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

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

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

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

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

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Ep. 566: Induced with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Induced with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio
Induced with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

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Fear drives all in today’s world. Two operations who have not let fear dictate their trading are Berkshire Hathaway and Dunn Capital. Both have 40+ year track records that should be studied. What was their system? How has it worked? If you look at the month by month and year by year of these two much can be learned. Both track records have not just gone up, up, up–they have had massive drawdowns (at least by the definitions of mortals) and still they have been able to persevere. No matter who you are, the ability to adapt to the markets is mission critical.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Drawdowns
  • Dunn Capital performance
  • Warren Buffett performance
  • Risk management
  • Ego in trading
  • Cognitive dissidence
  • Efficient market hypothesis
  • Black Swans
  • Transparency
  • Critics; Trolls!

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Ep. 525: Martin Bergin Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Martin Bergin
Martin Bergin

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Martin “Marty” Bergin is the President and owner of DUNN Capital Management. Bergin began working with DUNN in 1997. He took over the day-to-day operations of the firm in 2007 and became owner in 2015 (Bill Dunn remains Chairman). DUNN has an outstanding track record that spans over 40 years. Bergin first met Dunn while he was tasked with doing an audit of the company over the course of 7 years. Once the audit was over, Dunn offered him a job.

There has been ongoing dialogue since 2008 that trend following has been a negative. DUNN Capital’s track record does not reflect that. They have been doing things different. They are 100% systematic. They do not have an army of traders staring at screens. All emotion has been removed from the equation and traders use algorithms that have already been put in place to make day to day trades. They take positions strictly based on what the system tells them to do.

Managed futures (read: trend following) was the only strategy that stood out during the 2008 crisis. Historically DUNN has been able to outperform the S&P over their 40 year track record. I argue that when looking at their performance side by side with S&P performance, there could be a whole class taught on the chart. Bergin says that with all the changes in America (mostly political) there is no telling if the new policy’s that are said to come will crash the S&P or double the S&P. He has no way to predict the future and neither does anyone else.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Management fees
  • How the financial industry works
  • Systematic trend following strategies
  • Trading off of price data
  • The advantages of diversity in your portfolio

“What has more information in it than price? It is the accumulation of all information in the marketplace, and that is all we trade.” – Marty Bergin

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You Are Right… The World Could End

Feedback in:

I am looking forward to a future show with more details from Dunn Capital. If I’m not mistaken, they would have a practical opinion on the usefulness of both Bayesian Inference and Efron’s bootstrap method. Efron, of course, is the author of the Bayes critique cited above.

Per the Kaminski piece, there is no guarantee that 800 years of evidence won’t be undone by a perpetual and implacable tyranny of central bank price discovery suppression. This research looks suspiciously like new marketing materials from Greyserman/Hite etal. In today’s world It is absolutely invalid to say that stop orders which lost money on concentrated bets in the US stock index will be a justifiable risk control cost when the market gaps down 50% over a weekend because the Fed finally sh*ts the bed. How can any credible trend follower say they don’t care to know anything about unprecedented and precarious risks to the monetary system in their analysis?

Dunn seems to have taken more into account than ISAM. An educated guess about Dunn’s risk throttle is that one of the inputs is proportional to the difference between the overnight rate and the CPI.

Further to reducing risk in a low payoff environment (throttling), one of your other guests, Peter Schiff, (who you must interview again) has a decent theory that CPI and the overnight rate will never again cross paths or at least not until Keynesian central banking is dead and buried.

BTW, if something goes wrong with the monetary system, have you considered the possibility that agricultural markets and other markets with lock limits could suddenly and simultaneously be both lock limit up and lock limit down?

I’m guessing, in your mind, you have this idea that it is impossible for all positions to simultaneously lose because there is both a long and short side. One side has to win by definition, right? Well, maybe not…

Think about the situation where the monetary system is pushed to the breaking point. Where in the CME rule book does it say a market can’t be locked both up and down? Trend following strongly depends on the assumption of knowing prices or at least a sensible price ranges. What happens when this is suddenly a bad assumption?

DUNN CEO already appeared on my podcast. TFs don’t use Fed analysis in their trading. Of course, as you note, the world could end. In that case far more issues than trading will be relevant.

Old Pro Wisdom

An quotation from an old pro trend follower:

“Why do people think they’re smarter than the market long-term? What gives them that confidence? I guess people feel dumb if they can’t predict what the market is going to do in the short term. They’re too proud to admit they don’t know what to do when they’re wrong. They don’t have the capacity to understand the digits that are scrolling by on the bottom of the television. I don’t. It’s too much noise. That’s why we rely on our system.”

Who is being quoted? Hint: he did not start trading until his late thirties.

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