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Ep. 513: John Galt Returns with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

John Galt Returns with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio
John Galt Returns with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

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Phil Donahue and Ayn Rand are on the podcast today, but one of them is of course dead. Rand is best known for her two best selling novels, “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged.” Michael plays two clips of Donahue interviewing Rand. Rand is controversial, but her thinking is accurate and clear. She breaks down altruism, government regulation, free market, monopoly, God, feminism, terrorism, and many more topics. You may not agree with her on all points, but there is inspiration to be taken away from her passion and to-the-point thinking.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Altruism
  • Government regulation
  • Acting on faith
  • Living by emotion, not reason
  • Women’s rights
  • Religion
  • Monopoly
  • Spending money on the un-gifted minds rather than the gifted
  • A “me” society
  • Definition of a dictator

Mentions & Resources:

Listen to this episode:

Who is John Galt?
Who is John Galt?

Atlas Shrugged Influence

Joe Capone writes:

“You say that you put books out to ignite conversation. Well, I just finished reading Atlas Shrugged today, at your recommendation. What are your thoughts about this great novel, in relation to trend following and trading? I am curious to hear your thoughts. Thanks Michael.”

Ed Seykota first told me to read Atlas 10 years ago–as a condition to our initial conversation! I have since found that so many top traders look to Rand’s work. For example, David Harding also brought up Atlas Shrugged in conversation as a major influence.

Who is John Galt?

Who is John Galt?

“Happiness is not to be achieved at the command of emotional whims. Happiness is not the satisfaction of whatever irrational wishes you might blindly attempt to indulge. Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy—a joy without penalty or guilt, a joy that does not clash with any of your values and does not work for your own destruction, not the joy of escaping from your mind, but of using your mind’s fullest power, not the joy of faking reality, but of achieving values that are real, not the joy of a drunkard, but of a producer. Happiness is possible only to a rational man, the man who desires nothing but rational goals, seeks nothing but rational values and finds his joy in nothing but rational actions. Just as I support my life, neither by robbery nor alms, but by my own effort, so I do not seek to derive my happiness from the injury of the favor of others, but earn it by my own achievement. Just as I do not consider the pleasure of others as the goal of my life, so I do not consider my pleasure as the goal of the lives of others. Just as there are no contradictions in my values and no conflicts among my desires—so there are no victims and no conflicts of interest among rational men, men who do not desire the unearned and do not view one another with a cannibal’s lust, men who neither make sacrifices nor accept them. The symbol of all relationships among such men, the moral symbol of respect for human beings, is the trader. We, who live by values, not by loot are traders, both in manner and spirit. A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved. A trader does not ask to be paid for his failures, nor does he ask to be loved for his flaws. A trader does not squander his body as fodder, or his soul as alms. Just as he does not give his work except in trade for material values, so he does not give the values of his spirit—his love, his friendship, his esteem—except in payment and in trade for human virtue, in payment for his own selfish pleasure, which he receives from men he can respect. The mystic parasites who have, throughout the ages, reviled the trader and held him in contempt, while honoring the beggars and the looters, have known the secret motive of the sneers: a trader is the entity they dread—a man of justice.”

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