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Trend Following: How Great Traders Make Millions in Up or Down Markets, New Expanded Edition [Hardcover]

Michael W. Covel
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)

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Trend Following (Updated Edition): Learn to Make Millions in Up or Down Markets Trend Following (Updated Edition): Learn to Make Millions in Up or Down Markets 4.1 out of 5 stars (281)
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Book Description

November 12, 2005 0131345508 978-0131345508 1

How did John W. Henry quietly become rich enough to buy the Boston Red Sox? How have traders like Keith Campbell, Bill Dunn, Jerry Parker, and Salem Abraham consistently generated immense wealth in bull and bear markets? The key is trend following -- the only strategy proven to consistently make money. Michael Covel reveals the "underground" network of little-known traders and hedge fund managers who've been following trend for decades. He introduces its fundamental concepts and techniques, showing why market prices contain all the information investors need, and how to understand price movements well enough to profit from them. Using 100 pages of easy-to-understand charts from top trend followers, Covel proves the strategy works -- and shows why only a technical system based on following price trends can win over the long term. Covel presents more than a decade's worth of data:  even more backtested trend following results.  Covel thoroughly debunks misinformation and failed advice. This timely book capitalizes on today's intense volatility and uncertainty to give investors what they're desperately searching for: a strategy that really works.

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.

From the Back Cover


  • Reveals the trading strategy that made John W. Henry rich enough to buy the Boston Red Sox.
  • Contains 50+ pages of easy-to-understand charts, actual results from top Trend Followers.
  • Shows how to apply trend following in your portfolio–one step at a time, in plain English.

“Trend Following will replace Market Wizards as the must-read bible for a new generation of traders.”

Jonathan Hoenig, Portfolio Manager, Capitalistpig Hedge Fund LLC/Fox News Contributor


“Michael Covel’s Trend Following: Essential.”

Ed Seykota, Trend Follower for 35 years and Original Market Wizard


“Investment books that have a lasting appeal offer insight that resonates with a large number of investors. We believe Michael Covel’s Trend Following will be such a book.”

Richard E. Cripps, Legg Mason Chief Market Strategist


“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


“Please read [Trend Following] whether you think you have an interest in trend following or are not quite sure…Covel has hit a home run with it.”

Gail Osten, Editor-in-Chief, Stocks, Futures & OptionsMagazine


“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. This is one book that traders at all levels will find of real value.”

John Mauldin, author of Bull’s Eye Investing


For more than 30 years, one trading strategy has consistently delivered extraordinary profits in bull and bear markets alike: Trend Following. Just ask the billionaire traders who rely on it...traders like John W. Henry, whose trading profits bought the Boston Red Sox!


In Trend Following, New Expanded Edition, you’ll meet them...and discover exactly how to use trend following in your own portfolio. This expanded edition includes more than 50 pages of easy-to-understand performance charts. It is the book multi-billion-dollar hedge funds have

made mandatory reading for their staffs.


Michael Covel goes right to the source, presenting powerful insights straight from the world’s top trend followers, and debunking Wall Street myths and misinformation from well-known pros who ought to know better. You’ll learn how to manage risk, employ market discipline, and, when the moment is right, swing for the home run.

  • Real proof, real data, real results
    Decades of actual performance charts from professional money managers
  • All the information you one number
    Why the market price tells you all you need to know to trade
  • Pinpointing targets of opportunity
    What to trade, when to trade, and how much to trade
  • How it’s done: classic case studies
    Who profited from the global scandals of the last 15 years…and how they did it
  • Meet today’s leading trend followers
    Extraordinary trader profiles, including top traders from the past 30 years

MICHAEL W. COVEL is the founder and President of Trend Following™. A researcher of the most successful trend following investment managers, he has been in the alternative

investments industry consulting on trend following to individual traders, hedge funds, and banks for ten years.


From his writing to public speaking, Covel pulls no punches. Passionately educating his clients in order to find that “edge” has made Covel a widely respected expert in the field. He writes for numerous industry publications and is continually quoted and interviewed by Barron’s, Bloomberg, and RobTV, to name but a few. An experienced and successful entrepreneur, he is a frequent guest on national TV and radio shows and regularly gives presentations at international hedge fund conferences from Hong Kong to Tokyo, advising listeners on proper trading, decision-making, risk management, and trend following. Covel is also Managing Editor at, the leading trend following news and commentary resource since 1996.


Living and working in Virginia, he is a lifelong baseball fan.

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

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (November 12, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131345508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131345508
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 7.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #985,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Covel is President and founder of Trend Following™, a research-consulting firm focused on trend following trading strategies. The firm's client base consists of individual traders, students, hedge funds, pensions and family offices. Michael's unique edge is an extensive personal network within the world of quantitative trend following investments. His unparalleled global teaching track record is over 7000+ clients in 70+ countries.

The bestselling author of The Little Book of Trading, Trend Commandments, The Complete TurtleTrader and the classic Trend Following, Michael's books have sold 150,000+ copies. His books have been translated into 10+ languages with Trend Following named best trading book of the last 15 years. His first documentary film is Broke: The New American Dream.

Michael is also the voice behind Trend Following Radio, the underground alternative hit that has been as high as #2 on iTunes investing channel reaching 182 countries & territories with 1.9 million listens. Guests have included: Daniel Kahneman (Nobel Prize), Vernon Smith (Nobel Prize), Harry Markowitz (Nobel Prize), Ed Seykota, Gerd Gigerenzer, Dan Ariely, Jack Schwager, Michael Mauboussin, Larry Williams, Tom DeMark, Tom Basso, Jerry Parker, Barry Ritholtz and Larry Hite. More:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
76 of 84 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One Big Idea December 11, 2005
There are two kinds of finance books. The ones written by traders, and the ones written by finance writers. Books written by traders are steeped in experience, but often badly put together. The ones written by finance writers are sleek and professional looking, but lack the realism of people who have been battle hardened by hundreds of trades.

This is one of the latter. The writer has gotten hold of one idea, "Trend Following", and beats it to death. The problem that he goes well beyond his brief.

For instance, he claims that Jesse Livermore was a trend follower. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Livermore was a momentum trader. His motto was "no stock is too high to buy, or too low to short". Livermore loved breakouts, and didn't limit his trades to the middle of the move.

What is more, the writer lets Ed Seykota get away with his Dr. Seuss witticisms, without having him divulge any of his trading methods. There is nothing new to that, because the same thing happened in The Market Wizards. However, it is not exactly informative.

Without trying to sound like Ed Seykota, trend following only works when there is a trend to follow. Unfortunately, 80% of the time, markets move sideways.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Trend Hype June 19, 2006
I read this book and I must say that I liked it but it really was just a bunch of hype as to why you should be a trend follower. Everyone in the trading business knows that the trend is your friend. Most have heard of the Turtles and know that trend following can be a great way to make money trading. But what this book doesn't address is how to trend follow. It talks alot about the money managers that do trend follow, but nothing about how, which the title of the book implies. It says "How" but fails to address "How" other then to say these guys are trend followers and you should be too. I would say the title is a little misleading. The title should be , "These Great Traders Make Money by Trend Following". So if you want to learn the "how to" then just forget this book as it will give little insight into that.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A lot of hype, but not enough useful material February 14, 2007
By GeneV
I really believe in trend following - I use this strategy. I bought this book with an expectation of gaining more knowledge about the strategy. After I read it, I can honestly say that it gave me nothing but an overview of the greatest trend followers. Actually, I should have known that before hand, since the title of the book is "How Great Traders Make....", it does not say "How YOU can make...".

So, if you are looking for "trend following" know-how, you will not get it from this book. You can learn a lot more by reading the "trending" tutorial on the clearstation.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Title is Misleading February 25, 2007
By D. Day
This book's sub-title say, "How Great Traders Make Money in Up or Down Markets."

The content of this book falls far from delivering its promise. The cover of this book promises that it will show you how to apply trend following techniques to your trading. "Covel walks you through the process, one step at a time, in plain English." He certainly does no such thing.

If you are looking for a trend-following system, you will not find it in this book; nor will you find any help or guidance in how to go about developing your own trend following system.

As someone who trades for a living, I found nothing between the covers of this book applicable to improving real-world trading results.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of money November 4, 2006
By Bluehat
The cover of this book promises that it will show you how to apply trend following to your porfolio. "Covel walks you through the process, one step at a time, in plain English." This is misleading. Aside from a back test on some basic systems, there is no concrete discussion on how to trade trends in the entire book. The portraits of the major trend followers are not uninteresting, but Jack Schwager's Market Wizard series is far superior. Covel also goes to great lengths to "prove" that trend followers were on the winning side of all the major crises and meltdowns of the last decade (e.g. LTCM), but the only proof he offers is that a number of trend followers had gains in the months where others were losing. Much of the book is packed with statistical data on performance that might be of interest to someone writing a thesis on the subject. If that's who you are, buy the book, but don't expect much nuts and bolts information on making money in the market.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but not very useful June 3, 2007
I own this book, I even recommend this book. But let me explain the 2 star rating....

While the book is a good history lesson, and shows how some of these guys make a lot of money, it's just not practical advice for the rest of us. I highly doubt that many of us have a billion dollar hedge fund to run.

Also, there are no real strategies in this book.

However, it did get me thinking in a different way. So for that, it is worth the money. (The main thing was to allow for larger swings against your position, allow the market a little more room than I did before.)

I know that this guy sells other products on his website, but to be honest, I don't see them being worth it. Most of this book is about defending trend traders, which is fine, but I wasn't attacking them in the first place.

I have begun to use the 4 hour chart more with his thinking, and I have to say it makes a little more sense. Not to get caught up in "micro-movements" as I call them. But to allow massive 300 pips swings against you on a weekly chart isn't practical for most of us.

So in conclusion, I think it's a good read, but if you get what I got out of it from my review, then it may or may not be worth the money.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended
My review is from the hardback version.
The author is the first to tell you that there is no Holy Grail in his book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Felita Daniels
4.0 out of 5 stars The best days of trend following are behind us
This is a history book for a trader since 2008 and the hijacking of the markets by the Fed. The Fed has killed all markets and their trends; all it does now is print and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by KT
3.0 out of 5 stars basic infor
This book gave lots of good information and enjoy to read it. Anyone who wanted to know more about investment should read this book.
Published 16 months ago by W. Yang
5.0 out of 5 stars Great condition. Great book. Very informative.
The book is very informative for someone like me who is a beginner interested in trend following. I would recommend it.
Published 16 months ago by James Sluder
2.0 out of 5 stars Citations and Quotes Anyone?
I cant believe this book is over 400 pages!! the most interesting part of this book has only been the actual trend followers in the beginning chapters and their gains over time... Read more
Published 18 months ago by J..... S..
2.0 out of 5 stars Impressed.
I find it remarkable and I was quite impressed how someone can write 200 pages with just one message, "there are a number of commodity trading advisers who have made lots of money... Read more
Published 19 months ago by JKR
2.0 out of 5 stars 1000 cliches and anecdotes; about a dozen worthwhile
My initial reaction was to give this book a 1-star rating because a zero star is not an option. This book is a compilation of about 1000 cliches and anecdotes, each expanded to a... Read more
Published on May 3, 2012 by NBO
1.0 out of 5 stars Almost completely useless
I'm perplexed about the motives of the author. Why would he spend so much time and effort putting together something of no conceivable use to those who might buy it? Read more
Published on March 31, 2012 by Julius
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Introduction to Trend Following
All beginning traders should read this book before buying any other trading books. This book will teach you the right way to think about markets. Read more
Published on September 17, 2011 by Automated Trader
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was looking for
This book is mainly a series of discussions on many people that have used trends for investment purposes. Read more
Published on December 25, 2010 by BernardZ
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Topic From this Discussion
Welcome to the Trend Following forum
I'm very interested in finding out more about trend following strategies. Covel does a great job of introducing the topic and the players, but he is a bit thin on the actual nuts and bolts of trading a trend following system.

I know Dunn and some of the others mentioned in the book post monthly... Read More
Nov 21, 2005 by CapitalG |  See all 4 posts
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