Well the post below is kind of embarassing and stuff but I am not a slave to my ego like too many on this board so here goes. Well, it looks like I'm about to declare a ceasefire in my quest for "consistent profitability", (no, not the Holy Grail). I'm about take a full-time Dilbertese job. Now this is a ceasefire, not a capitulation. I will never be happy until I master trading; and if that means never that would mean I'd never be happy all my life, yes. I'm declaring ceasefire because I'm not making money, not because I'm losing money. Basically, I'm not making money in my papertrading; and I refuse to trade for real until I do. I've been at this for a total of 3 years on and off. Yea, doesn't sound too good, but I'm not the least able guy around plus I don't know of any other occupation where so many intelligent people miserably failed. So I'm not feeling too bad. I guess to have something to show for the 3 years I decided to summarize what I've learned here. By the way I'd like to thank ET as a whole for providing a forum for learning and a number of ET members who selflessly share their knowledge, who will remain un-named. So here's what I learned: 0) Successful, consistent trading is very possible. 1) Short-term trading is done via technical analysis (not FA). 2) There's systematic and discretionary kinds of trading. 3) People trade in all sorts of (TA) ways and make money. 4) 95% of vendors are losers just like 90% of traders are losers. This fact really complicates learning in this industry. That said there's some honest ones (5%). 5) Don't trade until you're consistent on paper. 6) There's 3 parts to trading success: method, discipline and money management. The latter two are pretty straight-forward. Method is the hardest. Look at me, 3 years, and still looking. 7) Yes, probably finding a mentor is a great way.. in fantasy land! Here I'll try this. Are you a consistently profitable trader? Would you like to be my mentor? I won't pay you anything up-front (refer to #4). But if I'm successful I'll pay you 20-50% of all my profits for 1-2 maybe even 3 years. I'm only interested in daytrading e-minis. PM me if interested. There, let's see how many takers I'll get.. My bet is none. 8) Traders get paid for absorbing risk. No wonder, 90% get the hard end of the stick. So it's a risk thing. In a bigger way, I take significant risks and sacrifices in trying to become a trader; if it works out I'll be paid. 8) The kingpin of it all is consistency. With consistency you can average net $20 a day, and be in the promised land pretty quickly by building your size. So number of points blablabla doesn't really matter. What matters is consistency. 9) I found that personally systematic trading appeals to me. I also found that developing a mechanical method takes a lot of work and there's been some kind of a psychological barrier that told me "Noo, don't do the hard work". I guess that's my latest failing. 10) I understood the role of leverage in magnifying return/drawdown. Also the return/drawdown "paradigm". 11) I understood a lot of things about markets and investing that are obvious to traders, for example I will never be a bag-n-holder and watch my 401k disappear like a sheep. Well that's about it, I guess. If any other "wisdoms" pop out that I forgot to include I'll edit the post and include them in the list. I feel much better struggling for my goals than living in peace of mediocrity.