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October 11 - 20, 2004

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(Quotes from Ed in Red)


Wed, 20 Oct 2004


Well It's Like This!

Hi Ed,

What a time I had (as a guest at the IV Tribe).  I have a strong impression that I am learning more than I am conscious of.

Thanks for your time and effort in helping me right my ship - words are never enough as you know.

Thought you might enjoy this.

I got home and either I or my wife and daughter had changed - somehow things were different - the lack of drama was very noticeable.

Work that out. Perhaps that would be as futile as trying to work the markets out.

With eye contact and intention, I say "I just want you to know that your feelings are important to me."

She laughs, but not mockingly and later that day,

"You're different; I like it, I like it a lot"

After 20 years she has decided to share her feelings with me - I guess it is a matter of trust.

So today we are getting into her feelings about her fear that she might not be able to get pregnant again - amongst other issues ...


Q: What is the positive intention of disappointment?

A: I spent Saturday afternoon in the library with Messrs Roget Thesaurus and Antonym Dictionary.

I concluded that disappointment was telling me that I need - desperately - to gain a sense of accomplishment; perhaps to make an appointment with my true potential.


Ed's Hot Seat:

So what's this goal of yours "to develop a team of traders the likes of which the world has never seen"?

I have a vision of being back in the school yard again when teams are being chosen for some game.

"Ed, Ed, Pick me, Pick me!!"

I lack an exciting vision to work towards and motivate me to greatness! The thought of being part of a "tribally trained market hit squad", makes my heart rate pick up. I love that feeling and the idea has a sense of rightness about it.

If you think I can add value, then please let me know what is required.



I am very keen to return to IV ... I thought I was fairly committed to get into my feelings before we started, but now my commitment has intensified significantly.

You know this tribe thing - with the right people - has got to be the greatest game in town.  Of course you do. It took a lot of guts for you to take the hot seat, given the subject matter and people present; I admire that immensely and your actions reflect your determination to lead by example.


Wed, 20 Oct 2004



Dear Ed

My current thinking on success relates to the importance of

(1) concentration
(2) persistence

I offer 2 quotes:

(1) "Those who reach greatness on earth reach it through concentration."

(2) "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not;
nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not;
unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of
educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent." Calvin

Any thoughts on this matter?

You might take your desire to reduce success to two components into TTP as a starting point.




There are two kinds

of mathematician


those who can count

and those who can't.


Clip: http://willyman.macbay.de/


Wed, 20 Oct 2004


Magazine cover trading setup:

Not a Ship to Spare

From the NY Times -

Not a Ship to Spare

With about $100 million worth of crude oil in its hold, the tanker Front Page will leave Kuwait soon, heading for Louisiana via the Suez Canal. When it arrives 30 days later, its two million barrels will feed refineries throughout the Midwest with crude they will turn into heating oil for the winter.
The trip will be an expensive one.


Exxon Mobil is paying Frontline, the ship's Norwegian owner, $6.95 million to make the journey. Last year, the shipping company charged $2.4 million for a similar haul.

With global oil demand surging and prices hitting record levels, the world's 1,500 oil tankers are all booked up, and their owners are charging hefty premiums. The shortage of tankers is one sign of how strong demand and a lack of investment have left the oil industry's infrastructure stretched thin - meaning that any hint of disruption in the system can help make prices spike.

The march toward AHA continues.  Around the turn, look for a photo of Front Page (or reasonable facsimile) to show up on the front page of a major newsweekly. 


So far, no oil on the covers.



October 25, 2004



October 25, 2004


Wed, 20 Oct 2004


Chicago Trading Tribe

Hi Ed !

First meeting of the Chicago Trading Tribe happened yesterday evening with 4 members in attendance (of an expected 6).


Started with sending and receiving exercise we did at the Reno workshop and did TTP by the end of the evening. I'll be writing up a report for FAQ.

Congratulations on getting up and running.  For non-existing future reference, SVO-please.

Mon, 18 Oct 2004


Stock Market Returns?


I have a feeling you will not answer this question but here goes.

If one has a long term trading method and risks about 3% per trade what is a realistic yearly return on capital?

I know with the market every year will be different but say over a 5 year period what should a good average be?

If you risk about 3% per trade on Roulette, Black Jack or Keno - and if you stick with it long enough, you can get pretty consistent final results.


You might take your need for predictability into the process.






a game of choice

when you need to predict

the final outcome


Clip: http://www.roulette.sh/index.html

Sun, 17 Oct 2004


Chicago Board of Trade's Dan

Says Oil May Rise to $75 a Barrel

By Miriam Steffens
Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil prices, which rose to a record $55 a barrel in New York on Friday, may increase further and peak at $75 a barrel, said Bernard Dan, President of the Chicago Board of Trade, the second-biggest U.S. futures market.


"Given that some production is going on around the world, I can't see it much higher than $75 unless there are disruptions in supply lines," Dan said on Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd.'s Nine Network's Business Sunday program in Sydney. ''I think that the U.S. economy is strong enough to absorb that.''

Feelings and visions seem to be gathering and taking form, indicating an AHA in the works.

Sun, 17 Oct 2004


TTP in the News

Fantasy Story

George Soros and George Bush get together for a hardball session, receive each others feelings, and fully experience their own. China pays tribute and responds by downsizing one of their major public works projects and renaming it the “Two George’s Dam” in recognition of fully experiencing the blockage and going with the flow.





I dream of such things, amazing things, happening as we get 100 tribes up and running.  See 100-th monkey.


Until then, it's just more washing potatoes, celebrating the way it is right now.




Even Bazillion-aires

and Presidents


are welcome to join a Tribe

or start one.


Sat, 16 Oct 2004


First meeting of Davis Tribe

Hi Ed !

The Davis Tribe meets alternate Friday nights. Here I report our recent first meeting::

This is the meeting format:

First, drums. We start with drums.

Next, check in. I communicate the purpose of the check-in is to relate what is 'live' right now for us, not to tell stories. Our current feeling might be connected with a recent event, or with a distant event, or with no conscious mind story attached - just whatever is up and alive right now in one's mind and heart.

We talk about other new tribes. Ed nurtures a new Tribe in Reno. The entire tribe consists of women. That's a first, since most traders are guys and the tribes started with traders. One of the women, completely new to TTP, takes the hot seat. She gets into it, and Ed guides her to combine her different forms.


Ed reports the next week she said her husband changed. "He's so nice now, and says all the things to me I've always wanted to hear. I don't know how that happened!" she said. I observe husband and wife are pretty much a one emotional unit. One person can work on themselves, and the other one changes. I've noticed this phenomenon with my wife too. Somehow, since I do the work during Tribe meetings, she's now a nicer person. Not sure how that happens, but it does. TTP seems a practical application for the human heart of Bohm's Interpretation of quantum physics.

We talk about our Davis Tribe rules:
Hard to join, easy to leave.

Read web site prior to applying for membership

Shoes at door. Fire in the hearth.
Bring gift to meeting, a token of  intention.

We initiate processes as needed, most important receiving whatever appears.

We commit to participate regularly.

Goal: Get really clear within ourselves. That's the overarching goal. The process of getting clear improves business and all parts of life. Getting clear is not a one-time thing. We don't clean our car windshield just once. The more we drive, the more bugs and dirt accumulate. We clean it every two weeks to maintain clarity.

We acknowledge the moment. We discourage blind belief in the existence of past or future. We perceive that emotions, even those we try to label 'past' or 'future' are live right now in our nerve system. That's how we remember them, and experience the feelings. This slight shift in perspective pulls back the partitions We see that it's all here right now, available to work on. We feel, even see those self-created Gordian knots.

"Oh, the past. Can't change the past." That belief is a way of avoiding feelings. Believing "oh, the future, it's kind of scary, and i don't know what's going to happen", is trying to avoid feelings too. We encourage noticing how it really is: all right here, right now.

We engage the hardball process. We choose simple goals, like "completing the bookkeeping" and "completing the Winsock chapter". Amazingly, we discover layers of primeval suppressed emotion standing between us and these simple goals. We succeed in sending / receiving. Next, lighter, pastel emotions appear, then pass. Next, deeply-held philosophical feelings about life and our place on the great Mandala appear, then pass. Then there is nothing left.

During check out, participants report feeling physically lighter, and report that previously-felt congestion in chest now feels flowing. Each report "aha's", sometimes from what the other said, which somehow applied exactly to them too. We agree to monitor after-effects. Meeting adjourned.

Thank you, Ed, and IV tribe members for encouraging our new tribe.

Very Nice. 




Gordian Knot


Alexander Unties it


by re-forming it

into many little pieces.



Clip: http://www.maa.org/



Sat, 16 Oct 2004


For Crying Out Loud

Dear Ed,

The attached video clip is for the guy who worries about his child crying in public.


Click For Video Clip


I think it might be more lively to receive the child.


Otherwise, the father might just continue to entrain similar responses in his other friends.

Fri, 15 Oct 2004


Mother Teresa

Hello Chief,

Mother Teresa writes and engraves this poem on the wall of her home for children in Calcutta (India). I find it very inspiring and it helps me keep my mind clear.


People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered:
Forgive them anyway

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives:
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies:
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

TTP does not tell you what you should or should not do - or lay down

rules for behavior.


TTP provides a place in which people can come to their own rules.



Mother Theresa

(1910- 1997)


An uncanny knack

of conveying the importance

of taking care of the poor.


Clip: http://www.evgschool.org/



Fri, 15 Oct 2004


The Ethics of Private Property

Today's essay from the von Mises Institute explains the ethical justification of private property rights:



Respect for and celebration of others' private property, especially their feelings, is essential to TTP.




Ludwig Von Mises

Private Property Proponent

(1881 - 1973)


Money is a market commodity -

not a creation of government.


Banking is an industry -

its best control is competition.


The best way to control currency -

tie it to gold, with free convertibility.


Clip: http://www.unioneditorial.es/


Fri, 15 Oct 2004


Defining the Bliss Function

Hi Ed,

An important part of building a system that a trader is compatible with is defining what results the trader is compatible with. This seems simple enough in theory, but a trader who is experienced in rigorous trading strategy design knows that it is takes some serious work to find this definition, and the definition must be made for each individual.

Ed Seykota terms this definition of what is the “right system” for each of us as our own personal “Bliss Function.” Once a trader defines his own personal Bliss Function, he can begin the process of designing a strategy and maximizing the Bliss Function through simulation. In the mathematics of optimization, this is known as the “objective function.” Rightly enough, as it certainly does represent the trader’s objective or - as Seykota says - intention.

Defining a Bliss Function can be very difficult, even for the experienced trader and strategy developer. Not only is the process very feeling intensive, it requires the utmost clarity of intention and the capability to translate this intention from qualitative to quantitative form.

For example, a Bliss Function that is defined as: “I want to have high returns without lots of draw-downs” is not a Bliss Function at all, it is just an ambiguous conscious construct that needs to be “drilled down” and clarified to be defined quantitatively.

One might ask “what are high returns” and “what does it mean to not have lots of draw-downs?” A trader might also like to check their feelings about what returns and draw-downs mean to them. Is the trader willing to tolerate the draw-downs that simulations show are necessary to achieve what they define as high returns? A trader seeking 60% returns per annum might like to check their stomach lining and make sure that Fred’s tolerance for heat is in sync with CM’s desire for profit. So a trader must go about this process of defining the Bliss function which involved processing feelings, clarifying intentions, and lastly, quantifying intentions.

One simple bliss function might be based only on the compound annual return (CAR) relative to the largest peak-to-trough drawdown (MaxD.) This can be expressed as a simple ratio (CAR/MaxD.) A trader can define this as the “Bliss Function” and it can be used as the objective function for an optimization routine. Of course, in this case, the trader needs to be aware that they might well get a strategy that returns 4% per annum with maximum draw-downs of 50 basis points. An 8-to-1 CAR/MaxD ratio is splendid, but 4% might not satisfy the appetite for returns. So the trader may want to attach a stipulation this particular Bliss Function that the numerator and/or denominator must be above and/or below some minimum and/or maximum threshold level.

So we can see, just from a very simple example, how lots of ambiguities can come up during this process of defining the Bliss Function, not only when taking our feelings into account, but also when clarifying intentions and translating our qualitative intentions into quantitative format.

Defining Return Relative to Risk

Many Bliss Functions tend to incorporate some metric of both return and risk. Indeed, many methods of performance evaluation incorporate some metric of return relative to risk. One common way to define return relative to risk is the Sharp Ratio. The ratio mentioned above (CAR/MaxD) is quite popular in some circles as well.

A method, which is in many senses superior to both of these, is a ratio by Ed Seykota, called the Lake Ratio. [ For more on some standard return relative to risk metrics, their drawbacks, and an explanation of the Lake Ratio, see Seykota’s work “Risk Management” at the following link. http://www.seykota.com/

tribe/risk/index.htm  ]

The Lake Ratio

The Lake Ratio addresses three key aspects of the draw-down process and the associated feelings that come up during it. These three aspects are 1) the magnitude of draw-downs, 2) the duration of draw-downs, and 3) the frequency of draw-downs.

There are, however, some considerations that can sometimes make the Lake Ratio a questionable objective function for an optimization procedure. For example, since the Lake Ratio deals with relative volumes (a ratio of integrals) there are certain situations that might produce the same mathematical result but have far different effects on the trader’s equity and psychology. Consider the case of a very sharp equity draw-down immediately followed by an equally sharp advance; creating a small, deep lake. This can represent the same thing mathematically as a very small draw-down that is not recovered for quite some time; creating a wide, shallow lake. So a 30% drawdown with a 1 day duration might be treated the same as a 1% draw-down with a 30 day duration if looked at only in terms of the volume of the lake relative to the volume of the earth below.

Multivariable Bliss Functions and Combinational Logic

This brings up the issue of whether or not a Bliss Function that exists as an expression consisting of essentially one operator and two operands can meet the demands of a trader who intends to maximize a highly specific set of return relative to risk criteria. (Note that Car/MaxD, the Sharpe Ratio, and the Lake Ratio are all essentially expressions with one operator and two operands, although it might be argued that this is not so when the calculations involved in determining the numerators and denominators are included.)

Fortunately, a variety of mathematical expressions can serve as an objective function in an optimization routine, so a trader is free to define a Multivariable Bliss Function that incorporates a very clear and unambiguous snapshot of their intentions.

The optimization routine can also include conditional statements that set fixed tolerance bands for certain parameters in the Bliss Function. For example, let’s say that a trader maximizes the Lake Ratio with the stipulation: IF CAR > 30% AND MaxD < 20%. Here the trader deals with the fact that certain strategies may not have any sets of parameter combinations that produce these results – which is part of the process of defining the Bliss Function and aligning expectations with abilities.

The optimization algorithm can maximize an expression produced by other combinational logic including branching statements and so forth that need not necessarily be expressed as a single continuous function. This pragmatic approach allows traders to look at return and risk in a variety of dimensions and may provide traders with the ability to define their Bliss Function as a snapshot with the utmost detail and clarity.

Nice extension of Bliss Function.


Technical point:  Fred is a feelings pump.


The tolerance (or resistance) to heat you mention likely locates as a judgment - just another form that Fred attempts to pump.



A Hand Pump


moves water

without attaching anything to it.







Thu, 14 Oct 2004


New Jersey Community


I want to join a Tribe Community. I live in Rivervale, NJ and have contacted both communities in NYC. One will not allow non-NYC residents, the other will consider my application, but I would prefer an easier weekly commute to the meetings. Do you have anyone else wanting to start a community in NJ? I’m certainly not qualified to start one on my own yet, but would like to network with others in my area which may be more qualified.


Check the Tribe Directory for listings and instructions on starting your own group. 


There are no listings for people who are just thinking about starting a group.

Wed, 13 Oct 2004


An Experience at Work

Dear Sir,

I ran into another situation at work and I'd like to hear what you'd do in accordance to the TTP principle.

There is an incident where I feel senior management gave me unreasonable criticisms that I don't deserve, when they didn't know what actually went on but just know how to point fingers. In other words, they're quick to take all the credits (if there is), and even quicker to cast the blame.

Last time I wrote you I said I've learned the best way to win an argument is start receiving. Well, I find it difficult this time to apply it though because it is my manager and I just don't feel comfortable asking her, "What are you feeling when that happens?"

Then I thought about confronting her (which is another issue I have), but she tends to speak a lot much more than listen. So if I start confronting (sending my feelings), and she is not willing to listen (receive), the process breaks down and it'll become two people both trying to send and unwilling to receive. And I can't and don't want to force people to receive if they refuse to.

Then I thought about that in Reno where you taught us to accept the person just as he is. Whatever he is. Say, even if he is the most boring person ever. The trick is to simply receive, acknowledge, and accept. So I am thinking of how to apply it here.

I can try accepting her unwillingness to listen (receive), OK, but then what's next? Well, I guess I can accept that senior management has their own logic that may appear unreasonable to us at times. OK. But doesn't that all just lead to myself suppressing my real feeling? Or am I misinterpreting what you mean when you talk about acceptance?

Thanks for the clarification!

You might consider asking your boss to help you get clear on your job description.


If it does not include being her therapist, you might consider working on your feelings, rather that on hers.


Then, you might take your feelings about your boss and about your job into the process.




And You think Your Job Stinks



Clip: www.new-life.net/boss.htm



Wed, 13 Oct 2004

Bohm Interpretation

Even though it is not popular among physicists, (largely because its considered "inelegant"), What is your thought on the Bohm interpretation of quantum mechanics & the universe?

TTP practitioners notice that when we get an AHA about some issue,  other people central to our dramas, who are not present at the meeting, seem to have their own resonant epiphanies.


The Bohm-ian twist is that all these AHA's seem to occur simultaneously. 



David Bohm


His theories are currently appearing

simultaneously, all over the world.


Clip: http://www.astrosurf.com/lombry/


Sun, 17 Oct 2004


No System


The system is that there is no system ...

From an interview with Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, at BusinessWeek:

Q: How do you systematize innovation?
A: The system is that there is no system ...

Sounds like an Ed-A.Q!

There is always a system.


Absent a conscious specification, it typically defaults to control by feelings we are unwilling to experience.


Part of Jobs system is to say there is no system.





If there is no system to it,

how come Jobs, Gates,

and Edison (in his day)


consistently keep innovating

tools that change the way we live.


Clip: http://www.spiegel.de/img/


Sun, 17 Oct 2004


Bush Futures


There is now no question whatsoever that the Bush re-election futures contract at www.Tradesports.com is being manipulated. Yesterday the price of the futures were sold down from about 55 (indicating the market's estimate of a 55% probability of Bush's re-election) to 10 (indicating on a 10% probability) with a single 10,000-lot order entered by a single trader. An order that size represents twice the normal volume of an entire typical day's trading. Within moments after the order was completed, the price recovered back to the low-mid-50's.

According to sources at Tradesports, yesterday's order was entered by the same individual who has heavily sold the Bush futures three times over the past month. The first instance was on September 14, when this trader sold the futures down from the mid-60's to 49.6. The second instance was in the middle of the second presidential debate on October 8, when the futures were sold down from the high 50's to 51.5. The third instance was right after the third presidential debate on October13. As the debate began the futures were priced at 57, and by the end of the debate they had risen to 60. Then a few moments later they were beaten down to 54 in a matter of minutes.

In markets this kind of behavior is called a "speculative attack." The idea is not to sell at the highest price possible -- the normal profit-maximizing strategy of a typical seller. Rather, the idea is to use one's selling to deliberately cause prices to fall. Why would any sane trader try on purpose to sell at low prices? In some cases it is in order to panic other traders into selling at even lower prices, so the attacker can buy back what he sold at a profit -- traders call that a "bear raid." But in a speculative attack the motive is more complicated. It is to cause people in the real world -- not just other traders -- to panic.

The classic example of a speculative attack is when George Soros massively shorted the British pound in September, 1992. The Bank of England was obliged to support the pound's exchange rate under the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. With the pound plunging and the BoE pouring billions into supporting it, prospects for the British economy were damaged -- making the pound even weaker. Eventually the BoE exhausted its will to support the pound , and had to pull out of the ERM. The pound collapsed -- and Soros is said to have made a billion dollars on this speculative attack.

It's all based on what Soros has often written about as his "theory of reflexivity." It's when financial markets affect the real world, and then the real world in turn affects financial markets. It's a vicious cycle set in motion on purpose. Here's a speculation of a different sort: could Soros be behind the manipulation of the Tradesports Bush futures? The amounts of money involved are pocket change to Soros. And it would fit his avowed intention to unseat the President. It would be a cheap way for Soros to damage Bush's credibility and panic his troops. I have no idea whether Soros is behind this or not. But it would fit.

As with all markets, to get a good piece of the major move, you may have to ride out some corrections.




Bush 20 Points Over Kerry


in the University of Iowa

Winner Take All Market






Tue, 12 Oct 2004


Trade Risk and Total Risk

Ed says:

Rule of thumb: speculate with 10% or less of your net worth, and stop trading if you lose 1/2 of that, or 5% of your net worth.

If your account grows, it might become your main asset. If not, you can likely handle a 5% drawdown in net worth.


I have a doubt about the optimal fraction bet vs. maximum allowable risk per trade. Many pros, you inclusive, suggest that one should not risk more than 1-2% per trade, that is, risk measured from entry price to initial trailing stop. Now what about the optimal fraction bet? Say, if my money management suggests an optimal fraction bet of 25%, then 2% puts me into the timid trader rule.

Would you please help me clarify that? Thanks.

Best regards,

The 25% optimal bet size is for a very specific situation: namely, a coin flip process that pays 2:1 with a 50% chance.  You know your exact risk in advance (your bet size).


In actual trading, even with stops, you cannot predict your exact risk.


You might also like to consider if your gut can actually withstand the kind of drawdowns that a string of 25% losses might produce.


In actual trading, you might consider taking small independent positions, each with a 1/2 % risk to stop, up to a total of 25%.


With this plan, your winners and losers tend to average out so you get the same overall gain with a smoother ride (less volatility).


See Risk Management, at Resources, above.



In Trading



might even mean getting bearish

and picking out some good shorts.


Clip: http://www.public.iastate.edu/


Tue, 12 Oct 2004


Dead Letter ?


Hi Ed,

Please advise regarding the status on the TTP Topics catalog. Our last email communication on this topic was 9/30/2004.

I wonder if you actually got my most recent emails, attached FYI.

I [want to] get clear with you on the TTP Topics subject, before sending further FAQ questions.


Thank you for your email.


I like your Topic Indexing idea and I am happy to implement a demo to test the concept in action.


Please re-send me your latest version, along with installation instructions, so I can pick up the thread and carry it forward. 




Dead Letters


stay alive, for a while, at the

Dead Letter Office

or in the email bulk mail bin.


To be sure of receipt,

send a follow-up letter

every decade or so.


Clip: http://www.edhines.com/

Mon, 11 Oct 2004



Our tribe cordially invites you to join us on any Thursday evening in our Tribe meeting. You might love the spirit and drum beat of our tribe.


What lies behind us, what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thank you for the invitation. This fits my intention to visit Tribes around the world. 


This visitation program is available to Tribe leaders who are graduates of any Workshop.



Mon, 11 Oct 2004


Defining the Vision

On June 24, 2004, I make a post entitled “Trading Tribe Proposition.”

You respond as follows:

Ed Says: Yes. I envision an organization with a deep commitment to personal growth - that also serves the financial community.

I plan to further define the vision and invite participation around mid-August.”

You might like to clarify your intention with respect to this organization. Do you intend to further define the vision and invite participation on this site?

I typically present the vision, as it evolves, at the Workshops. 


Invitations typically appear a few months in advance, in this case, in August.


If you have a specific goal in mind, email me; perhaps we can find ways to resonate.



Applying influence periodically

at the resonant frequency


can induce substantial response.


Clip: http://www.exploratorium.edu/