I have been a member of Phil's site for three years and counting, and my advice is that all investing takes time. There are o shortcuts, no secret way to riches. Same with Phil's site- you need time and patience to start benefitting fully from his advice. But it is often spot on and also very useful, especially to me as I try to keep a level head in this turbulent stock market environment.
Phil - Moved today to send kudos. You're in my top 5 to see/read daily. I do not trade...
but as former econ-finance adjunct faculty near Stanford U. I give you lots of attaboys....
and provide your links to many to spread some understanding of the mess we are in. Best to you and yours,
Phil, Thanks for the long calls@ $ 85 on AAPL. A quick $4900. Paid for my subscription!!
You guys gotta give it to phil–the voice of reason yesterday, last nite and this morning.
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 love it when a trade really comes together. After 4 DD's and a roll, I cashed out 16 times my initial position in TLT today for a 140% gain. Thank you Phil for the lessons in scaling in, and paying for position.
Phil Thank you very much, I appreciate your help and wisdom.
Phil: I am always able to figure out your trades, including the rational when put in the right context of previous comments, etc. Keep doing what you're doing. It is much appreciated, and invaluable. Your hit rate of successful trades has been very high in my 1.5 months as a member, but even more importantly is your teaching of how to repair and DD positions that haven't gone your way yet. As with most members, we all have our ‘pet' trading interests, and learning how to think about trading is much more important than a specific trade, which could see the conditions behind it change an hour later. This is the classic case, of ‘Teach us to Fish', rather than just giving us a fish once in a while. Thank you!
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!
This is my first month here. Today was a money train with futures. I gained 7500 USD with KC, RB, CL, NG.
I took RB almost every direction up and down. And I only used 1 contract or maximum 2.
Thank you. I think it was a good investment to subscribe…
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 cleaned up today. A rather stark contrast to my untutored performance April/May 2009, after I had written to you to explain how wrong-headed your bearishness was. Many thanks.
I ran into someone once who played on the Bulls with Jordan for quite a few years. He was asked what he had learned from playing with MJ for so long. He smiled and said "Give him the ball."
Phil, I'm up 34x what I paid in fees for your service, and that only counts the trades I didn't think of myself. Thanks!
Phil- great call in oil this morning! Now that Im no longer studying and am back in the real world I can only check this in the morning, at lunch, and after work. Anyways, you've been killing it on oil ( even more than you usually do) so I made a point to wake up extra early and made .25 off your ‘buy oil if you're brave'recommendation. It's nice to wake up and scalp 100+ bucks before I even start my real job. You lay those golden eggs everyday Phil! I thank you for that!
Phil - I followed your great pick re F and sold short the 1011 2.50 puts (200 contracts) and paid for the next 10 years of membership fees…. Thanks!
Hey I just did a nice options trade on LL for $800 (50%) gain thanks to this site, so… not bad for my first day! An hour of reading you guys and I already paid for two months subscription! Thank you!
I have been here a year, and made most of my money back from the 14K fall. The people here are more than willing to help whe Phil cannot get to it. FWIW - This site is my brokerage firm, I was with Wells Fargo Portfolio and it was costing a fortune to trade, the costs here are more than offset with the data, trade ideas and profits you should make.. and I get a chuckle out of Cap and Phil's rantings on healtcare, guns, oh, yeah, and government….
I am a Registered Nurse, so is my wife. We work hard to take care of seven kids that are the joy of our lives. The cost for a basic membership is ALOT from our our monthly budget of spending and saving…but well worth it! Phil has allowed me to really ramp up the savings we put away for our children's college funds and our retirement.
Phil – just wanted to say a sincere thank you for teaching me how to offset, hedge, roll, and not panic. My account is up 10% in the last two weeks, and far from panic, this is becoming great fun. Thanks again,
Phil - Wow…wow. The vision and inate grasp of the options world you posess is rather staggering. It's this type of experience that I really hope to develop. I'm afraid I still can't see the moves, but I WILL learn. I cannot thank you enough for the patience, knowledge and effort you put into this place. Please keep it going!
Phil, I have to hand it to you. It seemed that you were the only person on the planet that thought stocks falling was still possible. I am glad I listened. About the end of the year I was really beginning to second guess though. Thanks for suggesting taking some profits last Nov. It no longer looks like I missed much.
Joined last year and and started profitably trading options thanks to everything I have learned here. THANK YOU!!
hil, I hit my targets for the year in my 401K (thanks in no small part to your site), so I cashed out of all positions a couple of weeks ago. Feels good... I'm conservative with this money –looking for 2% per month, which i've been able to do… thx.
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!
Phil has some great insight into the market. He's given me a different perspective on the market and I know I'm a better trader/investor because of it.
I've been trading options since the late 80's and Phil is right. Unless you know what is going to happen (how can you, unless you have insider information), then do what the smart money does - be the house. Remember guys, we're allowed to sell options. If you're afraid to be short, then do a spread to limit your liability. When I think about the money I've made and lost on options, a good approximation is that I win 30% of the time when I do a straight buy; I win about 70% of the time when I do a spread; I win nearly 90% of the time when I sell naked.
Phil: That NFLX call was awesome. The speed at which NFLX options decayed was precipitous. The blow out spike that allowed me to double and roll my callers to 190(!) and the ridiculous 170 weeklies @3.50 a day away from Op-Ex. The gains I realized in that trade floored me when I took a long at my portfolio value on Friday. What a great way to start the 3rd Quarter.
Phil, I was so impressed with the personal note in the comments that I went ahead and paid for a months trial of premium that I have been on the fence for awhile about. Just reading the comments makes me already glad for the purchase.
Thanks, I managed to make 2k today so I am happy…and feel like I am finally getting it. New equipment and a quiet place to work helps a lot. I am happy for all the members that took your /NKD advice….that was fun I am sure! coke Take your vitamins…I don't know how you do all this! but, keep it up!
Phil/ et al- Thanks for the answers to my spread questions last night, as I really needed that little piece of knowledge to crystallize my understanding of spreads. Your help is much appreciated and I have been doing really well for the last couple of months with fewer and fewer missteps as I embrace the PSW ways and watching my portfolios grow.
Thanks for the free disaster hedge ideas. I implemented variations of two of them on SDS bull call spreads and EEM bear put spreads (haven't done the TZA yet) and they really hedged my short term longs nicely today. Makes it seem a lot less like gambling.
You are the man (of the people)!
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.1 percent in June on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the index increased 1.1 percent before seasonal adjustment.
Similarly to April and May, a decline in the energy index caused the seasonally adjusted all items decrease in June. The index for energy decreased 2.9 percent in June, the same decline as in May, with a decline in the gasoline index accounting for most of the decrease. This more than offset an increase in the index for all items less food and energy, while the food index was unchanged for the second month in a row.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in June after increasing 0.1 percent in May. A broad array of indexes posted increases, including shelter, apparel, used cars, medical care, tobacco, and recreation. These increases more than offset declines in the indexes for household furnishings and operations and for airline fares. The 12-month change in the index for all items less food and energy remained at 0.9 percent for the third month in a row.
One Month Change in CPI-U
12-Month CPI-U Change vs. Year Ago
Oil and the CPI
For, now the CPI (less food and energy) has been hovering near +1% for about a year. However, it is not really valid to exclude food or energy but the Fed does it to justify their inflationary policies (policies that clearly are not working now).
The jump in "all items" in the second chart reflects the rebound in oil prices in Spring-Summer of 2009 when crude soared from $35 a barrel to close to $80 a barrel.
Of course hyperinflationists were screaming every step of the way, conveniently ignoring the plunge from $140 to $35.
When it comes to prices, people have selective memories. They remember every penny uptick in gasoline prices, but forget the times they drop. The same applies to most everything else, but energy is very noticeable because people are constantly filling up their tanks.
May CPI and Core CPI were out this morning. As we all know, nothing is worth anything anymore. Until further notice and some change in trend, the discussion simply cannot be about inflation.
Sorry, Inflationistas. Nothing to see here just yet. Now if only the drop in cost of living expenditures could become a favorable topic of conversation to counterbalance all the moroseness and hand-wringing…
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.4 percent in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months the index increased 1.8 percent before seasonal adjustment, the first positive 12-month change since February 2009.
Most of the change was due to energy; gasoline was up sharply (as we saw yesterday in the PPI.)
Core was a literal zero.
Food was up a bit, but I continued to be puzzled by the difference between gasoline and "fuel oil."
Why? Because "fuel oil" (that is, heating oil) is exactly the same thing as #2 diesel – that is, road diesel fuel. The only difference is the tax (and the presence of dye in the heating oil to denote that the tax has not been paid.) But for the legal (tax) issues you can run "heating oil" in your diesel car or truck, and vice-versa – they are identical products.
Used vehicles were also up materially – a reflection of the distortion from "cash for clunkers" still present in the data (it hit its maximum in October at +3.4%) Prices for new vehicles were also up (again, the maximum was in October) – again denoting the "back-door" bailout of the automakers from cash-for-clunkers. Unlike the new vehicle deal however, which you got a tax credit for, the buyer of a used car just got plain old-fashioned screwed through price-jacking caused by constraints in supply. (Just wait though – in the new year when people can’t make the payments on those CFC deals, you’ll see what happens to used car prices…. supply and demand you know.. )
Medical care was up as usual (gee, how come it keeps rising faster than overall inflation?) and shelter costs were down (remember, this is not "housing", as that would expose reality – it is "owners equivalent rent")
All in all a blah report – but given the PPI that’s expected – the fun and games in the CPI report resulting from yesterday’s PPI should show up in a month or two.
Here is an excerpt from today’s Bureau of Labor Statistics Non-farm Payrolls report.
"The unemployment rate rose from 9.8 to 10.2 percent in October, and nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline (-190,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The largest job losses over the month were in construction, manufacturing, and retail trade.
Household Survey Data
In October, the number of unemployed persons increased by 558,000 to 15.7 million. The unemployment rate rose by 0.4 percentage point to 10.2 percent, the highest rate since April 1983. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons has risen by 8.2 million, and the unemployment rate has grown by 5.3 percentage points…
The civilian labor force participation rate was little changed over the month at 65.1 percent. The employment-population ratio continued to decline in October, falling to 58.5 percent."
An astute reader noticed that the BLS press release says that 190,000 jobs were lost from payroll employment, but the number of unemployed persons increased by 558,000. What’s up with that?
The BLS report consists of two independent data samples. BLS has two monthly surveys that measure employment levels and trends: the Current Population Survey (CPS), also known as the household survey, and the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, also known as the payroll or establishment survey.
There is the "Establishment Survey" which is based on responses from a sample of about 400,000 business establishments, about one-third of total nonfarm payroll employment. The headline payroll number, the job loss of 190,000, is based on this data.
Then there is the "Household Survey" which is a statistical survey of more than 50,000 households with regard to the employment circumstances of their members, which is then applied to the estimates of the US population to obtain the unemployment number. This survey was started in the 1950′s and is conducted by the Census Bureau with the data being provided to BLS. It is from the household survey that more detailed information is obtained about employment statistics within population groups like gender and age, wages, and hours worked. It is this study that is responsible for the unemployment rate of 10.2%.
So which survey is correct? Neither. The truth is somewhere
Fantastic dish served up at Jesse’s Cafe. Highly recommended – especially if you’re a normally intelligent person who can’t understand economics. It has nothing to do with you! Imagine being an inquisitive medical student at the time when blood-letting was used to treat all ills… I loved this:
"The ugly truth is that economics is a science in the way that medicine was a profession while it still used leeches to balance a person’s vapours. Yes, some are always better than others, and certainly more entertaining, but they all tended to kill their patients."
Why the Austrian, Keynesian, Marxist, Monetarist, and Neo-Liberal Economists Are All Wrong
US Personal Income has taken its worst annual decline since 1950.
This is why it is an improbable fantasy to think that the consumer will be able to pull this economy out of recession using the normal ‘print and trickle down’ approach. In the 1950′s the solution was huge public works projects like the Interstate Highway System and of course the Korean War.
Until the median wage improves relative to the cost of living, there will be no recovery. And by cost of living we do not mean the chimerical US Consumer Price Index.
The classic Austrian prescription is to allow prices to decline until the median wage becomes adequate. Given the risk of a deflationary wage-price spiral, which is desired by no one except for the cash rich, the political risks of such an approach are enormous.
On paper it is obvious that a market can ‘clear’ at a variety of levels, if wages and prices are allowed to move freely. After all, if profits are diminished, income can obviously be diminished by a proportional amount, and nothing has really changed in terms of viable consumption.
The Supply side idealists (cash rich bosses, Austrians, Marxist, monetarist, and deflationist theorists) would like to see this happen at a lower level through a deflationary spiral. The Keynesians and neo-liberals wish to see it driven through the Demand side, with higher wages rising to meet the demands of profit in an inflationary expansion. Both believe that market forces alone can achieve this equilibrium. Across both groups runs a sub-category of statism vs. individualism.
Unfortunately both groups are wrong.
Both approaches require an ideal, almost frictionless, objectively rational, and honest economy in…
Another mixed bag of data this morning. Most alarming is the continuing trend in negative consumer data. As we all know by now, yesterday’s retail sales data was weak at best – something we’ve been reporting on here at TPC weekly thru our ICSC and Redbook data reports.
Consumer sentiment readings continue to trend in-line with broader spending habits. This morning’s reading came in at 63.2 – almost 5 points below consensus. This continues to represent the broader economic themes we are seeing; deflation in the things we own and inflation in the things we need.
CPI came in flat which is reflective of the sluggish economy. This morning’s data was in-line with estimates at 0%. The lack of pricing power across the broad economy is in-line with the lack of expansion in corporate revenues. There is little demand for goods and even less pricing power. I’d love to spin this into a positive, but it simply displays the death grip that deflation continues to maintain on the broad economy.
On the bright side, capacity utilization and industrial production posted slight improvements. This is a clear sign that the recession is likely to end in the upcoming quarter. Unfortunately, the rebound in both indicators show clear signs of the sluggish and below trend recovery we are likely to see. It won’t be a technical recession, but it will probably continue to feel like one.
All in all, this morning’s data nicely summarizes the themes we continue to focus on here at TPC. The consumer is weak, deflation remains the bigger concern and the recovery (if we can call it that) is likely to be far from v-shaped. As for the markets, complacency remains the name of the game. Own equities at your own risk – which I believe are highly elevated currently….
So, I got lucky and somehow predicted Q2 GDP the night before the release (as a friend of mine told me, "even the blind chicken gets the kernel of corn"), BUT I’ll try again. Economists (smarter than me) are predicting a month over month CPI print of 0.0%. I’ll go on record here that it will come in lower. To understand my reasoning, lets take a look at details from today’s July import price levels release. Marketwatch reported:
Prices of imported goods fell 0.7% in July, the first decrease since January as petroleum prices declined, the Labor Department estimated Thursday.
Analysts polled by MarketWatch had expected the import price index to fall 0.1%.
Import prices were down 19.3% in the past year, the largest annual decline since the data were first published in 1982. In June, the import price index rose a revised 2.6%, compared with a prior estimate of a 3.2% gain.
In July, imported petroleum prices fell 2.8%, the first decrease since January. The petroleum imports price index is down 49.9% over 12 months. Non-petroleum import prices fell 0.2% in July, and are down 7.3% for the year, the largest 12-month decline since the data began publication in 1985.
We can see below that the change in the import price level was largely driven by the change in fuel (i.e. petroleum) prices.
Now the significance. There has been a very strong relationship between the price level of imports and broad CPI, as changes in the price of petroleum has been the main driver of CPI. Thus, the fact that July’s import prices declined makes me think we may be in for a surprise regarding July’s CPI print. The below chart shows the longer term relationship.
Regardless of the month over month figure, expect a sizable drop in the year over year number. As we can see below, prices spiked last July as the bubble in oil was in full gear. Thus, if prices are flat month over month (as expected), the year over year CPI will move down to -1.9%.
The important question… how do you position for this? I personally own TLT (a long positon in the long bond). My view is if CPI comes in lower than…
Inquiring minds are asking "What is the Real CPI?" It’s a good question, too. However, you can find many widely differing opinions. For example, you will get one answer from the government, a different answer from sites like Shadowstats, and a third opinion from me.
That’s an interesting chart, especially given the hyperinflationary bent of John Williams. He pegs the CPI at 2% as of May 2009 and had it at 9% mid-2008 and right around 5% in 2007. In contrast, the official CPI was 5.5% in mid-2008 and 2+% in 2007.
The problem with all of those numbers is they fail to properly take housing into consideration. And housing has been falling like a rock.
Should housing be in the CPI? How?
Bear in mind the government considers housing a capital good not a consumption item. Based on the idea that one would be renting a house if one did not own it, the government uses Owners Equivalent Rent (OER) and not housing prices in the CPI. OER is the largest component in the CPI.
By the same measure one might argue that lawn mowers and automobiles are capital goods. Lawn mowers are durable, not immediately consumed, and if one owns buildings and uses lawn mowers to maintain their properties (or if one hired someone to cut their lawns for them), the mowers would indeed be depreciated over time as a capital expense. The same logic also applies to auto leases.
Let’s explore this from a practical standpoint starting with theory.
Page 47: The treatment of owner occupied housing is difficult and somewhat controversial. There may be no consensus on what is the best practice. The distinctive feature is that it requires the use of an extremely large fixed asset in the form of the dwelling itself.
Page 147: The treatment of owner-occupied housing is arguably the most difficult issue faced by CPI-compilers. Equally important it may be difficult to identify a single principal purpose for the CPI.
In particular, the dual use of CPIs as both macroeconomic indicators and also for indexation purposes can lead to
The New York Fed’s most recent household debt report showed ballooning debt and delinquency in student and auto loans. Total household debt has just about reached its previous late-2008 high of over $12.5 trillion.
You’ll notice that housing debt (blue) has not increased much since its 2013 low, meaning that the increases in total debt have mostly come from non-housing debt (red). A closer look at the composition of non-housing debt reveals that the biggest increases in debt have come from student and auto loans (red and green, below).
In fact, the numbers make it look like the housing bubble was almost exactly replaced by new bubbles in education and cars....
Tuesday’s long overdue >1% selloff in the S&P 500 broke a very long and rare streak in the S&P 500. The S&P 500?s streak without a 1% down day was the longest since May 18, 1995! A marginal close lower Monday was followed by a 1.2% drop Tuesday (the NASDAQ fell 1.8% that day).
“I think that investors are kind of starting to discount the likelihood of the immediacy of [President Donald Trump’s] policies and the enthusiasm has come off the boil as a lot of his policies got mired in the legislative process,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank. “Investors are not throwing in the towel but they are resetting their expectations.”
According to Bespoke, there have been only 11 instances since 1928 where the S&P 500...
A year ago flows into ETFs were extremely low, actually the lowest in years, as many stock market indices were testing rising support off the 2009 lows. The crowd wasn’t adding money to ETFs as lows were taking place. In hindsight, this was a mistake by the majority. Below I look at ETF flows over the past few years with an inset chart of the S&P 500.
CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE
Nearly three months into this year, fund flows have surpassed mone...
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Having rebounded rapidly from the ETF-decision disappointment, Bitcoin suffered another major setback overnight as Chinese regulators are circulating new guidelines that, if enacted, would require exchanges to verify the identity of clients and adhere to banking regulations.
A New York startup called Chainalysis estimated that roughly $2 billion of bitcoin moved out of China in 2016.
As The Wall Street Journal reports, the move to regulate bitcoin exchanges brings assurance that Chinese authorities will tolerate some level of trading, after months of uncertainty. A draft of the guidelines also indicates th...
ISPs will soon be able to sell your most private data without your consent.
As expected, Republicans in Congress have begun the process of rolling back the FCC's broadband privacy rules which prevent excessive surveillance. Arizona Republican Jeff Flake introduced a resolution to scrub the rules, using Congress' powers to invalidate recently-approved federal regulations. Reuters reports that the move has broad support, with 34 other names throwing their weight behind the res...
Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.
In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.
This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.
Note: The material presented in this commentary is provided for
informational purposes only and is based upon information that is
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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