Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Trading Mentors and Coaches: A Resource Linkfest

In my recent call for this linkfest, I made the distinction between trading coaches (those helping traders with the emotional aspects of trading performance) and trading mentors (those teaching specific trading methods). Both have their relevance, but it's important to not confuse one with the other. This is why I wrote the post on when coaching works and when it doesn't. Many times, especially among newer traders, the frustrations of trading are simply due to a lack of understanding of markets and the absence of any methods that would confer a consistent edge. No amount of working on the mental game of trading can substitute for the knowledge and skill of the successful professional.

On the other hand, even the best trading methods can be undone by performance anxiety, overconfidence, and a lack of focus and discipline. When it is not possible to become your own trading coach, getting help from an experienced professional can be an excellent choice. Similarly, if you're not finding success in developing your own trading approaches, working with an experienced mentor--one who truly knows and trades markets--can be a great aid to the learning curve.

This linkfest consists of services that have been recommended to me either by the coaches/mentors themselves or by readers. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list, and they are not intended to be my personal recommendations (although I can vouch for a number of people on the list). Please use it as a starting point for your due diligence in selecting the services that will be most helpful to you. For additional resources that I've found useful, please check out the Trader Development page of my personal site and the resource list at the end of my recent book.


Ray Barros - Ray, based in Singapore and Hong Kong, has thirty years of trading experience and conducts an intensive mentoring course to provide correct tools and and skills for traders. He offers one-to-one teaching that assesses the trader's personality, develops individualized trading plans, and teaches the skills relevant to that plan. Ray has also written extensively on the markets and developed a number of unique technical trading tools that he teaches to traders individually and in seminars. My sense is that Ray takes a personal interest in his students and their success, aiding them in setting and reaching trading goals.

Woodie's CCI Club - Woodie (Ken Wood) has been an icon of trading over the past 29 years. He has pioneered and mastered the trading of patterns of the Commodity Channel Index (CCI), rather than price bars. He has been using a chat room to teach his methods for the past ten years and conducts affordable Trade-A-Long seminars to supplement his teaching. A motto of the site is "traders helping traders", and I've personally found considerable mutual mentorship on the site. To his credit, Woodie has used the site to raise over $80,000 for charities.

DLC Profiles - Jim Dalton and Terry Liberman provide individualized and small group learning experiences grounded in Market Profile. They emphasize the entire cognitive process of learning--perception, intuition, and reason--and stress the role of study and practice in the development of mastery. Jim is one of the pioneers of Market Profile, with considerable trading and industry experience. Terry is a developer of innovative Market Profile software (WINdoTRADEr) that facilitates volume analysis within profiles of varying time frames. They also offer a newsletter, articles, and Webinars to support the education.

Linda Bradford Raschke - Linda, one of Jack Schwager's Market Wizards, has been conducting chat-room based education for years. She currently maintains two rooms: one devoted to futures, the other to stocks. I've known Linda for years and have been impressed with her integration of trading psychology into her teaching of trading methods. She also offers basic online services that illustrate setups, provide proprietary scans, and enable access to the transcripts of the daily chat room sessions. Guest educators provide supplementary learning experiences.

Alexander Trading - Joe Mertes and Tom Alexander direct a one-on-one mentoring program that lasts 12 months. The core methodology of the instruction is Market Profile, with an emphasis upon identifying trade location for optimal reward-to-risk opportunities. The instructors, with over twenty years of trading experience each, actively trade their own accounts and have started a fund for accredited investors. They also offer newsletters and conduct educational seminars and Webinars.

Daytrade Team - Founders Landon and Andy Swan and Head Trader Nick Fenton offer subscribers real-time alerts of trading setups, as well as an online trading room. A variety of alert systems are offered, including ones for daytrading, swing trading, and options trading. The online trading room provides real-time commentary and trading, with integrated chat from members. Andy Swan has his own blog and has been trading actively for over 10 years. He's currently developing a new venture: mytrade.com.

Trade Mentor - Bob Lang and Price Headley provide mentoring in such areas as charting techniques, trend identification, and specific trading strategies for options and futures. They also cover trading psychology topics, such as journaling and maintaining discipline. Their mentoring is available on a one-to-one basis through phone consultation and in-house instruction.


Doug Hirschhorn - Doug holds a Ph.D. in psychology, with a specialization in sport psychology. He is co-author of the book The Trading Athlete: Winning the Mental Game of Trading and has extensive experience working with traders in proprietary trading firm and hedge fund settings. He is also a regular columnist for Trader Monthly magazine. Doug works with traders to help them modify destructive trading behaviors in both focus group and one-to-one formats. He also offers seminars, Webinars, and digital downloads. Doug has an impressive bio and I've been proud to work with him in several settings.

Trader Psyches - Denise Shull leads a consulting firm in the arena of trader and trading psychology, teaching traders to deal with impulsivity. The programs, including self-directed workshops and advanced coaching, are based on a systematic approach to the reciprocal relationship between reason, analysis, emotion, and trading results. Two consulting modern psychoanalysts, Dr. Gene Kalin and Dr. Deborah Greene Bershatsky, assist in client coaching through a theory and approach distinctly different from Freudian psychoanalysis.

John Forman - John brings a history as an athletic coach to his work with traders. He also has a strong background in trader education through his role as editor with the Trade2Win site and through his book The Essentials of Trading. John writes a trading education blog and offers coaching services to traders. His emphasis is two-fold: education (helping traders understand the ins-and-outs of markets) and development (helping traders identify the trading approaches best suited to them to develop a comprehensive trading plan). In addition to individual coaching, he offers trading courses through his site.

Dr. Janice Dorn - Dr. Dorn brings a background as a trader and as a physician to her coaching work. She conducts personal and group coaching, as well as live and Web presentations. Her website offers free articles and updates. Dr. Dorn also publishes a newsletter that deals with trading and behavioral neurofinance.

One last piece of advice: With the exception of Woodie's club, these services are offered on a commercial basis and many are not cheap. Traders, especially newbies, need to keep a close eye on their overhead. Investigate before you invest your time and money in these resources; get details, references, and concrete indications that the services will specifically address your interests and needs. A service is only a resource if it offers what you're looking for.