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Bestselling author Michael Covel is the host of Trend Following Radio with 15+ million listens. Investments, economics, psychology, politics, decision-making, human behavior, entrepreneurship and trading -- all passionately explored and debated. Guests include Nobel Prize winners: Robert Aumann, Angus Deaton, Daniel Kahneman, Oliver Hart, Harry Markowitz & Vernon Smith. More guests: Jack Canfield, Howard Marks, 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. 1200+ episodes.

Sep 14, 2013

My guest today is Mike Bellafiore, the co-founder of SMB Capital, a proprietary trading firm in New York City, and SMBU, its trader education company. Bellafiore also writes regularly for the globally popular SMBU blog, where he shares ideas on how to improve trading performance.

The topic is his book The Playbook: An Inside Look at How to Think Like a Professional Trader.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio we discuss:

  • Real rewards to being a successful trader
  • Passion in trading
  • Why professional traders fail
  • Parallels between trading and writing
  • Bellafiore's history and definitions of "prop trading"
  • Trading short timeframes and intraday trading
  • The "prop desk"
  • Ups and downs in Bellafiore's career
  • The early history of SMB Capital
  • Bellafiore's early struggles with his father's health concerns, his mother's death, an SEC investigation, and how "The PlayBook" came out of it
  • The ten attributes of a great trader
  • Trading psychology and mindset
  • Personality types and short-term trading
  • Microscalping and swing trading
  • Expertise, flow, and mastery
  • Process vs. outcome
  • Entrepreneurship
  • The importance of coaching
  • The four ways to become great at anything

Jump in!


I’m MICHAEL COVEL, the host of TREND FOLLOWING RADIO, and I’m proud to have delivered 10+ million podcast listens since 2012. Investments, economics, psychology, politics, decision-making, human behavior, entrepreneurship and trend following are all passionately explored and debated on my show.

To start? I’d like to give you a great piece of advice you can use in your life and trading journey… cut your losses! You will find much more about that philosophy here:

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