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Episode: Hong Kong, Tokyo and Beyond

Synopsis: Michael Covel comes to us with his first podcast in in China, dedicating today’s episode to the the city of Hong Kong. Having just arrived in Hong Kong from Tokyo, Covel ruminates on the differences between the two places. Tokyo is a fantastic, organized, and civilized place. Covel discusses the feel of the city, especially loving green tea vending machines every hundred feet giving hot or cold tea perfectly every time. However, he notes a somewhat slow pace which is a direct contrast to the speed of Hong Kong. Hong Kong is on fire, and everybody is there trying to make things happen. You don’t have to like it– and it does have some rough edges– but it’s alive. It’s a giant melting pot with a pulsating energy in the air of people making things happen. Covel also details the events surrounding the presentation he gave for CLSA at the Hyatt in Roppongi, Tokyo. Following Covel’s presentation, Dr. Marc Faber spoke. Faber and Covel share a view that all of the misadventures happening in society today will eventually end badly. If you’re going to try and trade all this uncertainty you’d better have a timing indicator. Trend Following has a timing indicator built in: price action. You’ll never get in at the very bottom and you’ll never get out at the very top, but you’ll get out alive and with a profit. Covel shares a quote from Seth Godin on that subject and discusses alternatives to staying glued to the television. Is it really fun staying glued to the screen watching blips go by? Or do you do it because you think that’s how you make money? Fortunately, you don’t need to be worried what high frequency trading is doing and you don’t need to be worried about the next Fed announcement. Consider the alternative: you want to be ready when markets move in larger trending directions and get aboard the trends that have much lengthier time horizons than fifteen seconds. You want to be prepared for when the next black swan swoops in. If you put the fifteen second news flashes aside and start trading something like a six month signal instead, doesn’t that allow you a much nicer life than fixating on the minutia of every moment? Also: Covel talks about why Hugh Hendry will probably never do the podcast, shares a speech from the “Kid President”, and finally uses the word “ladyboy” on the podcast. Want a free trend following DVD? Visit www.trendfollowing.com/win.

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2 comments on “Episode: Hong Kong, Tokyo and Beyond
  1. DGDye says:

    Michael,

    As a guy who spends a lot of time in Asia, mostly China, I agree with everything you say here. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just bottle that can-do energy in Hong Kong and bring it to North America? Hong Kong is how I imagine the U.S. in the early part of the 20th century when it was establishing the base that would turn it into a super power: millions of people hustling about and getting it done; not a bunch of whiners complaining that the government hasn’t done anything for them yet today.

    BTW, if you’ve got the time, check out the Aqua Restaurant with a private room and a 7:30 reservation. It’s on the upper floors of a skyscrape overlooking the harbor and has two stories of floor-to-ceiling glass. The laser light show around the harbor starts at 8:00, so you’ll be well-settled in your 100% glass private room in time for the show. Unbelievable views, atmosphere (trance music, fog machine, solid black server uniforms) and the foods pretty good.

    Cheers

  2. John Gowing says:

    Having some discussions recently with a newly minted quant about trend following, money management and position sizing. He happens to enjoy dual citizenship with Hong Kong as the second. As we talked about risk and “vomitility” (Thanks Ed Seykota), he mentioned that he loves the trading opportunities in Hong Kong because as a citizen he can acquire leverage at 400:1. Yeah – I can feel the energy and people making things happen….gulp…. but it is a pretty cool city..

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