Whether you trade the mini, the big contract or the SPY, you are trading in the most competitive trading arena in the world. Why trade such a difficult instrument? The odds are againts you because you are trading againts the best traders in the world. If you want a challenge, climb a mountain or run a marathon. If you want to make cash as easily and consistently as possible, trade something other than the S & P. Reasons why the S & P is the toughest trade include: 1) No leading indicator (especially if you trade the e mini) 2) Time and sales is useless because it is too thick and volume is mostly arb/program related anyway. 3) No NYSE Open book to establish risk levels 4) Intraday price action is close to random (it rarely trends cleanly and false breakouts are prevalent) 5) In the absence of news the S & P is dominated by a few large speculators who manipulate the market exceptionally well, which essentially adds up to one big cash grab) 6) Market is affected by a practically endless number of variables which make intraday price action as close to random as I've every seen in any market. It all adds up to a very difficult trade. So what I'm asking is, again, why do so many insexperienced small time traders trade it? It is a recipe for loss.