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Rick Ackerman

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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.

Rick's Picks - The same geniuses who recently handicapped a recession that likely began several months ago as a 20% possibility are now reassuring us that the bear market has already run its course. If so, it would be the mildest, shortest bear market in history –three hours and 20 minutes, to be exact. The S&Ps entered bear-market […]

May 15th, 2022 | Ready to Get Sucked In?

Rick's Picks - We’ve had four months to observe and analyze the bear market that began a single tick off January 4’s record high. What might be said about it so far?  Mainly that it has been far kinder and gentler than we should expect. Realize that the biggest financial bubble in U.S. history has popped. Although this […] Radio - Is the future Internet 3.0?

Rick's Picks - Last week’s commentary asked how high the dollar can climb before it snuffs inflation and the increasingly shrill hysteria that has accompanied it. Inflation is supposed to cheapen the dollar, but that is not what has been happening. Instead, it has been climbing steeply relative to all other currencies. The experts have not been able […]

Rick's Picks - A lone deflationist on the lunatic fringe of economics 30 years ago, I wrote in Barron’s and the San Francisco Sunday Examiner that an out-of-control dollar eventually would do us in. Specifically, I asserted that a short squeeze on dollars would send their value soaring, making it difficult or impossible for anyone who owed dollars to repay them. I’d […]

April 24th, 2022 | What If Crude Has Topped?

Rick's Picks -   If you’re a permabear, it might be refreshing to view Friday’s thousand-point Dow avalanche as the start of a wholesome new trend. My gut feeling, however, is that the plunge will reverse before midweek, ideally at Hidden Pivot targets featured in the latest list of ‘touts’ on the Rick’s Picks home page. I’ll keep an open […]

Rick's Picks - For many of us, as pleasurable as it might be to picture Twitter in the hands of Elon Musk, and to imagine a despairing Jack Dorsey committing seppuku, Musk should save his billions for more useful purposes. He could start by building a competitive platform for a hundredth of what he’s offered to pay for […] Radio - Cryptos, Crude Oil, Copper

Rick's Picks -   For more than a year, I’ve recommended what my friend Doug Behnfield calls the ‘barbell strategy’ to secure one’s nest egg against the deflationary hard times that lie ahead.  As formulated by Doug, a wealth-management advisor based in Boulder, the barbell portfolio is constructed with gold and bonds as offsets. Try to imagine the […]

Rick's Picks - [Counting on the Fed to ride to the rescue when the bubble finally pops?  You had better have a Plan B, and for good measure a Plan C, since America could be in for something far worse than mere recession when the asset boom ends.  In the commentary below, my friend Charles Hugh-Smith spells out […]

Rick's Picks -   Last week’s commentary was skeptical that the short squeeze begun two weeks ago in the broad averages would prove to be just a bear rally.  Based on the latest technical evidence, it now seems likely that stocks are headed to new all-time highs. This is despite the fact that the world is going to […]

March 20th, 2022 | Just a Bear Rally?

Rick's Picks - With the supposed bear rally about to enter its fifth week, I am reminded of Gideon Drew, “the thing that wouldn’t die” in the 1958 horror movie of that name. Like Drew, the stock market has become a disembodied monster, able to command loyalty and teacherous obedience with just a creepy movement of the eye. […] Radio - Out of control world events making the markets hard to predict

Rick's Picks -   Considering the size of the crude-oil market and its geopolitical importance, the rally begun two years from $6.50/bbl amidst fears of a Covid-caused Depression ranks as one of the most spectacular and consequential in history. Consumers are coping at the moment with speculative excesses brought on by the curtailment of Russian petrofuels, and by […]

March 6th, 2022 | Inflation’s Last Fling

Rick's Picks - Economists, particularly those who specialize in monetary theory, generally agree that inflation is an increase in the supply of dollars, and deflation a decrease. In practice, however, this theory is far too vague to be of any value for making predictions, since no one has a clue how much money is out there. There are […] Radio - Could Inflation kill itself?

Rick's Picks - Few expected Ukraine to put up such a fierce fight, least of all Vladimir Putin. Despite his overwhelming advantage of firepower and troops, he and the rest of the world might have known better, given the reputation Russian soldiers of all stripes earned in battle during the last century. Setting ethnic Russians against one another […]

February 20th, 2022 | What’s Your Take?

Rick's Picks -   [The markets will be closed on Monday for President’s Day, but I am putting out fresh touts and commentary because DaBoyz are required to briefly let the beast out of its cage on Sunday evening. Up-to-the-minute updates from Rick’s Picks will resume on the home page and in the trading rooms on Tuesday.  RA ] Technicians […]

Rick's Picks - Thinking back over the last 30 years, it’s hard to recall a single instance when traders ultimately lost money diving into stocks on ‘bad’ news. There was a hot mess of it on Friday, when shares plummeted to presumptive bargain levels on reports that Putin is about to invade Ukraine.  That’s bad news indeed, although […]

Rick's Picks - Although headlines can move the markets, more often the opposite is true — i.e., the cyclically-ordained ups and downs of stocks tend to color our perceptions of the news. We are watching this dynamic unfold in real time as Russia prepares to trample Ukraine. Headline writers have done their best to gin up a seemly […] Radio - Crude Oil, Copper, Autos

January 30th, 2022 | King Kong of Cupertino

Rick's Picks - Last week’s pointless gyrations did little to dispel the notion that the bull market is over. The vicious short-squeeze in the final minutes of Friday’s session only added to the impression that rallies are being stage-managed to suck in rubes. The hallmark of a bear market is un-shortable upthrusts, usually occurring at times of the […]

Rick's Picks - With the bull market in an apparent topping process, it will always be insightful to ponder Apple’s chart. It offers a window into the minds of money managers, many of whom have staked their careers on the uptrend of just one stock. Some of these guys would be sorely challenged to analyze a game of Chutes […] Radio - Physical gold vs junior gold miners

Rick's Picks - The chart above suggests that interest rates on 30-year T-bonds could be on their way up to 3.02%, a more than 40% increase over the current 2.11%.  That is not necessarily bad news for investors, since a market adjustment of that magnitude would make it unnecessary for the Fed to tighten.  It would also make […]
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