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

  #31 (permalink)
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Depending on the mentor you have, you may are lucky or not.

Be care full about mentors which have a huge knowledge about what they explain to you.

What are you going to do against a mentor which explains you a strategy in any detail on a level you are just: Hmm, great and he tells you now to implement a trade in which he has the counter part, but you even do not know that???

It happens.

Just remember this post and ask again and again and again before you believe any of this so smooth mentors.

Just my two cent and experience ( With out giving any names !!)

Good success in trading


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  #32 (permalink)
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Zondor View Post
Some of the online resources are so good that you might call them mentors. Such as Barry Taylor of, where my incentive to learn Ninjascript, and most of my trading philosophy, comes from.

Mark Douglas and Brett Steenbarger are a couple of other standouts.

I think (formerly BMT) should also be mentioned!


Hic Rhodos, hic salta.
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  #33 (permalink)
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A good mentor would be helpful IMO


how on earth is a learning trader going to identify who is a good mentor vs just another salesman full of BS and spin. The new trader is likley to be holy grail seeking ( far from intelligently objective) and so simply not equipped to make this assessment.

Perhaps after a couple of years experience and trial and error they will have the ability to make this assessment, perhaps not.

On this basis the "a mentor is necessary" argument is fraught.

There will always be exceptions - making some generalisations here.

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  #34 (permalink)
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Linds View Post
A good mentor would be helpful IMO


how on earth is a learning trader going to identify who is a good mentor vs just another salesman full of BS and spin. The new trader is likley to be holy grail seeking ( far from intelligently objective) and so simply not equipped to make this assessment.

Perhaps after a couple of years experience and trial and error they will have the ability to make this assessment, perhaps not.

On this basis the "a mentor is necessary" argument is fraught.

There will always be exceptions - making some generalisations here.

A lot of good posts on why one can figure it out for themselves. All with merit, and all probably represent a small very capable fraction of the trader community who pick up things on a much quicker basis than, say, an idioyota (sic) like me.

My position remains firm, even stronger now than before. If you have children - let me simplify this - would you let them out on their own, let them pick up knowledge on an unstructured basis? I wouldn't. Skill is only developed through prodigious practice and the best tools. I don't give two hoots about talent, or talent with unstructured practice. I am not Mozart, and based on statistics neither is 99% of society.

Ask Jordan.....

If you agree that practice makes better, then would you consider that delibrate, focused "skilled" practice is even more incisive and efficient? Is efficiency not what we want? Am I making leading statements? Possibly.

Why do some people do much better than others, what role does environment play in nurturing brains, skill, thought processes and behavior patterns.

Of course, the best way to learn IS to learn by doing, but there is such a thing as DP. Geoff Colvin will give a thousand scientific and real examples on why this approach works.

I do not have the leisure of learning at my own pace or structure, trading is a ridiculously competitive dog eat dog world. My own objectives are not 40, 50, 60 or even 100K a year...that's nothing. I am gunning for much bigger elepahnts. Any endeavor worth undertaking is worth doing well, especially when its has unlimited potential like this.

It is the last bastion of true capitalism. So for me to compete at my own level of possiblity, I want the best tools and the best environment that I can get......then it is up to my ability to use those tools, think on those terms and eventually expand beyond to get bigger, faster, stronger.

It would be hard to argue that given that sort of learning environment, a trader would not only be at an advantage but also potentially overachieve. The other side is that, you learn at your own pace, follow a possibly unstructed path, put your money at risk, which may leads to loss of capital...and all sorts of nasty consequences with that. Possible change of lifestyle, issues with family or freinds with money leads to corrputed decision making that can get out of hand quickly and majorely.

I do not even want to risk opening myself up to that possibility if I can help it . Sure, if you survived that you would have one heck of a story to tell at Christmas parties, but is that risk really really worth it in the end?

The answer of course lies withn you. Where we come from, what experiences in life brought us to this point, and how we handle new information. And most importantly, how good we are at assessing risk.

How about that ( I ended exactly where I wanted to, with more questions than anything).

PS - I did learn by myself, but I finally got a couple of teachers after 3years, and it greatly shifted my goalposts, so If I was to do it again I would never do it without a mentor. That's my slant, and of course it's 1 opinion.

Last edited by Deucalion; December 10th, 2011 at 07:47 PM.
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  #35 (permalink)
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I don't care about indicator settings/combinations, trading books, or useless internet posts.
For me, it's all about experience; seeing what works for me and what doesn't.
That doesn't mean I change something everyday. It means that when the results
are not right, I identify the weakness(es) and tweak the plan. Try again. Repeat.

6000 hours of this so far with a positive yearly return and a decent nest egg.

Is the way I've gone about it going to work for everyone? Probably not.
Have I had a mentor? No.
Have certain online personalities given me insights that inspired me to action? Yes.
Am I still learning? Yes.

Well - of course 'what works for you' is important - but what comes first? Knowing what to try or seeing what works for you?

Knowing what to try is where mentorship comes in. Figuring out why it's not working for you is also where a mentor comes in.

There is not enough time to try everything.

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  #36 (permalink)
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To me, the best and brightest path is like this...

A mentor who you do not pay helps you become a 'trader'. They guide you to get started and provide you with the necessary wall to bounce the ball off of when you get stuck.

Then, after some experience paying a mentor or 'coach' that could be as much psychological as technical etc. to hone your game.

Trading is much like anything, sports, dancing, etc.. No different in my opinion... I believe very few become great without standing on the shoulders of giants..

@Deucalion, great post...

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Big Mike View Post
I'd like to pose the question for discussion:

Do you need a mentor in order to be successful at trading?

I am speaking in generalities. I know that anything is possible, but in general, does a trader need someone to mentor them in order for that trader to have a real chance at being successful?

What do you think?


I don't think there is a definitive answer. But I imagine it would certainly help to have someone review what you are doing and show you where you are going wrong. For example I've been learning to play golf for the last 15 years or so and have read many books and put in thousands of hours of practice and I've got to an ok standard by being self taught. However, recently a friend decided he wanted to try it out so he asked me to help him learn. So I taught him the basics using a single 7 iron at the driving range as I know that it's easiest club to hit the ball straight with and is very forgiving. I then observed his swing and corrected him when he was getting it wrong and gradually he started to hit the ball with more consistency. I continued to do this every time he practiced and he is now able to hit the ball very well and doesn't suffer from the early problems that I remember having such as slicing and hooking the ball all over the place, as he's not learnt bad habits, as I've corrected him when he's been going wrong. And so I'd say he's skipped many of the bad years that I had by learning myself as he can play quite well already.

So to bring it back to trading. I've been learning myself for the last five years and have read countless books, and have thousands of hours of screen time and am finally starting to get some consistency as I've found a timescale and developed a method that suits me. But from the golf experience I can see the benefit of having someone mentor you as it can help you not to develop bad habits from the start and so speed up the learning curve. However, with trading, there isn't only one way to make money, so finding someone to mentor you isn't quite as easy as going to the local golf course and learning from the golf pro, but if you can find someone that knows what they are doing, then I imagine it would help you to identify your bad habits and improve at a quicker pace.

"Fate does not always let you fix the tuition fee. She delivers the educational wallop and presents her own bill" – Reminiscences of a Stock Operator.
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  #38 (permalink)
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I think having the right mentor certainly would have helped or would help me.
I think it would be the same for anything. The right teacher or coach or mentor...
The wrong coach could do more harm than good.
Finding that right coach is where the problem lies.
I have never known anyone who trades at all, let alone trades well.
I see people talking about it on these forums and things, but I don't know who these people are or how they trade or if they are successful. Of course I believe some of them are, that it can be done, or I wouldn't be doing this at all...

So, I never have had and probably never will have a mentor.
For that reason I will probably never be a great trader... but I would think I could be a good one...

I think experience has help me figure out the kinds of advice to take from places like this forum and what kinds to leave. I would have learned that a lot quicker had I had a mentor.
The simple idea that this is not what you think it is, not the psychology or the how and why and where to enter a trade, but the simple idea that you are looking at it all wrong in the first place... this take a heck of a long time to figure out on your own, although I believe some are definitely quicker than others...

You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.
Dr. Seuss
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  #39 (permalink)
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Though I still consider myself very much a newb...

I think a very helpful forum like Big Mike's Trading Forum is what I might call a "group of virtual mentors" and much more beneficial than a single mentor.

Reason being you're getting multiple trading methods, multiple personalities, and multiple points of view.

It takes time to go through much of the information available here, but the creme rises to the top and I think I've progressed much faster than otherwise.

Best investment in my training education that I've made so far!

I'll always recommend it and will always be grateful and consider myself lucky to be a part of (formerly BMT).

Last edited by MrYou; December 12th, 2011 at 03:11 AM.
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  #40 (permalink)
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risk management is all

Like i said before good mentor [ u have to know how to choose one, (like a good university) ] could shorten the learning curve a lot that's why guys we go to schools .
sure u can succeed by your own but look at the ratio between successful university grad's and self made, anyway Newbie's dont know where to start and what to use to be sucssesful ( i'm a self made person by the way ), a mentor can show you the way and give you the savoir faire.
The second most important skill to master or the first in that order is risk management, focus on your defense first and build a good one before anything else and that takes discipline and a lot of patience.

A solid risk management plan can keep you much much longer in the market and that is priceless ( talking from a personal experience ).

Live Long And Prosper


Last edited by bassramy; December 12th, 2011 at 04:11 AM.
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