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    Free Essay
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    Greed and fear

     

    Greed and fear are the major players in the stock market. These two emotions are the driving force behind almost all market participants - Institutional mangers, stockbrokers, Investors, traders and yourself. You might be saying to yourself that greed and fear will never get in the way of my trading, but believe it or not they will be. It is not something to be ashamed of. It is something you have to admit to, come face to face with, If you are to become a successful stock trader or investor. What do greed and fear look like in the stock market trading arena? You have been watching a particular stock for some time now. It has set up perfectly, so you pull the trigger. You bought it at the perfect price and now it is moving higher just as you thought it would. Now greed steps up to the plate and says to you, this is going to be a rocket ship. So you buy some more shares. Or your stock moves a few points and goes passed the price that you decided to get out. Greed tells you this baby is going higher tomorrow so you hang on. When stocks make strong moves to the upside greed from all the cumulative market participants joins the move. Stock prices usually fall faster then they go up, and when this happens, fear now steps up to the plate. Lets look at the example above, where your stock went through your get out price and you held on because greed was by your side. The next morning the stock price gaps down. Their is heavy selling all morning long. Greed is telling you to hang in there the price will come back. The price keeps going down, now you get a knot in your gut, and your knuckles are turning white. Fear is now by your side, but by now it is to late, your nice profit has turned into a loss. Everyone goes through this until they have mastered the ugly faces of greed and fear. Master this and you are well on your way to becoming a successful stock trader.

         
    Growth and value what s the difference

     

    While the majority of American investors understand the importance of diversifying across growth and value investments, few are able to achieve a passing grade on a test of their knowledge of the differences between the two, according to a new American Century Investments survey. Test your knowledge with the Growth & Value IQ quiz below: 1. Which best describes a growth stock? a) Stock that offers guaranteed rate of growth tied to consumer price index. b) Stock in a company specializing in agriculture, lumber, landscaping, and other organic products. c) A stock in a company demonstrating better than average profit and earnings gains. d) All of the above. 2. Which best describes a value stock? a) Stock in fast-growing company specializing in high-value, low-cost products, like a discount retailer. b) Stock in a company specializing in valuable goods, like precious metals and jewelry. c) Stock that has a low price-to-book ratio. d) All of the above. 3. Which statement is true? a) Value stocks outperformed growth stocks between 1927 and 2001. b) Smaller company value stocks outperformed larger company value stocks between 1927 and 2001. c) Maintaining a portfolio with a combination of growth and value stocks generally is considered a prudent investment approach. d) All of the above. 4. During periods of strong economic expansion, which fund generally performs better? a) Growth. b) Value. c) Neither. d) Both. 5. Generally speaking, value funds outpaced growth funds in 2000 and 2001. a) True. b) False. 6. Generally speaking, growth funds outpaced value funds during the 1990s. a) True. b) False. 7. Which type of fund is more likely to invest in stocks paying a significant dividend? a) Growth. b) Value. c) Neither. d) Both. 8. Higher price-to-earnings ratios normally would be associated with stocks in which type of mutual fund? a) Growth. b) Value. c) Neither. d) Both. 9. What kind of stock is described in this example: "Established baked-goods company with strong balance sheet and good cash flow experiencing temporary drop in reaction to changes in senior management." a) Growth. b) Value. c) Neither. 10. What kind of stock is described in this example: "Software company, enjoying steady sales increases, is in the process of rolling out an eagerly anticipated update to a popular software application." a) Growth. b) Value. c) Neither. Key: 1(c); 2(c); 3(d); 4(a); 5(a); 6(a); 7(b); 8(a); 9(b); 10(a). - NU

         
    Hedge funds 101 understanding current concepts and lingo

     

    What exactly is a "hedge fund " ? In essence , it is a managed pool of capital for institutions or wealthy individual investors that employes one of various trading strategies in equities, bonds or derivatives , attemting to gain from market inefficiencies and , to some extent hege underlying risks. Hedge funds are often loosely regulated and usually are much less transparent than traditional investment funds. That helps them to trade more stealthilyt. Funds typically have minimum investments periods, and charge fees based both on funds under management and on performance. Many experts contend it is a mistake to talk about hedge funds as an assett class : rather the industry embraces a collection of trading strategies. The appropriate choice of hedging strategy for a particular investor depends largely on its existing portfolio; if for example , it is heavily invested in equities, it might seek a hedging strategy to offsett equity risk. Because of this, discussion of relative returns between hedge-funds strategies can be misleading. Hedge funds use investment techniques that are usually forbidden for more traditional funds , including "short selling: stock - that is borrowing shares to sell them in the hope of buying them back later at a lower price - and using big leverage rhrough borrowing. The favoured strategies tend to change. It has been said that the hedge-fund industry was equity driven but that now in 2006 there is less long/short. It seems to be a much more diverse picture in 2006 with less of a concentrated exposure format. Some of the most common strategies include Convertible arbritrage : This involves going long in the convetible securities ( that is usually shares or bonds) that are exchangeable for a certain number of another form ( usually common shares) at a preset price , and simultaneously shorting the underlying equities. This strategy previously was very effective and was a standard. However this type of action seems to have lost effectiveness and seems to have lost favour in the crowd. Emerging markets : Investing in securities of companies in the ever emerging economies through the purchase of sovereign or coporate debt and /or shares. Fund of funds : Inveting in a "basket" of hedge funds. Some funds of funds focus on single strategies and other pursue multiple strategies These funds have an added layerof fees. Global Macro - Investing in shifts between global economies , often using derivatives to speculate on interest-rate or currency moves. Market neutral : Typically , equal amounts of capital are invested long and short in the market, attempting to neutralize risk by purchasing undervalued securities and taking short positions in ovevalued securities. As you can see the terminolgy in dealing with "hedge funds " is both everchanging and confusing. You should be fluent in both the language and the concepts in order that you can discuss and make intelligent rather than confused choices in your investments. Remember it is you and not your broker / adviser who will pay the ultimate costs of negligent comprehension and investment planning.

         
    How did isl uranium mining begin

     

    It’s time to rewrite the history books. In Situ Leach Mining (ISL), or Solution Mining, was not first commercially started in Bruni, Texas in 1973 by Westinghouse, a consortium of oil companies and others. The birthplace of ISL was never South Texas, as some have claimed. It was begun in Wyoming, about 16 years before an ISL operation was started in Texas. Why there has been a whitewash over the true history of ISL is not our concern. This series is an in-depth investigation into how and why ISL mining came about, how it has been tested over a period of nearly 50 years, and why this type of uranium mining will play an important role in providing U. S. utilities with the raw fuel to power nuclear reactors for the next few decades. In this modern era of uranium mining, extremely skilled engineers, hydrologists and geologists establish ISL mining operations. Most insiders compare an ISL operation to a water treatment plant. It’s really that simple to understand. However, as with every modern industrial operation, the roots of ISL mining came about in a less genteel or sophisticated manner. In 1958, Charles Don Snow, a uranium mining and exploration geologist employed by the Utah Construction Company, was investigating a Wyoming property for possible acquisition for his company. During the course of that visit, he discovered a new method of uranium mining and helped pioneer its development into the modern form of ISL. Since 1957, R. T. Plum, president of Uranyl Research Company, had been experimenting with a leach solution on his property at the Lucky June uranium mine. “They mixed up the sulfuric acid solution and just dumped it on the ground, and soaked it through the material and collected it in a little trench at the end,” Charles Snow told StockInterview. It wasn’t very scientific. Snow added, “They were just learning how, and I observed it and thought that the application could be made through some of the ore that we had in the Lucky Mc mine.” The company was mining uranium this way because it was below the grades miners were used to, when mining. As Snow noted, “It was not worth mining.” But it was practically at the surface. He explained what they were doing at the Lucky June, “There was an area where uranium leached out to the surface in a small area, and it had a clay under-bed. These people put solutions onto the surface, collected the solution, and ran it by resin beads to absorb the uranium.” While they only recovered about $3600 worth of uranium, roughly 600 pounds, Snow was impressed. He later wrote an inter-office memorandum in July 1959, with the subject header: “Recovery of Uranium from Low Grade Mineralization using a leach in place process.” In his conclusion, Snow recommended, “From the preliminary information available, it appears that it will be possible to treat very low grade mineralization for recovery of uranium at a large net profit.” He explained the process to his bosses, encouraging them to consider this as an option: “In brief, the process introduces a leach solution onto the surface of the ground and allows the solution to percolate down through the area to be leached. The solution is then recovered from wells and circulated through an ion exchange circuit with the barren solution being returned to the leach area. Recovery of the uranium is made by stripping from the ion exchange medium.” He wanted the Utah Construction Company to try this method of mining where there was low grade mineralization. Snow succeeded in convincing his bosses. That began yet another innovation for Utah Construction Company, the same company which helped construct the Hoover Dam, decades earlier, before it got into the uranium mining business. Utah Construction Becomes the First Commercial ISL Miner Newspaper reports, through the 1960s, illustrate that ISL mining was in full bloom more than a decade before anyone in Texas began a commercial ISL operation. On June 18, 1964, the Riverton Ranger newspaper reported, “The Shirley Basin mine is on a standby basis. The timbers are being maintained and the water pumped out. Total production comes from solution mining.” Between 1962 and 1969, ISL was the only method producing uranium at Utah’s Shirley Basin Wyoming. Later in that same article, under the section entitled, “Gas Hills Solution Mining,” it was reported, “The Four Corners area is ‘mined’ by solution mining techniques similar to those employed at Shirley Basin.” Credit for this new mining method is also reported in that same article, “Lucky Mc introduced the heap leach process of recovering values from low grade ores in 1960.” Charles Snow explained how his company made the transition from underground mining to solution mining, “The underground mining at Shirley Basin was very expensive, and we were having a lot of heavy ground problems.” The sandstone aquifers containing the uranium were uncemented and brittle, supported with timbers. “In some places, it was too heavy to hold with timbers,” said Snow. “We had to use steel sets underground, and it was even mashing the steel sets. So the expenses were getting very high.” Water was flowing into the open drifts at prodigious rates. Snow recalled, “Barney Greenly said, ‘Let’s try solution mining over here.’ They did a test, and it did operate quite well. They got some pretty good results. So the underground mine was shut down, and they went to a solution-mining program to produce the allocated pounds in the Shirley Basin area.” The procedure was tested for a few years before a full-scale commercial production began. This fulfilled 100 percent of Utah’s Shirley Basin uranium production allotment from the AEC. There were problems at first. “We started out initially using sulfuric acid, and we had some reaction with carbonates in the formation.” Sulfuric acid plus calcium carbonate produces calcium sulfate, and this plugged up the formation. Calcium sulfate is gypsum, which was insoluble in the leach solution. “It tended to plug up the formation and reduce the transmissivity of the fluid from the input hole to the output recovery hole.” To prevent interference with the porosity of the formation, Snow switched to nitric acid, but admitted, “We were reluctant to use nitric acid because it was much more expensive than sulfuric.” But they did, because the nitric acid solution did not form gypsum. Unlike present-day ISL methods used in Texas, Nebraska and Wyoming, Utah Construction did not use a carbonated leaching solution in their solution mining. Nitric solution was used during the 1960s and continued until the Lucky Mc switched over to open pit mining. It all started as a heap leach experiment. “We had quite a bit of low grade in Lucky Mc,” Snow told us, “so we thought we would try a heap leach experiment.” Results were good on the test, and Utah pioneered ISL mining. Snow wrote in an August 2, 1960 memo, “The favorable results of the heap leach project and other research indicate that the process can be successfully applied in many of the low-grade areas to recover much of the mineralization.” Later in his report, Snow calculated reserves from random samples obtained from previous drilling at Lucky Mc, “The estimated reserve for the block is 147,000 tons @ 0.0361 percent U3O8, or 106,616 pounds of U3O8.” He estimated the program would cost $111,471. Using a value of $6/pound for U3O8, the anticipated returns were calculated as follows: 50 percent recovery: 53,318 pounds: $208,377 25 percent recovery: 26,654 pounds: $ 48,453 That was just the start. By the end of the decade, Shirley Basin’s solution mining operation was producing U3O8 at comparable levels to present day production at any of the major U. S. ISL facilities. In a paper presented by Ian Ritchie and John S. Anderson, entitled “Solution Mining in the Shirley Basin,” on September 11, 1967, at the American Mining Congress in Denver, Colorado, these Utah International executives explained the success of the Shirley Basin solution mining operation. In a summary explaining the company’s activities, we discovered the Shirley Basin operation not only filled the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) allocation requirements from 1962 through 1969 but we learned of the sizeable commitments into the future Shirley Basin was to fill: “In 1968 sales of uranium concentrate were made to purchases other than the AEC. One of the first sales was to Sacramento Municipal Utility District with a minimum of 950,000 pounds to a maximum of 1,100,000 pounds of uranium concentrate in 1971. Additional contracts were signed with General Electric Company and with Nordostschwerzerische Kraftwerke A. G. (Baden, Switzerland). The contracts called for delivery of 8,000,000 pounds of concentrate to GE between 1968 and 1975, and 500,000 pounds of concentrate to NOK commencing in July 1969.” Conclusion The single reason solution mining stopped, well before the first “commercial” ISL operation began in Bruni, Texas in 1973, was because of the improved market forecast for uranium in the 1970s. Utah Construction switched to open pit mining because they needed to produce a lot more uranium. The nuclear renaissance of the 1970s demanded massive quantities of uranium to fuel the rapidly growing nuclear power industry. Don Snow’s initial field tests, begun in the late 1950s, resulted in continuous production achieved by late 1962. Subsequently, production in the underground uranium mine was shut down by May 1962. The underground mine was maintained in a standby condition until 1965, when all underground operations were written off. Millions of pounds were mined by Utah Construction through its ISL operations in Shirley Basin. It wasn’t heap leaching. Sufficient evidence confirms that Wyoming, not Texas, first pioneered commercial ISL mining. Not only were well fields designed as early as 1960, but the entire concept of an ISL “water treatment” plant can trace its roots to Utah Construction’s pioneer work. Everything from injection wells to production wells were pioneered in the early 1960s. We challenged Charles Don Snow that some have claimed it was heap leaching, not ISL mining. Snow shot back, “No, we drilled holes in the ground and the material had never been mined. We got our ideas, certainly, from heap leaching, which came from the copper industry.” Snow explained that after the solution mining experiment was successful, “A recovery plant was designed and put into the hoist house, where they had had the underground mine. That was designed by Robert Carr Porter and Ian Ritchie.” Snow added, “In fact, Ian Ritchie and J. S. Anderson have a U. S. Patent on the well completion procedures that we used at Shirley Basin.” Snow pondered if his friend Jack Bailey may have exported the ISL technology to Texas. “Jack Bailey was the Shirley Basin project manager for the underground mine when we switched over to solution mining,” Snow said. “He later went to work for Chevron, and Chevron had operations in Texas. I believe they even experimented with solution mining. Now, whether or not Jack was directly involved, I don’t know.” As it is with history, many of the old-timers are gone. We were told Jack Bailey had had a stroke a number of years back, and did not trace this further. There may have been others. “Some of the people from that area (Shirley Basin) had gone to Texas,” Snow recalled. “There is documentation, it was published information, and a lot of people who went to Texas, came from the Wyoming area. So, I’m sure there wasn’t a paucity of information being transferred.” Ironically, the Westinghouse-led consortium, which included U. S. Steel and Union Carbide, among others, was called Wyoming Minerals. Now we know exactly why they chose that name. While there have been a number of ISL operations built and operated in Texas, there may be little future for uranium mining in that state, unless there are new discoveries. By a few, Texas has been inaccurately called the “home of ISL mining.” Perhaps that came about because ISL operations continued, during the uranium depression of the past two decades, with small amounts of production occurring in Texas. According to Energy Information Administration figures published in June 2004, uranium reserves in Texas stand at 23 million pounds of U3O8 based upon $50/pound uranium. By comparison, Wyoming and New Mexico reserves, using that same benchmark, reach as high as 363 million and 341 million pounds, respectively. This may explain the rush by junior exploration companies, such as Strathmore Minerals (TSX: STM; Other OTC: STHJF), Energy Metals Corporation (TSX: EMC), UR-Energy (TSX: URE), Uranerz Energy (OTC BB: URNZ), Kilgore Minerals (TSX: KAU) and others, to Wyoming. The large quantities of pounds are in Wyoming, not Texas. It may also explain why Uranium Resources (OTC BB: URRE) has looked beyond Texas into New Mexico to develop its ISL operation, and Strathmore Minerals has quickly been advancing through its permitting stage on one of its properties in that state. It is fitting that the big past uranium producing states may again become tomorrow’s leading U. S. producers. In any event, the entire world of ISL mining owes a debt of gratitude to Charles Don Snow for his pioneering efforts in bringing a heap leach experiment into full fruition as modern-day in-situ mining.

         
    How do you maximise your profits in any trade on the stock market

     

    In trading the stock market, no-one has a crystal ball. The price of stocks can go down, as well as up. What is needed is an exit strategy that will enable you to survive the bad stocks, and make a good profit on the good stocks. The method that I have found to work the best is a trailing stop loss. For those who don’t know what a stop loss is, I shall explain briefly. A stop loss is an order for your stock broker to sell your shares if the price dips to the level that you have specified. There are two ways of doing this. The simplest method is to decide on how much you are willing to lose as a percentage of your investment. A good rule is not to go less than 10%. Work out the price of the stock at this level and set that as your stop loss. As the price of the stock increases, keep moving the level of the stop up to keep the percentage gap the same. Some brokers offer a trailing stop loss service, where you tell them what percentage to set the loss at and they do it for you. The second method is slightly more complicated, and comes from “Nicolas Darvas” in his book “How I made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market”. The markets tend to flow in stages. a stock on the rise will reach a peak, and then dip back down. It may do this several times at each stage. The idea is to follow the chart of the stock and see where the dips are the lowest, and set the stop loss just below them. A second part which Nicolas propounds is that when the stock breaks out of the sideways trend, to buy more of the stock, and when the stock starts going sideways again to move the stop loss up again to just below the lowest part of the dip. Using the stop loss as an exit strategy, only works if you stick to it, and not lower it, thinking that the price will go up again in a few days. In a few cases you will be right, but what usually happens is the price keeps moving against you, and you loose even more money. As a secondary to this, the money still tied up in the first stock that is falling can’t be used on another trade. Finally, a word of warning about using the stop loss system to protect your capital. There are times when the markets undergoes a fast fall in price, there are regulations about how far a price can fall in one-day. If it falls this maximum distance, it can bypass your stop loss, and you may be unable to sell. Although these situations are rare, it is better that you know about them. So that they are not a shock when they do happen to you.

         
    How is the weekly spot uranium price calculated

     

    Trading in the uranium market is done by a very small number of players. After all, there are about 440 nuclear reactors worldwide, a few dozen trading firms, fuel managers, and a relatively small number of utilities who participate in the actual buying of uranium. It’s the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle. Without it, nuclear reactors shut down. The uranium price has been skyrocketing since Christmas week 2000, with no end in sight. Forecasts range from $50/pound to well above $100/pound. Few believe the spot uranium price will go lower in the near future. It’s become a fun game. Every Tuesday night (Monday afternoon, if you are a subscriber to the Ux Consulting), you will see the spot uranium price posted on the company’s front webpage. Moments later, the Yahoo and other Internet chat boards light up with commentary about the current uranium price and where it might head next. The spoiler is that TradeTech LLC issues its spot uranium price on Friday to subscribers and to the general public on Sunday night. Investors have been betting on the price swings of their favorite junior uranium stocks (more leverage, more risk/reward) by trying to second-guess the uranium spot price. Now, you can find out exactly how Ux C arrives at their weekly spot uranium price, from the president of Ux C, himself: Jeff Combs. StockInterview: How does Ux Consulting arrive at your weekly spot uranium price? Jeff Combs: We have a pretty specific definition. What we’re looking for is the lowest offer of which we are aware, at around the time we publish the price. The quantity being offered has to meet certain parameters. It has to be a certain size transaction within a certain timeframe. So we’re not really trying to cover transactions, per se. Obviously, where there is a transaction that takes place, there’s an offer embodied in that. We’re really trying to capture where the market is going based on current offers, rather than where it has been. StockInterview: So is your published spot price more of a predictor than an actual trade? Jeff Combs: It’s a predictor only in the sense that the next deal is likely to be done at the lowest offer price if the market is working efficiently. It’s like in the stock market where the lowest offer price will be taken first, although the stock market is a lot more efficient than the uranium market. Thus, we aren’t predicting the price of the next deal per se, but reporting the lowest offer price, which is an indication of where the sell side of the market is at that point in time. StockInterview: So the weekly published spot uranium price is not based upon an actual sale of uranium that took place that past week? Jeff Combs: Since it’s more of a forward-looking concept, the sale – that is, the coming together of buyer and seller - hasn’t necessarily taken place. But the level of the lowest offer indicates where the market is at that point in time. The sale itself shouldn’t deviate much, if any, from the offer price. This is especially true in a sellers’ market, where buyers don’t have much negotiating power. But it’s also true in a buyers’ market, as sellers are looking to offer an attractive enough price to encourage the buyer to take the material.

         
    How profitable is online penny stock trading by an expert

     

    Copyright 2006 Geoff Morris If you don't want to risk vast sums of money on speculative stock market adventures, then Online Penny Stock Trading could be the solution you are looking for to provide quite profitable investments. There are websites that pick penny stocks that are trading under $5.00 on both the NYSE, the NASDAQ, and other major Exchanges such as the London Stock Exchange. You have the chance to become a penny stock trading winner at any time. But the risks are very big and if you do take the advice, you could become a big winner in the penny shares market. Simply looking at raw numerical data is not going to help you if you are new to the stock market. But you can get the advice that you need from almost any penny stocks trading website; these companies do not want to see you fail in the stock trading world. Instead they would rather see you succeed, so that they can then add another success story to their website and so they can continue to collect commissions on your trades. There are hundreds of penny stocks trading websites available all over the Internet and you can sign up for any one of them. You get all the usual services that you would expect from a stock trading website. You get the portfolio management tools and the updated stock prices. But some of these penny stocks trading websites will offer you the chance to sign-up to their weekly newsletter, which will contain which companies they believe will be the next big winner on the stock market. One of the best that I have come across is the Red Hot Penny Share system, by Fleet Street Publications. Some years ago, I drew all of my various employment pensions ( which were sinking in value fast) and put them into a Self Invested Pension Plan (SIPP) , which is only available to UK taxpayers, although there may well be equivalents in the US. By enjoying periods of very profitable online Penny Stocks Trading I actually managed to transform my $122,000 pension fund into an amount approaching $430,000 - and in less than 3 years. The other major benefit of using the SIPP as an investment vehicle of course was that all the profitable investment returns were tax free - no capital gains tax due. In this facility, you can actually act as you very own Pension Fund manager, only unlike the usual City Fat Cats, you have a real and determined desire to make your money work at its hardest for you. As long as you are willing to subscribe to this sort of service, and when they say BUY you buy and when they say SELL you sell, you can make quite an improvement to what may probably be a pathetic little pension nest egg. And the further beauty is that with SIPP's, you don't have to cash it in at age 65 for some hit and miss annuity - you can continue to trade profitably until you are 75. Take your time when you are looking for a penny stocks trading website. There are many websites that won't actually offer as much services as other stock trading websites. So take your time and choose the site that best suits your needs as a trader.

         
    How risky is stocks and other relative investments

     

    Just as the saying goes, we live in a risky world. Almost everything we do involves some degree of risk. Generally, to invest is to risk... since one is not certain about the outcome of the investment. According to Wikipedia, investment or investing is a term with several closely-related meanings in business management, finance and economics, related to saving or deferring consumption. An asset is usually purchased, or equivalently a deposit is made in a bank, in hopes of getting a future return or interest from it. Today, many don't like to hear the word investment merely because it involves risks. Apparently, to invest is to risk; but we should not because of the risk avoid investing. It will be much better for one to learn how to manage risks associated with investment rather than avoiding investing totally. A good investor should learn how to manage the various risks associated with every investment. It will not be wise for one to avoid investing merely because of the risks associated with investment. A potential investor should also know that the risks associated with every investment varies. For instance the risk associated with Stock Investment or Stock Trading is not the same with that associated with forex trading. Likewise, the risk associated with real estate investment also defers from the risk associated with transport business. Every business we do, no matter how small has its own risk. What is the major fear an investor faces? The major fright investors face is the fear of losing money. Each time you give investment a second thought, the next thing that may come to your mind is that you may be losing your money. Also, if the assets you invest in are held in another currency there is a risk that currency movements alone may affect the value. This is called currency risk. To venture is to risk and it is very difficult for one to do without risk in life, since every thing in life is all about risk... even life its self is quite very risky as well. Finally, to invest is to risk, look for a good financial adviser before embarking on any investment, or read more on how to avoid some mistakes in the investments through the author's links below:-

         
    How soon will saudi arabia turn to nuclear energy

     

    While a growing number of countries have announced their civilian nuclear energy ambitions over the past twelve months, no other country is likely to have more of a psychological impact on the nuclear energy picture than Saudi Arabia. We believe the Kingdom’s natural gas and water problems will lead them to nuclear, sooner rather than later, probably as early as this year. After our interview with Kevin Bambrough, which resulted in the widely read article, ‘Explosion in Nuclear Energy Demand Coming,” we began more deeply researching Bambrough’s conclusion. He believes the overwhelming growth in nuclear energy will continue to drive the uranium bull market much higher than is suspected. He believes the uranium renaissance has gone beyond the envelope of just a mining inventory shortage. We researched this further during the course of our investigation into uranium and geopolitics. We were surprised by what we discovered, and continue to be stunned by how accurate Mr. Bambrough’s forecast is likely to play out. We included the special sub-section, which follows, in our soon-to-be-published, A Practical Investor’s Guide to Uranium Stocks. Below is a sneak preview. An April 2006 UPI news item confirmed what many have long believed. It won’t be long before Saudi Arabia launches a nuclear project. Kuwaiti researcher Abdullah al-Nufaisi told seminar attendees in Qatar that Saudi Arabia is preparing a nuclear program. He said the government was being urged to launch a nuclear project by Saudi scientists, but had not yet received the blessing by the royal family. Social, not energy, issues could help the Saudi royals embark on a large-scale nuclear program. Of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s 24 million subjects, more than 40 percent are under 18 years of age. While still manageable, the country’s infrastructure is not prepared to deal with its explosive population growth. The two biggest problems facing Saudi Arabia are potential water and electricity shortages. True, its super oilfields may also have peaked in production and might move into tertiary recovery, but that is unknown. An Islamic revolution, similar to what Iran suffered in the 1970s is probably foremost in the King’s mind. Civil unrest might come about should his subjects suffer from insufficient electricity and inadequate water supplies. One need only look at the widespread electricity shortages Syria experienced in the 1980s and early 1990s. As reported in the October 14, 2004 issue of Arab Oil and Gas, the Saudis lag well behind Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates in per capita energy consumption. The rate of natural gas consumption, which produces Saudi’s electricity, increased less than Egypt and Syria. Total energy consumption dropped by 3.5 percent in 1999 and 2000. The internationally heralded “Gas Initiative” of 1998 was the Kingdom’s attempt to lure major western oil companies back into the country to help develop its natural gas reserves. After major oil companies spent $100 million in due diligence to evaluate the Saudi natural gas reserves, the initiative quietly dropped off the world’s radar screen. A Shell Oil executive, whose company is exploring for gas in the country’s Empty Quarter, told Bloomberg Daily Energy News that this was a high-risk venture with a low probability of finding sizeable reserves. In Matthew Simmons’ Twilight of the Desert, he repeated what he was told by an anonymous senior oil executive, “The reservoirs are crummy.” The Saudis need water and electricity to match their population growth. Nuclear energy is likely to be the solution to both those problems. Continued dependence upon natural gas may prove a fatal economic and social error for the royal family. Our research forecasts the Saudis should announce a large-scale civilian nuclear energy program in the near future. Let’s discuss the water problem first. In a 2002 story reported in the Oil & Gas Journal, Saudi Arabia’s 30 desalination plants produce about 21 percent of the world’s total desalinated water production. Nearly 70 percent of the local water drunk in cities comes from desalinated sea water. As the population grows, Saudi Arabia may spend another $40 billion to build more desalination plants. Half of the world’s desalination plants are in the Middle East. Most are powered by fossil fuels, especially natural gas. Converting sea water to potable water is energy intensive. The commonly used desalination method of multi-stage flash (MSF) distillation with steam requires heat at 70 to 130 degrees centigrade and consumes up to 200 kilowatt hours of electricity for every cubic meter of water (about 264 gallons). MSF is the most popular technology, but some are turning to reverse osmosis (RO). RO consumes about 6 kilowatt hours of electricity for every cubic meter of water. Desalination is very expensive. The cost to generate this electricity through natural gas explains why Saudi Arabia spends about $4 billion in operating and annual maintenance costs. There are numerous precedents in combining water desalination with nuclear energy for electrical generation. The World Nuclear Association highlights the BN-350 fast reactor in Kazakhstan, which has produced 135 MWe of electricity and 80,000 cubic meters per day of potable water for nearly 30 years. In Japan, ten desalination facilities are linked to pressurized water reactors producing electricity. The International Atomic Energy Agency is working closely with about 20 countries to implement dual-use nuclear reactors, which would also desalinate water. According to the World Nuclear Association’s website, “Small and medium sized nuclear reactors are suitable for desalination, often with cogeneration of electricity using low-pressure steam from the turbine and hot sea water feed from the final cooling system. The main opportunities for nuclear plants have been identified as the 80-100,000 m3/day and 200-500,000 m3/day ranges.” There are numerous examples of nuclear desalination being considered. In 1977, Iran’s Bushehr nuclear facility was to also have a 200,000 cubic meter/day MSF desalination plant. Construction delays, and the subsequent Islamic revolution, prevented this from occurring. Perhaps when Iran commences its civilian nuclear program, the desalination plant will be revived. China is reviewing the feasibility of a nuclear seawater desalination plant in the Yantai area. Russia has advanced a nuclear desalination project with barge-mounted marine reactors using Canadian reverse-osmosis technology. India has begun operating a nuclear desalination demonstration plant at the Madras Atomic Power Station in southeast India. Another one may soon follow in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, which perpetually suffers from water shortages. Pakistan continues its efforts to set up a demonstration desalination plant. South Korea has developed a small nuclear reactor design for cogeneration of electricity and water. It may first be tested on Madura Island in Indonesia. Argentina has also developed a small nuclear reactor design for electricity cogeneration or solely for desalination. The Saudis have investigated dual use for nearly thirty years. Since 1978, Saudi scientists have studied nuclear desalination plants in Kazakhstan and Japan. Both studies positively assessed the feasibility of bringing the first dual-use nuclear reactor in Saudi Arabia. Since the mid 1980s, scientists and researchers at the Saudi’s Nuclear Engineering Department at King Abdulaziz University, the College of Engineering at the University of Riyadh, the Chemical Engineering Department of King Saud University, and the Atomic Energy Research Institute have researched and evaluated nuclear desalination. Saudi scientists presented their paper, entitled, ‘Role of Nuclear Desalination in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,’ at the First International Conference on Nuclear Desalination in Morocco in October 2002. The country possesses a tandetron accelerator and a cyclotron capable of isotope production for medical purposes. Saudi’s nuclear scientists have been involved with many countries to help their country develop a bonafide nuclear energy program. In late March 2006, a German magazine reported Saudi Arabia has been secretly working on a nuclear program with help from Pakistani scientists. Ironically, many believe Saudi Arabia helped finance Pakistan’s nuclear program. Because Saudi scientists lack the proven experience of the entire nuclear fuel cycle, Pakistan’s expertise, over the past decade, could help accelerate the Kingdom’s pursuit of a civilian nuclear program. While lacking proven uranium deposits, the country’s Tabuk region has low-grade amounts of uranium and thorium. However, Saudi Arabia has significant phosphate deposits, which some believe could be exploited. The country’s two largest deposits reportedly measure about 750 million metric tons, averaging between 19 and 21 percent P2O5. Mined by the Saudi Arabian Mining Company and the Saudi Basic Industrial Corporation, fertilizer plants at the Al Jubail Industrial City produce about 4.5 metric tons of P2O5 annually. While extraction of uranium from phosphates can be an expensive proposition, the phosphates could provide a ready supply of uranium for the country’s nuclear desalination plants. Then, it would be a matter of uranium enrichment, of which both the Russians and the French would be scrambling to provide the Kingdom. While the Saudi program many not directly impact world uranium prices, the Kingdom’s decision to advance its nuclear program, beyond the research and medical stage, would signal the entire world that nuclear energy programs will be a primary growth sector for the next fifty to one hundred years. Should the Saudis also commence desalination projects using dual-use nuclear reactors, this could change the entire landscape of the water situation for the Middle East as well as Africa. And it would most likely spark a significant stampede of the Kingdom’s neighbors into the global nuclear renaissance.

         
    How stock research evaluation is processed

     

    Before shelling out a great part of your retirement savings to buy stocks, it is very important that you know exactly what type of investment are stocks investments. Stock investment is actually buying a small unit of ownership from a company. The stocks you bought from such company will provide you certain benefits like voting rights and then receiving profits every time the company distributes profits to its shareholders. The amount of profit share you are to receive is dependent on the amount of stocks you have bought from such company. One of the best features of stock ownership is the fact that you as a stockholder of the company are entirely free from any liability however if the company loses a lawsuit and pay a huge amount then you must prepare for the worst since such happenings often lead rendering your stocks worthless. The good news is you can still prevent such unsightly scenario from happening; all you have to do is to employ the expertise of a stock research provider or a stock broker, whichever you prefer the main objective of your hiring them still remains the same and that is to provide you with effective financial advice on how to lessen the risk of your stock investments and to increase your chances of gaining. Before implementing any financial strategies, it is important to conduct fundamental analysis. This analysis is accomplished by a stock research provider. The fundamental analysis involves the process of examining the basic of the fundamental financial level of the company or the business which you are eyeing in buying some stocks. The analysis should also include examination of key ratios of a business in order to determine its financial health thus providing you with the idea of the value of its stocks. Most investors make use of fundamental analysis or a combination with other tools in order to evaluate stocks before finally investing. The objective of evaluating stock investment is to determine the current worth and market value of the stocks. By making use of key tools for fundamental analysis you will gain in-depth evaluation on stock investment that will guide you in making wise and smart investment decisions. Likewise, understanding the key ratios and terms will also help you in lessening the risks involved in your stock investment. Probably the most important information any investor would like to know is how much profit they are going to obtain from their stock investment. This is really not surprising since it is just logical that when you invest on something, you of course would like to derive earnings from it. In stock investment your concern is more on the ability of your chosen company to generate money today and in the future. Earnings are the profits and although it is sometimes hard to calculate but that’s what buying stocks is all about. An increase in earnings or profits basically leads to a higher stock price and usually results to a regular dividend. During times when earnings fall short, the market may hammer the stockpanies report their earnings quarterly. Some analysts that monitor major companies notify their stockholders if ever they notice a significant decrease or fall on the companies’ projected earnings. Although it is true those earnings play an important role in stock investment but they don’t tell anything about how the market values the stock. If you want to determine just how the market values the stock you might need to use some fundamental analysis tools—this is because fundamental analysis tools focus on earnings, growth and value in the market.

         
    How to boost your stock returns while lowering your risk

     

    An options strategy called Covered Call Writing is a conservative strategy designed to reduce risk and increase income when investing in stocks. Briefly stated, stock options are contracts in which you buy or sell the right to buy or sell. Although there are eight types of options contracts, we're interested here in low-risk "Covered Call Writing." Here's how it works: Say it's August and you buy 300 shares of XYZ stock at the price of $48 per share. XYZ pays a quarterly dividend of 50 cents per share. Therefore, if the price never moves, you'll earn 4.2% per year. At the same time, you would participate in Covered Call Writing. To do so, you, you would "write three January 50 Calls." This means you are selling ("writing") the right for someone else to buy the stock from you (they "call" it away) between now and the third Friday of January at the specified price of $50. (All contracts expire the third Friday of the month.) Each contract represents 100 shares, hence three contracts. The buyers pay you a fee (called a "premium") of $3.5 per share, or $1,050. (The premium is based on the amount of time until expiration and the spread between the current price and the "strike price," in this case $50. Therefore, the premium changes constantly.) Assuming you don't cancel, only two things can happen next: The contract will get exercised or it will expire worthless in January. Either way, you keep the $1,050. Clearly, this strategy can yield big rewards. Among the advantages are: 1. You are establishing a profitable sell price the day you buy the stock. If exercised, you are guaranteed a profit; 2. You reduce risk because premium in effect reduces the price you paid for the stock; 3. Your annual yield is boosted far above that of the dividend alone. However, there are other considerations. For one, you are limiting your potential profits. No matter how high the stock rises, you won't sell for more than $50. You can solve this problem by buying your option back, in effect canceling it out. You would do this if you later think the stock will dramatically rise and you don't want to miss the gains to be made. Also, you have not reduced the risk that your stock may drop in price. The only certainty is, should XYZ drop $25, your option will not be exercised - a small consolation. To protect yourself, you may "buy a January 45 put" giving you the right to sell your stock for $45. This is the opposite of what we've reviewed here, and is designed to minimize losses, rather than protect gains. Because of the potential for price drops, you should choose a high quality, blue-chip stock that fits your budget, an which offers a stable trading range, solid fundamental, high dividends, and good growth potential. Covered Call Writing is not a reason to own stocks, but the strategy might be of help if you already own them. Prior to opening an account, you must receive and urged to read "Characteristics and Risk of Standardized Options," which is published by the Options Clearing Corporation in cooperation with NASD and all major U. S. stock exchanges. The booklet is available from any broker or financial advisor.

         
    How to choose a uranium stock

     

    Now that the uranium bull market has gone to a new level, a number of exploration stocks made spectacular percentage gains after the International Investment Conference held in San Francisco in late November 2005. We turned to Kevin Bambrough, Market Strategist, and Jean-Francoise Tardif, Portfolio Manager, at Sprott Asset Management for their advice on how to navigate through the more than 250 uranium exploration, development and producing companies available across the global investment landscape. Who better to ask than a fund that has invested around $175 million in uranium stocks the past few years, about 6.7 percent of more than $2.5 billion managed by Sprott Asset Management? The Sprott team has bet heavily on a nuclear energy renaissance, and early indications confirm very strong returns in their investments. Before our taped telephone interview, Kevin Bambrough emailed a few comments, “We would like to make the point about some incredible gains that have been had in the uranium sector. The list is growing but not the quality so investors should use extreme caution. As the uranium price rises, and money pours into exploration, we can expect to see some sizeable discoveries coming down the road. It should be exciting times.” Prior to StockInterview’s interviews with Mr. Bambrough and Mr. Tardif, they compiled a list of ten tips for investors studying uranium companies. The tips are listed below, followed by an extensive interview, first with Mr. Bambrough (in this installment) and a second installment with Mr. Bambrough and Mr. Tardif. The Ten Tips Investors Should Know 1. One of the best indicators of a project’s potential success could be past ownership. It's best to try to buy any mining stock early in the cycle. Try to pick up properties that were worked by majors during the last bull market but which eventually dropped during the lows of the bear market. During the last uranium boom of the 1970’s, many majors decided to completely exit the uranium sector. 2. Study the value of ore body with regards to its value per tonne, or its recoverable metal. Estimate the “all in” costs and feel comfortable with what you are paying. Risks-to-reward doesn’t favor pure exploration. Typically, we avoid pure exploration plays unless management is excellent, they have a large prospective land package, and the company is well financed. 3. Look for good, proven management, which has been successful in the past. 4. Look for solid shareholders. It is always nice to see that management has a large stake in the company. Often, this makes them value their paper more, and they will be less likely to engage in reckless stock issuance. If not management, I get comfort seeing that successful fund managers have large holdings. It is even better to see that a major company in a related industry has taken an interest in the company. 5. Look at the property’s infrastructure. Find out about electricity and water costs required for exploration, development and production. Find out about roads, rail, trucking, access and proximity to a mill. 6. Look for hidden value in the company. We always consider the value of existing infrastructure. From time to time we have been able to buy companies where existing facilities, perhaps a mill or shafts more than justify the entire market cap of the company. Past drilling for uranium will save money. Some companies have properties with very expensive shafts and/or mills. There are also companies with large extensive databases like Energy Metals Corporation (TSX: EMC) and Strathmore Minerals (TSX: STM). These databases of past drilling on various properties can be used to continue to acquire good prospects as well as sold in pieces. I would expect that they will also be able to use the data to farm in on other properties or sell other property owners valuable drill-hole data. 7. Buy emerging stories. It is great to find a company before it has any analyst coverage or even covered by letter writers. 8. Find out if the property is in a pro-mining environment. Ultimately, you need to mine. It's best to have a property in a location where government is pro-mining. We will still invest, though, as long as this factor is discounted in the stock. Some countries are so hungry for investment they will offer favorable tax rates and other incentives. Permitting can be costly and take a long time so this is very important. 9. Study the capital costs for the project and the currency in the country where the project is located. Typically, the lower the capital costs, the less risk in the project. The less a company risks, in time and money, to find out if the mine is economic, the greater its chance of success. Larger capital intensive projects usually take longer to bring on, and you could risk missing an important part of the cycle. I also like to consider currency moves and their possible impact. A strengthening local currency can drive up costs and destroy margins. A falling currency can dramatically improve the economics of the project 10. Funding can improve the story or outlook. Make your cash work. It's not really an option for a small investor but as an institution we love to invest in companies when we think our cash is going to make a huge difference. Examples include when Aflease (now SXR Uranium One – TSE: SXR) had cash problems and was being deeply discounted, or our recent Tournigan (TSX: TVC) funding to pay for confirmation drilling and exploration on the Jahodna uranium deposit in Slovakia.

         
    How to evaluate a good stock market timing system

     

    Copyright 2006 Equitrend, Inc. No matter what investment discipline you use, there are three important variables for measuring your success - peak-to-valley drawdown, beta, reward/risk ratio. The first and most important factor is your measure of risk. Performance volatility is a measure of the variability of an investment's rate of return. Specifically, it is the standard deviation of the sample set of monthly returns that have been observed for the investment over the interval being considered. A simple way to measure a good stock market timing system is to calculate the largest peak-to-valley drawdown that has or would have occurred in the last five years. This drawdown is your measure of risk. Second, is your beta to the overall market. Beta is an important variable that measures portfolio or timing system volatility as compared to an index. Most Betas are calculated based on the S&P 500 index. A beta of one tells you that the system has the same volatility (i. e. risk) as the S&P 500 index. A beta of two tells you that the system has twice the volatility as the S&P 500 index. By actively managing your money, your stock market timing system should allow you to reduce the beta of your portfolio as compared to the index you are trading and substantially improve your returns over time. Third, is your reward/risk ratio, which calculates your reward as compared to your risk. In order to calculate this, you need to know your average rate of return. A rule of thumb is that your return should be at least twice as large as your risk. For example, if your largest peak-to-valley drawdown percentage over the last five years is 15%, your average rate of return should be at least 30%. In other words, your reward/risk ratio (30%/15% = 2) should be 2 or greater. The best stock market timing system for you will depend a lot on your personality, specifically your tolerance for risk. You might think a trend timing system that averages 80% is a great system, but what if I told you that system had a risk potential of 35%? Most people cannot tolerate a system that decreases their investment capital more than 20%. Your tolerance and ability to accept risk should help you identify a stock market timing system that’s right for you. There are only a few systems available that really work. Most come and go like mayflies on a warm summer’s day. When evaluating a timing system, it’s important to consider all of the above factors plus whether or not the system has survived and prospered over at least a five year period. If they’ve made it through the last five to six years, you’ve likely found a good stock market timing system.

         
    How to evaluate an isl uranium company

     

    Over the past two years, the common myth circulated among investors has been “pounds in the ground.” How many pounds of U3O8 does a company have in the ground? The more pounds a company claims, and more importantly gets institutions and investors to believe, the higher its market capitalization has run. Bigger is always better in most cases, but recovering uranium through an ISL operation, like any other mining operation, has its quirks. During the early stage of this uranium bull market, pounds-in-the-ground was an important yardstick. But just as one can have a million-ounce gold deposit, with a complexity of metallurgical problems that prohibit a robust economic recovery or offer a paltry grade of gold in the ore, investors may discover the same problems in properly evaluating a company’s uranium claims. Instead of asking a company’s investor relations department how many pounds of uranium they have in the ground, find out how much uranium pounds they can actually recover and produce, and how much it will cost them to mine their property. Ask instead these questions: · How permeable are the ore bodies you plan to mine? · What is your average grade? · Over what area does your rollfront extend? · What is the depth of your ore body? By the time you have finished reading this feature, you should have a better grasp on the economics of ISL mining. You should be better equipped to make a more intelligent decision about your favorite company. First, let’s examine the nature of a uranium mineralized rollfront. Understanding the rollfront will give you the key tools required to accurately evaluate the prospects of any ISL uranium development company. THE “ROLL FRONT” IS YOUR FRIEND In the first article, we interviewed Charles Don Show, who helped pioneer ISL uranium mining as an economic means to extract lower grade ore from underground mining operations. In Snow’s 1978 article entitled, “Gas Hills Uranium District, Wyoming – A Review of History and Production,” published in the Wyoming Geological Association Guidebook, he wrote about the development of the “roll front” theory. He wrote about discussions the project geologists were having in the summer of 1955 about Utah Construction Company’s recently acquired option on the Lucky Mc uranium properties in Wyoming’s Gas Hill District: “Offset drilling Project 4 intersected one major mineralized zone with a grade thickness product over 10 percent U3O8. An offset of this and one other mineralized hole about 2500 feet away were barren. Many discussions of why the ore was in these ‘isolated’ pods were carried on late into the night… It was during the period of development of the reserves that members of the staff started referring to different layers and separated pods as areas of mineralization where chemical changes had caused deposition and soon the word ‘chemical front’ was in common usage.” Three years later, Paul A. Riddell prepared a report to document the ore occurrences at the Lucky Mc mine. He was among the first to use terminology that has since become an integral part of the “Roll Front” concept. In his project report, Riddell wrote: “In conclusion, the uranium appears to be restricted to more porous beds, but is not evenly distributed within these beds. The boundaries between ore and lean material are erratic – sometimes sharp and sometimes gradational. They do not appear to be related to changes in sedimentation within the beds. Others have suggested that the boundaries represent ‘chemical fronts,’ and this theory appears reasonable in light of present information.” Originally called chemical fronts, these “pods” contained various grades of uranium. Each pod or roll front is comprised of different mineralization. Understanding that mineralization and how to extract the uranium alone determines how viable a deposit might be. If you imagine roll fronts in a uranium area as if they were lily pods in a pond, you are off to a good start. When a company announces it has uranium mineralization on its property, this could mean it has many pods, or fronts. Ideally, you hope to have multiple “fronts” available on your ground. “Typically, the meat of the front (multiple percent of uranium) is only a few feet to ten feet wide at the most,” Strathmore Minerals president David Miller explained. “This is the part that your ISL wells have to address correctly. If you look at all the mineralization in a single front system, above 0.03 percent, then from the tails to the front could be 100 feet or more. If you look at the multiple fronts in stacked sands, and you look at one end of the system to the other, the width can be several miles. The length of any of these can be tens of miles, but the good stuff comes and goes.” Miller compared these multiple fronts to “pearls on a string.” There may be one, two or three roll fronts in one well field. “There may be more than three roll fronts,” Miller added. “There may be that many or more even in one pattern.” Again, they are pods and they may be stacked in layers, like lasagna. “The number of roll fronts in a pattern does not really matter, except for operational reasons,” Miller explained. “It is more complex to properly address multiple roll fronts than a single roll front, and you may not be able to optimize recovery of all of them.” PERMEABLITY IS THE KEY Getting down to the business of ISL mining a roll front requires that we understand the role permeability plays in this mining method. Permeability is the flow rate of the liquids through the porous sandstone. Knowing what the permeability of the orebody will let you know how much water you can get through the sandstone formation. According to Uranerz Energy Chief Executive Glenn Catchpole, who is also a hydrologist, the typical porosity of sandstone is 10 to 20 percent. Porosity is the void space between the sandstone grains. By comparison, clay has a porosity of between 45 and 55 percent. Catchpole said, “A property’s formation has to have sufficient permeability to make the project economic.” In order to dissolve the uranium into solution, you have to know the “pore volumes.” That’s the measure of the pore space in the rock. “You’re passing fluid through the formation about 30 times to dissolve the uranium,” explained UR-Energy Chief Executive William Boberg. “Part of a successful operation is knowing how many pore volumes we feel it’s going to take to make it all work.” Uranium Energy Corporation Chief Operating Officer Harry Anthony, an internationally recognized ISL expert, noted, “You need higher grade ore for tight formations. With high permeability, you can space your wells further apart.” As with any industry, it boils down to economics. How much to operate the plant? Anthony gave an example of an ISL plant operating at 5000 gallons per minute. Running 24 hours daily, the plant would process 7.2 million gallons of water. That’s more than 2.6 billion gallons of water processed every year. Operating costs are based upon cost per thousand gallons of water. “This includes electricity, reagents and labor,” said Anthony. On a daily basis, it would cost more than $21,000 to run an ISL plant, based upon Anthony’s calculations of $3.03 per thousand gallons of water. Using a 5,000 gallon per minute scenario, a plant might produce 2360 pounds of U3O8 every day or 80,000 pounds monthly. The cost to produce each pound would be $8.18. Using that math, the uranium grades would be about 44 parts per million (ppm) or 0.08. Anthony said, “I like to see 70ppm or higher.” A grade of 0.13 is 75ppm. With low permeability in a tight formation, you may need to space more wells in a typical well field pattern. How much does each well cost? That depends upon the depth of the roll front deposit. While explaining that costs are fixed and variable, Anthony computed the cost of a production well for a 500 foot deposit at $15,000. An injection well could cost $11,000 to install. By comparison, in New Mexico, where the deposits are wider and of higher grade, a 2000-foot production well might cost $27,000 and the injection well could cost $18,000, and it would still be economic. Why are we talking about well installation costs? Again, it comes back to permeability. If the flow rate is lower, bringing an ISL well field into production costs more. Glenn Catchpole explained, “If your plant is running at 3000 gallons per minute (gpm), and the formation is tight, each production well might only have 10gpm flowing. A more permeable formation might have 20gpm flowing.” That means twice as many production wells are required to satisfy the ISL plant’s 3000gpm flow level. Installation costs have doubled, and that would also impact operating costs. And a company which once might have looked like it had an economic orebody could now smell like week old fish. PUMP TESTING FOR PERMEABILITY “The pump tests are extremely valuable,” explained Boberg. “The pump tests are one of the go/no-go considerations for what we’re doing.” Boberg told us UR-Energy expected to start drilling by the end of April or May on their Lost Soldier property in Wyoming. “We’ll be putting in the initial drill holes for the tests, and we’ll be doing the pump tests following that.” In one of series of tests, Boberg explained, “We take a core out of the hole (3 inches diameter and 6 inches tall) and test it vertically by forcing fluid through it.” Because the movement of the fluids in the substrata, from one well to another, is horizontal, the only way to really find out the permeability and porosity is by drilling a hole and putting a pump in it. Catchpole explained the procedure, “You put the equipment down your monitor wells to measure drawdown.” Quite simply, you measure how far the water goes down. “The pump test will tell you permeability.” A good pump test takes between 24 and 72 hours to complete. Catchpole’s Uranerz Energy plans to run their pump tests this summer on their Excalibur property in the northeastern Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. The make-break point for a formation’s permeability is its Darcy rating. How high is the Darcy? A typical Darcy can range from minus 1000 to plus 3. The higher the Darcy, the more permeable the formation and that would help determine how economic the orebody is. An acceptable range would be one-half to one Darcy. What is a Darcy? Catchpole said, “It is gallons per day over feet squared.” He added a pure hydrologist would calculate the feet per day or centimeters per second to get a more accurate permeability assessment. However, the Darcy is a widely accepted measuring unit in the industry. Until a company gets its Darcy rating on its property, one can’t be completely certain the property can be mined by ISL. What guidelines does one depend upon? Catchpole said, “Historical research can give you permeability levels for a formation.” So we asked Catchpole how he felt about his Excalibur properties. He answered, “We know our properties are permeable enough.” How permeable will be answered with the pump tests. OTHER FACTORS Uranium grades can be a contentious point, so we asked our ad hoc panel of experts. “Grade is the driving force,” Harry Anthony shot back. We asked him about companies which said they could run an economic ISL operation with grades as low, or lower than 0.02. Anthony laughed, “They are crazy. They’d be out of business before they started.” Catchpole was more reserved in responding, “It probably wouldn’t have an economic recovery.” Strathmore’s David Miller offered a more technical analysis, “Frankly, that will not likely have enough recoverable pounds. The operating grade feeding the plant will be too low. What is the best grade? 0.5, 0.10, or 0.15. It depends upon the deposit.” How much can you actually recover? Boberg explained the problems of pounds-in-the-ground. “Let’s say we’ve got 100 million pounds of uranium now. How much of that can we actually mine? There may be 10 million in a particular orebody that looks like we can mine it. If we build an operation around that, we might be able to develop an access to maybe 7 million pounds of that. And in a recovery process, we might only be able to recover 70 percent of that.” Every company has to also be very careful in studying their orebodies before building their plant. “We’ve got to make sure that the plant we’re building isn’t built over a potential resource,” Boberg emphasized. “We’ve got to drill under that to make sure we’re not accidentally putting the plant over another part of the deposit.” Another worry with an orebody is channeling. “You don’t want channeling,” Catchpole insisted.” Channeling suggests the water is going through a very narrow path. “If your orebody has a thickness of ten feet and your channel of flow is one foot, you are missing most of the uranium formation,” said Catchpole. “You may have good flow rates, but not much U3O8 recovery.” Sometimes, a channel can be a natural occurrence, where the flow is along a fault. The channel creates a smaller, but preferred path for the fluids to flow through. . Unlike fracturing a formation to release natural, or coalbed methane, gas, a fractured channel has the opposite effect on ISL uranium mining. How much does it cost to install a well field pattern, and is it economic to do so? “The art part of an ISL operation is interpreting the ore body and the hydrology,” Catchpole explained. “Your hydrologic test results determine where you think the solutions are going to flow best. In other words, which direction has the best or least permeability. This has to get factored into how you lay out those patterns, the width of your orebody, and how far out to the edge of the orebody you go.” In a well field pattern, Strathmore’s David Miller can determine the economic viability of the ground. “The keys to what is recoverable are: (a) how many pounds are recoverable per pattern? And (b) what does it cost to install a pattern?” Miller explained. “If you have 10,000 pounds in place and can recover 8000 pounds, your well field development cost can be $8/pound, if it costs you $80,000 to install that pattern. Add your operating cost, capital amortization and restoration cost, and you would have a total cost.” Finally, the cost to install a pattern also depends over how much territory your roll front deposits run. “Ten million pounds over an area of one-half mile will cost less than those same pounds over an area of two to four miles,” remarked Terrence Osier, senior geologist for Strathmore Minerals. “That means more injection wells and more production wells.” Depth of the wells influences its installation cost, as mentioned previously, and impacts its daily operating cost. “When uranium costs were very low, a few years ago, a company needed 70,000 pounds per pattern,” Harry Anthony commented. “Now a company might only need 20,000 pounds per pattern to make it economic.” There are many variables within the above advices provided by these experts. However, the important point to realize is the time of hyperbole and hoopla over “pounds in the ground” has passed. As more uranium development companies move closer to establishing an ISL operation, the go/no-go consideration, as William Boberg aptly described it, will come down to permeability. After that, the economics of a project will either make it viable or not.

         
    How to find how much stock a ceo holds

     

    Corporate officers enjoy many additional benefits over rank-and-file workers. For the uninitiated, it may be surprising to learn the amount of stock compensation they hold. Are you curious about how much stock the CEO and other officers of a particular company control? You can find out very easily. This is how to uncover the amount of stock held by the officer of any publicly held company. Go to the NASDAQ web site and enter the stock ticker symbol for the company you are interested in. Click on 'Flash Quotes'. Use the drop down box to select 'Insider Form 4'. Scan down the list until you find the company officer's name you are interested in. Click on that name. Go to the top of the list which should be the latest date. Move your eyes to the far right column entitled 'holdings'. That is how many shares that officer currently holds and controls. Multiply that number by the most recent price for the company's stock and you will arrive at a dollar figure. Of course, that figure will change from day to day. You may be amazed at just how high that number is. Consider that this is merely the officer's current stock holdings. It doesn't tell you how many shares he has sold in the past; it also doesn't tell you how many shares the company will grant him or her in the future. When you start to look at these figures you may find them amazing. If you are currently a company CEO or officer, the numbers will not shock you because you will already be familiar with them. However, if you are currently an employee for a publicly held company you may wonder about the discrepancy between your salary and the officers' stock holdings. Some will say, "but the CEO and other officers worked hard for their money". And that may very well be true. But did they really work any harder than you on a day to day basis? And if they did, does the harder work they did add up to account for the discrepancy between an average worker's pay and a company officer's stock holdings? Chances are, the answer is no. This leads to some interesting realizations about how our economy works. The days of serfdom are supposed to be over, but are they really? We now have an economic feudal system. The real estate owned and tribute collected by a monarch have been replaced with stock compensation for corporate officers and owners. But the serf or worker is the one who does the work. The monarch and his court are still the ones who reap the rewards. In private companies you probably won't be able to find out the information that you can find on the NASDAQ web site about publicly traded companies. I think it is a good thing that the SEC or Securities and Exchange Commission requires this information to be available to the public. Of course, it is meant to be available to potential investors. But if you own stock in your company via a 401K plan, then you are an investor. Besides the NASDAQ web site, you can also find this information on the Securities and Exchange Commission's web site. In fact, there is a wealth of information out there to discover. In many instances it is actually easier to find on the NASDAQ web site. Perhaps knowing the value of the stock held by company officers will make you less timid about asking for that raise you've been thinking about. Knowledge often equates to power.

         
     
         
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