Archive for January, 2017

Is Warren Buffett A Closet Stoic?

By Guest Post. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Objective judgment, at this very moment.

Unselfish action, now at this very moment.

Willing acceptance – now at this very moment –of all external events.

That’s all you need

— Marcus Aurelius

Successful Investing is half art half science and, “What’s needed is a sound intellectual framework for making decisions and the ability to keep emotions from corroding that framework.” Warren Buffett. And Stoicism provides the tools needed to help you keep your emotions in check and prevent them from corroding the intellectual framework.

Warren Buffett

Image source: Video Screenshot
Warren Buffett

What is Stoicism?

New York Times bestselling author Ryan Holiday refers to it as; “A tool in the pursuit of self-mastery, perseverance, and wisdom: something one uses to live a great life, rather than some esoteric field of academic inquiry”.

The well-known Stoics, Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus, would focus on a series of questions: “How do I handle my anger” “Why am I afraid of death?” “How can I deal with the difficult situations I face?” “What is the best way to live?” “How should I handle the success and power I hold?”

In their writings and teachings, the Stoics struggled to answer these questions in a practical way.

They framed their work in three critical disciplines:

The Discipline of Perception: how you see and perceive the world around us.

The Discipline of Action: The decisions and actions we take – and to what end.

The Discipline of Will: How we deal with the things we cannot change, attain clear and convincing judgment, and come to a true understanding of our place in the world.

“By controlling our perceptions, the Stoics tell us, we can find mental clarity. In directing our actions properly and justly, we’ll be effective. In utilizing and aligning our will, we will find the wisdom and perspective to deal with anything the world puts before us.” – Ryan Holiday


In Robert G. Hagstrom’s excellent book, INVESTING: The last liberal Art, he tells the story of how most investment analysts perceived Amazon back in 2002 to be a bricks and mortar book retailer; ‘Amazon appears to be massively overpriced relative to the brick and mortar bookstores’. ‘Conversely, the bulls looked at Amazon and saw something different. To them, Amazon didn’t look like a Barnes…
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News You Can Use From Phil’s Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

Dollar Hits 12-Week Low on Trump, Nikkei to Slide: Markets Wrap (Bloomberg)

Asian stocks fell for a second day, led by declines in Japan and Hong Kong, after the dollar capped its worst month since March as the Trump administration reiterated its preference for a weaker currency.

ETFs could see $1 trillion in inflows over the coming year (Market Watch)

Exchange-traded funds have long been one of the hottest items on Wall Street, with investors pouring billions of dollars into them in recent years, favoring them over mutual funds in what is amounting to a massive industry upheaval. What’s more, the shift may only be gaining steam.

This Is Who Will Pay for Shutting Down North Sea Oil Rigs (Bloomberg)

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s $3.8 billion sale of North Sea oil and gas fields creates a model for further transactions in a region where the question of who pays to remove decades-old offshore platforms has been an obstacle for other deals.

U.S. Consumer Confidence Eases From More Than 15-Year High (Bloomberg)

Consumer confidence retreated in January from a more than 15-year high as Americans tempered their economic expectations and waited for President Donald Trump and lawmakers to deliver on promises to boost employment and jump-start growth, data from the New York-based Conference Board showed Tuesday.

4 signs a stock-market selloff in February may be brewing (Market Watch)

U.S. stocks on Monday descended significantly for the first time in the Donald Trump postelection era that delivered a multimonth shot in the arm to equity investors.

Stock Investors Are Finally Starting to Buy Hedges Again (Bloomberg)

With the U.S. equity market waking from its slumber, investors are finally taking the hint to hedge their post-election gains.

Treasuries Rise as Trump Comments Spark Losses in Dollar, Stocks (Bloomberg)

Treasuries rose Tuesday, pushing yields to a one-week low, as President Trump’s allegation that other countries engage in currency devaluation drove down the dollar and weighed on stocks.

Yellen Urged to Halt Talks on Global Bank Rules for Trump Review (Bloomberg)

A key lawmaker wants U.S. banking regulators to

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Vetr Crowd Delivers An Upgrade After UPS Ships Underwhelming Earnings

Courtesy of Benzinga.

On Wednesday, the Vetr crowd upgraded their rating for United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE: UPS) from 3 stars (Hold), issued eight days ago, to 4 stars (Buy). Crowd sentiment for the stock was unanimously positive, with 100 percent of Vetr user ratings bullish.

UPS posted its quarterly earnings before the market opened on Tuesday. The report showed the company fell short of analysts estimates on both EPS and revenue for the tail end of 2016. That same day, analysts with BMO Capital downgraded UPS from Outperform to Market Perform.

In response to the report, shares of the package delivery company took a 11.7 percent dip to a low of $103.29 from its Monday closing price of $117. The stock gained a little ground near the end of Wednesday’s session, finishing the day around $105.35.

See how crowdsourced ratings could help you time the market.

Currently, the Vetr crowd’s average target price for the stock is up at $117.40, which is just below the average analyst target price of $118.08. Less than 2 percent of Vetr users are holding UPS in their watch lists.

Latest Ratings for UPS

Date Firm Action From To
Feb 2017 BMO Capital Downgrades Outperform Market Perform
Dec 2016 Aegis Capital Initiates Coverage On Neutral
Dec 2016 Loop Capital Initiates Coverage On Hold

View More Analyst Ratings for UPS

View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: VetrUpgrades Price Target Crowdsourcing Analyst Ratings

Twilio Crosses $30 After JMP Upgrade

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Twilio Inc (NYSE: TWLO) shares are trading higher by $1.00 (3.6 percent) at $29.83 in Wednesday’s session. The catalyst for the rally is an upgrade from JMP Securities, which changed their rating on the issue from Market Perform to Outperform.

The issue, which had been in a trading range from $25.98 to $30.50, has tested the upper-range in today’s session. After a higher open, it continued in that direction with the rally stalling just ahead of that level at $30.37 and reversed course.

Twilio is attempting to post its first close over $30.00 since December 28, when it ended that session at $30.21.

Posted-In: Technicals Intraday Update Movers Trading Ideas

Facebook Nears All-Time High Ahead Of Q4 Report

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Facebook Nears All-Time High Ahead Of Q4 Report

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) shares are trading higher by $1.56 at $131.88 in Wednesday’s session. After the close, the company will release its Q4 report, with Street estimates for EPS at $1.30 on revenues of $8.49 billion.

The issue has been a stellar performer in 2017. It ended 2016 at $115.05 and reached $133.14 on January 24. That’s just shy of its all-time high made on October 25 at $133.50.

The issue quickly retreated from that level and fell $7.17 from $127.17 to $120.00 on November 3, when the Street was impressed with its Q3 beat. Eventually, the issue went on to bottom on November 14 at $113.55 and set the stage for the rebound to its current level.

Obviously, investors are leaning toward the long side ahead of the report, raising expectations for a blowout quarter. Since its IPO in May 2012, the company has missed on EPS one time when it was a penny shy for Q1 2013. The company also had a negligible revenue miss in Q1 2015.

Posted-In: Technicals Intraday Update Movers Trading Ideas

Rule By Brute Force: The True Nature Of Government

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.”

-Ayn Rand

The torch has been passed to a new president.

All of the imperial powers amassed by Barack Obama and George W. Bushto kill American citizens without due process, to detain suspects indefinitely, to strip Americans of their citizenship rights, to carry out mass surveillance on Americans without probable cause, to suspend laws during wartime, to disregard laws with which he might disagree, to conduct secret wars and convene secret courts, to sanction torture, to sidestep the legislatures and courts with executive orders and signing statements, to direct the military to operate beyond the reach of the law, to act as a dictator and a tyrant, above the law and beyond any real accountability – have been inherited by Donald Trump.

Whatever kind of president Trump chooses to be, he now has the power to completely alter the landscape of this country for good or for ill.

He has this power because every successive occupant of the Oval Office has been allowed to expand the reach and power of the presidency through the use of executive orders, decrees, memorandums, proclamations, national security directives and legislative signing statements that can be activated by any sitting president.

Those of us who saw this eventuality coming have been warning for years about the growing danger of the Executive Branch with its presidential toolbox of terror that could be used—and abused—by future presidents.

The groundwork, we warned, was being laid for a new kind of government where it won’t matter if you’re innocent or guilty, whether you’re a threat to the nation or even if you’re a citizen. What will matter is what the president—or whoever happens to be occupying the Oval Office at the time—thinks. And if he or she thinks you’re a threat to the nation and should be locked up, then you’ll be locked up with no access to the protections our Constitution provides. In effect,

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The History Of Money (In One Simple Infographic)

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Today’s infographic from highlights the history of money, including the many monetary experiments that have taken place since ancient times…

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

As VisualCapitalist's Jeff Desjardins notes, some innovations have stood the test of time – precious metals, for example, have been used for thousands of years. Paper money and banknotes are also widespread in use, after first being turned to in China in 806 after a copper shortage prevented the minting of new coins.

Other experiments didn’t have much staying power. The adoption of strange currencies such as squirrel pelts, cowry shells, or parmesan cheese are only remembered for their peculiarity.

Further, other attempts to stabilize the monetary system were abandoned early as well. The original U.S. gold standard lasted just 54 years, after FDR ditched it during the Great Depression. The Bretton Woods version (gold-exchange standard) lasted even shorter, abandoned after being in place for 26 years when Nixon ended all convertibility between the U.S. dollar and gold in 1971.


Although the infographic ends with the introduction of cryptocurrency in 2009, it should be noted that the newest chapter in the history of money is taking place right before our eyes.

The “War on Cash” has been accelerating in recent years, as governments and central banks have called for the elimination of high denomination banknotes. While these anti-cash motions have also been made in many Western countries, the most vivid example of the demonetization is currently happening in India.

In November 2016, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonetized 500 and 1000 rupee notes, eliminating 86% of the country’s notes overnight. While Indians could theoretically exchange 500 and 1,000 rupee notes for higher denominations, it was only up to a limit of 4,000 rupees per person. Sums above that had to be routed through a bank account in a country where only 50% of Indians have such access.

There have been at least 112 reported deaths associated with this demonetization – including suicides and the passing of elderly people waiting in bank queues for days to exchange money. India’s largest organization of manufacturers, the All India Manufacturers Organization, also estimates in

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FATCA Needs To Go, But Unfortunately, The FATCA “Refugees” Are Never Coming Back

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Duane via Free Market Shooter blog,

GotNews posted an article yesterday about a “refugee problem” America has, referring to approximately 20,000 Americans who have renounced their citizenship under Obama’s leadership, and suggesting America “repatriate” said citizens:

America has a refugee problem. Not the Syrian refugees. No, not the Afghan ones. No, not even the Cuban refugees. I’m talking about the born-and-raised American citizens who got fed up, gave up their U.S. citizenship, and escaped Obama’s America while they still could.

Yes, that’s right: nearly 20,000 American citizens left Obama’s America and forfeited their American citizenship while Obama was President.

Nearly 20,000 U.S. citizens voluntarily gave up their rights to vote, run for office, and the freedom to pursue “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, while Obama was in office.

We shouldn’t be allowing anyone from the violent and dangerous Middle East, including so-called “refugees”, into the United States right now. The only refugees who should be entering the United States are the American refugees who fled Obama’s America. Not only do we have that duty to our fellow Americans, but they pose no threat to us like Middle Eastern “refugees” do.

What was missing from the article?  Discussion of the Obama-sponsored law that caused many citizens (mostly expats) to renounce their citizenship: FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act).

FATCA has been beaten to death by other sources, but surprisingly, very few people are aware of what it does.  The whole purpose of the law was to “crack down” on overseas tax evasion.  Simon Black of Sovereign Man did an excellent job of summarizing the net effect:

Deep within its bowels fell the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA for short. It was a sort of ‘law within a law’, and one of the dumbest in US history.

FATCA effectively commanded every single bank on the planet to enter into an information-sharing agreement with the IRS.

(Well, not so much ‘information sharing’. More like ‘information giving’. Because the US government doesn’t share anything with anyone.)

It all started based on a phony assumption that millions of Americans were hiding trillions of dollars in secret offshore accounts. And given how broke the US government is, they

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Trump’s Supreme Court Pick: Another Dilbert Persuasion Play?

Courtesy of Mish.

Donald Trump named Neil Gorsuch to succeed Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

Is “Dilbert Persuasion Theory” in play?

I use that name in reference to Scott Adams the creator of the “Dilbert” comic strip. Adams proposed that Trump says and does things so extreme, and so many extreme things at once, that all Trump has to do is move a bit the other way to have his critics on the run.

Let’s put that theory to the test today starting with The Hill article Trump Taps Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court.

Trump named Gorsuch, a well-respected conservative who sits on the Colorado-based 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, after a drama-packed day that resembled the president’s former reality show “The Apprentice.”

After narrowing his list of 21 picks to Gorsuch and Judge Thomas Hardiman of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, both men came to Washington, D.C., giving the appearance that either could be picked.

Gorsuch is likely to face a tough confirmation battle, though he was seen as a less provocative choice for the court than Bill Pryor, the circuit judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Pryor was a favorite of outside conservative groups, but his controversial views might have made it difficult for Democrats to avoid filibustering him. He has argued that gay people should be prosecuted for having sex, and that abortion should be outlawed including in cases of rape.

Although Prior did not make it to the final two, he is in the on deck circle. Pryor’s views on abortion are extreme. Here is an article that came up just today William Pryor & Abortion: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know.

Positions of Hardiman and Gorsuch

Please consider Politico excerpts on Thomas Hardiman.

While Hardiman has backed First Amendment rights in the context of political donations, he took a narrower view in a 2010 suit over an arrest for videotaping a police officer during a traffic stop, holding that there was no clearly established First Amendment right to record such an event.

Hardiman won favor with gun rights advocates for a 2013 dissent that said New Jersey was violating the Second Amendment to the Constitution by requiring those seeking to carry a handgun to demonstrate a “justifiable need” for such a permit.

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This Won’t End Well – China Skyscraper Edition

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

China has been on a skyscraper-building boom for years, but, we suspect, 2016 may have seen the mal-investment boom jump the shark.

As Goldman Sachs illustrates in the following chart, China was head, shoulders, knees, and toes above the aggregate of the rest of the world in terms of skyscraper completions in 2016…

Could record-setting skyscrapers signal economic over-expansion and a misallocation of capital?

EWN Interactive, a subscription service focused on technical analysis, thinks so. The following infographic follows the “Skyscraper Curse” through six different market tops and subsequent crashes over the past century.

It is gigantic in size, so please click here or the below image to access the legible version:

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

EWM Interactive sums up the infographic with these words:

In the market, extreme optimism results in price bubbles. One of the real-life manifestations of extremely positive social mood is the construction of enormous buildings. Market tops and skyscrapers often seem to emerge simultaneously, because both phenomena are the result of the illusion of infinite prosperity.

But extreme psychological conditions do not last very long. That is the reason why record-breaking buildings, whose construction starts during a market bubble, are often completed after the bubble’s collapse.

*  *  *

In January we noted a perfect example of the smoke-and-mirror-ness of China’s credit-fueled expansion, as a 27-storey high-rise building which was completed on November 15th 2015 was just demolished, “having been left unused for too long.”

And just this week, another illustration of Keynesian perfection as China created, then destroyed 19 massive structures, to make room for an even bigger skyscraper. The epic explosion that took place in Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei province, leveled 19 seven to 12-story structures in a controlled demolition, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported, citing local media. The city authorities are planning to demolish at least 32 buildings to make way for a new business center that will reportedly feature a 707-meter tall skyscraper, which is to be one of the tallest buildings in the world.

*  *  *

The silver-lining – now workers can clean up the mess, dig a bigger hole… and fill that in – all in the name of Keynesian “growth.”


Phil's Favorites

Buyer beware: How Libra differs from Bitcoin


Buyer beware: How Libra differs from Bitcoin

Recent revelations about the lack of privacy protections in place at the companies involved in Facebook’s new Libra crytocurrency raise concerns about how much trust users can place in Libra. (Shutterstock)

Courtesy of Alfred Lehar, University of Calgary

Facebook, the largest social network in the world, stunned the world earlier this year with the announcement of its own cryptocurrency, Libra.

The launch has raised questions about the difference between Libra and existing cryptocurrencies, as well as the implications of private companies competing with s...

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Digital Currencies

Buyer beware: How Libra differs from Bitcoin


Buyer beware: How Libra differs from Bitcoin

Recent revelations about the lack of privacy protections in place at the companies involved in Facebook’s new Libra crytocurrency raise concerns about how much trust users can place in Libra. (Shutterstock)

Courtesy of Alfred Lehar, University of Calgary

Facebook, the largest social network in the world, stunned the world earlier this year with the announcement of its own cryptocurrency, Libra.

The launch has raised questions about the difference between Libra and existing cryptocurrencies, as well as the implications of private companies competing with s...

more from Bitcoin

Zero Hedge

What's Hot In Women's Fashion?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Via Global Macro Monitor,

Capitalism at its best or worst?

We have a few questions:

1)  Does the Tariff Man get a royalty for the sale of each dress sold, and will that violate the Emolumen...

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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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The Technical Traders

Is A Price Revaluation Event About To Happen?

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Skilled technical traders must be aware that price is setting up for a breakout or breakdown event with recent Doji, Hammer
and other narrow range price bars.  These types of Japanese Candlestick patterns are warnings that price is coiling into
a tight range and the more we see them in a series, the more likely price is building up some type of explosive price breakout/breakdown move in the near future.  The ES (S&P 500 E-mini futures) chart is a perfect example of these types of price bars on the Daily chart (see below).

Tri-Star Tops, Three River Evening Star patterns, Hammers/Hangmen and Dojis are all very common near extreme price peaks and troughs.  The rea...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

India About To Experience Major Strength? Possible Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

If one invested in the India ETF (INDA) back in January of 2012, your total 7-year return would be 24%. During the same time frame, the S&P 500 made 124%. The 7-year spread between the two is a large 100%!

Are things about to improve for the INDA ETF and could it be time for the relative weakness to change? Possible!

This chart looks at the INDA/SPX ratio since early 2012. The ratio continues to be in a major downtrend.

The ratio hit a 7-year low a few months ago and this week it kissed those lows again at (1). The ratio near weeks end is attempting to...

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Insider Scoop

10 Biggest Price Target Changes For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Credit Suisse raised IHS Markit Ltd (NYSE: INFO) price target from $68 to $76. IHS Markit shares closed at $67.75 on Thursday.
  • Wedbush boosted Restoration Hardware Holdings, Inc (NYSE: RH) price target from $170 to $185. RH shares closed at $169.49 on Thursday.
  • Mizuho lifted Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ: STX) price target from $46 to $50. Seagate shares closed at $52.94 on Thursday.
  • UBS raised the price target for Weight Watchers Intern... more from Insider

Chart School

Crude Oil Cycle Bottom aligns with Saudi Oil Attack

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

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

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

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

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

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

We shall see. 


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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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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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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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