You guys gotta give it to phil–the voice of reason yesterday, last nite and this morning.
Started my membership in mid-Oct and have since then learned so much about options by reading the site's articles and postings, members' chats and suggested trades – as a bonus, the articles are entertaining as well! Phil's long-term investing strategy makes really good sense as I've seen its effect on my GLW positions.
Phil – thanks for sharing your knowledge of the market! I've worked as risk analyst for the investment dept of a $19B insurance company, and the scope and depth of your daily commentaries blows away what I have seen and heard from the PMs and even the chief investment officer! Most of all, I will continue to be a member because you have your priorities right (from my POV) – it's not all about money and power.
Wow, Phil, we pretty much made your levels.
Dow 7,404, S&P 775, Nas 1,466, NYSE 4,839 and RUT 402
My sceen is showing:
Dow 7,404, S&P 777, Nas 1,462, NYSE 4,868 and RUT 404
Phil/CLK4 – Perfect! Saw the answer 1 min after my post…out with $740 on two contracts. Thanks again for the education.
Thanks, after years of blood and blunders, I have reached a significant milestone – I don't lose money. Net net, I rarely have a losing week, market up, market down. And that I owe to you. Balanced positions. More premium sold than bought. Fundamental criteria applied to good companies, not momentum/ news headlines/ stock du jour/ triangle squeezies. But rather earnings, P/E, dividends, competitive position — the boring stuff that takes study, thought,….and patience. You have been a great teacher, and I have embarassed myself repeatedly day with how slowly I learn.
And it's a funny thing – if you don't lose, the gains start to pile up. The arithmetic is cruel to the downside, and becomes a gift in the other direction. And I'm in this for the long run, having made myself unemployable through a need for diversification. Moreover, what I've learned here has also elided into other areas, including real estate and ex-U.S. investment. Pretty cool. Have a great weekend.
Thanks for all the work you put into this site. I have looked at a few other option advisory or "mentoring" services this year, but no one offers even a fraction of the content or the level of services you provide at PSW!
Thanks for the oil tip Phil: Bot & sold the USO May 29 calls for net $125. Not bad for few minutes work.
Phil – Not that you dont usually, but you have DEFINITELY earned your money this week. THe recommendations have been PERFECT. Selling into the initial excitement (MULTIPLE TIMES), hedges, everything. Im reading this when I get home from work and want to cry b/c I cant trade at work! I might have to start getting up at 3 AM though to catch those trades bc youre killing it then too! May you and yours have a blessed weekend!
I am struck by several things over the last few days. First is how level-headed we all are as Greece and China develop. Second is how very helpful it is to see the different trading styles we have, partly because of personal preference and partly because of different stages of development and education. It's very helpful. Well-done, Phil, to have developed this community.
thank you for the thorough response(s). I joined this group last week to take my education to the next level. the school i am involved with very good at calling out levels but very little live trading and little help in managing a position going against you.
I like the combo of knowing where the major levels are coupled with your approach to getting in. learned a lot this week.
I would like to thank Phil and PSW crew for the insight and assistance (even the liberals).
In December I initiated long stock positions buying stock, writing calls and puts in AAPL, WFR and CHK (scaling in and out). Over the last week I have been trimming back my positions selling stock and taking out my callers and putters. I am now back to my initial 25% position that I started with in December. However this time, my cost basis on shares AAPL, WFR, and CHK is $0! With money to spare from those positions.
I started with $250,000 in cash as of Oct 1 and have realized gains of $81,000 thru close of business. And that's in an IRA with no margin or naked trades. Whenever you are in Argentina or Chile I owe you a drink. I'm looking forward to it.
Thanks Phil, your note at the close was responsible for making those silly GOOG sellers pay for my NYC sojourn, nice!!
Phil, I don't know how I can thank you enough for your guidance this past week. I'm up significantly in my portfolio and I've never been so relaxed watching the market panic. Thanks once again for being here for us.
Phil you are great, and not only is your market info spot on but you have the courage to call it like it is and write about it in a great tone.
SPY/Phil, I took a big swing on January 26th following your advice to another member and bought 1615 contracts of Mar 185/190 BCS on SPY that will expire ITM today paying $290,700 on the $500k bet. I thought it might be fun to see what a winning trade looks like. Great call on your part and looking back it seems pretty obvious.
You are doing a fantastic job. I think most of us our very well balanced and consequently have learned how to manage through these ever so short declines in the market without panic.
Phil - Thanks for the welcoming gift of the POT at a buck
Just paid for this month and my membership is not even 24 hours old!
looking forward to many more - bk
Thanks super helpful re: UGN example…..other inflation/market-correction-defensive-related play you threw out that has jammed UP in less than a month is TITN 6/14 $15 puts, up 40%. Excuse my enthusiasm but haven't had those types of gains in multiple plays in years let alone days doing it on my own…….maybe I should host the PSW infomercial!!!!
Phil I have been telling you for a while how I feel like I am really understanding you now and thanking you. Well today may have been my most successful futures trading day since I began here and the week has been spectacular! It has just seemed so easy when you give us a range and I execute properly. Thanks once again for teaching me to fish. My portfolio gained over 10% this week which is just amazing.
Phil, those OIH $80 p that you recommended last week for ~$1 are now worth $5.50!
Don't expect to get rich quick here, but you can get easy 30 - 50 % per year, just by buying good stocks at discount (as we often discuss), selling monthly premiums of calls and puts.
Thanks, Phil!!! I just crushed today with it with silver (SLV) calls today, thanks to your persistent reminders of how ridiculously cheap it has become, and watching my TSLA this week $240 puts dissolve into chump change added an extra note of amusement.
Phil/ I hope the next 5 year bear market will be as much fun and as profitable as this 5 year bull market. For those who survived 2008/2009, and who imbibed the wisdom of PSW, what a time it has been. Good to have you by my side. I think you are selling yourself short – you need to triple your prices :)
I am an investor, not a trader. The information at Phil's World is top-notch and always relevant. It is great to see your website thriving.
Phil – Great calls yesterday, you were in top form. As I was reading your postings, I had hindsight of what the day brought. The calls were uncanny!
Phil, 26% on the week for the 20% I day-trade, and since drinking the kool-aid last fall, the whole portfolio has doubled. Have a great weekend !!
Very nice in and out on those USO puts again, easy way to get the subscription covered in just a couple of hours.
Thanks again Phil and everyone here contributing to such intelligent and informative discussion! I have wasted countless hours reading "professional newsletters" and message board blather over the years. Have learned a great deal here in a very short time. I have sent out a number of invites to friends and family for stockworld!
Maya, After years of being pretty good at picking stocks I still managed to lose almost as much as I made.All the reading Phil asked us to do as a new member (And everything else I can get my hands on lately) has revealed my Achilles Heal.Good stock picks do not necessarily make money. My problem was swinging for the fences. Since becoming a member Jan 1 this year and getting into to scaling into small trades I am amazed at the steady profit growth I have experienced already while not worrying about getting killed. And having fun doing it.. Phil, Thanks for the education, the help you give and the chance to learn more and get better. Also thanks to all the members who have answered the few questions I had when your not around.
WOW, look at DRYS go. Nice call on the entry the other week Phil. I got 200 at $6.66 and sold a 7.5 call for $.50, then on the tear today sold another 7.5 call for $1. This should puts me in at an average of $5.91 and called away at $7.5 for a profit of $300+ after commisions. Once again another Phil trade pays for this months membership.
Fresh on the heels of a glowing existing homes sales report comes news of an unexpected plunge in pending home sales. Economists in the Econoday survey expected a 1.1% increase. Instead, the pending home sales index plunged 2.8%.
Just when existing home sales seemed to be showing lift the pending home sales index, which tracks initial contract signings, is down 2.8 percent in the January report. This points to weakness for final resales in February and March.
The West is the culprit in January’s data, with contract signings down 9.8 percent in the month for year-on-year contraction of 0.4 percent. The Midwest is also weak, down 5.0 percent in the month for 3.8 percent on-year contraction. The South and the West both show no better than low single digit monthly and yearly gains.
Adding to the bad news is a sharp downward revision to the December index, now at plus 0.8 percent vs an initial 1.6 percent. This hints at less strength for February existing home sales, sales that proved strong in last week’s January report which however is now a memory. This setback for resales follows last week’s sharp downward revision for December new home sales and together they point to a housing sector where growth is suddenly struggling.
Tight inventories are again being blamed for a downturn in home sales, this time January’s ones. The National Association of Realtor’s® (NAR’s) Pending Home Sale Index (PHSI) declined by 2.8 percent from December, reaching the lowest level in a year. The PHSI is a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts for home purchases. Those contracts are generally expected to turn into completed sales in about 60 days.
The January PHSI dipped to 106.4 from an upwardly revised 109.5 in December. The December index had originally been reported at 109.0. The index remains 0.4 percent higher than it was in January 2016, but is at the lowest level since then.
This index is beginning to exhibit the same kind of volatility that has marked new home sales in recent months. The
Throw out the all the advance indications that show unusual acceleration in the factory sector, because the meat of the January durable goods report only shows the usual volatility behind which are sagging numbers for key readings. Aircraft, both domestic and defense, skewed durable goods orders sharply higher in January, up 1.8 percent to hit the Econoday consensus. Not hitting the Econoday consensus, however, are orders that exclude aircraft as well as all other transportation equipment. This reading fell 0.2 percent to come in well below Econoday’s low estimate for a 0.2 percent gain.
The worst news in the report is a 0.4 percent decline in orders for core capital goods (nondefense ex-aircraft). This ends 3 months of strength for this reading and pulls the rug out from expectations for a first-quarter business investment boom as indicated by business confidence readings.
Pulling the rug out from the whole factory outlook is yet another contraction for unfilled orders, down 0.4 percent and which have now fallen in 7 of the last 8 months. This is the deepest contraction since the recession and points squarely at a lack of hiring for the factory sector. In other data, shipments are down 0.1 percent and inventories are unchanged to keep the inventory-to-shipments ratio unchanged at 1.61.
But aircraft is a big positive in this report though monthly gains are not likely to extend far, if at all. Upward revisions to December are a plus for fourth-quarter revisions while another positive is a 0.2 percent January gain for motor vehicles where the outlook however, given the strength of prior sales gains, is uncertain and will pivot on Wednesday’s release of February unit retail sales. Weak exports have been the Achilles heel of the factory sector and today’s report points to a continued lack of demand for U.S. factory goods. Watch for advance data on goods exports in tomorrow’s trade report for January.
Durable Goods Orders and Shipments
Diving into the details provides a much better look at what’s really happening than the headline number that was skewed by aircraft orders.
Warren Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, authors an annual letter to shareholders that receives wide media coverage for the nuggets of wisdom dispersed to the masses. His latest letter, released on Saturday, trumpets American exceptionalism, the miraculous market system Americans have created, while it blithely dismisses the greatest wealth and income inequality in America since the 1920s. Buffett preposterously observes that “Babies born in America today are the luckiest crop in history.”
Much of what Buffett has to say in this letter sounds like unadulterated propaganda to reassure the 99 percent that his amassing of a net worth of $76.3 billion was a result of America’s great economic system which is percolating along just fine. Buffett writes:
“Americans have combined human ingenuity, a market system, a tide of talented and ambitious immigrants, and the rule of law to deliver abundance beyond any dreams of our forefathers…You need not be an economist to understand how well our system has worked. Just look around you. See the 75 million owner-occupied homes, the bountiful farmland, the 260 million vehicles, the hyper-productive factories, the great medical centers, the talent-filled universities, you name it – they all represent a net gain for Americans from the barren lands, primitive structures and meager output of 1776. Starting from scratch, America has amassed wealth totaling $90 trillion…”
Mentioning the rule of law in the same breath with our market system shows Buffett’s hypocrisy in the worst light. Millions of Americans are still seething over the fact that not one top executive on Wall Street has gone to jail for their role in issuing fraudulent securities with triple-A ratings that brought on the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression. Millions of Americans are still waiting for the U.S. Justice Department or the Securities and Exchange Commission to address the well documented market rigging charges that Michael Lewis made in his book, Flash Boys and …
For weeks now, everyone from Janet Yellen to Fed newcomer Patrick Harker has been trying to jawbone investors into believing an interest-rate increase in March is on the table. That the meeting is “live.”
For more than two decades, the oil market hung to Ali al-Naimi’s every word — whether he was taking a characteristic stroll at dawn on Vienna’s Ringstrasse, hurrying through a hotel lobby after a conference, or dodging throngs of reporters at an OPEC meeting.
When it comes to confidence in the U.S. economy, the partisan divide is the widest ever on record. Democrats are expecting an outright recession, whereas Republicans are expecting the exact opposite–and getting ready to let the boom times roll.
The Auburn University alumnus changed jobs twice in the past two years and nabbed raises of 10 percent and 8 percent as a result. “Switching positions internally or externally is definitely the fastest way to a larger salary,” according to Heintz, who is 28.
Let’s see. On February 18, I wrote an essay called “Not Nearly Enough Growth To Keep Growing”, in which I said “..the Automatic Earth has said for many years that the peak of our wealth was sometime in the 1970’s or even late 1960’s”.
That provoked a wonderfully written reaction from long-time Automatic Earth reader Ken Latta, which I published on February 23 as “When Was America’s Peak Wealth?”. Ken put peak wealth sometime in the late ’50s to early 60’s. As I said then, I really liked his definition of ‘wealth’ as being “best measured by the capacity to be utterly wasteful”. The article spawned a series of nice comments, for some reason largely by people in his age bracket (Ken’s 73).
Which is nice, but it poses as many questions as it provides answers. Like: why does the Automatic Earth have so many ‘older’ readers? Should that be a reason for worry? And also: why don’t the young react in equal numbers? Don’t younger Americans have as many ideas as the generation(s) before them about when America’s peak wealth might have occurred?
Must one have been an eye-witness to the decline to know that it happened? Do only old farts ponder these things? Are there lessons to be learned, be they personal or history-wide? Interesting, all of it, if you ask me. Do younger people not acknowledge that peak wealth is behind us, and perhaps occurred before they were even born? Me, I like history lessons, and Ken’s for sure.
Tomorrow, I’ll have another take on all this written by Charles A. Hall, Emeritus Professor at State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse. Charlie thinks neither Ken nor myself have given nearly enough attention to the role energy plays in wealth, and the peak thereof.
But first, here’s Ken Latta’s response to the comments on his article.
Ken Latta: The responses to my article on peak wealth were so thought-provoking that a follow-up article seemed appropriate. You can’t cover the history of the world in one blog post and I appreciate the additional ideas from the commentariat.
John Day: I remember 1969 as better than 1970. That first moon landing was a real
The “No” side won, with 2,001,926 (55.3%) voting against independence and 1,617,989 (44.7%) voting in favour. The turnout of 84.6% was the highest recorded for an election or referendum in the United Kingdom since the introduction of universal suffrage.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has threatened to call another independence referendum since Britain’s decision to leave the EU, saying the House of Commons “would be making a very big mistake” if they thought she was “in any way bluffing”.
But despite polls which suggest Scots would vote to stay in the UK after the yes camp lost by a decisive 10 point margin in 2014, pro-independence insiders have claimed momentum is on their side as Theresa May pushes to sever ties with the EU bloc.
Charles Grant, a Scottish Government adviser said: ”I believe the Scottish Government is thinking very, very seriously about going for an independence referendum next year.
Earlier this month a poll indicated 49 per cent of Scots were behind splitting from the United Kingdom – a growth of 4 per cent on the month before when the Prime Minister was yet to put her cards on the table when it came to EU talks.
But while the British Government has said there is no need to push for another referendum, Holyrood may still drive Scotland to the ballot box yet again.
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “We have made it very clear that an independence referendum is very much an option on the table if it becomes clear that it is the best or only way to protect Scotland’s vital national interests.”
The 2014 Scottish independence referendum was agreed after Westminster granted temporary powers to the Scottish Parliament to hold a vote.
The SNP are two votes short of a majority in the Holyrood Parliament, although the Greens have promised to back a bid for a second independence referendum should Ms. Sturgeon’s party propose a bill.
It is likely a similar arrangement would have to be reached between Edinburgh and London for
Called the “largest interconnected machine,” the U.S. electricity grid is a complex digital and physical system crucial to life and commerce in this country. Today, it is made up of more than 7,000 power plants, 55,000 substations, 160,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines and millions of miles of low-voltage distribution lines. This web of generators, substations and power lines is organized into three major interconnections, operated by 66 balancing authorities and 3,000 different utilities. That’s a lot of power, and many possible vulnerabilities.
The grid has been vulnerable physically for decades. Today, we are just beginning to understand the seriousness of an emerging threat to the grid’s cybersecurity. As the grid has become more dependent on computers and data-sharing, it has become more responsive to changes in power demand and better at integrating new sources of energy. But its computerized control could be abused by attackers who get into the systems.
Until 2015, the threat was hypothetical. But now we know cyberattacks can penetrate electricity grid control networks, shutting down power to large numbers of people. It happened in Ukraine in 2015 and again in 2016, and it could happen here in the U.S., too.
As researchers of grid security, we know the grid has long been designed to withstand random problems, such as equipment failures and trees falling on lines, as well as naturally occurring extreme events including storms and hurricanes. But as a new document from the National Institute of Standards and Technology suggests, we are just beginning to determine how best to protect it against cyberattacks.
A year later, the country’s electricity transmission facilities were attacked. That attack also cut off electricity service, though to a much smaller geographic area, and for only about an hour. In both cases, it…
French presidential candidate François Fillon won a temporary reprieve in charges that he paid his wife and children €880,000 for work they did not do. The charges are dubbed Penelopegate” after his wife Penelope.
An investigation has started, but so far he has not been charged. The investigation is unlikely to conclude before the election. Should Fillon win, he will have presidential immunity.
Magistrates in charge of prosecuting financial crime on Friday opened a formal investigation into claims the conservative candidate misused state funds to pay his wife Penelope and two of his children for fictitious work as parliamentary aides. They gave three judges the task of starting a fresh investigation.
The prosecutors said they made the move to prevent some of the events from falling under the statute of limitations. Investigative judges will look into possible embezzlement, influence-peddling and failure to comply with transparency obligations, they said.
The decision, which caps a preliminary inquiry, suggests that there is enough ground to continue probing the claims that were reported by weekly newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné last month. But it also means police have not gathered evidence to allow the case to be sent straight to trial.
With less than two months to go before the election, the opening of a formal investigation is nevertheless an improvement on Mr. Fillon’s previous situation. Given the typically lengthy schedule of such probes, the presidential hopeful is now almost certain he will not be charged before the run-off round on May 7.
If he is elected, he — but not his relatives — would benefit from presidential immunity. This will help him fend off calls from within his own camp for a “Plan B” candidate.
The “Penelopegate” affair will nevertheless continue to tarnish Mr. Fillon’s campaign. At each political rally, he has been met by loud crowds of protesters hitting saucepans and demanding he reimburse the money.
As the battle for the presidency hotted up, signs that Emmanuel Macron, the centrist presidential contender, was polling strongly raised the possibility that he would make the second round vote to face FN candidate Marine Le Pen.
“We needed a real campaign against Macron,” Gaëtan Bertrand, head of
The headlines this month have been alarming. “Steve Bannon’s obsession with a dark theory of history should be worrisome” (Business Insider). “Steve Bannon Believes The Apocalypse Is Coming And War Is Inevitable” (the Huffington Post). “Steve Bannon Wants To Start World War III” (the Nation). A common thread in these media reports is that President Trump’s chief strategist is an avid reader and that the book that most inspires his worldview is “The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy.”
I wrote that book with William Strauss back in 1997. It is true that Bannon is enthralled by it. In 2010, he released a documentary, “Generation Zero,” that is structured around our theory that history in America (and by extension, most other modern societies) unfolds in a recurring cycle of four-generation-long eras. While this cycle does include a time of civic and political crisis — a Fourth Turning, in our parlance — the reporting on the book has been absurdly apocalyptic.
I don’t know Bannon well. I have worked with him on several film projects, including “Generation Zero,” over the years. I’ve been impressed by his cultural savvy. His politics, while unusual, never struck me as offensive. I was surprised when he took over the leadership of Breitbart and promoted the views espoused on that site. Like many people, I first learned about the alt-right (a far-right movement with links to Breitbart and a loosely defined white-nationalist agenda) from the mainstream media. Strauss, who died in 2007, and I never told Bannon what to say or think. But we did perhaps provide him with an insight — that populism, nationalism and state-run authoritarianism would soon be on the rise, not just in America but around the world.
Because we never attempted to write a political manifesto, we were surprised by the book’s popularity among certain crusaders on both the left and the right. When “The…
Narrative switching. That is what the Trump administration is desperately trying to do around Russia right now. The White House reportedly interfered with the FBI in the middle of an active investigation involving counter-intelligence. This was not only foolhardy but also suspicious, as it directly undermined their apparent objective: distracting us.
On 14 February, the New York Times reported that advisers and associates of Donald Trump may have been in direct and continuous contact with officers of the Russian intelligence agency, the FSB, during a tumultuous election campaign in which the American democracy itself was hacked. A major party – now in opposition – was the victim of an unprecedented cyber-attack.
The 2017 stock market: a celebration of Donald Trump’s presidential promises, or the byproduct of influences that predate his election? A cohort of Wall Street strategists is leaning toward the latter.
By Jeff Miller. Originally published at ValueWalk.
A Presidential address to Congress is an important occasion. In the first year of a term, it is called just that. In later years, it will be called the State of the Union Address. The circumstances, ceremony, and protocol are the same. I have been watching these speeches for decades, first as a political science and public policy professor and more recently as an investment manager. The combination of these perspectives helps me identify the most important aspects of these events.
Donald Trump’s candidacy and now, presidency, have resurrected a public discourse not heard in this country since the Great Depression — an anxious discourse about the possible triumph in America of a fascist-tinged authoritarian regime over liberal democracy. It’s a fear Sinclair Lewis turned into a 1935 bestselling novel, It Can’t Happen Here — although, as Lewis told it, it sure as hell could happen here.
It did not happen, however. Not then, at least.&nb...
Calculations and explanations with respect to our member Randy's covered call (CCall) writing may be somewhat confusing. I further cannot agree to hold a stock for a month, sitting idle, while I am waiting in hopes that the stock will recover.
There are actually two ways I write CCalls, and I'll use JNJ as an example.
1. Buy the stock and sell an equal amount of calls against it, provided the stock offers more than a 3% dividend. (JNJ only pays 2.6%.)
2. Set up a leap BCS and sell ½ the amount of shorter month calls against it.
JNJ was trading at $122.71 on Friday, Feb 24. Randy chose two different months to sell his calls.
We first look at the March 17 position. As you will notice, JNJ has gone from another member’s ...
Hedge funds are raising their exposure to commodities as prices rally and investors respond to macro shifts including the prospect of accelerating inflation under U.S. President Donald Trump, according to Citigroup Inc.
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New discoveries about the human mind show the limitations of reason.
By Elizabeth Kolbert
In “Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts That Will Save Us” (Oxford), Jack Gorman, a psychiatrist, and his daughter, Sara Gorman, a public-health specialist, probe the gap between what science tells us and what we tell ourselves. Their concern is with those persistent beliefs which are not just demonstrably false but also potentially deadly, like the conviction that vaccines are hazardous. Of course, what’s hazardous is not being vaccinated; that’s why vaccines were created in the first place. “Immunization is one of the triumphs of modern medicine,” the Gormans no...
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considered to be reliable. However, neither PSW Investments, LLC d/b/a PhilStockWorld (PSW)
nor its affiliates
warrant its completeness, accuracy or adequacy and it should not be relied upon as such. Neither PSW nor its affiliates are responsible for any errors or omissions or for results obtained from the use of this information. Past performance, including the tracking of virtual trades and portfolios for educational purposes, is not necessarily indicative of future results. Neither Phil, Optrader, or anyone related to PSW is a registered financial adviser and they may hold positions in the stocks mentioned, which may change at any time without notice. Do not buy or sell based on anything that is written here, the risk of loss in trading is great.
This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or other financial instrument. Securities or other financial instruments mentioned in this material are not suitable for all investors. Any opinions expressed herein are given in good faith, are subject to change without notice, and are only intended at the moment of their issue as conditions quickly change. The information contained herein does not constitute advice on the tax consequences of making any particular investment decision. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situations or needs and is not intended as a recommendation to you of any particular securities, financial instruments or strategies. Before investing, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.
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