Learn From a Teacher, or a Trader?

             by kjtradingsys

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There is an old saying “those who can do, and those who can’t, teach.” I’m not sure where that phrase originated, but it is true in many professions. Think of professional sports; there are many great coaches who never played the game, or if they did, weren’t as good playing it as they are teaching and coaching it.

The same thing holds true in trading. Especially on the Internet, many, many people claim to be gurus of forex, futures, stocks and every other kind of trading instrument. And some of them probably are gurus – teaching gurus. Unfortunately, teaching gurus don’t always necessarily teach you the right things.

For example, many teaching gurus stress the importance of placing trades in a simulator or demo account. Doing this, they say, will prove out their “secret” method – which of course they will share with you for a high fee – and then you’ll be set to start raking in cash.

As a trader first, and a teacher second, I can tell you that this is terrible advice. Yes, a demo account is good to get used to the mechanics of entering orders, checking that software is configured correctly, etc. BUT, simulator accounts completely ignore the mental and emotional impact of losing or gaining hundreds or thousands of dollars during the day. And usually the mental part is what kills trading accounts, not necessarily the trading method (although most “secret” methods will eventually lead you to ruin, too – most methods are that bad).

So, what you want to look for is a TRADING guru, who also happens to teach. Those are hard to find, but with a little digging, you can discover them. The key is to find someone with independently documented success, not a self proclaimed guru. For instance, hedge funds and Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs) have documented track records, there are worldwide trading contests with verified results, and independent trade auditing websites that rank the best traders.

Many times, it is true that those who can’t trade, teach. But find someone who can trade AND teach, and you will be miles ahead of the competition. And when you do, your trading account will thank you for it.




Saturday, August 6th, 2011 Education, Stock Trading

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