Archive for 2010

Chinese Worker Suicides Mount

Chinese Worker Suicides Mount

Courtesy of Tim Iacono at The Mess That Greenspan Made

Chinese women fan dance outside Apple store in Beijing

It’s not clear exactly what one should think about the recent spate of suicides at the giant Hon Hai Precision Manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China, the eighth such incident so far this year occurring just days ago, the third in just the last two weeks.

Also known as Foxconn Technology Group, the company is a contract manufacturing house that makes iPhones and iPads. The Wall Street Journal ran this story($) yesterday in which they provided this detail about how massive the complex is.

The eight who died this year worked at Hon Hai’s Longhua plant, a sprawling, walled facility of factory buildings, dormitories restaurants and recreational facilities set amid city streets on the outskirts of Shenzhen, a manufacturing boomtown. The Longhua facility employs about 400,00 workers—roughly equivalent to the population of Oakland, Calif., and about half of Hon Hai’s total work force in China.

The facility in places resembles a university campus, with a movie theater, book store and giant cafeterias as well as its own hospital and fire station. But life for the employees, the vast majority of whom are in their late teens or early 20s, is arduous. Staffers can work 10 or more hours a day, often volunteering for overtime because it pays better. Much of the work entails highly repetitive, assembly-line tasks.

In many ways, this sounds like early-1900s U.S. steel mills before unions grew in power.

In more recent news, Xinhua reported that the most recent death was confirmed as a suicide, citing failed romance and gambling losses as possible reasons, and this item at m&c noted that the company held emergency meetings yesterday to address the problem which they have yet to formally comment on.

You can read the full WSJ article by doing a google search on the title "Another Hon Hai Worker Dies in Fall" - a back door way to read WSJ articles. However, if I give you the url, it transforms to a page with just the beginning, i.e., you need to do your own google search. - Ilene


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Ending Badly

Ending Badly

Courtesy of Michael Panzner at Financial Armageddon 

French military airship

Just three weeks ago, in "Another Accident Waiting to Happen," I highlighted several reports detailing what I described as the "wild feeding frenzy taking place in the fixed-income markets, especially those involving the riskiest kinds of securities." I added: "Call me a cynic, but how does this not end badly?"

Well, based on the following Bloomberg report,"Libor Shows Strain, Sales Dwindle, Spreads Soar: Credit Markets," it looks like it already is (ending badly, that is):

Corporate bond sales are poised for their worst month in a decade, while relative yields are rising at the fastest pace since Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s collapse as the response by lawmakers to Europe’s sovereign debt crisis fails to inspire investor confidence.

Companies have issued $47 billion of debt in May, down from $183 billion in April and the least since December 1999, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The extra yield investors demand to hold company debt rather than benchmark government securities is headed for the biggest monthly gain since October 2008, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Global Broad Market index shows.

Concern that European leaders won’t be able to coordinate a response to rising levels of government debt from Greece to Spain, while U.S. legislation threatens to curb credit and hurt bank profits, is driving investors away from all but the safest securities. The rate banks say they charge each other for three- month loans in dollars has almost doubled since February.

“This is a quintessential liquidity crisis,” said William Cunningham, head of credit strategies and fixed-income research at Boston-based State Street Corp.’s investment unit, which oversees almost $2 trillion. “It’s not inconceivable to imagine a situation where the markets behave so poorly, the liquidity behaves so badly, and risk-tolerance just evaporates that — particularly in Europe — consumers contract, businesses stop hiring and stop investing, and economic activity halts.” 





Guest Post: US State Department Says "Conspiracy Theories Exist In The Realm Of Myth"

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Submitted by Mac Slavo of www.SHTFplan.com

The US State Department’s America.gov web site, which purports to engage international audiences on issues of foreign policy, society and values, has dedicated a special section to conspiracy theories and misinformation, claiming:

“Conspiracy theories exist in the realm of myth, where imaginations run wild, fears trump facts, and evidence is ignored. As a superpower, the United States is often cast as a villain in these dramas.”

Some of the conspiratorial myths “officially” debunked by the State Department include:

The US military’s use of depleted uranium in combat and comparing this to radioactivity from detonations of nuclear weapons.

“Uranium evokes very powerful fears. It is associated with atomic weapons, mass annihilation, radiation sickness, cancer and birth defects. Depleted uranium evokes these same fears, despite the fact that it has been depleted of much of its radioactivity. Even if you accept this fact, your fear-based associations can be more powerful than logic and facts. Compare how you feel about tungsten to how you feel about depleted uranium. Both are heavy metals, but “depleted uranium” might sound scarier to you.”

Never mind that the World Health Organization says that depleted uranium is weakly radioactive and a radiation dose from it would be about 60% of that from purified natural uranium with the same mass. It’s only 60% as radioactive as the real stuff, so it’s safe to use in weapons systems we’re lobbing into neighborhoods in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The employment of economic hit men to entrap countries in huge amounts of debt.

“Economic conspiracy theories are often based on the false, but popular, idea that powerful individuals are motivated overwhelmingly by their desire for wealth, rather than the wide variety of human motivations we all experience. (This one-dimensional, cartoonish view of human nature is at the heart of Marxist ideology, which once held hundreds of millions under its sway.)”

“One fantasy, reflecting this simplistic, unimaginative way of interpreting human events, falsely claims that U.S. national security agencies employ “economic hit men” to entrap countries with huge amounts of debt.”

“Within the United States, those who fear international influences may believe false stories that, with Canada and Mexico, the United States is replacing


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Guest Post: US State Department Says “Conspiracy Theories Exist In The Realm Of Myth”

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Submitted by Mac Slavo of www.SHTFplan.com

The US State Department’s America.gov web site, which purports to engage international audiences on issues of foreign policy, society and values, has dedicated a special section to conspiracy theories and misinformation, claiming:

“Conspiracy theories exist in the realm of myth, where imaginations run wild, fears trump facts, and evidence is ignored. As a superpower, the United States is often cast as a villain in these dramas.”

Some of the conspiratorial myths “officially” debunked by the State Department include:

The US military’s use of depleted uranium in combat and comparing this to radioactivity from detonations of nuclear weapons.

“Uranium evokes very powerful fears. It is associated with atomic weapons, mass annihilation, radiation sickness, cancer and birth defects. Depleted uranium evokes these same fears, despite the fact that it has been depleted of much of its radioactivity. Even if you accept this fact, your fear-based associations can be more powerful than logic and facts. Compare how you feel about tungsten to how you feel about depleted uranium. Both are heavy metals, but “depleted uranium” might sound scarier to you.”

Never mind that the World Health Organization says that depleted uranium is weakly radioactive and a radiation dose from it would be about 60% of that from purified natural uranium with the same mass. It’s only 60% as radioactive as the real stuff, so it’s safe to use in weapons systems we’re lobbing into neighborhoods in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The employment of economic hit men to entrap countries in huge amounts of debt.

“Economic conspiracy theories are often based on the false, but popular, idea that powerful individuals are motivated overwhelmingly by their desire for wealth, rather than the wide variety of human motivations we all experience. (This one-dimensional, cartoonish view of human nature is at the heart of Marxist ideology, which once held hundreds of millions under its sway.)”

“One fantasy, reflecting this simplistic, unimaginative way of interpreting human events, falsely claims that U.S. national security agencies employ “economic hit men” to entrap countries with huge amounts of debt.”

“Within the United States, those who fear international influences may believe false stories that, with Canada and Mexico, the United States is replacing


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Goldman's FX Clients Getting Tactically Bombed On Daily Basis Now

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

The latest tactical nuking of whatever remaining clients GS has in the FX (or any) arena has just been announced: from GS FX research “Stopped out of short USD/TWD with a potential loss of -1.2% May 24, 2010. We were stopped out of our tactical recommendation to be short USD/TWD at the London close on Friday with a potential loss of around -1.2%. We initiated the trade on 31 March on the back of strong macro data out of Taiwan and rising inflation which we expected the Taiwan central bank to fight via a stronger currency. While the macro arguments for the trade are still in place and the trade was well on its way towards the target a few weeks ago, the ongoing market jitters have pushed $/TWD a fraction past our stop of 32.1.”

For god’s sake Goldman, have some pity on your clients.





Goldman’s FX Clients Getting Tactically Bombed On Daily Basis Now

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

The latest tactical nuking of whatever remaining clients GS has in the FX (or any) arena has just been announced: from GS FX research “Stopped out of short USD/TWD with a potential loss of -1.2% May 24, 2010. We were stopped out of our tactical recommendation to be short USD/TWD at the London close on Friday with a potential loss of around -1.2%. We initiated the trade on 31 March on the back of strong macro data out of Taiwan and rising inflation which we expected the Taiwan central bank to fight via a stronger currency. While the macro arguments for the trade are still in place and the trade was well on its way towards the target a few weeks ago, the ongoing market jitters have pushed $/TWD a fraction past our stop of 32.1.”

For god’s sake Goldman, have some pity on your clients.





Oil, Oil Everywhere

Oil, Oil Everywhere

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

Boat passes through heavily oiled marsh near Pass a Loutre, Louisiana

We’re now about a month into the BP Oil "blowout" incident in the Gulf.

We still don’t know exactly what caused the blowout, but that’s not the important factor from my point of view. 

We know that a gas "bolus" got into the drill pipe and expanded as it rose, and that was the proximate cause of the blast and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon.

What we don’t know is why the blowout preventer failed to close.

There have been several theories and claims, among them:

  • The Blowout Preventer’s hydraulic system has one or more leaks in it, and as such it couldn’t close.  If this is true then the question becomes who knew of the leak, if anyone, as it would have caused the preventer to fail routine tests.
     
  • There are also claims that the well failed a negative pressure test a few hours before the incident.  That would imply that there was a problem with the casing integrity (or the cement job done to lock it in place) and work continued without addressing this first.

Let me provide some context here: I live in the Florida Panhandle and in a "worst case scenario" the value of my home is likely to be destroyed.  On April 30th I wrote a piece called "Drill Baby Drill", and I stand behind it today, even with the increased knowledge we now have.

Gulf Coast Struggles With Oil Spill And Its Economic Costs

I want answers to the above two questions, and I want the firms and persons responsible for those two breaches of protocol and common sense (along with safety measures) tarred, feathered and bankrupted, in that order, with every penny they personally and corporately possess confiscated to perform whatever remediation we can.

What I do know is this: A deepwater rig like the Horizon costs about $500,000 per day to have on site and operate.  There was obviously a decision taken by someone that halting operations to pull and repair or replace the blowout preventer stack would cost millions (such an operation would result in significant downtime, of course, during which the rig would be sitting idle) and thus it was not done.

But this does not change my base view, which is that we have no valid alternative to drilling in the Gulf and elsewhere – indeed, everywhere we can find oil and gas.

What…
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Sunday Funnies 2010-05-23: Gorilla has Message for Markets; Video on Quangos; 25 Cents a Poop in Canada

Sunday Funnies 2010-05-23: Gorilla has Message for Markets; Video on Quangos; 25 Cents a Poop in Canada

Courtesy of Mish 

The 800 pound gorilla is large and in charge. He has this message for politicians and their short selling bans, austerity programs, job programs, affordable home programs, economic bailouts, and most of all recovery announcements.

Image from Funny Chill.

On Reducing Quangos

In response to 300,000 UK Public Sector Jobs Face Axe; No Sacred Cows Including Quangos; What the Hell are Quangos?

"SS" writes …

Quangos are quangos. I don’t think they are as big as the GSEs are in the US. There is a BBC serial (from the early ’80′s) Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister, a comedy series and I remember one of the episodes was on Quangos. I found some on You Tube. Humor is typically British and was a big hit in India.

The first 3.5 minutes of that are hilarious. After that not much. Give it a play. It’s very funny for a third of the video.

On the subject of quangos, Nadeem at Market Oracle writes "The number will be more like 600,000. There will be riots next summer in Liverpool and Newcastle and elsewhere where the public sector is nearly 3/4 of the economy."

25 Cents a Poop in Canada 

Here is an interesting development in Canada, courtesy of government bureaucrats who have never ending ways to spend your money. At $400,000 each, Automatic public toilet debuts in Toronto.

For those who can give two bits, Toronto’s first automated pay toilet is now taking customers at 25 cents a poop — er, pop.

“They are modern, state of the art washrooms — they actually clean themselves after each use. Now try that at home,” Mayor David Miller said before cutting a blue ribbon to open the loo.

A large crowd of press, officials and curious onlookers were on hand for the grand opening of the automated john, the first of 20 planned across the city over the next 20 years.

The new bathroom automatically cleans itself and will also get visited by an attendant three times a day.

The Automated Public Toilets will take any coins up to and including toonies and will provide change. They will also work with tokens that the city plans to distribute to homeless people through


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South Korean President Says Will Use "Self-Defense Measures" In Case Of New North Korean Provocation

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

From South Korea’s president Lee Myung-bak: “If our territorial waters, airspace or territory are violated, we will immediately exercise our right of self-defense. Under these circumstances, any inter-Korean trade or other cooperative activity is meaningless. I solemnly urge the North Korean authorities to do the following. Apologize immediately to the Republic of Korea and the international community. Immediately punish those who are responsible for and those who are involved in the incident” Is this the last warning before war? While we await North Korea’s response, now that the ball is again in its court, we have to score one for the South Korea’s communist neighbors who once again have manage to bully it (and the US) into nothing but more posturing. Game theory is so much more fun when one of the actors is insane.

From Yonhap:

SEOUL, May 24 (Yonhap) — President Lee Myung-bak said Monday South Korea will immediately use the right of self-defense in case of any additional North Korean provocation, adding Seoul will ditch all inter-Korean exchanges except for the joint industrial park in Kaesong as the first punitive step for the North’s March attack on one of the South’s warships.

In a public address broadcast live, Lee defined the sinking as “North Korea’s military attack” on South Korea and said Seoul will request the U.N. Security Council to take up the case.

“If our territorial waters, airspace or territory are violated, we will immediately exercise our right of self-defense,” he said.

Lee also announced his government will suspend all exchange programs with the North except for the Kaesong project and will maintain minimum levels of humanitarian aid for infants and children living in the impoverished communist country.

“Under these circumstances, any inter-Korean trade or other cooperative activity is meaningless,” the president said, adding North Korean ships will no longer be allowed to use South Korean waterways that have served as short-cuts.

“I solemnly urge the North Korean authorities to do the following. Apologize immediately to the Republic of Korea and the international community. Immediately punish those who are responsible for and those who are involved in the incident,” he added, using South Korea’s official name.

The president’s speech came after a team of multinational investigators last week concluded that a North Korean submarine torpedoed the 1,200-ton warship, the Cheonan, on March


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South Korean President Says Will Use “Self-Defense Measures” In Case Of New North Korean Provocation

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

From South Korea’s president Lee Myung-bak: “If our territorial waters, airspace or territory are violated, we will immediately exercise our right of self-defense. Under these circumstances, any inter-Korean trade or other cooperative activity is meaningless. I solemnly urge the North Korean authorities to do the following. Apologize immediately to the Republic of Korea and the international community. Immediately punish those who are responsible for and those who are involved in the incident” Is this the last warning before war? While we await North Korea’s response, now that the ball is again in its court, we have to score one for the South Korea’s communist neighbors who once again have manage to bully it (and the US) into nothing but more posturing. Game theory is so much more fun when one of the actors is insane.

From Yonhap:

SEOUL, May 24 (Yonhap) — President Lee Myung-bak said Monday South Korea will immediately use the right of self-defense in case of any additional North Korean provocation, adding Seoul will ditch all inter-Korean exchanges except for the joint industrial park in Kaesong as the first punitive step for the North’s March attack on one of the South’s warships.

In a public address broadcast live, Lee defined the sinking as “North Korea’s military attack” on South Korea and said Seoul will request the U.N. Security Council to take up the case.

“If our territorial waters, airspace or territory are violated, we will immediately exercise our right of self-defense,” he said.

Lee also announced his government will suspend all exchange programs with the North except for the Kaesong project and will maintain minimum levels of humanitarian aid for infants and children living in the impoverished communist country.

“Under these circumstances, any inter-Korean trade or other cooperative activity is meaningless,” the president said, adding North Korean ships will no longer be allowed to use South Korean waterways that have served as short-cuts.

“I solemnly urge the North Korean authorities to do the following. Apologize immediately to the Republic of Korea and the international community. Immediately punish those who are responsible for and those who are involved in the incident,” he added, using South Korea’s official name.

The president’s speech came after a team of multinational investigators last week concluded that a North Korean submarine torpedoed the 1,200-ton warship, the Cheonan, on March


continue reading





 
 
 

Zero Hedge

World Trade War I: US Asks South Korea To Join Anti-Huawei Campaign

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The bilateral trade war between the US and China is gradually becoming a global trade war of global geopolitical and commercial dominance between the US and Chinese spheres of influence.

Shortly after the two largest mobile phone companies in the UK decided against launching Huawei-built 5G phones this morning, and roughly around the time a bevy of Japanese tech and telecom companies including ARM Holdings, Panasonic and SoftBank all imposed a boycott on supplying Huawei with mission critical components joining Australia, and New Zealand as major US allies to end commercial relat...



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Phil's Favorites

Overpriced tech IPOs sell grand visions but aren't worth their valuations

 

Overpriced tech IPOs sell grand visions but aren't worth their valuations

rblfmr / Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of John Colley, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

The year of the tech IPO is 2019. Uber went public on May 10 with a US$82.4 billion valuation. Fellow ride-sharing app Lyft floated in March with a U$24 billion valuation and Pinterest had a US$10 billion IPO in April...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Emerging Markets About To Submerge If 3-Year Support Breaks?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Are Emerging Markets about to “Submerge” and head a good deal lower? What they do at (3) will go a long way in answering this question!

Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) has been lagging the broad market for the past 15-months. They hit their 50% retracement level of the last year’s highs and lows and falling resistance at (2) recently. The weakness of last has EEM trading below its 200-MA line.

EEM has spent the majority of the past 3-years inside of rising channel (1), which reflects that this trend remains up. The weakness of late has it testing the bo...



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Insider Scoop

Amgen To Buy Danish Collaborator Nuevolution For $167M

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) took a logical step forward in buying a preclinical biotech it has been collaborating with since 2016. 

What Happened

Amgen announced Wednesday an agreement to buy Copenhagen-based Nuevolution for $167 million.

Th...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap May 18, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

China – U.S. trade talk continued to dominate the week.   A heavy selloff Monday was followed by 3 up days, with Friday moderately down.

On Monday, Chinese officials announced retaliatory tariffs against the U.S., hitting $60 billion in annual exports to China with new or expanded duties that could reach 25%.

Then on Wednesday:

The Trump administration plans to delay a decision on instituting new tariffs on car and auto part imports for up to six months, according to media reports.

...

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Digital Currencies

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream - the battle is on to bring them under global control

 

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream – the battle is on to bring them under global control

The high seas are getting lower. dianemeise

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

The 21st-century revolutionaries who have dominated cryptocurrencies are having to move over. Mainstream financial institutions are adopting these assets and the blockchain technology that enables them, in what ...



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Biotech

DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

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

 

DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

A map of DNA with the double helix colored blue, the landmarks in green, and the start points for copying the molecule in red. David Gilbert/Kyle Klein, CC BY-ND

Courtesy of David M. Gilbert, Florida State University

...



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ValueWalk

More Examples Of "Typical Tesla "wise-guy scamminess"

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Stanphyl Capital’s letter to investors for the month of March 2019.

rawpixel / Pixabay

Friends and Fellow Investors:

For March 2019 the fund was up approximately 5.5% net of all fees and expenses. By way of comparison, the S&P 500 was up approximately 1.9% while the Russell 2000 was down approximately 2.1%. Year-to-date 2019 the fund is up approximately 12.8% while the S&P 500 is up approximately 13.6% and the ...



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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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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

Excerpt:

The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...



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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

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:

 

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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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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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