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Trend Following Philosophy: Dedication and Belief

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Hi Michael,

Let me start by saying thanks for taking trend following to the masses. The podcasts are excellent. Listening to how successful system traders started out, most of them quite modestly, reinforces my discipline and “belief” (Van Tharp) in trend following. I’ve been committed to systems trading for about a year now. I had researched Trend Following online and ultimately ordered Trend Following and The Little Book. After reading those I never looked back.

I’m definitely not high net worth, so the best I can do to support your endeavor is buy your books (done, done, done & done) and watch Broke (also done). I also left a good podcast review on iTunes a while back. I like your no bullshit delivery. Saying stuff like “hey guys, buy my books already” is so refreshing (or genius marketing). I got a kick out of your “amazon purchase” challenge in a recent podcast. Ironically, I had ordered Commandments and TurtleTrader only a few days before which I look forward to reading.

I also promote your stuff to anyone who will listen but I must admit that finding an audience is not that easy. Example, I loaned Trend Following (my bad, should have gifted) to a friend who is a computer programmer and talks about investing a lot, thinking it would click for him. I was disappointed when he returned the book unread. I was also hoping he might work with me to tinker with system development and testing. So much for that.

I’m currently trading a group of fairly liquid ETFs listed on the TSX offered by Horizons. They have interesting leveraged products with exposure to basic commodities, sectors, and indices. Both directional and inverse which allow you to go short without getting stuck not being able to borrow shares. My system is very basic and I believe fairly robust. I’ve back tested it manually, incorporating proper position sizing across all the ETFs that I track (major work) and it showed positive returns.

I love that the trading component of my approach only requires 20 minutes a day adjusting orders and stops. This really fits my personality, mindset and schedule since I have a day job. I have yet to be profitable (equity curve attached), but I think the fact that I’m sticking with it is an indication that I get it. My diversification needs improvement so I’m considering Futures trading to get away from high-ish correlation of the ETFs I track. First, I need to get some trades (and equity) under my belt.

Anyway, keep the podcasts coming, but please find time to write new chapters to your “bible“.

Discovering trend following is reward enough and I just wanted to say thanks.

Cheers! Georges


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