Barron’s once labeled Rick Ackerman 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. But to the gang at CNBC, he’s been a pariah for the last ten years – a shoot-from-the-hip kinda guy whose irreverent style got him banned from the show after an interview on Squawk Box was alleged to have gone awry.
His professional background includes 12 years as a market maker on the floor 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. His detailed strategies for stocks, options, and indexes have appeared since the early 1990s in Black Box Forecasts, a newsletter he founded that originally was geared to professional option traders.
Rick Ackerman is the editor of Rick’s Picks and a partner in Blue Fin Financial LLC, a trading firm.
Rick’s work has been featured in:
What Is a Hidden Pivot?
When the price of a stock fluctuates, it is acting to rebalance ceaseless changes in the yin/yang energy of supply and demand. Stocks “inhale” and “exhale” as they fluctuate through time, and it therefore follows that, if there is a zig on a chart, there is a precisely corresponding zag somewhere else. Hidden pivots are at the exact middle and end points of these zigs and zags, and determining where they lie can tell us with remarkable precision the prices at which a stock is most likely to change direction. I call them “hidden” pivots because they cannot be detected using such conventional technical tools as trendlines, support and resistance lines, Fibonacci levels, Gann angles, momentum oscillators or stochastic indicators.
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Although it should be noted that Elliott Wave Analysis is capable of identifying price-inflection points with equal precision, the hidden-pivot method has the virtue of being far less complicated. Elliott Wave gurus frequently drive each other apoplectic when arguing about the arcane nuances of alternative wave counts. Their task is akin to using a road map with no clear labels to identify which city, state, or even country one is in. In contrast, the hidden-pivoteers I have trained over the years don’t care where they are; rather, they simply pick a stretch of road – any stretch will do — that looks familiar enough to drive confidently at highway speeds.
What Is Rick’s Picks?
Rick’s Picks offers traders and investors a daily newsletter and intraday advisory packed with detailed strategies, fresh ideas and plain old horse sense. Recommendations and forecasts are based on proprietary methods that seek to identify exceptional opportunities for profit in stocks, options, futures, minis and indexes. Precious metals stocks receive special emphasis, and puts and calls are often employed to reduce the cost basis of long-term core positions in selected mining stocks. We encourage you to sample the site by browsing our archive.
Who Can Benefit From a Membership?
Rick’s Picks subscribers are too diverse to be easily categorized. They include swing and day-traders, market-makers, long-term investors, hedge fund managers, “upstairs” traders and floor pros, as well as laymen who simply enjoy the editor’s acerbic humor, canny observations and savory prose. If our subscribers have one thing in common, it is their recognition that conventional advice may be insufficient to meet the extreme challenges that investors are likely to face in these extraordinary times.
Indeed, we are quite possibly entering an economic period unlike any before it – one in which, paradoxically, deflation’s grip on the global economy has intensified even as credit and money growth have soared to unprecedented extremes. We are not in Kansas any more, for sure, and the old investment strategies are becoming increasingly risky as the weeks and months go by. Forget about doubling your money on the next Big Thing. It is time to safeguard the bulk of your nest egg while setting aside a modest portion of it to pursue exceptional gains. This is where Rick’s Picks aims to be of greatest value to you: in shaping your trading and investment decisions so that risk and reward are in optimal balance. Discover how you can confidently chart your own path to a financially secure future. Become a Member Today.
Read what subscribers have to say about Rick Ackerman and their Rick’s Picks subscription experiences:
Regardless of what I achieve trading-wise in the future I will always consider Rick Ackerman the person that taught me to be a trader.
As a retired CTA I have never seen anything as prescient as your Black Box Forecasts. It’s like having a crystal ball. On my very first trade with you (September 14), the long bond had closed at 112.28. You advised that they would sink to ‘exactly 112.16.’ Your instructions were to bid 112.17, risk just eight ticks, and then to hold to a 113.17 objective. I entered the entire trade before the open, and like magic the low was hit shortly after the open at exactly 112.16, and, incredibly, the market rallied through 113.17 for a clean $1,000 profit per contract! Black Box Forecasts is simply black magic, and I particularly admire your patience and discipline to only offer trades whose projected profits are four times greater than the money risked. With odds like that you provide a money management, risk/reward discipline that is unrivaled.
Retired technical analyst
An axiom in every trading scheme is the importance of cutting losses. I shorted AOL, but covered when Black Box Forecasts predicted (correctly) it was headed at least 25 points higher. Cutting my loss was painful but nothing like it would have been had I been forced to cover in the subsequent run-up. I am a believer!
Retired Stanford professor
We have really enjoyed your work. It is the consensus on our trading desks that it is important to have numbers that mean something instead of global ranges because our job is to make each desk profitable. The only way to do that is by good, effective, money management and certainly your pivot and target areas are very helpful. We find your S&P work to be most outstanding.
Trading professionals, StarWorks
Hi, Rick. Just a short note to let you know that I bought an S&P 500 call option last week on your advice and sold it Friday for a $2,625 profit. I had never held an option right up to expiration before, but it was exciting and profitable. Keep them coming, and thanks!
Since I subscribed to Black Box Forecasts, it has hit nearly every important turning point with a degree of accuracy that puts other forecasters to shame. I’m not only talking about stock prices, but about futures and indexes as well. You can practically trade the S&P and bond futures on autopilot. Your numbers are that good.
Pacific Coast market maker
Rick Ackerman’s daily forecasts are superior to that of any other technical data I have seen. In particular, I have found the bond and S&P analysis to be extremely reliable, in addition to the individual securities.
John P. Morgan
Rick, you are a genius. Gold had one of its biggest swings today in 20 years, and you nailed both the exact high and low by within a total of less than one point.
I had $24,500.00 in my IRA and I now have about $34,500.00 ! What can I say? I’m amazed by your uncanny ability to see stock moves. To put it simply, ‘Boy, I’m glad you’re on my side’!
I have found Rick’s technical analysis to be extremely reliable. His dedication to subscribers is unsurpassed by any other charting service. Furthermore, he writers in a concise, unwavering manner that cannot be misconstrued. His commentary is a must for any macro investor.
I’ve been a full-time trader for 3 years, have used many newsletters, Internet sites, and even developed a screening application. The information gained was at best hit or miss. Then I came across Black Box Forecasts and became a subscriber. Rick’s uncanny ability to hit price points intraday and longer term have helped me develop trading methods as agressively as I deem prudent. Using Black Box Forecasts as a trading tool has been very profitable. I would recommend the newsletter to any active trader.
Craig B. Flood
I appreciate you sending me the last 3 days of your newsletter to sample. After checking the results, it makes me more confident of the decision to subscribe to your newsletter. Your accuracy is unspeakable.
Black Box Forecasts has been the most accurate trading guide that I have used. By and far, it has outperformed all other services combined. I recommend it highly.
Martin Fiterman, Principal
Protective Group Securities
One aspect which separates Rick from other market timers is his method of defining precise objectives for stocks as opposed to target ranges. His long-term call on the Japanese Yen bear market was particularly accurate. The discipline that Rick applies to his approach allows him to set aside biases and focus on what his numbers are telling him. As a result, he tends to catch trends early, before they are recognized by the broader public. I give Rick Ackerman a high recommendation as a writer and a technical market analysis.
Sean Lamb, Associate
Porter Capital Management
During the year that I was trading on the PSE floor, Black Box Forecasts called virtually every top and bottom of importance in my primary stock, Newbridge Networks. It was really like having a crystal ball. I have never seen forecasts so accurate anywhere else.
I have subscribed to many market forecasters and, to be blunt, am down tens of thousands of dollars due to their advice. Then you came along with clear advice, tight stops and price forecasts that were accurate to within ticks. I have tracked you to ensure that your claim of 80% winners is real, and it is. There is also your great sense of humor, which, blended with the recommendations, helps me achieve the confidence level I need to trade successfully.
Black Box Forecasts hit more bullseyes than any other forecasting service that I’ve ever seen. I used the newsletter to get an edge as an options market maker. I wish I had been trading his futures recommendations at the same time, because their accuracy in bonds, the S&Ps and the yen was even more amazing than the stock forecasts. He almost never missed a call, and very often predicted intraday tops and bottoms on the S&Ps correctly to within a tick or two. Even major turning points have been called to within just a few ticks of where they actually occurred.
Former market maker
I enjoy your colorful commentary and disciplined trading approach very much. Thanks again!
I am a very youthful 69 years old, with a Series 7 license, and had never traded options seriously until I signed on with Black Box Forecasts. My experience before you resulted in a small loss overall, but so far all my positions from your recommendations are on the plus side. Most recently, acting on your advice, I bought six America Online calls for an average of about $60 apiece and just sold them for ten times that a $3,600 gain.
I’ve been trading very sporadically off and on since around 1990 but never made any money until I started using your recommendations. The four calls that I recently bought on your say-so for $200 produced an $1,825 profit in just a couple of weeks. Thanks for helping me do it without losing any sleep!
I am finally having fun with options and sleeping at night! Thanks for your help.
I am one who, two days in a row, profited from your 10575 projection on the DJIA futures. I greatly appreciate your turning points. Even if I don’t use them exactly, they give me a ‘heads-up’ for determining entry points.
As a brand new customer, I am ‘two for two’ with your recommendations. I got into AOL calls at 3/8, and sold 1 at 3, 1 at 6, and 2 at 9. I also bought Intel calls at 1 7/8 and took profits at 3 7/8.
I am a relatively new and already very satisfied subscriber. Your last recommendation netted me a $4,200 profit on an initial investment of about $1,400, and although I could have made an additional $2,400 if I had held to your target, the results were certainly no disappoinment. I thank you for this trade, and the ones that I’m sure will come in the future. You have a subscriber for life.
As a new subscriber, my first trade based on your advice produced a 466% gain on 30 call options. I’m not a day trader, but look for moves that are from 2 to 3 days to 2 to 3 weeks in duration. For your information, I have over 30 years of investment background as a research analysis, portfolio manager and market technician. I’m semi-retired but love what I’m doing and am still active in the market, but on my terms. I am also an advisor to a mid-size money management firm, managing close to $10 million and trading my own account, all from my home.
John S. Gardner
Retired investment advisor
Great call! It looks like your last recommendation is going to produce a profit of about 1400% for me a $4,000 gain on just $300 risked for a few call options. I am a novice with little capita, and only able to trade puts and calls via Schwab. Thanks for helping to make it possible.
Rick, you are the man! I am and individual trader who has subscribed to your newsletter for two years. I have made more money with Black Box Forecasts than with any other of the myriad of services I have used combined. Thank you very much! I do not always trade exactly as you suggest, but your guidance is invaluable and is flexible enough to allow me to make trades that deviate from the ‘program’.
I purchased 1,700 shares of Cisco at 83 9/15 and 1500 more at 87 5/16. So far, up over $13,000 in this trade since 11/15, thanks to your assist.
I hope you keep yen futures on your list. Year-to-date, I have made over $5,000 on the yen based on your advice. While I have improvised and stayed with some positions longer than you have recommended, your coverage has been quite accurate.
Have followed you for over a year now, I’ve learned a lot from your writings. Thank you. I Made a nice 36% gain on Goldcorp at 18.10 a day after you sold.
Congratulations on your new service! I can’t wait to be a paid subscriber. You are one of the favorites I’ve culled from two years of internet reading, both free and paid subscriptions. I won’t bore you with more praise just happy I only lost you for a day.
I’m a former P-Coast specialist who has been following you over the last several months. I and another P-Coast specialist arevery impressed with your work.
I am an American who lives in Bali and am presently in Singapore. I trade gold stocks, where things move fast. I have tried Schultz, Kern, Droke – and you are the best, pal. Clear, easy, no long-winded pontificating or ambiguous garble (‘Well, this is gonna happen, unless of course this other thing happens instead’). Just good, straighforward info is what you provide.
I just had to write cause I’ve been reading your stuff for about three years after I accidently stumbled upon the precious metals markets and 321gold. I read you today and I really had to tell you that this is some top-notch analysis and writing. You are in danger of returning to my daily, crowded, obsessive, can’t-get-off-the-damn-internet, reading. Thanks, and kudos on your new service.