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Do you believe in trading mentors?


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Do you believe in trading mentors?

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  #1 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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Hi guys,

Please vote and discuss:

Do you believe in "trading mentors"?

Total votes: 520
 


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 xplorer 
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Big Mike View Post
Hi guys,

Please vote and discuss:

Do you believe in "trading mentors"?

Total votes: 520
 


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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 Rrrracer 
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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)
 tpredictor 
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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)
 xplorer 
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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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 xplorer 
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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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 Massive l 
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Don't need a mentor if you visit the forum. It's all here.

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 Grantx 
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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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 tpredictor 
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@xplorer Right, I think a great mentor should be able to demonstrate excellence in at least one aspect (one or more). However, it does not mean that they need to be a superstar because being a superstar is a combination of business savvy, marketing skills, persona/looks, and some luck. So, the answer is that a vocal coach doesn't need to look like a superstar, doesn't need to be a superstar, but ideally they can sing like one. It may just be they have different "priorities" and this is easy to see when we see priority as a function over time that can ebb and flow. Speaking of qualities, there are cases when someone can teach that doesn't have the quality required to be successful. A coach may have knowledge but not the athletic ability to compete, an older performer might have the knowledge/expertise to be vocal trainer but no longer physically able to perform at the same level, a paper trader may have the skills but lack sufficient psychology or capital.

The amount of experience required is a function of the specificity of the training. For example, if you're at a certain point in your trading where you know what you need to do. You could receive mentoring from a chess, video game, or memory expert. Sure, absolutely.

Expertise, knowledge, motivation, and resources are going to be the determining factors for trading or business success. These can be viewed as "qualities". An independent trader or entrepreneur needs to have the quality and capability of being willing to take risk. On the other hand, a trader at a prop firm or hedge fund only needs to have the knowledge and expertise. They do not need to possess the same degree of qualities. A teacher at a top business school, doesn't require to have the "quality" of the drive to succeed in business.

The one aspect that someone who has extensive real money experience and success can provide is the experience of having modeled and built a successful trading business. This is a different type of experience. If the mentors methods are applicable to your resources and strength then having that ability to model your business in that way would be invaluable.

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 teamtc247 
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Yes, mentors are important. They can walk you through the process and give the small details. Many so called mentors out there are fake, and are just pushing education. Most trader educators aren't real traders. There is a ton of money to be made on new traders. Forums and youtube you can learn a ton of bad habits. Everyone has their way, struggle alone, or find someone that will cut down the learning curve. You can lose a ton of money learning on your own or spend 5k or less to learn the right way. I tried someone on the webinar section for a couple of months all they were was pushing concepts and didn't provide feedback on trades. So it all depends on what the person wants. You still need time watching the ebb and flow. You can still be mentored and still fail...

Process oriented goals #1.
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 DavidHP 
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xplorer View Post
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?

My answer was "No, you must learn yourself to benefit".

Mentors CAN be helpful but usually are not a great benefit unless they REVEAL the trader inside you.

I think of Brett Steenbarger, he admits he is not the greatest trader but he mentors many traders.
His benefit is teaching the trader to get his feelings out of the way of trading successfully.

Someone like Mark Douglas was both successful trading and teaching others his techniques.
(that is not to say they were successful but Mark taught them to think and trade his techniques)

Other 'master' traders can trade and make tons of $$ but could not teach you anything about how they do it.

So the answer is:
It depends.

Some can teach, some can trade, some can teach and trade and others can't do either but they still take clients.

I still think my answer is the best.
If someone teaches you to trade their method, did you really learn to trade? Or are you just a robot?

The problem with almost ALL of the mentors is greed.
They want to make $$ and so do their clients.
After they teach you to trade, you don't need them any more.
The $$ they make from you stops if you become successful.
Do they really want you to learn?

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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

I agree, a good mentor will shorten the learning curve so you don't end up losing 6 figures+ and years of life.

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 iantg 
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From my perspective every successful trader will have their own flavor of secret sauce and if you can come across someone willing to share.... there you go.

But, having said that, there are just as many if not more snake oil salesman in the trading guru space.

Ian

In the analytical world there is no such thing as art, there is only the science you know and the science you don't know. Characterizing the science you don't know as "art" is a fools game.
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 xplorer 
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DavidHP View Post
If someone teaches you to trade their method, did you really learn to trade? Or are you just a robot?


iantg View Post
From my perspective every successful trader will have their own flavor of secret sauce and if you can come across someone willing to share.... there you go.

From the quotes above it - unless I'm misinterpreting - sounds like you guys are talking about mentors as people who teach a method.

For me, that's not mentoring.


Just about anyone could teach a method they themselves know. Mentoring is about opening up doors for you, doors that were either closed or invisible to you. Mentors will tell you that you need to walk through the door yourself, but their added value is showing you the path.

There's a difference between this and teaching just a method.

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 tpredictor 
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@xplorer Good insight. A quick search on the difference in mentoring, coaching, and training reveals some of the nuance differences:

Mentoring: Typically informal to semi-formal, long term, mentor requires expert knowledge, depth, and breadth of experience. Agenda is typically mentee led with mentor helping to mold, shape, and focus beliefs over a long term. Focus is broad and long term. Growing/building. Researching, building, exploring, growing.

Coaching: Short term, structured, goals based, task based. Formal relationship. Outcome based focus. Process transfer. Doing, organizing, prioritizing, scheduling.

Teacher/trainer: Subject matter expert. Training is the shortest and most specific. Narrow focus. Skills transfer. Learning, studying, training, practicing.

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 DavidHP 
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Maybe a new thread for this should be created so we don't hijack Mike's?


xplorer View Post
From the quotes above it - unless I'm misinterpreting - sounds like you guys are talking about mentors as people who teach a method.

For me, that's not mentoring.


Just about anyone could teach a method they themselves know. Mentoring is about opening up doors for you, doors that were either closed or invisible to you. Mentors will tell you that you need to walk through the door yourself, but their added value is showing you the path.

There's a difference between this and teaching just a method.

Maybe so, but as a trader that has had both mentors, teachers and professors, I find they all have 'methods' they teach.
It may just be the teachers/mentors I had but none of them were Spock.
They could not separate themselves from their bias, methods that worked for them and the area of their experience.

In school/college I also had many mentors/teachers/professors. They all taught the things they knew. I think it would be difficult or impossible to mentor someone in an area where there was no experience. If attempted, they are teaching / mentoring someone's experience other than their own and that may be possible but is it really valuable?

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 ratfink 
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My son's best mentor was a history teacher who used to talk to the class about beer, girls and cricket.

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 DavidHP 
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ratfink View Post
My son's best mentor was a history teacher who used to talk to the class about beer, girls and cricket.

Obviously something he had a lot of experience with.

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 Grantx 
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xplorer View Post
From the quotes above it - unless I'm misinterpreting - sounds like you guys are talking about mentors as people who teach a method.

For me, that's not mentoring.


Just about anyone could teach a method they themselves know. Mentoring is about opening up doors for you, doors that were either closed or invisible to you. Mentors will tell you that you need to walk through the door yourself, but their added value is showing you the path.

There's a difference between this and teaching just a method.

I agree 100%. It's not about teaching any particular method but rather guiding a student to a place where they experience their own epiphany.
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

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 teamtc247 
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Additonal thoughts on a mentor and advice for finding one.

A true mentor doesn't want you to be relient on them, they want you to fly. A true mentor finds pride in seeing you succeed. A mentor is much more than a person that teaches strategy.

In terms of the money, everyone wants everything for free, or at such a little cost. Ask yourself, what is your hourly rate? Money is just energy, so if you could find that person that could put you on the right path and help you reach your ultimate goal at a reasonable cost would you?

A good mentor and education with weekly sessions for a year would probably cost less than 10k USD, not paid all at once. Anyone advocating for one time payments, stay clear.

Write the costs off as an expense.

It wouldn't even take the full year to turn a profit, if you had knowledge of basic concepts and screen time.

Ask yourself, how much did you pay for your college/university education that you finished or didn't, or trade school? Or how much tuition have you paid the market so far(time is money)?

Likely more than 10k.

Most mentors will have a free one on one call and will screen you before starting to ensure you are a good fit, and if you're not working out, will cut it off.

Lastly, if you're considering a mentorship do your due dilgence. LinkedIn, peered reviewed articles, web stock them, don't click on the first google link. Attend a webinar, stay clear from people advocating 100 percent systems, indicators(can be helpful, but can distract), and algo systems.

My two cents.


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 Rrrracer 
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tpredictor View Post
Mentoring: Typically informal to semi-formal, long term, mentor requires expert knowledge, depth, and breadth of experience. Agenda is typically mentee led with mentor helping to mold, shape, and focus beliefs over a long term. Focus is broad and long term. Growing/building. Researching, building, exploring, growing.

This is a perfect description of the person that is working with me, thank you. The other definitions did not fit. I hope to someday return the favor with a beer or three, just need an international flight to make it happen

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 Leon of Pizza 
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I almost voted for #4, but went with #2 "Yes, some are good". I consider books and video close enough to mentoring.

If I wanted one-on-one interaction I would hire out a psychoanalyst. A mentor that is also a trader will have a bias towards his own niche and that could be a problem. His motivation is to get you earning in as short a time as possible. The self-taught experience a variety of methods so they're more likely to find a comfortable niche.

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 phantomtrader 
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tpredictor View Post
@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.

I don't understand your logic. If you take flying lessons, the first lesson is in a REAL airplane with your instructor. If you want to be a surgeon, you may learn technique on a cadaver but your instructor will tell you that you're not a surgeon until you place that scalpel on a live human being. Why should trading be any different? People make excuses for these guys who teach on a simulator, but their students will NEVER understand the nature of risk until they pull the trigger on a live account. It seems logical that a "mentor" would understand that and make it priority to move to a live account as fast as possible. If the mentor can't trade a live account along with his/her student, then they're worthless.

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  #26 (permalink)
 tpredictor 
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@phantomtrader I think it requires an understanding of the differences in training, coaching, and mentoring. I agree that I don't believe someone who does not trade real money could be an effective mentor: however, they could still offer effective training. But, I agree it is a question should be asked of anyone offering training and is relevant.

The logic is rather simple though. The predictive factor of whether a method works that most traders use is how well that method has worked in the past and is working in the current markets (obviously it is not perfect which is why disclaimers are required). The predictive factor is not whether or not real money is at risk. If you take two traders and you run one in a realistic simulator, assume worst case for this argument, and that trader makes $500 per day and another trade makes $100 live and both take equivalent risk (i.e. using similar stops, leverage, etc.) and the performance is reviewed over a similar period then the sim trader is simply trading better or has a more effective method.

Trading only requires certain qualities inherent to the trader: capital, drive to trade, and a willingness to risk money. Good trading requires all that and skill or edge. A paper trader could have the skill but lack some of the other important qualities. It is very conceivable that a paper trader can offer more effective training but I agree cannot offer true mentoring.

In regards to flying lessons, I looked it up and you are correct that the basics are learned in the air. However, advanced maneuvers are taught in simulators and some companies are now starting to teach the basics in the simulator.



phantomtrader View Post
I don't understand your logic. If you take flying lessons, the first lesson is in a REAL airplane with your instructor. If you want to be a surgeon, you may learn technique on a cadaver but your instructor will tell you that you're not a surgeon until you place that scalpel on a live human being. Why should trading be any different? People make excuses for these guys who teach on a simulator, but their students will NEVER understand the nature of risk until they pull the trigger on a live account. It seems logical that a "mentor" would understand that and make it priority to move to a live account as fast as possible. If the mentor can't trade a live account along with his/her student, then they're worthless.


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  #27 (permalink)
stopnlimits
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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?

LOL I love this question. Because you can be a decent trader who has built a pretty solid strategy but if you use a trading "guru" or whatever, you need to be able to teach your strategy to others. I wouldn't be able to do it and I've been in a few rooms and many of these educators or gurus are terrible at teaching you their strategy.

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  #28 (permalink)
 koalboy 
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In my opinion you can succeed without a mentor but it is really incredibly hard. You will find yourself so often beaten down by the markets that the probability is very high you will never reach the point of consistency - simply because you run out of motivation, time and/or money.

A good thing would be to have at least an experienced trader by your side who can guide you away from the countless nonsense-paths in trading you need to walk down before you understand the game and what it takes to become consistently profitable. That would save a lot of time already.

There is a lot of training offered regarding trading, whereof 98% is targeted at absolute beginners - as the vendors can sell "cheap" information for top Dollar!

But for intermediate traders who already know all "theory" there is to know, had their fair share of boom and bust playing live, work systematically but still cannot make money (the typical break even trader) it is hard to find someone who can really advance their trading.

Best case of course would be to have an experienced trader available who is also able to coach, i.e.
a) seeing in the mentee what is already working
b) what is still missing or needs improvement
c) knows ways how to solve these problems

In any case this "mentor" needs to have a ton of live-money-trading experience by himself. He need not be super profitable but should be a decent trader knowing his limitations at least. Understanding the game just from having played paper money successfully in my opinion is worthless. At least 50% of the game is psychological, especially in daytrading due to its speed - and you simply cannot "replay" or "sim" you emotions...

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  #29 (permalink)
 Arch 
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Perhaps most experienced people on this forum already know what to do, but need a mentor to tell them what they already know. And if that's the case, forum members could buddy up in a mentor-mentee model for more accountability and potential consistency. With that said, does anyone want to mentor me?

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Calming
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As a rookie, I see more sense in having a community rather than one single mentor. A mentor may not be a perfect match to your needs. In a community, chances that someone can offer a solution to a particular question of yours greatly increase. Plus, in a community, you can learn by helping others.

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  #31 (permalink)
 GFIs1 
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As @Massive l mentioned - everything is here. On fio.
Be sure I have read many "mentor" or "class rooms" threads here. Skip those!
If you want to trade, then define your trading plan with
• time, timezone you want to focus, days you are free to do so
• choose your instrument and preferred time to stay in
then
• Trade
• Learn from your faults
• Optimize...

Find some excellent input from traders using a similar plan here in the journal threads.
Learn from them.

Learning by doing plus a great forum - nothing more needed
GFIs1

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  #32 (permalink)
 phantomtrader 
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GFIs1 View Post
As @Massive I mentioned - everything is here. On fio.
Be sure I have read many "mentor" or "class rooms" threads here. Skip those!
If you want to trade, then define your trading plan with
• time, timezone you want to focus, days you are free to do so
• choose your instrument and preferred time to stay
then
• Trade
• Learn from your faults
• Optimize...

Find some excellent input from traders using a similar plan here in the journal threads.
Learn from then.

Learning by doing plus a great forum - nothing more needed
GFIs1

Excellent Post. Spot on.

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  #33 (permalink)
 CobblersAwls 
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I put 2 answers,

Yes, some are valuable, but most are not.
No, you must learn yourself to benefit.

It might seem like a contradiction but I think there's not 1 simple answer.

I think mentors can help you to learn, avoid stupid mistakes and bad habits. Just like in any job, competent senior staff can help guide more junior staff, teaching them efficient ways of tackling tasks etc. A mentor could assist with risk management practices, superior execution methods and other important but overlooked things. Over the years I've had guidance from lots of people and a lot of it was really helpful.

At the end of the day though, you have to put in your own time, effort and money in order to truly learn to trade. There's nothing as vital as having skin in the game and seeing how you perform when real money is on the line.

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  #34 (permalink)
 deaddog 
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You cannot buy trading success.

You shouldn’t expect a mentor to show you a method. You should expect a mentor to guide you through the process of finding and developing a system that suites you. Too many people are looking to copy a method that may not be appropriate for them.*

"The days when I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, I have really good days" RW Hubbard
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  #35 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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I voted for "Yes, some are valuable, most are not."

I really wanted to vote "No" at first, because I wanted to be skeptical of anything you don't learn from your own sweat (figuratively speaking ), but then I realized that I don't know.

I don't even know if the "most are not" part is correct, but I have come around to the part about "some are valuable," which is a big shift for me... mostly this is from reading some of these responses.

I'm glad to have a change of view here, but honestly I'm still basically in the "I don't know" camp. Mostly I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt, plus a little bit of belief based on other peoples' reports.

I still think that, no matter how you learn something, it's still mainly you and not your teacher. But there is such a thing as a skilled teacher -- and I don't agree with the "those who can't, teach" saying. It may be true sometimes, but even that doesn't change the value of skilled teaching.

So, I did a little mental re-ordering on the subject, for which I am happy and grateful. (I wouldn't look for or use a mentor, though. I'm just too stubborn about learning everything on my own. )

Bob.

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  #36 (permalink)
 michaelleemoore 
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bobwest View Post
I voted for "Yes, some are valuable, most are not."

I really wanted to vote "No" at first, because I wanted to be skeptical of anything you don't learn from your own sweat (figuratively speaking ), but then I realized that I don't know.

I don't even know if the "most are not" part is correct, but I have come around to the part about "some are valuable," which is a big shift for me... mostly this is from reading some of these responses.

I'm glad to have a change of view here, but honestly I'm still basically in the "I don't know" camp. Mostly I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt, plus a little bit of belief based on other peoples' reports.

I still think that, no matter how you learn something, it's still mainly you and not your teacher. But there is such a thing as a skilled teacher -- and I don't agree with the "those who can't, teach" saying. It may be true sometimes, but even that doesn't change the value of skilled teaching.

So, I did a little mental re-ordering on the subject, for which I am happy and grateful. (I wouldn't look for or use a mentor, though. I'm just too stubborn about learning everything on my own. )

Bob.

Thanks for this post, Bob. I have been loosely mentored by a few traders over the years, and I have mentored (volunteer) more than a few. I actually learned quite a bit about scalping -- not setups, but how to execute and how to be disciplined -- from my original mentors. In my own mentoring, I have been about 20% successful in helping to produce people who can make money. I'm sure I am partly to blame for the 80% failure rate, but having been on both ends of the equation, I can truthfully say that when I am the mentor, I am NOT much of the problem.

I have explained precisely what I do in detail ad nauseum. I have described the discretionary parts of the equation similarly. I've revealed everything, including my lack of a Holy Grail. I have even sat at my computer, looking at another trader's computer through TeamViewer, and watch people do almost the exact opposite of what I told them.

I know most of you are coming at this equation from the side of wanting to learn from a mentor. I'm not going to get into the argument about paid mentors or trading rooms other than to say some are likely good and many are likely terrible. However, the truth is, most of you are awful students. You want a magic potion. You want rules that will produce riches if you simply follow them. You do not want to spend the time necessary to learn your market. Most importantly, many of you either don't have the psychology necessary to trade or the will to develop it.

Trading is hard for lots of reason, but it's not that damn hard. But after spending excessive amounts of time with many here on FIO, I am sad to say you should look first in the mirror for who is to blame for your performance.

Michael

PS I'll tell you something else. Getting involved up to your ears in arguments over whether Top Step is good or bad, whether unirenkos are good or bad, all while demanding that others "prove" to you that they can trade is a serious waste of time.

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  #37 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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Thanks, Michael, for sharing these experiences. You're a lot more patient than most.

Thanks for this, too:

michaelleemoore View Post
PS I'll tell you something else. Getting involved up to your ears in arguments over whether Top Step is good or bad, whether unirenkos are good or bad, all while demanding that others "prove" to you that they can trade is a serious waste of time.

There are way too many people who are so in love with their own importance that they demand others to prove things to them that are, simply, none of their damn business.

Bob.

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  #38 (permalink)
 Cloudy 
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Not anymore.

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  #39 (permalink)
 suzi 
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Yes I believe that is atleast important to have a second set of eyes to watch.Also might help in organizing the set ups one has and advice.It may or may not work but atleast you have other person's perspective.

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  #40 (permalink)
 deaddog 
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When I started trading I realized that I didn't know enough to be profitable. I was under the impression that there was a secret that successful traders knew that I might be able to buy. There is a secret and it is mentioned in just about any trading book or course, but it is so simple that I couldn't believe it worked.

I didn't spend a lot of money on courses, DVDs or books but I did spend some. One course that retailed for over $2000 I managed to get for free by switching brokers. I picked up used DVDs and books on Ebay and made use of the local library.

I spent a little time in trading rooms, making use of the free trials and introductory offers. I was never impressed enough to pay full price. I even paid a guy too advise me on skype in real time, until I asked him if he was in a trade he suggested and he replied that he didn't trade.

I would have really appreciated a mentor to point me in the right direction although at the time I'm not sure I would have paid any attention to their advice as I ignored any thing that didn't fit what I believed to be true at the time.

The Secret;

Study the market you want to trade until you find an exploitable edge. (Edge = being able to see something in the market in time to be able to exploit it. ) Have a written plan to exploit that edge. Follow the plan.

Keep your losses small.

Keep your expectations realistic.

Let your winners run.

I suggest that new traders study why the majority of traders fail and then don't do that.

"The days when I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, I have really good days" RW Hubbard
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  #41 (permalink)
 devdas 
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Perhaps i could write huge on this but in very short this is what i feel

- Successful Trader Mentor can teach you only his summarized working method.
- Unsuccessful Trader Mentor will try to take you from most of methods before centering to one method ( Obviously that might not even be worked for him but he is in mentoring business )
- Trade yourself, fight with market and learn from you mistake.

Voted for #4

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  #42 (permalink)
 dyst 
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I voted for #4 because it is my (and my friends') experience that 99.9% are just snake oil men, whose main income source is not from trading but from 'course fees' or 'mentoring fees.' This is also why most refuse to show you their verified trading statement because they are probably abysmal failures in trading.

I knew some trading "mentors" from my days as a newbie, who claim to be very successful in trading with decades of experience, but who for some reason still work mediocre office jobs reporting to other people at work. Years later they quit trading. These are the same guys who bought EURUSD 1.35 for 1.8 despite ECB doing QE / ABS purchasing. They also short USDJPY 103 back in 2014 expecting collapse of dollar and because they read Soros was shorting it. They told all of us NOT to use SL to prevent stop hunts... Yup, my mentors never used SL and they kept adding to losing trades... when they lose it was always due to "market manipultion." was a painful lesson for me and the others but lucky we were on small account.

When I later joined Prop boot camp, I came to know other folks. Another guy confided to me he spent 30k on this local trading "mentor" yet he is 180k in debt! I asked him how is that possible if his mentor claims to trade for a living? He says his mentor does not share any trade calls... and you are on your own, basically. He also said he cannot tell me what the mentor taught him but he did not even seem to know trading futures basics, due to some NDA signed. zzz

ps: so far only 2 people have shown me their profitable live trading statements, and none of them are willing to be paid to be trading mentor. they believe you have to evolve yourself but are happy to answer any questions along the way (your questions apparently reflect the level you attained). they want to encourage learning, plus they are busy 'living their life.'

hope this answers the question

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  #43 (permalink)
 teamtc247 
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dyst View Post
I voted for #4 because it is my (and my friends') experience that 99.9% are just snake oil men, whose main income source is not from trading but from 'course fees' or 'mentoring fees.' This is also why most refuse to show you their verified trading statement because they are probably abysmal failures in trading.

I knew some trading "mentors" from my days as a newbie, who claim to be very successful in trading with decades of experience, but who for some reason still work mediocre office jobs reporting to other people at work. Years later they quit trading. These are the same guys who bought EURUSD 1.35 for 1.8 despite ECB doing QE / ABS purchasing. They also short USDJPY 103 back in 2014 expecting collapse of dollar and because they read Soros was shorting it. They told all of us NOT to use SL to prevent stop hunts... Yup, my mentors never used SL and they kept adding to losing trades... when they lose it was always due to "market manipultion." was a painful lesson for me and the others but lucky we were on small account.

When I later joined Prop boot camp, I came to know other folks. Another guy confided to me he spent 30k on this local trading "mentor" yet he is 180k in debt! I asked him how is that possible if his mentor claims to trade for a living? He says his mentor does not share any trade calls... and you are on your own, basically. He also said he cannot tell me what the mentor taught him but he did not even seem to know trading futures basics, due to some NDA signed. zzz

ps: so far only 2 people have shown me their profitable live trading statements, and none of them are willing to be paid to be trading mentor. they believe you have to evolve yourself but are happy to answer any questions along the way (your questions apparently reflect the level you attained). they want to encourage learning, plus they are busy 'living their life.'

hope this answers the question

I agree with what you are saying about 99.9% are probably fake selling crap. If you go to a free webinar and you can't make sense of what they are showing in a live market, I would stay away. Or if you can't, you might not have enough market knowledge. There are a handful of good people out there that are good traders that can teach, and genuinely want to help people.

I love your comment about show me your statements because (I always see this posted on every trading forum I've been to when I was a new trader. The question is a doubt question. Reread my second sentence.) you want to see if they are successful or not, yeah that's great if you can get someone to show you, but in reality most probably don't or won't 1. They are not legit. 2. Because they don't want you to get caught up on their results, just because they are 70-90 percent doesn't mean you will, you will eventually, but process over outcome. 3. Think about it, if they were showing you monthly returns of 50k-100k+ what would prevent you from targeting them or their family for the money. The world is not a safe place; this is an emotional game, think security, dude. People break into cars and kill for less. Just because someone is flying under the radar doesn't mean they are not legit. What reason do they have to turn over their results to you? Just because you want to know if they are legit, and have doubt. I would answer that question with F-Off, wouldn’t you? You came to them, not the other way around. If they don't show you their results, they most not really need your money.

I always see that comment about results and returns; I couldn't resist.

Process oriented goals #1.
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  #44 (permalink)
 akuush 
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I like the examples given here using the school teachers, it really fits in well. Mentors can fit into so many categories, it just depends what type of mentoring do you need.

The way I think is, a mentor is not a school teacher. A mentor is bit more personalize to one, he doesn’t have to give the same lecture, or the same course material to everyone like a school teacher.

I also don’t find a fee involve in the relationship, it raises so many questions and skepticism.

Importantly I think, a student should win the mentor’s time, he should prioritize working with him over anything. He should show that his mentor’s time and advice means the entire world for his learning. He should go over and beyond to prove that he puts in the work. He should show respect and not waste his mentor’s time by asking questions that he can easily Google.

I’ld like to think a true mentor is someone who enjoys working with hardworking and motivated students. He feels pride in seeing them become successful. For him this is not a business.

I was listening to a podcast where the guest shared his experience when he was trying to find mentors. He told his story which really inspired me and connected with my way of thinking on this topic. The guest went on telling that he was able to get a hold of a possible mentor that he liked and was able to get him on the phone. After some conversation, the mentor(prospect) told the guest(prospect student) that he was only available to meet tomorrow. The guest(prospect student) booked the flight that very moment for the next day. After meeting with him the next day, the mentor(prospect) successfully took him under his wing and at the end of the conversation told the guest(student) that he was testing him and checking how hungry he was for this.

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  #45 (permalink)
 sands 
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Most dodgy mentors are selling something so they can create an income stream. The phrase "those who can't, teach" comes to mind as many have very flakey knowledge. BUT saying that I'm a firm believer in doing things the hard way in that, I think to be successful it helps to know what doesn't work and crucially why! So it's useful to learning to try things. However I particularly think that the right mentor can be of critical help in instilling good habits rather than teaching setups or the like. So always talk to the person before spending anything, and ask for verifiable records. I personally never had a mentor and am doing ok though, so if you trust your own work ethic and development process you'll do just fine.


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 bobwest 
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teamtc247 View Post
I love your comment about show me your statements because (I always see this posted on every trading forum I've been to when I was a new trader. The question is a doubt question. Reread my second sentence.) you want to see if they are successful or not, yeah that's great if you can get someone to show you, but in reality most probably don't or won't


sands View Post
So always talk to the person before spending anything, and ask for verifiable records. I personally never had a mentor and am doing ok though, so if you trust your own work ethic and development process you'll do just fine.

Just a comment on this statement thing.

I have no idea how to find a good mentor. I guess it's like finding someone with a good book on trading: see what he/she says and see if it makes sense and if you can use it.

But will a trading statement they give you show you they really know how to trade? And how can you know whether a statement is genuine? How hard is it, with today's computer capabilities, to fake up anything?

What would I personally accept? Well, if I already trusted the person (you notice the catch here, right?), then I would accept their statement too. There are people here on FIO whose word I routinely accept about their trading results. If I were going to pay someone money, I would be more picky about whether I trusted them or not, but at some point I think you just have to take the risk.

Would a statement be enough to eliminate the risk? To be blunt about it, I would not just take anyone's word for it if I didn't know them, unless: (1) the statement had been audited by a known public accounting firm, and (2) I saw the firm's audit letter, and (3) the letter had been sent to me by the firm (and I could verify that), not by the guy with the statement.

Which means, I wouldn't really put any trust in any statements, if you're trying to decide who's trustworthy. I think you have to give up the idea, which has somehow gotten to be very popular on the internet, that you can just get a statement and settle the matter. No matter what they give you, I don't think it would settle anything.

I think it comes down to the fact that you will be taking a risk, and the more money involved, the greater the risk. I don't see the statement as the thing that will remove that risk. Sure, a statement showing a profit would be a good thing to see, but only if I had other reasons to think the person is legit.

I really hope that people can get over the fixation on statements, but I doubt it will ever happen.

And, as I said, I don't know how to choose a mentor if you don't already know them, but that's another issue.

Bob.

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 lone 
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Like most have said, most times those that can't trade become teachers instead. And I have gone through my share of them, over a dozen. However during my journey I did come across a few that are legit and have helped me develop my style.

The key i found from the successful ones is they keep it very simple and be patient with the setups.

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 sands 
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bobwest View Post
Just a comment on this statement thing.



I have no idea how to find a good mentor. I guess it's like finding someone with a good book on trading: see what he/she says and see if it makes sense and if you can use it.



But will a trading statement they give you show you they really know how to trade? And how can you know whether a statement is genuine? How hard is it, with today's computer capabilities, to fake up anything?



What would I personally accept? Well, if I already trusted the person (you notice the catch here, right?), then I would accept their statement too. There are people here on FIO whose word I routinely accept about their trading results. If I were going to pay someone money, I would be more picky about whether I trusted them or not, but at some point I think you just have to take the risk.



Would a statement be enough to eliminate the risk? To be blunt about it, I would not just take anyone's word for it if I didn't know them, unless: (1) the statement had been audited by a known public accounting firm, and (2) I saw the firm's audit letter, and (3) the letter had been sent to me by the firm (and I could verify that), not by the guy with the statement.



Which means, I wouldn't really put any trust in any statements, if you're trying to decide who's trustworthy. I think you have to give up the idea, which has somehow gotten to be very popular on the internet, that you can just get a statement and settle the matter. No matter what they give you, I don't think it would settle anything.



I think it comes down to the fact that you will be taking a risk, and the more money involved, the greater the risk. I don't see the statement as the thing that will remove that risk. Sure, a statement showing a profit would be a good thing to see, but only if I had other reasons to think the person is legit.



I really hope that people can get over the fixation on statements, but I doubt it will ever happen.



And, as I said, I don't know how to choose a mentor if you don't already know them, but that's another issue.



Bob.



Yeah I do agree it's not the be all and end all I mention it to be an example of a place to start to on a due diligence process along with other aspects; these might include recommendations and actually speaking to the characters running the thing. Especially seeing as most don't do any of that leg work. But as long as a new trader is willing to lose the fee at worst they leave wiser if not better informed, and the cost is then just that of not doing their research. With most discretionary spending you have your own limits on how much you'd spend and not mind. And in my experience I'd just advise people to just stay in your limits.

Last winter a girl came up to me at a charity event said "I'm a trader too, have you heard of 'Insert name here'? I've just paid him 12k for his course". Sufficed to say it didn't work out for her in trading. Probably for a few reasons but shows there's definitely cause to be cautious of the trustworthiness of sellers, and that there's a market.






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 lone 
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From my own experience. The more expensive ones turned out to be shams since they only care about the one time business dealing. The cheaper ones (less than 2k) turned out to be the best, they are already successful and confIdent traders that don’t depend on subs to make a living. They genuinely want to see others succeed.

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 teamtc247 
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bobwest View Post
Just a comment on this statement thing.

I have no idea how to find a good mentor. I guess it's like finding someone with a good book on trading: see what he/she says and see if it makes sense and if you can use it.

But will a trading statement they give you show you they really know how to trade? And how can you know whether a statement is genuine? How hard is it, with today's computer capabilities, to fake up anything?

What would I personally accept? Well, if I already trusted the person (you notice the catch here, right?), then I would accept their statement too. There are people here on FIO whose word I routinely accept about their trading results. If I were going to pay someone money, I would be more picky about whether I trusted them or not, but at some point I think you just have to take the risk.

Would a statement be enough to eliminate the risk? To be blunt about it, I would not just take anyone's word for it if I didn't know them, unless: (1) the statement had been audited by a known public accounting firm, and (2) I saw the firm's audit letter, and (3) the letter had been sent to me by the firm (and I could verify that), not by the guy with the statement.

Which means, I wouldn't really put any trust in any statements, if you're trying to decide who's trustworthy. I think you have to give up the idea, which has somehow gotten to be very popular on the internet, that you can just get a statement and settle the matter. No matter what they give you, I don't think it would settle anything.

I think it comes down to the fact that you will be taking a risk, and the more money involved, the greater the risk. I don't see the statement as the thing that will remove that risk. Sure, a statement showing a profit would be a good thing to see, but only if I had other reasons to think the person is legit.

I really hope that people can get over the fixation on statements, but I doubt it will ever happen.

And, as I said, I don't know how to choose a mentor if you don't already know them, but that's another issue.

Bob.


Very true, Bob. The book maybe, an account statement, not so much.

I have a good bullshit radar. I am good at reading people and seeing through their shit. They don't even need to speak. I guess it's intuitive.

It's the people that are selling 10k+ education; those are the folks one would want to stay far away from.

It's the folks that are affordable; people may want to consider. The people that have a passion for educating folks do so because they love it, not because they can make money off of new traders, perhaps the small amount of money is a benefit. They are teaching because they struggled and wanted to help others. Teaching, in turn, keeps them sharp because they have to articulate their knowledge back.

I always see this response posted, well if they are traders, why would they teach? Shouldn't they be making plenty of money trading the markets? Yeah, they are, but they have a calling to teach.

It's like why people with kids, adopt other kids? Because they love children and have a calling to do so. They want to lift that lonely child up and make a positive impact on that child.

Yes, mentors/educators are still selling something and making small amounts of money. It's like tutoring or anything else. If one wants to become better, they seek out help and one that has been or is successful. If ones wants to get motivated some see Toni Robins; if one wanted to get well versed in real estate, one might check out Grant Cardone, etc...

People all trade differently, I would think we would all be trading the same or very similar because the market moves in that same predictable manner day in and day out.

Also, it's kind of like when one is a new trader; one doesn’t know what questions to ask or what one doesn’t know. Or if one has been trading awhile, one might think they know, but one doesn’t know enough or completely does not know. Or like when my mentor reviews my trades, they think I have a grasp of the concept because some of my trades work and I am doing great one week, but then the next is terrible because I am missing those other factors and concepts.

I guess getting back to the tutoring concept; I wouldn't go to Donald Trump if I wanted to be a phenomenal basketball player. I would probably hit up Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, or Shaquille O'Neal, and If I had mindset issues, I wouldn't go to the drunk homeless guy on the street holding a sign I would see one that is more mentally enlightened or at least some good self-help motivational, positive audibles to listen too.

I know you get it, Bob but it a shame that there are so many bogus people out there and if one wanted to get dedicated help it's like searching through a needle in a haystack. So essentially it has put a bad taste in many peoples mouths. Yes, there are plenty of helpful people on f.io helping others, and that is AWESOME.

Everything in life is a risk, getting in a car, eating out, cooking at home, not showing up for work if you have a job, or choosing a mentor or not choosing a mentor. Going to sleep is a risk too, many people die in their sleep. Life is just one big risk. Thanks for your insight.

Process oriented goals #1.
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 deaddog 
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You don't pay a mentor. You pay a vendor. You can not buy trading success.

Mentors don't show you set-ups, Mentors guide you to develop your own set ups.

"The days when I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, I have really good days" RW Hubbard
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 Rrrracer 
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deaddog View Post
You don't pay a mentor. You pay a vendor. You can not buy trading success.

Mentors don't show you set-ups, Mentors guide you to develop your own set ups.


Totally agree.

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Trading mentors are like gym coaches. You end up doing the heavy lifting.
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 teamtc247 
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deaddog View Post
You don't pay a mentor. You pay a vendor. You can not buy trading success.

Mentors don't show you set-ups, Mentors guide you to develop your own set ups.

That's the big debate. Mentor/Coaching is interchangeable. If you paid for college, I guess they're a vendor of the most useless information. You might end up with a job by getting that piece of paper if someone likes you.

I haven’t used my damn degree for anything other than putting it on my resume or employment background checks.

It's all the same. You might be stuck with good information in both circumstances, that you can't use. You're right, you can't buy trading success, but you sure can get pretty damn close.

Process oriented goals #1.
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 deaddog 
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teamtc247 View Post
That's the big debate. Mentor/Coaching is interchangeable. If you paid for college, I guess they're a vendor of the most useless information. You might end up with a job by getting that piece of paper if someone likes you.

That piece of paper gets you in the door. It shows who ever wants to hire you that you have the ability to get thru however many years of schooling by whatever means.


Quoting 
I haven’t used my damn degree for anything other than putting it on my resume or employment background checks.

Sounds familiar. The piece of paper got me in the door. My ability to adjust kept me there.


Quoting 
It's all the same. You might be stuck with good information in both circumstances, that you can't use. You're right, you can't buy trading success, but you sure can get pretty damn close.

Where the mentor came in is the experienced guy who for whatever reason took a liking to you. He didn't tell you how to do your job, he guided you through the corporate maze and pointed you in the right direction.You might get the same situation at trading desks or in prop shops, I don't know. It is not something you can buy.

"The days when I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, I have really good days" RW Hubbard
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 teamtc247 
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deaddog View Post
That piece of paper gets you in the door. It shows who ever wants to hire you that you have the ability to get thru however many years of schooling by whatever means.

Sounds familiar. The piece of paper got me in the door. My ability to adjust kept me there.



Where the mentor came in is the experienced guy who for whatever reason took a liking to you. He didn't tell you how to do your job, he guided you through the corporate maze and pointed you in the right direction.You might get the same situation at trading desks or in prop shops, I don't know. It is not something you can buy.

You can't buy the mutual platonic relationship, correct, but you can buy the time of someone that can show how to successfully trade and coach through the process to becoming successful. You're talking about the platonic connection without compensation, that's the ideal situation.



Process oriented goals #1.
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 deaddog 
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teamtc247 View Post
, but you can buy the time of someone that can show how to successfully trade and coach through the process to becoming successful.


I can't disagree but I'd say buyer beware.

"The days when I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, I have really good days" RW Hubbard
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I voted for #4 because it is my (and my friends') experience that 99.9% are just snake oil men, whose main income source is not from trading but from 'course fees' or 'mentoring fees.' This is also why most refuse to show you their verified trading statement because they are probably abysmal failures in trading.

I knew some trading "mentors" from my days as a newbie, who claim to be very successful in trading with decades of experience, but who for some reason still work mediocre office jobs reporting to other people at work. Years later they quit trading. These are the same guys who bought EURUSD 1.35 for 1.8 despite ECB doing QE / ABS purchasing. They also short USDJPY 103 back in 2014 expecting collapse of dollar and because they read Soros was shorting it. They told all of us NOT to use SL to prevent stop hunts... Yup, my mentors never used SL and they kept adding to losing trades... when they lose it was always due to "market manipultion." was a painful lesson for me and the others but lucky we were on small account.

When I later joined Prop boot camp, I came to know other folks. Another guy confided to me he spent 30k on this local trading "mentor" yet he is 180k in debt! I asked him how is that possible if his mentor claims to trade for a living? He says his mentor does not share any trade calls... and you are on your own, basically. He also said he cannot tell me what the mentor taught him but he did not even seem to know trading futures basics, due to some NDA signed. zzz

ps: so far only 2 people have shown me their profitable live trading statements, and none of them are willing to be paid to be trading mentor. they believe you have to evolve yourself but are happy to answer any questions along the way (your questions apparently reflect the level you attained). they want to encourage learning, plus they are busy 'living their life.'

hope this answers the question



Same here , my mentors don’t want to be paid and just want to help me learn and trade with them so I can be a good trader

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 bobwest 
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supreme23 View Post
Same here , my mentors don’t want to be paid and just want to help me learn and trade with them so I can be a good trader

One thing this thread has shown is that there are mentors who only want to help, and there are "mentors" (who may in fact know something) who "mentor" for pay, or offer to.

The second may or may not be helpful, but it's not what mentoring is:




I am not against someone getting paid for rendering a service, but if they are, the service is not mentoring.

A "trusted adviser" is not a paid consultant. All the usual cautions apply to the one who wants to be paid. We're talking two different things here.

I have gotten a lot from posts here on FIO that have been freely given by more experienced traders who never thought of being paid (and who would have been banned if they had.) I can see this kind of role expanding, for someone who wants to do it, and that would be mentoring in a real sense.

This thread has somewhat changed my understanding of this whole thing.

Bob.

------------------

Update: flipping back a few posts, I see that @teamtc247 beat me to it, as did @deaddog and a bunch of others.

I think there's something of a consensus here.

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 Silver Dragon 
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In the business world, mentorships are not free. In many cases people will work for someone without pay in order to get the experience. In my case, I have a mentor in my day job. He gets paid to help me succeed. It has been well worth it.

I don’t have issue with paying someone to teach me. Kinda like college. If they have the experience I need to succeed and are willing to teach me, why shouldn’t they get paid for what they know? Does getting paid make the knowledge they have not equal to the person who hands it out for free? An A is an A.

Not making a argumentative point, just stating there are two sides to this coin. Mentors are betrayed in the movies, books etc as this unselfish person wanting to help someone succeed by passing on unworldly knowledge. In the real world, and in my experience, that is the exception rather than the rule. Yes I have met these types of people, but the majority have no desire to be a mentor. I will concede that the people who do find the unselfish mentor who is also their friend tend to more successful than those who are not.

Robert

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