TLC Weekly Update September 13, 2019

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Another week just fly by so quickly. I don’t even know it is Friday until being reminder to go for an early meeting today. For some mysterious reasons, everything is happening within this month and the next. Maybe it is time to read my horoscope to see what is in store next.

I watched this video about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Gym & Fridge. Interesting how a body builder adapt to old age and stay fit. His way of eating an egg is definitely inspiring.

I have my team working on various versions of the trading strategies featured at DaytradingBias.com. I understand that many people choose their platforms other than TradeStation. As oppose to what many people think, it is much more complicated to convert these mechanical trading strategies into other platforms. The main issue is not the programming factor. Instead, it is the configuration of the underlying charts in each platform are drastically different from each other. Many platforms simply do not have the flexibility to chart the data series in customized ways.

Once we have something ready, I will upload the code and also write in details how to setup the charts correctly in these other platforms.

On the site security front, I am happy that the improved measures have protected the site from being brought down by the hackers so far but the slow down of the site is still causing inconvenience to my members. The security services I am using now are helping us to find the best solution going forward to deal with this remaining issue. I will report on the progress in a month.

This week Toronto is getting warmer suddenly as if it is summer. It was as high as 28 degree Celsius. I wonder if the predicted early arrival of extreme coldness by October will really happen?!

Time to go.

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

How to Cold Shower

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There are many benefits with taking cold shower. I am not going to explain all that here. What I like to do is telling you a way to do it through a process that determination and will power are not needed.

First, if you are a hot shower person, start with ending your shower with “less hot” water for like 30 seconds. It has to be something you can tolerate. No point to make it an unpleasant experience. More on this “tolerance” issue later.

Just by doing this for a week, you would reap a small part of the benefits you get from taking ice cold shower.

Next, dial down the temperature of the water you use in your shower. You do not need to go all the way down to warm water until you are comfortable to do so. And remember to end your shower with water than is cooler. At this point, you can adjust the temperature of the water down quickly every few days.

The goal is to allow yourself to have a shower in just warm water and get yourself used to rinse with cooler water. Eventually you will be able to tolerate ice cold water at the end. It does not take long to do so.

Do not misunderstand that I am against taking hot shower. In fact, hot shower has its place as a way to relax our bodies. So do it occasionally when you really need to.

And there is no point to shower all the way with ice cold water either. I find that some body wash does not rinse well in cold water. So practically, just add 30 seconds to a minute of rinsing yourself in cold water at the end would do the job.

If you have never done cold shower, I can tell you that once you have trained your body to tolerate the coldness, your body would react to the cold water giving you a warmness sensation inside.

I like to point out that everywhere on the net recommends people jump into cold water rinse on day one. This is not a good idea especially for people who have weak immune system or other physical ailments. For young but not healthy people, taking a cold water rinse suddenly may ended up getting sick. For older people, ease into the practice carefully.

TLC Weekly Update August 2, 2019

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I was so exhausted after traveling from Hong Kong back to Toronto that I slept on and off for more than a day before I can get back to my normal schedule excluding exercise. And now that it is Friday, it is my first day of resuming my daily exercise routine. My performance was bad.

What two weeks of non-stop meetings, walking in extreme heat, dining out and significant amount of alcohol can do to me?

Well, upper body strength dropped but I know I will gain it back quickly. Other than that, I do not really feel that bad. It is still too early to tell how long it will take to recover fully.

I guess the worst part of the trip was little to no option to stay away from complex carbohydrates. Every meal I was introduced to try out, with much eager by the inviting parties, has carb as the main ingredient. Exotic ramen, very fancy noodle dishes, you name it, I tried it. The end result is six pounds of fat added to my belly.

I am graceful for the chance to try out all these foods. I enjoyed every moment of having them. Doing this occasionally makes life fun. However, getting back in shape will probably be my priority over the coming few weeks.

Talking about priority, I now have time to get back on track to compile my list of books to read on basic chart reading skills. As I explained before, it is getting more difficult to do so because many of the books I like to include into the list are no longer in print. I am working on adding the alternatives in case you cannot find the ones I recommend.

In the meantime, you can read the series here.

I will get back on track to complete the trading manuals on Emini that I promised my members. It is not an easy task because writing is often a “flow” process that you need your brain to have the big picture in your mind in order to produce content that is coherent with the rest of the book. So I need to read and re-read my manuscripts to pick up from where I left off three weeks ago.

So, catch up time for me and wish you all a great weekend!

FAQ: My Morning Routine

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For some reason people are really obsessed with morning routines lately because all these “successful” people all have their morning routines that help them conquer the world. I get the same question a lot lately so why not share it here.

First, my morning routine follows a pretty fixed structure but the components for each part changes according to my circumstances. I have to adapt to the situation because I have to travel from time to time to look at new investment opportunities and also managing my businesses in other parts of the world. Depending on the amount of time I have before some pre-scheduled activities, I choose among different options to complete my morning routine.

Wash My Face Cold

Where ever I have access to ice or ice cold water, I wash my face with that. And it’s the first thing I do after waking up.

There are many parts of the world where you cannot do that though and washing with normal tape water or even bottle water is all you can do.

But I never wash with warm or hot water.

Simple Stretching

I rotate through different sets of stretching depending on the amount of time I have. So it can go as short as a few minutes or as long as 10 minutes. I may even skip the next step of doing my wake up exercises if I my body is sore from heavy duty training sessions from the day before.

There is one set of stretches I do that came from classic Chinese martial art training. It is a combination of stability, strength and stretch. If I am doing that, I can definitely skip the exercises. I will post a link if I find a video on that.

Wake Up Exercises

A simple combination of doing push ups, leg raises and squats one set each would take less than 5 minutes. I would do that when I have an area to lie down on the ground.

When I have the proper equipment I would do pull ups and other exercises.

This is not full session training. Just a way to wake up the body with the goals of pushing for reasonably higher heart rate and better blood circulation. So using each major muscle group once is enough.

This can go from 5 to 10 minutes depending on the pace and the amount of time I have.

Deep Breathing

The kind of breathing exercise I do varies depending on what I want to achieve for the day.

If I skip the wake up exercise, I would do more types of breathing like rapid abdominal breathing to at least activate the abs.

This takes only a few minutes.

Mind Priming

As oppose to jump into the day to think of what to do and what has to be done, I round up the routine with relax breathing while thinking about things in my life that I am grateful for. It is a very powerful tool that anchor oneself to reality with a positive attitude.

It only takes a few minutes to complete this part too.

This is the last part of my morning routine.

Mind Wandering

When I am not on a tight schedule, I would allow my mind to wander around with new ideas. It may come from reading a book. It can come from reading an article online. It may even happen when I am looking out of my window.

The reason for doing this is that after the morning routine, my mind is at the peak of its clarity from the conditioning. It is the best time for me to figure new things out. Many of my creative ideas from new trading strategies to business planning are coming from this deliberate practice of mind wandering.

End Notes

I complete all these tasks before I sit down for my first sip of coffee.

I do not eat breakfast. My first meal is often my lunch. And my lunch is often done over meetings with my business associates to save time.

If you want to duplicate what I do, remember the following rule:

It is very important to do all of the above except mind wandering to focus on the task you are doing and feel it through your body. Do not think of anything else. You should not be able to think of anything else if you really pay full attention to how your body feels.

The whole purpose of having a morning routine is to condition your body and mind to certain level of higher alertness and calmness so that you can carry out the rest of the day with better decision making which leads to more consistent performance in essentially everything.

Side Notes

Seriously, the routine is essentially the same as practicing traditional Tai Chi correctly for one round. It has all the ingredients choregraphed into its sequence but people rarely realize what they are supposed to accomplish with that. The drawback with doing one complete round of Tai Chi is that it takes more time (30 to 45 minutes) and a lot of space, so one cannot afford to practice that in small place or on a tight schedule.

Ancient people are really smart …

What Supplement I Took to Cure My Seafood Allergy

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So, people want to know what supplement I took to cure my seafood allergy since I wrote about it last time. I did not put that in the blog because it may not be applicable to everyone since it was prescribed to me by the good doctor. However, for the sake of science, I will cover the topic in more details.

First, my seafood allergy is not something I acquire later on in life. No. It was there since I was born. I know because my mother likes seafood and I was allergic to her milk right from the start.

Second, the supplements I took is a combination of vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin E, flax oil and borage oil. Pretty much over the counter stuff you see out there. It is not any special magic formula at all. The most interesting thing though, is that the dosage I took is a lot higher than the recommended daily intake by whatever bullshit standard out there.

Third, the doctor had me taking the supplements for a full month. And he said that I must avoid all allergic reaction during the month or the treatment may not work, meaning that I have to restart the one month treatment after the allergic reactions ended. I was told that once the allergy is cured, there is no need of maintenance of any kind to keep me allergy free from seafood.

On the treatment method itself, I can explain it in the view of traditional Eastern medical practice.

From what I learned when I was young, that for certain types of long term body ailment, Chinese medical doctors often give the patients herbal drugs that mildly damage their bodies to induce self recovery. Moreover, similar to what I was told by this doctor, that if the ailment occurs during the treatment process, the delicate treatment process will have to be done all over again after the ailment is taken care of first.

So the concept is not that difficult to understand. For those who like investigate further, you now know the details.

How My Lifelong Seafood Allergy Was Cured

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I was allergic to certain kinds of seafood. Just some of them like lobsters and shrimps, not all of them. It has been a lifelong issue since I was a baby. Interestingly, I suppose it is now cured. It is a fascinating story to share.

Being allergic to food is not a minor issue. Many people who do not have such problem have all sorts of wrong ideas about it, making the life of those who have it suffer badly. Unluckily, both of my parents are not allergic to food. Just imagine what traditional parents, both Western and Eastern worlds, do when they think that you are just picky with your food but in fact just one bite would send you to hell.

The story of how bad my allergic reactions were can go on and on for many pages which I am going to skip them all for now. The main point is that my allergy is at the serious level for which rashes would flare up almost instantaneously and other symptoms like fever would follow as well. It used to take weeks of heavy dose of anti-allergy drug to suppress the symptoms until they go away.

The turning point is what I like to focus on here.

My friend found a doctor who cured his son’s allergy. And I saw it with my own eyes that indeed his seafood allergy is gone because he was enjoying a feast of seafood with no problem at all. So I determined to get an appointment to meet with this doctor to see if I can fix my allergic issue for good.

I eventually met with this doctor and went through the examination process. He prescribed a set of supplements for me to take over a month period. I faithfully followed the prescription for the month with a few days for which I could not do so when there was schedule issues.

That was more than a month ago.

Yet, I did not have the courage to try some seafood to see if the allergy is gone. It is not that I am afraid of the reactions themselves. What I worried about is that it would keep me in bed for days which would delay the progress of my projects.

Last week, when several projects were finally completely. I have decided to finally take the ultimate test of my treatment. I ate shrimp. There was no rashes, no itchiness and no other issues whatsoever. Since then on other occasions I tried to eat other types of seafood with no ill effects at all.

I am cured. A lifelong medical condition that is supposedly not treatable is now gone for good. Amazing!

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!

Pink Eye

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Right after I arrived home, I knew I caught something on the plane. It was filled with people coughing all the way. Usually, I can withstand this kind of environment and stay healthy. Not this time – started with mild cough and runny nose, and then all of a sudden total outbreak of red eye several days later, I was infected in the eyes. Yeah, pink eye.

The Symptoms

I never had pink eye at very serious level until now.

Note: You can skip the next paragraph if you dislike gross details.

My eyes basically ooze out ugly pus (eye discharge) all night without me knowing. The next morning my eyes are glued together by this yucky stuff. I have no choice but to contact my family physician to ensure the problem is not something life or sight threatening. I went to see the optometrist. She gave me the bad news that I have viral infection in my eyes. The pus, however, is actually good news because my immune system is reacting to the virus and the pus is, exactly like the phlegm one gets in the throat from flu, the resulting product of expelled virus and my body fluid. If my body could not fend off the virus, there would be little or no discharge and the discomfort (including sharp pain) would be worse.

In short, I caught pink eye and it is in a form that I just need to take care of my eyes until the virus is cleansed out.

How It Started

So how did I get the infection? Nope, not the dirty hands or whatever you read from the internet. It is simply the virus gets into my eyes through the breach of the part of sinus connecting to the eyes.

How do I know? It happened right after I blow my nose and blood is found due to the dry condition in Canada.

It took just two hours after that to turn my eyes from clear white into bloody eye.

How to Handle Pink Eye Safely and Comfortably

Here is the good part on how to handle pink eye safely and comfortably. I have done this with my kids before so I know it reduces the discomfort a lot.

To help the eyes recovering faster, we have to flush out those discharge so that they do not scar the eyes and do not damage the sensitive skins around the eyes. To do that, warm water is better than cold water, unlike what majority of things you read out there. Warm water made from boiled water is safest. Add coconut oil to the mixture too as it helps to soften the discharge coming off the eyes.

Remember not to rub the eyes harshly because the mucus actually stick to the skin. Trying to remove them by force can bruise your skin. You have to start with just soaking the eyes with the warm water mixture first. Only until the mucus are dissolving that you move onto using very soft material to clean out the pus.

Once the cleaning is done, use regular eye drops that simulate tears to flush out the hidden mucus. Then clean out the pus again.

Once you are done, you can apply coconut oil all around the eyes to help the skin to recover.

At this point, if the eyes are swollen and in pain, using a cold compress on the eyes will sooth them.

If there is no mucus to deal with, you can keep the eye drops in the refrigerator so that they can sooth your eyes on contact.

An important thing to remember though is that if you have only one eye being infected, you should be extremely careful not to contaminate your other eye by your hands or the environment. One good way is to wash your hands (or using hand sanitizer) often.

To Speed Up the Recovery

Well, drinking lots of water and having enough rest are the two most important things to do to get rid of pink eye.

Since the discharge from the eyes are highly contagious, it is also advisable not to travel around so that you will not infect the others.

Seriously, when your eyes are constantly discharging yucky stuff, it can be quite scary for anyone meeting you face to face.

End Notes

My eyes are getting better. Most of the redness is now gone. Overall I do not have much discomfort from my eyes, just inconvenience.

However, my work schedule is totally disrupted. I managed to response to some email every day but nothing much can be done beyond that when your eyes are not cooperating. I can tell that another catch up race is in the making.

This bout of sickness reminds me to be grateful for having pretty good health overall. I should take good care of my body from now on even when I am traveling. If I were not that confident of my fitness, this round of illness could be totally avoided.

Another good lesson of “pride goes before a fall”.

Flu Got Me, I Got Oregano Oil

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After years of sickness free life, the flu in this season finally got me. The soreness and aches are real, as the battle between my immune system and the flu virus is going on fiercely. Since there is really no cure for flu, I have to tough it out. However, there are ways to reduce the ailments and shorten the recovery time.

To manage the symptoms, the obvious choice is using painkiller like acetaminophen to control the fever and reduce the pain from muscles and bones. For cough related symptoms, however, I find using oregano oil is much better than using the cough syrup from the drug stores.

First, make sure you get at least food grade oregano oil. If you happen to have access to oregano essential oil, it is even better.

Put a few drops (5 to 10) of oregano oil in small amount of water. If it is essential oil, put in 1 to 3 drops to start with because they are way more potent than the regular one. Then mix it hard with a spoon or whatever because you do not want to consume too much of the oil all at once. Some people choose to mix oregano oil with coconut oil instead and that works well too in my experience.

Sip a little of the mixture and keep the liquid under your tongue. This is the fastest way for us to absorb the substance within the oregano oil. The burning sensation will kick in pretty quickly. The experience here is the reason most people will give up the remedy. Hence start with a more diluted liquid and increase the concentration of oregano oil up to a level you can still tolerate.

After 30 seconds or so start letting the liquid to dip down your throat. Oregano oil has anti-inflammation property and the ability to cut through the phlegm. It also helps your throat to recover a bit faster. Aside from its awful taste to some, I think oregano oil is a much better cough control substance comparing to the cough syrup out there because it does not make you drowsy so that you can actually carry out your day like normal if you choose to.

Repeat this process 3 to 4 times a day will keep the coughing under control.

There are other benefits with consuming oregano oil like keeping our appetite up which contributes greatly towards a speedy recovery.

Just a reminder though, to recover from flu, the tried-and-true method of resting a lot and drinking enough water is still the best way to go.

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.