Archive for the ‘Phil’s Favorites’ Category

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 people are going to get swept up in the mania.

This is how the markets have always and will forever function. Jamie Catherwood, writing on the same subject today, said “Repeatedly, and assuredly, investors move from mania to mania, sacrificing long-term gains for short-term speculations.”

Ethereum is now nearly 90% off its peak in February (remarkably still up 2,000%) since beginning of 2017.

Today’s Ethereum is Tilray, a Canadian Cannabis company, which went public in July, and is already up close to 500%. This is sure to attract the same type of people looking to get in on the next big move.

Tilray recently reported that quarterly revenues doubled y/o/y to $9.7 million. 100% revenue growth is great, but the thing is, it now has a market cap of $11 billion with $28 million in sales over the last twelve months. Macy’s also has a market cap of $11 billion, and it does $70 million in sales a day. I know this is comparing apples to marijuanas but still, you get the point. Animal spirits has clearly taken over in this example.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get in on the action, but if you’re going to invest recklessly and just fling money into something you know nothing about, don’t be Russell. Only invest money you are willing to light on fire.

The unfortunate reality is that people are going to be people. Nothing can teach you the dangers of getting caught up in a frenzy like experience, and some people have to just learn these lessons the hard way.




Courtesy of 

There’s a new kid on the block. Innovator’s IBD® Breakout Opportunities ETF, ticker BOUT.

The goal of this fund is to identify stocks before they break out. Basically, they’re delivering on a style of technical analysis via machine, which I find intriguing.

When I was trading stocks, I would often buy on the breakout and then sell on the retest. Over and over I would let my emotions get the best of me. Needless to say, it was not a profitable strategy.

Theoretically, an algorithm will eliminate some of these biases that all traders have to overcome. Below is how they plan on doing this.

When a stock reaches a recent high in price and at least four weeks elapse without that high being surpassed, this price is identified as the base price. This base is used to determine those stocks nearing breakouts and those stocks experiencing breakouts. In making this determination, the Index utilizes an algorithm that analyses the following trends for each stock:

1. The length of time from the establishment of the base to the current date.

2. The difference in price between the base and the lowest subsequent price for the stock.

3. The percentage difference between the current price and the high at the start of the base.

4. The percentage difference in price from the stock’s lowest price subsequent to the establishment of the base and its current price.

5. The percentage change in the stock’s price in each of the last three weeks

You might be wondering what happens if stocks are in a lousy environment where they’ breaking down instead of breaking out. They have an answer for that too.

The Index is also designed to be responsive to equities market conditions that provide fewer opportunities to invest in stocks with breakout potential. Upon the occurrence of certain market signals identified by the Index Provider as forecasting a downturn in the equities market, the Index will allocate 50% of its weight to a portfolio composed of U.S. Treasury bills with maturities of one- to

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The paradox of choice. Why made-to-order might not solve the fashion industry’s problems


The paradox of choice. Why made-to-order might not solve the fashion industry's problems

File 20180911 144473 vevp5a.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

It’s tempting to design your own shoes, but it takes time. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Jessica Pallant, Swinburne University of Technology and Sean Sands, Swinburne University of Technology

How could you go from winning awards for “Store Design of The Year” and “Best Shoe Ever” to selling nothing?

In 2009 the Australian startup Shoes of Prey set out to make exactly the shoes its customers wanted. Customers could pick the designs, sizes and exact specifications, and Shoes of Prey would deliver exactly what they ordered.

They wouldn’t make shoes no one needed. Traditional retailers use flash sales to move stock that has gone out of fashion. Or they burn or bury it. British fashion label Burberry says it has destroyed more than A$150 million worth of unsold clothes, accessories and perfume over the past five years.

Last month Shoes of Prey hit pause.

Co-founder Jodie Fox went to social media to say it was considering its future and wouldn’t process any further orders.

It had been unable to “truly crack mass market adoption”.

If Shoes of Prey couldn’t, maybe no one can.

The pros and cons of mass customisation

Customisation can increase the perceived value of a product through the “I designed it myself” effect, giving customers a sense of ownership as “creators”.

It can also improve the customer’s perception of the quality of the product. Research shows people are more likely to enjoy the taste of a meal made from a kit they used themselves than the taste of a meal made from the same kit in a store.

But there are downsides. Making choices is taxing.



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Three billion per year. How the financial system rips us off


Three billion per year. How the financial system rips us off

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There’s still money to be made steering people into bad products. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Robert Drake, Macquarie University

The Royal Commission into Financial Services is getting wins.

On Monday, ahead of an appearance by a Baptist minister whose adult son with Down Syndrome and a speech impediment had been sold more than A$10,000 of life insurance over the phone, Freedom Insurance announced it would stop cold-calling, although for only some of its products.

Its sales people had been rewarded with cash bonuses, Vespa motor scooters and overseas trips.

A group email to Freedom insurance staff obtained by the commission read:

Get on the phone and sell, sell, sell with one thing in mind — get to Bali.

Another insurer, Clearview, told the commission it had also decided to get out of direct life insurance sales after what it conceded were thousands of instances in which its sales agents on cold calls broke the law. Bonuses had amounted to 30% of their income.

From January such “conflicted remuneration” has been illegal when selling life insurance. But conflicts remain at the heart of the related industry the commission has been examining – superannuation.

The view from the inside

Over the past 30 years, I have gained an insider’s view of how superannuation and advice industries work. I have been a consumer advocate, an educator, a regulator (with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, ASIC) and I’ve even completed a financial planning diploma. The conflicts of interest scream out.

The financial planning arms of banks and AMP don’t make a profit from the fees for financial advice or getting the best investment returns for clients. They make profits from switching the clients’ money into their company’s products. This earns the company investment management fees, “funds under advice” fees.

An ASIC study released in January 2018 found that 75% of advice to switch to an “in-house” product did not comply with the adviser’s duty to act in the best interests of their client. And 10% was likely to leave the client…
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What’s behind the current wave of ‘corporate activism’?


What's behind the current wave of 'corporate activism'?

Steffen Böhm, University of Exeter; Annika Skoglund, Uppsala University, and Dan Eatherley, University of Exeter

Recent years have witnessed the emergence of what appears to be a new breed of business person: the corporate activist. Hardly a week goes past without the head of some blue chip or other publicly agitating for a better world, be they Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, speaking out on the environment and LGBTQI+ rights, or Starbucks founder Howard Schultz bemoaning “the violence, hatred, and empowerment of white supremacists” at a nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review even offered a “CEO activist’s playbook” as a “guide for leaders who are deciding whether to speak out and how”.

A closely allied trend is so-called “brand activism” in which businesses launch carefully designed “social good” campaigns aimed at building awareness about a particular issue while also promoting a positive corporate message. Recent high-profile cases include outdoor clothing firm Patagonia’s “The President Stole Your Land” campaign to protect national parks in the US, or Nike’s adverts featuring Colin Kaepernick, the NFL quarterback who first knelt during the national anthem to highlight racial injustice.


You might be forgiven for dismissing all this as merely the latest examples of cynical rebranding, all of a piece with the worst examples of greenwash cooked up by boardroom executives and slick marketing consultants to peddle more “politically correct” products to the gullible while boosting shareholder value.

But perhaps this time we need to look a little closer. More than ever, the customary dividing lines between activism and business are blurring, as the corporate world, driven by millenials in management positions, becomes a force for fighting for social and environmental issues.

So, what’s causing this new phenomenon?

1. Donald Trump

It’s all-too tempting to blame the 45th president of the US and his divisive policies for provoking the corporate world – often his target during his …
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Trump should wage a war on waste instead of battling the world over trade


Trump should wage a war on waste instead of battling the world over trade

File 20180917 158213 63ervb.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Instead of fighting other countries, we should be fighting our overflowing landfills. Huguette Roe/

Courtesy of Clyde Eiríkur Hull, Rochester Institute of Technology

President Donald Trump is fighting the wrong fight in his ongoing trade war with the rest of the world.

That’s because it’s premised on the old-school notion of the linear economy in which someone in another country, such as China, digs up raw materials and sends them to a factory, where they get turned into the finished product and shipped to the U.S. In exchange, money leaves the U.S. economy and flows to the countries where the product was made – creating the trade deficit Trump despises.

And here’s the important bit. Americans use the product for a while, throw it away, and it ends up in a dump. And then we buy another import.

The long-term effect? Our money goes to a foreign economy, and Americans end up with piles of garbage. Then we pay a foreign economy one more time to take the garbage off our hands. China is one country that used to take a lot of our garbage, but India, Pakistan and Nigeria are also big in this business.

A circular economy, by contrast, starts with the finished product, which can then be recycled domestically and reused, often at a fraction of the cost of manufacturing them new elsewhere. This keeps the money at home, which produces more domestic jobs and wealth.

As a researcher of corporate social responsibility, I’ve been exploring whether consumers are willing to buy more goods that have been remanufactured. My research suggests the answer is yes – if companies can figure how to produce more of them. And that’s where Trump and the federal government could play a big role.

Companies leading the charge

For now, companies and others in the American private sector are trying to lead the way, such as construction and mining equipment maker Caterpillar and automaker General Motors.

Caterpillar, for example, currently remanufactures 85 million tons of material a…
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In 1968, computers got personal: How the ‘mother of all demos’ changed the world


In 1968, computers got personal: How the 'mother of all demos' changed the world

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A scene from Doug Engelbart’s groundbreaking 1968 computer demo. Doug Engelbart Institute

Courtesy of Margaret O'Mara, University of Washington

On a crisp California afternoon in early December 1968, a square-jawed, mild-mannered Stanford researcher named Douglas Engelbart took the stage at San Francisco’s Civic Auditorium and proceeded to blow everyone’s mind about what computers could do. Sitting down at a keyboard, this computer-age Clark Kent calmly showed a rapt audience of computer engineers how the devices they built could be utterly different kinds of machines – ones that were “alive for you all day,” as he put it, immediately responsive to your input, and which didn’t require users to know programming languages in order to operate.

The prototype computer mouse Doug Engelbart used in his demo. Michael Hicks, CC BY

Engelbart typed simple commands. He edited a grocery list. As he worked, he skipped the computer cursor across the screen using a strange wooden box that fit snugly under his palm. With small wheels underneath and a cord dangling from its rear, Engelbart dubbed it a “mouse.”

The 90-minute presentation went down in Silicon Valley history as the “mother of all demos,” for it previewed a world of personal and online computing utterly different from 1968’s status quo. It wasn’t just the technology that was revelatory; it was the notion that a computer could be something a non-specialist individual user could control from their own desk.

The first part of the ‘mother of all demos.’

Shrinking the massive machines

In the America of 1968, computers weren’t at all personal. They were refrigerator-sized behemoths that hummed and blinked, calculating everything from consumer habits to missile trajectories, cloistered deep within corporate offices, government agencies and university labs. Their secrets were accessible only via punch card and teletype terminals.

The Vietnam-era counterculture already had made mainframe computers into ominous symbols of a soul-crushing Establishment.…
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Senator Orrin Hatch Calls Kavanaugh Accuser “Mixed Up,” Prior to Hearing Her Testimony

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT). (Courtesy Senator's Office)

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT). (Courtesy Senator’s Office)

Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, who effectively conducted himself as Clarence Thomas’s attorney instead of as an impartial member of the Senate Judiciary Committee during Anita Hill’s testimony on October 11, 1991, is still using the strategy of “nut-shaming” women who accuse men of sexual misconduct. Yesterday, Hatch, still a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that holds confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees, told reporters that Christine Blasey Ford, who has credibly accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, is “mixed up.”

Adding to the outrage over Hatch’s statement is the fact that he made his “mixed up” remark about Ford before he heard her testimony, which is scheduled to take place before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, with Kavanaugh also invited to testify.

In a letter that has been published by CNN, Ford, a research psychologist in California, asserts that Kavanaugh “physically and sexually assaulted me during high school in the early 1980’s.” Ford alleges further that Kavanaugh’s pal and classmate, Mark Judge, was an eyewitness in the room and an accomplice. Kavanaugh and Judge were attending Georgetown Preparatory School when the incident was said to have happened in a private home. Ford was 15 at the time while Kavanaugh and Judge were believed to be approximately 17.

At the suggestion of her attorney, Ford has taken a lie detector test about the incident. The New York Times reported on Sunday that Ford “underwent a polygraph examination in early August; the retired F.B.I. agent who conducted the examination, Jerry Hanafin, said in an interview on Sunday that the results showed ‘no deception indicated’ — in effect, ‘she was being truthful.’ ”

Hatch told reporters yesterday afternoon that he had spoken with Kavanaugh and he is denying even being present at the party. Mark Judge, the alleged accomplice, told the Weekly Standard in an email that he has “no recollection” of the alleged attack.

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Yet Another Trillion-Dollar Unfunded Liability: Too Many People In Hurricane Alley


Yet Another Trillion-Dollar Unfunded Liability: Too Many People In Hurricane Alley

Courtesy of John Rubino at Dollar Collapse

One of the big recent changes in American life is the ongoing mass-migration from the middle of the country to the coasts, especially those of the Southeastern and Gulf States. Florida and the Carolinas, along with Houston and surrounding Texas counties, have gained millions of new residents seeking to trade snow and monotony for sun and water. Coastal state governments have by-and-large encouraged this immigration and the resulting construction, paving, and deforestation because new residents pay taxes and developers contribute to political campaigns.

This is turning out to be a huge, perhaps insanely expensive mistake, similar in a lot of ways to out-of-control public pensions: A short-term benefit that produces long-term costs – i.e., an unfunded liability – which accumulates more-or-less secretly until something happens to turn an accounting issue into a cash flow nightmare.

Consider Houston. Over the past few decades hundreds of thousands of people have moved in, and developers have accommodated them by paving over much of the land that used to absorb floodwaters during storms. When hurricane Harvey hit in 2017, the city found itself underwater for days, with damages totaling $125 billion. Much of this was covered by tax payers via federal flood insurance.

Now fast forward to today’s North and South Carolina, also very popular destinations for Americans from colder climes, and the scene of rapid construction of homes, hotels and stores within a few miles of the ocean. In the following article, the New York Times lays out the downside of this kind of short-sighted public policy.

Why the Carolinas Have Become More Vulnerable to Hurricanes

Twenty-nine years ago this month, Hurricane Hugo barreled ashore just north of Charleston, S.C., a category 4 storm with maximum winds estimated at 140 miles an hour and the highest storm tide ever recorded on the East Coast.

Here is where people lived in the region in 1990. Hugo was the nation’s costliest hurricane ever at the time, with damages of about $7 billion.

Carolinas population 1990 unfunded liability

Over the

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‘No deal’ Brexit: what it could mean for British tourists


‘No deal’ Brexit: what it could mean for British tourists

File 20180917 158237 g003bh.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1


Courtesy of Sally Everett, Anglia Ruskin University

Britain is facing the prospect of leaving the European Union without a deal. So what might this mean for Britons travelling to Europe after March 29, 2019 – the date scheduled for the UK’s departure from the EU? The government’s second set of “no deal” preparation documents released last week tries to offer some reassurances. Unfortunately, the prospect of additional costs, disruption and complexity when travelling to the EU is becoming a likely scenario in the event of a “no deal” Brexit.

Passports and the freedom to travel

One of the overriding concerns about a “no deal” scenario is the potential impact on the status of the UK passport. Following the referendum and concerns over future citizenship status, thousands of eligible people – both EU migrants in the UK and British migrants living elsewhere in the EU – applied for a second passport through dual nationality.

After Brexit, British passport holders will become what’s called “third country nationals” because the UK will no longer be inside the single market. British passport holders (including those from Crown Dependencies and Gibraltar) travelling to countries within the Schengen area of free movement should get prepared. Passports that are older than nine years and six months on the date of travel, will need to be renewed (at a current cost of £75.50) otherwise entry could be denied.

Perhaps one of the most symbolic changes will be that UK citizens will see their burgundy-coloured passports revert back to blue from October 2019. Some may like this nostalgic move, but it is rather short-sighted and could mean UK travellers face longer queues at customs, passport control and security. The same is likely to be true for EU citizens seeking to enter Britain.

International driving permits

If you do manage to enter the EU, then you might want to drive there. This will also become more complicated in the event of a “no deal” Brexit. After March 2019, the UK driving licence may no longer be sufficient to drive in the…
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Phil's Favorites

Relaxed environmental regulations heighten risk during natural disasters


Relaxed environmental regulations heighten risk during natural disasters

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 ...

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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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Zero Hedge

Italy's 5 Star Threatens To Ditch Coalition Over Budget Talks, Italian Bonds Slide

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

While the market turmoil over Italy's budget has quieted down in recent weeks as a result of soothing words by the ruling coalition that it would comply with European demands, that snapped moments ago when DPA reported that the leader of Italy's Five Star Movement has threatened to pull the plug on the country's populist government if it cannot find money to implement election campaign promises.

"If we do not find the resources to do what we have said, then it is better for us to go home, there is no point in...

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How Soon Will A.I. Replace All The Traders: Q&A With Gaurav Chakravorty, CIO Of Qplum

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

VW: Tell our readers, what is Qplum?

Qplum is an AI-driven investment management firm. We manage money for individuals, families, and institutions. We actively manage investments using machine learning and deep learning technology.

Our three product lines are:

  1. Wealth, servicing the financial needs of individuals and families via separately managed accounts.
  2. Alpha, for institutional clients only, where we offer different products like GTAA (Global Tactical Asset Allocation), managed futures program, etc. and
  3. Solutions, where we work on customized tactical asset allocation solutions for pension funds and family offices to target a dual loss-aversion and return-seeking investment mandate.



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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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Insider Scoop

A Peek Into The Markets: US Stock Futures Flat Ahead Of Housing Starts, Current Account Data

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Pre-open movers

U.S. stock futures traded mostly flat in early pre-market trade. Data on housing starts for August and the current account report for the second quarter will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1 point to 26,273.00, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures traded declined 2 points to 2,909.75. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index slipped 1.5 point to 7,523.

Oil prices traded ... more from Insider

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 the article I mentioned in the comments section, "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...

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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...

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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 >>