Living Well vs. Doing Well
In 2010 I read a life-changing article that changed my perception about whatever time I had left on this planet.
Previously, I was so caught up with getting good grades and being an obedient employee that I never had the time or energy to live well.
On the surface, many considered me to be a “successful” young man. After graduating with honours at a top university, I was primed to make my way up the corporate ladder at a well-known international bank.
I had fit perfectly into the role that every Asian parent would love for their child to be in.
But the truth was, I hated that life.
So in 2010 I decided to walk away from it all. I gave up wanting to look good in front of people, and I gave up the addiction of a steady paycheck.
My mother thought I was crazy for leaving my job. Every few weeks she’d show me newspaper clippings of job openings, hoping that I’d change my mind. I felt bad for causing her to worry, but I was no longer interested in being yet another replaceable cog in a corporate machine.
Thankfully, I never had to worry too much about basic expenses because I lived frugally, and had made a few good investment decisions in my early adult years.
I don’t deny that I like money (I’m actually very fond of it), but there’s a clear decreasing marginal utility to it. More money leads to more joy only up to a certain level. Beyond that, more money = more problems.
If I had to choose between being insanely rich or being joyful and content with my life, I’d pick the latter every single time.
Because you know… I’m pretty sure I won’t be thinking of a Lamborghini Aventador on my deathbed.
The Freedom To Live Life
A lot of people (myself included) began their trading journey for the money.
But over the years I’ve come to realize that it provides something of much, much greater value — the time and freedom to pursue whatever it is that I want.
There are many things in life I want to experience, and I’m not going to wait until I’m “retired” to really start living.
At first, I wanted the trading equivalent of a “4 hour work week”… so I devised a way to trade on the longer time frames and to limit my screen time.
This worked out pretty well for me from 2009 – 2015.
With the free time I had, I spent my time reading in cafes,
learning to swim (done!), picking up Thai kickboxing (done!), drawing (done!), meditating, playing the guitar (done!), surfing (done!), traveling… and generally learning about things that interest me.
In the winter of 2010 I embarked on my first solo trip to Europe where I spent 8 weeks traveling across 7 countries. It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had… and the tremendous feeling of peace and wonder is something I’ll never forget.
None of this would have been possible if I was handcuffed to a day job, or couldn’t leave my trading desk.
So that was fun for a while.
These days (2015 onwards), I’ve gotten tired of regular travel. The logistics and energy required to constantly be on the move has become tedious. Once you get used to traveling, it stops being fun.
So for now, I’ve settled on living in just a handful of my favourite places in Thailand, Bali and Singapore, and have started short-term trading again.
Who is Chris Lee?
That’s me. I’m the guy writing all the posts on this site. I was born in Singapore, and am now living in various parts of Asia (currently in
Singapore China Thailand).
Here’s a bit of my trading history:
Since 2005 I’ve paid well over $20,000 in seminars alone to learn from 4 separate “trading gurus”… but none of them taught me anything that made a significant improvement to my trading bottom line.
And from what I know, 3 of them have disappeared from the face of the earth — their companies have closed down and nobody knows where they are, or what happened to them.
So it was through years of head-banging trial-and-error, a LOT of thinking and reflection, and a couple of helpful books along the way that I managed to claw my way back from blowing up 5 of my trading accounts, to breakeven, to profitability. It was a slow and painful journey.
I began trading in 2005, but it wasn’t until early 2008 that I got my act together and begin to make enough money to replace my full time job.
After seeing consistent results that could comfortably pay the bills, I decided to quit my job in December 2008 and haven’t looked back since.
In 2009, I began sharing my experiences and showing people how I trade.
Since then, I’ve had the good fortune of communicating with people all around the world who share the passion of trading for a living. This has been on many levels a rewarding experience, and I intend to keep at it for as long as it keeps me growing.
Forex trading is what I do for a living. And writing about it, creating videos about it, and teaching it is something I enjoy almost as much. It’s an amazing “job” that never remains static, and never gets boring.
Thank you for visiting my blog, and welcome. Be sure to check out my 1 Weird Trading Trick video.
All the best,