Protect Your Blog and Adsense Account

First off, this post is a bit of a deviation from our normal hobby/interest posts. Recently there has been some suspicious activity with the blog and Adsense. This forced us to do a bit of research on what to do for these situations. We might as well pass the knowledge onto you.

1) Go to your Adsense account (easy if you use Gmail) and figure out if you're in the old or new format. New format is set as the default for all new accounts and there is growing pressure not to use the old format.

2) On the Account Settings option, select Access and Authorization. Here is where some problems with Adsense occur. Select "Only allow certain sites," and then input your blog's URL. You really don't want to allow others to use your ads on sites you know nothing about, so don't leave it open. This seems like a huge hole in security on Google's part, and they leave it up to the user to figure out.

3) Make sure only people you know are Editors or have Admin privileges for your blog. Simple enough, but sometimes you might grant Editor status to someone for one post and then you forget they still have it.

4) Emergency reports. If you're like us and notice suspicious activity, you'll want to report it (several times) to Adsense. Invalid Click report page, Policy Violation report page, and Adsense Ban Appeal form are pages worth taking a look at depending on your situation.

5) Take proactive measures. "Click bombing" and other invalid activity happens quite often apparently. The best thing to do is be proactive and have measures prepared to deal with it. My method is to use a third-party statistics recorder. A popular one is StatCounter. Just register, configure settings, and add the HTML code to your blog's HTML Widget in the Design page. It can record all the information you'll need to fight back.

That is all for today. We were planning on finishing up part 2 of our Stealth Drinking article as well as getting our Liquor Log started, but I guess that can wait until Monday. Cheers, be prepared, and good luck y'all.

Getting Comfortable with Stock Trading

All right, hopefully you have an idea of what to look for when picking the right stock to flip. The trading game used to be all about investing for long periods of time and knowing when to cash out, but nowadays it's about taking quick profit and exiting. Only mutual funds, IRAs, and retirement plans should be invested in for long term causes (incubator funds as well, but we don't have that much money to play with, amirite?).

Follow a decent stock for as long as it takes to be able to predict movement throughout a typical day, preferably one recommended on several reputable forums. Profitable picks in my past have been ones I noticed did better at certain parts of the day (selling time) and dropped at other times (buying time, lunch hours are a key time). After I got confident predicting movement, I stayed at my computer the whole time my money was floating around.

                               Intraday movement of Google stock (06/22/11)

There are two options we're concerned with when putting in a buy/sell order: Limit and Market. Market orders mean you want in fast and limit orders mean you are fine waiting for a certain price. I have never had a market order because I don't invest on the spot. Always use limit orders to be safe. Quick money can be made with market orders as they take priority in trades, just know what is at stake.

Another part of an order you need to know is your qualifier. You'll usually see AON or a blank spot. AON means "all or nothing," meaning your trade won't go through unless your order is completed in one trade. This is fine for smaller orders or large volume trading. It severely inhibits trading with pennies however, as quite a few trades require several go-arounds to fill an entire order. This may take an hour or several hours.

A last few pieces of advice for today are to know standards among online traders. It's usually slow trading around 12-1 PM Eastern time, due to lunch time for the big guys in charge. Stocks are usually uncertain during this time and not a great time to sell. Power Hour is a term for the last hour of trading for the day during normal hours, which is 3:30 - 4:30 PM Eastern time. Big swings happen during this time as well and heavily influences the next day's trading. If it spikes up during this time, it's a bet on investors that the stock will spike early the next day. If you think so as well, put a limit order in and chose GTC instead of DAY. GTC means "good 'til cancelled," and DAY means the trade is good for that trading day only. Use GTC if you think you can predict price movement decently.

If you're looking for a standard day to buy a stock cheap, check out the price on Fridays. Fridays are notorious for drops in PPS (price per share). I have no certain idea why, but folks say investors don't want to hold their shares over the weekend and will sell at a lower price.

See that money moving around in the market? Go out there, do some research, learn how to grab it, and do not let go. Thanks to the internet, anyone can do it.

Stock Trading Sites - Cheap and Decent

Continued from the other day, we're listing some decent and cheap trading sites. Now understand that since these are cheap to trade on, your best bet is to do your own DD outside and only use their site to make your trades. A trade from any of these sites = a trade from any highly advertised site. Since every complete trade needs two fees (purchase/sell), these sites save you at least $10 per complete trade. This is great since you're probably not playing with much to begin with.

                                      Level 2 Stock Quotes from 06/21/11

Here they are. You want cheap right? Of course you do, here are the ones we've looked up that are reputable, cheap, and have decent customer service:

Choicetrade: My favorite but not the greatest. Getting an account takes a couple days. You have to print out some papers and mail them in snail-mail style. At like $5 a trade, it's pretty decent. There are no extra fees for penny stocks. I don't use the site's researching platforms however. It's incredibly simple in its design, which I like because a confusing looking trade site can be dangerous when making on-the-spot trade decisions.

Zecco: I had an account with them at first, but switched because I didn't qualify for one of their promotional offers. If you add a decent amount of money into your account, you get so many free trades monthly. Not bad, but you're probably not going to be playing with several thousand dollars. $5 a trade as well ($7 for penny stocks). Nothing great about their trading platform, but that doesn't really matter. They do give incentives for having referrals. If you are great at getting referrals, you'll end up getting $75 per referral.

Tradeking: One of the better platforms with cheap trades ($5), but I traded penny stocks at the time and they tacked on some new fee for stocks less than a penny per share, which drove me away. Nowadays, it's .01 per share or 5%, whichever is less. I still use their research platform even without using them for transactions though. They also have an inactivity fee, so be careful if you open an account.

Scottrade: A decent broker site with free Level 2 (L2), which normally costs around $20 monthly elsewhere. That access to live knowledge can save/make you some money. Although their trades are $7 each (with extra fees for stocks under $1), I'd still use this for highly active, low value stocks above $1. At least use it for the L2.

Sharebuilder: Another decent broker site with a decent platform. I put this one at the bottom of the list because trades are $10 each unfortunately. The good news is there are no extra fees for penny stocks and you have the option for automatic investments if you want to use it. Also, no minimum investment!

Any individually will do fine, as will a combo. To sum up, the most important things you'll want from the trading sites you have accounts with are: cheap trade fees, no extra fees per share (as used to be common with pennies), immediate customer service (some have chat features you login to quickly and are immediately introduced to a representative), no history of blocking trades (some sites refuse trades with certain companies, particularly penny stocks and high-profile, crashing stocks), ease of moving trading accounts (some are harder than others to close), and the overall simplicity of the site.

That's all for today, tomorrow we'll continue again with some tips of what to do when you think you've found a good "gamble," I mean "investment." Continued here.

Research Stocks, Bonds, and Forex After Class!

So you have some free time and want to make some money. In college, there's a lot of ways to put together some booze money, but few are interesting. We're going to explain some of our methods we use when researching stocks to flip. Obviously, now's the time for a disclaimer even though it would be all your fault if you messed up anyways: WE'RE NOT TRAINED OR LICENSED INVESTORS, I BARELY PASSED ECON 102.

Penny stocks is the game. Yep, that's it, let your groans out now. No reputable magazine has ever said penny stocks were great to throw your money at and invest in, but here's the catch: we're not going to be investing. The only thing you'll read here today is how we flip stocks quickly, normally within a day or a week at most. Never "invest" in a penny stock unless you're part of the company.

Sample of what can happen within a day. The reverse can happen just as easily

First thing you need to figure out is how much you're going to gamble or "invest." For what we're about to write, several hundred dollars is fairly standard. Any more than that and you'll want to invest in better alternatives. I started out with $400 my first time and it worked out nicely.

The most important part of trading/flipping these stocks is doing your Due Diligence (DD). This includes knowing what the company does, how they make money, how often they update their PRs, whether they address shareholders often, etc. I typically look for a company that has been around for at least two years, has at least three PRs a month, and doesn't have a history of reverse-splits.

Never put money into a penny stock that has reverse-splits in its history, it means they dilute their shares. Also try not to invest in sub-penny stocks, in which each share is less than a penny. For instance, BGOI as of Friday ( is .0011 pps (price per share). Unless they have news saying something big is coming, and be cautious if they do, don't put money in sub-pennies.

After getting used to what to look for, here are some basics to flipping. Don't think you can get more when you actually make a profit. Take your profit and run. A decent flip on a penny stock is between 20-50%. Any more and you're risking a lot, though you do have a lot to gain. I typically have my orders set to making 30% profit while I'm in class or when I'm away from the internet during a trading day.

To get you more informed, here are a few sites I use when doing research:

Hot Stock Market - best forum I've come across for info on any stock. I heed their advice more often than other sites. Also, their "Trade journals and stock tips" section is quite helpful.

IHUB - be cautious about this forum. You'll see a lot of spam, but also occasionally you'll see some good findings members post. A good post will show their source. This site also tends to find the phone number of the company's TA (transfer agent) so you can call yourself to find info.

Common trading terms - I bookmarked this site long ago so I can easily go to the page, CTRL + F my term, and then find a definition quickly. You'll come across a lot of trading terms when in the forums, this site makes it easy to translate.

Abbreviations - as with terms, there are huge amounts of abbreviations used on forums and sites as well. This site's search option makes finding a term from an abbreviation really quite simple.

That's all for today, tomorrow we'll detail some of the sites we have found are great for small-time traders who want cheap and want results. Later, and happy trading! Continued here.