As an e-mini educator, my favorite students are the ones that tried to learn to trade e-mini’s from a popular textbook and have lost a good bit of money. I’ve yet to meet an e-mini trader who became competent from the trading books currently available. Most recently, I came in contact with a textbook educated trader who had lost half of a six digit trading account. He couldn’t figure out why the material he’d studied so diligently just didn’t work in actual practice.
Now, I am sure there are a number of very bright individuals who picked up a trading textbook and intuitively learned how to trade effectively. But for those of us of average intelligence, you can learn so much more from an experienced mentor and shave years off the e-mini trading learning curve.
But most people and don’t want to shell out the money. This is odd, really, as their losses generally far outweigh what a modestly priced training program would have cost.
Most textbook educated traders are dependent on indicators and oscillators; and if you read any of my past articles you know that I am very fond of order flow analysis, tape reading, and the things of that nature. The ability to learn to tape reading is not something you’re likely to find in a textbook, and yet it is essential for understanding the order flow in market. Oddly enough, when I introduce these concepts to indicators / oscillator traders they look at me like I’ve lost my mind. Instead of three pages of indicators and oscillators I’m looking at a fairly simple chart and getting a snapshot about the market internals.
The market itself is no easy and nut to crack. The idea that logic and common sense are of little value is one that most new traders, or textbook trained traders, are completely disconnected; but it is the internal portion of the market that tells the story and makes trading something that can be understood. On the other hand, most traders have been trained to look at external indicators and make trading decisions based upon those types of indicators. To me, I am interested in the inner workings of the market that dictate price and directionality. I am not particularly interested in trading lagging indicators.
With all this being said, my point is a simple one. You can cut the learning curve by several years by associating with a mentor. This mentor may be a good friend who is a competent trader, or it might well be an individual you hire. Either way, you are learning to trade with the variables that are not in most textbooks. Of course, there are little tricks and formations that all experienced traders know how to exploit. These small pieces of information are what separate textbook trained traders and competent and consistent e-mini traders.