Here are the steps in my experience: 1) Initial know how (math, programming, financial markets). 2) Backtest system to research & develop trading strategies. 3) Live (auto) trading (even if #2 is not great, because present reality is often different from the past snapshots). 4) Analyze why you're not making money, tweak / improve and goto #1. Question is how much time passes until you're consistently profitable? Question number 2, how much money does that time value? And question number 3, how and if $50k can significantly speed up the process? Right now I'm entering another cycle starting from #1 (new knowledge), with high hopes this is the last time. If not, I'm thinking on hiring / collaborating with someone. I'm thinking on posting an ad on UpWork but I see problems with this approach. Apart from the confidentiality of my stuff so far, main problem I see is that this is not the regular "fuck you, pay me" developer job you see there. You just can't "sudo make me a profitable trading system" someone, even if you pay them It's pretty much a catch 22. The guy who's capable of developing a profitable trading system doesn't need a job on UpWork, he should be making millions with his own stuff. And the other guys I'm essentially having to teach them my system so they can leave and make their own millions with it when it's ready, all while paying them a living wage to do so.