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

Perception

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 Mint.com 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.

THE NEWEST CHAPTER IN OUR MONETARY HISTORY

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

Why are Atlantic and Gulf coast property owners building back bigger after hurricanes?

 

Why are Atlantic and Gulf coast property owners building back bigger after hurricanes?

Surf threatens beach houses on Dauphin Island, Alabama, September 4, 2011 during Tropical Storm Lee. AP Photo/Dave Martin

Courtesy of Eli Lazarus, University of Southampton and Evan B. Goldstein, University of North Carolina – Greensboro

U.S. coastal counties are densely populated and extensivel...



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Zero Hedge

Russian And South Korean Fighter Jets Face Off In "Mid-Air Confrontation"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

For the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian jets flying through South Korean airspace provoked the South Korean military into a "midair confrontation" that involved firing hundreds of warning shots. All told, South Korean jets fired 360 machine-gun rounds and at least 20 flares, Bloomberg reports.

Three Russian military planes (two Tu-95 bombers and one A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraf...



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Insider Scoop

The Daily Biotech Pulse: Acadia Schizophrenia Drug Fails, Viveve Plummets, Eisai Gets Breakthrough Therapy Designation

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Here's a roundup of top developments in the biotech space over the last 24 hours.

Scaling The Peaks

(Biotech stocks hitting 52-week highs on July 22)

  • Acasti Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: ACST)
  • Apellis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: APLS)
  • Arcturus...


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Kimble Charting Solutions

Is Crude Oil Sending a Bearish Message to the Stock Market?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Crude Oil (NYSEARCA: USO) and the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP: .INX) have peaked and bottomed together several times in the past 9 months. See points (1) and (2) on the chart above.

In summary, the correlation between Oil and the stock market has been quite interesting and demands investors attention.

Crude Oil has been creating lower highs of late and is breaking price support at (3).

If the correlation remains the same, Crude Oil may very well be sending a bearish message to stocks.

Tricky spot for active investors – careful here.

...

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Chart School

RTT Plus Chart Book (Sneak Peak)

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

The magic of support and resistance channel lines and how they direct price. Here are some chart disclosed to members via the RTT Plus service. All charts are a few weeks old. 


XAU bound by parallel channel lines.


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Newmont Mining support from Gann Angles.



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US Dollar index (DXY) dominate cycle ...

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Digital Currencies

Cryptos Suddenly Panic-Bid, Bitcoin Back Above $10k

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Following further selling pressure overnight, someone (or more than one) has decided to buy-the-dip in cryptos this morning, sending Bitcoin (and most of the altcoins) soaring...

A sea of green...

Source: Coin360

Bitcoin surged back above $10,000...

Ethereum bounced off suppo...



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Biotech

DNA testing companies offer telomere testing - but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?

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

 

DNA testing companies offer telomere testing – but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?

A telomere age test kit from Telomere Diagnostics Inc. and saliva. collection kit from 23andMe. Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Patricia Opresko, University of Pittsburgh and Elise Fouquerel, ...



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ValueWalk

Professor Shubha Ghosh On The Current State Of Gene Editing

 

Professor Shubha Ghosh On The Current State Of Gene Editing

Courtesy of Jacob Wolinsky, ValueWalk

ValueWalk’s Q&A session with Professor Shubha Ghosh, a professor of law and the director of the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute. In this interview, Professor Ghosh discusses his background, the Human Genome Project, the current state of gene editing, 3D printing for organ operations, and gene editing regulation.

...

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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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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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