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Trading Challenge Student Karan Clears His Debt

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 4/18/2022 11 min read

Update on Challenge Student Karan: Key Takeaways

  • See how Karan’s been upping his game since the first time I featured him…
  • This student proves you don’t have to win every trade to be successful. Check out his latest stats!
  • He’s hit a big milestone, but his goals remain the same…

ALL My Top Students Hone Their Trading Strategies Here

My student Karan has been in the Trading Challenge since 2017. He’s been trading since 2020…

This year, he’s erased his debt and gone exponential.

Those are some amazing goals to hit! Today we’ll cover how Karan did it.

From Flat Broke to First Class

In 2017, Karan realized something needed to change. He’d been working hard his whole life. But he still found himself behind, hitting a wall and getting nowhere.

Then he enrolled in the Trading Challenge.

He borrowed $2,500 to get started trading. Guess what? He’s grown that initial stake more than 100-fold.

Karan managed to go from more than $1,000 underwater to $268,000 in profits…

He wiped out his $60,000 debt at the end of 2020. By the end of 2021, he managed to book a first-class ticket on a plane.

This isn’t a game. We’re not trying to stack first-class tickets and other luxury items. Karan isn’t in this for the comfy seat and champagne.

He’s in it to make his goals come true.

The First Step: Having a Goal

It’s easy to miss the importance of goal-setting. You likely trade because you want to make money. Just like everyone else in the market.

Karan’s drive comes from the fact that he knew exactly how much he had to make. He needed $60,000 to clear his debt…

Since he did that, he’s now focused on the $1 million mark. Until he hits that, he’ll be trading AND working his day job.

Karan celebrated hitting the quarter-million mark by making his travel more comfortable. He wanted to spend those flight hours locked into the market.

Like most of my top students, he didn’t buy a flashy car when he hit his milestone.

Instead, he doubled down on his commitment.

What Changed Since Our Last Check In?

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I wrote about Karan earlier this year. He hadn’t crossed $100,000 yet. But he was already taking strides.

On June 30, 2020, he had his biggest trading day yet — more than $17,000 in profits. It wasn’t a random trade. He’d been tracking CytoDyn Inc (OTCQB: CYDY) for days.

He followed my 7-step pennystocking framework to catch the stock on both sides. He shorted it off its highs, then caught it on the bounce.

His two biggest trades on CYDY were for $13,467 and $3,130. (BTW, I made $23,220 longing CYDY the same day!)

This is where Karan’s aggressiveness paid off. It was a pump in one of the hottest sectors during one of the hottest markets I’ve ever seen…

Almost everything worked out for him on that BIG day. But things working out isn’t a sound strategy. Karan discovered that about a month later…

On August 3, 2020, Karan had his biggest loss of the year.

He shorted Grayscale Digital Large Units (OTCQX: GDLC), a fund heavily invested in crypto.

This was at the start of bitcoin’s stimulus-fueled come-up. I always warn traders about shorting…

But Karan picked an especially bad time to short what was about to become the market’s hottest sector. Karan ended up losing $8,337 on the play.

The trade conditions were good. It was a third green day. The stock was already overextended…

But Karan broke a key role of shorting — GDLC was trading under a million shares. When the squeeze happened, he had no way to cover.

He was down $35,000 at one point in the trade. He almost blew up his account.

He got out on a pullback. He was lucky again. The stock made it into the high $50s before its run ended.

What Going Exponential Looks Like

Karan doesn’t rely on luck anymore.

He sizes in small when he’s testing a theory. He scales into trades that are working and bails on trades that aren’t.

As for the temptation of low volume stocks? He tweaked his stock screener. Unless a stock reaches sufficient volume, it won’t even show up on his radar.

He’s traded in the big swings for small gains. And like I always say, small gains add up.

From mid-October to mid-December, Karan’s up more than $65,000. He’s a FANATIC about managing risk.

It was his biggest weakness when he started. He knew which setups he liked. He would make money when they worked. And he’d lose money when they didn’t.

He was like a boxer going punch for punch. Not a winning strategy.

Now, even when Karan takes a loss — like this $17,000 loss on AMC — it’s a planned loss.

He was trading AMC as it bounced around a range. He knew the risks. He had set a risk of $20,000 on that trade.

But that’s not the whole story. Karan tallied gains of $4,564, $4,144, $3,663, $2,390, and $4,881 on AMC trades the SAME DAY.

Say it with me: small gains add up.

The ‘Papercuts’ Theory

Karan loses more trades than he wins. That’s OK. He knows when to get out.

He calls this strategy ‘taking papercuts.’

He’ll try a trade idea with small size. If he’s in too early, he’ll take a small loss. If it doesn’t work, he’s out.

He might go back to the same idea later. Karan’s not playing bad setups. He’s just giving himself as many bites of the apple as he needs…

No one can predict the markets. The way Karan’s built that unpredictability into a working strategy is by managing his risk.

He’s become a master at cutting losses.

This is how he leveraged a 44% win rate into a winning strategy.

“I stopped tracking my winning percentage,” Karan says. “Initially I was obsessed, but it hindered my trading. I wanted to be right all the time.”

This is a message I want all traders to hear. Good trading isn’t about winning.

“I really don’t care about my winning percentage at this point,” Karan says. “All I care about is how I’m executing my trades.”

What Karan Gets Out of My Trading Challenge

Like most of my top students, Karan put in the work.

This tweet was in response to a midnight study check I put out.

He isn’t resting on his laurels. Karan is after constant improvement.

Before he started trading seriously, Karan hit the books. Or rather, the 7,000+ video lessons accessible through my Trading Challenge. Plus, the weekly sessions with millionaire traders. And the best chat room on the planet.

Like Karan says, “Even if you just show up and watch that chat, it will teach you more in a short time than going over hours and hours of study material.”

In the beginning, he studied 12–14 hours some days. He’s still putting the time in. And now it’s paying off for him.

Join Karan and other top traders in my Trading Challenge — apply here.

Karan’s Advice to New Traders

Karan has honed his trading strategy to a highly technical level.

But his strategy comes down to some common-sense points. Here’s how he breaks it down:

  • Understand how the algos work. “Don’t buy the high-of-day break into strength on listed stocks. Algos are looking for liquidity zones, and those are the main liquidity zones. Wait for the stock to dip, wait for it to hold. Then buy into the trade.”


  • Don’t chase strength. “If you’re buying, buy on a red candle. If you’re shorting, short on a green candle.”


  • Look at longer time frames. “Don’t draw trends on one- or five-minute candles. Use 15 or 30 minutes. Let the chart develop before you get in a trade.”


  • Don’t get into a stock right at the open. “Once you’ve let the chart develop, once you understand how much volume it’s going to trade, you can make a good decision.”


  • Understand the psychology of a pattern. “If you can say that this pattern is happening because shorts are doing X, longs are doing Y, and this is the reason why this pattern is forming, you can come up with more variances on that pattern.”

What’s Next?

Karan’s working on adding more weapons to his arsenal. First up is the gap and crap.

This pattern is cousin to ‘buy the rumor, sell the news.’ It describes a stock that gaps up overnight on good news … Then it falls apart at the open.

Karan is just dipping his toe into this pattern, trading small size for now.

This is how good traders improve their game. With the progress Karan has already made, I’m guessing he’ll be up to speed in no time!

What have you learned from Karan’s journey? What can you put to work for YOU today? Let me know in the comments!

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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”