What kind of work can I put in to earn a mentor?
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What kind of work can I put in to earn a mentor?

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Created July 1st 2019 by secondchance4now
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What kind of work can I put in to earn a mentor?

  #21 (permalink)
Santa Clara CA
Posts: 5 since Nov 2018
Thanks: 1 given, 1 received

Sorry if I'm repeating some of what's been said already, I only scanned the thread quickly.

But in regards to the micro contracts... absolutely they are plenty liquid for the small trader, no question. I've been toying with them recently and I like them very much for small accounts. True the commissions are higher as a % of the trade but hey, that's the price you pay to have such a small instrument to be able to trade.

They're great to be able to swing since you can have so much lower risk overnight, and their small size can also allow you to have wider stops in general. You can also use them to play with scaling positions in & out.

The other day I started a swing trade in the micro Russell, and while I was building that position I scalped a contract or two of the regular emini Russell as well. Ended up getting stopped out on my swing this morning (had scaled to 4 contracts) but more than made up for it with the emini scalps. So it's not an either/or proposition necessarily, you can use both for what their strengths are.

As for finding a mentor... I finally found one after about 18 years of figuring crap out on my own. He introduced me to futures (so glad he did!) and has finally shown me first hand how to nail direction. I'm not as good as he is yet by any means (he had over 90% win rate in May and did $103k profits trading no more than 5 contracts... insane) but my win rate is a lot higher than it used to be. I'd given up on directional years ago in fact, instead just selling option premium. But that's a very, very slow way to grow a modest account.

I met my mentor at a local trading club event. Was totally random (though I don't really believe in coincidence) but it worked out really well. Maybe find some trading clubs in your area if you can, and see if you can be of service to any of the "old guard" who have been trading a good long while with consistency. Might take you a while to figure out who those people are, but usually I find they're the ones who come to like every meeting.

Hope that helps... good luck to ya!

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  #22 (permalink)
San Diego
Trading Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjatTader
Favorite Futures: ES, CL, 6E
Posts: 2 since Apr 2019
Thanks: 0 given, 0 received

Check out https://convergenttrading.com/. There are resources available to answer all of your questions.

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  #23 (permalink)
Chicago, IL
Posts: 3 since Oct 2018
Thanks: 0 given, 3 received

Why do you think you need a mentor? I never had a mentor, I just read the books, put in the hours, and paid my tuition in early mistakes. I would start trading liveódoesnít have to be futures, but does need to be real money. Paper doesnít allow you to practice the emotion involved with cutting losing trades, making mistakes, not overtrading after a mistake, etc. THATís the difficult part of trading consistently, actually buying and selling is remedialóand buying and selling paper is meaningless at a certain point. You also donít have to deal with the fills or order book dynamics in paper.
Youíre missing ~70% of trading knowledge by only trading paper. Even on automated systems, Iíve had some GREAT looking algoís that donít do ANYTHING live bc fills come into play.

I donít understand the point of a mentor, thereís no way to learn to trade that doesnít involve trading, and paper means very little to me.

Micro futures is a good idea, or just trade Spy or other ETFís and scale up as you get more comfortable.
I donít know about you guys but Iím never entirely comfortable trading large #ís of contracts and Iíve been trading futures for 11 years, and was a market maker for 4 of them. Just have to get over it and start putting money out there.
Youíll get there, or youíll find its not for you after you lose a couple grand ó and yes you will likely lose a couple grand (mentor, or no mentor) ó thatís up to you!


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  #24 (permalink)
Las vegas, NV, USA
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: CL GC
Posts: 3 since Dec 2015
Thanks: 0 given, 0 received

looking for Mentor

its my oppinion, having a mentor can, for the most part, just bring frustration and confusion. You have to figure it out on your own. If there was one way that worked then everyone would copy that one way and be successful.
I watch pro baseball players up to bat and I watch it long enough and I go " You just have to get on base once out of every three times up to bat. I could do that" And then go stand in front of a piching machine that hurdles the ball at 95 MPH and
you realize that no, its not as easy as it looks!
Dont give up!

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  #25 (permalink)
Brisbane Queensland Australia
Trading Experience: Advanced
Platform: Ninja Bullcharts
Favorite Futures: Stocks
Posts: 12 since Dec 2014
Thanks: 0 given, 16 received

Needing a mentor

I read an email post sent to me about someone needing a mentor to trade.

This is my attitude. Years ago I completed a Ph.D investigating how people develop expertise, and as a minimum it takes 5 to 6 years intensive study of any subject, trade or profession.

My own attitude is that I tend not to accept things until I can prove something is right to my own satisfaction. It is probably a result of my early audit training, that influenced me to become a skeptic. So, I do my research when I think a previous Traditional Trading Master’s proposed explanations, do not make sense.

The physicist, Professor Brian Cox has suggested that skepticism is healthy:
“Without skepticism there can be no progress … An event in space and time has four coordinates; three to specify its position in space, and one to specify its position in time. … different observers do not agree on the spatial distances and temporal differences between events”.
Recently I came across another explanation of skepticism:
“Skepticism is a useful way of thinking to enable us to discover how the world really works”.

The early 20th Century Trading Master, W.D. Gann could be skeptical:
“Knowledge is more powerful than gold”…“never think that you know it all. I have been studying stocks and commodities for forty years, and I do not know it all yet.” … “a lack of knowledge is the most important reason that people who buy and sell stocks fail."
Later, he would state
“keep up to date; be progressive. Do not cling to old theories or ideas.”

Another early 20th Century Trading Master, Humphrey B. Neill, expressed a similar sentiment:
“If you are not willing to study, if you are not sufficiently interested to investigate and analyze the stock market yourself, your chances of success as a trader will be nil.”

The above may sound harsh but it may be objective there is no easier solution to putting in the hard yards learning what you wish to be good at.


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  #26 (permalink)
Trading Experience: Master
Platform: MC
Favorite Futures: 6A
Posts: 10 since Jun 2018
Thanks: 3 given, 13 received

Lots of good things have already been said. Many people have kindly pitched in. My quick thoughts:

- Finding a useful mentor will be very difficult. Most people that will volunteer for this would sign up for it for the wrong reasons. And very, very few of them would actually be qualified for the task.
- Most traders have had to figure out how to trade themselves. With this I don't mean "alone" though. Being part of some sort of community is hugely beneficial for your development and will make you a much better trader.
- Try to learn ONE thing well, ie watch ONE product, using ONE approach, thinking about ONE set-up that may work etc
- As has been pointed out, journaling is key. The more structured, the better. Edgewonk could be a good product for you.
- 99% of all chat rooms or so called “communities” are worthless. But, as someone already mentioned, convergenttrading is an exception to the rule. The approach here is shorter term trading than I am guessing would work for you though. If you have a full time job, look for something more like swing (assuming you are defining yourself as a discretionary trader).
- Use this forum, its probably the greatest resource on the web.
- Use SIM trading until you are profitable. Only then are you ready to move on to trade real money. Treat your SIM account as if it were real money. It is still not the same thing, but as close as you will get.
- There are no shortcuts to becoming a profitable trader. There is no magic. Just hard work and lots of homework. Most of it will be time consuming, frustrating and boring.
- Analyze your metrics in detail and strive to improve and refine your process. Remember, the goal is to work out an approach that makes money in the long term. But do focus on the approach, and the money will eventually come.
- Don’t give up too quickly – this take a long time.

Good luck!

Last edited by Dianoia; July 18th, 2019 at 05:11 AM.
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  #27 (permalink)
Trading Experience: None
Platform: MetaTrader 4
Favorite Futures: Spot Forex
Posts: 63 since Dec 2018
Thanks: 2 given, 50 received

Just my 2 cents, and I guess it's in agreement with many of the posters here.

A great mentor helps you gain knowledge and but end of the day, you still have to put in the work to succeed. That being said, since you mentioned you are fine with swing trading, a good direction is to learn price action and fundamentals to learn the landscape. Mainly market environment, this is what separates the long term successful traders, ability to maneuver in different types of market environments.

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  #28 (permalink)
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraCharts,
Favorite Futures: ES, CL, NQ
Posts: 11 since Apr 2019
Thanks: 6 given, 56 received

YOU are your best mentor

This is an excellent thread, very impressed with the quality of the responses and true wisdom of contributors.
I would like to pitch in, hopefully this helps:
1. Why do you want to trade? If money is the main goal, it may not work. Think of a surgeon or any other demanding profession. The passion for the process will help success.
2. Find a community (futures.io ) , Convergent Trading is also excellent and part of the no bs 1 percent, where you can help yourself cut through the bullshit which is 99 percent of resources out there on youtube, the net.
3. Setup a solid workstation with proper hardware, software, feeds. Adjust the layouts, work environment to your own psychology.
4. All of the indicators/approaches work and don't work, find setups and style that suits your personality, psychology.
5. Start trading in real environment sooner rather then later. Paper trading should be good for first few weeks, a month. to only setup your software hardware, etc. The moment you have skin in the game, everything changes.
In order NOT to blow your account and TO preserve capital - Start with Micros in solid markets that are NOT known to be manipulated and are liquid. (ES, NQ, etc.) - Setup solid daily/weekly loss limits and adhere religiously while you learn.

Enjoy the journey.

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  #29 (permalink)
Trading Experience: Advanced
Platform: cqg integrated,ninjatrade
Favorite Futures: Futures and forex
Posts: 52 since Apr 2015
Thanks: 6 given, 67 received

secondchance4now View Post
No, I'm not going to outright ask for a mentor, that's presumptuous. I'm sure there's over a gazillion requests for a mentor. And I get why mentors don't want to take up every offer or why they don't advertise mentorship...it's just not worth it. It's a lot of time and energy spent on someone you know is going to make a lot of mistakes at first, is probably going to frustrate you, but you want it to pay off in the end.

So what kind of work should I put in? How can I show a mentor I'm worthy?

I've thought of posting my paper trades, because I sure as hell am not ready to trade futures with real money. And with each trade I'll post my thought process. If I do that enough times, will potential mentors out there give me a chance?

If that's not enough, what else should I do?

I've heard from some people I should just paper trade until I figure things out. Maybe, maybe that'll work, but it's better to learn from someone with experience.

Take care everyone.

Could you elaborate on your question on "How you could Earn a mentor'' and ''what kind of work to put in''

Do you mean by finding a very successful trader and offering to give them your services , like washing their fleet of cars or
Cleaning their Number of homes in exchange for some information?

Give me an example of what you are willing to do.

If you are trying to avoid the hard work of 4-6 years minimum, with no guarantees of success, sat in front of your screens ,sometimes wanting to take a baseball bat to them, then im afraid its a very big ask.

any mentor that is willing to give their services will want big bucks or big favours and I very much doubt there is anyone out there who could give you an easier passage than as i mentioned above.

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  #30 (permalink)
Reno, Nevada
Trading Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: ZN, ZB, CL
phantomtrader's Avatar
Posts: 299 since May 2011
Thanks: 64 given, 476 received

I think you should ask yourself the question: "Why do I want to do this?" When you make statements like "Do I have to sit in front of a screen all day" it's a little like asking "Do I really have to study hard to be a brain surgeon?"

Rather than looking for a mentor, review what's already being offered to wanna-be traders - https://ninjatraderecosystem.com/

Study all of them, reverse engineer what they're doing, then figure out if you can do the same or better. Everything is right here in futures.io - you can download a ton of indicators and strategies. Reverse engineering is the best teacher IMO because you'll learn to think analytically - does something work or not, why does it work or why it doesn't.

As for mentors, there isn't a single soul in this industry who will tell you exactly what they're doing to be profitable - that is, if they are profitable. That's because they've developed an intuition about the market by observing it day in and day out for years. You can learn to scalp from John Grady, who's one of the best, but to be profitable as a scalper, you still need to develop that intuition.

If you don't want to put that kind of time in, then look for an automated system that you can buy or lease like this one:

But going back to my first comment, think very hard why you want to do this. Honesty is the best policy and will save you a lot of heartache and money if this career is not meant for you.

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