© Ed Seykota, 2003 - 2007 ... Write for permission to reprint.

Ed Seykota's

Frequently Asked Questions

Home  ...  FAQ Index & Ground Rules  ...  Tribe Directory - How to Join

TTP - The Trading Tribe Process  ...  Rocks  ...  Glossary

  TTP Workshop  ...  Resources  ...  Site Search  ...  The Trading Tribe Book

TSP: Trading System Project  ...  Breathwork

Associates Program  ...  Chart Server  ...  Contact Us


October 1- 10, 2007


<==  Previous  |  Next  ==>




(Quotes from Ed in Red)


Wed, 10 Oct 2007


Evolution of TTP

see: Signature Forms

Hi Ed (again),

With reference to my earlier post, thanks so much for your insightful reply.

Amongst other things, Ed says: Your situation might make an excellent example for the Workshop of the application of the Rocks Process.

I am interested & willing to be ‘example’ at the Workshop and to experience the Rocks process firsthand.

Also, I infer from the rest of your reply that ‘Classic’ TTP is being superseded by ‘Rocks’ (perhaps ‘morphing into’ might be more accurate) since, whereas TTP helps to develop awareness of the issue, ‘Rocks’ may actually change one’s responses to the issue when it arises.

This work seems to be evolving quite nicely.

Thank you for sharing your process.


You might consider preparing a snapshot that shows how you would like your situation to turn out.

Wed, 10 Oct 2007


Growing a Fine Whine

Hi Ed:

I am fascinated with today's "Stomach Ache" post on FAQ. I am reading and rereading the part of your response about the Rocks Process:

Ed Says: The Rocks Process can help you to link your emotions to an effective response, thereby modifying the underlying situation.

I write this line on a note card to read and study over and over. I know this is not the first time I learn this, but it feels like the first time.

I am trying to apply these FAQ lessons to myself. In my own life, I am noticing that my once "enthusiastic" personality is now becoming "whiney."


I am wondering if my previous, and somewhat constant, enthusiasm may be medication. However, I am guessing that becoming whiney may not necessarily be an effective (or socially rewarding) response to link my emotions to.


But, I do feel it may be part of the process I need to experience to help me discover my true emotions.

Thank you for sharing your process.






yawping, sniveling, whimpering,

yammering and grizzling


are most effective


when your target

is unwilling to listen

to these forms.


One of the most effective

responses to complaining

is to listen to it,

acknowledge it and encourage it.



Clip: http://isthismylife.blogdrive.com/archive/


Wed, 10 Oct 2007


Associate Program - Learning to Trade

Stopping Out Against the Trend


I am stopped out of one of my (short) positions in the Dow Jones. I still have one position open along with the yen trade. Yesterday the two pretty much cancel each other out.


I lose very little for the day even though the Dow hits a new high. I feel like the Dow in going to take me out of my other position and then I will watch for a down trend to develop.


This whole Dow trade has been an exercise in breaking my rules of trend following. I was trying to call a trend, not follow one and I paid for it by being stopped out 4 times so far.

Thank you for sharing your process.

Wed, 10 Oct 2007

Signature Forms & Getting Relief

From Stomach Ache

Hi Ed,

Earlier today my Wife and I received, in the mail, a letter pertaining to a particularly sensitive legal ... matter involving [situation].

This was not something out of the blue, but something that we had expected and I had imagined that I would be cool & relaxed about the whole thing. I already know what's coming, so why be upset about it?

How wrong I was.

Upon reading the letter I felt sick in my stomach & very distressed (ditto my wife)

O.k. my 'buttons were pushed' and I reacted in a manner different to what I though I would.

Unfortunately there is no Tribe handy so in an attempt to gain some relief I undertake to do some DIM (Do It Myself) work, knowing full well that DIM is a very poor substitute to the field of acknowledgment that a Tribe can provide. However, it's a choice between DIM or nothing. I choose the former and find myself in the same old form that seems to be 'super-glued' to me.

No matter what my issue is the form is always the same. An old 'friend' indeed. (please see my comment re: Signature Forms below)

The form consists of screwing up my face, clenching my fists and curling up in a ball (on the floor) together with a need to SCREAM as loudly as I can "LEAVE ME the F--- alone!!!!!!"

(I am, however, unable to scream)

I try hard to visualize a Tribe helping me on, but without much success. Unfortunately my imagination is not up to task of recreating a real cheering Tribe.
As stated above, this is the same form (more or less) that I have displayed ever since I did my very first hot seat (nearly 2 years ago)

I feel an intense seething anger and resentment and a want to SMASH everything and everyone to pieces. I hate everything & everyone.

I further feel as though I want to be left totally alone, I'm sick and tired of being hassled.
A major theme throughout is "STOP hassling me!!"

I speculate (actually, strongly suspect) that perhaps I feel this way due to issues with bullies and teasing during my early school days. Who knows? maybe I'm being too intellectually analytical with the whole thing but this is what I suspect.

Anyhow, you may wonder if I managed to feel any relief via D.I.M., I can say, YES most definitely. I do feel somewhat relieved for now.

The more important question is, did I resolve anything? The answer to this is, unfortunately, NO!


To close, I believe this 'stuff' contributes to major blocks in my life that prevent me from moving forward to my full potential and as such I would like to come to terms with the issues involved.
I've had this kind of bs in my life for too long now & I want to do something about it

It is my intention to experience & explore the feelings associated with the above at the upcoming Workshop (Workshop Format permitting of course).
I would also like to explore the phenomenon of Signature Forms to see if I can find some way to break through this recurring form of mine

As stated above re: Signature forms, I had emailed to FAQ a contribution last year titled;
"Signature Forms" - Sun 10th September 2006
In this FAQ, I basically repeat the same issues as that which I outline above, so nothing has changed in one whole year.

Same s---, different day.

It's really pissing me off. I'm ready for a change.

Thanks for reading through.

Thank you for sharing your process.


Part of our TTP work (Disappearance Process)  rehabilitates the flow of feelings from Fred to CM (Conscious Mind).  As we bring feelings to awareness, we generate insights and knowledge. In the process, the feeling disappears.


In this way, the process can be "medicinal" as it can bring temporary "relief" from unpleasant feelings. 


Another part of the work (Rocks Process) discovers the positive intention of the feelings and links the emotions associating with the feelings to pro-active resources.


In this way, your emotions automatically trigger effective real-world responses.


You state that when you read the letter, you feel sick in your stomach.


The Awareness Process (and a Tribe and a Healing Field of Acknowledgment) can help you develop awareness and to "feel better" temporarily. The Rocks Process can help you to link your emotions to an effective response, thereby modifying the underlying situation.


Your situation might make an excellent example for the Workshop of the application of the Rocks Process.





Stomach Ache


You can medicate it with drugs

and even with the Disappearance Process.


A side effect of medication

is the appearance

of "signature forms."


You can also discover

the positive intention of the feelings

(remedy something you can't stomach)

and engage resources

to respond pro-actively

to the underlying situation.



Clip: http://do2learn.org/picturecards/printcards/


Tue, 9 Oct 2007

Twelve Step

Mr. Seykota,

Interesting comments about AA back in July. The solution (a spiritual experience sufficient to recover from alcoholism) came from Dr Carl Jung. It was passed through Rowland Hazard to Ebby Thatcher to Bill Wilson (the author of the Big Book).

At the time the book was written, many of the members of the un-named society were members of the Oxford Movement. It was a fundamentalist Christian movement which had 6 steps. Bill wrote the 12 steps in the process of writing the book Alcoholics Anonymous (from which the fellowship derived it's name). The 12 Step Process is the means to achieve Dr Jung's solution.

From the preamble, "AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization, or institution. Does not wish to engage in any controversy. Neither endorses, nor opposes any causes." It is intended to be open to all people.

AA is definitely not a hot bed of mental of health. It has given purpose, and sobriety, to a lot of people.

You can also probably imagine that if TTP were to grow to several thousand tribes, and a million members, the message might be different than you intended.

Thank you for the information on AA.


You might consider taking your feelings about <the message not matching the intention> to Tribe.




1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.


Steps 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 11 and 12 seem to carry some flavor of the original Oxford Fundamentalist Movement.


AA practitioners admit powerlessness and wrong doing and supplicate to a higher power for redemption.


For some AA practitioners, attending AA meetings becomes a replacement medication.

Source: http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org/


Tue, 9 Oct 2007


Associate Program - Learning to Trade


My only positions are that I am short the Yen and the Dow. I don't see much else that is moving. I am looking at Crude Oil, Cotton, Wheat and Euro.

Please define and state (1) how you determine your watch list, (2) what you look for when you look and (3) how come Canadian Dollar, for example, is not one of your "movers."

Tue, 09 Oct 2007


Hoping to Get it Back

Dear Ed,

Ed says: Love supports willingness to experience the cozy and the uncomfortable (FAQ Oct 2, 2007).

I love it and feel very encouraged to travel to [City] and attend a lecture ... Unfortunately my flirt is not there.

The following two days things are trending down, I get a terrible back ache and let everything go. I realize that this is a form.


I experience back ache, forget my plans and return to just drifting along. I decide to patiently follow my plans and try to enjoy what comes along in my life at the same time.

The next day I feel a long moment of bliss touching me.

... which is not here right now, actually ... I just hope it comes back in one form or the other.

Thank you for sharing your processes.


You might consider taking your feelings about <getting it back> to Tribe.




Back Pain


typically has a positive intention


of informing you

about something you want


such as, for example,

 someone or something

coming back.


Clip: http://www.mybackreallyhurts.com/


Tue, 9 Oct 2007


Hot-Headed Investors Make Better Decisions

Dear Ed Bhai,

I hope you are well.


Here is a Reuters Report from Yahoo of a study that shows people "...who experienced their feelings with greater intensity during decision-making -- achieved higher decision-making performance." The link is below.

Thanks for all the work you do and for believing its important to share and enrich. All power to YOUR Right Livelihood snapshot.





Trading: swift as the wind. sentient as a forest; intense as fire; inert as a mountain.

Thank you for the link.


I do not see much about the method for measuring performance.



Mon, 8 Oct 2007


Going Slower and Calmer

Hi Ed,

Ed Says: Sat, 29 Sep 2007 Getting to Bliss
“People who just sit and look at their mind rarely get to the bottom of anything. People who sit with others - and encourage each other to stay with their feelings typically get there.“ - and - “Meditation can be a form of medication.”

Shows incredible insight. How you read me / others through a few short emails is a wonderful gift. I have used DIM for years trying to get some result (questionable intentions); I did get a result - holding pattern. Current intention is to continue learning TTP and to get there with a tribe. Also, I do use meditation as medication – great perception! You, you're very good!




I received the book, thanks. I am finishing my current read and then will study it.

I saw in FAQ a contributor wrote about wanting infinite $ so they could help the peoples of the world. I guess they would give it away, I was struck by what you do as helping the people by “teaching them to fish so they eat for the rest of their life.” This seems very satisfying, congratulations on this achievement. Further reflection on this leads to the idea that the collective Tribe is at work to help the individual tribe member and thus the Tribe itself. So by opening up and sharing we help the collective Tribe with the fish and loaf.

As for my system changes I am running tests on exits and find that my trailing stop is better if it is much wider. So much so I am shocked at it and my use of close stops / targets, I guess I got what I wanted, drama. I think I was medicating in some way with the idea of “lots of small winners and a high win rate would work in the long run.”


Note: “in the long run” J.  


As a result of these tests I / my system is morphing into a longer term trading vehicle. Many more tests to run and I will send info on results if they seem useful for FAQ.

I have calmed way down on feelings as trades come and go. For example a stop was hit today and I just let it be, I had very little feelings about it, mostly happy and thankful that this situation no longer runs my life. My response to it was a deep cleansing breath.

How does one thank you? Except to say Thank you again!

Thank  you for sharing your process  and for the encouragement.

Mon, 8 Oct 2007


Niederhoffer Blows Up Again



My apologies for the length email I am forwarding regarding Victor Niederhoffer's very recent blowup, but I thought it a fascinating tale of an individual who could benefit from a tribe and some serious risk-management that others would want to read.


While I am not criticizing him, as he appears to be brilliant though a bit eccentric, the description of his trading methodology sounds very much like an overuse of discretionary "feel" for the markets rather than an investment plan.


The denial of reality, especially where he watches markets other than his current position due to the losses on the current position being too painful, is a lesson for all of us. Unwillingness to use stops and reduce risk in an increasingly volatile market led him out on a limb that was eventually cut off by the margin clerks.


We should wish him well in his next attempt. Thank you for your diligence in recent weeks in responding to posts. Best wishes for a successful workshop this month.


Source: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/


Thank you for the link and for the encouragement.




Victor Niederhoffer


People generally get what they want.


For example,

Some people seem to like

to blow themselves up.



Clip: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/


Mon, 8 Oct 2007


Associate Program: Learning to Trade

Writing Off the Risk in Advance

Feelings about positions: I am feeling surprisingly fine about almost being stopped out. One of my friends was asking me whether I was really nervous and anxious about it. I told him that I did not feel that way. I actually feel that this is part of the game and I am doing a pretty good job doing what Ed suggests -- treat the stop loss money as being gone as soon as you place the order.


So, it feels to me that even when I am getting close to being stopped out, I am still playing with the markets money -- I already gave this money to the market when I initiated the position.

My only positions are that I am short the Yen and the Dow. I come within 5 ticks of being stopped out of the Dow on Friday. I am holding in with my stops in place.

Writing off the risk when you place the trade may provide medication for the feeling of watching the market take your money.


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




Riding The Highway


can be a lot easier


without the training wheels.


Clip: http://www.guzer.com/pictures/


Sun, 07 Oct 2007


Thinking About Envisioning a Relationship

see previous: Men and Women

Dear Ed,

Thank you very much for the idea!


I already realize that DIM brooding doesn't help here.

Thank you for sharing your process.

Sat, 6 Oct 2007


Camber and Lift

see: www.Seykota.com / Bernoulli

I think home slice is wrong about needing AOA to get lift. A cambered wing will generate lift at zero AOA. Go fast enough, the plane will fly.

With a symmetrical wing you need AOA to generate lift. A T-38 (symmetrical wing) generates camber by adding flaps. You then generate AOA by rotating the Stab (also a symmetrical lifting device). You can land a T-38 with out flaps but you have to fly fast, at an increased AOA.

With a cambered wing (T-37) the plane will lift off with out inducing AOA or adding flaps, if you go fast enough. (you will probably smoke the tires though)

Mach crit is the large increase in drag, just before the plane goes supersonic. Once the plane passes the mach, the boundary layer attaches to the front end of the wing and the drag decreases.

I fly F-16's.

As for being a weak trader. It's because most aviators are control freaks, with a constant need to be right. IMO. Especially check airmen (just kidding). Trying to pick tops and bottoms? Contrarian? Taking on too much risk?

Thanks for the great site Mr Seykota. Need to keep hearing it ... go with the flow, let winners run, keep losses small, manage risk ...

Still searching for right-livelihood. Are you going to print a 2-nd edition to your book that includes Rocks, etc?


Adding flaps changes the effective chord and the AOA (angle of attack) as well as the camber.


The T-38 tail stab can lower the tail relative to the nose, thus re-orienting the thrust vector.


The T-37 camber may contribute to the effective chord of the wing.


Lift is a function of angle of attack and of Radial Momentum (a minor effect in wing lift). RM lift occurs just behind the crest of the wing, where the airflow separates.


Thank you for sharing your experience of pre-mach drag.


I am currently in process with my next book.




A Pair of F-16's


can beat three of any other kind.


Clip: http://www.afterburnerseminars.com/


Sat, 6 Oct 2007


Certificate to Talk About Feelings

Hi Ed!

About a year ago I did send you an email including a lot of questions regarding the TTP-Rocks process and you gave me a silly "approval certificate". I agreed that you had a point but not until now I have been able to receive it totally.

I have been more and more aware that I ask my wife about permission to tell my feelings. Usually that happens when a bunch of depressed feelings get me irritated. I am a person who dislikes complaining so I have tried to avoid that. Not until I'm full of small inconveniences I let it out.

After a really good talk with my wife, I start analyzing my behavior. She keeps telling me the same thing - that I can tell her anything.


I start to understand that I'm actually asking for a "Certificate to tell my feelings". My wife let her feelings flow naturally and suddenly it seemed the right thing to do.


It was really an "Aha" feeling. Silly, because intellectually it's obvious. I notice I often need to put it into my situation to really feel it works out for me.


Anyway, I start to tell my feelings to my wife at the same moment they rise and it all feels so much better. I don't build up lots of depressed feelings any longer, that could be frustrating. Now I tell it and it disappears.

One other thing I have started to believe is that the DIM process is actually inefficient. Now I really appreciate a focused receiver. The change in belief is gained due to what is described above. It seems like a proof of a theory based on empirical evidence.

Best regards,

Thank you for sharing your process.

Sat, 06 Oct 2007


Women in Art - Continuous Morphing




I think you might like this.


Thank you for the link.

Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2007


Training a Squirrel to Follow a System



Since you are so close to nature, I thought that you might enjoy this fabulous video ...



Thank you for the link.

Fri, 5 Oct 2007


Follow up on Study/Associate Program

Hi Ed,

Unfortunately my project is not coming along well. I been avoiding it to do it my self. Thanks to the market clients are doing very well since my last FAQ and happy at least for now.

The programmer that I've associated is creating program and transforming data feed to it's format.  The project should be done it's first phase by now  however it's been delay after delay. Some drama occurred past weekend and finally moving forward however we are struggling to get everybody on the same page due to scheduling and commitment issues.

I still feel l want to learn to program myself. I have to go to school to learn so that would be something I would be seriously looking at after workshop.

Learning how to program and code is obviously the hardest hurdle for me. I know I have to learn this to go to the next level. I have to work in it.

So bottom line is there is very little progress at least for now. Progress is that I am aware that this is one of my weakest point.

I look forward to the workshop. I am getting very excited. Thank you for booking very nice room for us. I appreciate this opportunity very very much.

With Gratitude,

Thank you for sharing your process.


You might consider taking your feelings about <delay> and <struggle> to Tribe.







can be pro-active


or medicinal.


Clip: http://randyelrod.typepad.com/


Fri, 5 Oct 2007


Commits to Financial Prosperity

Dear Mr. Seykota,

Great to see emotions are trending in the now. I have read all the FAQ since 2003 and want to thank you and all the contributors. Especially those that have chosen the challenging path of feeling the "Road Less Traveled", to paraphrase the title of the beautiful book of S. Peck, of personal growth and share their experiences openly. Their work is an inspiration for me to never give up in the process of inner discovery and personal evolution. I am reading all the posts again so to have them touch a deeper emotional level.

Feeling my feelings has already provided some results. As an example, for 20 years I used to smoke 1-2 packs of cigarettes a day and since 10 years I no longer smoke. I used to exercise once a week and since 8 years I exercise 4 times a week. I was overweight and I am now slender. I used to be afraid of sharing my feeling openly and crying was rare. Now, although sometimes is challenging, I talk about my emotions and I cry at times. But, as you said, the emotional pealing is a never ending process. As a result, I have contacted a tribe nearby, but did not get any answer. I am now Tribing with my wife. As you said: "family is the essential tribe". We meet once a week. Here is what came out after a couple of meetings.

What stands between me and financial prosperity? I started to feel a knot in my throat. I am afraid. Fear, fear, fear. It feels like a stone, brown. It moves to the left side of my head.


I remember one of my relatives telling me when I was very young: "You look like your grandfather". A very nice man, honest and an amusing companion, but always somehow at the dependence of others monetarily. Later on, the same relative helped me out financially. I see myself in school I was about 11 years old and the principal said: "He (me) was challenging task, but we succeeded". I told my young friend: "What is he talking about"? Like I did not have anything to do with it. In effect, I was a so called "hyperactive child", since my father and my brother died. At times, I could scream in class and try to hurt myself by pulling my hair off. A couple of years ago, I started a new job and the owner told me: "Good luck!". I told myself: "What is he talking about"? Like, I did not have anything to do with it. Like I am not responsible about it.... I feel there are deeper issues and will post my experience with those feelings as they come up. I commit (an heartfelt promise from which I am not backing down) to bring financial prosperity into my life.

Thanks again.

Thank you for sharing your process.


You might consider creating a Snapshot that represents your vision of Financial Prosperity.


You might also consider tracking the brown stone in your throat and converting it to an ally by discovering its positive intention.






is a common name for various forms of sandstone, a common building material in New York City in the post civil war period.


Brownstone comes from quarries in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Rain water erodes brownstone. By the end of the 19th century, brownstone loses popularity.


Clip: http://www.tqnyc.org/NYC040658/development


Fri, 5 Oct 2007


Associate Program: Learning to Trade

Looking for Markets to Enter


I am short the Yen and the Dow. I make back most of my loss in the Dow and am close to breakeven. I feel good about hanging with the all the volatility. I am looking for other markets to enter. I would prefer to have 3 to 6 markets on at a time as this seems to improve the offset ability.

Here are my positions:


GTC Sell Market 1 Contract Dec 07 Yen.
Fill at 8643.
GTC Buy Stop 1 Contract Dec 07 Yen at 8777.
Risk of 134 times $12.50 equals $1,675.

Dow Jones:

GTD Sell Limit 1 Contract Dec07 DJ mini at 13925.
Fill at 13925.
GTC Buy Stop 1 Contract Dec 07 DJ mini at 14201.
Risk of 275 times $5 equals $1,375.

Dow Jones #2:

GTD Sell Stop 1 Contract Dec07 DJ mini  at 13997.
Fill at 13997.
GTC Buy Stop 1 Contract Dec 07 DJ mini at 14201.
Risk of 203 times $5 equals $1,015.

You might consider posting the dates of your fills along with the prices, so you can mark them on a price chart.


You might consider defining the method you are using to "look for markets" and then check to see if your method actually explains your trading.


You might also consider back-testing your method to determine an optimal parameter set.


For starters, you can generate a graph of the equity in your trading account and mark your exits and entries on the chart. Then, you can hyperlink the marks to charts of the trading instruments that show your exits and entries.  On each chart, you can annotate your feelings surrounding each trade.


You may discover some interesting patterns about your own trading.


Note: Issuing a Market-GTC order during trading hours is likely to confuse your broker / trading software.




In Building a House

and in trading the markets


some people have a conscious plan.


Others simply look

for the next thing to do

as the work progresses.



Clip: http://www.kirkanddonna.com/rtw/pics/


Thu, 4 Oct 2007


Annoying Wife


Hi Ed,

From the Father and Daughter example, it seems that one key element is sharing feelings.

What is the TTP alternative then when the other party does not want to share or receive feelings?

For example, last night somehow I get frustrated, and I make a grumbling noise. It actually happens several times over the course of the night, and every time I just unconsciously make that sound. My wife doesn't like it though. She annoyingly asks me why I am so frustrated, and implores me to stop doing so.

Obviously reacting to the content of her words is just enrolling myself into her drama.


But what is the proper way to deal with my feelings if the other party doesn't feel like sharing or receiving?


You might consider taking your feelings about <annoying wife> and <it's her fault> to Tribe.

Husband: Grumble, grumble ...


Wife: Why are you so frustrated?  Please stop doing that.


Husband: When you say that to me, I choose to feel annoyance. That perplexes me since I know you are just trying to help me find the positive intention of my frustration. Maybe you can help me figure out how come I keep setting you up like this.


Wife: Wow! You finally see it. You do it all the time. You keep sucking me into the drama and then you blame me. I am so happy you see this and that you are willing to work on yourself instead of on me.


Husband: Yes, I am willing to work on me.


Wife: Yes, and I'm willing to work on me.  I feel so lucky to have you in my life!



Blaming Others


is a fairly reliable path

toward gridlock. 



Clip: http://despair.com/blame.html

Thu, 04 Oct 2007


Dreaming About Dreaming



I've been reading FAQ off-and-on for years before I joined the [City] Trading Tribe in February 2007. This is my first submission to FAQ:

The night before last I had a lucid dream.

It started as a conventional dream. I attend a banquet in a hotel ballroom or similar space. Actors Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn arrive with pistols drawn. My intuition tells me they have come to rescue a guest.

At this time, a woman who had been sitting near me -- my visual impression of her is she has brown, curly hair and is wearing white, which suggests she may be the bride and this banquet is her wedding reception -- rises, armed with a rifle, and holds the muzzle at the back of the head of the person the actors intend to rescue. The intended rescue-ee is Dean Wormer from Animal House. The putative bride lowers the muzzle to the uppermost vertebra of Dean Wormer's back.

Let's get out of here, I think or say, though I don't know who is included with me in the us. I turn and slip away. In doing so, I find myself in my living room, at night, with enough light from the streetlamp outside to see by. The banquet room is where my kitchen used to be. I cross the living room to the hallway and then to my office, in order to pocket my wallet, cell phone, and car keys in order to make my escape.

While I'm pocketing these items, I realize I'm wearing the T-shirt and boxer shorts I slept in, which have no pockets, and I think I'm dreaming. I hesitate before believing this and decide to confirm I'm dreaming by going back to the living room. If I see my kitchen instead of the banquet room, I'll know I'm dreaming.

I return to the living room and see my kitchen. A warm feeling rises in my chest as I cross the living room to the kitchen entrance. I'm having a lucid dream. I can do whatever I want.

However, I then hesitate. I can't decide what I want to do. I consider conjuring a beautiful woman to walk into the kitchen from the laundry room, but I remember my wife is sleeping in our bedroom at the far end of the house [subjectively] / beside me in bed [objectively], and I don't conjure a beautiful woman. I can't think of anyone else to conjure, either. I shuffle my feet in an awkward, frustrated jig. I hesitate before turning on the kitchen light because I'm unwilling to take the chance the light will wake my wife. (The lucidity of the dream may have been fading). I do turn on the light and dance another jig with a little more grace than the previous one, but with the feeling burdening my shoulders that I've squandered a great opportunity.

I then wake up and decide to take the feeling of <not knowing what do when I can do anything> to my Tribe meeting that night.

(As an aside, a few hours after the dream, I read the FAQ entry Dream, Mon, 1 Oct 2007, and resolve to speculate on my experience as each element of the dream. I have not yet done so).

At my Tribe meeting, when my turn comes to be the hot seat, I story tell about the dream and <not knowing what do when I can do anything> while developing my forms, which include repetitive pushing away with my arms and shaking my head. The physical motions, the memory, and the feeling combine to put me in a mild trance.

Another tribe member goads me: "What's your problem?"

Me: "I may never again have the chance to get exactly what I want and I blew it. I may never have another lucid dream."

Other member: "You need a lucid dream to get exactly what you want?"

I feel confusion. "A beautiful woman isn't going to walk around the corner to me. Ed Seykota isn't going to teleport into the room and guide me with his wisdom."

Other member: "Is that true? Ed would say you get exactly what you want."

I develop forms and try, while still in trance, to process his words. What do I want? What keeps me from knowing it?

"I'm afraid what I want isn't compatible with being married to my wife," I tell my tribe. My left foot taps while I mention a snapshot I've sketched on my office whiteboard, of my wife, our dog, and I with a small child (we have no children yet) on the lawn of large house. My wife hasn't believed it: she has said the snapshot is what I think she wants to see, not what I really want, and what I really want is to write and sell science fiction novels and get rich trading, with her in third place.

A second tribe member points out, "She saw that and wanted to be married to you anyway." I then feel gratitude and <I don't deserve so much from her> and I resolve to tell her. (I told her this morning I appreciate her and she appeared glad to hear it).

(Between the tribe meeting and now, it occurs to me I may, alternatively or in addition, be afraid that to get what I want, I'll have to tell my wife what it is I want and use Ericksonian wisdom (patience, metaphor, and misdirection) to encourage her to help me with it. (How much more work those steps would take than having people read my mind and willingly give me what I want, which my Medicine Rock tells me is what should happen!) It also occurs to me I may be afraid that what I want really is compatible with being married to my wife, and the subject of occasional daydreams, being a master seducer, a Nerd-Casanova, is not what I want after all).

After the Tribe meeting, I go home and to bed, but wake around 4:00 AM and my half-asleep mind returns to the lucid dream in light of my experience at the tribe meeting. If I have another lucid dream, I'll ask my subconscious to tell me what it wants.

I imagine myself back in the kitchen, in the same circumstances as the lucid dream, and I sense my subconscious in the laundry room. I don't call it Fred (my dead father's name was Fred, and in this moment of writing I realize I have a knot about this point).


I can't see my subconscious straight-on, but from the corner of my eye I glimpse it. At times it looks like a wilder version of me, with messy hair and dirty clothes; at other times, it looks like a more potent version of me, with firmer muscles, better posture, casually sharp clothes, and more charisma. I sit up on the counter and my subconscious stays several steps away.

Let me know what you want, I tell it.

<How do I know you won't entrap me?>

Because we're living in the same brain and body and we're both in a relationship with our wife, our family, our friends, our society. We're better off working together. Besides, if I entrapped you, you'd thrash around and make my life hell.

My subconscious seems more at ease. I now see a jaw trap between me and my subconscious, but then the trap turns into a judge. I can't see the judge closely but it looks like a thin, pale boy of twelve or thirteen in a gray tunic. Then I realize even the judge has a positive intention; it reminds us that our actions have ramifications in our interpersonal relationships and our social standing.

I then become more fully awake, think unproductively about these experiences for a while, and finally fall back asleep.

(A final aside: have you read the novel Queen of Angels by Greg Bear? One subplot involves a virtual reality exploration of a murderer's psyche, manifested as his "Country of the Mind," which, like everyone's, is peopled with a vast number of personas which have their own agendas and are frequently in conflict.


The Country of the Mind is as good a metaphor for the fractured, un-integrated state of normal human existence as I have ever encountered in a work of fiction).

Thank you for sharing your process.


You might consider taking your feelings of <what I want> to Tribe.


Perhaps worrying about what you want is, well, just exactly what you want.





Getting Your Wife

and Another Woman Together


might be a lot easier

and less risky


in your dreams.


Clip: http://www.robthurman.com/weblog/



Thu, 4 Oct 2007


Radial Momentum

see: www.Seykota.com / Radial Momentum

Hi Ed,

How are you my friend. I was promoted to Check Airman where I administer pilot check rides in the simulator.

I agree with your Radial Momentum theory because without angle of attack, the wing would never lift, regardless of curvature.

However, the curvature on top the wing must exist because if it was not there the airflow over the wing would exceed critical mach and the stability would be lost.


Drive 80 MPH and put your hand out the window and rotate the the trailing edge up and down. At some point your hand flies out of control.

Vector analysis and F=ma can explain airplane lift theory better than Bernoulli. However greater speed with constant density does produce lower pressure.

I miss you man. Let's talk sometime I'm still a weak ... trader, why is that?

The wing curvature provides an internal space for structural reinforcement.  It also helps entrain laminar air flow, thus preventing turbulence drag.


Points to Ponder: Many wings have no curvature and still work. Helicopter blades have equal curvature on top and bottom.  Planes with topside curvature can fly upside-down.


You might consider taking your feelings about <strong and weak trading> to Tribe.




Thu, 4 Oct 2007


Associates Program - Learning To Trade



Yesterday, I sell short the Yen. Here are my orders:

GTC Sell Market 1 Contract Dec 07 Yen - fill at 8643.

GTC Buy Stop 1 Contract Dec 07 Yen at 8777.
Risk of 134 times $12.50 equals $1,675.

I feel good about having another position. I also feel very good about having luckily (since I came within 3 ticks of being stopped out) been able to make back most of the losses I have in my Dow Jones trade. At one point I am down over $950 per contract, and now I am down $200 per contract. I feel that I have a new appreciation for the psychology of stop losses.


I do not know what the GTC (good until cancel) instruction on a market order accomplishes.


Entering market orders, after a market is well through a support level, may indicate lack of a plan and lack of back-testing.


A pro-active, think-ahead plan to accomplish the same thing might include placing a sell stop around the 86.80 support area.


You might consider taking your feelings about <trading at the market> and <feeling lucky> to Tribe.




December 2007 Japanese Yen


A stop order triggers a sale

at the moment the market trades

at or through the stop price.


Trading without stops

may indicate lack of planning.


Trading with close stops

may indicate lack of back-testing.


Thu, 4 Oct 2007


Just Saying No


Throughout my former marriage my ex-wife made me feel crummy and never acknowledged any of my achievements or unique traits, small or large. I came to resent this and still harbor some feelings of anger with her.

Knowing her history of not keeping her word I was very specific when it came to the divorce parenting agreement.


True to form, she systematically began to maneuver to change times, truncate visitation, and so forth. For fear of her talking poorly about me to the children I would often give in and rearrange my time to be more accommodating. Then I would become angry about it, tell her and we would revert to sticking to the agreement. Time would pass and the cycle would start over.

This week marked the first unequivocal "no" from me and I feel good about it. She began to try to rearrange Christmas, New Years and the entire January. I simply said no. She responded with name calling and I responded that she was simply going to have to find a new person to treat like s---.

My intentions before were to engage this routine despite my professed hatred of it. Now I feel different. The "no" was not conscious. I didn't decide "well this time I'm really going to put my foot down". It just happened and I didn't realize it until later reflection. My right hamstring is still twisted, but starting to give way.

Thank you for sharing your process.


You might consider taking your feelings about <quarreling> and <just saying no> to Tribe.






can be part of a process

of conflict resolution.


When the participants'

Rocks compliment,

quarreling can be part

of an ongoing gridlock pattern.



Clip: http://www.jonco48.com/blog/


Thu, 4 Oct 2007


Local Home Prices

Hi Ed !

They mayor of our town had tea at our house yesterday afternoon. She owns some rental property in town, and has a mayoral overview. In her estimation, home prices here are down 20% to 30% from their peak.

Hmmm ... by the time the mayor starts talking about home prices, they might be pretty well through the discount.

Wed, 3 Oct 2007


Associate Program - Learning to Trade

The Price of Stubborn

see previous:  Measuring Risk

Hi Ed:

I am back from a long walk and thinking about trading, managing risk, and being stubborn. I am not totally aware of the stubborn part until you point it out to me, but thinking back over my life, I seem to wear stubborn as a badge of courage.


I recall being told I am a stubborn child; a stubborn employee; a stubborn lover; and now a stubborn trader. Since I conquer most categories ... ie. I am no longer a child; I serve clients rather than bosses; and I sabotage my love life ... I seem to be now fully concentrating my stubborn nature on trading.


However, I gladly welcome your support and will simply try to be just as stubborn as I possibly can be. Maybe then I will actually feel what it is like to be stubborn, rather than just blindly being stubborn.

In the meantime, I will continue along my stubborn lines and while promising to remain stubborn I will also experiment with what it may feel like to surrender.


To surrender to the events of my childhood ... and learn from them; to surrender to my heart ... and trust that feeling my feelings will lead me out of the dark; and, to surrender to learning to be a better trader. I know it is easy to write these words. I hope you will continue to hold me accountable to living up to them and becoming a better person.

Getting a handle on risk is a huge discovery process for me. It is making me realize that I am trading every day without knowing exactly how much capital I am putting on the line with every trade. I seem to be establishing a pattern.


Since January, I ran my account up over 50% and then went flat by mid-summer only to run my account back up almost 80% until the last few days as I experience about a 15% hit.


The only difference between now and mid-summer is that (thanks to your coaching) I am now beginning to learn to calculate risk. (I also have been lucky since mid-summer with good markets and again, good coaching.)

My first baby step is determining exactly how much money I make (or lose) each day. This enables me to start thinking in terms of market close to market close ... rather than from where I got in (either buy or sell) to market close. I now see that I have just as many feelings about losing open equity as I do about giving up closed equity.

Now that I can see my risk on a spreadsheet, I realize that I am putting on way too many units for most positions. To make this even more real, I am feeling the pain of getting stopped out of positions because my stop is too tight, just in time to watch a rally leave me with a more than acceptable loss due to uncalculated risk.

I am feeling like I may be seeing risk for the very first time. I want to make friends with this risk. I am wondering if making friends with risk, being stubborn, and surrendering might be related.

Thank you for your patience, insight, and good heart.

Thank you for sharing your process.


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





Good Money Metrics


are essential to risk management.






The Utility Function


U(x) = Axb


The U(x) graph indicates,

that for some people,

it takes an increasingly large payoff, x,

to increase the utility, U(x), of the payoff.


(A and b are empirical parameters.)


The Utility Function curve reflects

the risk-averse nature of our society

and the possibility of reward

for people who manage risk.



Clips: http://plus.maths.org/latestnews/



Wed, 3 Oct 2007

TTP Workshop in England

Hello Ed,

I am very interested in you Bringing another Workshop to England/Europe. I am available now to help you set another one up !

Today we have our biweekly meeting and I bring the question of willingness to our tribe. What I want from the tribe members is a very concrete answer, I also want to quantify the answer.

... so we have 3 participants in our tribe that are willing and have the money ready to attend another workshop !

Thank you for your interest.


Critical mass for a Workshop is about a dozen people.

Wed, 3 Oct 2007 

Bird Snatcher


A seagull in Scotland has developed the habit of stealing chips from a neighborhood shop.

The seagull waits until the shopkeeper isn't looking, and then walks into the store and grabs a snack-size bag of cheese Doritos.

Once outside, the bag gets ripped open and shared by other birds.

The seagull's shoplifting started early this month when he first swooped into the store in Aberdeen , Scotland , and helped himself to a bag of chips. Since then, he's become a regular. He always takes the same type of chips.

Customers have begun paying for the seagull's stolen bags of chips because they think it's so funny.





Clip: http://www.snopes.com/photos/




Birds who snatch are easy to catch.


Perhaps this bird has "gull-able" relatives who frequent the bank down the street.

Wed, 3 Oct 2007


Associate Program - Learning to Trade

Feelings About Short-Term Trading

Here is what happens:

On [date], I hear from Ed that he is going long crude oil. I review the chart and agree that it looks good for a long entry. I get a fill and feel good about being in this position. I watch as the crude prices rise.

On [date] I hear from Ed that Crude and Gold are now being talked about on the front page of the WSJ and that his experience is that this might make for a very choppy market.


I look at the charts and feel some internal conflicts. Crude has risen from 75 to over 80 and I don't see that the trend is over, but I have a very nice profit that I could take now. The other problem I feel I have is that since my account is small I really cannot lighten my position. I am binary - either in or out.


So, wishing to learn from what Ed's experience is, I decide that the best step is to sell. I enter an order to sell at market the 1 Contract of Sept Crude Oil I have. I feel good about being out of the market and having made such a nice profit. I watch as Crude goes down and feel even better about being out of the position.

On Monday Sept 24, I talk with Ed and he says he notices that I am entirely out of my Crude position, and that he just lightened up but did not get out entirely. I feel a little disconcerted and unsure of myself. I am feeling a little left out and I am feeling that I am disappointing Ed by not still being in the position.


Since I am trying to learn from what Ed is doing I decide to get back into Crude. I tell myself since Ed is not entirely out, I should not be out either - even though I had been feeling pretty good about being out. I re-enter the position with a stop about 150 points lower.

I talk with Ed and he says that he notices I have bought back into Crude. I say I thought you were just lightening up and not getting out entirely. He asks what I saw on the charts that told me to get back into crude. I am embarrassed to report that there was nothing in the chart that told me to get back in. I got back in order to belong and to not disappoint Ed.

I then watch the Crude market go against my position and hit my stop to take me out of the position. I feel some relief at being out of the position and having honored my stop loss.


I tell myself that I am still up quite a bit and that I can learn from this. I commit to write up my feelings about this trade, but then put it off for over a week, not wanting to confront the feelings that led me into and out of this trade.


In that week I experience similar feelings and enter a position on Dow Jones that medicate those feelings. By not confronting, experiencing and learning from the feelings around the Crude trade, I get to experience a similar drama with Dow Jones.



You might consider taking your feelings of <wanting to please> and <wanting inclusion> to Tribe.




October 2007 Crude Oil


Red circles indicate sales.

The green circle indicate a purchase.



Wed, 3 Oct 2007


Associate Program - Learning to Trade

Missing This and That


Thoughts and feelings about stops: After coming within 3 ticks of being stopped out of my short positions in the Dow Jones, I notice feelings relating to that fact.


Feelings of relief and calm. But also noting the difference I would have felt had I been stopped out.


After coming within 3 ticks the market has turned around and dropped by over 100 points. I know I would have missed out on all of this. And I know that my feelings would have been different if I have a stop that is hit versus a stop that is not.


This may seem evident, but I had always thought to myself that a tight stop doesn't make a difference to me, I would just get back in, BUT I can now see that psychologically it is very different for me.


I would not have been likely to get back in. I would have had feelings of relief that I am not in and then watched it come back.


So, psychologically tight stops are very different for me. My awareness of the places I put my stops is enhanced by this experience.



You might consider taking your feelings about <just missing your stop> and <missing out of a trade> to Tribe.

Tue, 2 Oct 2007


Associate Program - Learning to Trade

Measuring Risk

Dear Ed:

Here is my first attempt at creating a spreadsheet to track risk. It is a work in process.

I am still getting my arms around how to display information for easy updates from day to day.

In the meantime, I see clearly now that knowing "what's to loose" will help me control my risk.

Thank you for being so persistent about excellence in all areas of life.


Wed, 03 Oct 2007


Men and Women

see previous : Doesn't Trust

Dear Ed,

I like watching movies where a men and a women are involved which give the impression to treat each other carefully and enjoy their sexual activities.

I sort of forgot that this is an important part of a relationship between a man and a woman. I am sure I am not alone with this on your page :-)

I definitely avoided the issue because the woman has the risk to be left alone with a baby. The guy doesn't get the kids if he plays around. That the other aspect of those activities.

Now I can afford the risk but I am sort of too old for the whole thing. I suppose this is what happens today, in my country at least.

What you do here on your page inspires me very much.

Thank you for sharing your process.


You might consider taking your feelings about <the kind of relationship I envision> to Tribe.






has a positive intention.



Clip: http://www.ciadvertising.org/studies/student/


Tue, 2 Oct 2007

Love is Property

see previous


Love is a property of a relationship
and it's limit down!
The illiquidity of which
drives me to drink
or at least think of some warmer moments

When love trended smoothly
and love was warm
like a sphincter pucker
All cozy

Is that a property of love?
Or a misguided tactile sensation of love
either way it's cozy
like a hug, but different

I wish love were property
Then it wouldn't leave
unless I sold it.
Sold it down the river
like a boat, adrift.





Love Supports Willingness


to experience the cozy

and the uncomfortable.


Wed, 3 Oct 2007


Typo - 3

see directly below



Thank you for your considered reply to my background. I do want to find myself more in the present.

The 2006 page now cites the little girl, Nixzmary, instead of her father Rodriguez as having anger in a k-not. I wonder if you are stocking the pond.

Thank you for catching the faulty repair.

Tue, 2 Oct 2007

Typo - 2

see directly below



In general, I like to read.

I'm reading your site so carefully because I'm looking to make peace with 44 years of stuffed emotion. I also committed to the [City] tribe leader that I would read the whole thing.

I see from other posts that you reward "good catches".

I write about this post in particular because the horrifying story and picture grab me by the guts.

And I don't find many other good typos to catch on the right hand column!



As you progress forward with your reading, you may encounter yourself here, in this moment of now.

Tue, 2 Oct 2007


Hi Ed,

I’m (slowly) catching up on the earlier posts to the website and only have 2006 left to read.
The site is quite a wealth of info.

Re: Thu, 19 Jan 2006
Missing Yogurt Causes Torture and Death

Replacing Hynes (DA) with Rodriguez (abuser) in the last two paragraphs of the answer makes a stronger point. I wonder if the current post is a typo?


Thank you for the catch.

I wonder how you come to be such a careful reader.

Tue, 2 Oct 2007


Associate Progress Report

Sticking To The System - And Losing Money

Hi Ed,

After the Dow's rally yesterday, I build a SR model to check my math. My system seems to indicate that the Dow is trending up. My feelings are mixed about going long the Dow. I remember a great insight you make in FAQ:


Ed Says:  (9/20/07 "Trading Improvements) "Willingness to experience your feelings about your system without acting on them is essential to system trading."

I decide last night to go long the Dow this morning. This morning, I enter a long position in the Dow with a buy stop. I set my sell stop at 13,000 and risk 1% of my core equity.

Overnight I check the market and see that gold is down $9. This morning, gold opens down $15 and the price goes lower before bouncing a little bit at the end of the day. I continue to hold my position until my stop is hit.

When I see the price of gold this morning, I have a little tightness in my chest, but I feel different. I'm confident in letting the system do its thing, including stopping out. Although my equity is decreasing, I'm proud of myself for not bailing out of gold. I'm also proud of myself for following my system and entering a long position in the Dow. Although I do not enjoy today's price movements, they do not upset me either.

Thank you for your support,

If the Gold market takes out your stop today, you are likely on a rather short-term system. 


TSP (The Trading System Project, above) optimal parameters for simple systems are considerably longer term.


You might consider back-testing your system to investigate how it works with longer-term trend identification parameters.




December 2007 Comex Gold Futures


As of Monday, October 1, 2007


There is no such thing

as "The Trend" in Gold

or in anything else for that matter.


Short term trends (2-3 days) may be down

while longer term trends (6 months) may be up.


Tue, 2 Oct 2007


Gets a Surprisingly Good Fill

Hi Ed,

I have a question regarding rule /etiquette with pit futures fill orders. Thought you would be the right person to ask.

I was filled at a price substantially better than I should have been in a corn contract this morning. Is this my problem or the brokers?


I don't seem to get redemption when I get a bad fill, and those fills stand. Now for once the roles are reversed and I made out better?

What is the procedure?

Thanks for taking the time to answer.

Getting a better price than your limit order may be consistent with the market going against you. 


The same applies for a better price on a stop order.


While you don't say, I suspect that if you are getting a "good" price, you are a buyer of Corn today on the decline.




December 2007 Chicago Corn Futures


As of the close, October 2, 2007.


Down days are consistent

with "easy to buy lower"

and "not so easy to sell higher."



Mon, 1 Oct 2007



I enjoy reading FAQ. Since reading it I notice a heightened focus on adhering to trend following practices. Especially keeping losses small. Focusing on trading trends and keeping losses small has resulted in an 81% YTD account increase. Thank you.

I think the trend of the US dollar is the definition of a trend. For the past 2 years I accumulate more positions in gold based on the trend of the dollar as well as an underlying fear that most of my savings and home equity become irrelevant.

Last night I had a dream the a rabid bull mastiff was in the same room as me. I backed up toward a door. I went through the door and locked it. Now I am standing in a breezeway where the door I just went through is in front of me and I am still backing up. Now I am going through another set of doors. I am outside locking this final set of doors. As I am doing this the mastiff is ramming it head into the first set of doors and finally is able to somehow unlock the door. I run as fast as I can across a street and up a grassy hill. When I get to the top of the hill I see the mastiff run out of the building and maul some unidentifiable people.

I am enlightened that fear is good. Personal safety requires paying attention to fear. I realize trusting your instincts is important.

Thank you for sharing your process.


You might consider enumerating all the elements in your dream and then speculating on your experience as each element.


For example:

My experience as the Mastiff is [  ]. 

My experience as the breezeway is [   ]. 

My experience as the first door is [   ]. 


You might then take any feelings this exercise excites to your Tribe for further development.






If one appears in your dream

it might be you.



Clip: http://www.britannica.com/ebc/


Oct 1 2007


Some thoughts on Hyper Inflation

Hi Ed,

I think about hyper-inflation and would like to share some thoughts with you.


Inflation seems to pop up somewhere in the world under different governments and dictatorships, I suspect it’s quite a natural part of the way humans live. History demonstrates that the response to ‘fighting inflation’ no matter when or under which authority is often very similar. I suspect “hyperinflation” economic events are a ‘natural phenomenon’ as the collective Fred’s get to fully experience “loss and fear’, perhaps the intention is to realize their positive intentions.

Some Typical Responses to Hyper Inflation seem to be:

1/ Imposing price ceilings

2/ Print lots of money

3/ Creating new money (soon to be worthless) for old money (worthless)

(In the case of hyper-inflation occurring in my lifetime, I suspect what might occur in the Western world is the use of Computers/Advanced Technology to essentially try to CTRL/ALT/DEL the economy.) The Organization of Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD) website appears to be looking at ways to replace physical monies http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/40/31/35391062.pdf

4/ Confiscation of private assets by authorities

5/ Introduce lots of new custodian sentences, to fight natural market forces and invoke more feelings of fear and loss



Some ideas that immediately spring to mind at the start of writing this are:

Own share certificates in gold mines/or ETF Gold, or Gold Futures

Own Utility Company shares

However after pondering this for a while I realize that history has shown Governments can takeover Utility companies and owning gold in such ways ultimately comes in the form of ‘paper and ink’.

I suspect the only real fiscal hedge might be to own physical gold and ultimately avoid any paper and ink where possible, perhaps own gold coinage or / and own ‘allocated’ gold (more expensive warehouse charges)

Protect against fake gold!

Its worth noting that most coins and bars do not come with a certificate. In the UK BNTA (British Numismatic Trade Association) have to adhere to a strict code of ethics here in England .

Fake coins and bars do exist - many are made in the Middle East where it is not illegal to reproduce coins. Forgeries are not always the same purity as the genuine article and sometimes they are not even gold! Very often forgeries are contemporary - they were produced around the time of the genuine article, so even if they have been in the family for years, they may not be genuine.

Kruggerands seem to be the main coin gold currency.

Possible Social Issues

In terms of lifestyle during Hyper Inflation it might be better to own real estate/land away from cities in more than one country / state, real estate can provide a real hedge against inflation no matter what happens to the price of your house in the future. By buying a home that you can live in, you eliminate the need to pay rent. That protects you from possible rental-rate increases.

It might prove rewarding to have a long term fixed mortgage against the property as the depreciation of the loan will fall fast relative to the fixed interest payment, the danger is ensuring legal ownership during the term if the loaner goes bankrupt.


I notice in times of high inflation, crime levels increase as social unrest explodes. One way to avoid social unrest might be to live away from cities as social unrest tends to move towards financial districts/city centers. Perhaps buy a home with plenty of natural resources surrounding it, reducing dependence on the state. It might prove rewarding to take into account signs of a ‘close’ community.

Real Estate is not always a great hedge, I recall Governments take land away (farmers in Zimbabwe), so perhaps diversify by owning real estate/land away from cities in more than one country.

Right now it might be worth securing counterparty risk by using counterparts backed by clearing houses/exchanges to protect against institutional failure. Also in the UK it might be wise to keep any savings below £35,000 across bank accounts backed by FSA as this is the amount guaranteed by the Bank of England. Under the current FSCS scheme, customers receive 100 percent of the first 2,000 pounds and 90 percent of the next 33,000 pounds. Compensation beyond that is not guaranteed. That contrasts with the United States, for example, where the rules of the government-backed Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation guarantee the first $100,000.

Get good at bartering!

Interesting news article:

In China the most popular online credits are "QQ coins" issued by the website www.Tencent.com , which has 220 million registered users. ‘Financial experts cited by Chinese media said the growing popularity of "QQ coins" could complicate the government's ability to control the flow of real currency, and the central bank has issued a warning about the use of virtual money.’

Some Web Resources:












I notice a lot of mention about Gold lately among traders, in TV ads and even in the mainstream news. 


Sometimes the volume of the buzz indicates the degree of completion of the discount.


For example, this from Barrons today:



In Overdrive to $1,000 Gold

Interview with John Hathaway,

Senior Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, Toqueville Asset Management
By Sandra Ward - Barrons


October 1, 2007


... $1,000 gold ... It has got a long way to inflate ... because the Fed pulled this 1% short-term money stunt and bought us a few more years ... it is going to change psychology, and that will open the door for more people thinking about gold. What was needed to put gold in overdrive was the scent of fear.

What gets us to the magic number of a $1,000 an ounce?

I don't think it will take much. Let's not forget, in 1980 dollars, gold is less than half of its nominal price today.

The disparity between the amount of paper that has been created since 1980 and the amount of gold that has been produced since then is just enormous. The ratio of financial assets to physical gold is at the low end of a historical range. If you were to mark all the gold to market that has ever been mined, which is a very conservative approach, and then take the valuation of all the global stock markets and all the global bond markets, gold represents about 3%, compared with a figure in the mid-20% range in 1980, which was the top of the bull market in gold and the beginning of the bull market in financial assets.




John Hathaway


sees gold at $1,000.00 / oz.





December 2007 Comex Gold Futures


As of the close Monday, October 1, 2007


John is in

and he's talking about it.



Source: http://online.barrons.com/article/



Mon, Oct 1 2007

Playing in the Now


I read an article about Roger Federer, a tennis player, who wins eleven slams in four years. I can not connect to the author by what he writes, but the quote from Roger himself connects me to the right point.

"Guys, I just go out there and play my game. I'm not a ballet dancer or an aeronautical engineer. I'm a tennis player, and I react to what happens out there."

Source: http://tennisworld.typepad.com/



Mon, Oct 1 2007


Ideas About Love



Would you consider sharing about TTP and how it relates to the following ideas of Love?

Love is patient
Love is kind
Love does not envy
Love does not boast
It is not rude
It is not self seeking
It is not easily angered
It keeps no record of wrongs
Love does not delight with evil
but rejoices with the truth
It always protects
It always trusts
It always hopes
It always perseveres
Love never fails

Love might be a property or characteristic of a relationship.  It is likely not a sentient or sensual being.


You might try substituting the word, "I" for the word "Love" in your list and notice what feelings come up for you.

Mon, Oct 1 2007


Ice Cream or Candy #2

see previous

Thank you Ed for the TTP alternative. I like the TTP alternative, although I think the daughter in your scenario is very mature. A more typical kid is usually like this one ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4h7PgrCPWQ ) where he just screams and
yells and shouts and throw things when he doesn't get what he wants.

Ed says, "I do not see either one feels they have a problem with the way their Rocks co-operate."

I did not see and did not feel there's a problem - or better say, I didn't see the co-operating rocks until you point them out.

Ed says, "The father and daughter are likely not asking you for help, either. Nevertheless, you appear to feel some need to intervene."

Well, not exactly to intervene but more so as a learning opportunity. The father (my brother-in-law) tells the story to his mother, who actually finds it funny about how his granddaughter choosing candy AND ice-cream. She shares the story with my wife and then my wife to me.

I have no interest in interfering how my brother-in-law raises his daughter. However, I am deeply interested in what I'd have done in the situation. Recently, my wife and I have been discussing us having children, and I am trying to learn from others' situation how I can be a better father.

Ed says, "You are the one writing me about this so you evidently have some feelings about it that you are not sharing. In this way, you resemble the father. If you wish to continue this thread, please present your feelings about this situation."

Yes, very good insight that I resemble the father. In that situation, I think I'll do exactly what the father has done, and I have those very same feelings too. I was unaware that it indicates 1) I am not sharing feelings, and 2) I am transferring a rock to the child. Thank you for pointing that out.


I feel uneasy (scared?) as now I begin to question whether I can be a good father. There is an uncomfortable feeling starting to creep in as I always thought I could be a pretty good father, patient, loving and considerate. Now it feels like a more daunting task than I thought. The toughest mistakes to correct are the ones that I don't even realize.

My thought is that the child is too young to understand. Kids, and even a lot of adults, often times make decisions not rationally but impulsively.


Even though we may consciously know that sugar is not healthy, but most people, when having a sugar rush, would surrender to the desire and the carnal craving. (You can even substitute sugar for caffeine, cigarettes, alcohol, sex and etc.)


I think it is unreasonable to expect a young kid (heck, she's only two!!!) to have the maturity and self-control to take in the right amount of sugar when she typically just wants more, more, more and more.

Ed, I thank you for reflecting back to me what the father's actions likely mean to his daughter (as I think I probably would have done the same). It gives me a lot to think about. If my wife and I ever going to have children, I am grateful the lesson I learn here regarding  transferring rocks to children.

Thank you for sharing your process.