This is the true story of how a group of ragtag students, many with no Wall Street experience, were trained to be millionaire traders. Think of Donald Trump’s show The Apprentice in the real world with real money, real hiring and firing. These students weren’t trying to sell ice cream on New York City streets, but they learned to trade stocks, bonds, currencies, oil, gold and dozens of other markets to make millions. They learned to not be Warren Buffett.
The Turtle students learned all rules in only two weeks. They did not learn to trade from a screaming mosh pit on the trading floor with wild hand signals, but rather in a quiet office with no televisions, computers and only a few phones. Their rules answered these questions: What is the state of the market? What is the volatility of the market? What is the equity being traded? What is the system or the trading orientation? What is the risk aversion of the trader or client? View the rules.
Richard Dennis made his first million by age 25 and $200 million by age 37. He was the lead turtle teacher with a unique view: “Trading was more teachable than I ever imagined. Even though I was the only one who thought it was teachable. It was teachable beyond my wildest imagination.” Great investors conceptualize problems differently than other investors. These investors don’t succeed by accessing better information; they succeed by using the information differently than others.
Nurture trumps nature: “Give me a dozen healthy infants and my own specific world to bring them up in, and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select--doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant, chef and yes, even beggar and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors.” This is not about born talents, it is about learning.
People would do anything to get Richard Dennis’s attention. Jim Melnick’s effort was the most extreme and inventive. He was an overweight, working-class guy from Boston who was living over a saloon and determined to get as close to Dennis as possible. He moved to Chicago and ended up as a security guard for the Chicago Board of Trade and every morning would say, “Good morning, Mr. Dennis” as Dennis entered the building. Boom, Melnick got selected.
By the time Turtle research was over a story had been assembled that some Turtles (Jerry Parker) wanted deciphered while others (Curtis Faith) wanted it buried like a Cold War-era CIA operation. Given the mythical Turtle legend that existed for over two decades, opening up the blinds and letting sunshine in only helps investors without Turtle-like access and success to realize that the Turtles are human.
Author Brett Steenbarger praised: "Because Covel so clearly lays out these ingredients of success, his book is relevant not just to trend traders, but to anyone who aspires to greatness in the markets. The message is clear: to win, the odds must be in your favor, and you must have the fortitude to keep playing, remain consistent, and compound your edge. That's a formula for success in any field of endeavor, which may be why the Turtle story finds universal appeal."
Michael Covel & his firm Trend Following™ have worked for over a decade to deliver cutting edge & transformative solutions for aspiring students worldwide. His unparalleled global teaching track record, with 6000+ students in 70+ countries & 150,000+ books sold, has made him the respected trend following research & education solutions leader. Caution: this message will cause some to fight.
Famed TurtleTrader Liz Cheval