On that original tulip exchange in Amsterdam, one of Max Gunther's ancestors bought a hundred dollars' worth of bulbs in 1632 and paid a witch to insure the investment's success. By 1636 (so the story goes), Gunther's ancestor's bulbs were worth $150,000. So much for pedigree.
Max Gunther was born in England and emigrated to the US when he was 11. He attended schools in New Jersey and received his B.A. from Princeton University in 1949. He served in the U.S. Army in 1950-51 and was a staff member of Business Week from 1951 to 1955. He then served as a contributing editor of Time for two years. His articles were published in several magazines and he wrote several books, including The Luck Factor, How to Get Lucky, The Zurich Axioms, Wall Street and Witchcraft, The Very, Very Rich and How They Got That Way, and Instant Millionaires.