The Value of Coaching And The Difficulty in Finding One

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John Forman

24 Apr, 2006

in Getting Started and 1 more

Trader education has become a hot topic in recent years. Everywhere you look there is someone offering some course, seminar, training program, or whatever. Many are very pricey, and we can certainly debate the real value of quite a few. The proliferation of the products and such can’t help but bring up some of the commonly debated topics related to whether traders can be taught or just have some innate talent which allows them to succeed. This article makes its own contribution to that discussion.

In the interest of openness, my personal view is that anyone can learn to trade effectively. By that, I mean we are all capable of trading toward a reasonable and rational set of goals and/or objectives determined by our own personal situation and means. Can everyone become George Soros, Paul Tudor Jones, or Warren Buffett? No, of course not. If we could all do that, those names wouldn’t be as big as they are. Most people simply don’t have the kind of resources traders like that have at their disposal. We all do, however, have the means to trade well within the scope of the money, time, risk tolerance, and other elements of our trading focus.

The starting point of effective trading, as with anything else in life, is education. There are certain things one needs to know in order to trade effectively. What those are vary a bit based on the market traded and instruments utilized, but there are some fundamentals. For example, all trading is based on the bid-offer mechanism at some level. There are numerous types of orders for entry in to positions and exit from them. There are exchange hours and instrument specifications. Brokerage commissions are a feature in most markets, and in all one needs to understand how profits and losses are determined. I think we can all agree that these are some of the basic building blocks of knowledge and understanding required to even contemplate trading.

At the next level we start getting more in to comprehension of the market action, its interpretation, and knowing how that translates in to profit opportunities and risk. On some level, trading requires analysis to make buy/sell decision – fundamental, technical, or quantitative. For the mechanical trader, that analysis is done through research in the development of one’s trading system. For the discretionary trader it is more an on-going process. Likewise, some kind of risk management program is a requirement, regardless of trading style or analytic method.

All of this kind of core knowledge and understanding can, in my opinion, be learned from books, lectures, seminars, courses, etc. It is akin to earning a degree. In order to get that diploma, one must prove that certain things have been learned, skills gained. Once that is done, however, one’s development becomes a more personal journey. It is the same thing in trading. There is a basic set of knowledge we must gain, but after that it is up to us to forge our own path in the markets as our own personal situation dictates.

Here is where things start getting muddled.

We must each determine our own course in trading, ideally based on a good assessment of the resources we have available to us. There are so many ways we can go, though. Everywhere there are people telling us that this path or that path is the one we should take. How are we to decide? Most of us end up stumbling along through a trial and error exploration of various systems, methods, techniques, and whatnot. Some of us find something that works. A great many do not, and quit in frustration, or broke. This is where having a coach or mentor can make a huge difference.

We need look no further than the world of athletics to see how important the role of a coach is to one’s development. I happen to coach high level collegiate volleyball, so please permit me the indulgence of using that sport as an example.

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punter99
Having just read this whole thread, I find it interesting, how Socrates pontificates ad nauseum about the inabilities of newbies, but when challenged on his own pronouncements, he clams up. Well done PKFFW for the exposure of the egotistical elite.

Eddie

..:rolleyes:

Jan 07, 2007

Member (4966 posts)

PKFFW
Didn't mean my reply to seem like a "retort" to you sandpiper. You asked questions, I replied. I did not take your post personally or have the idea that you were having a go at me. No malice was intended in my reply.

Why am I wasting the energy you ask. It is certainly not for socrates' approval or acceptance. In fact, as I freely admit to not yet being a successful trader I can't even begin to desire acceptance of my unachieved success.

I debate the matter with socrates because, for good or ill, I detest hypocracy. socrates exudes hypocracy. He admonishes others to give up ego and yet is clearly wrapped up in his own ego. For good or ill I detest arogance and socrates has this quality in abundance as well. When these two qualities combine and are directed at me it gets up my goat and I "waste energy" in pointing out the flaws in the others point of view. It especially gets up my goat when those qualities are combined with generalistic assumptions formed about me from something other than the writings of my post. At the very least on a forum board one should deal with what is written and not with ones own assumptions about the other person.

So yes, I agree, it is a waste of energy and a hiding no nothing as socrates will never admit his point of view is clearly and undeniably incorrect. However, the fact that once this is pointed out causes him to retreat and proclaim he can not argue his own point is enough for me.

Lastly, I do not expect anyone to be without ego. Ego is a part of being human. What I expect is that one should acknowledge ones own ego and gain some sort of control over it before advising others that they can not be as successful as oneself until they control their own ego. If one were to do that, then the arrogance problem would resolve itself as well. If that is too hard then at the very least one should not direct ones malice in my direction unless it is warrented by something I have specifically posted.

Cheers,
PKFFW


Having just read this whole thread, I find it interesting, how Socrates pontificates ad nauseum about the inabilities of newbies, but when challenged on his own pronouncements, he clams up. Well done PKFFW for the exposure of the egotistical elite.

Eddie

Jan 07, 2007

Member (32 posts)

sandpiper
PKFFW,

Your well crafted retort demands that I explain myself further I suppose.

By hiding to nothing I meant that you've decided for yourself (by whatever means) what it is that you want, indeed what it is that you need and it's obvious at this point that Socrates isn't going to give it to you. So why waste the energy?

You're right in that you have never asked for any other route to success to be explained or even asked for him to explain his path. Actually, my comment was more of a general one rather than being explicitly directed at you. Nevertheless, I apologise for that. You are however asking that he acknowledge that there are other paths, that his may not be the only way, etc. Why? Is it important to you that he acknowledge the validity of your own path or just just other non-specific paths in general? Why do you need this acceptance? You quite rightly mention others on this planet who have achieved success in this game of trading. However, do you suppose that they need to be accepted, to have their achievements acknowledged (er, actually some of them do but that's a different story....).

Finally, I can't dispute the points you make are regarding ego. However, in my opinion, it's a fallacy to think that successful traders or, for that matter, successful professionals in any of a number of fields, are without ego. My experience with regards to traders is that they just somehow manage to shut it in a box when required.

Regards

Didn't mean my reply to seem like a "retort" to you sandpiper. You asked questions, I replied. I did not take your post personally or have the idea that you were having a go at me. No malice was intended in my reply.

Why am I wasting the energy you ask. It is certainly not for socrates' approval or acceptance. In fact, as I freely admit to not yet being a successful trader I can't even begin to desire acceptance of my unachieved success.

I debate the matter with socrates because, for good or ill, I detest hypocracy. socrates exudes hypocracy. He admonishes others to give up ego and yet is clearly wrapped up in his own ego. For good or ill I detest arogance and socrates has this quality in abundance as well. When these two qualities combine and are directed at me it gets up my goat and I "waste energy" in pointing out the flaws in the others point of view. It especially gets up my goat when those qualities are combined with generalistic assumptions formed about me from something other than the writings of my post. At the very least on a forum board one should deal with what is written and not with ones own assumptions about the other person.

So yes, I agree, it is a waste of energy and a hiding no nothing as socrates will never admit his point of view is clearly and undeniably incorrect. However, the fact that once this is pointed out causes him to retreat and proclaim he can not argue his own point is enough for me.

Lastly, I do not expect anyone to be without ego. Ego is a part of being human. What I expect is that one should acknowledge ones own ego and gain some sort of control over it before advising others that they can not be as successful as oneself until they control their own ego. If one were to do that, then the arrogance problem would resolve itself as well. If that is too hard then at the very least one should not direct ones malice in my direction unless it is warrented by something I have specifically posted.

Cheers,
PKFFW

Aug 01, 2006

Member (535 posts)

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