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Cowboy Capitalism on Wall Street

Traders Magazine, January 2005

John A. Byrne

Jim Willsey grew up dreaming about cowboys and Indians. Now he has turned the dreams of his hardscrabble childhood into a reality. Willsey - a former professional footballer and a Vietnam vet - became wealthy in a conventional business career and, later, as a master of portfolio trading. So he bought a ranch and stocked it with four horses to ride in the wide-open spaces of Scottsdale, Arizona. Willsey has come a long way from a working-class upbringing in the shadows of the steel mills in Gary, Indiana. It was the steel mills that employed his father. The son became the first person in the family to attend college. Still, the cowboy influence was big in his childhood.

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