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January 22, 2017 | Betting Against Chimpanzees

Rick Ackerman

Rick Ackerman is the editor of Rick’s Picks, an online service geared to traders of stocks, options, index futures and commodities. His detailed trading strategies have appeared since the early 1990s in Black Box Forecasts, a newsletter he founded that originally was geared to professional option traders. Barron’s once labeled him an “intrepid trader” in a headline that alluded to his key role in solving a notorious pill-tampering case. He received a $200,000 reward when a conviction resulted, and the story was retold on TV’s FBI: The Untold Story. His professional background includes 12 years as a market maker in the pits of the Pacific Coast Exchange, three as an investigator with renowned San Francisco private eye Hal Lipset, seven as a reporter and newspaper editor, three as a columnist for the Sunday San Francisco Examiner, and two decades as a contributor to publications ranging from Barron’s to The Antiquarian Bookman to Fleet Street Letter and Utne Reader.

With the broad averages in an extremely tedious slog sideways since mid-December, it has been very difficult to get short. A nettlesome problem is that even relatively feeble head-fakes are pushing into record-high territory. We got short anyway on Friday, taking a small speculative position in DIA puts. This is a post-inauguration play if you will, even if nothing of substance will have changed come Monday morning. It would not be unusual for fund managers, who are paid to throw Other People’s Money at stocks, to experience one of their wonted, psychotic mood swings next week — if for no other reason than that Trump has replaced Obama. This is going to be a very big deal eventually, since our new president has made some grandiose promises. But if chimp-brained money managers intend on taking shares much higher without further reflection — especially with an almost certain housing bust looming — then they are even stupider and more reckless than we might have imagined.

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January 22nd, 2017

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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