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Trading Tips-Tim Sykes Penny Stock

10 Keys To Becoming A Successful Trader

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 6/13/2023 7 min read

To the uninitiated, learning how to trade stocks successfully can seem like an impossible prospect…after all, most people who try, lose.

But, like training to run a marathon, success is possible, if you take the proper steps and have the proper training.

Success requires time, practice and targeted effort, with your specific goal in mind at all times. With the right guidance, training and direction, mastering the penny stock market is within your reach, if you practice, practice, practice.

The path to becoming a successful trader is truly accessible to anyone, from any walk of life. But, I must reinforce that the key is that you have to be willing to put in the time and effort in your education and preparation.


On the contrary, real-time alerts should be LEARNED from, right and wrong, so that you can figure out what strategies and patterns work best for you and your own personality.  We’re all different, so there’s no one formula that works for everyone.

Below, I detail some of the steps needed to begin your journey toward becoming a trader.

1. Make a resolution to learn. Action follows intention, so take your first step toward trading by making a resolution to learn how to trade stocks. Don’t gloss over this step or take it lightly. Take the time to consider why you want to learn about the stock market and what you hope to gain from it. Mentally prepare yourself for the work and study ahead. This sets your foundation for learning about trading and will help you in setting goals at a later date.

2. Do your research. Now that you’ve made a decision that you want to get into the stock market, it’s time to figure out how to go about it. Rarely will it be a good idea to just jump in there and start trading, with no knowledge and no preparation of any kind. If you do that, what will likely happen is that you’ll lose money, get discouraged and quit, before you’ve even given yourself a chance to truly succeed.

Instead, research how to learn more about the stock market. Maybe you’ll start reading how-to books or sign up for my trading challenge. Research the potential ways in which you can educate yourself on the market and what learning modalities seem most appealing to you.

3. Get in “back to school” mode. Once you’ve found some resources, set yourself to the task of learning. Learn all that you can about the market. Be obsessive about learning. Put aside specific blocks of time, on a daily basis, to learn about the market and dedicate yourself to your learning program. Hold yourself accountable and be strict about sticking to your regime.

4. Set goals. Remember how I earlier alluded to taking a few moments to consider your motivation for getting into the market? Now that you’ve started to learn, it’s a good time to really get clarity on your goals.

Set specific goals for what you hope to attain by becoming a trader. Is it buying a big house by the water or purchasing your girlfriend’s dream engagement ring? The more specific your goals, the better. They will serve you as you start trading and they will help keep you inspired. You can always adjust these goals, based on your progress.  But, it’s not only useful, but CRUCIAL to aim high, so that “big goal” will continually motivate you throughout the difficult, but necessary study/preparation period.


5. Seek guidance. One of the best ways to streamline your learning is to seek out a mentor. This can be anyone who is further along in their trading career than you. Often, this individual will not only offer valuable insight, based on their own experiences, but can also guide you toward other resources that were helpful to them. In essence, they can help shed light on the path ahead and assist you in avoiding common pitfalls, thus speeding up your learning curve dramatically.

6. Start trading. So, you’ve learned the basics, you’ve held yourself accountable and you have good guidance. At a certain point, it’s time to get out of the nest and start flying. Start small with your trading. Research trades that will offer the most minimal risk and see how it feels to even pull the trigger. Maybe you’ll lose some money, maybe you’ll make some. Either way, it will give you valuable feedback for moving forward and you must learn to grow your KNOWLEDGE account before you can consistently grow your bank account.

7. Evaluate your progress. As you start to trade, take the time to pause and see what is going right and what is going wrong. Both aspects are equally important.

For example, if you’re doing something right, then definitely make note of it, so that you can continue doing it, focus more on it and maintain an upward trajectory. How could you keep doing the things that are going well, but streamline your process? Refining your technique will help you repeat your successes quicker, in the future.

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On the other hand, if you’re doing something wrong, consider that just as strongly. How could you eliminate your “wrong” behaviors moving forward or conduct yourself differently in the future? How could you eliminate bad habits, so that they won’t hold you back?

8. Cultivate good habits. Millionaires come in all shapes and sizes, but many of their good habits remain constant, across the board, no matter who they are. Take the time to cultivate these habits. You might start small, by waking up a little earlier each day. But, ultimately, you want to refine all of these millionaire habits, including good saving habits, developing the ability to self-reflect, redefining your definition of failure and maintaining a strong commitment to giving back to your community.

It’s important, during your growth as a beginner trader, to practice good habits, such as cutting losses quickly to minimize the risk of a potentially large disaster, even if small losses are frustrating to take.

9. Banish bad habits. Just as you want to discover and emulate the good habits of successful people, you want to banish the bad habits that might be holding you back. Maybe you’re held back by a fear of failure or you aren’t dedicated enough to learning. Be honest with yourself about your shortcomings and strive to improve yourself on a daily basis.

10. Keep at it. When it comes to learning how to be a successful trader, this “how to” list isn’t necessarily linear. These are steps that you should constantly revisit, no matter how new or seasoned you are at trading stocks. To truly find success in the stock market, you have to remain diligent. You need to keep revisiting your goals, keep motivated, keep on top of good and bad habits and keep refining your process.

Persistence pays off, when it comes to trading stocks.  So does diligence. By staying connected to your goals and by sticking to your trading, through the good times and the bad, you’ll create an inner fire and passion for the process that will make you a trader for life. And, that is truly the key for long lasting success and happiness: a deep passion and connection to what you are doing. Enjoy the journey.

Are you ready to start trading stocks? Be sure to watch these free video lessons and this free stock trading guide as they’ll help you on your journey!

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Author card Timothy Sykes picture

Timothy Sykes

Tim Sykes is a penny stock trader and teacher who became a self-made millionaire by the age of 22 by trading $12,415 of bar mitzvah money. After becoming disenchanted with the hedge fund world, he established the Tim Sykes Trading Challenge to teach aspiring traders how to follow his trading strategies. He’s been featured in a variety of media outlets including CNN, Larry King, Steve Harvey, Forbes, Men’s Journal, and more. He’s also an active philanthropist and environmental activist, a co-founder of Karmagawa, and has donated millions of dollars to charity. Read More

* Results are not typical and will vary from person to person. Making money trading stocks takes time, dedication, and hard work. There are inherent risks involved with investing in the stock market, including the loss of your investment. Past performance in the market is not indicative of future results. Any investment is at your own risk. See Terms of Service here

The available research on day trading suggests that most active traders lose money. Fees and overtrading are major contributors to these losses.

A 2000 study called “Trading is Hazardous to Your Wealth: The Common Stock Investment Performance of Individual Investors” evaluated 66,465 U.S. households that held stocks from 1991 to 1996. The households that traded most averaged an 11.4% annual return during a period where the overall market gained 17.9%. These lower returns were attributed to overconfidence.

A 2014 paper (revised 2019) titled “Learning Fast or Slow?” analyzed the complete transaction history of the Taiwan Stock Exchange between 1992 and 2006. It looked at the ongoing performance of day traders in this sample, and found that 97% of day traders can expect to lose money from trading, and more than 90% of all day trading volume can be traced to investors who predictably lose money. Additionally, it tied the behavior of gamblers and drivers who get more speeding tickets to overtrading, and cited studies showing that legalized gambling has an inverse effect on trading volume.

A 2019 research study (revised 2020) called “Day Trading for a Living?” observed 19,646 Brazilian futures contract traders who started day trading from 2013 to 2015, and recorded two years of their trading activity. The study authors found that 97% of traders with more than 300 days actively trading lost money, and only 1.1% earned more than the Brazilian minimum wage ($16 USD per day). They hypothesized that the greater returns shown in previous studies did not differentiate between frequent day traders and those who traded rarely, and that more frequent trading activity decreases the chance of profitability.

These studies show the wide variance of the available data on day trading profitability. One thing that seems clear from the research is that most day traders lose money .

Millionaire Media 66 W Flagler St. Ste. 900 Miami, FL 33130 United States (888) 878-3621 This is for information purposes only as Millionaire Media LLC nor Timothy Sykes is registered as a securities broker-dealer or an investment adviser. No information herein is intended as securities brokerage, investment, tax, accounting or legal advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to sell or buy, or as an endorsement, recommendation or sponsorship of any company, security or fund. Millionaire Media LLC and Timothy Sykes cannot and does not assess, verify or guarantee the adequacy, accuracy or completeness of any information, the suitability or profitability of any particular investment, or the potential value of any investment or informational source. The reader bears responsibility for his/her own investment research and decisions, should seek the advice of a qualified securities professional before making any investment, and investigate and fully understand any and all risks before investing. Millionaire Media LLC and Timothy Sykes in no way warrants the solvency, financial condition, or investment advisability of any of the securities mentioned in communications or websites. In addition, Millionaire Media LLC and Timothy Sykes accepts no liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of this information. This information is not intended to be used as the sole basis of any investment decision, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the investment needs of any particular investor. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future returns.

Citations for Disclaimer

Barber, Brad M. and Odean, Terrance, Trading is Hazardous to Your Wealth: The Common Stock Investment Performance of Individual Investors. Available at SSRN: “Day Trading for a Living?”

Barber, Brad M. and Lee, Yi-Tsung and Liu, Yu-Jane and Odean, Terrance and Zhang, Ke, Learning Fast or Slow? (May 28, 2019). Forthcoming: Review of Asset Pricing Studies, Available at SSRN: “https://ssrn.com/abstract=2535636”

Chague, Fernando and De-Losso, Rodrigo and Giovannetti, Bruno, Day Trading for a Living? (June 11, 2020). Available at SSRN: “https://ssrn.com/abstract=3423101”