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?



 

 

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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.