Visceral Ice-Cream

Selling can work its way into a place of cold-blooded logic pretty quickly. If you have a demonstrably superior product or service backed up with testimonials and data, why not use these facts to create space in someone’s – a potential customer’s – head?

Because we humans don’t work on data and facts, that’s why. We work on visceral reactions and perceived realities, our gut and emotions in other words. We also think about what other people will make of our choices and decisions, possibly a lot more that we’d imagine, and we want to be sure that any change we make won’t upset our routines too much.

I can say this because this is how I observe myself and those close to me behave, so I’m sticking with my gut and extrapolating that to everyone.

Right?

Whither Work?

The model for lazy entrepreneurs is Tim Ferriss’s book. I haven’t read it beacause…well, because although the idea of a four-hour workweek appeals to my inner sloth, having it as a goal seems altogether too pat.

I am wrong, of course. If I thought I could manage making hour a day count as much as eight or ten (or twelve, as I used to) then I’m all in. Who actually wants to work four hours in the morning and four hours in the afternoon to make money to pay the bills? More important, who doesn’t want to do that?

A few questions arise. The first one is, what if you enjoy that eight hours? Complementarily, what if you find the idea of having most of your days vacant a horror? It might seem counter-intuitive, but some folks much prefer the idea of a structured work life, because it then gives structure to their private and leisure life. Whether this results from conditioning is the big point.

Another way to look at this is: What would I do with the time I have not working? The answer to that will very greatly from individual to individual, of course, but it’s not as simple as all that. I am particularly bad at figuring out how to play. Swimming, walking, reading, drinking coffee, writing and being with friends pretty much covers it, but these are easily accommodated with the space left from a regular job.

So why do I want to work at getting my hourly value of work sky-high? Well, for one thing, actually having spare time will likely open paths unseen when our heads are down. The other is that we might be able to express our pleasures as income producing, which gets neatly to a point I aspire to: To work but have it not feel like work.

Perhaps that’s a better book.

Pommy Surprise

The shifting we feel is pieces of the crust of the earth grinding against each other a little. Not the real earth – it does this kind of thing all the time – but the earth of our minds, the abstract earth.

Again, we, the people out-witted the elites and the punditocracy. The UK wants out of the EU for the simplicity of freedom. The EU is about conformity and alignment, both of which are fine in their place, but not the way most of us want to describe them. We like our own ideas of doing what’s right and imposing our own personal alignments without imposition from above.

Freedom is a code-word for the ability to impose rules best suited to specific groups or regions. It’s one of the brilliant ideas behind the US constitution, that the states are paramount in recognition of the differences between them. It’s the single greatest failure of the EU that it seeks to force Greece to be like Germany, or Italy like Poland. Let’s examine for a moment just how that’s working.

I think what most of the left misses in this is that chaos is a good thing. A little of it that is, not because it is inherently good of itself, but because of the way imagination and spirit are by-products.

States should be reflections of their people. People expressing themselves en masse works up to a point, and that point should determine the maximum extent of both state power and the size of that state. Somewhere between one world order and each individual lies a sweet-spot of community, and it seems that the British want to express an idea of a smaller community than their political class fetishizes.

In the end it becomes a tribal decision. Tribes can be big, and they can be small; they can be inclusive or warlike; they can disband or rise in strength. What all tribes need is agreement on who is in and who is out of the tribe for now and the foreseeable future. Failing to act on breaches of tribal boundaries will irrevocably change that tribe, the outcome of which is sometimes clear, and sometimes not. We shall see.

Downside

Optimism is terrific but a mind full of nothing but cheerleading can seriously damage our wealth.

Today I started a new way of trading that will keep me in trades for a longer time. The idea is that the shorter the time frame, the more noise in markets and therefore the less clear the signals. Short term chaos, long term clarity is not a bad watch-phrase.

My absolute profits, profit per trade, profitable trades and (therefore) expectancy will all go up. That’s the optimistic side. The reality is that losses will be nominally larger too, although I am pretty sure there will be many fewer of them.

That’s worth repeating. The dollar amount of losing trades will be larger than I’m used to.

As I have just discovered, sticking with a wider stop-loss point can be painful. To date my exit points have required only a relatively small dollar loss, and the time to either find profit or loss is less. The pain of sitting with a losing position – or positions – is almost greater than that of actually losing money. That’s crazy, of course, because there is no physical pain involved.

Such is trading though. Pain of being wrong, or the possibility of the account shrinking is worse than actual physical pain or real loss. The key is to trust the system and build a base of experience so that when I’m feeling weak, I can stick with it. Spreadsheets are my friend.