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March 15 - 31, 2009


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Note: The intention of inclusion of charts in FAQ is to illustrate trading principles - The appearance of a chart does not imply any kind of indication or recommendation to buy, sell, hold or stay out of any positions.




(Quotes from Ed in Red)


Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Healing Effect of Receiving

Dear Ed,

Yesterday I have a talk with a friend. She has a horrible boss, an as----e, who shouts at her “I am gonna kill you!” (indeed!) and she feels really bad.


Everybody tells her to quit.


She does not know what to do, and she also does not have time or energy to write new applications or look for a new job. I know that she is using her job to hide other serious family issues: however,


I just support her in doing what she wants to do and I receive her.


After some 30 minutes, she says “Now I KNOW what to do: I am quitting my job and look for a new one”.


I observe that several people advising her what to do are ineffective, and a single person who accepts her the way she is allows her to change and improve…

Best regards,

Thank you for sharing your process.




Sometimes You Can Communicate Better


with your ears ...




... Than with Your Mouth(s).










Tuesday, March 31, 2009 7:25 PM

WSJ Cover


WSJ calls the "start of bull market" on its front page on Friday. Sub-heading proclaims "Quickest rally since 1938;" by some descriptions, 1938 is the last year of the Great Depression.


On the graphic, 3 out of 3 sectors are up, red is behind us, and green is leading the way forward. "Doubts of Strength" moderate the bullish sentiment. Heading runs, "BEARS ARE WEARY AS BULL RETURNS."



Thank you for the cover.


Market turning points sometimes associate with covers that have substantial emotional content - such as pictures of people experiencing euphoria and / or pain.


For Example, consider your relative emotional responses to the WSJ cover to the left, and to the hypothetical cover, below:



Angry Bull Gets His Point Across


to this bare trader.



Clip: http://www.fugly.com/media/IMAGES/


Tuesday, March 31, 2009


What is Time?



I discuss time with a physicist friend at a picnic on
Saturday. Interestingly, neither of us is familiar with Einstein's observation. Initially he is skeptical of my description of time as an illusion. Eventually we both have, simultaneously, and AHA.


We observe that people evoke time when they are not happy with their present condition, or, more probably, the feelings they are experiencing. People who are happy (like me and my friend when we have an enjoyable discussion at the picnic) have no need for time.


People who talk about the good old days are likely unwilling to experience change, or sadness. People who talk about building a better future for America are serving constituents who are willing to postpone the bettering indefinitely into the future.

The Causal Model and the notions of Past and Future are important elements in the typical politician's toolkit. Responsibility fades into the past and promises go, safely, into the future.


"The road ahead will be long.  Our climb will be steep.  We may not get there in one year or even in one tern, but America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you: We as a people will get there."


- from Obama Victory Speech,

Chicago November, 2008



Tuesday, March 31, 2009

TTP Workshop - April 24-26 - Reno, Nevada
Hello Ed,

Today I have put the requirements for participating in the TTP Workshop in the mail.

It took me 4 weeks to decide which goal I wish to achieve…

Initially I formulate a goal that relates to my bond trading. I quickly settle for ‘Owning and operating the best performing international fixed income arbitrage hedge fund, measured over a 5-year period, by 2016’. I am confident that I have what it takes to do this, including the experience and the methodology / system.

But the truth is that I haven’t been serious about my career for a long time. In fact, I haven’t been serious since my nineties AHA: More Money Is Not Going To Fix Me. My current trading is meant for paying bills, not for spectacular achievements. I don’t feel like working fulltime again. I want that time for more important and more interesting needs.

So I decide to let go of a business goal, because of lack of motivation, and go for a personal-growth goal. I struggle to choose. I feel that this workshop might be a great opportunity to sort out something important, so I don’t want to waste it on a trivial topic. On the other hand, it would be nice if it can be done in a weekend.

Also I am a bit concerned about being a black sheep at the workshop, for being too fuzzy or too un-practical. Another concern is that I might completely mis-interpret what’s meant with ‘goal’ here, because from time to time I still have trouble to grasp the whole CM-Fred concept… (more on this in my ‘process I wish to master’ at the workshop).

I end up writing 11 different goals that I wish to achieve. Afterwards, I notice that quite a few touch on a similar topic, namely not taking proper risk in my interaction with people. So I choose a goal that relates to my lack of social confidence. I think it is a workable goal because what I want to attain is something I experienced in the past.

I think I can also come up with some real-life experiments to verify the results.


Thank you for sharing your process.


In the Workshop, we practice reconciling goal orientation with process orientation.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009




Here is a Vensim model of a pendulum. I think the most surprising thing I learned was that astronauts in orbit are weightless not because they have flown high enough to "escape" the Earth's gravity. In fact, at an altitude of 400 kilometers (250 miles), equivalent to a typical orbit of the Space Shuttle, gravity is still nearly 90% as strong as at the Earth's surface.

Although this is currently beyond my ability as a modeler, my goal is to learn to model a market and more specifically, to model a whipsaw. As far as I know of, no models of a whipsaw in the markets exists. I believe that the understanding of the market dynamics that can come out of the whipsaw modeling exercise can be profitable.


Pendulum Model 4.doc (58KB)

Good Work !


You might consider describing, in English, how a pendulum works.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The End of Trend Following ?

Hi Ed -


I haven't been in touch lately, but have been reading your site every few weeks, while sitting on my hands (a necessary discipline for an old long only futures trader, recently) and noticed some people just keep asking "that same old question" over and over again.

You may / not remember - you subtly (as usual) said something very informative over dinner together at the Lone Eagle Grille, in Incline Village, many years ago;

"You must have a trend to make money" that I later aha'd to mean;

1.) If no trend exists, nobody can make (or lose) any money then.
2.) If nobody can make or lose any money, a market cannot exist.
3.) So, trend following will exist and work, as long as markets do.

I hope this will help a few people "aha this" into their head as well.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Analytics and Confidence
Hi Ed,

I invest based on fundamentals for 25 years with moderate success. After the fourth stock with "good fundamentals" goes to zero I begin to investigate market timing and trend following. To my great surprise my tests indicate that they work - that was not what I expected! Risk adjusted returns using even simple models are double compared to buy and hold.

The study "The limits of arbitrage" by Andrei Shleifer and Robert W. Vishny provides a model that helps convince me that trend following may not only work in practice, it can also work in theory!

My copy of Michael Covel's book "Trend Following" has a missing page about Ed Seykota so I do a Google search and here I am. I read your book and your other favorite books. I skip the C# book for now because I have been a programmer for over 30 years. I read the materials and all the FAQs. I read all the answers though I skim some of the questions that seem a little long winded.

I contact the local tribe leader about joining up. In the meantime I apply the DIM process with surprising success. Just feeling what I feel and working with the good intent of every feeling has changed my life a lot already. Thank you!

I have many questions - these are the highest priority.


1. TTP Process gets derailed - how to prevent this?

Wed, 16 Feb 2005
Getting to the Heart of the Matter
Tribe Meeting - Feb 2, 2005.

Ed: "At the Incline Village Tribe, we have TT University from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM. We then break for dinner and have a TTP session from 7:00 PM
to whenever."

Sun, 2 Jul 2006
Reporting on Another Trader

Ed: "nor do I understand the intention of inhibiting talk about trading systems."

The local tribe apparently struggles at times with discussions veering off into "Great trades I made", "Crooks are bleeding us dry", "New technical patterns", "Service providers I like", "What I'm in at the moment", "How much I'm making" etc.

I see that in your tribe you run "TT University" earlier in the day for discussions of people's research. I see you also use the drums to set the mood. You also use a process manager. You use check out in part as a way to provide feedback and reflection on how the process is working.

I think I've answered my question - try all these ideas and see what works.


2. Simulation and extreme events - how to assess risk and gain a reasonable confidence in success?

Wed, 9 Jan 2008

"A yearly return of 26% with a 29% maximum draw down gives .26/.29 = .897 Bliss Factor - several times that for Buy-And-Hold strategy for S&P."

Benoit Mandelbrot argues that the variance of market price changes is infinite for many markets. The more data I look at the bigger the variance and maximum drawdown I get. For example, the maximum drawdown of buy and hold on the US stock market (Dow spliced to SP500) since 1926, after accounting for dividends and price changes, is about 85% which occurs in the period 1929-1932. The instantaneously compounded real after dividend return is about 6.2%. This gives a MAR (see system math document) of about 6.2%/85% => 7%. If we only go back 40 years and exclude the great depression, the MAR is more like 6%/50% => 13% which is very different.

In simulations I find that long term returns are dependent on heat in a manner that causes real returns to fall alarmingly above the 'optimum' heat. For example, investing in the US stock market as above and rebalancing between cash and equities annually, the optimum return is at about 130% leverage (100% invested + 30% borrowed funds) while 150-160% leverage produces total wipe-outs.

The shape of this curve is different from the coin flipping example on your site. I attribute this to the presence of extreme negative returns in the real data, which are not present in the coin flipping example.

I am struggling to come up with a reasonable way to work out optimum heat in the light of these issues.

This is leaving aside for a moment the question of what my gut can handle.

I see in many books, successful traders say they always had confidence they would succeed, and some say that such confidence is necessary. Sometimes it seems that what they are really saying is that they are prepared to do whatever it takes to succeed. Others seem to have so much ability that this gives them confidence.

This topic - lacking confidence - is my first topic for tribe. I appreciate any comments from you.

Thank you for sharing your process.

Monday, March 30, 2009


What is Time


slightly off topic, I had an interesting conversation with my 9 yo. son, his question was "what is time?" and I was stumped for an answer. Then I thought of Ed.

I think Ed would say it's a sequence of infinitesimally small moments of now. and I think that is the answer. the defn 1b from m-w. com might be close:



The handy thing about things that don't exist is that you can define them any way you like.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Feedback on TTP Book

Hello Ed,

I read the TTP book about 4 months ago.

I just want to let you know how it has changed my trading.

1) Over the previous 2 years I made profits almost exactly equal to my personal expenditures. But in January, my equity breaks upside resistance and it keeps making new highs ever since.

2) I become aware of sadness in a normal way, when it occurs, without self-induced market drama. I become emotionally detached from my trading. There are very few feelings involved anymore when I (wait to) do a trade.

3) Until 1997 I trade bonds professionally, mainly an arbitrage system in combination with market making. (Between 1997 and 2007 I do other things than trading). After reading your book, I make the (unrelated?) discovery that bonds still offer excellent arbitrage opportunities, despite all the progress in IT since 1997. I am not sure whether this is due to banks currently having to reduce their balance sheets and not being able to make proper markets, or whether bond market efficiency hasn’t changed over the past decade. With many multiples more bonds than stocks, and only a small fraction of the number of bond traders vs. stock traders, the latter might be the case. Whatever the explanation, I decide to leave the hard (stocks- & futures-) money for others, and focus on bonds.

Thank you Ed, for sharing this invaluable knowledge.


Thank you for sharing your process.




Will  Rogers

(1879 - 1935)


"I'm less interested in the return

on my money


than the return of it."



Clip: http://www.brainythoughts.com/wp-content/


Monday, March 30, 2009

Dealing with Father

Hi Ed,

Thank you for your comments regarding the brain study.

I find you comments insightful and relevant. I notice that I still make decisions that my father would approve of even though he passed 24 years ago when I was 12 years old. I am aware that his scolding at the time was all with good intention, but I still harbor some resentment particularly as a result of his absence during my teenage years. I notice this “good boy” syndrome and the resentment spill over into other relationships with authority figures which can lead to self sabotage.

I truly understand the importance of strong role models in the life of children from an early stage.


Thank you for sharing your process.




You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good bye.

Don't you ever ask them why,

if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh

and know they love you.



Teach your children well,
Their father's hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by.


Don't you ever ask them why,

if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh

and know they love you.



And you, of tender years,
Can't know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.




Don't you ever ask them why,

if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh

and know they love you.


- Lyrics by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young















Monday, March 30, 2009

Do I Need Changing ?

Does History Can Reflect Future

Dear ED:

Sorry to disturb you again , but here is my drama:

We both know, optimizing over different time periods gives different results. Suppose: if I got a time constant (fast=30 ,slow=90) from last 10 year data for a EMA system . Half year late, I find the values change to (fast=50, slow=120). Now, it’s very hard to make a decision, below is two options:

1: Keep follow with the change, because in the moment of NOW, the market already change ,just revise the parameters . But obviously , it’s will somehow lose my confidence with my system. Maybe need regularly back testing (Half year..).

2: Once I got a wise solution for my system, I’ll never back test it again , I choose to trust it , I welcome all the loses &wins the system brings to me . it’ll become my belief .because there is no perfect solution, everything is changing, how can i keep follow? There is no fear, no suspicion for me.

Currently, I prefer option 2, what’s your suggestion?


I suggest you enjoy your drama and come to know its positive intention.

Thursday, 26 March, 2009


Compilation of Ed-Quotes


Chief Ed,

I received this compilation from a friend:


The markets are the same now as they were five or ten years ago because they keep changing - just like they did then.

Short-Term Trading

The elements of good trading are cutting losses, cutting losses, and cutting losses.


Win or lose, everybody gets what they want out of the market. Some people seem to like to lose, so they win by losing money.

I think that if people look deeply enough into their trading patterns, they find that, on balance, including all their goals, they are really getting what they want, even though they may not understand it or want to admit it.

Market Trends

The trend is your friend except at the end where it bends.

Charles Faulkner tells a story about Seykota's finely honed intuition when it comes to trading: I am reminded of an experience that Ed Seykota shared with a group. He said that when he looks at a market, that everyone else thinks has exhausted its up trend, that is often when he likes to get in. When I asked him how he made this determination, he said he just puts the chart on the other side of the room and if it looked like it was going up, then he would buy it... Of course this trade was seen through the eyes of someone with deep insight into the market behavior.

Predicting the Future

If you want to know everything about the market, go to the beach. Push and pull your hands with the waves. Some are bigger waves, some are smaller. But if you try to push the wave out when it's coming in, it'll never happen. The market is always right.


To avoid whipsaw losses, stop trading.

Here's the essence of risk management: Risk no more than you can afford to lose, and also risk enough so that a win is meaningful. If there is no such amount, don't play.

Pyramiding instructions appear on dollar bills. Add smaller and smaller amounts on the way up. Keep your eye open at the top.

Markets are fundamentally volatile. No way around it. Your problem is not in the math. There is no math to get you out of having to experience uncertainty.

It can be very expensive to try to convince the markets you are right.

System Trading

Systems don't need to be changed. The trick is for a trader to develop a system with which he is compatible.

I don't think traders can follow rules for very long unless they reflect their own trading style. Eventually, a breaking point is reached and the trader has to quit or change, or find a new set of rules he can follow. This seems to be part of the process of evolution and growth of a trader.


Our work is not so much to treat or to cure feelings, as to accept and celebrate them. This is a critical difference.

Fundamentalists figure things out and anticipate change. Trend followers join the trend of the moment. Fundamentalists try to solve their feelings. Trend followers join their feelings and observe them evolve and dis-solve. The feelings we accept and enjoy rarely interfere with trading. Trying to treat or cure feelings adds mass.

When a feeling dissolves, it ceases to be your enemy and begins to be one of your allies.

Technology and Uncertainty

Advanced technology for analyzing the markets is interesting, entertaining, distracting, and even counter-productive to coming to terms with emotional reactions to uncertainty and volatility.

By the way, if you want something certain about the markets, uncertainty itself almost certainly happens to be one of the most certain things about the markets.

Experience Feelings

Feelings naturally appear during trading. The feelings we don't like seem to have roots deep in our unresolved issues. Somehow they get stuck and do not finish passing through, and can cloud the judgment and interfere with trading. The feelings we do like seem to pass through quickly without much trace.

I suggest getting to know your feelings, by experiencing them, expressing them, letting them pass through and finding out they are pretty much all good ones.

Jet engines work best when they are open at both ends.

Feeling Stuck

The feelings you don't like don't pass through. Feelings you do like pass through. To get feelings to flow through, and not interfere with your trading, learn to like them. Part of that comes from experience, part with identifying their positive intentions. For example, consider the feeling of being lonely and having others tell you are wrong. When the market is trending nicely, it's a feeling traders might especially enjoy, even use as a signal to add to a position.

The feeling of everyone telling you that you are right, might actually be the scary one.


There is nothing quite like admitting you don't know anything to make people think you know something.


In your recipe for success, don't forget commitment - and a deep belief in the inevitability of your success.


Define your project and the right tool appears. Questions about the tools indicate uncertainty about the project.

Avoiding Pain

Embracing the moment, celebrating the pain, and finding the positive intention, tends to transform pain into wisdom. Trying to avoid the bad stuff only tends to institutionalize it, and miss it's positive intention.

If running out of gas is a bad feeling, you might be tempted to put masking tape over your fuel gauge ... and miss out on the positive intention of that information.


Trends are markets having aha moments.

What you believe is true for you.

In futures trading, the short and long positions define each other.

A fish at one with the water sees nothing between himself and his prey. A trader at one with his feelings feels nothing between himself and executing his method.

Traders and Surfers

It's all about sticking to your plan and experiencing feelings as they arise. If you are unwilling to feel your feelings, the temptation is to avoid them by jumping off your system.

Traders and Surfers both have to deal with feelings of missing out on the small ones, until the big one comes along. They also have to deal with feelings of staying with the big one.

Feelings You Dislike

Feelings you dislike, grow stronger; the feelings you like disappear, leaving you wiser.

The turning point in the Process occurs when you become willing to feel a historically unpleasant feeling.

Positive Intention

You might consider the positive intention of anger - hint: the positive intention of thirst is to make sure you have enough water in your body.


Children seem open to feel whatever they feel. Their moods change from moment to moment as they keep experiencing their feelings. As we mature, we learn to contain our feelings.


Thinking about emotions, trying to control emotions, talking about emotions ... are all different from experiencing emotions.


Lungs Lose Air about Half the Time.


The experience of fear varies from person to person. The positive intention of fear is risk control.

Fred (your subconscious mind) finds ways to get the fearless to feel fear.

Hard Work

Hard Work does not Guarantee Profit and one man's hard work might be another man's recreation

Finding your Calling

Finding your calling is a continuation of the process of unifying Fred (unconscious mind) and CM (conscious mind).

As we clear out our personal pains and dramas, our issues and feelings tend to turn outward, toward others, toward building community, being of service, locating and expressing our talents and gifts ...

Things you Measure Tend to Improve.


Becoming a better trader and becoming a better person seem to go together.

The Most Direct Communications require no words. They require only a good receiver.

Most people are really pretty agreeable, until you try to change them.

Your Experience of Others may depend on the degree to which you support or resist their mission, as they see it.


The responsibility model, in which you intend a result and assume responsibility, seems to provide a better fit for real-life situations.

World Peace

We are all here on this planet, temporarily, sharing some room with each other. Some chop wood and some carry water.

How about we help each other a bit more, fight a bit less.


When you are willing to experience your mate just the way she is, she loses her power to control you and she becomes your ally.

Your judgment of her judgment empowers it.

Thank you for the summary.


Maybe I can use some of this stuff in my Workshops and on FAQ.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Natural Evolution of Government



I hope that you will watch this 10 minute video.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/


Thank you for the clip.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Bumper Sticker Report


Dear Ed,

This is an update on my bumper sticker process. My slogan as written up on FAQ date March 15, 2009, is “My Trading Builds Wealth.” For 2 weeks I measure my process with these results.

I realize that the bumper sticker has a powerful tendency to magnetize my activities toward its literal meaning. The inclusion of the word “Trading” draws me to devote time to that activity at the expense of goals that I set for myself at earlier tribe meetings, namely to integrate neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) into my behavior and System Dynamics (SD) into my strategy. Much time is devoted to collaborating with Tribe members on trading related activities, on systems development and on actual trading. No time is spent on my NLP and SD goals. My trading is successful but my strategic goals are untouched. Conclusions: 1) the bumper sticker is as powerful as you suggest, and 2) my current bumper sticker needs work!

Prior to Tribe Meeting #4, I work to improve my bumper sticker slogan. Several versions emerge.

1. My Strategy Builds Wealth

2. My Successful Strategy Builds Wealth.

3. My Strategy Builds Wealth and Happiness.

4. My Strategy Builds Health, Wealth and Happiness.

5. My Life Strategy Builds Wealth and Happiness for Me and Those Around Me.

6. My Strategy Builds Wealth.

This progression starts and ends with the same phrase yet by the end I have an entirely new understanding about what the phrase means to me. The word “Wealth” now incorporates “Health” and “Happiness.” The word “Strategy” includes activities beyond trading and people beyond me alone.

This feels right and good. I am smiling inside. Likely my process measurements look quite different upon next update.

Thank you for sharing your process.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Write for Permission to Reprint



Hi Ed,


I note that your articles at






© Ed Seykota, 2003 - 2008 ... Write for permission to reprint.



That means that I can reprint and sell your articles?



Thank you very much.

The copyright date generally indicates the starting, not the ending date of the copyright.


You may reprint and sell my articles, including your email to the left, when the copyright expires - or by writing for permission.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Play - Video



The importance of play.

Video: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/



Thank you for the clip.

Sunday, March 29, 2009 6:24 AM

Equilibrium Investing



I act in the world from a new belief that works well.

That belief is that the sum of all the energy in all systems adds up to zero; therefore the equilibrium/harmony value of any entire system is zero.

Imbalances are created and exist, until they are neutralized. It is as if the imbalances are attractors to forces that can act to neutralize the imbalance.

This belief supports being more aware of systems and imbalances or dis-equilibriums that exist in systems.

I notice two types. The first is the imbalances that I create by my own actions.

The second is the imbalances that already exist in the system.

All the imbalances are like voltage, a difference of potential.

I pay close attention to social systems, studying them over the past few months. I conduct experiments and get good results.

I now have a large amount of net energy gain from a certain social system. I gain it by simply noting one of these imbalances in the certain social system, and acting to assist the system in getting to equilibrium. I barely have to do anything at all to capture this big "net energy gain" once I identify the imbalances and the potential gains these imbalances represent. One way I can describe it is like this: the gain comes from acting a neutralizer to "capture the voltage".

I am also much more aware of how my actions can serve to destabilize a system at equilibrium, in effect creating a new opportunity for some other agent to bring it back to the equilibrium state.

I continue to explore and experiment with these ideas; this send to FAQ is part of my ongoing experiments.

Trading against imbalances presupposes an "equilibrium value" and a negative feedback loop that intends to restore the state to equilibrium.


You might consider the following processes:

micro-organism growth in a culture broth


virus spreading in a population


avalanche breakdown within a dielectric


nuclear chain reaction


multi-level marketing


Moore's law


compound interest


spread of cell phones

These processes proceed, in the early stages, according to the exponential growth characteristic of positive feedback loops.




Some People Like to Bet

on negative feedback


and on a return to the norm.


Others Like to bet

on positive feedback


and on Trends.










Saturday, March 28, 2009


Pendulum Model Brings Up Insights

Dear Ed,

I experience another amazing tribe session. The pace is rapid, the information deep, and I enjoy every moment!

One essential concept we cover is the only thing that can stop me from doing anything is a feeling. This idea is extremely powerful.

I have an issue with "not enough resources". As I work on my pendulum models, I feel strong urges to avoid using up my notepad - that leads to feelings about my pen running out of ink. I note these feelings and start to enjoy it. I DARE myself to fill up the $0.99 notepad by the end of my flight. I DARE myself to have the pen run out of ink. It sounds ridiculous, yet this is my result on small levels, and big levels such as cars, real estate, trading, and time.

The result is I laugh, get back to the work, and finish the model. My lens to the world is sharper today as I consider systems all around me.




I attach my imperial measured Pendulum Modeling on Vensim. I work it out on paper before putting into Vensim.







Through page 12, 2nd order feedback loops is very helpful. 4426-3's pendulum model is the basis of my model. I hunted and pecked to get the right drag time constant.

The pdf algo made the graphs a bit wobbly - in Vensim they are smooth sine waves.

Thank you for sharing your process.




One Man's Shortage


is another man's opportunity.



Clip: http://www.treehugger.com/


Saturday, March 28, 2009

When A-Pie is Up-High


In FAQ item, "Wants a Piece of the Pie (9/26/2008)", a contributor mentions that someone proposing a "We deserve it Dividend," which is instead giving the $85 billion to AIG, give it to the 200 million U.S. adult citizens instead, such that each get $425,000.

If I do my math correctly, which I triple-check to make sure, it is $425 per person, not $425,000.

I think that you might have to be a member of congress or a close friend to qualify for the 1000 X provision.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Report from IVTT Meeting #4


I have an “Ah Ha” at the meeting.

Ed mentions, almost casually and in passing, that
“ Building and Operating a Systematic Trading System, is a tool to medicate feelings of loss and uncertainty”.

The “lightbulb” goes on over my head!

That is exactly what I am doing when building a system and reviewing it.

I am LEAST interested in “How much a system could possibly make”. I am MOST interested in “How much it could possibly lose”. The first data I look at upon completion of a simulation is:





I build systems to LOSE money at a frequency, in an amount, and for a duration of time that I am comfortable with. Then, every once in a while, a market or two will move enough to produce a profit in the account large enough to offset those losses.

BUT, the priority in building a system for myself, is to HAVE A COMFORTABLE METHOD TO LOSE as I wait for relatively infrequent flurries of profit.

Thank you for sharing your process.



Knowing How to Lose


is part of winning.



Clip: http://leadershipformlm.com/wp-content/


Friday, March 27, 2009

Recent Gains


Today is the first day I incorporate system dynamics into my manual day trading. My account grows by 6.4%.

Prior to today, over the past 2 weeks as the benefits of replacing my Medicinal Rock with a Pro Active Rock played out in trading, my account grows by 5.6% per day on average.

The clearly identifiable benefits of Tribe participation for me include strong and satisfying new friendships, better love relationships, intellectual stimulation, deep learning, elimination of risky behaviors and 113% trading account growth.

While Mr. Market may claw some gains back, he cannot touch the personal growth or healthy relationships that result from my Tribe and TTP.

Thank you!

Thank you for sharing your process.

Thursday, March 26, 2009



see previous

Dear Ed:


I thank you for your kind sharing and insight on my FAQ dated 3/15/09. It must have been a very hard to get along in Cartagena Columbia (roughest parts of the world) I thank you very much for everything.

My measuring experience have been quite fun. I had couple of dates and it was interesting. I have to work on proper dress and my weight as my dating experience improves. It's hard when you are attracted to the girl and she isn't but I guess that comes with the price. I could feel I would meet the right person before summer.

Thank you for sharing your process.




Dating Can Be a Way


to discover yourself


and others.


Clip: http://www.ukdating.com/homepages/


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Feedback Models
Hi Ed,

What happens to the Kondratieff Wave Model when an X sized stimulus package based on debt is inserted on the tail of a system wide debt bubble to the order of 53X that is still in the early stages of deflating?

In the pendulum example for "NOW" I think the take away is 3 causes 4, and 4 causes 3. However they both also have a decreasing effect making this an inappropriate example. In NOW, time is not a variable therefore 3 and 4 are constant and the identical of 1.

Your thoughts?

You suggest "inserting" a structure (stimulus package) on a behavior (debt bubble).


You are invoking the causal model.


You might consider completing some of the System Dynamics exercises to get idea about the basic notions.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Few Catches on FAQ
Hi Ed -

Greetings. I trust you are well.

I value FAQ immensely. I enjoy your wit, and learn a lot from your knowledge and wisdom.

I feel gratitude toward you for what I get from you and your work.

During my recent readings of FAQ, I begin to make note of minor "catches" which I wish to bring to your notice. I want to contribute to ensuring that this valuable resource is without blemish for all who are fortunate enough to avail of it ....

1. Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - Wants to Understand
In your response to this post you say "Thank you fro sharing your process." That should be for.

2. Monday, January 26, 2009 - Getting Clear on Trading Software
At the end of the question put to you by the poster, you include his name. That is against your normal practice.

3. Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - Random Acts of Violence
In the question put to you by the poster (para 4) you edit his content with [Other Form]. You probably intend that to be [Other Firm].

4. Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - Random Acts of Violence
In the question put to you by the poster (para 17 - commencing with "I am a ... ") you include the name of his employer. That is against your normal practice.

Thank you for the catches.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shocking Trade


Right before I try to place an order to go long Aussie/Yen, I get an electric shock in my legs. The [xxx] Tribe knows about this. Whenever I get a warm buzzing feeling or electric shock, I go through my system checklist again before I put on the trade. I check, and I misread the breakout level. My system indicator checklist now reads:

1. [aaaa] - yes
2. [bbbb] - yes
3. [cccc] - yes
4. breakout level - no
5. [eeee] - yes

I stay away from Aussie/Yen for now, and the electric shock stops. A few weeks ago, all five items turn on for Asian stock indices, and I am right on time. The break is so clean.

In January, I avoid the feelings associated with marketing, and I do very little. I have a big drawdown.

In March, I work on marketing EVERY DAY. I am up a lot.

While I go running, I get an extremely painful cramp in my calves, and I start hobbling on the road. I suddenly feel extremely overwhelmed, and it's the same AHA feeling I wrote about to Seykota back in April 2003.


I yell out to the sky, "IT'S ME!! I AM DOING THIS TO MYSELF, AND MY BODY WORKS!!" I see the drama, then my cramps mysteriously disappear, and I start running really fast for a long period of time with no pain. I get home and start my ... workout.

Back in 2003, I remember my legs did the same massive cramp thing, and I stopped working out. I gained a lot of weight. I had some massive blowups around that time, especially with the British Pound. It's almost the same cycle then and now:

I intentionally cramp up my legs

-->> so I stop exercising
-->> I am not sharp, I cannot focus and concentrate well
-->> I then trade frequently to try and make money all the time, I have more mistakes and system jumps
-->> I avoid marketing shitty performance, maybe I shut down the hedge fund, and blame it on not having enough AUM to survive
-->> I also don't have to experience the possibility of failing

That is my real system - the sum of everything I am unwilling to feel.

I see my marketing rock, and I take it with me whenever I go out. People laugh when I put the rock on the dinner table with my keys and my cell phone. They are very curious about it, and I give a short story about how I was given the "It's OK" rock. They want to hear more.

I currently recognize another drama I have. I don't want the current Asian equity and Energy rally to end. I want it to keep going so I can make a lot of money. That way, I don't have to do marketing. If the equity rally stops now and I receive no system signals for the rest of the year, how would I feel about that? I might not be able to raise more funds through marketing, and I can easily blame it on the current environment for hedge funds. I might have to shut down the fund if I can't reach critical mass and make profitable trades. I don't have enough personal funds to survive.

I have my answer as always: I keep doing marketing and I go all the way with my system. I do it the way that is right for me. I suddenly feel content and at peace with myself. I feel very clear, light, and empty, like I'm not carrying any baggage.

For the first time, I feel I have taken ownership of my situation. I am solely responsible for the success of my fund, and I avoid using the tribe and other people as a crutch. I accept success as a given, and I dissolve everything standing between me and growing an extremely profitable hedge fund.

Thank you for sharing your process.




Shocks, Like Other Feelings


have a positive intention


to inform.



Clip:  http://www.shockinglighters.net/


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Evolving Markets

Dear Ed,

Thank you very much for your time.

A recurring question that i often find myself wrestling with is the evolving nature of the markets.
As with an any ecosystem, exploitable edges (to use a trading term) tend to be in a state of flux, or a pendulum motion if you like. Becoming more and more complex.

To relate this back to trading, i have been a professional trader for 3 years, started off as a local and progressed to managing my own trend following fund and a lot of this is down to inspiration from you. But i am continually seeing the depressing sight of traders being killed off when their edge in the market dries up.

I realize you could argue that to "predict" the demise of trend following is not part of trend following theory in itself. However you could also argue that we are in a down trend in the equity curve of trend following as many basic trend following concepts that worked 30 years ago are no longer effective, Donchian's original system for example. This is because trend following is evolving and becoming more complex, in my opinion.

My question to you is, is Trend Following evolving to become a more complex organism and we are in an adapt or die situation as i suspect, and we need to change and modify systems to become more complex. My issue with this is it conflicts with a famous quote i believe you once made (to paraphrase) "systems don't need to be changed, the secret is finding a system that suits your personality". I'm not arguing trends will stop existing, just raising the point that the process of entering the trend is continually evolving as people look to exploit it, which has the same end result as trend disappearing as your entry is ineffective at capturing it. Have you found the need to modify systems has increased?

Best Regards

I recall hearing people expressing the same kind of doubts you share - some forty years ago, as I am entering this business.


Indeed, I hold that trend-doubters are essential to the profitable functioning of trend-following methods.




Doubters Balance Believers



Clip: http://images.despair.com/products/


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Preparatory for February 26 IVTT Meeting

Hi Ed,

As per your suggestion, I am sending this Bumper Sticker, along with my experience of creating it and using it.

After reading up on the FAQ to get a sense of the Bumper Sticker Process, I gather that it is "a slogan in the format of a bumper sticker that 'magnetizes' us like a compass needle toward our goal."

My own interpretation is that it is to gives us a clear identity - how we see ourselves to be. For at a deep level, how we see ourselves dictates our actions, which creates the results that we get, and which shapes our identity in how we see ourselves.

So what are some words that carry strong meaning to me? Philosopher, father, love, serve. Maybe also commitment, truth, kindness, perseverance. (Interestingly, eight years or so ago, I'd have trader instead of philosopher. Also, before TTP, service, commitment and etc. don't mean anything at all)

I can't seem to be able to connect the dots here, so I plan to bring this to the local tribe meeting tomorrow and see what comes up, as well as finding a way to measure it.


I have a great tribe meeting where I serve as Process Manager for two hot seats. Then I talk to the members about the Bumper Sticker Process I read from the FAQ. They help me a lot in clarifying what ticks me so that I can focus in that area.

As I think about it now, it seems that the "bliss function" I try to maximize is "worthiness," which I measure that by how much positive impact I make in others. To increase my "worthiness" is to serve others, which one great example is to be able to support others to be who they truly want to be, as long as their vision touches me.

Therefore, my Bumper Sticker is a reinforcing circle diagram, with Love -> Serve -> Worthiness and back to Love. The slogan is, "I live an amazingly worthwhile life"

Here's my initial list of measurement:

Number of weeks spent serving as local tribe leader to support members in their pursuit of personal growth,

Number of times I gather the courage to do the right thing so as to serve as an example for my son,

Number of times I fail to gather the courage (uses as a penalty to the bliss function).

Thanks to the IVTT members who share their process on FAQ in a detailed manner so that I can follow along thousands of miles away.

Thank you for sharing your process.



Bumper Stickers


can magnetize you


toward Right Livelihood




lip: http://www.a3bs.com/imagelibrary/U19553/



Wednesday, March 25, 2009





Ed says, "I notice you continue to struggle with the notion of everything occurring in the ever-evolving moment of now" (FAQ 3/23/09, Trouble Remembering the -p)

Yes, you point out the issue exactly. Sure, I can understand conceptually that whatever I do, I can only do it "now." I can't go neither to "future" or "past." I can understand these conceptually.

I think what's confusing comes from the fact that we grow up learning about giving labels to each moment of now. That is, I can specify a particular moment of now such as "October 9th, 2008, 12:14:34 ET." (That's the time when my son is born) So now, when I refer to that moment, I can call it the "past." In other words, "now" is the reference point I am comparing to call that moment "past". Similarly, I use "now" as a reference point so that I can refer to a particular moment in say 2010 as "future."

It seems that so long as I am occupied with the concept of labeling dates, I continue to think in terms of past and future. Even in the pendulum system, we specify position in reference to some particular moment and we label them t=0, t=1, t=2. As long as we can specify a particular instant, we can make comparisons and call them "past" or "present."

What you seem to suggest is to instead give up on labeling. Then I can't specify any particular moment as it is all "now."


I sense that there may be some huge benefits for doing this, although I am not quite sure what it is, how it helps, or even how it goes with systems thinking, which generally involves simulating how things evolve with time.

Ed says, "You might also consider taking your feelings about <blameand guilt> to Tribe." (FAQ 3/23/09, Delay)

Actually, I already did. Through it I notice a typical pattern of mine, which is when I don't like something, I tend to blame it on others, and then I feel guilty about it. My typical "solution" is to "try" to take responsibility, but if so, I usually do so grudgingly.


When you refer to your son's birth, you might refer to your memory (that exists now) or some photos of it (that exist now).


One advantage of keeping your thinking in the now is that it more closely reflects how things like pendulums, relationships and markets actually operate.




No Matter What Your Watch Says


it's still, and always





Clip: http://www.geekologie.com/2007/07/16/now-watch.jpg

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Loves Another



Ed Says: The notions of moment-of-now and frequency might be more inclusive; we are all vibrating as one, in this ever-evolving moment of now. In the associating System Model, you have intention = result.

The most interesting FAQ quote ever! We are one.

Ed, about five years ago, in a time of great emotional and psychological distress, I happened to make friends with a female co-worker. She is smart, beautiful and caring. As time went by she also happened to become my chief. We worked together and our friendship and mutual emotional support only grew stronger. Our relationship, though, remained just as an intimate friendship. She is about 9 years older than myself and also happily married.

Eventually, our paths led to different directions: I moved from town to another job position in a distant city. Initially I kept writing her e-mail and as I was far away I became increasingly aware of how fond of her I am. I share(d) with her all of my feelings. We are still friends.

I wish I had a mate just like her. And I long for someone like her. Yet she seems unique and irreplaceable, even as I am in a relationship with another girl. So, I guess, I basically suffer for love.

Thank you for sharing your process.




Crosby, Stills and Nash


"If you can't be with the one you love,

Love The One You're With."





Clip: http://www.boston.com/ae/music/


Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Loose Cannon - Fires Again

see previous

Chief Ed,

Thank you for all of your insights.

They were welcome, harsh, and appropriate.
I mean no harm to others as a loose cannon:



Perhaps a loose sidearm, cocked with the safety off? I may shoot myself in the foot, but intend NO harm to anyone. "Win or lose, everybody gets what they want out of the market." I intend to hit a grand slam long financial and real estate ETF's this year.


As I swing for the fences, perhaps this risk can't be managed! My "system" may not exist . . . ouch! "The experience of fear varies from person to person. The positive intention of fear is risk control." Is this my intent, risk control? I need to meditate on this thought. I re-read Mark Sleeman's excellent work. Thank you Mark! I recommend all TTP members read Mark's GRAB method reasearch.

Ed, thank you for everything.

I wonder if others rely on you for support - and how your volatility might effect them.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 12:47 PM

Pendulum Model Has Errors

Hi Ed,

I am trying to duplicate your pendulum model in Excel. Just by plugging in your equations (see attached Excel spreadsheet), I get a chart that looks similar in *SHAPE* as the one on your webpage




but which also seems obviously wrong:

I can't really see the numbers well on your chart on the website, but it seems that the y-axis is marked 0, 150 and 300 for position (blue), and -25, 5, and 25 for velocity (red).

If so, the chart seems wrong and there are many questions:

1. For velocity, how can the mid-point be 5 if the extremes are 25 and -25? (Am I reading the numbers wrong? They are too small for me to read clearly)

2. The only way for the mid-point to be 5 is if the max point is 35. But how can the red line starts at 35 if INIT velocity = 30?

3. For position, how can the blue line be always positive and never crosses 0 (I am under the impression that position = 0 corresponds to when it is vertical)?

4. Also, I am not sure what you mean by position. Since it is always positive, are you measuring position as the vertical distance from the "lowest" (or bottom) point? Therefore, if the pendulum is horizontal (i.e. parallel to the table it sits on), then the position is L (length of the pendulum)? If it is at the "highest" point, then its position is 2*L? It doesn't make much sense that in your chart, position eventually stabilizes at a non-zero value.

5. I try another way of figuring out what you mean by position. Since angle = position / length, and since you define position = 0 (thus angle = 0) when it is at the bottom, so that seems to suggest that when the pendulum is vertical upside down (angle should be pi/2, or 180 degrees). Since position = angle * length, therefore at the upside-down instant, its position would be pi / 2 * L?

6. Velocity is a vector, correct? If so, then what's the direction that it is pointing? It seems that, since velocity is determined by acceleration, and since acceleration is gravity minus some drag, and since gravity is pointing straight down, then the velocity would also be pointing straight down? That doesn't make any sense with INIT Velocity = 30, for that would suggest that when the pendulum is at the bottom, its velocity is pointing straight down at 30 m/s, but I thought when the pendulum is vertical, direction of the velocity is the tangent line which is parallel to the table.


Good work ! You are correct !

You are also the first Tribe member to notice these inconsistencies.

The equation set (intention) you cite does indeed not match the behavior (result). The behavior graph is from a series of runs in which I vary the inputs from the equation set.

I am replacing the equation set with one that matches the behavior.

In addition, I am posting a more legible graph
and also another one that details angle and gravitation effect.

Position and angle measure from the bottom.

The pendulum goes full circle (over the top)
a number of times before settling down.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 1:28 PM

IVTT, Week 3 Write-Up



This week was more relaxed, with the “bumper sticker” exercise. My sticker said “Joyous + Free” and I was able to articulate what that meant to me and why it was a goal. In subsequent revisions, I changed it to “I am Joyous + Free”. I am feeling much more relaxed in the IVTT. Ironically, we haven’t talked about trading much. I am appreciating more and more the idea that “intention = result”.

I decided to log certain behaviors, the idea is to measure but not modify. The behaviors are: [1] negative self-talk [2] negative interactions with spouse including resistance, resentment, hostility and enmeshment [3] negative interactions with kids including resentment, hostility and overpowering them [4] yelling [5] pleasure seeking behavior. An additional behavior, apologizing, was added to my list after the meeting. I sometimes do or say things and feel guilty and apologize. But often my actions or words are entirely appropriate and there is no need to apologize.

I constructed a small table and folded it into my wallet. I have been making hash marks in the table each time I find myself acting in one of the behaviors. Some are subtle and subject to interpretation, but I can refine the threshold later if I need to. My intention is be to be honest with myself. My results will reflect that intention.

Thank you for sharing your process.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Dear Chief Ed,

My life is a very interesting journey - with cycles in moods and finances. I observe that since my goal is to find and live right livelihood, gradually the cycles tend to reduce in amplitude and heat.

I attribute it to the elimination of drama from daily living.

I cruise along the road of right livelihood - family, health & finances all in harmony and balance.

Thank you for pointing the way, and being the incredible resource.


Thank you for sharing your process.





In Barbershop Music and in Life


harmony arises

out of sharing intention.


Clip: http://tayloranderson.net/barbershop/


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Letting it Ride and Terrified


I seem to have picked many stock bottoms over the last couple of weeks ... and now sitting on a comfortable profit.

I know it isn't consistent with sound trend trading (buying strong stocks, buying new highs, etc.) but felt compelled to break the rules. This terrifies me in many ways:

* I did not use a clear rule to initiate positions other than widespread fear among market participants.
* I'm margined at 3:1 (there goes the money management)
* I'm jumping back and forth on how I will exit (EMA crossover, Donchian channel, Darvas box).

Fear of the the coming drawdown and perhaps the fear of seeing profits disappear is setting in but I keep telling myself, let it ride, let it ride, no reason to sell.

I do however have individual stop loss protection in place to protect core capital.

I want to keep it simple, simple and simple. I re-read Livermore, Wizards and other books to find comfort and guidance.

I should be ecstatic but to be honest, I am terrified

I did everything wrong even though I show a large profit on the account.

My thoughts are in conflict.

You might consider taking your thoughts and feelings about <comfort>, <terror>, <fear> and <ecstasy> to Tribe.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Post It Girl

Hello Mr. Ed

I greatly admire the FAQ section and your 'relevant' pictorial comments.

Meanwhile see attachment for an innovative use of 3M's Post-It notes.



Post-It Note

as a resource for bachelors

The picture-story might have a different twist, depending on which of the bachelors is the one who applies the tag.

You might consider taking your feelings about <women> and <your mother> to Tribe.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Brain Study
Hi Ed,

Please see a study you may find interesting. I wonder if this is an attempt to medicate feelings of financial irresponsibility.

Study: brain switches off rationality when given 'expert advice'




If your brain switches off when you get expert advice, you might have a Medicinal Rock in situations involving your father and other authority figures.


A Pro-Active Rock containing responses to authoritative advice might include additional resources, such as:

Evaluate the advice.

Ask for Credentials.

Ask for a Track Record

Ask for References.

Take a Little Bit at First.

Do the Opposite.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009


TTP and Guilt

Ed, Hello:

I have attached a one page pdf file that simplifies the Fredian model.

Fred was missing a spirit and a body which reminded me of my children's younger years when all of those beheaded toy barbie dolls were strewn in my backyard from my insensitive German shepherd dog. I just had to fix that.

Let me know what you think.


TTP + Guilt Model

Your "simplification" model is full of references to "negative experiences," "negative behavior," "negative expectations," etc.


Consistent with your predilection for "good and evil," your model also contains religious references.


You might consider taking your feelings about <being a sinner> to Tribe.




The Devil


plays an important role

in religious practice.


Clip: http://users.tinyonline.co.uk/


Monday, March 23, 2009



see previous

Hi Ed,

Again, thanks for the answer. It is fascinating as I am pondering this paradoxical concept of time.

Your hearing firecrackers from different sides of the lake example is very interesting too. It reminds me of the twins paradox.

I think I recall reading something that says sometimes we can achieve a high leverage through reducing dt. I intend to read more and experiment with how increasing dt affects the solution. My initial guess now is that increasing dt would tend to amplify and overshoot, and maybe that would make things more prone to being unstable and oscillate?

Well, whichever our unit of measurement is (time, frequency, wavelength), isn't it still true to say that, in every now moment during the delay phase, the "result" that we can observe, is not fully reflecting our effect on the system?

If so, then especially in a complex system such as the world we are living in, could it be the case that, our effect on the entire system likely has significant delay, and so it would appear that the result we observe now may not seem to be an accurate reflection on our intention?

Once again, many thanks. I feel like the system thinking is a whole new world that I have never been to before, and everything is so...well, "wonderful" :-)

Consider a pendulum as a system that has an intention and a result to swing back and forth.


You seem to be looking at the pendulum once at, say an angle of 10-degrees and then again at and angle of 20-degrees - where these angles represent two different states of the pendulum.


Then you are invoking the causal model and saying that the 10-degree state is somehow "causing" the 20-degree state.


Causalists typically assign the cause and effect model to events that are proximate in space and are also in a time-sequence.


You then go the extra mile and proceed to substitute "intention and result" for "cause and effect."


You might consider completing the System Dynamic exercises, including building the pendulum model. You can do it in excel if you like. At that point, you might like to send your model to FAQ as an example for others.


You might also consider taking your feelings about <blame and guilt> to Tribe.



The Intention and Result of a Pendulum

is to swing back and forth.


Attempts to apply the Causal Model

to the pendulum include

"position 3 'causes' position 4."


Causalists are prime candidates

for guilt and blame issues.



Clip: http://www.materialworlds.com/sims/


Monday, March 23, 2009


Trouble Remembering the -p

see previous

Hi Ed,

Thanks for the answer on the FAQ. It helps me a lot.

I was actually under the impression SVO is equivalent to SVO-p, which apparently now I realize they aren't. English is not my mother language, and before TTP, I didn't even know there's such a term as SVO-p.

What I find really interesting though is that you say my claim is specious and deceptive, and then I remember, when I was quoting Senge in my message, I was lazy and first used a short-hand notation before modifying it back to subject-verb-object to reflect the exact wording of his. So I would have been even more deceptive (unknowingly), believing that the terms are equivalent.

Your suggestion of replacing "why" with "how" questions, and also the idea of wavelengths and frequencies give me a whole new perspective.
Thank you very much.

SVO-p: S-ubject, V-erb, O-bject - present tense.


I notice you continue to struggle with the notion of everything occurring in the ever-evolving moment of now - including your recent omission of the -p from SVO-p.


If you can come up with even one single counter-example - that is, one teeny-weenie thing you can do in the past or future, please document it with a snapshot and send it to FAQ.




Our Pictures of the Future


all exist in the now.


Clip: http://www.treehugger.com/


Monday, March 23, 2009


Loose Cannon

Chief Ed,

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.  And for my sins, I received "A Hail Mary".  On Friday March 20th, I broke my system rules. I failed to set protective stops. I doubled down on XXX and YYY. These positions accounted for 77% of my equity. My account was up 23.5% today. The positions are 63% of AUM. I got lucky. I hit a 14 and got a 7, dealer's King had a 6 and drew a ten.

My question:

Can you recommend resources / research / advice on setting stops? My system: I average the three day low trades. I place the stop median this 3 day average and the fourth day low. Re: FAS, stop level is 5.42. 5.78+4.90+5.70=1638/3=5.46 Fourth day low=5.37, stop at 5.415. I will use weekly lows as the position "works". Is this stupid or simple enough to work? Any advice on multi-position stops vs. "all out"?. Thank you for everything.


"Hail Mary, not a Cab!"

I have Father issues, twice, both adopted and genetic.

Recommending stops for your "system" is like recommending a band-aid for a loose cannon.


You might consider taking your feelings about <trying to win your father's love> to Tribe.




Acting Like a Loose Cannon


is one way


to beg for attention.


Clip: http://splendidink.com/graphics/jpg/


Monday, March 23, 2009

Fancy Footwork


I always suspected some fancy footwork, now I have proof!

fancy footwork.wmv

Hmmm ... thank you for this clip of the dance between the Treasury, the Fed, the Current Administration, Fannie and Freddie - looks like the jig is up.

Monday, March 23, 2009

TTP and Winning Speech Contest

Automatic and Naturally


I see you post my note about winning the speech contest on FAQ. In that note I neglect to state the important role that my Tribe and TTP plays. Here is additional info as others may benefit by understanding the power of TTP through a real life example, that you can add to the original note on FAQ.

Before that speech contest, and prior to joining the [City] Trading Tribe, I am an experienced public speaker but a weak competitor in all aspects. I do not enjoy winning out of fear that the losers will not like me. I may even feel that I “caused” them to lose, that I inflicted harm to them in some inexplicable way.

This goes on since Junior High School when bullies tease me mercilessly all year, steal from me, punch me. These are the first people I have met that I cannot overcome with persuasion. Not only do I suffering their verbal and physical abuse, but I am very confused why I can’t talk my way out of it as I have done with every other unpleasant situation up to then. I take their abuse and do not complain to parents or teachers. As a result I am the loser. Forever after in my brain a “loser dude” hangs around to nag me with destructive self-talk whenever I get close to reaching a goal. All my efforts to excel in academics and professional career drag this loser along. When I succeed it is despite his presence.

Earlier on FAQ you document my rocks experience (Sisyphus) that frees me from “being tough” as my only response to abuse by giving me alternative and more powerful tools. During the rocks experience I banished the “loser dude.” Only now, weeks later, do realize this result of my Sisyphus rocks process. My new rock is what enabled me to win that speech contest. I was entirely free of negative self-talk beforehand, felt a calm assurance throughout my body (days before the competition that I would win, and have no fears or negative feelings about “causing” others to lose as I might have had before.

Again I feel tremendous gratitude to you for innovating TTP and to my Tribe for working with me to solve problems of which I was not even consciously aware.

Thank you for sharing your process.


The TTP Rocks process operates on your sub-conscious response patterns. 


You may find yourself acting differently and getting different results, without being specifically conscious of what you are doing differently.




Your Inner Orator


operates from the gut


as well as from the mind.



Clip: http://www.animationbuddy.com/Animation/


Monday, March 23, 2009

Father-Son Bonding

see previous


Thank you for your continued support and feedback. You say: Father-Son Bonding is an important part of how fathers teach sons how to behave.

I wonder if you can expand on this thought.

Fathers serve as Rock Donors, particularly in situations involving relationships with work and with women.  In these situations men typically respond like their fathers respond.


In the TTP Rocks Process, we may supplement Medicinal Rocks with Pro-active Rocks.


You might consider taking your feelings about <your father> to Tribe.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Father and Son

see previous

Hi Ed,

It has been a while since I was in touch through FAQs or read FAQs, I hope you are well.

The emotional problems I am having stem from my father who I work with. We are both emotional people and me not being in charged at work is taking its toll on me, it was ok when I was 18 but now at 28 I have ideas I want to try out at the family business and I find it hard to see things being done I don’t agree with. After 10 years it’s getting harder not easier and I think I will choose to leave.

We went away on business last week and it was very tense at times I dream of telling him how I feel and often my dreams are violent. I think I am still angry at him divorcing my Mom deep down. His new partner is very destructive and I feel I want to ‘save’ him. It is hard to see him having a hard time but I guess you’ll say it’s not my place to decide what is good for him.

Some people say you have to get used to not getting what you want all the time and ‘that’s life’. I don’t feel this. I feel you can take decisions that lead to you being 100% in control of your life and in turn the feelings you generate for yourself. It is going to be tough in many ways but my dream was to work for myself, by myself and it’s time I took steps to make this dream come true.

Hopefully I can leave in a way that doesn’t make him feel I am getting at him. I have tremendous respect and admiration for everything he has done for me and in business. I don’t want him to experience feelings of rejection and ‘not being good enough’ for me to stay.

It’s a tough time, thanks for being there.

Kind regards

Thank you for sharing your process.


You might consider taking your feelings about <communicating with your father> to Tribe.




Father and Son


In the TTP Rocks Process

we do not forgive a person.


We for-give (give back)

the Rock (response pattern).



Clip: http://www.lds.org/hf/multimedia/files/book/


Monday, March 23, 2009


MBTI and Trading

Chief Ed,

Do you know which MBTI personality type is a best fit for doing trading tasks? Is it the INTJ?

Do you know of any research in this area?

I do not know of any such research.



Monday, March 23, 2009


TTP in a Bottle

Dear Ed,

Yesterday I talk to my mother in [Country]. She took the hot seat during my visit in January. For years she had a very difficult relationship to my brother in law. She reports a substantial improvement since the hot seat (she describes the current relationship as “idyllic”). My brother in law, who also took a single hot seat then, reports a substantial improvement in her interpersonal relationships too and receiving much more acknowledgement in his profession.

Too bad that we cannot bottle this stuff.

Thank you for sharing your report.


Actually, TTP does come in a bottle; the bottle it comes in is the Tribe.




TTP is Like Water in a Lake


It's free

if you bring

your own bottle.


Clip: http://www.thesage.com/images/


Monday, March 23, 2009

Delay, Time and Frequency

see previous

Hi Ed,

Here are some TTP premise:

1. There is only "now"
2. Intention = Result

As I am reading on systems thinking, one of the key building block in system is delay. For example, a factory may decide to crank up production, but there is delay in how fast it can hire enough workers to get to the desired capacity. Or that there may be a gap between where we are now to where we want to be (in Peter Senge's terms, the "Creative Gap") that there is a delay in which it takes our effort and hard work to close the gap.

But in TTP, time does not exist. At any moment of now, if we are in the delay phrase, it may seem that all our work is a waste, for the result is simply that we aren't there yet, and then we may start questioning about our intention, even though from a systems perspective, what we are doing is exactly what gets us closer to our snapshot.

I wonder how you think about the concept of delays in the moment of now. Thanks.

At 8:00, you write an email to FAQ.  As you press each and every key, you do so in the moment of now. I receive the email, also in the ever-evolving moment of now.  I answer it, again pressing each and every key in the moment of now. At 9:00, you read the response, again reading each and every word in the moment of now.


You have a thought, "there is a delay between sending the email and getting the response." You have that thought in the ever-evolving moment of now.


In Dynamo, Vensim, Stella, iThink, ProSim and other dynamic modeling languages, you can find something with a name, delay.  All the elements of a delay operate in and only in the same moment of now, which we call dt. The solution accuracy improves as dt approaches zero.  If you increase dt, the solution deteriorates.


In your readings about systems and thinking about "time," you might consider reading up on (1) dt, (2) the effect introducing more "time" has on the accuracy of the solution, and (3) the Runge-Kutta Method for enhancing numerical solutions.


I might also suggest the System Dynamics concept of "time constant" provides an opportunity to slide into past-future thinking - and that, if you want to be a SVO-p purist, you can re-constitute all System Dynamics time-constants into their reciprocal frequencies.


You likely think of your body responding to colors and sounds, of various frequencies; you do not normally parse this information into periods or wavelengths.  You normally think of how many times per week you exercise (frequency), not about the length of "time" between workouts (period).


When you tune your piano or guitar, you might normally use a tuning fork of a certain frequency, say A-440, indicating a pitch of A at 440 cycles / second.  You do not typically encounter "A" tuning forks that state the period of .0023 seconds or the  wavelength of .75 meters - although these are roughly equivalent.  Note: the wavelength of an A-440 tuning fork varies with air pressure and temperature.


A further dimension of the notion of time is that in different frames of reference, time may mean different things.


Say on the Fourth-of-July, during the evening celebrations, you and I set off firecrackers on opposite sides of the lake.  Someone in the middle of the lake hears the two reports at the same "time."  You and I both hear our own report first, and then the other report a few seconds later (about five seconds per mile).  By comparing our observations, to find out the "real" sequence of firing events, we might  conclude somebody's clock must be running backward.


The notions of past and future may enable people to see themselves and each other as separate individuals and not part of the system.  In the associating Causal Model, you have blame and guilt.


The notions of moment-of-now and frequency might be more inclusive; we are all vibrating as one, in this ever-evolving moment of now. In the associating System Model, you have intention = result.




Tuning Forks are Like People


Set one vibrating

and another one picks up the "vibe."




We generally register the behavior

of an A-440 tuning fork

as a pitch (frequency).


We do not generally register the alternatives,

A-.0023 seconds (time)

or A-.75 meters (distance).


Clip: http://physics.kenyon.edu/EarlyApparatus/


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Noise / Vibration


The now trend is to write to Ed.


I am grateful for FAQ workshop and to Ed for his on going commitment to helping others.

Acoustical Engineering Specialist Needed to Remedy Noise / Vibration

Both officers bear witness the loud noise / vibration from the hot tub next door that penetrates our house. This noise / vibration triggers my anger response. The officers express surprise that the noise / vibration can travel so far ( appx. 55 feet ) between the two houses and that the noise / vibration is so loud in the room they are standing in. Each says they could not tolerate or live with the noise / vibration. The neighbor does not want to come over and hear what we hear and experience the noise.

We have been trying to remedy the situation since 2006. First by asking neighbor to do something to eliminate the noise problem. No response. We follow through at all relevant departments in City Hall asking for help.

The problem remains. Instead of 8 1/2 hours of noise / vibration each day, they reduce it to 4 hours each day - except when it is 7 1/2 hours on Sunday or whenever. The neighbor sits on the sundeck relaxed and smiling. Her doctor's prescription for a hot tub for her back is a license to abuse her neighbors with the noise / vibration from the operation of her tub.

I go to my neighbor and express to her that the noise / vibration is intolerable. She shrugs and she says that that is as quiet as it gets.

Neither engineers or contractors in our area will come to look at the problem. There is not enough money in such a small project for them.

is there something wrong with my Stops that allows the noise/vibration to continue?

do the professional helpers in the community have something wrong with their Stops?

is there something wrong with the Stops of the neighbor?

I think of Chief and say OK.
I am so angry my mind goes clear.
This is where the inner Tribe meets the inner Chief. I am the Essentials.
I connect with the back of the target as it attempts to flee my tiger anger.
I have short legs but long arms which has nothing to do with the trin.

An acoustical engineer might clarify the situation but the account is small.
I am back-testing the effective use of Stops with another part of the system. The court system.
This widens the Chief's circle of influence.
I am sending.

I notice I need the Chief Engineer's help to benefit entire community of people with whom I am engaged. In working through this situation I share in bringing peace to our neighbor hood. is it the Chief's intention to branch out one neighbor hood at a time :-)

You might consider taking your feelings about <noise / vibration> and <tiger anger> to Tribe.




Sometimes The Problem With a Noisy Tub


is not being in it.




Tiger Anger Can be Effective


in stopping the noise.

















Sunday, March 22, 2009

Systems Dynamics and TTP -

Similarities and Differences

Hi Ed,

I've been reading some talks / papers / books by dynamic systems modelers. They make some very interesting points that resonate with you. For
example, John Sterman in his Jay Wright Forrester Prize Lecture in 2002, said "There are no side effects - only effects." Through TTP, I see that there are really no such thing as "unintended consequences", but just consequences (results) from our own INTENTION.

Another example: Peter Senge writes in his book, "We tend to blame outside circumstances for our problems. "Someone else" did it to us. Systems thinking shows that there is no outside; that you and the cause of your problems are part of a single system." Again, that is just the corollary of Intention = Result, where there is really no one else to blame but just ourselves as part of the system.

However, there are also other seeming differences. For example, Sterman seems to advocate asking "why" questions. He says, "A student once commented the homework assignments in my course were too difficult, writing "Too many 'why' questions." Reading this I knew I had failed that student. It's by asking those 'why' questions that we gain insight into how we are both shared by and share the world, where we can act most effectively, where we can make a difference - and what we are striving for." I wonder if you think it is through asking 'why' questions that we gain insights? (If not, what's a better way?)

Also, Senge thinks that SVO-p contributes to our difficulty as systems thinker. "Langauge shapes perception. What we see depends on what we are prepared to see. Western languages, with their subject-verb-object structure, are biased toward a linear view." I wonder if you agree with his claim that SVOp leads us to think in linear terms?


Senge's SVO is not SVO-p. Your syllogism lacks traction by overlooking the essential -p; thus your claim that Senge thinks SVO-p leads to linear thinking is specious and deceptive - perhaps more befitting a politician than a scientist.


You might consider taking your feelings about <precision> and <honesty> to Tribe.




Indeed, the -p part (present tense) of SVO-p precisely describes system dynamics element connections - i.e., the structure; you cannot represent past and future tenses in system dynamics models.  Also, in the limit as dt-->0, time disappears altogether.


The best languages I know for describing dynamic system behavior are (1) waveform charts, such as stock price charts and (2) Fourier analytics in which you declare frequencies - we eat three times per day, the pendulum oscillates 60 times per minute.


I can relate to Sterman's insight that he fails his student who complains about too many "why" questions.  Why begs a reason - and invokes causal thinking.


He might consider the possibility of reaching his students more effectively by posing more "how" questions.  How implies a process and invokes a description of interactions.


I suggest that TTP and System Dynamics are fully compatible.  In some ways, TTP is a personal extension of System Dynamics - in the sense that my own background includes studying and teaching System Dynamics at MIT with Professor Jay W. Forrester himself.






Clip: http://images.absoluteastronomy.com/images/


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thank You


Thank you so much for all you share.

I appreciate you.

Here's a link for you:

Earl Scruggs plays Foggy Mountain Breakdown:

You are welcome!


Thank you for the clip.


Here's one of Steve, Tony and Bela:




Sunday, March 22, 2009


Toward Right Livelihood

Inter-Tribe Memo

see previous



This letter from me to another Tribe Member:

If you are interested, I may be able to place you resume in the hands of some high tech CEOs who are hiring. Think about it.

Thank you for sharing your gift of connection.


If you trace the "previous" links back, you can see how this process actually works.


Somehow it seems much more direct, human and effective than government regulation and stimulation.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Natural Gifts


Ed says, Monday, February 23, 2009: “In TTP we come to find the positive intentions of our feelings, such as they are, and to discover our natural gifts.”

Ed, it seems to me you have a natural gift for helping others while you act as a “catalyst“ that many people appreciate as indicated by your FAQs. Your deep caring for others as evidenced by all the time you generously give in person at TTP meetings, phone calls and replying to FAQ inquiries is remarkable and an inspiration.

What you seem to ask people to try is to just be with themselves and with each other and to support each other in finding the positive intentions of their feelings whatever they may be - stay out of your head (analyzing & “fixing“) and connect in the moment from the heart.  To really BE with each other is the gift.

Thank you for sharing your gift for observation.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Toward Right Livelihood

see previous


The company I work for merges with another company some weeks ago. I meet my new boss on Wednesday. On Thursday he fires me.

With some help from my wife and my local tribe, I come to see that my result, not working for the combined company, equals my intention. For some time now I know I am not achieving what I am looking for in this job.

I have a harder time coming to terms with my intention to be out of work when my wife is 35 weeks pregnant. I work out a deal with the company's CEO that lets me keep medical benefits for 3 months. I observe that my intention must be to keep them long enough to pay for delivery and initial pediatric consultations.

These events bring up feelings about <anger>, <fear>, <acting responsibly for my family>, <doing what I want> and <letting go of relationships that aren't working>.

These events also mean that I am much more flexible with dates and times for IVTT meetings and am happy with any modifications to our schedule.

Thank you for sharing your process.


When people come to see the positive  intention of "losing" a job, or a company they stop looking to the government to "save" them from moving toward Right Livelihood.


Getting Fired


can be the fast track


to Right Livelihood



Clip: http://www.biojobblog.com/fired(3).jpg

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Who are the Friends?


Ed says, "The enormous power of the Fed to print up money is likely to ensure that Friends of the Fed are likely to survive the speculative aftermath." (FAQ 10/26/08, How Much is Too Much Speculation)

Who are the "Friends of the Fed"? The Loan-Arranger?


To find the friends, trace the flow of the money.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


TTP and Breathwork


today I have a long conversation with a practitioner of Grof´s Holotropic Breathwork (HB). I read that after HB some people report transpersonal and historic experiences. I assume that this experiences are beyond the possibilities of TTP. In the evening, we have a TTP meeting and I take the hot seat.

I have several issues right now, and I am not certain about which to work on during the hot seat. Hence, PM prompts me to feel "I don't know which issue to work on". I start rubbing my eyes intensely; I increase the form until I enjoy it, and a second form appears: vomiting. My incredible Tribe does not freak out and provides relentless support while I actually keep on puking until it feels joyful. The next form is "turning my head around". I intensify the motion and start grumbling very loud. I see something, and then I stop and shout in horror.

During a hot seat we frequently re-live a situation of our childhood and have the same feelings as the child we were. But this time I do not find myself as a scolded child or as an confused teenager: I found myself on an Egyptian temple during a Sun ceremony. I see my deeply sun tanned body, I observe the peasants in front of me, I see the hot sun and see the yellow desert, the dunes, the palms ... I am in the middle of the situation and feel it in detail. As I stop doing the form, I am horrified beyond description. I really don't know how to handle the situation, am very confused. I decide to re-enter the form, start grumbling again and as the sound covers the voices of my Tribe providing support, I am again in Egypt, prompting the peasants to chant and chanting myself in honor of the Sun. The feeling is majestic, powerful. I repeat the form several times. Each time I observe a different part of the ceremony: the Pharaoh covering his head with ashes (I don't know if it happened, I have no clue of Egyptian history). At the end, we leave the temple and enter a papyrus boat, leaving the haven and sailing downstream; I see the peasants on the left side of the Nile and see how we spread petals of flowers on the river.

Then, I feel that I am finished with the forms. I am deeply confused and disturbed. I cannot "integrate" the experience. No aha, no catharsis...

TTP seems to allow an access to very deep subconscious contents...or to create wild fantasies. I find it curious that I discover it short after I discuss the issue with a practitioner of HB. I have no clue of the meaning of the experience above or of its potential application. I am very interested in your comments, if you are not freaked out after my report...


Thank you for sharing your process.


You might consider taking your feelings about <I can't integrate it> to the hot seat.


From time to time, I host Breathwork Weekend.


The TTP Breathwork Process integrates TTP with Breathwork.


In the Grof version, as I recall it, separate  breathers-and-sitter teams gather in a room and work independently and simultaneously.


In the TTP version, we all connect with each other, and stay in connection, before, during and after the Breathwork.


In the Grof version, the forms generally cluster around (1) Grof's cartography of the mind, featuring the four stages of birth, BPM I-IV - and (2) politically correct themes such as saving trees, streams, whales, etc.


In the TTP version, the forms are broadband and unique to the breather.


In the Grof version, the assumption is "Holotropic" - the breathing, without management or guidance by others, automatically tends toward healing. 


In the TTP version, we supplement this variation of the DIM (Do-It-Myself) process with a Tribal matrix that magnetizes the process toward Right Livelihood.









Saturday, March 21, 2009



Hi Ed,

thanks for replying on my query. you told me to bring my feeling <wanting to know> to Tribe but i have some issues.. 1st i do not know how to join a tribe 2nd i am not sure that i will be able to correctly share my feelings 3rd i am just going to be a graduate but i am considering your reply <sharing the gift> and my felling <wanting to know>

Yep.  That sounds pretty much like <I don't know> talking.


When you come to know the positive intention of <I don't know> you might find it becomes the space for creativity.



The Feeling of <I Don't Know>


might indicate


<I'm afraid>



Clip: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_5LbHdIhfwSc/



Saturday, March 21, 2009

Drum Maintenance

Hello Ed!

I hope you are well.

I brought the drum you gave me to [City] for a few weeks and I am headed back to [State] to continue my journey. The skin on the drum seems to have stretched from the humidity and the drum no longer resonates. Do you have any advice for healing the drum?

Short-term fix: heat the heads by friction or by holding over fire.

Long-term fix: remove the bindings, soak the heads and bindings in water, re-tie the drum and then wait for it to dry out.



Friday, March 20, 2009

Wants to Re-Up at the TTP Workshop

Hi Ed,

I confess to being something of a "fallen away" practitioner of TTP. I'm also a fallen away Catholic (at least according to my mother's definition), but I do attend mass occasionally and still behave, for the most part, like the good Catholic boy I was brought up to be. I'm hoping that you'll welcome me back into the "church" of TTP by allowing me to attend the upcoming workshop.


(Yes, I know, take feelings of guilt to the hot seat…) Our tribe still meets, though there are only a few of us now. There were meetings in years past when we had 15 attendees. We still practice TTP in that we share our feelings readily and honestly. We offer each other emotional support not usually found in the business world. But we're old friends now and the meetings are pretty comfortable --l ittle hot seat tension.

I attended workshops back in late '03, early '04 was it? Wow, time flies. I give credit to you and your philosophy for setting me on a path that has been fruitful for my family and myself. I have a successful investment management / trading business with a good track record. It gives me satisfaction to say that the "snapshot" I created at that first seminar has for the most part become a reality.

Going forward my goal is to build on my success and increase assets under management, but I'm feeling some internal resistance. I'm thinking the Workshop is just what I need. Time to create a new snapshot, and declare a strong new intention to break through the barriers blocking me now. I also look forward to getting up to speed with the evolution in TTP that has transpired over the last couple years.


Friday, March 20, 2009


Wins Speech Contest


I came in 1st place in the [Region] International Speech Contest last night ... Next is the Division contest.


Friday, March 20, 2009

In Sickness and in Health


Upon completing my bumper sticker declaring





and committing to measuring things that aid and confirm this, I became the sickest I have ever been for past 7 days.

Friday morning after the tribe meeting I awoke feeling the worst flu / cold. By Saturday I had mucous in my lungs, could not control my body temperature and felt great pain everywhere. My body temperature rose so high over the weekend that I hallucinated throughout the night and was unable to rest for 4 days.

I began to feel well enough to move around the house on Wednesday and this morning I feel the best yet ... I think I beat it.

I recorded / measured nothing this past week. I have turned on my computer only a few times to answer brief e-mails and have done nothing to further my project.

As of this morning I began the record of my diet & exercise to measure health & time spent working on my Fund to measure time spent on project.

Thank you for sharing your process.


Your Bumper Sticker includes health.


You might notice that your health starts to improve around the time you get around to measuring it.



Friday, March 20, 2009

No-Variation Challenge


I am thinking about the difference you mentioned between hypothetical and actual trading.

In my personal account I trade only system signals nearly 4 years.

I have not analyzed the discrepancy between theoretical & actual trade by trade. I do it by comparing my equity vs. theoretical equity to see if I'm off track every once in a while.

I feel I am very close to taking all the signals, but it's certainly not 0%. (I would classify taking a signal late, even if I got the same fill, as missing a signal).

Obviously the goal is 0% difference between hypothetical and actual - might there be an acceptable margin of error?


In your opinion, if I took 990 of 1000 signals, is that considered mechanical or did I cross into discretionary? (As I read this, I think, "well what if those 10 were 10 baggers?")


PS: Since I read FAQ, as of 1/1/09 I track trade-by-trade variance, and have room on my spreadsheet to record how I feel as the trade is entered. I meet another "Market Wizard" (Bill O'Neil) in 2000 and he suggests the same thing less the feelings bit (I record for a few months back then, and stop doing it.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Pyramiding - The More-On System


Thank you for all your help in the past. I'd be very grateful for your advice on my current situation.

I'm experiencing a particularly severe and lengthy drawdown. I'm hitting or getting very close to my stops on many of my most profitable positions.

I'm a long-term trend-follower and I have held some of these positions for six months or more. Every unpleasant drawdown I have sat through has eventually rewarded me with a new high on my account. This time it looks as though that may not be the case and I'm finding the loss of a big chunk of my profits very difficult to cope with.

As I watch my profit evaporate day after day after day, I feel as though I'm driving a car, full throttle, towards a brick wall. I'm desperate to slam my foot on the brake, but my system tells me 'NO!'. I feel a tightness in my chest and feel sick with fear and frustration.

While the trends persisted, I pyramided up, adding smaller and smaller amounts to my positions. My dramatic reversal of fortune is partly due to the fact that I have not reduced my 'fully loaded' positions as I approached my stops. Consequently I'm possibly experiencing more heat than I can handle.

Do you think it is a sensible strategy for a trend follower to unwind positions gradually, just as they added to them gradually?

Thanks again, Ed.
Best regards,

You might consider taking your feelings about <loss> to Tribe.


You might also consider back-testing your pyramiding system to see if it works.


Typically, a more-on system can quickly turn into a more-off system.



Card-Carrying Member


of the More-On Club




Government to the Rescue of More-Ons








Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Goal Orientation and Process Orientation

Hi Ed -

In response to my post of Tuesday, March 3 2009 - you say:

If you hold a goal, without integrating it into an ongoing process, you are likely to realize your goal and then enter a volatile period.

In the current IVTT series and in the Workshop, we explore the synthesis of Goal Orientation with Process Orientation.


Hmmm ... synthesis of Goal Orientation with Process Orientation ...

I think about what you say in response to my post. The [City] Tribe extensively discusses the post and your reply during our tribe meeting last night. I now see myself (in my previous attempts at realizing my Snapshots) as a bullet that is focused sharply on hitting its target. All its energy is aligned toward achieving that goal.

However ... no effort is put into what happens to the bullet AFTER it hits (or misses) its target.

Yup - that sounds like me ...

It also reminds me that an undisciplined a**hole gets what an undisciplined a**hole deserves ... even if he takes a short-term break from being an undisciplined a**hole in order to achieve some near-term objective.

I now begin (what feels like) the hard task of synthesizing Goal Orientation with Process Orientation.

Thanks as always, Ed, for sharing your wisdom.

Regards to you, and yours.

Thank you for sharing your process.

Wednesday, March 18, 200


Yikes - Spikes



The recent action in US 30-bonds reminds me of an event in 2008.

The action started the afternoon of 9/18/08, news hit the tape pre-market 9/19/08. By 9:45am 9/19 this index was up 30% from 9/16 close. During the squeeze, some of the small & mid cap bank & thrifts I trade for clients were up a lot more than that.

Thank you for your help.


NASDAQ Bank Index Chart

(500 stock capitalization-weighted bank index)

News announcement: 9/19/08

SEC Halts Short Selling of Financial Stocks

to Protect Investors and Markets

(Bans Short Selling on 799 Financial Stocks)


Clip: http://www.sec.gov/news/



Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Intention of Charts in FAQ

Hi Ed,

I notice that many charts you include in FAQ show daily bars, and at 250 pixels wide typically cover a few months. You also mention trend-following systems that trade a few times a year. I wonder about the relationship between these different time constants.

Some charts on FAQ go back for decades, others for days.



Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Bumper Sticker Continues to Evolve

As Tribe Members Interact

Between Meetings

see previous



I think [Tribe Member] hit the nail on the head. I struggle with a relationship I have with my father. In my adult life, I engage people to play his role, so I can win their approval. [Name's] email clarifies this for me -- I win [his] approval, but notice that it does little to medicate my longing for my father's recognition.


I feel sadness and anger when I observe that I use [him] and so many other people as a proxy for my father. I guess that when I send out my previous email, I am unsure about experiencing these feelings, and my email carries some ambiguity about how I feel about my longing for my father's

Thank you for sharing your process.




Father-Son Bonding


is an important part

of how fathers teach sons


how to behave.


Clip: http://www.madeyoulaugh.com/index.php?


Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Futures Charts Not Updating

Dear Chief Ed,


Your futures charts are not updating.

Best Wishes

Thank you for the catch.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Radio Head Returns

Dear Mr. Seykota,

Thanks a lot for your reply.

I've been trying to turn up the volume previously, sort of. But somehow the frequency goes completely missing whenever I consciously try to listen in.


There is just silence. When I engage in something else again, and my attention turns to that, the radio fires up again. It’s like consciously trying to sleep, lying awake until the alarm goes off and then finally falling asleep.

Btw, I am not seeing a therapist, nor have I experienced seizures since Radiohead came into existence (when I was 8 years old).

Your suggestion to tune in to another channel is what I actually wish to achieve, namely tuning in to The Good Ideas channel. When I am deeply relaxed and the radio is switched off, I occasionally have great ideas, insights, AHAs, or whatever you name it. My Good Ideas channel is a TV-channel, not a radio channel, because good ideas I tend to ‘see’.

The Good Ideas channel used to be my natural channel, until I decided to put the radio on all day long. Before that I was a very creative guy, which is what I really want again.

To me creativity is the cornerstone of outperformance, and not just in trading.

You might consider the possibility that the channel you seek is on the very same frequency as the noise you seek to avoid.


You report that tuning into the noise consciously this results in silence.


One way to hear (and see) the channel you seek might be to keep turning up your consciousness even past the point of silence - along the path you might consider the positive intention of the original channel.


You might find both channels have a positive intention and are quite familiar to you.




Radios and People


tune in to the frequencies


they like to hear.



Clip: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikibooks/



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Trading Tribe Workshop

Dear Ed,

I have recently become familiar with your website and FAQ, and have found it to be very insightful. I thought about attending your workshop in April, although I deemed it to early with out having read The Trading Tribe book. After some more visits to the website and further thought I am thinking differently, so much so that I would like to attend the workshop. The one caveat that I see is that registration was to be postmarked as of the 15th of March ... an unlikely possibility for me at this point.
My question, can I send the application along with the $2900.00 check and still be able to participate in the workshop knowing full well that because of my tardiness I am prepared to skip the meals!

Please instruct me on how to proceed.

You might consider taking your feelings about <being a little bit late> and <expecting punishment> to the Workshop.




If You Judge Being Late


you are likely


to be late.



Clip: http://pascalg.files.wordpress.com/


Monday, March 16, 2009

Falling in Love

Dear Ed:

Following are report of my bumper sticker experience. In my opinion it is a fun but very tough process which allows sender to clarify his goals. When you have a clear authentic bumper sticker (Willing and Serious) , cosmic force will help you from many different ways to manifest that bumper sticker.


The only way to come up with a real bumper sticker for yourself at least for most people is by exposing your bumper sticker to your tribe members and hear their feedback. My initial bumper sticker was


I want harmonious relationship with a woman.


Almost all my members feedback was, "are you talking about your mother?" or " I have harmonious relationship with all kinds of woman, does not have to be girlfriend, it could be mother, secretary, waitress etc.


After the 1st bumper sticker we refine and go to the second round, then we get another feedback by going around members, then finally you genuinely come up with final bumper sticker that fit you.
I ended up with


I am in LOVE with my girlfriend

Then we move on to the outlining a plan and making a commitment to measure the process like crazy. Ed says " You measure like CRAZY"

Then I come up with two sets of rating system which I can measure. One system is to measure my feelings toward a date.

Another system is measure causal requirements about a date. Ex. how old?, divorced? Single? Weight? Height? Beauty? Race, Religion, etc.

Then I created another measuring system to track the development of relationships by measuring how long it took to go on second and third day and so forth, also how many emails and conversation it took to go on second date.

The key is to just to measure and not to manipulate. Sort of go with the flow and measure the flow.

Ed says" some major success of bumper sticker are Bill Gates" Computer on everyone's desk" and SONY" Small Music BOX with ear phone. WALKMAN"

I already see positive support and development happening .

Looking forward to the next meeting.

Thank you for sharing your process.


You might consider coming up with some detail about what you mean by love.


You can accelerate and support the process merely by sharing your Bumper Sticker and by measuring results.





Love Can Take




Many Forms










Monday, March 16, 2009

Bumper Sticker - Finding a Soul Mate


Dear All,

My bumper sticker focused on finding an attractive soul mate for long term relationship. In the process, I changed my sticker from:


I am a good catch.




I love my soul mate, she is everything I want.



I made a commitment to spend 1 hr everyday to solve this problem, and also I agreed to measure the following activities in this process:

1. How many letters I write a day for women in the match making service

2. How many women I approach every day

3. How many of my coworkers / friends / acquaintances I mention my intentions to find a relationship, each day

4. How many people I find amongst my old friends, whom are in good relationships, and I can talk to them about it, possible getting guidance

Just starting to do this even imperfectly made me realize a few things:

If I am left on my own, I will not make progress, I need to do it together with the group we have, because just the knowing that I belong there gives me a reason, an initiative, and energize me, just knowing that I am accepted in our community.

The obsession with trading with the urge to figure the market out, constantly thinking about it, looking at charts, trying to find recurring patterns, calculating R/R ratios, DD’s, probabilities of different day trading setups, planning possible trades, reading about trading, reading about micro / macro-fundamentals, looking up zillion trading related websites totally dominates my free time I have beside a full time job as a physician.

This obsession results in:
1 Lack of sleep, therefore chronic fatigue
2 Poor personal hygiene (no haircut for> 2 months, missing laundry)
3 Being late in chores, like paying bills, taxes
4 Not going out, and meeting people
5 Not being able to spend enough time on the roadmap for the IVTT process

I am not sure which was first, the chicken or the eggs, that is I maybe escape in this trading fantasy land, because I had painful experiences by being rejected by the other gender, and I am afraid of dating and because I hate doing chores. Either way the lack of sleep and the other consequences are very worrisome.

I would like to work on this dilemma on the upcoming IVTT meetings.

Another “moment of clarity” came this week too: I met someone, whom I instantly fell in love with. In my mind she is so perfect, and I am so imperfect, that I became overwhelmed with worries, that I do not measure up, and sabotaged the relationship by not expressing my attraction, and trying to manipulate her with playing indifference.


I could feel as her initial enthusiasm vanished quickly.

The way I behaved did not make sense and I want to find the answer why I think showing my affection is unattractive.

Thank you for sharing your process.




A Brothel

can provide relationships


for people who are unwilling


to experience rejection.



Clip: http://www.baltlantis.com/public/brothel.jpg

Monday, March 16, 2009

Third IVTT Meeting Update

Bumper Sticker Process

Dear Ed,

I sum up the bumper sticker technology for goals in one word: powerful. The basic premise of the technique avoids the potentially distracting details of how to reach the objective, and the benefit is, I feel more certain the objective is reached. I feel, with certainty, the ability to accomplish anything. Just knowing that feels great!

My jumbly feeling in my stomach comes up while working on my bumper sticker. Ed calls my attention to my feeling. I get a glimpse of the enormous amount of information that's in this feeling - an experience very much akin to "my entire life flashed in front of my eyes."


I enjoy a new, higher understanding of TTP. I want to make friends with this feeling and experience the wonderful resource it is.

I begin to see the true depth of the special gifts I possess. Feelings of "not deserving what I want" and "not being good enough" continue to resonate powerfully. I am thankful tribe is there to help me work with these feelings.

Thank you for sharing your process.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Good morning Ed,

I have read your book. And agree with it in its' entirety.

In answer to my remark about processes: I am a Clinical Hypnotherapist and a Master Neuro Linguistic Programmer.

Some NLP process, such as "Swish" seem to wear off in a few weeks.  Subsequent applications seem to wear off even more quickly.


You might consider anchoring some of the NLP work, by opening up the critical event in all modalities and then role playing the new behavior all these modalities  - while your client is still florid.


After you re-engage the client consciously, you can test for automatic, subconscious response pattern change.


Subsequent meetings with the same cast of role players might further anchor and deepen the effect.


This might be an NLP analog to employing the Rocks Process in a series of Tribe meetings.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Struggle to Feel Like One of the Guys

Dear Ed:

Below is a picture I found several months back on the net. I have been looking for opportunity to bring it up to TTP meeting but I guess I been avoiding it.


I feel very familiar with the feeling generated through the picture below. I have done some rock processes involving earlier childhood experiences involving friends but I feel that somewhat I still position my self so I could feel the feeling which are similar to the feeling below.


I do enjoy time alone, however I do want to be able to be little more social than I am now. Be able to enjoy open conversations in a social gathering situations or party situations with genuine trust .


If I were to rate myself now I am probably 95% non social so I like to bring it up to 85% at least. I grew up in a homogenous society. My father is Caucasian and my mom is Asian and I was treated very different growing up in homogeneous society.


Me and my brother was the only students to have western name among 2000 kids in our school. Every time my family go out people would look at us or kids will be pointing finger at us. Waitress would be hesitant to serve us. (NOW it's all different, people are familiar with foreigners and there are more families like us.)


Only concern that I had was whether she would serve us or not. (Not every body was like that some restaurants were friendly.) I have no grudge over the country where I grew up in.


I love the country and people and as I grew up I found supportive friends. But there is something about homogeneous society that if you are even little different, something causes them to act deviously especially when they don't know you. I guess I played rugby because it help me feel like one of the guys. I catch myself eating at the restaurant by myself all the time. I feel being alone taught me and acquired tremendous skills, knowledge and strengths and I thank GOD for my fate.

I never really talked about this before and hope this is helping me in positive way. I do my best Ed. I really do. I really thank you for all your work.



Thank you for sharing your process.


You might consider taking your feelings about <being different> to Tribe.


You might find that others share your concern and that, in that sense, you are very much one of the guys.


I recall my parents telling me that following WWII, while we are living in Seattle, we are the subject of discrimination (refusal of service from grocery stores) from our surname sounding oriental.


I recall being the only Caucasian in an all-Spanish-speaking high school in Cartagena Colombia.  After a couple months in that environment I notice myself developing stereotypes about all Caucasians looking alike, particularly the tourists with their shorts, cameras on straps and pink legs.



Just One of the Guys


Clip: http://www.publispain.com/posters


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Donchian Sample


I read with much interest your learning example at:



In order to learn all that I could I coded a sample system in [software] using Reverse Adjusted Continuous Linked Contract data and compared by entry exits to yours – there were vast differences.

Could you please tell me who your data provider is for the pricing information? I feel the difference in data most likely lies with either a difference in our data or a coding error on my part…


Minor differences might indicate data - vast ones likely indicate conceptual and/or coding differences.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Preparatory for Workshop

and for February 26 IVTT Meeting

Hi Ed,

I sent out the Workshop Application first thing Friday morning (3/13). I am enclosing the Workshop essay here for your reference (it is also in the application that I sent). Please let me know if anything else I may consider doing to best prepare for the Workshop. (As I mention in the essay, I am currently reading The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge to get myself more familiar in systems thinking, and it is eye-opening and fascinating)

BTW, I feel somewhat curious that you'd include a disclaimer, well, like many other legal documents, which uses little SVO-p. In addition, I think "Read, understood and agreed to, on Friday, April 24, 2008 at Reno, Nevada" shows the wrong date (2009?).




For the Tribe Meeting, you might also consider bringing in some bumper stickers.

Sunday, March 15, 2009



Ed – that’s FUN-OMENAL! I love your bumper sticker and suggest you consider it as the book title if that is not already your intent. You will revolutionize “the dismal science.”

Best regards,

Thank you for your encouragement.


Bumper Stickers evolve - and help us clarify Right Livelihood


bumper stickers

Sunday, March 15, 2009

IVTT Meeting #3 Report

Bumper Sticker Process

Hello Ed and Tribe Members;

Here is my report on last Thursday’s meeting.

Tribe meetings begin a month ago. We are asked to develop a worthwhile and valuable personal goal. I came to the first meeting with a goal in mind and have refined it with the Tribe’s help, but not altered it significantly. I feel good about my goal. Energized. Focused.

As a result of my hot seat experience last meeting (Sisyphus) a major breakthrough occurs. I am no longer trapped in a risk-punishment cycle that undermines success. That rock rolled away. Atlas shrugged. I cut losses and walk away, specifically from day trading but also from other impulsive behaviors. I feel good. My new rock is powerful. I am still learning about it and coming to grips with the damage my former rock caused in my life. I now have a clean slate to start anew in a more rewarding direction. I feel tremendous gratitude to my Tribe.

IVTT meeting #3 begins. After drumming, Ed reminds us that the purpose of the workshop is to integrate a goal and a process. We have spent a month on our goals. Each Tribe member reports on his progress, both toward the stated goal and in other aspects of life.

Next, Ed asks us to set our goal aside. It is not clear whether this is temporary or if we are abandoning the goal process altogether. A feeling of unease tingles in my arms and legs—a flight response. Goal achievement is central in my comfort zone. I have an emotional investment in my goal. I feel reluctant to let it go. I feel reluctant to step away from a goal-oriented process. Perhaps I do not understand. I listen intently as Tribe members ask questions for clarification.

Ed talks about process. He says it is difficult to achieve goals without a process. Perhaps that is why many of us have been so challenged by the goal-setting exercise. I know this because I have had conversations about goals with other Tribe members between meetings. The very act of committing to a goal is problematic for most of us. On the other hand it is clear that Tribe members are all engaged in a valuable process of self-discovery and making progress.

Ed describes the Bumper Sticker process we will do tonight. Paraphrasing, we are to develop a slogan in the format of a bumper sticker that “magnetizes” us like a compass needle toward our goal. Some of the properties that this phrase should embody include the following.

· Aligns effort with vision;

· Conveys feeling;

· Is absolutely clear;

· Radiates intention;

· Broadcasts purpose;

· Is not prescriptive.

Things are moving fast. People are already writing their first bumper sticker with felt-tip markers on paper cut to bumper sticker size. I feel lost. What do I want? How does this fit with my goal? In hindsight as I write this, it seems so straightforward. In the moment it is not so easy. I review my goal to get centered. One word sticks: “originality.” My first bumper sticker says:


We share bumper stickers in pairs to explore one another’s slogans. Comments on mine include:

· Sounds like a consolation prize;

· Originality does not equal progress;

· Why not go with the flow and use what works?

I decide that the word “originality” does not sufficiently convey my meaning. Alternative words like “insight,” “perspective,” and “innovation” come to mind. I run through several more attempts to arrive at:


Comments from my fellow Tribe members show me that they do not “get it.” Seems that I do not get it either. Afterwards, I realize that I have a big k-not about originality and recall exactly the long-suppressed events that generated it. Looks like another trip to the hot seat (mer--!).

I start fresh and on paper quickly write down a stream-of-consciousness list of words: have fun, enjoy the process, measurements, frequency, systematic, more competent, relationships, wealth, top trader, on a roll, right livelihood, winning. Four more bumper sticker ideas quickly emerge on my scratch pad ending with:


I am happy with this one. It is a big, unlimited vision. I can easily align my efforts toward that vision and find things to measure about the process. To me it is absolutely clear and conveys feeling. How about to others? I must get feedback outside of the Tribe. It radiates intention and broadcasts my purpose. Finally, it does not tell me how I am going to get there (is not prescriptive).

We conclude this process by listing the things we can measure about our process as we make progress toward achievement of the bumper sticker vision. I note to myself how much better I feel about this evening’s activities, in comparison to my initial “flight” response. My initial list of possible measurements includes the following.

· Number of hours spent interacting with mentors;

· Number of hours spent contributing to FAQ and other TT projects;

· Number of hours spent blogging;

· Number of blog hits;

· Number of blog comments;

· Number of hours spent developing my mechanical trading system;

· Number of hours spent doing TSP, RoadMaps and related projects;

· Number of completed TSP, RoadMaps and related projects;

· Number of hours reading about NLP and writing personal NLP plans;

· Number of versions published: integrated trading system design document;

· Value of key system performance metrics (Bliss, MAR, Profit Factor, Win Rate);

· Future: Model account growth;

· Future: Dollars under management;

The next day I change the banner on my blog ... to show my new bumper sticker phrase to the world.

Thank you for sharing your process.