New Beginnings

As I am starting up this blog, I am sitting on a balcony overlooking the beach in Chiba, Japan.  It seems like the perfect place to begin journaling my trading life.  A couple years ago, I made a serious attempt to learn trading while living here full time.  I had finished up a finance job in Tokyo and was anticipating a move back to the US.

 At the time I lived here, I was day-trading.  After the US markets closed, I would sit on the balcony to enjoy this view of the morning surf.

At the time I lived here, I was day-trading.  After the US markets closed, I would sit on the balcony to enjoy this view of the morning surf.

In many ways, that summer trading and living here was a taste of the life I wanted.  Combining my love for being out in the world with my interest in trading the markets.  I wasn’t nearly successful enough nor capitalized well enough to make it permanent.  It was, though, the real beginning.

My trading has changed quite a bit since those days.  But the biggest change is, I now am making enough that I could support myself in this cute little hidden beach paradise.  This has always been my yardstick for a first level of real success - not just a P&L above zero but one with life-changing potential.  It’s still early days and I am still a little uncertain, but I’ll celebrate these victories as they come.

 The town had this incredible rosemary planter we raided every weekend for our grilled chicken salad.  shhh, don't tell anyone.

The town had this incredible rosemary planter we raided every weekend for our grilled chicken salad.  shhh, don't tell anyone.

 My place was in the building just above the camel statues to the upper right.

My place was in the building just above the camel statues to the upper right.

Trading On An Asus c302ca Chromebook

When I was planning my latest trip to Japan, I gave a lot of thought to what to bring for trading.  I wasn't planning on daytrading during the trip, so I just needed to check the markets once or twice a day and enter/exit some slow swing and position trades.  I also wanted to travel light as I'd be bouncing around locations a bit.

In the end, I settled on the Asus c302ca Chromebook.  This is like a budget laptop that only runs the chrome browser.  I don't trade directly off it (though my TastyWorks account would be fine for that).  Instead, I use Chrome Remote Desktop and Splashtop to remotely access my home Windows machine.  There, I can pull up complex options trades and do analytics as well as run various scans and python apps.

 

There are a lot of advantages to the chromebook over a full Windows laptop.  First, it's very cheap.  If it gets lost or damaged, I can pick up a new one anywhere.  If it gets stolen, I can relax as the internal storage is fully encrypted and all my work is synced with the cloud.  After signing into a new chromebook with my Google account, within minutes I am up and running.  The battery life is also much better than any comparably priced/sized laptop.

Another thing about this specific model is it uses usb-c.  I've been migrating my other equipment to this (external drives, dock, etc) so that's appealing.  But more than that, this chromebook charges off usb-c.  So does my phone (Moto Z).  So, on my last trip, I just brought one very small charger and used it for both devices.  It's significantly smaller than any laptop charger I've had to travel with before.

The device is also a 2-in-1, so it doubled as my tablet and I left my kindle behind.  On the long flight over, I could flip it to tent mode and watch movies on it's full-HD screen.

Anyway, back to trading.  It worked like a dream.  I did find the Splashtop remote desktop to be faster and more comfortable, but you need the business version so there is a small monthly fee for that.  I also used the built-in Chrome remote desktop and it was fine in Japan where internet is quite fast.  The screen is 1080p so I set my home desktop to 1080p also before leaving and found it adequate for my charting/analysis needs.  Correction: the screen can go higher than 1080p, but since it is a 12.5 inch screen, 1080 is a comfortable size for the Windows desktop.

You can find it on amazon at http://a.co/f6X50VR