Emotional Makeup is More Important Than Intelligence

  • I haven’t seen much correlation between good trading and intelligence. Some outstanding traders are quite intelligent, but a few aren’t. Many outstanding intelligent people are horrible traders. Average intelligence is enough. Beyond that, emotional makeup is more important.
  • As I recall more than half the course revolved around developing the right attitude, guarding against debilitating emotions, how to think about risk, and how to handle success and failure.
  • Teaching the turtle system itself doesn’t take very long. I was saying you need less than 12 degrees of freedom in a system; versions of the turtle system had three or four.
  • We spent a lot of time talking about our theories on how to control risk; that was actually the bulk of the course. Attitude, emotional control, discipline; those things are harder to teach. All the turtles learned the system and learned the strategy; that was the easy part, but some of them brought the right attitude and right mental set to it and they prospered and became very rich. Others had a more halting career and did not succeed as well. They had the same training, but maybe they did not have the same emotional make-up.