Confusion Reigns

I have seen both positive and negative reviews for the book Trend Following. The positive praise needs no comment. It’s great and I appreciate it. The negative views of the book, however, are very instructive. There are typically two types of negative reviews. The first kind is usually written by people attempting to prop up some other “strategy”. The other kind is written by people who think they know exactly what trend following is, but in reality they have no clue. For example, one negative reviewer of the book offered this opinion about another book detailing so-called “Elliott Wave” trading:

“One problem is that [he] gives extensive wiggle room in his use of retracements to define patterns. This means his categories, while appearing rigorously objective, actually overlap to a considerable degree. You will often be left with 2 choices for a label, despite applying the rules consistently. That isn’t necessarily [his] fault–he is being realistic. No one ever said the market was easy. I wouldn’t tackle this text if you were unfamiliar with classical technical analysis. Elliott wave can be a frustrating theory. I’ve gotten headaches trying to count corrective patterns. Despite what [he] says, conventional indicators, candlesticks, and chart patterns can be very helpful when wave counts are not. Classical technicals and Elliott often overlap–suggesting the same conclusion. When they do, then you know you have a potential profit opportunity.”

It is safe to say, whoever wrote this review, is not possibly in a place to begin to understand or even critique trend following trading. His current belief set rests entirely on Holy Grails and magical thinking.