This article was originally published here: Collin Seow – Founder of The Systematic Trader
A frightening encounter with heavy debt led Collin Seow to find a form of trading which not only helped him out of his worries but has helped many others.
What’s your story?
Overnight, I found myself $250,000 in debt due to my work as a remisier. Desperate for a way out, I spent sleepless nights experimenting with different methodologies. The urgency was real especially with my family expecting our second boy. Thankfully, I was able to successfully develop my own trading system with consistent profits. Using this system, I was able to clear the debt within 18 months. This was in 2007 – since then, I have moved into the education space, teaching others how they, too, can trade systematically and without fear.
What excites you most about your industry?
Money makes a good servant, and a terrible master. I have seen so many individuals who lack the financial literacy to grow their wealth, to make their hard-earned money work for them. The key is to be able to follow a system and, as much as possible, remove emotions from trades. Seeing the results that my community of graduates have achieved, and knowing that my troubles leading up to the creation of the trading system have not been in vain, is truly what keeps me going.
What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?
It may seem cheesy, but I find it important to be a part of something larger than myself, and to find purpose in life. This is why together with my community of graduates, we started to manage a portfolio of stocks – right in March 2020 in the midst of COVID-19. I was concerned for their performance and mental states, and wanted to really guide them through this crisis. Through weekly webinars, feedback and even heartfelt testimonials, I’m glad that the community has followed the system and achieved respectable results!
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” I find that one of the most important skills is to be the person that you’ve envisioned. Then, you can attract the right people too. As an individual, there is only so much that I can do alone… But with a team, the synergy compounds, and we work to our strengths to serve our growing community of graduates.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Invest in yourself, and find a mentor in every area of your life. Personal growth is so important, and it is one of the most rewarding actions you can take. In that journey of growth, we often spend time and money by means of “trial and error”… But I find that the better way to do it, is to get a mentor. This saves a lot of time (and money). Going through proven routes is a shortcut to success. Personally, I also set aside 10% of my income to an “improve myself” fund. Always a work in progress!
Who inspires you?
Honestly, it’s my past self. I draw inspiration from who I was, so that I will not go back to that place again. It’s not that I recommend living in the past, but sometimes we can gain clues from looking back, and extracting lessons from those painful times.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
I’ve learnt 2 common yet powerful phrases – “I don’t know”, and “I changed my mind”. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and their own truths, and this may change whenever we encounter new experiences and gain new revelations. It’s the same for me – it’s simply impossible to know everything. I am at peace with those who disagree with me, because I believe that it’s not necessary to be “right”. I have no fixations over having “the right answer”, because we don’t need these answers to be happy.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would take more holidays! Consistently, every single year. Learn to enjoy the process as we work towards our definitions of success. I wouldn’t suffer throughout the process just to achieve the end goal… The glory is in the process and the struggles, not the end. Take pride in our battle scars, recuperate and take breaks, enjoy the battle, and the war would have been won already.
How do you unwind?
I miss travelling… I used to travel up to 8 times a year! This past year, I’ve resorted to local staycations to recharge myself. I also enjoy good food. I guess… Looking at this combination of travelling and eating, I am a rather typical Singaporean.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?
Goals cause us to have motion. But at the end of the day, whether it has been achieved or not, is not the most important accomplishment. Again, it’s all about the process. What is of essence is that as we strive towards these goals, we develop our characters and better our lives as a result. This is more important than hitting the goal, and is what I practice together with my team.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Scaling Up by Verne Harnish. There are practical lessons on entrepreneurship, leadership, and as the title suggests, scaling up the business. I shall not reveal too much – get a hold of a copy, and happy reading!
Shameless plug for your business:
Trading is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s not about “getting rich quickly”, but focusing on the process that will generate results. Above all, why do it alone, when you can have coaches and mentors, and a supportive community of fellow traders? I’ve gone through sleepless nights and been at rock bottom, and I know how depressing that can be. The good news is, there is a way out of that situation. If you’d like to have a systematic way of trading for consistent profits, I am confident that my Systematic Trader Course can help you.
How can people connect with you?
I am active on social media, particularly Facebook – feel free to like my page, and join my Facebook group “Collin Seow’s Profitable Trading Ideas in US Singapore and Malaysia”. I do my best to read through all the comments and posts, and reply as much as I can.
Social Media Links?
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Mastermindtrader/
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series. Every entrepreneur featured has been recommended by one of our previous guests.