You cannot beat a roulette table unless you steal money from it.

—Albert Einstein

A year ago, I was talking with a struggling trader about the profession of speculative trading. He asked a question that ultimately culminated in the publication of this book. That question was “Can someone really earn a living as a speculator?” This person was putting his life's savings on the line every day and yet did not know for certain whether anyone could actually earn a living through speculative trading. Then, on thinking back to my own start in this business, it occurred to me that I had done the same thing. If you have picked up this book and have been asking yourself that same question, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that the answer to the question is “Yes.” Yes, professional speculative trading is a valid career path. Yes, not only can it be done, but it has been, and continues to be accomplished by many professional traders. It is not a matter of luck or chance. The bad news is that it is one of the most difficult careers known to humankind. It is difficult because it requires us to consistently do that which is psychologically uncomfortable and unnatural (we revisit why trading is so difficult in great detail throughout the course of this book).

So how do we transform the dicey game of speculative trading into a valid career path? We do not start from scratch. No need to reinvent the wheel. No need for luck, chance, or even prayers. Instead, what is required ...

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