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Stress-Free Trader (The Lawrence Chan Blog)

Full time index & forex trader, occasional consultant to hedge funds / institutions, my work leads to my not so normal view of the financial markets. My blog mostly talks about trading, market behaviours and other musings.

Originally this blog is supposed to be organized in a separate website like what most authors do but I don't think I will maintain it properly that way. So here it is as part of this website.

In case you are curious of what I do outside of blogging here:

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Sometimes One Is Never Careful Enough

2014 Jul 14 Mon 20:36:23 | by Lawrence Chan | No comments yet

Last year I posted about the toy my family has acquired. Well, we’ve got an upgrade that looks like this.

It is an oxygen concentrator that double the capacity of the last one.

All went well for about a week and then nightmare started as the machine malfunctioned in the middle of the night. This damn thing started to beep and stalled. Eventually not working. Luckily we have quite a number of oxygen tanks to take its place.

Everything sorted out and no one was hurt but I learned a lesson – sometimes we are never careful enough.

If I pay more attention to the service manual I would know that this beast actually need the same amount of electricity like a full size air conditioner. That means I need a dedicated power line for this to function properly.

Just because it is not my domain of expertise I did not do my best to map out the scenarios.

Now that I have learned my lesson, we have this huge oxygen tank installed in case of power outage.

I should go get a drink. Later.


What’s Next During This Summer

2014 Jun 26 Thu 19:43:07 | by Lawrence Chan | No comments yet

Just a short update about where we are heading with the real-time tools.

We are still on schedule to add new price levels to the price level tools.

Forex real-time biases and signals reporting is going alpha – the first one based on Quid Piker is coming. Several other ones will be posted soon.

On the Emini S&P side, the original goal of posting one tick indices based signal has turned into a multiple parts big project blowing up my schedule. This is what happens when one is writing on one topic and then adding more and more stuff to the original. The plan now I have is to reduce the materials into a summary version first so that I can post it as soon as I can. I will then work on the multiple parts detail version to be included in the Trading With Tick Index series.

One major issue we’ve encountered with the real-time tools is the delivery mechanism leaks memory. It is a very elusive issue because it does not leak as fast on Firefox nor in Chrome but it leaks like the dam is broken with Internet Explorer. I get a chance to read through the code done by my guys to see if I can assist them in some way.

All these will keep me busy this whole summer.


Free Bitcoin Online Resources

2014 Jun 11 Wed 22:55:42 | by Lawrence Chan | No comments yet

bitcoin online resourcesMany readers emailed me asking for more information about Bitcoin and where they can learn more about it. Well, there are many options to choose from. Here is a short list to some free resources online.

Data Aggregation

The most comprehensive data source is Bitcoin Charts.

Bitcoin Charts has some very basic charting but its value is not with its charting service. Bitcoin Charts has aggregated transaction level data across many bitcoin exchanges. Those data can be downloaded free of charge from their website.

Bitcoin Charts also has an open API that you can pull data from their server for whatever purpose you have in mind.

Once you have pulled the data into your computer you can plot them easily in your favourite charting platform.

My last post on Bitcoin price behaviour was using data from Bitcoin Charts.


Free Real-Time Charting

The free online charting service Tradingview.com is a comprehensive charting platform with free data for all kinds of markets. It supports charting on quite a number of Bitcoin exchanges in various currencies. Data is streamed real-time. It is quite convenient overall and very handy if you do not have access to your favourite trading platform.

TradingView is free to use unless you want to go with its advanced features.


Bitcoin Foundation

The official presence of Bitcoin is Bitcoin.org

You can find all the basic information about Bitcoin there. It is also the place to look for the officially endorsed Bitcoin wallets. If you want to start learning about Bitcoin, you can check out the website for more information.


Bitcoin Forum

Bitcoin Talk is the de facto centre where the bitcoin community meet. It has forums setup for various languages. Boosting more than 300,000 members, you will find the latest gossips on Bitcoin everything.


Bitcoin on Reddit

Many businesses and Bitcoin activists choose to take their discussions of Bitcoin to Reddit. You can find announcements made at Reddit from various businesses that choose to accept Bitcoin. You will also find discussions across many topics from how unprofitable it is to mine Bitcoin to talks on trading Bitcoin for profit.


NFP Week Bias Report Revised

2014 Jun 8 Sun 20:10:04 | by Lawrence Chan | No comments yet

I have revised the Non-Farm Payroll Report Bias article with updated statistics and information.

It is now renamed as Survival Guide To Non-Farm Payroll Report Week.

This is now one of the Survival Guides written to deal with the monthly scheduled events that majority of day traders somehow manage to always forget, leading to unnecessary frustrations and losses.

The first step toward change is awareness – Nathaniel Branden

Let’s see if my effort to promote awareness of structural patterns will lead to more traders beating the system.


Long vs. Short Research Articles

2014 May 28 Wed 23:19:14 | by Lawrence Chan | 1 comment

I am wrapping up the research articles for the next set of real-time trading biases (well, this time they are more like trading signals). I find that the length of these articles has been growing longer. They are so much longer comparing to the more general statistical biases that I am surprised by the realization.

This causes a dilemma for me.

For simplistic statistical biases they can be explained quite easily without detail explanations. They are short and sweet in nature and are useful in helping us plan our trading days based on the biases. The various weekday biases belongs to this category.

For real-time biases, the precision of a trade is much more important comparing to the general direction because without precision, a strong bias will still fall flat as useless in real-time engagement. To make it clear on how these real-time biases work, the articles have to be much longer with scenario discussions and also examples showing what happens when they work and when they fail.

I wonder if our members prefer the simpler ones or the more complex ones. In other words, do you prefer I give you more general statistical biases to lean on or do you prefer more tactical approach from the real-time biases reporting?

It is about the direction where my writing will be heading in coming months. Personally I am fine writing up either kind of research articles. The main difference is that the more complex ones take longer time to proof read and revise before I feel comfortable to publish them. And even then, I can still catch my own error in the published ones quite often. Shame on me!

Let me know what you think.

As usual, many of you prefer email over comments here. I understand. Just shoot me the emails.


Out of frustration I started to dig up information about the internet outages originated at the major Internet Service Providers. It turns out being one of the biggest ISPs in Canada is a near perfect business just like the TBTF banks. Here are the top 5 reasons why being the biggest ISPs in Canada is a free pass to print money.

Number 5 – No Evidence

When your service is down, your customers cannot make a complain online. They are totally cut off from the net. No one would see the real records of your bad services. Some of these ISPs even shamelessly claim that they have 99% up time which every Canadian knows is not true.

Number 4 – No Monitor

Media are either too lazy to report how bad your services are, or, they just do not care as long as their own interest is taken care of.

Case in point – when two major outages back in 2013 affected the media companies, they blasted the ISP pretty much 7/24. When the other major outages happened, as long as that did not affect these media companies, nothing was reported.

Number 3 – Fear Mongering

When someone called customer service complaining that their Internet service is not working, simply use scare tactics to make sure they would wait and stop complaining.

Case in point – a well known strategy among the ISPs is telling the customers that a technician will be schedule to check out the problem and if the problem is not originated from the company, the customer will be charged for the service call. Majority of people will choose to shut up and wait.

Number 2 – Spin To Win

The very persistent and knowledgeable customers can forced into an infinite loop of hardware replacement even though these ISPs are known to purchase inferior hardware to offer to their customers all along. A simple procedure to buy time and costs nothing until service is repaired.

Number 1 – No Choice

When the customers get so frustrated and switch to the other biggest ISP, it won’t take long for them to switch back!

The beauty of oligopoly.


What’s Next For Forex Signals

2014 May 19 Mon 11:01:45 | by Lawrence Chan | No comments yet

Some members are concerned that I have forgotten about the forex markets as I am having great time with my Emini trading lately.

Don’t worry. I have not forgotten about our members who trade forex.

I have actually written several pieces on swing level trading models for the forex majors.

The one on Bristish Pound was published late last month at TraderPlanet.

There is another one coming up early next month on Canadian Dollar at TraderPlanet.

The swing biases on these models will be auto updated on the forex signal page.

More practical trading models for forex majors will be published.

I am doing it slowly because I prefer the readers actually understand the drivers behind these trading models. It is important to understand them so that they can be integrated into one’s trading style, not the other way around.


Is Day Trading For You Available At Scribd

2014 May 17 Sat 15:27:03 | by Lawrence Chan | No comments yet

I have made my introductory series on day trading available at scribd now.

Those who prefer to download and read the articles in pdf format instead of reading it online can get it here,


I find it much easier to maintain free ebook this way as the publisher model based services make it difficult to distribute and update the free ebooks.

It is something that’s worth trying out.


WTF Chart of the Day: VIX Is Settling At Its New Home

2014 May 13 Tue 17:34:15 | by Lawrence Chan | No comments yet

A quick note on VIX why it has moved towards 12.

VIX Is Settling At Its New Home

Anyone who has read my article on the real underlying behaviour driving VIX level should know that as S&P500 moves towards 1900, VIX is bounded to move towards 12. That’s the way it is. The fact that VIX drifts into 12-13 area is not a signal by itself that the market is topping.

It takes more than that for a market top setup.


Site Maintenance For Real-Time Bias Reporting Tool

2014 May 9 Fri 22:47:09 | by Lawrence Chan | 2 comments so far

I have my first read of the statistics collected on the new real-time bias reporting tool now.

It is performing stable which is what I expected but you never know.

i.e. 1st release of the real-time price levels tool was "eventful"

We are going to make adjustments to the backend server software this weekend. The approx. time that the site will be disrupted will be sometime late evening on Saturday. It is going to be minor.

If all goes well, no one will even notice.


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