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Trading Psychology

What Does It Feel Like to Make $40,000 in One Week?

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 1/9/2023 11 min read

Today, I want to talk about my newest millionaire student: Mark Croock.*

Croock’s been my student for nearly a decade, but he doesn’t always get the credit he deserves…

He’s a grinder. He didn’t become a millionaire in a year or two like some of my gunslinger students. Croock takes his time, uses proper risk management, and locks in singles month after month.*

His journey is unique. I think all traders can learn something from him. Mark Croock is the definition of consistency. I need more students like him. 

Before I continue, read this: Mark’s results aren’t typical. My top students put in the time and dedication and have exceptional skills and knowledge. Most traders lose money. Always remember trading is risky … never risk more than you can afford.

Croock’s Unique Mindset

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Over time, my students tend to deviate from the patterns I teach. They take the foundation I provide in my Trading Challenge and build on it. They learn from my lessons and create their own patterns.

In the last several years, Croock’s ventured into options. His strategies are outside my realm of expertise … but he still uses my PennyStocking patterns.

What’s fascinating to me as his teacher is his mindset. His patterns evolve … He doesn’t trade the same stocks, and he’s now a millionaire* … But his mindset hasn’t changed… 

He always thinks he’s leaving so much on the table and that he can do better. It’s kinda like a chip on his shoulder. When he makes $1,000, he wants $2,000.

He’s rarely happy with a trade — and that keeps him hungry. He’s always hunting for more. That drives him to work harder. So when the next trade comes, he’s more prepared than anyone else.

Two weeks ago, he made $25,000 on Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) buying put options.* Catch up on TSLA’s wild ‘penny stock’ run here.

Was Croock satisfied with $25,000? Hell no! Here’s his reaction…

Instead of focusing on the killer $25,000 in profits, he was thinking about how much he left on the table. The greedy man even texted me about the profits he left on the table…

My Text Conversation With Croock

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Croock: If TSLA hits 650 today the $23k of puts I had will turn into almost half a million

Me: How’d you do?

Croock: $25,000. I was out yesterday. It would have been $250,000 today. Oh well. 

Me: Still a lot of shekels! 

Croock: Yea still $40,000 week. Shouldn’t complain

Me: Yeah man, that’s awesome. Congrats!

Most people would be like, “wow, this is unbelievable!”

But Croock was worried about how much it could have been — not the additional $25,000 sitting in his bank account.

It’s OK to have a chip on your shoulder and want to do more. But at some point, you have to recognize that you’ll never be perfect. You’ll always leave something on the table. 

I Always Leave Money On The Table

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With most of my biggest wins, I locked in about half of what I could have. My first six-figure profit could’ve been nearly double if I waited another day. (Read about it in Chapter 6 of an “An American Hedge Fund.”)

On the show “Below Deck,” I made $70,000 in front of my Challenge students.* I could’ve locked in an additional $120,000 just an hour later.

Here’s the thing … When you’re in the trade, you don’t know if a stock will keep going. I decided to stay safe and lock in my gains. Over time, greed kills profits. That’s why it’s smart to play it safe.

I’ve left more on the table than I can count. In 2014 when I covered Centor Energy Inc (OTCMKTS: CNTO) for a $70,000 gain, I left over $150,000 on the table. (See all my verified trades on Profit.ly.)

If a trade follows your plan, take the profits and move on.

When I’m in a trade and it doesn’t immediately go as I expect, I cut my losses quickly. Sometimes for a small gain or a small loss. I tend to be too conservative.

I expect a stock to act a certain way. When it doesn’t … my trade thesis is no longer valid. I protect my account so I don’t blow up. I can always enter the trade again, but it’s critical to keep losses small.

Remember that hindsight is 20/20. After the fact, when you have all the information in front of you, it’s easy to think you could have done better. Yeah, you can always learn from your mistakes. But don’t dwell on them. Instead, ask yourself — did you stick to your trading plan? 

Putting $40,000 in Perspective

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Croock made $40,000 in a week.* I want to put that in perspective…

In the past two months, he made $54,000. (See Mark Croock’s verified trades here.) So in one week he nearly matched what he made in two months.

That’s insane! It’s also why I love trading. But trading isn’t a normal 9–5 job. When the opportunities are right, the sky’s the limit. But you can’t expect to make money every day.

Most traders want to make money every week. You want to see growth, right? You have to learn to be patient. You have to study, learn, and prepare for those perfect setups.

Remember, Tim Grittani wasn’t profitable for over a year. He took a huge, six-figure loss on Lakeland Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: LAKE) that almost destroyed his mental game. But he learned from his loss. And now he’s my most successful student.*

It’s only a matter of time before Grittani crosses the eight-figure mark. Check out his trades here.

Mark Croock Takeaways

I was dead wrong about TSLA. It had all the penny stock pattern markings, but it was outside of my niche. I’m proud of Mark Croock for banking. Here’s what we can learn from him:

    1. Wait for the best plays. You can’t predict when the next play will happen. But you have to be prepared.
    2. Stay hungry. Croock has a chip on his shoulder — he constantly looks for more. That can be a good thing. That hunger can drive you to study more. But keep it in perspective. I had to remind Mark that $25,000 on one trade is incredible.*
    3. You can never study too much. Croock is the only one of my Challenge students to watch all of my 6,000+ video lessons three times each. He watched them so much, he categorized them for everyone. That’s the kind of dedication you need.

I love Mark’s unique mindset. It’s a large part of why he’s successful. At the same time, I think he can do a better job of enjoying his profits more. 

Some of my other students nailed TSLA too. Jack Kellogg and Kyle Williams both shared killer reports*. These two up-and-coming six-figure students might be millionaires before they know it — if they keep up the hard work.

Croock’s Challenge Video Lesson

Almost every week, Croock creates video lessons on Profit.ly exclusively for Challenge students.

After his killer $40,000 week, he posted his 466th video lesson. In my opinion, it’s the best video lesson he’s ever made. He reviewed all the trades from his week in a killer 20-minute video. It’s about learning from your mistakes and recalibrating for the future.

I couldn’t have made a better video myself. If you’re a Challenge student, watch the video here.

Not in the Trading Challenge yet but think you have what it takes? Apply today and find out.

Profit.ly Comments From Croock’s Video

Don’t take my word for it. Look at what these Trading Challenge students have to say about the video…

Rabbit196568: Great lesson Mark. Definitely save this one for us Challenge students lol. This is what we paid for! I’m writing down every trade, I really like the weekly review!

Stocksurfer1: Great video Mark. Thank you for all of the great info. As a student, it is great to learn from a veteran’s losses as well as wins! I appreciate all that you do.

CamDole: Way to rebound Mark. Great to see how you analyzed and corrected. #marathon.

Masters1971: Just joined Tim’s program 2 days ago .. and I can’t get enough.. thanks for the great lesson!

Yaretz: Absolutely killer video!!! I just began reviewing every trade and keeping a detailed journal so this couldn’t have been better timed! Thanks so much for your transparency, very helpful.

PrairieTrader: Thanks, Mark! I enjoyed the video lesson, I had to pause and rewind 3 times to take notes. Really appreciate the lessons here

Aceboogie2488: Awesome lesson. I was coming off a losing streak this really helps. Thank Mark

Millerruth23: Great video, Mark. I just want to say that I have def seen a positive difference in your teaching, commentary, and trading profits lately, compared to when I first started 2.5 yrs ago

TonyG1: Mark, excellent excellent excellent video lesson. Watched it twice and will watch again. Also planning to doc my mistakes weekly. Tks so much!!!

Night_knight: great lessons! Even after 10 years. I too need to learn not to overtrade and take trades just to recoup my losses. Not rocket science, that is encouraging.

AngeliqueSTL: Thanks Mark, it’s so reassuring listening to your mindset and the mistakes you made and then corrected. I’ll definitely be rewatching this video lesson. Thanks again

Peachtart: Thanks, Mark. What a great attitude. Instead of getting mad (what I do when I make a mistake) you “study” what you did, and you improve. I needed this lesson so much. Thanks again.

Itsmarybeth: Thank you, Mark, for sharing the bad with the good. Lessons like this always help. Taking notes.

J_Kingston: Thanks Mark appreciate the fact that even the “gurus” make mistakes and document them.


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Mark Croock is one of my most successful students. He doesn’t have some inherited skill or natural trait that allowed him to become a millionaire. He works hard — harder than anyone else.

He earned his way to the seven-figure mark, and I’m proud to call him my student.* He doesn’t always get the credit he deserves. I’m very proud of him. He nailed the TSLA trade and continues to expand his trading patterns.

Croock is always more than willing to help newer traders in my Trading Challenge. Don’t hesitate to reach out to him. If you’re not in the Trading Challenge — apply today.

2020 will be a big year for Croock. I’m excited to watch him grow as a trader and a mentor.

[*Note that these results aren’t typical. My top students put in the time and dedication and have exceptional skills and knowledge. Most traders lose money. Always remember trading is risky … never risk more than you can afford.]

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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”