This is a long term plan with live implementation being considered for 2012.
1. Learn the brokers. Currently just a few being considered due to cost and service levels. Infinity AT looks ok, very responsive, likely no fees once account opened just to follow and learn the markets. MBTrading and Tradestation slower to respond but likely in line price wise. Those I respect use MBT. I am looking at the demo of Infinity and will demo the others. Next I will open a real funded account with the better of these and do some simulated trading as I follow the markets.
2. I will learn the markets. I will remain open to a fundamental news source so that I can better understand the factors that influence the price action. Hopefully this is the kind of thing that will not permeate too many trading ideas but educate so I can make the decisions. I also will learn the basics of the various contracts through sim trading and reading books such as the new one I got yesterday from the CBOT-Handbook of Futures and Options. There appear to be some okay online resources to learn also.
3. I will develop a trading plan with defined rules for application that incorporates risk management and position sizing, when and what to trade. Currently I am thinking to NOT be a daytrading monkey but to try and catch longer term trends similar to what I have read in trend following books. Then through paper trading with sim account or on paper, track the signals and learn how the pain vs gain stuff works out.
4. Build funds with money that will not change my lifestyle.
5. Decide viability through post trade analysis. Decide funding level desired.