Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday Notes - A Holistic Approach

9:00pm Eight Weeks. 40 trading days.

That's the current commitment of the 21 Jellies. A long time.

Or is it?

To put it in proper perspective, eight weeks is 1% of a 15-year Trading career, 0.5% of a 30-year Career, or 0.2% of a 85 year life span.

It's really a blink of the eye.

Perhaps the reason January's Svithjod Rock journal entry was selected for the inside cover of this year's New York Trader Expo was the perspective it provided an industry where instant gratification and results run rampant. Too rampant.

Yet to fully understand why I've taken this novel approach to education -- which again includes me swimming with the team -- it's important to understand another critical part of my life.

For I've long believed in holistic medicine ... homeopathy specifically. It saved my life when I was younger, has proven its worth to me time and time again over both my young and adult years, and I'll go to my grave knowing that it's one of the best natural methods to restore body rhythms that are of of sync.

I've studied and practiced homeopathy for over thirty years and know its power. I also know that outward symptoms that "modern" medicine tries to treat are often merely the body's way of trying to restore its balance ... albeit unsuccessfully. Restore the body rhythms and the symptoms disappear. Treat the symptoms and it simply covers up the real problem, often making the overall condition worse and producing other more serious symptoms.

Yet homeopathy has had its critics over the years. Pharmaceutical companies claim the remedies are placebos, since the remedies themselves have very little "substance" (long story why they're purposely teeny). No surprise of course as widespread acknowledgement of the science would render the Mercks of the world powerless and unprofitable. Another challenge is that the science and practice of homeopathy takes time. Time to select the right remedy, and time for the body to take its "cue" and find its path to restoring health. And sometimes, the physical symptoms initially get worse (a good sign actually) as the body begins to "kick itself into gear".

Certainly not a great approach for a world -- and especially the U.S.A. -- that wants quick fixes to make the outward symptoms disappear ... and fast. Interestingly enough, homeopathy has been very standard practice in some non-U.S. countries for a very long time.

Unfortunately, we live in a world of microwaves and drive-thru fast food restaurants. Think about that for a minute: Fast food and drive-thru? What's that ... faster food?? How about faster death??? We want quick and cheap fixes. It's a sad statement about humanity.

When I chose to launch the Jellie effort, many asked "Why so long?" On the other hand, I personally thought ... "Why so short?". Yet eight weeks seemed to balance the need to experience multiple market rhythms and seasons -- as well as multiple trader states of mind -- with our worldly need to accelerate the learning -- or curative -- process.

There are many solid educational efforts out there, led by quality instructors (hopefully, those who actually trade or traded of course) such as Raschke, Steenbarger, et al, and they're to be commended for giving back to the industry. Yet one challenge we all face is that teaching in a single day or weekend often results in what I call the "seminar" effect where participants get pumped up, only to return to trading reality on Monday where things often "aren't quite as they appeared".

Yes, these next eight weeks will be over before we know it. A blink of the eye.

Yet consider it my attempt to try to attack this business from a holistic perspective.

Without asprins and drive-thrus.