Archive for March, 2019

Dick’s Firearms Ban Makes $150 Million Dent In Sales As Billionaire CEO Opines On “The System”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Dick's Sporting Goods – once a major seller of firearms, has lost around $150 million in sales after CEO Ed Stack announced last February that he would begin restricting gun sales at the country's largest sports retailer, according to Bloomberg. What's more, guns drove the sale of many soft goods, including hats, jackets and boots. 

The dent in sales, around 1.7% of annual revenue, is worth it according to Stack - a billionaire who was born into wealth and probably hasn't had to deal with too many home invaders in his sprawling Pennsylvania mansion, or his estate in Jupiter Island, FL, where the overall crime rate is 64% lower than the national average and there hasn't been a murder in at least 14 years. 

"The system does not work," says Stack, adding. "It’s important that when you know there’s something that’s not working, and it’s to the detriment of the public, you have to stand up,"

Stack – once a Republican donor who turned his father's bait-and-tackle shop into the country's largest sports retailer – decided to oppose the Second Amendment after the 2018 Parkland school shooting in which gunman Nikolas Cruz purchased a shotgun from Dick's. The next day, Vermont police arrested a teenager with similar plans who had legally purchased a shotgun from Dick's. 

Two weeks after those arrests, Stack announced he was pulling assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines out of all Dick’s stores. He vowed he’d never sell another firearm to anyone under 21. -Bloomberg

The company also hired three gun control lobbyists, and announced that it would destroy all of the weapons it had stopped selling

In response to the 2018 corporate decision, gunmakers Springfield Armory and O.F. Mossberg stopped doing business with Dick's.


The response was predictable. The National Rifle Association criticized his “strange business model.” The National Shooting Sports Foundation expelled Dick’s from its membership. Gun manufacturers like Mossberg refused to do business with him at all, and some shoppers followed suit. 

Some people applauded the CEO’s decision and promised to show their appreciation with their business—a phenomenon called “buycotting”—but those people didn’t stick around. “Love is fleeting.

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The Implications Of Fusing 5G And Blockchain

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Ben Whittle via,

Analysts have been anticipating the implications of the Internet of Things (IoT) for several years. However, there have been two main impediments to its success: capacity and security.

But now, the introduction of a new technology could change that. This year, major carriers like AT&T and Verizon will be introducing 5G, the latest generation of cellular mobile communications. The 5G platform brings a high data rate, reduced latency, energy savings, cost reduction, higher system capacity and massive device connectivity, according to analysts.

image courtesy of CoinTelegraph

The combination of 5G and blockchain technology has the potential to unleash a surge of economic value. In order to understand this connection between 5G and blockchain, one must think of the relationship as multifold. The power of 5G coverage through its reduced latency, high speeds and capacity allows for IoT devices to become widely used. Simultaneously, these devices can leverage the security, decentralization, immutability and consensus arbitration of blockchains as foundational layers.

That means smart citiesdriverless vehiclessmart homes and other sensor-driven enhancements will finally have a technology that can handle their needs.

As foundational layers, blockchains can provide consensus and security while the majority of IoT transactions and contracts occur on second-layer networks, with the opportunity to settle payment channels and transaction disputes on-chain. The network capacity of IoT, however, will be enabled by the power of 5G coverage.

Furthermore, 5G will directly assist blockchains by increasing node participation and decentralization, as well as allowing for shorter block times, driving forward on-chain scalability — all of which, in turn, further supports the IoT economy.

Here is a first look at how 5G is rolling out and when real usage might be seen.

The rollout of 5G

Network providers have started rolling out 5G within select United States cities, while global coverage is expected to come online in 2020.

Verizon will start delivering its coverage in Chicago and Minneapolis from April 11, with services moving to 30 cities throughout the…
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Russia’s 4th Richest Woman Killed In Freak Private Jet Crash

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

In a time when the public is especially sensitive about any airplane disasters, coupled with the now traditional interest in Russian oligarchs, a tragic story from Sunday afternoon combines both: the co-owner of Russia's second biggest airline Siberia Airlines (aka S7), and Russia’s fourth richest woman, Natalia Fileva, was killed in a freak crash when her private jet crashed in Germany, taking the lives of a pilot and another passenger as well, the company said.

A six-seater private jet with Fileva on board took off from Cannes in France and was en route to the central German town of Egelsbach when it disappeared from radars at 13:22 GMT (15:22 local time), according to flight tracker Flightradar24.

The plane crashed in a field near the town of Erzhausen, some 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of Frankfurt, police said, adding that at least three people, including the pilot, were on board. The identity of the other person who accompanied Fileva is still unclear, with some reports suggesting her father was on the plane.

The Epic E1000 airplane


According to RT, the US-made Epic E1000 turboprop light aircraft crashed into the ground as it was preparing to make a landing at Egelsbach airport. The plane was destroyed and completely burnt out as it hit the ground, according to police. The debris is scattered around an area of a 20 meter-radius.

The cause of the crash has not yet been identified, S7 said.

Natalia was the wife of Vladislav Filev, the CEO and co-owner of S7 Airlines – Russia’s biggest private airline holding company. Her personal wealth amounted to $600 million according to Forbes magazine.  S7…
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Celebrity Jeweler Who Gifted Elon Musk $40,000 Ring Winds Up ‘Locked Inside His F*cking Tesla’

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

People become Tesla skeptics in many different ways. Some are investors that take a hard look at the company's financials. Others witness Tesla accidents or wind up getting a glimpse into the company by working there. 

And some – like celebrity jeweler Ben Baller – wind up locked in their Tesla vehicles, trapped, with no way to get out.  

"I wish this was a fucking joke," Baller says in his recent Instagram story video, mirrored on one Twitter user's account.

"I'm locked inside my fucking Tesla. I know I've been the Tesla fan, I've said so many good things about Tesla. But I've been locked in the car now for 37 minutes fucking waiting for roadside assistance. "

He continued: "The electronic door – the door is handled by the push button or the key or opening the door handle – and nothing's fucking working."

Baller had made headlines back in December 2018 when he gifted Elon Musk a custom $40,000 Tesla ring. Three months later, the man who wrote to Musk on Instagram, calling him "an inspiration" and thanking Musk for "what [he's] done for Americans", found himself locked inside his Tesla with no way out. 

"This ring was designed and created here in America, just like your cars. We salute you for giving 50,000 jobs to Americans and putting USA back on the map as a serious contender in the auto industry,” Baller said in December, likely unaware that several rounds of crushing job cuts and layoffs were forthcoming at Tesla. 

According to NextShark, Baller used a trillion cut diamond to emphasize the “T” logo on the front of the ring, which he surrounded by round brilliant white diamonds and rubies which were pavé set by hand. On the back of the ring, custom cut diamond baguettes spell out “Tesla.”

“Please accept this 1 of 1 custom Diamond and Ruby #Tesla ring for being an inspiration to me and my best friend Paul,” the jeweler-to-the-stars wrote back in December. 

We guess the next time we'll hear about this ring will be when it's on an episode of Pawn Stars, or is a featured item at a Department of Justice auction. Meanwhile, if no one hears from Ben Baller over the next day or so, can someone go check on his Tesla?

The Beginning Of The End Of SWIFT: Russian Banks Join Chinese Alternative Global Payments System

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With Russia actively dumping US dollars and buying gold at the fastest paced in decades, the writing is on the wall when it comes to what the Kremlin thinks of any possibility for a detente in the painfully strained US-Russian relations.


And with Russia now clearly seeking to end monetary ties with a dollar-denominated "west", there is just one alternative – China. Which is why it will probably not come as a surprise that several Russian banks joined the China International Payments System (CIPS) also known as China's "SWIFT", to ease operations between the two countries, according to a senior official at the Central Bank of Russia (CBR).

“As for the cooperation on payment systems, a range of banks are already connected to CIPS, allowing to facilitate payments routing procedure,” Vladimir Shapovalov, who heads a division dealing with foreign regulators at the CBR’s international cooperation department, said earlier this week during the international Russian-Chinese forum.

Meanwhile, as RT writes, the regulator hopes that in turn, Chinese counterparts will pay more attention to Russia’s own SWIFT alternative, the SPFS (System for Transfer of Financial Messages), as "it can further boost bilateral trade", the official added.

As RT adds, Russia has been actively demonstrating the SPFS network, which was created in 2014 in response US threats of disconnecting Russia from SWIFT, to foreign partners, including China after its export version was finished late last year. The first system transaction involving a non-bank enterprise, was made by Russian oil major Rosneft in December 2017. Some 500 participants, with major Russian financial institutions and companies, have already joined. And with Europe contemplating alternatives to SWIFT in order to keep funding the Iran regime in light of its exclusion from the dollar-based monetary system following Trump's reimposition of Iranian sanctions, it would land a major blow to the US Dollar's reserve status if Brussels announced that it, too, would be joining either the Chinese or Russian alternative to dollar hegemony, a process which based on reserve managers' declining allocations to US dollars


… is already taking place.

Hollywood Boycotts Brunei-Owned Hotels In Response To Sharia Death Penalty For Gay Sex

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Hollywood starts have launched a boycott of nine Brunei-owned hotels after the tiny Islamic nation on the island of Borneo announced that they would be enforcing the death penalty for gay sex and adultery. 

While the new laws were announced five years ago with the nation's adoption of Sharia law, the death penalty for homsexual sex and adultery will begin on April 3, according to CNN.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei with his wife Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha


Spearheaded by actor George Clooney, the boycott has been joined by the likes of Sharon Stone, Elton John, Jamie Lee Curtis, George Takei and others, who refuse to patronize the Brunei-owned establishments: 

"I commend my friend, George Clooney, for taking a stand against the anti-gay discrimination and bigotry taking place in the nation of Brunei – a place where gay people are brutalised, or worse – by boycotting the sultan’s hotels," tweeted Elton John on Saturday. 

The 72-year-old, a veteran gay rights campaigner, said his “heart went

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In Defence Of Free Markets

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Alasdair Macleod via,

Why is it that no one defends free markets, and socialism, despite all the evidence of its failures, comes back again and again? Unsurprisingly, the answer lies in politics, which have always led to a boom-bust cycle of collective behaviour. Furthering our understanding of this phenomenon is timely because the old advanced economies, burdened by a combination of existing and future debt, appear to be on the verge of an unhappily coordinated bust. But that does not automatically return us to the free markets some of us long for.

Cycles of collective behavior

Throughout history there have been few long-lasting periods of truly free markets. Contemporary exceptions are confined to some small island states, forced to be entrepreneurial by their size and position vis-à-vis the larger nations with which they trade. The governments of these islands know that the state itself is not suited to entrepreneurship. Only by the state guarding the freedom of island markets and the sanctity of property rights can entrepreneurs serve the people in these communities and create wealth for all.

This is not the normal condition for larger nations. Before the Scottish enlightenment which nurtured David Hume and Adam Smith, the benefits of free trade were barely understood. Since then, the wealth created by free trade and sound money has nearly always been the springboard for detrimental change. Sometimes a political strongman, like Mao or Lenin dictates to the people what they can and cannot do. Alternatively, a leader courts popularity by taxing heavily the few for the alleged benefit of the masses. This is the model of welfare states today. Debasement of the means of exchange is an extension of these socialising policies, furthering the transfer of personal wealth to the state.

To understand why free markets are more often than not unpopular, we must put them into a context of human behaviour. In this regard we can stylise a cycle of collective behaviour into three characteristic phases.

  • The first is a lawless condition of no secure ownership of property rights; in the absence of enforceable law the means of possession are necessarily violent and uncertain. It is

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The EV War Is Officially On: Apple Hires Tesla’s Head Of Electric Powertrains

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Rumors and questions about Apple's secretive automotive project have been swirling for years. Does the company intend to build its own EV, or is it just focusing on autonomous driving software? Has "Project Titan" been killed off or is it still actively being pursued behind the scenes? Today, we have more clarity on the issue - as a result of yet another Tesla executive departure… and reapparance. 

Tesla's former head of electric powertrains, Michael Schwekutsch, who was reported to have left the company earlier this month, has re-surfaced at Apple.

Schwekutsch's departure from Tesla was described as a "big loss for Tesla" by the pro-Tesla blog electrek back in early March. They described him as "a hardcore electric powertrain engineer" who helped engineer the Model 3 powertrain. While at Tesla he also worked on the development of “leading edge Drive Systems like the one of the Tesla Roadster II and Tesla Semi/Tesla Truck.”

He has now joined Apple’s Special Project Group, which includes the company’s Project Titan division, according to electrek. This seems to clear up any confusion as to whether or not Apple is actually working on vehicle hardware. It was previously believed that Apple's Project Titan could only consist of a self-driving software system for other vehicles.

Bulls and bears will likely see this event through their respective lenses. Bears may claim it as proof that Apple's coming EV project will act as direct competition to Tesla. Bulls will probably try to argue (the aggressive point) that this is foreshadowing for Tesla to eventually partner with, or be acquired by, Apple. 

Schwekutsch will join other former Tesla executives like Doug Field and Bob Mansfield, both of whom were longtime engineering executives at Tesla. Apple is also being said to be hiring "several other former Tesla employees". 

More importantly, it looks like the nearly $1 trillion market cap behemoth – desperate for new avenues of "growth" – will build an EV from the ground up, introducing the question of what a real foray into technology EVs would look like when organized, run by a profitable company, and overseen by competent management.

If Apple winds up making…
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As VIX Vega Soars, Another VIXplosion May Be Coming

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Back in January 2018, just weeks ahead of the infamous VIXtermination event on Feb. 5 2018 that wiped out virtually all inverse VIX ETPs in seconds, we predicted that such an event was imminent as a result of a sharp spike in the total outstanding Vega across the entire levered and inverse volatility derivative space, which had reached an all time high.

And while since then, the VIX ETP market had been relatively quiet as a result of last year's fireworks which wiped out countless retail investors and other vol sellers, another VIX "event" may be coming.

According to JPMorgan's Bram Kaplan, after a years of relatively quiet, the net exposure among VIX ETPs has recently spiked to their largest net long position in 1.5 years, tilted long by ~$150Mn vega, which is just shy of the record vega exposure hit in early 2018 and which precipitated the VIX ETP implosion. However, unlike 2018, this time the trade is in the other direction as investors piled into long and levered VIX ETPs beginning in February, as soon as the VIX index fell below 16, to as JPM suggests, "position for/speculate on the next volatility spike."

Specifically, over this period, investors have deposited $600MM net into unlevered long VIX ETPs, and $1.1Bn into levered products (the majority of which went into 2x levered TVIX). Following these flows, the vega notional in levered and inverse VIX ETPs has increased significantly, but remains well below pre-Feb’18 levels.

And here is the cautious conclusion from JPM, which notes that while the bank doesn't – yet – expect these ETPs to drive end-of-day short gamma rebalancing effects anywhere close to those experienced on 2/5/18, "their end of day rebalances are becoming material." To wit, the next chart illustrates how the end of day rebalance requirements for levered and inverse VIX ETPs has been increasing as a percentage VIX futures volumes, but remains small (so far, at least) compared to pre-Feb’18.

The key thing is that as noted above, unlike last year's vol selling stampede, the current build-up of long vega exposure in VIX ETPs suggests they could provide a headwind to…
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New York City Set To Pass “Congestion Toll”, Mansion Tax And Plastic Bag Ban

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

New York state is nearing completion of a 2020 budget deal that's going to result in "congestion tolls" in Manhattan, alongside a "mansion tax" and a ban on single-use plastic bags, according to Bloomberg. State leaders and Governor Andrew Cuomo agreed this week on a spending plan for 2020 that allocates for 2% budget growth for the ninth year in a row. The plan increases spending for education aid and provides tax relief for the middle class, according to the Governor.

Lawmakers will be discussing the budget again Sunday night to try and meet a midnight deadline to pass it. The proposed "congestion tolls" will make New York City the first American city to charge drivers for access. It's projected to raise $1 billion, which will then be used to pay debt service (of course) on the $15 billion in Metropolitan Transportation Authority bonds outstanding. 

MTA’s Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority has not yet released details on the toll program, which is expected to be implemented after December 2020. 

In an attempt to drive even more wealthy New Yorkers to Florida, lawmakers will also be asked to approve a progressive tax on mansions with a combined top rate of 4.15% on the sale of properties valued at over $25 million:

The so-called mansion tax would establish a new scale of graduated levies, starting at 1 per cent on all New York City apartments selling for more than $1 million, rising at $2 million and reaching a top of 4.15 percent on $25 million. It’s expected to raise $365 million, to borrow about $5 billion. The old tax imposed a flat 1 percent rate at $1 million or more on all apartments.

Additionally, New York will follow California's lead in banning disposable plastic grocery bags. This will force residents to pay for paper bags or reuse their own bags and is expected to be implemented by March 2020. 71,000 tons of plastic bags are used annually in New York City, according to the report.

The legislation will also include "elimination of cash bail for about 90 percent of defendants awaiting trial on misdemeanors and low-grade felony charges."

Cuomo said of the…
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Zero Hedge

WeWork Board, Softbank Officials Push For CEO Neumann's Ouster

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

The odds of WeWork co-founder and CEO Adam Neumann becoming "the world's first trillionaire"  maybe about to take another major hit.

In what appears to be the latest attempt to salvage the farce that is the WeWork IPO (and the massive hole it will leave in Masayoshi Son's balance sheet and credibility), ...

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Insider Scoop

Notable Insider Buys In The Past Week: AbbVie, Kraft Heinz And More

Courtesy of Benzinga

Insider buying can be an encouraging signal for potential investors.

A packaged food giant and two drugmakers saw notable insider buying activity this past week.

Some of this insider buying occurred alongside insider sales.

Conventional wisdom says that insiders and 10% owners really only buy shares of a company for one reason — they believe the stock price will rise and they want to profit. So insider... more from Insider

Phil's Favorites

Peloton IPO Guide... And Why It Makes No Sense

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

By Scott Willis via


At the end of the day, Peloton is a gym membership pretending to be a tech company.

We fully admit the product is exciting and unique in the market, but Peloton still faces the same problem...

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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...

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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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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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