What’s more important for a trading mentor? Proven trading results, or knowledge and people skills? Surprisingly in my experience trading result don't have a great correlation to the ability to teach trading.
It is not just a trading thing. It is the same in other fields as well.
So should we just concern ourselves with if they can teach trading, rather than actually execute in their own trading?
My trip to gym and how it relates
I went to the Gym this morning for a “fitness assessment” by one of their qualified personal trainers.
Each summer I have crazy ideas of becoming an amazing triathlete, rippling in muscle, and telling woman to form an orderly queue.
Yet each summer I do the swim leg in ever decreasing circles, and spend the rest of the race trying to run down 80 year old grandfathers.
Well no more! Personal trainer at the ready. Enormous, drool inducing upper body strength, here I come. The ability to swim in ever increasing circles, that will be me.
So to the Gym I went to be greeted by my personal trainer, let’s call him … John.
Expecting a ripped, toned morsel of a man, I was greeted by a 5’10”, slightly overweight … normal person.
No Greek Adonis.
Granted he would probably still be able to [rip me a new one](http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=rip a new one" target="_blank), but he was hardly a picture of inspiration.
Did he know his stuff, hell yes. Did he have that sadistic streak of wanting to make your tongue come out of your nose that must be taught in Personal Training 101?
Did he display a proven record of being able to stick to a training program, from appearances, no, but he knew exactly what I needed, and could motivate a corpse.
We will get teeth pulled by buck toothed dentists. Hair cut from bald hairdressers. Prescriptions from unhealthy looking doctors.
Yet we won’t accept trading advice from anyone who doesn’t have their own yacht and a book deal.
So why then is there this stigma?
Is it the lack of a certificate traders can put on their wall?
Dentists go to dental school, doctors to medical school, hair dressers, journo’s, programmers. School, school, school.
At the end they all come out with a nicely pressed certificate and a lifetime of debt. I’ve checked my yellow pages, and I can’t find a trading school. So how do you prove your qualifications as a trader?
If you can’t get a parchment trading certificate to say you have endured 4 years of education, and 3 years of parties, what is to prove you can trade?
Nothing, and why should it matter?
The only piece of paper you can prove your trading ability with is your bank statement, and I don’t know many who are willing to share that, though there are plenty who say you should.
I have played decent level sport all my life, yet I can’t name one coach who had more ability than the stars of the team they were coaching.
They all had far superior knowledge, and importantly, a bucket loads more experience.
Teaching is not about doing
Being able to teach something is not about if you can do it yourself. It is about if you can TEACH it. Hence, teacher. I would rather learn from a 20 year break even trader than a 2 year, flash in the pan. I have traded 12 years, I suspect I have seen approximately 23.45% of possible market conditions, of which 57% I have forgotten (although 23% of statistics are rubbish).
Being able to coach, train or teach something is not always about being a part of the elite yourself. It is about the ability to transfer theory in a way that is easily transferred to it’s material form. It is about the interpretation of information, about the nurturing of ego and expectation. It is about being able to say, “ah yes I remember back in ’92 when that same thing happened, I lost buckets, here’s what not to do”.
Don’t sell me your ebook showing your 200% returns, it is either crap, or a prelude to it’s inverse. Just show me you have travelled the path I am about to tread.