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Wondering how to start...again


I tried trading twice in the last 15 years with no success(-35k). Trading is something I always find myself attracted to so here I am again wanting to make it work. The one advantage I have now is I appreciate how hard it is. I am a contractor by trade and thus have to work during the day. I could trade west coast time from 6am to 730am (day trade?)and or review the market at 5pm and have a trade ready to place in the morning (trend trade?). I also have Vantage Point software but have not used it yet.
I have a few questions after just reading Trading for a Living by Dr. Alexander Elder and Trade your way to financial Freedom by Van K. Tharp. If you consider the basic costs of trading such as data feed, commission and slippage is it really possible for a beginner with a 5k account to make enough to cover those costs plus grow the account. My guess that with taxes one would have to make 10% a month just to cover costs. Can a beginner do that?
Has the recent volatility in the S&P made it a bad time for a beginner with a 5k account to trade the S&P mini?
I have a line on four different systems/methods/classes whose salespeople would love my money. Is there a great class or teacher that people would agree on would be great for someone like me?
Thank you
Virgo
I was wondering how some of you folks that are successful in trading made it happen. I suppose each case would be different. You hear that 90% of traders lose money at it so I wonder how many people really make it work over the long term. I think most beginners like me think that its fairly possible to make a living at it where as the truth may be somewhat different.
True, 90% of traders lose, as have I before, but the ones that win -- they win everything that the losers lose... and considering they're much fewer, in total they win very vast amounts of money.
How I went from losing to making $ as a trader:

1. Character - Perseverance, commitment, & self-control
2. Time - I wasn't profitable as a day trader for 3 years
3. Mentor-ship - I joined a few trading rooms for a brief period just to see how different traders traded in real time (I do not use any of their methods today but did gain some knowledge that I have incorporated into my own trading). I did 4 different ones each for about 1-2 months.
4. Focus - I narrowed my focus to trend trading equities & day trading the e-minis. I stopped swing trading, option trading, & any other kind of trading you can think of.
5. Re-read #1 & #2 above - cant be done without them.

One last point, aspiring traders need to have realistic expectations in terms of the time & effort required to succeed as well as the type of returns you can expect. I often come across newbies who think they can return 200% a year within 3-6 months. This is unrealistic in 99% of the cases IMO & experience.