I just wanted to write a little blurb here about Prop Trading/ Intraday Trading Firms and how to select one that is both good for you short and long term. I have received many PM's over the last month from lots of new traders that had read previous postings of mine about this subject so I thought it may be helpful for me to just post what the overall response has been. Some background on myself is that I've been trading about 15 years now, 10 in equities and 5 in fixed income/credit default swaps and debt. I currently have no allegiance to any firm and trade only for myself with my own money. So I have absolutely no dog in this fight and I'm not looking to promote any firm. That being said, the following are issues that should tell you that you've joined the wrong outfit. 1) If you put up your own money YOU should be the one to have final say over your daily risk limit and YOU should be allowed to withdraw your money, as I do, at any given time you feel the need to. Putting down money, whether it be for a teaching fee or a risk deposit is the same thing. YOU ARE FUNDING YOUR OWN TRADING NO MATTER WHAT WAY IT IS SOLD TO YOU BY A MANAGER OR RECRUITER. And when trading your OWN money, you should always have the freedom to do what you please with it or you basically just handed away your 5k or 10k deposit. 2) The owners or managers should give you their input on where they think you risk, share size and bp are set but it should ultimately be your final say unless you run out of money or are dangerously close to doing so. I get PM's from way too many traders that are getting choked to death by very stringent risk limits and share limits. Most of the traders that PM me seem like they are trading a demo account if they make one or two bad trades early on. 3) This is possibly the most important..... The two biggest questions you need to ask yourself------ Are the guys teaching me traders and if so are they successful at it? This question isn't whether they have money, It's whether they still make it trading. Any trader will tell you that the way the market moves has vastly changed in the last year or so. Former tape readers are losing money, former big time exchange traders are retiring b/c order flow has left the brokers, etc. It is emphatic that the people teaching you can show you that on profitable days they are making atleast 5-10k consistently. Any owner of a firm or teacher that can't show you that amount of money on a winning day is making money from training fees and commissions NOT FROM THEIR OWN TRADING. And if they can't make a living for themselves then how are they going to teach you. DO ANY TRADERS THAT ARE WORKING THERE WHO HAVE TAKEN THE TRAINING PROGRAM MAKE ATLEAST 10K A MONTH AFTER A YEAR OR TWO TRADING...... If the answer to this question is no then you better get packing. If there aren't groups of traders that fit this criteria and everyone there is trading for pocket change, then something is very wrong. There should be atleast a few relatively new traders that are taking home a respectable living after the first year. Next question is Are you progressing at all? Can you trade stocks that are volatile? I've got alot of complaints about this question as well. If you are not allowed to trade stocks that are volatile or in the news then you are trading with out an edge. Yes for the first few weeks you should just get comfortable and familiarize yourself with the market but after that YOU ARE DOING YOURSELF A SERIOUS DIS-SERVICE BY TRADING ARBITRARY STOCKS. For ex-ample, if you haven't been trading AIG, RIMM, FAS and in play stocks such as St. Judes today, then you are not giving yourself the opportunity to suceed. People who don't know what they're talking about will say that you can't learn by trading those stocks and I will contradict that completely and say that is the only way to learn. I hear from guys that trade random dead stocks that don't move all day instead of the market catalysts.... That's a great strategy if you don't like money. The only way to learn how to trade active stocks is by actually trading them. By not trading active stocks, in the news or at major chart levels, you are completely taking away any advantage you have as a trader. At this point you might as well go bang your head against the wall.... Atleast you don't have to pay any one comissions to do it. This was just a raw and brief response to alot of questions in the form of one answer. If anyone has any specific questions then feel free to PM me and ask. Good Luck in the Markets.