I really have been trying to avoid using actual numbers in this forum. I have expressed returns as percentage of X, etc. And I don't want to get real specific still. However, let's say that I come from a neighborhood where you would expect to lose 40%. Now obviously, either something I do works in that neighborhood, which keeps me stuck there, or......I should trade a smaller account and get a ten times better return. But knowing that I started smaller and still never could get 1% a day, let me make some assumptions about this situation. Here is what I know: I have traded in a room with a guy who makes money seemingly every day. But he never holds a position for more than 2 minutes. He scratches on most trades. He has never had a one point gain or loss. He goes home happy to be positive. He has said to me, and this is pretty much verbatim.."where else can I make 30k a year"? And the truth is, he is right. He has exceeded his expectations of himself. He is the Peter Principal personified. So how come I make and lose more in a normal day than he makes in a year? Am I smarter? He kills me in his winning percentage. Both percentage of trades, and percentage of winning days. Why then is he not trading in my neighborhood? He trades 500-1500 shares one position at a time. I have often had 40 or more 5000 share positions on at once. He has never taken a position overnight. I have made and lost the big money on overnights. OK...I will end the suspense right here. The real difference is FEAR. He is afraid to lose, so he doesn't. I know losing is part of trading, so I do it all the time. (not that I am happy about it). It has been said here at ET, as well as everywhere else in the world of trading that you HAVE TO LOSE TO LEARN HOW TO WIN. Sad but true. Also, it has been said that you can't trade scared. Also true. I have worked with lots of traders for lots of years. Traders need a certain mentality. FEAR is the limiter. And understand that being FEARLESS is different from being RECKLESS!! Now... lets say I could make 1% a day trading 30k (which I admit I don't think I can). So now I am making over 200% a year, which grosses me 60K. I am stressed out all the time, need to win every day, and still am not paying the bills. On the other hand, I can make my measily 1/10th of 1 percent per day on the hypothetical 5mm, and get my 20% return. I don't sweat the money every day. I can take lots of losses, and yet.....what is 20% of 5mm? I CAN PAY MY BILLS!!!!! Certainly I understand that everyone has to start small. It takes TIME to learn to trade. Learn from mistakes. Why risk big money even if you have it to learn on? No reason whatsoever. Everyone loses when they start. Everyone! Yes, there is such a thing as beginners luck. But believe me, you are actually better off losing early in your career when trading small. If you get lucky and make money off the bat, it is luck, and you haven't learned a thing. So when your luck runs out, you have no real experience to fall back on. You will know you are a trader when you get to the point that when you lose, you know from experience that it is just a temporary setback, and you will make money in the future just as you have in the past. At this point, you can step it up. You don't have 5mm to trade? Just 30k? Let it grow. Know when to be heavy. Know when to be light. Understand risk. Understand money management. The account will grow. People will give you money to invest. One way or another, you will grow as a trader. Just get past the FEAR! How long does that take? Anyone who says less than 3 or 4 years is a loose cannon or a liar. Trading is an excercise in self education. It takes that long. If you are dedicated, you will find a way to get through that time. It isn't easy. Nothing worth doing ever is. And there are very few careers as financially rewarding. I wish I had the wisdom to impart to you all on how to make shortcuts. There aren't any I know of. Yes, there are some natural born traders. I know some. I am not lucky enough to have been born with that kind of head. They are a rare breed. Out of all the traders I have met in my time (thousands), there is only one I know of who was just absolutely born to trade. He can remember every trade he ever made. I get up in the morning and I don't remember what positions I am still holding from yesterday. I see stuff trading pre-market on CNBC, and I ask myself "do I have that?" So obviously I am no rocket scientist. Just a guy that put in my time. How many Bobby Fishers are there on the planet? Us mortals have to pay our dues.