Casting a Spell

23 08 2011

Casting a Spell

 Learn a spell. It takes some time

First you must have the gift of rhyme,

New images, a melody.

Verse will do but poetry

Sometimes will come if you have luck.

Play tunes, blow trumpets, learn to pluck

The harp. The best of spells are cast

When you have written words to last,

Rich in subtle rhythms and

Right words which most will understand.

Casting a spell’s a secret skill

Which few learn fast. No act of will

On your part hands the gift to you.

Words must surprise yet ring true.

False sorcerers are everywhere

But the true magic’s deep and rare.

- Elizabeth Jennings
from the book, A Spell of Words
Macmillan, 1998 


 Paghabi ng mga Bulong

Ibayong panahon ay gugulin, kaalamang mahikal ay kamtin,

Nararapat hangarin, lantay na diwang pagbaybay angkinin,

Sa pagpaimbulog ng panibagong wangis, kaalinsabay ay ang mabining himigin,

Bawat anyo ng mga kataga, taglayin ang talata ng mga tulain,

Wala man sa hinagap, mabibigyan katuparaan ang mithiin,

Damhin ang liryo ng mga nota, hipan ang trumpeta, harpa ay kalabitin,

Sa pagpaimbulog ng musika ng Alpa, pinakamahusay na bulong ay bigkasin,

Sa kaganapan ng mga paglalahad ng mga kataga, sa dakong huli’y malasin,

Natigib sa karangyaan, napuspos ng hiwaga ang ritmo ng damdamin,

Ang natatanging kataga’y lubusang unawain.

Ibayong kaalamang lihim,  sa paghabi ng bulong taglayin,

Maraming sumubok at di nasumpungan. Maraming nakatakdang biguin,

Tanging sa iyong mga kamay, ipinagkaloob ang takdain,

Hindi inaasahan subalit magaganap, matutupad ang layunin,

Uusbong ang mga bulaang dalubhasa, hangad ika’y linlangin,

Sa kaganapan, bukod at natatanging galing, ang atas sa iyo ay tuklasin.


This post was made in response to a fellow blogger’s initiative to impart our piece of thoughts by way of translating the English poem above. It also serve in our own way the commemoration of our “National Language” within this month.




Time Tested Classic Trading Rules for the Modern Trader to Follow

20 08 2011

Time Tested Classic Trading Rules for the Modern Trader to Follow

By Linda Bradford Raschke

This is a list of classic trading rules that was given to me while on the trading floor in 1984. A senior trader collected these rules from classic trading literature throughout the twentieth century. They obviously withstand the age-old test of time.

I’m sure most everybody knows these truisms in their hearts, but this list is nicely edited and makes a good read.

1. Plan your trades. Trade your plan.
2. Keep records of your trading results.
3. Keep a positive attitude, no matter how much you lose.
4. Don’t take the market home.
5. Continually set higher trading goals.
6. Successful traders buy into bad news and sell into good news.
7. Successful traders are not afraid to buy high and sell low.
8. Successful traders have a well-scheduled planned time for studying the markets.
9. Successful traders isolate themselves from the opinions of others.
10. Continually strive for patience, perseverance, determination, and rational action.
11. Limit your losses – use stops!
12. Never cancel a stop loss order after you have placed it!
13. Place the stop at the time you make your trade.
14. Never get into the market because you are anxious because of waiting.
15. Avoid getting in or out of the market too often.
16. Losses make the trader studious – not profits. Take advantage of every loss to improve your knowledge of market action.
17. The most difficult task in speculation is not prediction but self-control. Successful trading is difficult and frustrating. You are the most important element in the equation for success.
18. Always discipline yourself by following a pre-determined set of rules.
19. Remember that a bear market will give back in one month what a bull market has taken three months to build.
20. Don’t ever allow a big winning trade to turn into a loser. Stop yourself out if the market moves against you 20% from your peak profit point.
21. You must have a program, you must know your program, and you must follow your program.
22. Expect and accept losses gracefully. Those who brood over losses always miss the next opportunity, which more than likely will be profitable.
23. Split your profits right down the middle and never risk more than 50% of them again in the market.
24. The key to successful trading is knowing yourself and your stress point.
25. The difference between winners and losers isn’t so much native ability as it is discipline exercised in avoiding mistakes.
26. In trading as in fencing there are the quick and the dead.
27. Speech may be silver but silence is golden. Traders with the golden touch do not talk about their success.
28. Dream big dreams and think tall. Very few people set goals too high. A man becomes what he thinks about all day long.
29. Accept failure as a step towards victory.
30. Have you taken a loss? Forget it quickly. Have you taken a profit? Forget it even quicker! Don’t let ego and greed inhibit clear thinking and hard work.
31. One cannot do anything about yesterday. When one door closes, another door opens. The greater opportunity always lies through the open door.
32. The deepest secret for the trader is to subordinate his will to the will of the market. The market is truth as it reflects all forces that bear upon it. As long as he recognizes this he is safe. When he ignores this, he is lost and doomed.
33. It’s much easier to put on a trade than to take it off.
34. If a market doesn’t do what you think it should do, get out.
35. Beware of large positions that can control your emotions. Don’t be overly aggressive with the market. Treat it gently by allowing your equity to grow steadily rather than in bursts.
36. Never add to a losing position.
37. Beware of trying to pick tops or bottoms.
38. You must believe in yourself and your judgement if you expect to make a living at this game.
39. In a narrow market there is no sense in trying to anticipate what the next big movement is going to be – up or down.
40. A loss never bothers me after I take it. I forget it overnight. But being wrong and not taking the loss – that is what does the damage to the pocket book and to the soul.
41. Never volunteer advice and never brag of your winnings.
42. Of all speculative blunders, there are few greater than selling what shows a profit and keeping what shows a loss.
43. Standing aside is a position.
44. It is better to be more interested in the market’s reaction to new information than in the piece of news itself.
45. If you don’t know who you are, the markets are an expensive place to find out.
46. In the world of money, which is a world shaped by human behavior, nobody has the foggiest notion of what will happen in the future. Mark that word – Nobody! Thus the successful trader does not base moves on what supposedly will happen but reacts instead to what does happen.
47. Except in unusual circumstances, get in the habit of taking your profit too soon. Don’t torment yourself if a trade continues winning without you. Chances are it won’t continue long. If it does, console yourself by thinking of all the times when liquidating early reserved gains that you would have otherwise lost.
48. When the ship starts to sink, don’t pray – jump!
49. Lose your opinion – not your money.
50. Assimilate into your very bones a set of trading rules that works for you.

10 Life Lessons From Bruce Lee!!!

16 08 2011

Sure you know Bruce Lee the martial artist and movie star.  But do you know Bruce Lee the philosopher, comedian or master of personal development?  He continuously pushed his mind and body to new levels and his physical prowess inspired and influenced body builders and martial artists alike.

As far as heroes go, Bruce Lee truly set an example of what it means to be YOUR best. Bruce was all about making the most of what you’ve got, seeking truth knowledge, and applying what you know. If you’ve seen him in movies or you know some of his quotes, you know exactly what I mean.  Here are 10 life lessons from Bruce Lee :

Life Lesson 1 : Be YOUR best.
It’s not about following in someone else’s footsteps or trying to be somebody you’re not. It’s about unleashing your best version of yourself.

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”

Life Lesson 2 : Absorb what is useful.
 It’s not about blindly adopting patterns and practices.  It’s about taking the best of the best and tailoring it.  It’s also about throwing away what doesn’t work.  Bruce borrowed concepts and techniques from everybody and every art in a relentless pursuit of the best of the best.

“Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own.”

Life Lesson 3 : Keep an open mind.
You have to be willing to throw out what you already know and have a curiosity to explore new paths.  If you’re cup is already full, you can’t learn new things.

“First empty your cup.”

Life Lesson 4 : Aim past your target. 

Aim past your target, so when you fall short, you still land in the ballpark of success.  Bruce Lee was famous for his one-inch punch, but in reality he was aiming past the one-inch.

“Don’t fear failure.  Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”

Life Lesson 5 : Stay flexible.
Be flexible in your approach.  Learn from everybody and everything and don’t get locked into a particular style.

“Expose yourself to various conditions and learn.”

Life Lesson 6 : Focus on growth.
If you are like most people, there are times when you question whether you have succeeded in your personal growth and whether you achieved anything with your life? Push past your limits.  Driving your growth through opportunities, solutions, and execution.

“There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

Life Lesson 7 : Know yourself. 

The most exciting adventure you will ever embark on is the journey inside yourself. As you begin to discover the amazing person that you are, you will be better able to understand others, make good choices in your careers and lifestyles, find meaning in your life, and earn your own happiness. Your blind spots and ignorance can be your biggest weakness.

“After all, all knowledge simply means self-knowledge.”

Life Lesson 8 : Master your mind and body.
It’s not enough just to be smart.  It’s not enough just to master your body.  Your body and mind support each other.  Your body helps turn what you think or dream up into results.

“As you think, so shall you become.”

Life Lesson 9 : Apply what you know.
Life is not about watching from the sidelines.  Use what you know and put knowledge into practice.  Test yourself.

“Knowing is not enough, we must do.
Willing is not enough, we must apply.”

Life Lesson 10 : Make things happen.
A goal is a goal no matter how big or small it is. Whether it is having a successful business, getting a promotion, losing weight, or shooting a ball though a hoop, we should approach each and every one of our goals step by step. When there is no wave, make one.

“To hell with circumstances;
I create opportunities.”

I think it really boils down to making the most of what you’ve got, including your mind and body, pushing past your limits and following a path of continuous learning and growth. Begin your first step and make it happen!!!

Thank You Very Much

Philippines may soon own vast gas-rich area – WOW!!

16 08 2011

The Philippines will gain 13 million hectares in additional territory, an area slightly smaller than Luzon, should the United Nations approve next year the government’s claim on a region off the coast of Isabela and Aurora, Environment Secretary Ramon Jesus Paje said on Monday.

Paje said the undersea region, called Benham Rise, could turn the Philippines into a natural gas exporter because of the area’s huge methane deposits.

Studies conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the past five years indicate large deposits of methane in solid form, Paje said after a Senate budget hearing.

The government is only awaiting a formal declaration from the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (Unclos) that Benham Rise is on the country’s continental shelf and therefore part of its territory, Paje said.

Legal basis

Once the Unclos establishes that Benham Rise is part of the Philippines, “we would have legal basis to enter into exploration agreements with private companies to explore… (the area’s) resources,” said Sen. Franklin Drilon, chair of the chamber’s finance committee.

Drilon said a favorable Unclos declaration would mean “increasing our territory from present 30 million hectares to possibly 43 million” with the inclusion of Benham Rise.

Discussion over Benham Rise generated excitement especially after Paje said that Philippine representatives were just awaiting one more meeting “to answer questions” before a special Unclos committee.

Only claimant

Paje said there was no reason for the Unclos committee not to issue a decision favorable to the country “since we are the only claimant, unlike in the western side (where the Spratly Islands are).”

“We have submitted a claim under (Unclos) sometime in late 2008. We got a reply from the UN lately (asking us) to answer some questions. They intend to pass a resolution sometime in mid-2012 to approve our claim (that it is) part of the Philippine continental shelf,” Paje told reporters after the hearing.

Records showed that the Philippines officially submitted a claim with the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in New York on April 8, 2009.

Davide submission

Hilario Davide, then Philippine ambassador to the United Nations, filed the country’s partial submission with the commission.

The United Nations says the continental shelf is “the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas that extend beyond its territorial sea” up to 370 km (200 nautical miles) from the archipelagic baseline. An extended continental shelf goes farther than 370 km.

The Philippines claims that Benham Rise is an extension of its continental shelf.

Paje said Benham Rise was within the country’s 370-km exclusive economic zone.

American geologist

The environment secretary said an American geologist surnamed Benham discovered the area that was between 40 and 2,000 meters below the waterline in 1933.

“But we are able to define categorically that it is attached to our continental shelf only recently. We have proven (to) Unclos that it is attached. So now the UN is considering it for decision sometime in 2012,” Paje said.

He said gas deposits in the area would enable the country to achieve energy sufficiency.

“Benham Rise is very relevant because of its gas deposits (which has been) confirmed particularly by (the) National Mapping Resource Information Agency. It has given us the data that (the area) contains solid methane. We have not explored it but we have found nodules of methane in the surface and this is very important to us,” he said.

Kalayaan, Scarborough

The Kalayaan Island Group, which is part of the disputed Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal, both located in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) and claimed by the Philippines, are also believed to contain oil and natural gas.

Paje said there was the possibility that the country could export gas in the future.

The secretary added that there would be a demand for gas deposits in Benham Rise “because it’s much cleaner than (other) fossil fuels.”

The DENR formally submitted its proposed P16.99-billion budget for 2012 to the Senate finance committee.

Music-inspired approach to stock investing

10 08 2011

By: Efren Ll. Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Question: What is the best way to “play” the stock market?
Answer: You should not “play” the markets as they are places where serious money can be made and lost. But so as not to bring on hypertension, here are 10 light-hearted, music-inspired tips on stock investing.
1.) You cannot say to a stock, “You’ll never get to heaven if you break my heart.” Love has no place in stock investing because stocks do not love their investors back. Remember that stocks represent ownership in companies. So focus on the company giving value to the stock. Are you looking at the break-up value of the company, its rich dividend policy or its high earnings prospect? You could say that a stock is the logo and the company is the brand. The logo just adds meaning to the brand. And without the brand, the logo is meaningless.
2.) Getting too attached to stocks lets you get easily caught between goodbye and I love you. Invest with a heart of stone. Avoid emotions as Jesse Livermore, the world’s greatest stock trader would say. If there are ABC’s in investing, there are also FGHI’s, which are fear, greed, hope and ignorance. These emotions cloud the mind and will only lead to poor stock investing.
3.) Don’t leave stock investing to just saying a little prayer the moment you wake up before you put on your makeup. The Filipino expression of “bahala na” actually means “Bathalan na,” or I will do my best and let God take care of the rest. So do your homework. Did you know that Warren Buffet, the world’s richest investor and third-richest man, does not do daily monitoring of stocks that he buys? Why in the world would he do such a thing? Well, because he would do his homework before he buys one. He would buy only those companies that would tend to profit regardless of what happens to the economy that they are in. And he would only buy companies that he understands. If he bought companies with management, marketing, manpower and production practices he did not understand, he would be gambling and not investing.
4.) Moderate and steady profits are better than quick gains. Remember that like a comet blazing across the evening sky, easy money is gone too soon. But you say, “I believe I can fly!” Sure you can. But first learn to walk so that you can live to tell the (trading) secrets that you have learned. Till then, let them burn inside of you.
5.) Sometimes, stock price movements will follow patterns. Combine these patterns with a careful study of corporate and economic factors to develop winning portfolio moves whenever these patterns repeat and it is yesterday once more.
6.) Losses are part of investing. Be ready to get back up and dust yourself off. If you had indeed done your homework, then the time will soon come when you will smile again like a child of three. In fact, your senses should be sharper during these down times as they present great buying opportunities. So keep that spark of magic in your eyes. Also, be guided by what Warren Buffet says and that’s, “It’s not whether you’re right or wrong that’s important, but how much money you make when you’re right and how much you lose when you’re wrong.”
7.) It’s more than just a manic Monday for stock investing. Every day, the stock market will display manic-depressive tendencies. This is because stock prices are tossed into a volatile soup of the ABCs of investing clashing with the FGHIs in daily epic battles. Rise above the noise of the market to see that, betcha by golly wow, investing is not that topsy-turvy after all.
8.) Believe you me, a man can tell a thousand lies and I have learned my lesson well not to fall for rumors and free tips. Advice on specific (and not broad) investing moves freely given should not be advice freely taken. Avoid the greater fool theory as well, which states that a person will make a not so well-informed investment decision because he believes that a greater fool will buy his investment later at a higher price anyway. Do that and you might just end up being the lone fool on the hill.
9.) Yes, I know that there were times when you bit off more than you could chew; times when you went into margin trading, cross-currency investing, warrants and options. If you understand the risks well, then go ahead. If not, limit your exposure amount to what money you own, what investing concepts you understand and what level of risk you can take.
10.) At the end of day, it is you who will make the decisions, and it is you who will execute your transactions. It is because of you that your life (and wealth) will change. Your investment adviser or broker will only give you advice. Nevertheless, thank your investment adviser or broker for the invaluable help.

Happy investing.

Comic Relief

5 08 2011

Waiter Moments – Only in the Philippines

1. In a resort while ordering for lunch, we asked the waiter what their specialty was, and he answered what sounded like, “stupid pusit”.

When we asked him to describe it, he pointed the item on the menu: “stuffed pusit”.

2. I went to a turo-turo to buy tapsilog. I told the waitress my order & she replied, “mam, stereo po ba?’.
I got confused & asked her, “ano yun?”. She took out a styro plate & told me, “mam, eto po.
Pag takeout, nilalagay namin sa stereo-powm” .

3. A friend ordered coffee, “Miss, isang coffee without creamer”.

The waitress answered “Sir, wala kaming creamer. Milk ang gamit namin. Ok lang ba sa inyo kung coffee without milk nalang?”

4. My very fat and sweaty friend ordered from the waiter, “Isang lechon manok, dalawang order ng chicken skin, apat na stick ng isaw,
dalawang stick ng tenga ng baboy, isang sisig…at isang Diet Coke.”
The waiter was shocked and said, “Ano, nagda-diet kayo?!?”

5. I called the waiter and said, “Bakit ganito ang ulam, walang lasa! Wala ba kayong cook dito?”
The waiter replied, “Wala po kameng COOK dito, PIPSE lang! PIPSE!”

6. A friend ordered chicken in a resto. When he got his order, he found that there was no fork.
So he asked the waitress, “Ba’t walang fork?” The lady answered angrily, “Ba’t ka naghahanap ng fork, eh diva cheeken ang order mo?”

7. After paying at a fast food, the cashier cheerfully said, “Here’s your BELL , enjoy your MELL”

How To Maintain An Optimal State

3 08 2011

An Optimal State

No matter what the market conditions may be, especially in weeks like this, it is very good idea to do everything you can to stick to the normal trading routine. While none of us can control what the markets do, we can control what we do everyday to be in the right place at the right time and to take advantage of opportunities we see by creating and maintaining an optimal state.

How do you create and maintain an optimal state? One way, at least if you are like me, is to develop a daily routine and stick to it no matter what. This will also help relieve some of the stress and tension markets like this create for all of us. What you do today, in essence, should be exactly the same thing as you did last week, the week before, and the week before that. The market’s performance shouldn’t disrupt or change your daily approach, how you spend your time, or even what you focus on. Doing this will help you sustain calm under pressure which is important.

For those of you who don’t work by the routine and are feeling stressed, I do have some suggestions for you to consider. First, I would recommend you increase the time and effort of your workouts. This will also help you get to sleep faster and burn out excess energy, frustration and emotion. Nothing will impact your judgment or increase your vulnerability to emotional market swings than being stressed out or overworked. I also recommend you try to go to sleep one hour earlier especially when feeling stressed. Also, if you can take an entire day away from the trading desk during the weekend, I recommend you do so to clear and rest your mind.

Second, I recommend you do not watch television and make a concentrated effort to read less news and opinionated social media. While this is helpful to many traders and investors as a general course of action, this is especially true in a noisy, news-driven market. While most seem to think being in the know will translate into making more profits, usually the exact opposite occurs as information overflow turns into paralysis by over analysis. In all likelihood, you already know everything you need to know to make money in the weeks ahead and more information and opinions are not going to build the bridge between here and those profits.

Another area I would recommend is for you to work on improving your eating habits. While often helpful generally, especially during stressful situations try to eat far less food while increasing the frequency of your meals to maintain and sustain optimal energy levels throughout the day. Also, try to eat more energy-focused foods and be mindful of your intake of both caffeine and energy drinks. If possible, avoid those altogether or at least moderate your intake as both will keep you hyped up and more emotional than necessary. Everyone is different here, but in general when stress increases, poor eating habits also increase and that will work against you and maintaining an optimal state.

Finally, please take significant steps to build a wall between your work and personal life so you can get the break you deserve. The best way to do this is to set work hours and stick to those even when market conditions are challenging and emotions run high. While many traders constantly check what the futures are doing right before bed, checking emails, and researching potential trades at all hours, you and your brain need several hours of solid rest and time away every single day to perform at your very best when you are at work. In fact, after 6PM and my after-hours preparation is finished, as part of my daily routine I turn off my cell phone and I never check emails or do anything related to the market. For me, that has made a world of difference.

Good and efficient routines take weeks, if not years, to develop into automatic routines but in my experience are well worth it. By taking small but consistent steps now to improving your work routine, will work wonders for you in the long-run.