Archive for 2016

Hybrid Wars Part 1: Disrupting Multipolarism Through Provoked Conflict

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Andrew Korybko via OrientalReview.org,

The Law Of Hybrid Warfare

Hybrid War is one of the most significant strategic developments that the US has ever spearheaded, and the transitioning of Color Revolutions to Unconventional Wars is expected to dominate the destabilizing trends of the coming decades. Those unaccustomed to approaching geopolitics from the Hybrid War perspective might struggle to understand where the next ones might occur, but it’s actually not that difficult to identify the regions and countries most at risk of falling victim to this new form of aggression. The key to the forecast is in accepting that Hybrid Wars are externally provoked asymmetrical conflicts predicated on sabotaging concrete geo-economic interests, and proceeding from this starting point, it’s relatively easy to pinpoint where they might strike next.

The series begins by explaining the patterns behind Hybrid War and deepening the reader’s comprehension of its strategic contours. Afterwards, we will prove how the previously elaborated framework has indeed been at play during the US’ Wars on Syria and Ukraine, its first two Hybrid War victims. Next part reviews all of the lessons that have been learned thus far and applies them in forecasting the next theaters of Hybrid War and the most vulnerable geopolitical triggers within them. Subsequent additions to the series will thenceforth focus on those regions and convey why they’re so strategically and socio-politically vulnerable to becoming the next victims of the US’ post-modern warfare.

Patterning The Hybrid War

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The first thing that one needs to know about Hybrid Wars is that they’re never unleashed against an American ally or anywhere that the US has premier preexisting infrastructural interests. The chaotic processes that are unleashed during the post-modern regime change ploy are impossible to fully control and could potentially engender the same type of geopolitical blowback against the US that Washington is trying to directly or indirectly channel towards its multipolar rivals. Correspondingly, this is why the US won’t ever attempt Hybrid War anywhere that it has interests which are “too big to fail”, although such an assessment is of course contemporaneously relative and could quickly change depending on the geopolitical circumstances. Nevertheless, it remains a general rule of thumb that the US won’t ever intentionally sabotage its own interests unless there’s a scorched-earth benefit in doing so during a theater-wide retreat,
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Mystery HFT “Dude” Is Crushing The Turkey Stock Market

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

“There’s a giant bull in the [Turkey stock market] china shop,” exclaims one trader, but (unsually for Turkey), “nobody knows anything for sure” about who he, she, or it is. As Bloomberg reports, a mystery investor who first appeared a year and a half ago with $450 million of bets on a single day, almost double the market average, is now executing major transactions with increasing frequency, scaring away competitors who can’t figure out when he or she will strike next, traders and bankers said.

Turgay Ozaner and his partners at Istanbul Portfolio have been scouring the official daily trading recap for months for signs of the shadowy figure’s identity, but it’s a code they’ve yet to crack. As Bloomberg reports,

“Nobody knows anything for sure,” Ozaner said in his office in a picturesque neighborhood on the shores of the Bosporus. “And this is Turkey, where usually we all know what’s going on.”

At least one European bank’s clients have stopped taking short-term positions in Turkish stocks after concluding the investor is using an algorithmic system in which complex formulas decide trades, while others are avoiding the market until they have more information, a person familiar with the matter said.

“Herif,” or “the dude,” has helped lift the average daily trading volume on the Borsa Istanbul almost 8 percent this year, compared with a 15 percent decline on the main exchange in Warsaw and a 27 percent plunge in Moscow, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The Borsa Istanbul 100 Index has advanced 13 percent in the period, outpacing Russia’s Micex and Poland’s WIG20.

It’s not rare in emerging markets for a single player to move an index via short-term trades, especially in countries like Turkey that depend on foreign inflows. But nobody in Istanbul has seen anything like what is happening now.

“There’s a giant bull in the china shop,” said Kerem Baykal, a fund manager who oversees about $610 million at Ak Portfoy. “He’s got deeper pockets than anyone else in the game and can move the market in any direction.”

Whoever it is seems to have skipped from one local brokerage to the next honing his system and turning the latest, Yatirim Finansman, into the biggest net buyer on the market by far.

Closely


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Wall Street’s Top 18 Spring-Break Books

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

On Wall Street, bears and bulls alike are fans of “The Revenant.”

With Spring Break looming, one trader has surveyed his clients and friends for their book suggestions. Dave Lutz, who runs exchange-traded fund trading at JonesTrading, asked a group of portfolio managers, traders and analysts about what’s on their reading lists and managed to collect more than 700 responses. He ended up with a list that ranges from finance to sports to science fiction.

See the full article at WSJ below is the list with descriptions from Amazon

Elon Musk

New York Times Bestseller – Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Audible and Amazon

In Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance provides the first inside look into the extraordinary life and times of Silicon Valley’s most audacious entrepreneur. Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family and friends, the book traces the entrepreneur’s journey from a rough upbringing in South Africa to the pinnacle of the global business world. Vance spent more than 30 hours in conversation with Musk and interviewed close to 300 people to tell the tumultuous stories of Musk’s world-changing companies: PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity, and to characterize a man who has renewed American industry and sparked new levels of innovation while making plenty of enemies along the way.

Vance uses Musk’s story to explore one of the pressing questions of our time: can the nation of inventors and creators which led the modern world for a century still compete in an age of fierce global competition? He argues that Musk–one of the most unusual and striking figures in American business history–is a contemporary amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs. More than any other entrepreneur today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as the visionaries of the golden age of science-fiction fantasy.

Elon MuskOriginals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

The #1 national bestseller and New York Times bestseller that examines how people can champion new ideas—and how leaders can fight groupthink

“Reading Originals made me feel like I was seated…
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Energy Wars Of Attrition – The Irony Of Oil Abundance

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Authored by Michael Klare via TomDispatch.com,

Three and a half years ago, the International Energy Agency (IEA) triggered headlines around the world by predicting that the United States would overtake Saudi Arabia to become the world’s leading oil producer by 2020 and, together with Canada, would become a net exporter of oil around 2030. Overnight, a new strain of American energy triumphalism appeared and experts began speaking of “Saudi America,” a reinvigorated U.S.A. animated by copious streams of oil and natural gas, much of it obtained through the then-pioneering technique of hydro-fracking. “This is a real energy revolution,” the Wall Street Journal crowed in an editorial heralding the IEA pronouncement.

The most immediate effect of this “revolution,” its boosters proclaimed, would be to banish any likelihood of a “peak” in world oil production and subsequent petroleum scarcity.  The peak oil theorists, who flourished in the early years of the twenty-first century, warned that global output was likely to reach its maximum attainable level in the near future, possibly as early as 2012, and then commence an irreversible decline as the major reserves of energy were tapped dry. The proponents of this outlook did not, however, foresee the coming of hydro-fracking and the exploitation of previously inaccessible reserves of oil and natural gas in underground shale formations.

Understandably enough, the stunning increase in North American oil production in the past few years simply wasn’t on their radar. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the Department of Energy, U.S. crude output rose from 5.5 million barrels per day in 2010 to 9.2 million barrels as 2016 began, an increase of 3.7 million barrels per day in what can only be considered the relative blink of an eye. Similarly unexpected was the success of Canadian producers in extracting oil (in the form of bitumen, a semi-solid petroleum substance) from the tar sands of Alberta. Today, the notion that oil is becoming scarce has all but vanished, and so have the benefits of a new era of petroleum plenty being touted, until recently, by energy analysts and oil company executives.

“The picture in terms of resources in the ground is a good one,” Bob Dudley, the chief executive officer of oil giant BP, typically…
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The Traitorous 8 and Birth of Silicon Valley

 

The Traitorous 8 and Birth of Silicon Valley

Courtesy of Wade of Investing Caffeine

Traitorous 8 Group

Over my 25 year investment career, I’ve made quite a few technology investments and visited dozens of Silicon Valley companies. I heard bits and pieces about the story of the Traitorous 8, but I never fully comprehended the technology revolution they started. Out of intellectual curiosity, I decided to delve a little deeper into the topic.

At the heart of this topic is a small device about the size of a fingernail. This object has several different names and can be quite confusing. The official name is an integrated circuit or IC, but usually it’s referred to as a chip, microchip, or semiconductor. These chips have become ubiquitous, scattered invisibly throughout our daily lives in our cars, computers, TVs, cell phones, appliances, and remote controls (an average household is home to about 1,000 of these semiconductors). Despite most people taking the microchip for granted, this diminutive piece of silicon created from our beach’s sand have contributed the largest burst of wealth creation in human history.

Before gaining a true understanding into the birth of Silicon Valley, we have to better understand the historical context in which the global technology capital was created – this takes us back to the early twentieth century when the vacuum tube was inventedin 1904. Before Al Gore invented the Internet, we needed computers, and before we had personal computers, we needed integrated circuits, and before we had integrated circuits we had vacuum tubes (see chart below). Vacuum tubes were the electronic circuitry components required to make telephones, radios and televisions work in the early 1900s.

Tech History & the Vacuum Tube

Tech History

The vacuum tube was invented in 1904 by an English physicist named John Ambrose Fleming. Like semiconductors, the main function of a Vacuum tube is to control the flow of electric current. More specifically, a vacuum tube controls the current transferred between cathode and anode to make a circuit. Vacuum tubes were used for amazing applications, but in modern society this technology has been largely replaced by semiconductors, primarily because of cost, scalability and reliability…
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“There Won’t Be A Wave Of Layoffs,” “No Stimulus Is Needed”: China Insists That No One Panic

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

It would funny to watch as Chinese policymakers attempt to pull off the impossible if it weren’t so downright frightening.

Beijing, long the global engine for growth and trade, finds itself at a rather vexing crossroads. NBS protestations to the contrary, the Chinese economy is decelerating rapidly in the face of a massive rebalancing towards consumption and services-led growth. The country’s move away from a smokestack economy has for all intents and purposes reset assumptions regarding how we think about global trade.

When the perpetual commodities bid from China disappeared, it became quickly apparent that sluggish growth may simply be something the world has to live with for the foreseeable future – especially considering the malaise gripping Brazil and Russia and uncertainties around whether or not India will be able to carry the entirety of the BRICS’ burden.

The problem for the Chinese is that although they have far greater counter-cyclical policy room than does the US or Europe, they’re effectively hamstrung by a massive debt burden that amounts to more than 250% of GDP. You don’t necessarily want to go adding more leverage at a time when an acute overcapacity problem and the attendant slump in commodities has created a situation wherein entire swaths of the industrial sector aren’t able to service their existing debt.

But without more leverage, the economic deceleration becomes even more acute. Which leads us to the conclusion we drew long ago: China is attempting to deleverage and re-leverage at the same time – and that’s obviously impossible. You can see examples of this policy schizophrenia everywhere. For instance, in January, TSF grew by a massive $500 billion and yet meanwhile, Beijing is busy discussing how to kill off unprofitable, highly indebted “zombie companies.”

The proverbial cherry on top is the yuan devaluation debacle which makes it difficult for the PBoC to ease further if they want to avoid exacerbating expectations of a much weaker currency – expectations that led directly to massive capital outflows last year.

It’s with all of that in mind that we bring you comments from two prominent Chinese officials, People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan and Xiao Yaqing, who oversees the government commission that looks after state assets.

Speaking on the…
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Japan Is “Fixed” – Machine Orders Suddenly Spike By Most In Over 13 Years

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The Aussies did it with their employment data (and then admitted it), and now we see Japan’s Economic and Social reserch Institute post the most ridiculous macro print ever. Over 4 standard deviations from expectations and almost double the highest expectations, Japan Machinery Orders spiked 15.0% MoM – the biggest since Jan 2003.

Up 15% MoM versus expectations for a 1.9% rise… the biggest beat since Feb 2009 (oddly coincidental given everything that is going on)

 

Core machine orders Rise 8.4% y/y; est. -3.8%, Cabinet Office announces figures in Tokyo.

Some context…

We presume this means that Japan is “fixed” and there will be no need for additional extraordinarily idiotically experimental monetary policy this week?





Is There a Limit to Draghi’s Negative Interest Rate Madness?

Courtesy of Mish.

On Thursday, ECB president Mario Draghi lowered the deposit rate on money parked at the ECB to -0.4% from -0.3%. Draghi also cut the main refinancing rate by 5 basis points to 0%.

How low can he go? Is there a limit?

There is indeed a practical limit to negative interest rate madness, and it’s likely we have already hit that limit. Let’s investigate why.

Euribor Limit

All hell would break loose if rates fell lower than -1.0%, and perhaps well before that. This has to do with Euribor.

What is Euribor?

Euribor is the rate offered to prime banks on euro-denominated interbank term loans. It is based on the average interest rates of about 50 European banks that lend and borrow from each other.

Euribor Rates


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Much More Than Just Trump

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Authored by StraightLineLogic’s Robert Gore via The Burning Platform blog,

It started in Vietnam. The men who chose to fight for America on Vietnam’s front lines did so for honorable reasons. While there was no immediate threat to the US, some were concerned about falling dominoes and the march of communism. Some were animated by an idealistic desire to secure democracy and liberty in a land that had never known those blessings. Perhaps some went believing that if the leaders of the country said this war was in America’s best interests, it must be so. For those who were drafted, they did, perhaps reluctantly, what they perceived to be their duty.

Whatever their motivations, those who fought found their idealism shattered. Many of the South Vietnamese they thought they were fighting “for” despised the US as the latest in a succession of imperial powers using a corrupt, puppet government as the cat’s paw for its domination. Short of total immolation of both friend and foe—it was often impossible to differentiate the two—there was no effective strategy against guerrilla warfare waged by the enemy fighting on its home turf. The Vietcong proved as difficult to vanquish as hordes of ants and mosquitos at a picnic. The victory the generals and politicians insisted was just another few months and troop deployments down the road never came, and the soldiers knew it never would, long before reality was acknowledged and the troops brought home.

Brutal disillusionment gave way to abject disgust when they returned stateside. They cynically, but understandably, concluded that the antiwar protests had more to do with fear of the draft (there were no major protests after Nixon ended it), and readily available sex and drugs than heartfelt opposition to the war. That conclusion was buttressed by their reception from the antiwar crowd. If they were expecting support and understanding, they didn’t get it. The US victims of the war, those who fought it—the wounded, the physically and psychologically maimed, the dead—were branded as subhuman thugs and baby killers. It was the first time in the history of the US that a substantial swath of the population turned on those who had fought its wars. Those who fought regarded (or, in the case of the dead, would have regarded) those doing the branding…
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60-Day Delinquency Rate in Packaged Subprime Auto Loans Highest in Nearly Two Decades

Courtesy of Mish.

“Subprime Flashback”

A High level of missed payments for recent subprime loans made recently has raised concerns about underwriting standards. As standards have weakened, so have delinquencies.

The 60-plus day delinquency rate among subprime car loans that have been packaged into bonds over the past five years climbed to 5.16% in February, according to Fitch Ratings, the highest level in nearly two decades.

In a “Subprime Flashback” the Wall Street Journal reports Early Defaults Are a Warning Sign for Auto Sales.

To understand how far the U.S. auto business has been reaching for new customers, consider the early performance of a bond issue called Skopos Auto Receivables Trust 2015-2.

The bonds were built out of subprime auto loans and sold in November. Through February, about 12% of the underlying loans were at least 30 days past due, a third of which were more than 60 days delinquent. In another 2.6% of loans, borrowers had filed for bankruptcy or the vehicles had been repossessed.

About 12% of the loans backing bonds sold in November by Exeter Finance Corp., another Dallas-based subprime lender, were more than 30 days delinquent through February, according to the company.

Loan payments have been slipping as well for the broader group of subprime borrowers who make up a big slice of the auto market. The 60-plus day delinquency rate among subprime car loans that have been packaged into bonds over the past five years climbed to 5.16% in February, according to Fitch Ratings, the highest level in nearly two decades.

“What’s driving record auto sales is not the economy, but record auto lending,” said Ben Weinger, who runs hedge fund 3-Sigma Value LP in New York and who has bearish bets on some auto lenders.

The total volume of U.S. auto loans is now at an all-time high of close to $1 trillion, with a fifth made to subprime borrowers, according to Equifax. Many of those loans are repackaged into bonds to free up capital so that new loans can be made.

Issuance of bonds backed by U.S. subprime auto loans topped $27 billion last year, the highest in a decade and up 25% from 2014, according to Asset-Backed Alert, an industry newsletter that has flagged concerns around Skopos and other “deep subprime” lenders.

Some 87% of the loans were to


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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.

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About Phil:

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

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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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