This email may be a bit long, but I wanted to express my appreciation for your podcast, your way of viewing the world and for exposing me to many of the critical thinkers I wish I had learned of a long time ago.
Thank you for introducing me to trend following.
I love rules. I’ve always known this, but I also haven’t always understood just how rules can help you achieve anything and everything. I always understood finance and investing to be a complete gamble. You can’t trust fundamentals, you can’t control the weather, you can’t predict crisis, but you can understand price, and you can respond to shifts in price. Price gets you paid. Trend following, and your book The Complete TurtleTrader showed me that rules won’t make you win every single time, but when you follow good rules, you lose a whole lot less than when you role the dice.
A few heuristics I’ve placed on my wall, one is a paraphrase of Richard Dennis: “Following rules is always better than making judgements.” Another by Winston Churchill: “Facts are better than dreams.”
I am a chiropractor in private practice and I practice two techniques, both of which I am very successful at. I have had patients travel from afar who have seen other practitioners who use the same, or similar techniques as myself, and I am able to get results when the other doctors don’t. Some of those other doctors are fairly prominent in the profession, and are even instructors.
It’s a little disconcerting, when someone comes to you for help after they haven’t been helped by someone you look up to.
“Geez, if he can’t help you, what do you think I’m gonna be able to do?”
When I talk with my colleagues I realize they aren’t practicing the technique the way it was taught, they’re making judgements. I follow the rules, and I see success where others don’t. I’m nothing special… I just trust the process. You’ve helped me to understand my focus should always be on process and the outcome will take care of itself.
I’m ashamed to tell you that I haven’t yet personally implemented a fiscal investment strategy (don’t yell at me). I’m trying to save up enough to invest with a systems-styled firm. They typically require a significant amount to start an account, and I just haven’t yet had the guts yet to try it on my own without any hand-holding in the process. I also have a wife and 6 young children, so most of my money gets invested in my family and my practice.
Thank you for introducing me to Nassim Taleb. I love his acerbic assurance that you can’t predict. Period. All you can do is have rules in place to respond to what happens. I so appreciate an Anti-Fragile philosophy and how Taleb has applied it to nearly all aspects of his life, including fitness. I would have never heard of Taleb if it hadn’t been for your podcast.
You’ve become kind of like a business/philosophy coach to me. I think I enjoy your monologues, if not more, at least as well as I enjoy your interviews.
I don’t agree with every viewpoint you hold, (I am a confessional Christian) but that’s OK, I’ve always been real good at not throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Again, my sincerest appreciation for your body of content.
Please keep it up.
Thanks for the great feedback!