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The Complete TurtleTrader: How 23 Novice Investors Became Overnight Millionaires – Michael W. Covel

25th August 2019
The Complete TurtleTrader book cover


The Complete TurtleTrader is an investigative narrative about the experiment run by Richard Dennis and William Eckhardt in the 1980s and its outcome. It details the trading techniques in question and shows that nurture trumps nature in investing.


Michael W. Covel is an author, a blogger and an entrepreneur. He is the owner of and Other than this book, he also authors “Trend Following”, “Trend Commandments” and “The Little Book of Trading: Trend Following Strategy for Big Winners”.

He is also the director of the documentary film “Broke: The New American Dream”.


The Complete Turtletrader has 14 chapters sandwiched between a preface and an endnote. An afterword appears before the 4 appendices.

The author starts with the experiment that started it all and told us about Richard Dennis. Then he introduces some of the Turtles and delves into the philosophy and rules of trading that they were using. The book moves along the timeline and tells the abrupt ending of the experiment. The author also shows the career pathway of a few Turtles and the performances of those who continue trading. Besides that, this book also shows some figures who managed to make big money with basic knowledge of the systems although they were not involved in the original experiment.

The afterword talks about behind-the-scenes story of digging information about the Turtles. The 4 appendices are about the status of some Turtles (Appendix I), related websites (Appendix II), performance data (Appendix III) and Turtle Performance Data While Trading for Richard Dennis (Appendix IV).


The trading systems in this book employ technical analysis. One of the systems (S1) uses a four-week price breakout for entry and a two-week price breakout in the opposite direction of the entry breakout for an exit. According to the author, the systems can be applied on any market. The lessons in this book are more suitable for traders than investors.

This book espouses that the important thing in trading is not intelligence but discipline. If we find a system that works (after due verification), we should stick to the system no matter what. This is how successful traders earn their big money. It is normal to lose money in trading. A trader is not looking to profit in every trade but depends on a few big wins for outstanding returns.

Although I do not trade technically, I do feel that this book does point out one thing that all investors should learn: Losses will definitely show up and it is up to us to find ways to minimize the risk. As an investor, we should be able to accept losses. Furthermore, it is important to systematize things in order to have an advantage. By having a system, it will be easier in the investing journey. But first of all, we must make sure that the system works by putting it to test.


  1. Innate talent alone is never enough.
  2. Intelligence ensures absolutely nothing in the long run; success requires something more.
  3. The people who excel in any field are people who realize that the moment is to be seized, that there are opportunities at every turn.
  4. If there was a “secret,” he knew that you had to be able to accept losses both psychologically and physiologically.
  5. Eckhardt was saying that, as with anything in life, most people know what the right thing to do is but fail to do it.


2 out of 3 stars

Interested in The Complete TurtleTrader?

You may get the book from Kinokuniya Malaysia through the link below*.

Get the book here

*Disclosure: The above link is Involve Asia affiliate link. Thus, I may earn a small commission when you purchase the book through this link.

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