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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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Next Phase In Life

2015 Jan 20 Tue 11:19:20 | by Lawrence

turn the pageEver since I started trading as a teen and then on the floor of Toronto Stock Exchange, a parallel career as a consultant on trading related matters silently developed over the years. It all started out from helping the older traders to setup their computers so that they get to check out the charts at home. It then evolved to writing indicators for these guys and small firms. Thinking about it, I would never guess one day I get to work for institutions as a retainer consultant.

This side job of mine sees me through good and bad times. It is a nice cushion helped me grow my trading capital quickly. Interesting enough, although I keep my consulting hours to low 20s per week, it generates income like a very good full time job thanks to steady increase in my billing rate. This side job also enabled me to fund interesting projects like the daytradingbias.com website.

Frankly, I am not the type of person who loves to grind at the computer. Given the break I have over the past two months, I am considering lifestyle changes. Taking on fewer work hours is one goal. Doing things I am more interested in is another.

To reduce work hours, it has to come from somewhere. Reducing trading hours is one way to do it. Reducing my consultant work is another. Dropping my consulting work all together is difficult because it is like a security blanket for me. It will be an interesting challenge for me as a trader because the changes to my bottom line can affect me in ways never happen before.

I like the idea of helping traders to trade better. But not everyone is in a situation where they are suitable to be trained. It is a very personal matter and it takes the commitment of both the trainee and the trainer to work together to make things workout. As some members asked if I can be their trading coach couple years ago, I have to decline back then because I do not have the emotional capacity to focus on their needs. I was preoccupied by my family difficulties at the time and I knew it would be unfair to them.

But what about now?

I am much more open to the idea but I guess I will not take on too many students either. Grooming one good trader at a time is more satisfying than opening a boot camp and let the fittest survive. The way how my mentors helped me with my trading is probably what I would like to do. Maybe with the exception to the part that some of them have me under contract to pay half my trading income over several years. Just thinking about that brings back good memories.

No matter how the changes unfold though, this will be a very interesting year for me.


Interesting Concept On Trader Training

2014 Dec 23 Tue 11:23:04 | by Lawrence

I have all these extra time lately that I get to spend on thinking over things I have done over the past few years. As I write down my thoughts and reflections I notice something very interesting emerged. It seems to me that although I try not to be a teacher, trainer or coach in trading, somehow I am doing that indirectly. And the results are remarkable since I have received many emails from my members that I changed their lives for the better as they can now trade better, with less stress and more profit.

This makes me thinking with many questions:

1. Should training traders be the focus of my website going forward?

2. What have I done correctly on the site that positively impact these traders?

3. Why the specific combination of things offered on the website has such an impact on these traders?

4. Most important of all, why it works while other approaches failed?

I am gathering the facts and reviewing my notes at this time. A proper summary will be posted.

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Trading Records from Year 2000

2014 Dec 20 Sat 11:27:29 | by Lawrence

I am going through old stuff to destroy and found boxes of trading records.

This is just 1 out of 3 boxes from year 2000.


I guess I just find myself an interesting side project to do – search and destroy!

Comparing all these paper work against the electronic records nowadays, I say I like the modern way much better.

As a minimum, I do not have to keep physical records like those in the photo for at least 6 years (Canadian legal requirement).

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Musing About Discount on Trading Courses

2014 Dec 16 Tue 19:50:40 | by Lawrence

We all know that consumer products and services are sold mostly during the end of the year. All kinds of discount and specials going wild attracting you, the consumer, to spend money on them. Many trading related products and services follow this trend and offer discounts to their clients during this time.

I can tell you, with very high confidence, this year-end discount strategy does not work with anything that are related to career change and learning new things that improve a person’s income potential.


Here is the chart I posted last year in November on people’s cyclical behaviour on job seeking:



In short, job seeking is put on hold during the 2nd half of the year and keep declining into year end all the time.

People put the thoughts of starting over on-hold during the holiday season. The tradition dictates how people behave and in turn affects the economy in a subtle way. Any training related products and services should offer discount right after New Year when people are actively seeking change.

I think I am a better forecaster than those economists who secretly use the Excel linear regression to project the future economic data results. At least what I observe has practical value.

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Avatar vs. Real Photo and Other Amusing Questions

2014 Dec 16 Tue 6:50:54 | by Lawrence

Some readers asked about my avatar. Why choose an avatar over real photo? Does it really look like you? Do you really have moustache? They are good questions although not really trading related. I will answer them all here.

Avatar vs. Real Photo

Unlike a personal website, my readership has a large following everywhere. Similar to these Japanese traders,  I choose anonymity for that little bit of extra freedom. I do agree with some readers though, that the avatar is not that pretty and an upgrade is a good idea.

Avatar vs. Real Person

It is a cartoon version of me, so yeah it looks like me.


I know, not that many Chinese people have moustache but I do. There is a story behind my moustache though.

Many years ago when I was running my trading business I need to hire several people to work for me but I do not look the part as a boss. Thanks to my youthful appearance it was difficult to hire more matured employees.

The solution was quite simple. By keeping moustache, the problem simply disappeared. And I have kept my moustache since.

Now, as a middle-age man, I learned to appreciate my youthful look. Perspective is an interesting thing.

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2014 Dec 11
Catching Up

Playing catch up is more difficult than I expected as the pile of things to get done has been making new high with the market over the past 2 weeks. Luckily, similar to the stock market, when it crumbles, the pile also disappear pretty quickly. Orig …

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2014 Dec 6
Asking for Trouble with My New LinkedIn Handle

My marketing guru asked me to change my LinkedIn to something more human friendly and catchy … After many unsuccessful combinations of my first and last name, I came up with this one and it works! So here it is, my bold new LinkedIn handle, http …

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2014 Nov 19
Snow? What Snow?

Snow in Buffalo, NY   But north of Buffalo there is Toronto. And no snow, yet.   Lucky! =) …


2014 Nov 13
Death, Taxes and Paperwork

During this time of grieving to cope with our loss, one thing we never imagine is the amount of paperwork to deal with. It turns out it is not that easy to handle the final matters for someone in our modern society. There are endless number of calls …

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2014 Nov 9
Not Playing With Fire

Thank you everyone for sending in your kind words during our time of loss. I may have missed some of the emails this week due to not being able to clean the inbox on time. Sorry if I have not replied to your messages. This week I am still bounded w …

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