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Thursday, January 2, 2014

What problems to look for when purchasing a car

By Lindsey Patterson

Purchasing a car can be an exciting and tension-filled moment. There are various hurdles to cross for most consumers such as financing, trade-ins, budgeting concerns, and insurance questions. At the same exact time, car salesmen are attempting to sell a vehicle as close to the listed price as possible.

It is important for a car buyer to be aware of several factors before agreeing to a purchase a new or used car. There are 5 bad things to look for when buying a car. In order to be confident that the car a consumer is buying does not have any of the same 5 problems, research into which car issues could potentially leave a new buyer at the mercy of a problematic vehicle is necessary.

The 5 potential problems to be aware of when buying a car include the following:

Vehicle purchase tips
Established dealerships have more credibility
Problem 1: Unscrupulous Dealerships

Auto dealerships that have been in business for a short time could be indicative of future problems with a consumer’s car purchase. While every business, including car dealerships start out somewhere, it is always a better idea to shop for a car at a reputable dealership that has been established in the community for longer than three years.

Problem 2: No bargaining skills

Consumers often walk into a car dealership with the notion that they will be able to point out the car of their choice, name a price, get financed, and drive away with a new car. While this is the dream of most car buyers, it rarely happens this way. Most car buyers have not bargaining skills to work with and tend to get stuck with an overpriced car that is not worth the money.

Problem 3: Not demanding a vehicle inspection

Vehicle purchase tips
Used vehicles aren't necessarily road safe
In the event that a consumer finds their car of choice, a full vehicle inspection should be done in order to make certain everything is working optimally inside and outside of the vehicle.

Unfortunately, many or most novice car buyers do not ask for an inspection and falsely assume that the car must be in great shape because dealerships wouldn't sell a vehicle that was a potential lemon. A word of caution; even new cars should be inspected before purchasing.


Problem 4: Turning down a test drive

Before signing any purchase agreement for a new car, take advantage of the test drive. It is important to see a firsthand acount on how the vehicle handles on the road, especially on the highway. The test drive also gives the consumer the opportunity to test the “bells and whistles" of the vehicle including the radio, seat adjustments, heating/cooling, and ride comfort.


Problem 5: Not taking advantage of CTP insurance

This insurance is also known as Compulsory Third Party Insurance, which all new car owners should look into when buying a new car. This type of policy covers personal neglect or fatal injuries that may occur while driving on the road. It offers excellent protection in the case of accidents and unintended harm from a vehicle accident.

About the authorLindsey Patterson is a freelance writer who specializes in technology and the latest social trends, specifically involving social media.

Image licenses: 1. Emilio Labrador, Creative Commons;   2. USAG-Humphreys-US-PDGov

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

5 gap trading tips for beginners

Gap trading
Four trading techniques are used in gap trading
The first piece of advice for getting started in gap trading is that this does not require a degree in rocket science to do once you learn the basic terminology, know the amount of capital you have to work with and take appropriate action. 

Although in the beginning some decisions will not reap large profits and may result in some loss, bear in mind that nothing ventured definitely results in nothing gained. Day traders regard gap trading as an invaluable tool with the capacity to indicate when to move and in which direction.

According to information at Investopedia, the gap is often referred to as the gray area or space that exists as no price rise or fall occurs during a period of no trading activity. Obviously there are two options involving financial instruments, an up trend happens when the market opens for a particular instrument wherein the opening price is higher than the previous day's close. A down trend occurs when the previous day's close is lower than the previous day's highest price.

The four categories of gaps are: breakaway, exhaustion, common/measuring and continuation. Breakaway is the space between the price pattern ending and the beginning of a new movement trend. At the end of the pattern, exhaustion occurs. At this point an attempt must be made to find the space between the new high and low price. The common/measuring gap occurs when the movement does not fit or fall within any pattern. To some experts, the space between the measuring gap and the exhaustion is regarded as an iffy zone. At this juncture, it is paramount to pay attention to activity volume as a clue to when the next exhaustion gap is likely to occur.

Continuation happens somewhere near the middle of a price pattern. This event is characterized by a frantic period of purchase and sales activity most often said to stem from hunches and/or suggested analytical predictions relative to price movement.

During a trading day, gaps are said to be filled when the price is equal to the pre-gap activity level. Serious gap traders focus on cash flow statements to predict when sales will drop in the direction of the previous day price close at which point the gap is said to be filled.

Once your comfort zone of knowing what gaps are and basically how they work exists, it is time to follow five basic gap trading guidelines for beginners: 
Step 1. Select a stock or other financial instrument and focus you total concentration on all things pertinent to that instrument.

Step 2. Watch that stock's activity for one hour, preferably at opening of the traditional market day, to zero in on the rise and fall movement. Adopt one of two options, long position or short position. For long position, it is advisable to set your exit at eight percent below the purchase price. In short position, set the exit buy-to-cover price at four percent above the price paid. A price drop indicates the time to reset the stop at four percent above that figure.

Step 3. Analyze the range and set exit positions. Full Open Gap (long) indicates that if the open price is higher than the previous high, long-stop should be set two ticks or points above that price. Applying this same rule to Short Up Gap, the stop should be set two ticks beneath the open price. Many regard the Full Gap Down as a “Dead Cat Bounce,” because the price should lie beneath the current day's close and beneath the previous day's low. The best option in this case is to set the stop two ticks under the first hour's low.

Step 4. Caution flags must be considered when the open is above the prior day's high. This activity should be watched for two days because demand is high and orders are still left unfilled. Floor agents have been known to make big price alterations in this situation. While a partial gap creates less demand, a small alteration can trigger heightened buy/sell activity.

Step 5. Visit this site for additional tips on gap trading. In the beginning, many traders wait too long to sell when the price is moving upward, to buy when the price is descending and above all to cancel all no-fill orders before the market opens for the day.

The importance of the manufacturing industry on the Australian economy

Australian employment is supported by the manufacturing industry
Australian manufacturing employment: 2011 Census
In the Internet age, the creation, sale and export of digital content has become the biggest driver of many countries' economies. Though the world is slowly transitioning away from the manufacturing of goods, they are still needed.

Manufacturing is a significant percentage of Australia's gross domestic product. Changes to economic and political conditions that affect Australia's manufacturing output affect Australia's economy and its people in many ways.


Australia employs almost 1 million workers in the manufacturing sector. Those workers produce about 8 percent of Australia's gross domestic product. A disproportionately large percentage of Australian manufacturing goes to exports, to the United States in particular. In the global financial crisis, over 100,000 manufacturing jobs were lost. Government experts estimate that a further 85,000 jobs may be lost over the next five years as the economy recovers.

This loss of employment leads many manufacturers to argue that the government should intervene. For example, Australia's car manufacturing industry aces a potential crisis similar to the circumstances requiring the 2009 U.S. bailout of American corporation General Motors. Without incentives to produce, and facing many barriers on export, Australia's automakers are decreasing production. This industry receives only $500 million per year in government incentives, yet produces $21.5 billion in revenue. With a trade deficit and difficulties competing with other manufacturing nations, these corporations believe that stimulating auto production will lead to an even greater return on investment.

Exchange rates

Exports are a particular concern for the Australian manufacturing industry. In recent years, the Australian currency exchange rate has been comparatively high. This has posed a number of problems in manufacturing, especially when it comes to competition for export markets. Being considered a "high-cost" country has made it difficult for Australia to compete with China for market share of countries like the U.S. However, in the past year, the exchange rate has dropped. In 2012, the Australian dollar (AUD) was worth about $.91 to the U.S. dollar.

At the end of 2013, that exchange rate dropped below $.90, and fell to 55.22 pence to the British pound sterling and 66.58 Euro cents on the Euro dollar. Financial experts claim that the drop occurred as a result of the doubling of Australia's trade deficit. This is despite the increase in commodity prices for precious metals such as gold, iron ore and copper, which are significant to Australia's export economy.

The difference in the exchange rate has a number of potential economic implications. As the dollar drops, Australia may be better able to compete with foreign interests with lower-rated currencies, such as China and New Zealand. While few Australian businesses or investors want to return to the days when the AUD was only about half of the U.S. dollar, many feel that the current exchange rate is far too high. Some have suggested ending the float of the AUD, which has been the case since 1983. They recommend fixing the AUD at 75 cents on the U.S. dollar. Dropping the AUD faces competition from other economic sectors, particularly imports. If the AUD drops significantly, the cost of imports will dramatically rise. While currency devaluation stands to overall benefit the manufacturing and export industries, it faces natural resistance from Australian consumers.

The global financial crisis has caused a great deal of economic trouble for nearly all nations. Australia is no exception to this. And yet, if Australia can improve its export relationships and make it easier for manufacturers to thrive, its economy will continue to benefit from this industry.

About the author: Nicole is a blogger for the manufacturing industry. She loves writing about anything to do with the manufacturing process, including everything from manufacturing news to the best bearings on the market. In her opinion, Statewide Bearing Services offer the best bearings she could find.

Image license: Toby Hudson, Australian Bureau of Statistics, CC BY-SA 3.0 AU

How to retain the value of your car

Automobile resale value
Proper car maintenance optimizes resale value
It's a well-known fact that of all the purchases we make, cars tend to depreciate the fastest. And since buying a car is a big investment, this can be financial bad news for many people.

Despite hefty costs, there are lots of things that you can do to help retain the value of your car, so that when it does come time to sell or trade it in, its new price tag won't give you a nasty shock.

Buy a car that holds its value well

Some cars hold their value better than others, so when you're buying a car, think long term. Choose one that you know holds its value well, should you decide to sell it in the future. The Hyundai Accent, Mazda 3, Honda Accord and Toyota Avalon are currently vehicles that enjoy the best resale values.

Keep your car in good condition

It make sense really, but if you look after your car by giving it a regular wax and polish, it will keep in good shape for longer, thus holding onto its value for as long as possible. Moreover, according to Kelly Blue Book, a well kept record of vehicle maintenance helps retain value.

Maintain good interior care

Don't just look after the exterior of your car. The interior can make a difference to the resale value, so keep the inside of your vehicle in good condition. Keep it clean and tidy, and don't allow anyone to smoke inside the vehicle. Moreover, cleaning and polishing interior vinyl or leather preserves quality and appearance.

Seat covers

If children or pets are regular passengers in your car, then invest in some seat covers to protect the interiors from mucky paws. This will keep your car in good condition and won't compromise the resale value of it.

Protect it from the elements

If you have a garage or a car port, then make good use of it by storing your car in there to protect it from the outside elements. Icy conditions can cause problems with the engine, but be aware that strong sunlight can cause damage to paintwork, as well. In areas were salt is used in winter,  early rust or corrosion of the undercarriage can occur. This can be limited with more frequent car washes in the winter season.

Drive it with care

Be kind to your car and don't treat it with disrespect. Don't make it do things that it's clearly not designed for. If you don't have a 4x4, then your small motor might not be too happy trudging up, off-road tracks, for instance. Overstretching your car will soon become apparent when it comes time to resell.

Keep on top of maintenance

Make sure your car is serviced regularly and maintenance checks are kept up to date. Get minor problems sorted before they develop into big (and very expensive) issues, which could potentially impact on the resale value of your vehicle.

Mind where you park

When cars get bumped or scraped it's often caused by bad parking, or parking in a place that leaves your vehicle vulnerable. When you park your car, be careful where you choose to place it, and avoid situations where it might come into contact with other cars.

Don't rack up too much mileage

A big mileage on the clock won't do much for the resale value of your car, so if there are any times when you could use other forms of transport instead of your car, it might be worth considering. For instance, on a sunny day, why not get on your bike to go to pick up a loaf of bread from the shops, instead of instantly hopping into your car? It might not seem like much in itself, but if you add up all the little trips to the shop, the mileage soon racks up.

Don't over customise your car

If you add too many extras and customisations to your car, it could affect the resale value in a negative way, because the changes might not to the taste and preference of other people.

About the author: Alex writes for Toolorders - market leaders in quality online tools

Image license: Ludovic Hirlliman; CC BY-SA 2.0