Whenever someone asks me what I do for a living, and I say I daytrade stock index futures, their first response is always, "My God, isn't that incredibly dangerous?" And then they go on to tell me about how a friend of theirs lost a ton of money daytrading (I've heard amounts up to a million). But something puzzles me about all this. Various surveys show that between 80-95% of daytraders lose money ----- one study involving 68 traders found that every one of them lost, and 70% lost their entire trading capital. And these facts have been used to bolster the dubious rationale behind the new 25K rules on trading accounts. Yet assuming random long and short entries and random long and short exits, over time a trader's expectancy should approach 50-50, minus commissions and the spread (both pretty small these days). Given those odds, how can so many people lose so much money? The answer has to lie in money management ----- they cannot cut their losses properly and let their winners run sufficiently, and/or they trade far too big size for their account and skill level, so a bad run blows them out, and/or they make the terrible (nearly always) mistake of adding to losing positions. But are virtually everyone's money management skills really *that* wretched? Are most traders so overcome with hope and fear that they almost invariably make hideous mistakes handling their account? I have my own psychological trading issues to work through, but they certainly don't include any kamikaze-style actions. I find it a strange and amusing experience that most people look at me as if I'm crazy and then go on to smugly imply that total disaster is just about to strike, and it's a nothing short of a miracle that my head hasn't alreadsy been handed to me! Any thoughts on the subject?