Work and Reading

Running behind schedule on my blog output this week, apologies for that.  I’ve been working on the final stages of new trading research, but the finish line keeps getting extended.  It’s been a little frustrating because I’ve been sitting on a potentially lucrative new algorithm, watching it make money daily in simulations, but I haven’t started running it.  The reason is that I keep brainstorming new ideas to test (that are time-consuming), and they often make significant improvements. The process of coding it to work in the real markets takes a few (intense) days, so I don’t want to do that until I’m done tweaking it.  It’s a good problem to have, but I’m getting a bit of money fomo, and hopefully will have a running version this week.


This past week I’ve been settling into a solid routine, which has been a critical piece of my life that’s been missing.  The worst/best part about my work life is that there is no required structure. I can work as much or as little as I want, and I get paid for results only.  I think for a lot of people this just degrades down to them not working until they go stir crazy and want a job again. This actually happened to me a few years ago when I first started living around the world and “working remotely”.  I took advantage of the fact that I could have a Tuesday afternoon brunch with friends, stay up late/sleep in, and in general not work unless I was motivated. With that kind of negative momentum I basically only put in solid hours when there was an emergency, or I was disgusted with myself.  I still enjoy waking up without an alarm, but I’m better at that being 6-7 am instead of 10 am.


My current routine is wake up around 6-7 am, Monday-Wednesday-Friday go to the gym and do gymnastics strength training plus weights for lower body ( very similar to the “reddit recommended routine”), or sprints in the park nearby.  When I get back meditate for a short while, and then shower/eat/get ready for the office. I go to my co-working space between 9-10am, and stay until 5-6 pm working on trading research (except for times like now when I’m doing my blog).  I bring a large hunk of steak for lunch that I can eat at the table so I don’t have to mess with my workflow. After the office I go back home and do whatever I want, usually reading/movies/spending time with my gf. I also often go for a walk in the evenings by the water when the sun is down.  There’s a warm breeze at night that is quite peaceful, and it relieves me after enduring the scorching daytime sun that is showing no signs of relenting yet.   


I finished the book “Stillness Is the Key” by Ryan Holiday this past week after it was recommended by my friend Jeff.  I didn’t tell him that I’d actually purchased the authors’ other books over the past few years, and put them all down in annoyance.  The author always has glowing recommendations for his books, in particular from other writers/people whose work I love, so I kept allowing myself to be disappointed.  The only author that I’ve purchased more of his books and never finished is Neal Stephenson. With Stephenson (who has excessive superlative reviews that are borderline religious with how much people love his work) at least I feel it’s mostly my own weakness that I’m not good at pushing through hundreds of pages with nothing happening.  Ryan Holiday in the past had an (again for me, lots of people love his stuff) arrogant Millennial tone, and I couldn’t get too far into his books before something made my eyes roll yet again and toss it aside.  


“Stillness” still had parts where he would introduce a historical character, tell a story, and then explain how that illustrated a point that was completely unconnected (two cringe-worthy ones that come to mind are a small chapter on why you should believe in a higher power, and another chapter where he uses Michael Jordan’s Hall of Fame speech as an example of someone who isn’t “still” — except for when I YouTube’d the speech afterward looking forward to Jordan being lame and egotistical it was the opposite).  With that disclaimer, I mostly agreed with the rest of his points, which were great little reminders of things to keep in mind. The chapters were short, gave interesting information about different people throughout history (mostly modern), and had some nice stoic/meditative pointers at the end. For me it was a nice read, and it helped solidify some of the practices I’ve often let slide (journaling daily, taking restorative walks, making sure being in nature happens on a weekly basis).


Another book I mostly read (it’s a reference book so you don’t read the whole thing) was “Overcoming Gravity Volume 2”.  I learned a ton from this, and it’s almost embarrassing given how much time and money I’ve spent on fitness education. If you want to learn about building strength, muscle, or even endurance, and building your own program, this is a pretty awesome book.  It is geared towards bodyweight training though.  


I re-read the graphic novel “Daytripper” by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba.  It’s probably my favorite graphic novel, and I’d recommend to anyone, it’s not a superhero comic or anything. 


I also watched the movie “Joker” (again Jeff’s recommendation) which was impressive craftsmanship.  I was avoiding it because I read how dark and disturbing it was, but I guess since I had steeled myself to be prepared for that, that aspect of it didn’t bother me.


I need to get back to the trading grind now.  I’m so close to getting this new project done.  Each day at this point is draining now that I’m into overanalyzing the smallest details, but I’m really happy with how the extra research has improved the new algorithm, and it will be awesome once I get this running.  Leaving you with a pic from some cliffs here in Puerto Rico.


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