Michael Covel speaks with Ryan Holiday on his third visit to the podcast. Holiday is an American author, writer, and marketer. He is the media strategist behind authors Tucker Max and Robert Greene, the former Director of Marketing for American Apparel and an editor-at-large for the New York Observer. Today, Covel and Holiday discuss the process of writing a book. Whether or not you want to write a book yourself, the timeless topics Covel and Holiday cover apply not just to writing, but to life. Covel and Holiday discuss the idea of always being in a research mindset; why some people don’t take advantage of standing on the shoulders of the giants that came before them; to know where you’re going and to have a plan when it comes to writing; why it’s “all material”; the idea of listening to the same song over and over again; the “flow” state and its importance in writing; the importance of having a purpose in your writing; discipline and commitments; outsourcing and hiring experts for your writing project. For more information on Ryan Holiday, visit ryanholiday.net.
Michael Covel talks with trader and author Richard Weissman. Weissman is a professional trader with over 25 years of experience. His most recent book is “Trade Like a Casino: Find Your Edge, Manage Risk, and Win Like the House“. Weissman considers himself a “swing trader”, and he and Covel compare this approach to that of a trend following trader. Covel and Weissman have some contrasts in their techniques, including Weissman’s use of fundamentals in his trading, and they work out their differences along the way. However, regardless of the name they give to their individual trading styles, Covel and Weissman have plenty of commonalities and they discuss some classic precepts that are important to the foundational philosophy of any good trader. The two explore Weissman’s path from how he started trading with his father in 1987 to how he made his way to where he is today. Further topics include the background to Weissman naming his book “Trade Like a Casino”, and how Casinos and the gaming industry are the models for successful speculative trading; the influence of Jack Schwager’s work; risk management; positive expectancy; how Weissman defines trends and signs of strength; the idea of “don’t anticipate, just participate”; positive expectancy and the probability skew; the connection between table limits and risk management; how there are no truly “safe investments”; some tools that Weissman has used to influence his own trading psychology and smooth out the emotional highs and lows; not letting a high price stop you from buying, and not letting a low price stop you from selling; Weissman’s concept of “the opaque urn”; and the three things you can guarantee. Weissman and Covel also go over some of Weissman’s great one-liners: “don’t tug at green shoots” and “trade the market, not the money”.
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Michael Covel talks with Tadas Viskanta. Viskanta is the founder and editor of the Abnormal Returns blog and a private investor with 20-plus years of experience. His first book, “Abnormal Returns: Winning Strategies from the Frontlines of the Investment Blogosphere”, is out now. Viskanta calls his blog a “forecast free investment blog”, and that sort of outlook certainly appeals to Covel and his trend following philosophy. Covel and Viskanta cover a wide range of topics, from investment philosophies and strategies to the challenges authors and bloggers face in the world today. Specifically, Covel and Viskanta discuss the disadvantage given to those who follow the constant data stream from the media; why Viskanta felt the need to write “Abnormal Returns”, and the strategy and style behind it; the phrase “abnormal returns” and trying to measure returns over and above the risk taken; underperforming; preparing for abrupt change in the markets; Viskanta’s move from value investing to a more systematic strategy–and Covel’s early experiences with value investing material; now that so many global barriers are easy to cross, why so many people have “home bias” and difficulty placing global investments; why people still look at the markets with rose colored lenses and so easily forget the bubbles of the past; the behavior gap; why having a suboptimal strategy that you can follow in a systematic way is better than having no strategy at all; the ramifications of instant feedback in the blogosphere; and why you need a burning desire to be an author today. Yes, some territory is covered!
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Michael Covel speaks with Robert Greene, the bestselling author of the classic book, “The 48 Laws of Power“, in addition to other bestsellers such as “The Art of Seduction”, “The 33 Strategies of War”, and “The 50th Law” with musician and entrepreneur 50 Cent. His new book, “Mastery” is out. Covel and Greene came together through their mutual friend Ryan Holiday (author of “Trust Me, I’m Lying”), a past guest on Covel’s podcast and a former apprentice of Greene. Covel talks to Greene about the influence “The 48 Laws of Power” had on Covel’s own writing; using the 48 Laws as a defense strategy rather than as a cutthroat offense; some of Greene’s early influences that led him into his writing career; using Zen Buddhism and meditation as a tool to gain perspective and focus; the importance of using your unique life experiences in your career to create an irreplaceable style; and embracing opportunity. When “The 48 Laws of Power” unexpectedly pushed a button in the hip-hop community, Greene and musician 50 Cent began a collaboration that eventually became “The 50th Law”. Covel and Greene discuss the stories surrounding their collaboration, why 50 Cent should be taken seriously as an entrepreneur, and how he embodies the paradigm found within Greene’s new book, “Mastery”. On the subject of “Mastery”, Covel and Greene discuss how Greene mined the biographies of both contemporary masters and masters throughout history to discover how these people reached new levels and developed a different kind of intelligence. These people are highly creative, can connect ideas in a way that no one else can, and have become masters in their own respective fields. Greene made the startling discovery that genius, talent, luck, and intelligence did not lead his subjects to this power. Rather, they went through a process: They went through apprenticeships, mentored with the right people, knew how to observe what was happening around them, absorbed all of the rules of their field, developed skills, and had many failures. They aren’t superhuman. They went through a process that Greene discusses in extremely clear terms in his new book. Greene makes the case that given the competition in today’s world, becoming a master in your field is the only way to achieve true success.