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Self-Care Lessons From Millionaire Challenge Student Mariana

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 4/18/2022 8 min read

Mariana’s Work-Life Balance Wisdom: Key Takeaways

  • All work and no play is NOT good for traders!
  • How big losses helped this millionaire focus on what REALLY matters.
  • Should traders have ‘cheat days’ away from their monitors?

Learn With Mari, Kyle, And Jack In This Awesome Chat Room!

What I’m about to say might shock you…

There’s more to life than trading. 

If all you care about is trading, then there’s nothing to motivate you TO trade.

I’m motivated to trade because I want to give back:

My millionaire student Mariana has had a crash course in trading and work-life balance over the past year. She’s learned a lot that’s worth sharing, so keep reading…


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Hard Work Takes a Toll

Here’s how Mariana’s trading career has gone so far.

  • 2018: She joins my Trading Challenge but doesn’t do much for a year.
  • 2019: Mari decides to get serious about trading, but loses at first. Read her full trading story here.
  • 2020: She finds her stride and hits trading hard.
  • Late 2020 to Early 2021: From October through March, Mari goes into ‘no days off’ mode. The market’s so hot that she and her boyfriend, $8 million+ profit Trading Challenge student Jack Kellogg, barely look away from their monitors. But it pays off for them both…
  • February 2021: Mariana passes $1 million in trading profits!

But all that hard work took a toll…

Adapting Isn’t Just About Your Strategy

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It’s SO important for traders to adapt. But adapting isn’t just about changing up your strategy when the market shifts. It’s about adapting to different settings and environments.

After a crazy few months of constant trading and studying, Mariana started to come back to the real world this past summer.

The market had shifted, and her go-to patterns like panic dip buys, first green days, and breakouts weren’t working as well. She had a little more time on her hands.

Mari started traveling again.

But she hadn’t really figured out the right work-life balance, and she didn’t have much practice at trading while traveling.

During this time, she experienced some of her biggest losses to date. Check out the details in this video:

How Mariana Found Her Equilibrium

The shifting market and her losses forced Mariana to look inward and consider what kind of life she wanted as a trader. Here’s what she’s figured out:

  • Take care of yourself. Mari says that the more consistent she is in maintaining healthy routines, the better off she is as a trader. If she’s exercising, eating three meals a day, and drinking plenty of water, she’s in the best place to make smart trading decisions.
  • Be efficient. Mariana maximizes time for things she loves like acro yoga and spending time with her family by putting technology to work. She reviews my alerts, the chat room, and StocksToTrade’s alerts and screeners to quickly find potential plays for her watchlist.
  • Know your limits. Mariana had some losses when she tried to force trades while traveling. Trading while traveling isn’t for everyone. You don’t have to force it.
  • Take days off. Taking breaks is important! It’s sort of like taking a cheat day from a diet. Days off help Mariana approach the market with a clear head.
  • Family matters! While in Italy, Mariana said bye to her laptop for a while and took her family to Rome. She gave them her full attention — and it was great for her mindset. Now, she says she feels refreshed and ready to trade the winter season.

Trading + Life: It’s a Balancing Act

tim sykes and mariana $1 million trading milestone
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Mariana’s had a wild ride so far. And I’m glad she’s learning these important lessons about why it’s so important to take care of yourself. Here’s what I want you to remember:

  • You don’t have to trade every day. Sometimes if you’re traveling, don’t have good Wi-Fi, or just aren’t in the right mood, it’s better to avoid trading.
  • Health matters. If you don’t take care of yourself, eat well, and exercise, it can negatively impact your trading.
  • Care about something. If you don’t care about anything other than trading, what’s your motivation to trade? Find yourself a higher purpose!

How do YOU maintain a work-life balance as a trader? I want you to teach me … I’m working on it myself!

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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”