Episode: Don’t Be Average: Buy & Hold, Trend Following and Average Investors

Synopsis: Michael Covel plays a clip from investor and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban. Cuban says some not-so-kind words about buy & hold, and notes several other trend following concepts along the way: don’t just put positions on your account just to have them; take action when the market moves. Cuban’s success doesn’t mean we should blindly follow his wisdom, but shouldn’t you be curious if someone like Cuban calls buy and hold a “crock of sh*t”? Covel often hears people say, “I can’t be a trend following trader because I can’t take the drawdowns”. But at least with trend following you’ve got a chance to make a heck of a lot more money. Cuban also makes a great point regarding volatility. You can’t make big profits without volatility. Jack Bogle of Vanguard fame came out squarely against Cuban, and Covel plays another clip. Covel critiques the clip and discusses “the average investor”, exit strategies, and Bogle’s view of buy & hold investing. When do you get out of a buy and hold strategy? What if you pick the wrong decade? What if, when you retire, it’s the fall of 2008? Bogle says to expect two 50% drawdowns in the next ten years. You might see that in a trend following strategy too, but at least your upside makes it worth the investment. Bogle notes that all investing could be considered “buy & hold”. However, the strategy he vouches for is essentially buy & hold with no exit strategy. If you want to go ahead and call trend following buy & hold with an exit strategy, more power to you. But which do you want? A system with an exit strategy, or a strategy where you’re put in a position that makes you have to trust the system? A system where you have to trust that you’ll exit at the exact right time? Covel isn’t saying it’ll be the exact right time for trend following either, but historically, trend following has a chance to make so much more money. So if there are mistakes to be made, if things don’t happen at the exact right time for you, at least you’ve made that much more money along the way. This is your money. What else are you gonna do? Rely on Social Security? It basically guarantees to take your money and earn you less than inflation. That’s what you’re up against. You’ve only got one life. Put your kids on the right path. Break the cycle. Do something novel. Trend following is novel. It’s fresh. Philosophically, psychologically, trend following makes a lot of sense. Take a chance on a strategy that isn’t “average”. Free trend following DVD: www.trendfollowing.com/win.