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Monday, 19 March 2018

I've thrown out my Trading Journal

Star Wars Chapter 1

As usual, foreplay first.

Before I started blogging, I was a reader of financial blogs just like you.

I had just been posted to Athens from Shanghai and with lots of spare time living on my own again (no longer living-in-sin), I decided to track my expenses for the fun of it!

You know, the monkey see, monkey do thing...

I got this idea from the butterfly's tavern and his famous cbox where lots of veteran bloggers of today used to mingle back then.

So for 3 years, I diligently recorded down all my living expenses. I stopped doing this "useless" exercise when I came back to Singapore.


Its evident my record shows I'm not a spendthrift. There's always a surplus every month, every year. Expenses are quite stable and predictable. No real surprises!

Only one item stood out as spikes in my spending - travelling expenses for vacations.

Am I going to stop travelling to save more money?


So what's the point of recording my lifestyle costs when I knew I'm doing OK expenses wise, and I not going to make lifestyle changes whatsoever?

Yup. I've outgrown this tool. Wink.

The importance of a trading journal or investing diary

Back to square one

Investing diary, that I still keep. Must remind myself the reasons why I bought in the first place mah! The holding period is in years... Why commit to memory when I can write it down?

Also must keep track of dividends received. Like all businessmen, I want to know how long it took to recover my capital back safely in my pocket.

Yes, if you need to ask, unrealised profits don't count. If you want to count, its your business!

I like durians, you like blue cheese. Don't you tell me my durians smell!

As for my Trading Journal, I've not spent any time reflecting on my past trades for more than one year now...

Its just zombie recording as a matter of habit!?

I so silly!

1. Outcome or action more important!

Why do I still need to write down the reasons for each and every trade?

When the reasons I'm in a position were no longer valid, I'm either stopped out at a small loss or profit stopped out at a small profit.

The goal is to never let a winning position turn into a loss; and never let a paper cut turn gangrenous until I have to loose an arm or a leg!

I no longer need a trading journal to tell me I have self discipline issues. Or?

2. I measure in actual dollars; not percentages

I have no intention to add new money into my trading account (unless I blew up), nor do I have any plans to withdraw money out from my trading account in the forseeable future.

Knowing I started with $1 and I now have $11 is enough.

Simple and crystal or what?

Money is just to keep score since I'm not trading for a living anyways.

3. I not selling subscription services, workshops, or courses

So no point in keeping detailed records for my cherry picking of profitable trades as advertisement or testimomial purposes.

4. No mind - tired rest; hungry eat

For traders who like to use lots of trading indicators to help you squeeze the trigger, switching to Price Action can be so nerve wrecking!

I've been using Price Action for my entries and exits for some years now.

Its time to let go of my Trading Journal to minimise the "mental anchoring" effect. Once a trade is closed, its over.

Better to focus on the next Good Trade then to dwell on what might have been...

Don't try this at home

This post is an inside joke between me and the butterfly.

The butterfly probably shocked and surprised some in our community when he recently shared he is not going to focus on savings anymore!?

And to think a lot of the current track and measure lifestyle expenses bloggers were inspired at the butterfly's tavern, me included.


To those who are a little confused, don't focus on "right or wrong". Its just that some of us are climbing up the mountain, some are climbing down the mountain, and some are back to square one.

At different stage of our journeys, we may require different tools.

Sometimes when we are back to square one, we may discover we don't have to climb the mountain in the first place...

But like the Buddhist parable, if we didn't climb the mountain, how would we know we needn't have climbed the mountain in the first place!?


Friday, 16 March 2018

Fees, Commissions, Charges, and Interests

There are 2 common tricks that snake oils try to fleece as much wool or milk "bei kambings" as long as possible:


This one is easier to spot.

That's where unscrupulous financial advisers will encourage you to switch unit trusts, do unnecessary asset relocations, and/or invest in anything that's new or flavour of the montht!

Its the same reason why insurance agents encourage their clients to surrender their old and upgrade to new insurance policies with the latest bells and whistles...

And of course why brokers would encourage you to trade - the more frequent the better!

Buy and hold (forever and ever)

This one is very common but most bei kambings not so aware...

Low cost mutual funds and ETFs, no matter how low cost, still charge an annual management fee. They're profit seeking businesses, are they not?

How to make money from you if you withdrew the funds from them as in redemptions or sale of ETFs?

Same goes for credit cards, bank savings accounts, insurance policies, etc.

The trick is to make you think loooooooooong term. Even better if you buy and forget!

For those who love to parrot passive income, how you feel knowing you're the "passive income" for these vested interests? 

You think why their competitors dangle so many attractive "free" goodies to entice you to switch your business to them?

Of course "free" here involves jumping through hoops and rings as stated in the small print.

Opposite sides of the same coin

Yes! Now you're on to it!

What would a smart landowner do?

Have two businesses - one encourage quick buy and sell; the other evangelise the benefits of long term buy and hold.

Heads I win; tails I win too!

Is that why SIA also has vested interest in a low cost airline too?

I'm sure if you think hard enough, you can spot other examples too!

Tuesday, 13 March 2018


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