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Ep. 364: Simplicity Trumps Complexity with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Simplicity Trumps Complexity with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio
Simplicity Trumps Complexity with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

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An article recently appeared in Forbes, entitled “What Jurassic World Can Teach Investors About The Stock Market”. In it is an interview with Ben Carlson on why simplicity trumps complexity when it comes to investment strategies. Although not explicitly about trend following, the article brings up points about the poor historical performance of financially engineered assets and the superiority of simple systems.

In this monologue, Michael Covel talks about his desire to seek the truth, and the importance of taking personal responsibility for your actions. He also breaks apart the Forbes article on simplicity vs. complexity, and the logical reasons why trend following systems have historically performed better than others.

Also in this episode: the recent study that shows that metal-heads from the 80s are happier and better adapted than their peers.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Why simple strategies are better than complex ones
  • The importance of defining your risk as a number
  • How risk and reward are two sides of the same coin
  • Why going for the average is a losing strategy
  • The difference between hiring a financial advisor and an trader

“Financially-engineered assets often fail to perform as their creators intended. Or they are ill-equipped to deal with unanticipated events.” – Ky Trand Ho (Forbes)

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Ep. 361: Francisco Vaca Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Francisco Vaca
Francisco Vaca

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Francisco Vaca can be called a second generation turtle trader. He worked with Richard Dennis at C & D Commodities, and for the last 15 years has been closely associated with Paul Rabar. He is now the Co Chief Investment Officer at Rabar Market Research.

Before he became a trader, Vaca was a particle physicist and worked at the famous Fermi lab. This is not an insignificant fact, as his background in mathematics and statistics became very useful in his career as a trader.

In this second interview with Michael Covel, Francisco Vaca talks about evaluating the short-term and long-term performance data of fund managers, the benefit of using trend following systems across the entire time spectrum, trend anticipating techniques, and using modern technology in trading.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • The importance of distinguishing between long term and short term track records
  • “Alpha” and “beta” trading strategies
  • How the holding period length affects the risk-reward profile and return streaks
  • The benefits of diversification across different holding times
  • Using high frequency trading technology in long term trend following
  • How correlations are often misinterpreted
  • Knowing the limitations of your tools

“The best performing system historically is not necessarily the best system going forward” – Francisco Vaca

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