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Subject:  Re: Ford’s 6.350’s of ‘14 Date:  4/23/2011  5:26 PM
Author:  charliebonds Number:  32746 of 36852

Honestly, I'm still amazed how openly you share the structure of your portfolio, your successes, your failures, and honest critiques of your own performance. In general, I'm a very confident person but I'm NOT confident enough to put myself "out there" like you do.


Don't be too quick to thank me for something I'm not doing. I never mention the truly proprietary stuff I've developed. (I'll hint at it, but I never lay it out.) Nor do I ever publicly provide actionable tips in real time. If I mention a bond, it's because I've already bought as much as I want. Offline is another matter. I've got a couple of friends with whom I'll swap ideas the instant I see there might be an opportunity, because I know -and they know when they do the same for me-- that we can vet any tip thrown our way and proceed, or back away, on the merits of the idea itself, not its source.

As for "self-critique", another word for it might be "trading journal" and there's no trading coach who won't say, "Show me someone who isn't keeping a trading journal, and I'll show you someone who isn't going to make it." Schwager in his Market Wizard books makes it abundantly clear that, to a man or a woman, every successful investor/trader is absolutely ruthless about critiquing his/her own performance for the obvious reason that you can lie to yourself, but not to markets, so why even try? Also, don't beat yourself up over the mistakes you make. Admit them, learn from them, and move on.

Read someone like Linda Bradford Raschke, who is a goddess among traders, recognized for being "The Real Thing", or even a scrappy popularist like Toni Tuner. Both are completely forthright about their mistakes, just as they can honestly take full credit for their wins when they do happen. In her book, Greenlaw makes the same point. She is absolutely ruthless about evaluating her strengths and weaknesses and then busts her butt trying to fix whatever needs fixing. Why? Not so she can put more fish in the boat, but because she wants to be the best for its own sake. So, yeah, the money from bond investing is going to happen, or it isn't, just fish are going to get caught, or they aren't. But that's not how one scores oneself. "Did I see (or do) what I should have seen at (or done) at the time? Did I play the hand as it should have been played, knowing only would could have been known at that time?"

As for thanking someone who really does deserve thanks for the outreach he does, thank Jack. There is no one on any board who makes a better or greater effort to help others, and most of the people to whom he replies have no idea how good his advice really was.

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