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Trend Following with Michael Covel

Bestselling author Michael Covel is the host of Trend Following Radio with 6+ million listens. Investments, economics, decision-making, human behavior & entrepreneurship--all passionately explored. Guests include Nobel Prize winners Robert Aumann, Angus Deaton, Daniel Kahneman, Harry Markowitz & Vernon Smith. Also: James Altucher, Dan Ariely, Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, Kathleen Eisenhardt, Marc Faber, Tim Ferriss, Jason Fried, Gerd Gigerenzer, Larry Hite, Sally Hogshead, Ryan Holiday, Jack Horner, Ewan Kirk, Steven Kotler, Michael Mauboussin, Tucker Max, Barry Ritholtz, Jim Rogers, Jack Schwager, Ed Seykota, Philip Tetlock & Walter Williams. All 600+ eps at trendfollowingradio.com/rss.
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Now displaying: August, 2015

Bestselling author Michael Covel is the host of Trend Following Radio with 6+ million listens. Investments, economics, decision-making, human behavior & entrepreneurship--all passionately explored. Guests include Nobel Prize winners Robert Aumann, Angus Deaton, Daniel Kahneman, Harry Markowitz & Vernon Smith. Also: James Altucher, Dan Ariely, Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, Kathleen Eisenhardt, Marc Faber, Tim Ferriss, Jason Fried, Gerd Gigerenzer, Larry Hite, Sally Hogshead, Ryan Holiday, Jack Horner, Ewan Kirk, Steven Kotler, Michael Mauboussin, Tucker Max, Barry Ritholtz, Jim Rogers, Jack Schwager, Ed Seykota, Philip Tetlock & Walter Williams. All 600+ eps at trendfollowingradio.com/rss.

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.

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