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Quality Over Quantity: Lessons on Trading, Charity, and Life

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 4/17/2022 22 min read

Quality over quantity is like my new mantra. In the past, I loved to post pictures of fast cars, stacks of cash, and beautiful girls. To this day, people still say, “Come ON, Tim … just post cash, girls, and cars!” 

First of all, I sold all my cars. Every last one. Here’s a picture of me saying goodbye to my Rolls Royce…

tim letting go of his Rolls Royce
© Millionaire Media, LLC


I don’t want to post about girls or cars like I used to. It was pretty obnoxious. I came across as an arrogant jerk sometimes. (And I’m willing to admit it.)

But that doesn’t mean I’ll delete my old posts. A lot of students find me from those posts. Others still use them as motivation.

But as I’ve gotten a little older and wiser I’ve realized how important it is to value quality over quantity…

Change Your Goals and Grow As a Person

I hope you achieve your dreams and goals. It’s amazing to travel, experience luxury, and buy all the toys you’ve ever wanted. Taking care of my family is still my proudest accomplishment of all. But at some point, you have to look for new challenges.

How My Goals Have Changed

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My life has more meaning now. I want to change the world. And I want to continue to challenge myself and seek out new goals. At the same time, I recognize what motivates some students. They’re the same things that used to motivate me.

For me, it’s about growing as a person…

Motivation AND Personal Development

So many successful students say they found me through pictures of fast cars. One of my millionaire students found me because he liked my Lamborghini.

A recent six-figure student found me through Instagram. He’s been a Trading Challenge student for a few years now. I can almost guarantee it was one of those ‘exotic locations with beautiful views’ posts. Or some post with pictures of cash.

Dreams of luxury motivated both of those students. They found inspiration in the things you can do and buy with money. So I want to keep motivating people who resonate with that.

At the same time, I have to pay attention to my personal development and growth. So I have goals as a teacher, goals for charity, and personal/life goals.

My Goals as a Teacher

It’s pretty simple. As a teacher, I want to…

What this all comes down to is…

Find What You Want in Life

I can’t tell you what to want — that’s for you to decide. But I can tell you that it’s OK for you to change what you want. We all grow and evolve or we stand still. When that happens, life becomes meaningless.

So if it’s cars, cash, and luxury for you — cool. If it’s giving back and paying it forward, all the better.

Whatever it is, more people should focus on what they really want in life. And then feel powerful enough to…

Share It on Social Media

Too many people are afraid to share what really matters to them. Find what matters and share it. Social media is so powerful and important right now. It’s mostly young people with the power to change the world for the better.

Part of my evolution has been to figure out and…

Find What the World Needs

It’s not just about me and what I want. Instead, it’s quality over quantity. It’s about sharing posts and information that can make the world a better place. Here’s an example…

Karmagawa recently participated in a campaign exposing the plight of dogs in Nagaland, India. It ended up with over 100,000 shares and 250,000 likes. Thanks to that campaign, Nagaland banned the sale of dog meat.

View this post on Instagram

Repost from @karmagawa We are SO happy to announce that Nagaland, India has banned the selling of dogs and dogmeat as a result of our social media campaign a few days ago! We asked everyone to help spread awareness and save these poor dogs and the @karmagawa and @savethereef communities came through with over 250,000 likes, 100,000+ shares and most importantly over 1.25 million emails sent Temjen Toy, the Chief Secretary of Nagaland who announced the amazing news on Twitter earlier today! Please share this incredible victory for animals with your followers to show that social media activism does work, and it can work MUCH faster than anyone realizes…and we’re only just getting started! To celebrate the freedom for the dogs of Nagaland, along with the July 4th holiday here in the US, check out the link in our bio to save up to 50% off on all @karmagawa and @savethereef charity merch during our special Independence Day Sale and remember, our apparel is limited edition so grab some while you can while supplies last. ALL the proceeds from our charity merch get donated to the now 50+ charities we support to build more schools, medical centers & animal rescue centers while also supporting the children in Yemen, the fight to end racism and save Australian wildlife, our planet’s coral reefs, marine life and endangered species too! There’s a lot of work to be done, but as this victory in Nagaland demonstrates, WE CAN ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS WHEN WE WORK TOGETHER! Thank you to everyone for all your support, we truly appreciate it…please share this great news with your followers and tag people, celebrities, influencers and news media who need to this, let’s keep changing the world together! #socialactivism #savethedogs #teamwork #spreadingawareness #savethereef #karmagawa

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Karmagawa has done amazing things already. We have over one million followers. We’ve grown enough to actually impact the world, which is awesome. That also means Karmagawa isn’t just a little side project for me anymore.

I wish more influencers would do the same. If you have a big social media following, you can do better. Brand deals, resort promotions, or selling fitness tees — that’s all well and good. But you have the power to use your platform for more.

To keep up with issues we care about, check out the Karmagawa blog. You’ll see we have a lot of work to do.

Be Strong, Be Real

The key is that I found something I care about and I’m not afraid to share it. I’m not afraid to be real. And we’re just getting started. I compare the internet to the Wild West of the 1800s. It’s still very crude. But at the same time, there’s true power when everyone comes together for a very specific purpose.

So it’s my honor and duty to do posts like this…

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Many of my followers aren’t happy that my Instagram posts have changed from cash, cars, & beautiful views to building new schools, saving endangered species & helping the environment/animals because most people just want to see positive images that inspire them as that’s what they use social media for. I get that and for those of you who want that, go back and look through my first 3,000 or so posts that offer nothing but inspiring, positive images that I’m still so grateful for to this day. But I think we can use social media for more than just inspiration and instead use it to actually change the world as @karmagawa the charity I co-founded with my brother @badboi is doing because as you go through life, achieving all your dreams & goals like I have (faster than I ever imagined due to my crazy work ethic), and once you travel to enough luxury resorts, buy all your dream cars & toys you’ve ever wanted & take care of your family (which is still my proudest accomplishment of all), you must look for new challenges that motivate you and as I've traveled to more and more places, I've seen how much work we have to do with our planet. Unfortunately, no matter how rich you get, at the rate things are going, there won’t be much of a planet left to enjoy in the next few decades unless we start changing the way we live RIGHT NOW! From prioritizing education and protecting the environment to confronting & ending so many wildlife and humans rights abuses, what better way to reach and educate young people about these issues than on social media? It’s MY HONOR AND DUTY to spread awareness about these issues and support so many incredible charities and @karmagawa and I are just getting started. Ignorance is not bliss so I suggest you not look away and instead learn about these issues because we’re all on the same planet together and sadly too few people realize the damage we’re doing to our world in SO MANY WAYS, we must wake up before it’s too late! #dreambig #teamwork #karmagawa #jewsonamission

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And it got SO much support. That post had over 300 comments and 5,000 likes in an hour. It was well received by the people I care about.

It didn’t go viral like my cash photos or rapper battles. And some of my followers still want exotic views and fast cars.

But I want to be real. When you get a lot of followers, you can’t please everyone. You’ll lose some and gain others.

For me that’s perfect. Whether it’s social media followers, charity, teaching, or trading … my focus is on…

Quality Over Quantity

This is a good lesson for everybody to really zero in on their goals…

Quality Over Quantity in Trading

I say it over and over. Focus on only the best setups. Wait for the patterns to come to you. You only need a few key trading patterns. You shouldn’t be trading 50 or 100 times a day — that’s overtrading.

It’s Good to Be Real in an Industry Full of Fakes

You have to understand the entire industry is full of fakes and pumpers. Recently I was having a social media battle with promoters pumping stocks like Genius Brands International Inc. (NASDAQ: GNUS). A lot of Robinhood investors bought it. Why? Because the company was launching its Kartoon Channel and had Arnold Schwarzenegger involved. But it was a blatant pump.

Schwarzenegger isn’t the first celebrity to get involved in a pump. Again, I’m not accusing the company of doing anything illegal. I’m only pointing out the fact that the stock got promoted to a higher price.

The good news about being real in an industry full of fakes is there will always be demand. Demand is growing. And that gives me the opportunity to zero in on what I want as a teacher…

Quality Over Quantity in Teaching

This one is personal to me, but it’s still a good lesson. I could have more students if I was nicer and didn’t expose all the BS. Or if I gave hot picks and told people when to buy or sell. But I want to be real, so I narrow it down.

I’m looking for students willing to put in the time and effort to become self-sufficient. It’s not for everybody.

I get people on Twitter saying, “Tell your social media marketing manager to be nicer if you want more visits.” They don’t even believe it’s me. And they think I’m trying to get them as customers. I’ll take fewer quality students over thousands of lazy losers any day of the week.

Quality Over Quantity in Charity

I’m fortunate to be in a position where I can be real. And for Karmagawa, we’ve evolved to focus on quality over quantity.

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When we first started we were working with a bunch of charities. We were going all over the place. Now, co-founder Mat Abad and I ask…

What can we really impact? How do we zero in? 

Here’s how we made an impact to help children and families in Yemen.

We’ve started a fundraiser to help those devastated by the blast in Beirut. And we’re raising money to help the efforts to help clean up the oil spill in Mauritius.

There are so many more focused ways we’re working to help those around the world. Check out our Facebook page to learn more.

Quality Over Quantity in Life

monday motivation why you should get in Trading Challenge chat
left to right: Jack Kellogg, Dominic Mastromatteo, Kyle Williams, Timothy Sykes – photo courtesy of Don Mash

This is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned. And I know people say this but then don’t actually follow it.

You have to focus on those people who will help you get where you want to be. In his classic book, “As a Man Thinketh,” James Allen wrote:

“A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild, but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.”

If you’ve never read it, it’s worth a read. It only takes about an hour, but the ideas can last a lifetime. And it emphasizes how important it is to weed certain types of people and ideas out of your life…

Weed Out Toxic People

If someone is unsupportive or unhealthy emotionally, find a way to move on. I’m not a therapist or psychologist. You have to figure out what works for your circumstances. The sooner you can weed out toxic people the better. Quality over quantity…

Weed Out Negative People

There will always be people who don’t believe in you or what you want to do. Family and friends will say things like, “You can’t make money with penny stocks. That’s crazy.” 

You MUST do one of two things with that kind of negative crap. Either completely filter it out or use it to motivate you.

When I get a bunch of promoters lying about me on Twitter to gain cred with their followers, I use it as motivation. It makes me want to be a better teacher.

Even with charity, I get people saying, “Why don’t you just donate anonymously? Why do you have to talk about it? You’re bragging. You want attention.” 


There’s a difference between me and people who do charity for attention. I’m not doing this because I had some run-in with the law where I’m trying to rebuild my public image.

Whether I look good or not doesn’t matter to me. I’m focused on the cause. So when I post about a charity or tag a charity, it helps them raise money.

I’m very proud of that.

Educational Resources

Tim Sykes studying and trading
© Millionaire Media, LLC

I’m fortunate to be in a position where I can live the life of my dreams and donate to charity. It all started with trading. If penny stocks are brand new to you — start with my free penny stock guide.

My student Matt Monaco and I just put together a 30-Day Trading Bootcamp. It’s the perfect place to start your trading journey. Even some of my long-time students are blown away by the amount of information in this guide. And the price is outrageously low.

Get more information about the 30-Day Bootcamp here. (In case you’re wondering, you don’t have to complete it in 30 days. You get lifetime access to the guide and can complete it at your own pace.)

Whatever you do…

Focus on Quality Over Quantity

When we started working with the Bali Children’s Project they’d been around for a decade. But they hadn’t built a school yet. Now we’ve built 19 schools with them. But the cool thing is…

… because we shared on social media and brought influencers along who shared it…

Bali Children’s Project has built another 16 schools. 

That’s awesome. Now they’ve built 35 schools partially because of us but ALSO because we’re posting about it. 

Find what you want to do —  what you’re passionate about — and focus. Weed out toxic and negative people. Then get it done. It’s one of the keys to being happy in life.

What do you think about focusing on quality over quantity? Comment below, I love to hear from all my readers!

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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”