Archive for the ‘Topic’ Category

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 a fairly minor shift in sentiment after a few days in which investor concerns had been steadily receding. There appears to be a real danger of underestimating the likely economic impact of this crisis. China’s manufacturing sector in particular faces an unprecedented challenge because supply chains have been so seriously disrupted.

Coronavirus daily new cases

Worldometers

Well over 80 cities have gone into lockdown, including the entire areas of five Chinese provinces – Hubei, Liaoning, Jiangxi, An’hui and Inner Mongolia – and four main cities in Zhejiang province, affecting well over 275 million people. Since February 10, Beijing and Shanghai have further restricted the movement of people, having already extended the Chinese New Year break.

My parents live in Jiangxi province and are among millions semi-quarantined at home. The local government allows one person from each household to go out every two day to buy necessities. Even in cities not under compulsory lockdown, there are rarely people on the streets. The tweet below shows the Nanjing Road in Shanghai, the busiest shopping precinct in the country. It was taken on January 26 but the situation is not much better now.

This is taking a serious toll on the Chinese economy. No statistics on the actual losses are available yet, but for example, the number of intercity passengers on public…
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Designing artificial brains can help us learn more about real ones

 

Designing artificial brains can help us learn more about real ones

Understanding how the computations in the brain go wrong could help scientists develop treatments for neurological disorders. (Shutterstock)

Courtesy of Blake Richards, McGill University

Despite billions of dollars spent and decades of research, computation in the human brain remains largely a mystery. Meanwhile, we have made great strides in the development of artificial neural networks, which are designed to loosely mimic how brains compute. We have learned a lot about the nature of neural computation from these artificial brains and it’s time to take what we’ve learned and apply it back to the biological ones.

Neurological diseases are on the rise worldwide, making a better understanding of computation in the brain a pressing problem. Given the ability of modern artificial neural networks to solve complex problems, a framework for neuroscience guided by machine learning insights may unlock valuable secrets about our own brains and how they can malfunction.

Our thoughts and behaviours are generated by computations that take place in our brains. To effectively treat neurological disorders that alter our thoughts and behaviours, like schizophrenia or depression, we likely have to understand how the computations in the brain go wrong.

However, understanding neural computation has proven to be an immensely difficult challenge. When neuroscientists record activity in the brain, it is often indecipherable.

In a paper published in Nature Neuroscience, my co-authors and I argue that the lessons we have learned from artificial neural networks can guide us down the right path of understanding the brain as a computational system rather than as a collection of indecipherable cells.

Brain network models

Artificial neural networks are computational models that loosely mimic the integration and activation properties of real neurons. They have become ubiquitous in the field of artificial intelligence.

To construct artificial neural networks, you start by first designing the network architecture: how the different components of the network are connected to one another. Then, you define the learning goal for the architecture, such as “learn to predict what you’re going to see next.” Then, you define a rule that tells the network how to change in…
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These Are the Goods

 

These Are the Goods

Courtesy of 

Articles

The real expected value of random stock research is zero, by Tyro Capital

Home prices are rising faster than wages in roughly 80 percent of American metro regions, by Annie Lowrey

Dynamic withdrawal strategies transform sequence risk into lifestyle risk, by Adam Collins

What tech has done to retail, is unfolding in media, by Scott Galloway

The problem when studying historical events is that you know how the story ends, and it’s impossible to un-remember what you know today when thinking about the past, by Morgan Housel 

If you’re a long-term investor in equities, experiencing a large decline is a matter of when, not if, by Charlie Bilello

My heart is full and my cup runneth over, by Blair duQuesnay

If history is any indicator, those skittish during the great bull market will be panic stricken when volatility hits, by Verdad Capital

Sometimes you have to light your money on fire, by Ben Carlson

One of the arguments for why markets crash during viral outbreaks is that market participants are anticipating worsening results, by Nick Maggiulli

Podcasts

I’ve never been afraid of taking big risks, with Bill Simmons and Bob Iger

Books

In August, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange alone identified forty-six instances where Deutsche had violated technical rules regarding the trading of derivatives, by David Enrich

 




Hedge Fund CIO: Guys Text Me All Day, The Dumbest Of The Dumb Are Making Hundreds Of Thousands Daytrading Tesla Right Now

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Submitted by Eric Peters, CIO of One River Asset Management

"You always knew you’d know it when you saw it,” said Roadrunner. “But you could never be sure what it would look like until you saw it,” continued the market’s biggest equity vol trader. “This is it – now we know. We’re in this cycle’s euphoria stage,” said Roadrunner.

“The Tesla move we just saw is unlike anything I’ve experienced.” Amazon trades 2.5-3.0mm shares on a busy day. Tesla traded 60mm. “1.4mm Tesla options traded. And vol was 170. I’m guessing that in notional terms it was the busiest day for a single stock in history."

"The Tesla flows are mostly retail,” continued Roadrunner. “And most of the flow is in one-week options.” Which tells you it’s pure speculation. “Guys text me all day. And the dumbest of the dumb are making hundreds of thousands in their personal accounts right now.” Animal spirits have been unleashed. The shift by brokers to offer zero-commission equity-trading added to the market’s energy.

“This is Millennial kind of action. It’s like it was in 1999. It’s a race to the top, fear of missing out kind of move,” said Roadrunner, glancing left, right, up.

"This year is set to be wild,” said Roadrunner. “The big bear market probably waits till right after the election, and it won’t matter if Trump wins or loses,” he said.

So that means you need to get out well ahead of Nov, because bear markets have a way of outsmarting almost everyone,” said Roadrunner. “And as this phase ends, the question is what will replace it?” he asked, stopping to scan the horizon. “I wonder if Larry Fink’s recent ESG theme kicks off a self-fulfilling bubble in a whole group of new names. Maybe Tesla is showing us the way."

"Sentiment is not yet off the charts,” bellowed Biggie Too. “And the data does not say boom or bust, inflation or deflation,” continued the global chief investment strategist for one of Wall Street’s too-big-to-fail affairs. “It’s just that when you


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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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Coronavirus: The latest disease to fuel mistrust, fear and racism

 

Coronavirus: The latest disease to fuel mistrust, fear and racism

Medical staff strike over coronavirus concerns in Hong Kong. Hospital workers are demanding the border with mainland China be shut completely to ward off the virus. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Courtesy of Korey Pasch, Queen's University, Ontario

With the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Wuhan, China, stories of courage and strength have captured our collective attention as the disease spreads.

We have also seen large-scale efforts in China to combat coronavirus, including the construction of new hospitals and facilities in provincial areas as well as the massive quarantine of millions of people.

While efforts to address the disease move forward, the outbreak has also revealed the darker side of human nature and our responses to new diseases and other catastrophic events: mistrust, fear and outright racism.

Here in Canada, we have seen racism and stereotyping of the Chinese community as the number and location of cases of coronavirus have spread and fear of the outbreak festers.

The surge of fear and racism in the face of this latest outbreak is similar to previous experiences in the wake of other diseases, such as the Ebola and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) viruses.

Yet the prevalence of racism and scapegoating in the face of catastrophes and disasters has a much longer history than these more recent outbreaks.

This history provides important context and is worth reflecting upon. It reminds us that disasters and catastrophes are not exclusively natural phenomena, and are also a result of the economic, political and social decisions that create vulnerability to risk.

Importantly, discrimination, racism and scapegoating has been used to distract from the underlying economic, political and social decisions that produced vulnerability to disaster and disease in the first place.

Disasters aren’t natural

While many headlines highlight “natural” disasters in the aftermath of the latest catastrophe, researchers in the field of disaster studies have long demonstrated the social construction of these events.

This means that catastrophes, whether they’re the latest earthquake, hurricane or outbreak of disease like the coronavirus, are fundamentally connected…
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The Secret of Stock Picking

 

The Secret of Stock Picking

Courtesy of 

Isiah Thomas used to say, “The secret of basketball is that it’s not about basketball.

Bill Simmons wrote about this in his book. He said:

Those teams were loaded with talented players, yes, but that’s not the only reason they won. They won because they liked each other, knew their roles, ignored statistics and valued winning over everything else. They won because their best players sacrificed to make everyone else happy. They won as long as everyone remained on the same page. By that same token, they lost if any of those three factors weren’t in place…Year after year, at least one contender fell short for reasons that had little of nothing to do with basketball. And year after year, the championship team prevailed because it got along and everyone committed themselves to their roles…The secret of basketball is that it’s not about basketball.

Similarly, the secret of stock picking is that it’s not about stock picking. It’s about position sizing, humility, risk management, your opponents, yourself, the right partners, the right people and the right culture, to name a few.

I thought about this today after I read Tyro Capital’s 2019 annual commentary.

Here are a few snippets from their piece that struck a chord, none of which are about selecting stocks.

The fundamental error in defaulting to low valuation instead of deep fundamental underwriting work as a top of-funnel screen is best explained if one were to imagine the stock market as a retail store. You speak to the salesperson and they say to you, “OK, we have 1000 different things you can buy. These 800? They’re all the same price. These 100? They’re super nice and very expensive. Finally, we have these 100 that no one wants. They’re very cheap.” Now, imagine after that he told you, “Oh, and a thousand people already picked through the cheap ones.”

This is something you can’t learn about in The Intelligent Investor.

Investing is a very difficult and complex game, and many money managers


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Natural supplements can be dangerously contaminated, or not even have the specified ingredients

 

Natural supplements can be dangerously contaminated, or not even have the specified ingredients

Some supplement products contain substances that are harmful. Getty Images / David Malan

Courtesy of C. Michael White, University of Connecticut

More than two-thirds of Americans take dietary supplements. The vast majority of consumers – 84% – are confident the products are safe and effective.

They should not be so trusting.

I’m a professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Connecticut. As described in my new article in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy, consumers take real risks if they use diet supplements not independently verified by reputable outside labs.

What are the risks?

Heavy metals, which are known to cause cancer, dementia and brittle bones, contaminate many diet supplements. One study of 121 products revealed 5% of them surpassed the safe daily consumption limit for arsenic. Two percent had excess lead, cadmium and aluminum; and 1% had too much mercury. In June 2019, the Food and Drug Administration seized 300,000 dietary supplement bottles because their pills contained excessive lead levels.

Bacterial and fungal contamination in dietary supplements is not uncommon. In one assessment, researchers found bacteria in all 138 products they investigated. Toxic fungi were also in many of the supplements, and counts for numerous products exceeded the acceptable limits set by the United States Pharmacopeia. Fungal contamination of diet supplements has been linked to serious liver, intestinal and appendix damage.

From 2017-18, dozens were hospitalized with salmonella poisoning after ingesting kratom, a highly addictive natural opioid. Thirty-seven of the kratom products studied were contaminated.

There are ways consumers can verify the quality and safety of supplements. Getty Images / Tanya Constantine

Some dietary supplements contain drugs, yet the manufacturers don’t disclose that information to consumers. Frequently, the concealed drugs are experimental and, in some cases, removed from the market because they’re dangerous. Hundreds of weight-loss, sexual-dysfunction and muscle-building products are adulterated with inferior or harmful substances.

Sometimes, the herb you think you’re buying…
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Online Trading Academy Sued By FTC For Bilking Boomers Out Of $370 Million

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

An investment training program called Online Trading Academy (OTA) collected $370 million for classes over six years, misleading predominantly baby boomers in how to time the stock market.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Wednesday, Feb 12, charged the California-based operation for overstating how easy it was to make money from their exclusive trading system.

The FTC said retirement-age students paid up to $50k for classes, with promises that these folks could "invest like the pros on Wall Street. No matter your experience and goals," people were swindled out of tens of thousands of dollars by being told OTA had a "proven" strategy was "designed to make money in any market, whether it's going up or down."

OTA has ten academies plus 31 franchised locations across the country and in the United Kingdom, Canada, India, Singapore, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The FTC alleges that OTA lured in potential boomers by enticing them with $299, three-day "orientation," where sales agents would push more classes that would cost tens of thousands of dollars.

The FTC said OTA couldn't support its claims of 'trading riches' – indicating that a company survey showed just 3% of people who responded claimed to be making "a lot of money," 31% reported making "a little money," and 66% said they were "making no money at all."

"It is illegal to make earnings claims in marketing investment opportunities or training unless the seller has a reasonable basis for making such claims," said Andrew Smith, director of the commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection. OTA "used unfounded earnings claims to bilk Americans out of their savings."

It should be noted that day trading for a living or gambling your retirement savings is a dangerous business.

A study from the Social Science Research Network titled Day Trading for a Living?, published last fall, found 97% of Brazilian day traders lost money.

The most successful day trading technique over the last decade has been crafted by the Federal Reserve flooding markets with an unprecedented amount of liquidity, resulting in the "buy the (f*cking) dip" (BTFD). 

BTFD works well when the Fed is expanding its balance sheet, but as we found out on Thursday, term repo is expected to decline next month, so maybe BTFD becomes exhausted…

 





AI algorithms intended to root out welfare fraud often end up punishing the poor instead

 

AI algorithms intended to root out welfare fraud often end up punishing the poor instead

Automated algorithms – not humans – are increasingly making decisions about who’s eligible for welfare benefits. gorodenkoff/Getty Images

Courtesy of Michele Gilman, University of Baltimore

President Donald Trump recently suggested there is “tremendous fraud” in government welfare programs.

Although there’s very little evidence to back up his claim, he’s hardly the first politician – conservative or liberal – to vow to crack down on fraud and waste in America’s social safety net.

States – which are charged with distributing and overseeing many federally funded benefits – are taking these fraud accusations seriously. They are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence and other automated systems to determine benefits eligibility and ferret out fraud in a variety of benefits programs, from food stamps and Medicaid to unemployment insurance.

Of course, government agencies should ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent effectively. The problem is these automated decision-making systems are sometimes rife with errors and designed in ways that punish the poor for being poor, leading to tragic results.

As a clinical law professor who has researched safety net programs and has represented low-income clients in public benefits cases for over 20 years, I believe it’s essential these systems are designed in ways that are fair, transparent and accountable to prevent hurting society’s most vulnerable.

Facts about fraud

First, it’s important to make one thing clear: The evidence suggests incidents of user fraud in government welfare programs are rare.

For instance, the food stamp program, formally called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, currently serves about 40 million people monthly at an annual cost of US$68 billion. Despite regular denigration of food stamp recipients, less than 1% of benefits go to ineligible households, according to the federal government.

And, of those families, the majority of overpayments result from mistakes by recipients, state workers or computer programmers as they navigate complex regulatory requirements – not any intent to defraud the system.

As for Medicaid, which provides health insurance for low-income people, …
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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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