23 Turtles? Not for Sure

For an assortment of reasons, there was no exact Turtle student number back when Dennis hired his crew. Even among Turtles it is debated today. My paperback version of “The Complete TurtleTrader” comes out in February and the subtitle has been changed to say 23 Turtles on the cover. That is the common number thrown around after all these years, but if I had my way I would have said “20+” instead of “23″. Call me anal or call me picky, but all aspiring writers should know that publishers often take steps that authors are not completely on board with! Oddly, the areas where publishers always get mucked up in are book titles and book cover design. Generally, they steer clear of what’s between the covers. I could definitely write a book on writing and publishing a book.

Posted in Afterword
5 comments on “23 Turtles? Not for Sure
  1. Robert Wolf says:

    Dear Michael,
    I´ve taken your course and read both of your books (all first rate!). I´ve always had this question bugging me (especially after reading …) and now this post prompts me to ask. Does Richard Dennis (or Bill Eckhardt) not want to talk about these matters? Couldn´t they easily clear up a few mysteries and contradictions surrounding the turtles, like who was the top performer, and how many there really were? etc.
    I understand it´s not life-altering information that´s missing, but it would be interesting to know.

  2. There were debates. Some issues were not so cut and dry. I am sure the most important thing to them after all these years is the big picture. Beyond the online afterword I have here, the paperback edition of The Complete TurtleTrader (Feb 09) has a new afterword addressing assorted Turtle controversies.

  3. The WSJ back in the day did publish returns either right before the program ended or right after and Stig Ostgaard had the best performance numbers for the 3-4 years of the program (depending on which class they started in). There are other controversies surrounding various Turtle claims of profitability, but there is enough data from back then, and especially in the ensuing years, to see that those claims have problems.

  4. Tim says:

    I’d be interested in reading about how to write a book and get it published.

  5. Tim, I don’t know whether I would ever have the time or patience to write that book, but you are always welcome to contact me if you are serious for consulting advice. I can promise that whatever agreement we came to that you would save years off of your life in frustration! The publishing industry likes to be mysterious and arrogant, but when you know how the game works you can get things done.

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