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“Nate Silver was by far the most accurate forecaster in the 2016 election”

Feedback in:

Nate Silver [my article that generated the feedback] was by far the most accurate forecaster in the 2016 election.

While most modelers pegged Clinton’s chances at greater than 90% (in some cases 99%), Silver had Trump as a 35.2% chance few days before the election. That was pretty darn good handicapping.

You are confusing prediction with handicapping, which is surprising given how much you have talked about poker and probabilities and black swans. If I were grading Nate Silver, I would give him an A+, because that is the grade he earned. I even heard him talk about the possibility of systemic failure in polling and got ridiculed.

What’s the point of his kind of political analysis? The usefulness? There is none. The vast majority of people (who know of him) think he has some predictive up or down power. That’s what he wants (likes), even if not accurate. Then people in the weeds can show up to say “oh no you missed his point, it’s his great handicapping skill.” Yeah, I see how clever this mathturbation is.

Ep 531: Mark Rzepczynski Interview #2 with Michael Covel

Mark Rzepczynski
Mark Rzepczynski

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Mark Rzepczynski is the CEO of AMPHI Capital Management and has a deep knowledge of trading, especially trend following trading.

Simplicity beats complexity every time. Unfortunately, people crave more complex. With trend following, traders keep it simple. They just want to get the direction of the trade right. Trend followers don’t care about what the price will be or how far it will go, they just go back to the basics and see what way the trend is going, up or down.

The ability to simply follow the math has always been undervalued. Risk management is about the math of selling losers and hanging onto winners. It isn’t hard math to do, but this is what separates successful managers from losing ones. Successful managers build a portfolio, follow the trends and execute trades properly.

Harry Markowitz said, “If I would have created CAPM around semi variance no one would have understood the math and I would not have won the Nobel Prize.” Mark breaks this quote from Markowitz apart. He dives into good volatility vs bad volatility.

Fake news has been the premise of the 2017 presidential election. But is fake news new? Every time you see a government announcement come out saying they are revising their data, that is fake news. GDP numbers, unemployment, etc. are examples of fake our outdated news that cannot be depended on. We know that prices move and fluctuate from day to day, but trend followers can do things to smooth the uncertainty and prepare with a toolbox of rules such as staying diversified and having crisis alpha.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Controlling volatility
  • Style diversification
  • Long term vs. Short term managers
  • Simplicity beats complexity
  • Quant trading

“Price is primal.” – Mark Rzepczynski

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Trading Food for Thought: February 22nd Edition

Ep. 530: Against the Gods with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Against the Gods
Against the Gods

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Many take risk without thinking. They do not quantify risk. One of Michael’s first steps into the risk indoctrination came in the 1990’s through a book, “Against the Gods: A Remarkable Story of Risk.” Michael plays an excerpt from the author Peter Bernstein.

There is no perfect algorithm for risk, only guesses. Everyone has a limited amount of capital. Risk is putting your money down and knowing that you can lose it. In the trend following world, risk is why traders keep it small. How much can you afford to lose? This is the only thing you can control in the markets. Predictions should be a blinking red light for anyone listening.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Stop loss
  • Know your risk
  • How much are you willing to bet
  • Coarse risk management
  • Long Term Capital Management
  • Too much dependence on math

Mentions & Resources:

Want a FREE Trend Following DVD? Get it here.

Ep. 529: Annie Duke #2 with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Annie Duke
Annie Duke

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Annie Duke is on the podcast for the second time. She is a poker player, author, decision making expert, and cognitive scientist. Her understanding of how luck, skill and uncertainty all play a role in life is fascinating.

Donald Trump has made some unusual cabinet choices, especially for getting elected by such a small margin. Annie breaks down her perspective on why Trump chose the way he did. One of the hardest people to play against is someone playing aggressively across the board, such as Trump. She relates Trump’s aggressive political playing to poker, giving insights as to how Trump opposition might be playing their cards to beat him.

Annie moves on to decipher luck and skill in decision making and outcomes. Black and white thinking can be harmful. Decisions that don’t go your way are not always the wrong choice. You may have taken the right direction, the cards just didn’t fall in your favor. You need to be able to move on and know that another chance is around the corner. Fixating on decisions that were wrong can easily start to snowball and make things personal. The key is to learn to move on from one hand dealt to another quickly because life won’t pause for anyone. Take the time to reflect later, but don’t get caught up in the moment and dwell on what mistakes you may, or may not have made.

The world of poker is a male driven sport. Focusing her purpose on winning the game rather than getting people at the table to like her enabled her to get over discrimination and actually use it to her advantage. Not caring about the approval of peers instantly gives the person being discriminated against the upper hand. Once you view something as a challenge rather than adversity you become a stronger person and begin creating a positive narrative for that situation and your life. Shying away from adversity is a way of giving up on yourself and falling victim. Facing adversity as a challenge provides self power and confidence.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Quality of outcome vs Quality of your decision
  • Game theory and math
  • Applying poker decision making to life decision making
  • Cognitive science

Mentions & Resources:

Want a FREE Trend Following DVD? Get it here.

Trading Food for Thought: February 16th Edition