Author Archive for ilene

The Only Two Scarce Resources Left on Wall Street

 

The Only Two Scarce Resources Left on Wall Street

Courtesy of 

There are only two commodities left worth anything in the money management business. In an all hands meeting at Ritholtz Wealth, CEO Josh Brown explains…

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European elections: a beginner’s guide to the vote

 

European elections: a beginner's guide to the vote

File 20190429 194603 posrl7.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

EPA.

Courtesy of Tatiana Coutto, University of Warwick

The European Parliament elections are not unlike cricket. Both can last for quite a few days and it can be pretty hard to understand the rules. This year’s European elections take place between May 23 and 26 and different countries vote on different days.

It’s not surprising that few people bother to vote in these elections, either because they find the whole process too complicated or because they find it boring (some people feel the same about cricket).

But this year’s vote is shaping up to be more interesting than most. The populist surge across Europe is being felt in Brussels, as eurosceptic parties aim to cause trouble from inside. The UK’s failure to secure a Brexit deal has left it in the bizarre position of needing to stand candidates despite its planned departure from the bloc.

Parties across the political spectrum have launched initiatives to encourage 400m EU citizens to register and vote. The European Parliament (EP) launched the “This time I’m voting” campaign with the same objective, and an app with information about registration and voting in all member states.

Here’s how the vote will work and why these elections are actually very important.

The basics

EU citizens will be voting to fill 751 seats in the European Parliament. Although, if the UK pulls out at the last minute in the unlikely event of agreeing a Brexit deal, they will be voting to fill 705 seats.

EU citizens vote for the candidates or parties of their country of origin or residence, provided that they are registered. Those living overseas can use their country’s embassies, consulates or schools to vote for a candidate running in their home country. The minimum age is 18 except in Austria and Malta (where it’s 16) and Greece (where it’s 17). Voting is compulsory in Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece and Luxembourg – although this rule is not always enforced.

Each member state is allocated a certain number of seats in the European Parliament, according to the size of its population (economic indicators or…
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The 5 Fatal Flaws of Trading

 

The 5 Fatal Flaws of Trading

Courtesy of Elliott Wave International

Close to ninety percent of all traders lose money. The remaining ten percent somehow manage to either break even or even turn a profit — and more importantly, do it consistently. How do they do that?

That's an age-old question. While there is no magic formula, Elliott Wave International's own Jeffrey Kennedy has identified five fundamental flaws that, in his opinion, stop most traders from being consistently successful. We don't claim to have found The Holy Grail of trading here, but sometimes a single idea can change a person's life. Maybe you'll find one in Jeffrey's take on trading. We sincerely hope so.

The following is an excerpt form Jeffrey Kennedy's Trader's Classroom Collection eBook.

Why Do Traders Lose?

If you've been trading for a long time, you no doubt have felt that a monstrous, invisible hand sometimes reaches into your trading account and takes out money. It doesn't seem to matter how many books you buy, how many seminars you attend or how many hours you spend analyzing price charts, you just can't seem to prevent that invisible hand from depleting your trading account funds.

Which brings us to the question: Why do traders lose? Or maybe we should ask, "How do you stop the Hand?" Whether you are a seasoned professional or just thinking about opening your first trading account, the ability to stop the Hand is proportional to how well you understand and overcome the Five Fatal Flaws of trading. For each fatal flaw represents a finger on the invisible hand that wreaks havoc with your trading account.

Fatal Flaw No. 1 — Lack of Methodology

If you aim to be a consistently successful trader, then you must have a defined trading methodology, which is simply a clear and concise way of looking at markets. Guessing or going by gut instinct won't work over the long run. If you don't have a defined trading methodology, then you don't have a way to know what constitutes a buy or sell signal. Moreover, you can't even consistently correctly identify the trend.

How to overcome this fatal flaw?


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How Bad Are Things on Wall Street? JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs Offer No Minimum Accounts

Courtesy of Pam Martens.

Broken Piggy BankAfter chasing the super rich for a century, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are now offering no minimum accounts. As we will explain shortly, their motives may not be all that altruistic.

In March of 2016, the Wall Street Journal’s Emily Glazer reported that clients of JPMorgan Chase’s Private Bank “will be required to have at least $10 million in investible assets, twice the current minimum of $5 million.”

What smells like real money to Goldman Sachs has also been eight-figures and higher. In 2013, the New York Times reported that Goldman had a $10 million minimum to manage private wealth and was booting out its own employees’ accounts if they were less than $1 million.

High net worth individuals are what each of the mega Wall Street banks look for since the more money the bank invests, the more fees it generates and the fatter its bonuses are to its traders and executives. And the super rich do not want to be seen coming through the same doors to invest with the main street common folks.

For more than a century, it has been something of a sacrosanct oath for JPMorgan and Goldman to keep out the hoi polloi. When Nomi Prins, the prolific author and former Managing Director of Goldman Sachs penned her 2004 book, Other People’s Money: The Corporate Mugging of America, she wrote that Goldman wastoo conceited to have its name or logo visible from the sidewalk of its 85 Broad Street headquarters.”

When Goldman Sachs was negotiating its deal with New York City in 2005 to build its new headquarters building at 200 West Street, one of its requirements was that it have a seat along with the New York City Police Department in a taxpayer-funded spy center to keep the Main Street riffraff under surveillance. Goldman wanted the new surveillance center to be in place no later than December 31, 2009. Curious, isn’t it, that Goldman was prescient enough to think that the pitchforks might be coming out after an epic crash on Wall Street. The spy center was, indeed, built and both Goldman and JPMorgan Chase were given seats, along with the New York Fed, Citigroup and others. (See Wall Street Firms Spy On Protesters in Tax-Funded Center and 60 Minutes Takes a Pass on Wall Street’s Secret Spy Center.)



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Drones to deliver incessant buzzing noise, and packages

 

Drones to deliver incessant buzzing noise, and packages

File 20190430 136807 izn2za.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

It’s going to get loud. Alexey Laputin/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Garth Paine, Arizona State University

A sister company of Google, Alphabet’s Wing Aviation, just got federal approval to start using drones for commercial delivery. Amazon’s own drone-delivery program is ready to launch as well. As drones take flight, the world is about to get a lot louder – as if neighborhoods were filled with leaf blowers, lawn mowers and chainsaws.

Are you ready for this?

Small recreational drones are fairly loud. Serious commercial drones are much louder. They have eight or more propellers (Alphabet’s Wing has 14; Amazon’s Octocopter has eight spinning at thousands of revolutions per minute, physically beating the air to generate lift and movement. The heavier the load, the harder they have to work, the more air gets beaten – and the louder the sound.

Drones also make higher pitched buzzing sounds than helicopters, which have much lower frequencies because their larger rotors don’t need to spin as fast to generate the necessary power. Now imagine tens or even hundreds of drones buzzing around your neighborhood, delivering packages to homes and businesses. Next, imagine the round-the-clock hives of aerial activity that warehouses and distribution centers will become, in addition to their existing burden on local roads; Amazon recently ordered 20,000 new vans.

As an acoustic ecologist, I monitor the sound of our environment and how it changes. I am concerned that drones are taking to the air without a lot of thought for the ears of people on the ground.

Will there be a weight limit on delivery-drone payloads? Who will monitor the sound levels, and how? Should there be a curfew on hours of operation? There must be a reason companies don’t include the sound of the drone in advertising materials – and it’s probably not because they sound so nice.

In this ad, the drone seems silent.

Health and


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Amazon Ads vs Google, Instagram, Facebook

 

Amazon Ads vs Google, Instagram, Facebook

Courtesy of 

 

As Amazon’s advertising platform grows, which existing platforms are the most vulnerable? Google? Facebook? Or can all three giants coexist?

Josh Brown talks with media agency founder Greg March of Noble People about what’s going on.

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Congress is considering privacy legislation – be afraid

 

Congress is considering privacy legislation – be afraid

Courtesy of Jeff Sovern, St. John's University

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called privacy the “right to be let alone.” Perhaps Congress should give states trying to protect consumer data the same right.

For years, a gridlocked Congress ignored privacy, apart from occasionally scolding companies such as Equifax and Marriott after their major data breaches. In its absence, states have taken the lead in experimenting with privacy-related laws.

California, for example, recently passed legislation giving citizens the right to know what data businesses have on them – and to block the information’s sale to third parties. It’s the first of its kind in the U.S. and has prompted lawmakers in other states to try to follow suit.

That’s gotten the attention of businesses, especially in tech, which have been lobbying Congress to preempt a possible patchwork of state laws with what could amount to a weaker federal one. Some observers predict this could be that rare issue that inspires bipartisan compromise in Congress this year.

Sounds like great news, right?

Wrong.

As someone who has studied privacy for nearly two decades, I believe consumers are better off if Congress doesn’t intrude and lets states keep experimenting on how to best protect Americans’ personal data.

Following California’s lead

It may be hard to remember, but there was a time when companies were able to keep data breaches secret, so that consumers didn’t even know hackers had their information and that they needed to take steps to protect themselves.

Then California’s data breach law took effect in 2003. California requires companies that suffer data breaches to notify affected consumers as well as the state’s attorney general.

As lawmakers elsewhere learned from these notifications just how common data breaches had become, the other 49 states followed suit. The result is that more than 8,000 data breaches affecting more than 11 billion records have been made public – and all without Congress doing a thing.

If states had not acted on their own, Americans might never have learned about the Equifax or Marriott…
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Are we witnessing the death of liberal democracy?

 

Are we witnessing the death of liberal democracy?

File 20190514 60560 hzguyf.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

U.S. President Donald Trump welcomes Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to the White House on May 13, 2019. Strongmen like Orbán are increasingly gaining ground as the death knell sounds for liberal democracy. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Courtesy of Ian McKay, McMaster University

All over the world, alarm bells are ringing for democracy. Everywhere we find strongmen in charge, enraged citizens and a desperate search for explanations and remedies. Rodrigo Duterte’s Philippines. Viktor Orbán’s Hungary. Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israel. Maybe something’s even going wrong in the United States.

In 1992, political theorist Francis Fukuyama declared there was finally a solution to the riddle: “Who should rule, and why?” The answer: liberal democracy.

A generation later, Fukuyama’s declaration is not wearing well.

As it turns out, the structural flaw that would hobble liberal democracy had actually been identified 30 years earlier, in a study called Possessive Individualism by University of Toronto political scientist Crawford Brough Macpherson.

An undated photo of Macpherson. Creative Commons

He pointed out that liberal democracy was a contradiction in terms. From the 16th century to the 20th, classical liberals of the British tradition had argued for the rights of the “individual.” In theory and practice, though, they only counted a person as an individual (almost always male) who had command over himself and his possessions, including human ones.

For all his inspiring words about government created by and responsive to “the people,” supposedly liberal philosopher John Locke, investor in the slave trade, had a narrow view of who got to be considered a rights-bearing individual.

The key was property. Society was little more than an agreement among the privileged to respect each other’s property rights.

Hardly pro-democracy

These liberals were not democrats, but after the rise of industrial capitalism, they had to respond to growing populations of working people with their own, often democratic, ideas. Generations of liberals, with John Stuart Mill at the helm, struggled to reconcile their assumptions about free-standing…
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How millennials are affecting the price of your home

 

How millennials are affecting the price of your home

File 20190506 103045 pp5uj3.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Millennials are less likely to own a home than previous generations were at the same age. Andy Dean Photography/shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Jimmie Lenz, University of South Carolina

It used to be that everyone wanted to buy a home, seeking pleasure and security, as well as the potential for future wealth.

But younger Americans are buying homes far less often than their elders’ generations did, and that puts a large sector of the U.S. economy at risk.

Millennial home ownership levels are dramatically lower than the those of previous generations at a similar age. In 1985, 45.5% of 25- to 34-year-olds owned homes in the U.S. By 2015, this had fallen about 25%.

Since the housing industry currently accounts for 15% to 18% of the nation’s gross domestic product, any change in established behavior could have substantial consequences on the larger economy.

Researchers like me who are interested in the future of the U.S. economy are faced with some difficult questions about how millennials’ behavior is changing the housing market.

My recent research suggests that both increases and decreases in home prices can be directly tied to where millennials choose to live. If a long-term behavioral change is afoot, and this generation continues not to buy homes, it will very directly impact GDP.

Homeownership

Research has shown that younger generations lag behind previous generations in terms of milestones like homeownership and marriage.

One of the assets that set previous generations apart is home equity. In 2001, Gen-Xers held an average of US$130,000 in assets, compared to millennials in 2016 that held almost 31% less.

However, assets attributed to home equity are subject to the whims of the housing market. Just ask anyone still underwater on a home purchased before the financial crisis.

And home equity isn’t just vulnerable to large-scale economic upheavals. In fact, it’s constantly fluctuating.

Age and cost

I analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau and American Community Survey from about 800 of the most populous counties in the U.S., or about 85%…
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Why is the Pentagon interested in UFOs?

 

Why is the Pentagon interested in UFOs?

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An apparently unidentified object detected on a Navy plane’s infrared camera. U.S. Department of Defense/Navy Times

Courtesy of Iain Boyd, University of Michigan

U.S. Navy pilots and sailors won’t be considered crazy for reporting unidentified flying objects, under new rules meant to encourage them to keep track of what they see. Yet just a few years ago, the Pentagon reportedly shut down another official program that investigated UFO sightings. What has changed? Is the U.S. military finally coming around to the idea that alien spacecraft are visiting our planet?

The answer to that question is almost certainly no. Humans’ misinterpretation of observations of natural phenomena are as old as time and include examples such as manatees being seen as mermaids and driftwood in a Scottish loch being interpreted as a monster. A more recent and relevant example is the strange luminescent structure in the sky caused by a SpaceX rocket launch. In these types of cases, incorrect interpretations occur because people have incomplete information or misunderstand what they’re seeing.

Based on my prior experience as a science advisor to the Air Force, I believe that the Pentagon wants to avoid this type of confusion, so it needs to better understand flying objects that it can’t now identify. During a military mission, whether in peace or in war, if a pilot or soldier can’t identify an object, they have a serious problem: How should they react, without knowing if it is neutral, friendly or threatening? Fortunately, the military can use advanced technologies to try to identify strange things in the sky.

What is this object?

Taking the ‘U’ out of ‘UFO’

“Situational awareness” is the military term for having complete understanding of the environment in which you are operating. A UFO represents a gap in situational awareness. At the moment, when a Navy pilot sees something strange during flight, just about the only thing he or she can do is ask other pilots and air traffic control what they saw in that place at that time. Globally, the…
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Phil's Favorites

Getting ready for hurricane season: 4 essential reads

 

Getting ready for hurricane season: 4 essential reads

Debris in a boatyard in Mexico Beach, Fla., on Oct. 11, 2018, after Hurricane Michael heavily damaged the town. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File

Courtesy of Jennifer Weeks, The Conversation

The official Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1, even as many communities are still recovering from a destructive year in 2018. Hurricane Florence swamped much of the Carolinas in September, followed by Hurricane Michael, which battered ...



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Zero Hedge

USPS Starts Testing Self-Driving Trucks For Long Hauls

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The US Postal Service (USPS) has awarded TuSimple, a global self-driving truck company, a contract to haul mail across the country with self-driving trucks, a move that could save the money-losing government agency millions of dollars per year if implemented, reported a TuSimple press release.

The two-week pilot started Tuesday will haul USPS trailers about 1,000 miles bet...



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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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Insider Scoop

55 Biggest Movers From Yesterday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Gainers
  • 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...


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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap May 18, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

China – U.S. trade talk continued to dominate the week.   A heavy selloff Monday was followed by 3 up days, with Friday moderately down.

On Monday, Chinese officials announced retaliatory tariffs against the U.S., hitting $60 billion in annual exports to China with new or expanded duties that could reach 25%.

Then on Wednesday:

The Trump administration plans to delay a decision on instituting new tariffs on car and auto part imports for up to six months, according to media reports.

...

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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:

 

·       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.

Market Shadows >>