Jeffrey Tucker is an American economics writer of the Austrian School, an advocate of anarcho-capitalism and Bitcoin, and has authored seven books. Jeffrey’s new book, coming out September 2017, is titled “Right Wing Collectivism: The Other Threat to Liberty.”
Michael and Jeffrey start the conversation talking information. Regimes come and go, but information we share with one another cuts through governments. Interactions with others and the tools we use to spread information are what shapes history, rather than governments trying to put their spin on it. Government officials are not visionaries, they do not define the world, they do not create history. They spend their term in office gearing up to get elected for their next term in office. The more responsibility taken out of government’s hands the better. This leads us to Bitcoin…
Why is Bitcoin so important? Bitcoin represents freedom. It’s an international currency, trades the same globally and has increased in value over time. Jeffery has been studying monetary theory since he was an undergraduate. He wrote his thesis on the gold standard and assumed he had the monetary system figured out. So naturally, when Bitcoin came out, he dismissed the idea. After a few years went by, he was forced to acknowledge the advancement of crypto currency. He now looks at markets far differently than he did in the first part of his career. He knows that the markets know much more than any person could ever understand.
Jeffrey switches the conversation to another passionate subject for him, child labor laws. Youth have bought into the idea of needing a college degree to get the right job. Parents see pushing higher education on their children as a way of guaranteeing their children’s success. Unfortunately, degrees are not necessary in today’s age. Youth unemployment and child labor is a major leading factor to issues later in life. Many kids never have their first job until after they graduate from college and every year thousands of college students graduate still dependent on their parents.
Michael and Jeffrey finish up the podcast discussing corporate taxes and building digital walls. The American economy would experience spectacular gains if corporate taxes were slashed. Cutting personal income tax would be nice, however corporate income taxes being cut is the first phase of reform. Our economy also is being hurt by slowing down the flow of information and trying to block it. Is the world going in the direction of building digital walls? Are governments slowing down growth potential by blocking information? Absolutely.
In this episode of Trend Following Radio:
Excessive waves of hysteria
Building blocks for a civilized society
“Government doesn’t really try anymore, and that is a good thing.” – Jeffrey Tucker
Jason Calacanis is a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, angel investor, author, blogger and has years of perspective when it comes to investing in start ups. His new book is “Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups–Timeless Advice from an Angel Investor Who Turned $100,000 into $100,000,000”. Even if you never plan on becoming an angel investor, his book is a great look at how the modern economy works.
Technology is accelerating at an ever-increasing rate and Jason argues that there are approximately 30 million jobs that will disappear in upcoming years due to advancements in technology. He wrote his book to try and help people step away from the usual way of thinking and look at where the world is moving. For example, the cheapest car you could buy today is far and above more sophisticated than the most expensive car you could have bought 20 years ago. When Jason evaluates a company, he looks at a couple things: What is in the best interest of society? And what is the best technology that we can use to get there?
What is Silicon Valley like through the eyes of someone living and breathing it? Jason talks about Silicon Valley as the center of the world. There is an infectious need to look for the next $100 billion dollar idea rather than the next million dollar idea. It’s also very liberal, political and quirky. It is where the largest amount of high power tech companies derive from.
What is the biggest factor in becoming a successful angel investor? Success in angel investing comes down to portfolio diversification. You need to cast a wide net, knowing you are going to have a lot of loser companies. There are massive implied odds. The upside to finding a winning company far exceeds any amount of losses you may incur. Michael relates this to the Babe Ruth effect and Jason puts his own spin on it, “Finding a winning company is more like the equivalent of a grand slam scoring 100 runs rather than just four.”
In this episode of Trend Following Radio:
Creating a global footprint
Who is able to export their ideas around the world
David Harding goes further, explaining EMT madness in an every-man way: “This theory of rational markets treats economics like a physical science—like Newtonian physics—when in fact it is a human or social science. Human beings are prone to unpredictable behavior, to over-reaction or slumbering inaction, to mania and panic. The markets that reflect this behavior do not assume some supra-human wisdom, they can and sometimes do reflect that volatility.”
Further translation: Human nature isn’t rational. It blows bubbles and then pops bubbles.
Art Collins is author of “Beating the Financial Futures Market: Combining Small Biases Into Powerful Money Making Strategies”, “When Supertraders Meet Kryptonite”, “Market Rap: The Odyssey of a Still-Struggling Commodity Trader” and “Market Beaters.” He has been trading systematically for the past 30 years.
How was Art Collins able to get Richard Dennis, Bill Dunn, Bob Pardo, Mike Dever and Larry Williams (to name a few) to talk? He made the interviews more like a partnership, than an interview. He made an impressive name for himself which led to positive word of mouth spreading.
What does robustness mean to Art? He uses four rules for prudent testing: 1. Don’t settle on your best result if it is a “diamond in the rough”. 2. Strategies should test well in various markets, particularly similar ones. 3. You don’t want your results to be bunched up in limited time frames. 4. Stay focused on testing concepts you understand in the markets.
Throughout the years Art wasn’t only focused on trading markets. He also studied how to beat the blackjack table and how to skew the odds in his favor when betting on sports. Trading football lines, and trading the price of stocks – what’s the difference? There isn’t much of a difference when you take a technical and systematic approach to them. It’s about keeping emotions out of it. He never wanted to be a cowboy trader or thought of as a “genius”, he just wanted his systems to work. Michael and Art spend the rest of this episode diving into card counting, mechanical systems, gambling on football, data mining and the fools errand of making $1,000 a day.
John Kenneth Galbraith noting that in euphoric times, “past experience, to the extent that it is part of memory at all, is dismissed as the primitive refuge of those who do not have the insight to appreciate the incredible wonders of the present.”
Here’s a great observation on the subject from Berkshire-Hathaway’s 2010 letter to shareholders: We agree with investment writer Ray DeVoe’s observation, “More money has been lost reaching for yield than at the point of a gun.”
Paul Singer is described as one of the smartest money managers. He has a 2.2B net worth. His perspective on trading mirrors trend following even though he is not a stated trend trader. Listen and learn.
Daniel DiPiazza is founder of the blog and podcast Rich20Something, which is also the title of his first book, “Rich20Something: Ditch Your Average Job, Start an Epic Business, and Score the Life You Want.” How did Daniel understand in his 20’s that he needed to make a big move to set himself up for life? He knew he needed something else. He wanted more than others were able to give him so he decided to start off on his own. His brand sprung up out of frustration.
Michael and Daniel spend time talking about the disadvantages of college. College can be one of the quickest ways to set yourself back a few years and get into massive debt. They seem more like zoo’s these days than places of education. Most kids think at the end of their school career, from kindergarden through college, there is going to be some big prize at the end. Usually there is massive debt and an entry level job waiting for you. Time spent in school should be about actual life skills, like how to manage money, rather than long hand algebra that most will never use. School has turned into a huge business that is more predatory rather than innocent.
Michael and Daniel finish the podcast breaking apart social media. When you compare technology and distractions in terms of pre and post internet, social media can be seen as a huge distraction. If you embrace social media as a different way to talk, engage, and communicate then it is easier to see it as a tool rather than a hindrance.