Stocks and the Art of Synthesis

A lot comes together.

This coming-together is called synthesis.

The word synthesis has now become universal.

It is applied in various fields, including Chemistry, manufacturing and the like.

It is also applied in areas where deep thought boils down facts to unity, to arrive at a conclusion.

What all are we looking at, with stocks?

No action.

Action.

Time-frames.

Market-level.

Selection.

Entry.

Management.

Exit.

One can list other stuff, but this list should do too.

One needs to synthesize the ingredients in such a manner, that the resultant matches one’s risk-profile. [[Why? Matching means successful market-play. Try it out.]]

That, my dear friends, is the art of synthesis, in a nutshell.

 

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MP vs MoS : the lowdown on Trade-Entry

Margin of Safety (MoS)… 

… hmmm… 

… wasn’t that in investing? 

Well – surprise – it’s in trading too. 

You can enter a trade with MoS. 

How? 

Ok.

ID the trend. 

Wait for a minor reversal.

Let the reversal continue towards a pivot, or a support or a what have you. 

During this reversal, whenever you feel that you have considerable MoS, well – enter. 

Why shouldn’t you wait for the pivot to get touched? 

Things happen real fast at a pivot. Upon a pivot-touch, you can lose your comfort-zone even within minutes. 

Two vital things can happen at a pivot. 

Either there’s a quick bounce-back, or the pivot gets broken. 

Bounce-back means your trade is now in the money, and that you can go about managing your trade as per your trade-management rules. Wonderful. 

Pivot-break is not a worry for you. 

Why? 

Because you’ve placed your stop slightly below pivot, after the noise. 

Upon pivot-break, you get stopped out. You take the small hit and move on to your next trade. 

Eventually, things heat up. 

There is movement. 

Tops get taken out. 

Fast money can be made. 

How do you enter here? (Needless to say, for shorts, everything is to be understood reversed). 

Momentum play (MP)… 

… is the weapon of choice. 

You set up a trigger entry after a top or a resistance or a what have you, and wait for price to pierce, and for your entry to get triggered. Then you place your stop, below top or resistance or what have you. 

MP vs MoS is a matter of style. 

If you’re not comfortable changing your trading style to adapt to times, that’s fine too. Stick to one style.

If you’re conservative, stick to MoS. 

In a frenzy, however, MoS might almost never happen. 

In a frenzy, entry will be triggered exclusively through MP.

Take your pick. Adapt. Do both. Or don’t. Do one.

You call the shots. 

This is about you.

What about Daddy Cool? 

Boney M sang this blockbuster hit in the ’70s.

I’m sure you’ve heard it, because it’s still the rage. 

he’s crazy like a fool – what about daddy cool? 

Who’s Daddy Cool? 

You tell me. 

Is it you, in a cool cucumber moment, slow to respond to stimulus, devoid of anger, master of your situation in a kinda non-bossy, non-micro-managing (cool) way? 

And what of Mr. Hyde’s Dr. Jekyll nature? 

We’re talking about your “like a fool” moment.

Just for your information, winning behaviour is often termed foolish by the crowd. 

Contrarian investing is one such example. 

Successful derivative trading is another. 

To cap it, let’s not even talk about private equity in real-estate. 

Did someone mention high-yield structured-debt? 

There are many examples of “foolish” behaviour. 

These same examples earn very well. 

So… 

… how do we do it? 

We maintain our cool. 

We keep all basics going, as they are. 

With a small portion of our surplus, we take calculated risks, in a controlled environment. 

Sure, these risks will appear foolish to someone on the outside. 

However, our controlled environment has installed riders for our safety. 

A balance-sheet might be stressed, but not stressed enough for bankruptcy. 

A lock-in might be ultra-short. 

A stop-loss might be in place. 

Collateral might be up to 4x.

There might be a highly reputed Trustee in between. 

What have you.

Have your Daddy Cool fool-moments. 

Take some calculated risks with small portions of your surplus. 

These should give your portfolios an extra-boost. 

That nagging nagging push towards action 

Yeah, it’s always lurking… 

… in the background…

…waiting for an opportunity… 

… to catch you unawares… 

… and spring to the forefront. 

Market-play is a mental battle. 

Your mind wins or loses it for you. 

Make your mind understand the value… 

… of action… 

… and of inaction. 

Make your mind pinpoitedly choose… 

… the time for action… 

… and for inaction. 

Make your mind automatically switch from…

… a state of action… 

… to a state of inaction… 

… and vice-versa… 

… and feel perfectly normal doing the switch… 

… again and again and again. 

The above by itself is a winning state of mind for you, which you can build upon. 

🙂 

The Promise of Far 

I like “far”… 

What promises me far? 

Science fiction films. 

The Interstellar, Gravity, Inception and Contact types. 

Such films relax me. 

What relaxes you? 

Have you identified it? 

Why is this important? 

Many times, we must just sit. 

Action is harmful at such times. 

We are tense. 

We suffer from the fallacy, that action is better than inaction at all times. 

Relaxation-source identification is exactly for such times. 

Go ahead. 

Get your acts together. 

Your full acts. 

Your planning needs to incorporate strategies for inaction too. 

The Promise of Far”  strategy works well for me.

It’s not my only inaction-strategy. 

However, it’s a successful one. 

How not to let something be on auto-nag

Clutter-up.

Simple solution.

Have lots of things going.

This way, one thing won’t have the power to nag.

We humans reminisce.

We go into nitty-gritty.

We worry.

We thus waste our time and an otherwise perfect present.

That’s us.

However, we can condition. We can change.

That’s also us.

One small activity is over, and the other one should start. Prequisite is that the former activity has been closed properly, even if temporarily.

Yeah, no in-between time to ruminate about how well or badly the preceeding activity went.

New activity brings its own challenge. It first shifts and then rivets our focus.

Carry this mindset over, to your professional life.

That’s all you need to do.

Go for it.

🙂

What is an Antifragile approach to Equity?

Taleb’s term “antifragile” is here to stay.

If my understanding is correct, an asset class that shows more upside than downside upon the onset of shock in this age of shocks – is termed as antifragile.

So what’s going to happen to us Equity people?

Is Equity a fragile asset class?

Let’s turn above question upon its head.

What about our approach?

Yes, our approach can make Equity antifragile for us.

We don’t need to pack our bags and switch to another asset class.

We just approach Equity in an antifragile fashion. Period.

Well, aren’t we already? Margin of safety and all that.

Sure. We’ll just refine what we’ve already got, add a bit of stuff, and come out with the antifragile strategy.

So, quality.

Management.

Applicability to the times.

Scalability.

Value.

Fundamentals.

Blah blah blah.

You’ve done all your research.

You’ve found a plum stock.

You’re getting margin of safety.

Lovely.

What’s missing?

Entry.

Right.

You don’t enter with a bang.

You enter at various times, again and again, in small quanta.

What are these times?

You enter in the aftermath of shocks.

There will be many shocks.

This is the age of shocks.

You enter when the stock is at its antifragile-most. For that time period. It is showing maximal upside. Minimal downside. Fundamentals are plum. Shock’s beaten it down. You enter, slightly. Put yourself in a position to enter many, many times, over many years, upon shock after shock. This automatically means that entry quantum is small. This also means you’re doing an SIP where the S stands for your own system (with the I being for investment and the P for plan).

Now let’s fine-fine-tune.

Don’t put more than 0.5% of your networth into any one stock, ever. Adjust this figure for yourself. Then adjust entry quantum for yourself.

Don’t enter into more than 20-30 stocks. Again, adjust to comfort level.

Remain doable.

If you’re full up, and something comes along which you need to enter at all costs, discard a stock you’re liking the least.

Have your focus-diversified portfolio (FDP) going on the side, apart from Equity.

Congratulations, you just made Equity antifragile for yourself.

🙂