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Millionaire Mentor Update: 3 Lessons on Conservative Trading

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 9/8/2021 11 min read

This is the final regular update of 2019. So I want to review why I chose to trade conservatively to end the year. But I also want to remind you to read the blog in the next couple of days. I have some important posts coming your way.

It’s been a crazy week. My travel schedule is always pretty intense. But getting from Mexico to Nigeria last week was madness. Through it all, I’ve been trading and teaching.

First, the travel experience from hell…

How I Missed a School Opening in Nigeria

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As you know from reading last week’s update, I was in Tulum, Mexico to open 10 libraries for my charity Karmagawa. From Mexico, I was supposed to fly to New York…

It was supposed to be non-stop from Cancún to New York. Then I had a direct flight from New York to Nigeria. It was business class … so the plan was to sleep the whole way. Ten hours after takeoff, I’d wake up in Nigeria.

It was all perfect….

Instead, the flight from Cancún was two hours late because of a cracked windshield. So they got us another plane. I was traveling with my Karmagawa co-founder Mat Abad. Luckily we had a six-hour layover in New York. So all good, right?


We couldn’t fly all the way to New York because the new airplane came with a pilot who was over on hours. We had to stop in Orlando to get a new pilot. That added another layover. So what should have been a six-hour layover in New York turned into a mad dash.

We missed the whole friggin’ layover. By the time we got to JFK, it was 11:20 p.m. and our flight was taking off at 11:45 p.m. We ran through the airport but, sadly, they didn’t let us on the plane.

So we spent the night in New York, then took a flight to Paris for a connection to Lagos. To top the whole thing off…

… when we landed in Paris, we found out the flight to Lagos got canceled due to mechanical issues. This was around 4:45 a.m. in Paris. We were exhausted — and we had to wait another four or five hours to catch a flight.

When Faced With Circumstances Beyond Your Control — Do Your Best

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So we missed the school opening in Nigeria. Luckily we had a photographer and a video guy there already. (He flew with a 102° fever!)

I don’t want you to think I’m complaining with this story of travel gone wrong. I’m not.  Actually, I’m grateful for the opportunity to travel. I’ve been to 32 countries this year, which is crazy.

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And I’m honored to give back. Working with Mat Abad on Karmagawa is amazing. So this isn’t really about me. It’s just an example of a very important life lesson…

Some things are beyond your control. All you can do is control how you react. A broken windshield and a pilot over on hours … those were beyond our control. So when you find yourself in situations or circumstances beyond your control: do your best.

It’s not the most exciting lesson, but it’s important. No matter how rich you are…

… no matter how successful you are…

… no matter how well-laid your plans are…

… crap happens. You just have to deal with it and move on. That’s it.

I’d planned this trip to Nigeria a while back. And a six-hour layover to catch a flight is fine … usually. As with many things in life, there was a silver lining…

We have a Karmagawa project in Nigeria helping a community build a school. And now we have 67 schools and libraries worldwide. It keeps going. And all the while I keep traveling, teaching, and trading…

Trading Conservatively to End 2019

Hopefully, you’ve had the opportunity to take advantage of holiday trading. But I also hope you’ve chosen to study over the holidays. It’s a great time to put in extra hours and build a strong foundation going into 2020.

New to penny stocks? Access my FREE penny stock guide here.

For me, I’ve been trading conservatively the last couple weeks — for a variety of reasons. First, I was a little under the weather while in Mexico. Then the travel nightmare getting to Nigeria. Finally, I haven’t had great internet connections.

At the same time … I’m still trading. But — and this is a very important lesson — when you have a crazy week, be more conservative. It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling, busy with family, or work. Be ready to take smaller position sizes and follow rule #1: cut losses quickly. Keep your losses small.

Lessons from a Recent Trade

It’s been a few weeks of mostly small gains and small losses. I did make roughly $2K** trading from Nigeria. One trade was a near-perfect first green day setup. I’ll include that in the next update.

This week, I want to review one memorable trade with several lessons…


On December 18, I took a trade during a live Trading Challenge webinar. And I made $495 in just a few minutes.

(The Trading Challenge is my full-immersion penny stock course. If accepted, you’ll learn the same strategies all my top students use. Apply here and come ready to study. Make 2020 your best year ever.)

YAYO was a pre-market spiker on December 18 on news of a deal with LMP Automotive Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: LMPX). LMPX was one of the hottest stocks in the market in the first two weeks of December. (I mentioned LMPX in last week’s edition of the update.)

YAYO’s only been trading since mid-November. It’s another beat down 2019 IPO as you can see from the chart below…

YAYO stock chart
YAYO chart: from mid-November IPO to December 30, 2019 — courtesy of StocksToTrade.com

Obviously, when you look at the chart, you can see it’s just been going straight down. So if you’re a short seller … at pretty much any spike you’d short into it.

Which leads to the first lesson…

Lesson #1: Overaggressive Shorts Are Spiking Penny Stocks

Here’s the big lesson (maybe the best lesson for everybody right now): The number-one thing spiking stocks right now is short sellers. Overaggressive, dumb, naive short sellers.

There’s a whole group of people who just don’t get it. Or refuse to believe it. I’ve been saying it in video lessons and webinars galore. (For access to my 6,000+ video lessons, subscribe to Pennystocking Silver.) But still … they short any penny stock that goes up. Especially a stock with a bad chart like YAYO.

So what happens? Short squeezes. And YAYO did squeeze later. It squeezed and then it failed. Check out the YAYO chart from December 18 (including my entry and exit points):

YAYO entry and exit points on chart
YAYO chart: December 18, 2019. Dip buy of premarket spiker — courtesy of StocksToTrade.com

Short squeezes lead to great opportunities for dip buyers…

Lesson #2: Dip Buys Are Good

Right now dip buys are good, especially when there’s a lot of volume. And I profited** … but it was a little crazy. The stock went above where I wanted to sell twice. And I couldn’t even put in my sell order because the Wi-Fi was cutting in and out.

[**My results are not typical. I’ve spent years developing exceptional skills and knowledge. Always remember trading is risky. Never risk more than you can afford.]

Trading Challenge students were literally laughing at me in the Challenge chat while I was screaming at my computer…

09:33 AM olli400: LMFAO.

09:33 AM brandocommando: lol.

09:33 AM alii: hhahahhaa.

09:33 AM keylow406: im glad im not the only one that yells at etrade like that.

Even though I profited and managed to take a single I was reminded…

Lesson #3: The Biggest Spikes Are on Dip Number Two

Trading penny stocks isn’t an exact science. So this is more of an observation of what’s happening now. But due to lesson #1 above, sometimes the biggest spikes are a little later OR on dip number two. Take another look at the chart above and you’ll see what I mean.

It’s a little different because you have to wait for overaggressive short sellers to get in. Then, if it starts to go up they can get squeezed.

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The same thing happened on my recent trade of Stage Stores, Inc. (NYSE: SSI) After you finish reading this post go read that one again — I nailed the bottom within 10 cents. And now it’s up $3 a share.

But there’s a difference between SSI and YAYO. Which leads to…

Bonus Lesson: Aggressive or Conservative? Let the Long-term Chart Guide You

Look at the longer-term YAYO chart again. It’s a nasty overall chart. SSI, on the other hand, has a solid overarching chart the past few months.

Check out the six-month SSI chart below:

SSI stock chart
SSI chart: 6-month, daily candlestick — courtesy of StocksToTrade.com

The short sellers were eventually right about YAYO. It did eventually go down after a couple of days. With SSI, I could still be holding from where I dip-bought and be profitable.

So if you want to hold longer, hold stocks that have solid multi-week or multi-month runups. If you’re going to be aggressive, it’s better to do so on multi-week winners.

Millionaire Mentor Market Wrap

That’s it … the last regularly scheduled update of 2019. It’s been an amazing year for me on so many levels. And I hope it’s been that way for you.

Remember, holiday trading still applies this week — lower volume and a lot of newbies without a clue. Enjoy all the holiday spikers but be careful. Be meticulous and don’t chase randomly. Learn the reliable patterns.

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve … and I have a very special post coming for you. Be sure to come back and read it.

Ready to make 2020 your best year yet? Let me know in the comments below. I love to hear from all my readers!

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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

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* 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”