Friday, November 2, 2007

A Different Feel

Sitting at my favorite restaurant bar, great cocktail in hand, waiting for my friend to finish so we could enjoy a drink together and catch up on each others lives. We haven't been able to sit down and talk for months and this time finally it looked like we would.

I said it looked like; all elements were "go": the bar was relatively empty as was the restaurant. The owner, my friend, just had to finish meeting with the chef and finalize the evening, and she'd join me, she said. Then, it started to get busy as more people arrived, bar became crowded, noise level raised. Watching the bartenders, it became evident that this was not a normal Thursday eve. I ordered dinner, glass of wine, still waiting. Noticing that conversations increased and people surrounded me on left and right.

My friend arrived. She shook her head and commented, this is really busy, didn't expect it, started talking but then she got called away. Someone needed wine advice, service, questions from staff .. normal events for a busy restaurant. Yet the energy was not

the norm; not the usual I have come to expect. My clue: I didn't feel as the same as I normally do when there. First I questioned if it was me, was I there with a different energy? Was it my anticipation for what will be coming and then consequent dissapointment that it could not happen? Maybe some, but in total it did not connect. Then, as I looked around me, realization hit home! I was surrounded by not the "usual" crowd which consist of mostly couples, singles, some working colleagues usually of equal male/female mix. This evening however there were mostly women around. A couple of women groups in fact were in the immediate bar area next to me.

Now don't get me wrong, there's nothing bad or negetive to relate here. It's just interesting how subtle differences change the feel, change the room, change the energy and it is so much so as well in the markets. The feel was different today, the rythm not the same, and looking around there was a difference in the behaviour of traders. Mostly we felt out of sorts, yet could not put a reason to it. So some felt frustration, anger, kept trying to find the key to the change, some of us stopped trading and sat on the sidelines watching perhaps like me in dismay by the reaction of the majority.

Subtle changes, when there is no immediate explanation, can create panic. Many seem to look for explanations from others, rather than look around and see how they feel about the changes around themselves or within. Accepting those changes creates calm. We all have to adopt our trading strategies to our own feel. When that feel is not right, it's best to just watch and wait until the feel is back in our rythm. No need to panic, no need to blame or look for major catastrophies, look rather at the subtleties that create a different energy and then, if you can adapt, play but if you cannot adapt just let it play out. The more you can tune into subtleties the easier it becomes to recognize the energy and flow into the rythm of the change. Then, like me at the bar, you can include yourself with what is, rather than disconnect from the flow. Both are acceptable as long as you know you are doing it by choice.

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