Posts Tagged ‘valuation’

FDIC’s Bair: “Bury the Losses”

FDIC’s Bair: "Bury the Losses"

Courtesy of Bruce Krasting

Sheila Bair has turned a corner in her support of the bankers. On the critical issue of accounting clarity she made these remarks today to a bunch of CPA’s. I hear she got a standing ovation from that audience. Her words:

Fair Value Accounting
Another ongoing regulatory process is FASB’s proposal to substantially revise the accounting standards for financial instruments. Under the proposed rule, banks would be required to measure substantially all of their financial instruments at fair value on the balance sheet.
 
While we understand that the objective of the rule is to make financial statements more transparent, we believe that its effect could be to undermine financial stability by making bank performance more procyclical. In short, we do not believe that a bank – whose business strategy is to hold loans and deposit liabilities for the long term – should be required to measure them at fair value on the balance sheet.

70% of all Americans own some stocks. It is hard to avoid the financials if you’re in a fund, so the consumer’s new champion, Elizabeth Warren, should take up the issue of clarity on bank financial statements. That would be a cat-fight I would like to see.

 


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GIVING NEW MEANING TO “HERDING INVESTORS”

GIVING NEW MEANING TO “HERDING INVESTORS”

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Cows on pasture

We all know the Federal Reserve is trying to herd investors into equities as they keep asset values “higher than they otherwise would be”, but how’s this for herding investors?  One well known hedge fund manager has altered his entire strategy because of the Fed’s persistent actions (via the WSJ):

“A former hedge-fund manager who made a fortune shorting stocks has switched to the long side, and is raking in money in the process.

William von Mueffling surprised clients and competitors last June by announcing he would close his hedge funds and return $3.5 billion to investors. His firm, Cantillon Capital Management of New York, kept managing $1 billion in long-only assets, typically considered the unsexy piece of the business.

Now, the 42-year-old stock picker controls more money than he did before he closed his hedge funds. Cantillon has raised billions of dollars from pension funds in the U.S. and abroad, and from sovereign-wealth investors, according to clients and other people familiar with the matter.”

Von Mueffling couldn’t justify running the short end of the book as the Fed was priming the pump:

“After years of “long-short” investing, Mr. von Mueffling and his analysts and traders no longer short, or bet against, stocks at all. Instead, like a typical stock mutual fund, they stick to buying company shares they expect will rise. Mr. von Mueffling said the strategy is “the right long-term decision.”

“I’m not saying there aren’t overvalued stocks out there,” he said in an interview. “There are, but trying to short them when the government is printing money is a very, very challenging game,” he said, referring to, among other things, Federal Reserve programs to buy government bonds, which the Fed is widely expected to announce this week.”

That gives new meaning to “herding investors”.  I think sellers play an important role in the price discovery process.  After all, when the fundamentals of an asset are consistently in disequilibrium with its current valuation it makes the system that much more unstable.  Selling, and thus lower prices, can actually make the system more stable in the long-term.  This is just one more sign that nothing has really changed since the Greenspan Fed ended.  And that was a Fed run by a man who admitted that his model was flawed…. 


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The Q Ratio Indicates a Significantly Overvalued Market

The Q Ratio Indicates a Significantly Overvalued Market 

Courtesy of Doug Short 

Note from dshort: The charts below have been updated based on the September 17th Federal Reserve Flow of Funds release for Q2. I’ve also used the Vanguard Total Market ETF for extrapolating the Q Ratio up to the present.

The Q Ratio is a popular method of estimating the fair value of the stock market developed by Nobel Laureate James Tobin. It’s a fairly simple concept, but laborious to calculate. The Q Ratio is the total price of the market divided by the replacement cost of all its companies. The data for making the calculation comes from the Federal Reserve Z.1 Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States, which is released quarterly for data that is already over two months old.

The first chart shows Q Ratio from 1900 through the first quarter of 2010. I’ve also extrapolated the ratio since June based on the price of VTI, the Vanguard Total Market ETF, to give a more up-to-date estimate.

Interpreting the Ratio

The data since 1945 is a simple calculation using data from the Federal Reserve Z.1 Statistical Release, section B.102., Balance Sheet and Reconciliation Tables for Nonfinancial Corporate Business. Specifically it is the ratio of Line 35 (Market Value) divided by Line 32 (Replacement Cost). It might seem logical that fair value would be a 1:1 ratio. But that has not historically been the case. The explanation, according to Smithers & Co. (more about them later) is that "the replacement cost of company assets is overstated. This is because the long-term real return on corporate equity, according to the published data, is only 4.8%, while the long-term real return to investors is around 6.0%. Over the long-term and in equilibrium, the two must be the same."

The average (arithmetic mean) Q ratio is about 0.70. In the chart below I’ve adjusted the Q Ratio to an arithmetic mean of 1 (i.e., divided the ratio data points by the average). This gives a more intuitive sense to the numbers. For example, the all-time Q Ratio high at the peak of the Tech Bubble was 1.82 — which suggests that the market price was 158% above the historic average of replacement cost. The all-time lows in 1921, 1932 and 1982 were around…
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The Question “Are Stocks a Screaming Buy Relative to Bonds?” Creates False Premises

The Question "Are Stocks a Screaming Buy Relative to Bonds?" Creates False Premises

Courtesy of Mish

Josh Lipton writing for Minyanville is asking the question Are Stocks a Screaming Buy Relative to Bonds?

Dr. Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Research takes one side of the debate and says "stocks are cheap" according to a model, now dubbed the “Fed’s Stock Valuation Model”.

I am quoted in the article, taking a different view of course, but I want to add to the thoughts I expressed in the article.

First a few snips from Lipton’s article …

Certainly, by employing some basic measures to compare the relative value of stocks and bonds, equities appear attractive. Dr. Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Research made the case this morning that stocks seem cheap and bonds seem expensive according to a simple model that compares the market’s earnings yield to the US Treasury bond yield.

Yardeni first started studying this model after seeing it mentioned in the Federal Reserve Board’s Monetary Policy Report to the Congress dated July 1997. The strategist dubbed it the “Fed’s Stock Valuation Model” (FSVM), and that’s what it’s been called ever since.

During the week of August 13, Yardeni says, the forward P/E of the S&P 500 was 11.8. The forward earnings yield, which is just the reciprocal of the P/E, was 8.5%. The 10-year Treasury bond’s yield is 2.60% this morning. So its P/E, which is the reciprocal of the yield, is 38.5.

According to the FSVM, that means stocks are 64.8% undervalued relative to bonds.

James Swanson, chief investment strategist at MFS Investment Management, agrees that stocks now look cheap relative to bonds and that, as an asset class, equities boast more opportunity for investors looking ahead.

In short, the stock market is now priced for an economic future that Swanson thinks remains unlikely. “This only makes sense if the world is going into a deflationary scenario,” the strategist says. “Otherwise, this is a mispricing.”

Yes, stocks might look cheap relative to bonds, but that’s because the economic outlook remains bleak. Mike Shedlock, a well-known registered investment adviser for Sitka Pacific Capital Management, argues that the economy is already mired in deflation, a dangerous downward spiral in prices that will prove lethal for corporate profits.

"Why are Treasury yields low?" Shedlock asks. "It’s because the economy is in recession."

Furthermore, Shedlock argues that investors are ultimately best advised


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Is the Stock Market Cheap?

Is the Stock Market Cheap? 

Courtesy of Doug Short

Here’s the latest update of my preferred market valuation method using the most recent Standard & Poor’s "as reported" earnings and earnings estimates and the index monthly averages of daily closes for July 2010, which is 1179.80. The ratios in parentheses use the July monthly close of 1101.60. For the latest earnings, see the accompanying table from Standard & Poor’s.


  • TTM P/E ratio = 18.3 (17.1)
  • P/E10 ratio = 21.7 (20.3)

Background 
A standard way to investigate market valuation is to study the historic Price-to-Earnings (P/E) ratio using reported earnings for the trailing twelve months (TTM). Proponents of this approach ignore forward estimates because they are often based on wishful thinking, erroneous assumptions, and analyst bias.

TTM P/E Ratio 
The "price" part of the P/E calculation is available in real time on TV and the Internet. The "earnings" part, however, is more difficult to find. The authoritative source is the Standard & Poor’s website, where the latest numbers are posted on the earnings page. Free registration is now required to access the data. Once you’ve downloaded the spreadsheet, see the data in column D.

The table here shows the TTM earnings based on "as reported" earnings and a combination of "as reported" earnings and Standard & Poor’s estimates for "as reported" earnings for the next few quarters. The values for the months between are linear interpolations from the quarterly numbers.

The average P/E ratio since the 1870′s has been about 15. But the disconnect between price and TTM earnings during much of 2009 was so extreme that the P/E ratio was in triple digits — as high as the 120s — in the Spring of 2009. In 1999, a few months before the top of the Tech Bubble, the conventional P/E ratio hit 34. It peaked around 47 two years after the market topped out.

As these examples illustrate, in times of critical importance, the conventional P/E ratio often lags the index to the point of being useless as a value indicator. "Why the lag?" you may wonder. "How can the P/E be at a record high after the price has fallen so far?" The explanation is simple. Earnings fell faster than price. In fact, the negative earnings of 2008 Q4 (-$23.25) is something…
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THE GREAT DISCONNECT: Stocks 30% Overvalued And Still Going Up… And Housing Rolling Over

THE GREAT DISCONNECT: Stocks 30% Overvalued And Still Going Up… And Housing Rolling Over

Woman Holding Up Her Hand

Courtesy of Henry Blodget at Clusterstock/The Business Insider

We don’t mean to rain on the stockmarket parade (we’re enjoying it, too), but we’ll confess to being astonished by it.

We understand that the world’s governments are pumping money into their economies.  We understand that that money has to go somewhere.  We understand that, right now, that somewhere is often stocks.

We also recognize that the stock market is "forward looking," meaning that stock investors couldn’t care less about 10% unemployment and other depressing facts about the economy.  As far as stocks are concerned, as long as the situation is improving, it doesn’t matter how bad the present is.

But we’re looking forward, too, and here’s what we’re seeing:

The housing market, a huge engine of the U.S. economy via both direct spending and the wealth effect, is rolling over and heading for a double-dip.  This despite the fact that the government is still spending money hand over foot to keep house prices propped up. 

In a week or so, the Fed is supposed to begin withdrawing some of this housing subsidy by winding up its mortgage-buying program.  The Fed may or may not actually do this, but if it does, this move could further depress the housing market.  And that, in turn, could put more pressure on strapped consumers who can no longer borrow from home-equity lines to fund current spending, no longer feel rich, don’t have much borrowing capacity, and, often, no longer have jobs.  (And consumers still account for more than 70% of spending in the economy).

A falling housing market will also likely lead to more underwater homeowners, more "shadow" inventory, more foreclosures, more pressure on house prices, and, possibly, more bank write-offs.  The more banks are worried about future write-offs, the less likely they are to lend, and bank lending has already fallen off a cliff.

So, basically, we think the apparent double-dip in the housing market is a big deal, and we’re surprised that the market is whistling Dixie in the face of it.

If stocks were cheap, we wouldn’t worry about it.  We would…
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IS THE MARKET FAIRLY VALUED?

Pragcap shares a tool he uses to answer the question, 

IS THE MARKET FAIRLY VALUED?

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Maria Shriver's 2008 Women's Conference

I’ve long argued that most valuation metrics are fraught with pitfalls that the average investor too often falls for.  What is often described as “value” is too often a bloated price divided by some analyst’s guesstimate.  The myth of “value” and the dream of becoming the next Warren Buffett (see the many myths of Warren Buffett here) has resulted in untold stock market losses over the decades and/or misconceptions of adding “value” to a portfolio that most likely doesn’t outperform a correlating index fund after taxes and fees. Nonetheless, the PE ratio and other faulty valuation metrics remain one of the primary sources of investment strategists, stock pickers and market researchers.

While I am no fan of valuation metrics, I do happen to be a student and believer of mean reversion.  In an effort to attach a “value” to this market I’ve used an old Jeremy Grantham tool to see where we are today.  Grantham is a big believer in the cycle of corporate profits and specifically profit margins.  As regular readers know, one of the primary reasons why we have been bullish ahead of the past 5 earnings seasons was due to the expansion in corporate margins and very low analyst expectations.  Analysts became extremely negative in Q4 2008 and severely underestimated the pace at which companies were able to cut costs and support the bottom line.  This stabilization in corporate margins set the table for the massive rally in stocks as profits continued to expand at a far faster pace than anyone expected.

Corporate margins are extremely cyclical.  As companies expand their businesses and revenues grow they are able to better manage their costs, hire personnel, etc.  But if the economy weakens for any number of reasons revenues will contract, costs will remain high and margins will ultimately contract.  Businesses are then forced to cut costs in order to salvage profits.  In other words, margins are constantly expanding and contracting with the business cycle around the mean.

Over the last 50 years corporate profit margins (corporate profits/GDP) have averaged 9.5%.  If we multiply GDP by the average margin growth we can create a long-term trend of what corporate profits should look like.  We can then compare actual corporate profits to this result in an effort to see whether…
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Feldstein: Worry About the Dollar, Not the Euro: Keep an Eye on Sterling

Feldstein: Worry About the Dollar, Not the Euro: Keep an Eye on Sterling

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

Here is Marty Feldstein’s view of the economic fundamentals in the euro and dollar portion of the forex markets.

Fundamentals mean little in the short term for trading purposes, at least in my own judgement. However, it does look as though the euro/dollar cross is a bit overdone. If that is correct, then it is likely that this correction in the precious metals should be almost done as well. But we will have to see what happens. The markets are shallow and edgy, almost wobbly. In a liquidation everything gets sold on the short term. Selling and buying on the margins makes price, no matter what size the market. Such it is with most auction markets disconnected from rational valuation.

On the fundamentals, however, Feldstein makes some good points. The problem with Europe is that it is sitting on the fence with its union, and the Greek debt crisis merely highlights their weakness which are largely structural. What is the EU likely to become.

As for the US, its day is fading, and it is in the grip of financial interests that will wring the last drop of vitality out of it given their way.

There are several roads to losing weight. One is to engage in healthy exercise and a good diet. The other way is starvation either through deprivation or disease. In both instances one ‘loses weight.’ The modern day Liquidationists favor starvation, for the other guys, not themselves. The modern day Keynesianians seem to wish to indulge in overeating with a change in diet to be left for another day.

The American economic system cries out for meaningful reform. Deficit spending without reform is futile, the road to addiction. But no government led structural repair efforts is the sure road to stagnation and a zombie-like existence such as has been seen in Japan, or even worse, a third world status and regional fragmentation.

My own bellwether is the UK. I believe quite strongly that Britain will reach its crisis before the US. And it may provide a proper warning, but all things considered, it may be too late. While…
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IS THE STOCK MARKET 26% OVERVALUED?

IS THE STOCK MARKET 26% OVERVALUED?

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

The latest data from Robert Shiller’s 10 year PE ratio shows the market currently at a 20.64 multiple.  In his morning note, David Rosenberg noted that this is 26% higher than the long-run average:

“If there was an impediment, in addition to a murky economic outlook, it is valuation. There were revisions to the Shiller valuation data and the latest reading on the normalized real P/E multiple is at 20.64x, up from the 20.0x in February and 20.5x in January. The long-run trend is at 16.36x, suggesting that the S&P is currently overvalued by 26%.”

pe1 IS THE STOCK MARKET 26% OVERVALUED?

This chart provides little of utility in and of itself, but combined with a longer-term look at stock prices it raises some interesting thoughts.  As a student of and believer of mean reversion, I just can’t help but wonder if the recent recovery in stocks is nothing more than a brief respite in the long-term “chop” that has become a defining characteristic of equity prices over the last 10 years.

20100226 IS THE STOCK MARKET 26% OVERVALUED?

Source: Chartoftheday, Shiller Econ & Gluskin Sheff 

 


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IS THIS A “MAJOR MARKET TOP”?

Brilliant theories (e.g. Robert Prechter’s market thoughts) and perfect timing are two different things. Pragcap’s timing has been exceptional. – Ilene

IS THIS A “MAJOR MARKET TOP”?

Businessmen talking and gesturing

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

A reader recently responded with several excellent reasons why this could be the formation of a major market top and what Robert Prechter referred to as the next leg down in the bear market.  Although I turned near-term bearish recently, I am not convinced that this is a major turning point.  In this piece I respond to “Our Man In NYC” and the reasons why I believe this is not a major market top, but more likely a correction within the uptrend:

Our Man In NYC:

Thanks for the great response.  I’ll give you my brief thoughts on each topic you touched on.

- CRE: Still a huge problem, but it’s a slow motion train wreck.  The majority of the troubles in CRE are spread out over the next 3 years and will hinder bank balance sheets, but won’t serve as the “all at once” wallop RRE was in 2008.

- RRE: I said that last years stability in housing was a head fake and I still think we’re heading lower, but the stimulus will continue to bolster prices in the near-term.  There will be one last surge in activity as the tax credit ends this year.  Late 2010 and 2011 has potential for substantial declines in residential as resets surge, foreclosures remain high, inventory remains high, stimulus ends and the laws of supply and demand reassert themselves after the government’s temporary price fixing.  The next leg down isn’t quite here yet.

- Sovereign Risk: Greece is getting bailed out in all likelihood, but all in all, another slow moving iceberg.  The S&P story on the UK is alarming.  As readers know, I think debt is why we’re ultimately still in a bear market, but it’s not a NEAR-TERM concern.

- Liquidity: The Fed remains accommodative.  China appears to be on the verge of a wind-down.  Alarming, but at 10.7% GDP I think investors will ultimately view the near-term downturn as a buying opportunity in emerging markets.   Stimulus and accommodative policies are nearing an end, but the process will remain lumpy as


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Phil's Favorites

A Missing Caveat to Last Week's Sell-Off

 

A Missing Caveat to Last Week’s Sell-Off

Courtesy of 

First of all, congratulations to my friend Ari Wald on the fifth anniversary of his weekly technical note, Inflection Points, for Oppenheimer & Co. I’ve been reading him since the beginning and posting his insights often here at TRB.

Ari makes sense of the price action and market cross-currents in a helpful, non-pedantic way, with enough detail for serious technicians but not so much so that you can’t understand what he’s saying. And his charts are always illuminating, no matter what’s going on.

Okay, here’s what Ari wants you...



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Zero Hedge

'Islamist Attack Plot' Foiled By German Police; 11 Arrested For Planning "To Kill As Many Infidels As Possible"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

German police arrested 11 people on Friday during a series of raids on a terror cell planning an "Islamist terrorist attack" using guns and a vehicle, prosecutors said. 

The goal, according to police, was to "kill as many "infidels" as possible."

According to thelocal.de, t...



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ValueWalk

Tax Receipts Decline As Budget Deficit Reaches Record

By Gary St. Fleur. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The U.S budget deficit has widened as the corporate and individual tax receipts and other revenue declines in the face of federal spending reaching new heights.

geralt / Pixabay

Last year’s fiscal gap for February was $215.2 billion. It has now grown to $234 billion. This is larger than the last budget deficit record set in 2012. This increase is due to declines in tax receipts for October-February. The period saw a decline of 1 percent (1.3 trillion ) from the prior year while growth in federal spending rose upwards of 9 percent to 1.8 t...



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Chart School

Palladium Action Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Palladium is near its peak, or at least a consolidation. Russia and South Africa are the producers of palladium, and it looks like Putin has been able to play US Futures market for a lot of Russia gain! Which metal is next?


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The chart within the video


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Fundamentals are important, and so is market timing, here at readtheticker.com we believe a combination of ...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

NYSE Index Suggesting The Top Is In, Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Is a very broad stock index suggesting that a top is in play? What this index does to close this week should go a long way to answering that question!

This chart looks at the NYSE Index on a weekly basis over the past 4-years. Over the past 15-months, it has created a series of lower highs and lower lows inside of the shaded falling channel. It hit strong support around Christmas at (1) and a counter-trend rally started. The rally now has it testing the top of the falling channel at (2).

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am- The NYSE index could be cre...



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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...


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Biotech

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/Shutterstock.com

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

Grejak/Shutterstock

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

Excerpt:

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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OpTrader

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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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

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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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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.

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