EP 067: The Turtle Traders story, following major trends, and managing investors money w/ Jerry Parker

Aaron Fifield Podcast Leave a Comment

We have a very special guest on the podcast right now; Jerry Parker.

For those who don’t know, Jerry is one of the original widely-recognized, Turtle Traders. The Turtles were a small (somewhat secretive) group of traders who were mentored and trained by Richard Dennis, a big time commodities trader, in the 80’s.

It’s an interesting story and you’ll hear more about this in just a moment.

Today, Jerry remains the founder of Chesapeake Capital, which is a commodity trading advisor, and he has well ‘n truly stuck to his roots as a die-hard trend follower.

We discuss all the above at length, plus I also had a few questions for Jerry around the subject of trading other people’s money–which is something you may not have considered before. And on the other side, some of the questions you should ask a CTA (or money manager) before investing.

It was a huge honor to speak with Jerry Parker, and I hope you enjoy the interview.

turtle traders newspaper ad

The original Turtle Traders ad published in the Wall St Journal.

“Don’t get drunk on good performance.”

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“We’re not concerned with performance, we’re concerned with following the system.”

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Lessons learnt in this interview:

  • The origin of the widely recognized Turtle Traders, who was Richard Dennis (the trader behind the experiment), and how this was unlike anything else.
  • The initial training Turtles were put through during their first few weeks, and the key points they placed great emphasis on; following the rules was a big one!
  • Why Jerry doesn’t necessarily agree with the common notion that you should ‘trade your personality’ – even if it does sound logical.
  • How the trend following game has changed since the early 80’s, and why Jerry’s approach has become more long term in nature.
  • How to know when the parameters of your system may need adjusting. Plus, the importance of large sample sizes and why this can encourage simple systems.
  • Jerry shares his views on win rates, trading short positions for diversification, and insight to how he trades the same systems across all markets.
  • Something you may not have considered; the benefits of managing other peoples money. And how Jerry manages clients expectations.

Links and resources mentioned:

  • ChesapeakeCapital.com – Jerry’s commodity trading advisory founded in 1988, immediately after leaving Richard Dennis and the Turtles.
  • @RJParkerJr09 – Go follow Jerry on Twitter, share your thoughts on the interview.

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