1. The Age of Innocence

It’s a rare occurrence when you can exhale, relax, and enjoy your good fortune. That was the case at the end of 2000 after our company posted a monster year. Cramer Berkowitz, of which I was president, had already earned a reputation as a shrewd and honest hedge fund, and I had money in the bank as tangible validation of my hard-fought year. I wrote the trading diary for TheStreet.com and had settled into a seamless rhythm of running the trading operation at a $400 million fund while sharing my stream of consciousness in real-time for the world to see.

Yet there were pressures in other areas of my life. My grandfather, Ruby, grew increasingly ill, and he was spending much of his time in intensive care. It was an anxious ...

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