DEFINITION of 'Turtle'

A nickname given to a group of traders who were a part of an 1983 experiment run by two famous commodity traders, Richard Dennis and Bill Eckhardt. The goal of the study was to prove whether being a great trader was a genetic predisposition or whether it could be taught. Dennis believed that a person could be trained while Eckhardt thought it was an innate skill.


To test the idea, a trading system was taught to the participants in the research group (consisting of 10 to 12 individuals), where each were given a monetary amount - as high as $2 million - to trade. Over time it became clear that Dennis was correct in stating a person can learn to be a great trader as the research-group traders generated average annual returns of up to 80%.

The title, turtles, was based on a 1989 Wall Street Journal article, where Dennis was quoted as saying, "We are going to grow traders just like they grow turtles in Singapore."

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