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Ep. 390: Jim Simons Excerpt on Trend Following with Michael Covel

Jim Simons

Jim Simons

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On today’s episode of Trend Following Radio, Michael opens up about uncertainty and uses one of his favorite writers to illustrate: Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens is certain that he doesn’t know, and sees doubt and skepticism as our only path to enlightenment. He invites us to open up to the possibility that doubt will always be in front of faith–whatever that faith may be about. Covel sees Hitchens insights well beyond religion, and connects his comments to his trading world.

Next, Michael excerpts a recent soundbite from Jim Simons on Trend Following. He is one of the most successful traders ever. A great track record. 100% systematic. Uses price action. He is very clear that fundamental analysis is not his direction. How does Simons really trade? Will we ever know? No. Simons is tight lipped. Is Simons a trend follower? Does he use trend following at all? Worthy questions given his limited public statements. Covel digs into Simons recent comments about trend following asking the hard questions few are prepared to pose.

Lastly, Covel brings in Alan Watts to connect both Hitchens and Simons. Watts wonders why children have been forced into a learning process that doesn’t help them in the long run. He sees culture as leaving children at a disadvantage. He points out that the rules of the game are not given to children. Children are strung along. The powers that be keep key information away from the child, and even the adult, forcing them to always rely on the system. So while everyone is in desperate need of the future, ignoring the present moment is inevitable. Covel easily connects this to the markets and trading reminding us all that the gatekeepers are not your friends.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Christopher Hitchens on certainty v. uncertainty
  • Jim Simons on Trend Following
  • Faith v. Skepticism
  • Is trend following dead?
  • Buying pleasure: a complete fallacy
  • Constraints on the truth

“But in looking at the data, after a while I realized: it looks like there’s some structure here. And I hired a few mathematicians, and we started making some models–just the kind of thing we did back at IDA [Institute for Defense Analyses]. You design an algorithm, you test it out on a computer. Does it work? Doesn’t it work? And so on.” – Jim Simons

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