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Ep. 345: Spyros Makridakis Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Spyros Makridakis
Spyros Makridakis

My guest today is Spyros Makridakis, the Rector of the Neapolis University of Pafos NUP and an Emeritus Professor of Decision Sciences at INSEAD as well as the University of Piraeus and one of the world’s leading experts on forecasting, with many journal articles and books on the subject. He is famous as the organizer of the Makridakis Competitions, known in the forecasting literature as the M-Competitions. His calling is to poke holes in the notion that we can forecast with accuracy.

The topic is his paper Why Forecasts Fail. What to Do Instead.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio we discuss:

  • Known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns
  • The two main types of uncertainty–“subway” and “coconut”
  • Jim Collins, one of the best-selling business book authors of all time, and why it might not have any use to us
  • Medicine and chance
  • The placebo effect
  • Acceptance of an uncertain world
  • The illusion of control

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Ep. 315: Michael Mauboussin Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Michael Mauboussin
Michael Mauboussin

My guest today is Michael Mauboussin, an investment strategist in the financial services industry, professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Business, and serves on the board of trustees at the Sante Fe Institute (an independent, nonprofit theoretical research institute). He is managing director and head of Global Financial Strategies at Credit Suisse, where he advises clients on valuation and portfolio positioning, capital markets theory, competitive strategy analysis, and decision making.

The topics are his books More Than You Know and Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio we discuss:

  • Multi-disciplinary thinking and its influence on Covel
  • Looking at larger reference classes
  • The Swiss Franc
  • Mauboussin’s personal take on the recent oil move
  • Fundamentals and expectation
  • Luck or skill when it comes to trading profits
  • The paradox of skill, absolute, and relative skill
  • Whether scientific principles of luck exist
  • Defining luck
  • Outcome bias
  • The general public perception of behavioral economics

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Portfolio Selection Queries

Feedback in:

Mr. Covel. First, thank you for a great job preaching not only trend following but the importance of a systematic approach to trading. Your web site is something I have come across recently, and I feel I have found a gem, because it is very difficult to find good relevant technical trading information. On slow trading days I have some great interview to look forward to. I use a volatility based trading strategy on the commodities I trade, with a Secure F (trailing) stop and proper position sizing. The last being the most important risk- and money management tool. Being from the outskirts of Europe, I am probably one of very few Norwegian followers, but I stick my head out with a suggestion and a question. Linda Raschke had a presentation at the Society of Technical Analysts (STA) in London UK, recently. Being one of very few women in the industry, she has an impressive track record and very interesting to listen to. She would be a good subject for an interview. My recent focus, has been scanning techniques for individual stocks or commodities – basically getting rid of non performing outliers and keep the “asymmetric positive skewed trades/stocks”. Is this a topic that has been explored in one or more of your interviews or is there other sources that you would recommend? Thanks again for an excellent site and service you do to the trading community. Best regards, [name], MSTA

Thanks for the nice words.

I do not have any leads on where you can go for more on portfolio selection. Most information I have, that has been across my desk, I share with clients via It is a subject that is much work, but with big potential results.

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