I don’t have enough “time”

The illusion of time. Have you heard someone talk about how they want to do more of X or improve Y… then they shrug it off with those magic words – I don’t have enough “time” and say I wish I had more time. Shortly after you see them end up playing Pokemon GO, surfing the social web (Facebook, Instagram etc), or Netflixing. Sure, not enough time.

I always say actions over words (actions > words), talk is cheap. If anyone wants to do something they will – please ditch the lip service. Stop and take a look at your goals and your life. Are you truly serious about them? If not, either delete them and save yourself the headache and heartache, or get serious about them and spend two hours this weekend planning out how you’ll achieve something meaningful. If you’re not willing to spend hours and hours on this, then see the question above.

Very few people are serious about their goals or life. They both fade away like memories. I get asked by many people about forex trading and where to start. Sometimes I give pointers but no one is willing to do the work (It’s amusing to see, this is always the first soft test.). They expect a magic solution or the coveted ‘Holy Grail’ trading system. It’s definitely not like that, you have to do the work. There are dreamers and there are doers. You can be both, but most people aren’t. Being a dreamer and not a doer is the kiss of death. Ideas don’t execute themselves and life waits for no one. Stop talking and start doing.

Remember – little by little, a little becomes a lot.

Forest for the trees

“Forest for the trees”. I remember first hearing this when I was much younger from a family friend of ours. I knew this quote and thought I understood what it meant. It’s all about looking at the big picture and not getting bogged down into the minor little details because in the end, it’s all about the result. It appears in Jack Reacher with Tom Cruise, with his witty comment “Forest for the trees, detective, forest for the trees.”. How true.

I am always reading, and lately it’s been all about mental models and human behaviour. With the aim of understanding myself better (Isn’t that a paradox, using my own mind to understand myself more.), people and the world in general.

Going back to knowing the “forest for the trees”, it dawned upon how much I do, at times, get stuck into unmeaningful minor details. By stuck, it may be mentally “brooding” over or having to “fix” or be “busy” with this minor detail. All of them are equally as bad, as it robs one from precious time and energy.

This applies to forex trading as well. Have you ever let one trade impact your trading psychology and your future trades? I continually remind myself, one trade of many for each trade I take and to focus on the process of trading well.

There is a huge difference between knowing and truly understanding. Remember, to keep focusing on the bigger picture.

Forest for the trees Robin!

Credit to https://www.pexels.com/@markusspiske for this wonderful photo. 

What insight about life have you acquired that seems obvious to you…

I read a great deal and through various AMA’s, podcasts and articles.. a common question is “What insight about life have you acquired that seems obvious to you, but might not be obvious to anyone else?” (This sounds like a job interview question!)

What would your answer to this be?

Mine would resonate with Derek Siver’s post titled “Obvious“..

Hit songwriters often admit that their most successful hit song was one they thought was just stupid, even not worth recording.

We’re clearly a bad judge of our own creations. We should just put it out and let the world decide.

How very true.

One answer that caught my attention that goes deep into the midst of life, death and our significance is from, Naval Ravikant, CEO & Founder of AngelList and his podcast interview with Tim Ferris (link here).

This is a tough one. It’s a deep question. I do have one fundamental recent belief that I’ve acquired in the last few years that I don’t think most people would agree with. It’s such a personal thing, and it came about in such a personal circumstances that I’m not sure anyone will get there in the same line of reasoning. That said, I’ll lay it out anyway, which is, I’m not afraid of death anymore.

I think a lot of the struggle we have in life comes from a deep, deep fear of death. It can take form in many ways. One can be that we want to write the great American novel. We want to achieve something in this world. We want to build something. We want to build a great piece of technology, or we want to start an amazing business, or we want to run for office and make a difference. A lot of this comes from this fear that we’re going to die, so we have to build something that lasts beyond us.

Obviously, the obsession that parents have with their children. A lot of that is warranted biological love, but some of that is also the quest for immortality. Even some of the beliefs of some of the more outlandish parts of religion I think fall into that. I don’t have the quest for immortality anymore. I think I came to this fundamental conclusion. I thought about it a lot. The universe has been around for a long time, and the universe is a very, very large place. If you’ll study even the smallest bit of science, for all practical purposes we are nothing. We are ameba. We are bacteria to the universe. We’re basically monkeys on a small rock orbiting a small backwards star in a huge galaxy, which is in an absolutely staggeringly gigantic universe, which itself may be part of a gigantic multiverse. This universe has been around probably for 10 billion years or more, and will be around for tens of billions of years afterwards. Your existence, my existence is just infinitesimal. It’s like a firefly blinking once in the night.

We’re not really here that long, and we don’t really matter that much. Nothing that we do lasts. Eventually, you will fade. Your works will fade. Your children will fade. Your thoughts will fade. These planets will fade. This sun will fade. It will all be gone. There are entire civilizations which we remember now with one or two words. Sumerian. Mayan. Do you know any Sumerians or Mayans? Do you hold any of them in high regard or esteem? Have they outlived their natural lifespan somehow? No. I think we’re just here for an extremely short period of time. From here, you can choose to believe in an afterlife or not. If you really do believe in an afterlife, then that should give you comfort and make you realize that maybe everything that goes on in this life is not that consequential. On the other hand, if you don’t believe in an afterlife, you should also come to a similar conclusion. You should realize that this is such a short and precious life that it’s really important that you don’t spend it being unhappy. There’s no excuse for spending most of your life in misery. You’ve only got 70 years out of the 50 billion or so that the universe is going to be around. Whatever your natural state is, it’s probably not this. This is your living state. Your dead state is true over a much longer time frame. When I think about the world that way, I realize it’s just kind of a game.

Which is not to say that you go to a dark place, and you start acting unethically and immorally. Quite the contrary, you realize just how precious life is and how it’s important to make sure that you enjoy yourself, you sleep well at night, you’re a good moral person, you’re generally happy, you take care of other people, you help out, but you can’t take it too seriously. You can’t get hung up over it. You can’t make yourself miserable and unhappy over it. You just have a very short period of time here on this earth. Nothing you do is going to matter that much in the long run. Don’t take yourself so seriously. That just kind of helps make everything else work.

That’s an insight about life that I’ve acquired that now seems obvious to me, but it’s really not obvious to most people.

All food for thought.

Here’s to the good life.

Robin

A hiatus

Ahoy!

I will be taking a hiatus from this website. I like this site, however I have too much going on to dedicate posting here.

Do you want to be a forex millionaire trader? Or even better, why not be a millionaire trader? That is more skillful. For those who are looking for the Holy Grail system of trading to reach that figure, well, simply put you are the Holy Grail of trading – let that sink in for a bit, and then repeat it to yourself again. Once you understand that you’ll become pretty much or less unstoppable (And that applies to any endeavor in your life).

For those who are unprofitable traders, stop system hopping. And really understand WHY are you taking a trade.

You can really make bank in this game (Go read this Can you live off forex trading?). I do it, and I know many others who do it as well. To add, don’t limit yourself just to forex, a good trader will be able to trade any financial market, whether it be commodities, stocks, cryptocurrencies (the new hot buzz word) etc. (A side note: Admittedly when I started I was narrow minded and only focussed on forex, until a fellow trader asked me “Why was I limiting myself? When there is an abundance of opportunites and markets to trade on” – sometimes it’s the seemingly obvious things in life.) A chart is a chart, the market auction and order flow is all there for the trading.

You can still contact me, and I will respond – the only question is when! 😛

Have a wonderful December and year end!

To our success!

Robin

P.S. Hope you aren’t having Bitcoin Fomo – it’s just under $10,000 USD. Where will it go next? Who knows! 😛

Paul Tudor Jones – Swing Trader Rules

I forgot who sent me this. It’s been sitting on my desktop, waiting for me to post it to the site. I really like it. It’s apparently some of the rules / philosophies of Paul Tudor Jones, the famous swing trader and hedge fund manager.

I really like the second one. I really set boundaries on my emotional energy. Have a read through it. There are many gems in this deceivingly simple list. I am sure some will resonate with you.

Happy Trading!

Robin

Paul Tudor Jones – Swing Trader Rules

  • Swing trader, the best money is made at the market turns. Has missed a lot of meat in the middle, but catches a lot of tops and bottoms
  • Spends his day making himself happy and relaxed. Gets out of a losing position that is making him uncomfortable. Nothing’s better than a fresh start. Key is to play great defense, not great offense.
  • Never average loses. Decreases his trading size when he is doing poorly, increase when he is trading well.
  • He has mental stops. If it hits that number, he is out no matter what. He uses not only price stops, but time stops.
  • Monitors the whole portfolio equity (risk) in real time.
  • He believes prices move first and fundamentals come second.
  • He doesn’t care about mistakes made three seconds ago, but what he is going to do from the next moment on.
  • Don’t be a hero. Don’t have an ego. Always question yourself and your ability. Don’t ever feel that you are very good. The second you do, you are dead.

Don’t be an eunuch!

This post is not about forex trading, or becoming a forex millionaire trader. However, it will help you on your journey in life. It’s about the mindset. Far more imporant is the mindset, compared to the tools/resources people have, in order to become successful. You can give 2 traders the same trading system, and their results will be completely different. This falls down to mindset.

Funny enough this post revolves around Singapore and one of it’s early key personnel’s thoughts. It was sent to me by a fellow business associated in Singapore. It sheds light on the possible future of Singapore, the importance of leadership & people, and the edge of the country/people. Oh, to top it off, don’t be an eunuch! Seriously – there are too many around =/

Former EDB Chairman Philip Yeo’s latest biography sheds light on leadership pitfalls

6-Feb-2017: http://thepeakmagazine.com.sg/interviews/former-edb-chairman-philip-yeos-latest-book-sheds-light-leadership-pitfalls

Through 10 interviews with Philip Yeo, and 40 with those who’ve worked with him or known him, readers will gain an insight into the heady days of Singapore’s early nation-building.

# 1 What is the rationale behind your firing-squad approach to managers?

Like Dr Goh (Keng Swee), I don’t believe people can change. So the best way to change an organisation is to burn it down and start afresh. That means I sack the whole lot of managers. In every organisation, there are three types of people: the emperors at the top, the workers at the bottom, and the eunuchs in the middle. The ruler says, “I want my pyramid,” and the workers are the people who build it. The eunuchs are the ones who shuffle papers. They don’t do any real work. Their objectives are to keep the emperor happy. How to do that? Keep the emperor entertained or distract him with other preoccupations. Eunuchs destroy empires. It was true in China and also in the West. The Ottoman Empire was brought down by eunuchs too. All they did was create problems between the emperors and the commanders who did real work out in the battlefields.

# 2 Who are the eunuchs in the Singapore context?

We call them “staffers”. I advise CEOs and top civil servants to go into the field, visit the companies and spend time with the workers. But many still prefer to hold meetings and presentations. They create another layer and it is a layer filled with staffers. Soon, the leader will be infected with eunuch disease.

# 3 What is eunuch disease?

It is when a leader surrounds himself with staffers and he becomes increasingly isolated. It is a common cancer in pyramidal organisations. The best organisation structure is flat. If I’m the emperor, I would want to see the generals myself. Increasingly, the emperors in Singapore do not see their generals because there are so many layers.

# 4 How did Singapore get to this stage? Is it because as society becomes more developed, it requires a more complex governance structure?

No, it’s how the leadership has evolved. There are so many papers which need to be submitted, and then summarised for the management. Why can’t the leader read the paper himself? Dr Goh used to demand that a paper be no longer than one page and it must be written in simple English. He always said: short and sharp. If you cannot tell me in one page or in five minutes, it means you have no clarity of thought. I have no patience because a damn idiot wants to write his grandmother’s story.

# 5 Is this a result of how talent is recruited?

The organisation wants stability. There must be a balance with some turmoil. If it is all stability, it gets really boring and a maverick won’t want it. He will run away. You will get people who are honest and respectable, but you won’t get mavericks. These are the people who follow rules – “Yes, Sir, I will do this.” They are your obedient kids in schools and teachers like them. They grow up to be good eunuchs. They sit down and don’t move around. They are better than the guy who cannot sit still, the kind who has an itchy backside and will get into trouble. I used to get into trouble in school. I finished my work fast and I made noise in class. The teacher made me stand at the blackboard. I’m happy to stand. Better than sitting in the stupid chair.

# 6 How much of this increasing bureaucratisation is seen in Singapore today?

The management is too involved in day-to-day matters. They become administrators rather than leaders. Let me tell you a story. When Lee Kuan Yew was in charge, he called me to Istana one day. He was still Prime Minister and I was EDB chairman. I sat down. It was just the two of us. “Can you bring investments to Woodlands?” he asked me. “Can you put an MRT station there?” I replied. Finished. I walked out. Our conversation lasted less than a minute. I knew he called the Minister of Communications right away and said that Woodlands must get an MRT station. I quickly got TECH (Texas Instruments, EDB, Canon and Hewlett-Packard – Semiconductors) to get set up in Woodlands, way before the MRT station was even up. I pushed for projects to go to Woodlands. I didn’t write a memo. I didn’t have to answer him on how we were going to do it. He took my word and I took his word. He wanted something and I delivered.

Today, ministers overwork – doing everything and appearing everywhere. When there were issues with CPF, the minister answered. Where was the CPF chairman? When the trains broke down, the minister answered. Where was the SMRT chairman? In the past, the civil servants would take charge. Now, the Admin Officers are quiet. That is a sad thing. In my time, permanent secretaries were permanent in their postings. Today, we should call them “temporary secretaries” because they get rotated every few years. There’s no reservoir of experience… they are constantly rotated and they have no depth.

# 7 How does this contrast with the Old Guard leaders?

The Old Guards were politicians. They built a nation from next to nothing. They didn’t care about the nitty gritty. Just get the bloody job done. Bring in investments, create jobs, build up an army. They didn’t have time to discuss with you “on the one hand and on the other hand”. They sketched the big picture, they told you what they wanted and they left you alone to do it. It’s based on trust.

# 8 Do you think Singapore can remain exceptional?

It depends on exceptional people who’re willing to serve. It’s up to the present leadership and the future generation. I’m concerned about Singapore’s economy. What’s the next engine of our growth? Is it tourism? But do you create good jobs with tourism? You don’t need highly qualified people. All you need is a tour guide. Look at Formula One. For a few days, all the chauffeured cars and the hotels are occupied. It’s like the Singapore Airshow. It’s a one-week event and the tourists leave after that. These are not sustainable, everyday industries. These are icing on the cake. So far, I haven’t seen anything new that can create good and sustainable jobs. After biomedical sciences, what’s next? Space? What are we selling to our young people? What’s the new dream? It is a harder job today for EDB. But we must keep trying.

# 9 How do you think you will be remembered in Singapore?

Not my problem.