I agree with Breck for most but not all assumptions. I don't run many derbies, maybe 5-6 at most with a pup. IMO training a young pup should be to get the dog to the level to be competitive in AA stakes. Derbies do NOTHING to get your dog to that goal. So I'd say run 5-6 derbies to get to know your dog and its personality running events & you do the handling. This alone will reduce your fees by several thousand but more importantly not contribute bad habits that running events inevitably cause & you get involved too. Further there are only 3-5 top pros in each time zone, again IMO, so try to get lined up with one of those to get the most out of your investment (you'll know by his accomplishments). Most important, look the pro in the eye and tell him you do not want to have him train your dog one day beyond a recognition by the pro that the pup will not be competitive in FTs. No use wasting your money on a dog that can't make it. At the outside, turning your pup over to a top-notch young dog trainer is a one-year investment, starting at 6-8 mos. If you are not willing to make that one year investment, don't even consider it. Within a year of turning your pup over to the pro, he/she should know the potential for the pup. Make sure the pro will tell you the potential as you progress, don't let the pro string you along & don't 2nd guess his opinion if it is not favorable. Just stop the bleeding & find another game for the pup or find another pup. Also top young dog pros, like Jim Van Engan (as an example), usually have a market for good FT washouts, so you could get some money back using an established young dog trainer if your dog doesn't make it. Prior to that time you get your pup to the pro, you should get to know your pup, do basic obedience & have fun with some retrieving.
Forgot to add, if you are lucky enough to have a FT caliper pup, expect a $12,000 to $20,000 annual investment thereafter during the dog's competitive years.