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Could It Possibly Get Any Better?


Could it possibly get any better?  Trump has shrugged off impeachment and taken a well-earned victory lap, the Democrats are headed for a landslide loss in November, and the U.S. consumer economy is hitting on all twelve cylinders, powered by shop-till-you-drop exuberance that has made even the ongoing, trillion dollar writedown of shopping malls a relatively niggling concern. There are job opportunities for every American who wants to work, and real wages are rising for blue collar jobs. As for the stock market, it is not merely at a permanently high plateau, as it was famously described in the halcyon days of the Jazz Era; it continues to rampage skyward without ever selling off for more than two consecutive days. Third-day bets on the pass line haven’t enjoyed such surefire odds since Secretariat bolted out of the gate in the 1973 Belmont.

A Bull’s Checklist

Just look at Tesla, the feistiest stock of them all.  The price of a single share recently came within an inch of $1,000 (shades of RCA, aka ‘Radio’!) after nearly quadrupling since October. Some analysts are saying the stock eventually could hit $6,000.  Need more reasons to be crazy-bullish? Here’s a checklist from John Jay, who posts regularly in the Rick’s Picks forum: 1) easy access to low interest car loans — “No job, No credit, No problem!”; 2) a vast ‘off the books’ business universe; 3) 22 million people working for some level of government, almost twice the number working in manufacturing; 4) God-knows-how-many-people from #3 above now retired with great pensions/healthcare + COLAs; 5) the “Port Royal” effect, as buccaneers from all over the globe come here to buy mansions and kick back; 6) easy access to HELOCs for those home equity to burn; and, 7) Silicon Valley-types cashing in on stocks, options, IPOs from their cash-burning, publicly traded corporations.

Contrarian Alert!

All of which has led me to recommend, in contrary fashion, that subscribers sell the S&P 500 index short if it falls from last week’s record peak at 3348 to a certain price not far below. That would trigger an ‘rABC’ sell signal, according to the proprietary rules of the Hidden Pivot Method, generating a position with the potential to make money even if the S&Ps eventually go on to achieve new record highs. The signal works more or less mechanically, but in this case I’ve added a smidgen of instinct in order to go gently against my own rules.

My concerns about coronavirus played a role in this recommendation, since the potential of the disease to put the global economy in recession is, in my opinion, being seriously underestimated.  Even if I am wrong and the spread of the virus is checked, we won’t know it for probably another month or two. Under the circumstances, the stock market, priced for perfection at these levels, seems like a risky place to be. Bear markets do happen, and they usually seem to come out of nowhere. If one were to kick in now, queering Trump’s sunny re-election odds, the Dow could find itself at 10,000 not long after some rancid flavor of Socialist takes the oath of office on January 20.

Please do not ask trading questions!

  • Kirk Hogan February 12, 2020, 2:28 pm

    Mr. Ackerman,

    I’ve been following your commentaries for years but have not been engaged for lack of time.
    I’m an anesthesiologist and patent attorney with very limited bandwidth to learn and apply your principles.
    My question – is there a minimal amount of time/focus to leverage your trading approach and knowledge per week understandably not to the optimal, but to acquire a basic and narrow approach for ~2 hours/week?

    Or is that a pipe dream?

    Thanks for any time spent in answering.

    I very much appreciate it.



    Yes, Kirk, you absolutely can learn to do what you’ve wondered about all these years, and I can prove it to you. Get casually involved via a one-year subscription and see for yourself. If you haven’t made back at least the price of the subscription by next February, I will do the honorable thing and commit seppuku. RA

  • Chris from Luigi's February 12, 2020, 2:25 pm

    All I really wanna know

    is should I stay or should I go

    Best of luck in these interesting times ahead Chris


    Stay! The drinks are half-price after 10 p.m. RA

  • Matslinger February 12, 2020, 12:58 pm

    About 14 years ago I had a blow for blow exchange with Ackerman,
    telling him that everything is a lie, and the system would soon
    implode…. Ackerman told me to crawl back under my rock.

    My then discovery that the FED had a 1913 model
    of 2 1/2 % inflation, made it clear that home prices traditionally
    rising @ 2 1/2% since then, were a direct coloration with the FED
    counterfeiting that nearly tripled home prices by 2006.

    The rest of the malfeasance was clearly spelled out 8 years
    later in “The big short”… but you didn’t have to watch the movie
    to know that, it was(((IN YOUR FACE))) every step of the way….
    The only thing you needed to do to avoid being crushed by 2008,
    was ignore people like Ackerman then…. that statement holds
    doubly true today.

    The event of September 17th was mislabeled to make it MORON
    MANAGEABLE…. it was the beginning of an unstoppable derivatives
    cascade that’s 1000 times as deep as any amount of counterfeiting could ever compensate for…. I don’t know what to invest in now… but this
    dolt based recovery will implode like a plutonium core when they
    decide to kill the dollar , and trot in their 100% digital money system…

    The only universal preparation there is ?
    to be totally out of debt when the boyz from
    Mt. Sinai pull the rug out…..



  • William February 12, 2020, 11:33 am

    NO one in their right mind wants any rancid flavor of socialism, ever! …in fact anyone in their right mind doesn’t want any flavor of socialism. Paraphrasing Einstein… someone who is supposed to be smart…”the amount of hydrogen in the universe is only dwarfed by the amount of stupidity in the universe.” … If you have listened to the DIM a RATS in their Presidential debates, lately, they do seem to be trying to make Einstein’s point for him.

    • Seymour Applegate February 12, 2020, 4:53 pm

      Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security are socialist programs. Getting rid of health insurance companies (the middleman) and establishing a Medicare-for-all is rational AND socialist. Most young people are behind this, this is the future. Everyone pays, but at a much lower rate than the current broken system of health insurance.


      For sure. We need The Government to pay for stuff that we cannot afford ourselves. This is the future. Get the doctors to take a 50% pay cut and we’ll have the affordabilty problem licked, pronto. RA

  • Stephen Saffold February 12, 2020, 9:37 am

    I used to follow you frequently – for some reason I have fallen off the wagon and would like to consider

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