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Working on 2020

Happy New Year readers! Granted it's already 10 days into the new year but I've been having a well deserved break and easing back into work. Now that 2020 is here I hope to amp up more of what I did last year. Read more books, go to the Dojo/exercise more, and make more adventures with the family. I'm not really into the 'new year resolutions' because I like to ease into things, not make abrupt cold turkey changes.

I hope to close out several small lingering projects in 2020 that I started last year and continue writing my weekly Data Science newsletter. It's been a lot of fun writing this short newsletter and packing it full of articles I found interesting over the week. You can sign up for it below this article or here, if interested.

On the work front, I'm going to continue working on my Business Development Rep bot in Python. I started it last year to automate the laborious tasks my BDR and AE were doing. Yes, we all use Salesforce but for me it's faster to just to log into a command line and write a python script to do some extraction and analysis from Salesforce. It feels pretty rewarding to automate those things because it makes everyone's life better and hopefully more lucrative.

As of next week my traveling will begin again. I'm off to Charlotte next week and then to San Francisco and Los Angelos for a week and a half. Somewhere in between that time I have to prioritize my family life and juggle my work life.

That's the trick, prioritize the Big Rocks and juggle the rest.

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Random Thoughts

July is almost over. I can't believe that the summer is starting to wind down again. Another year entering the 'end game.' So far, it's been a great year. Working at H2O.ai has been hectic but fantastic. I've definitely pushed myself out of my comfort zone and have learned a lot. There's always so much to learn!

Traveling

I've been traveling A LOT. I think I'm traveling about 50% of my time and I've been mostly to the Midwest and along the East Coast. I don't mind it but it can be tiring. I've learned a few traveling tips and tricks along the way and since I started running, I try to find time to go sweat out my stress at the hotel gym.

The plus side of all this travel is that I'm building up a mini airline miles war chest. Based on my estimates, my wife will be able to fly to Hong Kong round trip for free this year. It's the little things that matter.

Health

I continue to do my Karate but my wife finally wore me down and I joined the local running club with her. I have to admit, when I started I was an utter fat slug that could barely run 1/4 mile without dying by the side of the road. Today, I remain a fat slug but I just ran my first official 5K last week and felt great. Sure I was the last one across the finish line (it was a small biathlon) but I now have an official time; 47 minutes and 33 seconds. I've found that taking a swim in the lake right after a run is heavenly. I'm thinking of actually doing the entire biathlon next year, so I have to learn how to swim better now. There's something to be said about physical exercise to really clear your head and make you feel better.

Investing & Speculation

I've been buying $100 of Bitcoin every week because I like dollar cost averaging and I thin Bitcoin is getting ready to take off again. There's no doubt in my mind that it's going to test $20,000 again, and possibly go right through it again. My hat is off to you HODL'ers, I was a dipshit and sold my few Bitcoins around $3,000 a piece. Yup, I made profit but I ignored some of speculation rules: selling half makes you look smart twice.

Additionally I've been making multi-month Forex trades again and they've been insane but fruitful. In the old days I played break outs and say that strategy come crashing to ground a time later. The Forex markets have been tough, there's no room for crybabies and after a few stumbles, I'm making small profit. Sure I play around with $100 but it's up to $154 now and I'm stalking new trades. While I want to say that's fun, it's not, it's been a challenging puzzle to learn how to trade again. Always Be Learning.

In other news, I continue to plow my 401k and IRA money into Mutual Funds and few select stocks. Let's see how earnings season plays out as we September and October loom on the horizon.

Friends & Parties

One of the best bits of advice I read/heard from Nassim Taleb in one of his books or a podcast interview was to go to parties. Go out and be social. Mingle with people that are NOT in your line of work. Mingle with Doctors, Dentists, NGO people, Artists, Musicians, etc. Get out there and make new friends and acquaintances. Not only is it good for your brain but you might be surprised at the cross synergies that might occur. I was at a recent meet and greet and met a wonder TED Talk presenter. Once again, it's the little things that matter and create the spice of life.

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Life In Rural New Jersey

They say a man's home is his castle and I can't disagree. My wife has been transforming the castle grounds into a thriving massive garden over the past 3 years and as a result, we've attracted a bevy of new friends. One of these new friends is the Scarlet Tanager.

Scarlet Tanager, Bird

I've never seen this type of bird before and thought they were just lost in our area. After identifying this fine feathered friend, I found out that NJ is part of their range and they tend to winter in Southern parts of the country and Central America.

I guess our yard and garden is becoming more animal friendly over the years. I attribute that to my wife's hard work and not putting down chemicals to keep my grass green and dandelion free. Fuck the Joneses. :)

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Monte Carlo Simulations For S&P500 Volatility Timing Model

S&P500 Volatility Histogram

I bought a Monte Carlo Simulation for Excel this week and started to play around with it for my S&P500 Volatility Timing Model. Boy am I having fun! I ran the probability of a Financial Asteroid (FA) event happening in a Gaussian distribution world. Based on the simulation, we have a 0.04% chance of a major correction happening and we can expect 4 such events to occur over 10,000 observations.

This means that roughly 1 FA event will occur every 9.9 trading years (a trading year has about 252 trading days in it). Now, I wonder what happens if I use a Power Law distributive function instead. :)

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Neural Market Trends is the online home of Thomas Ott.