Stocks and the Art of Synthesis

A lot comes together.

This coming-together is called synthesis.

The word synthesis has now become universal.

It is applied in various fields, including Chemistry, manufacturing and the like.

It is also applied in areas where deep thought boils down facts to unity, to arrive at a conclusion.

What all are we looking at, with stocks?

No action.

Action.

Time-frames.

Market-level.

Selection.

Entry.

Management.

Exit.

One can list other stuff, but this list should do too.

One needs to synthesize the ingredients in such a manner, that the resultant matches one’s risk-profile. [[Why? Matching means successful market-play. Try it out.]]

That, my dear friends, is the art of synthesis, in a nutshell.

 

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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.

Trigger Vigour

Can you pull a trigger?

Or do you hesitate?

Are you afraid?

This is vital stuff, and you need to recognize this about yourself.

Why?

We’ll go into the why some other time, but let if suffice for now to say that trigger dynamics are part of basic risk-profiling, and if one’s market movement is not as per one’s risk-profile, things generally go wrong.

Back to triggers.

Cast aside pulling, are you able to recognize a trigger?

What comes before recognition?

Definition.

Have you defined market triggers?

Everyone has a different definition of when to act.

You need to know when you are going to act.

No ifs, no buts, just clear-cut action.

Your system will tell you that it’s time for action.

You do a double-check.

Are you recognizing what your system is telling you?

Is what it’s telling you recognized by your mind as a time to act?

Yes?

Then act.

What is the action, you ask?

Hmmm.

Why are you asking that?

You have to define the action too.

Just like you defined the conditions for action, you also define what exactly the action is going to be.

When you act, you pull a trigger. The quantum and style of your action is your follow-through after the trigger is pulled.

Make it mechanical.

As much as possible.

Saturation

I don’t wish to add to my repertoire.

It has reached some kind of saturation. 

There’s no limit to how far I can go within my repertoire.

However, it is not comfortable with strategy addition. 

Fine. 

Did you just have this dialogue?

With yourself?

It’s good you did. 

While you start out in a field, you’re developing it. 

There needs to come a stage, in a while, where you have exactly identified, that you’re developing this, this and this further. Nothing else. 

Once you know what the exact game is, all your focus is required to take it to the nth level. What that n is going to be is up to you, again. 

Bottomline is, after a point, know your game. 

This is the game. 

This is what you are scaling up. 

That, that, that and that you are discarding, or have discarded. 

You need to reach this point within a reasonable time-frame. 

Then comes the next step. 

Pray, what might that be?

Automation. 

Before embarking upon scaling up, that what remains in your saturated repertoire – automate it. 

Staff. 

Technology. 

What have you.

Use any means for automation. 

Anything that’s legit, and which works. 

Use it. 

Standing instruction. 

Alarm. 

Alert.

Whatever. 

Automation is a huge blessing if used properly and after having tied up all the loose ends. 

If implemented in a hurry with sieve-like loopholes, it can even take you to the cleaner’s.

Implement automation in a justified and sure-shot fashion. 

Do you know what’s going to happen now?

You have created a situation, where scaling up means just punching in an additional 0 in the right corner, before the decimal point. 

Wow.

After a while, the complete field will be on auto. 

Why?

If you’re wise, you won’t scale up beyond your sweet-spot. 

Why?

Because obnoxious scales come with obnoxious problems.

What’s obnoxious?

Anything beyond your sweet-spot…

…is obnoxious. 

What is your sweet-spot?

That only you can discover. 

So what now is the exact status of the field?

Your repertoire in the field has reached complete saturation regarding strategy and scale. It is on full auto. It is adding to your well-being without you batting an eye-lid. 

Congratulations. 

However, where does that leave you?

Is that even a question?

There’s so much to do in the world. 

Discover a new field. 

Develop your new repertoire in this field. 

Take it to strategy saturation. Automate it. Scale it up. Take it to the sweet-spot. Wean off the scaling up. Move on. 

What a life it’s going to be for you!

The Next Step Rumination

This happens to me. 

Often.

Most of the time, I don’t know the answer. 

So, what is it that happens?

This question pops up : “What is the next step?”

When does it pop up?

When a preceding step has come to its logical conclusion. 

Step, by step, remember? That’s how you build your castle.

Ok, how do I react?

It’s a very normal question by now. 

It’s popped up thousands of times. 

I’ve gotten used to it. 

I think hard. 

Is something coming?

No?

I let it go and delve into some recreational activity. 

Am learning French nowadays, btw. Am blown over by the availability of learning materials. 

Is something coming?

Yes?

What is coming?

Does it sound logical?

Meaning, is it the next logical step?

I think hard. 

And again. 

Till I either discard the idea, or…

… till I take this new next and logical step. 

That is how the cookie crumbles. 

This happens to you too. 

If not, you are missing a trick. 

If so, have you recognised and acknowledged the phenomenon?

Do you have a response?

Yes?

Great.

No?

Perhaps my own response to the phenomenon can give you a hint or two.

Small Shoots to Big Trees

What do I see around myself?

Lots of small shoots. 

Wherever I look, there are small shoots. 

Does this make me happy?

You bet. 

Why?

Why not?

I mean, you don’t see any trees. 

So?

You’ve been at it for a while.

So?

All you’re seeing is shoots. Does that satisfy you? None of your efforts is a big tree in all this while.

That’s a very narrow-minded, greedy and fast-buck remark. 

Explain. 

For each of the shoots I see around me, twenty efforts have died their death. However, one shoot managed to entrench itself. This one shoot is firm, and goes very deep into the ground. It’s roots have become very strong. It is now ready for the world and has decided to show itself over the ground.  Over the next many, many years, with my meticulous nurturing, this very shoot shall grow up into a mammoth tree with unprecedented positive consequences.

I see. And, you’re saying that you see many such shoots around yourself?

Yes, many many.

Wow.

Yeah, i’ve been busy. I’ve tried and discarded many things. What remained didn’t want to leave me. It got planted and grew roots. Now that the shoots are growing, they are mostly on auto-pilot. Some need tending to once a day, some once a week.

Does that give you empty spaces in between?

Yes.

How do you fill these empty spaces?

I do, and I don’t.

Meaning?

Unless something new refuses to leave me, I don’t wish to plant another tree.

Why?

I’m happy enough tending to what I have.

So you’ve reached the…what’s that called?

Sweet spot?

Yes, you’ve reached the sweet spot. But nobody knows about you. You’re not famous or anything.

That’s why the spot is sweet.

Meaning?

Nobody disturbs my privacy. I can go where I choose. Do what I want. I don’t need to share my time with anyone if I don’t want to. There are no compulsions imposed upon me. 

Do you think you will be famous one day?

When these shoots grow into big trees, that might happen.

Do you want it to happen?

I want my trees to grow. Not sure today about fame. It kills personal life. I like my life and its pace.

Any regrets?

Sometimes, I get lonely. It’s the nature of the path. Despite family and a decent social life, loneliness is still there. Applied finance requires a lot of alone-time. 

How do you deal with that?

I start tending to a different shoot. Financial. Non-financial. Recreational. Creative. Gap gets bridged, and then the loneliness is gone. 

Fancy schmanzy or just plain Vanilla?

There’s expenditure and there’s expenditure.

Meaning?

Let’s say you start some work. It can be market-related, for all I care. What do you do first?

Prep.

How do you prep?

Studying up. As long as I can manage.

And then?

Courses, workshops, the deal.

Local?

Naehhh. I try to keep it national though.

International?

Haven’t required it till now for market work.

Ok. What happens next?

I hit the market concerned. Low-key at first. 

Why?

That’s when you make the most mistakes. That’s why. 

I see. Motive?

I want to learn from my mistakes and not repeat them.

Rather than from an instructor?

Of course. This is the market, remember. This is about you. Not about the instructor. This is about knowing your own shortcomings related to a particular market, and about adjusting and fine-tuning yourself to the market to trade it optimally. This is about fitting the market concerned in a tailor-made fashion into your own life without disrupting your own life. 

Wow! Well, then, congratulations. You’re a prime candidate for doing it the plain vanilla way. 

Is there any other way to do it?

Oh, there’s the fancy schmanzy one. 

Kindly describe it. 

Well, it mostly entails unnecessary expenditure along with necessary expenditure. There’s more unnecessary expenditure though. 

I see. 

One is normally too lazy to study up. Or, one doesn’t have the get-go in oneself to approach the subject on one’s own. 

Sure, can happen. 

One flips from instructor to instructor in search of the holy grail. Expensive software, international trips, five-star hotels, the whole shebang. In the end one has spent a bomb. To end up trading the instructor’s perspective. Finally realising that the markets are about oneself, and unless one is trading one’s own perspective, one is sure to lose. Or not realising this (!) and continuing to flip instructors and instructions. Finally burning out and giving up on the markets. 

Sad though. All necessary software is available free of cost on the internet. One can do inexpensive internet courses to widen one’s horizon. These can involve one-on-one instruction too. Video-conferencing. File sharing. Threads. Assessments. The works. Live-market training. You name it. All travelling and extra expenses cut out. Few hundred dollars for the whole course. 

I already acknowledged your plain vanilla acumen. I’m just trying to tell you that most others prefer the fancy schmanzy way. 

I prefer to stay in the market and not burn out. I’m in the market to make a steady income. 

Well, that you will, my dear friend. The plain vanilla way doesn’t promise any hype, but it does promise income.