Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Labor of Love

I've heard often in my life that if you do what you love, the money will follow. Well, I'm not sure about that for I've done many things I've loved with little or no monetary reward, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that experience. So what exactly does that saying really mean? No time like the present to analyze it, being that it's labor day.

We all find things to do in our lives that for one reason or another attracts us, draws us in, and without much effort takes up our time in pursuit of perfection. Without stating the obvious for me it's been especially 2 or 3, no 4, and now one more. Each one I've immersed myself into, with hunger, passion, total devotion and each one I've thoroughly loved to do even if not for a lifetime, certainly for the life of how long I could do it; yet money and riches certainly did not come with each and some if not all I've spent more on than what I've received, but none have I regretted and none would I not do again.

So then why continue doing it? Isn't it money that drives us all into further pursuits? Isn't it money that proves us our worth? Isn't it money that propels us to fame, dares us to take chances and tempts us to sell our souls, and isn't the pursuit of money that derives our greatest passion? Knowing full well that I'm not the first or the last to ask these questions, and knowing well that the answer is an obvious "No!", let's go on.

Everything I've devoted time to, pursued to perfection and have been passionate about has given me something in return: a fulfilment of some sort, not all monetary but certainly can be defined as enriching. Whether it's teaching, skiing, dancing, writing, or trading the rewards cannot be only counted in dollars and cents. They each filled a void, contributed to my growth and they all allowed me to participate, interact and get to know people from all walks of life.

I can only conclude that all what we do takes labor; a labor of love or not, it's all labor for if we do not do anything, there is no life. I will even argue that we all do what we do with love, because, we choose what we do and therefore if not out of love then what? If your answer to that is: the pursuit of money, well, that in itself is a love. So perhaps the answer is not "do what you love and ...etc.", but "love what you do and ... etc."! Done with love, nothing becomes a chore, everything becomes a labor of love.

As to any money magically following, well, my life is not over yet, and I'm not one to shut off any possibilities. So I'll keep on doing and loving what I do because I can have control over that and the rest is up to the Universe.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hot August Nights

Warm breezes, moonlight, music wafting in the evening air ... missing only the ocean lapping on the shore.. being carried off to what life is for. Totally relaxed and totally ready for whatever is next. Open to receiving.

Meditation helps in realizing how immediate every moment is in our existence and how time can be slowed down to where we can notice the most minute details and also to act in the moment of opportunity.

We get so caught up in life trying to get everything done, that we need nights like these to remind us that we achieve our best, retain the most and enjoy it more when we are relaxed with opened senses to what is about us.

In a receiving and ready state, we are able to wait for the trade, and are not tempted to force the trade but to let the trade come to us. Time and timing can be best recognized when relaxed, not when tense.

Today's market was such that it would make a master in patience tense. Jerky, choppy, whippy, punchy all applied at any one time, so much so that I was getting punchy too with eyes rolling in sockets multi directionally. (is there such a word??) Yet sticking with the plan worked and proves to work time and time again. The plan has 4 rules:

  1. When frustrated by the markets, put on music. Yes, dancing music. (I prefer Latin, hotttt salsa, jazz, rhumba!).

  2. Get up, step away from desk and dance. (this really works the kinks out of body and brain and also reinforces reason not to have a webcam)

  3. When an uncontrollable grin creeps permanently on face, one can be assured that a state of bliss has been achieved and therefore it's time to get back to trading again, alert and ready; glad for the rest, markets have moved, perspective shifted, awareness sharpened.

  4. Now, for the most important rule of all! Do NOT turn off the music; Trade to it!!
The surprise and the lesson is noticing how well the music keeps your body, mind and the markets in rhythm allowing one to continue "dancing" with the markets! Actually not a surprise to me anymore, as I've done this time and again and literally have moved favorable outcomes by the music I've played. Music is numbers so it makes sense that they would fall into rhythm with each other.

One final note (no pun, ha ha) acid, punk, etc. the kind that fries your brains is the hardest for markets to get accustomed to, but if it rocks your boat, so be it, remember rhythm, moving as one with the market is the key.


P.S. Ulrich, Play on!

Fighting a Battle (Part III) Lessons of History Lost on Most

Time and again Russia proves to the world that the bear never dies it just hibernates. Time and again, the rest of the world sleeps while they maul yet again another victim, even while daring the world to interfere. The tactics are not new. The world pays no attention while the bear prepares for it's feeding very hungry indeed; preparation has been going on for years and escalated in recent months, yet no one notices, except a few who are not paid attention: the ones that see the movement from the ground, the ones that see the build up and are able to add sums, the ones with experience the ones that tell you never to trust the bear in the first place, usually they are the ones that know history.

I started the above story few days after Russia invaded Georgia. I stopped because I didn't find a link to trading, but knew the passion of what I spoke had merit yet perhaps not for this blog. I've actually had thoughts of starting another blog just for such, decided I will explore it but still have had not the time. Yet the time for this is now. Especially because of what the fed did the past weekend. The bailout as they call it.. the payback as I call it.. yet another burden stuck on taxpayers, without the taxpayers approval. The SEC seems to believe in deep pockets; yes, yours and mine. The Congress spends it easily marching on their way toward the glories of Globalization, they seem not to notice that we are vacating our souls.

Where are the protests, the marches, the outcry about what Russia has done and continues to do to Georgians. Most of what I heard from the news media showed that they do not bother to research history but just read convenient on the cuff stories that totally ignore facts. Where are the endless analysis that would question what how and why it happened? More time is spent on analyzing 1 hour in Brittany Spears' life than on the real threat to our very freedom. Congress rather hate President Bush and tell us to hate ourselves, than to analyze what is really happening overseas. Perhaps because it may threaten their glorified picture of a world union?? Oh but then maybe you don't see the connection?!!?

Georgia is a strong believer in our form of government and therefore a strong ally. It is also the only country which stands in the way of Russia's total dominance in the supply of oil from the middle east.

I know one thing learned from the past: it will repeat and repeat until you take notice and resolve its cause or it will finally it explode in your face. So start noticing and start resolving before Russia will monopolize and create the next "cold" war we'll be much less prepared to deal with.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Taking 5

Wine, Music, Dancing! You may think it a lack of self control and it may be, but I do tend to overdo at times, taxing myself where I need to clock-out, gather my scattered energies about me and go within, meditate, revamp, analyze and come out anew, refreshed and re-energized with fresh ideas. Clean my inner house so to speak. Interesting how many new possibilities we see when we clean house, get rid of the old or the unused and look elsewhere to fill the space.

That's exactly what I have to do with my baskets of stocks I follow. This is a good time when direction is unclear, Washington being away, Olympic Games about to start, and markets are choppy in volume or direction. Attention is focused on China and the games, children going back to school or away to college, and last minute vacations are planned. The markets tend to reflect what we live and currently it's uncertainty. We are about to decide the future of our nation in the next quarter and it's important that we prepare what we can in advance. Clean your house, lessen your clutter and you'll be open to opportunities yet unknown, the be ready to rock and roll the last quarter of the year no matter which direction it takes. I've provided the music for inspiration. Enjoy! (click on title for "Take Five" click on picture for more of Dave Brubeck)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Fighting a Battle (Part II) Visions of Change and Hope

My quote: " When the many have so much hatred for one man (justified or not) it creates the mob from which revolutions become reality." In this way the Socialist Marxists (Bolsheviks) toppled a Monarchy and in this way they may topple the greatest Republic ever to grace mankind. I am using the word "revolution" in the true sense.. which does not mean there has to be a gunshot but it means turning around/over. Unfortunately, death occurs regardless how bloodless the coup; and the numbers of them are more hidden when the battle is not fought openly. Afterward once the elation wanes, you may find that the "change" you wished for is not exactly what you envisioned and hoped for. Those two words, "change" and "hope", are indefinable for the many because they are very individual and therefore it's impossible to carry out in your vision but it's very possible to carry it out in the vision of the one you give power to. Hence, "be careful what you wish for" comes to mind because all wishes give power of the vision to the granter of them and not the beggar of them.

The above was written by me a while ago but what brought it to mind again is that , Alexandr Solzhenitsyn died, so in honor I took out my copy (rather my father's copy) of his book: The Gulag Archipelago. A book with many highlighted passages and with lots of marginal notes left by my father who barely survived some of that horror. Perhaps Solzhenitsyn's death is a timely signal with a purpose for all of us to remember that we are not immune to making mistakes that cause much pain for future generations. It happens when we dismiss facts and run after hopes. It happens when we hand over power to others only too willing to run our lives.

Today's trading day was one very much like that. Waiting with almost complete stillness for a body of men to decide what the future of our money's value will be. That magical hour came and then traders waited for someone else to analyze it's results. I've been watching in amusement for years. It's almost comical if it weren't so tragic, because it shows that so many are very willing to have others decide how they should interpret facts and opinions. Resulting in a group mentality which totally ignores the fact that this country is doing well, despite the publicized so called worry in Washington. It ignores that this country has been creating more wealth since 2003, resulting in the most tax revenue collected in the last 4 consecutive years than ever before in history. It ignores the fact that the rest of the world is still growing and still in need of our equipment, education and inventions. It also ignores the fact that most businesses are not effected by it because most businesses serve the local community and not the world. We may be in a slowdown now, but we haven't imploded and I doubt we will if we continue the fine American tradition of ingenuity. We will not solve the energy shortage, nor the mortgage defaults in Washington. We will not solve the job losses or gains there either. Where it will be solved will be among the people living here, willing to risk and invest in their own ideas as they see a solution for a need. Despite all that you may hear or read that's how it's been done. The electric car has been available for many years for anyone who wanted one and not at a prohibitive cost. The light bulb was not invented in Washington, nor was the automobile, the airplane nor any miracle drug, or almost anything else that you can think of. It was it's people that created the most successful country in the world. It happened with hard work, much failure and finally success, mostly without fanfare amongst it's citizens and not in Washington.

Traders and investors will continue to flock to stocks (read companies) that are successful in bringing innovation to the forefront and available to all. But nothing can make people embrace what they do not want or are ready for. Unless, of course, you elect a government that will tell you what you can or can't do, can or can't have, what to think or not think, all because you gave it too much power to decide for you what is good for you or not. Drill or not to drill (for oil) is no longer up to the need of the people, nor up to the companies that helped build this country to greatness. They are now bad, shunned, entities labeled a greedy bunch. So in order to teach them a lesson, this government thinks it's best to send trillions of dollars overseas than to keep that money at home available to it's citizens. That's how a government with too much power solves problems, all the while pointing fingers and blaming others for it's lack of action. Ignoring the people's desire is dangerous, but blaming one man for it is even more so.