Are Great Traders Born, or Can They be Taught?

05 Apr Are Great Traders Born, or Can They be Taught?

Trading Places

Photo via Listal

I was talking to one of my students last week and I told him about a 1983 movie called “Trading Places”, starring Dan Ackroyd and Eddie Murphy. It’s a really amazing movie about an uneducated beggar with street smarts who overcame great odds and was trained by a successful trader to make millions. Okay, so this is a feel good movie, but can this really happen in reality?

Well it did.

Some of you may have heard of the Turtle Experiment in the early 1980’s. It was about a wildly successful trader named Richard Dennis who set up an experiment to prove to his partner that anyone can be taught to trade the futures market successfully. The futures markets dealt in trading commodities such as oil, gold and agriculture. This trader placed a job advertisement in The Wall Street Journal looking for trainees and thousands applied for an opportunity to be personally trained by him. Richard had a set criteria of what type of people he was looking for and in the end, not everyone that he chose to train made it out of the trading program. But those that did, went on to make more than $175 million over 5 years for Dennis. Does this mean that the experiment worked or failed? Well, my thoughts are that there is just no clear answer. I’ve trained a lot of students over the past 6 years and I can honestly say that some people are just better suited towards trading than others. If you have the passion for trading then I think anyone can be taught to become a successful trader.

2 Comments
  • Nick Peacock
    Posted at 08:45h, 06 April

    Great article Mike I think You are correct with the diagnosis that its the persons attitude and passion that probably make the difference. If you enjoy what your doing I think you are more willing to learn and research and absorb idea’s.

  • katalog stron
    Posted at 10:57h, 06 April

    Nice article! It was a pleasure to read it 🙂

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