When I was a 9 year old kid, my parents told me that a diamond was the hardest thing on the planet, virtually indestructible. A friend came over, and we were talking about Superman and indestructibility and I told him that Superman was fiction, but a diamond was impossible to be damaged, since it was the hardest thing in the world. He said, prove it, and I said OK, and even made a huge bet of all my baseball cards on the outcome. I sneaked into my mother's jewelery box and filched a 1.5-2 ct loose diamond she had. Brought it downstairs into the basement where my dad had a small anvil. I put the diamond on the flat surface of the anvil, grabbed a 5 lb hammer, took a swing, and came down really hard on the diamond. I thought it would just bounce off, but imagine my surprise when all I found that the diamond had turned to dust. Later on that afternoon, my sister ratted me out, and I got that "Go up to your room and wait until your father comes home" speech. My dad came home, went upstairs to my room and wanted to know why I would destroy a very expensive diamond. I told him that both he and my mother told me that diamonds were the hardest thing on earth, virtually indestructible, and I was just proving what they told me to a disbeliever. After all, my own parents wouldn't lie to me or give me unscientific facts.

I thought that my explanation would suffice, reason would prevail, and I'd be in the clear, but I was still grounded for a week, had to do all the dishes, polish all the silver, wash floors, plus I lost a my entire baseball card collection when I paid off the bet.

This was the first experience I had as a kid that taught me that adults were just as full of crap as kids and to not take their word as gospel. That lesson alone, when applied to markets and gambling, gave me more than a few million % return over the years. It took me the rest of the summer to win all my cards back as I had mastered the trick of flipping for cards. Learning the mastery of flipping cards was another story in itself and was the result of losing all my cards the year before to a big kid in the neighborhood. It takes hours and hours of practice, practice, practice to learn how to flip cards to give you an edge.





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1 Comment so far

  1. john Donaldson on June 3, 2013 5:45 pm

    jeff thats a great story and lesson, thanks for sharing


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