Failure Is a Choice

I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake A terrible flood Locusts It wasn't my fault, I swear to god Jake Blues, The Blues Brothers Movie Understanding why some Turtles were swallowed up in the pressure cooker of ego and expectations while others went on to great success reveals what is necessary to achieve long-term success. Liz...

Russell Sands

Russell Sands lasted one year as a Turtle before leaving for reasons that aren't completely clear. While he said that he resigned, other Turtles said he was let go. However, that detail was minor in view of Sands's true Turtle legacy selling Dennis's famous rules. The selling of Dennis's rules followed shortly after Sands's departure from Chesapeake Capital (the firm he'd created with Jerry Parker). Sands was always honest about why Parker carried more weight in their former firm (he had the...

The Performance

Mike Cavallo Jerry Parker Liz Cheval Tom Shanks Jim DiMaria Brian Proctor Paul Rabar Source Barclays Performance Reporting (www.barclaygrp.com). Nothing illustrates the life of a Turtle while working for Richard Dennis better than the monthly ups and downs of the raw performance numbers. Consider the performance of three Turtles, Mike Cavallo, Jerry Parker, and Liz Cheval, during 1985 (more Turtle performance numbers are in the appendix.) Table 7.2 1985...

Prince of the

Great investors conceptualize problems differently than other investors. These investors don't succeed by accessing better information they succeed by using the information differently than others. Michael J. Mauboussin, chief investment strategist of Legg Mason Capital Management Nineteen eighty-s ix was a huge year for Richard Dennis. He made 80 million (about 147 million in 2007 dollars). That kind of money-making put him squarely at the center of Wall Street alongside George Soros, who was...

Endnotes

David Greising, Adlai Bankroller Dennis Eschews Millionaire' Tag, Chicago Sun-Times, August 3, 1986, A3. 2. Andy Serwer, The Greatest Money Manager of Our Time, Fortune, November 15, 2006 (407 p.m. EST). 3. Jeffrey Kluger, Why We Worry About the Things We Shouldn't and Ignore the Things We Should, Time, November 26, 2006. 4. Adam Levy, Brain Scans Show Link Between Lust for Sex and Money, February 1, 2006. See www.bloomberg.com. 1. Jack D. Schwager, Market Wizards Interviews with Top Traders...

Preface

Trading was more teachable than I ever imagined. Even though I was the only one who thought it was teachable . . . it was teachable beyond my wildest imagination. This is the story of how a group of ragtag students, many with no Wall Street experience, were trained to be millionaire traders. Think of Donald Trump's show The Apprentice, played out in the real world with real money and real hiring and firing. However, these apprentices were thrown into the fire and challenged to make money almost...

The MidAm Exchange Experience

Once he had his MidAm seat formerly called the Chicago Open Board , Dennis was off and running. Initially he had no clue what he was doing, but he was a fast learner who learned to think like a casino operator When I started out, I had a system called having no idea whatsoever. For four years, I was just taking edges. If someone was giving me a quarter cent edge to buy an Oat contract, I didn't think he knew anything either. I just knew that I was getting a quarter cent edge, and at the end of...

The Office Environment

Within the offices of C amp D Commodities, the Turtles were Dennis's pet project. They were viewed as worker bees freeing him up for bigger-picture political initiatives.2 Robert Moss said that they were essentially a stable of 'little Richards,' no pun intended. That stable had very little in personal oversight once they were trained. Russell Sands, for one, was surprised at the complete lack of supervision. He noted, We might have seen Rich, Bill, or Dale once a week on a Friday afternoon for...

The Chicago Board of Trade

Great experiences and profits aside, it wasn't long before Dennis needed a bigger playing field than the minor-league MidAm. He was already plotting how to beat the big boys at the Chicago Board of Trade CBOT , the world's largest futures exchange. Once at the CBOT, his placid demeanor contrasted sharply with the hoarse shouts and wild gestures of other floor traders, many of whom were millionaire traders with decades of experience. He was soon beating them at their own game with a betting...

Trading Your Own Account

Liz Cheval Turtle

Feel free to experiment on breakout lengths. Do not fixate on specific values. The key will be to accept a breakout value and stick with it consistently. Testing and practice are wise for confidence. Trust, but verify. It is not surprising that over the years some traders those who knew the Turtle rules became obsessed with the specific System One and System Two entry and exit values as if they were the long-lost Holy Grail. Traders who fixate like that are looking at the tree instead of seeing...

Life Is Random Sometimes

People were willing to do just about anything to get Dennis's attention. Of all the approaches his students took to get themselves admitted to his trading school, Jim Melnick's was the most extreme and inventive. He was an overweight, working-class guy from Boston who was living over a saloon in the Chicago suburbs. However, Melnick was determined to get as close to Dennis as possible. He actually moved to Chicago just because he'd heard about Richard Dennis. He ended up as a security guard for...

The Turtles

How much of a role does luck play in trading In the long run, zero. Absolutely zero. I don't think anybody winds up make money in this business because they started out lucky. Over the years, almost every time the subject of Dennis's training experiment starting in winter 1983 comes up, those people who have heard of it invariably compare it to the spring 1983 classic movie Trading Places, staring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. Millions have seen the movie over the last twenty years, either in...