Are Mentoring Services worth the investment ?

Discussion in 'Educational Resources' started by hayman, May 22, 2004.

  1. hayman


    Hi all,

    Just wanted to start this thread and solicit some feedback.

    I have been a full-time day trader for 2 years. I was very profitable for the balance of this time, although I have hit the skids the last 2 months. Suffice it to say, that the trading system I was employing ran its course, and does not work well in today's trading environment. Unfortunately, I realized this 2 months too late, but that's part of the learning curve, and I have moved on.

    I'm currently trying to re-orient myself in regard to trading, and have been experimenting with several systems, to which I am just breaking even, and feel no affinity towards.

    My question to ET members is as follows: Has anyone out there found "mentoring" systems to be of any use ? Is there an effective reward for cost for these, or are most money-making scams ? Do mentoring programs offer any advantages over and above well-written books ? I have a mentor in mind, but the cost for his services are prohibitive.

    Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated, particularly from those who have gone through mentoring programs. Any mentoring programs worth recommending would also be appreciated.

    Thanks to all in advance.
  2. Trapper



    Jai has helped me with my swing trading methodology. He is enthusiastic about trading and is very nice to work with. He called me on his dime and spent over an hour on the phone with me. During this time he very graciously shared some trades he was currently in and his reasoning for the plays. He later called back just to see how things were going for me.

    Best regards,

  3. Hi Hayman,

    Read this...

    Something else you may want to consider after you mention a comparison to well-written books...

    I've seen here at ET well-written books highlighted and highly recommended by traders that are also very vocal about mentoring services are not valuable...

    What if that same well-written book they've highly recommended to others was mentored to that trader in person...

    Would it not be of value?

    Good luck.

  4. agrau


    What do you mean by "mentoring" ? Let me offer you two ways of looking at it:

    Either as someone to talk to. "When Odysseus left for the Trojan War, he placed Mentor in charge of his son." ( - a mentor thus could be someone to help you find your own way.

    Or as someone who shows you how to do it. Like in sport the trainer or the coach - he teaches you his way.

    NihabaAshi presented some criteria for the trainer. You want him to be at a higher level of insight, technically speaking, and share his experiences for you to learn from.

    For the mentor, he doesn't necessarily needs to be a successful trader (Van Tharp may be a good mentor, but his successes as trader are, from what is often heard, not quite superb). Maybe a mentor doesn't even needs to be a trader if he's good at helping you re-align.

    Next thing that I would like to hear about from you, is what you mean by "worth the investment". I believe it is safe to assume, that the fact of passing money over to somebody else's pockets, doesn't make you automagically (sic!) a better trader.

    Thanks for making me think about it!
  5. Hayman,

    I just realized your also a sports coach.

    Therefore, you should already know if you can benefit or not from mentoring.

    Think about it...the sport you coach (teaching or guidance is involved)...

    If you put everything you know into words (a well-written book) with illustrations...

    Then handed the athlete the reading material and said I'll meet you at the next game or tournament...

    How do you think they will do (their performance) via comparing your well-written book versus you coaching them in person?

    An athlete or trader can only read so much...

    Eventually you just have to apply it or find someone to encourage you to apply it into a winning technique.

    Coaching is a big area.

    Beginner athletes need coaches that understand the rules, teach technique while providing a basic understanding of the overall game.

    Advanced athletes need coaches mainly as guides and to discover/resolve problem areas in the technique.

    Simply, only you know where your at in your trading...

    Only you know what type of coaching you need.

    Therefore, before paying one single penny...make sure you got the right mentor or the right well-written book.

    I've played sports myself and have had a few bad coaches that had a great background as an athlete (national championships) but was horrible at coaching.

    The best coaches I've had weren't great athletes but understood a different part of the game very well...

    An area that was ofter overlooked or underestimated.

    They just knew how to give inspiration and get you ready for competition on that psychological level...

    The most important level.

  6. bobcathy1

    bobcathy1 Guest

    I suggest you get some mentoring.

    I paid for some courses and mentoring by Don Miller that worked well for me. I was lucky enough to have some experienced traders mentor me for free, but that is unusual. Hang out in the mIRC chat rooms on Othernet and you might find some. #Emini has a several paid mentoring services in there....just ask in the chat and you will find them.

    You need to find someone who can make it easy for you to understand. There are a lot of good mentors out there. Nihaba Ashi who wrote above is an excellent one and I suspect he does very well for himself trading.

    A lot of mentors do not trade very well. I found the teachers tend to be better at teaching than trading after talking to them for prolonged periods of time. If you would like some other suggestions PM me.....tell me the style you are trying to trade, and what you are looking for...... and I will come up with some ideas for you.
  7. There is nothing wrong with using a GOOD mentor.

    I have had many in my life.

    Football, Martial Arts, as a stockbroker in training I was also fortunate to have some excellent mentors that made a huge difference to my success in that field.

    So when I decided to try my hand at daytrading it was only a logical step for me to seek out the best mentors that I could find.

    Unfortunately, all I found where con men that where charging big dollars for services that proved to be completely worthless.

    After several disappointments I have come to the conclusions that anyone that is charging you money up front for a mentoring service in this field is not worth trusting.

    If you can find someone that will do it for free or for money after profits then I would encourage you to go for it but good luck.

    I have been spending allot of time in woodies cci room lately and I can tell you that I am very impressed with all the FREE help that I have received from woodie and the other veteran cci traders in the room and if the rooms methods suit your style I would invite you to give it a try.

    So in my opinion the answer is yes.

    If you find the right ones.
  8. hayman


    Thank you all for your words of wisdom. I appreciate all the feedback. You all make solid points. I definitely need to re-invent myself at this point, and need to figure out for myself, the best way to accomplish this. No doubt, having a "live" mentor would be ideal, but I'm not sure how practical that is, living on eastern Long Island. There are several mentors that have virtual programs available - the latest rage is using Paltalk and Hotcomm technology. The cost is dear, and although there is an extreme convenience factor here - mentoring from home - the jury is out on how beneficial this is, particularly since the mentoring is not 1-on-1, and is in a large group setting. Although I'm certainly willing to pay for the right mentor, the thought of shelling out a lot of cash, just for the sake of doing something, frightens me. However, if this type of mentoring is truly viable, then perhaps it is worth a shot. If anyone has had experiences with this type of mentoring, I would love to hear about it.

    To add more pertinent information about my style and desires, here is some brief trading history about myself:

    <LI>I am a former IT guy (almost 20 years in the biz). I am very analytic, and have lots of programming skills. I have used Wealthlab extensively, to test many methodologies, in an automated fashion. Wealtlab has saved me a lot of cash, if you catch my drift.
    <LI>I traded illiquid NYSE stocks for my 1st 2 years. My mentor, so to speak, was Chris Farrell (author of "Day Trading Online"). His system is dated in that it was written pre-decimalization, and deals with trading illiquid stock & bond funds that trade on the NYSE. The trading was very slow-paced, and I succeeded based on my tape reading skills. However, times changed. Front-running became much more prevalent and when the bond market turned a couple of months ago, this hurt me as well, since most of these stocks could only be traded LONG. I really cannot make much using this system any more, and I recognized that it is time to move on.
    <LI>After much Wealthlab experimentation, I decided that I wanted to trade S/R levels. I basically have shut down all my indicators (laggards), and just try to play the bounces off of these levels, while looking at the general trend of the market. So far, I'm about break-even, or slightly below, and do not feel confident with this strategy (or I should say, my strategy). I have tried this technique with eminis (YM) and liquid NYSE stocks.
    <LI>My problems with the above include: (a) not being able to determine reversals from breakouts well; (b) perhaps not using the right S/R levels (I pretty much use the Dailys); (c) I don't let my trades run long enough (usually stop out after .10 loss) and close out my winners too early (this is psychological, no doubt)
    <LI>After trading illiquid NYSE's for a while, I became disenchanted with the Specialist system, and hence, I find eminis to be a very attractive alternative. I believe that trading ES or YM is the way to go, although I have not totally shut the door on liquid NYSE stocks yet. Leverage is definitely not the issue for me. To me, ES and YM (both electronic) represent THE market. Stock prices, at any given time, can represent the market plus other external factors such as large buyers/sellers, Specialist and Market Maker manipulation, etc.
    So that's my story in a very short nutshell, and perhaps my brief resume will attract a mentor to me, who can be of assistance.

    I hope this thread persists for a bit longer, and I can continue to garner more valuable information from all of you.

    So far, it's been great !

    Thanks again to all who responded.


  9. That might be true if the mentor is a good general motivational mentor, but if they claim to be a trader, I disagree with that completely

    Trading is not an acedemic exercise.

    Without success as their final product (in their own trading), everything they teach is in question.

    The key to success in anything is the focus of priorities on the things that matter, and the tuning out of things that don't.

    I don't see how someone who doesn't succeed in trading themselves can do that. How can they really claim to know what matters, if they cant figure it out for their own trading?
  10. bobcathy1

    bobcathy1 Guest

    I could not agree more. If my teacher does not have a provable track record, their teaching is useless. All my best teachers were successful traders.:)
    #10     May 23, 2004