I have decided to try trading, despite warnings from all my friends, despite the failure stats I read about and the real life examples here on ET (although my guess is that most of the people who fail just quietly stop posting). Before you get too worried about me, dh and I made a small fortune with our previous business. If I lose all of this initial cash it will be painfully embarrassing but not life changing. The Good I'm a stupid newbie when it comes to trading, but I'm generally bright enough otherwise. I was a computer programmer for 10 years and that might come in handy later. Although I try to limit myself, right now I want to spend every waking moment just learning about the stock market, economics, and trading. Plus, I have had an inexplicably lucky life. No explaining it. The Bad Before January of this year, I would almost rather listen to someone explain how a car worked than listen to my financial advisor. What did I care what this Green-something guy was saying? Of course that's all changing now, but it would have made things easier if I'd paid even a modicum of attention to the workings of the world of finance before 2008. The Ugly I opened an Etrade account and bought bank stocks in early January. Forget what the people on BNN were saying, I wanted to get in there while the price was so attractive. I started off with a buy-and-hold mentality. But of course, I bought on the "dead cat bounce" (does proudly trotting out that phrase just highlight my newbieness?) and then watched in horror as they started falling further. I wanted to sell but between the input of my family and my own hopeful nature, I held on. I still have a couple, but sold some at a loss too. The whole ordeal made me want to switch to short term trading. Surely it's easier to predict what will happen in the next few minutes than it is to predict what will happen a year from now? Oh yeah, and the ugliest of the ugly is that I am getting fat. I retired at 40 and had been spending all my days playing tennis, jogging and strength training -- best shape of my life. Traded that in for sitting the entire day, drinking coffee and eating granola bars. The Plan I'm trading stocks on the TSX exclusively. I just tried shorting for the first time this past week, and it's thrilling to have "something to do" on down days besides just mope. Ok, so the truth is, I don't have a plan. I have read about all the technical stuff (support and resistance, MACD, Fibonacci levels, candlestick charting etc). They all seem to be, well, a bit hokey. Sometimes I feel like a stupid sheep, carefully studying methodologies that worked 30 years ago but are almost meaningless when the market makers get in there and shuffle the decks. Guess maybe right now I would be a trend follower more than anything. I'm going to try some more paper trading next week and work on an Excel spreadsheet (nothing brilliant, just an extension of the one that IB provides). As of today, I have $11.8k in the account I am actively trading with. The bank stocks are in another account where I've lost $3k of $35k overall. I may trade occasionally in that account but it's meant to be a longer term thing. Too much to go back and document all my mistakes to date, but I'll share them with you from here on. Feel free to jump in if you have some advice. Btw, I don't offend easily. I love all the thought provoking debate that goes on in the threads and the colourful insults give me a giggle.