I traded my own capital for a long time and did great. Totally self taught, picked up bits and pieces on line, read a few random books.... and I was off to the races. I was probably one of the first online only, self directed futures traders - back in the day when it was all pit markets, trading houses, banks and brokers.
Then after a few years I thought I would increase and work with a prop company and I tried several, and it all ended in a giant waste of time, with their risk managers constantly getting up in my trades and causing losses to themselves and waste of time to me.
I couldn't believe how unprofessional some of these so called operations were, getting all nervous about a $1-2k of risk on Crude Oil futures - good grief - seemed like they were in the wrong business. It ate so much of my time, it also ate into my trading capital, on living costs - which was a double problem.
I literally had trades closed out that were only a few k down and then promptly reversed in my favor and would have made mid 5 to low 6 figures within a week or two.
I dunno what they were thinking or what they wanted, but I've never met anyone that can open a position and be profitable from the first tick, unless you're just doing HFT by the second.
You also have this pressure with prop companies. I had months on my own where I made nothing and went backwards, waiting for a big setup and then slam my scenarios all fell into place, but when you got the monkey on your shoulder you feel like you need to work work work to earn earn earn which is particularly bad - especially if the markets are not being that interesting. They want their capital doing the best - and they won't always wait very long before they pull the plug on you. Great if you do fantastic day one - you'll get alot of rope - but you really have to push in an environment where you are also not really allowed to push. Kinda catch 22.
When you can make a years wages in a week, you need to wait for that week to show up, not endlessly be batting in and out all day and it's easy to discuss and agree in theory and another thing with a manager on your back.
There's lots of learning out there, but frankly there's not that much you cannot learn yourself in terms of actually trading, especially if you read a few books - there's an easy top 10 of things like Market Wizards and Reminiscence of Stock Operator that give you the flavor of things.
There's no magic silver bullet or recipe for supreme success and you can easily motor a lot of money on courses and nonsense really. The first money I spent on trading was in a brokerage account and positions open and I did just fine - thank you !
90% of self directed trading even you have the most incredible self created signals - is psychological. It's a bit like playing poker basically, only more complicated and easier to cheat yourself of your winnings.
Mark Douglas - Trading in the Zone - is very good and he points out that a lot of guys (myself included) do fantastic at the start because they take a free and creative approach to see the moves coming through. Then the intellect gets in the way and they get into a mess. I chatted with him on the phone a few times - he has some good approaches to the psychological side and it's book you can probably down for $0 or find on Amazon for a few pennies.
Until the whole Covid thing came along if I had to be honest I wish I'd never bothered with any of it as there are (were) any number of great creative fun businesses and professions where you can make good money, without the constant noise and grind (and politics) of the markets - but after some years you can get good at it and right now it's one of the only games in town for the little guy, so I am glad I kept going with it in the end.
But you really have to be able to shoulder losses and not let it get into your psyche. (I wouldn't wish the bad days on my worst enemy) - In most businesses you have running costs and overheads and you pay bills, and if you work hard you do well and if you have troubles you fight through it - in trading it's all upside down- you do almost nothing you make a fortune so fast your head spins - you battle and battle and just make things worse - and in the markets you have very little costs as a solo trader - and it's very easy to start seeing every loss as NET CASH from your pocket, which is very depressing.
If you want to trade futures - Try TopStepTrader - they are very mean with their risk, but you can run a demo and trial it out and they have some learning and info and if you can jump all their hoops you can get capital from them and I think 70% of the profits.
SNB I spoke to a few times, but I never worked with them, probably one of the better outfits, but it seemed they were more interested in selling material than backing traders with capital. There's lots of BS out there so pick and choose carefully - you can always drop me a message directly if you like. I am not interested in selling anything. I have a few PDFs I can send you.
My best advice is - FIRST : think of anything and everything you might have a talent for and think about doing that instead, because basically anything you push at for long enough you will eventually make it work. Want to be a guitarist or a graffiti artist or a pro skate boarder ? - plenty of money in it - So just make sure the markets are for you.