© Ed Seykota, 2003 - 2004 ... Write for permission to reprint.

Ed Seykota's

Frequently Asked Questions

Trading Tribe Home Page ··· FAQ Home Page & Ground Rules

Tribe Directory - How to Join ... TTP - The Trading Tribe Process

Risk Management ...  Fractals & Borderlines  ...  Workshop

Pollinators  ...  Charts  ...  Search this Site


April 9-14, 2004


(Quotes from Ed in Red)


Wed, 14 Apr 2004


Intention - Reliability


Just discovered this resource - could be "the something" that is preventing from giving of myself - seems to be a calling - perhaps one we all share

Can I register my interest to attend the workshop in May

Working on flights etc will come back asap

Can I electronically transfer funds rather than send a check please??  Much more reliable.

Does anyone have a current contact for [Name] - used to live in [City] - perhaps my email could be passed on to him if that is appropriate.

Many thanks

If you intend to actually attend, you can find instructions for registering on the Workshop page.


You might consider asking some of your friends if they consider you to be reliable.


You might consider taking your feelings about commitment into TTP.




If You Don't Really Mean It


you can hedge, with words like

could be, seems to be, perhaps

and I'm registering my interest.


Clip: http://www.namehog.net/reliable.jpg

Tue, 13 Apr 2004


Pollinators Article

Hi Ed,

Our tribe also used "how do you feel" during the hot seat, but after reading your 'pollinators' article we decided to cut it.


During our meeting last night we used terms such as 'intensify or magnify', 'keep going' and 'go for it'. Are there other ways to keep the sender experiencing the feeling without disturbing them? Should the receivers be trying to mirror the sender or should they try to keep the sender in the feeling, or both?

On my own experience in the hot seat. After about 10 to 15 minutes I am consciously pulling myself out of the feeling, never really getting deep into it. My CM telling me that I should give the others a go on the hot seat. This has happened twice. Is it inexperience or more the feeling of "I don't want to do it"?, I suspect the latter.

Thanks so much for a great site.


Asking how and why, asking for reasons and explanations, all trigger a return to the conscious mind. 


There are no "right" or "wrong" words for receivers to use. Your intention to support the sender typically shows up as language appropriate to the evolving situation.


The feeling of "I don't want to" is a natural part of the Process.


Experiencing unwillingness is one of the basic activities of TTP - especially when we are unwilling to do so.




I don't want to go

is a natural part of the process.


Hint: the guy on the hot seat

who says he doesn't want to go

really does want to go ...

proof: he is on the hot seat.


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


Mon, 12 Apr 2004


Can TTP Be Effectively Applied In The University Environment?

Dear Ed,

I recently posted a question on [Name] Forum, and one of the individuals responding kindly suggested that I take a look at the Trading Tribe Process (TPP) on your site. This weekend upon reading about TTP, I became very excited about your unique approach. Afterwards, I knew that I needed to talk with you because you would be an excellent source of invaluable insight and advice on the following issue (I will keep it brief):

As you are well aware, America’s educational system is in crisis. I am a professor in chemical engineering at [Name] University, and I have been attempting to come up with a plan to effect a “quantum-jump” improvement, if at all possible, in the teaching and learning of engineering (as well as all) students.

At [Name] University, another faculty member and I have been evaluating the effectiveness of our department’s undergraduate instructional program for the last two years. What is clear from our preliminary research is that significant changes in student attitudes and expectations are needed.


A fundamental change must be made in the teaching of students, and there is neither magic pill nor magic bullet for what needs to be done. The phrase that “Today’s students are not the same as they were X years ago” is all too true. Our studies conclude the real source of the problem is that the attitudes, the expectations and the beliefs of students have dramatically changed. Another complication is that the first two years of the “university experience” reinforce the attitude, expectations, and beliefs of entering freshman that college is merely an extension of high school. Clearly this is the key reason that the expected student performance is no longer achieved. Somehow these critical issues of undergraduate engineering education must be addressed. Neither the students nor the faculty understand the true origin of their failure to be successful.

My question for you, Ed, is “do you think it might be possible to establish the 'equivalent' of Trading Tribes and employ TTP or some modification thereof to freshman or undergraduate engineering students?” It may be too crazy of an idea to use with college students, let alone students just out of high school. What do you see as the key challenges to overcome?


Do you have any special comments on the tasks of designing a “peak performance course” for undergraduate college students which would include a component of TTP?

At this time I am in the very early stages of preparing an engineering education research proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF), and I am working to identify collaborators or consultants to participate in this bold, innovative project. I certainly think what you are doing can be utilized in some aspect of the university experience of students.


Going one step further, several of us are tossing around the idea to develop down the road an “Institute of Peak Performance” for enhanced teaching and learning of both students and faculty. I think there is tremendous potential, but we need to involve the expertise of others outside the university in order to put together a successful proposal.


There are a number of possibilities, and I would love to explore how we can learn from you in some manner (in the short term) and incorporate your ideas, thoughts and experience in what we propose to the National Science Foundation.

Ed, I thank you for your time and consideration. I am sorry if I rambled on, but I became so excited as I think the concept of "Learning Tribes" has so much to offer.


Yes, you can introduce TTP into your university environment - begin by applying it to yourself - start and/or join a tribe - become an example of successful application.


TTP is not a salve, medicine or method you can import to "fix" others - although if you practice it yourself, others seem to improve.


For example you might notice your post contains a lot of passive voice ...


can TTP be effectively applied

expectations are needed

have dramatically changed

performance is not achieved


You might consider proceeding with TTP by re-writing your post in SVO-p. 




Performing studies, getting grants and hiring consultants are standard ways to avoid dealing with the feelings of stagnation and suppression that permeate the environments of many organizations.


Typically, organizations tend to hire consultants who subtly agree to not

mess around with the important issues.  Their function is to make the bad feelings go away, not to intensify them.


When the members of an institution become willing to assist each other in experiencing their feelings, the institution tends toward right livelihood.


For now, you can (1) work on yourself and (2) continue authorizing studies, conferences, meetings and writing official reports - as these are likely to provide opportunities for you and your colleagues to experience your "stuck-ness" drama.



To get unstuck,

first, experience the knot.


Clip: http://blogs.salon.com/0001573/


Mon, 12 Apr 2004


I wish to attend the TTP Workshop May 7-9. Please advise if there is still availability.

Thanks in advance.

You may still enroll - see the Workshop page, above.


Mon, 12 Apr 2004

Say what ?

see April 8: FAQ For You.


Great work - I admire your interaction with Mr. Critter-Sizer.  A small-minded, less tolerant person might have just said "FAQ You."

In TTP, we listen to each other, and support each other in expressing our feelings, however they come out.

Sun, 11 Apr 2004


Yes, your intention (to change intentions and get nothing at all) seems to get the appropriate result.


I would like to congratulate you for your report in the Pollinators page. I have found that it's much more clarifying than lots of blah, blah, blah ... Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

With regard to the Charts page, while I think it is also a very good tool, I would ask you if, perhaps, you could somehow share with us how it feels like living through a drawdown, for instance, with a paradigm real system, rather than selected trending charts.


I recall you mentioning somewhere in FAQ that the trader might find joy in experiencing and living through a drawdown. That's something difficult for me to grasp (or to do). Usually I try to run away and avoid drawdowns, and I dislike them very much.

Keep up the good work. While many "owners of the truth" may accuse you of "blasphemy", there is nothing nobler than humility and teaching through example.

Best regards,

If I'm eating a pickle during a drawdown, the drawdown tastes a little salty, a little tangy and it feels cool and wet and a bit crunchy.  It also sounds like an old-timey rag tune.



Drawdowns Taste Like Pickles


if, during the drawdown,

you are eating a pickle

and listening to Charles L. Johnson's

classic, Dill Pickle Rag,


instead of watching the quotes.


click to hear

Dill Pickle Rag


Clip: http://www.angelfire.com/ny4/


Sun, 11 Apr 2004


Psychological Debriefing


Having noted the term "psychological debriefing" by one of your FAQ
posters, I did a Google search and found this paper by the British
Psychological Society.



The model by Raphael seems similar in intent to the TT method, but it operates in the context of a "crisis" rather than a "retrospective observation"

Thank you for your continuing insights on your FAQ page. I am pleased to
say that indeed FAQ is diminishing in importance to me as it becomes a
passing AHA :-)

Psychological Debriefing, or PD, is a crisis intervention method that allows patients to talk about their situations and to receive information about "normal" responses to similar situations.


This differs from TTP in that TTP views talking about a situation as just another way to avoid fully experiencing the somatic dimensions of it.  TTP does not offer advice or recommend "normal" courses of action.  TTP aims to connect CM and Fred in dialog.


One advantage of PD is that it does not require the therapist to engage emotionally with the patient, and the therapist can therefore avoid the "Cost of Caring."  Another is that it fits with the Western Medical Model of the the-rapist "fixing" the patient.


In TTP, senders and receivers all engage the experience and all may learn and grow from the insights.





Can Help Get Things

Out in the Open


... where they can distract you

from the real work.


Clip: http://www.shaytodd.com/


Sat, 10 Apr 2004


Money Management and Leverage


How are you??

I have a question regarding leverage and would like to hear you opinion on the subject.

By using proper money management techniques along with leverage, I can increase my profit potential while keeping my potential losses limited.


I also realize that increased leverage also requires me to place wider stops so that I will not be stopped out simply due to normal price fluctuations.


In the past 4 months with the new strategy, I feel comfortable with the increased drawdowns and the overall strategy as a whole.


In general, I feel that leverage could be used safely if it is complemented with proper money management technique.


I notice that leverage is not a topic you have discussed much on FAQ, and I would like to know your opinions and insights on my hypothesis.

Happy Trading,

Your hypothesis ...


"Leverage can be used safely if it is complemented with proper money management technique."


... is ambiguous. You do not define safe. You do not mention who uses leverage or how he uses it.  You do not say who is complementing  how he does it. 


You might try re-writing your hypothesis in SVO-p.


Also, see the link to Risk Management, above.




Return Versus Leverage


Very Timid Traders

make little profit


Very Bold Traders

go broke.

Sat, 10 Apr 2004


Breaking the Rules

Hello Ed,

I hope you are well.

I agree with most of your comments, on your latest reply and some of the previous ones also.

Your observations about my character are very accurate, such as:


Proclivities for gambling ... I like to play poker on weekends.

Being long and short at the same time may indicate multiple personalities

Avoiding feelings of making commitments,

My feelings about trying to control others.


Regarding your last posting, showing a picture of some Nazis saluting their leader:
My childhood upbringing was very strict, and very disciplined as my father was a sergeant in the army and his father was in the Navy in both world wars (ships captain in world war 2) , and both attempted to bring military life into the home.


I am aware of this "sergeant" tendency which I have inherited and must admit to not liking this side of my character very much. I also suspect that some others do not like it much either. Apart from as you say, people who want a master.

I sometimes notice myself acting this way from time to time, and try to correct my behavior accordingly.

Its interesting to consider how the make up of people is made up of partly inherited traits, other traits gained through experience of life, and more subtle things that are harder to understand the causes of.

We are having our first tribe meeting sometime next week, so I will follow your suggestions and take these feelings into the process, I will let you know how it goes.

I have had some responses from people regarding the [Name] tribe, and I am in communications with them.

I don't agree with your hinting about me wanting to control the market, this is not correct.

I merely intended to use the mathematical probability of X percent rise / fall in N days, as a filter to help choose which signals to take, and which to avoid.

You highlighted my words "I am definitely a trend following trader" and commented that calculating the mathematical probability of a stock rising or falling in the future is inconsistent with trend following.

Please can you elaborate on your reasons for this statement, as I am not sure that I understand your meaning.

I do realize that my studies of this subject may not be entirely accurate or mathematically correct, but I do feel they will help me to improve my winner / loser trade ratio, as my early testing has shown that it does improve the ratios.

The attached chart shows my system on a nice trending ... stock, if you don't agree it is a trend following system then you and I have a different concept of what a trend following system is. You seemed to hint that I am not a trend following trader.

I use this example to illustrate how the probability UP indicator is showing a low probability reading of a 3% rise in 25 days while the stock is in a down trend.

Also you can see that the sell signals have different probability ratings, the first one shows a greater chance of a move down than the second one.

So as a filter, the second signal to sell could be used to exit long rather than to enter a new short, because the odds of a move up were still better than 50-50.

Don't you agree it is useful to filter out bad signals? I am aware that it this model is not always showing such good examples, so no need to point that out.

I had a strange feeling come over me the other day, while I was short of the market, and waiting for my short exit stop to get hit.
I said to myself, " If only this market would just make a big move, then I would be able to buy some more property and do this and that ... etc etc."

This alerted warning bells in my head, as I recalled a similar thought back in 1997 just before I completely wiped out my trading account.

I think now that my subconscious mind was trying to tell me I need to take a break for a while, because I actually did get the break I needed in 1997, because I was wiped out.  I am now flat apart from a few small positions.

I am curious as to your reason for printing my comments from my last email dated 28th March 04, that I requested you not to print?
Is this to make a point, that I cannot control people?


Your issues seem to revolve around authority.  For example, your request that I not print your letter directly confronts the ground rules (see Ground Rules link, above).


You claim to have a trend-following system.  Meanwhile, you are busy figuring out the "probabilities" of moves (looking into the non-existing future.)  Such analytics are incidental to trend-following, and lead directly to breaking the rules.


You might consider engaging your feelings about rules and authority with the TTP. You might emerge into a new world where rules and authorities are your allies.


Likely, you view TTP as just another set of rules, another opportunity to act out your authority drama.


For TTP to work for you, you might just have to trust your other Tribe members to get you through to the other side (I know, that's another tough one for you).


In any event, you can provide some excellent focus training for your receivers.




Not Being Able to Read

and Not Reading Carefully


are standard excuses

for breaking the rules




Mole Rats Break the Rules


by having more pups than paps

about 28:12 = 233%


The rule for mammals

is about 1:2 = 50%




Popular Book Promotes Rule #1,

namely: break all the rules.


The book is not clear

about whether or not

you are supposed to break Rule #1












Fri, 9 Apr 2004



Hi Mr. Seykota,

I received my B.S. degree in Computer Science and Engineering from [University] in 2000. I was always interested in computers since my dad was an engineer and I always loved playing computer games. My first full-time job was at [Corporation] as an Application Engineer where I worked with customers to fully utilize our software testing products. I was promoted to Application Engineer II and left [Corporation] December of 2002 to pursue day trading.

I believed that with hard work and discipline, I would be able to succeed. I have purchased, studied and read about two thousand dollars worth of trading books. I have made many mistakes trying to trade stocks and futures and close out positions at the end of the day. It has taken me over a year to realize that day trading was not a reality.

“It has been our experience that exiting a trade at the close during the same day of entry will usually destroy the profitability of just about any trading strategy imaginable.” - Kelly Angle

“It takes time for profits to grow. Not holding overnight limits the amount of time your investment has to grow. While sometimes the market will open against you, if we are on the right track even more of the time the market will open in our favor.” - Larry Williams

“Short-term trends have small moves, so the rewards are small. Costs, such as commissions, spreads and slippage on stops, do not decrease in proportion.  Profits tend to roll off at higher trading frequencies.” - Ed Seykota

The books that would best reflect what my current beliefs about trading success are S&P 500 Trading Mastery by Kelly Angle, Long-Term Secrets to Short-Term Trading by Larry William and How I made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market by Nicolas Darvas.

I feel like your Trading Tribe web site has opened my eyes to reality and has taught me what is really important in life. I pay attention to other people’s feelings and also more understanding to what other people are trying to say. I want to work hard at something that I enjoy and save up money to invest with people who love to trade and manage funds.

I’m currently teaching English and Math part-time at an after school daycare center. I’m also taking courses from [School] at night to pursue some work in the health care industry. I enjoy the diversification, love to learn new things and find working at the hospital very interesting.

I would be happy to be your client and invest 40,000.00 USD with you. My only expectation is that my equity will increase and decrease following the trend following programs that you have developed for your clients. Please let me know if what steps are required if this is possible and they will be completed.

I would be happy to go into details about anything you would like to know about me.
You have touched many people’s lives by sharing your knowledge and I’m ecstatic to be one of them.


Your careers in Application Engineering, Trading, Teaching Math, Teaching English and Health care indicate you are flitting around right livelihood.


You might consider what's standing between you and committing to one line of work, in such a way that you can bring depth and joy to it.


Your returns for participating in a Tribe and finding right livelihood may be even greater, and participation is free, so participation in a Tribe might be another good investment for your discretionary moments of now.


Note: some futures contracts may change in value by several thousand dollars in one day.  If you set $2,500 = 1/2 percent of your equity (a moderate risk management fraction) you get $500,000 as a minimum account size for business-like trading.



Flitting is Fitting


for bees.


Clip: http://www.forwardedge.com/


Fri, 09 Apr 2004


First Check-In

Dear Ed Seykota,

Last night I attended my first group experience with TTP.

I have to tell you it was a challenge to overcome my logical mind and really begin to let go of all of my defenses. All my natural protection mechanisms came to the for front.  Anger, frustration, LOGIC.

As the session progressed, like a relentless knocking at the door to my pain, I was compelled to look inside. I started talking about things that, until that point, held no place in my mind. I was surprised to hear myself say some of the things I said.

Afterward I was very relaxed and the chain of thoughts that came up for me upon leaving the session help to further focus some what I had discovered.


I want to thank you for contributing to my "getting to know myself" I look forward to the next meeting.





Cat Cracker


Catalytic crackers help break chains

of hydrocarbons

creating lighter products

such as gasoline and propane.




helps breaks chains

of thoughts

creating lighter products

such as intuition and laughter.


Clip: http://www.irvingoilco.com/


Fri, 9 Apr 2004

Inter-Tribe Communication

copy to FAQ




(response by leader)

Thanks for your kind words. When you are in the hot seat you are teaching me - so thank you for being such a great teacher and being so fearless.


(note from member)


Another Great meeting. Learned from everyone. You're such a fabulous supportive coach. I feel I am able to do hot seat so well because you mentor for me how to do it. Ahas keep popping from various work at meeting. The biggest surprise came during my hot seat. Couldn't have done it without you.

Yes. In Tribe Meetings, we tend to lose distinctions between teachers and students - as we all surrender to the mysterious chemistry of experiencing our feelings in the Now.

Fri, 09 Apr 2004



Dear Ed,

Thanks for sharing your article. Great help.

In the 3rd from the last paragraph, I discovered it read easier for me to
change "...keeping my commitment to get his work out ..."; to the following, "... keeping my commitment to get this work out ..."

Enjoying being in the now about the May workshop process. Experiencing my
system in whole new light. Our local Tribe meetings further my experiencing
of my feelings around it.

Thank you for the correction. 


Yes, one of the intentions for the Workshop is to identify your trading system, and to elevate the parts that contribute to success to consciousness and consistency.



Your System


mostly equals the feelings

you are unwilling to experience.



Clip: http://www.monochrom.at/press/


Fri, 9 Apr 2004


April 7 Charts

Hi Ed !

Great looking long term charts ! Couple of observations:

1. ADVP stopped trading on 24 March when acquired by CMX. Apparently they liked the trend too!

2. I wonder about the slight bias for stocks in the first letters of the alphabet to do better than later letters. A set of "A" stocks outperforms a set of "Z" stocks. I notice 4 of the 8 charts here begin with "A".


My theory is fund managers pick stocks by going down alphabetically listed screens. By the time they get to the later letters, they're out of money.

A few all-time high small caps I've bought recently:


I like your new-improved bigger font as well.

It is statistically improbable for small samples to be statistically probable.


People like to make up theories to "explain"  such variations.


I notice your own list has nary an "A" stock.



Statistics Store


Would you like numbers to prove

that welfare is good,

or that it's a genocidal plague

on the national soul ?


Clip: http://b.kutzler.com/bk/