Archive for 2015

GaZiNG INTo THe ABYSS…

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by williambanzai7.

GAZING INTO AN ABYSS





Whole Lotta Bear Markets Goin’ On

Courtesy of John Rubino.

The Dow and S&P 500 have fallen by around 10% since August, which in normal times would be hardly worth mentioning. But below the surface, in what used to be the market’s hottest sectors, much more serious damage is taking place.

Biotech, which had an epic bull market during the era of QE and the Affordable Care Act, had begun to crater even before Hillary Clinton proposed price controls for pharmaceuticals. Last week it went straight down.

Biotech ETF

Solar stocks had a quiet bull market that accompanied the technology’s emergence as heir apparent to fossil fuels. But now they’re quietly crashing:

Solar ETF

Junk bonds, which are essentially the equities of highly-leverage companies (because they turn back into equity when the bonds default and reluctant creditors are forced to take ownership of the junk issuers) have tanked in the past few months and are now far below their 50 and 200-day moving averages.

Junk bond ETF

One group that isn’t plunging is the gold miners. But that’s mainly because they had their crash while everything else was still rising, and are now at historically cheap levels. Here’s an ETF that tracks the junior gold mining stocks:

GDXJ Sept 2015

What does it mean when several high-flying sectors crash all at once? If history is still a reliable guide (a big if in today’s manipulated world) it means the internal structure of the market is deteriorating much more quickly than the behavior of the Dow and S&P 500 seem to imply.

When stocks in general catch up to the carnage in yesterday’s hot sectors, we’ll get something a lot more extreme than a simple correction. And when that happens the odds of the Fed raising US interest rates drop to zero.

Visit John's Dollar Collapse blog here





What Recovery? 9.4 Million More Americans Below Poverty Line Than Pre-Crisis

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

According to Janet Yellen, we are still on pace to raise rates in 2015. While the rate hike was supposed to happen this month, it got derailed by the August market selloff, volatility in China, lackluster work force numbers, and a variety of other factors.

Despite the Fed continuing to kick this down the road, they continue to claim that we are in the middle of an ongoing recovery. There’s just one problem with that: things are getting worse than pre-crisis levels for millions of the poorest Americans.

It’s true that the wealthiest 10% of Americans have finally seen their household incomes rise above the levels last seen in 2007. It’s also true that median incomes have “recovered” from the worst of the 2008 disaster. Median earners were -8.1% worse off in 2011, and now they are only -6.5% worse off according to most recent data for 2014 released by the U.S. Census Bureau last week.

However, when we look at the lowest 10% of income earners, the situation is much more precarious. In 2011, the bottom 10% of households were -9.0% worse off in terms of income than they were pre-crisis. Since then, it hasn’t gotten any better: they now are making -11.6% less income than they were in 2007.

Possibly even more concerning is the fact that the amount of Americans living below the poverty line has soared since 2007. There are now 9.4 million more people that can claim to be a part of this unfortunate group, and the total contingent living below the poverty line now makes up 14.8% of all Americans. This is also an increase from the 12.5% figure from before the Great Recession.

What’s the difference between 2007 and today? One stark contrast is the fact that the Fed’s balance sheet has exploded by adding $3.5 trillion of phony money to its balance sheet (that’s about the size of Germany’s economy) with its Quantitative Easing (QE) program. As part of the same experiment, it kept rates artificially low at near 0% for a record amount of time to encourage both lending and economic growth.

However, it is seven years later, and we are starting to see the fruits of this experiment especially in terms of wealth inequality. Studies and economists are starting to sound off, noting that QE…
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Western Propaganda Machine Kicks Into Overdrive As UK Brands Assad “A Butcher”, France Bombs Syria In “Self Defense”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

On Sunday, France proudly announced that it had launched its first strikes against ISIS targets in Syria. Here’s The New York Times:

In France’s first airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria, warplanes destroyed a training camp, President François Hollande announced on Sunday.

At a news conference in New York, where he had arrived for the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Hollande said that the warplanes had attacked the training camp in eastern Syria after it had been identified by French air surveillance with help from the coalition of Western and Middle Eastern states conducting the air campaign against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh.

“Our forces reached their objectives: the camp was completely destroyed,” Mr. Hollande said. “Six jets were used, including five Rafales, and they were able to ensure that our operation did not have 

He added that France might launch other strikes in the coming weeks if necessary, with the goal of “identifying targets that are training camps or places where we know that the Daesh terrorist group can threaten the security of our country.”

Prime Minister Manuel Valls also confirmed to reporters in southeastern France on Sunday that the airstrikes had taken place.

“We are striking Daesh in Syria because this terrorist organization prepares and organizes attacks in France from Syria, from these sanctuaries,” Mr. Valls said. “We are therefore acting in self-defense, which Article 51 of the United Nations Charter permits us to do.”

Got that? Paris needs to bomb Syria in “self defense” because clearly, a ragtag group of militants who only exist because they’re still a useful tool in Washington’s geopolitical calculus, pose a very real threat to the territorial integrity of France, one of the most influential nations on the face of the earth. 

Obviously, that is absurd to the point that it’s almost not worth mentioning were it not for the fact that France’s involvement comes as Britain is also set to step up its own “anti-ISIS” air raids in Syria.

In short, both France and Britain are ramping up their involvement in Syria’s civil war just as Russia, Iran, and China are set to bolster the Assad regime. As we’ve detailed exhaustively, the West is now finding it almost impossible to maintain the narrative. Russia and Iran both…
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Chinese GDP Propaganda Full Frontal: Plunge In Key Data Points Pitched As Bullish

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The fact that China habitually overstates its GDP growth is probably the worst kept secret in the world next to Russia’s support for the Ukrainian separatists at Donetsk.

In short, the idea that China’s economy is growing at a 7% clip is so laughable that at this juncture, even the very “serious” people are openly challenging it. To be sure, it’s not entirely clear what part of the fabricated numbers represent willful deception and what part simply derive from an inability to accurately assess the situation. For instance, the deflator tracks producer prices more closely than it probably should, meaning GDP is overstated in times of plunging commodity prices but that might well stem more from a lack of robust statistical systems than it does from a desire to mislead the market. 

In any event, getting an accurate read on Chinese economic growth has become something of a contest. It’s almost as if the market thinks that one day, the truth will come out and everyone wants to be able to say “my estimate was the closest.” What’s particularly interesting about the whole thing is that a quick look at the variables that Premier Li Keqiang himself has said are a better proxy for economic growth in the country (electricity usage, rail freight volume, and credit growth) suggest GDP growth in China may actually be running below 4%. SocGen’s Albert Edwards and any number of other analysts have noted this as well.

Of course Beijing has never seen a problem that a good dose of propaganda can’t fix which presumably explains the following bit from the Global Times (a paper owned by the ruling Communist Party’s official newspaper, the People’s Daily) which attempts to portray the weakness in electricity usage and freight volumes as a positive in light of the country’s transition towards an economic model driven by consumption and services: 

China’s industrial restructuring has helped cut electricity consumption and freight transportation, while the economy has maintained a medium-to-high growth rate in the first six months, said Zhang Xiaoqiang, executive deputy director of China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

Zhang admitted that there were some doubts about China’s economic growth rate in the first half (H1), as two key indicators of economic growth, namely power consumption and freight volume, dropped remarkably.

China’s


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The New World Financial Disorder

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Doug Noland via Credit Bubble Bulletin,

The Federal Reserve is flailing and global currency markets are in disarray. Notably, the Brazilian real dropped more than 10% in five sessions, before Thursday’s sharp recovery reversed much of the week’s loss. This week the Colombian peso dropped 3.0%, and the Chilean peso fell 3.1%. The Mexican peso dropped 1.9%. The Malaysian ringgit sank 4.5% for the week, with the South Korean won down 2.7% and the Indonesia rupiah losing 2.2%. The Singapore dollar fell 1.8%. The South African rand sank 4.4% and the Turkish lira fell 1.4%. Notably, market dislocation was not limited to EM. The Norwegian krone was hit for 4.4%, and the Swedish krona lost 2.0%. The British pound declined 2.3%. The Australian dollar also lost 2.3%. 

Apparently alarmed by the market’s poor reaction to last week’s no hike decision, the Ultra-Dovish Fed this week attempted to slip on a little hawk attire. It’s looking really awkward. On Thursday evening, chair Yellen did her best to backtrack from last week’s FOMC statement with its focus on global issues. The markets are doing their best not to panic.

Securities markets have over the years grown too accustomed to knowing almost precisely what the Fed’s (and global central bankers) next move would be and what indicators were driving the decision-making (and timing) process. Transparency and clarity are hallmarks of New Age central banking. But chairman Bernanke back in 2013 significantly muddied the waters with his comments that the Fed was ready to push back against a “tightening of financial conditions.” Markets celebrated short-term ramifications: the Fed was overtly signaling it would react to “risk off” speculative dynamics.

And for more than two years, global market Bubble vulnerabilities ensured the Fed stayed firmly planted at zero. Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.1%. Stock prices shot to record highs, with conspicuous signs of speculative excess (biotech and tech!) The U.S. recovery soldiered on, Bubble excesses and imbalances on clear display. 

At least to the adults on the FOMC, crisis-period zero rates some time ago became inappropriate. So it’s time to at least attempt a semblance of responsible central banking. There is, however, no thought of really tightening policy. Just a baby-step – or perhaps two – so history won’t look back and say the Fed…
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“Nothing’s Safe” Passport’s Burbank Warns “The Liquidity Of Everything Is Being Taken Down”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Having warned that "we are on the precipice of a liquidation in emerging markets like the fourth quarter of 1997," Passport Capital's John Burbank sits down with RealVisionTV to discuss why "the Fed would eventually be forced into a fourth round of quantitative easing to shore up the economy." Being among 2015's best performing hedge funds, successfully navigating this turmoiling unwind of the Fed's efforts to "mean-revert" the world's assets back to normal, Burbank concludes, "nothing's safe," no matter what The Fed does, "the liquidity of everything is being taken down."

"The market is now going to discover just how much liquidity [or lack of it] is actually in the market."

"QE in Europe is not the same as QE in The US"

"There's just not enough dollars out there… everything will be liquidated"

Click image below for link to brief RealVisionTV interview:

Source: RealVisionTV

"What we learned after the financial crisis was that The Fed is able to reflate assets in The US and The World… for a time.

What The Fed learned was that their models don't work – they didn't have the GDP/Economic effect – and to interpret what they are doing,

I think they realize the more they do this, the more they can't get out of it, and the more they pervert markets… and I believe they want to get out of it."

*  *  *

Full interview available here.





71-Year-Old Arrested For Widespread “Hitlerization” Of Shinzo Abe Posters

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Having achieved his militarist goals, amid massive protests and plunging popularity, it appears Shinzo Abe is rapidly taking gaining on Vladimir Putin's spot atop the tyrannical-dicators-of-the-world-meme. By pushing through this change to Japan’s pacifist constitution, Japan’s nationalists have gotten their foot in the door, so to speak; and as Pater Tenebrarum notes, once a long-held principle is abandoned, further steps to alter the legal framework are usually not long in coming, prompting, as TokyoReporter.com reports, a 71-year-old man to allegedly deface roughly 30 political posters – drawing a hitler-esque moustache on Abe posters.

As Acting-Man.com's Pater Tenebrarum explains, Abe Has reached His Militarist Goals 

Japan’s House of Councilors Briefly Transforms into Rada Outpost

 

Pictures such as those below used to primarily reach us from Ukraine’s Rada, back before Poroshenko’s “lustration law” banned about four million Ukrainian citizens from the political process forever. In Ukraine, brawls regularly broke out between Western Ukrainian nationalists and representatives of Eastern Ukrainian ethnic Russians.

 

Last week we received similar imagery from the upper house of Japan’s Diet, a.k.a. the House of Councilors.

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A brawl breaks out in the usually quite reserved upper house of Japan’s Diet

 

A few close-ups:

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Alain Delonakawa dishes out an an uppercut

 

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Take that you bastard! Lawmakers are piling on in scrum-fashion

So what has happened? Why are Japan’s notoriously consensus-prone and bushido-inhibited lawmakers suddenly trading fisticuffs and one presumes, matching verbal insults?

Dulce et Decorum est pro Patria Mori?

As our long-time readers know, we have posted a portrait of Japan’s nationalist-socialist prime minister Shinzo Abe a while back, entitled “Shinzo Abe’s True Agenda”. In brief: “fixing” Japan’s economy with even more inflation and deficit spending is only a side-show for Abe. He is convinced that he has a quasi-divine mission to bring Japan back to its glorious militaristic past. In this, he appears to be influenced by the philosophy of his grandfather Nobusuke Kichi, who actually served as a minister in Japan’s war cabinet during WW2 and became prime minister in the late 1950s.

Japanese_Prime_Min_3444249b

Nationalist Shinzo Abe has succeeded in altering Japan’s pacifist constitution to allow its


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Wholesale Money Markets Are Broken: Ignore “Perverted” Swap Spreads At Your Own Peril

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

At the height of the financial crisis, the unprecedented decline in swap rates below Treasury yields was seen as an anomaly. The phenomenon is now widespread, as Bloomberg notes, what Fabozzi's bible of swap-pricing calls a "perversion" is now the rule all the way from 30Y to 2Y maturities. As one analyst notes, historical interpretations of this have been destroyed and if the flip to negative spreads persists, it would signal that its roots are in a combination of regulators’ efforts to head off another financial crisis, China selling pressure (and its impact on repo markets) and "broken" wholesale money-markets.

US Swap Spreads have collapsed rapidly in recent weeks across the entire curve…

There appears to be 5 main reasons being cited for this "perversion"(as Bloomberg explains)

1. Central Bank un-cooperation…

“There is a rebalancing of holdings by central banks and there is still a massive supply of Treasuries that has no end in sight,” said Ralph Axel, an analyst in New York at Bank of America Corp. “We see recent signs that China is selling and overall all central banks, including the Fed, are no longer the big supporters of Treasuries as they had been in recent years. This is narrowing spreads as it cheapens Treasuries.”

Some strategists are pegging the narrowing of the two-year swap spread in recent weeks to selling of Treasuries by China as that nation’s central bank moves to stabilize its currency following the surprise yuan devaluation in August.

As speculation has swirled that China is selling shorter-maturity Treasuries while other investors dumped the securities before this month’s Federal Reserve meeting, dealer holdings of U.S. government debt climbed.

That drives repo rates higher because dealers need more cash to finance those positions.

2. Unintended Consequences from Regulatory Actions (fixing the last crisis)…

Regulatory moves such as higher capital requirements have led banks to curtail market-making, crimping liquidity and driving repurchase agreement rates above bank funding benchmarks. Repo rates factor into Treasuries pricing because they’re considered the cost of financing positions in government debt.

3. Companies are piling into the debt market to lock in low borrowing costs. They frequently swap the issuance from fixed to floating payments, which causes swap spreads to tighten.

4. Wrong-footed bets have also exacerbated the slide in spreads.
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Germany’s Immigration Challenge

 

Outside the Box: Germany’s Immigration Challenge

By John Mauldin

This immigration crisis in Europe is a big deal, and it’s a bigger deal for Germany than for any other European country. Germany is directly in the firing line, both geographically and in terms of how many of the migrants want to settle there. Nearly 40% of migrants choose Germany as their preferred final destination, while the only other nation that is chosen by more than 10% of migrants is Hungary, at 18%.

Daniel Stelter is a very wired German economist and business thinker. He wrote to me a couple days ago, said he had read my remarks on Germany and the immigration crisis in last week’s Thoughts from the Frontline, and recommended to my attention a couple of articles he had just written on the issue. They are today’s Outside the Box.

In his note to me, Daniel says:

I doubt that it will work out as politicians hope. In theory we agree: well-educated people come to Germany to help us deal with the demographic crisis we face. The reality is that a big part of the immigrants will not be able to fulfill these hopes as they are illiterate, etc. We would have to invest heavily to make this happen, but politicians shy away from doing so. I have summarized what the scenarios are and what we would have to do to make it happen in this two-part comment for the Globalist, which you might want to have a look at. To be clear: Germany looks like ending up with more problems than less if we don’t change gears fast.

Please note that Stelter is not anti-immigration. His first piece below, “Germany’s Immigration Challenge,” enumerates the difficulties to be faced if Germany is to greatly increase immigration and lays bare a number of misconceptions about Germany’s ability to do so; but he doesn’t stop there. In the second piece, “Germany: A 10-Point Plan to Deal with the Immigration Challenge,” he thoroughly details what it would actually


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ValueWalk

#1 Performing Global Macro Hedge Fund Sees More Shorts Opportunities Ahead As China Bursts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Crescat Global Macro Fund update to investors on 1/19/2019

Crescat Global Macro Fund and Crescat Long/Short fund delivered strong returns for both December and full year 2018 in a difficult market. Based on ...



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Zero Hedge

Johns Hopkins, Bristol-Myers Face $1 Billion Suit For Infecting Guatemalan Hookers With Syphilis 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A federal judge in Maryland said Johns Hopkins University, pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Rockefeller Foundation must face a $1 billion lawsuit over their roles in a top-secret program in the 1940s ran by the US government that injected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis, reported Reuters.

Several doctors from Hopkins an...



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Phil's Favorites

Divisive economics

 

Guest author David Brin — scientist, technology consultant, best-selling author and futurist — explores the records of Democrats and Republicans on the US economy in the following post. For David's latest posts, visit the CONTRARY BRIN blog. For his books and short stories, visit his web...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Stock declines did not break 9-year support, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

We often hear “Stocks take an escalator up and an elevator down!” No doubt stocks did experience a swift decline from the September highs to the Christmas eve lows. Looks like the “elevator” part of the phrase came true as 2018 was coming to an end.

The first part of the “stocks take an escalator up” seems to still be in play as well despite the swift decline of late.

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am- All of these indices hit long-term rising support on Christmas Eve at each (1), where support held and rallies have followed.

If you find long-term perspectives helpf...



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Digital Currencies

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

 

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

Blockchain technologies can empower people by allowing them more control over their user data. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Ajay Kumar Shrestha, University of Saskatchewan

Blockchain has already proven its huge influence on the financial world with its first application in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It might not be long before its impact is felt everywhere.

Blockchain is a secure chain of digital records that exist on multiple computers simultaneously so no record can be erased or falsified. The...



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Insider Scoop

Cars.com Explores Strategic Alternatives, Analyst Sees Possible Sale Price Around $30 Per Share

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related 44 Biggest Movers From Yesterday 38 Stocks Moving In Wednesday's Mid-Day Session ...

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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 13, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

In last week’s recap we asked:  “Has the Fed solved all the market’s problems in 1 speech?”

Thus far the market says yes!  As Guns n Roses preached – all we need is a little “patience”.  Four up days followed by a nominal down day Friday had the market following it’s normal pattern the past nearly 30 years – jumping whenever the Federal Reserve hints (or essentially says outright) it is here for the markets.   And in case you missed it the prior Friday, Chairman Powell came back out Thursday to reiterate the news – so…so… so… patient!

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reinforced that message Thursday during a discussion at the Economic Club of Washington where he said that the central bank will be “fle...



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Members' Corner

Why Trump Can't Learn

 

Bill Eddy (lawyer, therapist, author) predicted Trump's chaotic presidency based on his high-conflict personality, which was evident years ago. This post, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump even became president, 5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn. ~ Ilene 

Why Trump Can’t Learn

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore (...



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Biotech

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

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

 

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Bacteriophage viruses infecting bacterial cells , Bacterial viruses. from www.shutterstock.com

Courtesy of John Bergeron, McGill University

Today, the scientific community is aghast at the prospect of gene editing to create “designer” humans. Gene editing may be of greater consequence than climate change, or even the consequences of unleashing the energy of the atom.

...

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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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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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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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