© Ed Seykota, 2003 ... You may not reprint without permission.

Ed Seykota's

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Tribe Directory - How to Join ···  The Trading Tribe Process

Fractals  ···  Risk Management  ···  Books  ···  Links

 

Workshop

 

 

August 10-16, 2003

 

Questions

(Quotes from Ed in Red)

Answers

Sat, 16 Aug 2003

 

Finding my Right Livelihood
 
I feel like I am in my element whenever I review charts everyday. I enjoy coming up with different trend following strategies and I find money management techniques fascinating.

It feels really satisfying whenever I'm participating in anything that relates to trading.

Trading can potentially be my right livelihood. I feel passionate about it.

One thing that is frustrating me is the lack of capital that I can allocate to trading.

I feel the need to raise money. It is making me unhappy that I may have to earn a living in a field outside of trading. I fear that I may not enjoy it.  I also fear that I may not have the same type dedication that I have for trading. I feel suffering.

Feel the frustration ... you may find it has roots in the way you value yourself, your entitlements to ask for things, etc.  Your aha might involve re-framing money raising as an fun, invigorating part of your career.

 

 

Sometimes a New Frame

 

changes the picture.

 

Clip: http://www.indonesiaexport.com/

html/middle.htm

 

Thu, 14 Aug 2003

False Breakouts

I am a trend trader. Occasionally, I go through periods where there is a
higher frequency of false breakouts.

 

It makes me feel uncomfortable. I
feel the need to minimize these occurrences.

Yes, trading results vary.

 

Your tribe  can help you experience your feelings about whipsaws.

 

Otherwise, Fred may entrain dramas to get your attention, like employing untested rules.

 

 

Masters of the Whipsaw

 

circa 1915

 

Clip: http://www2.pgohg.org:8080/

Van%20Somer/Van%20Somer.htm

Thu, 14 Aug 2003


Fred is alive and well in my dreams ...

Fred is trying to tell me something through dreams. I have recurring dreams concerning my recent marital separation. The scenarios are different each time but the feelings and emotions are all the same.

 

I believe this is Fred’s way of telling me that I have not fully experienced the pain of separation or that those feelings that were so strong and painful during the first two to three weeks of our break-up are in line with deeper feelings that I’ve been holding in for other reasons.

I won’t go into specifics but this separation is far and away the most difficult period I’ve ever experienced. I feel fortunate though to have stumbled across TTP prior to our marriage falling apart.

 

While I had to go through the painful hurt that is necessary in this situation I made a strong effort to try and fully experience all the feelings underlying whatever emotions arose.

 

This is my first time being married so our separation is the first experience with ‘losing’ someone I love more than myself. Being conscious of the feelings, the physical sensations, and the thoughts that arose intensified the hurt but I think it has allowed me to deal with this situation far better than I would have, had I not been aware of the Fred-ian model.


Psychology is subjective. Einstein once said “The true nature of things we will never know, never.” Everyone thinks that Einstein was a brilliant person, and that is why these words uttered by someone who ‘knew’ so much are so ironic and striking. We just don’t need to know. So, whether or not TTP accurately describes the way things really are is irrelevant. It works … at least in my limited experience anyway.

 

I believe in and use the process for its utility. That is to help me be a better person and to live the life that I want to live and to be happy. It is beautiful in its simplicity. Thanks Ed.

I’ve been able to uncover some enlightening experiences from my past and gain insight in doing it … so far on my own. I’m beginning to realize that it gets much harder to experience deeply buried feelings. The more painful they are the deeper they are.

 

It is becoming much more difficult to stay on track, to experience the trail of bad feelings back to the roots of my drama.  For this reason and my new found desire to help others with their issues I will be starting an intentional community in the near future.

Daniel Goleman says “One rule of thumb in communications research is that 90 percent or more of an emotional message is nonverbal.” Perhaps that is why the group dynamics of a tribe work so much better than doing it all on your own. Maybe our Fred’s get together and connect beneath our conscious awareness, like an undercurrent of subconscious signal that makes something magical happen that would otherwise be near impossible doing it alone. Who knows … but then again we don’t need to know.

Cheers to all those who have found a way to help themselves.

PS Has the workshop in October filled up yet? Are there still spots available? Please let me know.

Yes, Fred sometimes places us in relationships to get our attention. 

 

When you listen to Fred, you free yourself to make choices that align with right livelihood.

 

An intentional community can help you identify and experience feelings that you might have trouble experiencing on your own.

 

To still sign up for the Workshop ... see the Workshop page, above.

 

 

Repressing Sadness as a Child

 

may leads to setting up dramas

around loss as an adult.

 

Clip: http://tubes.ominix.com/art/a/people/

boy-sad-or-in-deep-thought.png

 

Wed, 13 Aug 2003

 

Maui Tribe


Hi Ed,

I am willing to start a tribe in Maui. The planned frequency of meetings is between once a day and once a week. Thanks for your help.

See the Tribe Directory page for instructions.

Wed, 13 Aug 2003


What is FEAR?

The experience of fear varies from person to person. The positive intention of fear is risk control.

 

 

Fred finds ways

to get the fearless to feel fear.

 

Clip: http://www.twinenterprises.com/

nana/fearless.htm

Wed, 13 Aug 2003

 

Mirror Mirror

Hello Sir!

Ed wrote: Mirror Mirror ... The trick is to become so transparent you can look into a mirror without seeing yourself in it.

I find this statement very intriguing for self evaluation. Can you please elaborate on the trick with example?

When you can trade the markets without getting lost in your own reflections, you may have less trouble following your system.

 

 

Tanya Davis' watercolor rendition of objects reflecting each other

 

is absent a reflection of herself.

 

Clip: http://users.erols.com/januszkb/

barbar11.html

Wed, 13 Aug 2003

 

Sticking to the System

Dear Ed,

I thank you for your website and all your replies. After reading all about the TTP I have tried to experience anything I was feeling all the time, this has had a positive effect in my trading and in my general outlook to life.

 

My trading has improved but I still have difficulty in sticking rigidly to my system 100% of the time.

 

While I was writing in my trading diary I had a thought, that is that I cannot or am unable to follow my system all of the time for whatever reason, the reason which I have previously searched for is irrelevant the fact I cant do it is what's important. I have used various techniques (NLP, meditation, visualisation) which have helped me immensely and yet at some stage something (FRED?) happens which causes a negative effect in my trading results.

 

This led me to an idea, what if I carried on exactly what I'm doing (NLP, meditation, visualisation) following my system / methodology and allowed myself a trade only on a profitable trading day that risked a small percentage of the days profits that could be based on anything, I would then compare the results in my trading diary. Your thoughts on this are much appreciated.

Making up rules in response to feelings leads to trading drama.

 

You might try experiencing your "negative" feelings until you get an aha ... including reframing the feelings as positive indicators.

 

 

 

When Positive and Negative Connect

 

The light goes on.

 

Clip: http://stage.itp.nyu.edu/~tigoe/

pcomp/basic-elec.shtml

 

Note: NYU seems to teach that current flows from + to -.

 

Tue, 12 Aug 2003

 

Money Management


Ed,

I was just on your website following a link from the turtletrader.com website.

I understand you are also an MIT alum and from what I know one of the select few CTAs with an outstanding track record.

 

Perhaps at this point it may be too
much of a distraction, but do you manage money for outside investors?

An important early step in successful money management is making sure the manager and the client share very similar views of methodology, volatility and drawdowns.

 

The outside-ness of the client is generally incidental.

 

 

If you place an egg

on the exact apex of a barn roof

then which side does it roll down?

 

http://www.thecomputerbarn.com/

Tue, 12 Aug 2003

 

Low Correlated Stock Portfolio?

Greetings again Ed.

Thank you for your last response upon which you mentioned portfolio selection as a means to deal with equity volatility. While so far the low correlated markets in my research that I have chosen (metals, currencies, grains, etc.) are working quite well together, they are markets other than what I am immediately able to participate in.

Thus, I was wondering if a high degree of diversification (and non correlation) can still be satisfied from a portfolio restricted exclusively to stocks. My concern is that a majority of stocks seem to move in concert with each other as well as with the major indices. This being the case, it appears easy to end up virtually with what could be seen as one big position rather than 10 different behaving little ones. If in your experience you also find this to be the case, is there a solution I might attempt to apply?

Thanks in advance.

Yes, you might wind up with all your stocks trending your way, or the other way, at the same time.

 

You might examine your feelings about losing..

 

 

People pay plenty

just to lose

 

weight

 

Clip: http://www.slp-slimming.co.uk/

images/weight-loss.jpg

Mon, 11 Aug 2003

 

Fractals

Any thoughts about the application of fractal geometry in trend following systems?

It seems interesting, but it may be a matter of driving the Mars Rover down to the 7-11.

See the Fractal Page, above.

 

 

Fractal

 

Mon, 11 Aug 2003

 

Goal Setting

 

Hi Ed

I am fascinated by your responses to the questions and it seems to me that you have the ability to chunk up and operate at a level where the big picture is clear. Others lower down get muddled in the detail with no clear big picture structure to guide them.

Is the process of goal setting consistent with living in the now? After all goals (in my representation of the ongoing world) are things that are in the future (destinations) and don't exist in the here and now.

I know that you set goals from reading  various interviews with you.

How do you view goal setting? What does goal setting mean to you? How do you reconcile goal setting with living in the now?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Your goals, along with everything else, exist only in the now.

 

 

 

Hmmm ... where are my goals ...

 

... they were just here a minute ago (past) ... maybe they got up and went (past)

off to tomorrow (future).

 

Clip: http://www.luc.edu/libraries/

lewis/workshop/webcite.html

Mon, 11 Aug 2003

 

First Time ... Click

Mr. Seykota -

I just experienced my first AHA!! I felt tingles resonate throughout my body. I felt light. I smiled.

I am completely and totally content with the joy of living in the now. While typing contract month expirations into my charting software something just clicked. I'm not sure why and guess what? I don't really care why!

Thank you for your mind and allowing us access to it.

Yes.

 

 

Smiling, Trading and Clicking

 

Clip: http://www.transport-pf.or.jp/

english/etc/

Mon, 11 Aug 2003


Trader


Hi Ed,

I enjoy your website and run a hedge fund here in xxx. I'm merging my fund with two brothers who have run an off-shore managed futures fund.

 

We are in an asset raising stage and I'm wondering if you know of any managed futures professionals in the xxx area.

Yes, I know some professionals in that area.

 

You might check your feelings about telling people exactly what you want.

Mon, 11 Aug 2003

 

Inter-Tribe Report

Handling Trading Talk

Hello all,


Talking trading is a common hurdle. What helped us was that before the first meeting, I organized a dinner, where we all gathered and over pasta and Merlot talked trading for three hours !

However when it comes to a formal meeting, we are all business.

Setting an agenda seems to help. By having an agenda everyone is clear as to what needs to be done.

After the check-in, we do a breathing / visualization exercise. This not only seems to help wash away the tension from the day, but also quiets CM and set the right frame of mind for TTP.

Please don't worry about the first few meetings; Tribe meetings like trend following is a long term process, just stick with it, many good things are in store for you.

As long as needing fundamental analysis, is a "hurdle," you might be inclined to ignore Fred's feelings about it.

 

You can take your feelings about needing a fundamental "fix" into the process.

 

 

 

FNN

 

A reason for every move.

 

Clip: http://www.eyematic.com/

images/fnn.jpg

Mon, 11 Aug 2003

 

Visual Entries

Dear Mr. Seykota,


Do you use visual entries and what do you think about it?


Yours sincerely,

You might ask a few friends if they understand what you are talking about..

Mon, 11 Aug 2003

 

Memories Relating to Money


While growing up, money was not something about which our family talked. People died and there was always groaning about the inheritance taxes, we always lived in a pretty nice place, although as it turns out, my dad always made more money per year than the houses cost ... I learned early that the people with the most money lived more frugally than those who had less and lived on credit.

 

Actually, during high school I was the only kid I knew whose mom NEVER had any cash. All the other moms could always find some, but mine had to go to the liquor store and write a check.

 

I thought we were quite poor ... though we also positively did not shop at JC Penney, Sears or Monkey Ward, but rather drove to far away places to shop at the "better" stores.

 

We paid cash for things like cars and college ... I was not allowed to get a job during high school like all my friends did, and one year when my mom decided to work for a while and my dad got a raise, it was awful because of the number of tax brackets they jumped.

 

So money became sort of a taboo subject, and I never learned very much about it-except I always had some saved because I could not think of a whole lot I actually wanted.

 

While I was in college my dad took to sending my brother and me stocks that he had bought for us, but it was not until one time when we went to buy a new car and had to go through all the savings books to figure out which ones we should siphon the money from that I thought there might be a little extra laying around.

My intro to investing came after my mom died and my dad spent a lot of time drawing graphs of what his investments were doing, but of course, since I was a girl, he would not tell me about it.

 

There always seemed to be a rather dark cloud surrounding money matters, and I loved to drive dad nuts by driving home from college with $3.00 ... and of course his credit cards for gas. He used to say that he always knew I was OK even if I did not call, since he got the credit card bills; he did not call me, however!

 

However, my car was 2 years old, and most of my boyfriends drove brand new Porsches and Corvettes, so I still felt not particularly well off compared to them. Funny, when I was married and my husband had to have a damn Corvette, he was able to have it because of me and what I could contribute ... and I knew he liked the car better than he liked me because one time I had to take it to a prenatal appointment and it was a dark and snowy night by the time I got home ... he was more worried about the car and where had I parked (far away from everything else) than he was about me.

I somehow seemed to grow up with a sense of worth that was tied up in what I had to contribute by working and by being involved in community activities. While married, I knew I had to work because my husband drank, and I decided that my kids would have a normal life in spite of him, and by golly, they did.

 

He could never relate well to successful people, so my children were a mystery to him when they achieved good things, and my ability to have two jobs, two Camp Fire groups, and be on 9 boards of directors at one time while also singing in a local group just baffled him.

 

I am sure he was thrilled when I left him. His second and third wives did not work, and the current one wants to stay at home ... makes me giggle. Interestingly, for all of that, the best present he ever gave me was a pine cone. He was out running and saw a really pretty one, knew I liked them, and picked it up and brought it back to me.

 

That was much better than the time he got a tree for me for mother's day and then when the credit card bill came yelled at me for spending the money and was very embarrassed when he figured out what had happened.

It seems that money is a great tool. I have not learned how to use it, tend to give it away more than I should, and certainly have had men in my life who have taken it from me-really adds to one's sense of self worth-knowing how stupid one can be.

 

I know that it can buy love. The pets I have purchased have been quite loyal and very loving. I no longer see it as evil, but I also know that I don't really need it to be happy, but now I want to know how it works. Is this a sign of maturing?

So, a lot of this is probably not of much use to the FAQ but use whatever you can make a cute comeback to...some of it might make interesting reading. Or be helpful to those with insomnia !!!

TTP might help you reduce the level of drama in many areas, including your financial life.

 

 

Fred Creates Drama

 

when you don't listen to your feelings

 

Clip: http://www.affordableawards.com/

holo/drama.jpg

 

Sun, 10 Aug 2003

 

Inter-Tribe Report


We had our 1st meeting on Thursday night. There was myself and 2 others, only 1 of them has been trading for some time. The other guy is smart ... he is reading all he can and learning before he makes any trades, LOL.

I wanted to report in. We did seem to establish some good rapport, however, when I tried to move to sending and receiving "after about an hour of trading talk" we just seemed to have more trading talk.

I would ask if any of you have found specific steps or approaches that helps to move the meeting towards the purpose for having it. Hopefully this was just "1st meeting rambling"

Thanks for your input,

You might try encouraging the talkers to ramp it up, talk about trading to the max, and also notice the feelings that come up.

 

 

 

Sometimes, Encouraging Jabbering

 

ends it.

 

Clip: http://www.deathstudios.com/

images/Jabber.jpg

Sun, 10 Aug 2003

Technical Fundamentalism

Ed said:
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.


Well, my current trading strategy is full of wishful thinking.

I wonder if wishful thinking feels the same as thoughtful wishing.

 

 

 

Watch What You Wish For

 

You might get it.

 

Clip: http://pbskids.org/lions/

words/images/wish.gif

Sun, 10 Aug 2003

 

To Run or Not to Run

 

Hi Ed !

After meeting with my exploratory committee, I've decided, unlike most Californians, NOT to run for governor in the recall election. Don't try to change my mind. I'm firm on this.

Larry Flynt, also running, cannot run.

 

Larry Flynt

 

is paraplegic

 

Clip: http://www.the-nose.com/artists/

trenholm/trenholmillus3.gif

Sun, 10 Aug 2003


Thanks Again

Hi Ed,

I hope all is well with you and your family. Many good wishes for your seminar your putting on in October.

I'm in the process of moving from xxx to yyy as I have accepted a job offer from the company I told you about. Thanks again for the reference. During the interview I employed the methods you suggested after critiquing my performance - I believe your suggestions proved rather effective.

How does someone thank someone properly for the guidance you have given me over the years? I consider myself a resourceful person who can usually find a way of completing my goals regardless of the obstacles, however in this case I do not see any way I would be where I am right now without your extraordinary kindness and generosity throughout the years.

When I contacted you almost 12 years ago, I was "one hurting unit", a damaged and angry individual blaming the world for my problems with no career and not much hope of having one. Now, I've just completed a deal to be a stand alone Portfolio Manager within a $3.8+ billion Global Macro Hedge Fund. No less important is that I take complete responsibility over my life and I am happy.

Ed, it is hard to describe the overwhelming gratitude I have towards you. After all, you gave me a life. Now you would probably say "Oh, so you needed someone to give you a life, you may want to examine your feelings towards that" and you would be right. 12 years ago I needed someone like you to give me a life, to say it was ok and not abnormal to have great ambitions in life.

 

I felt so beaten down and frustrated that to have someone at your level care about me was so essential to my process that without it I would not have made it. So thanks again my friend and have a great birthday (Aug 7, 1946) and wishing you many more to come and continued success.

You are welcome. Thank you for the acknowledgment. Mastery includes supporting others ... see Home Page.

Sun, 10 Aug 2003

 

I wish to attend the October workshop

Hi Ed,

I am very happy to receive your acceptance mail: I really need this Workshop! I was wondering if accommodations are provided specifically from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. I might arrive earlier (Thursday night or Friday morning) and/or leave later (Monday Morning.) If I need to add a day or two of accommodations, how do I do that? Also, since I just need to fly in to RNO, transportation is readily available to and from the hotel where we are staying at - is that a safe assumption?

Thanks

You might like to experience your feeling of "needing" the Workshop. 

 

The price includes transportation to and from RNO airport. 

 

Watch this site for an announcement about the exact location of the Reno. workshop - you can extend your stay by calling the hotel.

Sun, 10 Aug 2003

 

TTP Workshop

Thanks Chief!

Please let me know if I can be any help for you by any means.

Sincerely

You can help by showing up and participating in the Workshop, and in the rest of your life.

 

 

It's Show Time

 

Clip: http://ulaanbaatar.net/opera

/opera/about.html

Sun, 10 Aug 2003

 

Sick in the Stomach

 

Hello Ed!

I use MA's to see trends and cannot help but feel sick to my stomach as alleged experts on CNBC, CNNfn, Bloomberg, etc, give out incorrect advice and information to private investors. Recently I observed callers being told that the "current rally" is still not "for sure" yet, and since a lot of stocks have high PE's, people should not fully commit to stocks right now. (I fell out of my chair)

Ed, go to any chart and it is clear that we have been in a rally since March! To quote yourself, you could take a chart of today's market, put it on the wall, and from the opposite side of the room, see the trend. Some of the advice out there is almost criminal.

Also, I have become more comfortable with short selling. I have realized that short/long are not opinions of anything but simply directions. Also, I am at complete comfort with myself trading and managing my own investments. Never again will I trust someone else (mutual funds, advisors, etc) to do it for me.

Ed, thanks for the good site.

You might like to explore the feeling in your stomach ... feel it directly ... so Fred does not have to make it into a drama to get your attention.

 

 

Fred has ways

 

to get your attention.

 

Clip: http://faculty.washington.edu/

chudler/tnf.html