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the daily dirtnap is a market newsletter for professional investors.

Q: why a newsletter?
A: the stuff that's out there right now isn't very good. there are very few people that can write well in this business. did you know that i won several spelling bees growing up?

Q: really!
A: yup. but beyond that, there's stuff that's too literary, stuff that assumes you'll listen to every idea, and stuff that manages to get the direction right, but not the timing.

Q: yours is better?
A: mine is better. my goal is to make my commentary a joy to read, in addition to being super-smart and timely as hell.

Q: how are you qualified?
A: i was a trader for eight years; four of which as an ETF trader.

Q: so?
A: so. what most people don't realize about ETF traders is that they are essentially macro PMs. you touch every asset class: commodities, currencies, equities, rates, even credit. there is no other sell side trading job that even approaches this level of sophistication.

Q: you weren't just a flow monkey?
A: kill yourself.

Q: how much are subscriptions?
A: $600/year. a firm may purchase a site license. you can learn more here.

Q: how do i know i am getting my money's worth?
A: well, if you are a professional who is responsible for managing a measurable amount of capital, i don't need to have very much edge for you to get your money's worth, in addition to you being entertained for free.

Q: what if i am a piker?
A: deep down, we're all pikers. i can still be helpful. you will learn a lot about the markets, life, and the great mysteries of metaphysics and spirituality.

Q: this doesn't sound like it's for me.
A: no, no, it is, trust me. it's for everyone.

Q: i bet you're not even a football fan.
A: i'm not. but i'm a baseball fan. and i like NASCAR.

Q: were you a good trader?
A: i was an above average trader. i had strengths and weaknesses. i tried to be free of bias, but i wasn't. i tried to be rational, but i wasn't always. but i think i was better than most. i was aware of my own limitations.

Q: what constitutes a bad trader?
A: bad traders assume that it's someone else's fault that they're doing poorly. they blame the market. or their coverage. or their spouse. or the regulators. they wonder why bad things continually happen to their positions. i'll let you in on a secret: we are all responsible. good luck trying to change the market, or your coverage, or your spouse. you will have more success looking within and changing yourself. if you are convinced that you are right and the market is wrong, and you're fighting it, you're making things too hard. it doesn't have to be that hard.

Q: do bad traders lose money?
A: in the short run, they can make a lot of money. but in the long run they will always lose money.

Q: what firm did you trade for?
A: lehman brothers. they took a dirtnap.

Q: did you like it there?
A: it was my favorite place in the world. it was the most intellectually free place i could possibly imagine. there was an incredible level of talent.

Q: why did you leave?
A: i always told people that once i left lehman, i was never going to work anywhere else.

Q: if they were so smart, what happened?
A: bad trading. the very thing I try to prevent with my newsletter.

Q: what is a dirtnap?
A: a dirtnap is a disorderly collapse in price accompanied by a disappearance of liquidity, where selling accelerates and bids vanish due to fear of the presence of news.

Q: you're making this up, aren't you?
A: yup.

Q: what will i receive with this subscription?
A: you'll get eleven months of market commentary, at least one piece for every business day, or about 225 days. but you will probably get much more than that. when you subscribe, you will join a fraternity of people who love markets, love to think about them, to talk about them, and to have fun.

Q: corny.
A: ha.

Q: is your newsletter weak in some areas?
A: i am not a tape hound. i do not know about every piece of news going on in every corner of the world. some people are good at aggregating information. not me, at least, not yet. but the way I look at it, you are not paying for news, if you want news, you can subscribe to the FT or the wall street journal or something like that. you are paying for analysis.

Q: that's pretty weak.
A: yeah, yeah. i am just one jerk in an office, remember.

Q: what are your strengths?
A: ETFs, indices, programs, liquidity, rates, currencies, and macro. and i am the czar of market psychology.

Q: are you fat?
A: sort of.

Q: well, that's it then.
A: that's that.

©2014 The Daily Dirtnap, LLC