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3 Steps to Become a Self-Sufficient Trader With a $50,000 to $150,000 Account:

Becoming a consistently profitable trader with professional-level trading habits and skills is by no means simple – but I’m using the term “simple” in a relative sense. These 3 steps are incredibly simple in comparison to the typical path most people take.

For example, my own personal path to profitability took about five years and cost roughly $30,000 between bogus subscription service fees and blown up accounts. But if I knew then what I know now, all that wasted time and money could’ve largely been avoided.

Become a Professional-Level Trader in 3 Simple Steps

In other words, if I had the opportunity to go back in time and start my trading journey all over again, the 3 steps outlined below are the exact path I would take to streamline my success – cutting down my original time and cost by at least 75% in the process.

Instead of essentially wasting five years of my life and $30,000 of hard-earned money, I’m convinced I would achieve consistent profitability within about 6 to 12 months with $5,000 or less. Things didn’t need to be nearly as hard, long, and expensive as they were.

Unfortunately, I can’t time-travel back to 2013 when I first started and benefit from this hindsight. But as a new trader – you can.

STEP 1: Understand What Being a Trader Truly Entails

BEST RESOURCE → Trading Success Framework (Free Foundational Course)

The reality is that most people don’t really understand what it means to be a trader. With virtually no barriers to entry, almost anybody can open up a brokerage account and start trading. But merely being involved and being elite are two entirely different things.

90% of traders fail – not because trading itself is a scam – but because the vast majority of market participants don’t approach it the right way. It’s a skill-based, peak performance endeavor that needs to be taken seriously – with deliberate practice and training.


So if you’re not passionate about trading and committed to the actual process that it entails – the journaling, trade tracking, daily preparation and review, continuous habit/skill development, and more – then long-lasting success will remain elusive.

Only showing up during market hours and trading based on impulse is what amateur traders do. But good trading isn’t about thrills, random rewards, and short-term emotional gratification. It’s about expected value, risk management, and behavioral consistency.

The core values, qualities, and concepts in this free course are often taken for granted, but they’re the foundation for durable success.

STEP 2: Build Skills Through Legitimate Training & Mentorship

BEST RESOURCE → Trade With Profile (#1 Rated Training Program For Developing Edge)

There are a lot of analytical/psychological habits and skills that can be developed by going through the Trading Success Framework course, but Trade With Profile can take your edge to the next level with a deep understanding of the market auction process.

Most beginners have an extremely shallow view of how markets work – thinking that simple candlestick formations, price patterns, and price-based indicators are magical answers to never-ending profits. But price alone can be extremely deceiving.

#1 Rated Trader Training Program For Developing Real Market Edge - Trade With Profile

I used to trade with simple price-based levels and indicators – and experienced moderate success that way – but so much confusion and mysticism was removed from my market vision when I implemented auction theory and profiling tools into my approach.

What volume profile and market profile do is organize auction data in robust ways that reveal the context behind price. Not every price that a market/instrument trades at is equal in importance. Volume and time add strength to price and create “value”.

This in-depth market understanding and an accompanying playbook of winning trade setups is the edge that most people are missing.

STEP 3: Use Skills to Get Funded With a Five or Six-Figure Account

BEST RESOURCE → Topstep Trader (#1 Rated Funded Trader Program)

After going through the Trading Success Framework and Profile Trading Development Pathway courses to understand what trading truly entails and how markets actually work, your newfound habits/skills/edge can be used to earn a funded account.

A lot of new traders have unrealistic dreams of taking relatively small accounts (like $1,000 or less) and turning them into millions – but the chances of that happening are slim to none.  You need appropriate funding if you want trading to be a meaningful endeavor.

What is the Topstep Trader Combine

Look at it this way – when you have a $100,000 account, a 50% annual return on that capital would produce $50,000 (a meaningful income). But with a $1,000 account, a 50% annual return would only produce a measly $500 (a fairly meaningless income).

Instead of having to tie up five, six, and sometimes even seven figures of your own capital in a trading account, you can leverage a funded trader program like Topstep to earn a $50,000 to $150,000 account. It eliminates the need to risk your own money.

Of course there are a few trade-offs in terms rules to follow and profit splits, but the benefits far outweigh cons in my opinion.

You Can Shorten Your Path to Consistent Profitability With Proper Education and Training:

There are plenty of marketers/salesman out there in the trading education space that want you to believe in the get-rich-quick path – a dream lifestyle that can be achieved within mere days or weeks with little to no work. But that’s pure BS.

Proper education and training are months-long endeavors. Building new habits, skills, and overall market experience takes time and effort. Luck isn’t durable in the market environment – you need legitimate skills and edge in order to generate consistent success.

Entertainment vs. Training in Trading Education

So don’t expect the process to be unreasonably easy or fast. Take your time building the proper foundation of effective habits/skills. Rushing the process or focusing obsessively on the money/profits will only move you further backwards.

But with that being said, it doesn’t have to take multiple years and tens of thousands of dollars in trading losses to find consistency like it did for me. My painful five year path to profitability could’ve been substantially less time-consuming and expensive.

Overall, by following these 3 steps, you can earn a large five or six-figure trading account within a year using $5,000 or less of your own capital – and be in a legitimate position to trade for a living (or at least have it be a substantial portion of your income).

This is the exact blueprint I would follow today if I were starting over again – and hopefully you can benefit immensely from it.

Written by Matt Thomas (@MattThomasTP)

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  • Anusuya says:

    One can be lucky to get a few dollars in trading without proper training and trading knowledge and without practicing discipline. But luck really doesn’t work in long term trading situations.

    To get serious monetary profit in trading needs proper knowledge, the right education, and good training. It may cost you some money will save you in long term and shorten your time of loss and confusion when trading.

    I like reading your posts which are always helpful to me. I am a trader/ investor for years. I am sure I could have done better with proper education. They never teach these things at the University when I went. Maybe now! not sure.

    I am really identifying training from your site and scouring the internet for good courses which I can benefit from day trading.

    Thank you for your help.

    • Matt Thomas says:

      Hi Anusuya – I appreciate you sharing your feedback/experiences.

      Short-term trading really isn’t something that gets taught at colleges/universities as far as I know. There might be some finance courses available that apply more to long-term investing, or maybe even some basic technical analysis courses, but no colleges/universities offer day trading as a major – and I’m not sure if a comprehensive active trading curriculum will ever be offered at these institutions. But only time will tell what the future of the education system holds in terms of active trading.

      But with that being said – as big of a fan as I am of high-quality trading education/training – I don’t think people need to subject themselves to $15,000 to 50,000+ per year in university tuition in order to learn trading. Instead, they can leverage my free course, a high-quality training program like Trade With Profile, and a funded trader program like Topstep Trader to become a professional-level trader for far less (under $5,000). This is the exact path I would take if I had the opportunity to start over from scratch, but hindsight is always 20/20.

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