Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Should I Seek a Trading Coach?

I receive quite a few inquiries about the coaching of traders.  I enjoy working with traders and have been privileged to share many ups and downs with skilled market participants.  That being said, I'm not convinced that seeking a coach is the answer for many market-related woes.  Here are a few questions to ask yourself before considering engaging a coach:

1)  Do I need a coach or do I need a mentor?  A mentor is one who teaches markets and trading: who has experience in markets that you can learn from.  Many coaches are not active in markets and don't trade.  Many times struggling traders need role modeling and learning, not psychological assistance.  Problems in your trading are just as likely to cause emotional upset as the reverse. 

2)  Do I need a dedicated trading coach?  Many times, an experienced psychologist can address the psychological issues facing someone in a performance field.  If, for example, you find that stress is interfering with your decision making, a therapist experienced in techniques for dealing with performance anxiety can help you every bit as much as a trading coach.  This is especially the case when personal issues that affect your life outside of trading contribute to your trading challenges.

3)  Can I do it on my own?  There are quite a few good self-help resources available on the web and in book form.  I wrote my most recent trading book precisely to help traders coach themselves.  You may also find that networking with experienced traders can set you on the right path.  

Only after you've addressed those three issues should you take steps toward finding a coach.  In an upcoming post, I'll address what to look for if you do take those steps.

Further Reading:  Succeeding as Your Own Trading Coach