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Richard Dennis Back in the Day

Feedback in tonight:

Hello Michael, I’ve just finished reading The Complete TurtleTrader with great pleasure. I traded on the floor of the Mid-Am from the last few months it was located at the Fisher Building until 1976, when (having made my entire, if modest, living with about $2,000 of capital for a few years) I finally got too worried about possible out-trades (only one of which could have wiped me out) and sold my seat. I was, and remain today, an extremely conservative but fairly consistently profitable trader, by commodities standards. Of course Rich Dennis was something of a legend even back at the old Fisher Building location by the time I’d arrived. It was generally known that he engaged in inter-market spread trading, mostly in grains in those days, since he could then get reduced margins. Then, when Dennis started trading what seemed to be really bizarre inter-market spreads, such as wheat and silver, the old-timers scoffed mightily. But his strategy of buying the stronger of two trending markets had obviously worked – that was clear to anyone who’d been watching his career at that point. Soon after MACE moved to Jackson Blvd,, of course, Dennis moved across the street to the BOT, though he kept his MACE seat for quite some time after that. I well remember the MACE secretary accosting Dennis, who’d come on the floor from the BOT one afternoon after closing, loudly complaining that Dennis never deposited his daily clearing house checks. A few of us gathered around as a slightly chastened Dennis went to his trading desk, pulled open an unlocked drawer, and retrieved something like $50,000 in undeposited checks. He just didn’t seem to pay much attention to his MACE business by that time. At any rate, your book was both informative and entertaining. Thanks! [Name withheld]

Nice piece of insight. Thanks!

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