Hang Seng Index: Unbelievably Easy to Work on

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I am working on trading models for trading the Hang Seng Index. It is a cooperation project among multiple parties. I am quite excited by the idea that I am taking my financial technologies and trading experience to challenge the best minds in the Asian arena.

To my surprise, in the initial phase of this project, for which I expected a lot of difficulties in terms of data collection and information gathering, it is so much easier than working with the S&P indices.

For S&P 500 and the other related indices, one of the challenges is to figure out all the historical components of the indices and the exact time for which these components are part of the index calculations. S&P makes it so hard to figure this out even though it is something that should be made available to the public. It took investigative work to track down all the changes that I explained in one of the chapters of Market Breadth Primer.

However, working on Hang Seng Index, it is so easy to gather such information because Hang Seng Index has its own official website with everything you need to know about the indices are made available. I have to praise those working there that they are doing such a great job that S&P should be ashamed.

So why venture into trading the Hang Seng?

Well, I can see that the financial system is not going to be stable going into the future. Counter-party risk will be again in the spotlight soon. That means trading European markets is definitely not a good idea. Trading only instruments in North America is also not a good idea if bad things happen to the brokerages and clearing houses here. So, having presence in Asia now and eventually building this up to include more countries there will be a very good way to take my trading to the next level.

How Scientific Approach to Meditation Revolutionizes this Gift from Our Ancient Past

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Meditation, the mystical practice that has gained so much recognition lately from the Internet, has been around for literally thousands of years in various forms and styles. It gained its flame because of the supposedly superpower you can unlock within yourself like becoming wiser, calmer and perform better in almost everything. However, for normal people who tried to learn this, more than half of them are likely not able to benefit from practicing meditation. In fact, it is creating more frustration and confusion than helping out these people to live a better life. After all, it was called a mystical skill for a good reason. Well, thanks to latest scientific research and technology, this ancient technique of training our mind is now much more learnable than ever.

I touched on this subject of meditation over the years but I tried to minimize the coverage because of several factors. First, it was much less acceptable to even talking about meditation just ten years ago. It was even namely as “evil” when you whisper the name to someone whose religious background somehow tainted by bad information. Second, self learning meditation is always difficult because there is no easy way to track one’s progress in such training. Unlike learning a subject with scientific facts that you can be quizzed later on to see how much you remember or understand, a normal person do not have a simple way to self assess the improvements they have made from practicing meditation.

Modern meditation techniques introduced by many famous gurus actually helped a lot more people because they simplified the whole concept down to something much more tangible. For example, the famous one-moment meditation has been helping so many people in dealing with their everyday stress and hectic lives. There are many scientific researches made public that help people to understand that being more mindful (through meditation) can benefit them so much that their brains are rewired in a good way.

So we now know meditation helps people in a very meaningful way. Its health benefits are tremendous. But these researchers have not been able to solve the biggest obstacle of making meditation something accessible to everyone, until now.

I reviewed a product called Inner Balance at my other site, Essence of Trading, focuses on its benefit on trading performance. This product is basically a portable heart rate monitor that connect to your cell phone through Bluetooth. What makes it special is that it can track your heart rate variability (HRV) in real-time giving the user instant feedback of their current state of calmness. Yep, you read this right. For the first time, there is a way for anyone who does not have access to a good trainer to learn the foundation of meditation, which is slowed down breathing, to finally learn the skill properly, quickly with much less frustration.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a pretty good indicator of one’s calmness which was very difficult to measure before the discovery and deeper understanding of how our heart lung functions are affected by our mood swings. Maybe, in the future there will be even better measurement tools discovered along the way. But why wait if we already have something on hand that can help us now.

Anyone interested in getting Inner Balance can go to their site and check out the products offered there.

(Affiliate disclosure: I have signed up to become an affiliate after I gave out a whole bunch of this device as gifts and see the amazing results on my friends and family)

I will try not to repeat what I wrote in the review here. Anyone interested in that can read it later.

What I like to say here is that many traditional practices from our ancestors could be labelled as mystical but not all of them are bad. Once we start to understand more how they work, the mysticism dissolves, resulting in a more accurate view of what they really are. Meditation, now with enough scientific researches done on the subject, is shining through with real life practical use in medical treatments like reducing anxiety, lowering high blood pressure and improving performance from sports to trading. It is a real gift from our ancient past.

The Lack of Educational Resources for Traders in Hong Kong and Rest of Asia

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I wrapped up my trip to Asia on schedule earlier this week. I did not anticipated that though because there is always something coming up from this type of business trips that you have to extend it until everything is taken care of. Very nice that I get to take a break now going into New Year for much needed rest and relax before the hectic work schedule I planned for next year.

During my stay in Asia I squeezed time to check out various bookstores in every major city I went to. I was trying to find some trading books that are of decent quality to be recommended to my Asian readers. And if possible, I could just buy a whole stack and give them out as holiday gifts. Sadly, I could not find one book that really meet my expectations. It is quite disappointing given last year I learned about the financial scams still rampaging in these countries.

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In many of these bookstores, there is really just one or two columns of books on investments. And trading, being a sub-category of investment, has probably one to two rows of books. These books on trading are mainly translated from books originally written in English. My not so in-depth attempt to browse through some of these books leaves me with a pretty bad impression as I have read the originals and I am quite sure the translated versions of these books are not delivering the correct message to the readers.

Another very interesting phenomenon is that Warren Buffett is over represented in every bookstore I visited. First, if you are a normal person, you should not invest like Warren Buffett. I am willing to go all the way to say that if you are not Warren Buffett, you should never invest like him. It is a very sensitive topic which deserves a complete article written on just this issue alone. I guess I have to do that in the future so that I do not need to answer this same question again and again.

There are rows and rows of books, both translated and originally written ones, on Warren Buffett’s “investment secrets” and “financial wisdoms”. This is classic cult following mentality where these books are there to attract casual readers to buy them on impulse. They do not provide any real value to the readers yet I know they must be selling very well because there are multiple copies of these books on the shelf while other books you see only one copy there most of the time.

I can see the huge potential of trading / investing education market in Asia. Only by lifting the overall standard in investors sophistication in the region will eliminate the continuous scamming activities there. Better education for traders will also reduce the number of tragedies related to gambling in the financial markets that I see dominating the retail trading scene in Asia.

Casualty of Going Cashless: Empty Donation Boxes at the Cashier Counters

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I do not usually go to fast food joints or coffee shops. If possible I always prefer brewing my own coffee and cooking my own meals. Doing this for years not just because of the health factor but also for the sake of avoiding long line ups. During my trip going from Canada to Hong Kong, however, I spent some time strolling in the airports while waiting for all kinds of things. I found a very interesting but sad phenomenon has emerged.

Those donation boxes that sit at the front of these cashier counters at McDonald’s, Starbucks, Tim Horton, etc. are all pretty much empty.

I actually popped the question to a few cashiers to see if my observation is correct.

Well, it turns out, the little amount of coins in many of these donation boxes were the collection for over a week.

My casual observations tell me that eight to nine people out of ten lining up at Subway used credit card, bank card and even cell phone to pay for their food. I actually counted the numbers while waiting for my flight. That’s about 50 people over a 45 minute sampling. The remaining ones who paid with cash have not put their changes into the donation box.

Well, Canada chose to do away with its pennies (1 cent coins) probably contributed to the problem too.

I wonder what the charitable organizations can do to counter this situation.

Time to Slack Off 2017

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As a follow up to my Time to Slack Off series, I like to report my results and what I think going forward I will do with my trading. Many doors opened this year for which I am very grateful for and that I get to try out different ideas in such a short period of time is both exciting and exhausting. It is time for me to reflect and plan for the coming year.

Transformation of My Trading

I have achieved my trading goal for myself and for my clients as a money manager back in early October already. Due to serious pile up of all kinds of tasks, I did not get the time to write about it until now. This year is fundamentally different from the years of trading I have done due to the drastic changes of my trading goals and the new responsibility of managing a completely different kind of funds.

Many readers who follow me for years know that I used to trade through the complete US market open hours. I did take breaks during lunch but I tended to squeeze as much profit from the market as possible back then. Last two years my personal trading goals have changed to a more moderate approach for which I am driving for consistent returns with much reduced stress and effort. That took a lot of work outside of trading to further improve my mechanical trading models. More importantly, I came up with an even better trading framework for handling the current trading environment.

Hence I spent a lot less time in front of the screen and more time outside of it. I now usually sit at the screen to watch the open but I can choose not to because my mechanical models would take care of the orders anyway. Even though I have open positions by 11 am (Eastern Time) I can walk away since the positions are managed automatically. In my opinion, the performance is actually better based on the relatively shorter amount of time spent in front of the screen.

My Experiment on Running a Different Type of Fund

Last year I started to manage in a small scale funds that demand stable return in low-teens percentage with a time window of 3 years (or more) of lock-in period. As oppose to classic fundamental based fund managers who bet on fairy-tale information, or those big swingers with so-called macro view that ignores the market dynamics, my approach is to day trade with mechanical strategies that I know are rock solid concepts working consistently over the past 20 years. By controlling the leverage, I make it possible to produce consistent returns without the so-called volatility swings with those funds that have overnight risk. It is a great idea that worked out very well.

In comparison, the responsibility as a money manager managing client accounts, my objective is often maximizing the return with risk precisely defined. I can assure you that it is not an easy task. Although I have been doing my part for years, it is still challenging as the financial markets evolve rapidly.

The Birth of a Private Fund

Inevitably, after the success of the experiment, I am being asked to reconsider my position to run a fund among close friends and families. It is not even going to be the size of a tiny hedge fund. It is just money that a few close friends can spare for speculation purpose (something I called burnable). Since I am so restrictive on the amount of money they should put into the pool relative to what they have and that I am imposing the same 3 to 5 years lock-in period, I am glad that they choose to keep their individual commitment small. Now that the word is out, I have requests from friends everywhere asking me to do the the same.

This is, kind of, completely deviating from my original plan. My original intention was to run this private fund with just my own money and possibly some from my partner. Once the first year return is booked, I will try to convert the individual accounts that I manage for my long term clients into the same pool so that I can streamline the whole operation. That is a longshot though, because my clients really dislike publicity of any kind. Still, I hope to convert them to believe in my new hands off approach.

Anyhow, I planned to launch this no later than February next year. Just the explanation of the risk involved in my kind of trading can take hours to each individual interested in this. It will keep me very busy until then.

Mix and Match of Trading Signals

So what does all these developments have to do with daytradingbias.com? After all I tagged this post with it.

Well, part of the trading models I developed for my private fund will also be made available at daytradingbias.com thru real-time trading assistant and other means. I have looked into many other ways to delivery the signals. The viable ones will be added one by one.

For those interested in managing their own accounts with a subset of signals picked from the set, documentation / a complete course will be made available so that they can adapt the strategies to create a trading plan that fits their risk tolerance. This is what I am planning so far but I do not know if the plan will change again down the road.

On the Road Again

I am heading to Asia as mentioned in my post back in October coming weekend. Once I have internet access there I will continue to post. I will get the chance to meet with many people from the financial industry there. If anything interesting comes up, I will definitely write about them.

 

Past Time to Slack Off Posts

Time to Slack Off 2014

Time to Slack Off 2013

Time to Slack Off 2012

The Single Most Effective Way to Weight Loss

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I have seen so many people having this problem with overweight that I always wonder why they are having such a hard time in cutting down the fat from their bodies. There are even TV shows with people signing up there to be coached by nutritionist, exercise coach, etc. to drop their weight to a healthier level. It is amusing to see such phenomenon happening in China as well with their younger generation showing exactly the same type of obesity issues. Seriously, in my not so humble opinion, all these fancy diets and exercise regimes we see out there are not really attacking the problem directly, hence the difficulty in getting the overweight crowd back in shape.

Disclaimer: I am not a healthcare professional. What I write here is my personal opinion. Seek medical advice from your doctor if you plan to do anything affecting your health.

What’s Underneath the Overweight Symptom Matters

For some people their overweight issue is actually a medical condition like hypothyroidism. If the underlying medical condition is not treated, doing all kinds of healthy routines will not get the person far. The worst part is that the process of such healthy regimes also destroy the person’s determination over time as the ineffectiveness is usually blamed on the person as oppose to the experts who are offering the advices.

Once the medical condition is put under control, or that you are relatively healthy in the first place, the next step is easy. It helps to do exercise but not everyone can afford to do that due to various reasons. The way to weight loss is always eating less food. To be specific, eating less food that induces weight gain and bloating is the key to control our weight. The concept is so simple but it is very hard to do if you listen to the weight loss meme out there. After all, controlling our craving is hard.

Really?

Trick Your Brain with Healthy Filler

It is well known that in any weight loss regime, using some type of filler food is always the key component. When people are eating junk food, they put excessive fat, sugar and carbohydrates into their bodies. Healthy fillers like broccoli and cauliflower when cooked without sauce or a lot of seasoning can keep us feeling full. Hence eating them as replacement to potato chips, fries, noodles, rice and pasta of course will drop your weight fast.

The goal with eating filler food is to get your body used to a lower calorie diet without giving yourself a hard time feeling very hungry. Once your body has reduced weight, it will automatically demand lower calories as a result. In other words, using filler food is to trick our brain to stop craving for food.

But there is a problem with these healthier alternatives. They just take too much time to prepare. They are also unhealthy when prepared in advance. Fast food and microwave meals exist for a reason. They are way more convenience when you feel hungry and need a fix quickly.

If there is a healthy filler that does not require so much work, everyone can enjoy a healthier life.

Is there anything like that out there?

Yes!

The Cheapest Solution to Weight Loss

I like to introduce you to konjac noodles, your new best friend in weight control.

The root of the konjac plant is used to make this bouncy tasteless noodle in many countries in Asia. The Japanese name for the konjac jelly is Konnyaku. The noodle is also known as shirataki noodles. They are transparent in color. The noodles are just shredded version of the jelly blocks.

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You can buy these noodles from Asia supermarkets at very low price. Interestingly, Asians mainly eat this food in their hotpots which is one of the most unhealthy way to consume food.

These instantly edible noodles have several very interesting properties. First, they are extremely low in calories, making them a good candidate as a filler food. At less than 10 calories per 100 gram of konnyaku noodles, you cannot get any food doing the same.

Second, this noodle contains no sugar, sodium (salt) and fat. This property tells you that the konnyaku noodle is an acceptable filler.

Third, this noodle has about 2% fibre and 1% protein by weight. With the healthy nutrients, you know they are healthy filler.

If it is so good for weight control, why is no one talking about it?

Actually, the weight loss industry and the health food industry know about this for a long time. The weight loss industry has been selling supplement tablets mixed with konjac powder for decades. The health food industry also catches up with organic konjac powder to mix with your own cooking.

But they are not going to tell you the best way to really benefit from eating konjac is to get the instant version at a low price.

There is Always a Catch

Even if someone learned about Konjac and ventured to buy whole bunch of these konnyaku noodles hoping to start their weight loss regime, that person will likely drop the idea after opening the first package. That’s the catch.

Konjac products themselves are odourless just like any other jelly making ingredients. The original konjac powder, however, when being used in the cooking process, produces a smell that is not very pleasant. It is consistent with other jelly making ingredients too.

But for a normal person who has never experienced that, you can imagine what the person thinks when they first open a package of konnyaku noodle. Many people simply assume the food went foul. When they open up the second package, they will probably give up the whole idea.

To pre-process the konnyaku noodle, you just need to rinse the noodle in water for several minutes. You can also just rinse it once and then leave them in water for several minutes. The smell from the konjac water will be completely removed. You can either eat the noodle right after because it is fully cooked. You can also store the noodle in the refrigerator for a week.

Hence, if you hate the smell, pre-made a whole batch of konnyaku noodle in the frig so that you can use it anytime you want to eat.

Just in case you cannot get the straight up noodles and instead getting what you see below, don’t panic.

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This is a fancy version of the konnyaku noodle. They are small bunch of noodles tied in an open knot that you can easily untie. They are made this way for people putting them into hotpots.

Eat It Anyway You Like

There are many ways to enjoy konjac noodle. Simplest way is to eat it cold with a little bit of soya sauce, cold noodle sauce or fish broth. That’s very traditional Japanese style.

Another traditional way to eat konnyaku noodle is mix it into seaweed salad.

In many Asian countries, they throw the konnyau noodle into their hotpots.

Unlike pasta or rice, the konnyaku noodles do not absorb flavour very well. You see everywhere on the internet said it does but that is not true. It is just another misinformation spread by the internet copycats. To make the noodles absorbing just a little of the flavour, it takes several hours of soaking in the sauce or broth. An alternative solution is, of course, to thicken the sauce but that also means you are eating a lot more calories as a result.

Another difference between konnyaku noodles and pasta is that pasta are chewy and soft while konnyaku noodles are bouncy. For some people this difference in texture can take some time to get used to. If you can stopping thinking of konnyaku noodles being a replacement of your pasta and accept it as it is, you will adapt to the experience much more quickly.

For diet purpose, you can use it to replace your pasta or your bowl of rice in your regular meal. You can also prepare the noodle in a light sauce or salad dressing so that you can snack on it instead of your usual unhealthy snacks or expensive diet snacks.

Healthier Life Can Be Easy

The beauty of using konnyaku noodle is that there is really no change to your overall eating habit. Just replace everything you are eating that is unhealthy with the noodle will do the job. And the preparation time and effort is next to none. Once your weight is dropping, your body will make the adjustment necessary for you. i.e. you will likely crave for less food.

Now you know the secret to weight loss and it is not something difficult to do. Take control of your weight today!

p.s. I have recommended this to many people and have seen great results from them all. There is really no point for me to repeat myself again and again. Hence writing this piece to save myself the trouble.

Busy Schedule Ahead

It has been weeks of chaos so far in the development front on deploying my trading models. Unforeseen troubles in live trading of the models forced us to twist our code to handle all kinds of issues like sudden disconnect from brokerage server. Unlike co-location server based solutions, we have now proven retail level client side automation has many issues that cannot be taken care of easily.

Nonetheless, I am still going to push forward with these projects to see how much we can accomplish. In the meantime, I am busy writing up the documentation / instructions on trading these strategies effectively.

While all these things are happening, coming two weeks we are setting up a new remote data centre. This is not our first attempt though. Some of the premium members may remember that the first try was a complete disaster. Once the remote data centre is up and running, I will phase out the current one in Toronto.

Adding to all that, I am also going to hit the road again later this year due to an interesting development that I may work on a special project involving a number of trading firms and financial institutions in Asia. I am not sure what my exact travel plan will be at this point. For those of you in Asia, I will get in touch.

Have a nice weekend all!

Steve Maxwell: How to Exercise

This is a clip from a long interview of Steve Maxwell at the YouTube channel London Real. As an expert in training all kinds of athletes, his wisdom on exercise is very interesting. I agree with him that we should not over do exercise if our goal is to stay fit only.

You can find more video on Steve Maxwell online.

My Journey to Fully Automate My Trading: AI vs. KISS

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The latest round of buzz about AI (Artificial Intelligence), particularly the new meme Machine Learning, has triggered many talks on its applications in trading and investing. It is very interesting how it suddenly becomes the latest holy grail in trading. Is it really that much better? Not necessary.

What AI is Good at

AI is very good at picking up patterns from large amount of data based on the framework we have provided them. It also gives AI the advantage to find patterns that human often miss since we are born to identify visual anomalies only. In other words, AI can assist us to uncover useful information from large amount of data. From the game of chess or online games, to industrial design of cars and equipment, AI helps us resolve many difficult problems in much faster and efficient manner comparing to human based discovery approach.

When I use the word “pattern” above, it is not limited to visual or statistics based patterns. It can be patterns of rules that govern a dynamic system. For example, the machine learning process may discover that certain set of rules are failing to produce the expected results, and that they all belongs to the same category of underlying patterns in the data.

By applying this meta logical pattern on the rules, AI can develop new rules itself. This is the technological direction, namely self reprogramming and self refinement, that Elon Musk is so worried about. Think about an AI based program deployed to defend a country that has built-in self management rules to improve itself. What if one day the system produced a new rule that it is better to launch all the missiles to guarantee winning a war, or chose to delete a rule that emphasize on minimizing the casualties of civilians?

AI in Trading

AI has been applied to trading ever since it was introduced many years ago. The earlier approaches are mainly developed to capture patterns in price and related financial data (e.g. PE ratio) to make forecast on individual stock and markets. Later on we have seen successful trading models built for short term trading on indices using patterns recognized from large amount of data including price patterns and market breadth data. The concept behind the development of these models, however, are still very human centric. We were using AI to discover patterns and then we apply the patterns in our trading. In short, we decide what discoveries made by the computer are applied in our trading.

The latest round of AI application in trading, however, is taking on a different direction. Many professional traders and trading firms are now testing fully automated trading models that are managing themselves. What I mean is that human factor is reduced down to the initial feeding of data into the computer with an overall theme specification and subsequent risk management only. In short, we are teaching the computer to trade by themselves instead of teaching human to do the job because we prefer traders to have little or no emotion at all for better performance.

The advantage of these new approach to AI based trading does not stop there. Models will continue to evolve on their own, either in live or simulation environment (which human still have control). This helps proprietary trading firms tremendously with much better control over the consistency in performance.

Context Matters

It is obvious that AI is best fit for trading in short term environment as the amount of data to be processed can be too much for human to analyze. It is also clear that the AI models that self manage can pick up subtle changes in the data much faster than human can. This ability to teach itself to adapt to a changing environment can be a double-edged sword though.

For a changing environment, say, a news driven shock to the markets, can be very short term. Given enough historical examples feed to the AI systems, they will figure out a way to handle these situations. The catch is, however, that certain longer term environment change never repeats themselves, yet they produced all the major characteristic changes that affect the markets for years. As there is never enough historical data on these situations, AI cannot really learn from them nor can they incorporate safety measures to safe guard themselves properly when such tide turning events happen in the future.

In other words, the adaptive AI based trading systems are doing exactly opposite of what many classic (and successful) trading models do. Instead of exploiting one specific bias to extract profit from the market with money management strategies to protect the profits like the classic trading models, the new self learning AI systems keep tuning themselves to outsmart the markets. This approach is not that different from what we called routine re-optimization of deployed trading models. Since we do not know if the set of parameters we use on a trading model would perform best in the future, by optimizing the models based on a subset of the historical data, usually the most recent part, on a regular basis, it gives us a way to tune the model to better fit the current trading environment. The self learning AI systems basically does that themselves.

Human Factor Still Key to Success

Hence, it is important more than ever that the trainer / designer of an AI system to understand the various potential drivers in a market. There are things the AI system would never be able to learn or to adapt to. There are things the AI system should never adapt to. The boundaries necessary to make the AI system safe to trade have to be provided by human.

Seriously, everyone can train their generic AI toolbox to deploy trading models to trade real money. In fact, I am sure every model deployed has a pretty darn good historical performance. But, it is not how good a system perform that matters. As the old saying goes, “If you avoid the losers, the winners take care of themselves”. It is how the system react to adverse situations and not losing too much money in the process that really counts. Only those designers who are well aware of defensive money management principles would do this correctly right from the beginning.

The bottom line is clear – it is still the person behind the machine based trader that matters most.

KISS Still Shines

“Keep It Simple, Stupid!” believe it or not, still holds true even in this heavily bots populated trading environment.

As I explained many times over the years, with more bots trading, the markets evolved into something much more predictable in a very sarcastic sense. Yes, older style of trading no longer produces good performance. And yes again, many trading methods are neutralized by the existence of bots. However, new patterns emerges from the very existence of these bots because they all behave in a very similar way. AI systems are no different. Given the technology are all based on similar toolbox, and that the obvious patterns are picked up by the AI systems one way or another, it is likely the AI systems will all behaviour similarly and go after very similar biases identified by them. In aggregation, they produce consistent footprints just like any other market participants.

So it is not necessary to stay at the forefront of technology or employing the latest trading gadget to make money in the markets. It is your overall approach to the market that matters. KISS still shines in the current trading environment. I know many size traders still focus on a few simple trading setups to make their living. The existence of these smarter AI bots changes the characteristics of many markets in the smallest timeframes only.

A Common Misconception About Day Trading Models

Lots of people spend all their time to discover or fine tuning a strategy so that it trades so many times to give them stellar performance like 300% or even 500% return per year. That may work but it is also dangerous to put all money on such models.

As I explained before in last instalment of this series, it is much better to emulate a good day trader who has multiple trading setups for which each one offers its own independent risk reward profile. It is the combination of these trading setups that produce a balanced approach to trading. With the right combination of these strategies, you get the same spectacular performance with much lower risk of complete melt down in performance like the single strategy approach.

Here is also the main concern with AI based bot traders. Unless you have a way to dissect the trading approach, you do not know the risk profile of each individual decision made by the system. You just know, as a whole, the machine trader you have on hand somehow perform great on the historical data. But we know they their were trained on those data, of course they would perform well on those data. You cannot throw a evolved model back in time to see if they would do well by the same reason.

If you train an AI system with certain part of the historical data, keeping the model not adaptive, it is then just the same old machine assisted discovery method. If you let the system retrain itself from time to time with new data, it is similar to the re-optimization mentioned above with the drawback of not able to gauge the historical performance. I think you get the point – machine learning is not perfect.

Summary

AI based bot traders are sexy for many reasons but they are far from perfect. If you know nothing about the underlying data and its characteristics, using AI to speed up your research is definitely the future as we are going to amass a lot more data going forward. However, it is not going to do you any good if you are an amateur in trading hoping that you can simply train the machine to do the job for you. Your have to be a good trainer (not necessary good trader) to make your trading bot a good trader.

At this point, it should be quite clear where I stand on the subject. I use AI to assist my research. I also use AI based models to warn me of potential changes in the market dynamics. I like the technology as it saves me time on data mining and other tasks in research. But I do not deploy trading models that are based on AI only. I prefer the KISS approach because I need the transparency and consistency with the models so that they are much easier to manage. It is a matter of personal preference. Maybe I have paranoia on AI just like Musk.

3 Weeks of No Exercise and Sleep Deprivation

Last few weeks I have to travel far frequently to take care of things in remote areas. My daily routine was totally disrupted. Cannot exercise when there was not even enough time to sleep. Now that things settled down, I learn some important effects on my health that is very useful.

First, when I finally get to do my daily exercise routine, strength in my legs is not affected much. Feels awkward for about a minute and then things just go back to normal. My guess is that I have to walk a lot over the past few weeks, my legs still got enough exercise to stay in shape.

Then problem started to show when I did my ab exercises. I was able to do what I usually do but with difficulties at the end.

Finally, pull ups and other upper body exercises became so difficult that I am not able to do half of what I did 3 weeks ago. This sucks big time.

A good lesson learned – better planning necessary to stay in shape no matter what.

And the question of striking a balance between enough sleep and exercise – if we have very limited amount of time left for both, what to do?