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Epidemic Lab

Contributors Say Ed Says
March 25, 2022

Checking In

Thank you.

I am middle-aged and have been trying to change my social status with education.

I wasn't afforded much financial advice as a younger person and my bank account shows this.

The process started with an awakening from a lay-off in 2016 that has brought about a radical change in how I live my life.

As a full-time college student now I am attempting more significant change by way of computer science in hopes of ageism not standing in my way to a new life of software development.

The road I've chosen is full of thorns, but I'm hard-headed and like a challenge and tend to have the grit to get through tough situations.

Having faith the journey will be worth it is tough some days, this being one of them, I continue on my weary path using hope as my beacon of light that someday my age won't be a factor because I have built a system that makes stability real in my life.

Thank you for your continued contributions to my life.

Thank you for checking in.
March 19, 2022

Tribe Report

Dear Ed,

My hot seat report of 5th of March 2022, in Berlin:

I'm the second person on the hot seat. 4 men are sitting in a circle next to me. I'm starting by saying that I feel hot fire in my breast.

I feel anger. And for the entire session before I am angry at our Chief. I think he's not doing his job right and I would do it  better. I try to feel the feeling of  anger in myself but I don't know where it comes from. My Chief encourages me to feel the anger.

My speech is still floating above my emotions and I am trying to rationalise everything. I say I know there's something I want to talk about in this moment.  I don't know what it is. I was so convinced that I would come up with emotions but I can't right now.

The last time I did it I cried a lot. The last time I was afraid of my mother who terrorizes me as I was young. Now the feelings are coming. I feel my mother who is larger then everything and talks on me and I'm helpless and I see my best friend who I am  visiting right now in Berlin who kills himself with drugs.

I cannot stand my inability to help them. I feel the want to tell my mother that she doesn't have to hate me for being a boy and a man.

It's not my fault that my grandfather was a bad father to my mother and I'm not responsible for everything other men do in the world. I feel guilty for not being able to help my mother overcoming her issues with the dad. I realize that it is a stupid expectation if me to tell that to my mum when I'm only a child.

And I see my best friend dying from drugs and being soaked up by black Darkness. I have to let him go because otherwise the darkness catches me too and kills me as well.

And my chief motivates me to "feel the helplessness." He encourages me to feel the pain of not being in control. I feel it. And it hurts so much. But it is satisfying for me.

I display three forms. I scratch my eyes. A stamp my feet repeatedly. And I rub my left feet over the floor.

Then somehow I approach the feeling of dissolvment. I feel the fear one feels when one disappears. when one dissolves himself to nothing. I don't want to feel that.

When he encourages me to feel the judge I feel the the judge and I resist to feel dissolvment. And it's satisfying.

I resist hard and it's so satisfying to resist and I really don't want to feel it. My energy leaves me. My body feels wasted.

Now he offers me to try something new.  I say yes. He sits in front of me with a chair. I look into his face. Can speak after him. I realize that it is ok. I realize I'm not in control and that it is ok to not be in control. and to fell  the helplessness, to feel the feeling of not being able to help paradoxically gives me control.

It gives me control and complete power over myself and over my own choices. To control my own actions is the only control I have. And I let other people do what they want and I do what I want. I don't want to feel the feeling of  to dissolve still. And then I stop and I say I will try to the feeling of dissolvment  the next time. They agree after trying to go into the emotions with me a couple of time. But I resist again and again. Session over.

After the session I feel clean, full of energy, I feel pure, I know exactly what I want and exactly what I don't want. My voice drops. It sounds nice and deep and has base. My singing is much more beautiful and more masculine. Reaching higher notes is more difficult and almost impossible.

I learn that I have to keep a distance of people that are controlled by drama and that provocating them is not a good idea when I don't want to be drawn into their drama, which is very dangerous.

Thank you for your time Ed. And thank you for sharing all your knowledge to the world. I  wholeheartedly appreciate your effort. 
Thank you for sharing your process and for documenting your meeting.

Congratulations to  your Tribe and to you Chief for exemplifying excellent process management.
March 18, 2022

Cycles and Timing

How are you Ed?

I hope all is well and you've been staying safe given the pandemic we've experienced.

I'm wondering in the years of your trading how much importance you've given to market cycles/timing as inputs to initiate a trade(s).

I think I'm asking that in a way that you understand....that I'm clear.

I've taken the liberty to tag you in a LI post....a gentleman there has uncanny predictive reports that produce good results....i.e., called the covid, geopolitical (Russia Ukraine), etc and impact on markets. I know "we don't predict a nonexistent future"... but timing a market can be advantageous.

I hope tagging you is ok....if not, please let me know and I will refrain from doing so going forward.

Wish you the best and stay safe. I think of you a lot, learned so much from you as trader and person.

Thank you Ed.
Thank you for sharing your process and for raising a trading question.

Trend Following systems tend to handle issues about cycles, and timing - as well as position sizing and risk management.

You might consider asking your uncanny friend to show you his actual brokerage statements to find out more about how he implements his "predictions" through actual trading.

Per the "Fundamentals" of Covid: After evaluating the notion of wearing cloth masks to prevent transmission of viruses, I consider implementing chain-link fencing around my ranch to protect it from mosquitos.

Alas, that only incites the geckos to stage anti-fence demonstrations.

Gecko Power

"You have no right
to cut off our food supply."

Image Credit

March 14, 2022

Long Options

Hi Ed,

Another question I had as well, please.  What is your view on using long options to trade and trend follow? 

They seem like the perfect trading tool in many ways - risk always clearly defined (cannot lose more than premium paid),  leverage (ie. delta) increases as your position gets more in the money and decreases as your position goes against you.

Long options completely cuts off any possible left tail issues and adds to your position when it goes your way and reduces when it goes against you. 

Of course there is a time issue with options but this can be somewhat mitigated by using longer term options.  There is also a volatility issue of course which has to be taken into account - perhaps only trade when volatility is low?

Many thanks
Thank you for raising this issue.

You might consider creating a synthetic long option by entering a long position plus a protective stop.  

You can run some back tests to evaluate the relative costs and dynamics of these approaches.

In general, sticking with a pretty-good plan to participate may contribute more to your profits than trying to optimize your trading instruments.
March 13, 2022

Dosing the Duckweed

Dear Ed,

I own 4 fish tanks. One of them houses neocaridina shrimp and sits next to my computer desk. It is covered with duckweed on the surface. I forgot to dose it with liquid fertilizer for two weeks and the duckweed almost died back entirely. I control the level of duckweed by controlling the dosing frequency at a quantity recommended for the 5 gallon tank size.


Thank you for sharing your process.
March 10, 2022

Changing World Order

Greetings, Ed —

I hope this email finds you well.

I read investor Ray Dalio’s new book “Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order” and find it an excellent complement to “Govopoly”.

Ray identifies recurring themes in the rise & fall of world-dominant empires over the last 500 years—from the Dutch to the British then to the US (now in decline) & China (ascendant).

An empire’s progression from hard money to fiat then rampant money printing strikes a chord in me as I reflect on current actions of the US Treasury & Fed.

He has a good YouTube video that covers the book’s main points —

I found especially useful the video’s discussion of reserve currencies (@ 24:24, 29:25, 32:00 marks) and the money printing it enables.

At 37:12 he states less than 20% of the roughly 750 currencies that existed since 1700 remain & they are all devalued.


P.S. I like Ray’s Twitter feed—here’s a recent tweet—“There are no greater battles than those between our feelings (most importantly controlled by our amygdala, which operates subconsciously) and our rational thinking (most importantly controlled by our prefrontal cortex, which operates consciously).”

Thank you for sharing your reactions.
March 7, 2022

Tribe Report


Last Sunday on a rather cold and unfriendly day in Berlin a new Tribe sprung into existence as five individuals met in the rooms of a cosmetic studio.

As one of the participants I am writing this report to reflect on my experiences during this first Tribe meeting through which I have already learned how professionally our egos operate as gatekeepers for the emotions that we invariably create within.
I was curious and exited even before entering the hot seat, probably in an unconscious expectancy of what I was about to discover. The urge of changing something, of knowing more and of admitting to myself that mistakes have been done was a strong one within me and it built up for about 5 years. In contrast, the knowledge I possessed regarding the TTP process was rather minuscule.
As I started my discovery on the seat I drew a rather abstract picture of the problems and symptoms I intended to address, as if I was asking an oracle for cheap but great advice and guidance.

It took me a few minutes, 10 or so, to draw tighter and tighter circles around what seemed to be the most important issue regarding my mental health and personal happiness.

A Tribe member intervened at some point and took on the role of the Chief for a few minutes, revealing his kind hearted intentions and his urge to be of help.

Being new to TTP, it nevertheless took me some time to let go of many insecurities of which I have been grown fond of.

A process began in which the Chief, who smelled what my ego has been so hardly trained at hiding from him and the others by listening mindfully, was successfully able in helping me to, as Mr Reagan once said addressing Mr Gorbatschow, "Tear down this wall" (lol).
My ego surrendered and for 15 minutes I was able to let the flood of emotions flow through my body which manifested itself through a constant, overwhelming and extensive trembling and tension within my whole body.

My breathing got more intense minute by minute and not thinking much I just felt and went through the process.

After 10 or 15 minutes we checked out and, being very exhausted, I went for a short walk. It was an intense process. I often think and think too much, imagining that every problems solutions has a rational answer in the world of ideas. There was nothing alike to be found within my process. Just feelings and exhaustion.
I thank my Tribe members and especially the Chief for being the kind hearted persons their are and for being able to exist in this special environment even just for a few hours every months in which we, all return seeking market participants, help each other to exist without tying this world of emotions communication to the capitalistic world of returns and time value.

I love trading and I love money but the love for humans, the love for understanding and the love for community shall always be a greater power.

Thank you for sharing your process.
March 7, 2022

$5,400 per Month

Dear Ed,

I hope you have been doing well. It has been a couple of months since I last submitted to FAQ.

I continue to progress as a programmer refining my code every month. Recently I learn about websockets and am now able to stream real time data.

I'm now able to build a system that is always in the market, long or short, however the system takes the full position right after the signal, I want to implement scaling.

I notice TSP doesn't have a section on scaling, do you mind providing me and the FAQ community with some examples of how a system may implement position scaling or position pyramiding?

Before I sign off, Ed says everybody gets what they want from the stock market. Well I want $5400 a month from the stock/futures market through trading profits.

Thank you
Thank you for sharing your process and for raising a question about scaling.

You might consider trying various scaling algorithms in your back-testing engine to find some that fit your trading style.

So far, from your declaration, I can tell you want to say you want $5,400 a month.  Note: you already have that.

Actually getting $5,400 a month might require some actual intention in the form of implementing a structure to get it.

Note: you might consider going for $5,400 or more per month - as getting exactly $5,400 might require considerable fine tuning.

March 5, 2022

Relating to Father

Dear Ed,

You advise me:

"Go talk to your father, ask him how he feels, and wait for his answer.  Do Not judge, Do Not speak.  Just Wait."

Though we love each other fiercely, my father and I have a love-hate relationship.  He sets unrealistic expectations and asks me to do things without consulting my feelings. 

Naturally, I become a rebel with peculiar pleasure by disagreeing with my father on any account. 

The moment my father passes away, I have a terrible feeling of emptiness in me that I suddenly become an orphan and by losing my father I no longer have anybody to rebel against.

I am fortunate to find your website and have the opportunity to consult with you.

This morning I had a profound and emotional conversation with my father.  I have a better understanding of my father and myself.  My father always wants to be a good father to me but he didn't know how to.  And I realize that most of the struggles between a parent and their children can trace back to the parent's childhood and their control-centric relationship with their own parents.  The struggle becomes a vicious cycle if not corrected properly.

Thanks to you, my relationship with my children has improved.  I learn to use the Intimacy-Centric approach you have been teaching in the Tribe. 

I listen with attentiveness and refrain from judgment.  My desire of becoming a better person/a better parent has triumphed over the inner resistance.  However, to live a life transitioning from control-centric to intimacy-centric requires conscious practice on the daily basis. 

Chief, Thank you for all your help!  Take care!

Thank you for sharing your process.
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