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God in the Pits: Confessions of a Commodoties Trader [Paperback]

Mark A. Ritchie
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1996
Ritchie gives the story of the astonishing early growth of his options-trading company and the dilemma of newfound wealth against his background of Christian faith.

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Product Description

From Library Journal

The drama of high finance is amply spotlighted in these "confessions" by the founder of one of the world's largest options trading companies, but skeptical readers anticipating self-justification are in for a happy surprise. As Ritchie casts an ironical eye on the commodities market, his fundamentalist roots, and especially himself, his wit and honesty are very appealing. Moreover, he has a genuine capacity for discerning and conveying spiritual insights--with a refreshing lack of ego inflation. God in the Pits is a welcome and unusual item in the confessional genre.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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East down Jackson Boulevard, the morning sunlight had just begun its day over Lake Michigan when I turned right and walked into the Chicago Board of Trade with an optimistic step. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Read but heed! Nov. 21 1998
I've rated this book five stars but can only recommend it to those who will honestly look at themselves and listen to what the author is saying. This book is NOT primarily about commodities trading although traders (especially "part-timers") should read it. It's an autobiography that starts with the author's means of livelihood but then moves into a far more important aspect of his life - something few have the honesty to think about, and of which fewer still are willing to write about publicly.
After trading a small account (and losing) for a year I ran across this book. I was excited and encouraged by the author's successes but chose to ignore or downplay his failures and warnings. "Surely that wouldn't happen to me, a Christian...after all, my motives are of the highest order [or are they?] and I would gladly donate half of what I make to good causes" [as long as it's half of a million]. In short, I didn't fully understand the subject which comes out as the main focus of this book, and because of this, I didn't heed the warning to us over-confident part-timers. Nevertheless, after near-bankruptcy three years later, I have a much better understanding of the more important things Mark Ritchie attempts to convey.
On second thought, based on the main focus of the book, I FULLY recommend it to all who can get their hands on it! Better to expose underlying bankruptcy and hypocrisy now, thus creating desire for a cure, rather than later when the remedy is no longer offered. I dare you to read it with an open and honest mind, but be especially careful, and read some of the primary source material cited. If this doesn't stir up your thinking you probably can't be stirred!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Life Story Sept. 7 2000
For those of you looking for a book about trading commodities, "God in the Pits" is not for you. Although there are some interesting musings about life on the trading floor within the pages of this book, "God in the Pits" really tackles issues much more significant than trading.
At the core of this book is Mr. Ritchie's account of his own spiritual and religious questions as they relate to significant (and sometimes tragic) events throughout his life. Through a remarkably revealing personal account, Mr. Ritchie takes us from the deserts of Afghanistan to the shores of Oregon and on to the trading pits of Chicago. In the process, Mr. Ritchie shares with the reader a stimulating ideological debate about the reality of religion in his life, and how he was able to reconcile within himself some difficult questions. For anyone who has ever questioned their faith, and who also enjoys a life story of nearly epic proportions, this book IS for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars God in the Pits by Mark A. Ritchie July 27 2000
This book is a must for those searching questions about their own identity, how we fit into the grand schemes of life and Where is God in all of the difficulties of life?
My pilgrimmage has been very similar except I am not a commodities trader. I have been involved on the other side as a relief and development worker along the Thai/ Cambodian border and also in Afghanstan for the last 20 years. I was amazed to find these two connections within a book about commodities.
However, the issues of suffering and the questions raised by the author are a must for all serious thinkers. The issue of ethics and morality raised are also issues to be pondered by those involved in finances as well as the relief and development community.
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Mark Ritchie presents a fascinating look at an exploding silver market, but it proves to be a mere first chapter appetizer. What follows is his life story, an interesting mixture of his youth in Oregon,an extended stay in Afghanistan and the trial of a marriage with limited funds. His Christian upbringing and the moral challenges of his career offer a thorough self-examination which may not have broad interest. If you are looking for insider information on the commodity floor, it occupies an unfortunate 30% of the book. The three stars are given because he relates his story in very personable and interesting terms, but as a tutor for commodity trading, there are other, better selections.
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By A Customer
This book is an incredible expose on the ongoing ethical struggle in the commodities pits. A first-hand look at what the market calls a "straight-shooter." Mark Ritchie does an incredible job at detailing his profession and his life, and being completely candid with the reader. A must read for anyone interested in the market, or just a good book. One of my top 20 books, and recommend it to anyone. Thanks again, Mark Andrew Ritchie!
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