Ep. 813: Joan Wiliams Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Joan Wiliams
Joan Wiliams

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Around the world, populist movements are gaining traction among the white working class. Meanwhile, members of the professional elite―journalists, managers, and establishment politicians–are on the outside looking in, left to argue over the reasons. In White Working Class, Joan C. Williams, described as having “something approaching rock star status” by the New York Times, explains why so much of the elite’s analysis of the white working class is misguided, rooted in class cluelessness.

Williams explains that many people have conflated “working class” with “poor”–but the working class is, in fact, the elusive, purportedly disappearing middle class. They often resent the poor and the professionals alike. But they don’t resent the truly rich, nor are they particularly bothered by income inequality. Their dream is not to join the upper middle class, with its different culture, but to stay true to their own values in their own communities–just with more money. While white working-class motivations are often dismissed as racist or xenophobic, Williams shows that they have their own class consciousness.

White Working Class is a blunt, bracing narrative that sketches a nuanced portrait of millions of people who have proven to be a potent political force. For anyone stunned by the rise of populist, nationalist movements, wondering why so many would seemingly vote against their own economic interests, or simply feeling like a stranger in their own country, White Working Class will be a convincing primer on how to connect with a crucial set of workers–and voters.

Joan C. Williams is Distinguished Professor of Law and Hastings Foundation Chair at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • White Working Class

Mentions & Resources:

“It was amazing, seriously I am thankful for knowing about your work…”

Feedback in:


I am tonight listening again to Tara’s interview again.

I sent it to a 60-year old trader friend in London and he sent it around. It was amazing, seriously I am thankful for knowing about your work.

You are a very busy man. I wish I could be an extension of trend following in [name].

I wish you were my mentor and direct friend I could phone and talk to.



“Your contrarian thinking style, your perspective and your philosophy…It’s a joy to listen to…”

Trend Following
Trend Following

Feedback in:

Hey Michael:

Your podcast is amazing!

808 episodes so far!

My god what an achievement!

Some people are influenced by a Confucius, an Aristotle or a Karl Marx.

I’m influenced by Michael Covel.

Your solo episodes are a masterpiece.

I keep listening to them non stop.

Your contrarian thinking style, your perspective and your philosophy.

It’s a joy to listen to.

So as I probably told you before, my goal is to become like you in terms of public speaking skills, and maybe better.

And thanks to your email advice I evolved to become a regular speaker for my company, presented at events where I got 100+ audiences and did ok.

But I’m so so far from a Michael Covel.

I’m like a million miles from how you perform, speak and tell stories…

looking at my starting line where I was nowhere and got to a good set of speaking skills.

but in the meantime Jan 2019 I had a burnout, I’m putting so much pressure on myself that I broke.

So I keep thinking about your episode “follow your effort not your passion.”

And I say to myself, this is so much hard work for me and I’m getting to a point where countless hours of practice just give marginal improvement versus my goal.

My approach of brute force clearly had an impact on my body and need to slow down.

What do you advice somebody in my position?

With a wife and 2 daughters now in the family and the recovery from burnout I need to be much more effective and do more with less. I know it feels like I’m asking for a shortcut which is stupid.

Listening to you, it feels like your style, what you say and how you say it is effortless for you…has it always been like this? Did you face doubts and challenges about your public speaking skills? And if yes how did you overcome them?

Any advice is really welcome Michael.

Thank you!


Thanks for the nice words.

I first spoke in a public forum age 19. I ran for political office age 21. A Washington Post interview then. TV interviews then. Lots of fear, but I was composed.

Here are speaking appearances for my trend following world starting 2004.

Was I always the same? No.

Then the podcast starts 2012… and 800 epsiodes later here I am. I am comfortable in my thoughts now.

Practice and something to say? My only advice.

“I’m really enjoying the podcast. The trading and non-trading guests equally…”

Feedback in:

If you’re asking for my strategy here it is.

If the linear regression slope of the 20 MA is > 0 then sell bull put spreads at 15-25 delta, 35-45 days to expiration, take profits at 50%.

The bearish version would seem to be if 20 MA is < 0 then sell bear call spreads at 15-25 delta, 35-45 days to expiration take profits at 50%. This is the general strategy, but the MA is sometimes the 50, and sometimes a tweak for more volatile equities: stock price needs to be above 20 MA and linear regression slope of MA 20 > 0. And sometimes the value is > 1 or 0.5 instead of 0. Individually back test the equities for best performance.

By the way, I’m really enjoying the podcast. The trading and non-trading guests equally.


Thanks for the nice words about my podcast, but your strategy is not the wise path.

Try this.

“I’m a 14 year old and I’m really interested in investing…”

Feedback in:

I’m a 14 year old and I’m really interested in investing and the stock market as a hole. But I don’t really know the first thing. I follow a few podcasts like your and I’m going to start reading some books about it as well. But I’m wondering if you can give we maybe some advice or some resources that I can go to learn a bit more about whatever I can so when I turn 18 I can start to invest. Thanks anything will help.

Alberto V.

My Trend Following book and my TurtleTrader book.

All of the links in my navigation bar and footer at my Trend Following site.

That will keep you busy!

“I’m telling you for many 5%, 10% and more per month is common…”

Drinking the Kool-aid...
Drinking the Kool-aid…
This is a real exchange with a random reader.


Q: Mr. Covel, I for one appreciate your service. I read the opening about the person that’s been trading 30 years with out success. While I appreciate and sympathize with the anguish. [Name] has all methodology of trades, from scalpers, wobblers, trend traders etc. I have been trading less than 2.5 years and can say I am a funded trader. Recently I have turned the corner to consistent trading, which as many know is no small accomplishment. We have many traders that are extremely profitable with many years experience before they arrived at the [Name]. What I have learned its not necessarily in the methodology but in the process, it not about pips nor is it about money however equity is the way we all keep score. As you well know its all about the mental control of the process of which cash management is a major portion. This is a subject the Fund excels at teaching. No one running about toting their stats but I’m telling you for many 5%, 10% and more per month is common. While I’m not in that ball park (yet) I was able to turn the corner after enough pain and absorbing the cash management process taught here. Thanks for taking the time to do what your do.

Covel: I am not familiar with [Name].

Q: [Name], founded by [Name], [Name]’s goal is to teach traders and become free of financial restrictions. I am bias as a student, however [Name] and team are some of the most honorable folks I have ever come across. I know much of the history etc., and while the group is [Name], religion like politics is taboo on the threads and discussions. It is the best trading education that can be purchased at a very, extremely reasonable cost. And if your even moderately good you get to trade their cash, if you lose it you do not have to pay it back! And if your not a bad person you can be recycled and refunded! You can’t ask for more, Its all based on cash management. If you look into them a bit I’m here for questions. Thanks for the reply!

Covel: What is this strategy?

Q: The cash management is controlled in out trading account provided via the [Name] system. We have what’s called a [Name] to funding a trader must go through a few levels with exercises in each level. Upon successful completion a trader gets a funded account at 1K then 2.5K then 5K , 10K and so on to a max funded amount of $250,000. It is my understanding we have about 1,000 funded traders now at various levels. I am not privileged to the exact distribution of funded traders but for example there are say 6 at the 150K level and the largest amount at the 2.5K or 5K level. The goal is to get a trader to the 10K level as soon as consistency allows so both the trade and [Name] make money. In the [Name] which is designed to provide a broad overview of trading methods there are some rules to pass as a trader progresses. All traders no matter their experience start with a sand box (can have multiples) of 10K. During the process no trade can exceed 2% of the account equity. No group of trades can exceed 5% of the account equity. Completing the [Name]. Also a trader must use a Stop Loss. Essentially after funded a trader may be increased in account equity every 90 days with positive expectancy each consecutive month. But its not written in stone and is up to the [Name] money manager. The process is designed to protect the fund from land the trader from large losses. Once a trader gets the hang of it, we call it the [name] its makes for very good trading. I might add as [Name] has said its not all the easy. But like anything else with persistence will emerge handsomely. Along the way we will learn the mathematical methods to monitor and adjust our particular trading method to tweak the process and become more profitable. AS A SIDE NOTE. I am no spring chicken. I signed up for a demo account 3 years ago on Jan 1st, after 6 months took 6 months off with some personal; issues and came back got funded. As a very aggressive business type I have also learned I am a gambler. Unlike Kenny Rogers I have had issues. Learning the odds and when to get out and stay out has been my biggest problem. I have just actually turned that corner and will emerge a 1% equity growth per day trader. As with all endeavors of there is some risk and many fall by the wayside. But [Name] does everything in its power to educate the trader short of individual mentorship and that is available as well for a higher but reasonable price. That program as you might imagine has been thru a least 3 iterations that I am aware of. The good news for those that can not afford this program all the information is available for the monthly stipend to [Name] for the back end service and various weekly class sessions. A promo sight which can be accessed by anyone and a free trial is offered is a real treat to watch [Name] trade with a new or rookie. Anyway the goal here is to get traders funded and the costs are very low especially when compared to an [Name] or [Name] which is way, way out of my league. We have traders that have tried both and some have very good things to say about them but the cash management training is missing for the most part. That’s where [Name] excels. So not to belabor the process I am as you can tell very pro [Name] and his management team. I hope I have answered your question with an insightful reply. I have contacted you on my own and with out [Name] knowledge. My goal was to bring them to your attention as this is a modern Turtle Traders program but on an individual level of each traders abilities as that trader desires to learn and grow to become consistently profitable. My best to you and your program.

Covel: In that description I don’t see a description of the actual strategy?

Q: Cash management is not a strategy, it’s a technique. Like having a 3:1 RRR for trend trading. The trend trading is the strategy and the cash management is the risk management. Such as a take profit of 75 pips with a stop loss of 25 pips 3:1, it’s a technique. [Name] doesn’t enforce any trading strategy as did the Turtle trades. We learn to reads the chart with or with out indicators. However various methodologies are introduced for the trader to choose which fits their personality and risk profile the best. I scalp the NY Open and when I up, mark the Asian session high and low mostly with GBP crosses and then trade the break out. Both work well for me. Listen I’m just giving a heads up for folks that have done so much for me and many folks that I am now associated with, no more no less.

Covel: Day trading pips by reading charts is an awful trading path. This strategy you are using ends one way. You will learn the lesson.

Q: Learning my lesson while we were chatting, then I went to bed. BTW when I scalp it is not a high frequency thing. Scalping might not be the proper word but its not day trading either. The trader I learned this from has done well over 1% daily for many years. Your quite opinionated, no problem, my NY Open scalping does quite well and considerably more than this. I just started my Asian thing I described but the trader I learned it from has done quite well for many years. Assuming you consider consistency over 10% weekly well. There are many ways to trade successfully but with out proper cash management none will be consistently successful. I am old, wish I had learned to trade earlier in life. I don’t need to be famous any longer. Good day Mr. Covel, no need to email back, your eyes are not prepared to see. No matter I almost enjoyed sharing this sentiment with you. Be well.

Covel: “Opinionated?” Nice! Some fight back. Now if you are wise you will go find out what my words are rooted in. Or keep up the fantasy of 1% daily…

Q: Mr. Covel I have followed your podcasts for a few years and listened to many of them, I have gone to the web site and listened to a great deal of them. I will continue to do so as many of your scholars have words of wisdom to share. And all the traders you have interviewed have one thing in common, cash management, no matter their trading methods or temperament, they have mastered their personal psychology of cash management. When I was much younger and fresh out of the military I purchased and read the complete set of the Britannica “Great Books” then I got a little smarter and learned to speed read. I will ear 1% of my equity this morning as I have done for a while now but not long enough to say it is my habit, its not a pip dream I am doing it and many or doing so much more with entirely different methodologies. So just maybe this old guy has shared something your jaded mind can not learn and doesn’t want to try to comprehend. I apologize for these words not trying to be hurtful. Thanks for the chats.

Covel: I have not ever had a trading guest on my podcast who thinks 1% daily is possible. Not one. So you are not just arguing your point with me…

Q: No problem Mr. Covel, I have nothing to prove and no ax to grind. I’m a rookie at this attached is three of my most recent NY open sessions. As I said I am just turning the corner. No argument here, BTW did I mention the fund trades many billions per month. But this conversation is going no where I simply wanted to say thank you and open your eyes to another way to teach folks how to trade.

Covel: We need to open the eyes of all of my podcast trading guests too? They don’t yet know the secret of making 1% per day.

Q: Yes and I have done this weekly for some time. Perhaps the issue with “they” traders, they have too much money to trade with and it becomes not easy to manage. Many traders will platform at a level as in athletics while some will reach a point where they mentally can not go further. Frankly I am sorry I tried to share this unique fund with you. This conversation has become depressing for me and I’m certain from you level of disbelief that is is fruitless to go on.

Covel: I feel sorry for your situation. But if you think you can make 1% a day you have gone off the rails. There is zero proof for that.

Q: Believe what you will, you are wrong, I know many that do. In one year from now I’ll send you the stats. Until then Live well.

Covel You have no proof. None. If you did you would show it now. This writing of yours is cultish. I will leave you to the Kool-aid: