Former Turtle Trader Up 20% YTD

Mar 14 2008 | 1:00am ET

It’s still early, but R. Jerry Parker, founder of Richmond, Virginia-based Chesapeake Capital Corp. is on pace for his biggest year ever since founding the trading adviser 20 years ago.

The former Turtle trader last month gained an estimated 17.27% and is up and 20.10% year-to-date, according to public databases.

Parker manages the $1.7 billion Chesapeake Diversified program, a systematic and diversified futures product trading 90 futures markets worldwide including commodities, equities and currencies. Since inception in February 1988, the program has suffered only one losing year—2001—when it fell 7.98%. 

Parker began his portfolio management career in 1983 when he was accepted into the “Turtle Program,” a select investment-training program developed by Richard Dennis, who believed that he could teach people to become great traders. Parker was among a group of 13 who were invited to Chicago and trained for two weeks at the end of December 1983. They began trading small accounts at the beginning of January 1984, and after they proved themselves, Dennis funded most of the trainees with $1 million in February.

After almost five years of trading proprietary capital, Parker founded Chesapeake in 1988.

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