Ed Seykota, 2003 - 2009 ... Write for permission to reprint.

Ed Seykota's FAQ

(formerly: Frequently Appearing Questions)

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August 21 - 31, 2009


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Contributors Say

(Quotes from Ed in Red)

Ed Says

Monday, August 31, 2009


Freedom from Parents

Thank you all for your support.

Today I wake up and feel free for the first time since I can remember. I go through many hot seats at Tribe as well as the rocks process. I confront my parents regarding their abuse and then take a 90-day vacation from that relationship.

At a Tribe meeting I set a stop loss for the relationship with my parents. I agree to meet with my parents only if they agree to acknowledge their harmful actions and take responsibility for their harmful acts. During the Tribe meeting I receive confirmation via phone message and email that my parents agree to acknowledge their harmful actions and take responsibility for their harmful acts. I feel some relief and then I realize that they are probably not sincere.

I agree to meet with them at their house outside on the deck by the creek. My mother sees me and gives me a hug. My father makes no attempt to come near me and I don稚 make any effort to come near him. I notice the stand off has already started. I begin by thanking them for meeting with me and for agreeing to the terms of our meeting. I then read the email to them where they state that they agree to acknowledge and take responsibility. I know this is just another lie. I begin by asking my father what harmful actions he specifically acknowledges and takes responsibility for. He stammers for a bit and then proceeds to lecture me on the responsibility of being a parent and that certain actions have to be taken to keep a child in line, etc. I notice that he is using his standard manipulation tactics and I redirect the conversation back to the original question. He says he will not specifically acknowledge anything. He denies any abuse.


I now direct the same question to my mother. She is of the same accord. I tell them that I consider it disingenuous to agree to the terms of this meeting when in actuality they have no intentions of doing so. I tell them that I the only way that I will talk with them is in the office of a licensed professional councilor or therapist. I leave.

We meet with a licensed professional councilor. I値l not go into the details of the meeting except to say that I知 glad a professional councilor was there. The councilor agrees with my decision not to have further contact with my parents right now and that I need to protect my son from them. I realize now that my parents are not going to change, that they have no desire to be anything other than the way that they are. I feel the sense of loss: The loss of a Norman Rockwell illusion of an intimacy-based relationship with a loving mother and father. I accept that. I accept them for who they are and for what they are. I have no desire for them to change. I am not responsible for them. And, with the help of my wife and son, the therapist, the Trading Tribe, and this support group, I feel free to get on with my life and have a wonderful life.

I also end all non-mechanical trading and now have an agreement with myself to only trade via an automated trading system that is mathematically backtested and optimized.

I feel a great sense of relief. I feel light as though a huge weight is lifted from me. I get up this morning and shout, 的知 free, I知 free, I知 free.

Early this morning our three-year-old son comes into our bedroom and says to my wife 的 just need to give daddy a kiss.

Thank you for all your support.

Thank you for sharing your process.




Parents (spouses, friends, etc.)


are generally about as abusive

as we allow them to be.




Clip: http://www.hotreview.org/images/



Sunday, August 30, 2009


Emotional Cycles

Hello Mr. Ed

Greetings from [Country].

Attached is an interesting pictorial representation of emotional cycles. Perhaps that affects the performance of majority of 'players' in markets.

The trend following method keeps the emotions out. Aha!

Thanks and with best regards.


Clip: http://leduc998.wordpress.com/2008/


Please send the source of the chart so I can extend credit to the author.


(Thank you for providing it!)

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Wants to Develop a System

Dear Ed Seykota,

I am a fixed income fund manager at [Name] Investment Trust company in [City]. I have read your interview in the book, Market Wizard. After I read your interview, I become more interested in trading and now I am developing a trading system using [Name] method, exponential moving average, and money management method, stop loss. However, I still feel my knowledge is still short.

So, I want to participate your trading tribe program and develop my system helping other people痴 trading. Would you please let me know how to join your TT program?

Many thanks for your help.

You can review the materials on the TSP (Trading System Project) pages, keep reading these pages and / or attend a Workshop.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Becoming Effective With Others


I am sending you this brief note to let you know how much your work on the TT and the TT FAQ is positively impacting me.

You do work that has immediate, practical value. I feel very fortunate to be influenced by your thinking and your overall work in the TT domain areas of study. The way I send and receive with individuals and groups is completely different (much improved!) as a result of studying your thinking and ideas.

Thank you.

Thank you for sharing your process and for your support.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Wants to Attend a Tribe

Every time that I read your profile in Market Wizards or see an article about you, I learn something new. It is certainly true that 努hen the student is ready, the teacher appears. I do wish there were a Trading Tribe group in the [City] area. I do thank you for helping so many traders improve their performance and their lives. I hope to become one of those traders in the future. I ordered the book a few minutes ago via PayPal. Hopefully, that will be another step in my journey.

Thank you and have a great weekend.

You can start your own Tribe.  See the link to Tribe Directory, above.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Big Wave Feedback

Dear all,

I report in on my Big Wave (И give my wife and children all my love and support, and I give up control).

I see that my daughter (9 y) stops using anger to hide her sadness and talks with me about her feelings. To me this is a really huge advance. As she speaks with me, I receive her love, and it is so intense that it shocks me. The communication with my older son, on the other hand, seems to reach a plateau after the big progresses in the past weeks. I accept that he sometimes just does not want to talk about his problems. I observe that both children do not talk openly about their worries with her mother, only with me.

I see enormous changes regarding communication and physical contact with my wife. I note a clear difference when she receives my emotions, and when she does not. In the first case, I can sense how my own feelings flow and disappear. On the other hand, I observe a divergence between what my wife says and what she does. She coldly mentions that she cannot fulfill my three 兎xigencies (emotional communication, physical contact, and sexuality). I wonder about the word 兎xigencies. After her clear statement I think that this is the end of our marriage. A couple of hours later, she mentions that she wants to work further in our relationship.

She sets clear limits for the amount of intimate contact we have per week. At the same time, for the first time in our marriage, she spontaneously and frequently demonstrates me affection in a physical way.

One day she suggests that, to improve our relationship, I should change, reduce my expectancies, and leave her the decisions about the opportunity of physical contact. I remember the past FAQ contributions about slaves and owners of people. The next day she is completely empathic. As she sees my sadness, she asks me to tell her more about it, and accepts my feelings without judging them or justifying herself. She also mentions that physical closeness will be a result of improved communication. When I compare her attitude some weeks ago and now, I see a definite and huge change in this area. The highs are trading higher, but the lows are as low as always. This means a higher volatility but not necessarily a trend. How does a trend trader behave in such a market? I remember my commitment to use a trailing stop with clear rules and date limit.

I observe that I talk differently, and this is unintentional. During conversations I start many sentences with "I ask myself if..." or "I don't know if...". The prompt "go for intimacy!" is also almost automatic. However, some gut reactions are still there, and I also observe some setbacks from my side. I experience an outburst of anger as my son hits her sister after losing a game. I am rude to him. After that, I feel ashamed. I explain my son my feelings and my uncertainty about what to do, and that I cannot stand when somebody hurts people who I love. He mentions that he understands me and accepts my reaction. I wonder if I teach him to react with violence to events that he dislikes...

I think that the openness of my reports regarding intimate aspects is very unusual. I wonder if it is instructive or annoying for the readers. I realize that I do not have feelings about the opinion of other people about my openness. But I accept that my postings might be irritating for some tastes. If this is the case, I kindly ask you to let me know.

With best regards,

Thank you for sharing your process.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Medicinal Blaming


I notice that blaming is an excellent medicinal response to worrying-stressing-irritating situation.

I feel calm and quiet after blaming somebody or something, even though the underlying situation becomes worst or even exploding. Then the cycle repeats again, and again and again till I have to target pro actively and act on the situation, not the feeling. I finally notice that blaming doesn't at all, by no means, improve the underlying situation.

Thank you for everything you teach to us.

Thank you for sharing your insight.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


The Ways of Delays


Thank you for everything.

I find Nicks page on delays interesting. I really like the effort he has put in making the models for delays rigorous.

There is at least one mistake I noted which you have pointed out on FAQ frequently.

You might consider noting that definition of x in section on describing sine functions is inconsistent. I think its mostly a result of flicking the picture from the URL: http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Sine.html

to ease drawing effort. x in one case represent the x co-ordinate in Cartesian system and angle in polar co-ordinate in other picture.

I think there is an undue emphasis (stress) on trying to make sure that in his example on sine inputs the values range between -1 and 1. I also wondered if the examples for in/out flows could be simpler.

I read your paper on





and it seems to express the same ideas as Nick's project very concisely and elegantly.

I also like his summary a lot. I think it is a very important lesson for all of us. I feel happy for Nick, he has a chance to learn from the very best. I appreciate his dedication to learning the concepts and raising his potential. I honor him and you by putting the same effort in everything.

Thank you for your feedback.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Wants to Revise Contact Information


Dear Ed,

Good evening, would it be possible for you to change my contact email address, or can you please explain how I can do it?

Yes. You can submit a revision to your TTID. See the directory link, above,

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Big Wave Feedback

Dear Ed,

I report in on my Big Wave (的 give my wife and children all my love and support and give up control).

I see many changes. On Monday morning I try to embrace my wife. She pushes me back coldly and says that she has something to do. I have experienced this situation many times in the past. I feel hurt and tell it to her. And then, maybe for the first time in years, she does not make excuses, or say that I am overreacting, or leave. Instead, she says 的 am sorry. I don't want to hurt you. You are very important to me. Tell me more!. I tell her that I try to express her my love, and that it hurts me when she does not accept it. As I tell it to her, my sadness flows and dissolves.

I also observe a radical change in my wife's behavior regarding physical contact. I am very happy about it.

She says that she always dreamed of having the kind of relationship that I am proposing. However, she was never able to share her feelings. She mentions that she feels guilty and mean about not taking care of me and my feelings and for not being as open and sincere as I am. She envies my empathy. I receive her feelings and comment that we are all egotistic and mean sometimes.

After reading the FAQ from Saturday, August 15, 2009 (From Control to Intimacy) I wonder about slave-master relationships. I remember saying 的 am a f.. slave and comparing some instances of my marriage with a Nazi concentration camp. But in these times, with slavery being a crime, a "slave" chooses its condition freely. I decide to take the issues "despair", "I am making no progress", "I have to handle right", "I am a slave" and "I don't do what I want" to the hotseat.


On Friday, during a hotseat during about 2 hours, I finish all forms and re-integrate them. I get several insights about situations in my childhood in which I feel treated like a slave.

In the past weeks my wife and I have thoroughly talk about our needs for closeness, intimacy and communication. We have both made changes. There are some setbacks. Sometimes I do not accept or receive her fully. Sometimes she shuts down, or ignores me, refuses to accept my feelings of to talk about her own feelings. She mentions that as she resumes her job in two weeks everything will return to the old patterns. I wonder about her priorities and her commitment to make our marriage work. After re-reading FAQ I realize that it took me about one month to change my typical response patterns, and two months until I fulfill all my wife's emotional needs (according to her).


In the meantime she mentioned several times that she is uncertain about how me, since I change every week.

We both agree that we want to improve communication, intimacy, physical contact and sexuality. On Tuesday I write "I see many changes". On Friday I observe that some changes are short-lived, and that my wife still avoids talking about her feelings. While she likes the changes, she experiences fear about some of them, principally intimate contact. I receive her.

It is a choppy market, with changes going back and forth. I feel that my wife is great, a wonderful person. Our ideas about the relationship that we want are similarly; however, she seems to be afraid of and maybe not willing to change her attitude. I don't want to re-enter the drama "I help you / I fix you / I make you happy": she is happy and perfect the way she is. We both agree that we have to see if we match each other, and which changes we are willing to carry out.

I decide to set a trailing stop: the relationship must improve further. While some whipsaws are unavoidable, a huge drawdown is not acceptable. I define the rules that lead to a closure of the venture and write them down. I also set a time limit: until September 7, my birthday, I have to see a definite trend.

I see changes in other areas: my ability to receive seems to increase and improve. I get a steady flow of patients and even colleagues looking for a way to handle emotional problems. On most days I conduce one or more processes. Two people contact me to enter my Tribe.

I am worried about talking so much about my wife and our relationship and less about my own work on giving up control. But right now, I do not feel that I am trying to control people.

I am unhappy about spending less time with my older children the past week, and commit to change this.

I thank you all for your support.

Thank you for sharing your process.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Wants Give Us Back-Testing

Dear Ed.

As I write you before for improving the believes to himself we need to trade by system. Without system it is look like you go somewhere without a map.


Also how I understand from your EcoNowMics project that system is a spectral optical glass through which I recognize trend or the time when to enter or exit the market. IN that is why it is necessary to believe him I mean the system. IN that is why you need back-testing. My question is what else could give me the back-test. Of course I understand that it is not for me to predict the market. We are all against the prediction .At least prediction brings more feelings to the market. Also it is impossible the past result of some system gives the same result on future. It is just give us information about our feelings of trend.

What kind of information gives us back-testing?

You can perform back-testing with Excel, with numerous back-testing software packages and with custom software.


You might consider taking your feelings about <the English language> to Tribe.



Thursday, August 27, 2009


Riding the Wave.

Dear Ed,

What an impressive wave is around us!

I take all the signals and there are plenty.

I can report a 30% Core Equity gain since June 09 with actually 15% Equity at risk.

All stops are in the system; sometimes one is triggered; I take the loss with little emotional impact.

- I was following my own trading rules from 2003 to 2007 which resulted in a total of 800% equity gain.

- I did not follow my trading rules in November 2007 because of insufficient knowledge in my own behavior under extreme market conditions

which resulted in a loss of 50% of my winnings from 2003-07.

- In 2008 I was completely out of the market to study both myself and the market behavior of the last 100 years.

I'm determined to follow my own rules in the moment of now and all moments of now that will come.

This corresponds with my big wave of being a professional full time trader.

Thank you for your support!

Thank you for sharing your process.

Thursday, August 27, 2009



Hi Ed,

Actually I just would like to ask from you about beliefs. About beliefs in trading. What about my feelings of beliefs. I remember some one words about beliefs. He said that "it is easy that some one believes to something but it is not so easy that he left? change his beliefs. "

What about for me I think beliefs come through knowledge. through research. If I not have enough beliefs to myself I think it is mean that I know that I don't know something, look like to feeling that because of lack information you don't control situation. In that is why I think most of the time trader can not to sticj they plan. And one or two bad experience influence by some way to the man.

In that is why I would like you explain for us how we need to improve beliefs to yourself.

Thank you in advance

You seem to have a strong belief in beliefs.


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

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Process Update

Dear Support Team,

Thank you for your ongoing support in my big wave journey. The month is challenging and exciting. Below I show my process.


- Receive results for June CFA level 2 exam pass. I feel a sense of satisfaction in completing this exam due to the hard work and time I spend studying for the test. I am very happy!
- I spend more time on Trading Blox and system design - I find this very useful and realize many "aha" moments.
- I make strides towards system ideas which allow for more "robust" systems.
- I continue to work with my mentor and trade a small account for him to learn his systems more.
- I catch up on my readings of FAQ and grow from the realizations of others and Ed's insights (thanks Ed).
- I talk with my mentor with regards to issues I have in not using a "complete" trading system where everything is planned (entry signals, position sizing, stops, exit signals). He supports the idea and encourages me to develop a system that I am comfortable with


- While I previously only trade stocks (as this is all I have been exposed to really), I realize many difficulties with systems trading for stocks and decide to shift my focus for backtesting to futures so I can first develop a complete system to trade a select basket of futures. I feel, after talking with [Name] that this may make backtesting much easier and offer great insights. For the next few months I intend to focus intensely on this area and learn as much as possible.
- Due to my desire to do further systems testing, I decide to push the potential date of moving to [Country] until I feel satisfied with the amount of testing I perform and am comfortable with my systems. I intend to focus on this until the end of 2009.

Thank you to everyone who continues to support me. These months are some of the most exciting in my life and I am grad to have you apart of it! I gain many "aha" moments in conversations with support team members.


For this, I am extremely thankful.

Thank you for sharing your process.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Wants to Join

Dear Tribe Leader

I would like to know what I have to do in order to join to your group.

See the Tribe Directory link, above.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Jesse Livermore


Your view on Jesse Livermore ?

I don't see him at the moment.



Wednesday, August 26, 2009



Dear Ed,

As I read 'The Way of Delays I wonder about the Excel-calculation in 2.2.1 First Order Negative Feedback Loop Response to a Step in the Inflow Rate

At second 2 the level is at 0.5. I think that the level is at a 0.5 at time = 2.1 seconds.

As for trading, my back testing program tends to evolve well. I included multi-system-back testing but it doesn稚 seem to improve bliss. I think this may come from high correlation between trend-following systems. I intend to search for and include a counter-trend-system. Maybe this will improve the performance. Another task I intend to work on is correlation between instruments.

All the best to you and yours!

Thank you for the catch.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Good Ones and Bad Ones

Dear Ed,

I feel my illogical feelings by the following ways:


Generally I separate my feelings to two sides, 1) the feelings which I want to feel and 2) the feeling which I don't want to feel.


For the first one we can show happiness, smile, feelings of becoming a father, success, feelings during the sex, feelings getting knowledge, winning the game, or having the expected things, during the trade gaining the money, so on.


For the feelings which we don't want to feel is for example, feelings of loosing any thing it could be money, game, love, parents, feelings when you confused, any aches, so on.

What about my feelings which make me make mistakes during the trading. I think it is because I am not sure on myself. may be it is because not enough knowledge, may be it is because of afraid to lose or afraid to be not right. During the trading may be this kind of feeling try to show themself.

This kind of feelings most of the times is not any explanation. It looks like just trying me to protect from some things. These feelings look like protective feelings.

Then from here I make decision that if these feelings wants to protect me from anything then I must to protect myself by logically not to feel them.

I determine them so.

The system trade will help me not to feel the feelings. But if I want to trade by system then I need to believe him. For believing the system I need to test it of to understand that it is work correctly. And not feeling the protective feelings I need to protect myself by money management. By determining the level of lose beforehand. And do it all the times not looking the lose.

In one word if you don't want to feel that feelings which try to protect us and brings us to lose. Just to protect yourself logically.

In TTP we hold that all feelings have positive intentions.


You might consider taking your feelings about <good and bad feelings> to Tribe.





often lies in the eyes of the beholder.




Clip: http://i4.bebo.com/044a//0/skin/2008/




Tuesday, August 25, 2009



Hi Ed,

What do you think of a day trading system using break outs from the opening range? I've done a statistical study of the opening range of and found that it contains the high/low of the day more than can be explain by randomness. Using this as my edge, I've developed a system with positive expectancy and using rolling minimum 200 days data points (for statistical significance) for probability calculations to incorporate into the Kelly formula for position sizing. I've backed tested the system from 1/08 to present and it yielded very good results.

My concern is that someone with much more knowledge and understanding of math, statistics, markets, probabilities, programming etc. - like yourself does not believe that day trading over the long run can work. So maybe I missing some key element or misunderstanding something about my system. Or is it that day trading can work but just not as well as a trend following system? Can one day trade with a mathematical edge?

I will be interested to pay you to review my system and the logic behind it for any suggestions.

Thanks Ed.

The problem with Day-Trading is in the execution. 


I have an open challenge to see a 1-year back-test of a day-trading system that matches actual brokerage statements.


If you wish to have me review your system anyway, see "private consulting" at the end of the FAQ Ground Rules.

Monday, August 24, 2009



Hello Ed and Nick,

In Nick痴 outstanding article 典he Ways of Delays the sine wave response of the 渡o feedback model in Section 1.4.4 confounding-ly shows the level responding to feedback. It rises and falls (fills and drains) with the sinusoidal flow rate.

Do I correctly understand the system diagram showing inflows only and no outflows?

If so, I expect the level to simply rise at a varying rate in response to a changing inflow rate or to stay constant if the inflow rate is zero (including periods when the sine wave function is negative).

Similarly the hand-drawn sketch in Section 1.3 shows the level both rising and falling in response to a sine wave input.

Assuming no outflows in response to feedback, or simply a constant leak outflow, the no-feedback sine response might look like this.

In this diagram the starting level and flow rate are both zero. As rate accelerates and then decelerates, the level rises.

After one-half cycle the level stabilizes as the rate crosses under zero and proceeds through negative values.

As the sine wave begins its second cycle the inflows restart and the level increases until the sine wave goes negative

and the inflow ceases, whereupon the level remains stable again through the second (negative) half of the second sine wave cycle.

What am I missing? Please help me understand.

Thank you for sharing your confusion.


We are working to clarify that section - to the point at which (1) it's easy to read and (2) you realize you already understand the material.



Monday, August 24, 2009


Wants Specific Definition

Hi Ed,

Lets talk about trend. What it is? How to recognize it?

Reading your opinion on Market Wizards and FAQ. I realize that trend could be different, depending on how you determine it.


Also the opinion of trend is when you look at the chart on top of table when you put it on the floor.

I am interesting on at which part of trend trader must to trade. Because it is very frequently trader confuse between wave and trend.


Could you explain us the difference between them. I mean we need to trade on trend which consist on movement ahead and back, movement and regression. We need to be on movements and get about on regression or just to be on market during the regression (whipsaws).

Please explain for us the differences. And how to determine the trend?

Thank you in advance

FAQ does not publish specific system parameters. See Ground Rules.


You can determine parameters that suit you by (1) back testing to optimize MAR and (2) checking the draw-downs against your stomach.



Your Optimal Trading System


is as unique as your stomach.





Clip: http://www.funnyhub.com/content_images/




Monday, August 24, 2009


Kanji Charting

Hello Mr. Ed,

Greetings from [Country]. Amongst the V, W, L shaped recovery forecasts for the global economy, here's another innovation:

[Country] Bank global economist warns of the triple-U

Why don't these economists simplify things? e.g. .... forecasting economic recovery using say Chinese alphabets?


Chartists are usually quite certain about their patterns ... in retrospect.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Eco Aha


I re-read Tracker and do some exercises to understand lag. I attach a write-up. I get an "Aha" moment when I connect patterns I see in the market with system structures that may produce similar patterns. I look forward to the next installment of EcoNowMics.

Thank you for sharing your process.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Shaking it Up


See Previous

Dear Ed,

It's me "shaking head" again. I have tried to shake my head more rigorously and have included meditation as part of my process.

It seems to have brought to surface rather deep-seated pain that originated from negative childhood experiences. Some memories are suddenly coming back and it's killing me all over again. Is this a good sign?

You might consider taking this form to Tribe.



One Positive Intention of Shaking


is to lose something.





Clip: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/photos/



Sunday, August 23, 2009






Another correction to a December FAQ,

Entry Signals FAQ

You might consider taking you feelings about <risk> to Tribe.

Thank you for the catch.

Sunday, August 23, 2009




Dear Ed,


A possible correction to the FAQ titled:

The Night Before Christmas

The appearance of a current crisis in humorous poems, songs and in late-night TV monologues may indicate the the discount is reaching its later stages.

Thank you for the catch.

Sunday, August 23, 2009




Dear Ed,


A correction to your December FAQ, titled:

Lucid Dreams

A second-ply Lucid Dream refers to the awareness that you dreaming about being aware of dreaming.

Thank you for the catch.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Almost Specific


Dear Ed,


I would like to point out a correction in the December, 2008 FAQ titled:

Almost Home - Song and Video

I wonder what you point of connection you have with this song.

Thank you for the catch.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


The Way of Delay - Confusion


I have some confusion about the following:

Level {units} = Level + (Increment - Decay)

You introduce two new terms for which there is no definition--Increment and Decay. I wonder if you can provide a definition of those terms.

Also, my earlier comment about the sine response in the no feedback system still applies to the sine response in the negative feedback system. At no point is the inflow negative. The drawing of the system shows a system where the inflow is always positive, and does not show a system that has inflows and outflows. You might consider starting the sine function at its lowest point so that the inflow rises to a peak, then returns to that lowest point; all of which are positive.

Thank you for sharing your confusion. 


We are working to clarify the section.

back to the future