I recently took a course on investing in the market (mid-term and long term, stocks and options). In the course they made some rather large generalizations as well as some rather bold claims. I've read a bunch of threads here (2manywhinners, etc) trying to get answers, but I still have some more direct questions and I would love some perspective from the people that actually DO this stuff successfully each day. Thanks you very much for your time. The course professes the following: The secret the mutual funds donât want you to know is that they take your money, return you a meager 8%/year, then they go off and make enough money with it to pay everyone in the firm $600K bonus each year. (granted a huge generalization) Then they said that you could convert your funds to ETFs and with very little attention push your returns from 8% to about 30% with very very little risk. So whatâs the likelihood of that? Are the fees so large that simply going to an ETF will make a very appreciable jump in returns? Can a set of trading rules be used to go in and out of ETFâs such that returns can be pushed to 30% without much risk? Demystification of the market â They also professed that the market is not really that difficult. They say it appears that way and that you hear many horror stories because too many Average Joeâs go out and trade on emotion with no technical analysis and get killed thereby making the general population afraid of the market. And in kind of a rich dad poor dad way, they profess that the market is the secret that the rich keep from general society. The rich and the investment houses perpetuate the myth that the market is dangerous so that the average Joe wonât apply themselves to it. But the rich do apply themselves and therefore play in an exclusive area, and make huge money because all the masses just park their money in funds. Lastly, They were pitching pretty incredible results along with a dream lifestyle. So I pulled Lead instructor/course author Mike Coval aside and asked him if I chose this path, what would my day look like? He said he spends about 2 hours a night and a half hour each morning when the market opens to do all his research and trading. I assume this is all on long term stock trades and mid-term options trades. From this, he claims to generate enough money for his family to live extremely well while still building his nest egg. He said that for me, a newbie, I would have to add time to get my training, then I could look forward to that lifestyle. I started this quest for answers on the tail end of another thread, so if you wish to know background about me or other comments that have been made, feel free to look here: http://www.elitetrader.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=57581&perpage=6&pagenumber=8 Thanks once again for your perspective or directions to places I can get unbiased answers.