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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

old stuff worth saving

An interesting occurrence this weekend while sitting in a Louisville
Kentucky airport. After my mad dash through the incredibly scenic Kentucky
horse country, pushing the purple pt cruiser to the max speed so as to make
my flight..I was of course 2 hours early and had substantial time to kill
idling away in the airport. I grabbed a large coffee and sat down with my
mindless mental popcorn of a novel and settled in for the wait. Just in
front of me was an elderly couple…with apologies to friend Yale, they were
both above the 80 mark. As their conversation drifted back to me, I
carefully marked my place in the book and set back to observe. It was like
watching On Golden Pond with a Kentucky draw. Who had the tickets?.did you
remember to call Bill-uh( Im reasonably certain this is Kentuckian for
Billy) to pick us up at the airport? I f you could stay up past 8:00 we
could have visited with johnsoons( again I believe this to be Johnson)
awhile longer. It went on aim, fire, nag back and forth. It was only when
one looked closely that you realized that not only were they smiling the
whole time..they were holding hands. After a bit, she announced that some
coffee shure would take the edge of all this sittin. He snorted and informed
her that she best have a cup in her pockey book( again, loosely translated
as pocket book) cause he wasn’t dragging his old bones all the way down the
tuhminal(terminal) just to make her happy. All this said of course as he was
rising with the attendant snap crackle and pop of old bones unfolding…..I
leaned forward and asked their pardon for overhearing but as I was little
under caffeinated and empty cupped myself, I would be more than happy to
bring her back a cup. …The old gentleman smiled with dancing eyes said..well
thank you young felluh(fellow) but Im believe it ll taste better if I
git(get) if fuh(for) her myself. The look she gave him then of
absolute..adoration is the wrong word as that implies a certain level of
inequality…but fondness, dedication contained all the love and memories of
all the years I could be wrong..hell he may have picked her up
in the airport bar but you got the sense that they had been together across
the decades, raising bill-uh and the other kids and came out the other side
still in love…and still friends. I saw this..I call it a phenomenon... once
before while sitting on the beach in Ocean City Maryland one summer mid
morning years ago when an elderly couple, he complete in Bermuda shorts,
black socks and open sandals, her in a purple sundress of the early American
housecoat variety and red tennis shoes, strolling down the beach..or more
accurately shuffling as they were breaking no speed records for any age
class…this was one of the spectacular summer days you occasionally get at
the eastern seaboard beaches , bright sunshine skipping across the breaking
surf like diamonds cast by the hands of a laughing god, dolphins frolicking
just past the surf line like teenage boys in the midst of a hormonal surge
trying to impress similarly surging bikini clad maidens on the shore. They
saw none of this, only each other.

Which of course brings me to the point of the post….Vic has on numerous
occasions referred to the relationships between sex, human relationships and
speculation. Dr Brett has commented on past occasions ion the impact of
domestic bliss and personal satisfaction.or the lack thereof..on performance
in other endeavors such as trading. I think that In this area, one that is a
critical component of personal happiness, we are operating on flawed
models.Look for a moment at the great examples of romance in
fiction…Cinderella, the ordinary girl transformed and running off with the
prince. Very nice idea..provided of course you have handy a fairy god mother
who can do realty creative things with pumpkins and mice( and I am prety
sure the ASPCA would have something to say about this)..and weaving a
gorgeous gown out of straw would seem to be another talent required for this
scenario to play out. I have not seen any fairy godmothers of late and I m
reasonably certain that if any exist they are in San Francisco marching in
support of same magic marriage.And Please…what were romeo and Juilet except
a couple of puppy love struck teenagers intent on defying their
parents?Prince charming perhaps, dashing in on his white steed to save the
damsel in distress? In this day of womens lib and litigation, our prince
stands a good chance of being hated and resented by the damsel, and even if
she is properly appreciative the lawsuits, in this day when malefactors may
freely sue those injure them and prevent the completion of their dastardly
deeds, would force our happy couple to hock the armor and sell the horse for
legal say nothing of the fines for befouling the streets with
animal leavings from aforementioned steed.

Being part of what is demographically called the middle aged divorce crowd,
I often see these failed models working out in the great American laboratory
known as the cocktail lounge, bar or pub. The young lady who professes to
value a sense of humor, kindness affection and romance will quite often
leave the bar with the lounge lizard who looks like Richard Gere, or the
overly muscled steroid biker freak with the long hair and willl then spend
long hours lamenting these these failed relationships over white wine and
cosmopolitans. Men are the worst here. In our desire for companionship, sex
and romance we are a sucker for the surgically enhanced temptress,long hair,
long legs and parts that do things the creator never meant parts to do…..We
forget so often that those who are appealing to the base desires, who dress
to look the part of the dream are most often looking to do exactly that…to
tempt us to do something we should not for reasons we usually would not and
its much more about their desires than ours…the muscle happy freak and larry
the lounge lizard are looking to get laid…the tight jeaned barroom queen of
our dreams, in my experience is looking for this months visa card payment
and a move up apartment. Those who initially profess interest in something
more meaningful fall into their traps and find all the attendant miseries.
Everytime I have allowed a gin soaked brain to fall for a cosmetic package
that took my breath away…my wallet usually followed my breath. While all the
while their sits a decent respectable guy out with his buddies who would
like nothing more than to fall in love with the right girl and end up in a
Louisville airport in 30 or 40 years, arthritically shuffling for his
beloveds coffee, and an attractive women sits..without the surgical
improvement, dressed in clothes that actually fit but with more flashing
behind her eyes than even she realizes who only desires the right man and
dreams of wearing purple sundress and red tennis shoes on the beaches of her

How often do we see these failed models play out in markets and trading?
Looking for a reliable, testable approach to trading and investing, we fall
instead for the sexy temptations of the market mistress with her curvaceous
breakout system, enticing us with her tightly fitting equity curves….the
soft seductive whisper of a hot tip..episodes of passionate day trading
leaving one spent..and broke? Searching for solutions and patterns that are
reliable, how often do we leave instead with larry the mkt lizard and his
sophisticated looking systems and bright repartee of research reports only
to find ourselves waking up alone yet again, another notch on the gun belt
of the go-go boys, in need of a cleansing shower and a cash infusion? We
carefully lay out our criteria, structure out systems, define what we are
looking for and in the great barroom of the market place, the mistress and
her companions induce the hormonal surge of flashy profits, instant
success,seductive hot tips, bulging muscular stocks sure to go to 100 and
split,slick sophisticated trading systems containing secrets only the pros

I m reasonably sure that is the sign of unbalanced mind to be able to take
one moment of time in an airport, a moment that seemingly defines romance,
perhaps more along the tracey/ hepburn model of contentious companionship,
bright exchanges of ideas and thoughts, passion fueled by intellect not a
loin induced surge of chemicals driving our booze fueled brains to chase an
illusion, than the traditional swooning, heaving bosom variety that we have
been sold for decades..and turn it into a philosophical thought about we so
often fail in the markets..but the similarities are there. Instead of the
steady profits and high probability trades of mean reversion and
contranianism, we chase the big bang of trend following and breakouts..we
ignore the obvious in front of us because it may involve hours testing and
researching our conclusions( you in favor of gaudy packaged
approaches and wade cookish bestsellers on becoming millionaires in a few
hours of mad cap trading……the right answers are there with smiling eyes full
of promises of long term success if only we avoid the golden temptress, the
muscle bound playboy and the temptation of instant happiness for the long
term…..and perhaps someday we do shall all do the metaphorical shuffle

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