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Trend Following: How Great Traders Make Millions in Up or Down Markets (Financial Times Prentice Hall Books) Hardcover – April 23, 2004

ISBN-13: 007-6092025474 ISBN-10: 0131446037

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Product Details

  • Series: Financial Times Prentice Hall Books
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Financial Times Prentice Hall (April 23, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131446037
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131446038
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


A recent interview with Michael Covel on Bloomberg Radio (6.5 MB MP3 audio file) about trend following.

"Please read [Trend Following] whether you think you have an interest in trend following or are not quite sure. I guarantee you will be happy that you took the time. It, of course, covers how trend following works, how it's done, and who can do it, and it doesn't beat around the bush with generalities. Again, get this book. Covel has hit a homerun with it."
Gail Osten, Editor-in-Chief
Stocks, Futures & Options Magazine
Official Journal for Personal Investing in Stocks, Futures and Options


"A mandatory reference for anyone serious about alternative investments."
Jon Sundt, President and CEO of Altegris


"Michael Covel does an excellent job of educating his readers about the little-known opportunities available to them through one of the proven best hedge fund strategies. This book is like gold to any smart investor."
Christian Baha, CEO, Superfund


"A most interesting book -- definitely a 'must have' on your shelf. Pull out the plastic and get it!...Trend Following is well constructed, well written and an excellent distillation of the research undertaken by the author. Backed up by trading 'legends' like Ed Seykota, it convincingly argues that the most successful trading systems are based on trend following...While you may read the book in bed, especially the first time, it is best read at a desk with a notepad handy. While seeming to come from the perspective of technical analysis it is still a very good book on trading psychology...The book is both a great read and an insightful textbook for all traders and investors."
Garnett Znidaric
Your Trading Edge Magazine/strong>


"Michael Covel's Trend Following: Essential."
Ed Seykota
Trend Follower for 35 years, Incline Village, NV
The Trading Tribe
Ed was originally profiled in The Market Wizards by Jack Schwager


"Michael Covel's book is the definitive guide to trend trading. Backed by real world results from some of the biggest and best money managers in the United States, his book will put you on the path to successful trend trading."
Larry Connors


"Covel has created a very rare thing - a well-documented and thoroughly researched book on trend following that is also well-written and easy to read. It touches on a wide variety of the principles and practices which make for successful trend following. This is one book that traders at all levels will find of real value."
John Mauldin
Millennium Wave Investments, Arlington, TX
Author of Bull's Eye Investing and editor of Thoughts from the Frontline


"I think the book did a superb job of covering the philosophy and thinking behind trend following (basically why it works). You might call it the Market Wizards of Trend Following."
Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.
Author of Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom
President, International Institute of Trading Mastery, Inc.
Van was originally profiled in The Market Wizards by Jack Schwager.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

More About the Author

Michael Covel passionately teaches the lessons of the great traders who have made their fortunes over the last four decades. Forget Buy and Hold and CNBC; those are not Michael's game. His subject of choice is an obscure trading style called 'trend following trading' that has produced untold millionaires and a few billionaires. It is a style of trading ignored by the mainstream press, all universities and much of Wall Street. Michael is now considered the point person on trend following trading.

In 1996 Michael co-launched a website titled®. It has attracted millions of visitors and thousands of clients all looking for insights into trend following trading. The journey to uncover the secretive world of the most successful money makers around, cracking their 'code' so to speak, honed Michael's investigative skills and built®.

Following on the success of TurtleTrader®, Michael's first book Trend Following: How Great Traders Make Millions in Up or Down Markets (FT Press, Apr. 04, Nov. 05, Feb. 07 and Feb. 09) hit the streets. It profiled great trend following traders and explained trend following in print for the first time. It quickly became a bestseller and has sold over 100,000 copies. It is available in German, Japanese, Chinese (Complex and Simplified), Korean, French, Arabic, Turkish and Russian. The book struck a chord with individual and professional investors alike.

Michael's second book The Complete TurtleTrader: The Legend, the Lessons, the Results (Collins, Oct. 07 and Feb. 09) is different. It is the definitive behind the scenes look at a real life trading legend. It is a narrative account of super-trader Richard Dennis and his student traders nicknamed the 'Turtles'. You think trading success only happens for people born with a silver spoon? This book will prove you wrong! It is the true story of nurture trumping nature and has become an inspirational lynch-pin for tens of thousands.

Following his two books Michael directed his debut documentary film Broke. It premiered on 'The Documentary Channel' in October 2009. It explores human behavior (read: behavioral finance) during the 2007-2009 market crash. It is Michael's 75,000 mile odyssey through a Tokyo fish market, a Virginia sheep farm, a lottery store and Las Vegas and Macau poker tables all to learn how and why we make so many wrong financial decisions.

Michael and his team shot the film in 13 major cities and packed it with big time names in the trading world (Larry Hite, Jim Rogers, David Harding, Mark Mobius, and Bill Miller to name a few). Michael also conducted face-to-face interviews with legendary Nobel Prize winners Dr. Harry Markowitz and Dr. Vernon Smith. Michael's film is a non-partisan, timeless and common sense message that everyone can embrace.

Customer Reviews

You will be better off reading 'How to make money in stocks..'
Ashwini Aragam
I've rarely read a trading book with so little practical information or one that repeated generalizations so many times.
John Fischer
If you think that you will see examples of trend following techniques that you can use, this is not the book for you.
Jack Hillen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

307 of 326 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Why should you read this book? Is the book worth the time and effort? The book layed the foundation for my trading career. Brick by brick and chapter by chapter the author supported why trading as a trend follower is so important. Examples of the successes of current trend followers are peppered through the book.
Does the author give you the secrets to trading? No. Are there any secrets to trading? No. Buy if the price is going up and sell short if the price is going down. Is it that simple? Yes. The author goes out of his way to show example upon example of successful trend traders. These traders are not Wall Street names. They do however, beat the S&P on average year after year, and do so very quietly.
What does it take to be successful? How can I be successful? Simple, find someone who has what you want and then model their behavior. Find a mentor. If you want to make money in the markets then model the behaviour of those who are successful. Granted most of these traders would not take you under their wing, so buy the book and let it serve as your focus. Their behavior is thoroughly outlined through the pages.
People with nothing to say always talk the loudest. In trading the ones who have nothing yell.
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242 of 256 people found the following review helpful By "baroquebespoke" on May 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I heard about this book from a buddy of mine who trades using a mechanical system similar to trend following. Now I know why he recommended it. The book is a must read for investors and traders alike. Had I read this book three years ago I would have known why my investments were getting slammed by the bear. The author knows his subject inside-out and breaks it down in so many ways, I can't help but be embarrassed by my once magical belief in my broker's insight. I particularly recommend the chapter on behavioral finance that speaks to everyone who has had gut wrenching losing spells.
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289 of 307 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
What's great about this book is that it goes straight for jugular of anyone who can't stop themselves from making predictions about the markets. Like those chart reading traders who think they can actually forecast the market direction. Prediction with charts is a losing game. If 100 traders stare at a chart, they come up with 100 different subjective interpretations. This book may actually make them realize that pretending they have unique skill through years of ink blot study is just blowing smoke.
Better yet this book is not based off hypothetical testing or experiments in what may work. It uses real performance data from guys who have traded for decades as trend followers. If you worship technical indicators as "it" don't read this book unless you want a hard cold splash of reality. If you worship technical indicators as some market tonic -- go ahead -- but don't forget the best in the business do nothing of the sort.
One of my favorite parts is the description of the hundreds of millions of dollars trend followers won at the same time Long Term Capital Management was imploding and losing their shirts. Wow, what an example of risk and volatility in stark terms.
But ultimately it is the no holds barred condemnation of fundamental analysis that sticks with me. Trend followers don't waste their time trying to understand forces influencing market participants (fundamental analysis) They care about the market price and what they should do in response to market price movement. Isn't that a goal for all of us? Round of applause for the diligent research and clear writing.
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266 of 283 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I got this book a couple days ago and highly recommend it. As an occasional trader and avid reader, I pick up a few books about investing and the markets each year, but I seldom have the reading pleasure of being educated and entertained at the same time. This book does both. Covel manages to be a good storyteller and cover all the basics of trend following. Plus he's spent enough years researching the subject that it's hard to argue with his data. My only question is why aren't there more people trend following if it works so well? Covel names a few of the handful of trend followers who are making millions and none of them are on Wall Street -- very interesting. Bottom line: the quotes in the margin alone qualify this book as a good beach read.
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637 of 686 people found the following review helpful By Rob Ryley on June 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I've read close to 100 trading books on various trading methods--fundamentals, technicals, options trading, etc. I trade and I would consider myself a trend follower--of sorts.
The author does make a good point--trend following is a valid and underestimated methodology. It is the method that discretionary traders like Edwards and Magee would advocate.
Trend following is based on events that the market underestimates. Price action does not follow the normal distribution, as the statisticians would have it. Events that are statistically improbable are much more frequent than chance would allow. Trend following technical analysis attempts to catch these moves.
The author underestimates the drawbacks of a strict trend-following methodology--large draw-downs, with a large percentage of losing trades. This drawback--low reliability is also a strength--most market participants are not interested in profitable system with a large number of losers. A more severe drawback--a large amount of capital is needed to trade such a system to handle the inevitable drawdowns.
He fails to address this issue by simply suggesting that if you take enough trades, eventually one will go your way and make up for your losses. Maybe so. But who would be willing to suffer draw-downs in the range of 30% or more, waiting for one or 2 big trades to come? Not many. Increased market volatility makes trend following systems profitable, but more risky.
If you examine _The Encyclopedia of Trading Strategies_ you will see that most mechanical systems degrade over time. Volatility breakout systems used to be very popular. But with increased volatility, simple breakout systems give more frequent losing trades, rendering them unprofitable for the test period.
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