I think that to make it in this game you must find a wise and experienced mentor that has already gone through the grueling and painful exerience of learning how the markets operate. When I first started I did everything wrong. I chased stocks, went in with no strategy, let emotions cloud my better judgement, thought that I actually knew what a stock was going to do, watched cnbc and the news and economic data like a hawk thinking that it actually mattered or was helpful. I listened too closely to what other people, strangers I had no reason to give credance to were saying and let their opinions affect my own. I am not saying that I have gotten past all of that. I have not been trading two years now and have suffered drawdowns and have done seemingly every thing wrong in the book along the way. I have not given up though and that is half the battle. I strive to improve my trading performance every day. I am getting better at cutting losses short, position sizing, hedging. I know to avoid options like the plauge as those wasting assets have caused me nothing but misery. I will persevere through these turbulent markets and keep a cool head on my shoulders along the way. I'm not going to do this alone anymore though. Its not a competition, it is a marathon, a test of perseverance and good decisions. Sometimes the best thing that you can do is let others guide you, point you along the right direction. I've found a great trading room full of very wise experienced and dedicated traders at 12631 directed by Chess N Wine and the Ragin Cajun over at ibankcoin.com. If you are interested in trading I suggest that you start by hanging around these guys, they know what they are doing and help you out immensly. I only wish I had found a mentor from the beginning rather than thinking I was some prodigy who could intuitively figure out everything on my own. Give people a chance, not everyones an idiot and some people can positively affect your life and your profits. It's a battlefield out there, good luck comrades!