Trading is a negative sum game. Poker is a negative some game. Starcraft 2 is a zero sum game. It is interesting that people will use the 'zero sum' argument in order to show that traders can't be consistently profitable. But I can prove that any South Korean over the age of 5 can beat me at Starcraft (even though it's a zero sum game). So, while there are lots of opinions and conjecture out there I would like to offer mine and tell a little bit of my story. Background I did a BS in Mathematics and a Masters in Mathematical Finance. I worked for a bank, hedge fund, mutual fund and trading company before going out on my own. I have once lost my entire life savings - not due to trading but due to broker fraud. I have taught several people to trade. They all work for me. They still work for me. Nobody has ever quit or stolen from me. Now, I'm not certain that everyone can be taught to trade. Neither do I buy in too much to the overly hyped theme of hard work, persistence, grind it to death attitude that seems so espoused. I've seen many of those fail. Nor do I agree with the 'you need to have what it takes' attitude either. Somehow suggesting that one can be consistently profitable by pure force of will. Neither can you be a dilettante. The key things I look for when hiring a new trader are these: (roughly in order of importance) 1) Ability to take risk: avoid people with excessive debt or obligations who are desperate 2) Obedience: they have to be humble enough to obey without question. I rarely (1-2 times a year) have an opinion about anyone's position but when I do I want them out. Immediately. 3) Intuition. I measure this by playing certain board games that require intuition. I watch if they can internalize a long list of rules and play rationally. 4) Calmness: You swear. You're gone. You scream yell and hit things. Gone. You need to be calm to do the right thing. When you are upset you can no longer accurately assess probabilities which is the heart of trading. In my early years I had a pretty bad day loosing 100K+ of my own money. I was in a room with other traders and the guy next to me was throwing a tantrum about his $300 loss while I sat calmly eating my yogurt. I don't need to be around people who don't have self control. If you have those abilities, I believe you can learn to trade - at least the way I trade. Note what is missing. Math. Education. Persistence. Experience. Yes, I have these, but they are not essential - or even important. ------------------------------------------ I'm completely aware that this is my own opinion for my own path and that others have achieved success in other ways. ------------------------------------------ The first thing to do is watch a contract. Focused. Every day or night for the same hours every time. Two different contracts is probably too much unless the second provides additional information to your main contract of study. Watch the market depth. How it moves. When/why it moves. Try to gain intuition to determine if there is selling pressure or buying pressure. Charts can distract you. Don't use them at this time (or maybe ever). My most consistent trader never looks at a chart. This is all best done with a contract that is not super news sensitive and where there are a good proportion of manual traders vs algo traders. After 2 weeks of just watching for several hours a day start trading with a 1 lot. Then we do some training on following intuition (what you *know* is going to happen) and not dreams (what you *want* to happen) while the trade is going bad. This is what differentiates a mediocre trader from an amazing trader who can consistently make several million a year. How fast I can let go of my 'dream', control my ego and follow my intuition is the single area of constant focus throughout my career as a manual trader. It will have the single largest impact on profitability. After 1 month a trader will be profitable. Consistently. Maybe not every day but certainly every week. Growing that profit from an initial $500 - $1000 a day to $5000-$10,000/day takes about a year and is a very incremental building process. They need to fear losses. And losses need to be commensurate with your goal. If your goal is 10K/day a loss of 10-12K is acceptable. If your goal is 1K/day that loss is not acceptable. So, a gradual increase in dollar value loss tolerance MUST be accompanied by a strong fear of disproportionate losses. If it is not. You will blow up - badly. Maybe you can recover. Maybe not. I was going to write more, but I can't remember what... No doubt I'm going to take some grief/hate from the community here. I don't much care. But I would be curious if anyone were to follow my method to fruition.