I’ve been in Mexico City for a little over a month now, but it feels much longer. The city sparks an insatiable curiosity to understand and explore it, but it feels impossible to grasp it all, a similar feeling I had in New York City when I had summer internships in my youth. I never had that feeling in a lot of the other big cities I’ve lived in like Los Angeles and Chicago. I lived in both of those for years, and made my way to many of the different neighborhoods over time, but I never felt like I was in a rush or missing out. Perhaps it’s because I keep finding new favorite coffee shops/restaurants/architecture/clothing stores that don’t make any “top 10” lists and I would never come into contact without walking by and peeking my head in. It helps that the walkability and density of cool places is so high. Every time I walk new streets in a good neighborhood I’m pretty much guaranteed to see several things I’ll be happy to have found. Some best of the best coffee: Cafe Curado, Buna Cafe, Alma Negra (nitro cold brew), Cafe Memorias de un Barista. For working and very good coffee: Curado, Postales Cafe, Blend Station, Quentin Cafe.
I’m not sure if it’s just a change of scenery, or the city itself, but I’ve been able to synthesize a lot of ideas that I’ve been hazy on. As I’ve stated before my main goals this year are to set myself up physically and financially, while enjoying life with family/friends. I’ve had a bit more fun with friends than I expected since getting to Mexico City, and it’s impacted my work/nutrition in the short-term, but I think it’s been a net long-term positive. I got creative and thought about what are my true training goals. I’ve been yo-yoing on some different workouts and programs, not really getting what I needed out of any of them. I really like calisthenics and gymnastics, which is usually focused on upper-body and difficult movements, but my legs are quite inflexible and something that I haven’t been able to be consistent about improving. I found a program that is primarily for lower body/knee strength/mobility ,https://www.atgonlinecoaching.com/, but the upper body exercises are mostly mobility based. I loved the program and doing new exercises that I suck at, and am seeing great progress, but I stopped before because I wanted a bit more upper body training. A simple solution for me was to follow this program, and swap out the upper body mobility with a pull up + handstand push-up progression superset on one day, and planche/ring push ups + front lever row/ring row progression on the other day. I’m getting pretty much the same upper body training as I was before, but now I’m mostly doing leg strength/mobility exercises that I apparently badly needed to make progress.
Nutrition wise I’m not able to practically/don’t want to eat only carnivore in a huge city where I’m eating out with friends a few times a week. I also have a lot of demands on my time, so I setup a very basic nutrition template that I can follow without much effort. I learned the hard-way that it’s not practical to eat at random times, having whatever random food is nearby. The gym is free at 11 am, so now I have a coffee in the morning and fast until after I’m done training, I have a protein drink at the gym on days that I train, shower and eat 6-8 eggs in ghee (plus mushrooms or some vegetables if I have them), dinner I try to eat about one pound of beef/fish/seafood (plus some vegetables if they’re available), and some dark chocolate as a desert if I need that. I did the math on macros, and that’s about the perfect amount of calories for me to slowly lose fat, but also not be hungry and be able to bring this lifestyle to a restaurant as needed.
In trading I’ve also had a pretty tremendous mental breakthrough. I’ve been tracking my different trading strategies and algorithms on a daily basis, including the ones that I’m not actively using, and recording the real/hypothetical results. I manually type all of these into a spreadsheet, and create new ones/delete ones that are clearly bad on a regular basis. I also take some notes on what did or did not work, and ideas of how to improve if possible. This daily review of each strategy, which I’ve never done before, really helped me clarify where my edges come from. One of my biggest weaknesses as a trader is taking too much risk for too little edge, but it’s never been hammered home to me until recently. If you make 80% of your money on 20% of your trades (as I approximately do), and I have a decent idea of those 20% of great trades, why not stop doing the 80% of trades that only make 20% if they have tons of negative swings and stress? It’s also a lot easier to create new strategies/ideas that are often hard to research on large datasets, but I’m curious how they would do. After a month if something is working 75% of the time, or less than 25%, it’s a strong signal that it’s worth investigating (or not). I spend most of my trading efforts now working on my overall process, and how to improve that process, instead of sweating the individual daily ups and downs.
I’ve been reading when I can, including some great graphic novels from one of my favorite writers, Ed Brubaker. I’m really into noir crime stories, and Brubaker along with his illustrator partner Sean Phillips are the best I know of at delivering beautiful versions of these. My favorites from them are still “Kill or Be Killed” and “Criminal”, but “Pulp” from last year, and their new series “Reckless” is quite good too. They tap into so many emotions, and it takes me a few minutes to shake it off after reading, but they usually have the right amount of justice and positivity to counter the darkness. I think the reason I like these types of stories so much is because I feel like they’re exposing truths that people can’t normally understand or express.
As usual I’ll admit that I hope to check in here a bit more frequently. I have a lot of exciting trading research that I’m working on, and some seemingly great books (I’ll recommend them if they continue to pan out). The upside of me not blogging often is I have more pictures to share as they accumulate. All of these are from Mexico City, or nearby hikes that I started doing the past few weekends.