Mark Ritchie: Top Trader

Ritchie attended seminary school, majoring in philosophy of religion. He had a job as a correctional officer working the midnight-to-eight shift. It almost covered the rent and tuition. Ritchie shares with The New Market Wizards by Jack Schwager:

Q. How did you first get involved in this business?
A. In the early 1970s, my brother Joe was working for a silver coin dealer in Los Angeles. He had come to Chicago to explore the possibility of setting up a silver arbitrage operation between the Chicago and New York markets. Joe asked me to join him in visiting the Chicago Board of Trade. He also needed to borrow a suit. At the time, I had only two suits to my name. One was ragged and the other I had picked up wholesale for $60. Since Joe would do the talking, I gave him the good suit. When we arrived at the exchange, we inquired at the president’s office about memberships and trading privileges. Upon seeing us, one of the exchange officials slowly eyed us from head to toe and back again and said, You boys have got to be in the wrong place! After that inauspicious start, we made our way to the visitors’ gallery. Suddenly, we heard this ear-shattering dong and the floor erupted into sheer pandemonium. Our mouths dropped open in astonishment. At that moment, both Joe and I decided that this was the place for us. It just looked like a barrel of fun.

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