Archive for January, 2013

HFT Infographic

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by CalibratedConfidence.

You know how we feel about special order-types and expert networks.  I'll save you the long-winded paragraph so you can keep selling Amazon shares.  Here is an HFT infographic, slightly out-dated as Minoj has already begun to run his microwave trading system he bought from the Sears DIY section, which explains in simplistic terms the new dynamic of markets.

Infographic HFT by calibrateconfidence





Chevron Whacked By Record Fine, But Might Not Notice

Chevron Whacked By Record Fine, But Might Not Notice

Wolf Richter   www.testosteronepit.com   www.amazon.com/author/wolfrichter

The California Division of Occupational Safety & Health just slammed Chevron with massive, record-breaking penalties related to the refinery in Richmond, California—the one that ended up in a fireball last August.

It started when a severely corroded pipe began leaking. Rather than shutting down the unit to fix it properly—and forgoing some revenues—managers decided to rig it. So they told workers to remove the insulation. It might have sounded like a good idea at the time. But it didn’t help. Not at all. The pipe ruptured, and mayhem broke out.  The people in Richmond were told to stay indoors and keep their doors and windows closed. A reported 15,000 people sought treatment after inhaling the toxic airborne gunk. And gas prices jumped.

Cal/OSHA investigated, and now it broadsided Chevron with 23 citations for “serious” violations—serious “due to the realistic possibility of worker injuries and deaths in the fire.” Of these violations, 11 were also classified “willful” because “Chevron did not take reasonable actions to eliminate refinery conditions that it knew posed hazards to employees, and because it intentionally and knowingly failed to comply with state safety standards.”

One of the “willful serious” violations: “Investigators identified leaks in pipes that Chevron had clamped as a temporary fix. In some cases the clamps remained in place for years,” and the pipes were never replaced. More generally, Cal/OSHA determined that Chevron:

  • Did not follow the recommendations of its own inspectors and metallurgical scientists to replace the corroded pipe that ultimately ruptured and caused the fire. Those recommendations dated back to 2002.
  • Did not follow its own emergency shutdown procedures when the leak was identified, and did not protect its employees and employees of Brand Scaffolding who were working at the leak site.

To punish Chevron and teach the mega-company an excruciatingly painful lesson, Cal/OSHA whacked it forcefully with the largest penalty it had ever imposed, and “the highest allowed under state law”: 963,200 dollars and no cents.

Chevron isn’t ready just yet to throw in the towel. That would be against its corporate warrior spirit. It would appeal. “Although we acknowledge that we failed to live up to our own expectations in this incident,” Chevron said soothingly in a statement, “we do not agree with several of the Cal/OSHA findings and its characterization of…
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Another Mega Oil Company Whacked By Record Fine, But Might Not Notice

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by testosteronepit.

Wolf Richter   www.testosteronepit.com   www.amazon.com/author/wolfrichter

The California Division of Occupational Safety & Health just slammed Chevron with massive, record-breaking penalties related to the refinery in Richmond, California—the one that ended up in a fireball last August.

It started when a severely corroded pipe began leaking. Rather than shutting down the unit to fix it properly—and forgoing some revenues—managers decided to rig it. So they told workers to remove the insulation. It might have sounded like a good idea at the time. But it didn’t help. Not at all. The pipe ruptured, and mayhem broke out.  The people in Richmond were told to stay indoors and keep their doors and windows closed. A reported 15,000 people sought treatment after inhaling the toxic airborne gunk. And gas prices jumped.

Cal/OSHA investigated, and now it broadsided Chevron with 23 citations for “serious” violations—serious “due to the realistic possibility of worker injuries and deaths in the fire.” Of these violations, 11 were also classified “willful” because “Chevron did not take reasonable actions to eliminate refinery conditions that it knew posed hazards to employees, and because it intentionally and knowingly failed to comply with state safety standards.”

One of the “willful serious” violations: “Investigators identified leaks in pipes that Chevron had clamped as a temporary fix. In some cases the clamps remained in place for years,” and the pipes were never replaced. More generally, Cal/OSHA determined that Chevron:

  • Did not follow the recommendations of its own inspectors and metallurgical scientists to replace the corroded pipe that ultimately ruptured and caused the fire. Those recommendations dated back to 2002.
  • Did not follow its own emergency shutdown procedures when the leak was identified, and did not protect its employees and employees of Brand Scaffolding who were working at the leak site.

To punish Chevron and teach the mega-company an excruciatingly painful lesson, Cal/OSHA whacked it forcefully with the largest penalty it had ever imposed, and “the highest allowed under state law”: 963,200 dollars and no cents.

Chevron isn’t ready just yet to throw in the towel. That would be against its corporate warrior spirit. It would appeal. “Although we acknowledge that we failed to live up to our own expectations in this incident,” Chevron said soothingly in a statement, “we do not…
continue reading





The Vulnerability Of The Elites

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

In a post-financial crisis world, the lack of viable international leadership is potentially troubling. In 2013, the WEF believes, this breakdown of international coordination will go increasingly local: in such a world, governments will focus more on their domestic agendas, which will create new risks in and of itself. Most importantly, the growing vulnerability of elites makes effective public and private leadership that much more difficult to sustain. Leaders of all kinds are becoming more vulnerable to their constituents, generating more reactive and short-term governance. Whether one looks at the dismal approval ratings of the U.S. Congress or the impact that more open flows of information is having on the Chinese ruling elite, it is clear that people are becoming more and more uninspired by their governments. When it comes to unemployment, the widening disparity of wealth, or environmental degradation, highly complex or even intractable issues set politicians up for failure in the eyes of their constituents. Underperformance erodes elites’ legitimacy, making it that much harder for them to lead effectively. Against this backdrop, a host of key 2013 risks and opportunities takes shape.

 

Vulnerability Of The Elites by





Guest Post: Is Germany Preparing For Future Capital Controls?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Jeff Clark via Casey Research,

The best indicator of a chess player’s form is his ability to sense the climax of the game.

–Boris Spassky, World Chess Champion, 1969-1972

You’ve likely heard that the German central bank announced it will begin withdrawing part of its massive gold holdings from the United States as well as all its holdings from France. By 2020, Bundesbank says it wants half its gold reserves stored in its own vault in Germany.

Why would it want to physically move the metal from New York? It’s not as if US vaults are not secure, and since Germany already owns the gold, does it really matter where it sits?

You may recall that Hugo Chávez did the same thing in late 2011, repatriating much of his country’s gold reserves from London. However, this isn’t a third-world dictatorship; Germany is a major ally of the US. So what’s going on?

Pawn to A3

On the surface, it may seem innocuous for Germany to move some pallets of gold closer to home. Some observers note that since Russia isn’t likely to be invading Germany anytime soon – one of the original reasons Germany had for storing its gold outside the country – the move is only natural and no big deal. But Germany’s gold stash represents roughly 10% of the world’s gold reserves, and the cost of moving it is not trivial, so we see greater import in the move.

The Bundesbank said the purpose of the move was to “build trust and confidence domestically, and the ability to exchange gold for foreign currencies at gold-trading centers abroad within a short space of time.” It’s just satisfying the worries of the commoners, in the mainstream view, as well as giving themselves the ability to complete transactions faster. As evidence that it’s nothing more than this, Bundesbank points out that half of Germany’s gold will remain in New York and London (the US portion of reserves will only be reduced from 45% to 37%).

Sounds reasonable. But these economists remind me of the analysts who every year claim the price of gold will fall – they can’t see the bigger implications and frequently miss the forest for the trees.

Check

What your friendly government economist doesn’t reveal and…
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The Consolidated “Currency Wars” Chart

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

While we have pointed out various divergences among risk assets, the deterioration in macro fundamentals, the dismal earnings picture, and the potential for various geopolitical hotspots to ignite, there appears to be only one chart that the US equity market is willing to pay any attention to, for now – that of global central bank balance sheet size. The ongoing competitive devaluations of developed market currencies is a by-product of policymakers’ attempts to (repress) lower real bond yields and, as Credit Suisse notes, has an important (and potentially vicious) element of contagion to it (as Europe is finding out currently): currency appreciation continues until the deflationary pressures associated with an overly strong currency become too large and the country is forced to join in the trend of central bank balance sheet expansion. For now, it appears stocks are ‘allowed’ to rise, gold is suppressed, and balance sheets are expanding, but as we saw in Q4 2012, there comes a time when reality interjects (albeit briefly).

 

Thanks to the Fed and the BoJ most recently, the USD-rebased balance of the world’s largest central banks (Fed+BoE+ECB+PBoC+BoJ) has begun to expand – and sure enough Bernanke’s policy tool – the Russell 2000 – has recoupled…

 

but gold, in whatever way you believe (via leases or direct manipulation) appears to be held back (for now)…

 

and Europe is now under pressure once again as its currency rises strongly, impacting its competitiveness (as we warned here and here) – and with its ‘easing’ off-balance-sheet, will it be forced to bring it back on balance-sheet?

 

 

 

As to when this ‘repression’ ends… Credit Suisse notes,

We do not see an end to this process until real bond yields fall to a level that stabilizes government debt to GDP and the unemployment rate in developed world. On our calculations, this implies a real bond yields of around minus 1½% to 2%, compared with the current US 10-year TIPS yield of around minus 0.6%

But, markets do not go up forever, just as occurred in Q4 2012, there are times when not even the man behind the curtain can maintain investor interest amid political uncertainty (Europe in 2013), valuations (earnings drop in 2013 pushing P/Es notably higher), macro deterioration (US starting the year in the red), and unilateral currency wars…





The Expected Housing Recovery Faces a Brick Wall

The Expected Housing Recovery Faces a Brick Wall

Re-emergent house flippers are set to flop.

By Elliott Wave International

In 2005, a mania for residential real estate reached such a fever pitch that a series of cable television shows became entirely devoted to house "flipping."

Flipping involves buying a worse-for-wear house, making the minimum repairs necessary, then turning right around and selling it – ideally for a fast and handsome profit.

Two years before the housing bust became painfully obvious to U.S. homeowners, EWI's publications warned subscribers that the housing market had reached extremes and was about to bust.

There's no mistaking it now: Extreme psychology … has taken up residence in real estate. …

A significant percentage of the population does not know that a return to earth is implicit in [real estate's] pole-vault to record heights.

The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, July 2005

That issue published around the time the S&P Supercomposite Homebuilding Index peaked.

The index bottomed in late 2008. Since then, the index moved sideways into late 2011 and in 2012 staged a modest rebound. Take a look at this chart from the November Financial Forecast (wave labels removed):

 

 

The outburst of over-the-top enthusiasm for home buying turned out to be a great sell signal. The Homebuilding Index lost more than 85% over the next 40 months. The rise from its November 2008 low appears to be a … countertrend rally. … Near-term excitement has definitely risen.

Financial Forecast, November 2012

As you might expect, the rebound is accompanied by a rise in expectations for a real estate recovery.

The head of the world's largest asset management firm sees more than just higher home prices ahead; he sees a return to 2005 levels.

As the inventory of unsold U.S. homes drops to a more manageable level, the U.S. housing industry is inching closer to a complete rebound, [said] BlackRock CEO.

CNBC, Oct. 4

By looking at the chart, you can see how much farther prices have to climb before achieving a "complete rebound."

What's more, home flippers have returned.

Property Flippers Are Back as Housing's Middle Men

Yahoo Finance, Oct. 15

Is it safe again to speculate in U.S. real estate? How should you handle loans and other debt? Should you rely on the government agencies to protect your finances?…
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How The Stock Market Became The “Food Stamps” for the 1%

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Via Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.
- Henry David Thoreau

Society is like a stew. If you don’t stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.
- Edward Abbey

When the rich wage war, it’s the poor who die.
- Jean-Paul Sartre

The Stock Market:  Food Stamps for the 1%
For most of the past four or five years, I have spent the majority of my time studying the dominant forces that fuel the power structure that exists in these Unites States today, and indeed throughout the world.  My education began quite suddenly and unexpectedly in the middle of the last decade when I started understanding fiat money, Central Banking and the global monetary system.  Since then, I have expanded my understanding to mainstream media brainwashing, the military-industrial complex, the role of the political oligarchs in Washington D.C., the corruption of the food industry under the complicity of the FDA itself and much more.  The more I peered under the curtain, no matter what the industry, the clearer it became that the system had no chance of survival under its current form.  What’s worse, it became obvious that the very small 0.01% of the population that I call oligarchs (financial and political), who are actively gaming the system for their own pleasure, are well aware of the system’s terminal nature.  That’s why they are rapidly putting in place the police state grid.

That said, this article is not about the implementation of the surveillance state.  I cover that pretty much daily these days.  This post is more of a philosophical stream of consciousness; a guilty pleasure that I have not engaged in as of late.

I have mentioned many times in the past that food stamps are just a payoff to the poor.  While I think a permanent and expanding welfare state is completely and utterly destructive to an economy and culture, I do not demonize these folks.  The vast majority of them would like to work and be productive.  They are victims and this is being done to them quite intentionally.  It creates dependency.  It keeps them off the streets.  It’s an unspoken bribe plain and simple.  The oligarchs do not want angry, roving,…
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Help Wanted Index Pointing To Employment Slowdown?

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.


The Conference Board publishes a monthly “help wanted” index which tracks the number of Total Online Help Wanted Ads and the Number of New Ads. The data for this series currently goes back to 2005 after revisions to the index were made. (The original data series which tracked “help wanted ads” in newspapers was discontinued after the revisions but that data series goes back to 1951.) In the January release of the help wanted index the number of online help wanted ads increased to 5,044,673 from 4,937,764 in December. The number of new ads, however, dropped to 2,915,271 from 3,115,192.

In order to use the older discontinued data, for a longer term historical perspective, I converted the new data to a composite index using the percentage change in the number of new help wanted ads. I then set May 2005, the starting month of new index, to 38. When combined with the older historical data it produced the following chart.

 

 

While it is clear that the index declines as the economny heads into recessions – it doesn’t really give us many clues about the present situation regarding employment, jobless claims or the economy. What we can tell from this chart is that since the end of the last recession the hunt for employees has remained relatively weak as compared to previous post-recession recoveries. Of course, this goes hand-in-hand with an economy that is still running at sub-par growth rates during the same period of time and being primarily supported by continued interventions from the Federal Reserve.

If we take the same chart and compare it to total non-farm employees a clearer picture emerges. As shown in the chart below the ebb and flow of the help wanted index correlates highly with the level of total non-farm payrolls. The recent stagnation in payrolls is consistent with the stagnation of the demand by employers issuing “help wanted” ads. Historically, such stagnation has been indicative of peaks in the employment cycle. This is a very real “fly in the ointment”
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The Tearing Of Europe’s Social Fabric

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

We have long-discussed the growing concerns of a rising level of social unrest in Europe. Our go-to chart has been youth unemployment – and it still reigns supreme as the scariest chart for European leaders (no matter what they publically claim). JPMorgan’s Michael Cembalest shares our concern as he opines on the potential for a tear in the social fabric in Europe.

 

Via Michael Cembalest, CIO JPMorgan,

Over the last couple of years, we have been watching the social fabric in Europe given 18% unemployment (and rising). With little growth on the horizon, it’s not clear how jobs will improve much, and what the long-term social implications will be.

 

Whether it’s Europe in the 1930’s or the US during the same period (conflicts between strikers, the National Guard and armed militias), unemployment can create a powerful cocktail of unrest.

So far, European demonstrations have been fewer than what one might have expected given the situation.

Could a mitigating factor in Europe be a better starting point vs. other countries?

“Quality of life” is hard to measure. There are organizations that give it a shot: the most detailed version we have seen is from the OECD. There are clear patterns in the OECD data: on issues related to work-life balance, life expectancy, environment, personal safety, family support network and life satisfaction, the Eurozone ranks ahead of the US. However, the recession does seem to be taking its toll: fertility rates, which were finally rising in Europe during the prior decade, declined sharply in 2011; according to the UK Economic and Social Research Council, suicides have been rising in Italy and the UK due to economic stress; and in Spain, there has been an increase in observed depression, anxiety and mood disorders (as per the Red de Actividades Preventivas y Promoción de la Salud en Atención Primaria). The imposition of regressive VAT taxes has also widened income disparities in many countries. Some of the same trends are observed in other countries which experienced a large recession, like the US.

While there may be increasing cracks in the social fabric, so far, concrete political manifestations have been limited. Despite the complaints that show up in Eurobarometer surveys, Eurozone citizens appear committed to persevering with the Euro despite the hardships. With the ECB doing…
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Zero Hedge

Schiff: Negative Interest Rates Are "Boneheaded"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Via SchiffGold.com,

Donald Trump has been badgering Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for months, begging for lower interest rates. This week, he took things to another level, saying that the “boneheads” at the Fed need to push rates into negative territory.

In his podcast, Peter Schiff said negative interest rates are boneheaded. ...



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The Technical Traders

Metals are following downside sell off prediction before the next rally

Courtesy of Technical Traders

It is absolutely amazing how the precious metals markets have followed our October 2018 predictions almost like clockwork.  Our call for an April 21~24 momentum base below $1300 followed by an extensive rally to levels above $1550 has been playing out almost like we scripted these future price moves.

Now that the $1550 level has been reached, we are expecting a rotation to levels that may reach just below the $1490~1500 level before attempting to set up another momentum base/bottom formation.  And just like clockwork, Gold has followed our predictions and price is falling as we expected. Just look at our October 2018 chart where we forecasted the price of gold...



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Chart School

Crude Oil Cycle Bottom aligns with Saudi Oil Attack

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Do the cycles know? Funny how cycle lows attract the need for higher prices, no matter what the news is!

These are the questions before markets on on Monday 16th Aug 2019:

1) A much higher oil price in quick time can not be tolerated by the consumer, as it gives birth to much higher inflation and a tax on the average Joe disposable income. This is recessionary pressure.

2) With (1) above the real issue will be the higher interest rate and US dollar effect on the SP500 near all time highs.

3) A moderately higher oil price is likely to be absorbed and be bullish as it creates income for struggling energy companies and the inflation shock may be muted. 

We shall see. 

...

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Phil's Favorites

Black Hole Investing

 

Black Hole Investing

Courtesy of John Mauldin, Thoughts from the Frontline 

Scientists say the rules change in a cosmic “black hole” at what astrophysicists call the event horizon. How do they know that? Not by observation, since what happens in there is, by definition, un-seeable. They infer it from the surroundings, which say that the mathematics of the universe as we understand them change at the event horizon.

Or maybe not. One theory says we are all inside a black hole right now. That could possibly explain a few things about central bank policy. ...



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Insider Scoop

The Street Reacts To Kroger's Q2 With Mixed Takeaways

Courtesy of Benzinga

Kroger Co (NYSE: KR) reported second-quarter results that came in better than expected. The earnings beat may have been overshadowed by management's decision to remove its prior guidance of $400 million in incremental EBIT by fiscal 2021.

Q2 A Mix Of Positives And Negativ...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Bond Yields Due For Rally After Declining More Than 1987 Stock Crash

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

U.S. Treasury Bond Yields – 2, 5, 10, 30 Year Durations

The past year has seen treasury bond yields decline sharply, yet in an orderly fashion.

This has spurred recession concerns for much of 2019. Needless to say, it’s a confusing time for investors.

In today’s chart of the day, we look at a longer-term view of the 2, 5, 10, and 30-year treasury bond yields.

Short to long term bond yields are all testing 7 to 10-year support levels as momentum is at the lowest levels in a decade.

A yield rally is likely due across the board after a recent decline that was bigger than the stock crash in 1987!

If yields fail to ral...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Nonfarm Payrolls Not Seasonally Adjusted Tell the Real Story - Unspinning Wall Street™

Courtesy of Lee Adler

Not seasonally adjusted nonfarm payrolls, that is, the actual numbers, give us a truer picture of the jobs market than the seasonally adjusted garbage that Wall Street spews.

Friday’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payrolls jobs headline numbers disappointed investors with slower than expected growth. But was it really that bad?

Here’s How The Street Spun It – Wall Street Journal Modest August Job Growth Shows Economy Expanding, but Slowly

Employers added 130,000 nonfarm jobs, jobless rate held steady at 3.7%

U.S. employment grew only modestly in August, suggesting that a global economic slowdown isn’t driving the U.S. into recession but has dente...



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Digital Currencies

China Crypto Miners Wiped Out By Flood; Bitcoin Hash Rate Hits ATHs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Last week, a devastating rainstorm in China's Sichuan province triggered mudslides, forcing local hydropower plants and cryptocurrency miners to halt operations, reported CoinDesk.

Torrential rains flooded some parts of Sichuan's mountainous Aba prefecture last Monday, with mudslides seen across 17 counties in the area, according to local government posts on Weibo. 

One of the worst-hit areas was Wenchuan county, ...



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Biotech

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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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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