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on December 24, 2009
I believe the positive review on this book are questionable. It was a huge waste of my time. The book has information about trend followers, who they are, why the do it, why they prefer following price over fundamentals, etc. I believe all that. It also talk about the fact trend follows have risk management systems, why they are important, but doesn't say what those systems are. Nor does it explain how to be a trend follower, what to look for, how to create a system, what risk management looks like. Its 200+ pages that says a lot of nothing. Sure, there are people that follow trends and make huge money doing it. But it does not say how to be a trend follower, or how the average person can buy commodities, FX, futures etc, the markets trend followers use. I hate books that promote stuff, but then don't actually tell you anything or how to do it. It does suggest that stocks are the hardest asset class to be a trend follower, but then an appendix had an interesting study that supported trend following in stocks. So who knows. But don't promote trend following if you're not going to then at least suggest resources of how the regular investor (the person this book is directed towards) can buy commodities, fx or futures and be a trend follower

If you're looking for strategies about trend following, when to buy or sell, which type of strategies to follow, which strategies successful trend follower use, don't buy this book. It does not disclose anything about trend following systems. I'll summerize...trend following exists, some people make huge money doing it, they view the world this way. That's it.

I firmly believe that this book is highly ranked because the author is a successful and smart marketing individual. He knows how to promote a product, but does not deliver on the value proposition that product offered. Not surprisingly, he also offers expensive on-line programs and class on trend following, a website, and even has an upcoming self-produced documentary. Its a full-court press to sell the idea of trend following, but does not share how. I suspect, hedge funds or CTAs buy this book and give it to clients because its marketing fluff that validates what they do, without saying how they do it. But that it does not make it a valuable book.

Admittely, I'm always skeptical of authors that write about investing. They are making money by selling books not by investing. For more interesting books written by authors that discuss investor, Jack Swagger's New Market Wizards at least provides more insight into the strategies successful investors follow. So too does the "little black book series".

Ironically, I am a trend following. Its something I believe does work for certain individuals. I was hoping to learn more about the strategies of rock-star trend followers, or ideas to help refine my investment approach or strategy. But this had zero information on the actually strategies, process, models, or even how to create a model.
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on January 12, 2011
I Thought I had seen and read just about everything to do with trading. From histories of great traders, complicated option formulas, economic theory, the meanings of government statistics and more. Hearing about Covel and reading some of his shorter posts I kept wondering how something as simple sounding as trend following could be a whole book. After finally reading it hardly a day goes by that I'm not thankful for letting "Trend Following" showing me how simple it can be.
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on July 29, 2009
Trend Following is the sort of book that can either be very rewarding or very frustrating. If you pick it up thinking it's going to provide some secret methods and techniques for trading you are going to end up being one of the folks who ends up panning it because they didn't get what they expected. This is not a technical manual full of strategies. If you understand that going in you'll get a lot more out of it.

This book, to my mind is like a trading version of a text exploring a specific philosophy such as Taoism with something of a comparisson to Buddhism, for example. Trend Following describes the philosophy and highlights some of its promonent proponents. And just like most books on philosophy, it sets you up for further exploration rather than presenting you with a "how to" instruction.

I think if you have the philosophy mindset going in it will go a long way toward helping you find value in the book.
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on January 12, 2011
Excellent Book! It challenges the conventional television pundit/CNBC wisdom and approach to succesful trading and traders. Covel is effective in cutting through all the barage of fundemental data and boiling it down to simple and reliable truth: Price/Momentum/Trend. You will be encouraged, educated and equipped!
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on June 21, 2010
Mchael did a very good job in putting this piece together. This is NOT a "how to" book so if that's what you are looking for you will be disappointed. However, it is full of philisophical quotes and commentary from some of the best trend following traders. It's a must read for anyone seriously looking at trading as a business venture. The subject matter is well-researched and is a good 'opening introduction book' for the novice trader. Great work Mike!
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on April 27, 2009
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Michael Covel is out to save you! He wants to free you from worrying about every little news item that shows up in the WSJ or on CNBC. He'll show you how to stop wasting time trying to make forecasts. And, best of all, he knows how to make money in both advancing and declining markets. Sound good to you?

Well, don't get *too* excited. Trend Following is not a how-to-guide. It doesn't contain any trading "secrets" or tricks. It's really a foundational text that thoroughly describes the philosophy and concepts underlying a trading system driven solely by price trends. Covel uses both hard data and anecdotal evidence, with a strong emphasis on behavioral finance concepts throughout, to make his case.

Keep in mind that if you end up being convinced by Covel, you will have to do a fair amount of additional work to implement his strategy. In other words, just reading Trend Following will not make you ready to start making trend-based trades, much as simply reading chemistry and physics textbooks won't make you a chemist or a physicist. You will need to determine which markets to trade, your parameters for opening and closing positions, and how much risk you are willing to assume. As such, this book is not for novice investors or for people who are not able to make a deep commitment to developing their own trading methodology.

Nonetheless, Trend Following is a book every serious investor should read. Even if you don't buy everything Covel says, it is always useful to question your assumptions, preconceptions, and past actions. No trading strategy is perfect. At a minimum, Trend Following will help you recognize the flaws and weaknesses in what you're currently doing.

Bottom line: four stars, with the caveat that Trend Following is most appropriate for people who have experience trading and are comfortable moving beyond basic mutual fund and retirement account investing.

Two books for anybody who wants to learn more about behavioral finance:
Beyond Greed and Fear (Shefrin)
Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes And How To Correct Them (Belsky, Gilovich)

And for comparison, three well-known alternatives to trend following:
A Random Walk Down Wall Street (Malkiel): indexing, very passive compared to trend following
Unconventional Success (Swensen): wide diversification across asset classes, but with a buy-and-hold bias not found in trend following
The Only Three Questions That Count (Fisher): top-down forecasting, the antithesis of trend following
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on January 12, 2011
I believe Trend Following is the book where Michael Covel wants to show us how to use both halves of our brains to better ourselves as investors (not only traders). Technically and fundamentally. It has quite a gloomy subtitle, but nevertheless an essential read.
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on February 1, 2010
I bought this book because I want to know "Can I learn to earn a living by trading?" In this book, I learned about others that learned to trade, and how to think and listen so that I might learn too. Through this book, Michael took me in depth to hear what successful trend followers say about their craft, and how to interpret what they say. I believe many people hear what the trend followers say, but miss the message. Michael took example after example of successful trend following, lined them up, and showed me how to think in a way to get the message.

Part of my mind still wanted the book to list out the formula for a trend following system that would work best for me. I found the experience of wrestling with that part of my mind key to digesting the message of this book. That part of my mind that feels unwilling to do the work to create a system that works best for me blocks me from building the system.

Not that the book left me without a framework for my trend following system. I found the book well organized into four parts. Michael devotes the last hundred pages to seven valuable appendices. There I found trend following systems and examples of how to evaluate them.

Through studying this book, I gained lessons and confidence that propel me towards earning a living by trading. This book returns high value for the cost.
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on May 9, 2014
Before you buy this book please do yourself a favor and scan through the 1 and 2 star ratings and you will get a true picture of what this book is about. I have read many books on investing and every book that I have read so far, had something to offer as far as useful information. This book offers absolutely nothing. For 400 pages it tells you how great the trend following system is and it gives you performance data (annual returns) of the professionals that use this system. That's it. There is nothing mentioned about the "system" these professionals use. If you look on the cover of the book, it says " best of all, he shows you exactly how to apply the same strategies to your own portfolio" This is completely misleading. Of course nobody expects these professional to "give the farm away" but if you are going to write a book about a system of trading you would expect "some" information from the book. This book is a complete waste of time and money. I am not sure where all the 5 star reviews came from ?!
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on March 25, 2014
This book was one long info-mercial, a defense of trend-following by touting the alleged wisdom of the "great" trend-followers. Expecting to find that I had purchased a book that would educate me on how to invest the trend-following way, I was disappointed and dissatisfied to wade through to the end, never finding the education I expected. The net effect for me was to be even more wary of trend-following. It was a case of "he doth 'testimonialize' too much!"
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