Friday, June 20, 2008

Fighting a Battle

The saying goes pick your battles carefully and ask yourself if this battle is the hill you want to die on. Very wise because we tend to lose ourselves in the argument not realizing that it's best to live for another day because we tend to prefer survival over death and there will be more battles to fight. It is good to preserve ones strength for another battle and another hill and it's good to enjoy our freedom to chose such.

There is another saying also which states not to buck the trend and it's best to go with the flow; again, admirable if you are able to recognize trends and flows and if you can live with yourself running with the crowd.

We in the USA decided not to die on the Vietnam "hill", nae, we decided not to die on the hill which would have required us to chase Stalin back to the USSR immediately when WWII was "over". We now seem to have chosen another hill or two for the moment, one in Iraq and the second in Afghanistan.

So we chose freely to put off what is an obvious prolonging of the misery for many because I ask you, if Stalin would have been immediately defeated in his pursuits of occupying central Europe, how many lives would have been saved? Would there have been a Mao, a Castro, a Saddam, and (what I fear next) a Chavez? All emulators and admirers of Stalin and therefore would there have been a Korea, a Cold War, a Cuban missile crisis, a Vietnam, a Bosnia, a Kuwait, Gulf War and Iraq? All hills we could have died on I suppose but they are also battles mostly left unresolved for Cuba is still there with the same regime, Vietnam too, Bosnia we still monitor with troops, Kuwait is freed but are we from Kuwait, and of course now there's Afghanistan, and Iraq. I also believe that the USSR would still exist were it not for President Reagan, who had the guts to call them out to the horrified fear of Congress and many whom were sure Reagan would put us in a world war during which we would all die. (remember the nuclear threat?)

Sometimes one needs to be the only voice in the wilderness; sometimes one needs to be the first one bucking the trend.

In trading too, it happens. We have to ask if the trade we got into is worth our demise when it turns against us. We have to act on that decisively and determine how long are we willing to battle on the hill, remembering that our goal is survival for another day, so we tend to go with the flow and not buck the trend. But there are days when it just doesn't seem right. I'm not one to say that corrections are bad for in fact I welcome them; yet today was a day where I just felt that this whole sell off is panic and bordering on dangerous, mainly because I think perhaps it's enabling the the very thing we don't want happen. CRASH! (the nuclear threat) and maybe it's just what our enemies want.

The question is are we worthy of our freedom to chose and do we believe in our system well enough to win this battle for it's a battle of economies worldwide and perhaps the end of ours as we know it unless we are willing to defend it for our future. ( to be continued)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Matter of Trust (Part II)

As a moderator of a room for last few years, I have found it surprising how easily some give their trust ; equally I've found it surprising how some don't share anything at all.

Trading on the computer one meets and associates with many people from all walks of life with different, experiences, styles, and strategies which includes experts as well as beginners. We all have different reasons for associating with other traders; some for social, some for support, some for advice, some for suggestions, ideas and many for learning and guidance. When we decide to join a trading group, we give our trust over to the moderators of that group to a certain extent for in order to partake and learn about the style of that room we have to follow their agenda. It's through this observation and the constant checking its fit to ourselves that we decide to give our trust over more or less completely, thereby deciding to stay with or leave the group.

When I make a trading call, I in effect ask you to trust me and follow what I say. Yes, but how can you do it without some sort of proof? I can point to my track record, but that does not guarantee that this call will be successful, so the answer of proof is not with me but within yourself. Your own experience, style and ability is where your own trust comes from and the decision to follow my calls is the trust in that instant of recognition. It's not a blind trust that some new traders may try and unfortunately fail with more often than not. It's a developed trust that comes through experience which takes time and practice. Yes, time spent with the team you chose to be a member of.

I do not like to give a call I cannot explain, therefore I am not a "silent" moderator so I try to give guidance and welcome questions. I am constantly aware of the trust others put in my calls and it gives me distress when I don't feel at the top of my game. That is why it gives me greater satisfaction when your trades go well because I lived up to the trust placed in me, but more important, you lived up to the trust you placed in yourselves! LEH, IPI, POT, BIDU, BUCY, AAPL: Today was just one of those days WTG Team! (to be continued)

Monday, June 2, 2008

A Matter of Trust (Part I)

We are born very much dependent on our parents for our survival and therefore we learn to trust totally in those who take care of us; but as we grow we must also learn to distrust those who may cause us harm. We must slowly unlearn blind trust and replace it with judgement; in this way we learn to trust in ourselves and how to choose others to trust.

Trust is an intimate feeling it demands total faith and it demands giving as well as receiving. Who we choose to trust and when depends on experience as well as intuition, and how well we are able to use those in conjunction is important because usually we only have split seconds to decide.

I was just thrown into such a situation while sailing last Friday when strong winds, in an area aptly named hurricane gulch, decided to whip up giving us a strong challenge to stay on course. I was at the helm, the captain on the sails and it took quick maneuvering, jibing and total trust in each other. He only knew that I have sailed before not that I could handle such a situation, and I had better evidence of his abilities as he grew up sailing, so immediate trust had to play an important role. We were never really in danger, but we had to coordinate jibing well enough together in order to stay that way.

Much is the same in some calls, when one is at the helm of one, trust has to be a player. The progress of a call can seem on course when something comes to create a whip, do you keep at the helm, maneuver or let the storm take over. The answer depends on the trust you have in your call, the experience you have trading a stock and intuition to keep you from loss. Today I made a short call on MA below 308 late afternoon, experience told me it would need to close a gap down and against the days evidence, I was expecting between 304-302 and said as much. Yet it kept being whipped about by the battle of the short and longs until finally the bulls gave in and let it drop my desired points almost hitting 302. It gives one satisfaction when the trust placed in ourselves proves itself rightly guided. Yet I won't deny that it gives me greater satisfaction when I'm trusted by others, but it's not without peril. (to be continued)