Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

Sgt. Pepper Taught the Band to Play

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Good morning. I'm typing this at the Salt Lake City airport, awaiting my return flight to the San Francisco Bay Area. There's not a whole heck of a lot of pre-market activity, and that's not what I wanted to talk about anyway. I had to think about a good topic to tide you over until I get back home and get my act together (i.e. a few hours from now), and "freedom" struck me as a topic on which I'd like to share a thought or two.

The first reason for it is obvious – today is the 20th anniversary of the Tienanmen Square Massacre, when the Chinese government shot down hundreds (perhaps even thousands – no one knows) of its own citizens because they were protesting. As much as I gripe about the U.S. government, it has far more to do with their meddling in what was supposed to have been a capitalist system than anything else. The ideals on which the United States was founded are something I practically kneel down and worship, and I feel so blessed to live in a country where having to take a courageous act like the one below seems unthinkable.

0604-tanks

Another reason freedom is on my mind is my own personal circumstance. We had a celebratory farewell dinner last night at the Sundance Resort for my boss, Lee Barba, the CEO of Investools. A few of you may be acquainted with Lee, but this is a man who, over the course of a decade, saved a company from almost certainly bankruptcy (its stock price bottomed at 6.5 cents) and made it into a true success with a $700 million market cap.

Being at Sundance was reminiscent for me, since it was the exact same place (right down to the cabin they gave me) as I attended early in 2005 when they first bought my own company, Prophet.net. Lee gave me a tremendous amount of latitude in how I did my job and the kinds of projects I took on (which were pretty much anything I found interesting), and that was precisely why I have stayed on for so long. I have a lifelong commitment to my job description being whatever-I-feel-like-doing, and I'm fortunate enough to have found an avocation that I find challenging and interesting. Plus my commute is non-existent.

Maybe that's why trading is so appealing. It can be a real form of freedom, because it is a never-ending series of personal choices. Sometimes those choices are good, and sometimes they are bad, but at least you have yourself alone to credit (or blame) for those decisions. Good luck in your own trading today, and be grateful for the freedom that you have!

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