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5 Lessons From My Steve Harvey Show Interview

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 1/20/2023 10 min read

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the video from the appearance I made on the Steve Harvey show, along with my students Michael, who’s now up to $1.6 million in trading profits thanks to my teachings, and Ivan, who has made a solid six figures**, watch it here now. I’m honored to have been invited to appear, and I’m humbled to think that the clip Steve showed of my home and my lifestyle in LA might inspire others to experience the kind of success Michael, Ivan and I – along with plenty of other millionaire challenge students – have experienced.

Definitely check out the video if you haven’t yet, but then, I want to break down a few of the lessons that came up from my conversation with Steve, which lasted FAR longer than what was shown on TV, he was a surprisingly much better interviewer than this media legend. This might seem a little repetitive, but I really want to hammer these lessons home to you as you grow in your own journey towards real wealth.

Lesson #1 – Keep it simple

Like a lot of people do when they find out I became a millionaire in college, Steve asked me what made me so good at investing. And I had to tell him the truth. At first, I wasn’t good. I started out trying to trade big blue chip stocks because that’s what everyone told me you had to do to get rich. The result was that my portfolio didn’t move until I started trading lower priced stocks with the kind of volatility I needed to bank 10%, 20%, 30% or more in profits on a single trade.

The lesson here is that, even though I’m always working towards big goals, it’s the small profits I’ve taken along the way that helped me get where I am today. You have to keep things simple. You’re not going to go out and start making $50,000 on a trade if you’re new to penny stocks, or if you only have $1,000 in your portfolio. But if you’re focused about taking profits of $500 here and $1,000 there, you’re going to get to that big goal eventually.

Lesson #2 – Money can’t buy you happiness

This one is totally cliche, but it’s true. And I love the way Steve explained it to the audience in our conversation. What he said was, if you don’t know your purpose, wealth and money will never make you happy. And unfortunately, according to him, the average person dies never knowing why they were born in the first place. How heartbreaking is that?

I have a hunch that, since you’re here reading this, you know what your purpose in this life is – and I’m guessing it isn’t to scrape by, day after day, while others are living the lifestyle you want. Maybe your purpose is travel. Maybe it’s giving to your favorite charity, or taking care of the family members that have taken care of you. If you know that your purpose is to become wealthy and to use your riches to help others, you’re already ahead of the game. You just need to learn the practical skills to make money.

I’m living proof of what Steve was talking about in this video. You all know that I love taking luxury vacations, and I love buying expensive sports cars (even if I’m still learning to drive them). But while that kind of wealth and luxury is fun for me, it isn’t fulfilling. You know what is? My teaching career. Teaching gives me a whole new opportunity in my life to be the kind of mentor I never had. Making trades doesn’t always get me out of bed in the morning, but knowing that I’ve got a community full of students waiting for me gets me every time.

Lesson #3 – Find your community

Another tip I shared in my interview with Steve that I think deserves repeating is the idea that, if you have a motivated community behind you, you can do things you never thought possible.

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in my TIMAlerts chat rooms, all you have to do is check out my Twitter feed. I’m constantly posting examples of my students who are making bank based off of information shared between my students:

And I don’t just do that to brag. I do that because I’ve never been shy about the fact that I’m not the best trader out there. I’m constantly working on new training programs to benefit my students, so I miss things. I miss news that happens. I miss earnings winners that are announced. I miss premarket and after-hours spikes. But you know what? My students don’t. They’re in there every day, supporting one another. They profit together**, and they work together to figure out what went wrong when trades go south.

It really is an incredible environment, and it’s one that I’m proud to be a part of, even as it’s taken on a life of its own – with or without me.

Lesson #4 – Be patient

I’m going a little out of order from the video, but I really have to jump in with this lesson here. When I tell you that I’m not the best trader, I tell you that for a reason. I only make about 75% of my trades. That means that, for every three successful trades I make where I get to bank a profit, I have another one that loses me money. Sometimes it’s even more if I’ve been making stupid mistakes.

But I don’t let that stress me out, and I sure as hell don’t let it stop me. I’m patient. I’ve been around the stock market long enough – going on two decades now – to know that, as long as I’m calm and careful, things will turn around for me.

If you’re making the kinds of big leaps in your life that me and Steve suggest, you’re going to make mistakes. It’s inevitable. It sucks, but it’s also pretty much unavoidable. What matters is how you handle them.

If you let your mistakes get to you, you’re going to get frustrated. If you’re trading, you’re in trouble – emotions have the power to bring down even the most successful of traders if they aren’t controlled. But no matter what you’re trying and what mistakes you’re experiencing, letting them get you down serves nobody. It helps nobody. Look at them like learning opportunities. The sooner you recognize that you can’t improve and grow without making mistakes, the sooner you’ll arrive at whatever kind of success you’re chasing.

Lesson #5 – Never stop challenging yourself

Clearly, I’ve done well financially with penny stocks. If I wanted to, I could stop trading and teaching tomorrow, move to Bali and spend every day hanging out with my fiancee and my family. I’m financially set for life at this point. I don’t have to work another day in my life if I don’t want to.

But how boring would that be?

I trade and I teach because I love the challenge. I love waking up and knowing that all I have in front of me are endless opportunities to profit on great penny stock plays and to help my students build real, generational wealth. How amazing is that? How could I ever think about quitting when, every day, I have the chance to spend time on two things I’m truly passionate about?

I want you to have that same kind of enthusiasm. I don’t care what you’re passionate about. The world is so big and so vast that there’s something out there for everyone. For me, it’s teaching. For you, it might be art, or travel, or charity work. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you find it, and you never stop challenging yourself to pursue it.

I love this quote from Steve. Take it, print it out and put it somewhere you can see it every morning:

“If you don’t have joy when you wake up in the morning – if you dread the sound of your alarm clock, if you feel stagnant, or if you have the feeling that there’s got to be more to life than this – you should stop doing whatever you’re doing. That’s no way to live. You’re merely existing. You will become exceptional the moment you make an exceptional decision.”

How incredible is that?

So now, I have to ask you a serious question. Do you have joy when you wake up in the morning? Do you hit the ground running – excited about what’s ahead of you for the day? I do, and I want you to feel the same way too.

Make an exceptional decision today. If that’s joining me in my trading challenge so that you can learn how to use penny stocks to try to work toward the lifestyle of your dreams, I can’t wait to meet you. If it’s something else, all I ask is that you commit to it. Commit to your vision, and never stop challenging yourself in the pursuit of your best life.

Let me know by leaving a comment below what the exceptional decision you’re making is:

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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”