Ed Seykota, 2003 - 2005 ... Write for permission to reprint.

Ed Seykota's

Frequently Asked Questions

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TTP - The Trading Tribe Process  ...  Glossary

  TTP Workshop  ...  Resources

 

November 1-10, 2004

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Questions

(Quotes from Ed in Red)

Answers

Wed, 10 Nov 2004

 

TT Process.


Hello Ed,


I was doing a research for about last 5 years trying to find how to become a great trader. My lousy trading performance inspired me to research. I've practiced meditation and affirmation to certain success.

 

The culmination of this process was a clear intuitive prediction and large bet on a short side 1 day before the Sep 11 attack.

 

This fascinated me - "Fred" knows everything. Few weeks before that event I wrote with my own hand in daily writer the words "broken airplanes", "buildings" and "910" and stock symbol of major airline without having a clue about the meaning of these words.

 

I felt I was on the right track researching the trading success but still missing something important. Started with heavily bookmarked "Market Wizards", I kept searching for answers for trading success but instead of "honing" my trading by doing more trading I was guided to books of Eckhart Tolle "The Power of Now" and Osho "Meditation - The First and Last Freedom" and "The Book of Secrets".

 

The bottom line of my very specific research was the strong feeling of need to practice the feeling and listening to my body and my emotions and feelings. Few weeks later the first thing I unexpectedly noticed was that I lost about 8 pounds of extra body weight without any other reason to explain it.

Few days ago I also stopped by your site and read through your TTP techniques
which describe the importance of practicing the exact same thing!

AHA!

Hopefully I'll meet you one day,

OK.

Wed, 10 Nov 2004

 

SVOP Rules the Rulers


From: You Can Fool Some People Sometimes
by: Rasa Karapandza, Milos Bozovic

"We develop an empirical procedure to quantify future company performance
based on top management promises.

 

We find that the number of future tense
sentence occurrences in 10-K reports is significantly negatively correlated
with the return as well as with the excess return on the company stock
price.

 

We extrapolate the same methodology to US presidential campaigns since 1960 and come to some startling conclusions. The candidate who used less future tense sentences in televised debates won the popular vote ... "

Source: http://arxiv.org/abs/

math.ST/0410586

If politicians really want to change, they can join a tribe, practice SVO-p and start addressing their own issues.

 

 

John Kerry

Victory Speech Excerpts

 Super Tuesday
March 3, 2004



Thank you all ...


Tonight the message could not be clearer all across our country: Change is coming to America ...  we have no illusions about the Republican attack machine and what our opponents will try to do ...  And in 2004, we will tell the truth ... and we will fight to give America back its future and its hope ... Millions more live in fear everyday that they will lose their job ... Together we will build a strong foundation for growth by repealing the Bush tax cuts ... We will repeal every tax break and every loophole ... We will provide new incentives for manufacturing ... We will fight for worker and environmental protections .... and we will raise the minimum wage ... And we will meet one of the historic challenges of our generation with a bold new plan for energy independence that will invest in technologies of the future ... We will stand up for the fundamental fairness of health care as a right and not a privilege ... We will rejoin the community of nations ... And we will keep trust with Lincoln 's ideal of America as "the last best hope of earth."  leadership of our country.

So the message rings out tonight across this land: Get ready - a new day is on the way.

Clip:
www.dvmx.com/ johnkerryspeech.html

Tue, 9 Nov 2004

 

Our First Session


My friend and I decided to start a tribe. Armed with theory we take turns on the hot seat.

 

He is first, I am the receiver. At first I have the impression that he easily gets into his somatic feelings. As if he longed for this consciously. He starts feeling itches on his forehand. I ask him to intensify the sensation. He does that and starts scratching. It takes a while before he starts doing this in a flow manner, without effort.

 

He then stops feeling it. I ask him if he wants to scratch again. He negates. In a standard manner, I wait a while and then ask if he can describe what he feels now.

 

He locates some feelings on his face and his other hand which seem go relatively easily away. We dissolve them until he starts mentioning something in his chest. This rings a bell quickly.

 

I ask him to describe the feeling and have the impression that it is not easy for him to do this.

 

So I ask him to move his body anyway he wishes to. He starts moving slowly his chest inwards and says that he feels pressure and a weight on him. He intensifies this. He starts to feel pain and holds his breath quite long.

 

Then he suddenly stops and curls on the chair. Then after a rest, he opens his eyes and says that he is in the controlling mode again.

 

I try to get him back on track by telling him that perhaps it is precisely what he needs to feel to untie a knot. I encourage him.

 

He hesitates. So I tell him to try it without my backup. We sit silently for a longer while and finally he tells me that he does not want to do it alone. Now its easier for him to get back on track. The cycle repeats three of four times. From time to time he stops to describe me what he felt. I listen for a while and then suggest him to stop explaining them to me just to get back on track.

 

I, as the receiver think to myself, that maybe I am a bit pushy at this point, he sits for over 3.5 hours. We do not get to zero point however. I can still feel the tension. We both feel awkward and do not say much or smile to much. I meet him today and asks how he feels about the session.

 

He tells me that afterwards he was a bit shaken and that he is considering to discontinue this. This is a disappointment for me. I do have mixed feelings since he gives good news regarding a different matter, but I do not feel TTP commitment from his part.

 

I ask him to write down his impressions from his hot seat so that maybe we can ask you for suggestions. He looks away and says ok, leaving me with the impression that he has other things on his mind. So, any suggestions?

Asking your receiver to get back on track might derail him. 

 

His excursions off the track might comprise exactly the path the process wants him to follow.

 

A good receiver knows how to encourage the sender, no matter where he goes.

 

 

A Collision

 

is being exactly on track

with derailing.

 

Clip: http://www.enquirer.com/editions/

2000/09/05/derail.jpg

Tue, 9 Nov 2004

 

Stock Market Guru


Hi Ed,

I read about one "guru" who claimed to make about 5,0000 + % one year ... is this possible?

Do you only trade stocks at new highs?

Yes, it is possible for you to read about a guru. 

 

Your story seems apocryphal; you have four zeroes after the comma.

 

Trend followers trade at new highs and at new lows.

 

 

Professor Puss Sez:

 

Once you pass

5,0000 percent per year,

accuracy is not very important.

 

Clip: http://www.catconnexions.s-p-a-c-e.

co.uk/Professor%20Puss.jpg

Mon, 8 Nov 2004

 

TTP in Vienna

Dear Sir,

As I learned from the TTP homepage in order to setup a new TTP-Tribe in a geographical area where no Tribe is in existence I have to contact the site (you) and send my co-ordinates.

I would like to set up a Tribe in Austria near Vienna. My CV is attached.

 

 

Welcome

Vienna, Austria !

 

 

Grand Hotel, Vienna

 

Clip: http://www.botros.at/images/hotels/

ANA%20Grand%20Hotel%20Vienna.jpg

Mon, 8 Nov 2004

 

Evolution


What do you think of the idea, that in order to survive there needs to be evolution - applies to everything ...

What about trend following - do you think the evolution applies to micro view (particular techniques, entry, exit), but the macro view on trend following stays the same?

You might try re-writing your question in SVO-p (Subject, Verb, Object - present tense).  This forces identification of who or what needs evolution to survive.

 

Your "everything" implies that even a rock needs to evolve to survive.

 

I am not clear what your second paragraph means.

 

 

The Guru Rock

 

a product of much evolution.

 

 

Clip: http://www.guillermina.com/

cats/china/

Sun, 7 Nov 2004

 

Oneness and Peace

Hello Ed,

I see, by a quick look at your site, that you've gotten heavily into Psychology, groups (tribes), and complex risk management rules and systems.

 

Remember: Keep it simple. And nothing was ever created by a group - it takes the INDIVIDUAL. You will tire of all complexities and come to Oneness and Peace sometime; soon I hope.

Best wishes,

In TTP we do not attempt to predict the future, or to prescribe feelings for each other.

 

The path to Oneness and Peace rarely passes through the towns of Judgment and Prescription.

 

 

Peace

 

takes many forms.

 

In TTP,

peace is the state we get

by being willing

to experience all our forms.

 

Clip: http://sa.nextwish.org/Unsorted/

War%20Photos/Peace%20girl.jpg

Sun, 7 Nov 2004

 

Good Book


Hi Ed

I think you will like the book 'The Question Behind the Question'
http://www.qbq.com

It is a nice read on personal responsibility.

Cheers,

John Miller shows how to look beyond questions like:

 

When is that department

going to do its job?

Who dropped the ball?

When is someone going to train me?

 

He claims the solution is to exercise personal responsibility.

 

 

 

QBQ instructs people

to take personal responsibility

 

TTP dissolves the k-nots

that stand between us

and taking personal responsibility.

 

Fri, 5 Nov 2004

 

A Receiving Experience


Dear Mr. Seykota,

Last night I had an interesting TTP session as a receiver, in which I actually cried.

 

When the sender was on the hot seat trying to experience uncertainty, I felt that although he brought back images and emotions, he rushed out of it and didn't experience it fully. So I asked if he was willing to re-experience uncertainty, and he gave it a second try.

When I asked the sender if he was willing to experience his feelings, I found myself inexplicably asking him in the way as described in Jim Collins' book "Good to Great", a book which the sender loves and has strongly recommended me to read.

 

I asked if he has the commitment to do whatever it takes to experience his feelings, to keep pushing in the same direction just like pushing a flywheel until it gains momentum, and let those feelings take him wherever it is. And somehow as I am encouraging him, it all resonates with me as if I'm asking myself, "Are you willing to do whatever it takes to be a trader?" "Are you truly committed?" "ARE YOU??!?!?"

I started crying. I think it is because I'm finally facing the brutal fact that I have not given my best, I'm not totally committed. I'm spending more time (or more precisely, more "now moments") playing fantasy football / basketball than in refining and quantifying my systems through rigorous research and testing. Is this what a committed trader who is determined would do? I never answer it directly, but I guess the tears said it all. I know I have let myself down, and let down a lot of people who have trusted me. I know I have the talents, I have the skills, but I don't have the heart or dedications. I know how to make money in the market, but I don't have what it takes to carry it out.

It is ironic. I always say I'd take anyone who has heart over anyone who has talent every single time. Even in my fantasy basketball games, my focus is not on star players but those who used to be deep in the bench but has shown flashes of brilliance and now get a chance to prove themselves. They are the ones who have shown their commitment of working hard, and just wanted to play for the pure sake of playing. I drafted those players because I always believe in anyone who is committed, and yet here I am, the one not committed.

As I keep encouraging the sender to go deeper, to crank it up, to go all the way with the feelings, I have a vivid image of myself on the football field. The sender was the ball carrier, and I'm the blocker on his left. I sensed a strong feeling that I'd do whatever it takes to knock down the defensive players so that he could get to the end zone. I have no doubt that he'd get into the end zone, and I just want to do whatever I can to help him.

I felt that the sender went deeper and was flying even without us pushing hard. I felt that I've just knocked down a tackler, and both of us are on the ground. The sender (the ball-carrier) broke out of the containment, and he was going, going and going. I saw him going from way behind, and I have a great sense of achievement, a big "Yes!!!!" knowing that I did it. As the sender continued, he is actually carrying my soul - he is representing me - because he is doing exactly what I haven't been able to do: to be fully committed, focused on a single target and do whatever it takes to go all the way. In a way he is like showing me that it can be done.

It is an amazing experience for me, for as a receiver I go through lots of emotions too. I want to cry out loud but I keep holding back because the sender is still sending (or would you recommend that I leave to a corner and just cry out loud?), and as tears dropped I sweep them away quickly.

 

It is an interesting session and I intend to keep exploring this feeling of "doing whatever it takes." In fact, this morning I find myself asking repeatedly, "Are you willing to do whatever it takes to be a great trader?" I am not looking for a logical answer, but just how I feel about the question, how I feel about saying yes to the question.

 

Gosh, I sense a lot of hesitancy, and I look forward to my next hot seat
experience. Thanks.

Supporting others may be part of your path.  It appears to be part of mine, too.

 

 

 

Green Bay's Chad Clifton

 

A good offensive tackle

opens the way

for his teammates to score.

 

Clip: http://www.jsonline.com/packer/

image/00draft/chad419.jpg

Fri, 5 Nov 2004

 

Adjusting the Model

Ed, just a short note to say thanks again. We have been able to enter a few trades based on the criteria we discussed.

 

On review, these added adjustments to our trading models would have greatly changed our performance since inception ...

 

Thank you Ed.

Congratulations on your research, your testing and on implementing your insights.

Fri, 5 Nov 2004

 

Seykota Court

 

Here is a photo of the development.





Seykota Court

 

Charles Schwab, the steelmaker, is famous for naming his mills after his best customers.

 

Given all the legal fees I recall paying over the years, I feel it might be very appropriate for someone to name a Court after me.

Fri, 5 Nov 2004

 

Fast Thinking Woman

 

Hi Ed,

 

You might enjoy this.


http://www.laserp.com/

fun_stuff/hotel_girl.htm 

Yes, a clear woman can give all her men elevating experiences.

 

 

The Goddess

 

occupies the center

of her web.

 

Clip: http://www.goddesscreations.com.au/

goddess_conference.htm

Fri, 5 Nov 2004

 

Best wishes for another great workshop


I'm sorry I can't be there this time, but I wish you the best for another successful gathering of the extended tribe.

You are welcome to visit the New Orleans tribe anytime. We had our sixth meeting last night and did some good work. Our membership stands at a solid, consistent two, with a 100% attendance record, and we have both note positive changes in our lives and our relationships with our families and friends since we started doing regular TTP.

Cheers,

Thank you for the invitation; I am planning a tour of Tribes for early 2005.

Fri, 5 Nov 2004

 

Position Sizing


Dear Ed Seykota,


Would you please mentorly comment on my pyramiding attempts. I understand hopefully that pyramiding is a central issue in trading and has a marked positive impact on profits.

 

My entry method gives me reliable signals 80% of instances. Profit exits have been my Achilles heel to date due to unwise intraday presence breeding emotional decision-making, but this was diagnosed and eliminated thanks to bad experience and your consistent disapproval of day trading.

 

The loss in the failed entries has been at or below my accepted maximum risk of 5% of equity. Because the stop loss is historically realized (it is not predetermined point-wise but executed based on end-of-day EMA signal) at a 10-40 points loss - which I consider not a tight stop, I employ a relatively small number of units which I guess helps contain the risk in case of a so called 10-sigma event.

 

This number of units is always calculated assuming the loss of 40 points. The size of the ensuing trend in these 80% good instances differs widely; the ratio of the longest to the shortest trend is like 7:1.

 

The longest ones occur rarely (fewer than 10% of instances) and can last more than a month and 300 points. I invest in stock index futures solely and make decisions end-of-day while enacting them the next morning at the opening price.

 

My pyramiding happens on the second day of trend i.e. I open my initial position the first morning I am bullish or bearish, and then pyramid the next morning if the entry proved right i.e. market moved my way, bringing my risk back to the 5% level. Then I do not pyramid anymore and exit full position on an exit signal. I would be grateful to learn from your thoughts about this approach, Sir.

You can find an appropriate position sizing algorithm, in the context of your complete methodology, by running simulations.

 

 

Computer Simulations

 

can help find optimal solutions

before you commit to implementing

your method

 

 

 

Clip: http://erode.evsc.virginia.edu/

drainage.htm

 

Thu, 04 Nov 2004

 

Transition


Dear Ed,

I first learned of your great success in trading while reading the
www.turtletrader.com  website.

 

This subsequently lead me to your home page where I began to learn of your tremendous success in helping fellow traders and non-traders alike through inner-reflection and psychological self-examination.

 

I read FAQ continually and continue my attempt in improving myself psychologically although this appears to be a daunting task at best. Through the perpetual mix of trading, family, and your site, I was hoping that you might help me by providing some
advice.

Problem: I currently work as a sell-Side Research Analyst in New York.  I have been here for 1 years and am experiencing some new feelings that I have never felt before.

 

1. I now realize that fundamental research as it applies to securities is complete rubbish.

 

If my family new that I had moved to New York to become a glorified (debatable) fortune teller they would be highly disappointed. I am excited to begin my journey as a trend follower but am not sure how to get started.

 

I want to approach someone who currently employs a trend following system but am unsure how. Any suggestions?

 

2. I feel as if I am being lead back to my home in North Carolina but feel if I leave now, I will be a failure. I can't pinpoint the underlying dilemma that my subconscious is fighting. My ideal situation would be to move to NC or surrounding areas and work under a trend follower. Any comments will be held in the highest regard.

 

Thanks in advance for your help.

FAQ does not tell people what they should do. See Ground Rules.

Thu, 4 Nov 2004

 

Free Will

Dear Ed,

Can you please elaborate on what you mean by free will does not exist other than as thoughts? Thanks.

OK.

 

 

Things that Exist

other than as a thought

 

have mass, volume

 and, if you are lucky,

 a snappy color.

 

Clip: http://www.photo.net/photo/

pcd0796/smart-swatch-car-38.4.jpg

Thu, 4 Nov 2004

 

The Workshop


Hi Ed,


I just wanted to drop you a quick note. Good Luck for the weekend workshop.

 

It is a tough act to follow from the past two workshops but I know your ability to deliver something unique will be surpassed again. You are making a difference!

I am working closely with wardrobe to come up with something novel.

 

 

 

Janet Steals the Show

 

by accident, of course.

 

Clip: http://pub.tv2.no/multimedia/na/

archive/00133/Janet_Jackson_

Justi_133144a.jpg

Thu, 4 Nov 2004

 

Seeking Positive Intention

Dear Ed,

Do you recommend (or have other tribes found) that it is better not to ask (or even mention) to the sender about the feeling's positive intention until the session is over?

 

For example, sometimes when I'm on the hot seat and a receiver said, "(Allow yourself to) Feel the positive intention of this feeling," I find it somewhat derails my process, as it triggers CM to seek and ask what is indeed the positive intention, and then justify the feeling.

 

I believe that as long as I can fully and completely experience the feelings every bit, I'd get to the positive intention naturally. I don't necessarily need to feel the positive intention of the feeling during the process, but just enjoy and swim and flow with the feeling as much as I can, and I thought the positive intention will come. The more I think of (hear) positive intentions, the more I try to figure it out.

Is it a common experience, or am I the only one who feel this way? I appreciate your comments and suggestions to teach us how we can make the process even more effective. Thanks.

Good receivers support the sender in experiencing his forms, according to the sender's own way. 

 

If the receiver requires the sender to "feel positive intentions," it might derail the process.

 

The command is directive and ambiguous. I don't know what it means to feel an intention. Understanding of positive intention, typically appears after the form goes to term, as part of the AHA phase.

 

You might like to take a turn on the hot seat, to experiencing your agendas to manage the process and to do it the right way.  Your receivers during this process might also "get it" while you do the work.

 

 

 

Manipulation and Control

 

induce defiance

 

Clip: www.jezuici.krakow.pl

Wed, 3 Nov 2004

 

Trading Tribe

Hi Ed,


Have tried contacting the Connecticut contact ... with no luck.

Am trying to join. Any suggestions for doing so would be helpful.

I review the list from time to time to cull inactive sites.  You may start your own Tribe.  See the Directory Page, above.

Tue, 02 Nov 2004

 

Vancouver, Canada TT


Hello Ed,

Thank you for sharing your process ... in Laguna Beach in October. I experience many methods and am on a path of personal, spiritual and professional growth that has led me to your developments. This work is valuable to me and I would like to form a tribe in Vancouver, Canada. I am an experienced trader and am currently reconfiguring my system and personal approach for optimum results.

 

I am practicing mastery in all areas of my life including personal and financial growth and banjo playing. I show a profit while positively contributing to my own life and the lives of those around me. I value the TTP and choose to share it with my tribe and as a licensed practitioner. I apply for certification. I celebrate my feelings. I send and receive fully and freely. My gratitude is unending.


You inspire me with your generosity, good humor, musicianship, empathy and right intention. I choose to add my contribution to this endeavor and have it inform all the areas of my life. I feel the disappearing already.

 

 

Welcome

 

Vancouver,

Canada !

 

 

 

Clip: http://www.justamerica.co.uk/site/

escorted-coach-tours/atp_can_

rockies_explorer_2004.html

Tue, 2 Nov 2004

 

Interest in Research Projects



Hi Ed !

Tomorrow I interview [Name], a fairly well-known long-term system developer, to get his input for the report, Superior Returns from Average Indicators.

I plan to mention your name and tell him about the Trading Tribe, unless you direct otherwise.

I plan to ask him how he uses moving averages in his system development what he has found to work best what ancillary rules he uses how he defines a trend suggestions for more questions gratefully accepted.

OK. Say hello for me.

Tue, 2 Nov 2004

 

Exit Strategies


Hi Ed,

I intend to provide the Tribe with World-Class research on exit strategies.

I am currently gathering additional published information and common beliefs on exit strategies. Once the gathering is complete, I will develop a research plan to present to the Tribe. In the meantime, if you or anyone in the Tribe has any information that you believe will assist in our research effort in this area, please pass it on.

See you soon and good luck with the workshop.

Yes.  Exit Strategies are an often overlooked part of trading.

 

 

Good Research

 

gets to the bottom of things

 

Clip: http://solstikkan.tripod.com/

funny/pics/pix72/exit.jpg

Tue, 02 Nov 2004

 

Good Catch

Dear Mr. Seykota,

Along with many other people, I truly appreciate the interaction that your site provides.

I am gradually working my way through your excellent resource that is FAQ, and found an item dated Mon 15 Mar 2004 titled "Sorrow".

At the end of the item is the author's telephone number. Is this an oversight?


P.S. - I don't think comparisons between FAQ and Microsoft ("Typos" 14 March 2004) are entirely fair. Microsoft has a virtual monopoly, and makes squillions marketing faulty products, while FAQ is free and I'm not compelled to read it.

Thank you for the catch. 

 

FAQ does not publish the identities of contributors. 

 

The item now stands correctly, without the telephone number.

 

 

Listen

 

Do you want to know a secret?

Do you promise not to tell?

Wo - oh - oh - oh - oh.

 

- The Beatles

 

Clip: http://members.aol.com/

neyretfreres/secret.jpg

Mon, 1 Nov 2004

 

Presentation Feedback

Hi Ed:

We loved your presentation (In Laguna Beach - to a group of Psychologists), as, from the feedback forms they gave us, did the participants. Participants consistently cited your presentation as their favorite. Your presentations entertain, individuals integrate, the group bonds.

Thank you for the feedback.

Mon, 1 Nov 2004

 

Next Workshop

I see that you held a seminar In May of this year, do you plan to hold another seminar in 2005, and if so will the topic/focus change ?

I currently have no specific plan to host another Workshop.  I am currently preparing a book on the technology.

Mon, 1 Nov 2004

 

A Great Deal of Time

Sir,

The name Ed Seykota will forever resonate with me because of a quote from "Market Wizards"; "... everyone gets what they want from the markets ..."

I am very interested in the title of the program, as it sounds like it would address the specific shortcomings I have as a trader. However, only this past Saturday did I learn of TTP and the workshop to be held this weekend, and I wanted to learn more about whether it would be right for me.

A few questions please;

#1 I am a discretionary trader (though I have a pretty formulaic approach to the markets, and am currently trying to build my first system). Can the TTP philosophy fit/work for a nonsystematic trader ?

2# I have been trading professionally for 15 years, and although I firmly believe one never stops learning, does the workshop spend a great deal of time on some of the trading "basics" (establishing good risk/reward trade set-ups, money management, etc.) ?

Thanks in advance,

1. Yes. The philosophy seems to apply to all people and all careers.

 

2. For trading basics, see

www.turtletrader.com .