There is a common problem in finance when it comes to evaluating investment managers’ performance: the factor or skill vs. luck. When a manager performs well over a number of years, it is not clear whether the success can be attributed to the manager’s skill and strategy, or random luck. And vice versa, when a manager performs badly, it can be difficult to pin-point whether it was due to lack of skill, or simply bad luck. Another factor that is commonly misunderstood in finance is risk. Understanding the differences between risk, volatility, and skew is essential to developing a well-performing trading strategy. Campbell Harvey studies these phenomena. He is a finance professor at Duke university, and research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research in Massachusetts. His research papers on these subjects have been published in many scientific journals. In this episode, Campbell Harvey and Michael Covel discuss risk tolerance, evaluating trading strategies, Harry Markowitz’ classic paper on portfolio selection, and the importance of differentiating between volatility and skew. In this episode of Trend Following Radio: Survivorship bias, and not being fooled by randomness, Why people with higher risk tolerance experience much higher upsides, Understanding process vs. outcome, The difference between volatility and skew, The importance of recognizing that asset returns are rarely “normally distributed”, When it is appropriate to apply a general framework, and when it is not, The Sharpe ratio – is it always relevant?, Harry Markowitz, Jim Simons, and Nassim Taleb. For more information and a free DVD: trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel presents a monologue today about his recent trip to Mainland China (Beijing). A trip that centered on his presentation to 1100 Chinese investors and traders. For those listeners that have not yet traveled to China--either for business or vacation--Covel offers a wide-ranging primer. There is no doubt that from a business perspective especially--the time for China is now. The population is massive, the energy is overwhelming and the desire is infectious. Regardless of your current understanding of China, your perception of their government or the many other misunderstandings so prevalent in the West--China has at its core a deep desire for business and success. The adrenaline is simply to be felt. And yes, they want to learn trend following too. Free trend following DVD: www.trendfollowing.com/win.
Today on the podcast Michael Covel speaks with Dr. Jonathan Fader. Fader is a licensed clinical psychologist and is the team psychologist to the NY Mets baseball team. Fader also writes a blog for Psychology Today entitled 'The New You'. He maintains an active clinical practice, is an assistant professor of Family Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and teaches in the Beth Israel Residency Program in Family Medicine in New York City. Fader and Covel discuss motivational interviewing, sport psychology techniques, process v. outcome, the mistake of focusing only on results, mental state and stress, mindfulness, Facebook distraction, Eastern traditions, the moment of now, and quieting the mind. Issues discussed apply to life, trading, sports and business--Fader offers insights we can all use. More on Fader at www.jonathanfader.com. If you would like a free trend following DVD go here: www.trendfollowing.com/win.
Michel Covel offers a take about passion -- the critical element of your success. An excerpt from the recent Birdman film and comments from Pink Floyd's Roger Waters help make the case. In Birdman the Michael Keaton character approaches a critic in a dive bar. Everyone is afraid to approach the critic, the fake gatekeeper. Keaton shows the passion. Are you afraid of the gatekeeper? Great. You have already lost. Next, Roger Waters talking about the classic song Brain Damage from the Dark Side of the Moon reveals his motivation, his passion. "Got to keep the loonies on the path." It doesn't matter your endeavor, trading, investing, entrepreneur--if passion is missing you are the walking dead, already 2 steps behind. The good news? Passion can be turned on instantly. It is in your power.
Michael Covel speaks with Ed Seykota on his second visit to the podcast. Originally profiled in the classic book 'The Market Wizards', Seykota has played a pivotal role in the growth of trend following trading for 40 years. This conversation breaks down into three parts: Govopoly, the Trading Tribe and trend following. Govopoly is Seykota's most recent book. In it he sees the economy transforming from a free and open societal structure to a controlled structure. The Govopoly system is taking over. It's not about another election to solve this, or to try and fix it. It is what it is and best we can all do is to cope with it. Seykota sees the Trading Tribe as one means of coping. The Trading Tribe is an association of people who commit to excellence, personal growth and supporting and receiving support from each other. The members of the Trading Tribe trade roles, becoming in turn senders and receivers for each other. Lastly, Seykota and Covel discuss trend following. Specifically, Seykota shares early experiences with Richard Donchian and his solo time with mainframes testing some of the first trend systems via computer. Finally, Seykota shares his motivation for his life (and some insights about puzzles). For more: www.seykota.com. If you would like a free trend following DVD go www.trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel discusses one of Michael Mauboussin's white papers, “The Babe Ruth Effect”. This paper first caught Covel’s eye over a decade ago. It makes the critical point that big wins can pay for small losses (expected value thinking). Covel discusses the expected value mindset and how it relates to other fields, especially venture capital through a blog entry by Chris Dixon. Next, Covel connects a podcast episode titled “Good Bubbles, Bad Bubbles, and Where Unicorns Come From” with Bill Janeway, a venture capitalist and partner at Warburg Pincus. Covel shares a few excerpts covering liquidity and survivorship bias (all in this frequency v. magnitude mindset and all relating back to the Babe Ruth effect). Covel brings these topics to trend following as well. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Steve Burns on his third appearance on the podcast. Steve Burns has been investing in the stock market for over 20 years. He is the author of seven books, ranks near the top 500 of all reviewers on Amazon.com, and is one of the sites top reviewers for books about trading. Additionally, Burns has singlehandedly developed an exceptional Twitter following. Today, Burns and Covel answer questions from readers of Burns' forum. Covel and Burns discuss the self-publishing world; how one goes about making choices in social media; getting over the obstacle of fundamentals; mindfulness and the writings of Alan Watts; backtesting processes; brand new traders being introduced to a model that loses 60% of the time; survivorship bias; predictive vs. reactive technical analysis. For more information on Steve Burns, visit newtraderu.com. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Tim Larkin on today’s podcast. Larkin is one of America’s leading Pro-Victim Rights and Personal Safety Advocates. He has had a 25 year career where he has trained over 10,000 clients in 52 countries in how to deal with imminent violence. His books include How To Survive The Most Critical 5 Seconds Of Your Life and Survive The Unthinkable. Covel and Larkin discuss the Virginia Tech killings and why it is important to study violence; looking at sports injuries for the purpose of self-defense; honor in fighting; the relation between prison gang leaders and CEOs; the importance of focusing on the man and his mind rather than the tool; avoidable acts of violence; why the United Kingdom did not allow Larkin into the country; and avoiding violence from a game theory perspective. For more information on Tim Larkin, visit targetfocustraining.com. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel offers a reminder of how to think and act when responding to certain types of questioning and the translation to markets. Covel can think of no more perfect example than the “greed” exchange between Milton Friedman and Phil Donahue. Covel discusses Milton Friedman more and brings and expands the discussion into the general take-down of bullshit. Covel also discusses the importance of 'losers' (see: zero sum) in the market and why people acting irrationally offers perpetual opportunities for trend following traders. Next, a personal anecdote regarding a pre-interview for a podcast, Maria Bartiromo, and the fundamental question: “Why will trend following continue to excel?” Finally, Covel moves onto a healthy bit of advice in risk management for your trading. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Mike Melissinos and Glenn Graham on today’s “emerging trend following trader” episode. In 2011, Melissinos started Melissinos Trading in his parents’ house in New Jersey. Covel and Melissinos discuss Melissinos’ career and beginnings; his history with Bear Sterns; Melissinos’ introduction to trend following; “find trends, align with trends, and manage risks”; the similarities between crude oil, copper, sugar, the Euro, and wheat; and trading based purely on price. For more information on Mike Melissinos, visit melissinostrading.com. Glenn Graham’s firm is Golden Point Capital. Graham has had extensive experience in quantitative trading strategy development in the futures space. He holds the designation of Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA), a designation focusing on the alternative asset classes. Graham and Covel discuss Graham’s early trading track record; niche markets and hedging; Graham’s early trading experiences and his history at a high frequency trading firm; early influences in trend style trading; the parallels between trading and backgammon; the importance of the size of your winners over winning percentage; and style drift. For more information on Glenn Graham, visit goldenpointcap.com. For a free DVD: trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Donald MacKenzie on today’s podcast. MacKenzie is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He works on the sociology of markets, focusing on automated trading, the use of mathematical models, and the evaluation and trading of bonds. MacKenzie has worked in the past on topics ranging from the sociology of nuclear weapons to the meaning of proof in the context of computer systems critical to safety or security. Covel and MacKenzie discuss economic models; self-fulfilling prophecies and economics; our beliefs and the social world; the definition of performativity; Mackenzie’s analysis and study of the Black-Scholes model; Long Term Capital Management; reflexivity; the intellectual gap between purveyors of the efficient market hypothesis vs. behavioral economists as reflected in the 2014 Nobel Prize winners; and the arms race in high frequency trading. Donald MacKenzie’s book mentioned is called An Engine, Not A Camera: How Financial Models Shape Markets. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Today on the podcast, Michael Covel opens up with a monologue and closes with an interview of him covering trend following 'fundamentals'. Covel opens up by discussing how the phrase “black box” is used to marginalize those who practice trend following trading. Next, Covel plays an interview clip from James Simons, the chairman of Renaissance Technologies, who generated for himself over 14B USD all through models. The second part of today’s episode are highlights of Andrew Horowitz’s interview with Covel--an interview *of* Covel this time. Covel and Horowitz discuss the TurtleTrader story; black boxes, emotions, and computers; what trend following is from the most basic level; the question of “why”, and why it might not be as important as many people think; finding which markets to enter; finding the optimal bet size; and how Fed intervention plays into the market. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Kathryn Kaminski on her second visit to the podcast. Kaminski is Director of Investment Strategies at Campbell and Co--the famed CTA started by Keith Campbell. Today, Kaminski outlines her new whitepaper, specifically diving into correlation among traders (CTAs). Covel and Kaminski discuss correlation between fund managers and strategies; the media’s misrepresentation of systematic strategies; diversification in the CTA and equity world; and why one trend following strategy is similar to just one stock. To view the paper see: www.campbell.com. Want a free trend following DVD, go to: www.trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Gavin Serkin on today’s podcast. Serkin has been writing about developing economies for the better part of two decades as the Editor of Portfolio International magazine and more recently as the head of the emerging markets international desk at Bloomberg News in London. Serkin led Bloomberg’s coverage of the credit and derivatives markets from 2004 to 2008, winning the Society of American Business Editors & Writers’ Best in Business Award and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Deadline Club Award. Frontier, his new book, is a vivid travelogue of ten countries with the potential to lead economic growth in the coming decade. Covel and Serkin talk about safety issues in frontier lands; men and women in frontier countries; global brands and the direction we’re headed; going through Vietnam with Mark Mobius; Myanmar and violence; relations between the US, China, Vietnam, and Myanmar; Nigeria’s economy and where it’s headed. For more information on Gavin Serkin, visit frontierfunds.org. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Spyros Makridakis on the show today. Makridakis is the Rector of the Neapolis University of Pafos NUP and an Emeritus Professor of Decision Sciences at INSEAD as well as the University of Piraeus and one of the world's leading experts on forecasting, with many journal articles and books on the subject. He is famous as the organizer of the Makridakis Competitions, known in the forecasting literature as the M-Competitions. His calling is to poke holes in the notion that we can forecast with accuracy. Covel and Makridakis discuss known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns; the two main types of uncertainty--“subway” and “coconut”; Jim Collins, one of the best-selling business book authors of all time, and why it might not have any use to us; medicine and chance; the placebo effect; acceptance of an uncertain world; and the illusion of control. Whitepapers mentioned in episode: http://www.michaelcovel.com/2015/04/23/spyros-makridakis-interview-followup. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Martin Lueck on today’s podcast. Lueck holds an M.A. in Physics from Oxford University and currently is the Research Director and President of Aspect Capital. Lueck was originally with Adam, Harding and Lueck Limited (AHL), which he co-founded with Michael Adam and David Harding. At AHL, Martin initially focused on trading system research before taking on responsibility for the further development of the proprietary software language which provided the platform for all of AHL’s product engineering and implementation. Covel and Lueck discuss when he first saw quantitative, systematic styles in action; the beginnings of AHL; early coding experiences; early decisions that lead to a completely systematic strategy; diversification; what percentage of the educated financial audience grasps the strategies that are used at Aspect; behavioral economics; and bringing new potential opportunities into Aspect. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Ryan Holiday on his third visit to the podcast. Holiday is an American author, writer, and marketer. He is the media strategist behind authors Tucker Max and Robert Greene, the former Director of Marketing for American Apparel and an editor-at-large for the New York Observer. Today, Covel and Holiday discuss the process of writing a book. Whether or not you want to write a book yourself, the timeless topics Covel and Holiday cover apply not just to writing, but to life. Covel and Holiday discuss the idea of always being in a research mindset; why some people don’t take advantage of standing on the shoulders of the giants that came before them; to know where you’re going and to have a plan when it comes to writing; why it’s “all material”; the idea of listening to the same song over and over again; the “flow” state and its importance in writing; the importance of having a purpose in your writing; discipline and commitments; outsourcing and hiring experts for your writing project. For more information on Ryan Holiday, visit ryanholiday.net. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Victor Ricciardi on today’s episode of the podcast. Victor Ricciardi is an Assistant Professor of Financial Management at Goucher College. Professor Ricciardi is a leading expert on the academic literature and emerging research issues in behavioral finance. He is the editor of several eJournals distributed by the Social Science Research Network (SSRN), including behavioral finance, financial history, behavioral economics, and behavioral accounting. Ricciardi is also the co-editor of the book Investor Behavior: The Psychology of Financial Planning and Investing. Covel and Ricciardi discuss how Ricciardi found his way into behavioral finance; risk perception vs. risk tolerance; the affect and the anchoring heuristic; behavioral finance vs. behavioral economics; looking at behavioral finance in the context of specific strategies; behavioral economics in the context of asset bubbles and the popping of asset bubbles; why economic growth does not increase happiness; mindfulness as an assist in the notion of good decision-making; the notion of animal spirits; and the behavioral school vs. the classical school in academia. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Michael Dever on his third appearance to the podcast. Dever is an American businessman, futures trader, entrepreneur, and author. Dever is the founder and CEO of Brandywine Asset Management, Inc., an investment management firm founded in 1982, and the author of the best-selling investment book Jackass Investing: Don't Do It. Profit From It. Covel and Dever discuss Dever’s approach which uses multiple fundamentally based strategies in a systematic diversified portfolio that trades across more than one hundred global markets; strategy diversification; the word “predictable” from Dever’s perspective; lack of correlation to other strategies; what Dever means by a “not purely quantitative” strategy; how and why this particular suite of strategies came to exist; the five strategy types; crisis events and black swans; the weakness in the multiple strategy return driver set; the importance of speculators; the fixation on low volatility strategies; and true portfolio diversification. For more information on Michael Dever, visit Brandywine.com. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Tim Ferriss on today’s podcast. Tim Ferriss is an author, blogger and motivational speaker known for his bestselling books The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef. To Covel Ferriss is otherwise known as the guy who has revolutionized the idea of writing a book; he has engineered the process of a bestseller. If you want to write a book, there is no one else better to learn from. Also a big influence on Covel: the idea of location independence. This is the idea that if you have your laptop and an internet connection, you can work from anywhere. Now, after all these bestselling books, Ferriss has a new TV show, The Tim Ferriss Experiment, all about the process of "learning". Covel and Ferriss discuss why the wrestler Dan Gable is part of Ferriss’ drive; the “grinding” aspect of wrestling, and how that has played into Ferriss’ career; the early lessons learned about making a TV show; the 80/20 rule; comparisons to the Turtle experiment; the idea of getting older, recovery, and athletics. Trailer: https://youtu.be/V4IuXZOIf7E. For more information on Tim Ferriss, visit fourhourworkweek.com/tv. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Tim Price on his second appearance on the podcast. Price is the London-based Director of Investment at PFP Wealth Management. Price has over 20 years of experience in both private client and institutional investment management. Price regularly shares his views on his blog, The Price of Everything. What can we see in the central banks? What actinos have taken place in the last few years? Covel and Price discuss why the fundamentals are so 'shocking'; FDR and the Great Depression; why government taking its hands out of the equation can be the solution in a recession or depression; why savers suffer in silence; the three scenarios that occur when you accept that much debt simply cannot be paid back (growth, default, or inflation); the standoff between Germany and Greece, and how the average German might feel today about common currency; and the lack of outrage of zero interest rate policy. For more information on Tim Price, visit thepriceofeverything.typepad.com. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with K.D. Angle on today’s podcast. Angle began trading the futures markets in 1979 and developed his first rules-based trading strategy in 1984. In 1985 he created a newsletter called “The Timing Device” that specialized in making specific trade recommendations in the futures markets. After 1995, Angle retired the newsletter and went into asset management on a full time basis while investing the majority of his time and resources into researching and developing rules-based strategies. Covel and Angle discuss Angle’s father’s history, who turned a two million dollar gold investment into a hundred million in just six months, and the lessons learned; whether there was an early trend trading influence beyond looking at Angle’s father’s career; Angle’s experience with Dunn Capital; freedom of location; 100% rule-based and systematic trading vs. adding discretionary elements to your system; and why the client part of the business is so important. For more information on K.D. Angle, visit anglecm.com. Trend following DVD? Go: www.trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel offers a double episode today. First, a recent speech of Covel’s all about trend following. Topics include track records; predictive vs. reactive strategies; quality of life in trading; how Covel got into the world of Trend Following; trading and coding; sophistication vs. automation; trend following performance in 2014; drawdowns in trend following; and trading as a game. Next, an interview with William Ury. William Ury, cofounder of Harvard’s Program on Negotiation, is one of the world’s best-known and most influential experts on negotiation. He has served as a mediator in conflicts ranging from boardroom battles to labor strikes, and from family feuds to civil wars. Covel and Ury’s subject today is negotiation. We’re all negotiating for something: money, love, sex, real estate. In his speech, Covel discusses reactive technical analysis; prediction; why trend following performance in 2014 was so excellent; and the reality of drawdowns. With William Ury, Covel discusses the negotiation with self; Ury’s history with high-stakes negotiations; some of the base human emotions that can be important in negotiations; getting to “yes” with yourself; how Ury became immersed in the world of negotiation; the importance of staying in the present moment. For more information on William Ury, visit williamury.com. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Colin Camerer on today’s podcast. Camerer is an American behavioral economist and a Robert Kirby Professor of Behavioral Finance and Economics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Camerer's research is on the interface between cognitive psychology and economics. This work seeks a better understanding of the psychological and neurobiological basis of decision-making in order to determine the validity of models of human economic behavior. His research uses mostly economics experiments—and occasionally field studies—to understand how people behave when making decisions (e.g., risky gambles for money), in games, and in markets (e.g., speculative price bubbles). Covel and Camerer discuss why Camerer was called a child prodigy, and how he looks at that term in the context of nurture vs. nature; synthesizing behavioral economics and neuroscience; understanding Camerer’s studies when traders aren’t looking at the market on a day-to-day basis; how we can stimulate the brain to create a bubble; the ethical issues surrounding Camerer’s work; machine learning and data mining; neuroscience and game theory; comparing humans and chimps in the study of neuroscience; how trust correlates with economic growth; and how emotion functions in the modern world. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.
Michael Covel speaks with Andreas Antonopoulos and Harry Yeh on today’s two-part Bitcoin episode. Andreas Antonopoulos is a technologist and serial entrepreneur who has become one of the most well-known and well-respected figures in Bitcoin. With Antonopoulos, Covel discusses acceptance of Bitcoin, and if the State could outlaw it; Third World and Second World acceptance of Bitcoin; the infrastructural needs for Bitcoin; Bitcoin fees and the cost of securing the network; currency issuance; why Bitcoin doesn’t rely on trust; why financial transactions are the most surveilled part of your life in America; the privacy aspect of Bitcoin; currency volatility and the difference between volatility and stability; and where you can get started with Bitcoin. Harry Yeh is Managing Partner at Binary Financial. Binary Financial LLC is an Investment management company focused on the crypto currency space, trading and facilitating large block trades for high net worth individuals and institutions. With Yeh, Covel discusses why Bitcoin is the most volatile alternative asset class, but why it still might be worth it to trade; how Bitcoin is a split between a commodity and a currency right now; being a speculator in Bitcoin and trading Bitcoin like futures contracts; Bitcoin adoption in China; why Bitcoin is tough as a store of value, but as great a trading opportunity; and finally, recommendations on Bitcoin wallets. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.