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How My New Student David Made $15K On His First Trade

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 1/24/2023 13 min read

Talk about living the day trading dream. My brand-new Trading Challenge student David just made $15Kon his very first trade.*

That’s awesome, no doubt about it. But I’ve gotta be real — this is NOT common. There are no guarantees in the stock market. If you think you’re gonna sign up for my Trading Challenge and make fat stacks fast, think again.

David’s first trade turned out to be one of those rare ‘home run’ plays. They happen — but usually, it’s a series of singles.

But that doesn’t mean it was all luck. It was a stock that was on his watchlist — when he saw the opportunity, he pounced. He had a plan and didn’t get greedy. David did a lot right with this trade — and with several following trades.

Wanna check out how some of my other top students make their watchlists? Here you go:

David’s also had some losses. Like many newbies, he was taken for a ride by Twitter promoters. But he learned from his mistake, his gains still outweigh his losses, and he’s more dedicated than ever to the process.

Never blindly follow alerts or other traders. Instead, learn from them.

There’s a lot you can learn from David’s recent trades. New students, study up … longtime students, get inspired. Let’s look at what David did right — and how you can follow his example.

(*These results are not typical. Individual results will vary. Most traders lose money. My top students have the benefit of many years of hard work and dedication. Trading is inherently risky. Always do your due diligence and never risk more than you can afford to lose.)

This is NOT a Common Story

North Carolina-based David has only been in my Trading Challenge for a few weeks. Yes, you read that right. Weeks.

Like many other people, his day job changed during the pandemic. As he puts it, “I have a job that takes care of my needs … but that’s all it does.” As his sales rep work slowed way down, he started to think about ways to generate extra income that might give him more control and freedom.

He’s had an interest in trading for years — it seemed like the right time.

If you ask me, there’s been no better time to start trading. With all the crazy volatility in the market, there are tons of opportunities. But you’ve must be prepared and have the right approach. Don’t miss my “Volatility Survival Guide” — a must-watch for trading in the crazy world we’re living in right now.

David opened up a brokerage account and started researching stocks and trading-related topics on YouTube. That’s how he found my channel. He “connected with the authenticity” — and decided to give me a try…

Photo credit: David

He initially signed up for a VIP account, but quickly upgraded to the Trading Challenge.

What Hooked David?

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Wanna hear why David upgraded to my Trading Challenge so quickly?

I love his response — it proves he’s got the right trading mindset.

It wasn’t because I promised he’d make millions…

… or because I promised it would be easy…

It was because I’m transparent — or as he says, “I fell in love with the authenticity.”

He liked the idea that if he was willing to work hard, study, and learn the patterns, he could become self-sufficient. 

So he started studying. For about two weeks, he “studied and digested” all the while working around his flexible day job schedule.

David started working his way through all of the videos and webinars in my Trading Challenge. He started learning from my alerts and got involved in the chat room community.

He focused on learning about penny stocks, patterns, and learning what to look for in potential trades. David knew he had to be “ready to get out and take small losses.”

He started keeping his own watchlist, and when he saw me alert a stock that he was already watching, he was prepared to trade.

He’d already had his eye on the stock. My alert just strengthened his case for the trade. Don’t blindly follow alerts!

How David Made $15K on His Very First Trade*

I always say, “$1K keeps a real job away.” David did even better.*

Halberd Corp. (OTCMKTS: HALB)

David had already been watching Halberd Corp (OTCMKTS: HALB). So when I alerted it on October 13, 2020, it caught his attention.

It looked good to him. He got into the trade at $0.0478. From there, the stock went crazy.

“I watched the thing just go … I watched my account move up and up and up.” 

He held overnight, but decided to get out “when I saw it dipping down.” He’d already made more than he expected. So he sold at $0.0645. Check out the price action during the times he traded:

HALB oct 13-14 penny stock chart
HALB chart: Big spike on October 13–14 — courtesy of StocksToTrade.com

All said and done? A $15,482 profit.* On his very first trade.

In case you’re wondering — David is trading with a larger account than most newbies. He’s over the PDT (pattern day trader rule) and was able to take a pretty sizable position in this stock.

I typically caution newbies to start small. But in this case, David had a solid plan and it worked out for him.

I was amazed. I actually wrote David an email to congratulate him, but I also warned him — don’t get cocky. 

Remember, most traders fail. You can’t get complacent or think that you’re on a winning streak. Always be ready to cut losses quickly!

Two More Amazing Trades…

Even though David is a newbie, he’s been diligent in his process. Let’s dig into two more of his trades…

Staffing 360 Solutions Inc (NASDAQ: STAF)

On October 15, 2020, David saw that Staffing 360 Solutions Inc (NASDAQ: STAF) was spiking big in the premarket.

Since it was doing so well, he jumped in on the trade before the market opened. Premarket trading can be risky, but in this case, his plan worked out.

When the market opened, the stock skyrocketed — then quickly dipped. He sold into the dip, getting a leg up on the dip and rip pattern. All said and done? A nice $6,005 profit.*

Check out the stock’s crazy spike here:

staf penny stock chart
STAF chart: Premarket spiker, October 15 — courtesy of StocksToTrade.com

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTZ)

David’s other big trade in recent memory was Hertz Global Holdings Inc (NYSE: HTZ.)

In studying my lessons and those of my friend and StocksToTrade lead trainer Tim Bohen, David’s gotten interested in the dip and rip pattern. He saw an opportunity to trade the pattern with HTZ, and he went for it. Here’s the chart:

HTZ penny stock chart october 2020
HTZ chart: Dip and rip on October 16 — courtesy of StocksToTrade.com

On October 16, 2020, David traded HTZ not once but twice on the dip — making over $3K total.*

What He’s Working On Now

David’s had some great early success … but he still has a lot to learn.

Right now, becoming self-sufficient is a top priority for him. He’s still got a ways to go, he admits: “I’m still working on my strategy … trying to figure out what works best for me.”

He’s getting up before the market opens to create a watchlist based on percent gainers. And he’s been hitting up the chat room community. He’s been looking at how and why stocks are breaking out.

David also just signed up for StocksToTrade and has been using it to scan and follow stocks. He reports that he loves it: “It does a much better job than my brokerage account.” 

Other objectives? “Understanding float better, understanding volume better, understanding patterns.” David wants to make the most of the resources available to him!

He’s watching my videos and studying. Here’s one of his favorites:

He’s also working to become more disciplined and getting smarter about whose advice he listens to…

Beware Twitter Fakes!

It hasn’t all been winning trades and zero consequences for David. A few weeks ago, he “got duped by someone on Twitter” who he thought was part of the Trading Challenge community.

They told him a stock was gonna spike and to ‘hold on’ because a squeeze was coming.

Thinking it was legit, he “followed the counsel, and ended up getting hammered.” He didn’t realize what had happened until someone called out the faker.

These fakes make my blood boil!

Luckily, David learned his lesson — he won’t fall for that trick again. But you have to know how convincing some scammers can be. Check out this post for more tips on how to avoid this type of scheme.

Get Motivated … To Study!

It’s easy to get inspired by a story like David’s. But if you follow me, you already know what you should be taking away from this story…

  • Do NOT count on being profitable as a trader — especially early on.
  • Don’t think ‘trading is easy.’
  • Never blindly follow alerts.

If David’s trading career so far is any indication, he’s got a bright future. But for now, it’s all about learning. He’s inspired, diligent, and committed. What more could I ask for in a student?

Are you ready to put in the work? Apply for my Trading Challenge now.

Are you inspired by David? Leave a comment and let me know your favorite part of his trading story!

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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

* 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”