Mar 18, 2016   //   by Profitly   //   Profitly  //  Comments Off on Hedging

The recent volatility in the oil market have prompted many investors and traders to talk about a term called “hedging.” What exactly do they mean by that and who uses hedging? We found an exceptional article in the Financial Times that will explain just that:

How companies manage risks from market swings

The plunge in oil prices has strained the balance sheets of drillers and reduced costs for airlines. One way that companies manage the risks from commodities market swings is through hedging.

So what is hedging exactly?

No silly gardening jokes please. Hedging involves locking in a price to buy or sell a commodity in the future. It is a form of insurance against adverse moves in markets notorious for them. Hedging is also employed in currencies, interest rates and stock indices, but it originated in grain markets.

Who hedges commodities?

Businesses that are exposed to commodity price swings find hedging useful. A farmer worried that corn prices will fall after harvest might lock in a sale price during spring planting. Mexico annually hedges the value of its crude oil exports, paying banks a premium to ensure predictable revenue for its federal budget. Hedging “gives greater freedom for business action”, wrote Holbrook Working, a leading 20th-century economist of commodities markets.

OK, how do companies hedge?

Traditionally with derivatives such as futures and options. Futures contracts have two sides: a “long,” or buyer, and a “short,” or seller. An airline concerned about a future rise in the price of jet fuel might buy oil futures and take a long position. If crude jumps from $60 to $70 a barrel, the corresponding increase in the value of the airline’s futures position will help offset the higher price it will pay fuel suppliers. Conversely, an international oil producer worried that crude will fall from $60 a barrel to $50 might sell, or go short, in oil futures, locking in the sale price at $60.

Who takes the other side of the trade?

Futures markets are anonymous, so anybody from the oil producer to a hedge fund or bank could be the counterparty to the airline’s trade. Despite the name, hedge funds are classic speculators, or traders seeking to make money on price moves rather than insure against them. Commercial companies can also sometimes take speculative positions, meaning data (such as the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s “Commitments of Traders” reports) categorising trader positions as commercial or noncommercial should be viewed with care.

Can hedging have an impact on markets?

Big volumes from the execution of a hedging programme can move the price of futures markets and influence the value of options.

Hedges already in place can affect how companies respond to price signals. For example, US oil prices have declined more than 50 per cent since last June.

According to Barclays, US producers have hedged 22 per cent of their 2015 oil output. These hedges help soften the blow from oil’s fall and delay the imperative to cut production. The US government forecasts onshore production will keeping rising until May 2015 despite low prices — a phenomenon partly explained by hedging.

Hmm, if hedges are so handy, why doesn’t every company hedge?

To find this out, read the rest of the article on the Financial Times’ website by clicking here.

Leadership & Values

Jan 13, 2016   //   by Profitly   //   Profitly  //  Comments Off on Leadership & Values

Actions speak louder than words, especially when you are in a position of authority. Tim, Superman, Connor & Triforce all try every day to not only work hard, but live up to expectations that they set for their students. Heck, they have even more pressure on them since so many people are skeptical of online traders even though we work hard day in and day out to be the most transparent traders out there (hence posting every trade on Profit.ly). If all of a sudden they were losing a ton of money, or Tim wasn’t following his rules such as cutting losses quickly, people would start to question them and lose that sense of trust. That’s a problem.

Think of it this way as well: if your boss told you not to talk poorly of your colleagues but then went ahead and talked down several coworkers themselves, you would question them and lose a sense of respect. Questions arise such as: how sincere are they, are they being honest with me, why are they not living up to the standards that they have set for me, etc. If you yourself are in a leadership position, you need to realize that if you are setting a high expectation for someone else, you should also be prepared to live up to it yourself. So, here is a great post from Inc.com on why the best leaders live up to the values that they set for others. One of the quotes in the following article really stands out: “If you don’t value your own values no one else will.” Case.and.point. Read on:

6 Reasons Great Leaders Live Their Values

Values are easy to talk about but tough to live day in and day out. These poignant reasons to live your values are sure to help you walk your talk.

If you don’t value your own values no one else will. So, as you are faced with decisions, use your values to help determine what to do. Making values-based decisions sends a strong message about the importance of your values and the integrity of your leadership.

Take the time to communicate your values, allow your team to personalize them, and, most important, live them. Taking these steps will ignite your team’s passion, resulting in a willingness to go the extra mile and act like owners of the business.

leader footsteps

Since leadership is an inside job, you must lead from the inside out. Living your values starts with you. Here are six compelling reasons you need to live your values if you want others to follow.

  1. A value is an implied promise. When you break a promise, more than a promise gets broken.
  2. You earn the right to expect others to do things by doing those things yourself.
  3. You judge yourself by your intentions by others judge you by your actions.
  4. Words to live by are just words unless you live by them. You have to walk the talk.
  5. People hear what you say, but they also see what you do. And seeing is believing.
  6. If your values are important enough to express they are important enough to live by.

Build a strong future for your team by living your values today.

Don’t Trust Wall Street On Oil

Nov 18, 2015   //   by Profitly   //   Market, Profitly  //  Comments Off on Don’t Trust Wall Street On Oil

Did Wall Street downgrade oil just as the black gold made a bottom?

While we aren’t going to start making predictions on whether oil has or has not bottomed yet, it would be pretty ironic if just days/weeks before oil hit its recent low of $44 a barrel, Wall Street finally cut their forecasts for 2015. Doing a quick Google search, you can’t find anyone out there that predicted the monstrous decline in oil. Sure, some said it could fall to $90 or even $80. But nobody, and we mean nobody, predicted oil would fall into the $40 range.

After falling 60% and dropping below $45 a barrel, oil prices have climbed $16 a barrel over the past month and Brent is now trading above $60. What’s more, almost every major bank on Wall Street downgraded oil just as the so called black gold hit its recent lows.

Goldman is hoping this isn’t the case. In a recent note, they said that the decline in the number of oil rigs in the U.S. (to the fewest since August 2011) is still not enough to halt production growth and push down prices.

“The rig count decline is still not sufficient, in our view, to achieve the slowdown in U.S. production growth required to balance the oil market,” Goldman said. “Oil prices need to remain lower in the coming quarters in order for the announced capex guidance and rig reduction to materialize into sufficiently lower production growth.”

So will this be a W or a U shaped recovery? Who knows, but below are the dates and targets of the cuts by some of the biggest firms on Wall Street.

First to downgrade was Morgan Stanley. In a report dated December 5, the bank said oil prices could fall as low as $43 a barrel in 2015. They also cut their base-case outlook for Brent to $70 from $98. Brent for January was trading around $66 a barrel at the time.

On January 4, Citi lowered their Brent outlook to $63 a barrel for 2015. Just a few weeks later, the bank came out with yet another downgrade to $54. Brent was trading around $52 on January 4 and $58 on February 9, the day of the bank’s most recent downgrade.

Next was Goldman, coming out with a pessimistic report on January 12 as oil touched $47 a barrel. Analysts at Goldman Sachs cut their 2015 Brent forecast to $50.40 a barrel from $83.75. Brent was then trading at $47.

Third is Bank of America, cutting their forecasts just three days later on January 15. Analysts at the firm lowered their average 2015 Brent price forecast to $52 per barrel from $77. Brent was trading around $48.

The downgrades started to pick up at this point, with JP Morgan chiming in four days later. The bank cut its 2015 average Brent crude price forecast to $49 a barrel from $82 a barrel. Brent was trading around $49 a barrel at the time.

Then Barclays came out with a downgrade on January 28, slashing their 2015 target to $44 from $72. Brent was then trading around $49.

So next time you want to make a trade, particularly in a volatile market like oil, proceed with caution and do your own research as well.

Staying Calm Amid the Chaos

Oct 19, 2015   //   by Profitly   //   Profitly, Psychology  //  Comments Off on Staying Calm Amid the Chaos

Feeling stressed out is all too common, and a new research shows that keeping stress intermittent is key to your success at work. Trouble is, that’s not always easy to do. Below is a great post by Inc. detailing a few ways that successful people deal with stress and use it to their advantage.

Here’s the article, written by Travis Bradberry:

The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90 percent of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress, which allows them to remain calm and in control.

If you follow our newsletter, you’ve read some startling research summaries that explore the havoc stress can wreak on one’s physical and mental health (such as the Yale study that found that prolonged stress causes degeneration in the area of the brain responsible for self-control). The tricky thing about stress (and the anxiety that comes with it) is that it’s an absolutely necessary emotion. Our brains are wired such that it’s difficult to take action until we feel at least some level of this emotional state. In fact, performance peaks under the heightened activation that comes with moderate levels of stress. As long as the stress isn’t prolonged, it’s harmless.


Research from the University of California, Berkeley, reveals an upside to experiencing moderate levels of stress. But it also reinforces how important it is to keep stress under control. The study, led by post-doctoral fellow Elizabeth Kirby, found that the onset of stress entices the brain into growing new cells responsible for improved memory. However, this effect is seen only when stress is intermittent. As soon as the stress continues beyond a few moments into a prolonged state, it suppresses the brain’s ability to develop new cells.

“I think intermittent stressful events are probably what keeps the brain more alert, and you perform better when you are alert,” Kirby says. For animals, intermittent stress is the bulk of what they experience, in response to physical threats in their immediate environment. Long ago, this was also the case for humans. As the human brain evolved and increased in complexity, we’ve developed the ability to worry and perseverate on events, which creates frequent experiences of prolonged stress.

Besides increasing your risk of heart disease, depression, and obesity, stress decreases your cognitive performance. Fortunately, though, unless a lion is chasing you, the bulk of your stress is subjective and under your control. Top performers have well-honed coping strategies that they employ under stressful circumstances. This lowers their stress levels regardless of what’s happening in their environment, ensuring that the stress they experience is intermittent and not prolonged.

While I’ve run across numerous effective strategies that successful people employ when faced with stress, what follows are 10 of the best. Some of these strategies may seem obvious, but the real challenge lies in recognizing when you need to use them and having the wherewithal to actually do so in spite of your stress.

They appreciate what they have.

Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the “right” thing to do. It also improves your mood, because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23 percent. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis, found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, energy, and physical well-being. It’s likely that lower levels of cortisol played a major role in this.

They avoid asking “What if?”

“What if?” questions throw fuel on the fire of stress and worry. Things can go in a million different directions, and the more time you spend worrying about the possibilities, the less time you’ll spend focusing on taking action that will calm you down and keep your stress under control. Calm people know that asking “what if? will only take them to a place they don’t want–or need–to go.

They stay positive.

Positive thoughts help make stress intermittent by focusing your brain’s attention on something that is completely stress-free. You have to give your wandering brain a little help by consciously selecting something positive to think about. Any positive thought will do to refocus your attention. When things are going well, and your mood is good, this is relatively easy. When things are going poorly, and your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, this can be a challenge. In these moments, think about your day and identify one positive thing that happened, no matter how small. If you can’t think of something from the current day, reflect on the previous day or even the previous week. Or perhaps you’re looking forward to an exciting event that you can focus your attention on. The point here is that you must have something positive that you’re ready to shift your attention to when your thoughts turn negative.

They disconnect.

Given the importance of keeping stress intermittent, it’s easy to see how taking regular time off the grid can help keep your stress under control. When you make yourself available to your work 24/7, you expose yourself to a constant barrage of stressors. Forcing yourself offline and even–gulp!–turning off your phone gives your body a break from a constant source of stress. Studies have shown that something as simple as an email break can lower stress levels.

Technology enables constant communication and the expectation that you are available 24/7. It is extremely difficult to enjoy a stress-free moment outside of work when an email about work can drop onto your phone at any moment. If detaching yourself from work-related communication on weekday evenings is too big a challenge, then how about the weekend? Choose blocks of time where you cut the cord and go offline. You’ll be amazed at how refreshing these breaks are and how they reduce stress by putting a mental recharge into your weekly schedule. If you’re worried about the negative repercussions of taking this step, first try doing it at times when you’re unlikely to be contacted–maybe Sunday morning. As you grow more comfortable with it, and as your co-workers begin to accept that you will occasionally be offline, gradually expand the amount of time you spend away from technology.

They limit their caffeine intake.

Drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the fight-or-flight response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re responding to a curt email. When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyperaroused state of stress, your emotions overrun your behavior. The stress that caffeine creates is far from intermittent, as its long half-life ensures that it takes its sweet time working its way out of your body.

They sleep.

I’ve beaten this one to death over the years and can’t say enough about the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams), so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough–or the right kind–of sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present. Stressful projects often make you feel as if you have no time to sleep, but taking the time to get a decent night’s sleep is often the one thing keeping you from getting things under control.

They quash negative self-talk.

A big step in managing stress involves stopping negative self-talk in its tracks. The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that–thoughts, not facts. When you find yourself believing the negative and pessimistic things your inner voice says, it’s time to stop and write them down. Literally stop what you’re doing and write down what you’re thinking. Once you’ve taken a moment to slow down the negative momentum of your thoughts, you will be more rational and clear-headed in evaluating their veracity.

You can bet that your statements aren’t true any time you use words like “never,” “worst,” “ever,” etc. If your statements still look like facts once they’re on paper, take them to a friend or colleague you trust and see if he or she agrees with you. Then the truth will surely come out. When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural threat tendency inflating the perceived frequency or severity of an event. Identifying and labeling your thoughts as thoughts by separating them from the facts will help you escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive new outlook.

They reframe their perspective.

Stress and worry are fueled by our own skewed perception of events. It’s easy to think that unrealistic deadlines, unforgiving bosses, and out-of-control traffic are the reasons we’re so stressed all the time. You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them. So before you spend too much time dwelling on something, take a minute to put the situation in perspective. If you aren’t sure when you need to do this, try looking for clues that your anxiety may not be proportional to the stressor. If you’re thinking in broad, sweeping statements such as “Everything is going wrong” or “Nothing will work out,” then you need to reframe the situation. A great way to correct this unproductive thought pattern is to list the specific things that actually are going wrong or not working out. Most likely you will come up with just some things–not everything–and the scope of these stressors will look much more limited than it initially appeared.

They breathe.

The easiest way to make stress intermittent lies in something that you have to do everyday anyway: breathing. The practice of being in the moment with your breathing will begin to train your brain to focus solely on the task at hand and get the stress monkey off your back. When you’re feeling stressed, take a couple of minutes to focus on your breathing. Close the door, put away all other distractions, and just sit in a chair and breathe. The goal is to spend the entire time focused only on your breathing, which will prevent your mind from wandering. Think about how it feels to breathe in and out. This sounds simple, but it’s hard to do for more than a minute or two. It’s all right if you get sidetracked by another thought; this is sure to happen at the beginning, and you just need to bring your focus back to your breathing. If staying focused on your breathing proves to be a real struggle, try counting each breath in and out until you get to 20, and then start again from 1. Don’t worry if you lose count; you can always just start over.

This task may seem too easy or even a little silly, but you’ll be surprised by how calm you feel afterward and how much easier it is to let go of distracting thoughts that otherwise seem to have lodged permanently inside your brain.

They use their support system.

It’s tempting, yet entirely ineffective, to attempt tackling everything by yourself. To be calm and productive, you need to recognize your weaknesses and ask for help when you need it. This means tapping into your support system when a situation is challenging enough for you to feel overwhelmed. We all have someone at work and/or outside work who is on our team, rooting for us, and ready to help us make the best of a difficult situation. Identify these individuals in your life and make an effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Something as simple as talking about your worries will provide an outlet for your anxiety and stress and supply you with a new perspective on the situation. Most of the time, other people can see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally invested in the situation. Asking for help will mitigate your stress and strengthen your relationships with those you rely upon.

Words of Wisdom From Warren Buffett

Jun 4, 2015   //   by Profitly   //   Profitly  //  Comments Off on Words of Wisdom From Warren Buffett

Here are Profit.ly we appreciate all forms of trading and investing. Warren Buffett is one of the most famous investors of all time, so we wanted to post his most recent note and some of the best quotes in it. You can read the note in its entirety by clicking here.

(Buffett’s review starts on page 24, while Vice Chairman Charlie Munger’s analysis begins on page 39.)

via onthemoneyradio.org

via onthemoneyradio.org

The blueprint [Munger] gave me was simple: Forget what you know about buying fair businesses at wonderful prices; instead, buy wonderful businesses at fair prices.

Even with Charlie’s blueprint, I have made plenty of mistakes since Waumbec. The most gruesome was Dexter Shoe. When we purchased the company in 1993, it had a terrific record and in no way looked to me like a cigar butt. Its competitive strengths, however, were soon to evaporate because of foreign competition. And I simply didn’t see that coming.

The reason for our conservatism, which may impress some people as extreme, is that it is entirely predictable that people will occasionally panic, but not at all predictable when this will happen. Though practically all days are relatively uneventful, tomorrow is always uncertain. (I felt no special apprehension on December 6, 1941 or September 10, 2001.) And if you can’t predict what tomorrow will bring, you must be prepared for whatever it does.

Periodically, financial markets will become divorced from reality – you can count on that. More Jimmy Lings will appear. They will look and sound authoritative. The press will hang on their every word. Bankers will fight for their business. What they are saying will recently have “worked.” Their early followers will be feeling very clever. Our suggestion: Whatever their line, never forget that 2+2 will always equal 4. And when someone tells you how old-fashioned that math is —- zip up your wallet, take a vacation and come back in a few years to buy stocks at cheap prices.

Post mortems of acquisitions, in which reality is honestly compared to the original projections, are rare in American boardrooms. They should instead be standard practice.

At a healthy business, cash is sometimes thought of as something to be minimized – as an unproductive asset that acts as a drag on such markers as return on equity. Cash, though, is to a business as oxygen is to an individual: never thought about when it is present, the only thing in mind when it is absent.

I believe the chance of any event causing Berkshire to experience financial problems is essentially zero. We will always be prepared for the thousand-year flood; in fact, if it occurs we will be selling life jackets to the unprepared.

Fortunately, the structure our future CEOs will need to be successful is firmly in place. The extraordinary delegation of authority now existing at Berkshire is the ideal antidote to bureaucracy. In an operating sense, Berkshire is not a giant company but rather a collection of large companies. At headquarters, we have never had a committee nor have we ever required our subsidiaries to submit budgets (though many use them as an important internal tool). We don’t have a legal office nor departments that other companies take for granted: human relations, public relations, investor relations, strategy, acquisitions, you name it.

We do, of course, have an active audit function; no sense being a dammed fool. To an unusual degree, however, we trust our managers to run their operations with a keen sense of stewardship. After all, they were doing exactly that before we acquired their businesses. With only occasional exceptions, furthermore, our trust produces better results than would be achieved by streams of directives, endless reviews and layers of bureaucracy. Charlie and I try to interact with our managers in a manner consistent with what we would wish for, if the positions were reversed.

And last but not least, he addressed the issue of finding a successor. They have always said they have a good plan if something were to happen to Mr. Buffett, but he added some more color:

Both the board and I believe we now have the right person to succeed me as CEO – a successor ready to assume the job the day after I die or step down. In certain important respects, this person will do a better job than I am doing.

Addressing those who try and fake our verification

Jun 2, 2015   //   by Profitly   //   Announcements, Profitly  //  Comments Off on Addressing those who try and fake our verification


It has come to our attention that a certain website “claims” to have verified $650,000,000 in trades by gaming our system.

The Sham-Wow Lies

This is utterly false and a disgusting attempt at click baiting. Furthermore, they refuse to post our rebuttal on their website and have maliciously filtered our comments.

This particular trader did not use our Broker Connect feature to verify ANY trades whatsoever. They simple used our manual trade entry system. There was NO verification nor and trades uploaded. You can enter any trades you want yourself, follow this link: http://profit.ly/entry/form. If you want to VERIFY a trade, provide your brokerage information here: https://profit.ly/bc. You can read our FAQ for the security behind this process.

Demo Accounts

We have never allowed demo accounts to be verified with our process. In fact, for most of the verification we use the data from the brokerage’s clearing firm. For any user to use our manually entry system, they wouldn’t even need a brokerage account. You could track your Pokemon trades if you wanted to!

Real, Verified Trades

Once you verify a trade, it will show up with a special icon that shows it has been directly imported from a brokerage. These are the two most common icons, verified and image.


Our Friends

Profitly is a community of traders. We started this site to bring transparency to Twitter. We offer traders a place to verify the many, many claims that were prolific and seemingly all winners. We added features to allow up and down voting trades for the community to help filter out those Madoff-like trades. We have done this from day one for free. Anyone can open a Profitly account and verify their trades for FREE forever. We have never charged for this service.


This fake trading site also makes claims about our newsletters. We offer trading education for those who wish to learn. They falsely state that the lifecycle of a member is 60 days. We find this laughable and outrageous. Our co-founder, Timothy Sykes, has several verified millionaire students who have been vetted and appeared on Fox and CNN. They aren’t hiding behind a web address slinging mud like the fake blog post we are refuting.

This fake blogger also quotes a “Young Jeezy” and falsifies other lies. If this person actually exists, which we suspect not, we would like to see them come forward. Otherwise, they are just another scammer that Profitly is trying to put an end to.

The Biggest IPOs and What’s to Come

May 5, 2015   //   by Profitly   //   Market, Profitly  //  Comments Off on The Biggest IPOs and What’s to Come


(AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

2014 was definitely the year of the tech IPO. Will we see a similar trend in 2015? So far we have had big companies (although not all tech) like Shake Shack, Airbnb, Uber, Box, Snapchat, and Spotify either IPO or give traders/investors hints that an IPO may be coming soon. Some analysts are going as far as predicting that 2015 will be an even bigger year for IPOs.

Alibaba was obviously the biggest and most anticipated IPO last year, but while the technology sector sparked plenty of enthusiasm, not everyone came out on top. Shares of some winners, such as TubeMogul and Zendesk, climbed skyward, while losers, such as Care.com and Coupons.com, struggled to trade above their (overly optimistic) debut prices.

Here’s a look at 10 IPOs (via Quartz) that received the most media and investor attention and how they’ve fared in the markets as the year comes to a close.


Debut price: $92.70

Closing price as of February 20: $86.64

Gain/loss: -7%

S&P performance since IPO: +5%

The Chinese ecommerce giant didn’t just claim the biggest IPO of the year—its gangbuster debut was recorded as the world’s largest in history. Shares skyrocketed after the company raked in $9 billion in online sales on Singles’ Day—a made-up shopping holiday in China (akin to Cyber Monday in the US) created by no other than Alibaba (BABA) itself.

Since debuting on the New York Stock Exchange at $92.70, the stock peaked at about $120 in November and currently hovers above the $100 mark. If the company’s YunOS mobile operating system is successful in eating away at Android’s 90% market share in China, it’s likely Alibaba’s trajectory will continue up, up, up.


Debut price: $20.50

Closing price as of February 20: $16.09

Gain/loss: -15%

S&P performance since IPO: +13%

From the beginning, investors worried about King (KING). Was the one-hit wonder game Candy Crush, which made up nearly 80% of its sales in 2013, enough to build a public company? Trepidation led to the stock opening at $20.50, less than its already-discounted pricing. Since mid-July, shares have performed under the IPO price.

In August, on the heels of its earnings, the game maker saw its largest plunge in after-hours trading, falling more than 20% to $13.99. The stock also hit record low in October at $10.68 (closing at $11.25). Though King is increasing revenue from other titles, the number of paying customers is dwindling. Given that, it’s become hard to ignore the company’s roots. Building on the blockbuster success of Candy Crush, King released another addition in November: Candy Crush Soda Saga.


Debut price: $28.65

Closing price as of February 20: $45.07

Gain/loss: +43%

S&P performance since IPO: +7%

Enthusiasm for GoPro’s (GPRO) tiny action cameras boosted shares about 20% to $28.65 right out the gate. The camera maker has been enjoying steady growth, peaking at $98.47 in October. That month, GoPro raised more capital with a secondary offering, but investors, concerned about the dilution of their ownership, pushed the stock down 5% to $75.

Now investors seem buoyed by recent news that GoPro is developing a line of consumer drones expected to go on sale in late 2015, and a partnership that would outfit Tour de France bicycles with its point-of-view cameras.


Debut price: $11.40

Closing price as of February 20: $24.26

Gain/loss: +80%

S&P performance since IPO: +11%

Investors are clearly pleased with Zendesk (ZEN), a maker of customer service software used by businesses. On its first day of trading, the stock closed 49% higher than its initial pricing at $9 a share. Since then, the company posted strong earnings, and shares are currently hovering in the $20 to $25 range. In December, Zendesk debuted new tools that let clients embed help widgets on mobile, games, and websites.


Debut price: $40

Closing price as of February 20: $41.36

Gain/loss: 21%

S&P performance since IPO: +11%

Grubhub’s (GRUB) last earnings report highlighted impressive profit and user growth, but its stock price has wavered since the food-delivery company went public in April. In August, after peaking at $45.80, shares saw an 8% drop amid news the Chicago company planned to sell another 10 million shares in a secondary offering. They dipped below $35 at various points from October to December (not helped by Amazon’s foray into the meal-delivery space)—on par with its performance from the first week of trading.


Debut price: $9

Closing price as of February 20: $15.99

Gain/loss: +39%

S&P performance since IPO: +6%

Since going public in July, TubeMogul’s (TUBE) stock has only gone up, soaring from $9 at its debut to $19 in December. The video advertising company enjoyed a rally in late August when it reported strong earnings, sending shares up 13% to $13.82. Analysts are optimistic the stock could hit $25, with a median target of $21.


Debut price: $21.21

Closing price as of February 20: $7.99

Gain/loss: -67%

S&P performance since IPO: 15%

Talk about a letdown. At about $8 a share in December, the stock price of the babysitting marketplace Care.com (CRCM) is a far cry from February’s, when it hit a high of $29.25. Analysts have downgraded the outlook of its stock after a number of warning signs: disappointing earnings, accelerated spending, and slowing growth.


Debut price: $27.15

Closing price as of February 20: $10

Gain/loss: -66%

S&P performance since IPO: +12%

Coupons.com (COUP), a Web 2.0 startup that went public 16 years after its founding, saw great enthusiasm on its first day of trading, popping 100% at one point before closing at $30. The stock has lost its luster since. Shares took a dive in June, when Goldman Sachs downgraded its outlook to sell—a move that speaks volumes because it is something investment firms, by nature of their line of work, are hesitant to do. Shares are floating around $15 currently.


Debut price: $9.70

Closing price as of February 20: $17.95

Gain/loss: +78%

S&P performance since IPO: +13%

TrueCar (TRUE), a car buying and selling platform, priced its IPO below expectations ($12 to $14) and debuted even lower at $9.70 a share. The stock peaked at $25 in September, but pushed a bit lower in anticipation of the lockup period expiring in November. Trading at about $22 in December, early investors have seen big returns, but analysts downgraded the stock, citing concerns about its business model and inflated valuation.


Debut price: $9

Closing price as of February 22: $15.03

Gain/loss: +49%

S&P performance since IPO: +12%

At the midway point of 2014, Chinese travel company Tuniu (TOUR), which went public on the Nasdaq in May, was considered the best performing tech IPO by Renaissance Capital for its 96% jump in share price. The picture at the end of the year, however, is very different. Down from its $24.99 peak, the company’s disappointing earnings and high spending have deterred investors, lowering the stock to about $12 at the end of the year.

Top Winners On Profit.ly

Apr 14, 2015   //   by Profitly   //   Leaderboards, Profitly  //  Comments Off on Top Winners On Profit.ly

It’s still relatively early in 2015, but we wanted to do a post with the top 10 verified winners so far along with their two biggest trades in 2015. It will be interesting to see if they can keep this going for the rest of the year! They’re all on track for great returns.

Superman comes in at number 1 with $604K in profits.

Number two is Warrior People with $358K in profits.

Bull Zone Team is number three with $259K in profits.

Kroyrunner is fourth with $194K in profits.

Jaime is five with $166K.

DerrickJL is sixth with $150K in profits.

Gakfamily2004 gets the number seven spots at $123K.

CCAPz is eighth with $79K.

The Klar Advantage is ninth with $63K.

And rounding out the top ten is Tom Fisher with $61K.

Apple Moves Into the Dow Jones

Apr 2, 2015   //   by Profitly   //   Market, Profitly  //  Comments Off on Apple Moves Into the Dow Jones

Apple has officially made a move into the Dow Jones Industrial Average, replacing AT&T. So how will Apple impact expected earnings growth for the major index?

According to FactSet, the addition of Apple will reduce expected earnings declines of DJIA in 2015.

On March 18 after the close of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average will feature the addition of a new component. Apple will be added to the index, while AT&T will be removed from the index. In terms of earnings growth, If Apple had been added in Q4, how would earnings growth for the DJIA have been impacted? What is the expected impact of Apple on expected earnings growth for the DJIA going forward?

For Q4 2014, the DJIA reported a year-over-year decline in earnings of -4.2% (utilizing the same methodology used to calculate earnings growth for the S&P 500). For Q4 2014, Apple reported EPS growth of 48%. If Apple had been added to the DJIA (and AT&T removed) during Q4 2014, the DJIA would have reported earnings growth of 1.4%.

Looking ahead to 2015, the DJIA is projected to report year-over-year declines in earnings in Q1 2015 (-15.3%), Q2 2015 (-9.5%), and Q3 2015 (-5.9%), as both Exxon Mobil and Chevron are predicted to report significant declines in earnings in each of those quarters. For Q1 2015, Q2 2015, and Q3 2015, Apple is projected to report EPS growth of 27%, 30%, and 24%, respectively. Thus, the addition of Apple will reduce the expected earnings declines for the DJIA in each of these quarters, but it will not result in expected earnings growth for any of these quarters (as it would have in Q4 2014).

However, it is interesting to note that in Q4 2015 the addition of Apple is predicted to have little impact on the estimated earnings growth rate for the DJIA. For Q4 2015, the DJIA is projected to report yearover-year earnings growth of 1.9%. Apple is predicted to report EPS growth of 3.5% for the same quarter. As a result of the lower expected EPS growth rate for Apple in the fourth quarter of this year, the addition of Apple is expected to have little impact on the projected earnings growth rate for the DJIA in Q4 2015.


How Did Industry Analysts React to Announcement of New Apple Products?

Apple was a focus company for the markets in recent weeks leading up to the unveiling of several new products and services this past Monday, including new details regarding Apple Watch, a new Mac-Book, the release of ResearchKit software, and the availability of HBO NOW on Apple products. Given these announcements, have analysts revised their outlook for Apple over the past week? Have there been any significant changes to EPS estimates, ratings, or target prices over the past week?

In terms of EPS expectations, analysts did increase EPS estimates for fiscal year 2015 and fiscal year 2016 slightly over the past week. The mean EPS estimate for FY 2015 has increased by 0.6% during this time frame (to $8.60 today from $8.55 on March 6). The mean EPS estimate for FY 2016 has increased by 0.7% over this period (to $9.24 today from $9.17 on March 6).

In terms of ratings, there was no change in the opinions of analysts over the past week. The overall number of Buy ratings (38), Hold ratings (11), and Sell ratings (2) remained unchanged.

In terms of target prices, analysts did increase their target prices slightly. The mean target price for Apple increased 1.1% during the past week (to $137.27 today from $135.75 on March 6). The current mean target price of $137.27 is 10.3% above the March 12 closing price of $124.45.

It is interesting to note that the market reaction to the announcements appeared to be mixed. The price of the stock rose 0.4% (to $127.14 on March 9 from $126.60 on March 6) on the day of the announcement. However, the price of the stock is down more than 2% overall (to $123.59 on Friday from $126.60 on March 6) during the week of March 9.


Important Lessons From Steve Jobs

Mar 25, 2015   //   by Profitly   //   Profitly  //  Comments Off on Important Lessons From Steve Jobs

The Steve Jobs guide to manipulating people & getting what you want.

We aren’t arguing that you should manipulate people, but we are saying that any lesson you can get from Steve Jobs, you should take. He is one of the smartest and most successful people in recent memory. I mean, Steve Jobs didn’t launch two of the most valuable companies in modern times by following the rules all the time. Yes, there are two. Everyone knows him for Apple but he also helped launch Pixar (do Finding Nemo or Toy Story ring a bell)?

And this may not deal directly with trading or penny stocks, but if you can better other parts of your life, your trades and ability to learn more about penny stocks will also benefit.

Job’s struggles are some of the most public, following the biography of his life that was released a couple of years ago. He faced many obstacles to get Apple, and later Pixar, off the ground. But Jobs had a unique way of crafting his own reality, a “distortion field” that could persuade people that his personal beliefs were actually facts, which is how he pushed his companies forward. Sometimes it didn’t work, but I’d say he ended up doing ok.

Image Credit: Sigalakos

Image Credit: Sigalakos

Here is a post from VentureBeat that details three main points from Steve Jobs’ career that will help you in your life as well.

Many consider Jobs a genius, but there’s no reason we could all learn a thing or two from his tactics.

Here, we teach you how to get what you want — whether that’s in your career, or in your life in general — by using examples from Jobs’ life. Most of these stories were taken from Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, which you can buy here.

Work hard, and others will respect you. Respect is a crucial first step to getting what you want.

By 1996, Apple had a serious issue: it was pinning its hopes on a new operating system that wasn’t and wouldn’t even solve Apple’s needs. So it looked for a partner to build a more stable operating system: in the end, it came down to two companies: a company started by Jean-Louis Gassée called “Be,” and NeXT, Jobs’ computer company that was struggling at the time.

When it came time for the two companies to pitch to Apple, Gassée acted too nonchalant, whereas Jobs didn’t hold back. Amelio described Steve’s sales pitch on the NeXT operating system as “dazzling. He praised the virtues and strengths as though he were describing a performance of Olivier as Macbeth.”

When Jobs eventually returned to Apple and he was still leading Pixar, he says he worked from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. He suffered from kidney stones. But he insisted on motivating both companies by consistently showing up and pushing people to make the best products possible, and they respected him for it.

Pitch with passion. People can be influenced by strong displays of emotion.

Pitching was a key part of Jobs’ repertoire, and it should be part of yours, too. The process of selling — yourself, or a product — is the key to getting others to buy into your ideas.

In a pitch to the trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, Jobs wanted to show off everything iTunes could do — he was recruiting musicians at the time in hopes of corralling the record labels into going along with the iTunes plan. Marsalis said Jobs talked for two hours. “He was a man possessed,” he said. “After awhile, I started looking at him and not the computer, because I was so fascinated with his passion.”

He also pitched his marketing gurus with a similar passion, to “ensure that almost every ad they produced was infused with his emotion.”

Disarm people with seduction and flattery.

Whether they’re working for you, or you’re working for them, people continually seek approval for their actions so they respond very well to affection. And if you keep giving it to them, they’ll eventually crave it from you. From Isaacson’s biography:

“Jobs could seduce and charm people at will, and he liked to do so. People such as (former Apple CEOs) Amelio and Sculley allowed themselves to believe that because Jobs was charming them, it meant that he liked and respected them. It was an impression that he sometimes fostered by dishing out insincere flattery to those hungry for it. But Jobs could be charming to people he hated just as easily as he could be insulting to people he liked.”