EXPERTISE: Michael Covel’s quantitative investment and behavioral economics research can be seen across 5 books, a documentary film and an internationally known podcast with over 1M listens. Michael has spent over a million dollars building his investment research firm Trend Following™. His firm’s foundation is centered on the idea that capturing profit opportunities starts with a speculative understanding of human behavior. His clients receive world class trading systems and education built around proprietary trend trading rules, psychology and philosophy. His investment research clients span 70+ countries.
PERFORMANCE: For more than 5 decades trend following traders have captured global opportunities delivering massive profit outcomes. Our clients receive an objective strategic plan with exact rules to immediately and dramatically capture those types of profit outcomes. Trend following is also for those seeking to not trade as trend following traders, but rather use our systems to hedge their traditional portfolios*.
EVERYONE: Our service is for brand new to pro traders. It is for traders who trade global markets and for those that trade only their home country markets. It is for retirement and speculative accounts. Registered Investment Advisor to fund manager to college guy trading his own account–all our clients. This is the true location independent trading strategy. Desert island? Check. Home, office, coffee shop? Check.
CLIMATES: The investment objective of our trading programs is to extract profits from up, down and black swan markets (rare or surprise events), resulting in a return stream unlike any other investment. Our programs can be applied to long only and long/short portfolios and all programs are quantitative and 100% systematic. As many now know, unforeseen and unprecedented crises, known as black swans, have an outsized influence on markets. One of trend following’s benefits? It acts as an inverse Warren Buffett, an investment strategy that finds value in rare and often disastrous phenomena. It is the only proven strategy for all investing climates.
MARKETS: Our systems are for stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies (FX), energies, agriculturals, metals and or softs. Can you trade stocks only, for example? Yes.
INSTRUMENTS: Our systems are for equity ETFs, LEAPS options and or futures.
PROCESS: You will learn to focus only on the daily trading activities relevant to specific results. That means no fundamentals, no economic reports and no news. Unnecessary complexity is eliminated. You will never need the news again. This is trading where the checklist, the process, is central to the great outcome.
TESTIMONIALS: Michael Covel shares his magic bullet passionately with clients. His expertise can get you making above-average profits faster than going alone–your head start. Review his teaching track record with extensive social proof. There are, however, also critics. If Michael’s work made the manipulative Federal Reserve, CNBC, Wall Street and EMH academia happy–he would not be following his truth telling mandate.
SPECIFICS: Our service is an overall trend trader education with exact trend following systems that can be applied immediately to your investment account. That means you will receive:
- Exact rules for selecting your tracking portfolio.
- Exact rules for entering your trades at the right time.
- Exact rules for exiting your trades with a loss at the right time.
- Exact rules for exiting your trades with a profit at the right time.
- Exact rules for how much money to bet on each trade based on your unique situation.
EVOLUTION: Our Trend Following™ services have evolved significantly since our inception. The original focus from 1997-2003 was assisting clients with only Turtle trading. Over the last decade, however, our services have grown to include a much wider expertise in trend following trading. Our current Trend Following™ Premium Flagship edition was released Fall 2013.
VERSIONS: There are two versions of our systems and training. Why the difference? Flagship gets you there faster. You can see a comparison chart of benefits and features here.
Q: What is trend following exactly?
Q: What are trend following returns?
You can make above average returns across all markets during bull and bear markets. Review performance numbers produced by trend following over the last 3 decades.
Q: What are the origins of trend following?
Q: Is trend trading only for U.S. traders?
Students are in 70+ countries trading on exchanges from Europe to Asia to the Middle East to South America to North America.
Q: Are your systems and training for the individual investor? For the new or beginner trader?
The majority of students are individual traders and investors. Many are new with no experience. Some have experience, but the wrong kind of experience. Some only know buy and hold. Some only know value investing (i.e., Buffett) or fundamentals. Whether you are age 21 and in college, age 30 working a job, or age 60 in retirement, you can learn the techniques of great traders.
Q: Are your systems and training for market professionals?
Systems and training are used by experienced traders worldwide. Hedge fund managers to CTAs to CFAs (Chartered Financial Analysts) to CMTs (Chartered Market Technicians) to brokers to financial advisers on every continent have become clients.
Q: How were your systems and training assembled?
The great traders, along with their trading rules, are not easily accessed. However, Michael Covel has dedicated his life to assembling their trading systems and lessons. Covel has spent the last 15 years on the ‘inside’ learning from the greatest traders of our time. View Covel’s trading mentors.
Q: Are your trading systems just “Turtle Trading”?
No. Michael Covel’s The Complete TurtleTrader explains the Turtle story and system in detail. It is the definitive Turtle resource, but Flagship systems and training go much farther. Human interaction with Michael and his staff, the live teaching element, is entirely different than a book alone.
Q: The top end of your trading systems and training is $3000?
Paying for trading education is far less expensive than losing a fortune with no trading plan. The price is negligible if you consider it an investment in your future wealth.
Q: What are the differences among your (2) systems and training products?
A features comparison here.
Q: I’m a business student and I have always disliked the way professors downplay anything but fundamentals. I’m considering ordering your systems and training to continue my education in trading and I just had one question. I’m curious as to whether the systems in your training can be applied to shorter time frames like hourly or 4-hour charts?
No. Day trading is fool’s gold. Systems and training will be worth millions to you over a lifetime if you simply understand that day trading is a waste of time. More on the subject: Read.
Q: I am concerned about having the right exit strategy.
Traders without an exit plan always lose. Applying explicit exit protocols to limit damage during market declines is the name of the game. That means having an exit strategy for all of your positions at all times. That means deliberately, consistently and mechanically ‘cutting losses short’ while letting your winners ‘run.’ Students learn how.
Q: Have your systems, teachings and materials evolved over time?
The core principals of trend following are timeless, but year after year instructional materials add new proprietary trading systems + instruction.
Q: What starting capital is needed?
Q: What is the difference between your books and systems/courses?
The books are great resources filled with thousands of details, and they have helped many people learn, but systems and training with support are different. Questions come up. Students need help. Personal instruction gives insights that a book can’t give. Additionally, there are many proprietary trading systems in the courses not included in the books.
Q: Will too many trend followers make it less profitable?
No. A great example is 2008. Trend followers made a fortune. The profitability of trend following shows absolutely no sign of slowing down. Also, review chapter 11 of Covel’s book Trend Following.
Q: Can I trend follow in my retirement account?
Yes. 401ks, IRAs, Keoghs, Seps, etc. You can trade stocks, futures and ETFs in retirement accounts.
Q: What markets can be traded as a trend follower?
All markets can be traded with trend following methods: stocks, bonds, options, currencies, commodities, ETFs and LEAPS®.
Q: Are you sure trend trading works on stocks?
Yes. Email for more.
Q: Is this only for futures trading?
No. Trend following is not instrument specific. Trend followers can and do trade all types of instruments. Some trade futures. Some trade FX (or Forex). Some trade ETFs. Some trade LEAPS® options. Some trade stocks. Some trade commodities. For example, today trend following traders can trade ETFs and get exposure to commodities markets without having to trade futures. You will learn what is the best option for your situation.
Q: Is trend following risky?
Life is risky. You might get hit by a car crossing the street. All trading is risky. However, if you have a concrete plan, risk is manageable. That is the key to the success of great trend following traders. As you have seen in the last decade buy and holders, mutual funds, fundamentals, etc. don’t control risk at all.
Q: I am currently a financial adviser and will be going back to school for a 4-year degree in the summer. As far as school is concerned what type of courses would be most advantageous for me to take or learn that would help in trend following?
Most finance departments don’t know about trend following. If they do, they call it ‘luck’. In fact, many of the greatest traders had little to no experience trend trading before starting. Trend following legend John W. Henry, for example, did not have a college degree. However, the great trend traders have been motivated to learn and work hard.
Q: How much math is involved in trend following for success?
+, -, *, / — the basics. A degree in math, statistics, or economics is not needed to trade trend following techniques. Staff, premises, and expensive overhead are not required.
Q: Is trend following trading black box system trading?
This is not ‘black box’ trading. All rules and philosophies are fully disclosed.
Q: Will I be able to make money in bull and bear markets?
The strategies you will learn enable profit in both rising and falling markets.
Q: Do the great trend followers watch the markets during the day?
Some trend followers only trade once a week using weekly bars. Forget the ridiculous nonsense of day trading and 5 minute bars.
Q: How much time is required to trade as a trend following trader?
You can spend a minute or two per market each day. For example, let’s say you check prices in the evening, then with one trade on your PC in the morning, you place or change any orders in accordance with rules. Use your iPhone or Blackberry to do it. Flagship trend following trading systems use daily data to determine buy and sell signals. This is not day trading or high frequency trading. Orders can be placed before the market opens and do not need hourly monitoring. Most top traders manage their trades in 10 to 30 minutes per day. Trend follower Richard Donchian once said: “If you trade on a definite trend-following loss limiting-method, you can trade without taking a great deal of time from your regular business day. Since action is taken only when certain evidence is registered, you can spend a minute or two per [market] in the evening checking up on whether action-taking evidence is apparent, and then in one telephone call in the morning place or change any orders in accord with what is indicated. [Furthermore] a definite method, which at all times includes precise criteria for closing out one’s losing trades promptly, avoids…emotionally unnerving indecision.” Each day you determine entries and or exits for the following day. You can then buy or sell “at the market” on the open the next day.
Q: Why is money management needed?
Money management, also called risk management or position sizing, is a critical component of trend following trading success: read more.
Q: Are markets different now?
Markets are the same because they always change. Trend following trading adapts to change. That’s the key.
Q: Isn’t 24-hour news needed?
No. You can use the internet to get closing price quotes. You don’t need real-time data or news. In fact, you don’t need news at all.
Q: Is leverage used in trend following?
Yes. All great trend following traders use leverage. It is a tool to be used correctly. You learn how. Keep in mind, this is not the use of leverage that sunk so many Wall Street banks. This is different.
Q: Once I complete your training will I need my personal broker or financial advisor to help me trade successfully?
Q: What do you think of Gann and Elliott Wave?
Q: Once training is completed what additional expenses will be needed to start?
You need money to trade and daily price data (about $20/month). You will receive a special discount set up with a leading provider. All clients receive 10% off CSI Data’s advertised prices.
Q: I’ve lost a ton of money in my 401K. Can trend following trading help? Isn’t this expensive instruction?
How is instruction expensive if you just said you lost a ton? You pay for the education, for time, instruction and expertise, but it is an investment. You can always keep buying and holding or trust that Social Security will be there. More on value proposition.
Q: I’m in the beginning stages of starting a fund and I have a lot of questions, but I really haven’t been able to talk to anyone about it, mostly because I haven’t met anyone in the business. I was wondering if I put a few questions together if you could forward it to someone you think could be helpful in answering them?
A critical feature of Flagship systems and training is support. These are the types of questions you will have answered. You can receive help on introductions, along with hints on how to break into the business or just advice on trading your own account.
Q: I currently work in a Fortune 500 company as a Finance Director. I was reading your book on The Turtles and got more interested and read your web site. I’m interested in your training courses, but I have to be honest, it seems strange that someone is willing to train or give away a process that works. This is one of my questions.
Think about the Turtles. Think about all of the trend followers with decades of trend following trading results. Most people don’t want to change. Most people are happy losing with buy and hold. Sad, but true. This issue is also addressed in the last chapter of the book Trend Following.
Q: Does your trading systems and training explain exactly which markets to trade and why?
Yes. A key to the consistency of trend following is diversification across markets. Trend following exposure to all markets allows profits from trending markets to cover losses from other markets. Big moves, and the profits from those, offset losses. Additionally, using the exact same rules and parameter values across markets is a key factor in keeping trend following trading systems robust.
Q: Are chart techniques and studies used to pick entry & exit levels and where to place stop levels? Do you teach a one-size-fits-all method of level picking and using indicators or do you tailor it to the individual?
You will learn how to make all trading decisions regardless of your situation. Rules adapt. You learn it all.
Q: I keep reading about fancy software, red light/green light, and all kinds of complicated trading strategies that seemingly only rocket scientists can trade. Is that what this is?
No. The real risk in today’s age is over-doing a trading system. There is so much computing power available and so much data available, but the reality is that great trend following can be explained on the back of a napkin. You learn to navigate these issues.
Q: Are there discounts?
Q: Do you have a product listing?