Despite what you may have read or heard, there is no single trend. There are countless trends, all in place at the same time, in both directions. Which trend you are following depends on the timeframe you choose to look at, the instrument you are following, as well as the rules you have in place to determine a trend.
You can only determine a trend once it is in place - all trends can only be fully identified in a historical context. Therefore, you create a set of rules that determine the potential start of a trend, use appropriate risk management, and see what comes of it.
The first few months of 2011 have shown that trend following is not easy. You can get several failed trends in a row, which can erode faith in the method if you are not careful. However, history has shown repeatedly that, if you are patient, and observe proven rules which look to determine a potential trend (as well as the defining the end of a trend), combined with controlling your risk, fortunes can be made. Want proof ? Pull up some charts from the last 2-3 weeks - be it indices, forex, gold or plain ol' equities.
In times like this, the talking heads on CNBC, Bloomberg and the like always focus on the amount of money LOST when a down trend hits - same as in 2008, same as in 2000, same as in 1987. They talk about a market being oversold (whatever that is). They never focus on those taking the other side of the trades of the majority, the silent minority in the shadows - the trend followers around the world who quietly pocket billions in profits.
If you want to know more about how to make money (and keep it!) using time proven techniques that are simple to understand, easy to implement, and to avoid the stress the majority have suffered the last few weeks, then my e-book or joining a small community of like minded traders here would be a great starting point.