By the early 1980s, Richard Dennis was widely recognized in the trading world as an overwhelming success. He had turned an initial stake of less than $5,000 into more than $100 million. He and his partner, William Eckhardt, had frequent discussions about their success. Dennis believed anyone could be taught to trade the futures markets, while Eckhardt countered that Dennis had a special gift that allowed him to profit from trading.
The experiment was set up by Dennis to finally settle this debate. Dennis would find a group of people to teach his rules to, and then have them trade with real money. Dennis believed so strongly in his ideas that he would actually give the traders his own money to trade. The training would last for two weeks and could be repeated over and over. He called his students “turtles” after recalling turtle farms he had visited in Singapore and deciding that he could grow traders as quickly and efficiently as farm-grown turtles.
A Complete Turtle Trading System
A good mechanical trading system automates the entire process of trading. The system provides answers for each of the decisions a trader must make while trading. The system makes it easier for a trader to trade consistently because there is a set of rules which specifically define exactly what should be done. The mechanics of trading are not left up to the judgment of the trader.
The Turtle Trading System was a Complete Trading System. Its rules covered every aspect of trading, and left no decisions to the subjective whims of the trader. It had every component of a Complete Trading System.