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The Original Turtle Trading Rules

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You probably asked yourself the same questions: “Why would anyone give away the rules to the original Turtle Trading System? How can I be sure that these are the original Turtle Trading System rules as taught by Richard Dennis and William Eckhardt?” The answer to these questions lies in the origin of this project. This project had its seed in various discussions among a few of the original Turtles, Richard Dennis, and others regarding the sale of the Turtle Trading System rules by a former turtle, and subsequently, on a website by a non-trader. It culminated in this document, which discloses the Original Turtle Trading Rules in their entirety, free of charge. Why? Because many of us believed that we owed an obligation to Richard Dennis not to reveal the rules, even after our contractual 10 year secrecy pact ended in late 1993. For this reason, we did not look kindly upon the sale of those rules by a former turtle.

Further, we saw the sale on the web site as crass and opportunistic intellectual property theft, an act that, while technically not illegal, was certainly not honorable. At the same time, having seen others try to follow these rules first-hand, I realized it
was unlikely that their publication would result in very many people actually learning to trade like the Turtles. In fact, I knew that most of those who spent thousands to learn these heretofore secret rules would end up disappointed, for three reasons:

• The rules wouldn’t be clear, since the people selling them didn’t know how to
trade.
• Even if they were clearly presented, the buyers probably wouldn’t be able to
follow the rules.
• Most of the Turtles are now trading even better rules.

I’ve been trading and hanging around trading circles since high school. One of the sad realities of the trading industry, and the futures trading industry in particular, is that there are far more people making money selling others’ systems and “ways to make money trading,” than there are people actually making money trading. I won’t go into specifics here, but those of us who actually trade for a living know the names of many “famous traders” who are famous as “traders,” but that don’t make money as traders. They make money selling new trading systems, seminars, home study courses, etc. Most of these so called “experts” can’t trade and don’t trade the systems that they sell. Yes, this is also true of those selling the Turtle Trading Rules.

Consider the major sellers: the first, a web site, TurtleTrader.com, and the second, a former turtle. Here’s what they won’t tell you: TurtleTrader.com - A web site run mainly by one guy (an admittedly talented web marketer that also has a pharmacy site and a site that sells personality tests), turtletrader.com purports to have the actual Turtle Trading Rules, and will sell them to you for $999.00. The site is filled with huge amounts of information about trading, and bills itself as the “No. 1 Source for Trend Following Worldwide.” What they don’t tell you is that the site is run by a guy who doesn’t even trade his own rules—or trade at all for that matter—and has never been a successful trader. Yet he purports to be an expert on the “Turtle Trading Rules,” and on trend following!

You can get something close to the actual rules from this site, but you won’t get any expert advice from the guy who runs it. All you will get is the regurgitation of advice from other traders that is not tempered by the experience of a successful trading career. Paying for advice from this source is a lot like hiring a blind guide. In the final analysis, TurtleTrader.com is not any better than other scams and system selling hucksters he warns about. It is a site run by a guy who appears to me to be more interested in taking his customers’ money than he is in their success with the system he sells; a site run by someone who misrepresents himself as an expert in trend following, yet doesn’t mention that he doesn’t trade.

The money-back guarantee is almost worthless; you have to keep a log of all your trades and prove that you made them in the markets by providing your brokerage statements. If you don’t like the rules and want your money back, it seems exceedingly unlikely that you would open a trading account and then trade for a year just to get the refund. Former Turtle - This individual, a former turtle, sells tapes, books, hotlines, videos, seminars, and more, for prices ranging from $29.95 to $2,500.

What the Former Turtle won’t tell you is that he never made money as a turtle; in fact he didn’t last a full year as a turtle before he was fired from the turtle program because he couldn’t trade the Turtle System Rules successfully. He lost money while most of the other traders were making a lot of money. The Former Turtle lends credence to the oft quoted maxim: “Those that can do, those
that can’t teach.”I haven’t seen the seminar or read the books, but I can’t imagine how someone who couldn’t make money after having been taught directly by Richard Dennis can explain to others how to trade using the Turtle Trading Rules.

What TurtleTrader.com and the Former Turtle don't tell you is that trading rules are only a small part of successful trading. The most important aspects of successful trading are confidence, consistency, and discipline. Rules that you can’t or won’t follow will not do you any good. The Turtles had a lot of reasons to be confident in the rules they were given. For the most part, we had the confidence to follow them even during losing periods. Those who didn’t consistently follow the rules didn’t make money and were dropped from the
program. Traders who want to be successful will figure out a way to gain enough confidence in their own rules of trading to be able to apply them consistently.

As original Turtles, we had it easy. We were given rules by some of the world’s most successful and famous traders, Richard Dennis and his trading partner Bill Eckhardt. They taught us the rules and the reasons why we could trust those rules. Then we were placed into an open office with ten other traders who had been taught those same rules. In some respects it was easier to follow the rules than to not follow the rules. On the whole, we had the confidence and the discipline to consistently apply the rules we were given. This was the secret of our success as traders. Those who failed to follow the rules invariably failed as Turtles. Some of them decided they could make more money selling the Turtle rules than they did as Turtles.

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