Step up to the window
by Alan Hanson
As a newly-licensed floor broker handling orders for a major Chicago commodity broker, I enjoyed
expressing my own market theories and opinions to the older members of the exchange. My ideas were
important to me, but they didn't seem to impress my more experienced peers. One old timer would
answer me by saying "Step up to the window, son." In plain language, "If I was so sure of myself, why
didn't I put my own money up and trade the market the way I saw it?" It's one thing to talk about the
market and another matter to "step up to the window" and put your own money on the line.
Since that time, I have gradually begun to realize that the day may come when you could actually "step up
to the window" and the "window" might be closed. When we deal with a futures broker and he places our
order on the floor of a major commodity exchange, the possibility always exists that the exchange may
not be able to perform. During the past 80 years or more of active futures trading in the United States,
there has never been a major exchange that has ever closed for more than a short period of time. The
possibility, however, does exist for a major exchange to close and this will affect the trader's potential
profit on any trade.