Jerry Parker: The Most Successful of Turtle Traders


JF-Expert Member
Jun 24, 2015

“My advice to… both strategy creators and investors — is to always have a ‘what-if’ plan. Always know what you're going to do, when the unlikely or unexpected event occurs. You can't anticipate everything in advance, of course — not specifically — but you can generally know in advance how you will handle surprises when they occur. My advice is to be ready for surprises, because they will happen, sooner or later.” - William Gandini (Source:

Name: Jerry Parker

Nationality: American

Occupation: Trader and portfolios manager



Jerry was one of the original Turtles trained by Richard Dennis. He’s also the most successful of the Turtles, given his performances in the past and recent times. He’s one of the most successful speculators in the trading industry.

When he finished his stint with Richard, he founded his own funds management business, named Chesapeake Capital Corporation.

According to the firm’s website, Chesapeake Capital Corporation was founded in 1988. With over 26 years of managing client capital, they are focused, consistent and single-minded in their approach. Chesapeake provides investors uncorrelated returns through consistency in approach across a broad range of global markets and variable market conditions.

The firm is regulated in the U.S. by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as a Commodity Trading Advisor and Commodity Pool Operator and by the Securities and Exchange Commission as an Investment Adviser.

Jerry’s been interviewed on numerous occasions.

What You Need to Know:

1. Intelligence alone isn’t enough for trading success. Though a trader may be brilliant, but a high IQ isn’t enough for success, otherwise big companies (like Enron) wouldn’t have crashed as a result of numerous Ivy League schools graduates that were working for them. After all, there are hugely successful companies in the world, whose founders and CEOs aren’t from top schools. It turns out that most successful CEOs attended lesser-known schools. Jerry is quoted as saying: “The Ivies and other A-league schools have a lot of prestige because they’re supposed to open doors and lead to successful careers. But parents who expect the Ivies to ensure their kids’ success are going to be disappointed. The old-boy network isn’t much good in an economy like this. It’s competence that counts.”

2. Trading success is beyond intelligence: What makes Jerry Parker to have had good performance for nearly 3 decades is more than intelligence. When he was a trainee with Dennis, some of his colleagues failed at trading and some of them succeeded at trading. For example, David Ricardo advised many, many years ago, that losses should be cut and profits should be run. This working principle, doesn’t require any intelligence, and it works till tomorrow.

3. Yes, the Turtles, including Jerry, were given trading rules. They treated trading as business. You need trading rules and you need to treat your trading as business.

4. After you get trained for trading, you’ll need to answer for yourself as to whether or not you’ve the ability to succeed on your own. You success has to do with how well you employ principles that work for you. You need to believe you’d make it, and you must be willing to do what would help you.

5. “You’d to be really smart to be hired by Dennis,” says Jerry. Dennis earned $80 million in 1986, but some people thought they couldn’t achieve that. The Turtles were lucky to be trained by a great trader. If you come across a professional who’d help, you’re lucky.

6. Trading competence is not easy to acquire, according to Jerry. He further says: “Trading for the rich, you got in at 7 a.m. and at 2 p.m. you watched the Cubs game.” But once he became a money manager for clients he’d to raise money, hire people, do research, track his performance, and trade. “The degree to which you are successful will be partly because of your buys and sells. But you’re also running a business: hiring, making sure you have good accounting and legal and marketing systems in place.” He said.

7. Jerry’s success is also made possible by other factors, apart from Richard Dennis. Part of those factors are some helpful books on trading, which Jerry cherished.

This article is ended with this quote from Jerry:

“An honest, humble mentor is the best thing going. Learn from other people. Do the right thing every day, focus on what you’re doing, and let the cards fall where they may.”

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