Making Time Our Friend

Hurry…

…spoils the curry.

Specifically with regard to Equity…

…one should never, never be in a hurry. 

You see…

…there will always be a correction.

You will get an entry. 

Wait for the right entry. 

You will, eventually, get a prime exit. 

Wait for the time. 

Make time your friend. 

How?

Simple.

Take it out of the equation.

Simple?

In the small entry quantum strategy, time is, by default, taken out of the equation. 

It loses its urgency as a defining factor, for us, psychologically.

We don’t have any immediate timelines. 

We go with…

…the flow. 

When opportunities appear…

…we act.

When they don’t…

…we don’t act.

Most of the time…

…we don’t act.

Then there are black swans, and we act many times in a row. Like now.

Action, or lack of it, depends on what’s happening. 

We don’t force action.

Why?

Because we have all the time in the world. We’ve made it our friend, remember.

We know that we’ll get action…

…eventually. 

We conserve liquidity and energy for when action comes.

You see, when the pressure of a time-line is gone, quality of judgement shoots up.

We make superior calls. 

Of course we make numerous mistakes too. 

However, the quantum going into the mistake is small. This is the small entry quantum strategy, remember. 

Once we’ve made a selection mistake in an underlying, and have realised this, we don’t shoot another quantum chasing our error. Instead we let it be, and wait for a prime exit from our error. It will come. 

We keep going into identified underlyings not falling into the error category, with small quanta. 

Many, Many times, we make a price-error. Price going against us after entry is a price-error, because the market is always right. It’s us who are wrong when things go against us. 

Never mind. After a price-error, we enter the same underlying with another quantum, and this time we get a better price. Once gain one observes the friendliness of time, even after price has gone against us, all because of our small entry quantum strategy.

When price is going in our favour, we might not enter after a level. Though we’re not getting further entries in the underlying, appreciation is working in our favour. 

It’s a win-win on both sides of the timeline for us…

…because we’ve made time our friend. 

Sophistication-Complicatedness-Overmodelling – REALLY?

The simplest ideas in life…

…go the longest way.

It’s also the simplest ideas that…

…make money in the markets.

As in, buying low, then selling high…

…learning to sit…

…not nipping a multibagger in the bud…

…recognising one’s risk-profile…

…and behaving within its parameters…

…for starters.

Do we even know what our risk-profile is?

What gives us a sleepless night?

Have we identified what?

Do we still do…

…that?

Most of us still haven’t gotten our basics together…

…because we’re too busy handling affairs in more complicated manners.

We like sophistication.

Let it cost.

Let it lose money.

Let it bring in lesser earning than simpler models.

Main thing is…

…it looks (and sounds) good.

It looks (and sounds)…

sophisticated.

It gives others the impression…

…that one is a big shot.

We overmodel.

The nth differentials of our models lose touch with real pictures on the ground.

Why can’t we move within the parameters of time-tested money-making principles?

Markets are not rocket-science.

We try and make them look like rocket-science.

What do we lose out on?

Time.

Money spent on sophistication that doesn’t yield.

Energy.

We lose out on the fun.

When we’re having fun, we will make money.

When we keep things simple, we’ll have fun.

It’s like doing five things at the same time, things which are all fun when done one at a time.

Are we having more fun when we do all five together?

Really?

No.

A little bit of sophistication and modelling, built upon a strong foundation of simplicity does give us an edge though.

Can we maintain the balance?

What is the balance?

Never forget the basics.

Sophistication…

…modelling…

…fine…

…as long as we don’t belly-up into overmodelling.

That’s the thin line that makes us lose sight of our basics.

Can we see it?

Can we steer clear of it?

Yes?

Then we’re going to make money.

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!

Nath on Trading – III – Meat in the Middle

41). If it’s high, it could go higher.

42). If it’s low, it could go lower.

43). Market forces tire the trader.

44). Engulfment in loss and loss-freeze suck one out.

45). That’s exactly why we’re not going to let that happen. You know how. (Hint : stops).

46). Trade selection is the least of one’s problems. It’s no biggie.

47). Trade management separates winners from losers.

48). Proper trade exits are the icing on the cake.

49). Longs exiting in a rising market – hmmm – really?

50). Shorts exiting in a falling market – hmmm – really?

51). What’s that other fellow trading? Who cares?

52). How’s that other fellow doing? You got it. Who cares?

53). The only entity stopping you from outperformance – is you.

54). All your demons – are in you.

55). They’ll slowly come out, over the years, one by one, or some now, some later. Hopefully sooner than later.

56). Let them emerge, show their antics, and disappear forever. Make sure you bid them goodbye.

57). That’s why, you’re trading small, right, till your demons have emerged, created havoc, and then disappeared, forever?

58). You’ll feel it from inside, when it’s the right time to scale up. Develop this dialogue with yourself. A clear voice emerging from within can carry great advice.

59). Sure, you’re looking at trade signals, and sticking to trade rules. However, the voice from within is the net resultant per saldo vector of your entire trading experience. It carries weight.

60). Mostly, it doesn’t come. Clear the way for this voice to make itself heard when you need to listen to what it has to say. Trading, at first, is a bunch of rules. Later, trading becomes an art.

Nath on Equity – almost there

Market being down 61). should not pinch you. If such condition does pinch you, you might react accordingly, and do something painful. 

You make market-downs not pinch you by being 62). miniscually committed at any given time. 

Also, 63). you continue committing your miniscule quanta during market downs. 

That’s because 64). you’ve made sure you have lots more to commit, by defining such an approach for yourself. 

You are 65). happy that the market is down, because it is giving you an opportunity to enter. 

You 66). switch off market TV. You don’t wanna know from them, because they themselves don’t know what works for you. 

All 67). useless emails and smses are put on block. 

That’s because 68). information overload is your nemesis. 

You 69). learn from everything you experience. 

However, you 70). don’t follow any market-person. 

That’s because 71). you are unique. Only you can benefit yourself, ultimately. 

You are going to 72). teach yourself to become a strong hand

Thus, you will 73). not get affected by the behaviour of weak hands, ie. the masses.

Instead, you will teach yourself to 74). take advantage of the behaviour of weak hands. 

Market players 75). commit the same blunders again, and again and again. 

That’s because 76). every few years, a whole new batch of market players starts behaving unreasonably. 

This proves to us 77). that the only real learning comes first hand from market-play, to you and you alone, and only from your market-play.

This also pretty darn well insinuates that 78). theoretical learning from books or universities has zilch value in the markets.

You’re lucky 79). if the market knocks you around during your first seven years of market-play, when the kitty is small. 

That’s because 80). exactly that learning from 79). is going to earn you big as the kitty increases during your meat-years of market-play. 

Lost for Words, Mr. Nath? 

Yeah, sometimes I really am. 

With very few people, and in very few situations. 

Call it Karma. 

That’s not the point. 

In the event you find yourself in a similar situation, we’re here to size up options. 

What do we fall back on? 

Silence. 

In its solitude, a thought processes emerges. 

What are we looking for? 

Cool, calm straight-forward common sense.

Found it? 

It will speak to you. 

Let it. 

It’s got the words, remember? You don’t. 

Listen to it. 

What’s it telling you to do? 

Difficult? 

Can you do it? A yes is great here. You’re sorted already. 

No? 

Next option. 

Nothing. 

Can you sit tight? Doing nothing? Till your path emerges? Yes is good. 

No? 

Ok. 

Can you stop yourself from doing the wrong thing? 

Wrong? 

Violence, anger etc. You got it? 

How, you ask? 

Occupy yourself with something else more captivating. Possible? A yes here is your last “amicable” option. 

If it’s still a no, you might want to consider new company, or a new environment. 

Sometimes, we get stuck in life. With a person. And / or in a situation. For good reasons, we can’t get out. What’s the silver lining? 

Learning. 

Our difficult situation is ironing out some fault within us. As long as the fault remains, the situation seems desperate. No fault anymore? Situation vanishes. 

It’s called evolution. 

We don’t evolve for free.

Similarly, we don’t learn to navigate through the markets for free. 

Difficult situations teach us. They cost money.

We survive small losses through the learning process, to win big later. We want the learning process to come at an early stage, when the stakes are low. 

The biggest wins come when we use our evolution to capitalize upon a difficult situation, because we know its nuances. That’s good for the markets. 

In real life it won’t pay to take advantage of somebody’s nuances. That’s actually devolving. 

Maintaining perspective between market life and real life is an evolutionary exercise too. 

What to do in the Age of Shocks?

Wait for a shock.

That’s it.

Then go in… a bit.

Sound simple?

Ain’t.

Why?

Firstly, patience.

Who has patience, today?

Few.

Secondly, psychology.

Shock brings pessimism.

You don’t want to go in, not even a bit.

That is the whole thing.

Punchline. Understand it, and you’ve won already.

Thirdly, funds.

Who has funds, when the shock arrives?

Few.

Why?

Barely anyone knows how to SIT on funds.

I didn’t either.

Self-taught.

Through mistakes and pain.

By putting money on the line… losing it.

Took eleven years.

Now I know.

So don’t tell me that one is only born with the ability to sit.

Don’t waste your funds. Save them. They are your soldiers.

Fourthly, energy reserves.

Who has energy reserves when the shock arrives?

Few.

Why?

We’re too busy doing this doing that, always, forever. We don’t know how to conserve energy and build up reserves. Those who do then use their reserves to carry forward their strategies upon the arrival of a shock.

Fifthly, focus.

The hallmark of a big winner is focus.

Who has focus?

Few.

We’re too busy diversifying. It’s safer. Investing in the wake of shocks requires pinpointed focus.

Sixthly, courage.

Who has courage?

Few.

Why?

We’ve been taught to avoid, and move on. Life’s too full of BS that needs to be avoided. However, coming out during shocks needs courage. Face the enemy, and fight.

Seventhly, and perhaps this should have been on the top of the list, common-sense.

Who has common-sense?

Almost no one.

Why?

We’re too busy being complicated and sophisticated. We want to portray falsehood. We miss the forest for the trees. However, shocks are tackled with common-sense. Simplicity in thinking is paramount. The simplest ideas making the most sense are also the most successful ones.

Eighthly, long-term vision.

Who has vision?

Handful of people.

Why?

We’re too near-sighted. We want instant gratification. However, a shock presents excellent ground to root yourself in for the long-term. Understand this, and you’ll have understood a lot.

I could go on.

That’s quite enough though.

Above are eight points to think about,  to be seen as eight weapons that need sharpening, to come out fighting in the age of shocks.

Be patient, optimistic, fund-heavy, energy-heavy, focused and brave. Use your common-sense. Have long-term vision. BASICS.

Wishing you successful investing, in an age riddled with shocks.

🙂

Pain is Pain

Pain is pain.

Can you see it?

I know you can see yours.

Thanks for reconfirming.

Can you see the pain of others, by the way?

Does it register?

Do you walk by?

Who are you… or… what are you?

Decide which question applies to you.

For example, do you see the pain of that earthworm writhing in the sun?

It rains. Coupla earthworms come out, only to be met by scorching sun. They writhe. Do you pick them up with a twig and install them in a wet muddy patch? Do you ignore them? Do you even notice them?

Finance is not too different.

It rains on your plans.

You writhe.

If your overall strategy has not been adequate, you can even perish due to your predicament.

Do you expect help?

Well, who doesn’t?

Only, you are that earthworm now. You are in pain.

Pain is pain.

The earthworm feels it, and so do you.

However, the earthworm is not able to do much. It will probably perish.

You, however, are human capital.

Stop writhing.

Prove you prowess as being superior in performance when compared to an earthworm, or perhaps to a donkey.

Stand up.

Clear your head.

Analyze the situation.

Pain dulls.

You’ve got to push through, and come out of it.

Once you’re up, and through, as in out of your predicament, well, don’t make the same mistake again. You’ll make other ones, sure, we all make other ones, but let’s not repeat the same one.

Safe investing.

🙂

Happy Fifth Birthday, Magic Bull!

Turning 5, tick-tock, how time flies!

Has the game changed? 

No. 

What are we in it for? Why do we play?

Bread and butter. Security. Children, their future. Ourselves. Goals. Luxury. Whatever makes us tick. 

Each time we tick, let’s tick better. 

Mistakes mean learning. We’re seeing them as tuition fees, because mistakes cost money. They are the only real learning. You learn when you’re hit. You learn from the pain. 

All other learning is – paper learning. It doesn’t translate into our DNA easily (or at all). For DNA-translation, there needs to be a biochemical change in the body. Metamorphosis. If paper-learning does that for you, well, you’re lucky. Count your blessings. To be envied. 

Rewards bring hubris. 

Hubris makes us vulnerable. 

How?

We get lazy and are caught napping. Off-guard. Hubris-condition coupled with big market-mistake can mean downfall. Don’t want to take names, but exactly this has happened to many. 

What is it about success? What does it do to the human being? Why do we stop being ourselves once we succeed? Why do we stop learning once we succeed?

Yet, each one of us strives for success. 

Can we remember to behave ourselves once we succeed? 

What kind of behaviour are we talking about?

The same behaviour that paved the way for success. Can we maintain that same standard of behaviour? Why is that difficult? It becomes difficult because the after-party causes hangovers. Let’s just scrap the after-party. Let’s continue to be ourselves even after we succeed. 

Instead of the after-party, let’s do something for society, for example. We can even pursue a constructive side-game, which has nothing to do with the main-game. It keeps us ticking on a different level. 

It’s important to tick. The opposite of that is stagnation. Ticking means evolution. 

Evolution means that the next time you take a shot, you’ve better at your game. You’ve evolved because of past learning. You are human capital, remember?

Happy Ticking!

🙂

Making it Count

You’re playing a big one.

What’s foremost?

Make it count. For heaven’s sake.

Why?

Big plays don’t come too often. When they do, you have to catch them. You need to have energy left, to play. Then you just go all the way. Till the play plays itself out.

Life is an accumulation of knicks and knacks.

At first, you don’t know what you’re good for.

When you do know it, you start out as a net-net loser in whatever you’re good for, because every rookie needs to pay tuition fees. These are the costs of your mistakes.

Then you start getting the hang of something you’re naturally good at. Tricks of the trade – you learn them. You succeed in making your activity applicable, perhaps even financially viable.

Next step is to scale up.

You need to make your successful model count. Period.

Tired? Want to do other things? Need to borrow? Too big a pain? Time-issues? Overdose? Bureaucracy?

Whatever.

Don’t lessen the flow. Hold on. Ask the Universe for reserves. See the play through.

One life can mean just a few big plays.

When you’ve latched onto one, and have set it up so beautifully, now’s the time make it count.

Best of luck!

🙂

Small Things are Big Things

You’ve covered lot of ground, and are now cleaning up the field. 

You’re tying up the loose ends. 

Your small acts here count big. 

Please see them through to their logical conclusion. 

Don’t get up without completing full action. 

An act at or towards the end leans on the main piece of action which you’ve already fulfilled. 

It’s loaded on a spring. It’s effectivity is enormous. However, you are tired. You’re looking to close up. Hashtags, man, what are these hashtags!? Why do I have to put them, you’re saying to yourself. What purpose do they serve? Let me just forget about them.

No.

Hashtags are just one thing. A small thing, but then, a big thing. 

Tying your act into your own seamless sphere is another such thing. 

I know, it’s a pain…but seamlessness is a beautiful feeling. 

I like to imagine that seamlessness is the equivalent of free-falling in a mad, mad world. Maybe that’s a nonsensical analogy, but that’s what I like to imagine. Seamlessness gives you a huge advantage in today’s world. Take it. Make the effort to keep yourself seamless. 

Backing up, yeah yeah. Who likes backups? You’ve got to do them, however. No pain, no gain. I’ll talk to you after some data-loss. Only bother hooking up with me if you’re well backed-up. I don’t have the energy to lend a shoulder that withstands your tears in the event you weren’t back-up. 

Where hashtags stop, that’s where your organisational skills should take over. Meaning, that one hashtag-search could give a thousand results. How do you still find what you’re looking for? Logic. You’ve used your logic while organising your work. Logically, your file should be somewhere, and that’s the somewhere you look. 90%+ you’ll find it there. Follow seamless logic. The first logical avenue that comes to mind…take it. Yeah, your seamlessness also stands on your own seamless logic. 

Staying with what counts is a small thing, but again, it’s a big thing. 

On the path, one strays. One is distracted. What do you do?

The mind is like a baby. 

Don’t deny it outright. 

Trick it. 

Let it stray for a bit. 

Then, when its defences are down, bring it back to the main path. 

Keep bringing it back, until it starts getting a rooting righ by returning to home-base every half an hour. That’s the sweet-spot.

Don’t lose yourself into lost causes. 

Achieve. Fine. Set goals. Sure. Get them done. Great. Move on. 

Moving on is one small step. However, it’s a big step. Not many have the strength or the mental capacity to move on. Make sure you do. 

How?

Open your eyes and see the world. 

If you feel that your one achievement is going to make it spin, fine, stay on there, good for you. If not, please move on to your next achievement. Keep doing this till you find that one big, big thing for yourself. By that time, you’ll have many small things going on auto-pilot anyways. 

Get a grip. Nip something small when it’s small. Get to the big. Go for it. 🙂

The Price of Value-Addition

Does value-addition carry a price-tag?

You bet.

What, you thought you could add value… for free?

Naehhhh.

Good things in life generally don’t come for free.

One doesn’t value the best of things that are free. One treats them cheaply… because they’re free.

In the marketplace, free-kinda stuff always comes with a catch, or a trap.

Ponzis use high-return free money ad-tags to lure pig-investors.

I generally steer clear of free-kinda stuff, anywhere and anyhow in life.

Don’t be afraid to pay (well) for value-addition.

By adding value, you’re doing yourself a huge favour. You’re creating an asset that will generate towards your corpus on auto-pilot. Why should something like this be coming for free?

In fact, why should something like this not be appropriately expensive?

Dealing with Noise…the Old-Fashioned Way

There’s a sure-shot way to deal with noise…

…just shut your ears. 

Yeah, the best ideas in the world are – simple. 

Let’s not complicate things, ok?

So, what kinda noise are we talking about here?

We’re not talking about audio, you got that right…!

The concept is related, though. 

If you’re charting, you’ve dealt with noise. 

Yeah, we’re talking about minute to minute, hour to hour or day to day fluctuations in a chart of any underlying.

Markets fluctuate. 

While discussing noise, we are pointing towards relatively small fluctuations which generally don’t affect the long-term trend. 

However, noise has the capability of deceiving our minds into believing that the long-term trend is turning, or is over. 

Don’t let noise fool you.

When has the long-term trend changed?

When the chart proves it to you through pre-defined fashion. That’s it. You don’t let noise to get you to believe that the long-term trend has changed, or is changing. Ever. 

You believe your chart. 

Moving averages crossing over? Support broken? Resistance pierced? Trend-line shattered? ADX below 15? Fine, fine, FINE.

Take your pick. You have many avenues giving decent signals that the long-term trend has changed or is changing. 

How about eyeballing? Works for some. Like I said, let’s keep this simple. 

So let’s get noise out of the way. 

Random numbers generate trends – you knew that, right?

You don’t need more. 

Once you’ve identified a trend, that’s your cue to latch on to it. 

We’re not talking about predicting here. We don’t need to predict. We just need to identify a trend, and latch on. That’s all. No predictions. Not required. 

From this point on, two things can happen.

Further random numbers deepen the trend you’ve latched on to. You make money. Good. 

Or, the next set of random numbers make your trade go against you, and your stop gets hit. 

If your stop is getting hit, please let it get hit. Even that qualifies as a good trade. 

You move on to the next trade setup, without even blinking. 

What you’re not doing is letting noise throw you out of the trade by deceiving your mind. 

So, here’s what you do. 

You’ve id’d your trend. You’ve latched on. Your stop is in place. Now, don’t look at your trade. 

Till when?

That’s your call. 

Don’t look at your trade till you’ve decided not to look at it. For the day-trader, this could be a couple of hours. For the positional trader, it could be days, or weeks. 

By not looking, you won’t let noise deceive you. 

If the trend doesn’t deepen, or goes against you, you lose the risked small amount. 

Just remember one thing. 

A loss has immense informational value. It teaches you about market behaviour patterns. It also highlights your trading errors. Many times, losses occur without any mistakes made by you. 

That’s the nature of trading. 

Ultimately, if the trend deepens, you’ll have made good money, and can then further manage your trade after the stipulated period of not looking.

This is the sweet spot.

This is where you want to be, again, and again and again.

Sitting on a large profit gives you room to play for more profit by lifting your stop and your target simultaneously.

To reach this sweet spot again, and again and again, you have to position yourself out there and appropriately, again, and again and again. 

This is also the nature of trading.

Wishing you happy and lucrative trading!

🙂

And…How Much Connection Time Exactly?

Well, somebody’s got to ask these questions…

Don’t see very many around me doing so, so I just thought what the heck, let it be me…

This one’s not for all you test-tube jocks in the lab, you know…

Answer’s not about the math really; it’s more about feeling, again…

Nevertheless, this is a very important question.

Answer it wrongly for yourself, and market-play will wreck your life – all avenues of your life, that is. 

And, answer it correctly for yourself – lo and behold, you’ll actually start enjoying your market activity.

The human being ultimately excels in anything he or she enjoys doing. 

This means that if you answer this question correctly, your market activity will yield you profits. 

Told you. This question is important. Answer it.

Let me tell you how I’ve answered it for myself. 

Before that, please understand, that my answer doesn’t have to apply to you.

However, for those who don’t know where to begin while trying to answer the question, it’s a start.

I detest giving Mrs. Market too much power. This was my clue initially, and I built up on this fact. 

Initially, Mrs. M used to take over my life. She used to govern my emotions. It started to rub off on my family. I knew I had to draw a line. 

I started to trade lightly – amounts which my mind could ignore. Then, I did one more thing. 

I started to connect minimally. The was the key step, and it swung the emotional tussle in my favour. Mrs. M’s days of emotional control were over. 

What does minimal connection mean?

You only connect when you have to. Period. 

When you don’t have to connect, you just don’t.

I’ll tell you when all I connect to Mrs. M.

Order-feed – 0 to once a day. Very rarely twice for this in one day. 

Connection for me is having my trading terminal on, and seeing live price-feeds face to face. 

My market research is all offline, so that’s not a connection for me. 

Squaring-off a position – again 0 to once a day. Very rarely twice a day.

Watching the live price-feed – 0 to once a day, and only if if I’m unclear about the buying-pressure versus selling pressure ratio.

That’s it. 

When I don’t identify a potential trade in my offline research, I don’t connect at all. 

When do I connect next?

Whenever I’ve identified the next trade, or a squaring-off situation, all offline. 

There can be two or even three day stretches when I just don’t connect. 

I use options, because they allow me this kind of play for Indian equities. 

Why am I stressing upon the value of minimal connection? 

Connection means exposure to the “Line”. You’ve met the Line before. If not, look up the link on the left (“The Line”). 

Connection to the Line taxes your system, because market forces interfere with your bio-chem. 

Keeping the connection minimal keeps you healthy, and you can go out and do other stuff in life, which rounds you off and refreshes you for your next market-play. 

Keeping the connection minimal detaches you from Mrs. M. You are able to detach at will. This lets you focus on your family when your family members require your attention. 

Keeping the connection minimal makes the task of swallowing your small losses smoother. 

Lastly, keeping the connection minimal helps you let your profits run. 

So, how does one define minimal?

Do the math, and come out with rules for your minimal connectivity, like the ones I’ve come out with above, for myself. 

After that, while sticking to your rules for minimal connectivity, only connect to Mrs. M when you feel the burning desire to do so, like for example upon the identification of a sizzling hot trade, or for the order-feed of a trigger exit after a profit-run or something like that. 

Yeah, you minimise even after your rules.

That’s your minimal connection.  

The Womb in which One’s A-Game is Born

Simple situations don’t challenge you, and if a human being doesn’t feel challenged, he or she doesn’t grow. 

What would you like your A-Game to be?

Simple? Bread-winning? No surprises in store? Straight-forward? 

Fine.

If you don’t wish to feel challenged by it, that is your right. What ? You want to enjoy your A-Game, though? And you want to keep enjoying it for life?

Let me tell you a secret. If you master something, it becomes boring after a while. Where’s the challenge? You probably won’t enjoy something like that for life…just an opinion.

It’s taken me ten years in finance to actually discover what my A-Game is.

I’ve had a choice all along, I won’t hide that from you.

I’ve chosen two market niche-segments. I find both intriguing. Both fully absorb me. I keep asking questions. My mind feels that it meets its match. I enjoy both segments. 

It doesn’t matter which segments I’m talking about. They are my A-Game, and that’s what counts for this discussion. How did I know this was my A-Game?

Over the last ten years, I’ve tried all market segments. Got knocked around, made mistakes. Lost money. Tuition fees. You can’t really study the markets in college. You really need to study the markets in the marketplace itself. Eventually, an area of specialisation will speak to you. It will exercise a magnetism which will envelope you. Wait for this moment before going all-in. Even after identifying your A-Game, play it small for a long time, and only scale up slowly, according to strict money-management rules. 

The womb in which your A-Game is born can be really complicated. You can be left feeling confused for years about what your calling is. Life does remain a bit boring till you get there. You feel that that something is missing in life. While playing your A-Game, that very feeling is gone. That’s how you know it’s your A-Game. 

If you have a choice, secure yourself and your family financially before your A-Game unfolds. That way, your A-Game won’t necessarily have to yield you money in the beginning. Eventually , it will do that also, and of this there is no doubt in my mind, since complete engrossment into something will make you excel at that something. Treat the money as a bonus as it starts to come along. Focus on the monetary angle alone, forced perhaps by necessity, can make you lose sight of the enjoyment angle, or it can make you choose the more monetarily lucrative but less enjoyable activity. It all depends on your life-situation at that moment. 

Actually, come to think of it, whatever one does in life can be approached from a commercial angle only, blocking the enjoyment angle out totally. If your bread and butter depends upon it, I fully understand your choice, but if you’re already financially secure, then … go for growth, challenge, enjoyment… and money will follow too. 

Connection & Disconnection

Sizzling hot stuff is best kept at an arm’s length … … something I learnt along the path … …

You reach for it at a conducive time, do what you need to do, and then you let it be. This way it doesn’t burn you. 

When you’ve let it be, you’re not thinking about it. Your mind has switched off from it. It is utilising its resources to do other stuff … … till it’s time to work with your sizzling hot stuff again. 

Now replace sizzling hot stuff with Mrs. Market.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Mrs. Market can burn you. You need to work with it in a manner that it doesn’t. 

You’ve understood that whole deal about the establishment of an emergency fund. Such a fund will render any burns only temporary. You have to have an emergency fund going first up, before you enter Mrs. Market. The income generated from this fund needs to cater for the basic requirements of your core family. Period.

Ok, good, so now you’ve got your protective gear on. Till you’re getting it on, you are absolutely disconnected from Mrs. Market.

Now let’s talk constant connection and disconnection. 

Why allow something or someone to control your moods?

No!

You are absolutely not giving Mrs. M that much power. 

Therefore, play small. 

How small?

Small enough to not lose any sleep over Mrs. M. 

Play with stops. These allow you to disconnect from Mrs. M and focus on other work. Other work is as important as Mrs. M, or perhaps more important. Yeah, show Mrs. M her place in your life. This way she’ll behave herself. Giver her any more leeway, and she’ll take over your life, and you don’t want that, right?

So, connect to Mr. M, do your work, place your stops, and disconnect. 

Don’t think about Mrs. M till you connect to her again. 

The period in between connection and disconnection is your time. Use it for any activity that has nothing to do with Mrs. M.

Day in, day out.

 

 

Learning to be Blunt

Don’t like something? Is it causing you harm? Is someone bothering you? Is something draining your energy? Are you unhappy with a situation?

Get a grip. 

Get that something or someone out of your way. Now. Be blunt about it.

It pays to be blunt. I’m really learning this the hard way, but today I feel there is a lot of truth in this. 

I’ll tell you how I’ve benefited. 

All uselessly energy-depleting people and situations are now out of my life. With the surplus energy saved, I am able to create. 

Stonewalling is for bankers, private investigators, cops, crooks and what have you. 

Diplomacy is for diplomats. Let them do their jobs. 

I’ll do my job. I wish to conserve maximum energy for activities I enjoy and which are beneficial to my surroundings. To achieve this, I have learnt to be blunt. 

Who was my teacher?

Ever wondered?

I mean, do you ask such questions?

Do you use your imagination?

Do you grow?

Are you doing justice to your incarnation as a human?

Ok, enough provocation. Who was my teacher?

None other than…

… Mrs. Market.

I take my stops.

I’m blunt about taking small hits. Very, very often. 

So often that…I’m numb to their pain. 

This puts me in line for…

… fill in the blanks…

… big wins …

… provided …

… fill in the blanks …

… what, you thought this would be a spoon-feed… ? …

… well, … provided…

… provided I let my profits run. 

The Meaning of Comfort

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. 

 

Emotion in the Marketplace – Enemy or Ally?

Either or…

… choice is yours baby.

I’m not going to pretend we don’t have emotions.

We do.

We need to make these work for us.

Everyone feels exhilaration upon winning.

We’re down after a loss. 

Before you enter the marketplace again, dump all this somewhere …

… which, btw, is the most difficult thing in the world.

Didn’t anyone tell you that? What about your professor in financial college? Oh, I forgot, he or she never had his or her own money on the line, so he or she didn’t know this one. 

Arghhhhhhhhhhh@#$%^!

Don’t learn anything about finance from anyone who doesn’t have his or her own money on the line, and that too regularly on the line (((financial theory is worth mud unless it is realistic, applicable, and ultimately…profitable). 

So, what is this “line”? [More about “The Line” here – https://magicalbull.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/the-line/ ].

The line is an invisible connection between the vicissitudes of the marketplace and our emotional centres in the brain. 

The line gets activated once one is in a trade, or once one has initiated an investment. 

Once the line has been activated, we need to deal with its effects upon our systems. For optimal efficiency, we need to nullify the effects of the line on our systems. After that, we enter the marketplace again. 

So, acknowledge whatever emotion you are experiencing. Then deal with it. 

Dump the emotion of a loss in a safe place, to be nullified by a big future win. 

Dump the emotion of a big win in another safe place, lest it causes you to exit improperly and prematurely. 

How does one nullify this particular emotion? 

You see, your next activity in the marketplace can make you blow up, if there is any remnant hubris from a previous big win. 

You close your eyes, tell yourself that under no circumstances are you going to suffer the humiliation of blowing up, you centre, focus, you identify the next trade, and then you just take the next trade, as if nothing has happened. 

You have to work yourself around your own emotions. In the marketplace, emotions are your allies only if and when they are properly dealt with before the next market activity. 

Otherwise, they become your enemy. 

Loss can lead to depression and ultimate exit from the marketplace. One needs to understand and accept the concept of taking small losses. Why small? Why not small? You can define your loss. You can cut it when it’s small. Once one has understood and accepted the idea of taking small losses, these won’t bother you any more. That’s how you set yourself up to win big. Big wins, unless dealt with properly, lead to hubris, which can cause one to blow up permanently. We work ourselves around the negative potential of big wins through visualisation. 

Once you’ve sorted out the emotional angle…well, just take the next trade. Don’t wait. Just take it. 

Taking the Pan out of Panic

Panic – Pan = ic = i see = I SEE.

Times are unprecedented.

We’re breaking new lows of evil everyday.

Ours looks to be a hopeless nation.
Is it over for us?

Shall we pack up our bags and migrate?

Just take a deep breath. Bear with me for a moment. Try and cast your panic aside. Try and think clearly.

I’ll share with you an observation. Take any Indian. Doesn’t have to be an outperformer. Take an under-averagely performing Indian, for all I care. Weed him or her out of our pathetic system, and place him or her in a nation with good governance.

Lo and behold, our candidate will start performing. Not only that, soon, he or she will be outperforming. After a decade or so, he or she will probably have mastered the system and punctuated it with innovative short-cuts.

Get my point?

We are a resilient race. We might look fickle, frail and harmless superficially, but we can struggle, bear, survive, and finally break out. Just give us good governance.
Don’t panic. We’re not going down that easily.

What’s happening currently is a purge. Yeah, it’s a catharsis with a big C. While it continues, asset classes across the board will probably get hammered.

What does that mean for you?

Only one thing.

Stay in cash. Accumulate it. Learn to sit on cash. Sit on it as long as the purge lasts. Let its value depreciate, doesn’t matter. Park it safely with a conservative private bank. Fixed deposits would be the instruments of choice. Yeah, you don’t want to leave unattached cash lying around. Potentially, unattached cash could be susceptible to online fraud. Attach your cash, safely, and keep it before your eyes. Put some watch-dogs in place, as in sms and email alerts. Password-change attempt? You are immediately alerted. New payee added? You are immediately alerted. Watch-dogs bark.

As per my instinct, though we probably won’t go bankrupt as a nation, we might just go a long way down before the purge is over. After the purge, there will be tremendous bargains on offer, across the board, in all asset-classes. Cash will be king. Save your cash and sit on it – for that day.

Meanwhile, your wealth-manager will try to push you into panic purchases with your cash. As in, buying gold at 32k, and the USD at 65. Don’t listen. These are crazy levels. One doesn’t invest at crazy levels. These are not even normal trading levels. Yes, they are institutional trading levels. One does not invest at institutional trading levels.

It’s time to use your common-sense and maintain a cool head.

You can only do that by refusing to panic.