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Defensive Day Trading: Why I Don’t Trade Sometimes

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 4/18/2022 7 min read

Defensive Day Trading: Key Takeaway

  • Why I won’t trade just to trade…
  • How the overall markets can affect your trades…
  • It’s your job to stay safe in an ugly market — learn how NOW.

Get in the program where you can learn to trade through ANY kind of market.

Is the recent dip in the overall market a healthy correction? Or is it the start of a market crash? I can’t predict the future, but find out how I’ll be ready to adapt…

Why Sometimes the Best Trade Is No Trade

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My Weekend Trader newsletter is on FIRE.

I’ve alerted big weekend gainers like Axis Technologies Group, Inc. (OTCPK: AXTG) and Clean Vision Corporation (OTCPK: CLNV). And I made $6,825 and $6,476 on those trades respectively.* (You can see all my trades on Profit.ly here.)

When I started it, I estimated two to three solid weekend plays per month.

That means there won’t be plays every week. I’m not being lazy or taking a day off. Instead, I’m focusing on the best setups.

And — this is important — you don’t have to trade every day.

Cash is a position. Sometimes the best trade is no trade. 

Especially in an uncertain and ugly overall market. Learn more in the video below:


Why Am I Being So Cautious?

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The S&P 500, the DOW, and Nasdaq are all up HUGE this year. I’ve loved all the plays and volatility.

But a lot of traders lose perspective. I don’t.

I’ve been through plenty of stock market crashes and corrections over my career. I know this bull market won’t last forever.

And when there’s bad news lingering — like the Chinese Evergrande crisis potentially collapsing China’s stock market — I’m cautious. We’ve already seen how it can impact the U.S. markets.

So is this recent dip the start of a stock market crash? Or is it just the beginning of consolidation or a correction?

Nobody knows.

SPY chart: 1-year, daily candle — courtesy of StocksToTrade.com

Again, I don’t try to predict the market. Here’s what I do know:

So I’m erring on the side of caution. When I don’t trust the markets, I don’t trade.

Anything can happen. And if you’re in a trade, your hard-earned money’s at the mercy of the markets.

How to Trade in a Scary Market

I trade sketchy penny stocks in the safest possible way. It’s how I’ve stayed in this game for over 20 years.* And it’s a good lesson in how to approach sketchy overall markets…

I’m not aggressive. I don’t overtrade, go all in, or use leverage.

I manage my risk. 

Sometimes that means I cut losses quickly or sell too soon. Other times it means I don’t trade at all.

I trade conservatively and protect my account at all costs.

Trading volatile penny stocks safely is what works for me. It’s how I’ve grown my account to over $7.2 million in trading profits.*

No, you don’t have to listen to me. You can go all in and risk blowing up your account trying to get rich quick. But what if you’re wrong? 

What if you’re in a trade and there’s no gap up? Or what if there’s a morning panic? What if the markets don’t even open the next day?

Anything’s possible. And I don’t like low odds guessing games. That’s why I always expect the worst out of every company and every stock.

And I always…

Adapt to Changing Markets

© Millionaire Media, LLC

When the overall markets look shaky, don’t force trades.

Stay liquid and pounce when you see your best setup.

If you’re a Profit.ly or Weekend Trader subscriber, I’ll alert you when I see a solid play. It might be a weekend trade or an overnight trade during the week.

But when there are no high odds setups — I stay safe.

That’s how singles add up and you can grow your account over time. For the record, I NEVER want you to blindly follow my alerts. I want you to use them to learn from my process. Seeing them in real time can be a powerful educational tool.

Trading Challenge

I’ve grown my account through bull markets and bear markets by trading safely.* And that’s what I teach my Challenge students to do through live webinars, video lessons, and my library of DVDs.

Ready to learn how to trade through any kind of market? Apply for my Trading Challenge.

How are you adapting to this choppy market? Let me know in the comments!


*Results are not typical and will vary from person to person. Making money trading stocks takes time, dedication, and hard work.  Most who receive free or paid content will make little or no money because they will not apply the skills being taught. Any results displayed are exceptional. We do not guarantee any outcome regarding your earnings or income as the factors that impact such results are numerous and uncontrollable.

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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”