Sunday, January 3, 2010

“Or else”—the yurt

In The Daily Trading Coach Brett Steenbarger wrote about the power of “or else” in motivating action. Well, for those of you who have made resolutions about your trading for 2010, here’s an “or else” article you might consider compliments of The New York Times. Think about waking up in a yurt in a remote town in Alaska (no roads to anywhere, not even a bridge to nowhere) still able to access your trading account via broadband but without running water (hence no shower or toilet). The inside temperature is freezing; the wood stove that needs to be fed every 15 to 30 minutes doesn’t exactly make the yurt toasty. You’re neither Mongolian nor Eskimo; you’re part of an overeducated family of three, including an 11-month-old son, who manages to live on about $15,000 a year.

Since I’ve just gone through a series of brushes with Alaskan yurt existence—first an iced vent stack that made the upstairs toilet and shower unusable for several days, then a loss of heat fortunately resolved by the heating oil company in a few hours, and finally the standard winter problem of the long, impassable driveway—I have absolutely no romantic notions of living in the Alaska wilderness. For me this particular yurt is a powerful “or else” image! What’s yours?

Come tomorrow I'll go back to my serious self. Here's what's planned: more insights from Josh Waitzkin on learning, a short series on system development, a couple of research findings from behavioral finance and psychology, and a look at a new book on alternative investments. So, as they say, stay tuned.

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