Richard Dennis and His Turtles

Many of you may not be familiar with the name Richard Dennis. Dennis began his trading career at the age of 17 as an order runner to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and went on to become one of Chicago’s most successful traders.

Dennis firmly believed that successful trading could be taught. To prove his point, he recruited and trained 21 men and 2 women in two groups, one from December 1983, and the other from December 1984. This group was known as the Turtles and for only two weeks he taught them all they needed to know to become successful traders including a simple trend-following system, trading a range of commodities, currencies, and bonds as well as how to  buy within a certain range and how to cut a position size during losing periods.

When the two-week training period was over, Dennis opened a trading account for each of the Turtles and had them how to use the systems they had been shown in order to trade. During this one-month trading period, they were allowed to trade a maximum of 12 contracts per market. At the completion of the trial period, he gave those Turtles who had successfully traded the system during the one-month trial from $250,000 to $2 million of his own money to manage.

When his experiment ended five years later, his Turtles reportedly had earned an aggregate profit of $175 million, proving without a doubt that anyone can learn to trade. See more on The exact system taught to the Turtles by Dennis has been published in at least two books.Many of the Turtles continued to trade and became recognized figures in their field.  

Education, Education, Education

Richard Dennis’s experiment was successful for several reasons:

  1. Education is key.  Proper training, practice and patience are essential for profitable trading. Whether you are trading in stocks, bonds, CFT’s or Forex, without extensive knowledge of the product and suitable training on how to use the financial instrument, you will never come out a winner.  Simple, exact instruction should be offered online by each broker. In addition, courses for specific trading such as Forex are taught through tutorials and ongoing courses like that offered at FX Academy.
  2. Often, learning a new subject within a short period of time is needed in order to retain essential information. The Turtles sat for 14 straight days.
  3. Dennis taught them to be disciplined and to follow his method exclusively.
  4. They were taught strict money management techniques and were shown how to avoid certain risks.
  5. Upon completion of the course, the group moved right into the trading mode.

Although the group as a whole made a tremendous amount of money, not every Turtle emerged with the same success.  Personality and motivation differ from one person to another and come in to play in any form of trading. To be successful in stock trading, Forex trading or any other investing, you need to be focused on winning. Believing in yourself and your capabilities can move you to unprecedented achievements. Add that to knowledge and a bit of luck and you can be as profitable as any one of the Dennis’s Turtles.

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