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Trading Psychology

Excuses Are For Losers

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 1/24/2023 15 min read

Excuses are for losers, and it drives me crazy when I see someone waste their potential over petty crap. One weird example is when I get in Twitter or email battles with self-appointed grammar police.

It’s nothing new…

I actually enjoy the battle. But at the same time, I find it sad. Recently, it happened again…

Why I Resist the Grammar Police

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I got attacked by a member of the grammar police.

Last week I received an email (no names because the moron isn’t worth it) where this guy was ripping on me. Actually, he was ripping on an email sent out by my team.

What did the email say? It gave a hypothetical example of how much you’d need to make from trading each day to reach $100K in a year. And it said you can potentially do it with a few trades per week.

So the guy does the math and realizes you’d need to make that much every day for 365 days to reach the $100K. Then he went on to rip me on sentence structure and comprehension.


Pay attention…

You Get What You Focus on the Most

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This guy is focusing on the wrong thing.

I’m gonna give this idiot the benefit of the doubt just for a moment. He’s right — the stock market isn’t open 365 days a year. This year, 2019, it’s open 252 days. Some years it’s 253 days.

What does that mean for the numbers? It means instead of needing to make roughly $274 per day to reach $100K, you need to make roughly $397 per trading day.

My answer to him…

So what? 

The numbers in the email are an average — to get the concept inside your head that a few hundred dollars a day can add up.

Look, Tim Grittani — arguably the best penny stock trader in the world — made nothing his first nine months. This is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme. But to understand the concept of adding up small wins over time, you have to pick numbers that make sense to people.

Who doesn’t want to earn six figures per year from trading? More about that in a minute. First, I gotta rip this guy a new one for being rude to my team.

He ripped on the grammar in the email. The grammar!

This is what he wrote…

“Sentence structure and comprehension is a fundamental necessity for overwhelming a standard population with the direction needed to achieve profit gain.”


To the idiot who wrote the email…

Get Your Head in the Right Place

When you rip on grammar, when you rip on any of the little stuff that doesn’t matter, your head is in the WRONG place.

Like I said in this tweet…

I’m trying to teach strategies that can change people’s lives… 

Trading Strategies That Work

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I’m not an English teacher. And I don’t care about your self-appointed grammar police crap. I teach trading strategies that work.

It’s crazy to me…

What You Learn From Me Is Original

Most teachers teach from textbooks. But it’s NOT their own work, right?

Me? I teach my own work. (New to penny stocks or my teachings? Here’s a free introductory Penny Stock Guide for you.)

I teach a strategy that’s never been taught before — one that helps people to think outside the box. But people still find things to rip on. Here’s the reality … it’s based on their own personal issues.

So when some idiot emails me and rips on my grammar or my sentence structure

Remember Whose Restaurant You’re Eating At

The header directly above … that’s a dangling preposition … there ya go, grammar police. Cram that in your grammar hole…

Look, I teach people how to consistently take profits out of a very specific (and hated) stock market niche. (Lawyerly stuff: My results are not typical. I’ve spent years acquiring exceptional skills. It takes hard work and effort over time. Do your due diligence and never trade or invest money you can’t afford to lose. Yada, yada, yada…)

So when you come at me with BS about grammar and sentence structure and overwhelming a standard population… 

(What does that even mean? I’m not trying to overwhelm anyone. On the contrary, I’m trying to demystify trading. Moron.)

It’s like you’re coming to my restaurant where I’m the chef. You taste my food and instead of critiquing the food you say something like, “These forks are too small,” or … “these knives aren’t sharp enough.”

Or maybe you actually try the food and say, “The food was amazing but the knife handle was too rigid for my hands.”

My point is…

Excuses Are for Losers So Focus on What Really Matters

tim sykes standing
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If you see someone trade live and it looks super complex, it’s because you don’t know what’s going on. You don’t understand the indicators, patterns, and trading plan. You don’t know the nuances. And if the person trading doesn’t break it down, you walk away thinking … “that’s so cool … but could I really do that?” 

Or in the case of our grammar police guy … maybe you walk away thinking something stupid like, “He wasn’t even using the best laptop.” It’s totally irrelevant. 

About whether you can learn to trade — the answer is yes. “The Complete Penny Stock Course” breaks down my trading strategies into easily digestible chapters and concepts.

(My student Jamil did us all a great service writing the book. Because — as you can see from my grammar police infractions — I’m not perfect. But Jamil didn’t focus on the fact that some of my lessons were slightly disorganized. He focused on what matters — the overarching lessons. And then he wrote the best book on the subject.)

Focus on the Game-Changers

So the concept that a few hundred dollars a day add up over time is a game-changer for so many people throughout the world. A lot of people see the big number and never break it down.

$100K or $1 million seems like big money to a lot of people. But when you break it down to smaller amounts, you realize it’s possible. How many times do you need to repeat making a few hundred dollars to get to $100K? That’s what it’s about.

This guy called my team morons — and other less politically correct names. He even advised me to fire somebody. Again, he’s focusing on the wrong things. My team and I … guess what? We’re overloaded. I don’t say that so you’ll feel bad for us. It’s just so you understand how real we are.

The reason I’m writing this post is NOT that I can’t take the feedback. When I read emails like his — and when I get people’s feedback like that tweet — it makes me want to push harder. The reason for the post is because it saddens me that people miss out on the value I’m giving. It’s such a waste.

This guy is wasting his time — and his potential — calling my team names instead of focusing on the things I teach that could change his life.

Value Your Education

You know I believe strongly in education. It’s why I teach and why I co-founded Karmagawa. The reason we give so much to Pencils of Promise is because we believe education can change the world. It’s why I travel constantly to give speeches at trading conferences. It’s why I put out so much content.

But to put things in perspective…

Teachers try so hard to get through to their students. And what do students do? They rip on their teachers. They neglect their lessons. And they make excuses. It’s disheartening as a teacher.

Frankly, this is why a lot of teachers don’t give a crap. It’s why the education system in America — and many parts of the world — is so flawed.

Growth — Not Perfection

I’m human and I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. (I even apologized to my students in this recent blog post.) There are probably typos on my blog. Sometimes I say the same sentence twice in a video lesson because I’m half asleep somewhere in Africa or Indonesia.

Or I screw up a trade because I didn’t follow my rules to a T. Then someone says, “Oh, how can you be a teacher and not follow your rules?”

I’m human. One little mistake won’t destroy me. (Hopefully, I’ll never make a big mistake, like going all-in or using leverage.) Every now and then I make mistakes. But I focus on trying to improve myself every day. NOT on perfection.

This guy who rips on my grammar rather than testing my strategies … he’s up against the worst kind of obstacle. The true obstacle…

… the villain in this guy’s life is…

… his mindset.

Create a Mindset of Personal Growth

My response to this guy was to focus on what I’m teaching. Not the petty crap. Any guesses what he did?

He made more excuses.

When someone has no belief in themselves they find whatever excuse they can to confirm it. They somehow need to prove they’re right. I’m not a psychologist — and maybe this guy needs to see one. I don’t know. But I do know that you have to start thinking outside your little box if you want to make positive changes.

That means you need to create a mindset focused on growth and education. And I don’t mean learning to have perfect sentence structure. Learn something that’s gonna help your life. Learn something like trading penny stocks or how to grow a business. Focus on making the most out of every second of every day.

Focus on Overarching Lessons

For me, I’ll keep teaching my life-changing strategies. But please cut my team some slack. Cut me some slack. Focus on the lessons I’m teaching — they can change your life. Whether it’s a video on my YouTube channel or a blog post, there’s a lesson you can apply.

If you’re part of the Trading Challenge — focus on the big lessons I teach in the webinars. If you’re a PennyStocking Silver subscriber, watch every single video lesson. Three times. That’s what my millionaire student and Trading Challenge mentor Mark Croock did.

And Mark Croock is another great example of focusing on what matters. Not only did he watch every video lesson three times … he categorized them. He didn’t complain about the fact they weren’t categorized. He realized the value in the lessons and made it easier for you to grow your knowledge. (Thanks, Croock.)

You could keep focusing on the ticky-tack crap and ignore the lessons. But your life will go nowhere.

Anyone who complains about grammar probably isn’t living the best life.

What’s in It for You?

tim sykes tokyo
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That’s what almost everyone thinks to themselves. What’s in it for me? I get it. And maybe this guy who ripped on me and my team can’t see it. He can’t fathom what’s in it for him if he learned to make a few hundred dollars a day consistently.

What happens if you plant an acorn? It grows into an oak, right? But before you consider becoming an oak, think about this…

What happens if you take 20 acorns from the new oak and plant them? Twenty oaks, right? I know it sounds a little cliché, but bear with me. What happens if you take just twenty acorns from each of those twenty oaks and plant them? Assuming they all survive and thrive … you have 400 oak trees.

Now do you see where this idiot is missing the bigger picture? I’m not saying you should size up your trading positions with every win. But eventually, over time, as you learn what strategy works best for you…

Then you can work to grow your account exponentially.

Back to what’s in it for you. What is it?


It’s freedom from working for someone else. Freedom from feeling like you don’t have enough. Freedom to choose where you want to go … when you want to go … with whom you want. (How do ya like that, grammar police?)

My Challenge to You: Go for Freedom

If you want freedom — and you’re willing to overlook my occasional grammatical errors — I’d love to have you as a student. Heck, if you’re reading my blog regularly, you are a student. But it’s not for everyone…

There are ground rules … You have to be willing to…

  • Work hard — maybe harder than you’ve ever worked.
  • Make mistakes and learn from them.
  • Understand you won’t get rich next week or next month. Maybe you won’t get rich next year. But if you study my patterns, indicators, rules, etc., you can set yourself up for two years, three years, or maybe five years from now.
  • Focus on the process. Avoid ‘hot’ stock picks. That’s loserville.
  • Get your head in the right place. Start from where you are and take one step at a time in the right direction.
  • Avoid focusing on petty BS.

Finally, here’s a short list of resources available should you wish to change your life and move on from sentence structure…

Trading Education Resources

Tim Sykes tosses his book An American Hedge Fund in the Alps
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  • Trading Challenge: my most comprehensive course. Only apply when you’re willing to commit because not everyone gets accepted. Come ready to focus on what really matters.
  • The Complete Penny Stock Course”: already mentioned above, but it’s worth mentioning again. I get asked so many questions that are answered in this book. It’s a great place to start.
  • My YouTube channel: get access to well over 1,000 free video lessons. And my grammar is sure to upset you if you’re a member of the grammar police. But the knowledge I give… priceless.

What do you think of this post? Comment below, I love to hear from all my readers! 

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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”