Previously, I wrote an article about trading coaching programs.  The focus of that article was on whether or not you need a trading mentor to succeed at binary options trading or not.  There are a lot of traders out there who charge a lot of money to teach new traders (and veteran traders in many cases) how to get more out of their trading.  Some mentors teach specific trading methods, while others focus on more general mentoring.

There is a lot of variation in these programs, so when you look for a trading mentor, it is important for you to not only make sure you are getting a high-quality coach, but also one that is going to be a good fit for you.  If you read the article linked above, you will see some general tips to makes sure you are choosing a reputable mentor.  You do not necessarily need a trading coach, but the right mentor can take years off of your learning curve and help you get to your goals that much faster.  Many traders who put off finding a mentor said that they regretted the delay after they finally got one and got on track.

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Here are some criteria to consider when you are selecting a trading mentor who can help you.  The right mentor for one person may be the wrong mentor for somebody else.  The key is to find someone with whom you are compatible.

Do You Like the Mentor’s Trading Approach?

If you are interested only in technical analysis, and the coach you have found does nothing but fundamental analysis, this probably is not the right match for you.  The coach may be the best fundamental trading coach on the planet, but that is not enough to make him or her the right mentor for you.  You need someone who can help you to learn the material you are comfortable with.

Do You Like the Mentor’s Teaching Method?

Trading method is one thing, but teaching method is another.  Most of us can remember classes in high school and college that we hated not because of the course material, but because of the way that the material was presented.  You might for example remember taking an algebra class that you got a D in one year, and then another the next year that you got a B in.  The material itself was probably very similar, but perhaps the teaching styles were so totally different that one caused you to fail and the other helped you to learn.

If a mentor’s teaching style is not intuitive to the way your brain soaks up information, that mentor may not be right for you, even if the system he or she teaches fits you perfectly.  You may well want to grab the system and use it in the future, but you may still want to find another coach who can help you to learn more efficiently.

Do You Like the Course Materials?

Course materials are a part of how information is transmitted and represent a part of a mentor’s teaching style.  What kinds of downloadable content does the mentor provide?  Do you learn more effectively reading words, looking at still images, or watching videos?  Does the course material fit your learning style?  Are there any other tools which you need, like spreadsheets?

Is the Mentor Accessible Enough?

Some trading coaches are accessible once a week by email, while others will let you call them at any time.  Do you need to schedule an appointment?  Are the mentor’s hours consistent with yours?  Are they available to help you via the medium which is best for you (email, chat online, telephone)?  Would you do better with another coach who is more accessible?

Is the Coach Confrontational Enough?

Everybody has different comfort zones when it comes to dealing with trading problems.  You definitely need to have a trading mentor who is confrontational enough to call you out on your problems.  Every trader has his or her own needs where this is concerned though.  Is the trading coach you are thinking of working with someone who is going to challenge you on your poor decisions, or coddle you?  A coach who is just fine for one person may not be sufficiently confrontational for someone else.  So make sure that you are choosing a mentor who is going to help you to raise your performance to the next bar—even when that means making you uncomfortable.

Is the Mentor’s Personality Right For You?

Looking back at your school days, odds are you can also remember classes you liked because you could easily and naturally establish a rapport with the instructor, and others you disliked because you could never quite see eye to eye with the teacher.  There are basic personality issues that are fundamental in any mentor-student relationship.  If you need to be able to establish some kind of chemistry on a visceral level or a coaching relationship is never going to work.  You cannot both constantly be engaged in a tug-of-war of personalities.  So make sure that you are going to get along and respect one another before you send somebody your money and enroll in their program.

Discover Your Learning Style

How do you learn?  Some people can answer this question right away.  “I am a visual learner,” or “I learn by doing!”  Not everybody knows their own learning style, though.  If you are not already familiar with your own best approach to taking in new information and comprehending it, it is a good idea to take some time to get to know yourself as a learner before you choose a trading coach.

How do you figure out your learning style?  To start with, sift through your memories of your education.  What classes did you do well in?  What did they have in common?  Were they courses that involved lectures?  Lab classes where you learned by doing?  You may very well be able to figure out your learning style just from memory.  Oftentimes, the way you learn one thing is exactly how you will learn another.  The same principles of learning that applied when you were in English or math class will likely apply to how you learn binary options trading.

If you have no idea where to start, there are a lot of tests that have been developed to try and determine learning style.  Just look up “discover your learning style” and you will find links to plenty of questionnaires.  These quizzes are designed to help you search your memories and draw helpful conclusions.  Questions will involve not only academic learning, but how you make purchase decisions, amuse yourself, surf the web, choose food at a restaurant, learn directions on the road, and more.

You will then be given a result.  For example, the VARK questionnaire tells you whether you are a (V)isual, (A)ural, (R)ead/Write, or (K)inesthetic learner.  Visual learners learn from pictures, diagrams and charts.  Aural learners learn by listening.  Read/write learners learn from text, and kinesthetic learners learn by doing.  Most people learn through some combination, but odds are there are some learning methods which are better for you than others.

Let’s look at how these learning styles might apply to binary options trading:

  • Visual:  You learn best by looking at charts of trades taken by others with entries and exits highlighted and notes on the charts explaining what is going on.  You may also learn well from video demonstrations.
  • You learn best through hearing others talk about their trading.  Conversations between traders on forums or in real life may help you to learn, as well as lectures about trading in audio or video format.  Phone conversations with your mentor will help you to pick up more information.
  • Read/write.  Detailed instructions about how to take binary options trades, how the markets work, and other aspects of trading can help you learn.  You will want to search for a program with a wealth of articles and ebooks.  Journaling may be extra helpful for you if you are this kind of learner.
  • Kinesthetic.  You learn by watching demonstrations, video presentations, and webinars, and also from actually practicing trading on your own by backtesting and demo testing.   You will want to look for a program with plenty of webinars and a high level of interaction and concrete examples.

Knowing your personal learning style can help you to select a mentor who is going to be compatible with you.  That is every bit as important as finding a mentor who is reputable and offering a great service.  On top of that, you will be able to get more out of your coaching program if you know your own learning style.  It is much easier to learn when you know the best approach to take to studying the information and applying it.  Improve your learning techniques based on your own personality and strengths, and you will have a much easier time becoming a top-notch trader!