borrowed from me , but the borrower is paid the dividend cause he is the owner now as long as he is borrowing my stocks .
2- said broker will pay me 50% of the interest that he charges the short seller
3- the broker will still give me my dividends equivalent but in a form of capital gain ( etoro does pay u dividends equivalent from the commission that he charges on his platform , but not real dividends, )
This might sound complicated but again this is way a broker like etoro can tell their clients that they are buying the asset which in-fact they are not , it is legal but it is a form of word play , the real danger is if etoro goes bankrupt or for any reason doesn’t wna does his part of cfd contract deal then they tottaly can , they don’t do it upfront , but they can halt trading on a certain stock , just an example , a real legit broker will never halt trading on a stock unless the exchange itself halt trading and no one in the world can buy the stock , in etoro you will find that you can’t sell a certain position or open one , while at the same time other traders on other platforms are happily buying the same stock and selling it , this is one form of etoro saying “ I don’t want to keep up to my words that and exercise the cfd contract “
Somethings I said are a bit complicated but etoro banks on the low experience and innocency of their clients .
They actually blocked a popular investor called “harshsmith” because he was allegedly scalping stocks , and he have 2k copiers , so every 1000$ he made is 2 million $ that etoro had to pay to all his copiers , they might not allow scalping and that’s their law but keep in mind , if they are a legit broker they would be happily letting him scalp cause he and his 2k copiers are paying commission, and commission is how they make their profit as they say (big lie , they make it from your losses ) , then why block and profitable popular investor with a lot of copiers paying commission? Cause they are paying him his profit from their pocket and not the real market , I don’t mind them having their own non scalping law , but why have it if your legit ?! More scalping is more commission for the broker right ? Unless it is not a legit broker such as etoro
Hope this helps
submitted by noratooo to Etoro [link] [comments]

Ranking all 32 NFL teams in tiers pre-2020 season


https://preview.redd.it/it6vqxvxzci51.jpg?width=900&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d5ba4c7f80a1439c4283f4b30e3514629fcf504b

Now that we have passed the opt-out deadline and are only about three weeks away from the Chiefs and Texans kicking off the 2020 NFL season, I wanted to put together my pre-season power rankings and put all 32 teams in separate tiers, to give you an idea of where I see them at this point.
When putting together this list, I considered the talent on the roster, coaching staff and what will be a more important factor coming into this season than it has been in previous – the continuity as a franchise, since the COVID situation has limited the amount of preparation and ability to build chemistry as a team. That will be especially tough for new head coaches and inexperienced teams.
With that being said, this is how I would group them:

Super Bowl contenders:

This group of four represents what I think are the four elite teams in the NFL. They all feature complete rosters, excellent coaching and continuity as a franchise. I think these are the franchises that will most likely square up against each other in the conference championship games on either side of the bracket.

1. Kansas City Chiefs
We have heard this many times over the course of the offseason – the reigning Super Bowl champs bring back 20 of 22 starters (actually 19 now) on offense and defense combined. They have the best player in the league, the most dangerous receiving corp, above-average O-line play and a still improving defense, that just added some much-needed speed at the second level, which will allow DC Steve Spagnuolo to even more versatile. So at this point I can not have anybody unseat them. I think Clyde Edwards-Helaire (LSU) will be a star in that offense, they get a couple of guys back that missed their playoff run and there are plenty of young, developing players on that roster. What general manager Brett Veach has done this offseason in terms of securing Patrick Mahomes for the next decade and still opening up cap room to also sign their best defensive player in Chris Jones is amazing to me. My only two concerns for Kansas City at this point are a lack of depth in the secondary and the fact they will have to go on the road when they face the four best teams on their schedule – Baltimore, Buffalo, Tampa Bay and New Orleans, which has me favoring the second team on my list for the number one seed in the AFC and which this year means having one more game in the playoffs on their road to another Super Bowl for Andy Reid’s troops.

2. Baltimore Ravens
Right behind the Chiefs, as the biggest competitor for the AFC is Baltimore. They were the best team in the regular season from this past year, but the Titans handed them only their third loss of the season in the Divisional Round at home. While they did lose what to me is a first-ballot Hall of Fame guard in Marshal Yanda, outside of that the Ravens to me have an even better roster. The reigning MVP Lamar Jackson is only entering his third season in the league, the Ravens just added a top prospect in J.K. Dobbins (Ohio State) to a backfield that set a league-record in rushing yards and some of these young receivers will continue to develop. On defense, they addressed the two areas that needed some help, when they brought in Calais Campbell to boost their pass-rush and two top-six linebackers on my board in the draft (Patrick Queen & Malik Harrison). They may not have as many superstar names as some other teams, but without a full offseason to prepare for it, that Greg Roman offense could be even tougher to stop if Marquise Brown becomes a more dependable deep threat (now fully healthy) and I love how multiple Wink Martindale is with his defense, combining the different pressure looks to go along with more versatile pieces up front and one of the elite secondaries in the game. You combine that with a rising young special teams coordinator in Chris Horton and a great motivator and in-game decision-maker in John Harbaugh – I just can’t find a lot of L’s on their schedule.

3. San Francisco 49ers
Obviously the Super Bowl hangover will be brought up a lot of times with the loser of that contest, but unlike a lot of these teams coming off the big game – yet similar to the actual winners in the Chiefs – John Lynch did a great job re-tooling for the few losses they did have and didn’t overspend on some of their talented guys. Kyle Shanahan to me is the best offensive play-caller and game-designer in football, with a diverse rushing attack and the type of personnel to match it, while Jimmy G, despite some issues, is coming off his first 16-game season in his career. Defensively, they are losing what I thought was their best player in DeForest Buckner, but they did replace him with a top ten prospect in Javon Kinlaw (South Carolina) and Fred Warner is an emerging superstar. Their Seattle-based scheme under Robert Salah may not be very complex, but the Niners have a ferocious pass-rush, fast-flowing linebackers and a great safety tandem to be very sound in their execution. The Deebo Samuel injury is definitely a concern for me and if he doesn’t get back a few weeks into the season, I might drop San Fran a spot or two, plus I don’t love what they have at that second cornerback spot, but as for now I see the recipe that made me predict them winning the NFC West ahead of 2019 and what allowed them to be up double-digits in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl.

4. New Orleans Saints
One of the themes this offseason for me has been how loaded this Saints roster is and that they just need to win this year. This is the final season with Drew Brees at the helm, they are already in a horrible place with the cap – before that even goes down in 2021 – and to be honest, a lot of their key contributors are getting pretty old now. While I have seen a significant drop-off in the arm-strength of Brees, other than that I don’t see any offense with this Sean Payton-led offense – the front-five is elite, Alvin Kamara should be back to 100 percent as a dynamic dual-threat back and they finally found a number two receiver in Emmanuel Sanders. When healthy, that defensive line is a dominant unit, I think third-round pick Zack Baun (Wisconsin) gives that linebacker group some versatility and they have a lot of experience in the secondary, including a guy I thought would be a future star on the outside in Marshon Lattimore. Before anything else, they need to take care of divisional-rival Tampa Bay – which is a very tough challenge already – but if they can do that, they are fairly in the hunt for the NFC’s top seed. There’s a lot of pressure on this group because of the cap situation, their all-time great QB having his “Last Dance” and brutal playoff losses in recent years, but they have all it takes to finally break through all the way.

Playoff contenders:

This second tier consists of eight teams that to me have only or two holes on their roster, while their coaching gives them an advantage over the majority of teams in the league and they bring back most of their pieces from a year or at least improved in those areas. I expect all but one of these squads to make the playoffs in 2020, as long as they don’t suffer significant injuries along the way.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Number five in the entire league seems pretty high for a team that finished below .500 last season, but this is not just about Tom Brady coming in, but rather the roster Tampa Bay has built around him. To me Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are the top receiver duo in the league, the Bucs arguably have the best tight-end room in the league and the offensive line only got better with superhuman Tristan Wirfs (Iowa) playing one of those spots on the right side. I have talked about this a lot over the offseason, looking at the match between Bruce Arians’ vertical-based passing attack and what Brady is used to, in terms of spreading the field and getting the ball out of his hands quickly. My bet is they go to a bit of hybrid and figure things out. Maybe more importantly, I don’t think people realize what they have put together on defense. Last season the Bucs finished number one against the run, they forced the fifth-most turnovers (28) and tied for sixth with yards per play (5.1) in the league. Todd Bowles is excellent defensive mind, who now enters his second season with as much talent as he has had since his Arizona days. Jameis turned it over 35 times last year (12 more than any other player in the league), while Tom didn’t even crack double-digits once again, and he immediately improves their situational football awareness and overall execution. This is a very dangerous squad.

6. Dallas Cowboys
When you talk about some of the most talented rosters in the league, the Dallas Cowboys come to mind right away – especially on the offensive side of the ball. Dak Prescott now has one of the premiere receiver trios with the selection of Ceedee Lamb (Oklahoma) in the draft, still probably a top-five offensive line and Zeke looking to re-establish himself as a top-tier back, after looking a step slow for most of last season. Defensively they are getting back Leighton Vander Esch, whose energy they desperately missed for stretches last season, and they have a very deep rotation at the defensive line (even though nobody knows what we’ll get from a couple of guys that were out of the league), while Mike Nolan will change things up a little more and get his guys into the face of opposing receivers. We have yet to see how much Mike McCarthy will want to have say in the offensive play-calling, but I like that they retained a young and creative OC in Kellen Moore, and as far as in-game control and CEO duties go, I certainly believe McCarthy is an upgrade. There are some questions with the secondary after the loss of Byron Jones and losing Travis Frederick to retirement hurts, but I think those are things that can be overcome. Something that I think should not be overlooked is the signing of former Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein and his special teams coordinator John Fassel, after converting only 75 percent of their field goal attempts last season (6th-lowest in the league) and missing a couple of crucial kicks.

7. Philadelphia Eagles
Right behind the Cowboys, I have their division rivals from Philadelphia. I think the Eagles actually have a better quarterback, the best defensive player among the two teams in Fletcher Cox and a more experienced secondary. However, with Brandon Brooks out for the season and maybe the worst group of linebackers in the NFL, I could not put this group ahead of Dallas, even though they have come up victorious against them in the big games recently. Last year Carson Wentz carried a group of skill-position players from the practice squad and a banged-up O-line to a division title. This upcoming season he will go from already wasn’t an overly dynamic receiving crew to a group of track stars, most notably with first-round pick Jalen Reagor (TCU) and a hopefully healthy DeSean Jackson, plus Miles Sanders I think is ready to emerge as a star back for Philly. The defense did lose some long-time stalwarts like Malcolm Jenkins and Nigel Bradham, but I loved the addition of Javon Hargreave in the middle to free up the other guys to attack upfield and with Darius Slay as their new CB1, not only does that move everybody one spot lower on the depth chart, but it also finally makes more sense for Jim Schwartz to be as aggressive with those zero-blitzes, since he has the guys to cover. Those two newcomers also fit perfectly when matching up against Dallas, because of an improvement interior run defense and having a guy who can match up with Amari Cooper, after the other guys got toasted for the most part.

8. Buffalo Bills
For the first time in about twenty years, a team not named the Patriots will enter a season as favorites in the AFC East – and it’s actually not that close for me. Buffalo made a switch last season offensively to more 11 personnel and quick-tempo with Brian Daboll moving to the booth. This offseason they finally got the big-armed Josh Allen a dependable deep threat in Stefon Diggs, who averaged 12.0 yards per target last season (second-highest in the league), which – similar to what I just talked about with the corners in Philadelphia – moves everybody else down one spot in the food chain. And I love what they do defensively, with Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazier’s game-plan specific zone pattern coverages, with a versatile secondary to execute those, to go with a deep D-line and two super-rangy linebackers. Even outside the Diggs trade, Buffalo has made some sneaky-good deals since losing that Wildcard game at Houston in such heart-breaking fashion. Whether that is Mario Addison as double-digit sack guy in four straight years, added depth on the O-line or a really solid draft class to complement what they already had. I don’t want to crown them at this point, but to me they are the favorites for the AFC’s number three seed as for right now, since I think the South doesn’t have that clear front-runner to win the majority of their divisional games.

9. Seattle Seahawks
I would have probably had the Hawks as the final team of this group or right at the top of the next one a couple of weeks ago, but after acquiring Jamal Adams, I think they have re-established themselves as that second team in the NFC West, since I had them very close with Arizona originally, I did not love what they did in the first two days of the draft (somewhat of a trend with them), they lost their second-best defensive player at that point in Jadeveon Clowney, I’m not sure if they upgraded on the offensive line and we don’t even if know if Quinton Dunbar will be suspended at this point. With that being said, Seattle has finished above .500 every single year with Russell Wilson under center and while I’m not a fan of their conservative approach offensively, where they don’t allow Russ to throw the ball on first downs and push the tempo a little at times, they are one of the most effective rushing teams and they have two lethal weapons to catch those trademark rainbow balls from the Seahawks QB. Defensively there are still some questions about the edge rush and at second corner spot, but Pete Carroll at least has what he wants most in a team at those positions – competition – and you already saw them go to more two-high looks in coverage than we are used to, telling me they utilize Jamal’s versatile skill-set more than what that strong safety mostly does in that system.

10. Green Bay Packers
The whole Aaron Rodgers-Jordan Love drama has been looming large over the offseason and that has brought us some interesting discussions, but let’s not allow this to take away from the fact Green Bay just had a first-round bye in the playoffs and made it to the NFC title game. While they were 8-1 in one-score games and should regress more towards the mean in terms of the success rate in those close games, the North is still wide open and they have a few things going for themselves – they have the best quarterback in the division, the best offensive line, the most versatile and effective pass rush and a lot of young talent in the secondary. The first-round selection of a future signal-caller aside, I wasn’t too fond of what they did in the draft. Even though I liked Cincinnati’s Josiah Deguara and can see what they want to do with him as H-back/move guy in this offense, I thought they did not get Aaron Rodgers help in the receiving corp, which has no proven commodity outside of Davante Adams. Their defense got absolutely steamrolled in two games against the eventual conference champion 49ers, but I hope to see Rashan Gary develop in his second season and I think Christian Kirksey was a very under-the-radar signing as a run-stopping linebacker. I think schematically with Matt LaFleur’s offense based on what they did under Sean McVay and Mike Pettine being very creative himself they are one of the better coaching staffs in the NFC, but I would like to see them open up the offense more for Rodgers and break tendencies more often with their coverage calls.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers
Another very dangerous squad for me is the Steelers. I have talked many times about how bad the Steelers quarterback situations was last season, as both Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges finished near the bottom in air yards per attempt, percentage of throws beyond the marker and many others. We have only seen Big Ben throw in some short clips on the internet, but if he is just 70-80 percent of what he was in 2018, this team is bound for a playoff berth. There are some question marks with this group of skill-position players, but I expect Juju to bounce back in a major way with a capable QB and being healthy himself, I have already picked Diontae Johnson as a breakout candidate for this season and I like the diversity of this group of backs. Pittsburgh’s defense was already elite last year, finishing top five in both yards and points allowed, tied for first in yards per play (4.7), the most takeaways (38) and sacks (54). If former Raven Chris Wormley can replace Javon Hargreave as a two-down run-stopper at least and rookie Antoine Brooks Jr. (Maryland) can fill a very specific role as their second sub-package linebacker in place of Mark Barron, I think they will one of the scariest units in the NFL once again. So the best all-around defense for my money and an offense who I would say has top ten potential at the very least is a tough match-up. Maybe not quite battling with the Ravens for the North, but the top Wildcard spot for sure.

12. Indianapolis Colts
If there is one team in the AFC that could go from finishing sub-.500 to making it all the way to the conference championship game, the Colts would be my pick. I thought Philip Rivers had a really rough 2019 campaign, in which his arm looked rather weak and his decision-making hurt the Chargers on multiple occasions, but he will play behind by far the best offensive line he has ever had and they will run the heck out of the ball. Indy already had a pretty good back in Marlon Mack, but Wisconsin superstar Jonathan Taylor, who they selected in the second round, will be one of the front-runners for Offensive Rookie of the Year if given the chances in combination with what I believe is the best front-five in the entire league, plus their other second-rounder Michael Pittman Jr. (USC) will be that Vincent Jackson/Mike Williams type target for Rivers. More importantly, with the trade for a top 50 player in the league in DeForest Buckner, this entire Colts D immediately takes a step forward, since he is a perfect fit as that 3-technique in their front and help them disrupt plays at a much higher rate, to go with range in zone coverage behind that, including the “Maniac” Darius Leonard chasing people down. I’m a big fan of Frank Reich and the coaching staff he is has put together, in terms of in-game decision-making, offensive gameplans and just the intensity his team plays him.

Fringe playoff teams:

This middle tier is made up from all those teams who I expect to be at .500 or above, firmly in contention for a Wildcard spot at least. They can be some areas of concern, but overall they have the roster ready to compete with the big dogs and/or feature above-average coaching. With a couple of these there is a change at quarterback and head coach respectively, but they have enough around those to overcome that.

13. Tennessee Titans
This definitely seems a little low for a team that is coming off an AFC Championship game appearance, but people seem to forget the Titans were 8-7 ahead of week 17 and if it wasn’t for the Steelers losing their final three games, this group wouldn’t have even been in position to lock down the six seed. Things were also made a lot easier by their division rival Texans, who sat most of their starters after beating Tennessee two weeks prior. So as impressive as their playoff run was, you have to think of what happened before that and put it into perspective a little. With one more playoff spot in each conference, their chances of making it to the tournament should be at least equally as good, but I believe the Colts are the favorites to win the South and for me the Steelers are the favorites for the fifth seed. With all that being said, there is plenty to like about this team still – they can pound you with the Derrick Henry and the run game, Ryan Tannehill at least gives them the threat of pulling the ball and going deep off play-action, they have some young weapons catching the ball and defensively they are very versatile in how they set up gameplans. I also like the mind-set Mike Vrabel installs in these guys and I was impressed with what OC Arthur Smith did in 2019. If there are two spots that could decide if this group is fighting for a division title or that final playoff berth, it will be their rookie right tackle Isaiah Wilson (Georgia) and recently signed edge rusher Vic Beasley.

14. Cleveland Browns
While I don’t see them competing for the AFC North – just because of how loaded the Ravens are – the Browns are pretty clearly the most talented team that is considered to be third in their division. In terms of their group of starting skill-position players at least, they are near the top of the NFL, the O-line to me already just made my top ten ranking with room to move up, if healthy they are at least in the conversation for that with the D-line as well, with a Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Myles Garrett, and I like how they have assembled their secondary. Now, they have some unproven guys at the linebacker level and Cleveland’s potential is largely dependent on which Baker Mayfield we will get. With Kevin Stefanski coming and installing an offense that will be built on the zone run game and bootlegs off that, where his quarterback is put on the move, I could see much more efficient play and more comfort in that system. Something that really jumped out to me on tape was how many times Baker seemed to not be “on the same page” with his receivers, expecting routes to break off differently and unfortunate drops in certain situations. Even though the preparation for the season does look a lot different and QB & WRs haven’t been able to spend too much time together, I expect this to improve and more suitable roles for those pass-catchers overall. And if they are ahead in more games, that pass rush will be a problem.

15. Arizona Cardinals
There are certainly still some issues here, but the Cardinals are probably the most exciting young team in all of the NFL. Kyler Murray was a one-man show last season and is due for a big jump, with DeAndre Hopkins being added to a receiving corp that severely lacked dependable weapons, to go with some other youngsters fully healthy, Kenyan Drake looked like a different player once he came over from Miami and the O-line should at least be marginally better. Defensively they transitioned a little up front, with big gap-pluggers on the line and Isaiah Simmons being that ultra-rangy player on the second level, who can run guys down on the edges, if those ball-carriers forced to bounce outside, plus they have maybe the most underappreciated edge rusher over the last four years in Chandler Jones. I don’t think they are very deep in the secondary, but Budda Baker is an absolute baller, Jalen Thompson emerged late last season and I already predicted Byron Murphy would have a breakout second season. With Kliff Kingsbury and Vance Joseph, Arizona has creative play-calling on both sides of the ball and they now have the personnel to execute at the needed level as well. Like I mentioned, I was ready to have the Cardinals at least go toe-to-toe with Seattle for a playoff spot, but the addition of Jamal Adams has shifted the balance again to some degree. And if you just go based off my rankings, two NFC Wildcard spots already go to teams from five to seven.

16. Denver Broncos
A team that has been getting a lot of love this offseason is the Broncos. They have pretty much all the pieces that you usually see with those rising squads – a promising second-year quarterback with a lot of weapons surrounding him, a ferocious defensive front and having shown signs late last season. My belief in them has taken a bit of a dump unfortunately since I thought they did well to improve the offensive line, with Garrett Bolles on the left end being the only weak-spot, but now that Ja’Wuan James won’t be available at right tackle for the second straight year (injury last season and now opting out), their duo of OTs is a concern for me. Defensively you have to love what they have in the front seven, with Von Miller and now again Bradley Chubb coming off the edges, Jurrell Casey added to the interior to go with Shelby Harris and Alexander Johnson being an under-the-radar standout at linebacker. I’ve always been a big fan of Justin Simmons, but that second corner spot is still up in the air. I like Vic Fangio and that coaching staff they have put together in Denver, with Pat Shurmur providing a QB-friendly offense, the game’s best O-line coach in Mike Munchak and most of the people that have helped Fangio put out elite defenses at multiple stops before. So the Broncos are still the most dangerous opponent of the Chiefs in the AFC West, but now I’m not sure if they can add some drama over the fourth quarter of the season.

17. Minnesota Vikings
At the same time, a team that has been a little overhyped to me this offseason is Minnesota. While I don’t love how the Packers have operated since February, what have the Vikings done to really improve? They traded away the best deep threat in the league last season in Stefon Diggs, stalwarts on the D-line in Everson Griffen and Linval Joseph are now gone, their entire group of corners has combined for less than 1500 career snaps and their offensive coordinator is now in Cleveland. I’m intrigued by the combination of Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, who could be pretty interchangeable in their roles and I like their 12 and 21 personnel groupings, but they lack depth at the receiver position. And the defense will be relying on several inexperienced pieces to step in. I mean their three starting corners from last year are off the team now. So I don’t really get how most people all of a sudden put them ahead of the Packers. With that being said, I like the offensive scheme and always thought Gary Kubiak was a huge factor in their success on the ground at least. On defense there are certainly question marks – especially in the secondary – but Minnesota could easily have a top five player at their respective position at all three levels, with Danielle Hunter, Eric Kendricks and Anthony Harris, plus they still have some promising young guys like Ifeadi Odenigbo, Mike Hughes and a deep rookie class. Their only true shade nose Michael Pierce opting out hurts though.

18. New England Patriots
This offseason must have been a rollercoaster for Patriots fans. First, Tom Brady leaves and everybody goes crazy. Then people start getting onto the Jarrett Stidham hype train and talk about how good the rest of this team still is. Out of nowhere they sign Cam Newton for the veteran minimum basically and they are back in the conversation for the top teams in the AFC all of sudden. And now, they lead the league in players opting out of the season, with key defensive pieces like Dont’a Hightower and Patrick Chung, to go with a couple of role players on offense at least. So now they are right at the bottom of these fringe playoff teams for me, because purely based on the roster, they are not even in the top 20 league-wide, but they still have maybe the greatest defensive mind in NFL history in Bill Belichick and one of the best offensive play-callers right now in Josh McDaniels. Obviously a lot of this will come down to what version of Cam Newton we will get and even if he is and can stay totally healthy. Not only is New England the most adaptable team in terms of how they can adjust to personnel and how flexible they are with their game-plans, but Cam is a great fit in that offense, where he can spread the field and make decisions based on defenses adjusting. The one area that took the biggest bump – outside of quarterback I’m guessing – is the offensive line, because they lost a legendary position coach in Dante Scarnecchia and their probable starter at right tackle in Marcus Cannon. While the Pats do have some young players, who can replace part of the losses, they were already more in plan for the pieces that left before there was any virus outbreak.

Around .500:

This broad group of seven teams represents all those franchises who will be dancing around .500 mark in the win-loss column. A couple of teams have the potential to win nine or ten games, while others could see those numbers on the wrong side of the column as well. There are obvious question marks in certain areas, even though they might feature top-tier players and/or coaches.


19. Houston Texans
It’s kind of tough to put a team here that has won its division the last two years, but I think the Texans are pretty clearly number three in the South now. I love Deshaun Watson and I think he has fairly established himself as a top five quarterback in the NFL, but Bill O’Brien just took away an elite wide receiver in DeAndre Hopkins and replaced him with an injury-prone Brandin Cooks to go with another always banged up Will Fuller and a declining Randall Cobb, to go with a David Johnson in the backfield, who was unrecognizable last season. I think the O-line is improving, but outside of Laremy Tunsil maybe, they don’t have anybody other than Deshaun who is clearly above-average in their role. And defensively they finished in the bottom five in yards allowed and tied with Cincinnati (who picked first overall in the draft) for an NFL-high 6.1 yards allowed per play. Hopefully having J.J. Watt back for a full season should help, I like the selection of Ross Blacklock (TCU) on the inside and there are some talented young corners on this roster, who could be better much in 2020. I would not be surprised if they are that .500 team at heart and their quarterback carried them to a couple of wins that they weren’t supposed to get – which we have seen him do many times before – but it’s more likely to me that they are fighting for one of the two bottom Wildcard spots.

20. Atlanta Falcons
Very rarely do you have a team that was among the worst over the first half of the season and among the best over the second half. The Falcons started out 2019 with a 1-7 record, but would go on to win six of the final eight games. Their defense was absolutely atrocious early on last season, with no pass-rush impacting the opposing quarterback and several miscues in coverage. With Raheem Morris taking over the defensive play-calling, they showed a lot of improvement already and there are signs that trend will continue. While there are some questions about the back-end and if they can get consistent production from their rush outside the top two guys, I think Dante Fowler is an upgrade over Vic Beasley, I like Marlon Davidson (Auburn) as a guy with inside-out flexibility on sub-packages and Keanu Neal is back healthy, as that Kam Chancellor-type, who can be that extra defender in the box in their system and punish receivers when catching the ball over the middle or in the flats. Offensively I believe this is still a team that can move the ball – they just have to start doing so earlier in games. While the top NFL receiver duo is in their own division with the guys in Tampa Bay, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley could easily be that next one. They lost a very productive tight-end in Austin Hooper, but I believe Hayden Hurst can replace at least 80 percent of that production, and while we have no idea what we get from Todd Gurley and his knees at this point, last year the Falcons had one of the least effective per-touch backs in Devonta Freeman. Plus, the O-line should take a step forward with former first-round pick Chris Lindstrom returning from injury.

21. Las Vegas Raiders
To me the Raiders are still in transition, not only moving to Las Vegas, but also in terms of roster construction and the culture Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock are trying to establish. Outside of Tyrell Williams, that entire group of receivers was overhauled, they have a lot of young pieces on the defensive line and the secondary, plus they will have at least two new starters on the second level of their defense. By far the biggest thing they have going for them is the offensive line and second-year back Josh Jacobs running behind it. When I did my top ten offensive lines in the NFL a couple of weeks ago, I had the Silver & Black at number five, and Jacobs was already a top 100 player in the league for me, with how physical and elusive a runner as he is. I could easily see the Raiders finish near the top in terms of ground production, and I also like the young guys they brought in around that, with Henry Ruggs III (Alabama) keeping the defense honest with his speed, Bryan Edwards (South Carolina) as a physical receiver, who will get hands after the catch, and Lynn Bowden Jr. (Kentucky) as that chess-piece potentially, that you can use in a multitude of way. My bigger question here is if Derek Carr is willing to push the ball down the field. Defensively I like the rotation they have on the interior D-line and the two linebackers they brought in via free agency, most notably Corey Littleton. There are still some questions about how snaps will be split between their corner group, but I’m excited to see a full season of Jonathan Abram hopefully. These guys have some attitude and an energetic head coach.

22. Los Angeles Rams
Oh, how far we have come. Just one-and-a-half years ago the Rams were officially 20 spots higher basically, when they lost the Super Bowl to New England. Ahead of last season, I predicted them to miss the playoffs and while they made a bit of a run at it late, that’s what ended up happening. Now I see them as the fourth team in their own division – even though that says more about the competition they face rather than them. I still believe in Sean McVay and his ability to win on paper with play-design and game-planning, but Jared Goff has turned out to be an average quarterback, they don’t have a prime Todd Gurley setting the table anymore and the offensive line had some major issues, for large stretches of last season, especially in the run game. I was very high on Cam Akers, who they selected in the second round out of Florida State, but he will obviously be a rookie with shortened preparation, rather than an Offensive Player of the Year like Gurley was for them. Defensively, they have two elite players in Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey and I like some of the other guys in their roles, but overall the high-end talent beyond the two biggest names isn’t overly impressive. Leonard Floyd might be their top edge rusher and he has always been more of a Robin, they have no proven commodity as stand-up linebacker and I have yet to see if Brandon Staley can actually be an upgrade over Wade Phillips as their defensive coordinator.

23. Detroit Lions
While I was going back and forth with putting the Lions third or fourth in the NFC North, I recently said they are among the top two teams that could go from worst to first in their division and I would not be surprised if they were in the hunt for a Wildcard spot in the last couple of weeks of the season. His second year in a system under Darrell Bevell – where he wasn’t just going in shotgun 40 times a game and asked to make magic happen – Matthew Stafford looked like an MVP candidate as long as he was healthy in 2019. That duo of Kerryon Johnson and my top-ranked running back in the draft D’Andre Swift (Georgia) could be one of the most dynamic ones in the league, the receiving corp is highly underrated and I like those rookies competing for the two guard spots. Defensively, they seem to finally look like what Matt Patricia wanted, when he came over from New England, in terms being versatile with their fronts and having guys who can take on receivers in man-coverage. With that being said, there is also a good chance that the Patricia experiment could go to shambles, if some of the veterans get turned off by his style of coaching without having established that winning culture, and this team has simply been dealing with too many injuries to key players. I don’t think there is much of a gap between the Lions and Vikings for example, but Detroit has not shown the stability of some other organizations.

24. Chicago Bears
A franchise that I don’t really hear anybody talk about – unless it’s their quarterback competition – is that team from the Windy City. I understand that the Bears aren’t really sexy because they lack those superstars on offense that people will recognize, but I’m higher on some of the guys they do have on that side of the ball and on defense they could be much closer to 2018, when they led the league in points allowed and turnovers forced, rather than being just inside the top in most categories last season. A guy I already predicted to break out for Chicago this upcoming season with a bigger workload is running back David Montgomery, to go with Anthony Miller as a gadget player and developing young pass-catcher and one of the more underappreciated receivers out there in Allen Robinson. Defensively, I thought the biggest issue last season was Akiem Hicks missing double-digit games, as a table-setter with his ability to disrupt plays from the interior, and Leonard Floyd didn’t provide much on the opposite side of Khalil Mack, who they upgrade from with Robert Quinn, who just had his best season since the Rams were still in St. Louis. Now, I don’t love what they have at that second safety spot to complement Eddie Jackson, someone will have to fill that second corner spot – even though I’m a fan of second-round pick Jaylon Johnson (Utah) – and nose tackle Eddie Goldman opting out is a huge loss. If the quarterback position can just complement the rushing attack and the defense plays up to their potential, this group could be competing for second in the North, but Foles or Trubisky could still hold them back.

https://preview.redd.it/aep6uj385di51.png?width=1060&format=png&auto=webp&s=07674898e4de7d73699c065907983e69612c56a4


The final tier is in the comments!!

If you enjoyed this breakdown, I would really appreciate if you could visit the original piece - https://halilsrealfootballtalk.com/2020/08/18/ranking-all-32-nfl-teams-in-tiers-pre-season/
You can also listen to my analysis on the Youtube channel - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zz7WE0epZw8
submitted by hallach_halil to nfl [link] [comments]

[Modern] [Discussion] Death's Shadow in an Uro/Prowess World

Alright, I've been working on a bit of a project for a couple months now. This project is to break down actual game play of Death's Shadow in modern, rather than focus on theory. What does this mean? Essentially, I got tired of hearing "x matchup is a bye. We just thoughtseize their threat, drop a shadow, and battle rage. GG." Sure, why didn't I think of that? That sounds fantastic! For the 5% of games that play out exactly like that... But what about the rest? How are these matchups playing out when our lines get muddled, or they have a second threat, or our creature is answered? That's what I hope to uncover in this dive. For the purpose of this experiment, we'll be looking at the current hotness, 4 color Death's Shadow. I'm going to go over the general setup of this project, some interesting matchup breakdowns, and end on some closing thoughts as well as brief experience from Grixis Shadow.

The data collected has come from personal play of approximately 300 matches over about 55 Modern leagues on MTGO and a few Modern Challenges/Preliminaries (300 sounded like a pretty rounded number to stop and give an update). Over this span, we achieved a 206-94 record, good for a 69% win rate. Here is an "average" list to give an idea of what we were working with. I'll go over changes from traditional 4 Color Shadow lists.
4 Death's Shadow
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Street Wraith
1 Lurrus of the Dream-Den
4 Mishra's Bauble
2 Cling to Dust
4 Stubborn Denial
4 Fatal Push
3 Inquisition of Kozilek
4 Thoughtseize
3 Traverse the Ulvenwald
1 Drown in the Loch
2 Temur Battle Rage
2 Dismember
1 Breeding Pool
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Watery Grave
1 Blood Crypt
3 Nurturing Peatland
4 Polluted Delta
4 Verdant Catacombs
2 Bloodstained Mire
1 Swamp
Sideboard:
2 Ceremonious Rejection
2 Nihil Spellbomb
2 Veil of Summer
2 Assassin's Trophy
2 Collective Brutality
2 Ashiok, Dream Render
1 Plague Engineer
1 Aether Gust
1 Kolaghan's Command

Let's go over some general questions before we get in to the meat and potatoes.

Why 4 Color over Grixis/Jund/other Shadow variant?
Short answer: It boils down to personal preference. For me, 4 Color provides a strong balance between threat density/consistency, and the additional disruption and protection from late game top decks that stubborn denial provides. The general rule of thumb is that grixis is going to provide the best disruption and protection, but lowest threat consistency. Jund provides the highest threat density and explosiveness, but at the loss of threat protection and general disruption. 4 Color finds itself somewhere in the middle, with the ability to lean one way or the other.

Any changes from stock lists?
3 Peatland instead of the popular 4. Shadow decks have always had a propensity for flood, simply due to your deck being so efficient that any extra lands become extremely noticeable. My personal opinion is that if the game goes long for you to need to crack multiple peatlands, your odds of winning against the grindier decks is so low that it doesn't particularly matter. Redrawing off a peat land is great, but less so when your opponent has a Jace/ seasoned pyromance Uro/ Liliana out. In its place, I've opted for the 4th Stubborn Denial in the main. I've seen lists moving the 4th to the board, as well as some cutting the 4th altogether. In my opinion, stub is one of the top 3 reasons to play Death's Shadow at all, and leaving home with less than 4 is nothing short of blasphemy. Force of Negation is the only card doing the same job more efficiently, and we don't have to lose an extra card to use ours.

Surprising matchup results:

Temur Uro: 13-5 (72%)
This is one that has evolved a bit since I started testing 4 color. In the beginning, these decks were running Ice-Fangs, which is a nightmare card for shadow to beat (can't stub, gives them card advantage, trades 1 for 1 with our threats). However, when Ice-Fang started getting replaced with reclamations and fact or fictions, our win rate skyrocketed. Who has two thumbs and preys upon 4 mana sorcery speed spells? This guy. (Insert picture of thumbs pointing at self). Some keys to the matchup include getting threat down under remand. We need to get on the board quickly. They don't have good answers for our creatures, especially shadow (aether gust often comes in for goyf), so keeping a hand that allows for a turn 2 threat on the play, or hand disruption in to a threat on the draw can often put them on the back foot quickly. That makes the second priority preventing Uro from causing nightmares. Spellbomb, Ashiok, any non-dismember removal can accomplish this. Pushes aren't where you want to be in the matchup, but sometimes leaving 1 in if you don't have more to board is fine. We often don't care about Uro hitting the field from hand or escape, we just don't want it sticking around and road blocking us. Veil of summer gets significantly better if they're on archmage's charm, but is pretty unnecessary if they aren't.
Sultai Uro (3-2, 60%) is a much tougher matchup, as their interaction lines up way better against our threats. Veil really shines here.

UR Prowess: 15-6 (71%)
Another matchup that has evolved in recent months, since the printing of Stormwing Entity. Hands that were fantastic against Mono R (think push, inquisition, stub, drown, goyf) are pretty disastrous in the face of a 3/3 prowess flyer with a 5 cmc body that dodges everything but dismember. This is one of the primary reasons I'm running trophy in multiples out of the board. Understanding that we can play patiently is crucial here, and putting emphasis on finding goyfs can be a game changer. Since we don't have to lower our life aggressively for a goyf, we can often force opponents to point multiple spells to get it off the field (hopefully in to a stub). Post board, answering a stormwing is huge. I'd almost go as far as saying I would mull the VAST majority of hands simply because they didn't have an answer to it in one way or another (dismember, thoughtseize, trophy). The first couple of turns are often the most critical, so give your opponent as few openings as possible. Some examples include: if you have the fatal push for the 1 drop, consider fetching on your turn. Fetching on your opponents' turn to kill a creature turns on spectacle for light up the stage, even if they didn't hit you. A soft stub on a manamorphose turn 2 can prevent a huge turn, often giving you time to get a threat down or stop a stormwing from hitting the battlefield for another turn or 2. Siding in a single spellbomb isn't terrible to force inopportune lava darts and prevent bedlam reveler from sealing the late game. Focus on the creatures. You don't want them getting extensive chip damage with guys, or the likelihood of a top deck sprite dragon/swifspear with a couple sandbagged burn spells being lethal goes up tremendously. Don't forget, if you board out all 4 wraiths, you can board out Lurrus and use it as a companion. This can be extremely useful if you find yourself wanting to board in at least 5 cards (ex: 2 trophy, 2 brutality, 1 aether gust).
Mono R Prowess (6-1, 86%) much easier since they aren't running stormwing. Be careful of blood moon post board, and again, focus on knocking off creatures aggressively. RB Prowess (2-5, 29%): ugh... this matchup feels atrocious. Their ability to hit you with hand disruption if you sandbag threats and let them hit you, combined with their ability to grind out games with abbot, lurrus, cling to dust, and holding cards like seal of fire on board makes it very difficult to interact optimally. Stopping the grave becomes much more important, and holding a piece of hand disruption for lurrus can shift things in your favor a bit.

Eldrazi Tron: 14-6 (70%)
Much better matchup for 4 color than for Grixis. A thoughtseize or inquisition on turn 1 often means our goyfs will be bigger than smashers (since artifacts, planeswalkers, and the occasional tribal all is dust are all solid hits). Best stub targets include mazemind tome, Karn, the Great Creator, and chalice of the voice (though we're far less susceptible to Chalice than grixis). Don't be afraid to diversify your creatures. "But traversing for a second shadow gives me two really big guys!", but their ability to top deck expedition maps and blast zones can make that quite the dangerous move. "So just get two tarmogoyfs." E map also get scavenger grounds. So prioritizing one of each can help protect you from a larger number of top decks. Post board, we want to prioritize hands with a dude. If that hand also has a piece or two of interaction, fantastic, but we need to get on the board to turn on stubs, and make chalices worse. If you're running damping sphere, please don't bring it in here. You're taking a turn off to slow them down a turn. It's not worth it. But cards like trophy, rejection, and k command totally are. I often board out some of our grave-relient pieces like a traverse, drown in the loch, as well as some number of fatal pushes. Inquisition has become more acceptable recently due to mazemind tome and their need for cards like dismembewarping wail/chalice to stay alive. Even if they assemble tron on turn 3, I likely wouldn't lean towards using trophy on a land. The amount of times I've seen nat tron in to matter reshaper makes me care way less than just holding the trophy for Karn/smashebridge.

UW/x Control (non-Uro, path and planeswalker based): 8-4 (67%)
First off, this matchup is NOT as good as the record indicates. I was fortunate that I ran in to UW multiple times during a period where I was explicitly testing out multiple cards as hate for UWx, including Autumnal Gloom, Lazotep Plating, and Thrun, the Last Troll. That being said, I'll try to get some decent pointers to even out the matchup as much as possible. You often have to overextend in to verdict and "hope they don't draw it." Unfortunately that's a big part of our plan, as they are able to answer our threats 1 for 1 on an extremely efficient basis. T3feri has made the matchup significantly more difficult, as stubborn denial is often our best way to interact by a mile. Cling to dust has given us some game against mystic sanctuary, but we absolutely cannot let them resolve a planeswalker unless we already have multiple threats on board. Stealing game 1 is a huge part of winning the match, as they often keep hands that are lacking in some area, and we have the opportunity to exploit that. Maybe it's a hand with 4 lands, path, cryptic, and Jace, and we can take path and get under their walker. Maybe it's a hand that needs to draw white mana and we can get pressure early while we hold up stub for when they do. Post board, these opportunities dwindle and it becomes far more important to keep solid, all around hands. Don't be afraid to board out every piece of removal in your deck, you can always leave a piece or two in if you expect or have seen stoneforge. Veil of summer isn't great here. We get under their counters, and you might get to stop a t3feri or jace bounce, but they still have a value engine on board that we have a tough time dealing with. Their white based removal just ignores veil completely. If you're looking for spice, Lazotep Plating has been discussed in the discord as a replacement that also stops field of ruin tempo turns, consider giving it a try and see if it works for you. Otherwise, trophy, k command, spellbomb, and ashiok are board-in considerations to deal with planeswalkers, grind ability, and mystic sanctuary, respectively.

Gruul Midrange: 9-5 (64%)
Oh, where to begin. So many directions this matchup can go. I think it's one of the more fun matchups in modern at the moment. We'll have some notes about play patterns a little later that apply here. For example, in the blind, on the play game 1, holding up stub is often better than thoughtseizing turn 1. This applies here, as being able to stub a utopia sprawl before untapping and seizing a second sprawl/impactful 2/3 drop can often act as a pseudo time walk. From here, it progresses to a bit of a priority system. Number 1) can I do something to get a threat down. Red based removal is often terrible against Shadow and Goyf, so getting a dude down often means it's sticking around forever. Number 2) do they have something that stops me from playing the game? Blood moon and magus of the moon are typically the first cards that come to mind here (potentially klothys if your grave is taxes and you're relying on traverse. Taking these before they land or having answers lined up in hand helps make sure you're not just stopped in your tracks. Number 3) where is their advantage coming from? Bloodbraid and Pyromancer allow them to rebuild after hand disruption/removal/counters early. If you can deal with the rest, consider taking the value pieces to reduce their ability to grind back in the mid game. Post board, I've seen a few different suggestions, so I'm going to give what's working alright for me. Don't keep a hand without a threat or the ability to find one quickly. You need to protect yourself from a blood moon + veil/ability to pay for stub. The best way to do that is to get a threat down before that happens. They love boarding in a bunch of veils and relics, so Lurrus and traverse can often become liabilities. I wouldn't board out traverse if you're on a basic forest, but I board out 2 with just the swamp. Between relic, scooze, and klothys, the second traverse if often completely dead. Play to your hand. If you're sitting on a shadow, you probably don't care about klothys at all, but if you have goyf, it can really nerf your clock. Tag a chandra and you can often be looking at a 7/8 goyf. Seasoned pyromancer is probably the best card against us, as the blockers it provides can buy them several turns. You can consider bringing in plague engineer to help, but it's often too slow on the draw. Otherwise, trophy and gust are pretty solid boards. Don't be afraid to trophy a utopia sprawl'd land early on, as it can slow things down long enough to get a dude under prison pieces. Example, trophying a turn 1 sprawl'd forest on the play means you can have a goyf down on turn 3 plus hold up a stub, while they get to untap for their third turn and gain access to their third mana, instead of 4th for moon + veil.

General tips:

Turn 1 in the blind, if you have the option to seize/inquisition or hold up stub, go with stub. The amount of turn 1 non-creature pieces that create a huge advantage in modern is nuts. Play to that. Vial, sprawl, amulet, map, stasphere, inquisition/seize, neoform, shriekhorn... you get the idea. The decks that aren't playing these pieces, I can just about guarantee that the thoughtseize you're sitting on is just as, if not more, impactful on turn 2. The amount of times that I could have prevented getting burned by holding up stub, as opposed to seizing in to double vial/ star + sphere with stirrings and scrying and no green source/ double amulet/ double neoform with rider + pact is insane. Stub allows you to get value on turn 1 plus more from your thoughtseize, where that stub could just be dead from that point on if you seize in to duplicate 1 drops. We play on such tight margins that we can't afford to not get value from our cards.
You don't have to be aggressive every single turn. Let me repeat that for those who didn't hear me. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE AGGRESSIVE EVERY SINGLE TURN. "But you're playing shadow, you want a lower life total to make a bigger shadow." Makes sense. What if they thoughtseize your shadow and you took yourself down to 5? What if you never draw the shadow? Know the matchup. Up against burn? Don't fetch and shock without a good reason. Up against tron? Fetch and shock away, just be weary of ballista. But the amount of times I've played the mirror and had opponents fetch and shock and wraith 3 times and play a shadow on turn 2 just to have it pushed, and then die to 1 swing off a goyf because they didn't have a plan, is through the roof. The last thing you want to do is give your opponent a free win because you didn't have a goal. The deck has a lot of ways of lowering life, sand bagging a few can often be more useful than using them without purpose.
If your opponent is playing hand hate, please have a very, VERY, good reason before you pop that bauble on your turn. Opponent tapped down and you can turn on delirium to traverse for a shadow this turn? Absolutely, go for it. You have a fetch and want to scry? You can do that on your opponent's turn and not run the risk of drawing in to something you can't afford to lose. Goes along with that "don't have to be aggressive" comment. Just because you have things you CAN do, doesn't mean you SHOULD do them. Maximize your value, not your plays per turn.
Final words: if you've made it this far, this might be the deck for you. It takes reps and dedication to get a feel for how games are going to play out. But it is by far one of the most rewarding archetypes in all of modern. Unfortunately I don't have links to the discords, but I'm sure people in chat can leave them if necessary. Otherwise, if you're looking for another resource for game play content and discussion, feel free to come check out my stream: https://www.twitch.tv/the_cntrlfreak where we play Shadow variants and test new options/underplayed cards Monday-Friday from 2pm CST until we decide to stop. Vods also available for previous leagues if you'd like some current content. We have a fantastic community of Shadow enthusiasts and new players to keep the discussion flowing wherever you decide to get your fix. As always, thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings and thoughts. Looking forward to the next innovator to come along and redefine the archetype.
submitted by the_cntrlfreak to spikes [link] [comments]

The imminent slide of UBER

I made this post yesterday, but I wasn't happy with the details so I quickly deleted it in the interest of taking more time on it. For disclosure, I am short on UBER. This post could apply to other gig services, but I am focused on Uber.
As most of us are aware, Uber has not been successful at all in a traditional business sense - that is that they do not make money and have spent the last decade burning investor cash. How bad is it? Let's look at a few fundamentals, sourced from E-Trade:
TTM Net Profit Margin (-50.72%)
Overall, UBER lost 150.72% of the revenue that they collected, meaning that for every $100 they made, $150.72 was spent to "gain" it. Their TTM Operating Margin was -48.90% which indicates to me that it is the main contributer to such a negative bottom line. For the past decade Uber has been fine operating on this loss in order to gain market share - but how long can this unsustainable model be propped up?
TTM Price/Sales (3.77x)
Currently, Uber is trading at a price almost 4 times its sales which result in a negative income anyway. This is a money pit.
TTM Return on Investment Capital (-29.62%)
Need I say more? This is okay for a startup, but is 10 years and global operations still a "startup"?
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So those are bad, but why do I think the slide is imminent? Mostly related to their ongoing and especially current legal issues.
On the first of this year, California's Assembly Bill 5 went into effect. It's a law so there is a ton to it, but the context we care about is the "gig economy worker" part which have to do with classifying gig workers as employees which come with other costs and benefits that Uber (and other Transportation Network Companies, or "TNCs") have been able to get around and limit further losses since their inception, to the dismay of taxis and other traditional permitted transportation operators.
This is America, so Uber has not complied with this. As a consumer, I've noticed drops in availability on their platform lately so I suspect they are now metering workers to some degree to limit full-time employment but that's just anecdotal speculation.
10 days ago, a California judge granted a preliminary injunction essentially saying enough is enough and that these TNCs and other gig companies must comply. There was a 10-day period for the potential to grant an appeal as filed by Uber, which expires at the end of today. Please correct me if I've interpreted this incorrectly but it seems that if TNCs do not receive injunctive relief by the end of today, 08/20, they will cease operating in the State of California as of 08/21. This seems to have been indicated by Uber and Lyft as well.
If it is not easy to see, California is one of Uber's largest markets. I don't know the exact numbers, but I've read that most of Uber's business comes from 5 US cities, two of which are Los Angeles and San Francisco. I would guess that California probably accounts for at least 25% of Uber's revenue. It gets more dangerous than this. Other states have already started to draft their own legislation regarding gig economy workers, especially Illiinois, New Jersey, and New York.
For all of these reasons, I see an imminent drop coming for Uber. What do you think?
Edit: as of roughly 0930 PT Lyft has indicated it will suspend service at midnight tonight.
Edit: as of roughly 1145 PT an emergency stay has been granted meaning the services will continue for now out of compliance with the law
submitted by CoalFlavored to stocks [link] [comments]

Margin Isn't Dangerous & Why I'd Still Use It If I Had Less Than $25,000

Margin Isn't Dangerous & Why I'd Still Use It If I Had Less Than $25,000

Cash vs. Margin


TL;DR- Use Margin if you're trading securities and either above or below 25k. If you know how to size positions, it won't matter if you move $4,000 into a trade or $4,000,000. As long as you sized the position correctly. If you're limited to 3 trades, then take 3 PERFECT trades: https://imgur.com/a/SpPOERQ

I see lots of people discussing contrasting ideas although they attempt to justify using both. Here are some things I see said and written frequently from people that doesn't add up for me:

  • "Use a cash account to avoid PDT" - (Totally fine, in some cases such as certain options traders. Not if you're trading securities.)
  • "Risk 1% of your account" - (So if your account is at $25,500, I risk ~$255 and if I lose 2R I'm below PDT. Doesn't sound too great to me if I were to lose the first 2 straight trades.)
  • "Margin is a double-edged sword" - (It's only dangerous if you don't set hard stops or size your positions correctly.)
  • "Never take on a trade that is worth more than your account" - (I can agree if you were swing trading but in terms of IntraDay trading, this is hindering your ability to grow your account. If you're risking $100 on a trade that costs less than your account value.. then $25 on a trade because of your account value.. then you're adding unneeded variables. Remember: "Consistency.")


The Predictive Model I built lays out all valid trades within the report range as well as \"Perfect Trades\" that I consider \"Textbook\". The report range is between a 30 day range. Between 4-17-20 to 5-17-20. Total \"Perfect Trade\" count is 9 trades. Even if I were limited to 3 trades per week. I'd be able to trade them with less than 25k on margin. The stats reflect $100 risk I've set on a different tab. (The \"W\" is just a graphic I made for \"Winning\")

It doesn’t matter if you move $4,000, $40,000, or $4,000,000 into a position. As long as you’re risking the same. Your Trading Account's performance is based off of risk. Such as:
•Sharpe ratio
•RRR
•Number of R’s in 1 week/month/quarter. (Example: I made 7R this week. If my R is $100. I made $700)

If I were to go back to when I was below $25,000 some years ago. I'd still use a margin account while being limited to 3 trades per week. Here's why:

Formulas you have to know:
Position size formula = Risk ÷ Stop Size
Stop Size Formula = Entry - StopLoss

Example 1a:

Stock ABC,
Entry = $10.00
StopLoss = $9.90
StopSize = 10¢
Risk = $100
In Live Trading: $100 ÷ $0.10 = 1000 Shares
1,000 shares at $10.00 = $10,000 position

Example 1b:

Stock XYZ,
Entry = $385
StopLoss = $383.00
StopSize = $2.00
Risk = $100
In Live Trading: $100 ÷ $2.00 = 50 Shares
50 shares at $385 = $19,250 position.

*$10,000 CASH account: CANNOT trade Stock XYZ and must wait 3 days for his entire account to settle after trading Stock ABC. If it was a margin account, they'd still be able to take 2 more trades this week.
*$10,000 MARGIN account: CAN trade Stock XYZ and can trade both scenarios while still able to trade 1 more time in a 5 day rolling period.

Then the next point made is, "Just won't trade anything above $20".


Ok. great rebuttal, but why?

Let's remember this: StopSizes aren't always directly correlated to the price of a stock. YES you're more likely to have a wider StopSize on a higher priced stock and a tighter StopSize on a lower priced stock. But remember this: of slippage on 1,000 shares is 10% of his risk ($10)... It will be even more slippage if his stop loss market order is hit. Even a Sell-StopLimit order will have slippage within the amount you allow for when you enter a position.
Stock XYZ would have to be slipped 20¢ just to equate the amount of slippage on Stock ABC.Highly liquid and available stocks such as AAPL, AMD, NVDA etc don't have 20¢ spreads. Not even 10¢. Rarely 5¢. Most of the time. Just a couple cents. Of course there could be more right out of the open but the spread in my years of experience is tightened within 2 minutes of the open.
Yes, these small amounts in pennies do hold lots of merit if you're looking at having any longevity in this business, it WILL add up over the years.

Both trades have the same risk [in perfect world theory].

If both stop market orders were hit (StopLoss). Both traders would exit with a $100 loss on each. Although 1 trade required $10,000 in capital and the other trade required $19,250 in capital.
Use margin. If I had to go back to when I had less than $25,000 in my account, I'd still do it the same way I did it with margin. I highly suggest using margin even if you’re limited to 3 trades per week. I get asked all the time when I began trading. If you watched my last video, I showed my first ever deposit with Scottrade (Old brokerage that was bought out by TDA a few years ago) in 2015 although I don't consider that's when I started trading because I didn't treat it the way I do today.
I really consider myself starting as a trader in 2017 when I:
•Wrote a business plan
•Understood statistics
•How to research.
All this being said, slowly over time I noticed that I am taking less and less trades and increasing my risk size. Why?
EV: Expected Value.


- Margin has zero negative effect if you're sizing your positions the same every time. Margin allows you to take on more expensive positions that are showing your edge.

Bonus: Being limited to 3 trades a week isn't fun, I remember that feeling from years ago. Just remember to take 3 perfect trades a week. Sometimes "Perfect Trades" don't work out in your favor while some subpar situations hit target. Some weeks you might take your 3 "Perfect Trades" by Tuesday. Some weeks you might take only 1 "perfect trade". If you follow my watchlists on Twitter (Same handle as my Reddit), I keep my Day Trading Buying Power transparent. Not always is it growing perfectly linear. And not always am I posting every single day because sometimes, my edge isn't there. Just because the market is open doesn't mean you HAVE to trade.
My watchlists aren't littered with 15+ tickers. Rarely do they have more than 7. That may work for other traders, but for me, I demand quality. It's either there or it isn't. No reason to force a trade. I'd rather focus heavily on a few tickers rather than spread myself thin across multiple.
Trading isn't supposed to be exhilarating or an adrenaline rush. It can be boring. I said that in the post I wrote back in April.
Also if you make money, even if its just $20 in a month. Take that money out and buy something. Shrine it. Cherish it. You ripped that money out of WallStreet. Be proud of it. It takes a lot of courage to do this business. Realize that the P/L is real money. Sometimes even just buying a tank of gas or a book will help you realize that. Spend it from time to time. Get something out of your trading account. You may or not be trading for long, get something that is tangible to always remember the experience in case you don't last. Make it your trophy.

That's all I've got for right now. Maybe I'll make another post or 2 before the year ends. I hit my 1 year full-time mark in September.
Best wishes!
-CJT2013
submitted by CJT2013 to Daytrading [link] [comments]

The Problem With The City We Became

To start with, I should mention that I am a huge N. K. Jemisin fan. I first read The Killing Moon back in 2013, and since then, I have read every book she’s ever published. When The City We Became was announced, I was thrilled. The premise was clever and weird and right up my alley. The idea of a critique of Lovecraft was fascinating. I marked its release date on my calendar, and when my copy arrived, I read it in frantic gulps as I worked from home at the height of quarantine. I say all this because I want you to know how badly I was rooting for this book. I genuinely expected it to be brilliant.
I also want to be clear that this is not going to be a complaint about the book’s politics. I’ll admit, parts of it made me uncomfortable. The book’s raw and joyful anger (to borrow an idea from the introduction to Jemisin’s excellent short story collection, How Long ‘Til Black Future Month?) and its near-complete lack of sympathetic white characters was difficult for me to process at first. Difficult enough that I put any attempt to critique the book on hold until I was sure that my own white fragility was not the only reason for my discomfort.
But it’s been months now. Eventful months, in which I, like millions of other Americans, have spent a great deal of time thinking about race. And while I can safely say there is still more about this issue that I don’t understand than that I do, I can at least say that I now know myself well enough to say that racial politics are not my issue with this book. I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong. If I’m being an asshole, please let me know.
Honestly, I love the idea of turning Lovecraft’s mythology on its head. Both he and Jemisin write of a sometimes invisible but nonetheless ever-present threat marshalling its forces on the edges of our world. For Lovecraft, this threat is a manifestation of the Other, the sum of the foreign and seemingly unknowable human beings who lived outside his experience and who he therefore could not conceive of as anything but terrifying. For Jemisin, the threat is much less abstract, and well within her experience: white supremacy, gentrification, and an unbroken series of attempts to confine to the margins or else outright destroy all versions of humanity outside one narrow band. Lovecraft’s fear, or the version of it that lives on inside billions of people, wasn’t just a private torment, but something that continues to create real danger for marginalized peoples all over the world.
And it is more than fair that she ties these ideas to the broader concept of “whiteness.” The whole of American history speaks to the legitimacy of her effort. The events of the summer of 2020 alone would justify it. The vision of whiteness she presents is obviously far outside how most white people, including me, view ourselves—but how a person is seen by others is, alas, as much a part of them as the way they see themselves. Indeed, sometimes the way we’re seen from the outside is more accurate than our own perceptions. Certainly the subject is a reasonable one to explore in fiction.
None of this is my problem with The City We Became. In fact, I’m grateful to this book for forcing me to do a lot of hard emotional work I might otherwise have put off indefinitely. Reading it almost certainly made me a better person. My problem with this book is the way that, by the end, it gets hopelessly tangled in its own metaphor.
*
All right, from here on out, it’s all spoilers, all the time.
Partway through the book, it’s revealed that the big bad, the Woman in White, is not just trying to destroy New York City because she’s an extradimensional horror and that’s what extradimensional horrors do. White, as she’s often called, is working to stop New York from coming alive because every time a city is born, it destroys countless other populated worlds and, with them, trillions upon trillions of people.
This reveal intrigued me. I thought, wow, okay, Jemisin is really attacking Lovecraft’s xenophobia from all sides. Lovecraft’s monsters are ineffable. Their motives can’t be known, and so our understanding of why they threaten us—why they tear apart our minds, our bodies, and our worlds—can only ever be summed up as, “They do this because this is what they do.” If those monsters represent the parts of humanity Lovecraft was so terrified of, that’s a problem. He couldn’t comprehend that the people he hated were people with accompanying human motivations, and so the horrors he manifested them as in his writing have no motivation at all.
Jemisin, I thought, is turning that on its head. Not only does the monster have a motivation, it’s an understandable one. She’s not killing million New Yorkers for fun. She’s not using New York as a blood sacrifice or trying to steal humankind’s precious bodily fluids. She doesn’t even want to create monster Lebensraum or something. She wants to save an uncountable number of living beings, and views the cities of Earth as a reasonable trade.
There’s a great scene sometime later where some of the heroes get a glimpse at one of these other worlds. It’s incredibly alien, even grotesque, and the characters have to stop and marvel at the idea that these beings are people, different from but equal in every way to themselves. If New York City is born, those people die.
This is such a great conflict, I thought. The characters’ horizons are expanding, just like mine are. Somehow they’re going to have to figure out a way to save both themselves and all these innocent people. Jemisin’s really going to dig down and explore the concept of “otherness” and how we decide whose lives matter and whose don’t and—
And then the characters collectively decide, yeah, fuck that. New York City comes alive. All those other worlds presumably burn. The Woman is White remains a flat, gleefully evil villain. Her superiors are presented as cruel taskmasters, with no explanation given for their cruelty (other than them being just big bad scaries, I guess). And that’s the book.
Of course, the problem with presenting the Woman in White and her ilk as people with reasonable motivations is that they are also presented as living embodiments of white supremacy. The Woman in White’s M.O. is to use unjust American power structures to create roadblocks for our heroes. Mainly, she gives various white characters supernatural encouragement to act on their preexisting racist, sadistic tendencies: a Karen calls the cops on the Black man who serves as the avatar of Manhattan, a group of neo-Nazis invade an art gallery directed by the Lenape avatar of the Bronx, and the police . . . well, the police act pretty much exactly how you’d expect. She also runs a sinister operation called the Better New York Foundation, which does much the same, but through more financial and political means.
So if you humanize her, you also humanize all of that. And that’s obviously not okay. So then why introduce this cosmic trolley problem? If the Woman in White is a metaphor for white supremacy and gentrification, doesn’t that mean, in the context of that metaphor, that white supremacists and gentrifiers are also engaged in some kind of legitimate fight for the survival of white people, or whatever? (They’re not.)
Or, okay. If I was on a mission to save trillions of innocent people, and all I had to do to accomplish it would be to use local power structures, however evil, against the people trying to stop me . . . I could justify that in my head. I think most people could justify a lot of things in that situation. But this is really not a moment in history, if such a moment could ever exist, to be using the lives of Black, brown, and indigenous Americans to make an abstract point about the flexibility of morality in extreme situations. And, anyway, I really don’t think that’s what Jemisin is trying to do.
Was she trying to make a point about the right of marginalized peoples to fight for their own survival, whatever the cost? If the Woman in White can sacrifice New York to save those anonymous trillions, then I guess the protagonists can sacrifice the anonymous trillions to save New York. But she never really argues for that explicitly. And that argument really throws a wrench into the whole idea that no matter how unlike you a person is, they still deserve to have their personhood acknowledged. Were those alien beings truly not as valuable as humans after all? Or does their value just not matter? Certainly City’s protagonists barely blink at sacrificing them.
Was the Woman in White just lying? If so, I’m sorry, but that’s just boring. That means that this is going to be a whole trilogy about unquestionably good people fighting against unquestionably bad pseudo-people, and that makes me kind of uncomfortable.
Jemisin is an excellent writer. She didn’t win all those Hugo Awards for nothing. And I am more than willing to give her the time and space to expand on the ideas she’s introduced, and to show me that things are more complicated than they appear. I will buy the next book in the trilogy, and more than likely the one after that. But in the meantime, this book confuses me. It’s a strange mix of vibrant, beautiful prose and awesome ideas with repetitive scenes of the protagonists evading White’s machinations and a convoluted thematic core.
If I’m missing something, please, dear God, tell me.
submitted by LadyCardinal to Fantasy [link] [comments]

[OC] Other "Coach of the Year" ballots may have more legitimacy or accuracy, but this is the only one that ranks the candidates from # 1 all the way to # 30

The NBA league office announced that all awards will be officially based on play PRIOR to the bubble. With that, the cases are locked, the campaigns are closed, and the voting will begin.
Rather than give a traditional "Coach of the Year" ballot that ranks from 1-3, I thought it may be an interesting (and indulgent) exercise to go all the way from 1-30.
Some caveats:
--- We're ranking coaches based on their performance THIS SEASON only. Obviously, Billy Donovan isn't as good of a coach as Gregg Popovich. However, if you were only ranking their "Coach of the Year" candidacy for this particular season, Donovan has a better campaign argument.
--- Since I don't watch every game for every team, I'm going to have to resort to a bigger picture analysis. If you're a diehard fan of your team who watches every game, you'd have a lot better insight into a coach's game management and situational adjustments. Let us know how you feel about that -- is your coach underrated? Overrated?
--- Personally, I'm going to rank coaches that started the year (as opposed to interim replacements.) That’s important to mention off the bat, because it applies right away —
the complete COACH OF THE YEAR Ballot
(30) David Fizdale, N.Y. Knicks: 4-18 record
David Fizdale became a head coach with so much fanfare and media approval that his fall from grace has been more dramatic than Icarus. This year, he got fired 22 games into his second season on the job. Amazingly, this isn't the first time that's happened to him. Back in Memphis, he also got fired 19 games into his second season on the job.
We don't know exactly what goes on behind the scenes, but it can't be good. Do you know how bad things must be going to get fired 20 games into a season? That's like being halfway through sex with someone and saying: ya know, I think I need to leave... Something seriously FUNKY must have going on in there. Raging herpes. Oozing puss. Rotten vagina.
I don't want to call David Fizdale the rotten vagina of coaches, but his tenure with the Knicks did smell pretty funky. The team (right or wrong) signed a bunch of veterans with the intention to strive for the 8th seed, but they flopped. Ultimately, the real goal was giving their young prospects an environment to grow, but that didn't happen either. Dennis Smith and Kevin Knox are somehow getting worse and worse.
The Knicks did a full house cleaning, but it may be some time before the smell is out of the building.
(29) John Beilein, Cleveland: 14-40 record
If you think it's difficult to get fired 20 games into a season, imagine getting fired halfway through your first year on the job right after you've signed a lucrative FIVE-YEAR contract.
With John Beilein, we know more clearly what went wrong. In hindsight, it was a mistake to think that the 67-year-old Beilein could make the transition to the NBA after a lifetime in college. He simply didn't mesh with the "thugs/slugs" in the NBA, causing the Cavs to pull the plug before a full-out mutiny.
Given this disaster, how can we rank Beilein higher than Fizdale? We're splitting hairs, but there are a few more positives. Beilein's Cavs had a better record than Fizdale's Knicks despite lower expectations (based on oveunder.) Beilein also "resigned," meaning the decision to part was at least somewhat mutual. He realized the error of his ways, and handed things over to an experienced assistant in J.B. Bickerstaff. As embarrassing and costly as the Beilein era may have been, it's hard to see much long-term damage for the franchise.
(28) Scottie Brooks, Washington: 24-40 record
With John Wall injured, the Washington Wizards would have a hard time competing for the playoffs. Still, Scottie Brooks didn't help matters. The team ranked dead last in defensive rating by a good margin, indicating some serious issues with the system and the effort level. Even Bradley Beal looked disengaged on that end, ranking as one of the worst defenders in the league.
More than anything, Brooks' crime is a slow adjustment to that problem. Despite their defensive issues, he continued to start league LVP Isaiah Thomas for 37 games. Brooks seems like a likable guy, but his slow trigger has defined and tarnished his coaching career so far.
(27) Jim Boylen, Chicago: 22-43 record
Even his defenders would say Jim Boylen is about as cuddly as a cactus and charming as an eel. His players' support for him ranges behind tepid indifference and downright annoyance. Still, sometimes it takes a Grinch to get young players locked in on defense. To his credit, Boylen did improve the Bulls on that end. Their defensive rating leapt up from 25th to 14th this season.
But at the end of the day, the overall results simply aren't here. Despite offensive-minded youngsters like Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen (marginalized this year), the Bulls ranked 27th in offensive rating. Largely as a result, they were on pace to win 27.7 games, well short of their 33.5 oveunder. Being "likable" and being "successful" don't go hand in hand, but NBA coaches need to check 1 of those 2 boxes to survive. So far, Boylen has gone 0 for 2.
(26) Lloyd Pierce, Atlanta: 20-47 record
The Atlanta Hawks hired Lloyd Pierce on the basis of his defensive reputation, but we've seen little evidence of that on the court so far. In his first year on the job, the Hawks ranked 27th in defensive rating. After a full year of training and development in his system, they climbed all the way up to... 28th. Through it all, franchise player Trae Young looks completely lost, grading as a worse defender than our LVP Isaiah Thomas.
There's not much evidence that Pierce is a BAD coach, but there's not much evidence that he's going to be able to cure what ails them either. He'll probably get another season or two on the job from the patient franchise, but he needs to make some improvements eventually. Young is an albatross on defense, sure, but one little guard shouldn't be enough to sink you like this. (For evidence, consider Boston ranked 4th in defense during lil' Isaiah Thomas' near-MVP season.)
(25) Kenny Atkinson, Brooklyn: 28-34 record
Our third coach who got fired midseason actually ranks higher than others. On the court, it's hard to find much fault in Kenny Atkinson's performance. Despite having two max players on the shelf, he still had his Nets in the playoff race. They weren't any great shakes, but they were competitive.
However, we have to acknowledge that the job of an NBA coach goes beyond offensive and defensive ratings. It's also about managing a locker room, and managing egos. The Nets had built a good culture before this, but that culture presumably got rocked by the arrival of their new stars. It's up to Atkinson to bridge that gap, and instead it swallowed him whole.
(24) Ryan Saunders, Minnesota: 19-45 record
The Minnesota Timberwolves will fall well short of their preseason expectations (35.5 oveunder), and will continue to waste Karl-Anthony Towns' historically good offensive talent. It's still unclear if young pup Ryan Saunders should have been handed this job at such a young age; he hasn't proven that he deserves it yet.
If there's any consolation, it's that Saunders appears in lock step with executive Gersson Rosas in terms of preferred playing style. Rosas came over from Houston with a desire to create more of a Morey-Ball approach. Saunders is doing his part, cranking up the gas to keep the team 3rd in pace, 3rd in three-point attempts, 3rd in free-throw attempts. The results don't match up yet, but at least they're on the same page. For now. Time will tell whether a new ownership group will come in and rip up that playbook.
(23) Gregg Popovich, San Antonio: 27-36 record
I imagine this low ranking will be among the least popular picks on the board. After all, Gregg Popovich is a legend. Even at this age, he's still a top 10 coach overall.
That said, legends aren't bullet proof or immune from criticism. Popovich needs to take some blame for an underwhelming year in San Antonio. The unconventional mid-range offense actually works better than you'd expect (11th in rating), but the problems come on the other end. The Spurs have struggled mightily on D this year, ranking all the way down at 25th. The rotations have been an issue there, with too much Bryn Forbes and Marco Bellinelli and probably too little Jakob Poeltl.
It still may feel weird to rank Pop in the bottom half for his performance this year, but I'd ask you: if this team was coached by a random dude named "Joe Schmo," where would you put him?
(22) Brett Brown, Philadelphia: 39-26 record
This hasn't been a banner year for Gregg Popovich, and it hasn't been a banner year for his protege Brett Brown either. The Sixers made some head-scratching decisions this offseason. They grabbed the biggest pieces they could find, and jammed them together without much regard for "fit." Still, there's a lot of talent here. There's enough talent to justify their 54.5 preseason oveunder, and there's enough talent to compete with everyone in the East (outside of Milwaukee, perhaps.)
Instead, the Sixers stumbled along on a 49-win pace, on track for the 6th seed. If this was a normal year without the COVID-bubble, then that would be a much bigger problem. The team is starting to make some adjustments and add more shooters like Shake Milton into the lineup, but it may be too little, too late.
(21) Dwane Casey, Detroit: 20-46 record
It's hard to judge veteran Dwane Casey either way based on the returns this season so far. The Pistons will fall well short of preseason expectations (37.5 oveunder), but there are obvious reasons why. Star Blake Griffin got injured again, and pseudo-star Andre Drummond got traded away.
To Dwane Casey's credit, he's tried to make a meal with the leftovers in the cupboard. Derrick Rose continues to be a fan favorite (if not an analytical darling), and PF Christian Wood appears to be a breakout success. Overall, there's no real identity or grand plan in place here, but perhaps that will change if the lottery balls go their way.
(20) Terry Stotts, Portland: 29-37 record
Terry Stotts and Dwane Casey may have a few beers after the season and commiserate together about their challenges this year. Like Casey, Stotts has been overwhelmed by injuries -- to Jusuf Nurkic -- to Zach Collins -- to Rodney Hood -- to Trevor Ariza -- etc. All this from a team that didn't have much depth to start.
Stotts and the Blazers drew a stroke of good luck with this bubble format. They'll be in the 9th spot right now, and well within range to sneak into the playoffs. If it wasn't for that, Stotts may be drawing more fire. The team's defense has slipped to 27th overall, which is hard to excuse no matter what roster problems you have. Stotts is a good and respected coach in general, but there's a chance his message may have run stale here. If they bomb out in the bubble, I wouldn't be surprised if they look for a fresh voice like assistant Nate Tibbetts for next year.
(19) Luke Walton, Sacramento: 28-36 record
Luke Walton and the Kings got off to a disastrous start given their expectations. It's never a good sign when your fanbase grumbles, he's no Dave Joerger.
But after weathering the storm, there are some signs of hope on the horizon. A bold decision to bring Buddy Hield off the bench has worked out, with the team rattling off a 13-7 stretch before the shutdown. They had a slim chance to rally and make the playoffs if we played a full schedule, and they'll have some chance to do the same in the bubble. Overall, a disappointing start for Walton, but not a complete disaster.
(18) James Borrego, Charlotte: 23-42 record
It's very difficult to judge James Borrego, because it's difficult to judge exactly what was going on in the twisted minds of the Charlotte front office. On paper, Borrego did an admirable job to take a bad roster and lead them to a decent mark of 23 wins. In fact, their oveunder coming into this year was only 23.5 over a full 82 games (lowest in the NBA). P.J. Washington's had a nice rookie year, and PG Devonte' Graham has been better than expected (although he's cooled off.)
At the same time, is this what the Hornets wanted? A "not THAT bad" team? As a result, they'll end up in the 8th slot prior to the NBA Draft lottery, in that dreaded middle ground. In a sense, Borrego did too good of a job squeezing out a few extra wins. I'm inclined to give him props for that because the franchise must have given him a mandate to compete (why else sign Terry Rozier to a big contract?). As a franchise, the team gets poor grades, but as a coach, it's hard to fault him here.
(17) Alvin Gentry, New Orleans: 28-36 record
James Borrego hasn't had much talent to work with in Charlotte. Down in Nawlins, Alvin Gentry may have too much. Earlier in the season, he appeared overwhelmed by all the pieces on the roster and struggled to develop a consistent rotation for the team. If it wasn't for Brandon Ingram's breakout, the Pelicans could have been in too deep of a whole to dig their way out.
Of course, some stocky rookie waddled in, and looked pretty darn good. Zion Williamson gives this team an entirely new ceiling, and has been worked into the lineup in a smart, prudent fashion. For that, Gentry deserves credit. He also deserves credit for having a consistent philosophy. His team is going to run, run, run like Forrest Gump. They've finished in the top 3 in pace each season for the past three years. It hasn't worked like a charm overall, as Gentry will be on track to finish with a losing record for the 4th time in his 5 years, but perhaps they'll finally hit their stride in the bubble.
(16) Steve Clifford, Orlando: 30-35 record
By this point, what you see is what you get with coach Steve Clifford. We've come to expect a top 10 defense (# 9 this year), but a record around the .500 mark. In his defense, the offensive talent is limited, and Jon Isaac (arguably their best overall player) missed significant time. Still, for Clifford to jump in these yearly rankings, we need to see more of an offensive system in place.
(15) Steve Kerr, Golden State: 15-50 record
WTF? Why is the coach with the worst record in the league doing all the way up here?
Allow me to explain. Being a head coach is like being a jockey. You need to know when to trot, when to stay with the pack, and when to crack the whip and turn up the gas down the stretch. And, sadly, you need to know when your horse is lame and needs to be shot and put out of its misery.
Steve Kerr and the Golden State Warriors realized they had a wobbly, broken-down horse early on, and put the breaks on sooner than later. As a result, they'll be locked into the # 1 spot among their NBA lottery odds. In theory that doesn't matter much because the top three teams (GS, CLE, MIN) all have the same odds at # 1 overall. However, if they slide down, Golden State will remain ahead of the others; the worst pick they can get is # 5. That type of patience is rare and admirable for a veteran coach like Kerr; after years of being in "win now" mode, he's showing a long-term vision as well.
(14) Nate McMillan, Indiana: 39-26 record
The Indiana Pacers continued to chug along with another playoff appearance despite Victor Oladipo missing more time. Coach Nate McMillan (and assistant Dan Burke) deserve a lot of credit for their strength defensively; they finished in the top 10 in defense for the second season in a row. Their scheme works well, and covers for some limited players along the way.
If there's any criticism of McMillan, it'd be on the offensive end. The Pacers found a little something with Domatas Sabonis as a playmaker (5.0 assists per game), but it's still not enough to make the team formidable offensively. Their "MoreyBall" rating is the worst in the league -- they finished last in both free-throw attempts and three-point attempts. Some teams can overcome that playing style, but the Pacers haven't been one of them; their offensive rating is # 18 for the second straight year. Given that need, I'd be curious to see if the team could develop Doug McDermott into a Bojan Bogdanovic - type player for them -- he hit 44.5% of his threes, but got only 20.0 minutes a game.
(13) Monty Williams, Phoenix: 26-39 record
This ranking may seem too high for the coach of a 26-39 team, but we need to consider some context here. The Phoenix Suns had finished with an average record of 20-62 over the last two seasons, so this 33-win pace is a marked step up for them. They've also gotten into the top 20 in offensive and defensive rating. That may sound like mediocrity to you, but again it's a big jump up from the previous year (28th offensive, 29th defense.)
Better still, we're seeing some strong player development from this club. Deandre Ayton still looked strong post PED suspension, and Mikal Bridges played well in the second half of the year. After all the mess and goat stink in Phoenix, there are actual good vibes here, and Monty Williams deserves credit for that.
(12) Quin Snyder, Utah: 41-23 record
Quin Snyder is an awesome coach, only penalized here by his own lofty expectations. Coming into the season, a few pundits though the Jazz may have what it took to be the top seed in the West, but they're going to fall short of that and even fall short of their preseason oveunder (of 53.5 wins). Of course, it didn't help that Mike Conley forgot how to shoot for the few month or two of the season. Still, Snyder's bunch continues to be well coached on both ends, with ball movement on offense and discipline on defense. They'd have been an interesting playoff darkhorse if not for the bad corona-vibes and the unfortunate Bojan Bogdanovic injury.
(11) Mike Malone, Denver: 43-22 record
Denver's Mike Malone is in the same boat as Quin Snyder; he did a good job, but he's expected to do a good job. I'm going to rank him slightly higher because the Nuggets were slightly ahead, and were also set to slightly exceed their preseason win total (on track to win 54, 1 game better than their 53.0 estimate.)
Going forward, it'll be interesting to see if Malone can take his offense up a notch. They play at a very slow pace (29th) and don't shoot many threes (26th). To actually win the title, their shooters will need to step it up. If Gary Harris won't break out of his prolonged slump, then it's imperative that Michael Porter Jr. fulfills his potential and provides that third scoring punch.
(10) Doc Rivers, L.A. Clippers: 44-20 record
Stars and shooting aren't a problem for the Los Angeles Clippers. It's fair to say they're the most talented roster in the entire NBA. Given that, is their 44-20 record a disappointment? Eh. Maybe. But I'd counter that it doesn't really matter. Doc Rivers' primary mission this regular season was to make it to the playoffs healthy, and the team appears on track to do just that.
If there's any criticism here (of a team with a top 5 offense and defense) it's that their best players may not have gotten enough reps together. Do the new kids on the block Kawhi Leonard and Paul George fit with the old guard in Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell? What's the best starting lineup? Best closing lineup? There are still some unanswered questions here that need to be addressed in a hurry if they're going to fulfill their title aspirations in the bubble.
(9) Taylor Jenkins, Memphis: 32-33 record
Personally, I expected the Memphis Grizzlies to have the worst in the Western Conference, so it's downright shocking that they're in the 8th spot at the moment. The NBA may be trying to steal that playoff berth away from them, but that won't change the great job that rookie coach Taylor Jenkins has done this year.
Are the Grizzlies actually this good? Probably not. Their advanced stats are worse than their record, and Jaren Jackson Jr. hasn't taken the expected leap on defense yet. Still, wins are wins, and a coach shouldn't be penalized for collecting more than he should.
(8) Mike D'Antoni, Houston: 40-24 record
Based on the simple matter of wins versus preseason expectations (and an oveunder of 54.0), the Houston Rockets have been slightly underwhelming this year. Still, veteran Mike D'Antoni deserves a lot of credit for remaking the team on the fly. Changing from Chris Paul to Russell Westbrook may not be a huge difference in quality, but it's a huge difference in playing style. As a result, the Rockets leapt up from the 26th fastest pace last year all the way up to 4th this season. They'll looking like a proper D'Antoni and Morey team right now.
In fact, they've taken that bold experiment up another notch this year by ditching Clint Capela and emulating Rick Moranis. So far, so good. These Smallball Rockets still have some lingering question marks about their defense and their rebounding, but they're extremely dangerous right now nonetheless. It's hard to imagine too many older coaches understanding and embracing this like D'Antoni has.
(7) Brad Stevens, Boston: 43-21 record
Brad Stevens has always been a media darling, and he's justifying that reputation this year. The Celtics lost Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, but are still top 5 in offense and top 5 in defense. Life without Kyrie has gone swimmingly, opening up some air for young stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to breathe; they're both in the running for Most Improved Player.
As with Mike D'Antoni, Stevens also deserves credit for working with a limited hand at center. But rather than force the issue and overplay some stiffs, he's understood that the team just may be better off with 6'8" Daniel Theis manning the fort instead.
(6) Frank Vogel, L.A. Lakers: 49-14 record
It's never a good sign when you sign a new contract with a team, and are immediately placed among the favorites for "First Coach Fired" in Vegas. Frank Vogel walked that tightrope this season, with plenty of spectators expecting him to fail and fall to his demise.
Instead, Vogel has kept his head down, and kept his focus, and helped this Lakers team grab the # 1 seed out West. Obviously it's an easier task when you have LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but this isn't a loaded roster otherwise. Moreover, there are a lot of moving parts and new pieces to work in. The fact that Vogel has this largely-old team ranked # 3 in defensive rating is a true testament to his success this year.
(5) Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee: 53-12 record
Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo is on track to win his second consecutive MVP award. While we tend to think the media likes new "narratives," but we've seen repeat winners before. Since 2000, Tim Duncan repeated as MVP, Steve Nash repeated as MVP, LeBron James repeated as MVP (on two separate occasions), and Steph Curry repeated as MVP as well.
Coaches don't get the same luxury. In fact, since the award was created in 1962, the Coach of the Year winner has NEVER repeated the following season. You win once, you get to the back of the line. That tendency has really hurt Mike Budenholzer's candidacy this year. On paper, he should absolutely be in the running. The Bucks are once again # 1 in defense, # 1 in overall rating, # 1 in W-L record. They're on a better pace than last year's team, despite losing Malcolm Brogdon over the summer. If Giannis can repeat for the same feat twice, why shouldn't Budenholzer be allowed to do the same?
(4) Rick Carlisle, Dallas: 40-27 record
Everyone expected the Milwaukee Bucks to be dominant, but no one expected the Dallas Mavericks to be this good, this early. They've jumped the line and arrived in the playoffs earlier than schedule. They're only 1 win away from beating their preseason oveunder of 40.5 despite all the missed games.
Like Mike Budenholzer, Rick Carlisle has benefited in that endeavor from a transcendent player in Luka Doncic. At the same time, this Mavs' machine has been rolling with and without Doncic. They rank # 1 in offensive efficiency this year, and depending on whether you want to factor in pace and league trends or not, they may have one of the best offenses we've ever seen from a statistical standpoint. It's quite an achievement from a coach who cut his stripes as a defensive specialist, and indicates the type of attitude that coaches need to adapt and evolve over time.
(3) Erik Spoelstra, Miami: 41-24 record
The Miami Heat pulled a free agency coup by signing Jimmy Butler away from Philadelphia. Still, it's not like people expected that to vault them to the top of the East. Butler was a good player, but a difficult one to manage. He blended into the crowd as well as a skinhead at a Bar Mitzvah. Overall, adding Butler only boosted the team's preseason oveunder win total to a modest 43.5.
Turns out, Butler fit in better with the Heat than anyone expected, on and off the court. Butler hasn't shot well from the field, but his attacking and playmaking helped open up the offense (6th in the league) and propelled the team to a 51.7-win pace. He's fit in like a glove in terms of their tough-dude culture as well.
Erik Spoelstra should get huge props for developing that culture and that system. But more than anything, he deserves credit for their player development system. Sure, Jimmy Butler is a star, and Bam Adebayo had star talent. At the same time, no one had ever heard of players like Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson at this time last year. These are complete randos who will make a combined $3M this season -- just half of Cristiano Felicio's salary. Having a coach who can grow talent like that in his backyard is a huge advantage for any franchise.
(2) Billy Donovan, Oklahoma City: 41-24 record
After Oklahoma City blew it up this summer by trading Russell Westbrook and Paul George, coach Billy Donovan felt like a dead man walking. Instead, Donovan and those fireproof zombie hordes in OKC sieged to a 41-24 record. How good is that? Hell, it's an even better winning percentage than the team had last year with Westbrook and George (in a career year.)
Given all this surprising success, Donovan would be a fair winner of this award. He's managed to take in a bunch of new bodies and form a cohesive team. He's even had success playing three point guards together (CP3, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Dennis Schroder.)
If you want to nitpick his candidacy, you could point out that the hodgepodge roster has a lot of talent scattered throughout. Chris Paul had become underrated, and Danilo Gallinari has always been underrated as well. The team's low preseason oveunder total (32.5) was largely based on the uncertainty about further trades. Everyone knew that this team had the talent to be competitive if they stayed together. Still, no one expected them to be this good.
(1) Nick Nurse, Toronto: 46-18 record
Last season, Nick Nurse finally got his first chance as an NBA head coach. He ended up having as good of a rookie year as anyone since Henry Rowengartner. Nurse coached circles around some of the best in the business en route to a championship season.
Amazingly, he may have been even more impressive this year. Without Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, the Toronto Raptors held steady and didn't miss much of a beat. In fact, they're on pace to win 58.9 games, over a dozen more than their preseason oveunder of 46.5.
Technically, Nurse still has limited experience as an NBA head coach, but he's already proven to be one of the masters. If we were to judge based on the results of this (semi-)season only, he'd be my personal "Coach of the Year."
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Is Market Volatility Dangerous? Trading Brokers Raising Margins

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