“Million Dollar Traders’ Oprah style group discussion!

Wiki quote, [B][I]“Million Dollar Traders was a 2009 British reality television series devised by hedge fund manager Lex van Dam which recreated the famous Turtle Traders experiment devised by Richard Dennis in the 1980s.”[/I][/B]

This famous TV series was recently mentioned on the 301 Moved Permanently thread.

A few of us thought it could be a great topic for a group discussion here on babypips. So here it is, an Oprah style group discussion on the 2009 British reality television series, “Million Dollar Trader”.

Here’s a youtube link to the series.
Million Dollar Traders (Full Series 1 of 3) - YouTube

And a link to the Wikipedia page briefly explaining the series.
Million Dollar Traders - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[B]So here’s our first homework assignment, watch the series and let’s talk about it.[/B]

Right on d-pip :slight_smile:

Okay, so I will start watching the videos one at a time. What is the objective of the discussion? Do we just comment on here what we think of that trading “experiment” and how each individual deals with their issues, characters and such? Maybe finding out if we can relate to any of them? Just throwing some ideas…

I saw this quite some time ago. I am British so I saw it back then.

Anton Kreil has since moved on to set up a social investment company and is all around stocks. This is actual trading in a hedgefund so it is about team work but if you have a great hedge then your account will be regularly funded. Stocks are a different animal and HNW investors prefer equities over currency.

In terms of style, well that’s just what hedgedunds are about remember these guys are like the black boxes of the finance world, untouchable and unregulated. The banks use them to get round legialation when making high risk investments. I think as beginners it was no place to start. I wasn’t surprised to see all the anger. They should have joined a stock broker before becoming traders. No surprise there were only 3 standing.

Great reply, emeraldorc - articulate as ever…

I expressed perplexity at some of the ethics in the experiment, and when Emile (the Scouser) told Anton

[I]‘There is a fine line when dealing with people, City or no City’

I felt definitely on his side, because the market crash - the greatest in a generation - was no place to put

a group of beginners into for trading stocks… or, for that matter, any investment instrument…

While there were worthwhile points about the programme, the way in which Anton dealt with some of

the group concerns was too unforgiving: as I said in another post on Forextown, where Anton himself

commented, I have huge respect for him as a trader, but the way in which he conducted himself on

screen, at times, was a ‘fine line’, as Emile said, between trying to instil the right sense of ‘anger’

about ‘attacking’ the markets (and making money out of it with proper strategising) and lacking in

empathy or basic communication skills when dealing with his new recruits and their concerns.

While the point that ‘not everybody can become a trader’ was clearly demonstrated, it did not

really show us anything attractive about the human environment… As it was, working with

Anton in that office seemed not an attractive proposition at all… We all understand that making

money is not about being nice and cuddly, but I think he should have dealt with some concerns


I watched this series about three times already, so I will not watch it again because I got out

of it everything that I could: thanks to d-pip for bringing up this series to the attention of

anyone who had not already watched it…

As it happens, Clio, Emile, and Caroline have all gone on to become successful leaders in

their own fields - just take a look at their linkdin profiles - which, again, shows that the

‘irrational / emotional’ side of them displayed in that trading room had more to do with

the fact that the experiment was a little, shall we say, hazardous and resting on thin

bases, than their ability to function in a ‘making money’ environment…

There you go…

Now, PipNRoll, our FX Mistress and Leader, may like to add something on this, perhaps…


I totally agree pipme, the experience was rather hollow for Van Damme, Kreil and the participants. Firstly these guys went in there with a preconceived view point of the city and Anton and Co did very little to change that view.

The sad fact remains that most city firms be them hedge funds or brokerages all have this culture of arrogance and viciousness, even though it does not help them make money. However a real hedge fund would usually be made up of a mix of proprietary traders with a lot of their own money invested and usually with expansion they may have to recruit traders to handle additional funds especially during diversification. This means that they usually have a zero tolerance policy for performance and risk.

Another element which is easily ignored is the competition with these funds popping up in as far as U.A.E. all offering opportunities not just in paper money but physical commodities, you can see this is a jungle. If the square mile is considered a jungle, then this industry is the Amazon.

To give an example I worked with one such fund that (not as a trader) had escaped the Lehman disaster by a hair’s breadth after they had sold the previous company 1 week before the Lehman news. They thought it was prudent to head for physical commodities in Africa simply because they felt competition is too steep in the paper market and commodity prices especially in Tantalum was too high. They were cold sons of *****es who would sacrifice anyone to protect their capital. The irony here was Africans are even colder in that arena. Let’s just say they got rewired and re-schooled at their own game.

31-Year-Old Hedge Fund Trader Made More Than The CEOs Of The Six Biggest Banks Combined | Zero Hedge

Thought I’ll share this link appropriate for this discussion. Hope to see more participants.

When we saw these TV series, I am sure we have our own views and opinions about it. Some will say, it is meant for entertainment purposes and some will find it very informative to see what would it be look like to become one of the apprentice with one of the top hedge fund trader/company…and how do you feel about for every trade you take, there is always someone looking at your shoulder all the time… because it is their money that you are using to trade. It would have been different if its your own… No wonder it so stressful…

There is a statement that Lex van Dam mention on the Series One of the video that I thought it is worth Quoting [B]“No one asked you to be awake every night but if you sleep well at night, there must be something wrong” also “Make sure that they trade base on their own opinion and don’t tell them what to do….It is my Money and I worked hard to earn it”[/B]In the first statement, I can understand being in a pressure 24/7 a week when you are trying to manage “Other Peoples Money” like the hedge fund company because every penny that you use to trade is their own and not yours. People who give you that money have the right to be in a look out all the time because you gain their trust and now you are at their mercy to keep that trust and make sure you make them so much money only then you will get paid. There are so many risk involved… trust and money…

It is also mention in the video and I think it is worth mentioning again such as; Keep your emotions in check, your analysis, and do your homework; Learn from your mistakes and watched every risk you take; Lastly, there are some traders who are better suit and can make a decision in short term and some are better fit in long term.

…And did I mention that theyve watch the news to trade? I hardly see any technical analysis in there…hmmm interesting lol

Thank you, our FX-Woman Supreme, PipNRoll, for your insight; indeed, there were lots of classic quotes from the show, such as the one, going from memory, where one of the traders (the older chap) wanted to buy and sold shares, by mistake; Lex Van Damme was on the 'phone to Anton (Kreil) about this and said something like: ‘If he said “Sell” when he meant “Buy” then he’s got sh+t for brains’.


On a different note, here is the website dedicated to the original experiment by Richard Dennis in 1983:

Original Turtle Trading Rules and Stories from TurtleTrader® and Michael Covel