Feeling Stupid

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We were working on a computer with Multicharts to test our trading models on a live trading account this morning. But we were stuck at the very first step. We just couldn’t get the damn thing to connect to CQG for some mysterious reason. My team freaked out as that computer was completely clean installed for just this purpose. And it was working perfectly several months ago. Once we have it working we never look at it again until now.

So WTF gone wrong?

I was told that it was not working earlier in the morning so I simply asked my team to figure it out. I thought it must be something trivial and told them so.

The first thing they tried was looking for help. My team talked to technical support with the brokerage. They recommended us to turn off the firewall, opening ports with our routers and even turning off our anti-virus program. All things were done. Nothing helped.

My team were so desperate that they literally tweaked everything they could before talking to me again that they could not fix the problem.

I then joined them walking through everything they had done so far.

Something did not feel right though … and I popped the question,

“Is everything up-to-date?”

Shockingly, that damn Multicharts installed on the computer was on version 9.1 BETA.

I asked my team to check with the brokerage again to make sure that version still works. Of course, it is not and the currently supported version is version 10. My team waited anxiously over the next few moments for the download to complete and rushed to do the installation.

Voila! Problem solved.

What a reminder of overthinking and missing the most basic things by a group of accomplished programmers and engineers. Not just them, same goes for the support with the brokerage.

If I were the first person handling the situation, I would probably do the same whole routines of messing with the computer and the network. Lucky me that I was the one who sit out of the diagnosis process and got to join them later with a fresh look. Otherwise we would still be struggling at this point.

At the end, everyone has a laugh though.

Taking Supplement or Not

Assorted pills

It is very interesting how divided people are in terms of taking health related supplements. Many older people hold the belief that these supplements are just snake oil that the big companies created to grab more money from gullible people. Some other people, especially those whose health are compromised, keep on seeking for better supplements to relief their pains, insomnia and other ailments. The big question boils down to one thing though – are you knowledgeable enough to make the right decision for yourself whether you need supplement or not.

Many Supplements Actually Work

Many classic supplements, especially the ones made with natural ingredients, work. And most of us actually eat them in one form or another. The very flavourful soup you drank when you were young, the traditional fermented food from your home country and those special cocktail of stuff in your herbal tea for treating your cold are all functional supplements, in a way. The old ways in making these digestible stuff to augment our health still work but it takes time and lots of effort to prepare them. Technology and medical science has taken on these tasks, resulting in readily available forms of these supplements.

However, we have a new issue to deal with as it gets much easier to access to these health supplements. Namely, there are so many kinds of supplements and so many brands to choose from. It is very difficult to figure out which one to take and what is actually suitable for your situation.

Everyone Needs Some Form of Supplements to Stay Healthy

Once a person has reached their prime of 30 years old, the ability to absorb nutrients declines. This belief comes straight from traditional Chinese medicine and is confirmed by Western medical science with better details. This very simple fact contributes a lot to the aging process. Think about this. When you cannot absorb the same quantity of nutrients from the same amount of food you eat, you are starving your body from what is needed to maintain it in top healthy state. Slowly, the deficiency in certain types of essential nutrients will cause sickness in you without you knowing. It is exactly like the story of boiling a frog.

One good example is vitamin D deficiency which was told to me by a nurse managing research cases on patients with long term illnesses. Tons of people living in Canada and other regions of the world where sunlight is not there for the better half of each year rarely get enough vitamin D. Worse yet, as one ages, the ability to absorb sunlight to convert that into vitamin D declines quickly. It takes an elderly much longer time under the sun to get the same benefit like a young adult. One can eat to get enough vitamin D but one has to be aware of the issue in the first place to make sure their diets taking care of that.

The surprising issue with long term mild vitamin D deficiency is feeling depressed. When someone feels down they tend to stay home which in turn further reduce their exposure to sunlight that is essential in generating vitamin D themselves through their skin. Another form of the mild depressed state is the increase in anxiety. I can keep on going of the problems one will get from this one simple issue which can take forever to write. The main point is that we can become very ill from causes we are not aware of, even though you may consider yourself having a relatively healthy lifestyle.

To help patients with long term illnesses that keep them bed ridden, vitamin D is often prescribed now to keep these patients out of mood swings and improve their recovery speed. It works wonder and the approach is adopted in many places in the world.

But if you can keep yourself healthy in the first place by taking vitamin D supplement, why not?

Know Yourself for Real

People often take supplements when they feel something is not right with their bodies. Other times, it is recommended by the family physician after regular body check up. One common recommendation by physicians is taking calcium supplement for women that are 40 years or older as a preventive measure. But can you do more to help yourself?

In fact, yes you can figure things out before it gets to the point it is affecting your health. You can ask for comprehensive checking on your blood profile on both essential nutrients and hormone levels. In Canada, such tests can be ordered by our family physician without extra costs. In many other countries, it will cost you but I think it is well worth it.

One reason why supplements are getting so many bad reps is that people are taking them based on observed symptoms. But many symptoms are common among many kinds of ailments you may be having. In other words, you are guessing what your actually underlying issue is without the proper scientific background nor the complete picture of the situation like having your blood profile on hand. Your pick of supplements will likely be whatever last pop science article or video suggested instead of well informed decision.

So, in fact you can use trial and error method until you find the supplements you need. It takes a long time to get the right combination. Just be patient and learn to study yourself by recording how you feel over time so that you can eventually figure out what you need.

Or, you can use the more scientific approach with blood profile and other biometric measures (i.e. blood pressure, oxygen concentration level, etc.) to see what you need and target those deficiencies right from the beginning.

Personal Preference

I prefer taking supplements that are basically food over the highly refined pills coming from these brand names that have very expensive price tags. It is not because I do not believe that they work. In fact, I know many of these brands work very well. The main concern is that from my background in Chinese medicine, I know these highly concentrated dose of nutrients or stimulants would overdrive the liver (not just the liver as in Western medical science, I am talking about the liver system as in Chinese medicine) over time. In other words, continuous usage of such supplements may eventually cause your liver problems years down the road as suggested by Chinese medicine theories. Again, it is just my personal opinion so if you do not agree to what I say here, move on.

I treat taking supplements similar to taking medicines for sickness with same kind of care. I make such I know what I put into my body but I am also willing to experiment with different supplements to see the effects first hand. Sometimes things just do not workout the way I expected. I certainty hope that whatever I am doing now can help me staying fit and active by the time I am at my 80s.

If you are getting to middle age or older like me, and interested in maintaining good health in years to come. It may be the right time now to educate yourself about health supplements so that you can make informed decisions yourself. In this era of chronic diseases everywhere, safe guarding our health is a challenge we should all take very seriously.

Week Long Reconstruction of Sites

We are getting ready to tidy up daytradingbias.com by removing the rest of the parts not fitting with the future design. There will be many changes coming and can from time to time affecting the look at feel of the site. Do not be alarmed as that will not affect the access to the content.

Remaining obstacles include user forum not mobile friendly and that many supportive tools used on the site are now out-dated and obsolete. I am sure these will be taken care of too.

Enjoy the weekend!

Breathe: Do You Know How?

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We all breathe but it is rare that people are breathing correctly. The difference is clear and the impact on health and mental clarity is very significant. Yet, no one spend time to talk about it at all. Well, for one, talking about basic of the basics generate no buzz. So, here it is on how to breathe right.

Most people breath by simply relaxing their chest hence air flow in. Naturally, you will let the air out as your brain detected signals from your lungs that the oxygen intake is used up. Yep, your brains and bodies are doing that with every single breathe you take. But there is a problem with that, you are using just 25-30% of your lung capacity on each breathe. You are providing bare minimal supply of oxygen to your brain and your body.

By practicing the following simple breathing exercise for 2 weeks, you will reprogram your body and your mind to increase the average air intake to at least 45%-60% of your lung capacity. Do not underestimate this change – we are talking about 100% increase or even more in terms of air intake volume, or oxygen supply going into your body. This does wonders to your health. If your daily activities include a lot of mental work (e.g. having a desk job), you will see marked improvements in your ability to concentrate as well.

1. Preferred to lie down somewhere. If you are doing this first thing you open your eyes, you are already on the bed. Try not to do this when you are going to sleep because it can make you more awake thus delaying your bed time.

2. Breathe in by pushing your stomach/ tummy out first until it reaches 70% to 80% from the maximum you can do when pushing hard.

3. Then expand your chest to continue the breathe in process until your chest is at least 60% to 80% from the maximum you can do with expanding your chest from breathing in.

4. Relax and let the air out slowly. If you can control it to take as long as the breathe in time, it is a bonus.

5. Repeat the breathing for at least 30 times.

Remember your lungs and the muscles surrounding it are just like the rest of your body. They can be trained to become stronger and more flexible. The breathing exercise above will strengthen your respiratory system and teach your brain to breathe like this method when you are not practicing it deliberately. The more you do it, the faster it will become a natural part of you.

Note: I was talking to my son the other day that I suddenly remember this is actually one of the fundamental breathing work that one has to learn before doing all the more complex ones. I guess we all tend to forget about things that is already a part of yourself.

June 2017 Site Revision Progress

I have decided to move the review section of trading books and trading related stuff to the Essence site. However, we have encountered a problem that the review ratings done on DaytradingBias cannot be moved due to the plugin that produces the ratings no longer exist. I am still trying to find a solution to that.

Another consideration is that I will retire the site news section as we look at the traffic stats we find out the posts there are not read at all. So there is really no point to clutter the site with too many posts.

My team has completed the protection work on art of chart reading articles so that only premium members can read them from now on. This will satisfy the requirements from several ebook publishing outlets as we are getting close to publish the book.

Our prototypes of the new trading signals are working fine. The only worry is that the internet stability is not as robust as I like. I guess eventually I have to use a data center in the States to run the signal servers. I have asked my team to evaluate which data centre to try out. And no need to worry if you are thinking of the disaster we experienced quite some time ago that the move totally failed. The new servers will just produce the new trading signals. The existing ones will still be running off our servers here in Canada until we know it is safe to move anything over.

More work to get done.

Have a nice weekend all!

The Two Things That Keep Toronto Housing Market Messed Up

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The news is in – there are 15,000 to 28,000 homes in Toronto that are sitting empty. The real estate industry downplayed this as just 2 to 4 percent of all housing units, as if that cannot affect the housing prices and supply at all. They are wrong.

First, we have to understand that many of these houses are investment with no plan whatsoever to rent the units out. There are special investors unlike the classic ones who want to put their capital to work. These special investors are parking money on these properties just because they need a safer investment vehicle than keeping cash in the bank. By the way, keeping a lot of money in the bank is not safe.

So the suggestion of putting a vacant-home tax on these empty houses will not improve the supply of rental units that much. At least not as effective as what many people believe. The reason is exactly what I wrote earlier that there is a new class of housing investors who do not behave the same way like the ones that we are familiar with. This class of investors will simply choose to ditch their investments in housing and switch to something else. Hence, we may see a drop in average purchase price but not improvement in rental unit supply.

Case in point – the so-called foreigner tax on properties has already been neutralized by accounting tricks in Vancouver. I guess the same fate on foreigner tax will happen in Toronto quickly.

Lesson learned from foreigner tax? Negative incentive (i.e. punishment driven taxes) seldom works.

Further complicating the situation, many smart investors are now converting their investments into AirBnB instead of the traditional long term rental because of the significant increase in potential income. In additional, the rental units operated as AirBnB can be sold quickly with no troublesome issues of long term contracted tenants. Hence, local people seeking for long term rental units are facing a near static pool of supply even though there are new condos built everywhere.

The government has to think of more novel ways to resolve the housing supply problem.

To start, they need to factor in the two new dynamics I mentioned above that changed the housing market behaviour so that the correct solutions can be found. Otherwise, people can no longer choose to rent or buy their homes because there will be next to none new supply of rental units. When everyone is being forced to buy their living places, the housing prices will never stabilize. The long term economic impact will also be very bad when labour mobility is greatly reduced.

Personally, I can think of several ways to tackle this problem but it will not be welcome by majority of the people living in Greater Toronto Area as the balance of renters and home buyers is now completely messed up.

For example, introducing positive incentive policies to get people to consider offering their housing units for long term rental can be very effective. It can be as simple as first time landlords offering long term rental units can keep their gain tax free the first 5 years. This encourages more people to consider doing long term rental instead of the more entrepreneur AirBnb option. We cannot force investors to do something they do no want to do but incentives can get people to think twice before going for the AirBnb route.

Policy of this type, however, is almost always objected by the NDP party because “it helps the rich”. So whatever I suggested here is, yet again, babble for my own amusement.

 

Resource

http://www.metronews.ca/news/toronto/2017/06/12/in-housing-crunch-15000-to-28000-toronto-are-empty.html

Double Whammy: Two Credit Cards of Mine Hacked

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Don’t know what to say when I was called this morning from the bank that one of my credit cards is compromised. I was told that the card is disabled and a new card will be sent to me in a few days. I thought that was no big deal because it has happened to me several years ago. Credit card information being stolen is just part of life when everything are paid with credit cards these days.

I was kept on the phone to verify every transactions happened lately whether each of them were legitimate purchases I made. It took couple of hours over the phone to get things cleared up. I thought the trouble was over until I checked online to see which credit card of mine can be used in place of the one that was compromised.

Crazy as it may seems, I found another credit card of mine has quite a number of Uber charges that I do not recognize. Within moments I realized that this other credit card was hacked as well. After another round of marathon phone calls to handle the situation, most of my day was used up already.

This is so frustrating. I have no idea how my credit card information were stolen. I do not visit questionable websites. My computer is clean from malwares. I shop at normal places. It is something I like to dig deeper to see if I can prevent this from happening in the future.

For now, I am keeping my fingers crossed that the credit card thieves / hackers will spare me for a long long time.

Server Maintenance This Weekend

Due to server failure earlier this week, we have been running everything off a backup server. This weekend we will move things onto a new server we’ve received today. The weekly update could be delayed by several hours.

I do not expect any major problems from this hardware replacement routine.

Trading Related Videos Have a New Home

I have moved the trading related videos to Essence of Trading from DaytradingBias.

This completed another part of the streamlining of the content within the daytradingbias website.

Although the videos are moved to Essence of Trading, the function to browse by the specific topics related to trading is not ready yet.

We will take care of that as soon as possible.

Have a nice weekend all!

Short Term Schedule Change

Due to unforeseen issues, I have to handle several things out town until end of next week.

I will try to post if the internet connection is functional at where I am heading.

I am quite sure I cannot trade during this trip but I will still post my pre-open thoughts in real-time commentary as long as I have internet access.

Must get packing now.

Have a good one!