Chapter 2

Michael Steinhardt

A Passion for Performance

WHEN MICHAEL STEINHARDT was thirteen, his bar mitzvah gift from his father was two hundred shares of stock worth more than $5,000: one hundred of Penn Dixie Cement and one hundred of Columbia Gas System. The shares got Steinhardt's attention right away. He was fascinated with the notion that the companies' stock prices would fluctuate continuously and that he could be wealthier one day and poorer the next. He became so intrigued with the stock market that nearly every day after school he would leave his friends and ride the subway to downtown Brooklyn to the offices of Bache & Company, a brokerage firm. There he watched the ticker tape and observed the brokers placing their trades. He soon ...

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