A Skeptic Lurks

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Michael, I will keep this short. I am sure you get 1000 email a day. I have given trading an honest effort. For the past 10 years I have had an interest and dabbled until 6 years ago I took several seminars from top trading system gurus and blew out a couple accounts…. got even more serious and read 36 books in 2 years trying to find the answer! I will say ‘Trend following’ was one of the books that made the chart. After another attempt at trading, I took a 2 year break. Now here I am and after disconnecting from all the views swaying me left and right with all the contrary systems, I feel strong that following the trend is the answer. I would like your list of books NOT to read because, other than your ‘Trend Following’, none of the books I read are on your list. I would love to know that I was reading the wrong crap! I would like more info. on your teaching and courses, however I am a little concerned about the selling on your website. You know what they all say: “you either do it or sell HOW to do it….” Basically I am usually turned off by the hype. If it is so good why not just make money doing it and not selling it, right? Help me help me.
Rob H.

First, from this list here are books not worth reading: Peter Lynch books, Cramer books, the ‘Dummies’ books, Siegel books and ‘anything’ that predicts anything. These authors are surely not bad people personally. but there is just not much reason to try and do what they say to do.

Second, what more info. would you like on our training? How can I help? In terms of selling information (and teaching) by your logic why does Harvard exist? What does any teaching exist? Why does anyone write a book on anything? I have been around for too long helping too many for this to be a legitimate concern. My firm simply helps people get there faster than on their own and being capitalists we ask for compensation for that help. And yes, I trade my own account.

8 thoughts on “A Skeptic Lurks

  1. Hey read Market Wizards and the New Matket Wizards by Jack Schwager. i read those books almost 20 times throught my learning process to become a trader. Everytime you learn or experience something new in your trading, read and see what the pros did..

  2. Michael,

    Big fan. Own both of your books. I have two questions that I am sure that you have answered before.

    1. What made you decide to teach as opposed to starting your own fund? It wouldn’t seem like you would have too much trouble raising capital given your reputation that you have built.

    2. Any chance of posting an equity graph of one of your personal accounts that you use a trend following strategy in.

  3. Hi Mark, my current public business is educational. Can that change? Sure, and it may! If/when my business changes, other disclosures will be made. For now clients need to ask themselves whether or not my research and insights can save time & money along the journey — that’s the proposition.

    Some of my ‘history’ and how I ended up here can be found in the preface of my two books, along with the afterword of my second book.

  4. When I see people in the book store’s “Investing” section, I sometimes tell them all they need is one book, Trend following… They then either give me a look of fear, disbelief, or something close to disdain. They then go back to “10 steps to this”, or “5 rules to that”, Booyah baby !,or something else…I then realise they pay for the trend followers profits. It could only be this way. Zero-sum game, right ?

  5. The best books written are the market wizards books if you want to understand what it is going to take to be great.

  6. Hi Rob,

    I am a skeptic, but here’s the path that brought me to trend following. I started out with “classic” technical analysis, read all the technical classics, survived my first year of futures trading in the black, thought I was a genious, and then blew out 2 accounts (overtrading). During this time, I also started writing my own TradeStation indicators and strategies. I was also following what appeared to be a highly successful futures trading guru, programmed some of his indicators, and found that the number one strategy that he pushed just didn’t work when backtested. (he only sold the indicators, not the automated strategies)
    In my latest research, I have programmed the simplest of trend following system, based on a Donchian breakout (price action only). Using risk based position sizing, thirty years of futures data indicates that this simple technique is profitable over the long haul over most markets. Some of the markets gave flat results over this period, but the big trending markets made up for the them. Some big drawdowns and multiyear flat periods would seem to test even the most faithful. One of the contracts even shows 16 losing trades in a row, while still being profitable over the long run.
    I have “proven” to myself that trend following works, and am no longer interested in reading any more books, unless they offer greater insights into trend following, or have good stories about trend following personalities.
    Hope this helps…

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