We’re not going for the jugular.
Or are we?
The jugular has the most copious flow.
Maybe we are then…
… going for the jugular.
However, there’s no stabbing happening.
We do everything from the inside of our comfort-zone.
We act with harmony.
We try and be non-violent about it.
What are we doing?
We’re looking to create wealth.
What makes us look?
Security. Our basic income secures us.
Boredom. Adding to our basic income has become boring.
Overflow. As basic income starts to overflow, it needs a long-term avenue in which it doesn’t demand our constant attention.
What’s the best way…
… to go about it?
Where there’s honey, there are bees.
Finance-people find you. You have money. They have investments. For finance-people, you are bread and butter.
So, you sit.
You let them come.
You’ve got discriminatory-ability.
You sift. 99% of what comes goes into the bin.
You like 1%.
You invest in that 1%.
Whatever you pre-define as your per-annum outflow into wealth-creation.
Only that much.
What’s the bottom-line?
What’s your holding strategy?
“The biggest money is made…
You’re not even looking at your long-term investment more than once a month.
You’re not interested in daily quotes.
The daily quote can say zero. You don’t care. You know that you are in the process of creating wealth, and that it’s going to take long, and within that period you don’t care if the world thinks your holding is zero, because you know it isn’t.
Ability to think differently.
Ability to see wealth in its nascent stage, and to recognize it.
You have these things.
They didn’t come for free.
You took some solid hits to earn them.
Yeah, you have what it takes, and that’s why…
… you’re going for the multiple.
Yeah, where are you, Mr. Laptop?
Is this goodbye?
Singing your swan-song?
You were heavy.
Competition got lighter.
Did you reduce enough? Dunno.
Along came apps.
Most didn’t have a version for you.
They did for your competition.
People loved apps.
One button-touch, and one was in the midst of everything. No hassles. You lacked that extra comfort.
Along came the Cloud.
Took away your storage-advantage.
Along came tablets, smartphones, connectivity, and internet speed.
Have these taken whatever remained?
Are you going to survive?
Where do you fit in?
The mouse, you say?
You’ve got a long list which you’ve prepared, I can see that.
Put that list in your pocket.
Close your eyes.
Smell the coffee.
What kind of a world do we live in?
What lives on?
Inclusion. Decisively. Inclusive ventures scale mountains. Ventures that exclude, well, masses don’t care for them eventually.
So, firsly, swallow all that proprietary talk. It’s not going to work.
Then up, are you increasing convenience? Or, is your competition increasing it more? Vital question. It’s answer will decide who shall survive and become undisputed king.
Now comes the last question.
It’s also a little heavy.
You might not like it.
Nevertheless, here goes.
Is there use for you anymore?
There. I said it.
In some areas, I guess, but we’ll again be going down the proprietary lane, which actually doesn’t cut it anymore. Not going down that lane. I think that might also answer your question.
Merge with your competition.
Become a staunch part of the tablet, to save yourself from extinction.
I think you’ve already started gong down that road. Yeah, only way out. And it’s a good one. It is highly successful. The lightness, portability and convenience of a tablet, coupled with storage and keyboard-ability with only 10-15% size and weight increase. Sounds amazing.
Go for it!
How will I know what?
Well, what do you think?
How will I know if I’m on the right track…? !!
I’m sure you have asked this question…many times.
If not, you need to.
You’ve realised that you’re your most reliable source.
You know you.
Therefore, you need to ask this question… to yourself.
This is the marketplace, not some low-stakes video-game parlour.
Lives and futures hang on your decisions.
Make these the right decisions.
How will you know you are on the right track?
It’s quite simple, really.
Once you’ve heard the answer, you’ll probably go in denial.
You’ll probably say, naehhhh, this can’t be it.
Believe me please, it is. What’s totally simple need not be worthless. In fact, the best ideas in the world are…simple.
You’ll feel right.
There’ll be a sense of satisfaction. You’ll feel comfortable.
Your mind will be sorted. It will make the body feel at ease with an endorphin burst.
That’s how you’ll know.
It’s that simple.
Take the wrong decision, and the opposite things will be happening. Try it out. Trust your reflexes.
Learn to rely on yourself.
This is the marketplace we’re talking about…
…you’re on your own.
From target to target…
…what are we striving for really?
We achieve… and move on.
Next step, please.
Yeah, that is a recurring phrase / question on my mind.
I climb a small step, and I ask myself – what is the next step?
Then comes identification of this next step.
Then comes climbing of it.
Then comes the question again.
What is the next step?
One can go on and on like this.
What is it that we actually want to achieve?
Goals will come and go.
Something or the other will always be out of whack.
You fix it.
Something else starts to bother you.
You fix that.
Then something else.
You get the picture.
The question being asked here is … what is the driving force? What gives us satisfaction? What are we in it for?
Different people might give different answers.
My take is that it boils down to one thing.
The feeling of exhilaration…after a target…that endorphin burst…that sense of having gotten somewhere…that excitement about being on the right track…about being vindicated…that something…however which way you wish to describe it…is it. It is that what we strive for. I feel so. At the centre of things in life, is the desire for that state of being. My humble opinion.
I try and stay with it. Once that feeling comes, that is. If comes off and on. There are so many targets in life, mostly small ones. So the endorphin burst happens quite often actually. For that matter it happens while exercising too. Whenever it happens, however it happens, I try to stay with it. I try to enjoy that moment. That moment gives it all a very beautiful meaning.
Staying with the moment…didn’t someone else say that? Wasn’t it the Dalai Lama?
Who are you?
Yeah, that question again…
Frankly, I’m not too bothered about who you are.
Yeah, I’m too busy trying to fathom who I am.
Guess who needs to be concerned about finding out who you are?
In addition to “Who are you?”, here’s another one that goes with the flow…
Where do you fit?
What’s your purpose?
Yeah, why are you here?
What drives you?
Where do you start?
And sure, where do you stop?
What’s the gauge? How do you gauge where you stand with all these questions and their answers.
Luckily for you, Nature hid this gauge inside you.
You’ll feel… comfortable where you fit.
You’ll know where to start. When to stop. From inside. Below all the huff and puff, in the stillness of mind, lie answers. Find them. Talk to yourself. It’s not crazy to talk to yourself. In fact, those who don’t are crazy.
Where you’re happy doing stuff lies your purpose. That which causes maximum happiness and satisfaction, in you and around you – that’s your purpose.
Your behavior in multiple situations tells you who you are.
Align who you are with your purpose.
Once you know who you are, you can go about defining and delineating your risk-profile.
Let’s assume there are funds waiting to be invested.
In what form do you keep them?
Investors have the luxury of time. Traders don’t.
I’m really telling you, an investor’s funds need not be kept in free form.
Traders need to pounce, not investors.
If you don’t need to pounce, don’t keep your funds in free form.
Keep them bound. Semi-bound. Let’s call it stressed. Keep them stressed. Stress that is under your control.
What are we talking about?
Also, why are we talking about whatever we are talking about?
Free funds are open to whims and fancies.
Yours. Your bankers’. Anyone’s, who has an eye on the funds.
Plush with free funds, you take liberties. Your defences are down. You are liable to make mistakes, perhaps big ones.
Bound funds, on the other hand, are subject to activation barriers before release.
You think twice before releasing them, or perhaps thrice, if the locking is tight. You win precious time. During the extra time, you can well scrap an investment with a faulty premise, or you can discover hidden agendas or angles which cause you not to follow through. You get saved because of controlled stress.
Furthermore, bound funds don’t reflect on your banker’s system as funds waiting to be invested. He or she won’t bother you or incite you to make a mistake. You’ve knocked him or her out of the equation. Bravo!
Controlled stress can be of different degrees. When funds are irreversibly locked-in, then we cannot talk of control anymore. Anything below that is under our control with varying levels of effectivity. The stronger the (reversible) lock-in, the harder you’ll think about the new investment, because the activation barrier for making funds free again to invest is large.
Let’s not get too carried away. We can just make simple fixed deposits. These are completely within our control. You can break them with a letter to the bank manager. The activation barrier to free them is relatively small. However, you do think twice before freeing them. The’ve disappeared from your banker’s horizon. They’ve also disappeared from any online fraudster’s horizon, who was perhaps looking to clean you out.
Also, actually, you don’t really need to break these fixed deposits to get into a new investment, since breaking goes with a small interest-penalty. If you’ve got fresh funds coming in at a later date, but wish to invest now, you can borrow against a fixed deposit. This will again make you stop and think, because borrowing comes with a cost, i.e. interest. You will only get into the fresh investment if you really, really have to / want to. You will discard any half-baked investment idea. It’s still worth it, despite the interest. You might find this a bit crazy, bit I like to do it like this. For me, the biggest win here is that I am not breaking a former structure. Add to this the extra safety. Plus the extra thinking-time to ward-off bad investments. Add everything up, and you might also think that the borrowing cost is peanuts when compared to the benefits. Don’t forget, since you’ve got fresh funds coming in soon, you’ll soon be releasing the fixed deposits you are borrowing against from their overdraft mode. This is a meta-game strategy.
Yeah, keep investible funds in fixed deposits. It is really as simple as that.
The best things in life are really very simple.
Complication and sophistication are facades used by humans to hide their mediocrity.
A successful person does not need to hide his or her simplicity.
Simplicity is one of the biggest precursors to mega-success.
Who am I?
Do I know?
Am I trying to know?
Is this an important question for me?
What’s my path?
Where am I on this path?
What are my basic goals in life?
What are my weaknesses?
What am I doing to make these my strengths?
What motivates me to perform?
Does my environment enhance my performance?
Or does it hamper me?
If it does, what am I doing about it?
Am I tweaking my environment?
Yeah, am I manipulative enough?
Am I content with the hampering?
Why should I be content with the hampering?
Because it makes me grow, as in evolve?
Who are you?
What are your defining questions?
How do you unravel?
Ultimately, what is your risk profile?
Who are you… sure… very valid question.
It’s the basic precursor question with regard to another important question.
Who are you as far as finance is concerned?
In the field of finance, you need to know your risk-profile, and you need to have a defined meta-game-plan.
Defined as per who you are.
Uniquely, for yourself.
Imagine in your mind …
… the freedom to trade exactly like you want to.
Is there any market in the world which allows you complete freedom?
Equity? Naehhh. Lots of issues. Liquidity. Closes late-afternoon, leaving you hanging till the next open, unless you’re day-trading. Who wants to watch the terminal all day? Next open is without your stop. Then there’s rigging. Syndicates. Inside info. Tips. Equity comes with lot of baggage. I still like it, and am in it. It doesn’t give me complete freedom, though. I live with what I get, because equity does give me is a kick.
Debt market? A little boring, perhaps. Lock-ins.
Commodities? You wanna take delivery? What if you forget to square-off a contract? Will you be buying the kilo of Gold? Ha, ha, ha…
Arbitrage? Glued to screen all day. No like. Same goes for any other form of day-trading.
Mutual Funds. Issues. Fees. Sometimes, lock-ins. MFs can’t hold on to investments if investors want to cash out. Similarly, MFs can’t exit properly if investors want to hang on. And, you know how the public is. It wants to enter at the peak and cash out at the bottom.
Private Equity? Do you like black boxes? You drive your car? Do you know how it functions? You still drive it, right? So why can’t you play PE? Some can. Those who are uncomfortable with black boxes can’t.
Real Estate? Hassles. Slimy market. Sleaze. Black money. Government officials. Bribery. No like.
Venture Cap? Extreme due diligence required. Visits. Traveling. The need to dig very deep. Deep pockets. Extreme risk. No.
Forex? 24 hr market. Order feed is good till cancelled. Stops don’t vanish over weekends. Stops can be pin-pointedly defined, and you can even get them to move up or down with the underlying, in tandem or in spurts. You can feed in profit-booking mechanisms too, and that too pin-pointedly. You watch about 10-11 currency pairs; you can watch more if you want to. 10-11 is good, though. You can watch 4, or even 2 or 1, up to you. Platforms are stupendous, versatile, malleable, and absolutely free of charge. You can trade off the chart. Liquidity? So much liquidity, that you’ll redefine the word. No rigging – market’s just too large. The large numbers make natural algorithms like Fibonacci work. Technicals? Man, paradise for technicals. Spreads? So wafer thin, that you barely lose anything on commissions. Oh, btw, spreads are treated as commissions in forex; there’s no other commission. Money management? As defined as you want it to be. Magnitude? As small or as large as you want to play? Comfort? You make your morning tea, sip it, open your platform, feed in orders with trigger-entry, stop and limit, and then forget about the forex market for the rest of the day, or till you want to see what’s happening. Yeah, comfort. Challenge? You’re playing with the biggest institutions in the world. What could be more challenging? I could go on. You’re getting the gist.
Forex is a very special market.
Also, the forex market is absolutely accessible to you, online.
If you decide to enter it one day, play on a practice account till you feel you’re ready for a real account.
If and when you do start with a real account, for heaven’s sake start with a micro account, where 1 pip is equal to 0.1 USD.
Your money is as comfortable as you are.
Why not make it comfortable?
Right, for that you’ll need to be comfortable.
How does one go about doing that?
There are many meanings of comfort.
You need to choose the right one for yourself.
Mission recap – this is the marketplace, and you need to feel comfortable in the marketplace.
Firstly, secure your bread and butter. Decouple it from the markets. No matter what happens in the markets, your bread and butter should not stop. In fact, it should not even be threatened. You got it. Enter the markets on a secondary mission. Enter it to have fun first, and success will follow.
Secondly, where does Jack want to play? The arena is so vast. Does Jill want to do many things, or does she want to master one, or perhaps two segments. What gives you pleasure? What gives you a kick? What challenges you? Find out for yourself. Try out everything if you want. Try things out many times. Ultimately you’ll know where your calling is. Your future field of expertise will speak to you. Do what you enjoy doing in the marketplace. Whatever you do should come naturally to you. Nothing should be forced, or a burden. That’s when you’ll excel.
Before this, you’ve lost small. That’s tuition fees. The best place to study finance is in the marketplace. Embrace your tuition fees. Keep it low. Make a mistake – repeat it if you please, as long as levels are small. Don’t ever repeat any mistake as levels start to get big. Levels start to get big as basic salary pay-checks start rising with age. Mistakes then mean larger losses.
You are not tense because of your market activity. It won’t snatch your child’s education away. It won’t take food off your family’s table. You are comfortable. That’s when you play the markets best.
Slowly, your actions will start adding to your income.
That’s the sweet-spot. That’s where you want to be. At this spot, your comfort-level, along with your confidence, will keep going higher.
Soon, big wins will come. All because you’ve understood the meaning of comfort.
Go for it.