Doing well vs Living 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 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 2011 I decided to walk away from it all. I let go of the idea that I needed to look like a winner 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 at prestigious banks, 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.
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 until 2015.
With the free time I had, I spent my time reading in cafes, learning to
swim (done!), picking up Thai kickboxing (done!), take drawing classes (done!), playing the piano (done!), surfing (done!), traveling… and generally learning about things that interest me.
I embarked on a 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 that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
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 Asia.
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 Bali 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”… and I didn't realize this at the time, but all they did was regurgitate the same platitudes that are being repeated everywhere online (i.e. things that don't work).
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 few gut-wrenching episodes of massive losses, 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 trading accounts, to breakeven, to profitability. It was a slow and painful journey.
I began trading in 2005, but it wasn’t until 2010 that I got my act together and begin making 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 2011 and haven’t looked back since.
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 a rewarding experience on many levels, and I intend to keep at it for as long as it keeps me growing.
Thank you for visiting my blog, and welcome.
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All the best,