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Jun 10, 2016

Resources and Discount

Hi Ed,

I came across you and your work while reading books on trading. As a brief background, I have a couple of years experience trading commodity futures and 10 years writing computer programs in a variety of domains. I am an Indian and have studied and worked in the US for some years early in my career, but now I am based out of India where I stay with my family.

Getting to the point, initially I was trading mostly based on my reading of market conditions and "funny-mentals/surprise-a-mentals" as you call them :-), but after experiencing a lot of real world trading and doing research, I have started to come to the conclusion that mechanical / automated market volatility harvesting systems (such as trend following) might be the best way.

So, as per your astute observation "Those who want to win and lack skill can get someone with the skill to help them", I want your help on the following two points:

1. Automated trading based on rules seems like a vast field. I have read about the systems (S1 and S2) followed by the turtle traders and I am planning to test out those, but if you can point me to some resources (or strategies to test out) that will help me navigate the waters so to speak (get started and then also proceed to advanced knowledge).

2. Reading about you and your work and going through the snippets of your book "Trading Tribe", I think its ideal for developing a healthy mindset for trading (especially somebody starting out) and for life and also the areas you address in Govopoly are something that I have been researching for a while. But your books are not available in India and are quite expensive for someone in India :-), so I was wondering if you have a soft copy download that I can buy at a more affordable price.

Thank you for raising these issues.

1. You can find many very specific ideas for trading systems on-line.

2. People all over the world (including India) may order my books through this site. 

You might consider postponing trading until the price of my books no longer worries you.

You can read through FAQ and start your own Tribe, all for free.
Jun 7, 2016

Virtual Tribe Report

Dear Chief,

We have our virtual Tribe meeting last night. This meeting is the monthly "Project" meeting where we share our projects exchange feedback. Even without TTP/Rocks processes scheduled,  we still seem to be working with feelings, possibly revealing entry points for Rocks Process.

The format for the "Project" meetings is loosely modeled on the Lab meetings from the 2015 San Juan Tribe and is as follows:

At the meeting we start with a two part check in as usual for our virtual meetings.

Repeated/iterative check in replaces drumming and helps us connect and get into the meeting and rapport with each other.

Part 1:
- Each member checks in on how/what they are feeling now

Part 2:
- Each member checks in on feelings, issues and events since the last meeting

After the check in process we offer each other observations and feedback taking turns in the same order that we use for check in.

We tend to notice and point out connections, related feelings, overlapping and related issues. The feeling of connection and depth builds throughout this process.

Once the check in and  feelings exchange feels complete and settled PM check if anyone wants to do work on an issue or if we would prefer to move on to presentations. We come to agreement and move to the next process.

There are no pressing issues and we agree to move on to presenting our projects.

( Note: Although we never discussed what would have happened if we had gone to a Hot Seat instead of presentations, I think we probably would have ended up having a long meeting with presentations after TTP processes or rescheduling the presentations. The feeling I have is that the feeling work takes priority and that the project presentations primarily serve as a tool to reveal, access and address feelings related issues.)

Part 3:
- Each member presents their project
- All members provide feedback to the presenter, one after another.
- Presenter checks  with each member that they have accurately received the feedback
- Corrections and clarifications of feedback are given  by members if needed
- Presenter thanks each member and shares some feelings/insights based on the feedback
- The next presenter presents
- Once all members have presented, we check out on the project and feedback process
- We check out on the meeting

My experience of the meeting is as follows.

Check in:

- I feel good, energetic and a bit self conscious at check in
- I notice I feel connected to my fellow Tribe members
- I feel concern and empathy related to different issues being reported
- I recognize I've recently experienced and used Heart Rock to process similar issues I have

Project presentations:

- I notice I am experiencing the presentations though the lens of the check ins.
- I notice the feedback that I provide relates to how the projects provide a different vantage point or entry point for issues that come up in check in.
- I feel tired through the presentations.
- I want to shut down. I notice this feeling and embrace it. Embracing the shut down feeling causes a shift - it sharpens my focus and helps me see some potential issues hidden in the presentations.
- As I present, I notice some physical tension dissipating in my chest and face.
- I receive a tremendous amount of very insightful feedback and am able to identify a potential Rocks/Hot seat entry point based on feedback I receive.

Check out:

- I feel gratitude and warmth toward our Tribe
- I feel gratitude and warmth toward Ed and encourage Tribe members to call/write  to report their experiences and thought specific  Virtual Tribe and the format.
- I feel optimism and a sense of accomplishment about the overall progress we've made individually and as a group as a result of Tribe

It's working!
Thank you Tribe!
Thank you Ed!

PS. Guys, this is not one of our agreed to FAQ updates. I just wanted to document the meeting, keep Ed in the loop regarding our Virtual Tribe and make a contribution to the FAQ readership.


Thank you for sharing your process and for documenting your meeting.
Jun 7, 2016

Tribe Report


Please find, below, my recent Tribe Report,

A Trader or Nothing


The biblical story of Joseph is about a young shepherd boy who has a gift for interpreting dreams. He also has a gift for dramatic swings in his “equity”. He goes from favored son, to slave, to running a major aristocratic household, to jail, to viceroy of Egypt. He advises Pharaoh to buy grain cheap during the time of plenty, store it, and sell dear during the famine foretold in Pharaoh’s Dream. This Savvy trading results in his promotion to Viceroy of the most powerful nation of the time, ending his equity drawdowns.

My story reflects Joseph’s ups and downs. From 1993-2015 I experience wild swings in my equity. I am a good trader and able to make money, however I have trouble holding onto it. In 2015 I embark on a journey which includes work with my Trading Tribe. This journey includes self-discovery and a commitment to intimacy. My trading becomes less exciting, less dramatic. My earnings become more stable. My life and relationships also start to exhibit less drama.


Feeder Cattle, Live Cattle and Lean Hogs are the contracts I trade most actively. At the beginning of 2016 these contracts become subject to rules about the volume of messaging (changing order specifications). As a spread trader/market maker working to earn the bid/offer spread this change interferes with the execution of my trading strategy. I change my entire execution strategy shifting from posting bids and offers to sniper trading (automatically hitting posted bids and offers when they reach my price.

Trading results since the change have been unimpressive. I experience lower trading volume, lower PnL volatility and lower profits. The purpose of this project is to face the challenge, and get my trading back on track


From February 2016 through April 2016 my response is to medicate my feelings. My techniques for medicating my feelings of fear and anger include compulsive sex, shopping, travel. Ignoring, and denying the problem and procrastination. I fear that if I am unable to adapt as a trader I will lose my self-identity and ability to earn an income. I fear that if I look hard at this issue I will not be able to withstand the emotional impact.


  • I have made my living as a trader since 1993

  • I have significant market experience

  • I have adapted several times over my career. I have experience with this

  • I know what it takes to right this ship.


I am a trader.

I am a well-paid, professional trader

Starting today I will reintroduce into my life and my trading the practices which support success.

Practices Supporting Success:

  • Pro- active response

  • Heart Rock/Intimacy

  • Honesty

  • Focus

  • Physical training

  • Mental training (prayer and meditation)

  • Philanthropy

  • Gratitude


The benefits of righting this ship include:

  • Continuing to earn my living doing what I love

  • Financial Freedom

  • Tax advantages of capital gains income

  • Freedom and independence

  • Social Status

  • Unlimited earning potential

  • Spiritual Growth

  • Challenging and Stimulating work

  • Time

  • Opportunities for self-learning and growth

  • Trading is fun

  • Freedom to live and work anywhere there is Internet and power

  • Discretionary income which allows:

    • Travel

    • Philanthropy

    • Grand lifestyle

    • Dogs

    • Gourmet food

    • Parties

    • Nice clothes

    • Experiences (skydiving, museums, charity events, concerts, boating etc.)

    • Financial security

Costs of Failure

Failure to right this ship will result in pain including some or all of these:

  • Downgraded lifestyle

  • Loss of freedom

  • Need to relocate

  • Submitting to the tax man

  • Answering to an employer

  • Possible loss of my dogs

  • Uninteresting work

  • Loss of social status

  • Loss of self confidence

  • Loss of stimulation

  • Loss of Challenge

  • The need to find a new means of support


I draft an action plan and schedule incorporating the practices supporting success. I document the implantation of the schedule, and report the results.

Action Plan/Schedule

Each week will include

  • Yoga 2 times

  • Exercise not including walking the dogs 2 times

  • Donating money or helping another person 2 times

  • Prayer or meditation 2 times

  • Journaling daily (including rating my focus during trading)

  • Tribe work

  • Finding a significant opportunity to use Heart Rock (and taking the opportunity) 1 time

  • A written Gratitude list


Week ending June 7,2016

  • I have joined a yoga studio and practice yoga at least 2 times this week

  • I am exercise 2 or times this week and sign up for a half marathon in November and a marathon in March. I am committed to exercise

  • I consistently donate money and help others.

  • I am Praying or meditating at least 2 times week

  • I am not journaling

  • I am not doing significant Tribe work

  • I find significant opportunities to use Heart Rock

  • I do not write a gratitude list

Thank you for sharing your process.
Jun 7, 2016

Funny Mentals

Hi, Ed!

I feel like there is a lot of uncertainty in the markets at the moment, so I have been doing some research on market chrashes recently ... and I came to the conclusion that we are heading for a rather gloomy future ...

The reason for this is amongst other things the QE program arranged by the Federal Reserve, going all the way back to when Alan Greenspan was their chairman.

... the real value creation in the markets was made  roughly between 1970 and 2000, and that the market we are experiencing now is held at artificially high levels.

If we had only let the powers of the free market unfold in the aftermath of the crisis in 2008 we could have avoided the next market crash. Thus the real "market clean-up" did not happen, and so it is too late for that now. 

One scenario we could be facing is a hyperinflation of the dollar, followed by other currencies around the world, which in turn would lead to a major market crash ... if or when this happens, the world's financial system would have to restructure itself and consequently the new currency will be backed by gold, which has always been the case.

This has actually been the case with all the fiat currencies that have existed throughout the human history without exceptions. Therefore it is time to invest in precious metals, and we are going to witness the largest weatlth transfer of all time.

So I wonder Ed, do you share some of these thoughts and what is your opinion of the market at the moment.
Thank you for raising these issues.

In my book, Govopoly in the 39th Day,  I note the inevitability of price inflation - as the economic system brings production and consumption back into balance.

I also note that the moral hazard that attends monetary inflation also contributes to price volatility, so you might do well to figure out a risk management plan to go along with your inflation hedge.
Jun 5, 2016


Dear Ed,

I want to share my process (and progress) in opening my heart to relationships in my life.

I notice I feel enthusiastic about responding to others, even people I might have previously taken for granted or overlooked because they do not reflect something "special" that my ego might gain from.

In a relationship that I had hoped would progress to a deeper connection, I notice that when the other person decides not to go forward, I accept this decision with a peacefulness that surprises me.  I do not have to control the outcome.  I feel a sense of loss and I understand that what I have lost is a fantasy, not the actual person.

I believe that accepting others as they actually are, instead of judging and comparing them to how I need them to be, results in more relaxed and joyful interactions with almost everyone in my life.

I start to trust that everything happens the way it needs to happen, even things that seem disappointing or upsetting at first.  Assumptions about the future just naturally diminish when I stay more in the present.  All that's left is curiosity and some excitement about what will happen next.

I feel grateful to you and to TTP for much of this personal growth.  Thank you!
Thank you for sharing your process.
Jun 5, 2016

Happy Birthday Adam Smith


Adam Smith was born on June 5, 1723 in County Fife, Scotland. He never married and in 1776 published what is still considered today, 240 years later, the great book on economics, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.

My father gave me the two-volume edition pictured here. His father gave it to him on Christmas Day, 1920.

The last line of the book reads "If any of the provinces of the British empire cannot be made to contribute to the support of the whole empire, it is surely time that Great Britain free itself of the expense of defending those provinces in time of war, and of supporting any part of their civil or military establishment in time of peace, and endeavor to accommodate her future views and designs to the real mediocrity of her circumstances."

Fits right in.  Govopoly is the sequel!

Thank you for sending me the information and photo.
Jun 5, 2016

Govopoly in Action - Employment Down Again


This chart shows a continuation of decline in productive employment, as you describe in your Govopoly book.

Thank you for sending me the chart.
June 5, 2016

Wants Trend Following Help


I would like to learn how to trade using the trend following method. Please let me know if you are still willing to help.

Thank you for reaching out to me for help.

The Help: Start by writing down, in detail, what you wish to accomplish. Then, send it in to FAQ.

June 3, 2016

Govopoly in Action - E15 Gas Warning


Recent regulations requiring a high level of ethanol in gasoline might actually act to harm your car.
Thank you for sending me the link.
Jun 3, 2016

Twelve-Year Check-In

Chief of Chiefs,

Hard to believe that it’s been a dozen years since I attended the Incline Village tribe meeting and I asked you about the meaning of the Jade Master story. 

I’m still working on understanding the meaning of the story, LOL, and I’ve come with many hypotheses over the years, the latest of which is that the best learning happens at the subconscious level, is effortless, and comes from having a clear intention, being patient, being fully there (sticking with the system), and going with the flow.

Although I am a very lousy trader, you’ve helped me in all other areas of my life, Ed. 

You are a great teacher.  Over the last 12 years since I met you, I’ve managed to: 

·        Have a clear intention and plan.  To me, that meant putting trading on hold and focusing on career, finding love, and reaching financial independence.

·        Become financially independent.  I will be retiring in March of next year at age 55.

·        Find love.  I ended an unhappy marriage of 30 years and I am now with the love of my life.

·        Improve my relationship with my kids.

·        Build my dream homes in the US, Lebanon, and the Philippines.

All accomplished, Ed, thanks to having a clear intention, to breaking away with the mainstream, and to not giving a hoot about the rat race and what “others think of me.” 

Now I am ready to go back to trading with a long-term trend-following system that triggers only a few trades a year and that allows me to see this big, big world one city at a time, one country at a time.

Best Regards Chief. 

Forever grateful.
Thank you for checking in and for sharing your process.

Jun 3, 2016


Hi Chief,

It takes me a day to write a new API to switch my data feed away from IB, if the new data feed works well, it saves me a thousand dollar a month. I start to see the advantage to write my system by myself, changing code is quicker and more efficient.

Thank you for sharing your process.
Jun 2, 2016

Doing the Right Thing

Hi Ed,

The last couple of months have been interesting for me. I have a lot of stress as I come to the end of my contract. The local economy starts to really take a down turn for the worse with the falling iron ore and oil prices. Many people are laid off in wave after wave. Many are out of work. Jobs are scarce, difficult to find. Competition is heavy and pay is awful.

I think about joining the police.
The attractions are:   
•    I don’t need prior experience or qualifications. I can continue to earn and support my family while changing career paths.
•    I can serve others in a meaningful way
•    I would be active and have job variety, I wouldn’t be stuck behind a desk, shuffling numbers all day, feeling stressed by arbitrary, un-meaningful deadlines. This would be better for my health.
•    I would belong to something, and be part of a team
•    I would have some job security, instead of going from contract to contract.
•    I would be doing a job that was considered by some, importantly myself and my family, of being respected and valued in the community.

The disadvantages are:
•    I would have to work shifts
•    I would take a significant pay cut (in return for future job security)
•    I might be killed or maimed
•    I would face life or death, stressful situations
•    I would face violence, disrespect and abuse
•    I would constantly see the worst of side of humanity

Despite this, I hope and believe I could make a difference. I believe in serving and protecting my community. My family are supportive although they are concerned about my safety and about me taking a pay cut.

Anyway, I have undergone the recruitment process for the last 5 months and I wish I could say I was accepted into the training school but I got my letter a couple of days saying: “Thank you for your application…. Unfortunately on this occasion you are unsuccessful….”

I am disappointed but this is not entirely unexpected. I self-sabotage my application.
One of the values required is honesty.

In a psychiatric assessment test I am faced with the question: Yes / No ?  “Other than marijuana, have you ever taken any drugs?”

I think about this for a moment. I recall once, in a nightclub in London, I am given ½ an ecstasy tablet. I take it and suffer no effect. I realise afterwards how stupid this is. It could have been rat poison or icing sugar. What am I doing?, where is my life going if I go down this path? I never do this again and never again touch any other drugs.

I tick, NO, as I try to sweep this under the carpet and forget about this moment of past stupidity. I justify my answer by thinking it was just once, they don’t have to know about this, they can never find out unless I tell them.

Another question: “Have you ever, more than once or twice, used marijuana?” Yes / No ? I reluctantly tick YES, as all my friends and even most parties I go to it was available and used extensively. In truth I used it a lot during university.

A couple of weeks go by and I am called for a face to face interview.

I am grilled on the marijuana usage for about 10 – 15 minutes near the end of an exhausting and invasive interview. Then I am asked “Have you ever used any other drugs?” As this is face to face, and as, inside, I want to be honest, I come clean and tell them about the one time ½ ecstasy tablet.

After I do this, I know they can’t possibly accept me. I have demonstrated dis-honesty and inconsistency in the application process.

Ed’s words from the 2013 workshop ring in my ears: “If you haven’t got integrity, what have you got?” “You got nothing”

In some ways I am relieved that I did come clean. There are times when we are all tested for integrity and when doing the right thing is costly and of no benefit to ourselves.

I think about the Jews in WW2. There was no tangible benefit to helping Jews and hiding them from the Nazis, indeed it was dangerous and costly, perhaps even your wife and kids lives were at stake, but it was the right thing to do and some stepped forward and did just that, simply because it was the right thing to do.

Even today, it is costly to stand up for humanity. Where are those who speak up against those who will pass laws against Muslims, foreigners and Mexicans, simply because of their culture or ethnicity, there is little tangible benefit to doing so, but it is the right thing to do.

I have had a personal lesson in what integrity really means. I hope, from here on out, I can start to demonstrate integrity during the rest my own life.

Thank you Ed, I feel a sense of sadness and relief as I finish this. I feel tears well up. I can always try again in 1.5 years’ time, when my exclusion period ends….

Warm regards
Thank you for sharing your process.

In some cities, the police may find themselves in a position to shut down some drug dealers and to protect others that play along with kickbacks.

In this situation, police recruiters might like to know that you plan to play along and not rat them out - so they might like to know a lot about your feelings about drugs and honesty before hiring you.

You might consider taking your feelings about <right and wrong> to Tribe as an entry point.

The Govopoly System

in action.

Jun 1, 2016



In your answer of the email "More Questionable Advice" of may 17th 2016, you say " they also generally have strong character", what does "strong character" mean??

How an apprentice trader can get it??
Thank you for raising this issue.

Character has to do with your moral qualities or virtues, such as empathy, courage, fortitude, honesty and loyalty.

For example, the aspect of character that has to do with trustworthiness, reliability and loyalty - may have quite a lot to do with staying true to your own trading rules.

Generally, you and your apprentice can get more character by using what you already have.
Jun 1, 2016

Wants to Attend a Workshop

Hey Ed,

I notice you post that you sense demand for a Workshop and may host one later this year.

I feel excited but also nervous I may miss it.  I recall the last two workshops take place in October.

October 20th marks my first child's due date.  I feel I have a better chance you might consider my desire for a workshop date that falls either earlier or later than October compared to convincing my child to arrive on a specific date.

Maybe you consider a Workshop date in early September or November.

Thank you.
Thank you for guiding me in the matter of the date.

I can host a Workshop in November, either in Puerto Rico or in Austin, TX - depending on demand.
Jun 1, 2016

System Dynamics - Small Group

Dear Ed,

I really like the little information out there on you. I tried to better understand your analysis approach and looked further into System Dynamics.

Folks may easily skip that aspect. I believe it is fundamental for a better understanding of what goes on around us. I wished I had discovered this much earlier in life. Now, I am encouraging my son to study it in university. At least something meaningful, while most of the stuff taught today is a waste of time. I should know since I have been in higher education all my life as Admissions Director. Now, I work and live in the middle of the dessert in [Country].

I want to start a Tribe with a friend or two. Unfortunately, my friends don't know anything about investing at all, let alone trading.  Can we do that alone in a small group?

Investing has a lot to do with self realization.  The market is the best guru - merciless.

We yet also want to make money to eventually become self reliant. So, this shouldn't be a pure spiritual process.  Your concept that we cannot change the things that are happening - I agree. Do want to learn how to ride wave though - those winners.

Best wishes,
Thank you for sharing your insights about System Dynamics.

You and your friends can start a group from the instructions in my book.

You can also pick up technique by visiting other Tribes and by attending a Workshop.
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