golden egg

One of the themes I came across meeting people all around the world is that they think that it can be too late for them to learn to trade. Coming from that point of view, they ask for shortcuts to get trading success quickly. Thus their enormous interest in trading courses promising instant success and guarantee income from secret trading systems showing consistent performance, say certain amount of money every month. Is it really true that it can be too late to learn to trade properly?

It is Never Too Late to Learn to Trade

I have met people from all walks of life from all age groups who managed to get trading success. I know several traders who started to trade by the age of 60 years old and they managed to do pretty well in trading after several years of committed learning. In fact, it is usually a bad idea for young adults to go straight for a career in trading after graduating from school because they lack the normal work experience needed to develop good working habits like discipline and perseverance.

Given the modern age life span, it is not a surprise that we will live to 80 or 90 years old. Hence learning to trade properly and gaining success in trading by committing several years to acquire the knowledge and develop the necessary skills is a great investment. Yes, by 70 years old, it may not worth our time to take on this challenge. But if you are younger than that, the benefit of having the proper trading skill set in place will pay off handsomely for many years.

There is really no excuse for people at their 30s, 40s and 50s to avoid learning to trade. Yet, people keep saying it’s too late for them and they need a quick fix. I think the issue here is a combination of cultural misconception and psychological weaknesses.

Modern Day Career Path Has a Completely Different Time Schedule

Our world view of career path is shaped by the beliefs coming from our parents and grandparents. Those people at the age of 50s and 60s were taught to believe that they have to be established by the time they are at their 30s and by 40s they should be on track to a great career path or they will be stuck in life. And then retirement is near as their age approaches 60s. This mindset is completely messed up.

First, by taking good care of yourself, given the modern understanding of the human body, there is really no reason why we cannot live healthily by 80 years old with our body staying fit like we are 40s. The whole concept of retiring by the time we are at 60s was just part of the historical past. Planning your life around that concept nowadays will seriously side track your ability to live a meaningful life as all your attention is wasted on a finishing line that was drawn arbitrarily.

Second, the society we live in now do not bound people to one single career anymore. In different stage in life, many people switch career or even industry at their 30s and 40s with great success. Trading does not have to be a replacement path of the main career you are pursuing either. It can be complimentary as managing one’s wealth is no longer a task that we can put our trust in the financial industry.

Conquer Our Fear of Failure

When we have a reasonably established career path, it is difficult to take on trading knowing that it is a very difficult to master with very low chance of success. After all, just casual research on the internet will tell you that 90% of retail traders will fail. This psychological problem of not willing to deal with failures affects majority of people who are looking to improve their lives in all areas from health to financial success, not just with trading.

The fact is, many people were taught to think of failing to do something is the equivalent of themselves being failures. This thinking is plain wrong. Yet, we are often misled to think this way when we were young as we do not have proper guidance to separate our ego and our abilities. When we fail at doing or learning something, it is just that, nothing more.

For example, I may not be talented at drawing and that even though I tried very hard to learn to draw better, I know I will not be a great artist. The learning process to draw better is full of obstacles with failures all the way. This does not define me being a failure. It is just one area that I am not good at. Without trying, however, I will never be knowledgeable about drawing nor able to appreciate paintings at a higher level. I learn a lot about myself during the process of learning to draw. My drawings produced along the way are not good quality by any standard. But that does not define me being a bad person, or a failure, a very ambiguous term people often use when they cannot find something in their lives that they can be proud of.

Success in any field is the result of accumulating many failures. The most successful people in any field are likely the ones who encountered more failures than their peers. Only by being not fearful of failure and mentally prepared to handle failure as part of the process, will you be able to pick yourself up quickly after every fall. This better mentality in dealing with failures also help us master any craft faster with less emotional torment.

Accepting Our Ignorance

One interesting behaviour I often observed is the underestimation of the difficulties in learning something new. In trading, I have seen many people with success in their own fields often look at trading as something simple. Their perception mislead them into learning this supposedly completely new skill with the wrong approach. In short, they try to adapt the information on trading they are given, no matter how detail or complicated the materials are, into concepts they already have in mind, based on their past experiences in other fields.

This approach to learning only works if you are learning something that has a lot of similarities to something you have deep knowledge of. For example, if you already know a European language like Spanish, then learning German is not as hard. For those people whose background is in Asian language only, it will be much more difficult to learn German quickly even though both are languages for general communication.

But how do we know if we already have deep knowledge in something similar to what we are going to learn?

We don’t.

People in general assume they know because their brains tricked them into thinking that they have some ideas what they are learning. For many simple skills, you can be slightly better than average and you would already be able to utilize that proficiently to solve 90% of the problems requiring the particular skill set. Majority of the skills we acquire in life belongs to this category.

However, trading is one of those fields that in order to be successful you have to be part of the top 5%. This means taking it seriously and accepting our ignorance about trading is very important. This correct mindset will steer us in the right direction, making us willing to learn more carefully like we once were when learning to write while we are young. Being able to take extra care in learning everything in details helps us to build the proper foundation. In turn, it ensures us a better chance of success in trading.

Financial Freedom is a Reasonable Goal

As I explained in my more technical writing about trading, it is not striking it big quickly that matters in trading. It is all about consistencies and having a proper game plan. Once you become more consistent, your performance is just a function of the compound growth rate as you get to increase your trading size over time.

One cannot rush the learning process in trading. The mental development of a person in trading is as important as acquiring more knowledge about trading. There is no shortcut. Just better ways to focus your learning while not wasting time on misleading information.

From my experience working with many traders, once they “clicked”, it takes only 2 to 3 years to get them to produce decent profits putting them at par to top 10% income in their countries, provided that they are trading fulltime. For those who choose to keep trading as their side business of managing their savings, it takes about 3 to 5 years for them to produce enough profits to exceed their main income. Of course, everyone will follow their own pace so my observation can only act as a reference. So we are looking at doubling one’s income being a reasonable short term goal and gaining financial freedom as an achievable long term goal.

In summary, acquiring or mastering trading skill is not as remote as many people think. It often takes too long because people tend to approach it wrong as I pointed out the psychological challenges earlier in this article. If you look at trading serious enough and are willing to commit yourself to the learning process, I am sure it will be one of the best things you have ever invested your time and energy on.

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I talked about fully automating my trading for many years yet I could not stop myself from staying in front of the screen most of the time. This year, my new year resolution is to commit to the process of converting whatever I am doing in trading to a fully automated process. I know it is going to be a challenge for a discretionary trader who has been trading for better half of my life. I also know that the process itself can be a very rewarding experience. After all, I have not taken on a challenge this big for a long time.

A Bit About Myself and My Trading

In case you are not my long term readers or members of my website daytradingbias.com, it can be very confusing of what I am talking about. Here is a proper introduction of myself.

I have been trading for more than two decades (getting close to three now) professionally. I started out trading as a floor trader in a stock exchange trading stocks and stock options. I moved on to trading commodities and index futures. I manage other people’s money and also act as advisor to very affluent families on their high-risk portion of their funds. There were good times and bad times with my trading over my long trading career. Overall I manage to do pretty well and it has been a life enriching experience.

Over the years, my trading style has changed a lot. Although I started out trading 100% discretionarily, my current trading is a mix of mechanical trading on certain markets while engaging the other markets I have very specific routines and rules I follow strictly. Hence I am no newbie in mechanical trading. I just do not want to automate my main markets, the index futures, probably because of psychological reasons.

What Pushed Me to Take on this Challenge

I have a tough ride in my personal life over the past few years. Time became a very precious resource as I have to strike a balance between taking care of my loved one and my professional obligations of managing my clients’ money. During that time, I researched and refined my trading style so that it is more streamline and robust such that my emotion component would play a much lesser row in affecting my performance.

It turns out, my effort in reducing my time in front of the screen did not reduce my trading performance. It actually improved my trading performance significantly. I would not say the outcome is a result of those clichés like “less is more” bullshit. I think it was the process of objective reflection and evaluation of what I did that gave me clarity in reducing the clutters in both the actual rules of engagement in my trading plan and the beliefs I held for years about the markets which I never questioned until then.

So here I am, equipped with everything I have got, including time to spare at this point. I have no excuse not to complete the journey. The experience and knowledge gained from the process alone worth giving this a shot with everything I got. If the goal of fully automating my trading is partially successful, I gain even more time to take on even more important tasks in the future. There is really no downside to this challenge.

In other words, I have no excuse not to make it happen, now.

What’s Next

There are many things to get done in preparation phase for this project. It takes time to get these tasks completed before I can move onto the next phase of the project. Since I am not in a rush to make this happens overnight, I will take my time to complete these tasks carefully.

Throughout this project, I will document what I do so that all of you will learn something about the process of converting a discretionary trading method into fully automated trading. I am documenting my journey also for the purpose of holding myself accountable. This is my way to push myself to commit to the project no matter what the outcome is.

Life is worth living if it is a meaningful one. Finding new challenges to overcome is one way to make life more fulfilling. I find a serious challenge this time and I am very excited.

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Many middle aged and older people do not exercise regularly. When they do think of getting in shape, the usual choice has always been going to the gym in Westernized societies. Interestingly, from my personal experience helping people to gain back their fitness, going to the gym is actually counter-productive and often leading to unnecessary injuries. To get in shape, it is more about proper planning than the short term drive to look and feel better.

Doing a Little Here and There

When I am asked by others on how to get in shape, they always focus on a particular type of activities. Here are a few good examples.

“I like to get in shape. I heard that you practice Tai Chi. I learned that Tai Chi is good for health. Can you teach me Tai Chi?”

“What exercise you are doing to stay fit? I like to try that.”

Being someone very thorough with whatever I do. I usually ask a lot of questions to see the fitness level with these individuals. For those who are really out of shape, my suggestion has always been “doing a little here and there” is enough for the first few months.

Younger readers will probably think that I am messing with them. No, I am not. For people very out of shape, there is no one type of exercise that can improve their health quickly. The best choice is to integrate more activities into their lifestyle as oppose to having specific training sessions.

First, just one 15-minute training in the gym will usually drive 90% of these individuals away. It can be the humiliation. It can be the hard reality of huffing and puffing after very mild exercise. It can be many other things as well. But the theme is the same, the experience is so discouraging that they likely resent doing it again.

Second, scheduling oneself to go to a gym is creating the pre-condition to not going there. All the extra efforts needed to get to a gym provided so many possible excuses in the future to skip the sessions. In other words, it is an idea that is destined to failure for most people with the rare exception of those with very strong will and determination.

How to Get Started

It can all start from waking up in bed. Instead of getting out of it at once, you can simply tighten your stomach 10 to 20 times while still lying on the bed. Many people struggle to open their eyes anyway before they can get out of bed, that time window is perfect for simple stomach tighten activity.

While doing the morning routine in the washroom, or at the kitchen, adding a few squats here and there does not hurt. It does not have to be perfect. The goal is not training for very strong muscles. The goal is to wake the muscles up and get them more active in general.

Walk a bit more instead of sitting all day in front of the work desk helps.

Keep an alarm to tell yourself it is time to take a break from your desk and do some mild stretching also helps.

Repeating my point – to get better health, it does not have to be going straight for the hard core exercise with sweat and pain. It can come from just a bit more active to get things started. Key to success in transforming a life without exercise is to add them in a way that is stress-free with positive feedback.

The Power of Doing Just a Little

So the next question people usually ask is whether doing just a little helps. My observation is that it makes all the difference. Usually people who started integrating micro exercises in their lives will have more energy and more alert in just couple of weeks. In about a month, they would have built the foundation to do more as they have achieved minimal fitness needed for more rigorous exercises.

The most interesting thing though, is that there is really no need to do extra exercises at this stage either. All it takes is making the micro exercise activities harder. For example, there is no need to do stomach tightening many more repetitions. Just tighten and hold a little longer each time will do. Doing squats follow a similar upgrade path by doing it in better forms and dropping lower each time.

This cycle of upgrading the efforts can take a few months. Once the optimal level is reached, it is really up to the person to see if they want more in terms of physical fitness. Some people desire the body of an athlete. Some people don’t. Having an active lifestyle can be enough for majority of people whose intention is to become healthier and feel better.

Stress-Free Approach Takes Planning

What I suggested here is no difference from helping someone with traumatizing injuries or post surgery conditions. Physiotherapists know that it takes time to rebuild someone with weak body conditions. But normal people do not know how out of shape they are until their physical finesses being challenged. By understanding what to aim for, as I lay out the approach and overall progression method, there is really no excuse not to help yourself to get in shape.

Seriously, no money in the world can replace our health.

Water bubble and waves

We’ve all heard about alkaline water in some way through the internet or some new age health conscious friends. What many people do after they heard about it though is researching about it online and probably found the benefits being inconclusive. After all, the alkaline water machines in general are quite pricey. Buying a machine that supposedly giving you health benefit that you cannot even detect is not a very smart move. Well, I have done it and my personal experience with using alkaline water can be useful in helping you decide if you need to try it.

What Led Me to Try Alkaline Water

It is difficult to pinpoint when I first encountered the term alkaline water. People in Asian has been talking about eating more alkaline stuff for a long time but their beliefs in the subject is very voodoo. To be honest, I think they took whatever new age bullshit and mixed that up with their superstitious beliefs to produce their version of “alkaline cult”. Being a very scientific person, I cannot accept what they are preaching at all.

The very first time I tried using alkaline water, was like a decade ago. My late girlfriend was very sick in bed from one of her many surgeries. She could not even sit up from the bed by herself as the operation was done in the abdominal area. Two of her friends, a couple, brought her many bottles of water. These are bottles of alkaline water. I was told to let my girlfriend drink only this alkaline water, preferably boiled. And all food that I made for her should be made with this alkaline water. They promised to bring more to keep the regime going for the next two weeks.

Evidence I Saw with My Own Eyes

Since my late girlfriend had regular home visit by nurses and doctors multiple times a week with blood work also done frequently, we found out that she recovered much faster since switching to using alkaline water. Her surgery site healed at doubIe (if not faster) than the normal speed. I have my share of injuries, including life threatening ones, hence I know quite well how normal wounds would heal. Her blood work also showed much improvement in her absorption of nutrients from the food. I was essentially cooking the same thing for her except the alkaline water.

I have no doubt it was the alkaline water than made the difference. Her speedy recovery led us to our journey in trying out alkaline water in many other things since. Over the years we have also bought various alkaline water machines with varying results. Thus, even if you are thinking of using alkaline water regularly, there is also this hurdle of picking the better machines.

Absolute Advantage vs. Marginal Improvement

I believe alkaline water would not benefit majority of people in general. The reason is quite simple. Most people do not eat healthy enough but their healthy digestive system allows them to do so. Normal people can take supplements and other pills to get whatever is missing from their diet. My belief is that the main benefit of alkaline water, which has an uncertain quality of improvement over normal water, can only be an increase by certain percentage in improving our absorption ratio of water and the nutrients carried in our food. It will not be significant enough to show a difference in normal healthy people.

When someone is very sick, old or weak in digestion ability in general, they cannot eat and drink as much. Taking pills is also likely difficult. In their situation, alkaline water allows these people getting a significant boost to health by allowing them to absorb more from the limited amount of food they can eat. Of course, this is my speculation only.

In short, I think alkaline water provides marginal improvement over regular water only. Drinking it regularly, may not provide the absolute advantage like many people suggested. If you are a normal healthy person who already taking good care of yourself, using alkaline water will not make a big difference for you.

When Taste Matters

Coffee tastes better, much better, when brewed with alkaline water. This I know for sure. Food cooked in very mild favours also tastes better when prepared with alkaline water. For food with very strong or intense favours, the difference is not clear between using regular water and alkaline water. I will put it this way – alkaline water helps magnifying the freshness in the food we cooked.

Personally, I did not even remember the difference in taste of the coffee until my recent move. I could not install my alkaline water machine in my new place for several months due to the fact that all the faucets are made in a way not allowing me to hook up my machine. During that time, I was forced to switch back to use regular filtered water. That was the time I realized I was spoiled by my coffee made with alkaline water.

Summary

I prefer using alkaline water but it is not a necessity for me at this time. However, I am sure alkaline water played an important role in keeping my late girlfriend healthy for many years. I would recommend anyone with family members having compromised health conditions to give alkaline water a try.

You do not even need to buy an alkaline water machine to see if it works for you. There are bottled water that are more alkaline than the others, just search online for the brands. You may even ask around to see if any of your friends already have an alkaline water machine so that you can collect like a week long supply to experiment with alkaline water.

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I found someone to take care of my website revision last week. If all goes well can put the project back on track. Not quite what I planned for but then it may be better this way since going forward I will likely offload more site duties to these professionals.

After serious brainstorming and consideration, I will try to roll out several real-time trading signals of my core trading systems. Some of them are designed to work with Forex while the others are mainly for Emini S&P and NQ. I am also in the process of setting up trading accounts to track these systems with real money.

Main obstacle right now is choosing the right brokerage and platform for the automation. This process is way more tedious than I thought. Some brokerages that are my preferred choices do not support open platforms working on many brokerages. I need to find a middle ground for which I can trust both the financial stability of the firm and also the technology. Anyhow, the  process itself will be worth documenting along the way because these models are also (almost) the same systems I will trade in my fund.

What I hope for is that in a few months time, definitely within this year, I will automate all my trading, including my usual day trading of the Eminis. I have mentioned this before of my intention to go all mechanical one day for various reasons. This means that I will give myself more time in pursuit of other things.

Big changes coming. I will keep everyone posted.

woman in depression

Lots of things happened this week disrupting my normal schedule, making it difficult to write on the topics I have prepared. So, instead I will just talk about what has happened this week.

First, my website revamp plan on Daytradingbias.com took a big hit when the site designer chose to quit. I was left with a partially completed new site that still takes a lot more work to complete. Hence I have to scramble to find someone else to take on the task. I may as well scrap the partially done design with a completely new one. We’ll see.

Second, a friend from Germany came to Toronto suddenly looking for my late girlfriend. I did not know how to deliver the news to him. Talking about the past is something that still triggers my suppressed emotions. And that this was happening over the Valentine’s week did not help either.

Third, a good friend of mine was served divorce notice by her husband. It is expected all along but choosing this week to deliver the notice is some statement. Talking about evil intentions, this is a prime example how some people’s integrity can be way below average.

Too many things happening at the same time.

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I was very proud of my good eyesight for many years. I am not talking about 20/20 vision here. Several years ago when I was at my early 40s, I still have 20/10 vision. No glasses needed all my life, well, until last year. Upon reflection it is an important event, for me, to share with everyone.

Better My Eyes Were, Worse I Exploited Them

With very good eyesight, I did not follow any advice to protect my eyes at all. I often read in the dark for hours just because I can. I chose to use dim lighting most of the time for the same reason.

I did not protect my eyes from extreme tiredness. Working on computers for many hours without a break was the norm for me.

In short, I exploited my own eyes as if they would never break.

Presbyopia Catches Me Finally

Since second half of last year, suddenly I need reading glasses to read from my computer screen and from reading books or even labels with smaller prints. It happened so suddenly that I was kind of caught completely off guard. In short, Presbyopia, a condition for which deterioration of the ability to see things clearly close to the eyes due to aging, has finally caught me.

The inconvenience caused by Presbyopia is mainly the need of reading glasses everywhere. Originally I thought I do not need them when I went out. Yet, as I try to buy something I often cannot see letters on some of the tiny price tags. When I need to read the description or details on a label for anything, I will have a very hard time putting the item at the right distance to read those damn words.

Blind Spot of Our Minds

According to a friend who is an ophthalmologist (eye surgeon), if I protect my eyes properly, I would be able to keep going without glasses probably for the rest of my life. My exploitations of my eyes led not only to aging them by 10 to 15 years, I also likely damaged some of the muscles supporting the eyes. I have no one else to blame but me.

Seriously, who would have thought of the consequence when they do not have the experience of the inconvenience of Presbyopia in the first place?

Well, I should have. I took so much proud on my ability to manage risk in trading and long term investing for not just myself but also large sum of money from my clients. Yet I do not see this coming.

I know the importance of staying healthy and took the time and measures to keep myself fit. Yet I did nothing to ensure my eyes would function at their best when I need them most, when I am getting old.

This is a blind spot in my mind. Because I did not see the existence of the risk of losing my eyesight, I blocked all the information regarding eye care from entering my mind. This is wilful ignorance.

I am sure there are other areas I have similar trouble.

From now on, I will take care of my eyes. I promise myself at least not to make the situation worse. It is the least I can do to contain the problem.

(Feature Image from Wikimedia Commons)

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We’ve heard about peak oil, peak gold and even peak water events. I like to suggest that peak marketing, or peak social networking, is a near term inevitable event. No kidding here. I seriously think the expected global economic slow down is at least partially affected by this.

 

It Is All the Marketers Fault

One thing that keeps up with the technological revolution all the time in the past 200 years is marketing. Every advancement in technology available to the public has turned into new ways for people and businesses to promote their products and services.

The moment publishing became a reality, we got flyers.

Shortly after the moment radio was invented, marketers figured out how to use the channel to blast out audio advertisements to the public. It works very well back then. However, as people got used to simple statement based advertisement, their effectiveness dropped. Smart marketers improved their ads with sound effects, music and pretty much anything you can think of since.

Whenever a new media form becomes available, the marketers would exploit that.

Whenever the simple delivery methods drop in their effectiveness, the marketers would refine their approaches.

As you can see, it is a never ending cycle of power struggle between the marketers and the public. The marketers try their best to trigger the biggest percentage of responses they want from the public. In response to what the marketers do, the public gets numb over time after every new marketing approach is applied.

Lucky for the marketers up to the present time, technology breakthroughs in introducing new form of media has been on high gear all years. Marketers get to benefit from this a lot as it gets easier and faster to reach more people at lower costs all the time.

As the marketers working hard to grab our attention, they desensitize our reactions to promotional materials. The marketers destroyed our attention span. In a way, it is all the marketers fault making us not interested in anything if the promotional materials could not catch our full attention.

 

Peak Connection Materialized in Social Networks

Until next round of even better technology emerges beyond the current state of computing, social networks have successfully connecting people all over the world in ways we can never imagine in the 20th century and probably maximized the potential of this capability. Even if the potential is not fully tapped, it must be very close to the limit because the best possible scenario is connecting every single person on Earth in some way on the internet.

For majority of people in the civilized world, especially for the younger generation, they are already connected on the net by some measure. Even governments and big companies are encouraging people to do so such that they can off load the cost of hiring more people to service their clients back to the clients themselves through self-serve internet portals. There is really not much more room for more improvement in this area. At least the leaps and bounds we see in the past 10 years will not be possible going onward.

So this is it, we are getting very close to peak connection among all people on Earth. And this is the where the nightmare begins for the marketers. The world has reached at least a short term plateau in distribution channels similar to the way how TV advertising was completely saturated at the end of the 20th century. The upper limit of audience that one can reach on the internet is now well defined.

 

Marketing End Game

All these techniques developed by the leading edge marketers on the internet nowadays are no longer driven by simple hacking or guesswork. Marketers tap into the science of human behaviours, from how we react to certain colours to how normal people focus their eyes on a page, in order to maximize the results they are looking for. The world famous orange colour button Amazon uses on its site is a prime example how much effort is put behind everything we see on the internet today.

Well, such optimized approach to trigger human responses works very well every time a new trick is discovered. But it has led to rapid decline in effectiveness of all marketing techniques as people are trained to ignore these “noises” affecting their normal internet usage. In short, people are evolving as well in the way how they handle visual and audio stimulants.

Unlike the TV era, where advertisements were shown to us one at a time. We are now bombarded by multiple advertisements within one web page almost all the time. Everyone of these marketing efforts contain at least several triggers based on human behaviour to induce us to response to them. We are bathing in these stimulants everyday. No wonder our numbness towards internet based marketing materials has been developing at such an incredible rate.

The numbness in human responses to advertising will be the biggest challenge for the world we are living in today due to the fact that our world is now a consumption driver economy. With less consumption, there will not be enough economic activities to drive the necessary growth to sustain the infrastructure cost of the big governments around the world. Big companies cannot solve this problem by reducing their operating costs only as the slow down in sales growth or real decline in sales can hurt the bottom line much faster.

Peak marketing will likely dampen global economic growth in coming few years.

 

Peak Marketing Until Next Technological Revolution

I am not a doomsayer and I do not believe in those end of the world stuff. This current peak marketing situation will probably be resolved in a way similar to what happened before. When internet was introduced, we did not know that one day, it will become the primary means for people to connect to each other. No one back then can tell how quickly TV no longer dominate the way people spend their time.

For now, internet is likely maturing into its final form and usefulness. It has come a long way from desktop to wireless, and now going mobile everywhere. When a similar disruptive event like the popularization of the internet happens in the future, I am sure marketers will find new ways to grab our attention, and our money, in no time.

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One of the favourite things Chinese people (and now Westerners who somehow love the New Age stuff) is to read about their fortune for the coming year. There is really no harm done if you take this lightly as a fun event. However, the practice itself, for which originated from commercializing the astrology knowledge for profit, has profound negative effects on people who needs real guidance.

The Economic Aspect of Yearly Forecast Books

First thing first, using whatever year a person is born in to map into a 60 year cycle for predictability of personality and other matters is stupid already. It should take no time for any normal person to reject the idea completely. Yet, every year you can find tons of Chinese horoscope yearly forecast books selling on the street starting December. I asked around when I was in Hong Kong to see how good these books are selling. From what I gather, the more depress a year has been, the more forecast books are sold.

I also asked around to see how people usually buy these books. I wonder if they have certain preferences or patterns that I can uncover. It turns out the psychological behaviours and motivations behind the purchases are very interesting.

Some people will always buy the forecast from the same astrologer, until one year the forecast no longer feels right. These people will then purchase an additional forecast book from another famous astrologer to compare the predictions. Eventually, these people would purchase multiple forecast books every year. As I learned, much of the profits for bookstores and newsstands in Hong Kong during December and January are coming from sales of these forecast books.

In general, it is those people who have a pretty bad year (in their own minds) will more likely to start the habit of buying these forecast books. Once they have bought the first one, however, it is very likely that they will buy another one next year. By random, even if the forecast are complete nonsense, there is always 50% chance of these new readers who find the materials meaningful thanks to skilful writing styles. Just like smoking, the big business of these forecast books is the accumulation of long term consumers.

The Psychological Aspect of These Astrology Yearly Forecasts

Those people who had a not so stellar year are always feeling down at the end of the year. It is a reasonable thing. Just like anyone who look around at their friends all hooked up with someone would feel blue themselves, these people will seek for comfort, specifically psychological comfort, by various means. Astrology forecasts are one of these products that serve this huge market.

The problem though, is that those who seek comfort this way is doing this wrong. To get out of a ditch you work your way out, not sitting there crying and do nothing. These forecast books, in a way, jailed these lost souls in the same bad place by giving them false hope. When they hope that things will get better instead of creating the necessary change to make things to better, they are stripped the chance to fight back.

I am not judging whether the Chinese astrologers are doing a bad thing or not. I am sure many people do find encouraging messages from these forecast books for which positive impacts can happen. But that all depends on the original personality of the readers and how they interpret the information which can be very subjective or biased.

If You Do Believe in Astrology …

Then you have to learn that the year you are born in cannot help you to figure out your fortune based on all the known Chinese astrology methods. In other words, those yearly forecast books are not going to help you. All those common methods based on the year you were born that are passed around on people compatibility, romantic compatibility, etc. are all bullshit.

In this aspect, Western astrology actually works a bit better, but only if you at least dividing up the Zodiac from 12 signs into 36 parts for decent precisions.

For Chinese astrology, a proper yearly forecast has to be done with accurate birth date including the time and location. This will usually cost a lot of money as famous Chinese astrologers command a lot of premium on their services. However, if the Chinese astrologer is not a responsible practitioner, you will still not get the precise forecast you are looking for.

A good Chinese astrologer has to analyze your birthdate in detail with lots of questions on your current status so that your actual situation can be mapped out properly based on the specific method in use. After that, the astrologer has to find out the context of your situation as well. What I mean by context is how you get to the current situation over the years. Without knowing that, the astrologer can only provide very general forecast that may or may not be applicable.

Higher Awareness Matters

The so-called forecasts made with astrology methods are forecasts based on patterns. These patterns exist not because there is a divine order for which our future is predetermined. Instead, it is our inability to think clearly, objectively in a calm manner that sent us into making the same mistakes over and over again.

I have seen many people whose higher awareness helped them to break away from the expected path based on astrology analysis. Their higher awareness is learned or trained over time. Many people invest in themselves by getting a professional degree. Some others figured out they need certain skills and went to study in programs to acquire the skills. But, rarely do people realize the most important thing to learn is training your mind so that it can protect you from your own physical body, with all these defects in terms of personality weaknesses and bad habits.

With higher awareness, everything can change, including your fortune.

Stop buying these astrology yearly forecast books can be the start of great fortune already!

Today is the inauguration of the 45th US president. Donald Trump will become the US president for the coming 4 years. Interesting, however, is that the focus in the mainstream media is not about this event. Instead, the top stories are flooded with negative comments, both on Donald Trump himself and how bad his presidency will become, coming from famous people who messed up the world very badly over the past decade.

First I saw on the news, the US congressmen, the infamous bad actors, are “grilling” the nominees of White House important positions. I thought the US Presidential Election already told us what the people of US are thinking. Why are these crowns allowed to have a second say on Donald Trump’s choices? Definitely an interesting way to make sure Donald Trump cannot run the country according to his vision.

Second, the name George Soros went to the top on multiple financial news outlets. Well, Soros being an “activist” and exposed for his “work” in funding all kinds of “unusual” activities worldwide to create chaos, told the press that Donald Trump will fail. Why is Soros so doomy? In my not so humble opinion, I think he is talking his book again. Maybe he is very short and need a outlier-sized pullback in the markets to get out of his troubled positions …

Third, the famous actors and actresses, teamed up with famous Hollywood figures, protested against Donald Trump in front of his Trump International Hotel in New York City. I remember some of these figures said they would emigrant to Canada (or other places). Why are they still there?

Here is a fun comparison of the importance of various things over time according to Google Trends.

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Obviously, Obama is not wanted since 4 years ago (that tiny blip in Nov 2012). On the other hand, Trump is so famous that we did not see a major surge in searching for his name unlike 8 years ago, when Obama was relatively unknown and being elected as POTUS for the first time. But both of them are not important, after all, as people searching on gold consistently beats them both.

And of course, jobs have always been in the mind of the normal people.

But none of the above matters when porn is added to the comparison. I guess it is fair to say sex being a primary human need is far more important than politics or work …

One thing I know for sure – the name Donald Trump will be a front page stable for the coming years whether you like it or not.

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