When I was about six years old, I played a game of chess with my dad after dinner.

I always lost.

That started changing when I was around ten years old when I started reading chess books. At some point, I started winning every game and my dad stopped playing chess with me.

I learned that educating yourself with books shortcuts the process of doing it yourself when I was young.

When learning a new skill, reading is a good way to build a solid foundation, but to take it to the next level, you really need a teacher. A mentor.

For example, when I learned to fly, I started out in the class room which gave me a solid foundation of FAA regulations, weather, navigation, etc. But if I actually got in an airplane and tried to fly it, I wouldn't have been able to.

I needed an instructor pilot to show me how to do things. To give me practical advice. How things are really done and even when to to deviate from the normal way of doing things. How to handle emergencies.

In an airplane, the instructor demonstrated something, then the student gets to try it…usually with lots of coaching. This can include hands on the controls or just verbal instruction.

After some practice, with mistakes pointed out and corrected by the instructor, the student starts to get it. At some point, the student can do it with no input from the instructor.

You can fly on your own!

This pattern of using a mentor can be applied to learning any complex skill, including trading.

Having an instructor guide you and help you learn from your mistakes is one of the best ways to become a skillful trader.

Charles Cottle and Ali Pashaei have been teaching options traders for many years. Charles traded on the floor in Chicago and co-founded Thinkorsim.

Charles and Ali are starting a new mentoring program this week.

Charles and Ali will alternate from teaching a weekly class (four per month) and both will answer your questions about trading and give you their opinion about trades you've done or have on now.

The mentoring starts on May 3rd.

To learn more or sign up with Charles and Ali, go to