Going it alone is never easy and it’s seldom fun. There is nothing harder than trying to climb a mountain alone and unaided, which is pretty much what you are doing if you try to trade binary options in a vacuum. Odds are if you have been browsing around for trading products, you have discovered that there are professional traders out there who are offering their services to fellow traders in a mentoring capacity. These traders generally charge a premium for a package which includes direct counseling (usually over Skype, telephone, or another chat or VOIP service) as well as members-only trading resources. A trading mentor can help to give you direction when you are lost and keep you focused when you lose your concentration or become discouraged.
Do you really need a trading mentor? And if so, how much should you be willing to pay for one? Are all these services legitimate, or are some of them scammers? Is it really worth it to pay someone else to teach you how to trade? Do you need a trading system?
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Finding Legitimate Coaching Programs
Trading mentors come in all shapes and sizes. Some will follow your trading closely on a day by day basis, while others may offer assistance at a distance, agreeing to be accessible if you need something, but otherwise leaving you to your own devices. Many will leave it up to you how you want to approach the mentorship program. Some, but not all mentors, trade for a living. Others make most of their money through offering their mentoring services.
“But wait—why would I pay someone to teach me how to trade who isn’t even making a living trading?” There are two schools of thought concerning programs like this. On one hand, some traders look down on mentors who make their living principally through teaching. Others however point out that (many of) these mentors know trading inside and out and are fully capable of teaching others to trade for a living. These teachers may be capable of trading for a living, but teaching may be their greater gift.
There are scams among mentorship programs, just as there are scams among trading systems for sale and signal and alert services, not to mention brokers. That does not mean the majority of coaching programs are fraudulent however or a waste of money. Sadly, a lot of traders come out of these programs still failing to make a living trading, and may blame it on their coaches instead of on themselves (where the blame is ultimately due). This can make it rather difficult to figure out whether a program is legitimate or not.
You can however use some contextual clues to make a determination about the legitimacy of a mentorship program. Here are some tips to help you decide:
- How informative are the reviews? Do the negative reviews list specific negatives, and do the positive reviews list specific positives? Do the negative reviewers take responsibility for their own failings, or do they cast all blame on their mentor?
- Are there any free materials offered by the trading coach? A lot of trading coaches will actually make a large portion of their materials available without any charge. Many will offer free eBooks in return for newsletter sign-ups. Some may be active members on forums and regularly post their trades or trading ideas. Check out any free materials you can locate; they offer you a preview of the quality you can expect from the rest of the program if you join.
- How accessible is the trading coach? If you have questions, can you get in direct contact with him or her? How forthcoming and helpful is this person? Is this the type of person you would trust with your money?
Other Selection Criteria
Obviously you want your trading coach to be legit, but that alone is not the sole criterion you should be using to select your mentor. Your mentor, if you choose to have one, needs to be able to help you with your trading. Not every mentor or every program is right for every trader. One of the wonderful things about binary options is that there are endless different approaches you can take to trading. But that means that not every approach is going to suit every personality. It also means that you can shop around for something that does suit you, because there isn’t one perfect method that you must learn. Here are some additional criteria to consider in your search for a trading coach:
- An approach trading that you find intuitive. If you are someone who leans heavily toward fundamental analysis, you do not want to pick a trading coach that teaches only technical analysis. Or if you absolutely hate everything to do with MACD, but want to learn technical analysis, it would be foolish to choose an instructor who teaches MACD-based techniques, even though he or she specializes in technical analysis.
- An approach to teaching that is compatible with how you learn. It is not just what a coach teaches, but also how he or she teaches that counts. Even if someone teaches a technique that you could hope to learn and apply successfully, you will have a hard time if the format of the teaching does not mesh well with how you learn. Every person on the planet learns in a unique way; that is one of the reasons each of us develops different skill sets and approaches to problem solving. You need to select a program where you will be able to learn according to your needs.
- A top notch community. The best training programs will offer you all kinds of assistance beyond the class materials and coaching from the program manager. Look for a program with a dedicated forum where you can interact with other teachers and students. A community like this is great for two reasons: 1-You can learn from others, and learn in different ways, which extends the value of the program, and 2-A community of smart, driven individuals generally is going to accumulate only where there is a legitimate, proven program in place for trading binary options.
Alternatives to Coaching Programs
You do not have to have a trading mentor or sign up for a premium members-only paid trading course in order to become a successful binary options trader. At the same time, you really should avoid isolating yourself from other traders and trying to make it on your own. There is a reason a lot of mountain climbers choose to ascend with the help of a team. When you expose yourself to risk, it can really pay off to have someone else on your side to help you make smart choices and catch you when you make a mistake. If you do not want to pay for guidance, consider these alternatives:
- Free forums for trading. There are a lot of binary options forums cropping up online, and you can also join forums for Forex and general trading. On these forums you can meet other traders and learn and share. An unbelievable amount of incredibly good trading material is shared by traders online every day for free. Traders are usually a cooperative bunch, not a competitive group. Why? Because the smart traders know that 95% of their fellow traders are going to fail with or without their help. But the 5% that are going to make it will make it by forging ahead together. You can make friends quickly and easily in most trading circles simply by demonstrating you want to be in the 5%.
- Trading partners and groups. On these forums, there are a lot of opportunities to join private trading groups and form partnerships. These people will often place trades together side by side. Partners from around the globe can help you to spot the best opportunities, and return, you can help to keep them on track as well. Be cautious about team trading, since there are a lot of complications which can arise. Read more about best practices for team trading to learn about pitfalls to avoid.
- An accountability partner. Sometimes all you really need is someone you are answerable to (other than yourself). An accountability partner can be anyone who you trust with inside knowledge of your financial life. It could be a spouse, a friend, or a family member. It might be another trader. If anyone else is financially dependent on you, like a spouse or a housemate, that person should automatically be an accountability partner for you, because you owe it to him or her. An accountability partner can help you to stay honest and on track with your trading by taking a sincere and dedicated interest in your trading activities.
So regardless of where you are standing with financial resources, there are a lot of options for guidance in trading. If you can afford it, membership in the right coaching program can really catapult your trading ahead—but only if you make the most of it. And even if you cannot afford to take a course, you can still enjoy most of the same benefits for free simply by availing yourself of the resources of the trading communities you find online.