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Aug 31, 2016

London Tribe Update

Hi Ed,

I have attached an updated City of London tribe document. I attended a London Tribe meeting earlier in August. It seems that the tribe is relatively inactive, having only met once this year. The leader of the London tribe lives out of London now and there seems to be little interest in regular Tribe meetings from his group when compared with previous years. He has offered me support in forming my own tribe which I gladly accept.

My goal is to have a Tribe committed to meeting once per month by the end of the year.

I would like to accelerate my learning of the Trading Tribe process by attending a workshop, should you decide to hold one. If the workshop option isn't available, would I be able to attend one of your meetings in Austin?

Thank you,
Thank you for updating the London Tribe information document.

I occasionally conduct developmental Tribe meetings, in Austin, TX and in Corolina, PR.  I generally invite persons with considerable Tribe experience.

Aug 31, 2016


Dear Ed,

After sending you the email below (August 22, 2016), I had an epiphany.  Shortly, afterwards I knew what I wanted to do.

1. Learn System Dynamic to test my models and use in life for almost everything

2. Develop a robotic modul for adapting investing (ideally in options)

3. Move to a farm close to a university town (perhaps in New Zealand)

Hey, the Trading Tribe must be working telepathically.

Just wants to share these thoughts and the emotions that come along - happiness of direction.

Thank you for sharing your process.
Aug 30, 2016

Austin Tribe Report:
Nervous About Asking for Money

Hello Ed I hope all is well,

I greatly enjoyed my time with you and the Tribe for the Tribe meeting and your birthday party.  I felt welcomed back to Tribe with open arms. Thank you.

I am currently working on the refining my base strategy and looking for possible clients.  I spoke with a close family friend.  He encourages me to seek out clients from my family friends in my area.  I feel very happy to have someone encourage me that I did not expect to do so.  He has become my advisor.  I am thrilled to have his assistance in finding clients.  We know many of the same people who are very successful and could provide funding.

I have fear of asking for the clients business.  Ideally, instead of allowing this fear to paralyze me as it has with other issues, I hope I can maintain my present state of looking forward to feeling the accompanying feelings.  I became very nervous at the thought of asking people for money.  The same feeling resurfaces that I had during Tribe.  The role playing with my “Father” revealed that I don’t trust myself.  I have difficulty keeping my agreements made with myself.  Well not all of them.  I need to keep working on my self-trust. I still feel that nervous energy, and I am still working on my self-trust. I hope that when I get a client or two this will go away.  I also hope that I will maintain my willingness to feel my feelings.

I often think of the famous Col. Sanders who is legendary of asking a 1009 people to make and sell his chicken before getting one franchisee to say yes.  I hope I have to talk to just 14 clients to get 14.  Somehow I doubt this, but I plan on feeling the feelings no matter what.

Thanks again for all that you do.

Thank you for sharing your process.
Aug 30, 2016

Virtual Tribe Meeting Report


Tribe has been rescheduled several times.  The most recent time was to accommodate my travel schedule.  We finally meet and I am a bit anxious about getting some sleep before my 5am flight.

I continue to itch, it has been several (perhaps many) virtual Tribe meetings that I itch.  I wonder if the itching is present only during meetings, or if check ins simply bring it to my attention.  I notice more energy as soon as Tribe starts.

Every time we have a “feelings” virtual Tribe meeting I wonder if any work will get done, or if we will just hang out and chat.  We always get work done.  We always come back to feelings, to acknowledging each other, to Heart Rock.

This meeting focuses in on using empathy and rapport in resolving issues by phone.  We use role play and shared experience to guide each other.

How do people manage when they don’t have the support of a Tribe?
Thank you for sharing your process.

You might consider taking your feelings about <itching> to Tribe as an entry point.
Aug 30, 2016

Virtual Tribe

Dear Ed,

At our last virtual Tribe meeting we take turns sharing feelings and our current progress. A Tribe member is experiencing some health issues, feelings of frustration with not feeling well, low energy and is unmotivated. In other words, feeling depressed.

Although the virtual Tribe setting doesn’t seem to offer enough comfort for him to go into a downright hot seat, he requests a roll play with his current issue.

He needs to make an important phone call regarding a payment he has yet to receive from an important customer. He worries based on the documentation the customer requested that even though the tribe member resides in Puerto Rico the customer may file his documentation incorrectly causing the IRS to withhold taxes the Tribe member is not required to pay.

Before the Tribe member gets into the role play, he describes what he thinks he needs to do to get what he wants. He seems to think he needs to play and manipulate the other side in order to do so.

When the Tribe member role plays the phone call as himself he seems to snarl himself with the help desk person on the other side into a lot of explaining and back and forth not getting anywhere. I observe his general attitude being that of frustration and defeat.

When another Tribe member takes over his role things seem to work out better. He seems to attempt to establish rapport with the help desk person and seems to be clearer about his goal. He does get a better result - help desk person would escalate his case on another department where they can help him.

During the checkout, the Tribe member dealing with the issue shares his doubts regarding the use of strategies where “we pretend to be friendly” to get what we want and describes it as manipulative, yet considers doing it anyway.

The other Tribe member who role played him agrees and tells him “This will only work if you genuinely care for the other person and you understand your intention.”

I enjoy the Tribe meeting. I can relate to the frustration of my Tribe fellow. Although I am not battling any illness, I go through prolonged drawdowns in my trading and my daily life of work, work and more work combined with big swings in equity weighing on me. I feel tired, defeated and powerless more often than I would like to.

I appreciate the work of the Tribe. For myself, I am reminded that how I feel and the results I am getting in my own life are of my own doing. A pill that is sometimes too hard to swallow.

Thank you for sharing your process and for documenting the meeting.
Aug 30, 2016

Virtual Tribe Report


The virtual tribe met after having a few weeks off.
It was good to see everyone.

We went round and got caught up, we talked about what was going on in our day to day lives.
I had a communication issue that was bothering me, so I asked for the Tribe to help out with a role-play of a phone conversation.

The Chief took on the role of the other party on the call, and got right to the problem. He made it clear (in character) that it was not in his best interest to resolve the issue to my liking. I was immediately stuck, I didn’t have the words to get the result that I wanted. A fellow Tribe member helped me out, and knew exactly what to say, and very easily found a solution.

It seemed simple when he coached me, but before that I couldn’t see a way.

Another member of the Tribe watched and offered that I didn’t really want to change my approach, checking for commitment.

It got late and we checked out the process.

I thanked my Tribe for the help, and expressed my gratitude.

It is a privilege to be part of such an insightful group.

Thank you,
Thank you for sharing your process.
Aug 29, 2016

Changing Intentions


I'm wondering how one can change his intentions?
Thank you for raising this issue.

Your intention resides in the way you structure the forces and relationships in your life.

You might consider taking your feelings about <what you want to do with your life> to Tribe.

Aug 24, 2016

System Design

Dear Ed,

I congratulate to your book Govopoly in the 39th Day, it was a great read. Simple, understandable and great content. I sat down and stood up only after I finished it. It was interesting to read your toughts on the history and state of Govopoly in the US and to compare it with the situation in my country, I think the Duckweed here grows even faster.

I am involved in trading for 5 years now. I had great success (trading based on 'funnymentals' and technicals), followed by huge demolition. I operated with zero risk management, literally. For the past 1.5 years I did not trade but was digging the subject of trend trading and risk management.

As of today, I have a trend trading system with built-in exact entry/exit rules, risk per trade adjustment, portfolio selection and liquidity filter algorithm. I programmed it in excel.

I have four questions for you, It would be great if you could clarify them for me.

1) I can change the skid when backtesting. The system is profitable with any skid, however the Bliss of tests with different skids differ significantly. With 50% skid I get 0.3-0.5 Bliss numbers (depending on risk per trade), and with 0% skid Bliss is above 0.8. Did I miss something or is it usual that the skid has such an impact on Bliss? (these Bliss numbers are valid when a 2/20 fee structure is applied.) I know the skid has different impact on different systems, but are my numbers extremes on the wrong side?

2) I programmed in an incentive algorithm, calculating management and performance fees, deducted every last day of the year. Do you use same gratification principles (as others in the CTA industry) or do you have other method which you think is more effective?

3) I cannot write in any programming language. Yet. I read that you use C++ and Java. Do you think Python is a suitable language for writing own trading programs and strategies? (It is a suggestion from a friend, he told me it is a better start for a programming newbie).

4) My system would trade medium to long term. With all the portfolio selection, risk management and liquidity filter algorithm, I got 400-430 trades for 58 futures product, 20 years of data. Do you think it is statistically significant? I can only increase the trades if I decrease the terms of trades which has a bad effect on results, especially with high skid values.

Thank you for your answers in advance!

Best regards,

Thank you for raising these issues.

1.  High sensitivity to skid assumptions indicates short-term trading.  Systems that stay with long-term trends generally realize cumulative profits way in excess of cumulative skid.

2. Focus on making money for your clients and incentives take care of themselves. To align yourself with your client, charge for performance above a benchmark, not for management.

3. Find an easy-to-use platform that facilitates debugging.  Use a lot of error trapping.  Write a little code and test it before proceeding.  Basic, C++, Python, Java, etc. seem less like separate languages than dialects.

4. 415 trades on 58 markets for 20 years works out to about one trade per market every three years.  This seems inconsistent with your  sensitivity to skid.

Aug 22, 2016

Wants to Chat

Dear Ed,

I read your book Govoply with great interest and fascination. It was the first time I felt that somebody was putting together systematically things that I was vaguely thinking of but did not have the capability of organizing and such a systematic fashion. System dynamics is a wonderful approach. I was already interested in system dynamics before reading your book which reinforces my notion that everybody should learn it.  I encourage my children to study it and apply it to life.

I have a large collection of books. Last time moved I counted close to 200 boxes of books alone. Not ordinary books. They are interesting und unusual books such as rare Alchemy, etc. And I plan to assemble a list of the most important books for my children. The list they should pass on to their own children for them to save time and come right to the most important books of all. Yours will be at the very top!

After reading your book, I want to apply many of the things you mentioned to my own life for the future of my family. In doing so I seek your advice.  In Saudi Arabia where I currently live and work in a university, there isn't anybody I can come together with to form a Tribe. Is there anyway I can participate in your Tribe remotely? For example through Skype video connection? 

I also would like to learn more about adaptive investing and how to best program a robot rating system that incorporates my ideas and system dynamics above all in the selection process. How can I know which are the best indicators to use? I believe the indicator selection and combination is crucial.  I come from a value investing background for my own personal financial savings.  But would like to leave this as this is too much time consuming if one does it actively. And I totally agree with your explanation of value investing and it's attraction to one's ego.  The only other choice one has this just to outsources to funds. In the other hand, adaptive investing using a trading robot completely unemotional and above all without the ego seems to be the best way for my future. I seek your advice how to get started? 

It would be an honor for me and I can't tell you how much I would be thrilled if you excepted to mentor me.  Would that be possible?

I agree with you that in upcoming difficult times people in the countryside will have a better life. I do live 90 km away from the next town. However it's in the middle of the desert in Saudi Arabia and in hard times electricity got cut we would all bake in our houses. I would seek to purchase something for my family to move to.  No place in the world seems to be safe anymore though.  It looks like Europe is going to fall apart soon. My mothers home country Turkey is rocked by an attempted coup and the political revenge afterwards. I guess the country I grew up in Germany is probably one of the safest in Europe but that too is unsure with Deutsche Bank's trillion derivatives book and euro uncertainty. So I'm dumbfounded and don't know where the best place would be for my family. Have to stay in Saudi Arabia as long as I work here but if things get really bad in the country disintegrates financially through high USD, low oil prices and an currency unpeg from the dollar. I would be lost.  What would you advise me in such a situation?

I very much look forward to hear from you.  Your mentorship would be most appreciated and valued.  Perhaps we could have a chat over Skype or I could call you if you could spare little time for me.  Many thanks!

Best wishes,
Thank you for reaching out to me to chat.

FAQ intends to support people in their personal growth by providing a forum them to share experiences.

FAQ does not intend to provide advice.

I post brief reactions here in this column, for free. I also conduct Tribe Meetings and offer private consulting. See Ground Rules, above.
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