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Newsletter – November / December 2010 – Energy in Motion: E-Motion

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Energy in Motion: E-Motion

CastleMoore takes the emotion out of investing by relying on mathematical market models. We do this because our emotions betray us so often in our drive for investment returns. At tops, the market appears to offer easy profits to the overly enthusiastic investor. At bottoms, it seems to offer financial disaster and a fast track to the poor house. The twin tyrants of greed and fear cost inexperienced investors dearly. In the artificial world of dollars and cents, ration trumps emotion.

But we are human beings, and we do have emotions. How can we enjoy our emotional humanity and still find success in the financial world? Is there some secret we can exhume to experience the joys and sorrows of our lives without paying the price the over-emotional investor pays?

Ancient traders and merchants had a way of separating their emotions from their intellects. This technique allowed them to live in both the emotional world and the intellectual world without one messing up the other. This is what I reaffirmed on Remembrance Day, November 11, 2010.

I attended the ceremony at Canadian Forces Base Borden, where I trained as an Officer Cadet in the mid 1960s. About 1000 officers and men were on parade that chilly autumn morning. As they marched out onto the parade square, memories flooded back. There was a day when I marched on that very parade square. My father was a veteran just like those old legionnaires who had turned out for their annual day. My father died earlier this year. My beautiful memories triggered serious emotions on that cold autumn day.

There is a look that every soldier learns. It’s a look that separates soldiers from civilians. After all these years, those 80-year-old veterans still have that look. I still have that look. It’s that look that embodies the separation of emotion and intellect. In battle, our intellect tells us we shouldn’t be there. It’s irrational to be exposed to the danger of a military battle. Even in military training, it’s irrational to march in column of route or to stand still for over an hour in the cold. It’s our male emotions that keep us there: the feel of esprit de corps… and that resolute look of defiance that makes every soldier fight. Once you learn the look, you become unconquerable. And if you do lose, you don’t care. Your intellect is focused on winning, not escaping or indulging. When you are losing, you fight even harder. And when you win, you become humble. And what I found out on November 11, 2010 is, once you learn the look, it never leaves you. Our emotions come and go, like wind blowing through a pine tree. But the look never leaves you.

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