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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Memorial Weekend on Productivity
2015 May 22 Fri 9:04:26 | by
I was quite productive over the past two weeks – I implemented the DIY Financial News Feed and completed my draft version of Art of Chart Reading. This was made possible when I no longer have to split my time over too many things within the day. If there is one single factor that improved my productivity, it is the reduced cost of multi-tasking.
I used to structure my email correspondence once in the morning and once in the afternoon only. Over time, I started to check on my email more and it has been a very bad influence on my work schedule. I now follow my plan strictly so no more interruption of my thoughts when I am working on something that takes several hours to complete.
During this reshuffling of my schedule, I have learned something interesting about myself. Although I am a morning person, my best time at getting research results and better creativity in new ideas all happened late at night. It looks like I need at least several hours of intense focus on a subject before my brain can function at its peak form. This has slowly turned my sleep pattern into something like biphasic sleep.
At the end, I did not just optimize my schedule for productivity, I also optimized myself.
Going into end of May and last month of the quarter, my focus will turn to the release of the shorter term intraday trading signals for Emini S&P and the forex majors. Hopefully my effort to increase productivity will pay off.
Have a nice long weekend!
Finally One Book Completed In Years
2015 May 15 Fri 11:58:17 | by
Art of Chart Reading is finally completed this week after six long years. The original idea was just a quick reference for site members on the basic chart patterns that works very well across many markets. A simple project turned into a mission when readers’ feedback told me that most people do not understand how to read charts properly. I then realized that a framework on how to read charts is more important than just better explanation of the chart patterns themselves.
Since I am not the kind of people who can focus on a single task and like to jump from subject to subject when writing, the progress with this project has been slow. Hence completely this book means a lot to me because I have several more book projects like Defensive Money Management and Trading with Tick Index that deserve my attention as well. Now that I reorganized my schedule, I should be able to write more efficiently and make some serious progress with my book projects.
It will still take sometime to organize the materials and editing before Art of Chart Reading is available in ebook form.
I will keep you all posted on the progress.
To my fellow Canadians, Happy Victoria Day!
To Complete the Art of Chart Reading Project
2015 May 8 Fri 16:45:45 | by
I promised myself I would complete the book Art of Chart Reading last year. That did not happen. Upon reviewing the materials I have prepared, I actually can complete it soon if I focus on the project more. I guess it is time to stop procrastinating and get my hands dirty.
The main missing part of the book project is the role of chart reading in trading and more specifically in day trading. I think it is time to address that and complete the project for good. It feels good to have things taken care of.
Once the instructional side of the book is done, I cam proceed to wrap it up on ebook form as I promised to many readers.
The online project itself, however, will be an ever growing series as I get the chance to add new lessons based on actual trading situations. The accumulated knowledge presented in the series will be excellent materials for beginner traders to learn from. I know I should write these lessons more often but I was not organized enough. That will change.
Changes To Ask a Trading Question
2015 May 6 Wed 2:25:18 | by
I was pretty much overwhelmed by the amount of time I spent on working on various projects. To solve this problem, I have reviewed my work schedule in details and consulted a few friends about scheduling work that involves attention to many things. I need to prioritize my time so that things are done more efficiently.
Hence the Ask a Trading Question service is now modified to encourage readers to post in the forum area. The forum is a greatly under utilize area in the website. We’ve several thousand members and I am sure if the topic is of interest to them some members will response. Since I read the forum too I can post some quick answers there making it possible for everyone to refer to.
It is actually a change for the better going forward as I have not really spent any effort in building the community. Hopefully it is a step towards a more active user forum with more participations.
This change also provides some clarity where the line is drawn for my coaching / mentoring service and general email responses. If the matter is something general about the websites or its contents, it is preferred to be asked through comments and forum. If the matter takes individual attentions, my coaching / mentoring clients will have my full attention and higher priority over others.
The plan is to cut down on my general trading questions answering time from several hours a day down to at most one hour a day. My time is better spent on adding more useful services and contents to the website and on committed individuals who show me they are willing to go the extra mile in their effort to improve their trading performance.
This change is effective immediately.
First step towards a more productive year.
How I Get Back In Shape
2015 Apr 28 Tue 13:04:14 | by
There are so many people asking about my exercise regime after my last post about my New Year’s Resolution I guess I should simply post it to my blog. I am no fitness expert and my plan is created to deal with my specific situation. It can be a good example but if you want to get in shape, you need to adapt it to your needs.
My Physical Problems
It started many years ago when my lower back at the bottom of the spine was badly injured due to lifting very heavy things. During the slow healing process, it was damaged again in an accident. Since then every time I have to handle heavy things I will suffer for days after.
I was a very active person. It was quite depressing back then for me. Luckily, I can do rigorous exercises that do not involve using my back. It worked out fine for me for a long time.
Past few years as I cannot keep up with my exercise regime, weight gain in the belly area slowly putting stress on my spine and in turn making it more difficult to exercise. The downward spiral cannot be stopped because I do not have time (for real) to take care of myself.
As I have time for myself now, I concentrate on the fact that the downward spiral must be stopped. But I am not fit enough to do the more rigorous exercises anymore, so I researched for the most effective ways to get rid of my belly fat. I know once it started to shrink, the dead load on my back would be reduced and in turn making it easier for me to do more types of exercises.
Interesting enough, I find the combination of three things has been the most effective way for me.
I dropped like 4 inches on my waist, more than 15 pounds of weight while building my overall body back to a level I can call fit. All it took is just a few months. It works and it takes very little time to do as well.
Following are the three things I am doing.
High Intensity Training
The way I do my exercise is called high intensity training. It can be burpee one day and then squats with pull ups the other. It does not matter. The key is to do them so fast that my heart rate going all the way to my limit within minutes of doing these exercises. Pumping the heart rate to the extreme exercise zone and keep it there for a few minutes is the key to make the exercise producing the effect I need.
In the beginning I can only go for a few minutes and I had to stop. I increase the exercise duration slowly as my tolerance of the very high heart rate increases. It is not necessary to go beyond 10 to 15 minutes a day and results will show.
Simple and efficient. Most important of all, takes almost no time.
Warning: If you have heart problems, this type of exercise can be dangerous. Consult your doctor first.
Low Carbohydrate Diet
Of course I have to eat less and eat healthy.
Cutting out pasta, bread and other forms of carbohydrate makes it easier to lose fat. It is not that I do not eat them at all. I just choose to eat them occasionally.
Making healthier choice in what I eat does not mean I would eat organic food only. I am not a die hard fan of organic food. I am just an average guy who still need my burger fix from time to time. The most important thing is just avoiding junk food, that’s all.
I now eat within an 10 hour time span each day for all my meals and will avoid food until 14 hours later after dinner. It was suggested by my friend smilingsynic that interval fasting, the act of avoiding food each day over 12 hours or more, has very good health benefit. There are researches supporting this too. So I am pretty much doing this but I get to the point now I can keep myself off from food longer than 12 hours now.
No magic formula, just a simple combination of 3 easy to do things and I am much better now. I am a middle age man and I have no ambition to build a buffed body. I just want to stay fit so that I can stay active for a long time.
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