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Penny Stock Basics

Trader Checklist: Resources for New Traders

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 4/18/2023 22 min read

Every time I do this I have to take a deep breath. Here’s why …

If you’re serious about learning what I teach …

… and you’ve been following me for any length of time …

… this list shouldn’t contain any surprises. But even if you made the smart decision to jump straight to the Trading Challenge, you should know about these resources.

That said, read on.

I’m about to dish out a huge helping of tough love. You just might need a little.

Table of Contents

‘Free’ Might Be the Most Dangerous Word in Your Vocabulary

Notice the title of this post uses no-cost instead of free? That’s deliberate. Even then, I had to think about it for a while.

Free stuff is cool, right? We all love to get freebies. So much so that entrepreneurs the world over (including yours truly) often give away free stuff. But here’s the problem — and it’s a big one …

We’re so overwhelmed with FREE that we stop valuing what we’re given. How many e-books, reports, etc., do you have that you’ve never read? Most people searching the internet for information take more than they know what to do with. That’s scary.

So, before you go any further, please understand this …

No-Cost Only Refers to Money — Effort Is Required

© Millionaire Media, LLC

I didn’t have a teacher. I learned to trade by trading. I read books, studied the markets, and read the news. I learned to read SEC filings. The list goes on. Here’s what I didn’t do: I didn’t look for a free way to get my education.

Please don’t think you’ll magically soak up all the information. Learning requires serious effort.

You can learn almost anything you want from the internet. Ever wonder why more people don’t take advantage of the amazing times in which we live?

I’ll tell you why. Brace yourself.

Most people are [expletive deleted to please my lawyers] lazy! They want something for nothing. They figure that someday, somehow,  it’ll all come together for them. The life of their dreams will just suddenly … be.

Guess what? That’s not how it works. Don’t let lazy hijack your dreams. You want it? Here ya go …

Change Your Mindset

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Change. Your. Mindset. Right. Now. Make a decision NOW to take advantage of the resources I’m about to share with you. They only scratch the surface of what I teach my Trading Challenge students. But you can get started as a student trader with these resources.

Say it right now. Commit to it. Write it down and schedule time. You have time if you’re reading this. And that brings me to my next point …

Stop Making Excuses

If you’ve had a single excuse enter your mind in the last 30 seconds about why you can’t do this … you’re not alone.

That doesn’t make you right. You can do this.

There’s no excuse. NONE. Stop making excuses and make a commitment to yourself.

Do you know how many people contact me saying they want to — or will — become my next top student? The contact me via email, direct message, Twitter, or YouTube comments …

… I’ve lost track. It happens almost daily.

Now let’s play a guessing game. How many of those people do you think I hear from six months later? How many of them join the Trading Challenge? How many consume every post, video, and whatever other no-cost content I create — and then take action?

This might sound depressing, but I have to emphasize it: I’d guess it’s less than one-half of 1%.

Some people reading this are thinking up excuses of why they can’t learn to trade penny stocks. Or why they can’t gain the knowledge they need to get ahead in life. I hope that’s not you.

Embrace Your Strengths And Weaknesses

Before I get to the list — yes, it’s coming — I have to add one thing.

You have strengths and weaknesses. We all do. If you don’t know what they are, you need to figure it out. Fast.

Take a few minutes and write down your strengths and weaknesses. Then make a decision to embrace both. Why? Because it can help guide your decision-making process. It can help with your learning plan.

This is important — don’t skip it. Ever hear of a SWOT analysis? SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It’s a common part of a business plan. Many small business start-ups get this all wrong. And most small businesses fail within a few years.

Most penny stock companies fail within five years. Most traders fail, too. Why? Because they don’t learn the lessons they need to learn before they blow up their accounts and walk away.

Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. If you’re serious about trading, make a SWOT analysis. Then get off your butt and start studying.

My Top No-Cost Resources for New Traders

Please don’t read this and carry on as if nothing happened. To benefit, you need to invest time and energy. You have to take action.

Arm yourself with this list and get busy. Make a plan. Set aside time each day and week to study. You can build a pretty good foundation using these resources.

Resource #1: My Trader Checklist

I’m surprised more people don’t go through this entire course. Again, it comes down to the perception of value. People are more likely to complete a course they’ve paid for. But even that’s a low percentage. Don’t discount the value of this because it’s no-cost.

The Trader Checklist is a nearly 12-hour guide that can teach you how to find and plan trades. In it, I explain in detail my Sykes Sliding Scale — that’s a grading system for trades. It took me 8 years of trading figure this out. I was using something like it to trade, but I hadn’t clearly defined it. Now I teach this to Trading Challenge students.

How to Use the Trader Checklist

I tell Trading Challenge students and PennyStocking Silver subscribers to memorize this guide. I tell them every day when I post my watchlist for the day. It’s that important. So, start by watching it.

Watch each lesson once through with a notebook and pen. Or, if you prefer, with your favorite word processor. The first time through, jot down some bullet points. Next time you watch it, fill in some details, The third time you watch it, add anything important you missed.

Do it!

I’m not suggesting you watch this only three times. You could watch it half a dozen times or more and find something new or be reminded of something important.

Trader Checklist: What’s Required

Time and effort. Curiosity. Dedication. That’s it.

How Can the Trader Checklist Benefit You?

Here’s just a small part of what you can discover when you give yourself the gift of watching the Trader Checklist …

  • Learn the Sykes Sliding Scale for grading potential trades based on my PREPARE 7-point checklist.
  • Witness how I use technical analysis to determine if a chart looks promising and … when to avoid a stock. Get this wrong and it could cost you big time.
  • How patterns made me a wealthy trader.* (While past performance isn’t a guarantee of future results, I still see my favorite patterns regularly after more than 20 years of trading.)
  • How to find the catalysts that drive price action … PLUS: how to determine if a catalyst has legs.
  • When reward versus risk isn’t enough for me to trade my hard-earned money and … where the sweet spot gets me pumped.
  • See examples of trades by me and Trading Challenge students. Watch how my conservative trading style leads me to close positions early, but sometimes still gives me the chance to take the meat of the move.*
  • I expose some of my trading flaws. I admit I’m not the best trader. What’s key is that I continue to learn.
  • What happens when a pump and dump tanks? What about when news can make a stock crash 50% or more in minutes? Learn why I stubbornly cut losses quickly.
  • Watch a Trading Challenge webinar hosted by my student Mark Croock. Mark is a Trading Challenge mentor. This nearly two-hour webinar shows you, in detail, how he creates a watchlist each day. See what information he uses to keep track of stocks on his daily list. Pure gold.
  • BONUS: a brilliant talk at Trader’s Conference by Greg (LX21). He no longer posts on Profitly due to his position in the financial industry. But he helped define the Sykes Sliding Scale.
  • Why you should NEVER copy picks or alerts from anyone else. (Hint: I provide alerts for my students, in real time, so they can learn. NOT for them to chase a trade. Chasing trades is stupid and can make you poor.)
  • How what I teach is real in an industry full of scams.
  • And … why money is nice but self-sufficiency, self-confidence, knowledge, and freedom are more important. Any. Day. Of. The. Week.

Access the Trader Checklist — at no cost — here: https://traderchecklist.com/.

Note: The Trader Checklist is hosted on Profitly. I’ll mention Profitly again in a moment — because even though it’s a subscription site, you can still learn some great stuff, even without a subscription. I’ll show you how in resource #4 below.

Resource #2: Timothy Sykes YouTube Channel

© Millionaire Media, LLC

299,423 subscribers and counting …

…  1,193 videos (more posted weekly) …

… over 27 million views.

I’ve been posting for 11 years (since February 2008).

This is a massively under-utilized resource for newbie (and experienced) traders. Videos range from just over three minutes to over an hour in length. Some answer frequently asked questions. Others talk about specific patterns. You’ll find videos of live trades. And, yes, there are even videos about my awesome lifestyle if you need inspiration.

How to Use My YouTube Channel

Assuming you’re pumped and you don’t need the inspiration: Use my YouTube channel to gain clarity or knowledge about specific topics.

For example, if you want to know more about the patterns I trade, go to my channel and search for ‘patterns.’ Try it. You can find dozens of videos on patterns. Try any of the terms you pick up while studying the Trader Checklist. You’d be surprised how much information you can find there.

Timothy Sykes YouTube Channel: What’s Required

Curiosity. Passion. Focus. The burning desire to soak up as much information as possible. And sometimes it’s good to go with a specific question. For example: What’s it like to be a Trading Challenge student? Put something specific in the search bar and you’ll likely find the answer.

How Can My YouTube Channel Help You?

I could go on for pages with this. Here are a few highlights because there’s no way I can go back over 1000+ videos and write even one highlight for each …

  • Get an inside peek at a Trading Challenge webinar. See why the Trading Challenge is an awesome penny stock trading mentorship program.
  • Watch videos of my top students explaining their best and worst trades. Learn from their successes and mistakes. Take notes. Aim to save yourself future pain.
  • How to start trading with almost no money. That’s why you’re reading this post, right? You want to start with little and grow. There are multiple videos with hints and tips.
  • How to trade in any market: Learn strategies aren’t dependent on what’s going on with the overall market. (Your job: to adapt.)
  • My favorite online stock brokers: who I use, who I despise, and why I think it’s worth it to pay higher commissions. (I’ve tried them all.)
  • And so many more — 1,193 videos. Get crackin’!

Subscribe to my YouTube channel here: Timothy Sykes YouTube Channel

Resource #3: “An American Hedge Fund: How I Made $2 Million as a Stock Operator & Created a Hedge Fund”*

This is my book. It won’t cost you a penny to download the PDF. There’s a lot of background there. It can help you understand some key concepts. It’s also a fun read (according to many students and more than one member of my team — I’ll take it).

How to Use “An American Hedge Fund”

Look, it’s meant to be informative and entertaining, right? But … if you’re serious about trading … there are great lessons in this book.

So read it. Take notes. Write down questions and then hunt down the answers. You need good research skills, so this is an opportunity to start moving in the right direction.

What’s Required of You While Reading “An American Hedge Fund”

You need an open mind and discernment. Understand that I was still a kid when I started trading. Plus, there’s a lot of BS on the internet. In the book, I share my experiences with complete and sometimes painful transparency.

Yes, it celebrates some big wins. But it also lays bare the reality of big losses, Wall Street, the financial industry, and more. It’s a must-read.

How Can Reading “An American Hedge Fund” Help You?

Inspiration. Motivation. And, I hope, trust. Yes, I want you to trust me. This industry is full of scam artists, fakes, frauds, and charlatans. Read the book — you’ll get to know me and my journey a little better and have a few laughs along the way.

If nothing else, you may decide that what I teach isn’t for you. I’m happy when people research something and decide it’s not for them. That saves everyone headaches and regret. What I teach isn’t easy. It takes serious effort and dedication. So read “An American Hedge Fund” to get an idea what your life might be like if you take on the Trading Challenge.

Get access to “An American Hedge Fund” here.

Resource #4: Profitly

Before I go any further let me clarify: Profitly is a subscription site. Let me explain a little about what it is. I’ll also tell you how to get something out of Profitly at no cost. But be warned: if you’re serious, it can be addictive … in the right way, of course.

Profitly is a combination of trading social media, educational membership, and accountability website. It’s where my Trading Challenge students go to learn and interact. It’s where my PennyStocking Silver subscribers go. It’s where all my DVDs are hosted. It’s the place to be.

I won’t go into how to use Profitly for subscribers. When you join, my team sends all sorts of emails and information based on your subscription level.

So how can you benefit without paying a penny? Mind you, it’s not the same as membership. But if you’re serious about learning, you can track my trades.

How to Use Profitly to Learn Even Without a Subscription

Here’s what you do…

Each day, go and check my page. Scroll down until you see trades on the left. Then click on any of the trades. Be aware — if you click on the latest trade or two, it will take you to the sales page.


(I can’t believe I’m giving this hack away. Except I know that if you hang out there enough you’ll probably get a subscription. Because it’s killer.)…

…if you click on any trades older than a day or two, it’ll take you to my page and show you all sorts of information. Like entry and exit comments, position size, entry and exit price, the date of the trade,  and whether it was a win or a loss.

What’s Required of You to Use Profitly at No Cost

Some people will shake their head and say, “Tim, I want your alerts when you make the trades!” That’s the wrong attitude. Change your mindset right now. If you want the alerts as I trade, get a subscription. But maybe you’re not quite there, yet.

Here’s what you need …

Curiosity. Sleuthing skills. Determination to figure this out. The ability to pick apart my comments, look at my entry and exit, and ask questions.

If you’ve been through my Trader Checklist … you likely have some great questions to ask.

What Can You Learn from Following My Trades and Comments on Profitly?

You can dissect every trade I make. Once you know the trade information, pull up the chart over on Yahoo Finance or Big Charts. You can use that to study how I traded the stock.

I also comment on stocks that I didn’t trade but were on my watchlist. Some comments are on big movers that weren’t on my watchlist but had a big up or down day. This can give you something to study to start recognizing patterns and possible plays.

I tell my students I’m a glorified history teacher. This is a way to study recent history. You can go back and study years worth of trades if you want. But that might be overwhelming, so just start doing this every day for recent trades. Within a month or two you can know a lot more about penny stock trading.

Follow me on Profitly here: Timothy Sykes Profitly.

Resource #5: Follow Me on Twitter

Who knew Twitter would become a great social media platform for traders?

But it is …

Now, before you follow me, let me just say that I don’t only post about trading. You’ll find everything from blog posts, to retweets of students’ trades, to my travels and charity work.

How to Use Twitter if You’re Learning to Trade

First, don’t get sidetracked. Twitter can be awesome, but you can easily go down a rabbit hole or get duped by a fake account. Heads up: I won’t ever ask you to send money to Western Union, Walmart, or any other place.

I also don’t manage other people’s money. Don’t fall for scammers. If you have any question as to whether someone’s legit: my account is verified. Also, contact admin@timothysykes.com if you’re not sure about something. And please report the scammers! They’re like vampires.

Back to how to use Twitter: same way you use Profitly. Follow trades. On Twitter, you’ll see re-tweets of my students’ trades. Check them out. It’s a great way to get really clear on the challenge ahead of you.

Using Twitter: What’s Required of You

Curiosity and research skills. That’s it. Final warning: beware the scammers — Twitter is FULL of them.

How Can Using Twitter Help You?

You can get a lot out of Twitter because every trader under the sun posts their watchlists. Some do it after the trade, but you don’t always get the full picture. That’s why we created Profitly — fully transparent and verified trading.

If you use StocksToTrade (get a 14 days for $7 trial now), then you know we integrated a stock-based Twitter feed into the platform. Very cool.

Like I said, don’t get sucked down a rabbit hole. Stay close to me and my students if you want to learn what we’re doing.

Here’s my Twitter: Timothy Sykes Twitter.

Resource #6: PennyStocking 101 – How to Get Started With Penny Stocks

I won’t go too in depth with this one. It’s a massive, 11-part beginner’s guide to penny stock trading. It dovetails nicely with the Trader Checklist and is packed with information to help get you started.

How to Use Pennystocking 101

Read it. Consume it. Take notes. Write down questions. Find the answers on my YouTube channel or in the Trader Checklist.

Penny Stocking 101: What’s Required of You

Burning desire, dedication, determination, self-discipline, time, and effort. Need I go on? The information is there for the taking. Take it.

How Can PennyStocking 101 Benefit You?

Go engage yourself in the course, already. Seriously. There’s so much there that can help you. If you need to be sold on PennyStocking 101, then … I can’t help you.

Access the Intro to PennyStocking 101 here: Penny Stocks For Beginners.

Access Chapter 1 of Pennystocking 101 here: Chapter One: How to Trade Penny Stocks.

One final thing about the blog. My team and I work hard to keep information flowing on this platform. There’s a new post or video most days. Make it a regular stop. You’d be surprised how much you can earn by spending 10 minutes a day here. Seriously. Just do it. All that’s required is a little time. That’s a small investment in your education and knowledge account.

What’s Next? Invest in Yourself

There’s nothing better than investing in yourself. If you’re not in a position to join my Trading Challenge, but you really want it … do everything I described above.

It can do two things …

First, it can help you build a foundation that we can work with when you’re ready for the Trading Challenge.

Second, it can motivate you like nothing else. You can start to see patterns and understand pennystocking like never before.

Trading Challenge

All my top students are part of the Trading Challenge. You get access to so much information that at first it might seem slightly overwhelming. We break it down with an easy-to-follow syllabus, emails to keep you on track, and the chat rooms where you can ask questions …

(During trading hours chat is limited in scope. We’re hunting. So make sure you read the rules when you get there. No meaningless chit-chat. You’ll see why when you join.)

What else? Use my DVDs for a step-by-step overview of everything you need to know. From the basics of pennystocking to reading level 2 data feeds to deciphering SEC filings. There are thousands of hours worth of webinars, two to four live webinars per week, video lessons … and more.

When you’re ready. Start by soaking up everything above like a sponge. Do that and you’ll be ready.

Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. You can do this.

Are you a trader? What’s your experience with no-cost resources for traders? Comment below. If you’re a total newbie, comment below with “I’ll start watching Trader Checklist today.”

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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

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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”