As a trader, you might want to jump in with both feet and just start trading. How else will you develop your own trading strategies? However, as with any craft, it’s a good idea to find a mentor to show you the ropes, regardless of your experience level.
Mentors can provide motivation when you get discouraged. They have more experience, so they know that nothing is forever and will remind you of that when times get tough. Their passion and drive can boost yours. “Trading is hard and lonely,” admits Kunal Desai, Founder and Lead Instructor of Bulls on Wall Street. “Seeing someone who has gone through it and come out of the other side shows you it’s possible. . . Then you’ll realize that the potential is real and not a distant dream.”
Having a mentor can also save you a lot of time and money as a trader. You can learn from their horror stories, so you don’t experience as many costly mistakes. They will also teach you what they know, knowledge which they may have gathered over decades as a trader.
Matt Choi, Founder and Chief Strategist of Certus Trading, notes that choosing the right mentor is as important as having one at all. He says that his mentor George Fontanills “spent time getting to know me and my personality” in order to give him tips that would fit his trading style. Choi notes that “having the right mentor, in particular someone who plays to your strengths, can help anyone achieve success at a much faster and sustainable pace.”
Finding a mentor who legitimately cares about you as well as your success can have a major impact on your life, both professionally and personally. You may find that your mentor also becomes a close friend. A good mentor knows when you need a bit of tough love versus when to praise you.
If you think you don’t need a mentor for trading, consider if you would play a sport without a coach. Probably not, right? You trust their expertise and know that working with them will help you be your best.
Ed Martin of Average Joe Trading says: “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.” Learning every aspect of trading from small nuances to major trading styles can help you develop your own career.
But how do you find a trading mentor? Look for traders who have a personality, goals, and trading style that align with yours. Reach out to them on social media or attend one of their lectures and introduce yourself afterwards. You can also join a group mentoring session through an established mentorship program. Be sure to make a list of a few potential mentors. You may not hit it off with your first choice or he may not have time to take on a mentee. When you find the right mentor for you and your goals, you will be well on your way to a successful career as a trader.