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Mark Croock : Evolved Into a Multi-Millionaire Trader

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 4/18/2022 10 min read

Mark’s Evolution: Key Takeaways

  • Discover the unique way Mark uses the patterns he learned as a student in my Trading Challenge (since 2010!)…
  • Mark’s negative bias differs from mine, but see how it works for him…
  • In June 2018, Mark finally hit the millionaire milestone. See where he is today!

One of the most remarkable trading strategies I’ve seen in 20+ years of trading…

Meet Mark Croock, a dedicated family man and millionaire trader who’s been my student for more than a decade. After years of hard work (and meticulous studying), the student has become the teacher.

Mark and I go WAY back — to 2010. Check out this video of me interviewing Mark in New York City almost 10 years ago. (He was PSYCHED to make $100K — today he’s sitting on millions!) Then, read on for this one-of-a-kind trading journey.

Mark’s Trading Stats

  • Trading superpower: flexibility. These days, Mark’s primarily an options trader but still trades penny stocks. In the options market, Mark trades “whatever the setup calls for.”
  • Favorite Trading Challenge resource: webinars. Mark famously transcribed every webinar I’ve done (more on that later).
  • When he’s not trading … he spends time with his family. Mark has a lovely wife and three little Croocks at home (they’re not quite ready for the Trading Challenge yet).
  • How he splurged after passing $3 million: He recently bought a fully-loaded SUV (necessary for any big family)!

Now it’s time for the story of how Mark went from a miserable accountant, stuck working a 9-to-5 job in a cubicle, to a successful day trader

From Newbie Student to Full-Time Trader

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Mark has always been interested in finance and the stock market. Before his trading career, he worked as a public accountant — unhappily.

Then, one fateful day, Mark discovered one of my videos online. He had no idea that his entire life was about to change.

Mark was immediately hooked on my approach to trading. Mark…

  • Became a devoted student, watching every single video in my library — THREE times!
  • Transcribed every webinar I posted, analyzing them over and over (even weeks after they’d been posted)…
  • Immersed himself in studying to master market dynamics so he could start to “get it”…
  • Began trading full time around 2010 with a starting account of $50K…
  • Found his niche following a slow and steady trading mindset — no gunslinging!
  • Focused on his best opportunities in a very consistent, conservative way…

Fun Fact: Just like me, Mark initially started trading with his bar mitzvah money. (Sometimes it’s good to be a Jew…)

Aha! Discovering Options Trading

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Mark had a serious “aha” moment when he discovered options trading…

As he got more comfortable with weekly options, Mark started implementing his momentum trading strategy based on breakouts in overextended stocks.

Let’s break down why Mark loves trading options.

  • Defined risk. Mark has a negative bias but doesn’t like the risk associated with shorting common shares. Put options allow him to bet against stocks without risking more than he’s willing to lose.
  • Massive upside. The percent moves in momentum stocks can be parabolic, which makes the gains on Mark’s options trades even juicier.
  • Trade variety. If you trade stocks, you have two choices: long or short. But with options, the trade possibilities are endless. Mark can design any kind of bet he wants based on the specific options contracts he includes in a position.

Once Mark discovered the options market, there was no stopping him. He didn’t know it at the time, but his pivot led to a major career breakthrough…

Mark Hits the Million-Dollar Milestone!

In 2018, Mark finally hit the million-dollar milestone. After so much hard work and patience, it was satisfying for him…

Here are four major lessons he learned along his path:

  • Timing’s everything. Being early (or late) on a trade is the same as being wrong.
  • Focus on the big picture. Don’t let intraday price action pull you out of a five-star setup.
  • Stick to your strategy. NEVER let FOMO tempt you into trading a subpar setup.
  • Don’t be a hero. Sometimes the setup looks great, but the trade just doesn’t pan out. Cut your losses quickly and move on to another play. (Sometimes no trade = best trade!)

That said, making a million dollars isn’t easy!

Now, I’d like to add a few points to Mark’s:

  • His journey to millionaire trader was long and challenging. I think it’s a lesson in the importance of sticking to your strategy…
  • Had he become impatient and too aggressive in the wrong market, he might’ve blown up his entire account.
  • Mark’s a good example of ‘slow and steady wins the race.’
  • He’s stubborn (in a good way). He’s never satisfied and he’s always looking to improve — even when he’s winning!
  • Mark knows what works for him. He’s taken certain chart patterns I’ve taught him — like the first red day pattern — and successfully traded them again and again.
  • He stalks stocks to get to know them like the back of his hand. He has an almost psychic connection to their charts (kinda freaky sometimes).
  • Mark’s happy to sit on the sidelines if those patterns don’t play out.

Mark found his trading edge by betting against overextended momentum stocks. And he’s sticking to the strategy that works for him.

The 3 Keys to Mark’s Strategy

Mark’s strategy is specific. He’s only looking to trade a particular setup based on expert technical analysis.

Here are three technical indicators Mark looks for in every single trade:

  • Volume. He tries to only trade stocks when they’re experiencing periods of elevated volume on a daily or weekly basis.
  • Volatility. He wants to see wild swings in price action, which tend to lead to the first red day and first green day setups he loves to trade.
  • Catalysts. Technical indicators are important, but he also looks for major news catalysts that could send a stock into further volatility.

Watch Mark break down his trading checklist in this interview with my buddy Tim Bohen:

A technical strategy is only as good as the results that follow. And for Mark, the proof is in the trading…

Mark’s Biggest All-Time Trade

Another huge milestone for Mark happened this year when he bagged his single biggest trade of all time by trading put contracts on Riot Blockchain Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT).

Here’s the 411:

  • In February 2021, the market was shifting and Mark lost money on several trades by exiting his setups too early…
  • He was frustrated and knew he needed to adjust his strategy — which meant breaking some of my rules…
  • He decided to stick with trades that I’d normally tell him to exit if he had a strong conviction that the setup would work…
  • Mark had a STRONG conviction that the cryptocurrency market was overextended.
  • He thought that crypto stocks like RIOT would suffer greatly if bitcoin (BTC) tanked.

I won’t get into the whole trade here. But let’s go over a few highlights:

  • At one point in the trade, Mark was down about $40,000…
  • Instead of cutting losses, he decided to stick to his convictions and let the setup play out…
  • BTC plummeted the following day, and RIOT crashed from about $56 down to $46 … in the first 20 minutes of trading.
  • Mark sold his put contracts near the bottom tick, profiting just under $128,000 — the biggest gain on a single trade in his entire career!

That’s INCREDIBLE and not at all how I would trade. But more importantly, this trade shows Mark’s ability to adapt to a shifting market.

Learn Even More

I’ve followed Mark’s journey for a long time. Check out the steps he took along the way:

Onward and Upward

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Mark has a ‘$100K Secret’ he wants to share with traders just like you. Click here to reserve your spot in this exciting event — November 22, 2021, at 8 p.m. Eastern. It won’t cost a dime.

And you can study up with Mark in my Trading Challenge in his webinars. He’s been a dedicated mentor for years with a wealth of knowledge to share. Not in the Challenge? Level up and apply today.

Mark’s a shining example of everything I look for in a student — brilliant, dedicated, and always eager to improve. I’m so proud of everything he’s accomplished.

And consider this: Mark’s gone from a newbie trader with no experience to a world-class teacher. His story should inspire anyone.

Your path to trading success won’t be easy, but take Mark as an example of what can happen if you truly apply yourself.

Leave a comment below with any questions you have for Mark AND give him props for his hard-won milestones!

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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”