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Book Review: The Way of the Turtle by Curtis M. Faith

The Way of the Turtle was written by Curtis M. Faith about his experiences and lessons as one of the people chosen by Richard Dennis to be part of his experiment into whether or not people can be trained to be great traders.  Those chosen came to be known as "the Turtles" and Curtis Faith has been described as the most successful of the famously successful group.

In the preface Faith promises that the book ". . . lays bare the entire experiment, explaining exactly what we were taught and how we traded.  The book details some of our biggest trades and the rules behind their timing, delivering insights into what it takes to makes millions in the markets." 

How could any trader or potential trader ask for more than that from one book? 
So, did the author do what he promised?  In my opinion he did exactly what he promised and then some.

In addition to describing his experiences the author gives his perspectives on what it was in the Turtle approach that led to the extraordinary gains over the four year period, why some of them made more money than others, how the basic strategy applies to other markets, and finally, how to apply it to each reader's own situation.

Dr. Van Tharp has said in the book's Forward that he considers it to be one of the five top books on a "must read" list on the topic.  Tharp advises the reader to note carefully what Faith has to say about

  • what makes a trading system "work"
  • how behavioral finance principles apply to trading
  • how traders should use game theory in structuring their thinking
  • the importance of understanding basic statistical principles
  • how to spot a good trading system
  • what the "real" secrets of the Turtles were.
(It's always helpful when the professor gives some hints on what to look for and these hints worked well for me.)  

In terms of who this book is written for, I would invite your attention to the Epilogue where the author asserts that it is really for everyone, even if they don't know it.   

He tells us that in a way he wrote the first part of the book to get our attention so that he could deliver the message in the last chapter which that in life, as in trading, each of us has to overcome our fear to follow our own path and not do what everyone else is doing.  

Of course if one has no interest in trading and doesn't care if Turtle are reptiles or candy, they are unlikely to ever make it to the Epilogue chapter.

In any event, I found this book to be valuable, enjoyable, and challenging on both levels and highly recommend it.