This title is an invitation for many of you. I returned to reality about 3 years ago and life is much better here. The first thing you have to do is accept that you are a part of the bell curve. For trading, especially daytrading, that bell curve is 90-98% losers depending on who you get your statistics from. You, no matter how smart you think you are, probably fall in the with the bulk of the curve that will end up being a losing trader. My background: 7 years as a full time online poker player making about 110k a year. Near the end of that I spent about 2 years seriously attempting to daytrade, mostly stocks and some emini futures. I studied a ton, was very dilligent, and the last 6 months was making consistant profit as a stock daytrader. That was when I realized that I needed 100k minimum plus living expenses to make it worthwhile. The fact is that if you can make 40% a year you are among the best in the business. People dispute this but the people that disupute this are not running hedge funds. They are usually running a prop group or something else in the industry. They are selling shovels instead of mining, although some of them may mine on the side. They came to the same realization I did a while back and decided to get on the business side of things instead of switching careers altogether like I did. If you make 40% a year you will be in the poor house after paying taxes unless you live with your parents. Here is the checklist for all you would-be pros. 1. 100k bare minimum and that is if you have a huge edge where you can at least double your money every year. 2. A REAL edge. It is amazing when you realize that most people don't even know if they have an edge or not when they decide to go live with money they can't really afford to lose. 3. The ability to devote the working day to trading, and still be able to pay your bills if you have a rough stretch. They will come. I'm sure I'll talk more about this as my journal develops. Back to 3 years ago, I decided to get completely out of the gambling world for a while and get a real career going. So i joined the army. I'm currently a medic, and near the beginning of the pipeline to become a special forces soldier. I've been through SFAS (2 weeks in hell was the overdramatization of this phase) and still have most of the training ahead of me. I share this because for me this is a lifelong dream that my obsession with trading and poker kept me from pursuing for years. Maybe it will inspire you to go after something you dream of instead of staring at charts for endless hours. You are probably wondering why I am starting a journal if I think trading is a time drain and a waste of a young persons energy. Well I still like charts lol. And I need to invest some money. So this journal will be about trading around a busy working schedule. My trading goals are as follows: (In order of importance) 1. A minimal amount of time. 2. 10% or greater return a year. My plan so far is to trade the AUD/USD. I like how this moves and the market opens at 1900 my time so I can make my decisions and act at a pleasant hour. I am going to mostly be entering positions near the beginning of the week and letting them run for a day or two. I am trading a volatility breakout style based on ACD. I'll get into it more later. My edge comes primarily from the fact that I don't need to trade. I will take only A+ setups and sit out the market when things don't look ideal. I hope this journal will show that career + casual trading > full time trading for the 98% that will not be wildly succesful. The power of compound interest is great, especially for those that can make regular contributions to the account from a profitable and fullfilling career not related to trading. Those that trade full time will experience the opposite of compound interest as they are forced to continually withdraw to pay bills even through drawdowns. This can put one in a position where it will take years to return to all time equity highs. I have had this experience several times at poker.