TLC Weekly Update November 27, 2020

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Today is Black Friday. Many shopping malls and online stores, however, have already kickstarted their holiday sales since the beginning of the week. I don’t usually participate in this holiday sale period thanks to my lack of interest in buying the latest whatever consumer items. No exception this year. I will kick back and relax a bit more at home while finishing up several projects.

An interesting story about the origin of Manuka honey. We are so used to read horror story of introducing a specie to a foreign environment can cause disaster. This one, however, is an exception.

And here is another bizarre story I bumped into when I am doing my research about important historical moments in the past. Human history is really fascinating and it can be tasty too.

A long video from Wharton School featuring Howard Marks. Not that many people have watched this video because it does not contain catchy phrases or keywords. However, this video is filled with wisdom you can hardly find from the YouTube trading gurus.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

TLC Weekly Update October 23, 2020

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Finally, the last US presidential debate is over. Now we just have to sit tight and wait for the outcome by election day. For traders everywhere, hopefully there will be a slow down of random news shock from the two camps. Giving the world a break until the results are in on election day would be nice. I am sure more chaos will follow after the election though …

Bitcoins is on the move again and the crypto traders are getting all excited about it. Although I don’t hold a lot of BTC anymore, it is nice to see more and more famous financial gurus willing to bet on the concept. The latest being Paul Tudor Jones. What he says 5 months ago and what he says yesterday. Of course, he is talking his book because he just bet $100 million (I can be wrong on the figure) on BTC in the beginning of the year.

Read a story about the old Nintendo NES Zapper. It is so interesting to see how game developers managed to overcome the hardware limitations back then. Since I have not played console games for a long long time, I wonder what kind of technology the current generation of shooting games uses for better gaming experience.

I encounter this question pretty much every week in random conversations all the time, “Why do people fail at trading?” All those “gurus” out there giving their personal accounts of determination and perseverance needed to win the game are pure bullshit. Some of them are the lucky ones belonging to the 4% I explained here, the rest are fake gurus who copy the answers from the others on the internet. Here is another take on the issue based on our physiology and that’s why I told everyone that they have to be awaken first before they stand a chance.

To be awaken is a process. High level of awareness is needed for anyone who want to accomplish real mastery in anything. It is a very easy task to do if you choose to practice awareness deliberately. The hard part is making it your second nature or making it effortless. Since majority of the population refuses to do anything that gives them a sense of defeat, thus people with high level awareness is very rare.

For those of you who really want to improve your awareness but lack the guidance, you can start with something easier to digest, like, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, so that you have some background understanding about human minds. From there you can progress to learn basic breathing techniques to control your mind. Once a slightly better foundation is built, you can then learn to observe yourself.

Just like anything that worth pursuing, you must be willing to transform yourself in order to stay the course.

Have a great weekend all!

TLC Weekly Update October 16, 2020

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This was option expiration week but then thanks to the way Softbank and its copycats cornering the stock market like no tomorrow, the option market makers have no choice but to accept defeat. Many gurus out there keep saying the stock market is not following the reality of the real economy. I have a slightly different take on the detachment of correlation though – underneath the major indices, only a handful of stocks are driving the indices to all time high while majority of the other components have not recovered like the real economies around the world. The stock markets are reflecting the reality – that only a handful of companies benefited from the situation.

Interesting read about the energy efficiency of computing. CPU overheat is something that affect computer performance ever since they were created. It looks like we finally learn more about this issue over the past several years that can contribute to major breakthrough in computer performance.

Scary tell from Loy Machedo in this YouTube video. Young people who are fortunate enough to grow up in the better parts of the world should know about the reality out there. The world is full of dark corners and the willingness to pay attention to these issues can help you develop a proper perspective of the world we are living in.

For the programmer readers, here is a long read about Amazon’s epic failure at cracking the online game industry. Sometimes, doing everything in-house just because you can afford it may lead to massive waste of resources and failure to deliver anything of significance. The same problem persists with majority of the aspiring traders who think they can afford to lose enough money to hack their way to trading success …

I have so much work to catch up with so I will wrap up here.

Have a great weekend all!

TLC Weekly Update September 25, 2020

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Roller coaster ride in the stock market continues. Nasdaq 100 rallied 5% higher from Monday low and then fell back down to Monday low right after. Such high volatility can induce even higher volatility going into election month. Investors and speculators should be more careful in coming few weeks. Powell may have very limited power in popping up the market should some kind of panic kicks in …

Learned something new here on how ants decide when and where to build bridges. Sometimes things are far more simple then we choose to believe in. One good example is the microstructure of the stock market. People cannot help themselves to make things so complicated when they look at the price movements that ultimately leading them to make bad trading decisions.

Sometimes brand building can be very bizarre because human nature is – crashing two trains to make a train company famous. As suggested by one of my staff, that I should record my trading computer 7/24 so that they can produce ASMR videos for those trading addicts on YouTube. Been thinking about it and may give it a try.

In case you do not know what ASMR videos are, you can search for “What is ASMR” on youtube to knock yourself out.

With all these riots and emotional “heated debates” among people with different viewpoints of things happening around us, maybe it is time to remember that Socrates hates democracy. My point is, you don’t need to have an opinion on things you don’t know. You don’t need to make a call on what is happening around you as if you are an expert of the subject. Listening too much to the news, which are by design to focus on extreme events to get your attention, is bad for your health.

Lately I’ve heard a lot of talks of the inevitability of the financial system breaking down. For example, Ray Dalio publicizes the idea that eventually the Fed will hit a wall with what they are doing. And some people are already thinking about bartering if “shit hits the fan”. Bartering has been around ever since human existed. Only after cash being accepted as the default form of medium for transactions that barter became less popular over time. So pay attention to the rise of bartering will give you a clue how close we are from that “wall”.

So much to get done this weekend again, got to run.

Have a great weekend all!

TLC Weekly Update September 4, 2020

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What a week for the stock market – when everyone was talking about the market would never go lower because of the Fed policy, next thing you know we got a one day drop of more than 6% in Nasdaq 100 and 3% in S&P500. Usually September and October are the more volatile months so more fireworks is very likely in coming few weeks. On top of that, we have US election in early November. This is going to be very interesting for aggressive traders going into the end of this year.

Robert Greene just released a new video on human irrationality. It is a long video (about an hour) that I think everyone should watch and learn from it.

For those of you who grew up with the Apple II computers, you probably played the game Prince of Persia. Here is an interesting video on its creator Jordan Mechner who figured out how to break the Apple II hardware limitations. What he has accomplished shows the importance of having multiple voices in any large scale projects. If he had stayed the course of doing what he thought the game was all about, Prince of Persia would not have becoming the iconic classic games of all time.

And remember, never ask a surgeon whether you need a surgery – interesting talk of clash between Canada’s CMHC outgoing chief and Canadian real estate industry.

Looks like this weekend I will have a break from my marathon meetings. I need this badly as my biological clock is totally messed up over the past few weeks. Some “me time” for meditation and exercise sounds like a plan.

Have a great long weekend all!

TLC Weekly Update August 14, 2020

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Finally face to face meetings after “stage 3 re-opening” is here in Toronto area. Meeting marathon still. So much changes have to be implemented in everything and everywhere. The businesses I invest in all have to change the way how things are done so that the latest health guidelines are followed. Any failure to comply with the regulations can result in hefty fine …

This week we also had a major hardware failure. Last time that happened was several years ago. There are lemon cars … now I wonder if there are lemon servers.

An interesting article about the maintenance of 747s. It definitely echo the same theme of another article I linked to back on April 17. These systems just do not die. It is a very important lesson for modern equipment makers to pay attention to – it is just irresponsible to make appliances and capital equipment that do not last.

Here is a well balanced video on Canadian real estate market now and its future. I like his data driven approach. You may want to apply his methodology to analyze the real estate market in your area in case you are interested in buying or selling a property.

It is really impossible to speculate what will happen when the relief programs introduced by all these governments coming to an end. For Canada, there are more than 4.7 million Canadians receiving government support money (CERB) at $2000 every 4 weeks as of August. Canada is a country with an estimated population of 38 million people with about 22 million people in the workforce. It is 1 out of 4 people in the country receiving support payment.

There are also many full time college students getting CESB at $1250 every 4 weeks. But these special programs are going to stop by the end of August. Mortgage deferral programs the government asked the banks to provide are 6 months long. Those will end soon too.

What it means is that by September the impact of permanent job losses due to COVID19 will finally be felt. Since new businesses would not just pop up from nowhere, and that all existing businesses are in survival mode, it is going to take a long time before new job openings are created.

Similar problems for sure happening to many other countries. It is pretty clear that a global recession is coming. How to navigate through this difficult time is a tough question. Many people asked all kinds of questions on various financial decisions. It is really a matter of personal situation thus I can’t generalize the answers here.

What it looks like to me is that we are transitioning into yet another new era driven by technology. Thus “old economy” businesses will have a tough time. Technology companies enabling work from home, remote communications and secure remote access of corporate data would do very well.

But we really don’t know much about the future at this point. Hence my best advice for my readers is to stay conservative financially if possible. Reduce unnecessary spending is always a good idea. And if you are stressed out by the pandemic, read my last weekly update. There are some materials that you can learn from to cope with this.

Stay safe, keep fit and have a wonderful weekend all!

TLC Weekly Update Aug 7, 2020

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Another hectic week passed with me not knowing what time it was until the alarm clock fired off for the next meeting. It was not pure business meetings though. My friends who need my help called more often during this outbreak. Glad that I can give them a hand in this crazy time. Things are getting difficult everywhere in the world while the stock markets and precious metals are flying to the moon.

One thing I learned from friends with connections is that many Canadian banks are no longer willing to renew mortgages for clients who are self-employed. Or that they would tighten up the requirements so much that these self-employed individuals are forced to take on second mortgages. I never get the logic behind this line of thoughts by the Canadian banks.

Maybe, it has nothing to do with the banks because they are forced to follow a stiff guideline from Bank of Canada on all mortgages. Any irregular income makes it very difficult to satisfy the one-size-fits-all metric. At the end, Canada and other countries taking a similar approach to banking regulations are destroying their economies from within.

Latest discussion about the zero bond yield situation from Bridgewater should be useful to those who are wondering what to do with their retirement funds.

Lately, I have to help quite a number of friends with their life crisis due to COVID-19. Be that losing their jobs, businesses and lockdown depression, I found I keep referring them to this old video from Tim Ferriss on defining your fears instead of your goals. And for those who manage to find meaning from the video, I ask them to go read either The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday or a easier read, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson.

If you know of anyone who may benefit from the video or the books above, spread the words.

Life is tough. But there is always hope.

Have a great weekend all!

TLC Weekly Update July 31, 2020

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An interesting week of wild market actions that left many traders puzzling what to expect next. Well, take it one day at a time is probably the best advice I can give. There is no point to engage in trading when you do not have an understanding of the context. Take a break could be a good idea too so that you can clear your mind from fixation of specific narratives of the market.

Rarely do I find CNBC makes meaningful videos. This video is an exception – watch it to understand why Amazon has no competition in the cloud storage arena. The fight is ongoing to be the leader in this field but the second place player Microsoft has a long way to get near Amazon’s market shares.

Good read about Ida Wood, one of the most interesting persons of her time. I like the fact that she was able to handle her husband’s gambling addiction in such subtle way that otherwise the wealth would never have been preserved. As a trader, it is in fact important to learn from this lesson and save our winnings systematically so that we do not lose all our money back to the markets.

Robert Greene has been interviewed by many people but he did not have a Youtube channel until now. His first video, The Crisis Generation, is a good one. It is about 30 minutes though so enjoy it over a long break when you get the chance.

I have re-written a script for my video lesson the third round already. Still not satisfied with the result. So members of DaytradingBias may have to wait a little longer.

The week was so hectic that I did not even know that it is Friday already. Having all these phone calls from Asia to Europe scheduled at odd hours is really messing up my sense of time. My goal to build this trading power house is taking shape though. Exciting time!

Have a great weekend everyone!

TLC Weekly Update July 17, 2020

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Ontario is going for stage 3 reopening in many areas of the province today. However, the area I live in is still stuck in stage 2 so it is still difficult to organize face to face meetings. And it seems like majority of the people have accepted the new reality after months of restricted access to, well, everything. Restaurants are still not allowed to open the dine-in area. But then many of them are getting creative and use the parking lot as a patio so that they can at least take on some businesses. From what I see, these patios are all packed in the evening.

Vaccine news have been gathering all the buzz lately. Anytime some hype about a COVID-19 vaccine is announced, the stock market indices just jump higher. I am no expert in medical science but I do know that we have no vaccine for common cold. Here is a good read why there is no such vaccine.

My take is that all these efforts wasted on making vaccines for COVID-19 should be better spent on mass scale sanitization equipment. For example, Korea and Japan are working on mass scale UV light based air filtering for indoor places like malls and office buildings that can work against not only COVID-19 but all kind of viruses. Isn’t that more practical and meaningful for the long term?

Here is a video clip with Peter Thiel commented about global investment landscape. His view is always interesting and unique. This is good video for all those who care about the future.

I will spend this weekend fixing things up and reflect on the progress of various projects. Sometime it is important to take a break from intensive mental work. The brain needs to recover too.

Have a great weekend all!

TLC Weekly Update July 10, 2020

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Another extremely busy week has passed. For some mysterious reasons, all kinds of equipment failure has happened. From power outage to internet outage and Tradestation going crazy in last hour of trading … I can really use a break.

One good news though is that the deployment of my trading models on MultiCharts has been a success. It is working better than I anticipated. No complications at all and the automated trading works as expected. I will write about it once I gather more data.

Due to the hectic schedule I could not really sit down to do the recording for the video lessons I planned to do. Have to squeeze some time out to get that done.

I am often attracted to read all about lefty since I was young. Here is an interest read about lefty. In traditional Chinese culture, it is a bad omen to be a lefty. So, when I was young, I was persuaded (by violence, of course) to not use my left hand to hold chopsticks or to write. Well, it worked, sort of. I ended up using right hand to write and eat most of the time but then when my right hand is busy, like using the mouse on a computer, I would switch to left hand to write things down or eat.

While I am going through many meetings to raise funding for my new prop trading venture, I often came across this belief that generating north of 50% a year is too good to be true. And when I try to explain how it is possible, it often leads to rejection at once. People don’t like being lectured on what is possible because to some, it implies that you are challenging their ignorance and no one likes that. However, after I include an introduction about Renaissance Tech, it makes the meetings much more pleasant.

Here is an article about Renaissance Tech for those of you never heard of James Simons or his legendary Medallion Fund.

The stock market indices, mainly the Nasdaq 100, continue to push higher has caused quite a lot of debate in the media and on the internet. Expert opinions are all over the place. Personally, I think the broader stock market will be range bounded in the near future as Fed and other central banks reduce their presence in the markets. Without more stimulus, there will be limited upside. And the game is to wait for the US election result. I have no idea what to expect from there so no comment on that.

For those of you interested in applying AI to trading, check out this video of NVidia’s team using AI to create the PacMan game from just watching the game. Look at how far AI has improved over the past 20 years. The current iteration of AI platforms that auto create trading strategies are still very primitive in comparison. And none of that has the correct framework of price discovery built-in hence the trading strategies created are mostly useless at best.

My bet is that we will never see such a platform becoming available to the retail traders because, for a functional tool like this, the creators will work with big money instead. Serving retail traders does not make sense because retail traders are not equipped with the knowledge to appreciate the power of such tools. The theme is an echo of what I experienced with my fund raising effort.

Got to go.

Have a great weekend all!