TLC Weekly Update July 3, 2020

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Today is a US market holiday making this a long weekend for me. Many of my friends in Toronto find it odd that I rarely take a break on Canada Day (July 1st) while enjoying my time the weekend after. Well, they are not aware of my trading mainly deal with US markets so my holiday schedule is really the American one.

Just heard the latest podcast Tim Ferriss Show with Hugh Jackman this time. A very interesting podcast packed with a lot of details that is never disclosed before. Tim Ferriss did an amazing job getting his guest to spill his guts. Enjoy the show if you have 2 hours to kill. And in case you prefer to listen to it on Youtube, here is the link for that.

A short clip with Ray Dalio summing up perfectly the kind of financial markets we are dealing with. It is difficult environment to navigate if you do not have a big picture understanding of what is going on. Mr. Dalio summary can help you pay attention to what matters most at this point in the economic cycle.

Long weekend is often a good time to reflect and contemplate what to do next. Many people tend to imagine too much and try too hard to develop a plan that they can never follow. I am a true believer in the accumulation of results. Or as Steve Jobs’ famous speech put it, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

Dive deep into one subject or topic at a time and do your best to learn as much as you can is a very empowering experience. Don’t tell yourself you are “trying to learn as much as you can”. That framing of “to try on something” already put you in a state of not learning, or, in a state of rejecting whatever coming out of the experience. Words have power and programming yourself with the wrong words have consequence.

For those of you struggling with trading over the past few months, maybe it is time to dig deep and refine your skills related to trading. 10% better in one area within a month may not do much. But after getting better by 10% (or more) in several areas of your trading can be a game changer to your overall performance. There is always room for more improvement in our line of business, and in life too.

Have a great long weekend all!

TLC Weekly Update April 17, 2020

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An article on how these ancient computer systems are still in use today by the governments that leads to the mess we are seeing during this crisis. I know about this all along as I have friends who are expert in these old programming languages that are very well paid to maintain these systems. The sad thing is that transition to more modern computer technology is not likely because it implies automatically obsolete the existing management teams …

On YouTube Bloomberg channel there is a good video talking with Ray Dalio on his take on the current situation. I find his objective reasoning still as sharp, that the Fed has no choice but to choose who to save, and as an investor you have the choice to choose to invest based on that information. In other words, don’t mess with the Fed until they blow up.

DaytradingBias is undergoing major server upgrade these few weeks. After that we will also update the site itself again, this time to comply with the Google transition to so-called secure internet connection. All these will be done with the hope that users access will not be affected significantly.

After the hardware upgrade I will release my video lessons on the site. It should be good enough to handle the load by then.

Many people email me asking how the stock market keeps going higher as they see more and more people are out of work. Well, remember that the stock market by design is not a tool to reflect the true value of anything. During time of high uncertainty, the expectations of the future by the investors will not be as united as in stable time. And that creates extreme swings as people of opposite opinions duel it out.

It is really not the time to think about investing. All the major players I know of have stopped all their near term investment projects. Deals that are in the middle of negotiation are all dropped. All savvy investors are sitting this out until we have clarity. That’s common sense.

While I am waiting for the server upgrade this weekend, I will work on more video lessons.

Have a great weekend everyone!

TLC Weekly Update April 10, 2020

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Easter Friday is a US market holiday. So, here I am taking my time to write this while drinking my morning coffee.

Another week of extreme market actions with US Federal Reserve going all-in with yet one more $2.3 Trillion bailout program on Thursday. We all know the claim that it is done to support the small and mid-sized businesses is just a lie. I don’t even want to guess which pockets those money will go into.

This is the fun part in watching all these news over the years on all these b.s. government aids claiming to do whatever for the economy. The money almost always ended up in the hands of those not targeted by these programs. It happens every single time. People choose to not vote for a reason – after years of disappointment in the actions of the politicians.

Can you blame them?

But US Federal Reserve governors and chairman are not even elected by the people …

I am asked about my view of the stock market. I have been bearish all along as I know the outbreak is something we cannot foretell if it is over. In addition, the end of the outbreak solves nothing. However, given the way Fed did what they did this week, I am guessing they are using the same 2019 playbook they did to print the market higher with the hope that people will turn into buyers again buying on all weaknesses.

It may not work this time, because all the stock market did was just 20% correction from year 2019 close. It is not even remotely corrected enough. That tells you how freak out the Fed really is. Remember baby boomers are not going to buy stocks from here. They are net sellers since year 2018. And the younger generations have no money in general, let alone investing in the stock market. The year 2019 run was hot-air created by the Fed and now that illusion is all gone.

The one nightmare the Fed trying to avoid is the redemption of index ETFs, once that started, it will not end well because it will exaggerate the declines that not even the Fed can put a brake on. Well, maybe they can if they start buying the stocks off the retirees now.

Switching to a happier topic here. No point grinding on doom and gloom.

Here is an article about college students constructing their colleges in the virtual world of Minecraft. Everything in scale and they even add special mods to Minecraft so that everything looks like the real things!

I am getting close to release my video lessons for TSB and ESDTC. The illustrations are taking more time to do as I am doing it myself. I used to sketch them by hand and then my staff will turn them into nice graphics magically. Well, good use of time though as we are all stuck at home until the lock-down is over.

Happy Easter!

TLC Weekly Update March 6, 2020

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I spent significantly more time with the market this week due to the wild moves all week. My automated trading models all have built-in filter to avoid trading in such high volatility environment so nothing much happened there. Engage in manual trading was fun riding all these 50 to 100 points moves.

I came across this video on How to Control Your Negative Thoughts. If you want to achieve anything in life but you are stuck right now, watch it. I can’t explain the subject and the concepts better than this guy.

If you have not watch Tim Ferriss on Mastery: Start with End Game and Make Space for Creativity before, do it. You may not get the message first time around though, perhaps it is not the right time for you yet. In that case bookmark the video and watch it again in the future when you need to shake things up in your life.

Workload still on the high side due to sudden need to assist my friends on several business deals. In turbulent time like this, looking out for friends and family is of high priority.

Have a great weekend all!

TLC Weekly Update February 28, 2020

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I saw so many articles and news media quoting brokers that “they have never seen anything like that”, referring to the 500 points drop in Dow over last 45 minutes trading on Thursday. That is just absurd. I remember that it was no big deal back in 2008-2009. It was also nothing comparing to year 2000 dotcom bubble burst. People really have a short memory of these things …

Here is an interesting read about Magnus Carlsen, the best chess player alive, who groove around internet chess websites for fun and excitement.

A good video summing up the COVID-19 situation, watch it so that you are properly informed.

The CORVID-19 is spreading all over the globe. If your community is a high risk area, make sure you keep up with your personal hygiene routines so that you can minimize your chance of contracting the diseases. I was asked by some friends wondering if there is any Chinese herbal medicine can help in terms of prevention. There is really no magic solution so don’t fall for any scam out there.

I am experimenting with making videos myself instead of having someone else handle that. Sometimes the idea is so simple, like I am just trying to show a clip of my trading strategies working in real-time, it is much easier to assemble the video quickly and have it uploaded.

Stay safe and have a great weekend everyone!

TLC Weekly Update October 11, 2019

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Lack of sleep is definitely a problem this week. So many things have to be taken care of, yet I do not always know exactly what to do with them. Taking on new challenges is fun this way.

Squeezed some time to download the daily statements for Big Game Hunter ES reference account over the past two months this week. Monthly performance summary should be updated already for everyone who like to track the performance of this automated trading strategy. When I get the chance I will follow up in my article series on auto trading what I think about the performance of the strategy so far.

In order to free up space in my office, I have to somehow go through many old stuff and boxes I never open since they were packed several years ago. Threw away a lot of garbage so far but I managed to find quite a number of interesting items, including something nostalgic like the Signal FM box that I used for trading almost 30 years ago.

For those who are too young to know what I am talking about – eSignal used to be Signal and the real-time data were streamed through FM radio frequencies and cable channels.

I wonder if eSignal still support this kind of broadcasting service …

I came across this interesting video and its article version titled The Toolbox Fallacy. It is a great reminder to all those who failed to accomplish what they desire yet keep on giving themselves excuses, that it is very important not to make yourself stuck in a loop of needing yet another tool before you will actually get something done.

BTW, due to scheduling issue, my intro webinar at futures.io will be delayed to November. I will post about the new date once I get it.

TLC Weekly Update September 6, 2019

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Another busy week came to an end. Meetings piled on everyday. I don’t even have time to write until now, Saturday morning. It was an exciting week that produced many great results. I am very happy that several deals are finally completed so that I do not need to worry about them any more.

Another interesting development with DaytradingBias.com was brought to my attention by my team. They told me for some mysterious reasons, the site is gaining huge in Alexa ranking. Alexa ranking is one of the major ranking services on the net that determine the level of traffic a website comparing to all the other ones in the world.

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Since I have not instructed anyone doing any SEO (search engine optimization) or any significant promotion, I have no idea why the site is gaining so much attention. It is nice to see that more people are aware of what I do though.

I read this article on Extreme Experience recently and leads me to reflect on my own experiences in life. Indeed, the ones I can still recall vividly are the ones that produced the most extreme emotions. And they do shape my life much more than those experience that is supposed to be more significant yet has no extreme emotions occurred at the time.

I wonder how I can utilize this knowledge to better shape my life in the future?

I was asked many times this week, as I have to talk to many people who do not know me, about myself career-wise. It is a very long story and just talking about how I started trading already open up a lot more interest of the rest of the story. Maybe I should starting writing a memoir … nah, this can wait.

More catch up this weekend has to get started.

Have a wonderful weekend all!

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 …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Single Most Effective Way to Weight Loss

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

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

What’s Underneath the Overweight Symptom Matters

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

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

Really?

Trick Your Brain with Healthy Filler

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

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

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

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

Is there anything like that out there?

Yes!

The Cheapest Solution to Weight Loss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is Always a Catch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eat It Anyway You Like

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

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

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

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

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

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

Healthier Life Can Be Easy

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

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

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