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Penny Stock Basics

Being Thankful on My Birthday

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 10/15/2021 27 min read

Today, I’m sheltering in place during the coronavirus pandemic — being thankful on my birthday. What a year it’s been.

I NEVER could have anticipated how the world would change since my last birthday. A year ago today, I was on a long layover in Dubai headed to work on the Save the Reef documentary that came out last summer. I’d just rung the Nasdaq market bell. I was traveling, trading, teaching, and enjoying the bull market.

This year, I might not be traveling, but I’m definitely not wasting my time. I’m still trading, teaching, making videos, and trying to make the world a better place through my charity. So what do I want for my birthday this year? Check it out:

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Today’s my birthday so I want to thank you for all the amazing messages and well wishes that I’m getting, I really am SO GRATEFUL for each and every person in my life! Whether I know you through the stock market or @karmagawa I appreciate you more than you know and I’m just so thankful for each and every day. While it’s a difficult time right now, realize we WILL get through this, we just have to stick together and support each other as much as possible during this crisis! That’s why for my birthday I ask that you donate to @directrelief which is one of my favorite charities that provides protective gear and masks to medical workers worldwide, @karmagawa and I donated $50,000 last month, but we’re going to donate more this month too (I donate ALL my trading profits and I’m having another awesome month!) and they need all the support they can get…any donation great and small is most appreciated or just share their profile @directrelief with your followers on social media as more exposure helps them too! Thanks again to everyone for your support, I’ve gotta get back to work as the stock market is having another crazy day right now! #sograteful #happybirthday #happybirthdaytome #birthdayjew

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It’s an extremely challenging time for a lot of people. The pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty. It takes a lot of bravery to keep going every day. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who’s affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

But there’s still SO much to be thankful for … I have so much appreciation for the life that I have thanks to trading. In this post, I want to celebrate some of the incredible things that have happened since my last birthday…

What a Difference a Year Makes

Last April 15, I was jet setting around the globe as usual…

Not many people had heard the term coronavirus yet. Social distancing, self-quarantine, and lockdowns weren’t making headlines. But now, staying at home is important. We all gotta make sacrifices…

Even if you’re healthy and not worried about getting the virus, you could unknowingly pass it on to others.

Of course, the coronavirus pandemic isn’t the only big change in the world. The stock market crashed. The bull market that lasted over 10 years is over.

The good news is my penny stock trading strategy can work in any type of market. I traded successfully during the recent bull market, but I also traded successfully during the dot-com bubble and the 2007–2008 crisis. Now, during the coronavirus, my top students and I are reporting record profits.**

Just last month, my students reported these results:

My top student Tim Grittani made more than $700,000.*

My latest millionaire student Mark Croock made nearly $200,000.*

Six-figure profit student Jack Kellogg made $75,000.*

Plenty of other students are reporting small wins and building their accounts, too. My students have been KILLING it, as I talk about in this video:

But just because so many traders are reporting profits doesn’t mean it’s easy. 

The market’s insanely volatile. You need a meticulous approach to trading. Along with StocksToTrade lead trainer Tim Bohen, I just released “The Volatility Survival Guide.” You can download it for no cost and start learning how we’re staying SAFE in this crazy market.

There are opportunities in any market. But education is critical. You must be prepared to take advantage of opportunities when they come your way…

So before you trade, build your knowledge account. You can start with my free penny stock guide and my no-cost volatility guide. There’s also my autobiography “An American Hedge Fund” and my student Jamil’s book “The Complete Penny Stock Course”. They’re all must-reads.

Thank You, Penny Stock Haters!

One thing I’m being grateful for this year is that the world hates penny stocks. That’s been a huge gift to me every year for the 20+ years I’ve been trading!

I’m not kidding. People don’t understand this niche, and that can create opportunities for traders like me.

Recently, “U.S. News and World Report” featured me in an article about penny stocks. They explained it pretty well … So am I worried tons of new traders will saturate the market? Nope.

Thing is, most people are lazy. Few people take the time to learn how the market works before they start trading.

There are plenty of newbies and fake gurus out there who are quick to take advantage of this fact. They lure new traders in with get-rich-quick schemes and ‘hot stock’ picks. They call me a dinosaur because my strategy requires hard work.

I’m transparent in my teaching and my trading. I post every single trade on Profit.ly. The patterns I follow might be simple, but that doesn’t mean trading is easy. 

Penny stocks are different from ‘real’ stocks. They’re volatile. Most of these companies fail. A lot of traders think that you have to believe in the company. They buy, then hold and hope. That’s NOT a smart strategy in my opinion.

With penny stocks, it’s about recognizing the informational inefficiencies that can move stocks. It’s about understanding the patterns they follow and learning how to take advantage of them.

In the past year, there have been tons of opportunities with first green day OTC setups … There have also been awesome opportunities thanks to idiot short sellers creating short squeezes.

You’ve got to be willing to work hard, learn how trading works, and build your own strategy. Just like my students:

Teaching Traders to Be Self-Sufficient

Most new traders fail. They just try to jump into the market and start trading with zero knowledge.

They don’t actually know what they’re doing — they’re just gambling. They don’t understand that it takes time to hone trading skills and strategies.

I’ve been trading for 20+ years. I’ve learned a lot about patterns that repeat and work.

I’ve been teaching for 10+ years. I created my Trading Challenge so that I could help my students learn these patterns and speed up what was a tough learning curve for me.

Think you’re up to the Challenge? You have to apply. I don’t want losers who just want hot stock picks or who think they’re gonna get rich quick without putting in any work.

My top students act as proof that if you study hard, are meticulous, and follow the rules, it is possible to be a self-sufficient and consistent trader.

This is the type of mindset I love to see in my students. During the past year, a lot of my students report passing massive milestones, which is why I’m…

Being Thankful for My Amazing Students

Recently, Tim Grittani broke the $10 million profit mark. In case you don’t know his story, Grittani started trading with about $1,500.

He wasn’t profitable for his first nine months of trading. It wasn’t until he got serious about his studies and focusing on the setups that worked for him that he hit his stride in the markets.

It’s taken a long time, and he’s worked hard for it. Learn from him! He’s an incredibly humble and nice guy who teaches webinars in my Trading Challenge, and he’s also active in the Trading Challenge chat room.

And he’s not the only student who reports an amazing year…

The Midwest Meetup

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I actually had a Midwest meetup with several of my top students and Tim Bohen from StocksToTrade last year.


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It’s been a truly enlightening few days here in #michigan hanging out with my top Midwest students @michaelkgoode @jackkellogg @dominicmastromatteo as we tried to determine why this part of the world creates so many damn great traders…stay tuned for some truly eye-opening videos as I think we figured it out and hopefully you can apply the lessons to help your own life/career too! And I also have to say that while the #midwest gets a bad rap from city folks, it’s been really nice to get away from my usual spots since I’ve been back in the US…thanks also to @tbohen for the hospitality when the power went out…a few times 🙂 #midwestmeetup #workfromanywhere #jewfarming #jewdeere

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Why the Midwest? Oddly enough, many of my top students happen to live there … Could it be that the awful weather makes them better traders?

Among this gathering of minds were Dom Mastromatteo and Jack Kellogg, two EXTREMELY young traders who have so much promise. Both started trading just a few years ago and they both report six-figure profits* … Learn more about their trading stories here!

Also present? Michael Goode, one of my favorite student success stories. He started out as a hater — he thought I was a fake, but I talked him into trying out my strategy. He ended up becoming my first million-dollar profit* student!

I also got to connect with many more students at my fifth annual Trader & Investor Summit, where I got to meet traders at all levels. I also had a great time presenting at both TradersExpo Chicago and TradersExpo Las Vegas with Tim Bohen!

My favorite student success stories aren’t just about profits, though. I’m also inspired on a daily basis by what my students have overcome. Don’t miss this incredible but ultimately uplifting story:


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I love meeting my students @anthonysimas in person and we can all learn so much from Anthony’s crazy but ultimately uplifting story

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[*Note that these results aren’t typical. My students and I put in the time and dedication and have exceptional skills and knowledge. Most traders lose money. Always remember trading is risky … never risk more than you can afford.]

Giving Back

A lot has changed in the past year, but some things haven’t. Check out my Instagram post from last year on my birthday. I was being thankful for birthday wishes:


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Thank you for all the birthday well wishes, I’m sitting here on my layover on my latest crazy travel day thinking about how grateful I am for all my students and now the @karmagawa and @savethereef peeps all over the world so while I SERIOUSLY do not want you to get me anything for my birthday, do me a favor and go follow @savethereef so you can learn about why saving our oceans/marine life is such a crucial cause (that is, if you like breathing) and also go to https://karmagawa.com and grab some charity merch and then tag me and @karmagawa in pics/videos of you wearing it so we’re not just raising money to build more schools and help more animals, you’re also helping me spread awareness on social media about these important causes which is key to getting everyone to work TOGETHER to make this a better world! #sograteful #ilovemyjob #jewsonthemove

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I was also asking people to give back and spread awareness about our planet as a gift to me.

You know what? That would be a great birthday present this year, too. Honestly, giving back means more than ever this year.

Recently, the charity I co-founded, Karmagawa, donated $50K to Direct Relief it goes toward supplying healthcare workers with protective gear, a vital need right now.

What the World Needs Now

Remember, the coronavirus hasn’t been the only recent crisis. Wildfires have ravaged Australia. Animals are in danger. The reef is still in peril.

I’ve been actively involved in efforts to help restore balance to the environment and animal welfare in Australia with Karmagawa and Save the Reef.

I’ve also kept building schools with Karamagawa. I recently worked on opening schools 68, 69, and 70 in Southeast Asia. My goal is to open 1,000.

When I first started trading, it was all about hot cars and spending money. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really happy to be rich. I’m glad I got to buy my parents their dream home in Florida. I’m glad I get to travel the world (and will hopefully be able to continue traveling soon).

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But over time, acquiring stuff had diminishing returns. Giving back to the community and the world is what fuels me now! It’s what the world needs now.

So if you really want to do me a solid on my birthday, go buy some charity merch and help give back.

Moving Forward

What’s next? A lot more of the same.

I love what I do. That’s why I’m spending time being thankful for everything I have.

I’ve been trading for 20+ years and teaching for 10+. My trading strategy is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme. It requires hard work and determination … not just on my students’ part but mine, too.

I purposefully go back to my roots and trade with a small account every year. It’s one way I can connect with students on their level and teach them the process. I donate my trading profits to charity.

This year, I switched things up — I also have a separate large trading account. It hasn’t been extremely active … Most of the big plays are with coronavirus stocks and related sectors right now. But I’m watching the market and I’m ready to trade when I see the right setup.

For now, I’m watching this crazy market and trying to take advantage of as many of the best setups as I can. I’m staying active in my chat rooms, making webinars, and taking on scammers.

But I’m still taking time to rest, even when it means that I oversleep and miss trades. Taking care of yourself and being thankful is so important. Even in the tough moments.

It’s not just about doing what feels good all the time … If it was, I’d be eating 17 pizzas at every meal. Be willing to do the hard work, have discipline, and keep investing in your education.

Final Birthday Thoughts

It’s been a pretty insane year. Incredible student milestones, amazing trades, a ton of travel, working to help the world with my charity … Oh yeah, and the coronavirus pandemic and market crash

Regardless of the uncertainty in the world right now, I’m being thankful for all of the amazing people and things in my life. I’ll keep trading, teaching, and giving back … Who knows what kind of updates I’ll share in my birthday post next year.

What’s changed for you since last Tax Day (aka my birthday)? Leave a comment!

How much has this post helped you?

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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”