Stock Market Investment: Reliable or Gambling

There is an old metaphor saying, “Money makes money”. This can be literally applied now a days to capital generation through stock market investment. Generally, people have savings in the form of cash or jewelry. But it is going to do nothing if the economy gets hit with inflation or currency value falls. So, what can be a safe investment which is reliable as well as productive? Well the answer is stock market investment. The stock market comprises of a system where partnership or shares of publicly trading companies are bought, issued and sold. But for a few people it is no better than a dark chasm and nebulous casino of savings gambling. Contrary to the common thinking, the stock market is a far better investment option than classical investment areas like fixed deposits and gold bonds.

Basics one should learn before starting stock market investments

It is a great pain to lose money and that’s why nobody wants to lose their savings collected by hard work. Moreover, some people have a greater investment threshold than others. If a person is considering to divert his/ her savings as stock market investment and he is upset about the loss that might occur, he shouldn’t have invested in the first place. However, before investing one should have his mind clearly on a few things.

Here an investor sells any particular security owned by him too, another who is interested in buying it. Since both the investors cannot be absolutely correct, it can be called an adversarial system. For better understanding we can assume that, one investor will be profited and the other will definitely suffer loss.

The opinion of major investors, natural calamities, political and social instability, demand and supply, risk, and the abundance of or lack of alternatives. These factors compile with the relevant information released, which create a general sentiment (i.e. Bearish and bullish) thus influencing corresponding buyers & sellers.

Real profit lies in the price gradient of buying and selling a stock. The best time for buying is when other investors are pessimistic. Concurrently, the best time for selling is when other investors are optimistic.

Pros and cons of stock market investment

Similar to any other investment option, the stock market has its advantages and disadvantages too.

Advantages

1. Great opportunity of extremely good returns in a short time window.

2. Minority ownership. It may sound like exaggeration, but putting money in the stocks of a reputed company also makes the person a part owner of the firm. It doesn’t matter if the investment was large or small.

Disadvantages

1. Brokerage commissions. Every time a person trades his shares, he becomes liable to pay a certain amount to the stockbroker’s commission and it kills the margin of the profit.

2. Time consuming. Investing in the market is not same as putting money to win a lottery. Here one has to fulfill multiple formalities, hence it becomes time consuming.

Baccarat – A Casino Card Game With III Phases and a Bit of History

Before I explain this Baccarat game that dates back to the 15th Century, let’s review a brief bit of history. Americans got their first real glimpse of this casino game during the 1962 James Bond movie, Dr. No, when Bond, played by Sean Connery, was winning in a Monte Carlo casino. The game was Chemin de fer.

Phase I – Chemin de fer

In this original version Players wagered among themselves and won or lost with their own money. A dealer shoe rotated around the table counterclockwise after each hand. Players could decline the bank and pass the shoe to the next player. A 5% commission for winning bank hands paid to the house was to cover the casino overhead.

Phase II – Punto Banco

Punto Banco, meaning Player, Banker, was introduced in Nevada from Cuba in the late 1950’s, where it was very popular until Castro closed he mob run casinos. The main difference from the French version is that the house banks the game. A tie bet was added to increase the house edge, and the 5% commission to the house for a winning bank bet remains in place. Eventually the name baccarat, Italian for zero, was coined. Today baccarat is played in high limit rooms throughout the world where millions are won and lost each day.

Phase III – Mini-Baccarat

Eventually gaming establishments saw profit potential with Baccarat however they had to make it attractive to the average player. Hence, a new version was born, Mini-Baccarat.The rules for this game are exactly the same as Punto Banco except one house dealer controls he game for up to seven players. Table minimums are as low as $5 or $10. Numerous optional side bets have been added to increase the house edge.

How to Play Baccarat

The objective of baccarat is for the player to come as close to the number 9 as possible. Aces count as one, 2’s – 9’s are face value and 10’s – K’s count as zero.

Regardless of the number of players, the dealer only deals two hands from a six or eight deck shoe. Prior to the deal players must first place one bet on either the bank hand, player hand, or tie. Croupiers pass the shoe so players have the option in turn to deal the cards. In Mini-Baccarat, the shoe remains in place and the dealer controls all the action.

When a hand is totaled, it cannot exceed 9. If the two cards total more than 9, the first digit is dropped. The second digit becomes the total. Ex: 7,8=15. (the 1 is dropped) total = 5.

Baccarat requires no skill to play. All the player needs to do is place one bet before the deal. The dealer examines both hands to determine if a third and final card should be drawn. The determination is made according to a fixed set of game rules. Here they are:

Game Rules for Player Bet

The player position always draws on a 0, 1, and 2,3,4,5, unless the banker has a natural 8 or 9. Player always stands on 6,7,8, and 9. When the play bet has a natural 8 or 9, the game is over.

Game Rules for Banker Bet

The banker position always draws on a 0, 1, and 2 unless the player has a natural 8 or 9. The banker always stands on 7,8, and 9. When a banker has a natural 8 or 9, the game is over.

Strategy

No playing strategy is required. Always bet the bank which has the lowest house edge at 1.06%, even with the 5% commission owed to the house. A player bet has a house edge of 1.24% while the tie bet that pays 8 to 1 has a whopping house edge of 14%!. This bet is not recommended. A number of optional side bets at the mini tables have house edges from 2 to 13%. These are not recommended.

Good luck!

Choosing Revenue Option For Poker Affiliate Programs

One of the most profitable niches for an affiliate marketer is with no doubt poker. If you have a poker site making money it is fairly easy, but make sure you are choosing the right commission model for your affiliate program; fixed commission, rev share or a combination of both. Use this fairly simple way of calculating which to choose.

Sending players to various online poker rooms is a lucrative business. Due to the very high competition, the poker affiliate programs need to offer very high commissions to attract new affiliates. For webmasters, this is as good as it gets.

The typical poker affiliate program offers variations of commission, making it possible for you to analyze your traffic and referred players, helping you choose the best model for you and your site. It is not always easy to know the break-even point for revenue share vs. fixed commission, but if you know your visitors, all you need is a calculator.

You need some information about the players you refer. This is sometimes hard to know, but usually you can use a rough estimate. The more information available to you, the better you will understand your players. Try to find out – or guess – the following:

Referred players average limit (player level)

Type of game preferred (limit/no-limit, stud, Omaha etc.)

Table size preferences (usually 6 or 10 players/table)

To find this information out, you can use any method available; a poll on your page isn’t a bad idea, one or a few easy questions will get many answers, making it easier to estimate the above details. There are numerous ways of getting to know your visitors, but that would be another topic, and therefore beyond the scope of this article. If you have no information about your visitors, or if you are yet to build your site, look at a few different levels (of limit games) to see the impact on your revenue. The same applies with table size and type of game, investigate and evaluate.

What you need to know about the affiliate program is the following:

Rake percentage (the percentage the poker room earns from every pot)

Revenue share (the percentage of the rake paid to the affiliate)

Average number of players on active tables (on the referrer’s player level)

Find the average number of players seated at the tables, as well as the average pot. This information is given at almost all poker rooms. If you can’t find the information in the affiliate interface, log in as a player and look directly at the tables.

Then calculate as follows:

(rake percentage x average pot x revenue share) / average seated players.

This gives you the average commission for one played hand.

Look at their fixed commissions and do another quick calculation:

Fixed commission / earnings per hand.

This gives you the number of hands the referred players has to be part of, before you make more from revenue share than from the fixed commission.

If you want to know the time each player has to spend in the poker room to make up for the fixed commission, all you need to find is the average pots per hour. This information is also available in almost every poker room. Then simply calculate:

Number of hands (from the calculation above) / hands per hour.

Giving you an estimate of the time each player has to spend in the poker room before you start earning more than the fixed commission.

Now you have a few more parameters to consider before choosing your revenue model, take your time – it is well worth it.

Real Estate Commission – A Corrupting Influence

Real estate commission is the way in which real estate agents are paid for the services they provide. They receive a percentage of the price received for the property. Effectively, the real estate agent requires the seller of a property (the vendor) to sign over to the real estate agent a part of the property being sold.

Another way of looking at it is to say that the real estate agent, through the wording of the listing contract, effectively has his name added to the title deed of the vendor’s property, so that the real estate agent becomes a part-owner of the property. When the property sells, the real estate agent receives a payment that represents his share in the vendor’s property.

Most readers will be aware of the arguments in favour of real estate sale commissions, so I won’t discuss those here. My focus is on the ways in which the sale process can be skewed against all parties involved, when the motivation to win a commission takes precedence over more important considerations.

Commission is a “winner-takes-all, loser gets nothing” situation. This increases the pressure on the real estate agent to secure a sale. Time is also a problem. If the real estate agent cannot secure a sale within a time acceptable to the vendor, the vendor may take the property off the market, or away from the real estate agent’s agency. This will result in a total loss for the real estate agent.

Finally, the vendor becomes an obstacle between the real estate agent and his commission goal. In order to receive payment for his share of the vendor’s property, the real estate agent must receive an offer to purchase within the available time, but the offer must be accepted by the vendor. If the vendor decides that the offer is not acceptable, then the real estate agent loses.

In order to win the gambling game that is real estate sales, the real estate agent may decide to tip the odds in his favour – and there are numerous ways in which this can be done.

At the listing stage the real estate agent may use improper means to win the listing contract. These include over-quoting on valuation, and offering dodgy sales figures.

During the sale process the real estate agent may be tempted to tell potential purchasers things that are untrue. I have seen many sale contracts with clauses designed to protect real estate agents against the consequences of false statements. Known as “porkies clauses”, they invariably state that the purchaser acknowledges that any information provided to the purchaser by the real estate agent is provided on the understanding that the purchaser will not be relying on it for any purpose.

When a purchaser has submitted an offer, and the purchaser cannot be convinced to increase her offer, the real estate agent may be tempted to pressure the vendor into accepting what would otherwise be unacceptable. Observations, such as “the market has softened” or “the market has spoken to us” are used by real estate agents to convince vendors that the real estate agent’s high estimation of value can no longer be relied upon, and that the vendor should now accept what the vendor believes is an unacceptably low offer.

For some years now, I have been arguing that real estate services should be provided on a fee-for-service basis.

I will explore the replacement of real estate sale commissions with a fee-for-service structure further in future articles.

Maori and Pasifika Problem Gambling in New Zealand

In many countries around the world, ethnic background plays a major in determining an individual’s risk of becoming a problem gambler. In New Zealand specifically, individuals of Maori and Pasifika descent are more likely to develop gambling addictions than any other local residents.

According to statistics, Maori individuals are 3.5 times more likely to become problem gamblers than any other ethnic group in New Zealand. However, this is a fairly recent phenomenon; in fact, there is no Maori word for ‘gambling’. It was not until the 1980s that gambling emerged as a popular pastime among the Maori community, but the introduction of the activity had a huge impact. The Ministry of Health estimates that 1 in 16 Maori males and 1 in 24 Maori females are problem gamblers while a third of the population is at risk.

More than 80% Maori problem gamblers were first introduced to the activity at home at an early age. Card games are quite a popular family pastime but, they can be harmful when money is involved. Studies show that children who are exposed to gambling are more likely to develop unhealthy habits later on in life – and that certainly seems to be the case in the Maori community.

It is also believed that local gambling operators have played a role in the spread of gambling addiction among Maoris. ‘Maraes’ are sacred areas where the Maori culture can be celebrated, and on display in many of these locations are plaques and signs advertising the local lottery commission and other gaming trusts. Casino operators also used their d├ęcor to attract Maori individuals, featuring carvings and art specific to the culture.

The Pasifika community (including individuals from Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands and Fiji) have experienced the same struggle with problem gambling in New Zealand casinos. There are fewer problem gamblers in this community, but they spend significantly more money on the vice. While Maori gamblers spend nearly $2000 on the activity every year, Pasifika players spend $13 000 on gambling annually.

According to studies conducted by New Zealand’s Problem Gambling Foundation, unemployment and low-income levels were to blame for the high problem gambling rates in these communities A survey revealed that Samoans and Tongans gamble to fulfill their households’ financial needs, and that an increase employment opportunities could potentially lower problem gambling rates. Concerns have also been raised that there is a high concentration poker machines in low-income areas, encouraging more Pasifika individuals to gamble. Members of these communities agree that easy access to pokies is likely behind the increase in problem gambling rates.