Archive for the ‘Phil’s Favorites’ Category

These Are the Goods


These Are the Goods

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Don’t ever feel sorry for a vendor. He knows what he can sell for, and we want his bottom price. ~ By Zack Kanter

Free money on the sidewalk is always picked up ~ By Morgan Housel

Past outperformance tends to beget future underperformance ~ By Jeffrey Ptak

While it is easy to find fast-growing companies, it is more difficult to identify stocks with undervalued growth ~ By Daniel Sotiroff

Good trade. Bad trade. ~ By Phil Huber

Fees suck, access is hard, the complexity’s insane, taxes are actually okay, but the search costs are crazy. ~ By Jason Zweig

The jokes people tell or put on social media in 2011 do not represent who they are as people in 2019 ~ By Josh Brown

The sample size for the big cycles in U.S. versus the world is basically two. ~ By Ben Carlson

There is no single solution, only a web of possibilities. ~ By Nick Maggiulli

Diversification is a risk mitigation strategy to avoid unnecessary mistakes. ~ By Blair duQuesnay


You’re the only one living your life ~ With J.C. Parets and Phil Pearlman

There’s a 10% chance any time I’m on stage I’m gonna end it all ~ With Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway

Ryan Fitzpatrick is Chinese food. He’s good for three hours. ~ With Bill Simmons and Dave Jacoby


Some parts of us will always be what we were. ~ By Delia Owens

Baseball’s biggest problem isn’t pace of play – it’s teams tanking


Baseball's biggest problem isn't pace of play – it's teams tanking

File 20190321 93051 1smhe8l.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Miami Marlins fans have little to look forward to this season. AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Courtesy of Adam Felder, University of Virginia

Major League Baseball is in trouble. But for all of Commissioner Rob Manfred’s concerns about pace of play, he’s looking in the wrong direction.

The game is healthy. The league isn’t.

Tanking – or intentionally losing – is endemic. Consider the Miami Marlins.

Since former Yankees great Derek Jeter’s ownership group took over the Marlins at the conclusion of the 2017 season, they’ve:

The 2018 Marlins went 63-98, 14 wins worse than 2017. Projections for 2019 have them somewhere between “just as lousy” and “even worse.”

It’s so dire that Jeter said fans might not remember the score of this season’s games, but at least they’ll remember the ballpark experience. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for Marlins baseball.

For the Marlins, though, it’s all part of a bigger plan: lose now, save money, accumulate young talent and – hopefully – win later.

The Marlins are just one of many teams following this strategy, and there’s a logic to their approach: There’s no prize for mediocrity, and if a team, at its best, will probably miss the playoffs, why bother trying? Why not shed payroll and collect the higher draft picks that come from having a terrible record?

As a data analyst, I wanted to study the underlying factors fueling this trend. It seems that the league’s inequitable pay structure plays a big role.

The best get paid … less?

Let’s begin by looking at who’s been getting the bulk of the playing time in MLB since 1995. For the sake of space, we’ll focus only on batters, using plate appearances – the number of times that player batted during the season –…
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March Madness: With gambling legal in eight states, who really wins?


March Madness: With gambling legal in eight states, who really wins?

File 20190321 93039 fjdvzz.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

The odds of more legal betting are good. AP Photo/John Locher

Courtesy of John Affleck, Pennsylvania State University

March means springtime, but also breathless headlines of Cinderellas, busted brackets and buzzer beaters.

This year, it’ll also include talk of “sharps,” “handles” and “point spreads,” as millions more Americans are able to openly wager for the first time on March Madness – the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. That’s thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed states to legalize sports betting.

As a sports journalism professor, I’ve been following the evolution of sports gambling for several years – back to a time when it was portrayed as a revolutionary and scary moment for fans and teams alike.

With millions more Americans gambling legally, it’s no longer scary, but that doesn’t mean some officials and observers aren’t concerned about perils in its rapid growth.

The legal bandwagon

Most tournament gambling is still illegal, but that’s changing quickly.

According to a survey conducted by Morning Consult for the American Gaming Association, 47 million adults in the United State will wager US$8.5 billion on March Madness this year, including 4.1 million who will do so for the first time at a casino sportsbook or online using a legal app. The rest of the bets, including the tens of millions made in office pools around the country, will be illegal.

Yes, you heard that right. Your office pool is most likely illegal.

Last year, the American Gaming Association estimated that $10 billion was at stake, but the calculation method has since changed. We do know that 97 percent of the action was illegal, including office pools. Nevada accounted for the legal betting.

Now, as is the case in situations with state-by-state legislation, the rules vary from place to place.

Early adopter New Jersey has both casinos and online apps ready to take bets. Pennsylvania, meanwhile, now has several brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, but legal online betting is still a few months away. With just six betting locations open last month, Pennsylvania’s combined handle…
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The public may never see a report from Mueller’s investigation


The public may never see a report from Mueller's investigation

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Will the public ever see a report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller? Shutterstock

Courtesy of Stanley M. Brand, Pennsylvania State University

Almost from the day of Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel, the media and the public have expected that his investigation will end with a report to either the Congress or the public or both.

I’m a law school professor who teaches a course on the independent counsel, the predecessor of the special counsel.

For eight years, I was the general counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives, the chief legal officer responsible for representing the House, its members, officers and employees in connection with legal procedures and challenges to the conduct of their official activities.

I believe that the public’s expectation that they will see a report from the Mueller investigation is unrealistic. That expectation appears to be based on a misunderstanding of the legal principles involved in making any such report available to anyone outside of the Department of Justice.

Regulation reflects history

The previous law creating special counsels – which has now lapsed – directed the special counsel to report to the House of Representatives “substantial and credible information” of impeachable conduct.

The current regulation, adopted during the Clinton administration, provides no such direction.

It says only that “[a]t the conclusion of the Special Counsel’s work, he or she shall provide the Attorney General with a confidential report” explaining the decision to either prosecute or not.

The goal of those drafting the regulation was to restore more control to the department over the special counsel after what was seen as the excesses of previous independent counsels in the Iran Contra and Clinton cases.

Those excesses included overly broad and lengthy investigations such as the HUD Independent Counsel, which took eight years to complete; expensive investigations, including US$52 million estimated in one case; and oppressive prosecutorial tactics, like subpoenaing Monica Lewinsky’s mother to the grand jury.

Former Department of Justice official Neal Katyal, who drafted the regulations,…
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Enron 2.0? Jeff Skilling And Lou Pai Are Back With A “New Energy Venture”

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Former Enron Chief Executive Jeff Skilling is out of prison after 12 years. And he’s getting the old gang back together again.

Just when you thought the world of business couldn’t get more ethically sound, and just when you thought you weren't going to get any more surefire signs of a market top, Jeff Skilling is recruiting his old friends and colleagues and "looking to get back in the energy business", according to a WSJ report.

But that isn’t even the best part - according to the report, Skilling has already landed an investment from former Enron executive and local strip club rewards member Lou Pai who, after selling hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Enron stock before the company collapsed, somehow avoided jail time or any kind of major legal repercussions, outside of a paltry $31.5 million settlement.

Pai was formerly the head of Enron's energy services unit and has already pledged to invest in the venturePai is reportedly reintroducing Skilling to the business world as a "friendly courtesy" after remaining in touch with Skilling following Enron’s demise and speaking to him while he was in prison, the report says. 

Skilling's new project is said to be a digital platform that connects investors to oil and gas projects. Skilling has also reportedly met with individuals who specialize in cryptocurrency and blockchain because – well, because of course he has.

As the WSJ notes, the exact nature of the project is "something of a mystery", with the people briefed saying it was at an early stage. What is known, and probably will not come as a surprise considering Skilling's background, he "has met with individuals who specialize in cryptocurrency, blockchain and software development in recent weeks."

Perhaps Skilling is hoping to hold California electricity as ransom in exchange for a bitcoin payment made to an unknown address?

But we digress. The former Enron executive is situated in a new office in Houston and nondisclosure agreements have been signed between him and potential partners in his new project. Skilling is said to have began working on his new project while serving six months at a Texas halfway house, before being set free again. He has met with more than two dozen former Enron…
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Holy s*** the yield curve inverted


Holy s*** the yield curve inverted

Courtesy of 


A closely watched section of the Treasury yield curve on Friday turned negative for the first time since the crisis more than a decade ago, underscoring concern about a possible economic slump and the prospect that the Federal Reserve will have to cut interest rates.

The gap between the 3-month and 10-year yields vanished on Friday as a surge of buying pushed long-end rates sharply lower. Inversion is widely considered a reliable harbinger of recession in the U.S. The 10-year slipped to as low as 2.439 percent.

Michael and I did this video to protect your psyche from all the bullshit you’re about to hear. Share it widely and remember who loves you.

Subscribe to the channel, we’re going to keep killing it for you every week.

US Budget Deficit Hits A Record $234 Billion As Interest On Debt Soars

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Another month, another frightening jump in the US budget deficit. And this time it was a record.

According to the latest Treasury data, the US budget surplus in February – traditionally the worst month of the year due to tax refunds – was a whopping $234 billion, missing the $227 billion deficit expected, and well worse than the $214 billion deficit recorded last February. And even though there may have been one-time tax refund and government shutdown factors at play, the February deficit was also the biggest budget deficit on record.

For March, receipts rose 7.5% y/y to $167.3BN while outlays rose 8.2% to $401.2BN in Feb. As a result, the budget deficit for the first five months of the fiscal year, widened to $544 billion, a whopping 39% higher than the $391 billion reported for the same period last year, largely the result of the revenue hit from Trump's tax cuts and the increase in government spending. The deficit was the result of a modest drop in fiscal YTD receipts to $1.278 trillion, while spending jumped 9% to $1.823 trillion.

The jump in the deficit was despite the bump in customs duties, which almost doubled to about $29.5 billion this fiscal year from $15.3 billion a year ago, reflecting the Trump administration’s tariffs on Chinese imports.

On a trailing 12 month basis, the defciit rose again, hitting $932 billion, the highest since February 2013, when it was just above $1 trillion.

What was more concerning perhaps is that rolling 12 month receipts declined 0.7% Y/Y, after posting a 1.5% drop last month and now represents three consecutive months of declining receipts since March 2017. Worse, the absolute drop in tax receipts, which declined for both corporations and individuals, was the biggest since the financial crisis; and, as shown in the chart below, every time that receipts have posted an annual decline, a recession either followed shortly or had already arrived.

Unfortunately, since receipts are set to decline even more in the coming months, the overall budget deficit is set to…
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Why flood insurance needs an overhaul: 6 questions answered


Picture via Pixabay

Why flood insurance needs an overhaul: 6 questions answered

Courtesy of Robert W. Klein, Georgia State University

Editor’s note: The Trump administration plans to significantly revamp the pricing of flood insurance. While some homeowners would see their premiums rise, others would benefit from lower rates. We asked an insurance expert to explain what the government program currently works and why it’s in dire need of fixing.

What is flood insurance?

Homeowners’ insurance does not cover damage to a home caused by flooding. A homeowner must have a separate policy to cover flood-related losses, defined as water traveling along or under the ground.

Most such policies are underwritten by the National Flood Insurance Program, which is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The program was established in 1968 to address the lack of availability of flood insurance in the private market and reduce demand for federal disaster assistance. It also contains provisions intended to reduce flood risk.

The National Flood Insurance Program’s activities are funded largely by the premiums and fees paid by its policyholders, supplemented by a little from the federal budget to help pay for flood risk mapping. Because the program serves the public interest by promoting “sound land use” and minimizing exposure of property to flood losses, some believe that more of its funding for flood risk management should be borne by taxpayers.

Homeowners can purchase a federal flood policy directly from the program or through a private insurer. Separately, some private insurers sell their own flood policies on a limited basis for properties that are overcharged by the government’s program.

How many American homeowners have flood insurance?

It is difficult to determine exactly how many homeowners have flood insurance.

The National Flood Insurance Program had just over 5 million policies in force as of this January. Of these policies, approximately 69 percent were on single-family homes and 20 percent on condo units. There is no source on how many private flood policies are in force, but my sense is that that they represent only about 15 percent of all policies sold nationally.

In recent years, the …
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Britain has its first new deep coal mine in decades – a result of pretending climate change isn’t political


Britain has its first new deep coal mine in decades – a result of pretending climate change isn't political

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Oscar Johns / shutterstock

Courtesy of Rebecca Willis, Lancaster University

The UK is widely seen as a climate leader. Its Climate Change Act, which passed into law ten years ago, is the envy of the world. It has targets for carbon reduction enshrined in law, and recently, the government hinted that it would adopt a target of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (the current target is an 80% reduction). Four years ago, the government, with cross-party support, announced it would phase out coal-fired power generation by 2025.

And yet, at a planning committee meeting in the northern English county of Cumbria, where I live, local councillors have voted unanimously to approve a new deep coal mine, Britain’s first in three decades. The mine would extract nearly 3m tonnes of coal a year, primarily for the steel industry rather than power generation. According to Scientists for Global Responsibility, this would result in more than 9m tonnes of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere, every year for 50 years – that’s equal to the emissions from a million households.

How can a country with such strong ambitions to reduce carbon emissions, approve a plan to increase them so significantly? My research, which is based on interviews with MPs and looks at how politicians understand and respond to climate change, suggests why such a contradictory situation could have arisen.

The new mine will take coal from the seabed near St Bees Head, Cumbria. StaceyCheck / shutterstock

For the past decade, there has been a cross-party consensus in support of long-term carbon targets. Just five out of 650 MPs voted against the Climate Change Act. Yet a side-effect of this consensus has been that politicians have not talked about climate change very much. Political debate is conspicuous by its absence, the climate is rarely discussed in parliament, and few MPs champion the issue. One climate-conscious MP said that he was “known as a freak” for speaking out,…
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The Weekly Trading Webinar – 03-20-19


For LIVE access on Wednesday afternoons, join us at Phil's Stock World – click here.


Major Topics:

00:01:50 Checking on the Markets
00:03:45 Coffee
00:07:28 HOV
00:11:56 Petroleum Status Report
00:13:04 FDX
00:25:06 AMZN
00:28:20 DIS
00:37:36 FDX Charts
00:43:34 BN$
00:55:04 TD
00:55:21 CM
01:00:29 FOMC Statement
01:10:28 Trade Ideas
01:15:26 Energy
01:19:27 Portfolios

Phil's Weekly Trading Webinars provide a great opportunity to learn what we do at PSW. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and view past webinars here. For LIVE access to PSW's Weekly Webinars – demonstrating trading strategies in real time – click here to join us at PSW!


Zero Hedge

Decades Of Transit Trouble On New York's Subways

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Gregory Bresiger, via the Mises Institute

As the New York City subway system continues to deteriorate, this word is verboten by political and media elites here: Privatization.

Even the supposed friends of private enterprise, the Manhattan Institute, don’t argue for the abolition of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the state agency that has run the subways since the late 1960s. Some supposed friends of laissez-faire don’t accept that private transportation systems can ever effectively run the trains and make money.

Instead they argue for new forms of government funding an...

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Phil's Favorites

Boeing 737 Max: The FAA wanted a safe plane - but didn't want to hurt America's biggest exporter either


Boeing 737 Max: The FAA wanted a safe plane – but didn't want to hurt America’s biggest exporter either

Boeing is accused of not being fully forthcoming about changes it made to the 737 Max. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Courtesy of Susan Webb Yackee, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Simon F. Haeder, West Virginia University

Recent incidents aside, air travel ...

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Is Tesla's New Enhanced Summon Feature A National Security Risk?

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Whitney Tilson’s email to investors discussing Tesla‘s enhanced summon feature and why the company’s stock is likely to drift down.

Discussion on Tesla’s Enhanced Summon feature

One of my friends (who’s bullish on Tesla) sent me a link to this web page, Watch this Tesla Model 3 drive to its owner on Enhanced Summon in latest video, which has two ...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Shanghai Index; White Hot Market Peaking?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Is one of the hottest stock indices in the world about to peak? Possible.

The S&P is off to a great start this year, up over 12%. Yet the Shanghai index is white hot, up around 22%, almost twice as much as the S&P 500!

This chart looks at the Shanghai Index over the past 25-years on a weekly basis. It has spent the majority of the past 25-year above rising support line (1). It hit this rising support line in December, where a very strong counter-trend rally has taken place.

Over the past 4-years, the index has created a series o...

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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Mar 24, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

It was looking like another week of Federal Reserve Kool Aid and crushing bears .. until Friday.  On the back of bad economic news out Europe, the yield curve inverted on the 3 month vs 10 year bond – before you fall asleep to that news, it is a quite important indicator for the economy (not necessarily the stock market… yet).   More on that in a bit.  As you can see the action in the bond market Friday was quite severe so it will be interesting to see the move in the coming few days.

As for the Federal Reserve:

The Federal Reserve signaled no more increase in interest rates this year and just one in 2020, according to its new ‘dot plot,’ and the bank said it would...

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Insider Scoop

10 Biggest Price Target Changes For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • Buckingham cut the price target for Trinity Industries Inc (NYSE: TRN) from $32 to $26. Trinity Industries shares closed at $22.96 on Thursday.
  • Canaccord Genuity lowered the price target for Biogen Inc (NASDAQ: BIIB) from $396 to $275. Biogen shares closed at $226.88 on Thursday.
  • H.C. Wainwright cut the price target on Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: CNAT) from $8 to $1.50. Conatus Pharmaceuticals shares closed at $2.91 on Thursday.
  • Wedb... more from Insider


Marijuana is a lot more than just THC - a pharmacologist looks at the untapped healing compounds

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


Marijuana is a lot more than just THC - a pharmacologist looks at the untapped healing compounds

Assorted cannabis bud strains. Roxana Gonzalez/

Courtesy of James David Adams, University of Southern California

Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states as of November 2018. Yet the federal government still insists marijuana has no legal u...

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Digital Currencies

Facebook's cryptocurrency: a financial expert breaks it down


Facebook's cryptocurrency: a financial expert breaks it down


Courtesy of Alistair Milne, Loughborough University

Facebook is reportedly preparing to launch its own version of Bitcoin, for use in its messaging applications, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. Could this “Facecoin” be the long-awaited breakthrough by a global technology giant into the lucrative market for retail financial services? Or will...

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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...

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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism


The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...

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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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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 >>