3 Forex Trading Strategies For Serious Traders [ That Work! ]

Former investment bank FX trader: News trading and second order thinking part 2/2

Former investment bank FX trader: News trading and second order thinking part 2/2
Thanks for all the upvotes and comments on the previous pieces:
From the first half of the news trading note we learned some ways to estimate what is priced in by the market. We learned that we are trading any gap in market expectations rather than the result itself. A good result when the market expected a fantastic result is disappointing! We also looked at second order thinking. After all that, I hope the reaction of prices to events is starting to make more sense to you.

Before you understand the core concepts of pricing in and second order thinking, price reactions to events can seem mystifying at times
We'll add one thought-provoking quote. Keynes (that rare economist who also managed institutional money) offered this analogy. He compared selecting investments to a beauty contest in which newspaper readers would write in with their votes and win a prize if their votes most closely matched the six most popularly selected women across all readers:
It is not a case of choosing those (faces) which, to the best of one’s judgment, are really the prettiest, nor even those which average opinions genuinely thinks the prettiest. We have reached the third degree where we devote our intelligences to anticipating what average opinion expects the average opinion to be.
Trading is no different. You are trying to anticipate how other traders will react to news and how that will move prices. Perhaps you disagree with their reaction. Still, if you can anticipate what it will be you would be sensible to act upon it. Don't forget: meanwhile they are also trying to anticipate what you and everyone else will do.

Part II
  • Preparing for quantitative and qualitative releases
  • Data surprise index
  • Using recent events to predict future reactions
  • Buy the rumour, sell the fact
  • The trimming position effect
  • Reversals
  • Some key FX releases

Preparing for quantitative and qualitative releases

The majority of releases are quantitative. All that means is there’s some number. Like unemployment figures or GDP.
Historic results provide interesting context. We are looking below the Australian unemployment rate which is released monthly. If you plot it out a few years back you can spot a clear trend, which got massively reversed. Knowing this trend gives you additional information when the figure is released. In the same way prices can trend so do economic data.

A great resource that's totally free to use
This makes sense: if for example things are getting steadily better in the economy you’d expect to see unemployment steadily going down.
Knowing the trend and how much noise there is in the data gives you an informational edge over lazy traders.
For example, when we see the spike above 6% on the above you’d instantly know it was crazy and a huge trading opportunity since a) the fluctuations month on month are normally tiny and b) it is a huge reversal of the long-term trend.
Would all the other AUDUSD traders know and react proportionately? If not and yet they still trade, their laziness may be an opportunity for more informed traders to make some money.
Tradingeconomics.com offers really high quality analysis. You can see all the major indicators for each country. Clicking them brings up their history as well as an explanation of what they show.
For example, here’s German Consumer Confidence.

Helpful context
There are also qualitative events. Normally these are speeches by Central Bankers.
There are whole blogs dedicated to closely reading such texts and looking for subtle changes in direction or opinion on the economy. Stuff like how often does the phrase "in a good place" come up when the Chair of the Fed speaks. It is pretty dry stuff. Yet these are leading indicators of how each member may vote to set interest rates. Ed Yardeni is the go-to guy on central banks.

Data surprise index

The other thing you might look at is something investment banks produce for their customers. A data surprise index. I am not sure if these are available in retail land - there's no reason they shouldn't be but the economic calendars online are very basic.
You’ll remember we talked about data not being good or bad of itself but good or bad relative to what was expected. These indices measure this difference.
If results are consistently better than analysts expect then you’ll see a positive number. If they are consistently worse than analysts expect a negative number. You can see they tend to swing from positive to negative.

Mean reversion at its best! Data surprise indices measure how much better or worse data came in vs forecast
There are many theories for this but in general people consider that analysts herd around the consensus. They are scared to be outliers and look ‘wrong’ or ‘stupid’ so they instead place estimates close to the pack of their peers.
When economic conditions change they may therefore be slow to update. When they are wrong consistently - say too bearish - they eventually flip the other way and become too bullish.
These charts can be interesting to give you an idea of how the recent data releases have been versus market expectations. You may try to spot the turning points in macroeconomic data that drive long term currency prices and trends.

Using recent events to predict future reactions

The market reaction function is the most important thing on an economic calendar in many ways. It means: what will happen to the price if the data is better or worse than the market expects?
That seems easy to answer but it is not.
Consider the example of consumer confidence we had earlier.
  • Many times the market will shrug and ignore it.
  • But when the economic recovery is predicated on a strong consumer it may move markets a lot.
Or consider the S&P index of US stocks (Wall Street).
  • If you get good economic data that beats analyst estimates surely it should go up? Well, sometimes that is certainly the case.
  • But good economic data might result in the US Central Bank raising interest rates. Raising interest rates will generally make the stock market go down!
So better than expected data could make the S&P go up (“the economy is great”) or down (“the Fed is more likely to raise rates”). It depends. The market can interpret the same data totally differently at different times.
One clue is to look at what happened to the price of risk assets at the last event.
For example, let’s say we looked at unemployment and it came in a lot worse than forecast last month. What happened to the S&P back then?

2% drop last time on a 'worse than expected' number ... so it it is 'better than expected' best guess is we rally 2% higher
So this tells us that - at least for our most recent event - the S&P moved 2% lower on a far worse than expected number. This gives us some guidance as to what it might do next time and the direction. Bad number = lower S&P. For a huge surprise 2% is the size of move we’d expect.
Again - this is a real limitation of online calendars. They should show next to the historic results (expected/actual) the reaction of various instruments.

Buy the rumour, sell the fact

A final example of an unpredictable reaction relates to the old rule of ‘Buy the rumour, sell the fact.’ This captures the tendency for markets to anticipate events and then reverse when they occur.

Buy the rumour, sell the fact
In short: people take profit and close their positions when what they expected to happen is confirmed.
So we have to decide which driver is most important to the market at any point in time. You obviously cannot ask every participant. The best way to do it is to look at what happened recently. Look at the price action during recent releases and you will get a feel for how much the market moves and in which direction.

Trimming or taking off positions

One thing to note is that events sometimes give smart participants information about positioning. This is because many traders take off or reduce positions ahead of big news events for risk management purposes.
Imagine we see GBPUSD rises in the hour before GDP release. That probably indicates the market is short and has taken off / flattened its positions.

The price action before an event can tell you about speculative positioning
If GDP is merely in line with expectations those same people are likely to add back their positions. They avoided a potential banana skin. This is why sometimes the market moves on an event that seemingly was bang on consensus.
But you have learned something. The speculative market is short and may prove vulnerable to a squeeze.

Two kinds of reversals

Fairly often you’ll see the market move in one direction on a release then turn around and go the other way.
These are known as reversals. Traders will often ‘fade’ a move, meaning bet against it and expect it to reverse.

Logical reversals

Sometimes this happens when the data looks good at first glance but the details don’t support it.
For example, say the headline is very bullish on German manufacturing numbers but then a minute later it becomes clear the company who releases the data has changed methodology or believes the number is driven by a one-off event. Or maybe the headline number is positive but buried in the detail there is a very negative revision to previous numbers.
Fading the initial spike is one way to trade news. Try looking at what the price action is one minute after the event and thirty minutes afterwards on historic releases.

Crazy reversals


Some reversals don't make sense
Sometimes a reversal happens for seemingly no fundamental reason. Say you get clearly positive news that is better than anyone expects. There are no caveats to the positive number. Yet the price briefly spikes up and then falls hard. What on earth?
This is a pure supply and demand thing. Even on bullish news the market cannot sustain a rally. The market is telling you it wants to sell this asset. Try not to get in its way.

Some key releases

As we have already discussed, different releases are important at different times. However, we’ll look at some consistently important ones in this final section.

Interest rates decisions

These can sometimes be unscheduled. However, normally the decisions are announced monthly. The exact process varies for each central bank. Typically there’s a headline decision e.g. maintain 0.75% rate.
You may also see “minutes” of the meeting in which the decision was reached and a vote tally e.g. 7 for maintain, 2 for lower rates. These are always top-tier data releases and have capacity to move the currency a lot.
A hawkish central bank (higher rates) will tend to move a currency higher whilst a dovish central bank (lower rates) will tend to move a currency lower.
A central banker speaking is always a big event

Non farm payrolls

These are released once per month. This is another top-tier release that will move all USD pairs as well as equities.
There are three numbers:
  • The headline number of jobs created (bigger is better)
  • The unemployment rate (smaller is better)
  • Average hourly earnings (depends)
Bear in mind these headline numbers are often off by around 75,000. If a report comes in +/- 25,000 of the forecast, that is probably a non event.
In general a positive response should move the USD higher but check recent price action.
Other countries each have their own unemployment data releases but this is the single most important release.

Surveys

There are various types of surveys: consumer confidence; house price expectations; purchasing managers index etc.
Each one basically asks a group of people if they expect to make more purchases or activity in their area of expertise to rise. There are so many we won’t go into each one here.
A really useful tool is the tradingeconomics.com economic indicators for each country. You can see all the major indicators and an explanation of each plus the historic results.

GDP

Gross Domestic Product is another big release. It is a measure of how much a country’s economy is growing.
In general the market focuses more on ‘advance’ GDP forecasts more than ‘final’ numbers, which are often released at the same time.
This is because the final figures are accurate but by the time they come around the market has already seen all the inputs. The advance figure tends to be less accurate but incorporates new information that the market may not have known before the release.
In general a strong GDP number is good for the domestic currency.

Inflation

Countries tend to release measures of inflation (increase in prices) each month. These releases are important mainly because they may influence the future decisions of the central bank, when setting the interest rate.
See the FX fundamentals section for more details.

Industrial data

Things like factory orders or or inventory levels. These can provide a leading indicator of the strength of the economy.
These numbers can be extremely volatile. This is because a one-off large order can drive the numbers well outside usual levels.
Pay careful attention to previous releases so you have a sense of how noisy each release is and what kind of moves might be expected.

Comments

Often there is really good stuff in the comments/replies. Check out 'squitstoomuch' for some excellent observations on why some news sources are noisy but early (think: Twitter, ZeroHedge). The Softbank story is a good recent example: was in ZeroHedge a day before the FT but the market moved on the FT. Also an interesting comment on mistakes, which definitely happen on breaking news, and can cause massive reversals.

submitted by getmrmarket to Forex [link] [comments]

Prelude to a Market Bloodbath: a Ludicrous Theory of How It All Started.

The text below was actually a comment of mine on another Redditor's post, but since I think they all left for the day, I have decided to create a standalone post with it.
Even though it's my theory, tbh I prefer the other theory of mine, which is:
From the COVID-19 outbreak to the great oil war between Russia & Saudi to the market crash, this whole event is a live simulation that some powerful group is executing for their future plan.
But today, I would like to present my less favourable theory: Theory of How COVID-19 Pandemic Has Started.
Obviously, for some parts, I got the sources. But for others, it's just a speculation based on the well known (?) inner working (political) systems of China.

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Both Shanghai clique (Jiang Zemin) and Communist Youth League (Hu Jintao) want to unseat Xi Jinping.
.A. Because:
Shanghai clique detests Xi Jinping because Xi & his Princelings put many key politburo of Shanghai clique in jail in the name of anti-corruption.
And Princelings took away Shanghai clique's influences from big key Chinese businesses such as Wanda Group, Alibaba Group & Tencent.
Communist Youth League loathes Xi Jinping because Xi & his Princelings broke China's 太上王 institution, the nation's long standing political treaty among the ruling classes, by sidelining most of Hu Jintao's prominent politburo in the council.
Subsequently, the political power of Li Keqiang's (Communist Youth League) within State Council has been dramatically minimized over the years, although he is the No. 2 party figure.
It was a break with two previous generations of leadership, which were based on consensus among members of the ruling party’s inner circle of power, the Standing Committee, a.k.a China's 太上王 institution.
So,
Shanghai clique and Communist Youth League decided to work together to hatch a seemingly perfect plan:
- Unseating Xi Jinping would be the best outcome, but they knew it would be laborious.
- While keep trying to unseat Xi, this operation by their plan should be something to weaken Xi Jinping's power within State Council.
- The operation should also reboot the political power of Li Keqiang to re-boost the current status of Communist Youth League within State Council.
- The operation should also restore the financial flow for Shanghai clique & the businesses that are still under Shanghai clique's control.
- By weakening Xi Jinping's power, the operation should reinstate Shanghai clique's control of (at least some of) key businesses of the nation.
- Used-to-be hyper wealthy Shanghai clique decided they were to be okay with what's going to happen in the field, colossal businesses loss in the region;
because 1) most of better businesses used to be owned by them have been already taken away by Princelings anyway. And 2) a while ago their foreign financial backers, such as Henry Kissinger, George Soros & Koos Bekker who used to be kissy kissy with them, left for the new power in China. Now those backers seems to be in bed with Xi. And 3) Xi started to crack down Shanghai clique's assets hidden overseas with the inside-info those backers provided to Xi. exploding head gifs
- The operation's process must appear natural, so the blame could never fall onto neither of Shanghai clique nor Communist Youth League.
- For the operation, they needed to pick an appropriate region where the influence of Shanghai clique and Communist Youth League were still prevalent.
- All the blame should fall under Xi & Princelings' political and bureaucratic incompetence.
.B. Preparation:
- Dr. Wang Yanyi is a Chinese immunologist. She is the director general at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the deputy director for Wuhan in the China Zhi Gong Party.
- Dr. Wang Yanyi is married to Chinese professor Shu Hongbing.
- Shu Hongbing is a Chinese cytologist and immunologist. He is a tier-1 member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a close associate of Jiang Mianheng thru said Academy and Shanghai Tech University connection.
- Jiang Mianheng is Jiang Zemin's son (Jiang Zemin = No. 1 in Shanghai clique). Jiang Mianheng has served as Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the first President of ShanghaiTech University.
- Because many international bodies are closely monitoring the NBL-4 facility in Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory and in turn the NBL-3 facility in the same laboratory attracts fewer observing eyes from outside bodies, they decided to use the latter to pick & modify the pathogen.
- The pathogen's spreading speed should be rapid to achieve the maximum effect.
- Jiang Chaoliang is a pro-Shanghai clique Chinese politician and he was the Communist Party Secretary of Hubei.
- Later, as a result of his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, Jiang Chaoliang has been replaced by Ying Yong, a close ally of Xi Jinping.
.C. Operation:
- The operators released a pathogen of their choice in Hubei near the end of 2019. The holiday season was coming up, so there would be large frequent crowds to spread the pathogen.
- Some people in the region started to experience flu like symptoms but they didn't think much about it because it's a Winter season.
- Seeing numerous passengers were unusually ill, the cab drivers in Wuhan city knew something was up with the area close to the city laboratory.
- The number of flu patients in Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University and Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University started to curiously go up.
- The CPC bureaucrats in said hospitals started to report the situation to their superiors. Then, in turn, those superiors reported to politburo in State Council.
- Finally, Xi Jinping received the news regarding the situation in Wuhan city.
- On Jan. 7, 2020, Xi demanded during a Politburo Standing Committee to take care of the situation.
- Jiang Chaoliang and the other pro-Shanghai clique politburo in Hubei province pretended listening to Xi's order but they quietly ignored it by suppressing the evidences + sabotaging the field. -- Have you read the article which was reporting that the researchers received a gag order from China’s NHC with instructions to destroy the samples?
- Shanghai clique & Communist Youth League told their relatives and close associates to leave the region. It would look business as usual because it's near the Chinese New Year holiday season.
- Remember, Academics & the related institutions in China are Shanghai clique's turf.
- On Jan. 14, W.H.O declared that "Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in Wuhan, China."
- On Jan. 20, 2020, after realizing his previous directions were conveniently ignored, Xi gave special instructions to control the now-became outbreak.
- But again the pro-Shanghai clique politburo in Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province pretended following Xi's instructions but ultimately ignored those by still sabotaging the proceedings.
- Wuhan mayor Zhou Xianwang allowed and in fact applauded a massive annual potluck banquet for 40,000 families from a city precinct, who (on the ordinary people levels) are mostly the supporters of Xi Jinping. ---- It's going to be interesting to see who they would blame later on if there were to be a disaster in the region.
- On Jan. 23, 2020, after having confirmed their relatives and close associates left the region, they imposed a lockdown in Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province.
- Before the lockdown, 5 million people have already left Wuhan city. It was on. Some of them went to their homes in the different regions of China. But some people with connections & means left China and went to U.S., South Korea, Iran, Italy, & France, which are Chinese tourists' popular destinations.
- Xi Jinping and his Princelings now suspected something was not right. Xi disappeared from the public view.
- Willy Lam, a political scientist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, commented that Xi Jinping's activities after his lengthy public disappearance looked like an attempt to shift blame to Li Keqiang if progress in fighting the disease is unsatisfactory.
.D. Outcome:
- With his performance of containing the situation were being praised by State Council, Li Keqiang's political power has been expanded within the council. ---- Li Keqiang belongs to China's Communist Youth League, which has been under Shanghai clique's control.
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- On Feb. 1, the US was the one of the first nations in the world along with Russia and N. Korea that banned not just Chinese nationals but all foreigners travelling from mainland China, declares public health emergency. And China and some US media criticized Trump for stoking fear and overreacting.
- On Feb. 3, China is expected to gradually implement a larger stimulus packages (in total) than a USD $572 billion from 2008. ---- Let's see where those money will go to. (Actually we would never find out but it will probably go to key people of Shanghai clique.)
- On Feb. 7, China National Petroleum Corp. has recently declared Force Majeure on gas imports. They are trying to make a breathing room for their foreign exchange reserves shortage. China's foreign exchange reserves fell to mere USD $3.1 trillion in Oct. 2019.
- On Feb. 12, the US targets Russian oil company for helping Venezuela skirt sanctions. ---- My guess is that at this moment, the US admin noticed something is up, so they tried to secure some leverage against Russia.
- Around Feb. 24, China is rumoured (on Twitter) to delay its US-China phase one trade deal implementation indefinitely which includes the increasement of China's purchasing American products & services by at least $200 billion over the next two years.
- If China indeed delays the phase one trade deal implementation, there won't be many comebacks (such as more tariffs) that the US can carry through, because now the pandemic is happening within the US Soil.
- On Feb. 24, S&P 500 Index started to drop. Opened with 3225.89 and closed 3128.21. By Feb. 28, it dropped to 2954.22.
- On Feb 28, China transferred more than 80,000 Uighurs to factories used by global brands such as Apple, Nike, & Volkswagen & among others.
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- On Mar. 1, China's State Council super tighten up their already draconian internet law.
- On Mar. 1, Princelings published an awesome propaganda called A Battle Against Epidemic: China Combating COVID-19 in 2020 which compiles numerous state media accounts on the heroic leadership of Xi Jinping, the vital role of the Communist Party, and the superiority of the Chinese system in fighting the virus.
- Starting at Mar. 3, the Fed has taken two significant measures to provide monetary stimulus.
- On Mar. 4, Xinhua News, China's official state-run press agency posted an article "Be bold: the world should thank China (理直气壮, 世界应该感谢中国)."
- Said article states "If China retaliates against the US at this time, it will also announce strategic control over medical products, and ban exports of said products to the US. ... If China declares today that its drugs are for domestic use only (banning exports), the US will fall into the hell of new coronavirus epidemic."
- This Xinhua article would be in part Shanghai clique's grand posturing (who are holding political power & capacity in medicals & biochemicals of China) to show off to people of China that Shanghai clique is still relevant in power.
- On Mar. 5, Shanghai Index has recovered the coronavirus loss almost completely.
- On Mar. 7, Saudi's Ahmed bin Abdulaziz and Muhammad bin Nayef were arrested on the claims of plotting to overthrow King Salman. ---- Ahmed bin Abdulaziz is known to have very tight investment-interest relationship with Bill Gates, Bill Browder, Blackstone, & Morgan Stanley.
- Interestingly, one common factor that connects Bill Gates, Bill Browder, Blackstone, & Morgan Stanley is China.
- On Mar. 8, the Russia–Saudi oil price war has initiated. The ostensible reason was simple. China, the biggest importer of oil from Saudi and Russia, was turning back tankers as the coronavirus outbreak forced the economy to a standstill.
- On, Mar. 13, China's Ministry of Commerce states that China is now the best region for global investment hedging.
- On Mar. 16, the fan club of Europe globalists (:D) has published a piece, China and Coronavirus: From Home-Made Disaster to Global Mega-Opportunity. The piece says the following:
Combined with the new aid disbursements and advice the other countries, Chinese leaders appear to be hoping that their heavily-promoted success in fighting the virus helps Beijing appear like a global leader on public health – and thus ready to take on other types of global leadership.
“The Chinese method is the only method that has proved successful” [in fighting the virus], is a message spread online in China by influencers, including many essentially promoting propaganda.
This is not necessarily true. After all, other wealthy Asian states have shown different, effective models. But it is certainly a message that seems to be resonating with opinion leaders around the world.
- On Mar. 16, the US stocks ended sharply lower with the Dow posting its worst point drop in history and falling to its lowest level in nearly three years. But some showed a faint hint of uncertain hope.
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Many thanks for reading up my long ass post!! -- The updated version is hopefully coming soon. :D
submitted by vanillabluesea to conspiracy [link] [comments]

Roughly 2 years after creating a company in China at my kitchen table, we’ve pivoted, tripled our staff and opened new offices. We’re changing the way e-commerce manufacturers import from China. Here’s how I did it.

I started a sourcing company that focuses on helping e-commerce sellers get products manufactured. Selling on Amazon is a popular topic these days, but I want to focus on the growth of my business and how we got where we are today.
I love reading about the growth of companies, both small and large. So here is me giving back.
Ask whatever questions you want, I’ll try to be as open as possible.
TL;DR My progress in building a company where I can act as an operator and not a micromanager
The Beginning
22 months ago I updated /entrepreneur of my minor progress in quitting my job at a product development company where I set out to help businesses get products manufactured from China.
You can read about it here: 14 Days in, and what started as an idea, is becoming a global business.
After starting the company and hiring a small Chinese staff working out of my apartment, in Shenzhen, China, we began getting a lot of clients by word of mouth and basic networking. The business model was simple, we act as the eyes, ears and boots on the ground in China for our customers. Our customers ranged from medium and large scale Amazon/eBay sellers, to brands that you can find in Wal Mart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Tesco and Target.
Our profit margins were pretty good, because we were acting as the middle man and paying factories with our clients money, our revenue was much higher than our profit. But our risk was minimal as we were never holding inventory. It wasn’t before long before where we had multiple millions of dollars in sales, which looked nice, but our profit margins only ranged from about 1% - 10% per order.
I realized we needed to scale, as my goal was to create a company, bring in talented operators and oversee operations without having to micromanage.
Trying to Scale Attempt 1:
Traditionally, Chinese companies scale via internal growth. The more employees you have, the bigger and more profitable you are. Our competitors have teams of 100+ people working in single offices. I don’t like this idea. Too much management, too messy and the overhead is too high. I tried to switch my clients over to a recurring revenue model. Nobody was biting. We tried to increase our profit, but the market was too competitive. The only possible option I saw to grow was to add a sales team and add more sourcing agents. - Again, an idea I did not love.
Trying to Scale Attempt 2:
China works based on scale. The higher the order quantity, the better it is for everyone. Because of this, we would often get weekly requests from small quantity e-commerce sellers who we’d constantly turn away because their order sizes were too small, and the work wasn’t worth the reward. I never liked turning people away. I had a client come back to me and tell me that there are no services out there who understand the business model of an e-commerce seller.
I decided I was going to find a way to help these types of e-commerce sellers.
A serious gap in this industry was identified. The only services out there for e-commerce sellers were training courses teaching new sellers how to make millions on Amazon. These were just courses, nothing different from the affiliate marketing, forex trading, work from home courses that new age entrepreneurs are seen creating as a way to earn a quick buck. Sure, some of this stuff was helpful, but there are still a ton of people out there who were actively selling online, they’ve surpassed the beginner mark and they are struggling to grow their business and deal with China at the same time. Having identified that group, our target customer was created.
The Problem:
We know that manufacturing works based on scale. So the larger the order, the lower the price, the greater the profit. Accepting to work with small sized importers was too dangerous in the existing model of sourcing suppliers, offering product quotations and hoping the client bites. There is way too much work involved just to offer a quotation, and hope the client was serious enough to place the order.
The Pivot:
We created a new service, outside of our existing website where the goal was to guide importers through the entire process of working with China. We’d act as the project manager, offering our purchasing office and resources in China in an outsourced model where we’d become a part of our clients company. We built an a la carte menu and offered our existing services to anyone who wanted them in a buy it now, productized fashion. They could purchase a sourcing service where we’d provide them with a list of qualified suppliers for a product they wanted to manufacture. They could purchase our negotiation service where we would negotiate for 8 days on their behalf. Clients could even have multiple samples shipped to our office in China, and we document them and ship them all together to them, saving them hundreds of dollars in shipping fees.
This service took off! We got tons of orders as a lot of people began talking about us on various forums and groups. But apparently this was not good enough. Everyone said, can you guys just do everything for us?
At this point, I had hired some marketing consultants and had close friends following what I was doing. Almost everyone was telling me to just create a full package and offer everything. I was reluctant at first, I told them all it would never work, there were too many unknown variables.
Eventually I caved it. I stayed up for 48 straight hours planning the restructuring of the entire business model. Previously, we were using Chinese sourcing agent who we’d train and have them work from home to source suppliers for these e-commerce clients. This process was great, as the overhead was much smaller, but it was not super reliable.
I stuck with the idea and built a service where clients could come to us with their product idea, we’d give them an idea of its feasibility, cost, etc. and then we’d get moving acting as their purchasing office. Total transparency. The client would know who the factory is, something most sourcing companies keep as a close secret. The goal was, for the client would be in the loop with everything, but would rely on a single representative at our company to handle all aspects in China for them.
The Marketing:
We built a list of 300 email subscribers we found via three Facebook groups. These 300 people were going to be our beta testers. We started a drip series email campaign that would educate them about the pitfalls when dealing with China, scare them of the risks, and sell them on our service. The day to launch was near. We were hoping for a 3% conversion rate from this list. That would have been enough for us to validate the new service and let us know whether or not to continue down the road of offering a service to this type of importer.
Five days after the launch our conversion rate from the drip campaign was roughly 30%. We were not equipped to handle that amount of sales. Frantic, I shut down the site, emailed all customers and informed them our site is down so we can focus on their orders.
In the weeks to come, I transitioned from half of our sourcing staff working from home, to a full staff in our office. Then we began interviewing and hiring like crazy. Brought three new sourcing agents on, left our small office and rented a new office which provided us more room to grow.
Rebuilding:
Once the shock wore off, reality began setting in. This idea was not only validated, the problem was not demand, it was supply. The past couple of months we’ve been building training programs, adding a management team and structuring our company to fit the mold of my original goal, operating and not micro managing.
Now, I have two strong managers. One manages the sourcing team and the other manages the account reps. We were able to build team leaders who are responsible for solving day to day problems, leaving me to focus on growth. All work is based on metrics, each employee is graded on their work, and the bonus structure is set up according to the monthly performance metrics.
We have a lot planned in the near future. It is definitely exciting to be paving the way in an age old industry with a modern approach. We are starting to see competition, and as an MVP in an arena of this size, that is to be expected. Our main focus is on continuing to strengthen our core, come out with new services and make sure all of our early clients are heard and their problems get solved. We’ve been approached by some pretty large companies both in our industry and outside interested in investing in us. I am still the sole owner and we’ve yet to take a single investment. That time may come, but I am going to be picky with who we choose.
It is an exciting time for us, we’re not perfect by any means, I 100% work by the philosophy where you need to be ashamed of your initial launches and attempts, anything you’re not ashamed of, you took too long to release.
I purposely left out our company name as I’d love to focus on the business growth, and I’m not interested in plugging anything at this time.
Some things we’re working on now:
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Transcript of George Webb Video Series Part 101: "Hillary's Leakers, Hackers, and Henchmen" [@Georgwebb / #HRCRatlne]

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Asian shares bounce after losses, dollar sags on weak U.S. CPI

Asian shares bounce after losses, dollar sags on weak U.S. CPI
Shinichi Saoshiro
5 Min Read
Men walk past an electronic board showing market indices outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, March 2, 2016.Thomas Peter
TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks bounced on Monday after three losing sessions, tracking a firmer Wall Street, while the dollar was weighed down by tensions on the Korean peninsula and weak U.S. inflation data which dampened prospects of another Federal Reserve interest rate hike later this year.
Overall reaction was subdued to Monday's Chinese data which were generally weaker than forecast, and reinforced views that the world's second-largest economy is starting to lose a bit of steam as lending costs rise and the property market cools.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was up 0.7 percent. The index had fallen for three straight days previously, losing a combined 3 percent, on escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea.
Australian stocks rose 0.5 percent and South Korea's KOSPI .KS11 climbed 0.4 percent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng .HSI was up 0.8 percent and Shanghai .SSEC added 0.2 percent.
China's factory output in July grew 6.4 percent from a year earlier, short of the 7.2 percent forecast, while fixed-asset investment expanded 8.3 percent in the first seven months against expectations for growth of 8.6 percent.
Geopolitical risks were expected to remain a key theme for the global markets in the near term, as North Korea celebrates Liberation Day on Tuesday to mark the end of Japanese rule.
Investors also braced for tensions ahead of Aug. 21, when an annual joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise is due to begin.
"Due to caution towards a further escalation in tensions over North Korea, U.S. yields and equities are expected to decline and the yen is likely keep appreciating this week," said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief forex strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.
Japan's Nikkei .N225 bucked the trend and fell 1 percent as a stronger yen overshadowed much better-than-expected second quarter economic growth.
The three major U.S. stocks indexes snapped three days of losses and ended higher on Friday, as investors bet on slower U.S. rate hikes following weaker-than-expected consumer price data. But gains were muted by increasingly aggressive exchanges between Washington and Pyongyang. [.N]
U.S. Treasury yields, which already declined on the North Korean concerns, fell further on Friday on the soft U.S. consumer prices data. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield US10YT=RR touched 2.182 percent on Friday, its lowest since late June, before pulling back a little to 2.204 percent on Monday.
Friday's data showed the U.S. consumer price index edged up just 0.1 percent last month after it was unchanged in June. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the CPI rising 0.2 percent in July.
The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was flat at 93.076 .DXY after it slipped about 0.4 percent on Friday.
The greenback traded slightly higher at 109.370 yen JPY= after slipping to 108.720 on Friday, its weakest since April 20.
The yen tends to gain in times of geopolitical tension on expectations that Japanese investors will repatriate assets.
It also showed little reaction to second-quarter gross domestic product data which revealed that the economy expanded for a sixth straight quarter led by private consumption and capital expenditure.
While growth was faster than expected, it is not expected to nudge the Bank of Japan into dismantling its massive stimulus program any time soon, as inflation remains stubbornly weak.
The euro was 0.1 percent higher at $1.1824 EUR=.
Crude oil prices edged down after rising slightly on Friday on lower U.S. crude stocks, instability in major producer Nigeria and strong global demand growth. [O/R]
U.S. crude CLc1 was down 2 cents at $48.80 a barrel and Brent LCOc1 was 7 cents lower at $52.03 a barrel.
Gold hovered near a two-month high, benefiting from the U.S.-North Korean tensions and Friday's weak U.S. inflation data. The dollar's recent weakness was also seen to be helping gold.
Spot gold XAU= was a shade lower at $1,287.51 an ounce after reaching $1,291.86 on Friday, its highest level since June 7.
Other precious metals such as silver XAG= and platinum XPT= were also buoyant.
Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro; Editing by Lisa Twaronite and Kim Coghill
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