A trader education – TomC

What better testimony than from a former student!

TomC is one mentor student of Ray, and he has submitted his contribution to this blog in response to my appeal for contributions, especially from Ray’s students. Readers will then get to know what to expect from Ray as a teacher and mentor for he suffers no fool but will go out of his way to impart more to those who are willing to learn and work hard. Many have fallen by the wayside because it is not easy to step out of one’s comfort zone. However, if one perseveres to get over the first few hurdles, it becomes second nature to pursue a daily routine of good habits to become a good trader, be it a novice trader for starters.

Without further ado, please read what Tom has to share hereunder:

Notes on Trader Education by TomC:

tom - ad

Typical ad which misleads novices

It’s generally accepted that traders need some initial education and those who initially don’t think so usually seek education when the losses come around.

Given that most traders get into trading to make money, the question becomes – Is it possible to find a book, a course, a mentor, a tipping service that will just once and for all provide you with the secret to financial success in the market ?

What’s the difference between trading education and studying for a Computer Science degree (BSc) or is there any !? Are those educators with the more complex, mathematically, statistically based approaches the best ? Should one seek continuous education or is an initial course enough ?

Or forget about all this ‘bunk’ , it is possible just to do a weekend seminar and come away with a money making system from day one , i.e. just follow the steps to riches. Or better still, why don’t I just subscribe to a trade recommendation service and just relax at home while the profits pour in.

In relation to my own experience, my initial interest was sparked in investments by my accountant who told me of large, easy profits by buying progressively company stocks. I realise now I probably only heard about the winners. I subsequently bought a few stocks following this , and yes, over time made money on them – probably, because I only looked at them once every 6 months, and because it was a bull market.

As a previous avid reader of computer science , I then decided to apply the same approach to investing. I proceeded to the stock exchange bookshop and bought some basic investment books. In addition, I was told that the bible was Trading for a Living by Elder – obviously I had to have it.

I read it and went on to buy more stuff from his website. I also read up and attended some lectures by Chris Tate who I highly recommend even now.

I somehow discovered and contacted Ray who asked for my trading plan (what plan!?). I was screened with preliminary questions and answers as is his mode of selection, and accepted as his student. However I moved country and postponed my start of mentorship program till 2 years later. After l settled down, I stumbled across the release of Nature of Trends ( First Edition) and again contacted Ray and re- applied again. I was accepted again and really started the STC mentorship program.
<!–[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]–>
<!–[endif]–>In between moving countries , I had some time off and attended a day seminar with Larry Williams. As with Dr Elder, I was not broke from trading but I did not make any money either !

So the STC study began and the original book was not as ‘user friendly’ as the current one. The current transition to swing charts took some time. The STC covers Trend identification using Barros Swing charts, changes in trend patterns, low risk entry, money management and practical trading under Ray’s guidance and mentoring program. Generally, I would meet Ray weekly on the Net, do the homework and consume the Nature of Trends.

Ray will suss up our weaknesses first, identify any issues the trader may have and introduce topics to suit the individual. He may also offer extra courses such as the Ray Wave or Market Profile depending on the student’s progress and capability. He is direct, expects his students to work hard and fully committed to their success. Then he is easy to work with and ultimately becomes a good friend to his students.

Now all this work is fine and nice to learn , but one’s life must continue while this is happening. So I took a break while I built a new house. STC is the kind of program that is great and could be really appreciated if one did not have to work, did not have any family or sporting commitments and have lots of trading capital. But I ask : if one were financially free, with no worries , would they take the time and effort to learn to trade ?- probably, NOT.

Oh yes, and then I was distracted with another trading system called VSA . My thoughts were :this looks so easy I just make some money while I am doing STC, and in addition, it looks like I could integrate this into STC by using STC to identify a zone and execute using these tools. Well guess what? – it was a distraction, a waste of money and not helpful !.

So I reviewed, settled down , studied hard, went to the practical trading portion of STC and eventually graduated. There really is no easy way out of it. I think all traders will have to put in their work and learn how the market works from their perspectives. The other main output from learning to trade is to know myself , and in the context of trading, how I must address them. For example, one can get relaxed after a winning position as if it will continue forever Solution: watch out for that and force myself to review the position daily .

What I have learned is how I learn, how I like to learn and how to make a proper assessment if a particular course or skill will enhance my performance. It is fine to be sceptical of education providers; it’s your money, you expect value.

NOW to end and to summarize my views on this topic and answer the questions raised:

1. Education is vital to the typical trader’s success in the market (with exceptions).

2.It transforms one’s thought process from thinking like the man in the street to thinking in probabilities and to cope with losses or to see them as part of doing business.

3.There is no get rich quick weekend trading course, no piece of software that will turn 300 to 100k in one year, no tipping service that will send you the winning ticket symbols with entry, stop, break-even and limits.

4.Once you know how to trade basically, find the most appropriate next training course for analysing your journal, especially your mistakes ie to identify the issue and fix it.

5.Once armed with this first education, the best way to learn to trade, is to start to trade and keep notes, review records. Education and a continuous one at that will certainly help but will not guarantee success, only a high probability of success . Doing the best you can is success in itself, and we can all be proud of that.

6.I also believe we should choose an educational partner that we can go back to, one with integrity, one who is prepared to help in times of SOS. In other words, a Mentor or Group you trust and committed to your progress.

7.Finally, one you can look up to and admire. For me Ray Barros is all that and more, and I know he has helped many others as well.

TomC, STC Graduate



Ag Moderator

3 thoughts on “A trader education – TomC”

  1. Tom

    Now I am standing aside as Ag Moderator to comment, and play a little devil’s advocate.

    Apart from the ad you illustrated, another ad I saw in the local Straits Times on June 4 2008 claimed: “I locked in a Profit of USD1,100 in 1 day during training…”

    While I disdain such claims in the media, I have to say the trading coach Mirriam MacWilliams has a good reputation as a wealth coach.

    What is misleading in the ads featuring her is such claims do give a wrong signal to the unwary that trading is easy and quick to make big money, when all traders know it is far from the truth.

    In fact, other professionals who have tried trading, eg one doctor admitted that being a surgeon is easier than making money as a trader.

    (RECALL: how mechanical it was for me to perform the virtual op on our mentor – I passed with flying colours!)

    Another ad : Idiot proof system to make money! Sounds more like using an Apple which is idiot-proof, almost!

    It is not facetious when I say trading is probably the hardest profession in the world.

    ANA aka IDKIT
    Ag Moderator

  2. Ana
    I have no doubt it’s possible to make a few grand each day from say 3 mini lots but risks go both to the upside and downside.

    I suppose if one has a profitable plan and is able to execute consistently, then smaller profits with much lesser risk is a better option – also easier to live with.

    Trading can be hard but sometimes, I think we over complicate it and make it much harder than it need be

    Cheers Ana

  3. Cross ref from http://www.awanginvest.com

    “Four Lessons I’ve Learned From Coaching Hedge Fund…”:


    You said:
    One size fits all approaches to coaching are of very limited utility in the real world of money management. Unquote

    You hit the nail on the head; hence, the advantages of being able to afford a personal mentoring course which is worth it if one wants to succeed , cutting down experimental time .

    Posted by Ana to TraderFeed at 11:17 PM

    By idkit on Jun 30, 2008 | Edit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *