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Ep. 395: Rob Walling Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Rob Walling
Rob Walling

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On today’s episode of Trend Following Radio Michael Covel interviews Rob Walling. Rob may not be a trader, but he is a serial entrepreneur. And trading at its heart, after all, is an entrepreneurial activity. Rob started early. When he was eight his parents purchased an Apple computer and he learned to code to create video games, and when he got into college he realized coding could be profitable. He asked himself, “What can I do that I can leverage?” In the late 90’s he got his first paid job writing code for a consulting firm and around 2007/2008 he transitioned full time into creating and producing his own products.

Rob talks about learning from every job and every encounter. He speaks to real life experience and how it is paramount to success. Rob was passionate from the start about coding. He did it long before he thought it could be a paying gig. Michael and Rob also give examples of why you need to start at the beginning and figure out how to build your audience. If you are in your 20’s you especially need to realize that you don’t know everything. You are missing something. No matter how smart and motivated you are, you need that real life experience.

When trying to start your business Rob gives examples such as: pick a few people that resonate with you and focus in on them, only take the information you need at that point in time, and above all, stop shooting for the Zuckerberg “dream”. He sees so many businesses trying to be a “one hit wonder”. They aren’t thinking about building a business that is going to last. Rob has a straight forward approach to bootstrapping called the stair-step approach that he outlines on the podcast (as well as on his website).

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Rob Walling’s “Stair-Step Approach”
  • Growth hackers
  • The act of creating
  • Focusing on the “Unicorn” rather than reality
  • Filtering your information
  • Skin deep information

“Software becomes like building a skyscraper. You can’t go back and replace that foundation. Once it’s up, its just too hard.” – Rob Walling

“It’s easy to be great, its hard to be consistent” – Steve Martin

“You can’t jump to the majors if you haven’t played little league yet.” – Rob Walling

Mentions & Resources:

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Around the World Entrepreneurism

Feedback in:

Hi Michael,

It seems much easier working full time from Asia but many pitfalls still exist. Let me know when you are in Bangkok next time. I can share many stories from the first visit in 1998 to working and living full time in Asia. Enjoying your podcasts. I bought Taylor’s book today look forward to reading it.

Best Fortunes,

Thanks for the feedback.

I have worked for myself since Netscape IPO (geographic location irrelevant).

Pitfalls only exist for those that don’t properly call them opportunities!

Ep. 343: Ryan Holiday Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday

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

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Ep. 340: Tim Ferriss Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Tim Ferriss
Tim Ferriss

Michael Covel speaks with Tim Ferriss on today’s podcast. Tim Ferriss is an author, blogger and motivational speaker known for his bestselling books The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef. To Covel Ferriss is otherwise known as the guy who has revolutionized the idea of writing a book; he has engineered the process of a bestseller. If you want to write a book, there is no one else better to learn from. Also a big influence on Covel: the idea of location independence. This is the idea that if you have your laptop and an internet connection, you can work from anywhere. Now, after all these bestselling books, Ferriss has a new TV show, The Tim Ferriss Experiment, all about the process of “learning”. Covel and Ferriss discuss why the wrestler Dan Gable is part of Ferriss’ drive; the “grinding” aspect of wrestling, and how that has played into Ferriss’ career; the early lessons learned about making a TV show; the 80/20 rule; comparisons to the Turtle experiment; the idea of getting older, recovery, and athletics. Trailer: For more information on Tim Ferriss, visit

Listen to this episode:

Trend Following Radio Feedback

Feedback in:


Hope all is well. I thought it was only appropriate to connect with you after listening to probably around 100 of your podcasts. I live in Silver Spring and every day on my commute to Exelon (energy company, where I work in Baltimore), I listen to your podcasts.

I am 27-years old now and for the past 4-5 years I have been learning how to trade based on technical analysis and price action. A few years ago, I learned that simple is better in terms of indicators/trade setups and risk management is key to not blowing up my account. My current strategy consists of two general trades; swing trades (buying on pullbacks to long term trend lines) and buying breakouts of consolidations or to new highs. The indicators I use are trend lines (horizontal/diagonal), volume, candlesticks, moving averages as support and resistance and relative strength vs the S&P 500.

After listening to many of your podcasts, the commonalities between the traders and portfolio managers are apparent and have become part of the way I think and part of my rules. I am emailing you for two reasons; firstly, to thank you for all the great podcasts and for giving me a place to hear from like-minded individuals. Secondly, I am trying to find a a mentor to help me find a way to turn my part time hobby/passion outside of work, into a career. Are there any trend following/price action based traders/portfolio managers that you know of in the Washington, DC metro area? Also, if you have some time, it would be great to talk with you.

Have a great weekend Sunday in Asia.


Thanks for the note. Many issues related to mentorship are sprinkled throughout my podcast monologues. Circle back on those. More thoughts on mentorship? The DIY effort seen across Godin blog–is highly recommended.

There Is Only One Turtle Story

How do you make it on Wall Street? Some feedback:

Dear Mr. Covel, My name is [Name] and I just finished reading “The Complete TurtleTrader” for the second time. I recently graduated college as a psychology major but I am determined to work in the finance/investment world. Therefore, two quotes from page 15 and 16 really spoke to me:

“I think it’s far more important to know what Freud thinks about death wishes than what Milton Friedman thinks about deficit spending.” “Go down to Wall Street today after work with the hot-shot traders all earning $500,000 a year at the big banks and you’ll find very few who talk about Freud being the ticket to making millions.”

I’m writing this email to get your advice. I’ve applied to many big investment firms and haven’t even gotten a call back. I’ve even applied to Vanguard as a lowly Client Relationship specialist just to get my foot in the door. I did get a call back from them, but it’s been two months.

How can I secure the career I desire? It seems as if nobody recognizes the importance of psychology in finance. I’ve read well over 100 investment books in the past two years, I’ve beaten the market and I’ve even started an investment/personal finance website. I’ve included this in my cover letters and there’s STILL nothing. Right now I plan to go at it on my own and take my Series 65 soon, but I wonder if there’s a better way.

Because your work really affected me and it seems as if you (and Richard Dennis) understand how I feel, what should I do?

Thanks a lot. I appreciate your time, keep up the amazing work!


But you missed a big issue. The role of entrepreneur in investing, trading. Trading has a few stories of working for someone else, but the real way to freedom and success in the space is DIY. I would recommend a non-trading book: Linchpin by Seth Godin. 50 pages in I suspect you might see the flaw in your pursuit.

PS. Only one Turtle story.

Trend Following Is Entrepreneurial By Definition

Feedback in:

Michael, I was just listening to your podcast with Jon Boorman and it was so fitting. I had just connected with Jerry Parker on LinkedIn and was in the middle of contacting him about getting some feedback for someone just starting out. I’d love to get some feedback from you too. I would love to find a business partner who could put up the capital while I put in the “sweat equity”. I want to do my research and develop my system and eventually start my own fund/CTA/RIA. I would, if course, be splitting my fees with my business partner. First, does that sound like a reasonable way to go about getting started. Second, how do I go about making that proposition appealing to potential partners? My goal is to one day be interviewed on your podcast as someone who has been successful in trend following and to give back to the trend following community as Jerry Parker seems to be doing.

Looking forward to your response.

Devour my books and podcast then see if you ask the same question! Also, read Seth Godin’s blog. The last few years of his entries should be an entrepreneurial eyeopener.

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