By Rob Colville on December 11, 2015 in
How would you like to receive personal mentoring and instruction from some of the best traders in the world, learn about the methods and set-ups that work for them, and develop your own skills with candid insights from the best in the business? Of course, who wouldn’t! And while many traders rely on books, DVDs, and trader training packages trying to learn the secrets to trading success, here’s another idea: Attend a trader conference and ask the pros yourself!
As I’m writing this, I’m at one such trader conference—The Traders Expo London—where I’m speaking about lifestyle trading, my own trend-based methodology, and my advice to both new and experienced traders. I get to do this a lot, and enjoy making trader conference appearances in the UK and Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. And as a result, I know a thing or two about how to get the most out of them, so as I’m wrapping up my final trader conference of 2015, here are a few tips for finding maximum reward the next time you attend one for yourself!
With sometimes massive venues, dozens of experts, and potentially thousands of traders in attendance, a trader conference can quickly cause sensory (and information) overload! There are specialized educational workshops for everything: Analysis techniques, different markets and time frames, and every pattern, indicator, set-up, and trading methodology under the sun. Perhaps that’s why the #1 mistake I see among conference attendees is that they switch wildly between workshops and topics, all while pursuing unfocused objectives like “Learn to trade” or “Become a better trader.”
To maximize results each time you attend a trader conference, you must have smaller, more focused objectives, and chart a path beforehand that enables you to build knowledge, address one or a couple of your current deficiencies, and improve your skill set just one increment at a time.
That’s why your pre-set objectives may include things like “Study how to spot and trade the Gartley pattern,” or “Identify proven stop-placement methodologies,” or even “Compare brokers based on fees and commissions, quality of the platform, and availability of tech support.” These goals are smaller and more easily measured, and can be achieved by taking focused actions throughout the trader conference, as opposed to frantically switching between workshops and topics like so many tend to do.
Here’s what else you should do differently:
Plan your day(s): Check the schedule beforehand and create an “action plan” for each day that enables you to see the experts and subject matter that fit your precise goals and objectives. Then, stick to the plan, even if it means that you’ll miss some other experts and topics this time around. Remember, there’s always next time!
Come with questions…and get them answered: A trader conference is often the perfect place to get honest, unbiased answers to your own, unique trading questions, so make sure you write yours down and don’t be afraid to ask! Also, some of the most meaningful interactions may not be in the workshops at all, but in the hallways and receptions, and while speaking candidly with the experts and fellow traders. Make time for these conversations, and actively seek them out, rather than just keeping to yourself.
Every trader conference can be a valuable learning experience, but ultimately, what happens afterwards is most crucial! That’s when you’ll return home and resume trading, afterall, and possibly while putting into practice all—or at least some—of what you learned. Those lessons, however, will never be as fresh in your mind as they will be at the conference, so keep good-quality notes, and write out two or three clear action items while you’re still there. Those will be your key takeaways, and the things you focus on in order to make meaningful improvements to your trading process!
Maybe it’s demo trading that new pattern or technique, doing some more research on that stop-placement methodology, or doing more to identify harmful thought patterns and block them before they impact your trade decisions. Regardless, write about your takeaways in your trade journal so they’ll be close by once you resume trading, and capture any stories of inspiration and encouragement you may have heard at the conference in there, too. Doing so will allow you to reflect back from time to time, and may help your newfound knowledge and more positive energy live on until your next trader conference!
Traders now have more choices than ever before for continuing education, and even as an education provider myself, I’ll be one of the first to recommend attending a trader conference at least once a year! The quality of the experts and education you’ll often find there is second to none, and besides that, it’s fun, informative, and a great way to beat the monotony of self-directed trading day in and day out.
For traders of all markets and regardless of skill and experience level, consider attending a trader conference in the near future, and when you do, be sure to follow these few, easy steps. Each one is designed to help you maximize your conference experience and make faster, more direct progress towards better and more consistent trading!