Happy New Year!

It’s Sunday here in Puerto Rico, and I’m finishing out the last few hours of a great week.  For the first time since I can remember, I gave myself permission this past week to take a “vacation” from trading research.  I still check my crypto trading twice a day to make sure it’s going smoothly, and ran one backtest just to confirm something, but I put my massive stock project aside for the week.  

Even over the Christmas holiday visiting Michigan I was torn about taking time off, and made daily attempts to do some research and machine learning.  I would have been better off decompressing, as I need long blocks of focused time to get anything of quality accomplished, but I pressed on due to habit.  This past week due to New Years Eve being midweek, and the fact that I have all of these amazing books that my family bought me off my wishlist/my own que, I decided just to read and enjoy life.  It was a wise choice.  

Tomorrow I’m going back to my old co-working space for the first time since pre-Covid, and excited to tackle my equities experiments.  I did spend a little time organizing things in terms of importance, as I have a habit of coming up with shiny new ideas that seem more exciting than what I am doing, but are more likely to not work.  Right now I have pretty good research to profitably trade at the beginning and end of the trading day for stocks, but there are better and shorter risk/reward moments throughout the day.  I have 13 years of data from a few thousand stocks organized by the various time periods that regularly have more volatility and thus opportunities for profit.  Eventually I want to get things to a point where I’m continuously scanning every minute/second for slivers of extractable profits, but I should be able to win during the big moments of the trading day first, before trying to wade through the noise of the full day.  There seem to be instances of 50-100 basis point edge situations (100 basis points is one percent) daily, but of course this is constrained by many of these stocks being small cap names, and thus less liquidity/more likely to get a bad price if an order is blindly sent into the market.  It’s not an insurmountable issue though, but it’s more complex than just “it’s cheap so buy it and sell it later”.  I love that the equities market has a limited window of operation.  That always seemed to be a flaw to me, and didn’t make sense why we can’t just trade 24/7 like many other things.  It creates a cool game though, with discrete time periods.  Games within the main trading day game.  I’m breaking down each sub-game and working on strategies that win in that particular game, and hoping that I can get them good enough in real-time that I can capture enough edges throughout the day that it’s overwhelmingly likely to win, and a good amount.  I have yet to make any of this money though, so let’s see if it’s real first!  My goal this week is to have one intraday strategy researched to a “good enough” (there are always infinite things to test that might improve) stage, and have it automated and running on minimal amounts of capital.  I’ve already done some preliminary research over Christmas that showed good results without much fine-tuning.  If this works, a big if, the other parts of the day should be much easier and quicker to research/implement as the code/algorithms should be similar.  Either way I’ll learn a lot, especially once I send some real orders into the market, and hopefully be closer to earning some money in the equities markets.

I lost a few pounds this past week even though my workouts were on the lighter side, and I did indulge with wine and bad carbs on NYE and Saturday night.  My girlfriend Johanna and I had been away from each other for a month over the holidays, and I wasn’t prepared with my response to reuniting and sticking with a strict Carnivore diet.  She supports me, but she’s naturally lean and enjoys carbs, and we’ve spent years “treating ourselves” together.  I’m hypothesizing that the fact that the rest of the week I’ve been 100% strict, just eating grass-fed meats/fish, fats, salt, and drinking water, has allowed my body to handle the bad stuff better than when I was deluding myself about how healthy I was normally eating.  I noticed a very strange effect that when I have carbs now I become ravenous.  Absolutely starving, for meat, carbs, or anything really, but it’s like every bit of sugar I have does the reverse of filling me up.  I’ve never felt that before, and it’s a nice reminder for me to stay away from them.  I’m back on track today, 100% strict again (if you consider an espresso part of the diet, which to me I’m not religious about, and have felt good with one per day).

I’ve thought a bit about my “rules” for my nutrition.  In general the guiding principle is to eat what makes me look and feel the best.  Less and less things bring me enough enjoyment to counteract the bad effects.  Coffee is one thing I really enjoy, and it seems fine in true moderation for me.  Alcohol is something that is obviously strictly bad healthwise, but I don’t drink regularly (normally at least, I went a little wild with my two nights of wine this week), and there are scenarios like having a drink with friends that is enjoyable enough to warrant it.  The thought of the Grey Goose and soda at a club lifestyle disgusts me though, even if that was Covid-legal.  The last one that I will violate short-term health in the name of life pleasure is gourmet dining.  I don’t eat out often now, and it’s easier than ever to settle into a home-cooking lifestyle, but I’ve never regretted a Michelin star restaurant meal in my life.  Not the money, and not the calories.  Years ago my friend Jeff was talking about if Jiro Sushi in Tokyo was worth the cost, and what he said really stuck with me (paraphrasing): “probably not, but it’s honestly one of the only things that I still remember from the trip.  Actually I guess it was the highlight, and was super enjoyable… so it was worth it.”  I love tasting menus and the whole theatre of the experience, and it’s one of the few things that I’m looking forward to blowing some money on again when given the chance.  Otherwise I want to continue my path towards my lifetime best health and fitness.

I went to a modern art museum here in San Juan that I didn’t even know existed, and was walking distance from my apartment.  It left me with an uplifted mindset for the rest of the day, and was a reminder how important it is to watch my inputs.  Keep bombarding myself with positive uplifting literature, cinema/tv, people, art, music, and outdoor spaces.  I also made an effort to go the beach ( I was paranoid that we’re not supposed to “lay out” at the beach, only exercise due to Covid, but I think I was the only one there prepared to actually swim and not just lay on a towel) which for the millionth time reminded me that I shouldn’t miss out on the absolute best part of living in the Caribbean.  Getting sun, swimming vigorously in waves in the water until I’m out of breath, and the calm of laying down in the sand listening to the ocean after is unbeatable.  

I’m going to leave things at that.  Wishing you all an amazing start to your 2021! Here are some masks from the art museum that I thought could make for a fun “Eyes Wide Shut” party, and the beautiful gardens in the back of the museum.

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