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Ep. 340: Tim Ferriss Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Tim Ferriss
Tim Ferriss

Michael Covel speaks with Tim Ferriss on today’s podcast. Tim Ferriss is an author, blogger and motivational speaker known for his bestselling books The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef. To Covel Ferriss is otherwise known as the guy who has revolutionized the idea of writing a book; he has engineered the process of a bestseller. If you want to write a book, there is no one else better to learn from. Also a big influence on Covel: the idea of location independence. This is the idea that if you have your laptop and an internet connection, you can work from anywhere. Now, after all these bestselling books, Ferriss has a new TV show, The Tim Ferriss Experiment, all about the process of “learning”. Covel and Ferriss discuss why the wrestler Dan Gable is part of Ferriss’ drive; the “grinding” aspect of wrestling, and how that has played into Ferriss’ career; the early lessons learned about making a TV show; the 80/20 rule; comparisons to the Turtle experiment; the idea of getting older, recovery, and athletics. Trailer: For more information on Tim Ferriss, visit

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Hi Michael, I am a trend following trader and entrepreneur based in [City] and [City]. I have to tell you that you have become a mentor to me even though we haven’t met. You have helped give me the tools, conviction and confidence to believe in trend following and put it into practice. Admittedly it took me a long time to fight through the noise, particularly because I spent 10 years on an institutional equity desk in NY and Toronto. Ironically a traditional commission based institutional broker/investment bank is the absolute worst place to gain confidence as a trend following trader. The brokerage house is all about “the story” and predicting the future never even touching risk management, position sizing or exit strategies. I first bought your TurtleTrader product around 2000 after devouring the website and wanting more, but I was 26 and on my way up the corporate ladder at Merrill Lynch. My ego always got in the way and I didn’t have enough quiet time to think and read and gain the confidence that is so critical. I also was still searching for the “holy grail” not knowing I’d already found it.

Years later I picked up my study of trend following again after rereading Reminiscences of a Stock Operator. I then read your books and then ordered your current product. I now turn to the podcasts when I want ideas refreshed or motivation and I look forward to hearing your interviews.

This message could not have asked for a better messenger Michael. You kick ass with your podcasts. You are honest and direct and even funny at times. I’ve even got my gf to listen to a few. The episode with Vernon Smith was particularly powerful. Putting this out there for free is mind blowing and I’m very grateful to you for putting out such an incredible body of work. You are affecting people’s lives and I thank you for affecting mine.

Okay, enough smoke up your ass.

Tim Ferriss should be on your podcast and/or you should be on his. In his most recent episode (63), he talks about his investing style toward the end and why he is scared to invest in public markets. He can’t deal with the ups and downs of staring at rising and falling equity so he only invests in startups. What struck me is that he is basically following a trend following risk model in his angel investing. He accepts that less than 50% will be winners and diversifies with the assumption that the winners will more than pay for the losers. Considering Tim’s expertise is in breaking down and mastering skills that have scientific and mathematical track records it seems to me that he would be interested in your work. I find it hard to imagine why anyone who wants to make money in the markets wouldn’t be interested in your work.

Thank you very much,

Thanks for the feedback!

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