Ep. 511: A Zen Money Perspective with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Zen Perspective
Zen Perspective

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Building off of last weeks podcast Michael brings another dead guest on his show, Alan Watts. Watts is responsible for introducing eastern traditions to the West, i.e. Buddhism. He has been featured many times on the podcast. Is money the root of all evil? Is money the goal? Why are making mistakes so crucial to your life? Does money equal wealth? These are all topics that are discussed and answered on the podcast.

Before Michael plays a clip from Watts, he shares a story from his recent trip to California. Michael had lunch next to a table that was the quintessential example of money, wealth, and the stereotypes that live in Los Angeles. His opening story is food for thought as you listen to Watts and his wisdom.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Liberty
  • Relationship between guilt and gold
  • You don’t learn if you don’t make mistakes
  • Psychological attitude toward money
  • Money is just bookkeeping
  • National debt
  • Money as the circulation of information
  • Changing the psychological attitude toward money
  • The cost of paying income tax
  • Psychologically poor

“I wonder often if there is any relationship between guilt and gold.” – Alan Watts

Mentions & Resources:

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Go Zen With the Markets

A little Zen can go a long way in the markets:

You. Right. Again. http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/01/a-little-meditating-helps-you-make-better-business-decisions/


Thanks. Excerpt from the research:

Research participants who had spent just 15 minutes in “mindfulness” meditation, focusing on their breathing, were 77% more likely than others to resist what’s known as the “sunk-cost bias,” the tendency to stick with a less-than-optimal strategy merely because a lot of money has been sunk into it, says a team led by Andrew C. Hafenbrack of Insead business school in France. In a fictional scenario, the participants had to decide whether to buy a highly efficient $10,000 machine shortly after spending $200,000 on equipment that was much less efficient (and couldn’t be sold). Meditation’s impact on the sunk-cost bias may have to do with its ability to improve mood and decrease people’s focus on the future and past, the researchers suggest.

Source: Go.

What Predictions Say About Us

An excerpt:

…predictions are a way of demonstrating knowledge. Of course, in most things, a successful demonstration involves being right. In golf, a good argument will suffice. Most compellingly, human beings are wired to predict. In ancient times predictions served as psychological counterweight to the extreme uncertainty of life. As we’ve gained more control over daily existence, predictions help encourage the illusion that we are in charge of our own destiny. The more that is unknown, the greater the urge to predict. As the recently departed futurist author Ray Bradbury once said, “Mysteries abound where most we seek for answers.”

If you can find yourself comfortable not trying to predict daily life (and trading) there is a nice reward for you.

Robert Greene and His New Book “Mastery” on the Podcast

Synopsis: Michael Covel speaks with Robert Greene, the bestselling author of the classic book, “The 48 Laws of Power“, in addition to other bestsellers such as “The Art of Seduction”, “The 33 Strategies of War”, and “The 50th Law” with musician and entrepreneur 50 Cent. His new book, “Mastery” is out. Covel and Greene came together through their mutual friend Ryan Holiday (author of “Trust Me, I’m Lying”), a past guest on Covel’s podcast and a former apprentice of Greene. Covel talks to Greene about the influence “The 48 Laws of Power” had on Covel’s own writing; using the 48 Laws as a defense strategy rather than as a cutthroat offense; some of Greene’s early influences that led him into his writing career; using Zen Buddhism and meditation as a tool to gain perspective and focus; the importance of using your unique life experiences in your career to create an irreplaceable style; and embracing opportunity. When “The 48 Laws of Power” unexpectedly pushed a button in the hip-hop community, Greene and musician 50 Cent began a collaboration that eventually became “The 50th Law”. Covel and Greene discuss the stories surrounding their collaboration, why 50 Cent should be taken seriously as an entrepreneur, and how he embodies the paradigm found within Greene’s new book, “Mastery”. On the subject of “Mastery”, Covel and Greene discuss how Greene mined the biographies of both contemporary masters and masters throughout history to discover how these people reached new levels and developed a different kind of intelligence. These people are highly creative, can connect ideas in a way that no one else can, and have become masters in their own respective fields. Greene made the startling discovery that genius, talent, luck, and intelligence did not lead his subjects to this power. Rather, they went through a process: They went through apprenticeships, mentored with the right people, knew how to observe what was happening around them, absorbed all of the rules of their field, developed skills, and had many failures. They aren’t superhuman. They went through a process that Greene discusses in extremely clear terms in his new book. Greene makes the case that given the competition in today’s world, becoming a master in your field is the only way to achieve true success. Special offer DVD: www.trendfollowing.com/win.

More and More Zen

From a reader:

Hi Michael,

I was listening to your August 7th podcast (I’m a bit behind, but I am working through them one-by-one) where you said we should support your work if we want to hear more great interviews. Well, I did buy your Trend Following book (you convinced me to learn more sometime back in June when I first started listening). I’m half way through and thoroughly enjoying it (trying to inhale it, actually).

Your mindset is aligned with mine, and you are verbalizing a lot of what I think already, or should be thinking! So, you have a dedicated and appreciative listener here. Please keep up the good work, keep finding these interesting, successful traders to interview. Also, please continue to do segments where you infuse us with more of your general thinking and philosophy (how can we separate trading from life?). I too turn off the news (for example, we have not had commercial TV in our house since my first child was born 18 years ago). I listen to the highest quality podcasts I can find, and yours is certainly at the top of the list. As I get older (I’m 58 this year) I am intentionally going more zen; it feels so “correct” and natural, I am sure you can appreciate, as you progress down your path. Your interview around the same time with Van Tharp has further piqued my interest in psychology and NLP, and has definitely pushed me more in that direction. I will be buying a few of his books to learn more. I should also go back and re-read what Jack S. wrote in Market Wizards, since it was a good read back when, but my copy has been collecting dust for 10 years now. Very good stuff! But I’m not the same person I was 10 years ago, so I’m sure it will be even more valuable to read now. You are helping to bring great info, insights and interviews to interested people like me. For that I am grateful and appreciative. Keep it up!

Best Regards,

Thanks Thomas for the thoughtful feedback.