Posts Tagged ‘high frequency trading’

Exclusive: Presenting The Flash Crashes Of 2010 – Part 1

Exclusive: Presenting The Flash Crashes Of 2010 – Part 1

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

high frequency tradingIn an exclusive collaboration between Nanex and Zero Hedge, we are pleased to present to our readers the first part of a multi-series project that will demonstrate the flash crashes of 2010, and subsequently, of 2009 and 2008. The concern is that since the number of mini crashes, precipitated in most part by HFT algorithms gone wild, is simply staggering, it is impossible to present all the individual events in one presentation due to size limitations. The reason – there have been 549 "flash crash" events in 2010 to date alone! We dare anyone at the SEC to go through this list and look anyone in the eye and tell them that i) the market is not broken and ii) that High Frequency Trading is not a major scourge to proper and efficiently operating markets. And while we do not want to take away from the recent uproar at ETFs, courtesy of the Kauffman foundation (and its chairman who as we presented earlier has a rather sizable conflict of interest in DST Systems, Inc) none of the presented 549 crashes are ETFs implicated: this is (mostly) all HFT, baby, all the way.

Without further ado, we present the first part of our joint presentation: the mini flash crashes of Q1, all 112 of them. As there are 64 work days between 1/1/2010 and 3/31/2010 (excluding holidays) this amounts to 1.75 mini crashes per day (and wait until you see Q2). And this is a market that the SEC would like to have you believe is perfectly operational…

The crashes are presented in chronological order.

We urge readers to distribute this report to friends and relatives, as we hope that people can finally understand what a complete and broken scam the US stock market is. That said, we expressly prohibit the creation of "per click" slideshow decks out of the underlying data.

The Flash Crashes of 2010 – Q1 (pdf)


Q1 Flash Crashes

Attachment Size
Q1 Flash Crashes.pdf 1.24 MB

Picture courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant


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Inside the Flash Crash Report

Pam Martens points out that in patching up May 6th’s market meltdown by breaking certains trades, “busts” only applied to trades occurring between 2:40 p.m. and 3 p.m. when the stock had moved 60% or more from its 2:40 p.m. price.  "The busts that were allowed covered 5.5 million shares and two-thirds of these trades had been executed at less than $1.00…  half of the share volume in these bizarre trades came from just two firms and half the time they were exclusively trading with each other."  The report – amazingly – never names these firms which had their own bad trades undone by that controversial decision that left average investors with large losses. - Ilene 

Inside the Flash Crash Report

By PAM MARTENS, originally published at CounterPunch

high frequency trading The breathlessly awaited government report that promised to shore up public confidence by explaining why the stock market briefly plunged 998 points on May 6, with hundreds of stocks momentarily losing 60 per cent or more of their value, was released last Friday, October 1.  Its neatly crafted finger-pointing to a small Kansas mutual fund firm which has been around since 1937, was immediately embraced as mystery solved by the stalwarts of the corporate press.  This was done with only slightly less zeal than bestowed on the story of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction spun out of the George W. Bush administration.

The New York Times headlined with “Single Sale Worth $4.1 Billion Led to Flash Crash.” The Washington Post went with “How One Automated Trade Led to Stock Market Flash Crash.” The Wall Street Journal led with “How a Trading Algorithm Went Awry.”  Hundreds of similar headlines followed in similarly expensive media real estate.  But as with the rush to war on bogus intel, the corporate press may be further damaging its credibility with the American people by ignoring the dangerous market structure that emerges in a closer reading of this report.

The so-called Flash Crash report was the product of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and consists of 104 pages of data that is unintelligible to most Americans, including the media that are so confidently reporting on it.  It names no names, including the firm it is fingering as the key culprit in setting off the crash.  Earlier media reports say the firm is…
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Jon Stewart On The Humor In The High Frequency Signing Scandal

Jon Stewart On The Humor In The High Frequency Signing Scandal

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Just because every radioactive cloud has a humorous lining, here is how the event that will take home prices another major leg lower is made funny, thanks to Jon Stewart.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Foreclosure Crisis
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

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Hedge Funds On The Defensive As Hugh Hendry Sees 80% Reduction In Size Of Industry

Hedge Funds On The Defensive As Hugh Hendry Sees 80% Reduction In Size Of Industry

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

It is no longer fun being a hedge fund manager – first, up until the recent POMO-based rally in stocks, HFs were down for the year, and what is far worse, they were underperforming the broader market – a death sentence for pretty much every hedge fund, as this is proof a fund can not extract alpha and thus has no reason to collect 2 and 20. While the recent ramp in the market is welcome by all bulls, the question remains just how leveraged into the latest beta rally hedge funds have been. If after the nearly 10% rise in the past 2 weeks any individual HFs are still underperforming the market, it is a near certain "lights out."

To everyone else: congratulations – you just bought yourself another three months of breathing room. Better hope the Fed makes good on its QE promises one day soon. In the meantime, Bloomberg Matthew Lynn and Ecclectica’s Hugh Hendry both confirm that in these days of instantaneous liquidity demands, and cheap strategy replicators in the form of ETFs which provide the same beta capture as hedge funds, at a fraction of the price, it is only going to get worse and worse for the once high flying community. In fact, Hugh Hendry goes as far as suggesting that 10 years from now 80% of all hedge funds will be gone. Our personal view is that the target will be reached in a far shorter time frame.

On one hand, Matthew Lynn shows the uphill climb that defenders of the hedge fund industry have to pass in recent days. "An industry that doesn’t know how to defend itself, and has forgotten how to justify its existence, is in crisis. Hedge funds are now in that position." Hilariously, Lynn shows that hedge funds uses that good old staple used by HFTs to defend their own piracy ways and means: providing liquidity.

On both sides of the Atlantic, hedge funds have been busy trying to hold their own against the tide of fresh regulations sweeping through capital markets.

The Washington-based Managed Funds Association, the U.S. hedge-fund industry’s biggest trade group, has been campaigning against proposed curbs on high-frequency trading. That would, it says, reduce liquidity


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High Frequency Chicanery

High Frequency Chicanery

Courtesy of MIKE WHITNEY writing at CounterPunch

Here’s something to munch on from Dennis K. Berman in last week’s Wall Street Journal:

"Today, small investors are fleeing the equities markets in droves, according to data from the Investment Company Institute, pulling out a net $34 billion from stock funds so far this year…..They say, "I still feel like someone is screwing me……trading feels different than it used to."

Berman traces the problem to its source, the "inscrutable interplay between myriad exchanges and high-frequency traders, whose volume now accounts for an estimated two-thirds of all trading"…"a market that many perceive as tainted and prone to gaming by a cadre of insiders."

That sounds like a long-winded way of saying the market is rigged.

High-frequency trading (HFT) is algorithmic-computer trading that finds "statistical patterns and pricing anomalies" by scanning the various stock exchanges. It’s high-speed robo-trading that oftentimes executes orders without human intervention. HFT allows one group of investors to see the data on other people’s orders ahead of time and use their supercomputers to buy in front of them. It’s called frontloading, and it goes on every day right under the SEC’s nose.

In an interview on CNBC, market analyst Joe Saluzzi was asked if the big HFT players were able to see other investors orders (and execute trades) before them. Saluzzi said, "Yes. The answer is absolutely yes. The exchanges supply you with the data, giving you the flash order, and if your fixed connection goes into their lines first, you are disadvantaging the retail and institutional investor."

Frontloading is cheating pure and simple, but rather than go after the "big fish" who run these enormous computerized skimming operations; regulators have been rolling up rogue traders who abscond with the trading code.

Here’s a blurp from wired.com:

"Monday’s arrest of Samarth Agrawal, 26, came nine months after a Goldman Sachs programmer was arrested on similar charges that he, too, stole his employers source code for software, his employer used to make sophisticated, high-speed, high-volume stock and commodities trades.

“The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the use of these programs that many believe give their users an unfair advantage over other traders. Nevertheless, stealing the code to these suspect programs remains illegal. ("Second banker accused of stealing high frequency trading code", wired.com)

Right; so stealing from stock cheats who are gaming the system is…
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Myths about stock market myths that just won’t die

Baruch actually likes stocks, embraces the HFTing-bots and thinks that now is a good time to go long. Share his George Constanza moment… except this is serious. Baruch makes a compelling argument that stocks are the best investment around, the "asset class of the future."  He takes on bond apologists, Brett Arends, Felix Salmon and the myths. – Ilene 

Myths about stockmarket myths that just won’t die

Courtesy of Ultimi Barbarorum

[Watch George Costanza Does The Opposite]

Baruch hasn’t stopped blogging. He’s just been busy at work. To be fair, there also hasn’t been that much he has wanted to write about.

That changes here! A recent and growing animus in the econoblogoverse to, of all things, equity markets, has woken him up. Baruch finds this fairly incredible. Equities, he is fairly convinced, are the asset class of the future. This anti-equities movement, led by jealous journalists and winking, cackling bond apologists with axes to grind, needs to be nipped in the bud, as it is dead wrong. The WSJ’s otherwise reasonable Brett Arends is Baruch’s immediate target among the evil-thinkers, for his (last week’s top read on Abnormal Returns) The Top 10 Stock Market Myths that Just Won’t Die. And that Felix Salmon is also guilty as sin in this, for many offences against shares committed over the past few years.

Myth 1: stocks don’t generally go up

Wronngggg! Try shorting for a living and see how long you last. I’ve tried it. It is *really* fricking hard. Actually this year my shorts have made me more money than my longs, but I am an investing genius, and you are probably not. To those bond apologists who claim that this “stocks for the long haul” stuff is bullshit, I urge you to actually count the number of 10 year periods since 1950 where stocks have not made you a net percentage gain. I can only see 1963-64 and 1999-2001 as periods with evident losses (check out the S&P log chart from 1950). So around 90% of the time in the past 50 years, stocks have made you money on a 10-year investment horizon.

It’s not like you lost lots of money when they did go down, either. At worst, if you had been unfortunate (or dumb) enough to invest in January 2000, by 2010 you had lost about 20%. You would have faced the same, a 20% loss,  in 1964…
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HFT Firm Faces Charges For Causing “Oil Trading Mayhem”

HFT Firm Faces Charges For Causing "Oil Trading Mayhem"

Courtesy of Zero Hedge 

high frequency trading

Could the tide finally be turning on the high frequency churners-cum-manipulators? In an exclusive report, Reuters informs that "a big high-frequency trading firm faces possible civil charges by regulators after its computer ran amok and sparked a frenzied $1 surge in oil prices in February, according to documents obtained by Reuters and sources familiar with the continuing investigation."

The firm in question is Infinium Capital Management, which confirmed that it is the company at the center of a six-month probe by CME Group Inc into why its brand new trading program malfunctioned and racked up a million-dollar loss in about a second, just before markets closed on February 3. And yes, once all is said and done, it will be precisely this kind of algos gone wild that are found to have caused the much more devastating move on May 6, as we have been claiming all alone, and which the HFT lobby has been fighting tooth and nail to bury under the rug.

More from Reuters:

The glitch explains for the first time the lightning-quick oil-trading surge of that day — and it may have been a catalyst for the abrupt and largely unexplained $5 slide amid record volumes the following two days.

The firm’s buying frenzy also reveals how faulty computer codes, known as algorithms, can spark sharp volatility and send electronic markets spinning all in the blink of an eye.

Futures exchange operator CME Group is looking into the incident, which occurred at the New York Mercantile Exchange and highlights some of the same electronic-trading concerns raised by May’s "flash crash" in the U.S. stock market.

The specifics on the actual trade:

Infinium, a household name in Chicago’s burgeoning trading community, relies on computer horsepower and quantitative models to earn razor-thin profits from short-term trading. It uses its own money to make markets and capitalize on tiny imbalances, a common high-frequency strategy.

The documents, dated March, reveal that Infinium used an algorithm that was less than a day old to execute a "lead/lag" strategy between an exchange-traded fund called United States Oil Fund, which tracks oil prices, and the U.S. crude benchmark future, West Texas Intermediate.

The algorithm was turned on at 2:26:28 p.m. (Eastern) on February 3, less than four minutes before NYMEX closed floor trading and settled oil prices. It


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High-Frequency Trading: Something Black?

High-Frequency Trading: Something Black?

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

Now this is interesting, coming from the annual "black hat" conference in Las Vegas (for those not involved in the computer security world, that’s an annual gathering of hackers where various presentations are made that amount to brags and bags that have or can be run on various parts of information technology):

Among the talks conspicuously absent from this year’s schedule: a presentation exposing security vulnerabilities in banks’ high-speed trading systems.

The talk, planned by security researchers Varun Uppal and Gyan Chawdhary, would have dealt with methods for hiding risky unauthorized trades in high-speed trading applications, as well as demonstrating a "sniffing" software tool capable of siphoning trading information to a faraway hacker to allow a high-tech form of real-time insider trading. But Uppal tells us that the talk has been cancelled after concerns were raised by a financial industry client of the security auditing firm he works for, Information Risk Management.

Methods eh?

I suppose we’re supposed to believe that this is all theoretical, right?

Oh, somehow I doubt it.

And why?

Well, it wouldn’t have anything to do with firms intentionally ignoring security capabilities for reasons of SPEED, would it?  (Note that encryption, in particular, is rather slow comparatively.  Plain text is of course very fast.)

While security measures for FIX programs are available, Uppal says he’s audited firms that ignore them for convenience or speed. Uppal says that could allow a hacker to monitor a bank’s trades and make near-simultaneous ones, or even steal a bank’s unique trading algorithm.

Oh, they would do that.  That’s very nice.

New?  Oh no.  It’s not new either

In a 2007 Black Hat presentation, David Goldsmith and Jeremy Rauch of Matasano Security listed systematic problems with the security of high speed trading systems such as the difficulty of encrypting trade data and banks’ reluctance to add any security that might slow down the transactions,

Right.  Speed before security.  Engage in an arms race and if someone else gets unlawful advantage as a consequence of your refusal to follow best practices, well, that’s too damn bad.

Let’s contrast that with what happens in the Interbank (e.g. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, etc) networks.  There if you store unencrypted cardholder data (it’s faster and easier!) or if you use unencrypted transport between…
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Scientific Proof That High Frequency Trading Induces Adverse Changes In Market Microstructure And Dynamics, And Puts Market Fairness Under Question

Scientific Proof That High Frequency Trading Induces Adverse Changes In Market Microstructure And Dynamics, And Puts Market Fairness Under Question

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Up until recently, any debate between proponents and opponents of High Frequency Trading would typically be represented by heated debates of high conviction on either side, with discussions rapidly deteriorating into ad hominem attacks and the producer screaming ‘cut to commercial’ to prevent fistfights. Luckily, all this is about to change. In a research paper by Reginald Smith of the Bouchet Franklin Institute in Rochester titled "Is high-frequency trading inducing changes in market microstructure and dynamics?" the author finds that he "can clearly demonstrate that HFT is having an increasingly large impact on the microstructure of equity trading dynamics. Traded value, and by extension trading volume, fluctuations are starting to show self-similarity at increasingly shorter timescales. Values which were once only present on the orders of several hours or days are now commonplace in the timescale of  seconds or minutes. It is important that the trading algorithms of HFT traders, as well as those who seek to understand, improve, or regulate HFT realize that the overall structure of trading is influenced in a measurable manner by HFT and that Gaussian noise  models of short term trading volume fluctuations likely are increasingly inapplicable."

In other words, the author finds ample evidence that during the past decade (on the NASDAQ) and especially since the 2005 revision of Reg NMS (on the NYSE), stock trading increasingly demonstrates "self similar" fractal patterns, resulting in volatility surges, recursive feedback loops, and a market structure which is increasingly becoming a product of the actual trading mechanism. In the process, as demonstrated by a Hurst Exponent gravitating increasingly further away from 0.5 (i.e., Brown Noise territory), the Markov Process nature of stock trading is put under question, and thus the whole premise of an efficient market has to be reevaluated. Simply said: HFT has been shown to affect the fairness of trading.

The paper is, needless to say, a must read for everyone who has an even passing interest in stock trading and market regulation (alas, yes, that would mean the SEC, and Congress). And while one of the key qualities of the paper is presenting the history and implications of High Frequency Trading, and its rise to market dominance primarily as a result of the revision…
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Schonfeld Fires 15% Of Traders, Blames Fast, Greedy Robots

Schonfeld Fires 15% Of Traders, Blames Fast, Greedy Robots

Courtesy of Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge 

The very special gift presented to 50 prop traders at Schonfeld Securities in advance of the celebratory July 4th holiday weekend… was a pink slip. The palliative reason given to these newly unemployed by founder Steven Schonfeld: it is all the fault of "black boxes, stat arb and high frequency trading." Welcome to the new paradigm – you are now all redundant. Only robots are allowed to trade with robots. But. But. We thought they only provide liquidity (er, viscocity – the specific gravity of motor oil is 0.8). Full letter below. 

‘On December 5, 1988 we started Schonfeld Securities. Very soon after, we started hiring prop traders, and many years later formed “Opus Trading Fund”.

Prop trading has always been and will always be an extremely important part of our business and certainly the one that is closest to our hearts. The best Schonfeld traders will always have a place to trade and the capital to maximize their earnings potential. We are committed to them and will always strive to provide an environment for them to succeed. Sadly, however, we are re-thinking the notion that less skilled and less successful traders can be here forever without producing sufficiently for themselves and the firm.

For over 21 years we have always done everything we could, with the traders’ best interests in mind, to provide careers and opportunities for our traders.

We have always cared more than you could imagine for your careers, happiness, well being and future.

We truly admired many of your passions for trading and for the markets. Over the years we have stood by you and you have stood by us as well. There has been real loyalty on both ends and don’t ever think we took your loyalty for granted for one second.

Bull and bear markets come and go. Good trading markets come and go. But unfortunately, our vision of the future of trading has changed. It is getting much tougher for traders to make a living or get by. The direct competition from black boxes, stat arb and high frequency trading which continues to grow at exponential rates is here to stay and has caused us to change our outlook for lesser skilled traders.

Based on the above competitive changes to the trading arena, we


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Zero Hedge

Real Estate Magnate Sells New York Condo For $15.3M In Bitcoin

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Marie Huillet via CoinTelegraph.com,

Real estate tycoon Ben Shaoul has sold a retail condo in Manhattan’s prestigious Upper East Side for $15.3 million in Bitcoin. The news was reported by New York real estate magazine The Real Deal on Nov. 1.

...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Bank Breakout Of Financial Crisis Highs or Double Topping Again?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

If the saying “So Goes The Banks, So Goes The Broad Market” is true, banks are facing a critical breakout/resistance test in my opinion.

This chart looks at Financials ETF (XLF) over the past 12-years. This chart reflects that a double top took place prior to the financial crisis getting started.

XLF has remained inside of rising channel (1) since the lows in 2012. It hit double resistance at (2), then it declined nearly 25%.

The decline then tested rising support at (3) and a strong rally has followed. The rally now has XL...



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Phil's Favorites

This Fed President Thinks Wall Street Banks Should Stop Whining for the Fed to Bail Them Out and Plan for their Own Liquidity

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Neel Kashkari, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Later this afternoon, Neel Kashkari, the outspoken President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, will deliver the keynote address at a conference on “Wisconsin and the National Economy” at the Madison campus of the University of Wisconsin. Tomorrow, he’ll be taking questions at a Town Hall in the University of Wisconsin’s Student Union on the La Crosse campus.

Given Kashkari’s recent remarks on his lack of sympathy for the whining New York bankers who are demanding a liquid...



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The Technical Traders

Welcome to the Zombie-land Of Investing - Part II

Courtesy of Technical Traders

In Part I of this research post, we highlight how the ES and Gold reacted 24+ months prior to the 2007-08 market peak and subsequent collapse in 2008-09.  The point we were trying to push out to our followers was that the current US stock market indexes are acting in a very similar formation within a very mature uptrend cycle.

We ended Part I with this chart, below, comparing 2006-08 with 2018-19.  Our intent was to highlight the new price hig...



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Insider Scoop

Barrington Downgrades Fluent After Earnings Miss, Stock Drop

Courtesy of Benzinga

Fluent Inc (NASDAQ: FLNT) fell short of top- and bottom-line third-quarter estimates. Some suspect the missed metrics herald longer-term underperformance.

The Rating

Barrington Research analysts James Goss and Patrick Sholl downgraded Fluent to Market Perform but maintained a $5 price target....



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Digital Currencies

3 Reasons Why One Trader Didn't "Manipulate" Bitcoin Price To $20K

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by William Suberg via CoinTelegraph.com,

Bitcoin price highs in 2017 were not the result of a single trader on an exchange, the CEO of payment company Circle claims. In a series of tweets on Nov. 4, Jeremy Allaire disputed ...



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Chart School

Gold Gann and Cycle Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Gold has performed well, golden skies are here again. In fact it has been a straight line move, and this is typically unusual and a pause can be expected.

It seems the markets are happy again, new highs in the SP500, US 10 year interest rates look to re bound, negative interest may soften. The US FED has reversed their QT and now doing $250BN (not QE) repo. The main point is the FED has stopped QT, and will do QE forever. The evidence now is the FED put is under market risk and the possibility of excessive losses do not exist. 

Point: If in future if there is market risk, the FED will print it's way out of it.
Subject To: In this blog view. The above is so until the amount required rocks confidence in the US dollar as a reserve currency.&n...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Today's Fed POMO TOMO FOMC Alphabet Soup Unspin

Courtesy of Lee Adler

But make no mistake, if the Fed wants money rates to stay down by another quarter, it will need to imagineer even more money.

That’s on top of the $281 billion it has already imagineered into existence since addressing its “one-off” repo market emergency on September 17. This came via  “Temporary” Repo Man Operations money, and $70.6 billion in Permanent Open Market Operations (POMO) money.

By my calculations that averages out to $7.4 billion per business day. That works out to a monthly pace of $155 billion or so.

If they keep this up, it will be more than enough to absorb every penny of new Treasury supply. That supply had caused the system to run out of money in mid September.  This flood of paper had been inundati...



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Biotech

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

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

 

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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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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.

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About Phil:

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