Archive for August, 2010

Mind-Set for the Game

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Wall Street professionals always say, “You need to stay in the game–regardless.  If you don’t stay in the game, you’ll be left behind.”

That’s absolutely true.  Stay in the game.  However, stay in your game, not their game. Always keep in mind that without the money from each individual investor, there would not be a Stock Market.  It’s a kind of casino, and without your money, there is no game.  Once you know the game, you can turn it to your favor.  Sun Tzu said that advantage and disadvantage are constantly shifting.

Your mind should be focused, but not tense,  like a soldier in the front line on the battlefield. See opportunity.  Don’t waste yoiur bullets.  Sun Tzu said,  Some roads you don’t want to go down; some cities you don’t want to attack.”   Stay well-prepared, clear-minded, and on the lookout for opportunity. 

The more you practice this mind-set, the more you will build your confidence.  Once you know the game, you can pick and choose when you will play. 

No soldier would ever go to the battlefield without experience.  That is also the case with the Stock Market.  Chapter Six of the Stock Market portion of the forthcoming book gives some excellent pointers in establishing experience. 

In the end, one realizes that Wall Street is a kind of Univeral Game Master.  Whether you are talking about chess, poker, or investing, it is all basically a gamble.  If you go to a casino and win for six days, on the seventh, you could be cleaned out.  Wall Street employs all the professional experts who can set the trap and wipe you out.  That is why only two percent of the players on Wall Street consistently make money, and they are the fund managers and financial institutions.

If you still want to play the Wall street game, what do you do?  Remember Sun Tzu’s universal philosophy and principles:  Know youself and know your enemy; act on circumstances creatively, not by rigid guidelines.  Play by your own strategy and your own schedule.  Don’t let any situation force you to make decisions, particularly in those situations in which you are being pressured into believing that “time is of the essence.”

Let the game go when you don’t understand it.  When you do, you can turn it to your favor.  

Maintain your psyachological balance.  Kep your mind-set sharp so that you can look for opportunities and avoid disasters.

Wall Street appears to be powerful, but there is always weakness that the mindful investor can penetrate.  Sun Tzu said, “Just because you are powerful and have a lot of soldiers does not mean that you will win.  The less powerful force that has analyzed and planned throughly is the one that will win.”

(The above is an excerpt from Chapter Six of the Wall Street portion of the book, The Art of War Applied to Wall Street.)



“War is for Peace”

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Sun Tzu never directly said “War is for peace,” but it is essentially the heart of what he was instructing in The Art of War.  His admonitions to avoid collateral damage, to protect civilians inasmuch as possible, to maintain the economic integrity of the country, as well as the enemy’s country were all pointing toward maintaining peace and prosperity, rather than endless warfare.

His concept of war is based in Daoist philosopy.  His chapter on “Weakness and Strength” clearly shows his grounding in Daoism.  Sun Tzu’s principles also reflect his connection to the teachings of Confucius.  This is evident in his emphasis  on always doing what was best for the leader and the citizens, rather than for glory or power.

Confucius has often been erroneously perceived as promoting feudalism. One must keep in mind that  Confucius lived in a feudal society, and had to tailor his message to be acceptable to his culture. However, if you read Confucius closely, it is evident that he was quite clear that “The citizen is number one, the government hierarchy is number two, and the king is number three.”  In essence, Confucius was teaching that the king is the servant of the citizens. He was a precursor of democratic concepts to the degree that it could be allowable in his society.

Sun Tzu clearly was of the same mindset:  Warfare, if it is unavoidable, must be to protect the citizens and to protect the country.  Readers who take  The Art of War quotes out of context, without digesting and reflection on the entire text, are likely to completely miss this. 

Also, take into consideration the possibility that there may be many passages that may have gone missing over time that would have clarified Sun Tzu’s philosophy even further.

Sun Tzu’s Philosophy of “Image” and Psychological Warfare

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Understanding Sun Tzu’s concept of “Image” is crucial to understanding his entire philosphy of  ”warfare.”  Most readers focus on the literal interpretation of “the falcon  attack that seems to come from the ‘nine layers of the Heavens’. “  Or the image of “the rock that hits the egg,” or the ”water that moves the boulders,” or the “dammed water at the top of the mountain ready to burst upon the land below,” or “the boulder shaking at the top of the mountain,” ready to unleash its destruction.

 In other words, the typical reader of The Art of War is thinking only in terms of physical massed force. 

But there is much more to be said about what Sun Tzu is getting across in relation to “IMAGE.”

All of the images in his text are actually  meant to convey that the key factor in creating victory is skill in creating an illusion of of force and power that cannot be overcome.  In other words, the focused intent of the offensive force is to create a psychological state of  mind in the potential adversary that would render  an expectation of defeat right from the start

In the portion of this new book that describes how The Art of War perspective can be applied to investing in the Stock Market, I explain how the “image” of Wall Street is created in the media, and how it can affect the unwary investor.

For example, when the Fed is talking about increasing interest, it can be portrayed as “good,” because it is “calming down inflation.”  On the other hand, increasing interest can be portrayed as a signal that inflation is coming.  Either way, it is a matter of presentation.  In other words, some “Image” is being projected. These images have a kind of mass consciousness effect on the investing public.

Furthermore, if the Fed cuts interest, it can be interpreted as a stimulant to the economy, causing the Market to go up.  However, optimism is discouraged, because there is a concern in the mind of the public that the reason the Fed has cut the interest is because they know something unkown to the public, sowing the seeds of uncertainty.

As soon as the analysts begin talking in terms of “uncertainty,” the Market becomes unstable, and investors are caught like leaves in the swirling fall winds. 

The net effect is that the investor feels as if he/she is at the mercy of unknown and powerful unseen forces, and remains in a permanent state of psychological instability.  The individual is unable to maintain a stance of confidence, making it easy for the Stock Market to snatch away his funds. As a result of this form of  “psychological warfare,” the investor surrenders his money.

For more insight into how this “Image” is created, and more important, how to deal with it, read the book!


Wednesday, August 18th, 2010


 My heartfelt thanks to the following people who assisted me in this project:

Pat Kuzela—Without her dedication and encouragement, this new translation of The Art of War  could not have clearly expressed Sun Tzu’s deeper meaning to the West.

 Abe Wang, owner of Advanced Strategies, Inc.– for his unfailing encouragement and support.

 Pericles John Lantz, MD, and Damon Noto, MD—for their friendship, support, and inspiration every step of the way.

 Steve Johnson, Marice Williams, and Andrew Huang—who volunteered many hours of their personal time to offer their technical support.

 Marie Daum—the unsung hero, who initiated the YK Physical Consultant web page in 1999, and did an excellent job of describing my physical healing practice as well as tai chi, chi kung, and yi chuan principles.  (See

 Keivin Skellymy longtime personal friend, who always had a vision of my potential and kept me moving forward.

 Pei Shan Ting and Li-Kang Hsu—for their diligence in transcribing the Chinese text, and in preparing my material for publication.

 Po Yan Wong Saechang—my daughter, for linking me into Facebook.

 My mother, Yee Sang Tu—Her motto was, “Don’t stop learning.  If you stop learning, you’re dying.” 

My mother was a famous female doctor in Macao, China, in a time when there were only a very few female doctors in China.  She inculcated in me the teachings from Sun Tzu, as well as Tao, Buddhist, Confucian, and other Chinese philosophies.

 She impressed upon me the value of mutual respect and “giving back” to society.  She taught me, “When you drink the water, remember where it came from.”  My mother died before I graduated from college, and I have written this book as my way of honoring her highest principle: service to others.

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

The book is now completed and is at the publishers. Release date to be announced very soon.

 Art of War Front CoverArt Of War Cover Spine Art Of War Backcover