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High Commitment was the Secret to Making Mike Aponte a Great Card Counter

Mike Aponte, Card Counter
Mike Aponte

Caught this great excerpt from Mike Aponte that applies to trend following and or any other life pursuit:

One of the questions I’m often asked is, “What is the most important trait in becoming a professional card counter?” The first thing that jumps to mind for most people is genius mathematical ability. True, being good at math is a plus, but the math involved in card counting is simple, middle school arithmetic. We’re not talking advanced calculus or differential equations. Having trained many people how to count cards at a professional level, there are three traits that are more important than mathematical ability. At the top, I rank high commitment level as #1.

With every person that I have trained that went on to become an accomplished card counter, it was very evident from my first interaction with them, that they were not only willing, but excited about putting in the time and energy necessary to master the knowledge and skills necessary to gain the winning edge. My most successful student to date, “Al”, is someone who barely graduated high school, getting D’s in math. During the time that I spent with AL, it became apparent that he was an underachiever when he was younger, but at the same time Al certainly was nowhere in the math league of Good Will Hunting. But what Al had going for him, was a real, serious commitment to turning his fortunes around at the blackjack tables. And to his credit he did exactly that. Many people have a get-rich-quick mentality, focusing only on the potential upside, not on what it takes to get there. No matter the endeavor, there are no shortcuts to achieving your goals.

Who is Aponte? The bio: “Mike Aponte, also known as MIT Mike, is a professional blackjack player and a former member of the MIT Blackjack Team. Aponte was part of a team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) students that legally won millions playing blackjack at casinos around the world by counting cards. He is the basis for one of the main characters, Jason Fisher, in the book, Bringing Down the House, by Ben Mezrich, which inspired the motion picture, 21.”

Mike was one of my earliest podcast guests. You can listen here:

I still remember where we did that interview–great Mexican restaurant on PCH right near the intersection with Newport Coast Drive. Wow what a view! Had to pull a shot from Google:

PCH View in California
PCH View in California

That is exactly how it looks.


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Trend Following RadioEp. 605: Interview with Mark Kritzman Interview

Mark Kritzman
Mark Kritzman

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My guest today is Mark Kritzman, a Senior Lecturer in Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management, founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Windham Capital Management and serves as a senior partner of State Street Associates. Mark has written six books, his latest titled “A Practitioners Guide to Asset Allocation”. Mark began his career on Wall Street in 1974 and was immediately drawn toward systematic trading. At a time when there were not many quantitative traders, he was affectionately titled a “token quant” within his company. Over the years Mark has been an advisor to many funds.

The topic is his book A Practitioner’s Guide to Asset Allocation (Wiley Finance).

In this episode of Trend Following Radio we discuss:

  • Definition of an asset class
  • Actively managed portfolios
  • Passively managed portfolios
  • Time diversification
  • Portfolio diversification
  • The fallacy of large numbers
  • Leverage
  • Value at risk
  • Risk management
  • Fear and greed
  • Risk and reward
  • Exposure to risk

“Time does not diversify risk.” – Mark Kritzman

“If we just step back, start with the basics and move on from there, that introduces comfort to the investment process.” – Mark Kritzman

Mentions & Resources:

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Ep. 592: Don’t Curb Your Enthusiasm with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Don’t Curb Your Enthusiasm with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio
Don’t Curb Your Enthusiasm with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Subscribe to Trend Following Radio on iTunes

Please enjoy my monologue Don’t Curb Your Enthusiasm with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio. This episode may also include great outside guests from my archive.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Luck in life
  • What happens when plans deviate
  • Chaos is not a pit
  • The realm

Mentions & Resources:

Listen to this episode:

Want to learn more Trend Following? Watch my video here.

Ep 582: Peter Borish Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Peter Borish Net Worth is thought to be in the region of $14 million
Peter Borish

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My guest today is Peter Borish, the chief strategist of Quad Capital. He works as a trading coach and helps recruit new traders and develop the company’s trading strategy. He also is a founding member of the Robin Hood Foundation. The Robin Hood Foundation has made great strides in their charity work and are continuing to do bigger and better things. Peter believes that the quality of life for those around you is much more important than the material possessions that can be accumulated.

The topic is trading.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio we discuss:

  • Politics
  • Robin Hood Foundation
  • Risk management
  • Discretionary trading
  • Having objectivity in your trading
  • Kelly criteria
  • Own up to your mistakes

“Everyone trades too large relative to their perceived edge.” – Peter Borish

Mentions & Resources:

Listen to this episode:

Other Recommended Listens and Reads:

Simon Black Interview

Against the Gods

Peter Borish, a View

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Ep. 534: The Swan Problem with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

The Swan Problem with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio
The Swan Problem with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Subscribe to Trend Following Radio on iTunes

Please enjoy my monologue The Swan Problem with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio. This episode may also include great outside guests from my archive.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Knowledge is therapy
  • Black swans
  • Uncertainty
  • Probability
  • Global warning

“History does not glide, it leaps.” – Nassim Taleb

Mentions & Resources:

Listen to this episode:

Want to learn more Trend Following? Watch my video here.

Ep. 512: Tim Price Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Tim Price
Tim Price

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My guest today is Tim Price. He has worked in capital markets for over 25 years across three management firms. A graduate of Christ Church, Oxford, he spent a decade as a bond specialist before going on to serve as Chief Investment Officer at three separate wealth management firms. Tim has been shortlisted for five successive years in the UK Private Asset Managers Awards programme and was a winner in 2005 in the category of Defensive Investing. He is now manager of the VT Price Value Portfolio, a fund investing in Benjamin Graham-style value stocks, and specialist value funds, from around the world. Tim also writes regularly for MoneyWeek magazine and The Spectator.

The topic is his book Investing Through the Looking Glass: A Rational Guide to Irrational Financial Markets.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio we discuss:

  • Trusting central planners
  • Going against the establishment
  • Banking system
  • Owning gold
  • Lehman Brothers collapse
  • 2008 bubble
  • The Brexit and Trump narrative

“Mankind has survived because of our ability to believe in things that do not actually exist.” – Tim Price

Mentions & Resources:

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“Given that you’re taking a risk, what kind are you up for?”

Great post by Seth Godin:

Here’s an interesting choice that most people leave unmade:

How comfortable are you engaging in projects where there’s a likelihood that you’ll lose by just a hair?

What makes a project worthwhile and interesting is that it might not work. All the this-is-sure-to-work projects are taken.

Given that you’re taking a risk, what kind are you up for?

Are you seeking out areas where there’s no competition, true longshots where few people see you fail?

Or are you okay with the daring near misses?

That’s the trend following ethos too.

Risk
Risk

How can you move forward immediately to Trend Following profits? My books and my Flagship Course and Systems are trusted options by clients in 70+ countries.

Also jump in:

Trend Following Podcast Guests
Frequently Asked Questions
Performance
Research
Markets to Trade
Crisis Times
Trading Technology
About Us

Trend Following is for beginners, students and pros in all countries. This is not day trading 5-minute bars, prediction or analyzing fundamentals–it’s Trend Following.

Learn to be a trend following trader.
Sign up free today.