Ep. 643: Robert Kurson Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Robert Kurson
Robert Kurson

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Robert Kurson is the author of “Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man’s First Journey to the Moon.”

How did Robert get hooked on space exploration? He was born in 1963, just five years before the Apollo 8 mission. Some of his first memories were watching rockets take off. He realized he knew a lot of Apollo 11 and 13 but not much about Apollo 8. As he researched the mission he quickly learned that NASA, astronauts, and experts in the field had all talked about this mission being the most astonishing and important of all Apollo missions. Why? Apollo 8 became the first manned spacecraft to leave Earth’s orbit, reach the Earth’s Moon, orbit it and return safely to Earth. The three astronaut crew consisted of Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders.

The U.S. had historically always been behind in the race to space. With Russia continuously one step ahead, Apollo 8 gave us the advantage of having the first crew to reach the moon and paved the way for Apollo 11 to successfully put the first man on the moon.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Sputnik
  • The race to space
  • WWII
  • Nuclear arms race
  • The Apollo space missions
  • The Saturn V

Mentions & Resources:

“I don’t see why it would matter what calendar month you do trend following…”

Feedback in:

Hi Michael!

This is my first letter to you! First of all, I’m a big fan of your pod. I deem it to be a big part of my work to listen to good pods to be a better investor and person. And yours is probably top 3 of all. And that’s from a list of over 100 pods.

So to my question regarding pod no. 638 “Walk the line”. You say that trend-following is to “start out the year” testing several objects.

I don’t see why it would matter what calendar month you do trend-following. One might want to start out in July. Maybe you just meant it figuratively and I am misunderstanding you here.

[Name] from Sweden

BTW, glad that you show your politics from time to time.


“It’s been like a graduate course on investing and life…”

Feedback in:

Hi Michael,

I understand what you wrote in your short lesson emails, and from hands-on experience know that trading with a well-designed system can work.

From your emails, what stood out most, and is a clear reminder for me, is that I really need to have a standard operating procedure (SOP) for *everything* as far as any of my investing goes. In my opinion, a well-designed, and tested system has *proper* procedures for everything: instrument selection, entry, exit, position sizing, rare exogenous event procedures, hedging, and risk management that ties it all together and mathematically *guarantees* a steadily rising equity curve.

These things are *not* easy to master, and require considerable time and research to get right. I know from hands-on experience.

My wife is currently finishing a degree in Accounting here in the US. The students appear to be taught the popular dogma unfortunately…something I don’t agree with.

On a separate note. Thank you for your podcast and books. I listened so far to perhaps like 150-200 episodes. It’s been like a graduate course on investing and *life*, taught by an all-star team of professors.

All the best,


Ep. 642: Eyes Wide Open with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Up and Down
Up and Down

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Where do you pull your inspiration from? Michael opens the podcast quoting Nassim Taleb addressing bullies: Do you throw punches for the sake of throwing punches? No, you throw punches when it will set a standard for others not to mess with you. Michael also pulls inspiration from the 1980’s Dunbar High School basketball team. The 1981–1982 team finished its season undefeated and the 1982–1983 team continued the tradition with a 31–0 record and a #1 national ranking. They produced three first round NBA basketball draft picks. That team has become legendary.

Inspiration can be pulled from extraordinary athletes, writers, singers, and even architecture. Michael recently visited Singapore for a presentation. He has been there many times and describes it as “San Diego on steroids.” He describes the architecture and beauty of the city as awe-inspiring.

Michael ties the podcast together talking trend following and what inspires him about this style of trading compared to fundamental trading.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Bullies
  • Overcoming obstacles
  • Desert island trading
  • Value investing
  • Toxic masculinity
  • Noise elimination
  • EMT

Mentions & Resources:

“I have nothing to ask of you except.. continue to strive for excellence and share your work”

Feedback in:


Thank you for speaking your mind and refusing to accept anything other than the truth; this world is too full of those who are afraid to even acknowledge reality, much less face it. I respect and appreciate your focus and thirst for knowledge and am grateful for having been exposed to your work.

I’ve always had a passing interest in trading and investing, but in the past few months this interest has transformed into a full-blown obsession. I’ve read the entire Market Wizards series, Trading in the Zone by Mark Douglas, your books The Complete Turtle Trader and Trend Following, as well as several more books and interviews from the likes of Ed Seykota, Mark Minvervini, and other successful traders who have written about their journeys. I’ve even read a couple of poker strategy books for additional insight on risk management and psychology. I regularly listen to your podcast and a few others on the topic of trading and risk-management. And I will not stop seeking and acquiring new knowledge.

At 22 years of age and 5 months from completing my undergrad degree in Finance, I’ve reached the point where I am certain THERE IS NOTHING ELSE I WANT TO DO and nothing will stop me from succeeding. I have been trading my own account (<$3000) for the past 6 months with increasing levels of consistency and success using a trend-following strategy I've pieced together from my research and limited backtesting (the research included in Trend Following is some of the most useful I've come across). So here's where I'm at: I have some skills, I have some knowledge, I have some experience, and will soon have a degree. Even more valuable to me is the confidence I have in my ability to succeed and my willingness to endure whatever pain it takes to achieve my goals. I come from a very humble background by US standards and am determined to create a better life for my family. I have nothing to ask of you except that you continue to strive for excellence and share your work with others. Your honest perspective, ability to convey information, and connection to a near-endless supply of relevant knowledge and experience have made a huge difference in my life. You have helped me see through the veil and discover what I really want in life and what it will take to get there. Maybe someday I will have the chance to repay you with a beer and a great conversation. Until then, discipline is the name of the game. Respectfully, [Name]

Good luck!

“Your style… is so much more refined than 99% of the other podcast hosts…”

Feedback in:

I have listened to all the podcast interviews I could find with Mark Minervini and it is amazing how poor they are in comparison to yours. Most of the podcast hosts appear to be reading questions from a prepared list and don’t have enough interest to dig into Mark’s responses for their next question. Your style of talking to your guests is so much more refined than 99% of the other podcast hosts. Well done.

Thanks. I really don’t write questions any more. Couple pages of notes and then let it ride!

“I am weird, BTW…”

Feedback in:

Hi Michael,

I thought I would reach out to you to let you know I have just reviewed your podcast on iTunes. I find your podcast inspiring and I am in the process of putting the knowledge gained into practice. Hopefully I can feature as a Success story in the future! I have also requested you as a friend on FaceBook. I thought I would let you know as I am sure you get lots of weirdos harassing you. You will have to be the judge on whether I am a weirdo or not!

I am thanking you in the best way I know by buying your new Trend Following book. I bought the 2003 edition already but at that time I wasn’t ready to absorb the information. Keep up the good work on the podcast, it is much appreciated.

Many Thanks,

I am weird, BTW.