Archive for the ‘Members’ Corner’ Category

How to Stop Bill Barr

 

How to Stop Bill Barr

We must remove this cancer on our democracy.

Courtesy of Greg Olear, at PREVAIL, author of Dirty Rubles: An Introduction to Trump/Russia

THE THREE INDIVIDUALS on whose support the impeached criminal Donald John Trump most depends are Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corp., who heads the president’s popular propaganda media network; Mitch McConnell, the obstructionist Senate Majority Leader, who throttled the will of the people in the sham impeachment trial; and, above all, William Barr, the nihilist Attorney General, who has done everything in his considerable power to insulate Trump from the law—and, thus, to lurch our democracy toward despotism.

Murdoch will remain at Fox until he steps into direct sunlight or Van Helsing stakes his charred and ashy heart. McConnell will be dealt with in November, at the ballot box. But Barr represents a clear and present danger to the United States. His maneuvers at Justice have neutralized the Office of the Special Counsel, which Barr almost certainly shut down early, inoculating Trump and his minions from further investigation, despite the President’s numerous and egregious crimes.

With the news that the DOJ revised its sentencing recommendations for convicted Trumpist Roger Stone, and the subsequent resignation of all four of the federal prosecutors working that case in protest, it is now clear that, to help his orange overlord, Barr is willing to put his fat thumb on the scales of justice. This is especially dangerous because Barr, like McConnell, but alone among Trump cabinet members, actually knows how to wield the mighty powers at his command.

Let me be clear: Barr is not all-powerful. The DOJ is not a monolith, and it is staffed, in the main, by patriots, not traitors—as demonstrated by the aforementioned protest resignations of the four federal prosecutors. These patriots are doing their jobs, albeit working in what must be less-than-ideal circumstances. Even the report that Barr must sign off on any investigations into the president or any presidential candidate is not necessarily the tyrannical power-grab it might seem at first glance:

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We Are Different. And Different is Difficult.

 

Best-selling author and scientist David Brin shares another excerpt from his new book on the relentless war against democracy and how we can fight back. You can also read the firstsecond and final chapters of Polemical Judo at David's blog, Contrary Brin, and an excerpt from chapter 5, The War on All Fact People, right here

 

WE ARE DIFFERENT. AND DIFFERENT IS DIFFICULT

Excerpted from David Brin's book, in chapter 10, Polemical Judo: Memes for our Political Knife-fight (pp. 159-161). Kindle Edition.    

I’ve asserted that the Rooseveltian reforms might have been too successful. Historians credit them with saving western capitalism by vesting the working class with a large stake. Indeed, they were so successful that the very idea of class war – rampant across almost every other nation and time – seems not even to occur to American boomers. [230]  But as boomers age-out, is that grand time of naïve delusion over?

Forbes in 2016 announced that just 62 ultra-rich individuals have as much wealth as the bottom half of humanity.[231] Five years before, it took 388 rich guys to achieve that status.[232] Which raises a question I’ll repeat ad nauseam throughout this book. Where the heck does this rising, proto-feudal oligarchy think it will all lead?

To a restoration of humanity’s normal, aristocratic pyramid of power, with them on top? Or to radicalization, as a billion members of the hard-pressed but highly skilled and tech-empowered middle class rediscover class struggle, alongside five billion angry workers? (I portray both possibilities in a near-future novel, Existence.) The last time this happened, in the 1930s, lordly owner castes in Germany, Japan, Britain and the U.S. used their mass media ownership to stir populist rightwing movements, hoping to suppress activity on the left while allowing business as usual. Not one of these efforts succeeded. In Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan, their pet monsters rose up and took over, leading to immense pain for all and eventual loss of most of that oligarchic wealth.

In Britain and the U.S. 1930s reactionary fomenters dragged us all-too-near the same path… till moderate reformers
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Humans are hardwired to dismiss facts that don’t fit their worldview

 

Could the tendency for biases to lead to fact denial as described here for beliefs about subjects such as climate change, vaccines, GMOs and Donald Trump could be applied to investing decisions as well? Think about our reluctance to give up on a failing company or lock in a big loss…  

 

Humans are hardwired to dismiss facts that don't fit their worldview

What’s behind this natural tendency? Zhou Eka/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Adrian Bardon, Wake Forest University

Something is rotten in the state of American political life. The U.S. (among other nations) is increasingly characterized by highly polarized, informationally insulated ideological communities occupying their own factual universes.

Within the conservative political blogosphere, global warming is either a hoax or so uncertain as to be unworthy of response. Within other geographic or online communities, vaccines, fluoridated water and genetically modified foods are known to be dangerous. Right-wing media outlets paint a detailed picture of how Donald Trump is the victim of a fabricated conspiracy.

None of that is correct, though. The reality of human-caused global warming is settled science. The alleged link between vaccines and autism has been debunked as conclusively as anything in the history of epidemiology. It’s easy to find authoritative refutations of Donald Trump’s self-exculpatory claims regarding Ukraine and many other issues.

Yet many well-educated people sincerely deny evidence-based conclusions on these matters.

In theory, resolving factual disputes should be relatively easy: Just present evidence of a strong expert consensus. This approach succeeds most of the time, when the issue is, say, the atomic weight of hydrogen.

But things don’t work that way when the scientific consensus presents a picture that threatens someone’s ideological worldview. In practice, it turns out that one’s political, religious or ethnic identity quite effectively predicts one’s willingness to accept expertise on any given politicized issue.

Motivated reasoning” is what social scientists call the process of deciding what evidence to accept based on the conclusion one prefers. As I explain in my book, “The Truth About Denial,” this very human tendency applies to all kinds of facts about the physical…
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What We Talk About When We Talk About the Russian Mob

 

What We Talk About When We Talk About the Russian Mob

Iron Triangles & the Taxonomy of Treason

Courtesy of Greg Olear, at PREVAIL, author of Dirty Rubles: An Introduction to Trump/Russia

IN ROBERT MUELLER’S famed “Iron Triangles” speech, given to the Citizens Crime Commission of New York on 27 January 2011, the then-FBI Director explains how 21st century transnational organized crime works. (He also, improbably, cracks a joke about Justin Bieber’s haircut, the only sentence in the speech that feels dated). The so-called “mob” is no longer run by a few families, Mueller says, but rather “flat, fluid networks with global reach,” comprised of groups in countries all around the world, which are “more anonymous and more sophisticated.”

What we call the Russian mob is not even Russian, per se. Most of the key players hail from other former Soviet Socialist Republics—Ukraine in particular. Semion Mogilevich was born in Ukraine. So was Dmytro Firtash. Lev Parnas is Ukrainian, as is Michael Cohen’s wife’s family; Igor Fruman was born in today’s Belarus, but owns a club (Mafia Rave) in Odessa. But none of them live in the Old Country anymore. After escaping the Soviet Union via Israel, Mogilevich operated for many years in Budapest, and now resides in Moscow. Vienna is the base of operations for Firtash. Parnas, Fruman, and Cohen’s wife’s family all live in the U.S.

In Dirty Rubles, I wrote that the Russian mob was “more S.P.E.C.T.R.E. than GoodFellas.” Mueller uses a different, but no less relevant, pop cultural reference: “This is not The Sopranos, with six guys sitting in a diner,” he says, “shaking down a local business owner for $50 dollars a week.” The operation is orders of magnitude greater, he tells us.

In Red Mafiya, still the seminal book on the Russian mob, Robert Friedman outlines numerous mob operations that are basically schemes to rip off Medicare. What that means is that these crooks come to the United States and flat-out steal our money—and make medical costs more expensive in the process. That sort of thing is the tip of the iceberg. Mueller goes on:

These criminal enterprises are making billions of dollars from human trafficking, health care fraud, computer intrusions, and copyright infringement. They are cornering the market on natural gas, oil, and precious metals, and selling


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The War on All Fact People

 

Best-selling author and scientist David Brin shares an excerpt from his new book, Polemical Judo, on the relentless war against democracy and how we can fight back. You can read the first, second and final chapters on David's blog, Contrary Brin, and an excerpt from chapter 10, We are Different, Different is Difficult, here.

 

The War on All Fact People 

Excerpted from David Brin's new book, the beginning of chapter 5, Polemical Judo: Memes for our Political Knife-fight (pp. 56-62). Kindle Edition.    

I may be ostracized for saying it, but the core targets of the Fox/Putin-led oligarchic putsch aren’t racism or sexism or nativism.[80]

Oh, the foremost victims – those most deeply hurt – are minorities, women, immigrants, non-binaries, the disempowered, millions of children and vulnerable others! To varying degrees, they are the ones suffering pain and gross injustice. And sure, bigotry’s dog-whistles have incited America’s worst elements into violent rage. In The New York Times, Charles Blow summarizes: they support Trump because he is mean to the people they like to be mean to.[81]

“Trump’s own punitive spirit aligns with and gives voice and muscle to American conservatives’ long simmering punitive lust. And this insatiable desire to inflict pain has particular targets: women (specifically feminists), racial minorities, people who are L.G.B.T.Q. and religious minorities in this country. In short, the punishments are directed at anyone who isn’t part of, or supportive of, the white supremacist patriarchy.”

Still, turn your gaze upward from pathetic Nazis and jibbering supremacists, to their masters and hypnotizing controllers. Ponder what those masters need. To them, bigotry is incidental – a leverage tool. Their bid for total power is not blocked by the powerless. But it might truly be thwarted by other, competing “elites.” Consider the bleak prospects for enlightened civilization across this current battlefield. With our elections cheat-stolen, our courts stuff-stacked with shills, millions incited into populist madness, and wealth disparities skyrocketing, just one force stands in feudalism’s way. The new lords must neutralize the counter-effectiveness of our fact-professions.[82]

  • Scientists.[83]                 


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Tobin Smith: Foxocracy, the 2020 Election, and the Stock Market

 

Fox News has been spreading false information and hooking its audience into an angry worldview for decades. Tobin Smith, CEO of Transformity Research, Inc. and former Fox News talk show host, explores this phenomenon and discusses Fox News’ partisan propaganda media strategies and tactics in his new book, Foxocracy: Inside the Network’s Playbook of Tribal Warfare.

If you're trying to understand how Fox News captured so many Americans, this book is for you! 

Discussing Foxocracy with me, Tobin shared his thoughts on the 2020 election, the candidates and the stock market.

Ilene: Tobin, do you think impeaching Trump will hurt the stock market? 

Tobin: No. The market doesn't give a s#*t about an impeachment trial with a GOP Majority in the Senate. It's a nothingburger. 

Ilene: What about the 2020 presidential election?

Tobin: I analyzed the 2016 and 2018 election data deeply. From that data, I can tell you the "Democratic Socialists" have ZERO chance of winning an Electoral College victory or a Democrat Party nomination. If a left-wing moderate wins and Dems take the Senate (a 60% possibility in my model) and pass a repeal (or major change) of the 40% Trump Corporate Tax Cut, the Street will lower EPS by the same amount that it added — so, yes, public equities will undoubtedly get at minimum a 10% correction. 

There is no more of a public critic of Donald Trump as POTUS than me. That said, however, as a macro-economic analyst and equities analyst, what I think many on the left miss about "Trumpism" with regard to the stock market (and US capitalism in general) is not the tax cut but the incredible emotional power of sentiment. Love him or hate him, until he decided to get into a trade war with China, Trump's pro-business and anti-regulation rhetoric and corporate/pass-through entity tax cut absolutely inspired the "animal spirits" of public and private business people who had felt attacked and over-regulated by the Obama administration. Obama's "if you built a business in America, you did not build it by yourself" rhetoric was an emotional hand grenade to many private business people, and it felt like an attack on American capitalism.

Since private companies still employ a majority of Americans, entrepreneurial animal spirits matter — a lot. In my opinion, Dems need to stop the war…
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Sacha Baron Cohen Uses ADL Speech to Tear Apart Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook

 

Sacha Baron Cohen Uses ADL Speech to Tear Apart Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook

By Matt Wilstein

Excerpt:

Sacha Baron Cohen accepted the International Leadership Award at the Anti-Defamation League’s Never is Now summit on anti-Semitism and hate Thursday. And the comedian and actor used his keynote speech to single out the one Jewish-American who he believes is doing the most to facilitate “hate and violence” in America: Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

He began with a joke at the Trump administration’s expense. “Thank you, ADL, for this recognition and your work in fighting racism, hate and bigotry,” Baron Cohen said, according to his prepared remarks. “And to be clear, when I say ‘racism, hate and bigotry’ I’m not referring to the names of Stephen Miller’s Labradoodles.”

Watch Cohen's Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Speech:

 

Sacha Baron Cohen's Keynote Address at ADL's 2019 Never Is Now Summit on Anti-Semitism and Hate

Sacha Baron Cohen is the well-deserved recipient of ADL’s International Leadership Award, which goes to exceptional individuals who combine professional success with a profound personal commitment to community involvement and to crossing borders and barriers with a message of diversity and equal opportunity.

Over 100 years ago Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote: “Sunlight is said to be the best disinfectant.” Through his alter egos, many of whom represent anti-Semites, racists and neo-Nazis, Baron Cohen shines a piercing light on people’s ignorance and biases.





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.

Image result for stock market returns by decade 2018

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) and 20 years (6.7%) than any other investing vehicle and, if that keeps up, a stock market portfolio may give you the best chance of obtaining a functional retirement.  At 7% a year, if you want to generate a $70,000 annual income, you need to have $1M invested but it would be a tragedy if the market dropped 30% and then you had $700,000 and 7% of that is only $49,000 so you have less money coming in AND not enough to live on – keep that in mind when coming up with your "Comfort Number" and, by all means – speak to a Financial Professional who can help you plan by taking into account your own circumstances!  

While some investors shy away from stock options because of their reputation for being akin to gambling, we disagree. Stock options are an important tool for supplementing your stock investing. Options, when used correctly and strategically, allow you to “Be the House, NOT the Gambler”. While no one in the casino always wins, the odds favor the dealer. We’ll show you how to structure your investments to keep the odds in your favor, like the dealer in a casino.


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Michael Cohen Testifying Live

 

WATCH LIVE: Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen testifies before the House Oversight Committee





Why Trump Can’t Learn

 

Bill Eddy (lawyer, therapist, author) predicted Trump's chaotic presidency based on his high-conflict personality, which was evident years ago. This post, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump even became president, 5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn. ~ Ilene 

Why Trump Can’t Learn

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore 3

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore (Source)

Courtesy of Bill Eddy, President of the High Conflict Institute

Once again, today’s news raises issues that I addressed a year ago regarding candidate Donald Trump. It amazes me how many people expect change and improvement from those who demonstrate the four key high-conflict personality characteristics: all-or-nothing thinking, unmanaged emotions, extreme behavior or threats, and a preoccupation with blaming others.

This week in an article dated August 4, 2017, New Yorker magazine author Robin Wright asks: Why Does Trump Remain So Witless about the World?” She spoke with foreign-policy advisers from eight past Administrations, who were “aghast” that he hasn’t learned anything about the world since he took office six months ago. Yet I believe this was predictable. The following is a part of an article I wrote over a year ago, just before the Republican convention that seems even more relevant (and frightening) today:

5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn

This week Michael Hayden, former head of the CIA, said that he could not support Donald Trump because he doesn’t seem to be learning anything in the foreign policy area. This includes Trump’s repeated statements for waterboarding alleged terrorists, which violates the law and Hayden says would not be followed by the U. S. military. This raises the question of when Trump will learn what he needs to know to be president. My concern is that his high-conflict personality prevents him from learning these lessons, for the following reasons:

  1. All-or-nothing thinking: Trump seems to believe that he has a wonderful brain and already knows everything he needs to know to be president. It’s simple and only he has the answers—and he already has them. He doesn’t study policy, doesn’t surround himself with advisors and doesn’t listen.
  2. Intense emotions: He lets his emotions dominate the moment, which means that he gets easily distracted by his emotional reactions such as bickering for


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Phil's Favorites

Coronavirus: the blow to the Chinese economy could be felt for years

 

Coronavirus: the blow to the Chinese economy could be felt for years

Courtesy of Chusu He, Coventry University

Investors are still being fairly complacent about the novel coronavirus. After the number of new daily cases suddenly shot up to more than 15,000 on February 12 following more than a week of decline, there were some jitters in the markets. With Chinese authorities saying the increase was due to a decision to broaden the definition for diagnosing people, there were falls in the region of 1% in European markets, and smaller retrenchments in Asia and North America.

It is...



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Biotech & Health

Coronavirus: the blow to the Chinese economy could be felt for years

 

Coronavirus: the blow to the Chinese economy could be felt for years

Courtesy of Chusu He, Coventry University

Investors are still being fairly complacent about the novel coronavirus. After the number of new daily cases suddenly shot up to more than 15,000 on February 12 following more than a week of decline, there were some jitters in the markets. With Chinese authorities saying the increase was due to a decision to broaden the definition for diagnosing people, there were falls in the region of 1% in European markets, and smaller retrenchments in Asia and North America.

It is...



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Zero Hedge

China Adopts 'Cultural Revolution-Style' Social Controls To Crush Outbreak As Death Toll Nears 2,000

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Summary:

  • Taiwan reports 1st coronavirus death
  • Hubei reports 1,933 new cases, 100 deaths
  • Hubei health officials report 1,933 new cases, 100 new deaths
  • Taiwan taxi driver who died from virus carried passengers from mainland, Hong Kong, Macau
  • Singapore reports 3 more cases
  • Total cases aboard 'Diamond Princess' climbs to 355 as US prepares to evacuate citizens
  • Indonesia says 6 passengers from Westerdam cruise ship tested negative
  • There are now at least 68,500 cases worldwide, and at least 1,665 de...


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Members' Corner

How to Stop Bill Barr

 

How to Stop Bill Barr

We must remove this cancer on our democracy.

Courtesy of Greg Olear, at PREVAIL, author of Dirty Rubles: An Introduction to Trump/Russia

...



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The Technical Traders

Is The Technology Sector Setting Up For A Crash? Part I

Courtesy of Technical Traders

One thing that continues to amaze our research team is the total scale and scope of the Capital Shift which is taking place across the globe.  For almost 5+ years, foreign investors have been piling into the US stock market chasing the stronger US dollar and continued advancement of US share prices. It is almost like there is no other place on the planet that will allow investors to pool capital into such a variety of strong assets while protecting against foreign capital risks.  Yet the one big question remains – when will a price reversion event hit the US stock
market?

So many researchers, even our team of researchers, believe we have found the keys to unloc...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Joe Friday Says Germany (DAX) Could Rally 30%, Happy Valentines Day For The Bulls!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

German DAX Index “weekly” Chart

The German DAX is one of the more important global stock market indices, as it represents the largest economy / market in the Euro Zone.

So it would be a real treat for the bulls to see this stock market index breakout as we celebrate Valentine’s Day.

The facts, Ma’am. Just the facts; The German DAX looks to have formed a bullish ascending triangle over the past 3 years and it is currently attempting to breakout above the top at (1)....



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Insider Scoop

Nissan Shares Tumble To Decade Low After Q3 Earnings Miss

Courtesy of Benzinga

The shares of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (OTC: NSANY) dropped to a decade low on Thursday after the company missed third-quarter earnings estimates and significantly cut its annual forecast for the financial 2019 year.

What Happened

Nissan, on Thursday, reported a net loss o...



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ValueWalk

Russell 2000 Index (RUT) hits an almost one-month high

By Gorilla Trades. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Ad the Russell 2000 Index (INDEXRUSSELL: RUT) hit an almost one-month high today, commenting on today’s trading Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman said:

Q4 2019 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Russell 2000 Index (INDEXRUSSELL: RUT) Outperforms Large-Cap Benchmarks

While the overnight session was nothing short of scary stocks held on to most of yesterday's gains and small-caps even extended their winning streak. The Russell 2000 Index (INDEXRUSSELL: RUT) hit an almost one-month high today, finishing higher for the fourth day in a row while outperforming the large-cap benchmarks, and since the Volatility...



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Chart School

Dow theory warning from the Utilities Index

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Charles Dow died in 1902, and the investors should thank him for his ever lasting Dow Theory Analysis.

Carrying on this blog theme looking at the Utility stocks. Previous post.
Dow Jones Utility index could trade like the FANGs
Formula for when the Great Stock Market Rally ends



You can learn about Dow Theory here

This post is concerned wi...

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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin Price May Hit $27K All-Time High By Summer, Predicts Fundstrat's Tom Lee

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by William Suberg via CoinTelegraph.com,

Bitcoin is primed for average gains of almost 200% over the next six months, one of its best-known supporters has told mainstream media. 

...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.