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“There’s no way in hell I’m listening to a 4-hour episode with Tom Basso!”

Feedback in:

I said to myself: “There’s no way in hell I’m listening to a 4-hour episode with Tom Basso…” And then I got to hour 3 and said to myself “I owe you an apology” holy **** this is amazing. 95 pages into Trend Following and just bought The Complete TurtleTrader today… thank you for doing this amazing show.

Tom is great.

Tom Basso
Tom Basso

Ep. 400: Special Tom Basso Compilation with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Tom Basso
Tom Basso

Subscribe to Trend Following Radio on iTunes

Today marks 400 episodes on Trend Following radio. To celebrate Michael has put together a compilation of Tom Basso interviews. Tom has been on Trend Following Radio four times and his interviews have been among the most popular episodes airing on the show. Michael plays the interviews back to back and throws in a bonus interview at the beginning. The bonus excerpt is a Tom Basso presentation from the early to mid 1990s.

Tom Basso is most famously known as “Mr. Serenity” in Jack Schwager’s “The New Market Wizards”. Now retired from managing client money, Tom was president and founder of Trendstat Capital Management. He became a registered investment advisor in 1980, a registered commodities advisor in 1984, and was elected to the board of the National Futures Association in 1998.

Throughout this 4 1/2 hour podcast Michael and Tom cover a broad range of topics including: Tom’s background and how he got into trading, speculation, emotional rushes, emotional devastation, catastrophic events, separating trading from politics, behavioral economics, advice to newcomers entering the CTA industry, location independence, time management, stoicism, black swans, and the importance of routine.

Michael and Tom also go through listener questions spanning topics including: trading regrets, money management vs. trading, tinkering with current systems, drawdowns, one-system vs. multiple systems, thoughts on Alan Watts, emotions during both losing and winning periods, exit strategies, practice trading vs. live trading, money management, risk control, how to handle skeptics, serenity, John W. Henry, coin flip entry method, percent betting, comfort with uncertainty, initial capital at risk vs. unrealized gains, and fighting against your gut reaction. This podcast includes a wealth of knowledge worth listening to over and over again.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Speculation
  • Fighting against emotions
  • Catastrophic events
  • Separating trading from politics
  • Advice to newcomers entering the CTA industry
  • Time Management
  • The importance of routine
  • Money management vs. Trading

“I realized that every time I had a loss, I needed to learn something from the experience and view the loss as tuition at the College of Trading. As long as you learn something from a loss, it’s not really a loss.” – Tom Basso

Mentions & Resources:

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Thoughts on the Feedback Following my Tom Basso Interview Podcast

Some great feedback came through the other other day:

It’s because of you my friend that I’ve come to know so many in the space. Thanks for your efforts.

His personal message to me (above) was followed by his newsletter to his clients:

In my career, I’ve had many mentors, some of which I’ve met and some not.

Tom Basso is one of these people, and I was fortunate to get to meet him last week where he was generous enough to give me over two hours of his time over lunch in Scottsdale. Tom is also getting added to the email list and may be able to contribute some wisdom from time to time.

The Trader Tom Basso
Tom Basso Picture from Twitter

Tom Basso trader is probably most known for being profiled in the bestseller, The New Market Wizards, where he was nicknamed “Mr. Serenity.”

The scope of our discussion was very broad… Tom left the money management business largely because of the frustration of working with clients who constantly made poor decisions that were rooted in fear and greed. Tom produced decades of double digit gains for clients on a very attractive risk-adjusted basis yet many never achieved these results because of emotions and performance chasing. As you know, I write on these subjects regularly because they matter that much.

One thing Tom mentioned that was particularly interesting was how at the later stages of his career (approximately 10 years ago) Tom put together a diversified program that was a combination of strategies, asset classes, and products (meaning futures, ETF’s, mutual funds, etc.). He said he himself was the largest customer and it seemed that many people just simply didn’t grasp the value. Regulatory restrictions about combining multiple products together (such as equities and futures) made it overly obstructive. This, in essence, is exactly what I’m trying to do with LCD (Lorintine Capital Diversified) as it mimics endowment level diversification.

The benefit of a multi-strategy single account is it doesn’t give you the opportunity to miss the forest through the trees and take from those who may be underperforming in the short term in favor of those who are currently performing best…essentially the process of buy HIGH and sell LOW where you should be doing the opposite. Tom mentioned how he had a client during the Black Monday crash of 1987 (largest single down day in history where the Dow lost over 22%) that he had set up one account as a stock portfolio and another account as a hedging portfolio where he would short equity futures based on his quantitative market measurements… The client ended up making money on Black Monday (about 1.5% from Tom’s memory) while of course the stock account was down significantly it was more than offset by the short futures account…The client ended up firing Tom as an equity manager because they couldn’t see past the losses in the stock account…yet if this would have been done collectively in one account they would have only seen the net gain (on the worst day in history where many traders went bankrupt). Unfortunately, I’ve witnessed much of this type of behavior in 2014 as some things never change.

This game is incredibly simple, yet not at all easy. It’s simple the same way that getting in shape or losing weight is – just get on almost any decent diet and work out consistently and you are almost guaranteed results… yet few have the discipline to do it day after day for the long term. Make it your goal in 2015 to follow your plan. If you don’t really have a plan it’s like not being able to spot the sucker at the poker table… because you’re it.

Enjoy the ride!
[Name]

Thanks! Read more on new edition reviews. Be sure to listen to my special compilation of Thomas Basso Podcast Highlights and my interviews with Mr Serenity here and Here.

Ep. 306: Tom Basso Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Tom Basso
Tom Basso

Michael Covel talks with Tom Basso, the trader most famously known as “Mr. Serenity” in Jack Schwager’s “New Market Wizards”. Basso, now retired from managing client money, was president and founder of Trendstat Capital Management. Basso became a registered investment advisor in 1980, a registered commodities advisor in 1984, and was elected to the board of the National Futures Association in 1998. Today, he is a privat trader. This is Basso’s fourth podcast conversation, and Covel and Basso talk about the 50% drop in oil and why trend followers have done especially well with this price movement; why people like to blame speculators, and the value of speculation; emotional rushes and emotional devastation; mentally rehearsing catastrophic events; focusing 1,000 trades into the future; separating your trading from your political opinion; trend following and behavioral economics; the importance of not letting your trading define you; and Basso’s advice to newcomers to the CTA industry. For more information on Tom Basso, follow him on Twitter at @Basso_Tom.

Listen to this episode:

Ep. 200: Tom Basso Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Tom Basso
Tom Basso

Subscribe to Trend Following Radio on iTunes

Today on the podcast, I speak with Tom Basso, the trader most famously known as “Mr. Serenity” in Jask Schwagger’s book New Market Wizards. Basso was a stock trader and president of Trendstat Capital Management, but is now retired.

In this interview, Basso and I discuss location independence, using mental exercises to optimize yourself, and Basso’s daily routine as a trader. We talk about Basso’s 39-year track record as a trader and discuss his strategies.

We get into the psychology behind trend following trading, how to identify difference between a regular drawdown and something going seriously wrong, and why the willingness to lose small amounts of money can have massive benefits in the long run. Basso also talks about why trend following does so well during black swan events.

This is Basso’s third time on my podcast. I hope you enjoy!

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • How to use mental exercises to improve yourself as a trader
  • Why the tolerance for losing small amounts of money can make you almost invincible
  • Tom’s daily trading routine: how to ensure you don’t spend the whole day making trading decisions
  • Why understanding strategic planning is key to being a successful trader
  • Trading for clients vs. trading for yourself, and the regulations that go along with that
  • Understanding the difference between a normal draw down vs. something really going wrong
  • Separating facts from opinions, and why it’s important in trend following trading

Listen to this episode:

Ep. 83: Tom Basso Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Tom Basso
Tom Basso

“Mr. Serenity” Tom Basso, the trend following trader famously featured in Jack Schwager’s “New Market Wizards”, returns to the show to speak with Michael Covel. This time, the focus is on questions posed by listeners. Basso and Covel go over the questions and talk about subjects such as the video of philosopher Alan Watts that Covel discussed on a recent podcast that asked, “What if money was no object?“; how Basso manages his emotions during both losing and winning periods; what drove Basso to “enjoy the ride” and whether there were periods in his life when it was difficult to do so; exit strategies on winning positions; Basso’s use of hedges; the process behind taking a developed system from testing to live trading; what Basso learned from his earliest large drawdown; Basso’s use of money management and risk control; Basso’s advice to the first time programmer; how to handle skeptics of trend following; whether Basso considered the notion of serenity from the very beginning of his career; the career of John W. Henry; Basso’s coin flip entry method, and the importance of exit strategies; percent betting; diversification; what would cause Basso to stop trading a particular system; comfort with uncertainty; Basso’s views on initial capital at risk vs. unrealized gains; and fighting against your gut reaction when your system tells you otherwise. Basso brings a wealth of knowledge in answering these listener questions, so hop on and (as Basso says) “enjoy the ride”.

Listen to this episode:

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