I traded stocks many years and then in 96 went into futures which I really regret. For me I found it much easier to diversify with stocks. I may have 6 stock positions and not all will do the same thing a couple may stop out and 1or 2 may make some good money. With index futures your whole egg is in that one trade. Your are able to diversify with futures by going into other markets but trading currency or grains/ others have a huge learning curve( my fav was cattle). This is just my simple opinion, I am sure there are more sophisticated traders than me. I do have a small account that I am trading and the PTD rule is terrible and I really understand if your acct is under 25k you are really hamstrung to trade stocks.