A review from Australia’s Your Trading Edge Magazine:
The legend of Richard Dennis’ bet with his friend and business partner William Eckhardt that trading could be taught to anyone is known to almost everyone involved in trading and investing. The trend following break out system taught to this mixed group of students forms the basis of the majority of trading styles, theories and methodologies around today. This group were referred to as the turtles after Dennis visited a turtle breeding farm in Singapore and allegedly made the comment to Eckhardt that he could ‘breed traders just like they breed turtles.’
In this book Michael Covel examines in great detail the story of the turtles. How the legend was born, the processes involved, and the participants involved in one of the most interesting real live trading ‘experiments’ ever conducted. He also delves into the performances of the students both during their mentorship, and after they were set free by Dennis and Eckhardt to make their own way in the trading world.
Covel does more however than simply tell the same story of the turtles that has been told before in other books on the subject. He examines in great detail the personalities involved, the behind the scenes stories, anecdotes and actual events that occurred. It is a ‘warts and all’ coverage of a fascinating social, trading and psychological experiment. He also includes the actual trading results of the turtles during their time spent with Richard Dennis, and trading results for a number of them who continued to trade after the program was terminated. These results are a fascinating insight into the approach used and the variations that can occur even with people all supposedly trading an identical system.
Covel also covers the extreme psychological strength required to employ such a trading strategy, where 60 – 70% of trades are losers, yet the winners when they come more than offset this high number of losing trades. The system draw downs pose a similar test of strength.
The book is a fascinating insight into the turtle program and ‘system’, the developers of the training program (Dennis and Eckhardt), and a number of the original turtle students, both then and now. It is a great read for anyone enamoured by the turtle ‘myth’ and for all those with an interest in trading in general as it tells the ‘real stories’ rather than just the glossy good bits – a thoroughly good read.