The "turtles" was a nickname given to a group of traders who were a part of an experiment run by two famous commodity traders.

In 1983, Richard Dennis and Bill Eckhardt pondered the idea of whether being a great trader was a genetic predisposition or whether it could be taught. Dennis believed that one could be trained while Eckhardt thought it was an innate skill. In order to settle this bet they recruited a group of 10 to 15 individuals with little trading experience and taught them a trading system that made Dennis and Eckhardt famous in the industry.

After the trading system was taught to the individuals they were each given a funded account, as high as $2 million, to trade based on the rules taught to them. Over time it became clear that Dennis won the bet as these traders generated average annual returns of up to 80%. It was clear that becoming a great trader was more of a learned skill than one you are born with.

Based on a 1989 Wall Street Journal article, the turtle nickname arose from a trip that Richard Dennis took to Singapore. Dennis was quoted in the article as saying, "We are going to grow traders just like they grow turtles in Singapore."

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