Reader Questions Answered Trading Tips

Learning to ask the right questions about your trading

I had the following note come in over the weekend. Not only does it say nice things about my book 🙂 but is also addresses some very important points.

Hi John,

I bought your book because I’ve recently started trading index futures but my inner voice said something was not quite right. I started with a $10k account and got stopped a couple of times, so I was at $9780. At that point I realized that I was missing my entries because I was too busy running my own design business along with other domestic duties. Then I came across a paragraph in your book about the amount of dedicated, uninterrupted time it takes to day trade futures. Bingo-I was glad I stopped early and kept most of my capital. My mentor never mentioned any of this. Now I’m starting over and working on setting up a trading plan that can fit me — swing trading appears to be the goal at this time. I’ve been searching high and low trying to find information on how to really set up a good trading plan and your book is the first one I’ve seen that really addresses this important issue.


Firstly, I’m glad Michele recognized early that she had a problem. It would have been better had she done so while demo trading so she didn’t have to lose the money she lost, of course. I definitely encourage getting real money trading experience early on in one’s development, but that doesn’t mean demo trading doesn’t have a proper place in sorting out one’s strategy and trading plan. Fortunately, Michele didn’t have to suffered an overly hard lesson.

Secondly, it doesn’t say much good about her mentor that they failed to take into account Michele’s schedule when helping her determine a good way to take on the markets. A mentor is supposed to factor these sorts of things in. Maybe we’re talking a specific stylistic mentor here, someone who focuses on one type of methodology (like day-trading S&P futures). Even still, though, they should recognize someone who is not suited for their trading approach (see Trading Coaching and Mentoring).

Trader Resources

Where can I find a mentor?

I came across this post on one of the trading forums I frequent and thought it would be well worth sharing here because I talks about something I would like to address.

Hello all,

I’ve been training myself for the past few months on forex and stock trading, so far so good (especially for self taught). I’m well on my way and able to see the bigger picture, but my fine tuning needs some work. I’m beginning to get frustrated and down at this point as I have really high hopes for this (not unrealistic, just high) and am hoping to make a career out of trading.

I do not personally know anybody else who trades and therefore am on my own. The part about trading that I appreciate the most is that we work for ourselves and that our own hard work determines our success. Having said that, about 4-5 months ago, I was part of a mass “down sizing” where I worked. I’ve always wanted to work for myself and saw this lay off as a sign. I quickly took action, having spent countless number of hours daily training myself, staying up all night at times if I had to, stopped going out just to give myself more time learning. I know I’m close to getting my system down, but something is still a little off and my entries/exits arent quite right yet.

As I’m doing this alone, I cannot always see my own errors, only a 2nd pair of eyes can point out what I’m doing wrong.

I am in the Dallas / Fort Worth area and very optimistically searching for a mentor or anybody that can give me guidance. If you are willing to help, or know anybody who would, please PM me, I am available anytime of the day, night, weekends, ANYTIME, this is priority #1 in my life.

I thank you for having taken the time to read my post and thank you for any help you may be able to offer.

Happy trading to all!

Obviously, this poster is very eager to learn and develop as a trader. The fact that he’s looking to identify where he’s having problems is a very good sign. Finding a mentor for 1-on-1 work as an individual traders can be very hard, however, as I’ve written on this blog and in magazine and book articles previously.

But here’s a question.

How valuable, given your own situation, would you find a sort of group coaching session?

I’m thinking in terms of something like a weekly meeting of traders – either in person, via phone, or online – where a group could get together to talk about their trading, share their ups and downs, get help improving their performance, and maybe even collaborate on strategy. Do you think that sort of social/educational interaction would have a big impact on your trading experience?

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think – and where you’re currently at with your trading.