Michael Covel starts off today’s podcast by playing “Soothe Me”, a classic song. There’s no doubt about it: it’s soothing to have all-time highs in the equity market. Today, Covel wants a different perspective from what is out there in mainstream media. First, Covel talks about the S&P 500 index. The S&P is a trading system. It is a specific grouping of stocks put together with certain weightings and certain rules, and it trades in a certain way. And it has to stick to those rules. Covel talks about how the S&P is a system despite most people not knowing that it is one. Covel compares this system to a trend following system (and notes how trend following is applicable to stocks too). Covel talks about the dangers of correlation if you apply your trend following strategy to only equities, and the importance of diversification across different markets. Next, Covel looks at the S&P system vs. trend following systems in the context of crisis, and questions where the S&P would be without zero interest rate policy and Fed intervention. Is the S&P trading system that good that it will be at all time highs forever? Covel moves on to talk about black swans and anti-fragility in the context of the S&P trading system. Finishing up, Covel discusses absolute risk and relative risk.