Posts Tagged ‘VLO’

TGIF – Stop the Week, We Want to get Off!

What a disaster!  

Of course, that's why we have Disaster Hedges, right?  August 11th was the last time we did a "Hedging for Disaster" post which included a LONG trade idea on gold that's done now (we're short) after gaining over 300%.  We're a little mixed in our results on the other hedges but that means we can SWITCH HORSES – from the trades that have already worked to the ones that haven't yet.  That's how we cash out our winners on a regular basis – it's the pony express of investing.   Our other Disaster Hedges from that post were:  

  • DXD Oct $23 calls at $2, selling Oct $27 calls for $1.15 and the Oct $19 puts for .70 for net .10.  That spread is currently -.05 so down 150% so far and a nice horse to switch to, offering a .05 credit on the $4 spread.  
  • FAZ Oct $65 calls at $22, selling Oct $72 calls for $20 and selling JPM 2013 $20 puts for $2.05 was a net .05 credit as a backstop to our long financial plays.  FAZ is now at $71.34 and the October FAZ spread is now $3.70 but the JPM puts are now $3 so net .70 is only up 1,500% so far.  Should the financials stay low, we get the full $7 from the spread and we're obligated to buy JPM for $20 (now $29.27) in 2013.  
  • SDS Sept $26 calls at $3.20, selling Sept $32 calls for $1.65 and selling VLO Jan $15 puts for $1.20 for net .35.  SDS is only at $25.73 so far (not a disaster yet) and the spread is now net $1.25 and the short VLO puts are .17 so net $1.08 on this one is up 208% and we're not even at goal – that's pretty good!  Note the spread is LOWER than when we started so this can also be used as a fresh horse with a different offset, like X Jan $15 puts for $1.20 for a net .05 trade.  
  • TBT was stopped out with a small loss at $24 (fortunately).  My comment at the time, with TBT at $24.88  was:  "Keep in mind though, that the Fed has said rates will stay low through 2013 so it would be wise to uses stops on the


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Income Portfolio – Month Four – Stormy Weather!

Riders on the storm 

Into this house we're born 

Into this world we're thrown 

Like a dog without a bone 

An actor out alone 

Riders on the storm 

 

What a crazy couple of week's we've been having!  Very fortunately, in last month's update of our virtual income portfolio, we had already cashed out $33,084 – more than enough to take us through our first 8 months (our planned $4,000 a month to live on).  We did that using just $200,000 of our $1M in buying power ($500,000 portfolio), staying very conservative and waiting for a bigger dip than the one we had had in June.  

Well, here we are!  We are now 10% below June's bottom and we did do a little bottom fishing, adding positions in WFR, SONC, IMAX, VLO, OIH, TBT and HOLI – positions we'll be reviewing below.  To a large extent, we followed the strategy I called "Don't Just Do Something, Stand There" during this sell-off although it was (and still is) a nail-biter as we tested my August 2nd prediction of the "worst-case" scenario of a 20% drop from the top.  

We stuck to our guns this week and had a lot of fun playing the wild gyrations with our short-term betting but the Income Portfolio is an exercise in managing a "low-touch" portfolio – one that does not require us to make daily adjustments.  I am aware that can be frustrating for people who stare at the markets every day but that is what our short-term trade ideas are for in Member Chat.  That goes for people who are retired or semi-retired too.  You don't HAVE to play every day – or any day for that matter but you do need to…
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F’ing Thursday – Give Us a Break!

Holy cow – when will it end?  

As I mentioned yesterday, we were expecting a whipsaw after the morning sell-off and we played that perfectly with bullish trades on the DIA and OIH and, as we move up, we took bearish plays on GLL, TZA and QQQ.  All good so far but then we did a little bottom fishing before wising up and shorting USO into the close – just in case.  The futures were up 2% this morning at 5am and I had to warn our Members:  

Overall, this is too weak to get us over the hump and we are going to have to lean a little more bearish unless we can follow Europe up 2.5% or more.  Our charts will turn from "spiking low on volume" to "consolidating for a move below 20%" very quickly if we don’t gets something bullish going by tomorrow.  

The Dollar was at 74.64 at the time and it’s only 75.04 now (7:50) but the futures have gone from up 2% to down 1% in less than 3 hours – that is insane!  How are retail investors supposed to play this market?  The average person does not have the stomach for watching their virtual portfolio’s value go up and down 5% a day – at some point they are all going to pull the plug and walk away.  Of course, as I was saying yesterday – that’s just what the Banksters want you to do, assuming they know QE3 is right around the corner, accompanied by a 20%+ market rally into the year’s end.  

Anyway, hope is NOT a strategy for the prudent investor so I published another set of Disaster Hedges this morning as it’s time to add a layer to our longer hedges (which are now deeply in the money).  I hate to chase these plays but one thing we learned in 2008 is that there may never be a bottom (not in the short run) no matter how oversold you think things may be.  Was the market wrong in 2008 to go below S&P 1,000?  Well 3 years of subsequent trading seem to indicate that it was – but that did not stop us from dropping 33% lower, to 666 (the mark of the Blankfein!).   

Our entire goal in a sell-off like this is to simply preserve our cash.  The lower we…
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Hedging For Disaster – 5 Plays that Make 500% if the Market Falls (Members Only)

We took our last round of disaster protection back in early July and almost all of those trades are well in the money.  

Since you know I am a big fan of taking cash off the table in either direction, let’s not be greedy and look at ways to "roll" our downside protection into new downside plays so we can set SENSIBLE stops on our now deep in the money short plays (very similar to our Mattress Strategy).  Keep in mind that this is the biggest market decline we’ve had since last Summer, so adding a layer of protection here doubles our returns if this is the first leg of a major sell-off, or it gives us a smaller hedge that we can roll up later while we take our bigger hedges off the table.  As I have to say WAY too often to members – It’s not a profit until you cash it in! 

Hedging for disaster is a concept I advocated during another "recovery," in October of 2008, where we made our cover plays to carry us through a worrisome holiday season and into Q1 earnings – "just in case."  That "just in case" saved a lot of virtual portfolios!  The idea of disaster hedges high return ETFs that will give you 3-5x returns in a major downturn.  That way, 10% allocated of your virtual portfolio to protection can turn into 30-50% on a dip, giving you some much-needed cash right when there is a good buying opportunity.  At the time, I advocated SKF Jan $100s at $19.  SKF hit $300 around Thanksgiving and those calls made a profit of over $280 (1,400%), so putting even just 5% of your virtual portfolio into that financial hedge would give you back 75% of your virtual portfolio when you cash out. 

Keep in mind these are INSURANCE plays – you expect to LOSE, not win but, if you need to ride out a lot of bullish positions through an uncertain period, this is a pretty good way to go.  We cashed out our bullish $25KP positions by July 28th, (our active virtual portfolio) with the S&P at 1,340 and, since then, I’ve had a very hard time making long-term bullish picks.  I want top put up a Buy List but it’s still too risky – this will be step 1 though – protect first, then buy!  Once we cash
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Bulls Scoop Up Valero Energy Corp. Calls

Today’s tickers: VLO, MRVL, CHS & MU

VLO - Valero Energy Corp. – Traders flocked to the options playing field on Valero Energy Corp. this morning after the operator of refineries was raised to ‘Top Pick’ from ‘Sector Perform’ with a 12-month target share price of $35.00 at RBC Capital Markets. Shares in Valero are up 3.35% to stand at $29.40 just after 11:40am in New York. Earlier in the session the price of the underlying increased as much as 4.1% to $29.61, the highest Valero’s shares have traded since October of 2008. Near- as well as long-term bulls made their mark in VLO call options in the first half of the session. Investors expecting Valero to extend gains through expiration next month scooped up more than 2,300 calls at the March $31 strike for an average premium of $0.71 apiece. Call buyers at this strike stand prepared to make money should shares in the oil refiner rally another 7.1% over today’s high of $29.61 to surpass the average breakeven price of $31.71 by expiration day in March. Investors eyeing longer-term and more substantial gains in Valero’s shares purchased approximately 10,200 calls out at the January 2012 $35 strike for an average premium of $1.73 a-pop, on previously existing open interest of 3,126 contracts at that strike. Traders long the calls profit in the event that VLO’s shares jump 24.05% to exceed the breakeven at $36.73 within the next eleven months to expiration in 2012. Valero Energy Corp.’s shares last traded above $36.73 back in early July of 2008.

MRVL - Marvell Technology Group, Ltd. – Options strategists itching for a substantial near-term rally in chipmaker Marvell Technology Group are buying call spreads in the March contract this morning. Shares in the name are up slightly by 0.10% to stand at…
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Breakout Defense Part Deux – 5 More Trades that Make 500% in a Rising Market (Members Only)

SPY 5 MINUTEHere we are again!  

The last time I wrote a Breakout Defense article was back on December 11th when I said: "Wow!  I mean wow! Will this market ever go down? My mother called me this morning and she’s raising her GDP outlook for 2011 too – that’s how crazy things have gotten out there. I’m just waiting for the Pope to come out and tell us to buy CMG and Netflix and THEN we’ll know it’s a sign."  Clearly, my Mom and the Pope nailed it as the the Dow is up another 500 points (4.3%) since then and CMG made a comeback yesterday and is a bit higher than Dec. 10th's finish at $238.22 and NFLX is well above $194.63 so the infallibility streak continues for the pontiff!  

As with last time, I would urge you to spend some time reading (and now viewing) David Fry's market commentary over at ETF digest.  Dave's take on the IWM, which we have been playing this week, is that it is still rolling over and that investors should not be fooled by the Dow.  I'm not here to debate the points – this is an article about what we can do to make sure we don't miss the rally train if it does leave the station and, like last time, it's very easy to set aside a small amount of capital into highly leveraged trades like this, which can make excellent returns on even small rises in the market.  On the whole, I remain cautious and still believing that we may be in a blow-off top but we have plenty of bearish short-term bets and we need some balance – just in case… 

We had just a 4.3% gain since our December picks and check out this performance on those already:

  • FAS Apr $20/25 bull call spread paired with the sale of the April $21 puts for net .15, now $3.98, up 2,553%. 
  • DBC Apr $27 calls at $1, now $2.05 – up 105%
  • 4 DBC Jan $22/27 bull call spread paired with the sale of the 3 USO 2013 $30 puts for net $170, now $740 – up 335%
  • DBC Jan $26/30 bull call spread paired with the sale of


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Weekend Reading – Reviewing the Reviews

 I am still trying to get more bullish

I was thinking about writing something cute like I resolve to get more bullish but that would be wrong.  I try, in my own humble way, to "get" the market right.  That means I am not bullish or bearish but Truthish (to further botch Stephen Colbert's use of the word) and, as Buddah says: "There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting."  Confucious reminds us that there are three methods by which we may learn wisdom:  "First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest."

In that spirit, we will spend the day in reflection so that we are better able to start on that long road to the truth so that we will be better able to imitate the things that will work in the year to come while trying to avoid making mistakes that will give us bitter experiences.  

This post is not about me – We had a fantastic year and I've already given some outlook for 2011 back on the 19th in that weekend's "It's Never too Early to Predict the Future" and our current position is short-term bearish in the Jan-April time-frame, looking for a pullback to at least 1,200 on the S&P and possibly back to 1,150.  

After that, we are expecting a return to steady gains but without the irrational exuberance we're currently experiencing.  So no, I am not bearish – I simply think we've gotten ahead of ourselves.  Since we don't know where the rally train will stop, we have our "Breakout Defense – 5,000% in 5 Trades or Less" from Dec 11th, which were a set of very bullish, highly levered plays where a little bet can pay off a lot if we simply hold our long-established breakout levels.   

How much is "a lot"?  Well my GE trade idea, for example, was to sell the 2013 $12.50 puts for $1.10 (net $1.15 in ordinary margin according to TOS) and to use that money to buy the 2012 $17.50/20 bull call spread for .95, which was a net .15 credit on a $2.50 spread
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Monday Market Movement – Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy!!

POMO, POMO, POMO!  

The Fed is in all-out attack mode this week with $35Bn scheduled for release in the next 5 days.  If that doesn't goose the markets, then I think we are screwed because people, $35Bn is A LOT of money for a week.  It's $1.82Tn a year at that pace or 12% of our entire GDP being created by the Fed to give you the illusion that all is well with the markets.  So say, thank you Chairman Bernanke, for treating us like children who would rather be lied to than facing reality and making necessary choices.  

Speaking of necessary choices, I HIGHLY recommend looking at Barry Ritholtz's "Fix It Yourself" deficit kit.  Barry takes the more complex (but also good) NY Times article and presents the very excellent chart that shows us exactly what budget cap needs to be filled and what the available choices are to fill it.  It's a great way to think about the budget and also it makes you realize that 5 or 6 reasonable people sitting down with this chart at a table should be able to knock this thing out in a weekend if we were living in a rational world or perhaps one where an out-of-control Central Bank cooperated with a deceitful Treasury Department to maintain a status quo that clearly is not working for the American people.  

FMD2QE2 is not about "fixing" the economy, it's about FIXING the profits of the Primary Dealers (Gang of 12) who are estimated to reap a $50Bn benefit by simply acting as the conduits through which the Fed distributes our money as if they were the town Santa tossing candy off the back of a fire truck.  

POMO spending might keep equities up and that is good for those of us who own them but what is it doing for the great unwashed and unemployed masses?  Speaking of unemployed, did you know that 100,000 of Octobers 156,000 jobs created were not actual jobs but a bookkeeping entry as the government changed the "seasonal adjustment" it made to payroll numbers?  Our friend, John Maudlin, explained the shenanigans over the weekend:    

"According to John Williams at Shadow Government Statistics, the BLS’ fiddling with the figures via


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Defending Your Virtual Portfolio With Dividends – Q4 (Members Only)

In uncertain markets, dividends can give you a critical investing edge.

As you can see from the chart on the left, just mindlessly investing in dividend-paying stocks can give you more than a 2:1 annual advantage in your investments

Of course, here at PSW, we teach the art of selling options premiums – something that turns virtually any stock into a "dividend" payer.  For example, MSFT is only a small, 2% dividend-payer but a fairly solid cash-machine of a stock that we don't feel is likely to go bankrupt overnight so it makes for a nice safe staple in a long-term virtual portfolio.  But MSFT is also a very poorly-run company that hasn't grown in 20 years but we can make it a much more interesting stock by simply selling covered calls.

For example, in our August edition of Dividend Payers,  we looked at MSFT for $24.23 and we sell the Sept $24 calls for .77.  This lowered our effective basis to $23.46 and selling the call putus in no special danger – we simply agreed to sell MSFT for $24 on expiration day in September (the 17th).

The stock was called away from us, and we made a .54 profit or 2.3% of our net $23.46 cash investment in less than 30 days.  That works out to a 26% annualized ROI and we had an opportunity (as we had expected) to buy the stock again and again at $24 on Oct 4th and 5th and sell the November $24 calls for .90 for a net $23.10 re-entry and ANOTHER 3.8% GAIN if we are called away at $24 or greater on Nov 19th.  Doesn't that beat waiting a whole quarter for your 1% dividend checks?  

Of course, you can optimize all this with timing and we favor stocks that are on sale – this is just a very simple example of how our most basic options strategy can drastically boost your annual returns on any stock in your virtual portfolio.

Let's say you don't want to mess around with MSFT every month.  You could have simply sold the 2012 $22.50s for $4.40 (also suggested in the August post), that dropped your net entry from $24.23 to $19.83…
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Turning $10K into $50K by Jan 21st – Week 16 Update (Members Only)

What a wild ride! 

We’re right at the mid-point after 3 months after starting this group on June 11th, when the Dow was at 10,200 and we’ve been up and down over 5% in each direction several times since then.  Despite the aggressive nature of the virtual trades listed here, we try to keep this a low-touch virtual portfolio to better teach the effectiveness of letting the strategy do its work by NOT adjusting the positions from month to month.  So far, so good as we’re up over 160% in the first 3 months and back to mainly cash as we head into the home stretch.

Of course, if something drastic were to occur, then adjustments would be necessary but, on the whole, we’ve been fortunate to have the market pretty much behave right in line with our expectations.  We are now turning bearish so it’s time to cash out our remaining bullish winners or, at least, be prepared to!  

The idea of these picks was to find $10,000 worth of small plays that we thought could gain 500% by Jan 21st as part of a larger virtual portfolio. If you can do this with just 10% of a $100K virtual portfolio or 5% of a $200K virtual portfolio, that’s plenty of risk for these uncertain times and it’s a nice 25-50% bonus on the entire virtual portfolio if it works out. Risk can be a component of a conservative virtual portfolio if we wall it off safely.

Our first play was a fundamentals play on YRCW, assuming they wouldn’t go bankrupt.  That went very well (see prior updates for details) closed out with a total profit of $7,710.  YRCW is now YRCWD after doing a 1 for 25 reverse stock split that took them up to over $5 and, of course, they get interesting to us again under $5 but our big money was made on a Double Down at .11, 25x of which is just $2.75 so we’re not going to get too excited unless we see around $4 for a new entry.

20 C Dec $3/4 bull call spreads were .62 each ($1,240) and paired with the sale of 10 2012 $4 puts at $1.08 ($1,080) for net $160 investment in the artificial buy/write. The $3/4s are now .85 ($1,700) and the $4 puts have dropped to .70 ($700) so…
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Kimble Charting Solutions

DAX Index Hits Two 18-Year Support Lines, Creates Large Bullish Reversal

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Has the DAX index from Germany experience a large decline of late? Yes, it has!

Has the decline broken long-term rising support lines? Not so far!

This chart looks at the DAX index on a monthly basis over the past 25-years. Over the past 6-years, it has traded sideways inside of the blue rectangle at (1).

The decline this year saw the DAX hit two 18-year rising support lines at (2) last month, where a large bullish reversal took place.

Until broken, important support remains in play at (2), which is bullish for this key index....



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Zero Hedge

Aaand Its Gone... The Biggest Support For Asset Prices

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

Since the passage of “tax cuts,” in late 2017, the surge in corporate share buybacks has become a point of much debate. I previously wrote that stock buybacks were setting records over the past couple of years. Jeffery Marc...



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Phil's Favorites

Here's how scientists are tracking the genetic evolution of COVID-19

 

Here's how scientists are tracking the genetic evolution of COVID-19

Why do scientists care about mutations on the coronavirus? Alexandr Gnezdilov Light Painting

Niema Moshiri, University of California San Diego

When you hear the term “evolutionary tree,” you may think of Charles Darwin and the study of the relationships between different species over the span of millions of years.

While the concept of an “evolutionary tree” originated in Darwin’s “...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Here's how scientists are tracking the genetic evolution of COVID-19

 

Here's how scientists are tracking the genetic evolution of COVID-19

Why do scientists care about mutations on the coronavirus? Alexandr Gnezdilov Light Painting

Niema Moshiri, University of California San Diego

When you hear the term “evolutionary tree,” you may think of Charles Darwin and the study of the relationships between different species over the span of millions of years.

While the concept of an “evolutionary tree” originated in Darwin’s “...



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ValueWalk

Activists demand revamp of anti-redlining law

By Anna Peel. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Over 100 California Community Organizations and Leaders Call for Banking Regulators to Stop Planned Revamp of Anti-Redlining Law during COVID19 Crisis

Q1 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Worker, Housing, and Small Business advocates call on all resources to be dedicated to saving lives and responding to Coronavirus

San Francisco--Amongst an unprecedented public health crisis that threatens hundreds of thousands of lives, as small businesses are shuttered across California and the nation, and as millions file for...



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Chart School

The Big Short movie guides us to what is next for the stock market

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

There is nothing new in WallStreet, it is only the players that change. Sometimes a market player or an event gets ahead of the crowd and WallStreet has to play catch up.

Previous Post Dow 2020 Crash Watch Dow, Three strikes and your out!

It is important to understand major WallStreet players do not want to miss out on a money making moves.  







...

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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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The Technical Traders

Founder of TradersWorld Magazine Issued Special Report for Free

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Larry Jacobs owner and editor of TradersWorld magazine published a free special report with his top article and market forecast to his readers yesterday.

What is really exciting is that this forecast for all assets has played out exactly as expected from the stock market crash within his time window to the gold rally, and sharp sell-off. These forecasts have just gotten started the recent moves were only the first part of his price forecasts.

There is only one article in this special supplement, click on the image or link below to download and read it today!

...

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Members' Corner

10 ways to spot online misinformation

 

10 ways to spot online misinformation

When you share information online, do it responsibly. Sitthiphong/Getty Images

Courtesy of H. Colleen Sinclair, Mississippi State University

Propagandists are already working to sow disinformation and social discord in the run-up to the November elections.

Many of their efforts have focused on social media, where people’s limited attention spans push them to ...



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Digital Currencies

While coronavirus rages, bitcoin has made a leap towards the mainstream

 

While coronavirus rages, bitcoin has made a leap towards the mainstream

Get used to it. Anastasiia Bakai

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

Anyone holding bitcoin would have watched the market with alarm in recent weeks. The virtual currency, whose price other cryptocurrencies like ethereum and litecoin largely follow, plummeted from more than US$10,000 (£8,206) in mid-February to briefly below US$4,000 on March 13. Despite recovering to the mid-US$6,000s at the time of writin...



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Promotions

Free, Live Webinar on Stocks, Options and Trading Strategies

TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

...

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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.