Whit: Hi Michael, how are you? I recently started listening to your iPad podcasts and really enjoying them! A great way to spend time during my commute (and at work!). Had recently emailed Tony Basile as thought would be good to connect w/ another equity trader who also does trend following and started his own business. I recall you are currently living in Asia (which countries? I am a big kite boarder so have intended to go to the good spots over there sometime) and focusing on meditation type activities, is that right? Really curious to know what you’re up to. I have also recently “discovered” meditation, yoga, slowly altering my habits to incorporate these activities into my life, and wow, what a difference…and as I’m sure you notice as well, there is something quite intriguing about trend following and mindfulness, i.e. awareness of the fallacies of prediction vs. just recognizing what is! Anyway, have heard good things about Van Tharp’s new book Trading the Matrix, have you read this? I believe the big notion is “trading as a metaphor for life” and the ultimate goal of achieving higher consciousness through the practice of trading etc. Sometimes I feel like if I devoted all of my time towards a more conscious design around learning/reading/wisdom (maybe becoming a monk too!) might be a better path to enlightenment. Also heard about Hawkins who has written about and measured “collective” consciousness, which is fascinating, especially as it has improved and perhaps is necessary to prevent humanity from self-imploding. Curious how you think about some of the questions. Anyway, just two last questions: any interesting equity trend following approaches you are observing? I recall Jerry Parker started an equity fund, but saw performance so far hasn’t been that good? Wondering what sort of creative/innovative ideas you see here. Lastly, besides your podcasts, are there other investment podcasts you recommend? Or what about meditation/related? I think Sally Kempton, Tara Brach and Stephen Cope are great. Thanks and hope you are well.
Covel: Not sure I understand the questions in there! Help me out?
Whit: Hey Mike, here are my questions: What are you up to in Asia? Any favorite places or countries, especially I were to think about moving there with family for a couple years ? Curious to know if you are doing any interesting meditation type programs on your journey? In terms of trend following, are you seeing more equity guys implement trend following type strategies, and if so, anything particularly innovative or creative?
Covel: Many of my Asia experiences I have been sharing on my podcast and on facebook. Connect on Facebook? There are also pics/insights about Asia on www.covel.com. My journey has involved lots of yoga, etc. Trend following has always been for stocks. My firm shares many insights about innovation/creativity with clients. Your question is open ended?
Whit: Ok thanks Michael. Our firm is not focused on trend following etc., but personally I am very interested in it, so not sure if you could ever have a brief phone call? It is unlikely we would become a client, but I could try to connect you with our fund of funds in NYC, Hermes BPK, which doe invest in CTAs and might be of interest or do you have any plans to be in Boston?
Covel: My firm has assorted offerings for those who want to further their trend following knowledge. If you have specific questions please feel free to hit me back here. No Boston plans as of now.
Whit: Ok thanks Michael. I keep listening to your podcasts. Brad Rathe, Tom Basso etc. just fantastic! One thing I’d love to know is if you have a couple of contacts you might be able to put me in touch with re: potential trader seeding? I keep hearing how a number of successful traders, some of whom built their own CTA businesses, evolved to where they seed other traders. Starting my own fund either with seeders or backers is something I am considering over the next few years i.e. either starting my own fund, doing independent trading or managing a sleeve of a larger fund. My style is much like Scott Ramsey i.e. shorter-term discretionary technically-based trading. I have a few different visions for fund ideas, both for long-only (and alternative mutual funds) as well as hedge fund-like strategies e.g. L/S equity but with a lot less constraints than the more commoditized products that have proliferated (and arguably are in a state of overcapacity still today). Please let me know if a couple contacts come to mind.
Covel: I know of no trader seeding. Being very blunt. If you accept that wisdom and DIY, you have a chance.