Some traders say they are profitable only after using a mentor. Are they really useful and what should I be looking for in a mentor to prevent from being scammed while increasing my chances of becoming a profitable trader?
his is a common asked question at many different discussion forums. First of all, for those reading this that do not understand the difference between sharing trade methods versus mentoring. Mentoring involves learning how to trade, learning how to treat your trading like a business, learning how you yourself interacts with the markets and how to manage that interaction et cetera. In contrast, sharing methods can be done in a few sentences, paragraphs or pages involving the rules of when to enter and exit a trade. Both are good but it's important that you understand they are different.
With that said, I don't recommend any trader to use a mentor until they've grown tired of the self-taught route. Further, I highly recommend the following prior to the exchange of any money between a student and mentor: 1.
Mentor shows recent verifiable documentation of their trading along with broker contact info.
It works both ways...you should also show verification documentation of your own trading along with broker contact info. This will show the mentor that you actually have a sincere interest in being mentored instead of being some anonymous person hiding behind a forum ID trying to challenge him/her about their profitability level. In addition, a mentor having access to your trading records will allow the mentor to determine if your properly capitalized along with getting a peek into possible trading problems you may already have transcribed into your methodology.2.
You should be allowed to visit the mentor and watch him/her trade in person even though the mentor is not required to educate you for that particular day(s). This helps avoid the issue of false verifiable documentation because such is easy to make. If your satisfied so far...the mentor should then go visit you in your trading environment to watch you trade.
You should compensate the mentor for any traveling expenses because by this time you already know that the mentor is the real deal. It's at this time the mentor can determine if your trading environment has an impact on your trading (don't underestimate this). It's possible you could be using the wrong trading platform, charting program or your charts are setup in a way that your not efficiently viewing the market as changes in supply/demand is occurring et cetera.
Heck...your computer workstation (hardware and accessories) may be inadequate. The mentor can make recommendations at this time to get you on the same or similar level he/she is on. Further, mentoring should not begin until you've fulfilled those recommendations.3.
You should be very specific about your goals and the mentor should be very specific about his/her goals with you because they now have valuable information about you...your trading environment and your trading habits.4.
At this time, you can move into the discussion about fees.
Further, until the actual mentoring begins, you should require the mentor to post his/her trades in realtime in a private chat room that you are a member so that you can be ensure his/her edge hasn't been lost nor is in some sort'uv normal drawdown period. If the mentor already has a chat room, join it especially if its free or offers a free trial and this will give you further insights into the mentor's communication skills (very important).
Remember, past performance is not an indication of future performance. Therefore, this is the reason why you want to stay in touch sort'uv speak prior to the actual mentoring to ensure the mentor is still profitable and involved in the markets. Mentor should charge you a small fee for such especially if he/she is responding to any of your questions about his trades. After all, he/she does have a verifiable trading record.
Yet, do not mimick the mentor's trades because you cannot possibly get the same fills nor do you understand the mentor's trade methodology at this stage of the mentor/student relationship.5.
However, lets pretend a mentor and student agreed upon 1 month of mentoring (in person).
The fee's the mentor charges you should correlate with how much income from his/her trading the mentor will miss while mentoring you. Remember, by this time you have access to the mentor's verifiable trading record and know exactly how much you should be compensating the trader to mentor you and that compensation should not be less than the income the mentor will miss while mentoring you. For example, if your mentor is making on average about 2K per week and you want to be mentor for 1 month (4 weeks)...
Guess what, be prepared to cough up 8k. Now, that may sound obscene
but look at it this way.
Why would a trader with a verifiable trading record risk mentoring you for a lessor amount knowing they are losing money (not having the opportunity to fully devote to their own trading). Here's another option for determining the value for the mentoring is while the mentor is trading from his/her account while trying to educate you at the same time.
If the mentor makes 1k during the week of mentoring you when there's proof they average about 2k per week...you should at least compensate the mentor for the missing profits.6.
Mentoring should last long enough so that the mentor can coach you through your own trades. If you lose money during this period...its either deducted from the cost of the mentoring or a partial refund is entitled to you. Maybe the above is the same.7.
There should always be educational material...written in stone...that explains everything or almost everything the mentor has shown to you.8.
There should be follow-ups...online or phone conferencing is ok at this point.9.
You should agree to make yourself available for reference for the mentor in case future clients ask for such...along with your trading records of a minimum of 3 months after the mentoring has concluded.
This allows the mentor to show future clients if there's real value to his/her service. The point for all the above is just because someone has a verifiable successful trading record...doesn't imply they are suitable for teaching.
Using an academic analogy...I've met brilliant college professors that didn't know how to teach. That is the reason why they had teaching assistants (TAs) that understood the education material so that the TAs can re-distribute the info in smaller controlled groups. :o 10.
Student and Mentor should be trading the same trading instruments via the same or similar position size. 11.
Student and Mentor should be using the same trade execution platform (ex. X-Trader, NinjaTrader et cetera) even though they may be using a different broker.
The above also (although is a stringent process) helps ensure a fair value has been given for the service.
Something else...I've read several posts here all over the internet about finding someone to mentor you for free or to avoid anyone that doesn't mentor for free. Good luck because there's no such thing as a free lunch in this business and those traders that make such suggestions (free mentoring) will never recommend to you a trader that mentor's for free.
Anybody that mentors you for free will be coughing up their time and energy...such is valuable to any successful trader. More importantly...it has a value. 12.
All mentoring should only be done in person
. However, follow-up mentoring to the in person mentoring can be done online via realtime communication.
Last of all, if you or your mentor ignore any of the above...the odds are very high that either the student will be unsatisfied with the mentor or the mentor will be unsatisfied with the student.
Trader and Founder of WRB Analysis
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