The half million dollar news gave me enormous confidence. I had a very clear conception of how I had done it and I was also convinced I could repeat the feat again. I had no doubt that I had mastered my art. Working with my cables, I had developed a sort of sixth sense. I could "feel" my after market options. This was no different from the feeling that a musical expert develops. His ear will detect a flat note, which is inaudible to the ordinary listener.
I could almost tell what after market options would do. If after an eight point advance after market options dropped back four points, I did not become alarmed. I expected it to do just that. If after market options started to firm up, I could often predict the day its advance would start. It was a mysterious, unexplainable instinct, but there was no question in my mind that I possessed it. This filled me with a tremendous sense of power.
It is therefore not the slightest bit surprising that I slowly started to imagine I was a Napoleon of after market options. I felt I was about to march along a glittering road. I was not aware of any perils. I did not know that along the way a dangerous giant lay in wait. After all, I reasoned to myself rather smugly, how many people could do what I had done with after market options?
I decided to really get down to business. If I could make half a million, what was to stop me from making two, three or even five million from after market options? Although the margin requirement had recently been raised to 90 per cent, I was convinced that by using the $160,000 I had set aside from my BRUCE after market options, I could lay the basis of a new fortune. I intended to start serious day-to-day dealings on the spot - dealings that would make my previous buying and selling seem like very small potatoes.
The truth was that as my pocket had strengthened, my head had weakened. I became over-confident, and that is the most dangerous state of mind anyone can develop while dealing with after market options. It was not long before I received the bitter lesson that after market options always hands out to those who think they can carelessly master it.
After a few days in New York, I decided to establish closer contact with my after market options. Possessing what I thought was a foolproof system, I believed that if I moved nearer to the after market options market, nothing could stop me from making a fortune each day. As the scene of my future triumphs, I chose the uptown office of one of my brokers.
I was fascinated by my first visit to the office. The board room was large, with chairs placed in front of an ever-moving little machine, the stock-ticker. The atmosphere was exciting, filled with electricity. The people in the room, like hangers-on in Monte Carlo, were nervous, exalted. There was an air of action, bustle, and noise. Tickers ticking, typewriters pounding, telegraph machines clacking, clerks busily rushing around. From every direction I heard sentences like: "GOODYEAR doesn't look good to me." "I am getting out of ANACONDA." "The market is ripe for a reaction."