13. May 2010 · Write a comment · Categories: Blog

Every year we go fishing on opening day to a lake here in the great Northwest. As with most great experiences in life the unique gift is the journey in itself getting to the destination. This year proved to be no different and with a couple of great “ah ha” moments, along the way. While most campfire chats pontificate about fish and lures, this year the conversation strayed into the realm of stock trading psychology and a book called “The Complete Turtle Trader”. Thinking I had misheard made me sit up in my lawn chair and ask “did you just use the word turtle in the same sentence as the New York Stock Exchange?” Heads nodded a quiet yes and I sat back into my chair looking up at the beautiful heaven of stars and replied “is that so”….

The story of the Turtle Traders book written by M. Covel is about two multi-millionaire stockbrokers that began with a bet over their competing ideas of “nature versus nuture”.
Richard Dennis believed traders could be taught to be great, and William Eckhardt believed that genetics was the deciding factor and that skilled stock traders were born with a sense of timing and a unique gift for reading market trends. The time line for this Trading experiment overlapped with the movie production of “Trading Spaces”, and the book outlines that there is a area of “coincidence” here. The inspiration for the nickname of the protégé’s coined “Turtles” is said to have come when Richard Dennis visited a turtle farm in Asia. Mr. Dennis reasoned he could groom traders in the same way that farm-grown turtles were raised.

As Chinese legend goes, 4000 years ago an honorable turtle was found resting on the waters edge of the River Lo (yellow). This turtle’s unique gift was its shell with a specific arrangement of markings to share all the understandings of Feng Shui. Feng Shui translated literally means wind and water. Feng Shui can inspire the balance and flow of your home and work place. Also included in this philosophy is yin “chi” & yang “chi” which translated mean feminine and masculine energy. After reading the Turtle Trader I see that Mr. Dennis and Mr. Eckhart were both half right. In order to be complete there must be a balance of the masculine energy “nature” with the feminine energy “nuture”.

So back to the turtle story book and the Turtles and present day. In point form I will give you a snapshot picture.
1. 21 men and women were chosen to trade stocks in 1984
2. Mr. Dennis taught “trend following methodology” stock trading
3. Everybody made a lot of money
4. In 1988 they all went their own way. “Many didn’t stick with it and fell apart. So even though there was a mechanical system that they all knew worked, other factors such as character issues became their downfall.”
5. Michael Covel wrote the book but is not a Turtle – www. turtletrader.com/
6. Most of the turtles are selling their own software that would shows you how to buy and exit a stock that fits the trend “criteria”. It is noted you can wait for a year or maybe two for a trending stock to break out and make money.

On Curtis Faith site www.curtisfaith.com/ (he was one of the original turtles that lost his winnings) He posts about left brain and right brain thinking and the need for balance. Ms. Denise Shull from the rethink group at www.traderpsyches.com, has a video that comments on behavioural thinking as well. What a coincidence that in the stock market traders world there is a need for flow and balance of the (Yin/feminine=creative & Yang/masculine=decisive) energies.

I leave you with this. A surfer sits waiting for a big wave and in between that time takes the smaller waves. A plumber with his own business waits for a big contract call and takes smaller jobs in between. A trending stock trader waits for a trending stock to pay off big and in between makes smaller trades. They all require the unique gift to focus on their future outcome with the daily discipline of positive thinking.

“Redwing” original painting by,

Bill Sweney, Ennis Montana artist, contact directly thru
karenkreek.com for current works.




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