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94 Lessons On How To Trade Penny Stocks From The #1 Trader Out of 60,000

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 1/24/2023 16 min read

When you help people learn, they reciprocate in so many different ways. Take this one trading challenge student and PennyStocking DVD student, who has been following and learning from me since my TIM trading account was under $15,000 (now 2 years later, I’ve just surpassed $100,000, a gain of 720%+), scoured through all my blog posts and picked out 94 lessons…awesome man, thanks!

Read through all these lessons, this is probly the most useful blog post I’ve done in over a year (I’ve since created 9 additional instructional DVD packages so all the useful information is in those, over 60 hours worth of instructional content)

Check it out:

I often like to look back at your posts when you first started TIM, to see how you handled trades when you were under the 25k day trade limit. I noticed you often posted TIM Lessons after making mistake. Ever wonder how many there were? I did, so I went through each post, looking for them. I ended up stopping in July 2008, as you seemed to have stopped posting Lessons by late April/ early May. So here they are, a compiled list of TIM Lessons. See any that repeat? Maybe you can post this for others to see what you have learned on TIM’s journey.

It’s fun to get ahead of ourselves and annualize weekly returns—my 12.55% weekly return comes out an annual return of 652.6%, or a year end closing balance of $81,020, waaaay below the $119,507 balance I finished with for the year ending 1999. Gotta get to work! (IN CASE YOU DON’T GET THIS, THIS IS THE ABSOLUTE WRONG WAY TO THINK!!!!!!)

1. TIM Lesson: You can’t try to fit trades into your schedule; if you know you’re going to be away from the computer for part or all of the trading day, exit all positions ahead of time.

2. TIM Lesson: Friday short covering, breakout and momentum buying all mixed together are a recipe for higher stock prices.

3. TIM lesson: Trading is all about the survival of the fittest; you form an opinion, stick to it as long as it proves profitable / correct and then reverse or move on to the next play (or prey).

4. TIM Lesson: When watching a potential short, always check with your broker ahead of time to make sure you can borrow shares to short

5. TIM Lesson: Memorize SOLF’s intraday chart today in addition to its weekly chart pattern—this is the main pattern that has helped me make $1+ million through Short Selling, it doesn’t matter the company, they all have some unique story, but 99% of them never do much more…EVER. The key is Short Sellinginto strength, but only when that strength looks to be fading intraday/overnight.

6. TIM Lesson: If you want to maximize your profits, don’t schedule anything during market hours!

7. TIM Lesson: Never trade when a lack of sleep forces you into a zombie-like existence.

8. TIM Lesson: Know Thyself!

9. TIM Lesson for Corporate Management: Hey, idiots, when you’re a publicly traded company, your long term vision, short-term profit sacrifice blah blah doesn’t matter! You build your business into a profitable machine, so your shareholders will be happy and won’t get rid of you.
TIM Lessons for Investors: Never buy into any company’s story, buy into a stock’s performance. When you buy into a stock and it doesn’t perform, you get out—there’s plenty of other stocks out there that are performing NOW.

10. TIM Lesson: A company could have the best news/story in the world, but if nobody notices (as evidenced by a surge in trading volume and stock price) then it’s irrelevant. Act upon market reactions, not upon your reactions to the market.

11. TIM Lesson: Never underestimate the power of optimism in the stock market, as misguided as it usually is

12. TIM Lesson: Never try to force profits just to reward yourself for being correct in your thinking. There will be many times when you’re correct in your thinking, but wrong in your trading. Accept it; don’t resort to wild trading as that’s how losses are created

13. TIM Lesson: Remember this pattern, 3 BIG up days, 1 undecided day where nobody knows which camp will prevail (although bulls obviously have a tough time convincing anybody buying a crap company with a bearish chart that’s nearly doubled in 3 days), 1 more undecided morning followed by some longs saying, screw this—I’m taking this bounce as my chance to get the hell out, followed by more longs thinking that and some short sellers jumping in and presto chango, an easily predictable 10%+ drop within 1 day

14. TIM Lesson: Wait for the afternoon crack of sideways price action, listen to Lionmaster, never expect patterns to work perfectly every time, short the weakest stocks in a sector, not the strongest and never wear a green hoodie when you’re on Wallstrip (the green screen means you might just see my head, let’s see what they do…).

15. TIM Lesson: never set profit goals, you can’t force opportunities!

16. TIM Lesson: Make your price predictions, if you’re wrong, cut your losses quickly, don’t pout or double up, just move on

17. TIM Lesson: The future belongs to those willing to work hard.

18.-22. TIM Lessons:
Buy high volume breakouts like AKNS in the morning, but not early afternoon. (Shorts panic early, regroup later and there’s not much protection from fakeout breakouts later in the day, unless you buy right before the close).

Never feel like the market owes you any profits, no matter how right some of your calls are.
If you think you know what you’re doing, write; help others profit even if you suck at it.
Don’t waste precious day trades if the upside isn’t there, fi you’re poor with under $25k. Otherwise, you’re free, enjoy it!

Solar plays, like any hot industry, move together, but just because one is breaking out, doesn’t mean another will.

Take your losses quickly, even when you totally screw up, it won’t take much to make it back.
Dealbreaker rocks (see their post bout me today)

23. TIM Lesson: You can’t predict news, so don’t try.

24. TIM Lesson: The hottest plays move independently of the market, don’t short until they fade to negative on the day because anytime before then they are prime short squeeze targets.

25. TIM Lesson: Business reality is irrelevant, perception matters more and when that goes out the window, all you have left are chart patterns!

26.-35. 10 Things
I’ve been trading waaaay too much, I should focus only on the most perfect of chart patterns, that being those of stocks that have risen 50%+ on hype within a few days (as scary as it is to short into a hot sector) and none of that gradual crap (there’s only a few of these each month). This is why my short of (Nasdaq:DSTI) is right, so I’m going to try to hold onto it for a few days/weeks and aim to capture 50 cents – $1/share on the downside.
Time and again, I’ve forgotten the rules I’ve created over the past decade, you guys really need to keep a trading journal and review it often (since I’ve always been stubborn to keep a journal, I’m glad I created this DVD, it’s much easier to review!)
Scalping for a few cents here and there is a waste of time, gotta aim for opportunities where I’m confident enough to risk losses in the pursuit of large profits. Stay 100% cash until such opportunities present themselves.
Never, never, never short a company just cuz it’s crap – most Penny Stocks are, but shorting too early is how short squeezes are created. Gotta wait UNTIL AFTER THE STUPID SHORTS GET SQUEEZED, pushing the price up to unsustainable levels and when the momentum/volume fades.
Ignore the optimism of microcap investors/management/analysts – out of the thousands of microcaps I’ve played only (Nasdaq: BOOM) has ever made it, sad really.
Similarly, gotta not be so afraid to go long all the microcap junk when they get in play, as evidenced by (Nasdaq: AKNS), the upside is far greater than the downside.
Being honest with yourself is soooo important, don’t be stubborn and not fess up to when you’re wrong, just cut losses and move on.
Trying to time your trades perfectly is a waste of time, you gotta just try to catch the meat of any move.
Microcaps really are an undiscovered gold mine, thanks to Wall Street snobbery, they’ve left this niche to hipsters, manipulators and amateurs, so that’s why technical analysis works particularly well here – it’s all about perception and greed, aka human nature aka easily predictable if you look at the motives behind the players involved.

36. TIM Lesson: The best opportunities stand out far above the rest

37. TIM Lesson: If a stock isn’t acting EXACTLY like you want/expect it to, get out, don’t risk a reversal.

38. TIM Lesson: When stocks don’t act EXACTLY how you expected, get out IMMEDIATELY, don’t hope, or wait because you open yourself up to larger losses.

39. TIM Lesson: Only the first and last HALF HOUR of the trading day matter, read on…
Even though I was right about buying TITN at $16.28, I was too early (3pm-ish) and a 50 cent drop spooked me into selling for a $80ish loss. Stock didn’t breakout till the last 20 minutes hence today’s Tim Lesson. Gotta wait for the breakout, don’t just buy at random times, you’ll get spooked (if you’re disciplined enough to take losses quickly).

40. TIM Lesson: Never underestimate the power of Friday afternoon short squeezes.

41. TIM Lesson: Be very careful when entering orders, you’re playing with real money and if there’s multiple stocks in play, it can get confusing very quickly.

42. The Most Important TIM Lesson of all: Respect the Pump

43. TIM Lesson: Never enter a trade “to get back to even” — especially when the stock hasn’t cracked support, it’s still up on the day and you’ve got a bunch of meetings that will take you away from the screen the next day (amazingly I ignored all these facts in executing the trade).

44. TIM Lesson: When a stock that’s up 150%+ breaks intraday support, it’s gonna tank hard–short it

45. TIM Lesson: Don’t short just because you think a stock is breaking down, wait for some important level to be taken out first

46. TIM Lesson: Trade random stocks and you’re going to get random returns

47. TIM Lesson: Be better than this industry, ignore the periodic grading BullShip like monthly and yearly returns and focus only on worthy investment opportunities, whether they come about daily, weekly, bi-monthly or even yearly.

48. TIM Lesson: Gotta wait for a down day to suck out some of the momentum before shorting or you risk getting squeezed hardcore.

49. TIM Lesson: Gotta wait for a technical level that has some real downside potential to crack.

50. Lesson: If you’re wrong, get out ASAP, don’t wait around because these stocks will smack you around as if you’re their prison bitch.

51. TIM Lesson: Hate on these companies all you want, when the patterns offer setups, remain unbiased!

52. TIM Lesson: Certainly buy into hype (when there’s a true breakout), but never believe it

53. TIM Lesson: Wait for true breakouts, that way you don’t have to be perfect in your timing at all (HUGE for me since I suck at timing).

54. TIM Lesson: never buy into mid-day spikes (especially in bear markets), wait until the afternoon; you’ll miss some breakouts, but you’ll also protect yourself from many random spikes/fakeout breakouts

55. TIM Lesson: Just because some people can’t wrap their little heads around me turning $12k into $2mil through thousands upon thousands of trades without the use of leverage, doesn’t mean it’s not true and more importantly, doesn’t mean I’m not gonna teach others to do better than me


57. TIM Lesson: It’s not about BS random picks, it’s about pattern recognition and understanding of the variables to adapt to the patterns mutations

58. TIM Lesson: You can be early in your short—you’ll experience a bit of pain—but never be early covering your entire position, once the hype dies down, only the POS company itself remains and it ain’t pretty!

59. TIM Lesson: When a stock doesn’t act EXACTLY according to plan, exit quickly, especially if you have any profits

60. TIM Lesson: Never trust pizza from the Rutgers Student Center

61. TIM Lesson: Cut your losses quickly when the price action doesn’t go EXACTLY how you planned.

62. TIM Lesson: Never short into a stock just because you think it’ll go lower, wait for the price action to give you the best possible entry.

63. TIM Lesson: Don’t sweat the small stuff, focus on true breakouts/breakdowns, cut losses quickly on fakeouts, don’t be afraid to re-enter again and again, if you wait for these all-important breaks, you’ll be supported by the self-fulfilling prophecy that is technical analysis, used by thousands of traders, aka the odds are on your side.

64. TIM Lesson: When your account is small, focus on lower priced stocks, it’s much easier to predict a 50 cent/share move on $3 stock than it is a $3/share move on a $20 stock!

65. TIM Lesson: You should never put hard earned money to work when you have intraday commitments

66. TIM Lesson: The market is never wrong, but ANALysts usually are.

67. TIM Lesson: You can prepare ahead of time all the key price levels you want, but you gotta wait and see how the stock acts around them before trading.

68. TIM Lesson: Get this through your stupid little Jew head: don’t short in the morning, too much risk of

69. TIM Lesson: Shorting into big fluff winners on the 3rd or 4th day is ideal, especially when they’re just down a little bit, meaning the issue (of a big move one way or the other) is still in doubt.

70. TIM Lesson: Always double check your limit orders before placing them

71. TIM Lesson: Wait for the breakouts, don’t anticipate them

72. TIM Lesson: There are both small predictable moves and large ones, focus on large moves—less headache, better risk-reward, bigger gains, more spare time, aka don’t become a scalper like Uncle Timmay! (considering that while I’ve gotten better at focusing on the big gains, I still take infantile gains—gotta get better if TIM has any shot at the big-time)

73. TIM Lesson: Never believe a word a CEO says, they’re all scum, having sold their souls years ago in the name of expansion!

74. TIM Lesson: T-EGO is just the latest hype play up exponentially on one-time fluff news, these are the kinds of opportunities you gotta learn to take advantage of by Short Selling into the hype!

75. TIM Lesson: I trade hyped up and inefficient stocks played by small-time traders and investors moving due to market mechanisms, momentum or fluff news, not real companies played by the entire financial speculation community moving based on potentially disastrous or life-saving news. There is a HUGE difference

76. TIM Lesson: The vast majority of stock market randomness exists only in the most broadly covered topics!

77. TIM Lesson: When everyone is playing the same game, the potential to have any kind of “edge”, or odds on your side, drops substantially.

78. TIM Lesson: Just because you’ll get interest due to your giving into all the popular topics du jour, does not mean you’re interesting. Or that you’re doing anything good. Or that you’re helping people learn. On the contrary, you are feeding into the randomness. You are no better than any boy band or Britney Spears. And that is why it’s inevitable that you’ll be cast aside in favor of somebody who is unique.

79. TIM Lesson: To maximize your trading gains, never schedule intraday meetings

80. TIM Lesson: There’s NO way to gets the odds in your favor so never never never play mainstream Wall Street guessing games

81. TIM Lesson: Don’t try to rationalize with your near-meaningless opinions, respect technical levels

82. TIM Lesson: Either use multiple trading screens miss simultaneous opportunities, the more screens the better…up to a point

83. TIM Lesson: With these illiquid little things, you gotta take your profits and run, the spread alone can kill you not to mention the risk of any squeeze

84. TIM Lesson: Corporate executives are about 1,000x more evil than any short seller will ever be

85. TIM Lesson: Never listen to the absolute joke that is the financial commentary community. It’s not funny, it’ll cost you money.

86. TIM Lesson: Don’t stray from your core competency–mine being Penny Stocks

87. TIM Lesson: Feel free to rip on me for ANYTHING, but you better be damn sure I’m gonna come after you with everything I’ve got, be prepared suckas!

88. TIM Lesson: Never be long a Citron Research-covered company….ever

89. TIM Lesson: Low priced stocks rock because they’re fraudulent/failing hence simpler/more predictable

90. TIM Lesson: Never buy or short sell falling knives, much is happening behinds the scenes, none of it is predictable

91. TIM Lesson: If you know you suck at buying breakouts, don’t be early, wait to buy until right before the market close.

92. TIM Lesson: Financial journalism is a joke, people with s#@$ track records can actually get their useless thoughts read, everybody rushes to judgment, you can profit from all this

93. TIM Lesson: Respect the pump/hype, but never believe it

94. TIM Lesson: Nothing worse than a microcrap with ethics, blehhhhh, disgusting and hypocritical; if management won’t play the game right, throw ‘em out and find somebody on Craigslist who will!

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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”