Trend Following with Michael Covel

Michael Covel is the voice of Trend Following Radio with 3M+ listens. He is also the bestselling author of TurtleTrader & the classic Trend Following. Trading, economics, human behavior & entrepreneurship--all passionately explored. Guests over 300+ episodes include Nobel Prize winners Daniel Kahneman, Vernon Smith, Harry Markowitz & Robert Aumann. More notables: Tim Ferriss, Ed Seykota, Jim Rogers, Ewan Kirk, Larry Hite, Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, Jack Schwager, Marc Faber, Michael Mauboussin, James Altucher, Gerd Gigerenzer, Dan Ariely, Steven Kotler, Jason Fried, Sally Hogshead, Walter Williams and Tucker Max. All episodes always at
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Michael Covel is the voice of Trend Following Radio with 3M+ listens. He is also the bestselling author of TurtleTrader & the classic Trend Following. Trading, economics, human behavior & entrepreneurship--all passionately explored. Guests over 300+ episodes include Nobel Prize winners Daniel Kahneman, Vernon Smith, Harry Markowitz & Robert Aumann. More notables: Tim Ferriss, Ed Seykota, Jim Rogers, Ewan Kirk, Larry Hite, Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, Jack Schwager, Marc Faber, Michael Mauboussin, James Altucher, Gerd Gigerenzer, Dan Ariely, Steven Kotler, Jason Fried, Sally Hogshead, Walter Williams and Tucker Max. All episodes always at

Oct 9, 2015

Today on Trend Following Radio Michael Covel talks with author and startup entrepreneur Gabriel Weinberg about the concept of traction. Gabriel points out that in the business world traction is about far more than simply getting a grip and hanging in there – it’s about then moving forward, ultimately toward a defined goal (customers).

Just like a trend following trader that uses quantitative methods to invest scientifically, Gabriel relies on numbers and hard data to inform him about which marketing channels are working and which should be focused on, and which are less effective and should be dropped. The result is a streamlined marketing approach that’s allowed Gabriel, a self-published author, to sell upwards of 35,000 copies of his book.

Michael and Gabriel also talk about how psychology factors into startup entrepreneurship. For anyone investing their time and energy into a project, both passion and resiliency are paramount. If you aren’t passionate about the work you’re doing, and if you don’t genuinely enjoy the challenge of bringing a product to market, then you’re doomed before you ever start. Best, as Michael suggests, to run back to the office cubicle.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Reaching your goal, then setting another
  • Resilience: vital to the entrepreneur
  • Committing to your idea
  • Psychology: the main barrier to success
  • Understanding that it’s okay to fail
  • Enjoy the challenge – or go do something else

Want a FREE Trend Follоwing DVD? Find it here

Oct 5, 2015

Today on Trend Following Radio, Michael Covel takes time out to highlight the fact that trend following isn’t simply about trading. From gamblers to pharmaceutical executives to those in the film and music industries, trend following is a strategy rooted in human nature itself.

As an example, Michael examines the success of film producer Jason Blum. In direct opposition to the Hollywood mantra of Spend! Spend! Spend!, Blum has chosen another path. Blum, recognizing that big budgets don’t necessarily mean big profits, developed a filmmaking system based on low budget projects. Blum fully understands that close to half of his films will flop. But he also understands that a handful of box office successes will more than cover those losses. This is the essence of trend following.

Michael goes on to quote from a 2005 article by best-selling author Michael Crichton. Crichton, talking about the then-burgeoning field of futurism, explains that these so-called futurists don’t actually know any more about the future than the average man on the street. These “experts” are guilty of the same flawed thinking that spews forth from the minds of traders who think they know what the market will do tomorrow.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Why embracing uncertainty pays big
  • Trend following: it’s human nature
  • Losses: acceptable when you strategize to cover them
  • The sunk cost fallacy
  • Opening your mind to alternative ways of thinking
  • The mistake of blindly accepting the word of “authorities”

Want a FREE Trend Follwing DVD? Find it here.   

Oct 2, 2015

This time on Trend Following Radio, Michael Covel talks with Paul Slovic. Paul is president of Decision Research and a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, and today he talks with Michael about the science behind risk perception.

To demonstrate how people tend to conflate actual risk with their perceptions of risk, Michael and Paul discuss a topic that’s always been a hot button issue in the public consciousness, nuclear power. In the early days of this industry, people were rightfully concerned with the possible mismanagement of such a potentially dangerous technology – concerns seemingly crystallized by the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979. Similar concerns continue to be raised today, particularly in light of the Fukushima disaster of 2011. But as Paul explains, neither of these tragedies can completely outweigh the obvious benefits of nuclear power. It’s a case of risk perception to overcome the actual risk posed.

The conversation also focuses on the role of the media in influencing people’s decision-making processes. Why is it, you might ask, that the media spends so much more time pushing negative stories than positive ones? The answer, according to Paul, goes back to biology. It’s a survival mechanism in human beings that we’re affected far more by negative stimuli than positive stimuli. This makes sense when you consider the external dangers we’ve faced in our evolution. So today, we tend to harp on the bad things that happen while ignoring the good.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • The psychometric paradigm of risk perception
  • Balancing risk vs. reward
  • The concept of affect heuristics
  • How the media sways the public’s risk assessment
  • Fast vs. slow thinking
  • Risk in the context of decision making

Want a FREE Trend Follоwing DVD? Find it here.

Sep 28, 2015

On today’s show, Michael Covel talks about decision-making, and how too often people allow the "rules" of others to dictate the actions they take. This, as Michael explains, is indicative of the politically correct culture that’s taken root in all of society.

What are we to think when wildly successful comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld, Louis C.K, and Chris Rock flat-out refuse to play college campuses because of the close-minded, irrationally sensitive nature of today’s student bodies? How have we arrived at a place where anything less than absolute conformity to preselected attitudes and beliefs means running the risk of being labeled "something"? Racist? Homophobic? Sexist? The list goes on.

What’s worse, as Michael points out, is that this culture of victim-hood has many feeling they’re entitled to certain things simply because they "exist". These are the people who blindly accept societal rules, rather than analyze and develop proper strategy. Good decision-making, whether in trading or everyday life, means developed a plan and a set of rules and then sticking to them. Because in the end, everyone gets what they want (to paraphrase trader Ed Seykota).

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Good decision-making through clarity
  • Examining identity politics
  • Operating under your own rules
  • Political correctness: it’s about agendas
  • Good trading means using your system and your mind
  • The importance of staying focused

Want a FREE Trend Follwing DVD? Find it here.   


Sep 25, 2015

Today on Trend Following Radio Michael Covel talks with Lawrence McMillan of McMillan Analysis Corporation. The topic of discussion is options, their value in terms of overall strategy, and how their trading has evolved over the preceding decades.

The conversation opens with Lawrence talking about his days at historic Bell Labs – a research company founded in the 19th century by Alexander Graham Bell – and the initial difficulty in working with options due to their complicated nature and the level of technology required. Later, Michael asks Lawrence to talk about the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) and how, since the subprime crisis of 2008, many are looking at the VIX as long-term insurance for the future. One of the problems with that strategy, as Lawrence points out, is that many people fail to take into account that VIX only measures market expectations for the next 30 days.

Also discussed today are leverage as a financial tool and the concept of the black swan – unforeseen events that have a major impact, but only rationalized after the fact. Lawrence brings decades of experience and wisdom, gain perspective.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • American vs. European-style options
  • The logic behind VIX
  • Leverage as a tool
  • Understanding puts and calls
  • Long and short selling
  • Examining the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008

Want a FREE Trend Follwing DVD? Find it here.

Sep 21, 2015

On today’s show Michael Covel examines the duplicitous nature of the mainstream financial media, how its talking heads insist on pretending they can predict the future, and how even its most respected publications promote seemingly opposing ideas.

To emphasize his point, Michael opens the discussion by talking about the publication process for his first book, Trend Following. After being passed on by one publisher, he was eventually signed by the publishing side of the Financial Times conglomerate. The same FT, as Michael points out, that’s been trashing trend following for decades.

And nothing has changed. Michael reads from a September 2015 FT article in which author Stephen Foley gives trend following the traditional mainstream bashing we’ve come to except. But in the same issue, FT conducts an interview with Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller, in which Shiller says, he sees a massive stock market bubble – the kind of thing trend following has repeatedly proven to be best-equipped to handle.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Trend following: a system, not a theory
  • Opinions are worthless without strategy
  • The mainstream media’s continued attacks on trend following
  • No one knows the future – embrace the idea
  • Theories are conjecture
  • Focus on the now – that’s the indicator

Want a FREE Trend Follwing DVD? Find it here

Sep 18, 2015

On today’s show Michael Covel talks with memory expert and Memrise co-founder Ben Whately. Not surprisingly, central to the discussion is memory and how the human brain interprets and processes information.

When we think of fond memories, we often see events from someone else’s point of view. Ben explains that this is because in addition to our own personal recollections, we have also encountered alternate perspectives of the event through such devices as photos or home movies. Our brain mashes the imagery together and produces a composite image – a memory.

Michael and Ben talk about how humanity’s view on memory throughout time has always been a reflection of the best technology of the era. This leads to one of Ben’s favorite subjects, language. According to Ben, the way language is taught today – rote memorization – is completely wrong. Language is best learned by immersing yourself in the culture of the people who speak it. Take his memory lessons throughout this episode and apply them tomorrow.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Memory, a composite of previously formed memories
  • How memories are encoded in the brain
  • To the brain, remembering equals imagining
  • How the most effective way to teach is to be entertaining
  • Technology, and how it affects our views on memory

Want a FREE Trend Follwing DVD? Find it here 

Sep 14, 2015

On today’s show, Michael Covel talks about how people that are ahead of the curve often find themselves isolated – even ridiculed – by those who don’t yet get it. This, as Michael points out, is certainly true for trend following traders, and some of the sharpest push back comes from the talking heads of the media.

To emphasize his point, Michael plays clips from an interview between CNBC’s Joe Kernen and Graham Capital’s Ken Tropin, a highly successful trader who heavily incorporates trend following techniques into his overall strategy. To Michael, of utmost significance in the two men’s exchange, is the fact that Kernen bumbles through the interview wholly unprepared (either via incompetence or on purpose). Kernen didn’t respect Tropin or his strategy enough to do even the most basic homework beforehand.

Michael’s discussion then moves on to the topic of uncertainty. In direct opposition to media personalities, that are paid to pretend to know what the market will do, trend following traders embrace the knowledge that they can’t predict the future. Uncertainty makes the game more exciting, and not just the investment game. As Michael demonstrates, the principles of trend following can be effectively applied across myriad disciplines.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:


  • Recognizing that without a strategy, you’re at the mercy of the machine
  • Embracing uncertainty
  • Understanding that knowing every market move won’t help without a plan
  • The importance of setting your strategy beforehand
  • Seeing that media personalities are paid to pretend to know all
  • How the principles of trend following apply to other disciplines

Want a FREE Trend Follwing DVD? Find it here

Sep 11, 2015

Today’s guest is prolific author, mathematician and entrepreneur John Casti. John talks with Michael Covel about social mood, and how ultimately the events that urge populations to move in one direction or another are largely unpredictable.

John discusses the concept of socionomics – the idea that the collective beliefs of a society about its future will influence the kinds of social events to occur in that future. And while these triggers, which John refers to as X-events, can’t be predicted, John explains that they can absolutely be prepared for by understanding the greater social context of the region.

As an example, John cites the so-called Arab Spring. As he points out, no one could have predicted the single event that moved millions in the Arab World to take to the streets in protest. But it wasn’t hard to see that the region had long been primed for something big. Charles Faulkner recommended John as a guest (even though he only knew his work). Good tip from Charles!

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • The fundamentals of socionomics
  • The science of surprise
  • Understanding that social mood is time-dependent
  • How X-events can trigger mood reversals
  • Isolating the collective social belief
  • The mindset of “the crowd”

Want a FREE Trend Following DVD?  Get it here

Sep 7, 2015

On today’s show Michael Covel vents some of the frustration he’s been feeling over the past few weeks. Central to his discussion is the idea of failure, and how the vast majority of people are unable – or unwilling – to accept how vital it is to overall long-term success.

Michael opens by pointing out that most people today seem to be under the delusion that someone will always be there to take care of them. This, as Michael explains, is by design. Government and the talking heads of the media want the average citizen to be soft, dependent, and unwilling to take risks. Safety and security, according to the official line, should be valued above all else (even if it is all an illusion).

But this line of thinking doesn’t account for the truly successful of the world. Those who’ve risked everything and succeeded – specifically because they failed and learned from their mistakes. Success requires tenacity and dedication, but neither are required if you don’t take a risk in the first place. Because if you never take a shot, you’ll never hit the target.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Understanding that success requires failure
  • Seeing past investment myths
  • Recognizing that no risk means no profits
  • Understanding that there’s no such thing as a perfect strategy
  • Shattering the notion that someone will always take care of you
  • Accepting that there are no guarantees

Want a FREE Trend Follwing DVD? Find it here.

Sep 4, 2015

Today’s guest is author, entrepreneur and professional poker player Annie Duke. Michael Covel and Annie Duke discuss several of the countless ways in which the psychology of gambling overlaps with that of trading, investment and other aspects of business.

Annie explains the importance of thinking probabilistically for decision-makers. Gamblers, like investors, can sometimes become so focused on their losses that it begins to affect their decision-making process in a negative way. Annie calls this “tilt” and says it occurs when players put too much emphasis on outcome. She points out that so long as you are getting an overall return on your investment via a positive expectation, small losses should be both expected and absorbed.

Michael and Annie also discuss further in depth expectancy and how the top minds in both trading and gambling think about the long-term. When involved with risk, it is always important to think realistically. If there is a 90% chance of success, don’t round it up to 100% simply to boost your confidence. This way, if the venture fails, you won’t feel the need to discard your strategy since there was always that 10% chance of failure. Overall, your odds of success are still very good. This is why Annie’s thinking is so important for all of us.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Focusing on the process instead of the outcome
  • Understanding that it’s about your return, not you winning percentage
  • Recognizing that in investing, consistency is unnatural
  • Thinking probabilistically
  • Maximizing your expectancy
  • Understanding that a loss doesn’t necessarily reflect bad thinking

Want a FREE Trend Following DVD?  Get it here.

Aug 31, 2015

Human beings have a strange habit of trusting other humans, even when the trust isn’t warranted. Everywhere in mainstream media, statistics are used and misused to convey an agenda. All too often, people ignore the agenda and buy into this engineered information.

To be successful, both in life and in trading, a person must move beyond this behavior. You need to be a skeptic. You can’t put blind faith into a system that doesn’t make its agenda clear. You probably shouldn’t trust it even if the agenda does seem clear. This is just as true when considering pollsters like Frank Luntz as it is when listening to the sales pitches of discretionary traders on Wall Street.

In today’s episode Michael Covel discusses the biases we have as human beings that lead us to poor investing decisions. Most notably, it is a bias that prevents us from trusting algorithmic trading, even when a human alternative is demonstrably worse. Through entertaining and insightful clips, Michael demonstrates why algorithms deserve our trust: their accountability and their ability to be back tested through different market conditions.

The episode is full of interesting sound clips and passages from bright minds such as Penn Jillette, Leda Braga, Daniel Dennett, Lasse Pedersen, and David Harding.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • The use and misuse of statistics
  • Using skepticism to your advantage
  • The advantages of algorithmic trading
  • Leda Braga on why ‘Black Box’ isn’t a fair term
  • Daniel Dennett’s simplifications of algorithms and computing
  • Trend following as simple agnostic rules that can easily be passed to a computer
  • Efficient market theory failure during surprises

Get a free Trend Following DVD here.

Aug 28, 2015

Today’s guest is Mark Sleeman of MS Capital Management. Mark is a self-taught trend following trader who’s been trading since the late 80s.

Michael Covel asks Mark about the road that led him to trend following and his early experiences as an trader. Mark talks about how, in the beginning, he was only looking for a way to make money. But with his engineering background, when he happened upon systems trading, everything fell into place. So confident was Mark in both his system and his own abilities, in fact, that he was willing to sell his house to get started (to raise trading capital).

Mark points out that investing based on “bottoms and tops” alone is pointless since no one can predict where the market will turn. The key to smart investing is a diversified portfolio that can sustain small losses long enough to catch those big wins. Trend following is the only proven system with decades of empirical data to back it up, and it’s the only way to trade if you want to become a long term survivor.

Other areas of discussion include the psychology of trading, understanding that patience doesn’t come naturally (has to be learned), and the importance of maintaining a life outside the markets.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • The fallacy of “buy low, sell high”
  • The psychology of trading
  • Keeping your losses small
  • The importance of maintaining a life
  • Focusing on the strategy, not the instrument
  • Understanding that patience has to be learned

Want a FREE Trend Following DVD? Get it here

Aug 24, 2015

Today, Michael Covel reads a recent piece from Barry Ritholtz about the Death Cross: that foreboding moment when the 50 day MA falls below the 200 day MA. Then Michael looks at how a Twitter debate between Cliff Asness of AQR and Jerry Parker of Chesapeake Capital, sparked by the article, led to an examination of momentum v. trend following.

The so-called Death Cross is viewed by many to be an omen, a signal of dark days to come. And while that could be partly correct in the context of a complete system, the Death Cross is just a signal. It’s a mistake to think of it in apocalyptic terms that something will happen in 6 months time, etc. The Death Cross is the type of signal that can work for the investor with a robust, diversified portfolio within a system that doesn’t aim to predict the future. This is all about what’s happening in the present price, so you can take action now.

Michael also plays and comments on a Bloomberg interview with Barry Ritholtz, discusses the folly of predictive technical analysis, and hammers home the fact that trend following is the only proven form of quantitative trading.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • The importance of ignoring old concepts
  • Trend Following is about taking action
  • Why no one can predict where the market is headed
  • Incorporating the Death Cross into a diversified portfolio
  • Understanding momentum trading
  • The idea of “heuristics”

Want a FREE Trend Follwing DVD? Find it here

Aug 21, 2015

Today’s guest is Lasse Pedersen, finance professor at Copenhagen Business School, principal at AQR Capital Management, and author of the new book “Efficiently Inefficient”. Pedersen earned his Ph.D. in finance from Stanford University and has over a decade of experience in the industry.

The conversation opens with an examination of the two opposing views on how markets operate. One view holds that markets are fully efficient and reflect real values, while the other contends that market prices are inefficient and tied more to investors’ emotions than anything else. Pedersen discusses his own interpretation — that markets are neither fully efficient nor fully inefficient, but rather a combination of the two — and that it’s this equilibrium that provides the stability needed for investors to make gains.

Michael Covel and Lasse Pedersen discuss the commonalities in the varied strategies of some of the most successful investors in the world, many of whom are interviewed in Lasse’s new book. One such commonality with these investors is their constant awareness of risk management, and the concept of gambler’s ruin. But at the same time, as Lasse is quick to point out, many of these financial legends freely admit that some of their greatest lessons were learned through their losing trades.

Other topics include the rise of quantitative investing, the role of hedge funds in the economy, and how leverage can effectively be used as an investment tool.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Discretionary vs. quantitative trading
  • The importance of sticking to your financial plan
  • The various investment styles of the successful
  • How reflexivity affects market prices
  • Backtesting to identify effective investment strategy
  • The role of hedge funds

Get a FREE Trend Following DVD by going here

Aug 17, 2015

Many that aspire to be successful investors or traders look up to Warren Buffett as a role model. Yet the chances of anyone amassing that wealth by following the same path as Buffett are extremely unlikely. Debating survivorship bias seems perfectly appropriate, but that's never broached.

On the other hand, becoming the next Bill Dunn or Ed Seykota (or fill in the blank with the name of any trend follower) has much more possibility. In the trend following world there are many more successful traders, successful examples, which is much more motivational and inspiring.

In this episode, Michael Covel curates excerpts from Kevin Bruce, Jim Simons, and David Harding. All three talking about systems and or trend following. The important point about systems is not just selecting the right one, but also sticking to it once selected. Often people are tempted to make discretionary calls and override a system, defeating its original purpose. Instead, the potential rewards and risks inherent in a trend following system should be evaluated at the beginning, discretionary calls made at the outset, then let the system run without interference. That is the path to potential success.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • The importance of practice and persistence in trading
  • Finding trends mathematically
  • The importance of not overriding systems
  • Being prepared for drawdowns
  • Looking at the S&P 500 as a trading system
  • Dispelling the myths of the mainstream financial world

Get a FREE Trend Following DVD here.

Aug 14, 2015

Today’s guest is Alexander Ineichen founder of Ineichen Research and Management. He is the author of several books including “Absolute Returns” and “Asymmetric Returns”. Inehichen has been researching and writing about trend trading strategy for decades.

The conversation today focuses on the notion of simplicity as sophistication. Michael Covel and Alexander Ineichen discuss the habit of investors to get caught up in market forecasting fantasies. Often, as research shows, people are drawn toward the excitement of what they perceive as the financial industry dream. They get distracted by what could be the future when they should be directing their attention at what’s happening in the moment. This is also what trend following is all about.

Ineichen explains his particular method of nowcasting, which involves combining hard market trends with socio-economic data from other fields. The end goal is to create a far more robust and stable system for the vast majority of investors. He aims to eliminate the “show element” of forecasting and analyze what’s happening on the ground – now.

Michael and Alexander also discuss the difficulty of investing in tech – prediction doesn’t work there either.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Seeing through the market forecasting flash
  • The importance of “check box” methodology
  • Simplification as sophistication
  • The concept of nowcasting
  • Understanding the whole, so you know what can be eliminated
  • Learning to watch for trend reversals

Want a FREE Trend Following DVD? Get it here

Aug 10, 2015

“Should I invest in X?” is a question often heard in the investment world. Coming from the general public it is an especially strong cry out. The answer to that question is simple, although not obvious to many.

What you invest in doesn’t matter; it’s the strategy that matters. Markets are instruments: you can choose the best market and instrument for your purpose, but ultimately it is your strategy for using that market/instrument that determines the outcome.

In this commentary Michael Covel curates several excerpts from Richard Feynman to Paul Samuelson and creates a narrative to illustrate the contrast between fundamental and technical traders. Covel also makes a case study of Commodities Corporation – the hedge fund/incubator that was founded and run by some of the biggest trend following heavyweights of our time.

One of the most notable aspects of Commodities Corporation’s success is their pivot from their original fundamental strategy to a trend following strategy. Though the company is not talked about much today (bought by Goldman Sachs years back), their trend following legacy still permeates the investing world.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Defining the exact risks involved in a trading strategy
  • The importance of liquidity: entering and exiting markets with ease
  • What we can learn from the history of Commodities Corporation
  • How the scientific method applies to trading logic
  • How Fundamental Analysis differs from Technical Analysis
  • The origins and basic principles of Trend Following Trading
  • The importance of accepting the risks and committing to your strategy

Want a free Trend Following DVD? Get it here

Aug 7, 2015

Just as shamans have been consulted throughout time to provide the desperate and gullible with prophecies, so too are financial shamans (often masquerading as experts) are looked up to for comforting myths about market direction.

Of course, we can and should prepare for the many possible market eventualities by looking at the data and trading trends, but to expect anyone to be able to provide absolute predictions for the future is absurd. The truth is that we do not know for sure, and anyone that tells you they do know might as well be gazing into a crystal ball.

Today’s episode looks at the various attitudes and beliefs concerning the falsehood of market predictability. Michael Covel runs the commentary, drawing a narrative thread through various excerpts from some of the most prominent economic and financial thinkers.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Recognizing when you are being misled by the experts
  • What to look for in trend analysis and what to be wary of
  • Considering bubbles and other unpredictable global factors in the markets
  • Finding an objective approach to investing based on quantifiable information
  • Considering timeless human investment psychology elements
  • Making investment decisions without being blinded by rigid economic processes or political ideologies  

Want a FREE Trend Following DVD? Get it here


Aug 3, 2015

The popular life scripts that were a surefire path to success in the 20th century no longer work today. “Go to college and get a steady job until you retire” is no longer the optimal choice. Yet many people still believe that if they push harder or work more within these old scripts, they will succeed. But much like in trend following, continuing to be mentally attached to a trend that is on the decline will only result in further losses.

In today’s world, the opportunities and rewards associated with entrepreneurship are many. As college tuition rises, the value of a degree decreases, and with many jobs going dinosaur, entrepreneurship is becoming a smarter choice for many – and a less risky choice than standard issue job thinking.

Today’s podcast guest Taylor Pearson is the 26-year old author of the #1 Amazon best selling book The End of Jobs. Pearson has spent the last several years researching and traveling the world and talking to successful entrepreneurs, which inspired him to write the book.

In this episode, Pearson and Covel talk about automation taking away jobs, how globalization and travel are making entrepreneurship more accessible, the difference in mindset between entrepreneurs and employees, and the search for meaning in life and work.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • How entrepreneurship is becoming safer than jobs
  • Why college degrees are getting more expensive and less valuable
  • The importance of relationships and your network in business
  • Why the occupy movement was flawed from the start
  • Not seeking permission to do something you want to do
  • How the perceptions of risk in our society are wrong
  • Choosing a path in life that has meaning to you

Get a FREE Trend Following DVD here.

Jul 31, 2015

Many of the investment and trading approaches available today simply do not perform the same way in the real world as they do during simulation. This is why it's important to “look under the hood” of your trading strategy to understand how something works instead of simply taking it on faith.

This episode’s guest has appeared on the podcast twice before. Eric Crittenden is one of the key mind's behind Longboard Mutual Funds, a firm that has over 300 million dollars under management. Crittenden was also featured in Michael Covel's "Little Book of Trading".

In this episode, Eric Crittenden talks about creating a mutual fund based on trend following principles, why investment returns are not normally distributed, how financial simulations differ from the real world, and how to control risk in a trend following system.

Eric has many insights into trend following and trading in general, and has the financial data to back up his findings. He has also published several research papers on the matter, which are linked to below.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

-Relative momentum vs. time momentum
-Survivorship bias in the financial advisory market
-Defining risk – how much are you willing to lose?
-Why trend following works for both high-risk and low-risk assets
-Identifying the “sweet spot” client for fund managers
-The difference between most mutual funds and direct-managed funds
-Financial simulations vs. real life

Get a free Trend Following DVD here

Jul 27, 2015

There is often misunderstanding among the general public when it comes to probability and risk. For example, 20% of Americans believe they are in the top 1% of income earners, or are soon to be there. This is, of course, statistically impossible.

Statistical thinking needs to have a bigger focus in our society, especially since the amount of data we have to deal with on a daily basis is constantly increasing. We need systems to help us sift through the noise.

Today’s episode is a selection of excerpts from some of the brightest minds of today and yesterday, and their takes on systematic and statistical thinking. Michael Covel provides the commentary. Though this is not strictly a trend following episode, all the material is very much applicable and relevant for anyone in trading or business.

From Penn Jillette (of Penn & Teller) to Gerd Gigerenzer, to Daniel Dennett, to Richard Feynman, this episode is permeated with wisdom to help you cultivate a trend following mindset.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Having a foundation, a system to get through the noise
  • Developing a statistical mindset
  • Understanding risk and knowing how to deal with it
  • Getting “under the hood” of any trading system
  • Richard Feynman’s lecture on computer heuristics
  • What computer heuristics have to do with systems trading
  • A trait that geniuses have in common
  • The importance of isolation and concentration in learning

Want a FREE Trend Following DVD? Get it here.

Jul 25, 2015

Bonus episode that discusses new trend following trading system available now. This episode is only for those listeners seeking a trend following trading system.

Jul 24, 2015

Today’s podcast guest is Chris Clarke, ex-Goldman Sachs executive director and founder of Lawrence Clarke Investment Management. Clarke has been developing trading systems for decades.

The conversation today gets into the psychology of systems trading. Trend following is inherently simple to understand, and does not require above-average intelligence once the system is in place. Yet so many people, including most fund managers, tend to downplay trend following and keep seeking the “holy grail” – a magical system that will supposedly make them money without any downside. An interesting metaphor for this that Chris offers is that of weight loss. Although the theory of it is simple (diet and exercise), most people keep seeking the magic bullet that will make them achieve results without following the system. Much the same with trading.

Another topic that Michael Covel and Chris Clarke talk about is understanding the difference between risk and drawdowns. Drawdowns are normal, and will be there for as long as trend following as a strategy exists, and the markets keep trending. Ultimately, trend following is about human nature, and that’s not about to change.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Trusting the system once you choose it
  • Being prepared to trade no matter which way the markets go
  • The importance of edge, and why most gamblers lose
  • Looking at the math behind trading strategies
  • Understanding “market truths”
  • Drawdowns vs. risks

Want a FREE trend following DVD? Get it here.

Jul 20, 2015

An article recently appeared in Forbes, entitled “What Jurassic World Can Teach Investors About The Stock Market”. In it is an interview with Ben Carlson on why simplicity trumps complexity when it comes to investment strategies. Although not explicitly about trend following, the article brings up points about the poor historical performance of financially engineered assets and the superiority of simple systems.

In this monologue, Michael Covel talks about his desire to seek the truth, and the importance of taking personal responsibility for your actions. He also breaks apart the Forbes article on simplicity vs. complexity, and the logical reasons why trend following systems have historically performed better than others.

Also in this episode: the recent study that shows that metal-heads from the 80s are happier and better adapted than their peers.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Why simple strategies are better than complex ones
  • The importance of defining your risk as a number
  • How risk and reward are two sides of the same coin
  • Why going for the average is a losing strategy
  • The difference between hiring a financial advisor and an trader
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