Nikon S6000 Silver Digital Camera 14.2 MP

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Walmart has Nikon S6000 Silver 14.2MP 7X Wide Angle Zoom Digital Camera with Camera Case and 2GB Memory Card for $169 with free shipping. Next lowest on Google Products is $199. Thanks for slickdeals posting.

  • Resolution: 14.2 Megapixel
  • Light Sensitivity: ISO 100, ISO 800, ISO 400, ISO 200, ISO 1600, ISO 3200, ISO auto (100-400), ISO auto (100-800), ISO auto (100-1600)
  • Shooting Modes: Frame movie mode
  • Special Effects: Black & White, Sepia, Vivid, Cyanotype, Normal
  • Exposure Modes: Program, automatic
  • White Balance: Automatic, presets
  • Still Image Format: JPEG
  • Continuous Shooting Speed: 3 frames per second
  • Digital Zoom: 2 x

 Note: It may last long though.

Intraday Observation on Bullish Index BPSPX

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This post is about Intraday Observation on Bullish Index (BPSPX) on August 16, 2010. You will find the $BPSPX chart as well.

Currently at 11:46am EST, I observed some interesting phenomena. Stock market wants to go higher and Bond also wants to go higher. This is interesting. Usually, one will go up and the other will go down.

Pros & Cons of Using Vanguard Brokerage

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VanguardIn my previous article, I have described my experience using Vanguard Brokerage Services (VBS) in details. If you want to buy ETFs, you should consider opening a Vanguard Brokerage account.  Opening Vanguard account is fast and easy. Setting up an electronic transfer between my bank checking account and vanguard account is also quick. Buying and selling Vanguard ETF using VBS is free, though there is a limit of 25 trades per year for each ETF. Also there is
So why and why not do you open the Vanguard Brokerage account. The following article will go in depth on advantages & disadvantages opening a Vanguard Brokerage account:


Vanguard Account
  • Free trades on 46 Vanguard ETFs as well as Vanguard mutual funds.
I can select various selections of ETFs whether it is a bond ETF or stock ETF. Bond ETFs selections include treasury bonds, corporate bonds, and hybrid bonds. For equity ETFs, Vanguard also offers international ETF such as European ETF, Emerging Market ETF as well as Domestic ETF.

  • Easy to open an account
I opened my account 2 months ago. It only took me 10 minutes to fill the account application as Vanguard website described. ACH transfer setup is also easy and quick.

  • Low expense ratio ETFs and mutual funds
As described above, there is very low expense ratio for most ETFs. Compare to other ETF provider, Vanguard ETFs are very competitive in term of expense ratio. Low expense ratio is very important especially for small investor like me. The highest expense ratio ETF is FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Cap (ticker: VSS) with 0.40% expense ratio.

  • Friendly customer service
I haven’t really deal with any issue with my account. I called the customer service when I just opened my account asking about my electronic transfer. The customer service is very friendly and knowledgeable.

  • No limit balance to buy ETF shares.
I can buy the ETF with $150 as long as the stock/ ETF lot is not fractional. For example, VTI costs $57.27. With $150, I can only buy 2 shares of VTI for $114.54 or I can buy 3 shares of VTI for $171.81.


  • $20 account service fees
There is a $20 per year maintenance fees for less than $50,000 account balance. This is more me being picky. If you look at the big picture, $20 is very little. With low expense ratio of each ETF, this fee can take care by itself. However if you are a small investor (<$500), this fee do hurt your bottom line.

  • Very difficult to navigate the hidden trading system
I find vanguard trading system is complicated to navigate. Although I’m computer savvy, I find it is difficult to trade through the Brokerage system. The trading system is hidden somewhere in the website. The trade was done through Buy & Sell dropdown menu under Vanguard Brokerage Services > Trade ETFs and stocks. Most stock broker trading system is easily accessible, while Vanguard trading system is more hidden. Unless you notice it early, you will miss the trading system.

  • Only Vanguard ETF is free & limitation of 25 trades per ETF
For most people, 25 trades per ETF a year is more than enough. However if you are actively trade (buy and sell) the ETFs, 25 limitation can limit the trade activity.

  • Long hold for money transfer
I believe this is due to my account is cash account. Any money ACH transfer from my bank will be held for 10 business days. This can be a hassle if one needs to trade right away. Compare to my fidelity brokerage account, this is almost twice longer. In my Fidelity account, the holding period is only 5 business days.

  • Difficult to get a margin account with low account balance
It is not easy to get a Margin account. I applied for a Margin account and rejected due to low balance and low income. I thought this is very strange. I applied margin accounts with various brokerages such as fidelity, just2trade, zecco, and lightspeed; I never get any rejection at all. My thought is Vanguard might not want people to have a margin account to actively using their brokerage to trade their ETFs or other stocks. As you know, with margin account anyone can just trade with just sell fund. So VBS is more suitable to long term investor or buy and hold investor.

  • No after hour trading
If you prefer to trade after hour, vanguard doesn’t offer any AH account currently. You might need to choose other brokerage such as just2trade
Vanguard ETFs
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Vanguard other than I use their brokerage to trade ETFs. Please do your own research for additional details. All information is as updated as August 9, 2010. Please trade responsibly.

Vanguard Brokerage Services Review (VBS)

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This is my third article about brokerage review. In my previous article, I have provided reviews about Just2Trade and Zecco brokerage. In this article, I’ll review Vanguard Brokerage Services also known as VBS. Vanguard is known for low cost mutual fund since the expense ratio is usually lower than most mutual fund provider. Not until recently, Vanguard will not be my first choice to trade. The commission for trading is $7.00 per trade for first 25 trades and $20 for subsequent trades. However trading Vanguard ETFs is free, for any account balance. This is a great choice for most passive investor.


Vanguard Research

Vanguard was established on 1975 by John Bogle. John Bogle is known for his creation of index fund for investor. The current headquarter is located at Malvern Pennsylvania USA. It currently uses its own clearing Vanguard Brokerage Services as their clearing / asset custodial. Vanguard Brokerage Services, member of FINRA & SIPC, holds and clears all Vanguard client assets. All Vanguard accounts are insured under SIPC (up to $500,000 / $250,000 cash balance) and supplemental Lloyd’s of London coverage (up to $250 million) provided by its own clearing firm. What are the details?

Vanguard type of accounts

Vanguard ResearchVanguard Brokerage Services offer Stock, ETF, Bond, Mutual Fund, and CD. As mentioned above, the commission fees for trading is $7.00 per trade up to 25 trades and $20 for subsequent trades. The best deal of using Vanguard is their offering of ETF and Mutual fund. You get free trade to buy or sell vanguard ETF up to 25 trades per year for each ETF. The following is the details fees related to Vanguard brokerage Services:

  • Products: Stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, CDs, foreign securities, insurance, commercial paper
  • Market Orders: Free & $7.00 up to 25 trades per year, subsequent $20.00.
  • Limit Orders: Free & $7.00 up to 25 trades per year, subsequent $20.00
  • Mutual Funds: $35.00 for transaction-fee funds. NTF funds available.
  • Options: $30.00/trade+$1.50/contract
  • Minimum to Open: $3000 ($0 VBS)
  • Account Inactivity Fee: $0.00 though $20.00/yr for maintenance
  • Account Maintenance fee: $20.00/year (balance < $50K)
  • ACAT In/Out: $0.00
  • Maximum Margin Rate: Unknown

How to open Vanguard Brokerage Services account?

Vanguard Account TypesOpening account is very straight forward by filling its online application. Most people will get their account information within 10 minutes after application submission. To apply for margin account, option trading account and Money Market Sweep Account, you will need to fill separate form. You need to mail in the forms for this application. For foreigner, you might need to check with Vanguard customer services. It is possible to open an account with filling the application form manually.

My Experience

Main account page

Vanguard Brokerage Services Main PageOpening Vanguard account is fast and easy. It took me 10 minutes to fill the application online and open my account. ACH electronic transfer also can be setup through online easily. Vanguard also offers various mutual funds as well as ETF for my account. One of the most famous things with vanguard is the low expense ratio of the funds. This can be very significant for long term investor most of the funds have lower than 0.50% expense ratio. For example Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) only has 0.07% expense ratio. This means if you have invested $10,000 in this ETF, your expense for holding this ETF is only $7.00. There are currently 46 ETFs are offered by Vanguard.

  • Free trades on 46 Vanguard ETFs as well as Vanguard mutual funds.
  • Easy to open an account
  • Low expense ratio ETFs and mutual funds
  • Friendly customer service
  • No limit balance to buy ETF shares.
    Vanguard Broker Trade View
  • $20 account service fees
  • Very difficult to navigate the hidden trading system
  • Only Vanguard ETF is free & limitation of 25 trades per ETF
  • Long hold for money transfer
  • Difficult to get a margin account with low account balance
  • No after hour trading
If you need more details about the advantage & disadvantage of opening Vanguard brokerage account, please check my next article. I think using Vanguard Brokerage account is suitable for people who will do buy and hold of Vanguard ETFs. If you look to trade ETFs actively, I will advise to use other brokerage such as fidelity or Zecco (10 free trades per month with $25,000 balance).

Other people complaints from research 

Other complaints about Vanguard are:
    Choosing Vangaurd ETFs
  • Long wait time for customer service to buy corporate bond through their Fixed Income desk
  • Vanguard doesn't let you cancel mutual fund orders.
  • Difficult to navigate through their website
  • No mobile app for trading
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Vanguard other than I use their brokerage to trade ETFs. Please do your own research for additional details. All information is as updated as August 9, 2010. Please trade responsibly.

Top 20 Large Companies in World listed in US Stock Exchange – Part 1

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The following is the list of Top 20 Large Companies in world listed in US Stock Exchange. Two sectors come up top in term of capitalization such as Technology & Basic Materials. Technology & Basic Materials sectors have 6 companies at this top 20 list.

The following is the list
  1. Exxon Mobil Corporation , XOM, Basic Materials
  2. Apple Inc, AAPL, Technology
  3. Microsoft Corporation, MSFT, Technology
  4. PetroChina Co. Ltd., PTR, Basic Materials
  5. China Mobile Limited, CHL, Technology 
  6. BHP Biliton LTD, BHP, Basic Materials
  7. Berkshire Hathaway Inc, BRK-A, Financial
  8. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., WMT, Services
  9. HSBC Holdings plc., HBC, Financial
  10. Procter & Gamble Co., PG, Consumer Goods
  11. General Electric Co., GE, Conglomerates
  12. Royal Dutch Shell plc., RDS-B, Basic Materials
  13. International Business Machines Corp, IBM, Technology
  14. Johnson & Johnson, JNJ, Healthcare
  15. JPMorgan Chase & Co., JPM, Financial
  16. Petroleo Brasileiro, PBR, Basic Materials
  17. Google Inc., GOOG, Technology
  18. AT&T Inc., ATT, Technology
  19. Chevron Corp., CVX, Basic Materials
  20. Wells Fargo & Company, WFC, Financial
Companies List

Exxon Mobil Corporation – XOM

Exxon has been the top big company since the merger of Exxon and Mobil in 1999. The company headquarter is in Irving, Texas. Exxon Mobil Corp main activities are to manufacture and market commodity petrochemicals, including olefins, aromatics, polyethylene and polypropylene plastics and a range of specialty products. It also has interests in electric power generation facilities.

The company has several divisions and hundreds of affiliates with names that include ExxonMobil, Exxon, Esso or Mobil. Divisions and affiliated companies of ExxonMobil operate or market products in the United States and other countries of the world. Their main business is energy, involving exploration for, and production of, crude oil and natural gas, manufacture of petroleum products and transportation and sale of crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products.

Apple Inc – AAPL

Apple Inc. was established on April 1976. The current headquarter is Cupertino, CA. Apple designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers, mobile communication devices, and portable digital music and video players, and sells a variety of related software, services, peripherals, and networking solutions. The company sells its products worldwide through its online stores, its retail stores, its direct sales force, and third-party wholesalers, resellers, and value added Resellers (VARs).

In addition, it sells a variety of third-party Macintosh (Mac), iPhone and iPod compatible products, including application software, printers, storage devices, speakers, headphones, and various other accessories and peripherals through its online and retail stores, and digital content and applications through the iTunes Store. It also sells to consumer, small and mid-sized business (SMB), education, enterprise, government and creative customers. The latest product from Apply is Ipad which was introduced on January 2010 and shipped on April 2010.

Microsoft Corporation – MSFT

Microsoft has been known for MS Windows Operating System (OS) product. Microsoft was established on April 1975. The current headquarter is Redmond, WA. Microsoft Corp is engaged in developing, manufacturing, licensing, and supporting a range of software products and services for different types of computing devices.

It has five business segments: Client, Server and Tools, Online Services Business, Microsoft Business Division, and Entertainment and Devices Division. The software products and services include operating systems for servers, personal computers, and intelligent devices; server applications for distributed computing environments; information worker productivity applications; business solutions applications; computing applications; software development tools, and video games. It also provides consulting, product, solution support services, trains, certifies computer system integrators and developers. It also designs and sells hardware, including Xbox 360 video game console, the Zune digital music and entertainment device, and peripherals.

PetroChina Co. Ltd. – PTR

PetroChina was established on 1999 as a joint stock company. The current headquarter is located at DongCheng Distrit, Beijing China. PetroChina Company Ltd. explores for, develops, and produces crude oil and natural gas. The company also refines, transports, stores, and markets crude oil and petroleum products, and manufactures basic petrochemical derivative products such as synthetic resin, fiber, and rubber. PetroChina maintains a focus on developing its gas transmission, distribution, and gas storage networks. The firm's domestic exploration and production efforts are located in Bohai Bay and the Sichuan, Erdos, Junggar, and Tarim basins. Substantially all of its proved reserves of natural gas are located in China. The firm's refining and marketing's assets include 26 refineries and serve more than 18,500 service stations. The Chinese government owns 88% of the firm. PetroChina’s performance reflects the fact that it is a large-cap blend stock in the Asian region.

China Mobile Limited - CHL

China Mobile was founded on 1999 at Hong Kong. The current headquarter is located at Hong Kong, China. China Mobile Ltd. provides mobile telecommunications and related services in Mainland China and Hong Kong. Its voice-related services include local calls, long distance calls, as well as domestic and international roaming. The company's data offerings include short message services (SMS), multimedia message services (MMS), and wireless application protocol (WAP).

The firm’s GSM (global systems for mobile communications) roaming services cover 219 countries and regions. Its GPRS (general packet radio service) roaming services cover 138 countries and regions. The telecommunication company operates mainly through its 32 wholly owned subsidiaries. China Mobile’s performance reflects the fact that it is a large-cap growth stock in the Asian region. More Top 20 list on Part 2 article

Zecco Trading Online Broker Review

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Zecco Trading is an online discount broker which provides low cost stock trades. Customers are being charged with $4.95 per trade. You can find the Zecco Trading review in this post.

Note: Zecco Trading is part of TradeKing now


Zecco Trading is an online discount broker that offers low cost stock trades to its customers (traders and investors). It used to provide free trades for its customers. This free trades option was discontinued around 2011.

Known for being a discount broker, Zecco also offers low cost options, Forex trading, mutual fund, and exchange traded funds (ETFs). Through its free ZeccoShare community, Zecco offers their members to share online trades and investment ideas with other traders or investors.

Products & Services
    Zecco Trading Broker Review
  • Products Offering: Stocks, options, no-load mutual funds, Forex (separate account)
  • Market Orders: $4.95 per trade
  • Limit Orders: $4.95 per trade
  • Mutual Funds fees: $10.00 per trade
  • Options fees: $4.95/trade+$0.65 /contract
  • Broker Assisted: $19.99 per trade + fee
  • Minimum Balance to Open: $0. $2000 minimum for margin accounts.
  • Account Inactivity Fee: $0.00
  • Some Other Fees: DTC Out: $25.00. ACAT Out: $50.00. Paper statement: $1.50, E-paper: $0.00
  • Maximum Margin Rate: Based on proprietary base rate
You can open Zecco Trading account by filling its online application. Most people will get their account information within a day after application submission. You may need to provide other personal information such as driver license or identification, bank information, etc. To apply for margin account, option trading account and Money Market Sweep Account, you may need to fill separate form from their website.


Stock Trades – For typical stock or ETF trades, you are being charged with $4.95 per trade. OTCBB (pink sheet) stocks are supported by Zecco. For stocks and ETFs priced under $1.00, online trades are $6.95 per trade. For extended market time, the trading fee is $4.95 per trade + $.005 per share.

Options Trades - All options trades are $4.95 per trade + $0.65 per contract. For 10 contracts, you will be charged $11.45. There are no minimum charges and all options exercises and assignments are $4.95.

Zecco Elite

Customers who make >25 trades per month for 3 consecutive month or have a combined portfolio value of >$250,000 are qualified for Zecco Elite status. You may get Zecco streamer for free, $4.95 broker assisted trades, no fee IRAs, and free of charge wiring transfer of >$5,000.

Note: Zecco is part of TradeKing since 2012.