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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Changes

 
Subtly but steadily a few things have been changing here in the Lazy Trading Realm. All of them aimed at providing greater value. I'd like to get to a point where the free content on this site is more genuine, unique and better than the premium content on most trading sites out there. Of course, it is an ambitious and pretentious goal that I will never achieve, let alone with my limitations and daily sexual rapings of La Lengua de Shakespeare. But, we try. We strive to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be, and for that we have to aim high, or else life is just tasteless.

In this article I want to enumerate all the little things that may have passed by you unnoticed as I want to clearly reflect them and get your opinions. That is, if you still have the energy by the end. All kinds of suggestions are welcome. I can also handle an unlimited amount of praise and shows of appreciation.


The Changes

- An additional weekly article

Usually on Tuesdays or Wednesdays an article comes out where we deal with different subjects: from Psychology, to making fun of somebody, to answers to emails' from readers. Inspirational stories. Forex. Even other strategies to explore. In other words, an intra-week article, still somewhat related to trading but not me directly describing a new trade I made, nor me writing the traditional Weekend Portfolio Analysis. In other words, making the site less "me oriented" and therefore more valuable.


- The Options Trading Monthly Digest

To me this one is huge in the value that it provides. A monthly article where, without explicitly revealing all the particular details of our approach (out of respect to LTOptions members), we still go over the trading activity every month with a critical eye to extract valuable lessons that only make us better traders.


- Trade Updates on a Single page

In the past I would write a post for a position entry and then an additional separate post days later whenever something happened with that position. If I made an adjustment to one side of a Condor, I would write a new post describing the adjustment and linking back to the original article. If I wanted to close one side of an Iron Condor, yep you guessed it: another separate post then linking to the original. If a very challenging position needed to be adjusted or hedged 3 times,......that would be 4 different articles all linking to each other. It was terrible. Confusing for the user, and hard to properly maintain for myself. Now there is only one article per trade. If adjustments, hedges, partial early closes are needed they will just be appended at the end of the original article as a "Trade Update". This way the whole story of the position is clearly reflected in one single place and I don't have to go crazy with infinite links and the inevitable verification process it takes to make sure it is all good. More clarity for the audience. Less headaches for me. 


- Improved Track Record presentation










The Track record is now implemented using Google Documents rather than pure HTML tables. Infinitely easier for me to maintain and much more elegant and visually attractive for the user. It still links back to each trade entry and exit as always. It has also been simplified in that fewer columns are displayed and a smaller final monthly summary but none of the removed stuff was critical or too valuable at all. I think it is way better as it is now. Suggestions always welcome anyways. This is done for the 2016 track record. I will work on the previous years little by little.


- Trading competition













Quite possibly one of the most serious attempts at a trading contest that promotes responsible and sustainable trading, where the winner is not the person with the greater return, but a combination of return + small draw-downs + low capital exposure. The friendly contest is also planned to last a year, rather than the typical one-month only, which makes every other contest out there a joke. When the best traders on the planet have, not only a month, but sometimes entire quarters or a year of negative performance, you have to wonder what is the value, really, in a one-month-only trading competition? Our friendly trading competition is unique: Commitment to a long term approach, plus penalization of reckless trading behaviors and promotion of discipline and seriousness around the business of trading. Four transparent traders I have met on the Internet over the years, plus me, all of us sticking our necks out. Walking the talk. No 'Guru-ism' BS.


- Less annoying Email Newsletter


Readers subscribed to the email newsletter were probably feeling annoyed by too many emails from your pal LT. I can only understand. Hell, if I were to receive 4 or 5 emails from any blogger in a week, I would be unsubscribing immediately. One email per week is enough, two at the most. 

I noticed that there was a tendency for people to opt-out of the email list after receiving articles on particular trades (either entries or exits). And it makes sense! Those emails made the whole thing more about "me, me, and me. I did this. I did that. I will do this other thing". When instead, it should be more about "you" and how to provide value to you, without making "me", the center of the universe.

This site is not a paid trading newsletter business. Therefore, when people join the email list, in general, they are not expecting immediate trade alerts, entries, exits, rolls, adjustments. Which results in way too many emails being sent throughout the year. For those interested in immediacy, we have Twitter.

I will continue to detail all my trades here on the site. But when it comes to emails, I will simplify my life and yours: One email on the weekend, with the Portfolio Analysis and wrap up of recent activity, and one email on Tuesday or Wednesday when the mid-week article on a general subject is published.


- DISQUS platform for the comments section








A while back the comments section was upgraded to the much nicer and friendly Disqus. Also, anonymous posting was disallowed as it mostly resulted in "brave" anonymous people spewing garbage and insults, not to mention tons of Cial and Viagra spammy ads from Bots. As if we needed that! Successful Lazy Traders are less stressed out and more virile individuals by definition, who end up becoming interesting and exciting men with no need for pills.

There is still no moderation in place, which makes this site one of the most relaxed and censorship free on the Internet. Basically you type and submit whatever the hell comes to your mind and there won't be a person censoring you. Your comment doesn't need hours of wait for approval by me. It gets posted on the site immediately. This has always been the case for 5 years, and it is something I don't ever want to change. Of course, if you post something politically incorrect, such as, I don't know: "Viva FIDEL!", then yes you will be censored.


- Custom Search Results



Custom search results are now displayed on a pop up page. This is nice as the user doesn't lose the content he was reading, which remains underneath in case the user just wants to cancel out his search and continue his previous activity without having to type the old URL or going back on his browser or anything.


- Website Personality

The Logo of the site changed from the generic Sterling Pound symbol, which was more appropriate during the early stages of this site when I used to only talk about Forex:

To this more personal thingy:
It may not be the greatest thing in the world, but at least it is not something stolen from a random site on the Internet. Also both the Facebook and Google Pages of the site have a background image for the first time in history:


Notice the lack of a financial chart there. Charts are just stressful. The background image reflects Laziness. It reflects Freedom. Also company with those two chairs instead of one. As I have always said: It is not about the money. It is about freedom, choices and happiness.


- Removal of all forms of Third Party Advertisement
I must confess this was a very tough decision for me and to be honest, it will initially be a temporary experiment which I will re-evaluate after a few weeks. I may bring ads back then. It will depend.

Not only Google Adsense blocks were removed, but also the integration with another third party provider of market related publications. This makes the site more clutter free. No matter how hard you try, a site with ads will never look cleaner than one without them.

From time to time, some readers would end up clicking on Ads that took them to other sites with sub-par content, or content that was not in line with the message of The Lazy Trader. Content that is obviously beyond my control, and of course I don't feel totally fine with that.

However, ads are a necessary evil in today's world. Maintaining a site, the creative process involved in writing articles; doing research, responding to comments, replying to dozens of private emails, all that demands immense efforts and hundreds of hours per month. There are also hosting costs involved. So, if you want to manage a website, and do it well, it will cost you both: time and money. If I were to measure the time I dedicate to this site vs its actual revenue, you would think I'm stupid and I wouldn't totally disagree. I'm probably working for minimum wage. What the hell, ultra less than minimum, maybe Haitian wage or Namibian wage, or something like that. Modern Slavery. Having those Ads helps bloggers a lot in an era where people are used to getting it all for free. It provides with a few dollars a day at least to compensate for the hundreds of hours of dedication per month and the monetary costs. That's why everyone goes fully "premium" at some point. It is just an insane amount of work. I opted for "openness", which led me to try and compensate my efforts via ads. We'll see how it all goes for a while without them.



All these changes have been the result of your support. Without it I would have had zero motivation to spend hundreds of hours trying to improve things. So, thank you once again.

Democracy is my thing. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

LT

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