© Ed Seykota, 2003 ... You may not reprint without permission.

Ed Seykota's

Frequently Asked Questions

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Workshop - October 24-26 - Reno

Note: Prices go up on October 4.




September 7-13, 2003



(Quotes from Ed in Red)










Sat, 13 Sep 2003


Ed Wrote: You might find some joy in the process of allowing feelings and markets to come and go as you experience them.

Going with the Flow - works with the markets - and works with feelings

I even notice that there is synchronicity between markets, universe and my life events. I still have some unresolved issue about being a victim of fate and I carry this drama into my life. I have some experience with mysticism and I seem to have a great sensitivity to this synchronicity.


The problem is that I still feel like a slave of fate, sometimes anticipating events I apparently cannot escape from. I know though that, ultimately, I am making the choices both in the markets or in my life that determine my future. I also know that observing is not the same as participating in.

You might take your experience of slavery into TTP and see how it resolves.



Following a System


might be a form of slavery.


Clip: http://www.nineinchnails.net/



Sat, 13 Sep 2003



Completion and maintenance of achievements is something very boring to me.


I jump jobs, relationships, books and trading systems, when I am just a step from success, with very few exceptions. I crave for the challenge of the endeavor and when I feel I about to achieve success I jump it and search for another.


Enjoying success, and making the effort to keep it, feels like something very boring, dull or tedious I shy away from. It may be a new relationship with a girl, finishing to read a new book, persevering in a job or just completing the routine tasks of a trading system and sticking to it.


I feel quite frustrated in the process but it seems that I just can't help myself from repeating it over and over again.

You might consider taking your feelings about completion into TTP.


If you dissolve resistance to completion, you might find yourself completing more.





can be the beginning

of the next cycle.



Clip: www.bijlmakers.com/

entomology/ begin.htm

Sat, 13 Sep 2003



Dear Ed,

I am looking for a CTA program that is professionally traded for me. I reach you from another web site link. They say they only offer classes. Any help would be appreciated. Possibly you furnish such a service with there philosophy and similar results or can point me the right way.
Thanks so much!

FAQ does not endorse products or services. See Ground Rules.

Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2003

Mr. Seykota,

First let me say thanks to you for your efforts with the FAQ pages. I've been at war with FRED for as long as I can remember (perhaps this is what initially drew me into trading), but through reading & thinking about what is said here I've begun the process of becoming more self-aware. As I'm making an effort to experience my feelings, I feel myself becoming more relaxed and generally happier. I don't want to congratulate myself yet though, I'm afraid that if I get too comfortable I'll fall back into my old habits.

My question has to do with the feelings of boredom and impatience that seem to come with following a mechanical long-term trend following system. I am thinking that an effective way to deal with this may be to allocate some funds to a smaller account, which will be used for my 'gut feeling' trades.


Actually I've already began trying this, and so far it has kept me from wanting to tinker with my mechanically traded account. Of course, my mechanically traded account has been doing well with the recent uptrend in US Stocks, so my confidence in the approach may just be highly correlated with the results.


Do you think this is a sensible approach for wanting to get some level of excitement & personal satisfaction from trading?

Again, thanks for the FAQs & all of your insight.

Best wishes,

It sounds like you ask if the way to stay on a diet is to eat just a little junk food.


Maybe you ask if the way to stay faithful in a relationship is to cheat just a little.


FAQ suggests that you take the feelings of boredom into TTP and find the positive intentions.

Fri, 12 Sep 2003


My Understanding of TTP

(Trading Tribe Process)

I had an aha moment last night whilst taking to my fiancé, we spend till the wee hours in the morning placing this out ... here goes:

Your CM connects to the other persons Fred to communicate to your own Fred to feel or connect to the other Fred and just be on the same level.

Question: What is the possibility for your Fred to connect to "under Fred" to all successful traders in the world and be successful yourself?


Freds talk to Freds on the Under Fred Network.


CMs talk to CMs through conscious language.


Your Fred communicates experience to your CM.  To the extent your CM is willing to listen, it can help your Fred deal with recurrences of the same type of situation.


See the Trading Tribe Process, above.

Fri, 12 Sep 2003


Gambling Tendencies

(copy from inter-tribe communication)

Dear [XXX],

My experience while receiving you in our current task rings the same bell in me as an issue I've been exploring with Ed's help.

As I explore some of these feelings, as suggested by Ed, I notice that gambling tendencies prevail in my trading and that, although this is probably more than I am willing to admit, trading in a systematic way and, yes, for the purpose of making money, feels like a very boring task.

Perhaps we might help each other experience these feelings of wanting to figure things out and boredom.

Best regards,


Thu, 11 Sep 2003

Adding to Positions

Dear Ed,

I've been a survivor for years trading trends, making a decent return but not a great return. I've been thinking it is because I don't pyramid positions. I just get in on my trend signal, and get out on the exit signal.

So your FAQ comments about adding to positions is very interesting. Perhaps I could judiciously add to positions after they become profitable. The risk is I then have more break even trades if a trend fizzles right after I add. I would be waiting for those few monster trends to make up for it.

Have you seen this general idea create inclining equity curves?

Seems that huge leverage might be one of Fred's high wire trapeze acts.

Once you remove the emotional component, say, the excitement of pyramiding, from your trading ... you can back-test various entry, sizing and risk-control strategies.

Wed, 10 Sep 2003


Manhattan Tribe


Eager to participate in a TT, I e-mailed the contact for Manhattan. No response in two days triggers disappointment.


Disappointment fades to impatience and I wonder if it no longer meets. Odd, as I write this I feel loss, no it feels more specific, rather a recognition of the long standing absence of such a tribe - trading or other - in my current experience.


Different than family. Sometimes extant with friends. Mario Cuomo in a 9/11 documentary (one of many collective reflections on loss/absence emerging these days in NY) mused that we need to do two things: treat each other well and work together to make the experience of life better for everyone. Sounds like TT to me.


If any Manhattan tribe members read this please contact me. If no longer active, I welcome the opportunity to host a
new meeting.

If you wish to start an Intentional community, in Manhattan, or elsewhere, see Tribe Directory, above.



NYC circa 9/11/01


Sometimes Crisis

Creates Community



Clip: http://www.spanishladyranch.com/


Tue, 9 Sep 2003


Fred's So Smart


Dear Ed,

Fred likes to break even. Today I had a clear opportunity for a big profit, or a big loss, or breakeven. Fred did his calculations and put my stop loss for a breakeven. And it worked perfectly. Fred missed the big profit, missed the big loss.

I'm convinced Fred can glance at the daily P/L, the open positions, the market and instantly calculate the exact way to break even, as easily as an idiot savant Rain Man can count spilled matchsticks.

What does Fred want me to experience? This is not the first time he's done this.

Breaking even is a comfortable feeling

 Clip: http://freespace.virgin.net


If breaking even seems comfortable, I wonder how you might feel about winning and losing ... and if you are willing to fully experience them


One way to find out about your affinities and aversions about winning and losing is to consider announcing them to others.


You might consider placing a sign in your office or on a T-shirt ... and notice any feelings that come up about doing so.


If you locate any resistance about proclaiming your feelings, you might take that into TTP.





for an office wall

or a T-shirt


Some people have strong feelings about winning and losing.


Clip: www.sloganwear.com/


Tue, 9 Sep 2003


Adding to Positions

I'm seeking your thoughts on adding to positions, if you're willing to share them.

On winning positions, I'm struggling with the trade-offs between the rate of adding contracts, moving the old stop-loss and the new total risk on the trade.


Assuming that you want to give the market some "room to roam" (say, 2 days' average true range) when placing a stop, then you substantially increase your risk, not just to "open" equity but to your equity prior to the trade.

Say beetle-juice is trading at 100 and has an ATR of 1. You buy a contract at 100 and place a stop at, say, 98 for 2% risk. The market rallies to 100.5, so you add 1 contract and place a sell-stop for 2 contracts at 98.5.


Your new total risk is 3.5 (2 on the second contract, 1.5 on the first). Should their be a one-to-one relationship between the market movement required to add to a position and the distance to the stop loss? What's your philosophy on this?

Any thoughts will be gratefully appreciated.

Best regards,

Pyramid up to your risk budget, not on top of it.




Pyramid Lake


This strong formation lies 33 miles northeast of Sparks, Nevada. The pyramid, projecting out of the lake near one shore, is actually quite small in relation to the surrounding mountains.





Tue, 9 Sep 2003


TTP Workshop


Hi Ed,

Are you doing any marketing for your TTP workshop? I think you could boost your registration numbers by advertising in [XYZ].

[XYZ] is an email newsletter for financial executives. Each day, over [number] venture capitalists, investment bankers and CFOs rely on our lucid briefing of the industry’s news. [X]% of our subscribers are VP-level or above.

You can reach decision makers by advertising with [XYZ] in three ways:

1. Send your message to all [number] subscribers with a high impact email blast.

2. Weekly sponsorships provide exclusive, top position advertising in our newsletter.

3. Event or marketplace text listings.

For an example of some of our work, see [examples].

Check out our Media Kit for more details about subscriber demographics and ad rates

Let me know if you have any questions.

Take care,I li

The Trading Tribe

is an association of traders

who commit to excellence,

personal growth,

and supporting and receiving support

from other traders.


See Home Page



I like to keep "marketing" in line with the rest of the operation.


At this point, I feel it is already at the correct level.




Sometimes Adding More Air


makes things heavy.


A group of young scientists designs a test to determine if an inflated balloon weighs more than an un-inflated balloon, without using a lot of expensive equipment.


Clip: http://www.st-johns.org.uk/


Tue, 09 Sep 2003


Being Me

Hello Ed,

I appreciate your site.


I'm in reality a passive-aggressive type most of the time (although I have the skills to charm if I concentrate well enough;) ).


My story of being weird goes way back to my childhood, when I would be punished unfairly by my toxic father for me showing any stronger emotions.


When I got angry or resentful: BAM! Said something stupid (quite often my words were misinterpreted): BAM! Even If I didn't do anything "wrong" I would be threatened that if I did, well: BAM! I would be publicly embarrassed relatively often I was terrorized when I stole a little ball from a shop one day.


2 years later (read my lips) my father would come up to me and said he was sorry for hitting me so hard. He eventually died when I was still very young (I think his nerves ate him alive), so there was no chance for me to resolve the problems between us.


My mother was no emotional support, she admits she's too weak for that. I had not much of a choice so I dealt with my emotions by myself. I was an under - achiever at school, didn't have great relationships with larger groups, especially teachers and got into trouble easily.


I really would like some sort of help from you Ed, you seem to understand all this.


Besides joining a tribe, is there something I could do to get to know myself better and get rid of the ANGER in me? To be honest, I've done a good job in fixing myself but there are still a few bothering leftovers. Do you think I should see a shrink?


PS. my trading is good, though.


There may be no way to solve and re-solve the differences between you and your father.


There is, however, a way for you to experience your own feelings about your father, by dis-solving the resistance your conscious mind (CM) has about receiving communications from Fred.


Getting rid of anger is not the intention of TTP; accepting it, experiencing it (different from acting it out) and appreciating its positive intention is the intention.


FAQ does not tell people what they should do ... see Ground Rules.



Anger Has a Positive Intention


Experiencing it,

rather than acting it out,

sets you free from the drama.



Clip: http://www.bbc.co.uk/




Mon, 8 Sep 2003

A Statistics Website ...

...you might have use for ...



... or which might tempt you from your real work ...

Thanks for citing the stats on the stats site.

Sun, 7 Sep 2003

Copy of some Email

between Tribe Members

... I am again trying to locate the issue about me being a bit laggard in execution and I think that we'd better follow through with an issue I started working with Ed. Also, you might take a look at September 1-6 FAQ pages as there are a lot of interesting stuff related to our current task.

You see, I crave for wild action and I am unable to tolerate boredom and so I postpone completing or executing simple tasks, such as keeping a trading plan, executing trading signals in a timely manner, or doing a thorough homework.

You might like to explore a couple feelings with your receiver:


Feeling of wanting to figure it out.

Feeling of boredom.



Following a Long Term

Trend-Following System


can be boring

and there nothing to figure out


Clip: http://www.spies.com/


Sun, 07 Sep 2003


Considering Intraday Trading

Here's a quote from a trader that I found interesting:

"For those using intraday charts, by the time they see an uptrend, it's obviously partially over. And by the time they recognize it has ended, you've given back part of it. What's left in between can be quite paltry if successful in an intraday time frame. If unsuccessful, it can be quite costly." - Old Trader

While I was reading this statement, I found myself thinking: hmmm??? It struck a chord inside of me.

I felt my head resonating and ringing as if it was a vibrating siren. As this feeling softened, I found myself wondering: Did this statement serve as a warning that set off alarms inside of me?

At this point my mind feels cloudy and weighed down. There is pressure and it's causing confusion.

I'm trying to clarify my thoughts. Ultimately my goal is to grow my account in an efficient way. Trading frequently will satisfy my urge of activity but as you've said before: "Profits tend to roll off at higher trading frequencies."


Your statement, "pressure causes confusion," implies causality and fundamental analysis.


Try, "I feel pressure and I feel confusion."


Then, track both feelings with your receiver.



One Approach

to Pressure Management


... another is to experience it fully with TTP


Clip: http://hjem.get2net.dk/