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Do you need a mentor to be successful?
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Do you need a mentor to be successful?

  #11 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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I think a mentor could be a good thing, as long as you come with the right expectations to such an experience.
If you looking someone to imitate precisely and just show you a magic formula, just forget it.
If you are looking for someone to give you the right foundation and skills to develop your own method one day, than it's a different story. A good mentor will change habits or tendencies and hopefully it will be successful experience after.

I had good mentors in my profession and personal life, but I always took the responsibility going forward.
For most the disappointing experience after leaves a scare where they blame someone instead of themselves.

The selection of a mentor is hard, and I know many don't have the tools to evaluate a good ones and that is the real issue. Sometimes a little luck plays a role as well in the section of one.

Lastly, a mentor is not a substitute to anything, and you can always enhance it with books, discussion, this forum, etc.

PM with any questions about optimusfutures (800) 771-6748 (561) 367 8686. THERE IS A SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF LOSS IN FUTURES TRADING.
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  #12 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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I would say yes.

I know quite a few people that trade for a living and not a single one does what's in all those trading books in Barnes & Noble. I don't think you have the remotest chance of success if you rely on trading books because they are so full of nonsense. I would say the same for trading forums too. There may be some useful information but that is overwhelmed by the amount of irrelevant stuff.

I have never once met a retail trader that successfully taught themselves how to trade from books.

The thing is, and maybe this is just me. I'm still doing something slightly different from the people that actually taught me how they traded. There were two people that were instrumental in the way i trade but quite a few others provided invaluable 'sound bites'.

For most people, I think they start out wanting a 'set up' and not even dreaming that they may understand the markets one day and therefore create their own techniques. I would say that once you understand the markets (well, just one market initially), then you will have all sorts of ideas how to play what is going on.

I think it takes quite a genius to figure it out on their own.

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  #13 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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Out of interest - are there any other careers out there that people think they can learn from books which incidentally, all tell you something different?

Doctor?
Driving instructor?
Chiropractor?
Lawyer?
Airline Pilot?
Croupier?
Farmer?

What is it about a trading career that makes people presume you don't need a teacher?

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  #14 (permalink)
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DionysusToast View Post
I would say yes.

I know quite a few people that trade for a living and not a single one does what's in all those trading books in Barnes & Noble. I don't think you have the remotest chance of success if you rely on trading books because they are so full of nonsense. I would say the same for trading forums too. There may be some useful information but that is overwhelmed by the amount of irrelevant stuff.

I have never once met a retail trader that successfully taught themselves how to trade from books.

The thing is, and maybe this is just me. I'm still doing something slightly different from the people that actually taught me how they traded. There were two people that were instrumental in the way i trade but quite a few others provided invaluable 'sound bites'.

For most people, I think they start out wanting a 'set up' and not even dreaming that they may understand the markets one day and therefore create their own techniques. I would say that once you understand the markets (well, just one market initially), then you will have all sorts of ideas how to play what is going on.

I think it takes quite a genius to figure it out on their own.

I have never had a mentor for trading. My teachers have been books, internet and the collective wisdom of futures.io (formerly BMT). What I figured out after signing up with futures.io (formerly BMT), is that over the years I had soaked tons of knowledge about trading and the markets. What I didnt realize was I needed a outside source to put it all into context. Once I started reading the threads of futures.io (formerly BMT) everything started to click and all the knowledge I had amassed over the years started making sense. I have grown as a trader in less than one year what would have taken most traders 3 to 5 years.

My dad was self taught, so I was self taught.. if I needed to know how to do something I just sat down and figured it out. That was the way I was brought up. Trading was no different. Although it has been the most challenging. I think its the psychological aspect of trading has been the most difficult just because it is not black and white.

Do I think you need a mentor to succeed? not always. Do I think a mentor will speed up the learning process and get you to your goal faster? yes without a doubt. Do I wish I would have had one 5 years ago? yes...


SD

nosce te ipsum

You make your own opportunities in life.

Last edited by Silver Dragon; December 10th, 2011 at 10:44 AM. Reason: I cant spell! Should not write posts when your tired. physiological should be psychological
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  #15 (permalink)
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DionysusToast View Post
Out of interest - are there any other careers out there that people think they can learn from books which incidentally, all tell you something different?

Doctor?
Driving instructor?
Chiropractor?
Lawyer?
Airline Pilot?
Croupier?
Farmer?

What is it about a trading career that makes people presume you don't need a teacher?

Can you tell me that not one of those professions requires the use of books or reading material
before live training? You can't. They all require reading/studying before the live experience.
Trading isn't any different.

Edit: I just read the 'farmer'. Yes, farming may need a mentor but it isn't required. It's all about trial and error.
In live trading, trial and error is all about cutting your losses short to trade another day. The ones who
can stick it out the longest are usually the ones that end up finding a way to turn profit.

You attain knowledge from books but you attain your skills from experience.
You don't need a mentor to gain experience...just the tools and a medium.

Psychology > Strategy ≥ Money
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  #16 (permalink)
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Silver Dragon View Post

Do I think you need a mentor to succeed? not always. Do I think a mentor will speed up the learning process and get you to your goal faster? yes without a doubt. Do I wish I would have had one 5 years ago? yes...

SD

Yes...It would certainly shorten the learning curve but it's not necessary.
It would've been very nice to have though!

Psychology > Strategy ≥ Money
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  #17 (permalink)
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Altough a good mentor is probably one of the single most helpful ingedients to successful trading, there is a crucial (as well as very often overlooked and underestimated) aspect of trading that no mentor can ever teach you: conquering not the market but yourself (i.e. psychology).


vvhg

Hic Rhodos, hic salta.
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  #18 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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Massive l View Post
Can you tell me that not one of those professions requires the use of books or reading material
before live training? You can't. They all require reading/studying before the live experience.
Trading isn't any different.

Edit: I just read the 'farmer'. Yes, farming may need a mentor but it isn't required. It's all about trial and error.
In live trading, trial and error is all about cutting your losses short to trade another day. The ones who
can stick it out the longest are usually the ones that end up finding a way to turn profit.

You attain knowledge from books but you attain your skills from experience.
You don't need a mentor to gain experience...just the tools and a medium.

Most of the ones I mentioned required:
Teachers
Self Study
On the job mentorship

Yet everyone thinks they'll become a trader by picking up a few books with some 40 year old theories in them.

Trading isn't about trial and error. There are literally trillions of combinations of indicators and their settings, there are millions of useless internet post, there are at least hundreds of useless trading books.

In fact, finding legitimate information on trading is like finding a needle in a haystack. It's buried amongst bu11shit.

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  #19 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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vvhg View Post
Altough a good mentor is probably one of the single most helpful ingedients to successful trading, there is a crucial (as well as very often overlooked and underestimated) aspect of trading that no mentor can ever teach you: conquering not the market but yourself (i.e. psychology).


vvhg

Psychology is an excuse.

The real reason most people suck at trading is not psychology. It's because they choose to trade outright directional positions & they have absolutely no idea when to enter a such a position.

Sure - it's frustrating but the issue isn't psychological.

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  #20 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
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Having a good mentor could shorten the learning curve a lot but one can succeed alone if he have the mental and psychological fitness.

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