Long Live Publias Enigma

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by Pabst, Aug 17, 2003.

  1. Pabst

    Pabst

    Over a year ago a series of post's were created by one Publias Enigma. I consider his wisdom to be the single greatest contribution in the history of ET. While Publias has paid homage to the unfortunately brief ET career of "Rogue Trader" (I suggest those of you new to the Board search for Rogue) no collection of Publias's "greatest hit's" has ever been published. I am honored to undertake this task for the benefit of all.
     
  2. Pabst

    Pabst

    Publias
    Senior Member

    Registered: Jul 2002
    Posts: 331


    07-24-02 10:28 AM



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally posted by Newatthis
    My question was really along the lines of this: I got into trading not for the money (although it helps) but for the things that trading did for me on a psychological level. Mainly, instant gratification. Black and white results (green or red), competition, it is a singular pursuit etc. I think I do well because it fits my personality more than because of my methods (chart reading etc) I like the self challenge of maintaining discipline. I only account to myself. Obviously I need a sound methodology or it is for shit but the key to my success is my motivation for trading not my probably ordinary tape reading skills...

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Well I can only speak for myself,BUT I would say at least 75% of my success is perpetuated by my internal state of being, rather than anything external such as charts, methods, money management, etc...

    My ability to detach myself from the micro-results of my trades,
    to not allow anything external (monetary results) to effect my inner calm and peace...

    My ability to stay patient and wait for my pitch, without any striving or forcing... To let the market come to me and then have the courage and will to pounce on her without even a hairbreadth's of a difference between the moment opportunity arises and the moment I strike!

    My ability to stay fluid while in a position... To see both sides of my position simultaneously without being attached emotionally to either side... To let go of a winning or losing position lightly once I feel the move has spontaneously fulfilled itself, but to hold on tightly when she has more to go...

    These are just a few of the internal virtues that account for my success as a trader... and they all are set in motion by my love and appreciation of her and the game she so graciously allows us to play...

    So yes Newatthis to answer your initial question I believe your internal motives (for lack of better word) are much much much more important than the external methods a trader employs...

    PEACE and goodtrading to you (and thankyou for the post)
    Publias


    __________________
    "There is nothing weaker than water;
    yet there is no better in overcoming the hard" ~Lao Tzu~
     
  3. Pabst

    Pabst

    Publias
    Senior Member

    Registered: Jul 2002
    Posts: 331


    07-25-02 01:33 PM



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally posted by Kymar
    Why not tell us something - as specific as you can stand to share - about some of your most typical, or exceptional, or, best, typically exceptional trades?

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Kymar I appreciate your request to hear of some specific and exceptional trades, BUT to be completely honest I do not think many will gain from me sitting on these boards and beating on my chest...

    INSTEAD I will share with you and everyone else who frequents this board a major folly that occurred just yesterday...

    Just to give some background as to what I feel sparked this momentary lapse of reason;

    --->For the month of July my trading has been exceptional to say the least... I have had 2 (both of which were for a couple pts each) losing days in the last 16 and am net well over 200pts. for the month of July which equates to a nice healthy % return... This month has been VERY good to me with all the volatility, coupled with the solid moves to the downside<---

    BUT like the old proverbs say...
    'Pride goeth before destruction'
    'Smiles form the channels of future tears'

    Yesterday I felt the effects of my complacency and overconfidence coming to a head, I was out of synch and sloppy in the morning and found myself down 5 pts after a few trades soooooo I decided to pack it in... (if it is one thing that has been crucial to my success as a trader over the years it has been the ability to know when and when not I am in the flow and to act on it accordingly)

    Around 1 in the afternoon I did something that I rarely ever do and that is to come back and play after I have made a conscious decision to pack it in... I entered a short around this time at around the 900 area (906 to be exact) looking for a break and possible test of the lows... She was extremely choppy around the 905 to 915 zone as she deciphered who she wanted to accommodate, the bulls or the bears... finally it looked to me like she wanted to rise so I covered my short at 911 for a small 5 pt loss, at least I thought I did ... Turns out that I did not buy to cover my position, but instead through my carelessness bought! (now anybody using the J-Trader platform knows that it is NOT easy to make that mistake when you are putting in your stop limits, for one screen is blue and one is red!) But the order was entered as sell stop so instead of covering I bought to put on a double position with avg in the 908 area... I watched the market rise to 920 and for some reason decided to sneak a peak at the Position screen just to see what the exact P&L is (which is very rare) and I see that I am short a double position with an avg of 8.5 which puts me at a little bit of a loss of over 20 pts... Now I know through my many years playing this game that the human mind and more precisely that of a trader is FALLIBLE and I know on a rational and intellectual level that the thing to do is to exit as soon as you see the mistake and ask questions later BUT for some reason I froze, I pause and indulged in something I rarely ever allow myself to which is conceptualize my 'impeccable' running P&L over the last 15 sessions or so and I say to myself nah fuck it I can trade my way out of it and make it somewhat respectable ...

    Now I KNOW that a rally in an oversold market such as the one we had yesterday, that sparks around 2:30 has an exceptionably high likelihood of running into the close, but my attachment to my position and the expectation of getting out of this alive kept me in and totally distorted my perception of the market action... When she exploded over the highs and ran straight to 940 I was sitting on close to a 60pt loss on something that was only supposed to cost me 5! I added again at 940 and watched her move down to 930 BUT I did not cover because somehow I thought that I was going to get out of this... I held the triple lot right into the close and actually added 2 times at 45 and 50 even... So now I have positions at 906,11, 39.50, 45, & 50!!! Market closed on its highs at 53 and I now have between 4 and 4:15 to decide how the fuck Iam going to get out of this mess Before I knew it 4:15 came and I totally forgot that globex stops and now had to 5:15 to decide! Now I am totally fucked Im thinking because of the lack of liquidity that I would more than likely see in the after hrs, I would not be able to let out my line...

    What happened over the next 10 hrs was painful, not on a financial basis but on a psychological and spiritual level... "how could I lose control like that???" "After all these years I still show a total lack of discipline and respect for her"... I came to the conclusion that the human condition and that of a trader is more enigmatic than the fuckin Stonehenge... I was completely defeated and the only thing to do was to put my stops above the highs at around 55 and prey for a miracle in the overseas sessions... I sat staring at my screens and reading Edgar Allen Poe until around 2 when the ES started getting hit, around 3:30 or so with the NQ -15 in the overnight session I started letting out my line and was actually able to get close to 1/3 out under 40 before I had to watch her rise straight back to 48-50 level ... I set my stops on the other 2/3'rds above 53 and crashed for 2 hrs... woke at 8:00 held to the open and got lucky and ended up actually up a few pts on the trade when all was said and done...
    which as a side note I wrote a check right away and mailed it to my cousin who could use it for college, because IT WAS NOT STAYING IN MY ACCOUNT!

    You guys know what happened next was only luck... I came damn close to getting my head handed to me and wiping out a months worth of work on just 1 trade... All because I did not want to accept that I had made an error... All because I did not want to take a 20 pt. loss for the session... I lost control and tried to stand upright against a creature with an indominitable will... While she was giving and forgiving this time she once again sent me a clear message!

    My motives for writing this long post is genuine... For all the new traders out there, you are going to make mistakes like selling more when you should be covering... If you play the game long enough this will be an inevitability... Do not fight it, just accept your fallibility, keep your head up and move on, for there will always be tomorrow... And probably the most important message of all is when things are goign extremely well for you and you feel like you can't do any wrong, that is when you are most likely to fuck up in a major way!

    I got lucky this time and over my career I can count on 1 hand the amount of times I have allowed myself to lose control like that, but I implore you not to stand upright and try to make it a battle of wills... you might get lucky like I did once or twice BUT eventually she will get you!

    THIS IS MY TRUTH
    Publias


    __________________
    "There is nothing weaker than water;
    yet there is no better in overcoming the hard" ~Lao Tzu~
     
  4. Pabst

    Pabst

    Publias
    Senior Member

    Registered: Jul 2002
    Posts: 331


    08-04-02 03:29 PM

    ~CLARITY~

    Purged of ego and selfish attachments
    Indifferent as the market herself
    He stands detached as if a mere spectator…
    Transcending the dualities of the human condition
    Equal in “pleasure” and “pain”
    He flows along with an impenetrable inner peace and strength…
    Immersed within the realm of the present moment
    Responding as if an echo
    He sees not what could or should be, but what is…

    THIS IS MY TRUTH
    PUBLIAS


    __________________
    "There is nothing weaker than water;
    yet there is no better in overcoming the hard" ~Lao Tzu~
     
  5. Pabst

    Pabst

    Publias
    Senior Member

    Registered: Jul 2002
    Posts: 331


    08-12-02 08:58 PM

    ~Yoga of Action~

    18.The wise see that there is action in the midst
    of inaction and inaction in the midst of action.
    Their consciousness is unified, and every act is
    done with complete awareness.

    19.The awakened sages call a person wise when
    all his undertakings are free from anxiety
    about results; all his selfish desires have been
    20.consumed in the fire of knowledge. The wise,
    ever satisfied, have abandoned all external
    supports. Their security is unaffected by the
    results of their action; even while acting, they
    21.really do nothing at all. Free from expectations
    and from all sense of possession, with mind
    and body firmly controlled by the Self,
    they do not incur sin by the performance of
    physical action.

    22.They live in freedom who have gone beyond
    the dualities of life. Competing with no one,
    they are alike in success and failure and content
    23.with whatever comes to them. They are
    free, without selfish attachments; their minds
    are fixed in knowledge. They perform all
    work in spirit of worship, and their karma
    is dissolved.

    ~The Bhagavad Gita, as translated by Eknath Easwaran~


    __________________
    "There is nothing weaker than water;
    yet there is no better in overcoming the hard" ~Lao Tzu~
     
  6. Pabst

    Pabst

    Publias
    Senior Member

    Registered: Jul 2002
    Posts: 331


    08-14-02 07:32 PM

    Probably just a matter of semantics here MS, but your post does not make much sense to me.

    For me there is an enormous difference between fearing her and respecting her. I am ever respectful of what damage she can do if I allow her to, but I am never afraid of her...

    Fear is a hindrance, humility and respect is what keeps me in check! The lack of fear is what enables me to get in their everyday and strike without a seconds reflection. I am not afraid of the risk, nor am I afraid of losing! Risk is opportunity, and ultimately the one thing that will enable us to win in this game. I embrace risk and I am resolved of any and all losses from the get go...

    I am not afraid of what she can do to me, nor am I afraid of losing. I am only afraid of what I may allow her to do to me...

    Don't know if any of this makes sense to you, but this is my truth!

    PEACE and good trading my friend and neighbor
    Publias


    __________________
    "There is nothing weaker than water;
    yet there is no better in overcoming the hard" ~Lao Tzu~
     
  7. Pabst

    Pabst

    Publias
    Senior Member

    Registered: Jul 2002
    Posts: 331


    08-15-02 07:05 PM

    Daniel_M replies to candle:

    candledude, what exactly IS an ego? do everyone have one? do I have one? how would I identify it??
    fact is, there's really no such thing as an "ego"... it's just another bit of unnecessary Freudian pyschobabble fluff. just substitue the word "mind" or "brain" for ego.... that way we can take a more "scientific" (not strictly scientific) approach to problem solving..


    Daniele I don't really know exactly how to take the above statement, you sound almost as if you are saying that since you cannot put your finger on it, than it can't exist
    Of course the word is a label for something that transcends physical matter. Put your finger on "love" or "soul". Yes you are right Dan I can't very well take my ego out, put it on the table and poke it with a finger. BUT what is the point Dan???

    Do I feel everyone has an ego??? Yes.

    Do you have one??? YES

    How would I identify it??? hmmmmmmm, maybe I start by relating it directly to the game of trading, since this is a trading forum...

    Have you ever had a string of winners that caused a sensation of complacency or worst yet euphoria??? You start to get a little cocky or overconfident... start pressing a little harder... maybe risking more than you usually do on a trade... maybe blow a stop or two... Now on a rational level we know that every edge or system applied to the market will have a random distribution of wins and losses on a micro-level, but what exactly IS it that causes us to indulge these nasty emotions???

    Ever blow a stop Dan??? Play moves right by your stop and yet you freeze and do nothing... On a rational level we know that we will have losses, we are traders and that is the game right... yet sometimes for some reason we just can't seem to accept a loss... we start to indulge hope, as if the market owes us something or is here to accomodate us...

    Did you ever get in a play in one direction, market does not accomodate it but sets up in the opposite direction instead... You close the play but simply can't see the other side... In hindsight you know that it was an ecellent set-up in the opposite direction and that the play should have been spun, yet while the play is setting up on "the hard right edge" we can't see it...

    Ever indulge in revenge trading??? Down on a day, had some bad breaks due not to anything you did, but maybe just chance... Now on a rational level we know there will be days like this, but that something inside of us compels us to try and trade out of it... you start to have what I like to call "cognitive illusions", seeing set-ups that are simply not there...

    Ever cut a winner too short Dan... You get into a position and it starts to move in your favor and you know on a rational level that you must hold on and ride it for what its worth, yet that something inside of us, spawns that nasty emotion fear, and suddenly we get so attached to the position and to the fear of it snapping back and taking away your gains that you go and do what you know you shouldn't and grab the gain prematurely... After the play you sit back and can see more clearly now,because that thing is no longer attached to the play and you see it go another 3 or 4 R's in your favor...

    Bro give it a name! Freud and Jung called it ego... Ancient sages called it the "I" sense, what ever... The thing called ego is indeed spawned from the mind, and if you want to call it brain or mind, call it that... A label is nothing more than just that, start to call the little nasty shit publias, it is still going to perpetuate the same errors over and over and over again...

    these are just some that came right off the top of my head Dan, but I am sure that you and all the rest of the traders on this board have at one time or another engaged in at lest one of the examples I posed above...

    You know the funny about your questions and the statement youmade above is that it was soooo on point with the way these sages felt that you could not even understand... they all felt that the existance of an ego was simply an illusion and that it was NOT there true nature! That is what the Tao Te Ching is all about, what The Bhagavad Gita was all about, and what the teachings of buhdism is all about... The irony in this entire discussion is so thick that one who understands these teachings has no choice but to sit back and laugh! If you understood or at least picked up a copy of one of these books and read it before you started passing off judgments about them you would never have asked the questions you did...

    PEACE and good trading my friend,
    Publias


    __________________
    "There is nothing weaker than water;
    yet there is no better in overcoming the hard" ~Lao Tzu~
     
  8. Pabst

    Pabst

    PubliasEnigma
    Senior Member

    Registered: Jul 2002
    Posts: 118


    07-12-02 10:29 PM
    THE GAME OF WASHERS


    I want to share an experience that I had on the 4th...

    My friend Tommy (titus) has created a game called Washers, much like the game horse shoes, except you throw washers
    U stand 25 feet away and attempt to fling these little washers about the size of 1/2 your palm into a little wooden box with a coffee can in middle. (5 pts for the can and 3 pts for the box)...
    Needles to say this is not an easy game

    Well for the first maybe 10 or so games and 10 or so beers I was preety friggon pathetic. I mean horrific. It was truly a sad thing to watch, but I took it all in with an open heart, covered my teams bets, and kept drinking and playing. Win or lose it was still fun, but I cannot say I was all that thrilled about being the worse one out of 8 players ...

    This horrific performance just kept going and going until a funny thing started to happen, the sun began to go down which made the cans extremely difficult to aim at.

    So I sat down on the chair and while drinking my sapphire and tonic, and pondering how I was possibly going to get this f'n washer in the can with the sun down when I could not do it with it up! And then all of a sudden out of nowhere I had what one might say was an epiphany. All I had to do was to play this game much like I play the game of trading! See it had dawned on me that I was striving in vain to hit the box while I totally took the focus off throwing the right way. All I really needed to do was figure out the right range and motion and then not even worry about the box. Focus on throwing the washer with the right fluid motion, with the right range, right rotation, and the right arc and if I did all these things the washer should land in the box almost as if it were an after thought...

    Sun was almost all the way down and after two games following the 'epiphany' I found the range, motion, and arc I knew next game it was on. So I hustled tommy into tripling the bets from 25 to 75 in hopes that me and my teammate could get back some of our dough, he jumped at what he perceived to be a golden opportunity to win 3 times as much as I had been losing to him all day...

    My partner and I won the next 7 games straight before we decided to stop playing

    Publias


    __________________
    PositiveEnergyAlwaysCreatesExplosions
     
  9. marketsurfer

    marketsurfer Sponsor

    being that publias is just 22 years old certainly adds to the enigma. thanks for posting the wisdom !

    best,

    surfer:)
     
  10. trader25

    trader25

    Cool post Pabst. I'm somewhat new to ET and wasn't around back then. Who was this guy? Does he still trade/post? Thanks:)
     
    #10     Aug 17, 2003