11 or 12 Things I Learned About Life While Daytrading Millions of Dollars -by James Altucher

I was a day trader for many years, and it almost killed me.

I made money by making profits on my own money and also taking a percentage of the profits for the people I traded for. I traded up to $40 million or $50 million a day at my peak. I did this from 2001 to 2004.

I learned about day trading but I also learned a lot about myself and what I was good at, what I was horrible at, and what I was psychotic at. Things that had nothing to do with day trading.

Day trading is the best job in the world on the days you make money. You make a trade, then maybe 20 minutes later you are out of the trade with a profit, and for the rest of the day you think about how much money you made.

It’s the worst job in the world on a bad day. I would make a trade, it would go against me, and then I wanted my heart to stop so my blood would stop thumping so loudly.

I did it for years, though, because I was unemployable in every other way.

Here’s what I learned. All of these lessons I will certainly use today, many years after I stopped day trading.

A) You can’t predict the future. Everyone thinks they can. But they can’t.

This applies not just to trading but everything. You could be married for 10 years and the next thing you know you are divorced and you would not have predicted that.

You could be healthy all your life and drink your vegetables and exercise and reduce stress, and a year later you could be dead from cancer.

You’d have much less stress if you let go of trying to predict the future.

You can always seek to increase the odds in your favor. if I don’t jump off bridges, for instance, it’s more likely I’ll be alive a year from now. But certainly a path to unhappiness is thinking the future can be predicted and controlled.

B) Hope is not a strategy.

If you get to the point where you “hope” you don’t get ruined, then you did something wrong beforehand.

For instance, if you plan a wedding outside and you don’t have a backup plan in case it rains, then you probably mis-planned your wedding, unless you are getting married in a desert.

“Hoping” is not a bad thing. I hope that every day my life goes perfectly.

But if hoping is the only thing I’m relying on, then it means I didn’t really look at all the possible outcomes of something that was important to me.

C) Uncertainty is your best friend.

A hundred percent of opportunities in life are created because people are uncertain about almost everything in their lives.

We are constantly trying to close the enormous gap between the things we are certain about and the things we are uncertain about, and almost every invention, product, Internet service, book, whatever has been created to help us close that gap.

Sometimes this is hard. If your husband betrays and leaves you, you often feel like crawling on the floor and burning all the self-help books. They all lied.

It’s hard to feel “in the now” or to “positive think” when life feels like it’s over. I’ve tried. For me it’s too hard.

But at the very least you can say…”help me.” You can say it to your close friends. You can say it something inside of yourself.

“Help me” is the most powerful, and most forgotten, prayer.

D) Taking risks versus reducing risk.

Some people take too many risks and they go bankrupt. This happened to me. And sometimes people are too cautious and don’t take enough risks.

When I first started day trading, I was so afraid of risk that if I had a small profit, I’d end the trade. But then I would take big losses and that would wipe out all my profits.

The key is that you can take larger and larger risks if you work on better and better ways to deal with those risks.

For instance, I might be able to risk marrying someone if I know she is not a hard-core drug addict who regularly betrays the people she is close to.

I can risk driving without a license if I always stay below the speed limit (I know this is a stupid risk, but still). Once you have a method of reducing risks, it’s easier to make trades or decisions about anything.

E) Diversification.

Often I get emails, “I really want ONE job but they don’t seem to want me and now I’m miserable. How can I get that job?”

Well…you can’t.

And you’re going to be unhappy. You can’t wish yourself a job.

When I was raising money to day trade, I probably contacted over 1,000 people. When I was starting an Internet business I started over a dozen Internet businesses and watched all of them fail but one. When I was trying to sell my Internet business I contacted over a dozen companies (although Google broke my heart – damn you Google!).

When I wanted to get married, I went on lots of dates. Claudia’s approach was even smarter – she wouldn’t waste time with dinners. She would only go to tea with guys. Within the first 20 seconds you know if you are attracted. So keep it to a tea.

F) Say “no.”

In day trading, if something is not working out, even if your heart wants it to work out, you have to say “No” and cut your losses.

If a business relationship is not working out, don’t put more energy and time into it.

There is a cognitive bias called “committment bias.” We think because we’ve already put time and energy (or money) into something that we have to stick with it. But this is just a mental bias. Say no to it.

You have to decide every moment if this is the situation you want to be in.

Just because you were in the situation a moment ago, or yesterday, or for 10 years, doesn’t mean the situation is right for you anymore.

G) Health.

Day trading pulls everything out of you. It sucks the soul out of your body, blends it up, and then explodes. It doesn’t turn into a nice smoothie. It explodes.

So you have to take care of yourself. If you don’t sleep enough, if you don’t eat well, exercise, be around positive people, be grateful for what you have, blah blah blah, you will lose all of your money and go bankrupt.

And obviously, this applies to everything else in life. Every day, what small thing can you do to become a slightly better you?

The reason we get so attracted to “safe” cubicle jobs is that the pain is more subtle and sneaks up on us. It’s not the blender-drama of day trading so the need for health on a daily basis doesn’t seem as important. But it is.

H) Laughter.

The only way to survive is to laugh. There’s that saying: “Man makes plans but God laughs.” Well, you might as well be on the same side as God.

I) “This is crazy” means you’re crazy.

I’ve seen it a million times. Guy makes a trade. The market goes against him. He says “this is crazy” and puts more money into the trade. And then he loses all his money and goes crazy. I’ve had to talk people off the ledge or tell them to put the gun down.

The market is never crazy. The world is never crazy. And I will go so far as to say that your girlfriend who just lied to you about where she spent the night is not crazy.

I only care about you. And you’re effin’ crazy if you thought the world was going to line up any other way than the way it lined up.

Tough on you.

I know when I feel like, “ugh, this situation is insane” that the first place I need to look is at me.

I am insane.

J) It doesn’t matter if a trade (or a day, or a life) is good or bad.

Good and bad days happen. But life is about a billion little moments that add up to all the things around you. If you let one of those moments have too much control then you are bound to be mostly miserable.

I was mostly miserable during the period I was day trading. I let that aspect of my life take control. So I stopped focusing on being a good husband, a good father, a good friend, a good anything.

All of my other constituencies went to hell.

I would have nightmares. I would lose sleep. I would wake up many mornings and go to the church across the street so I could be by myself and pray. What would I pray? “Jesus, please make the markets go in my direction today.”

I’m Jewish. Nobody answered my prayers.

K) It’s never about the money.

Every day I get emails like, “Can you show me how to day trade?”


I know a thousand day traders and only two that won’t go bankrupt. So what makes anyone think they will have an edge? How many people listen to me?


How come?

Because people are sick of their lives, their relationships, their jobs, and all the lies that have been told to them ever since they learned how to walk.

They want freedom from the BS.

I get it.

Day trading is the dream. You can make enough money to not care. To do it from anywhere. To be happy.

It won’t work. But people don’t want to believe it. Most people think they have that one special something that will make it work for them.

And it’s true – they do have that one special something. But you can’t get there by day trading first. You can skip right to the being happy part. You can skip right to being free.

But we never learned that. We were taught we had to do something first to earn freedom. We were taught that suffering was the currency to buy happiness.

Okay, go do it. Then cry about it. Then get scared. Then curse the craziness. Then cry more. None of that will make you happy.

Then read this blog post again. Not because it will make you happy. But because I like when people read my posts.

And laugh.

Correction offers good value in pharma stocks Sun, Lupin, Cipla have fallen 9-15% but fundamental prospects remain unchanged as analysts expect 15-25% earnings growth Ujjval Jauhari

Shares of pharma majors as Sun Pharma, Lupin and Cipla have corrected meaningfully in the past two months. From its 52-week high in mid-October, Sun is down over 12 per cent, Lupin has corrected by more than nine per cent, while Cipla has fallen by almost 15 per cent from a 52-week high of Rs 450 in September. The correction is mainly due to investors churning their portfolio in favour of other sectors. Fundamentally, there seems to be no reason for this correction and the strong show posted by these companies during the September quarter stands testimony.

Arvind Bothra at Religare Capital Markets feels it is just a matter of time when stocks like Sun rebound. Though some argue that valuations remain stretched for Sun and Lupin, analysts at JPMorgan observe they like Sun and Lupin’s business models and believe Sun’s premium over peers is justifiable given its growth record. Same is the case for Lupin and Cipla. While Sun, Lupin and Cipla closed at Rs 578, Rs 852 and Rs 383 levels on Wednesday, the one-year consensus target price of Rs 664, Rs 978 and Rs 459 (according to analysts polled by Bloomberg) indicates an upside of 14-20 per cent.

Sun Pharma
Sun stands tall with strong growth prospects across all markets. Its US subsidiary, Taro (a fourth of consolidated sales), which felt the heat in June quarter due to increased competition in key dermatology products like Nystatin Triamcinolone (about 12 per cent of Taro’s revenues), rebounded in September quarter. Hitesh Mahida at Fortune Broking says Taro’s results indicate that it has taken some price hikes in other products. Moving forward, for the week ending November 1 (referring to IMS prescription data) Nomura reports indicate that in Nystatin Triam Cream, Taro’s market share is stabilising at 60 per cent (up 70 basis points week-on-week). In October, Taro’s NDA launches in the dermatology segment namely, Topicort spray and Calcitreine ointment, have continued to gain share, adds Mahida.

Taro’s recent share buyback proposal of $200 million should also prove positive for earnings. Analysts at HSBC observe that assuming the offer is fully subscribed at maximum offer price ($97.5 a share), it can push FY14 earnings estimates for Taro by five per cent. HSBC analysts maintain their overweight rating with target price of Rs 725.

After growing 17 per cent year-on-year in September quarter, IMS data show Sun’s domestic business grew 19 per cent year-on-year in October (best in industry). Sun’s other US arm, URL, is also likely to see continued traction led by supplies of anti-bacterial, Doxycycline. The launch of anti-diabetic, Prandin (in August 2013), on exclusivity is likely to garner $30 million in revenues and $15 million in profits during first six months of exclusivity. Overall, analysts expect Sun’s EPS to rise by over 35 per cent in FY14 and another 15 per cent in FY15.

The company has seen a strong rebound in the September quarter performance. After a blip in June quarter due to the new drug pricing policy, its domestic business rebounded with nine per cent growth in September quarter. Nilesh Gupta, MD, Lupin, sees the domestic growth rebounding to 18-20 per cent in a few quarters.

The US business contributing 32 per cent to overall revenues continues to grow strongly. Its current portfolio is growing well and further growth is likely to come from the expansion in Oral contraceptives, Lipid control drugs, besides growth in ophthalmology, dermatology and planned asthma range. Analysts at JP Morgan estimate Lupin’s US generic sales to grow at 23 per cent CAGR over FY14-16.

Lupin’s Japanese revenues, which declined year-on-year by 12 per cent in June quarter and six per cent in September quarter, are also likely to see a turnaround in second half of FY14 as contract manufacturing picks up, besides launch of more products. All these should help Lupin post 19 per cent annual growth in EPS for FY14 and FY15.

While Cipla continues to see good growth in the domestic market, it has changed its strategy for the export markets and is working on its own front-ends. Analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch see Cipla moving away from supply chain model to front-end model, which requires higher front-end investments and low capex. While this will have impact on margins in near-term, it will lead to strong free cash flow (FCF) generation. They highlight it has generated FCF of Rs 520 crore in FY13 and expect the rate to accelerate as capex and working capital requirements remain stable.

As a matter of fact, Cipla’s cash conversion cycle has improved by 18 days in first half of FY14. Overall, Cipla’s EPS is seen increasing by 20-23 per cent each year in FY14 and FY15, led by expanded reach in global markets.

Toward an Economics of Sustainability John E. Ikerd University of Missouri May, 1997

The question of sustainability has become an important economic, political, and social issue. Major international conferences have been held to discuss the issue of global sustainability. A President’s Council on Sustainable Development was formed to address sustainability questions confronting the United States. After nearly a decade of indecision, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has officially embraced sustainable agriculture as a priority issue for the future. Questions of sustainability has also become commonplace both in professional publications and in the popular media.

The Issue of Sustainability

Sustainability is a long run, people-centered concept. There have been many attempts to define sustainability, but most are rooted in the general concept of intergenerational equity. Sustainable development, as used in this paper, means meeting the needs and wants of people of the current generation while leaving equal or better opportunities for people of generations to follow. What is to be sustained? — development of resources: natural, human, and economic. What is the purpose of development? — positive change or human progress, not necessarily growth in numbers or size. Who is to benefit from such development? — people of the current generation and of generations to follow. For how many generations is development to be sustained? — for all future generations, forever. Thus, sustainability is about sustaining a desirable quality of life for people, forever.

Sustainability, as a consequence of its long-run nature, will remain a question with no definite answer, a direction without a precise destination, a process without a final product. We can never know with certainty whether any particular approach, method, or activity is sustainable or not sustainable. Just because something has been sustained until now, does not mean it can be sustained forever. Just because something has not been sustained up to now, does not mean that it could not have been sustained, until now and into the future. We cannot prove empirically that anything is or is not sustainable in the long run. The long run is forever

Inadequacies of the “old” economics

Economic theory does not exist in the absence of the term “ceteris paribus” — other things held constant. The most fundamental “law” of economics, diminishing marginal returns, is meaningless without the assumption of “ceteris paribus.

Economics of Sustainability

So where do we begin to develop the “new” economics?

Axioms. All theory is based on axioms. Webster defines an axiom as “a maxim widely accepted on its intrinsic merit, or a statement accepted as true as the basis for argument or inference”

Basic Traits of an Effective Trainer

Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones: knowledge, communication, organizational skills, integrity and people skills.

Knowledge. Trainers shouldn’t even consider training anyone until they themselves have an advanced knowledge level of the topic.

Ability to communicate. All the knowledge in the world won’t mean a thing if the trainer is not able to effectively communicate it to others. The ability to communicate successfully is often overlooked when selecting individuals as trainers.

Organizational skills. Failing to plan is planning to fail.  Working from a plan offers many benefits, like

  • Consistency and accuracy. Trainers can be assured that using a lesson plan will ensure the level and quality of information taught will remain constant. For organizations that utilize more than one trainer, this consistency is carried between them to the point where one could take over for the other mid-stream and not miss a beat.
  • Focus and direction. Occasionally a trainer can come away from a given topic in order to draw an analogy or make a point.
  • Pacing and use of time. Using a lesson plan provides trainers with veritable checklist that can be used to adjust the pace of the training as required, allowing them to use their time most effectively. For example, a trainer may be able to determine that they are behind schedule simply by looking at their plan and adjust the pace and/or content of the program accordingly.
  • Interest and integrity. If you want others to be interested in what you’re saying, you should be interested in what you’re saying. Trainers need to believe that what they are doing is the right thing to do. In fact, they should be downright passionate about it. If a trainer is going to get up in front of a group and just pay lip service to the issue then they can expect the same level of buy-in and commitment from their trainees. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, do yourself and everybody else a favor and don’t do it at all.

    People skills. It’s not just a certain type of person that makes the best trainer, it’s a certain type of personality. A trainer should be empathetic, approachable, friendly, perceptive, observative, adaptable, and very patient.


It is common experience that trainers, when they get together, often wonder what are
the characteristics of a trainer. This is often a poser by those who aspire to be a trainer.
Often, persons having the necessary attributes are not sure about the qualities that
make a good trainer.
It is in this context that it is necessary to identify some of the significant qualities that
go to enhance the performance of a trainer. Some of these qualities are: –
Empathy: This is the ability to put oneself in the shoes of another. It is the faculty for
recognising the fears and uncertainties in the minds of trainees when learning
additional techniques or skills. Empathy enables a trainer to point out personal
difficulties encountered by him in similar learning situations, so as to put the learners
at ease.
Honesty: This is the courage to recognise personal strengths and weaknesses and to
be frank about these aspects to the personnel being trained, for their own benefit.
Patience: This is shown in the willingness to compliment slow progress and refrain
from the anger when mistakes are made. It includes the techniques of repeating
instructions, breaking down a task into small units and allowing time for learners to
try out.
Pace: This is closely integrated with empathy and patience. This is an external speed
governor, which acts more to slow down than to speed up. It is far better to move
slowly and attain complete mastery, than to push for rapid and sloppy completion.
Democracy: This refers to the kind of atmosphere created when learning takes place.
The trainer should be supportive and non-threatening in presentation. The tone of
voice and facial expression should lead the learners to feel comfortable in raising
questions, offering suggestions, reinterpreting instructions and generally to feel
relaxed while they learn.

Purpose: This emphasises the element of tenacity in achieving the training goals. A
good trainer conscientiously moves a group of learners along to a pre-set destination.
There may be stops and shifts, but the eye is always fixed on certain performance
standards and levels.
An ability to listen: The trainer must hear questions raised by trainees and understand
if the questions reflect other problem, which are not being mentioned. He should have
the posture of a listener through training towards the speaker and maintaining eye
Respect for experience: Adults will learn more effectively if respect is given to the
experience and qualifications they can bring to a situation. This will encourage greater
participation and activity by trainers.
Prestige: A trainer should command the respect of his colleagues in the organisation.
The training programme will then be strengthened by its acceptance among older and
experienced employees.

Top 10 Traits of an Effective Academic Leader _ An Academician

Number 10: Follow procedures and adhere to policies. Effective leaders are essentially good followers. They know it is not a good idea to behave as a lone wolf, but that they must instead keep their work priorities aligned with the organization’s goal and have an appropriate sense of self-importance.

Number 9: Submit to the authority of others. Closely related to number 10 is the recognition that we are all under the authority of someone, whether it is a supervisor, director, president, board of governors, or whomever else.

Number 8: Take risks. Sometimes it is necessary for leaders to step outside the box, to be innovative. Leaders must be flexible enough to know when it is time to try a new procedure or implement a new policy.

Number 7: Commitment. Any person who assumes a leadership role needs to be committed to the group. An effective leader is a person who can commit to using his or her ability to lead others, perform technical skills, and conceptualize situations, thus helping to ensure goal achievement.

Number 6: Be proactive. Covey (1989) points out the need to be proactive. Individuals who assume leadership must take the proverbial bull by the horns and move forward to be successful.

Number 5: Expect conflict. Conflict among people is a natural, inevitable, and constant factor of human interaction. An effective leader expects conflict and is able to manage it in a productive manner.

Number 4: Tell the truth, but with compassion. To some degree conflicts occur because people are not able to differentiate between task-related conflict issues and their personal investment in a given situation. Bracey, Rosenblum, Sanford, and Trueblood (1990) point out the importance of truthfulness in leadership. Yet at the same time the leader must compassionately tell the truth (e.g., about a faculty member’s job performance, etc.).

Number 3: Listen. Communication plays a vital role in the achievement of interpersonal and organizational goals. Communication is a two-way process. Effective communication requires leaders capable of effective listening. Covey’s (1989) Habit #5, Seek First to Understand, Then Seek to Be Understood, reflects the epitome of effective listening.

Number 2: Love people. Roger D’Aprix stated that leaders must be “loving in [their] organizational relationships” (cited in Goldhaber, 1993, p. 217). “Loving” in this context means that we acknowledge the value of our coworkers and respect them with the dignity they deserve.

Number 1: Check your attitude. Amid the natural chaos and interpersonal interactions, effective leaders are determined to ensure not only that personal goals are reached, but more important, that the group achieves its objectives and fulfills its mission.

Bracey, H., Rosenblum, J., Sanford, A., & Trueblood, R. (1990). Managing from the heart. Atlanta: Heart Enterprises.

Covey, S.R. (1989). The 7 habits of highly effective people: Powerful lessons in personal change. New York: Simon & Shuster.

Shapiro, P. (2005). Too many leaders?…or do we use the term “leader” too freely? News & Tools Leadership, 1(2),

Wergin, J.F. (2007) (Ed.). Leadership in place: How academic professionals can find their leadership voice. Boston: Anker.

Goldhaber, G.M. (1993). Organizational communication (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Dr. Willis M. Watt is the director of organizational communication and leadership at Methodist University.

Quantum Physics Enigma CAPTAIN HOOK

The following is commentary that originally appeared at treasurechests.info for the benefit of subscribers on Tuesday, August 24th, 2010.

The title a quantum physics enigma likely best captures (as opposed to ‘ A Parallel Universe, etc.’) the essence of describing two things occupying the same space at the same time, as is the case with both inflation and deflation within the matrix of our sordid economies. Because this topic is of growing interest at present with deflation spreading into increasing sectors, it does in fact appear timely to take a good look at the condition our condition is in, where parallels in central bank policy compared to the 30’s can be made in the sense it might be a ‘Fed mistake’ (lack of inflation) that sparks the next Great Depression. Of course if central banks do respond to the risk of deflation spreading across the larger economy with further quantum leaps in quantitative easing (QE), better known as hyperinflation, the nature of the present depression could be quite different from the last, a hyperinflationary depression that would go full circle, so why bother. (i.e. because the bureaucracy will attempt to preserve itself.)

So the great inflation / deflation debate rolls on, with inflationists stuck on the belief the government / central banks will respond to the threat of deflation taking control of the macro conditions, possibly leading to hyperinflation at some point, which in fact will likely occur in response to collapsing asset values, something that appears to be accelerating as we speak. Because we have arrived – arrived at the tipping point of acceleration in the demise offractional reserve economies – which in the reverse, will bring about a return to a gold standard. Of course some (deflationists) believe gold would eventually succumb to a wider deleveraging in the larger economy. For ourselves, we are not so sure this will be the case, at least not on a lasting basis considering participation rates in precious metals amongst the greater population are still so low.


The founding fathers of quantum physics were beginning to realize that Nature herself and the structure of our own minds are not merely interrelated reflections/reflex-ions of each other, but are an inseparable unity. Nature isn’t outside and separate from the mind, but rather is an expression of it. The mind IS pure nature. Instead of thinking that the outer world was different from the inner world, they realized that if something was happening within themselves, it was simultaneously happening within the universe as well. Coinciding with the collapse of the boundary between the subject and object, just as within a dream, the demarcation between the inner and the outer was becoming harder to find as well. In the holistic world that the new physics describes in which separation between the parts doesn’t exist, the innermost processes of the psyche can spill out and become as much a part of the seemingly external world as the rocks, trees, and stars, as if reality itself is a mass shared dream.

When these brilliant scientists began to metabolize and assimilate within themselves what they had discovered, it was as if they had “come to their senses,” waking up from a centuries-long slumber. We can tell from their writings that their discoveries truly changed the way they envisioned life itself. As if remembering something they knew long ago, they became inwardly transformed. This realization of the dreamlike nature of reality is itself the very expansion of consciousness which galvanized them to realize that consciousness plays the primary role in both physics and the creation of the universe.

As the spirit of the quantum materializes in form in the third dimension, which is to say that matter is recognized to be an unmediated revelation of spirit, matter becomes “divinized.” Once the universe is recognized as an oracle of and for itself that is speaking in “dream-speak,” which is to say “symbolically,” quantum physics reveals its heretofore hidden “hermetic” side. Notice the similarity to Jung’s idea of synchronicity, in which mind and matter reciprocally inform and reflect each other, as if inseparably interconnected at their core. This world we live in is idea-like, as if it’s a thought giving itself form, like a dream that seems unmistakably real while we are in it.

Quantum physics is a flag-bearer of an epochal paradigm shift currently taking place within human consciousness — deep within the collective unconscious — concerning the nature of reality itself. The question naturally arises: what is the “reality” which quantum theory has been invented to describe? Are we discovering this “reality?” Or creating it? The discoveries of quantum physics are directly pointing to the hitherto-unsuspected powers of the mind to cast reality in its image rather than the other way round. In any case, though seemingly subtle in nature at the present moment, this shift in paradigms that quantum physics is initiating is an earth-shaking affair, with ramifications beyond our present imagination.

The revelations of quantum physics can be used to destroy life, or to enhance it beyond measure. The words of Hoffmann’s book The Strange Story of the Quantum, published in 1947, are even more true today: “Now is the terrible crisis of our civilization. Now is the fateful hour of high decision. For better or worse, We, the People of the Earth, must choose our Future.” Quantum physics tells us that the future is not written in stone, but rather, is indeterminate, filled with infinite potential. How the world of the quantum — our world — manifests depends upon how we dream it. As it says in the Bible (Deuteronomy 30:19), “I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” The choice is truly ours.