It takes 10,000 hours to master just about anything. Assuming you spend 9 hours a day at studying a particular thing, 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year...then it will take about 3.5 years. Trading is the same way. It will take active studying and devotion for 10,000 hours to master the trade. Famous retail traders like Tim Knight and Dan Zanger have admitted to many losses before they became profitable. Tim Knight admitted that he wasnt profitable until a few years ago (his first trade took place in 1987). Dan Zanger had wiped his account in 1992 and didnt catch up until 1998. He stated that it takes at least 5-6 years before a trader can be a master. I dont think any retail trader sits down for 9 hours a day and actively studies trading. Instead, they attempt to fit it in whenever they can trying to accomodate work, family and friends. At that rate, it would take probably 10+ years like Tim Knight.