Author: bcutler

Opening Disclaimer: The following are the views of this author, and does not reflect the opinions or recommendations of FX365i or anyone else.  Also, the author is admittedly strongly opinionated, and does not in any way present his views as “fact.”  This post just shares a bit of my journey in technologically supporting my trading educational experience as effectively and frugally as possible.

Now that THAT’s out of the way…

I am unabashedly a life-long Mac-head.  I have an iPhone, iPad, Mac-Mini running my home entertainment, and am typing this right now on a Mac Air.  Every bit of my life’s details, media and data coordinates between these devices and syncs seamlessly through iCloud.  So what?

Well, I started my student trader experience rudely discovering that the required trading platform is PC only, and abruptly encountered my first equipment challenges and decisions.

Before continuing about integrating these new PC activities into my Apple-esque world, something must be said about the beginning of our conduit chain, our internet connection.  It must be capable and reliable.

By capable I mean having bandwidth and speed to upload and download cleanly and without hesitation… As far as demand, I’m not doing 3D animations here, so I figure if my connection can stream media it’s fast enough to track candles and execute my trades.

Reliability is just as important.  The other day I lost my connection AFTER initiating a trade, becoming blind to its progress and unable to perform any exits beyond those already pre-set (thank heavens for protective Stops and Limits!).  Obvious as it may be, it’s important to remember that if one wishes to trade, one must first and foremost protect one’s connection to the InterWeb!

Back to my Mac/PC conflict resolutions…Once web enabled, I now needed a Windows environment for my trading software.  There are a variety of ways to do this, and one of the most highly touted is installing Parallels on Apple machines to run Windows.  It’s be said by others smarter than myself that one of the best computers to run Windows IS a Mac.  I of course chose another route.

I realized that if I would be attending the FX Live trading classes online, I’d actually need 2 screens: one to watch the instruction and another for my personal trading.  I considered just listening to the instruction as an audio-only radio show.  That would work fine if not for the fact that there’s a lot of worthwhile education presented visually in our live classes. As such, I came to the understanding I was not going to be able to rely solely on my Mac Air. Additionally, I was highly reluctant to introduce a Windows realm into my pristine Mac universe anyway (virus anyone? Windows updating, bugs and just the PC “unknowns”).

So I kept my Mac life intact and acquired a close-out PC at my local big-box store.  I went to Best Buy, but Fry’s would be another good choice.  Costco has good prices, but not the variety.  Also, I actually got better-than-Costco pricing taking advantage of the clearance selection of machines just replaced by updated versions.

I decided the most important feature was a large display.  There’s a lot of stuff going on in those charts, and these over-60-year-old (amazingly) eyes can use all the help they can get.  I found a just-antiquated new 17” HP for just over $300.  I only use it for trading, and a year later it’s still going strong.  All I miss in it is an illuminated keyboard, but this trading student’s budget sacrificed upgraded laptop features for other life’s luxuries such as food and rent.

The only other truly necessary purchase was a controller, as using the built-in laptop trackpad is impractical if not impossible for good chart manipulation and trading.  I’ve been super happy with my Logitech M570 bluetooth trackball.  It’s got great precision and sensitivity control, and I like having a stationary controller that doesn’t roll around on the top of my desk.

In technology as in life, everyone has different circumstances and preferences, and will find their own path.  Perhaps something in sharing mine will help you in yours. Or maybe this has just been five reading minutes in your life that you’ll never get back.


-Brian Cutler
Community Development Director
FX365 Institute

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It is often said that financial markets, Forex included, are driven by the opposing forces of GREED and FEAR.  This seems to be universally accepted, and the natural inclination is to approach trading in these terms when managing profit and risk.

I accept the greed/fear paradigm as an operating assumption, but at the same time do not feel personally bound to these being the prominent drivers in my own trading experience. Both fear and greed signal that something is wrong, and danger either from forces external or self-generated.  They are negative lower-frequency states of being, and qualities I don’t wish to cultivate in my life. I’ve decided not make an exception for trading.

While writing this post, I highlighted the word “Greed” for this dictionary definition: “Intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food”.  I don’t really relate much to the concept.

Trading does not feel any more greedy than previous work and endeavors to support myself and my family.  Yes, there’s potential as a professional trader to garner impressive income for very few hours of work.  But I resonate with something Jim Carey said when questioned about whether he felt guilty about the level of wealth and success he’d achieved, to which he replied “I’ve worked hard for a long time, and I’m a carbon-based life-form, so why not me?”  And I say also… “Why not me?”

I believe my motivations behind trading actions that result in generating profits actually fit more suitably under the umbrella of APPRECIATION. I appreciate every time I recognize price action providing a low-risk/high probability trading opportunities.  And I deeply appreciate in a broader sense discovering this accessible and achievable path to financial freedom and independence.  And the many positive ways observing and participating with the Forex can be applied beyond trading to the rest of my life.

So much for Greed… What about Fear?  Now that is certainly something I can more easily relate to.  I can cite many times in my life where my own fear only magnified the negative results.  At the same time, I can also identify hazards, some with lethal potential, that I currently negotiate with a calm and steady attention on a daily basis.

When I drive on the freeways, although aware of possible unexpected dangers, I do not drive in fear.  The same can be said for the times I command sharp objects and fire preparing meals and high-powered puncturing, maiming, and severing tools for my various home improvements.

In trading, I’m protected from consequences which I cannot afford by employing focused awareness, discipline and self-imposed guidelines.  Basing my actions on a healthy RESPECT of the market with all its financially devastating potential actually replaces what might otherwise be the emotion of fear.

No matter how the greater forces of greed and fear manipulate the moods and movements of market price actions, I know I’ll perform best when I’m feeling unafraid, grateful and productive.  To thrive in the long haul I must approach the Forex in aligned consistency with my best self, in the same way I build and develop other important relationships in my life.

To that end, having a structure supported by the cornerstones of APPRECIATION and RESPECT gives me the sense that I’m on a firm and secure foundation to build something vital, fulfilling, and enduring.

Brian Cutler
Director of WealthSmart
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“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life” – Henry David Thoreau

Years ago I read Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Work Week book, where he shed some light on what he called the “New Rich”, a developing class of people who judged their successes not by their net worth, but in their ability to do what they most wanted, and maintaining high levels of excitement and overall quality in their lives.  He boiled the critical measurements of true financial freedom into just three elements:

  1. TIME – to do the things we want to do
  2. MONEY – to fund these activities and a comfortable surrounding life
  3. MOBILITY – to enjoy these benefits while also having an option-rich and geographically untethered existence


I remember considering the notion of sustaining myself with only four working hours a week as a bit unrealistic, yet I still resonated with Mr. Ferriss’ unconventional and contrarian approach for achieving a satisfying and wealthy lifestyle with a high ratio of satisfaction-vs-effort.  In time this went from being theoretically interesting to all-but-forgotten.

Skipping forward more than a decade later, these ideas have reemerged in in my consciousness as I discovered the Forex and the opening of a whole new universe of possibilities.  I recently re-acquired the book (this time in a digital Kindle format with another 100+plus pages updated by the author) and find myself relating to its narrative in a deeper and more literal way.

Call me an idealistic and foolish dreamer, but I now thoroughly believe that I’ll be generating everything I need to sustain a fulfilling and quite fantastic life with about 4 hours a week of Forex income harvesting (or perhaps 6 hours, until I get the hang of it). Practicing conservative successful trading behaviors and methodically increasing the pip values seem to lead nowhere else.

In the meantime you’ll find me day-in and day-out doggedly pursuing my learning and earning curvaceous Forex journey.  Perhaps in the not-so-distant future, you’ll come visit me as I fulfill adventurous aspirations living in New Zealand.

I should have lots of time to show you around.


by Brian Cutler, Director of WealthSmart, Aspiring Forex Trader and Student at the Forex 365 Institute

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