Archive for 2015

Slope’s Best Posts of 2015

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tim Knight from Slope of Hope.

Slope of Hope celebrated its 10th anniversary last March, and during the course of 2015, thousands of interesting charts and articles were published. Here’s a sampling of the best of them:

  • The Charlie X Solution - my response to the Charlie Hebdo killings. I think this is some of the finest writing I’ve ever done. Sadly, the world has not taken me up on my brilliant plan.
  • Perfect Palo Alto - in which I examine the hiring of guards at the train tracks to try to reduce the number of Palo Alto high school students throwing themselves in front of locomotives.
  • Learning to Learn - some lessons I took away as I tried my hand at binary trading.
  • Relativity - a very interesting success story about how my method of trading was able to prosper in the face of what seemed like very dire circumstances.
  • The Time Warp Again - if I may say so, an really good post about how much the Silicon Valley has changed since when I was in my teens.
  • Ten Years of Hope - celebrating Slope of Hope’s 10th anniversary
  • Negative Interest - in which I despair about my almost total lack of interest in the market at the time. Not surprisingly, this was almost exactly the peak of the entire world of equities.
  • Do You Want to Know a Secret? - wherein I tear apart another idiotic startup.
  • Transports Less than 2% Away From Failure - here I call for the Dow Transports to begin dropping hard. I, umm, was correct.
  • Silicon Shark Jumps the Shark - a snarky overview of the so-called Startup Castle. Out of curiosity, I clicked on the link, and it goes straight to a 404 page. Figures.

I hope you enjoy some of these! Happy 2016, ZH-ers. Let’s some some reality starts breaking the walls down.





We’re All Fascists Now

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by James E. Miller via TakiMag.com,

After decades of bitterly partisan acrimony, a consensus has been forged. Americans on all sides of the political compass finally agree on something: Donald Trump is a “fascist.”

And they say our country is too divided politically to see eye to eye on anything.

Liberals, who are more apt to liken someone they disagree with to Hitler than any other group, get their rocks off pinning the fascist label on Trump. The Week’s Ryan Cooper is the biggest perpetrator of this linguistic stratagem. He’s written numerous articles on why Trump is a fascist threat to the nation. Democratic presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley is also fond of calling the Donald the F-word.

Fascist-mongering is not exclusive to the left. A national security advisor for illegal-alien-loving Jeb! Bush is guilty of the verbal slander. One of Ohio governor John Kasich’s super PACs is subtly linking Trump to fascism by comparing him to Nazi Germany. Marco Rubio’s war cheerleader Max Boot called Trump a fascist while admitting it’s not a term he “uses loosely or often.” Libertarian writer Jeffrey Tucker says that Trump’s ideology “is best described as fascism.”

With all this fashy talk, one might get the idea that the two sides of the political establishment are working in cahoots to take down the candidate who best represents all those Middle American Radicals. You might also think that Donald Trump is an anomaly—that his creeping fascistic style is new to American politics.

But what does “fascism” even mean? The way commentators toss around the word, you’d think it came with a precise definition. And you’d think that Mr. Trump embodies that definition in his unpredictable, fuck-you-style campaign.

But, of course, you’d be wrong to assume such veracity on the part of the media. The problem with the word “fascism” is that it’s used so much it has lost all meaning. Basically, pundits use “fascism” to describe anything or anyone who goes against their ideology. With Donald Trump rampaging Godzilla-like through all the political establishment’s sacred idols—political correctness, porous borders, the aversion to criticizing any race or religion besides white Christians—it only makes sense that he’s been…
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How ISIS Broadcasts Its Message To The World: Satellite Dishes Bought In Turkey

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Over the last six or so months, it’s become abundantly clear that Turkey is home to several of the key transit and supply routes utilized by Islamic State. 

Ankara has long been suspected of turning a blind eye to the legions of foreign fighters that flow across the border into Syria and as Nafeez Ahmed noted last month, there’s voluminous evidence to support the contention that Turkey’s government is complicit in the terror group’s activities. This evidence was available long before the Russian MoD blew the whistle on Erdogan’s ties to the group’s illicit crude trade.

Here are some key excerpts from Nafeez’s piece “NATO is harbouring the Islamic State: Why France’s brave new war on ISIS is a sick joke,” as originally published in Medium:

A senior Western official familiar with a large cache of intelligence obtained this summer from a major raid on an ISIS safehouse told the Guardian that “direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking ISIS members was now ‘undeniable.’”

The same official confirmed that Turkey, a longstanding member of NATO, is not just supporting ISIS, but also other jihadist groups, including Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. “The distinctions they draw [with other opposition groups] are thin indeed,” said the official. “There is no doubt at all that they militarily cooperate with both.”

In a rare insight into this brazen state-sponsorship of ISIS, a year ago Newsweek reported the testimony of a former ISIS communications technician, who had travelled to Syria to fight the regime of Bashir al-Assad.

The former ISIS fighter told Newsweek that Turkey was allowing ISIS trucks from Raqqa to cross the “border, through Turkey and then back across the border to attack Syrian Kurds in the city of Serekaniye in northern Syria in February.” ISIS militants would freely travel “through Turkey in a convoy of trucks,” and stop “at safehouses along the way.”

The former ISIS communication technician also admitted that he would routinely “connect ISIS field captains and commanders from Syria with people in Turkey on innumerable occasions,” adding that “the people they talked to were Turkish officials… ISIS commanders told us to fear nothing at all because there was full cooperation with the Turks.”

Back in May, The New York Times reported that in addition to foreign fighters…
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Russian Imperialism Meets Illusions Of Ottoman Grandeur

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Burak Bekdil via The Gatestone Institute,

  • Earlier in 2015, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he found it difficult to understand what Russia was doing in Syria, since "it does not even border Syria."

  • By that logic, Turkey should not be "doing anything" in the Palestinian territories, Somalia, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan or any of the non-bordering lands into which its neo-Ottoman impulses have pushed it.

In a 2012 speech, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, then foreign minister, predicted that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's days in power were numbered and that he would depart "within months or weeks." Almost three and a half years have passed, with Assad still in power, and Davutoglu keeps on making one passionate speech after another about the fate of Syria.

Turkey's failure to devise a credible policy on Syria has made the country's leaders nervous. Both Davutoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have lately resorted to more aggressive, but less convincing, rhetoric on Syria. The new rhetoric features many aspects of a Sunni Islamist thinking blended with illusions of Ottoman grandeur.

On December 22, Davutoglu said, "Syrian soil is not, and will not be, part of Russia's imperialistic goals." That was a relief to know! All the same, Davutoglu could have been more direct and honest if he said that: "Syrian soil will not be part of Russia's imperialistic goals because we want it to be part of Turkey's pro-Sunni, neo-Ottoman imperialistic goals."

It is obvious that Davutoglu's concern is not about a neighboring territory becoming a theater of war before it serves any foreign nation's imperialistic goals. His concern, rather, is that neighboring soil will become a theater of war and serve a pro-Shiite's imperialist goals. Hardly surprising.

"What," Davutoglu asked Russia, "is the basis of your presence in Syria?" The Russians could unconvincingly reply to this unconvincing question: "Fighting terror, in general, and ISIL in particular."

But then Davutoglu claims that the Russian military hits more "moderates" (read: merely jihadist killers, not to be mixed with jihadist barbarians who behead people and cheerfully release their videos). Translation: more Islamist targets and fewer ISIL targets.

A legitimate question to ask the Turkish prime minister might be: What is the basis of "moderate" Islamists' presence in Syria —
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2015 Greatest Hits: Presenting The Most Popular Posts Of The Past Year

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

One year ago, when looking at the 20 most popular stories of 2014, we were troubled by a recurring thread: “despite the just concluded 6th consecutive year of a rising S&P 500 – the longest such stretch since 1999 of what otherwise would be deemed optimism – despite what should be a steadily improving economy and improving social and economic conditions, what readers founds most fascinating, and troubling, was the increasing preponderance of social disobedience, of covert, proxy or outright wars, and of civil unrest: all phenomena that accompany a world sliding deeper into distress, not as most central banks and their puppet media would have us believe, a global recovery.”

We will be the first to admit that while it is more difficult to find a coherent theme unifying the most popular posts on Zero Hedge as determined by you, our readers, in the past year, several major domestic socio-economic tensions all came to a head in 2015: class warfare in the US approached unprecedented levels with antagonism between races, genders, ethnicities, ideologies, age groups and incomes all approaching peak levels, and spilling over, literally, on the street as the US public was inundated with daily reports of mass shootings, of trigger-happy policemen, of petulant students demanding conformity, of a president demanding the population hand over even more constitutional rights, of a nation torn in the most volatile presidential race yet.

All this took place as the median income across the US continued to decline: the rich got richer, the poor got poorer, and the middle class was officially put on the endangered species list, although in 2015, for the first time since the financial crisis, the market closed red in no small part due to the action of the Fed, which after seven years of ZIRP, hiked rates for the first time in nine years despite all other central banks “giving it all they’ve got.” 

For those trading, it was a year of rising, and in many cases, brutal intraday volatility, of ever more flash crashes across virtually all asset classes, of pain for anyone who was not invested in the five largest companies, and overall a year of change and losses for those hoping the Fed would “have their back” no matter what.

Meanwhile, the geopolitical situation…
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What’s Ahead In 2016 – Key Events Of The Next 12 Months

Happy New Year to all at Phil's Stock World!

To start off the new year, here's a list from ZeroHedge about major events to look forward to in 2016. (Original post here.)

Elections, elections, and more elections is the 'change' meme for 2016 but, as Bloomberg details, the key events of the year ahead vary from a California marijuana referendum to Brazil's Olympics, and from Davos to SCOTUS. No matter what, 2016 holds a lot of opportunity for volatility, and without The Fed's safety net, who knows what that means for markets…

Here's a selected calendar of key events for the year.

January 

Construction at Cheniere Energy Inc.'s liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal.
Construction at Cheniere Energy Inc.'s liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal.
Source: Cheniere Energy via Bloomberg

Taiwan holds an election and may choose its first female president.

U.S. begins production of liquefied natural gas for export from Cheniere Energy's terminal in Louisiana, the first since 1969. 

World leaders gather for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Follow our special report.

Vietnam's Communist Party Congress convenes to make leadership changes and set policy.

UN monitors may conclude that Iran has implemented all steps required under July nuclear accord, allowing the U.S. and Europe to lift sanctions.

February

Donald Trump.
Donald Trump.
Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

The race to elect America’s 45th president kicks off with the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. The caucuses in Nevada and the primary in South Carolina will also be closely watched.

Pope Francis visits Mexico.

Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

March

A paramilitary police officer stands guard in front of red flags at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China.
A paramilitary police officer stands guard in front of red flags at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China.
Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

U.S. begins auction of airwaves to make room for faster mobile phone connections.

China's …
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Donald Trump’s Comprehensive 2015 Insult Highlight Reel

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

What better way to end 2015, than with a highlight reel of Donald Trump’s more colorful insults. The Washington Post has done an excellent job of putting together “A Comprehensive Guide to Everyone Donald Trump Insulted in 2015.”

Here are a few of my favorite clips:

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 10.01.34 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 9.57.04 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 9.56.16 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 9.56.29 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 9.57.24 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 9.58.24 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 10.00.02 AM

Love him or hate him, this is highly entertaining.

Watch the entire video below. Enjoy.

Happy New Year.





This Is What Stocks Do During Hyperinflation

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

One of the classical refrains for buying stocks is that they preserve purchasing power and add value, even under such extreme monetary conditions as hyperinflation, or in other words, on a relative basis, local equities when denominated in a stable currency, will increase in value even as the local currency disintegrates.

As one example of this phenomenon, historians and equity bulls provide the widely referenced example showing that during the Weimar period, even as the mark lost all of its value, the stock market in USD terms actually rose during the parabolic phase.

But is that widely documented example really true, and even if it is, is it the case that stocks preserve value during hyperinflation in modern days? Luckily, we have an actual, ongoing case of currency destruction and hyperinflation in a country that was supposed to be a “socialist paradise”, but ended up just a little short: Venezuela, whose annual inflation is estimated at just shy of 400% annually according to the Troubled Currencies Project.

The same Venezuela which as we showed yesterday, Germany’s Handelsblatt, found was the “best investment” in the world in 2015.

Indeed, looking at the performance of the Caracas stock exchange, when denominated in the “official” currency rate, the one which is completely meaningless for virtually everyone, an equity investment in the could not be better: the index clearly soared fourfold in the past year.

There is a problem with this chart, however: as noted above, it uses the official Venezuela exchange rate, one which is completely meaningless to the local population if they actually want to buy USD either locally or in the US.

To get the real picture, one has to use the actual “black market” rate as calculated daily by DolarToday, which at 833 bid is quite a bit “different” from the 200 official rate.

Here is a chart of how Venezuela’s real currency has performed in 2015:

What happens when one shows the Caracas exchange in official “currency terms” on one hand, versus “real currency” terms on the other? The answers are shown by the green and blue lines in the chart below, respesctively.

So to answer the original question: how did Venezuela stocks perform in the past year under the country’s hyperinflation?…
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15 News Stories From 2015 You Should Have Heard About But Probably Didn’t

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Carey Wedler via TheAntiMedia.org,
In 2015, the iron fist of power clamped down on humanity, from warfare to terrorism (I repeat myself) to surveillance, police brutality, and corporate hegemony. The environment was repeatedly decimated, the health of citizens was constantly put at risk, and the justice system and media alike were perverted to serve the interests of the powers that be.

However, while 2015 was discouraging for more reasons than most of us can count, many of the year’s most underreported stories evidence not only a widespread pattern that explicitly reveals the nature of power, but pushback from human beings worldwide on a path toward a better world.

 1. CISA Pushed Through the Senate, Effectively Clamping Down on Internet Freedom: For years, Congress has attempted to legalize corporate and state control of the internet. In 2011, they attempted to pass PIPA and SOPA, companion bills slammed by internet and tech companies and ultimately defeated after overwhelming public outcry. Then they passed  CISPA — which the president threatened to veto, having caught wind of the public’s opposition to heavy regulation of the internet (earlier this year, Obama reversed his position). However, corporate interests, like Hollywood’s studio monopoly, kept lawmakers’ tenacity afloat.

In October, Congress passed CISA, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, but as the Electronic Freedom Foundation explained: “CISA is fundamentally flawed. The bill’s broad immunity clauses, vague definitions, and aggressive spying powers combine to make the bill a surveillance bill in disguise. Further, the bill does not address problems from the recent highly publicized computer data breaches that were caused by unencrypted files, poor computer architecture, un-updated servers, and employees (or contractors) clicking malware links.” Just before Christmas, Congress went even further, adding an amendment to the annual omnibus budget bill that strips CISA’s minimal privacy provisions even more. That budget bill was approved, though Representative Justin Amash of Michigan has vowed to introduce legislation to repeal the CISA provisions when Congress reconvenes.

But CISA wasn’t the only attack on citizens’ privacy this year. Though lawmakers touted the USA Freedom Act as a repeal of the mass surveillance state, in reality, it simply added a bureaucratic step to the process by which government agencies obtain private information.…
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2015 Was First Pre-Election Year to End In the Red Since the Great Depression

Courtesy of George Washington's Blog

The year before elections is almost always the best year for stocks.

Investors notes:

Pre-election years takes the top spot as the best-performing year for stocks.

UBS reports:

Ahead of US Presidential Elections (Pre-Election Year or Year 3 and Election Year or Year 4) politicians often promote an accommodating and pro-business agenda so that the economy is strong, stock market is bullish, and voters are upbeat heading
to the polls.

The Stock Trader’s Almanac notes (via a press release by publisher Wiley):

Pre-election years are notoriously the best year of the four-year cycle and fifth years of decades are the strongest, so 2015 has some solid history behind it,” says the Almanac’s Editor-in-chief Jeffrey A. Hirsch. “The Dow has not had a loss in a pre-election year since 1939.

But in 2015, the Dow closed down for the year2.2% into the red.





 
 
 

Phil's Favorites

Congress is considering privacy legislation - be afraid

 

Congress is considering privacy legislation – be afraid

Courtesy of Jeff Sovern, St. John's University

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called privacy the “right to be let alone.” Perhaps Congress should give states trying to protect consumer data the same right.

For years, a gridlocked Congress ignored privacy, apart from occasionally scolding companies such as Equifax and Marriott after their major data breaches. In its absence, ...



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Zero Hedge

Key Events This Week: Trade War, EU Elections, Durables, PMIs And Fed Minutes

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Looking at this week's key events, Deutsche Bank's Craig Nicol writes that while the unpredictable nature of US-China trade developments will likely continue to be the main focus for markets again next week, we also have the European Parliament elections circus to look forward to as well as various survey reports including the flash May PMIs which may offer some insight into the impact of trade escalation on economic data. The FOMC and ECB meeting minutes are also due, along with a heavy calendar of Fed officials speaking.

The European Parliament elections will kick off next Thursday with voting continuing into the weekend across the continent, with results expected on Sunday. With the elections surrounded by internal and external challenges for the EU, members di...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Will S&P 500 Double Top Derail The Rally?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The rally off the December stock market lows has been strong, to say the least. The S&P 500 rallied 25 percent before hitting and testing the 2018 high.

The old highs proved to be formidable resistance and ushered in some volatility in May… and a 5 percent pullback.

In today’s 2-pack, we look at that resistance level – could that be a double top? We can see similar patterns develop on the S&P 500 Index and its Equal Weight counterpart.

Both indexes are testing short-term Fibonacci retracement levels of the recent decline at point (2).

What takes place here after potential double top highs will be important. Stay tuned...



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Insider Scoop

60 Biggest Movers From Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Gainers
  • Fastly, Inc. (NYSE: FSLY) shares jumped 50 percent to close at $23.99 on Friday. Fastly priced its 11.25 million share IPO at $16 per share.
  • Outlook Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: OTLK) shares climbed 37.3 percent to close at $2.10 on Friday after the stock rose over 68 percent Thursday following an Oppenheimer initiation at Outperform with a price target of $12.
  • Cray Inc. (NASDAQ: CRAY) shares rose 22.5 percent to close at $36.52 after Hewlett Packard Enterpri...


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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:

 

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

...

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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