Archive for 2015

Why Driving Behind Chinese Trucks May Be Hazardous To Your Health

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

In one of the greatest analogies for China’s slow-moving, pollution-puking economy, the impact of this small bump in the road sums up the fragility of the credit-fueled slow-motion truck-wreck that the central planners have created…

…and then the wheels fell off…

And there are some ‘crashes’ that just cannot be manipulated back together again.





Meanwhile, Over At The “New York” Stock Exchange… Many Lasers

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Back in March, when looking at the main antenna array at the real “New York” Stock Exchange located off Route 17 and MacArthur Boulevard in Mahwah, New Jersey, we noticed something peculiar: instead of just housing various now traditional microwave dishes…

… a new device had quietly appeared.

The “device”, as Extremetech explained in early 2014, was the AOptix IntelliMax laser (used in various US defense programs), and now generously provided by Anova to various very wealthy HFT clients – in exchange for a very generous installation and recurring monthly fee – who desired to eliminate the 0.18 millisecond microwave latency between the NYSE and Nasdaq, by going straight to laser.

High-frequency trading — the practice of making thousands of algorithmic stock trades per minute — is about to get a big boost in the USA. Anova, a company that specializes in deploying low-latency networks for stock trading, is completing an ultra-high-speed laser network between the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ. The link will be just a few nanoseconds faster than the current microwave and fiber-optic links — but in the world of high-frequency trading (HFT), those nanoseconds could result in millions of dollars in profits for the trading companies. Such is the insanity of the stock markets; such is the unbelievable capacity of HFT to create money out of almost nothing.

If you want to get a signal quickly from point A to point B, you basically have three options: fiber-optic cables, a network of microwave dishes, or laser links. Electrical (copper wire) networks are feasible over short runs, but their reduced functionality and bandwidth over longer runs makes them less desirable than fiber. Microwave (and even higher-frequency millimeter wave) networks also aren’t very high-bandwidth, but because they’re purpose-built, they can take a very direct route, significantly undercutting the latency of an oft-congested and round-about fiber network. Laser networks have all the advantages of microwave/millimeter wave networks, but they have higher bandwidth, and some very clever adaptive optics means they’re not impacted by bad weather. (Microwaves really hate inclement weather.)

Last year, Anova completed a laser network link between the London and Frankfurt stock exchanges, and now, it seems the company is nearing completion on a similar laser network between the NYSE and NASDAQ data


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This Is What Gold Does In A Currency Crisis, Canadian Edition

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by John Rubino via DollarCollapse.com,

Along with the currencies of most other commodity-exporting countries, the Canadian dollar has been in near-freefall lately.

Gold, meanwhile, has been sucked down with the rest of the commodities complex, falling hard since 2013. But only in US dollars. For Canadians, with their weak domestic currency, gold has been behaving just fine. It’s up 17% in C$ terms over the past two years and looks ready to rally from here:

Protection from currency trouble is why people own it, and why in the vast majority of places it’s owners are very happy.

Now combine a falling currency with a crashing oil price and the result is a surprisingly favorable environment for Canadian and other weak-currency-country gold miners. Big mostly-Canadian miner Goldcorp, for instance, has seen its production costs fall by almost 20% in USD terms in the past two years, with more to come based on the subsequent cheapening of the diesel fuel required to run its equipment.

Goldcorp AISC 2015

If 2016 plays out according to the script that has rising US interest rates producing an even stronger dollar (and correspondingly weaker currencies elsewhere) the terms of trade for non-US gold miners should become even more favorable. Many of them will report positive earnings comparisons while most other industries are doing the opposite, putting them on the radar screens of momentum traders and value investors who haven’t been paying attention since the last gold/USD bull market ended.





Obama Scrambles To Create “New ISIS Narrative” After Putin Embarrasses Washington

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

One of the most amusing things about Russia’s headlong plunge into Syria’s five-year conflict is the extent to which it effectively represented Moscow calling time on Washington’s strategy of seeking to bring about regime change in the Mid-East by intentionally destabilizing otherwise strong (if not always benign) governments.

Until September 30 – which is the day a three star Russian general strolled into the US embassy in Baghdad and informed the staff that airstrikes in Syria begin “in one hour” – Washington, Riyadh, Ankara, and Doha seemed perfectly content to simply wait around for one group of rebels or another to finally succeed in taking Damascus. In the meantime, the US embarked on what one might call a “containment” strategy as it related to ISIS – the idea, basically, was to keep Frankenstein confined to the lab, but not to hit the monster hard enough to render it ineffectual in the fight to destabilize the Assad government. 

Once Assad fell, the US would march in and “liberate” the country before promptly installing a puppet government – with the help of the Saudis of course. 

All of that changed when the Russians arrived in Latakia.

Once Moscow’s warplanes began to turn the tide in favor of the SAA with the help of Hezbollah ground forces and the IRGC, Putin promptly moved to blow the whole charade wide open by asking (loudly) why the US wouldn’t partner with Russia in the war on terror. He of course knew the answer, but the point was to make the general public question why, if ISIS really is the greatest threat to humanity since the Reich, Washington was unwilling to partner with Moscow and also with Tehran. Between that and the seemingly endless stream of Russian MoD clips depicting hundreds upon hundreds of airstrikes against terrorist targets, The Kremlin made the White House look as though the US was not serious about eradicating the very groups the Western media were holding up as public enemy number one.

Since around mid-October, the US has embarked on a desperate attempt to counter the notion that maybe – just maybe – there’s a nefarious explanation for America’s perceived disinterest in eradicating terror. First, Washington released helmet cam footage of a raid on an ISIS prison which resulted in the first US combat…
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Abenomics Is Dead – Japanese Data Collapses Across The Board

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

With recent JPY strength not helping, last week ended on a down-note for Japan as its jobless rate ticked up from 3.1% to 3.3% (the biggest rise since January) and Household spending collapsed. However, as the last week of the year begins, things have not improved as a double whammy of awfulness just hit the shores of Abe's nation with retail sales (worst since the tsunami) and industrial production ugly and missing across the board. We are sure, of course, that just one more dose of faith-based QE will fix this.

Household Spending has been a disaster…

And Retail Sales is therefore terrible… (away from the effects of the pre- and post-tax hike moves, this is the worst monthtly drop in Retail Sales since The 2011 Tsunami!!!)

And so Industrial Production is lagging…

So to summarize – with JPY strength amid carry unwinds, Kuroda worriedly stuck on the sidelines, and global economic collapse, Japan's Abenomics 'program' just created the following disaster trhee years later:

  • Household Spending plunges 2.9% YoY – worst since March (post-tax-hike)
  • Jobless Rate jumps to 3.3% (from 3.1%)
  • Industrial Production drops 1.0% MoM – worst in 3 months
  • Retail Trade tumbles 1.0% YoY – biggest drop since March (post-tax-hike)
  • Retail Sales plunges 2.5% MoM – Worst drop since Fukushima Tsunami (absent tax-hike)

But apart from that – everything is awesome.

*  *  *

Finally, in the interests of keeping things light over the holiday period, we note that when asked if this means trouble ahead for President Shinzo Abe, he allegedly replied "Depends."





How The Public Get Suckered By “News” Media Ignoring Reality

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org,

According to Russian Television on December 25th, Russian intelligence has counted “up to 12,000” tanker trucks filled with oil “on the Turkish-Iraqi border,” and “the final destination remains to be Turkey.” In addition, some of those trucks are still heading into Turkey from Syria, but their number is “decreased” because Russia’s Syrian bombing campaign, which started on September 30th, has, ever since they began bombing the oil trucks on November 18th, destroyed “up to 2,000” of those trucks, that were in Syria heading into Turkey.

According to the news report, Russia is requesting help from the U.S. coalition to bomb the “up to 12,000” trucks that are in Iraq carrying ISIS oil into Turkey. ISIS drives them there so that ISIS can become self-sustaining by the oil-sales. ISIS, which had long been supported by America’s allies the Arab oil potentates — all of whom are fundamentalist Sunnis — aims to be self-sustaining now on the sales of this stolen oil through Turkey, which is operating the black market in ISIS’s stolen oil. That’s why Russia wants to stamp out this market. “However, so far, Washington says that it is not ready for such a move,” the report says.

Whereas Russia had begun on November 18th to bomb those trucks en-route into Turkey, and eliminated around 500 of them at that time, the U.S. coalition hadn’t bombed any such trucks until later that day, November 18th, in order to pretend to be competitive with what Russia had been doing since it started on 30 September 2015, to bomb in Syria. Before the U.S. bombed the 116 trucks it destroyed, it warned the drivers 45 minutes in advance.

Here was the shocking admission that was made by the U.S. Defense Department’s press-spokesman at his 18 November 2015 presentation, in which he voluntarily acknowledged that, throughout all of the 14 months during which the U.S. had been bombing in Syria and in Iraq, the U.S. hadn’t previously destroyed any  of the tens of thousands of oil tank-trucks that had been transporting ISIS's stolen oil out from Iraq and from Syria — the stolen-oil sales that bring $2B per year into ISIS coffers — and that the U.S. had warned 45-minutes in advance:

This is our first strike against tanker trucks, and


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Ontarians Urged To “Voluntarily” Pay More Taxes To Cut Province’s Debt

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Christmas is a time for giving and that is what Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is asking of her citizenry. With almost $300 billion in debt, and almost 1 in 10 dollars of revenue going to pay interest, and already facing the highest tax rates in North America, The Star reports that Ontario officials are asking that 'patriots' voluntarily donate their tax refund or write a cheque to defray the province's massive debtload.

As The Toronto Sun reports, Canada’s largest province has asked its taxpayers to donate their hard-earned money to the cause of bailing out the much indebted provincial government.

For a mere $21,000 for every man, woman and child in the province, Ontario could be debt free.

No, this is not some kind of holiday joke about the Grinch who stole Christmas.

On top of paying among the highest taxes in North America, and coping with skyrocketing hydro prices — hikes directly caused by the decisions made by this Liberal administration and the previous one — the Wynne government wants more.

Treasury Board Chair Deb Matthews made the bold request last week, and specifically asked folks to donate their tax return rebate to help pay off the provincial debt.

“It’s an unusual thing for someone to do, but I would encourage any Ontarian who wants to make a contribution to feel free to do so,” said Matthews.

A government asking for donations isn’t just unusual. It’s like a stranger taking your car and then coming back the next day to ask if you’ll chip in some money for the gas. Maybe you can pay for an oil change, too?

But the Wynne government is desperate for cash.

For the past decade, they’ve spent and borrowed like there’s no tomorrow and wasted public funds with little concern for taxpayers.

Thanks to all the government’s reckless spending, including a pile of billion-dollar scandals that have led to criminal charges, Ontario’s government is dealing with spiralling debt.

Nearly one in every ten dollars spent by the Ontario government goes towards paying interest on the provincial debt.

Ontario’s provincial government owes approximately $300 billion. That is $300,000,000,000 — with 11 zeros.

And so the government constantly looks for ways to get its hands on more cash.

Perhaps most surprisingly, the government’s plea for
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2015: The Year That Exposed The “Experts” And Left The “Smart-Crowd” Dumbfounded

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Authored by Mark St.Cyr,

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. We were all told by the “experts” and the so-called “smart crowd” ad nauseam the economy and markets of 2015 were “ready for lift off.” Proclamations that GDP and other economic metrics were indeed going to be the unquestionable catalyst to help propel not only the markets themselves ever higher, but also, prove all the nay-sayers as well as data-deniers wrong. The problem? It was the exact opposite.

2015 exposed the sole overarching fundamental principle the “experts” refused to calculate into their qualitative analysis. That fundamental? Without the continuing interventionism of the Federal Reserve – there is no market. Period. i.e., The capital markets today are to a world-class marketplace for capital formation – as a Potemkin village is to any world-class capitol city. Welcome to today’s financial markets brought courtesy of the Fed.

As the year began the markets continued their ascent to increasingly higher and higher historic levels (yes, historic.) It seemed near weekly another headline of “Historic Highs!” were proclaimed across the financial media as the markets zigzagged up and down yet, in effect, actually going nowhere. Here every selloff was met with an ever more forceful BTFD (buy the dip) recovering a prior days triple digit selloff with some stop running, HFT fueled, triple digit rally rewarding the Bulls (as well as the delivering the subsequent headlines) that the markets were indeed “on fire!” For surely it was insinuated; one would be a fool to be on the sidelines and miss out on all these “fundamental” based gains. Another problem? “Fundamental” was no longer anything real. It was only in the eyes of the beholder. And those beholders were and are “the experts.”

Nowhere was this meme more prevalent, or on display, as the example I used earlier in the year in an article titled, “The Coming Credibility Hammer.” In that piece I quoted an exchange I watched on Bloomberg™ in response to an assertion that it was easy to beat tepid earnings estimates. The guest Tony Dwyer responded with the following push-back:

“They haven’t been the entire cycle and we’ve had a 300% gain. Look, I’m trying to understand how we keep coming on every quarter, that the earnings are terrible, revenue growth is terrible, this is going


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WalMart Works With FBI, MIC To Spy On “Problem” Employees

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Earlier this year, Wal-Mart had some “plumbing” problems.

As regular readers might recall, the retailer shuttered five geographically distinct locations across the country citing intractable and persistent “clogs and leaks.” 

The story gave birth to a variety of conspiracy theories including the contention that the closures were part and parcel of a plan to use the locations as internment camps in connection with the US SpecOps command’s Jade Helm 15 drills. 

Another plausible explanation was that the closures were connected to the company’s desperate attempt to preserve margins in the wake of what now looks like an ill-advised decision to implement an across-the-board wage hike. Raising wages for the retailer’s lowest-paid associates led directly to a mad scramble aimed at extracting more savings from suppliers and ultimately resulted in a stunning guidance cut in October that sent the company’s shares plunging. Predictably, the pay raises also led to layoffs in Bentonville and fewer hours for employees. The store closures, we suggested back in April, could simply be another attempt to offset the cost of the wage hikes.

Finally, some contended that at least one location may have been closed for its connection to organized labor. As we documented extensively in “Did WalMart Close A California Store To Punish Employees Who Protested Wages And Working Conditions?,” the Pico Rivera, California store had been a hotbed for wage and labor protests over the years. It was among the locations that were closed on short notice.

First, a little background.

When we began to look into each of the locations marked on the map shown above, we came across something rather interesting involving the Pico Rivera, CA store. As it turns out, it’s been the site of wage and working condition protests on a number of occasions, the most recent of which was late last year.

Almost exactly one year prior to the latest picket, the Pico Rivera store was (along with multiple other locations across the US) the site of protests alleging that the company did not pay enough to keep many of its workers from seeking government assistance to supplement their meager wages (recall that 73% of those receiving public assistance in the US come from working families).

And just a little over a year before the 2013 Black Friday protests,…
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David Collum: The Next Recession Will Be A Barn-Burner

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by David Collum via PeakProsperity.com,

For those who enjoyed his encyclopedic 2015: Year In Review, this week we spend an hour with David Collum to ask: After processing through all of that information, what do you think the future is most likely to bring?

Perhaps it comes as little surprise that he sees the global economy headed back down into recession, one that will be deeper and more damaging than the 2008 crisis:

In 2008/9, while the equity markets when down, the bond markets went up. And that buffered an awful lot of pensions and 401Ks and endowments and things like that. And so people felt pain, but they didn’t realize that there was an offsetting gain. They did not notice that part as much, but I think the next downturn is going to be concurrent bond market collapse and equity collapse and there will be no slack in that downturn.

I think stocks and bonds are both at ridiculously high levels now. The bond market can only go down from here, right? I mean, it can keep going up for a while, but there is just nothing left to be squeezed out of it. Interest rates are at seven hundred-year lows, supposedly – they’re certainly at stupid lows, right. You have a third of Europe at negative rates… And so I think at some point the bond market’s got to collapse. It will start in the high yield market, and that is happening right now. Then it’ll spread, maybe treasuries will get bid to the stratosphere, but at some point you’ve got to get a real return. And so bonds have to sell off to get back to that real return — after all, all crises are credit crises, right,? And then equities are going to go once there’s not leverage out there for share buy backs and stuff like that.

 
That's why I think the next recession is going to be a barn-burner. 

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with David Collum (74m:53s)





 
 
 

Phil's Favorites

Decoding the Fed

 

Decoding the Fed

Courtesy of John Mauldin, Thoughts from the Frontline

“In the economic sphere an act, a habit, an institution, a law produces not only one effect, but a series of effects. Of these effects, the first alone is immediate; it appears simultaneously with its cause; it is seen. The other effects emerge only subsequently; they are not seen; we are fortunate if we foresee them.

"There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effe...



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Zero Hedge

The Verdict Is In: "Negative Rates Are A Huge Negative For Savers, Low-Income People, And Investors"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

With the IMF's annual meeting now concluded, few topics discussed during the past week which saw the IMF downgrade its outlook for the global economy to the lowest GDP since the global financial crisis...

... evinced as powerful a response as negative interest rates, and for good reason: long seen as the last "red line" of central banks before they are forced to admit defeat, some $15 trillion in debt now trades w...



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Digital Currencies

Five hurdles blockchain faces to revolutionise banking

 

Five hurdles blockchain faces to revolutionise banking

Shutterstock

Courtesy of Markos Zachariadis, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

Blockchain is touted as the next step in the digital revolution, a technology that will change every industry from music to wast...



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Chart School

Gold Stocks Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Gold stocks are swinging back forth between the range, and a break out swing higher is due. Gold stocks are holding a near perfect Wyckoff accumulation pattern. All should get ready to play this sector. Yet we must recognize that gold stocks are a one of the most crazy rides at the stock market fair, so play very carefully.

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GDX PnF chart from within the video

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Important channels around the HUI.
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The Technical Traders

Treasuries Pause Near Resistance Before The Next Rally

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our research team believes the US Treasuries and the US Dollar will continue to strengthen over the next 2 to 6+ weeks as foreign market and emerging market credit and debt concerns outweigh any concerns originating from the US economy or political theater.  Overall, the major global economies will likely continue to see strength related to their currencies and debt instruments simply because the foreign market and emerging markets are dramatically more fragile than the more mature major global economies.

We believe the US Treasuries may surprise investors by rallying from current levels, near price resistance, to levels above $151 on the TLT chart. 

Our belief ...



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Insider Scoop

48 Biggest Movers From Yesterday

Courtesy of Benzinga

Gainers
  • Hepion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: HEPA) shares climbed 43.2% to close at $3.58 on Thursday after the company announced the publication of a research article, "A Pan-Cyclophilin Inhibitor, CRV431, Decreases Fibrosis and Tumor Development in Chronic Liver Disease Models," in the peer-reviewed Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
  • Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SES) rose 26.9% to close at $9.20 after surging 12.24% on Wednesday.
  • Assembly Biosciences, Inc...


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Kimble Charting Solutions

Bank Index Breakout? Stock Market Bulls Sure Hope So

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

One of the most important sectors of the stock market is the banking industry and bank stocks.

When the banks are healthy, the economy is likely doing well. And when bank stocks are participating in a market rally, then it bodes well for the broader stock market.

In today’s chart, we look at the Bank Index (BKX).

As you can see, the banks have been in a falling channel for the past 20 months. As well, the banks have been lagging the broader market during this time as well – see the Ratio in the bottom half of the chart above.

That said, th...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Look Out Bears! Fed New QE Now Up to $165 Billion

Courtesy of Lee Adler

I have been warning for months that the Fed would need new QE to counter the impact of massive waves of Treasury supply. I thought that that would come later, rather than sooner. Sorry folks, wrong about that. The NY Fed announced another round of new TOMO (Temporary Open Market Operations) today.

In addition to the $75 billion in overnight repos that the Fed issued and has been rolling over since Tuesday, next week the Fed will issue another $90 billion. They’ll come in the form of three $30 billion, 14 day repos to be offered next week.

That brings the new Fed QE to a total of $165 billion. Even in the worst days of the financial crisis, I can’t remember the Fed ballooning its balance sheet by $165 bi...



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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

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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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