Way of the Turtle by Curtis Faith

Way of the Turtle or The Secret Methods that Turned Ordinary People into Legendary Traders talks about principles derived from the famous Trading Turtles experiment proposed and conducted by Richard Dennis more than 25 years ago. The book is written by one of the Turtle Traders — Curtis Faith. The experiment has successfully showed that the a newbie trader may taught trading skills quite fast and that almost everyone can trade profitably given these necessary skills. Way of the Turtle offers the main ideas behind the original Turtle Rules offered by Richard Dennis with various additions and development from Curtis Faith. Like the original Turtles experiment intended, this book will also teach you everything you need to become a successful financial trader even without a previous experience in the field. If it has worked some people in late 20th century, why won’t it work for you now?

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Below you can read the reviews of the book and also submit your own review about Way of the Turtle by Curtis Faith.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 3.75 out of 5)
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5 Review

  1. Lars:

    Curtis Faith’s Way of the Turtle is a valuable addition to the trading literature. Like other reviews of the same, this one works on several levels. This book is written in first person and is narrative of interesting experiments in the field of trading and also a valid and thought presentation of the various things required to achieve trading success.
    Curtis gives you a detailed description of the Turtle trading method and provides you with a platform for a more generic approach which is known as trend following. He breaks down the text into some valid components like entry criteria, position stops, sizing and exits etc. There is an interesting chapter on his Trading Blox software, so as to update trend following the researches and it helps to illustrate the outcomes of the various systems in markets.
    If you are looking for a theme for this one, then it might be: The simple trading systems might provide you with a tradable edge; however it is difficult psychologically for the traders to follow such systems and utilize that edge. The author highlights this with variations in the results among the trainees, in spite of giving them same set of system rules.
    Curtis also provide you with an accounting of the psychological biases which makes it pretty hard to follow the systems that ride big winning trades so as to get some positive results.
    There is a valid discussion on the stop loss criteria and researches about what actually works and what does not work. There is a concluding chapter which gives out Turtle rules in the manual form with the execution of tactics. It also gives brief on the various reasons why trader fails in trading. Curtis questions discretionary trading a lot, which is trading without testing the training ideas systematically and also a popular notion that trading systems reduce the emotions while trading. The author clarifies that traders need an edge in the marketplace and the psychological fortitude which will help you to avoid drawdown on route to exploit the edge.
    You need not be a dedicated trend follower if you really want to benefit from this book. Apart from having an interesting read it gives a perfect introduction to the various components of different trading methods and how the outcome is influenced by them. Also, it is the first rate integration of the techniques and psychology of trading. Most importantly, this book illuminates presentation of consistency and risk management, which are two major contributors behind success in market.

    There is absolutely no weakness in this book. A discussion on the various pros and cons of trend involved in the shorter time frames would have been better. Also, there should have been a discussion of the requirement of capital to implement the Turtle approach properly, given that success mainly comes from a diversified portfolio. These are however just small loopholes when compared to the good strengths of the book. Curtis elaborated chapter on the Turtle methods as philosophy of life is simply amazing and this book is worth its price.

    It will not be wrong to say that this book by Curtis Faith is perfect on the way of trading as well as Turtle experience. It is very difficult to imagine that any reader using this book and not gaining the necessary knowledge and experience. You will surely be impressed by the psychological strength and great blend of research.

  2. Nick:

    There are many reasons behind why this book is a poorly written one on trading issues. Some of the reasons are given below:-
    1. The chapters do not connect to each other. The content just moves back and forth, behind irrelevant decision of the various tools required for trading, bizarre charts and then back to the old Turtle story. This will make you understand that not every turtle follow the rules expect the author. Story just moves back and forth.
    2. The wisdom is anecdotal. You will find the content as very common, which you will find in other book. You should avoid following the heard and learn something new and informative. Author relies too much on past, which is not very correct. It seems that he is getting paid by cliché.
    3. Author mainly refers to his own company and websites and also gives a reference to the “big” blurb on the front cover of the book. This blurb is by Van K Tharp who calls this book as among the best five trading books ever written. There is absolutely no relation between author citing Van Tharp and the quote.
    4. The title is contradictory and misleading. From starting till end of the book the author emphases that there is absolutely no secret method to succeed in trading, otherwise they will admit that there is no psychological impact. The book’s title “The Secret Method” is something which is influencing the sale of this book a lot.

    On contradictions also there are no methods described in this book, only short descriptions of some basic technical tools, which anyone can easily find on Google. The worst part of this book is that the descriptions given in this book are not developed fully. The examples given in the book are not very good and also the author has failed to use the multiple technical trading techniques system.

    5. This book is not very practical. The methods and the examples used in this book do not match with investor profiles. The only person who can fit in the profile is the one who can afford to lose a good amount of money as a part of social experiment.

    Lastly, the main problem in this one is that it lacks proper focus. If this book would have been biographical in nature and covered the various motions and interactions on the floor along with other Turtles and covered various psychological aspects, it could have been much interesting to read. This book simply does not work as an investment book.

  3. Tortoise Trader:

    If you are not familiar with the term Turtle then I will start by telling that Richard Dennis, who featured in Market Wizards brought together a group of students in 1980’s as an experiment to check whether the successful trading can be taught or not. Dennis along with his partner William selected a couple of classes and taught them trend following methodology, then providing them with trading capital, thereby setting them loose in the market.
    Way of Turtle does not contain much about the history of the Turtles, for that you have to read The Complete Turtle Trader. However, it provides a thorough discussion of the reasoning behind the trend following, what the Eckhardt and Dennis taught them and implementing the same system. The Turtle system has been in publication in many other formats before now, but this one by Faith provides more depth and knowledge in this book. He tells about the various things which are reburied to implement the system successfully and how it can be failed easily.

    It will be appropriate to say that Way of Turtles is divided into three primary parts. One is the interesting discussion of the psychology of traders along with the market. Second one is the thorough exploration of the system, testing, development and performance measurement. The third one provides the specific discussion of Turtles and the related methods.
    The only issue which some of the readers might have is that the way in which it is presented.
    The chapters on design of the system and their testing and evaluation are among consistently coherent and most unified. They really progress well through the book and present some really interesting and informative facts which have not been discussed elsewhere. The coverage of the subject is Faith’s book is highly relevant and it progresses steadily from basic grounding to complex approaches. His discussion on this subject is extremely good and it is a must read for people who are developing or evaluating the trading systems.
    In terms of market or trader psychology, the initial chapters of this book provides a outstanding combination on the different mental states and biases that we all go through while trading. This material is plainly laid out, which makes it pretty interesting. It gives an in-depth, holistic look at some trading things which can create havoc in the trading. Faith has used some brilliant examples of these things so as to remind you again and in about the success and failure of Turtle’s system.
    The book is lacking on the third subject. Way of Turtle doesn’t speak about the history of Turtles. Faith has devoted too much time in explaining the full Turtle system but he has not paid heed to the grand experiment which gave birth to this system. Rather he provides his own opinions and views, which gives this book a narrow scope. This is not a bad thing however, one needs to devote some time and effort is finding it among a scattered text.
    Here is the catch- at least for those of you who are experienced to come away with a highly useful system of trading. The book though does tell you the exact working of Turtle system, but you don’t assume that it is something which you can use all by yourself. This was designed mainly for use across a wide array of market by traders and those having a large capital base, i.e. millions of dollars. Due to this, a major chunk of reader will not be able to make a good use of it.
    So if you want to become Turtles and trade exactly like them, then perhaps you are going to be disappointed with this book. However, if you are looking for ways to learn from the education and experience of someone knowledgeable in the field of Turtle system, then you will surely be quiet satisfied with the Way of The Turtle.

  4. Hare:

    Some people love to trade against the market. Like other reviews, I was also forced to buy this book mainly because of mystic surrounding the Turtle. Faith leaves no stone unturned in making the readers understand how the Turtles were formed and how does trading in the group helps. The only thing missing in the book is the hype only.
    Faith provides some examples on some actual trades that are made, instead of choosing to focus on the general requirements that are not very common, but those which are standard practice for active commodities of today. This statement perhaps reflects how successful this bet was. If it is the case then praise goes to Turtles, but if it’s not that case then this book is absolutely not worth your time and money.

  5. BookReader:

    In mid 1980’s, a group of traders under Richard Dennis became legendary for making millions and millions of trading communities. These were known as Turtles and were surrounded by a level of mystery; these were trained by Dennis along with his good friend Bill Eckhardt. Together they produced some phenomenal results over a time period of few years. Even since then, there has been many speculations so as to how they were able to do it and various attempts have been made in order to replicate their system without actually understanding it. Nowadays, Curtis Faith has become one of the youngest and most successful of all the Turtles. He has laid out several methods of Turtles in his book.
    This book is very enjoyable and you will find it of great value. However, a fact is that it does not mention any groundbreaking information. You will not find any magical system in this book. There is nothing in the book which cause a monumental difference in your trading experience and you will not find anything new in the trading system
    You will also see that the book’s subtitle is somewhat misleading. Even if you are reading this book, don’t approach expecting that any secret method exist, otherwise you will be disappointed for sure.

    However, this book consists of some brilliant discussion on position size, trading system, risk management and discipline. Faith is basically a pro-am trader and major portion of this book will tell you the sitting up, testing and implementation of the system program. This is not to say that it will not help the discretionary traders. However, you have to realize that fact that whatever Faith has to say has got a lot to do with finding of the idea behind trading system.

    If you are a discretionary trader, you will find plenty of useful and relevant information here. You need to learn some great lessons, i.e. keeping things simple; sticking to the discipline and it will make you realize that often you will have to face series of small losses, if you want to become big. Also, you should avoid your assumption and biases to come in your way of trading. In case you are going to trade a market or system, you have to trade it always because in case you fail to utilize a huge move then you can easily miss out on various profits in a year. Faith also tells you about some great methods which helps in determining the position size and will also help you top manage the risks well, which will surely prove to be extremely useful to you.

    Lastly, whatever Faith has written in his book is true. His insight on the subject is very impressive and the points out that instead of following the complex methods, you should faithfully follow the system. You will also see some Turtle anecdotes throughout the discussion, but that does not make this one a very exhaustive book on Turtles or related methods. Instead, this one is an insight on the great Turtle philosophy from an expert Turtle himself.

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