Why You Might Need a Trading Mentor
The following article discusses the benefits of having a trading mentor:
Have you ever:
- Invested in a stock that “you were sure” was going to go up (but it didn’t)?
- Bought a stock and then bought more when it dropped, hoping that it would come back up…. but it kept dropping?
- Listened to a broker’s advice about what stocks to buy or how to allocate your money, only to be disappointed by the results?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, then you might need a trading mentor. All too often, people think that the answer is to buy a book about trading. Then, filled with confidence, they click a mouse and invest thousands of dollars with no strategy at all. Would you try to fly an airplane just by reading a book?
Many others spend thousands of dollars on trading seminars, trading courses, newsletters and then they spend their investment capital trying to become successful traders. Sometimes it works but often, it falls flat. Why? It’s because usually they are just not enough for the average, distracted trader with no hands-on training. Further, trading is a mental exercise and to train your brain, you need three important components:
- Perfect Practice
- Strict Accountability
We’ve all heard that “practice makes perfect.” Wrong! Practice makes permanent. And if you practice the wrong way, then you permanently learn the wrong way (just watch my golf swing).
As you practice trading, you groove in mental and emotional habits that are hard to break once ingrained. So, you better make sure that they are good….no, excellent. The key is to be able to reproduce results when things get tough. Receivers in the NFL practice making one-hand catches in case an opposing defender grabs one of their hands. Since they practice that, they are ready. They have confidence. A trading mentor will guide you with mental and emotional corrections right as they happen.
Here’s a scenario:
You just took a very expensive trading course. You learned how to pick stocks and win BIG. So you open up your trading account and click that mouse. Boom! You just spent $50,000 on a stock. You are determined to do the trades EXACTLY like you learned in your course. “C’mon! C’mon! stock. Go up!” It does, for a little bit, then bam. It opens down $4 per share. You are down $2,000. “That’s OK. It’ll come back,” you say. “Stocks always do.” Then, the market takes a big downturn and bam, the stock is down another $3.00. You buy more, straying from the strategy that you just learned. You are down almost $4,000 and now you are getting a “really great deal.” But the stock starts to trend down the next day with the market. What do you do?
“Damn. Why do I keep making the same mistakes and now I’ve lost $8,000,” you say. You know the saga. Maybe you even lived this scenario.
Now imagine that you had a trading mentor you could call. Someone who has made those same mistakes. Someone who could give you confidence, steer you back on the right path, help you gain some sanity back. A great trading mentor can help you practice the right responses, the right emotions, take the right actions. Practice is important, but perfect practice is how a good trading mentor can help.
Trading is emotional. Money is emotional. We’ve worked hard for our money and we don’t want to lose it. If we are threatened with losing money, it affects our limbic system which governs our survival mechanisms. “I won’t be able to feed my family.” “I’ll lose my home.” “My wife will divorce me.” These thoughts enter into our minds and then affect our decisions. Fewer smart decisions works better in trading than more dumb ones. The most successful traders are unemotional – almost robotic – with their trading. This takes training and discipline and time. A trading mentor can shorten that time frame for you. But more importantly, a trading mentor can make you own up to these feelings; talk them out; realize that they are smaller than they appear to you. A good trading mentor will also keep you accountable to the promises that you make to yourself when you are NOT being emotional.
When you know that your trading mentor will be checking on your results, your actions, your words, your promises, it makes you more determined to stay on the correct path. You see, as humans we will try to avoid being seen by others as failures. So, we naturally hide when things get tough. If your trading mentor makes you strictly accountable for your actions, you must face them. You must learn from them. All of this makes you better in the long run. Eventually, it all comes together, but you just want to get there faster and without making the catastrophic mistakes that end most trading careers.
A trading mentorship combines experience, with advice, with coaching, with accountability, with perfect practice, with knowledge and with mindset. What is created? A rugged, tested reliable trader. Sure, you are going to make mistakes. The goal is to keep them small but to learn valuable lessons. A trading mentor will help to highlight the lessons in your losses as well as your wins. And your trading mentor will be with you every step along the way, speaking into your ear the advice that you need to hear at the exact right time.
Sure, a trading mentorship may be costly in the short term. But imagine the alternative of losing your money because you are trying to save money at the exact time you should be learning the right habits at the right time. Remember, it is hard to unlearn bad habits. But properly mentored trading habits under the guidance of a good trading mentor will last a lifetime.
To read more and learn more on the subject, check out my page dedicated to just that, Trading Mentorship, here.
More resources from Mark Yegge:
His latest book, find it here
His best selling Stock Trading Course, find more details here.