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Trend Following Audio Books: The New Way to Drive

Feedback in:

Hello Mr. Covel:

My name is [Name], from Toronto Canada. I wanted to thank you for writing your books on trend following and mainly for making audio book versions. I spend a lot of time driving and find the audio versions outstanding. I start “friend following” on a road trip from Toronto to Chicago. I wanted to continue driving just so I didn’t have to stop listening. I have now started reading The Complete TurtleTrader, and am hungry for more. I wanted to know if you are ever going to be in the Toronto area for any conferences or trade shows? I would love to attend and if possible buy you a coffee.

Thank you.

Sounds like a plan! Thanks for the nice words.

NOTE: Trend Following, TurtleTrader and Trend Commandments went live with audio books in 2016. All three are available.

The Complete TurtleTrader
The Complete TurtleTrader

Curiosity Should Take The Drivers Seat

I have written multiple books. All from a different perspective, but still all having trend following connective tissue. Consider an excerpt from the preface of my first book Trend Following:

Trend Following challenges much of the conventional wisdom about successful trading and traders. To avoid the influences of conventional wisdom, I was determined to avoid being influenced by institutionalized knowledge defined by Wall Street and was adamant about fighting “flat earth” thinking. During my research, starting with an assumption and then finding data to support it was avoided. Instead, questions were asked and then, objectively, doggedly, and slowly, answers were revealed.

If there was one factor that motivated me to work in this manner, it was simple curiosity. The more I uncovered about trend followers, the more I wanted to know. For example, one of the earliest questions (without an answer already) was learning who profited when Barings Bank collapsed. My research unearthed a connection between Barings Bank and trend follower John W. Henry (now the majority owner of the Boston Red Sox). Henry’s track record generated new questions, such as, “How did he discover trend following in the first place?” and “Has his approach changed in any significant way in the past 30 years?”

For those that follows my work, you can see how my foundation has remained the same over the past 15+ years:

Hi Michael,

Would you please clarify the chronology of your 4 books? What order were they written and published? Thank you.

[Name]

Trend Following
The Complete TurtleTrader
Trend Commandments
The Little Book of Trading

That is the order, but the content can be read in any order. Timeless.

Trend Following Feedback

Feedback in:

Dear Michael,

First off, I would like to thank you on the excellent work you have done. You should be very proud of your efforts. The courage you have shown at times is highly impressive.

I am not a particularly good writer, but I will try to keep this concise and accurate. I have been working in the finance area for roughly ten years, but until recently I didn’t know of you. In fact, I only discovered Richard Dennis and the turtle story a few years ago. I read up on them for a bit, then as daily work took over and whatever else, I never went back to them. I then lost my job, became pretty sick, moved country…well, a lot happened. I have always been surrounded by fundamental type fund managers and analysts, who never really wanted or asked my opinion, I was just their operations or trader guy. I never had the confidence to voice my opinion. Listening to conversations with lines like ‘China mobile is cheap at twelve times earnings’ or ‘I should really tweak my estimates slightly on mediatek’. The usual blah blah, by guys who only cared about beating their peers, despite meaning that could mean their clients losing money. While I never believed it, I never really took the time to seek an alternative way. I was generally more interested in sport. Also, I never had any kind of mentor. I know these sound like lame excuses, maybe they are.

To use your words Michael, I am ‘making a commitment to change’. My motivation is one for change in my life. I have consumed a lot of your work in recent months, mostly the books and podcasts (an outstanding service). I am very interested in purchasing your training program. I am more than humble to admit, I can’t turn things around without help and sound advice. I am not seeking a Holy Grail as mentioned on your site. I want to give myself minimum one year full effort and commitment, part of a plan to turn things around. Of course, it will hopefully be one year or many more.

About the program, I am concerned that I may wander off course, so to speak. There is a lot of reading material. Can I read that over time? Can I educate myself with the systems at the same time? I worry that without checkpoints along the way, the books will gather dust. I guess that is up to me. My capital for investments at the moment is relatively modest. I also worry that I should have more questions to ask, but don’t.

Thank you for your time. I am happy to call you if you have a spare five mins, I understand you are a busy guy. Email is more than fine.

Regards,
[Name]

Sure, we can talk. I look forward to the chat.

In advance of that call listen.

“Why do people settle for mediocrity?”

Feedback in:

Michael,

First off, as an avid listener to your podcast I would like to thank you for the free content you put out to spread the trend following ideology. I have benefited from your content greatly, and know other like minded people have benefited as well.

As a recent graduate with an engineering degree I had a lot of trouble carrying out a buy and hold (hope) type investment strategy. It was a big mental conflict listening to the advice of financial advisors that recommended a strategy with mediocre returns and excess risk. Why does the media, efficient market theorist disagree with the that mentality hard work = results when it comes to the markets? Why do people settle for mediocrity?

Being relatively new to investing, and being the results driven person I am, after hours/days of researching different investment strategies, trend following caught my eye. A system that relies on the hard numbers (price) rather than opinions and blind predictions is exactly what I was looking for. Despite the poor timing for me to adapt a trend following type strategy (sideways market), I am no less confident in my strategy than the day I started, however this doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.

As someone who exclusively trades stocks/bonds/etfs which of your books would you recommend for me to improve upon my system? I am already aware of the many trend following principles the turtles have used, i.e. position sizing, entry, exit…

Thanks again,
[Name]

I would try them all.

“I am a CPA too and it sure is time for a change!”

Feedback in:

Dear Michael ~

I am new to trend trading and have read The Complete TurtleTrader and starting trend trading. I am also part of a trading group where I learned trend trading with a coach. The most difficult issue I have had to date is the discipline of the process. The constant explanation and reinforcement of each podcast is invaluable. It sinks in little by little. I go away more convinced after each podcast that if they can do it, so can I. Thank you.

Best,
[Name]

P.S. I am a CPA too and it sure is time for a change!

Thanks!

“Why has the turtle trend-following system stop working?”

A recent chat thread about “Why has the turtle trend-following system stop working?” [not accurate headline]:

Forum guest: The drawdowns are horrendous for long term trend following systems. Don’t go near them!

Covel: Chris Clarke has good insight on this podcast ep. for those that scream “drawdown” when discussing trend following.

Also, drawdown goes far beyond trend following. Consider an excerpt from PragCap:

Another way to illustrate this is if you look at something like Berkshire Hathaway. BRK has gone down 50% three times in the past (or maybe more). Once in the early 1970′s, once in 1999 and then again during the recent crisis. Of all the investors who owned BRK in 1970, how many have done better than the 20% or so return of the stock over the years by getting in and out of it in order to avoid the 50% drawdowns?

Big returns over time come with big drawdowns. Buffett has also said himself:

“Unless you can watch your stock holding decline by 50% without becoming panic-stricken, you should not be in the stock market.”

No wisdom there (heavy sarcasm).


My thoughts on Michael J clark of Clark Capital Management, one of the Trend Following Legends.

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