What’s that other fellow doing?

The human being is nosy.

Maybe curious is a better word.

Problem is, this one characteristic is enough to make one fail in the market.

Curiousity is a good thing. At the right time and in the right area, yes.

Curiousity is a bad thing at the wrong time and in the wrong area.

However, that’s how we are wired. We like to know what that other fellow is doing, the one who is successful. We want to do the same thing. We want to ape the success. Whether we know anything about that other fellow’s field or not becomes secondary.

That’s when the walls begin to crumble.

Know your field.

Develop it.

Be curious in your field.

Succeed in your field.

If you don’t, after trying repeatedly, change your field.

Find a field that you’re successful in.

If one successful field doesn’t fulfill you, develop a second field.

However, just because your best friend hit the jackpot in his field, don’t move over to his field and expect to hit the jackpot too.

Unfortunately, we show that kind of behaviour again, and again and again.

That’s human nature.

A prime example comes from the stock market.

At the end of a boom, the last ones holding the hot potatoes (stocks that have gone up too much) are the “pigs” (retail traders and investors who buy at exorbitant prices after getting lured in by the successes of the earlier parts of the boom), who then get slaughtered. This is common stock-market jargon, by the way. It has gotten so streamlined, because it has happened again, and again and again.

If you’re doing stocks, do stocks properly. Make stocks your life’s mission. Or, don’t do stocks. Period. There’s no in-between to being successful. Success in stocks, like success in any other field, demands your full attention. Don’t do stocks just because the other fellow made a killing in stocks.

Memory is weak.

Give the bust a few years, and a whole new set of pigs launch themselves at the fag end of the next boom.

Right.

Slaughter.

You’re not a pig.

Know your field. Stick to it. Succeed in it. Period.

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Adding No-Action to your Repertoire

Action with positive outcome vs…

… no action vs…

…action with negative outcome…

…hmmmm.

Sometimes we become oblivious to actions with negative outcomes.

Society preaches to be active.

We listen.

We feel that doing something means a step forward.

Well, it ain’t necessarily so.

Many times, and especially in the markets, it actually pays to do nothing.

The most successful investors in the world will tell you, that the biggest money is made while sitting. They’ll also tell you, that almost no one has learnt how to sit.

They’re right.

Meanwhile, I’m telling you, right here and right now, that you can sit comfortably upon your investment without jumping only if you’ve bought with margin of safety. Think about it.

Also, the most successful traders in the world will tell you that the number one action that saves money in the markets is no action. Yeah, when markets move sideways, which is about 60%+ of the time, trades tend to get stopped out both ways, and the trader loses money repeatedly. At such times, it’s better not to trade.

What’s vital here?

Recognition.

Recognize that it’s a time for no action.

Then, do something else.

For this to be practical, make trading and investing your bonus activities.

Meaning, that if your bread and butter depends upon another mainstream activity, you can easily switch off from trading and investing for a while, at will, and without any negative impact upon your basics.

Also, you need to be versatile enough to have fall-back activities lined up, which switch on where trading and / or investing switch off. These need to take over then, and keep the mind occupied.

The danger of not going into no-action mode is the continuous committing of actions with negative outcomes.

That’s precisely where we don’t want to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you invite the f-word?

The next trade… 
… yeah… 
… take it. 
What? 
Can’t? 
Why?  
Afraid of what might happen. 
That’s the whole thing. 
You see a setup – you trade the setup.
When you see a setup, there are no more what-ifs, supposings or anything. Then, it’s just you and the trade. Take the trade. 
No room for f-(ear). It’s the new f-word.  
How do you drive fear out of the equation? 
Risk a miniscule fraction of your networth per trade. 
Don’t make trading your bread and butter. Make it your bonus. 
Don’t allow anyone else’s negativity to creep in. Don’t talk to people. Trade on your own. No room for tips. 
Don’t listen to your broker. Tell him what to do.
Don’t trade under compulsion. 
Enjoy your trading. 
Once in the trade, lose the mini-bias that got you in. Now, just manage the trade. 
Stop hit? You’re out. 
Run? 
Raise stop. 
Running? 
Keep raising stop. 
Losing some of your notional profits? Market throws you out?
Good. That’s a proper exit. 
See, fear wasn’t allowed to the party. 
Look for next setup. 
Position-size your entry. 
Take the next trade. 
And so on and so forth. 
Not upto trading?
Ok. Don’t trade. Till you’re up to it.
 
Demons out of the way? 
 
Up to trading again? 
 
See the next setup?
 
Take it.

The Business of Writing

Many things can happen when one writes. 

What happens depends on why one writes. 

Some write for money. 

Their bread and butter depends on it.

Writing gets them money. They earn a living. 

At times, they have to eke out words. Even when they’re not coming. Quality goes down. 

Money in the equation carries its own side-effects. 

What happens when money is not in the equation?

Yeah, some are so lucky. 

However, luck or no luck, one has to still want to keep money out of the equation.

When money is what one is writing about, you can imagine the temptation. 

One falls back on one’s basic definitions.

Why am I writing?

Am I writing for money?

Do I need any money that my writing might generate?

If the answer here is no, then the question still remains.

Why am I writing?

Am I writing for fame?

Who doesn’t want to be famous?

Am I able to control this impulse?

If the answer here is well-yeah-mostly, the question still remains.

Why am I writing?

What is the answer?

I’m writing…

…because…

…the words are coming. 

I’ll continue to write till they keep coming. 

I’ll stop writing when words stop coming. 

I’ll resume writing when words start to flow again. 

I’m not going to stop their flow.

I’m nobody to stop their flow. 

Has writing ever harmed me?

Never. 

It soothes. 

Balances.

Calms. 

Settles.

Concepts become clearer. 

Spreads goodness. 

Creates vacuum within, because your energy has ventured out. This vacuum will attract fresh energy from the universe. 

Has there been any regret about writing?

Readership? Perhaps?

Flow reaches its destination. Ultimately. If it’s persistent. 

My writing is persistent. 

It will keep coming. 

Its flow will reach its destination. 

So, any regrets then?

None. 

Happy reading!

🙂

What to do with constant hunger? 

Hmmm… 

Is it a healthy state of being? 

No. 

What does it do for you? 

Gets you right up there. 

What’s the problem? 

You’re still hungry. 

Never satisfied. 

After three victories in a day, a miniscule here or there in a market-situation gets you down. 

Deplorable? 

Yes and no. 

You’re at peak-performance. 

That’s the good thing about constant hunger. 

However, you’re not happy. Yeah, still not happy. You want more, and more, and more. You don’t know where to stop. You’ve forgotten about happiness. 

Don’t get me wrong. 

Keep your hunger. 

Strive. 

Harder, higher. 

Then, celebrate a victory. 

Be in that space for a while. 

Forget about tomorrow for a while. 

Be happy for a while. 

Next time, be happy for a while longer. 

And even longer. 

Till it becomes a habit. 

It’s been twelve years in the marketplace. I have to keep reminding myself of this chronology every day.

The most basic things in life are also the most difficult to win back. 

We were born in a state of bliss. We were oblivious to almost everything. We were happy. We need to win that happiness back. 

There will always be a new target. 

The one just achieved deserves a happy adieu. 

🙂 

Is it just the Japanese?

No.

It’s us too.

We’re all whacky, at some level.

Humans have quirks.

Different ones to make the world go round.

Normal for me would be idiosyncratic elsewhere.

And vice-versa.

So there we are.

The other day someone was talking about panty-automats and strawberry-excretia. Way off the bell-curve, thought I. What was it about the Japanese?

Then, how were we perceived, as people?

We do have some ugly habits, us Indians.

Ever seen a guy doing an ayurvedic nasal-cleanse on the road? Sure.

Most leave the ayurvedic out.

Occupying someone else’s seat – we’re champions at that.

I’m sure you’ve heard of Indian Standard Time.

Cleaning house and throwing the dirt on the road outside our house – yeah, we’re geniuses.

However, one of our quirks is actually positive.

We SAVE.

It’s inborn. In our genes. Adding up. Compounding. All this comes naturally to us.

Yeah, silver lining. Does redeem us a bit, since this particular quality is in short supply, the world over.

Here’s hoping that we infect other nations with the savings bug.

Also, every nation has some positive quirks. Let’s look for these, to adopt.

Cheers!

🙂

Let it come, then we’ll see…

Looking around for an opportunity?

Or letting one come?

Does it matter?

Is there a difference?

You bet!

When you’re looking around, you could be in a hurry. You want to get it over and done with.

Big mistake.

You are vulnerable.

Entry price will be expensive.

Your adversary feels your anxiety and jacks up entry level.

Quality? What quality? You’re in a hurry, right?

Don’t be.

Hurry spoils the curry.

Let the investment come to you.

It will.

Brokers are restless. They want to sell. They’ll knock at your doorstep once they know your funds situation. And, believe me, they won’t ask you about your funds situation. They’ll ask your banker. In fact, your banker could well be on retainer. He’ll make sure that high quality info ups his retainer fee. That’s how it works today. Don’t believe me? How come so many people have your cell number? Did you give it to them? No? Information is a commodity. It can be bought for a price.

So, wait.

Block your surplus funds as fixed deposits.

Get an overdraft going for one fixed deposit.

Delve into your normal activities.

Now you’re sitting pretty.

An opportunity comes.

It’s cr*p. Broker’s hoping you’ll bite into the nonsense being sold.

You tell the broker to buzz off. Lack of hurry gives you the clarity required to act like this.

Something lucrative comes along. Price is right. You overdraft on your FD. Yeah, it’s ok to pay the price for quality with margin of safety.

You can always fill in the overdrafted amount as new funds accumulate. The nominal interest paid for ODing is called opportunity fees. It’s chicken-feed. Just forget about it.

The best investments in life are worth waiting for.