Ep. 84: The Search for the New New Thing with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Michael Covel talks about the incessant search for the “new new thing”. He quotes author and blogger Seth Godin and his article, “The Decline of Fascination and the Rise in Ennui”. Covel notes how the only constant in life and trading is change. Uncertainty is the root of trend following and if you have a philosophy that’s grounded in change, you’ll have a strategy that responds well to the world of ebbs and flows. You’ll have a strategy that won’t leave you blindly sitting there and will let you participate when a market either goes up or down. It won’t leave you at the mercy of the latest “new new thing”. So, which strategy can make you money in unending change? Trend following is a fantastic option. Covel goes on to quote Michael Mauboussin and notes the importance of process vs. outcome and the tricky subject of luck: “If you compete in a field where luck plays a role, you should focus more on the process of how you make the decisions and rely less on the short term outcomes. The reason is that luck breaks the direct link between skill and results. You can be skillful and have a poor outcome, or unskillful and have a good outcome.” Covel discusses the criticism of people that expect positive trend following performance every month. Look in the books, look at the charts–trend following is a long term strategy. As Covel has said in the past any strategy that gives you a steady 1% a month is probably Bernie Madoff or Long Term Capital Management (i.e. soon to be exposed or busted). Covel goes on to quote an article by PFP Wealth Management regarding the essence of trend following. Covel also uses the classic Pixies song, “Debaser” and notes that it has about as much to do with your trading as turning on CNBC or Bloomberg. Think about it.

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