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

Ed Seykota's

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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

Risk Management ...  Fractals & Borderlines


August 1-9, 2003



(Quotes from Ed in Red)


Fri, 8 Aug 2003



Hi Ed and fellow TT'ers~

Does anyone from the San Jose TT plan on going to the workshop? Please advise via memo to Ed if you are.

Question for Ed: what's your take on the incredible events unfolding with basketball player Kobe Bryant as related to Fred and dramas?


Is the mess he finds himself in a direct result of not listening to Fred? And is this forewarning for the rest of us, as far as the possible dramas Fred could cook up?


You have a shinning player with a sterling reputation and incredible future, all seemingly on the line because of a poor decision that is so unlike what others see in him.

Feelings, such as urges to break the rules, are typically Fred's attempt to communicate experiential data to CM.


TTP supports integrating Fred and CM, deriving insight and operating from clarity.  See Trading Tribe Process.


When CM ignores Fred, Fred may resort to getting attention by setting up drama.


In marriage, one of the rules is fidelity.






Fred is getting lots of attention.


Clip: http://images.sportsline.com/u/



Fri, 08 Aug 2003


Private Coaching


I wrote: I would like private coaching. The results I want:

I want change by discovering myself.
I want communication with my wife, my son and my friends.
I want lasting relationships with people.
I want to live in the now.
I want a mentor.
I want to see what I want.


Then Ed Wrote: I occasionally conduct private coaching ... seems to work better in person ... I live at Lake Tahoe ... $5,000 for 5 hours over a two day period ... you might consider taking the Workshop and see if you still want a private session ...

The Workshop is an excellent idea.

The workshop is less expensive, lasts longer, provides the advantage of working in a group with others and gives you working experience with how to participate with a group and / or establish your own.


You can also look on the Tribe Directory page and join a group, for free, in your area.





is a pretty small tribe




Fri, 8 Aug 2003

Curious about Turtles

Dear Ed,

... you seem to be ok with the content shown on www.turtletrader.com  ...  the content on the site was helpful.


The site, emerging as an essential on-line trading reference library, provides a wealth of information about trading, for free.


FAQ does not endorse commercial products - see ground rules.



More than Chelonia Midas


Clip: www.turtletrader.com 

Fri, 8 Aug 2003


Even Better

Ed Said: "You might also consider viewing heat as less as something to tolerate and more as something to create and manage."


The feeling changes with a small change in intention and perception ...

It is interesting to examine, and record, the changes in attitude since finding our FAQ.


Retracements are a good sign, and the feelings about them are even better.

The feelings about what Fred is doing are even better.




Attitude Shows Up


Clip: http://www.zortal.gr/gallery/gallery/


Fri, 8 Aug 2003



Hi Ed

I have yet to see anything like your FAQ. Keep up the great work!

Hope all is well.

You are welcome.

Fri, 8 Aug 2003


Inter-Tribe Memo


Thanks for the encouragement. We haven’t had our first meeting yet...just three of us so far...hope to have first meeting next week.

I’ve always done self-reflection, etc., but have to admit, even having done it in the past (usually alone, not in a group), the process of “baring your soul” is still a little scary ... I’m sure I’ll be asking for help down the line after we’ve had a few meetings.

You might take your feelings (shyness, fear, wanting to go slowly toward intimacy, etc.) into the process and let Fred communicate them to CM.

Fri, 8 Aug 2003


Moving into the Now

see: Oooops


Can you change "what a donkey I was" to "what a donkey I am" please.


Thu, 7 Aug 2003


Inter-Tribe Memo to a New Leader

Yes, welcome to the ever growing community of TT around the world !

Ed said it best in a 1992 interview with Technical Analysis of Stocks and Commodities Magazine: "A conscious trader is aware of money management algorithms, trading systems, and the need for supportive relationships".

It is that third aspect of a conscious trader 'the need for supportive relationships' that is the work of a TT. Trading is a lonely and often a very competitive endeavor, it is a real blessing to find people who are supportive of each other in this Journey.

Speaking of supportive relationships and blessings, the Manhattan group recently had a visit from the leader for the Toronto tribe.

He not only is a great mind but a very nice person, who is very generous to spend an evening with us. While we didn't get to smoke the tribal peace pipe, we did do the TTP together. he passed on many insights on to us.

I speak from personal experience when I say that you may struggle during the first few meetings, but believe me a life changing experience awaits you !


Thu, 7 Aug 2003

Preparing the mind for the trading day


I am new to your trading tribe web site and have really enjoyed the postings from all who share their feelings about the market.


I have been trading off and on for about 10 years. I have gone down the usual paths seeking a system that will tell me what the future holds for the markets.


Of course, I wanted to be right as often as possible in order to make fast, risk free money. I would crunch numbers, and stare at charts looking for that illusive patterns hiding in the undulation of price movements.


I have finally realized that I was searching for an animal that doesn’t exist. The markets by their very nature are all about risk. It is the management of this risk that dictates success not the power of prediction.


Trying to bend the markets to fit my preconceived notions of what "should" happen was like staring at a spoon and attempting to bend it with my mind.


Now I have found peace with the markets by realizing the battle is not with the market. The battle is with my mind and my lack of acceptance of what is happening then accepting it for what it is.


I now keep a wooden bowl near my computer. It reminds me of the Buddhist monks that carry a begging bowl. These monks walk through towns and people would offer food in return for prayers.


The idea behind the begging is to learn to accept what life gives you. The bowl reminds me to look at the market with fresh eyes and to clear my mind of expectations. It helps me deal with the now as it unfolds.


Change is the one constant in the markets. You don't have to do anything to make markets move. They do that all on their own. In fact, I view the markets in a completely different light. I try to coral them into a narrow range. I may pick a date 3 months from expiration of a contract and choose a closing price. I will then put up an imaginary fence a few ticks above and below this place. Guess what, not matter how hard I try, I can't keep the darn prices inside this space for very long!!!


It will go up past the top and down below the bottom. Sometimes several times during the life of the contract. The point is "I am standing still, it's the market that is moving". I wonder if any risk management rules could be used in this situation?? (smile).

Yes, acceptance of your mind is one way to stop fighting with it.



You Can Bend Spoons More Easily


if you replace a section of metal with soft wax before the show.


Waxing the markets to make them bend

is a bit more complicated.

It might be easier

to just follow the trend.



Clip: http://www.shauntan.com/mind3.html


Thu, 7 Aug 2003


Tactical skill in different markets

Dear Sir

Can high professional trader to have equal
tactical skill in different markets -

a. Stock Market
b. Future Market
c. Forex

Autor start point of view - Concetration have advantage .

What is your point of view ?

Skill tends to decrease for high traders.



International Currency Trader



after shorting the Pound,

he misjudges the Yen

and the Ruble.


Clip: http://www.funny-spot.com/


Thu, 07 Aug 2003


Inter-Tribe Memo to a new Leader


Welcome! Good luck with your TT and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions. Some of the other leaders seem to have a lot of experience with their tribes and have offered themselves as resources to the rest of us in the past.

To join or start an intentional community, see Tribe Directory, above.



Intentional Cooperation


Clip: http://www.uh.edu/engines


Thu, 7 Aug 2003


There was a slight flaw in my plan! Should be using X day breakouts instead of MA crosses. I'm getting a feeling of déjà vu! Didn't I write a breakout system 2 years ago? I suppose I got greedy in my original system, thinking that I could go Long and Short. If only I had separated the Long and Short programs - what a donkey I am !!!!

You might take the experience (of  carrying a heavily complicated system around with you) into the process.



New High Ground


Clip: http://www.markbarry.com/


Thu, 7 Aug 2003


Client Account ROI vs. Trader Proprietary Account ROI

Dear Sir

Autor start point of view - Trader ,which managed only own account money have different advantages -

ROI is better ,as volume is lower and decision making is not influenced from anothers persons .

Trader ,which will manage another person money will more social recognition as high ROI . Trader ,which manage clients money for 25% from profit will lower risk , but would this risk lowered ,if volume would expand 4+ time ?

You might send your question to some friends and see if any of them can understand your meaning.


You might try SVO-p to help straighten out your language and thinking.


Otherwise, you might proceed directly to a successful career in politics..



Successful Politicians


sometimes meet

to receive awards

for having less meetings.


Clip: http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/


Thu, 7 Aug 2003



When I put on a trade I worry about who's taking the other side of the trade, i.e., whether he's stronger or more experienced than me. Then when I am trending I feel bad as if winning an unfair battle.

See if you can locate and experience the feeling of worry. And be sure to remember to worry about doing this correctly.



Worry Beads


You can even worry about whether

 you have a good enough set

of worry beads.


Clip: http://www.cyber-trading.com/


Thu, 7 Aug 2003

Doing it "now"

Ed Wrote:

You might notice all the feelings you have about postponing.

You can make friends with the feeling of being on a long and difficult path.

Yes. Being in a rush can be the best excuse to postpone doing it.

Nice aha.



Hurry Up and Wait


Clip: http://www.calendarkit.com/



Wed, 6 Aug 2003


Monte Carlo

Mr. Seykota,

I'm curious to know, do you believe that Monte Carlo simulations and / or
bootstrapping are useful techniques for evaluating a trading system's

Best Regards

If a carpenter has to ask if a hammer is useful ...



Boot Straps


Useful in some Situations


Clip: http://www.thefutureinc.com/


Wed, 6 Aug 2003




In return for all the wisdom and inspiration you have provided over the years ... thanks.

Best wishes

You are welcome.

Wed, 6 Aug 2003



Hi Ed !

I've studied your FAQ-pages as I find them very amusing and at the same time so mentally developing.


As time has gone by I have seen a lot on the market, and done several of the mistakes there are to do. From the moment I read your interview in Market Wizard I got my ideal trading method from you. I like to build my system on objective trend following signals. One reason is that I don't want to get obsessed with the market and watch it every minute, and another is that I've found out that my market hunches are mostly wrong anyway.

I'm not sure why I write you, since most answers are best answered by myself, but perhaps is it the curiosity of what hidden clues my writing gives you. As a matter of fact so many of my questions have already been answered reading your FAQ-answers, and I really know what I must do.


As most people involved in trading I have problems doing the right thing. The funny thing is that I find it much easier to do the right thing (follow the signals of my system) in the market than in real life.


While I regard my trading mentality better that my life mentality I use trading analogies for helping me in other situations. In some way I feel everything I do tend to differ from the right thing, since I strive to be perfect even though I'm far from it. - Yes, I feel the feeling of it but in some ways I don't even know who I am any longer after millions of mental thoughts of right living and at the same time experiencing the pain of being unable to learn my lessons.


Why am I so afraid of being wrong? - because I am sensitive and don't want people to have something to complain about. Why am I sensitive ? - because I have so high requirement on myself and therefore so often miss my goal.


I could say I'm in constant suffering, but that would be to exaggerate it and I guess people around me would never believe me as I always try to give a positive and strong impression. Ok, that was a little bit out of line but nevertheless this is my feelings and affects my trading, or rather my personal life.

I know it's all about to start right here and right now, instead of constantly waiting for something to happen. My feelings and thoughts go up and down but I try to watch my life in a similar way as I do in the market, that is - in the market I amuse myself to speculate of future signals but stay put and wait for signals anyway.


I try to live that way and just feel the feelings and at the same time stick to my life plan - which happens to include a lot of "don'ts". As long as I stay with it I feel okay but when I take just a little step away from it I tend to do it maximum in the opposite way. I could say that I cut my profits short and let my losses run in my personal life.


I've found out that the reason might be that if I do something completely wrong I will sooner or later have inner will to do it right again, without much mental effort. It comes by itself. It seems like I never want to fight in some areas, but yet in some other areas I never give up and show the most promising mental attitude. A little NLP might help to improve these areas.

Ok, what do I want? Probably only things you can't give me (according to FAQ-rules or impossible nature), like money I can manage, inner strength, an easier mind that see the joy of life and not the problems. I guess I pretty much give you my mental code here, but if I had written this an another mood I think the hidden codex would have been different. I just wish I could get out of my own way all the time.

Thanks for listening.

You seem to like to think about yourself and find reasons for your behavior.


This is fundamental analysis of your self ... and tends to lead toward a case of the existential blues.


You might consider developing and experiencing the feeling of wanting to figure it all out.



People Win in Various Ways


Some like to think about fundamentals

and some like to trade profitably.


Clip: http://www.cnn.com/TECH/9712/



Wed, 6 Aug 2003

Staying in the Now!

Risk Management.

Dear Ed,

The market went against me being long stocks last week and also went against many people I know (Also Long). I sold short some stocks Friday, Monday and today. I have sold short small amounts before and have done well but this is only the second time ever, that I have sold most of my portfolio short.

I had $52,000 sent back to me from my smaller account and will find another broker soon. I did not like how this brokerage has been executing my trades. My larger account is now short and with margin.

I sold and covered some stocks today and took about $3000 in profits. My larger account last month, at one point intraday was about $210,000 before settling down to $190,000. Last week I was down $10,000 to $180,000. I decided I was on the wrong side of the market (long is wrong!)


Friday 8/01/2003. The first time that I tried to short multiple stocks (Months ago) I had to cover in a few days with a few thousand dollar loss. Friday and today my account just keeps ticking up every 10 or 20 minutes. I know it sounds boring or like I am following too closely but this is the first time I have been up a good percentage being short! I am happy so far and hope it continues.

I shorted some small drug companies, health care providers and some homebuilders.


It was strange to see the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 140 plus points and I was up $10,000. It felt good to be with the market!

I spread my risk more than usual and it is working well. So far so good.

The Risk Management is really helping me. By spreading my buys and sells around I can eliminate mistakes quickly and take small losses. If I had piled all of my money into one stock I may have picked the wrong one and missed all of the positions since the market is moving rather fluidly and rapidly these days.


Tue, 5 Aug 2003


Trading Equity Line


I enjoy perusing the trading tribe bulletin board from time to time. It's an interesting resource. Thank you.

I follow a mechanical system (though not slavishly) that I've developed over several years, and continue to develop. The system focuses on three commodities. If I had to classify it, I would call it "always-in" and "trend-following." -- It took me a while to realize these two terms are not mutually exclusive; it just depends on the time frame.

Anyway, I've recently started using some measurements of the equity line of the portfolio/account to filter the times when I step out of the market regardless of the signals I may be getting in the underlying commodities. I've found that this equity filter improves performance.

Have you ever integrated this concept into your own trading? If so, how was the experience?


Many traders trade their own equity line. Some get bold during winning streaks and timid during drawdowns.  Others seem to do the reverse.


Unless you have a conscious plan for dealing with ups and downs of your own equity, you risk leaving it to Fred.



Yo Yo Dude


Sometimes up and down

becomes the point of the game.


Clip: http://www.oprf.com/YOYO/

Tue, 5 Aug 2003


Will start practice more listening

Dear Mr. Seykota,

Sorry, Fred really carried me away w/the lengthy email last time. I had an
overwhelming of emotions / feelings and I was very excited and really want to
express that great joy
in my recent "discovery." Thanks for reminding - I
will start paying more attention to listening.

You can measure your intention to express joy ... by the joy that shows up in others.



Joy in Those Around You


is a pretty good measure

of your own.


Clip: http://www.heartwithwings.com/


Tue, 05 Aug 2003


Thank You

Sehr geehrter Herr Seykota,

Thank you first and foremost for your website. It made it possible to connect to my tribe.

Thank you for your time, energy, knowledge and dedication answering questions. Both Q + A help deepen and reinforce the process set in motion during the TT meetings.

All the best!


Tue, 05 Aug 2003



Thanks for the insight regarding following rules.

You are welcome.

Tue, 5 Aug 2003



Dear Mr. Seykota,

I called the "Livermore pyramiding system" what Livermore suggested in Reminiscenses of a Stock Operator, to start with one fifth of the total position and then pyramid up to it.

I am interested in your opinion about pyramiding strategies, because i think it is one way to manage "heat" and I have read that Amos Hostetter always began with one third of an expected position.

Yours sincerely,

Building up to a manageable risk is in line with good risk management.


Piling positions up on top of a manageable risk may be Fred's way of getting your attention.



Several Small Pyramids


might be more stable

than one big one





Mon, 4 Aug


Dear Ed,

Could you let me know when the workshop is definite. That would allow me to buy plane tickets soon, possibly for a good price. What airport should I fly to, or is there only one in that area?

The Workshop is on.  You can plan to fly to Reno Airport (RNO).



Mon, 4 Aug 2003



Dear Ed,

I was just looking over your risk management report.

Under the Heading of "Almost Certain Death Strategies," In the final paragraph, you say:

"He might then risk 100% of each sub account, thinking that while he might lose many of them, a few would win enough so the overall expected value would maxinize."

I believe Maxinize is intended to be Maximize? I'm a lover of calculus though, so if I am wrong, please instruct me as to how to perform a maxinization.

Thank you for maxinizing the Risk Management page ... it now stands correctly.

Mon, 4 Aug


Trend Following

I hear trend following doesn’t work anymore and I would like your view on it.

The claim that trend following doesn't work seems to pop up now and again ... sometimes just before major trends commence ... sometimes as an excuse for not following trends.




Fundamental Particle


Sometimes a Good Excuse





Mon, 4 Aug 2003


Seminar in NY?

Any chance of you conducting a seminar in the NYC area in the near future?

There is a chance of just about anything. I would first like to see how we do with the October seminar at Reno.

Mon, Aug 4, 2003


Progress Update

Hi Ed,

I have tried to incorporate the trading tribe philosophy into my life for the last 4 months. I am writing to provide you and the forum members with some feedback on my progress.

I have noticed less mood swings, feel less opinionated and have become more tolerant and not as easily frustrated.


Although the frequencies of dramas have decreased, I am more aware of a drama when it plays out. During one particular drama, it is as if part of me is watching myself say or do something that ignores the feelings of my wife. I have always had difficulty apologizing and paying compliments to people close to me, so I think I may have an understanding of the origin of this behavior/drama.


Is Fred teaching me how to apologize?

Last week I was involved in a minor car accident. I was surprised at how calmly I handled the whole situation without any resentment towards the other driver. I made no attempt to try to explain why it happened and was able to go on and enjoy the rest of the day.


I know my reaction would have been more drama-dominated prior to accepting the trading tribe beliefs.

In addition to these changes in myself, I have noticed changes in the people around me. In recent conversations with relatives, they have displayed more openness with their emotions and feelings. They have more confidence in sharing their problems with me.


Previously, I always had my opinion on how to handle their situation. Now, I am able to help the individual find his/her own solution by getting them to focus on their feelings.


It reminds me of the "Pay-It-Forward" phenomena from the movie of the same name.

Once again, thank you sincerely for your contribution to the community.








What if everyone starts

calling accidents, intentionals.


What if everyone stops

asking why.



Clip: http://www.asapfit.com/



Mon, 4 Aug 2003

Mechanical trader

Many of authors of trading books and anonymous traders of the Internet bulletin board say strongly, "Only a discretionary trader can be successful and a mechanical trader cannot be successful."


However, I am a mechanical trader using a trend follow system. Can't I be successful?

You might like to notice the extent to which you place the opinions of anonymous authors above your own experience.


You always succeed in getting the result you get.





The Loser Sign


Many think the L sign means Loser.

actually, it is a V, and means Victory.


It tilts to the side

to indicate expectations

out of alignment with intentions.



Clip: http://www.ggw.org/motion/


Mon, 4 Aug 2003 06:27:26 EDT


Dear Mr. Seykota

What do you think about pyramiding in general and the Livermore pyramiding system?

How much "heat" do you tolerate personally?
Yours sincerely,

I do not know of any rigorous definition for a Livermore Pyramiding System, nor do I know of any test results for one.


You might check your source.


You might also consider viewing heat as less as something to tolerate and more as something to create and manage.




Big Breakthrough


when he finds out

he has control

of the gas knob.



Clip: http://www.twinfarms.com/


Sun, 3 Aug 2003

Interesting Choice

Hi Ed,

Had an experience to share on the FAQ page:

I'm new to the TT process, but have always done this type of self-reflection.

Got in the habit of "standing outside" myself and looking at important decisions objectively (if that's possible)...always want to see what Fred's up to...

... anyway, recently learning a new trading methodology (turtle), and somehow decided to be a specialist in currencies ... told myself it was because I could focus, be more effective, and learned that the currency markets trend well ... sounds good "on paper"...

...this being a very important decision, I put it to the test ... proposed these two things:

I could receive $100 million dollars, tax-free, no strings ... except ... when asked what I do for a living ... I had to respond that I was currently unemployed


I could make a steady $50,000 / year and tell people I was a "currency trader"

... I hesitated and actually had to think about it ... pretty scary.

Likely, you have more than two  choices.


Factors like how hard people work, their history, etc. do not always predict success.


A lot depends on intention.




Bill Gates


Albuquerque, Dec 13, 1977

Curiously, police records of the charges

no longer exist.


Clip: http://www.mugshots.org/


Sat, 2 Aug 2003


Ed Wrote:

If all you need to become a good trader is permission, you can likely give that to yourself.

To the extent we can learn to operate with uncertainty, we can implement risk control and deal with, even enjoy, the inevitable ups and downs.

There is no shortage of funds for good traders.

Learning and Transformation might just be remembering what you already know.

I know I need to implement risk control into my trading and I wish to, but I never do it. The usual excuse is shortage of funds like "I don't have enough money to risk only this % per trade" and the corresponding temptation that "I have to risk more to make more money and then start to manage risk". Then, after the big bust "OK, this is the only way to learn (i.e., through losses)".

You might notice all the feelings you have about postponing.




Good Sailing Techniques


apply to boats of all sizes.



Clip: http://www.unclejohns.com/


Sat, 2 Aug 2003


Effects of TTP

Dear Ed,

The positive effects I have received from TPP go well beyond the realm of trading.


Tears roll down my cheeks as I write this difficult email. I always have had a tumultuous relationship with my father. He is a very gentle person, but I being his only child, all his life he has been overly protective of me, always big on advice and telling me how I should live my life. While I enjoyed the 'benefits' of my parents attention, not to mention they paid for my Ivy education; my fathers obsession with me has always rubbed me the wrong way. In the past I would usually fly off the handle with even a slight hint of his advice. This resulted in, I am sorry to say in me raising my voice on several occasions.

However when he came to visit me this year, I find myself a totally a different person ! I seem to have re-framed his need for over protection for me into a good thing ! I find I have so much empathy for him now and 'understand' and appreciate him at a much deeper level where he is coming from.

The interesting thing is that I never even directly worked on this issue, the issues which I worked on via TPP were you know the usual trading headaches 'lack of discipline in following systems', ' not cutting losses' etc. However in working through my many knots, I seem to have resolved this very important issue. Making money in trading is good, but for a son to restore a healthy relationship with his elderly frail father by using TTP is priceless !

Thanks for your gift of TTP ...

Best Regards

Yes !




Father and Son


Accepting each other.

Sometimes, even playing together.


Clip: http://wheatonslodge.com/



Sat, 2 Aug 2003


Hi Ed.

I wish to attend the Workshop. Do you accept payment via credit card?


See the Workshop page for enrolment instructions. 


As of today, I have enough response to proceed.  The Workshop is on.


Whatever you think you can do, begin it. Boldness has Genius, power and magic in it.

 -- Goethe.



Sat, 2 Aug 2003

ROI dependence from start capital

Trading Tribe
Attention Mr. Seykota


How great is dependency of ROI from volume
for high professional trader ?

If some trader can make 900% per year with
start capital 400k $ ( Marty Schwartz ,USA traders competition) ,how many can be made from the same person with 10k $ ,10 m$,100 $ ?

Yours respectfully

A track record does not necessarily indicate ability to extend the performance, from the same or different starting equity.



NASA Performs


On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong sets new high ground by setting foot on the moon. This does not necessarily indicate he, or others can do this on a regular basis.


Clip: http://www.itu.int/itunews/


Fri, 1 Aug 2003


Trend Followishing

I wrote: I do this test and the funny thing that I realize is that I can't be at peace with a system that is not trend following in nature.

Ed Wrote: OK. Nice insight.

Yes. I am starting little by little to take feelings as friends. It seems to be a long and difficult path though.

You can make friends with the feeling of being on a long and difficult path.



Wondering if They Can Ever-Rest.


Clip: http://www.screensavershot.com/


Fri, 1 Aug 2003


Workshop Question


I am emailing you to inform you, I would like to attend the workshop. Would a check be acceptable, or would you prefer a money order/cashiers check. Who am I to make it out to as well?


Enrollment instructions appear on the Workshop page. 



Just fill out a few forms


so we can give you

some more forms to fill out.


Clip: http://ims2001.programkontoret.se/



Fri, 1 Aug 2003

Making Friends

Dear Mr. Seykota,

TTP, the attempt to let CM listen to Fred, has been making quite drastic changes in my life that I have never dreamed of. The major discovery for me is the beauty of communication, not just between me (or CM) and Fred, but also between me and other people around me.

To listen emphatically to other people, really feeling them, understanding them, thinking from their point of view, is something I have never given seriously thought on, until two months ago when I joined a tribe, and learning/practicing TTP and Focusing.


To me, Fred is just like a long-time friend whom I've been ignoring, and now I have this deep interest, this respectful curiosity to reunite with him. To learn more about him. To ... just be friend with him. After all, I've been ignoring him for so many years, especially when fate has made us friends from the moment I was born, till the moment I die. My truest truest friend.

And that is the same attitude I'm starting to take towards my girlfriend, coworkers, friends, and relatives. I started to appreciate the beauty of listening (being the receiver), instead of constantly seeking the next opportunity to cut into whatever others are saying. Admittedly it is not always easy, especially in my profession where raising one's voices and stopping others seem to be a must in order to express one's opinion. Not to mention it is human nature to just put myself ahead of others and think of ourselves first.

One recent morning, as I stepped out of my apartment on my way to work, a thought struck me: Not only is Fred my friend, but so as Mark (the Market). I don't have to fear the Market, instead I can just extend the same friendship I've developed with Fred and make Mark a part of us too. I don't tell them what they should do, but simply listen to them, and actually feel and share their joy / pain / ups / downs.

For me personally, being able to (or at least attempting to) communicate with Fred is the key. When I first started TTP with the tribe, I am very concerned in getting an aha.


"Aha" has the same mysterious status with orgasm. But focusing too hard on orgasm, I totally forget to enjoy the process.


Recently, I change my approach slightly by just being in the process, and not bother whether I can reach an Aha. After all, I just want to communicate with Fred, just like I want to speak to any of my friends. And it feels good, with or without "Aha".

Thank you for setting such a great example. In the beginning, I get into trading just because I see other people making the quick money. The love of this game grows within, and money is no longer a big issue for me. I just want to learn, to grow, and to be the best trader I can be (which I see as limitless). Throughout this maturing stage, I have become a happier person. Not because I am making money, as I have suffered through some severe drawdowns too, but because I have learned to accept whatever the market (or fate) gives me. The prayer "God, please give me the courage to change things that need to be changed, the serenity to accept things that cannot be changed, and the wisdom to tell the difference" seems to be working its magic on me. It seems that, once certain (unknown) issues got resolved, I can see things a lot clearer, farther, and brighter.

Moreover, a giving attitude grows within me. In addition to learning, accumulating wealth and striving for financial independence, I have an even stronger urge to share, to help other people find and feel the joy that I have found.


The only problem is, I am not Ed Seykota. No one is going to listen to a 24-year-old who has yet to prove himself. Until I am featured in a best-selling book and with a proven track record, I am not in a hurry. But dear Mr. Seykota, you have been a great example that I look up to and want to learn from. I hope that one day I can also be able to help massive number of people, to live happier, to be a better person, and to bring positive changes. In the meantime, I am just happy to be who I am and help whomever I can. As Stephen Covey said, Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

I apologize for the lengthy and perhaps even boring email. (As an electrical engineering grad, I also apologize for the grammar and redundancy. You seem to be an exception to the EE rule (cannot be a geek without EE).) When there are feelings within, I want to let them out, and to show you my appreciation
and my sincere thank you.

I may be a nobody today, but if there's anything you think I'd be able to help, it will be a great honor and I will give my absolute best to do so. I truly mean it. It is the least I can do to repay the new world that you have helped me found, whether you know it or not.


I am guessing you'll just comment with a "Yes" or "OK". Deep within I'd love to hear more comments or feedback, but I respect your time and style of response. After all, I am just like a little fan in front of the big athlete or movie star, just wishing to be acknowledged, wanting a word or two, and a little bit more, and a little bit more ...

You say you are learning to listen, rather than talk. You worry that no one is listening to you. Your email is well above the average in length.


This is all consistent with a desire to talk and have others listen.


You might take this desire into the process.


It might disappear ... or you may find right livelihood as a radio or TV announcer.




Norman Rockwell


captures the arts of talking, listening,

and adding a little in the process.



Clip: http://www.softlore.com/




Fri, 1 Aug 2003


Forum Question


It is often said that trading is a zero-sum game - i.e. you can't have a winner without having a loser.

Is this statement really true? Discuss! (I've yet to meet anyone who has given me a straight answer)

Your parenthetical comment ... that you have yet to meet (in the future) some one who has given you (in the past) a straight answer ... seems logical, since neither the past not the future exist.




Translating your comment to SVO-p, you get:


"People don't give me straight answers."


This indicates you do not ask straight questions.




Using SVO-p, to straighten out your question, you get:


"I hear that the markets are a zero-sum game and I would like your opinion on it."


OK, zero sum games do not exist.


All participants have to perceive potential, or they just don't play.


Here are some typical perceptions:


A hedger sees the futures markets as mechanism to transfer price risk to a speculator.


A speculator sees the futures markets as a mechanism to acquire price opportunity.


Fred sees ways to dramatize unresolved feelings and makes deals with other Freds on the Under Fred Network, that may include trading on an exchange.



Pigs for Sticks


The payoff to Fred may come later on,

when the boy returns home with a pig

 instead of cash.


Clip: http://hearth.com/class/index.php

Fri 1 Aug, 2003




Dear Ed,

have just finished The Master Key by Charles F. Haanel. Below a quote from the book that really stood out:


For it is Life, the very Life of Life.

In its brief course lie all the Veritis and
Realities of your existence;
The Bliss of Growth;
The Glory of Action:
The Splendor of Beauty;

For Yesterday is but a Dream,

And Tomorrow is only a Vision:

But Today well lived makes every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness,

and Every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope. 

Look well, therefore, to this Day!"

- From the Sanskrit.


Since your poem is about being in the now, you might apply SVO-p, and say: "that really stands out."



Connect CM and Fred, Now




In case you are waiting

until you get around to it.