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Ep. 575: Tyler Cowen Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Tyler Cowen
Tyler Cowen

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Tyler Cowen is author of “The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream.” Tyler first noticed a problem in America when he began traveling after the financial crisis and saw how “comfortable” life had become for many Americans. People were not taking risks anymore and when risk is taken away, what is left?

There is no way to deliver upward mobility in a society once risk taking, innovation and a sense of urgency has diminished. Americans seemingly have lost the ability to envision a future different than the reality in front of them. Innovation is suffering, travel is disappearing, and people are changing jobs much less than ever before. Tyler describes this shift in mentality as people losing their sense of restlessness and change. There is no feeling of opportunity costs.

Why is this happening? How can American’s not imagine something better? American lives have become safe and comfortable — risk is the only factor that can help transition Americans away from their own complacency. Unfortunately, it won’t happen with people pushing for it, it will have to hit them. We are investing less in science, have obvious issues with cyber vulnerability and infrastructure is not advancing. American culture is lacking and nothing is getting better. Why have people stopped creating? Will there be a great reset in government and on Wall Street? These questions and more are answered throughout the podcast.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Complacency
  • Elon Musk
  • Innovators
  • The millennial generation
  • Democracy as a medium
  • American culture on the decline
  • Illegal and legal drug use
  • Online matching from dating to shopping goods
  • Lifting people out of poverty
  • Jack Ma

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Ep. 559: Daniel DiPiazza Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Daniel DiPiazza
Daniel DiPiazza

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Daniel DiPiazza is founder of the blog and podcast Rich20Something, which is also the title of his first book, “Rich20Something: Ditch Your Average Job, Start an Epic Business, and Score the Life You Want.” How did Daniel understand in his 20’s that he needed to make a big move to set himself up for life? He knew he needed something else. He wanted more than others were able to give him so he decided to start off on his own. His brand sprung up out of frustration.

Michael and Daniel spend time talking about the disadvantages of college. College can be one of the quickest ways to set yourself back a few years and get into massive debt. They seem more like zoo’s these days than places of education. Most kids think at the end of their school career, from kindergarden through college, there is going to be some big prize at the end. Usually there is massive debt and an entry level job waiting for you. Time spent in school should be about actual life skills, like how to manage money, rather than long hand algebra that most will never use. School has turned into a huge business that is more predatory rather than innocent.

Michael and Daniel finish the podcast breaking apart social media. When you compare technology and distractions in terms of pre and post internet, social media can be seen as a huge distraction. If you embrace social media as a different way to talk, engage, and communicate then it is easier to see it as a tool rather than a hindrance.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Compounding money early in life
  • Rogue memorization
  • Non-linear networking
  • Getting a side hustle
  • Distraction
  • Ruthless prioritization
  • Social media

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Ep. 429: Jim Rogers Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Jim Rogers
Jim Rogers

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Today on Trend Following Radio Michael Covel interviews Jim Rogers. Jim is a famed American investor based in Singapore. He was co-founder of the Quantum Fund, and has authored numerous books. Today’s conversation is geared toward the central banking system and the direction Michael and Jim think the world’s economy is headed.

Michael starts the podcast off talking about negative interest rates and if that is a possibility in the U.S. Jim brings up a study published in 2007 that said, “We have the Federal Reserve, we have 1,000 of the most brilliant economists in the world how can we be wrong? How can people say that we are wrong?” Jim says that for the last 30 years the Fed has done just that. They have gotten just about everything wrong. Janet Yellen has been getting everything wrong since before she was even head of the Fed. She blames her blunders on the market being wrong or the public being wrong. According to Jim, every head of the Fed has been an academic and political hack.

Michael posits, “Everyone should be able to imagine another stock crash, we have had enough of them.” Jim says that the debt is staggering right now so when we have a crash it is going to be utter chaos. When we have extreme economic problems a war usually follows as well as someone coming in on a white horse to save the day. That white horse person will also cause more debt and make things even worse. This is the first time in history that government is actually out to destroy the people who have saved and set away for retirement. The middle and saving class has been destroyed before, but that was because of war or inflation. Jim says that it is mind boggling that the government’s solution to clearing up debt is to create more debt.

Next, Michael asks, “How do you see China right now?” Jim says that when they had their big market crash they chose to invest in the future with money they had saved. In America, we did the opposite. We chose to bail out the bureaucrats and make sure the rich didn’t go poor. The European and Japanese central banks have come out saying that they will practice unlimited QE funding. They will print unlimited amounts of money to solve their economic problems. Most do not question this because most people have no idea who or want the central bank is.

Lastly, Michael asks Jim what the best way is to prepare for potential problems that may unfold in the future. Jim says the first thing is to not listen to the news or what you may read on the internet. Stay with what you know and if you don’t think you know something, do nothing..

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Negative interest rates
  • Central banking systems
  • Market crashes
  • The impact of unintended consequences
  • Preparing for the future

“For the last 30 years look at who we have had down there [as the head of the Federal Reserve]. They have all been academic and political hacks.” – Jim Rogers

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Ep. 415: Peter Gray Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Peter Gray
Peter Gray

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Today on Trend Following Radio Michael Covel interviews Peter Gray. Peter is an American psychologist who currently occupies the position of research professor of psychology at Boston College. He is also a well known critic of standard learning systems, and calls himself an evolutionary developmental psychologist. He studies why children are the way they are by asking questions like: Why are children so playful? Why are they so willful? Why do children do what they do?

Peter starts the podcast off saying, “There is an issue with the resilience of young people today.” Since the 1950’s there has been an increase of psychological problems among youth. Counselors are being flooded with trivial issues that in earlier years students would have taken care of themselves. Roommate issues, bad grades, breakups, etc. are a few examples of issues students are now deciding they need to see psychotherapists for. It’s not that people are biologically different than previous generations, it’s that our world has become radically different than the past. Children used to spend a lot more time away from adults, where they have to make their own decisions. They used to learn how to deal with bully’s on their own or getting lost and having to find their own way home.

Peter argues that as long as we are overly protective of young people, they will never grow up. Kids need to have the time and opportunity to get out in the world and figure out what they really enjoy. We aren’t letting children experiment, take risks and fail. Even sports have been taken away from the kids. Adult directed sports don’t let kids have creativity to solve their own problems. Children learn the most from playing with other children and taking adults out of the equation. Kids who are “play deprived” have real social consequences. Peter shares an experiment done with young monkeys. One group of monkeys got to play with other monkeys their own age, the other group of monkeys were only around their parents, not other adolescents to play with. The ones who were not able to play were socially incompetent. They would either get overly aggressive or nervous around others their own age. Over the past 50 years there has been a continuous decline of play between young children. Hence, you can see the rapid increase in social and emotional disorders among youth. Michael and Peter finish up discussing ways of implicating free play back into society.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Hunter gatherer cultures
  • Self-reliance
  • Evolution of development in youth
  • Pros and cons of video games
  • Ways of implicating free play back into society

“You can’t learn to be an adult unless you can get away from adults.” – Peter Grey

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Ep. 317: Michael Covel Monologue and Peter Shankman Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Peter Shankman
Peter Shankman

Michael Covel speaks with Peter Shankman on today’s episode. Shankman is the classic entrepreneur: he is the author of Nice Companies Finish First and the founder of Help a Reporter Out (HARO), the largest free source repository for journalists in the world. His new book, Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans is out now. First, Covel offers up a monologue. Topics include the end of geography and the importance of globalization; gadgets, software, hacks, and websites as the magic elixir; the importance of dedication, commitment, and alone time; exercise; being able to walk away when negotiating; getting off the sidelines; happiness as a choice; and the necessity of having a niche. Covel and Shankman discuss skydiving and the lessons of preparation and mitigating risk; social media compared to the dotcom bubble; and the importance of creating a good product and customer service despite advances in technology. Ending? Covel summons Alan Watts for good measure. For more information on Peter Shankman, visit shankman.com.

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Ep. 301: Jim Rogers Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Jim Rogers
Jim Rogers

Michael Covel speaks with Jim Rogers on today’s podcast. Rogers is an American businessman, investor and author currently based in Singapore. He is the Chairman of Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests, Inc. He was the co-founder of the Quantum Fund and creator of the Rogers International Commodities Index (RICI). Rogers does not consider himself a member of any school of economic thought, but has acknowledged that his views best fit the label of Austrian School of economics. Covel gives some of his personal history with Rogers, noting that he also first read about him in the Market Wizards book. Covel also notes that Rogers’ Investment Biker book inspired him to travel. Covel joins Rogers for an in-person conversation from Singapore. They discuss why it shows that the kind of people that travel are the kind of people you want in your country; infrastructure in China; stereotypes of various countries in Asia; China’s military; current Fed policy in America; what “can-do” spirit can do in a state of decline; why the next crisis might be worse than the last; the importance of language skills; participating in big long-term bets with regard to countries; and why, if he could, Rogers would put all of his money into North Korea.

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Ep. 252: Ben Hunt Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Ben Hunt
Ben Hunt

Michael Covel speaks with Ben Hunt on today’s podcast. Hunt is the Chief Risk Officer at Salient Partners. Salient is a 19B AUM manager based in Houston, Texas. As Chief Risk Officer, Hunt writes the Epsilon Theory, viewing capital markets through the lenses of game theory and history. Covel and Hunt discuss the power of the crowd watching the crowd; game theory; having a profound agnosticism about what the future holds; the difference between risk and uncertainty in the context of game theory; the Panopticon and the chilling effect of being watched; the “common knowledge game” and the missionary; the island of the green-eyed tribe. For more information on Ben Hunt, visit epsilontheory.com.

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