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Trend Following with Michael Covel

Bestselling author Michael Covel is the host of Trend Following Radio with 7+ 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 www.trendfollowing.com/podcast.
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Bestselling author Michael Covel is the host of Trend Following Radio with 7+ 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.

Oct 17, 2012

Michael Covel brings some unexpected trend following messages and inspiration from eclectic and unexpected places. The first comes from Neil Young, his lyrics signifying the ups and downs of life and trading. The important thing is that we're along for the ride: "I've been first and last, look at how the time goes past, but I'm all alone at last, rolling home to you." Covel discusses the unexpected inspiration he's found over the past few weeks leading up to his recent speaking engagement in Las Vegas arranged by Timothy Sykes. As you would expect Covel found some important food for thought on his trip and he shares these eccentric lessons: A pamphlet found in a hotel room from Affliction Clothing; a film called "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" that holds some important messages about passion and practice; a book that Covel received from his Yoga teacher titled "How Yoga Works" that has more to do with trading than you'd ever expect; and the book "Investment Biker: On The Road with Jim Rogers". Covel also discusses a quote from famed trader Larry Hite about how in the big picture nothing really changes. People are people and people are always motivated by greed and fear. A reader questions how high frequency trading and automation work into the equation and Covel answers. Covel also discusses some thoughts from more fundamental thinkers such as Hugh Hendry and John Hussman (and why, whether it is their intention or not, they write great missives about why trend following works). From a strategy perspective how do you follow along and make money in a world where fundamentals don't offer you hope on the timing of things? How can you make money in that world? The answer is trend following. If you don't have trend following in your portfolio what are you missing? Covel also makes a big announcement for a special in-person seminar event in Las Vegas coming up in December. The event includes both of Covel's dinosaur systems (T-Rex and Triceratops), a ton of materials (documents, audio, and video) that are unlikely to ever be released anywhere else, a long Friday night dinner, a full day session on Saturday--everything you need but the airfare. You'll have to make your decision by November 1st for the event on December 7th and 8th. Also a special DVD offer: www.trendfollowing.com/win.

Oct 14, 2012

Michael Covel talks with Frank Curzio of Stansberry and Associates. Curzio is a recognized experts in the small cap sector, the voice behind S&A Investor Radio, as well as the editor of the Small Stock Specialist. Curzio has been featured on numerous radio and television programs, and wrote a newsletter for TheStreet.com before joining Stansberry. Covel and Curzio come at the game from vastly different perspectives on how to make money, with Curzio's small-cap world playing the yin to Covel's systematic, trend following yang. Even with their differences Covel and Curzio find plenty of common ground in their alternative ways of getting to their ultimate goal: to make money. Covel and Curzio talk about Curzio's background coming up in New York, the influence of his father, and his introduction into the world of trading; Curzio's history with Jim Cramer, the info-tainment industry, and separating Cramer the analyst from Cramer the television personality; Stansberry's wide reach in the financial world and Covel's introduction to them through an event at Jekyll Island; how Curzio is still looking for big moves just like any trend following trader; how the "magic hand" of the Fed can affect strategies in both the fundamental and trend following worlds; Curzio's experiences with Jim Rogers, Jeff Macke, and Porter Stansberry; and the drastically different ways in which trends can be dissected. Special offer free DVD: www.trendfollowing.com/win.

Oct 9, 2012

Michael Covel talks with Mark Shore, a trader and educator whose main area of expertise is managed futures. Shore has an MBA from the University of Chicago, was the former head of risk at Octane Research (over a billion AUM), was the former COO of VK Capital (a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley), and now is an adjunct professor at DePaul University teaching the only accredited course on managed futures in the country. Covel talks to Shore about Shore's experience in getting the "a-ha" moments out of his students when teaching managed futures, and how he brings his students into the world of managed futures; how and why those working in the CTA/managed futures/trend following space have a firm grasp on risk management that exceeds the understanding of competitors (i.e. mutual funds); how the term "managed futures" (which refers to the instrument and not the strategy) might be problematic; skewness; drawdowns; why managed futures performance is famous for doing extremely well when chaos unfurls; why the majority of the mutual fund industry hasn't adopted CTA strategies; the issue of survivorship bias; why certain people can't wrap their arms around strategies not based on fundamental analysis; Shore's paper, "Decoding The Myths of Managed Futures"; the emotional elements of trading; and others experiences while working at VK Capital. Would you like a special DVD sent along for free? Go: www.trendfollowing.com/win.

Oct 9, 2012

Michael Covel discusses an article titled "21 Ways Rich People Think Differently Than Average People". The word rich may not be the best term here as Covel notes, "being rich or poor doesn't stop you from being a schmuck." Covel makes a more clear distinction between average people and people of high character. He goes through the list and offers commentary on statements such as "average people think money is the root of all evil; rich people believe poverty is the root of all evil." Money, Covel maintains, is just a medium of exchange and that's all it is. It's what you make of it that becomes good or bad. Readers will see that many of the precepts and principles in this article are straight out of Trend Following 101. Further, commentary includes seeing money through the eyes of emotion vs. seeing it logically; following your passion vs. working for the man; setting low expectations vs. challenging yourself; knowing the markets are driven by emotion and greed; being a slave to debt; surviving vs. thriving; education vs. entertainment; finding comfort in uncertainty; and trend follower Larry Hite's concept of asymmetric bets. Next, Covel discusses "An Investor's Guide to Famous Last Words" from The Motley Fool. Covel used to spend time ripping The Motley Fool for pumping buy and hold, and in the end pulls no punches in revealing the author to be a die hard "value" guy (despite agreeing on certain points). Would you like a special offer DVD sent to your home or office? Go: www.trendfollowing.com/win.

Oct 8, 2012

Michael Covel speaks for the second time with managed futures expert, editor/writer for Opalesque, and author Mark Melin. Melin has his fingers on the pulse of the nasty things going behind the scenes; specifically, over-the-counter ("OTC") markets and the MF Global scandal. Covel talks to Melin about his recent piece in Opalesque: "The Untold Story: Brooksley Born, Larry Summers & the Truth About Unlimited Risk Potential". Most understand stock and futures exchanges; you can trade in these exchanges and expect a certain amount of regulation and transparency, and people understand the balancing side of the equation. However, the OTC derivatives that Melin has been digging into are completely off the everyone exposed to a possible mega-implosion in the near future. Melin discusses the history of these unregulated derivatives and notes that if the problems that were initially identified by Brooksley Born in 1998 are not properly addressed, the next market catastrophe could be worse than anything that has preceded it. Covel and Melin discuss the possible solutions; if politicians can actually be held accountable if there are no repercussions beyond not being reelected; and how the average American can digest this information and how it affects them. Covel also brings up the idea of the "four political parties": Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and Bankers. If you look at it from that perspective can they be defeated? (Covel: "No.") You can't vote the bankers out. Melin contends that if the debt crisis in Europe unfolds banks are going to expose the US government to unlimited loss potential. Covel and Melin go on to discuss how people simply won't listen if the Dow is rigged to keep them happy; why the average person who sees the Dow at a high level today should care about this, and what they can do to protect themselves beyond sitting around and waiting for the sky to fall. Covel is the skeptic and Melin is the optimist in this fiery conversation about how to handle this situation before it implodes. Melin notes: "The Fed cannot prop up the stock market forever. At some point, gravity takes over." Covel believes the die is cast and offers trend following as an "out". Special offer free DVD: www.trendfollowing.com/win.

Oct 5, 2012

Michael Covel sometimes feels like he's floating above and looking down like the protagonist in David Bowie's "Space Oddity". In today's episode Covel closes this alienating gap with his explanation of the "lottery society": The idea that you don't have to work--you simply make a small bet of your time and money and your your entire world can change through one single action (even though the odds say there is no chance). We've pushed aside the notion of purposeful, driven, consistent effort and work. You can see the concept of a "lottery society" beyond the notion of buying a scratch-off: the idea that the Presidential election will change your life, reality shows and American Idol's instant fame fantasy and drugs and alcohol as the quick fix. It all sounds well and good, but the lottery mentality doesn't work. It sucks the life out of you. How did we even get to the point where being "picked" has replaced the notion of good, consistent hard work and creating something from scratch? It's the gap between wishing and doing. We're in a fantastic world of distraction and the lottery mentality is a perfect example of that distraction. Covel goes on to explain the parallels between fundamental analysis and the lottery mindset; perspectives on the lottery mindset from writer Seth Godin; the perils of watering down a clear trend following trading strategy with short term trading strategies, fundamental analysis, and media input; and the illusion that tools such as the iPhone make us more productive. Next, Covel notes how many want a hero these days (instead of viewing themselves as heroes). Currently, the "hero de jour" is Ben Bernanke, chairman of The Federal Reserve--except most don't have a grasp why his current rate policy is so problematic. When you have rates artificially reduced to zero it forces people to invest in the stock market. Covel offers commentary regarding current Fed policy by giving context via an exploration of recent tech and real estate bubble histories. As Charles Hugh Smith (www.oftwominds.com) has noted, "If you prop up an artificial economy long enough, does it become real?". Covel gives his personal view of the current situation: You know it's bad, you know it's eventually going to pop, but what do you do? That's the hard question. So how can you profit in the face of such uncertainty? Trend following is the profit answer when the black swan swims in. Special offer: Receive a free DVD here: http://www.trendfollowing.com/win.

Oct 3, 2012

"The pleasure is to play, it makes no difference what you say. You win some, lose some, it's all the same to me." Michael Covel opens up with one of the greatest heavy metal songs of all time and notes some unexpected lessons that can be taken from the lyrics. Sticking with the theme of taking trend following inspiration from unexpected places, Covel then goes on to discuss several posts from Zen Habits, a blog that contains lessons from the perspective of Zen Buddhism. Covel discusses "Finding Peace With Uncertainty": "Why is not knowing so scary? If you roll a dice and don’t know what it will be, is that scary? No, it’s not the 'not knowing' that’s the problem it’s the possibility that what comes up on that dice will bring us pain, suffering, loss." Covel relates this to a recent experiment he did that illustrates trend following through the roll of dice. If you get a two or a six, you win three pennies. Any other number, you lose a penny. The two and the six only come up a third of the time, and even though you don't win many of the rolls, the wins are big. The winners, because they're bigger, pay for the losers. That's trend following. So, how do you deal with uncertainty? Extricate yourself from harmful ideas and strategies: lose the small things that have no positive impact on your trading, such as buy & hold strategies, watching CNBC, etc. Know the worst case scenario. Become comfortable with waiting, and stop obsessing on uncertainty. Voltaire said, "We never live; we are always in the expectation of living." That's the goal. It's not the expectation of living--it's the "right now" that's important. In the next section, Covel comments on some trading and life commandments--inspirational reminders that you need to hear, including "The Ten Most Foolish Things a Trader Can Do". Special offer with free DVD: http://www.trendfollowing.com/win.

Sep 27, 2012

Michael Covel talks to Darren Kottle. Kottle is the CEO of Caddo Capital Management a trend following firm. He talks about his roots, growing up in Shreveport, Louisiana. Shreveport was an oil town and Kottle talks about the experiences growing up in an entrepreneurial town. Covel and Kottle also discuss Kottle's early experiences in the market, starting off in a discount stock brokerage; his experiences working with a Nobel laureate Kenneth Arrow at Stanford; the sources of trend following profit; George Soros' concept of reflexivity; the importance and believing in your system to the core; thoughts on investment banks; the pivot point for Kottle to fully embrace a trend following system; what the Turtle story did for him when he first heard it; uncertainty vs. being wrong; and the percentage of people that truly understand that "it's all reflected in the price". Special free DVD offer: www.trendfollowing.com/win.

Sep 27, 2012

"It takes two to make things go right, it takes two to make it out of sight". That's a market for you. It takes you over there and me over here and we reach across to make a deal. That's what the market is: it's a bunch of hands shaking, except it's in the form of stocks or futures. Covel talks about "Pawn Stars" and how it's simply price discovery; two people coming together to find a price. Covel takes this and expands on how it's terribly complicated to get to a price. But here's the trick: except for trend followers nobody really wants to talk about how the stuff that gets to the price is waste product. The price is the smartest one out there. Covel also talks about the source of trend following profits in the zero sum game. Trend trader Dave Druz makes the case that it's the risk premium from hedgers. Covel talks about hedgers, the futures market, how it's very much like insurance in a way, and how it relates to the source of trend following profits. Covel also talks about a white paper called "The Winners and Losers of the Zero Sum Game: The Origins of Trading Profits, Price Efficiency, and Market Liquidity" by Lawrence Harris, and how it changed the direction of his own career. Special free DVD offer? Go: www.trendfollowing.com/win.

Sep 26, 2012

Michael Covel dives into the topic of cutting your losses, opening with a quote from "The Boxer" by Simon & Garfunkel: "The fighter still remains". It's a personal fight and personal responsibility for all those out there. And if you trade to money the fight to understand the topic of losses should be at the top of your list of concerns. Most people want to hear "instant profits"; they want to run away from discussing losses. However, knowing how to strategically approach losses is one of the most important concepts to understand as a trend following trader. Covel shares a note from a fan who made a connection between Covel's work and some of the ideas found in famed quarterback Joe Montana's book, "The Winning Spirit": "In training for success, we shouldn't hide from failure. Just like football players in the film room, we study failure. We want to see how it happens and which strategies work to keep us from making the same mistakes again." This doesn't just apply to trading: The loss cutting can be a relationship, a business, a family member--it can be anything. How do you know when to cut your losses and get out? Covel goes on to talk about the concepts of opportunity costs and sunk costs. When you've spent the money and it turns out to be "gone" you can't fret about it. It's over--it's a sunk cost. An opportunity cost is equally important: If you are doing A, you can't do B. It's a choice. If you invest your time, energy, or money in one relationship or one business, you can't spend your time, energy, or money with another. There is a cost to choosing one opportunity over another. Covel expands on these concepts relating them to familiar companies like Microsoft and Apple. Covel goes on to discuss how people have difficulty letting bygones be bygones; why people have difficulty with stop-losses in trading; and why having a system that forces you to take losses is the foundation of trend following trading success. A special offer from Michael Covel? Free DVD telling the story of a small town guy who made a trend following fortune. Delivered to your home or office: http://trendfollowing.com/win.

Sep 20, 2012

Michael Covel opens his monologue with a clip from the film, 'Patton'. He talks about persistence over time in relation to the film, relating it to some personal examples from his own life. Some people seem to have genetic disposition for certain skills; however, the drive to succeed supersedes any genetic disposition you may have. Dedication, persistence and the drive to achieve are the true keys to success. Covel leads into a clip of Maria Bartiromo talking with Ray Dalio of Bridgewater. Covel notes some things that Dalio goes into that have to do with trend following: having a strategic asset allocation mix that assumes you don't know what the future is going to hold; and the importance of the few big wins. However, Dalio says he isn't a trend following trader in the traditional sense: he's 100% systematic using fundamental information--not technicals. Covel goes on to surmise that there is evidence that some portion of Dalio's business is perhaps in the technical trend following space. Covel also talks managed futures: the origin of the term; how it describes an instrument and not a strategy; and its relation to trend following. Further topics include why you don't need a Ph.D. to be a trend following trader, and process vs. outcome. A special offer from Michael Covel? Free DVD telling the story of a small town guy who made a trend following fortune. Delivered to your home or office: http://trendfollowing.com/win.

Sep 18, 2012

It's common knowledge that if you throw a lobster into a pot of boiling water it will scream for its life. However, if you put the lobster in cool water and slowly bring it to a boil the lobster will accept its fate. Michael Covel notes that this is the scene for many investors today: they're like the live lobster in a pot of cold water as it's coming to a boil and they don't know what's coming. Covel presents this idea and several others in the context of gambling, chance, and uncertainty. Gambling can be a pejorative term for many, but Covel relates it to trading. Covel discusses an article entitled, "The Illusion of Control: Dancing With Chance" and relates its ideas to trend following trading. Covel also discusses a TED video from Dylan Evans. Evans talks about three different types of gamblers: problem gamblers, leisure gamblers, and expert gamblers. Covel extends Evans' categorization to traders. These different types of gamblers play for different reasons, handle profit and loss differently, and bet on different games. Are you a problem trader, a leisure trader or an expert trader? Do you trade for fun or for money? While problem gamblers will bet the farm, leisure gamblers know their limits (using a nascent kind of stop strategy), and expert gamblers aim for profit. A problem gambler will bet on anything, but an expert gambler will only bet on games with an element of skill. Covel also analyzes Evans' three ways to make decisions: setting a threshold (how much are you willing to lose?); bet sizing (how much do you bet on each trade?); and the expected value (if you follow your strategy, what is going to be your average winner and average loser?) If you look at the market price of a diversified portfolio of markets, have an entry and exit strategy, and have a bet sizing strategy, then you can make money over the long haul if you have a positive expected value. Please note: Michael Covel quotes Christopher Hitchens in this episode, which contains an f-bomb. Special Offer: receive free DVD delivered to your home or office: www.trendfollowing.com/win.

Sep 13, 2012

Michael Covel opens with quotes from both Jay-Z and Malcolm Gladwell ("My goal of the day is to fully listen to my critics, even if they may not know exactly what they're critical of."). Jay-Z recently spoke with Russell Simmons about Occupy Wall Street, noting that he wasn't sure exactly what the message was behind the rally. Covel talks about the Occupy movement, about criticism he's received in support of Jay-Z's stance, trend following in general, and the culture of "trolling" that has popped up on the internet. Next, Covel covers some of the more technical details regarding trend following trading. How can you detect a trend? How can you measure it? For anyone with a pulse, it's really simple. A trend is from point A to point B. There are all kinds of different trend lengths, but you don't know the trend until it's over; you enter, you exit, and then you see where the trend was. The goal is to capture the "meat" in the middle. Covel covers the five basic precepts of trend following: What markets are you going to follow? What will be your signal to enter a trade? What will be your exit signal for getting out with a gain? What will your exit signal be for getting out with a loss? What will your bet size be? Covel also discusses drawdowns, speculation, and entry signals. He notes the connection between wildcatting/speculation and trend following, referencing P.T. Anderson's film about oil speculators, "There Will Be Blood". You can enter randomly, but if you can give yourself an edge on the entry, you should take it. Think about drilling an oil well: You show up and you start drilling holes. You can drill randomly, but if you do a little geological homework, you can find out where to drill to increase your odds. The same logic applies to trend following. You're going to drill a lot of holes: some of them are going to be dry, but you're going to hit a few gushers along the way. No one will care about the dry holes when you hit the gusher that pays for them all. You can either call Fidelity, give them all your money, and wait and hope that you have the timing correct for your own retirement; or you can craft your life around looking for the gushers with a strategy that gives you an edge. Special Offer: receive free DVD delivered to your home or office: www.trendfollowing.com/win.

Sep 12, 2012

Michael Covel talks to trader, educator and author Dr. Alexander Elder. Besides his numerous other books, just about everybody involved in the trading space in the past 15+ years has Dr. Elder's international best-seller "Trading For A Living" on their shelves. Dr. Elder's unique and inspiring story starts with his dissatisfaction with the communist system in his home country of Estonia. At 23, while working as a ship's doctor, he jumped a Soviet Union ship in Africa and received political asylum in the United States; he also ended up on the KGB's wanted list. Dr. Elder worked as a psychiatrist in New York City and taught at Columbia University, and he shares with Covel how his experience as a psychiatrist provided him with a unique insight into trading. Dr. Elder's work has established him as one of today's leading experts on trading psychology and in the use of technical analysis with money management. Elder and Covel talk about the psychology of trading; how a high degree of education can sometimes be a hindrance; the most dangerous personality traits to have as a trader; the stages of trader development; the importance of money management; the importance of keeping records and diaries of your trades; the notion of exiting long positins and shorting weakness; the similarities and differences between traders in different geographic locations; and how financial markets can be like manic depressive patients. Special Offer: receive free DVD delivered to your home or office: www.trendfollowing.com/win.

Sep 7, 2012

Michael Covel talks with trader Steve Brechtel. Over the past 20 years Brechtel has worked as a trader for three of the top 100 hedge funds in the world: Trout Trading (now Tewksbury Capital) in Chicago and Bermuda, Crabel Capital in Milwaukee, and now Two Sigma in NYC (a $10 billion fund) -- all short-term systematic funds. Considering the often secretive nature of hedge funds Brechtel's candid talk about Two Sigma required internal clearance from his company and is a rarity in the hedge fund world. Covel and Brechtel cover Brechtel's history, from his beginnings roughing it as a Pizza Hut manager while working an insurance job, to finding his way to Monroe Trout, to working at Crabel, to his career at Two Sigma today. They also discuss their mutual history in Virginia; why he was hired at Monroe Trout in the first place as a new trader and the advantages of having a beginner's mind; the difference between the short term/systematic traders that Brechtel worked for and the longer term trend following Covel talks about; the six strategies Brechtel learned trading the pits; what's changed and what's the same now that technology has evolved; Ayn Rand, objectivism, and Trout; Brechtel's transition from Trout to Crabel, and the differences between these two firms; and his work at Two Sigma today. Brechtel also has written a screenplay ("Unhedged") using hedge funds and high finance as its backdrop. He shares his experience in writing the script, how his movie differs from other Wall Street movies, and Covel talks with him about his experience in making his own documentary, "Broke: The New American Dream". Special Offer: receive free DVD delivered to your home or office: www.trendfollowing.com/win.

Sep 7, 2012

"You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it." That quotation inpsired Michael Covel to analyze the two political conventions in America over the past few weeks offering a trend following perspective as an alternative. Within politics people seem to be marionettes attached to strings with invisible hands moving them all around. On either side of the aisle you have people blindly following "their guy" thinking their political win is the answer to their problems. Yet if you want the dollars in your account to go up clapping like a "happy seal" at one of this conventions ain't going to cut it. Covel compares today's landscape to the famous Twilight Zone episode where Roddy McDowall finds himself crash landed on Mars only to realize the comfortable home that has been made for him is a prison where he is exhibited like he's in a zoo--an "earthling in his natural habitat". Covel also notes how technology is arbitraging away the need for human capital and how no politician in America is honest enough to admit it. If so, how do you succeed in this environment? You have to pick an option that's not simply a political belief in "your guy". So what's a way out? Covel lines up some of the basic trend following concepts and applies the eight key features of the scientific method. However, if everyone adopts trend following how can it still be successful? The vast majority of invested assets are in buy and hold mutual funds and unless people stop gambling, stop watching CNBC, and stop drawing false parallels, trend following will never be adopted by the masses. However, the fact that most people are unable to adopt trend following gives you the leg up and a fantastic opportunity to mint cash. Get out of the human zoo. Stop being a marionette. Stop being manipulated. And do something big for yourself. Special Offer: receive free DVD delivered to your home or office: www.trendfollowing.com/win.

Sep 5, 2012

Michael Covel speaks with trader, author and blogger Steve Burns. Burns has written two books (his most recent book "New Trader, Rich Trader: How to Make Money in the Stock Market" is available on Amazon) and operates an educational website. Burns is an up-and-comer, and Covel talks to him about his early start, his Nashville location and lessons learned along the way. Burns' start came during the tech bubble of the late 1990's, and he discusses how the bubble bursting helped to shift his perspective from a fundamental, buy and hold approach to the trend trading perspective he's adopted today. Covel expands on some of the chapter titles in Burns' book, such as "New traders try to prove they are right, rich traders admit when they're wrong," and "New traders bet the farm, rich traders carefully control position size." They also discuss the problems with buy and hold; how "rich" can be a mindset rather than a number; the role of luck and circumstance in trading; staying away from the need for constant action and waiting for the "fat pitch"; developing a robust system; staying away from predictive trading approaches; and viewing the markets as a video game as a means to help with trend trading understandings. Special Offer: receive free DVD delivered to your home or office: www.trendfollowing.com/win.

Sep 4, 2012

Michael Covel discusses reducing decisions in our lives. He lays the foundation by exploring typical Yahoo Finance articles and a recent John Bogle piece titled 'Ten Rules of Investing', which basically pumps a buy & hold strategy. These articles are the digital stress and information overload of our lives. They don't help us make decisions; instead, they distract. Covel relates this to a white paper from the Bank of England called "The Dog and the Frisbee". Thousands of decisions and factors go into the simple act of a dog catching a frisbee, but does the dog ever think of all those factors? Does the dog crunch the higher math? No! This makes for an easy connection to trading. The objective is to reduce trading decisions down to a simple factors, and to make good buy and sell decisions with some sort of risk-management constraint. So, how do you reduce the buy/sell decision-making process down to something manageable? A trend following strategy and trade based on price. All of the Yahoo Finance, CNBC, and Bloomberg articles in the world won't help make better trading decisions--its all overload. Focusing on the thousands of factors that can go into any market decision will leave your head spinning; if you adopt a trend following approach, you can reduce all decision-making down to the price action up or down of the instrument you're trading. Simplicity in life and the markets--the key. Special Offer: receive free DVD delivered to your home or office: www.trendfollowing.com/win.

Aug 31, 2012

Michael Covel talks to Courtney Smith, a trader, author, money manager, educator, and speaker. Smith has been trading for forty-plus years; he's written seven books and is a frequent commentator on television. Smith has had a long and varied career, and Michael Covel talks with him about his start, and his experiences with trend trading and Richard Donchian's systems (and the experience of testing these systems on computers in the mid-70s). Smith and Covel also discuss today's climate for trading, and how it compares to what times felt like in the 1970's; the psychological components to trading systems; the importance of speculators (and why they're often unfairly put in the position as a political whipping-boy); "hope" in the marketplace; drawdowns; how "markets are markets"; high frequency trading; the informational value of studying track records; the idea of being "flat" in the market; the importance of ignoring television; and trading methods that should be avoided. Special Offer: receive free DVD delivered to your home or office: www.trendfollowing.com/win.

Aug 29, 2012

Michael Covel talks to Charles Faulkner, a trader, mentor and author who has been featured in Jack Schwager's "Market Wizards" series. Faulkner is an international expert on modeling the knowledge and performance of exceptional individuals, teams and organizations, and applying the latest research in cognitive neuroscience and linguistics. Faulkner discusses his upcoming book, "Higher Level Trading: The Five Stages to Trader and Investor Mastery". Covel and Faulkner talk in detail about Faulkner's idea of "system one" and "system two" - a dual-process theory of how the brain works - and how it relates to trading. They connect trading with topics as neuroscience and behavioral finance. Further topics include herding, bubbles, and panics and how they relate to "mirror neurons", group think, and sheep behavior; the idea of making sense of the world through our bodies (and how this might be relevant to trading); neurolinguistics (the relationship between the neurology of the brain and the language we use); how our brains crave stories (and how we have to be careful how we use them); and the importance of using money to buy experiences over objects. Note: This is Faulkner's 2nd appearance on the podcast. Special Offer: receive free DVD delivered to your home or office: www.trendfollowing.com/win.

Aug 25, 2012

Michael Covel talks to James Altucher. From hedge fund manager, to author, to blogger to angel investor, Altucher has a wide and varied career bringing a very honest perspective to life, the cerebral side of the equation, health, and happiness. You can have all the systems in the world, but if you don't have the six inches between your ears figured out, it's all for nothing. Covel and Altucher talk about transparency; the connection between yoga and trading; greed; happiness; expectations; some of Altucher's early influences; physical, emotional, and mental health; and honesty. For those of you constantly searching (in vain) for the moneymaking secret, the free ride, the lunch someone else buys, Altucher's life work at 'Altucher Confidential' is daily must reading (http://www.jamesaltucher.com). Special Offer: receive free DVD delivered to your home or office: www.trendfollowing.com/win.

Aug 22, 2012

Michael Covel talks to David Cheval. Cheval was an inside witness to Richard Dennis and Bill Eckhardt's famed Turtle experiment. Through the involvement of his former wife, famed original TurtleTrader Liz Cheval (www.emccta.com), David Cheval's history and background for the Turtle story comes from a unique vantage point. Cheval talks with Covel about the events surrounding the Turtle experiment, including his own interesting part in alerting his former wife to the opportunity (he is still an investor in her firm). They also discuss Cheval's progression from a runner on the Chicago pits, to the formation of his CPO (Dearborn Capital Management), to his career in law today; the presence of Richard Dennis on the Chicago Board of Trade in the years prior to the Turtle experiment; some of the lessons that can be gleaned from some of the most successful Turtles; the difference between volatility and risk; and why basic trend following philosophies are timeless. Cheval's oral history is a nice addition to Michael Covel's classic TurtleTrader book "The Complete TurtleTrader" (www.turtletrader.com). Special Offer: receive free DVD delivered to your home or office: www.trendfollowing.com/win.

Aug 21, 2012

Michael Covel talks to Michael Gibbons. Gibbons is a market timer (otherwise known as a trend following trader) who runs a firm called Gibbons Trading (gibbonstrading.com). Gibbons started as an economics major and quickly realized that much of what he was taught in academia didn't add up. He has been trading since 1971, and was one of the first to discover what is now known as stock index arbitrage. He was one of the first to use computerized trading and currently provides his proprietary research primarily to large traders and hedge funds. Gibbons talks to Covel about how he got started in the markets; the fallacies of buy & hold and fundamental analysis; trading prices apart from everything else (and how this is close to playing the market like a video game, i.e. pong); the problem of when the media is simply "making things up"; how trading can be primarily psychological; the problems of the efficient market hypothesis (EMH) and academia; the benefits of having a trend following strategy during chaotic times; the danger of gurus; and separating your ego from your trading. Special Offer: receive free DVD delivered to your home or office: www.trendfollowing.com/win.

Aug 18, 2012

Michael Covel picks up the thread from last week's episode on the global chatroom that is Twitter, StockTwits, and other social networking services. Covel received some feedback from a listener that took exception with Covel's characterization of Twitter and StockTwits, noting that the service isn't limited to one style of trading. Covel doesn't disagree, but notes that it's entirely irrelevant. If you're in the market to make money using a price-based trend following system, any other information is extraneous. The non-stop continuous flow of information never ends; it's simply a distraction. Covel also discusses the importance of consistency: If you don't have consistency in your thought process, how can you have consistency in your process of trading? Be consistent with your use of price as the basis of your system. Covel also discusses a great passage by Milton Friedman. Friedman discusses the impossibility of a single man manufacturing a pencil by himself. There are thousands of people who cooperate together to make a pencil, all motivated by the presence of a market. It's a marvelous example of how you can get a complex structure of cooperation and coordination which no individual planned; rather, it is coordinated by the market. It was not directed under the hand of state centralized authority. While the connections to trend following and Friedman's point may not be obvious, there is a connection on the psychological side. To the person who wants to get ahead on their own, the answer is there. Either you want the state to do/fix things for you, or you go out and try and get things done on your own. Everyone has to choose their path.

Aug 16, 2012

Michael Covel speaks with Ralph Vince. If you've done your homework on trading systems, specifically about optimal bet sizes, you have run across Vince's work before. Vince is self-taught and has crafted some extremely detailed, comprehensive looks at optimal betting strategy for traders over the last 20-plus years. Covel discusses whether coming up outside of the typical educational institutions affected Vince's outlook - and how learning outside of institutions can work better for some than others. Covel and Vince also discuss optimal bet sizes; whether Ed Thorp's work and the Kelly criteria had any effect on Vince's work; the importance of knowing the optimal spot depending on your criteria; why maximizing profits can result in a large drawdown - and why you should be happy about that; if diversification really does give you a free lunch; and the importance of learning the wrong approach. Special Offer: receive free DVD delivered to your home or office: www.trendfollowing.com/win.

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