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September 5, 2018 | The Cockroach Effect

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.
  1. The broad averages treaded water on Wednesday while Amazon suffered a rare drubbing and some other high-fliers got marked down, probably not for long. If there were any doubts about how tightly DaBoyz have rigged the game, they should have been dispelled by the sight of money flowing out of the half-dozen institutional favorites and into Wall Street’s flotsam.  The dogs had their day, marking time when it would have been more natural for them to move lower in sympathy with the FAANGs.

Particle Physics

It’s a mystery to me how portfolio managers wake up each morning, all of them trained on the same objective. Does some sort of telepathic signal go out to them, like a silent instruction to cockroaches concerning the location of a rotting piece of meat?  Or is it more like quantum physics?  Subatomic particles at opposite ends of the universe are thought by scientists to react simultaneously to certain stimuli, with no lag. Whatever the case, somehow these guys seem to know what all their colleagues are planning to do on a given day. I use the word “colleagues” rather than “competitors” because, really, how competitive can things be when most portfolio managers most of the time are deploying Other People’s Money to buy shares in the same handful of stocks?

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September 5th, 2018

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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