Do you have what it takes?

A floor broker who is a friend of mine once told me the following story; he swears it's true.

In the 1960s, there was a corn speculator who traded in “the pit” at the Chicago Board of Trade. He was known for plunging, or taking big positions.

Early one summer, he put on a large, short corn position for his own account (a position that makes money if prices fall but is costly if prices rise). Soon after, the weather began to heat up in the midwestern United States, where the corn is grown. The corn crop needed rain, and prices began to rise.

Day after day, the sun shone, not a cloud in the sky, and the corn crop was burning up. The market continued to rally against this guy. He knew if this continued, he'd ...

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