-Rupee continues to recover, gains Rs4.16 in four months
The Pakistani rupee has maintained a gradual uptrend against the US dollar since the beginning of current fiscal year in July and is anticipated to gain more ground in the remaining eight months amid expectations of increase in foreign currency inflows.
The rupee gradually strengthened Rs4.16 or 2.60% in the past around four months to Rs155.88 to the US dollar in the inter-bank market on Friday, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). “The rupee may recover to 145 to the greenback by June 30, 2020,” Forex Association of Pakistan (FAP) President Malik Bostan projected while talking to The Express Tribune.
Further: -In a positive development, Pakistani Rupee hits highest level of four months against US dollar
The Pakistani rupee has shown recovery against the US dollar as the US currency reached the lowest level in four months.
-ExxonMobil to help build LNG terminal in Pakistan
After getting a liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply contract from private-sector consumers, US energy giant ExxonMobil is planning to build the third LNG terminal in Karachi as a joint-venture partner.
Some time ago, ExxonMobil, in collaboration with Pakistan’s exploration and production companies, drilled an offshore well to search for hydrocarbon reserves in the Arabian Sea. However, the effort could not prove successful. Now, in a new venture with Energas consortium, the US firm is going to invest in setting up an LNG terminal in Pakistan.
-Pakistan's Hindu community celebrates Diwali today in a renovated temple reopened by the Pakistan government after 72 years
he country’s Hindu community is celebrating the annual religious festival of Diwali. The religious festivities are expected to take place in Shawala Teja Singh Temple, located in Sialkot, after 72 years.
All preparations for the upcoming festival have been completed. The festival of Diwali is being seen as more of a cultural than a religious one as people from other faiths will celebrate alongside members of the Hindu community.
The temple, where the festivities will take place, was closed down in 1947. The Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and certain members of the Hindu community decided to open the temple a few months ago, after which the renewal and renovation work had begun. Now, for the first time, this temple is going to celebrate a religious ceremony.
-Tax Returns Filed Per Day in 2019 Have Increased by 127 Percent: FBR Chairman
Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) Chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi has announced that on average, tax returns filed per day in 2019 have risen by 127 percent compared to last year. In a Twitter post, Zaidi shared details of the tax returns filed so far. As per the records, the number of tax returns filed in 2019 till October 25 stands at 918,027, as compared to 585,209 tax returns filed in the same period last year.
Zaidi said that as of November, the FBR will impose strict measures against unauthorized interactions and harassement between its staff and the business community. The business community is suggested to report to FBR if any person contacts them through any manner without proper authorization.
-Pakistan, Nepal agree to enhance trade ties
President Dr. Arif Alvi on Saturday held a meeting with the Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli on the sidelines of 18th Non Aligned Movement Summit in Baku, ARY News reported.
According to a statement issued by the ministry, both the leaders affirmed to enhance trade ties between the two countries and expressed their desire to further strengthen the bonds of friendship. Matters of mutual interest, bilateral relations, regional peace, grave human rights violations and humanitarian crisis in occupied Kashmir and other issues were came under discussion in the meeting.
Speaking on the occasion, President Alvi briefed the Nepalese prime minister on Indian illegal actions in occupied Kashmir. He expressed hope that Nepal will play its role as SAARC chair, for strengthening peace and stability in the region.
-CPEC enters into 2nd phase: Poverty, agriculture, B2B initiatives prime focus: Khusro
Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar Wednesday said the CPEC has now entered into its second phase with focus on poverty alleviation, agriculture and B2B industrial cooperation.
“The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government's economic reform measures will strengthen the country's economy as the investors' confidence is rebounding due to corrective measures," the minister expressed these views while talking to Australian High Commissioner Dr Geoffrey Shaw who called on him on Wednesday. Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan was also present in the meeting.
While discussing bilateral relations and foreign investment in various sectors in Pakistan especially in Gwadar, the minister said that ongoing phase of CPEC will bring about socioeconomic benefits for the welfare of the people. He said that CPEC offers enormous potential to boost national economy and reduce poverty.
-Pakistan's Defence Exports have reached USD 212.6 MILLION IN 2018-2019
According to the Pakistan Ministry of Defence Production’s (MoDP) “First Year Performance Report,” the country had registered $212.6 million US in defence exports from August 2018 to August 2019.
Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) booked the highest value at $184.38 million US, which was followed by Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) at $7.13 million US and Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) at $1.3 million US. In addition, private sector firms booked $19.36 million US in sales.
No additional breakdowns were provided by the MoDP. It is likely that PAC’s exports were fueled by co-production work for FC-1/JF-17 sales to Myanmar and/or Nigeria. Though an agreement was signed with Turkey for the sale of 52 Super Mushshak basic trainers, it is unclear if PAC has started manufacturing these aircraft.
-DRAP to launch countrywide drive against substandard, spurious medicines
The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) is launching a countrywide campaign against substandard medicines, the PM’s Special Assistant on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza said while addressing the federal and provincial drug inspectors in Islamabad on Thursday.
He said a crackdown is being launched throughout the country to eradicate the menace of unregistered, spurious and sub-standard medicine. In addition to medicine quality, he added, DRAP will also take stern action against violation of fixed prices of medicines.
-Foreign exchange: SBP reserves increase $79m to $7.89b
The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 1.14% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday.
Earlier, the reserves had spiralled downwards, falling below the $7-billion mark, which raised concern over Pakistan’s ability to meet its financing requirements. However, financial assistance from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and other friendly nations helped shore up the foreign exchange reserves.
On October 18, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $7,892.7 million, up $79 million compared with $7,813.7 million in the previous week. The report cited no reason for the increase in reserves, which stood below the $8-billion mark.
-Ease of business: Pakistan up 28 places on World Bank index
Pakistan has jumped up 28 places on the World Bank’s (WB) Ease of Doing Business Index and secured a place among the top 10 countries with the most improved business climate – a development that will greatly improve Islamabad’s image abroad,
Pakistan carried out six reforms that helped improving its ranking from 136 to 108, according to the WB’s annual flagship report, ‘Ease of Doing Business 2020’, released on Thursday. It turned out to be the sixth global reformer and first in South Asia that brought ease in doing business in the last one year.
The fewer are the regulations the better is the ranking on the index. The key to attain perfection is to cut the bureaucracy hindering business activities in the name of various regulations and procedures.
-CM approves Rs 500m for Punjab Housing & Town Planning Agency
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has given approval of Rs 500 million for Punjab Housing & Town Planning Agency. He gave approval while presiding over a high-level meeting at CM Office here on Monday. During the meeting progress on Naya Pakistan Housing Project for low-income persons was reviewed and detailed briefing was also given to the participants on Naya Pakistan Housing strategy.
While addressing the meeting, Usman Buzdar said that obstacles should be removed in order to ensure completion of Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme and financial conditions of common man should be kept in mind while chalking out housing policy of the project. All out attention should be paid while constructing small houses in the province, he added. It has also been decided during the meeting to launch rural housing project in 17 model villages.
-KSE 100 gains 204 points amid improved sentiments
The benchmark KSE 100 Index depicted remarkable progress as it gained around 204 points and concluded at 33,861-level.It was a busy start to the week at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) with earnings season hitting its peak, while volumes remained at par with previous weeks’ average.
Biggest single day investment in treasury bills in the previous week of estimated US $87.5 million, increasing total investment to US$440 million since July 2019 was the major rally point in the market sentiments.
The bourse recorded an intraday low of 33,572.36 soon after the commencement of the session. However, after regaining the momentum, the index marked its day’s high at 34,008.35 adding 350.89 points. It settled higher by 204.13 points at 33,861.59. The KMI 30 Index accumulated 386.53 points to settle at 55,155.92, while the KSE All Share Index managed to gain 86.13 points, ending at 24,543.78.
-Sindh to reserve 0.5% job quota for transgender persons
The Sindh Cabinet on Wednesday agreed to reserve 0.5 per cent quota in government jobs for transgender persons. “I want to bring transgender people into the mainstream,” said Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah during the cabinet meeting. “We want to make them an asset for our society.”
CM Murad congratulated the transgender community on behalf of the cabinet and advised them to improve their education. Around 41,000 positions are vacant in different government departments across Sindh out of which 206 will be given to transgender people.
A spokesperson from the chief minister’s house stated that out of the 41,000 available jobs 16,000 positions will be filled this fiscal year. Rest of the positions will be filled in the period of next three years.
-Malaysia's Mahathir stands by Kashmir comments despite India palm oil boycott
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday he would not retract his criticism of New Delhi’s actions in occupied Kashmir despite Indian traders calling for an unprecedented boycott of Malaysian palm oil.
The impasse could exacerbate what Mahathir described as a trade war between the world’s second biggest producer and exporter of the commodity and its biggest buyer so far this year.
India’s top vegetable oil trade body on Monday asked its members to stop buying Malaysian palm oil after Mahathir said at the United Nations General Assembly last month that India had “invaded and occupied” Kashmir.
-“World’s two major companies setting up solar panel plants in Pakistan”
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry announced on Monday that the world’s two major solar panel firms will establish their plants in Pakistan. The minister tweeted saying “good news gets lost in political plays, yet I am very happy that the world’s two major companies are setting up solar panel’s plants in Pakistan.”
Chaudhry added that China’s second-largest Lithium battery producer will also set up its workshop in Pakistan. The Lithium battery-powered buses will also be manufactured in Pakistan, the tweet further said. The Minister for Science and Technology was recently on a visit to Beijing where he met various Chinese officials and the country’s business leaders.
-Pakistan Navy organizes free medical camp in Balochistan
Navy organized a free medical camp in the village Dam of Balochistan in collaboration with Sahil and Ulfat welfare foundations. According to the spokesperson of Pakistan Navy, specialist doctors of surgical, medical, skin, gynecology, child and general medically inspected patients at the camp. Over 700 patients were provided with free medical treatment, medicines and ordinary surgical facilities.
-Lahore to get Tram service soon
Citizens of Lahore are getting a modern-day tram service soon, based on the famous British-era tram service. In this regard, the Punjab Transport Department has inked an agreement with CRSC International, a Chinese company specializing in rail transportation control systems, and Inkon Group of the Czech Republic.
The development of the project is divided into several phases. In the first phase, a 35 km track will be constructed on Canal Road, Lahore. Up to 50 trams will run on this track. Once operational, the trams will be able to carry 35,000 passengers in 1 hour. The trams will be powered through electricity and batteries. A single tram will have a service life of around 40 years. 2 tram depots will be constructed at different locations as well.
-10 Pakistani Universities Ranked Among the World’s Best in ‘University Impact Rankings 2019’
Ten Pakistani universities have been ranked among the top universities in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE)’s list. THE is a weekly UK-based magazine that issues its annual list of world’s most influential universities.
The list called ‘University Impact Rankings 2019’ has included 10 Pakistani varsities in different categories, including Gender Equality, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Decent Work, Economic Growth, and others. According to the magazine, the rankings assess universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
-PM Imran Khan inaugurates China-Hub Power Generation Plant in Balochistan
Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has said that Pakistan is moving forward through China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. Addressing inaugural ceremony of China Hub Power Generation Plant in Balochistan, he said this is the first joint project under the CPEC umbrella and he is very happy after inaugurating it.
“The government will facilitate joint collaboration between Pakistani and Chinese businesses in various sectors.”, he said. PM Imran Khan said with the help of coal reserves in Thar, Pakistan can generate huge amount of electricity, which can be enough for at least 100 years.
-Punjab Forest Department develops ‘record keeping’ mechanism
Department of Forest Punjab is managing 1.6 million acres of forest land area – 67 per cent of the entire forest land area in Punjab – under the Geographic Information System (GIS), Pakistan Today learnt reliably on Friday. The program enabled the forests department to ensure sound management and introduce state of the art record-keeping and mapping methods.
‘Development of GIS-Based Forest Management Information System in Punjab’ was approved at PC-1 with a cost of Rs75 million and a gestation period of 36 months (2016-2019) has allowed for transfer of all forest resources and inventories into IT-based inventory systems and achieved extensive field surveys, rapid data collection and its processing for development of the forestry sector on efficient lines.
-Hutchison Port Holdings announces $240m investment in Pakistan
Prime Minister Imran Khan has welcomed $240 million foreign investment from Hutchison Port Holdings, a Hong Kong-based port operator. A delegation of Hutchison Port Holdings, led by its Group Managing Director Eric Ip, called on Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday. Other delegation members included HPH Middle East & Africa Managing Director Andy Tsoi and Middle East & Africa Business Director Eric Ng.
Maritime Affairs Minister Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razzaq Dawood, Special Assistant to PM on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Ambassador-at-Large for Foreign Investment Ali Jehangir Siddiqui and Board of Investment Chairman Zubair Haider Gilani were also present on the occasion. Group Managing Director Eric Ip apprised the prime minister of Hutchison’s fresh investment into Pakistan approximating $240 million which will enhance the new container terminal capacity at the Karachi Port, and increase Hutchison Ports’ total investment in Pakistan to $1 billion.
-Punjab's tax collection jumps 44%
Punjab’s tax collection registered a 44% growth to Rs77 billion in first quarter of the ongoing fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of previous year, despite tough conditions of the federal government for the provinces to get a share in the federal divisible pool of resources. Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht disclosed this at a review meeting of the Finance Department on Monday.
The meeting was briefed that despite the financial backlog left by the previous government, the current government gave a surplus budget of Rs233 billion in order to meet financial requirements of the federal government to comply with conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme.
-‘SECP recognised as 7th most effective regulator in world’
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has been recognised as the “7th most effective regulator” by the World Economic Forum in its ‘Global Competitiveness Report-2019’.
“Pakistan was ranked as the 52nd most dynamic economy in the world. The country secured this by improving 15 points from last year, as it stood at 67th in 2018,” said a statement issued by Mishal Pakistan, Country Partner at WEF’s Institute of the Future of Economic Progress System Initiative, on Wednesday. “The progress of Pakistan’s competitiveness was due to the achievements made during the last 12 months.”
The most effective improvements were made due to the initiative and strategies adopted by the apex regulator for the corporate sector and the capital markets; supervision and regulation of insurance, non-banking financial companies and private pension schemes. The SECP improved Pakistan’s competitiveness rankings by improving the “number of days to start a business”, where Pakistan was ranked at the 90th position compared with 96th in 2018.
-Pakistan China bilateral trade crosses $19 billion, highest ever in history
Pakistan Ambassador to China , Naghmana Hashmi has said the bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and China has now touched US $ 19.08 billion and both countries aimed to raise it further.
“The bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and China has now touched US$ 19.08. We aim to raise it further,” Ambassador Hashmi said joint ventures in defence production have led to the manufacture of the MBT 2000 Al-Khalid Tank and JF-17 Thunder, a fighter aircraft. “On the diplomatic front, the two countries are committed to protecting and promoting multilateralism and upholding the United Nations (UN)Charter, while our cooperation has extended to science and technology, socioeconomic sectors and nuclear cooperation for peaceful purposes,” she added.
-Foreign Company Agrees to Drop $6 Billion Penalty, Re-Invest in Reko Diq: Reports
The International Center of Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) had slapped the country with a $6 billion penalty for revoking the contract without prior knowledge back in 2009. Soon after the development, the Prime Minister had empowered his financial team to contact the executives of the Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) to reach an out-of-court settlement and avoid the penalty.
Reportedly, after the Pakistan authority’s approach, the company has not only agreed to take back the penalty but has also agreed to invest in the project again. As per media reports, PM Imran Khan contacted the TCC management and discussed the prospects of the matter. He assured the company his full support if they wanted to revise the investment plan for the project. The company will reportedly withdraw its appeal from the ICSID, while Pakistan will compensate for their damages due to the cancelation of the contract.
-Current account deficit shrinks massive 64pc
The country’s current account deficit (cad) in the first quarter of current fiscal year declined by a huge 64 per cent mainly on the back of a 21pc reduction in the imports bill.
The State Bank’s latest data issued on Friday showed the current account deficit for July-September FY20 clocked in at $1.548 billion compared to $4.287bn in the same period last fiscal year; a decline of $2.739bn.
The reduced current account deficit is a positive omen for the government, which is struggling with slow economic growth and high inflation. However, despite massive decline in rupee’s value, the country’s exports have failed to register any noticeable increase during the period.
-Food imports down 24pc, exports up 14pc in Q1 FY20
Food group imports into the country during the first quarter of the current financial year (July-Sept 2019-20) decreased considerably by 24.7pc, whereas exports increased by 13.98pc compared with the corresponding period of last year.
The import of food commodities into the country during the period under review came down from $1.45 billion to $1 billion, whereas the exports increased from $864 million to $984.7 million, according to latest data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
-Chinese Smartphone Company Realme to build mobile phone manufacturing factory in Pakistan
Chinese company Realme's Director of Marketing in Pakistan Mr He Shunzi in an interview disclosed that Realme is planning to set up the mobile phone manufacturing factory in Pakistan. He told that company is inspecting locations in Islamabad, Peshawar, and Faisalabad Industrial Estate for suitable land. Pakistani mobile market offers guaranteed capital as Realme ranked top five android brands in Pakistan in less than nine months, capturing 8% of total market share, he added.
-Chinese Coal Giant Wants to Convert Thar’s Coal to Diesel
China’s Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group will help convert Thar’s coal into oil and the talks between the two parties are underway. The Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group is a subsidiary of China’s biggest coal producer, the Shenhua Group and the company already has the world’s largest plant for converting coal into diesel, with an annual production capacity of 4 million tons in Ningxia in its portfolio.
The agreement, if signed, will be a ‘game-changer’ for Pakistan, believes Adviser to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, who accompanied Imran Khan on his recent visit to China. The Pakistani delegation held talks with the Shenhua Group during the trip:
-In a positive development, Pakistan projected among top 20 rising economic growth engines of the World
Pakistan projected among 20 top rising economic growth engines of the World that would dominate the global growth in next 5 years. Pakistan has been projected as one of 20 countries that will dominate global growth in five years time in 2024, an assessment made by Bloomberg using data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
-In a positive development, Pakistan textile exports register increase
Textile exports from the country increased by 2.95pc during the first quarter of the current fiscal year (July-Sept FY20) compared with the corresponding period of the last fiscal year. The textile exports during the period under review were recorded at $3,371.974 million as against the exports of $3,275.303 million during July-September 2018-19, according to latest data by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
The textile commodities that contributed to the positive growth included raw cotton, exports of which grew by 53.65pc, from $7.047 million to $10.828 million. Similarly, the exports of yarn (other than cotton yarn) increased by 21.95pc, from $7.759 million last year to $9.462 million, while that of knitwear surged by 11.14pc, from $701.393 million to $779.548 million.
-Kartarpur Corridor will open to public on November 9: PM Imran
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday announced that Pakistan will inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9. The premier’s announcement came via a Facebook post in which he said that construction work on the Pakistani side had entered the final stage. “Pakistan is all set to open its doors for Sikhs from all across the globe,” he wrote. “World’s largest Gurdwara will be visited by Sikhs from across India and other parts of the world,” he said.
-'$1.2b penalty in Karkey case likely to be waived'
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and senior lawyer Babar Awan has said that the $1.2 billion penalty that Pakistan has to pay to Turkey’s Karkey rental power plant is likely to be waived.
“International institutions, through high-level backdoor contacts, have agreed to waive off the penalty. This is very good news for Pakistan,” said Awan while addressing the media on Friday. “International institutions have shown their trust in Prime Minister Imran Khan,” he added.
-Punjab Govt to Introduce a Unified Tax Collection System
Punjab government is contemplating the introduction of a unified tax collection system in the province. The unified system will streamline the tax collection process and facilitate the taxpayers. At the moment, Punjab Revenue Department, Excise and Taxation Department, and local administrations collect taxes in Punjab. On Sunday, Finance Minister of Punjab, Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht, headed a meeting of Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA). Bakht said that a special tax management unit will be set up at the Punjab finance department that will unify tax collection all across the country.
-PM To Launch Clean Green Pakistan Index for Multiple Cities
Prime Minister’s Adviser on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam, said that Imran Khan will launch the Clean Green Pakistan Index (CGPI) at a grand launching ceremony on October 30. The initiative is aimed at introducing competition among cities on various indicators, including public access to clean drinking water, safe sanitation, effective solid waste management, and tree plantation.
The prime minister will announce a six-month competition among 19 cities of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces, he added. The adviser said that after six months, these cities will be ranked again and those with prominent progress will be rewarded with special federal and provincial government funds and more cities will be joining the competition.
-PM Khan Will Lay The Foundation of Baba Guru Nanak University on Oct. 28
Prime Minister Imran Khan is going to lay the foundation stone of Baba Guru Nanak University on October 28. The establishment of this university in Nankana Sahib was announced earlier this year when PM Khan was in the town for a Spring Tree Plantation Campaign.
-Sindh govt invites bids for Dhabeji SEZ
The Sindh government has launched the well-connected Dhabeji Special Economic Zone in district Thatta near Port Qasim, according to a statement issued on Monday. In this connection, the Sindh Economic Zones Management Company (SEZMC), being the provincial SEZ custodian, has invited proposals for the development and operation of Dhabeji project through an advertisement published in leading national and international newspapers.
Dhabeji SEZ was highlighted in the recent meeting of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Joint Working Group on Industrial Cooperation. The senior officials of China’s National Development Reforms Commission (NDRC) appreciated the Sindh government on the progress made so far. The Sindh government launched the project through an international competitive bidding process as a build-up to the upcoming 10th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting between China and Pakistan, which would be held next month.
-Rice exports surge 51pc in first quarter FY20
Rice exports from the country during the first quarter of the financial year 2019-20 grew by 50.76pc as compared to the corresponding period last year. During the July-September period, about 839,356 metric tonnes of rice, worth $470.584 million, were exported as compared the exports of 551.5,86 metric tonnes, valuing $312.147 million, during the same period of FY19.
According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the exports of basmati rice increased by 47.29pc, as 212,873 metric tonnes of basmati rice ($194.669 million) were exported during the first quarter of FY20, as compared the 127,669 metric tonnes ($132.166 million) in the same period of last year. Meanwhile, 34,090 metric tonnes of fish and fish preparations worth $79.549 million were also exported in the period under review as compared to the exports of 25,859 metric tonnes valuing $67.294 million during the same period of last year.
Slightly different flavour here, which I hope will be insightful to those who take the time to read. Tonight I'm going to talk about my learnings in this market so far; my biggest mistakes; how you can avoid making them yourself; and the strategy I intend to follow from now on. It’s a long old read, but it contains months worth of knowledge, which could only be gained from first-hand experience. So pour yourself a drink, settle in, and let me take you through a brief history of my first two months in crypto.
TL;DR: Been in crypto 2 months, after years trading forex. Learnt a lot, and passing on the knowledge. Hope it helps some of you to become better investors.
CHAPTER 1: New market; new opportunity
I came into crypto with a real excitement. Finally a market that resonates with me. The ability to buy into something I believe in - something that could change the world for the better - and to make money along the way. I was excited that I could apply my trading background, something that not many in the market possess, to my advantage. I was excited at the prospect of being on the curve of early adoption, in a market that had demonstrably meteoric potential. But I was patient. I knew that I would be risking a substantial amount of money in this space, and potentially other peoples’ too, so I had to approach it sensibly. I was going to invest (hold long-term) the vast majority and day trade just a small portion. I spent many weeks researching before considering pulling the trigger even once. I didn’t come into this without a plan. But looking back on it now, it really was only scratching the surface on what a serious investment strategy should be.
CHAPTER 2: Early Strategy
In brief, my plan was to research a load of coins that I’d heard have good potential – solid projects which make unique & warranted use of blockchain technology; are disruptive to their industry; are developed by a competent & active team; and are backed by a loyal community. I shortlisted maybe 40 coins through articles, videos and general conversation, and I added them to my watchlist. Admittedly I became a bit lax in completing the deep level of research I told myself I’d do for each – scrutinizing the whitepaper became skimming the whitepaper, which then became watching a video analysis, which then became “oh that sounds interesting I’ll keep an eye on it”. But this was just a watchlist. And still an educated one.
I knew that I wanted to wait for an inevitable dip in Bitcoin’s value to enter the market, but it just wasn’t coming. $6k, $8k, $10k… the bullish momentum couldn’t be tamed. Was I missing out? Was Bitcoin going to continue its parabolic move while I sit here waiting for a dip that could never come?
LEARNING 1: There are an unlimited number of opportunities
At this stage I was ready to get involved, and I’d scouted a few alt coins that had good technical entry points approaching. Do I need to keep waiting for a good Bitcoin price even when there’s a good alt price? In short, if you’re confident enough about a trade, it doesn’t really matter what price you pay to get the BTC (or other major alt coin) needed to trade it, as long as you believe that your trade will outweigh any potential drop in Bitcoin’s value. If your trade goes up 100% and BTC’s value drops 50%, at that point you’re break even. Plus if you keep holding and BTC returns back to its previous value, now you’re in 100% profit. For me this meant that even after buying some Bitcoin at its ATH (all-time high) and having it correct over 40%, I was still in profit, because this particular trade was up over 100%. More on this later.
So I bought some Bitcoin! Not all at once – generally a decent strategy is called dollar-cost averaging. In essence, buying a little bit every week at whatever the price at the time is, so that your entry price averages out over time. A better strategy is to only buy if it’s at a good price, or when you need it for a trade setup – not just arbitrarily every week even if the price is high. But I digress, I had some Bitcoin now and I wanted to diversify. Time to buy some alts.
LEARNING 2: Every trade is a decision to have the coin you’re buying instead of the coin you’re using to buy it
If an alt coin is gaining value against Bitcoin, it’s better to be holding that alt coin than Bitcoin. And if it’s losing value against Bitcoin, you’d be better off keeping it as BTC. Simple, but easy to forget when you load up Coinmarketcap and see all of the price changes in USD. You’ve gone up by 4% today – great! But BTC went up 10%, so you’d have been better off holding BTC. Buying a coin is an active decision that you make to hold the coin you’re buying instead of the coin you’re selling for it, for the period of time until you close that position. So if I buy 1000 XEM using BTC, that XEM/BTC trade is me saying “I think that XEM will increase in value at a greater rate than BTC will”. If both of them increase in value but BTC does it faster, that was a sub-optimal decision.
LEARNING 3: Satoshis are your friend. Accumulate as many of them as possible
So how does one measure profit on a trade? It’s intuitive to think of it in fiat terms – how many £££ did I make? Something tangible. But really everything should be measured in the smallest unit of Bitcoin (1 satoshi = 0.00000001 BTC). It’s easier to migrate to this way of thinking if you think of your total investment as the total amount of BTC (or the other major alt coin) that you were able to buy with it. Say I invested £1000 in crypto, and with that I managed to buy 0.1 BTC – that’s my total investment. If I want to diversify and put 10% of that into each of my favourite alt coins, I’d buy 0.01 BTC worth of each of them. Let’s say Litecoin was one of them and I got 1 LTC for my 0.01 BTC. Litecoin’s rocket then fuelled up and started on its journey to the moon, and I decide to bank my profit. I now trade it back for 0.015 BTC. From 0.01 BTC to 0.015 BTC is a profit of 0.005 BTC, or 500,000 satoshis!
“But why not just measure it in £££ - that’s far less complicated?!”
Well here’s the kicker. Let’s say Bitcoin’s value plummeted over the course of that trade. I’ve got more BTC, but because the value of each one decreased, I may still have lost money. So does that mean that trade was a bad decision? Not at all. That trade was a decision between BTC and LTC, and you made the right call. LTC held its value better than BTC did, so you would have lost more if you didn’t take the trade. Profit measured in satoshis allows you to strip away the financial layer and answer the most important question – “was it a good decision to make that trade?” A gain in satoshis is always a win. A gain in £££ is not.
Taking that same scenario in which I’ve got an equal amount of my 10 favourite alt coins. Let’s say 9 out of 10 of them stay at exactly the same value, but the other one shoots to the moon on a lambo all the way to 100%. Woohoo! Shame that was only 1/10 of my portfolio - overall it’s worth 10% more now – but if I’d have invested all my money in that one coin I’d be up 100% overall. Now I’m certainly not advocating putting all your eggs in one basket. Rather, in reference to my previous learning, this helped me realised another very important point.
LEARNING 4: Understanding opportunity cost is a must
Any trade I make is not only a decision between the two coins I’m trading; it’s also a decision to buy that coin instead of any of the other coins I might be interested in. I have 0.1 BTC to spend and 10 alts I want to spend it on – should I just divide it equally? Not necessarily. If you’re super confident about a couple of them, but not so much on the others, spreading it equally doesn’t sound like such a good plan after all does it? Take your time analysing each trade / investment and rank them in order of confidence. In order of potential (risk:reward if you’re a trader). Invest more in the ones you’re more confident in. It’s a really basic point, but one that’s so often forgotten when there are so many exciting prospects out there. Holding a particular coin doesn’t just cost the price that you paid for it, it costs the opportunity to buy something else instead. One of the first things I learnt in trading was to cut your losers short and let your winners run. Why should crypto be any different? Even when you’re in a trade, every moment is an active decision to keep holding it instead of trading it for something else. Don’t blindly HODL hoping for a bad decision to improve, when there are better decisions you can take to re-coup that loss. Equally, don’t sell for a loss just because the value goes down. Re-analyse. Has anything changed? If every reason you had to buy it in the first place still applies, HODL. If something’s changed, including your confidence in it compared to other cryptos, consider switching it for a better opportunity.
So I learnt all of this in my first month – December 2017. Did I make optimal decisions all the time? Absolutely not, but with cryptos riding to all-time highs, my investors were very happy, as was I. It’s not often that you can get a 100% return on investment in just one month in a market. But it’s easy to profit in a bull market.
CHAPTER 3: It’s not all sunshine and lambos
It was around the end of December in which things started to get a bit too parabolic, and I was naturally suspicious of how long this could last. But you find yourself, inexperienced in a new market, eager to see how far you can ride the wave. The fear of missing out on further exponential gains becomes as much of a psychological challenge as taking a loss. In short, you get greedy. Highs that I had once been ecstatic with, a few days later became lows. I told my investors not to expect anything like this in future months. In my monthly summary I said “we are in perhaps the most bullish market the world has ever seen”, and I estimated that we had “a maximum of 1-2 more weeks to ride this momentum”. Prophetic, no? Well it’s easy to make predictions that come true – even a broken clock is right twice a day. What’s difficult is having enough conviction to take your own advice.
LEARNING 5: Make your rules and stick to them, no matter what
This is without a doubt the biggest thing I’ve learnt over the months. If one day you set yourself a target of £X profit – a level you’d be really happy to achieve, be that on a trade or overall – take it. Cash out as soon as you reach it and buy yourself something nice. Make it tangible. It’s easy for the world of online trading to feel gamified, but remember what you’re staking – this is real money. But it’s easier said than done. If you rise suddenly to that target I can tell you your first thought will be “whoa look at it go, I’m gonna see how much further it can get before I cash in”, rather than “mission accomplished, time to get out”. Humans are greedy. We want to take shortcuts – to our dreams, to wealth – but this isn’t a get rich quick scheme. If someone told you they could get you 10%/month gain on your savings (that triples your money every year) you’d probably bite their hand off. So why in crypto would you not be chuffed with 50%, or 20%, or 10%? Don’t move the goalposts. Decide in advance when to take profit and take it.
First off, it’s always a good idea to take out your initial investment at a level after which you’d be psychologically happy if the market goes down or up. For example, if I took out my initial investment (say £1000) when it went up 50% to £1500, and then the market went lunar and doubled the next month, I’d personally feel a bit annoyed at myself for not leaving more money in. That £1000 would’ve been £3000 had I kept it invested…shit. However if I took out my initial investment when it went up 200% - I’d now have £2000 left of my £3000 investment, and if it doubled the next month, I’d be happy with the stake I had remaining, not regretting my decision. That level can only be decided by you, based on your attitude towards risk. Obviously the higher that value is before you cash out your profits, the greater the risk you’re taking since it may never reach that level. Taking out your investment as soon as you’re happy to is a good move because from then on in you’re riding on pure profits. If the market were to crash to zero, you’d still be break even, so it’s much easier to detach yourself from the emotions involved (and we all know how emotional this market is). And if you’re a technical trader, rejoice at the fact that this market is hugely technical, and you can very often predict good levels to get out at – often doubled with buying back in cheaper. I highly recommend for everyone
to spend some time learning to analyse charts - even at a basic level. It works. And for heaven's sake if you're day trading don't do what I did and "neglect" to apply basic trading principles like setting a stop loss and sizing each position at maximum ~1% risk. You can call it investing; you can call it speculative buying; but at the end of the day that's just gambling. Don't be lazy. Don't be wreckless. Apply what you've learnt in other markets - crypto is no different.
And for context, no I did not take my own advice. The correction shocked me. Not the fact that it happened, but the fact that it happened so hard and fast. At first I thought it was a healthy dip, and that the uptrend would resume soon enough – no reason to sell. But then the bears took over, and we were in a full on downwards movement. News emerged from South East Asia which caused a great deal of negative sentiment, and Bitcoin’s value tumbled (even when some of the speculation was later deemed invalid), and with that I realised how inherently linked to Bitcoin that all other cryptocurrencies are. You may dislike Bitcoin - the slow transactions; the high fees – but you can’t argue how critically important it is to this market.
LEARNING 6: 40+% market corrections are normal in crypto, but they still hurt
I neglected to mention earlier, but I have a background in trading forex. I understand market patterns, cyclicity and technical analysis such as Elliott Wave Theory and Fibonacci ratios. It is foolish to think that charts will continue indefinitely in a given direction – there will always be corrections and reversals. All through the correction we’ve started this year with, I have remained very optimistic. Nothing at all has changed to make any of the leading crypto projects less credible or via as future industry disruptors. This is why it’s important to do your own research on coins you invest in – so that you’re psychologically happy holding them long term through price corrections. But I’ll be honest, when Bitcoin broke down through several technical support levels a few days ago, I became apprehensive. Not even close to panic, or tempted to sell. After all I am investing long term, and I still see this as a requisite correction in a much larger up-trend. Or at least the upside potential of that outcome is comfortably worth the risk for me – it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. But even as an experienced trader, doubts can set in. All of the profits I had gained in month 1 were gone, and I have now slightly dipped into loss. As I say, I’m not selling, and my analysis is still very bullish. But HODLing is not always the best strategy.
LEARNING 7: When things are looking bearish, consider the trade to fiat
With the benefit of hindsight, and now having dedicated substantially more time to learning Elliot Wave Theory and studying crypto charts, there were a number of points at which you could have predicted a big ol’ correction was on the cards, before it fully developed. A quick ‘n dirty rule of thumb, for those of you who don’t know how to read charts, is: “Don’t buy into a parabolic market or at an all-time high – it’ll likely correct soon”. But I’d also like to add an addendum to what is a common mantra in the crypto community: “Buy the dip” – this is for day trading. If you’re intending to hold a coin long term, zoom right out and look at the entire coin’s price history. Wait for a macro scale correction, not a micro scale dip. A lot of people got excited the other day at Bitcoin rising 10% - I saw tonnes of calls saying “the correction is over” or “Bitcoin to the moon” – but when you zoom out, we’re still in a downtrend with room to go lower, and substantial resistance to get through before we can rise to new highs. Play the long game and look for long-term signals. And if you are in that subset of people who can predict an imminent correction, or indeed if you’re halfway through a correction with a good chance of it continuing, the best decision may well be to get out of the market until it’s over. Trade your positions back to fiat, and wait for clear recovery to the upside. It’s much more difficult to trade profitably in a down-trend. Most of us could have doubled our BTC holdings just by getting out of crypto before the correction and buying back in cheaper now. So make sure you have an exit plan. Know the steps that you’d need to take to get your money off exchanges / wallets and back into your bank account. Getting out of crypto doesn’t have to be a permanent move. There’s no harm in waiting things out until you’re confident again. After all, refer back to Learning 1 – there are always more opportunities.
CHAPTER 4: Moving forwards
At last, filled with learnings and plenty of inactive time spent refining my strategy, I’ve gone back to my technical analysis roots and really analysed why I’m in my positions.
LEARNING 8: Never stop analysing. You will make mistakes. Learn from them.
Does my portfolio need to be this diverse? Are my invested amounts proportional to my confidence in them? Probably not, so I’ve taken this opportunity to start shifting around. Don’t be precious about losses – losing is a natural part of trading – you only need one 10:1 winning trade to offset ten losing ones. So take some losses and make some mistakes. I’m sure glad I did, because it’s made me a much more confident and competent investor today.
And since everyone always looks around for opinions on the market, I will leave you with one bit of bullish technical insight on our King, Bitcoin. Basic Elliot Wave Theory says that markets move in ebbs and flows – 5 waves in the direction of the trend, followed by 3 waves of correction. And these waves are fractal in nature, meaning that a full 5-wave pattern forms a single larger wave within a higher degree pattern. All that being said, IF
Bitcoin’s run up to its ATH in December constitutes a completed 5-wave pattern, we could consider that history as Wave 1 of a larger up-trend. Using Fibonacci extension ratios that appear in all markets (including crypto, very prominently, even with BTC), we can project the likely extensions of the Wave 3 that would come after we’re done correcting here. Based on analysis run by eSignal, a popular trading platform, the length of Wave 3 will likely reach either 1.62, 2.62 or 4.25 times the length of Wave 1. That means our Wave 3 high would take the price of a single Bitcoin to roughly $32,000, $64,000 or $98,000. You can view these Elliot Wave Projections (in GBP) here
Technical analysis is very subjective, this is merely one possible outcome. But ask yourself, if you had the chance to invest in something with global reach that could make a 5x or even 10x return on your investment, what would you risk for that opportunity?
Thanks for taking the time to read, and I hope this helps some of you.
Happy investing, Andy
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