Steps are the New Currency

Walking walking walking…

… steps.

We’re logging them.

We’re thinking more about them than dollars, pounds, euros or rupees.

How many steps’ve you done today?

And who’s we?

We’s a collective. People who’ve gotten financial basics sorted, but perhaps not health basics. However these people have realized that. Smart.

Why smart?

Simple.

To enjoy one’s financial basics, one’s health basics need to be in place.

Place health before wealth, and you enjoy your wealth.

No health, but wealth, well, then you don’t enjoy your wealth.

We’re also in it for quality of life, right?

Therefore, yeah, treat steps as a very valid currency that gives you the ticket to enjoy other physical currencies and their benefits.

Logged 10k for the day yet? Or 15k?

Yeah? Super.

No? Why not? What are you waiting for? Step up, buddy!

Shooting Straight, Shooting Right – Finding One’s Structures.

What are the right shots?

Who calls them?

Who doesn’t call them?

How many wrong shots? Before a right shot?

Why this discussion?

Yeah, I ask a lot of questions. I’ve become oblivious to the pain connected to the world finding out my exact level of silliness.

Yeah, I don’t keep my silliness under wraps. I’M NOT EMBARRASSED ABOUT MY SILLINESS. If you are, about yours, you are doing something grossly… WRONG. You are going to have huge problems finding what works for you. Reason – you’re not getting it out of your system – oh it’s so embarrassing, oh it looks so silly, oh it’s awkward…well stay where you are then, NOBODY is sorry for you. 

I’m silly, them a little more, then maximum, till I’m not silly anymore, for a while. That’s when right shots happen.

What are we talking about?

Life is about taking pot-shots at something or the other. Yeah, ultimately, it boils down to that. You take a shot – at something. If you don’t, you are just left twiddling your thumbs, and life passes you by. 

Once, me and my brother were fighting. We were kids. My grandfather heard the commotion, and stopped us. He just had one thing to say – and he said so much with that one sentence. He said that 100 years – they just pass you by in a flash. So stop fighting. Try and enjoy your togetherness. Whoaahhhh!!!

We’re not going to let life pass us by just like that. We’re going to first call the right shots, and then take them. 

Right shots don’t just happen. 

Before something fits, many things don’t. 

You just have to keep on taking shots. 

Forget about disappointment, embarrassment, awkwardness, silliness, what have you. 

Keep on taking…shots. 

On and on. 

Something will fit. 

Wait for it. 

It feels right. 

Build up on it. Copiously. 

You’ve been groping in the dark, and have found something that works for you. Don’t let it go. Build on it. Till you can’t anymore. Let the structure stand. Let the structure be there for you, forever. 

Then, look for your next structure.

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. 🙂

Who’s the Driver?

Are you an artist?

If you are, you’ll already perhaps know who the driver is. 

Or, maybe, you’re in the process of finding out. 

Ultimately, whatever you’re doing can become an art. 

What drives you?

Are you understanding what I’m trying to ask?

What pushes you on, with the art? What makes you want to create… more? What makes you want your art to be more… bombastic? Powerful? Impactful? Meaningful? Lucrative perhaps? What?

Is it mere ambition?

Naehhhhh, mere ambition is not enough. 

There has to be some kind of… pain. 

You have to ache somewhere, to let it out elsewhere. 

Pain drives. 

It can drive you beyond… itself. 

That’s the thing with pain. 

Slowly, you get used to pain, quantum by quantum. Your system doesn’t feel that particular quantum anymore. It’s feeling the surplus, though. How’re you bearing the surplus? By hanging on to your art. Your art takes you away from the surplus pain that you would have felt. You channelize the force of surplus pain into your art. Your art shines. On the side, you don’t feel a lot of pain anymore. 

It’s really important to understand where there will be learning, and where there probably won’t be. 

I’m not saying non-learning areas are to be avoided. They’re comfortable areas. Nobody likes to avoid comfortable areas. Sure. Nor do I. I’m just saying that comfy areas won’t really be enhancing your learning process. Let’s just be clear about it. If you have any art to express, any kind of art, full expression probably won’t come through if you entrench yourself in a comfort-zone. 

Know what I mean?

Yeah?

Good. 

You don’t need to ask who the driver is. You’ve worked with the driver. 

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!

How to Swallow Small Losses…

… as if nothing has happened … is one of my biggest trading goals.

You see, our society teaches us not to lose. 

It doesn’t teach us that we can lose a bit 5 times, and after that we can win big, recovering all our losses and making money overall.

No. 

It teaches us to try and win all the time. 

That’s the exact reason 90%+ of all society members actually lose in the markets. They’ve not learnt how to lose small, move on, and take the next trade.

Mrs. Market won’t budge an inch for you. You’ll have to make the adjustment. 

So how does one take a loss in one’s stride?

Only one type of loss is immediately digestible – a small one. Therefore, define your risk in the market. Cut and scoot when required. Don’t get married to your trade.

Then, once the small loss has happened, and has been taken, it will nag you. 

It’ll be there, trying to bite your brain in the background. 

Focus on your next trade. 

Identification – Implementation – Entry – Management – Exit – Next Trade Identification – Implementation – Entry – Management – Exit – Next Trade Identification – Implementation – Entry – Management – Exit – … … [what’s the difference between implementation and entry? Well, you could be implementing the trade through a trigger, which is not equivalent to entry yet].

Don’t let the nagging bother you by keeping yourself busy with Identification – Implementation – Entry – Management – Exit – Next Trade Identification – Implementation – Entry – Management – Exit – Next Trade Identification – Implementation – Entry – Management – Exit – … … 

Ultimately the nagging will die out, as your mind starts to revolve around your current trades. 

If you give in to the nagging, it will grow, and will slow you down. You might snap at a family member. You might go into depression. You might freeze. DON’T. Don’t give in to the nagging. Don’t let it grow. Don’t let it slow you down. Maintain your family equilibrium at all costs. Move on. 

The nagging is worst if there’s been a close below your stop, and the market is to open the next day, or after the weekend. You have to deal with this one. If you’re not able to deal with this particular situation, you’ll either need to expose your mental stop prematurely and feed it in intraday (before there’s been a close under it), or you’ll need to follow the progress of your trade from half an hour before next market open onwards.

Yes, this last one’s tough, and you need to absolutely work your way around it. 

You can do it with a bit of practise. 

🙂

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.

Danza Kuduro x Gangnam Style = Indian Political Circus

Can you ignore the circus around you?

Sooner or later, you’ll need to learn how to.

Why?

Because growth is where we are.

And, growth is dying in many parts of the world.

So, why do you need to ignore the circus?

To focus. The circus won’t let you focus properly.

And why do you need to focus?

To take advantage of the growth around you.

Growth is a coveted commodity, remember that.

One could say that you are lucky to be born in an area showing growth. You are in demand. People from other parts of the world want to participate in any available growth story. These are competent people, selling highly developed technology and expertise. They deserve to participate in growth stories, why not? The question here is about you.

Are you able to make the most of your times, and that too – ethically?

Then forget about the circus.

The circus won’t let you function ethically.

You need to learn to function despite the circus.

Welcome to the world of minimal exposure. At times, you will need the circus, since it controls the machinery of your system. That’s about it, that’s your minimal exposure. No more exposure than what is absolutely required – these are golden words summing up your policy of minimal exposure.

And you are totally going to succeed despite minimal exposure – many have done so already, so why should you be an exception?

The quality of success that emerges, after having followed a policy of minimal exposure, is sweet. It’s a no-strings-attached kind of success. It is lasting, and brings peace and exhilaration. Definitely worth striving for. So, circus shmirkus, don’t even bother, just go for it, and make the most of the growth happening around you. Because of your ethical angle, I wish even more, that you succeed.

All the best! 🙂

The Road to Greatness

” time goes by

so naturally

while you receive

infinity “

– (Guru Josh Project).

Are you systematic? Punctual? Disciplined? Persevering? Large-hearted? Do you think out of the box?

All of the above?

Relax. You are already on the road to greatness.

So what if the world hasn’t recognized you…yet?

Why do you want the world to recognize you?

Why does the world’s opinion of you matter to you?

Why do you need a stamp of approval to feel you’re on the right path?

Frankly, if you’re treading a new path, where no person has gone before, well, then, nobody’s qualified enough to give you that stamp of approval.

Right, the road to greatness is paved with identity crises.

Greatness is achieved, if you do something differently, and do it well. With the passage of time coupled with your perseverance, you discover and outline a new dimension in your field. You’ve struggled along the path, because it’s a new path, with no roadmaps. People have made fun of you and have ridiculed you, because you are different, and refuse to conform to a norm set by “average” society. Exactly that’s the struggle.

Averageness is comfortable. For greatness, one needs to pull the extra distance.

Alone.

Because one is not average, one needs to discover who one is. This happens along the path.

The path to greatness is not comfortable.

Nevertheless, it is enjoyable.

Yes, after a while, struggle starts to get enjoyable, once you become used to it. You start enjoying being pushed to your limits. The biochemistry of your body’s peak-performance state can actually give you a huge kick, as in a “high”. Try and stay there, as long as you can. This “high” is only happening to you. Stay there, as “(the) time goes by, so naturally, while you receive … … infinity.(Guru Josh Project).

Do You Believe in You(rself) ?

Still not hit the success button?

Suffering from an inferiority complex?

Market got you down?

Is it over for you?

Which brings us to the more important question : Do you believe in YOU?

Wrong English, I know, I know. Sometimes I misuse the language for effect. The effect is more important to me than how silly I look because of bad grammar.

Ok, so you want to succeed, make it big in the markets, blah blah blah.

Who doesn’t?

You obviously can’t last out if you don’t believe in yourself. Markets are draining, and tend to suck the living blood out of one’s body, so one needs to last. Market forces exhaust the system. It’s something about them, something electronic. This something consumes your stamina. So, no two ways, you need to last out. 20, 30, 40 years maybe…

I’m not saying it’s going to take you that long to succeed. For all I know you’re the next Jesse Livermore in a few years. Getting there is one thing, but staying there is another. Consistency. Maintaining success for many years in a row. That’s big. Something like that can be, and probably is, a trader’s lifetime goal.

It all starts with belief.

Baby steps.

First, weave a safety net around you. This involves the creation of a regular source of income to sustain your family’s basic needs. Such income needs to be independent of the market, any market. Your trading is not really begging you to earn your basic income. It can well do without that extra pressure. A comfortable slot for your trading to be in is when it can generate additional and bonus income for you. That’s the sweet-spot, and you want to be in it, with a comfortable safety net around you, free to trade the markets with no extra pressure.

Then, create a reliable system to trade the markets.

This can even take many years. I mean, some of us take seven odd years to recognize their basic risk-profile. Good, at least we are recognizing our risk-profile, because everything else is going to be built up on top of that.

As your system starts to perform, your belief in yourself gets stronger. Good going, stranger, now do humanity a favour and support others who are struggling to find themselves. In any way you can. It’s good Karma, and will help you further on your own path.

Then, you hit it big-time, your system catches some huge market swings, and you are there.

Now, other things start happening. Success brings with it its own entourage.

Remain on the ground, please. That’s how you are going to last out. Keep trading. Hitting the magic spot is not enough, you need to milk it as long as possible. Your new status of “successful” will bring many to your doorstep. The crowd wants to acquire the magic formula from you. People want your time. Deal with it, buddy. In a manner that still keeps you performing in the Zone, trade after trade. Also, in a manner that keeps you from hurting anybody’s feelings. I know, thin line, difficult to do, but you don’t additionally want the remnant emotional baggage of hurting people to affect your trading.

Apart from fame, there are other members in the entourage of success, and I’m just classifying them ad-hoc under the header “extra-curricular activities”. Yup, these will come your way. That’s part of being successful and famous. Well, do what you want, you’re a grown-up, nobody’s going to tell you where to draw the line. All one can say is, that if any extra-curricular baggage starts seeping into your trading, you’re going down Sir. Period.

Oh, where did it all start? Belief, right. Look where it can get you.

So come on, get up from your drawdown. Drawdowns happen. They are part of the learning process. The earlier they happen, the better it is for you. Now, you probably won’t let them happen when the stakes are big. When a future drawdown looms, you are prepared, and nip it in the bud. You don’t let it grow into an ulcer. That’s what your earlier drawdowns have taught you.

So get up and give it another shot.

All it takes is a bit of belief.