Comments Off on If You Talk The Talk, Then Walk The Walk

If You Talk The Talk, Then Walk The Walk

Parent to child;

“You must study hard, spend 6 years in primary school, 4 to 5 years in secondary school, 2 to 3 years to get a diploma and another 3 to 4 years to get your degree before you can consider a professional job. Life is not easy and there are no free lunches. You have to work hard to become rich and achieve your dreams.”

Three days later, the parent signs up for a three-day workshop to become a full-time professional trader on the promise that no hard work is involved, it is easy and you can become a millionaire and achieve financial freedom like it was a free lunch.


Parent to child;

“Don’t lend money to anyone. People can’t be trusted. When you have money, they all want to be your friend. When you don’t have it, they don’t know who you are. When they owe you, they will avoid you. Never trust anyone with your money because you are never going to get it back”

Three days later, the parent puts the family’s life savings in a leveraged fund with a banker they hardly know who will ask for more investment power later who cannot promise that you will get it all back. When its all gone, the banker doesn’t seem interested to do business with you anymore.


Parent to child;

“Money is hard to earn. You must learn to spend wisely. Buying things without thinking is reckless and immature. You must plan to buy what you can afford and only buy what you need. You must stay within your budget. Shop around, do your research, wait for discounts and save as much as you can. Don’t just buy because everyone is buying the same thing.”

Three days later, the parent pumps more than 50% of his investment capital into a company he hardly knows anything about. He buys it without researching its fundamentals, he averages up as the stock keeps rising without waiting for a dip and he bought it because his friend had a tip from a friend that everybody else was buying it.


Parent to child;

“You mustn’t feel bad about losing, son. Sport is about participation and completing what you started. It’s about training, concentration, emotional control and doing your best. It’s about playing by the rules. If you did everything right and you put in 100%, then it is not a loss but a personal achievement. You should be happy and proud about that.”

Three days later, the parent is ranting and raving about losing money in the stock market. He broke his own rules because he lacked practice. He had gotten emotionally attached to the trade and had been living in denial. He procrastinated, was preoccupied with business issues, had become complacent and didn’t concentrate on his stock position. He didn’t take his profit when he had it because of greed and didn’t cut his losses until it was too late because of fear. He was angry because he lost money …but he won’t blame himself.


Parent to child;

“Don’t believe everything you hear. People like to lie to you and tell you things you want to hear so that they can get what they want from you. The only reason they are nice to you is because they want something. They will lie, cheat and double-cross you just to get what they want. The more convincing they sound, the more they are lying. You must check them out properly first.”

Three days later, the parent jumps into a stock with all guns blazing because there was some news about it. No research was done because the article was written by a ‘credible’ analyst from an established institution. The price target given was so realistically achievable and tempting and the reason for the “Buy” rating was so convincing that Eskimos would have bought a fridge.

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Comments Off on Random Update … Wed 14 May 14 @ 20:13

Random Update … Wed 14 May 14 @ 20:13

I’m sitting at home.

After 60 agonising hours of being warded at Singapore General Hospital, I am finally at home and temporarily untortured. But the ordeal is not yet over …

In November 2011, I had an operation done to remove a gouty tophi from my right foot (big toe). It had become so huge that I couldn’t wear normal shoes without much agony. The operation went well except that when my surgeon stitched me up, the same wound was actually undergoing another gouty attack. Thus, while it healed, a new but smaller bunion formed. This bunion never really bothered me over the next two years.

Then four weeks ago, just hours before I was to depart for K.L., I had to go Changi’s A&E to get the wound looked at because it became inflamed and posed a threat of infection. The doctors initially refused to aspirate the fluid for fear of aggravating any infection but later agreed with me that it would be better to aspirate in a clean environment than to have it burst in the middle of K.L. over the weekend. After puncturing and getting most of the fluid out, the foot was “back to normal” and I went to K.L. without incident or discomfort.

Then over the past weekend, on another trip to K.L., the wound leaked and I felt some pain. Upon returning on Sunday 11 May at 10pm, I immediately went to SGH to get it checked and once again, the fear of infection was the prime concern. They shot me up with antibiotics and scheduled to have the wound operated on to remove the gouty tophi and clean up any infection. However, the threat of infection was just precautionary as I showed no signs of fever, high blood pressure and severe pain that normally accompanies an infection. I was warded and put on the waiting list for surgery.

And it was a long waiting list given that Tuesday was a holiday and all.

While waiting, I had to fast ahead of the surgery. They pumped me up with plasma and antibiotics till my right arm became so sore from the inside out. By Wednesday morning, my arm could take no more. Now as I write this, my right arm is stiff and sore and unable to lift anything.

Starved, in pain and frustrated with all the waiting, my surgeon, Prof Inderjit Singh returned from a trip just in time to stop my misery. I was talking a walk outside the ward, wandering quite aimlessly and feeling totally depressed. I have never been happier to see my surgeon and I am not ashamed to tell you that I almost cried with relief to see his familiar face walking towards me. He stopped the needles and made an assessment on my foot. He then sent me home with instructions to stay off my feet with a stack of antibiotics for good measure. He assured me that the wound was not infected and scheduled me for surgery on Monday, 19 May first thing in the morning.

This is much sooner than I had expected but this doesn’t help the problem with my schedule. I still have some outstanding engagements to fulfil but Prof Singh assured me that the surgery would be a minor one compared to the other surgeries I’ve had over the last 30 months. But he did advise that I should take time off to recover and rest. I do have several previews to fulfil over the next few weeks but that is all the work I will be doing for now till my next class in a month’s time.

I have known for some time now that my body has been breaking down. I have known that I needed to take better care of myself. But I have been stubborn. I have always put others before myself and now, it has been at the expense of my health.

A good friend once told me that if I wished to continue to help others, I have to take care of myself first. I am of no bloody use to anyone if I am sick as it will only make others worry for me. He was right and now, those I want to help are worried for me.

Yes, I have been selfish and now I pay the price.

No more. I will be taking better care of myself and after my surgery, I will be slowing down and taking time off. I will never make anyone worry about me ever again. Especially my loving and over-caring wife. Its time I starting taking care of her instead.

At the end of it all, I close this day on a high after reading my student’s frank and honest post on his blog about my new book, “Winning Psychology Of Defensive Traders” and the Tutorial which he attended a couple of years ago. You can read his review here: but don’t stop there. His blog is a must-read for anyone who wishes to get more insight to what every good financier should know.

Well done on a fine blog, Sing Heng.

Now, I am going to take things easy. And I am going to start by getting a good sleep tonight.

Comments Off on Taking A Long Break

Taking A Long Break

I am tired. And I need a break. I also need time to regroup and reorganise.

My health has taken a beating and I need to slow down. The demand for the tutorial has also slowed significantly. Thus, I don’t see the point in pressing on too hard while I should be using this time to rest and recoup instead.

I will be running only two more batches in Singapore; WAT72 (starting on 2 May) and WAT 73 (starting on 11 June) and one in K.L. (starting on 4 July). After that, I will be taking a long break to recoup during which I will be having my fourth operation in three years. The break will give me time to heal properly.

The earliest I may return to teaching could be in September. However, if circumstances don’t improve by then, I may choose to return in November.

The community will still go on with their monthly Gatherings and Specialist Workshops in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. I will still continue to support my existing students and past graduates. I just won’t be taking any new Tutorial batches till either September or November.

During this break, I will also be reorganising how The Pattern Trader Tutorial & Tools will run in the future and how it will move forward for the coming years. Change is necessary as the brand expands. How the changes will shape up is something I need time to work on. Thus, this break will give me time to clear my head and plan for the long term future.

I am also looking forward to accepting an offer from an American publisher and that means I might be away for up to a year if and when it happens. On top of that, I also need to consider my expansion into India and Australia next year. All this means that I will have less time in Singapore to do my Tutorials from 2015 onwards.

So, if you had plans to join the Tutorial or if your friends were planning on doing the same, you’d better jump in now or it will be a long and possibly indefinite wait till I resume teaching again. For details on the up-coming Preview dates, schedules and costs, send your queries to

The upside for me is that I will have time to trade properly again while I recover from my op.

Comments Off on WPODT: Book Launch – Kuala Lumpur & Penang

WPODT: Book Launch – Kuala Lumpur & Penang

To attend this event, register here:

Comments Off on WPODT Launch – What A Party!

WPODT Launch – What A Party!

Thanks to Soon Ghee for the great shots!!

Comments Off on Happy Lunar New Year 2014

Happy Lunar New Year 2014

Comments Off on Goals & Success

Goals & Success

Here’s an excerpt of the final part of my new book, “Winning Psychology of Defensive Traders”, so that it gives you something to be motivated by while waiting for its release in January 2014 …

In closing, allow me to share some personal experiences that have seen me through the toughest times of my life and helped me to achieve every success I have today.

It’s called Passion.

When we’re passionate about what we do, we begin enjoying it and when we’re having fun doing what we love, we excel. Passion keeps us motivated and pushes us relentlessly to achieve that level of excellence in whatever we set our minds out to do.

However, passion alone is never going to be enough. The other ingredient for success is Belief.

If passion motivates us, then belief drives us. In believing in ourselves, we are more likely to achieve the goals we set and the dreams we visualise. It is this belief that makes our expectations of our dreams and goals realistic. It drives us to make those expectations real and then drives us beyond those targets.

True success never happens by accident and it is not an entitlement. It certainly is not exclusive if you believe it can happen to you and if you have the passion to earn it.

Plan your goals and make them realistic, measureable and specific. Your plan should have targets and deadlines. It should be based on things that you can do or are learning to do. The plan should not depend or rely on other people and must be something that you have total control over.

Once you’ve mapped out the plan to achieve your goals, begin visualising them by cutting out pictures or visual representations of those goals. Stick or paste them up in places where you frequently look such as your mirror, desktop, refrigerator, etc.

Now you have to make it work. By seeing your goals everyday, you are subconsciously opening up your mind to opportunities. By having planned your goals, you will be drawn to those opportunities to explore the possibilities. This sense of adventure is what will spur your enthusiasm and thus grow your passion. Believing that it is possible to achieve that goal will motivate you to take more action and this will in turn will produce results.

The results may not be exactly what you expected but any result is an achievement in the right direction and it is a small measure of success. The result may sometimes be a failed attempt but failure is only complete when we give up. If we persist and continue to get results, then failure is nothing more than a learning lesson that makes us stronger and wiser. This makes any success thereafter all the more sweeter to savour.

And success breeds more success as each action produces a result.

“Success belongs to those who work at it the hardest and believe in it the longest.”

And it is this success that pushes us to achieve greater things not just for ourselves but for others. Any measure of success means nothing if you are the only one benefitting from it. Success is sweetest when you are doing what you love not just for your own personal gains but so that those you love also can share in the joy of your success.

“Immortality is not about living forever, but about what you’ve done so that you are never forgotten”

Comments Off on A Choice

A Choice


To have lost and gained
To have gained and never lost


I asked this simple question on Facebook and got quite a few responses in a short time. The responses were varied and even creative. There were a couple that delved deep into the psychology of the poser. Other’s backed their choice with philosophy.

Whichever way you look at that query (except with regard to personal weight), there really is no right or wrong about it.

If you want to test yourself, go ahead and choose … To have lost and gained or To have gained and never lost … how will you live your life?

I’ll let you mull over that for a bit. Once you’re done, scroll down and find out what this is all about and you might discover something about yourself …




. Have you considered your Choice?




Here are some of my favorite responses …

And this one came closest …

Before I go on, I must say that I am grateful that so money participated and dared to post their replies. To them I say “Thank you” for helping me with this lesson.

Some of the respondents, without realizing it, answered the call by betraying their true level of greed and/or humility. There is no right or wrong to this. It’s all a matter of greed for ego, face and pride versus humility. In other words, there are many ways to do things to gain ego, face and pride while there is only one way to gain humility.

One must have gained in order to have some ego, face and pride. Then you have to keep gaining and do whatever it takes to keep gaining more to keep that growing ego, face and pride. Some resort to evil and illegal means to retain those gains and gain more when their ego, face and pride get threatened.

Then when all is inevitably lost, most fade into oblivion knowing that they have also lost their ego, face and pride and will be ashamed to face the public again. More, they would have lost their will to fight, their self esteem and their motivation.

Few, and only a few will have what it takes to rise from the ashes. It is these few who will understand that to gain something of real measure, one must have lost. The process is known as a Humbling Experience.

To get humility, you only need to lose everything to appreciate what you’ve lost. You only treasure what you don’t have after you’ve lost it.

Losing is not failure. Failure is only complete after one has quit, given up, resigned or simply moved on without resolving the loss.

It takes a humble person to know that failure is only a new beginning. It is this humility that breeds that fighting spirit, that keeps the motivational engine running and builds the self esteem.

It is the humble person who is never afraid to lose knowing that there is more to gain after a loss.

It is the proud fool who never wants to lose without ever knowing how much more he could have gained.

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Comments Off on Dear Conrad …

Dear Conrad …

Here’s an email from one of my students which is typical of the kinds of emails and queries I frequently get …

When it seems like there is no hope, when it seems like you will never get out of the shit you are in, when it feels like the end of world, when everything in your life is going haywire, when you feel like whatever you are doing aren’t working, when you no longer know what to do, when you feel like you can’t go on anymore, how do you get out of it, how did you find the strength to stand up again?

To that, my usual anwers are of the motivational kind, uplifting words, encouragement, etc. This is usually because such queries are made by strangers and those who are not my students.

This time, I decided to tell it like it really is. And it is exactly what my values are;

There is always hope.
There is always a way out.
There is always a tomorrow.
Everything happens for a reason.
There is always one more thing you can do.
There will always be a reason to want to do better.

I don’t blame.
I don’t complain.
I don’t find excuses.

I find solutions.
I look for answers.
I take responsibility.

When things get so bleak, that is when I am at my strongest.
At the lowest point, there is no excuse to fail, nothing else to lose and everything to gain.
You only fail if and when you give up, quit or do nothing.
Lamenting, complaining, blaming, making excuses, crying and wallowing in sorrow is worse than doing nothing.

Today is the day after yesterday – What are you doing to make today better than yesterday?
Tomorrow will come – What are you going to do to make it a better tomorrow than today.

After all, I have said it before …

Success comes to those
who work at it the hardest
and believe in it the longest.

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Comments Off on Weekend Food For Thought – 23 Sep 2012

Weekend Food For Thought – 23 Sep 2012

During my recent Candlestick & Breakout Patterns workshop in KL, I noticed by taking a poll, that hardly any one these days plays those strategic games of old such as “Risk” and “Battleship” or even “Monopoly”.

No wonder so many of my students these days don’t know how to strategize, plan and manage their trades and risks.

These games were in a time when one really had to use their brains and think. Hardly anyone plays chess anymore too. Instead, its Angry Birds, Starcraft, etc, which hardly makes the brain work compared to the complex board games of old.

Here’s my weekend tip to everyone;

Increase your EQ by playing Risk, Battleship and Chess. Its cheaper, greener and more intellectually rewarding. Plus they don’t up-sell upgrades and newer versions!

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