Ep. 573: Jon Gordon Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following

Jon Gordon
Jon Gordon

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Jon Gordon is an author and speaker on leadership, culture, sales, and teamwork. He has worked with numerous athletic organizations, academic institutions, and corporations. His latest book is “The Power of Positive Leadership.” He teaches people how to focus on weeding out the negative and not letting that energy poison the team.

Jon describes himself as a once fearful, negative and stressed out 31-year old. What changed all of that? His wife gave him the ultimatum: Change your life or I am leaving you. He had an “Aha” moment that gave him the revelation he was meant to write and speak. However, Jon knew he needed to work on himself first, so he started taking steps to better himself. He began by going on walks of gratitude and created a “positive tip of the week” newsletter. This lead to him creating a website, doing about 80 free talks to get started, and ultimately just going for it as an entrepreneur. Jon describes impacting others as being the greatest feeling in the world.

“The Power of Positive Leadership” and Jon’s overall message is about how to root out the negative and focus on the positive. One negative person can bring an entire team down. He calls these people “negative vampires” and says they must be addressed, called out, and kicked off the bus. Building positive leaders fosters building a positive team. You get people on your bus by the way you lead. It can’t be an ultimatum—“Be positive or your are out of here!”

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Leadership skills
  • Energy vampires
  • Negativity is contagious
  • Grit is the biggest predictor of success
  • Overcoming challenges
  • Pushing forward through adversity

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Ep: 571: Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following

Claude Shannon Bio
Claude Shannon Bio

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Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman are authors of “Rome’s Last Citizen: The Life and Legacy of Cato, Mortal Enemy of Caesar” and their newest book is “A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age.” Jimmy and Rob highlight aspects of their new book by detailing who Claude Shannon is and why he is so fundamental for our everyday lives.

Claude Shannon made the entire digital age possible. As Jimmy and Rob said, “He didn’t just think about things, he thought through things.” What made Shannon so unique? He was extremely curious about information and wanted to know about all aspects of it. He brought a lot of insights into a subject that seemingly would come from left field. Shannon was also brilliant at transmitting information and breaking the complex into the simplistic. He allowed himself to move into different fields and go wherever his mind wanted to take him but never wasting his time on an unworthy subject. He could expertly sort through what was worth working on and what was a waste of time.

How do we talk about information? How are we going to quantify information? Where did Shannon live and how did he live? Jimmy and Rob not only dug through scholarly journals to find out how Shannon thought, they also talked to the Shannon family and got to learn who he was as a father, husband and friend. When people think of Shannon’s level of genius, most think he must have short comings in his social life. Shannon did not. His colleagues, family and friends new him as a guy that barbecued, went running, and did his unreal math projects.

Another fascinating trait Shannon had was his ability to not let critics get to him. He was smart enough to know that when he did projects and knew he was right, he didn’t need to pay any attention to the critics. He had confidence that came from his kind of intellectualism. He worked on the information theory over the course of 10 years while working on other projects. By the time he had published it, he already new he was right and had moved onto his next endeavor before the critics could get to him. Jimmy, Rob and Michael end the podcast discussing how Jimmy and Rob came to write this book together and what their collaboration process was.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Information theory
  • Turning complex into simplicity
  • Complexity is the enemy
  • Bell Labs
  • How to deal with freedom in the work space
  • Short-term-ism in our economy
  • Dealing with critics and competitors

“It’s not about talking louder, its about talking smarter.” – Jimi Soni and Rob Goodman

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Ep 569: Andrew Lo Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following

Andrew Lo
Andrew Lo

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Andrew Lo is author of “Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought.” He is also the Charles E. and Susan T. Harris Professor of Finance at MIT and the chairman and chief investment strategist of the AlphaSimplex Group.

Andrew was taught from the beginning of his career that the efficient market hypothesis was gospel truth. It was the end-all-be-all. However, he first found a problem with the efficient market hypothesis just after graduating college. He did a test on the “random walk hypothesis” and related his findings from that hypothesis to the markets. He then came to find that his results proved the efficient market hypothesis wrong. Was there pushback during the early stages of talking about EMT being wrong? Absolutely. Andrew was one of the strongest that pushed back primarily because it went against everything he previously knew to be true.

Andrew talks about another study he did with one of his MIT classes in 2004. He looked at hedge funds around that time and through data he proved that they were headed for trouble. They were able to foresee a small piece of the 2008 crash. Michael and Andrew end the podcast talking about Andrew’s new book and the role that the environment is playing in adaptive markets. When studying a species, what should be asked is, “Is it the species that is complex, or is it the environment that is complex and the species is just adapting to it?” Many species have figured out how to live in harsh environments in very different ways. In the same light, there are many different ways that people can trade the market and be successful.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Efficient market hypothesis
  • Adaptive markets hypothesis
  • The random walk hypothesis
  • Crowded trade phenomenon
  • 2008 meltdown
  • Paul Samuelson
  • Commodities Corporation

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Ep. 568: Steve Burns Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following

Steve Burns
Steve Burns

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Steve Burns and Michael Covel get together yet again to discuss all that is trading.

After a lifelong fascination with financial markets, Steve Burns started investing in 1993, and trading his own accounts in 1995. It was love at first trade. A natural teacher with a unique ability to cut through the bull and make complex ideas simple, Steve took to blogging and social media by founding New Trader U in 2011.

Since then, New Trader U has attracted hundreds of thousands of visits a month, becoming the go-to resource for people wanting to build a strong, trading foundation. New Trader U offers an extensive blog resource with more than 1,000 original articles (Steve posts daily and is the author of numerous trading books).

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Trend following
  • Taking a loss
  • Risk management
  • Proper psychology
  • Mindset

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Ep. 567: Chris Fussell Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following

Chris Fussell
Chris Fussell

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Chris Fussell starts the podcast explaining the process of becoming a Seal. The teams of the Special Forces do not select as much as they down select. Out of the 150 people who start a Seals class, maybe 25 will make it. The military uses rigorous training to sort out “who has it” and who doesn’t. People have to have special inherent skills and then they are nurtured to refine those skills. A good team is made up of individuals that complement each others shortcomings and are able to magnify each others strength.

Chris stresses that these men have all the same burdens that civilians have, they just have it coupled with combat stressors as well. They deploy for an amount of time and then come home to a wife, kids, and a stack of bills. Everyone, especially soldiers, need to have a cocktail of coping tools so there is a balance between work and personal life. You can’t be amazing at work and have your family falling apart. Things will start to unravel at work rapidly.

Chris was a young officer in 2004 when the conflict in Iraq started. This was his first full scale conflict. He had the misconception that there was a set plan going in, and that all they had to do was execute that plan. Chris quickly learned he wasn’t entering a stable environment. Everyone needed to be proactive and adaptive to the war zone.

Now that Chris is helping manage a company, he uses that experience to always adapt and readjust. He realizes he needs small teams with a rapid fire adaption mentality. People need to see a problem and intuitively react to it. While in the Navy Seals they re-strategized every 24 hours. There were 6,000-7,000 people around the world sharing a consciousness every 24 hours. The most seasoned teams were able to run with speed and autonomy without checking in because of this once a day communication. They were able to make decisions on their own and be highly effective.

Chris and Michael end the podcast discussing what makes a working relationship. Relationships are grounded in knowing other perspectives. We have to be willing to see things differently and know that both individuals, when there is a disagreement, could be right. When you are on a team and leading with the perspective that everyone is part of your family, it turns teams into a more giving and trusting environment.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Nature vs. Nurture
  • Inner drive
  • Self-awareness
  • Charisma
  • Learning from failure
  • Synchronicity between data and leadership
  • Zealots and martyrs

“Treat everyone on the battlefield like they are your mother.”- Chris Fussell

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Ep. 565: Anthony Tjan Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Anthony Tjan
Anthony Tjan

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Anthony Tjan is author of “Good People: The Only Leadership Decision That Really Matters.” He is CEO and managing partner of Cue Ball and has a successful track record as an entrepreneur, principal investor and strategic advisor. He leads his firms overall direction and is involved in activities across the board with Cue Ball.

What was the progression in Anthony’s life that brought him to where he is now? Anthony is an immigrant and experienced a great amount of generosity throughout the years aimed at him and his family. He shares a story of being 15, selling picture frames in Canada. At the end of a long hot day of lugging around picture frames an elderly women invited him in for some tea. She finished their conversation saying, “As you go forward just make sure, as much as you love the product you are selling, you love the people more.” She ended telling him, “Just so you know, I believe in you.” This woman and that conversation resonated with him and set the stage for his leadership philosophy.

Anthony moves on to discuss the building blocks of a great company. Most have trouble looking at life or a business as a marathon. Biases give us a sprint based mentality and more often than not it can be detrimental. When choosing a hire, hire someone with character over competency. Skills can quickly be taught, character cannot. Of course, there needs to be a level of competency but a person needs compassion, empathy, and overall great character. Competition and compassion can be enforced together and we don’t need to lose one to gain the other.

Shedding drama from your life and company is also mission critical and goes back to hiring based on character. Drama is a disease. When hiring someone, always ask yourself, “Is this person going to act or react?” After every interview Anthony says to ask yourself a few things: 1. Would you want to hangout with this person outside of work? 2. Do you respect the persons work? 3. Would this be a person you would be proud of? 4. Throw out reference checks. Ask them to give two or three examples of lower level people who they have influenced.

If you are in the being hired phase of your life rather than the hiring phase, you may be asking, “How do I get started?” Anthony’s #1 piece of advice is to find a good mentor to model after. Mentorship is a tricky thing though, so how should young people today navigate gaining a mentorship? All mentorships begin with a baseline of chemistry. If that isn’t there, it can turn into a negative experience rather than positive. Great mentorship is also about breaking down titles and speaking to each other on a human to human level. Also, the best mentors don’t just try and help you in the confines of your work. Mentors should not only be helping you out in business but also helping to find your calling or higher purpose.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Competency is not enough
  • Winner take all mentality
  • Mentorship
  • Value centric organizations
  • Pessimism vs. optimism

“Choose goodness as a lifelong intention.” – Anthony Tjan

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Ep 564: John Force Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

John Force
John Force

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John Force is an American NHRA drag racer. He is a 16 time champion and his team has 18 championships under them. John is one of the most dominant drag racers in the sport with over 144 career victories and he is still pushing limits at 68 years old. John is considered the best. He is a premier example of making it happen with no excuses.

What drives John? He says, “At the end of the day everyone has to eat.” But beyond that, he simply loves what he does. He loves driving the cars and explains it as magic to him. It is that passion that has gotten him through crashes, burns and even fatalities among fellow racers and friends.

Passion may be what keeps him going, but it is a system that keeps him alive. There is an aspect of a cowboy attitude, however John has a checklist that he lives by. He has been driving for 4 decades and at this point he pokes fun at himself saying he is a trained monkey. It’s about sticking to what you have been taught and not veering too far from those teachings.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Funny car racing
  • Persevering through the negative
  • Having goals
  • Entrepreneurship

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