The following is a book review of my key take-away lessons from chapters 13 to the end of one of
the women I admire most in the trading industry. We’ve done several reviews in the past
especially on audio interviews. You can find a backstory of the same on our previous
interviews. In February of 2022, we covered chapters 1-12 of Linda Raschke’s book Trading
Sardines. You can find the interview of our most recent interview with Linda on this link;

Zero attachment to trades come in handy to those who take trading as a business. One of
Linda’s favorite quotes from years of tape reading is to forget about a trade once executed.
In as much as market technicians all sorts of analysis from back testing to forward testing,
Linda emphasizes that she strongly believes that no one can forecast the market and be
right 100% of the time. This goes both for retail and institutional traders.

With advancement in technology over the years, trading has become a digital affair in a
small global community with access to internet. While this has propagated many players
across the world accessing more asset instruments, Linda’s still of the stand that technology
may offer more resources than ever before, however it’s the experience that has a greater
edge. This experience counts not in just knowing the markets, but in understanding your
own personal trading patterns. Nothing beats that.

Juggling trading with daily life outside of work can be quite daunting for most traders due to
the equal importance and commitment needed for both. An individual must be grounded in
balancing life as well as building a career path for oneself. Linda sort out the help of Mr. Bill
and took up working out as part of her routine which enabled her look forward to waking up
each morning to be in shape prior to delving in the markets.

The rules of trading and those of being in perfect health following a regular work-out
regimen are no different. Linda lived up to Mr. Bill’s lessons summarized as “stick with the
basics, follow a methodology, be consistent, use rituals to achieve consistency, concentrate
on your form, keep records of your progress and above all, practice positive thinking”. By
following these rules religiously, Linda won the middleweight division of South Florida
bodybuilding competition in 11 weeks.

Some of the best traders could be mistaken for being ruthless and cold when it came to
their relationships with other human beings. This could be because of extensive interaction
with markets. There was study done examining the emotional profiles of successful traders
to their emotional profile. The conclusion was, the longer the trader had been at in the
industry, the less their emotional sensitivity. They are less reactive and are high performers
under pressure.

Being able to separate work from personal is a trait that comes with time. From experience,
Linda a market wizard discovered that the energy of the markets controlled her entire life.
Quoting her; “This energy is subtle and insidious; we are not aware of how we come across
to others. Can you shut off that electric current when you walk out of your office? If not,
those around you may be getting zapped more than you realize”.

When Linda started playing big in the markets by managing funds of funds, she summarized
her system to three guidelines to tape reading and these are; The first is always watch price
to a reference point. It can be another price such as day’s opening, a daily swing high or low
or the level in which one entered a trade in which case it is static. It can also be an oscillator
or another market in which case the reference point is dynamic meaning it is always moving.

The second guideline to tape reading as per Linda’s execution was watching at what
moment the price stops going up or down. In essence, wait for the momentum to slow and
for the price to start trading in a few ticks’ range to establish support. Below that support
becomes your initial risk. A reaction must start quickly in the opposite direction. Finally, tape
reading is about watching for aberrations i.e., unusual activity, heavy volume, significant
gaps, anything out of the ordinary.

In the pursuit of putting in your 10,000 hours and burning the midnight oil, please don’t
forget that studies have been done demonstrating that sleep is the most important thing for
one’s health more than diet and exercise. As a rule of thumb, never trade when you’re tired.
This is because, when people experience chronic sleep deprivation, their cognitive abilities
are much worse than they think they are. The results are adverse severe performance

It would be a disservice to end this book review without acknowledging that there’s more to
life than one’s choice of a career path. Linda had a daughter, a fiancé, and horses to keep
her balanced outside of trading all of which she invested quality time on. She has continually
expressed that some of her best trades were the ones made when she was recovering from
huge draw downs, and these have been a roller coaster of highs and lows in her career path.
Do yourself a favour and grab yourself a copy of Trading Sardines.


It has been exactly over one year and nine months since STL started doing webinars in partnership with a licensed and regulated broker with the Capital Markets Authority operating legally in Kenya with jurisdictions in the United Kingdom and offices in South Africa, Nigeria and here at home (Nairobi) to mention but a few. Perhaps people would question why we aggressively hosted our weekly #forexfridays mentorship webinar series in 2021. This article will answer that question. Much has been said by a lot of people in regards to their education quest to pursue online forex trading with a lot of their journeys ending up in blown up accounts, a term used quite often when an individual loses their money due to lack of the skill to trade once he or she funds an account an executes trades using a financial brokerage firm. Others begin the lonely journey of trading without someone to hold their hand or guide them to access the right information matters trading in the financial markets.

The plain and simple answer is that in order to perfect any craft, one needs a mentor or what can be referred to as an apprentice in the business world. When it comes to trading in online forex exchange, mentorship plays a key role in shortening the learning curve. The reality of the matter is that no one trading in the financial markets ever goes to any university to pursue an exclusive diploma, degree, masters or a PhD to become a successful trader. You can quote me on that. Those who have studied any form of finance in institutions of higher learning have to some extent seen the difference between an academic pursuit of the same and the real world of trading be it in online foreign exchange, equities, stock indices, commodities and or options trading. Hence the great need for real trading professionals in the financial sector to coach and mentor both young and old who seek to enter into the enormous world of trading. 

The financial markets are free. You can build a business out of it with the right skill set, trading capital, sheer discipline to stay true to your trading strategy and access to a mentor when you need someone to talk to. The markets are dynamic because they can be. You can as well choose the self-taught process, a relentless but worth-while journey in the end. However, you have to be willing to put in the hours. If you take that route as has been the case for some; be ready and open minded to pay for the cost of tuition in the markets (blowing up accounts) at the very early stages of your learning to fine tuning your trading skill & develop your own trading personality by losing a significant amount of your trading capital. Either way, you have the discretion to choose which way to go, with or without a mentor. The mentor-ship and coaching process is always a better and wise decision once you have an idea of what asset instrument you wish to specialize in. 

One has to be very careful in choosing a coach or mentor. Like in all industries, you may have quacks, fraudsters, entry level career professionals, serious traders and experts in the financial sector. It is for this reason Sylvia’s Traders Lounge conducted the webinar series in a bid to contribute positively to the trading community by giving access to beginning as well as seasoned traders to trading professionals who have been in the industry for decades to share their trading experience with others around the globe on their journeys. We made sure that the webinars were very practical and relevant by having real live market analysis of the guests trading approach so that it’s not just a story shared but attendees of the webinar can learn something applicable to their trading. In our joint mission, the team at STL decided to not only focus on FOREX trading and reached out for a solid partnership with Scope Markets Kenya, a brokerage firm whose trading platform allows traders a wide array of asset classes to select from. To open a live or practice demo account with Scope Markets Kenya, please use this link;

In the process of hosting the webinar series, STL Team grew and had an impact on the entire global trading community. We featured guests across all the asset classes specifically Forex, Stocks/Equities, Indices and Commodities. We also learned a great deal and the lessons had a great impact on our individual trading journeys which will continue for years to come. We welcome you to visit our YouTube channel on this link; to learn, trade and profit from our previous webinars. To join our trading community and attend our ongoing podcasts, future webinars and physical seminars, feel free to reach out to us via +254 726 662 409 or +254 785 948 298. We thank you for making the time to learn and extend the same gratitude to Scope Markets Kenya for giving us a chance to educate and share with world during the time that we served.


One of the hardest obstacles for people new into trading in the financial markets is in strategy development. Most people struggle for years trying to find the “perfect strategy” that can guarantee them consistent profits into the future. The harsh reality is that there is no perfect system, and what may work for some may not work for others.

A trading strategy is a set of decision making rules that a trader follows in order to justify executing, managing, and closing orders in an account. These sets of decision making rules are what provide logical interpretation of market data and ensure a disciplined and less emotional approach towards trading. A trading strategy is the process or methodology behind achieving trading objectives. By virtue of this, it then means that a trading strategy must have the capability of achieving the laid out objectives, and this is where the main obstacle lies for most traders

In order to formulate a strategy, a trader would first begin an idea based upon pattern recognition. Trading is both an art and a science in which we try to predict and profit from future price movements in the market. Predicting future price moves requires having an understanding of the market factors and phenomena that influence price. These phenomena when studied over a period of time can give insight into repetitive patterns that can be exploited for profit.

The journey of a strategy begins as an idea, an idea that would need to be tested further to find out whether it is capable of predicting future price movement in manner that is consistent enough to generate a positive return on investment. Our would-be strategy would encompass a few major elements such as the market instrument we would like to trade, the time-frame we would observe price movements, our entry criteria for both long and short positions, our risk tolerance per transaction, and our exit criteria for each trade. Structuring our ideas in this manner would make it easier to test out each element in our trading idea to find out which areas we would need to make changes to.


The fastest procedure to verifying the accuracy of the logic behind a trading idea, is through back-testing. This is also known as simulated trading. In simulated trading we play back historical price movements in real-time, and then test out the decision making rules or logic behind our trading strategy, to see how it would have performed in the past. This past performance will give us a basis to formulate a probability model for the strategy’s future performance. We tend to look at past performance – not as a guarantee of future performance – but as a guide. If the logic behind our strategy can work well in the past, then it can have a good probability of working well in the future.

Simulated trading has been shown to reduce the time taken to prove the logic in a strategy, and also give insight to possible modifications all within a short period of time, as compared to the traditional way of testing out strategies which is through forward testing methods such as demo trading and live trading. Forward-testing serves the purpose of confirming that the back-tested logic can work in current market conditions

Through simulated trading, a trader can test out their ideas in the past market conditions and make modifications to the logic to improve on returns. However, one must be careful not to over modify / over optimize the logic to such an extent that it no longer makes any sense in the current market conditions. Through back testing, simple ideas can be born into effective trading strategies.

COVID Investing

If I told you that the unemployment rate was 11.1%, GDP was down -5%, personal income was down -4.2%, what would you think would happen to stocks? Most people would assume stocks would be lower. And most people would be wrong.

Hands with latex gloves holding a globe

In a blog post titled, “The Unemployment-stock Market Correlation in One Chart”. Chris Preston presents a chart that shows the nearly perfect inverse correlation between stock performance and the rate of employment in the U.S. for the last 30 years. While this is not anything new, it is important to study historical data to get an idea to see in which part of the cycle we currently find ourselves in.

Stocks & Unemployment

COVID-19 has made this cycle unique in many ways, but the same in others. I believe the correlation between unemployment and stocks is still relevant, and future returns are tied to future unemployment numbers. Even though many believe stocks are supposed to be lower, and we can debate how much lower they should be, I think the market is focused on the expectation of future employment numbers, even more than the balance sheet of the Federal Reserve.

The reason why stocks have managed to continue to trend higher is not because of Fed manipulation, (although that is definitely a factor), it is mainly tied to unemployment and future expectations of the rate of employment in the country. Preston says, “as 30 years of history on this chart tells us, stocks won’t continue to rise unless the unemployment rate continues to fall sharply, considering how historically high it remains. Only a falling unemployment rate translates to rising share prices.”

The Evidence

So far, the bulls have been right. Economic data has gone their way. The unemployment rate went from 14.7% in April down to 11.1% in June. If you tracked that movement on a chart, stocks dropped more than 34% prior to the peak in unemployment back in March. This coincided with the top in stocks in February, which was also near the bottom in unemployment at 3.5%. Since we all know stocks are forward looking, this makes perfect sense. Therefore, I try to focus on the bigger picture and try not to get caught up in short term volatility and news cycles.

Bottom Line, stocks are neither undervalued, nor over-valued right now. I believe valuation does not matter for the moment. All investors are focused on is resumption of economic activity and how that will look from now on. The unemployment rate continues to be a significant indicator of future stock performance, but it is a lagging indicator, and stocks will often move before the unemployment numbers are published. The best thing we can do is invest in stocks if the unemployment rate continues to trend lower. Once the rate stabilizes, it will be time to get selective. For now, it is best to Buy weakness and sell into strength. That has worked all throughout this crisis. I do not expect that to change anytime soon.


My day to day work entailed closing clients for automated trading expert advisors. This entailed tasks such as cold calling, converting digital marketing leads from the company’s social media handles, handling walk in clients who specifically came for enquiries on the trading robots as well as organizing seminars to which we could educate the public on automated trading. The eight months experience exposed me to a great amount of research and learning because I had to immerse myself in the world of forex robots. I loved the experience because it was basically a performance based type of work where potential clients would be exposed to real time market analysis on the robots and it would be so such a great opportunity for them to be exposed to the reality that their investment would give them a return on their equity. The trading robots worked using simple indicator based strategies and what really pushed me to do business development for the company was that the robots had an equity stop loss feature that protected the client’s trading capital to a certain percentage allowing room for the robots to let the market do as it pleases. The combination of the robot selection also factored in different risk and reward ratios from extremely high risk high reward to low risk low reward robot selection meaning that they would serve different investors as per their risk appetite.

Photo Taken at the Company’s premises Training Room.

What intrigued me most is that the robots would work in different market conditions, trending markets, ranging markets and even in reversing markets providing more opportunities for investors to cash in. The portfolio selection consisted of seven trading robots trading on six instruments on major currency pairs; EUR/USD, GBP/USD, AUD/USD, USD/JPY, USD/CAD and NZD/USD.  They had been configured the robots to work on both MT4 and MT5 trading platforms. The trading robots were based on simple indicator based trading strategies, working simultaneously on all the three market conditions in all trading sessions, London, New York and Asian markets. The robots functioned and traded on a remote cloud server known as a VPS provided by the broker. The company made sure that installation of the robots on a client’s trading account would only be done with brokerage firms who had a stamp of approval from Capital Markets Authority in addition to the international regulation from the country of residence in a bid to safeguard the safety of the funds of the investors. The robots run effortlessly on the MT5 Trading platform which meant that the company could only install the robots using Scope Markets Kenya’s Trading platform.

Automated Trading Seminar Session in Progress.

During the orientation process a week into joining the company, my business partner and I were incorporated & involved in the back testing process of the robots. This saw us go back in time and evaluate whether the robots could withstand the impact of the markets and their sustainability to give returns in future forward tests. The fact that the same robots had been served to institutions & corporations like local banks for their back end forex trading instilled some level of confidence to provide the same robots to the retail investors provided the performance of the very same robots could speak for itself. Numbers do not lie and my work was made easier by the days when statistics backed the results of the robots which saw us generate a new revenue stream for the company by providing the automated trading solutions to retail clients. The minimum trading capital required to start trading using the robots would be $1000 and the equity stop loss would be set at $600 or $700 for a$1000 account size depending on the risk appetite of the client meaning that if there was say a black swan event like a major global recession or even what happened to the financial markets due to the impact of COVID-19, the robots would automatically close all open trades and protect the investor’s capital to the equity stop level.

Speaking during an Automated Trading Programs Seminar.

The performance of the robots really took a huge blow due to COVID in the second quarter of 2020. Using a martingale strategy; the robots could barely withstand the impact of COVID 19 market reaction. This saw my supervisor adjust the equity stop losses for some investors with some of them cashing out but it was until May that the staff including my role in the company was terminated. I enjoyed the lessons and came out with great communication and client management skills due to the rapport that had to be nurtured while dealing with clients across board. I managed to generate revenues for the company with majority of the clients ranging from a minimum capital size of $1000 to even $10,000 for some investors. I developed and nurtured work relationships that will go a long way in the financial markets industry and that experience to me was golden and still has a huge impact in my day to day work operations pre and post COVID. To see the future of finance with automation first hand is an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything because the role prepared me to endless possibilities, research and potential realities of what trading robots can do for a specific niche of modern day investors.


Having worked from home for close to three years, it was about time that I stepped out of my comfort zone. I felt the urgent need to work within a team in the area of my passion and industry which is trading in the financial markets. In September 2019, my business partner and I visited one of our friends at his house. This visit was random on the day but we had purposed to meet earlier on to discuss the issues traders faced in regards to the regulation of the Forex Market locally. Bear in mind that only two brokerage firms at the time had met the pre-requisites for CMA Licensing in Kenya. The visit came at a time when some local trading professionals faced frustrations in the Kenyan market to run their business openly with some of them facing charges from the police even when it came to the bare minimum of running trading institutions to train people how to trade. This saw many people trade at the comfort of their homes.

Call it a match made from heaven, here I was finalizing on my higher education Master’s program from WorldQuant University to when three days later after the visit, I received a call from our pal’s friend asking if I could use a job as an educator in their training institute on Forex Trading. The company was specifically looking for a female trainer but I knew where my strengths lied so I immediately called my business partner and told him about the opportunity. Thereafter, I returned the call and we were invited for a 4:00pm interview on a Friday and had a conversation with their head of training who is now a very great friend and a contributor to our website and support in our bi-monthly webinar series in partnership with Scope Markets Kenya. I think he liked the both of us and we were incorporated in the company with my business partner joining their training arm and I joined the company as a business development executive in the automated trading department.

Lean staff team of six at Meta Capital Limited at Reliance Center Building 4th Floor, Westlands in Nairobi Kenya.

Education was and still is huge for us and the visit was to find a way to work without any interruptions from the regulator. This meant one thing at the time, aligning ourselves with brokers regulated by CMA at the time in providing education services to our clients which was a great choice. Among other things that were discussed during the visit was the use of automated trading solutions. The practical application of that concept to me was completely new despite the fact that I had studied about automated trading expert advisors in my Master’s Program at World Quant University. By this time I was working on my final dissertation and I had some knowledge about EA’s but from an academic and research perspective. What happened was that our friend had another pal of his at the house. Little did we know that what we were discussing was some form of vetting if you may call it so to one month later to work with my then new boss who specialized in quant trading services and had his office at Westlands in Nairobi.

I remember once having a sit-down with the boss on timelines before we took a Christmas break on the 20th of December 2019. At the time along with my colleagues, we successfully managed to conduct three seminars on automated trading systems with two brokerage firms with the stamp of approval from Capital Markets Authorities. It was a very lean team with the day to day operations needing only six people on the daily and partially working over the weekends. I really loved that the company allowed each and every one to execute on their roles with minimal micro management and that allowed me to thrive on what I was good at which was, generating clients for the company and the brokerage firms we were in partnership then. I explicitly told my boss who was also my supervisor that my plan would be to serve in that position for three years. Anyone who knows my work ethic knows very well I am pretty straightforward when it comes to being transparent on my deliverables and for how long I intend to be part of an organization for as long as I am creating value. Little did I know that COVID-19 would end my role in the company on May 22nd, 2020. However, I thrived and loved to work within a team, my colleagues were sort of my second family for the eight month duration.

Automated Trading Seminar with Scope Markets Kenya in 2019 at Meta Capital Limited.

Upcoming Interview with Linda Raschke.

Sylvia’s Traders Lounge is delighted to give you a heads up on an up coming live interview with a question and answer session with Linda Raschke.

This is an opportunity for Kenyans to interact, engage and have access to a professional with decades of trading experience.

We are delighted to partner with Scope Markets on this engagement. Those willing to attend can do so by registering on this link;

and be available at Scope Markets on the 15th of January by 2:00pm. We look forward to seeing you there!


We just recently concluded seminars and a three day workshop with FXTM in Kenya. Strathmore University students actively participated as well as interested citizens in a bid to explore the opportunities presented by the markets. We saw people from all age groups come to the events, eager to learn. They not only put in the hours in the sessions but also took time to unlearn what they thought they knew regarding trading.

We saw people open trading accounts for the first time in their lifetime and experienced traders who came to increase their knowledge. The most important thing was not the certificates awarded at the end of the workshops but the increase in the skill to trade for beginning and professional traders. Andreas Thalassinos did a great job expounding on technical analysis, its application and use in the financial markets.

While the Capital Markets Authority of Kenya issued a new directive a couple of weeks ago on regulation of brokerage houses seeking to conduct their business in Kenya, it should be known that FXTM is currently in the process of doing so. FXTM blends is very well with the vision and mission of Sylvia’s Traders Lounge, we are both big on education because we know that the skill to trade is just as important as your capital. Those who wish to learn and trade with FXTM can do so by following this link.


We look forward to having FXTM again in the first quarter of 2019.


I have said this before, brokers can be whores if they want to. One of the things that you should look out for as a trader is your choice of broker. The role of brokers is to provide a trading platform so we can access liquidity in the Forex market. Brokers make money off your trading account in form of spreads and commissions. Before signing up with a brokerage firm, ask yourself these questions;

  1. Is my deposit secure? Is the brokerage firm registered and regulated in its country of origin?
  2. How affordable are the transaction costs? Will I end up generating profits for the broker due to high spreads and commission rates?
  3. Is their customer service available to me 24/5?
  4. Does the brokerage firm have a user friendly trading platform such as the MT4?
  5. How long does it take for the brokerage firm to execute my orders? Speed is crucial.
  6. Can I access my capital, withdrawal and deposits whenever I feel the need to do so?

Once you address those critical issues, you can be confident that you are dealing with a professional brokerage firm. The last thing you want is to keep blaming the broker for your ignorance and lose of trading capital. In this regard, we have partnered with FXTM to bring you an educational series this October. This is the first time FXTM will be in Kenya. Our goal is to provide you with the right information that’s applicable to your trading skill.

In this regard, we shall conduct two seminars followed closely by a three day workshop. We shall commence this by engaging actively with students at Strathmore University. The seminar is open to all and not restricted to students.

Thereafter, we shall have the second seminar at the Nairobi Safari Club for those of you available on the weekend. This day is special for the business community and will be the official launch of FXTM in Kenya. Those who may wish to know what will be going on but for some reason won’t make it to the venue can watch the event on Ebru T.V business news segment then.

Since we shall only have 300 people at the hotel, early bird FREE registrations are welcome on this link.

Workshops will follow the next week from the 16th-18th of October at the same Venue, Nairobi Safari Club. While the two seminars are free of charge, the workshops will attract a mandatory attendance fee of $200. Once you register for the seminar on the link, do not care for the fee, it’s optional to attend the workshops.

We hope that by you attending the seminars and or workshops, you shall get the basic knowledge to get started in trading the Forex and other derivative markets. Come and network with professionals who are not only passionate about the game but also resourceful. See you all then!

Crypto Watch.

After a period of suppressed prices ( late 2017 up to the second quarter of 2018, Bitcoin is now positioning itself for a possible breakout above the yearly (200EMA) moving average prices and quarterly (60EMA) moving average prices.
This surge has been precipitated by news that the  World’s largest asset fund management firm BlackRock, and billionaire trader Steve Cohen have expressed interest in Cryptos and blockchain.
Keenly watching whether the price will hold above 8,180 after a weekly close, and going forward in the third quarter of 2018, if an uptrend will eventually be established or the current surge is just an overreaction.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and NOT a BUY or SELL recommendation/signal.

Obsessed with signals and indicators? Sure way to deplete your trading account.

This article is for the retail trader who wants to be in the game for the long haul, save yourself some bucks and thank me later. You have probably heard it before, there’s not one sure way to trading success. Why is it then that people are willing to pay for signals hoping to increase their profitability? Why would you rely so much on somebody else to tell you where to make a buy or sell and put your stop? Do you not trust your analysis if you have one? Do you have a method and a strategy that has been tested over time? Clearly you don’t. This is why you are willing to pay someone else, short cut your way into trading and then later find someone to blame when things go south.

There’s a reason why on average 90% of traders fail. You’ve got to ask yourself why, what makes you different, what’s your edge? “But the average man doesn’t wish to be told that it is a bull or a bear market. What he desires is to be told specifically which particular stock to buy or sell. He wants to get something for nothing. He does not wish to work. He doesn’t even wish to have to think”. Jesse Livermore. If you truly want to be exceptional at trading, you have to treat it with respect. It’s a business, you are the one running the show. The more you continue giving away your power to someone else and relying on their decision on how you execute on your trading account, the sooner the depletion comes, and quite frankly, you have no one to blame but yourself.

“The indicators and measurements that technical analysts use to determine the trend are not crystal balls that perfectly predict the future. Under certain market conditions, these tools might not work”. Kirk Patrick. Why? Because trends change any time, the markets do whatever they want, anything can happen. It does not matter how many indicators you have on. If they don’t help to validate your strategy and confirm your edge, you have no business using them. What works for me might not necessarily work for you, which makes trading intriguing and fascinating all together. Take time to back test and narrow down to only those indicators that increase your odds of success and winning rate. This takes time. I hope this helps those of you trusting “gurus”. Do not give away your power to anyone.

Financial Blog Disclaimer.

Before using this site, please read the following prompts.

Do Your Own Homework

The content in this blog is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is important to do your own analysis before making any investment decisions. You should take independent financial advice from a professional, or independently research and verify, any information that you find on this Website and wish to rely upon, whether for the purpose of making an investment decision or otherwise.

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All of the content in this blog is based off of personal opinion only. Nothing published here should be taken as investment advice. This blog serves as a place for sharing ideas, not to provide investment tips or shortcuts.

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Any participants in this blog will not be liable, whether in contract, tort (including negligence) or otherwise, in respect of any damage, expense or other loss you may suffer arising out of such information or any reliance you may place upon such information. Any arrangements between you and any third party contacted via the Website are at your sole risk.

Investment Warnings

Please draw your attention to the following important investment warnings.

  • The value of shares and investments and the income derived from them can go down as well as up.
  • Investors may not get back the amount they invested; losing an arm and a leg is a real risk.
  • Past performance is never indicative of future results.

Fees Matter.

“Performance comes, performance goes. Fees never falter.” (Warren Buffett. 2017 Berkshire Hathaway Investor Letter. Page 11)

Let’s assume you’re ready to invest. Perhaps, you even got some stocks in mind that you want to invest in. You read the analysts reports, went over the quarterly and annual reports, and feel confident about the market research you’ve done. Good. That’s exactly what you needed to do. Now, you wonder, which is the most cost-effective way to invest?

There are various types of brokers out there. Discount brokers, full-service traditional brokers, robo-advisors, etc.… The financial industry suffers no shortage of people willing to sell you stocks. Back in the old days. Investing in the stock market was widely a rich person’s privilege. Stocks were at very attractive prices, but fees were outrageous. Today, there are services that let you buy and sell stocks for free. It seems as if the financial industry is racing toward the $0 commission. Firms are making money in other ways, so don’t feel bad about it.

I, like almost every other stock junky out there, took last Saturday morning to read Warren Buffett’s share holder letter. Entertaining and informative as always, Buffett showed us the results of his multi-year bet he had going against a Portfolio Manager. This fund manager picked other hedge funds that could beat the S&P 500 over 10 years. While Buffett simply picked an index fund that tracked the S&P, mirroring its performance. Results showed that fees were largely the reason Mr. Buffett won the bet. While the hedge funds performed relatively well, after subtracting fees, almost half of their gains were eaten up. Leaving their investors largely under served.

The point of this story is to bring awareness to the difference fees make in your portfolio. Investors are assaulted by people who give financial advice. There are countless newsletters offering buy and sell signals. Options traders give advice to which options strategies investors should use. For some reason, nobody really talks about how much these trading techniques cost. I’m not saying their advice is bad. Sometimes it could be good advice these people offer. My point is that even by utilizing good trading techniques that work, your performance can be significantly impacted by the fees you accumulate.

Pay attention to fees. They can kill your performance. What’s the point of being a good trader and investor if half your gains are spent on fees?

Forex Conference held at Kenyatta University.

The year started with a bang after an invitation which was long overdue to speak to Kenyatta University students on what it takes to be a successful Forex trader. It was really great to have the talk in a higher education learning institution, my former school. The focus of my presentation was centered on Trading Psychology and Risk Management as can be seen on the PowerPoint presentation attached.Final STL 2 Forex Presentation

This event was organized by Axi Traders in collaboration with Gamerz Arena following the completion of a Forex Competition that saw two ladies and one gentleman take leading positions. The contestants were awarded for their achievement and shared their brief trading journey with the audience. I was delighted to be part of fresh and new talent and emphasized to the students that what really matters in this game is your level of skill and the time you are willing to put in to learn the ropes prior to execution.

The role of coaching and mentor-ship was brought up by the students who were really curious on how to get started in trading the financial markets. Part of the reason as to why Sylvia’s Traders Lounge was formed was to give a solid foundation to beginning traders as well as struggling traders to achieve consistency in their profitability with a focus on education. As you can see, the venue was packed with students eager to learn.

The conference could not end without a one on one networking interaction with interested and potential clients. The enthusiasm of this crowd was beyond exceptional, totally loved it. One of the students really appreciated the exchange and told me I had addressed one of his main struggles pertaining to draw-downs and trading personality in less than a minute. I look forward to representing Sylvia’s Traders Lounge in such seminars in the near future. Be on the look out, cheers!


Diversification is crucial to building a long-lasting portfolio. Just like in most team-based sports, we must build a solid defense against potential attacks. In this case, diversification can help us stay invested in the market when we otherwise would have cashed out. Diversification also helps us remain disciplined during times when the market seems to be going up every single day.

Maybe you own some bonds, real estate, stocks, cash, or even some crypto currencies as part of your investment mix. There are many ways to diversify within each of these asset classes as well as across them. There are almost endless combinations that can provide for a well-structured diversification strategy. I will not go into all of them because I would bore you to tears. Frankly, there are many books on this subject alone. You can spend months trying to learn all the different diversification strategies out there. I found this article from Fidelity to be a great starting point, if you like to learn more. Here, we are going to focus on stocks only. I will assume you will work with a financial advisor to set up your asset class diversification.

The most common way to diversify in stocks is by spreading your holdings among different industries and sectors. Fidelity classifies each sector as follows:

Sector Industries Market Cap
Consumer Discretionary 12 $5.50T
Consumer Staples 6 $3.47T
Energy 2 $3.57T
Financials 7 $7.90T
Health Care 6 $4.97T
Industrials 14 $4.21T
Information technology 7 $8.83T
Materials 5 $2.22T
Real Estate 2 $1.20T
Telecommunication Services 2 $1.77T
Utilities 5 $1.31T

Others may use only ten sectors, but I prefer to use twelve instead. It gives us a better view of how the market is categorized. The more you spread your holdings across these sectors and industries, in theory, the greater diversification you will have. Simple right? Not so fast. Some of these sectors trade together. Thus, minimizing your diversification and increasing risk.

The way I prefer to diversify is to look for different industries and sectors that are not correlated to one another. You may visit one of the websites I recommended on my previous post titled “Where can I research stocks?” Yahoo Finance or any other similar service can provide you with historical data to figure out past sector correlations. In there, you can see that certain sectors trade together depending on which part of the economic cycle we find ourselves in. If things are not so good, consumer staples, utilities, and health care stocks may do well during this time. If the economy is doing well, we will see technology, industrials, and consumer discretionary trade up.

If there is no systemic risk, like the latest downturn in 2008, stocks will go through these rotations, adjusting themselves to what works during each season. If you have a portfolio full of tech stocks during a boom period, you will take a huge hit when the market rotates out of technology into utilities and consumer staples. Therefore, it is important that you choose stocks from each sector and rebalance every quarter or a couple of times a year.

Now that we have gone through the way I like to diversify my stock portfolio, we can meet next time to speak about how I go about choosing stocks in each one of these sectors and industries. I want you to do the work for yourself, use this as a simple guide to help you find the right diversification style that fits your risk tolerance.