The way I see it, you have two choices–you can do what I did and work for 30-plus years, cobbling together scraps of information, seeking to create a money-making strategy, or you can spend a few days reading Covel’s book and skip that three-decade learning curve.
Hite profiled originally in “Market Wizards”
Some people think [Trend Following] trading is a system, but it’s really much more powerful than that…it’s a trading philosophy. The course [see] gives comprehensive insight to the most accessible active management strategy currently in use. [You] find revealing explanations of all the critical elements of a successful trend following trading plan. The concepts espoused here are not just opinions…these techniques have been proven to work
Chief Investment Officer
Mulvaney was an early client of our firm. His firm has exploded.
There have been few authors that have tackled the financial markets with a candor that was entertaining while not alienating themselves from the community they wrote about. A few greats come to mind: Michael Lewis, Jack Schwager, and Nassim Taleb. I believe Michael Covel also belongs squarely in this camp for his work to champion the trend following movement (more).
Founder and CIO, Auspice Capital Advisors
Read full review: (PDF).
I have been trading for many years and doing okay but my method was not systematic enough and too stock focused. I decided that I needed to up my game and ran across a reference to Trend Following while reading another book. I decided to contact Mike after reading the book and decided to work with him one on one. This experience has put me in a new league and really helped me focus on my weak areas which were risk management and portfolio selection. I would recommend any trader who is not where they want to be to start with Mike and the Trend Following book, website and course material.
I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with Michael Covel on various projects over the years and have rarely seen anyone so passionate about his field. Trend following historian, biographer, novelist, documentarian, reporter, teacher, curator and advocate, Mike may be best categorized as an activist for change in our economic paradigm. His message: financial empowerment is possible if you accept personal responsibility and take action. Specifically, this means doing away with ‘buy and hold’ and ignoring financial market pundits and other soothsayers. It also involves a strict adherence to trend following principles, whether trading for yourself or investing with established CTAs who will trade for you. It is always fascinating to see what Mike will do next to change the way most people think about investing.
Futures Industry Attorney
Years ago, famed Chicago bond trader Tom Baldwin put trading in a phrase: “Everybody wants the money, but whose willing to do the work?” I know a few. One of them is Michael Covel. Michael did the yeoman’s duty no one else would do: bringing together the principles, practices and track records of trend following. In his now numerous books, courses and programs, he solidly demonstrates trend following is a viable trading and investment strategy; moreover, one that can be learned and mastered. Something many so-called trading and investment strategies have yet to do.
Market Wizard Trading Coach,
Mental Edge Trading Associates
I am a big fan of Michael Covel. What impresses me the most is his single minded determination to get his message out regarding his central theme: trend following works. His books provide plentiful evidence of long term superior performance by numerous trend following traders. He doesn’t coddle his readers with pep talk–that’s not his style. Instead he says “if you’re going to try to make money in what might be the world’s hardest profession, why not take a studied look at how some of the most successful traders got that way and emulate their behavior?” And talk about a bargain–he’s done the arduous work compiling track records, picking the minds of sometimes elusive superior traders and then distilling all the data down into thoroughly useful, readable text. What tremendous value for a few bucks. And then, because Michael understands his role as a gifted entrepreneur, he goes the next step by providing guidance and tools to would be traders utilizing the internet and a variety of affordable trend following trading courses. I traded my first futures contract in 1969 and spent my professional career in the futures industry until my retirement in 2001. Through the years I have been asked many times for advice about how to attempt to be a successful trader. My answer now–read and apply Covel.
Extra Note from Jack Zaner: Michael since I sold Zaner Group to my son Matt in 2001, I have no website, etc. I believe in what you are doing and merely wish to help you. His site is www.zaner.com.
Michael, I just wanted to say thanks for all you do. My brother read your book back in 2005 and gave it to me to read. It changed our trading and, I believe, our lives. Please indulge a little background. My brother is 8 years my senior. He’s in the construction business and I’m in the insurance business. Pretty different professionally, but not philosophically. What we had most in common was a fascination of the financial markets and figuring out a way to profit from them. He and I have both spent most of our adult lives educating ourselves on economic and financial issues and continue to do so on a daily basis. We would categorize ourselves as followers of Austrian economic thought and free market libertarians. We had been dabbling in the futures markets for over a decade and could never find an approach that would work for us. Unfortunately, we followed various gurus on our way to losing money year after year and depleted several different trading accounts. We had always focused on systematic approaches to trading because we both felt that we couldn’t trust ourselves to maintain any trading consistency with soft rules or instinct. Our problem was that we lacked any understanding of trading systems and all of their component parts. As a result, we chose to follow the complicated black box systems designed by others. These systems all focused on picking tops/bottoms or otherwise predicting market direction in some way. We didn’t realize it at the time, but in retrospect, the one thing positive we took away from these experiences was the understanding that our greatest attribute as traders was our discipline. We took every single trading signal from every guru we ever followed, come hell or high water. The better educated we became, the more we realized that NOBODY really knows anything about the direction of markets. To design or follow a systematic approach to trading based on the premise that market direction was predictable was a ticket to the poor house. We’d heard about trend following methods but only in a disparaging light. We quit trading for 5 years. Then we both read Trend Following. It was the proverbial “ah ha” moment that we had spent 20 years looking for. Sometimes the truth is so hard to see because it’s right in front of your face. To make a long story a little shorter, my brother purchased your course in late 2005 and we starting our little trading company in Feb 2006 with $100,000 in seed money. We trade a basket of 10 futures markets using the rules in your course (although with a lower risk %). We never deviate and we take every signal, subject to the our risk management rules. We spend no more that 1/2 hour a day on our trading business. We have tripled our account balance to $300,000 in the intervening 3.5 years without ever adding any more capital. We have not had a losing year yet, although I’m sure we will eventually. We made just under 100% return in 2008, which would have been much greater had our capital base been larger or if we had been comfortable with a greater per trade risk %. We had to beg off some trades that were immensely profitable in fall 2008 due to our position limits and % risk rules. Unfortunate, sure, but we slept great and still doubled our money in the greatest financial debacle of our lifetimes. 2008 was only the beginning. Government interference in markets always makes for great trend trading opportunities. The size and scope of government today simply means that trends are only going to be bigger and will occur with more frequency. We’re ready and waiting. We can’t thank you enough for sharing the wisdom of trend following with us. We truly believe that significant trading wealth is simply a matter of time for us thanks to the education you provided…mixed in with a big helping of discipline! Thanks again Michael!
Jeff P., IL USA
Michael I recommend your books every time I speak at Money Shows. I call your Trend Following book the ‘bible of trend following.’ It belongs on every trader’s shelf.
Founder and President, Investment Models, Inc.
Hi Michael, I am a trader since over 12 years now. My trading style was purely day trading, because of my past as a market maker in forex. Since 5 years I do trade in my portfolio trend following systems. Actually it became the bigger part of my portfolio. I did read your books the first time in 2007 (I have at least 10 copies at home of your books, in English and German) and for me it was like a confirmation, that what I was doing was right and gave me confidence to trade more in trend following then in day trading. I also then in 2009 bought your course and finally this year bought your Tradestation code. I also bought your movie. I am a big fan of you Michael and thank you very much for your work. You helped me a lot to have more confidence and trust in it and so far it paid off…Please don’t forget that I am Swiss, so my English vocabulary and grammar is not very well. I don’t have a webpage and don’t use Facebook or Linkedin, so I don’t need any publicity on my side. I would love though, to meet people that also do active and since longer time Trend Following trading to share experiences, ideas or just to chat. Sometimes I feel very lonely in this trading world, of course there are many that try to trade out there, but very few people who do it successfully. Let me know how to proceed. Ciao and best regards from Switzerland,
Adriano [Last Name]
As with most things in trading, the least accepted methods are also the most efficacious. One of the least accepted trading methods by both academia and the financial media is the concept of trend following. In it’s most elementary form, trend following is about being long when markets are rising and being short when they are declining. There are no forecasts or shoulds. There is only the current trend and what is. One of the most effective journalists to popularize trend following is author Michael Covel. He almost single-handedly has raised the consciousness of investors around the world to the effectiveness of trend following. He has brought many of the world’s greatest trend followers to light, and I cannot thank him enough for that. If trend following was widely accepted, there would be no need for about 95% of the people employed in the securities industry. Needless to say, this fact alone is one of the main causal reasons that trend following is out of the mainstream. Most simply ignore it’s incomparable track record in both rising and declining markets. Michael Covel has provided the research and the data to a mass audience to show what we trend followers are all about. I cannot express properly how grateful I am for Michael’s efforts. His impeccable journalism is rare in any context, but especially in the field of trading and investments. As a result of his work, the great achievements of trend followers can no longer be ignored nor viewed as just an anomaly.
Gibbons’ Trading LLC
Michael has written such an amazing piece of work [Trend Commandments]. It is dense with the essentials of investing. There is probably over twenty books of material here, but that’s Michael’s style. I have read The Complete TurtleTrader at least 6 times and will likely do the same with Trend Commandments. Awesome work, thanks for putting in words what we believe and practice.
Micheal Covel is a rare breed. He is the only author I have come across who really understands how traders can make money, regularly and consistently over a long period of time. The question is how long can a trader last with a specific style of trading. There are many traders who have made a lot of money only to blow up or loose it all eventually. Many trading strategies can work over a period of 2 to 3 years, but will they work over a period of 20 or 30 years? I have seen extremely smart spread traders trading mean reversal type strategies who made a fortune in 2 to 3 years, and then blow up and never recover. I have come across arbitrage strategies that were very successful over a period of 4 to 5 years, but eventually blew up over a tail event. I have also met very successful macro traders who have bet successfully on certain market moves and made a fortune but their careers stalled and eventually they burnt out. The only successful traders that have consistently made money over a long period of time are systematic trend followers, the type of traders that Micheal Covel covers in his books. Unfortunately, the financial wold has been hijacked by crooks, charlatans, bankers and investment advisers hoodwinking the general public into believing that buying and holding a financial asset over a long period of time is the right strategy with “shareholder democracy”. And when that does not work, advisers try and trick investors with volatility of returns and complicated ratios, when all that matters are absolute returns over a long period of time. Micheal Covel shines a light in this world and is indeed a rare breed. I cannot recommend his work enough.
Michael Covel was the keynote speaker at an event I organized in 2007–TradeTech Asia–a major gathering of the region’s equity traders and their brokers. This was an audience that controlled, collectively, trillions of dollars, and I think all would have agreed that Covel’s presentation was a highlight of the conference. Covel has access to some of the world’s most successful trend followers, and unlike most other commentators he understands what they do and how they do it. Through his books, seminars, and public speaking engagements, he seeks to make that knowledge available to ordinary investors like you and me.
Director, Investments Sector
My name is Todd Miller, Founder and Managing Principal of Availeth Capital, LLC. We are a managed futures (trend following) firm located in the northern suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio. The following is my story of how I have found myself trading for students. It all started with me being introduced to Michael Covel in a Barnes & Noble in northern Cincinnati. No, not an introduction in person, but his life’s passion. Back in 2005, I was working for one of the largest brokerage/mutual fund companies in the world. It was fairly mundane work, answering phone calls from students trying to open brokerage accounts. This was just a ‘hold-over’ position in that I knew I didn’t want to be doing ‘this’, but didn’t know what my long-term plans were. I had always been interested in markets, and wanted to know how to actually make money trading. Unfortunately, the company I was working for had no interest (or ‘know how’) in teaching me how to properly manage money (ultimately, a good thing for me), and looking back to my time spent in finance classes in college, my professors had no real-world solutions either. It was this experience that prompted me to start reading every trading book I could get my hands on. Good or bad, this started my trading education. Most of these books I read were filled with the ‘how to read financial statements to determine if a market is undervalued/overvalued’ confusion. But then, there were some that were helpful in getting me past the notion that I had to study balance sheets and income statements in order to win; however, were mostly filled with this B.S. oscillator or that B.S. chart pattern. There was no meat. The most important thing I learned from a few of these books was the phrase ‘Follow the trend’. Now, I don’t say that for the sake of giving these various authors credit, but to say that it was the phrase ‘Follow the trend’ that led me to Michael Covel’s first book Trend Following: How Great Traders Make Millions in Up or Down Markets. As I was walking in that Barnes & Noble, I spotted something familiar on the spine of one of the hundreds of books on the shelf, the words ‘Trend Following’. As I pulled it from the shelf and started leafing through the pages, I came across names such as Bill Dunn, Ed Seykota, John W. Henry and more who made millions, even billions trading a Trend Following strategy. It was Covel’s book for me that transformed ‘Follow the trend’ from just a phrase in to ‘Trend Following’ the worldview. You see, trend following is not just a trading strategy, but a way of living one’s life. It was my AHA moment. Wanting to make trading a big part of my life, I graduated on to Michael’s Trend Following course. It was here where I was able to really get down to the nuts and bolts of building a systematic trend following trading system. In his course, Michael taught me how to evaluate the odds of any risk-taking endeavor, that magnitude trumps frequency, and that being able to take losses are a big part of trading as they are in life. It taught me to assemble a complete trading system, including knowing when and where to enter, when and where to exit with a profit and a loss, portfolio selection, and how much to risk on each trade. After studying for a couple of months, I moved on to paper trading, then to live trading. Did I hit the ground running? Not exactly, I stumbled a few times, and this is where access to Michael paid huge dividends. Whether it was asking him questions directly or reading his blog, assurance was right around the corner. As an owner of my own company, watching how Michael made himself accessible to students and non-students alike, always responding to questions, but without surrendering his belief in who he is or what he does, taught me a great lesson on how to run my firm. It has been a little over a year since I started Availeth Capital, and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that it would not be in existence if it wasn’t for Michael Covel’s work and the passion he puts into it. See, if he hadn’t written ‘Trend Following’ I would’ve never been introduced to the only strategy that does ‘Make Millions in Up or Down Markets’. Thanks Michael!
Managing Principal and Portfolio Manager at Availeth Capital, LLC
Michael Covel’s Trend Following is the first book to clearly explain the most important new investment discipline since indexing. Reactive rules-based investing can be active or passive and the combination significantly enhances portfolio diversification. Investors that resist trend following should eventually recognize that index investing is a passive form of trend following. If you appreciate the benefits of multi-asset class indexing, you should recognize the importance of adding disciplined trend following to your portfolio, and vice versa.
David Kreinces, Founder and Portfolio Manager
ETF Portfolio Management
If you want to learn an investment strategy that has created several billionaires and people worth over $50 million, almost always starting from absolutely nothing, there is one definitive source: Michael Covel. No other trading strategy has created such wealth over the past few decades. Learn it.
Author of An American Hedge Fund
Covel’s Trend Commandments is a great read for those who want to understand what trend following is all about- and benefit from it. Too many investors are lazy and follow “fortune tellers” instead of real trends. Some traders settle for small gains and can’t stay with trends long enough. Mike helps you get in the heads of the most successful traders and tries to give you the road map to follow the trend–where ever it goes.
Read Michael Covel to embark on an irreverent and lively romp through the hidden landscape of modern day finance. Not only will you leave the journey enlightened and educated, you will be left with an insatiable desire to kill your idols. His books and ideas are a must read for anyone with even a passing interest on how financial history brought us to the brink of Armageddon.
Mike Covel is not just a cheerleader for trend-following, he is the Head Coach. He understands the game, the strategy and crucially the psyche of the players. Would-be winners will ensure that they study Mike’s teachings and books before stepping onto the playing field.
Christopher L. Cruden
Chief Executive Officer
Insch Capital Management
Christopher L. Cruden
Extra Note from Christopher L. Cruden: By the way, your books ARE required reading here for all our traders, marketers and interns etc. We also give them as presents to our best and biggest students.
Michael Covel is unashamedly the world’s foremost campaigner of trend following, not only for long-term wealth creation but as an approach to everyday life. During our early days in 2004, battling against the forces of gut feel, [while engaging in] long-only equity investing, we came across Michael’s Trend-Following book on the internet. His clear manner in which he described the investment methodology that had been around for decades was a revelation for us. We will be forever grateful to Michael for writing this book that completely vindicated almost 3 years of research into systematic trading. Michael Covel continues to produce books of high quality with wonderful snippets of information for those that want to learn. His social media and online presence plays an important role in educating investors and to a large extent Michael can take credit for the heightened awareness that systematic Trend Following is enjoying in this current market environment.
Patrick de Villiers
Principal, Neural Capital Trading
I first came across Michael Covel’s work by reading his essential work: Trend Following. As a technical analyst and trader, the work immediately struck a chord and started my journey down the path from a technical trader of stocks, to a systems trader of global futures markets. The end result is the everTrend Global fund which captures the essence of a successful trading system: entry signals, risk control, exit signals, asset class diversification, and global exposure. Mike clearly has a passion for trading, markets and trend following. What also shines through strongly is his endorsement of long lost values–independence, self-reliance and the willingness to tune out the pervasive news-driven, mind-numbing messages of mass financial media. This may be his greatest contribution to readers in an age of greater turbulence where the very foundations of the financial economy and government structures are fragile and prone to greater failure over the coming decade. It is just this uncertainty that trend following strategies are designed to profit from. While traditional asset classes are held hostage to the whims of the economic cycle, systematic trend following is uniquely designed to benefit from the only constant in life–change. Mike writes and speaks with energy and authority and I sincerely hope he continues to spread the message that trend following and self reliance work for those willing to strike out on their own and commit to a disciplined, flexible method. In [his new book] Trend Commandments, Michael Covel shines the beacon of truth on conventional investment strategies and their reliance on hope and the narrative fallacy. He succeeds in shattering the Wall Street fable of ‘buy and hope’ and offers a better way–a way to harness the power of global diversification, disciplined risk control and staying in tune with the underlying trends in markets. Trend following is a way out, a way to retake control over your investments when traditional methods have clearly failed. Just as importantly, the work emphasizes self reliance and the courage to strike out and use the greatest asset we all have–our minds!
Rob Robbins, CFA
Portfolio Manager, everTrend Global, LLC
Hello Michael, [I have] always been a fan of your books and I’ve read almost all of them ([with] exception for the last two that you just launched and that I’m eager to get sometime). Anyhow, just [want] to mention how I still can’t understand most people in trading. I work as a broker in my country and we do have a very close approach to our students giving them information in order for them to have the best probability of success. I myself am a trend follower so I try to pass the message to them even though this goes “against” [most] of what would be best for the broker (since for the broker what matters is [a]lot of trades for commission purposes and trend following doesn’t generate as many trades). I also recommend going for bigger time-frames as daily or even weekly… and it is amazing that even though I give them the right tools, most don’t listen and go on their own. Also it’s amazing to see that most people don’t make money in markets no matter what size they are. I’ve seen people with 250k blow up in a matter of 2-3 weeks. I really don’t get it how people don’t acknowledge that simple works. Something as simple as trend following. Simple doesn’t mean easy because I know it’s not, especially because of our inner psychology in trying to outguess the environment in this case the markets. This has been my performance for the past 10+ months where I started with my private savings of almost 20k. My approach has been trend following, buying medium long term strength and then adding to positions on short term weakness. So far the experience has been great even though I know this past year (and may I say past 3-4 years) have been great for trendfollowing…I know sometime in the future (I don’t know when) maybe I’ll go through tougher periods. But that’s the cost of doing business. And what matters is the long term growth of our account and I believe trend following is the best approach for it in terms of long term prospects. Just giving my testimonial. Best wishes,
Salvador Nobre Veiga
Like all of Michael Covel’s prior books, Trend Commandments is well-written. The first time through, I read it in one sitting. However, it is quite different in style and intent from Trend Following and The Complete TurtleTrader. “Trend Following” introduced an unfamiliar approach to trading, to many people for the first time. This book is about more than the tenets and background of trend following. “Trend Commandments” is an inspirational piece and exhorts the reader to stop making excuses and go out and do something about it. This book is also about mindset and motivation. Trend following is not complicated. Mr. Covel points out that you need answers to only five questions: 1) what market do you buy or sell at any time? 2) how much of a market do you buy or sell at any time? 3) when do you buy or sell a market? 4) when do you get out of a losing position? and 5) when do you get out of a winning position? The tough part of trend following is in the doing. Mr. Covel discusses the discipline required and the psychological mindset needed in a very entertaining and systematic way. In approximately 60 short chapters, he hits on nearly every trend following topic imaginable—from many different angles. There’s tremendous throughness here, which may bother some readers, but it’s mostly because so many parts of the trend following mindset are interrelated. When you see something and you think to yourself ”didn’t he just say that a couple of chapters ago?” you’ll find that it wasn’t quite the same and that he is simply exploring a closely related topic from another angle. When I say it is both thorough and entertaining, you still might not have the right idea. The bibliography ranges from Bill James to Seth Godin to Ludwig von Mises. There are citations ranging from the movie The Matrix to the Greek philosopher Epictetus to the Smashing Pumpkins—and that’s just in the first two chapters. That might give you a better flavor for how much fun this book is to read. Beyond just a discussion of risk and reward and the tenets behind trend following, Covel’s argument is essentially a moral one about initiative, self-reliance, and accountability—things that are sorely lacking in our culture today. Without a strong moral core, you’re not going to succeed in anything, least of all investing. In short, the book covers the waterfront on trend following and Covel makes his points well. If you don’t understand trend following as an investment approach after reading this book, well, maybe the light is never going to come on for you. In a world awash in fundamental forecasts, self-appointed gurus, false prophets, efficient marketeers, modern portfolio theorists, high-volume gong-ringing market commentators, and a public (along with much of the investment industry) striving for safety in the middle of the herd, going it alone as a trend follower is certainly the road less taken. And that may make all the difference.
Mike Moody, CMT
SVP, Senior Portfolio Manager, Dorsey, Wright Money Management
Trend Commandments is a book that takes your grandmother’s Depression-era, Dark-Ages-infused investment philosophy, slaps it in the face a few times, then sits it in the big chair under the spotlight and asks, “Can we start now?” In the markets, you either pay attention to what’s important, or you get hit by the steamroller. Trend Commandments tells you what’s important–in fact, it puts it right in front of your face. Trend Following is a book that systematically peels away the layers off the dummy’s mask of fundamental analysis to reveal the face of the real strategy used by millionaire traders who have built their personal fortunes for years in both up and down markets. Note: those traders are millionaires, not gods. Their trading strategy is learnable, and available to you too. The Complete TurtleTrader is a fascinating real-life story: even being taught the same set of trading rules, some members of this specially-selected group of trader-trainees (aka, the Turtles) went on to massive financial success while others went on to massive invisibility and failure. It turns out, there were definite reasons for this, and The Complete TurtleTrader details what those were. I have read all of Michael Covel’s work–I like it because it makes you think. It challenges your preconceived notions of what you believe the markets should be, and offers an alternative perspective (based on his many years of research and access to top traders) as to what the markets really are, and how to navigate them. Plus, Michael gives you access–to him. Read his blog and post a comment (he comments back), send him an email (he answers), call his firm, engage in an online discussion with a community of other interested participants. Michael’s collection of work–his books, websites, interviews, documentaries, seminars, and courses–is not some kind of stodgy, ivory tower collection of inapplicable nonsense. It is a fluid, engaging, interactive collection of thoughts, ideas, topics and discussions. Bottom line: Michael’s work adds value, and I appreciate what he contributes.