If You're Planning Dinner While On The Way Home, Who Is Driving the Car?

In This Crazy World, How's Your Mental Game?

Just supposing .... you happen to notice for a moment a synchronicity of timing. You're all riled up the same time everybody else has gotten riled too - whether for the same reason or not - does that mean that you are being triggered by the same thing that triggered them?

No offense intended . But everything I see suggests that this is the case for the majority of people. This, in my way of looking at things, includes: the adult people parading with pretend pussies on their head in public, the other people kneeling instead of assuming a different required stance, the people on the right trying to catch people on the left with logical arguments (!!!). The conservatives who risk life and limb by volunteering, ultimately to follow orders from socialists who periodically gain administrative power. Socialist people with genuine feelings who require other folks to relinquish their stuff to prove themselves adequate. The many different groups in society. They all say they have different stories/excuses/things to protest. But looking down from some hypothetical godlike position above, like eg from the moon with a telescope, I notice they all start running around in circles at the same time. And they all achieve very little. Strikingly little, considering the effort, time and concern, and sincerity in their efforts. Arguing with each other about important things. And they all stop running around at the same time too. How strange that must be to see or notice for the first time!

So if these are all different issues. And these are all different people in the different protests/circles/parades/sports grounds. It can't be about the single issues. Can it? It must be something else that guides these all together in some way.

" .... One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie."

So what's in the shadows that isn't being talked about, isn't being protested, isn't being stopped? I assume when I typed that that there is no secret issue, no super issue, no issue that stands above the others. Because if there was we might see that one issue getting different treatment. And we don't. All the issues come for a while and just go away later. And they self synchronize.

How is one to see what is THE issue (if there is only one)? It must somehow link with all the others in some way, and yet being controlling, being the instrument of synchrony, it must also stand above the other issues in priority and importance. What would a person do to see that which MUST be right here in front of him or her, and yet remains invisible all his or her like thus far?

This forum is primarily about the price of gold, and our behavioural interactions with that number. We can become wealthy or poor from our interactions with that special number, So whatever people say who haven't "got it" yet, and confirming those who "have got it", that number which changes from time to time, is important. And gold is linked to confidence. Confidence in .... lots of things. Confidence in law and order. Confidence in currency the use of which is mandated under the pseudonym legal tender. Confidence in .... a number (the gold price) which is either a validation of ability, character, intelligence or a measure of apparent failings in all these personal attributes.

Broken dreams are like broken hearts. It hurts. Like broken self worth estimates hurt. These are real, not imagined things, but they are invisible. Physics of crowds .... or metaphysics? Quasi rules maybe? Or is it the characteristics of the operating system showing from beneath the various applications that run our minds and behaviours?


Inner conversation (with self) on this to draw attention to difficulties in eg trading gold or other assets and provide a general light on what's involved:

But what hurts us and does not kill us makes us stronger, right?

That's what they say. Who? Them! Oh! Right! Wait! Who is them? The ones who tell us wise sayings! Oh! But ... but ... what about those injuries that hurt us and don't kill us but leave us incapacitated? We aren't stronger after those, are we? Well I suppose not. So that wasn't true what you just said a moment ago! Well maybe it wasn't. So who told you that? You did! Me?

Who are you? I am you! Your other voice. The one that does things while you are doing other things. Your autopilot. I'm really good at it too. Unlike you that can only do one thing at a time, I do everything else all simultaneously. I manage your breathing, monitor your pulse, sweat to cool you down, drive the car while you're deep in thought. lots of really important stuff. Heck, I do 99% of everything we do. All you do is the 1%.

Me? Only 1% of my life is me? Sure it is! Except I am you too, so we are both "me" when you think about it, and you're the thinker after all.

Hmmmmm .....

Am I schizophrenic? Nope! Don't worry. You're .....we're perfectly normal! Everybody has an inner mind that does most of the stuff while their attention is diverted by something else. If that wasn't the case you'd crash the car as soon as you started thinking about what to have for your next meal! Ha Ha. So I just do whatever you're not watching out for - I'm your best friend.

Ok I get all that. And it's nice to know you, even if you are me, it's like we never talked to each other ever before. We didn't, you can't see me, I don't let you. Sometimes we talk while you dream though.

So I have a question. When I get upset, or excited, or put on a trade in gold ... is that me, or is it you that's doing that?

That's easy! It depends. Depends on what? Well if you're distracted, it's me. If you're reacting without thinking, it's me. If you do it automatically, it's me. If it's reflexive it's me too! And if your life depends on it, it's always me because you can't think fast enough for me to allow you to waste time, and emotions are usually me!

OK. I think I'm beginning to see .... I have another question.

Ask away! If I am really we, and we both trade gold, how would I know which of us is the better trader or investor? That depends. Are they logical, emotional or automatic, or feelings based, or thought based trades? I don't know. I never thought about it that way before. Aaah you said "thought"! So it must be you. Those ones I mean.

But what about the others?

Well that's hard to say for sure. It probably varies from time to time which of us does the trades. You, I mean we, should ask somebody who knows this stuff. You read something recently about zen in trading, and something else about inner mind in trading, and he also wrote about trading at different time. That guy! Look him up.

But who's he?

Some fella that posts under the pen name "argentus maximus" in a blog called "The Setup For The Big Trade". He writes all that crazy traders' mind stuff. Has done for several years. I thought you got it, you read him after all. Maybe I'm starting to get it .... I'll look into it.

But there's something important I need to do first. What's that?

I need to talk to - post a tweet to someone about this National Football League scandal. So you do that and I'll carry on. Whatever we were chatting about can't have been that important anyway. Why do you say that? Well, you're the thinker of the pair of us, and at my reminding you're already moving on to thinking about this NFL thingy so it must be more urgent and all that, that's your job. I'm just here in the background keeping my usual low profile. You do the urgent stuff that you focus on. Those other thinking things can wait or I'll do the "not focus on" stuff.

Oh by the way. While we were chatting, I was driving towards home, and the guy was on the radio telling us the news. What news? The mainstream news on the radio of course. Oh? I don't pay much attention to that anymore. Don't worry. I know you're really busy so I listen for you and I hear what you don't notice. I'm good at that! Anyway, since you were distracted, I filed all the important information away so you'll recollect it when you think about those subjects later. You did? Yes. it's all filed away for total recall, but it's memorized now, so when I look it up for you it will be in your, I mean our, voice. My voice I should have said there, but you know what I mean!

Anyway stop worrying about gold, it's always around. You need to concern yourself with this NFL thing. Everybody is in it now. It's big, the news said so. I'll tell you what to do about it when next you get distracted in something else and hand control back to me! I'm the capable multi-tasker for us both. It's a pity I'm not as clever as you are though. We could be invincible. You should listen to the news more. You miss too much by frowning on it in your intellectual way! Always the thinker! Ha. But at least it's not lost when I save it in memory for us both without you being aware I'm doing anything! Always the helpful backup, that's me.

Oh.... You do? Uh oh ! Look .... We need to talk ....


Our filters are fragile! Remember if adverts did not work, they would not get paid for. So they work and work well. In which case, how can this be reconciled with our view that this information affects other people but not ourselves! The answer is that our inner self, the one that does everythign we are not focusing upon, is more impressionable. And we distract ourselves with trivia all the time. So we the conscious thinker, are not living our life, it's on autopilot while our attention is occupied by whatever. One per cent conscious, 99 per cent unconscious.

Is "bad" investment information really any different? Not really. Questionable information seems to have an immortal quality attached to it, in that it gets repeated, regurgitated, referred to, linked to, and it hangs around seemingly forever! In contrast to this phenomenon, I have at the same time watched good information be ignored, misinterpreted (grossly in many cases), and sort of fade away from a lack in interest in such information.

I don't for a moment think that people want to lose their money. And I don't ascribe malicious intention to people for "passing in" bad information. But this happens all the time. There is this possibility: bad information is more attractive to the market loser's psyche than better information.

How could that be? Simply because the bad information pushed the crowd insanity buttons provoking good feelings but the better information required critical thought to understand and make a value estimate for it - which was harder work in the mental sense!

And that brings us back to our buttons that get pushed. The market is a merciless teacher about these personal weaknesses. We can learn by losing our money, or we can lose our money and never learn. A cursory look at market winners shows they are quite rare. Say 25% in any year, and because any particular year may happen to suit our bullish or bearish bias causing "lucky" years, look at the consistent result over three running years -profitability falls as low as just 8% of all people trading over 3 years. These tend to be bigger traders for obvious reasons. Those figures are verified by studies of brokerage "client books" from several sets of data and appear to be pretty constant. So what's going on?

It appears the market is a very expert place in which skills are high. Costs of training new traders in institutions are very high. We need to learn as fast and as cheaply as possible. Removal of, or overcoming of any inner weakness which provokes entering into loss making trades - or impeded vital learning - must rank very highly in our endeavour.

And separation of critical analysis based thought from reactionary stimulated by debatable information thought is a massive part of this; if only we can look inside and begin to tell the difference between the two. that's not easy. I try to highlight signals for recognition if a decisions come from the "wrong" source inside. Maybe there are a few "gifted ones" but I suspect that for most this difficult part of the job *the mental part" will always remain a work in progress.

Best regards,

Argentus Maximus


The author posts daily commentary on the gold and silver markets in the TFMR forum: The Setup For The Big Trade. More information about the author & his work can be found here: RhythmAndPrice. The author advises that he trades and holds market positions in accordance with his own opinions.

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Key Economic Events Week of 5/13

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