Rick Bensignor’s A-ha Moment | Mental Game of Trading | Real Vision™


I definitely had an aha moment, let’s call
it, in 1990. I think it was the fall. They actually ultimately labeled this the
mini crash. So I think it was an October day. It’s about 2 o’clock in the afternoon. And I’m making a two-sided market like I normally
did in the pit. And a broker behind me says, sell 10. So I bought 10 contracts at whatever the current
bid was. And the first thing you do is write it down. And before I even have it written down, there’s
this swell of noise. I’m looking around. Something’s going on. And all the sudden, you keep hearing people
go, sell, sell, sell. And then a couple of dozen brokers on the
top step of the pit had both arms up. And they’re yelling, at the limit, which means
they’re now offering the stock index futures contract going up to the lowest price it can
trade. So it is now plummeting in price. And now it artificially stops, because it’s
not allowed to trade anymore. So the market actually closes for about 15
minutes at back then. So the world could evaluate if this excessive
move was really the right thing to do. Take the emotions out of it. Let’s figure out what’s going on. So the markets closed. And I’m looking and counting in my head how
much money I’m down if I could even sell them. But I can’t sell them, because it’s limited
down. And everybody in the pit is trying to sell. And it’s far more money than I have in life. And I had no dad, or uncle, or somebody to
go to say, hey, I need a couple hundred thousand dollars or something. My dad had already passed away, unfortunately,
at an early age. And I’m like going, that’s it. I’m done. My career is over. And I’ve got to go home, tell my wife– I
had a three or four-month-old. My first child had just been born that prior
summer– and say, I’ve lost everything. We’re going to have to move. We’re going to have to sell the house. Life’s over as you know it. While the market’s limit down, a broker behind
me says, who needs to sell some? And I got in his face, almost nose to nose,
and I said, me. And he goes, buy 15. So now I have locked my loss. I had been long. I’m now short five extra contracts at limit
down. So I can’t make any money on those, either. But I’ve locked my loss. 15 minutes later, the market reopens. And there’s all these unfilled sell orders
from all the brokers around the pit. So right away, we open down the next limit
down, which is even expanded, a larger range then from the first limit that we could trade. So I buy back– if I remember correctly–
seven contracts at limit down. And then we start rallying big. And very quickly, I sell them out. I started doing the math. And I look at– OK, I locked the loss here–
how much I was down. But I’d just made a good chunk of money. And it ends up that, that day, was the second
best day I ever had in the pit. So I went, in a matter of 20 minutes, from
the day that I was essentially ending my career on Wall Street to a very profitable day. So you talk about a humbling experience and
an aha moment. That was mine.

8 comments

  1. if a trade can make or break your career, you're not a trader; you're a gambler. sooner than later you will lose it all. trading is all about risk management, and playing the long term game. whatever that game is for you.

  2. Wow, what a hair-raising story straight from the “Pitt!” Rick has stellar credentials and obvious high level experience in the markets. Most of us individual investors and traders will never truly understand how Market Makers function. Especially way back in the day. Still no reason for anyone to leave snarky, ill-informed comments.

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