I ran down the road, pants down to my knees
Screaming “please come help me
That Canadian shaman gave a little too much to me!”
And I’m writing a novel
Because it’s never been done before
First house that I saw, I wrote house up on the door
And told the people who lived there they had to get out
“‘Cause my reality is realer than yours”
And there’s no time in the present
And there’s a black dog on the bed
I went to the backyard to burn my only clothes
And the dog ran out and said, “You can’t turn nothing
Into nothingness with me no more”
Well, I’m no doctor, but that monkey might be right
And if he is, I’ll be walking him my whole life
- Father John Misty, I’m Writing a Novel
Hello friend. Today I want to talk about Cope, the agonizing pain we are both experiencing and the subtle art of not giving a fuck.
Let’s state the obvious — this Bear Market Yolo Trade (as mentioned in previous posts) caught a lot of people off guard. There were few good setups to enter and lots of pain trades to be had.
The closest analogy is obviously last summer but it reminds me a lot of of 2018. People forget we had five or six rallies of 50%+ during the 2018 bear market, each one squeezing harder than the last. Each time people looking at their dwindling portfolios, realizing they should have just held their coins as the depression set it.
I missed a lot of this move. I had a great trade from the 24th-26th (20%) but never got back to full position after that, just small trades here and there. Like you, I’ve been coping from the sidelines, doing my best not to FOMO in as price continues to pour salt on my wounds.
I have no grand lesson from this other than what I’ve learned time and time again — my plan was solid, my execution was not. I let outside opinions influence my decision process. I didn’t let my intuition guide me as my algorithms provided a framework. I am Capital-C Coping just like the the guy who signed up for Coinbase in January and whale who capitulated nine figures the other week.
What is different this time is my ability to walk away. In years past I could not stop trading. I would continue to press my luck, dipping in with smaller leveraged position sizes hoping that I could eek out some profits as I watched my seemingly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity slip away. How short sighted it seems in retrospect, how urgent it felt in the present.
As I sit and wait, I fill my days with swimming, tennis, guitar and friends. I do everything I can to distract myself from the pain that is the crypto markets. I setup new trade plans, zoom out on charts and zoom with every God Tier trader I know. The miserable life of a mean reversion trader.
You and me, bro. We’re both in the same boat.
During this hilarious period of self deprecation I’m reminded of the most important principle in markets — don’t lose money. By this measure, I’m on track. My equity curve is almost 30% higher than it was January 1st through a handful of well timed trades.
While the market has provided enormous opportunities for pain traders, the most recent lost opportunities sting the most. In 12 months I won’t even remember this rally but today it sucks even if I’m doing everything right.
Which brings me to today. I woke up, looked at the charts and see nothing to do. Yet I still care about it. I still feel like there is something I can or should be doing this morning even thought I know there isn’t.
I would like to be able to turn it off, to stop giving a fuck about this leviathan of energy that I have no control over. To flip a switch and go enjoy the day.
Which led me to this video.
I’ve been a FJM fan for years. Last Fall, in Austin, I saw the band Goose perform and they covered this song.
I always loved the energy FJM brings but this video in particular really crushed it. Freedom Now! Legalize LSD. Two minutes of watching and it’s clear he means business.
What struck me on this Groundhog Day of market cope is his inability to give a fuck about anything. He simply does not care. When you watch him sing, there is zero chance anyone could tell him something that would make him care. He just wants to sing as hard as possible, dropping the heaviest of hammers like Cole Trickle did in the 1995 classic Days of Thunder.
I mean, sure maybe he cares about certain things but when he’s performing all that matters is going full send on the music and getting lost in the rhythm. “We could do ayahuasca…if I wasn’t holding all these drinks.” Lmao, what a legend.
When he’s performing I would venture to guess he feels the way I feel when I nail a big trade with full position size. The sky gets a little more blue. The birds sound a bit more musical. My muscles feel more explosive. All he needs to do is start singing. All I need to do is take enormous risk in a competitive gladiator arena. Hmm.
Somewhere out there, FJM is also waking up and doing something so very different than I am. I don’t know what that is, but I am confident that he’s not stressed about missing a 20% move in the crypto markets. He’s focused on stuff he can control and energy he can produce. He’s not thinking about what could have been, he’s thinking about what he’s going to do and what could be.
Cope is the inability to accept our lack of control over whatever reality we are living in. Stop trying to control the situation, let the energy flow through you. Shower yourself in the ecstasy of not giving a fuck about the current market move.
There is no bear market in the flow state. There is no Bear Market Yolo Trade, there is no Cope, there is no identity associated with the numbers you see in some tracking software. There is only energy.
FJM gets it. You can hear it in his voice.
Look I’m not here to convince you that we should all be hippies and start a band. Beyond this moment I know how complicated all our lives are and the tradeoffs any career choice makes.
But this morning, as I watched FJM absolutely wail this song, I am reminded that I really do have control over what I give a fuck about.
I have control over closing the computer and coming back tonight. I have control over how much time I spend on Twitter, Discord, Slack and Telegram. I can choose to spend my time doing other things like listening to hilarious, non-sensical songs about living in a van in LA.
I can choose all these things even in the face of soul crushing Cope. I can watch FJM on YouTube and feel a little bit of his attitude permeate my skin, reminding me that this is all a moment in time that will pass like all the other crypto trades I’ve missed over the last 5 years.
For anyone reading this who is glued to the computer, hoping to all things holy that price reverts, I am there with you. I’ve been there. I know how impossibly embarrassed and angry you feel right now.
Just know that this is going to pass and before you know it, something will arrive that makes up for all the waiting. Stay in the game, don’t lose money.
As I wait for the market to decide it’s next move, I will be watching Father John Misty perform songs about ayahuasca trips gone bad. I will be listening to AC/DC at the gym as I try to break my PR for deadlifts. I will be writing blog posts that use lots of swear words and lack a coherent thesis.
I will be doing everything in my power to take back control over what I give a fuck about…and removing all the things I don’t want to give a fuck about.
Don’t let the market dictate your life. You have more control than you think. There are 100 more trades coming your way. LFG.