Trading in Hell

by Matt Romantech on November 18, 2017

I have had a major revelation about the turkish exposure in my trading that has really made me want to stop and think things through.

I went to bed knowing I would wake up this morning with a new plan for trading.

Yes the dole, the weed, darya, these things are important but it’s been the trading that has been weighing so heavily on me since I got back – my whole trip, in fact, for months now.

I don’t want to have to be afraid. I don’t want to have to be looking at it all the time, I want to be able to do other things with my days and nights, I want to be able to chip away at videos and songs, but I can’t because there’s always this drama going on.

I know I could use several more productive hours each day for something much more useful than just staring and despairing at the moves.

I felt it wasn’t right, it’s not how it’s meant to be if all this other stuff is working out right but the trading still has this grip on me.

I’ve just felt so resentful that I see happiness, I see that life is simple on the farm, but you don’t have to feel bored and unsatisfied because every year you jump on that plane, to where the girls and the life is.

You only need $300 in your pocket. If the trading was working, it would be proof it would stay working, and stay growing, and I wouldn’t have to be worried about the future at all.

My problems are a grand or so of stupid bills and costs – car, water bill, forestry bill, passport renewal, a bit of weed to tide me over, stupid little bills that I should be able to just pay without any problems.

I want to have a few hundred bucks to spend while I’m away without any problems.

I want to only need to spend 2 hours a day on it and make a few hundred dollars. I’ve given up on making $5k a week, it’s just not realistic. I can make $2k-3k per week and draw down $500 by this time next year.

It’s because I can do that just based on the pairs I’ve traded successfully, without adding much margin, put an extra $1k down, see it move 5% in a year, that costs $25k, that costs $500 a week to get on top of.

Now we glide through bigger numbers knowing we’ve set the game up for it, as long as I don’t grow at the same rate I used to, I can bring it under control.

It started when by mistake I turned off the whole EURAUD position and it hit me that although my capital sunk by $450+ my equity stayed the same.

All my strategies recently have been based on the idea that I believed I had to be ready for the turkish to really cave in and lose another 20%, that in 2 years there could be a full military situation unfolding, the whole area is destabilized, what would the currency do speculatively then? It would be diving, and I would have to cover the massive losses, but I simply don’t have $30k for that, the fact that these fears played on me, meant I couldn’t be blind to the possibility.

I know that for the last few months I’ve been on the back foot, praying things come right again, I start to realise, how would it be on my trip if I hadn’t been being hammered the whole time, since before I even left?

I start to realise as I say, just a few grand, just a few hundred a week would make all the difference.

It was last night when I started getting a nervous feeling in my gut that I had to respond – I can’t hedge any more. But I can’t hedge the turkish at all and that’s why I keep saying, my strategy was all based around containing losses on the turkish. What if there was no turkish loss to withstand?

Then the $1500 we project to make week on week just like we used to at the beginning of the year when this amount frustrated us so much, will actually add to our equity, minus a portion that accounts for increased debts on increased margins as the hedges move back and forth.

Without the turkish, we can always hedge to protect ourselves, there’s not one gaping hole where all our efforts are escaping.

This way we only have to manage the turkish position size. If my exposure is $125k, we can’t deal with it dropping 25%, it would wreak havoc and threaten my trip – although this would likely take a year to unfold.

Bringing the position size down under $100k, to $75-80k, means the exposure is manageable, we don’t have to sit there watching it drop 1% all night and slowly losing a grand that means something. This way, even a fairly savage move is kept under $1k, and we rationalize – even the most savagest move would only knock $3k off us and we would still be functioning normally.

That nervousness I got last night, the feeling that it just wasn’t tight.

The NZD is not nearly as likely as the turkish to go flying, and wherever the kiwi goes, it is part of a broader range, a broader range we have to cover eventually.

In 5 years time, I will have gone from 1.02 to 1.20 or even 1.25, even 1.30 if craziness happens, which I think is really unlikely, but that’s still doubling the range, which is huge, but that’s only doubling over 5 years. We only need 2 years of no fresh highs to make some good money.

But all I’m trying to do now is actually just make a living out of it.

If I start to raise the margin very gently from now on, and only when I need to,

Part of the process is letting go of a lot of these crazy crazy schemes and dreams. The feminvest thing. Forget it. Even the whole empire thing to some extent, I think you can still get a ukraine girl and NZ guy to move into a house you relocated, leasehold in exchange for 10 years indenture.

They manage a group of people to make a lot of juice and meals. We can get a co-op going.

If the trading happens, it happens, if not, well, sorry. That’s where I came to in europe.

Worry about your needs first, and I’m pretty much okay, as long as I can get back to russia. We just need a few hundred dollars a week and so it’s time to retool my trading strategy not for infinite growth, but sustainability long term.

You have to accept most weeks you won’t be earning $2k.


I have finally emailed darya, it was important, it was one of the things I had to do that was important.

I can’t sit here and think it all just ends up being about getting a woman back here and then forget to get my woman.

That’s the thing about darya, you’d be crazy not to take her home.

It doesn’t appear to need a lot of thinking through on my part, she’s beautiful, top grade wifey material, and she’s not dumb, you want a woman who is going to be a good mother, and is also hot, and that’s what darya is, but also she is super nice to be around.

I know I need to install a darya into my house, but it seems weird like, is that it, just install your russian wife and hatch some people out of her?

Well firstly, she’s hot and you can bone her, which is the main thing, but, she is also nice to be around.


It seems ironic that yesterday I woke to a brand new day in trading and got absolutely smashed like I haven’t been since serbia.

I am absolutely laid low right now, I haven’t been this low in equity since ukraine, I am a few grand off absolute emergency status.

I am in total bargaining stage, I am looking for some kind of deal that allows me to escape with some of my dreams.

Just to be able to earn $500 a week, is all I am asking for now. My hope is, that in the back and forth, I can slowly build myself back up again,

I began to think of the dreams I have to throw away now, and maybe sensing some relief that that’s not what’s in store for me in life.

I think that more than anything this is a test of will power, that I need the will to get on with my life without trading being the major part of it. That just staring at the numbers won’t help me now.

Feminvest is gone. Free rent is gone, this idea you can help everyone and build a cohort, it’s a dream. You can’t help everyone.

It is certainly a good for a humbling dose of humbling philosophy, I think there are philosophical solutions and practical solutions.

I still believe one of the key aims here is to learn to only need to spend 2 hours on this a day, and get the rest of my life back. Sure I’m doing great in my training and russian, but that’s only because I am so desperate for distractions.

What would be an effective strategy to only earn $500-1000 p/week?

But philosophically, with all those heady dreams disappearing, what does that leave me? My house, a dream I have achieved, and my girl, a nice darya waiting for me.

This is why I do weights and learn russian because my russian girl is my most important dream.

A few hundred dollars of relief, I’ve been bashed badly in the last 24 hours. It has let me go from it’s grip.

Travel the world with my beautiful russian girl. That’s all I want.

You do have to ease up on the margin, you do have to accept some days most of the money goes to carry costs.

It all comes down to what you can do, and to my mind, it will work out, but I will spend too much time focused on it and missing out on life, I need it to be slow and easy.

I think maybe we have to go for a style in which we choose lower amounts, we continue to use $1k-2k as the default position, and accept that there are going to be more losses, but we’re going to keep our hedges high, and it’s going to cost in carry.

We need something sustainable that doesn’t drive us nuts, and what we had at the beginning of the year was good.

Only making $1500.

Just letting it do it’s thing. $200 a day and most weeks a big risk event day where you make $500 or a grand.

Getting all stressed about shit isn’t going to work, you’ve over commmitted you need to put it right.


Now I’m cut off the internet, right when I was supposed to put in a boost for my turkish account, but I guess I really do have some time to reflect.

There are different levels of what matters.

When I feel weak all I want to have is my darya at my farm, but without trading income, all I have is the dole, weed and some freelancing. My baseline costs are $250 a week, I need to save $5k for travel and rates. $350 a week I need. Darya’s costs are a bit of extra food and extra on the bills, plus her own travel, to minsk and back. Her additional costs are $100 a week, it’s not going to cost much to be a jetset couple for a year or two, she should be able to raise $100 herself by freelancing or some such.

I say I have to give up my grandest dreams, feminvest, free rent, the juicehauses, but what about the dreams that are allowed to stay? Basswave, and the Needs co-op are both things I can do without having heaps of cash to make it happen.

Doing my music with money behind me just felt like fun, without the money, it’s not really worth doing all the big deal stuff, just enjoy writing your tunes and any benefits that come from that. Running needs and basswave should create some opportunities, enjoy them.

It comes down to having all kinds of minions, maybe we don’t need that. It never works out.

The idea was people coming to live and doing some work, but forget it. Do work on what?

Getting more people to come. So it’s a big empire. Well whatever.

You still want accomodation for people to stay. Sure. You want some russian girls to come and lure in hard working suitors eager to prove their worth,


I awake to a mild relief, back where we were on tuesday night, the big nightmare still fresh, but yesterdays bitter grind erased.

It is pretty joyous. I feel my goal of winding the thing down so that it can make $200 a week in 6 months and $500 a week in 12 months is within grasp again.

But having checked my money because I needed to be ready to boost the turkish account, I can now see clearly, I have $3k to spare for my travel costs next year. My dole will be backdated until yesterday, I have $500 spare and at least $100 a week to cover my list of extra expenses.

The car, the water bill, the forestry bill, buying an ounce, and possibly the house insurance too.

I can grow 10-12 ounces and bury them to offset $3k of my spending.

Given I will be holding the line at $45k, even if I can’t raise the last $2k to cover my spending overseas through trading, or even freelancing, I can draw from my savings and return to NZ in october with $43k.

As far as I can see there is nothing in either of my bank accounts that would suggest I somehow have money stashed that would prevent me getting the dole.

I zoom in and out, the trading goes up and down, this is life on a wave on an ocean, never really sure if you’re going anywhere.

Maybe I don’t want to do freelancing, but there are opportunities for others; it doesn’t matter because of plato’s cave, none of these people will ever feel you’re helping them, or that you’re putting them on to something awesome. Maybe they don’t know if it’s awesome or not.

You’ve just got to create the situation for them to set up. And you’ve got to focus on benefits somebody brings.

You want those european tourists coming. But even then, to do what?

You want gardens and kitchens that are pumping so you can add more people on who are specialized in other areas.

To do what? Do websites? Needs and basswave still need to happen, you need to get the right people who are passionate into it. That’s a long way off.

It seems almost certain those spots are for russian girls who will attract other dudes to come do shit, we said this before but it keeps coming back, we have no point in having someone live here unless they put down 20 hours work

What do they do? All the cooking and gardening, and some web design freelance type stuff also, developing basswave and needs. It’s like the whole free rent part has just been severed, we’re not doing free rent.

We’re doing basswave to get girls to come to NZ where they work and dudes come and work, on needs, the co op, so people are contributing.

It’s so much about attracting decent people. So many people are just scum. I don’t want shitty people around my nice darya and my nice family. Think mannerbund, I need bonds with other men with skill. Skill in what? Doing what I’m doing, creating sustenance.

I think about the costs I would have living my life, raising a family, I think projecting a grand a week from the trading is safe.

It’s so much more modest. A grand a week and a little earn from weed and elsewhere, $300 a week covers our bills at the farm or in russia, but I would still want to spend a few months elsewhere. That costs an extra $200.

You also have bills for travel and rates, $5k. If your trading can give you at least $500 you will be fine, you really want to let the darya keep the money she earns for what she likes.

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