FADE THE CONSENSUS--an original story by Steven Jon Kaplan

A famous senior day trader was about to undergo surgery requiring a long operation with general anesthesia. As he was being wheeled into the operating room, he told his young assistant what positions to take in the market. "But before you put in the orders, go to that analysts' meeting I told you about. They'll disagree on almost everything, but if they are unanimous on anything, be sure to do the exact opposite of what they say."

After the surgery, the senior trader got hold of a quote machine and punched in the trades he had given to his assistant. Boy, he had made some bad calls--one after the other. Upset, he called his assistant to his recovery room.

"Did you see what happened in the markets? We're down a quarter of a million dollars in less than two days," he told his assistant.

"No, we're up half a million," replied the assistant.

"How can that be?"

"Well, you told me before putting in the orders, to go to that analysts' meeting. They disagreed about practically everything, but they agreed unanimously that you were a genius. So I put in all the orders in reverse, for twice the number of contracts."