Archive for the ‘High Mailing Priority’ Category

I got a story to tell

 

I got a story to tell

Courtesy of Joshua Brown, The Reformed Broker 

2011.

I’m in a brownstone converted into an office somewhere in Manhattan. There’s a random dog walking around. Everyone who works there is under thirty except for the woman who founded the “wealth management” firm. She is over 60, having spent her career as a financial advisor. I met her filming something at the Nasdaq for WSJ. “Come by my office, let’s talk shop,” she tells me. So I come, and the dog sniffs me.

“What’s your strategy?” I ask her. I’m truly curious. This is the period between establishing my own practice and launching our own firm. I am open to new ideas from everywhere.

She goes into this whole story about how she gets involved with charities in Connecticut or Westchester and shows up with the hors d’oeuvres, which she makes herself. And I’m like What the hell are you talking about? Then I realize as she answers me. She’s talking about her marketing strategy, not her investment strategy. She doesn’t have an investment strategy, yet there are hundreds of millions invested with her. Because she’s great at showing up at charity events with pigs in a blanket and talking her nonsense.

I realize she is just faking it. All of it. Meeting people, sizing them up and telling them what they want to hear.

A young man pops into the conference room and says “Market closes in 5 minutes, what do you want to do with this TZA?” He is asking about an ETF that trades at a 3X inverse to the Russell 2000 index intraday. It’s 2011, so it’s not so strange that I know what this is. Everyone still thinks the market is headed to zero and trades accordingly. Still, it seems like a ludicrous position for an alleged wealth manager.

“Hold onto it overnight,” she tells the kid. I don’t quite remember but I think his name was Glen.

She didn’t look at a TZA quote or a news report or anything. This is clearly a 100% feelthing. She is managing money by making it up as she goes along. The goddamn dog is roaming around under…
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Rogue State

 

Rogue State

How the guardians of nationhood conspire in its destruction.

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 18th November 2017 (Brexiters, beware: if the ties that bind us unravel, tyranny may soon follow)

What is this country we are asked to love? This might once have been an easy question to answer. National identity was built around a range of institutions, considered to represent the national interest. Rebellion against them was characterised as treason. But one by one, these institutions have been subverted from within. Look to the top to see treachery at work.

The most obvious – and most trivial – example is the way in which the Crown has used investment vehicles based in offshore secrecy regimes to enhance its wealth. The Paradise Papers show that both the Queen’s investors (the Duchy of Lancaster) and Prince Charles’s private estate (the Duchy of Cornwall) have been conducting their affairs beyond the view of government. If the Crown mocks its own agencies in this way, why should anyone else respect them? But this, by comparison to other recent revelations, is froth.

Priti Patel’s engagements in Israel, which culminated in her professed intention to divert British aid money to the Israeli army in the occupied Golan Heights, raised the question of whose national interests she was representing, the United Kingdom’s, or Israel’s? It’s a question that could be directed at several British ministers and their departments. The governments of Saudi Arabia and the United States frequently appear to benefit from British decisions that seem more attuned to their interests than to ours. Brexit is likely to exacerbate this tendency.

We were promised that in leaving the European Union we would regain our sovereignty. But in abandoning an association based on equal standing, we expose ourselves to coercion by other nations. Our relationship with the United States, especially under the stewardship of the trade secretary Liam Fox, is likely to look like that of servant and master.

Fox, preposterously, is now the only official member of the UK’s board of trade. The new trade bill grants him Henry VIII powers: enabling him to create laws without parliamentary approval. It was published 24 hours after the consultation on the bill ended, which suggests…
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Why it matters when big tech firms extend their power into media content

 

Why it matters when big tech firms extend their power into media content

Courtesy of David Hesmondhalgh, University of Leeds

File 20171114 26460 1sx4asd.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Shutterstock

A major shift is taking place in global media. Until recently, tech corporations were mainly involved in distribution rather than production. But now, instead of simply delivering TV shows, music and films onto our devices and screens, major firms are sinking huge amounts of money into the content itself.

The herald of this change was Netflix. Here was a tech company from the heart of Silicon Valley which in 2011 began to commission expensive middlebrow fare for its video streaming service. Amazon soon followed, and now Apple are poaching star TV executives, investing a billion dollars a year in production, and almost certainly planning a new video streaming site. Google and Facebook are developing content strategies, too.

However, this shift is not, as some would have it, a case of boring old “legacy” media companies giving way to smart, dynamic usurpers that will give the world better television.

It is better understood as a wholesale media power grab by the tech sector.

Taking over? Jesse33/Shutterstock

Blurred boundaries

There is a precedent for media being dominated by a bigger, neighbouring sector. In the 20th century, many key developments in media and culture were driven by electronics corporations. The recording and radio industries were essentially created in order to provide content to play on electronics devices – where initially the biggest profits lay.

Once content itself became sufficiently lucrative, electronics firms established themselves in production and distribution, forming the heart of vast media oligopolies. Key US broadcasting network NBC was an offshoot of General Electric, big record companies were often subsidiaries of electronics giants, and later, Japanese electronics group Sony became a massive media force.

Boundaries have blurred, but the electronics and tech sectors remain distinct, with their own cultures and industry bodies. And the new tech oligopoly has even more power than the electronics corporations and media giants.

It is important to…
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Weekend Reading

New Weekend Reading:

We Were Warned (Anthony Doerr, NY Times)

Twenty-five years ago this month, more than 1,500 prominent scientists, including over half of the living Nobel laureates, issued a manifesto titled “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” in which they admonished, “A great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it is required if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated.”

They cited stresses on the planet’s atmosphere, forests, oceans and soils, and called on everybody to act decisively. “No more than one or a few decades remain,” the scientists wrote, “before the chance to avert the threats we now confront will be lost.”

The Shocking Math of the Republican Tax Plan (, The New Yorker)

If it gives us nothing else positive, the Republican tax plan—and, in its Senate form, the health-care repeal—at least provides clarity. There is no debate. The middle class will, in the long run, pay more in taxes than under current law, and the rich will pay less. For a brief moment last week, there did seem to be space for discussion, in the form of a disagreement between the centrist and highly regarded Tax Policy Center and the Tax Foundation, a pro-business group that is generally seen as more biased. Even if poorly matched, having two groups with similar, boring names set the stage for the appearance of a two-handed tax debate. One side says it helps the rich, hurts everyone else, and will lead to a bigger deficit; the other side says the opposite. Our media and political system has long viewed economic policy—and, especially, taxation—as the equivalent of “American Idol.” There is a group of judges, loudly disagreeing, and the home audience can pick whichever side they like, based on whatever criteria they have. In past tax-news cycles (2001, 1993, 1990, 1986 . . . ), there were enough serious, respected economists on both sides to make it seem like there was a real, substantive fight over the impact of taxes on jobs and economic growth. (While each individual economist appears to know everything with certainty, as a group, they are surprisingly unsure of the impact of taxes on a


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The blockchain does not eliminate the need for trust

 

The blockchain does not eliminate the need for trust

Courtesy of Dirk BaurUniversity of Western Australia and Niels Van QuaquebekeKühne Logistics University

File 20171114 27632 1np371k.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Central authorities are still important to create legitimacy in a cryptocurrency. Shutterstock

A common idea about the blockchain, the technology that powers Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, is that it can “create trust”, or allow two parties to make a transaction “without relying on trust”.

If true, this means we could create a world without a trusted “man in the middle”. We could have financial services without a bank verifying transactions and we could transfer ownership (of a house, for instance) without a lawyer. But this idea is wrong.

The blockchain does not create or eliminate trust. It merely converts trust from one form to another. While we previously had to trust financial institutions to verify transactions, with the blockchain we have to trust the technology itself.

It is also not clear that a blockchain-powered currency (such as Bitcoin) can go mainstream without the backing of a trusted authority. In fact there are hardly any examples of money (including gold) that have ever worked without the backing of a central authority or a sovereign.

When you make a traditional money transfer the bank will first verify that you have sufficient cash, and then debit your account and credit the recipient. Think of the blockchain as a decentralised version of this process. Rather than all of this information being held and verified by the bank, it is done on an “open public ledger”.

When someone transfers a Bitcoin, it is verified by “miners” (really powerful computers), then encrypted, and a “block” is added to the ledger.

Because all of the verification is done by the system itself, the idea is that users do not need a trusted central authority. Instead, trust is transferred from one central authority (such as a bank) to many decentralised, anonymous participants (the miners).

But here lies the problem – users must trust the technology and the governance of the system.

What is trust?

In economic exchanges there are three
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The Junkie Market, i.e., Lots Of Highs & Lows, Is Back

Courtesy of Dana Lyons

The past few days have seen a reversal from substantial net New lows to substantial net New highs – a condition that has preceded poor performance in the past.

We’ve posted several pieces in the past regarding what we’ve termed “Junkie Markets” – junctures characterized by a substantial number of both New 52-Week Highs and New 52-Week Lows.

Such conditions represent a key component of various and notorious market warning signals, such as the Hindenburg Omen and others. As the ominous sounding names would imply, the historical stock market performance following such signals has been poor. We have found the same to be true with respect to our “Junkie Markets”. Today’s Chart Of The Day deals with a new variation of the Junkie Market.

Specifically, we have seen an unusual development over the past 2 days. On Wednesday, the number of net New Lows on the NYSE, i.e., New Lows minus New Highs, exceeded 2% of all exchange issues, a fairly large amount. The very next day, yesterday, conditions completely reversed as we saw net New NYSE Highs, i.e. New Highs minus New Lows, actually account for more than 2% of all issues. If you think that sounds strange, you’re correct. It is just the 15th such occurrence since the start of our data in 1970.

image

Here are the dates of these reversals:

  • 3/25/1970
  • 4/14/1972
  • 7/11/1974
  • 10/20/1977
  • 1/2/2001
  • 4/22/2004
  • 5/11/2004
  • 4/18/2006
  • 6/28/2007
  • 7/19/2007
  • 9/19/2008
  • 5/30/2013
  • 10/10/2013
  • 1/15/2015
  • 11/16/2017

What would cause such a phenomenon? Well, the only thing we can offer is that a Junkie Market, i.e., one with lots of New Highs and Lows, is really the only type of market in which such a reversal is even possible. Thus, it should not be surprising that the S&P 500’s aggregate performance going forward following these precedents has been less than stellar (incidentally, aggregate performance is similar following the 19 occasions of the opposite reversals, i.e., >2% Net New Highs to >2% Net New Lows).

image

With median returns negative from


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‘Hot potato’ shows why workers won’t benefit from Trump’s corporate tax cut

 

'Hot potato' shows why workers won't benefit from Trump's corporate tax cut

Courtesy of Steven PressmanColorado State University

File 20171117 19250 19mgss2.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Who will be left holding the potato? Nobuhiro Asada/Shutterstock.com

Many children have played hot potato, a game in which they pass a spud to other children quickly so they don’t get stuck with it when the music stops.

Taxes are like that potato. No one likes paying them; everyone tries to pass them to others. The game of hot potato sheds some light on the debate over Republican tax cutting plans, particularly when it comes to companies.

The House just passed its tax cut bill. It would give about two-thirds of roughly US$1.5 trillion in net tax cuts over the next decade to businesses, mainly by lowering the corporate income tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent. That puts a lot of money on the table. About $100 billion in U.S. corporate profits would be retained by companies rather than paid to the government each year.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has claimed that most of this tax savings would go to workers, in the form of higher wages, in line with the president’s argument that the plan would benefit the middle class.

With the help of hot potatoes, let me explain why he’s wrong.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin holds up a sheet of $1 bills, the first bearing his name, as his wife Louise Linton looks on. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Why workers won’t gain

There are two ways a corporate income tax cut can trickle down to workers’ pockets: directly through higher wages or indirectly via lower prices at stores selling the things they buy.

Mnuchin contends that workers currently bear 70 percent of the corporate tax burden – or get stuck with 70 percent of the corporate tax hot potato. So, a tax cut would mean that companies pass much of their tax benefits to their employees by paying them more or by cutting prices and increasing the buying…
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‘He’s Pavlov and we’re the dogs’: How associative learning really works in human psychology

 

'He's Pavlov and we're the dogs': How associative learning really works in human psychology

Courtesy of Edward WassermanUniversity of Iowa

File 20171116 15410 tx7voe.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

When the ringing of a bell comes to mean something more. Maisei Raman/Shutterstock.com

My ears perked up when, in recent weeks, I heard Donald Trump and Ivan Pavlov mentioned twice in connection with each other. After all, I’m an experimental psychologist who journeyed to Russia to conduct conditioning research with Pavlov’s last living student.

First, political provocateur Bill O’Reilly wrote online that

“Donald Trump is kind of like the Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov. Pavlov rang his bell and dogs salivated; Trump’s voice rings out and leftists everywhere froth at the mouth.”

Then, political commentators Abe Greenwald and Noah Rothman observed in their lively back-and-forth that

“It is such a huge master switch that [Trump] can throw to watch both sides and the media completely respond to what he wants in the way he wants. And, so he is Pavlov and we are all the dogs. Right?”

Each remark contains a profound truth: Extremely strong associations can indeed be formed between events. Remember, Pavlov’s own breakthrough was discovering that dogs could learn to associate the dinner bell with the meal itself and so begin to drool when the bell rang in advance of when the feeding bowl was actually placed within reach.

But, these commentators cast such learned associations in a decidedly negative light. People were reduced to canines and their reactions downgraded to mechanical reflexes. Nothing in these pejorative remarks hints at how associative learning contributes to performing responses that help us survive and thrive.

When one thing gets linked to another

Associative learning was recognized and appreciated long before Pavlov initiated his pioneering scientific studies. British philosophers including John Locke, David Hume and David Hartley had, based on their own keen observations and introspections, outlined basic associative laws by which one event comes to suggest another.

I. P. Pavlov with three colleagues operating on a dog. Wellcome Library, CC BY


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Is It A Bird? A Plane? No, It’s A Giant Penis: Navy Apologizes For Pilot’s Pornographic Sky-Writing

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Residents of Okanogan County, Washington woke up to some rather unusual cloud formations this morning courtesy of a couple of artistic Navy pilots stationed in nearby Whidbey Island.  Not surprisingly, the giant sky penis, which was described as the "most monumental thing to happen in Omak" by one Twitter user, sparked a wave of hilarious social media responses.

 

A local TV station in Okanogan, County, KREM-2, reached out to the Navy for a comment on the incident and promptly received the following apology which described the event was "absolutely unacceptable" and "of zero training value"…which we honestly find incredibly shocking as we've always lived under the apparently false illusion that if we were to ever find ourselves in a dogfight over the skies of Iraq that a carefully timed "penis maneuver" could be the difference between life and death.

Navy

As the Washington Examiner noted, a subsequent Navy statement identified the sky artists as members of the "Electronic Attack Squadron 130" who fly the Boeing E/A-18 Growler.

"The Navy apologizes to anyone who was offended by this unacceptable action.  The Officers and Sailors of the United States Navy are professionals, held to the highest standards, while serving our nation with pride around world. The actions of this aircrew were wholly unacceptable and antithetical to Navy core values. We have grounded the aircrew and are conducting a thorough investigation – and we will hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

The Navy statement, which referred to "a condensed air trail resembling an obscene image to observers on the ground," said the aviators were flying an E/A-18 Growler assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron 130, which are known as the "Zappers."

"An investigation into this flight will be conducted and if appropriate, the aviator(s) responsible will be held accountable," the statement said.

Meanwhile, this guy seems to have high hopes of sparking a Navy/Air Force pornographic sky writing competition…which seems like a truly genius plan, if we understand it correctly.





PhilStockWorld.com Weekly Trading Webinar

 

PhilStockWorld.com Weekly Trading Webinar – 11-15-17

For LIVE access on Wednesday afternoons, join us at Phil's Stock World – click here

Major Topics:

00:01:59 Checking on the Markets
00:03:44 AAPL
00:04:11 EXE
00:06:45 SQ
00:09:33 DFS
00:16:20 GNC
00:18:03 GE Chart
00:27:06 FTR
00:31:16 Checking on the Markets
00:32:13 GILD
00:40:25 TSLA
00:46:30 Pivot Points
00:49:25 SGYP
00:58:20 Big Chart
01:02:08 S&P 500
01:21:17 Watchlist update
01:38:19 NLY
01:47:13 Portfolio Review
01:51:38 GE Trade Ideas

Phil's Weekly Trading Webinars provide a great opportunity to learn what we do at PSW. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and view past webinars, here. For LIVE access to PSW's Weekly Webinars – demonstrating trading strategies in real time – join us at PSW — click here!

 





 
 
 

Phil's Favorites

Rebuilding the Caribbean will be pricey, but some are vying to finance its recovery

 

Rebuilding the Caribbean will be pricey, but some are vying to finance its recovery

Courtesy of Masao AshtineUniversity of the West Indies, Mona Campus

If Caribbean governments can’t afford to rebuild their islands, maybe big tech firms can?

November 20 marked the end of the Atlantic hurricane season, but for the Caribbean, it’s only the beginning of a painful recovery process.

In early September, Hurricane Irma largely destroyed Barbuda and several neighboring Lesser Antilles islands. Two weeks later, Maria took a final fatal...



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Zero Hedge

Bahamas Prime Minister Blasts US Cable News

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Over the weekend, Bahamas Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis addressed the Third Annual Press Club Awards Banquet, where he blamed the collapse of journalism standards on 24-hour cable news shows in the United States. He said, the declining of standards “would not have been allowed in previous times” and urged local journalist not to be  “champions of any political party, business, group or interest in a country”.

...

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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin: An Unknowable Bubble?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

"Whatever [Bitcoin] is, I missed it... It looks and smells like all the bubbles I have seen throughout history." - billionaire investor Jim Rogers

Authored by Constantin Gurdgiev via True Economics blog,

There is a much-discussed in the crypto-sphere chart making rounds these days, plotting Bitcoin price dynamics against the historical bubbles of the past:

...



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Insider Scoop

8 Stocks To Watch For November 22, 2017

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related CRM 9 Stock's Moving In Tuesday's After Hours Session Salesforce Falls Despite Q3 Beat The Vetr co...

http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider

Chart School

Russell 2000 and Semiconductor New Highs / S&P Breaks

Courtesy of Declan.

The S&P broke higher to confirm a 'bear trap' and also closed at a new all-time high. Volume climbed to register an accumulation day but there were further losses in relative performance and continued losses in the MACD.


The Nasdaq posted a gap-driven 1% gain to bring it ever closer to channel resistance. It hasn't yet tagged resistance but it looks well placed to do so by the end of the week. Technical are all bullish.

...

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Biotech

The two obstacles that are holding back Alzheimer's research

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

The two obstacles that are holding back Alzheimer's research

Courtesy of Todd GoldeUniversity of Florida

Family members often become primary caregivers for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. tonkid/Shutterstock.com

Thirty years ago, scientists began to unlock the mysteries regarding the cause of Alzheimer’...



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ValueWalk

Robert Mugabe Under House Arrest, Military Takes Control Of Zimbabwe

By Andjela Radmilac. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Zimbabwe’s head of state, 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, has been placed under house arrest after what seems to be a military coup took place in the nation’s capital.

By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jesse B. Awalt/Released [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsRobert Mugabe is safe

Following numerous reports on social media late Thursday night about the increased military presence in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, the country’s military took...



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Members' Corner

An Interview with David Brin

Our guest David Brin is an astrophysicist, technology consultant, and best-selling author who speaks, writes, and advises on a range of topics including national defense, creativity, and space exploration. He is also a well-known and influential futurist (one of four “World's Best Futurists,” according to The Urban Developer), and it is his ideas on the future, specifically the future of civilization, that I hope to learn about here.   

Ilene: David, you base many of your predictions of the future on a theory of historica...



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Mapping The Market

Puts things in perspective

Courtesy of Jean-Luc

Puts things in perspective:

The circles don't look to be to scale much!

...

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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!

 

We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

Join our webinar, free, it's open to all. 

Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

[For more information on NewsWare, click here. For a list of prices: NewsWar...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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FeedTheBull - Top Stock market and Finance Sites



About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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