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5 Steps to Becoming a Professional Trader

As children, everything we do in life comes with a coach, a teacher, or a parent directing us and helping us along the way. Words of encouragement are plentiful, and there always seems to be someone looking out for our well-being. As adults, this relationship is much more difficult to establish. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone assisting you in life and helping you find success in everything you do?

As a technology education teacher, I realized early on the importance of being more than a teacher to my students.  According to Webster’s, a teacher is: “a person or thing that teaches something; a person whose job is to teach students about certain subjects”.  Webster’s defines a mentor as: “someone who teaches, gives help, and advice to a less experienced person; a trusted counselor or guide. I believe my decision to be a mentor to them was crucial in helping my students connect the dots between the theory that I taught and their abilities, potential, and goals. By being a mentor to them I was able to provide the advice, confidence, and the network that allowed them to achieve the level of success they envisioned for themselves at the beginning of my class.  So which one would you want helping you through your journey into trading; a teacher or a mentor?

Why is it so difficult to make consistent profits when you are working to be a day trader? I have all this education, but somehow I just can’t connect the dots and make money. Why is that? This is a question I get asked a lot and the answer is really very simple.  A common mistake they make is thinking they can figure out the rules and develop the strategies themselves, but end up losing not just time but most or all of their savings trying to reinvent the wheel. I know because I have been there. Numerous places on the Internet will attempt to give you an education on how to trade stocks but the real secret is not only finding the right education but finding the right mentor as well.  Building a solid foundation on which to base your trading is of the utmost importance to survival in this industry. That is what I focus on when I am mentoring traders. As a mentor I educate traders in the proper way to trade stocks in today’s market by helping them build a solid foundation which can ultimately lead to consistent profits. To put it simply I help new traders connect the dots.  

If you examine any successful trader, they typically have one thing in common: a mentor. Nearly every successful person in history had someone who they could confide in and learn from when times were tough. To be successful in life it is very important to have a mentor, a coach, or someone with more experience than you. You need someone who has been where you are and is in a position in life that you desire to be in the future. Most people underestimate the value of a mentor and this is the biggest reasons for failure in any endeavor, especially stock trading. A mentor offers valuable insight to things that only experience can teach as well as a host of other things.  A mentor is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.  A mentor can help to shorten your learning curve and open your mind to new ideas and possibilities.  

Learning from a good mentor or trading coach is one of the best investments you can make for your long term success.  You invest in yourself with workout trainers or lessons from golf pros.  Why not invest in your financial future with someone who can help you use the knowledge you have and help you connect it to the skills to make money in the stock market for years to come?  Most people never get to live off of their trading because they never learn how to apply the knowledge and skills with the rules of the game and play it well.   Why set yourself up for failure?  Trading mentoring programs help transfer knowledge from the experienced traders to those who are just beginning. You get to see the way they interpret market movement and how they play the game. You’ll also understand the strategic trade-offs that they consider before making a trading decision.

Mentoring can be done in two different ways: one-on-one or small group sessions. One-on-one private sessions will obviously cost more, but, with a good mentor, can be tailored to your specific skills, problems, and goals.  On the other hand, a small group session allows for collaboration and discussion that can stimulate the mind and lead to other types of trading techniques that might have otherwise gone untouched.  The most important thing to think about when choosing a trading mentor is whether he or she can teach you something you’re comfortable with, not just what they want to teach.  Bad mentors are usually one-trick ponies who only know a couple of things and try to make money off of unsuspecting amateur traders.  

Now, do you even have to ask yourself if you need a mentor?  I hope not.  This blog should help you realize the importance of mentoring in the success of your trading career.   To sum it up, a mentor can give you the benefit of his or her perspective and experience which is vital in developing your trading identity.  A mentor can help you look at situations in new ways. He or she can ask hard questions and help you solve problems.  A mentor can help you define your trading and ensure that you don’t lose focus and continue down that road even when you become distracted by day-to-day pressures.  A mentor who knows you well can be a strong champion of your positive attributes and an ally during any bumpy spots in your career.  A mentor whose trading you admire can be a strong inspiration. With the help of a good mentor, you can trade more effectively with a clearer view of the goals you are trying to reach.  Having a mentor is not just a great idea, it is a proven concept.