Certain traders on Wall Street, basing their views on future market trends, had decided that BRUCE'S book value and earnings indicated that the future's price should not be more than $30 a share. Therefore, they had started to sell the future short between 45 and 50, confident they would be able to fulfill their bargains by buying it back at a price much nearer 30.
They made a grave mistake following these future market trends, because there was one factor they did not know about. A New York manufacturer named Edward Gilbert was trying to oust the Bruce family from control of the company. He and his associates were trying to obtain a majority of the 314,600 shares outstanding which the Bruce family owned. It was this move that had rocketed the price. The volume was terrific, and following the future market trends, more than 275,000 Bruce shares were traded during a period of ten weeks.
The short-sellers who had so misjudged the market jostled each other to push the future to dizzy heights in their frantic efforts to follow the future market trends and buy it. They were caught with their pants down by the mysterious upward surge of the future market trends and they could not buy the shares at any price to fulfill their obligations.
Finally, as it was impossible to assure an orderly market because of the frenzied dealings in the future market trends, the American Future Exchange suspended trading. But this made no difference to the desperate short sellers who were following the future market trends. They still had to deliver the future. Now they were willing to pay anything over-the-counter for BRUCE.
I listened in a daze to all this. My broker asked me whether, since the over-the-counter price per share was now 100, I would follow future market trends and instruct him to sell at this price.
I thought back to my daily cables, and how they had begun to paint an amazing picture of BRUCE to me. I remembered the ordeal I had undergone as I steeled myself not to telephone to find out what was happening because this would come under the heading of "rumors" which I had sworn never to listen to again. I recalled how I held on while my daily quotes revealed to me BRUCE'S sensational upward progress, and I did not know what to do.
I was offered a big, tempting profit. As I listened to my broker, I felt strongly urged follow future market trends and to sell the future. After all, selling at 100 meant I would make a fortune.
I thought hard while I listened. Then I made one of the most momentous decisions of my life. I said: "No, I will not follow future market trends and sell at 100. I have no reason to sell an advancing future. I will hold onto it."
I did. It was a big decision and a difficult one, but it proved exactly right. Several times within the next few weeks I received urgent telephone calls reporting higher and higher offers for my shares from brokers in various parts of the United States. I gradually sold out the future on the over-the-counter market in blocks of 100 and 200 shares - for an average price of 171. This was my first really big killing in the market. I made $295,305.45 profit on this operation from ignoring the future market trends.
This was a tremendous event for me. I was so happy I did not know which way to turn. I told my story to everyone who cared to listen. I showed my telegrams to them. The only reaction was: "Who gave you the tip?" I tried to explain that no one had given me a tip, that I had ignored future market trends and done it all by myself and that I was so happy and excited exactly for that reason.
Nobody believed me. I am sure that every one of my friends in Calcutta still believes today that Mr. Gilbert himself had taken me into his confidence.
article is actually only a small snippet of Nicolas
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