Michael Covel talks to Michael Gibbons. Gibbons is a market timer (otherwise known as a trend following trader) who runs a firm called Gibbons Trading. Gibbons started as an economics major and quickly realized that much of what he was taught in academia didn’t add up. He has been trading since 1971, and was one of the first to discover what is now known as stock index arbitrage. He was one of the first to use computerized trading and currently provides his proprietary research primarily to large traders and hedge funds. Gibbons talks to Covel about how he got started in the markets; the fallacies of buy & hold and fundamental analysis; trading prices apart from everything else (and how this is close to playing the market like a video game, i.e. pong); the problem of when the media is simply “making things up”; how trading can be primarily psychological; the problems of the efficient market hypothesis (EMH) and academia; the benefits of having a trend following strategy during chaotic times; the danger of gurus; and separating your ego from your trading.
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Feedback in from Michael Gibbons of Gibbons Trading:
As with most things in trading, the least accepted methods are also the most efficacious. One of the least accepted trading methods by both academia and the financial media is the concept of trend following. In it’s most elementary form, trend following is about being long when markets are rising and being short when they are declining. There are no forecasts or shoulds. There is only the current trend and what is.
One of the most effective journalists to popularize trend following is author Michael Covel. He almost single-handedly has raised the consciousness of investors around the world to the effectiveness of trend following. He has brought many of the world’s greatest trend followers to light, and I cannot thank him enough for that.
If trend following was widely accepted, there would be no need for about 95% of the people employed in the securities industry. Needless to say, this fact alone is one of the main causal reasons that trend following is out of the mainstream. Most simply ignore it’s incomparable track record in both rising and declining markets.
Michael Covel has provided the research and the data to a mass audience to show what we trend followers are all about. I cannot express properly how grateful I am for Michael’s efforts. His impeccable journalism is rare in any context, but especially in the field of trading and investments. As a result of his work, the great achievements of trend followers can no longer be ignored nor viewed as just an anomaly.