Michael Covel interviews trader and original student of the first Turtle class, Jerry Parker. In 1983, Parker was accepted into the Turtle Program, a select investment training program developed by successful Chicago portfolio manager Richard Dennis. He appears in Covel’s “The Complete TurtleTrader” and has been the most successful TurtleTrader. Parker founded Chesapeake Capital Corporation, a global investment manager headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, in 1988. Chesapeake provides investment and portfolio management services to both private and institutional investors worldwide. Covel talks to Parker about the mistake of combining different strategies with trend following, and the importance of having a concentrated strategy that you can rely on; how discretionary moves can get in the way of your system, and “systematized discretion”; the psychological effect of following a trend following strategy for decades; the idea of going for positive expected value over what’s least risky; why Parker doesn’t like to use the term “managed futures”, and why it doesn’t really tell the story of trend followers; trend followers performing well at different points in time compared to long-only; using trend following as another strategy for investors who only invest through a long-only value-based system; the importance of not letting your views on politics and society influence your trading, and maintaining a systematic and disciplined approach; the growth of news media since 1984, information overflow, limiting your variables, and using price as your primary indicator; how Parker has learned over the years to deal with drawdowns, loving your losses, and the importance the Turtle program played in his education on drawdowns; why governments are the ultimate counter-trend traders; why buy and hold is not a good place to be even if people are saying it’s turned around; Parker’s stock-only trend following program, and why the diversified program will do better than the stock-only system; and leverage as a tool.
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