If you’ve been around here a while, you’ve probably heard me talk quite a bit about the importance of having a “trading mentor” – or at the very least, a handful of other traders that you talk to.
I’m pretty adamant that any trader who wants to truly trade like a professional needs to have a network of other traders to work with – if you were a trendy millennial, you might call it a “trading tribe,” or if you’re like me, you might simply think of them as “mentors” and “colleagues.”
But whatever you want to call it, there’s multiple reasons why I suggest having other people around you, and not just going it alone.
Today I’ll explain to you my experience with creating a trading “inner circle” as a pro trader, and how it can be beneficial to your trading.
The Boys Club
Now, if you were to talk to Licia Leslie (Option Pit’s own Queen of the Candlesticks) about her time working in the pits, it’s not unlikely she would use the term “boys club” at one point or another.
And it’s true. Props to Licia for breaking into the club and smashing glass ceilings during her time trading; I’m sure it wasn’t easy, but she’s a tough cookie.
However, the “boys club” isn’t entirely a bad thing – the “club” part at least.
See, professional traders start crafting their “inner circle” from the very first day they show up to work. It’s part of the job.
As a rookie, you’ll be assigned a mentor to show you the ropes, and hopefully keep you from making any mistakes that are too big, or too stupid.
My mentor was taught by his mentor (who just so happened to be our very own Andrew Giovinazzi), who was taught by his mentor, and so on.
There’s a sort of “passing down” of knowledge – and it isn’t the kind you get from just reading a book. It’s the kind you get from making mistakes, and being successful.
Not only that, but rookie traders are obviously going to network with other traders – of all experience levels.
This helps make the sometimes frantic, and sometimes cutthroat, atmosphere on the trading floor a little more manageable (everyone likes having a friendly face around) but it also helps you learn from other traders.
They’ll tell you about trades they’re making, going to make, didn’t make, or shouldn’t have made.
So on top of being schooled by your mentor, you’re also being schooled by your peers!
And this is a good thing.
It helps you become a better trader faster than if you were sitting in a room alone, learning from a book, and only learning from your own trades or mistakes.
And this doesn’t stop as you move up the ranks, either.
You’ll always have a mentor, and a network of trading friends for as long as you’re on the floor.
“Well that’s great,” you might be thinking, “but I’m never going to have a trading floor mentor, so how does this apply to me?”
I’m simply saying this to set the stage, and explain that professional traders are building their “inner circle” from Day 1. It is the first thing they do, and they never stop doing it throughout their careers.
Why Can’t We Be Friends?
Of course, not every “professional” trader starts out on the floor. In fact, probably most don’t (especially these days).
But the same concept of “learning from your circle” applies.
It applied to me when I changed employers, and it was something I kept in mind when I started my own hedge fund, Karman Line Capital, and it was a consideration when I was building up my crew here at Option Pit.
That’s why we have such a variety of specialists here.
We’ve got myself and Andrew, who are both seasoned volatility and options traders (Andrew’s got 8 million contracts under his belt).
Then we have Bill Griffo, our “Income Hunter.” He traded in the Treasury Bond pits back in the wild inflation trading 1970s, and his specialties include commodities, bonds, and currencies.
I’ve already mentioned Licia Leslie, who is a chart reading whiz. She’s “Queen of the Candlesticks” and can spot a chart pattern like few I’ve ever met. I’m not much for technical analysis myself, but she makes it work, and her track record is outstanding.
Last, but certainly not least, we’ve got Frank Gregory. Frank grew up in Washington DC, networking with the Capitol’s elite from an early age (we’re talking Supreme Court Justices in his living room) before making a name for himself as a lawyer for some of the who’s who in DC. He then went on to work as an executive at a multi-billion-dollar Wall Street firm, so his specialty is “K-Street” – or where Washington and Wall Street meet.
You can see I’m not just stacking the deck to favor one specialty or another.
And there’s a reason for this.
It’s because it increases the idea flow here at Option Pit – and means I have a wider variety of information and trade ideas coming in, which in turn improves how and why I’m trading myself.
This is where a lot of retail traders get stuck – if you aren’t looking outside your “normal” realm, you’re really limiting your potential.
I don’t know the intricacies of how Wall Street and Washington interact, but I sure as heck can make a trade out of one of Frank’s ideas! (That’s actually what our Capitol Gains program is about – using Frank’s ideas and Andrew’s options expertise to trade. See? We practice what we preach!)
Another huge benefit is having other traders to work as a “second set of eyes” on your trades. I can’t tell you how many times Andrew has talked me down from the ledge, and prevented me from making what would have been, in hindsight, a terrible trade.
It’s unavoidable we’re going to get emotional about our trades. It’s the nature of the game, no matter how rational you try to be – nobody is perfect.
But it sure helps when you can bounce ideas off of someone that doesn’t have a horse in the race, and can offer an objective opinion.
So what can you do to avoid getting stuck in the “one trader rut”?
Expand Your Horizons
At this point, I think the answer is obvious: find other traders and start networking. Pick their brains. Find out what is working or not working for them.
It’s easy to build a network when you’re working around other traders on the floor, or building a company specifically for trading.
But for “normal” traders out there, there are other ways to get the job done – now more than ever, thanks to the huge number of online trading communities popping up.
However, I caution you very strongly over jumping into the first crew you find.
As I’m sure you know, all traders are not created equal.
And finding the first guru who pops up as a targeted ad on your Facebook feed is NOT the best way to find your own mentor.
Don’t even get me started on getting your trading advice from Reddit. Yeah, you might get lucky, but for the most part, finding actual good ideas and wisdom on there is like finding a needle in a haystack.
It’s also not a great idea to join the first Discord or chat group you find, and immediately start following other trader’s advice.
Plenty of people like to think they know what they’re talking about … but in my experience, few actually do.
So what should you do?
First, I recommend narrowing down your focus – what do you want to trade? Options? Penny stocks? Are you more of a day trader, swing trader, or buy-and-hold?
Then, take your time. Look around, and do some research and reading, and notice names that pop up time and time again.
See where they’re available, or who they network with. Who do they learn from, where do they get and share their ideas?
Follow that trail.
Or … I can save you that work and just tell you to join us here at Option Pit.
Our Pro program offers daily live access to the mentors here at Option Pit, and 24/7 access to other members through our live chat group. Plus, you have access to all the trade recommendations from our full line-up of services.
You can find out more about Pro right here, but I recommend calling 888-872-3301 to talk with our Customer Service Team to answer all of your questions (and probably give you a discount). They can be reached Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but you might be able to catch someone at the office if you call on the weekend …
We’ve also got plenty of other services to choose from.
And here’s the thing – every service we offer includes LIVE access to an Option Pit pro.
There is a reason for that.
It’s because having access to mentors – like the team here at Option Pit – is really key to trading success.
I told you how I’ve had mentors since Day 1 on the trading floor, and to this day I still use the folks here at Option Pit, and in our Pro chat, to bounce trade ideas off of, learn from, and get trading inspiration from.
That’s why I’m adamant about being sure all of our members have access to live trading and interaction.
Because it gets better results.
Of course, I’m not telling you all of this just to shill my own program.
I’m telling you this because I am showing you I practice what I preach, and I like sharing these same advantages with you.
And if you aren’t into the crew here at Option Pit? Hey, that’s fine. (I mean, sort of …)
Read our free content, and do your due diligence to find a mentor that is experienced and proven for you to learn from and follow.
And don’t be a hermit; find some trading friends. It makes the whole journey a lot more fun (and hopefully more profitable) — I promise.
Your Only Option,