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.
Don't read this book to get tips on successful trading. It goes much deeper than that!
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.
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.
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!