Archive for the ‘Phil’s Favorites’ Category

Why do so many people fall for fake profiles online?


Why do so many people fall for fake profiles online?

File 20180917 158216 t52jx0.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Do you want to be friends with this person? Sasun Bughdaryan

Courtesy of Arun Vishwanath, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

The first step in conducting online propaganda efforts and misinformation campaigns is almost always a fake social media profile. Phony profiles for nonexistent people worm their way into the social networks of real people, where they can spread their falsehoods. But neither social media companies nor technological innovations offer reliable ways to identify and remove social media profiles that don’t represent actual authentic people.

It might sound positive that over six months in late 2017 and early 2018, Facebook detected and suspended some 1.3 billion fake accounts. But an estimated 3 to 4 percent of accounts that remain, or approximately 66 million to 88 million profiles, are also fake but haven’t yet been detected. Likewise, estimates are that 9 to 15 percent of Twitter’s 336 million accounts are fake.

Fake profiles aren’t just on Facebook and Twitter, and they’re not only targeting people in the U.S. In December 2017, German intelligence officials warned that Chinese agents using fake LinkedIn profiles were targeting more than 10,000 German government employees. And in mid-August, the Israeli military reported that Hamas was using fake profiles on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to entrap Israeli soldiers into downloading malicious software.

Although social media companies have begun hiring more people and using artificial intelligence to detect fake profiles, that won’t be enough to review every profile in time to stop their misuse. As my research explores, the problem isn’t actually that people – and algorithms – create fake profiles online. What’s really wrong is that other people fall for them.

My research into why so many users have trouble spotting fake profiles has identified some ways people could get better at identifying phony accounts – and highlights some places technology companies could help.

People fall for fake profiles

To understand social media users’ thought processes, I created fake profiles on Facebook and sent out friend requests to 141 students in a large university.…
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Why tech giants have little to lose (and lots to win) from new EU copyright law


Why tech giants have little to lose (and lots to win) from new EU copyright law

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Copyright, and copyright laws, will not always match expectations. inkninja, CC BY

Courtesy of Maurizio Borghi, Bournemouth University

The new European Union Copyright Directive, passed recently by the European parliament after a vociferous campaign both for and against, has been described by its advocates as Europe striking a blow against US tech giants in the battle for control of copyrighted content online. This is painted as a battle about who pays for creative works, culture, and the role and workings of a free press in a world where these “commodities” are exchanged freely on social media and other platforms controlled by giants such as Google and Facebook.

The sense of this battle is found in two articles from the text of the new directive. Article 11 introduces the “press publishers’ right”, also called the “link tax”. This permits publishing groups such as newspapers and other media to charge online content sharing service providers and platforms – most obviously, Google, Facebook and Twitter – a fee for a licence to link to their content. Article 13 makes online content sharing service providers responsible for the copyright content uploaded by users. Large platforms must implement filters to monitor copyright infringements and obtain licences from music, film and television rights-holders for the use of copyright content where it appears on their services – YouTube and Instagram, for example. This has led to claims that the directive would effectively ban memes, because automated checking of uploads would identify them only as copyright material, rather than allowable “fair use” or “parody”.

Unsurprisingly, publishers and copyright industries across Europe have saluted the new law as a great victory of European culture and free press against the greedy American titans. But it is not this simple.

First-mover advantage

When companies like Google and Facebook started their ascent as global players in the mid-2000s, they benefited from a generally favourable legislative framework, made of legislative vacuum and liberal legislation. Thanks to the flexible contours of the “safe harbour” provisions for internet hosting services – which essentially immunises them from any liability…
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Here’s how Trump-era politics are affecting worker morale – and what managers can do about it


Here's how Trump-era politics are affecting worker morale – and what managers can do about it

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Politics are creating divides in the office. fizkes/

Courtesy of Wayne Hochwarter, Florida State University

Pundits are projecting this year’s midterm elections to be nasty, polarizing and “epic.”

They’re also expected to stress a lot of Americans out in every part of their lives. And that includes at the office.

I recently conducted a study on a broad range of workplace issues, including how the stress of our increasingly divisive politics is affecting worker health, productivity and relationships with colleagues. I also wondered: Is there anything company managers can do about it?

Growing divisiveness

Political divisiveness in America is hardly new.

Historians have traced its history all the way back to the founding founders. But politics seem to be dividing Americans more and more.

In a recent article in Scientific American, psychologists Cameron Brick and Sander van der Linden explained that individuals of different political ideologies “not only disagree on policy issues, they are also increasingly unwilling to live near each other, be friends, or get married to members of the other group.”

Consequences include marital stress, divorce, family separations and even sharp divides over national pastimes like football.

There is a bright side – if you’re a therapist and benefiting from an uptick in business perhaps as the result of a malady described as “Trump Anxiety Disorder.”

Politics at work

I wanted to see just how bad it’s getting in the workplace.

My field study, conducted this past summer and part of a larger project I intend to have peer-reviewed and published on the anxiety-inducing properties of political conflict, conjoins my interests in the areas of incivility, entitlement, worker self-serving behavior and bullying.

I asked 550 full-time workers whose email addresses I obtained through my undergraduate students to react to hundreds of statements about a wide variety of work issues, from abusive bosses and workplace relationships to incivility and health. I also asked about the…
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Was Brexit really caused by austerity? Here’s why we’re not convinced


Was Brexit really caused by austerity? Here's why we're not convinced

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Tally ho! Thitisan

Courtesy of Lawrence McKay, University of Manchester and Jack Bailey, University of Manchester

Like most bad dramas, keeping up with every development in the Brexit saga is difficult. Nevertheless you may have seen recent reports in the media, including in The Conversation, that “austerity caused Brexit”. But we doubt that a clear answer can come from a look at economics alone.

The idea that austerity swayed voters for Brexit is based on a paper by Thiemo Fetzer, an associate professor of economics at the University of Warwick. His paper claims to show that the welfare cuts under David Cameron’s coalition government of 2010-15 had a decisive impact on the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Fetzer argues that material economic changes encouraged grievances with the political system and that this led many to support first UKIP and then Brexit. By his calculations, austerity was responsible for as much as a ten percentage point swing in favour of Leave – thus tipping the outcome.

It’s easy to understand why these findings were so popular. For many, austerity confirms their suspicion that the government does not care about the poor and is willing to see them go to hell in a handcart, all for the promise of lower taxes. If austerity is also the cause of Brexit, these people see it as more evidence that their belief that the government doesn’t care is correct.

Election dissection

We are sceptical that austerity increased Leave’s vote by ten percentage points. Crucially, Fetzer mainly uses UKIP support in the years leading up to the 2016 referendum as a proxy for public support for leaving the EU. His ten-point claim comes from testing the effect of austerity on UKIP’s vote share in the local elections that took place each year since 2010.

But the study also includes estimates of the austerity effect on UKIP’s vote share at the 2014 European parliament elections and the general election of 2015. Importantly, these are much lower. Using the European elections, Fetzer finds that austerity boosted the Leave vote somewhere in the region of two…
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Relaxed environmental regulations heighten risk during natural disasters


Relaxed environmental regulations heighten risk during natural disasters

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Environmental regulations generally improve communities’ preparedness and resilience during disasters. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Courtesy of Brian J. Gerber, Arizona State University and Melanie Gall, Arizona State University

Heavy rains following Hurricane Florence have raised concerns over the release of toxic materials. Ash from coal-fired power plants stored at a landfill has spilled out and the state of North Carolina has said dozens of sites have released hog waste or are at risk of doing so.

These types of events not only highlight the potential of harm to humans and the environment due to this type of uncontrolled pollution, but also the linkage between environmental regulations and the risks communities face when natural disasters occur.

The decisions communities make when managing a range of hazards, including industrial waste siting, are a key factor in a community’s vulnerability during a disaster – a dynamic we’ve seen play out in many ways in our work in disaster policy and management. Such choices also help explain why disaster damage is so costly and disaster recovery so complex.

Pollution and disaster flooding

Heavy rainfall from Hurricane Florence caused the Neuse River to flood and erode three soil-capped coal ash landfills near Goldsboro, North Carolina. At another coal ash landfill near Wilmington, heavy rains exposed its toxic contents, which include lead, arsenic and mercury, washing them into a nearby lake that drains into the Cape Fear River. Duke Energy, operator of the landfill and nearby power plant, estimates about 2,000 cubic yards escaped into the lake but claims contaminated storm waters did not make it into the river.

The problem of managing coal ash storage is a useful illustration of how environmental protection choices, good or bad, affect the degree of community vulnerability during a disaster.

Floodwaters surround homes and a power station in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Newport, N.C. AP Photo/Tom Copeland

The North Carolina legislature has a recent history of explicit denial of climate change. A bill passed in
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How many Americans really misuse opioids? Why scientists still aren’t sure


How many Americans really misuse opioids? Why scientists still aren't sure

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Defining opioids. Darwin Brandis/

Courtesy of Joseph Palamar, New York University Langone Medical Center

With rates of prescription opioid use disorder and opioid-involved overdose deaths on the rise, the U.S. opioid crisis appears to be continuing unabated.

Data on overdose and death are pretty reliable. But there’s still much that’s unknown about opioid misuse that doesn’t lead to an adverse outcome such as overdose.

Drug surveys are reseachers’ main method of collecting data on opioid misuse. I’ve been in drug survey research for almost two decades, but in recent years I’ve learned that collecting accurate data on opioid misuse in particular is difficult. Why? Because many people underreport misuse, while others unintentionally overreport misuse.

Colleagues have been asking me how to ask about opioid misuse on surveys. I’m finding that there’s no easy answer. But one thing I’ve learned in my research is that many people may misunderstand the basics about opioids, preventing researchers like myself from understanding the full scope of the epidemic.

Medical use and misuse

Drug surveys are already difficult to conduct, as many people lie about use. For example, some people deny use to appear more socially desirable, and others simply try to finish the survey quickly without really reading it. But opioid surveys are especially challenging.

A friend of mine recently took my drug survey. She texted me the next day, saying she believed she incorrectly answered my opioid questions. Even though my survey asked only about using to get high or using without a prescription, she admittedly didn’t read the directions and reported misuse of dilaudid, a pain medication.

Situations like this lead some researchers to distrust reportedly high rates of opioid misuse. For example, a few years ago, my colleagues and I estimated that 12 percent of high school seniors have ever misused prescription opioids. However, some of my reports focusing on such national data have (perhaps rightfully) been questioned, but we are limited by what people report.

On surveys, opioid misuse is sometimes defined as using without one’s doctor telling you…
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What a Mike Bloomberg or Jamie Dimon Presidency Would Look Like

Courtesy of Pam Martens.

Illustration by Keith Seidel from Mike! Wall Street's Mayor by Neil Fabricant

Illustration by Keith Seidel from Mike! Wall Street’s Mayor by Neil Fabricant

Michael Bloomberg served three terms as New York City’s Mayor from January 2002 to January 2014. In 2009, the New York Times reported that Bloomberg had spent$261 million of his own money” in order to get elected to those three terms as Mayor. When Bloomberg took office, there was a two-term limit in place which had been voted on in public referendums in 1993 and 1996. But two years before Bloomberg’s second four-year term ended, he asked the City Council to repeal the two-term limit to allow him to serve a third term.

Because voters had already expressed their will in a public referendum twice, numerous members of the City Council felt it would be unethical for them to repeal that decision and that the matter should be determined by another voter referendum. But the City Council went forward with their vote in 2008, repealing the will of the people and giving Bloomberg his third term. The City Council’s vote was 29 in favor, 22 against. A Quinnipiac University poll at the time showed that 89 percent of New York City voters felt the issue should have been decided by a voter referendum, not the City Council.

That’s strike one against Bloomberg running for President – he’s not bothered at all about ignoring the will of the people, precisely the failing of the current occupant of the Oval Office. According to Forbes, Bloomberg’s current net worth is $52.4 billion. If he enjoys life in the White House, we have no idea how many billions he might decide to spend to try to repeal two-term limits for the Presidency.

Bloomberg also shares another Trump problem – he has massive business conflicts of interest. He owns both a business heavily linked to maintaining Wall Street’s goodwill and he owns a media outlet, Bloomberg News. The vast majority of Bloomberg’s wealth has come from leasing his Bloomberg market data and news terminals at a cost of approximately $24,000 per terminal per year to tens of thousands of Wall Street trading desks and global banks around the world.

Just how protective of Wall Street Bloomberg is…
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Animal Spirits: Borrowing From the Future


Animal Spirits: Borrowing From the Future

Courtesy of 

On this week’s Animal Spirits, we discuss:

$250 trillion in debt

Dalio could lose 1% a day for a year and still be worth $400 million

Don’t take asset allocation advice from billionaires

It’s hard to pinpoint how many assets are really indexed


Using the lottery to spur savings

The long game

J.P. Morgan going after affluent millenials 

The incredible shrinking hedge fund

In the matter of Cadaret, Gran & Co. (UWTI)


Listen here

Charts Mentioned






Tweets Mentioned


Lake Success

North Star podcast

Ending austerity: why public spending is key to building a stable and fair economy


Ending austerity: why public spending is key to building a stable and fair economy

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John Gomez / Shutterstock

Courtesy of John Weeks, SOAS, University of London

The term “fiscal” comes from the Latin for “purse”. When it comes to fiscal policy – how the government manages the country’s budget – a lot of people wrongly compare the country’s purse, and how it’s managed, with that of an individual or household.

The government’s purse is like no other. Managed correctly, it can end austerity and make the economy both stable and fair.

The UK economy initially showed a strong recovery from the 2008 financial crisis. It began in late 2009 and continued into 2010. Then, eight years of austerity policies by Conservative governments ended the recovery and brought recession, stagnation and growing poverty. Excuses offered by Conservative politicians, from world market instability to Brexit anxieties, fail to conceal the real cause of this dismal post-crash economic performance.

The Conservative government suffers from “deficit fetishism” – where all public policy is held captive to hitting a fiscal balance of zero (or going into surplus) by means of expenditure cuts. But the huge cuts to public spending have repeatedly failed to achieve a balanced budget. Nevertheless, much of the British public remains gripped by the dysfunctional fiscal goal of deficit reduction.

Britain’s woeful recovery from the financial crisis. IFS

Basic problems

A basic problem with budget balancing in all its versions is the improbability of achieving it. Take the example of a deficit, a negative budget balance, and a chancellor committed to reducing the deficit quickly. This chancellor believes the way to reduce the deficit is to increase taxes or reduce spending. Conservative chancellors since 2010 have preferred spending cuts.

But spending cuts reduce the demand for goods and services bought by the public sector, such as medicines and medical equipment. As a result the companies that supply these goods and services reduce the number of people they hire and lower their investment. These declines result in a fall in corporate and…
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America needs more, not fewer, migrant workers


America needs more, not fewer, migrant workers

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In this June 2016 photo, a border patrol agent walks near the secondary fence separating Tijuana, Mexico, from San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Courtesy of Frans J. Schryer, University of Guelph

Under President Donald Trump, the United States has taken a tough stance against migrant workers from Mexico crossing the U.S.-Mexican border. Trump’s efforts to build a longer and better wall, so far unsuccessful, are based on the premise that the U.S. economy is better off with fewer migrant workers, regardless of whether such migrants are documented.

But is it true?

Two decades after the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the economy of North America is closer than ever to being completely integrated prior to the ongoing renegotiations. The current deal is supposed to prevent a further decline in America’s competitive advantage, as well as to reduce the need for migrant workers from Mexico.

However, there are now more, rather than fewer, migrant workers in the United States. More than 10 million are undocumented. Many obtained false papers with the help of U.S. employers.

I spent 15 years researching the experiences of Indigenous (Nahuatl-speaking) people from the Alto Balsas region of Guerrero, Mexico. During that time, I heard many stories about the hardships migrant workers are willing to endure for the chance of employment in the United States.

Many Americans who may support Trump in his efforts to build a wall may not know about the conflicted feelings many of these migrant workers experience, reflecting the contradictions of a system that demands the free movement of goods and capital — but not of workers.

In this 2014 photo, detained immigrant children line up in the cafeteria at the Karnes County Residential Center, a temporary home for immigrant women and children detained at the border in Karnes City, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Imagine, for example, if you had no other choice but to move to a neighbouring country as the only way to make a decent living, and then…
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Phil's Favorites

Why do so many people fall for fake profiles online?


Why do so many people fall for fake profiles online?

Do you want to be friends with this person? Sasun Bughdaryan

Courtesy of Arun Vishwanath, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

The first step in conducting online propaganda efforts and misinformation campaigns is almost always a fake social media profile. Phony profiles for nonexistent people worm their way into the social networks of real people, where they can spread their falsehoods. But neither social media companies nor technological innovations offer reliable ways to iden...

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Zero Hedge

What Did America's Richest CEOs Study?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Jacob Wolinsky via,

Business people need to know a whole bunch of stuff about a whole lot of things if they’re to be successful (although luck and a big inheritance also help). But perhaps the most fundamental knowledge a businessperson needs is to know thyself. Plunging into the world of pharmaceuticals when you have no idea what goes on in the human body, or taking an engineering degree when you’re a salesperson at heart, c...

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Jeremy Seigel: Buy Moar Stocks

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Jeremy Siegel, professor of finance at The Wharton School, discusses the “incredible strength” of the markets.

H/T Dataroma

Seigel: Markets Show US And China Can’t Have A Full Trade War

Q2 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc


I just finished my class here at Wharton and I inherited who's a who's afraid of the big bad Trump. Clearly the stock market is I mean you know you thought tariffs are g...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

King Dollar Created Multi-Year Topping Pattern?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The currency markets often play a role in asset management for investors. And one key asset that pays close attention to the US Dollar is Gold (and precious metals). Could a near-term trend change be in store for the US Dollar… and its counterpart, the Euro? Precious metals bulls would love to see the US Dollar topping and the Euro bottoming.

In the chart below, you can see that the two currencies are showing similar reversal patterns – a traditional head and shoulders top for the US Dollar Index and an inverted head and shoulders bottom for the Euro.

BUT, they need to confirm these pattern by breaking down / up.

It’s worth noting that NOTHING has been proved so far, but the potential of both creating longer-term reversal patterns is there and traders should stay tuned.

US D...

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Insider Scoop

Morgan Stanley Bullish On Amazon's New Automated Stores

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related AMZN Stitch Fix Falls After Piper Jaffray Downgrade; Analyst Says 'Smallest Hint Of Pressure' Could Threaten Valuation ... more from Insider

Digital Currencies

Mania to Mania


Mania to Mania

Courtesy of 

“Russell rarely played the stock market and had little investing experience when he put around $120,000 into bitcoin in November 2017.”

This comes from a CNN money article, Bitcoin crash: This man lost his savings when cryptocurrencies plunged. From January 2017 through the peak in early 2018, Ethereum gained 16,915%.

Any time you have something go vertical, you just know that some peopl...

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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Sep 16, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

Slow and steady drip up all this past week in a very quiet news environment.  A gap down top open the day Tuesday (which was recovered quickly) and a gap up Thursday (which held) were the highlights!

The latest on TRADE WARS!(tm):

Tuesday, news hit that China vowed to retaliate and plans to ask the World Trade Organization next week for permission to impose sanctions on the U.S. for Washington’s noncompliance with a ruling in a dispute over U.S. dumping duties, Reuters reported. That’s part of a dispute that goes back to 2013.

“Trade wars are certainly a concern, but I don’t know that they’re a one...

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Members' Corner

Nike, Colin Kaepernick and the pitfalls of 'woke' corporate branding


Adding this article to Members Corner, in case anyone wants to share their opinions on Nike and Kaep, or on divisiveness in general. Also see "A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come" and "What’s behind the current wave of ‘corporate activism’?" ~ Ilene

Nike, Colin Kaepernick and the pitfalls of 'woke' corporate branding

Courtesy of Simon Chadwick, University of Salford and ...

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Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

Breast cancer type 1 (BRCA1) is a human tumor suppressor gene, found in all humans. Its protein, also called by the synonym BRCA1, is responsible for repairing DNA. ibreakstock/

By Jay Shendure, University of Washington; Greg Findlay, ...

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Mapping The Market

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

Via Jean-Luc:

Famed investor reflecting on his mistakes:

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

One that stands out for me:

Instead of focusing on how value factors in general did in identifying attractive stocks, I rushed to proclaim price-to-sales the winner. That was, until it wasn’t. I guess there’s a reason for the proclamation “The king is dead, long live the king” when a monarchy changes hands. As we continued to update the book, price-to-sales was no longer the “best” single value factor, replaced by others, depending upon the time frames examined. I had also become a lot more sophisticated in my analysis—thanks to criticism of my earlier work—and realized that everything, including factors, moves in and out of favor, depending upon the market environment. I also realized...

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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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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.

To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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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...

Learn more About Phil >>

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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 >>