Payouts: now ten times bigger!

We’ve been live with our new rules for two weeks now and very happy to announce that everything is working even better than we’d hoped. So well in fact, that we can lift our lifetime payout limit, from $10 to $100.

That’s enough to kickstart anyone’s trading career. You know what to do next: sign up here!

A New Chapter for Spark Profit

After more than two years spreading opportunity around the world, we’ve had to make some important changes to Spark Profit. Please read carefully!

Change #1: All withdrawals via TIQL

We built Spark Profit, the first app of its kind in the world, to ① help you safely and easily learn how to trade, and ② provide an income to fund your new hobby or career. That vision hasn’t changed! But Spark Profit is not regulated, unlike its sister app “TIQL“. Regulation is a good thing for customers, so until we are able to get Spark Profit regulated you will only be able to cash out Spark Profit earnings in TIQL.

Change #2: Skill rewards are limited to $10

Spark Profit has paid over $350,000 in awards since 2014. This money came from our own and our investor’s pockets, as we worked hard to find a way to generate the profits necessary from the games you were playing. No-one had ever done this before because it is a very hard problem! In addition we noticed that it often took several months for players to start earning more than a few cents a week.

As a result we will now restrict skill earnings to a lifetime maximum of $10. Once you have earned $10 you should be skilled enough to use TIQL to grow the $10 we’ve given you into $30, or even a lot more!

Incidentally, your income from supporters remains unaffected, and is unlimited. Just don’t forget to log in to TIQL or Spark Profit each week to ensure you get it.

TIQL is a fully regulated product with strong consumer protections. If you have any difficulty registering a TIQL account please check that you are registering for the correct country, the one where you live. If you live in a country where TIQL is currently unavailable due to laws or regulations, we are sorry for the delay but we do expect that you will be able to access your credits in the future, as we add additional licences over time.

We thought very hard about the best way to continue with our mission of making financial markets safe and fun. The changes will result in more people receiving awards than before, giving more opportunity to a larger number of people.

Australian Bank Job Action

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Robbery fail.

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No, not breaking news of a Aussie heist but a week where two Australian banks tease the markets with subtle hints and tips that will send them into a mini frenzy followed by data about job creation and job losses Down Under.

Monday 12th 11.30pm – Reserve Bank of Australia speech

Christopher Kent, the Assistant Governor responsible for economics, is due to speak at the Bloomberg breakfast address, in Sydney. Traders will be interested as he often drops hints about potential policy changes.

A little less subtle than Kent, I'd guess

A little less subtle than Kent, I’d guess

Tuesday 2.30am NAB Business Confidence

Just a few hours after the RBA point the way about future economic policy, the National Australia Bank (NAB) release a figure indicating the current state of the health of the economy. Above 0 is good, below 0 means things are looking less rosy. Based on a survey of around 350 businesses, traders use it as an early warning signal of impending growth or contraction in the economy.

Wednesday 10.50am Reserve Bank of Australia speech

Another assistant governor, another speech. This time Guy Debelle is going to talk at the TradeTech FX Europe Conference in London. Responsible for advising RBA Board members about the financial markets, Guy may confirm hints dropped by Chris Kent on Monday or confuse matters by seeming to contradict him. Either way, traders will be listening with bated breath and give our players the chance to ride some volatility. At times like this, the markets feel a bit like the rodeo, but with less chances of a broken bone.

rodeo-corgi

Thursday 2.30am Employment Change and Jobless Rate

Employment Change: vital economic data released shortly after the month ends, last month’s 26.2K change is forecast to drop to 15.2K and the markets may not like it. Fewer new jobs may mean less cash sloshing around the economy and a tightening of belts across the country. This isn’t good for any economy so this early announcement can pack a punch.

Unemployment Rate/Jobless Rate: this has been steady at around 5.7/5.8% since March but any change can impact the markets, especially if fewer new jobs were created at the same time. More people laid off and fewer people finding jobs means less ringing of the tills in the shops, and this has a dampening effect on the economy. Traders will want to know if the steady forecast 5.7% comes true.

Trade-making action for GBP/USD (13-15th Sept)

If nothing makes you happier than surfing the waves of a classic FOREX pair then let us give you the nod on the key events giving GBP/USD a little bang for your buck this week.

While Monday 12th is light on action for this Forex pair, Tuesday more than makes up for it with some rather delicious opportunities. Take the British Consumer Price Index, for example.

miserable-men-shopping-with-their-ladies-meme

Are the Brits shopping or are these guys waiting for a bus?

Tuesday

Widely felt to be the UK’s most important inflation data because it’s used as the central bank’s inflation target, the UK CPI monthly figures released at 9.30amGMT Tuesday regularly cause a surge in trade action. Recent data has been close to predictions and figures have been inching upwards, but recent UK news reports indicate falling import prices and that could mean the current 0.6% may be a peak.

Also at 9.30GMT Tuesday the UK Producer Price Index (PPI) and Retail Price Index (RPI) figures are released. The PPI figures have risen steeply in recent months meaning it’s costing UK producers more for their raw materials. Rising costs should lead to rising prices in the shops and ergo inflation, but the RPI indicate manufacturers are absorbing some of the costs as the data doesn’t match. That can’t go on forever so an adjustment up for inflation may be on the cards.

To cut Tuesday’s story short, the CPI may suggest deflation but the PPI and RPI may indicate inflation. With such a contradiction, it’s anyone’s guess which way the markets will take the pound. But one thing is sure – it will take a ride on this data.

Wednesday

Wednesday provides more engagement for traders with a GBP/USD interest. At 9.30amGMT there are 3 currency-changing events.

unemployed-bad-joke

This time the focus is on employment and earnings – a country with good levels of employment and pay has a more robust domestic market strengthening the currency. The monthly UK Average Earnings Index report shows wages have been rising fairly steadily at around 2% compared to wages a year ago. Wednesday’s 9.30am GMT Claimant Count Change lends support to traders’ views on the likelihood of inflation change. If the number drops this is good as it indicates more people are staying in employment while a rise could affect retail sales. Forecasts suggest a rise of around 1.7K despite last month’s 8.6K% decrease. Event number three is the closely-connected Unemployment Rate. This has hovered around 5% for some months. Pundits predict no change at 4.9%.

Thursday

Thursday rounds off the main GBP/USD action with the monthly Retail Sales figures at 9.30pmGMT. Leading indicators suggest there may be a drop in the rate to only 0.4% increase from last month’s far stronger 1.4%. This would add strength to the idea that inflation is slowing.

More interesting though is the raft of announcements at 12.00pm GMT about the Monetary Policy Committee Official Bank Rate at the Bank of England.

nemo-vote

How the vote should be decided (IMO)

First up is the Members Vote, if you set up well earlier in the week and did your homework on the Bank’s members, you might predict which way the vote is going to go and even have plans on where you’re going exit your trade to make the best of the action. With one new member of the Committee (Michael Saunders replaced Martin Wheadle on 9th August) and a change in the number of votes down from monthly to 8 per year, this vote may yet offer some surprises for the markets.

The Vote is a 3 figure statement showing how members voted e.g. 0-0-9 The first number is how many voted for an increase, the second number is how many wanted to decrease the rate, the third number shows the members who wanted to leave the rate unchanged. For many months the vote has been united behind a no-change vote (0-0-9), except in July when 1 member bucked the trend and wanted a decrease (0-1-8). Expectations are for the vote to support no change again but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

Following shortly after 12.00GMT is the official BoE Monetary Policy Summary, which offers tidbits on the economic outlook and potential clues on the outcome of future votes. Then the Official Bank Rate is announced. This is currently 0.25% and expectations are for that to continue.

To add a little something extra to the mix ,the total value of money the BoE will create and use to purchase assets in the open market is also announced at 12.00GMT. The Asset Purchase Facility, commonly known as Quantitative Easing, basically tells us how much money the Bank is going to be printing to prop up the currency but as everyone is doing it, apparently that’s okay. It was at 375B for months but jumped to 435B in August with the aftershocks of Brexit. Could September bring another increase, a drop back or will they keep things steady?

Finally, also at 12.00GMT the Monetary Policy Committee Vote on the Asset Purchase Facility is revealed letting us know whether the decision was unanimous or not. Last month everyone thought the Committee would keep things steady with a 0-0-9 vote but in a shock move 6 members voted for an increase against 3 staying the same (6-0-3). This change of heart may keep traders wondering what will happen this time and send a few ripples through the market.

Euro interested in trading (8th Sept 2 key events)

Interested in interest

Interested in interest

A little insider know-how goes a long way. One hot tip is to follow interest rates for currencies you want to trade. Interest rates directly affect currency. So traders get excited when there are big rate announcements. Thursday 8th September gives us two biggies to get Forex traders going with the Euro.

12.45pm GMT European Central Bank Minimum Bid Rate

Also known as ECBMBR (just kidding – try saying that after a few swift ones) the minimum bid rate is how much the Central Bank charges banks in member states to borrow money. It’s been at 0.00% for a very long time but it’s a key rate for the EUR/USD pair as it has a knock-on effect on other banking interest rates across the Euro-zone. With the recent G20 summit, a change in the rate is a slight possibility and a cut would send the markets into a selling spree. But far more likely is no change and little movement in the markets… for 45 minutes anyway.

1.30pm GMT ECB Press Conference

Heads up, people. This is where the action happens. When the ECB big boss makes the official statement about the earlier rate announcement, the press get the chance to ask questions. Traders have the conference running live poring over every nuance of the chief’s answers in case of any market-changing revelations. It can be common to see a spike in trades during the conference. The trick is deciding which way those trades will go.

Thursday 8th Sept in the spotlight

Hello - welcome back

Hello – welcome back – good to see ya

The traders are back at their desks with a triple espresso, the politicians are back from their hols, and the children are at school: big sighs of relief all round and let normal service resume… um, no, not quite.

September is a special month with a rare triple witching near the end of the month, the G20 summit and tonnes of other headline stuff for our players to trade on.

To start the week we will be riding the effects of the G20 summit in China as markets digest what the political heavyweights decided. And then there is Thursday. This week Thursday is a big day and here’s why.

  • CHY trade balance
  • AUD trade balance
  • Crude oil inventories
  • EUR central bank minimum bid rate and press conference
  • US unemployment claims

Well, well, well, it puts a twinkle in our eyes to see such a wealth of opportunity. That’s a lot of action for one day and we mean to make the most of it.

Starting off, the close trade relationship between Australia and China means the 2.30am GMT AUD trade balance will affect both currencies. We expect the Chinese figures to arrive within a few hours of the AUD announcement, though the time is not yet fixed. It could be a real rollercoaster for the CHY as well.

Later in Europe, the central bank minimum bid rate at 12.45pm GMT is important for interest rates but it’s been stable at 0.0% for months. The press conference 45 minutes later could be a lot juicier if some interesting questions get asked when they open the floor. Set up your position on the EUR going in and you could make a killing.

A busy day is one thing but chaps (and chapettes – TIQL is very equal opportunity) when you have two big events at the same time you need to be a very special player indeed. Or at least have set up your strategy in advance: so we advise you do that. Look at the charts, listen to the pundits, and make your punt. It could be a good plan to stay tuned to the EUR central bank press conference at 1.30pm GMT but the release of the US Unemployment Claims another massive hitter in the field, is at the same time. We’re getting a buzz on already. Two screens. Two big waves to ride.

Now that's just showing off

Now that’s just showing off

But it doesn’t end there. Keep riding the wave in the US as the Crude Oil Inventories are released at 4.00pm on Thursday this week, not the usual Wednesday of recent weeks.

Woohoo – get through all that and you deserve your favourite tipple in that little place you know. Get to it.