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Thomas Bulkowski’s successful investment activities allowed him to retire at age 36. He is an internationally known author and trader with 30+ years of stock market experience and widely regarded as a leading expert on chart patterns. He may be reached at

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Bulkowski's Twenty at a Time

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Busted
Patterns
Candles Chart
Patterns
Event
Patterns
Small Patterns
Market
Industrials (^DJI):
Transports (^DJT):
Utilities (^DJU):
Nasdaq (^IXIC):
S&P500 (^GSPC):
As of 09/21/2017
22,359 -53.36 -0.2%
9,669 14.62 0.2%
731 -0.83 -0.1%
6,423 -33.35 -0.5%
2,501 -7.64 -0.3%
YTD
13.1%
6.9%
10.8%
19.3%
11.7%
Tom's Targets    Overview: 09/14/2017
22,450 or 21,500 by 10/01/2017
9,750 or 9,200 by 10/01/2017
775 or 730 by 10/01/2017
6,650 or 6,200 by 10/01/2017
2,600 or 2,425 by 10/01/2017

Written by and copyright © 2005-2017 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information.

I enjoy this story because the ending is so unique. It's about a CEO who commits a crime and has to pay for his transgressions in an unusual way.

Written: November 2009
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Twenty At A Time

When the audit team discovered millions missing from the company piggybank, the board blamed me, and so did the public. But I never told them where I hid the money. The judge didn't care, either. He just said that I had to sell everything and cough up the dough. He was going to teach me a lesson, and he had a term for it: Homeless.
At the courthouse a month later, when money is on sale, it's surprising how quickly it goes. They auctioned off the yacht first, and then the private jet. I never used them much, anyway.
When it was over, I made many people happy by giving away millions.
It wasn't enough.
Within hours, I joined the homeless and the penniless, wondering where my next meal would come from, trying to stay safe and warm.
Pondering my future, I remember walking one summer night, streetlights echoing off wet pavement, hearing only the sound of my footsteps. Not even the stars above wanted to join me on this journey.
I found an abandoned railway yard, picked up a broken beer bottle along the way, and sat down on the tracks. I started sawing.
Someone whistled. I was being followed, but what did I care?
I don't know her name because she never told me, but I'll call her Fate.
She stood over me for a moment, squatted to look at my bleeding wrist, and then took the beer bottle from my hand.
She slammed it down.
I jerked away.
I wanted to live -- she taught me that.
"I hid the money at the airport, in a locker," I told her, and studied her face.
Her eyebrow went up. "I know. You're to go there and start giving it away until it's gone. Then you can get on with your life."
And so my new life as a homeless philanthropist began. Fate was there each day, keeping an eye on me, making sure I didn't give away my millions too quickly. They wanted me to suffer, twenty bucks at a time, one bill to a customer.
I felt another twenty burning a hole in my pocket, just as I had each day for the past ten years. I pulled it out, and it flapped like a flag in the breeze, pretending it was an airplane taking off. Then voices caught my attention.
"I told you," said the teenager standing at curbside check-in. "I spent all of my cash on cab fare." He reached into his pants pockets, turned them inside out, showing nothing but lint. "See?"

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The kid pushed away from the counter then drew close again, twice, like doing pushups. "Pleaseeee?" It came out as a whine. Kids can be so annoying.
"Can't you just push a few keys?" he asked. "I only need twenty bucks." Then he added, "It's Christmas!"
The bitty behind the airline counter cocked an eyebrow. She didn't have to shake her head to signal, "No!"
"How about a loan, then?"
The agent rolled her eyes.
"Pleaseeee?"
She stared him down.
The kid understood. He gripped the metal counter and then banged his head down on it twice, not hard, but it made the sound of heaven's thunder.
Then he stood up straight as if having an idea.
He spun around, long, greasy hair whipping his face, revealing a dimple in his chin and a smudge masquerading as a moustache. In two years, I figured, it would be presentable.
A plane on its take-off roll caught the sunlight and flashed it through the terminal like a strobe, blinding me for a moment. I blinked and then focused on the kid.
He returned my stare.
Uh-oh.
I tightened my grip on the twenty. No way was I going to part with it. No way! Not for a walking diaper rash with a runny nose.
His vision locked on the bill.
I gasped, eyes widened, and hid the twenty behind my back.
"I need twenty bucks for my luggage." He pointed to a cardboard box.
I shook my head and stepped back.
"Please?"
Again, I shook my head.
"I'll pay you back. Promise!"
I stepped back.
Tires squealed.
A horn blared.
A taxicab missed me by inches.
I spun around and saw Fate standing across the street.
"Oh, come on!" I said. "Not him! Anyone but him. He's not even toilet trained! He's got a load in his pants!"
She didn't say a word. She just smiled. Then she pointed at the kid.
I turned around and faced the little snot. I swear he started drooling.
"You're that guy, aren't you? The one that stole all those millions and has to give them back, twenty at a time."
I shook my head. I didn't know such a person.
He held out his hand. "Pay up." His fingers curled upward as if he was tickling somebody.
I looked back at Fate, at the smirk on her face. She loved seeing me in agony. As far as kids were concerned -- babies, toddlers, and grownup varieties, too -- I wasn't prejudiced. I hated them all.
He rubbed his nose on his sleeve and then said, "Pay up. Fork it over." More wiggling fingers.
He grabbed one end of the twenty. "You can let go, now."
I released the bill. "Merry Christmas," I said. Twenty down, another three million to go. At this rate, it will take 400 years to give it all away.
He blew on his chewing gum and a bubble exploded.
I hope it caught on his moustache.
The moral of the story is this. If you're worth millions, hide it from the kids.
The End

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-- Thomas Bulkowski

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See Also

  • Green Soap. Reading time: 1 minute. This story is about getting a kid to wash his hands.
  • Red Truck. Reading time: 1 minute. This story is about what happens to a kid's toy truck.
  • Soul Ambulance. Reading time: 5 minutes. This is a Christmas story about something that happens at the airport.
  • That which cannot be said. Reading time: 7 minutes. Lovers discover a common connection between them.
  • What Does Bequeath Mean? Reading time: 7 minutes. A little girls believes she's a princess.

Written by and copyright © 2005-2017 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information. There's no time like the present to postpone what you don't want to do.