Dear Micheal, I have a question for you that you might be having an answer for it. The question is related to those that try to ignore your market views only because its not based on fundamentals but based on TA [technical analysis], which is a huge debate that has been going on for centuries. For example, when you do your analysis and come up with a result that [the] market is indicting weakness in the medium term but market continues going higher and after few weeks or a month markets start to sell off aggressively and losing 15% in 1 week. Those people come to you and tell you, “But you where bearish for a long time and market went up and if we sold at that time we would have lost that the extra profit,” while if you told them [the] market could drop tomorrow, and it did they will also say that there was not enough time to get out as your call was late. How do you over come such debate? Appreciate your thoughts. Thanks in advance.
I am a trend follower. None of this debate or analysis applies. Have you read my first two books?
Note: Asking to read my books is not a dodge to his question, but rather an answer that will make his life better if he listens.
I have long posted white papers from Michael Mauboussin. Here is his most recent piece “Untangling Skill and Luck How to Think About Outcomes–Past, Present, and Future” (PDF).
Mauboussin also happens to be in my film Broke.
Note: Shout to Pragcap.com for the find.
Casino math (PDF) may be the most important wisdom you can know to be a successful trend follower. In fact, I feature much of this thinking in my documentary film.
An excerpt from Forbes circa 1982:
The fundamentalists — a decided majority among successful investors — look on chartism somewhat the way physicists look on parapsychology. They are probably correct to regard them so, but there is no rule that does not have an exception. Dick Donchian seems to be that exception. Donchian differs from many a chart watcher: He doesn’t predict price movements, he just follows them. His explanation for his success is simple and as old as the Dow Theory itself: “Trends persist.” He will buy a hog or Treasury bond future after an upswing is under way, and sell it only after the price has begun to tumble. He misses some of the profit, but that’s part of the discipline of his style of investing. “A lot of people say things like: ‘Gold has got to come down. It went up too fast.’ That’s why 85% of commodities investors lose money,” he says. Donchian gained that wisdom the hard way. His Futures Inc., the first publicly offered commodities fund, came out in 1948 at $10 a share. It was before its time — or Donchian’s. “When I started trading I was bearish,” he recalls. “Cocoa seemed too high. So we took a short position at 30 cents, and it went down to 19. We made a lot of money at first; that was the worst thing that could happen. I looked around for another commodity that was overvalued. Coffee was making a new high of 20 cents, so we took a short position, and it went up to $1. I made a rule never to be a price trader. There’s no such thing as too high a price or too low a price.” Futures Inc. went as low as 4 cents a share before finally being dissolved…The essence of trend-following, however, is always this: Buy on a rising price and sell on a falling price. That sounds like buying dear and selling cheap, but it works, if prices move not in random walks but in long strides.