Tarra Mitchell’s new book is “The Yoga of Leadership: A Practical Guide to Health, Happiness, And Inspiring Total Team Engagement.” Her work digs deep into the psychological benefits of practicing yoga and the benefits it provides for overall life wellness.
Tarra made a pivot in her career after the 2008 financial crisis. She was working to raise money for a fund of funds and decided she wanted to set off on her own – become an entrepreneur. Her new business was set to get off the ground just as the 2008 crisis was unfolding – tanking her new business opportunity. Tarra then set off on different ventures, eventually leading her to yoga. Yoga quickly became a part of her weekly routine. She decided to go through yoga teacher training, not to become a teacher, but rather to learn more about the practice. Through that experience, she realized she wanted to give back to the world by bringing the benefits of yoga into the finance industry.
Stress, loneliness, happiness, depression – it’s all contagious. Tarra saw yoga as a great way to counter some of the negativity in everyday life. Breathing and moving on a yoga mat settles the nervous system and helps quiet the mind. Yoga also helps bring students to an ongoing place of greater consciousness. Waking up each morning and doing an assessment of what’s needed for the day helps give the mind balance and power over the senses. With Tarra’s previous ties to the finance world, she quickly saw how valuable it could be to the industry.
Tarra not only see’s yoga as a way to settle the mind, but also as a healing agent. Too often, people turn to drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms. They turn to pills for anxiety, depression, or other ailments rather than trying to develop real skills to help. Tarra teaches her students how to strengthen the mind through practice and gives students a sense of community.
When everything is going great in the market, that’s when it is time to make sure that you have a plan for when it all goes downhill. Michael reads a piece from Ben Hunt titled, “The Icarus Moment,” adding commentary throughout. Michael and Ben may have differing views on trading styles, but philosophically they are aligned.
Everyone, on some level, is stuck on a wheel. People are literally baring their souls on a daily basis. Do you want to hear everyone’s daily fears? Their daily drama? Who we are and what we do has become completely separated. What can we do about all this? Start asking the “why.” Trust your biases. Wisdom comes from the ability to think critically. Think of the why, and not just the what.
Michael ends the podcast with a bonus interview with Anders Ericsson author of “Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise.” Ericsson is a psychologist and Conradi Eminent Scholar and Professor of Psychology at Florida State University. He is an internationally recognized researcher in the psychological nature of expertise and human performance. He studies cognitive ability, personality, interests, and other factors that help researchers understand and predict deliberate practice and expert performance.
Robert Kurson is the author of “Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man’s First Journey to the Moon.”
How did Robert get hooked on space exploration? He was born in 1963, just five years before the Apollo 8 mission. Some of his first memories were watching rockets take off. He realized he knew a lot of Apollo 11 and 13 but not much about Apollo 8. As he researched the mission he quickly learned that NASA, astronauts, and experts in the field had all talked about this mission being the most astonishing and important of all Apollo missions. Why? Apollo 8 became the first manned spacecraft to leave Earth’s orbit, reach the Earth’s Moon, orbit it and return safely to Earth. The three astronaut crew consisted of Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders.
The U.S. had historically always been behind in the race to space. With Russia continuously one step ahead, Apollo 8 gave us the advantage of having the first crew to reach the moon and paved the way for Apollo 11 to successfully put the first man on the moon.
Where do you pull your inspiration from? Michael opens the podcast quoting Nassim Taleb addressing bullies: Do you throw punches for the sake of throwing punches? No, you throw punches when it will set a standard for others not to mess with you. Michael also pulls inspiration from the 1980’s Dunbar High School basketball team. The 1981–1982 team finished its season undefeated and the 1982–1983 team continued the tradition with a 31–0 record and a #1 national ranking. They produced three first round NBA basketball draft picks. That team has become legendary.
Inspiration can be pulled from extraordinary athletes, writers, singers, and even architecture. Michael recently visited Singapore for a presentation. He has been there many times and describes it as “San Diego on steroids.” He describes the architecture and beauty of the city as awe-inspiring.
Michael ties the podcast together talking trend following and what inspires him about this style of trading compared to fundamental trading.
In this episode of Trend Following Radio:
Josef Marc is an author, entrepreneur, and CEO of Publica developing in the publishing world via blockchain. Publishing companies are some of the most inefficient businesses around today. Josef not only has cultivated a strategy to work around many of the hang-ups created by working with publishers, but has re-imagined the process altogether.
We have reached an era where people no longer care who the publisher is. Buyers can do their own research, read reviews and decide if they want to buy. How does blockchain technology help with this process? During an author’s campaign period, excitement can be generated through blockchain. Searching the content of books is easier through blockchain and there is a deeper sense of engagement throughout the community. Blockchain developments not only supply a platform for an author to get their name out, but it also creates a unique vehicle for payment. Josef also explains how blockchain can help with the re-sale of books and track when, what and who is buying a book or product.
For years Amazon has had a monopoly on book sales. Amazon relies on customer reviews to promote books and get others to buy. There is one small problem with this process – it is almost impossible to track the legitimacy of these customer reviews. How are reviews more accountable through blockchain? Everything is tracked and users have “tokenized” accountability.
Alison Gopnik is an American professor of psychology and affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. She is known for her work in the areas of cognitive and language development, specializing in the effect of language on thought, the development of a theory of mind, and causal learning. Her primary study is looking at how we learn and grow from the earliest years of our lives.
How did Alison get started down this path? She is the eldest of 6 children brought up in a bohemian style family. Being the oldest of 6 she had a deep understanding of children at a young age. She saw relationships between play and learning in babies first hand and was intrigued early on.
Alison also looks at the relationship between how long a baby is a baby before adulthood and how that relates to the rest of their life that follows. Humans generally have twice the amount of childhood than any of our animal relatives. If we have these extended periods of learning, compared to other mammals, what are human babies doing in that time? What are the other animal babies doing in that time? How does this time shape the rest of our lives in comparison?
Why is Alison so passionate about her work? She works with children everyday. She observes, plays and sees first hand how important they are. Other fields of science, particularly the artificial intelligence community, is beginning to take notice of her work. They are starting to look at children and cognitive development to help advance their programming. Introducing play and adaptation to their systems is one thing scientists have taken away from observing children. The more you play around and experiment in your childhood, the more you are able to adapt and adjust to the unknown environments. How do you go about taking on new challenges? Exploring and having fun with things often helps to solve problems quicker.
What are some lessons we are learning about kids and technology? Will this generation’s technology ruin the world? Michael and Alison end the podcast discussing the ever changing technological advances and what impacts it may or may not have on the world and the children living on it.
Martin “Marty” Bergin and James Dailey are on the podcast today. Bergin is the President and owner of DUNN Capital Management. He began working with DUNN in 1997 and took over the day-to-day operations of the firm in 2007. He became owner in 2015 (Bill Dunn remains Chairman). James Dailey became CEO of Dunn Capital in March 2016. DUNN has a track record that spans over 40 years.
Today’s podcast was recorded the week after the February 2018 volatility. Inevitably, when there is volatility in markets, machines are blamed. DUNN Capital is a trend following trading firm who uses computers for everything they do. They know fintech well. That said, there is a difference between DUNN Capital and “the machine” traders.
DUNN Capital trades from a higher volatility perspective and it has worked out well for them. They don’t charge management fees, but rather are completely incentive fee based. Further, at DUNN Capital they don’t reduce volatility for the sake of possibly reducing bad events–they still want strong profits and that is the only way they make money. Unfortunately, investors always remember drawdowns and they do try to minimize those without compromising their core system.
Finally, and this a surprise for many, DUNN Capital’s office is quiet and not very exciting. Trend following after all is about discipline and blocking out all of the media noise and information. DUNN’s investors get that. DUNN is managing money for the long term, not short term. Their trend following is geared toward data and everything in their research shows that long term trend following trading is their best opportunity.
Michael Covel walks the line on trend following.
Oliver Hart is the 6th Nobel Prize winner to appear on Trend Following Radio. He is a British-born American economist, and currently the Andrew E. Furer Professor of Economics at Harvard University. He received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2016 for his work on contract theory.
Oliver is an expert on contract theory, theory of the firm, corporate finance, law and economics. He studies how ownership roles, structure and contractual arrangements are used in the governance and boundaries of corporations. How did he get his start? After receiving his PhD from Princeton in 1974, he began studying general equilibrium under uncertainty – particularly the behavior of firms when under uncertainty. Summer of 1983 was when his career path shifted – specifically to contracts. He became less interested in what firms should do, and more interested in how firms align with what shareholders want them to do.
Following the 2008 financial crisis, Oliver believed it was dangerous to start intervening in such a fragile economy. Yes, it was an unprecedented crisis but, Oliver believes it was totally overblown. No physical or human assets were disappearing and we had mechanisms such as bankruptcy to fall back on. What was the reasoning behind some banks beings saved and others not? Wall Street was bailed out but mainstream was not? Oliver looked at the crisis as arbitrary and rigged. Michael and Oliver wrap the podcast up discussing the differences in block chain and bitcoin and end the podcast with a 6 minute bonus Q&A.