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The Complete TurtleTrader: How 23 Novice Investors Became Overnight Millionaires Paperback – February 24, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Covel (Trend Following) revisits a famous financial trading experiment conducted by Wall Street trader Richard Dennis and extracts its lessons with mixed results. Dennis, who quickly learned how to trade after starting as a runner at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in 1966 at age 17, had made a reported $200 million by 1983. To settle an argument with fellow trader William Eckhardt about whether trading ability was innate or could be taught, he put an ad in the Wall Street Journal offering to teach candidates how to trade in two weeks, and then backed them with his own money. Of the thousands of people who who applied, 23 turtles were accepted. Their trading made $100 million for Dennis, leading some to become highly successful traders in their own right. Having tracked down most of the people involved, Covel describes the turtle training, including rules for entering and exiting trades as well as Dennis and Eckhardt's personal lessons, and speculates on why some turtles succeeded more than others. However, there are too many characters with competing interests, and many missing facts. Covel's own strong views can also get more emphasis than the voices of the principals. Still, the book is a useful training manual distilling the lessons of a fascinating experiment. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Tells the ‘real stories’ rather than just the glossy good bits—a thoroughly good read.” (Your Trading Edge)
“This warmly written book brilliantly captures the formation and evolution of the legendary Turtle investment program. It is loaded with wonderful anecdotal insights plus lessons on trading, risk, and life we should all follow. It should be on any novice or seasoned trader’s bookshelf alike. A must read!” (Michael Shannon, Original Turtle)
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It is an entertaining true to life account of the turtle experiment. This book takes you into the turtle program and inside the minds of those fortunate enough to be accepted into the turtle program.
The book goes through the selection process, personality differences, trading performance disparity, to "Where Are They Now".
The Complete Turtle Trader keeps you wanting more. I will definitely be reading more from Michael Covel.
Content: I find the subject of the Turtles to be fascinating. Security trading is usually somewhat complex in the teaching and the Turtle method is so straight forward. Is it really possible to teach something like trading to reasonably smart people who have little or no prior trading knowledge, and if so, how do you do it? Covel covers that very thoroughly indeed.
There are satisfying presentations of how the idea of the Turtles came about, how the training was structured, the concepts of Turtle trading, what the steps are in Turtle trading, and how the students did. Those who stuck with and followed the method did extremely well, so it's worth the read.
The Turtle methodology doesn't involve huge secrets. It's author, Richard Dennis, said he could publish it in the newspaper but most people who tried it wouldn't stick with it and so would not benefit. So the truth about sound investing seems to be lack of discipline, not lack of good methods readily available. Somewhere along the line something happens with our trades that scares us and we abandon our process. That is our downfall.
I feel strongly that all of Michael's books are absolutely critical to helping an investor realize that 99% of what the media and academia pushes as "best practices" are unprofitable and not much better than propaganda. Some people criticize that Michael's books don't provide enough details related to the systems; that he spends too much time "grinding his ax" against the establishment. Well, I think these people are missing the most valuable take away from his books. Michael gives you all the basic information, tools and frameworks to go discover and verify the robustness of the trend following philosophy on your own. Clearly Michael strongly believes in self-reliance and the power of the individual. Well, why then would he want to deliver his message in a form that doesn't require some work and self-discovery? True knowledge has to be earned through effort and discipline. His books provide you with all of the information and tools necessary to create your own successful trend following models. The value this book delivers is far in excess of its cost.
1) Read the books.
2) Form your own hypothesis.
3) Test the hypothesis. Do the research and analysis.
4) Identify trend following models & risk models that fit your personality.