Ep. 566: Induced with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

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Fear drives all in today’s world. Two operations who have not let fear dictate their trading are Berkshire Hathaway and Dunn Capital. Both have 40+ year track records that should be studied. What was their system? How has it worked? If you look at the month by month and year by year of these two much can be learned. Both track records have not just gone up, up, up–they have had massive drawdowns (at least by the definitions of mortals) and still they have been able to persevere. No matter who you are, the ability to adapt to the markets is mission critical.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Drawdowns
  • Dunn Capital performance
  • Warren Buffett performance
  • Risk management
  • Ego in trading
  • Cognitive dissidence
  • Efficient market hypothesis
  • Black Swans
  • Transparency
  • Critics; Trolls!

Mentions & Resources:

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Herd Behavior: Excerpt from Trend Following, 5th Edition

An excerpt from my most recent edition of Trend Following:

Trend following is as much about observing and understanding human behavior as it is about moving averages, breakouts, and position sizing. Understanding human behavior and how it relates with markets is commonly referred to as behavioral economics or behavioral finance. It evolved from the contradiction between classical economic theory (EMT) and reality. The assumption people act rationally, have identical values and access to information, and use rational decision making is one preposterous assumption.

However, trend following strategies only work if price trends continue. But why should trends continue? If prices initially under-react to either good or bad news, trends tend to continue as prices slowly move to fully reflect changes in fundamental value. These trends have the potential to continue even further as investors herd (or chase trends). Herding can cause prices to overreact and move beyond fundamental value after the initial under-reaction. Naturally, all trends must eventually end, as deviation from fair value cannot continue infinitely. Said another way, people are irrational as hell and seldom make rational decisions even if they think they do. That’s not my one-man opinion either. I have had the good fortune to learn from and interview the top minds in the field of behavioral economics and finance, including Nobel Prize winners Daniel Kahneman and Vernon Smith, Dan Ariely, Colin Camerer, Christopher Chabris, Robert Cialdini, K. Anders Ericsson, Gerd Gigerenzer, Donald MacKenzie, Spyros Makridakis, Terrance Odean, Steven Pinker, Laurie Santos, Hersh Shefrin, Daniel Simons, Paul Slovic, Didier Sornette, Meir Statman, Brett Steenbarger, and Philip Tetlock to name a few of the best minds in the field. (You can find these interviews on my podcast at www.trendfollowing.com/behavior.)

Some want to argue about everything but this. Big mistake.

Ep. 565: Anthony Tjan Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Anthony Tjan
Anthony Tjan

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Anthony Tjan is author of “Good People: The Only Leadership Decision That Really Matters.” He is CEO and managing partner of Cue Ball and has a successful track record as an entrepreneur, principal investor and strategic advisor. He leads his firms overall direction and is involved in activities across the board with Cue Ball.

What was the progression in Anthony’s life that brought him to where he is now? Anthony is an immigrant and experienced a great amount of generosity throughout the years aimed at him and his family. He shares a story of being 15, selling picture frames in Canada. At the end of a long hot day of lugging around picture frames an elderly women invited him in for some tea. She finished their conversation saying, “As you go forward just make sure, as much as you love the product you are selling, you love the people more.” She ended telling him, “Just so you know, I believe in you.” This woman and that conversation resonated with him and set the stage for his leadership philosophy.

Anthony moves on to discuss the building blocks of a great company. Most have trouble looking at life or a business as a marathon. Biases give us a sprint based mentality and more often than not it can be detrimental. When choosing a hire, hire someone with character over competency. Skills can quickly be taught, character cannot. Of course, there needs to be a level of competency but a person needs compassion, empathy, and overall great character. Competition and compassion can be enforced together and we don’t need to lose one to gain the other.

Shedding drama from your life and company is also mission critical and goes back to hiring based on character. Drama is a disease. When hiring someone, always ask yourself, “Is this person going to act or react?” After every interview Anthony says to ask yourself a few things: 1. Would you want to hangout with this person outside of work? 2. Do you respect the persons work? 3. Would this be a person you would be proud of? 4. Throw out reference checks. Ask them to give two or three examples of lower level people who they have influenced.

If you are in the being hired phase of your life rather than the hiring phase, you may be asking, “How do I get started?” Anthony’s #1 piece of advice is to find a good mentor to model after. Mentorship is a tricky thing though, so how should young people today navigate gaining a mentorship? All mentorships begin with a baseline of chemistry. If that isn’t there, it can turn into a negative experience rather than positive. Great mentorship is also about breaking down titles and speaking to each other on a human to human level. Also, the best mentors don’t just try and help you in the confines of your work. Mentors should not only be helping you out in business but also helping to find your calling or higher purpose.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Competency is not enough
  • Winner take all mentality
  • Mentorship
  • Value centric organizations
  • Pessimism vs. optimism

“Choose goodness as a lifelong intention.” – Anthony Tjan

Mentions & Resources:

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Trading Food for Thought: June 20th Edition

Food for thought:

Enjoy.

Ep 564: John Force Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

John Force
John Force

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John Force is an American NHRA drag racer. He is a 16 time champion and his team has 18 championships under them. John is one of the most dominant drag racers in the sport with over 144 career victories and he is still pushing limits at 68 years old. John is considered the best. He is a premier example of making it happen with no excuses.

What drives John? He says, “At the end of the day everyone has to eat.” But beyond that, he simply loves what he does. He loves driving the cars and explains it as magic to him. It is that passion that has gotten him through crashes, burns and even fatalities among fellow racers and friends.

Passion may be what keeps him going, but it is a system that keeps him alive. There is an aspect of a cowboy attitude, however John has a checklist that he lives by. He has been driving for 4 decades and at this point he pokes fun at himself saying he is a trained monkey. It’s about sticking to what you have been taught and not veering too far from those teachings.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Funny car racing
  • Persevering through the negative
  • Having goals
  • Entrepreneurship

Mentions & Resources:

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Ep. 563: Mark Minervini Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Mark Minervini
Mark Minervini

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Mark Minervini is author of “Trade Like a Stock Market Wizard: How to Achieve Super Performance in Stocks in Any Market” and now his newest book, “Think and Trade Like a Champion: The Secrets, Rules and Blunt Truths of a Stock Market Wizard.” He was also featured in Jack Schwager’s “Stock Market Wizards.” This is Mark’s second appearance on the show.

Nature vs. nurture or the debate of whether a person is “naturally gifted” is one of the oldest debates out there. Mark says he was an “unnatural” when it came to trading and he was actually in the negative for the first six years when he started. Why did he keep going? He had a passion for trading and a bigger vision of what he was doing. Mark knew he had all the tools to trade for profit, just not all the experience yet. He believed in what he was doing, had a passion for it, took responsibility for his flaws and put the process before the results–that is why Mark thinks he has been able to thrive over the years. “If you do not think you can perform at a certain level, you won’t be able to perform at that level” explains Mark.

Trading ultimately doesn’t come down to talent, it comes down to a trader’s correct mentality. Everyone wants to win, but everyone doesn’t choose to win. Is your passion your priority? Sacrifice is essential when trying to obtain anything worthy and Mark shares some of the personal sacrifices he made to become who he is today.

Next, Mark explains what is known as “the trading triangle.” Your average gain, average loss, and percentage of wins is what is known as the trading triangle. Averaging those components makes up your personal bell curve. When Mark does workshops only 8-12% of people attending have an idea of what their average gains and losses are.

Michael and Mark end the podcast going over the pros and cons of diversification. Diversification is great until it turns into what Mark calls “di-worsification.” When traders and companies start to veer too far from their core values they can start to hurt themselves with diversifying. There are many benefits from diversification when done in the correct way. Good traders know when to step on the gas and have a strategy backing them up.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Process vs. outcome
  • Builder vs. wrecking ball mentality
  • Eliminating excuses
  • Neuro linguistic programing
  • Sacrifice when obtaining a goal
  • Risk of ruin
  • The trading triangle
  • Diversification vs. Di-worsification
  • Sophistication and simplicity

Mentions & Resources:

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