Archive for 2017

First Black Medal Of Honor Recipient’s Act of ‘Defiance’: He Never Let The Flag Touch The Ground

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As we reported previously, Sunday afternoon's round of NFL games included players from nearly every team joining the "take a knee" protest during the National Anthem, while many others locked arms in solidarity with players who decided to take a knee, or – in the case of the Pittsburg Steelers – remained in the locker room, and thus weren't visible to the public. Notably, Steeler and ex-Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva seemed to have defied the team decision to opt out of the anthem by waiting in the locker room (with the exception of head coach Mike Tomlin, who stood on the field). Villaneuva, who served three tours in Afghanistan, stood visibly outside the tunnel with his hand over his heart during the The Star-Spangled Banner.

In Philadelphia, Eagles and Giants players and coaches locked arms as a massive American flag was raised over the field and military jets performed a flyover. A few players raised fists or knelt, according to the New York Times. Several players on the Bills and the Broncos also took a knee, as well as players from both teams in the Patriots vs. Texans game. At least eight Detroit Lions knelt during the anthem which ended with singer Rico LaVelle kneeling with his fist in the air upon closing the national anthem. Across the league, well over 100 players took part in the anthem protest, and the controversy is now impacting other sports as well, including the NBA and MLB.

With Trump's Sunday morning tweets fueling the controversy further, and with teams having to decide how to approach the issue, it would be helpful if Americans were reminded of the first black man in history to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. Whereas players across the NFL are now either defiantly taking a knee or opting out of respectfully commemorating the flag by hiding in the locker room, ironically, the first African-American Medal of Honor recipient nearly made the ultimate sacrifice out of his own personal respect for the flag and all that it represents. 

Sergeant William H. Carney received the nation's highest honor during the Civil War for rescuing the American flag and carrying it reverently in the midst of impossible odds while being shot multiple times


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Trumps Expands Travel Ban To Eight Countries, Adds North Korea, Venezuela

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

On Sunday evening, President Trump announced he would replace his controversial travel ban with a targeted list of restrictions that will enhance vetting for nationals from eight countries, and restrict or prohibit entry of citizens from North Korea and Venezuela among others, to the United States as part of a sweeping new travel ban that also slaps restrictions on Iran, Chad, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia – countries that hardly have a "thriving" tourism industry with the US.

“As president, I must act to protect the security and interests of the United States and its people,” Trump said in the proclamation. Individuals who fall under the Supreme Court's "bona fide" exception can still apply for visas until Oct. 18. This would allow a foreign grandparent of a U.S. citizen to be granted the benefit of travel until this date.

Speaking to reporters earlier, Bloomberg noted that Trump said “the tougher, the better,” on the restrictions. During his presidential campaign, Trump spoke often of “extreme vetting” of those wanting to enter the U.S., and on Sunday he tweeted, “We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet.”

While Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia were part of the president's original travel ban, it has removed travel restrictions on Sudan, while adding Chad, Iraq, Venezuela and North Korea.  The addition of latter two nations broadens the restrictions from the original, mostly Muslim-majority list. Though Iraq is not part of the list of targeted nations, the Department of Homeland Security said that Iraqi nationals should "be subject to additional scrutiny to determine if they pose risks to the national security or public safety of the United States." 

The officials say these states failed to comply with the U.S. information-sharing requirements that aim to make vetting processes stronger. 

Some states were denied because of their identity management and information sharing deficiencies, some have substantial terrorist organizations in their region that add to the threat level of admitting their citizens into the U.S., and others have failed to comply whatsoever with the information agreements.

The restrictions are “necessary” and conditions-based with the aim of protecting Americans by having stronger vetting standards, one senior official said.

Changes to the list


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Jared Kushner Reportedly Used Private Email For White House Business

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As if the flow of news on this warm September weekend wasn’t hectic enough thanks to President Trump’s decision to pick a fight with professional sports, Politico is out with the latest bombshell report alleging some nefarious act was committed by one of Trump’s closest advisors, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Politico reports that, in an ironic twist, Kushner continued to use a private email account that had been set up during the transition to communicate with fellow administration officials during Trump’s first nine months in office, even as Trump continued to bash his former rival’s mishandling of classified information on a private server during her time at the State Department.

While Politico places the implication of wrongdoing front and center in its story, it waits until lower down to provide a key piece of context from the White House communications department: "Kushner sent less than 100 emails from this account, and those that were sent consisted mostly of quips about news items and minor commentary."

Liberals like to talk about the concept of false equivalence, especially in the context of how the media covered the Clinton email scandal vs. coverage of Trump’s more controversial pronouncements and business arrangements. That's what this Kushner story appears to be. Judging by the description, it’s clear that Kushner didn’t rely on his private account to conduct public business, and only used it to send a handful of messages. More to the point, while he may have violated public-information guidelines, he did not improperly handle classified information.

“Mr. Kushner uses his White House email address to conduct White House business,” Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for Kushner, said in a statement Sunday. “Fewer than 100 emails from January through August were either sent to or returned by Mr. Kushner to colleagues in the White House from his personal email account. These usually forwarded news articles or political commentary and most often occurred when someone initiated the exchange by sending an email to his personal rather than his White House address.”

Politico also noted that Kushner’s use of a private email account was part of a larger pattern of Trump administration aides using personal email accounts for government business. Kushner


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If Amazon Takes Over The World…

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Scott Galloway op-ed via The Wall Street Journal,

Four tech giants – Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google – have added $2 trillion to their combined market capitalization since the 2007-09 recession, a sum that approaches the GDP of India. The concentrated wealth and power of these companies has alarmed many observers, who see their growth as a threat not just to consumers and other businesses but to American society itself.

After spending most of the past decade researching these companies, I’ve come to the conclusion that our fears are misplaced in focusing on what I call the Four. We should instead be worrying about the One: one firm that will come to dominate search, hardware and cloud computing, that will control a vast network of far-flung businesses, that can ravage entire sectors of the economy simply by announcing its interest in them.

That firm is Amazon. Jeff Bezos has been disciplined and single-minded in his vision of investing in the most enduring consumer wants—price, convenience and selection. Coupled with deft execution, it has made Amazon the most impressive and feared firm in business.

As for the other three, don’t be misled by their current successes. They are falling behind as the One marches ahead.

Google seems to have a commanding market position when it comes to search functions. As European Union regulators pointed out in their recent antitrust finding, Google has an astonishing 90% share in the category in Europe. Its share in the U.S. is 64%. But it’s a very different story in the narrower, and more lucrative, domain of product search. In 2015, more product searches in the U.S. began on Amazon than on search engines, including Google (44% vs. 34%), according to BloomReach. A year later, Amazon’s share grew to 55%. Amazon could reasonably be described as a search engine with a warehouse attached to it.

For years, Apple has been the undisputed king of hardware innovation. But the prize for the most disruptive recent device goes to the hands-free, voice-controlled Amazon Echo speaker and its buttery voice, Alexa. Research firm Gartner predicts that 30% of computing will be screenless by 2020. So far, Apple looks


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Merkel Wins But Grand Coalition Loses: Major Parties Suffer Worst-Ever Results, AfD Solidly in 3rd Place

Courtesy of Mish.

Angela Merkel won her fourth term but the results were not pretty either for Merkel’s CDU/CSU party or SPD, her Grand Coalition partner following the last election.

Support for major parties nose-dived and the Eurosceptic AfD party is now the third largest party in Germany.

Rather than enter another Grand Coalition, SPD has indicated it will go into opposition.

The above chart from the Financial Times.

With SPD bowing out, Merkel has two unfortunate choices: Enter a three-way coalition or form a minority government. The latter would take pot shots from all sides.

I discussed this setup on September 19, in AfD In 3rd Place in German Election Polls: Unhappy Political Marriages.

If SDP chooses opposition, Merkel could form a majority government via an alliance of CDU (36), the Greens (7), and FDP (9). Currently, that alliance would have a bare majority with 52% of the vote.

Regardless of what happens, Merkel will be in a much-weakened position compared to now.

And other than a miracle CDU/FDP finish that achieves more than 50%, it may take quite some time after the election for the next government to form.

In response to that article, a European reader told me to stop writing about Europen politics because I don’t know what I am talking about.

Stark Choice


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“It’s Trump’s Fault” – US Employers Cut Bonuses For First Time In 7 Years

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As stagnant wages and rising tuition and medical costs squeeze middle class families, Bloomberg reports that US employers cut employee bonuses this year for the first time in seven years, further straining household budgets despite an ostensibly bright economic outlook. Bonuses slipped a tenth of a percentage point to 12.7% of total compensation this year, according to data from Aon Hewitt, which conducts an annual survey of more than 1,000 employers.

Aon said that while the move may not be dramatic, it's confusing considering the relatively healthy state of the economy. What's more worrying is that the cuts come as part of a broader retrenchment.

“It’s not a dramatic change, but it is counterintuitive,” said Ken Abosch, who heads compensation at Aon Hewitt.

“What’s even more surprising and alarming is that organizations are pulling back their projected spending in 2018,” he added. Companies expect to spend 12.5% of total compensation on bonuses next year, the survey found.

And in the spirit of “the buck stops here,” employers are blaming President Trump for the cuts, explaining that the uncertainty surrounding policies from tax reform to health care is making long-term planning difficult. Fears of an imminent recession have also inspired some employers to pare back compensation spending, risking losing their most valuable employees in the process.

“Despite the strength of the economy, a tight job market, and strong corporate performance, employers have resisted raising wages out of fear of increasing their fixed costs. Those surveyed said they had given out, on average, 2.9 percent raises this year and expect to give around the same next year. The specter of a recession, or even just a bad year, has kept salary increases at that level for the last five years. “There’s just not any appetite to budge on salary spending,” said Abosch. In that kind of climate, the bonus is a much more alluring way to reward workers: It’s not permanent, so companies can choose to hand out bonuses during boom times or withhold them when budgets tighten. Workers who rely on their regular earnings to pay the bills would be justifiably angered by wage cuts, but they may not expect to get a bonus every year.”

And


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OPEC’s Premature Victory Lap

 

OPEC’s Premature Victory Lap

By Nick Cunningham, Oil Price 

OPEC’s Premature Victory Lap

OPEC met on Friday to review the progress of their work over the past 9 months, assessing whether or not they should extend their current production cuts beyond the March 2018 expiration date.

OPEC gathered in Vienna at a time when the oil market arguably looks tighter than it has in a very long time. Demand is growing at a rapid clip – increasing at a 1.6 million-barrel-per-day rate this year – global supply fell in August, and inventories have drained at a much swifter pace in recent months. Kuwait’s oil minister Issam Almarzooq said that global crude and refined product stockpiles have “massively drained.”

“We are on the right track and there is now more light at the end of the tunnel,” Almarzooq said at the start of the meeting on Friday. “This is not the time to take our foot off the accelerator."

Part of the reason for the improved outlook in the oil market is the result of OPEC’s recent performance. Compliance with the agreed upon production cuts jumped at the end of this summer, which also coincided with an unexpected drop in Libya’s output.

One of the top agenda items at the meeting held on September 22 was to monitor compliance, and OPEC officials were clearly much happier than they were a few months ago.

In fact, at its Friday meeting, OPEC took a victory lap of sorts, trumpeting the impressive compliance rate from its members. “OPEC and participating Non-OPEC producing countries recorded the highest conformity ever with their voluntary adjustments in production, achieving a level of 116%” in August, OPEC said in a statement. The improved compliance rate “underscores the resolute commitment of participating producing countries to cooperate towards the rebalancing of the market."

But they are also trying to get a handle on the output of Libya and Nigeria, two countries that were exempted from the deal and have collectively added about 550,000 bpd since the original deal was agreed to last year.


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Two Key Indicators Show The S&P 500 Becoming The New “Cash”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Daniel Nevins via FFWiley.com,

Pension plan administrators do it. Their actuaries and consultants do it. Professional endowment and foundation investors do it. Financial advisors do it. Private investors may or may not do it, but they probably should.

Do what?

All of these folks already are or should be asking themselves the following question: What’s a reasonable expectation for the long-term return on a broad-market equity investment?

Professionals usually answer the question using complex models, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but we’ll keep it simple here. Simple often beats the snot out of a long white paper, and two recent developments beg for simple.

First, on Thursday the Fed released its flow-of-funds data, which includes an estimate for the household sector’s overall asset allocation. Data show allocations to corporate equities reaching 25.1% of total household (and nonprofit) assets, a level only before seen between Q4 1998 and Q3 2000. Here’s the full history:

spy returns chart 1

Now, you may say 25% is just a number, and we would agree, but only to a point. We don’t think the household sector’s current allocations tell us anything about the market’s near-term direction. In fact, we don’t detect any of the most common precursors to major market turning points, as discussed here.

But we do think household equity allocations offer clues to long-term returns. Consider the next chart, which compares the allocation data to the corresponding S&P 500 returns over subsequent periods of six, eight and ten years:

spy returns chart 2

You’ll decide for yourself, of course, how to interpret the chart, but we’ll entertain three possibilities.

First, you might rely on a few instances in which S&P 500 returns reached almost 4% after the equity allocation was 25% or more. Compared to today’s miniscule bond yields, 4% looks respectable. If stocks do, indeed, return 4% over the next six to ten years, that could be higher than the return on any other major asset class, which probably explains how stocks got so expensive in the first place.

Second, you might mentally project the scatter plot’s downward trend out


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Angela Merkel wins a fourth term in office – but it won’t be an easy one

 

Angela Merkel wins a fourth term in office – but it won't be an easy one

Courtesy of Patricia Hogwood, University of Westminster

Angela Merkel will continue as chancellor of Germany. But following an election that saw the rise of smaller parties – most notably the far right – her fourth term will probably be an eventful one in ways she would not wish for.

Early exit polls show the Union parties (Merkel’s CDU and sister party CSU) in top place with just under 33%. They did nevertheless lose almost 9% over their previous election result of 2013.

The Social Democratic Party (SPD), coalition partner to the Union parties, finished a distant second, with just over 20% of the vote. For the SPD, this is a historic low: almost 6% down on the last election. Party leader Martin Schulz failed to come up to scratch in a lacklustre campaign.

Four smaller parties appear to have managed to meet the 5% threshold to qualify for seats in parliament.

The right-wing populist party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), achieved a dubious milestone in post-war German history. With a vote share expected to be just over 13%, some 2% of which was gained in the last days of the campaign, it will be the first overtly far-right nationalist party to enter the federal parliament.

The Left Party (die Linke) and the Green Party (Bündnis ‘90/die Grünen) made marginal gains to score 9% and just over 9% respectively. Big gains went to one party that had been more or less written off after the last election and to another that many commentators hoped never to see in parliament at federal level. The liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) rose from the ashes to return to parliament under their charismatic new leader Christian Lindner. With 10.5% of the vote, the party more than doubled its tally of the last election.

Forming a government

The new government will need to control 316 seats in the parliament to achieve the majority needed to take office. While probably technically possible, a continuation of the current Grand Coalition (GroKo) between CDU/CSU and SPD now seems unlikely.

Having sent mixed messages before the election, the…
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NASCAR Team Owners Say They Won’t Tolerate National Anthem Protests

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

In a stark variation from scenes of protest observed during performances of national anthems at today's football games, the AP reports that no drivers, crew or other team members participated in a protest during the national anthem to start the NASCAR Cup series race Sunday in Loudon, New Hampshire. It adds that several team owners and executives said they wouldn’t condone "anyone in their organizations" protesting during the anthem amid ongoing protests by sports players at football and baseball games in the latest feud involving president Trump, suggesting that this latest form of protest is split along cultural and geographic lines.

Richard Childress, who was Dale Earnhardt’s longtime team owner, said of protesting, “It’ll get you a ride on a Greyhound bus.” Childress said he told his team that “anybody that works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people gave their lives for it. This is America.

Hall of Fame driver and former NASCAR champion Richard Petty took it one step further, and told the AP that “anybody that don’t stand up for the anthem oughta be out of the country. Period. What got ’em where they’re at? The United States.” When asked if a protester at Richard Petty Motorsports would be fired, he said, “You’re right.”

The sentiment, however, wasn't uniform and at least one team owner, Chip Ganassi- member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America – said he supports Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s comments. Tomlin said before the Steelers played on Sunday that players would remain in the locker room and that “we’re not going to let divisive times or divisive individuals affect our agenda.”

The comments from the NASCAR owners come as numerous NFL players and owners took part in protests at games across the country after Trump on Friday slammed players who kneel rather than stand during the U.S. anthem. "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b—- off the field right now,'" Trump said during a Friday rally. "'He is fired.'"





 
 
 

Zero Hedge

Will The US Slap Sanctions On Nord Stream 2?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Nick Cunningham via OilPrice.com,

There is a growing push in the U.S. Congress to slap sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

The pipeline under construction would carry Russian natural gas to Germany, and has been a lightning rod of controversy both in Europe and across the Atlantic. Many governments and officials from Eastern Europe fear deeper dependence on Russia for gas supplies, a sentiment echoed by the U.S. government. Meanwhile, many in Western Europe are less concerned,...



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Phil's Favorites

US is already fighting a conflict with Iran - an economic war that is hurting the wrong people

 

Embed from Getty Images

 

US is already fighting a conflict with Iran – an economic war that is hurting the wrong people

Courtesy of David Cortright, University of Notre Dame

Many are worried about the risk of war with Iran after the Trump administration leaked discussions of a troop deployment in response to claimed threats to U.S. warships in the region.

And in r...



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Insider Scoop

Jefferies Sees 60-Percent Upside In Aphria Shares, Says Buy The Dip

Courtesy of Benzinga.

After a red-hot start to 2019, Canadian cannabis producer Aphria Inc (NYSE: APHA) has run out of steam, tumbling more than 31 percent in the past three months.

Despite the recent weakness, one Wall Street analyst said Friday that the stock has 30-percent upside potential. 

The Analyst

Jefferies analyst ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

DAX (Germany) About To Send A Bearish Message To The S&P 500?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Is the DAX index from Germany about to send a bearish message to stocks in Europe and the States? Sure could!

This chart looks at the DAX over the past 9-years. It’s spent the majority of the past 8-years inside of rising channel (1), creating a series of higher lows and higher highs.

It looks to have created a “Double Top” as it was kissing the underside of the rising channel last year at (2).

After creating the potential double top, the DAX index has continued to create a series of lower highs, while experiencing a bearish divergence with the S...



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Chart School

Brexit Joke - Cant be serious all the time

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Alistair Williams comedian nails it, thank god for good humour! Prime Minister May the negotiator. Not!


Alistair Williams Comedian youtube

This is a classic! ha!







Fundamentals are important, and so is market timing, here at readtheticker.com we believe a combination of Gann Angles, ...

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Digital Currencies

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream - the battle is on to bring them under global control

 

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream – the battle is on to bring them under global control

The high seas are getting lower. dianemeise

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

The 21st-century revolutionaries who have dominated cryptocurrencies are having to move over. Mainstream financial institutions are adopting these assets and the blockchain technology that enables them, in what ...



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Biotech

DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

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

 

DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

A map of DNA with the double helix colored blue, the landmarks in green, and the start points for copying the molecule in red. David Gilbert/Kyle Klein, CC BY-ND

Courtesy of David M. Gilbert, Florida State University

...



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ValueWalk

More Examples Of "Typical Tesla "wise-guy scamminess"

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Stanphyl Capital’s letter to investors for the month of March 2019.

rawpixel / Pixabay

Friends and Fellow Investors:

For March 2019 the fund was up approximately 5.5% net of all fees and expenses. By way of comparison, the S&P 500 was up approximately 1.9% while the Russell 2000 was down approximately 2.1%. Year-to-date 2019 the fund is up approximately 12.8% while the S&P 500 is up approximately 13.6% and the ...



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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

Excerpt:

The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

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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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