timothy sykes logo

Trading Recap

Is This How Top Traders Recover From A Bad Month?

Timothy SykesAvatar
Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 5/1/2023 6 min read

Have you ever felt the sting after a bad trading month?

It’s natural to feel disappointed and frustrated when things don’t go as planned.

I know, because I’m coming off one of my worst trading months in years.

But what separates the successful traders from the rest is their ability to recover and come back stronger.

A bad month can feel like a major setback, especially if you rely on trading for your income.

It can make you doubt your abilities and question if you’re cut out for this.

But the truth is, we all go through some bad stretches, it’s just part of the trading journey. 

However, what sets successful traders apart is their ability to turn their losses into learning opportunities.

They use their failure as a chance to analyze their strategies, identify what went wrong and adjust their approach for the future.

That’s why I want to go over my losing month of April with you.

And explain the mindset shift I’m making. Plus, the steps I’m taking to evaluate my performance, and the tools I’m using to get back on track.

If you’re in a similar boat or feel like you’re not performing at your optimal level then you’re gonna want to hear this.

April’s Disaster Month

Now, as bad as I traded, if you take out my worst trade, I would have been break-even.

On April 5th, I lost -$5,584 in the ticker symbol BBAI.

I wrote an entire post about that trade, you can read about it here. 

But despite that being my worst loss…I consider it my second worst trade of the month.

My worst was in the ticker symbol HCNWF, where I lost -$2,045, five days after my BBAI loss. My entry was off, my sizing was too large, and I failed to cut losses quickly.

On the other hand, my largest winner was a trade in the ticker NLST, where I made a profit of $575 (a 5,000 share position where I put $21,600 in).

Of course, it’s hard to be profitable if your worst trade is almost 10x larger than your best winner.

So what caused those two outlier losses?

A buildup of frustration.

You see, I’ve been right on the money on a few plays.

For example, I got in relatively early in ticker symbol GFAI at around $6.60. However, my profits were modest, and the stock eventually ran to nearly $40.

I was in HCNWF when it was around $0.60 and that thing shot up to +$4…but I wasn’t there for the big move…

And that’s just a few examples.

There were probably 3-5 symbols I was in that produced monster Supernovas that I missed. 

The combo of frustration and FOMO led me to get overly aggressive and undisciplined.

After those two big losses I slowed my trading down, focused on better trade selection, and chipping away at my deficit.

Other Mistakes I Made

© Millionaire Media, LLC

All of a sudden we started to see a lot of plays. There were a ton in the AI sector, and most recently in scammy Chinese stocks.

For example, the Supernova in the ticker TOP, which saw the stock go up 1,000% in 24 hours.

I found myself overtrading.

To get out of this bad habit I try to remind myself to think like a retired trader. That is, a person who isn’t looking to trade.

But willing to jump back into the market ONLY if they see a play so compelling they would have MAJOR regrets for not being involved.

For other traders, that means reviewing their best trades and finding out what patterns work for them.

It’s easier to make better trade selection once you know what your best and most profitable setups are.

The Man In The Mirror

© Millionaire Media, LLC

I own my losses.

I don’t blame my hectic schedule, the markets, anything or anyone else for my poor performance.

You can’t run away from your problems and sweep them under the rug.

My issues have been overtrading, overaggression, and letting FOMO get the best of me.

You can’t fix your issues if you don’t know what they are.

I know what mine are, and I’m working on fixing them by trading smaller, being more selective, focusing on protecting my capital and risk management.

But what about you?

Are you holding onto your losers too long? Not finding quality plays? Getting too cocky or what?

You must review your trades and analyze your decision making if you want to improve.

Final Note

© Millionaire Media, LLC

One of the biggest problems I see from traders after suffering a big loss or having a bad trading month is their need to get those losses back quickly.

But that can be a dangerous game, and lead to even more significant losses.

That’s why I tell my students to just take it one day at a time…and one trade a time.

It’s MUCH better to correct your issues by trading smaller. Once you regain your confidence, then size up again if you believe there are good opportunities.

Don’t make excuses…and study hard.

If you want to see how I can help you…click here for the details. 


How much has this post helped you?

Leave a reply

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”