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May 9, 2017 | Something’s Got to Give, Right?

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.

We’re all feeling it as the stock market continues from one insufferably boring day to the next: Something big is about to happen.  But it can take far longer than any of us might care to imagine.  I can recall sitting on the risers of the PSE trading floor for weeks stretching into months, doing crossword puzzles in-between rare visits from the thieving brokers who worked for Bear Stearns, J.P. Morgan, Goldman et al. They bore mostly what we called ‘pick-off paper’ — orders from customers that the firms themselves invariably front-ran.  You might have thought they were as harmless as belled cats, since we were onto their game. But so juicy did the prices they were willing to pay seem that we invariably traded with the dirtbags anyway, knowing full well that the underlying stock would soon print at some absurd price miles from the quoted market. And it often did, even before we’d finished handing the dirtbags our trade tickets.

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May 9th, 2017

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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