Over the course of researching and writing the book, Trend Following, I met with a wide range of traders, investors and market experts. Most of the players I met with were straight shooters who were open, direct and honest. I found it refreshing considering that for the past two years we have been bombarded with constant bad news about corruption, greed and dishonesty in practically every industry from natural gas (Enron) to finance, accounting, telecom and so on. So it is nice to know that there are entrepreneurs with great vision playing the trading game to win, but also playing with a sense of integrity. However, that does not negate the presence of those who play the game by their own less forthright rules.
For example, as has I have noted in my book and online, there is a huge disparity in the success of Richard Dennis’ students. Some were big winners, but, some were big losers such as one former “industry player” (a student of Dennis) who turned out to be an extreme disappointment.
During my first meeting with this person, he told me that he was launching a new airline. At the time I had no idea whether or not he had the ability to do this, but my limited knowledge of his background at that point made me take him at his word. So I suspended my judgment. Unfortunately my “wait and see” attitude disappeared rather quickly for in the next few hours it became painfully obvious that this individual did not have the resources to start an airline. In fact he was most likely finding it difficult to pay rent each month. Wow I said to myself — what a contrast to other students of Richard Dennis. Here was a student who had had some success, but now was in debt with serious delusions of grandeur.
The moral of the story can be found in human behavior. You can have all the training in the world from the world’s best teachers, but if your motivation and ability to follow through and stick to it are not there and if you have lost your moral compass, assuming you had one to begin with, you will probably end up like this former student of Dennis down and out.