An Icon In Its Own Right, The S-Class Is A Flagship Among Flagship Luxury Saloons

Top-end luxury cars are regularly put forward as potential candidates for best car in the world honors and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Saloon is definitely a frontrunner for the coveted crown.

After all, Mercedes did set itself the lofty target of making the best car in the world when it went about producing a new S-Class. And like many of its predecessors, the S-Class – while being impressively suave, supremely comfortable and an excellent drive – is also a pioneer, bringing Mercedes groundbreaking technologies to the fore.

It’s in the S-Class – the flagship of industry flagship models – that Mercedes debuts its most advanced technologies. The 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission, for example, is the technical highlight of the German carmaker’s transmission range. The seven forward gears are designed to ensure smaller shifts in engine speed and an optimal engine speed range for the S-Class Saloon.

The AIRMATIC suspension with continuously variable damping system, meanwhile, aims for the smoothest ride with springs and dampers which automatically change to softer or harder settings according to the Comfort or Sport mode chosen. The vehicle can also be raised on bad road surfaces, while it automatically lowers at high speeds for greater driving stability.

The S-Class Saloon exudes stylish superiority and sporty elegance, its exterior design suggestive of power and dynamism even when the car is at a standstill. The highly-charged feature line, three-dimensional radiator grille and innovative LED headlamps and bi colour tail lamps reflect the high-tech nature of this class-leading vehicle.

Among rival models in the luxury saloon segment, the Audi A8 has always traded on its understated looks and while handsome and well proportioned, it doesn’t turn heads like the S-Class. The BMW 7 Series has always struggled to match the imposing styling of its Mercedes counterpart and that of the beautifully-designed Jaguar XJ, considered by some to be the most stylish in the class.

The atmosphere of the S-Class Saloon’s more-spacious-than-ever interior, Mercedes-Benz says, is all about making the occupants feel good, comfortably relaxed and, should they choose, able to work in their mobile executive office. The rear seat can include a folding table, a cup holder and 230 volt socket.

The exclusive-looking interior boasts craftsmanship and materials reflective of Mercedes-Benz quality, like controls made from aluminium and with metallised switch surfaces in pearl-effect finishes. Warm, white interior lighting and optional ambient lighting with seven colour moods to choose from add to the ambience. And the interior air is not just filtered, it’s ionized too.

In addition to standard comfort features like THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control, heated front seats and panoramic sliding sunroof, a host of optional features is available for the S-Class Saloon – including the AIR-BALANCE package, climatised front seats and the Seat Comfort package for the front seats.

The Audi A8 boasts a spacious interior that features top quality materials and an opulent feel and, as to be expected, its own fair share of optional equipment as well as an array of leathers, veneers and inlays to add even more opulence. Interior is not the BMW 7 Series strongest point, but a 2012 facelift did result in more efficient engines and a whole host of new cutting-edge technology.

The big luxury limo that it is, the Jaguar XJ’s interior is distinctive, beautiful and luxurious all at once. And it’s more than just a pretty face, also offering power and sporty performance. The XJ may not be quite as good to drive as the 7 Series nor as comfortable as the S-Class but it edges both rivals when it comes to charm and personality.

On the road, the S-Class serves up precision, poise and balance and while it’s no sports car, this saloon can still belt along with haste. Tire roar is well suppressed for the all-important rear passengers and the ride nicely rounded off. The Mercedes blend of steely body control and almost endlessly compliant bump absorption is hard to best.

The A8, famed for its sharp dynamics and quattro all-wheel-drive composure, boasts plenty of grip and taut body control with reassuring stability at speed.

The 7 Series is remarkably agile for a car of its size and can challenge much smaller models when it comes to driving thrills, while the XJ delivers a powerful, firm and quiet ride even at speed thanks to the interior being so well insulated. Made from lightweight aluminium, the Jaguar also feels more agile than its size would suggest.

Mercedes-Benz prides itself on its safety technologies and the S-Class Saloon employs intelligently networked driver assistance and safety systems. Standard in the luxury saloon are Active Parking Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST, Brake Assist, the LED Intelligent Light System, a reversing camera, anti-lock braking (ABS), acceleration skid control (ASR), airbags and sidebags in the front, sidebags in the rear and windowbags, among other features, and there are various optional features which can be added.

The LED Intelligent Light System comprises LED dipped beams, high beams, turn indicators, daytime running lamps, position markers and cornering light, variable light distribution for country roads, motorways and dense fog, active light function, dynamic headlamp range adjustment and cornering light function.

The S-Class Saloon is available in the Hong Kong market as the V6-powered S 400 HYBRID or the V8-powered S 500 model, the S 400 HYBRID running on an alternative drive system in line with Mercedes efforts toward emission-free driving in the future.

Choosing the Suitable Auto Mechanic

Home car repair work 101 informs you to never ever give up on the backyard mechanic. Have you ever been to one of those home auto repair mechanics that has a little store behind his residence? It holds true that they do offer you a less costly per hour rate than the big car dealerships and the more expert car service center.

However, lots of folks will not go to them because they think that they lack the experience and understanding when it comes to knowing about every automobile and version. These skeptics share that they do not bring all of the specialized devices that a good vehicle mechanic requirements. For that reason, they suggest that it will be in your finest interests to stay with the pros.

A lot of cars today require the most up-to- date, diagnostic devices. This equipment costs a lot of cash and is in some cases means beyond the budget plan of an easy house auto repair work mechanic. If you are about to fix your car, do you need the expert assistance that only an established vehicle lot can offer?

Automobiles always seem to tend to break down in the worst places and at the worst times. Lots of private mechanics, like the home automobile repair variety, are able and always ready to come over to where your automobile is and take care of the trouble. This is one of the things that the huge vehicle dealership service divisions will never ever do.

There are a great deal of experienced home car repair mechanics out there that can simply as good a job as the big children. It is always a treat to uncover a house auto repair shop like that. One that guarantees and stands behind their work.

Owning a vehicle is a really expensive proposition. We all understand of all the expenses that comes along with having a vehicle. You have a month-to-month car insurance coverage, automobile payments, gas or diesel, oil changes and a range of other smaller sized costs. To add to that you have pricey automobile repair work bills.

For the above reasons, it could very well be the smartest thing that you have actually ever done when you take your car to a home car repair work mechanic. Ensure that he just utilizes real parts in your vehicle due to the fact that real parts are better. Jobber parts are less costly, which you might think will save you cash, however in the long run it will cost you a lot more.

If you have a truthful home car repair mechanic, he will honestly explain to you why you ought to make use of only a real part. That is what a trusted and sincere auto repair shop owner will do.

Let’s take an oil modification for instance. You understand that you must alter your oil on a regular basis. If you do, it will help prevent any future costly engine troubles. Having your engine stop working in the middle of a deserted highway is not an enjoyable experience.

Therefore, if you desire good advice about keeping your automobile in leading notch shape, do routine upkeep and make use of an experienced home car repair work mechanic.

It is true that they do offer you a more affordable hourly rate than the huge car dealers and the more professional automobile repair work stores.

If you are about to fix your car, do you require the expert help that only a recognized vehicle lot can offer?

Numerous private mechanics, like the home automobile repair range, are constantly ready and able to come over to where your car is and take care of the trouble. There are a lot of seasoned home car repair mechanics out there that can simply as good a task as the huge kids. For the above factors, it might be the smartest thing that you have ever done when you take your automobile to a house automobile repair mechanic.

Toyota and Lexus offer interesting choices in entry level editions

Toyota’s entry level car is a good little vehicle that’s more fun to drive than you might think. Even with an automatic transmission. Lexus’, on the other hand, is nice vehicle that could be even nicer if they’d offer a non-hybrid version.

Toyota’s little guy is the Yaris, which replaced the Echo that replaced the Tercel that filled a hole created when the Corolla grew up. A lot has changed since those days, of course, but one thing that hasn’t is the fact that Toyota’s littlest guy has a lot to like if you’re shopping at this end of the marketplace.

Lexus’ current entry level model is the CT 200h, a great little wagon that would go head to head against such worthy entries as the Audi A3 or VW GTI if it weren’t saddled with a gutless and funless hybrid power train. As it is, however, it’s still a really nice little car, even if it isn’t great to drive.

I drove these cars virtually back to back and, even though the Yaris is seriously down market to the CT 200h, I enjoyed driving the Toyota more than the Lexus. Who’d have thunk it? On the other hand, it’s hard to argue against the CT’s luxurious interior and increased amenities.

Obviously, Lexus is pursuing a different market than I think they should (and how dare they!) and, let’s face it, the company and its parent Toyota are doing pretty well by not following my advice, so maybe they know something I don’t. Still, I pine for what could be.

More on that later…

Yaris sticks out…

The Yaris, on the other hand, is just fine as it sits, though you might want to check out the version with the manual transmission if you’re into “joie de conduire.” That said, even the atavistic four speed automatic of Toyota Canada’s sample offers a better driving experience than the CT’s noisy CVT.

Available as either a three or five door hatchback, the Yaris offers pretty good interior space and enough technology to qualify it as being up to date. Toyota’s five door sample, for example, even offered Bluetooth for phone and audio, though it didn’t have a voice interface and so I had to pull over and scroll up and down the audio system’s LCD screen to use it, which kind of defeated the purpose.

Under the Yaris’ hood is a four cylinder engine that features dual overhead cams, 16 valves and variable valve timing. And while its 106 horsepower and 103 lb.-ft. of torque may not set the world on fire, it works surprisingly well in this small and light vehicle; I was surprised at that minimal oomph ante because it felt like more.

Power gets to the front wheels via either the four speed automatic of Toyota’s sample, or what’s undoubtedly a more entertaining five speed manual. The automatic shifts well, but not nearly often enough compared to a lot of its competition these days. The “European tuned” suspension (which boasts struts up front and a torsion beam bum) – ditto for the steering and brakes – even feel a tad sporty; you won’t confuse the Yaris with a hot hatch, but that’s not what this car is about.

One thing that worked against a more compelling drive was the non-telescoping steering column, which meant I couldn’t get as close to the wheel as I liked. Couple that with a relatively high seating position and I kind of felt as if I were sitting on a bar stool. Not a big deal, however, and after a couple of days I was used to it. And to be fair, I got into the Yaris right after being in a low slung sporty coupe, so that didn’t help.

On the downside was the typically Toyota audio system. Oh, it worked fine for what it was, but the volume and tuning buttons were the worst I can remember: they don’t stick out far enough from the head unit to let you get a proper grip on them at the best of times; if you’re wearing winter gloves they’re nearly useless. The SE trim level on the five door helps here by adding steering wheel-mounted controls.

The Yaris comes with only one windshield wiper, a huge thing that actually cleans the windshield surprisingly well, better than some cars with two wipers. The only drawback, and this is minor, is that the washer spray comes right off of the wiper arm and when you first start it up it tends to waste some fluid by hosing it sideways across the car until the wiper starts its scroll. You might spend a tad more on washer fluid because of this, but not much.

All told, the 2014 Toyota Yaris is a great little car. It may not be quite the fun of some others in this segment – the Mazda2 or Honda Fit, for example – but it’s a surprisingly interesting drive anyway. And at a starting price of $14,255, it won’t break the bank.

Low end Lexus…

For 2014, Lexus has upgraded and enhanced the CT 200h and – my angst about the power train notwithstanding – I liked the little wagon even better than the last one I drove.

One thing they’ve done this year is to inflict that Lexus “spindle grille” on the CT, but unlike models such as the IS it doesn’t ruin the front end. That may be because this particular spindle isn’t as in your face as others.

The CT’s bum features a new bumper design that incorporates L-shaped reflector housings and a black lower center section to “emphasize the vehicle’s low center of gravity and broad rear stance,” according to Lexus’ press materials. It all contributed to a handsome vehicle, one of the nicer-looking small wagons available today.

Inside, the CT 200h offers more stuff, and Lexus says it also features improved visual and tactile quality (which I guess means its materials look and feel better than before). It works.

The front wheel drive car features a decent suspension and would be pretty nimble if it had the oomph to back up its chassis. Lexus says the CT’s stiffness has been improved through the use of more spot welding and structural adhesives. The suspension has also been re-tuned, with optimized coil spring rates, new shock absorber valves and a tweaked rear stabilizer bar diameter.

The CT’s anemic oomph comes from a 1.8 liter Atkinson cycle four cylinder engine with the hybrid electric stuff tacked on to create a combined horsepower rating of 134. That wouldn’t be too bad for a car this size, except Lexus seems to be concentrating on greenness to the exclusion of “whee!” factor. That’s okay if that’s what you’re looking for, but it might be a deal breaker for others; it certainly would be for me.

On the other hand, after spending a week with the CT 200h I only spent $17 and change to fill it up with gas, so that’s something.

Ergonomically, the CT scores well, with a “cursor control-type thingy” that works and is located close to hand. The audio system is quite good, too, perhaps because it uses what the company claims is the world’s first bamboo loudspeaker technology to create “the industry’s thinnest loudspeaker diagram, which results in noticeably improved sound quality,” according to the company. Sounds like mumbo jumbo to me, but I can’t argue with the sound quality. I’ve heard lots better, but not usually in this price range.

The F SPORT package has been revised from earlier CT’s, but as it’s still as much a trim package as a performance one. It tweaks the spindle grille design, adds a cute roof spoiler to the top of the hatch as well as adding cut outs to provide extra downforce for the better grip and stability you probably won’t need. You also get unique 17 inch, 10 spoke alloy wheels, exclusive upholstery, ornamentation and trim pieces. The F SPORT option also changes the coil spring settings and optimizes the front/rear roll rigidity distribution.

It all seems rather wasted, though, as long as the car’s a gutless hybrid with a continuously variable transmission that howls like a banshee when you step on the gas. The only time the car approaches feeling lively is when you put it into sport mode via the center console knob (you can tell you’ve done this because the instrument panel glows with red illumination).

Toyota, Lexus’ parent company, has a terrific engine that could turn this car from a pretender to a real Audi A3 wagon fighter. It’s the one from the Scion (also a Toyota brand) FR-S, that great little sports car that feels like a budget priced Porsche. Drop that engine and either of the six speed transmissions (manual or automatic with paddles) and you’d really have something here. I have no idea if it’s even feasible, but it would sure be nice!

I’m not saying they should dump the hybrid. To each his own! And the folks at Lexus have undoubtedly thought their strategy through. It’s just that this very nice little wagon could be so much more. I guess they won’t, but it would sure be great if they did!

As it sits, the Lexus CT 200h starts at $30,950 Canadian, which seems like a pretty decent price for what you get. You can option it up from there, via the Touring Package ($34,150), the Premium Package ($37,750) and the F SPORT package ($38,400), at which time you’re getting into some serious coin – but at least the hybrid mien of this machine means you’ll get a break at the gas pump.

Consider These Points Before Investing In a Used Ford

It may be more prudent for you to buy a used Ford rather than one from a showroom, but to strike the appropriate deal; you need to be knowledgeable and market-savvy.

If you’re in the market for a used Ford in Houston, you firmly know that it’s primarily because you get a right deal on it. For you to get this perfect deal, you need to follow a few approaches, which are:

  • • Find out the true value of a used Ford vehicle from the dealer — If, for instance, you want to buy a certified pre-owned Ford in Houston Texas, obviously you would have to speak to a few ford dealers Houston. They will calculate the depreciation value of the Ford vehicle and total up its final worth for you.
  • • Tell the Ford dealer you mean to buy the Ford today — To put pressure on Ford dealer to sell you a good vehicle on the lot, you need to time your visit to ford dealership in Houston TX well. For instance, go mid-week to Ford dealer and let him know you mean to have a car that very day. It will make him realize that you mean business and aren’t just a casual browser in the shop. Therefore, he will give you extra attention and sell you his best car at his perfect price. Mid-week, Vehicle agencies have fewer footfalls, so any agent of used Ford Houston he will be only too willing to close an ideal deal with you as soon as he can.
  • • Can you afford this price? Sure, you may admire the Ford vehicles for their style, classy looks and superb performance, but can you put down as much as is wanted for it? If you want to buy it at a price lower than what’s quoted, you need to have good reasons for it. Look for a reasonable on-the-road or out-the-door deal and negotiate it with the dealer.
  • • Ask about the previous owner of Vehicle — Find out if the car has had just one owner or a string of them. If the latter is true, you can use this as a bargaining point to lower the price. The car’s carfax or history report will provide you with these details.
  • • Look carefully for the Ford’s pros and cons — Look at the Ford’s merits and demerits with equal care. For instance, look for cracks, scratches and worn out tires as much as you would at its plush interiors so that you can negotiate a good deal by bringing down the price.
  • • Estimate the value of Used Ford — When you negotiate the price of a Ford vehicle, keep in mind the maximum on-the-road price you can comfortably pay. Since you’ve already inspected the car, you know its exact value. You also know all the problem areas that are going to cost you money, so make a rough mental estimate of all your additional expenses and minus this from your out-the-door price or your on-the-road price. Also minus an extra 10% and make the resulting amount your first offer.

Quick Car News

This week has of course been the week of all things in the new car industry as the Geneva Motor Show has been taken place. Also in the UK, the new car registration plate change has taken place and car sales have continued to increase.

In quick car news, we plan on discussing the new top of the range Ford Kuga, face lifted Focus, SUV sales and the increase in hybrid car sales. The new Ford Kuga model is due to enter the market to back up the Ford EcoSport model in the crossover SUV range.

The new top specification Ford Kuga model is now available on the market and will be priced at somewhere in the region of �28,345. The new Kuga model will feature a number of changes compared to the standard model including the 19 inch alloy wheels, Sat-Nav and DAB along with a new body kit. The new model will look to go head to head with the top of the range Nissan Juke in the UK Car Market.

The new Ford Focus model has not been announced along with a price. This is because this update is said to be the most expensive model update ever at the Ford manufacturer. Therefore, the firm are yet to have mounted up a cost for the new Focus model.

In other news, it has recently been announced that the hybrid market in the UK has increased by a massive 40 percent. As more and more motorists in the European market look to reduce the running costs on models the sales of hybrid models have increased.

That means that a total of 214, 237 models have been sold under the hybrid fuel source with the Toyota Yaris hybrid being a big benefitting model. Toyota expect the hybrid Yaris model to grow by at least 20 percent in sales within the next 12 months.

The SUV car market has become one of the most eagerly contested markets in the last few years with the worlds top manufacturers going head to head for the largest share of sales. Mercedes have issued a plan to double the current rate of sales and return to the top of the sales chart for the luxury SUV market.

BMW and Audi are both situated above the Mercedes brand in the SUV car market. The Mercedes brand will hope that the GLA, MLC and GLC coupe models will help double SUV sales to a whopping 800,000 in order to beat the two main rival brands.

Apple’s CarPlay system is essentially iOS for your cars’ touchscreen

If you use an Apple iPhone, iPad or Mac computer, your next car purchase may be Apple equipped.
In case you haven’t heard, Apple announced that leading automakers are introducing CarPlay software in their vehicle line-ups.

Apple’s CarPlay is essentially iOS for your car’s touchscreen, an LCD screen that comes with virtually all new cars.

CarPlay software is an intuitive way, says Apple, to make calls, use MAPS, listen to music and access messages with just a word or a touch.

Apple says users can easily control CarPlay from the car’s native interface or just push-and-hold the voice control button on the steering wheel to activate Siri without taking your eyes off the road.

Vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes, Volvo will premiere CarPlay on 2014 debuting cars. Down the road, BMW Group, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota will also include it in their new vehicle offerings.

According to Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS product marketing, “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets them use their phone in the car with minimal distraction. CarPlay brings your car and iPhone together for a thoughtful experience by letting drivers focus on driving while also tapping into everything they want to do with their iPhone.”

CarPlay will work like this: Once your iPhone is connected to a vehicle, Siri helps access your contacts, make calls, return missed calls, or listen to voicemail messages. When incoming messages or
Notifications arrive, Siri provides an eyes-free experience by responding to requests through voice commands, by reading drivers’ messages and letting them dictate responses, or simply make a call.

The system will make driving directions more intuitive by working with Maps to anticipate destinations based on recent trips via contacts, emails or texts. It will also provide routing instructions, traffic conditions and ETA. You’ll be able to ask Siri and receive spoken turn-by-turn directions, along with Maps, which will appear on the car’s built-in display.

In addition, CarPlay gives driver’s access to all of their music, podcasts, audiobooks and iTunes Radio with easy navigation through listening choices from the car’s built-in controls, or by simply asking Siri to pull up what you want to hear.

The system will support select third-party audio apps including Spotify and iHeartRadio so you can listen to your favorite radio services or sports broadcast apps while driving.

Apple’s CarPlay is available as an update to iOS7 and works with Lightning enabled iPhones including the iPhone 5s, 5c and S models. CarPlay will be available in select cars this year.

Some of CarPlay’s capabilities are already available in certain vehicles but they’re not as extensive. While this technology is nice, you have to have an Apple phone for it to be compatible. It seems like this is a slick way for Apple to sell more iPhones if the new car owners have Android devices – and particularly since Samsung is breathing down Apples’ neck in sales.

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How Often Should You Wash Your Car?

The frequency of car washing can be a dilemma. Sometimes it is necessary to wash a vehicle more often due to outdoor parking, environmental contaminants, and natural plant life involved. Sometimes it is better to wash a vehicle less often like when living near a desert or beach. Experts recommend different lengths of time from every day to once a month. However, a month is the absolute longest that a vehicle should ever go.

Washing Daily

There are several reasons that a person might want to wash their vehicle on a daily basis especially if it is necessary to park or drive in unfavorable weather. This is true for places that receive a lot of snow in the winter and have high amounts of salt on the roads; where the salt washes up onto the under-body of the vehicle. Vehicles that spend a lot of time parked in or near industrial parks, high contamination areas, or close to areas with excessive amounts of pollen can also benefit from daily washes. Vehicles that travel far distances should be washed more often as well. Having a long commute means more bugs, debris, and pollen that collect on a vehicle. Travelling highways increases contaminants because the speeds are usually higher.

Washing Weekly

People who live in a suburb away from contaminants can opt to wash their vehicle on a more acceptable basis. Washing a vehicle daily is a time consuming process unless a daily automatic car-wash is preferred. Most places recommend that drivers wash their car at least every two to three weeks. The reasoning behind this is because if it is too hot, your clear coat can be damaged significantly and if it is too rainy it can cause contaminants to cling to the vehicle. Either way it goes, it is best to wash a vehicle more often to be on the safe side.

Washing Monthly

Those that live in a very rural area and who do not suffer dust storms, sand blowups, heavy environmental debris and who receive rain on a regular basis can go up to a month without washing their vehicle. Most experts would recommend that this should be the longest that a vehicle should go between washing. In just the right conditions, a vehicle that is cared for properly including regular waxing can be kept clean for a months’ time. Washing on a monthly basis is helpful for people that have hectic schedules, who work long periods of time at once, or who cannot wash the vehicle more often.

Other Tips

Some of the most helpful tips that experts offer when vehicles owners are deciding on a vehicle wash schedule are looking at where one lives, works, and how often and far the vehicle travels. Paying attention to the number of factories, high pollen areas, and places that have a lot of snow can help set up a good car washing routine. Car wash frequency is important to keep acidic chemicals from eating through paint and clear coat. It is also important for keeping contaminants, pollen, animal waste, and dust from eroding the vehicle paint job over a long period.

It is important to take a look at the surroundings that a vehicle spends the most time in before setting a schedule. Paying particular attention to high contamination areas like those with excess snow or near a lot of factories helps a vehicle owner decide car wash frequency. Car wash frequency should reflect the indoor or outdoor conditions of the vehicle, the ability of the owner, and the types of chemicals chosen. Experts always recommend reading the manufacturer’s instructions on any car wash cleaning agents.

Consistent income trading options: Increasing capital deployment of the SPX

In our quest to understand trading options for consistent income, we often consider the impact on P&L of entering new trades as soon as we close the last. This method increases the use of risk capital without adding to capital at risk, effectively improving capital efficiency. A recent article on Capital Redeployment tested the effects on five ETFs; this article will focus on just the SPX using short Strangles and exiting at 25 percent of premium received.

A short Strangle is an undefined risk option strategy in which an OTM (out of the money) Call option is sold while concurrently selling an OTM Put option, resulting in premium received. The max gain is the premium; the max loss cannot be determined which is why this is called an undefined risk trade. A one lot Strangle requires just 2 options to be sold (1 option per leg). When trading low cost underlyings, like ETFs, the Strangle offers the opportunity to bring in more premium than is practical with an Iron Condor (IC).

To determine the impact of increasing capital deployment on the SPX, Tasty Trade recently conducted a test from 2012 through May 2014 monthly expiration (a total of 28 months). To increase the number of redeployment trades, winners were exited when 25 percent of the premium was reached.

The test criteria was as follows: enter a 1 SD (standard deviation) short Strangle at the first trading day of each month, with about 45 DTE (days till expiration); exit the trade when 25 percent of premium is reached, or hold to expiration; if exiting with a profit and 15 DTE or more remain, enter another 1 SD short Strangle; repeat as often as possible.

The results: when comparing redeployment at 25 percent vs. single trades exited at 50 percent, the latter had a higher P&L, higher Percent Winners, highest Daily P&L, and lowest Max Loss.

In conclusion, while the overall totals seem to indicate that the redeployment at 25 percent is less desirable than a single trade exited at 50 percent, a closer look reveals a different conclusion. If we only look at redeploying twice (rather than three or more), the P&L would be $17,278 (25%) vs. $14,890 (50%). This difference is significant, while the Max Loss is close (-$2,977 vs. -$2,871 respectively).

Also, since the time period (from 2012) is predominantly bullish, it would be helpful to see if the losses for the Third and Fourth trades occurred predominantly on the Call side of the short Strangle. Perhaps testing at different SDs (for example, 1.5 SD and 2 SD) would yield interesting and revealing results.

And then there is the consideration of Weekly trades using the 50 percent exit strategy for a single trade. This represents, on average, 4.33 trades per month (compared to the 2.78 trades of this test).

Houston auto and motor cycle raceways

Here is a list of raceways in and around Houston for auto races and motorcycle races. Motor cycle Super cross raceways are made before the race; the last motorcycle super cross raceway in Houston was made before the race at Reliant stadium. This is generally the case in super cross in other places also.

. Royal Purple Raceway (RPR) formerly was known as Houston Raceway has started this year (2011) in grand fashion. It is a great place for Houstonian auto race fans. Many types of events like Houston SCCA, Legal Street Racing NHRS racing, ASCS sprint car race, Drag racing etc.are held here. It is a great place for weekend (almost every weekend). Click here to see RPR.

. Houston SCCA auto cross races are held at many Houston raceways including RPR.

. Gulf greyhound Park

. Sam Houston Race Park

. Houston Police Academy

. Other raceways in and Houston are:

. Highland Motor Cross Highlands Texas, 11545 FM Rd 2100, 281 843-6686

. Texas World Speedway at College Station, auto/motorcycle. .

RPR is a great place for Texans around Houston to spend a nice weekend and enjoy auto race, drag race, and motorcycle race.

China becomes threat to U.S. in war on terror by no longer accepting dollars

With a brand new trade agreement signed and in place with Russia to purchase oil using a currency other than the U.S. dollar, China, on May 22, began to escalate their rejection of the global reserve currency by issuing a new bank policy within their country to no longer accept dollars in transactions coming to them from the nation of Afghanistan.

China currently provides massive support to Afghan businesses through their banking system, with the primary currency received from these transactions being the U.S. dollar. However, since Afghanistan is not only tied to the U.S. and to the dollar in their rebuilding programs after more than a decade of destructive conflicts, Afghanistan is still a vital link and the focal point for America’s ongoing ‘war on terror’ policy. Hence China’s opposition to dollar acceptance potentially makes them a terrorist threat, or at the very least, a supporter of terrorist activity by proxy through their opposition to the national security policies and determinations of the United States government.

Chinese banks have halted dollar transactions with most Afghan commercial banks, the central bank governor said on Thursday, making it difficult for businesses to pay for imports with one of the Afghanistan’s biggest trading partners.

“China is a major country that was handling those bank transfers, and now they have told the banks they can’t do it,” governor Noorullah Delawari told Reuters.

The impact on business had been felt immediately, he said. – Reuters

President Obama has already made it abundantly clear through recent Executive Orders that anyone, foreign or domestic, that gives the appearance of, or speaks out against, U.S. policies in either Ukraine or the Sudan could be held responsible for aiding or abetting an enemy of the state. These orders allow the government to seize property, or detain and arrest any person they so choose at the government’s discretion.

Additionally, this same policy has been in place since 2003 for the ideological war on terror when the Patriot Act was passed, giving near Carte blanche power to the President in the event of any person or nation being deemed an enemy through their opposing the goals and missions of U.S. policy against terror determined peoples, nations, and activities.

Like Russia, China is moving forward in a full scale rejection of the dollar, and is working hard to isolate the reserve currency more and more from use in the global financial system. First through their buying and selling of oil in Yuan or Rubles, and now, in the rejection of accepting dollars in their banking system sent from Afghanistan, the Asian superpower is making it abundantly clear that the U.S. currency is no longer a desired form of money that the soon to be largest global economy will choose to accept.