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Penny Stock Basics

Teach a Person to Fish

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 8/5/2021 14 min read

There’s an old saying you’ve probably heard before…

“Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”

There are variations but the original is most often attributed to Lao Tzu, the author of the Tao Te Ching. Its origins aren’t as important as what it means.

This post is mostly about giving for the long run — through education. But it’s also about giving for now. Be prepared, however, because it’s a little controversial. Some people didn’t like what happened…

Let’s Make the World a Better Place — Together

© Millionaire Media, LLC

The last week or so has been crazy. Getting from Mexico to Nigeria turned into a two and a half day marathon. Mat Abad — my Karmagawa partner — and I missed the opening of a new project there. But we finally made it, along with Brother Nature (@kelv) and visual storyteller André Duqum.

This time of year is often called the season of giving. And that’s cool as it reminds people to give back. So even though we missed the library opening, we wanted to do something more immediate. On Christmas Day, we decided to give some toys and supplies to those in need.

To inspire others to give, I made a quick video and shared it on Twitter. Brother Nature helped out by sharing it with his followers. And while the video got a lot of positive feedback, it also brought out the haters. Here’s the video…

If you read through any of the comments you can see the pushback from some people was pretty fierce. We were accused of ‘poverty porn,’ ‘using children as props,’ and ‘virtue signaling.’ Among other things.

After reading some of the comments on the tweet, it seems unlikely I’ll be able to change the minds of my critics. But it’s still important to take a step back for a moment. I think it’s an opportunity for communication and growth.

How to Grow in the Season of Giving

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Giving is more than just for today. Creating true change in the world requires a shift in mindset. Our trip to Nigeria had nothing to do with what we did on Christmas Day. There was never any intention to go there and do a video of us giving away supplies. It happened because we love to give.

Why I Give Wherever I Go

We were there to open a library. So for the haters who said I should address the underlying issues — please go visit the Karmagawa website. There you’ll see what we do and who we help. To date, we’ve opened 67 schools worldwide. Our goal is to open 1,000.

But that’s not all we do. We’ve donated to Boys and Girls Clubs, Make-A-Wish, the Houston Food Bank, Bali Animal Welfare Association, Save A Child’s Heart…

… the list goes on. Please, before you try to tear us down, see what we do.

Back to our Nigeria trip and our reason for being there in the first place…

Education Can Make the World a Better Place

Mat and I both recognize the power of education in our lives. So when we co-founded Karmagawa we made it a priority. We WILL open 1,000 schools.

We believe in that old saying about teaching a man to fish. Now apply it to educating children:

Read to a child, make them happy today. Teach a child reading, math, science … and you open the future to the world of ideas.

Using the Power of Social Media for Good

Social media is one of the most powerful tools available for spreading ideas. That includes both good and bad ideas. Too many people focus on the bad or the negative.

When I share charity work on social media, it’s because I want to spread awareness. Not awareness of what we’re doing so much as awareness of what needs to be done. My goal is to help people shift their mindset to one of giving.

So you can hate me … you can criticize me … but I’ll never stop giving. And I’ll never stop sharing the importance and meaning of giving. That’s all I can do. If you’re offended, I’m not sure what to say except I hope someday you see the sincerity in what I do. And why I do it.

Brother Nature, André, Mat, and I … our intention was, and is, for positive change.

Why Not Give in Silence?

Some people ask why I don’t give back in silence. Why do I post it? It’s because I want to encourage others. I’m a teacher. I’m not rich enough to change the world. But if we all start doing things a little differently, we can change the world.

Wherever You Are in the World … Give Back

It doesn’t matter where you live or where you’re traveling — you can find a way to give back. Karmagawa supports communities and people all over the world. But we also support important causes back home.

You can do the same. Find a local charity to support. If you don’t have money to give, volunteer time. Want to find more meaning and fulfillment in your life? Then find a way to give back — but not only during the holidays.

Give Back 365 Days a Year

As we get ready to enter a new year and new decade, remember it’s a mindset and not an event. Yes, I document the events and share them on social media to inspire you. But the groundwork is ongoing, neverending, and tireless.

So if you can develop the mindset of giving back today, then you can do it year-round. Give back 365 days a year. If you give it a try, I know you’ll feel the same way.

To Decide Means to Cut Off

Did you know the Latin origin of the word decide means to cut off? In other words, once you decide, that’s it. So decide you’re gonna give back. It doesn’t have to be the way I do it. Find a way to give back, decide, and take action.

Because even though I encourage it…

… it’s something you have to do.

But remember, no matter how good your intentions, somebody will try to tear you down. So be willing to take the criticism if/when it comes.

Here’s how you can give more in the future…

Teach Someone to Fish

I’m asking you to embrace a mindset of giving. Part of that is accepting that sometimes giving the fish is the right thing to do. Maybe the situation is so urgent that giving supplies will literally save someone’s life. Or make them happier for today. Or just help them get through a rough patch.

But other times you can teach someone to fish. I prefer both.


Giving Exponentially

Because if I can teach enough people to fish then I know it will multiply the giving back. Exponentially.

There’s a lot that we can do. There’s a lot that you can do, so it’s my honor to post about it and talk about it. But, in order to really help people the most … and to be able to help the world the most…

… it helps if you become rich! 

So I’ll keep giving. For those in need right now. For education and saving animals. And for important environmental issues like plastic in the oceans.

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… for those of you working to achieve financial freedom. Because I believe that if I can teach you to get free…

… and show you how fulfilling it is to give back…

… then we can truly change the world together.

With that in mind, I want to share some free resources for you today.

Resources for Freedom Seekers With a Giving Mindset

So many people contact me and say they want to gain financial freedom. But when it comes down to it … when the rubber meets the road … they make excuses.

So do me a favor — give yourself the greatest gift.  Don’t take these resources lightly. Their value is determined by your effort. And they’re MUCH more powerful for you if you take action.

Don’t take this wrong. I realize you might have very little in the way of money to get started. But do yourself a favor and don’t let that be an excuse.

It’s super important for you to understand that you can start — and learn a lot — using free resources…

“An American Hedge Fund”

This is my best-selling book about how I made $2 million in the stock market and created a hedge fund. (See page 65 for my 20% in a few hours strategy.) Get your free copy here.

Weekly Watchlist

Get my top weekly picks delivered to your inbox each week. Part of learning to trade is building a daily watchlist. Use this tool to see what I’m watching, and why. Become a charter member here.

My YouTube Channel

Subscribe to my YouTube channel. To date, I’ve posted over 1,300 videos. There’s SO much there. Including patterns, live trades, free webinars, and even complete seminars like…

The Moscow Seminar

This is a four-part, roughly six-hour seminar I gave in Moscow in 2015. It was a great experience to teach international students. And it’s a solid foundation for my strategies. Access part 1 here and then look in the Up Next column on the right for parts 2–4.

Pennystocking Intro

This is literally how to trade penny stocks for beginners. It’s a must-read and bookmark post. Read it again and again until it sinks in. It also happens to be the intro to…

Pennystocking 101

This eleven-chapter guide lives here on the blog and covers so much information, you have to read it to believe it. For example, see Chapter 1 for how to get started. Chapter 2 covers mindset. Need to brush up on terminology? No problem, see Chapter 4. Looking for patterns? They’re in Chapter 7. Don’t take my word for it, start now with Chapter One: How to Start Penny Stock Trading.

Important Blog Posts

While I try to provide great value with every post, some are classics. Here are some you should bookmark and read regularly…

Of course, there are a lot more important posts here on the blog. But those are must-read posts.


It’s not free, but 100% goes to charity…

How to Make Millions DVD

How to Make Millions” is my most comprehensive DVD guide. Check this out … all profits from this guide go to charity. So you can help yourself and — at the same time — help others. With what you learn from this guide, I hope you’ll be on your path to financial freedom. That way you can help create a better world through giving, too.

It’s My Honor to Give Back

It’s truly an honor for me to give back. On so many different levels. Whether it’s building schools and libraries … or working to save the reef … it’s fulfilling for me. It gives my life more meaning. (Even when some people take it the wrong way…)

But it’s also my honor to give back to you — the seeker of knowledge and freedom.

My goal is to be the mentor to you that I never had. With all the resources I and my team create … you can potentially cut your learning time by years. But it’s up to you. You have to take action.

What Gift Will You Give Yourself?

The question is … are you willing to gift yourself the leverage of time and knowledge? Are you willing to work your way to financial freedom?

It’s not rocket science. Yes, at first there’s a lot to learn. Even after you have the basic knowledge, you have to gain market experience. It’s inevitable that you’ll lose some of the time. (I win roughly 75% of the time.)

But if you’re willing and dedicated to take the steps and gain experience then…

… YOU can gain financial freedom too.

[My results are not typical. I’ve acquired exceptional knowledge and skills over two decades of trading. Most traders lose — so do your due diligence, study, and don’t risk money you can’t afford to lose.]

Then … together … we can work to change the world. Together we can make it a better place to live.

You Choose Your Dedication Level

You get to choose. That’s one of the coolest things about learning to trade. You don’t have to join the Trading Challenge. All my top students did, eventually. But you can start where you are with the resources you have.

Do you want to do it over 10 years? Or do you want to buckle down and do it in a couple of years? Either way — or any variation — it’s up to you.

Use everything I linked to above. Study it incessantly. Study it until you recognize the chart patterns, price action, and news catalysts. Study until you’ve learned everything you can about the stock market.

Let’s Make 2020 the Best Year Ever

Want to make 2020 your best year ever? Start by creating a giving mindset. Make it not just something you do … but who you are. I believe in the power of change and hope in the world. Let’s do this. Together.

Let me know what you think by commenting 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”