When Futures magazine started the Futures Talk forum on its web site in 1996, it attracted some good interest -- nothing too spectacular but just traders talking to other traders about markets and comparing notes. But beginning in early 1997, it became increasingly clear that one participant had unusual trading wisdom and insight, although he sometimes wrote in a vague, mystical way that forced other traders to really think to get his point.

His posts became so popular and attracted so many responses and followup questions that separate threads were set up just for his comments. He was willing to share what he knew about trading exclusively on the Futures forum, yet he did not want his identity known under any circumstances and he did not want the money or accolades that he might have gotten from revealing his ideas. Thus was born the "Phantom of the Pits."

From his participation in the forum and the acceptance of his ideas by a growing number of loyal followers came this "book" summarizing some of his thoughts. "Phantom's Gift" is not a print book in the traditional sense but is a result of interchanges among the Phantom, associate Art Simpson and forum participants.

The book is presented as a conversation between the Phantom and Art Simpson and is "printed" here essentially as it appeared over a period of weeks on the Futures Talk forum, with some comments from other forum participants included. The unique process for writing this "book" means thoughts or ideas may be restated, they may seem a little disorganized in places or they may even appear mysterious at times. Some chapters may be more rambling or personal than will appeal to many readers.

But most traders will find some real nuggets throughout these chapters. Accept the Phantom's gift for what you can glean from it that will make you a better trader. And, better yet, participate in the Futures Talk forum yourself and share your questions and ideas so everyone can learn more about trading.

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