Manual has a Tendency to Enslave

There is something about things by rote.

They create a groove.

We enter the groove on a repeated basis.

Entering becomes a given.

Our system has aligned itself to entering.

Our system gets comfortable.

It wants to stay there.

It wants more.

How does one extract oneself from this vicious cycle?

Firstly, why do we wish to extract ourselves?

We wish to control Manual, and we don’t want to let Manual control us.

If there’s too much of Manual, our day is gone, and we are not able to attend to more important things in life, like family, extra-curricular activities and all the jazz.

How to go about it is a question of awareness and setting limits.

Thus, you find yourself saying that you will engage to this particular level, and no more, and once this level of engagement is reached, you will put the strategy on auto, and disengage, and remain disengaged till the next screening is due.

Easier said than done, sure.

How is one able to stick to this plan?

If the day is busy, with multiple engagements, one forgets about the activity of the morning by afternoon, because the afternoon has brought with itself a whole new set of activities. Stay busy.

Learn to take small losses in stride. That’ll line you up for the big wins. Strategies left on auto till next screening can incur losses and then get stopped out. That’s part of the deal. Have faith in your stop. You have placed it at a strategic location, where it can not be reached so easily. For your stop to be reached, the market will have to go out of its way. If the market is doing that, you don’t wish to be in the trade anyways. You’re stopped out, and that’s good. That saves you from big losses. Have faith in this philosophy.

So, you’re busy, and you have faith in your philosophy.

You engage, disengage and move on.

You don’t look behind.

That’s how you keep Manual from enslaving you.

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Not Everyday is an MoS Day

Dear Long-Term Investors,

How are you?

Hope this finds you in the pink of health, and without itchy fingers. 

After running through a 70-odd day corrective phase, the Indian markets don’t seem to be offering margin of safety (MoS) anymore. 

Or so I feel. 

The groove had become natural from mid January to the beginning of April. 

There was something to be bought, almost everyday. 

One would wake up thinking about what one would be buying for the long-term when the markets opened. 

Over the last ten days, I haven’t felt like buying anything. 

My fingers are itchy.

I’m raring to go. 

However, margin of safety is not there. 

It might return, in some form or the other, and that too soon. However, it doesn’t prevail just now, as per my understanding. 

Where does that leave me?

I can now opt for compulsive buying. However, my market experience has taught me otherwise. It’s a simple rule – no margin of safety, no buying. Period. 

I focus on other stuff. 

I have a trading operation. 

I focus on that. 

I write. 

I read.

I chant. 

I plan my summer vacation. 

I attend to family matters. 

There’s other business that needs attending. 

I travel. 

However, I don’t resort to compulsive buying. 

Can you stop yourself from compulsive buying? However itchy your fingers are?

It’s not easy. Nevertheless, it’s mandatory. 

The follow-through energy from an existing groove needs to be diverted until it is fully dissipated. 

If you don’t succeed with this, you’ll end up with over-priced buys in your long-term portfolio.

This spells disaster, because lack of margin of safety won’t allow you to sit when markets crash. 

And crash they will. 

Every market crashes, some time or the other. 

That’s when your margin of safety allows you to sit quietly and sleep properly. 

You then have the acumen to recognize the re-existence of margin of safety.

Also, you have the energy to act upon your identification of the re-existence of margin of safety. 

You buy more, because MoS days are there again. 

When the Groove Yields Infinity

What’s an ideal groove?

It’s a frame-set…

…that makes you outperform.

When you find your ideal groove, you keep levelling up, as if it were the daily norm.

Why?

You feel like working.

The groove is such.

It’s a coupling of the right environment, the right time-sets, the right people, the right systems…and you.

And, it’s not just any odd coupling.

It’s the ideal coupling.

Saying that you feel like working is actually an understatement.

You feel like outperforming. That’s a more accurate statement.

Even more accurate would be, that outperformance becomes a habit with you.

Such is the groove.

Wow!

How does one find this groove?

HA!

Now you’re asking the million dollar question.

Many perish without finding it.

Many have never heard of it. They just don’t know any better.

Some have heard of it, but their circumstances are such, that they don’t have the time, resources or energy to look for it.

A few are able to search for it.

Even fewer make it past strategy.

Some of these are able to couple their many strategies into a full-fledged system.

Now comes fitting.

One needs to now fit-fit-fit.

A handful will keep fitting their systems…

…and fitting and fitting…

till the system fits…

…themselves.

When you hear that fitting sound come through, like a broken bone being set and making a loud popping or snapping sound, you know that you have a fit.

Once a successful system fits you, it is then capable of yielding infinity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding your Groove

Form matters.

Form as in – shape.

What’s the implementable shape of your strategy?

You might have identified your market strategy after a lot of effort.

However, you are still not succeeding with it.

You know it’s the right strategy for you.

What’s off?

Why is your strategy not making you money?

It’s probably not being implemeted in sync with your character-, time- and risk-profile(s).

Your strategy is not in sync with YOU.

Bring it in sync, and then implement it.

You will see the difference.

Tone it down. Tone it up. You know yourself. By now, you’ve also recognized your risk-profile. Play with time. Which time-frame are you most comfortable with?

Make your strategy an extension of yourself.

Sleepless nights means you are doing it wrong.

Keep fitting-fitting-fitting till there’s total synchronization.

If you are not able to totally fit the strategy even after solid tweaking, look for a new strategy.

When a strategy has an edge, and is successfully fitted to oneself, it can be implemented with success.

Find your groove.

What does that mean?

It means the creation of circumstances for yourself where you are able to implement the succesful strategy again and again and again.

The strategy should make you feel like going for it repeatedly.

Nothing in your environment should distract you enough to make you fail to implement the successful strategy. Try and bring it on auto-pilot as much as you can. If something manual remains, try and create a life for yourself where that manual step can be repeated with ease.

There will be many disturbances.

You’ll need to attenuate these enough to put the manual steps in motion.

That is the toughest part.

Constraints keep cropping up, and we are not able to implement because of them.

Yes, the most difficult part is for your groove to keep churning despite constraints.

Finding your groove is the precursor to maintaining your groove.