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Penny Stock Basics

How I Made $10,000 In A Day

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 6/13/2023 22 min read

One day last week I made nearly $10,000 live in front of my Tim Sykes’ Inner Circle Students as every now and then I teach in-person and we got lucky that my single best trading day of 2017 happened to be one of those days (go here to apply to learn in-person as I do small-group training all over the world)…watch and see how I did it:**

Here are the best 3 lessons from my trading that day how to Make $10,000 In A Day:**

1. Don’t force trades, let them come to you…on the day I made nearly $10,000, I REALLY was not looking to trade as I had a midday appointment that I couldn’t get out of, so I was trying NOT to trade, but the stock kept giving me signal after signal of why I had to trade it so eventually I relented…it really began spiking right in the middle of my appointment which I had to interrupt to take profits!**

2. Take singles, don’t go for home runs…even though the stock finished high, I took profits conservatively just because it was a speculative idea and I wanted to play it safe overnight…which turned out to be the right thing to do as the event the next day disappointed and the stock tanked

3. Focus on volatile stocks…EXACTLY as I said in this video lesson:

ALL my top Trading Challenge students and I focus on big % gainers that are listed on this crucial website every day as they all demonstrate similar patterns so they’re EASIER to trade than choppy/non-volatile stocks

And because I have several valued deaf Trading Challenge students, we’ve transcribed the video above so you can read everything I said as it’s SO critical for your future trading success!

Hey, Tim Sykes here with a video lesson. Very, very, very, very good day of trading for me that I wanna review on ASTC. Profits of nearly $10,000 on the day for me, which is one of my biggest days of 2017.** And I think the best lesson here is that I wasn’t forcing the trade. I didn’t have to trade, I wasn’t wanting to trade, as you’ll hear in a little bit. And that kind of retired trader mentality, coming out of retirement only because there was such a good play, that is the key to success. It is not the most fun kinda way to think, it’s not the easiest way to think, but that is what it takes to be successful in trading. A lot of the best lessons that I’ve learned are counterintuitive. So if by the end of this video lesson you understand that, leave two words, saying, “Patience pays.” Actually, three words, “Patience pays off.” Because that is the key to success on this stock.

This is a three-day chart of ASTC. I actually was teaching students in-person today. Before we get to this, if you wanna learn in-person in Miami or New York, or we do it in different places around the world, I’ll post the link to my Tim Syke’s Inner Circle Students area right under this video. But it was actually awesome, not just the money that I made, but it was awesome because I explained this whole trade ahead of time before I did it. I answered a lot of questions. A lot of my students even saw this trade, did better than me percent-wise on this trade. I’ve gotta give props to Stephanie. She did her first trade on this stock today, and she did better percent-wise than I did. And, Stephanie, don’t get cocky. Not all trades will go this perfectly, but it’s a good first trade. And I know you wanted to do it, so props to you, Stephanie. And props to all my students who came to learn in-person. We have a video of it. I’ll share it all soon.

I love teaching in-person. You know, teaching online helps, obviously, but I really have to give props to my students who travel to come to learn in-person. I think it adds just a whole another level to your education. And frankly, a lot of my top students have, you know, traded live with me and learned in-person. And special props to Tim Bowen for him coming all the way, to travel away from his family, to trade in-person and teach in-person. Great guy.

Anyways, let me get to this stock because I’ve gotta get going, but I wanna review this while it’s still fresh. My last few trades in the markets were on ASTC. One, two, three, and even a fourth and a fifth trade. My last five trades have all been on ASTC. And, you know, normally I don’t look to trade a stock that much, but when I feel like I understand a situation, I’m gonna take advantage of it. So, this was my first trade the other day and I made just a few hundred dollars. I took a small position. I only got a partial position. It was spiking on good Homeland Security explosive testing news. And they have this new product. This was the press release, “Astrotech Completes First Detect Demo with DHS and TSA.” So they have, like, this little machine that can basically detect explosives. In the world that we’re living in, this is important. So they did a test with TSA and DHS, which is always good. Now the question is, will they have any orders. We don’t know.

But, the interesting thing here, and I actually missed this the first time, because they kind of combined two pieces of news. The first piece of news was that they had the first successful demo, then the second piece of news was that there is going to be another demonstration at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders on December 7th at 9 a.m. Central, which is 10 a.m. Eastern. This was on December 4th. They announced that the demo went well with TSA, and theoretically, if, you know, the demo goes well with TSA it’s gonna go well with, you know, shareholders on December 7th. So it’s actually two events. And I missed reading this the first time. But the cool thing is you guys alerted me in the Chatroom. This is why it’s so, so key to be in the Chatroom. And we have this great community of over 1,000 traders. I’m so thankful to you guys. I don’t even remember who it was, but somebody said that they have this upcoming event on December 7th.

But anyways, the first trade, I bought this thing at roughly $4 a share, on a dip. It had already hit, like, the $4.20s so I was buying on a dip, and I thought it could get back to the $4.20s, it did, $4.30s I’m out, roughly 7%. I underestimated it. There was a follow-up spike. Even the first time it went to $4.60, so I underestimated that. But there was a follow-up spike all the way to the low fives. So I was like, “Wow, this news actually is really meaningful.” There was not just one but two big spikes, and it even finished high in the $4.70, $4.80 area. And I actually thought about holding it overnight, but I didn’t do it because…this is what I said. So this was my second trade, where I said, “I’m out with small gains as I don’t like the way it’s closing with a big wall of sellers in the $4.60s. Potential re-buy later if it can break that,” okay? So I was predicting my next trade, which is kinda cool.

And I said, “But I don’t feel like stressing on my flight.” I was flying, and said, “When in doubt, rule number one about cutting losses, when your thesis proves incorrect does not just apply to losses but also breakeven or small gains.” You don’t have to wait for a small loss to exit your trade. You can exit your trade whenever you want. That’s kind of the beauty of trading. You are in control. So I didn’t wanna hold it overnight, and that turned out to be a good idea. Because even though after hours it got up to the $4.80s, by the next morning it tanked, and it went all the way down to $3.70s. I would have cut losses in here in like the $4.30s. So I would have lost like 20 cents a share. But, guess what? It got very bunchy in here and crowded in the $4.60s, $4.70s. So I played it safe, and I basically broke even on my afternoon trade.

And some people were like, “Oh, you said you were gonna hold overnight.” Shut the fuck up. I can do what I want if a stock is not doing what I want. That’s the beauty of trading. It’s amazing to me that so many of you guys are not nimble enough to change if the price action goes against your thesis. If this thing had closed strongly in the $4.80s, $4.90s, I would have loved it. I would have held overnight, because then there would be good odds of it going to $5, $5.10, $5.20, maybe retesting the highs here in the $5.30s. It did not do that. So I simply played it safe, and I was rewarded with a gap-down. And then frankly, I was looking at dip-buying here, but it showed absolutely no bounce whatsoever in here. And I was kind of surprised because I was like, “Wow, you know, the news is good.” But it did put in a little bit of a double bottom in here in the $3.70, $3.80 range.

And then, what really got me re-interested in it was, look at this, in one minute, near the market open, it spiked up from $3.80 to nearly $4.80. So when a stock that I’m thinking about dip-buying now can go back in one minute $1 a share. Now, granted, it didn’t hold onto it, but it still was up. So, this is what gets me interested, re-spikes, especially when there’s no news. Especially when I saw this and I saw the research, I was like, “Wow, wait a minute, why is it re-spiking? It was such a bad dip-buy the other day.” It’s because they’re showing off their new product on December 7th at the annual shareholder meeting. So they might have another press release, they might have another announcement. People who see this new product might buy it. It’s an upcoming catalyst. It’s an upcoming news play.

And even though it did not hold most of its gains, it still did hold onto some of its gains. And in here, it was basing here at $4.05, $4.10. And those of you who were learning in-person with me know that I was like, “Urgh, it’s midday. I had a press interview midday. I’m trying to teach. I don’t wanna watch this stock. You know, there’s no clear catalyst. Like, maybe they’ll have a press release the next day. But, I’m trying to talk myself out of this.” And we have this all on video. We’re gonna show it. My video guy, Joey, is gonna do a great job showing my really trying not to trade this. I know many of you guys tried to trade. Like, you were like, “Oh, here’s a trade, here’s a trade, here’s a trade.” I’m trying specifically not to trade this, but the stock kept holding $4.00, $4.05, $4.10, $4.11, $4.15, and it’s just inching up, and I’m just like, “Urgh, let me take a small position.”

First I bought it in my longer-term account so that I would not be tempted to sell. So my first trade right here was I dip-bought it in the low fours, and I said, “You know, I want this thing.” Oh, this one is actually not my long-term. This is my longer-term one. And I said, “My goal is to sell into bigger spike, in the fives or even sixes, whether it spikes on tomorrow’s demo or ideally later when they hype this new product even more.” As it turned out, I did not wait for the fives or sixes. And it wasn’t even that long-term. I mean, it turned out a few hours. It’s a good thing when your goals, or most of your goals, get hit right away. It did get up to the fives. I didn’t even have the patience for that. I have patience problems. You have to recognize your issues.

But, as you can see here, it was going up, and, you know, it wasn’t doing much in here. You know, I bought it, like, in the $4.15 area, it came up, then it came down from the $4.40s, right in here after like, I guess I was holding it for like an hour or two. And then I dip-bought it in here because I was like, “Wow, I can get back in in the $4.20s. I still think this is gonna go up.” So I bought a short-term position here. So now I have a long-term position from here and a short-term position from here, and I’m thinking that this is gonna spike into the news of the new product demo, or maybe they’re gonna get a contract, or maybe somebody’s gonna write about it. All I know is that this thing can spike $1 a share in a minute. So, when there’s support in the low $4.00s, and if you go back to support the other day at $3.80ish, you know, when I’m buying it at $4.15, $4.20, my risk is really losing like 20 cents, 30 cents a share. But if it can go up to $1 a share in a minute, then my reward should be there.

And then I actually had to leave my in-person coaching right around in here, and I kinda let it fly. I had to do a press interview. I wish I had a video of this. The press interview wouldn’t let me have my phone during the press interview, but I basically yelled to get my laptop because people were like freaking me out that this stock was going up so much, and I needed to lock in profits. It really frustrates me when I’m in a trade and it’s doing what I want and I don’t have the power to get out. Sometimes this happens. You know, I’ve traded from cruise ships, I’ve traded from trains, I’ve traded from places with very little WiFi. I’m in the middle of the press interview as the stock is spiking, and I know that it’s spiking, and…God, I wish I had a video of me freaking out. And I’m like, “Get me my laptop.”

So, anyway, it’s spiking, and I don’t even know why it spiked, frankly. I don’t know if, you know, people were buying this if it was a news alert or what. I’ve had a crazy, crazy day. I’m just trying to recap this whole situation. All I know is that it was spiking late day into the $4.80s and I took profits. Because frankly, I mean, this is a 10%, 15% winner for me in a few hours, in very non-ideal trading circumstances. And, you know, when you have that, you take it. And these were my 2 trades where I made just under $3,000 each time. I can’t say no to that. You know, maybe it goes higher. Maybe it’ll be like, “Oh, this thing will spike to $7, $10. You sold way too soon.” I don’t care. I know that my sweet spot over the past 2 decades is making roughly $2,000 per trade. I know that this was a speculative trade. This is not like this company just won a new contract with GE, or it just got installed at 50 airports and I’m just waiting for [inaudible 00:12:50] press to cover it. It’s a speculative idea. So on speculative ideas, I’m gonna give less leeway, and I’m just gonna lock in the profits.

So, I come back from the press meeting, I’m locking in profits. I made roughly $6,000 on the day.** I’m happy. Stephanie and a whole bunch of other students were trading it on their own and they were banking. So I’m really happy. Then, again, I’m not looking to trade because what did I say to leave in the comments underneath this video? Patience pays off. Now it’s hanging around here, $4.80s, $4.90s. You know, it broke the $4.60 level from the other day, which is cool, but, remember, after hours it got up to like $4.90, and it could not hold that gain. And now it’s hanging around $4.90. I don’t wanna chase this thing because, okay, maybe they have a press release the next day. Maybe, you know, people do recognize this new product demo at the shareholder meeting, I don’t know. It’s a speculative idea, and this is a very speculative stock. And I was buying it because this is a good market to be speculating. But just because I’m speculative does not mean that I’m gonna chase.

So at $4.90, I’m doing nothing. I’m happy, content with my roughly $6,000 profit on the day.** And then guess what? It comes down all of a sudden, in just a few minutes, and I get another opportunity. It comes down from $4.95 because it has, like, this basic double-top here at $4.95, and all of a sudden it comes down to the $4.50s. And $4.50 is kinda where it broke out midday, and $4.60 is kinda where it had problems with the other day. So if it holds this zone, I’m kind of interested in dip-buying it because now I see a deal. I don’t wanna chase it at $4.95, but if I can get it at 30 cents, 40 cents a share off, I’ll take it, because then, theoretically, it can come back to $4.95, and even if it doesn’t break out I can take profits. And that’s exactly what happened. It actually did break out here, the biggest volume bar of the afternoon here of nearly 70,000 shares. And it broke the day high at $4.97. We have this all on video. I hope that Joey is gonna show all this. You know, he’s been my video guy for a while, so he knows what’s going on.

But this broke the day high, and I was, again, in this position on the dip-buy a few thousand shares. I’m praying to my class, “Do not break out. Do not break out. I don’t wanna be tempted to trade. I don’t wanna be tempted to sell.” When I dip-bought it, I specifically said, “Look, my goal, re-buying it, goal is to sell into a gap up/morning spike, ideally in the $5 range yet again. Already locked in 6k profits so I’m feeling good here.” So I’m pushing it a little bit just by saying, “Hey, I’ve made $6 grand, but I think that this thing can still get back to $5.” Sure enough, inside of 30 minutes, it does get back. And it didn’t look like it was gonna break out, and I was like, “Whew, don’t break out, good. Save, you know, some bullets, save some ammo for the next day.” With hopefully a press release, the potential morning spike, maybe it goes to $6, maybe it goes to $7 in a morning spike. You know, it’s already proven that it can spike $1 a share in a freaking minute. This late in the day, it’s already up 25%, 30%. It’s not gonna go up that much more.

And sure enough, it ignored my instructions not to break out. It did break out to $5.04. I was getting executed on my sell at $5.04 because the breakout was kinda weak. But I couldn’t even get it out at $5.04. I had to lower down to $5.01 and $5.00. Like, the former high was $4.97. If it’s really gonna break out, like, you know, DPW, not today, today was a breakdown for DPW. But yesterday, you know, when it broke the day high here of $3.40, I mean, it broke out. It went all the way up $1 a share. So if a stock is gonna break out, especially late day, it’s really going to surge.

PXS is probably even a better example. Not lately, again. It’s come down. It was a late-day breakout. Well, I guess it wasn’t a late-day breakout. But the former high right here was $6.50, and when it breaks $6.50 it blows through it and goes through $11.50 inside of 30 minutes. So this is what happens when you get a big spike. PXS, DPW and ASTC are the three biggest winners. In a video lesson the other day I said what? Trade volatile stocks. These are the three most volatile stocks, so I’m trading them. I actually missed out on PXS and DPW. I wasn’t pissed at myself. They just didn’t fit my patterns to a T like this one did.

Anyways, this one did break out but it was a weak-ass breakout, so I had to take my profits. Even after hours, it’s at $4.80. Maybe again it goes to $5 or the sixes, for all I know. But, when you have a weak-ass breakout, and I had another roughly $3,000 in profits.** I didn’t choose. I wasn’t like, “My goal is to make 3 trades with $3,000 profits in each.” Again, each situation, I was kinda forced. At first, my longer-term one, because I just was like, “Oh, I wanna be there. In case it spikes so quickly, I wanna have a position.” My second one was where it had already spiked to $4.50s, it came down back to the $4.20s, so I was like, “Oh, this is kind of a deal because I think this can go back to the 4.50s.” Then, on both of them, I’m doing a press interview, and I take profits because the thing is just exploding.

Then the last one, I’m like, “Well, maybe I’ll try, you know, another one. Maybe three is the magic number. Let me try it one more time.” I got the dip, so there was good risk-reward. And then, sure enough, we get the perfect breakout for me to sell into. Not the perfect, perfect breakout. You know, I would have preferred like $5.10 or $5.20, but, you know, beggars can’t be choosers. When you’re trading penny stocks, if you make 30 cents, 40 cents a share on a $4 stock, a $5 stock, that’s fine. You don’t always have to make 50 cents or 60 cents. You don’t have to stick to your goals like 100%. If it gets close and something feels off, get out. That’s the beauty of trading this way, where you are in control, and it really paid off.

And I think, once you hear from the students that I was teaching in-person, you know, what they said about the class and they were just hugging me and thanking me at the end of the class. I think this was my best in-person training. It’s taken me a few. You know, in the past I’ve tried to force trades because, you know, it’s in-person training. Like, I’m trying to show live trading. I’m trying to show the heat of the moment, the action, but by not trading.

This was a two-day training by the way, and yesterday I did not trade, and I was perfectly willing to go into my second day and not trade either, but because I had that mentality, I made arguably the best trades of the past few months for me. And that is what you can really learn from. I mean, you can learn something from every trade, but if you can learn from an amazing trade, that lesson should carry forward. You know, the lesson here is that patience paid off. I was not looking to do any of these trades. I waited for them to come to specific levels where I made a thesis, and my thesis proved true on all of them.

So, anyways, congrats again to all my students, like Stephanie, who banked on this or DPW or PXS. I mean, there are so many plays right now. I have to go, but a great day for me. And if you understand this video lesson, leave a comment underneath saying, “Patience pays off.” And think like a retired trader. Only come out of retirement if there is a trade that is good enough. That way, you will choose the best trades. Thank you. I’ll see you guys in the Chatroom!

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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”