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From My Experience: 5 Pieces of Advice for an Ambitious Student

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 9/27/2023 8 min read

Despite racking over $7.5 million in career trading profits, I’ve had significantly greater success as a mentor and coach.

30+ millionaire students prove that.

But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows…once you commit to working with me, I’ll push you to reach your highest potential.

And sometimes that means me being tough on you.

Today, I will share a recent conversation with one of my star students and the five pieces of brutally honest advice I gave him.

Before I Get Started

trade like a coward - sykes
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Most people don’t have the guts to open a trading account and pursue their dreams. That’s why I constantly encourage all my students who are trying. It doesn’t matter if they’re earning $5 in trading profits or $5K, what matters is they’re doing the right things.

You see, most people will discourage you from trading. They’ll say stuff like you need to go to school for finance, that Wall Street is too good, and you shouldn’t bother competing with them… it’s easier just to give your money to a financial advisor, blah…blah…blah.

I’m tough on my students because I want them to win badly.

I want them to prove their haters wrong and achieve even greater success than I have.

Which brings us to today’s lesson…

Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen several single-day triple-digit gainers…

It seems like every day now, we have one or two…yesterday it was in PIXY and SPRC…the day before, it was in FEMY and SLNO.

They’re good old-fashioned short squeezes.

And the crazy thing is…the worse the company…, the greater the squeezes.

Yet, some of my students are shorting these stocks.

Including one of my top students, Ellis Hobbs, a former NFL cornerback who has transitioned into an exceptional trader.

He likes playing both sides of the market, switching from taking longs to taking shorts.

But he could be doing A LOT better if he focuses solely on going long.


Because short selling takes a toll on you emotionally.

The higher the stock increases, the more you know you’ll be right.

That said, it becomes harder to cover a short because you FEEL it will sell-off…

It’s that feeling that can get you in TROUBLE.

It makes you want to hold on for longer, disregarding risk management rules, and even worse, add to your short to get a “better average price.”

And while Ellis hasn’t had any devastating losses from short selling yet…he and all my other students who still think it’s a viable strategy are just one trade away from getting smoked.

1. Adapt to the Current Market, Not Yesterday’s

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When I first hit the scene two decades ago, I was primarily known as a trader who shorted crappy penny stocks.

Many of my students know that and believe because I did it in the past, it’s the way of the future.

However, the risk vs. reward dynamics have shifted. It’s easy to get caught on the wrong side of a short trade and get demolished.

The squeezes have gotten so much bigger and far more insane.

Every strategy has its heyday…

I’m sure once we have enough shorts blown out…the strategy will again become viable.

But right now, it’s way too crowded…and that’s why we’re seeing so many short squeezes.

The stock market is constantly evolving.

Don’t think just because something worked well in the past…it will work in this current market.

Heck, I’m constantly refining and tweaking my approach.

2. Acknowledge the Role Emotions Play

Trading mentor Tim Sykes realizes he made a trading mistake
© Millionaire Media, LLC

Trading, especially short, isn’t just about numbers– it’s about the mental and emotional toll it takes. The urge to hold, the burn of watching a stock defy logic and consistently push higher, the relentless hope that it will fall…

These are feelings, not strategies.

And feelings can lead you down a dangerous path in trading.

Fun fact, the market doesn’t care about your emotions, so don’t let them be the pilot of your decisions.

3. Risk Management Over Potential Gains

The allure of a “better average price” or waiting for that market shift might seem tempting. But let’s get real: every trade that doesn’t follow risk management rules is a potential disaster waiting to happen.

Be it shorting or any other strategy, the risk must always be calculated and contained. Remember, it’s not about making a fortune in a day…it’s about not losing one.

4. Embrace and Fuel the Squeeze, Don’t Fight It

Managing your emotions in trading is difficult enough. Why make the act of trading hard?

Thanks to a new legion of traders, the markets are witnessing some of the most significant squeezes ever.

And while it’s easy to point fingers and lament, why not be on the right side of it?

Adapt strategies to use these squeezes to your advantage instead of being at their mercy.

Today’s market thrives on these, so join the party instead of watching from the sidelines.

5. Continuous Learning Is Your Best Tool

Tim Sykes tosses his book An American Hedge Fund in the Alps
© Millionaire Media, LLC

 In a fast-moving market, staying updated isn’t optional– it’s essential.

The dynamics shift, new trends emerge, and what worked yesterday may falter today. It’s easy to get complacent, especially after a few good trades.

But remember, the market doesn’t sleep, and neither should your thirst for knowledge.

Keep learning, evolving, and striving to be better than yesterday.

Because in trading, your biggest competitor is not the market but yourself. Stay ahead by staying informed.

Are You Ready To Thrive In This Chaotic Market?

sykes sliding scale
© Millionaire Media, LLC

Navigating today’s unpredictable market can feel like walking on a tightrope without a net.

There’s a lot to handle, from unexpected short squeezes in stocks like PIXY, FEMY, AVGR, SLNO,  and SPRC to the emotional rollercoaster of short selling.

The market landscape is continually shifting and sticking to old strategies? It might just be a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.

And trust me, I’ve been there, done that, and have mentored over 30 millionaire students.

🔥 Being on the wrong side of a short? It’s a gut-wrenching experience.

🔥 Witnessing stocks with poor fundamentals soar? It’s the new norm.

But how do you safeguard your investments and, more importantly, your peace of mind?

🚀 Join me in our exclusive live training sessions this upcoming week.

🚀 Unlock strategies rooted in two decades of trading experience and adaptability.

🚀 Experience real-time analysis, highlighting the logic behind seemingly illogical market moves.

🚀 Don’t just be a spectator – learn to master the game.

Ready to arm yourself with strategies tailored for today’s challenging market? Want to trade with confidence, knowledge, and a playbook straight from someone who’s seen it all?

Step into the Trading Arena Equipped and Informed.


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Author card Timothy Sykes picture

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”