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Do you believe in trading mentors?
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Do you believe in trading mentors?

  #1 (permalink)
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Do you believe in trading mentors?

Hi guys,

Please vote and discuss:

Do you believe in "trading mentors"?

Total votes: 520
 


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  #2 (permalink)
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The day trading markets have become too rapid for approaches of the past. You have to learn by yourself what works today.


Last edited by randk10; July 14th, 2018 at 02:06 PM. Reason: I was asked top comment
 
  #3 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
Hi guys,

Please vote and discuss:



Mike

I have not voted, simply because I am on the fence on this one.


But it gives me the opportunity to ask the question to see what others think: is it really true that those who can't do teach? And does it really matter?

Once I read that some of the world's greatest choreographers were failed dancers. I don't recall the source and this may be one of those myths, but if it were true, would it put to rest the notion that successful mentoring must come from successful traders?

In other words, if someone were to be a great enabler of other people's success, even if he/she could not succeed in the first place, would it matter?

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  #4 (permalink)
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I think finding a "good" mentor is very akin to finding one's own trading style; what works for some may not work for others. I've only ever had one, fortunately it has been a fit. Finding that person has accelerated the learning process for me, helped me develop my own method by finding strategies that resonate and make sense, and developing a more complete picture of the market as a whole. Having someone with more experience as a guide and sounding board has been awesome.

No question I have benefited from the relationship greatly; not just from a trading standpoint but personally as well. It's been very enlightening.

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  #5 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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@xplorer

Well, let's look at other fields: in all other fields, those who are experienced teach those who are lesser experience. However, it is also true that someone at their best will probably prioritize their own trading and only seek to teach those who are most capable.

Your next question is do you really need to be able to trade to mentor/teach. I think the answer is yes but with some caveats. If you are teaching the mechanics of trading or trading cognition then at a minimum you should be able to demonstrate edge in a simulator. Some traders may be good paper traders but not live traders. Can you learn from those traders? I see no reason not provided they are honest and using realistic simulators.

On the other hand, this gets at something more basic. Is being profitable in the simulator and having a technique all there is to being a successful trader? Clearly not. There are more intrinsic matters. For example, even a highly skill paper trader may not be able to truly empathize with a trader who is having a losing streak with real money unless they have experienced the same. You can also have the skills to develop a working system but lack the motivation to trade it.

I think you can also have general or life coaches. This could be useful when you know what you need to do (could be my case) but just need to take the steps. In this case, the trader is not really seeking technique. Also, in this case, if I were to seek a mentor I would seek a mentor who excelled in some other activity. They do not need to know anything about trading and it may even be preferable that they don't. This type of coaching isn't about teaching you how to trade but about getting you to do the stuff you already know you need to do.

It is important to notice what is required for someone to be a trader. You need (1) capital, (2) motivation/will to trade/risk seeking, and (3) skill/edge to be successful. Whether or not to consider capital is an edge is a question but if you do not consider it an edge then you the skill must be a major part of the edge. So, if a trader lacks any of the 3 requirements then they cannot be a successful trader but they could teach because they could have edge/skill.

So, can you learn to trade from a great paper trader? Sure, you can. Can you learn to build systems from traders/developers who don't trade their own systems and can such developers outperform even traders who build and trade their own systems? Sure, it is not even unlikely. Think about it: do you think most professional system developers trade their own systems or do they work in teams at hedge funds? Probably they work in teams and do not trade their own systems-- at least not in a retail sense. Can a performance coach, someone who excelled in something unrelated such as chess, help you improve your trading? Sure.

On the other hand, if you could find a mentor who traded over sufficient time (greater than say 4 years) and produced significant returns (greater than say 200k per year), there is a higher probability you could model your trading business around their model. It doesn't mean they are the best system developer or the best trader though.

Could you have multiple mentors? Sure you could. You could learn cognition from the paper trader, life organization and work ethic from the life coach, and business modeling from the real money trader.


xplorer View Post
I have not voted, simply because I am on the fence on this one.

But it gives me the opportunity to ask the question to see what others think: is it really true that those who can't do teach? And does it really matter?

Once I read that some of the world's greatest choreographers were failed dancers. I don't recall the source and this may be one of those myths, but if it were true, would it put to rest the notion that successful mentoring must come from successful traders?

In other words, if someone were to be a great enabler of other people's success, even if he/she could not succeed in the first place, would it matter?


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  #6 (permalink)
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Thanks @tpredictor

As for paper trading mentors, they must have least gone through the motion of live trading a few hundred times to be able to empathize. Who knows, maybe even having blown an account or two.

But my point is more a philosophical one, that's why I wanted to abstract from the field of trading and ask a more general question:
  • If I am a vocal coach and some of the people I teach end up being great superstars, should I have been a superstar myself?

  • If I could mentor somebody to be a great public speaker, is it essential that I was a great public speaker myself?

  • What about school teachers? I'm sure there are some great school teachers that have inspired hundreds of pupils. How critical is that they were good in their field, provided that they were successfully developing kids regardless of their own success?

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  #7 (permalink)
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I also want to flip my original question on its head:


How many people (including traders) are great at what they do but suck at teaching?

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  #8 (permalink)
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Don't need a mentor if you visit the forum. It's all here.

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I think having a mentor is a good thing. Wish I had one. Sadly I walk my path alone but every yin has a yang and the awesome fio archives are a great substitute.

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Massive l View Post
Don't need a mentor if you visit the forum. It's all here.

I wholeheartedly agree with this. In my case, having one has helped shorten the learning curve because they were willing to share their experience with me and it jived.

I've also been mentoring under @Grantx on the side

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