“You’ve surrounded yourself with one of the most advanced group of mentors possible…The people on your podcasts, and people in your life, all are people with strong opinions, all people that make you think and make you grow. You just have some kind of an affinity for people like that, and that’s part of what makes you good at what you do.” Ed Seykota, Market Wizard
Michael Covel is the voice behind Trend Following™ Radio. His podcast is the underground alternative hit that has ranked as high as #2 on iTunes investing channel (with 7M+ listens and counting).
Q: Michael, how did this podcast happen? A: During the production of my filminterview skills developed. And after my 4th book I decided on a whim to launch a trading podcast. It has gone far beyond trading to network TV-level-guest diversity. Nobel prize winners on my show? Never expected that, but I embrace it. Check out nice words from the Wall Street Journal:
“Michael Covel’s podcast has had over  million listeners and he’s completed [600+] episodes. He’s probably the most established podcaster on this list—and it shows. Mr. Covel’s podcast is great for those looking for alternative views on the market, those who are tired of hearing the same old stories told on CBNC and other traditional outlets. This is highly recommended if you are looking to expand your mind in investing. Mr. Covel has had some incredible guests, to include multiple Nobel Prize winners and world-famous investors. One of my favorite episodes was when Mr. Covel interviewed Annie Duke, a former professional poker player who has some incredible insights on decision making. Mr. Covel always has me thinking and Annie Duke only amplified my brain-wave activity.”
Having the right fundamental information will never guarantee success. Ray Dalio, one of the biggest traders on Wall Street says he trades off of fully automated fundamentals. If this is true what fundamentals does he choose to automate? In the same head space a reader forwarded Michael a tweet recently. It was a tweet from an executive associated with a big USA trading firm. This executive was asked by a business student, “What does a typical week look like for you?” His list went like this [Michael digs in]… How much time is being wasted?
If consuming that information isn’t needed then what do you use to trade? One piece of information – price. You take the price and look at the trend. Things in motion tend to stay in motion. Forming rules that you can stick to when the big trends come is key to anyone’s trading success.
Hello there Michael, I’m a 20 year old Swede who really likes trading, as well as your work. First of all I would like to thank you dearly for your great podcasts and books. It surely is an entire joy every Monday & Friday when a new podcast comes out. More important, it seems quite amazing that you share more or less all the fundamental views I hold toward the world. Actually, I, just like you, read Ayn Rand at an early age which changed me a lot. And finding you who preserves those views is fantastic! Since I respect you so much I would like to ask you some things about trading. Now, I know you are really in to the trend following path, and I agree on most part of your analysis towards it. However, I believe that the fundamentals sometimes can be really important as well. For instance, one strategy that has served me well has been to short gold whenever the market tends to believe 3-4 rate hikes is on the play, and then go long on gold whenever the market tends to believe the rate hikes is off the table. This of course is related to the gold being priced in USD and then obviously gains when the USD fall. Now that might not be a fundamental strategy but more of a “market sentiment orientated strategy…” However, I wonder, do you ever use any fundamental analysis or do you only use technical tools such as SMA & EMA? Least but last, I would like to ask you if it would be possible to hold an interview with someone from Zero Hedge?
“Tends to believe”?
“On the play”?
Everything I just put in [bold] is guessing? No specificity? There are exact rules with precise numbers? Or just intuition or hunches? See the problems here?
I really don’t get why you need to be so mean? Just because you need to have an 100% absolute concrete trading strategy doesn’t mean that everything else sucks. It’s just pathetic to respond to me like that, so regarding my initial question, never fucking mind!
Michael, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your work. I have read most of your books and they are exactly what I needed. You see I am a veteran of the brokerage business (30 Years) and I have always known intuitively that something about the entire business was, and is, a lie. Analysts have no skin in the game, management doesn’t care if you make money, it’s all about assets under management that’s why they will never say sell. “Just buy more.” You see I used to look at CFA’s as the smartest people in the room. Now I know that they are really just financial weathermen trying to predict the future. Something that can’t be done. I have adopted for my clients a simple trend following rules based strategy, and it amazes me how hard it is to change minds. It is so simple they somehow think it can’t work. But I will keep plugging away and I know you will to. The business needs to change even the other brokers in my office look at me like a freak when I tell them to stop listening to analyst’s and “stop buying stocks that are going down.” Old habits die very, very hard. Just wanted to say thanks.
Looks like this feedback was inspired by my recent interview here.
Michael Covel interviews Josh Hawes. Josh is the Risk Officer and Investment Manager of Hawking Alpha. He is a trend following trader now who started off at Goldman Sachs. Josh breaks apart the trading industry, highlighting many of the cons associated with the mutual fund space.
Josh has always had a passion for math. He started looking at the performance of different funds within Goldman. As soon as he started to look at returns of some, he began to see a disconnect. They would judge themselves off “beating the index” but they were still losing massive amounts of money. They would also have access to CEO’s of top companies and still not be able to make money off of the information they would share. This is when he began to transition out of the company and turn to other forms of trading, not just long only.
Josh was given many books to read while at Goldman. “Reminiscences of a Stock Operator” was one that resonated with him the most. “Trend Following” was another book that Josh had come across. “Trend Following” triggered him to reach out to some of the traders mentioned in the book. Ed Seykota and Jerry Parker were just a couple of the traders he was able to spark up a conversation with by reaching out.
Next, Michael and Josh break apart index investing. Josh says everyone should ask themselves, “Why does the market owe you anything? And if the market goes down, does that not mean that the markets can go down for a long period of time?” You can’t say that you should go long the market because for 200 years the market has gone up. There has been massive ups and downs and you have to be able to navigate the down periods. Michael then asks, “How does one become the next Warren Buffett?” Josh says that 2008 is one of the best examples of why you could never be the next Warren Buffett. There are a lot of people in the mutual fund space that try and mirror Buffett. Some of these people fail trading the exact strategy as Buffett. So does that make Buffett lucky or a genius?
Josh and his firm guarantees to always follow their stops. He guarantees his clients that he will be a trend follower and although he can not guarantee any level of return, he will always follow his stops. This sets Josh and other trend followers apart from fundamental traders. Josh then segues into what he believes are the four ways to make money: When prices move, when prices don’t move, arbitrage, and high frequency trading. He expands on these four points and gives examples. Michael and Josh end the podcast on the importance of talking directly with clients and connecting with people on a personal basis.
In this episode of Trend Following Radio:
Trading off fundamentals
Keeping up with the Jones’s
Smooth equity curve’s
Concept of an Index
Mutual fund industry
High frequency trading
“Every trading system starts with an idea. The idea is a concept that describes some aspect of the way a particular market or all markets work.” – Hawking Alpha
Michael Covel breaks apart Bill Ackman and Valeant Pharmaceuticals. He reads from a MarketWatch article that highlights documents that came from a Senate committee investigating the Valeant scandal, and the various reactions of top people involved. Michael also outlines and comments on various interchanges between Bill Ackman, Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, and news outlets.
This episode is a “behind the curtain look” at billionaire traders and the seduction of fundamentals.
Just a little attitude in this episode…
In this episode of Trend Following Radio:
Valeant vs. Enron
The Deep State
Fixing the media
Trading off price
“You have to fight back with intelligence. You have to fight back with smarts. You have to fight back with a good strategy. You can’t just sit there and accept what the system gives you because the system is going to give you exactly what it wants to give you.” – Michael Covel