In parts one and two of this series, the focus was on mindset and learning to react. Be sure to read both if you haven’t already. Today I want to remind you of age-old advice many of us forget when life gets busy: learn to focus on one thing at a time.
Here are the first two parts in case you missed them:
- 4 Things to Watch in 2021 — Part 1: Mindset Matters
- 4 Things to Watch in 2021 — Part 2: Wild 2021 Predictions
In part 1, I shared my thoughts on Jack Kellogg’s millionaire mindset. One thing I highlighted is something Jack said to me when we met in Arizona in September. Jack said that when he was learning, he put every ounce of energy into studying and trading.
Jack’s mindset is a great example of…
Table of Contents
- 1 The Power of Focusing on One Thing
- 2 One Thing at a Time: 3 Tips for 2021
- 2.1 One Thing at a Time Tip #1: Take It One Trade at a Time
- 2.2 One Thing at a Time Tip #2: Take It One News Item at a Time
- 2.3 One Thing at a Time Tip #3: Take It One Day at a Time
- 2.4 Trading Education Resources
- 3 Next in This Series
The Power of Focusing on One Thing
Jack’s entire focus was geared toward one thing: becoming a better trader. That’s all he focused on. He was totally obsessed with the process. From the time he woke up every day until he went to sleep, it was all about trading.
And Jack didn’t just take random trades. He tested different patterns and tracked everything. When he made mistakes, he was totally transparent. Once he found something that worked, he built from there. His first consistent success was going long on OTCs. In 2020, he got more into short selling.
Jack is a dedicated student of my seven-step Pennystocking Framework. He’s developed the rare skill to play the same stock both short and long based on where it is in the framework.
That skill came by focusing on one thing at a time and accepting…
Learning to Trade Is About the Process
It’s NOT about the money. The sooner you accept that, the better. The way to put yourself in a position to make money is to focus on the process.
It's tough to focus on the longterm as everyone wants a lot of $ now but at the start you just don't have the skillset required to take big positions so trade small/have patience, this is a marathon NOT a sprint, focus on learning & refining your process, not max $ profits at 1st
— Timothy Sykes (@timothysykes) April 23, 2020
Think of it like getting an advanced degree. If you want to be a medical doctor, you don’t focus on making big money while you’re in medical school. You focus on the process of becoming a doctor. Even after several years of education, medical students don’t focus on the money. The money comes as a result of hard work.
Trading offers the potential to make money, but it won’t be easy. It takes time. Tim Grittani didn’t make anything for nine months. Kyle Williams made nothing for nearly 18 months. Jack Kellogg didn’t trade for the better part of a year while he studied. I could go on and on about my top students and how hard they studied.
I want to help you speed up your learning curve in 2021. But that means you have to focus on the process and learn to do one thing at a time.
One Thing vs. Multiple Moving Targets
For years I’ve been saying that trading has multiple moving targets. The two main targets are the stock and you.
But if you’re a Trading Challenge student you know there are seven indicators in my Sykes Sliding Scale. You have to pay attention to all seven. Especially in the beginning. You can’t focus on only one indicator and expect success.
With that in mind, it would be irresponsible for me to say “Only pay attention to price action.” To make a trading plan, you have to pay attention to everything. But…
You can break it down further by just observing. Sometimes I tell overtrading students to watch the market for a week without taking a trade. It teaches them to observe without needing to push buttons.
Why not try it? Watch the biggest percent gainers of the day but focus only on price action. No trading, mind you. Just watch for the whole day. See what happens. The next day, focus only on watching how news catalysts drive price action. The next day, focus on pattern recognition.
Take a whole day and practice making trading plans for every stock you think you want to trade. Use the Sykes sliding scale before and after without trading. What you learn might surprise you.
You don’t have to trade to learn. Yes, live trading burns the lessons in … but not always the right lesson. You might get lucky and learn the wrong lesson. So why not give yourself the gift of learning first?
So how do you focus on one thing at a time and also multiple moving targets? Try this…
One Thing at a Time: 3 Tips for 2021
Since you have to learn and focus on more than one thing to find consistency, do it by taking a step back…
One Thing at a Time Tip #1: Take It One Trade at a Time
In part 2 of this series, the focus was on learning to react instead of predict. If you react instead of predict, it almost forces you to take it one trade at a time. You don’t get ahead of yourself or play BS guessing games.
I’ve been saying this for years, too…
Remember to take it one trade at a time this week, you do NOT need to go for home runs to make big $…aim small, miss small is a FAR more effective strategy that reduces the risk of giant losses which too many newbies open themselves up to due to lack of planning & preparation!
— Timothy Sykes (@timothysykes) December 7, 2020
One good trade won’t make you rich. But if you don’t follow rule #1 and cut losses quickly, one bad trade can crush you. It’s not about taking a big loss. It’s about losing confidence because you broke the rules. (I trade using these rules.)
So take it one trade at a time. Focus on the trade you’re planning. Or the trade you’re in. Or, if you just got out of a trade, learn from it. At the very least, you should be reviewing trades at the end of each day.
- What did you do well?
- And what could you have done better?
- What was the setup?
- How about the overall market conditions — what were they like?
Use the Sykes Sliding Scale to grade the trade after you’re out. Too many people don’t take every lesson from a trade.
That’s one reason I think the PDT rule is a good thing. When you can only take three day trades per week, you have plenty of time for review. You have more time to observe the market and study. Use it.
One Thing at a Time Tip #2: Take It One News Item at a Time
2020 was exceptional for many reasons. But one thing that was a game-changer for me was StocksToTrade Breaking News. I’m guessing it’s responsible for 50% of my profitable trades this year.*
(Quick disclaimer: I proudly helped design and develop StocksToTrade and am an investor in it.)
Part of my success with the curated news alerts is experience. I’ve been doing this for 20+ years. I know what kind of news has the potential to create big price moves. And I have experience reacting to news. Again, review parts 1 and 2 of this series for more on reacting and mindset.
So it’s a lot of things coming together.
How do you learn to put the pieces of the puzzle together? Focus on one piece of news at a time. Each day, find the biggest percent gainers. Then hunt down the news catalyst.
Better yet, add Breaking News Chat to your StocksToTrade subscription. Study their alerts. See what two former Wall Street traders think is important. And then see how the stock reacts.
Are you prepared for trading today? Are you using @sttbreakingnews and @StocksToTrade scans so you know which stocks to focus on? Building a watchlist, knowing all the key technical levels of & preparing ahead of time isn't fun, but it's the ONLY way to get ahead of 90% who lose!
— Timothy Sykes (@timothysykes) December 14, 2020
Not every piece of news they alert leads to big moves. But they’ve had some huge winners this year. Use all the tools at your disposal to prepare ahead of time.
(*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. Trading is inherently risky. Do your due diligence and never risk more than you can afford to lose.)
One Thing at a Time Tip #3: Take It One Day at a Time
This one is so simple but so important. It applies to everything in life. I’m sure you’ve heard it before. But too many people get caught up trying to think too far ahead. In the stock market, you can’t do that. You have to take what the market gives you today.
Whether you’re just starting to study or you’re a profitable trader, you can only do what you can do today. Study today. Get what you can out of today.
People ask how long it'll last/when the pumps will stop working & I respond by saying, I don't know nor do I care, I just take it one trade, one day at a time & I push it with bigger positions & more aggressive goals during hot markets like this, then pull back when it cools down
— Timothy Sykes (@timothysykes) June 22, 2020
Six-figure student ArtOfWar (on Profit.ly) became profitable in 2018 after three years of grinding.* When he crossed that line, he posted a video lesson. In the video, he said something important about his learning process…
“You find the time for the things you prioritize.”
To prioritize means to find one thing to focus on one thing at a time. One thing that comes before everything else.
For him, when he decided to study, he made time every day. Even if it was 15 minutes to watch a video lesson at 1 a.m.
That’s the kind of dedication and hunger everyone should have. Watch his video lesson here. (Watch the blog for more on ArtOfWar soon.)
So my question for you, again, is…
How bad do you want it?
Trading Education Resources
FREE Penny Stock Guide
If you’re brand-new and want to learn more about penny stocks start here.
You get all the basics in one place with the 30-Day Bootcamp. Matthew Monaco and I recorded this in April 2020. Before we did the Bootcamp, Matt had made $32,636 in total profits. Since then he’s racked up another $486,371.*
(Matt’s results aren’t typical. He put in the time and dedication and has exceptional skills and knowledge. Most traders lose money. Always remember trading is risky and never risk more than you can afford.)
Monthly Plans on Profit.ly
We have monthly plans for different budgets. Check out Pennystocking Silver and TimAlerts here.
All my top students come from the Trading Challenge. If you’re ready to take a deep dive, apply for the Trading Challenge here.
Tools for Traders, By Traders
Next in This Series
No two traders are exactly the same. The best traders I know take lessons from different Trading Challenge mentors and apply them by doing this…
Coming soon in “4 Things to Watch in 2021 — Part 4.”
What do you think of 4 Things to Watch in 2021 — Part 3: One Thing at a Time? Comment below, I love to hear from all my readers!