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Trend Following Goes Against Established Orthodoxy

Trend following can be a counterintuitive. It goes against the orthodoxy of buy and hold, fundamental analysis, value investing, Warren Buffett, EMH and Federal-Reserve-Trust-the-Government ZIRP policy. Further, it is not day trading, HFT, Elliott wave or candlestick patterns. All market prediction strategies are false narratives.

Trend following is something different. Trend following reacts to market movements.

Leave Your Analysis at the Door

Feedback in:

Dear Micheal, I have a question for you that you might be having an answer for it. The question is related to those that try to ignore your market views only because its not based on fundamentals but based on TA [technical analysis], which is a huge debate that has been going on for centuries. For example, when you do your analysis and come up with a result that [the] market is indicting weakness in the medium term but market continues going higher and after few weeks or a month markets start to sell off aggressively and losing 15% in 1 week. Those people come to you and tell you, “But you where bearish for a long time and market went up and if we sold at that time we would have lost that the extra profit,” while if you told them [the] market could drop tomorrow, and it did they will also say that there was not enough time to get out as your call was late. How do you over come such debate? Appreciate your thoughts. Thanks in advance.

I am a trend follower. None of this debate or analysis applies. Have you read my first two books?

Note: Asking to read my books is not a dodge to his question, but rather an answer that will make his life better if he listens.

No Charts, Just Price Data


I am struggling to find good charts online. I mean information friendly, showing plenty of chart history, no technical bullshit just plain easy to read charts. Could you suggest any good charting websites to me? I love your books and podcasts by the way.

Why charts? Why not just the data from (as an example)? No charts needed. In fact, why are charts needed? The moment a chart is introduced is the moment subjective analysis rears its ugly head.

Mikhail Prokhorov on too Much Information and Why Snowflakes Have No Relevance to Trading Succes

Feedback in:

“Hi Michael, do you think that hidden divergence is a good indicator of trend continuation after a retracement? Thanks in advance.”

Jeff, exact definitions of ‘hidden divergence’, ‘trend continuation’ and ‘retracement’?

“Hidden divergence is defined as follows (from If price is making a higher low (HL), but the oscillator is making a lower low (LL), this is considered hidden bullish divergence. If price is making a lower high (LH), but the oscillator is making a higher high (HH), then you have hidden bearish divergence. In a market that trends in a particular overall direction, the main trend is typically punctuated by periods where the market goes in the opposite direction of the main trend (forgive me if this is stating the obvious). ‘Retracement’ is when the market goes in the opposite direction to that of the main trend, and ‘trend continuation’ is a return to that main trend following a retracement.

Jeff, I am not sure how it is all relevant to trend following!

“Fair enough! Incidentally, do you think this difficulty in translating into mathematical formulas what is obvious to the human eye might explain why hedge funds haven’t sacked their technical analysts and replaced them with computers? :)”

In my book I talk about predictive and reactive technical analysis. The later is trend following. The former is BS. Some, just like BS. 🙂

“I’ve just had a look at your book. Is the distinction that predictive TA looks at things like Fibonacci numbers and Elliott waves, whereas reactive TA is simply interested in jumping onto an existing trend and staying with it until it shows signs of coming to an end?”

I like my explanations better, but I think you get it.

“I read a book called Trading Chaos a while back, in which the authors talked about physics and the prevalence of fractals in nature. It was all very interesting, but I struggle to see the relevance of the properties of a snowflake to any market, either brick or virtual!”

There is no relevance! This conversation with a reader of mine reminded me of a recent article about the new owner of the Nets: Mikhail Prokhorov. Prokhorov has told the world that he avoids the internet:

“I don’t use a computer. We have too much information and it’s really impossible to filter it.”

Bill Simmons, in his article on ESPN, adds:

“You know what? He’s not necessarily wrong. Do we REALLY need all this information? Like, right now — you’re reading this column and hopefully enjoying it, but ultimately, could you have survived the weekend if you missed it? I say yes. Just about everything online fits that mold — you have to sift through loads of bad writing and irrelevant information to find the occasional entertaining/funny/interesting thing, and even then, it’s not something that’s making or breaking your week. Ever been on a vacation and had little-to-no Internet access that week? You survived, right? Maybe the big Russian is on to something.”

Exactly. Isn’t that paragraph a great explanation as to why purveyors of too much analysis…are [expletive]? Its a great endorsement of trend following.

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