Real Work Reactions to Trend Following Perspectives


Over the course of my day yesterday, I had multiple interactions dealing with different topics where my trend following nature left the people I was talking to terribly confused.

Pretty much any trend follower will relate to my experience talking about my stock market holdings. (I know, the site is called “Don’t Talk About Your Stocks,” but that’s easier said than done!)

I casually mentioned to multiple people yesterday that SHPG was up huge on the day, and that TRN scared me because it was trading at half the price it was trading at on Thursday, but that was just because the stock had split.

When you mention stocks like SHPG and TRN, which the majority of non-stock-market-people have never heard of, the most common response is “What company is that?” or “What do they do?” Those people are always shocked that I don’t have an answer.

Then, when I try to explain to them that I don’t do any research into the individual companies, they generally give me a pathetic patronizing look and walk away.

Most people aren’t interested in the proven track record of trading 20-week breakouts using ATR-based stops. They also don’t want to hear about improving the stock universe by limiting options to the stocks Investors Business Daily feels do the best job of matching the characteristics shared by the biggest winning stocks of all time.

People want to hear that I have a “hot tip” or that I’m “playing the earnings” or “buying the dip.” They want me to give them a reason. When I don’t, they dismiss me.

Interestingly, the same thing keeps happening with my Amazon sales. 

When I mention that I bought a Cynthia Rowley duvet cover for $26 and sold it a few weeks later for $99.99, people are shocked to find out that I have no idea who Cynthia Rowley is.

They aren’t willing to accept that I just follow the strategy based on projected profit from an app on my phone that processes Amazon sales data. More than one person tried to explain thread counts to me so that I could better analyze future bedding trades.

I liken this to my uncle Fred trying to explain PE ratios to David Harding. Not only does my uncle have no clue about PE ratios, he also has no grasp of the concept that they are completely irrelevant to Harding’s trend following strategy.

Also, my uncle Fred is a dumbass.

As trend followers, we are constantly finding ourselves in conversations with people who just don’t get it. They want to make everything about what we do more complicated than it has to be.

Our job is to keep things simple. That is where our greatest advantage lies.

Photo Credit: Lotus Carroll via Compfight cc