» Best Procrastination Tip Ever :zen habits

Try it now:

Identify the most important thing you have to do today.

Decide to do just the first little part of it — just the first minute, or even 30 seconds of it. Getting started is the only thing in the world that matters.

Clear away distractions. Turn everything off. Close all programs. There should just be you, and your task.

Sit there, and focus on getting started. Not doing the whole task, just starting.

via » Best Procrastination Tip Ever :zen habits.

Book Review: Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything – Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams

Overall a very strong “ok” rating. Nothing that blew me away but interesting and informative, just a little long winded and slow to read at times.

Lot of interesting case studies, but it felt like the same narrow points were made over and over and every example was brought out to just repeat the authors firmly entrenched views again and again. Never was there any sort of counter argument offered or any sort of outlier example featured.

While the concept of “wikinomics” or I think more appropriate termed “collaborative economics” is very valid, I felt this book was just trying to capitalize on being the first to the press and the first to have “wiki” in the name. If it was released today it would probably be called “Facebooknomics”.

But after rereading this review it feels like I’m bashing, that wasn’t the intent, the book was good but just wandering at times and the author chose to approach a very interesting topic in an odd way. Not the way I would have written it for sure.

Book Review: The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun – Gretchen Rubin

I enjoyed this book overall, though it was nothing great and I’m not on a huge tear to recommend it far and wide. Very similar to an AJ Jacobs or Tim Ferriss type lifestyle experiment. Just not quite as interesting or exciting.

Nevertheless I do like the idea of creating a monthly project list and working towards each goal and ideally creating a routine and habits that at the end of the time period help you to improve and grow. I did pick up a couple ideas, but not enough to make the time reading a full book worthwhile. Another great example of a book that I would have raved about had it been a 100 page ebook.

I guess I may be inclined to recommend this book to anyone that has never read a book of this sort, but if you are working towards constant improvement and are already on this sort of path of monthly and yearly goal setting, feel free to skip it.

Relaunch of tbohen.com, could something actually useful show up here??

Well its been said countless ways and countless times that “Real writers write.” You can’t get more simple then that. Since one of my goals going back to pre teen years has been to be a writer, its time I finally use this blog to progress towards that goal.

After numerous fits and starts with numerous platforms, domains and styles, I have proved what I already knew to be true. The tools and the method have absolutely nothing to do with the writing. You just have to put the butt in the chair and put the words on the page. Thinking and dwelling non stop about what to write about, and dicking around with different tools will only accomplish one thing, produce NO writing.

So dear reader, you and the one other person that most likely will visit this page get prepared to read a non stop daily dump of my thoughts. Ideally over time the quality will improve, I pity you poor fool who is here in the early days. But I know and have proven to myself through countless examples that I am a creature of routine and truly thrive through consistency. Whether it be business, fitness related, stock trading, productivity enhancement or writing. Another quote that has been said a million different ways is “What we do we become” or more specific to me, “What we consistently do we become.”

After writing to my journal EVERY day for close to 150 days, I have found the quality to have greatly improved and the great desire to never miss a day grow and grow as the streak gets longer.

So what should you expect to read? Basically my interpretation and experience of reading, using and analyzing the procedures and products I use every day. There are millions of them out there, and  more every  day, but in essence I foresee a “Lifestyle blog”. I am an active learner and goal setter. In the past year I have logged these accomplishments:

-Read at least one book per week

-Obtain a CCW

-Write consistently to a daily journal

-Trade stocks profitably and consistently and refine my processes.

-Weight train consistently

-Eat NO farm raised meat

-Write children’s short stories (collaborating with my kids to create the plot)

-Eat NO fast food (For the second year running)

-Minimize consumption of processed food

-Enhance productivity in everyday business and create a progressive workplace

-Became a proficient welder, specifically the GMAW process

-Consistently rise between 4-5AM (most days, this still is a little buggy)

More then anything I’m bummed I have not written or blogged or tracked these accomplishments outside of my own software and journal. So 2011 is the year I change that.

Some of the goals for the coming year that will be tracked here:

-Learn Ruby/ROR and develop a web app

-Step up my weight training to the next level (need to figure out the actual metrics still)

-Learn to play acoustic guitar

-Only drink one unique six pack of beer per week (good beer) and review it here

-Write something for public publication six days a week

-Speak publicly on a consistent basis  (monthly?)and improve my presentation skills

-Write something that can be sold (ebook, novel, magazine article?)

-Become a certified welder and proficient in the SMAW and GTAW processes

Wow, this was supposed to be a couple hundred word introduction, it really turned into a ramble.  I guess I will leave it at that for today, ideally through consistency this forum will become useful to anyone who shares my interests in improvement and skill building.

After rereading this entry I’m far from impressed, but I guess every journey begins with a single step. This first step may have been a little more like a stumble but I did move slightly forward this morning.

Book review: How To Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie

Considering all the how to and personal improvement books I read I have no idea why it has taken me this long to read this classic! I almost wonder if I had heard the title so many times it had taken on an info-merical feel to me.

Overall a great book and a very fast read, while a little dated in parts I almost thought towards the end that added charm to the writing. The “old” style language while a little off putting at first, actually was interesting towards the latter parts of the book.

Only bummer is I certainly wish I would have read it twenty years ago instead of today! The majority of the information is very basic and very common sense based. While reading I said to myself multiple times, “I already do that on a routine basis.” But do not construe this as a knock against the material, I also think the fundamental aspects of it may be its best selling point. Great to be reminded of techniques, and also I think helpful to reinforce behavior that you may be already exhibiting.

I certainly think that this book is a good read for anyone and everyone and certainly worth the time, unless you spend 99% of your time on Facebook or playing World of Warcraft, in that case save your money for some Farmville cash or WOW credits.

But if you actually deal with REAL people, pick up a copy!

And ESPECIALLY if you are a younger person with limited real world business experience run, DON’T walk to get a copy!

Book Review: Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation – Steven Johnson

Exceptional book on the creation and cultivation of ideas and innovation. Really enjoyed the brevity more then anything! I frequently complain about the constant need to push the 300 page mark in business books. This concise book clocks in at a very efficient just over 200 pages. I was able to read it completely in a couple day span and frequently looked forward to picking it back up.

I seem to fall in love with most ideas I read in books and this is no departure. Not sure if I can find anything to disagree about, many of the concepts and techniques described are methods I have used myself. One of the best parts was discovering that I was using ideas that some of the greats had used for many years. Kind of a funny seque since this book is firmly centered on the idea of “standing on the shoulders of giants”.

Not sure if I will now cultivate some great idea, but this book was for sure motivating and exciting to think about both during and after the fact!

Part time penny stocks workflow – Rule 1 – Get up Early #PTPS

In this post I would like to cover what I think to be one of the most important methods to follow to be a successful trader. While in my mind it is important to every trader, but particularly if you are a part timer there is immense value in getting up early on a consistent basis.

I have found that most traders particularly part timers prefer to stay up late and research then drag themselves out of bed 10 minutes before the market open and expect to be prepared and ready to trade. I’m sure I will get countless counter arguments but I think that it is truly idiotic and naive to expect to be able to trade successfully in the morning and even throughout the day without some sort of consistency and routine based on a consistent rise time.

One of the biggest reasons I think getting up early consistently is important to a trader is due to the fact that trading successfully demands intense discipline. If you can’t drag your lazy ass out of bed early and consistently how do you expect to apply any sort of consistent discipline to your trading? Gamblers sleep in and refuse to put in the work away from the table, traders get up and prepare and approach the market with a plan.

By getting up early and implementing a consistent workflow you can approach the market confident and with your thoughts and mindset locked in. I’ve found days that I do not get up on time and rush through my research, or worse yet complete no research and expect to trade only on the information available at that instant, I will consistently enter “random” bad trades. To truly be prepared I believe a routine needs to be created, and by refining and following this routine, you will become more consistent, more confident and more importantly more patient. I have NEVER entered a “random” trade on days I rose at 5AM and completed my entire workflow routine. At times it’s amazing the heightened level of patience on fully prepared days. Of course that increased level of patience will invariably create days of extremely low trade volume. And on some days no trades whatsoever. I will cover “not trading” extensively in another chapter, but at this point just know that “not trading” is the most powerful tool of all to the part timer!

Considering the lack of interruptions the early morning hours are also greatly valuable to research and prepare. Since I’m assuming you have a day job and family and friends, you are subject to 100’s of distractions in the evening. One thing I can count on is barring total emergency the hours of 5AM to 7AM are mine and mine alone. No phone calls, no emails, no interruptions. Not only does this allow you to focus, it allows you to truly learn and get your thoughts in order. It also allows you to work through your preparation process in a much quicker and more efficient fashion. What could have been 2 hours of research in the evening could be potentially reduced to one hour or less in the morning. Not only are you free from interruptions, you are hopefully free from scheduling conflicts as well. The part time trader will have numerous evening commitments that could potentially sidetrack research time. Family, friends, work, and hobbies should be utilizing your evening hours NOT the fucking market.

Another chapter will cover the addictiveness of the market. But at this point I will press the point that by disconnecting from the market in the evening you will be far less crackheaded about your desire to follow the market. Spend the time where it really counts, with your family, friends or learning and hobbies. Don’t waste 1/3 of your day looking at flashing green and red numbers.

The last and in my mind most important aspect of rising early and sticking to a routine is the confidence and cockiness felt by knowing you got up early and prepared while 99% of your competition in the land of penny stocks, slept in, is hungover, and probably ate fifteen donuts for breakfast. This could be simply my personality, but I have to believe in the world of trading it is valuable to know subconsciously that you are prepared and better then the other guy. On days I follow my routine to a “T” I am ready to kick the asses of every lazy penny stocker out there, and over and over those days are by far my most profitable. The only days they are not profitable is when I don’t trade. The likelehood of taking a loss can only be reduced by preparing not eliminated, but again in my years of experience the potential for making a bad trade is extremely reduced by preparation.

Tomorrow I will detail my actual workflow routine after rising and preparing.

To the reader, please keep in mind this is in essence a rough draft for my trading book. Please critique and comment, while the writing is a little out of sorts and more or less stream of consciousness I have decided to post the rough drafts here and use this blog as a workspace for editing. I certainly hope the final product will be much better structured and more clean.

Thanks

Book Review: The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It – Scott Patterson

I read this as a follow up to “More money then God” and while it was good it was not nearly as good as Mallaby’s book. I did enjoy it and its a pretty good recap of some of the financial shenanigans that may or may not have created the turbulence in the markets over the last couple years. But it simply did not flow nearly as well as “More money then God”, not to put the writer down, since it was an enjoyable read, I just don’t think Patterson is as good of a writer as Mallaby.

I was probably most disappointed by the fact that I had anticipated more of the “inside baseball” type of material, and while the history and some of the how to was there, all in all it was more of a 10,000 foot view of quantitative analysis. I had hoped for more nitty gritty, but of course it is a mainstream book and I doubt more then 2% of the population has any interest in the real under the hood workings of Quants.

My other goal in buying the book was to get a little more history on Ken Griffin. The book did feature him and provided me with enough information to change my viewpoint on him. Whether fair or not I have a diminished respect for him after reading the book. Of course he is involved in finance, so not sure why I ever had a heightened opinion of him. I should know that anyone and everyone in finance should NEVER be looked up to or admired..

All in all a good book, I think I went into reading it with a little too much excitement and maybe never gave it the full chance it deserved. Indeed interesting material, just tough to get into it after reading the great “More money then God” right before reading this, maybe if I read them 6 months apart I would have a higher opinion of it.

Book Review:Public Speaking in an Instant: 60 Ways to Stand Up and Be Heard – Keith Bailey and Karen Leland

Very, very cool little book. While a lot of the info was pretty much common sense it was nice to have it all bundled up in a quick and concise format. I doubt I’m significantly better at public speaking now, but I did for sure pick up numerous solid tips and feel like this book was a perfect springboard for further research.

I would also say if you’ve never read any books on presenting or public speaking this would be a TERRIFIC place to start. Again while it was far from a be all end all reference tome, if sparked a lot of ideas and further piqued my interest in reading more on the topic.

This may be the first book in several years I was bummed to have read on my Kindle. I could see this title being a handy reference to have sitting on a bookshelf to grab and review while prepping for a presentation. While the Kindle serves a great purpose it will never approach the handiness of a paper book when looking for a quick review of a topic.

Death of the watchlist and a slightly different direction, I may be stopping, but don’t quit creating YOUR lists!

First off if, you really want 10 stock watch lists everyday, just quit being cheap and buy Tim Sykes “Tim Alerts” package here at my affiliate link. His lists are almost always better then mine, besides everything I learned about creating a list I learned from him.

On to the meat of the this article. I’ve decided to stop posting multi stock daily watch lists and take a different direction with the finance related posts on this blog. I chose to do this for many reasons. First being that after building watch lists and creating a solid and fast workflow it gets somewhat tedious to add in comments to each ticker and try and make them interesting and or funny. Most of the stocks I play are based purely on price action and there is quite often no story behind the play. And you can only say “This company is  a real POS, financials are shit, going back to 50 cents.” so many times before it becomes boring. I will still build the lists and will post them in a link similar to this:

Full list from Yahoo Finance

I just will not break every play out into a chart with comments. So the watch list will still be there, again since I will still be building my own list on a daily basis, the due diligence is done. I’m just bored with cutting and pasting charts and writing pointless and somewhat worthless comments.

So while I will not have a wallpaper of charts I would like to try and start featuring and concentrating on one chart and or stock per day. I think I can come up with relevant commentary while focusing on a single stock as opposed to trying to come up with comments on 10 or more. I’ve seen this done on other stock sites and seem to find myself returning to the sites that use this more focused strategy. And really the only thing I am losing is being able to say, “Wow 8 out of my 10 short picks went down yesterday.” Oh well 4 years later those bragging rights have yet to make me a dollar…

The second reason I have taken this approach is to try and build and refine my writing chops further. I’ve found over the last years that while writing brief comments on a watchlist is helpful from a habit inducing standpoint it really has no great value in creating content. Especially when discussing day trader timeframe plays, the freshness and value of the content expires about an hour afrter the post is published. Of course I don’t expect my blog posts to end up under  a glass case in the Library of Congress, I would however like to try and create content with more staying power and usefulness, weeks, months or who knows years later. Unless you are the most desperate degenerate stock trader in the world there is no real value to the archives of my finance related posts. I would like to try and change that.

Lastly, as I’ve mentioned before, I have decided to use this blog as a rough draft or “workspace” for my Part Time Pennystocking ebook project. And while I’ve had good intentions of making posts related to the book, I’m 3 weeks in and already 2 weeks behind. This reason was most likely the watershed moment in my deciding to dump the watchlists. Considering I already get up at 5AM and typically go to bed around 11PM, there are only so many hours in a day to carve out for a writing project. I’ve decided that the early morning hours will be spent writing the book as opposed to spending time writing watchlists. Addition by subtraction of other tasks in essence.

I would also like to try and engage my audience more, please ask questions or post comments. I may not be the greatest penny stocker in the world, but I’ve learned a lot over the years and am very willing to help. It would also be very useful to the book project to see what questions new and or other part time traders have.

While I’ve missed plenty of days posting watchlists, I already miss it to a certain extent. I enjoy the digging and the research side of it, and while I think most bloggers quit primarily because of the tedium of it, and I obviously listed that cause too. I am not moving away from them because of boredom, it is strictly a time issue. And as I mentioned in the first sentence, at times I really feel I’m just duplicating the effort expended by Sykes. Why spend an hour writing a post that mirrors his almost exactly.

But I will vigorously defend the idea of  writing out and thinking more deeply about a watchlist. It has been very helpful and constructive to me over the years and I’m glad I’ve done it. Its just the skill can only be refined to much. I think I’m wasting cognitive surplus on attempting to write witty comments based on a handful of penny stocks every day. But for the new trader or the learning trader I think it is a IMMENSELY valuable tool to defining your style and sticking to your trading rules. Even if you have no desire to publish a watchlist publicly due to shyness or concerns about your writing etc. I think every trader should fire up notepad and make comments on the stocks he is considering trading for the day. Even if you don’t even save the file after your done. The simple process of forcing yourself to write down what you are thinking will make you a better and more prepared trader. Ninety percent of my losing trades have been trades that I just randomly picked out of the air during the day and never wrote down or took the time to analyze why and how I was trading them.

So while I’m stoping watchlists, if you haven’t started or have intermittently created them, get back on track and put your thoughts down on paper! It will surely make you a better trader!