#21 - Michael Covel - "We Can't Make a Prediction Worth a Damn"

64 minutes

Episode 21 starts with a “thank you” to Michael, as it was his advice on starting a podcast that got “The Meb Faber Show” off the ground. But Michael and Meb quickly turn to Michael’s expertise, trend following. This is how Michael summarizes it: “We don’t know what’s going to happen. We can’t make a prediction worth a damn. The market starts to move, whatever that market might be. We get on board, and we don’t get out until it goes against us and we have an exit signal.” They then turn to the infamous “turtle” story. It involves Richard Dennis, a great trader from the 1970’s, who made his first million by about age 25. By the early 80’s, he was worth about $200 million. Around this time, the movie “Trading Places” came out (two millionaires make a bet on the outcome of training a bum to be a financial whiz, while taking a financial whiz and, effectively, turning him into a bum). Richard felt he could similarly train a financial no-nothing, turning him into a great trader. Richard’s partner felt it wouldn’t work. So they made a bet. How’d it turn out? Three or four years later, the group Richard trained had made, on aggregate, around $100 million. Meb then suggests that a profitable strategy such as trend following, that seems to work, should attract lots of investor dollars in the long run. So why then doesn’t trend following have more “big money” institutional investors using it? Michael points toward drawdowns – “the scarlet letter of trend following” – even though buy-and-hold has plenty of drawdowns too. The guys then agree that all investing is purely speculation. We like to believe there’s more certainty, but that’s not the case. They then bring up a quote from Ed Seykota: “Win or lose, everyone gets what they want out of the market. Some people seem to like to lose, so they win by losing money.” Michael tells us this is true not only for investing, but life as well. Next, Meb asks about Michael’s podcast, which results in a great recap of how Michael got started and how he grew it to be the success it is today. The guys then discuss the mass of great investing content out there, for example, the hours of great interviews from Michael’s podcast—where is a new listener supposed to start? It’s overwhelming. Michael gives us his thoughts. This leads to Meb’s latest entrepreneurial business idea (which some listener should run with and make lots of money). There’s plenty more, including the guys touching on sensory deprivation, yoga/meditation, and of course, what each of them find beautiful, useful, or downright magical – Michael has about seven for us. What are they? Find out in Episode 21.

More episodes from The Meb Faber Show

#210 - Jonathan Treussard - Be Aware Of The Cracks Under Your Feet

In episode 210 we welcome our guest, Jonathan Treussard, Partner, and Head of Product Development at Research Affiliates.

We discuss what’s currently going on in the world around us and how …

#209 - Andrew Schulz - A Lot Of Our Competitive Advantage Is How We Quantify Sound

In today’s episode we welcome our guest, Andrew Schulz, co-founder and CEO of NoiseAware.

We discuss the miserable experience that led to the fresh …

#208 - How Long Can You Handle Underperforming?

Episode 208 is a Mebisode. Meb reads a recent piece that highlights the data and reality of market drawdowns, underperformance, and some statistics that illustrate that investors may not be …

#207 - Jeremy Yamaguchi - It’s…One Of The Last Markets In The US…That Has Been…Resistant To Technology

In episode 207, we welcome our guest, Jeremy Yamaguchi, founder of Lawn Love. We kick off the episode by getting into Jeremy’s background as a son of missionaries, starting his first …

#206 - Meb’s take on Investment Plans, Building and Maintaining Wealth, How Meb Invests, and Investing in the time of Corona

Episode 206 is a Mebisode. Meb reads a few of his recently penned pieces. He covers the importance of being prepared for market turbulence with an …

#205 - Derren Geiger - E&P Companies Are Doing Whatever They Can To Achieve Cash Flow Neutrality

In episode 205, Meb talks with Cornerstone Acquisition and Management CEO and Portfolio Manager, Derren Geiger. Meb and Derren cover Caritas Funds’ …

How you can listen to this podcast

You can listen to episodes right here on the website, or if you prefer, in a podcast app. Listening in an app makes it easier to keep track of what you’ve already heard, listen without using your data plan and many other conveniences.

Recommended apps
Start listening to #125 - Tom Barton - The Biggest Problem Investors Have is Things Change...and They Don't Change
1:24:56
Start listening to #125 - Tom Barton - The Biggest Problem Investors Have is Things Change...and They Don't Change
1:24:56