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Success Stories

5 Day Trading Success Stories to Inspire Your Journey

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 4/18/2022 20 min read

It’s incredible to me that I’ve minted more millionaire traders in 2021 than any year before … and I think these day trading success stories deserve a special spotlight.*

You’ve likely heard me say that 90% of traders lose money

I repeat it because it’s a fact. And I want it to MOTIVATE you.

Think about it. In any profession with a low success rate (like day trading), there are always outliers … people who rise above to deliver astounding results.

Today I’ll highlight some of my most consistent trading students, who are arguably some of the best day traders in the game.*

It wasn’t easy for them and it didn’t happen overnight, but every one is a verified millionaire trader.*

Each of these students took their own unique path to success, but they all have one thing in common…

They STUDIED hard and put in the WORK necessary to find consistency.*

But before we get into these inspiring day trading success stories, you should first know what day trading is (and how it works).

What Is Day Trading?

Tim Sykes studying and trading
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Day trading is different from the passive investing your parents might do.

Instead of holding stocks for a long period, day traders buy and sell shares within hours or minutes. And they do this with a variety of stocks — sometimes multiple times per day.

Day traders may not even know what the company they’re trading does. They don’t care. Instead, they look for chart patterns for trading setups.

And most successful day traders consistently book small wins. They don’t try to hit home runs every time. As you’ll soon see, singles add up.

How Does Day Trading Work?

Day trading works a lot like trading over a longer period. These traders aim to make consistent gains from trading stocks. There’s a lot of variation in strategies and rules.

And speaking of rules, there’s a day trading rule that everyone loves to talk — or gripe — about … the pattern day trader (PDT) rule. It says that your account needs at least $25,000 in net liquidity before you can freely day trade.

If you have less than $25,000 in your account, you’re limited to three round-trip trades every five business days. It can make it harder to day trade.

Honestly, I think the PDT rule is a good thing for newbie traders. It forces them to focus on their best setups. It also can prevent overtrading.

5 Day Trading Success Stories

Now, let’s look at five day trading success stories to inspire your journey.

Timothy Sykes

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It would feel strange to write a list of day trading success stories without including my own. I don’t share this to brag. I want you to see what’s possible.

I’ve been trading longer than anyone else on this list and consistently profitable every year.*

I started my trading journey 20+ years ago with $12,415 in bar mitzvah money, and today my profits are over $7.1 million.*

It took a lot of hard work, studying, and DISCIPLINE. Remember those three things, because all the traders on this list share them in common.

By applying myself, I developed strategies that worked for me. When things got hard, I didn’t give up. My strategies led me to understand that certain penny stock chart patterns repeat.

I thought if I could stay focused and trade my plan, the volatility in the OTC markets could provide me with reliable setups … and potential five-star trading opportunities.

So that’s what I did and continue to do today.

But although I still trade almost every day, I’m now more focused on teaching others how to trade with skill and discipline. I’m also committed to donating all my trading profits to charity. Giving back motivates me.*

Tim Grittani

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I can’t do a post on day trading success stories without talking about my most successful student of all time — Tim Grittani.*

About a decade ago, Grittani was a newbie trader with just $1,500 in his account. For his first year, he wasn’t profitable.

Then he joined my Trading Challenge and started applying what he learned to his own strategies. It took some time, but Grittani started winning…

Fast-forward to today and he’s turned that $1,500 into a STAGGERING $13.5 million in profits!*

So what are Tim’s top trading tips, to list a few?

  • Great success takes time. 
  • Don’t be afraid to bet big on perfect setups. 
  • And don’t run and hide from your losses.

Grittani’s not only one of the best traders out there, he’s a great teacher too. My Challenge students know this. They get to study his over four dozen exclusive Challenge webinars.

Plus he released the “Trading Tickers” and “Trading Tickers 2” DVDs. Several of my top students learned a lot from these.

And, unlike the scammers and promoters who photoshop gains and pump garbage stocks, Tim’s 100% transparent. He posts every trade — including losses — here.

Mark Croock

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I met Mark Croock over a decade ago as a new student in my Trading Challenge. He didn’t become one of my day trading success stories in a year or two like some more aggressive students.*

But he grinded his way to the top with a level of grit and consistency I’ve never seen.

Like me, Mark comes from a Jewish background and initially started trading with his bar mitzvah money. And also like me, he first focused his attention on shorting penny stocks.

Mark has a negative bias — he prefers to short stocks rather than go long. As he puts it, “the leg down has always come easier for me than the leg up.”

Mark’s not like most people. He’s NEVER satisfied. I think that helps make him an excellent trader. He was averaging about $50,000 per month trading penny stocks, but he thought he could make more*…

So what did Mark do? He took my patterns from the “PennyStocking” DVD and applied them to the complex world of options trading.

In early 2018, after many years of hard work and dedication, Mark finally passed the millionaire trader milestone!* Today, Mark’s a master of the options market and runs his own training program, Evolved Trader.

And so far, 2021 has been a banner year for Mark…

By sticking to his rules and trading his plan, Mark bagged the biggest trade of his career in February.* And even more exciting, he and his wife welcomed their third child, Shira, into the world in May.

Mazel tov to Mark on all the success!

Jack Kellogg

Grinding is a theme for these day trading success stories…

This next trader saw a unique opportunity in 2020. With lockdowns, meme stocks, and stimulus checks all in play, he agrees with me that this was the best trading market since the dot-com boom.

In other words, it was a unique opportunity. This trader knew he needed to focus.

Early in his journey, he put everything in his life aside — friends, relationships, hobbies — and zeroed in on day trading. So he was ready for the hot market and at writing, has made nearly $8 million in profits.*

Meet Jack Kellogg.

jack kellogg and tim sykes
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Jack’s living proof of the value of FOCUS. He used to be a valet, but in 2017 he joined my Trading Challenge, determined to find success.

From day one, I noticed that Jack was especially dedicated, constantly looking for ways to study more effectively and improve.

However, nothing happens overnight. It took several years of intense study (and some humbling losses) before Jack found strategies that worked for him.

But once Jack hit his stride in the OTC markets, there was no stopping him.

Now that he’s passed the millionaire milestone — several times over* — he says it’s time to shift his focus…

As he puts it, “Now, it’s about my health. My family. My girlfriend. Those things are truly important to me.”

And speaking of Jack’s girlfriend … She’s a killer trader in her own right.


tim sykes and mariana $1 million trading milestone
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This is kind of crazy … Just months ago in December 2020, Mariana (yep, Jack’s girlfriend) became my first female six-figure student.*

By February 25, 2021 — under two months later — Mariana became my first seven-figure female student!*

So how did she make $900,000 in verified profits in just eight weeks?*

First and foremost, Mariana is meticulous and disciplined. Like Jack, she constantly studies and works hard to improve her trading.

In addition to her strict studying habits, Mariana took advantage of the insane market in early 2021 and capitalized BIG on trading the GameStop Corp. (NASDAQ: GME) short squeeze.*

Mariana’s a living reminder that preparation meets opportunity. Her results are outstanding.

I’m thrilled to add a female trader to my rapidly growing list of seven-figure students. Way to break the glass ceiling, Mariana!


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The Best Books on Day Trading

If these stories don’t inspire you to put your head down and start STUDYING, I don’t know what will.

And on the topic of studying … my students always ask for recommendations on the best day trading books.

While I suggest getting your feet wet by paper trading (more on that later) as opposed to just reading, I can recommend a few day trading books. After all, I wrote one of them…

“An American Hedge Fund: How I Made $2 Million as a Stock Operator & Created a Hedge Fund”

In 2007, I self-published my first book “An American Hedge Fund.”

I recommend it to my students because it contains my entire story — from newbie day trader to experienced pennystocker to wealthy hedge fund manager — this book has it ALL.

I’ve since closed my hedge fund. But I learned SO many lessons along the way. And I want to share them with you. So read all about it. I believe it can help lay the foundation of a trading career.

The best part? I’ve made the entire book available for no cost — get your copy here.

“The Complete Penny Stock Course: Learn How To Generate Profits Consistently By Trading Penny Stocks”

In 2018, my student Jamil (who designed my favorite trading platform, StocksToTrade**) wrote a book based on my lessons called “The Complete Penny Stock Course.” I wrote the foreword.

It all started when Jamil sent me an email in 2016. He wrote: “Tim, I love your teachings but we need to organize it.”

Jamil is orderly, and he was justifiably frustrated with how disorganized my lesson plans were.

I agreed, and Jamil set out to organize all my trading lessons into a cohesive curriculum, which became “The Complete Penny Stock Course.”

I HIGHLY recommend reading this and keeping your copy near your trading station. My students know I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to revealing my strategies … It took two years of hard work from Jamil and me to create this.

“Unknown Market Wizards: The best traders you’ve never heard of”

Last, I’ll give an honorable mention to another great trading book — “Unknown Market Wizards” by Jack D. Schwager. (As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.)

Schwager has an entire “Market Wizards” series where he interviews outliers who find great trading success (just like my students mentioned earlier).

They’re all good, but this installment of the series is special because it focuses on little-known day traders who haven’t gotten the recognition they deserve.

That’s what I try to do with my teaching and my students. This book has a wealth of valuable lessons that any aspiring day trader can learn from.

And in 2019, the SteadyTrade podcast (hosted by my buddy Tim Bohen plus Stephen Johnson and Kim Ann Curtin) interviewed Schwager. Check it out!

How to Start Day Trading

Studying is important, but at some point, you have to dive in and trade.

The key is to start trading the right way.

I recommend my students start with paper trading (trading with fake dollars) before risking real money. It’s how you can get a feel for the markets and practice different strategies without risking a cent.

This can be valuable for newbies. I’ve seen people start trading their hard-earned cash on their first trades … only to lose it all.

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A brutal loss early in your career could demoralize you to the point of quitting trading forever.

Instead, try paper trading until you see some consistency. No, there’s no guarantee that your paper results will translate to the live markets, but you’ll be ahead of those who don’t prepare at all.

Frequently Asked Questions About Day Trading Success Stories

How Much Does the Average Trader Make Per Year?

The average trader doesn’t make any money trading … most traders LOSE. Only exceptional traders who work tirelessly and study hard make money. There are no guarantees and no set amount of money a trader can make.

Are There Any Successful Day Traders?

Of course, there are successful day traders. You are reading an article written by one. Plus, let’s not forget other incredible day trading success stories right here in this post. My goal is to showcase the outliers who work hard to rise above the masses of mediocre traders.

What Percentage of Day Traders Are Successful?

Again, 90% of traders LOSE MONEY, so statistically, about 10% of traders are successful. So if only 10% of traders make money, is that 10% making an absolute killing? That’s tough to say. But from today’s day trading success stories, you can see why I think day trading is a worthwhile challenge. No, it’s not easy. But it isn’t impossible either.

Conclusion: Are You Ready to Become a Day Trading Success Story?

So, after reading these inspiring day trading millionaire stories … do you think you have what it takes?*

Are you willing to work hard, study, and GRIND as hard as the traders I featured?

If your answer’s YES, I think there’s no better place to start than my Trading Challenge. After all, four of today’s day trading success stories started in the Challenge. And these students aren’t alone. I now have 13 verified millionaire students!* I’m so proud of their hard work.

You can learn from them in my Trading Challenge. Find your strategies and go-to patterns, then try paper trading or start small. NEVER risk more than you’re willing to lose.

It won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight. But if you apply yourself … day trading can lead to extraordinary things.

What do you think? Did you find these day trading success stories inspiring? Let me know in the comments — I LOVE hearing from my readers.


*While Tim Sykes has enjoyed remarkable success trading stocks over the years, his primary income derives from the sale of financial education products and subscription services offered by various businesses and websites in which he has an ownership stake.

This level of successful trading is not typical and does not reflect the experience of the majority of individuals using the services and products offered on this website.  From January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, typical users of the products and services offered by this website reported earning, on average, an estimated $49.91 in profit.I’ve also hired Tim Grittani, Mark Croock, and Jack Kellogg to help in my education business. 

**Tim Sykes has a minority ownership stake in StockstoTrade.com.

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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”