Competing Objectives...Who wins? Disclaimer.. This is not an attack against any firm, business model or entity, but represents real issues that traders continue to face in pursuit of their goals Self interest is what drives an independent trader, especially at the leveraged shops....That's pretty much why most answer the dream to make $200k, $400k or more yearly, based on some's claims of success that can be attained through their trading methods, software platforms or the opportunities that they provide by trading through their firm. Pairs trading, scalping, swing trading, tape reading, dynamic hedging without stop orders and other methods are touted, flaunted, called "Snake Oil", and other various terms. The hard facts are almost impossible to confirm, however from a non-scientific test, namely asking who's still in the trading room from 3months ago, 6months ago, 12months ago yields dismal results. While this is a business and the branch offices of these firms offer an opportunity to magnify ones trading capital or be sponsored with capital, against a hope that one can learn, earn, repay and derive a salary, are in direct competition with the firms' objectives . Revenue per passenger mile is what the airlines call a paid airline seat with passenger flown one mile. Its how they correlate productivity, profitability and efficiency. Revenue per trader's deskchair is how the leveraged business attempts to project profitability through commission and services earnings. Hence, in order for each traders' seat to yield, say $10,000 monthly, one would have to charge $.01 per share and have that trader average above 1,000,000 shares per month. Other services would be software or desk fees of $200, $350, $400 or more per month; bullet costs for married puts; futures/options ticket charges and other service offerings. Traders who sit in those seats and post their grub stakes risk: their principal deposits and subsequent deposits commutation costs, or market data vendor costs software and laptop hardware expenses monthly living expenses while learning slippage and market risk losses, etc. In order to bridge those competing objectives and create an opportunity for traders, sales pitches include training classes; which usually are insufficient based on the failure rates reduced fees for an initial month or two initially competitive bidding on rates, fees, services and support verbal boasts or verbal silence regarding success, results achieved or otherwise (there's probably a legal reason for silence on these issues) . While no one can really be responsible for unfavorable market conditions of the last 2+ years, the sheer number of traders who've attained their licenses, taken their turn at the table and lost their chairs has produced some interesting results some successful traders who remain profitable some successful traders, early on, who are mildly profitable in today's markets many failed traders no longer at their desks, whether remote or in-house, who no longer have their grub stakes many closed or bankrupt trading operations many operations no longer in the leveraged business many merged operations being downsized, merged, sold or otherwise changed . While those results seem to be all across the gambit and it reflects market realities of risk, what it also suggests is that the probability of success is no longer related to just training and one's abilities based on the opportunity provided market efficiencies and software advantages are not as significant as previously wholesale success is not as attainable as previously . So where is the middle ground? Is it possible to: find the happy compromise of individual trader's success along withthe trading firm's success? consistency in meeting ones fixed costs during/after training while meeting the trading firm's minimum revenue goals? trading in a manner that is profitable for the trader instead of just writing tickets while meeting the trading firm's minimum revenue goals? continuing business as practiced and hoping for more new traders coming through the door?