I'm kind of new to this and I have a few questions that I'm hoping to get some input from others. Please no flaming or arguing insulting and all that. Really short background: My investment experience is using IBD approach. I am reading books on trading (day and swing) trying to learn all I can. Question: How many people have a profitable system? One thing I've learned from the various books I've read is that one needs a profitable system. I'm talking about looking for specific setups with pre-defined buy and sell rules. In High Probability Trading the author talks about developing such a system and backtesting it. So that's what I'm doing. So take a book such as Mastering the Trade for example. In this book the author published some trade setups. So I'm thinking: 1 - if this works, wouldn't evenone be doing it (which would in fact make it not work). Unless of course only a small percentage of people use it and then it would work. 2 - or maybe this worked in the past but is no longer working so he wrote a book about it. I'm just learning how to program strategies (not just his but in general) and I'm having fun with NinjaTrader & backtesting. But I'm still curious about the two possibilities above. Is it possible to create a system that has a postive expectancy? Do any of you have such a system (don't worry I won't ask you for it). When I read the books I get the idea that it's simple: Just find a system with positive expectancy and go trade. But if it were that simple then why do the vast majority (I don't want to say 95% but that's what everyone says) not make money? Is it because they don't take the time to develop their system and follow it religiously? Do they just blindly jump in and out of trades, effectively gambling? Or do these people quit during the drawdown periods? There was another thread asking if trading was really that difficult or if people were just stupid. I hope I'm posing the question a bit more intelligently (no offense). I'm a bit skeptical coding up a system that I read about in a book but since I don't have my own system I think it's a good place to start. Anyway, I'm curious if you are using a system, have you backtested it, and are you profitable? And if I do the same, is that enough? Let's assume for the discussion that I have the software, capital, and discipline.