My Attempt on a New Format of Communication: Doing Webinars on Day Trading E-Mini S&P

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The hectic struggle against hacking of DaytradingBias is now over. Thanks to all the parties involved, we managed to contain the problem for the time being. We are still experiencing a moderately high rate of attacks but they no longer affect the normal operation of the site. So life back to normal despite a delay on quite a number of projects.

Catch up time!

I am exploring the possibility of doing webinars on a regular basis. There are times that writing an article on a subject just cannot get the message across. The long form writing that I do, often dig deep into the subject but the distilled information can be hard to understand if the reader does not have the same context in mind. Many topics like certain concepts in trading are very difficult to understand so maybe an interactive format would make it easier.

I asked my team to explore on the technical front of what is necessary to make this happen. We are doing testing right now to see which platform works best. The consideration also includes how to record these sessions so that they can be made available in the future.

First webinar will probably be hosted in June or earlier if the technical issues are taken care of quickly. All of my premium members are invited to join. Tentatively, I will go in-depth explaining how to turn some of the day trading biases I explained before into day trading strategies that fit your particular need. The focus will be on E-Mini S&P as usual since majority of my premium members are Emini day traders.

Don’t worry if you cannot participate in the webinar. The recorded session will be made available to all premium members. The trading strategy codes used in the session will be made available in the download area as well.

It will be an interesting challenge.

See you there!

More Trouble from Hackers

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I spent at least 20 hours this week working with my team to defend DaytradingBias from all kinds of attacks by hacking robots. It is mentally exhausting when we think that we have fended off the hackers already and then another class of attackers swamped the site again. And again.

We ended up using multiple layers of defense to protect the site but even now these bots are still knocking at the door.

Although they failed to hack the site so far (touch wood), they are causing inconvenience to my site members.

These bot attacks overwhelm the server from time to time affecting the normal services provided by the site.

I cannot understand why the bots like my site so much.

Very frustrating but I am still hopeful that we will contain the problem soon.

And for those of you curious like where the hacking bots are coming from …. they come from everywhere. If you guess that the majority of these bots are coming from Russia or China, you are wrong.

DaytradingBias was Brute Force Attacked and Luckily Survived

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Last two weeks DaytradingBias.com experienced multiple incidents of database issues causing the site not reachable at times and also database corruptions. Due to the fact that we were doing major updates to the site, we thought it was probably related to the changes we made. I was forced to restore the site to a backup copy and ended up losing several days of posts and updates. Everything looked normal for a day and then the problem resurfaced again. With help from the hosting company and several experts, we finally realized that DaytradingBias was attacked by a swamp of robots.

It was really our fault – when we’ve decided to update the site about a month ago we found that we need to disable the security plug-in in order to install various new functions into the website. We disabled the security plug-in but then totally forgotten about it because nothing bad happened and we were just very happy with the faster and improved backend. Little did we know the site was being probed on its weaknesses already.

The attack was brutal. Based on the logs, there were like a thousand login attempts per minute at the peak of the attack. Although the site was not hacked, thanks to the basic measures we took originally to protect the site without the security plug-in, but the site was so overwhelmed by the amount of traffic hitting it that it crashed several times. We have no idea back then it was an attack.

I learned something out of this experience. First, the wordpress platform turned out to be one of the most targeted platform by hackers. Second, the hackers are way more sophisticated than last time DaytradingBias was attacked years ago.

It was really luck that DaytradingBias was not compromised this time. Hopefully the security measures we now put on is enough to stop similar attacks from affecting normal operation.

For now, my team can finally take a break. Right on Easter Friday too.

Happy Easter!

Back to Canada

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I came back to Canada last weekend. Lucky that I do not have jet lag since I had to jump on top of several issues that night I landed. Been ultra busy since to catch up with so many things. At 2 am Saturday, this is the first moment I have some quietness to sit down and reflect on my experience from the trip.

What I Did in Asia

For majority of people travelling to Asia from North America during the year end holiday season, they are taking a vacation break. For me, it was essentially 12 hours work day pretty much everyday since the first day my flight landed in Hong Kong. Those exceptions are taking a detour to Singapore and other destinations, attended a wedding and had a special medical check-up.

Outside of trading, I invest in start-ups and do deals that interest me. Many people want to meet with me to see if there is any business opportunities. Others are looking for macro level financial advice from someone who is well connected and really know what is going on around the world. And occasionally, there are others with special reasons that have very interesting stories worth telling when I get the chance.

Going to Singapore to meet with several DaytradingBias.com members was the highlight of the trip. Very happy to see some new faces and those I met with the year before. It is nice to get to know you all better in person!

The Dilemma of Hong Kong

Hong Kong is in a very difficult position now than ever.

The unaffordability of living spaces for the middle to lower income families continue to get worse. Imagine how difficult it is to live in the city when the lower bound of around $18,000 HKD per month for a tiny 200 to 300 sq. ft. apartment in an average location. The same amount of money in Canadian Dollar is about $3,000 which can get you a decent space in a good location for a 1,800 sq. ft. condominium or an even bigger town house. Such compression of available living space has squeezed the life out of the people in Hong Kong. The so called middle class is now long gone.

Yet Hong Kong is still ranking as one of the top cities in the world for business opportunities. However these opportunities may not be accessible easily to those who are struggling at the bottom. Hong Kong is still a good playground for people who has the right connections and the necessary capital.

Everyone there seems to be more sensitive to opportunities in making money than anywhere else I have visited on Earth.

YouTube

I did a pro bono presentation titled “Investment Outlook 2019 according to STOPD” in Hong Kong at the Rotary Club of Kowloon Tong meeting on Jan 7th. It lasts about 2 hours and I did a powerpoint presentation for the event. The participants tried to capture the session in video. However, the voice recording was not as good as we hope for. Lessons learned from the experience and next time I will use a mic for direct recording separately.

The presentation was done in Cantonese so not everyone can understand it. If you want to watch the video (it is just me talking without the powerpoint slides), follow this link.

I am having the powerpoint presentation redesigned for YouTube. Once it is ready it will be uploaded. I will write a short article to explain some of the slides that may not be self explanatory.

If this approach works out well, I will try to do more videos in the future.

Planning Ahead

I have a line up of projects to be completed this first quarter. Talking about being busy in Asia, that was mainly meetings and brainstorming sessions. Here, back home, it is actual work to be done.

The 2nd edition of Trading Success Blueprint was ready …. until it is not. The trouble with the file format issue (Thanks Microsoft!) set me back couple of weeks until the pictures in the manual are restored back to the correct places within the manual. It will be done eventually.

Trading account applications that I thought was taken care of before I leave for Asia turned out to be half done. There is no mistake on my part, just that the brokerage side somehow were in party mode by the end of the year and failed to handle the matters properly. More waiting on this front.

The last pair of VIX based real-time trading signals / day trading strategies will be released for Emini S&P. This is under testing in real-time. So far so good, everything looks on track.

The manual that I expected to publish on these VIX based trading strategies is now going to be split into two manuals as suggested by one of the early readers. I am convinced because he actually did the split up for me and showed me that I was mixing up two different things into one. Namely, there is about 100 to 150 pages of manuscript written on day trading strategy design and principles that has nothing to do with the VIX trading methodology. He suggested that I turn that part into an independent volume with day trading strategies illustrating how it is done with just price data alone.

I think it is a great idea. So back to the drawing board and more work to be done. The good thing is, this additional manual will definitely resolve many issues for traders and giving them a head start in the day trading game. I will make sure it becomes an important trading manual for all Emini traders.

Good to be Home

I was asked how can I take on so many projects at the same time. Well, first, I am not doing all these things by myself. There are many others helping me out making all these things possible.

During the trip, my exercise regime is disrupted and my diet is not optimal to say the least. And I was loaded up with coffee throughout the day making me hyper (as evident in the presentation video). I just slowly re-introduce myself back into my rigorous routines since I have several goals related to health and physical fitness that I like to achieve. Will write about this front when I get the time.

I thought I would have time during the trip to post something. I ended up taking notes that filled one whole notebook with no time to spare. Interesting experience to pick up the pace and doing as much as I can with limited amount of time.

Feels great to be home.

For those of you who celebrate the season, Happy Chinese New Year!

So Many Things Finally Done, So Many More Things to Get Done

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Last few months has been the most productive ones over the past two years. So many projects that have been stuck were finally completed. What a relief!

For one, my book The Art of Chart Reading is now finally published at Amazon. Thanks to everyone who support the book this week, I am proud to announce that, as of this Friday, it is the Top #1 book at Amazon in Investing and Investing Basic categories and also being one of Top 20 Nonfiction books. It is a great start for the book.

The paperback version of the book is still being worked on. If all goes well, the paperback edition will be available by end of this month.

And the site The Art of Chart Reading Online is also in development. It will take a lot more to make it good for the purpose I envisioned.

On DaytradingBias.com side, the move to the new direction has finally started. It was planned at least a year ago but almost everything that could go wrong, did. Although the process has started, it is not even half way through.

It is great that the Trading Success Blueprint is finally completed. It is the grand summary of my knowledge and experience in mentoring traders over the past 20 years. From now on, I have a reference that I can point aspiring traders to if they want to build a trading career the right way.

Yet, the trading signals and trading tools that I have planned to release have been delayed for so long. I could not just roll them out without proper testing. Due to the frequencies of these trading strategies, they do not happen everyday. I need to make sure they are working correctly. It is not only necessary. It is a responsibility as well since people will put money on the line based on these tools. Thus, I have to be patient and get them ready one by one.

On money management side, the process of fully automating the trading has started too. However, it was the most eventful two months we have seen in a long time. Be that North Korea related matters, or all these explosive news about Trump, they swing the markets hard. All these happening while I am manually testing these strategies. It is a huge challenge for someone like me because I created these trading models.

The golden rule of mechanical trading is to follow the rules exactly. But being the creator of the models made me want to override them. After the fact, my interventions worked 9 out of 10 times. But the 10th time is a disaster. In short, if I had followed the rules completely, the performance will be about the same as what I have now. Being 20% better with all the crazy maneuvers is not worth it.

Again, a lot more to do to complete the transition.

oh well, challenges make life interesting.

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

Better Time Management, Back to Content Curation and the Big Secret Projects

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Over the past several weeks, I have reorganized many things that I do into tasks delegated to either my team or contracted outside companies. The goal is to further reduce the amount of time I spend on managing the websites and day to day responsibilities in running these sites and services. I think I have achieve the milestone of taking back my time finally where I can focus more on what I deem most important going forward.

Part of this saved time will allow me to restart the content curation for Essence of Trading. Many of you enjoy the videos and product reviews I did in the past. They are precious resources of all traders and especially true for beginner traders. Now that I have some time on hand, I will be able to add new content and finding ways to better organize the site for future expansion. I am doing this also because of its practical purpose. Seriously, I don’t think I can ever write enough on the subject of trading and managing one’s trading business. Having the site dedicated to providing useful information for traders makes it much easier for me to point the aspiring traders to a centralized resource.

Here is the first new video for a long time.

This gets me thinking. Maybe the academia links I used to provide in the Daytradingbias user forum should be moved here too. After all, those are very valuable trading related research too. Will see what I am going to do with this soon.

Many readers and friends have been asking why there has been nearly no new posts on DaytradingBias but mainly the monthly newsletter and special updates. Well, I am not lazy and let the site goes autonomous. What happened is something quite interesting that has taken a life on its own.

I was writing a whole set of articles on trading Emini / SPY and forex some two years ago. And things were going very well. They were written with focus around two main themes – fully mechanical trading models based on a framework and long term consistency in trading performance. One way or another, as the work keep expanding, the articles turned into two organized projects that is way beyond just articles to be published on the site.

Part of this project is now in experiment for live trading which formed the foundation of my re-organized trading service for my clients. This firm focuses on providing long term stable return that is built on short term consistency in trading performance. I am very excited with the potential.

These two projects are still under development. Most likely I will release them in some form of training course or webinar. Lots of work still before I can release them but I know they will change the landscape in trading training forever.

Server Maintenance This Weekend Aug 12

Last week this site was down due to hosting company had a problem with their data centre in the East Coast. I could not even post onto the site. I still find the access to the site not stable but it is in the hands of the hosting company so all I can do is hope for the best that they will resolve the problem completely soon.

We are going to conduct server maintenance on DaytradingBias.com backend servers. It should not affect the website access. If anything, it will be slow down on weekend updates.

Lots of things going on in the background and I will be able to show something interesting soon if all goes well.

Have a nice weekend all!

Trading Product Reviews Have a New Home

The moving of the trading product reviews from DaytradingBias.com to EssenceofTrading.com is now completed. It took a while because the rating system has to be replaced and the formatting of the posts have to be manually revised. Anyway it is now done so we are going to proceed with the next step of the revision process.

Major changes to the front page will be next as we remove all the sections there that are retired from the site. The clean up has been a slow and painful process since the site was built some 10 years ago and has been evolving on the same older platform since. Upgrading the site into something more mobile friend should improve the overall usability going forward.

For more advanced searching options on the trading product reviews, they will be addressed separately.

Completion of Moving Content

I expect that by the end of next week all contents unrelated to the core businesses of DaytradingBias.com will be moved to the proper websites. The slowest part are the reviews as the ratings have to be reconstructed manually and we do have a lot of reviews done. Once the moving is completed, I plan to write more reviews too so getting this migration done correct is very important for me.

The news section will be dropped as social media like tweeter is doing a better job from actual experience.

Front page and main menu will be revised soon to reflect the all these changes.

I am still waiting for the overall theme redesign to be done so that DaytradingBias finally becoming mobile friendly.

Things are progressing slowly but definitely getting close to what I envisioned two years ago.

Have a nice weekend everyone!