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.
Schedule – Regular blog post every Friday with occasional additional posts when I feel like ranting.
In case you are curious of what I do outside of blogging here:
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New Book, New Home and a New Life
2015 Jul 30 Thu 17:58:18 | by
The Art of Chart Reading book is still in the capable hands of my editor, Amy. Her inputs has led to many changes to the charts and overall organization. All of these changes are aiming at making the book more readable and easier to understand some of the more abstract concepts. The editing is probably half way through but there are also issues like cover design and other logistic things to take care of. I will not be surprised if the book can be released by the end of August. Since it is out of my control, don’t take my word for it.
You can read the online version of Art of Chart Reading on my site.
I’ve found a new place to move to. I decided to do it the week before. I booked appointments with 20 places to check them out within 2 days this week. I then decided the first, second and third choices quickly. Offers submitted – not my first or second choice was accepted but it is now done.
Pretty efficient, eh?
I am taking advantage of the Canadian long weekend (August 3rd Civil Holiday) to get all the things related to my moving organized so that it will not take up much of my time going forward. I will likely not be available next Monday if the struggle with the people who handle my renovation matters stretching all weekend. I will keep you all posted on the situation by Sunday night.
I see more scaling back in my trading size this year as volatility is going to pick up significantly into September and October seasonally. My modest trading goal for the year is mostly completed hence it is not time for me to go aggressive at this point. It is especially important because I have so many things I am trying to do at the same time, my mind may not be as focus as I like it to be. As we all know, day trading takes our full attention to reduce mistakes. Unforced errors are costly to the bottom line.
I have not decided yet what I will be doing in year 2016. One thing I know for sure is that I will travel more in a year or two, my friend Michal from Czech has moved to Monaco for years. The nice pictures he took give me incentives to visit him soon. Personally, I prefer cooler weather than the very hot ones though.
New Approach To Publish Trading Systems
2015 Jul 24 Fri 8:37:50 | by
Many members have been asking for more details with the trading systems that are published on the site. The requirements varies but all centre around the idea that more analysis should be provided so that they can make better decisions on whether to incorporate the concepts into their own trading. I have time to think over this during my 2 days new home hunting and I think I find a way to satisfy this need.
Instead of changing the current format of the trading systems to be published on the site, I will produce specialized reports on the existing and upcoming systems with the historical trades taken, detailed analysis like parameter sensitivity and drawdown behaviour, etc. It is similar to some of my work done for my institutional clients. These reports will be made available in the store so anyone can purchase them.
This solution will also take care of a long term issue with basic members that they are interested in specific trading systems I published but then they are not ready to commit to premium membership yet. The specialized reports will make it worthwhile for the basic members to purchase them knowing that they are getting more than just the premium articles.
Deep discount will be offered to premium members while regular members will get a discount too to encourage more people sign up with our website.
Post your comments here or send me emails to help me refine the idea further.
Letting Go Is Easier Said Than Done
2015 Jul 17 Fri 13:33:35 | by
Over the past few months, family and friends have been very nice and insisted to get me our of my pad to enjoy some sunlight instead of working days and nights. I understand why they are doing that and I greatly appreciate their kindness. Some even go the extra mile to force me to talk about how I feel since what happened last year.
For many people, talking about their loss of the loved one can help them find a closure of the past. For me, however, it actually does the opposite thanks to very good at remembering things. Believe me, being able to recall events as if replaying a movie has its usage. But the emotions and feelings that are triggered can be difficult to bear at times.
My older brother is the most direct one. He is the kind who has nerve of steel hence the ability to take on huge investment decisions. He made it so simple – that I should stop thinking about the past and let go now.
I told him if it were that easy, I would have done it by now, isn’t it?
I don’t blame him for not understanding as our personalities are very different. His trading style is completely different from mine. Well, I would like to say my trading style is better because it is more stress free. I guess we will never be able to make a proper comparison since there is no objective measures on these things.
My strength is my ability to feel. By understanding the emotion side of trading, I aggregated that understanding into knowledge applicable to trading. It serves me well all these years. Knowing who is in pain in the trading game tells you what to do to take advantage of the situation.
This strength I have lately becomes a problem as I have a very difficult time to let go of my past. I cherish every moment I have with my late girlfriend. Yet I know it is not a good thing my mind chooses to stay in the past.
A good friend suggested that I am surrounding myself with the past, that’s why I am stuck in the past. This insight is very true as every part of my place can bring back memories. To be able to let go, I have to face reality and make the hard choice to stop the spiral down effect.
In other words, I need to move.
I have made my decision – find a different part of the city to relocate to and hope for the best.
p.s. Now comes the pain in the arse issue – the trouble of moving.
What I Learned From Mentoring Young Entrepreneurs
2015 Jul 10 Fri 11:20:14 | by
I just started mentoring a few small business owners on pro bono basis who have been growing their businesses steadily but stuck without growth in last couple of years. Piling on top, they have endless amount of work that they have to handle themselves leaving them exhausted all the time. The worst part though is that they borrowed money from the banks. Servicing the debts alone making these hardworking individuals no hope of profiting from their businesses.
When One Is Overwhelmed By Work, There Is No Big Picture
Running a small business as tradesmen requires the entrepreneur to be well rounded in many skills outside of their crafts. For many people, however, they start a business with just a subset of what is needed. This makes it difficult for these individuals to grow their businesses quickly as they have to keep making mistakes on things they have not think about.
Learning from mistakes is costly. Even if the individual is very resourceful and hardworking, the increase in revenue are often offset by more mistakes. It is like a trader who never learned to cut losses quickly so every once in a while he gets hit by a huge loss that offset most of his profits that take months to accumulate.
Mistakes can exhaust a person’s will power to perform better. They are big emotional blows that can kill the entrepreneurial spirit of the business owners. The big picture will become blur, the original vision will be lost and the only thing left is the fear of the next mistake happening soon.
Small Changes To Break The Downward Spiral
Based on these individuals situations, I chose to focus on performance boost and clarity of mind over overhaul their complete working schedules or business plans. The reason for doing so is that when a person is so exhausted, sudden change in work schedule can often leads to mistakes and accidents. That is absolutely the last thing I want to see.
To improve their mind stability, I recommended meditation and breathing exercise to them and have them practice daily before and after work. If possible, during lunch and coffee break as well. Since not everyone are receptive to the same type of meditation and breathing exercise, they all ended up practicing different routines.
For performance boost, instead of making them to work harder or doing things faster, I told them to nap 15 to 20 minutes once or twice during the day.
Very unconventional business consulting advices, right?
After just several weeks of this minor change to their daily routines, they are all very happy to report that they can now finish their work faster and suddenly they can see things more clearly which helped them to make fewer mistakes.
Bottom line improvements from the change is 5% to 15%. The improvement is minor, but it means being profitable now comparing to no hope in sight just weeks ago. This gives these small business owners a boost in their confidence and confidence in me that they will be able to do even better in the future.
Joy of Helping Others
As I slowly changing my life style from trading focus to working on helping others, I find the satisfaction coming from helping others very different from trading success. The surprising thing to me is that there are so many people out there who are overwhelmed by their jobs and businesses. By looking at their problems from a different angle and telling them that they need to pay more attention to themselves can already make huge impacts on their lives.
Often hardworking people know that they need help, but they do not know the tools to facilitate the change. They do not even have time for reading books to help themselves. It turns out my skill set in training traders can help these entrepreneurs too. At the end of the day, trading is running a business so I guess I have a lot more to offer them from my experience in trading and running other businesses.
Trading Signal Service
2015 Jul 3 Fri 21:42:12 | by
I have mentioned this before but never get the chance to really look into the available options to offer the trading signals through a third party company.
For those traders interested in following some of the trading systems I post here, I am considering offering the signals through one or more third party services that will allow you to directly trade these systems automatically.
Which of these services are good in terms of speed, reliability and convenience?
Anyone who have experience using these services please drop me a line.
I was asked many times what I do when I am coaching traders. It is an interesting question because there are many answers. I think laying out some of the things I do will provide a better picture. I Need To Know You I usually need a lot of details …
I met one of my mentors this week at his lawyer’s office. He’s getting old and wanted to make sure things are taken care of smoothly should he pass away. He asked me to be his executor of his will and other related legal matters. I accepted the r …
I received quite a number of messages from various sources questioning the need to raise funds for daytradingbias.com. Some people even questioned my ability as a trader. It is amusing to see how people react to a simple donation drive. So here it is …
Spent my spare time learning and testing various screen capturing software for weeks now. As I explained back in February, I was clueless on what it takes to produce videos. After working on it here and there a few hours a week, I am slowly getting b …
I was talking to a friend the other day. He has made an interesting point that I find very amusing. He thinks that in the pursuit of a trading career, there are two main groups of people. One that will stick with free resources and the other will see …
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