Drummer Porn – Buddy Rich vs. Ed Shaughnessy

Even though there have been a ton of monster drummers that have come along in the last 4o years, the older I get, the more I realize that few if any can hold a candle to Buddy Rich. In terms of speed, technique, and certainly showmanship he may have no equal.  And that is why this video is so awesome.

For Ed Shaughnessy, who is no slouch himself, to agree to a “drum battle” against Buddy on what was arguably one of the most popular TV shows of its time, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, shows brass balls.  I think Buddy takes it, but not by much.

Why not subscribe to bclund.com for free  Via E-mail or Via RSS and follow me on StockTwits and Twitter?

What bclund is, is the intersection of markets, trading, and life (with some punk rock, pop culture, and off-beat humor mixed in).

Best Of The StockTwits Blog Network – 6/30/12

Let’s be honest, you could pretty much throw a dart any day of the week at the StockTwits Blog Network, and end up hitting a post that is better than 99% of the other stuff out there that passes as financial blogging.  So to say these are “The Best of….” is a little disingenuous; let’s just say these are some of the posts from the last week that caught my attention and I think will interest you.

It’s apropos that Rouge Traderette, the newest addition to the blog network, gives us a post about how it all started for her.  “The Real Reason I’m A Trader.”

The measure of a man or an organization is their ability to be honestly introspective. Sizemore Insights illustrates this in “If I May Slander My Profession…”

AlphaVN believes the flight of capital from West to East will only increase.  One of the places where it will land is the “Switzerland” of Asia.  “The Financial Road to Singapore.”

From Obamacare to gas prices, The Armo Trader tells us that politics as usual are the barrier to making real progress.  “And This Is Why I Hate Politics.”

Avoiding a “value trap” by recognizing some of their common characteristics is the topic for The Stock Sage this week.  “The Most Important Traits of Value Traps.”

Fortune magazine asked 40 experts to draft their “dream team” to run a hypothetical company.  The Reformed Broker was one of those experts.  “My Executive Dream Team at Fortune Magazine.”

StockTwitsU tells us not only how to analyze macro economic indicators, but where to find those indicators.  “How To Watch Global and Macro Indicators.”

Alcoholics need ten, but the “housing recovery” needs twelve, per The Basis Point.  “The 12 Steps To Housing Recovery.”

Points and Figures has been on this issue like an algorithmic trader on a 1/100 cent move.  “Is High Frequency Trading Good?  Or Bad?” and “How HFT ruins markets.”

Social momentum can lead price momentum, and Phil Pearlman shows you how.  “Arnamania: Social Momentum as a Leading Indicator.”

In Kid Dynamite’s World, you can’t just throw up a piece based on a false premise or you will get taken to the woodshed.  “One Cannot Talk About Supply and Price Without The Third Piece Of The Puzzle: DEMAND.”

Sure, Howard Linzdon is talking his own book, but it is a very, very good book.  “The New StockTwits Web….Reimagining The Markets.”

Dynamic Hedge on why your best market move this summer might be just going to the beach with a good book.  “Summer Trading is for Two Types of People.”

Another tool in your arsenal for determining trend courtesy of Dragonfly Capital.  “One Form of Breadth as an Indicator.”

What would be the tip-off that the United States has passed it’s prime?  Crossing Wall Street theorizes the answer.  “What If People Start to Leave the U.S.?”

I was guessing it was “crack them over the head with a shovel and bury them in a shallow grave.”  The Altucher Confidential has a more “reasoned” idea.  “How To Deal With Crappy People, PART TWO.”

All Star Charts takes us down a contrarian path of thinking.  “Overbought Conditions Would Be A Good Thing For Stocks.”

Forced errors are bad, but unforced errors really suck.  Abnormal Returns talks about avoiding being a “Buckner” in investing.  “Avoiding unforced errors in investing.”

Why not subscribe to bclund.com for free  Via E-mail or Via RSS and follow me on StockTwits and Twitter?

What bclund is, is the intersection of markets, trading, and life (with some punk rock, pop culture, and off-beat humor mixed in).

The Thing That I Fear Most

As I write this post I am traveling six hundred miles per hour, thirty-five thousand feet in the air.  And I am afraid.

The fact that I am in first class takes the edge off some as it is hard to reconcile the antiseptic luxury around me with a fiery ball of twisted wreckage strewn about a corn field. The Heineken and scotch help as well but only in a “Novocaine” type of way; a local numbness that doesn’t take my mind off the overall “procedure” that is going on.

It’s not worry that fills my mind.  Worry is wondering if you can pay all your bills this month. It’s questioning if your wife still loves you.  It’s hoping that the guy you went out with last night will call you.  Worry is to fear what pleasure is to happiness, a superficial and transitory state. What I am talking about is primal and pathological.

In the seminal book “1984” by George Orwell, a key scene takes place where the protagonist Winston Smith is sent to Room 101 for his final interrogation.  Room 101 is designed as a place where one is confronted with their worst fear, which is designed to break them mentally and fully coerce them into blinding acceptance and loyalty to the State.

There is no “Big Brother” looming over me at present, but I’m in my own personal Room 101.

Fear is a part of the human condition, ebbing and flowing as we go through life, following an inverse bell curve type of pattern.

Fear first visits us when we are young and vulnerable.  Irrational fears of things like ghosts or that we might be adopted.  Sometimes that fear is about potential loss.

I often remember when I was very young, waking up in the dark of the night with a fear of losing my parents.  I would get out of bed, sneak down the hallway, and wait at their door, not returning to bed until I heard the oddly reassuring sound of my father snoring.

Fear takes a holiday as we get older and the zeal of adolescence courses through our veins. Childhood fears give way to a feeling of indestructibility and a sense of life-line that’s infinite. We fear nothing.  I feared nothing.

Only when we have broadened and built up our lives up, both with things and with people, do we start to revisit the idea of fear.  That’s when fear crept back into my life.

In-flight fear medicine.

I’m a overdramatic dick right? What do I have to fear?  I’m not sitting in a foxhole in Afghanistan.  I’m not some poor kid waiting to see if his abusive dad is coming home drunk tonight.  I’m not sitting in the waiting room of a hospital wondering if my results are going to come back “negative.”  What right do I have to be afraid?

But that’s the nature of fear.  It doesn’t make sense.  It’s the innocuous event that takes you to an irrational result.  The sharp twinge in your chest that turns out to be heartburn.  The midnight phone call that’s only a wrong number.  The ambulance you’re driving behind that turns down your street but passes your house.

As I write this post in the jet stream of a coast-to-coast red-eye, I am fully embracing the irrational: trying to cathartically outwit fate, hoping that somebody actually losing their life in a plane crash while writing about losing their life in a plane crash is too ironic even for the grim reaper to stomach.

But it’s not flying that I fear.  For the vast majority of my life I have flown without a second thought to my safety.  Nor is it death that I fear for myself personally.  Nobody wants to die, but I am of the pragmatic mindset that if I die, well, I won’t be around to worry about it anyway.

What I fear about death is leaving my two children at such a young age behind without me.  I specifically fear a “sudden” death.  A death that prevents a last loving and concentrated period of life lessons and memories to sustain them through their lives.

I spent the day I left with my children.  To them it was just a normal day with their daddy, but to me it was a possible last chance to see their sweet faces.  To hear the laughter in their voices.  To hold them tight.  To give them a kiss on the cheek at night as they dreamt.

I wondered what they would remember of me if I did not come back.  Would they think I left them?  Would they think that they did something wrong?  Had I shown them both through words and action just how important they were in my life?  Would they think back on me at graduations, and weddings, and births yet to come as somebody who gave them a foundation from which they thrived, or as a hazy figure like some distant relative whose name they could never remember?

I sat with them both at breakfast that day and we talked.  About princesses, pokemon, and the cat that was playing outside.  We went to the park and chased a squirrel and had a contest on the swings to see who could go higher.  We ate pizza for lunch and I made a point of having their slices cut into thirds so they would be “size appropriate” for them.  I let them both have ice cream, a double scoop in fact.

And at night before they went to bed I laid down beside them, looked in their eyes, and told them how special they were to me, and that I loved them with all my heart.

If I did not return I wondered what their lasting impression of me would be.  I was playing memory roulette and trying to rig the game.

Desperately trying to create memories.

You never know what memory will stand out for you of a lost loved one.  At twenty years old when my father died, I had the advantage my three and six year old would not.  I had decades of memories to draw from, and an adult mind with which to remember them.  Yet with all my advantages, the memory that sticks out for me most is one of the last, and one of the least likely.

As the tumor in my father’s head progressed, it slowly cut off his ability to speak, until he spoke no more.  He was still there and lucid, but the mechanisms that made speech no longer functioned.  It had been a month since he last talked, and I knew I had heard my father’s voice for the last time.

I would sit with him by his bed at home during the day while my mother was at work.  We would watch TV, or listen to the radio, or I would read to him.  Some times I just sat there and held his hand.

One day we were watching the Phil Donahue show, at the end of which they would roll a sixty-second promo of sponsors.  One of the spots went, “Guests of the Donahue show stay at the Drake hotel when in Chicago”……

To which my father turned to me and said out of the blue, “I stayed at that hotel once when I was in Chicago.”  Those were the last words he spoke and he died less than two months later.  That is what I remember.

If you are reading this post now, then you know I am alive.  I will have made it home to my children who only know that daddy had to “work a little extra,” and that he squeezed them a little bit harder and a little bit longer when he got home.

I don’t live my life in fear.  I am grateful for all I have and thank my lucky stars for it every God damn day.  But moments like now, when the fear takes hold remind me that I have to build memories for my children every day.

Each day that I leave them with a feeling of joy, and safety, and love, and support, and family, and self-worth, and confidence, and a belief in themselves, I get closer to killing that fear in me.  To leaving it slaughtered, dead by the side of the road like an unholy demon.

Every day that I survive and give something good and decent of myself to my children, they have more of me to carry with them when I eventually do leave this existence behind.

But for now at least I am home.  I am home.  I am home.

Make sure to check out my new book  Trading:The Best Of The Best-Top Trading Tips For Our Times  (just click the banner below).

Updated Amazon Banner

Why not subscribe to bclund.com for free  Via E-mail or Via RSS and follow me on StockTwits and Twitter?

What bclund is, is the intersection of markets, trading, and life (with some punk rock, pop culture, and off-beat humor mixed in). Check out “The Best Of bclund” to get started.

Click here to “Like” the bclund Facebook page.

How To Know When You’ve Had Too Much To Trade

I have a really cool drink for you to try at your next cocktail party.  It consists of vodka, gin, tequila, vermouth, peppermint schnaps, creme de menthe, scotch, bourbon, Baily’s Irish creme, Campari, grenadine, and Kailua.

The recipe is very specific and it must be made exactly as I describe it.  Start with an over-sized plastic cup, then pour just enough out of every bottle in your parent’s liquor cabinet so that they won’t miss any.  It’s called a “Dumbshit-14”, named after my intellectual level and age when I first made it.

If you share this drink with friends it’s probably best not to get too detailed about the ingredients or you are likely to get a response similar to Socrates last words……

“I drank what…????”

This magical elixir of fun and eventual pukeattude was invented by me on the occasion of attending my first real high school party; and not just any party mind you, but a senior party.

Attending this type of party as a freshman presented a number of problems.  If you know anything about the laws of survival in high school you know that a freshman has almost no chance to come out of a senior party in tact.  In addition, selling this type of activity to my parents was likely to elicit a “you’re not old enough to go to a party” response.

Fortunately I had an multi-purpose ace up my sleeve in that of my best friend Ty Thomas.

Ty was a starter on our frosh-soph football team which already gave him some gravitas, but the clincher was that his older brother was in fact a starter on the varsity team, and thus he by extension was “OK”.  By a lesser and more tenuous extension it meant that I was “semi-okay”.

I knew there was no way that my parents would let me go to a party at fourteen, but I also knew that they idolized Ty who was a straight A student.  Because of that they would certainly let me spend the night over at his house, thinking of course we would be studying the night away while drinking soda and eating popcorn.

Here’s a tip for all you kids out there (except mine); when you have a friend who all the parents think is a well-behaved teacher’s pet type but is secretly a party animal, don’t be jealous or bitter, instead, leverage them.

“Hopefully some of Ty’s good scholarly habits will rub off on Brian,” no doubt was what was going through their parentally concerned heads when they said “yes” to my request.

Of course I never promised we would be studying.  And I never promised that the drink of choice would be soda pop.  Oh, and I did leave out the part about his parents being out-of-town and us planning to go to a party.  Oops….!!!

That first time drinking was a real trial by fire as I basically went from one extreme to another.  From feeling the beginnings of a nice buzz to ending the night by puking my guts out on the bathroom floor.  I had no experience with drinking and hence no ability to gauge or moderate my level of intoxication.  I didn’t know when to call it quits for the night.

The same experience can happen when trading, both on a micro and a macro basis.  How do you know when you have traded enough for the day, or the week, or the month for that matter?

Take the example of day trading.  Have ever started that day off with a big win or two, adding a nice percentage gain to your account equity, only to see it get chipped away on trade after trade the rest of the day?  Maybe you even ended up losing money at the end of the day.

What if you just stopped trading once you were up?

“But Brian,” you say.  “I am Johnny trading guy, I have to trade.  I can’t just stop when the market is still open.”  Yes you can, but you have to know when and when not to call it quits.

You do that not by looking at your P/L, but by objectively evaluating how you are trading.  My good friend Phil Ivey* has spoken of this concept in poker, and it applies exactly to trading.

Once when asked how he knows when to get up from the table, Phil remarked that if he was playing well, even if he was losing, he would stay at the table.  But if he was playing bad, even if he was up, he was more likely to leave, re-group, and play another day.

If you are trading well, i.e. following your methodology, taking good risk/reward setups, and correctly managing your trades, you should hang in there as long as there are valid opportunities, even if you are down.  Eventually you will make some winning trades and have a better chance of breaking even or even turning the day into a profit.

And the converse is true as well.  If you are trading badly, no matter up or down, you should pack it in for the day.

In the example above, if you are up big and trading good; keep crushing the market.  If you are up big but trading badly, either hit the eject button for the day or trade smaller for a bit, and then if you trading doesn’t improve, shut it down for the day.

*By “good friend” I mean that I have never actually met the man, but I feel like I have.

Why not subscribe to bclund.com for free  Via E-mail or Via RSS and follow me on StockTwits and Twitter?

What bclund is, is the intersection of markets, trading, and life (with some punk rock, pop culture, and off-beat humor mixed in).

Best Of The StockTwits Blog Network – 6/23/12

Let’s be honest, you could pretty much throw a dart any day of the week at the StockTwits Blog Network, and end up hitting a post that is better than 99% of the other stuff out there that passes as financial blogging.  So to say these are “The Best of….” is a little disingenuous; let’s just say these are some of the posts from the last week that caught my attention and I think will interest you.

Hey, it may be summer, but school is in, and The Minimalist Trader is your hot new teacher.  “Newbies: Step Right Up For a Little Wall Street 101.”

The market digested the news out of Spain like a nice light tapas lunch.  Up next…eight bowls of pasta, two calzones, a slug of lasagna, and all you can eat bread.  Sizemore Insights breaks the caloric count down in “Spain and Italy: Different Problems, Same Crisis.”

The key to feeding the world?  No, not Spam.  AlphaVN tell us “Palm Oil Holds the Key to Feeding the Next Billion.”

Sector analysis by ZorTrades.  “Semiconductors May Make A Stop Here.”

Pssssst…..!!! You are going to find the next big movers here first.  “StockTwits 50, June 18” by the always covert Ivanhoff.

Each week a few posts go viral.  “The Worst Mistake a Trader Can Make” by The Stock Sage was one of those posts.

ZZONK……!!!! “If the world is crumbling.”  BIFF….!!!!!!  “Who are the most dangerous people in financial media?”   WHAMM……!!!!  “Let’s All Take a Moment to Remember the Charlatans.”  It’s either TV’s Batman or The Reformed Broker.

The “head and shoulders” pattern and how to trade it by The FX Cafe.  “What do I do with ‘This’ Chart Pattern.”

What a difference a FOMC statement makes.  “Rates Up After Fed Meeting: Side by Side Fed Statements” by The Basis Point.

Housing is out of favor.  Hated.  Loathed.  That’s that time to start paying attention to it.  Let Value Plays give you some insight into what’s happening with “So Housing Is Local…”

TheArmoTrader is such a tease.  Of course we do Jerry….!!!  “Want To Catch The Bottom?”

Points and Figures crushed it live on CNBC with Rick Santelli on this topic.  “Electronic Trading Vs Open Outcry.”

I thought that the “Rules” for trading in Kid Dynamite’s World were done.  I guess not, because here is “Trading Rule #6: Have A Plan!”

Another one of those posts that was passed around this week like a “doobie” at a high school party.  “Hey man, don’t ‘Bogart’ it.”  “This Is How Upside Momentum Often Ends,” by Ivanhoff Capital.

It has been 38 years in coming, but Europe just hit Japan with a haymaker.  “Europe Contagion Hit Japan,” by FaithMightFx.

I suck at fundamental and macro investing, so Dynamic Hedge wrote a post just for me.  “Fundamental Top-Down Macro for the Brain Damaged.”

There is a theory that all known information is priced in already by the market.  Dragonfly Capital postulates that the market may even know some of the as of yet “unknown” information.  “Big Pharma Already Knows the Supreme Court Outcome.”

DownTownTrader gives us his analysis on a “cup and handle” trade he is currently in.  “Talking My Book – Amazon.com, Inc.”

Crossing Wall Street tells us that $AAPL  could buy every NHL, NBA, NFL, and MLB team and still have cash left over in “My Views on Apple.”

If I ever meet James in person I will kiss him for writing such good stuff.  Then I will punch him for writing such good stuff.  Just read it.  “How To Make a Billion Dollar Company From Scratch,” by Altucher Confidential.

Technical analysis is often misused, and AlphaTrends sets us straight with “Direction Of Moving Averages – Technical Analysis.”

There has been a lot of talk lately about natural gas and how low it can go.  All Star Charts asks the question, “Was That A Generational Bottom For Natural Gas Prices?”

Let me give you a little advice.  There’s a force in the universe that makes things happen. And all you have to do is get in touch with it.  Stop thinking.  Let things happen.  And “be the ball.”  “The folly of trying to out think the markets,” by Abnormal Returns……….you’re not being the ball Danny.

Why not subscribe to bclund.com for free  Via E-mail or Via RSS and follow me on StockTwits and Twitter?

What bclund is, is the intersection of markets, trading, and life (with some punk rock, pop culture, and off-beat humor mixed in).

Foxy Brown – Hot Spot (….As Gansta As I Get)

I’ve played the drums over this groove for hours.  So dope, as the kewl kids say.

Why not subscribe to bclund.com for free  Via E-mail or Via RSS and follow me on StockTwits and Twitter?

What bclund is, is the intersection of markets, trading, and life (with some punk rock, pop culture, and off-beat humor mixed in).

Trading The Morning Star Reversal Setup

Let me first start off by saying I am not an expert in candlestick charting.  Sure, I’ve read a ton of books on the subject, including the granddaddy of them all “Japanese Candlestick Charting Technique,” by Steve Nisson.  I have also closely studied the different and colorfully named patterns shown in those books.

Patterns such as the “Three Black Crows,” the “Dark Cloud Cover,” and the “Bukakke,” but at some point they all just seem like a Rorschach test.  I’m not good with concepts in which I don’t understand or relate to the underlying mechanics, and that’s how most candlestick patterns seem like to me.

One of the patterns I do relate to and have written about before is the reversal hammer.  The other one is a pattern that I like and have traded numerous times as well, and was reminded of when my friend NYC Trader pointed it out to me yesterday; the Morning Star Reversal pattern.

There are a number of rules on how to determine and trade this pattern, and reams of statistical data on its success rate, all of which I will read for you right now…..Zzzzzzzzz!!!!

Instead let me show you what I look for in the pattern and the ways I have traded it in the past.

In the chart of $AIR above you will see the most important factor when determining a morning star reversal pattern; a definite and extended down trend preceding it.  How extended is up to interpretation, and though it sounds perhaps too subjective, I have just found that if it visually jumps out at you, it’s probably valid.

The pattern starts with a large red down bar, and the key here is that you want to see a spike on volume on that bar.  It’s an indication after an extended downtrend that the last remaining longs have thrown in the towel and sold.  The next bar of the pattern is designed to confirm this.

The second bar is a doji, and preferably a tight range doji opposed to a gravestone or dragonfly doji.  The thought behind this, for me at least, is that it shows after the large down red bar, buyers and sellers are in perfect equilibrium.  This action is key to setting the stage for the last bar of the pattern which determines if it is a true reversal or just a pause in the direction of the previous trend.

With the last bar we want to see a strong green body that closes right around the level of the top of the first red bar.  The more symmetrical the pattern the more valid it is.

Volume does not have to be as large on this green bar as it was on that first red bar or even the doji, although if it is that’s a plus.  It is really just price action we want to see on this bar because the next one is the “action” bar.

You would buy the next bar as it breaks above the high of the first red bar on a daily chart if you are swinging it, or drill down to the 5-min chart to find a good entry if day trading it.  You definitely want to see more volume on this bar than the previous one.

This pattern works best when the first of the three bars starts at support and the last bar finishes just at or above resistance (the previous support).

The morning star reversal pattern works across all different time frames and a good variation on it for day trading is to wait to see if an inside consolidation bar forms after the third bar.  This gives you a tighter range and a better risk reward to work off of, although you might miss the trade if the bar doesn’t form.

So to recap:

1.  Established downtrend.

2.  Large red bar with volume spike.

3.  Tight range doji.

4.  Large green bar finishing near the top of first red bar.

5.  Look for symmetry in the pattern.

6.  Buy the break of the first bar high.

7.  Strongest if formed at a support level.

8.  Optional to wait for “fourth” inside consolidation bar.

9.  Why not subscribe to bclund.com for free  Via E-mail or Via RSS and follow me on StockTwits and Twitter?

10. What bclund is, is the intersection of markets, trading, and life (with some punk rock, pop culture, and off-beat humor mixed in).

How To Drive A Car On Two Wheels

Ever since I saw Steve Guttenberg’s character do his version of “valet parking” in the opening scene of “Police Academy,” I have wanted to flip a car up and drive it on two wheels.

Recently I came across an article in Car and Driver that not only talks about “high skiing,” as I’ve learned this mondo cool stunt is called, but also lays out a seven step tutorial on how to do it.

Not that it’s that simple, as the article explains….

 If you plan on trying this, be prepared to roll your car onto its roof. Because you will. Every stunt driver who performs this technique has rolled many cars learning how to do it. Tonny Petersen, a 78-year-old Danish acrobat–turned–stunt driver, who has been high-skiing cars for more than 50 years, says, “Oh, my God, I’ve rolled my share of cars. I have no idea how many. When you are driving high skis, you have flat tires. Tires explode, and the car goes one of two ways depending on the surface, potholes, and soft spots.” 

Hmmmm….in retrospect, the movie did come out during my junior year of high school, and chances are I thought “high skiing” by the front of the gymnasium might help my chances with the ladies.

I don’t think I have much of a chance in selling it to my wife now, although the kids would probably get a kick out of it.

In case you want to give it a try, you can check out the whole article here:

How To Drive A Car On Two Wheels via Car and Driver.

Why not subscribe to bclund.com for free  Via E-mail or Via RSS and follow me on StockTwits and Twitter?

What bclund is, is the intersection of markets, trading, and life (with some punk rock, pop culture, and off-beat humor mixed in).

The Bar Band That Pivoted And Sold 10 Million Albums

Allow me to be very self-indulgent and colloquial for a moment.  I want to tell you about a band that doesn’t exist anymore, or at least not in the form in which I originally found them. Somewhere along the line they did a “pivot” and went from a local OC bar band to a nationally known band that sold 10 million records worldwide.

Let me take you back to the heady days of the early 90’s……..I remember it like it was yesterday….blulah, blulah, blulah….(cue wavy fade out).

It’s a typical Saturday night and I am with my buddies at a local bar called “The Warehouse” in Newport Beach. We are drinking pitchers of beer, playing pool, trying to catch a hot girl’s eye.  The night is starting off slow, and then the band starts to play.

WHAM…..!!!!  It’s like somebody hit me in the back of my head with a ball peen hammer.

I’d never seen anything like it.  A mass of frenetic energy was coming off the stage, and in the middle of it all was a lead singer who was jumping all over the place, alternately checking himself out in the bar’s mirror and then insulting the audience in the most slyly funny way I had ever seen.  This band had “it”!

I had only seen about five bands in my life that stopped me cold in my tracks, and the “Shrinky Dinx” was one of them.

I was mesmerized by this band.  I loved the eclectic mix of songs they covered and the way in which they did it.  They played War’s “Lowrider,” “Gonzo” by Ted Nugent, and “Whatcha’ Want” by the Beastie Boys.  They also had great original songs with names like “Wife Beater”, “Big Black Women”, and “Iron Mic (ode to Mike Tyson).”

My friends and I became big fans of the Dinx, going to all their shows and getting to know them. Great guys, great band.

The best gig I ever saw them play, and maybe the best gig I ever saw in my life, happened around 1992.  The band 311 was headlining at a small club in Huntington Beach, and the Dinx were opening for them.

Once they got on stage all hell broke loose.  The lead singer was a tatted Irish pretty boy who drank like a fish and that night he was lit,  jumping around stage, and in and out of the crowd like a maniac.

At one point he climbed up into the rigging above the audience, broke a beer bottle in half, and with the jagged end of the bottle began to carve his initials into his mid-section.  Blood was pouring everywhere, the band was pumping, the audience was screaming…….the wildest thing I have ever seen.

So here is the punchline.  Do you know this band is today?

Sugar Ray……..!!!

That’s right, the pabulum pumping, radio friendly boy band.  And their lead singer?  Mark McGrath, former co-host of Extra and Don’t Forget the Lyrics!  Ugh…!!!

They polished things up, stripped down their sound, added a beat box, and overproduced the hell out of their music.  They even changed the title of “Wife Beater” to “Rhyme Stealer”…..pathetic.

I get it, their sound wasn’t commercial enough and they had to evolve to stay alive and survive.  But sometimes, on those warm summer nights in the OC, I often wish that someone like the Dinx was still out there.

Check out this video of Sugar Ray when they were still the Shrinky Dinx.  It will give you a tiny little sense of what I what I first saw in them almost twenty years ago.

Why not subscribe to bclund.com for free  Via E-mail or Via RSS and follow me on StockTwits and Twitter?

What bclund is, is the intersection of markets, trading, and life (with some punk rock, pop culture, and off-beat humor mixed in).

5 Things That Can Freak A Trader Out.

Forty or fifty muscle-bound, testosterone filled neanderthals were surrounding him, yelling the worst things you could imagine, just inches away from his face.

“YOU SUCK ASS,” shouted one.


Adding a slight twist, his friend piled on, “YEAH…AND I BANGED YOUR MOTHER TOO.”


The target in the middle of it all didn’t pay any attention to them  He just kept drilling fifty yard field goals right through the center of the uprights.

The object of all this venom was the place kicker on my high school football team.  What the hell was I doing playing football in the first place?  Well, that is a story for a different blog post, but in this story, what we were trying to do was mess with his head.

In practice he would make kicks all day long, but come game time he was shank city.  It got so bad that we had given up even trying extra points altogether, opting instead for two-point conversions.

Our coaches were desperate and thought that maybe if we tried to distract and unnerve him in practice he could learn to steel himself, and that would translate to the playing field.

In essence this was once giant X-rated version of the “Noonan” scene in “Caddyshack.”

Suffice to say it didn’t work.  No matter how coolly he handled abuse in practice, once he got under those stadium lights he choked like the choking choker that he was.  Nobody knew exactly what it was that made him freak out, but the same thing can happen to you as a trader.

What might cause you to go off the rails?  Who knows, maybe you are one of the greats that doesn’t get phased by anything?  But just in case you aren’t, here are five things to keep an eye on that can freak a trader out.

1.  Scaling up –  I’ve known traders who can shoot that lights out all day long in the market as long as they don’t go over a certain position size.  Once they do, they then start to change their approach.  Their methodology goes out the window.  They begin to make novice-type mistakes, and ultimately their profitability drops.

2.  Personal problems –  Many traders can focus and stay profitable while their desk is on fire, but if they have problems closer to home, it can knock them off their game.  Maybe their child is struggling in school, their best friend lost his job, or their wife is sleeping with the front line of the Philadelphia Flyers.  No matter the cause, until a resolution to the issue is found they will often struggle.

3.  Being in the spotlight – This one is my Kryptonite.  No matter how hard I try, when I put my trading in the spotlight it always suffers.  It makes me want to teach.  To show how smart I am.  To be a big swinging dick.  All to the detriment of my P&L.

4.  Running Money –  If you take a hit in your trading account and the family has to pass on the summer vacation, that sucks.  If that “hit” is prolonged and you can’t send the kids to Harvard, well, there is always community college.  If you blow your account out and lose the family house, not the greatest thing but there are plenty of rental properties out there.  If however you are the cause of those things for another family, the guilt can be overwhelming. Always having that possibility in the back of your mind for some is too much to handle.

5.  Changing asset classes –  This one is the dark horse.  Often successful traders assume if they can trade one asset class well, they can trade them all.  And some can.  But many find that different asset classes move in ways they are not used to or have greater volatility than they can handle.

Ninety percent of successful trading is mental, and a large component of that is being comfortable in how you trade.  Make sure if you attempt any of the things above that you monitor yourself for any signs that you are coming out of your comfort zone, or your trading may suffer.

Why not subscribe to bclund.com for free  Via E-mail or Via RSS and follow me on StockTwits and Twitter?

What bclund is, is the intersection of markets, trading, and life (with some punk rock, pop culture, and off-beat humor mixed in).