Why Sell a Trend Following Trading System?

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Hello Michael,

I just got your email with the…discount on the Flagship product, thank you. I have a few questions for you and I was hoping that you might be able to clarify some things for me. I am a fan of your books and the research that you have done on Trend Following. The books have been extremely helpful and enlightening. The discussions you have shared with masters of the craft have been fantastic, the podcasts too. I envy your time with those individuals. I believe in Trend Following, in my opinion it is the edge you have as a trader, everything else revolves around risk control, my mentor once said, “you can’t control the market, the only thing you can control is risk”. I just finished listening to your recent podcast with Ed Seykota, extremely interesting! My question to you revolves around your decision to offer a “Trend Following System” for sale. What does your mentor Ed Seykota think about selling a system for profit? I can only imagine the countless amounts of questions/emails you get regarding selling a system or just about your system in general. Knowing that most successful systems are closely guarded, why the offer? It would seem that if you were using something propriety in nature that it would stay with you. I ask because you clearly have a tremendous amount of admiration and respect for your mentors who happen to be the best in the biz, just curious as to their thoughts on selling systems. Once again, I am a fan of your work and thank you for all that you have done to educate people on the realities of making money in the markets.


My teaching of trend following goes back to 1996. Ed Seykota, in fact, is the one who introduced me to Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged in 2001. A book that unabashedly promotes capitalism, the honor of it and delivering passion and value. While I don’t purport to speak for anyone, I suspect since my first book came out in 2004, film in 2009 and podcast start in 2012, my world is well known. Praise and criticism comes with the territory.

To another issue you raise, Richard Dennis, another more distant mentor of mine, was always fond of saying you could publish system rules in a newspaper and people would turn the other way. That’s human nature: skepticism. I will add that skeptical emails did arrive earlier in my career. See very few these days. Most likely due to my books and podcast. Lastly, my Flagship product goes beyond great system rules alone. It includes many, many teaching guides, examples, etc. along with personal support.

Thanks for the timely response! You certainly clarified. Question. What are the common issues that personal support covers? Is it mainly technical issues or just system driven? Lastly is the Flagship 100% non-discretionary?

Any system has some discretionary choices–before you start. Once you start though, 100% system. Those early choices are risk choice, portfolio choice, etc. I give support/perspective there, for ex. Many other little and perhaps bigger issues arise. Here to support. Support can be anything related to content provided.

You might like my 2017 epic release: Trend Following: How to Make a Fortune in Bull, Bear and Black Swan Markets (Fifth Edition). Revised and extended with twice as much content. Out April 24th 2017.