For everyone starting out and feeling like a million dollars will it you right away, and stick with you: Don't even think about it! In fact 9/10 traders fail in the beginning because they don't know what they're in for. I want to illustrate what it takes to be profitable, and that is namely, discipline and education. But how? So many people use these 2 words today and it really has become somewhat of a cliche to come out and say "Be disciplined and learn". First of all, discipline and education go hand in hand. The worse the education the longer it takes, the less a chance to get somewhere. As you progress into knowledge you have to devise a plan, a strategy and trade it with discipline until you can really get a wide range of trades and can then only asses if the strategy is good or not. As you realize it's not good, you learn some more, move higher, and devise a new one, and then trade it again with discipline until you can asses this new one. And so on. You eventually get there in about 3 years, but if this is not the cycle you follow, the day you get up and say "I can't understand anything anymore" will surely come and you will lose. Now, for this cycle to produce results you need 2 tools, besides good education and strong discipline (ie patience and stomach): a - a trading diary in order to be able to asses the dos and don'ts and... b - a basic money management rule of not risking more than a small small fraction of your account. That is to ensure that you are not an enemy of your money while you learn. From a psychological point of view, paper trading and demo is out of the question. They don't mean a single thing. Happy trading y'all.