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8 Ways To Become A Better Trader

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 1/10/2023 6 min read

Most traders could use a little improvement. If you want to be at the top of your game, professionally, it’s important to continually work on improving your performance.

As a trader and an entrepreneur, the self-improvement never really ends, if you want true and lasting success. You want to constantly refine your trading methods, stay on top of current events and keep on improving, to remain competitive and relevant and, most importantly, to do the best you can.

Below, I detail 8 ways that you can strive to be a better trader. Start manifesting these behaviors and your trading could improve, and trust me, I want more Millionaire Trading Challenge students, so I do what I can to show you the right mindset, like this and millionaire habits, like these, too!

1. The desire to be a better trader. This might sound painfully obvious, but sometimes the most common sense wisdom bears the most repeating. To become a better trader, you’re going to have to want to become a better trader and to be willing to put in the work necessary.  Have you studied this free stock trading guide, yet? Have you seen all these free great trader videos, yet? If not, why not, knowledge can ONLY help you get better?!

This means recognizing that you have room for improvement and admitting that you don’t know everything. It also means that you’ll need to take inventory of your strengths and weaknesses, so that you can honestly evaluate where you have room to improve. While it’s great to get better at the things you’re already good at, there’s even more benefit to improving in your weakest areas. It will raise your whole baseline as a trader.

2. Brush up on trading basics. Sometimes, you’ve got to rewind before moving forward. So, ask yourself this: do you really know how to trade stocks? Do you truly have a good grasp of the basic rules, terms and methods of trading?

Believe it or not, there are plenty of traders out there who never took the time to truly master these important tools of the trade. They might be carving out an okay career, but it could be a whole lot better, if they brushed up on the basics. Even if you did take the time to learn all that you could when you were starting as a trader, there can be benefits to revisiting the basics. Think of it as a tune-up for your foundation.

Whether it’s taking a time out to revisit your own notes from your early days as a trader or signing up for my Millionaire Challenge, investing in education can make you a better trader.

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3. Get a mentor, and meet with them frequently. I’m often talking about how important having a mentor is for your career. But, many people think that once they’ve obtained a mentor, they can cross that off their to-do list.

Finding a mentor is a great first step. But, to really benefit from their knowledge, you’ve got to meet with your mentor frequently. Pick their brain and learn from them. Utilize the many tools and resources that your mentor has to offer.

4. Diversify. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. As a trader, diversification is important, because it will spread out your money and ensure that you won’t lose it all, if a business deal goes sour. Most millionaires don’t have just one stream of income–most rely on three or more different sources….see this online strategy, for example.

Even though I identify myself as a trader, the fact is that my teaching and consulting work has allowed me to diversify my career in a very natural way.

Consider how you could diversify to give yourself a safety net; it offers you security that can make you a better trader.

5. View mistakes as an opportunity to improve. When you make a mistake as a trader (and you probably have and definitely will in the future), do you shut down and retreat? Or, are you able to use the information from your error to move forward in a stronger and more confident way?

It’s remarkably difficult to see mistakes as learning opportunities. But, if you can work on this one skill, it can truly make you a stronger trader.


6. Stay updated on the news. Don’t just diversify your earning portfolio: diversify your mind, as well. Staying updated on the news is a powerful way to stay current and to become a better trader.

When you are aware of what is going on in the world, you have a better finger on the pulse of things that can affect the stock market. Sometimes, this can give you an idea for an investment–or let you know when you should pull out. Additionally, staying updated on the news makes you a more interesting and articulate person and keeps your mind nimble. It’s a win-win situation.


7. Emulate traders who are better than you. If you want to be the best at something, look at someone who is better than you and figure out how to do what they are doing in a quicker and more efficient way.

Basically, this means is that you want to really look closely at what other traders are doing right. If you’re a Trading Challenge student, you’re probably following and conversing with several of my Millionaire students, like this great penny stock trader in the Challenge chat room every day and that’s good.  Really evaluate what they are doing and follow their progress. You might learn something, through their methods, that can help make you a better trader.

8. Don’t shy away from conflict. As a trader, you will encounter conflict. Trades will go bad, errors will be made, you won’t get back to people in time, the list goes on and on. The longer that you are a trader and the more people that you work with, the more potential there is for conflict.

Here’s a chance to show your true character. When conflict presents itself, will you make a hasty retreat? Or, will you face the conflict, deal with it rapidly and move on with your trading?

While it is our instinct to shy away from conflict, it will only get worse with avoidance. To improve your career as a trader, make a habit of dealing with conflict quickly and confidently. It could reap you many rewards as a trader.

Whether you’re a longtime millionaire or my newest Millionaire student, these methods are handy for helping you improve and strengthen your career. By committing to constantly improving yourself, you’re already on your way to becoming a stronger and more powerful trader.

How could you be a better trader? 

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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

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* 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”