Self-Coaching for Trading Newbies: Part I

Take a look around the internet for fund performance reports. I bet you’ll see that there are professional traders or managers who are seriously lagging behind benchmarks, a smaller group who are in the middle of the pack, and then very few (both known and unknown) who are having rock star years.

Now that everyone has access to the same information, the difference between the performance results is arguably the level of skill an individual or team has in understanding forex market behavior, consistent execution, avoiding mistakes, minimizing losses, and maximizing opportunities.

forex coachOne of the best ways to overcome the long learning curve and shorten the road to competency – and eventually skill mastery – is having a mentor or coach to guide the way.

Unfortunately, unless you’re among the few who has worked their way into a hedge fund, proprietary trading firm, or institutional trading team, your access to an experienced and willing coach is probably slim to none.

And yes, there are knowledgeable and talented individuals all across the internet (including in our super cool forex forum) who enjoy sharing what they do and willing to give out general advice, but most of these folks don’t have the time or ability to do the things that a coach does:

  • Records and analysis your effort and results.
  • Observes and identifies any psychological roadblocks.
  • Prescribe ways to improve trading processes or techniques specific to you.
  • Motivates you when you need it.

Fortunately, there is an alternative that can be effective and it won’t cost you a dime: self-coaching!

Self-coaching involves doing all of the above-mentioned tasks on yourself, which to some, probably doesn’t make sense to do. “How do I (a non-experienced, wannabe forex newb) coach myself to perform better?” Well, here’s the first thing to know: A coach is not necessarily a teacher.

While the two roles can be blended and a coach can teach, a coach’s main job is to lead, observe, redirect, and motivate that individual or team to doing the right things to achieve the goal.

Before one can be coachable, they must have the fundamental skills of their chosen profession internalized. A master sushi chef doesn’t say to his apprentice, “this is how you cook rice” every time the apprentice needs to do so. The apprentice is shown maybe once or twice (or maybe he already knows the skill) and is then sent off to do it. The master chef will check out the apprentice’s work and then give guidelines on how to do it better next time.

In the world of forex trading, you should have all of the fundamental knowledge and trading skills (e.g., understanding market behavior, entry/exit frameworks, trade/risk management, position sizing, etc.) locked down before taking trades and being coached (no coach wants to waste their time on someone who isn’t serious).

The great thing is that forex trading concepts and techniques are mostly simple to understand, and can be found for free in our School of Pipsology or learned from folks willing to share all throughout the internet. Once you’re past the initial learning stage and have chosen a basic trading framework that you feel fits you, then the self-coaching (i.e., the real work of a trader) really begins.