After reading about trading for two weeks, I know it's something I want to pursue. It appeals to me because of the: - mental challenges and discipline involved. - the potential for riches (and losses) tied directly to performance. - lack of a boss or a customer/client. - solitary nature of the endeavour. Here's my plan to go from clueless to pro. I would appreciate your opinion: Phase 1 - Read the classic general trading books (elder, van tharp, et al) and learn about all the available instruments. - Study and understand probability, statistics, analysis, calculus I, and hi-speed math. - Study and understand risk management and trading psychology. - Study and understand general technical analysis while avoiding books with titles such as "14 profitable charting patterns!" Phase 2 Follow the markets closely for six months as per Maverick's advice on this page: http://elitetrader.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=70140&perpage=6&highlight=vehn&pagenumber=3 Phase 3 Trade on a simulator for six months. Phase 4 Trade with real money through IB for a year or until I am consistently profitable. During this time, I will record all the essential information regarding every trade (why I entered, why it was a win or loss, etc). Phase 5 Once I'm profitable, compile my trades into a book to demonstrate my track record. Then approach a reputable prop firm with starting capital($10-20k), and show them my trading history. Once I'm accepted, start trading full-time and become best I can be. My strengths: - Extensive programming knowledge - Ability to be unemotional in the moment - Willing to learn and study hard My weaknesses: - Easily discouraged - Tend to beat myself up for even minor losses/setbacks Questions: 1) Is it necessary at all to purchase any historical data? If so, what's the best source? 2) What is the best source for market info? 3) How deep should I go with my math knowledge (I'm willing to go far into it as long as it's advantageous)? 4) Maverick said his advice works for stocks, but not for other instruments. What's the best way to learn the patterns of futures, options, and forex? 5) How does one discover a methodology which works for him? On ET, one will extol the virtues of technical analysis, only to be followed by another post which lambasts it in favour of tape reading. If you've read this far, thank you. I would appreciate your thoughts.