The Trading Turtle Experiment

Richard Dennis and William Eckhardt are not names you will immediately recognize. But if you are interested in becoming a successful Forex trader, it is worth reading up on them as it might change your life.

In the early 1980’s, the two commodity traders had turned $5000 into $100million. Of course, they were ecstatic and often discussed the reason for their success. Eckhart believed that it required a special ‘gift’ or trading instinct that had resulted in the profitable trades. Richard, on the other hand, firmly insisted that had nothing to do with an inherent nature but that he had taught himself how to trade by using specific moves that resulted in the right choices of when to enter or exit the market and at what price to make the move. He concluded that anyone could be taught to trade.

He decided to run an experiment. He placed an ad in The Wall Street Journal and thousands applied to learn trading at his feet. He chose a group of people of 14 applicants each with different backgrounds, ages and financial knowhow and over a period of 14 days he taught them all about Forex. He called them the ‘Trading 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.

Among the most important concepts he taught them was how to implement a trend-following strategy. The idea is that the “trend is your friend”, so you should buy futures breaking out to the upside of trading ranges and sell short downside breakouts. In practice, this means, for example, buying new four-week highs as an entry signal.

At the end of the two weeks, he opened an account for each member of the group and deposited $250,000 in each account.  As a group, the Turtles personally trained by Dennis earned more than $175 million in only five years. Richard Dennis had proved beyond a doubt that beginners can learn to trade successfully.

The idea that anyone can be taught to trade Forex continues today. There are many online tutorials available today, that provide the trader with information that will guide him into successful trading. There aren’t many millionaires out there that are willing to foot the original deposit, but with the proper instruction, making money in Forex is still possible.