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Lessons I Learned From Larry King

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 2/18/2021 8 min read

I was saddened to hear that Larry King passed away over the weekend … He was a true legend and one of the greatest interviewers of all time.

His CNN show “Larry King Live” had an incredible 25-year run. He interviewed pretty much anyone who’s anyone, including every U.S. president from Ford to Obama.

I had the honor of being interviewed by Larry King in 2015. I was blown away by him — and not just because he asked smart questions.


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Not only was he an incredible interviewer, but he was kind, funny, sharp, humble, and incredibly knowledgeable. He was and continues to be an inspiration to me.

(I wasn’t the only one he inspired. This USA Today article features a ton of amazing tributes. Sadly, there was one notable naysayer — I wasn’t afraid to call BS on it. Be sure to scan to the end of the article to see how I defended my friend Larry.)

I’d like to take a moment to express my gratitude for some of the lessons he taught me…

Lessons I Learned From Larry King

It was an incredible honor to be interviewed by Larry King — after all, he’s a TV legend. But I’ve gotta say that his fame isn’t what impressed me most. Here’s what really inspired me…

The Power of Authenticity

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Just like in the world of day trading, the world of network TV is full of phonies, fakes, and huge egos. Larry King didn’t let it get to him.

Maintaining a strong sense of who you are can be really hard when you’re in the public eye, but Larry was always completely authentic.

As a teacher, I’m inspired by his authenticity. I think that transparency and being real are what set me apart.

I don’t portray day trading as glamorous to my students.

I want them to know that if they want this kind of life, they’re gonna have to work hard, and it’s not always gonna be fun. And I want them to know it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme.

I share EVERY trade publicly to demonstrate the real side of trading — I urge my students to be completely transparent too.

You’ve Gotta Stay Humble

One of the secrets to Larry’s success as an interviewer? His humility. No matter if he was interviewing a U.S. president, a celebrity, or a day trading teacher like me, he always approached his interviewee with the same level of respect.

He was genuinely interested in people. Larry King was curious about the world. He was humble and always ready to learn something new.

A lot of day traders could take a cue from this. I see so many people have one or two big wins then get a huge head … They get cocky, and that usually leads to trouble.

I always say that in the stock market, you’ve gotta stay humble or the market will humble you … But really, that’s a life lesson. Always stay humble, and always recognize that there’s more to learn!

Incredible Work Ethic

There was never a point where Larry King said, ‘OK, I’m famous enough, I can stop trying so hard.’

He had an incredible work ethic. He always did his research and showed up mentally. This was a guy who embodied the ‘no days off’ mindset.

It didn’t matter that he was rich or famous. He kept working hard every day.

As a day trader, I want you to be inspired by Larry King’s incredible work ethic. I want you to know that you’re always going to have to work hard.

If you think that trading is the type of job where you work hard for a little while, make millions, then retire, you’re wrong.

The ‘money mindset’ is a huge problem for so many traders. They don’t take the time to actually learn the rules or understand the process. They’re so blinded by the idea of money that they don’t have any idea what actually motivates them.

If you ask me, the most ‘successful’ traders are the ones who find a genuine passion for the process, stay motivated, and aren’t afraid to work hard.

Sometimes, your motivation will shift. For instance, I used to be motivated by money and things like expensive cars. Now that I have financial freedom, I’m motivated to make money trading so that I can give back through teaching my students and donating my profits to charity.

Larry King wasn’t a day trader, but his self-motivation and work ethic should be an inspiration to all of you. You’re never gonna find success in anything — whether it’s trading or anything else — if you’re not willing to keep putting in the work.

His Legacy Will Live On

Larry King was an incredibly inspiring man. I learned a lot from his amazing work ethic and attitude toward life.

I’ll miss him greatly — but I’m so thankful to have had the chance to be interviewed by him, and for the inspiration that he gave me and so many others.

Check out my full interview with Larry King here.

Larry, your incredible work will live on — rest in peace, legend!

Are you inspired to be authentic, stay humble, and work hard? Leave a comment … I love hearing from you!

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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”