Original Turtle trading rules
To make the most of the turtle trading strategy, you need to be well aware of its baseline rules. There are six major points that traders should take into account when establishing a successful trend following technique:
1. Market Types
The first thing is to identify the type of the traded market. Turtle trading works with high volatility markets. It means that it may help when trading:
- S&P 500;
- Forex and bonds.
2. Position Sizing
Position sizing is the core algorithm for the turtle trading strategy. The idea is to make sure that all positions are of the same size despite the type of traded markets. Besides, it helps to improve diversification. High liquid markets let traders spot fewer contracts and vice versa. The system uses different ways to evaluate the volatility and uses a 2-day exponential moving average.
3. Market Entry
As we consider two different breakouts (upside and downside), traders may use two different market entry tactics. To make things as simple as possible, traders opt for a 20-day breakout no matter if it is high or low. What's more, turtles are supposed to use all the signals. If at least one was missed, it would result in missing a potentially big trade and win. Would it not only drag down total return but also ruin the trading algorithm with a 55-day breakout and winning positions with up to 4 market entries.
4. Stop Loss
Dennis taught turtles to place as many stop losses as possible. That was the only way to prevent bigger failures. The key idea here is to evaluate the risk before entering the market or placing a trade. The higher volatility the market has, the wider stop losses traders are supposed to set.
5. Market Exit
It requires maximum skills to define the best moment to close the trade. Leaving too soon will limit your chances to win the big trade. Many trend followers make this common mistake. The turtle trading strategy involves many trades with smaller wins. On the one hand, it can mean smaller losses. On the other hand, it has a 10-day exit rule in case of a breakout downside for long positions. So, the idea is to look for the real-time price instead of using top exit orders.
6. Trading Tactics
The turtle-trading founder taught students to use additional tactics like setting limit orders or dealing with different types of markets that generally move very fast. Dennis explained how important it was to wait with patience before it was time to place an order. Once again, turtle trading is about discipline as well as the ability to spot the strongest (for purchase) and weakest (for selling) markets.