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From College Trader to $100K Milestone: Matthew Monaco

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 1/24/2023 14 min read

This week has been a huge week for many of my top students — especially Matthew Monaco, a college trader from New York.

Photo courtesy of Matthew Monaco

As of this week, Matthew, another one of my dedicated Challenge students, officially passed $100K in trading profits!*

Being a six-figure penny stock trader is one of the first big milestones in your trading careers, and I couldn’t be happier for Matt.

He’s been a Trading Challenge student for nearly three years now. And he’s shown some extreme dedication to trading and learning.

(*Matt’s trading results are NOT typical. Roughly 90% of traders lose. Always remember trading is risky, and never risk more than you can afford.)

In fact, most of Matt’s $100K profits came while he was still a college trader. And after making $100K from trading while only 22 years old, how much will Matt need his college degree? Only Matt can answer that question … if he continues to stay disciplined, I see a bright future ahead of him.

How Matt Got on the Top Trader Track

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Matt seems to be on the same track as so many of my other top students. He didn’t make six-figures in trading profits by getting ‘lucky.’ His success didn’t happen overnight, and he doesn’t make random trades.

Just check out his profit chart, as well as all his verified trades along the way.

To me, his profit curve shows more than his ability to make money. Sure — this college trader’s milestone is impressive, and I’m SO proud of him…

But I’m more proud of his trading discipline. That’s what his profit curve shows me — discipline. He doesn’t have any massive losses. His average gain is about $322 per trade.

Wall Street would laugh at those gains. But for everyday people, that’s nothing to laugh at. Those singles add up. And cutting losses quickly — my number-one rule for all traders — like Matt does … that’s key to growing a small account.

So how did Matt get here? How did he go from college trader to hitting a huge trading milestone? Again, it’s all about discipline. Can you work like Matt did to get where he is today? That’s the question you have to ask yourself.

Here’s some inspiration…

I recently interviewed Matt, and he told me about how he worked his butt off to grow his trading account.

Let’s take a closer look at Matt’s mindset and determination that got him to $100K in trading profits.

Matt’s Humble Beginnings as a College Trader

Matt just graduated from college with a degree in software engineering … Doesn’t seem likely that he’ll be using that degree.

But Matt wasn’t actually a college trader when he found me. He learned about me when he was in high school — about three years before he joined my Trading Challenge program.

Photo courtesy of Matthew Monaco

Matt says he’s always had a “hustler” mindset. He always looks for new ways to make money. When he puts his mind to something, he’s all in. To me, it sounds like a solid background for a dedicated student.

Eventually, Matt had enough money to apply to my Trading Challenge and got in. Matt reports this was the true beginning of his trading career.

Like most new students, he was completely new to trading. He’d never even placed a trade before. And he knew very little about the stock market.

(New to the market? Check out “The Complete Penny Stock Course” by my student Jamil. It covers the basics and my core lessons.)

At this point in Matt’s trading journey, he’d just finished up his freshman year of college and was heading into summer. That’s what he says for him was the “perfect time to study as much as possible.”

In fact, Matt even passed up a paid internship after his freshman year of college to learn how to trade by watching all my DVDs, webinars, and all the other resources I provide to my Challenge students.

Sure seems to have paid off for him now…

And even after all that studying, Matt still hadn’t placed a trade. He studied his butt off for a few months. So why not jump in? According to Matt, he wanted to have the advantage of knowledge on his side when he was ready to start trading.

What Every Trader Must Understand

After studying for a whole summer, Matt thought he was ready to start trading and making millions

But that didn’t quite happen. Trading takes so much time and dedication. You have to really love it, and even then, it may not work out for you.

Matt’s far from being alone in working his way up slowly over time. My top Challenge student Tim Grittani has far surpassed my trading ability and profits. And it took him nine months to trade consistently.

Matt was only about three months into studying when he started trading.

I can’t say this enough: It takes time to learn how to trade. There are so many moving pieces and patterns

So he understandably struggled in the beginning. That’s normal. It’s also why you have to…

Build Your Knowledge Account First

Photo courtesy of Matthew Monaco

Most of my students don’t get this right away. There’s just so much to learn. In fact, I’m still learning every day. The market constantly changes. I have to take what I know and adapt. And to adapt well, I have to keep learning.

But you have to grow your knowledge account before you work on growing your money account. To do that well, you need to either paper trade or take small positions.

As he learned more about trading, Matt traded my patterns and learned how to stay disciplined. He took a lot of trades where he had too many shares or didn’t sell because he wanted the stock to keep running…

But those trades, along with my teaching, taught him valuable lessons.

From 2017–2019, Matt continued to take losses. But he reports that they got smaller and more controlled over time. Some months, he even came out profitable.

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Remember, Matt was a college trader. So whenever he wasn’t trading or studying, he was in school. Matt has told me that he feels that impacted his ability to learn faster … which is understandable.

During my recent interview with Matt, he said that during those two years of consistently losing, he continued his side hustles. That helped him to keep building his account in the meantime.

I gotta say … I respect this so much. If you’re anything like my most successful students, you won’t get rich from trading overnight. If you need a job to help build your account and invest in your education, that’s OK.

It’s more than OK. That’s a smart way to start, and Matt’s trading journey is a great example of this.

From College Trader to Trading Success

Photo courtesy of Matthew Monaco

Matt was unprofitable from 2017–2019, but by a small amount. He knew that he was making progress from all his studying, but it wasn’t all clicking together quite yet.

Around the beginning of 2019, Matt started a trading podcast with his roommate called Beyond the PDT. Their goal was to interview top traders who made it from beginner to consistent trader.

What’s funny is a lot of guests on that podcast were actually my students, like Jack Kellogg and Kyle Williams. They even interviewed me once.

According to Matt, this is when he saw his first glimpse of success. He had to work an internship for his degree for the first half of 2019 … But he saved all the money he made from that to build his trading account.

And since he met traders like Jack Kellogg and Kyle Williams through the podcast, that helped him in areas where he was still struggling. By the end of 2019, Matt started seeing his first real shot at consistently trading. His profitable months weren’t huge, but they were profitable.

But again…

Trading Success Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Photo courtesy of Matthew Monaco

By the end of 2019, Matt had made almost $12K in trading profits. Not bad for a college trader.

But in 2020, Matt’s growth became exponential.

He had a strong start to the year. By February, Matt reports being up over $26,000 in his overall trading.*

Then in March, he got a little bit cocky. I’ve seen this A LOT with students who start finding trading success — their egos get too big. Heck, it’s happened to me.

Matt was on track for a $10,000 month by the end of March. Everything was working for him … trades were going well. Until…

He took a $5K+ loss at the beginning of the month. That cut his profits for the month in half. And according to Matt, the biggest reasons were greed and ego.

Learn from that mistake! Matt broke my number-one rule of cutting losses quickly, and it stung.

I teach trading rules for a reason, not to be a jerk. My haters don’t like me for that reason. They say I’m mean and too hard on students.

But the truth is, I’d never get my message across if I was nice all the time. Matt was lucky enough to still be profitable on the month after that loss. But that won’t always happen.

He also learned from that mistake, and so far, he hasn’t had another loss that big — yet. (Fingers crossed for you, Matt. Remember rule #1!)

And Matt followed up that big loss with a HUGE April and May. In April, Matt reports $18K in profits … and $48K in May. By the first week of June 2020, Matt crossed the $100K profit mark.*

(*Matt’s results aren’t typical. He’s put in the time and dedication and has exceptional skills and knowledge. Most traders lose money. Always remember trading is risky … never risk more than you can afford.)

The College Trader Conclusion

At the end of the day, this is only the beginning of what should be an amazing trading career for my newest six-figure student, Matthew Monaco.

As a college trader, he faced a lot of issues and made a lot of sacrifices to make trading work — he has the dedication all my other top students have.

I asked Matt if he had anything he wanted to say about passing such a huge milestone in his trading. Here’s his advice:

“I wish I could say this happened overnight, but it didn’t. It took me three long years of studying every day. The market became an obsession, and I loved it. I think for anyone to make it in this game you have to truly love the market. 

“I took drastic steps to make my dream of becoming a day trader a reality. I co-founded a trading podcast with my roommate, became a financial copywriter, and watched the market for 10–12 hours a day… 

And it still took me almost three years to find success. For anyone struggling out there, my best advice is to just stick with it. Everything worth it will always take 10 times longer than you first think. Then, one day, if you keep working hard, success will sneak up on you.”

I really couldn’t have summed it up any better myself.

Join My Trading Challenge With Top Traders Like Matt

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Pictured Left to Right: John Papa, Jack Kellogg, Dominic Mastromatteo, Timothy Sykes, Don Mastromatteo, Matthew Monaco, Kyle Williams

I’m so excited to see where Matt’s trading goes from here. He’s equipped with the right tools to keep growing … He’s committed to his education, he’s disciplined, and he understands that trading is a process that you can’t learn overnight.

We’re also in a crazy market. And I think this is an incredible time to learn. But you choose your level of commitment. You can follow me on YouTube for regular trading videos…

Access my FREE penny stock guide here…

You can sign up for my FREE watchlist here…

And you can sign up for PennystockingSilver to learn from my over 6,300 video lessons. But if you’re ready for the next level of penny stock education, apply for my Trading Challenge. It’s where all my top students are. You get access to live trading sessions with me and my top students, access to the best trading chat room ever, and so much more.

I’m truly excited to see where Matt’s trading journey takes him next. Do you have Matt’s level of commitment? Are you ready to see what you can accomplish as a trader? Apply for my Trading Challenge now!

Let me know in the comments … How does Matt’s college trader story inspire you? I love to hear from all of you!

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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”