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TFC Commodity Trading Forum

I guess it's time again

Since we have a vendor/leopard currently showing his spots. Nine years old this week.

On becoming a trading vendor or guru.

(Alternate title: How to make money when you have nothing but air to sell.)

Step 1: Learn a little about the markets you want to talk about. You donít have to learn a lot, just enough so that when you talk to someone who has never encountered these markets you sound like you know what youíre talking about.

Step 2: Start talking about the markets in public places. A lot. Look for people who have experience and actually know what theyíre talking about. Read every word they write so you can learn what words are used. Other than that, avoid them like the plague. Never talk to them. If one does question you on something youíve written, either evade the question, attack them to try to misdirect the conversation, or act as if you never heard the question. Never ever admit that you were wrong or didnít know something. Always talk as if you have all the knowledge in the world and that your understanding of things approaches a mystical level. If you truly get pinned down, disappear for a few days. This is the cyberworld after all.

Step 3: Start to develop your imaginary trading system or work on your guruship personality. If you go the trading system route, you can either:

A.) Make it so simple that a six year old could follow it. You donít even have to do your own work. You can take other peopleís work and give it cute new names (wearing a cowboy hat will help you think up these names) and imply that itís your own. Point out on cherry-picked charts where the system would have made enormous profits. Primary colors and big arrows are a nice touch here. Make sure you say this is the easy way to the good life.

B.) Make it so impossibly complicated or so impossibly vague that the system could have taken any trade at all, any time at all. This will help when you want to play the ĎAmaze people with historical charts gameí. ďSee, look! My system would have taken this fantastically profitable trade! Along with every other winning trade back to the days of the cavemen!Ē ďOf course, it would have avoided this losing trade. You forgot to factor in the fleeglewort indicator.Ē ďOh, you donít know what that is? Itís in the very next thing you have to buy from me.Ē

Or C.) Have several systems so that you can sell the one thatís currently looking good.

Guruship is another route. This can be much more personally gratifying as if you can get enough people to believe you, it kind of strokes your ego, and you might even start to believe yourself. When this happens, you can quickly build yourself up in your head to be some sort of super duper person. To be a guru, youíll need to decide on a personality. It has to be different from the other gurus, as copycat guru-ing is against the rules and may even disqualify you from membership in the international Guru Society. Think of this the way comic book superheros would think about selecting their costumes. They certainly donít fly down to the K-Mart and look in the superhero costumes aisle. No, they have to acquire their costume as a result of some life altering event that bestows their powers on them at the same time. As you can see, both routes take a little bit of thought. A case of beer and two friends equally prone to absurd ideas can help with this step.

Step 4: Talk often about your system or of your guruhood. At this point it makes sense to learn a little about the internet because youíre going to have to develop some imaginary friends to sing your praises. And it just wonít do if you get caught having imaginary friends just because you donít understand how people can trace you on the internet. Use your imaginary friends often. Talk to them as if they were real. They should ask you many questions where you can not only answer them, but use them to show the brilliance of your guruhood or how your system would have turned this into a winning trade. If someone should ask one of them a question, make sure they refer to you in the answer and how youíre a brilliant trader, a nice and helpful guy, and that youíre seen in church every Sunday. Make up new ones regularly. If you use the same ones over and over again people might catch on. I cannot stress the importance of not being caught with imaginary friends. People can suspect, but without hard proof they would look like fools and be subject to derision if they voiced their suspicion in public. There is one more technique which has tripped up many almost rans, that is a key to avoiding being exposed, but Iím saving that for the next lesson. (A $2499 value, this week only $1999.)

Be as incomplete and vague about trades as possible. Refer often to step 2 when speaking to people, remember that people who have experience are poison and not your target audience. If asked to explain something specific that you donít have a good answer to, say that you donít have time, or that they couldnít possibly understand. Donít fall into the trap of posting trade ideas ahead of time as this can only lead to heartbreak and shame. This road could potentially lead your target audience into realizing that the emperor has no clothes. When one of your vague ideas about a trade actually works, crow about it as much as people will tolerate. Be sure to mention how much the trade made and that youíre going to buy a bottle of champagne to split with your supermodel wife on your yacht to celebrate your success. Donít forget to talk about how you are an enormous success in other areas of life so your followers will have other reasons than trading to admire you. (Trust me, to keep them interested, you have to entertain them.) Feel free to talk about results as long as the trades theoretically could have been done and you have a disclaimer on your website that talks about Ďhypotheticalí results. For now youíll need to stress longly and loudly that youíre just doing this for free out of the kindness of your heart. You just want to help us mere mortals navigate the maze of the markets, and just by chance you have the only compass that works. Donít worry about the no money part because if you and your imaginary friends do your job right youíll soon find enough people who are inexperienced enough to believe you and be willing to pay you.

Step 5: Step five involves highly personal decisions and only you can decide how to go about it. This is the part where you get to start taking peoplesí money for your Ďfabulousí system or advice.

Only you can decide when you have enough followers to reach a critical mass, how to get them to start paying you and how much to soak them for. Collecting their money is best done gradually. Explain how you have costs involved in providing this excellent service and you need to defray a small percentage of them. If there ever was a time, now is the time to get out the big words to make the audience feel as if theyíre inferior and they couldnít do without your leadership. Feel free to borrow ideas from other gurus as to how to go about this step. Remember that no matter how badly your system works, or how little you know as their guru, there will be a certain percentage of people following you who will accidently make money. These people will be the ones that will help you recruit new victims and the ones you can collect testimonials om and point to as happy customers. Good luck in your quest to get other people to give you money without having actually done any real work of your own.

Oh, and donít worry about the morality thing. Thereís no such thing as karma.

Matthew Shelley
Commodity Broker

As always: Trading in futures and options is very high risk investing. You can lose all or more of the money you invest. Only risk capital should be used.