Way of the Turtle: The Secret Methods that Turned Ordinary People into Legendary Traders

Are great traders born or made? 

What qualities should a successful trader possess?

To find answers to these questions, that have been a long time discussion amongst traders, we need to go back to Chicago of 1984. At that very time two legendary commodity traders Richard Dennis and Bill Eckhardt embarked on an experiment that went down in history as “Turtles”.

After 20 years, the non-disclosure period was over, and one of the participants in the experiment, a programmer Curtis Face, wrote a book about it: “Way of the Turtle: The Secret Methods that Turned Ordinary People into Legendary Traders”.

If you expect to pick up a crime drama, then you better move on. This book ain’t about cocaine, nightlife or chilling on luxury yachts. Neither does it include FBI agents or the IRS-CI.

In other words, it’s nothing like “The Wolf of Wall Street” at all.

Way of the Turtle

The “Way of the Turtle” is for those who want to try their hand at the stock exchange, or are already trading there.

The book is dedicated to the mastermind of the experiment, Richard Dennis.

At the age of 32, he made over $250 million on short-term trading. He is also known as a “Prince of the Pit ”. (The “Pit” refers to the physical arena at the Stock Exchange.)

Dennis was certain he could raise successful traders as easily as turtles that were raised on Singapore farms. Thus, he advertised in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times that he was recruiting students for his school. He also pointed out that he could teach anyone to trade, even a person who had not seen the stock chart before. Moreover, he simply needed two weeks to prove that. All that mattered was to meet the conditions. The thing is he chose to not voice them. 

The competition was pretty high and out of several thousands of resumes he ended up picking 20 people only. The author of the book was the youngest (19) of the contenders.

It’s worth mentioning that the majority of experienced traders failed during the interview and the ones who made it would come from various professional backgrounds:

  • professional blackjack player;
  • college chess champion;
  • Dungeons and Dragons video game editor, developing combat tactics; 
  • programmer;
  • professor of linguistics at the University of Chicago;
  • accountant.

Upon the training, each participant received an account opened on the exchange with a deposit of $1 million.  The task was to increase it, adhering to the agreed strategy.

Who dropped out of the competition and why?

What conclusions did Richard Dennis, who earned 80% per annum, come to in the course of his studies?  What qualities turned out to be important for a successful trader?  

Why did experience lose out to discipline?

Why did knowledge of probability theory and psychology turn out to be more important than fundamental analysis?

You can find answers to all these questions and more if you purchase this renowned book Click here

Trading quotes from “Way of the Turtle” by Curtis Faith

Human emotion is both the source of opportunity in trading and the greatest challenge.

Master it and you will succeed.

Ignore it at your peril.

Trade with an edge, manage risk, be consistent, and keep it simple.

The entire Turtle training, and indeed the basis of all successful trading, can be summed up in these four core principles.

Losses are not indicators of errors or the consequences of poor decisions;  losses are the costs of doing business.  Losses cannot be avoided.  But they can also be controlled.

Good trading is not about being right, it’s about trading right.

If you want to be successful, you need to think of the long run and ignore the outcomes of individual trades.

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