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Do you need a mentor to be successful?


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Do you need a mentor to be successful?

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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?

Mike

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Big Mike View Post
Do you need a mentor in order to be successful at trading?

Yes, you do. But you can be your own mentor.

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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?

Mike

Bearing in mind that answers to this can be varied, if I were to answer this, say for someone I wanted to see successful, like a friend or a family member then I would say yes. Absolutely essential.

The devil is in the details, the little things that a mentor would never put on paper like when to be extra cautious, when to realize that you have a huge opportunity and when to bet the bank.

It's almost guaranteed that the nuances that a mentor has picked up over the years while looking endlessly at price action and patterns that something or the other is left out inadvertently that a trainee will almost never get from picking up a book or trying out for himself until its too late.

Having said that, the best teacher is live experience itself when you see things unfolding for yourself, but if you can see an experienced person do it live in front of you, one automatically picks up clues on intangible things. Like a child learning from his parents or a observing a mechanic at work when his listens to an engine running.

I am absolutely convinced that developing the skill of "listening" to the market comes in only one way, and that is doing it live yourself. The 2nd best way is to sit next to a mentor and see him do it.

Observe, record and repeat. Observe record, repeat. And so on. The caveat in all this is that this is discretionary skill development, if one is talking mechanistic trading or systems development (which I have no interest in) then anyone can do it as long as one pays enough attention to statistics and RR.

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I think so as well. I do think you can succeed without one but will still need resources like this forum as well as books from Mark Douglas, Brent Steenbarger, etc.

Beyond that though, looking back at my journey, I think I would have benefited greatly from an experienced mentor to show me early what works and what doesnt. But it would need to be someone I trusted on a personal level, otherwise I think I would be tempted to ignore what they were saying.

Free would be nice as well. To many "experts" charging fees for nothing more than indicators. Bad mojo.

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Deucalion View Post
Bearing in mind that answers to this can be varied, if I were to answer this, say for someone I wanted to see successful, like a friend or a family member then I would say yes. Absolutely essential.

The devil is in the details, the little things that a mentor would never put on paper like when to be extra cautious, when to realize that you have a huge opportunity and when to bet the bank.

It's almost guaranteed that the nuances that a mentor has picked up over the years while looking endlessly at price action and patterns that something or the other is left out inadvertently that a trainee will almost never get from picking up a book or trying out for himself until its too late.

Having said that, the best teacher is live experience itself when you see things unfolding for yourself, but if you can see an experienced person do it live in front of you, one automatically picks up clues on intangible things. Like a child learning from his parents or a observing a mechanic at work when his listens to an engine running.

I am absolutely convinced that developing the skill of "listening" to the market comes in only one way, and that is doing it live yourself. The 2nd best way is to sit next to a mentor and see him do it.

Observe, record and repeat. Observe record, repeat. And so on. The caveat in all this is that this is discretionary skill development, if one is talking mechanistic trading or systems development (which I have no interest in) then anyone can do it as long as one pays enough attention to statistics and RR.

Couldn't have said it better!
This is kind of what I meant, you can learn a lot by watching and mimicking a master, but you will only ever become a master if you have the experience and skill to draw your own conclusions. I strongly believe that my own thoughts come much more natural and fluent than "thinking with someone elses brain".


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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?

Mike

Mike, What do you think? Did you have a mentor?
I am not successful yet so I don't know... But I have never been able to find one. I don't know anyone who I am absolutely sure is successful. An even if they are, they probably trade in a very different style and I would have to either relearn or get very aggravated and it would ultimately be a setback.

That said, I think good mentors are out there. It would have to be someone who doesn't show you how to trade but can look at your trading and make comments on what you should be thinking and looking for. But that is aggravating too because most of us just want someone to tell us when and how to trade...

Once I am successful I would like to develop some sort of coaching style to be able to help people, but it would be probably just family, friends, people close by. It would be hard over the internet...

The reality is, I would think, most of us never will have the opportunity to work with a mentor... Hopefully we are not 100% destined to fail...

You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.
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JEHs View Post
Mike, What do you think?

I have plenty to say on the subject, but have started this topic to gather insight into others opinions. I will put it all together and have much to say during my upcoming webinar.

So for now I will remain silent in this thread, just an observer.

Mike

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I also think a mentor is not required, it would be very helpful though if you had one providing you KNOW that he is a good trader and makes money. I think you almost have to know someone who is a trader ahead of time.
With all the crooks and frauds and lunatics out there that greatly outnumber the legit guys your odds of finding a good mentor are so small that your better off alone if you don't already know someone. You just have to do a lot of homework and study and spend time conversing with fellow traders at futures.io (formerly BMT)...

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No, a mentor is not needed to be successful (consecutive + monthly/yearly returns) at trading.
There is nothing magical about trading that hasn't been already exposed.
A mentor is merely a guide that may shorten the learning curve.
You have to find it within yourself to be successful at this game.

There's lots and lots of traders that sign up for mentorship programs that
are still unable to turn consistent profits.

There are also lots of extremely intelligent programmers that are still
unable to turn consistent profits.

Then there are the 23-29 year old skateboarder types
that figure out a way to get their slice.

Crazy, isn't it?

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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.

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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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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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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...


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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.

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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!

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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).


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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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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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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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Yep, most people fail because they haven't got the faintest idea of what they are doing!

but some people have a good understaning of the maket and have good setups etc. but still loose money...
Psychology can't be an excuse of not having done your homework, but without getting to grips with yourself I believe you can't succeed.


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From my experience, luck plays a great role in becoming profitable.

Like Dionysus said, you could spend a lifetime browsing trading boards...reading thousand and thousand of threads, buying hundreds of books. If you are lucky you stumble upon the right material, recognize its value and stick with it.
If not, you try out one moving average crossover system after another, buy one useless indicator after another or spend years deciphering the code left behind by W.D. Gann , figuring out the influence of Neptune, Uranus and Jupiter on the S&P and blow up account after account to end up with debt, job loss, a divorce and drinking problems.

Also, psychology alone is not the holy grail. I think a lot of psychological problems in trading can be greatly reduced by using less leverage and by starting out with a large enough account. If I have to average 5 points in the S&P per day to pay my bills and rent and use $ 500 margins, it's no wonder I start making terrible mistakes due to all the stress and anxiety.


DionysusToast View Post

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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Massive l View Post
There are also lots of extremely intelligent programmers that are still
unable to turn consistent profits.

Then there are the 23-29 year old skateboarder types
that figure out a way to get their slice.

Crazy, isn't it?

Are you trying to imply that skateboarders can't be extremely intelligent?

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Anything is possible in trading but I believe having a mentor definitely helps the new trader build a solid base of knowledge and reasonable expectations. When I started in this business, I worked for a large investment bank/PWM firm and was fortunate enough to learn from a guy who had been doing this for about 20 years at the time. He'd seen it all through thick and thin trading all sorts of markets. I feel I benefited substantially from that and was able to establish a realistic approach to what I was doing.

I've also mentored newer traders in the past and have been able to help a few out in getting some consistency in what they're doing. Trading can be extremely overwhelming with all the different markets, methods, indicators, chart periodicities, trading platforms, etc. It's very easy to be on the continuous search for the trading holy grail if you've never learned what's most important to what you're looking to do. Trading isn't all about indicators and platforms. Every good trader out there should be able to use a basic chart and order entry platform successfully without all the bells and whistles out there. You need to learn the fundamentals before you can learn all the fancy stuff.

I think it's important to learn from many people as they can all offer something unique. I also feel it's very important to learn from someone who really is experienced and has seen many different market cycles and events. But I will say, having a mentor will not guarantee success. It still comes down to the individual sitting in that chair, clicking that order into the market and keeping their cool no matter what happens and doing this day in and day out.

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DionysusToast View Post
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.

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.

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Are you trying to imply that skateboarders can't be extremely intelligent?

Ha! No, quite the opposite.

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I've paid for mentoring (twice) and it was a complete waste of money. BUT, on the other hand... I have met a few successful traders over the years that have mentored me 'informally' for free, and it was a tremendous help.

So, mentoring can be very helpful... if it's the right mentor.

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mRoss21 View Post
I've paid for mentoring (twice) and it was a complete waste of money. BUT, on the other hand... I have met a few successful traders over the years that have mentored me 'informally' for free, and it was a tremendous help.

So, mentoring can be very helpful... if it's the right mentor.



If you are paying them, that is how they make their money. "Mentoring".

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vvhg View Post
Yes, you do. But you can be your own mentor.

vvhg

Great answer. If you can learn to be your own mentor, perhaps that is as good as it gets.

Study and practice, and trial and error, and learning from your own experience, and then questioning yourself, and listening to yourself, as you shape your understanding, beliefs and skills from your own experiences... If you can have the determination and patience to become qualified to mentor yourself, before you put your money on the line, your chance of success will be incredibly increased.

An outside mentor can help in the qualification process. But no mentor can know you like you can know yourself.

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  #30 (permalink)
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All of the information that a new trader needs to be successful is out there for the taking. But there is a thousand times as much useless and misleading nonsense than there is actionable and logical information. Charlatans abound.

A mentor can really help a new trader separate the signal from the noise. Otherwise the new trader needs to be pretty clever, and will need a lot of time to sort things out.

Some of the online resources are so good that you might call them mentors. Such as Barry Taylor of emini-watch.com, 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.

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  #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

Delta_Panther

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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 emini-watch.com, 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 futures.io (formerly BMT) should also be mentioned!

vvhg

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  #33 (permalink)
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A good mentor would be helpful IMO

but

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

but

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.

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Massive l View Post
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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  #37 (permalink)
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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?

Mike

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.

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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.
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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 futures.io (formerly BMT).

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  #40 (permalink)
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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

Bass

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Deucalion View Post

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.


Hi Deucalion
Good post thanks. How did you go about finding your coaches/mentors? How did you establish their credibility and 'qualifications'? I think this is a critical question that needs to answered in this discussion.

Lindsay

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  #42 (permalink)
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I think the question is moot... The vast majority will never even meet a successful trader, let alone someone willing to mentor them.

A mentor does not charge for his/her services...

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Lornz View Post
I think the question is moot... The vast majority will never even meet a successful trader, let alone someone willing to mentor them.

A mentor does not charge for his/her services...

This is very true. Another reason why getting into the business is difficult. There is also the issue if the mentor's style will fit in with your trading. I believe a mentor's job is to simply give the trader the foundations and the individual over time has to built their own unique way of looking at the mkt that makes sense to them.

Futurestrader71: "The best analogy I use for trading is race car driving. You can jump into Ayrton Senna’s car (deceased legendary Formula 1 racer) and use his exact seat adjustment, mirror positions, helmet and everything else. The results will not be the same even if Ayrton talked you through it all. You have to make it your own. You have to come with the right attitude. If it makes sense, then who cares who I am?"

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I think tahat you dont need one to become successful but it can speed up your learning in the start if you found good one.
Remember none mentor will do your homework !!!

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A good mentor is probably quite similar to a wise dictator... Incrediby hard to find, probably desastrous if you pick the wrong one but invaluable if you really hapen to find him.

vvhg

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  #46 (permalink)
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I have a son who excels in baseball. He is only 8th grade but plays on the varsity team.
Some of the older kids resent this a little.
But some of them like to help him about and talk him through nerves and things.
They think it's cool and they like to bring him in and make him a better player...
I always tell my son to remember those guys... When you are in 11th or 12th grade or even older there will be some little kid like you who just loves the game and wants to learn... Be the type of older kid that you like to be around now.

I admire good coaching when I see it. It is a skill.
Hopefully, if I ever get somewhat proficient at trading, I will be able to be that coach for someone else.

I started a business 25 years ago. I am not a huge success, but I have done OK. I did not have any sort of a mentor there ever. Totally self taught...
I build some amazing things in my shop. Because I never apprenticed under a master woodworker, I can probably not ever call myself a "master", but I do pretty well with it.
I have always told my kids, success in most things come from just being a nice person... Waking up in the morning with the simple goal of doing the right things. Living the right life. I think now matter what you are pursuing, a good coach teaches you these things above all else. Maybe I am naive...

Just some random thoughts on the subject...

You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.
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  #47 (permalink)
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Linds View Post
Hi Deucalion
Good post thanks. How did you go about finding your coaches/mentors? How did you establish their credibility and 'qualifications'? I think this is a critical question that needs to answered in this discussion.

Lindsay

Lornz is correct, a newbie who has no idea WHAT to think, cannot objectively stand a good chance of finding a constructive mentor. In contrast, I also firmly believe what JEH said below - he knows skill when he sees it. I don't know how to answer that objectively. I can tell you my evolution in that process.
  1. He cannot be a teacher only. His primary occupation must be a trader.
  2. He does not have to give it away (I distrust free stuff AS MUCH as I distrust pie-in-the-sky prices).
  3. If he shows me his screen (a must) he must be able to identify with immediacy something I never thought of, something that pops out immediately on say, a simple plain non-indicator 5min candle chart.
  4. His primary goal must be to control his risk, not to make money.
  5. He cannot ever blame the market, ever!
  6. It is not important to me whether he shows me his trading statement (no one will do that). I want to see immediate value in his analysis of the market, no matter what chart, as long as its a big enough chart.
  7. Pro traders often share similar traits, they are humble to the market yet enormously confident of their ability to stick to a stop and target.
  8. They have very little opinion on ANYTHING under the sun.
  9. Anecdotally, they are boring people... because they are actuarial in not just their trading but to everything in life. They will often be right brained thinkers (most will have multiple careers, and either be serially successful or serially failures until trading).
  10. They all have a 10yr and a 20yr plan, with weekly, monthly benchmarks.
  11. They take each day as a single performance.
  12. He must be able to identify trends, amplitudes, pull-backs and all price action with logical reason. If he can't he must not commit any risk to the market. And he must wait as long as it takes. All day, all week if necessary.
  13. Each and every trait above must be immediately perceived by you.

It cannot be esoteric, no magical stuff here, simpler is better....if you don't get what he is selling within minutes and say....aha!, and can't get your blood tingling...then leave. he is after your money. Or worse, a charlatan.

Such people exist, they are not chimeras. It takes time and effort to uncover gems. Why should stuff reveal itself to me unless I am willing to sweat blood for it. I have no entitlement, I do my best and then I do more...

Let's simplify this, how do you tell if some one is skilled at ANYTHING in life. Doctors, lawyers, carpenters, mechanics, anybody? Throw away degrees and reputations and anything perceived. How can you tell if Kyle Bass is the real deal and Dennis Gartman and Jim Rogers are trolls?

So how do you scientifically find them? I have no answer, I asked my broker - he gave me leads immediately to pros who, in one way or another agreed to be contacted. I asked, one thing lead to another...some conversations later I found one....and through his network 4months later I found another.

In the last few months, I found 2more, more or less same way. But I have enough homework already for the next 5years!

I hope this helps in some manner. Its not a how to manual, or the right or wrong way, pick A way and refine it as you go along, keep your eyes and ears open and your trap shut.

And now, I will shut my trap, since I have yapped for far too long. I read somewhere on this site, that a trader once said he wished he could take back EVERYTHING he ever said or wrote. I concur

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  #49 (permalink)
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I'm 6000 plus hrs in, been full time trading going on 2 yrs, I move as fast as anyone trying new charts,backtesting etc. I read my first book cover to cover 5 mths ago and it was on trading-Go Figure lol. They say 95% of daytraders fail,well so does 95% of small buisinesses. Ive started 7 still have 2 sold 2 others let others go when something better came along. In life I always used a different path from the norm, because if everyone enters the same path on one side of the forest who comes out first on the other side first,Everyone. You cant win a race like that! But for some reason when I started trading, I've used the same path as everyone else.

I was as green 2 yrs ago as anyone can be to the markets. I researched a broker that is well know and went with it. The broker demo/sim was down all the time. They said it was because it was for teaching you how to use there live account not trade with it. Can you say I paid them alot of commissions. I was in stocks then now I'm trying to get the ES. Switched to Ninja/different broker and now I'm trying to get a system that works day in and day out. Yes I've had uptrending and downtrending and chop trading setups. They all worked on the right days but who can predict the movement for this day?

I found Mike and futures.io (formerly BMT) when I switched to Ninja, I've read ALOT of post and have gotten a good read on ALOT of the people posting. When you start a new business you have upfront investment which you can lose. My thoughts on trading was no different. You have to have experience it can't be taught it has to be learned, but man what I would have gave for a mentor in the beginning or even now. Its been a costly journey for me to get here. I ve got stories geez!!!!! I have replied to certain members looking for some guidance. I understand most are busy so no reply isnt taken the wrong way. As many have stated why would a mentor want to help you? They had to learn it the hard way guess you should have to lose as they did. I used to have a similar attitude in the real world business. But the markets have made me humble, I'm more compassionate to others.

I wasted alot of time trying to find chart setups with this or that indicator.MISTAKE
Ive never paid one person that offers trading schools,videos,indicators etc because I would have gladly paid if they could show me them trading live on a few days and been successful >NONE would accept that offer. I understand their business model, SELL product So Ive let the market teach me how it moves, can you predict a accident before it happens when driving,no matter how alert you are? I have set a date by the end of Feb 2012 if I don't feel confident with my trading I'm done! I'm a break even trader now if thats good or bad I dont know. Im tired, Ive sacrificed more in this thing than anything in my life!

The reason I had such a long response is I want any new trader that reads this to know whats ahead! Yes If you can find a MENTOR, first make sure he's got a proven track record because I can talk the talk and show you backtesting or perfect day scenarios. But if he will help you by all means listen and learn.

Im back to price action, trend lines from today forward! futures.io (formerly BMT) members I hope I get to stay around I'm still forward fast, because more than anything I dont want this to be my first failure at 40yrs old!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LMAO

Best Wishes to Everyone
Happy Holidays
Richard

FYI I dont talk about myself or my business,I almost deleted this but maybe it will help some moving forward

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  #50 (permalink)
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Thanks @Rad4633, one of the best posts I have read in quite a while!


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  #51 (permalink)
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Rad4633 View Post
I'm 6000 plus hrs in, been full time trading going on 2 yrs,

Well, you are a unique person able to put in 6,000 hours in 2 years and run a business!!!! That is 8 hours per day, 7 days a week for 2 years...

I do not believe you are giving yourself enough time to be competent. The hours may be there, but the right type of hours...

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  #52 (permalink)
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bluemele View Post
Well, you are a unique person able to put in 6,000 hours in 2 years and run a business!!!! That is 8 hours per day, 7 days a week for 2 years...

I do not believe you are giving yourself enough time to be competent. The hours may be there, but the right type of hours...


That was certainly part of the problem for me. I put in the hours but you don't know the right type of hours. I didn't have a clue what that even meant. I'm still not sure I know.
Those are the sorts of areas where a mentor might cut the learning time down... A good mentor, that s...

You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.
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  #53 (permalink)
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JEHs View Post
That was certainly part of the problem for me. I put in the hours but you don't know the right type of hours. I didn't have a clue what that even meant. I'm still not sure I know.
Those are the sorts of areas where a mentor might cut the learning time down... A good mentor, that s...

In my opinion it is the same with anything. 8 hours of studying is not effective... There are few people on this planet that will find 8 hours in-a-row that will be effective. Most people have 45 minute time-spans of productivity as I recall from a study a few years back that I read. Each time you have one distraction, it takes an additional 10-15 minutes to regain where you were at prior.

I believe the hours are more specific to determined with explicit focus in what you are doing. Unless this person is on the Autism scale, then I would say that his study time of those hours is probably not accurate, but who knows, just my 2 cents... I probably spend 3-4 hours per day looking at charts, studying, but to count towards my 10K would really be 1-2 hours daily for my focused trading and review and the rest of the time it is just 'playing' mentally.

If you were to give yourself 2 years with most businesses, then you will end up closing your doors a lot! But, maybe that would be the smart thing.. haha... The most successful business that I have owned have always been those that started off on fire, but I believe that is because I was chasing a trend.

Again, I know little if nothing and what I say doesn't matter, but just my understanding of the world around me.

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bluemele View Post
Well, you are a unique person able to put in 6,000 hours in 2 years and run a business!!!! That is 8 hours per day, 7 days a week for 2 years...

I do not believe you are giving yourself enough time to be competent. The hours may be there, but the right type of hours...

I was waiting for this response, I am as dedicated as anyone always been self employed, so working from 7am-Midnight everyday including Saturdays, More than I liked on Sundays, waking at 2 am testing till 430 or so is nothing new to me. My belief is when you start something dont stop till your finished or goal is achieved. In this trading task I have scarificed time from my GF's my daughter who is my world, my friends didnt know what to think because when I started this, poof I was gone. Reason I told then till I get this NOTHING is more important other than my daughter!!!!!!!!!!! So Yes I did put in the time but this is how I did it. To each there own. Also I have a lead manager that comes to my trade office when situations arise he can't handle to take direction.

AS far as quality time I agree, but being green there's no way to know unless you try hundreds of setups. And gain that experience of what works and doesn't! HENCE if you had a MENTOR, a driving coach, we'll call it, your destination would be achieved far sooner. Then you can settle in and learn one chart or style and master it.

Honestly Blue and futures.io (formerly BMT) members I'll be here after Feb. I've got sweet spots that always work. What I'm trying to do is KILL the markets as Sharky says. Because lets be real the risk vs rewards are high here. So I wanta be paid in this game otherwise I'll move on to a better one.

Quote from Warren Buffet: I 'll buy a stock to hold for a lifetime, or until a better one comes along

I might start my own thread soon, we'll see>

And as always thx for any input, this is what helps one grow. If we open our eyes and listen>>>>>>

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bluemele View Post
In my opinion it is the same with anything. 8 hours of studying is not effective... There are few people on this planet that will find 8 hours in-a-row that will be effective. Most people have 45 minute time-spans of productivity as I recall from a study a few years back that I read. Each time you have one distraction, it takes an additional 10-15 minutes to regain where you were at prior.

I believe the hours are more specific to determined with explicit focus in what you are doing. Unless this person is on the Autism scale, then I would say that his study time of those hours is probably not accurate, but who knows, just my 2 cents... I probably spend 3-4 hours per day looking at charts, studying, but to count towards my 10K would really be 1-2 hours daily for my focused trading and review and the rest of the time it is just 'playing' mentally.

If you were to give yourself 2 years with most businesses, then you will end up closing your doors a lot! But, maybe that would be the smart thing.. haha... The most successful business that I have owned have always been those that started off on fire, but I believe that is because I was chasing a trend.

Again, I know little if nothing and what I say doesn't matter, but just my understanding of the world around me.


Blue you make me smile, because we are different we can learn from each other. I have never started off a business that was on fire, I made it on fire built it from the ground up. This is my strength core structure.

I don't want this thread to get off track>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>YES to finding a mentor if he is worthy of teaching.

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  #56 (permalink)
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People are different and different people need different things in order to achieve their goals.

some need knowledge
some need experience
some need self-analysis
some need guidance
some need resources - capital, tools etc.
some need insight
some need clarity of their goals
some need discipline
some need persistance
some need method

Depending on what you need and what the potential mentor is capable of offering and willing to offer will govern if they can assist you (or will hinder you) in achieving your goals.

Only the right mentor for the right person at the right time will advance that person's progress - beyond the advancement that they would have been able to achieve without the mentor.


..........
peace, love and joy to you
.........
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  #57 (permalink)
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How do you suggest someone go about finding a mentor?

I would LOVE to be able to just watch someone work for a day or even a few hours, and be able to make a list of questions to ask later on would be a blessing.
This does not seem like something a good mentor is going to advertise, and I would not know where to begin to look for someone to approach that lives in my area. So what do you suggest??

I am getting started and I seem to have more questions now than when I started. The more I learn, the more I realize I do not know/understand.

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keving View Post
How do you suggest someone go about finding a mentor?

I would LOVE to be able to just watch someone work for a day or even a few hours, and be able to make a list of questions to ask later on would be a blessing.
This does not seem like something a good mentor is going to advertise, and I would not know where to begin to look for someone to approach that lives in my area. So what do you suggest??

I am getting started and I seem to have more questions now than when I started. The more I learn, the more I realize I do not know/understand.

Be Patient young one. A Master will find his way to you.

Here is what I would do:

1. Read every freakin journal, system, technique, indicator, robot/EA/Strategy, etc. and see what appeals to you. Take the $ symbols out of it and if these systems made no dollars EVER, what would you find that fits you personally.

For me, it was counter-trend trading as it matched up with my typical motion in life. But, I didn't realize how hard it would be...haha...

2. Next, once you identify the kind of system, trend trading/countertrend, range trading, momentum trading, price action blah blah blah... then start honing in on someone that you feel has good charts that 'sing' to you. Follow this person, read all their posts and watch them.

3. Reach out to them. Don't 'worship' them. EGO has no place for real traders and the fact that one idiot wants to worship another makes no sense. They are just people who are wrong 70% of the time...

4. Build some 'report' with them over time and they will begin to trust you and ask them to help you a little here and there. Again, don't WORSHIP THEM!

5. Continue going down that path until you have mastered the setup with your own nuances and voila... You are now at year 5 and wondering why the hell it took you so long... hahah.....

That is what I would do... Or you can pay some dude and hope for the best. I do believe that paying someone to get you started isn't a bad thing IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY and TIME and understanding that this is temporary and you probably will not be trading that system exactly like that in 2 years time.

Good luck.

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  #59 (permalink)
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Thank you for the helpful response. I realize I have a lot more reading to do still.

I am not even familiar with all of the systems you listed.

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keving View Post
Thank you for the helpful response. I realize I have a lot more reading to do still.

I am not even familiar with all of the systems you listed.

Go through this, then report back. Their forums suck, so you will end up back here. Forex Training Online: Learn Foreign Exchange (FX) Currency Trading This is a good learning guide to the basics of trading that I recommend for anyone. I still get on there to say, Duh... I forgot that...

Oh and good luck and your welcome!

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Thank you Bluemele!!
i appreciate the reply and direction. I guess I will put on some coffee and read up tonight.

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keving View Post
How do you suggest someone go about finding a mentor?

I would LOVE to be able to just watch someone work for a day or even a few hours, and be able to make a list of questions to ask later on would be a blessing.
This does not seem like something a good mentor is going to advertise,
-- I busted a gut laughing at this point!! -- exactly, my friend exactly !!!
and I would not know where to begin to look for someone to approach that lives in my area. So what do you suggest??
....

What a great question!

That is the 64 million question, IMHO.

Most of the thread seems to imply great mentors are just kicking about in the gutter waiting to get a call from "Mentors are us" referral network. - "you need a student? we can help!"

Very occasionally (only twice so far) I have heard of people getting mentors and it seemed the universe just put student and teacher together.

Trading is NOT a business, profession, skill "like any another" as educators would have you believe in their pitch.
It is very, very, different.

In something like downhill skiing you can watch a competition such as the Olympics. Everybody knows what is going to happen - who the best were last year - what constitutes winning, what the rules are, etc.
Trading is not like accounting where you have a set of knowledge and some exams to pass and you get your papers.

Its a field of posers and "wanta-a-bees" pretending they know what the things are you need to learn.

Good luck - find an extra send him to me!!

..........
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.........
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  #63 (permalink)
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aquarian1 View Post
What a great question!

That is the 64 million question, IMHO.

Most of the thread seems to imply great mentors are just kicking about in the gutter waiting to get a call from "Mentors are us" referral network. - "you need a student? we can help!"

Very occasionally (only twice so far) I have heard of people getting mentors and it seemed the universe just put student and teacher together.

Trading is NOT a business, profession, skill "like any another" as educators would have you believe in their pitch.
It is very, very, different.

In something like downhill skiing you can watch a competition such as the Olympics. Everybody knows what is going to happen - who the best were last year - what constitutes winning, what the rules are, etc.
Trading is not like accounting where you have a set of knowledge and some exams to pass and you get your papers.

Its a field of posers and "wanta-a-bees" pretending they know what the things are you need to learn.

Good luck - find an extra send him to me!!

Go attend the New York Traders Expo, take notes.
Have you heard about these traders (among others, I am leaving out at least 4 more)
  • George Kleinman
  • Don Miller
  • Jeff Quinto
  • Linda Raschke
  • Larry Pesavento
  • Timothy Morge


All of them have structured, advertised mentoring programs. Do you doubt the ability and track record of these traders? Should I expect a proven trader to come up to me and offer his services?

In an ultra comptetive world, nothing is ever going to be visible or obvious. What are you willing to do? How desperate are you?

None of above are my mentors, I do not endorse them. I have two already. it took me 3years to find them, they were not advertising anything. Human nature what it is - once you have made a subtantial amount and understand how to prtotect it (unlike Livermore, who despite being the greatest ever, was never able to protect himself), then trading by itself is boring.

Inevitably some pros start teaching, finding those pros - that have made it, been able to keep it are the ones to serach for. Not easy, not supposed to be.

Lornz and Rad already pointed it out, a mentor is not essential. That is correct. But not necessarily the correct answer for you. Take a hard objective look where you want to be in 10years, 20years, 30years. What will it take to get you there in the simplest, most structured and most effective manner? What are you willing to do?

Someone else said, either develop an edge yourself or borrow one and change it to fit yourself (with a mentor).

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  #64 (permalink)
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Deucalion View Post
Go attend the New York Traders Expo, take notes.
"Take notes" - in bold no less and directed to me. A tad condescending (perhaps even rude) don't you think?

Have you heard about these traders (among others, I am leaving out at least 4 more)
  • George Kleinman
  • Don Miller
  • Jeff Quinto
  • Linda Raschke
  • Larry Pesavento
  • Timothy Morge


All of them have structured, advertised mentoring programs. Do you doubt the ability and track record of these traders?
-Yes.

If you have read Market Wizards (there are two books) you will notice most of the people interviewed are hidden away and it was very hard to find them.

.... I have two already. it took me 3years to find them, they were not advertising anything.

Advertising was Keving question not mine. You seem to be supporting his conjecture as yours did not advertise.

Human nature what it is - once you have made a subtantial amount and understand how to prtotect it (unlike Livermore, who despite being the greatest ever, was never able to protect himself), then trading by itself is boring.

Perhaps if you're bored with being a multimillionaire you could help improve the world. There is lots to be done. No point kicking about here being bored to tears. (I am sure there are mentors who mentor because they like to give back and assist others. Boredom is the reason you have given for mentoring not mine.)

I think it is great you have found mentors able to assist you.

As I said in a previous post different people need different things. For a mentor to have been useful to you you would have had to been behind them.

Perhaps you can offer Keving some tips on how to find a mentor - that was his question to the forum.

Here's my question to you - why did you not answer his question on how to find a mentor?
--
{edit}
I believe one of the rules here at Big Mike's is to declare if you have any association with vendors. Deucalion is this a possible reason for your post "putting me in my place" - "take notes little boy" tone?
Are one of your associates planning to advertise their services here or give a seminar on their services and you feel my post might influence the success of their sales presentation?

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bluemele View Post
Go through this, then report back. Their forums suck, so you will end up back here. Forex Training Online: Learn Foreign Exchange (FX) Currency Trading This is a good learning guide to the basics of trading that I recommend for anyone. I still get on there to say, Duh... I forgot that...

Oh and good luck and your welcome!

Well, I finished reviewing the link above, twice, and it was very helpful. At times it was like drinking from a fire hydrant, but fortunately you can go back and forth in the sessions and keep up.
Thanks again for the link.

I have also found lots of info posted by Brooks on PA. I think I am starting to understand PA trading more, but still no where near able to do it well. More screen time and chart studies in my future.

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  #66 (permalink)
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keving View Post
Well, I finished reviewing the link above, twice, and it was very helpful. At times it was like drinking from a fire hydrant, but fortunately you can go back and forth in the sessions and keep up.
Thanks again for the link.

I have also found lots of info posted by Brooks on PA. I think I am starting to understand PA trading more, but still no where near able to do it well. More screen time and chart studies in my future.

I think that is the last component.

I believe when you start, 90% is technical, 10% emotional and when you end it is 90% emotional and 10% technical. But, the learning never ends on both ends....

I am glad you like the link. It has gotten better and better and good stuff. Good luck!

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Every once in a while I get asked to produce a financial radio show here in my state.
In this thread, I've held the stance that you don't need a mentor to be a successful trader.

Well what is success exactly? For a football (USA) player, is success getting into the NFL?
Or is it becoming one of the greatest NFL players ever? Or at least above average?

We can all be good at something but maybe we need a mentor to become one of the greatest
or at least better than most full time traders.

I believe everyone with an above average IQ (don't need much) has to ability to become
a full time, self employed trader. But do we want to be the regular quarterback or do we
want to become the top of our class? Mind you...regular NFL quarterbacks are still the best
of the best.

For a recent show, we had a guest on that talked about going from good to great.
Yes, I'm sure most of us have read or at least heard of the book. But that's not what
this guest focused on. He focused on taking a very talented individual and turning
him/her into something special (super freaking good) by using a mentor. Almost every single
great in history had some type of mentor or coach that helped them take it to the next level.

No matter how we trade, we can always do better. Seeing things from a different perspective/mind
may be a link to take us from good to great.

I still don't think you need a mentor to be a successful trader. But what type of trader
do you want to be? A 40k/year trader or a 400k/year trader? Do you want to be
the successful franchise restaurant owner, or the franchise restaurant owner with the largest profit margin?

I try to let go of all ego in trading. We have to. A mentor would be absolutely fantastic no matter how
advanced we are as a trader.

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  #68 (permalink)
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Massive l View Post
.. A mentor would be absolutely fantastic no matter how
advanced we are as a trader.

Yes I agree.

(I wish I could express myself as well as you have in your post. You did a good job of saying your point without getting heated responses, as I seem to get. Good post! )

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  #69 (permalink)
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I think,

Market has been biggest mentor for me. I simply discard any human being as mentor when i compare them to market in terms of "size", "flexibility" and "the fee" .
Development and progress of a trader IMO, is just similar to a new born baby...and think his surrounding as Market.
Child grow with continuous non ending observations, not limited to any specific provided by human mentor , it grows with constant collision from real surrounding obstacle with simultaneous reward and punishments for his actions and progress. Surrounding never demanded a "fee"....it was inherent as punishment. Continuing with this process at last baby grow up to a standard approved by his surrounding...it took time...some one took more and some one less.
So i pay fee to biggest mentor and im proud to have it as my mentor.

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  #70 (permalink)
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You are mistaking bluntness for condescension.


aquarian1 View Post
....I believe one of the rules here at Big Mike's is to declare if you have any association with vendors. Deucalion is this a possible reason for your post "putting me in my place" - "take notes little boy" tone?
Are one of your associates planning to advertise their services here or give a seminar on their services and you feel my post might influence the success of their sales presentation?

You have a keyboard, and a net login. And it is your choice to attack the credibility of a poster who has posted less than 60times in 3years. An agenda would have been apparent by now. Perhaps it was to provoke a response, perhaps not...

Nevertheless, its something I cannot logically respond to. I am defenceless in this matter, about what you wish to allege.

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  #71 (permalink)
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devdas View Post
I think,

Market has been biggest mentor for me. I simply discard any human being as mentor when i compare them to market in terms of "size", "flexibility" and "the fee" .
Development and progress of a trader IMO, is just similar to a new born baby...and think his surrounding as Market.
Child grow with continuous non ending observations, not limited to any specific provided by human mentor , it grows with constant collision from real surrounding obstacle with simultaneous reward and punishments for his actions and progress. Surrounding never demanded a "fee"....it was inherent as punishment. Continuing with this process at last baby grow up to a standard approved by his surrounding...it took time...some one took more and some one less.
So i pay fee to biggest mentor and im proud to have it as my mentor.

I disagree with your analogy and your belief, but that is what makes us all great.

As a new parent, there is so much in which a child is 'impacted' by daily, but the thing I realize more than ever is how deeply good parenting can in fact affect the perception of that 'collision' and how they interpret and mold future response to these events.

Parents COULD BE MENTORS, but most choose to not apply themselves and to me, a parent's #1 roll is as MENTOR, ROLE MODEL, etc..

You can take any other profession and you see them have success:

Pizza Rest. = Pappa Johns, Domino's dude's
Oil = Lamar Hunt, J. Paul Getty
Dresses = Vera Wang
etc..

etc...

etc....

Trading is the only business I know that you never meet or see or rub elbows with guys that you actually KNOW made those results. I have met PRO NFL players, MLB, NBA, BJJ/MMA, etc..

Sooooo...... Having a mentor can be a great addition to someone who may doubt their own success or path. Modeling in my opinion is the quickest way to stand on the shoulders of giants and skip a lot of bullshit.

I am sure I most likely will get some 'bravado' back, "What, doubts.. I never had those, I am one badass dude, didn't I tell you that..."

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  #72 (permalink)
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I have been working on the problem of how I can get educated/trained as a trader and in the process of doing research for that, I have stumbled upon this great website. Much appreciation to Mike for a great undertaking.



Question: What is it that most successful sports figures and business people have had?
  • Answer: Some sort of formal, structured, intensive, long term education.
Question: What is the difference between a mentor and a coach?
  • Answer: I don't want to and won't get into a debate on the semantics of these two words. It should be sufficient to say that the words don't mean the same thing although there may be similarities. To make this easier I will not provide a definition for mentor. I will however provide a working definition for the concept of a coach. I use the term working definition because this is not an 'absolute' definition but simply this is what I mean.
The best way for me to convey the first part of this is to refer simply to what I think most people will understand when they think of a coach in the professional sports environment, whether that be for a team (e.g. football) or for an individual (e.g. golf). I have not (yet) found anyone in trading who would measure up to that. Just take a few minutes to think what such a coach does and has his students do.

The second part relates to a more formal environment like university. If you have read many books on trading you will have probably seen it said that you would never have surgery by or go on a plane piloted by someone that has read some books and had a mentor. Yet that is what most of us traders do.

So here's the challenge. How do I, how do we get ourselves trained/educated in a way similar to a professional sports person or business professional?

I am looking to find out if there are many people who see this the way I do. Who knows where it might go from there?

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  #73 (permalink)
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bluemele View Post
....
I am sure I most likely will get some 'bravado' back, "What, doubts.. I never had those, I am one badass dude, didn't I tell you that..."


Well , i cant disagree totally with ur parenting...

I would say, consider the Parents also the part of Surrounding ( Market ) and their affection and care towards baby as frequent "Reward".

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  #74 (permalink)
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@gcaldridge

I agree that coaches and mentors are two different things, although, a coach
can be a mentor at the same time. Not all coaches are mentors, but the ones
that bring out talent that the individual might not have believed he had would
be considered mentors in my book.

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  #75 (permalink)
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Massive l View Post
@gcaldridge

I agree that coaches and mentors are two different things, although, a coach
can be a mentor at the same time. Not all coaches are mentors, but the ones
that bring out talent that the individual might not have believed he had would
be considered mentors in my book.

To me, Mentor is someone who walks the walk and guides that person to creating those habits within themselves.

A coach is someone who rah rah rah, you are supposed to do this, you are supposed to do that, but do not do it themselves or would fail to achieve those results.

mentor = modelling via attached direction (replicating, copying, wanna be like Mike...)
coach = guidance through unattached direction (person who brings the best out, those who can't do, teach...)

What we find is 'coaches' pretending to be 'mentors'.

I think if you are a good trader, coaches are probably what you need for mental game.

If you are not yet successful, a mentor can be a great gap leap.

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  #76 (permalink)
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Here's an example of how a coach can also be a mentor.
This is just one example out of many throughout sports.

Tom Brady's mentor is/was also coincidentally his community college football coach.
Tom Brady’s mentor given a week-to-month to live - Shutdown Corner - NFLBlog - Yahoo! Sports

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Deucalion View Post
Go attend the New York Traders Expo, take notes.
Have you heard about these traders (among others, I am leaving out at least 4 more)
  • George Kleinman
  • Don Miller
  • Jeff Quinto
  • Linda Raschke
  • Larry Pesavento
  • Timothy Morge


...

just in time I will hunt them down.

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  #78 (permalink)
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bluemele View Post
To me, Mentor is someone who walks the walk and guides that person to creating those habits within themselves.

A coach is someone who rah rah rah, you are supposed to do this, you are supposed to do that, but do not do it themselves or would fail to achieve those results.

mentor = modelling via attached direction (replicating, copying, wanna be like Mike...)
coach = guidance through unattached direction (person who brings the best out, those who can't do, teach...)

What we find is 'coaches' pretending to be 'mentors'.

I think if you are a good trader, coaches are probably what you need for mental game.

If you are not yet successful, a mentor can be a great gap leap.


I think it is sufficient to agree that there is some fundamental difference between a coach and a mentor. After that we can argue definition until .....

The way I like to think of a coach is exactly the way we think of a coach in professional sports. Their job is to make you do what you have to do to perform. Can you imagine how a professional sports team would do with a mentor?

My point is this and I hope it is simple. If you can't do it yourself then you can try a mentor and if that doesn't work you probably need a coach - to tell you what to do, when to do it, how to do it, etc. Changing your behavior requires (seemingly) endless repetition of the basic activies/skills that eventually will make you a success - whether that is football, baseball, golf, playing piano, surgery or trading. Sure not everyone needs a coach but for those that do, I don't see any out there.

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  #79 (permalink)
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Massive l View Post
No, a mentor is not needed to be successful (consecutive + monthly/yearly returns) at trading.
There is nothing magical about trading that hasn't been already exposed.
A mentor is merely a guide that may shorten the learning curve.
You have to find it within yourself to be successful at this game.

There's lots and lots of traders that sign up for mentorship programs that
are still unable to turn consistent profits.

There are also lots of extremely intelligent programmers that are still
unable to turn consistent profits.

Then there are the 23-29 year old skateboarder types
that figure out a way to get their slice.

Crazy, isn't it?

No a mentor (or a coach) is not necessary to be successful. The key word is necessary.

It should be rephrased as "A mentor is not necessary for everyone to be successful". However, since 95% of traders are not successful might that be a clue that something else is necessary?

I would think that is not necessary for everyone to have a mentor/coach/teacher etc. to be a successful surgeon but I should would hate to go under the knife with those 19 out of 20 who didn't go through the rigor of medical training. Every profession I can think of needs formal, long term training. Why is that traders think they don't?

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gcaldridge View Post
No a mentor (or a coach) is not necessary to be successful. The key word is necessary.

It should be rephrased as "A mentor is not necessary for everyone to be successful". However, since 95% of traders are not successful might that be a clue that something else is necessary?

I would think that is not necessary for everyone to have a mentor/coach/teacher etc. to be a successful surgeon but I should would hate to go under the knife with those 19 out of 20 who didn't go through the rigor of medical training. Every profession I can think of needs formal, long term training. Why is that traders think they don't?

Most traders think they will find a mechanical solution to trading. An "if a = y and b= z then go short" sort of thing.

So, they don't learn how to trade, they look for the solution.

Once armed with that solution, they simply trade it repeatedly and the bank fills.

I think this is why people don't look at it like a career.

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  #81 (permalink)
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Heres the problem.

Like so many infomercial type adds to make money off the markets there must be even more people offering mentorship.
Any one who tries there hand at trading learns quite a bit that in theory should work but just doesnt.

Each one of these people that fail and loose money find them selves in a sticky situation.

Having not worked and being out of the real world for so long trying to decode the markets leaves one lost as to what to do.

The easy choice is to become a mentor. Since you have a good understanding of what should work theoretically you jsut repeat that. Also since there charts with there channels look so good they tend to get a flew of support and good words backing up their reputation.

Then all you have to say is what the 1% of real mentors say. I do it cause i get bored trading or i like to help people ect.

There is no way to know who is good or not and going by ref feral is probably the worst thing.

I have never had a mentor. And for this reason I will not get one. I would really love to have one that can increase my profits and all but it seems like the secrets of trading are always very complex and even if it is given to you you may still fail.

I think it is really unjust to the real mentors ( if there are actually people that make tones of money but are willing to slow down their life to help you .

The secret of trading is knowing how to filter through information and find what is relevant. A mentor that is one of the hardest things to filter out for me.

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  #82 (permalink)
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kbit View Post
I also think a mentor is not required, it would be very helpful though if you had one providing you KNOW that he is a good trader and makes money. I think you almost have to know someone who is a trader ahead of time.
With all the crooks and frauds and lunatics out there that greatly outnumber the legit guys your odds of finding a good mentor are so small that your better off alone if you don't already know someone. You just have to do a lot of homework and study and spend time conversing with fellow traders at futures.io (formerly BMT)...


Amen to that. on the last forum I was with I had a few people following my journal. Out of the kindness of there hart they were guiding me. using non live trades they showed me that what they were saying could only be done after the fact. When questioned they would site rules that were inconsistent but would explain why they did some thing.

Logically a profitable trader would have better things to do then sit around and help people. Not that they are mean people, but explaing some thing to some one that thinks you may be out to get his money isnt the best way a trader can give charity.

Some had a long history on that forum. some were brand new to the forum.

But the question was who were these people?

They are people that learnt alot, as you have. Im sure you can have gathered enough information to make your self feel like you have an edge and that is why you started trading.

So that information can be sold. Now buying advertising market is very competative and costly.
these guys lost alot of money and want to make some money back. they probably lost everyinthing they have and there wife and kids are getting hungry. What to do ?

They may have been ripped of by a bad mentor and have learnt how to express intrest in some ones journal for just the right amount of time and then disapearing.

They knew that the people that came to this forum were immune to advertising and being asked for money. So they dont ask. they give you bone. and make you ask. then they got you for multiple times the money that you would if you were asked for money. And yes learning is a long process so keep your wallet open. you lost it all. go get a second morgage cause your already screwed and have nothing to loose.

there are marketers that send out 1000 adds and 1 buys.

then there are marketers that send out 10 "adds" and 1 buys.

risk to reward ratios.

the risk of the guy who sends out 1000 adds is the cost. say its 50$ but his service sells for 100$

the risk to reward of the forum guy was 0 risk as cost is just his time. The return is high. but the time factor is very limiting. but once they catch a fish its over.

and dont think you can spot them. I could be one while i sit here and complain about them. you really cant tell.

Funny thing maybe one day i will "get it" and want to help some one, imagine how hard it would be when i am surrounded by people that failed and trying to recoup losses?

I would expect some one to line up. but they wouldn't. cause they probably already lined up and got stung with some one else.

a good mentor may be out there. but its a matter of time before he feels like people dont want to listen.

there profit in motoring. While on the other forum I once asked some one that appeared to be helping me and he quoted me 10,000$.

There was no way to tell the good from the bad on that site. and logic tells that for every good trader there were probably 100 failed ones trying to recoup there money. It was a much bigger forum and was used as a free advertising site more then to help some one trading.

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  #83 (permalink)
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I have been following this thread for a while and this is what I have seen:

1) Most people think mentors are either well intentioned but incompetent or people trying to make money mentoring because they couldn't make it trading.
2) Some people think that a mentor (if you can find a good one) is a good thing but it's too hard to find one.
3) I have not seen anyone who had a mentor who has talked about how successful he has become. I may have missed it but obviously there aren't enough to count.
4) Most people think you really have to do all of the work yourself.

However what I find amazing is that with a 95% failure rate, people who want to become traders haven't figured out that doing it all yourself doesn't work. If we agree that mentors are not the right solution then what else can we do to become successful traders?

Everyone knows how to lose weight and most people who try to do it by themselves fail. Even those who go to weight loss 'groups' have a high failure rate. It's not enough to know what to do and not enough to go to people who will tell you what to do.

So if doing 'it' yourself and getting a mentor are not the answers, what is?

It may be very true that you can only learn how to be a trader by yourself and the result is that you only stand a 5% chance of success. Sometimes the truth hurts.

However, I would love to hear from traders who have a new idea to present.

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  #84 (permalink)
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gcaldridge View Post

So if doing 'it' yourself and getting a mentor are not the answers, what is?

It may be very true that you can only learn how to be a trader by yourself and the result is that you only stand a 5% chance of success. Sometimes the truth hurts.

However, I would love to hear from traders who have a new idea to present.

The critical argument that 'if a + b !=c' than 'a + anything != c'. I disagree...

As stated, MENTOR != SUCCESS

MENTOR + PERSISTENCE + MENTAL CAPACITY + TIME = SUCCESS (In my opinion)

I have yet to meet a trader who has done it all by himself without a mentor/coach in a longer or shorter amount of time. Heck, I have yet to personally meet any truly 'successful' traders (I mean earn more than 500K per year from trading (NOT VENDING!))


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  #85 (permalink)
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In my opinion a mentor can be helpful but it is not a guarantee of your success. A mentor can guide you in a right direction but is it the right direction for you?

We're all different and you may find a mentor that is a very successful trader to teach you their trading method/system. But is it compatible with your personality? If not, you probably won't be successful even with a successful method/system. At the end of the day it is still up to you to pull the trigger or not.

Based on my own experience it seems that a mentor will be more helpful to you after you have fumbled your way around trading for a while only to find out how difficult it is and to discover your likes and dislikes and what works best for you. Even though I've bought methods/systems that were successfully traded by others I always thought I could make them better than they were and wasted a lot of time proving that I couldn't.

I am working with someone now trying to learn a new style of trading. It is causing me to unlearn and rethink a lot of what I had learned and believed before. Hopefully, this will be what I have been looking for all the time.

Best to all seeking success at trading.

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  #86 (permalink)
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bluemele View Post
The critical argument that 'if a + b !=c' than 'a + anything != c'. I disagree...

As stated, MENTOR != SUCCESS

MENTOR + PERSISTENCE + MENTAL CAPACITY + TIME = SUCCESS (In my opinion)

I have yet to meet a trader who has done it all by himself without a mentor/coach in a longer or shorter amount of time. Heck, I have yet to personally meet any truly 'successful' traders (I mean earn more than 500K per year from trading (NOT VENDING!))


I can accept that equation so let's look at the variables:

Mental capacity: I have seen many 'opinions' that you don't have to be above average to win at trading. Besides which you really can't do anything about it.

Time: There is a finite amount of time anyone has available. If you make all the time available that you possibly can then you are left with the last two variables.

Persistence: Absolutely agree that Persistance (plus discipline, patience, etc.) are essential. Many of us, including myself (or maybe it's only me ) are not good at this. Improving this personal trait is very difficult because it takes persistence to learn persistence. This is a little like pulling yourself up by your own socks. Regardless, improving persistence and the other traits, is essential to successful trading. So how do you do that?

Mentoring: Assuming you can find a legitimate skilled Mentor/Coach what do you expect of him/her and why will what he does make you change?

I will leave that last question as the challenge to further responses.

I encourage people to venture (new) ideas.

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  #87 (permalink)
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gcaldridge View Post

Mentoring: Assuming you can find a legitimate skilled Mentor/Coach what do you expect of him/her and why will what he does make you change?

I will leave that last question as the challenge to further responses.

I encourage people to venture (new) ideas.

Great Question....

1. I expect them to see or understand me as a person.

2. I expect them to see how I am interpreting the market and how that does not serve me.

3. I expect them to have expertise to guide me to the holy land of consistent profitability.

OR----

1. I expect them to show me a path that they chose and continue to do daily.

2. I expect them to allow me to chime in and ask questions as to why certain trades were taken or evaluated etc..

3. I expect them to be open, honest with themselves and me.

I think you could break them up in emotional and physical mentoring or both.

I hope this make some sense... (This would be for a paying mentor by the way which to me is really not the best mentor to have)

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  #88 (permalink)
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There is nothing a mentor can teach you that you can't find for free online. If you're good with Google, save your money.

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  #89 (permalink)
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Hello traitor,

A mentor can help!

When I started trying to trade (over 5 years ago) I was exploring various classic indicators for entry and exit - I failed miserably.

My entry was usually good - my exit sucked - I had know Idea why.

I employed a mentor. The guy had a good trading method, but more importantly, I learned a lot tricks that I never considered - the most important of which is trade management and risk analysis.

We spent a lot of time understanding what the tape was saying, understanding market conditions, qualifying setups, etc.

Working with a person that knew how to successfully trade made all the difference in the world.

I don't use his system anymore - I have several systems now - I do use trade management and risk analysis extensively - and I am constantly looking for ways to classify and take advantage of changing market conditions.

I would not have made it without a mentor.

If you decide to go this direction - find a person that can work with you one-on-one.

,...Gustav

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  #90 (permalink)
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good thread...lots of words of wisdom. Very good gentlemen

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PeterOhlson View Post
There is nothing a mentor can teach you that you can't find for free online. If you're good with Google, save your money.

THIS IS EXACTLY WHY 95% OF TRADERS LOSE MONEY! (Capitals intended - showing my frustration.)

If you're one of the 5% I congratulate you. If you aren't then follow this advice so the 5% can feed off you.

I suppose someone can do the same to learn to be a pilot or a surgeon or a golfer. I just cross my fingers I'm not on the that person's flight or under their knife and it doesn't matter if they golf.

I don't advocate using a mentor although an excellent one will help. I maintain you need a full blown coach or 'professor' and a disciplined, formal approach to learning. One training 'guru' says that trading is simple but not easy. I happen to agree with him. People who think it is both simple and easy are the victims.

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gcaldridge View Post
THIS IS EXACTLY WHY 95% OF TRADERS LOSE MONEY! (Capitals intended - showing my frustration.)

If you're one of the 5% I congratulate you. If you aren't then follow this advice so the 5% can feed off you.

I suppose someone can do the same to learn to be a pilot or a surgeon or a golfer. I just cross my fingers I'm not on the that person's flight or under their knife and it doesn't matter if they golf.

I don't advocate using a mentor although an excellent one will help. I maintain you need a full blown coach or 'professor' and a disciplined, formal approach to learning. One training 'guru' says that trading is simple but not easy. I happen to agree with him. People who think it is both simple and easy are the victims.

Actually there is a vast difference between formal education and trading mentoring. Formal education uses carefully planned and regulated curriculums, and the teachers are required to have an actual, proven education in the field they are going to teach.

In the unregulated business of "trading mentoring" on the other hand, anyone with some photoshop and marketing skills can become a "teacher". Precisely why the field is full of scam artists. Imagine if other fields had a similar degree of regulation. I sure as hell wouldn't go to a surgeon who has learned "how to operate a heart" in a $2000 online course.

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  #93 (permalink)
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PeterOhlson View Post
Actually there is a vast difference between formal education and trading mentoring. Formal education uses carefully planned and regulated curriculums, and the teachers are required to have an actual, proven education in the field they are going to teach.

In the unregulated business of "trading mentoring" on the other hand, anyone with some photoshop and marketing skills can become a "teacher". Precisely why the field is full of scam artists. Imagine if other fields had a similar degree of regulation. I sure as hell wouldn't go to a surgeon who has learned "how to operate a heart" in a $2000 online course.

I absolutely agree with you about the existing gulf between formal education and 'trading mentoring'. I have been trying to get the message across that, since formal education is not likely to happen any where fast enough, the next best thing is 'formal coaching' (i.e. like a coach for a sports team). I will state bluntly that mentoring simply won't work for the majority of people learning to trade. This poses the question of what might work.

The other problem I see other than the lack of formal education is the huge lack of understanding that in order to learn something difficult you need guidance(disciplined coaching) and a lot of disciplined repetition. It is that disciplined repetition that sports coaches and formal education like university provide. Learning to trade successfully requires a major change in behavior and learning of skills that most of us don't have today. This in turn requires a lot of hard, possibly tedious work. Unfortunately I continually see and hear people say that all you have to do is read and listen to what is available on the web and in books. Sadly untrue!

I would love to hear from anyone who acknowledges that need for hard work. The challenge is then to have a curriculum and a coach who really does know how to coach.

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  #94 (permalink)
San Jose, CA
 
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There have been a number of golfers who have played at the highest levels who were/are almost completely self-taught. You can certainly become a very good golfer without lessons. I think golf is the better analogy because it is something that involves a lot of failure. I personally think it is not helpful to compare trading to a pilot or surgeon because those jobs can't very easily be learned through trial and error.

For myself, I use the google method and it is working out ok so far.

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  #95 (permalink)
port charlotte, florida
 
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Jolew View Post
There have been a number of golfers who have played at the highest levels who were/are almost completely self-taught. You can certainly become a very good golfer without lessons. I think golf is the better analogy because it is something that involves a lot of failure. I personally think it is not helpful to compare trading to a pilot or surgeon because those jobs can't very easily be learned through trial and error.

For myself, I use the google method and it is working out ok so far.

First, you can never argue with success. Whatever works for you is perfect.

I also agree that there are some golfers who have reached the highest levels without coaching. These would be equivalent to the 5% of traders who make it mainly by themselves. I acknowledge, applaud and congratulate those people.

I started a document comparing how various other professionals learn to be successful. I compared team sports, golf, tennis, doctors, pilots and black jack players and poker players. No single profession is a perfect match for trading. I agree that golf has some major similarities and if we just changed it a bit where the other players get to move the ball as you are trying to swing it would come closer .

In many ways the poker player is the closest and like trading I suspect that only 95% become successful (if that) and most or all of them learned by themselves.

Now the question is what do we do about the other 95% or even just the next 5% who aren't making it today. What is available today and/or what they are doing is not working. Something else is needed and if the answer to this was easy we wouldn't be having this conversation.

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  #96 (permalink)
near Paris, France
 
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Perhaps one of the specificity of the trading is that it is nearly impossible to identify a mentor (not a member of the 98% scam + an experienced trader + willing to mentor + not willing to impose his/her style of trading, but willing to help a less experienced trader to develop his/her own style with which he/she will be confident + etc.).

If some one has found this kind of mentor, I am convinced that it is highly useful.

But, for all the other aspiring traders, we must find ways to develop without mentors. For me, it is just an unfortunate fact, but a fact. And some methods do exist.
To name but a few:
- Read and contribute to futures.io (formerly BMT)
- Keep a public journal
- Deliberate practice ( )
- "Become your own trading coach" (Steenbarger, )
- etc.

Just my opinion.

Nicolas

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  #97 (permalink)
Northern Germany
 
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Jolew View Post
.....I personally think it is not helpful to compare trading to a pilot or surgeon because those jobs can't very easily be learned through trial and error....

Surgeon would (theoretically) be possible, pilot rather not...

Vvhg


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  #98 (permalink)
Northern Germany
 
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gcaldridge View Post
Now the question is what do we do about the other 95% or even just the next 5% who aren't making it today. What is available today and/or what they are doing is not working. Something else is needed and if the answer to this was easy we wouldn't be having this conversation.


I think it is not that you either make it or not, are a good trader or not. You have to be among the best to make money, meaning a large precentage will loose come what will, nobody cares how good they are in absolute terms. At the end of the day it is a zero sum game, so you need all the people loosing money for the best to feed on.

Vvhg

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  #99 (permalink)
port charlotte, florida
 
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Nicolas11 View Post
Perhaps one of the specificity of the trading is that it is nearly impossible to identify a mentor (not a member of the 98% scam + an experienced trader + willing to mentor + not willing to impose his/her style of trading, but willing to help a less experienced trader to develop his/her own style with which he/she will be confident + etc.).

If some one has found this kind of mentor, I am convinced that it is highly useful.

But, for all the other aspiring traders, we must find ways to develop without mentors. For me, it is just an unfortunate fact, but a fact. And some methods do exist.
To name but a few:
- Read and contribute to futures.io (formerly BMT)
- Keep a public journal
- Deliberate practice ( )
- "Become your own trading coach" (Steenbarger, )
- etc.

Just my opinion.

Nicolas

Nicolas:

Your thoughts are really appreciated and I believe are very valid (within the constraints you have identified). For you and for everyone else who reads this, this is not 'just' your opinion. This belittles the value of what you believe and are offering. However, it is always true that what we offer is always opinion (unless we are quoting someone else) so there is no need for any of us to state that is an opinion. IMO

One of the main points you make that I agree with is that it is nearly impossible to find a 'real' mentor. I also agree with your points about how you can try and become a successful trader.

As I have been contributing to this thread it has finally occurred to me that the population of successful traders doesn't really want anyone learning to be successful. This would be like lions helping tigers how to hunt gazelles. Of course, that is an interesting comparison, since many predators do try to make sure their competition does not succeed.

So, once again, the challenge I am trying to address is that if you can't find a mentor and you can't do it yourself, what is the solution? I think we need to get outside the box.

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  #100 (permalink)
port charlotte, florida
 
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vvhg View Post
I think it is not that you either make it or not, are a good trader or not. You have to be among the best to make money, meaning a large precentage will loose come what will, nobody cares how good they are in absolute terms. At the end of the day it is a zero sum game, so you need all the people loosing money for the best to feed on.

Vvhg

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I should have read your response before my last one. You hit the nail on the head about needing to be at the top of the food chain. It doesn't matter how good you are in absolute terms, you have to be at the relative top.

So, I'll get personal about this. I'm not one of the lions today, not one of the 95%. I haven't been eaten yet but I have some wounds. I may not be able to get to that 5% that feed off the 95% but I would be okay with shifting the balance so that 6% (or more) eat off 94% (or less). I can then be part of the 6%. (Note: these numbers are all just for examples. Nobody should pay any attention to the absolute values.)

If enough of the lion's food or competition get together we can move that dividing line between hunter and hunted. The world is so big and so few people think they can change, I'm not worried that the 95% are all going to think like this. I'm only expecting a relatively small number of people will show interest in this.

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