Hi Tony, thanks for the kind words. Probably a lot of the questions you asked could be answered with the epilogue of that series of articles which was just posted yesterday on my site. It started as Part IV but took a life of its own.
We can make money trading, no problem. The method is unimportant even if it is all that will matter. It is just that there are so many ways of doing it that after having chosen one, you are committed, until you find a better one that is. It is why you do all those backtests. It is to pick which one you will prefer, which one is more suited to your temperament and trading style.
The real question should be: how much will you have when you will stop trading? Will it be enough to compensate you for your time and involvement?
Definitely, your time is precious and valuable.
But there, like in the market, the rewards come from delayed gratification. Your time could be valued by the alpha you bring to the game.
Building your Retirement Fund goes from buying SPY where, over the long-term, you get about market average return, to building some alpha into your scenario.
The alpha is part of your compensation and it is all related to your skills as market participant. You should not view it as an instant gratification like some form of salary, but as a discounted and deserved reward for having spent all those years at playing the game.
Your objective is chart 5 in Building your Retirement Fund. You can pick column 1 which is technically no work and a measure of this long-term average market return, or you could go for the added alpha which will give you the equity line plus the cumulative withdrawals.
That is how much your time is worth! A real measure for your talent in extracting that alpha.
Should you find that it is not enough reward, then just jack up the alpha, find more capital, find better trading methods, and give it more time. Trading/investing is a long-term engagement. The biggest rewards are at the end of the line.
Here is chart 5 from that article which resumes my point of view.
Hope it answers your main questions.