Friday, December 31, 2010

Stock Investor's Mentality

Any similarity with what you are doing?

What is a Financial Bailout?

"When it's a question of money, everybody is of the same religion." - Voltaire

Another one from the mail.

It's a slow day in a damp Irish Town. The rain is beating down harshly, and all the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt and everybody lives on credit.

...On this particular day, a rich German tourist is driving through the town, stops at the local hotel and lays a $100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night.

The owner gives him some room-keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the $100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.

The butcher takes the $100 note and rushes down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer. The pig farmer takes the $100 note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of animal feed and fuel.

The guy at the Farmer's Co-op takes the $100 note and runs to pay his drink at the friendly neighbourhood pub. The pub owner slips the money along to the local prostitute drinking at the bar - who, is spite of facing hard times, has always gladly offered him her 'services' on credit.

The hooker then rushes over to the hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the $100 note.

The hotel proprietor quietly replaces the $100 note back on the counter, so that the rich traveller will not supspect anything.

At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, states that none of the rooms are satisfactory, picks up the $100 note, pockets it and leaves town.

...No one has produced anything. No one hs earned anything. However, the whole town is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism.

And that, dear ladies and gentlemen, is how a basic financial bailout package works!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Singapore Peasant

"It has been said that Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried." - Winston Churchill

Just received this email joke, would like to dedicated to my dear friend Coconut in this quiet market.

A peasant was overseeing his herd of animals in the last family farm in Singapore when suddenly a brand new BMW advanced out of the dust cloud towards him.

The driver, a young man in a Armani Suit, Gucci Shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses and YSL tie, leans ou the window and asks the peasant, "If I tell you exactly how many sows and piglets you have in your herd, will you give me a piglet?".

The peasant looks at the man, obviously a Yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, "Sure, why not?".

The Yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to his RAZR V3 cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.

The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany. Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored. He than accesses a MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response.

Finally, he prints out a full colour, 150 page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet printer and turns to the peasant, "You have exactly 986 pigs and piglets."

"That's right. Well, I guess you can take on of my piglets." replied the peasant.

He watches the young man select one of the animal and looks on amused as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.

Then the peasant says to the young man, "Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my piglet?"

The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, "Okay, why not?"

"You're a MP for the PAP", says the peasant

"Wow! That's correct," says the Yuppie, "but how did you guess that?"

"No guessing required." answered the peasant. "You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid inspite of the your million dollar salary for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You tried o show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don't know a thing about pigs... this is a herd of goats... Now, give me back my dog."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Position Trading

I have set up another account for one of my trader to do position trading beginning next year. It's another challenge again, not by me but an experience trader who is keen to test his trading skill on a part time basis, while continue doing his day trading.

He can trade any contract when the opportunity arises, no pressure to perform, I'm just curious to see how he will grow and how we can learn from him (if he makes money). He is a stake holder with 50% share in funding the account.

Position traders don't trade daily and might hold on to a position for days or weeks. Can these traders make money? Can he survive and make enough to feed his family? Are most position traders doing it part-time just for the extra money?

I think you have to be rich to do position trading. Stock traders are mostly position traders, can only buy and hold. And for those doing contra trading, most will be digging their own grave, because the comm will kill them over time. But, luckily the comm has now come down tremendously, so they can survive a little longer.

Most of the professional traders are all doing day trading, scalping or spreading to make a living. They are all hardworking, discipline and focus in what they are doing, every second, every minute. It's not a easy life, when you are in, you will realise how tough it is. The competitiion is stiff, it's a negative, negative sum game.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all.

I have decided to return here to post my blog.

It's been a long break from writing, what else can I share about trading?

"Top performers spend more hours rigorously praticing their craft" - David Brooks

I have visited Shanghai recently with my brother and brother-in-law to find out more about the potential of the Chinese Futures market. Though the market is closed to foreigners, many are using relatives or friends there to open account for trading the futures market. There are many loopholes for doing business in China, just find it.

There are some local traders who are already there after the launch of the Shanghai Index, CSI300 contract, it's a new frontier, new opportunities for those who are willing to take the risk.

For experienced traders like us, it's much easier for us to find the edge especially with no Algos present there as yet.

The margin for trading is extremely high compared to other Exchanges, I was told that minimum opening account is RMB 500,000/- and that allow only 2 open contracts of the CSI300. The comm is high too and these measures are to discourage excessive speculation.

There is a limit of putting 500 contract orders (need to verify) for any given day, so that fake orders will be eliminated, getting rid of those big bullies unless it's geniune order. I think this is very good so that traders cannot manipulate the market by creating a false impression of huge orders coming in but disappear immediately.

It's a much level playing field for all traders if everybody will to pay the same clearing fees unlike Exchanges that offer huge volume rebates to high frequency traders.

One of the challenges trading in China is obviously the language, the platforms are mostly in Mandarin and offer only 1 price level. The maximum is up to depth of 5 levels and need to pay extra for that feature. There is no ladder which we can click with the mouse to enter orders. The traders there use the keyboard to enter into a position which they demonstrate how fast they can execute an order. Still slow compared to our platform.

We met up with an investor who offered us capital to station in china to trade the various Chinese products. They expect high returns and are willing to take high risk as well. There are plenty of rich Chinese now who have made a lot of money in all sorts of speculation, especially property. They are talking about doubling their money every 2/3 years.

I told him I'm sorry, I can't promise him those type of returns, I'm in the business of risk management, not excessive speculation. He can find someone who can promise such high returns by just throwing a stone in Shanghai, plenty of them, but promise and actual performance is two different matter and how long can that trader last.

My brother is willing to take up the challenge if the fund is at least S$10 million to fully concentrate on trading or else it's not worth his effort. He is comfortable now, in fact one of the most consistently profitable trader, just a few losing days this year, a very good track record. What a change from a year ago when I was so worried for him not making it as a trader. He is a mature trader now but trading for someone else is a different ball game again.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Attended a course on blogging over the weekend, spending 2 long days learning from an expert that's half my age. Just like trading, it won't be easy, there are so many new things to learn, the tricks and the shortcuts that's equivalent to the Yums in trading.

It's worth every cent if you are going into blogging for a living, shortening the learning curve, saving precious time. I'm still uncertain how to go forward from here especially with my busy schedule, being only just a weekend blogger.

In the past I have experienced my blog post being block for unknown reasons, probably over some sensitive issues I might have written. Whatever I have written in blogspot don't belongs to me, thus I have decided to migrate to and pay a yearly hosting fee.

I would like to thank all my readers and please visit me at my new website.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


"You know what, it doesn't matter if you're big or small, you've got to believe in yourself, believe you can do it and you've got to be able to dream the big dream." - Mr. Teo Ser Luck, Singapore's Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development, Youth and Sports. Few thought it possible that tiny Singapore would win the rights to host the first Youth Olympic Games.

So, what's your dream?

Most traders have big dream when they first started out but somehow or rather, after a few months they ended up having nightmares instead. Dream is the driving force for anyone who aspire to achieve a goal that might seem impossible and full of obstacles.

I would suggest new traders to have smaller dreams instead in the beginning while working hard towards that big dream. Nothing comes easy and there's no free lunch.

Successful traders not only need to work hard, they need to work smart as well. They need to know when is the right time to trade and the right size to trade.

My new batch of students were very realistic when I asked them about their expectation, most had some experiences trading in stocks or Forex, having attended other courses and know how difficult it is to be a successful trader. They just wanted to learn how to survive and make a decent living.

It's an eye opener for them to see and learn how a real trader trades live in front of them. It's no doubt really stressful for me. I justify each of my trade with an explanation, the mistakes I made and the various emotions expressed especially the frustration when the trade goes against me. Most were stunt to see how I cut losses with such ease, something that is so difficult for them to do so.

I'm glad and happy to enlighten them on their new journey in life as most have quit their job to be full time traders. Their success will make my hard work worthwhile. I hope to guide them towards the big dream I have achieved long time ago.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cutting losses and riding profits

Which is easier to execute, cutting losses or riding profits?

A simple question that traders should ask themselves to determine the trading style that suits them. Long term position trader FSK revealed that it's difficult for him to cut losses but it's so easy for him to ride profits. He can hold a position for months and even years to ride the long term trend until there is a U-turn sign. There is almost no cut loss level for him, he invest in a few countries that offer the best returns through his proprietary formula.

As a scalper, it's the total opposite, it's so difficult for me to ride a profit and I won't be making money if I don't cut my losses fast. And for those who find it difficult to execute both, will find themselves struggling to survive in this very competitive game.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

How long it take to learn?

"Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence." - Abigail Adams

I have been asked frequently by the newbies how long will it take for them to learn how to trade and start making money. It's a question that is rather difficult to give a correct answer. It depends on the individual.

Everyone is born differently, some are fortunate enough to be bestowed with higher IQ, smarter and more intelligent while others are handsome and beautiful. I realised from young that God is never fair because I had to study very hard yet my academic performance was something I have never been proud of while one of my classmate breezed through so effortlessly with all the As. He was smart, the only one in our class that went to RI and studied overseas with government scholarship.

Nothing in life is fair, being average, I just have to work harder to catch up with those more intelligent who are miles ahead. I'm a slow learner, I take longer to learn anything, I try avoiding anything complicated and look for simple solutions. I know my limited ability and weaknesses, thus trading is the simplest business for me, just 2 decisions, either buy or sell, then take profit, scratch or cut loss.

There are so many things to learn in trading , I believe smart people will learn faster in using the trading platform, the different functionality in enhancing trading, charting, analysing the market and forecasting.

But, apart from learning the basic, trading involves emotions, focus, guts, hard work and passion, that's where the playing field becomes more level. There are many smart people who failed to trade successfully, they think too much and worry too much.

Those who are very successful and make tons of money in trading have a very common trait, they have guts. They dare to bet big once they believe the odds is in their favour. They take calculated risk which differentiate them from a gambler.

My father, a vehicle mechanic told me that he worked many years as a apprentice in a small workshop with no proper training, paid pittance and did all the dirty work. He learnt from stealing glances and assisting the mechanic in the repair job, pure hard work.

Trading is so much easier, there are so many books written on the subject and one can simply borrow them from the public library, learn from the Internet or attend the various courses available to shorten the learning curve.

So, how long it take to learn? A few months will do to learn the basic but to start making money, it might take longer to gain the experience, from constantly learning from the same mistakes repeated again and again daily.

No joke, this is what's happening to most newbies, they just freeze holding a bad position praying that it will come back to their level and get out once they have a small profit. One of my student just did that despite my repeated exhortation to cut the losses fast, he averaged further and happily told me later that he finally made a profit from turning the losses to profit. When will he learn?

After the trading floor closed in 2005, it took me more than 2 years to get back on my feet, to focus and concentrate on trading before finally seeing the light. Many of my fellow floor traders were making good money during this period of time because they were smart to stay in the trading arcade with fast trading platform and Internet speed.

Being a scalper and spreader my whole trading career, it took me just one month to realise my edge, "speed" when I went back to the arcade to trade. My brother-in-law who struggled trading from home joined me in the arcade later and was profitable immediately. He couldn't afford to lose. My younger brother, the smartest in the family and a former floor trader took a year to start making consistent money.

It's a matter of time that a passionate trader who persevere starts to mature by gaining the experiences through daily engaging the market, learning from past mistakes, understand the nature of the market and finally self discovery.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Financial Jargon

The Financial Association of Singapore (FPAS) announced they are going to launch a online dictionary that aims to shed light on the notorious jargon that so annoys investors. It will give consumers a better understanding of financial products so they can make informed investment decisions. It seek to explain in clear, layman's language, what financial terms actually mean, in order to remove any ambiguity. Don't know when it will be ready.

I came across an interesting advice on decoding fund brochures by a reformed broker, Joshua M Brown at

Fund Brochure Says and What it really means ..

Ultra - Leverage to the Hilt

Global - We"ll chase stocks for you whichever country is most overheated right now.

Clean/Green - A basket of government-subsidized experiments and some shares of G.E.

Deep Value - We will invest in sewing machines and typewriter companies.

Premium - We Will pay up for high-multiple stocks/ you pay up in fees.

Socially Responsible - No such thing - all corporations are evil, sucker.

Diversified - We will basically buy the Index and go golfing.

Enhanced - Uses exotic derivatives you've never heard of.

Balanced - We will under perform both the bond and the stock market. You're welcome.

Aggressive Growth - Collection of Chinese online gaming stocks and New Jersey Bio tech start ups.

Lifecycle - We can see 20 years into the future only Putman knows when and how you will die.

Moderate Allocation - Gutless Fund Manager.

Quantitative - Manager will take credit for Up years, blame computers for Down years.

Endeavour/Opportunities - We will throw darts.

Core - No need to speed it out, send us everything you have.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


"If you must play, decide upon three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes, and the quitting time" - Chinese Proverb

Singapore's first Casino, Resort World Sentosa opened with a bang on the 14th February, the first day of the Lunar New Year. 149,000 visited the Casino in the first week, despite Singaporeans and permanent residents having to pay $100 a day (24 hours) entrance fee.

A fellow trader went there with his wife on the first 3 days of opening, being regulars on the cruise ship, they paid $2,000 per annum entrance fee each since they will be spending plenty of time at the casino. After 3 days of trying their luck, they were $1,000 poorer. They loved the atmosphere and the Casino loved them too!

He revealed that it's hard for anyone to make money from the Casino over time with the odds highly in favour of the house. It's just plain common sense to me. He like many other futures traders loses big time in the Casino. His wife picked up the gambling habit from him and is now seen frequently at the Casino while he needed to be there to keep an eye on her. He hardly gamble now unless it's between friends.

This trader friend is a very good gambler and he started young, he is good at any form of gambling. I knew him in the early 90s in the mess where a few fellow traders would be there almost everyday to have a game of "Majong" after the Nikkei closed at 2.15 pm. When we were short of a player, he would be invited to join us, always available, jobless. He gambled for a living after leaving the stock broking industry a few years back.

He joined us as a futures trader after we introduced him to our profession of having so much free time at our disposal. He started out trading the Nikkei and was losing money in the first few months. He would asked me to help him out by transferring money to his trading account before the end of the month to show his wife that he was making money while paying me back in cash.

Very sharp and alert, he learnt fast and within 6 months, he started to make money in futures trading. He succeeded partly because of the gambling blood in him. Unfortunately, he contributed back quite a fair sum over the years to the Casino.

I never like to gamble in the Casino because of the odds, why should I when there is a better edge in futures trading. I go there just to have some fun and entertainment.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Coming Back

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude" - Gail Sheehy

A friend called to wish me Happy New Year, a former floor trader, he quited trading after the floor closed in 2005. He is a good sportsman, coaches kids tennis and golf before joining a golf club as a manager.

I was relieved that he is doing OK and not asking me for a loan, I really have a phobia of casual friends calling me out of the blue.

The workload in his current job is killing him. He needs to ensure everything is alright before the first flight and run smoothly till end of the day. That's almost 12 to 15 hours everyday except for a weekday off. He is paid about S$5,000/- a month, a sum that a foreign worker will be more than willing to take up.

In his late 40s, he would like to spend more quality time with his family and with age catching up, he might not have the energy to put up with such hectic schedule.

Since he is spending so much time and energy in his current job, he felt instead, he should channel them back into trading for a living, something he had done before. The time is flexible.

He called 2 other friends who are currently trading and both advised him not to give up his current job as trading is very "tough" now. I wondered why these 2 traders didn't quit trading, of course, I believe they had good intention.

He asked how my second brother is doing now, they were once tennis buddies. I told him my brother struggled for 1 year before finding his niche trading in the afternoon session. That's how long it took him, a seasoned floor trader, it's definitely tough but he is currently very comfortable.

As usual, I asked him what was his expectation. He hoped to at least match his current income. I'm surprised that many of the former floor traders didn't have great expectation, they were realistic and aimed for something achievable, low risk.

I analysed his situation and finally asked him whether he can survived without income for a year with his wife being a homemaker. He pondered for a moment and told me he needed to do some calculation but expressed his intention to make a come back.

I guided him on the various procedures to become a member of SGX, trading platforms and charting providers. He requested to visit me at the arcade to see how I trade once he is ready. That's definitely not a problem, I'm willing to help.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


"A friend in need, is a friend indeed" - English proverb.

I learnt this proverb in my primary school days, we were taught to help our friends in need and those who help us are really the good friends we need to treasure.

A friend called me last week out of the blue to have lunch with me. We updated each other about our family members and finally he asked me for a favour in a very nice way, to borrow money from me.

He used to be my booth clerk and I have supported him in his career advancement in the past. He SMS me very year to wish me happy birthday as most in the service industries do. He is hardworking and did well in his career.

I sympathised with him when he started pouring out his recent problems and needed money to tight over for a year. Should I?

I have lent money to many friends in the past, from a few thousands to a few hundred thousands. More than 90% of these "friends" never return back the money to me, some disappeared from the radar, totally lost!

I have to sue a friend in High court not too long ago for the return of money loaned to him many years ago. He fought back and claimed that the money was loaned to his company instead. With all the evidence I won the case, he then declared bankrupt. He had transferred money to his wife, still driving a car, eating out at resturants, staying in a terrace house and travelling freely to Johor, Malaysia to conduct his businesses.

This guy had cheated me and a few friends in various business ventures, we lost big time. I can only curse and swear inside my heart and wonder why this guy is not being punish by GOD! or Buddha! or Allah! for his misdeeds. He is a con man and has cheated many.

I'm sick of calling those friends who owed me money, many can afford to pay me by instalments but most just give excuses.

I have many regrets in my life but I'm not going to let it ruin me, I just hope to share my experiences to understand what is "friends", "close friends" and "intimate friends" before extending that helping hand. It's a blessing to be able to help.

For the first day of the Lunar New Year, I shouldn't be writing about all these unhappy incidents.

I would like to wish all my readers a very Happy and Prosperous Tiger Year!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Algo Trading?

Attended a one day course on Algo trading yesterday sponsored by SGX, the trainers from RTS were knowledgeable and proficient in their craft. We were introduced to the many strategies that can be written for Algo trading. I just wonder why don't they write some strategies to trade themselves?

"Things do not change, we change"

I have been using a simple standard spread Algo strategy with the TT trading platform for my Topix/Nikkei spread trading. I gave the Auto spreader a 1 tick discretion and many times I was filled just 1 tick away which cost me about S$70/- per lot which can be quite costly for bigger quantity traded. I suppose there are more powerful machines and faster platforms out there that squeezed me.

Should I go for the more powerful RTS Tango platform for Algo Trading? One big problem is Phillip Futures don't support the RTS platform because it's rather expensive, not many traders can afford a near US10,000 a month fee. AFACT and SGX are negotiating with RTS for a lower fee for members who are keen to try out the Algo strategies and subsidising part of the Tango platform fees.

To keep the cost down for this learning period, it would be good for like minded traders who are keen on Algo trading to team up. I'm all for it. I would also like to explore the possibility of using simple trading strategies for Algo trading on the TT trading platform.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fear and Fearless

"Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood" - Marie Curie.

The week has been good for most Equity futures traders with the increase in volume and volatility.

Had a chat with a fellow trader after the market closed yesterday and was sad to learn that he was not doing well since the close of the trading floor. That's almost 4 years ago and yet he is still very persistent. He confessed that fear have overtaken him now with his dismal performance despite being hardworking and trying his best.

Another trader who overheard our conversation, suggested that to overcome this demon "fear", he should try bungee jumping. Will it help in overcoming the fear in trading? I doubt so.

The definition of fear is a feeling of anxiety and agitation caused by presence or nearness of danger, evil, pain, etc. So, what's the danger and pain in trading? It's not life threatening and this feeling of pain is all about losing money.

I explained to him that fear existed in him because he is not sure about his strategies, he don't know his edge and he is simply gambling without the trading skill. This skill can be acquired through learning, that's best cure for fear of trading.

At the arcade, there is another trader who is fearless and he specialises in trading the Nikkei. This trader sometimes scalps up to 5,000 contracts a day holding position size from 20 to 50 lots, his P/L a day is my monthly target. I respect this guy for his guts though I'm not too sure whether he is such a good trader. His commission alone is close to S$10,000. Being an old bird, I certainly hope that he can survive in the long run.

I have my fear too, I trade small relative to my margin, I am now a Kiasi and Kiasu trader taking minimum risk now compared to my younger days. I just want to be consistent in my trading making small amount of money almost everyday with no stress, enjoy trading and the challenge of beating the market.

My cousin had the best performing week since joining me, it's really a great boost to his confidence though he still has a long way to go, he is still fragile. Being new to the industry, his performance is up to expectation, he is keen, willing to learn and most important, hard working.

I once told him that in order to succeed, he need to cast other things aside, just talk, think, read, focus and dream about trading everyday. He is getting better by the day with the constant drilling of having a strong and positive mental attitude.

I have a new trader who joined me this month, he approached me a few months back and after a short interview, I decided to take him in as my trader. He was a stock broker for a short period of time. Young and energetic, he is full of vigour and enthusiasm with a happy deposition. I figure it would be much easier to coach him with his financial background.

His performance for the first month is way beyond my expectation. He is a smart chap and learns very fast. With proper guidance and grooming, I believe he has the potential to be a great trader.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


"The entire essence of America is the hope to first make money - then make money with money - then make lots of money with lots of money" - Paul Erdman. Hello! how about the risk?

Finally, a long overdue correction for the world's equity market. President Barack Obama is making the right decision in announcing a new plan to limit the bank's size in nipping the problem of "too big to fail" financial firms that might engage in reckless behaviour.

President Obama wants to limit the scope of risk-taking by barring banks with federally insured deposits from trading securities for their own accounts and from owning hedge funds and private equity funds.

I certainly hope that he can succeed in pushing through those reforms and curb the excessive bonuses paid to those greedy bankers that nearly cause the collapse of the global financial system.

How far will the market correct? 10 to 20 percent would be ideal which should offer traders like us more opportunities from the increase market volatility.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Unconcious Competency

" stretching yourself beyond your perceived level of confidence you accelerate your development of competence" - Michael J.Gelb

I have been busy the last 2 days doing live trading showing my students how I scalped the SGX contracts, doing spread trading and hedging. My brother was shocked when I told him that I will be doing trading on just a laptop with wireless connection in the training room. Obviously it's very challenging for me to do live demonstration without my edge.

The wireless Internet connection was interrupted on many occasions on the first day and I was frustrated. Luckily I kept my cool and patiently traded with caution and managed to make a few hundred dollars on each day.

In the trading arcade, I traded with 6 screens on lease line for execution speed while I have to make do with just a 14 inch laptop to squeeze my charts and trading platform together during the training. Glad that I didn't disappoint my students, I certainly feel a sense of achievement for imparting the trading techniques to them.

One of my student called it unconscious competency in the way I executed my trades with ease despite the obstacles that I faced.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


"Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly" - Julie Andrews

We had a very successful AFACT "Time for Tea" event yesterday for members to catch up with each other and share their trading strategies. Didn't expect such a huge turnout of nearly 80 members, luckily the restaurant was big enough to accommodate all of us. We only have indicated interest of around 60 members who signed up 3 days before the event.

Of course, there were many who signed up for the event and didn't turn up and many more who turned up without signing up. It's really a huge challenge for us, the organiser to estimate the turnout for the next event and to look for a suitable venue.

So is there a lack of discipline? Many of us take things for granted in life despite the good fortune that we have. As a trader, we need discipline and more discipline.

Our next event will be the traditional Chinese New Year Lunch on the 27th February, "Lo Hei" a Cantonese saying for tossing up good fortune for a better Year. We have around 300 members, how many will turn up, especially the old birds?

One of the pioneer trader IAN, in his sharing reminded aspiring traders to be discipline, trade within their limit and not to fall in love with a position that has gone wrong.

Yes, any trader know discipline is important, successful traders are mostly discipline and follow strictly to their rules of engagement.

So, what is the meaning of discipline? Checking the wikipedia, one that applies to a trader is "The ability to do the right thing even when no one is watching or suffer the consequences of guilt which produces pain in our bodies, through pain comes discipline"

I remember telling a group of new traders some time ago that if I will to carry a cane and sit beside them, they will definitely make it as a trader in a very short period of time. A whack every time they don't know how to cut their losses, how cruel!

Can we train our self to be discipline?

Start with being punctual, I'm hardly late for any appointment in my life, unless there is a very good reason.

I'm always at the Phillip trading arcade 15 minutes before the market open to prepare myself.

I have never get myself drunk, hardly entertain except during weekends and no matter how late, I will still crawl back home.

Always think about others and be responsible for our own action.

I am sure most of us can accomplish these simple tasks to change our behaviour and attitude. Then we can become better traders.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Wishing all a Prosperous 2010

'Make Peace with the past so it won't screw up the present"

Almost everyday my cousin told me he learnt a new lesson at the end of the trading day, well, after 25 years of trading, I'm still learning. The market is so dynamic, no single day is the same and most tried in vain to spot a repeat of a past pattern for their perfect entry which is an illusion. The most common excuse, false signal!

2008 was a fantastic year for most traders while 2009 was for most, a lousy year despite the V shape recovery for most equity market and the economy. I wasn't happy with my performance last year, it's mediocre despite the hard work. I don't want to look for excuses, it's simply plain stubbornness and refusing to admit mistakes.

I look forward to doing some longer term day trading for the coming year, it will be challenging for a scalper who is so short sighted.