Coaching lessons and a glimpse from the most elusive mentorship

Picking students for MasterClass isn’t as easy as picking stocks. There are no probabilities or historical DNA we can pick apart, the most we can do is make them fill up a form and screen it.

The first MasterClass Zee and I had (aside from the prototype batch Erudite) was tricky. A lot gave their best vying for the slot. It wasn’t enough that they were willing to pay, it had to be the right people. The personality and location was crucial.

What we’re forming is a group of people who must gel together. They aren’t just classmates, they’re going to be a team.

On the first day of classes, I laid it down on them.

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“Your profitability depends on your individual skills, but your survival will depend on one another.”


 

We met some of them before classes begun. One of them traveled 6 hours for a dinner that lasted 30 minutes.

W dropped by after a chance business trip, because he’s normally based abroad. L traveled all the way from the North. G did as well.

I was silently praying that they get along before we even drop by. Science don’t lie, their relationship with one another will inevitably affect their performance.

People are often very different from their spreadsheet responses. W displayed his firm personality, something I had expected but it was different seeing it in person. G was more laid back than what I had originally assumed. L is a far cry from the person who wrote his heart out in his application– in a good way. He was light and cheery.


 

The classes felt like it lasted forever.

Until it was over.

It didn’t help their cause that classes are cancelled if someone fails to submit the requirements… and every class has atleast 2-4 requirements each. It was something we devised to make them count on one another. The point was to make it impossible without cooperation.

 

But before we knew it,

it was done.

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And the real work, the world without padded Styrofoam, begins.


 

During our minicompetition after course, Neil, one of the more chatty students wondered out loud how one ZFT caught a stock early on.

“I’ve checked for any hidden divergences”, he said.

It was $ABA at 0.86. It looked clear as day for me.

“But aren’t they quietly consolidating on top of the 100 MA?”

“Yes”, he said. “But this isn’t a downtrend.”

I shifted my gears. Neil is an academic who needs evidence, and I know I wanted to resolve this by making him find the answer by himself.

“What’s your A grade set-up, Neil?”, I gently asked him.

He answered in less than a minute.

“Great!” I typed back. “That’s my A grade set-up too, ABA’s set-up is my B grade set-up, along with bounce plays.”

I let that sink in for a while. “How about your B grade set-up? What would it be?”

I didn’t get an answer. I forgive him. It’s only been a month since the end of formal lessons, they’re now soaking in niche-finding exercises with Chester Cheng.

“My point is, I saw it clearly because I’ve seen it many times before. You’ll see it too next time, specially if you’re willing to risk a lower high set-up like that.”


 

Obviously it wasn’t enough. Neil like any typical trader wants to ride all the big moves of stocks, but unlike typical traders, he wanted a black and white guideline for each.

Yuri offered his sympathies, “I didn’t see that set-up too. It wasn’t even in my watchlist. I just don’t like trades like that. It’s a hard pass for me.”

But unlike Neil, Yuri had the quiet confidence of sticking to his strategy. It didn’t matter he didn’t get this fish, he knows how to repeatedly catch another one.


 

I offered Neil one more lesson, “Neil, you haven’t seen this set-up yes, but with whatever you currently have, you’re already leading the class by atleast double the second placer. My point is, you don’t have to know everything, just a few key ones will help you take the lead.”


 

The point I was trying to make was that mastery did not come from the involvement of each and every stock movement. It was enough to know a handful and then deploy it much better than the rest of the trading populace. The energy spent on endlessly pursuing more techs will never end, there will always be another indicator, another timeframe, another hot set-up. The real task lies on the smooth execution.

 

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It’s in the tiring battle between greed and fear.

Against analysis-paralysis.

Winning against FOMO.

Engaging in trade ideas without feeling pressured to do what everyone else is doing.

Pulling the trigger and keeping to your proper position size.

Staying out of the market once your monthly quota is hit.

Remaining in neutral emotional territory even when the crowd is going wild.

That’s what Mastery needed.

By the time you figured out where the support and resistances are and how to properly plot lines, you’re almost done with techs. The rest is just frills to reassure the worrying trader.

It’s the self-mastery portion that will last a lifetime.

To go against your very nature of facing risk and danger without flinching, and sticking to your plan. To have solid confidence when placing a trade, and then to eat all that certainty up when the trade reverses, admit the mistake and take the loss without identifying with the failure and hurting the ego.

Of course adapting to market trends is important,

but you rarely should do so in the middle of the trade.

That is something you get the numbers on, study, and then plan.


Neil lost his top position when M (the batch’s admin) overtook it through strong conviction with the CEB trade. It didn’t help that it was a whipsaw market the day before.

He laughed about it and told everyone, “Now I understand why we were told that our first goal is a mere breakeven. There’s still so much more to learn.”


 

Dear Readers,

I had a lot of messages telling me I’ve come a long way! I coach now and I love what I’m doing. There is magic in seeing another person unfold to become a better version of themselves. It was amazing to see their potential, but even more amazing to see them fulfill it.

As I write this, Batch Infinitum drinks their morning cuppa while they lazily watch the market. W is on a bounce play, while some took a CH.

It’s our first official day in the camp, and I couldn’t be happier seeing the class act like old friends.

All the hard work paid off.

 

Forever yours,

Celeste

Congrats, Infinitum. I will always be rooting for you.

My dreams made me lose people and that’s okay

I lost a lot of people on my ongoing journey to reach the top.

I lost opportunities to become friends with people who are kind and simple… because I was worried that they would slow me down or worse, make me forget my goals.

I lost people who could have been good team mates if I weren’t a threat to their own ambition, because they believe there is room for only one victor.

I lost people who I thought were my friends, I loved as my friends, protected as my friends… but were only there for what I can do for them.

I haven’t even counted the times I  lost the opportunity to be carefree because I’ve spent my time and energy on building my dreams.

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But the law of the universe is abundance, and I believe that.

What I have lost has been replaced.

I gained people who think the same way that I do. They have the same principles and integrity too.

I gained people who aren’t driven by fear and lack. They too went through the same circumstances of being used as a tool by those who are fearful of scarcity.

I gained people who have been betrayed as well and therefore swore to never allow history to repeat itself. We flock together and protect one another.

I gained mentors who saw the long and trying journey I have ahead. They are willing to help me get through it just like the way they did.

I gained a network I never would have if I stayed inside my comfort zone. I never would have reached out far and wide if I was coddled and comfortable and not rejected.

I gained opportunities present only to those who are wide awake searching.

I gained skills that could help me build over and over no matter how many times I fall.


Everything I lost was worth it because something better replaced it.

Whenever you wonder if you’re on the right track, take an honest inventory of what you have. If the people surrounding you now are more supportive, have better principles, and walk the talk, then no matter how uncomfortable it was to let other people go, know that it was NECESSARY for your own good.

Don’t be afraid of LOSING people. Very rarely will you die alone, being recluse is a choice you make, not an accident that happened. You are only clearing the time and energy so the things that will energize you can have the space it needs.

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Anything that costs you your peace of mind is too expensive.

It is adversity not comfort that will show you which way to go.

It is adversity that will give you the opportunity that comfort never will.

And it is triumph against these adversity that will give you satisfaction.

It is not in the absence of obstacles but in the victory

will we find happiness.


Easy for me to say now that some of it are over (until the next one comes).

It’s hard to think about these principles while it’s happening.

But you can only connect the dots in a month or in a year or in a decade from now. For the time being, we feel the pain and bravely face it. At times of uncertainty, when the lines are blurred between right or wrong, it is enough that we just do what we can at the best of our abilities.

Trusting that the Fates will steer us to the right direction.

What matters most, is we keep going.

Forever yours,

Celeste

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