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5 Pillars That Helped Me Bank $7.5 Million In Trading Profits

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 9/7/2023 8 min read

It’s true…

Most people who try their hand at trading fail.

However, that doesn’t have to be your reality.

In fact, I’ve helped over thirty of my students become millionaire traders.

Not only that, but I recently reached $7.5 million in career trading profits. 

I’m not saying all this to brag…

My track record speaks for itself.

What’s helped me achieve such unusual results?

It boils down to these five pillars.

Pillar #1: Patience

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Want to make a lot of money in the stock market?

Start slow.

And give yourself enough time to learn and develop your skills.

Unfortunately, everyone seems to rush to “get rich quick.”

But that rarely, if ever, works.

My top students struggled their first few years.

However, they didn’t measure progress through their PnL.

And if you want long-term success, you shouldn’t either.

Instead, focus on building your knowledge bank first.

Learn different patterns, setups, and strategies. And slowly find out what works best for you.

Pillar #2: Safety First

Tim Sykes prepares for a potential market crash in 2022
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The reason why I’ve lasted so long is because I’ve always put safety first.

My top rule in trading is to cut losses quickly.

Even if you trade like crap for the first couple of years if you manage to cut losses quickly, there’s a chance you can turn it around.

However, if you’re overly aggressive…like many of the short sellers I see in the market…then one or two bad plays can wipe you out.

You need screen time to develop experience. By keeping your losses small, you will buy yourself time.

Pillar #3: Be Flexible

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When I first started gaining fame in my early 20s I was known as a short seller.

The guy would call out pump and dump promotions.

The strategy made so much sense. These were crappy companies destined to decline after they got pumped.

However, as more and more people started using the strategy…the risk vs. reward started to shift.

In fact, over the last five years or so, the risk vs. reward no longer made sense.

I could have been stubborn like many short sellers are.

But I recognized that there was significantly more upside in buying these stocks because so many crowded shorts are in them.

If you’ve been following the market closely, we’ve seen some epic short squeezes in symbols like PALI, VERB, and even AREB yesterday.

These opportunities exist because crowded shorts are in them.

The markets evolve, and some strategies work better than others. It’s your job to recognize these changes and adapt.

And while I’m far from being the best trader, I’ve improved because of my ability to adapt.

Pillar #4: Discipline

frequently asked questions about penny stocks to watch
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You don’t have to be a genius to trade.

You don’t need exceptional math or problem-solving skills, either.

However, you must be prepared and come to the day with a plan.

Every morning, I have a watchlist that I lay out. It consists of a handful of stocks I may or may not trade that day.

Before I place any trade, it must fit my criteria.

Not only that, the price has to be right.

For example, we’ve all seen these low-float, highly shorted catalyst stocks take off lately.

But just because I have recognized the right stock to trade, I can still lose on the play if I chase or if I overleverage.

Instead, I size accordingly, and I wait to enter at a price that makes sense.

If you’ve been following this blog, then you already know…

I’m typically buying when I see a panic dip near the open.

If I miss the entry…I am watching on the sidelines.

I’m not letting FOMO get the best out of me.

And that’s one thing I see a lot of lately.

I see traders getting into the right stocks…but their lack of discipline is hurting their chances of success.

Some traders will miss their entry…watch the stock “they should have been in” take off…get super upset…and then revenge trade.

That’s a recipe for disaster.

Instead, review the trade you missed, and ask yourself if there was any way you could have entered without exposing yourself to too much risk.

If you struggle with discipline then make rules for yourself.

Pillar #5: Trade With An Edge

tim sykes on edge
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I’ve been trading for more than 20 years…

One of the keys to my success is I’ve stayed in my lane.

You won’t catch me trading penny stocks one day and then futures, options, or cryptos the next day.

I know what I’m good at, and I work at getting better at it.

Trading isn’t like MMA where you need to be good at everything.

You just need to be good at a few setups, be disciplined enough to not style drift, and focused on risk management.

My edge lately has been in panic dip buying highly shorted penny stocks.

I’ve also found great success with my weekend strategy. 

You see, I journal all my trades and then I review them.

If you do this long enough, you’ll eventually discover what your strengths are.

Bonus Pillar #6: Surround Yourself with Excellence

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Success in trading isn’t just about strategies…

It’s also about community.

Being around experienced traders accelerates your learning curve and boosts your confidence.

That’s why I’ve created an exclusive opportunity for you. 

Join our live training sessions, where we dive deep into stocks, strategies, and the crucial trending mindset.

Engage with top-tier traders and elevate your skills, all at zero cost.


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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”