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Penny Stock Promoter Busted!

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 9/6/2022 7 min read

Penny stock promoter … busted! I’m not above a little schadenfreude, so let me tell you a little story about a penny stock promoter who just found himself in big trouble.

This is a story that’s near and dear to my heart. I’ve been educating my Trading Challenge students about the dangers of penny stock promoters for years…

It sheds some light on penny stock pumps and the downside of following alerts … There are a lot of important lessons traders can learn from this cautionary tale.

Listen and learn. Don’t be one of the newbies who gets sucked in by the blatant lies penny stock promoters tell…

Penny Stock Promoter Busted!

On March 15, 2021, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a press release entitled “SEC Obtains Emergency Asset Freeze, Charges California Trader with Posting False Stock Tweets.”

In the release, they announced fraud charges, an asset freeze, and other emergency relief against Andrew L. Fassari, a trader in Southern California.

What Happened?

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According to the SEC complaint, Fassari allegedly “used social media to spread false information about a defunct company, while secretly profiting by selling his own holdings of the company’s stock.”

And he allegedly used his Twitter account to make false claims about a now-defunct company in the weed sector, Arcis Resources Corporation (CVEM: ARCS).

The Pump Begins…

In December of 2020, Fassari is alleged to have purchased over 41 million shares of ARCS. According to the SEC, he then began pumping the stock under the Twitter handle @OCMillionaire.

He’s said to have made claims that ARCS was making a revival and expanding its business — all with “huge” investors on board.

Between December 9 and December 21, 2020, Fassari allegedly issued about 120 tweets that mentioned “$ARCS” … many false and/or misleading.

During the time period of this alleged pumping, the ARCS share price went up over 4,000%. 

But that’s not all! The SEC complaint also notes that Fassari allegedly made statements about his own ARCS trades.

Between December 10 and 16, 2020, he allegedly sold all of his shares — and made a profit of $929,000. Meanwhile, he continued to publish misleading information about ARCS…

Everything Comes Tumbling Down

The SEC is charging Fassari with violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. It seeks a permanent injunction, disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty.

It’s safe to say a lot of other penny stock promoters are spooked.

A lot of promoters have been rushing to delete tweets and accounts since this news broke … As if that’s gonna protect them.

Overall, I think this story is worth reading about because it exposes a pump that was built on utter BS.

Not all penny stock pumps are so blatant. But even pumps that are based on truth can be misleading…

The Problem Isn’t Just Penny Stock Promoters

There’s already a lot of mistrust about the penny stock niche … Stories like this just perpetuate the hate and ignorance.

Penny stock pumps are very real … They lead newbies to blow up their accounts way too often.

Yes, it’s a problem that penny stock promoters are out there making false claims. But it’s also a problem that people are listening to them.

A lack of education and the wrong mindset can be dangerous for traders. People who blindly follow alerts are far more likely to be taken for a ride by promoters like this.

I think this story makes a serious case for the benefits of studying. It’s worth taking the time to understand how penny stocks work before you trade!

Wanna get on the right track? This video is a few years old, but it has a lot of great tips about how I choose trades and why I don’t believe the hype…

Does It Pay to Be Cynical?

The ARCS debacle is a great example of why I think it pays to be cynical in the penny stock niche.

I’m cynical of every stock I trade. I don’t trust these companies at all. That’s why I’m so wary of holding stocks overnight. You won’t see me holding and hoping

I’ve been in the stock market for 20+ years. I’ve made over $6.9 million* trading penny stocks as of March 17, 2021…

I’ve seen a lot over the past two decades and change. So I understand the sneaky games penny stock promoters play.

And I want every trader to understand this…

Penny stock promoters usually pump up stocks for self-serving purposes. 

When traders understand this, they learn to take the promoter ‘advice’ with a grain of salt.

(*Please note: My trading 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.)

Penny Stock Promoter Knowledge Is Power

You have to learn to stay safe in the stock market.

Remember Meyer Blinder, who described himself as “king of the penny stock market” … Eventually, he went to prison for racketeering and money laundering.

Or JB, aka “The Wolf of Wall Street,” who inspired the movie by the same name?

Those are big names attached to some crazy scandals. But there are plenty like penny stock promoters and chat room pumpers who don’t have that kind of notoriety.

I try to do what I can to expose the lies I see … But ultimately, the best line of defense against it all is knowledge.

For traders with a strong foundation of knowledge and the right strategy, these pumpers don’t pose so much of a threat. Traders can even learn to use their schemes to their advantage.

Are you ready to build your knowledge account and learn how penny stocks work? Are you ready to approach this niche with a healthy sense of cynicism? Consider applying for my Trading Challenge.

Do you understand why it’s so dangerous to follow penny stock promoters? Leave a comment and say, “I will not blindly follow alerts!”

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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”