Newsletter: Richard Dennis, Bill Eckhardt, and the Turtle Traders

Our weekly newsletter is out, and this time we’re taking a look at one of the legends of the managed futures world. Every endeavor has its legends, its icons, and its myths. The Joe Namath’s, Paul Revere’s, and Amelia Earhart’s. The people whose identities become symbols to represent the very epitome of what they did. For futures traders, and especially trend-followers, one of those symbols is undoubtedly Richard Dennis and his Turtle Traders. Their story has all of the trappings of a classic: one man, a rag-tag group of students, and a bet – that he could teach a disparate group of people to be successful traders.

We have been thinking about the Turtles quite a bit lately due to the sudden passing of one of their most successful and charismatic members. We were certainly not the only ones saddened to learn of the passing of Liz Cheval – and the outpouring of condolences from across the industry demonstrated the impact that she had on the people who knew her. Ms. Cheval was the head of trading firm EMC Capital, and seeing the impact that she had made us wonder – where are the Turtles now? And what have they done with the knowledge and skills imparted to them in that famous experiment?

The answer is that many of them have continued to apply that knowledge – with the members of what we’ll call an expanded Turtle List in the managed futures business controlling close to $2.3 Billion in assets.

Turtle Traders AUM

But before we get ahead of ourselves, we need to revisit the story of the Turtles for those who may not have heard it before. Then take a look at what the members of Dennis’ famed cohort are up to today to find out just how much of an impact that simple bet is having 30 years later. Read on to see what we found.

3 comments

  1. Hello,

    Thnaks for the artilce. A few questions:

    1. Does the performance over the last 10 years include only those who have survived?
    2. How do you know that those in the composite still use the original principles?
    3. Do you have performace figures for the last 5 years only?

  2. Glad you enjoyed the piece! To answer your questions:

    1. The performance of the hypothetical “Turtle Composite” was done on a monthly basis, including all of the programs that were active at the time. So to answer your question, no – programs that “died” along the way were included.
    2. We do not know for certain that the original principles were used by those CTAs. In fact most of the evidence indicates that the Turtles did not continue using the exact same trading system they were taught in the original experiment, but nevertheless based their later trading on the lessons they learned under Dennis and Eckhardt. We aim only to show that several of the students have continued to enjoy success in the industry.
    3. If you’re interested in more information about the programs we looked at, or performance over different time frames, we’d be happy to talk more with you. Send us an email: invest@attaincapital.com

  3. […] Newsletter: Richard Dennis, Bill Eckhardt, and the Turtle Traders […]

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Disclaimer
The performance data displayed herein is compiled from various sources, including BarclayHedge, and reports directly from the advisors. These performance figures should not be relied on independent of the individual advisor's disclosure document, which has important information regarding the method of calculation used, whether or not the performance includes proprietary results, and other important footnotes on the advisor's track record.

Benchmark index performance is for the constituents of that index only, and does not represent the entire universe of possible investments within that asset class. And further, that there can be limitations and biases to indices such as survivorship, self reporting, and instant history.

Managed futures accounts can subject to substantial charges for management and advisory fees. The numbers within this website include all such fees, but it may be necessary for those accounts that are subject to these charges to make substantial trading profits in the future to avoid depletion or exhaustion of their assets.

Investors interested in investing with a managed futures program (excepting those programs which are offered exclusively to qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7) will be required to receive and sign off on a disclosure document in compliance with certain CFT rules The disclosure documents contains a complete description of the principal risk factors and each fee to be charged to your account by the CTA, as well as the composite performance of accounts under the CTA's management over at least the most recent five years. Investor interested in investing in any of the programs on this website are urged to carefully read these disclosure documents, including, but not limited to the performance information, before investing in any such programs.

Those investors who are qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7 and interested in investing in a program exempt from having to provide a disclosure document and considered by the regulations to be sophisticated enough to understand the risks and be able to interpret the accuracy and completeness of any performance information on their own.

RCM receives a portion of the commodity brokerage commissions you pay in connection with your futures trading and/or a portion of the interest income (if any) earned on an account's assets. The listed manager may also pay RCM a portion of the fees they receive from accounts introduced to them by RCM.

See the full terms of use and risk disclaimer here.

Disclaimer
The performance data displayed herein is compiled from various sources, including BarclayHedge, and reports directly from the advisors. These performance figures should not be relied on independent of the individual advisor's disclosure document, which has important information regarding the method of calculation used, whether or not the performance includes proprietary results, and other important footnotes on the advisor's track record.

Benchmark index performance is for the constituents of that index only, and does not represent the entire universe of possible investments within that asset class. And further, that there can be limitations and biases to indices such as survivorship, self reporting, and instant history.

Managed futures accounts can subject to substantial charges for management and advisory fees. The numbers within this website include all such fees, but it may be necessary for those accounts that are subject to these charges to make substantial trading profits in the future to avoid depletion or exhaustion of their assets.

Investors interested in investing with a managed futures program (excepting those programs which are offered exclusively to qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7) will be required to receive and sign off on a disclosure document in compliance with certain CFT rules The disclosure documents contains a complete description of the principal risk factors and each fee to be charged to your account by the CTA, as well as the composite performance of accounts under the CTA's management over at least the most recent five years. Investor interested in investing in any of the programs on this website are urged to carefully read these disclosure documents, including, but not limited to the performance information, before investing in any such programs.

Those investors who are qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7 and interested in investing in a program exempt from having to provide a disclosure document and considered by the regulations to be sophisticated enough to understand the risks and be able to interpret the accuracy and completeness of any performance information on their own.

RCM receives a portion of the commodity brokerage commissions you pay in connection with your futures trading and/or a portion of the interest income (if any) earned on an account's assets. The listed manager may also pay RCM a portion of the fees they receive from accounts introduced to them by RCM.

See the full terms of use and risk disclaimer here.