Trading is hard but finding a decent coach or course is not easy either
The internet is awash with learning courses and mentors. How do you find a good one? Does it even make sense to join?
Let me evaluate this topic for you and identify what you should be looking for from a neutral standpoint.
Benefits of mentoring
Generally when we learn a skill, we recognise that getting a mentor/coach makes sense.
If you are learning to play the guitar or trying to improve your tennis serve, you’d not think twice about getting some help.
Rather than making mistakes by trying to learn alone, it is helpful to have someone experience to guide you directly into the right direction and what to do and avoid from their past mistakes.
There are some big warning signs on courses and mentors.
Firstly, beware of anyone who makes outlandish claims. If they have a lambo on their homepage and make trading seem like it is easy … run!
If they are showing you a 100K trading account with 10.1 lot sizes with multiple positions with ten thousand in profit….run!
If it is a signals company showing you, 20+ trades taken in a single day all in profit with 2000 pips caught…run!
Cryptocurrency that’s not BTC or ETH … run!
Finally, evaluate the mentor’s background.
Have they been professionally trained i.e. employed at a major bank or hedge fund for a sustained period of time? Are they a credible risk manager or simply a YouTube marketing expert who picked trading as their niche?
Questions to ask a potential mentor
- What is your personal background and experience in trading?
- Have you worked at a major institution – bank or hedge fund – and, if so, when was that?
- What is your approach to mentoring and what outcomes can I expect as a result of working together?
- What is your personal trading style?
- What do you require of me to get the most out of this?
- Can you share testimonials from current students?
- How many students do you have at one time?
- What form will the mentoring take (1-2-1 ZOOM, in person, online training etc.)
- Can you provide me a preview or trial so I can see for myself whether it suits me?
So what can a course or mentor do for you?
Certainly no one can guarantee to make you financially independent or turn you into a profitable trader. Run a mile from anyone claiming to guarantee such things.
A good coach can:
- Help you clearly and objectively see your own biases and weaknesses in a way it can be hard to spot for yourself. Even the best tennis player in the world has a coach. That coach cannot play tennis as well as him but they can help him improve.
- Share experience and insight, which might help you better appreciate or understand technical aspects of trading that are not clicking for you from reading online. Talking through a topic one-to-one with someone who deeply understands it can help you see things from a new angle.
- Focus on aspects like risk management and psychology so that you have a well rounded view of discretionary trading.
- Help you manage your emotions and put in place a process. Just like having a personal trainer in the gym, simply being accountable to someone else can help you be disciplined.
- Adjust to your personal trading style. Your personality will affect your trading style. Maybe you are a news junkie who trades big events? Or maybe you patiently sit on 2-3 positions for months and have the stomach to live with big account drawdowns. Either way, what you need from a mentor will differ: it is worth checking that you are compatible.
So is it worth it?
A mentor can help you develop as a trader, provided you are looking for someone to coach you and not spoonfeed you trade ideas to copy.
However, you will likely get more out of a mentor if you’ve done your homework before and arrive with a decent set of trade journal entries so that they have something to go on and can tailor your time together.
Finally, you need to choose carefully. Look for someone with a professional trading background who does not make over the top claims or make it seem like easy money. Things that are too good to be true usually are!