The Very Thoughtful Turtle
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What is wishlist? Relevant matches. There were two female Turtles. That was news to many since up to the time my book was published the lone female Turtle had been publicly positioned as Liz Cheval. Lucy Wyatt Mattinen was a Turtle as well. But there was a more detailed backstory and it starts first with Liz Cheval.
Cheval initially responded to an interview request for this book in a civil fashion saying that due to other professional commitments she could not support the project. Then three weeks later, with no provocation or contact, she followed up to say that she would pursue legal remedies if references were made about her. Did she think as a public figure in the trading world, someone quoted in newspapers and magazines, that she could simply decree that her name be left out of a story on the Turtles? Apparently she did.
Soon after news came across my desk that Cheval would be speaking in Chicago at a Managed Funds Association conference. If she would not speak with me, then it was time to go hear her in person and perhaps convince her to ease up and consider an interview.
Dressed in an eclectic black outfit, almost appearing to be a cape, Cheval was very well spoken and confident. At her luncheon speech that day in Chicago Cheval organized her presentation into two parts:. For anyone familiar with the Turtles these two big picture points were not a surprise.
During her keynote address Cheval also broached the subject of correlation. All traders should want as much negative correlation among the components in their portfolio as possible. As long as their portfolio maintains a positive overall return, constantly adding more and more negatively correlated components will decrease the standard deviation or one way to view risk.
Her speech reinforced everything my research had uncovered about the Turtles, their training and their beliefs, but I could not get close to her after her speech. For one Cheval was never a fan of TurtleTrader. But her push back never really made any sense given that my depiction of the Turtles for all these years was very positive. There were a few possible reasons that might explain her reluctance.
It was actually Turtle Jeff Gordon who noted the omission in passing during his interview. But as book research neared completion, the animosity Cheval bore toward a Turtle book project accelerated.
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In the fall of a jazz music producer in New York City, Charles Carlini, came to me shopping a Turtle film documentary idea not yet knowing my Turtle book was in the works. He was excited because he had been in contact with Cheval, who was promising access to all of the Turtles for his film. There was no way that was going to happen.
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What in blazes was her fear of an objective Turtle book? That said, it was crystal clear that a race with people who could trump my book was on. Just a little. Bottom line, I had no personal gripe with her.
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Her email response in the form of a peace offering was suspect. My first thought?
Rich asked me to put together a list for him and I think you have more up-to-date information than I do. I would appreciate a list of email addresses or other contact information on as many Turtles as you have. It was satisfying to hear Cheval be positive, but it did not seem like a good idea to give out a list of Turtle interviewees to another Turtle again and then have them be used to slow down the book.
Little did I know what a tempest was brewing once I declared that there were two female Turtles. Like my book, my December Turtle expose in Trader Monthly magazine revealed the existence of two female Turtles. When verifying my article content with Cheval, Trader Monthly was told by her that she was the only female Turtle. The magazine, however, stood by the notion of two female Turtles and referred to women in my article. While there was no opportunity to interview Lucy Wyatt Mattinen before my book was released, she came calling once it was out.
She was incensed that she was described in the book as doing her nails by another Turtle in another article I used the term manicurist—which was false. She vehemently denied the descriptions of her. After some time we both decided to sit down for an in-person interview on April 12, — an interview that quickly added more to the genesis for the Turtle experiment and established perhaps how important Wyatt was to the creation of the Turtles.
It subsequently burned down in Eckhardt and Wyatt then dated off and on, but before the Turtle experiment had officially commenced, Eckhardt taught Wyatt trading and she subsequently made hundreds of thousands of dollars in the early s when she was only a few years removed from her teens. Dennis of course never bought the intuition argument — the fundamental reason for his launching the Turtle experiment. Within a few years the Turtles were picked and Wyatt joined the Turtles in the Turtle room as an original Turtle. In turns out that today Svoboda is an accomplished guitarist who plays all kinds of musical styles from Latin to acoustic and Klezmer music.
He happens to be the only original Turtle currently with a MySpace. Is he trading still? Turtle Tom Shanks told me that George Svoboda probably has the best returns for any Turtle since But forget returns for a moment, his online videos are awesome. When looking at his online YouTube videos while he and a partner played at San Diego State University, it was easy to wonder how many students walking around campus realized that day that the guy playing classical guitar in the courtyard knew more about trading and making money than the entire finance faculty at the university.
There was no finding Svoboda to interview the first time around, and no finding him for my Afterword either, but to my good fortune one individual who had worked for Svoboda ten years after the end of the Turtle experiment randomly contacted me in email. He told me that while he worked for Svoboda they traded two systems very similar to the Turtle system, a slow and a fast system. Some of the parameters had been tweaked slightly due to results from extensive back-testing, but the basic trading rules were the same as in the original Turtle days.
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At the time this individual was working for Svoboda their trading day started at around p. Pacific Time because they were trading Australia and Hong Kong markets and needed the next day trades by no later than 5 p. George and his partners very much valued their privacy. I think that they were worried about notoriety and the loss of personal freedom.
A business trip to the U. Virgin Islands in first brought me into contact with Curtis Faith.