Archive for August, 2007

Tuesday Virtual Portfolio Moves

Posted August 28, 2007 at 11:57 am | Permalink (Edit)

AAPL – will roll callers down to $125s if $125 breaks but BEWARE a pointless reversal based on a single word in the Fed minutes. BEWARE, BEWARE, BEWARE!!! On the $130 calls that are green, set stops. Mine are up $2.60 so if Apple breaks back over $130 WITH a market rally, I’d take $1.50 profit and be happy for the moment. They are more likely to retest $125 though…

Posted August 28, 2007 at 12:12 pm | Permalink (Edit)

Fed at 2:15

AAPL – good point JP! $2.83 on the $135s is a little silly with the stock at $127.

Huge gain in STP thank goodness, small loss in LTP but VIX is flying back to 25 again and topping out there so BEWARE! Last time the VIX was at 25 was the 21st, when the Dow was at 13,090 so this action is interesting as it’s already at 25 after gapping up 2 days in a row. Before that, the VIX was at 25 on the beginning of the 17th, when the Dow was at 12,848, which was a 300 point up day.

Does the overreaction of the VIX indicate a HUGE snap coming at 2:15?? We won’t have time to play the mo so the most logical thing to do is bite the bullet and press our strangle by rolling the remaining DIA calls down to the $133s and evening out the coverage.

I’ve got 30 and 38% gains on the Sept $133 and 134 puts so I’m taking those off and rolling to the $131 puts, now at $2.35 but scaling in and hoping not to have to cover fast. The October $132 puts I’ll leave alone (up 27%) and my remaining October calls ($131 are back to about even so nothing to do there.

Posted August 28, 2007 at 12:55 pm | Permalink (Edit)

AAPL – that’s enough on the $130s, buying back for $5 (up $3) and DD on my own $135s at $3.05. XXX

Posted August 28, 2007 at 12:57 pm | Permalink (Edit)

5 AAPL $135s at $3.05 in the $10KP (was $5…
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Terrifying Tuesday Morning

Deny, deny, deny!

It's what most attorneys and crisis managers will tell a guilty client to do at the outset of a scandal.  Wikipedia has the following advice on the subject:

  • "Crisis communications professionals preach that an organization’s reputation is often its most valuable asset. When that reputation comes under attack, protecting and defending it becomes the highest priority. This is particularly true in today’s 24 hour news cycle, fuelled by government investigations, Congressional or parliamentary hearings, lawsuits, and “gotcha” journalism.
  • When events like these happen, the media firestorm can quickly overwhelm the ability of the entity to effectively respond to the demands of the crisis. To emerge with its reputation intact, an organization must anticipate every move and respond immediately and with confidence." 

Over in Europe, "Barclays Capital denies 'hundreds of millions' debt exposure" as reported by the Financial Times.   A Barclays Capital spokesman said the estimate is "wholly inaccurate" and added that the true figure is lower, but declined to elaborate further.  The spokesman also said that Barclays Capital did not provide any financing to Sachsen Funding 1, an investment vehicle it set up on behalf of troubled German bank SachsenLB, which has been hit by the recent credit market turmoil.  BUT the spokesman said it is not yet known whether Barclays, WHICH SET UP AN D MARKETED THE FUND, will be required to provide it with back-up financing.

Well, I certainly feel better – don't you?

"The risk exposure for Barclays appears small," said Robert Sage, an analyst at Bear Stearns (another company well versed in denial) in a note to investors. 'However it is the reputational risk and revenue implications which are of greater concern for the bank in our view."  All it takes is a crisis of confidence to lead to an actual crisis in a global economy that is greased by liquidity.  European financials are leading their markets down this morning and it's the WSJ's numbers that are in denial as their figures for both Europe an Asia are frozen from yesterday.

The Journal (and several other media outlets) still lists the Hang Seng as being up 655 points, yesterday's total, when in fact it fell 213 points this morning.  Generally I find an 868-point error to be a little disturbing and even suspicious when the finaincial
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Monday Mop-Up

That was not good!

We lost our "Must Hold" on the S&P (1,470) and the NYSE fell further out of range along with the Russell.  The SOX fell out of our comfort zone while the Dow (22 pts) and the Nasdaq (11 pts) are holding on by a thread.

According to "Stocks closed lower across the board Monday as uncertainty surrounding $400 bln in pending buyout deals and weak housing data gave investors an excuse to lock in some of last week's sizable gains."  Gee, sounds like they read my morning post!  It's great to have an 8-hour lead on the market movements and you know my mid-term outlook is downright gloomy so I have to wonder if I am perhaps too positive about the short and long runs?

I'm going to repeat a disclosure I made to my members when we first went private back in December:

  • I hate to be a naysayer on the markets and one reason is it hurts readership.  That’s right, I’m going to let you into a dirty little financial writing secret and tell you that readership goes down if I take off my cheerleading dress.

    • This is the main reason I don’t do a lot of advertising on the site…  As much as I like to think I am above that stuff, when I used to depend mainly on Google ads I would get bothered by any drop in the daily take (kind of like a Nielson rating). 
  • Nobody wants to hear the economy is about to collapse or the market is going to tank so it is human nature for readers to want to spend their valuable time reading things that make them feel good, rather than worried.
  • I can say this now (as my membership has a waiting list!) and I feel the need to keep myself honest in what I consider a very tricky spot for the market and also to make all you nice people aware of this major industry dynamic to help put what you read at other sites into context.
  • Telling you bad news costs money!  If I had an editor and shareholders to answer to it is unlikely we would even be having this discussion, so imagine the pressure that most publications are under

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Monday Virtual Portfolio Moves

Posted August 27, 2007 at 9:57 am | Permalink (Edit)

Selling XOM calls – I’m still in favor of that play, especailly if they run up a bit more. Oil over $71 or even over $70 will lend them support so I’d be careful into inventory but we may have a great shorting opportunity ahead. At $3 I think they make a good sell but you have to be prepared to roll or DD.

PTR already made a nice, shortable move but I’ll wait for Happy to give us the go ahead when he gets out of his calls. Congrats on ONXX Happy – perfect call! Don’t be greedy.. Great going on ACH too, Dragon stuck with that and can say “I told you so” to anyone he wants.

JOYG – already so beaten down, I’m not sure I want to play the downside. Last 2 earnings let to $10 gains and here we have retraced $13 of that $20. I’d rather play the volatility crush by selling 3x $50s for $2.05 against 4x Oct $55s at $1.43, picking up the Octobers first and hoping they run up a bit to test $50 before we sell. I like this as a $10KP play with just the 4 contracts and we abort if we can’t get at least $2.50 for the $50s. XXX

Posted August 27, 2007 at 10:02 am | Permalink (Edit)

Home sales down 9% from last year, Inventories up 5.1% (9.5 month supply = HUGE) and prices are coming down. If we shrug this off that’s good – personally this is not news to me but it’s amazing what kind of obvious crap shocks investors so be careful! August is guaranteed to be worse than these July numbers…

Posted August 27, 2007 at 10:28 am | Permalink (Edit)
FXI – looking for a snapback but it would key off a big down day in our markets, which you really can’t be too sure of until about 3:35 (and even then you may get surprised!). Right now I have the $138 puts which I will roll up today to $145 puts as I really think there will be profit taking at a 20% 10-day gain in the

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Just Another Manic Monday

I'm not seeing any big mergers today.

Couple that with HD taking a 20% cut on the sale of its distribution unit and one might get the impression that some of these deals may be a tad overvalued.  HD also had to guarantee $1Bn of they buyer's debt – these are pretty major concessions!

Back on July 26th I said (in large typeface!): "When the M&As start to unwind it is time to be all cash or short the market – this is that time!!!"  We've had a little bit of unwinding and don't mistake a $2Bn discount from HD as a deal going through, they took a kidney punch on this one.  We've already had a nice pullback since I made that call for members on the 25th at 13,800 and we rest right at the 50% retracement level of the sell-off from 14,000 to 12,500.

Option Sage points out that we are getting a negative divergence (more un-merging) between rising price action and falling volume and that "the number of new highs in the market and price-volume divergence are still reasons to remain cautious."  If we begin to see a divergence of the correlation between the VIX and the Dow (the VIX heats up on any down move) we may have a VERY serious indicator of another leg down.

One acquisition that did go through is Gateway, who accepted a $700M buyout from AcerAlthough this is a 60% premium on the current stock price, this is  a market share play for Gateway's $4Bn in sales, not for its $10M in profits!

There are about $400Bn worth of deals in play and those amounts are already priced into the values of the companies AND the brokers who are handling the financing.  GS had to replace LEH to finish the HD deal as LEH backed out of the financing end.  Also of concern on the value front is still Sub-prime and the lenders who peddle them.  The NYTimes wrote a scathing, must-read article on CFC this weekend with a couple of key points being:

  • "One former employee provided documents indicating Countrywide’s minimum profit margins on subprime loans of different sizes. These ranged from 5 percent on small loans of $100,000 to $200,000 to 3 percent on loans of

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Long Term Virtual Portfolio Review A-T (sort of)

Still trying to finish this post!  I’m just editing Wednesday’s now and I’ll make notes if anything changed since then but this is my virtual portfolio as of 6 am on the 27th.:


  • AAPL Jan ’09 $140s basis $18.20, now $28.50
    • I had so many Apple positions in various virtual portfolios I lost track but this one is still naked (although I was in and out of Apple calls I sold last week).  I still think it’s ridiculous not to sell a 5% premium on the $135s at $5.65 – if nothing else, to protect my 56% gain on this position so I will sell it on the way down, perhaps if we make a real break below $135 with the Nasdaq confirming the direction.
      • This does fall into the category of calls you want to watch, which is why I kept the sale in my Complex Spreads virtual portfolio as I monitor that more actively than the LTP.


  • BA Jan $100s basis .05, now $6.30
    • Sold Sept $100s for $2.25, now $1.85  


  • BMY Jan ’10 $30s, basis $2.90, now $3.30
    • Sold Sept $30s for .65, now .75
      • Working well so far, I’m up .25 more than the caller!


  • BSX Jan $17.50s, basis $1, now .20
    • I have had a change of heart about these guys.  Last week Windy posted a World Clock and I noticed heart failure was the #1 cause of death by a mile and that’s BSX’s primary business.  Problems or no problems, an aging population and a $19Bn company that sells to every hospital on the planet is not going to disappear.  Since they are also unlikely to do very well, I’ve decided to go with the Jan ’09 $15s at $2.10 and sell the Sept $12.50s for .60 against those and half of the Jan $17.50s.  If we get lucky, they’ll stay down and we begin to recover this loss but paying for the leaps looks like an XXX as a new play!
      • Selling 1/2 Sept $12.50s at .60.


  • C Jan ’09 $55s, basis $1.60, now $3.00
    • Selling $47.50s for $2.10, stop at $2.50 


  •  CAT Jan ‘10 $90s, basis $11.75, now $10.00

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    Trading Naked? No Way!


    "Sunday, Monday, Happy Days.
    Tuesday, Wednesday, Happy Days.
    Thursday, Friday, Happy Days.
    Saturday, What a day,
    Groovin' all week with you.


    Thursday, August 16th, at 1 pm,  the Dow hit 12,517 intra-day.  Friday, August 24th, the Dow closed at 13,378 – up 861 points in 6.5 trading sessions.  In the same time period, the S&P 500 and NASDAQ are up over 7% and consistent as always, Happy Trading reports "We are 100% green on closed trades this week, on Wang’s World"

    The volume was relatively low this week, particularly on Friday, which created a slightly negative divergence between rising price action and falling volume.  While selling has abated and volatility has subsided, the number of new highs in the market and price-volume divergence are still reasons to remain cautious.  This is a really challenging time for most traders as the lull of calm waters entices many to dive in with abandon.  How can we be sure that this is not the calm before the next phase and more importantly, how can we profit in the market, irrespective of whether we are right or wrong? 

    One strategy that works very well in this market is the double-diagonal.  We'll detail it in a few moments but before we do, let's take a moment to consider an approach that is somewhat similar in its end goal but disparate in implementation. 

    A strategy that many hedge funds almost consider "free-money" is shorting calls and puts out-of-the-money every month.  In periods of relatively low volatility these options are consistent income generators, producing handsome rewards monthly since the options expire worthless more often than not.  But then the day comes when volatility starts to spike, the market starts to correct, panic takes over and those short put options suffer from both the declining stock price and the soaring implied volatility.  The effect can be catastrophic on an account and has been the cause of many a hedge fund's downfall!  Yet, the same end-goal (profiting from short option premiums) can be achieved in a much safer way – the double diagonal.

    Before highlighting the term double-diagonal, we'll first define the term "diagonal"A spread trade comprising options at different strike prices and different timeframes is
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    Weekly Wrap-Up

    Lithium Rocketbottle – Posted August 24, 2007 at 3:36 pm:

    "It appears the explanation for the market performance was that it was sad that Phil went on vacation. Thanks for coming back Phil. Your teaching made this an up 35% month (profitable both up and down)."

    Boy is it good to be back!

    This is about the most exciting market I've seen since 1999, which of course has a downside to it, but let's just enjoy the ride…

    Last weekend I said "It's hard to see a bottom except in retrospect" at the same time as I put up the Thought for the Day, which was basically that you can be TOO safe and perhaps it was time to do a little bottom fishing.  Last weekend we were bullish by accident as Thursday's drop and recovery took us out of our short positions but this week we put capital back to work, albeit well-hedged as we still continue to see some scary fundamentals. 

    Above all else, lets remember that this market rally was based on the Fed Funds Futures starting the week pricing in a 100% probability of a half-point rate cut on September 18th, something I consider very unlikely to actually happen.  Nonetheless, we have the chance to remain irrationally exuberant until September 6th, when it is very likely that the ECB (the bank of the World's #1 economy) gives us a cold slap in the face with a rate hike of their own.  This is, of course, just my prediction but I was just there checking things out and that's my call…

    Option Sage, who took his turn to vacation this week, made the call last Sunday that "The result of a weak dollar is likely going to mean a continued stock market rally.  It appears to me that we could rise up another couple of hundred points on the Dow before encountering a down-trending resistance line that began with the 14,000 peak and continued with the 13,600 rejection."  The Dollar did indeed pull back from resistance at 81.50 all the way back to 80.68 (1%) while the Dow climbed 250 points (1.9%) a gain that appears slightly muted when priced in Euros or Yen.

    Happy Trading was also looking on the bright side last Sunday stating:…
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    Friday Virtual Portfolio Moves

    Posted August 24, 2007 at 9:39 am | Permalink (Edit)

    DIA – as I don’t have a lot of faith in the upside I’m going with Sept calls, maybe 300 against my 400 Sept puts, which I am starting to roll to October.\

    Posted August 24, 2007 at 9:43 am | Permalink (Edit)

    CFC – I think it holds $20, no sense in being greedy.

    Posted August 24, 2007 at 10:01 am | Permalink (Edit)

    Dow strangle – risky if you aren’t playing it out of an existing hedge but effectively I try to pick up the two strikes closest on each side which, at the moment, are the DIA $132 puts (already have) and the $133 calls, both $2.50. To make this work you need to stop out of the losing side and let the winning side run and we are hoping for a BIG day, like we had last week.

    Of course it’s best to work our way into these by buying low and selling high so, if I were going in fresh I’d start out light and just hope to get a chance to buy cheaper if the Dow channels for a day or so. Don’t forget there is no economic data on Monday and we do have the possibility of some M&A news (as well as a sub-prime disaster). If it’s a normal Monday, we’ll open higher – possibly a good time to buy puts.

    Meanwhile new home sales are suddenly up 2.8% so it’s a good thing I did cover that upside! Watch those puts people, kill CFC for sure! XXX

    Posted August 24, 2007 at 10:53 am | Permalink (Edit)

    Not a very impressive move on that housing report. I think people are fed up.

    Gold over $670, not good.

    Market rally – sadly it’s oil that stands the most to gain.

    GOOG calls – I’m thinking of selling some – how much are you offering? I am going to cover into the weekend, I picked up some quick bucks yesterday but stopped out, hoping for another crack at $515 so I can sell the $520s for about $13, I feel safe(ish) with that one as…
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    Let's go markets, let's go!

    Well we've tried everything else, we may as well pull out the cheers.  Of course all the cheering in the world doesn't help if your team sucks so let's hope for the best…

    I've gotten my depressing article out of the way so let's accentuate the positive this morning and look for some positive signs to develop.  Japan pulled back just a bit and the Hang Seng gave up a little ground while the Shanghai continued to post new records.

    Europe was drifting lower but US durable good were up a surprising 5.9% in July, which is a nice ray of sunshine and those markets are ticking up in their afternoon.  Both the US and Europe shook off a lot of good news yesterday and went nowhere and I will remind folks that last Friday we had a good start and a bad finish too so let's not go crazy.  My intention is to strangle the Dow by the end of the day so a 300-point move either way next week will add to our cash reserves.

    Although durable goods are nice, that was July and they will be followed by July New Home Sales at 10 am and no prize for guessing how that will come out.  Next week we lead off with Existing Home Sales on Tuesday followed by Consumer Confidence and the Fed Minutes on Wednesday (and of course Oil Inventories).  Thursday will be a biggie with the Preliminary GDP report and the Preliminary Chain Deflator, Jobless Claims, Personal Income and Spending.  We finish off the week with the Core PCE Inflation, Chicago PMI, Factory Orders and the Michigan Sentiment.  Yep, you've gotta love the 300-point strangle…

    We are just skating along at critical levels in this no-data week when CBs have been dumping Billions on the markets every day to support them – that data had better be darned good next week or the panic will become palpable!



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    Zero Hedge

    For The First Time Since The Crisis, Companies Spent More On Buybacks And Dividends Than They Earned...

    Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

    It will hardly come as a surprise to many, but according to the latest cash flow analysis from Goldman Sachs, 2018 was a record year for S&P 500 cash spending: not only did aggregate spending on capex, R&D, cash acquisitions, dividends, and share repurchases rose by 25% to $2.8 trillion, "the fastest year/year growth in 30 years"...


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    Phil's Favorites

    Fed's Balance Sheet Spikes by $253 Billion, Now Topping $4 Trillion

    Courtesy of Pam Martens

    By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 18, 2019 ~

    Shhh! Don’t tell Congress that the Federal Reserve is back to electronically creating money out of thin air to throw at a liquidity problem (of an, as yet, undetermined origin) on Wall Street. And be sure not to mention that the Fed’s balance sheet has shot up in a period of just 42 days by $253 billion. And, of course, don’t remind Congress that before the last Wall Street crisis was over the Fed had secretly, with no oversight from Congress, piled up ...

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    Insider Scoop

    48 Biggest Movers From Yesterday

    Courtesy of Benzinga

    • Hepion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: HEPA) shares climbed 43.2% to close at $3.58 on Thursday after the company announced the publication of a research article, "A Pan-Cyclophilin Inhibitor, CRV431, Decreases Fibrosis and Tumor Development in Chronic Liver Disease Models," in the peer-reviewed Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
    • Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SES) rose 26.9% to close at $9.20 after surging 12.24% on Wednesday.
    • Assembly Biosciences, Inc... more from Insider

    Kimble Charting Solutions

    Bank Index Breakout? Stock Market Bulls Sure Hope So

    Courtesy of Chris Kimble

    One of the most important sectors of the stock market is the banking industry and bank stocks.

    When the banks are healthy, the economy is likely doing well. And when bank stocks are participating in a market rally, then it bodes well for the broader stock market.

    In today’s chart, we look at the Bank Index (BKX).

    As you can see, the banks have been in a falling channel for the past 20 months. As well, the banks have been lagging the broader market during this time as well – see the Ratio in the bottom half of the chart above.

    That said, th...

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    The Technical Traders

    Currencies Show A Shift to Safety And Maturity - What Does It Mean?

    Courtesy of Technical Traders

    Recent rotation in multiple foreign currencies hints at the fact that a new stage of the “Capital Shift” process is taking place and that skilled technical investors need to pay very close attention to how these currencies continue to react over the next 3 to 6+ months.  In the recent past, most of the world’s foreign currencies were declining in value while the US Dollar continued to strengthen.  In fact, we authored many research articles about these trends and how weakness in foreign currencies will drive new foreign investment into the US stock markets for two simple reasons; strength and security. 

    Now that a few of the world’s most ...

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    Chart School

    Review of Andrew CardWell RSI with Wyckoff price waves

    Courtesy of Read the Ticker

    RSI measures relative strength of price action of a set period versus prior set periods. It helps review the price swings or waves, the power of each price thrust into new ground, or lack of it. Price thrust like many things relies on energy, and energy is not a constant, it has a birth, a life and a death and relative strength helps us see that cycle. 

    More from RTT Tv

    Chart in video

    Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.


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    Digital Currencies

    Zuck Delays Libra Launch Date Due To Issues "Sensitive To Society"

    Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

    Authored by William Suberg via,

    Facebook is taking a much more careful approach to Libra than its previous projects, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed. 

    “Obviously we want to move forward at some point soon [and] not have this take many years to roll out,” he said. “But ...

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    Lee's Free Thinking

    Look Out Bears! Fed New QE Now Up to $165 Billion

    Courtesy of Lee Adler

    I have been warning for months that the Fed would need new QE to counter the impact of massive waves of Treasury supply. I thought that that would come later, rather than sooner. Sorry folks, wrong about that. The NY Fed announced another round of new TOMO (Temporary Open Market Operations) today.

    In addition to the $75 billion in overnight repos that the Fed issued and has been rolling over since Tuesday, next week the Fed will issue another $90 billion. They’ll come in the form of three $30 billion, 14 day repos to be offered next week.

    That brings the new Fed QE to a total of $165 billion. Even in the worst days of the financial crisis, I can’t remember the Fed ballooning its balance sheet by $165 bi...

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    The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

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


    The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

    Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

    The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

    As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...

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    Mapping The Market

    How IPOs Are Priced

    Via Jean Luc 

    Funny but probably true:


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    Members' Corner

    Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

    Are you ready to retire?  

    For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

    Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

    Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...

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    Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"



    Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

    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.

    Some other great content in this free eBook includes:


    ·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union


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    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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