Archive for 2019

The Data Behind Surging NBA Team Valuations

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Visual Capitalist

At the beginning of this decade, the NBA was not on firm footing. More than half of the league’s teams were losing money, and negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement were looming.

Today, however, the NBA has undeniable momentum, buoyed by hefty broadcast agreements and superstars like LeBron James and Steph Curry. With interest in the NFL flagging in the U.S., professional basketball appears to be seizing the opportunity to win over sports fans and grow the popularity of the league.

This momentum has pushed team valuations to new heights, with the median team now being worth a solid $1.56 billion.

What are the exact valuations of individual franchises in the league, and how are these values derived? Let’s dig into Forbes’ annual NBA Valuations Ranking to learn more.

Breaking down team value

Forbes has broken down the value of an NBA team valuations into four components:

Sport: The revenue shared equally among all teams in the league

Market: City and market size

Arena: Revenues from sources such as attendance and premium seating

Brand: The actual value of the team’s brand

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

Every single team in the NBA is now valued at over $1 billion, and all but one team (the Cavaliers) were profitable last year.

For teams like the Knicks and Lakers, it’s easy to see how their huge market size contributes to their sky-high valuations. The former is currently the second-most-valuable sports franchise in America, tied with the New York Yankees.

While the biggest teams are worth more than double the NBA median value, the rising tide appears to be lifting all boats. The median team value has risen steadily and is up nearly 200% since 2014.

Gold Rush

The biggest story in basketball over recent years has been the ascension of the Golden State Warriors.

Making the NBA finals four seasons in a row – and winning three of those match-ups – has had a massive impact on the team’s value, which has shot up 367% over the last five years. As the team moves to the brand new Chase Center next season, Golden State may even have a shot at surpassing the Knicks or Lakers in overall valuation.

Here are the top five gainers over…
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$166 Billion In Student Debt Is Now Officially Delinquent

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s latest quarterly household debt report, student loan delinquencies surged last year, up to $166.4 billion in the fourth quarter. The report includes the total owed and the percentage of delinquent accounts past 90 days or in default. 

The percentage of delinquent accounts figure has stood at 11% since about mid-2012, but the total amount of debt outstanding has increased to a stunning $1.46 trillion at the end of December 2018 – and unpaid student debt rose to its highest levels ever. 

Delinquencies rose even as unemployment fell below 4%, telegraphing that the U.S. job market simply hasn’t generated the level of wage growth necessary to deal with the country’s growing debt load. 

Bloomberg Intelligence interest-rate strategist Ira Jersey said: “Income levels for graduates are not necessarily high enough for debt payments overall. If you have a choice to pay your student loan or for food or housing, which do you choose?”

According to Jersey, the loans “probably won’t hurt the economy” because they are government-sponsored. Which is another way of saying taxpayers will once again come to the “rescue.”

“But incrementally, it does mean higher federal deficits if the loans are not repaid,” he conceded. 

Echoing what we first said back in 2012, Bloomberg notes  that the total amount in arrears is twice the amount the U.S. Treasury paid to bail out the auto industry during the last recession.

Meanwhile, with the cost of higher education doubling over the last 20 years, even the St. Louis Fed was unsure as to whether or not “college was still worth it”, according to a blog posted on their website. 

Another stunning observation: the age group that is transitioning to delinquency the fastest is not workers fresh out of college, but the 40 to 49 year old cohort, partly as a result of parents shouldering the load and borrowing to pay for their children’s expenses. 

This has forced some schools to provide more support for those attending. For instance, Cornell increased tuition for 2019-2020 by “the lowest it has been in decades” and the school is “budgeting for a significant increase in financial aid”. Purdue University will also not boost room and board rates for 2019-2020, the seventh year in a row it…
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Smollett Shuffles Attorneys, Hires Crisis Management Firm As Scandal Deepens

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Update2: Smollett's management team has reportedly retained the services of Anne Kavanaugh, whose Chicago firm MediaPros24/7 provides several media services including crisis management.

He is also reportedly no longer being represented by high-profile criminal defense attorney Michael Monico after an alleged disagreement about Smollett's Saturday statement (h/t Nick Monroe). 

Monico told Fox 32 Chicago's Rafer Weigel that he "was but is no longer representing" Smollett, who is now represented by Chicago attorneys Victor Henderson and Todd Pugh. 

Update: According to CBS Chicago, the Nigerian brothers who were arrested and then released, "Abel" and "Ola," told detectives that they did a practice run a few days before the "attack."

Sources said one of the brothers held the rope and poured bleach while the other wore a plain red hat and yelled slurs at Smollett.

The sources say the red hat was bought at an Uptown beauty supply store and that the attack was supposed to happen before Jan. 29. The brothers told detectives the three men rehearsed the attack days prior to it happening. -CBS Chicago

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China’s HNA Conglomerate Dumps Even More Deutsche Bank Stock

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Chinese troubled conglomerate HNA, whose Co-Chairman Wang Jian allegedly committed suicide during a business trip to France last summer, has once – again – cut its stake in Deutsche Bank by nearly a fifth to 6.3%, a new SEC filing shows. That marks the latest reduction in HNA’s holdings of the largest German Bank, which as of February 8 held 7.64% of the voting rights.

HNA’s C-Quadrat unit exercised options to sell 26.8 million Deutsche Bank shares for 363.4 million euros ($410 million) according to an SEC filing, BBG reported. The shares were sold at prices ranging from 11.45 euros to 16.70 euros apiece, far above current market prices, because the Chinese group had hedged its investment in Deutsche Bank with put options. Deutsche Bank shares closed at 7.752 euros in Frankfurt on Friday

Even with its reduced holdings, HNA remains the largest shareholders in Germany’s largest lender, just ahead of the Qatari royal family, which owns 6.1% while Blackrock is in third spot with 100 million shares representing 4.85% of the shares outstanding.

Hainan-based HNA started out as a regional airline but went on to take large stakes in companies such as Hilton Worldwide and Deutsche Bank, part of a $40bn acquisition binge that made it one of China’s largest owners of overseas assets, the FT summarizes. HNA initially bought into Deutsche Bank in early 2017 as part of a sweeping global acquisition spree which led the company to acquire billions in foreign companies and US real estate, borrowing heavily to amass a stake of close to 10% with the stake gradually reducing since then as this complex financing has unwound.

But it has since trimmed its stake in installments, following an aggressive crackdown by Beijing targeting offshore money flows,  with high debts at the conglomerate fueling speculation about the future of its Deutsche stake as it reduces or exits some of its other holdings. In parallel, HNA has put its buying spree into reverse making a series of divestments that include parts of its core aviation business, in a bid to tackle the nearly $100bn debt pile it amassed, which last year sparked concerns that China’s financial conglomerates could become ground zero for a financial crisis engulfing China.

One year ago, HNA itself was said to be…
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Weekly Market Recap Feb 17, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

The “V” shape bounce continues in unrelenting fashion as bulls are stampeding bears in 2019!  All due to a little “patience” from the Federal Reserve.  It is really quite breathtaking but we have seen it repeatedly the past decade as the Federal Reserve pours gas on the market.  Hopes for a deal with China also spurred the action upward.  Rallies (both with gap ups) on Tuesday and Friday provided the juice this week.   The S&P 500 is back over its 200 day moving average after being below for 46 days – it’s longest period of time below that level since March 2016.

Mat Klody, chief investment officer at Keebeck Wealth Management, told MarketWatch that the major benchmarks’ steady march higher since the beginning of the year is being driven “by the perception that the Fed has done a complete 180” in its apparent dovish turn, after raising rates four times last year.

U.S.-China trade talks wrapped up Friday in Beijing, with reports that negotiators remained deadlocked over key issues, but were set to resume discussions next week in Washington — viewed as a sign that both sides were eager to reach a deal ahead of the March 1 deadline.

In economic news, retail sales plunged 1.2% the largest single-month decline since 2009 and well below the flat growth expected by economists.  That said the market isn’t concerned with such things as it’s all about the Federal Reserve giving out goodies.   It will be interesting to see if there is a big jump next month as a “reversion to mean”.

Sales fell in every retail category except auto dealers and home centers. What’s was surprising was a 3.9% reported decline in sales at internet sellers. That would mark the sharpest drop since November 2008 — the middle of the last recession. Sales also fell at bars, restaurants, apparel stores, grocers, home furnishers, pharmacies and outlets that sell hobby items such as books and sporting goods.

“The consumer is no longer enjoying tax

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More Than Half Of Homes Listed In NYC Last Year Never Sold

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A torrid post-crisis recovery in the NYC housing market came to a screeching halt last year as a chasm opened up between what sellers were asking and what buyers were willing to pay.

But in the clearest post-mortem showing just how bad last year was for one of the world’s most unaffordable real estate markets, Property Shark  found in a recent analysis that less than half of the housing inventory available sold last year. According to PS, 48% of the homes listed between March through May of last year had been sold as of Feb. 1.

It’s a symptom of New York’s softening market, where a glut of inventory has given buyers major bargaining power, said Grant Long, senior economist for StreetEasy. Of the homes that didn’t sell, only 14% are still listed. But most of the homes that were pulled off the market could easily reemerge

And of the homes from last spring that did sell, roughly 70% of them closed for less than their owners initially sought. That’s up from 62% of sales a year earlier and 61% in 2016.

The resulting glut in unsold inventory is creating problems for sellers who are facing another tidal wave of inventory.


Here’s a breakdown of the report’s findings (text courtesy of Property Shark):

1. Of All Homes Listed for Sale in Spring 2018, Fewer Than Half Sold

Just 48 percent of the homes listed during March, April, and May 2018 had sold as of February 2019. While weakness at the top of the NYC sales market has been grabbing headlines, the sluggish pace of sales has extended to homes across boroughs and price points. Manhattan homes fared slightly worse than others, with just 44 percent selling, but even in the comparably strong market in Queens, just 54 percent of homes found buyers. This is not only about price: Though 61 percent of all homes listed for $1 million or more failed to sell, so did 45 percent of all homes priced under $1 million. (Nonetheless, units priced at or above $5 million fared far worse, with just 140 of 656 units, or 21 percent, finding buyers.)

The Greenwich Club condominium in the Financial District exemplifies this trend. A total of 31 units in the building were listed for sale in March, April, and May 2018, but only six…
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Hedge Fund CIO: “The Rich And Powerful Always Win”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Eric Peters, CIO of One River Asset Management

Hope all goes well… Dusted off an anecdote from 2015 on what led to today’s growing backlash against inequality, injustice

Anecdote (Jan 2015):

"The rich and powerful always win; that’s the starting point," said the clear-eyed cynic, more interested in making mountains from molehills, than tilting at windmills.

"When upstarts periodically challenge their dominance, buying leveraged assets at wide credit spreads, central bankers throw the economy into recession, bankrupting new money, consolidating and preserving the existing power structure,” he continued. "That’s how capitalism mixed with democracy and rule of law works."

It ensures a positive correlation between competency and decision-making.

“The guys able to manage bigger bats are the ones swinging bigger bats; there’s probably no better way to do it.” What matters most is relative positioning within the wealth and power hierarchy, not absolute positioning. Which is why some crises that cleanse the system are by design, so devastating for everyone, including the powerful.

“Germany is in charge of Europe, and what do they want?” he asked, rhetorically. “They want every country on a DIP loan forever.” The last thing Germany wants is for their southern neighbors and France to pay off their debts.

“They want contractualized slavery, no different from what Hong Kong Chinese want from their Filipino maids.” But how about Germany’s acceptance of quantitative easing? “You hold off and give as little as you can,” he explained. “But giving as little as you can is different from giving nothing at all.” For all the excitement surrounding Draghi’s open-ended announcement this week, he’ll buy $1-$2trln of assets in an $80trln asset economy.

It solves no problems; buying time, while simultaneously relieving politicians of the imperative to make hard choices. Plus, with no real growth, or prospect of healthy returns on real investment, companies will now simply pay down existing debt.

“The Germans understand that even slaves need beds, and when they’re sick, you must let them go see the doctor.”

Modern Monetary Madness


Modern Monetary Madness

BY JOHN MAULDIN, Thoughts from the Frontine 

More than 10 years ago some Australian readers begin regaling me with the ideas of economist Bill Mitchell of the University of Newcastle in New South Wales. He was teaching about something he called (and he coined the term) Modern Monetary Theory. I looked into it and fairly quickly dismissed it as silly. Actually printing money as an economic policy? Get serious.

MMT is a revival of an early 1900s idea called chartalism. Now it is influencing the thinking of new socialist-like movements in the US and other places and cited by politicians. MMT is increasingly appearing in mainstream media like this sobering Financial Times article. Since it is increasingly discussed in more public venues, you should know more about it and that will be today’s topic.

Before we go into that, I want to remind you that Priority Pricing for the Strategic Investment Conference ends on Monday, February 18. You can save up to $1,000 over the final registration price. On Tuesday, the price goes up substantially. (See below.*)

Join me in Dallas. Now, on with our letter.

Modern Monetary Madness

Essentially, MMT espouses that the public through the government owns the process of money creation, and that in addition to borrowing and taxing, should simply issue currency as payment for its obligations. This is not the sleight-of-hand that quantitative easing was. This is direct monetization in lieu of borrowing.

If that sounds like printing money, that’s because it is. Upfront and in-your-face as a serious economic proposal. Most of the time when I am talking with my fellow writers and economists, when somebody mentions MMT, everybody smiles, maybe chuckles, and shakes their heads. The problem is, what seems like a joke is actually getting traction.

Let’s get the official definition of MMT from Wikipedia. My comments inserted are in brackets.

 In MMT, "vertical" money (money created by the government and spent in the private sector) enters circulation through government spending. Taxation and its legal tender enable power to discharge debt and establish the fiat money as currency, giving it value by creating demand for it in the form of a private tax obligation that must be met. [And thus…
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Morgan Stanley: “We Are Sceptical That The Goldilock Narrative Will Hold Together”

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

From "Sunday Start", authored by Andrew Sheets, Morgan Stanley chief cross-asset strategist.

Markets frequently change their mind, but even adjusting for that, the shift in ‘conventional wisdom’ in recent months has been nothing short of whiplash. In December, there was widespread agreement among investors that recession risk had risen sharply, that rising inflation pressures would keep central banks tightening policy, and that US-based risks around trade and government funding had risen sharply. Skip forward two months and these fears have been replaced by a different (if familiar) term: Goldilocks.

The Goldilocks narrative made repeated appearances from 2010-16, and the current version sounds something like this – inflationary pressures have receded, giving central banks wide latitude to pause almost indefinitely on policy tightening. Global growth is slowing, but not enough to be truly concerning. And US political risks are close to resolution, with growing investor optimism that lasting solutions to funding the US government and US-China trade are now within reach. We are sceptical that this story holds together.

The Goldilocks narrative depends on a lack of inflation, which gives central banks the opportunity (although not the obligation) to continue accommodative policy. Core inflation readings in developed markets have moved sideways in recent months, forward-looking inflation expectations have dropped sharply, and my colleague Chetan Ahya notes that emerging market inflation currently sits near 15-year lows. Taken together, investors sound more emboldened that a lack of inflation pressure means that central banks have nothing but time.

We’re not so sure. Even with recent energy-led declines, headline inflation is near the 25-year average in the US, UK, France, Germany and Japan. Unemployment is near 50-year lows in the US, 45-year lows in the UK, 25-year lows in Japan and 20-year lows in the eurozone, while measures of wage growth in the US and Europe continue to push higher. All these suggest that DM economies are working with significantly less spare capacity than they were under prior periods when ‘Goldilocks’ reigned.

It’s also important to be careful with level-setting in the inflation discussion. Yes, the current level of US core CPI inflation (2.2%Y) is ‘low’ by the standards of the last 60 years. But it is far less extreme relative to the last two decades.
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Insys Used Rap Video To Push For Higher Opioid Doses

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A little over two weeks into the racketeering trial of Insys Therapeutics founder John Kapoor, federal prosecutors last week revealed a rap video produced by the company used to motivate sales representatives to boost sales of its highly addictive opioid spray, reported Bloomberg.

The video, titled “Great by Choice,” was initially shown during a 2015 national sales conference encouraged reps to increase Subsys dosages to doctors through a process known as titration. In return, doctors across the country received millions of dollars in a kickback scheme.

“Build relationships that are healthy,” the song went on. “Got more docs than Janelle’s got selfies.”

At the end of the video, the person dressed up as the bottle of Subsys reveals himself as then-vice president of sales, Alec Burlakoff.

Burlakoff pleaded guilty last Fall to racketeering and could soon testify against Kapoor.

The video is the latest evidence in the trial, which has put a spotlight on the federal government’s efforts to crack down on the opioid crisis.

Last month, a former Insys employee told jurors that she witnessed her boss -- regional sales manager Sunrise Lee — give an erotic lap dance at a Chicago club to a doctor that was planning to increase prescriptions of Subsys.

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Zero Hedge

Trash Wars: Duterte Orders Tons Of Garbage Shipped Back To Canada Or Dumped In Territorial Waters

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Outspoken Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered that containers carrying trash from Canada should be shipped back to the country. It is the latest chapter in a disagreement over more than 100 containers of trash that were shipped to the Philippines between 2013 and 2014, illegally, by a Canadian company. 

Canada had previously agreed to take the trash back, but has been slow in making arrangements for its return. Duterte threatened to leave the trash in Canadian waters if Ottawa refuses to take it back, according to Salvador Panelo...

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Phil's Favorites

Animal Spirits: The Absence of Stuff


Animal Spirits: The Absence of Stuff

Courtesy of 

Mention Animal Spirits to receive 20% off from YCharts (*New YCharts users only)

Stories Discussed

Best graduation ever


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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 we believe a combination of Gann Angles, ...

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Insider Scoop

55 Biggest Movers From Yesterday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • Obalon Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: OBLN) shares jumped 233.3 percent to close at $1.30 on Wednesday after the company reported expanded data from a large scale commercial use study that was presented at the Digestive Disease Week.
  • Ascent Capital Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASCMA) shares jumped 51.4 percent to close at $1.37 after the company announced a restructuring support agreement with Monitronics International.
  • Valeritas Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: VLRX) shares dippe... more from Insider

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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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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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


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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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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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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About Ilene:

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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