For all you newbies that want to get into a career in trading, listen up. This was my personal experience so far. Read my story, and then read the points I will make. You've heard them before, but you don't want to listen b/c you think you are different, and it doesnt apply to you. Well lets see, I started fulltime in Febuary of '08, trading stocks, but very very quickly switched over to futures. Lost a lot of $, but learned an invaluable amount of knowledge through one or two great people. Trading as your sole source of income is pretty much impossible as a beginner. Kodos to anyone thats done it. I was living at home with my parents, and had a big nest egg saved in the bank, and I was still feeling pressured to perform. That resulted in not being patient and taking as much as 20 trades per day in the ES. Clearly i hadn't a bloody clue. Fast forward 9 months later and I'd just finished getting mentored by a really good trader. Studied charts constantly after getting 3 months of mentoring by him. Pretty much opened my eyes to a lot of things, and set me on the right path for success. After that 9th month though, I'd lost a lot of $, and was very stressed out over the fact that I couldn't control my emotions. Pyschology was kicking my ass. Couldnt let winners ride, yet I had an uncanny ability to see PA once I was done being mentored. 8 months ago I landed a sweet job where I work either evening shift or morning shift pulling in $40's base + OT. Immediately, it had an affect on my trading. I began being more patient, waiting for that great setup. I no longer rely on this as a form of income, so I'm not 'looking' for trades. I'm waiting for a setup! My winning trade percentage broke 50%, then 60% ! Thats not to say I dont still have problems letting the winners run (emotions), but I'm doing better. Soon, I was only taking about 5-8 trades per week max. Shit, some days I dont even had setups, and I sit at the computer twiddling my thumbs waiting for a trade that doesn't show up. In this environment, I've seen my frequency of setups dip as low as 2 or 3 per week. I've had to resort to looking at a 60 min chart for some trades. But thats OK ! When the setups do happen, I am very confident in my trade, and am not so quick to 'cut a winner short' as I know the potential if everything pans out. Its my firm belief that if you are looking for high probability setups in the ES.....well, if you are looking to beat the ES, there's really only a few really good setups that arise per week. Back in '08, b/c of the volatility that # doubled. But if you're looking for a high probability of winners, you need to be patient. The setups will happen, but not nearly as numerous as I'd like. You can always scalp your way to death, and maybe you'll get lucky, but it won't last. Some people say that price action is random, and there's no predicting it. With all the programs hedging, scalping, etc etc, people say its almost impossible to make sense out of direction. Well, to some degree, thats true. There's a lot of chop that makes it rough. My TF of choice is the 15 min charts. Every now and then, you'll see PA repeat itself from past occurances, and you say "hey, I recognize that pattern", and its easy money. but if you're a noob, not having a lot of screen time, you won't know it or see it. My point in this post.....its been reiterated a million times, but I figured I'd share my background. 1) you'll never make it as a newbie trader if you rely on this as your only income source. Psychology is an a$$hole. 2) Trading the ES is tempting, high leverage, low capital start-up, but it is indeed VERY hard to trade. Like i said, there's only a few times per week that there are high probability setups. (some posters will disagree with me, kudos to you if you have a system with more setups, i have not found one yet) 3) Not having a mentor is a recipe for disaster. its very tough to know what to look for, and what not to look for. Not having a mentor can take YEARS more on the learning curve, while a mentor can give it to u in 3 months or so if you listen. 4) this is definitely not a get rich scheme. I'll be up $ in '09, but its not enough to live on..... Soon though 5) If you are not confident in your setups, you wont let winners ride. A lot of guys say newbies don't let winners ride..... Well its b/c they havent a clue if it is gonna reverse on them. Having a tried and true system makes letting winners ride very very easy.