From the book: "Come into my Trading Room" Alexander Elder "Going Pro ... The minimum size for a trading account is about $20,000 at this time. Once you've moved up to the level of a serious amateur or a semiprofessional trader, $80,000 will give you more freedom to diversify. Once you get your account up to $250,000, you may start thinking of moving up to professional trading. These are absolute minimums, and if you can increase them, your life will be easier. Starting with $50,000, having $120,000 at a semiprofessional level, and moving up to professional trading at $500,000 will improve your chances of success"