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From Mani-Pedis to a Million Bucks: How One Trader Built the Life He Wants

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 1/12/2024 3 min read

Life takes us all on a journey.

One that ultimately defines us as individuals.

For some of you, that path seems clear. It may seem like a struggle. But you walk it confidently, knowing it leads to what you want out of life.

For most, however, their journeys are dictated by others. The influence of family, teachers, friends, social media, movies, TV shows, etc., all conspire to place expectations on us that can be hard to see beyond.

Knowing what you truly want takes the time and effort of patient self-reflection.

You must dig deep.

Unfortunately, digging deep keeps most people on the path imposed on them.

But when my latest Challenge student to rack up over $1 million in trading profits faced the same pressures that deter so many, he stepped onto his path to trading anyway.

And he’s a better man as a result.

Today, I want you to hear his story…

Andrew’s Journey

Last Friday, I sat down with Andrew for a live webinar with my challenge students.

He had just passed the $1 million threshold, and I wanted him to share his story with the incredible trading community I spent the last 15 years building.

What a story he has.

It’s a perfect example of how my Trading Challenge can take your trading to the next level.

Andrew started small – just a few thousand bucks. And despite his fair share of blowups and missed opportunities, he stuck with trading and built the life he wanted for himself.

All while working in his parents’ nail salon.

Andrew’s parents are immigrants.

Incredibly, they met in a refugee camp, moved to the U.S., and opened a nail salon to build a better life. Andrew began working in their salon as a teen, giving manicures and pedicures.

And it was there that he started trading on the side.

Before long, he knew he was onto something, despite his mother telling him trading was a waste of time.

He dedicated himself to learning a process. He would even stop during an appointment for a “bathroom break” but instead head into the back room to enter trades.

He was relentless.

And that dedication and relentlessness paid off with over $1 million in trading profits.

We had a great discussion. Andrew answered attendee questions like a pro.

Among the lessons he shared, one that stood out was how “trading was like going to the gym.”

When you go to the gym, you have to know your limits. You can’t just load up the weight and expect to make gains. That’s how you get hurt.

You must learn when you need to step back or step away. Gains don’t happen overnight.

The same holds for trading. You want to start small, trade small, and be safe. You can always size up later.

Eventually, the patterns started to click for Andrew. That told him he was on the right path and helped him stick to learning his process, even when the inevitable losses set him back.

Andrew and I did this webinar specifically for Challenge students. If you want access, JOIN THE CHALLENGE.

Because sometimes you have to dig deep to build the life you want.

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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”