An open letter: he calls himself the orchestrator

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I’m no longer upset about the 200,000. Money is a currency that can lose its value over time although, in the same case, the point is to beat the system with the stock market.

What I’m really upset about is how they wasted my time. 200,000 is worth months of my job. It signifies the days I almost cried before going to work because I was still exhausted from it late last night.

I miss my mother’s cooking and my dad’s heavy opinion on politics as he watch the evening news. I’ve been away from home too long. It’s funny how you will eventually miss the annoying barkers and the tricycle noise.

They wasted my time and my sacrifice, and I’m not even allowed to complain about it. I was called names for that. I was told not to think. If someone challenged their opinion, they wouldn’t answer seriously… And then, instead, they slap us with their credentials.

Credentials are fine but I don’t see results. Or are we the results? Is my 200,000 php loss the result of their gain? Come to think of it, I lost that money it must have went somewhere else. It certainly did not evaporate on thin air!

Someone had sold when I had bought, and that person could be the same person who convinced people to do so.

Anger is useless now, isn’t it? OFWs are often victimized.

Yes you. You who drives a sports car and spends time with your family every Christmas. You in your fancy kitchen. You who harvest off our own sweat & sacrifice.

I will not thank you because you do not deserve my gratitude, as any victim will not express gratitude over her murderer.

You have no conscience, retiring on this money. Leisurely spending on luxury. Feeding your kids from my hard work you have stolen. Thievery at this age is so modern, they’re dressed in tux, armed with a microphone, so as you are.

I long for my bed at my home. I long to have dinner and a night out with my girls.

Yet you sleep at night soundly. Convinced yourself that we clicked it any way… After presenting yourself as our teacher, mentor, guide?

You’ve set every thing up and led us to believe, this is on to you. Our blood is on your hands, no matter what you say to help yourself sleep at night.

The time I sacrificed and hard work I laboured in a foreign land with harsh conditions, gone and became your money. I behest you.

You asked for fame because you said, you wanted legacy. This money you won’t take to your grave. How many people would silently think to themselves “good riddance” as you lay dying on your sick bed?

Is this what you want?

No, I am not iyakin. I am speaking out against you who so heartlessly hurt us.

I will not thank you, but I will learn from this. You no longer have power over me. I am in control. One day, I will rise again and so shall others you have kicked down because of your ego and greed. And I will show the world that it is possible to survive an encounter with the devil…

That is you.

 

Respectfully yours,

Celeste

The Great Mystery: Selling points

Thinking back, I was never told when to cut. At almost every opportunity, I was told to buy.

Buy when it’s green. Buy when it’s red. There was almost always a reason to buy. Buy, even, when it breaks a certain price point– “Sumalo ka. Magpapaiwan ka ba?

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After that, I got bombarded with quotes. Oh, dear. The quotes. I wonder how much the people who got quoted must feel in the afterlife now. Do they want to rise from their graves and slap the people who use it and perverse them? To be used in bad faith when you wanted to leave a legacy!

Oh and let me tell you a story although it does feel quite strangely familiar. This must be deja vu. I must have seen it on TV? Or read about it in a book? No?

Oh my. It might have happened to me. I could have seen the script.

It starts with fundamentals. It starts with a dream. It starts with a wild speculation. Thrown in with a bit more of credentials. Bolster with certainty. Tell ’em to fight. Build a small fire within.

Slowly, slowly.

Remind them of who you are. Laugh at those who question you, dust up your old resume, let every one see. How can you be wrong?

Embellish an impressive figure of profits! It has to be at least twice at this point… but make sure the base line idea is that you’ve always known things are bad with the Index, touch this ever-so-lightly and then let them go.

Oh, but if it’s so bad, how come other people have made money out of it?No one must know that! Ban them, banish them, send them off! These stupid, meddling, bunch of trolls! Truthers!

It’s a community of grieving people out here– do not have them bombarded with proof that there’s a better way than yours.

That there is hope.

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My strength was used against me. I admit that makes me upset. Because I was told that not being able to bear pain made me a lesser candidate for success, and I didn’t want that. I so desperately want to succeed. I can bear pain. Oh, I can bear even more than that if it’s for the people I love. So, I stayed there and held my losing stocks and there was some humor in the community to ease it a bit— but it did not change anything about the reality. I’m losing money.

And the bottom line is all that matters right? After all, you came here for that.

Let’s walk out of here, my darling. Let me tell you a bit about the world I have learned. The stock market is no different. It is business. This is cutthroat.

It is a market place. Remember that. There are buyers, there are sellers. In here, both parties think they made the right decision. The question is who was right, and who was wrong?

The reason they told you to buy is because they have bought (past tense). Or atleast, in the beginning! Logically, why would they encourage you into something and not involve themselves in it? If it’s THAT good? I don’t see any thing wrong here. Quite reasonable, actually.
The reason they can not tell you when to sell is simple. It’s where sabotage lies.

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If every one else sells, then who will buy when they start selling?

When it’s all been said and done, they knock on the living and wake up the dead motivational speakers and then they let them talk, talk, talk. This isn’t for them, silly. It’s for you. For us. Because at this point of the game, they have won, but you don’t know it… I didn’t know it. And we must bear the pain.

Maybe a bit of Rocky Balboa, Peter Lynch, Livermore will prevent you from hating.

After all, sugar, they might need to do business with you again, right?

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Wake up, darling. Don’t move with the crowd. They are ahead of it. Bought earlier, sold earlier and so should you.

You don’t have to be published in the media, sent abroad, or go to TV to be a part of the victorious. We can win by simply refusing the obvious. In this business, are you selling… or are you being sold?

Forever yours,

Celeste

Trust issues

Trust yourself. I know it’s difficult to do that now, but there are more reasons to do so than to not.

It’s humiliating to keep asking another person what they think a stock performance ought to do in a few days. You call in, with desperation, wondering if you did the right thing. Here’s a secret: Very few can handle telling you the truth if you’re wrong. Specially when they know you’re holding a large position. It’s not cruelty, human beings aren’t just wired to kick someone who’s already down on the gutter. They will struggle to give you hope, clawing for the information that might appease your senses.

Trust yourself. Here’s another reason why: Because it’s more acceptable to make a mistake you placed upon yourself, than to suffer the consequences done by another. No one can save you here, until you do. Your sufferings will not be borne by another person who gave you the wrong advice, nor is the money that you just lost from his own sacrifice.

It’s all on you, dear.

Every time you corner someone to give you advice, they will never know what to tell you. They do not want the mistake on their name, but they want the glory if it went right. Not every one is credible to do this sort of advice dispensing.

Read the charts on your own and trust on yourself more than how another person reads it. It’s YOUR money. In the end, you can only blame or award yourself.

Twice I went through a disappointing moment: The first one was this. I was holding an outperforming trending stock at a very low average. How I did that, I do not know. It was the rare instance I believed in the fundamentals, and the stock acted right. After a prolonged period of uptrend, it was beginning to show some bearishness. Low volume, disinterest in social media groups, a false breakout, and apparently, at that time, the price started to move in a narrow range.

I didn’t know what it all meant. I was getting anxious. It was the only green stock in my port so I had asked various number of people I deemed better than I do. I wanted to hold it, but a lot of times I’ve already been scolded because I wouldn’t sell my positions while it was still green with profit.

I heard a number of things, “lock in your profits now” or “you should rather be sure” or “that’s going down”. With a heavy heart, I did that next day.

To my disbelief, the uptrend continued. A month later, the same people who told me to sell, asked me this question. “Why the bloody hell did you let that stock go?”

The only probable answer is amnesia. But, again, I placed the blame on myself.

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Trust yourself.

I have only recently learned to read a bit more indicators. For three days, I watched a certain stock move. I was getting so sure about it, I felt like my chances on this one is higher than most. The stock wasn’t mentioned anywhere, no one else was analyzing it and posting about it. Even its entire industry was almost being ignored.

The days on the market at that time was a bloodbath. Very, very few were spared. But this one was one of the few strong stocks holding, at one point it was doing a strong uptrend, but I was happily able to bottom fish. The day closed with my stock giving me paper profits.

The next day, the overall bearishness was worse. An hour into the market and there wasn’t even a single trade on my stock. I was getting anxious but I watched and watched. Eventually, it breached the price I was holding and then it breached support. Immediately, I sold it all. Calmly did I get out with only 100 pesos realized loss.

I don’t know what got into my silly mind but during those early hours of the market, another stock being recommended by a group was making a profit. I felt like that meant strength. That was my ONLY analysis on that stock. Hey, it’s green on a red day. I took a look at it before, but never really understood the appeal so, quietly, without telling anyone, I entered it bidding at a low point. The bid got hit and it stayed there for a while.  And when it finally moved, oh how it moved.

I can’t tell you how fast it went down. 

I was watching and the fastest I could get out was only a few ticks below my point. My broker account was lagging. I was cursing in defeat. Eventually, I did get out. But this time with a 1000 php loss.

I sat there and started thinking about what it taught me.

My own novice analysis got me only a hundred php of loss. My health remained relatively good as I have calmly executed my plan. In contrast, the analysis of the expert whom I had followed the advice has punched me with a loss ten times my own analysis, and it costed me a good amount of stress.

I bow down to the masters of the trade.

But then again, I have learned, that my personal distrust will never serve me. I might as well stab myself with my own weapons. If I do not believe I can win, then I must not play the game. Battles are won starting within ourselves.

I hope you trust yourself more.

Forever yours,

Celeste

P.S. Write me a letter. <3

Dating Mr. Stocks

The problem with stocks is that they’re similar to men.

And the problem with men, is that, they’re generally very simple, but we love to make them complicated.

It’s true– The whole business of Taylor Swift is built on that concept.

Like for example, the nerd guy with excellent grades get ignored by large because of how ‘boring’ and ‘steady’ he moves. “Oh he doesn’t make me breathless!” Then, the same girls who said that flock to the guy though, the moment he establishes his financial report. Funny thing. Let’s call him Mr. BlueChips

Well, I’m not really keen on discussing Mr. BlueChips right now.

I’d like to talk about the time I had to listen to Mariah Carey soundtracks, motivate myself with a ton of You Can Do It Girl, and eat a tub of ice cream in between pathetic bouts of crying.

You see, in the stock market, there’s a particular type of stock that ZF readers are very well into. The type that makes what Mr. BlueChip makes in a year in just a shorter amount of time. Sometimes, even for just a few days of ceiling play.

They’re the third liners or the basura. Penny stocks. I can’t even find a good name for them. But how are they related to men, you ask?

Oh, yes. He’s always there. Bad boy, leather jacket, drives his motor cycle fast. Like John Travolta in Grease which I’m sure was the epitome of ‘things’ back then when spandex and leggings was all the rage. Winks at you. Lures you in without luring you in. Do you get it? Do you get it GET it?

You see most of the people were sent to the stock markets for a promise of ‘riches’ and they, like me, were never really taught about these bad boys. Work and Invest! I get it. They’re right to be frank with you… If you want to be free quite late in the grind. So every one got in the market as FUNDAMENTALISTS.

The problem starts when you first hear about these bad boys and the party they like to throw around. “I had such a great time last night at Penn’s!”

What. Intrigue. Is. That.

Is this where the wolf of wall street is made and are they as good looking as Leonardo DiCarpio? Is this where guts meet glory?

So poor fundamentalists– or long-term dating type of girls– get so attracted to these 50%-in-a-day Rock Star.

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Dear darling,

oh you poor thing. So you played as Ms. Fundamental AKA Long-term to a Mr. Technical play AKA short and sweet? What song were you relating to when it was all happening? I can tell you what mine was. (hint: it’s *ahem* Taylor Swift. told ya so).

Guy took me for a ride! Oh what excitement. And then, he faltered. I was left dancing the salsa alone. And my, isn’t that awkward? My dance moves would have worked for Mr. BlueChips though. But that’s not what I need, otherwise, what’s the use of even playing.

Let me tell you one thing, girl. Life is simple. This is simple. As long as you play by the rules and don’t try changing it. You’re special, but not that special. I’m sorry. I found out the hard way as well.

Mr. Penn will never change but his rewards and perils will remain constant as well. And if you still want that reward, change your system.

It’s quite rewarding, I have to tell you that. wink emoticon

So learn to do the tango, if that is his game. And learn to leave before the party is over. Rinse, repeat. Ride his motorcyle high but never ever fall inlove with his kind. Leave when it’s time to leave, and cut your losses.

Love, Celeste

The Rebirth

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Let me tell you a story about the day I died,
and lived again.

Here’s an embarrassing confession, I was a fundamentalist. When I was really new, I had a choice to learn the fundamental or the technical way of analyzing. I chose to learn the fundamental first… because I thought that was an easier study and it provided cold hard facts of a company’s reality.

But let’s make a controversial stand here, my first point is fundamentalists are not traders. They are investors. And I was doing fundamental analysis… on a TA play. Can you believe that? I don’t even know what I was thinking… But I was new, and I didn’t know how these things go.

Now let’s add flavor to that. We all know that sometimes a company’s earnings will have a huge disconnect on how much their shares are being sold. They do not always reflect, because if it does, then we can all just be happy campers and relax. But I’m willing to bet that you have all witnessed a sell on news atleast once, and I was a repeat victim each time. It’s a lonely position, to finally proclaim your savior (a.k.a. financial report), only to watch in horror as my share price fell.

Here’s another thing to consider. As Pring have said, with fundamental analysis, it’s not about the news. It’s about how the people would react to those news. There’s a big difference in that.

Your major problem with fundamental analysis is that you largely depend on other people to wake up and be as smart as you in realizing that a stock is worth much, much more than what it is selling for… and it’s always difficult to expect that much out of other people.

On cutting losses and changing my perspective:

Almost every money I ever made did not touch the bank. If it did, it got transferred immediately to my broker account. The way I saw things, I have to invest NOW or risk losing the time value of money. That was the holy grail of finance books– invest. Invest now.

I worked hard and I didn’t spend needlessly. I was at this state of deprivation and sacrifice for my future when I saw my money slowly lose value. My heart was breaking every single day.

It got me reflecting if I was really better off than most people who spent lavishly on themselves. I was not. I invested my money on these “good companies” and yet it didn’t open up the doors to financial freedom. My money was not growing, it was in fact shrinking. I was down to 80% loss on my worst stock.

My unwillingness to cut those represented my denial of the truth. I often told people that I know the money is gone, I’ve accepted it. But if I accepted it, then why wouldn’t I cut it? I have not. I could not face the reality. The ship has sunk.

I have never really cut before. Not enough to instigate a change in me.But this one did, and the moment I did, I cried my eyes out. It was so liberating, and so painful at the same time. I had finally admitted defeat. I was wrong, so wrong for a long time. And if only I had tried to correct it sooner, if only I had admitted my mistake, then it would have saved me. It would have saved me earlier.

I remember days of watching the market shrink my money. I remember closing the tab as soon as I open it. “Not today.”, I said. “Maybe tomorrow?” That day never came. It slipped, and dove, and fell down. My money. The ones I intended to grow through compounding interest. Shrinking.

I was changed that day. It was painful but the pain is nothing compared to how I feel while holding the losing trade. Freedom is a much, much better company than losing money while I fight to be hopeful in a hopeless situation.

I cried that day, even to a point that I almost felt physically sick. But here’s something you should know, “Don’t cry to quit. Cry to keep going. You’re already in pain, you’re already hurt. Get a reward from it. Don’t quit.”

Because eventually, the pain will subside. The lesson will stay.

Why don’t you cut your losses?
If you really like that company, and it’s diving, cut it. Cut it. Immediately. You can always re-enter. This was what he (Zee) told me the last few minutes I hesitated.

You can always re-enter at even better positions. Maybe you can even triple your gains once it recovers back to the levels that used to be your average before the cut… specially if you successfully bottom fish after the dive. Protect your capital, keep it safe. These are your ammos.

If you don’t cut losses, those who did might have made better money somewhere else. They celebrate as you wait for something you do not know the possibilities of happening. On the same stock, however, if you have decided to re-enter, those who didn’t cut will only get a breakeven once it recovers… While you, who have, arrive at that level bagging good profit beforehand.

Cutting losses is not defeat. It’s smart trading. It’s not battle defeat, it’s another weapon you can use to win a bigger war. It’s a very important weapon too. Use it.

Trust me when I say this, the people you respect have lost more than you do. Every one did in the beginning. If you quit now, then the story is over. If you suck it up, try again, then you can change how it ends.

They sucked it up, studied hard, tried again. You can do the same.

Get up.

I was out of the market a few weeks after that, I started studying harder. Eventually, the pain did subside.


 

Zee: So how does it feel now?
Celeste: Relaxed and more lethal. Funny combination that.

Zee: Why lethal?
Celeste: As a trader when you lack yourself of emotions, you become a more capable strategist. Holding no positions place me at the best set-up to attack accordingly. Staying in a losing trade is an overwhelmingly big distraction to rational thinking, you won’t be able to trade your other stocks well when you’re neck deep on the red with another.

What I also mean is, you won’t care about what position another person is or the world is. I wouldn’t care if Juan Dela Cruz next to me is in a potential bounce play he’s excited about. I have no position, and this gives me the power to choose. If I can’t do a bounce play, then I don’t do a bounce play.

Being able to choose my battles, based on my skills, will help me win it before I even fight.

Having, or holding a losing position, makes you feel helpless against the tides of the market.

With this, I choose where to go, and if I know I can go there. I go there. More lethal.

Zee: do you think about “what if” you held on to *stock name* and the rest?
Celeste: Sometimes, but it doesn’t do me any good na eh. I try to forget about the money I lost and potentially would have lost more or even the money I potentially didn’t lose if I cut early. Doing that will mess up my mentality on how to move next. I might get too aggressive or too conservative just because of how I feel. But well when I do, I’m glad I did. I’m really, really glad.

I remember the times I held on to it and it kicks me in the stomach every time it went down. I’m freed of that horrible torture. Truth is companies can go bankrupt or they can disappoint earnings, and once again, that’s out of my control. Atleast right now, I’m more in charge.

Placing my trust on a company’s future earnings and on the overall market players to react to that makes me feel powerless. Because what if they don’t deliver? And what if they don’t react?

Sure it’s the same about charts, it can invalidate an impending bullish pattern, but it’s more honest and upfront. Once it goes wrong, you see it immediately and you can react.

But with those fundamental plays, you’re never sure if people have factored in the “good news” because where do you see them do that? People don’t walk around with badges if they’ve heard about it. It could be another 6 months later before they realize how good the good news is.

It’s so elusive, and some people like that, sure. But if i’m going to fight a battle tugged between market buyers and sellers, I want to place myself at the best position, best probability, where I can win.

With fundamentals, you don’t KNOW if it’s even gonna kick in.

It’s like having a Charizard. Sometimes it obeys you, but sometimes it does not and Charizard is your only freaking Pokemon. You can’t have anything else.

xxx

Forever yours,

Celeste

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