Thoughts on Jack Schwager: The Author of The (New) Market Wizards

Jack Schwager is best known for his popular best sellers:

Both of these books alerted many to Ed Seykota, the turtles, etc. for the first time. However, readers of Schwager’s books will quickly find that the TurtleTrader web site offers detail left out about trend following (and the turtle system) from his books. We teach and explain trend following, avoiding the mystique of the stock market wizards presented in Jack’s books.

hedge fund market wizards
Author and futures industry and hedge fund expert Jack Schwager

You can buy the books here: The Market Wizards

Here is a discussion found in the Complete Turtle Trader on Schwager’s views on Turtles with relation to his own Market Wizards Book

Faith should have been one of the biggest traders of the last twenty years, but he was clearly missing that something Jerry Parker had. Author Jack Schwager, seeing the struggles of some Turtles, reeled in the legend his Market Wizards books had created. He told me, “I don’t think it was as much of a miracle as it has been popularized. My feeling is that there is no magic here and perhaps no really great talents other than the original founders.”

Schwager may have a point with Turtles such as Faith and others who never traded to great success after the Turtle program ended.

However, twenty-year performance track records established by at least six other Turtles and William Eckhardt are without a doubt impressive.

At the end of the day, the Turtles could have all the trading rules in the world, but if some were lazy or poor businessmen, if they lacked motivation or the ability to follow through, their failure at trading—or indeed at any entrepreneurial endeavor—was not a surprise.

But the success or failure of some of the original Turtles does not tell us conclusively whether Dennis’s trading wisdom is truly transferable. The Turtle story arguably remains little more than a fascinating corner of investing history, but one without larger implications for the rest of us. The key test is whether the Turtles themselves were capable of passing on the investing knowledge they’d learned, that they’d applied so successfully while working for Dennis.

Fortunately, there is at least one person who provides inspirational evidence of the true transferability of Dennis’s trading wisdom. He is rock-solid proof that a hard-working guy with no direct connection to Dennis and Eckhardt could learn to make big money trading—all out of a sleepy small town in the Texas panhandle. If the applicability of Dennis’s original experiment to wider society has ever been doubted, skeptics will need another excuse to explain away this second-generation Turtle’s success. His name is Salem Abraham.

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