The Trading Tribe
Ed Seykota's FAQ
Home | Send Mail to FAQ | Resources | Ground Rules | FAQ Index

Readers Say Ed Says

March 16, 2013

Teaching by Receiving

Hi Chief,

I start to notice all kinds of fleeting feelings every day.

Each time, life happenings or my own consciousness triggers a feeling, and the feeling or its judge comes in an unnoticed way. It's smart not to be too obvious and applies barely enough energy on me. Only enough to alter my decision making or my way to think and respond, and then the feeling disappears quickly leaving no trace.

I even don't know I just make an emotional decision, instead I think I am thinking and acting rationally and logically. As you say, many times, emotional issue masquerades itself as an intellectual issue.

Over decades, my judges has become very energy efficient on playing the game of producing dramas.

I see from the FAQ, in IVTT, members take daily feeling notes to capture those incidents of feelings ambush. They bring them to the hot seats to untie the k-nots. This is the higher level of applying TTP to gain wisdom of life.

I use my smart phone to take daily feeling notes.

Every Tuesday night my son brings back his test paper. I review his tests with him. He did not qualify for GATE program last year then I start this routine with him. We look at the error questions he makes on his test.

I pay no attention at all to the content of each question he misses. I just ask him to re-live the situation when he makes the wrong choice in the class test. I help him capture what feelings he actually feels right before he marks the wrong answer.

The findings are astonishing, he sometimes says "I want to go out to play", "The right answer is not what I expected", "I see others already turn in the paper, I don't want to be the last to turn in my paper, so I don't want to double check", "I think I already know the answer before finishing listening to the teacher's reading." etc.

I help him find the forms and acknowledge his feelings. His score starts to trend up and recently he is admitted into GATE program. His teacher notices his changes and he is going to have lunch with the principal.

When the family celebrate his achievement together, my wife enjoys her happiness, for she think that her prayer every night actually helps our son perform, I notice I silently receive her feeling with joy; when I talk to my son's teacher, she talks about the writing practice she promotes in the class helps my son to improve his writing skill.

I start to feel the magic of the system and responsibility model, contrast to the simple linear causal model. I have more Aha. I find that I really appreciate and am proud of my son, his own intention to excel.

Thanks a lot for sharing your wisdom,

Thank you for sharing you process and for your report about how your son's test scores respond to your receiving him.


Some of the Best Teachers

teach by receiving.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Stanley Kroll

Hello Ed,

I am happy FAQ is back on.

I hope you are well and all is going great on your big Texas ranch.

One of my trading role models is the late Stanley Kroll. Since I imagine the world of top traders to be quite small, I wonder if you ever crossed paths with him. If so, I'd like to know your impression of him and maybe even a story or two.

I especially enjoy the beginning part from the preface of his book "Kroll on Futures Trading Strategy":

"Having gotten his grim confession off his chest, he asked, rather testily, what my trading system has done in beans over the period. "It's been short since June 11" was my response. "June 11? What's so great about that," he managed to grumble, mentally calculating the time interval as being just five months. "June 11 of 1984", I replied. A ling silence ensued. We both knew that, having been continuously short of soybeans for the past 17 months, the profit in the position exceeded $10,000 per contract".

All the best,

Stanley Kroll's system, per his writings, buys on retracements.

Back-testing his system would require more precise definitions of his terms: minor; 35-50 percent; digging; clearly; etc.

If you know of any back-tests that demonstrate a profit from his or similar systems, let me know.

Stanley Kroll on Trading

I. On Initiating a Position
Trade in the direction of the major tend, against the minor trend. For example if the major trend is clearly up, trade the market from the long side, or not at all, buying when:
a. the minor trend has turned down, and
b. prices are "digging" into support, and
c. the market has made a 35-50 percent retracement of the previous up leg.
If the major trend is clearly down trade the market from the short side, or not at all, selling when:
a. the minor trend has turned up, and
b. prices have advanced into overhead resistance, and
c. the market has made a 35-50 percent retracement of the previous down leg.

II. On Closing Out a Position
a. At a profit. Liquidate one-third of the position at a logical (chart) price objective into overhead resistance (for a long position) or into underlying support (for a short position).*
b. At a loss. There are, basically, three approaches:

Enter and arbitrary "money" stop-loss; e.g., 40-50 percent of the margin deposit.
Enter a chart-point stop-loss; i.e., to close out the position when the major trend reverses against your position - not when the minor trend reverses (that's just the point where you should be initiating the position, not closing it out).
Maintain the position until you are convinced that you are wrong (the major trend has reversed against you) and then close out on the first technical correction.**

* Following this first liquidation, be alert to reinstate the position, or even 1.5 times the liquidated position, on a subsequent technical correction, as outlined in the above discussion, "On Initiating the Position."

** There are substantial dangers to this particular approach, which will be discussed later in the chapter



Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pushing the Limits

Hi Ed,

Nice to see you are resuming FAQ. I find it interesting that today I decide to look up FAQ (which I have not done so in about two years), and I stumble upon this second coming of FAQ. This Under-Fred thing is really mysterious.

The local Tribe here has pretty much disbanded. We once had a group of serious TT folks (who have attended your workshops multiple times, or have private consulting with you), but it seems that we have all reached a point where we are unwilling to move beyond.

It's like, while we are unsatisfied with our current situation, we are even more unwilling to take drastic actions, for fear of "rocking the boat." The unknown and how it might affect us and our family if we take a different course of action is just too overwhelming. The status quo, while unfulfilling, seems at least bearable.

We agree that we either do it wholeheartedly, or we don't. Everything else is just excuses, or just stories we tell ourselves why we can't. Yet, we just don't have the courage to continue.

And because we know each other well enough now, we are unwilling to push each other's buttons. Since we realize that unless we are totally committed (which we are clearly not), the meetings can just be another form of medication into fooling ourselves as if we are doing something, we stop having meetings altogether.

I wonder if you have similar experiences with the IV / Austin Tribes. I am also curious if you also have previous experience when members know each other "too well" and what do you do with it.


I also find it curious that while I feel glad about seeing your FAQ (b/c I've learned a lot from FAQ throughout the years), there's also an inexplicable anxiety and uneasiness feeling associated with it.

Thank you for sharing your process.

You can avoid stagnation by limiting the term of the Tribe to, say, 10 meetings.

If you wish to keep a Tribe together for a longer term, you might consider dedicate it to something larger than itself.

Tribes, Like Sharks

have to keep moving forward

or suffocate.

March 17, 2013

Control and Why

Hi Ed,

My impression is that you are against control and asking why questions. You seem to view control as mutually exclusive to intimacy, and that we don't even have control of say shooting a basketball. You also seem to believe why questions don't work at all (you devote a chapter in your Trading Tribe book). I wonder if it is a fair description, and if you still hold the same view.

I take the view that control over PEOPLE is not helpful to an intimate relationship, but some sense of control over THINGS is necessary for a healthy life. For example, [some] research shows that a key component of happiness is a sense of control over your life. The more you perceive yourself to be in control, the better you feel."

[Other research] talks about how reframing can help creativity, and "another valuable way to open the frame when you are solving a problem is to ask questions that start with 'why.' If I asked you to build a bridge for me, you could go off and build a bridge, or you could ask why. The response opens up the frame of (other) possible solutions."

I am interested in hearing how you feel about control and asking why questions. Thanks.

The question, "why" generally asks for reasons, invokes the causal model and invites opportunities to veer off into blame and guilt.

In understanding dynamic relationships, I prefer to develop system models that define the connections and linkages between elements.

We can test the model to confirm that the structure (intention) of the system produces its behavior (result).


I wonder if you know of a case of an actual contractor answering a call for bids to build a bridge with the question "why."

If so, all you "whys guys" might like to call a meet-up at a place I know in Hackensack NJ.

Wize Guys'
Pizza & Restaurant

for the discriminating causalist.

March 17, 2013

Fall 2013 Workshop

Dear Ed,

I wonder if you consider having the Fall 2013 Workshop in Europe.

I reaffirm my offer to support you with arranging / coordinating all logistics for a Workshop in the Netherlands, in case you choose to conduct one here.
Thank you for your offer.

I plan to host a Workshop in Austin this fall.

March 18, 2013

Sticking to the System

Hi Chief Ed,

We start the meeting with Snapshot Process in East Lake Village Tribe. Each member has two minutes to present his snapshot, from one of the four quadrants, Right Livelihood, body, fun and relationships, followed by a critical feedback circle, and then a champion circle and finally TTP hot seat.

I bring my snapshot to the meeting. I have a long term medicinal rock with me, which is, since I am born, I can never stick to a daily exercise plan for more than half a week(in fact, I am never able to stick to any plan which needs constant daily routine for more than 3 days). I have a chronicle back pain for 5 years(which I am able to stick to, |-) ). I see a PT 2 years ago. Everything goes well until she starts to give me homework to do some exercise each day as part of the treatment. I stick to it for 2 days as I usually do, and then I find myself off the system.

When I am about to see her again, I simply cancel my appointment. I keep feeling embarrassed to see my PT for I miss the homework. Quite few times during last 2 years I try to pick it up and swear to myself to do my exercise each day for at least 2 weeks, so I can go back to see my PT. It never happens. My own story reminds me of a FAQ reader says he doesn't contact you for ten years because ten years ago you suggest him to learn C++ and he never pulls it off.

Recently I am seeing another PT and get homework assignment. And this time I want to feel differently.

I present to the tribe my snapshot with 4 small pictures on the four corners, each has an exercise my PT asks me to do, like cat stretch, dead bug march, etc. The middle picture is me running. I set this as the moment when I finish my plan after 3 month, without a single day missing my homework.

During critical feedback circle, member comment that they don't see vivid feelings, they suggest adding sunlight coming into the room from the window, indicating that I am doing it either in the morning or afternoon, some member tell me they don't see my facial expression, they feel boring instead. So I add smile and joyful feeling on my face. The champion circle is what I gain most Aha. When two of the members do the exercise in front of me, I am shocked by the patience and organized way when they do the moves. I see the composition, willingness to stay in the process, patience and joy. I realize I always want to do things in a hasty way, for I don't like the feeling of doing something or incompletion.

I continue explore what it makes me feel when I do the same, boring thing each day, forever, no change, no ending, no meaning, no way out.

It brings a lot of feelings and I find that "I really don't want to do this". It brings me to the feeling of myself pinned to a dark hole in the ground, I feel my skin tightness, and some urge to jump up from the hole to my right side. I focus on that feeling, it brings up feeling of desperation. I am stuck to this dark hole for the rest of my life, like a mountain hiker falling into a cave and no help to get out till death.

I keep working on this feelings, sometimes with receiver, sometimes DIM between meetings, in the following months.

Finally I start to feel contentment of just staying there. No past, no future, no result to pursue, no goal. Just stay there, for the moment of now.

I find myself start doing exactly the same sets of exercise after the first meeting. Day after day, I am surprised by the changes in me. I update to the tribe my snapshot.

Sometimes I feel that the exercise takes too much time and I want to go to check the market. I explore my feeling of wasting my time till I find checking market is my excuse to get away from my feeling of staying with my plan. I also see the positive intention of saving my time. I start to find ways to do exercise more effectively. For example, I use to do dead bug marching 10 times, then rest for 1 minutes, then another set. Now I don't rest after one set of marching, instead I do one set of sit up, then I come back to do another set of dead bug marching. So I finish exercise quicker without compromising quality.

Sometimes I start to doubt the efficacy of the exercise, and want to stop, I explore the feeling of second guessing, till I can continue my exercise, and I start to talk to PT and adding changes to my formula to address my concerns.

Now I finish my 3 month exercise plan (I am not running for good), my back is better and I am adding new elements to my plan. Last week when I go to the PT, I proudly tell them that I am doing the exercise EVERY day, without a single day missing my homework.

I also have an Aha that at my age, doing this assignment is not only a way to cure my backache, which I can stop doing after my back heals. It is also my new way of living. It's a permanent change.

It is the first time in my 43 years of life, I am able to start a plan and pull it off without any supervision. It's a great feeling of success.

I thank all my tribe members for receiving me in the process, I really appreciate my fellow tribe members in East Lake Village Tribe.

I thank you for inventing and sharing this great art to help ordinary people like me to achieve personal transformation!

Thank you for sharing your process.

Dead Bug

Another way to exercise

March 18, 2013

Control, Intimacy and Willingness

Hi Ed,

Thank you for your response on whys. I am still curious in how you feel about control. I wonder if you see some positive intention of it like perhaps a healthy life requires some sense of control as some research suggests, or maybe you see control as mutually exclusive to

Also, as I recall years ago in the Workshop, you mentioned that TTP doesn't work on unwillingness. I wonder if that view has changed, or do you believe it is still the case?

We've experimented with a fixed number of sessions Tribe. It ended without much success. Members are generally willing to work on non-core issues (e.g. maintain an exercise schedule), but it is obvious that the issues that are REALLY bugging them are something else (e.g. his fund performance, his relationship with his in-laws,
etc.). When others suggest to them to tackle the core issues, they show unwillingness and give only excuses (e.g. there's little that one can do, or taking action may make the situation worse).

I wonder what's the most effective approach when someone shows unwillingness to work on issues that clearly bother him. My understanding on TTP would be to go with the flow and support their unwillingness, in the hope that working on the lesser issues would eventually lead him to the core issues since it is a giant system and
all things are ultimately related.

However, given that the subject is also an experienced tribe member, and he can tell that everything else is just B.S. unless he confronts the real issue, we come to the conclusion that is just another form of medication. It gives the subject the illusion that he is doing something when it just masquerades his unwillingness. The same applies to several experienced members of the group and our Tribe essentially disbanded even before the tenth meeting

I'd be grateful to hear your feedback. Thanks.

Thank you for sharing your process.

I notice you trying to engage me in logical debate on the relative merits of the control-centric and intimacy-centric models.

Your preference for debate, rather than for sharing feelings, may indicate you prefer operating from the control-centric model.

I might expect a control-centric TTP process manager to get the results you report getting: namely, resistance among your Tribe members to "open up" to deeper work - and eventually, attrition of your Tribe.

You might consider taking your feelings about <control> and <intimacy> to Tribe.

Perhaps you might like to engage the Polarity Process to focus your issue - and then proceed to the Rocks Process. Or, perhaps you might like to create your own special process.

Your demonstration of leadership in exemplifying willingness to tackle this "core issue" may well inspire your whole Tribe to the next level.

People Create all Manner
of Special Process

to work out their feelings,

about control, intimacy
and willingness.

March 18, 2013

Head, Neck and Shoulder Pain Gone



Good start.

Next Time Out

you might consider using TTP,

instead of TNT.

March 19, 2013

More on Willingness

Hi Ed,

As always, thank you for your response. I appreciate it.

I feel disappointed though that you see my inquiry as a logical debate. You are the wisest person I know, and I dare not debate against you, sir. Rather, I just present some contrary research, and am just hoping to gain some clarity by hearing your view (if you are willing to offer), and see what I can learn from you.

Since joining a Tribe in 2003 and attending my first Workshop in 2004, I feel that I have learned a lot from you throughout the years. I always feel indebted to you, sir. I have the utmost respect for you. I keep it dear to heart when you said we could find meaning only through service to others. That in itself contains profound wisdom that strikes me deeply. As I sent out e-mail invitation to start another Tribe yesterday, I expressed my intention was to serve.

Two years ago I was super excited to attend your Breathwork session in Austin. I have never been to Texas, and I had some big issues I have been avoiding and wanted the support from a group to push me over the hump. I bought the plane ticket as soon as you set the date.

Yet a few weeks before the event, through a FAQ exchange you suggested to me to stop asking questions for a day, and I took it as an experiment rather than as a mission. I reported back that I ended up asking questions, and you cited it as evidence of disobedience and no longer welcomed me to the Breathwork. I was devastated. I took your challenge a second time, gave a concerted effort to share feelings instead of asking questions, in the hope that I could regain admission to the Breathwork. I felt genuine in my attempt, and I truly felt I have done everything you've asked, but your decision remained the same. I felt distraught. I felt sh--ty as if I were some kind of disease to be avoided. I felt low and unworthy. I felt excluded and abandoned.

I took your criticism that I wasn't sharing enough feelings to the Tribe. A member suggested me to role-play a scenario in which I just met my long lost (older) brother. I took the hot seat. I put myself into the situation, but I didn't know what to say. I looked at my "brother" (which another Tribe member role-played) in the eyes, and he felt so close yet so distant, so related yet so unfamiliar. I felt like wanting to be close to him, to know him more, to hear about his story, but I didn't know how to express. Naturally, I did what I usually did: politely exchanging some pleasantries, and asked him how he was doing and etc.

He gave a snare remark that I wasn't sharing feelings, and I flipped. My blood went boiling, my teeth gnashing. Tears of rage rolling and I yelled at him, "You know, I just want to be close to you! I want to get to know you! Yet all you care is judging me whether I am sharing enough feelings!?!? All I feel is judging! Judging! And more judging! All I feel is that I just meet you and you are already judging me whether I am meeting your standard! Plzzzzzzz!! F*** you!"

I was feeling LOTS of anger and rage. When my brother offered me a hug, I refused. I was filled with hatred, anger, hurt. I felt judged. There was an outpouring of feelings, yet they didn't draw me any closer to my brother. I hated him for his judgment and just wanted to flip my finger.

Looking back, I wasn't even sure if in my mind I was really yelling at my brother, or you. The pent-up emotions of anger and hurt came blasting out. That's when I went on my own exile from TTP. I feel that I am genuine in my desire to grow, to be a better person, to be more intimate with others, to share feelings. Maybe I am not meeting your standard, but there is no doubt in my mind that I am willing to work and want to work. But I just feel being judged. Even as I am writing now, I feel fear of you ridiculing me as another prima-donna's attempt to lay blame and engage others in drama.

Sir, as I've said I have the utmost respect for you. I absolutely understand my Fred entrains my own feelings and there is no one to blame whatsoever. Maybe I am indeed not sharing enough feelings, and you are just delivering this truth to me. Yet having been on the receiving end of it, I fully experience how hurtful it can feel with other people's judgment, especially from those whom you care and respect. I keep reminding myself never to do that to my children.

Lately I notice that I am feeling irritated easily, and I also notice that they usually come when I feel embarrassed. I remember many years ago (2005 to be exact as I just looked up), you suggested an exercise for me to write down "I don't like feeling uncomfortable. When I feel uncomfortable I tend to blame others," and that felt eerily familiar if I substituted "uncomfortable" with "embarrassment", and "blame others" with "get irritated." Not recalling what your exact words were, I looked up FAQ for the first time in ages, and I found out that you have just resumed updating FAQ. Under-Fred never ceases to amaze me.

I submitted my inquiries on willingness, control, and whys, for these are issues that I am unclear about, and I thank you for your responses. I have no interest in debating with you because I know I can never win, but I did hope to get some a-ha through your responses. I now realize it is probably a fruitless approach: the a-ha usually doesn't come though a conscious discussion, despite how tempting it is. Maybe the misconception is that we (or me in particular) like to believe that it is possible that one can just "get it" through a conscious Q&A.

Per your suggestion about taking my feelings to Tribe, the presumption is that there is a local Tribe to begin with, not to mention a competent manager who is not control-centric. There is none to both. Interestingly however, yesterday before even seeing your response, I dug out the list of people who have previously inquired, and sent them an e-mail about forming a new Tribe. INTENTION=RESULT, we shall see if we can get this Tribe running. I feel somewhat nervous.

Thank you for following up on your previous contribution and for opening up the discussion.

I can relate to some of your feelings, particularly when you supplement your feelings with forms, as in these sections:

My blood went boiling, my teeth gnashing. Tears of rage rolling and I yelled at him

anger and hurt came blasting out

Some of your "feelings," absent the associating forms, seem less vivid:

I feel disappointed

I always feel indebted

I felt genuine

You might consider verifying that all your "feelings" actually have associating and consistent forms.


Per your statement, I have no interest in debating with you because I know I can never win:

Your statement contains the word, "because." This indicates operating from the causal / control-centric model.

Also, you condition your interest in debating on your chances of winning, not on the futility of debating.

You might consider saying, "I have no interest in debating the topic; I prefer sharing how I feel and in learning how others feel about the topic," and notice what feelings this brings up.


TTP operates from the intimacy-centric model. We do not force people to do things. We suggest things and also perform frequent willingness testing.

For this, the Tribe leader may not use force to move someone through a process, or to maintain the focus, intention and purity of the group.

Instead, during a process, as soon as the leader confirms unwillingness in a member, he must quickly close the process and move on to the next member.

Similarly, if he detects a member with chronic unwillingness to engage the intimacy-centric model, he must eliminate that member from the group.

I engage this topic more fully in my forthcoming book as it pertains to forming and maintaining survival and prosperity networks during economic chaos.

You Might Like to Know

how to process feelings,

when this guy shows up at your door,


March 19, 2013

Wants to Help With Launching the Book

Hi Ed,

Great to see the FAQ is up and running again. Let me know if you need any help with the FAQ or your book.

We can record a podcast or video interview right off the computer when the time comes to launch the book.

Let me know how I can help you.

Thank you.

March 19, 2013

Day-Trading Challenge

Dear Mr. Ed. Seykota,

In first place, congratulation for your Great contribution on trading knowledge!

My friend ... sent me a link for your challenge: and I have interest to try.

You say:

"The problem with Day-Trading is in the execution.

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

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

If is OK for you, we can put my day trading system to run on a Forex broker along 1 year, for test with real money.



Let's do it.

I agree to pay you $10,000 for a successful demo.

You have to demonstrate your computer generates all the signals and that you follow all the signals, that you trade every day, in-and-out of at between one and ten instruments and that you show a profit, at the end of the year. This has to be a system that my typical reader can follow - and does not require access to high-speed cables or other inaccessible equipment.

If you wish to proceed, we can set specific terms, including how to provide for someone to audit the results.

March 20, 2013

Therapist Suggests Therapy

Dear Ed,

First, thanks to you for offering this unique opportunity to interact with others and share feelings and ideas. Second, thanks to the person working on Willingness Issues (whom I will call WI for brevity) for so fully exposing his feelings to all of us despite his fear of ridicule.

I would like to offer some observations in response to his process, and will count on the Ed-itor to make sure I stay within the guidelines for sharing appropriately (as well as to shorten it!).

WI's experience highlights what has been a nagging concern for me about the TT process, or really any therapeutic process in which someone can become stuck, for years if not decades, in the same painful, repetitive pattern despite their avowed wish for something different.

WI poignantly demonstrates this when he says, "When my brother [in TT role-play] offered me a hug, I refused." To me, this says, " I desperately want closeness, and I will not accept it."

Why would someone enact this disappointment over and over again? I would suggest that the fear of closeness is stronger than the desire for closeness, and that until WI, or any of us who keep running into the same result, fully move toward that fear rather than avoiding it, we will be getting exactly the result that we intend.

Why does someone fear closeness, when it is such a universal human need and feels so wonderful when we experience it? In my opinion, it's not closeness we fear but the feelings that have become associated with it in our early experiences with our caregivers. If closeness resulted in the child being used or abused for the parent's own needs, a fear can develop in order to protect the child from the dangers that closeness seems to bring.

Later in life, the longing remains conscious but the fears are repressed or projected. As WI said, he believed that his "brother" felt "so close yet so distant". WI must maintain a safe distance that allows him to desire closeness but not be threatened by actually receiving it. People do this balancing act in various ways: in psychology we use the terms "hostile dependency", "attack from the victim position" and "help-rejecting complainer".

With all due respect and with the full awareness that I do not know WI at all, except through his remarkable sharing, I would suggest that he consider the safety of individual psychotherapy to explore and become more comfortable with his fears of closeness (also called fear of engulfment) before risking using and abusing a Tribe in the same way that he himself may have been used and abused.

Thank you for analysis and suggestions.

I wonder what specific process(es) you employ in dealing with persons who display "hostile dependency", "attack from the victim position" and "help-rejecting complainer."

I wonder how long your process takes, what it costs the patient to get to a good place and what success rate you have.

I notice a couple Why's in your contribution and few of your own feelings. For example, I wonder how you feel about your patients who have this condition and don't change due to their lack of willingness.


In Tribe, as long as the person shows willingness, he and the other Tribe members can keep moving forward.

In Therapy and in Tribe

you get results

in proportion to your willingness.

March 20, 2013

Even More on Pushing the Limits


Thank you for the detailed responses. I feel a lot better as I feel having a better understanding. Thank you.

I feel that I finally gain a perspective from your side, and I appreciate that. I agree that if a leader confirms a member with chronic unwillingness, the best approach is to ask him to leave. I can understand that.

From my personal experience though, I am just not sure about the "confirm" and "chronic unwillingness" part.

I humbly ask if you might consider that someone might not be "unwilling" but rather "misunderstanding."

For example, he might assume a FAQ forum welcomes or even encourages questions (if that's what the Q stands for), and that when someone suggests to him that he might consider doing X, it means as an invitation rather than an order with an "if you do not do X, you are no longer welcomed" implication. I feel strongly that the subject would be a lot more willing if he knows it as an instruction rather than an invitation to experiment.

Yet, I am not here to debate, as my goal is more about learning and living the Intimacy Model. Can you help me further with the Intimacy Model please? For example, you say some other feelings (e.g. I felt genuine) seems less vivid absent any forms. So allow me to share again, and I appreciate your feedback to see if you can feel it more vividly:

I feel genuine in my attempt to regain admission to the Breathwork by going a full day without question and emphasize on sharing feelings. I feel inspired when I do that, as if I am on a mission. I notice I have my serious game face on, just like when I am in a basketball game and in this "give-a-sh**" mode. In fact, if you have watched the movie Coach Carter, there is a scene where a suspended player asks Coach Carter for re-admission to the team, and Coach gives him the seemingly impossible task to run thousands of suicide drills by the end of the week. The player just starts out running, with the determined game face, even though everyone knows that it is almost impossible for him to finish. In the end, he does his best but is still short, yet his effort touches his teammates, who run the rest of the suicide for him. That's how I feel. I feel just like that player. I am determined to give my best effort so that whatever the result turns out I know deep in my heart I've given it all and have no regrets. As I am writing this, I can feel it in my nose and I even shed several drops of tears. It resonates with me deeply as I revisit the scene.

I am interested to hear how you feel if you are willing to share, thanks.

Thank you for following up.

To keep a TradingTribe on task, the Tribe leader must stay alert and continue to test for willingness, and be willing, himself, to move on to the next person.

When I do all this, I necessarily have to make judgment calls, knowing full-well that I have my own biases and issues. Sometimes I have to make tough calls.

I consider myself most effective as a leader when the feelings in the room pass through me. When I hook into something and start to react emotionally, I tend to bring the process to a grinding halt.

I take my turn on the hot-seat, as an example to others and also to help me stay clear enough to lead.

In my Tribe (Austin) the Tribe members get me as the leader, for better and for worse; if they don't like my style they can always leave, find another Tribe, state their own, etc.


Per Breathwork: my current offer to you: If you can go a week without asking one question and report your experience to FAQ, you may attend a Breathwork meeting.

If You Commit to the System

you have to keep pulling the trigger

whether you feel like it or not.

March 20, 2013

Feels Regret

Hi Chief Ed,

Now I am feeling regret I don't do good receiving to my parents and my wife, so they can continue living in one house. I want to be able to take care both of them. And I clearly see I am part of what's happening. I feel sorry.


Thank you for sharing your process.

You might consider taking you feelings about <having to take care of others> to Tribe.


March 20, 2013

More on Pushing Limits

Hi Ed,

Thank you for your response.

I understand your role as a Tribe leader and the necessity to make judgment calls sometimes. I respect that.

I also notice that you up the ante from no questions for one day last time to no questions for one week. I am game and look forward to become someone who is more open to share feelings. That's my goal. However, if we are going to do it, let's do it right.

Here are my thoughts:

1. One way to accomplish the "No question at all for one week" challenge is simply ignoring everyone and not say a word at all. Or just go on a one-week meditation retreat where all I do is sitting and meditating. However, that misses the point of sharing feelings and establishing rapport.

2. As I understand it, the Intimacy Model and questions are not mutually exclusive. In many cases, people ask questions to establish rapport or seek to hear and understand others (e.g. "How are you feeling?" or "Oh I see you bleeding, does it hurt?" or "How can I help you?")

3. Many times we ask questions to seek help (e.g. I am lost. Can you please show me how to get to X?)

4. The main conflict is when when people use questions to avoid intimacy. They ask questions instead of sharing feelings. I believe this is your main criticism about me.

I am not trying to justify asking questions. I am committed to become better in sharing my feelings, and I want to establish a system that fits me to achieve that. If I go on a meditation retreat and do not ask questions for a week I would not consider that a success even if I meet your requirement.

I propose the following system, and I am willing to up the ante further to sticking to it for at least three weeks:

a) My bliss function to maximize is establishing rapport with others

b) Questions outside the scope of #2 and #3 above tends to lead to #4 and is in conflict with my goal, so I want to minimize them

c) The challenge is to stick to the system for 3 consecutive weeks (21 days) with a 3-strike rule. If I accumulate three strikes in one day, the clock resets to zero on the 21-day count. See (b) for definition of strike

d) Every time I get a strike, I must also share my feelings.

I feel that this system is more consistent with my objective. It also resonates with me more, and is consistent with the Intimacy Model. I am willing to commit to it and report my progress. I wonder if you find this an acceptable alternative to your offer. If so, I wonder if you are willing to support me and hold me accountable. I can submit an update on the mid- and end of each month, until I meet the 21-day count.

I feel excited about this system and I am ready to commit to it.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

You can re-frame the question, "How are you feeling," as "I wonder how you feel," or "I'd like to know how you feel."

The former demands information (control-centric model) while the re-frames share your feelings first (intimacy-centric model).

I occasionally host a Breathwork weekend for people who demonstrate willingness to apply the basic principles, and who wish to extend their mastery.


You might consider taking your feelings about <breaking rules> and <people kicking you out> to Tribe.

People Who Refuse
to experience their feelings

typically wind up
having to act them out.

March 21, 2013

Mike and Jack Check In

Hi Ed,

Here are two huge Seykota fans.

With love,

Mike and Jack

Mike Martin and Jack Schwager

Thank you for the update and photo.

Mike Martin

Fall, 2012,
out at the Circle-TT Ranch.

Something about having to deliver
on some short lumber contracts.

March 21, 2013

Portfolio Rebalancing Research


I am glad to see the TT site up and running again.

I am happy to help extend the TSP section of the site.

I recall corresponding with you in 2009 regarding research on the effectiveness of portfolio rebalancing (see below). I have not completed the research; it is stuck in the "round tuit" pile.

I am available to re-start work on this now, or I can undertake another project if you have something more pressing?


Thank you for checking-in.

I recall your work showing problems with "rebalancing" and other forms of buying on dips.

If you can find that work, I'd like to post it on TSP.

Catching Falling Knives

doesn't always end well.

March 21, 2013

Multi-Cultural Excuse

Hi Ed,

I am now on Day One of my system about more sharing feelings and less questions. In addition, with your clarification on "reframing questions", I now add to the system to include a (consecutive) 7-day period without asking one questions, per your previous offer.

Thanks for the example about "reframing questions." It definitely helps explain the difference. For me personally, I consider "How are you feeling?" identical to "I'd like to know how you feel," and so I always consider even "I'd like to know how you feel" as just another way of asking questions. As such, I was reluctant to accept your challenge to stop asking question for a week until now. You probably deem this as "unwillingness," but it is really just a different interpretation of what constitutes questions.

Part of this might be cultural. As a native Chinese speaker, how to phrase a question (in English) is more about schematics than carry out any implication (about control or intimate). As an analogy, from what I read about NLP, "I see" and "I hear you" carry significant different implication about what modules a person operates in. But to me as a non-native English speaker, I only know them to mean "I understand" or "I get it" without really "seeing" or "hearing."

It's like the F-word. It may carry a lot of connotation to English speakers, but it does not mean much to me. It is just another word to express frustration.

To me personally, "I'd like to know how you feel" is just "How are you feeling" in disguise (with a "I'd like to know" preface). I am not saying you are wrong or that it is just playing word games, just like I am not saying the NLP way of differentiating "I see" and "I hear you" is wrong. Maybe there is some profound truth to it and I am sure no expert. However, I am reflecting back my "struggle" to grasp what you've been saying about questions and control/intimate might have a lot to do with the different language background. Contrary to you, if someone says to me "I'd like to know how you feel", I actually feel that a lot more demanding (and control-centric) than if he simply asks "Would you mind sharing with me how you are feeling please?" (feels a lot more inviting and less demanding, even though it is a question)

I am not trying to justify or make excuses. I am willing to give an honest attempt to your "No question for a week" (with the reframing method). As I've said before, I have the utmost respect for you, and I give you the benefit of doubt. I once thought your way of insisting others to use SVO-p or else you would not respond (per early FAQ) was unreasonable and tyrannical, but throughout the years I come to see the clarity that SVO-p brings and appreciate it. At this moment, "reframing" to me is just about schematics (as I truly feel no particular intimacy nor control either way), I intend to keep an open mind during my week-long challenge and see how it works out.

Per your suggestion about taking my feelings to Tribe, I am willing to do so. In fact, after I hit "send" to you, I am going to reply to some of the folks who have responded to my earlier "Start a new Tribe" email.

P.S. Since I speak to my family mostly in Chinese, I think hard but I cannot think of an equivalent way of saying "I wonder if/how/what/where/when ..." (Well, I guess that is no surprise as sharing feelings is very uncommon in a culture that stresses obedience to authority and suppresses your own feelings for the better good). If there are other Chinese FAQ readers, I'm interested if they can think of an "I wonder"-equivalent to reframe questions so that I can better communicate with my family.

Thank you for clarifying how your non-compliance depends on (1) your personal interpretation of English grammar and (2) Chinese Culture.

Accordingly, I can further simplify the English in my offer, namely: you may attend if I feel like it.

Meanwhile, you might consider running an experiment with your Chinese friends and relations to test your hypothesis that Chinese-speaking and English-speaking speaking people register feelings differently.

You might survey friends from both cultures to find out what, if any, forms they typically exhibit for the following feelings and emotions:




Some Forms

might transcend national differences.

March 21, 2013

Acknowledging Limits: Equity and Margin

Mr. Seykota,

It is wonderful to have you back.

I was reading through your recent contributions and noticed that someone made an attempt to contribute to your Trading System Project (TSP).

With regard to Acknowledging Limits: Equity and Margin, I feel the title is a little vague and was wondering if you would be a little more clear? In the section Acknowledging Limits: Equity and Margin, is the study suppose to help traders identify minimum starting equity that will allow traders to take all trades?

I have thought of other reasons behind this title, such as, using margins as a volatility value but I don't see how using contract margins can help with monitoring risk and volatility very well since it is a very crude representation of volatility.

One of the most important aspects of trend following is being able to take all trades. Not identifying a realistic starting equity with respect to contract margins would be the biggest contribution with not being able to take trades (besides ignoring your system). Please let me know if I am on the right track. If so, I will try to submit a study that will be friendly to the average reader.

Best regards.

Thank you for your offer.

If you have some research on trading systems that might be of value to FAQ readers, I'd like to post it to the Trading Systems Project (TSP).

Thursday, March 21, 2013

TT Meeting of March 18, 2013


We have TT meeting on Monday, March 18. 4 members attend the meeting. Compared to past meetings, I feel a feeling to make today's meeting into a unplanned way, just allow things to happen and follow its trends. So I allow the tribe to chat a little longer before start. We talked about the return of Chief General, about member quitting tribe and we welcome new member.

Drumming is good, I use only one stick and I am able to do some ad-libs.

Then we do a nodding circle, I nod to member to my left, and he does same to his left. We do it without saying a word. The circle goes on for couple minutes, and I want to see whether it tickles feelings among members, until I feel disappointed by not catching a member who breaks the circle, "This is not working". Obviously I underestimate my tribe members, instead I catch myself an entry point. Ok tribe, I get you next time, with a longer timer.

Then we update our snapshot. To my surprise, we have 3 members materialize snapshot. One member books the Disney Cruise ticket and the family are going vacation in summer. Another member cleans up his home office. The new member shares his experience in the days following his first introductory meeting with me a week ago. He is in the process for couple days after his first hot seat, he feels more about being small and at bottom of his life, and he reaches another Aha.

One member takes hot seat about his current situation. He just comes back to take time off, he feels relaxed and not really wants to do anything. But he has few things to do, such as sending his girl friend a package and do tax, etc. He feels not being able to focus. Tribe receive him to be more no focused. He gets into several forms. He bends over, presses his chest, taps the floor and shakes his head. Tribe encourages him to say loudly "I don't want to be focused".

He then get into feeling of not knowing what package to send. Tribe asks him to focus on the feeling "I don't know". He rubs his face, bend over and shake his head, saying "I don't know". Tribe encourage him to feel more unknown. He later reach an Aha, he thinks he can just wait to see what comes up. He checks out.

I ask another member. He says he has plenty to work, but he doesn't want to work on them today. I ask if he want to work on the feeling "I don't to do it now". He says he has higher blood pressure reading today. I pass to the next member.

Eventually I get into hot seat with the feeling from my recent Live Cattle trade. I enter short trade and run for few days. And market becomes volatile.

I get out when seeing open profit shrink 70% and only see market resumes down trend few days later. "I hate myself." Tribe help me get into several forms, including flail arms, punch thigh, bend over, wail. I feel market taking away something from me. I yell "My money!" I feel like there's something pulled from my chest, I feel churning in the chest and ticklish in my elbows. I swing my arms and focus on this feelings.

Tribe keep triggering me with "What do you feel when market starts going against you?" and get me into the forms. Later I reach zero point, and my mind suddenly gets clear and I realize that it's quite clear I spend most of my effort on clarify my trade entry rules but spend apparently much less effort back testing on the exit rules, or both mechanical and organic part of riding the position. I just need more back testing.

During checkout, tribe members agree to start exploring Rocks Process from next meeting. TTP is very helpful on generating wisdom and change world view, while Rocks Process helps real-time gut response to change reality.


Thank you for sharing your process and your insights about your trading.

they get away from you.