|Amazon.com: The Complete TurtleTrader: The Legend, the Lessons, the Results: Books: Michael W. Covel
The turtle trading experiment came about after a dispute between Richard Dennis and Bill Eckhardt on the issue of weather great traders were born or made. Dennis had the view that an individual could be taught to be great trader while Eckhardt thought great traders required genetics and aptitude. In order to settle the matter ads were taken out in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Barron’s. The ads were for the position of trading apprentices and after an initial training period the trainee would be given an account to trade. Out of a thousand applicants 13 were selected, these trainees were known as the Original Turtles.
In the Complete Turtle Trader Michael Covel investigates the story of the turtles. The book takes a pragmatic and extremely well researched look at not just the turtle experiment in isolation but explores the events that took place directly before and after the turtle experiment.
The Complete Turtle Trader Contents
- Chapter 1 – Nurture versus Nature
- Chapter 2 – Prince of the Pit
- Chapter 3 – The Turtles
- Chapter 4 – The Philosophy
- Chapter 5 – The Rules
- Chapter 6 – In the Womb
- Chapter 7 – Who Got What to Trade
- Chapter 8 – Game Over
- Chapter 9 – Out on Their Own
- Chapter 10 – Dennis Comes Back to the Game
- Chapter 11 – Seizing Opportunity
- Chapter 12 – Failure Is a Choice
- Chapter 13 – Second-Generation Turtles
- Chapter 14 – Model Greatness
- Appendix I: Where Are They Now?
- Appendix II: Related Websites
- Appendix III: Turtle Performance Data
- Appendix IV: Turtle Performance While Trading for Richard Dennis
- About the Author
In the early chapters, the book investigates the origins of the turtle experiment and the mastermind or “Prince of the Pit” behind the turtle experiment. A look at Dennis’s early life gives a good perspective of his core beliefs and by the age of 24 Dennis had already made $100,000 1973 dollars and was getting attention from the Chicago papers.
The turtle’s selection and training process is discussed at length giving you an almost fly on the wall insight. Dennis’s hiring process seemed to be somewhat unorthodox however given the nature of the interview and questions asked it was clear certain characteristics were required of potential turtles. It is clear from the outset that this was not a serious scientific experiment as the sample size was too small and there was clear sampling bias:
Self-selection bias, which is possible whenever the group of people being studied has any form of control over whether to participate. Participants’ decision to participate may be correlated with traits that affect the study, making the participants a non-representative sample. For example, people who have strong opinions or substantial knowledge may be more willing to spend time answering a survey than those who don’t.
The core or middle chapters of the book delve into the philosophy, the rules, the trading experience and the end of the experiment. Covel outlines the original trading rules in the most simple easy to understand presentation of the turtle rules I have seen to date. These rules are complemented with the eleven “Trade your own account tip[s]”.
The final chapters look at the turtle’s performance when the experiment finished and the second-generation turtles. It is very interesting to see the turtles that continued to trade successfully and those that did not. The addition of the profile of a second-generation turtle adds weight to the turtle story. The fact that someone who was never involved in the original experiment can apply the rules so successfully is a testament to the system.
The Bottom Line
Having read Curtis Faiths book I thought I knew the turtle story, however I could not have been more wrong. If you want to gain an objective well researched and thoroughly enjoyable insight into the turtle trading experiment Michael Covel’s The Complete Turtle Trader is the only book on the market to provide this. Throughout the book, Covel gives the reader a brief historical context of events that occurred in the period that is being discussed. Younger readers like me will find this to be helpful. Although the book is very detailed and well referenced at no time does the pace slow down, even when details of the system are discussed in chapter five. This is a must read trading book and is written so well that it can be read by someone with little trading experience yet it will not bore the seasoned professional. I should note a great source of resources is the authors blog Turtle Trader.