Michael Covel speaks with Douglas Emlen on today’s podcast. Emlen is a professor at the University of Montana. He is the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering from the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House. He has also earned multiple research awards from the National Science Foundation, including their five-year CAREER award. Covel and Emlen discuss taking our lessons from animals; the connection with human and animal arms races; international hacking; comparing the fiddler crap to US and USSR bombers during the cold war; defining evolutionary biology; how an arms race can run its course via the example of the sabertooth tiger; the arms race in the trading world; how the cuttlefish has found its way around the “alpha” system; finding “workarounds” when the deck is stacked against you; war games and detente; why predictability in weapons is important; one-on-one showdowns; and the importance of being nimble. Emlen’s book, Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle, is available on Amazon. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Nigol Koulajian on today’s podcast. Koulajian is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Quest Partners LLC. He has been designing and trading short-term and long-term technical systems for over 22 years. Covel starts the episode with some comments on Ray Dalio's recent comments drawing a parallel to 1937. Then Koulajian and Covel talk all things trend following in the CTA space. Covel and Koulajian discuss trend following performance in 2014; volatility vs. skew; why having a good Sharpe Ratio is not the be-all-end-all; the notion that alpha in the CTA world is not a result of skill; correlation between tail risk and the Sharpe Ratio; central bank action and the Swiss Franc; why trend following may not be as good in equity market corrections now as it has been in the past; why trend following is not about the super-complicated mathematics; getting outsiders to understand drawdowns; emotional intelligence vs. intellectual intelligence; media bias against trend following. For more information on Nigol Koulajian, visit questpartnersllc.com. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Terrance Odean on today’s podcast. Odean is the Rudd Family Foundation Professor and Chair of the Finance Group at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. Odean has extensively researched into the empirical data on active trading. He is very well-known for his work in behavioral finance and is once of the early pioneers. Covel and Odean discuss how Odean describes his work; how Odean started his work looking at individual broker statements; the disposition effect; how Odean was able to get individual investor data when he was starting out; looking at early thinkers in the arena of behavioral finance; why people buy low and sell high; why statistics are one of the best ways to understand what’s going on in the market; the difference between male and female investors; why overconfidence hurts investors; attention and how we make decisions; why a simple heuristic from Seinfeld could be the best way for most investors. For more information on Terrance Odean, visit odean.org. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Robert Seawright on today’s podcast. Seawright is the Chief Investment & Information Officer for Madison Avenue Securities, a boutique broker-dealer and investment advisory firm headquartered in San Diego, California. Seawright is also a columnist for Research magazine, a Contributing Editor at Portfolioist as well as a contributor to the Financial Times, The Big Picture, The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch, Pragmatic Capitalism, and ThinkAdvisor. Covel opens up by talking about “A New Kind Of Investment Outlook”, a blog post by Seawright. Covel explains that this episode is all about the right type of thinking when it comes to proper investing. Covel and Seawright discuss topics such as how Seawright was able to put together this blog piece; perfection and prediction; bias blindness; volatility vs. risk; separating your politics from your investing; financial media as entertainment; whether Seawright encountered any pushback after putting out his article; letting go of the high leverage idea; why the more we trade, the worse we do; Nobel laureate David Baltimore; and adversarial collaboration. For more information on Bob Seawright visit rpseawright.com. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Susan Polgar and Douglas Goldstein, co-authors of Rich As A King: How the Wisdom of Chess Can Make You a Grandmaster of Investing. Susan Polgar, American chess grandmaster, and Douglas Goldstein, Certified Financial Planner, had the unique idea of looking at chess and applying the wisdom to investing. You don’t need to be a chess player to get insights from Polgar and Goldstein. Covel and Polgar discuss Polgar’s early history as a four-year-old chess playing prodigy, and the trouble some older males had in accepting her; nurture vs. nature; the connection between the Turtle story and chess; the skills that chess provides outside of just playing the game; the importance of keeping your emotions in check; process vs. outcome; and thinking through the possibilities from a chess perspective. With Douglas Goldstein, Covel discusses how the idea came about to combine finance with chess in a book; tactics vs. strategy; and pattern recognition. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Kabir Sehgal on today’s episode of Trend Following Radio. Sehgal is a New York Times bestselling author and Grammy Award-winning producer. He is currently a vice president at JPMorgan Chase. Sehgal’s new book, Coined: The Rich Life of Money and How Its History Has Shaped Us, caught Covel’s eye. This is a subject layered in complexity and depth. Just about everything that goes on in our lives is decided by money and Sehgal digs into its story on a micro level. Covel and Sehgal discuss Sehgal’s history; Sehgal’s experience winning a Grammy for production and the idea of “no boxes”; why Sehgal sees his life like a jazz composition; defining money as a symbol of value; the neurological effects and artistic aspects of money; the currency of the natural world; whether Sehgal sees “money as the root of all evil”; the idea of charity; the politics of money; the internationalization of currency; hyperinflation; gold, and Sehgal’s experience going to the basement of the New York Fed; digital money and bitcoin. Coined: The Rich Life of Money and How Its History Has Shaped Us is available now. For more information on Sehgal visit coinedbook.com. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel starts today’s podcast by talking about “robot traders” and major misconceptions. Covel discusses machine learning v. automation and moves into a series of clips that outline trend following philosophy. First, Covel plays a clip from Benoit Mandelbrot to illustrate problems with the Efficient Market Hypothesis. Next, Covel plays two clips from Jim Simons, CEO of Renaissance Technologies, about his experiences as a new trader and on 'luck' (Simons is not a fan of fundamental trading). Building on Jim Simons comes a clip from David Harding of Winton Capital, a multi-billion dollar fund with trend following models at the core. Harding talks about his start, models, math, probabilities, and betting. Next, Covel plays a clip from Salem Abraham. Abraham talks about the markets he trades, and why it doesn’t really make a difference where the money comes from. Covel adds clips from Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, the Co-Founder, Chairman & Chief Scientist of CFM. Covel also plays clips from Svante Bergstrom, Ewan Kirk and trend trading legends William Eckhardt and Ed Seykota. These all tie together to attempt to give a trend trading/quant philosophical stance--the attitude and benefits. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with David Stockman on today’s podcast. Those that follow business and politics in the United States will recognize his name. Stockman has been a businessman, a Congressman, and Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. Two things caught Covel’s attention: Stockman’s book, The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America, and his comments about President Woodrow Wilson. Covel explains. Covel and Stockman discuss his Woodrow Wilson piece; how Wilson brought the US into World War I and how the pain of the 1930’s and the pivot point of the 20th century was connected; why the ATM’s going dark in 2008 wasn’t a true possibility; zero interest rate policy and how we’re forcing people to spend down principal; and how the Fed can generate massive bubbles. David Stockman’s Contra Corner can be found at davidstockmanscontracorner.com. The Great Deformation is available on Amazon.com. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Jerry Parker on today’s episode of the podcast. This is Parker’s fourth interview with Michael Covel. Parker is an original Turtle, trained by Richard Dennis. However, since then he has very successfully run a managed money firm called Chesapeake Capital. Covel and Parker discuss a series of tweets written by Parker and use them as a jumping-off point for conversation. Topics include price action, “normal” market behavior; recent moves in the Swiss Franc; paying attention to entries as well as exits; why investors are often their own worst enemy; the first moment that Parker heard about price-based trading; becoming obsessed with asymmetrical risk and reward; why looking at trend following losses is important; why you can tell a system is robust if it has big drawdowns; and backtesting and treating all trades with equal weight. More: www.chesapeakecapital.com. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Sophia Roosth on today’s podcast. Roosth is a Harvard professor that Covel first heard quoted on DNA privacy from Davos. Roosth’s research focuses on the twentieth and twenty-first century life sciences. Her first book, based on four years of ethnographic fieldwork, examines how the life sciences are changing at a moment when researchers build new biological systems in order to investigate how biology works. In this work, Roosth asks what happens to “life” as a conceptual category when experimentation and fabrication converge. Covel and Roosth discuss the Davos event; what becomes of privacy in a moment of internet surveillance; having more information out there as a way to control privacy; biological privacy, and whether our DNA is going down a path where it’s a lot more public; discrimination based on genome; genetic McCarthyism; somatic transfer and cloning; the story of Chance the bull; the idea of de-extinction; the ethics of cloning; molecular gastronomy and world hunger. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Dr. Michael Lardon on today’s podcast. Lardon is one of the premier mental performance coaches in the world, with clients in more than a dozen professional and Olympic sports. His athletes have won major golf championships, Olympic gold medals, Super Bowls and World Series titles, among other achievements. He is an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Diego and a Consulting Psychiatrist to the United States Olympic Teams at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. However, Lardon and Covel's conversation is applicable to everyone, not just certain athletes. They talk about Lardon’s early experiences playing professional table tennis; the “slowing down of time” and how it affects performance; the importance of mental performance in sports; Phil Mickelson’s loss at the 2013 Open and his win at the British Open a month later, and how Lardon was assisting him during this period; “the yips”, and what is going on in the mind when someone can no longer perform a simple activity they used to accomplish easily; neurological vs. psychological “yips”; Lardon’s opinion on what’s happening with Tiger Woods currently; narrow, intense focus vs. dropping the intense expenditure of energy when you don’t need it (ie. what do you do with your downtime?); the process of desensitization; the deliberate plan for improvement and the importance of writing things down. For more information on Dr. Michael Lardon, visit drlardon.com. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Today on the podcast Michael Covel speaks with Mike Shell on his second visit to the podcast. Shell is the President, Chief Investment Officer, and Portfolio Manager of Shell Capital Management--specializing in alternative investment strategies, active risk management and directional trend systems he developed for the global universe of exchange traded securities. Covel and Shell discuss the importance of having price stops; knowing you’re wrong when you from 50 to 45 (for example); defining positive and negative trends; the idea of risking a dollar to make two; predefining our risk and controlling our downside; why winning percentage isn’t as important as many people think it is; the importance of an exit strategy in the middle of today’s bull market; looking back on the market in 2008 and since; and the asymmetry of losses. For more information on Mike Shell, visit shell-capital.com. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Salem Abraham on today’s podcast. Abraham is the President of Abraham Trading Company with a 27-year track record (with much trend following success). Over the years, Abraham has been kind enough to offer Covel fantastic insights. Abraham also appeared in Covel’s film, Broke, and is the last chapter of The Complete TurtleTrader. Today, Covel and Abraham cover some topical market moves--the Swiss Franc and Crude Oil among them. Covel and Abraham also discuss living in Asia and Asian economics; a market lesson Abraham first learned in 1987; the recent action of the Swiss Franc; artificially priced markets and the analogy of a dam; Crude Oil as a trend; speculation at the core of Abraham’s business and its effect on markets generally; the effect of Abraham’s grandfather on his work; the influences on Abraham’s thinking and business decisions; location independence; the importance of a link to the outside world; avoiding disaster; and being agnostic to the market. More: www.abrahamtrading.com. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Christopher Chabris on today’s podcast. Chabris is an American research psychologist, currently Associate Professor of Psychology and co-director of the Neuroscience Program at Union College in Schenectady, New York, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Neurology at Albany Medical College and a Research Affiliate at the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence. He is best known as the co-author (with Daniel Simons) of the popular science book The Invisible Gorilla, which presents the results of research into attention and other cognitive illusions. Chabris offers a wide take on what’s going on in our minds. Covel and Chabris discuss witnesses, memory, and the legal system; expert witness testimony; “the play that changed poker”; mastery in any field; the connection between chess and memory; Chabris’ interaction with Neil deGrasse Tyson, and how memory affects our outlook; the stock market, prediction, and forecasting; the importance of confidence with regard to predictions; simple rules vs. complex rules; Oprah Winfrey, Malcolm Gladwell, and intuition; and memory and the influx of information coming at us. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Peter Shankman on today’s episode. Shankman is the classic entrepreneur: he is the author of Nice Companies Finish First and the founder of Help a Reporter Out (HARO), the largest free source repository for journalists in the world. His new book, Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans is out now. First, Covel offers up a monologue. Topics include the end of geography and the importance of globalization; gadgets, software, hacks, and websites as the magic elixir; the importance of dedication, commitment, and alone time; exercise; being able to walk away when negotiating; getting off the sidelines; happiness as a choice; and the necessity of having a niche. Covel and Shankman discuss skydiving and the lessons of preparation and mitigating risk; social media compared to the dotcom bubble; and the importance of creating a good product and customer service despite advances in technology. Ending? Covel summons Alan Watts for good measure. For more information on Peter Shankman, visit shankman.com. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel interviews Gary Antonacci on today’s podcast. Antonacci focuses on two issues in the quant world: relative strength price momentum with trend following absolute momentum. He’s developed a strategy where he believes it’s best to combine both. His new book is called Dual Momentum Investing. Today, Antonacci makes the case for this strategy. Covel and Antonacci discuss momentum vs. trend; relative strength momentum, cross sectional momentum, absolute momentum, and time series momentum; trend following vs. managed futures as terms; Antonacci’s early history and how he found his way into the career he has today; three legendary traders that crossed paths with Antonacci early on; the efficient market hypothesis as a less-than-solid foundation; buying higher highs; Ray Dalio and risk parity strategies; academic perspectives on momentum; the interaction and correlation between the two momentum strategies (relative and absolute). For more information on Gary Antonacci, visit optimalmomentum.com. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Michael Mauboussin today on his second visit to the podcast. Mauboussin is an author ("More Than You Know", "Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition"), investment strategist in the financial services industry, professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Business, and serves on the board of trustees at the Sante Fe Institute (an independent, nonprofit theoretical research institute). He is managing director and head of Global Financial Strategies at Credit Suisse, where he advises clients on valuation and portfolio positioning, capital markets theory, competitive strategy analysis, and decision making. Covel and Mauboussin discuss multi-disciplinary thinking and its influence on Covel; looking at larger reference classes; the Swiss Franc; Mauboussin’s personal take on the recent oil move; fundamentals and expectation; luck or skill when it comes to trading profits; the paradox of skill, absolute, and relative skill; whether scientific principles of luck exist; defining luck; outcome bias; and the general public perception of behavioral economics. For more information on Michael Mauboussin, visit michaelmauboussin.com. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Peter Larson. First, Michael Covel discusses some feedback he’s received from author Jack Schwager about the podcast. Specifically, Schwager brought up the episode from paleontologist Jack Horner. Covel brings another dinosaur hunter to the podcast today: Peter Larson. Larson is an American paleontologist, fossil collector, and president of the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, a company that excavates, prepares, and sells fossils. He led the team that excavated "Sue", the largest and most complete specimen of Tyrannosaurus rex found to date, and has published numerous scientific and popular works on dinosaur paleontology. A movie based on “Sue”, Dinosaur 13, has been produced as well. You might ask, what’s the connection to Michael Covel? Covel explains that Larson’s story involves government intervention, a massive legal case, and ownership issues in addition to Covel’s personal connection to Larson. Covel and Larson talk about luck’s role in finding dinosaurs; Larson’s personal anecdotes about finding “Sue”; whether Larson knew at the time that he was finding a piece of “land” in a legal sense; the scientific data that Larson was able to glean before the government took the bones; telling a male dinosaur from a female dinosaur; what makes Larson a T-Rex entrepreneur; T-Rex as a predator or scavenger; and the legal case surrounding “Sue”. For more information on Peter Larson, visit BHIGR.com. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Jean-Philippe Bouchaud speaks with Michael Covel on his second visit to the podcast. He is founder and Chairman of Capital Fund Management (CFM) and professor of physics at École polytechnique. Today, Covel and Bouchaud focus on Bouchaud’s co-authored paper, “Tail Risk Premia vs. Pure Alpha”. Additionally, Covel and Bouchaud discuss his firm’s performance for 2014; whether trend following actually “died” prior to it’s “reappearance” in 2014; what trend following manages to exploit; exploiting vs. exploring; looking at volatility as a precursor to profit; volatility as a measure of risk; trend following as a genuine market anomaly; the behavioral biases in play as oil has fallen fifty percent plus; the feedback Bouchaud has received from peers on his newest paper; whether other strategies exploit a genuine market anomaly; Bouchaud’s philosophy on transparency and "secrets" in his work; and why Bouchaud’s work culture is not a culture of MBA’s. Note: In this episode a white paper is mentioned. There are short (www.trendfollowing.com/cfm-short.pdf) and long (www.trendfollowing.com/cfm-long.pdf) versions. Receive a free trend following DVD: www.trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Dan Hill on today’s podcast. Hill is a recognized authority on the role of emotions in consumer and employee behavior. He runs Sensory Logic, a scientific insights firm that analyzes consumers’ facial expressions to help companies better navigate consumers’ emotional decision-making processes. Before the interview, Covel discusses the Swiss Franc, David Harding, and trend following trading in his introduction. Next, Covel and Hill discuss what a face coding expert is; the evolutionary aspect to face coding and the 43 muscles present in the face; emotional decision-making; how Hill found his way personally into this field; why we feel before we think; being hired by the Milwaukee Bucks; the importance of a smile in the heart of a champion; the difference between technical skill and the factors that Hill is looking for; the importance of having the right amount of happiness; some of the limitations of facial coding; how technology is intertwined with facial coding; why a personality like Richard Nixon may never be President again; the say/feel gap; whether we can learn how to avoid negative facial expressions and emotions; a trading system based on the movement of human faces; and where we might see facial coding moving to in the future. For more information on Dan Hill, visit sensorylogic.com. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Mebane Faber. Faber is a a noted author (The Ivy Portfolio), blogger, and portfolio manager with Cambria Investment Management. Faber is involved in many different areas of the market, extremely practical and pragmatic. This is Mebane Faber’s third visit to the podcast and he and Covel discuss the podcast medium; trend following, buy & hold, and emotions; anti-fragility; Ray Dalio, risk parity, and his strategies All Weather and Pure Alpha; asset allocation as a buy and hold investor; Faber’s five ETF’s, and his factors for starting one; deflation, inflation, Japan, why traders run out of the store when things are on sale; value investing; and what if governments didn’t meddle with markets. For more information on Mebane Faber, visit mebfaber.com, cambriafunds.com. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Today on the podcast, Michael Covel speaks with Daniel Simons. Simons is an experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, and Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois. Simons is most well known for his work on change blindness and inattentional blindness, two surprising examples of how people can be unaware of information right in front of their eyes. His research interests also include visual cognition, perception, memory, attention, and awareness. Covel relates all this to trading and trend following, particularly the price of oil in early 2015. Covel and Simons discuss Simons’ YouTube success; the definition of inattentional blindness; why our intuition about our own minds is often wrong; money managers and weather forecasters; serial tasking, multitasking, and focus; how Simons became immersed in this area of study; memory and attention, and the myths and misconceptions surrounding them; the notion of intuition. gut decisions, and Simons’ thoughts on Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink”; the idea of preparation in relation to expert performance; the science behind eyewitness testimony; and how our minds don’t work the way we think they do. For more information on Daniel Simons, go to dansimons.com or invisiblegorilla.com. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Mark Mobius on today’s podcast. Mark Mobius, Ph.D., executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, joined Templeton in 1987. Currently, he directs the Templeton research team which is based in 18 global emerging markets offices, and manages emerging markets portfolios. Mobius oversees a team of more than 50 people managing some $45 billion. Covel and Mobius discuss key events that happened along Mobius’ development and moved him to find emerging markets as his passion; growth across Asia; the importance of being on the ground to see what’s happening in China to have a true picture of what’s going on; why what’s happening in China now is entirely different from the USSR in the early 1980’s; Mobius’ view on Vietnam, its economic and constructional changes; the two Koreas, and whether we’ll see one Korea eventually; the impact of both North and South Korea on their own; Mobius’ outlook on Myanmar; Singapore as an emerging market, and as it is compared to a city in the States; India, its growth, and how Mobius sees it moving forward; and the importance of travel, and how it changes everybody that goes out there and experiences it. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel opens up his first monologue of 2015 with a quote from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. There you have it: Willy Wonka completely outlining behavioral economics and proper investing all in a film about candy. Next, Covel quotes John Hussman’s recent piece regarding cognitive dissonance. Today, Covel has three examples of cognitive dissonance. First, Covel speaks of a recent case where a high school student was said to have made 72 million dollars. Of course, the story was false, but Covel explores. Many want to believe that these savants exist, but we all know the truth. Next, Covel discusses Hugh Hendry and why he now believes as an investor you have to sometimes believe in things that don’t necessarily exist. Good strategy doesn’t need to change based on the political winds blowing across the world. Next, Covel gives an example from a CNBC writer named Lawrence Delevingne who wrote recently on “hedge fund robots” doing well in 2014. Covel discusses these “robots” vs. “gut-driven human managers” and picks it apart. Why did trend following have such an excellent year in 2014? Covel explores and notes that trend following isn’t concerned with the previous year--it’s concerned with right now. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Bryan Caplan on today’s podcast. Caplan is an American economist and professor of economics at George Mason University, research fellow at the Mercatus Center, adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, and blogger for EconLog. He works in public choice theory. His books include The Myth of the Rational Voter and Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids. He has also written extensively on open borders and pacifism. Covel and Caplan discuss voting, rationality; defining “rational irrationality”; what voting patterns in America might look like if the American stock market looked like the Japanese stock market; economic growth in benevolent dictatorships vs. republics like the USA; the anti-poverty program in China; Caplan’s view on immigration and its effect on the economy; the case for more kids, and why Caplan was so passionate and so inspired as to put out a book on the subject; why genetics matter more than the style in which you raise your kids; Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” and wealth and income inequality. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.