Archive for 2012

Is The Age of IT Outsourcing Over (For Now)?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

With the dominance of IT spend (whether consulting or outsourcing) in many of today’s investment theses, Morgan Stanley’s new forward-looking models should have more than a few long-only money managers rocking quietly in the corner of the office (especially given IBM’s dominance of the Dow). Their proprietary models (discussed below) predict decelerating revenues in both consulting and outsourcing through Q2 2013 reflecting the weak discretionary spend environment. The inflection in outsourcing is particularly notable and is far from priced in with the velocity of the fall suggesting 2009-like cutbacks. After the last recession’s drop, IT outsourcing was a key area of cost reduction that also provided additional revenues for a new sector; one has to wonder if the recovery this time would be so acute (since sooner rather than later the cutting of fat leads to lascerations in the muscle).

 

Via Morgan Stanley:

IT Outsourcing Leading Indicator Model (MSOSLI)

Similar to Consulting, the MSOSLI model enjoys a very high R-squared (0.96). The model also uses three macro economic indicators and two company-specific metrics, including:

  • Change in Euro Area Consumer Confidence
  • Change in Durable Goods Unfilled Orders
  • S&P 500 Composite One-Year Return
  • Change in CapGemini Consulting Headcount 
  • Change in Accenture Outsourcing Headcount

A summary of these factors along with their statistical measures from the univariate regressions performed in the model construction phase (see below) is shown in Exhibit 7.

 

LTM Outsourcing average revenue growth accelerated in 3Q10, at +0.4% growth, and peaked in 2Q12 at +5.2% growth. MSOSLI forecasts a deceleration beyond 2Q12 with forward four-quarter revenue growth (through 2Q13) estimated at +1.0% (excluding ~25bps of bias).

 

Recent Accenture and IBM commentary suggest this trend is beginning to materialize, for example:

  • Accenture’s constant currency growth remained strong in F4Q12 (+18% vs. +19% in F3Q12 and +20% in F2Q12). That said, management noted that it remains vigilant about understanding the impact of the evolving global macroeconomic environment. Plus, management’s expectation for 5-8% cc growth in FY13 (vs. +11% in FY12) embeds a slower than anticipated market growth (+4.8% vs. +5.6% previously) with the Technology/Outsourcing segment lower by roughly 100bps vs. the previous estimate.
  • IBM GTS 3Q12 revenue grew +1% cc (vs. +2% in 2Q12 and +3% in 1Q12). Management noted that while IBM generated revenue growth from its


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A ‘Free Dinner’ can be Quite Expensive

A ‘Free Dinner’ can be Quite Expensive

Courtesy of Paul Price of Beating Buffett

People in affluent zip codes probably receive at least two or three invitations each month to educational seminars related to social security maximization or retirement planning. These are typically followed by a complementary meal at a decent local restaurant.

I attend these once in a while just to keep up on what’s being said. I often get questions about information other people hear at these events. My latest experience was a seminar entitled ‘Maximize your Social Security’. The first speaker led off with a statement that went something like this…

“There are 72 different combinations of choices available for a couple at full retirement age regarding how to choose their SS benefits. My job tonight is to have you leave here very confused.”

He proceeded to run a power-point slide show detailing the pros and cons of taking early benefits, waiting until full retirement age (66 for Boomers) or delaying collecting until age 70. He also went into lesser-known choices such as ‘Claim and defer’ while taking spousal benefits instead of your own.

A second speaker (the closer) then took over. Each attendee was to take out the self-evaluation form handed out as you entered. In true lawyerly fashion the only questions asked were ones where the sponsors already knew the answers.

Screen Shot 2012 11 05 at 5.58.14 PM A ‘Free Dinner’ can be Quite Expensive

After everybody checked off their five’s on these forms the staff came around to collect them and schedule free personal consultations while dinner was served.

The sponsoring office called to confirm the appointments. They strongly suggested bringing tax returns, brokerage statements, 401k quarterly reports etc. to this no obligation consultation.

Wow. The friendly ‘we’re only here to give you a little friendly free advice’ had turned into a full-blown sales job. Selling long-term care insurance and especially annuities were the primary goals. Those two products are among the highest YTB products on the market.

YTB? YTB = Yield to broker.

Most agent-sold annuities pay upfront commissions of 6% to the selling brokerage. The take on a $100,000 annuity = $6,000. On a $1 million policy it’s $60,000. No wonder these firms can absorb the costs of ‘free’ dinners.

Immediate annuities are pitched as high-income vehicles you can’t outlive. Are they good deals for buyers? The November issue of Money magazine shows a photo of a smiling man next to a box that states a 65-year old man…
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Is A 15%-Plus Devaluation Coming For Spain And Greece?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Countries that have the luxury of their own exchange rate are able to eliminate any loss in competitiveness through an exchange rate depreciation, but (as is broadly recognized by now) UBS reminds that in a single currency area the only route available is an adjustment in relative wages.

In order to restore competitiveness, the periphery will have to endure a period of below-average inflation equal to the disequilibrium that an exchange rate adjustment would have delivered. While the fantasy of an orderly Greek exit is gradually being dispelled – as the market recognizes the almost instantaneous bank runs that would be exaggerated from current deposit withdrawals in Spain, Portugal, and Ireland – the euro’s survival with any status quo is simply impossible – begging the question of ‘so how do they get to the other side?’

The answer, instead of instantaneous devaluation (exit) - akin to tearing the (admittedly big) band-aid off, the devaluation will be undertaken over time to restore competitiveness, the periphery will have to endure a period of below-average inflation equal to the disequilibrium that an exchange rate adjustment would have delivered. This equilibrium ‘devaluation’ is impossible to know with certainty, but UBS estimates it is over 20% for Greece and 15% for Spain.


Via UBS:

Competitiveness pressures and inflation convergence

 

Long-run inflation trends in the eurozone will be driven by competitive pressures. Countries that have the luxury of their own exchange rate are able to eliminate any loss in competitiveness through an exchange rate depreciation, but in a single currency area the only route available is an adjustment in relative wages.

 

In order to restore competitiveness, the periphery will have to endure a period of below-average inflation equal to the disequilibrium that an exchange rate adjustment would have delivered.

 

Indeed, this is exactly the approach we adopt to estimate the long-run inflation prospects in a single currency zone – we quantify the size of the exchange rate disequilibrium and assume that the disequilibrium is eliminated gradually over a period of time.

 

Estimating the exchange rate (inflation) disequilibrium

 

The equilibrium exchange rate is impossible to know with certainty, but conceptually one can think of it as the rate consistent with a country maintaining its internal and external balance.


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Complete European Sovereign Event Calendar Until 2013

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The following is a list of key events (and commentary) to watch over the next two months. From Germany’s voting phases for Greek aid to various national strikes and regional elections, there’s plenty here of critical importance to the future of the sovereign debt crisis.

November:

Start-November: ESM ready to make financial commitments. After the first board meeting on 8 October, ESM Director Klaus Regling said the new fund would be available to make financial commitments to Spain’s bank recapitalisation programme from the start of November.

 

3 November: Dutch PvdA (Labour) Party votes on coalition agreement with VVD (Liberal) party.

 

3-5 November: G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. Meet in Mexico.

 

5 November: Greek MoU amendments to be submitted to parliament. This are the austerity measures and structural reforms to unlock the next tranche payment.

 

6-7 November: Greek public and private sector unions hold 48 hour strike against austerity.

 

6 November: US presidential election.

 

6 November: Greece auction. Bills.

 

7 November: Greece to vote on austerity and reforms. This is required to unlock the EUR31.5bn next tranche of the second bailout programme.

 

7 November: Greek 2013 Budget to be submitted to parliament.

 

7 November: European Commission Economic Forecasts. Autumn update.

 

8 November (tbc): Special Eurogroup meeting on Greece. This will be dependent on Greece having approved the austerity and reforms.

 

8 November: ECB Governing Council meeting. We do not expect any changes, whether to standard (rates) or non-standard (liquidity, asset purchases) policies. The question for the ECB is whether the dichotomy between improving bank funding and deteriorating economy prospects merely reflects lags in the transmission of financial conditions to economic conditions or whether it reflects a more worrying break in the relationship. For now, the ECB can afford to be patient, in our view. Since the ECB Council claims to expect a ‘gradual’ recovery in 2013, we would not expect them to reject their assumptions on the back of the marginally weaken Q3 bank lending survey alone.

 

8 November: Spain auction. Bonds.

 

10 November: VVD-PvdA (Liberal-Labour) government ought to assume power in the Netherlands.

 

11 November: Greek 2013 Budget to be voted on in parliament.

 

12 November: Merkel


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Israeli War Game Does Not See Attack Of Iran Starting World War III

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

It would appear, based on the latest war games from Israel’s Institute of National Security Studies, that we should all go back to sleep and not worry about the impact of an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. The reason not to worry is simple – either it ignites World War III (which we presume means it will be all over very rapidly and we will be blissfully unaware until its too late to be capable of achieving anything) or – as they suspect (and gamed out) – there will be a focus on ‘containment and restraint’ with Iran unable to ignite the Middle East. The result is predicated on ‘actors’ motivated by rational considerations; which seems entirely irrational. All the gory details below…

War Game: The Hours following an Attack on Iran’s Nuclear Infrastructures

The Policies of the Actors and Principal Insights

The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) held a war game (simulation) focusing on the first 48 hours after an Israeli aerial attack on Iran’s nuclear infrastructures.

The Scenario

After midnight on November 9, al-Jazeera reports that Israeli airplanes have attacked Iran’s nuclear facilities in three waves of attack. As reports multiply, Israel officially announces it has attacked Iran’s nuclear sites because it had no other choice. According to the scenario, Israel did not coordinate the attack with the United States in advance, and only informed the US once the planes were already en route to the Iranian targets. Initial assessments estimate that the Iranian nuclear program has been set back by nearly three years.

Following the successful attack, Iran decides to react with maximal force, launching  radical elements – to attack Israel. Nonetheless, it is careful to avoid attacking American targets. Israel attempts to contain the attacks and works to attain a state of calm as rapidly as possible. The international community is paralyzed, largely because Russia tries to exploit the situation for its own strategic objectives. At the end of the first 48 hours, Iran continues to attack Israel, as do their proxies, albeit to a lesser extent. At this point in the simulation, the crisis does not seem to be close to a resolution.

Main Policies of the Various Actors

Israel: After achieving its operational goals, Israel showed restraint in


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On Europe As Japan 2.0

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

With Greece and Spain (and arguably Portugal and a few others) stuck in dramatic debt-deflation spirals, the political need for maintaining these nations in the euro far outweigh the economic ‘benefits’. As UBS notes, looking at the euro area today, one cannot help but notice the parallels to Japan of the early 1990s. Europe today, as with Japan a generation ago, is an aging society with structural rigidities, pockets of corporate excellence, but wide swathes of inefficiency; but the two most striking similarities (and not in a good way) lie in the banking system (bloated from over-leveraging, under-capitalization, and bad loans); and fiscal policy (which is inherently pro-cyclical – as the politics of monetary union preclude national level stimulus – leaving ineffective monetary transmission channels unable to help fiscal failure). As UBS concludes, the current euro’s similarities to Japan are key impediments to growth – and as such we should expect sclerotic economic activity for a five-year period.

 

Via UBS: The euro as Japan 2.0

Looking at the euro area today, one cannot help but notice the parallels to Japan in the early 1990s. We expect mediocre growth in the euro zone for several years, and it is hard to see a return to trend growth within five years. Europe today, as with Japan a generation ago, represents an ageing society with structural rigidities in its markets. There are pockets of corporate excellence, of course, just as there were in Japan. There are also areas of inefficiency. The two most striking similarities with Japan lie in the banking system and fiscal policy.

  1. Japan’s banking system problems in the 1990s stemmed from bad loans. For much of the euro area the problem is more undercapitalised banks (though there are bad loans too). From an economic perspective, it is not the cause as the effect that matters. The euro is likely to experience low bank credit growth in the coming years. This constrains economic growth.
  2. The second parallel is fiscal policy. In Japan’s case, fiscal policy failed to provide much economic stimulus because the political structures of the time directed stimulus into ultimately inefficient projects. In the euro area, the bias of fiscal policy is pro-cyclical not counter cyclical, as the politics of the monetary union preclude national level stimulus. Thus, monetary policy is unable


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Treasury Yields/Mortgage Rate Update As We Enter Election Week

Courtesy of Doug Short.

I’ve updated the charts below through Friday’s close. The S&P 500 is 3.52% off its interim high set on September 14th, the day after QE3 was announced. The 10-year note closed the week at 1.75, which is 13 basis points off its interim high of 1.88, also set the day after QE3 was announced. The historic closing low was 1.43 on July 25th.

The latest Freddie Mac weekly update shows the 30-year fixed at 3.39%, three basis points above its historic low set the first week in October.



Here is a snapshot of selected yields and the 30-year fixed mortgage one week after the Fed announced its latest round of Quantitative Easing.

The 30-year fixed mortgage at the current level no doubt suits the Fed just fine, and the low yields have certainly reduced the pain of Uncle Sam’s interest payments on Treasuries (although the yields are up from their recent historic lows). But, as for loans to small businesses, the Fed strategy continues to be a solution to a non-problem. Here’s a snippet from the latest NFIB Small Business Economic Trends report:

Thirty-one (31) percent of all owners reported borrowing on a regular basis, up 1 point from August. Eight percent of owners reported that all their credit needs were not met, also up 1 point. Thirty-two (32) percent reported all credit needs met, and 50% explicitly said they did not want a loan. Only 2% reported that financing was their top business problem….

A Perspective on Yields Since 2007

The first chart shows the daily performance of several Treasuries and the Fed Funds Rate (FFR) since 2007. The source for the yields is the Daily Treasury Yield Curve Rates from the US Department of the Treasury and the New York Fed’s website for the FFR.

 

 

Now let’s see the 10-year against the S&P 500 with some notes on Fed intervention.

 

 

For a long-term view of weekly Treasury yields, also focusing on the 10-year, see my Treasury Yields in Perspective.

 

 

 

 





More Greeks Live In Poverty Than Iranians

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The number of people in Greece classified as living below the poverty line reached 2.34 million (or over 20% of their 11.3 million population). Ekathimerini reports that the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) has released data from 2010, the first update of this frightful data series post austerity measures. Household spending has dropped dramatically in the two years since then suggesting the current picture is considerably worse. Still, comparing apples to slightly smaller apples, CIA data shows Greece now considerably more impoverished than Iran, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mexico, and the West Bank. The EUR6,591 per annum poverty line in Greece compares to average per capita income of EUR12,637 but what is perhaps most worrisome – as social unrest continues to rise – is that Greece is among the European countries with the greatest financial inequalities, as the richest 20% of the population had an annual income that was six times that of the poorest 20%.

 

CIA Poverty Stats (Population living below national poverty line %)

 

And Via the CIA World Factbook – it seems Greece is slipping below the thin red line…

 

A total of 901,190 Greek households were found to be living below the poverty line.





Did Hurricane Sandy Cause $36.5 Trillion In Damage?

Courtesy of The Automatic Earth.

Lee Angle Fort Worth Flood 1949
7th Street Theatre in Fort Worth Texas, corner of 7th Street and University, known locally as "Six Points"

First of all: the answer to the title question is, as far as I can see: no. But it's almost certainly a whole lot more than the $50 billion reported today, and that $36.5 trillion amount doesn’t come from thin air; it appears in a number of news articles about Sandy. All in all, the story raises a few more questions, allows you to play with a bunch of numbers, and leaves you puzzled, amazed and at times easily bewildered.

Here’s how: One of many things flooded by hurricane Sandy last week was a bank vault below 55 Water Street in Lower Manhattan. At first glance nowhere near the most interesting news coming out of the storm aftermath, since it doesn't involve human lives lost, or people losing their homes. Still, given the potential amount of damage in dollar terms, it does warrant a second look.

The vault in question belongs to the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation or DTCC, a clearing house for Wall Street firms, owned by Wall Street firms. On its own website , the DTCC describes itself like this:

DTCC, through its subsidiaries, provides clearing, settlement and information services for equities, corporate and municipal bonds, government and mortgage-backed securities, money market instruments and over-the-counter derivatives. In addition, DTCC is a leading processor of mutual funds and insurance transactions, linking funds and carriers with their distribution networks.

DTCC's depository provides custody and asset servicing for more than 3.6 million securities issues from the United States and 121 other countries and territories, valued at US$36.5 trillion.

In 2010, DTCC settled nearly US$1.66 quadrillion in securities transactions.

A number of things here: it's easy not to realize that if 3.6 million securities are valued at $36.5 trillion, each of these pieces of paper is on average worth over $10 million. Not exactly your average pieces of paper. Also, in what way or fashion DTCC serves as a clearing house for OTC derivatives is an interesting little riddle, but not one we can expect to get an answer to. Still,


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The 512 Permutating Paths To The White House

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Tired of pundits with black boxes and book deals telling you the election is a done deal because some statistically-sampling, biased, Garbage In, Garbage Out model “said so” (remember when the same GIGO logic made every structured piece of toxic RMBS toxic be rated AAA simply because the rating agency models couldn’t account for the improbable case of real estate prices actually going down?) Then decide for yourselves. With 48 hours left until polls close, below are the 512 permutating paths available to the two candidates on their way to the White House throne (assuming the other states vote the way they are “expected”). And with the election having crossed far beyond mere theatrical tragicomedy and now well into NCAA finals knock out fever, one can see why Florida and Ohio are really all the matter.

Full interactive infographic after the jump





 
 
 

Zero Hedge

Auto Shares Surge As Fiat, Renault Confirm Merger Talks

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With President Trump in Japan for a state visit and most of Europe headed to the polls to vote in the quinquennial EU Parliamentary elections, there was enough news to keep market watchers occupied during what was supposed to be a quiet holiday weekend in the US. 

But on top of these political headlines, on Saturday afternoon, the news broke that Italian-American carmaker Fiat Chrysler had approached France's Renault with a merger proposal that would leave the shareholders of each carmaker with half of the combined company, in a tie-up that would create the world's third-largest au...



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Phil's Favorites

Trump and the problem with pardons

 

Trump and the problem with pardons

Courtesy of Andrew Bell, Indiana University

As a veteran, I was astonished by the recent news that President Trump may be considering pardons for U.S. military members accused or convicted of war crimes. But as a scholar who studies the U.S. military and combat ethics, I understand even more clearly the harmful long-term impact such pardons can have on the military.

My researc...



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Insider Scoop

Jefferies Sees 60-Percent Upside In Aphria Shares, Says Buy The Dip

Courtesy of Benzinga.

After a red-hot start to 2019, Canadian cannabis producer Aphria Inc (NYSE: APHA) has run out of steam, tumbling more than 31 percent in the past three months.

Despite the recent weakness, one Wall Street analyst said Friday that the stock has 30-percent upside potential. 

The Analyst

Jefferies analyst ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

DAX (Germany) About To Send A Bearish Message To The S&P 500?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Is the DAX index from Germany about to send a bearish message to stocks in Europe and the States? Sure could!

This chart looks at the DAX over the past 9-years. It’s spent the majority of the past 8-years inside of rising channel (1), creating a series of higher lows and higher highs.

It looks to have created a “Double Top” as it was kissing the underside of the rising channel last year at (2).

After creating the potential double top, the DAX index has continued to create a series of lower highs, while experiencing a bearish divergence with the S...



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Chart School

Brexit Joke - Cant be serious all the time

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Alistair Williams comedian nails it, thank god for good humour! Prime Minister May the negotiator. Not!


Alistair Williams Comedian youtube

This is a classic! ha!







Fundamentals are important, and so is market timing, here at readtheticker.com we believe a combination of Gann Angles, ...

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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.

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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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