For me, there would have to be a direct, personal relationship. At some point, any student of trading is going to have to place their own money on the line. If that is to be done following trading advice from a mentor, then there has to be trust there, both in the person and in the strategy used.
My own view, as an extension of that, is that a largely anonymous, international Internet forum is the wrong place to fund a trading mentor in the pure sense of the word, as there will always be a detachment in the relationship.
I had a coach/mentor, he still mentors me in a less formal capacity. I know him personally, all of our 1-1 coaching was in person, we know a lot of personal detail about one another’s lives, we’re friends and we trust one another. In terms of the trading, I have seen him place trades live countless times, he has critiqued my trades, I have seen his live trades play out, have seen him both win and lose. I have seen a lot of his trading for years. We’re friends, and I know for 100% fact that he can well, knows what he is talking about, and makes money.
Any mentor relationship that is restricted to Internet discussion can never really have that 100% certainty to it. There can be belief, there can be videos, whatever, but in terms of knowing someone in the round, in terms of seeing them sit down for a few hours in front of the charts and look for opportunities, then take the ones they like and see the good and the bad trades play up - for me, that can’t be replicated on BP.
That is not to say that there is no place for the guru threads: many on here offer great advice and a cohesive, contextualised trading approach. But there is no true, rounded personal relationship, so there will always have to be an element of faith on the part of the student. There will always be grey areas, unexplained areas, limited oversight of the host’s own trading, ultimately it is a collection of ideas and advice but not a true mentoring relationship. Without that personal connection there will always be an element of faith, and limited consequences for the mentor should they not convert their mentees into successful traders. Even videos etc can be open to interpretation. Context is everything in life. Is £50,000 a lot of money? Depends whom you ask. Is person A justified in punching person B in the face and repeating that when they try to get up? Depends on the circumstances. Is a 5% win in one day indicative of a good trader? Depends what he or she posted for the other 364 days that year.
My mentor proved himself to me, in person, one on one, over a period of years. I know that he can trade, I have replicated his style, added some of my own preferences, and I know that I can trade. I’ll do it forever more, as will he. Could I give anyone that level of knowledge and proven belief over a BP thread? No, that’s why I don’t have one.
For me, this site is great for having virtual colleagues, making some friends, sharing ideas, and exploring generic aspects of trading. But would I expect to come here and form that one key relationship that, on its own, could give me a skill from a standing start that would give me the ability to earn good money forever more using just an Internet connection and some stake money? No.
There is a difference between knowledge and belief. I know that my mentor is a good person and can trade. Followers of people like ICT - and, even, supports of, say, Lance Armstrong, Oscar Pistorius, Tiger Woods etc - believe them to be everything they claim to be, without actually knowing. I’ll go on faith in some areas if my life, absolutely, but this is serious. It’s business. It’s my house, my kids’ futures, my wife’s investment in sharing her life with. So I don’t muck about, I don’t go on blind faith, I man up and take it seriously. Which means going beyond doubt before I advocate someone. Going all in on some guy I can’t properly research on an Internet discussion group? Not enough.
I want to be a billionaire, so frickin’ bad - with stakes that high, I need to know, not believe.