Hi, I'm very new to the idea of trading. I have a question. I have read a variety of articles, posts, etc., but am trying to learn the basics. Here is the question: How would you determine a requirement for profitability of a trade, a priori? For example, let's take an average American making I think about $45,000 annually for household income, which is in the 25% tax bracket. Let's say this person dabbles with swing trading, and buys 100 shares of a $5 stock, investing $500, but also paying $10 with an online brokerage. If this person sells the stock tomorrow at $6 per share, does the $10 brokerage fee apply up front (which would return $588) or at the time of the sale (which would return $590)? For the next question, I'll assume the brokerage fee was taken up front, and so this person receives $588. At the end of the year, this specific transaction is listed on a Schedule D, and after (25%) taxes, only $441 remains, causing the 20% increase in the sale price over the buy price to actually be a loss. If this is true, it does not seem that 1 or 2-day swing trading of stocks can be profitable. I have calculated daily percentage change on several stocks, and cannot find a single instance of daily change that could, even if predicted accurately, yield profits. If I am thinking about this wrong, please point it out. Thanks.