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Trading Psychology

Why the Money Mindset Won’t Help You Make $75K–$184K/Month

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 1/10/2023 17 min read

If you get into trading with a ‘money mindset,’ you’ve got the wrong mindset for trading.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s good to have goals. Wanting to make money so that you can live the life you want can be motivating.

But when you get so focused on money that you can’t see the big picture — that’s the money mindset. That’s how you set yourself up for failure as a trader.

I know this probably seems counterintuitive. A lot of things about trading are counterintuitive. But by shining the spotlight on some of my most successful students — Jack Kellogg, Matt Monaco, and Kyle Williams — maybe you’ll understand a little better.

All of these Trading Challenge students killed it in June, all respectively reporting their best trading months EVER.*

But what’s truly incredible is how level-headed they’re all staying in the face of their incredible accomplishments. Because they know things can change at any moment.

All of these traders provide amazing examples of the right mindset for successful trading … and they prove that it’s passion and dedication — not money — that really fuels long-term success.

A Trinity of Awesome

screenshot of Jack Kellogg and 2 other students having a podcast with Tim Sykes
Clockwise from top left: Kyle Williams, Matthew Monaco, Tim Sykes, Jack Kellogg

If you’re in my chat room or on Profit.ly, you probably already know Matt (Mono_Trader), Jack (Jackaroo), and Kyle (kylecw2).

But whether you’re familiar with them or not, here are some things you should know … They’re all Trading Challenge students. They’re all young … barely old enough to drink. They’re all absolutely KILLING it as traders.

Last month…

  • Jack Kellogg made $184K*
  • Matt Monaco made $93K*
  • Kyle Williams made $75K*

(*Please note: My results, along with the results of my top students, are far from typical. Individual results will vary. Most traders lose money. My top students and I have the benefit of many years of hard work and dedication under our belts. Trading is inherently risky. Do your due diligence and never risk more than you can afford to lose.)

That’s in June alone. Yep: in a single month, they each respectively made more than a lot of people earn in an entire year.

Not the Money Mindset, The Right Mindset

But here’s what I really want you to know about all of these students … They all have the right mindset — not the money mindset.

To start to understand, check out this video of Jack and his friend Dom Mastromatteo from the Midwest Meetup last year:

Jack’s profits were impressive even then — though nowhere near the $500K+* he’s at now.

We filmed this video before the coronavirus, before the crazy market volatility that we’ve been experiencing since March … This market is so insane that I even filmed a no-cost resource to help students deal: “The Volatility Survival Guide.”

But what’s stayed the same is that he has the right mindset. He talks about how important dedication and studying is, and how you have to keep going when you don’t get it right.

What Jack, Matt, and Kyle all have in common is that they all have a really good mindset for trading. They don’t get cocky when they win, they’re good at keeping losses in perspective.

A great mindset, having a hot market, and studying a lot — these three things combined led to the biggest month ever for ALL of them.

Jack Kellogg: Killing It, Softly

Last year, I personally made $125K.* I started out as I do every year with a small account. Last month, Jack Kellogg made about $184K.* So basically, Jack not only crushed my entire year of profits from 2019 but had enough left over to, I don’t know … put a down payment on a house? Buy a car? Whatever he felt like.

His results are getting better and better all the time. He reports $70K+ in May and $50K+ in April.* You can read more about his story in this post and learn more about his strategy in this video:

Sure, part of this is opportunity. The market volatility right now is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. But he’s ready for the opportunities.

Jack’s Look Back

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Jack’s understandably proud of his accomplishments. But he’s not about the money mindset, and he’s worked hard for this success — for years. And he hasn’t forgotten where he came from.

Yeah, it’s awesome to post a profit chart like this:

But he’s not casting himself as king of the world because of it. The day after he posted his profits, he posted a screenshot of his trading results from around the same time last year. You know what those looked like?

Yeah … He was literally making 45-cent profits.  

Unfortunately, like many people who become successful (including myself), Jack’s had to deal with trolls. But he even handles that better than I do…

Be sure to follow Jack on Twitter (@jackaroo_trades). His mindset is inspiring and he’s also great about posting his profit charts and trades too. There’s a lot you can learn from him.

Matt Monaco: Staying Humble

What can I tell you about Matt Monaco? Well, he just graduated from college…

Then in June, he averaged a few thousand dollars in profits a day … His total for the month was $93K.*

Somehow, I’m not too worried about him being able to pay off his student loans. Try finding an entry-level job where you can make that much.

Is he psyched about his epic market progress? Duh. It was his best month ever.

But here’s what I find really inspiring about Matt. He’s killing it in the market. He’s young. It would be so easy for him to be a little jerk about it, but he’s not. He’s not focused on the money mindset. He’s had his sights set on trading for YEARS.

Matt’s Right Mindset: Staying Humble

Matt’s remarkably humble and very aware of how far he’s come. In this tweet he talks about where he was at the same time last year:

Yep: in May 2019, his monthly total wasn’t a profit at all — it was a loss of $3,163. A lot of traders would have just packed up their bags and quit then. Not Matt. He studied, he refined his techniques, he kept getting better.

Matt’s young, but that doesn’t mean everything came easy for him. He had to work hard and study hard. Most importantly, he didn’t give up. He stuck with his education, he was devoted, he developed a strategy.

It paid off. When the market got crazy, he was ready. In May 2020, he made $48,753.* And you saw what happened in June …

If you don’t follow Matt on Twitter (@mono_trader), you should. He’s great about posting commentary on trades and his monthly results. Not only should this inspire you to be better about your own record keeping, but you might just learn something from him.

Kyle Williams: Keeping His Cool

$75K in a month might not be a big deal for some hedge fund trader.* But for most people — especially a young guy like Kyle Williams, it’s pretty freakin’ impressive.

In fact, Kyle even cursed when he reported it in a tweet…

But he followed it up with this:

Yeah, a full recap of his $75K+ month.*

One thing I love about Kyle’s approach is that he keeps meticulous records. Not only does this help him refine his own trading over time, but other traders can watch and learn too. At the very least, it should inspire you to keep a trading journal.

He just keeps getting better … This big profit month wasn’t long after his big announcement on May 29…

How Kyle Gets It

Here’s a great takeaway from Kyle: over time, he’s actually been very conservative. For a long time, he had some wins, some losses … but he stayed pretty even.

But when things clicked, they CLICKED. Just look at his profit chart.

Now, he’s surging like a supernova. Nope: stocks aren’t the only things that can go supernova. Traders can too! However, since Kyle’s taken the time to learn his lessons I don’t think he’s gonna be like a penny stock supernova that fades into oblivion.

I think his success is likely to continue — but not just because he’s a smart trader. Because he’s got the right mindset. The money mindset isn’t everything to him. He doesn’t let his success get to his head or let it affect his judgment.

Even after a record-breaking month where he could have bought a sweet car, he made sure to tweet this:

Even though he’s making record-breaking profits, he has the right mindset. New day. New slate. Kyle gets it. 

They’re Not the Only Ones

tim sykes challenge students
Pictured Left to Right: John Papa, Jack Kellogg, Dominic Mastromatteo, Timothy Sykes, Don Mastromatteo, Matthew Monaco, Kyle Williams

These three traders are definitely an inspiration. But they’re just a few examples of my awesome student success stories.

Yes, their results are extraordinary, but in general, I have TONS of students with the right mindset even if their profits aren’t at these levels (yet.) They’re transparent, helping each other out, and generally being supportive to one another.

One of the best things about my Trading Challenge and chat room community is that it’s a positive community. People aren’t just out for themselves. They’re out to help each other improve.

Take, for instance, my top student, Tim Grittani. He’s up over $12 million in profits* … he’s doing much better than me.

I like to say I’m like “training wheels” here to help you figure out your own strategy. Grittani used my teachings and developed his own style. He doesn’t need me as a teacher anymore. He can do whatever he wants…

But he chooses to be part of the community. He chooses to be a mentor and teacher, too. 

Here’s a great example of how he ticks. The other day, he made nearly $225K+ on a single trade — incredible. He made over $1 million in June.*

What did he do? He gave a Challenge webinar to help students understand how he did it so they could learn from his trade and improve their own trading. And he offered to do it. Then he went on the TWIST podcast to talk about his incredible trade. Get that episode here.

This is what it’s about. People helping people.

It’s not about copying other traders — it’s about learning what you can from others. In the Challenge, you’ll get two to four live webinars a week. That’s a huge way to increase your knowledge.

June 2020: A Record-Breaking Trading Month

It’s incredible what can happen when you study and prepare for when the market presents these amazing opportunities.

I’ve made about $500K so far this year — nearly $300K of that was in June alone.*

But I don’t care about that. I’m over the money mindset. I donate everything I can to charity. Most recently to Yemen with my charity Karmagawa, but I’ve also donated to organizations like Direct Relief

Still, the profits that I’ve made are significantly higher than usual. It’s all thanks to this market, the fact that I’m sticking to my rules, and cutting losses quickly.

I’ve gotta say, June went out with a serious BANG. On June 30 alone, my students reported these profits*:

  • Michael Goode: $73,000*
  • Tim Grittani: $223,000*
  • Mike “Huddie” Hudson: $17,000*
  • Jack Kellogg: $70,000*
  • Matt Monaco: $11,000*
  • Kyle Williams: $31,000*

*My results, along with the results of my top students are far from typical. Individual results will vary. Most traders lose money. My top students and I have the benefit of many years of hard work and dedication under our belts. Trading is inherently risky. Do your due diligence and never risk more than you can afford to lose.

Are You Prepared to Ditch the Money Mindset?

If you read this post and think “dang, I’ve gotta get into this penny stock thing … I’m gonna make a year’s salary in a month” … you totally missed the point. Get your head straight.

It’s not always this crazy in the market. In fact, there was even a little bit of a market hangover the first few days of July.

But the way these students made these profits was by stalking the market, being patient, studying, and being prepared. And when the opportunities came along, they were ready — and they have the positive results to show it.

But it’s not just about being ready. It’s about having the right mindset about money and success.

If any of the traders I talked about in this post were just in it to get rich, they all probably would have quit a year ago. Jack Kellogg wasn’t getting rich fast with his 45-cent profits a year ago. Matt Monaco wasn’t getting rich with $3K+ losses this time last year.

But they stuck with it. They had a long-term mindset, and it’s paying off for them. Are you ready to invest in your education so you can prepare for future opportunities?

Do you have the right mindset or the money mindset? Leave a comment if you’re prepared to dig in for the long haul. Say, “I have the right mindset!”

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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

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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”