Friday, September 22, 2006

Quote of the Week - Kaizen

"The most important choice you make is what you choose to make important" -- Michael Neill
I had coffee with a friend today that brought up an interesting topic. He said, instead of thinking about all the things you like to do or would like to do and persuing them. Step back a moment and think about all the things you do not like to do...and stop doing them. A lot to chew on for yours truly.

First off, because it is very hard for me to think about what I don't like to do. Perhaps because I've spent so much time and effort in determining what I like to do? Or maybe I don't like to admit there are things I don't like to do?

Reminds me of Kaizen. Eliminating activities that add cost and do not add value in an effort to continuously improve. We could all use that, right?

So, here I am thinking about what I don't like about investing/trading.
1) I don't like nothingness. I don't mind least something is happening. And of course, I love when I'm reaching new equity highs. But, I absolutely abhor nothingness. That period of time when your investments just sit there and do nothing. I don't like that. Which is a bad thing...since most of an investor's time is spent in nothingness.

2) I don't like gut feel investments. I want a precise method to follow that lets me know exactly when to buy and when to sell. Thus, the reason for developing trading systems.

3) I don't enjoy buying and selling stocks. I enjoy researching trading ideas and building systems around those ideas. But, the actual buying and selling of stocks is not fun for me. Would enjoy things much better if someone else traded my systems, so to speak.
That's about it as far as my dislikes. Not too bad. One day I need to write what I like about investing/trading.

Trading Platform Update:
I've made lots of progress on the trading platform front. But, so much still to go. I'm spending equal time in Python and Ruby in this quest. My major roadblock right now is obtaining the most efficient way to process historical stock data against portfolio data.

Most trading platforms process a symbol at a time. But, doing that prevents you from ranking all stocks triggered for a given day along with the currently held stocks and choosing the top 10, 20, etc. Because you'd have to read all symbols and all dates in order to get at a certain date for all symbols.

So, I'm trying date processing instead. Spin through all the symbols for a given date instead of all dates for a given symbol. Doing this would enable me to rank, adjust, etc. prior to the next day of trade. But, going this route scares me due to performance issues. Maybe it won't be so bad. We will see.

If anyone has ideas on this subject, please send my way. The main goal of the project is to avoid memory intensive methods. The reason? The trading systems I work with consists of all stocks in the US Markets going back 20 years or so. It crashes Wealth-Lab due to its memory method of position sizing despite 2GB of memory. I could buy more memory, but that would be too easy. :-)

Later Trades,


Friday, September 08, 2006

Quote of the Week - Dilbert?

"I'm a great student of successful people, and usually at some point in their careers, they've had to take a huge risk. That used to cause a dull ache in my stomach. I still get it, but now I ignore it." -- Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert

Fall Movies

Wow, there is nothing like Fall movie lineups to get you going.  And this season looks to be a good one.  Here's just a few of the movies that caught my eye and will likely see...

We Are Marshall & Facing the Giants - Nothing like football movies in the Fall.

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints - Returning home again?

The Departed - Good Cop?  Bad Cop?

Fearless - Jet Li...Martial Arts...need I say more?

Enjoy the weekend!


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Quote of the Week - Mindsets

"Often when you mention risk, what people think of is the downside. Danger. That's not the entrepreneurial mind-set," she said. "The entrepreneurial mind-set is that risk is the heightened probability that there is a big range of possible outcomes." -- Heidi Roizen

The above quote is from's recent series on What it takes to be rich. I love the story describing growth mindsets versus fixed mindsets.
Dweck, the psychologist who studies growth mind-sets, created an experiment to demonstrate how persistence and the pursuit of knowledge leads to success. She posed a series of trivia questions to a group of people with fixed mind-sets and another with growth mind-sets.

After each answer, one and a half seconds passed before the participants were told whether they were right or wrong, and, if they were wrong, another one and a half seconds lapsed before they were given the correct response. Their brains were monitored with electrodes the entire time.

Dweck found that the people with fixed mind-sets cared a lot about whether they were right or wrong but not at all about what the right answer was. The growth-mind-set participants stayed interested until the correct answer was given, showing an interest in learning new information rather than in simply validating their intelligence.
more from Carol Dweck...
People with fixed mind-sets believe that they were born with a certain amount of intelligence, and they strive to convince the world of their brilliance so that no one finds out they're not actually geniuses.

Growth-mind-set people believe that intelligence, knowledge and skill need to be "cultivated" by trial and error. Failing at something, they believe, is the best way to ensure they'll succeed at it the next time.
This growth mindset versus fixed mindset sounds so interesting...I just might have to go out and read her new book:

Follow along with the's series here...
Lesson 1: Make your own luck
Lesson 1, Corollary 1: Building 'social capital' often pays off in the end.
Lesson 2: Failing at something is the best way to ensure success at it the next time.
Lesson 2, Corollary 1: Successful people are always on the look out for new experiences that they can later build on.
Lesson 2, Corollary 2: If you see an opportunity, take it. But that doesn't mean betting the ranch.

Later Trades,