Ep. 948: James Salzman Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

James Salzman
James Salzman

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A hidden set of rules governs who owns what–explaining everything from whether you can recline your airplane seat to why HBO lets you borrow a password illegally–and in this lively and entertaining guide, two acclaimed law professors reveal how things become “mine.”

“Mine” is one of the first words babies learn. By the time we grow up, the idea of ownership seems natural, whether buying a cup of coffee or a house. But who controls the space behind your airplane seat: you reclining or the squished laptop user behind? Why is plagiarism wrong, but it’s okay to knock-off a recipe or a dress design? And after a snowstorm, why does a chair in the street hold your parking space in Chicago, but in New York you lose the space and the chair?

My guest today James Salzman explains these puzzles and many more. Surprisingly, there are just six simple stories that everyone uses to claim everything. Owners choose the story that steers us to do what they want. But we can always pick a different story. This is true not just for airplane seats, but also for battles over digital privacy, climate change, and wealth inequality. As Michael Heller and James Salzman show–in the spirited style of Freakonomics, Nudge, and Predictably Irrational–ownership is always up for grabs.

With stories that are eye-opening, mind-bending, and sometimes infuriating, James Salzman reveals the rules of ownership that secretly control our lives.

Bio: James Salzman is the Donald Bren Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law with joint appointments at the UCLA School of Law and at the Bren School of the Environment at UC Santa Barbara. He is one of the world’s leading authorities on environmental protection. In thirteen books and more than 100 articles and book chapters, his broad-ranging scholarship has addressed topics spanning drinking water, trade and environment conflicts, policy instrument design, and creating markets for ecosystem services. There have been over 100,000 downloads of his articles.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Rules of Ownership
  • Airlines Seat
  • Creators Have Control
  • Restaurants and Food Trucks
  • Ownership of Spoken Word
  • Facebook and Google
  • Copyright

Mentions & Resources:

“The problem with my account being this size is that I am finding it increasingly hard to manage…”

Feedback in:

I have a list of investment rules the first of which is “The Stock Market is Broken” which has led me to believe in the Trend method of trading. Most investment firms that advertise Trend investing are looking for entry points before the trend which leads to the problem of sorting through the weak picks. Your team is more interested in following the trend which is what I believe in. I presently self-direct my one-million dollar account using the Trend Method which involves buying on the way up, adding on the way up and selling on the way down. The problem with my account being this size is that I am finding it increasingly hard to manage thus the reason in seeking assistance such as what you are offering. My question: I trade strictly in the equity market (individual stocks in Canadian and US funds) and generally avoid ETFs and Mutual funds although I am open to the option of doing so. I have never traded Forex, options, puts or shorts and will avoid them until I am better educated. Do you offer a one size fits all product or different ones tailored to the individual and if so what do you suggest for me?

Thank you

You need:

  • Exact rules for selecting your tracking portfolio.
  • Exact rules for entering your trades at the right time.
  • Exact rules for exiting your trades with a loss.
  • Exact rules for exiting your trades with a profit.
  • Exact rules for how much money to bet on each trade.

Read more here and here.

“My biggest hurdle has been identifying and learning to broadly track markets and opportunities automatically…”

Feedback in:


My biggest hurdle has been identifying, learning, and using the resources to broadly track markets and opportunities automatically. I still find myself pushed to manually sift through markets. This is not time nor cost effective and I know misses the majority of opportunities. There is so much out there in terms of software and resources, however there is also a lot of snake oil and tools that are just too expensive for a novice investor. I have thoroughly enjoyed your book Trend Following and a believer in nurture over nature. Looking forward to the mini course and getting started.



I can help. Start here.

“My biggest challenge is learning the right trading strategy the first time without looking for other options…”

Feedback in:

My biggest challenge is learning the right trading strategy the first time without looking for other options. I was a fan of the Turtle Trader in the 90s and if I push forward with my plans to learning trading I want to learn it from you only. Because your the best. The other thing that caught my interest was that you mentioned on your website you can trade from a deserted island. I am currently on an island in the pacific and that’s awesome


I can help. Read 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

“It’s never understanding why the price of an equity moves against its valuation. Can’t really get a grip on that…”

Feedback in:

Hello Mr. Covel,

I’m from India, and I’m a new comer in the field of equity trading (just one year since I started learning). Coming straight to the point. I have started reading the book “Trend Following” just today only. I don’t know if my personality would fit to this method of trading, but thought, why not try it? The biggest challenge I faced? Yea, it’s never understanding why the price of an equity moves against its valuation. Can’t really get a grip on that. Thanks for your time.

Wishing you good health,
Dr. Tinu

Trend following is a very different mindset.

You don’t need to know about valuation to be a trend following trader.