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  1. I had a wild ride in June: balance opened with 2 big gains. Because I was mostly shorting stocks, a week of rising markets plunged me back to break even for the year. Then, finally, blessedly, groking that the markets had turned, I closed shorts and bot long. Barely ended the month with a gain on 4 days of gains. On reflection, I saw that having stops or limits on my orders would have preserved over $1000 of my balance. So, I asked myself, what's behind *not" using these tools? One experience came to mind immediately: trading the market w/o S&L feels "freeer" and more "masterly." S&Ls feel like training wheels! I had some success with S&Ls long ago when I knew I was going to away from daily attention to markets and wanted my holdings to stop out in case the market dropped. That is indeed what the markets did, and I was very happy to have put in those stops while away. My experience with training wheels is that were am annoyance and symbol of many things wrong with my relationship with my dad. When I was 5 or 6, as the first born child, he bought me a bike that fit him! Rather than getting a smaller one, I literally had to grow up to 11 or 12 to be larger enough to ride it. I had brothers (with smaller, kid-sized bikes) riding 2-wheels before I did. I vividly remember the day of no return when I took off those training wheels and mastered the #$^$ thing! Even today, 40 odd years later, I can feel the heat of the blushing and shame (?) that I was that big and old and could not ride. So, clearly, this metaphor doesn't help. I have several options, one of which is to find a therapist and work this thing through. Another, and faster-cheaper option is to change the metaphor. Some come to mind: S&Ls are ... Nets, like those used by high-wire acts. Life preservers, like those worn when white water rafting Air bags, like those that deploy when cars hit things I might work with these. Don't feel any blushing, shame. I WANT to use a life preserver on a white water adventure! I like this one best of the three, also, because rafting is a mix of turbulence I navigate with my actions (some skillful, some not). Should the preserver be needed, it ought to help me stay alive so I can take another trip. Thanks for reading. This has helped. Feng
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