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A Key Trait You Need To Become Successful

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 1/13/2023 22 min read

I like writing blog posts on holidays, like I did HERE a few weeks ago…great days to look back from lessons of the past and to look forward too.

Happy Father’s Day to all the great fathers out there…it’s a tough, tough job, but thanks to all your hard work we have more incredible people than ever and it’s thanks to you and your commitment!

Here’s what I got my amazing dad for Father’s Day, having him throw out the first pitch at the Red Sox game at Fenway Park to his favorite player David Ortiz a few days ago:

It was a truly memorable experience and him and his friends won’t stop talking about it anytime soon…which was my goal because my dad is literally the best dad ever!

This weekend, I also posted a new video here:

Celebrating new messages I just got from 2 trading challenge students Jeff:

…who just passed $100,000 in profits** and an older trading challenge student NH who just passed $300,000 in profits**:

nh testimonial copy

And besides congratulating them on their great gains, I want you to read their comments closely, BOTH OF THEM LOST AT FIRST, BUT THEY DIDN’T GIVE UP AND THEY LEARNED FROM THEIR MISTAKES TO SUCCEED OVER TIME!

This is the most important millionaire characteristic: patience and perseverance.

Nearly every great trader I talk to, from THIS guy to THIS veteran had confusion, issues and losses in the beginning of their journeys, but they stuck with it and now have made truly impressive gains ever since.

If you’ve read this book, you’d know I lost $500,000+ (and nearly all my credibility too) early in my trading career, and at first I was very angry about it, but now I’m very thankful because its helped me develop into the conservative trader and teacher I am today.

I’m not a father yet, but I know many fathers who made mistakes early on, but gradually learned how to be better fathers and this evolution is not unique to just stock trading or fatherhood…it’s life…and too many people give up too early on various hobbies, professions, relationships etc. all because they don’t have patience and perseverance, thus taking away any chance at becoming the best a few years later.

So on this Father’s Day, don’t make that mistake…try to follow my trading rules, try your best to learn, but even when you screw up, don’t berate yourself, just remember it’s all part of the process and early losses help mold you!

I’ve also transcribed the video above for my valued deaf students since it’s SO important to remember this:

Hey, Tim Sykes here. I know it’s the weekend, but I just got some great tweets and emails from students, who I haven’t heard from in quite a while, but they just passed some milestones and they wanted to let me know. I thought this was a good excuse for me to talk about having the proper expectations and having the proper mindset because, while I do have several millionaire students** and now more and more students are coming up on six figures**, I get the question a lot like “Should I quit school? Should I quit my job? Should I just go into trading full-time right away?” The answer is no. The answer is hell no.

Here’s Jeff. Just reached 100,000 mark** net thanks to me which is cool. Then I got an email also from my student NH, who doesn’t want his name public because when you talk about money publicly, it’s really kind of weird. He emailed me, “Tim, what’s up? I was a challenge student in late 2013 into the start of 2014. During the first year, I managed to wipe my account five or six times though I never stopped learning from my mistakes and from your teachings. I am not looking for you to publish it though I have to say thank you. Today, after roughly three years, I hold an account of 320,000**. I owe you more than you can imagine. Bought a house, bought my dream car. I just wish more people understand that you are real. Thank you and please do not publish it or if you do, remove my name. Thank you, mate. For real.”

NH, thank you for this great email, and I’m glad that you shared your downside, too, so that people can really understand. I know that you wish that more people would understand that I’m real. It doesn’t bother me, okay? I show giant stacks of cash. I trade penny stocks. “The Wolf of Wall Street” was a gigantic, successful movie so a lot of people think that I’m not doing anything. I’m just scamming. Guess what? It doesn’t matter what people who don’t study think. I know that there’s gonna be hate and that’s fine. I accept it. The cool thing, though, is that because I now have enough video lessons, webinars, DVDs, and now more and more successful students, who are also teaching, those people who do study, those people who do want to change their life, they do understand that I’m real. So all that matters to me is that the right people understand and everyone else can basically think whatever they want. I’m not interested in non-students.

More importantly, read this out loud, those of you sitting at home or wherever you’re watching this video. “During the first year, I managed to wipe my account five or six times, though, I never stopped learning from my mistakes and from your teachings.” Okay? And this other student who tweeted me, Jeff, has been a student for quite a while, too. I don’t know exactly how long but several years. NH was a student three years ago and now he’s made 320,000**. These are some of my most successful students who have stuck with it and a lot of people don’t realize that it takes time, it takes effort, it takes patience, it takes failure.

Those of you asking me “Should I quit my job to trade full-time?” the reason why I say no is because even if you hate your job, even if you’re in the 9 to 5 rat race and you absolutely hate it, at least it’s a steady income. I’m not blind enough or naive enough to think every trader’s gonna make it. Most traders, if you look at studies, lose money. We’re talking 85, 90, 95% of traders. So the vast majority of people, no matter what you trade, whether it’s penny stocks, Forex, options, stocks, doesn’t matter. The key is understanding that the odds are against you. So do not give up on a steady paying job because we have bills in life. You gotta pay for food, rent. I guess Uber makes it easier now with a car but there’s still bills.

Trading cannot be and should not be looked at as a way to make a lot of money really quickly to pay for your bills. The way that trading should be looked at and the way that you should look at your trading education is that even if you do lose in the beginning…NH, when he says that he wiped his account five or six times, it wasn’t very much. He lost a few thousand dollars a time. A few thousand here, a few thousand here, a few thousand there, and he was also breaking a lot of my rules. Rule number one, cut losses quickly.

I don’t have a lot of students who wipe out their accounts, but NH is a good example to show you you’re gonna lose quite a bit in the beginning. Even my top student, Tim Grittani, talks about how he was studying straight for three months and then trading for six months before he even got any consistent profits. So you have to think, NH…this is three years. I don’t know. I told him to write a more detailed story of explaining how he got to 320,000** but this is roughly 100,000 dollars per year over three years and this is a great success. So if you already have a job that’s earning 30, 40, 50, 60,000 a year but it’s solid and it’s steady, obviously you can get downsized, the economy isn’t great, but at least it’s money in the bank.

Study trading at night. Study after-hours. Don’t go out with your friends one night, take two hours. Don’t watch Netflix, don’t play video games, don’t go to the club. There’s a lot of stuff that we do that we don’t realize is a huge time-waster. I’m not saying become a priest and never have fun, but just think about exchanging some of your entertainment time for studying time, and especially on weekends. I just caught up on literally two months of emails. It took me about six hours this morning. I woke up early, but I am so far behind on emails, and I used the weekend to catch up because the market isn’t open.

For you guys, don’t even worry about trading profits in the beginning. You have to focus on the long-term. Losing a few hundred dollars, losing a few thousand dollars, it sucks. I’m not gonna say it doesn’t. But it’s not the end of the world. You need to tinker, you need to test, and some of the best lessons that you can have are from losses. Just keep all of this in mind when you’re thinking about trying to make all this money right away. I would much rather you trade small or even paper trade in the beginning and get comfortable with the patterns. You remember, we’re trading the most volatile stocks in the world so it’s scary.

A lot of people have never traded anything and then I’m telling people “Oh, trade these penny stocks.” A lot of financial experts think that I’m crazy. They think that nobody should trade penny stocks at all, and average people can’t handle the volatility. I think I’ve been proving that wrong as I have more and more successful students. The volatility in penny stocks might be great but guess what, those safe mutual funds lost 50% in a year or two just a few years ago so nothing is safe in finance and anyone who tells you that is full of shit.

What I am here to tell you is that these people, whether you’re making 320,000** or you’re like my student Jeff who just passed 100,000*, the money can add up over time and it is life-changing but a lot of you guys have to just get over your fear of losing a few hundred dollars or a few thousand dollars. You need to think in the grand scheme of things.

I know that there’s a lot of people that are like “Oh, Tim, you have so much money. You don’t care about $2,000.” Once upon a time, I only had a few thousand dollars to my name too. I wasn’t some trust fund baby. I wasn’t born with millions of dollars. I earned every single penny, okay? So I respect every piece of money, every little bit, whether it’s $200 or $2,000. But you need to understand that in your tinkering and in your testing period and in your developing growth period of knowledge, when you have a small account, you have to expect that you’re gonna lose.

If this guy NH, who makes 300,000 after three year**s, blew up his account five or six times and now he’s a success, think about all the people who aren’t successes, and they just blow up their accounts, and they don’t keep learning. This is the key. “Learning from my mistakes and learning from your teachings.” You always have to be thinking about learning even through the losses. Sadly, too many people give up when they have some small losses, you know?

Did you really think that it was gonna be easy to become successful? You thought that there would be no losses? You thought that you could just copy all my trades? That’s incorrect. All of my top students don’t copy my trades. None of them do. They are self-sufficient. What I teach, and I specifically say this in practically every video and every watch list and every trade alert, don’t chase alerts. Don’t follow anybody’s alerts or anybody’s picks. The reason I share them is to show you a guide of how I’m thinking. Why am I getting into a trade? Why am I getting out? What could I have done better?

When I’m exiting the trade, it’s not like oh, I just mention the ticker and the price and I sell. I know there are a lot of chatrooms and newsletters where they just mention the ticker and the price and it seems so easy. For me, I’m much more interested in the method, in the strategy, in the thinking. This weekend, I’m actually working on my new guide. It’s gonna be called “Trader Checklist” with the seven key indicators that I look at every single trade before I risk my hard-earned money. And I think that you should be that meticulous, too. So you gotta learn, there’s no easy way to learn.

It’s not an exact science of learning. Trading is not an exact science. Even my top student, Tim Grittani, has had several big losses along the way that’s helped him develop but now he’s closing in on $3 million in profits** in five years. NH just passed 300,000** in three years. I have several students, like Mark Crook, who just passed 500,000 in five years**.

Let me just throw that out there. I know I have “The Millionaire Challenge” but guess what, the “Millionaire Challenge” is all about learning how to become successful over time. This is not a get rich quick scheme. I know a lot of you guys want to make a million dollars right away, but I’m sorry, I don’t know how to do that. It even took me a few years to make a million dollars**. It was roughly two-and-a-half years in and that was during the bubble back in ’99 and 2000. Then my second million took another two or three years**. So you need to have the proper expectations.

Sometimes, I see a lot of people hold these penny stocks for days or even weeks and they try and make 2, 3, 500%. Sometimes they nail it, especially lately, the market’s been on fire. But the vast majority of time, if you go for home runs and grand slams, you’re gonna fall flat on your face. For me, I’d much rather go for singles and doubles if you like my baseball analogy.

But I love hearing from students so thank you, NH, you made my day reading this. This is for me. The whole first part is for you guys to show you what’s possible and to have proper expectations. This is for me: “I owe you more than you can imagine. Bought a house, bought a new”…well, I guess that’s for you guys, too. “Bought a house, bought a new car. I just wish more people would understand that you’re real.”

Again, NH and everyone else out there, don’t clutter my inbox saying, “I wish more people would understand that you’re real.” I’m really not offended. Remember, my first millionaire student, Michael Good, wrote a blog post about me called “Timothy Sykes is full of BS.” You can google it. Then he gradually learned through my video lessons and DVDs and now he’s made nearly two million. So anybody who hates, anybody who criticizes me, there’s still hope for them because all they have to do is put down their hatred for a second and say “Wait a minute, let me actually look at what Tim is saying. Let me actually watch his video lessons. Let me actually see the strategies.”

A lot of the people that criticize me, they criticize me because of the way that I flash around cash and my car and stuff like that. No one says shit about my strategy not working because shorting pump-and-dumps on their first red day works like a charm, because buying earnings winners that break out past weekly or monthly resistance works like a charm on the long side. So you really have to look at what my critics are saying. They’re not saying anything about my actual strategy. They’re not saying anything about my actual teachings. They are just talking about my flash. And that’s unfortunate because they haven’t done the due diligence to see that the strategies that I’m actually teaching, while not perfect because no one is perfect and nothing is perfect in the stock market or in trading, at least they’re real. You can see it time and again.

I encourage any of you to not believe me or to even bet against me and see how you do because everything I teach has been refined for nearly 20 years. I’m not pulling rules out of my ass here. I’m not just making stuff up along the way. I’m trying to show you what I’ve learned in nearly two decades of time-tested strategies, and it’s in my own best interest to make you successful.

So congrats to NH, congrats to Jeff. If you guys can retweet this and favorite it…oh, we got some more in the past few minutes. That’s good. Show some community support when a student does really well, when a trader does really well. Profitly has nearly 100,000 members now. Very proud of that and we’re very proud of each and every student who gets it and who has the proper mindset.

Remember, Jeff did not just reach the $100,000 mark** easily. He said “finally” reached it. It’s been several years and he started small and that’s okay. And NH several years to make 300,000**. So have the proper mindset, don’t give up on school or jobs. Good work, good studying, that pays off, too. But in your spare time and at night, I don’t care what you’re doing, you have an hour or two a day to study my lessons and see. And don’t even worry about if you miss a trade here or there. It’s all about education.

The stock market is forever, your entire life, so it’s just a question of are you gonna be prepared for the next opportunity or not? It doesn’t matter if you stop studying, it doesn’t matter even if you blow up in the beginning, as long as you keep learning and keep getting better. This is a marathon not a sprint.

I know that you want to make money right away. Trust me, I want that, too. But that’s not how it works. I’m not like a lotto teacher. I’m not teaching you strategies to win the lotto. And if you look at most lotto winners, they’re screwed up in the head. They can’t deal with so much money so quickly, especially when it’s not earned. They commit suicide. Their families have major issues. They get robbed. They’re not prepared for the money. So I know while you want the money right away, look at it as it’s a gift to have more time and to develop and to go through the struggles. Money earned over time over several years, especially after you have some losses or some heartbreak along the way, it makes it that much more gratifying when you do succeed eventually.

I’ve had some big losses along the way, too. It’s not that I’m perfect. I lost over $500,000 once upon a time on an investment because I invested in my best friend’s dad’s company. They basically invented print at-home ticketing. I was right about the technology. I was wrong about the company because I did not use my trading rules. At the time, I didn’t even recognize or value how my trading rules had made me money. I didn’t differentiate between trading and investing. And you better believe it, a $500,000 plus loss and losing all my credibility with friends and family because I thought that this was a sure thing, well, that’ll wisen you up.

So the losses and the failures that you have along the way, they make you smarter. After my big loss, I was dejected. I was drinking. It sucked. But I started to look at what I did. I started learning from my mistake, just as NH did. And I said, “Wait a minute, this loss was caused because I did not trade by the rules that had made me all this money.” So I went back and looked at and I really wrote down and refined the rules that I now teach you. And I saw, “Wait a minute, investing is different from trading. No wonder why I lost so much money. I got away from my bread-and-butter patterns.” So for you, you have to learn what works best for you.

Some of you guys watching this, you’re gonna be better investors than you are traders if you’re patient, if you can really do the due diligence. That’s fine. Just remember that most investors fail to beat the S&P 500 every year. They fail to make 10 or 20% per year. So if you’re an investor…I mean, 10 or 20% per year for me is a joke, but if you’re an investor, understand that that’s a tough game, too. You have to find what works best for you. We are all different. We have different personalities. The reason why I make so many video lessons and show so many different examples is because I don’t know what’s gonna get you to click.

I can tell you, “Don’t expect all this money right away. Don’t quit your job.” But you might say “Ah screw it, Tim. I’m just gonna do it.” Well, hopefully I can show you a few examples of people losing their money like NH and then coming back. Or people like Tim Grittani, where he’s arguably the best trader in the world performance-wise in the past five years and it took him nine months to even get consistently profitable.

So I can bring up examples, I can make video lessons like this where I’m gonna lose my voice, but it’s up to you to learn and it’s up to you to make it work in your head. Whether you want to buy earnings winners or you wanna buy pump-and-dumps, I don’t care. All I can do is show you patterns and rules that have worked for me over the years. I’m glad that students like NH and now Jeff are reaching some cool milestones.

That’s my weekend video lesson. I’ll see you guys in the chatroom tomorrow…or I guess Monday. Come early, 9 a.m. Eastern. Be prepared because we’ve seen a lot of stocks spiking right at the market open and my chatroom now has over 1,000 traders in it, the largest chatroom that I know of, and we’re all sharing ideas of stocks that can spike. So it’s probably your best resource right now.

Timothysykes.com/plans. Sign up there if you want in on the chatroom. Thank you.

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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”