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

Govopoly in the News

Contributors Say Ed Says
Feb 19, 2015

Tribe Meeting Report - Implementing Heart Rocks


We welcome a new member #8 who used to be our tribe leader. 6 members present with 2 interstate members not present.

Heart Rock

After introductions for the new member, and drumming and exercises we discuss the recent feedback from FAQ on our process. Briefly we do not sufficiently emphasize the forgiveness of the old rocks, and we often omit the new heart rock and/or add in other new rocks of our own devising.

I share with the Tribe my analysis of my own hot seats, in which 50% of simple hot seats - no rocks process - were successful, 75% of rock processes without a heart rock were successful, and 100% (6/6) of rocks processes with heart rock were successful. This to my mind points to the value and importance of the heart rock.

We decide after getting everyone's input to emphasize the forgiveness of the old rock, and treat a person's unwillingness to do that - which does happen - as a possible issue for exploration. We decide always to offer the heart rock as the new rock. For now we retain the option to add other rocks that complement the heart rock as some members find this useful. The hot seat may also even decide not to take on the heart rock. Again this is likely to identify an issue for exploration. These last two we see as probably transitional steps. We will monitor how this goes.

Thank you for your feedback on this Ed.

Member 2

M2 feels dread in various apparently unrelated contexts. Unwilling, resists, doesn't want to do things. This happens with trading and other things. Hard to explain. he seems quite hot. I like this because often - I feel - he plays his cards close to his chest. We start the hot seat process but after a few attempts he says he is not getting it and so we stop. I feel very surprised by this turn of events as earlier he seems very hot. In hot seat checkout, we confirm we need to pull the plug when the person is not willing. See at the end for a process change that comes out of this.

We suggest the member note occurrences of these feelings of dread and report back.

Member 8

He returns to Tribe after two years because of his alarm over a spate of accidents. One results in loss of consciousness and a stay in hospital. He organizes his life thoroughly and feels it lacks excitement which he adds by riding motorcycles and street bicycles. He feels his last serious accident was unfair because he did not ride in a risky fashion at the time. He feels concern that his wife suffers as a result of his accidents, but he does not ask her if this is so. He comes from a reserved English background where emoting is not really top of the charts.

M7 feels unready to hot seat the issue as he is unfamiliar with the process. He needs some time to work up the issue. We suggest as homework to ask his wife how she feels about his accidents. He says, yes, I will ask he how they affect her. We suggest it would be good to have the word "feel" in that question. Also to note when he thinks about the accidents and about doing exciting and dangerous things, in real time and also in memories that come to him, particularly from his childhood. M7 agrees to report back how this all goes. By doing this, we hope he will raise his awareness of the issue for next time.

Member 3 (me)

Given the more powerful new process now available, I decide to revisit a previous hot seat that was only partially successful. I have disturbing and distracting flashbacks of an incident of brutal corporal punishment inflicted at school on another boy aged 11. I feel at the time, watching this illegal and excessive punishment, that this could happen to me for reasons out of my control, that there was no limit to what might happen - there seem to be no rules at all, and that I was alone in this matter. There was no-one to talk to about how I felt and no-one who could or would help. The macho culture forbade anyone expressing anything but bravado. I felt like the ground was swept from under my feet and I was in a different world from the one I thought I was in.

In the previous rocks process my strategies were to recognize that realistically this would probably not happen to me and there was a lot I could do to reduce the risk. At one level this worked, but the memories kept flashing back. I feel, going into the hot seat, very skeptical I am going to be able to fix this one.

I become very emotional very quickly and the process manager freezes me at close to peak. I try to intensify, hold and concentrate the feeling and wait patiently for the scene to emerge when I first felt like this. I end up in a familiar scene with my father telling us, to the tune of my mother crying in the other room, that our grandmother has suddenly died.

We will be looked after today by our other grandmother. We do not go to the funeral. When I express sadness my mother offers various medicinal solutions - pretend nothing bad happened (she is in heaven isn't it wonderful though my mother didn't herself believe this), don't be sad, I am not sad, pretend to be happy, forget past happy times with her.

At one level it was obviously not true but it was not permitted even to think that. We reenact this scene with my mother donating these strategies. I then decide to adopt the heart rock, specifically, share how sad I feel, say how I understand her sadness too, give my mother a hug, hold onto the happy memories and the things I had with her, mainly of a spiritual nature. Later I also think about looking out for how my brothers feel (one other brother was much affected by these events). I respectfully and gratefully forgive and decline the old rock and accept the new one.

During the phase of reprocessing similar events from the past I see the connection to the initiating incident. In both cases the world as I thought I knew it was swept away. I had no-one to share my feelings with. I felt alone and helpless. In terms of the initiating incident I think that sharing how I felt with my friends would have been a good start, in spite of the macho expectation. Together perhaps we could process it. I would also tell my parents about it and how I felt. Writing this the next day, the incident seems to have lost its hold on me now.

The events following my grandmother's death have come up a few times, and manifested themselves in a number of ways. It seems sometimes it takes a few iterations to peel away all the layers of the onion. This hot seat as well as apparently sorting out the presenting issue, also helps me with the things I felt I had to give away when my grandmother died. At that time I lost all connections with anything spiritual. I feel perhaps I have a way back.

On checkout, people felt the process worked. One member comments he still doesn't "get" the rocks process. We fail to understand what he means.

My homework is to report the hot seat to tribe and also to send my goals (3 levels: "the dream", "how much of what by when" and "what I will do each day" plus also commitments made to other people) to M6.

Member 7

M7 has stopped trading medicinally and is trading systematically and profitably after her rocks process last meeting. Also she is now eating chocolate when she feels anxious about her relationship which is coming to a crisis point in a few weeks when her partner returns from abroad. The amount of chocolate is not large compared to past chocolate eating but is not insignificant at ~1/3 of a pound a day. M7 does not feel too concerned about this as she feels it has a finite duration and will end once the situation with the relationship is resolved. M7 concludes it is fairly normal to feel anxiety in such circumstances and so does not wish to run a hot seat on this.

She says that it is the suspense she can't stand, and the unfairness. Why can't people be honest and keep their word, as her role models in childhood did? She can't accept that people are like this. How can you live in a world when you believe people are not honest and faithful? She has done all the right things and the relationship is possibly foundering and her dreams that she has worked towards are perhaps being dashed due to a random accident (discussed at previous tribe but not at this one) that affects their relationship.

Looking at her I suddenly say "You know what's going to happen, actually, don't you - there is really no uncertainty?" She says she does know, but she still has some uncertainty, or hope of a good outcome.

I feel very sad looking at her and feel a lot of empathy with how she feels. She looks very vulnerable and I feel the impulse to try to rescue her. "I know how mean men can be", think - full white knight mode is about to be unleashed. But I resist the temptation. I have seen so many of these situations from the perspective of the man, but it is somehow bewildering to experience how the woman is feeling it.

I make some comments along the lines that often people go from idealism to despair before they reintegrate their view of the world.

M7 takes on homework to note feelings about unfairness and how people, including her partner, should be different from how they are. Also to continue to look for "creative" outlets, in contrast to the rest of her hyper-controlled, super-organized, ultra-methodical life. Perhaps ballroom dancing. M7 refers to this issue as the "creative" outlet, but I keep referring to it as a desire for excitement which is what it feels like to me for some reason. M7 did take up a creative activity, writing magazine articles, but she feels this does not fit the need.

Member 1

Having recently read "The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results" by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan he is busy changing his focus to the most important things and will report by next Tribe on his new goals. He is now very sold on the idea of being accountable for your targets and reporting to the tribe on this. Homework is to share his new goals and plans with the Tribe next week. He has also decided to make his goals more ambitious in line with the message of the book.

No hot seat issue.

Member 6

Frustrated by not enough time. Not enough hours in the day. Not now feeling very hot. Some discussion ensues. Does he have too many goals? Are they well thought out and prioritized? Is he wasting time or is his productivity too low? This sounds more like a snapshot process. There does not seem to be a hot seat issue here so M6 is going to share his goals with the tribe before the next meeting, and also to record how productive he is each day. What fraction of his waking hours is spent on his most important goals versus other random things?

Tribe Checkout

Member #2 comments that our current process of having people explain their hot seat topics then having a break allows people to cool down and the moment passes. We agree to change things so that as soon as we find someone hot we get into it.

Member #3 comments that some people set the bar very high for a hot-seat-worthy issue. He makes a decision a while back to go for it with anything hot seat -able, and it works well for him. Things that seem minor can turn out to be a big deal, and sometimes a reluctance to do a hot seat on something can actually hint that it's a big issue.

A couple of times during the tribe I reflect on the way some members have made great, positive changes, and other have made less progress. The tribe now has 8 members and I feel the weight of the responsibility that comes with this. I feel a slight impulse to run away and hide. I don't share this feeling until now.


Thank you for sharing your process and for documenting your meeting.

You might consider taking your feelings about <having to work hard> and <having to succeed> to Tribe.

Working Hard to Succeed

doesn't always work
or succeed.

Feb 19, 2015

Lower Left to Upper Right

Dear Ed,

I start trading oil using a short-term system. I experience how it is to day trade. Horrible A highly addictive activity, separating me from reality for hours each day. And by far not as lucrative as long-term systems. My system shields a buy signal for the M-Dax in December 2014. Since then, it is in + 70%. I love the boredom associated with such a system, which forces me to occupy myself with real life instead of staring at a pc every five minutes.

I am getting healthier and more active. A lot of good things are happening to me, with some setbacks, because it is life and not Hollywood, but the trend is clearly from bottom left to high right.

I hope that you are doing very well.

Best regards,

Thank you for sharing your process.
Feb 18, 2015

Alluring Lures


Just read you article (on Bernoulli and lift). I have been designing and building offshore fishing lures for large game fish (marlin, sailfish, tuna) for several years now. Can't say it's a business, more of a serious hobby. It's hard to compete with cheap Chinese knock-offs and the major companies. Not my deal.

So, as you might expect, I have a question. I have been looking for a lure design that would mimic the profile of an airplane wing, except inverted. I.E., I want the lure to "dive" as it is dragged thru the water, then bottom out some 3ft or so beneath the surface, then surface, capture some air, then dive again, in a repeatable cycle. All the while creating a large "bubble trail", or "smoke" as they call it.

We will typically pull these lures at 7.5 - 8 knots, so there will be a moderately significant amount of water pressure involved.

You can do an internet search for "marlin lures" and find thousands of examples, from small to very large, that would give you an idea of what they look like. They would range from around 7-8 inches in length up to 18 " or more in length, fully skirted with silicon rubber skirts. There are many designs but can be categorized into 4-5 main categories. Many of these do take advantage of the physics of lift, cavitation, drag, etc., but mostly this is by accident. They just know they work. I will be looking for a head shape around 3 inches in length and 2.5 inches or so in diameter at the widest point, but this can be a variable. The overall shape is round.

But, I am looking for something a little bit different. Hence, the inverted aircraft wing, or something like it. There would have to be a flat face of some size in front and there will be a brass tube running thru the center where the fishing line passes. The line and hook(s) are not actually attached to the head, the lure will slide up the line after a strike on the lure.

Imagine an inverted aircraft wing, with a slightly flattened face in front and the tube running the center. Actually, in this case the center line would be slightly offset to the upside, which is a good thing. This will mean the center of gravity is lower and will give the lure stability thru the water.

Attached are some photos of some of the lures that I am currently building for myself and a couple of friends. This will give you some idea of what I'm talking about.

If you are interested and have any ideas they would much appreciated.

Best regards,

Alluring Lures


Thank you for raising this issue.

I don't know of any lure manufacturers who purposefully aim for more smoke.

If you want to speed up your design cycle, you might consider building a water tunnel to test your lures - so you can make frequent adjustments until you get some that really smoke.

You can get likely seven or eight knots through a 5" Plexiglas pipe with normal house water pressure.

In general, if you flange the stern of your lure so it looks like a golf tee, you might expect trailing cavitation.

You might also consider including some longitudinal vents to reduce drag and to help separate the cavitation from the lure.

Pulling the lure faster might also increase the cavitation effect.

Feb 18, 2015

Right Track


Thanks for all you have done to help inspire us. I am and want to succeed at day trading SPY week of expiration options full time. Here are my rules:

Rules for day trading SPY week of expiration options:

1) sleep in and start your 1st trade after 7:30 AM - better to trade after 8:00 AM - no exceptions!

2) pick your entry point based on eTrade charts 5 day 15 min and 30 min. All technical indicators must align, the resistance level must be strong, and the trend must have started before entry (practice Patience)

2) enter trade at limit Bid or Ask, then put in a 20% trailing stop to protect against a sudden whipsaw - never lose more than 20% per trade - no exceptions! (Risk Management)

3) watch the ticker for 15 minutes (don't take your eyes off it) - after your option is up 30%, adjust your trailing stop to 5% - you have locked in ~19% net gain (with trading <500). By increasing your trades to 1000 or 10,000 per trade, your net gain would be 22-23% respectively (Risk management)

4) take a break, pour another cup of coffee, turn off your computer, and let it do its thing (Relax, exercise, practice breathing, staying calm and confident). You made a successful trade

5) set your stopwatch for 30 minutes - despite what happens, you have to be out in 30 minutes (unless option is up over 50%) - then just let the stop loss take it out (Time management and discipline)

Follow these rules and you'll be a millionaire in 12 months trading SPY week of expiration options

Am I on the right track?


Thank you for sharing your process.

You might consider tracking the theoretical performance of your system for a while by dry trading it before you risk actual funds.

Every Track

leads somewhere.

Feb 16, 2015


Hi Chief,

I am looking at my monthly drawdown of last year. I notice I have 6.28% drawdown last October. and then earn back with 7.19% in November. My trend following strategy allow one winning position pull back largely and I move in my initial stop very slowly. I feel right about this since it gives a market more room to run its hot seat to avoid whipsaw buy. So far this strategy works fine for me.

But I feel concern since the industry seems to judge funds by limiting its monthly drawdowns, or as you say "penalize volatility". Such drawdown may reduce chance of getting client. In my case, in a month like last Oct, if several of my open winning positions pull back at the same time, it has to create necessary larger drawdowns to nurture possible coming back big winners. I once think of strategies like selling covered call/put might be an way to keep winner running while mitigate momentary equity volatility. I haven't test it yet. for it's more complicates to test it than the strategies I have right now.

I feel confusion that whether trying to target a smooth or small monthly drawdown is a drama? Or it's something possibly can achieve while reconcile with "Let the winner run" principle? I wonder what your opinion about this is?


Thank you for sharing your process.

You might consider making sure the ride you offer fits your riders.

You might also consider taking your feelings about <ups and downs> to Tribe.

Make Sure the Ride

fits the rider.

Make Sure the Ride

fits the rider.

Feb 15, 2015

Right Livelihood, Communication and Abuse


The last several days I think a lot about what I really want to express and communicate to others.

The words I want to say come to mind when I'm alone in thought, but when an opportunity presents itself I shut down. Wanting to move toward Right livelihood I don't have clarity or confidence in my purpose.

I view getting up and going to work everyday for a Fortune 100 company unfulfilling but it provides food and shelter. While I dread a life working for a corporation that I don't own for the next 20-30 years I don't have a clear alternative.

Communication and life purpose present good entry points for me right now. I also want to share a layer of my personal onion that peels back recently. A couple days ago I feel frustrated. I get in a mode of feeling sorry for myself and pity but I immediately kill that pity feeling. This process of frustration then self pity and my unwillingness to feel sorry for myself play over and over again.

But this last episode I go a little deeper and end up reliving a piece of the "sex game" incident from my childhood. I find resentment, disappointment, and anger at myself. Unable to fight back my physical body goes limp but in my head I scream at myself "why won't you do something, fight back, why aren't you fighting back". I can only stay in this state briefly but it opens my eyes to another dimension of my traumatic experience and helps to further my process.

Thank you for sharing your process.

You might consider taking your feelings about <fighting back> to Tribe.
Feb 15, 2015

Changing How to Think about Trading

Hi Ed,

I would like to thank you for helping me change my way of thinking in trading. I staring trading a small currency account about 6 or 7 months ago , at that time I did not have any fixed method of trading or any system to trade on.

All I knew at that time was that if i lose more than 3% on any of my trades i would liquidate the position. For months than i would jump from indicator to indicator losing money. If it wasn't for me cutting my loses ,I would have loss all the money in the account .

It wasn't until a few months ago when I read a few books such as Market Wizards or trend following that i realized that it wasn't the system that was at fault it was my thinking. You helped me shift my focus to the finding out more about myself and finding a methodology that fits me. I learned from you that everybody gets what they want and that I was not focusing on trading itself but focusing on finding a perfect system.

Basically i started trading a trend following strategy by going long on a 20 day high breakout and going short on a 20 day low breakout. My stop would be the previous bar high/low. I was actually up by 12% last month without using pyramiding any of my winning position .But I still face problems picking the trade to enter when I get a breakout signal in all correlated positions at the same time.

By the way I just turn 18 last month and i just started collage. I'm eager to learn more not only in trading but also in other parts of my life so that i can live my life to the fullest. I hope you have the time to reply my e-mail .

Thank you for sharing your process.

Feb 13, 2015

PR Tribe Report - Cleaning Up


I continue behaving differently, instinctively and deeply, in the matter of cleaning up clutter.

After one of my fellow Tribe members suggests reframing my desire to remove clutter as a desire to see more clean table space, I start to get more clean table space.

I notice this behavior now showing up as a desire to make more space in my filing cabinets and more space in my e-mail filing system.

Thank you for sharing your process.
Feb 13, 2015

PR Tribe Report

Dear Chief,

I report feeling disoriented after my hot seat and rocks process.

I resonate with the word unencumbered. I feel lite and unburdened.

I too feel a strong connection to each one of our Tribe members. I find making a personal connection with others is easier and quicker with TTP.

I thank everyone for supporting my process and for their commitment to tribe.

Thank you for sharing your process.
Feb 12, 2015

PR Tribe Report

Hi Ed,

It felt right that we drummed to start the trading lab.

It's getting hard to tell the difference between Tribe and lab - it's getting hard to tell the difference between Tribe and a lot of things...

I still had some feelings left over from the night before, and it seemed like others in the tribe felt the same way. The drumming helped.

Hardball during lab continues to be a revelation. It helps me to focus on the practice - the practical application of new ways.

I notice that I continue to struggle with likeability. Tribe members welcome the critique of their work. I wonder why it is so hard for me to deliver my thoughts clearly and confidently. I'll report on likeability manipulations separately in a field update.

I read with a shaky voice. This is really difficult. Our Tribe is a safe place and everyone one seems to truly want each other to succeed, so again I wonder why it is so hard for me to present my material in a confident way. I receive some great feedback and offers of support that help me feel better about the direction of my paper – I feel encouraged and more optimistic about my content.

But the content isn't the important part for me today. Chief says that he is pleased to finally have a target. Something solid that he can comment on. I agree - it is good to finally let myself be a target. I've spent a lot of time avoiding conflict by expressing a indeterminable point of view that no one could ever disagree with. I note my progress – just two weeks earlier I was making up some pretty feeble feel sorry for me content.

BTW: Thanks to the tribe member who called me out on that at the time – you gave me a lot to think about as I worked on a new direction for this project.

My goal is to be able to support my fellow tribe members with the same type of straightforward communication.

Thank you.

Thank you for sharing your process and insights and for documenting the Trading Lab that occurs the day after the Tribe meeting.
Feb 12, 2015

Health and Cleaning Up

Dear Ed,

I relate to the tribe members report and to thank them for their recent reports as below:

1. Tribe Report - Health and Participation dated Feb 10, 20152.
2. PR Tribe Report - Cleaning Up dated Jan 22, 2014

With health and participation, I notice that on reaching home from work with my wife, I end up feeling symptoms of being sick, such as headache, body ache. Reading the FAQ on avaoidance, I realise that I come up excuses to stay away from helping my wife in cooking and household chores. My wife says that she's got a sick husband who is always sick.

With cleaning up, my study room, there are boxes and papers all over the place, every attempt to clean it results in partial cleaning up and I come up with excuses such as not having a shredder to shred important bills from mail, not having something and disrupt my cleaning activity. I also recall that as a young kid I saw my dad being franatic about cleaning. He used to clean the house twice a day even when the house was clean already and he would scold me or punish me when things were not in order. I notice that I may have developed such a response through my behaviour to avoid feeling the feelings of being scolded or punished.


Thank you for sharing your process.
Feb 11, 2015

Food, Loathing and Regret

Hi Ed...

I notice I eat certain foods that are delicious but not so healthy so that, after I eat them, I can have the feeling of loathing and regret.

Thank you for sharing your process.

You might consider taking your feelings about <pleasure> to Tribe.
To Top of Page