Trend Following Trading Success Stories, Reviews & Endorsements

Michael Covel Success Stories
Michael Covel

“Michael Covel’s Trend Following: Essential.”
Ed Seykota
Trend following legend originally in the “Market Wizards” classic book

“The way I see it, you have two choices–you can do what I did and work for 30-plus years, cobbling together scraps of information, seeking to create a money-making strategy, or you can spend a few days reading Covel’s book [Trend Following] and skip that three-decade learning curve.”
Larry Hite
Trend following legend originally in the “Market Wizards” classic book

“Some people think [trend following] trading is a system, but it’s really much more powerful than that…it’s a trading philosophy. The course [Flagship] gives comprehensive insight to the most accessible active management strategy currently in use. [You] find revealing explanations of all the critical elements of a successful trend following trading plan. The concepts espoused here are not just opinions…these techniques have been proven to work.”
Paul Mulvaney
Mulvaney Capital
Note: Mulvaney was an early client.

“There have been few authors that have tackled the financial markets with a candor that was entertaining while not alienating themselves from the community they wrote about. A few greats come to mind: Michael Lewis, Jack Schwager, and Nassim Taleb. I believe Michael Covel also belongs squarely in this camp for his work to champion the trend following movement.”
Tim Pickering
Founder and CIO, Auspice Capital Advisors
Full review: (PDF)

“I have been trading for many years and doing okay but my method was not systematic enough and too stock focused. I decided that I needed to up my game and ran across a reference to Trend Following while reading another book. I decided to contact Mike after reading the book and decided to work with him one on one. This experience has put me in a new league and really helped me focus on my weak areas which were risk management and portfolio selection. I would recommend any trader who is not where they want to be to start with Mike and the Trend Following book, website and Flagship.”
Steve Beamer

“I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with Michael Covel on various projects over the years and have rarely seen anyone so passionate about his field. Trend following historian, biographer, novelist, documentarian, reporter, teacher, curator and advocate, Mike may be best categorized as an activist for change in our economic paradigm. His message: financial empowerment is possible if you accept personal responsibility and take action. Specifically, this means doing away with ‘buy and hold’ and ignoring financial market pundits and other soothsayers. It also involves a strict adherence to trend following principles, whether trading for yourself or investing with established CTAs who will trade for you. It is always fascinating to see what Mike will do next to change the way most people think about investing.”
Jeffrey Kopiwoda

“Years ago, famed Chicago bond trader Tom Baldwin put trading in a phrase: “Everybody wants the money, but whose willing to do the work?” I know a few. One of them is Michael Covel. Michael did the yeoman’s duty no one else would do: bringing together the principles, practices and track records of trend following. In his now numerous books, Flagship and programs, he solidly demonstrates trend following is a viable trading and investment strategy; moreover, one that can be learned and mastered. Something many so-called trading and investment strategies have yet to do.”
Charles Faulkner
Market Wizard Trading Coach

A futures success story

“I am a big fan of Michael Covel. What impresses me the most is his single minded determination to get his message out regarding his central theme: trend following works. His books provide plentiful evidence of long term superior performance by numerous trend following traders. He doesn’t coddle his readers with pep talk–that’s not his style. Instead he says “if you’re going to try to make money in what might be the world’s hardest profession, why not take a studied look at how some of the most successful traders got that way and emulate their behavior?” And talk about a bargain–he’s done the arduous work compiling track records, picking the minds of sometimes elusive superior traders and then distilling all the data down into thoroughly useful, readable text. What tremendous value for a few bucks. And then, because Michael understands his role as a gifted entrepreneur, he goes the next step by providing guidance and tools to would be traders utilizing the internet and a variety of affordable trend following trading Flagship. I traded my first futures contract in 1969 and spent my professional career in the futures industry until my retirement in 2001. Through the years I have been asked many times for advice about how to attempt to be a successful trader. My answer now–read and apply Covel.”
Jack Zaner

“I just wanted to say thanks for all you do. My brother read your book back in 2005 and gave it to me to read. It changed our trading and, I believe, our lives. Please indulge a little background. My brother is 8 years my senior. He’s in the construction business and I’m in the insurance business. Pretty different professionally, but not philosophically. What we had most in common was a fascination of the financial markets and figuring out a way to profit from them. He and I have both spent most of our adult lives educating ourselves on economic and financial issues and continue to do so on a daily basis. We would categorize ourselves as followers of Austrian economic thought and free market libertarians. We had been dabbling in the futures markets for over a decade and could never find an approach that would work for us. Unfortunately, we followed various gurus on our way to losing money year after year and depleted several different trading accounts. We had always focused on systematic approaches to trading because we both felt that we couldn’t trust ourselves to maintain any trading consistency with soft rules or instinct. Our problem was that we lacked any understanding of trading systems and all of their component parts. As a result, we chose to follow the complicated black box systems designed by others. These systems all focused on picking tops/bottoms or otherwise predicting market direction in some way. We didn’t realize it at the time, but in retrospect, the one thing positive we took away from these experiences was the understanding that our greatest attribute as traders was our discipline. We took every single trading signal from every guru we ever followed, come hell or high water. The better educated we became, the more we realized that NOBODY really knows anything about the direction of markets. To design or follow a systematic approach to trading based on the premise that market direction was predictable was a ticket to the poor house. We’d heard about trend following methods but only in a disparaging light. We quit trading for 5 years. Then we both read Trend Following. It was the proverbial “ah ha” moment that we had spent 20 years looking for. Sometimes the truth is so hard to see because it’s right in front of your face. To make a long story a little shorter, my brother purchased your Flagship…and we starting our little trading company in Feb 2006 with $100,000 in seed money. We trade a basket of 10 futures markets using the rules in your course (although with a lower risk %). We never deviate and we take every signal, subject to the our risk management rules. We spend no more that 1/2 hour a day on our trading business. We have tripled our account balance to $300,000 in the intervening 3.5 years without ever adding any more capital. We have not had a losing year yet, although I’m sure we will eventually. We made just under 100% return in 2008, which would have been much greater had our capital base been larger or if we had been comfortable with a greater per trade risk %. We had to beg off some trades that were immensely profitable in fall 2008 due to our position limits and % risk rules. Unfortunate, sure, but we slept great and still doubled our money in the greatest financial debacle of our lifetimes. 2008 was only the beginning. Government interference in markets always makes for great trend trading opportunities. The size and scope of government today simply means that trends are only going to be bigger and will occur with more frequency. We’re ready and waiting. We can’t thank you enough for sharing the wisdom of trend following with us. We truly believe that significant trading wealth is simply a matter of time for us thanks to the education you provided…mixed in with a big helping of discipline!”
Jeff P.

“I am a trader since over 12 years now. My trading style was purely day trading, because of my past as a market maker in forex. Since 5 years I do trade in my portfolio trend following systems. Actually it became the bigger part of my portfolio. I did read your books the first time in 2007 (I have at least 10 copies at home of your books, in English and German) and for me it was like a confirmation, that what I was doing was right and gave me confidence to trade more in trend following then in day trading. I also then bought your Flagship and finally this year bought your Tradestation code. I also bought your movie. I am a big fan of you Michael and thank you very much for your work. You helped me a lot to have more confidence and trust in it and so far it paid off…Please don’t forget that I am Swiss, so my English vocabulary and grammar is not very well. I don’t have a webpage and don’t use Facebook or Linkedin, so I don’t need any publicity on my side. I would love though, to meet people that also do active and since longer time Trend Following trading to share experiences, ideas or just to chat. Sometimes I feel very lonely in this trading world, of course there are many that try to trade out there, but very few people who do it successfully. Let me know how to proceed.”
Adriano [Last Name]

“Micheal Covel is a rare breed. He is the only author I have come across who really understands how traders can make money, regularly and consistently over a long period of time. The question is how long can a trader last with a specific style of trading. There are many traders who have made a lot of money only to blow up or loose it all eventually. Many trading strategies can work over a period of 2 to 3 years, but will they work over a period of 20 or 30 years? I have seen extremely smart spread traders trading mean reversal type strategies who made a fortune in 2 to 3 years, and then blow up and never recover. I have come across arbitrage strategies that were very successful over a period of 4 to 5 years, but eventually blew up over a tail event. I have also met very successful macro traders who have bet successfully on certain market moves and made a fortune but their careers stalled and eventually they burnt out. The only successful traders that have consistently made money over a long period of time are systematic trend followers, the type of traders that Micheal Covel covers in his books. Unfortunately, the financial wold has been hijacked by crooks, charlatans, bankers and investment advisers hoodwinking the general public into believing that buying and holding a financial asset over a long period of time is the right strategy with “shareholder democracy”. And when that does not work, advisers try and trick investors with volatility of returns and complicated ratios, when all that matters are absolute returns over a long period of time. Micheal Covel shines a light in this world and is indeed a rare breed. I cannot recommend his work enough.”
Jad Tawil

“The following is my story of how I have found myself trading for students. It all started with me being introduced to Michael Covel in a Barnes & Noble in northern Cincinnati. No, not an introduction in person, but his life’s passion. Back in 2005, I was working for one of the largest brokerage/mutual fund companies in the world. It was fairly mundane work, answering phone calls from students trying to open brokerage accounts. This was just a ‘hold-over’ position in that I knew I didn’t want to be doing ‘this’, but didn’t know what my long-term plans were. I had always been interested in markets, and wanted to know how to actually make money trading. Unfortunately, the company I was working for had no interest (or ‘know how’) in teaching me how to properly manage money (ultimately, a good thing for me), and looking back to my time spent in finance classes in college, my professors had no real-world solutions either. It was this experience that prompted me to start reading every trading book I could get my hands on. Good or bad, this started my trading education. Most of these books I read were filled with the ‘how to read financial statements to determine if a market is undervalued/overvalued’ confusion. But then, there were some that were helpful in getting me past the notion that I had to study balance sheets and income statements in order to win; however, were mostly filled with this B.S. oscillator or that B.S. chart pattern. There was no meat. The most important thing I learned from a few of these books was the phrase ‘Follow the trend’. Now, I don’t say that for the sake of giving these various authors credit, but to say that it was the phrase ‘Follow the trend’ that led me to Michael Covel’s first book Trend Following. As I was walking in that Barnes & Noble, I spotted something familiar on the spine of one of the hundreds of books on the shelf, the words ‘Trend Following’. As I pulled it from the shelf and started leafing through the pages, I came across names such as Bill Dunn, Ed Seykota, John W. Henry and more who made millions, even billions trading a Trend Following strategy. It was Covel’s book for me that transformed ‘Follow the trend’ from just a phrase in to ‘Trend Following’ the worldview. You see, trend following is not just a trading strategy, but a way of living one’s life. It was my AHA moment. Wanting to make trading a big part of my life, I graduated on to Michael’s Trend Following course. It was here where I was able to really get down to the nuts and bolts of building a systematic trend following trading system. In his Flagship, Michael taught me how to evaluate the odds of any risk-taking endeavor, that magnitude trumps frequency, and that being able to take losses are a big part of trading as they are in life. It taught me to assemble a complete trading system, including knowing when and where to enter, when and where to exit with a profit and a loss, portfolio selection, and how much to risk on each trade. After studying for a couple of months, I moved on to paper trading, then to live trading. Did I hit the ground running? Not exactly, I stumbled a few times, and this is where access to Michael paid huge dividends. Whether it was asking him questions directly or reading his blog, assurance was right around the corner. As an owner of my own company, watching how Michael made himself accessible to students and non-students alike, always responding to questions, but without surrendering his belief in who he is or what he does, taught me a great lesson on how to run my firm. It has been a little over a year since I started Availeth Capital, and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that it would not be in existence if it wasn’t for Michael Covel’s work and the passion he puts into it. See, if he hadn’t written ‘Trend Following’ I would’ve never been introduced to the only strategy that does ‘Make Millions in Up or Down Markets’.”
Todd Miller

“Mike Covel is not just a cheerleader for trend-following, he is the Head Coach. He understands the game, the strategy and crucially the psyche of the players. Would-be winners will ensure that they study Mike’s teachings and books before stepping onto the playing field.”
Christopher L. Cruden
Chief Executive Officer
Insch Capital Management

“There are no hollow promises [on]. Instead, every statement asserting the power of these methods is backed up with empirical data and coupled with the caveat that the key to trading success is discipline, trading the markets every day and money management (or to ‘preserve capital until more favorable price trends reappear’). This site offers no comfort to those who are looking for a quick buck or the Holy Grail, and the proprietors don’t seem to suffer fools gladly. The message is open, honest, straightforward and makes no hyped-up promises. It sticks to the facts; it is one of the best system trading sites for futures traders I have seen.”
Gibbons Burke, Futures Magazine Review

“I have only read your books but I think they are as good as they come in finance. They are as good, if not better, than the Market Wizards books by Schwager and Leferve’s “Reminiscences of a stock operator”. They are an absolute read for anyone with a job in finance. I recently quit my job after 10 yrs as a trader at Morgan Stanley to start my own hedge fund, together with a colleague of mine. A majority of the risk in the fund will be allocated to trend following concepts in various time frames of stocks, sector and index futures.”
Johan Sallfors

“As a subscriber to your original Flagship, and occasional fan writing in, I must say, what a great text! I am referring to the latest edition of ‘Trend Following’. After it came in the mail, I devoured it over the course of the last couple of days, and what coincidental timing, it served as a refresher, and has helped me stay on track with my own trading (Yes, in the past I’ve taken “hits”, but I turn them around, an outcome less due to me and more due to the risk management stressed by the trend follower approach). A few years ago, that would have been a devastating loss of a limb as opposed to the temporary pain of a pulled muscle, all in service to the ego and the desperate need to be “right”, even when the account equity says you’re “wrong”. In fact it was just such a loss several years ago that led me to your course over three years ago, which, funny enough, as I think about it’s “great expense”, has repaid itself many times over in various trades. As for what some reviewer noted on your website, dismissive of trend following, it’s very clear he didn’t do his homework (As an aside, may I say you have no need to defend your work with retorts or responses, so please consider what Mr. Ed Seykota might say about your exchange with him and ask yourself what you are getting out of any “back and forth” exchanges). We know such reviewers get a paycheck no matter what, and are therefore indifferent to your work, and produce “critical” reviews lacking critical thought, driven by conventional thinking and a deadline, which are a disservice to all. Your work, and the results of it’s most focused and disciplined practitioners have, and will speak itself in favor of trend following. Those who can’t think for themselves might not be among your potential readership anyway. As an aside, I recall a chart you presented once about Mr. Dunn’s results, during his rough patch earlier this decade, and I was reminded by your coverage of Mr. Dennis’ trading history in your work, and what some of his students and successors were counseling in terms of the trading sizes… that anything is possible, a temporary “bad patch” might have been encountered by his system. And indeed it was proven to be the case, just temporary. So, even if such empirical “proof”, as Mr. Dunn’s brief downturn, might be used by those who were too lazy to read your books and dismiss you, you would see in due time overwhelming proof to trump such data cherry-picking of drawdowns and brief “rough patches”. The bucking bronco that shakes a trend follower about at times eventually leads us to greener pastures. Could we say that for the latest incarnation of LTCM? Recent news of a new bond arbitrage fund, a third go-around for its founder, after bombing over a decade ago and prompting the first of many Moral Hazardous bailouts, followed by a closing of a second-firm in 2009, might succeed (anything is possible) but may I point out that Mr. Dunn and others like him (Jerry Parker and Salem Abraham) never needed a “bailout” or a fresh (re)start, just time and the risk management disciplines of true trend following. Thank you for your fine work, it helped give me tools to navigate through market waters both calm and/or treacherous.”

“I have been a follower and a student of Trend Following since 1998. I was first introduced to Trend Following by a friend of mine working as a proprietary FX trader for a global American investment bank who had an office in my home town of Sydney Australia. He has since moved on from being a proprietary gold Bullion trader, to now becoming the principal of his own Hedge fund. I was introduced by this friend to “the Turtle Trader” rules at the same time, and have gone on to prosper and generate an incredible and awe inspiring life for myself and now my young family…The principles and system of technical Analysis based system trading has made an impact on many areas of my life, including: financial,spiritual, and physical improvements. This has come about by what I personally believe is the “complete” commitment I desired and now have to live a completely satisfied and grateful lifestyle. I believe I would not be in the fortunate position myself and my Family are in today if it was not for people like yourself Michael. Your contribution to Trend Trading is such a marvelous basket of awe inspiring products, which can only benefit those who really believe in creating contribution to those around them, like ourselves. Gone forever from my life is the “Blah Blah Blah”, of thinking that I will “never be satisfied” with my current position in my life. Living life with my favorite Commandment: Thou shalt Not Judge. As I am a true believer in Technical Analysis based System Trading. I thank you for keeping the flame well and truly alight on spreading the Gospel of Trend Following.”
Pete Mitchell
Trend Trading Disciple

“Here’s my testimonial for your trading system Flagship: Many years ago, before I learned about how Richard Dennis and William Eckhardt breed traders like “turtles” and Michael Covel educated the World on the “trend following way”…I was a losing trader and cursed – “cut my profits short, hold onto the losers” all the time. Soon I found trading like that could bankrupt me very quickly, then I found out about Mike’s Turtle Trader website and his trading system course. I have to thank Mike for his in-depth research on this subject and a proven way for traders to make money – simply by following the trends (not that simple for most, really). Today, I could make profits from the market better than I could ever imagine, using my own developed trend-following based methodology. And I must admit that Mike’s trading system course has made positive contributions to my success in trading and managing my students’ money.”
Brendon Wong

“I am not a well known trader, but I do credit your two books, along with Jack Schwager’s first two Market Wizards books, as being essential to my transformation into a consistent, winning trader. Back in 2008, I was a recent college graduate employed at the world’s largest mutual fund company. While earning my Series 7 license, my job was to talk to students all day on the phone and provide them with whatever service they required. Consequently, I was the reassuring, “voice of reason” they would hear when they called us during the Fall 2008 market collapse. I spent those days talking to retirees who were losing their life savings, confused traders who up to that point had never experienced a bear market quite like the one we were experiencing, and uninformed, American workers asking me why their 401ks were down so much. We were told to feed them lines like, “You haven’t really lost anything until you have sold” and “Prices going down just means it is a better time to buy.” I heard the fear and pain in our students’ voices and, even then, I knew I wasn’t helping by telling them what they wanted to hear, but I did not know what else to tell them. As a result of this experience, I vowed never to let myself get into that situation. I knew that with so many people losing money, there had to be investors out there making that money on the other side. My mission then became to find out who these winning traders were and what they did to put themselves on the right side of the trade. I left that company, and with it, the “buy and hold” mindset they employed. I started doing my own research and reading, and one day came across your book Trend Following in the bookstore. I was immediately drawn to its subtitle describing how I could learn to make millions in up or down markets, and left the store with the book in hand. Over the next couple of days, I devoured its contents, feeling like I had stumbled across the secret I had been searching for. This was the winning philosophy I needed to study. Around that same time, I also read Jack Schwager’s Market Wizards books, and particularly enjoyed the Richard Dennis interview which described how he taught a group of traders how to become systematic trend followers. Once I saw that you had written another book telling the story of these “Turtles”, I immediately started reading it and saw for the first time how a very simple strategy could yield consistent, high profits. This was my turning point. Fast forward to the present day. I am free. I am no longer a slave to the markets or the financial media. While it seems the majority of the trading world is still obsessed and fretting over what the market will do next, I relax in knowing that the price and my systems will lead the way and put me on the right side of any major move, and I have your two books to thank for helping me get to this point. My goal is to become a “Market Wizard” myself, and it is trend following that will get me there.”
Andrew Adams
St. Petersburg, FL

“I have been thinking quite a bit about your requests for testimonials. I just want to share the impact that your website and two books both The Complete TurtleTrader and Trend Following have had on my thinking and aspirations. When I took an original interest in investing I read a biography of Warren Buffett, I then sought to follow in his footsteps. I bought numerous books on Value Investing; I was determined to become a CFA. When I originally checked out your website, I was very skeptical. However, when I read the review by Bill Miller, I decided to see what this was all about. I read The Complete TurtleTrader first. I couldn’t believe it. I was just as average as some of these people. I thought “Hey, I can really do this!” This was almost shocking that these people with two weeks of training were able to make so much so easily. I read Trend Following next. It was even more revealing. The most shocking thing was the shear number of traders who are trend followers. Their returns are just as good as Buffett and other famous fundamental investors, but I had never heard of them. They simply don’t seem to have the respect of the media. I also realized that this wasn’t as simple I had thought, but it was entirely learnable. This book and website are the starting points. I have a new direction to take with my investing. I have to say that it was the most refreshing read on investing I have ever read. I look forward to later this year purchasing your = and learning even more. I hope to turn all of this into a career soon. Thank you for creating your company, so that others can learn to be turtles as well.”
Bruce Selby
Enid, OK

“To be honest, I had no idea what trend following was all about, nor had I ever heard anyone talk about it before attending one of your talks. As I found out after listening to your presentation, it’s been around for quite some time, and practiced by many successful investors/traders. It sounded like it was one of the best kept secrets in town! Everyone is always looking for that “magic bullet” or a “sure way” to make money, but as your books/work has shown, nothing beats sheer hard work, countless hours of testing and trading based on one’s own systems and theories, and most importantly, learning to stick to such a system rather than rely on one’s own whim and fancies. I always thought it was about who had the brains, but that only gets you so far in getting to be a great trader. Thank you very much for your excellent books, website and work to spread the word. Best wishes from Singapore”

“I have read and very much enjoyed both your ‘Trend Following’ and ‘Complete TurtleTrader’ books — how refreshing to find such clear, concise, no bull analysis. I am interested in purchasing the training but want to make sure it is appropriate for the markets I want to begin with. In particular I am most comfortable starting with ETFs (and mutual funds — though I find myself going more with ETFs because of the liquidity). I noted that most of the trend followers were in the commodity markets — but the texts and your site seem to indicate the basic approach would work with ETFs (though the returns may not be as dramatic). Am I correct in my impression? Thanks for your consideration — and thanks again for your work. Please let me know if you need more information to respond to my question.”
Steve M.

“My name is D. L. and I am reading with much interest your book about Turtle traders [The Complete TurtleTrader]. I was Pillsbury’s wheat trader in the pits from 1980 to 1983, and traded size with C&D many times. [Richard] Dennis, [Tom] Willis, the O’Briens, etc. You are correct – we (Pillsbury) were huge traders, and we had vast amounts of info at our disposal. Pillsbury was deadly when compared to the Cargills of the world in those days because we all had our own profit center trading accounts in addition to working the enormous commercial hedge balances. Cargill and the others had employees, but Pillsbury had traders. They did not stand a chance…Good job with the book [The Complete TurtleTrader].”
D. L.

“I’m really impressed with all the help you’ve given me, it really has made a big difference. You should know that yours is the only program I’ve purchased. I’m exceedingly skeptical – 99.9% of the crap peddled as systems or in books is at best incompetent and at worst criminal. So it took about a week (and reading every single page of your web site) to purchase your materials, but they showed consistency and logic and common sense. I am glad I did – I have really learned a lot.”

“I appreciate the questions/support aspect of this package very much. I have recently decided to go on my own, and make a complete commitment to trading with the intention of forming hedge or futures fund once I gain more experience and a track record with my own account. My point is that I take this seriously, and I appreciate the help.”

“The section on money management will save me the purchase price in losses. After two or three reads, the section on risk and expectation clicked. Is was like a light coming on.”

“I have been looking for a 100% systematic approach to trading that followed trends. Once I read about Trend Following, I knew that’s what they were taught, and I wanted to know what they knew. These methods are what I’ve been looking for ever since I started in this field. I appreciate your patience and information that you have provided. Once again, thanks for the help you have provided.”

“I’m backtesting the data you sent me [with the Flagship and it is a] very impressive amount of information.”

“I have to thank you for your service. I have been involved in the trading arena since 1995 and have at different times been a broker and trader and have been witness to some of the biggest hypes ever devised. I have seen droves of unsuspecting people being led to the slaughter by unscrupulous marketers, themselves having only the tiniest bit of trading knowledge or experience, pushing the latest Holy Grail. With this overview I’ve become very pessimistic of any type of trading program. It took me a long time researching your site before I finally bought the program. It was the greatest investment I have made. Before your program, I have bought and read countless books on trading and never has the information on money management been addressed like you do here. Definitely the most important issue in trading. It took me a while to shake the market entry and timing bug and focus on money management but once I did it created a simplified trading process and makes it much easier to stomach being in the markets. I am still chewing on a couple of the techniques and refer to Flagship frequently but believe, in time, they will all become second nature. Thanks again for standing up and putting out a program that is real and keep up the great support.”

“I’d just like to ‘share’ a bit here. I’m an ex-Goldman employee and worked in the big bad world of banking for six years. Not only do you guys have the confidence to tell it exactly how it is, which to my mind means it’s REAL (makes a nice change), it seems you’re not too keen on Goldman, which makes me feel so much better. It kind of indicates to me that my hunches and instincts about that firm were right, or at least that I’m not alone in my suspicions about it. Load of hype eh?! I look forward to hearing from you, and indeed to learning your methods and putting them into practice. Keep up the good work!”

“Took a few minutes earlier today to look at your site. WOW! Now that’s the power of the Internet! Loved it! It sure is thorough and informative. I plan on going back when time permits. I’ve always loved the futures markets and trading. I’ve been a small time speculator, on and off, for years. I haven’t been active for several years but it’s still in my blood. What do you think? Is it too late for a 45 year old to make a career move as drastic as going into trading full time? I’ve always had the fever for this industry. Thank you for your time, and for putting forth a GREAT product.”

“I am an Italian trader and I want to offer you my congratulations. Your site has all the right concepts about trading, not like so many others. People use fundamental analysis, technical analysis (methods like Elliot, Gann, Fibonacci, pattern recognition and other technical indicators that are completely useless) or new technology like neural networks or genetic algorithms because they want to predict markets, control the market and because they do not know the really important things for trading success. We must have rigid money management rules and control volatility. If we do not do this and the market go against us, we will lose.”

“Thank you very much for the suggestions! I truly appreciate the quick and to the point responses. If any potential customers have questions in regards to client support, I will gladly recommend the site and acknowledge the professionalism of the staff. I will paper trade a few months and then start with stocks and mini contracts as suggested. If you need any references in regards to the follow-up support that you provide, again I would be happy to answer any skeptics!”

“It always amazes me how few people make any money at this game even though successful methods are available. The reason is that MOST PEOPLE AREN’T TRADING TO MAKE MONEY. They think they are, but the fact is they’re trying to fulfill some other needs: for excitement, gambling, feeding their egos, being right, being clever, outsmarting somebody, sharing their score at the next cocktail party. Meanwhile, Trend Followers (and others) are sitting around, ignoring all the chit chat, all the arguments pro and con, discussions of the Fed, etc., just plugging in their numbers, managing their money, with discipline, and watching the cash pile up over time. There is what you must do to make money trading. There is a plan, a methodology that works and if you DO it, if you WORK the plan, you make money. That’s just how it is, but most people are more interested in trading some method that feeds their other needs: they want to pick tops and bottoms, they want riches overnight, etc. It’s like [Richard] Dennis said, you can publish the rules in the paper and people still won’t make money. Someone said you can publish tomorrow’s closing prices in today’s paper and people STILL won’t make money because they’ll put their own garbage in the way. It’s really a wake-up call when you realize that successful trading has nothing to do with forecasting the market. Something I fortunately learned early on is that it is a numbers game: knowing the risk, knowing the odds, and placing your bets accordingly. And it’s NOT glamorous. It’s NOT exciting. It’s NOT cruising in your Ferrari down Wall Street and flashing your Rolex. It’s just playing the numbers with discipline and doing the hard thing – the uncomfortable stuff that no one else wants to do. That’s what makes money and it’s why most people don’t. They’re not interested in making money. They’re not interested in being successful traders. That’s not their real motivation. If they really wanted to be successful traders, they would be because the information is there, the opportunities are there. But it doesn’t work the way most people would like to THINK it works and so you can show them what works, you can give them the methodology, and they don’t care. They don’t want it. It doesn’t fulfill their needs. Trading is for one thing — taking money [profits] out of the market. Any other needs you have, you better get them fulfilled elsewhere. But people bring their needs to the market and want the market to fulfill them. That’s why they get killed over and over again.”
Mark M. R.

“What Edwards and Magee did for technical analysis and Benjamin Graham did for fundamental analysis, Michael Covel has achieved for the art of following trends. Arguably the definitive text on this style of trading, Trend Following covers all the bases from human behavior to systems trading, while debunking many prevalent misconceptions about what it really takes to make money. Covel gives it to you straight: what works, what doesn’t, and how outsized gains are earned, straight from the mouths of the world’s top traders. If you want the “quick path to easy trading success”, look elsewhere (And good luck to you!). But if you want a real education in what it takes to capture huge market gains over time, read this book.”

“As a contrarian investor I have been skeptical by default of trend following models. Still, after reading Michael Covel’s excellent and eye opening book about some professional traders, who with iron discipline follow market trends up and down and in the process achieve impressive capital gains, I find myself more inclined to endorse a trend following approach to investments. In fact, I wished that at times I would have had the kind of discipline the trend followers have in terms of entirely reversing their investment positions once the trend dictated such a posture. I think that Michael’s Trend Following is an outstanding read from which all investors can learn to trade markets better by limiting their risks and maximizing their profits through a more disciplined approach to investments.”
Marc Faber Managing Director
Marc Faber Limited Editor
Gloom, Boom & Doom Report

“I think the book did a superb job of covering the philosophy and thinking behind trend following (basically why it works). You might call it the Market Wizards of Trend Following.”
Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.
Author of Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom

“I think that this book documents a great deal of what has made Trend Following Managers a successful part of the money management landscape (how they manage risk and investment psychology). It serves as a strong educational justification on why investors should consider using Trend Following Managers as a part of an overall portfolio strategy.”
Tom Basso

“This morning as I do every morning I checked on the “opening call” in the Hog market. These calls are often accompanied by comments from brokerage house analysts and I found today’s comments somewhat amusing. The comment was “price direction is uncertain due to the unknown direction of the cash market.” While I am not an English major I would assume this comment on some levels infers there are times when the movement of cash prices are “certain”! As I always say I seem to learn something every day! I continue to believe the best way to make money is by simply “following” the trend no matter what time frame you choose to be involved in!”

“Thank you for writing Trend Following! I read your book while I was interning on a sales & trading desk (sadly it wasn’t required reading). Until I read Trend Following, I was always baffled by how analysts came to conclusions and how fundamentals were weighted and valued. Intuitively, I thought it rather absurd that the majority of analyst recommendations were BUY and that all SELL recommendations tended to come around the same time. I’m only 22 years old, but my goal is to learn as much as I can about trend following, practice it, hone my system, and eventually become a successful trend follower. Your website has been more helpful than my $200 college text books.”

“I think the point at which critics of your book and trend following in general get mixed up is the fact that you make the methodology of trend following sound so simple, especially in relation to other strategies such as fundamental analysis. The fact of the matter is that it is relatively simple, but that’s not the problem. What they miss is that trend following like any other successful trading strategy requires sometimes enormous amounts of discipline, patience, and persistence, and not everyone has it. Anyone who has spent any significant amount of time developing, testing, and/or trading a trend following strategy can see the potential of such a strategy (my guess is that your critics haven’t done so). However, these strong results in simulation or in ‘paper’ trading mean nothing without the qualitative tools to make it happen consistently in ‘real’ trading. The problem is it’s so much more comfortable for your “lucky monkey” critic to use and blame someone else’s blackbox strategy (fundamental analysis) when it fails, than to know that success or failure ultimately rests in your own hands. Keep up the good work.”

“I believe people still “prefer” fundamentals because they are striving for intellectual stimulation. You don’t sound very interesting at a cocktail party if you say Glaxo is going down “just because it is”, whereas if you can talk about cancer drugs, etc, etc, blah, blah people think you are interesting. Goldman’s salespeople can talk for hours about cancer drugs, Chinese GDP, and US housing data – they too like to seem “intelligent.” You have to ask “what are you trying to get from markets, money or perceived intelligence?” By the way, I am an technical analyst working for an institutional broking firm in Europe. Plenty of clients do follow our trend following advice, but very very few follow it exclusively – most try to “marry it” with fundamanentals of one sort or another. I also believe trend following works better in equities than in most other markets, as there are very many individual stocks which double, and double again – it doesn’t happen that often even in commodity markets. I’ve been a trend follower for 20 years! I like your book by the way, but the one I give the most to clients is still the O’Shaughnessey one – proves better to my audience that momentum matters.”

“Some concepts that no one ever talks about, including the trend following managers themselves is that there is a very fundamental reason such strategies work. Every trade in every market is a risk transfer process. In the stock market, over the long term the risk transfer is almost always from seller to the buyer, in commodities it changes depending on the term structure because of the flip flop of premium or discount from front to back month contracts, which determines if you are getting a positive or negative risk premium or roll return. The buyers of risk in commodities, who can be either long or short depending on the current term structure require a risk premium to continue to participate over the long run. In commodities you have a risk transfer process from the hedger to risk taker or speculator. Hedgers are buying insurance, which requires them to pay for it. The price of this insurance is the “risk premium” which they must pay to the other side of the trade (speculators). On average trend following works because the trend follower is collecting the risk premium from the hedger because they are usually on the other side of the hedgers trade. My point is that insurance is not free, and this premium is a major factor to why trend followers have been successful in the past and in many cases should be expected to be successful in the future. I view trend following as an insurance business, who’s job it is to collect risk premiums from hedgers and manage portfolio risk at the same time as to survive to continue to collect future risk premiums.”

“I stopped looking at news as something important in 1978. A good friend of mine was employed as a “reporter” by the largest commodity news service at the time. One day his major “story” was about sugar and what it was going to do. After I read his piece, I asked: “Gary, how do you know all of this?” I will never forget his answer…he said: ” I made it up.” I have looked only at price since 1978.”
Michael Gibbons

“Nine months ago I started down the trend-following pathway. Your book was one of the first of more than a dozen I’ve read and is certainly one of the few that I keep on my bedside table and/or desk to constantly check some info or to refer to insights from the traders you interviewed. The others are the two Market Wizards books, Ed Seykota’s Trading Tribe, and of course ‘Reminiscences’, perhaps the greatest of them all. Reading and re-reading always leads to new ‘ah-ha’s’. I can report to you that everything you and the others say is, of course, true. My greatest enemy has always been impatience and not having a detailed plan. The two issues go hand in hand. Impatience breeds frustration/indecision and indecision comes from not knowing exactly what to do and how to measure and understand the probabilities of the various outcomes of one’s actions. Your book, and others such as Van Tharp’s, told me in no uncertain terms that unless I could develop a testable systematic approach to trading, I could not trade with any confidence, which would lead me back to impatience and frustration. I began to get the picture, and committed to working with software that I considered appropriate for my style of trading. I completed enough testing by mid-October to have the confidence to invest real money with my system. My timing worked out, as a new up-trend began in my preferred market (US stocks) at about that time. I just received and have started reading your updated version of ‘Trend Following’. My college-student son was home for the Christmas Holidays and took the original version back to school with him! We talk about trading once or twice a week now and he tracks the family portfolio on line…he’s learning the system so that he can run it from school in the evenings (we use end-of-day data) if I am traveling and not able to access the computer. It takes no more than 30 minutes to update our system in the evening and enter any trades necessary. No need to watch the market during the day. Thanks for your excellent book and websites. My study of trend following and system development has given me the confidence I needed to believe that really superior returns are possible.”
Max Corder

“One advantage I sincerely admire in Trend Following is its simplicity and elegance. Rather than using chart patterns and the like and making many trades during one day or a week… it simply follows the trend, and I truly believe thats where the real money is made. But I have one question I am sure you have received from other traders: Don’t trends occur in all time frames? I believe a trader that is using technical analysis and chart patterns to identify an edge where a trend will begin to unfold or carry on, and captures this trend, whether it be over a one day period, or a one month period can be said to be trend following. I know you have spoken and wrote about “short-term” trading… but at the least in theory, it tries to achieve maximum efficiency. Only being in a trend that is currently moving, exiting near the short-term break of a trend, and buying near support of the trend… Is this not a common sense way of maximizing gains? Some trend followers stay in trends that do carry on for months and years but have major corrections where they would have been suited to take profits sooner and sit out the major correction or consolidation and/or look to buy near the support of a trend. I am currently using a swing-trading approach and a intermediate-term trend following approach. Transaction costs are a big argument against very short term trading. In terms of some of your terms used, it would be wise to define exactly what you mean by ‘technical analysis’, ‘chart patterns’, ‘maximum efficiency’, ‘support of the trend’, ‘take profits sooner’, ‘major correction’, ‘consolidation’ and ‘swing-trading’. Those terms can mean anything.”

“As I suspect is the case of most of your informed readers, I’ve been enjoying tremendously the illogical ramblings you’ve been posting lately on your blog (e.g. Looking for a Trend, Much Ado About Nothing, etc.). It is amazing how many people just don’t “get it”. They seem to have great difficulty accepting a key concept: Trying to predict the future is impossible because of the complexity of the environment. The conventional deterministic logic that allowed the human race to survive in pre-history (i.e. finding a “reason” that explains how things happen) doesn’t work when analyzing complex systems. I studied physics in college, and I remember that once we went from the Newtonian deterministic world to that of Quantum Mechanics (which only gives you PROBABILITIES of particles being in a certain location of space/time) everyone had a difficult time grasping the concept (myself included). As numerous studies have shown, our brain isn’t “wired” to think in terms of probabilities, conceivably due to how our ancestors evolved millions of years ago – which I think is all to the good! If the majority of people understood probabilities and the limits of deterministic thinking (unlike the sloppy thinkers that you’ve posted), we might not be able to make money in the market using relatively straight forward trend following strategies. So all I can say is hooray for all the “Cave Men” out there!”

“The emailer who ridiculed the idea of betting on “rain” or “no rain”? I’d be happy to take those trades if I knew that a correct bet paid off 2-to-1, or 3-to-1, and an incorrect bet paid off 1-to-1! That’s what critics don’t ever seem to get about trend-following. Its not about being “right” or “wrong” – its about the expectation of the payoff when you win. I try to explain it this way to friends and colleagues (who never seem to get it either). Granted this is a generalized method that doesn’t include trading costs, etc, but I think it makes the point. I’m going to make 10 trades. Before each trade, I’ll identify a place on the chart where I will exit the trade for a loss of 1-percent of my total portfolio value if I’m wrong. Let’s suppose I make 7 bad trades out of 10. A little math: 7 x (-1%) = a loss of 7% to my portfolio. If I make even a tiny gain on each of the other 3 trades, let’s say 5% ( 3 x +5% = gain of 15%), then I’ve just made 8% (gain of 15% minus loss of 7%) after 10 trades, even though I was wrong a majority of the time. Simple enough. What’s the hard part? The hard part is admitting you were wrong on the 7 trades, and exiting when you said you would. In my opinion (and experience), a person can use whatever entry/exit method he/she wants – 55-day breakouts, MACD, stochastics, the moon moving into the house of Aquarius… You want to pick a bottom or a top because of a certain jiggle on the chart? Go ahead – as long as you’re only going to lose a fraction of your portfolio if you’re wrong. Once you embrace the idea of not getting hung up on predicting a market’s behavior, you are suddenly “freed from tyranny.” You no longer stay up until 4am analyzing charts and looking for the “holy grail” indicator. You no longer hem and haw over whether to buy or sell a promising stock, only to watch it go up (or down) a little each day until you feel like you’ve “missed the move” and have even more regret. It becomes easier to shut it all off at the end of the day. In short, you have a life. And best of all, you gain confidence, and over time, make money.”

“What I am unwilling to do is to take something as a truism just because someone says that is the case. Of course, your counter would be “Look at the results of the “Great Traders” cited in your book; however, I could point out that the same rationale could be taken with, say, golf; look at Tiger Woods, or Ben Hogan or Sam Snead – and my response is that the exception doesn’t prove the rule – there are some standouts in any endeavor, and that doesn’t mean that the “common man” is going to be successful just because there examples of golfers following a certain methodology. I also can comprehend the concept of trading a trend, together with the prerequisites of money and risk management. Obviously, the later two points – money and risk management – are not necessarily unique to a trend following system. Nor for that matter need the systematic approach be unique. Where I have yet to read in your writings, both the book and your web site, is the “how” of finding trends to follow. Without fundamental research, it would seem haphazard to just choose a stock, or commodity, or whatever instrument, and hopping for the best that a person has picked the right vehicle. As Mr. Seykota has pointed out, any trend is a measure of the past, and there is no such thing as the future. I don’t buy that, but that is what his view is. What does seem likely, is that the so called “great traders” have through trial and error, experience, or gut feel, or intuition, developed a “feel” for the markets they are trading day in and day out, and are thus able to at least identify the most likely candidates to pursue. BUT, that ability has come with experience and knowledge of the markets they choose to trade; I would equate that with fundamental research. You call it what you will. Of course, an approach would be to “shotgun” the situation by diversifying to the point that one has covered all, or a significant number of, markets so that some are bound to go up if one is going long, or down in price if one is looking to go short. That doesn’t necessarily prove the efficacy of the system; it does prove that “chance” can prove you right given enough opportunities. The larger traders with higher capital can afford to spread their bets since they have greater capital amounts. The smaller capitalized trader either would have to significantly reduce the number of markets traded and/or place very small bets in a number of markets. It would seem that if any of the above is a reasonable analysis, then a very important part of trend following is diversification. And in so doing, chances are that at least one or more of the chosen markets are going to trend in the direction you hope for. If you can point me in the direction of any literature or whatever on the “how” and mechanics of how to find a market to follow the trend, I should be most appreciative. I apologize for the length of this.”

“We’ll certainly will have another fund(s) blow up and probably a big pension fund or money manager have huge down ticks in performance as a result. I see your view, but from a trend following perspective, a follow the price perspective, I would argue that you are providing elaborate fundamental views. You COULD just make your decisions off price movement alone…and forget the fundamental analysis and predictions.”

“I wanted to thank you again for taking the time and effort to put together the trading Flagship. The material is fantastic. It lays out the ground work for YOU (meaning Me) to make your own decisions regarding investing. You take out all the people and companies that can cloud your judgment. I just finished watching Broke. It was the last item of the course for me. I am glad I saved it for last because it cemented the ideals behind the theory of trend trading. When you interview all the people that have had a rough go because of their own decisions, but yet still want to place blame on something else, made me realize that I now can be different. Different in thinking, different in doing, different in acting, and by different I mean not in a bad way. Thank you for opening my eyes to a different than the herd style of investing. The theory makes perfect sense to me. I have started to incorporate it into my investing. My big problem will be trying to deal with being wrong 60% of the time. It has been drilled into my head that you have to have a 70% winning percentage if you want to make money. I now realize that this is scalping and not what I want to do. I want to ride the wave of the trend until it is done. When I always looked at charts and see a big long trend in a direction. I always asked myself how can I get in that trend and ride to the end. I now know the way to do it. And I can’t wait to take responsibility for my own investments without having to listen or think about what others say or do. I will have a plan in place and I will run with it.”
Chris C.

“Thank you for sending me your film. I thought it was an excellent film for beginning and veteran speculators. It’s a great reminder of what makes or breaks traders in our business. I found Jim Rogers statement about mutual funds very interesting. I am aware of his thoughts about the US in general, but he really laid into Wall Street. Many of my veteran clients are also not fond of Wall Street or even buying stocks in general. I dislike mutual funds but am still a believer of a self-directed stock portfolio. When new traders enter or research the futures arena, I generally give them the “train wreck” story of what can happen trading derivatives. But in reality only trading can instill this sense of humility and discipline traders develop over time as the trains come off the tracks on occasion. Not one successful futures trader interviewed appeared the least bit “cocky” like you might expect with Wall Street folks. Your movie complements my “train wreck” story. I am excited about the prospects of an increased appetite in commodities. There will be many road blocks along the way as institutional investors find the best way to diversify into our field whether through veteran funds of CTAs or through ETFs, etc. Either way, the demand is there. I will recommend your movie to my clients and prospects. I think it is ideal for individuals learning how become “traders or speculators” (I do not think it is particularly appropriate for everyday mom and pop long-term investors as it is biased towards a handful of successful futures traders with little positive portrayals of equity managers).”

“I’ve actually been “following” you for a while on your email list and websites. I read about Salem Abraham in Michael Covel’s The Complete TurtleTrader and Trend Following books. Abraham’s story is unique and his credentials, especially his trading performance, are impeccable. So when I heard about the Market Wizard Mentoring video featuring this second generation “Turtle,” I couldn’t wait to see it. After seeing the video, I highly recommend it. It’s a tremendous experience to watch a casual 1.5 hour conversation as Michael Covel picks Salem Abraham’s brain. Abraham tells the story of how he got started and of his influences growing up. He shares the major lessons he learned along the way and offers his advice. He teaches about probability and risk. I was blown away! I was getting a lesson in probability from one of the top traders in the world! I think the best part of watching this video is not just the content but the nuances you get when you “read between the lines”: the way he thinks; his confidence and mindset towards trading. I had some high expectations and this video definitely delivers!”

“I greatly admire your entrepreneurial efforts. The depth and variety of your subject matter is very impressive across your three websites. The gathering and organization of content, and smartly harnessing computer technology to deliver this content into a cogent whole is quite an achievement. Plus, you’re having to keep up to date, monitor performance records of prominent trend followers, and keeping tabs on the overwhelming flow of investment information. And you travel to boot. Wow! I bought and read your first book. I thumbed through your second. I’m on your e-mail list. It appears trend following is viable. Certainly, many have achieved strong long term performance records using this approach. Allow me to somewhat play devil’s advocate, having in mind your very staunch stance of trend following as opposed to practically any other investment method. 1. Is there not in all the world of investment, people who’ve succeeded consistently using other investment strategies? 2. Just as the fervent atheist digs in his heels, and has a ready counter-argument for any explanation a believer in God can espouse, do you believe you are open minded toward other investment strategies? 3. Is it not possible someone could have an intuitive or even common sense approach to the market? Here’s what I mean, beginning with intuitive: someone loves a particular market and is immersed in it. Say there approach is short term, perhaps one minute/hour/day to a few weeks or even longer at times. There only rule is to cut losses to 5 percent or 10 percent, whatever one chooses. Other than that, they have developed their intuitive faculty and do well. It seems this could very well exist. Granted, this type of person may not get in at the bottom and out at the top or vice-versa if they’re investing short. The common sense approach: Someone says to themselves,”That Walmart sure is catching on. It seems the people I know are going there a lot”. So they buy Walmart and hold. They get rich. Even today, with the 1987 drop, the 2000-2002 bear, and the recent drop, this person would be way way ahead. The same would apply to the person that simply observed computers were catching on, and bought Dell. And, of course, other individual stock examples could be given. I wanted to write, and so I did. I appreciate your work.”

“You’ve created a very, very strong presence and are a thought leader…I’ve attracted some large investors from actively participating on some private message boards, so I am fully aware of the potential. And, at some point you’re going to want to take what you’ve developed to the next level. That could mean a lot of different things. Offering a sponsorship may be the safest way initially (as opposed to becoming a consultant/rep/solicitor). Here is a unrelated example. In addition to business owners and executives, many of my investors are specialized physicians. For a few years xxx Capital was a “TMA corporate partner”. The TMA is the Tennessee Medical Association with 10,000 member physicians in TN. Take a look at these links to understand how they did it. I did the Elite Package which allowed me to pen 6 articles in their monthly publication, a full page ad in the same every month, we attended their annual meeting (with a booth, etc), links and logo on their website, did some conference calls, etc. The large funds that you’ve included on your site an in your books have no doubt already benefited immensely from your efforts (and you have benefited from their giving you access). It’s probably some of the lesser known and possibly even better shops that need the help in…gaining more exposure. I will suggest the next Soros probably looks a lot like what I sent you last night! And, of course, you’ll need to check them out diligently using the regulatory websites. Some people can appear one way, but when you check them out with regulators they’ve bounced around a lot and are actually salesmen, not money managers.”
Mike S.
Chief Investment Officer
Portfolio Manager

“I am a former stockbroker and economics graduate who had his initial financial education forged in the fires of major institutional academia. And that wrought-iron mutual-fund-based financial steel was reinforced during my time at Edward Jones Investments, a conservative buy-and-hold financial firm. Well, the classic saying in economics is “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” But my personal belief, however, is that there’s no such thing as economics — if you want to learn economics, learn psychology. Understanding motivations is more important to understanding economic decisions that learning some stodgy abstract theory from a university professor who has the uncanny ability to postulate far and wide on situations after-the-fact, claiming keen insights and deep understanding about why something happened yesterday. Ask him what will happen tomorrow and you’ll get an answer that’s about as useful as if you’d asked your pet labrador. The point is: economics, and more specifically, economic prediction, is futile. And my personal experience selling bond mutual funds to old ladies was a process in supreme frustration (…no, the value of the bond can change but the interest payment you receive will always be the same…[sigh]…). So armed with these thoughts and feelings I set out on my quest to ally myself with real information that I can use to make some real money… And luckily, Michael Covel’s ‘Trend Following’ was the fourth financial book I read. Let’s put aside for the moment the fact that it contains several real world examples of real traders making real money from real decisions based on the concepts shared in the book — it was the first book I read where the fundamental (I use this word carefully) underlying assumptions behind the concepts made intuitive sense, were useful, and could be applied by anyone in a real way in the real world. The simplest solutions are usually the best solutions, and Michael has done an excellent job in ‘Trend Following’ of cutting away the extraneous clutter of useless financial information and getting to the point of what types of information it makes sense to pay attention to and why… and how you can make money. It was an Ah-Ha moment for me…I have also read ‘The Complete TurtleTrader’ and watched Broke, and have read through Michael’s websites. There is enough information on these to go out an start making money tomorrow. That is not a promise or an endorsement of divine riches to all who read Michael’s work. We all know that only a small percentage of the population actually act upon the knowledge they receive, even if it is to their benefit. But if it is relevant information that you seek, then in Michael’s work it relevant information that you will find.”

“While I’m sure you always get these types of letters, I would like to tell you my story, because you actually met me and influenced years back. A long time ago, I wrote you an email and you replied and were very responsive and kind, which was surprising (I had heard you were a cocky guy). Anyway, I read all your books, and wanted a chance to learn from one of the greats [and you recommended how to go about that]. Well, I got a chance to meet Mr. [name] very briefly, and while [name] couldn’t bring me on because such a tight shop, you both encouraged me to just continuing knocking down doors. Well, sure enough I got a chance to convince a famous manager to train me (this was before you had your Flagship). Anyway, he took me under his wing as long as I kept him anonymous. Sure enough at the end of 09 and making a killing during my “entrepreneurship,” I decided I had to start my own fund. It’s been a long road, but today I now am running [number] million…So I figured I’d stop on by and pick up your course, to see what you have learned from all those greats. [Also with a group of traders] I will be writing the last few chapters on trading “theology,” a little of my background will be intermixed and I would like to mention you. I know you don’t need brand recognition, but while short sometimes, you did encourage me and lead me down the right path with your writings and correspondence…I know you have large fund clients, but I guess you could indirectly say [I was] one of your readers and [now a] third generation turtle [who] is now running money of his own. My [hope] one day [is that] I’ll be able to have you interview me as [one of a] new generation of trend traders. While the path was the toughest I could imagine, [it was] nevertheless fruitful.”

“I want to thank you again for your work. You did not teach us specifically how many units to trade, what our position sizing algorithm should be, or where we should exit our positions, but we are in many ways still your turtles. Back in 2005, being a couple of average guys in our early twenties from rural North Carolina with no contacts in the industry and no prior training in the science of trading nor system building, the resources you provided were instrumental in helping us get started. Perhaps more important has been the ongoing confirmation provided by your books and daily insights from your site. As many traders would attest, building a profitable trading system is not necessarily the difficult part, it is having the fortitude and confidence to stick with it and sell it in the face of pressure from drawdowns and a misled, doubting public. Every day we continue to trend follow and grow our business is living proof of the ideas you continually put forward–that anyone with the guts and willingness to put in the work can succeed at whatever they are passionate about, whether trading or anything else. Almost seven years into it with just under $20 million in total assets across multiple products, we are still barely a blip on the money management radar. However, we love every minute of our work and are as hungry as ever to grow our business further. We will continue to read your books, follow your sites, and watch your films for any additional insights and hope you keep the passion that sets you apart.”
Brandon Langley

“First of all, thank you for all of your efforts. I have read all of your books and listened to nearly all of the podcast episodes, and am a big fan. Keep it coming! They are really interesting and needed! I like that the podcast have a good amount of “bite” to them. You can tell how much conviction you have about this subject. Late last year I backed my way into becoming a trend following trader. I lost a lot of money (for me) in a very short period of time (when the government debt-ceiling situation was going on last summer), and stopped trading for months. I told myself, I would not trade until I “figured this shit out.” What I ended up w/ is a trend following, systematic approach. I used to read a ton of news, watch CNBC, take “hot” tips, etc. but have quickly learned that true wealth is not built that way. This year I was lucky enough to find your resources, and am glad I did. It is helping me take the system that I developed last year and build it out completely and with confidence. I’ve truly learned a lot. Anyhow, I wanted to give you a few ideas for your podcast: I think it would be interesting to interview X amount of traders – half fundamental/news oriented and half system/trend followers. You could do this verbally or via a form… Then, 2 years or so down the road, talk to them again and see what has happened in their trading career and the results they’ve had, etc. The reason I say this is b/c if you had interviewed me from 12 months ago and again now, it would be comical! I had no selling plan (and I am very plan-oriented!) or consistent strategy. It would be a performance battle of fundamentalist vs. technical. Brett Steenbarger is an outstanding author as you know – he would be a great interview. Entrepreneurship vs. our education/factory system that isn’t working – I know you just had one podcast on this (and mention it frequently), but more on this would be great. We, as a country, are not in good shape going forward. Selfishly, I would like to hear more detail on position sizing and risk management – my automated strategy trades only stocks currently, but I have a diversified group and plan to trade international stocks in the near future as I ramp up my trading to my full account value. The relationship between sports and investing/life… I played college football and can relate nearly everything to the sport, just like you can to baseball. I think sports are my most important degree – more so than mechanical engineering and business. Seth Godin – this is a stretch, but he is brilliant. At least talk about “prajna” that he refers to… Central to being a linchpin is the ability to “see things as they truly are” or what the Buddhist might call “prajna”. More about this: in your opinion, can trend following be successful with stocks?”

“I can’t remember exactly how I stumbled across your name but it was probably only a month or two ago. Basically I had been trading on an ad hoc discretionary basis for the past 5 years–jumped in at the peak! Unfortunately, I was one of the many and I hope not totally unintelligent, but definitely ignorant investors who don’t quite have the full picture and get the usual results we deserve. Most of the last 12 months I had been doing rather nicely, a lot of winners but a few large losses would always come to spoil the party and I ended up in the hole. I looked over my results and it became patently obvious that I need to be doing the exact opposite of what I had been doing. I had been brought up on the fundamentalist buy and hold crap, but there was always something nagging at the back of my mind telling me that that was essentially an all or nothing bet–as even the top stocks can disappear. So basically I knew I had to make this paradigm shift. It was a little scary and it wasn’t until I stumbled across your podcast that it became perfectly obvious what I had to do. I must also say that I was a little proud of myself (out of all my failures I have to find something positive) that at least I was the right track (just not quite on the train yet). I just lacked the confidence and a little focus/direction to put it in to play. So basically I just wanted to thank you. Only one suggestion. I am at the point now where I want to actually develop and test my own systems. It would be great–not sure if possible, if you could ask some of your interviewees how they actually began in regards to system development software etc. Your interview with [a trader], as all of them are, was extremely interesting–particularly as he trades only for himself. The one part that resonated with me was when he spoke about starting out on the trend following path and that he then thought he would have to become an expert programmer. He didn’t elaborate but the implication was that he changed his mind. It would be interesting to know what changed his mind as I am at that same point now. Very happy to become an expert programmer if necessary but if there is a better way it would be a good time to find it. I don’t expect a reply, as the reason for the email was to thank you. You’ve put me firmly on the right path. Anyway–better get back to my day job–for now!”
Andrew [name]
Melbourne, VIC Australia

“Carl Sagan said: “We have…arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” Think about this as it relates to our current financial community, and ask yourself what the implications could mean for your own personal economy.”

“I want to thank you for pursuing your passion for trend following so tenaciously. I consider myself very new to the concept of trend following. I was first introduced to this style of trading and the story of the turtles traders in 2007 by a mentor of mine. I was 25 years old. At the time, I had become very interested in trading, stocks, and the allure of making money in the market. All the “knowledgeable and older” people I spoke to of this passion said there’s no such thing as fast money and it was best to stick with a buy and hold strategy. The message was, I should save 10% of my income and wait 40 years and I’d retire as a wealthy person. During this period, I read a few books on trading, mostly about using fundamental analysis and executing a buy and hold strategy to identify stocks with a high growth potential. I executed a few trades, made some money, lost some money and than walked away from trading believing it just wasn’t for me. I started funding my IRA and 401K using run of the mill mutual funds and put my active trading interest on hold. Fast forward to last summer, I am sitting in a tent in Kandahar, Afghanistan working for the U.S. Air Force. It’s the middle of the night and after reading on the Internet for days about trend following and the turtle traders story, I declared to a partner of mine. “I am going to teach myself how to trade.” He laughed at me and said you’ll likely lose all your money and for Gods sakes don’t buy some canned trading training program. He told me if your going to learn to trade, teach yourself, because that’s probable the only way that’s you’ll be successful. I thought it was good advice and I followed it. By the middle of the summer of 2012, I had become disgusted with the options I had for a executing a traditional buy and hold strategy. I had watched friends and family lose thousands of dollars in the 2008 crash, than gain some of it back, but at the same time, intuitively it didn’t seem right to me that I should be investing my hard earned money in mutual funds knowing those fund managers must be making millions on us “Joe Public”. Do they have my best interests in their hearts? What makes them smarter than me? How come it seems like the game everyone is playing is fixed? Additionally, I felt like having to be an expert in stock picking by reading companies balance sheets, or discerning broad trends, or by identifying hot market sectors through the news wasn’t going to work for me. I thought diversification only meant buying and holding different asset classes based on a defined time horizon. I didn’t understand what technical analysis was. By this time, I was trading here and there, but all the time, I felt like my activity was no better than guessing. I had no idea how much of an equity to buy, how long to hold, or what the function of a stop loss was. I didn’t understand the concept and application of trending following. I’d never heard of an automated trading system. Sitting in that tent, that very night, I went on Amazon bought 3 of your books, had them shipped to me in Afghanistan. I than began reading everything I could find on trending following, the turtle story and alternatives to discretionary trading. After I made this decision to teach myself to trade, it was as though something clicked in my mind. Ed Seykota says “intention = results”. Well I intended to learn to trade and I intended to use trending following as the vehicle. Thanks to the guidance, data, results, and discussions on trading software outlined in your books I’ve been able to make this happen. From your books, I’ve learned 90 percent of what I need to know about trend following and the rest was filled in by additional reading and through though trial and error. I kept thinking back to my past trading successes and failures, and realized I had been blindly making classic trading mistakes. After I made the decision to pursue developing an automated trending following system. I found the work in your books invaluable in solidifying and clearly defining a path to an alternative way of thinking and trading. Something about your descriptions of taking emotion out of the trading process was deeply appealing to my mind. Armed with all the evidence and knowledge from your work, I am now able to confidently say trend following is really the only method for trading that I can see will win in the long term. It was through your work that you lifted the val on this style of trading for me, and I’m sure, many other people like. In closing, I want to thank you for being so passionate about this style of trading. It comes through clearing in your books, on your websites, and in your podcast. Without your dedication and passion for trend trading, I wouldn’t be applying my own passion for being successful in my life. I just wanted to tell my story about teaching myself how to trade; going from zero to an active trading system by sheer determination with an intention to following a different path outlined through your work and others like you. Hopefully, I can endure the inevitable draw downs and second guessing that comes with trend following. Armed with the knowledge outlined in your work, I think I can.”

“I thoroughly enjoy your material and it has helped me immensely! In fact I like it well enough I give your books out to some of my clients and bought the DVD trading course! I am going to apologize upfront that this email may get a little long and I know you are extremely busy but there is something weighing in my head that I thought you may be able to shed some light on, or point me in the right direction for some added information. I have been putting a lot of thought into the “Why” of Why a market moved up or down. I have posed this rather simple question to myself “Why do markets move higher or why do markets move lower – essentially why do they trend?” I think I have read nearly all of your material as well as several other books and have done some online research but have not yet found a satisfying explanation of why price moves higher or why price moves lower. I am not being critical of the information I have read and it may even be my own fault that I have glazed over something significant and may have missed the answer to my own question in your writings but for myself the question of “why” a market moves (trends) has been nagging at me for the last several months. As I have posed the question to myself, I have chosen to examine the question in the most general terms and in a way that is most robust to any market. Meaning that I am looking at in the broadest context and not necessarily in the minutia of the every few day moves or intraday moves but more generally why does price continue to generally keep moving in one direction or another for a period of time. From another perspective, I am looking at it in the context of what is the one common element across ALL markets that makes price go higher or go lower. I have two motivations for getting to the bottom of my “why” question. First, I have clients that call everyday with the same dumb question and it goes something like this – “why did the corn go up today or why did the cattle go down today?” I sort of feel like a dumbass when I tell them things like it rained out today, or exports were better than expected or the cash cattle market is stronger because I know that to the root of why a market did what it did has nothing to do with any of my standard answers, but for the moment that’s what they like to talk about and I’m not sure I really have anything better that will satisfy them. So essentially I would like to give them a better answer to their why question. My second motivation which is the stronger of my two reasons for going in search of the “why” is my stronger motivator. My thoughts are that if I better understand the “Why” of Why a market is higher or lower (or trending) I think it lays a better foundation to my own understanding of why trend following works so well. I see that markets trend and your information offers a lot of compelling information for trend following, but I really have been struggling with Why they trend. My thoughts have been that if I can fully understand and articulate why they trend I will become an even better trend following trader. Over the course of the last couple of months I have come up with my own hypothesis to the question and am fairly satisfied at least in my own mind why markets move in one direction or the other but have yet to find any writings that truly validate my thoughts. My hypothesis of the “Why” is so extremely simple that I am sitting here thinking to myself… Can it really be that simple? So here I am posing the question to you… In your writings or in others writings that you have come across, have you found a very straight forward answer to “Why” markets trend or why markets are higher or lower. Essentially we see that markets do trend in one direction or another but why do they trend?”

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One more!

Oh, I forgot. Love this magazine article. She ties her path to fortune directly to my book TurtleTrader. I hope you enjoyed reading the above trading success stories and that they give you the inspiration to be a success yourself.

Started Her Path to Fortune After Reading TurtleTrader
Started Her Path to Fortune After Reading TurtleTrader

The Author