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Ep. 608: Ed and Marty Give Clues with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Ed and Marty Give Clues with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio
Ed and Marty Give Clues with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

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Michael explores meeting the achievers, great coaching and brings back two trend following legends from the archives–a must listen.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Meeting the achievers–how?
  • Coaching
  • Trend Following Legends

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Ep. 606: Jeff Bezos Is a Trend Follower with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Jeff Bezos Trend Follower
Jeff Bezos Trend Follower

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Michael throws Jeff Bezos, Amazon and trend following into a giant melting pot. Jeff Bezos is a trend following trader – along with venture capitalists, Hollywood, the MIT black jack team, Warren Buffett (to some degree, yes), and many more.

Michael notes an excerpt from a document written in 1983, gleaning wisdom from Richard Dennis and Bill Eckhardt. Not relevant today? Think again. Richard Dennis makes it clear in the document that you never know where the next home run is coming from – missing a big payout is just as bad as taking a loss. Are you guilty of forgetting about big opportunity when trading? Do you focus too much on your downside? Most unfortunately get fixated on the downside and ignore the positive unknown.

Michael also notes an article written by Li Jiang titled, “What I Learned From Reading Every Amazon Shareholders Letter.” Li lists key lessons he has pulled from shareholder letters: type I and type II decisions, end each day of business like it is the first day, always operate like a hungry upstart, only the paranoid survive, make small bets because you can’t predict anything, move fast and break things, and if you are offered a seat on a rocketship – don’t ask which seat, just get on. Jeff Bezos’ words dovetail seamlessly with trend following philosophy. Thinking outside the box is essential to making great things can happen.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Jeff Bezos
  • Amazon
  • Type 1 errors/decisions
  • Type 2 errors/decisions
  • Sunk cost
  • Opportunity cost
  • Prediction
  • Trend following is dead?

“You never really know which market is going to be the one that is the big payoff.” – Richard Dennis

“If you are offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask which seat, just get on.” – Jeff Bezos

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Jesse Livermore: Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

Jesse Livermore
Jesse Livermore

Jesse Livermore’s bio ‘Reminiscences of a Stock Operator’ is always good reading (PDF).

Excerpts:

“I think it was a long step forward in my trading education when I realized at last that when old Mr. Partridge kept on telling other customers, “Well, you know this is a bull market!” he really meant to tell them that the big money was not in the individual fluctuations but in the main movements that is, not in reading the tape but in sizing up the entire market and its trend.”

“Another lesson I learned early is that there is nothing new in Wall Street. There can’t be because speculation is as old as the hills. Whatever happens in the stock market today has happened before and will happen again. I’ve never forgotten that.”

“You watch the market — that is, the course of prices as recorded by the tape with one object: to determine the direction. Prices, we know, will move either up or down according to the resistance they encounter. For purposes of easy explanation we will say that prices, like everything else, move along the line of least resistance. They will do whatever comes easiest, therefore they will go up if there is less resistance to an advance than to a decline; and vice versa.”

“I think it was a long step forward in my trading education when I realized at last that when old Mr. Partridge kept on telling other customers, “Well, you know this is a bull market!” he really meant to tell them that the big money was not in the individual fluctuations but in the main movements that is, not in reading the tape but in sizing up the entire market and its trend.”

Jesse Livermore Books:

• How to Trade in Stocks (PDF)
• Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (PDF)

More on the Jesse Livermore Legacy 

Jesse Livermore
Jesse Livermore

Ep. 596: Rob Arnott Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Rob Arnott
Rob Arnott

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Rob Arnott is an entrepreneur, author, investor, and writer. He serves as Chairman and CEO of Research Affiliates LLC. advising on over $160 billion dollars in institutional investment assets. Rob is one of the world’s preeminent voices on investment strategy.

What was Rob like as a young man? At age 16 he was extremely mathematically inclined with an avid interest in both the stock market and astronomy. He wasn’t sure which path he wanted, but he knew his mathematical skills were good enough for a top tier job in finance, but not in astronomy. So he took his math skills and entered the world of finance.

Rob has been with quantitative investing since its inception in the 70’s. With the rise in computer capabilities, quant traders were able to start to make a name for themselves in the trading community. What is one of the biggest failings of the quant community? Traders have fallen into a trap of making systems so complex that the average investor can no longer understand them. He is a big fan of keeping things simple.

What is one rule Rob always sticks by? If you have an idea you think is a good, always try. There will be others that came before you, but that doesn’t mean your idea won’t be just as successful or more successful. However, if you never try, you will never know. When it comes to investing what is another rule? Diversification is key.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • An addiction to complexity
  • Fundamental indexing
  • Momentum trading
  • How to use valuation
  • Benchmarks
  • Diversification
  • Modern finance
  • Weighting your portfolio

“I think the quant community has a lot of issues. Some of them relate to an addiction to complexity and some of it relates to a willingness to obfuscate. If you make your ideas complex enough so that nobody can understand it, that creates a seduction attraction to some, but people shouldn’t buy something they don’t understand.” – Rob Arnott

“We are in a business where you win by making fewer errors.” – Rob Arnott

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Ep. 595: Jerry Parker Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Jerry Parker
Jerry Parker

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Jerry Parker was one of the original TurtleTraders trained by Richard Dennis. He has had unbelievable success over his four decade career. Jerry has a straightforward way of breaking down how trend following works.

Trend following has typical highs and lows. During the lows, there will always be people pronouncing it dead. Trend following systems are built to protect capital by using diversification and built in stop-losses to counter down periods. Said another way, there is “crash protection” built into a robust trend following strategy. On the flip side, trend following systems are built to exploit the market when it is trending up.

How easy is it to get into different markets with a trend following strategy? The great thing about systematic trading is you become an instant expert in any market. As long as you have the data, you can jump right in and trade. When you are looking at price alone, you come to find that stocks are all the same – Tesla and Coffee are traded identically.

What is the most important thing to keep in mind when trading a trend following system? Having the proper leverage is key. No system is immune to risk of ruin. Sometimes you need to adjust your leverage, reduce your risk, and do whatever you can to stay in the game. Trend following, at it’s core, is a boring strategy. It is simple and that is why it works. Choose an algorithm and from there you can choose how simple you want to make your system. But everything starts with an algorithm.

Are there any resources Jerry Parker recommends? Cliff Asness is a great resource. He is a smart, funny, and humble person that teaches valuable information to anyone that wants to listen. After all, the best way to gain knowledge is to probe the minds of successful people and learn everything you can from them.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Diversification
  • Becoming an expert in all markets
  • Risk aversion
  • Why the idea of “simple” works
  • Fall targeting
  • Buying markets on the cheap
  • Learning from experts

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Ep. 594: The Fundamentals Never End with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

The Fundamentals Never End with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio
The Fundamentals Never End with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

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Having the right fundamental information will never guarantee success. Ray Dalio, one of the biggest traders on Wall Street says he trades off of fully automated fundamentals. If this is true what fundamentals does he choose to automate? In the same head space a reader forwarded Michael a tweet recently. It was a tweet from an executive associated with a big USA trading firm. This executive was asked by a business student, “What does a typical week look like for you?” His list went like this [Michael digs in]… How much time is being wasted?

If consuming that information isn’t needed then what do you use to trade? One piece of information – price. You take the price and look at the trend. Things in motion tend to stay in motion. Forming rules that you can stick to when the big trends come is key to anyone’s trading success.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Data mining
  • Managing risk based on fundamental information
  • Weekly routines
  • Cocktail party banter
  • Desert island trading
  • Fundamental trading
  • Thinking properly

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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

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Larry David is one guy who is totally OK with the unexpected. He wrote and starred in the hit show, Curb Your Enthusiasm. He wanted total control of writing the show and didn’t want HBO looking over his shoulder. However, the show has no script. The actors are comfortable going into the unknown and winging it. So much of our modern world is pre-packaged and scripted down to the last syllable. Larry David knows that life is all about the surprise, and people value that surprise factor.

What do these examples have in common with the stock market? Markets are unpredictable. Yes, it is necessary to have a game plan but with constant unexpected changes, you need to know what to do when things deviate from the plan. Chaos exists, there is no getting around it. To be successful in the game you must look past the chaos and know how to profit from it.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

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

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