am wondering whether there are people here who have been in situations similar to mine, pondered the same questions and, if so, what came out of it. I am a programmer and I work in an IT department in a bank's securities division. I work on systems that traders use, but my job doesn't include interaction with them. I recently opened a brokerage account with my bank. My primary investment objective was current income: my motivation was that cost of living increases and compensation does not. Commute - which for me is public transportation - just went up by 10%, lunches are costing more, rent is going up by 5% a year - but base salary stays the same and total comp is flat (at best). So I started to buy dividend-paying securities - stocks, preferreds, MLPs, REITs, CEFs - and by now I am getting a few hundred bucks a month in dividends, which helps pay bills. The question I have is whether I could also do any sort of trading. I think the worst obstacle is a compliance regulation that whatever I buy I must hold for at least 30 calendar days. Now the good thing - or so it seems to me - is that my job gives me access to a lot of market data, which includes both live and historical data for stocks and options. I also have access to analytics libraries. The reason why I say it seems to be a good thing is that I could use that to write scanning or backtesting or even live-testing software. The question I have is what could I possibly trade and what strategies should I look into. I've read several books on the subject ranging from "Trading for Dummies" to Natenberg's "Option Volatility". That's a lot of information, but I thought there was very little on how would someone go about figuring out what is the right trading strategy for them. So if anybody was thinking about these things, I'd like to know what you came up with. Thanks in advance!