A newbie with smallish liquid assets trying to learn options.
Do lots of research, make sure you know how and when to exit the trade and start small until you have some experience. Get a discount broker so the trading fee's don't eat up your profit (keep fidelity for chart analysis, screening, etc, and when you apply for the increased option levels tell them that you have a good amount of total assets (not necessarly what you intend to deposit with the broker) and several years of experience and they should grant you increased options levels. IE 250K assets, 10 years stock trading, 5 years of options should get you above level 1. Also important is your objective or risk tolerance, if you tell them "ie aggressive" investor you are more likely to get a higher option level than if you say "growth" or "conservative". It is just the trading house way of screening applicants and mitigating their own risk.