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Penny Stock Basics

8 Ways To Spot More Trading Opportunities

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 7/31/2017 7 min read

Having the patience to wait for truly great setups like these is a skill you can learn, but have you ever noticed that some traders seem to spot trading opportunities with no problem, while others struggle to get ahead?

No, it’s not just a matter of good (or bad) luck. There’s a direct correlation between a trader’s attitude and conduct and the volume and quality of opportunities that they capitalize on. These are 8 easy ways to spot the best trading opportunities.

1. Have a sense of direction. Do you know what you’re working toward as a trader? If not, you need to get some clarity and fast. If your sole goal is to make money, but you have no focus on how much you want to make or why you want it, your career will be similarly aimless. By taking the time to get very clear on what it is that you want from your career as a trader, you’ll give yourself direction. This allows you to make a very clear upward trajectory toward what you want. When you have this type of focus, you’ll be more motivated in your work, and this can open doors for you.

2. #squadgoals. Do you consider yourself more of a lone wolf? Even if that’s your style socially, it isn’t going to create many opportunities for you in business. To find success as a trader, one of the best things you can do is surround yourself with a great group of peers. My Trading Challenge offers a great initial network of peers, who are similar-minded and probably have similar goals. The value of having a crew like this cannot be overlooked. Not only does it give you a sense of community and make you feel as if you fit in, but you also feel like you’re in it together. You’ll have people to share your ups and downs with, and to help inspire each other. And as your careers develop, it can create trading opportunities for you…that’s why this is stock trading chatroom to be in right now.

3. Network. Business opportunities are all about relationships. In addition to making friends with your peers, also branch out and try to create a professional network. This can be made up of other traders, as well as business people in other sectors. You never know when an opportunity might arise as the result of a professional relationship you’ve forged…and I have several Millionaire Trading Challenge students thanks to the hard work of so many people I’ve met along the way who now help me teach too!

4. Get yourself a mentor. As a targeted extension of networking, make all efforts to find a mentor. Not only will this help your career advance far faster than if you don’t have a mentor, but it can also create opportunities. Think of it this way. Not only has your mentor’s longer-than-yours career taught them a lot about trading and business that they can share with you. But it has also led them to meet many different individuals through their time. They have forged hard-fought lessons and rules and created a network like I have over the years. While working with them, they may see opportunities that warrant an introduction. This type of networking is powerful, and can open many doors for you…and my goal for my Trading Challenge students is to be the mentor to you that I never had because I learned everything the hard way on my own and while I’ve been successful,** I’ve made so many boneheaded mistakes over the years it makes me sick.

5. Be reliable. When you say that you’re going to do something, do you follow through? Not just once, but every time? If so, you’re planting seeds for future business opportunities…it’s amazing how many flakes I’ve met and talked with over the years and when someone flakes on me now I just cut them off as I’ve heard every excuse in the books and life is to short to deal with that BS.

It might not seem like a big deal to flake out on a meeting, arrive late to a function, or not totally complete something you said you would. And on the one level, it’s not a big deal. It happens on occasion to everyone. However, when you slip into the mindset that this is acceptable, it has a ripple effect over time. You’ll get a reputation for being unreliable, and people will not want to work with you. Once you have a reputation like this, it’s hard to erase it. So do your future self a favor and meet your responsibilities and be reliable.

6. Be willing to do what others aren’t. If you want to become successful and create new opportunities, gain a reputation for being willing to do what others are not. As a trader, there are plenty of undesirable tasks that are irritating and might seem easy to slough off on. For instance, researching companies before making a trade, or keeping a log of your successes so that you can streamline your process and make money more easily next time. Plenty of people are too lazy or unwilling to do things like this. Be the one who is willing to put in the time and effort, and over time, it will not go unnoticed. Not only will this make you a better trader, but people will see your willingness to do what needs to be done, and the opportunities will come knocking.

7. Take responsibility for your actions. Do not blame circumstances or other people for things that go wrong. Do not blame them for your shortcomings, your mistakes, or your bad judgment. If you do, you won’t succeed in the Tim Sykes Millionaire Challenge, and you won’t succeed as a trader.

Tim Sykes pointing at you.
© Millionaire Media, LLC

As a trader, you will probably make a bad call every now and again. It is inevitable, because you need to make many judgment calls on the fly and there are a lot of variables. You can’t get things right all of the time.

Good traders know this, and they are able (after much practice) to roll with the punches. If you are continually blaming external factors for things that go wrong, you’re not going to get very far. Own your actions, both the good ones and the bad ones. People will see your integrity and gravitate toward you.

8. Be tenacious, but be kind. Keep going, no matter what. Don’t apologize for your dreams, or your desire to get ahead. Be relentless in pursuing those things. But never at the cost of hurting others. Do things the right way, stick with it, and be kind to everyone along the way. You’ll be amazed at how many opportunities will come your way.

As a trader, you are responsible for planting the seeds of opportunity through your actions, attitude, work ethic, and overall conduct. So how do you choose to conduct yourself as you advance in your career? By following these guidelines, you’ll begin to create trading opportunities far more regularly.

Please do leave a comment and tell me which one of these points resonates the most with you? It could be more than one, but hopefully after you’ve finished reading this blog post, I’ve gotten my point across!

How much has this post helped you?

Leave a reply
Comments (49)
HenryFeb. 07, 2022 at 2:23 am

Knowledge supports growth & development.

RaHul SinghMay. 29, 2019 at 3:38 am

Every point is truth…following more than a year….
You are my motivation for stock market.

Timothy SykesJun. 18, 2019 at 6:22 am


ScottBMar. 28, 2019 at 12:53 am

I have always believed in all of these and it’s an awesome thing to see them in print. Just another thing that makes you a GREAT mentor! Thanks for you from the heart teaching and instruction.

VladimirAug. 11, 2017 at 5:18 am

Be willing to do what others aren’t

MontseAug. 09, 2017 at 12:24 pm

For me de 1 and 6 are the most that resonate with me. Thanks Tim!

AwaisAug. 03, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Hey Tim please could you advise where to begin when it comes to learning penny stocks? I will study and put in the hours just done knoe where to begin.

RubenAug. 02, 2017 at 9:35 pm

“Keep going, no matter what. Don’t apologize for your dreams, or your desire to get ahead. Be relentless in pursuing those things. But never at the cost of hurting others. Do things the right way, stick with it, and be kind to everyone along the way. ” I know you wrote this in the blog post (obviously) but I had to copy it since it resonated with me the most. I truly believe these are words to live by. Also learning to roll with the punches and treating mistakes as learning opportunities for the next trade.

JuanAug. 02, 2017 at 10:43 am

Great article. All of them resonate with me, specially 2 and 8. Thank you, Tim

tourlifedaveAug. 02, 2017 at 8:07 am

This is one of the best advice blog posts I’ve seen from you Tim!


I lived in Las Vegas for 10 years and the city is FULL of flakes. I “lost” so many friendships because I didn’t like putting up with them. I don’t ever want to fall victim to that type of mindset!

CarlAug. 02, 2017 at 7:07 am

What resonates with me is that one has to be willing to do what no one else wants to do… go the extra mile!! Excellent

patryczekAug. 02, 2017 at 6:47 am

I loved points 1 and 7 🙂 Thanks for sharing

Daryl SpearsAug. 01, 2017 at 9:05 pm

Pretty much all of them.

Paul MarionAug. 01, 2017 at 6:03 pm

Number 1,5,7 are the ones that resonated me the most

KCatherine CrawfordAug. 01, 2017 at 5:00 pm

Keeping a lot of my successes to streamline my progress
Research of companies

Leon KinersonAug. 01, 2017 at 2:27 pm

I love all of these points…and try to do them everyday, thanks tim.

Arthur EminovskiAug. 01, 2017 at 9:24 am

These tenents not only apply to work or trading Tim but to life itself. I know I’ve learned the hard way.Everything you said you be followed to a tee.Best of luck.Athur

Curt Parker, Coach PAug. 01, 2017 at 9:21 am

So many of these resonated with me, especially doing what you say, punctuality, broadening my borders, and setting my daily goals and tracking them. Also, as you’ve probably already concurred, as an educator and Master-teacher and trainer, I utilized many quotes. Here’s one of my all time favorites by one of my role models, the amazing ‘Wizard of Westwood’, the one and only Coach John Wooden.
“Ability might get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.” – John Wooden
ALSO… “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” – Albert Einstein
I love the fact that you,”give back”, so freely, and I am beyond excited to become your learnered student!
Warmest Regards,
Curt, Coach P

JayAug. 01, 2017 at 8:35 am

Taking responsibility for your actions is what resonates with me. I believe that is the backbone to many of the other points discussed like focus, reliability, and tenacity. In my experience it’s rare to find someone who is focused, reliable, and tenacious without being able to take responsibility for themselves and their actions

Victor SieverAug. 01, 2017 at 6:07 am

Great rules to live by Tim. Thanks a million…….dollars!!!!

Tim VaughnAug. 01, 2017 at 4:13 am

Thank you Tim. These are all great points to not just trade and work by, but to live by. All adds up to being dedicated to what you have chosen to do, and then striving to be the best you can possibly be, all while remaining kind and humble.

MontseAug. 01, 2017 at 3:08 am

THANKS TIM!! I love the article!! Much more like this please, that help me to learn and to grow in knowledge and wisdom, financially and personally.

Poppy MoreAug. 01, 2017 at 2:39 am


The points that resonates the most for me is point, 1& 5 to 8. These are tools to know the purpose of my potential & to share it with others.

MagalieAug. 01, 2017 at 2:36 am

Be willing to read a lot! Research, research, research before making a trade. Don’t be greedy, take small profit, stay focus and stick with it. Keep a journal of your success and network.

Hanan VaytzmanAug. 01, 2017 at 12:59 am

I don’t have a specific one because I can find myself relates to every point you mention here.
I leave in a sea full of haters for what I do and I can honestly say that ever since I joined the profit.ly community I feel that I now have the support I need to overcome the many challenges of trading. I used to trade in a lot of chat room in my country but now I understand that I have never felt fully transparent as I feel in the profit.ly community.
Thanks for the blog post! Great motivation to start the day with.

Timothy SykesAug. 01, 2017 at 1:08 am


EditAug. 01, 2017 at 12:56 am

I appreciate the opportunity and will make all efforts to find mentors during my studies and build my network. Although I will study hard, stay focused and take responsibility for my actions, I do realize that having a mentor and a good network will help a lot in becoming successful.

Timothy SykesAug. 01, 2017 at 1:08 am


JavierAug. 01, 2017 at 12:31 am


Timothy SykesAug. 01, 2017 at 1:08 am


Robert ClarkAug. 01, 2017 at 12:18 am

$500 to start? Is that enough?

Timothy SykesAug. 01, 2017 at 1:09 am

Study my free https://tim.ly/pennystockguide first

AnonymousAug. 01, 2017 at 12:03 am

All these points resonates with me. One of my goals besides financial freedom is to embrace these points. Not easy but hard work should pay off!

Timothy SykesAug. 01, 2017 at 1:09 am


Joey JoffrionJul. 31, 2017 at 10:45 pm

Be willing to do what others will not resonates the most with me. I’ve used this to accomplish many goals in my life and I’m glad it applies to my success here as a challenge student as well. Thanks Tim. Looking forward to the next year of success with your team!

Timothy SykesAug. 01, 2017 at 1:09 am


Al DingerJul. 31, 2017 at 10:12 pm


Timothy SykesAug. 01, 2017 at 1:09 am


BrandonJul. 31, 2017 at 8:17 pm

Be tenacious, but be kind.

This resonates the most to me because I believe that it’s a strong and positive mindset that brings success.

Timothy SykesAug. 01, 2017 at 1:09 am


Tony WJul. 31, 2017 at 8:15 pm

It’s nice to be important but it’s important to be nice!

Timothy SykesAug. 01, 2017 at 1:09 am


EricJul. 31, 2017 at 8:05 pm

Be tenacious , reliable , conscientious, able to stick to a routine, friendly, and most of all FOCUSED!! … Everyone likes to be a rebel, not respect authority abd follow the rules .. I’m sorry to say that society frowns on extreme rule breakers … If you follow no rules, you can end up in prision or without a sense of direction .. Rules provide structure abd direction , help you grow as a person and help you become a better trader .. So follow the damn rules!! Keep on keeping on and you will be successful

Timothy SykesAug. 01, 2017 at 1:09 am


Jeff WeaverJul. 31, 2017 at 7:51 pm

All of these points Tim, Nailed it. I applies these practices to my Real Estate career and its no different when being a trader. Success always leaves clues along the way, you just have to identify the clues.

Timothy SykesAug. 01, 2017 at 1:09 am


NatalieJul. 31, 2017 at 7:25 pm

Be willing to do what others aren’t is what resonates most with me. Study hard, and spend extra time researching and logging trades… it seems many people are just not putting in the time or spending time in the best way.

Timothy SykesAug. 01, 2017 at 1:10 am


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

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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 (205) 851-0506 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”