Archive for 2017

A Twist

 

A Twist 

Courtesy of Joshua Brown

?There’s been a twist in my thinking on crypto-currencies. I’m going to flesh this out shortly with a more comprehensive post but for now, I just want to mention the fact that I am no longer buying the prima facie scarcity argument for Bitcoin’s rise.

Last night I attended a very interesting crypto dinner with 20 or so of the most important software people on Wall Street, from big banks to giant hedge funds. It was super-informative and everybody got a chance to ask a lot of tough questions of the experts in attendance.

My friend Brian Kelly, who is as knowledgeable as anyone on this topic, helped confirm my thinking about the beta trade in coins / tokens. He’s killed it all year with this trade on – just playing the increase in demand for exposure to coins. I asked him his opinion on this premise:

Right now, there is a very high correlation between the price of Bitcoin and the amount of new accounts being opened on the Coinbase platform. As the new accounts have skyrocketed to north of 13 million or so, the price of a BTC has shot up along with it.

And then I took the guess that, because there are two other coins supported by Coinbase – Ethereum and Litecoin – and they sell at lower prices, that those would shoot up as well. I put myself in the headspace of a know-nothing, and said “Well, isn’t there a better chance of Litecoin going from 95 to 9,500 than there is of 17,000 Bitcoin going to 175,000 (or 10x)?” Of course there’s no way to think of this as rational, I just imagined myself as one of the crowd and put on the trade. My Litecoin went from 95 to 400 almost overnight. Look what a genius I am.

So I asked Brian the following rhetorical question: There are only three coins on the platform. If there were five or ten, isn’t it more likely that they would all individually be worth less per coin, because Coinbase retail people would have more places to spread their bets? Wouldn’t the price of Bitcoin be lower if the most popular…
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Here’s How The Dallas Police Chief Plans To Fill A Record 250 Job Openings

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Deteriorating public finances in many public cities are creating headaches for some of the country’s largest police departments. The City of Dallas, as we’ve pointed out time and time again, is in a particularly difficult position.

The Dallas Police & Fire Pension (DPFP), which covers nearly 10,000 police and firefighters, is on the verge of collapse as its board and the city struggle to pitch benefit cuts to save the plan from complete failure.

The implosion of the fund left active-duty Dallas police and firemen wondering whether that pension check they had been counting on to fund their retirement was about disappear for good.  All of which sparked a mass exodus of Dallas police and firefighters eager to lock in their payout rates before they were slashed by the DPFP board. A record 72 officers decided to quit the force in July, despite a plan wending its way through the Texas state legislature that would help “save” the pension fund.

This has left the Dallas PD in an uncomfortable situation: Not only are there a record 250 open jobs to fill, but the enticements to lure quality recruits have been diminished, and with all the attention surrounding police killings, departments are hoping to be more discerning when hiring new recruits.

All of this has forced Dallas Police CHief Renee Hall to consider more creative recruiting strategies.

The recruitment shortage that’s occurred as a result in some areas is forcing police departments to develop creative strategies for luring millennial recruits to the force. In January, Hall plans to roll out a program that will give a total of four to six days off for officers that recruit someone who is hired and graduates from the academy.

According to Fox 4, both the Dallas Police Department and Dallas Fire-Rescue are struggling to find people who want to protect and serve. Both chiefs told city council members that recruiting millennials has proven challenging.

"We have nights, weekends and holidays — not attractive to millennials who want all days off and to be the chief in six months,” Chief Hall said. “We recognize that is a challenge."


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Chart o’ the Day: Banks Breaking Away

 

Chart o’ the Day: Banks Breaking Away

Courtesy of Joshua Brown

I like to look at relative charts whenever I hear people say that such and such sector has already made its move or has come “too far too fast.”

The explosive action in the financial stocks these past two weeks as tax reform moved from a maybe to a definitely is getting a lot of attention. There’s a re-rating of these stocks taking place now that three Fed interest rate hikes in 2018 look more realistic and economic surprises to the upside continue apace.

I found Ari Wald’s take on the bank and brokerage stocks to be very helpful in terms of context. Technically speaking, the Oppenheimer technician sees financials as the best set-up into next year among all the sectors, even technology…

Highlighting Financials as our top sector idea for 2018, rather than Technology or Industrials, is simply to stress that this could finally be “it” for a sector that’s achieved a 17% gain over the last 10 years vs. an 82% gain for the market. By “it,” we’re talking about an 8-year relative base that is showing signs of breaking higher again following the initial post-election breakout in Q4’16. Our main concern is that oscillating interest rates could create temporary periods of weakness, but the sector’s broad-based internal strength (e.g., Banks, Brokers, Security Exchanges, Asset Managers, Insurance) makes the risk worthwhile, in our view. Buy ideas include BAC, BLK, BRK/B, C, CMA, GS, JPM, MS, PNC, WFC which constitute over 50% of the Financials SPDR (XLF). For a source of funds, we recommend selling AIG.

Ari’s chart looks at the S&P 500 Financial Sector SPDR (XLF) on its own – and then relative to the S&P 500 (as always, you may click to embiggen):

Source:

Technical Analysis: Inflection Points 
Oppenheimer – December 16th, 2017





Bitcoin Futures Crash Over $2000 From Open, Converge To Bitcoin Spot

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Update: Bitcoin and Bitcoin Futures have collapsed since the futures opened…

Dropping over $2200 to converge with spot…

*  *  *

Both CME and CBOE Bitcoin Futures contracts opened above $20,000 this evening (with Bitcoin spot hovering around $19,000). However, as soon as trading started, Bitcoin futures got hammered lower.

Those expecting a surge in futs volumes on the CME vs the CBOE will be disappointed:

CME Bitcoin futures volume 150 ????

— Lee Saks (@Lee_Saks) December 17, 2017

In fact, spoting actual trades in the first few minutes of trading is not heavy to say the least. Obviously Jan is seeing all the volume…

And March not so much… (let alone the $1200 bid-offer spread)

The lack of trading will likely be a surprise to those who were expecting a more "vigorous" futures launch on the CME, such as Brooks Dudley, vice president of risk in New York at ED&F Man Capital Markets who told Bloomberg that "CME’s bitcoin contract may not be first, but they are a larger futures clearinghouse and we are looking forward to our clients trading their product on Sunday evening. Not all market participants have been able to short the Cboe bitcoin futures. We have allowed our clients to go long or short to take advantage of dislocations between the futures and the underlying spot market.

For now, nobody appears to be taking advantage of anything.

Incidentally, here is the (declining) Cboe XBT futs volumes in the first week of trading.

Finally, for those who missed it, here is JPM's take on CME vs Cboe futs:

  • With CME Bitcoin futures set to begin trading on 18th December, there will be competition between the two exchanges to attract volumes. Similar to the CBOE contract, the CME futures are cash settled, and after reviewing the initial margin requirement ahead of launch the CME raised it


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World’s Biggest Pension Fund Fears “Mishandling Of Reverse QE”, Expects Google/Amazon To Become Asset Managers

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Japan’s GPIF is the elephant in the room when it comes to investing with about $1.4 trillion of pension assets under the management. In October 2014, the fund announced a dramatic shift in its asset mix, cutting its holdings in domestic bonds to 35% from 60%, increasing international bonds from 11% to 15%, increasing domestic stocks from 12% to 25%, same for international stocks and removing its 5% allocation to short-term debt.

The following month, GPIF announced the appointment of its first Chief Investment Officer, Hiromichi Mizuno. This was the Wall Street Journal commenting the announcement.

Mr. Mizuno would be a big catch for the fund, which has struggled to attract outside talent because of low salaries and a small budget. Despite its size, the GPIF’s roughly 80 employees are squeezed into one floor of a 1970s office building in downtown Tokyo. Most of its investments are managed by outside asset-management firms. Mr. Mizuno was educated in the U.S. and speaks fluent English, which addresses concerns among foreign investment firms that have had trouble working with GPIF.

After starting as a banker at Japan’s Sumitomo Trust and Banking Co., Ltd., Mr. Mizuno joined Coller Capital in 2003. Coller occupies a niche in the financial world, buying stakes in private-equity funds from investors who want to cash out early. It is an opportunistic strategy that allows those with plenty of cash and long investment horizons to get good deals from others who are cash strapped or concerned about short-term performance. Such a strategy could play to the strengths of a fund like GPIF, which like most pension funds has a long-time horizon.

Bloomberg has published an interview with Mizuno, who shares some controversial views on artificial intelligence (A.I.) and its impact on asset management. In particular, he believes that there will be a large number of job losses as short-term trading decisions migrate almost entirely to machines. He also discusses his advocacy of ESG investing, i.e. incorporating environmental, social and governance factors into investment decisions. In Mizuno’s view, the whole market is will adopt ESG. Finally his most controversial view is that Google and Amazon are likely to enter the asset management sector. Here is the


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Bitcoin Futures Open Above $20,000… Then Dump

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Both CME and CBOE Bitcoin Futures contracts opened above $20,000 this evening (with Bitcoin spot hovering around $19,000). However, as soon as trading started, Bitcoin futures got hammered lower.

Those expecting a surge in futs volumes on the CME vs the CBOE will be disappointed:

CME Bitcoin futures volume 150 ????

— Lee Saks (@Lee_Saks) December 17, 2017

In fact, spoting actual trades in the first few minutes of trading is not heavy to say the least. Obviously Jan is seeing all the volume…

And March not so much… (let alone the $1200 bid-offer spread)

The lack of trading will likely be a surprise to those who were expecting a more "vigorous" futures launch on the CME, such as Brooks Dudley, vice president of risk in New York at ED&F Man Capital Markets who told Bloomberg that "CME’s bitcoin contract may not be first, but they are a larger futures clearinghouse and we are looking forward to our clients trading their product on Sunday evening. Not all market participants have been able to short the Cboe bitcoin futures. We have allowed our clients to go long or short to take advantage of dislocations between the futures and the underlying spot market.

For now, nobody appears to be taking advantage of anything.

Incidentally, here is the (declining) Cboe XBT futs volumes in the first week of trading.

Finally, for those who missed it, here is JPM's take on CME vs Cboe futs:

  • With CME Bitcoin futures set to begin trading on 18th December, there will be competition between the two exchanges to attract volumes. Similar to the CBOE contract, the CME futures are cash settled, and after reviewing the initial margin requirement ahead of launch the CME raised it this week from 35% to 47% for speculative accounts, modestly higher than the CBOE’s 44% initial margin requirement.
  • There are some differences in the contracts worth noting, however. The settlement price of the CME futures will be based on a weighted average of prices from several exchanges (including Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit and Kraken), rather than a single exchange. The settlement dates of the CME futures will also extend further ahead to March, June, September and December. These factors, along with the fact that the CME is a larger exchange, could give it an advantage in terms of attracting trading volumes.




FX Weekly Preview: Dollar Squeeze A Growing Concern, But Longer Term Bears Likely To Temper It

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Shant Movsesian and Rajan Dhall MSTA from fxdailyterminal.com

Over the past week, the argument that the tax reform aimed at corporates specifically could prompt a period of USD repatriation – much like an amnesty – has been growing in sentiment, and whether one believes in this, remains an upside risk we shouldn't ignore.  Since the Fed's much anticipated rate hike, we have seen a moderate hit on the USD reversed in full, but put in perspective, the overall ranges traded so far have been modest to say the least.  We also shouldn't ignore the time of year, where liquidity is not at its best, though has been enough to send the major indices on Wall Street to new record highs.  There was a time this would have sent USD/JPY soaring, but it hasn't, but times have changed and most of us can see that global growth reflected in the stock markets is a far cry from that seen through wage growth and inflation. 

There has also been some focus on cross currency basis, turning negative to further signal year end USD demand and into early 2018, which can be tied-in in part to the repatriation story above.  Some will attribute it to regulatory pressures in Europe (derivatives market) as well as Japan, and although immeasurable for the most part, is a risk worth noting given our focus for the week ahead. 

As such, we look for concurrent moves in EUR/USD and USD/JPY, with a move in the former through 1.1700 likely to correspond with a USD/JPY push for 113.50-114.00 again.  Once again, in light of the illiquid period ahead, these are merely risks we are highlighting, and given where the respective spot rates ended up on Friday night, it is noteworthy risk at this stage. 

Through 1.1700, EUR/USD will test the band of support seen in the 1.1650-1.1550 area, where the longer term interest based on the Euro zone recovery continues to carry favour.   Based on the rising PMIs in Germany and other leading states, notably France, few can argue that there is momentum here, but this is largely priced in for now as we can see in some of the relative performance in the cross rates.  Even a supported EUR/CHF


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Ray Dalio Transcendental Meditation has been “the single biggest influence”

By VW Staff. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Ray Dalio, one of the most successful hedge fund managers of all time, says that Transcendental Meditation has been “the single biggest influence” on his life. He has been practicing Transcendental Mediation for more than 40 years.

Also see Ray Dalio’s favorite books here


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Ray Dalio: “When I look back at my life, I am happy to have had what most people would consider a successful life, not only in terms of business, but in my relationships and in lots of ways. More than anything else, I attribute it to meditation—partially because of the creativity, partly because of the centeredness. Transcendental Meditation has given me an ability to put things in perspective, which has helped a lot. I think meditation has been the single biggest influence on my life.”

********************************************************************* Fun fact: Ray Dalio gave $6 million to David Lynch’s transcendental meditation efforts.

********************************************************************* Watch full interview here: http://bit.ly/2CuHvw7

The post Ray Dalio Transcendental Meditation has been “the single biggest influence” appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Tech Breakouts Brings Semiconductor Short Covering

Courtesy of Declan.

While the S&P (but not the Dow Industrial Average) enjoyed solid gains on heavy volume accumulation it was left to Tech Indices to steal the headlines.

The Nasdaq closed the week on new closing highs as volume surged.  The gains were enough to see a new ‘buy’ trigger in the MACD which keeps the index net bullish.

The Dow Jones Index didn’t enjoy the same level of gains as the S&P, Nasdaq or Nasdaq 100 as it clung on to channel resistance. Given the presence of resistance, it does offer a shorting opportunity for those willing to keep stops relatively tight as S&P and Tech indices are in a good position to make further gains.

The Russell 2000 looks to be digging in at 1,520 support and now challenging the ‘bull trap’.  Technicals haven’t fully recovered but another day like Friday’s would probably be enough to see new ‘buy’ triggers in the MACD and ADX.

Buyers of the Semiconductor Index took advantage of the slowdown in the reversal from the 50-day MA, forcing shorts into a spate of cover buying.  Even if this buying was to continue Monday it wouldn’t be enough to reverse current ‘sell’ triggers in supporting technicals leaving the short play as the preferred position until negated; a solid move above the 50-day MA would probably be enough to kill the short trade.

The Nasdaq 100 offered the cleanest breakout as it brought with it a fresh MACD trigger ‘buy’ to run alongside the bullish trend.  The Index is outperforming the Russell 2000 which should keep money flowing into the index.

As a final point, the S&P continues to make its way to channel resistance. Heavy volume buying was backed up by strong relative outperformance; buyers of the November ‘bear trap’ will be pleased.

Monday will be about holding the gains and where possible set up for some follow through upside as indices look to…
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Vince McMahon Considers XFL Relaunch As NFL Fans Evaporate

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

WWE owner Vince McMahon is considering bringing back his ill-fated football league, the XFL, amid sagging NFL viewership and a racially charged kneeling epidemic of players who won't stand for the National Anthem which began during the summer 2016 pre-season. In a recent "30 for 30" documentary about the XFL, McMahon and his partner in the 2001 endeavor – former NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol, pondered the possibility of relaunching the league once promoted as having fewer rules and rougher play than other leagues.

Vince McMahon

“I don’t know what it would be,” McMahon told Ebersol, adding “I don’t know if it’s gonna be another XFL or what it may be or how different I would make it. It seems like in some way it would tie in either with the NFL itself or the owners.”

Then, on Friday, journalist and pro wrestling fan Brad Shepard tweeted "EXCLUSIVE: Vince McMahon is looking to bring back the XFL and may announce it on January 25th, 2018." Then on Saturday, Shepard said that McMahon pointed to the "30 for 30" interview 

EXCLUSIVE: Vince McMahon is looking to bring back the XFL and may announce it on January 25th, 2018.

— Brad Shepard (@TheBradShepard) December 16, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: Vince McMahon told people in WWE that he developed the desire to bring back the XFL when he was doing the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on it.

WWE employees have been told internally to “get ready” because it is coming.

— Brad Shepard (@TheBradShepard) December 16, 2017

Without much else to go on, Deadspin's David Bixenspan approached the WWE – which neither confirmed nor denied the rumor, but did state that McMahon is "personally funding a separate entity from WWE, Alpha Entertainment, to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including professional football," followed by another tweet stating that WWE has filed for two new XFL trademarks this year.  

A WWE spokesperson issued the attached statement to me & @Deadspin in response to my inquiry about tonight's rumors of a soon to


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Zero Hedge

Explosion Hits Russia's Largest Virus Lab Which Houses Plague, Smallpox, Ebola And Other Deadly Viruses

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

A sudden explosion at a Siberian virus research center on Monday reportedly left the facility engulfed in flames, according to several Russian news outlets. 

Firefighters and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the "Vector Institute" located several miles from Novosibirsk - an emergency which was upgraded "from an ordinary emergency to a major incident," a...



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Phil's Favorites

The future of work will still include plenty of jobs

 

The future of work will still include plenty of jobs

Even though the future is unknown, Canada’s employment rate has risen steadily from 53 per cent in 1946 to more than 61 per cent today. (Shutterstock)

Courtesy of Wayne Simpson, University of Manitoba

There is now widespread anxiety over the future of work, often accompanied by calls for a basic income to protect those displaced by automation and other technological changes.

As a labour economis...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Is The Drone Strike a Black Swan?

Courtesy of Lee Adler

Pundits are calling yesterday’s drone strke a “black swan.” Can a drone strike on a Saudi oil facility, be a “black swan.”

According to Investopedia:

A black swan is an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences. Black swan events are characterized by their extreme rarity, their severe impact, and the practice of explaining widespread failure to predict them as simple folly in hindsight.

I seriously doubt that no one expected or could have predicted a drone strike on a Saudi oil facility.

Call Me A B...

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Insider Scoop

New Relic Cuts 2020 Sales Guidance, Announces Changes In Management

Courtesy of Benzinga

New Relic (NYSE: NEWR) has reaffirmed its second-quarter guidance and cut its sales guidance for fiscal year 2020 from $600 million-$607 million to $586 million-$593 million.

The company’s chief technology officer, Jim Gochee, and chief revenue officer, Erica Schultz, have resigned. New Relic also named board member Michael Christenson as its chief operating officer. Christenson joins from his ...



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The Technical Traders

Metals are following downside sell off prediction before the next rally

Courtesy of Technical Traders

It is absolutely amazing how the precious metals markets have followed our October 2018 predictions almost like clockwork.  Our call for an April 21~24 momentum base below $1300 followed by an extensive rally to levels above $1550 has been playing out almost like we scripted these future price moves.

Now that the $1550 level has been reached, we are expecting a rotation to levels that may reach just below the $1490~1500 level before attempting to set up another momentum base/bottom formation.  And just like clockwork, Gold has followed our predictions and price is falling as we expected. Just look at our October 2018 chart where we forecasted the price of gold...



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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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Kimble Charting Solutions

Bond Yields Due For Rally After Declining More Than 1987 Stock Crash

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

U.S. Treasury Bond Yields – 2, 5, 10, 30 Year Durations

The past year has seen treasury bond yields decline sharply, yet in an orderly fashion.

This has spurred recession concerns for much of 2019. Needless to say, it’s a confusing time for investors.

In today’s chart of the day, we look at a longer-term view of the 2, 5, 10, and 30-year treasury bond yields.

Short to long term bond yields are all testing 7 to 10-year support levels as momentum is at the lowest levels in a decade.

A yield rally is likely due across the board after a recent decline that was bigger than the stock crash in 1987!

If yields fail to ral...



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Digital Currencies

China Crypto Miners Wiped Out By Flood; Bitcoin Hash Rate Hits ATHs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Last week, a devastating rainstorm in China's Sichuan province triggered mudslides, forcing local hydropower plants and cryptocurrency miners to halt operations, reported CoinDesk.

Torrential rains flooded some parts of Sichuan's mountainous Aba prefecture last Monday, with mudslides seen across 17 counties in the area, according to local government posts on Weibo. 

One of the worst-hit areas was Wenchuan county, ...



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Biotech

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

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

 

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Members' Corner

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

Are you ready to retire?  

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

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

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



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Promotions

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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