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Challenge Student Paul Buys His Mom a House

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 4/18/2022 14 min read

Wanna get inspired? My Trading Challenge student Paul says he just bought his mom a house — outright, in cash — with his trading profits.*

I’m gonna tell you how he did it. But first, a reminder…

Every trader’s journey is unique. There isn’t a specific timeline for finding consistency as a trader. So why tell you about this awesome success story? It’s not to torture you. It’s to motivate you. 

I want you to know that if you study hard and apply yourself to the process of trading, it is possible to make truly amazing things happen.

If you needed proof that big things have small beginnings, look no further than Paul’s story. Here’s how he went from trading newbie to this amazing home-buying milestone in a few short years…

(*These results are not typical. Individual results will vary. Most traders lose money. My top students have the benefit of many years of hard work and dedication. Trading is inherently risky. Always do your due diligence and never risk more than you can afford to lose.)

Buying a House for His Mom

Let’s start with the best part of the story.

Paul joined my Trading Challenge in 2017. By 2020, he’d built his trading account to the point where he could afford to buy his mom a house.*

He met resistance with banks. Despite his trading success, they didn’t want to give him a loan — even with a hefty down payment.

So what did he do? He put in a cash offer. 

Now, his mom has a beautiful house on an acre of land, minutes away from both of her daughters.

Her reaction? “She’s still stunned.”

I know that when I bought my parents their dream house in Miami Beach, it felt amazing. I’m so proud of Paul to have made this dream a reality!

I’ll tell you how I did it … But first, I’ve gotta tell you my other favorite thing about Paul…

Giving Back

Image credit: Paul

Another thing my Trading Challenge student Paul and I have in common? Giving back.

He was inspired by my charitable giving — when the pandemic hit, he wanted to give back himself.

He says, “I love feeding people. 2020 brought that out in me.” He has several delivery trucks with contracts for furniture delivery. Since nobody was ordering furniture in the early days of the pandemic, he used his trucks to start bringing people food.

First, he was transporting food to first responders and essential workers.

But then, through friends, he was able to get a contract with several non-profits in the city. He’s since used his trucks to get the food from the farms to the food pantries of various non-profits.

I love it when my students are inspired to do good! That’s the greatest victory for me as a teacher.

Trading Challenge Student Paul: How It All Started

Paul started trading in 2016. At first, he approached the market by instinct. In retrospect, his instincts were actually pretty good: he was looking for things like high percentage gainers and volume … but his process was random. He wasn’t consistent.

When he found me in late 2016, he was initially skeptical — but then again, some of my top students were at first. Michael Goode is the most famous example. He started out as a hater but ended up becoming my first millionaire student.*

But upon deeper research, Paul realized that I’m totally transparent. He appreciated how I wasn’t making obscene claims, but rather talking about how ‘it’s a marathon, not a sprint.’

Paul also saw that my strategy was in line with what he’d been doing intuitively. He thought I might be able to help him refine his technique…

A Bumpy Ride

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Paul joined my Trading Challenge in early 2017. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. When he started the Trading Challenge, he admits “I dived right in … I didn’t really know what I was doing.”

At first, he was studying and trading. For the first nine months, there were serious bumps along the way.

He found himself in significant debt from going all-in with trading. That’s when he decided to take some time off and get real about studying.

Does this story sound familiar? You may remember that my top Trading Challenge student Tim Grittani made nothing for his first nine months. But when he got serious about studying and refining his strategy, things changed.

Now he’s up over $13.5 million in profits.*

Every trader is different, of course. But both of these Trading Challenge students demonstrate the power of studying hard.

When he picked back up, he took it slow … and small. He describes his renewed approach as “$100 trade after the other … Going through bumps in the road, tweaking it out.”

By repeating the same process over and over and leaning into his strengths, he got himself debt-free.

From there, he set his sights on a bigger goal: property.

Paul knew that he wanted to buy his mom a house. He was quiet about his goal and only shared it with his mom and his inner circle. But it was a powerful motivator for him.

As it turned out, this new focus changed everything for him.

Let’s take a closer look at the specific things Paul did to refine his strategy and work toward his goal…

Learning His Strengths

Image credit: Paul

Paul says that one of the keys to finding consistency was figuring out his personal strengths.

To do that, he put all of the educational resources I offer to work. He really resonated with the “PennyStocking Framework” DVD — it helped him identify his style as a trader.

“I’m a Pattern 5 trader. I love the dip buy. That’s my high-profit gain … Dip buy on runners throughout the day.”

What does he love about that pattern? “Everyone’s getting out of the way … This is the day it’s gonna run. The chart’s already formed.”

Making It Happen

When Paul decided to focus on the pattern that he knew worked for him, great things started happening.

Morning panic and late-day dip buys quickly became his bread and butter. He told me these two patterns have been “phenomenal to my success.”

In terms of duration, he often day trades but sometimes swing trades, too. Actually, his biggest dollar amounts have happened with swing trades, where he gains “30%, 50%, sometimes 100% on the ticker.”*

One example? In June, he traded Net Element Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE).

It was a huge percent gainer, and the conditions looked right. He entered the trade with a small position and held overnight — with overall profits of $3,368.*

NETE penny stock chart
NETE 1-year chart: closeup on June 2020 spike — courtesy of StocksToTrade.com

Of course, that’s an exceptional trade. He’s had some even bigger wins, but many smaller ones. His average gain is $410.* Small gains add up!

Trading Challenge Student Paul’s Winning Strategy

As I mentioned earlier, things started to click for Paul when he did two key things:

  1. Adjusted his mindset. Paul stopped thinking about getting rich quick and started looking at trading as a long-term prospect.
  2. Set a goal. Paul established a really specific goal — buying his mom a house.

OK, so let’s dig a little deeper.

First, there’s that mindset shift. This helped him take a step back from the ‘money mindset’ and allowed him to see trading as a lifelong project. He then got smart about finding his edge and identifying his strengths and focusing on the key setups that worked for him.

Second — and maybe more importantly — he had a goal. It was very personal and very specific. He really wanted to make it happen. In devoting himself to that higher purpose, he was able to become single minded in his trading.

Paul wasn’t a gunslinger anymore. He became more cautious in his trading. He took profits sooner because he didn’t want to get greedy and risk it all. As he figured, “I can always re-enter.”

Hidden Benefits

Paul’s account started to grow pretty quickly once he got focused. But there were unforeseen benefits, too…

For example, he got more time to spend with his family. To maintain discipline, he had to create a routine.

He limited his morning trading from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Eastern. Then, he would come back to trading at 2:30 p.m. He’d make a new watchlist based on what he was trading in the morning and see if there was anything to trade in the final hour of the day.

He’s mainly stuck to that routine. A happy side effect? He now has a lot more time to spend with his six-year-old son.

Trading isn’t a 9-to-5 job. And that’s a good thing! Sometimes, it’s better to work and trade less.

As Paul reports, it’s working for him. For the last 22 months, he’s been very consistent.*

How Trading Challenge Student Paul Trades Now

Here’s what Paul does these days to find the best plays for his strategy…

The Art of the Watchlist

Every day, Paul starts out scouring my Trading Challenge chat room — he sees who’s talking about what.

But that’s just the start. Paul’s a smart trader. He knows you should never trade based on alerts or speculation.

He cross-references the stocks people are talking about by looking at the charts. Paul looks for specific things — stocks that could gap, stocks making a new high with volume for the next day, or stocks that look ready to create a morning panic.

He also checks the sector and looks for potential sympathy plays. Here’s what he told me: “Stocks you’ve never heard of could follow a stock you know about because of the sector. It’s the next one to the dance that the promoters are pumping.”

Lately, he’s looking at EVs, solar, bitcoin, and scoping out weed plays in case the sector heats up again.

He’s also interested in OTCs right now because that market has been “insane.”

Sometimes his list has 20–25 stocks, but he’s realistic: “I can’t watch all of those.” So he tries to bring it down to about 10 but keeps a list of the cut ones just in case they come back on his radar. You never know.

Trading Mentors and Community

Paul also stays up-to-date by being an active part of the Trading Challenge community.

He went to my Trader & Investor Summit in 2017 — it was a big inspiration for him.

At the moment travel is tough, but he still stays in touch online.

These days, he follows me, but he also keeps track of my students. Tim Grittani’s “Trading Tickers” is a resource he keeps coming back to. He also recently joined my student Roland’s Wolf Alerts program.

He’s also eagerly awaiting any educational programs from Jack Kellogg, saying “he’d better do something soon!”

I’ll say. Jack’s been killing it lately. Recently, he crossed the million-dollar mark … then crossed it again. Now, he’s up over $2 million in profits.*

What’s Next?

Paul’s first goal was to buy a house for his mom. What’s next?

First and foremost, another house — but this time, for his family. “I want to buy a house for my son,” he says.

Another big goal? To inspire a whole new generation of traders. Trading has given Paul freedom and changed his life.* He wants that for other people, too. He says, “This is how we kill generational curses and build generational wealth.”

I’m inspired by Paul. How about you? Does this story inspire you to study hard?

What’s your favorite part about Paul’s story?

How much has this post helped you?

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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”