Finding a mentor is important in life but no more so than in trading. Trading is an extremely hard profession and one that arguably many who set down the path of becoming a trader are not fully aware of.
Failure rates as a trader are very high. You hear some quite shocking statistics over and over again. 80-90% of traders fail! Nice huh? Are you still sure that you want to trade?
One thing you have to remember is that you are likely considering trading or starting trading all on your own. If you weren’t, considering a mentor wouldn’t be such a pressing concern, after all, most companies have spent a fair amount of time working out how they can leverage the more experienced members experience in order to bring along the newest employees in an ideal manner. If you join a prop firm like SMB they have this down to a fine art. But YOU probably are going to go it alone.
As such a real mentor is key to your development.
Adam Jowett wrote an excellent post the other day with 10 tips for picking an awesome trading mentor and I think it’s such a good post that you should click on over and read it.
I made two mistakes early on that I’ll tell you about so that you can avoid them. In fact they are kind of linked to a degree.
The first was that my mentor was a trading systems guy. We are talking hardcore coding ability, design your own testing platform, design automated trading systems…. happy as a pig in the mud when working on getting the intricacies of a trading plan into computer code.
That’s just not me. As it turns out I love designing trading systems, even testing them to see how effective they are but I am my happiest when I am in the creative design stage or actual execution stage. I learnt a great deal from spending time with this trader but I didn’t realise, as like most people starting out, I didn’t know enough to know that we were a poor fit.
The second major thing was that we didn’t really cover something pretty integral to this whole discussion. I / we didn’t express clearly that we were entering into a mentor / mentee relationship. This is so obvious now but there was probably a lot of subtle miscommunication as I was hoping for a mentor and this trader was being more of a nice bloke or friend providing graciously a helping hand to another trader.
As Adam says in his article find a mentor who clicks with you, who has the war stories, and be clear that you would like him or her to mentor you and offer to pay for it.
You can find a great mentor for free but undoubtedly in life you often get what you pay for. Another options you could consider is to find a way to help your mentor and be a trader… set up a trade that will get you some mentoring in return for what you offer. After all traders trade. You can play on that.
Trading isn’t easy and whilst fierce independence is a fairly common trait for a trader, utilising social media for a virtual support network, and taking action in finding a mentor, is a very powerful step towards increasing your odds of being successful.