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7 Habits Can Help Make A More Successful Stock Trader

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 1/10/2023 4 min read

Sorry to say, but there’s no exact science to how to become a successful stock trader. However, that having been said, there are specific habits that many of my millionaire trading challenge students have in common. See for yourself how cultivating them can improve your career and your chances of making millions!

  1. Start the day before the sun comes up. Waking up early gives you time to get centered before the market opens. Use this time to take care of errands, work out, and perform necessary research before the market opens. This way, when the market opens, you’ll have improved mental clarity and focus, and you can devote yourself entirely to making money!  

Staggering statistic: 44% of the rich wake up 3 hours before work; only 3% of the poor do.



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  1. Make to-do lists. A daily to-do list is one of the things that sets successful traders apart from those who fail. A to-do list helps you stay accountable to both long and short-term goals, and it helps your attention from straying and prevents procrastination.

Staggering statistic: 81% of the wealthy maintain a daily to-do list; less than 1% of the poor do.


  1. Never stop learning. Once you stop learning, you start dying! Learning about everything you can, and in every way you can (books, news, podcasts, etc) will not only keep you current, but it will keep your mind nimble. This is important to stay relevant in the market and to generate great ideas for investments!

Staggering statistic: 88% of the rich read 30 minutes or more per day; only 2% of the poor do.


  1. Save more of what you earn. Saving more of what you earn can help you improve your position as a trader. Ultimately, this means that even by following the same processes, you’ll make more money over time because you have more money to trade with. Keep an eagle eye on your expenses, and get better about saving: it can add up to a big difference in your trading career!


  1. Define your goals. Get more specific than just “become rich” with your goals. Make clear, detailed goals that feel real and motivating to you. The more clear your plan is, the easier it is to follow. Goals are like your own personal road map to success!

Staggering statistic: 67% of the wealthy put their goals into writing; only 17% of the poor make this a habit.


  1. Manage your time. You have more time to trade than you might think. Binge watch TV slightly less, get off of Facebook and prioritize trading. You’ll be amazed by the effects of devoting more time to trading and studying on your overall career.


  1. Find a mentor. A mentor is someone who is further along in their career than you. You can learn what they did right, and what they did wrong. This can help give you career shortcuts and help you from losing money! The benefits of a mentor simply cannot be overstated.


How many of these millionaire habits do you have? What can you work on in 2018? Leave a comment with your answer and be truthful as to become my next millionaire trading challenge student, you’re going to need to be honest with yourself…and with me too!

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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”