Frozen

Frozen? 

It’s ok. 

Breathe. 

You need to acknowledge that you’re frozen. 

Without that, the next step won’t come. 

It’s normal to freeze sometimes. Just acknowledge it. Then learn. 

For example, I acknowledge that I’m currently frozen wrt to the USDINR short trade. Missed entry. Next opportunity to enter never developed for me, and the underlying is currently in free fall. Don’t have the guts to short it at this level. Yeah, I’m frozen all right.

However, the fact that I’m acknowledging it opens up the learning window. 

Why did I miss entry?

I know why I froze. Fear. What I need to understand is why I allowed a situation to develop that would lead to fear. 

Ok. 

Was running super busy. 

Neglected the underlying. 

Kept postponing entry… 

… till free-fall started. 

It’s good to be busy. 

Hmmm, so this can happen again. 

How do I stop this from happening again? 

If I ID a setup, I need to take it. 

No second-guessing. 

What about strategy? 

Meaning, am I going with a short strategy for USDINR? Or am I keeping the window open for a long strategy?

See, that’s it.

Keeping short and long windows open makes me second-guess all the time. 

So can I go in one-direction wrt USDINR all the time? 

What speaks for it? 

Underlying is falling from a height. Good. 

Short only means no second-guessing. You just go short, period. 

Stoploss will save ruin. 

Not nipping profits in the bud will amass fortunes. 

Can the underlying keep falling over the next few years? 

Why not? Modi’s looking set for 2019. 

Hmmm, so a short only strategy has a lot going for itself. 

There’s more. Future month contracts are quoted at a premium. The premium evaporates over the current month. This move is in your favour if you’re short. 

Ok, enough. 

Yeah, there’s enough on the table to warrant a short only strategy for USDINR. 

SEE? 

Learning process. 

Why did it happen?

Because I acknowledged that I had frozen. 

Now, my strategy is more fine-tuned and I’m probably less prone to second-guessing. 

You need to pull off such stuff when you freeze. 

Use the freeze to evolve. 

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Wealth-Generators often go Contrarian

You knew that too, right? 

Sure. 

Going contrarian is a buzz-phrase. 

We hear it again and again…

… till we begin to start thinking… 

… that we know what it means. 

Well, try going contrarian. 

Yeah, try actually doing it. 

You’ll see what I mean. 

It’s real hard. 

Going against the crowd takes all the strength you might have… 

… and then some. 

Most humans aren’t able to go contrarian. 

Most humans aren’t wealthy. 

When there’s blood on the streets, there’s no telling how much more there will be. 

Under such conditions, the contrarian investor lets go of his or her hard-earned money into an investment, knowing perfectly well that the Street might even value the investment tomorrow at a huge discount to today’s price.

That’s ok too, says he or she.

Why?

Because homework’s been done.

Underlying is strong.

Debt-free.

Management is stellar.

Balance-sheet is robust.

Projections are paramount.

That the world is pricing the investment wrongly is a problem with its vision.

Underlying is not going under. With above credentials, this alone matters.

Times change. Vision of the majority changes. Investor makes a killing. Cashes out some, principal and what have you. Leaves lots of free-standing shares… forever… or till parameters change.

Wealth-generators repeat this behaviour-pattern many times in their lives.

They’re not afraid of going against the grain.

They know otherwise.

Also, the money they use has been freed up.

Its being out of action for a long time is not going to change their lives even a bit.

They will have the last laugh.

Wealth is the reward of going contrarian. 

Wealth-Generators know how to Sit

Most humans don’t know how to sit. 

Most humans are not wealthy. 

If you are a wealth-generator, you’ve probably already made the connection, knowingly or unknowingly. 

You sit. 

You are focused.

You know what you are doing. 

You are confident about what you are doing. 

You don’t keep looking over your shoulder. 

You are not jumpy. 

You don’t require a daily quote. 

In fact, you’re quite happy with a monthly quote. 

You know the value of your underlying. The world cannot tell you otherwise. 

You seal one wealth-generating opportunity, and move on to the other. 

That helps you to sit on the former, while you focus on the latter…

…till you seal the latter, which is when you move on to the next one, and so on and so forth. 

Soon, you are at the pivot of many, many wealth generating ideas. 

You are surrounded by multiples. 

Some have fully matured. 

You bring them to their logical conclusion. If this is a cash-out, well it’s a cash-out. 

You move the funds resulting appropriately…

…perhaps to a new avenue…

…or perhaps to finance something big…

…be it a lifetime-requirement…

…or what have you. 

You recognise the fact that one of the main purposes of wealth is also to fulfil lifetime-requirements. 

Mere income is not able to fulfil these. 

Generated wealth is. 

You recognise that. 

You are a wealth-generator. 

You know how to sit. 

Market-maker

Manipulation. 

Recognition. 

Alignment. 

Trade. 

Spike. 

Out. 

How does one recognize manipulation? 

On the charts. 

After eyeballing many many charts, one gets a feel for it. 

Manipulated strike-points become pivot points. 

It’s a push from a fund-heavy conglomerate. Push becomes a cascade as traders join in. 

After the spike, the market-maker pulls out funds so cleverly that rates don’t fall. 

Funds are now ready for the next push. The same funds. 

Repeat. Same loop. 

Till strategy fails. 

Then, maker starts manipulating in opposite direction. 

Life’s busy for the maker. 

There’s trouble with the authorities. Ends on a compromise. Maker will step in when authorities need to prop the market. 

No maker – no market. 

Why do you think there’s always a quote to your underlying? 

Because of the maker. 

After a market has crossed critical mass, makers sit on their spikes. They roll-over on expiries, and enjoy the ride. 

Ride is not always smooth. 

Makers often get greedy and break their own rules. Functioning with no safeties, many makers get wiped out. To add to their woes, a large percentage functions on borrowed money. 

Makers have an electronic life, which loops from cellphone to terminal and back. It’s a life that’s punctuated by headaches, physical and mental. 

Don’t envy a maker. 

He or she is just doing his or her job. That’s all. 

Trade the maker. 

Focused Diversification : Mantra for all Times

I’m more into focus.

One can focus on one thing at a time.

Agreed.

What if after that one thing starts running, it doesn’t require any more focus?

Wow.

Then I focus on another thing.

Get it running.

Then another.

Till my focus window is full.

Let me tell you about my focus window.

I focus on cash, debt, equity, forex, gold, real-estate, arbitrage, and options.

With that, my professional focus in finance is full full full.

I get something running.

That’s it.

Then I don’t need to be with it. Mostly.

Let me run you through.

1). Cash – Bind it in a worry-free and accessible manner. Done.

2). Debt – Study the underlying very thoroughly. Reject 10 underlyings. Take up the 11th which passes all criteria. Be happy with a slightly better than FD-return. Done.

3). Equity – Invest for life. Study till you drop the stock or take it up. Only invest in what meets all criteria and offers margin of safety at time of investing. On top of that – SIP (systematic investment plan). Done.

4). Forex – Get a software robot to trade it for you. Or some human-capital. All available online. Requires a bit of fine-tuning. Keep tuning till you start making a return. Done.

5). Gold – Buy physical gold. Research your source. Needs to be impeccable. Bullion. Coins. SIP. Accessible. No jewellery. Done.

6). Real-estate – Make your real-estate yield you an income. Regular income? Done.

7). Arbitrage – Understand what this is, and why it gives you a tax benefit. Get an online MF account going with Kotak MF or DWS. Divert some funds into their arbitrage MF, either or. I prefer Kotak. Monthly dividend payout option. Done.

8). Options – Get the option-strategy going. You don’t require a desktop. Mobile is sufficient. All you now need to do is take care of square-off. On mobile. This means a slightly higher level of engagement than the above avenues. Only slightly. Are you ok with that? Fine. Done.

In a flow, it’s all doable.

And, you remain focused.

Why all this?

Times demand it. You never know what might come in handy, and when.

Yeah, times are tough.

However, you are tougher.

To use Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s terminology, you are antifragile.

Impedimenting

Market strategy often sounds ridiculous. 

Take impedimenting for example. 

You put impediments in your own path. 

Absurd?

No. 

Uselful?

Very.

Why?

Because we are human. We are full of behavioural quirks which invariably cause market losses. 

That’s why impediments. 

Where?

In your path?

Why in your path?

Who are these impediments meant for?

They are speed-breakers for your quirks. 

Because your quirks are inside of you, the breakers are in your path, put by you, not for yourself, but for your quirks, when these choose to expose themselves. 

1). One example – money transfer before market entry – there’s no beneficiary added. Ha. You need to add the beneficiary first and wait for it to be approved. Then you transfer money to your other account, which is linked to your transaction account. Impediments. 

Why have you done this? You don’t wish to enter anything on a whim. Whenever money moves, it’s movement should not be made easy. You’ve seen to it. Good. 

2). Example numero two – Calls Blacklist. Make it very difficult for market people to speak to you if you don’t wish to speak to them. Why? Bias. You don’t want their bias. You have limited time. You have your own opinion. Many times during market-play, there’s no room for another opinion. 

3). Doing the DD (due diligence) – don’t act without DD. Make the DD huge. Have steps and procedures which you are going to follow – period. When you shudder at the idea of DD, that’s when DD becomes an impediment. You want the upcoming DD to make you shudder. You don’t wish to enter the underlying on a whim, remember?

4). Don’t discuss your portfolio – with anyone. YOU DON’T WANT ANYONE’S BIAS. You are mentally diligent enough to build your own opinion. People asking for causal tips are going to bother you. You need to impediment your way away from these. 

5). Systems – make systems. Stick to them. They cost time. They are impedimenting. Good. While a system engulfs you, it gets the chance to scour your approach for mistakes. Your system will alert you, so it’s been worth it. 

6). Blockage – new funds are to be blocked for a while. Don’t act with new funds immediately. Give yourself ample time to decide your strategy with new funds. Pickle them away in a fixed deposit till you are sure what you want to do with them. 

Make your own list. Above are just examples, and yeah, there’s more, but double yeah, make your own list. 

Working with self-made speed-breakers to enhance your performance makes you grow. 

Your returns grow too.