You Might Think I’m Crazy

you might think i’m crazy

to hang around with you

maybe you think i’m lucky

to have something to do

you might think it’s foolish

or maybe it’s untrue

you might think i’m crazy

but all i want is you

The Cars

Some years ago, we went to see “Cars 2” with my daughter and her cousins. Yawn, I thought. Animation movie, blah blah blah, but anything for the kids, when suddenly, above song started playing and took me back to school. How appropriate, a song by the Cars in a movie called Cars. Actually ended up enjoying the movie.

Anyways, something about the lyrics caught my attention.

What do you read in this space?

Words, words, words.

No graphs. No images. No math. No numbers, really. 

And this blog is supposed to be what? A commentary on applied finance?

So am I crazy?

Maybe, …

… but, this is exactly how I want to do it. 

No hocus-pocus. 

Here, we break it down to the bare minimum. 

Words. 

We talk. 

It’s all very light. 

You read through in a jiff. 

There’s a powerful flow which you might not even be aware of. 

And, as the lyrics say, all I want is you.

Yes, I want your attention, and I want to keep it riveted. 

How am I to achieve that in an age of very short attention spans?

We keep it simple. Bare minimum stuff, wrapped in enjoyable words. Stories. Analogies. Parallels. Bridges. As seemingly non-finance as possible, but still not missing the point.

Sure, I still could be crazy.

What do I hope to achieve?

So much time involved.

All this for free.

Yeah, I really must be delirious.

Stop. 

It’s deep. 

I enjoy writing. 

It relaxes me. 

My thoughts get organized. Concepts get strengthened. I focus. Many mistakes in my approach get nullified. I don’t want more from this. 

Also, it’s my giveback. I use a lot of free stuff from the net. I give this for free. It’s all a give and take. 

So, just bear with me. 

Read if you want to, it’ll make me happy. 

It is definitely a different way to learn about finance, with all the jugglery left out. 

Well, why not?



 

 

Less is More

Fill your plate.

Work.

Go all out.

Nobody’s asking you to work less.

Research.

Hit it with your best shot.

Do quality work.

Work with the best tools.

Enjoy your work…

…so much so, that time ceases to exist.

Yeah, that means you’ve found your calling.

However, connect less to live Mrs. Market.

Here, less is more.

Keep her away as much as possible when she’s live.

Only connect live when you really, really have to.

What are you achieving?

Minimal bogging down live market forces.

You’re away from the pandemonium, the confusion.

You’ve set your self up brilliantly, to think clearly.

Now, gather your thoughts, gather your research.

You get into the Zone.

You have a purpose.

It can be anything. A market instruction. An instrument alteration. A structural change. A query. A test. A probe. A check. Something small. Something big.

With your purpose right before your eyes, connect live.

Solve your purpose.

Disconnect.

Relax.

Let remnant market forces leave you, yeah, let them dissipate.

Do some other stuff for a while.

Then, when you’re ready, get back to your research.

If you’re not ready after a while, call it a day.

Go for a swim. Or something.

All I Need – Is One Look In Your Eyes…

All I need is the rhythm divine
Lost in the music
Your heart will be mine
All I need is to look in your eyes
Viva la musica
Say you’ll be mine


With due respect to Enrique Iglesias, to whom the above lyrics belong, he’s not the only one. 

We all need motivation. 

Many of us are self-motivated. 

What drives us from within?

A goal.

Sometimes, we stolper. Our drive takes a hit. Self-motivation dips. 

Reasons could be many. Sheer exhaustion, repeated failure, being a square box in a round hole for far too long, what have you and blah blah blah. 

We’re not bothered about the reason here. We’re bothered about the fact. Sometimes, we get demotivated. We stop performing. 

Who needs to step in here?

Our closest ones.

Yeah, they live closest to us, and if they possess an iota of sensitivity, well, they should sense our emotional graph going down. 

Mostly, they do. And, upon recognition, they step in. We feel wanted, loved, and our motivational levels start to go up again. 

Sometimes, our closest one is not sensitive enough, for whatever reason.

Maybe we’re too “strong” to let it show. Maybe our closest one has other, bigger issues to deal with. Whatever. That’s not the important rumination.

What’s the important question here?

Yes, how do we get it back? Without a hand to hold. This one’s big. 

No hand to hold – whoahh – it’s tough. 

Is there a way out?

Do we change our closest one?

Is it that simple?

Sometimes, children are in the equation. Changing isn’t an option we’re discussing here. 

Firstly, we need to shut down on this one want from our closest one. 

Ok, now what?

Motivations’s got to come – from within. It’s a funny thing. It just does. Wait for it. To come from within. 

It needs a catalyst – an event – a trigger – the crossing of an activation barrier – something like that. 

Wait for the catalyst to occur and have effect. 

What do you do meanwhile?

Other things. 

Chant. Meditate. Travel. Play with your child. Take up a temporary assignment elsewhere. Do stuff. Life’s big. So many things are happening. Do something – else.

The catalyst occurs. 

Motivation starts to ooze. 

You’re back in business. 

You didn’t break your sacred environment. 

Maybe your closest one will realise, and will be sensitive next time.

On the other hand, maybe he or she won’t. 

Does it bother you now? You’ve discovered a way out after all.

It probably pinches just a bit. 

Let it. Things could have been much, much worse, which they’re not, so count your blessings, and just let it flow. 

🙂

Loneliness of the Successful Investor

Walked alone?

No?

Please try.

Success needs original ideas. Original ideas need solitude.

Successful investors walk alone.

Sometimes, they’re lonely.

Investing is more about sitting than action.

Sitting around inactively breeds loneliness.

The antidote is activity – other activity. Not market-related.

Successful investors do other stuff to tackle this loneliness.

Buffett plays poker.

Branson is breaking into some virgin territory or the other.

Gates is busy souping up his home.

Trump blares his trumpet on a TV show.

Jindal plays polo.

Mallya’s sole focus has been other stuff, so much so, that he’s become unsuccessful.

Mahindra loves to tweet.

Tata walks his dog.

Sachin watches Wimbledon live.

Mr. Bean is seen on the F1 circuit.

You get the gist.

These people follow one or more “other” activity / activities so passionately, that they forget about their main activity for a while.

Their system recuperates. Time is bridged to the next instance of main-frame action. While traversing this bridge, body, mind and soul have recuperated. System is fresh, ready and waiting for new action.

When you’re walking alone next time, you’ll be able to deal easily with any loneliness on the path.

One might make moderate returns, investing with the masses.

To outperform, though, one needs to walk alone.

The successful investor realizes that he can’t get out of this one.

Therefore, the successful investor creates a way to still come out winning.

This is human capital at peak performance!

Dealing with “Situation Change”

When does a situation change?

For example, one could move on to a new field in finance.

Or, a particular goal could have been achieved. Now, one’s approach is supposed to incorporate predefined changes for financial strategy post goal-accomplishment.

Family dynamics could be responsible for situation changes too.

Sure, health. Never underestimate the power of health. It can make you, and it can break you.

Emotion. Fell in love? Going crazy? Outbursts? Hot flashes? Preggers?

Logistics? Moving? New girl-friend in New York?

Night duty?

Looking after your parents in their old age?

Wife wants to party all the time? Lack of sleep?

Promotion? Demotion? Fired? Jobless? Suddenly self-employed?

Gone single? Date-circuit? Got married? Had a kid?

Situation changes come to all. Not once, but many times in life.

Why are we talking about them?

They have an effect on our financial strategy. That’s suffices.

I’ll tell you how I deal with situation change. You can then BODMAS your way to your own approach, using my approach as a broad outline.

My first approach is to put on auto-pilot as many of my financial activity as possible. Going paper-less helps. Trusted auto-bill-pay channels are assets. Fixed-income generators with auto annual-alerts give financial security with zero involvement. SIPs and dividend pay-ins are further examples of having gone auto.

Then I look at what is left. What has not yet gone on auto-pilot? Can it? Ever? If there’s a chance, I go for it. For example, I’m currently developing a software robot to automate my forex trading.

Lastly, I size up what is not pushable into auto-mode. Do I want to keep it? Can I do without it? Weigh, weigh, weigh, scrap A, scrap B, C is something I just have to do, manually, period, so keep C. Eventually, C, G, P, X and Z are five manual financial activities I keep, having scrapped the others (that refused to go on auto) out of my life, since I didn’t consider them burningly essential. C, G, P, X and Z are the ones that’ll weigh me down when my situation changes. I’ve kept them on doable levels. Some are on semi-auto but do require manual intervention. The others are fully manual.

My situation changes.

My auto-pilot activities continue their smooth run. They are my assets, my stars.

P, X and Z are on semi-auto. I barely gather the energy to look into their manual aspects, just about managing to keep them going with reasonable results.

C and G are bogging me down. Can’t keep up. No energy. No motivation. Situation change has drained me. Relentlessly, I try. C has turned a loser. Beginning to feel sick. I shut down C. Losses.

G is sucking me out. Emotionally. It’s a winner, though. Can’t keep up. Can I turn it into semi-auto? It required constant monitoring till it started winning big. I’ll still need to feed in my stop daily. That’s the manual part. I stop looking at G. Problem with equity orders is that your stop has little technical value overnight. A new day requires renewed stop-considerations. Ok, five minutes daily for G. Open terminal, set trigger-stop 9.99% below opening price, close terminal, don’t look left or right, done.

Phew.

Save health. Don’t fall sick.

If sick, rest.

Recuperate.

Regain health.

Get used to new situation.

Normalize.

Gear up for next situation change, whatever it is, whenever it comes.

Gear up now.

Happy Third Birthday, Magic Bull!

Hey,

We turn three.

You know it, and I know it…

… that this year’s been a slow going.

Sometimes, life is slow.

Such junctures are great times to recuperate and consolidate.

Inaction is big in the markets.

Very few know how to be inactive – and stay sane.

Those who do – well – they make big bucks when it’s time for action.

That’s only if they haven’t gotten rusty and lazy by then.

Yeah, inaction is an art.

In the markets, it is at least equal in importance to – action.

So, for the most part of the year that’s gone by, my market activity’s been practically zilch.

It’s not that I’ve been sitting and twiddling my thumbs. No! For heaven’s sake! Of course I’ve been doing other stuff.

Inaction in the markets must be coupled with action elsewhere, if one plans to stay sane, that is.

Also, inaction in the markets leads to preservation of capital. That, what you made during active times, remains safe, pickled and intact.

Then, when there’s opportunity, you’ve got your whole arsenal to cash in with.

While changing gears, don’t jump out of your seat with your saliva drooling, though.

Have some rules in place for opportunistic action.

I have some basic rules for myself at such junctures. I don’t put more than 10% of my networth on the line, while pursuing an idea. This rule applies for me while changing gears too, more than ever. Also, I don’t pursue more than two ideas at any given point of time. Most of the time, I’m not pursuing any idea, till an idea appears, refuses to break down, and just sticks.

Safe.

Simple.

Comfortable.

Ideal circumstances…

… to hit the sweet-spot…

… when it’s time for action.

Wishing you happiness, safety and profits in whatever market activity you pursue,

Yours sincerely, and just there for you, period,

Magic Bull.

The Art of Emotional Recycling

Taken a hit?

If yes, at least admit it… to yourself and for your own sake.

People take hits at various times in their lives.
That’s the way of the market.

That’s how it teaches us to make money next time.

Think of your loss as tuition fees.

In my opinion, the best way forward is to take lots of small hits in the first seven years.

Then, in nine cases out of ten, you won’t fall for the big ones.

Big hits can decapacitate a player, especially when they come late, since there is no time for full recovery. Besides, emotional breakdown at a late stage is very difficult to get out of.

Make it a point never to take a big hit.

That’s only possible, if at any given time, the capital that is risked is within reasonable limits.

Let’s say you risk not more than 1% of your networth at any given time. What’s the maximum hit you will take at one time? Right, 1%.

That’s bearable.

That’s something you can shake yourself out of, and move on.

Moving on is a huge quality to possess in the markets.

Taken a hit?

Move on and make your next trade.

All this while, you are putting any remnant emotional hurt in cold storage.

Yeah, there’s a certain portion of emotional hurt that won’t be nullified by family time, vacations, hobbies etc. We’re talking about the hurt to your ego. Only a big win will wash that away. Only then is your emotional recycling complete.

Put yourself in line for that win.

After a hit, rest, recuperate, grab your wits, focus, and…

… put on the next trade.

Is Your Money Comfortable?

Everyone likes being comfortable.

So does your money.

Can you function optimally under tension?

Well, neither can your money.

So… make it comfortable. Allow it to breathe.

Money is a concept, a force.

Soon, it’ll find its flow. Till it does, yes, you’ve allowed it to breathe.

What does all this mean?

What are we talking about?

Don’t worry, I’m not getting metaphysical on you…, yet.

Simple – no confinement, no locking, just parking, no further expectations – that’s when your hard-earned life-savings breathe freely.

Yeah, you park them, where you can see them.

If, then, a daily dividend emerges, well, that’s a bonus. Try and make sure that the avenue you’ve used for parking doesn’t reduce your corpus on a daily basis, even slightly. You are more than happy with a miniscule daily dividend, which, of course, is auto-reinvested into the same avenue.

Now, both entities are breathing freely – you and your corpus.

You can take a break.

Reassuring is the fact that your resting corpus is visible to you on your mobile.

You do take that break.

At times you think – freely.

You enjoy life for a bit.

Slowly a thought process emerges.

Where will your money go next?

Where does it want to go?

What’s the most lucrative path for it to flow upon?

You listen to the universe.

The answer floats in the universe.

It is your answer – the resultant vector of your struggle and learning.

For it to flow into your mind, your per saldo vibration must match the exact vibration of that part of the universe, where your answer lies.

If there’s a mismatch, then perhaps you need to struggle a bit more, till your vibration gets even finer and there’s a match.

The solution flows into you.

It’s like an energy bomb, that slowly explodes inside of you, and as the emitted energy starts to seep into every cell of your body, your new system simultaneously starts to dawn upon you.

You are now ready to move your funds to a more permanent and lucrative location. Speed of movement is defined by your new system. So are time, mode, avenue, repetitiveness and tenure.

Meanwhile, your funds have remained intact. That’s a very big thing. Very few human beings know how to keep their funds intact. If you know it, you already know a lot.

Soon, your new system takes over. More than half the battle’s won already.

All the best, wish you well, and if I did get metaphysical on you, it was only to get the point across.

Maybe you actually even liked the meta-bits, so let’s call it even stevens.

Can Anyone Match Our Financial Sentinels?

It was the aftermath of ’08.

There was blood everywhere.

In my desperation to get a grip on things, I was about to make yet another blunder.

The Zurich International Life pitch had found its way into my office through a leading private bank.

The pitch was fantastic.

I got sucked in.

Access to more than 150 mutual funds world wide…

No switching fee…

Switch as many times as you want…

Joining bonus…

Premium holiday after 18 months…

I quickly signed the documents.

What remained cloudy during the pitch was the 10-year lock-in.

Also, nobody mentioned that the exit penalty was exorbitant. I mean, as I later found out, the level of the exit penalty would make Shylock look like JP Morgan.

In the pitch, I found myself hearing that one could exit after 18 months upon payment of 9% interest p.a. on the joining bonus.

Nobody mentioned the full management fees, which I later calculated to be a staggering approximate of 7.75% per annum for myself, since I had opted for a premium holiday as soon as I could.

I mean, when about 7.75% was being deducted from your corpus each year, what in the world was the corpus going to generate? I found myself asking this question after four years of being trapped in the scheme.

I had soon realized that the pitchers had lied in the pitch. In the fine-print, there was no such clause saying that one could exit after 18 months upon payment of 9% interest p.a. on the joining bonus. If I escalated the matter, at least three people would lose their jobs. Naehhh, that was not my style. I let it go.

When I would look at interim statements, the level of deductions each time made me suspect that there were switching fees after all. I could never really attribute the deductions to actual switches, though, because the statements would straight-away show the number of mutual fund units deducted as overall management fees. If there were switching fees, they were getting hidden under the rug of management fees. Since the level of overall fees was disturbing me totally, I had this big and nagging suspicion that they were deducting something substantial for the switches, and were not showing this deduction openly in their statements.

When I compared all this to how Unit-Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) were handled in my own country, I was amazed at the difference.

In India, customer was king.

The customer had full access to the investment platform, and could switch at will from his or her own remote computer. Zurich did not allow me such direct access.

The expense-ratio in India was a paltry 1.5% – 2.0% per annum. Compare this to the huge annual deductions made in the case of my Zurich International Life policy.

Lock-ins in India were much lesser, typically three odd years or so.

Some ULIPs in India allowed redemptions during lock-ins, coupled with penalties, while others didn’t. Penalties were bearable, and typically in the 2 – 5 % (of corpus) range. Those ULIPs that did allow such redemptions only did so towards the latter part  of the lock-in, though. Nevertheless, lock-in periods were not long when compared to ten whole years, during which the whole world can change.

The debt-market funds paid out substantially larger percentages as interest in India when compared to the debt-market funds encompassed by Zurich International Life.

In India, deductions from ULIP premiums in the first few years (which were getting lesser and lesser each year due to legislature-revision by the authorities) were off-set by absence of short-term capital gains tax and entry/exit equity commissions upon excessive switching. This meant, that in India, short-term traders could use the ULIP avenue to trade without paying taxes or commissions. Whoahh, what a loop-hole! [I’m sure the authorities would have covered this loop-hole up by now, because this research was done a few years ago.]

ULIPs in India allowed at least 4 switches per annum that were totally free of cost. After that, switches would be charged at a very nominal flat rate of typically about the value of 2-9 USD per switch, which, frankly, is peanuts. I was suspecting that the Zurich fellows were knocking off upto 1% of the corpus per switch, but as I said, I didn’t see the math on paper. Even if I was wrong, their yearly deductions were too large to be ignored. Also, was I making a mistake in furthermore deducing that Zurich was deducting another 1% from the corpus each time the corpus changed its currency? I mean, there was no doubt in my mind that the Indian ULIP industry was winning hands-down as far as transparency was concerned.

In India, people in ULIP company-offices were accessible. You got a hearing. Yeah. Zurich International Life, on the other hand, was registered in the Isle of Man. Alone the time difference put an extra day (effectively) between your query and action. Anyways, all action enjoyed a T+2 or a T+3 at Zurich’s end, and the extra day made it a T+4 if you were unlucky (Indian ULIPs moved @ T+0, fyi & btw). Apart from the T+x, one could only access officials at Zurich through the concerned private bank, and as luck would have it, ownership at this private bank changed. The new owners were not really interested in pursuing dead third-party investments made by their predecessors, and thus, reaching Zurich could have become a huge problem for me, were it not for my new relationship manager at this private bank, who was humanitarian, friendly and a much needed blessing.

By now, I had decided to take a hit and exit. It would, however, be another story to get officials at Zurich to cooperate and see the redemption through. On her own level, and through her personal efforts, my diligent relationship manager helped me redeem my funds from Zurich International Life.  I am really thankful to her. Due to her help, my request for redemption was not allowed to be ignored / put-off till a day would dawn where really bad exit NAVs would apply. Zurich did have the last laugh, knocking off a whopping 30 odd percent off my corpus as exit penalty (Arghhh / Grrrrr)! Since I had managed to stay afloat at break-even despite all deductions made in the four years I was invested, I came out of the investment 30% in the hole. The moment it returned, the remaining 70% was quickly shifted to safe instruments yielding 10%+ per annum. In a few years, my corpus would recover. In less than 4 years, I would recover everything. In another two, I would make up a bit for inflation. Actually, the main thing I was gaining was 6 remaining years of no further tension because of my Zurich International Life policy. This would allow me to approach the rest of my portfolio tension-free.

The Zurich International Life policy had been the only thorn in my portfolio – it was my only investment that was disturbing me.

I had taken a hit, but I had extracted and destroyed the thorn.

It was a win for the rest of my portolio, i.e. for 90%+ of my total funds. Tension-free and full attention heightens the probability of portfolio prosperity.

Yeah, sometimes a win comes disguised as a loss.

When I look back, I admire the Indian financial authorities, who ensure that the Indian retail customer is treated like a king.

Retail customers in other parts of the world receive very ordinary treatment in comparison.

I know this from first-hand experience.

I don’t plan to invest overseas as long as our financial authorities continue to push such discipline into our financial industry.

I don’t often praise too much in India, but where it is due, praise must emanate from the mouth of a beneficiary. We are where we are because of our fantastic financial sentinels!

Three cheers for the Securities and Exchange Board of India, for the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, and, of course, three cheers and a big hurray for the Reserve Bank of India.

Survival Basics – Building a Baseline

Who are you?

Do you really know that?

What’s your core reaction to stuff, let’s say market stuff?

How do you react to a crisis? Do you freak out? How much do you plan to avoid a crisis? How do you feel after hitting a home run? Do you get over-confident and start doing irresponsible things?

What happens to you when the scenario is dull? Do you get depressed? Can you take it?

If you’ve dealt with these and more of such questions, well, bully for you, because you’ve already gone about building your market baseline. And that’s a really proper / solid approach to Mrs. Market.

A baseline is a basic point of reference. It tells you how you normally react to a particular situation. It also lists the emotions you went through, and the consequences you had to suffer owing to your actions. As experience piles up, the number of situations you can refer for also increases.

So, let’s say something unusual happens in the markets. Hmmm, let’s say Greece officially goes bankrupt, and let’s say that you are net-net long, and have been caught unawares. What do you do with your positions? With all the mayhem around you, right, what do you do?

Basics of survival in the markets – in a crisis, refer to your baseline.

Your baseline takes you back to the Lehman default. You remember being net-net long, being caught unawares. You remember ignoring your stops, waiting for a rally. Futures wiped out your principal, didn’t they, because you answered margin calls and waited? You remember the long period of depression after that. Worth it? Naehhh.

So, after referring to your baseline, you don’t ignore your stops. Taking the immediate loss, you bail out of your positions. A large portion of your principal is still intact, living to fight another day.

What about euphoria? How do you deal with euphoria? A position turns into a winner, and you are sitting on a 25% profit in a few days. You are feeling really kicked, and are walking with a swagger. What do you do next?

Basics of prosperity in the markets – at the onset of euphoria, refer to your baseline.

Your baseline tells you, that your behaviour during your last big-winning trade was far from exemplary. In your euphoric state of mind, you were already imagining all the things you would buy with your notional profits. Then, you panicked at the thought of losing any of those notional profits, and you squared-off the trade, taking those profits home, only to see the scrip soar another 80%.

Right! You snap out of your euphoria because of your baseline memory. Then, you install a trigger-stop 8% below the scrip’s current market price. Good. In an effort to capture even more profits, you have put a small part of your existing profits at stake. That’s exemplary behaviour, because now there’s a good chance of capturing a part of the scrip’s further rise.

And boredom? What do you do when Mrs. Market bores you? As in, stops being hit both ways, going nowhere, no market strategy yielding profits? Happens, sometimes for many months in a row.

Basics of maturity in the markets – when Mrs. Market goes nowhere, refer to your baseline.

Oh how you wished you hadn’t ruined that family holiday, right, by continuing to take pot-shots at Mrs. Market the last time she went nowhere. That’s what your baseline is saying.

You switch off, go on another (this time enjoyable) family holiday, and come back refreshed to see that Mrs. Market is now trending, ready to take you for a drive in one set direction.

There’s no limit to baseline referrals.

Systematic players build a baseline, and keep referring to it.

Later, we remember them as successful players.

A Matter of Pride

Eurozone this, Eurozone that…

Man, it’s getting irritating.

Can we, for one moment, imagine a world without the Euro? Yes. Why is it so difficult? What would the cost of that scenario be?

Deleveraging, people, that will be required. All of those nations that leveraged themselves into quasi financial extinction will need to deleverage massively, once the Euro is discontinued, for as long as it takes to pay off their debts.

What does deleveraging mean? It means not using leverage for as long as it takes. It means paying off one’s debts by working overtime and saving.

Do you think the Italians or the Greeks et al. are liking such suggestions. Of course not. That’s the thing with debt. If you can’t pay it off, you’re in deep sh*t. Nobody thinks of that while taking on debt.

When the Eurozone was formed, sovereign debt of financially weaker countries was sold worldwide using the Eurozone tag. As in “C’mon, it’s all Eurozone now, and these Greek bonds give a premium return as compared to German ones!” Ingenious way to market junk bonds. Meanwhile, citizens of these financially weaker Eurozone countries borrowed left, right and centre to build houses and to consume. As 2008 approached, many lost the earning power to pay back their monthly installments. Now, as more and more of this debt matures, these financially weaker Eurozone countries need to conjure up billions of Euros they do not have.

You’ve got to hand it to the marketeers. Pure genius. They always get you, don’t they.

The reason things are not really working is the looming idea of uncalled for hard work that the process of deleveraging requires. Even if one wants to put in hard work, where does one put it in, if there’s no work.

Thus, the only option remaining involves massive cutbacks, like you’re seeing in Greece just now. Consumer spending down to zero. Pension cuts. Medicare cuts. All-round cuts. To one level above slowdown, till the deleveraging process is over. Scenario will take long to smoothen.

After enjoying a penthouse suite, a 1-BHK feels pathetic.

Eurozone wants to remain alive financially, but are they willing to pay the harsh price?

What you’ve been seeing since this crisis exploded is infinite artificial maneuvering. This might stall the situation. The goal is to stall long enough so that the deleveraging process is over before the stalling process can be weaned off. And that’s a fatal error. Nobody understands deleveraging properly, because the world has never done it properly before, at least in modern financial times. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Deleveraging is going to take longer than all the stalling moves put together. That is my opinion. Stalling results in a false sense of security because of all the maneuvering to show that the economy is doing well. Owing to this false sense of security, people continue to consume. Instead of deleveraging, people leverage. Instead of decreasing, debt increases.

What’s the deal here? You see, pride and egos are at stake. Eurozone doesn’t want to become the laughing stock of the world, the focus of all jokes. Thus, for the sake of their pride, and to fan their egos, European leaders feel the need to keep the Euro alive, even if it costs them their elections, and their financial survival.

Burn-Out Notice

Information overload.

Short circuit in the brain.

Black-out.

You want to move your left hand, but the right one reacts.

Your body needs re-wiring, and rest.

This set of circumstances comes with the territory of trading. Often.

Imagine plugging into the complex matrix of erratic market play. That’s what happens when your trade gets triggered. Your poor nervous-system then deals with a lot of load, which doesn’t recede till well after the trade. Joy at profits, sorrow at losses, life is one big emotional pendulum. And this is just one trade. A sluggish trader might take one trade a week. The over-active one could trade many times in a single day.

What are we dealing with here?

Basically, the writing on the wall is quite clear. If you’re not able to regularly offset the damage to your system due to trading, you’re looking at early burn-out. As in, very early burn-out.

Your method of recuperation needs to bring your system back to its base-line, and then some. Your recuperation savings account needs to be in the black, as much as possible. That’ll ensure longevity in the trading arena.

What happens if you are drained, and the next trading opportunity comes? For me, the answer is crystal clear. Don’t take the trade. Rest. Recuperate. You would have played it wrong anyway. You were drained even before the trade, remember?

Sometimes, periods of recuperation can be long. At these times you need to stop comparing yourselves to other traders who find unlimited energy to keep trading, from God knows where. You are you. They are they. Who gave you the right to compare? Why are you judging others playing to a different plan with different energy and time-set parameters. If you really want to judge, then judge yourself. That’s it.

So, if a prolonged recuperative time-frame announces itself, respect it.

Your system will last longer in the game.

Trading is about sticking to the ground-rules, and then lasting. Your market-edge plays out only over a large number of trades taken over a long time-frame. Over the long run, your market-edge makes you show winning numbers, because the sample-size is big enough, and the time-frame under consideration is sufficient for many big-hitter trades to occur. Your big-hitter trades give a tremendous impetus to your numbers.

Even the best of edges can show a loss over a small sample-size (i.e. number of total trades taken in one’s trading career). It’s statistically very possible to suffer ten losses in a row, for example. You can call a coin-flip wrong ten times in a row. Possible. And that’s a 50:50 shot per flip. Your market-edge gives you a 60:40 shot, or maybe even a 70:30 shot. Still not good enough to not suffer a losing streak.

Winning streaks occur with time, and with supportive sample-sizes. Because of your edge, the winning streaks outnumber the losing streaks.

In the world of trading, if you want to win, you need to last.