First through the even
by Grant Noble
A few years ago I had the privilege of working with a former specialist, a broker's broker, on the New
York Stock Exchange. He told me how fellow specialists borrowed unlimited funds at 4%, how they used
"inside days" to tell where the market was headed, the importance of the "two-step top." But by far the
most profitable advice he gave was "first through the even."
In January 1980, this specialist was approached by a large local making millions (open profits) from
thousands of long gold contracts. Understandably nervous, the local asked, "When do I cash in?" The
answer, "First through the even."
There is a natural tendency for investors to take profits at even dollars—$9 silver, $8 soybeans, etc. The
first time through these even numbers, normally there is a reaction.