Saturday, December 5, 2009

Progressive Taxation Was Never About Fairness

Societies that use tax law as a way to achieve political or social goals are societies based on envy and resentment. That is, how a nation treats taxes tells you something of the character of a nation.

So when you hear anyone say that the level of taxation in a country should be based on the "ability to pay", be very afraid. These people are not only coming for your money. They're coming for your economic liberty too. Ultimately, that means they're after your political liberty as well as the best stocks for 2010.

Progressive taxation is the idea the larger your disposable income, the larger percentage of that income you 'should' pay in taxes. Proponents of it ― and these days nearly everyone one is ― claim it is more 'fair.' But let's be honest and call things by their right names and say what progressive taxation is really about.

Even John Stuart Mill, who favoured it, called progressive taxation "a mild form of robbery." That's because progressive taxation is about using the tax code to redistribute wealth. It's base on the class-warfare idea that the rich get rich illicitly and conspire to keep the riches of society for themselves. It uses the law (coercion) to correct what some people see as the social and economic injustice meted out by the marketplace.

But how people treat private property (and wealth IS private property) determines the character of society. A society that promotes the idea of wealth accumulation and that everyone can get rich is one in which standards of living will rise over time. It doesn't mean getting wealthy is the only or even the most important ambition in life. That's a matter of personal choice and values. But it just means that if you want to raise standards of living over time, you should guard economic liberty and not use taxation to punish personal incentives.

The only fair argument for progressive taxation is that indirect taxes (consumption taxes) hit the poor harder than they hit the rich. This is certainly true for taxes on consumption goods. But it is not true for income taxes, most of which the poor do not pay anyway. A tax on Gucci handbags is less onerous than a tax on a slab of beer. But that doesn't justify the argument that just because you can pay more taxes, you should.

When is it ever right for a man to come in to your home and take what's yours simply because he'd decided that someone else needs it more? And how is the government arbitrarily deciding to raise income tax rates on only certain citizens, based on their ability to pay, any different? Yet that's the argument for progressive taxation in the modern world. And most people seem to think it's fair and just.

Mind you, that doesn't mean that free people can't use legislatures to levy taxes in order to pay for projects they believe should be provided by the State, like roads, bridges and other infrastructure. But there is a difference between that kind of public spending and public spending financed by wealth redistribution to achieve particular social and economic outcomes.

How did we get to the point in civil society where a democratic majority that does not pay taxes can, through its elected representatives, legally confiscate the wealth of a minority? Friederich Hayek gives the history in, The Constitution of Liberty.

"As is true of many similar measures, progressive taxation has assumed its present importance as a result of having been smuggled in under false pretences. When at the time of the French Revolution and again during the socialist agitation preceding the revolutions of 1848 it was frankly advocated as a means of redistributing incomes, it was decisively rejected. 'One ought to execute the author and not the project,' was the liberal Turgot's indignant response to some early proposals of this sort.

"When in the 1830's they came to be more widely advocated, J.R. McCulloch expressed the chief objection in the often quoted statement: 'The moment you abandon the cardinal principle of exacting from all individuals the same proportion of their income or of their property, you are at sea without a rudder or compass, and there is no amount of injustice and folly you may not commit.'"

"In 1848," Hayek continues, "Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels frankly proposed 'a heavy progressive or graduated income tax' as one of the measures by which, after the first stage of the revolution, 'the proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeois, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the state.'

And these measures they described as 'means of despotic inroads on the right of property, and on the condition of bourgeois production...measures...which appear economically insufficient and untenable but which, in the course of the movement out strip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionising the mode of production.'"

If Marx and Engels are to be taken at their word, progressive taxation was never about fairness. It was about putting production "in the hands of the State" and "revolutitionising the mode of production." In the world of State-run capitalism, this is what we seem like we're headed towards.

Now, we can take a step back and ask whether a State-run, union owned Chrysler makes a better car than the shareholder owned management-run Chrysler. It's a fair enough question. We'd argue that government-built and designed cars are going to be about as appealing as a leather boot for breakfast. But that is not really the point.

The point is that the politicians are lying to you about the goal of progressive taxation. The goal is not to produce more "fairness" or "social justice." It's to place the State at the centre of economic production, so it can regulate and tax with impunity.

There is both a psychological and crassly economic motive to this movement to displace the free market with the State as the organiser of economic life. The smarty pants elitists in both political parties, with their ties to union and corporate money, really believe the world would be better off it was run be benevolent bureaucratic despots. Or maybe using coercive taxation to steal from the rich is simply envy-based class politics, a kind of populist theft conducted with the consent of a hi-jacked system for passing laws.

Once you go down this road of socking it to the rich instead of reducing spending, you get higher and higher rates of taxation that eventually shrink the economy. Britain adopted the income tax in 1910 and the U.S in 1913. At the time, the top tax rates on income were 8.25% and 7% respectively. Yet within 30 years, thanks to the Great Depression and the World Wars, those rates had risen to 97.5% and 91% respectively.

"Thus in the space of a single generation," Hayek writes, "what nearly all the supporters of progressive taxation had for half a century asserted could not happen came to pass...All attempts to justify these rates on the basis of capacity to pay was, in consequence, soon abandoned and supporters reverted to the original, but long avoided, justification of the progression as means of brining about a more just distribution of income."

How much a man should reasonably a pay to the State was no longer an economic question about his 'ability to pay.' It was revealed as the purely political decision it always was. Or as Hayek says, it's "an attempt to impose on society a pattern of distribution determined by majority decision."

That's what we meant by the character of society. Do you want to live in a country where over 50% of a man's income can be taken from him simply because the majority votes for it? In that kind of country you want to live in, where you have no real property rights and you don't have equality before the law.

Upward income mobility is undermined in this kind of society. People don't try to get rich because there's no point in it if your gains are going to be confiscated. The net result of decades of progressive taxation is lower capital formulation, more consumption, less production, and ultimately a lower standard of living for everyone.

In that society, your only means of social and economic advancement is based on your personal connections and political patronage. Not surprisingly, in that society, politicians exercise enormous power. And decisions are not made by businesses that aim to offer consumers better products and services at lower prices; they are made by politicians who aim to cement their electoral position by favouring certain constituencies.

Progressive taxation has nothing to do with fairness, justice, or equality. It is unfair, unjust, an unequal. But hey, if that's the kind of country you want to live in, or if you're someone who's getting the check instead of writing it, that might not seem like such a bad deal for 2010 top stocks.

We'd just advise you to prepare for a lifetime of dependency on busybody politicians who become increasingly grasping, moralistic, and intrusive. If you're a free man, you'd better pack your bags and look for some other luckier country.

This is not to glorify getting rich as the most important thing in this world (or any other world.) It isn't. And there are much more important things in life. Whether you choose to pursue material gain is up to you.

And just as a government should not use the tax code to punish the rich, it ought to quit tinkering with it and providing so many deductions and rebates that allow anyone with a good accountant to avoid paying large income taxes. A much simpler taxation system based on consumption would be fairer for everyone and it would force the government to finally live within its means.

Of course that probably won't happen. Ever. But it would be nice to think so. In the meantime, a society that discourages wealth creation and capital formation through so-called progressive taxation is eventually going to make itself a lot poorer and a lot less free.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Trade You Can't Lose

A few weeks ago, we first dared investors like you to challenge our research, so to speak.

Either Options Trading Pit wizard Ian Cooper stuffs your portfolio with 50 double-digit trades by April 15th of 2010, or $1,000 is yours.

... Otherwise known as the "Fifty-Trade Gauntlet."

Of course, with a track record that humbles even the savviest Wall Streeter - 24 trades opened and closed since 2009 started, averaging a 37% gain each - we know there's no way we'll lose.

To put it bluntly, the man is absolutely on fire.

And members already enrolled couldn't agree more...

Thomas B wrote in: "Wow. Joined yesterday and bought FAS call at $2.00. Got the alert today to sell half. I chickened out and sold all at $3.10. No worries as I will take the 60% gain and wait for Ian's next move. Holy am I impressed!"

Richard G. adds: "Thanks for the great recommendation Ian! Waited patiently on an entry point and got in at $2.69 last Thursday, and exited half my position this morning for a hefty 346% gain! Can't wait for our next new opportunity!"

Mark C. couldn't help but reporting: "I almost hurt myself doing a double-take when I glanced at the daily profit & loss column of my trading software this morning. I bought the options at $1.01 and sold at $6.60. Those are the returns I like to see. You're spoiling me, keep it up!"

But don't think that you've missed the boat. The truth is, we've recently reopened the doors for a short time to the "Fifty-Trade Gauntlet" until the last remaining seats are claimed!

That means that right now, there is still time for you to join what is already looking to be the most profitable circle of investors this year!

But I have to admit, you'll need to hurry. The remaining slots could be gone in the next few hours.

A few weeks ago, we launched the "Fifty-Trade Gauntlet" with one goal in mind...

... to give investors like you the opportunity to challenge us and put our research to the ultimate test - absolutely risk free... even put ourselves on the hook for $2 million if we can't deliver!

In fact, it was so popular that even in this market, seats rapidly sold left and right!

The good news is that there are still a handful of spots open.

And even though the deadline passed on Thursday evening, because of a flood of opportunities Ian sees opening up as a result of the banking "stress tests," we're reopening enrollment for the "Fifty-Trade Gauntlet" until the last few spots are claimed!

That means there is still time for you to join what is already looking to be the most profitable circle of investors this year!

But I have to admit, you'll need to hurry.

Since we first invited you to enroll in what could be the most aggressive offer we ever made, investors have been securing their seats left and right. And time to join is rapidly running thin.

Not that anyone who's already claimed their seat is complaining...

Thomas B. wrote us less than 24 hours after the "Gauntlet" started:

"Wow. Joined yesterday and bought FAS call at $2.00. Got the alert today to sell half. I chickened out and sold all at $3.10. No worries as I will take the 60% gain and wait for Ian's next move. Holy am I impressed!"

Then, on Tuesday, April 14, 2009, within minutes of Ian closing another trade - open for only six days and pulling in 338% gains - even more started pouring in.

Richard G. was among the first:

"Thanks for the great recommendation Ian! Waited patiently on an entry point and got in at $2.69 last Thursday, and exited half my position this morning for a hefty 346% gain! Paid off my subscription fee plus a whole lot more! Can't wait for our next new opportunity!"

... And this one came in a minute later from Mark C:

"I almost hurt myself doing a double-take when I glanced at the daily profit & loss column of my trading software this morning. The profit I made on a small position in DNDN has paid for the subscription for years to come! I bought the options at $1.01 and sold at $6.60. Those are the returns I like to see. You're spoiling me, keep it up!"

They were just two out of the dozen or so that poured in immediately after Ian closed his latest trade in the biotech sector.

It was a play hardly any trader caught - even highly talked about financial celebrities that did see it shunned it. Yet this "no-brainer," as Ian would call it, rapidly turned every $5,000 into more than $21,900!

It's just 1 of the 24 similar big winning plays he successfully uncovered since the year started... totaling 1,183% in gains for the year - and 3,819% since he launched his market-crushing advisory!

And that's the way it should be!

In fact, Ian's so confident that he'll find dozens more over the next few months that we've decided to up the gains for you - or cough up the dough!

But this offer's only good until the few remaining seats are gone.

In all honesty, considering how fast they've been going, today could be your last opportunity to challenge us. But I can promise you this:

If you do enroll and we don't hand you 50 double-digit trades by Tax Day, 2010, $1,000 is yours. It's that simple.

I know it might seem a little ballsy - given the market's volatility - but from our perspective, not only do you deserve a guarantee that strong, it's a "dare" of sorts that we simply can't lose!

You see, Ian has a few tricks up his sleeve to uncovering these gems for you. In fact, that's how...

Ian's Already Opened And Closed 24 Trades For Investors Like You... Since January 1st, 2009

That's right. Since January 1st, 2009, even as the market continued to crumble, Ian's opened and closed 24 trades... 21 of which have been double-digit winners!

Read that again: 21 Double-Digit Winners!

In fact, each of his plays - winners including losers - averages a 59% gain!

And here's the biggest kicker, his tight-knit group of investors (of which I'll show you how to become a part of) only holds each one of these trades for about 10 days.

Sometimes... like when he issued a put on Morgan Stanley for a rapid 71% gain... it's a matter of hours.

That means on average, his investors more than triple their money every 30 days!

In other words, imagine turning $5,000 on March 1st into $18,619.38 by April 1st.

Honestly, I can't think of a single other investment opportunity on the planet that could deliver those gains... especially in today's unpredictable market.

His latest closed trade, for example, a biotech company called Dendreon just went absolutely ballistic!

20090414 chart

That's an official 338% gain - inside of six days!

And according to Ian, thanks to the crashing of more institutions by the day, he's finding more and more of these knock-em down winners than he knows what to do with.

And in just one minute, I'll show you exactly how you can get started putting our research to the ultimate test by taking the "Fifty-Trade Gauntlet."

But first, let me quickly share with you Ian's biggest secret to success in this or ANY market. You see...

Ian Never Pigeonholes Investors Into Just One Sector Or Style Of Trading

To put it simply, you can't - no matter what - focus on one sector or industry in this economy if you want to make any serious money - or money at all.

The truth is, with the way things are going, the successful investors - the guys still churning gains like they're picking fish from a barrel - are the ones looking at the big picture.

They're not falling victim to investor's tunnel vision or "it'll come back... eventually" syndrome.

No. They're analyzing the past and current trends for everything and ANYTHING that could POP tomorrow - no matter where it is.

Be it energy stocks 2010, banking and financials, precious metals, technology stocks 2010, retail, fast food, you name it, and they're covering it.

For example:

They were the investors who knew, as the financial sector's collapse was set in stone and mass layoffs across the U.S. ensued, many Americans - seeking protection - would set the firearms industry ablaze.

Just take a look at the Dow over the past several months compared to Strum Ruger:

And here's Smith & Wesson compared to the Dow:

I don't care what your opinion on the mass buying is. The fact remains that both of these companies are absolutely on fire. And every investor who saw it coming is sitting on a small fortune right now.

And they're not just looking for opportunities where companies are poised to go up. These slick traders are cashing in on the flocks of companies whose share prices are dropping like birds at a Nebraskan pheasant shoot.

They're successfully turning this "crisis" into the biggest cash-cow of their investment careers. Collecting gains of... 70% in a single day as American Express declines... 38% inside of 6 days as Equity Residential prices slid... 68% in 12 days as Prudential Financial tumbled... etc.

The list goes on... for about five pages. But you get the idea.

And the amazing part is, these investors aren't taking super-risky "short" positions or margin calls where they need to cover their losses for the full value if things don't pan out.

In fact, all they need in most cases is a few hundred dollars to get started.

That's because they're taking advantage of one of the least understood - yet most profitable - investment tools around... options.

And in this market, options plays are where the big, rapid gains are coming from.

In fact, Thanks To Not Being Pigeonholed And Open To Playing Options, Just Loosely Following Ian's Trading Advice For The Past 4 Months Could've Rapidly Turned $5,000 into $31,357.08

This is where his trading philosophy of puts and calls excels.

It's also preciesly why you need to be trading best stocks for 2010 right now instead of strictly investing in "buy and holds." You see, with the right trades...

You don't need to start with a lot of money to make a fortune in the market... You don't need to have all your savings tied up in multiple investments for several years either... You don't even need to find dozens of trades every year.

In fact, even though Ian's opened and closed 24 trades since 2009 started - each averaging a 59% gain - all you needed to make more than six-times your initial investment was to loosely follow four of them.

Take the following REAL scenario for example:

Trade #1

On January 5th, Ian shot this amazing alert to his readers:

It's really nice to have such great readers. And I'm not just saying that to butter you up. My inbox is usually full this time of week with plays you want me to look at.

Just yesterday, for instance, one of you e-mailed me about SunPower (SPWRA) downside, but I missed recommending it, because the e-mail was opened so late in the day... and Yahoo e-mail sometimes doesn't work so well.

But that doesn't mean there aren't more opportunities to go short the solar market. Sure, solars got a nice pre-Obama inauguration run, but the party may be over as the group faces weak consumer demand and poor credit markets.

JPMorgan seems to agree, recommending a sell of solar best stocks of 2010 on expectations of bottoming later in the year. They also warned investors not to expect a recovery in solar best stocks 2010 on a broad economic rebound, as "solar subsidies may have peaked in 2008 when Germany and Spain primarily drove demand."

Worse, JPMorgan mentioned that a tight credit market "bring the alternative energy industry to a screeching halt if access to capital is not made more available."

One company that could continue to fall nicely for us is Energy Conversion Devices (ENER), which we'd recommend playing the short side with. The best way to play this is to buy March 2009 25 puts (EQIOE) up to $4.60.

Again, this entry price is being set high so that all of you can get in.

Good Investing,

Ian L. Cooper

Options Trading Pit

The timing was perfect. Take a look at what happened to the share price shortly after he issued the put.


And just eight days later, they sold their positions for a rapid 38% gain, turning every $5,000 into a cool $6,900.

Trade # 2

Then, on February 3rd, he issued this urgent alert:

Wynn Resorts (WYNN) just broke below double bottom support. At this pace, it could test lows not seen since 2005. As we said earlier, casino stocks 2010 are acting like they're going to continue falling hard, as Las Vegas media talk about how Vegas travel numbers are way off thanks to a pullback in discretionary spending.

Two weeks later, like clockwork, his readers dropped out of WYNN after collecting a generous and quick 26% gain.

Now every $5,000 his investors loaded in were worth $8,694... from just two trades!

And it didn't stop their either.

Trade #3

The very next day, he urged his traders to buy puts on Prudential, saying...

We've got a falling knife on our hands, and the stock is looking as if it'll re-test the $13 level before (hopefully, for us) plunging to the single digits.

It was dead on.

Less than two weeks later, his group of investors (which you can now become a part of) were cashing out after collecting 57.5% gains.

By this time, everyone was sitting on $13,693.05 - from just $5,000 and three trades!

Trade #4

Once again, the very next day, on March 10th, he alerted his investors to a call in the financial sector of all things!

The recommendation was simple - and a little ballsy. But he knew what he was doing.

Buy June Calls on Financial Sector SPDR.

Within ten days, the simple option paid out 129%

In other words, investors following Ian's advice on these four trades since the beginning of the year turned every $5,000 into $31,357.08.

A $10,000 stake would be worth more than $62,714.17 - within four months!

Of course, as you can imagine, you don't even need that much to start enjoying the rapid gains that Ian's been showing his investors for almost a decade now!

And I haven't even mentioned the big winners that Ian's been raking in!

Gains like, 242% gains from Coca Cola in 39 days... 113% gains from JA Solar inside of 7 days... 208% gain from Lehman Brothers within 4 days... 157% from iShares in 6 days... you get the picture.

All in all, if you include every trade he's issued over the past five months, Ian's made his investors...

... Twelve Times Their Money - In Five Months!

Imagine how quickly you can compound your wealth with gains that large - gains that fast - again and again.

That's the sort of hit-and-run excitement you'll get when you take us on in the "Fifty-Trade Gauntlet" by enrolling in the Options Trading Pit. You can make a fortune in several rapid trades.

And starting today, we're going to give you at least 50 more of these monsters, by April 15th, 2010.

But Just How Can I Be So Confident That You'll Make At Least 50 Double-Digit Trades That I Can Risk Putting $2,000,000 On The Line?

Here's why: Ian Cooper has spent the better part of the past decade perfecting the art of trading options for triple-digit gains.

Over that time, he's shown thousands of investors exactly how to exploit carefully targeted market sectors for lightning-fast short-term gains... gains that prove to be several times larger than simply buying best stocks for 2010 alone.

It's his phenomenal track record of triple-digit, short-term winners that put Ian in such high demand from mainstream outlets such as Investor's Business Daily and Forbes... and on investment shows such as Money Matters with Barry Armstrong and On the Money with Mike Stein.

Truth is, people who follow Ian Cooper's advice make an immediate killing almost every time he alerts them!

And while millions of Americans have been in an absolute panic over our current financial crisis... Ian and his readers have been consistently raking in some amazing gains.

In fact, the volatility we've seen in the markets over the past twelve months is actually perfect for options traders like Ian. It "turbocharges" the profit opportunities and delivers winners much faster than in the "old days" of two years ago or more.

And the beauty of it all is that Ian's readers are just everyday Americans like you and me who have refused to become victims of the U.S. financial crisis... and have decided to take their investment future into their own hands.

People like Neil M., who recently used one of Ian Cooper's recommendations to collect $4,195 after a single trading day...

Or Bruce H., who collected an extra $5,000 inside 13 days by following Ian's advice...

Or Brian A., who, after months of following Ian's recommendations, turned an initial $10,000 into an astonishing $450,000!

And thanks to the massive fluctuations in the markets, for Ian and his readers, the fast money's rapidly turning into the easy money.

That's why I'm not the least bit worried about him being able to deliver to you at least 50 trades by Tax Day of next year.

But before I share with you how to get started today - and the clock is ticking - let me quickly reiterate what it is that makes Ian head and shoulders above virtually every other options trader around. You see...

Not a Single Recommendation Is Released Unless It Has the Potential for Short-Term Gains of 100% or More

So what is Ian Cooper's "secret" to making a killing for his readers with carefully selected options trades?

The truth is... there is no secret - just some good, old-fashioned, roll-up-the-sleeves research and analysis.

And fortunately for you - Ian handles all of the heavy lifting.

He sifts through general market analysis. He looks at the bigger picture. He finds what sectors will benefit from any situation. Then he scrutinizes hundreds of potential opportunities for his readers to invest in.

Once the initial analysis is complete, Ian then incorporates four specific indicators, including Bollinger Bands, W%R, candlesticks, and the news.

Using just these four, Ian can call for tops and bottoms on indices, as well as individual best stocks market of 2010.

And that's just the beginning.

After sorting through hundreds of opportunities each week, Ian identifies the "best of the best" using his time-tested methods of analysis. Then... Ian goes one step further, insisting on providing his readers with only those opportunities that have the potential for explosive growth.

Imagine - instead of only pulling in marginal gains on 2010 best stocks that do well, say an 18% gain in 23 days, you could be sitting on 140% gains on the same stock during the same period!

All thanks to the "magic" of options trading.

Now I know what you're thinking.

Isn't Options Trading Highly Complicated?

The truth is, it's actually much easier than you might think. And Ian goes to great lengths to explain to his readers every step of every trade.

And to make certain you know exactly how everything works, Ian has prepared several special reports with easy to understand explanations of all of his jargon so you can follow along with everything he might alert you to.

They're called:

Understanding Options for Maximum Gains... an easy-to-understand guide to successfully profiting from options.

How To Secure Long-term Profits with LEAPS

The Bear Market Baron's Guide to Options... a hands-on guide to making a fortune, even when the markets are crashing.

How To Lock in Huge Gains by Going "Greek"

And every single one of them is yours - absolutely free!

All you have to do is take this rare opportunity to challenge our work... and put it to the ultimate test by signing on to the Options Trading Pit and enrolling in the "Fifty Trade Gauntlet."

But before you scroll down and click the subscribe now button, I have to warn you...

This fast-paced trading is unlike anything else that we offer. And it certainly isn't for everyone.

In other words, as a result of this ridiculous market we're in right now - Ian is issuing alerts rapidly... and as you've seen, sometimes they're only open for a day or two.

So it's impeditive that all members of the "Fifty-Trade Gauntlet" are able to act quickly to get the biggest gains.

In and out. Take the profit and run. That's precisely the game plan that's made this service an incredible success in the first place.

And that's exactly how we're able to make such a bold offer.

Of course, if the number of trades bothers you - maybe over 100 this year - then this service simply isn't for you.

But if you're like most Americans and want to gain more than all the money that you've lost in this market back, I urge you to join now.

An Exclusive Options Opportunity Unlike Any Other

Unfortunately, the number of investors who can sign up for our Options Trading Pit and take us on in the "Fifty-Trade Gauntlet" is strictly limited.

In order to make sure every one of our subscribers has the ability to get maximum value out of each recommendation, membership will be strictly limited to 2,000 seats.

And with only a few seats remaining, it's important that you act quickly if you'd like to get in.


You see, we don't want 5,000... 10,000 people buying the same stock. If we allowed an unlimited number to join, we could easily push the stock up several hundred percent. That would be a disaster.

That's why we have a strict limit on membership.

But if you're one of the lucky investors that lands a spot, you can expect that you'll see at least 50 double-digit recommendations this year in Options Trading Pit. That's a lot of trades. But we don't plan on holding these positions very long. In and out. Take the profit and run. That's what we'll be doing.

And like I said, if the amount of trades bothers you, then I'm sorry, but this service isn't for you.

Lightning-Fast Profit Alerts

One more thing: your trading alerts will be sent to you via e-mail directly from Ian Cooper.

Options Trading Pit is not a fax service - instead, Ian uses e-mail because we want everybody to receive the trade at approximately the same time.

And just so that you don't have to recheck your email 10 times a day, we're also offering Options Trading Pit updates VIA live RSS feeds - so you can get the alerts the split second they're available! (We'll even give you simple, detailed instructions on how to set up and use your RSS feed within a matter of minutes.)

If you're comfortable with what I've shared so far, then I urge you to join us today.

Again, I know this style of trading isn't for everybody. But by signing up for the "Fifty-Trade Gauntlet" by joining the Options Trading Pit, you're elevating yourself into the top tier of the trading community - light years beyond what most unfortunate American investors can handle.

So if you're interested, welcome aboard.

How To Get Ian Cooper's Recommendations Sent Directly To You - Starting Today!

When you fill out the membership form, you'll immediately receive a confirmation and a welcome letter, as well as a link to the Options Trading Pit site, where you'll be able to access every single one of the positions Ian issues... 24 hours a day.

We'll also rush you Ian's latest report, Understanding Options for Maximum Gains.

And that's not all!

As I mentioned a moment ago, if you're able to enroll into the "Fifty-Trade Gauntlet" before the doors close, you'll also receive Ian's four crucial reports.

So just to recap, by signing on today, you're gaining:

Enrollemnt into the "Fifty-Trade Gauntlet" - your chance to collect $1,000 if Ian Cooper doesn't uncover at least 50 double-digit trades by April 15th, 2010.

Full access to the Options Trading Pit website - giving you full, unrestricted access into every single trade Ian's ever issued and will issue.

Live RSS Feeds just to make sure that you're able to get the latest trades the split second they're released.

  • 4, easy to understand reports where Ian breaks down in human-terms exactly how options trades work with:

  • Understanding Options for Maximum Gains... an easy-to-understand guide to successfully profiting from options, How To Secure Long-term Profits with LEAPS, The Bear Market Baron's Guide to Options... a hands-on guide to making a fortune, even when the markets are crashing., How To Lock in Huge Gains by Going "Greek"

And, of course, you'll be placed on the e-mail distribution list so you can begin receiving Ian's trade alerts - which can arrive any time of the day, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Now at this point, I'm sure you're wondering - with the explosive, triple-digit profit potential of every trade recommendation... the chance to collect $1,000, access to Ian's complete trading history with Options Trading Pit... plus his latest reports...

How Could You Possibly Afford A Subscription To Ian Cooper's Options Trading Pit?

First, let me reiterate one very crucial point.

This level of service is highly specialized. And the countless hours it takes Ian to find, study, and recommend just one of the calls or puts he uncovers - as you can imagine - takes a lot of time, expertise, and resources.

He doesn't draw stocks from a hat. He's not paid by other companies to recommend one over the other.

His secret is that he's an insomniac, sleeping just three hours a night.

The rest of the time, when other traders and researchers rest, spend time with their family, and take vacations, he's intently focusing on the latest news, studying the markets, and developing high-ranking contacts.

That is, however, precisely what it takes in order to hold a track record as clean as Ian's... a portfolio that scores investors like you the greatest option trades the market has to offer.

After all, I can't think of a single other trader on the planet who's collected cumulative gains of 3,819% since May!

And with just one of Ian's most recent trades, you could have turned $10,000 into $22,161 in just seven days. Again... that's just with one trade!

That being said, I've seen other "experts" billing themselves out for several thousand dollars a day - and their trading advice can't tread water next to the winners Ian shows you on a weekly basis.

So I wouldn't feel the least bit guilty charging as high as $5,000 a year for a membership to his advisory.

But I'm not going to go anywhere near that.

In fact, the normal membership price is only $999 a year - only I'm going to make you an even better deal than that.

"Fifty-Trade Gauntlet's" Special Pricing

If you enroll in the Options Trading Pit today, assuming there are still spots remaining, you can save a full 20%, and join for just $799 this year!

I know for many of you $799 is a big lump of money to take down, even considering that many of you have made hundreds of thousands of dollars following our advice.

So here's the deal. We're also offering a quarterly bill program. If you choose that method, you'll be charged just $250 every three months.

It's as easy as we can make it to get you on board.

** Please keep in mind - we're capping Options Trading Pit's "Fifty-Trade Gauntlet" at 2,000 investors.**

In addition, we want to make sure you're 100% satisfied. So, if for any reason you're unhappy with Options Trading Pit, you can get a full refund at any time before the end of the first month of your membership.

After that, the refund is prorated.

The "Fifty-Trade Gauntlet" Guarantee:

And if you sign on today, and we don't deliver at least 50 double-digit trades by Tax Day, 2010, we'll give you the entire following year absolutely free! That's a $1,000 value we're passing on to you!

Even if only 49 out of 50 reach double-digit gains, you'll still get the next year absolutely free!

But you have to act now. The few remaining seats for the "Fifty-Trade Gauntlet" and special pricing could be sold out in a matter of hours.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Credit Card Death Spiral

The stress tests are done. The results were so-so. Financials are up.

Unfortunately, foreclosures are still climbing, credit card defaults are growing and could out-pace unemployment, and no one knows how to value toxic assets.

But the bank crisis has been solved! Yep, and I'm the king of England.

Just as we called back in July 5, 2008, credit cards have and will continue to take it on the chin.

But not many people listened:

"AXP will be fine," one reader said. "You're blowing the consumer issue out of proportion."

"Ian Cooper has no brain." "I think Ian Cooper is an idiot," said another reader.

But those "smart readers" who listened and shorted American Express did quite well, as the AXP stock plunged from $35 highs to about $10. . . only to rebound on false financial optimism.




However, the recent elevated price levels give us an even better position to go short, as we'll soon be doing in Options Trading Pit. And it's all thanks to consumers who are building up massive amounts of debt without the means to pay it back.

You see, it's far more difficult for millions of Americans to dig their way out of debt now that once-relied-upon options, such as home equity loans, are no longer readily available. And an 8.9% unemployment rate in the U.S. doesn't make the credit card outlook any better.

Why Credit Cards Will Continue to Fall

As the unemployment rate mounts, so will credit card defaults. . . and the outlook isn't much better.

Experts are predicting millions of Americans will not be able to pay credit card debts, leaving a big hole for troubled banks that are trying to recover.

Worse, the bogus stress tests released last week suggest the banks could "expect nearly $82.4 billion in credit card losses by the end of 2010 under what federal regulators called a 'worst case' economic scenario," according to the New York Post.

However, if unemployment rates hit 10%, defaults could explode. At American Express and Capital One, for example, about 20% of the credit card balances are expected "to go bad this year and next," according to the stress tests. As for Bank of America, Citigroup, and JP Morgan Chase, we're talking about 23%.

And the last thing the financial sector needs to feel is further squeeze, as Americans have accumulated some $970 billion in revolving consumer debt since the end of September 2008, up 3.4% from the close of 2007.

Sure, the credit card industry is typically resilient during our economic slowdowns, thanks to pricing flexibility. And the traditional thinking is that as the economy sours and consumers become late on payments, credit companies can boost earnings through late fees and higher interest rates. But that may no longer be the case as the Obama Administration looks to overhaul the industry.

The jig is up. 

Defaults are growing. Charge-offs have been pushed well beyond expectations. And losses are far out-pacing what companies were hoping to account for with extra card fees and higher interest rates.

And despite the recent rally in financials, nearly all credit card lenders are facing mounting losses as more of their customers fall behind on payments or default on loans. According to

As unemployment has risen sharply, credit card defaults have also climbed. During recessions, credit card losses tend to closely mirror unemployment rates, though some analysts now believe default rates will move even higher than where unemployment rates might peak in the coming quarters.

It's already happening at Citigroup. The company's 10.2% credit card charge-off rate for Q1 has already broken the correlation to unemployment. . . showing no signs of improvement.

The outlook is so bad that Advanta Corporation is shutting down accounts for one million customers next month as the recession pushes default rates even higher. Lending will draw to a close on June 10, 2009 as part of the company's plan to preserve capital, since uncollectable debt reached 20%.

As a result, major credit card issuers have been approving fewer applicants, lowering credit lines, and closing out unused accounts. Even Meredith Whitney expects lenders "to cut the lines of credit they extend to borrowers by a total of $2.7 trillion through 2010. That is equivalent to a 57 percent reduction in the credit they made available two years ago at the height of the boom," says The New York Post.

Things are bad. And they'll only get worse for credit issuers like American Express and Capital One. We've been saying this since last year to anyone who'd listen...

However, if you must own a credit card stock, buy Visa and/or MasterCard.

They may suffer, too, on slower consumer spending. But they don't have to worry about consumer debt. They don't have any. They only process cards.

Reader Mailbag

Before we sign off. . . Let's go over some recent question from my readers. Here's one from Russell K.

"Ian, what advice do you have for those of us just starting out with options?"

Study, read, practice, and back-test on paper. A good place to start is my options volume primer. 

Study lots of charts ― that's where the answers are. Every day, I study 20 charts in after-hours, examining the trends that took certain best stocks for 2010 up or down.

Don't get bogged down with indicators. Find those that work for you. It took me months to find the right combination of Bollinger Bands, W%R, and candlesticks, in addition to trading news. And that's what works for me.

Don't jump from strategy to strategy. That doesn't mean you shouldn't refine, but pick something and stick with it.

Don't copy someone else's habits or try to become the next Warren Buffett. Read, study, learn, and repeat.

Get your mind in focus to trade.

Have a time-tested method and stick to it.

Have stop losses in place. And have trailing stop losses set up to lock in gains on unexpected pullbacks.

Manage losses well.

And never risk the house. There's never any such thing as a sure winner.

I hope that was useful. If you have further questions, please send them in. We're more than happy to help.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How to Profit from the War on Greenhouse Gasses

The EPA recently ruled that too much carbon dioxide is threatening the planet. What this does is make it a lot easier to regulate and tax emitters of this gas.

So here we are in a shaky economy tottering on a ledge and along comes the EPA ready to shove it right off. As The Wall Street Journal reported: "The landmark decision lays the groundwork for federal efforts to cap carbon emissions ― at a potential cost of billions of dollars to businesses and government."

In other words, the war on the so-called greenhouse gases is officially under way ― and it is going to be expensive. Each passing month brings us closer to capping, taxing or cutting the gases thought to cause global warming.

I don't think investors appreciate how far-reaching such efforts could be. And there will be definite winners and losers as a result. Some of these are far from obvious and some are in plain sight.

The first obvious big loser is American coal, from which we get half about of our electricity needs. Already, you see companies reacting to this news. Consol Energy, a big coal company, said it halted two big mines in Appalachia because of uncertainty over the costs of pending new regulations. If you own a U.S. coal miner, I'd fold the hand, so to speak.

Coal-fired power plants look like big losers, too. And the utility AES, the biggest user of coal in North America, is looking to shutter some of its coal plants. It is also looking at how high rates would have to go to comply with possible rule changes. In some places, rates could rise as high as 50%. It is no sure thing that AES could get such rate increases.

Natural gas-fired plants, though, may be one winner relative to coal, because natural gas burns cleaner than coal. Already, in just the last few months, as the market ponders talk of new emissions caps, you could see gaps opening up between coal utilities and natural gas utilities.

Though the new rules could be a year or more away, those gaps may well widen over time as investors anticipate the likely bad ending for coal. So I would not own a U.S. coal utility right now, either. It is no fun wearing a target on your back ― especially since the guy throwing the darts makes all the rules.

Instead, I'd rather be the guy who gets to make and sell the new equipment that helps utilities "clean up." The demand for cleaner-burning fuels will boost the need for its high-quality pumps, valves and seals. These products work to improve efficiency and emissions. Two similar companies I'm keeping an eye on include Fluor Corp. and Foster Wheeler.

But there is much more top stocks for 2010

Besides carbon dioxide, the EPA also named five other industrial gases to its hit list, including methane. This could have an impact on landfills, which emit methane and carbon dioxide. One of the companies I am following is Covanta, which turns waste into energy, essentially replacing landfills. For every one ton of trash burned in a waste-to-energy facility, one ton less of carbon dioxide is released into the air. It also captures the methane gas.

So again, big penalty for those who run landfills ― but potentially a boon to those with solutions, like Covanta.

There are many other ways the EPA's ruling could affect the lay of the land. The EPA could raise fuel-efficiency requirements on cars. It could require more hybrids and electric cars. This would be good for makers of car batteries. It would also be good for the things that go into making more efficient car batteries ― such as lithium or cobalt, which are ideas I prefer over the battery makers themselves.

The war on greenhouse gases could also dramatically affect our homes and offices. Worldwide, the energy we use to build, heat, cool and light buildings makes up about 40% of energy demand. This is even more energy than the world's transportation networks guzzle.

Better insulation, new windows and even more efficient water heaters can make a big difference on the carbon footprint of a building. Just heating water alone can make up 15% of the energy used in a home.

Another company I am following is A.O. Smith. This company has a dominant position in water heaters, as well as a rapidly growing business in China ― where the need is more acute. It also makes heating and air conditioning systems. A good chunk of A.O. Smith's sales come from replacement markets ― just fixing what is in place. Stricter building codes and a need to cut energy use could be good for businesses like Smith's.

However, this is not all driven by government's iron hand. In fact, in some cases, it is just good business sense. The Empire State Building, for instance, is undergoing a major makeover. But it is one you can't see from the outside. Instead, it's all about the insulation, smart meters, new boilers and more. According to the Financial Times: "The retrofit of the Empire State Building will cost about $20 million, but its annual energy savings will be $4.4 million when it is complete." That's not a bad payback.

In any event, the efforts to save energy and reduce greenhouse gases ― whatever their source ― is an important story and sets up a lot of things for us to look deeper into in future letters. We are still early in this game.