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Trading Psychology

Why the Trading Challenge Is NOT for Everyone

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 1/17/2023 14 min read

I know what it takes to sacrifice for success. It’s what’s helped drive me to earn over $5.5 million in trading profits.*

And I love my life. I’ve traveled to over 100 countries. I can donate my trading profits to causes that are important to me, like helping children in Yemen… Now, I’m proud to announce my latest fundraisers for Lebanon and Mauritius

It’s all thanks to trading penny stocks. And I want to help others achieve their dreams by teaching them what I know about this niche.

But the idea of making goals a reality is threatening to some.

No joke — I get hate messages. So many people want to get rich quick without putting in the work. I don’t teach that, so my haters and doubters call me fake.

It’s why I make potential students apply for my Trading Challenge. Not everyone’s worthy. I’m looking for quality, not quantity.

I want students who are willing to sacrifice for success … who realize that they’ve gotta make time to study. None of my students, even my millionaire students, became successful right away.*

Wanna get rich quick? The Challenge isn’t for you. But if you’re willing to sacrifice for success … read on and find out if you have what it takes.

(*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.)

Sacrifice for Success: What It Takes to Become a Successful Trader

There’s a reason the Trading Challenge isn’t for everyone…

Becoming a consistent, smart trader requires a lot of work. Most people don’t want to work.

You’ve gotta be willing to put in the time and effort.

Becoming a self-sufficient trader doesn’t happen by accident.

Where do you start? By focusing on your education and building your knowledge account. You have to learn and then figure out how to apply what you learn in the market.

You won’t find long-term consistency by following alerts or hot picks … What I want you to do is learn the patterns I teach and how you can take advantage of them.

And you have to learn how to lose. It’s too easy to hold on to trades when they go against you. So it’s key to focus on the plays that work for you instead of wasting your time and money.

One of my Challenge Students, Amy, is a perfect example. No, she isn’t a millionaire. In fact, she’s just a little over break-even in her trading career.

But she’s learning to be a self-sufficient trader and how to lose. And Amy’s willing to sacrifice for success…

Lessons from a Break-Even Student

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HUGE congrats to Amy for breaking even.

When she first joined my Challenge, like many students (including top student, Kyle Williams), she started off losing money … I call it market tuition.

Amy continued to lose money for almost a year straight … going down to almost –$2,500.

Note how long it took her to lose almost $2,500.

Then, in April 2020, something clicked for her. Her investment in her education started to pay off. Within roughly three months, she made back those losses and is now slightly in the green.*

It took her a year to lose $2,500 … and she made it back in three months. That’s the exponential growth that can come along with full dedication.

But what’s even more impressive about Amy? She’s learning to trade while studying for her bar exam and working a full-time job.

That’s extreme dedication and what I want out of all my Challenge Students. If Amy can do this while studying for a huge exam and working a full-time job, there are no excuses.

The Trading Challenge gives you all the tools you need, like over 6,000 video lessons to study. How will you use them?

My Top Students Started Just Like Amy…

I now have several millionaire students.* They all started in the Challenge, and they all have a few things in common…

For one, they all dedicated themselves to studying and took the time to learn how to trade versus just following hot picks.

They studied my videos like crazy and followed my rules. These students work hard to develop a strategy. And they never stop learning.

In addition to my confirmed millionaire students, I have several six-figure students.* They’re all ready to take advantage of what the market sends their way.

Sacrifice for Success and PREPARE

My top students recognize the value of pursuing an education.

Instead of complaining that it was too hard, they trusted the process. They learned from my lessons. It saved them from having to learn some of those lessons the hard way.

There are still a ton of people who think I’m a scam or that penny stocks are a scam.

Michael Goode, one of my first millionaire students thought I was full of BS before he joined the Challenge…

But after I talked to him, he agreed to give my strategy a try. Now, he’s not only a millionaire, but he’s an active participant in the Trading Challenge chat room community.* He pays it forward by giving webinars. I’d say he’s a believer now.

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He wasn’t the only one. My student Stephen Johnson doubted me at first. He gave me a try anyway. Not only is he still a student … now he’s up over $34K.*

I don’t have a problem with people doubting me, because I know they’ll see I’m authentic pretty fast. But I do have a problem with people who are close-minded and unwilling to learn.

You won’t see any of my top students talking smack about me or penny stocks.

That’s because they have the right mindset. They see me as training wheels, not some guru who will tell them exactly what to trade and when.

These students get it … Put in the work, follow the rules, and understand how penny stocks work. Now they’re nailing plays. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

My top student Tim Grittani is up more than $12 million in profits.*

In comparison, I’ve made over $5.5 million, and I’ve been trading longer than him.* He’s a better penny stock trader than me! It’s an honor to be the teacher whose student exceeds him. I want more of that.

Trading Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Don’t expect your trading journey to be smooth sailing right from the start.

Even if you’re accepted into the Trading Challenge … even if you take the time to learn…

You’ll still take some losses. Every trader does.

Are you willing to lose a little in the name of learning … and to take the time to develop a strategy and process you can repeat to find consistency?

Are you willing to sacrifice your time to learn a skill you can use for the rest of your life?

My student Kyle Williams didn’t make money at first. In fact, he lost a lot in his first two years. But once he got serious about developing a strategy and understanding how penny stocks work, things started to change.

Now, he’s up over $400K.*

No two trading journeys are the same. But you need to put time and effort into your trading career if you want to find consistency.

It all comes back to how much you sacrifice. The more work you put in, the faster things will start to make sense. For many, that’s when they start to see positive results.

Once things start to click, it can start to feel like the trades come to you…

But it’s not linear.

How to Sacrifice for Success — Intelligently

Everyone learns at a different pace, and there will be ups and downs.

Some things you can’t control, like how hot the market is or which sector is hot.

But instead of feeling FOMO, change your thought process. Instead of saying, “I’m missing all the best trades right now…”

Ask yourself, “What can I learn right now to prepare for the next hot market?”  

My students who are killing it in the current volatile market have been working and studying for years. Now, they’re having their moment.

Too many new traders are impatient and want it to happen fast. Not enough newer traders put in the same hours that my top students did when they first started.

Regardless of the amount of time you put in, expect to lose a little no matter what. It’s part of the game.

That’s exactly why cutting losses quickly is my #1 rule.

Traders like Amy who understand how to cut losses quickly have an advantage. Anecdotally, they tend to ‘get it’ faster. They don’t have to go through a massive, traumatic loss to understand what I’m teaching.

As a trader, you’ve got two accounts — your monetary account and your knowledge account.

Take the time to build up your knowledge account first. That’s especially important at the beginning of your trading journey. It’s your foundation. While your trading account might not grow much — if at all — you’re still investing in your future.

It’s also important to stay vigilant. Unfortunately, you’re bound to come up against a lot of haters, frauds, and scammers along the way…

Why You Must Be Vigilant

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Everyone wants to be a day trader now … There are plenty of fake gurus who are all too willing to take advantage of newbies.

So be careful about who you choose to surround yourself with and who you decide to learn from. I’m one of the few real penny stock teachers.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of bottom-feeders out there. I’ve even had my fair share of scammers pretending to be me.

This is a good time to let you know that I only have ONE personal Twitter account and ONE personal YouTube — I don’t have multiple profiles on the same social media platform.

And I’ll never slide into your DMs to ask for money or tell you about an ‘amazing’ investment opportunity. It’s not how I work. Be wary of anyone who does that.

I want to help my students become self-sufficient. I’m willing to put in the work to teach you. What you do with that knowledge and what you’re willing to sacrifice for success is up to you.

Be willing to put in the work.

If you fall for a get-rich-quick scheme or don’t understand the truth about promoted stocks, you risk blowing up your account. When you learn to be self-sufficient, you don’t have to worry about someone else’s motivation.

How Do You Know if You Have What it Takes?

Do you have the dedication you need to make it in the markets?

That’s up to you.

Ready to dig deeper? Check out my free content first. It’s a great way to see if trading is for you while you learn the basics.

Another way to see if you’re ready for my Trading Challenge? Read my free book, “An American Hedge Fund.” It’s how you can discover what I had to sacrifice for success.

Or check out my free penny stock guide. It covers everything you need to know about penny stocks with plenty of examples to help you learn.

I’ve also got a brand-new, low-cost resource for traders: my new 30-Day Bootcamp. This course takes you from little to no market knowledge to more advanced trading techniques. It’s a great way to create a strong trading foundation fast.

Are you willing to make sacrifices for success? Will you study video lessons every day? Do you understand the power of consistent growth and how small gains add up over time?

Consider applying to my Trading Challenge.

But don’t lie to yourself. I’m selective with students and only want to work with those who are truly dedicated to learning.

Leave a comment! What will you sacrifice for success? Tell me what you think of this post.

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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”