Hello ET, Let me briefly introduce myself, as I'm hoping to be on here for a while. I am 25 and have been an unwilling market participant for about 7 years, roughly around the peak of the dot com bubble. I got my Series 6 and 63 around 20, which turns out is not a good age to be a financial planner for many reasons, but total cluelessness would probably be #1. About a year ago I got out of the Marines after doing my 4 years, and have been fairly successful as a professional poker player since (same name on www.twoplustwo.com if anyone is anal/bored enough to want to verify). Having gotten slightly bored with poker and way too young to settle, I decided to get into trading stocks and took the 7-day course at OTA (www.tradingacademy.com), which has been a geniune eye-opener. I have been trading stocks on and off for 3 months - had to take a lot of time off once the WSOP got going, but that's over now and so I can refocus. Having gotten that out the way, here's my question: Like any amateur, I'm extremely good at buying at the top and shorting right at the bottom. My consistency with that is equally amazing and disheartening. I use candle sticks (but after reading the Tick thread will begin to learn to use that starting Monday, though I screwed with it for an hour after Friday's close and still couldn't figure out how to modify the periods) and volume, then waiting for the market to move in my direction before committing to the trade - usually. I don't use hard stops but if I see the market begin to move against me I either close out if already down, or start to reduce my position gradually, depending. Trying to keep my post from getting too long, what sounds bad about this scenario? What should I be concentrating on/watching for? What should I be watching out for, aside from obviously losing money? I watch Jim Cramer twice a day, should I tape one episode and watch it 3 times? Thanks all, Kirk PS. For those that didn't get it, the JC line was not serious, please save the flaming.