TLC Weekly Update November 29, 2019

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I came across this article about Bill Benter, the pioneer in systematic gambling who made more than a billion dollars in horse-racing. I don’t really have many heroes in my journey towards trading success. However, Benter’s story was a major inspiration for me when his story was first reported in Hong Kong back in the 1990s. His approach to scientifically model horse-racing is no difference from my custom market breadth analysis – we are really looking at the data objectively to figure out what really matters.

I have been busy meeting people from early morning all the way to midnight almost everyday since the day I arrived in Hong Kong. They came from various backgrounds and our meetings are on very diverse subjects due to the fact that I have multiple businesses that somehow, of great interest to all these people. It is good that I get this chance to really summarize the experience here.

Immigration to Canada – hot topic and I was told that people of all social economic status are looking for ways to get out of Hong Kong. Going to Canada is an option but it may not be the best choice. As oppose to hard sell what one of my investment firms can do for the people looking to immigrate to Canada, I listened to them and gave them honest advice whether Canada is a good choice for them.

Here is a list of good reasons if you are thinking of immigrating to Canada:

  • your children are young and you are looking for a place with good education system for their future
  • you were educated in Western countries and like the experience
  • you are thinking of retirement and that a decent healthcare system is your concern

If you are not interested in at least one of the factors above, just the damn cold weather alone can be bad enough to drive you away from Canada. After all, Canada is the country with polar bears.

Stable investment vehicles – this is a new emerging topic as playing in stock markets and real estate no longer generate significant returns for many HKers. The outlook of Hong Kong economic conditions in coming 5 to 10 years will likely be consolidation or even recession as global economic slowdown has already hit last quarter. So smart investors are now waking up to the situation and want to park their money in something stable with reasonable return. And we all know putting money in the banks does not produce any return nowadays.

Well, when looking for alternative investments, it is important to understand what you are getting into so that you do not have the wrong expectation from the product. For example, the high interest rate mortgage investment funds offered by one of my firms is not a term deposit. It is by-design a market driven investment product. It carries some market risk that is relatively much lower than those corporate bonds. The more willing you are in understanding the concepts, the more likely you will accept these investment options.

High return investments – this one is the most interesting topic for which I see a very dysfunctional investment mentality among majority of the Hong Kong population. First of all, way too many people have completely messed up beliefs about investing in general. Although normal people in western countries do share a significant amount of these problematic beliefs, the retail traders and investors in Hong Kong have taken this further by ranking luck as being something tangible … just don’t tell them they don’t know what they are doing.

I will prolong my stay in Hong Kong and probably travel to some other Asian countries to close a few more deals.

For my US readers, Happy Thanksgiving!

p.s. I am posting early this week because I do not have computer access in coming two days while on the road.

TLC Weekly Update November 22, 2019

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This past week I offered The Art of Chart Reading to my readers for $1 at Amazon. It ended up some readers do not have access to the discount due to the fact that Amazon actually has regional limitations on the discount campaign. I apologize for this inconvenience and will organize other discount directly on my site so that all readers will benefit.

Many of you already know that I travelled to Hong Kong and expressed concern of my safety. I like to say thanks to all of you for sending me messages about this. I am doing fine here in Hong Kong so far and I will stay safe as promised.

During the flight while I was doing my meditation, I dreamed up quite a number of ideas for webinars and video lessons. I am working on the drafts now. The only issue is that I did not bring my microphone here. Hopefully I can record the voiceover here with a replacement.

It is kind of fun doing marathon meditation. I have not done that for several years already. It brings back old memories …

I am extremely busy since I arrived in Hong Kong as I already arranged all these meetings beforehand. It is a very effective way to get things done. Starting next week, when my schedule is not as packed, I will post my thoughts about the current state of the financial markets worldwide.

I have been doing this for almost a decade now. The audience has changed from just my affluent clients to all my readers. Hopefully my take on the markets can help many of you navigate the markets in year 2020.

Have a great weekend all!

TLC Weekly Update November 15, 2019

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I receive Tim Ferriss’s email regularly and his latest podcast is now made available on youtube. This podcast is packed with interesting information and I highly recommend it.

I just completed my first ever webinar with futures.io introducing DaytradingBias to the community. For those of you who missed it, you can watch it on youtube.

I have arranged a one week special for The Art of Chart Reading at $1. The special offer will end on the 18th. So get it now.

Many thanks to Mike and Terry at futures.io. Without this opportunity to prepare for the webinar, I would never be able to sit down and reflect on what differentiate DaytradingBias from the rest of the trading services out there. I literally spent days looking deep to distill everything I do at DaytradingBias and ended up having an introduction that is completely different from the first draft.

People who know me for a long time all realize one thing – I don’t take pictures. I could be giving a seminar or lecture while people are recording me live and I am fine with that. For some reasons, I always feel uneasy when people aim at me with their cameras. You can call me camera-shy …

Anyway, need to wrap things up here in Toronto quickly and get ready for my trip to Hong Kong.

Have a great weekend everyone!

TLC Weekly Update November 8, 2019

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I came across this video with James Rickards, the lawyer of Long Term Capital Management. LTCM is the firm that nearly brought down the world as we know. This is a great video explaining many things that everyone should watch.

And it is now official, the introduction webinar of DaytradingBias at futures.io on Nov 12th 4:30 pm ET. Register now to participate!

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For those of you asking about NinjaTrader version of the day trading strategies offered at DaytradingBias, I am happy to say that we are making good progress on that front. When they are ready I will let you know.

I have scheduled a trip going to Hong Kong again later this month. This time it will be a short trip to take care of some business deals. I do not foresee much issues to stay connected. For anyone who like to meet up in Hong Kong, drop me a line and we can work something out for sure.

Have a great weekend all!

TLC Weekly Update July 26, 2019

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I was doing a presentation in Hong Kong on alternative investment vehicles earlier this week. Some questions are quite interesting. But specifically there is this one question many readers will be interested to know the answers,

What are my opinions on the current market environment?

Here is a quick summary:

  • Brexit is good for UK. British Pound will bottom out soon after Brexit.
  • Do not short Euro now. Too crowded. Too late.
  • When every major economy are using ZIRP to stimulate the economy, there will be unintended consequences.
  • Gold is in the beginning stage of a two to multiple years rally.
  • Equities will not be the place to be for good return in coming two to three years but not necessarily a “crash” that many people wanted to see (i.e. Chicken Little syndrome).
  • Real estate will not generate good return because it always normalize to the long term bond yield which may turn negative if the central banks choose to do so.
  • US dollar will be the place to be until it gets too expensive for the 3rd world countries to service their debts.
  • The belief that you need physical gold implies you believe that the system is heading for total collapse. If that is the case, you should not pile up gold bars. You should buy guns instead. (Stolen from Tim Morge)

There is this very odd thing I like to complain about the restaurants in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. Many restaurants offering breakfast on their menu but they do not open until much later in the day. And many of them do not indicate what time they open. So I was walking up and down the street not able to find a place for breakfast even though all these places having their signs telling me the nice breakfast they serve … by lunch time.

The week was so packed with all sorts of meetings I could not work on the book list on technical trading skills. I will catch up with that when I return to Toronto in couple of days.

And this year is first time in my life that I have so many people surprised me with birthday cakes and well wishes. I don’t usually celebrate my birthday at all for years. So it is a drastic change indeed. Thank you all of you for remembering my birthday!

For those of you who are curious about my exact date of birth for whatever reason, here is the clue – first moon landing.

Have a nice weekend all!

TLC Weekly Update July 19, 2019

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It has been an extremely busy week since I arrived at Hong Kong this past Sunday. Being busy and having a hectic schedule are not really something that pose serious challenge to me. But the hot weather is. I was effectively sweating all day going everywhere. It was only made tolerable because of the breaks I got from going inside air-conditioned buildings …

It is a more personal trip for which I am meeting with my family, across multiple generations, quite a number of times. We do not get the chance to see each other that often. It is good to see people family members are doing fine. Time is short though since I will head back to Toronto this coming weekend.

One thing I notice is that the price of everything has rise significantly in Hong Kong in just half a year since I last visited the place not long ago. I ask around to see if my observation is correct. It turns out many fast food chains and retail stores are increasing their prices due to the upward pressure of labour costs.

I was rereading the book The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz on the plane. Before all these movements of self-help and all these talks about better performance through the building of proper perspective, we have this book explaining it all way back when. It is still the one that I recommend most to young adults because of the way the message is delivered.

Looking ahead, this coming week will be as hectic as the first one since I have been providing strategic portfolio allocation advices to my clients. I am also in talk with potential investors who are interested in some of my business ventures. Even though I do not usually get myself directly involve in running the start-ups I invest in, it is a great idea to spread the words when the opportunities show up.

Weather forecast is saying that it is going to rain all week long. To me, that means lower temperature. Yay!

Have a nice weekend all!

TLC Weekly Update July 12, 2019

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I was a happy camper 1.5 years ago with my Lenovo Yoga 920. Now that it is dead for no good reason, I have switched to Microsoft Surface Pro 6. It took me several days to copy my backup onto this new tablet / laptop plus the tedious task of installing all kinds of applications to the machine. I am glad to say, I have a new best friend!

What I learned is that the Lenovo’s approach of using the USB-C port as a charging port is in fact a very bad design decision. Many users of the Yoga laptops suffer from total loss just because the port can fry the motherboard, the SSD, the battery and the charger. In short, it is now proven that it is a stupid idea. So if laptop makers see this, please do not make new laptops that use the USB-C port for charging.

In case you are wondering why it is a bad idea for laptop but not cell phones – it is because laptops need much higher voltage output from the port for charging purpose. With clean power sources of course you will be fine. But even in major cities, power surges can still happen randomly and the risk of passing those energy spikes to the laptop greatly increases.

My work on my Emini day trading course is now disrupted until I have the necessary files restored. Originally I thought I lost all my latest set of code examples. However, during one lucky restart of my Yoga 920, I managed to launch TradeStation and did a complete backup onto my USD flash drive. The laptop then died on me again with BSOD just minutes later. This backup turned out to be good enough with 50% of the latest changes I made. So, instead of losing two weeks of work, I lost half of that.

Not bad!

Many people asked about Bitcoin lately. And many people are wondering if the Facebook crypto will change the crypto currency landscape. I am no expert in crypto but I find this short video from London Real where Andreas Antonopoulos talks about that. His point of view should be taken seriously.

Time to get packing.

Have a nice weekend all!

(This update is posted 1 day early due to my travel schedule)

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.

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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!

Casualty of Going Cashless: Empty Donation Boxes at the Cashier Counters

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I do not usually go to fast food joints or coffee shops. If possible I always prefer brewing my own coffee and cooking my own meals. Doing this for years not just because of the health factor but also for the sake of avoiding long line ups. During my trip going from Canada to Hong Kong, however, I spent some time strolling in the airports while waiting for all kinds of things. I found a very interesting but sad phenomenon has emerged.

Those donation boxes that sit at the front of these cashier counters at McDonald’s, Starbucks, Tim Horton, etc. are all pretty much empty.

I actually popped the question to a few cashiers to see if my observation is correct.

Well, it turns out, the little amount of coins in many of these donation boxes were the collection for over a week.

My casual observations tell me that eight to nine people out of ten lining up at Subway used credit card, bank card and even cell phone to pay for their food. I actually counted the numbers while waiting for my flight. That’s about 50 people over a 45 minute sampling. The remaining ones who paid with cash have not put their changes into the donation box.

Well, Canada chose to do away with its pennies (1 cent coins) probably contributed to the problem too.

I wonder what the charitable organizations can do to counter this situation.

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