© Ed Seykota, 2003 - 2006 ... Write for permission to reprint.

Ed Seykota's

Frequently Asked Questions

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TT Associate Program  ...  Chart Server


February 1 - 10

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(Quotes from Ed in Red)


Thu, 10 Feb 2005



Dear Mr. Seykota,

How do you determine whether a company's stock is over valued or undervalued?

Value is a judgment call. Valuation varies from person to person. Value does not derive scientifically, from the facts.


To play the over/under value game:



Declare a value. 


Notice the current price.


Calculate the overs and unders.


For trend trading purposes, set value for bull markets above the current price, value for bear markets below the current price.



Grandma Gets Value

by buying flour by the barrel.


Her daughter gets value

by buying convenient pancake pre-mix

one pound at a time.


Her granddaughter gets value

by buying wheat

5,000 bushels at a time.


Clip: http://www.zanesville.ohiou.edu/



Thu, 10 Feb 2005


Future Workshop

Hi Ed,

Please put my name on the list for the next workshop. I was unable to attend the workshop in November 2004.

I have been reading FAQ's for almost a year now. I have also been trying to develop my own trading system ... paper trading it, learning to program in C++ so that I can back test it.


Even though my education is in engineering and computer science, it has been many years ... C++ has been a little difficult for me ... I'm sure I will get the hang of it with persistence. Until I can complete the above, I am holding off on live trading even though my paper trading is quite "profitable", on paper that is.

Thanks for maintaining the FAQ's. I enjoy reading them.

To enroll in the Workshop, go to the  workshop page.

Thu, 10 Feb 2005


Crank It Up vs. Go With the Flow

Dear Sir,

I have a question regarding the way we encourage our sender on the hot seat.


We frequently use "Crank it up," "Intensify," and "More of that," and it seems to me like asking a ship captain to accelerate and turn up the engine, and implicitly it seems to suggest that there is a particular direction the ship is heading.


Whereas, to truly go with the flow, it seems more like let go of the outcome, let go of the destination, and let the river take you wherever it takes you. I'd appreciate if you can share your insights.


Thank you.

To promote flow, apply force along the path of the current velocity.


Application of force in any other direction, makes an object goes around in circles.



Bubble Chamber Particles

go around in circles


the magnetic deflective force

is perpendicular

to the particle velocity


Clip: http://hepweb.rl.ac.uk/ppUKpics/


Wed, 09 Feb 2005


Next Step


Dear Ed,

I have read your ground rules, so I will be careful not to ask any inappropriate questions demonstrating a lack of understanding of the value and purpose of the Trading Tribe.

I am a recent discoverer of trend following and have been doing a great deal of research ... on the theory and philosophy, systems, testing software and such.

Obviously without endorsing any person or product in particular, could you recommend a next step for me in my journey to becoming a trend following trader?

Should I learn how to write code? Is that the only real way to trust a system, to do it yourself?

I feel like I have done much due diligence and now need to take some action to follow through on my commitment to changing my trading style from a U.S. equity-only, no-strategy, long-biased, emotional approach to a disciplined mechanical system.

Any thoughts you might have I would welcome.

Thank you for your time and your commitment to the development of other

You might consider taking your  feelings about being appropriate to your Tribe, as an entry point


To join or start a Tribe see the Directory Page


Wed, 9 Feb 2005



Overcoming one's greatest fears is never easy, however irrational or trivial they may seem to another person. Traders endlessly have to confront their deepest thoughts and emotions.


Coping is either an adventure or a nightmare depending on one's attitude. A trader must know himself thoroughly, all weaknesses and strengths. If he becomes serious with self-exploration, some very unpleasant truth's might surface.


Sometimes you see how wrong and ignorant they you were. Other times you realize that things you dislike in others are your traits. Whatever the feelings - Mr. Seykota says: find their positive intention. There is insight awaiting around the corner.


The moment you make friends with uncomfortable feelings, they will guide you round the dark corner and there is good chance the tension shall disappear. This is the moment of ultimate resolution and you start to think in hyper-speed. It's natural, effortless and it's called an 'aha'.

As you go deeper and deeper into the process, you begin to feel reality in its fullest form.


This is quite a different world. Most of us are conditioned to think, feel and live in certain ways and in a place where is little room for the very intimate experience of the now.


Perhaps there are good reasons behind this, maybe we as a society are not to be mentally and emotionally free. Nevertheless, TTP is a challenge: to untie the emotional knots, the very feelings that enable to achieve our greatest potential, those that hold us from achieving a major success or sometimes even from satisfying our basic needs.

How can this accomplished?

Hook up with a feeling, stop judging it, let yourself go, trust your receivers and go with the flow. Easier said than done, since everything takes time and demands experience, hence the importance of commitment.


But soon enough you learn a tremendous deal about yourself and others. You learn to complete tasks, you learn to stand straight, cool under pressure and become confident - you think there is not one single situation you cannot handle. You learn to appreciate feelings just as they are, so it becomes easy to express yourself and to understand the feelings of others. It's like opening up and feeling brave in the mean time.

The good part is that you don't need to pay the markets anymore to feel pain, anger, love, joy, attention ... etc. You can now do this consciously in life and with the help of your support group. It isn't a coincidence that your family is the essential tribe.

TTP can also be tricky - expect your relationships to change - some change for the better, other's may simply end. After a few insight's some find out that they'd rather do something else in life than work very hard by trading.


All this isn't necessarily bad news - it's finding one's right livelihood. Please understand, life's short - it's advisable to do what you really want to do. Such decisions can only be made with a clear mind.

Many thanks to the FAQ community.


Tue, 8 Feb 2005


Joining the Tribe

I am interested in joining the trading tribe.


I have actively traded over the past 18 years. To explain the ups and downs of those 18 years would take a long time and I fear I might put anyone listening into a deep sleep.


There in is my problem, I badly need a bit of support or even just another trader to talk to now and then. I have tried to read every book I can get my hand on, and I am close to trading full time, but before I do that I want other people that I can trust and just to know there is another human that loves trading like I do.


For eighteen years I have tried to do everything by myself and I am surprised I have gone all this time without having another person with the same interests as a friend.


My extremes have been holding a position of forty bonds and down 100,000 with a net worth of 25,000 to trading for years with just 1 bond or 1 mini s&p to get my confidence back.


I will spare more background information until asked, thanks for your time and thanks to Ed, who was nice enough to take a personal phone call from me in 1991 when I was down and out.


I am happy to say my life is very good and I have knowledge, energy, and experiences to help others, I do not want or expect it to be all about me.


Thanks again.

See instructions for joining a Tribe on the Directory page.

Mon, 07 Feb 2005


Interesting Phenomenon

Dear Mr. Seykota:

I often visit your site to read the FAQ's and especially your responses.

In the beginning, I found some of your answers very vague, even obtuse. It was annoying.


After all, I wanted answers: techniques, methods, the details, not philosophy!

However, now that I am starting to understand the trend following mind, if you will, I find myself entering an almost meditative state as I read through the questions and answers.


As I read, I read between the lines too, to your cryptic messages (the ones that I used to find so annoying), and I understand. I think that trend following is a philosophy of the markets.

Following the trend is contrary to my personality. I've always found it difficult to accept whatever is happening in my life. (This dates back to my childhood with an alcoholic, emotionally abusive, and mainly absent father and a distressed, emotionally absent mother.) However, as I grow (up and old) I have come to accept the wisdom of acceptance or going with the flow, and cutting my losses short. Had I learned this a few decades ago I could have saved myself a lot of grief.

I am developing a trend following system and back testing it. I accept that there is not a Holy Grail for the market, or life for that matter.

I intend to keep visiting your site and keep learning.

Thank you for taking the time out of your life to teach.






Little Buddha Sez:


"Reading FAQ

puts me right in the zone."


Clip: http://www.missouri.edu/



Sun, 6 Feb 2005


Testimonial for Book

Dear Ed,

I wish to share the benefits I am experiencing due to my participation in TTP.

My intention is share with the other readers the changes that are taking place in my life and the tremendous personal obstacles that can be overcome by TTP.

My background consists of being raised in a dysfunctional environment where my mother was a clinically diagnosed schizophrenic and my father was an alcoholic. As well, I have experienced childhood physical, emotional and sexual abuse. I have been involved in support groups and have had professional psycho counseling over a span of one and a half years.

In all honesty, I never expected TTP to help me the way it does. Initially, I thought TTP would only help improve my trading skills. Instead, I feel like a different person and I see the world and other people in a totally different light.

I experience more personal growth by sitting on the hot seat for twenty minutes, then by going to counseling with a psychologist for several years.


I donít ask why, I just accept this process and go with the flow of the hot seat experience. To contrast, I no longer ask why the markets behave the way they do. I just accept them for their behavior and keep my stop loss order in the market to minimize my losses.

I believe that my unconscious mind has a strong influence over my life. I feel like my unconscious mind is my ally now.

I believe Intentions do equal results.

My beliefs shape my reality.

I am changing and I like what I see and feel. I am happy and feel very good about myself. I am comfortable with who I am inside and out. I am finding and learning more about the real person within me.

My codependent behavior is nonexistent. I do not have dysfunctional relationships, and I am not drawn to them now.

I help other people, I do so in a nonjudgmental way. I am not expecting anything in return for my help.

I am growing spiritually. I believe in a higher power that I pray to and ask for guidance. I feel the higher power inside me when I pray.

I am living in the moment of now, and I am organizing my life in the now. Now is continuous for me. I believe that whatever happens in the now is reality.

I have self confidence. I am stepping out of my box and expanding my horizons both physically and mentally. I am comfortable with uncertainty.

I do not attempt to control things like the markets or people like friends, family, colleagues and fellow tribe members.

I cut losses in financially terms and personally within relationships.

I am riding wining trades and enriching relationships.

I believe that creating wealth is an ability that comes from within me. For me, wealth includes health, happiness, relationships, purpose in life and financial independence.

I do not have dramas. I experience all feelings and emotions as they arise and seek the positive intention of the feeling.

Until a couple of years ago I didnít experience feelings. I was without an emotional control panel. I was living blindfolded. I could not feel any of the major emotions of anger, sadness, fear, happiness, surprise and disgust. Now, I can feel them all when the situation arises.

This process you are sharing is priceless. It is enriching my life.

Thank you and God bless you.


Sun, 6 Feb 2005


World Tour

Hi Ed,

I am just touching base on your plans to visit tribes in different parts of the world.


Are they more specific now?


TTP has reached a critical mass, I think your journey would benefit everyone and could be very, very interesting and refreshing ... taking TTP to the next level for many people ...




TTP World Tour


Coming soon

to a part of the globe

near you.


Clip: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/


Sat, 5 Feb 2005


Jaipur TT

I would like to start a tribe in Jaipur, India.







India !



The Palace of the Winds


 The Maharaja creates this giant facade on the outer wall of the palace, to allow the ladies of the harem to discreetly watch the goings-on in the busy city below


Clip: destination-asien.de/ indien/jaipur.htm

Sat, 5 Feb 2005


Purpose of Life

Dear Ed,

I am the teacher principal who wrote to you a few months ago. I want to tell you a very important happening in my life. I have discovered the purpose of life.


Not just the purpose of my life but a general principle which holds true for every human and possibly animals and plants too.


Of course there is no point in anyone dictating the purpose, as with all the really important things in life this has to be discovered by our own self when ever we really wake up.


But I can see that you and perhaps all enlightened people can see it clearly (does that mean I am enlightened too?)


The purpose of life on earth is to enjoy our lives as much as we can and to leave it a better place than when we entered it.


Both are equally important. Have as much fun as possible and enrich other lives as much as possible, neither at the expense of the other.

Determining the Purpose of Life for others is inconsistent with other people determining their own purposes.


If you really feel you do know what is right for others,  you might consider forming a religion, attracting devotees, and then waging crusades to convert the rest of humanity to your point of view.


As an alternative, you might consider taking your desire to teach others the "truth" to a Tribe Meeting as an entry point.



Religions Sometimes Go to War


to determine

whose approach to peace is best.


Clip: http://www.37thtexas.org/


Sat, 5 Feb 2005


Another Indicator of Aging

This will really make you laugh but perhaps feel a little ďoldĒ, too ... Put your birth date in the pop up window after you click on the below link. What happens is pretty interesting, and it is also amazing how quickly it computes the results.

Applet: http://www.frontiernet.net/


Thinking that the computation speed of the Applet is amazing might be, in itself, another indicator of aging.



Enjoying the Aging Process


beats all the alternatives


Clip: http://home.earthlink.net/


Sat, 05 Feb 2005


Size Matters ?

Hi Ed,

Since attending your December workshop, I have been expanding the types of trading methodologies I use.

I notice that my gut tendency is to use smaller risk units with methods with which I do not have the same length of experience.


This helps keep the feelings pump at a manageable level. In reading your many FAQ emails it occurs to me that many of the issues raised by the contributors could be managed if the writers were just trading much smaller position sizes, yet I never see much discussion of this as a tool.

My question of this. Have you studied or seen studies of how adjusting position sizes after certain sequences of outcomes (like drawdowns!) affects long term results?

For example, the objective tests could be comparing the use of constant percentage of equity risk units vs. changing them periodically in a step function. The more intangible effects relate to how well a person maintains their discipline. I would be interested to know your experience, and of existing research available on the subject.

Your work and this website are a real benefit to me. Thanks!

You might try reading the article on Risk Management, on the Resources page.


If you have a system for modulating heat, you can include it into your system tests and optimize it as well.


Most systems have a mathematical optimal "heat." Betting more boldly or more timidly produces less return. 


Additionally, betting more boldly produces more volatility.


People also have an emotional "Uncle Point" at which they cave in and abandon their methods.


The mathematical optimal may differ from the Uncle Point.


Good traders are familiar with both and keep their trading well within their tolerances.




Observing Warnings


is an essential element

of risk control


Clip: http://naturism.arkayn.free.fr/


Sat, 05 Feb 2005


Saying Goodbye

Dear Mr. Seykota

I would like to share an experience I had at work about grieving the loss of my father. I am in the midst of reading Primal Scream by Arthur Janov and happen to come across a section on children who havenít attended a funeral at one of their parents therefore didnít get the chance to say goodbye. I was four years old and stayed at my cousinís place.

So I decide to say goodbye ( Iím now 48 years old) as I was walking outside. The feeling of grief was so overwhelming that I began to cry. I remember saying that I missed you so much, Why did you have to go. I felt like a child who was asking these question. My whole body felt almost to heavy for my legs and I almost stumbled to my knees. As the tears were rolling down my cheeks which went on for about five minutes, there was this strange feeling inside my chest. It was almost like there was a release of pressure. The feeling I had before seemed like it was black in color but now it was brighter. This way of expressing my feeling may seem weird but itís the only way I can explain it.

During that whole day I would have moments of grief but it actually made me feel better. It must have been the healing power of tears Then it occurred to me that this depressed feeling that I was having most of my life was not because of my mother being depressed and me not getting the nurturing I needed but it was actually me pushing her away like I did to everyone else around me possibly an aha moment.

Thank you for your site and letting me share this as there may be other people out there who have not had the chance to say goodbye to their loved ones that may be affecting them emotionally without knowing why.

Iíve read many books on trading psychology but found this site to be the best as, it gets down to the real source of trading difficulties one might have. The books can help for awhile but only till the same old feelings come back. At least that is the way it is for me.

Again Thank You for letting me share.

Good Start !


You seem to be executing the DIM (Do It Myself) process.


You might consider taking your feelings to a Tribe meeting as an entry point.


It takes a Tribe to get you into some of your deepest feelings, to the point you can celebrate them.





The Do It Myself Process


works pretty well on feelings

you are already willing to experience


Clip: http://www.portlandshotokan.org/



Fri, 4 Feb 2005



I have now finished my program. Please see the screen dump enclosed. This program trades Long and Short. It thrives on volatility and on interest and margin rates. It has no stops.

I would be grateful for any comments in general and with regards selling the program in particular.

I am not clear how to "thrive on margin rates."


Your no-stop feature might be an attempt to avoid the feelings of taking losses - at the expense of eliminating risk control.


Deleting the program might be more profitable than trading it - and more considerate of others than selling it to them.





Clip: http://www.ivygreen.ctc.edu/


Thu, 3 Feb 2005


Experiencing Losses

Dear Ed,

For weeks, I've been wanting to fully feel losses. When you said, "The more willing you are to experience the feeling of bumping into walls, the less likely you have to bump into walls," it really motivates me to be willingly feel losses.

I had my opportunity last night, and I specifically asked the group - the entire group, for the support to help me fully experience losses, and I promised to report back my experience, for the benefits of the entire group. I really want to volunteer for this journey, face-to-face with losses, and come to terms with it by fully embracing it.

I first feel like staying away from losses, to hide, to get away, even if it means not even participating. As the receivers ask me to feel losses, I ask myself, "How does losing feel like?" Hmmmm, I feel the need to control my feelings during losses, to maintain a strict face, to not show any emotion. I feel sorry to disappoint, and I like feel giving up. Giving up and just signaling, "I don't care anymore, whatever." In fact, I sit back, and just want to do nothing, so I am no longer a part of it, and I can decline responsibility. I don't want to be the one to get blamed.

But I don't like that either. I want to cry but I can't even cry. I just can't. I just "lost" it. There just isn't a comfortable feeling, and I'm growingly frustrated. OK, so how does frustration really feels like? With the receivers' help, I turn up the frustration, and I truly feel my animal instinct, in fact, I find myself on the floor and just turn into an angry roaring beast. That's how it feels when I am REALLY frustrated.

As the receivers ask me to feel losses, the raging animal starts to back down. I feel scared, afraid of challenges. I curl my body, hide my head - in fact, just crouch as best as I can, so that I don't have to face anyone anymore. I feel like being a loser. Yeah, that's how a LOSER feels like. I stay being a loser, keep shaking my head, not wanting to face any challenge.

But I don't like being a loser. What do I feel? I feel disgusted. I hate it. To be more specific, I hate myself. I hate how my old self who got me here, and I just hate what I have done when I could be much better now. I want to change but I can't, and I'm frustrated again. It's like I don't like this and I don't like that, but I don't know what I like and don't know what to do, what to feel. What the hell do I want?

I should note that I've been kneeling on the floor for most of the time. Out of nowhere, I feel like taking on the push-up pose. Not actually doing push-up, but just having my hands and the tip of my toes on the ground, and stay with that pose. In recent years, I've had difficulty doing this pose, as my arms and back would start shaking violently and involuntarily, and this issue remains a thorn in me. So here, with the tribe, I just feel like taking on that pose.

I feel my body shaking uncontrollably again. But this time I choose to stay with it. Well, I can't do it for long, and I just collapse and fall after 5 seconds or so. Well, when you fall, you get back up. So I do just that, take a shot at the pose that I have difficulty with, stay with it for as long as I can (5 seconds?), and fall.

It's like I am learning to walk again. I fall, I get back up, stay for a while, and fall again. And I keep repeating this cycle, over and over, with the encouragement of the receivers. They are relentless, cheering and supporting. And I think I like the feeling of getting back up. It feels great at that instant of ready to get up, because that's how I truly want myself to be.


It is physically demanding, and it's only with the receivers' help that I muster up enough energy to take another shot. I like that feeling of perseverance.

During this get up and fall down cycle, as the receivers urge me to feel the loss, the fall itself doesn't mean much. It's like, I fall, fine, since I expect to fall anyway. And after falling, that crawling back to position feels good. I've learned several things about how to stay hanging longer. I learn that I can go longer if I lower my back, and later I learn that I can save more energy if I don't keep my leg straight. In fact with that, I can have one leg resting and then alternate. And as I do that, it becomes less and less like the push-up pose, less "rectangular" but more like a "triangle," with the floor as one edge, my arms as another, and my legs the third.

And as it becomes more "triangular," I slowly stand up.

As I am standing up, I notice standing up is not that difficult. In fact, I can easily stand up, but it's just that all along I have been focusing on that struggle with get-up and fall-down. Well, if I haven't gone through the struggle, I wouldn't feel deserving. And there, standing up, I feel my dream snapshot again.


It is a marathon runner in the Olympics, entering the stadium, exhausted, but now at "home," looking back at all the struggles and hard work along the way, he feels they are all worthwhile. And standing among the group, tears start rolling down, and I feel great. I feel really good and at peace.

So that is my hot seat experience. And now I have several questions, namely, as one receiver holds me accountable (and I thank him for that!!!) and asks me about the full loss feeling. For before I begin the journey I have specifically asked for support to experience losses fully, and that I promise I'd come back and share. Now, have I experienced it fully?

True, I feel the losing cycle and understand how it gets to feeling undeserved without struggle, and "I hate myself," and I guess losing is a great way to justify that. True, I've learned that I've been trying to avoid blame by denying responsibility, despite consciously I always think I am otherwise. True, I've experienced the fall-down and get-up numerous times, went through tremendous struggle, but is that the same as "losses"? Or am I engineering another drama such that I can avoid truly feeling losses?

So dear Ed, my question to you is, as I experience certain feelings (let them flow and pass), is having an understanding of the various facets of it a form of "accepting" it?


For I've learned a lot about falling down and getting back up, I understand how it builds my character and how it fits with my end goal of giving it all like a marathon runner, but I haven't been able to draw a direct link to losses.


And I want to hold myself accountable, because that is what I've promised to the group, for their support to choose me to fully experience "losses." I greatly appreciate your insights. Thanks.

Encouraging someone to feel a feeling by naming it, is not part of TTP. 


Making yourself accountable to the group for a promise to experience is also not part of TTP.


Understanding losses as a way to "accept" them is not part of TTP.




A loss is an event - accompanying a change in control or ownership - as such, it has no inherent feeling. 


In a trance state such as you achieve with TTP, the sender may take a command to "feel a loss" literally, and be unable to do so.


To resolve the suggestion, the sender may return to conscious thought.





A sender may have feelings associating with loss  - if these are in k-nots, the sender may report loss drama as part of his issue.


In TTP, receivers generally avoid naming feelings and, instead,  encourage somatic forms, such as "shake your leg more" or "rub your head more."


Skillful receivers can establish a "tracking trance" and deal with feelings conversationally.




It sounds like your Tribe is attempting some sort of hybrid process that includes some DIM and some control-base "therapies."


You might recommend to your receivers that they review this site, visit some other Tribes and / or sign up for a workshop.




Celebrating a Loss




Displaying a Form


around celebrating a loss












Thu, 3 Feb 2005


Breathwork - Turn It Up !!! -

I describe the breathing workshop in a word Ė amazing.

I continue to feel the benefits (more AHAís) of the breathing every day. The most amazing feelings I have now is the feeling of comfort I feel for my father (and other family members).


Once, I judged the feelings I had toward him. I would feel anger toward him for the things he has done in the past, I would judge myself as an ungrateful son (his title, not mine). Now, I donít feel anger toward him, or judge myself (the feeling is similar to a great hot seat session, I canít really find that feeling anymore), my body continues to process the breath-work.


This is a totally new feeling for me, a feeling I first experience, now, Ė I feel love for him, anger for him, and sadness for him, all at the same time and I feel great about ALL the feelings I have toward him, period. The one feeling that is absent is the judging feeling I had toward myself.

The experiences I accumulate in my life, with my father, my wife, my son, my career, the tribe, everything, make me the man I am today. I wouldnít trade places with anyone. I feel strong, stable, on the right track, happy, clear, and alive, in short Ė empowered.

I canít control what other people feel or think, and I donít want to. I can only express myself the way that feels right to me. If I have a need (a feeling) to say something and I donít, a drama occurs.

I feel incredible.

Ed, thank you for taking me into your home, not only for the workshop but for every IV meeting I attend. You are the most generous, giving man Iíve ever met. You have made, and continue to make a difference in my life.

As I grow as a tribe member, I share myself with others, in my own unique way. This gift you give me now, I share with others. It is my way of saying thank you, Ed Seykota.





Amazing Breathing Technique


in which the breather

re-inflates a wrinkly elephant.



Clip: http://www.bizarrenews.com/



Thu, 3 Feb 2005


Tasteless Radio

Dear Ed,

I wonder if the producer / writer of the "Tsunami Song" intended the result he received (His own dismissal).

The Tsunami Song, set to music of "We Are The World" and written by [Name] of [Radio Station] - I believe it's the most tasteless song I have ever heard.

"... All at once you could hear the screaming ch*nks and no one was safe from the wave there were Africans drowning, little Chinamen swept away you could hear God laughing, "swim you b*tches swim."

So now you're screwed, it's the Tsunami
you better run or kiss your a*s away, go find your mommy I just saw her float by, a tree went through her head and now the children will be sold to child slavery ...""

By the way, thank you for your website.

Tasteless is a judgment we impose on others, about things that we don't like.


When we are willing to celebrate a sender's communication, and assist him to celebrate his k-nots, the issue tends to disappear into AHA's.


Judging and otherwise invalidating the communication, tends to reinforce k-nots and perpetuate the issues.



Judging Something Tasteless

increases its mass.


Acknowledging something

is perfect, just the way it is

assists it to disappear.


Clip: http://www.jhu.edu/~jhumag/


Wed, 2 Feb 2005


Just for Laughs


Dear Ed,

I wrote you over the weekend after seeing your website and being very interested in your work with the unconscious and group process to break down negative belief systems about trading.


I then read the interview with you in Market Wizards - I know - it was almost 20 years ago, but I was impressed with your perspectives.


I am someone who works in administration at [Brokerage Firm] - I love my job and have been dabbling at trading over 20 years ... mostly doing conservatively well - until I got crushed in 2000 by some really stupid activity on my part, (I'm sure you can guess!)


My first love is psychology, and work with the unconscious. I am studying hypnotherapy with a few teachers who learned from a legend in the field: Milton Erickson. It's an exciting path.

I would love to go to your workshops. They sound like a great idea, and something I could learn from. My disadvantage is that I am a pretty unsophisticated trader ... would be much better off finding someone to do that job for me ... then I could focus on what I really have a chance to be competent at--hypnotherapy and psychotherapy.

Would you be willing to consider working with someone with a very small 125K portfolio for laughs - ie me? I would feel even more equipped to go to your workshops if you did, because I would be more confident about my overall investments absorbing the costs of the workshop -  which otherwise I am concerned about.

I remember you mentioning in your book that you worked with people where there was the right chemistry. My brother laughed at me when I mentioned I was sending this to you, but I got the impression that good chemistry was more interesting to you than a potential client's net worth.

Anyway, I would appreciate any consideration. Or if you think you could significantly help me thru your workshop or otherwise, I would be willing to risk it.

I rarely accept a client "just for laughs" as doing so might induce an aneurism in a jocular vein.


A 125k futures account might be a little thin to support drawdowns, even on one-lot trading.


You might consider what kinds of things you want to do - yet do not do - for some or another good reason, like not having enough money.


Frequent use of the lack-o-money reason may set up subtle motivations for you to avoid making more money.




Milton Erickson


"If you know you are in a trance

raise your right hand.


If you are not quite so sure

raise your left hand."


Clip: http://phxinstitute.com/pix/


Wed, 2 Feb 2005


Testimonial for the Book


Hi Ed !

Through consistent practicing of TTP I came to the place in me where I accept and love myself more than ever before, accept and respect others as they are, and share more joy and love with my family and friends.


I feel more trusting myself. I feel like I'm traveling lighter through my life journey. I can clearly see what I have, and can share with others. I know my purpose. I am staying more and more in the Now where everything is perfect.


Wed, 2 Feb 2005



Hi Ed,

You seem to take a very mater-of-fact and stern tone to many questions. Do you tend to be this firm with yourself?


I often wonder if I should treat myself with honey or vinegar?


A person trying to improve.

You might consider taking your feelings about "matter-of-fact" and "stern" into TTP, as an entry point.


I treat waffles with honey, salad with vinegar. 




Waffles, Yum, Yum, Yum


Eating a little salad with vinegar

before eating waffles 'n' honey

makes the waffles taste

even sweeter.


Clip: http://wheylow.com/waffles.jpg

Wed, 02 Feb 2005


Tribe Meeting

Hi Ed,

I write to report on the 2nd meeting of the [City] Tribe ...

All 3 members are present for the meeting at the appointed time. We check in, by sharing with each other our feelings at that moment of now. The dominant feeling among us is "anticipation".


We all know that this is the session when we are actually going to experience TTP as a tribe for the first time! We are all keenly looking forward to that.

I am experiencing anticipation, too. But another strong feeling I have is "anxiety". I am very eager to make TTP succeed in the ... Tribe. I am "feeling worried" that a lot can go wrong. But I also feel "confidence" that I have gone about this as well as I can.

And I remind myself to allow the evolution of the Tribe "go with the flow" - just like TTP itself. I share these feelings with my Tribe members.

After check-in, I go through a prepared summary of some of the resources on
your site that I think we will need today.


Most of this is in the nature of advice for senders and for receivers. This will be the tribe's first Hot Seat session, so I remind receivers to "avoid advice", "avoid judgment", "avoid fixing", "go with the flow", and "help the sender to stay on track".


And I remind all of us (Sender and Receivers) that we cannot afford to care about the outcome of the process - just like with the markets. The best we can do is to stick to the system, and ignore the short-term results.


If Hot Seat gets "better", that's fine, and if Hot Seat "feels worse", that's fine too. If we start to care about the outcome, we stop supporting Hot Seat to go wherever he wants to go. (Much of this para quoted verbatim from Ed's site.)

One of the members ... is keen to take the Hot Seat. His issue is: He hasn't been faithfully following his trading system the last 2 weeks, has been second guessing his system, and has run up losses in the process.


The markets have trended sharply, and if he had done as his system indicated, he would have made good profits. Instead, he overrides the system, takes trades in contravention of his rules, and makes losses.

He spends a few minutes "describing" his issue to us - most of it logical, rational level stuff. This goes on until, a few minutes into his description of his issue, he mentions "feeling lousy" about what he had been doing the last 2 weeks on his trading account.


We latch on to "feeling lousy", and ask him to describe how "feeling lousy" feels. From then on, we help [Sender] to feel his feelings, and to track them.

Over the next 90 minutes (I was surprised by how long the session went on) [Sender] takes us through his feelings of "a large void in his chest", "a bright white light in his chest", "a feeling of churning in his stomach", and various other forms. Some of his other forms include stomping his feet on the ground, rocking his body back and forth in his chair, standing up and stretching his arms and legs full stretch, rubbing his hands on his neck, and twisting his neck alternately in both directions.

At the end of about 90 minutes of going through various forms, [he] seems to have arrived at a peaceful, calm form, and the session ends. We ask him how he feels. He describes his feelings as "feeling light", and "feeling very calm".

There are no more Hot Seat sessions at the meeting. We are all very very excited about what we have just been through. From my experience at the November workshop, I believe that we have just experienced a "successful" TTP session.

The evening ends without a check-out. I am so excited about the way the meeting has gone that I forget to request a check-out!

One nagging feeling surfaced within me later that night, and into the next day too. I think us Receivers ... may have got entrained into Hot Seat's drama for some of the TTP session, and got derailed from helping him track his feelings. I shall bring that up at our next meeting.

Thanks, Ed, for helping me on to this path. I am loving this, and look forward to more Tribe meetings.

Good Job !


You might consider taking your concerns about managing your Tribe into TTP as an entry point.




TTP Meeting


A gathering

where the senders and receivers

trade roles

and support each other

in moving toward Right Livelihood



Clip: http://www.potts.net.au/tree/



Tue, 1 Feb 2005


Up and Running

Hi Ed,

Keeping you abreast of the progress we are making in [City]. We are two members and have met for the second time. Since I last wrote, I have had several inquiries into joining, one of which has a new visitor at the next meeting. Things are looking good. The school is taking form.

I am trying to facilitate the process as best I can. I must admit, the first couple of meetings have been clumsy affairs, frequently going off course and running into the usual pitfalls (fixing, etc). Trying hard to cut back on the logic and the judging.


Anyhow, just wanted to let you know that we are getting it done here, and very happy about it. Hope everything is good with you.



I am preparing some training materials to release with my book about TTP.

Tue, 01 Feb 2005


Help !


I'm a survivor of physical, emotional, sexual, and domestic abuse. I feel shame, guilt, remorse, sorrow, and rage for the things that were done to me when I was too vulnerable and scared to fight back. Also, I'm codependent and I don't like that about myself. I want to change but I don't know how.

You told me to contact you when I finally figure out what I want. I want and I need your help in overcoming the dramas. I don't want help from anyone else, I want it from you.

I've behaved badly and I owe you an apology. I can't compose a song. I don't want to do it alone. In fact, I don't want to DIM anymore.

Can you help me? I meant what I said by "whatever it takes".

Thanks again!

You might consider joining and/or forming a Tribe in your area.


If you want private consulting, see the Ground Rules page, at the bottom.

Tue, 1 Feb 2005



Mr. Seykota:

Perhaps you can help me. I would like to have a personal consultation with you some time over the next couple of months, for many reasons.

I have been a great success and a terrible failure consistently my whole life. I celebrated my 34th birthday yesterday (1/31) and now I am getting very nervous that my patterns will continue, and I am at the brink of what I feel is a tremendous success. Let me explain:

I was accepted at [Name] University (econ) and completed two years with a nearly perfect GPA. Then, I failed Italian. I couldnít continue on the same way, and eventually dropped out in my third year (my excuse was to start my own company).


I did start my own company, and sold it to a competitor two years later. The fact is, I was a huge success initially, then started blowing the company up.

I then went to Wall Street and became a stockbroker for [Brokerage House]. I broke their new account records within the first four months. I was the golden boy. Highest score on series 7, and my name on the top of the new accounts list every month (out of 60 brokers). A year and a half later, I blew myself up again. I introduced my clients to Mr. Margin, and they did not get along at all. I learned about leverage, but I was no longer golden boy and so I quit.

I went to [Another Firm] and worked for [Trader]. I was the golden boy again. I even became manager and was sent to [City] to open up an office. It was a smashing success ... for about a year. Then I blew myself up. Couldnít get out of bed. I was pretty much MIA. Tried to make a comeback, but they had seen too much for me. I quit and went to another firm. Yep, golden boy again. I opened an office for them in [City]. Great success. Six months ... had to move on.

I became a [Brokerage Firm, Title] in 1998. Huge success. I was in the first quintile after only three years. By far my longest success. I truly believed my curse had been lifted. I managed my team of seven, in addition to training new brokers. 2001 revenues of $1 million. Then, all of the sudden, boom. Couldnít get out of bed. Went from $100,000 a month in commissions (team) to $3,000.

Left for paycheck at [Another Firm] in 2001: $275,000 up front, mostly in [Company] stock with plenty more over five years. I redesigned and executed the new [Firm] training program, and trained all new and existing trainees.


However, after one year of legal battles with [Former Firm], none of my former clients remembered who I was, and I had to start from scratch. Market crashed. No money left. No income. I quit that God-forsaken business and decided to trade, something I had wanted to do since college.

Started with [Another FIrm]. I had incredible returns my first three months. I stomached drawdowns OK. They announced I was one of the most successful new traders, doubling my money after the first three days. After three months, I wiped out and threw up. I deposited more (the last of my assets). I did ok for a month, then decided to quit (I have a family and could not afford to lose it all).

I started with currencies in March of 2003. I wiped out three times and finally learned money management (what a concept). I borrowed against my house, with my wifeís support (why she still puts up with me I do not know), and started over.


Things have been great. I decided to manage other peopleís money. I formed an LLC, and I am an IB for [Another Firm]. I opened an account for a former client, and I returned between fifty and seventy percent per month to him (net) from September to November 2004. He was so excited that he told many people, all of whom opened accounts with me. I opened those accounts in the beginning of December. I pretty much have not traded since.

I have many other accounts to open, and I want to start marketing my services, since I believe there is a huge market for what I am doing. My dream is finally about to come true, but I am petrified of blowing it up. I have always been a risk-taker, but for the first time in my life I feel that I have no more chances.

I had a child and got married at 17 years old (we are still married), and my wife and children do not deserve another bout of extreme poverty. They have been through all of this with me. Obviously, I have some unresolved issues (perhaps my adoption?) but I can no longer accept failure as a part of my life.

As I said, I believe a fortune is in the making here, but my past is haunting me and I cannot pull the trigger.


I believe I am an intelligent person with a true love of the markets (especially currencies). I am absorbed in it. I know it is time for some stability in our lives, which has eluded us for so long. But I fear I will blow this up too. In the first trade I executed for all of the client accounts I ignored my money management rules and went down over 30% in two days. All of that work and now I am finished, I thought. I held on with my head under the covers, knowing I was making huge mistakes. A week later I was blessed and was able to exit the position with a small profit. But now what? What the hell made me do that?!? I am afraid I will just do it again and not get so lucky. I am not at all inclined to give this up, since I do love the markets, but I do need some help.

I was hoping that your insights and knowledge could help me overcome some of these issues. I am confident that I am a talented trader, but there are some things I need to develop.

For the record, I will never forget the way I felt after reading your interview in Market Wizards. Your comments were so perfect. I still smile when I think of some them. My personal favorite: ďA losing trader can do little to transform himself into a winning trader. A losing trader is not going to want to transform himself. Thatís the kind of thing winning traders do.Ē

Mr. Seykota, thanks for everything that you do.

Your performance is consistent with high risk "plunging." 


You can read up on the life of Jesse Livermore for some parallels.


Before you get an urge to re-enact Jesse's terminal visit to the Sherry Netherlands Hotel in NYC, you might consider taking your feelings about risk and leverage into TTP as an entry point.


If you want a private consulting,  see the link at the bottom of the Ground Rules page.



Plunging Works Best


with some kind of plan

to land on your feet.


Clip: http://www.ensc.sfu.ca/undergrad/