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Thursday Market Expectations from Jeremy Frommer - 10 reasons it is time to buy the market.

HedgeFundLIVE.com — I feel vindicated. The markets behavior is exactly what I have been blogging about for 2 weeks. But what now? Last night I went home long stocks short futures dollar neutral. Today will be a cathartic day. Then the shorts will cover, Middle East issues will stabilize over weekend, oil will start to drop lower as this morning’s gap is short covering from trader who shorted against the 100 level yesterday. Gaddafi will be dead inside of a week. I am still concerned about Bahrain. But as my plan was to see the market test 1300 a couple of times, I expect the bull market to resume by Monday. Keep in mind that In 3 days we have given back the entire month of February and then some. This gives me 2 signals, time to cover shorts, and find the beaten up names that have less impact from the overseas issues. Worst case I see 1287 as a massive support level. I am buying TGT, IMAX, homebuilders and beaten up tech, including AAPL and NFLX. I look for a serious reversal off these lows either today or tomorrow. As Saudi Arabia floods the population with money and Bahrain offers the same thing, I am reminded of our own government’s strategy for fixing problems. Clearly the economic numbers coming out this morning will help stabilize the market. Apple launches Ipad 2 next week. The federal government will figure out how to extend the budget deficit, as Obama has now shown his hand. He will move to the center when left with no alternative. He has to if he wants to be reelected.

So lets review.

  1. Today will be the highs in oil for some time.
  2. While I am worried about Bahrain, I have yet to see something that would force me to change my trading strategy
  3. Qaddafi will be dead soon
  4. All of Februarys gains have been wiped out
  5. Individual stock are down as much as 10%
  6. Economic numbers today will be inline to better
  7. We are through earning season
  8. We are testing 1300
  9. Tech is cheap

10. And the number one reason to buy the market – I have covered all my shorts.



Market Hedge Strategy - Markets gone wild because of crazy people

HedgeFundLIVE.com — The market has been disrupted by the madness in the Middle East. In particular, the price of oil has caused fluctuations. My gut feeling is that the trouble in the ME will not be over within a couple weeks (sarcasm). There are different ways to hedge against quick pops/drops that the market should continue to experience. Here’s a few ideas:

Markets disturbed

VIX calls: in or out the money, its doesn’t matter, but they should be long-term to avoid time decay. Wait to get into these until the VIX settles lower again. This is a swing strategy and could last from a week to a month, definitely set a profit-take level.

VIX puts: as of this morning the VIX is abnormally high, result of yesterday’s sell-off. April 15 puts are 10 cents, and look like a quick play while the VIX inevitably resets itself.

DBO: an oil ETF that has been on a roll. May want to wait for a pullback, as the action it saw yesterday was abnormal, a good level to buy is around 28.40. The price of oil should continue to rise for many months for many reasons. Also the fund seems to go up whether the stock market does or not, having a low correlation to an unpredictable market is good for hedging purposes.

Wednesday Market Expectations From Jeremy Frommer - Short into Friday, Flat for the Weekend

"My dear Sarkozy, is it true? Are you deserting me as well, my sweet desert?"

My market expectations depend on a number of events. I understand that I have been unequivocal about my short-term bearish stance, but I also have been specific about the levels I have been looking for on the S&P. I have felt we needed to get down to the 1308 level on the S&P futures. I expected us to pause there and perhaps over a number of weeks test the reality of 1300, as a confirmed psychological barrier that we broke through that should now become support. That would signal to me that my long-term bullish stance is still in place. Given the uncertainty over inflation, the federal budget and our domestic municipality financial crisis, I think we have seen the highs for at least a month, perhaps into May. Though, I am not a believer in sell in May and go away. This has been a year of opposites; perhaps we buy in May, and stay. I expect Gaddafi to be dead or gone by the end of the weekend, problem is we have now learned you cannot be long going into a weekend. My greatest fear for the weekend is Bahrain. People do not realize that this is the one to closely watch, as it is a precursor to potential issues in Saudi Arabia. I am relatively dollar neutral this morning having covered a significant portion of our shorts on yesterdays gap down. I will look for early morning strength, or at least stability. At noon I will begin building back into a larger short position, which I will continue to add to though Friday morning. I look for significant weakness by Friday afternoon, barring an exogenous event such as a bullet in Gaddafi’s head. Names I am long, continue to be potential take out names, I am short stock near their 52-week highs. This is an exogenously driven market; there are significant concerns out there. While I will be making big bets, I will be taking them off rapidly. Holding periods will be no longer than a few days and I expect to be close to flat over the weekend. Our domestic issues take second place to problems abroad, but should not be forgotten.  I will provide an afternoon expectation blog at around 1pm

READ: Libya downgraded? The Rating Agencies are a Joke.

Quote from Jack Starman Shuman: “I encourage you all to Check out both of Jeremy Frommer’s blogs over the weekend, as he is consistent with the astrological cycles that are currently going on (in trading).”


It takes genocide for Fitch to downgrade Libya

I am simply in a state of shock. The financial community must insist that the ratings agencies reform themselves. It took a day of genocide for the following action.

“NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Fitch Ratings on Monday downgraded Libya’s credit rating, saying the move “reflects the eruption of political risk evidenced by the increasing momentum of the popular uprising aimed at ending Muammar Gadhafi’s 42-year rule.” The rating agency downgraded the oil-rich North African nation to BBB from BBB-plus and warned a further downgrade could come without political resolution to the crisis that has reportedly left hundreds dead. Libya is the sole Fitch-rated sovereign that has no government debt, the agency noted in a statement.”

What do you think has to happen for a BBB-minus? There is mass genocide in the streets. This day has been brewing for months. The rating agencies are a joke. They missed the sub-prime mess, missed Europe, they are missing our own domestic municipalities’ problems, and they have zero understanding of how the events in the Middle East will affect the credibility of every emerging market capital structure. What value do the rating agencies serve?

Libya downgraded? The Rating Agencies are a Joke.

I am simply in a state of shock. The financial community must insist that the ratings agencies reform themselves. It took a day of genocide for the following action.

It takes genocide for Fitch to downgrade Libya

“NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Fitch Ratings on Monday downgraded Libya’s credit rating, saying the move “reflects the eruption of political risk evidenced by the increasing momentum of the popular uprising aimed at ending Muammar Gadhafi’s 42-year rule.” The rating agency downgraded the oil-rich North African nation to BBB from BBB-plus and warned a further downgrade could come without political resolution to the crisis that has reportedly left hundreds dead. Libya is the sole Fitch-rated sovereign that has no government debt, the agency noted in a statement.”

What do you think has to happen for a BBB-minus? There is mass genocide in the streets. This day has been brewing for months. The rating agencies are a joke. They missed the sub-prime mess, missed Europe, they are missing our own domestic municipalities’ problems, and they have zero understanding of how the events in the Middle East will affect the credibility of every emerging market capital structure. What value do the rating agencies serve?


I found myself thinking today about something surprising I learned once from a seasoned trader.  A member had asked if the trader had ever day-traded his own account.  My trading buddy and I who witnessed the exchange were surprised to learn that, not only had the trader never traded his own money; he said he didn’t think he would have the nerve to take on the risk of even doing so.  I was stunned.

I have only been day-trading for the better part of three years.  Over the last two years, it has been the primary way that I make a living…  You know, earning an income; putting food on the table, paying the bills, etc.  I don’t know why, but I just presumed that professional traders working on Wall Street  (or Englewood Cliffs)  earning big salaries, bonuses, equity opportunities, and the like, got to that level of accomplishment because they had proven track records doing what I am doing day in and day out.  But apparently that is not necessarily the case.

 I don’t mean to diminish the qualifications of professional traders, nor suggest they deserve any less regard.  I was just surprised.  And I realize that I don’t have the personal experience of the pressure that surely must come from being accountable for trading the boss’s book.  Especially if the boss can be a bit excitable.  But once in a while, on days like today when I recall that original revelation, I find myself pondering the additional psychological and emotional challenges that I face by putting my own money on the table.  I believe that it must compound the complexities of balancing risk with reward as I enter and exit trades, subtracting the commissions, and compiling profits and losses into what becomes my family’s net income.

 As my teacher points out, day trading can be The World’s Greatest Business; I get to be my own boss, choose my own hours, and work where I please (and only if I please!), deal with zero politics, and many other benefits and advantages.  But I also remind myself from time to time that when you “only get to eat what you kill,” it is important to keep your powder dry.  And it sometimes makes me wonder if the priority I have learned to give to protecting my capital is held as nearly as dearly by those who trade only Other People’s Money.

Perspective from an online poker player

Being my first blog post, the first thing that I want to touch upon is my experience as an online poker player and the comparisons I’ve drawn to trading. I’ve had a strong prior interest in poker, and this has developed into an interest for trading and the markets in general. I should note however, that I have close to no practical experience in trading so thoughts I have on this are based on the research I’ve done. If I come off as naive then this would be the reason why.

The main thing that stands out to me is that both poker and trading are, at its core, a game. Specifically, it seems that both are games where volatility is prevalent but having the right skills can allow a player to have positive expectation in the long-term. I’ve read a few books on how trading has evolved over time, from the frenetic chaos in the pits where brokers and dealers met eye to eye to the computer screens made up of numbers and graphs, and it’s interesting to me how greatly technology has influenced the advancement of strategy in both. In both poker and trading, the old days were dominated by those who went with their gut instinct and fearlessness.

What a Badass

However, technology has significantly changed the landscape. For trading, this has resulted in faster execution times and the advent of computer-driven trading strategies as well as a way to crunch huge amounts of data. The amount of data that can be displayed in real time must be staggering compared to the old times and it makes me wonder just how profitable a trader could have been if he had access to current technology in the past.

This is what I imagine when I think of day trading

The face of poker now

Poker has been influenced in a very similar fashion. It seems that the majority of casual players still play in the traditional brick & mortar casinos, but for the enthusiasts, the action has certainly moved to online. From my own personal experience, I would say that online has accelerated the learning curve tremendously. Just to put this in perspective, playing a live hand typically means that you’ll see an average of 20-30 hands / hour. Online, this amount is typically between 70-80 hands / hour but a person can also play up to 24 tables! I typically have 8-10 tables playing at once, which would result in ~560-800 hands / hour. That’s about 30 times the volume of sitting in a casino for one hour! I would say both poker and trading require a lot of hands on experience, so playing online results in a person gaining experience at a much higher rate.

What has also had a big impact on poker is the influence of mathematical models and statistics. Most certainly strategies based on equity calculations and odds existed before poker went digital, but combining the sheer volume of hands that can be played within a short period of time with statistical software has meant that strategies can be analyzed and dissected in a much clearer manner. Not only that, but real time data of all sorts of poker-based analytics can be displayed in real time on each specific opponent which makes it significantly easier to come up with an optimal strategy versus each specific opponent. I understand that in trading, it seems something similar has happened, with more and more traders learning about mathematical concepts to aid in trading such as stochastic calculus and numerical analysis.

Keeps track of important poker statistics. Won't keep track of how many times you've gone on tilt and thrown the keyboard at the wall. Just kidding

In both cases though, a pure mathematical / statistical approach won’t do it. If that were the case, we could just have computers run all the strategies and sit back while we printed money. Definitely there’s a a very delicate balance between the models the strategies are based upon and how it pertains to the current environment. No day ever looks the same and it requires the players to always learn and evolve.

I guess the last point I’d like to leave is this evolution and its affect on competition. Once more and more people begin to learn how to implement technology and a more quantitative analytical approach to both games, profit margins will keep shrinking. Will something new show up to change all of this? Who knows, but right now it’s the best thing available.

The Day The New York Stock Exchange Almost Died - Thats How I Came To Hear Of Ron Shear

The article arrives.

All the mail was in a bundle. The envelope itself had taken on a commanding presence in the pile of mail.

I entered the apartment and dropped the keys on the kitchen table. I let the incidental mail drop, everything other than the grey envelope slipped to the tabletop. As I strolled to the second hand couch and cheap wooden coffee table I examined it. Not very heavy. Felt like a bunch of papers stapled together. I would need to smoke something before I opened it, my Dad’s office address was in the upper left hand corner.

Ten minutes later, a bag of chips in my lap, a glass of wine in my hands. I was ready to read.

“A month ago today the New York Stock Exchange died.”  The article was dated November 20 1987, “but within an hour or two, it was raised from the dead.” Ahh, my Dad had sent me some light reading,


recapping the events of the day after black Monday. But it was more than just a recap. This was a seminal market event. Those participants who would ultimately be responsible for the actions that would chart the course of the day, would set precedent for future generations. There perception of financial meltdowns had been shaped by stories of the great depression. But like many movies the great depression had become a classic. Great to watch but in practicality not relevant. Philosophically one can appreciate the lessons we learn from a classic. But time and progress ultimately limit the value of classics as a relative concept. The great depression was a classic , but the nightmare of ’87, to those who stood strong on that scary Tuesday, still in shell shock from the previous day, was reality. Their experience on that Tuesday would shape them and those they would influence for decades to come.

James Stewart and Daniel Hertzberg wrote the article. Titled: How the stock market almost disintegrated a day after the crash.

Stocks, Options and futures trading all but stopped during a crucial interval on Tuesday” October 20th. This was not some metaphoric statement or exaggeration for dramatic affect, these staff reporters for the wall street journal were stating the fact. “The stock market and by extension all the world’s financial markets faced one of the worst crises.” The article went on in great detail to describe one of the most frightening days in financial history. As I read it, I was amazed not just as to the events of the day, but the power this Industry held over the world. There were rumors through out the day that the Big board would close. That the powerhouses such as Lehman, (bankrupted), Kidder Peabody (sold at discount after Trading scandal Joe Jett), Morgan Stanley (ravaged by the credit crisis of 08) and Banker Trust (sold to Deuthce Bank after derivatives scandals and severe losses on Russian bank debt.) were rumored to be buying up bankrupt specialists who could not meet their debt obligations and collateralization needs. These same firms had all but stopped extending unsecured credit. The Arbitrage community, the predecessors of the 90’s macro hedge fund community had lost untold fortunes.

'87 Crash

Rumors flew that some of them were contacting the SEC to temporarily close the exchange, something that can only be done by the President or the exchange itself. “some big investment banks were facing catastrophic losses if the market panic continued”

The specialist firms are responsible for maintaining liquidity. On that day the New York Stock exchange that can trace its history back to 1792 when traders gathered under a tree in lower Manhattan, faced extinction. The specialist, the last line of defense could no longer support the market. There was no liquidity, just one side of the market was there. Sell. Offers. Sell at marketkt. Not held. Stock to go. Just get me out. Get me the F out.

“The Federal Reserve issued an extraordinary statement affirming its ‘readiness to serve as a source of liquidity to support the economic and financial system.” Sounf familiar? Its chairman Alan Greenspan had been made chairman only 3 months earlier. I had never heard of him. I certainly had never heard of Gerald Corrigan the New York Federal Reserve president trained by yet another foreign name to me, Paul Volcker. How little I understood. It would take nearly two decades for me to understand that these men held all our lives in the balance. That at that moment, the positions they occupied were more powerful than all but the president of the United States. This was no ordinary article and these were not ordinary people. There actions have reverberated for decades. Volcker is still hanging around making a mess of things.

The article went on to describe other key players that day. John J. Phelan was chairman of the Big Board. He was the link to the Fed. It was he who would spread the gospel of the Fed throughout the lines of Wall Street. It was he that would sigh relief as the exchange opened up 200 points regaining nearly 40% of its previous days disaster. And then watch in frightening awe as it gave up all its gains losing an additional 80 points and adding over another 5% of losses to the battered average by noon.

It was Phelanwho would have to explain how the stocks were just not trading and one could not properly value the index which meant one could not accurately value the futures.

Chairman Karsten Mahlmann, also known as “Cash” was the chairman of the Chicago board of trade. His exchange was still trading futures contracts of the MMI, the Major Market Index, the other leading index of the Day. The MMI was a blue chip indicator of 20 large cap stocks created by the American Stock Exchange in 1983. It was often referred to as the XMI, which was the ticker for the underlying cash index. It included stocks such as General Motors, Coca Cola and General Electric. He listened in astonishment as representatives from the big board alerted him to the possibility of a close for the New York Stock Exchange. They had moments earlier notified Leo Melamed, the chairman of the Chicago mercantile exchange, who at 12:15 halted trading in S&P 500 futures contracts on the MERC. Cash watched as the “relatively little used” futures on MMI dropped to their deepest discount to the cash value of the MMI index in its history, triggered by the news that back in NY on the floor of the American Stock Exchange trading in Index options on the MMI was halted.

His voice was one of authority, he was 46 and perhaps on of the most seasoned veterans on the floor of the Amex. “Trading in MMI related options is temporarily halted, no more orders.” He was Ron Shear and he was the senior specialist for the MMI on the American Stock Exchange. He was a cross between a Jewish Wall Street Godfather and your local old world Italian grocer, who sends you home with an extra bag of fruit and regards to your mother. One shadow casts the guy who sweetly offers up fruit as a gesture from a service to long-standing family customers, the other depicts a gleaming smile, which makes you wonder why your mom spends so much time at the grocery store. Ron Shear is a dichotomy. Objective/subjective, hard as stone/soft as a feather, your greatest friend/your worst enemy.

It was 10 years later that I first met Ron Shear. I would be one of the few who would come to understand him (just a bit), but it would be 16 years before he and I would make a real connection, and in doing so make some money and I would earn a seat at the Big Boy’s table for a little while.

Here, embedded in an article copied from the wall street journal, stapled together, yellow post it on the front, “Read This!” from Dad” was the description of a man that would play a big part in my movie. Coincidence? Fate? Pretty F’n crazy.

He couldn’t sleep the night before. He smoked a fine cigar as he walked the streets at 4 am. Brasserie, a 24-hour French restaurant in midtown was already crowded with other suits whispering to each other as they sipped hot coffee, eyes red, and shirts ruffled. You could hear only a few words from the huddled groups. “Disaster, wiped out, panic, what next?” Shear paid his bill leaving a 15% tip. Not a penny more , not a penny less, that is his way. He perked his lips as he often did before he entered battle. His coat was of fine cashmere, aged but in a vintage sense. He shuffled out the door and hailed a taxi.

By 12:15 as he made his way to the microphone to make his announcement, other traders on the floor turned to him in fear looking for any words of comfort?” Ron, have you heard Merrill was taking over a number of defunct

Gerald Coriiigan

specialist?” and “Ronny, I heard they stopped trading Du Pont, Merck and Eastman Kodak” “Ron, is the SEC closing the exchange?” and “Ron, are we going to be ok?” The floor supervisor approached shear

Howard Baker

confirming that over 20% of the underlying MMI stocks had stopped trading, in fact Shear believed nearly half of the underlying stocks had actually stopped trading.  After his announcement, shear turned to a number of traders standing beneath the podium, and with a grimace that both exuded confidence as much as it did submission, “It is what it is” he said. With that he sat down and lit another of his small cigars.

The white house chief of staff Howard Baker, pressed Mr. Phelan to keep the exchange open for as long as possible, knowing that the country might not sustain the trauma. The loss of confidence in our financial system would ripple through the globe. Mr. Phelan was heard to have said, “If we close it, we would never open it.” It would be 2 decades before the financial community and the greater world would once again stand on the razors edge, teetering toward the brink of disaster.

“At 12:38 with the closing of the big board seeming immanent and the market in disarray, with virtually all options and futures trading halted, something happened that some later described as a miracle. In the space of about six minutes, the major market Index futures contract, the only viable surrogate for the dow jones industrial average, and the only major index still trading, staged the most powerful rally in its history” (pre ’87). The MMI rose nearly the equivalent of 360 Dow points. The Dow ultimately rebounded nearly 10% from its lows, “setting the stage for the salvation of the worlds markets.”

While conspiracy theories abound, it is believed that a small group of the most powerful firms on Wall Street, banded together and risked it all to save the market. With trading as thin as it was, their buying, together all at once, created an upward thrust in pricing the likes of which many seasoned veterans on the floor had never experienced.

Ron shear was still enjoying the taste of a spicy small cigar as he strolled back on to the battlefield, his instincts were heightened, as he began to feel the commotion on the floor, something was happening. The blood in his body warmed, he felt the thrill of the game and just like that, the defeated army of capitalism experienced a moment of redemption. A seasoned warrior like Shear, smells that moment of opportunity and moves quickly for the kill. Momentum was his weapon and with it he and his cohorts would prevail. He bolted for the loudspeaker and announced that he would open the MMI options market in 15 minutes. I am sure he went on to kill it that day, that is, to make lots of money that day.

As I put down the article, I realized that somewhere about midway through reading, the weed had kicked in and I was baked. I thought, that’s was one F’d up article. I cannot wait to get to that battle. Ahh to be young and naive, what bliss…………In January of 2007, Ron Shear and I sold Carlin Financial Group to the Royal Bank of Canada.  My Movie Continues.

A Guide To Controlling Your Profit and Loss (P&L): Lose The Ego and Find Your Self.

A Trader Confuses Their Ego With Their Self

My ego took over; I gave my entire month back in two days and then proceeded to go negative on the month. Today I began the journey back, booking $10,000 of profit. I despise my ego. I am not talking about the “ego” that is high on itself; I am talking about the ego that intentionally sabotages your self-discipline. I am talking about the ego that I am in a battle with. Until the ego is eliminated, one’s abilities trading or otherwise will forever be limited. The ego represents attachment. Attachment breeds greed and emotion. When one is attached, they fear losing that which they are attached to. Suppressing the ego as a trader is perhaps the most difficult of journeys. As a trader, one is constantly measuring self worth by a number on a screen. A trader is attached to the number on the screen. In the Yogic tradition we are taught to “be in the present”. Nowhere is that more true than in trading. The dichotomy for me is that a trader’s ego predominantly exists in the present and it is always attached to the screen. As such, the present is one long internal battle. It is the “self” that I strive to be. As the self, I will realize that the emotional swings I experience when my ego prevails are not a true reflection of me, but actually the antithesis. I lost the battle last week. That is behind me and I continue my journey. But how does a trader rationalize no attachment to the changing value on his monitor, yet at the same time the trader’s entire focus is on maximizing that value. One can only conclude that the present is about the decisions not the number. The trading decisions must always be made from an unemotional and unattached

A trader's ego is both a reflection and a number on a screen

position. The Profit or Loss will then be what it will be. While the mind may be elated by profit and distraught by loss, neither is a reflection of the self. It is not the changing P&L that is affecting a trader emotionally. It is the mind’s and the ego’s attachment and perception of that value that destabilize the individual. Control the ego and you control the emotions. Control the

A Trader Searching For His Self

emotions and you control the decisions. Discover your “self” and you are in control of your ego; you are in control of your trading. As I said before the number will be what it will be. But you certainly will improve the odds by finding your “self”. I am still looking; please let me know if you find mine. I can be reached at HedgeFundLive.com. Thanks.

Stocks To Watch Tuesday - No Drinking, No Red Meat and No Ego

Range Bound Trading - Lets all relax for a few days

The Hedge Fund Live Collective intelligence has been on a roll. Up over $200,000 in the first 2 weeks of the year, we are in a zone. The market continues to move up, irrespective of the fact that so many believe it should pull in, or perhaps specifically because of that. As I have already stated in my year-end market prediction from my last blog, I will try to stick to the near term. What happens on Tuesday? I expect a shaky open. Within the first couple of hours we should see a 5 – 10 point sell off. Think of it as a “Relief Sell Off”, it exist simply to satisfy our need to know that we still can sell off. Perhaps it lasts the day. If it does, than I expect a number of failed rallies through out the day. Sometime over the first 2 days of the week we will have the first of what will be a series of upward tests at the 1300 level on the S&P. Getting confirmation of a sustainable rally above the 1300 level will take some time, and it should. This should set up for a few weeks of healthy range bound trading.

Tuesday though, marks a new chapter of my personal journey. I begin Yoga teacher certification training on Tuesday. I expect 3 of the most intense months ahead of me. I will spend every free moment with my family; otherwise I will be at the office or in the yoga studio. Good thing HedgeFundLive and the Yoga studio are the only two businesses in the building. I will arrive at the office at 7:30 am. Meditation till 7:50 am. Business and trading till 6:10pm. Tuesday night Yoga certification training 6:10pm to 10pm. every other night, regular scheduled class, 6:10pm to 7:30pm. Put in another hour of work wrapping up the business day. Home to see the family 8:30pm till my body gives out. The weekends will bring little relief. Actually every other weekend will bring the needed sanctuary, as I will be able to spend them with my wife and kids. The other weekends will be spent training. Sat 7am to 5pm. Sun 7am to 12pm. Sun 12pm to 5pm catch up on work. Sunday 5pm to Monday 6am catch up on sleep.

Traders start at a very early age

There are a number of other interesting twists to this journey. NO ALCHOHOL. Yes, you read it correctly. I will be dry for 3 months. I have always considered myself a functional alcoholic; I am concerned about being a dysfunctional non-alcoholic. I do not believe I have gone more than a week since junior year of college, without a drink. Maybe even 3 days, but I am concerned that this might turn off potential investors in the firm, so for now we will stick to a “week”. I am not even sure what I will be like sober for 3 months. I am not even sure how my Meds will work if I am not washing them down with a Cabernet, Jack Daniels, or a glass of Port. I once heard an MD at a major Wall Street firm tell me, “If drinking is interfering with your work, you’re probably a heavy drinker.  If work is interfering with your drinking, you’re probably an alcoholic.” I have always seen a bit of brilliance in this advice.

Next, NO RED MEAT. Yes, you read that correctly as well. I come from a long line of carnivores. I do not believe I have gone more

Traders start on meat at a very young age

that a week without a steak, veal chop or burger since I was a Bar-Mitzvah boy. If you include Cholent (a traditional meat stew:Jewish Tradition), it may even be 3 days at max……. Leo Tolstoy said “A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite.” I was always under the impression that red meat was an essential ingredient for life sustenance. As the prolific modern day philosopher John Cleese has said, “If God did not intend for us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?” No red meat will be quite the enlightening experience for me. There are a number of other major “NO NOs”, but lets jump right to the most interesting one for those who know me well.

NO EGO. Yes, that’s what I said, “No ego”. This is the one I am truly intrigued by. I was born with my ego. I can assure you I have not gone one hour, let alone a full day, without my good pal “Ego” helping me make daily decisions. I am now expected to say goodbye to my friend of 42 years. Go it alone, leaving “Ego” to fend for himself without

Trader's are born with their egos

my mind and body to carry out his every wish and desire. And I am expected to embrace my “Self”, to see beyond my perceived limitations. John Bradshaw, the acclaimed motivational speaker, said, “The Ego is to the true self what a flashlight is to a spotlight.”

This Tuesday will begin what will be an enlightened extreme experience. Expect enlightened blogs and enlightened trading. Stay tuned.