William Eckhardt and the Turtle Experiment

Eckhardt lost the bet with Dennis. He did not think the Turtles could be trained. Given his high degree of education, it is likely the Turtle experiment was somewhat discomforting. The Turtle experiment proved that you did not need a doctoral degree in mathematical logic to win. In fact, it proved anyone could win.

Eckhardt has been promoting the decline of trend following at almost every opportunity since the early 90's. The interesting point to remember is that while stating trend following could only last so long, he has continually traded the methods as evidenced by his very high correlation with all the other Turtles over the last 10 years! He has produced great performance over that time too.

Q. How did you become partners with Richard Dennis?
A. Rich & I were friends in high school. Rich began trading when he was in college. I stayed in school, working toward a doctoral dissertation in mathematical logic. In 1974 I got bogged down for political reasons. I was writing a dissertation on mathematical logic under a world-famous mathematician. A new faculty member whose specialization happened to be mathematical logic joined the staff. Theoretically, I was his only student. The supervisory role on my thesis was shifted from my existing advisor to this new faculty member, who then decided that he really wanted me to do a different thesis. As a result, after I had done all my course work, taken my exams, and finished three-quarters of my dissertation, my progress was stymied. At the time, Richard suggested that I take a sabbatical to try trading on the floor. I did, and I never returned to school.



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