Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday Notes - Guest Jellie Writer

I awoke this morning to find this unsolicited offer from one of the Jellies to pen a journal post for today. Here it is, completely unedited.

“No Country For Old Men”

I enjoyed the Coen brother’s critically acclaimed movie “No Country for Old Men” for its realistic depiction of human life and experience. If you are familiar with the Coens, they are not known for warm and fuzzy happy endings. They like to present to you in various forms what we go to the movies to forget…that life is hard. Toward the end of this twisted crime drama sheriff Tom Bell (played by Tommy Lee Jones) visits a former colleague’s isolated home on a plain somewhere in Texas. After greeting each other and forcing a couple of pleasantries, the colleague looks up from his wheelchair and says “this country’s hard on people”.

Trading is hard. This is part of the appeal, part of the joy at reaching a milestone, and part of the challenge. Like the first line in “7 Habits of Highly Successful People” by Stephen Covey which simply states “Life is Difficult”. Covey goes on to say that the sooner we recognize and accept this, the sooner we are able to deal with things much more effectively. This is true for trading as well. After 12 days in the Jellie Tank I can tell you that there are no magic set-ups, no Don Miller secrets that have not been revealed in the blog, and no easy profits (though, there have been profits!). However, 21 people signed up for this effort and 21 people remain. We could have left during the first week and gotten most of our money back. Nobody did.

This is a testament to Don Miller and a testament to my brothers in the tank. I’ll just go ahead and say it and he might edit it out, but these last few weeks have been hard on Don. First let me say that I personally trade 2-4 ES contracts at a time and do 5-10 trades in a day. That’s anywhere from 10-40 contracts per day. Don traded 550 contracts yesterday which was a light day for him. He’s done this everyday with 21 of us questioning him about entries, telling him what we are thinking, and doing stupid things that he has to correct. This is all in addition to the Webinar preparations, questions at night from the Jellies, and blog updates. At dinner last night, my wife said to me “how does he trade that much and deal with everybody at the same time?”. I told her I didn’t know.

I think a lot of the Jellies wonder what Don will do after these 8 weeks. Deep down, we all hope he continues to keep the trading room open and even possibly trades with us “for the rest of our lives” as he says on a recent blog video. I have my own opinion which I’ll keep to myself for now (hint hint: it doesn’t include trader education). I accidentally came across a blog discussion on a Google search last night where a guy was saying that Don was a “sell-out” for doing trader education. I chuckled to myself thinking how foolish people can be. 21 guys could have gotten most of their money back after a week and nobody did. That’s my only response to any questions about Don’s integrity or the quality of his efforts.

“No Country for Old Men” ends with Sheriff Bell and his wife at the breakfast table on his first day of retirement. He recounts a dream he had the night before and there has been much discussion on what this final scene meant (see clip below). I think Bell is just tired, he doesn’t want to go into those “dark woods” up ahead that he speaks of in the dream which are surely symbolic of the escalating violence he has witnessed in his formerly quiet town. He’s “20 years older than his father ever was” and he’s tired. Hence the title of the movie.

Don’s young by most yardsticks, but maybe “old” in trading years. He’s certainly and admittedly tired from his miraculous journey in 2008. Trading’s hard on people. But in the end, as much as he loves his wife I just don’t see Don Miller ever having that “first day of retirement morning breakfast” with his wife.

Make of that what you will.

Guest Jellie Writer