Sitting – III

Mood-swings…

…happen all the time…

…in the markets.

If we don’t get used to dealing with them, we’re pretty much gone.

When pessimism rules, it’s quite common for one to develop negative thoughts about a holding. 

Research – stands. 

There’s nothing really wrong with the stock. 

However, sentiment is king. 

When sentiment is down, not many underlyings withstand downward pressure.

Eventually, you start feeling otherwise about your stock that is just not performing, as it was supposed to, according to its stellar fundamentals. 

If your conviction is strong enough, this feeling will pass. 

Eventually, pessimism will be replaced by optimism. 

Upwards pressure…

…results in upticks. 

Finally, you say, the market is discovering what your research promised.

You feel vindicated, and your outlook about the stock changes, in the event that negativity had set in.

You’ve not ended up dumping this particular stock.

If your conviction had not been strong enough, you would have gotten swayed. 

Market-forces are very strong. 

They can sweep the rug from under one’s feet, and one can be left reeling. 

In such circumstances, solid due-diligence and solid experience are your pillars of strength, and they allow you footing to hold on to. 

However, if your research isn’t solid enough, you will start doubting it and yourself, soon (and if you’re not experienced enough, make the mistake, learn from it, it’s ok, because your mistake is going to be a small mistake just now, and you’ll never repeat it, which is better than making the same mistake on a larger scale at the peak of your career, right?! We are talking about the mistake of doing shoddy due-diligence and getting into a stock without the confidence needed to traverse downward pressure).

With that, your strategy has failed, because it is not allowing you to sit comfortably. 

Please remember, that the biggest money is made if first one has created circumstances which allow one to sit comfortably. 

Basic income. 

Emergency fund.

Excess liquidity.

Small entry quantum.

Rock solid research work, encompassing fundamentals and technicals both. 

Margin of safety.

Patience for good entries.

Exit strategy. Whichever one suits you. It should be in place, at least in your mind. 

Etc.

Fill in your blanks. 

Make yourself comfy enough to sit and allow compounding to work. 

Weed out what stops you from sitting, and finish it off forever, meaning that don’t go down that road ever again.

Very few know how to sit. 

Very few make good money in the markets.

Make sure that you do. 

Make sure that you learn to sit.

Sometimes, you don’t like it

Sure.

Like now.

Bloodbath in small-caps.

Alleged suicide.

NPAs.

Witch-hunt.

Did you choose Equity as an area of expertise?

Ok, then deal with it.

First up, India’s History is laden with scams.

We are where we are despite these.

Secondly, there’s growth. In other parts of the world, there is not much growth.

India is an emotionally volatile nation.

So are its markets.

Since this is where we act, let’s get used to things.

If you’ve been following the small entry quantum strategy, well, then you’ve got ammunition…

…at a time, when the value of this ammunition is immense…

…because lots of stuff has started to go for a song.

You do feel the pinch though…

… because whatever’s already in, is bleeding.

You don’t like it.

It’s normal.

Going in at a time like this, you will feel pathetic.

However, for your money, you are getting quality at cheap multiples. This will translate into immense long term wealth. Quality at cheap multiples multiplies fast.

Here are a few reasons you should feel ok about going in.

The small entry quantum strategy has rendered you liquid…

…after sorting out your basic family life, income-planning and what have you.

You are going in with money you don’t require for a longish time.

Muster up the courage.

Get over your pinch.

Engage.

Buy quality.

Debt-free-ness.

Shareholder-friendliness.

Generated free cashflow.

Transparency.

Diligent managements.

Product-profile that’s going to be around.

Less dependency on water.

Versatility.

Adaptibility.

Make your own list.

Use the stuff above.

Wishing you lucrative investing with no tears and with lots of smiles.

Happy Eighth Birthday, Magic Bull!

Hey,

Today, we turn eight.

This is an extreme time.

Extraordinary moves have become normal.

How do we react to a world full of upheavals?

Does anyone have a satisfactory response?

We don’t know, and time will tell if our responses are correct.

However, we do know, that we possess common sense…

…, and we are going to hold on to it for all our life’s worth.

It has not come for free.

It has been earned after making costly mistakes.

It is very valuable.

It is going to see us through.

The topsiness and the turvyness is good for us.

It will set up opportunities.

We are only going to grab opportunities.

When there’s no opportunity, we do nothing.

We have learnt to do nothing.

Doing nothing actually means no entry.

We use this time to do due diligence for the future, when entry is allowed as per our entry criteria.

Doing nothing is a steady part of our repertoire.

However, when opportunity comes, we are going to let go of all fear, and we are going to pull the trigger.

We know how to pull the trigger.

We are not afraid.

Why?

We are debt-free.

Our basic incomes are in place.

Our families are taken care of.

Without that, we don’t move.

We invest with surplus.

We implement a small entry quantum strategy.

We enter again and again and again, upon opportunity.

Because of our small entry quantum, we are liquid for life.

Crash?

Bring it on.

We’ll keep going in, small entry quantum upon small entry quantum.

Don’t forget, we have rendered ourselves liquid for life.

And, we’ve got stamina!

Happy eighth birthday, Magic Bull!

Going for the Jugular

It’s time.

Why…is it time?

And, time for what?

It’s time to go for the jugular.

Meaning?

There comes a time, when, after working hard, struggling, doing the whole jig, the rigmarole, you achieve your basics. 

Well done. Pat on your back. 

Then you secure these basics. 

Forever. 

If you can. 

Wonderful. More pats.

Worry factor is now out of the equation. 

Your family is secure. 

Food, safety, education, all basics intact.

Fantastic. You deserve an award. Not that anyone’s going to give you one. Frankly, nobody could care less. Never mind. You know in your mind that you’ve achieved a milestone, and that’s enough for you. 

Whats the next step…

…for you?

Jugular. 

What is this jugular?

Multiplier.

X-factor.

Call it what you will.

What does this mysterious thing do?

Better question is, what is it capable of?

You’re looking to multiply your networth. 

Isn’t everyone?

This is different.

Why?

Because it is coming as a logical conclusion, and not as a first-step with no experience and no secure basics. 

You’re keeping your head-earned basics secure. 

Nothing is touching these. You’ll be surprised at the kind of courage secure basics give you to act further. 

Next, you’ve identified an area where your skill-set can be leveraged into huge profits with minimal risk. 

Specifically in the market, these areas are abundant. 

So what exactly will you be doing?

Playing on a minuscule portion of your net worth. Let’s say not more than 2 %.

Leverage.

Stoploss.

Profit-run.

Position-sizing. Scaling up upon profits. Scaling down upon losses. 

Overcoming your demons. 

Fear.

Worry.

Hypertension.

Exuberance.

Hubris.

Complaecency. 

Going beyond. 

Multiplying.

Going for the jugular. 

Holding the Line

Your systems are in place.

They’re implemented. 

Basics are going. Life basics. Family basics.

Then you’ve got your income basics. They’re safe. They generate income. This income goes towards comfortable upkeep of your family. Some of it is saved. 

Your investment portfolios are firing. Savings have built these up. You don’t touch these, but keep adding to them upon opportunity. 

You’ve just finished implementing all your trading systems. 

Some of these are on auto-pilot. 

The other ones demand a little of your time each day. 

They keep you sharp and all there. 

Nothing much. 

Just fifteen to twenty minutes each. 

Skin off your teeth. 

You tackle them with your bed-tea. 

In other words, you are set as far as being income plus plus plus. 

Good. 

Now what?

Now you need to hold the line. 

What does that mean?

It means everything. 

It means no blow-ups…

…no crazy decisions that impact folios and family…

…basically nothing insane coming from you that will threaten your hard-earned situation or worse. 

Holding the line means making sure basics stay intact…

…folios keep growing…

…and new systems keep developing that add to these. 

It’s really that simple. 

When you hold the line, your next step either maintains status quo or adds to you. Preferably, it adds to you.

However, the simpler something is, the more difficult it is to follow. 

What are the demons that can slay you?

Over-confidence.

Over-ambition.

Hubris.

Greed.

Showmanship. 

Debt.

One-up-on-the-Joneses-ideology. 

This stuff looks pretty harmless at first, but is enough to give rise to cracks. 

Cracks grow… 

…till you’ve either come back to your senses and filled and sealed them…

…or till they’ve destroyed you right down to beyond your basics. 

Yeah, a full blow-up is never really far away, once cracks start to appear. 

Therefore…

…while holding the line…

… you keep reminding yourself about what you’re doing…

…why you’re doing it…

…and that you’re never going to blow up, come what may…

…and that you’re going to keep holding the line, come what may…

…and that your next step is always going to add to you.

Happy Holding!

🙂

Scaling Up

When you find a system… 

… that works… 

… what’s the next step? 

Plunge? 

Wait. 

Look left and right. 

Meaning? 

Look at your basics. 

Are they in place? 

Meaning? 

No worries about food on the table? 

No worries about kids’ education funds?

Basic family luxuries in place? 

No? 

Get these together and going. 

Yes. 

Ok. 

Go for it. 

Scale up. 

Your decision to scale up should at no time endanger your basics. 

You’re scaling up from  your extras.

You’re scaling up with stops in place. 

If your stops are hit, you’ll change your system till it works again. 

You will not borrow from your basics. 

You will wait for your extras to accumulate, and divert these into scaling up. 

Having gotten all that out of the way, let’s cast a glance at the concrete process. 

1x is working, or so you say. 

In fact, you’re sure 1x is working. 

Ok. 

Now do 2x.

Working? 

5x.

Can you take it? 

Do you sleep well at night? 

Fine. 

10x.

Working? 

Family life intact? 

Basics intact?

Fine. You take it from here. 

Where do you plateau? 

Right before a level where something might get disturbed. 

It’s really that simple. 

Happy scaling up! 

🙂 

Wealth-Generators know how to Sit

Most humans don’t know how to sit. 

Most humans are not wealthy. 

If you are a wealth-generator, you’ve probably already made the connection, knowingly or unknowingly. 

You sit. 

You are focused.

You know what you are doing. 

You are confident about what you are doing. 

You don’t keep looking over your shoulder. 

You are not jumpy. 

You don’t require a daily quote. 

In fact, you’re quite happy with a monthly quote. 

You know the value of your underlying. The world cannot tell you otherwise. 

You seal one wealth-generating opportunity, and move on to the other. 

That helps you to sit on the former, while you focus on the latter…

…till you seal the latter, which is when you move on to the next one, and so on and so forth. 

Soon, you are at the pivot of many, many wealth generating ideas. 

You are surrounded by multiples. 

Some have fully matured. 

You bring them to their logical conclusion. If this is a cash-out, well it’s a cash-out. 

You move the funds resulting appropriately…

…perhaps to a new avenue…

…or perhaps to finance something big…

…be it a lifetime-requirement…

…or what have you. 

You recognise the fact that one of the main purposes of wealth is also to fulfil lifetime-requirements. 

Mere income is not able to fulfil these. 

Generated wealth is. 

You recognise that. 

You are a wealth-generator. 

You know how to sit. 

The One Basic Difference between Wealth and Income 

What’s with this wealth vs income series? 

It goes on and on. 

So what? 

Any problems? 

Thoughts are like threads. 

They can be pulled into infinite. 

Also, they are a realm in which one has unlimited freedom. 

The speed of thought is faster than the speed of light. 

Think about it. 

From here to there – anywhere – Jupiter – Uranus – some other universe – in a flash. 

Explore your thoughts. Pull them out into infinite threads. It pays. 

We are trying to understand the meaning of wealth. 

How is it different from income?

What’s the one elephant-in-the-room factor that sums up this difference? 

Is there even such a factor? 

Yes, I feel there is. 

Maybe someone’s come up with this before. I don’t care. We all stand upon the shoulders of giants, as do I. From there, we generate our two pennies. 

So, how is wealth intrinsically and basically different from income?

Income is something you take out of your flow, to finance your everyday environment, including shucking up for nitty-gritties in day to day lives of those who depend upon you. 

Wealth can be generated from that portion of your flow that has not been taken out for mundane use. This flow, which has not been taken out, has then been simultaneously allowed to coexist by you in a different form, over a long period of time. It accrues, compounds and multiplies – over the long period of time – into wealth.

The most lucrative things in life are also the most simple ones. 

Being simple doesn’t come easy to most of us. 

That is why the majority of humans are not wealthy. 

Multiples obey skewed mathematics

Income-oriented linear growth… 

… is single-digit. 

There’s something safe about it. 

It’s going to be there tomorrow, and after that. 

Safety means less return. 

You’re ok with that as far as basic income is concerned. 

Not so the case when it comes to wealth. 

With wealth, the multiple comes into play. 

Multiples dance to a different tune. 

The search for multiples can lead to negative return – for a while at least. 

It’s risky. 

The level of reward is coupled to a corresponding level of risk. 

In comes time. 

Wealth-play is palatable because of time not pushing you to the wall. 

With time on your side, the ingredients of your cooking-pot have ample opportunity to sprout and grow into big trees. 

If growth is not able to take off owing to lack of circumstance, this becomes the breeding ground for negative return. High deductibles add to the bleeding. After all, it’s wealth you’re seeking to generate, and there will be a little blood. 

Such is the game. 

If you can’t stomach the ride till the multiples emerge, play the income-game full-time instead. 

However, once you start to digest the wealth-game, you realize that is really quite headache-free and pretty much an auto-pilot avenue. 

You’ll even start to like it when the first multiples emerge! 

Wealth vs Income – the What-When-Why? 

Income… 

… comes into your account… 

… on a regular basis. 

You spend a good part of it to keep your ball rolling. 

If you save even a fraction, well you’re good, because this ain’t really an age of savers. 

Saved income goes into an asset. 

The asset either generates more income…  

… or, it generates wealth. 

What is wealth?

Wealth is not income. It doesn’t come into your current account regularly. 

Wealth accrues. 

Wealth compounds.

Wealth multiplies. 

Wealth grows in a skewed fashion, like an exponential curve.

You don’t look at your wealth-generating asset everyday. Once a month is more than enough. 

Wealth funds big events. 

Wealth likes time, to grow. 

Wealth separates you from those who are hungry. Hunger is not limited to food. 

Have you understood the nature of wealth?

What do you strive for, income or wealth?

That’s a huge question.

I’ve answered it for myself.

It’s taken 12+ years to find the answer.

I’ll tell you.

I now strive to create wealth.

Why?

Because income has become just a number to my mind.

Yes, that’s the answer for me.

Learning to define the quest for income or wealth requires the appropriate state of mind.

When income becomes just a number to your mind, addition to it doesn’t satisfy you anymore.

Yeah, the kick is missing…

…the thrill-factor…you know what I’m talking about. 

In an effort to rekindle this missing element, you then look to create wealth.

There’s enough additive securing you. 

You start going for the multiple. 

🙂

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. 

When Do You Bet The Farm? 

Bread and butter. 

Safety-…

…-net.

Basics.

You gather yourself to carve out a comfortable life for your family. 

Build-up. 

Debt-free-ness. 

Yeah, zero-debt. 

Feel the freedom. 

Breathe. 

No bondage. 

No tension. 

You have to feel it. 

Surplus. 

First, small surplus. 

Then, big surplus. 

You’ve made sure that nobody ever will remind you to pay your bills. 

Great! Well done. Now… 

… keeping all basics intact… 

… you play with small surplus. 

Risk. Calculated. Digestible. 

Multiplier. 

Loss. Cut small. 

Win. Allowed to grow. 

Small surplus starts giving regular fruit. 

You put back the principal into your family’s basic corpus. 

Repeat. 

Many of your small surpluses have grown into fruit-bearing trees. 

Your farm is bursting with grain and fruit. 

Have you taken any big, indigestible risks? 

No. 

Have you ever put your family basics at risk? 

No. 

Have you ever thought about betting the farm? 

NO. 

Will you ever bet the farm, no matter how big the lure? 

NEVER. 

Finding Structure Within

You are you. He is he. She is she. I am I. It is it. 

Even if the above is the only thing that you carry home from this space, you’re done already. 

Move on then, with your life, because you’ve understood something big. 

If not, do please read on. 

You are not I. I am not you. He is not she. She is not he. That’s it. 

Here’s the next biggie.

Those who come into funds need to know how to manage them. Period. 

Do what you want. Run umpteen miles. Put up a million facades. Muster up all the drama you’re capable of. After that you’ll come to this conclusion …

 … that nobody else is more capable of managing your funds than you yourself. 

Why?

Because you are you. You know yourself best. A third party is firstly (realistically) not bothered about knowing you, and secondly is only capable of seeping into a minuscule portion of you, if he or she makes the effort. Forget about third parties. 

So you realize you need to manage your own funds, what then?

Jump into the water.

While your corpus is small, make mistakes. Learn from them. That’s college. Tuition fees.

Recognize your strengths. Play to them. Pulverize your weaknesses after identifying them.

Then come the structures, from within. These are your structures. They’ll come from inside of you. 

There’s you, and there’s the battle-field. The two are face to face. It’s a do or die situation. You go into reflex-action mode. Your systems start to function at full capacity. That’s when structures emerge.

Yeah, structures need an activation barrier to emerge. 

There’s a protective structure. It’s your protective structure. It guides you to build your moat. It protects your family. 

Then there’s your post-protection bulk-game structure. It guides you towards building up your innings without the worries of basic bread and butter. 

Lastly, there’s your multiplication structure. It chalks out high-reward-high-risk strategies, tweaks them towards maximum possible safety, and tells you where to put that minute percentage of your corpus with the intent of achieving extra-ordinary gains. 

Allow such structures to emerge. Embrace them. Innovate. Improvise. Achieve. Educate.

Go for the jugular. 

We Like to Move it Move it

We do our home-work.

We know our risk-profile.

Our systems are in place. 

We know the exact market-segments we are tapping into, and those we are leaving alone. 

Our fund-allocation profile is at the back of our palms. We know where what is, and when. We know how to move it. 

In our identified segment of activity, we have a feel for the underlying. We can sense it. We don’t need to preempt the underlying, but we can if we want to. 

We are not afraid of small loss. It can happen again, and again, and again, as far as we are concerned. 

We use stops. Definition of risk is our abc. 

We try not to follow news. It gives us a bias. We trade the setup we are observing on the chart of the underlying. Everything else is “egal”, as they say in German, as far as the trade is concerned. We are not going to be biased while trading. We are going to take the setup, in whichever direction it presents itself. 

We are nice to our families. We gel with them, and have enough time for them. We are happy in their company. They are not a distraction to our work, but a welcome change. We’ve got a substantial-sized emergency fund going for them, which more than takes care of their needs. This fund generates regular incomes for our families, and we don’t touch the emergency fund, come what may. We might keep adding to it, though. 

We take high risks with a very small size of our networths, everyday. Our risks are calculated, and can generate high returns. They can also result in total losses. We practise sound money-management, and put ourselves in line for big profits, again, and again and again. 

Yeah, we like to move it move it …

… from one trade setup to another, to another, to yet another, an so on and so forth. 

Shaken, and not Stirred, Mr. Trader…

Trading models crumble. Happens often.

Does this shake you?

Please don’t let it. Models are meant to crumble.

Construct a new trading model, instead of mourning over the loss of your current one.

Your belief in your model might be shaken, but you are not stirred, right? Helooooo, Mr. Trader, are you there?

Let’s get this straight – you are not stirred. You stand solid as a rock.

What allows you to do so?

Firstly, your safety net stands. Meaning, nothing’s making your safety net crumble. That’s the first thing you do as a trader – construct  a safety net that stands. Your safety net generates steady income and affords your family a comfortable lifestyle. Before that happens, not a single trade is pulled.

Secondly, ever since your safety net has been standing, you have been trading lightly. You’ve been chiselling away at this trading model, but are still a little uncertain about it, and thus, you’ve been going light. It’s recent crumbling has given you losses – which are also light. You are able to swallow such losses easily, since their magnitude is digestible. You’ve been very sensible in not scaling up prematurely.

Then, you’ve stuck to all your trading rules, and this is helping you immensely. Your rules called for a week’s break between two trading models, and you took it. You were not afraid to not work for a week. You didn’t care about what society said. You were confident about yourself, and made your own rules. This week off has kept your personality balanced, and you continue to be a good human being, working for the welfare of society. Your relationship with your family continues to be excellent, despite any losses on the markets.

Yeah, you’re still standing, and pretty comfortably so. Recuperated, and rejuvenated. You are raring to put together a new trading model after the collapse of your old one.

Slowly, you start chiselling again. You watch the market and its movements for a week. Charts are studied. A befitting trading instrument is identified. Trading direction is pinpointed. Trading magnitude is determined. A comfortable entry setup is chosen…and you’re in. Your trade triggers.

After trade upon trade upon trade, your fine-tuned trading model takes shape and yields profits…until it crumbles and gives way to a newer one.

Welcome to the world of trading. You’ll be shaken, many times, but if you stick to a few basics, nothing will be able to knock you off the path.

All the best! 🙂

A Tool By The Name of “Barrier”

Come into some money?

Just don’t say you’re going to spend it all.

Have the decency to at least save something.

And all of a sudden, our focus turns to the portion you’ve managed to save.

If you don’t fetch out your rule-book now, you’ll probably bungle up with whatever’s left too.

Have some discipline in life, pal.

The first thing you want to do is to set a barrier.

Barrier? Huh? What kind of barrier?

And why?

The barrier will cut off immediate and direct access to your saved funds. You’ll get time to think, when hit by the whim and fancy to spend your funds.

For example, a barrier can be constructed by simply putting your funds in a money-market scheme. With that, you’ll have put 18 hours between you and access, because even the best of money market schemes take at least 18 hours to transfer your funds back into your bank account.

Why am I so against spending, you ask?

Well, I’m not.

Here, we are focusing on the portion that you’ve managed to save.

Without savings, there’s nothing. There can be no talk about an investment corpus, if there are no savings. Something cannot grow out of nothing. For your money to grow, a base corpus needs to exist first.

Then, your basic corpus needs a growth strategy.

If you’ve chalked out your strategy already, great, go ahead and implement it.

You might find, that the implemetation opportunities you thought about are not there yet.

Appropriately, your corpus will wait for these opportunities in a safe money market fund. Here, it is totally fine to accept a low return as long as you are liquid when the opportunity comes. There is no point blocking your money in lieu of a slightly higher return, only to be illiquid when your investment opportunity comes along. Thus, you’ve used your barrier to park your funds. Well done!

Primarily, this barrier analogy is for these who don’t have a strategy. These individuals leave themselves open to be swept away into spending all their money. That’s why such individuals need a barrier.

An online 7-day lock-in fixed deposit can be a barrier.

A stingy spouse can be a barrier.

Use your imagination, people, and you’ll come up with a (safe) barrier. All the best! 🙂

Wisdom of the Lull

It’s awfully quiet.

Are you enjoying the silence?

Or are you fretting and fuming, that there’s no action?

There’s a buzz to silence. It’s charged.

And you can harness that charge.

What for?

For the storm of course. Which is to follow. Don’t you want to be ready for it?

Cycles, people. Finance moves in cycles.

In the ’00s, I used to move from market to market. Action here, action there, action everywhere. Result was, well, I became a “Jack of all trades”, and a master of none.

Well, that’s changed now. With time, I’ve zeroed in on the markets I wish to master. I stay with these markets. No abandoning.

Tell you a secret – every market has idiosyncrasies. These four words take long to find out. Lots of hits. And then one learns these magic words.

Nuances, markets have nuances. Market A will have nuance Z, and market B will have nuance Y.

To master a market , you need to stay with it. Don’t abandon it when it is quiet. You do want to master it, right? So stay. Watch. Don’t do anything if you don’t wish to, but watch. Recognize the idiosyncrasies and their patterns.

Welcome to the wisdom of the lull.

A lull gives you time to consolidate and get your action-plan ready. It allows your nervous system to recharge. You can catch up with stuff you’ve missed out on. Financially, you’re not worried, even if you’re not trading.

Why?

Because your trading corpus is giving you fixed income when its units are not being utilized for trading, silly. And, this fixed income is large enough to support you and your family and then some, remember? That was a basic tenet we had carved out for ourselves before we got into serious trading. Don’t forget the basics. Keep reminding yourself. Financially, a lull needs to give you enough income to support your family and then some, such that you are not required to pull a single trade. Trading 1.0.1. If that’s not the case, first muster up a large enough corpus that fulfills this condition, before you get into serious trading.

Why?

A lull should not have you jumping in your pants, eager to implement dozens of trades in an effort to get basic income going. When Mrs. Market goes nowhere, your trades will eventually keep getting stopped out, because of money stops or time-stops. That’s how you recognize a lull. Now you can shut shop, recharge, watch, and your corpus is still generating basic fixed income, allowing you to harness the full wisdom of the lull.

This is also a time to go over previous trading errors. Let me tell you a story. Remember Jesse Livermore? Well, Jesse was eccentric. Geniuses are eccentric. Jesse was a genius trader. Since there would be no trading action around the end of December and the beginning of January, Jesse used to lock himself up in a bank-vault during this period, stocked with ample food and drink supplies . He would then go over all his trades implemented in the previous year, trying to understand the mistakes he had made. He would come out of the vault when the previous year’s trading had been fully digested by his system. When he emerged from the vault, he was ready to take on the new year.

Why a bank-vault, you ask?

Jesse said he wanted to get a physical feel for money. He wanted to be with it for a while. Trading was too abstract, and one lost touch with reality. By living with real money in a closed space for a few days, Jesse’s system was acknowledging that trading has to do with real money, real losses, real profits.

Yeah, I’m sure the vault had a washroom. Jesse Livermore could pull any stunt with his bankers.

Jesse Livermore was the first trader to realize and harness the wisdom of the lull.

Thanks, Jesse.

So, When Does One Attack Here?

Ammunition.

Your game revolves around it.

We’re not talking war over here.

Or are we?

The marketplace is a war-zone, come to think of it.

Question is, how do you use you ammo?

Do you fire the bulk right away?

Who are you trying to scare?

This is the marketplace, people, overall, it’s not scared of your few rounds. There are just too many players, with varied interests and ideologies. Your few rounds might cause a mini-spike in the underlying concerned, but that’s about it. That mini-spike is not going to make it to tomorrow’s paper.

So, why bother? You don’t need to attack here. Straight away, that is. You can attack when the time is ripe, and when you are ripe too.

What does being ripe for an attack mean?

It means that your defences are fully in place and on auto-pilot. Your basic income is taken care of and suffices your family’s needs. Actually, let’s go a little further and say that your family is able to live comfortably on income generated by you which is independent from any of your speculative / risky activities. This is the first step. You need to work yourself into such a position, even if it takes you a long time. Without knowing that your family is safe, no matter how you fare in the marketplace, you will not be able to trade freely.

Then comes the second step in setting up your best defence. You need to have access to an emergency fund. Meaning, this kind of a fund needs to be salted away first. It then needs to be made accessible when required, and otherwise, it is to remain unused. Don’t let your emergency fund’s miniscule return bother you. In lieu of that, you are getting safety. Your emergency fund needs to remain safe, sound, and there, when you need it. This way, if and when something happens, and funds are required, a). you won’t have to tap into your family’s basic income, and b). you won’t have to tap into your trading corpus. You’ll access your emergency fund. Your family will remain financially undisturbed, and so will your trading, despite the emergency.

Now comes the final step, before you can get on with your trading, yes, even aggressively. In this step, the focus is on you. While setting up your family’s basic income and your emergency fund, you have struggled. Your health could have taken a knock. Your mind could be in a whirl. Normalize, my friend. Take time off. Stare at the wall. Get your body-chemistry back to equilibrium. Take a vacation. Take many vacations. Finally, when you are in shape, go for it.

Ok, so you’re in shape, and ripe for attack.

Now, the time needs to be ripe for attack too.

Mrs. Market has three basic modes of movement. She trends, moves in a range and then, she just plain goes nowhere, i.e. she’s flat.

Your aggression needs to be implemented only when she’s trending. Period.

That’s when it’ll yield mind-blowing returns.

Fire away when she’s flat or moving in a range, and you’ll keep getting stopped out.

How can you tell when she’s trending?

Through technical analysis.

So, study. Learn to differentiate between her three basic modes of movement.

Then, when she trends, and only then, use your ammo aggressively.