The Day Trader Who Turned $13,600 Into $153 Million

By Updated on August 28, 2023

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Takashi Kotegawa (aka BNF/J-Com man) is one of Japan’s most famous day traders. He’s also one of the most famous traders in the business.

He apparently made a fortune trading stocks on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in the early 2000s, putting many Wall Street traders to shame.

If you’re inspired by my feat of turning $12,415 into $7.4 million (learn more in my book “An American Hedge Fund”)…

… or if you’re impressed by top Challenge trader Tim Grittani who turned $1,500 into over $13.5 million in 10 years…

Prepare to be even more inspired when you read this guy’s story!

Legend has it Takashi Kotegawa started with the equivalent of $13,600. He benefited from some luck and a lot of skill to rack up $153 million in about eight years. Sometimes he made millions per trade.

While primarily a stock trader, Takashi has been known to trade in a variety of financial instruments.

So … how did he do it?

We know he’s used short-term trading strategies, capitalizing on quick market movements for gains.

We know he’s not just throwing darts — he utilizes leverage to increase risk but also potential reward.

The exact details are a bit of a mystery — there’s little information on the news about his trades and strategies. His results landed on the front page and were discussed in newsletters. He’s definitely been subject to significant taxes on his trading profits.

But we haven’t heard much about how he makes his trades. And to add to the intrigue, the guy seems to have disappeared…

But here’s what I’ve managed to dig up on the mysterious and obscure trader Takashi Kotegawa.

Let’s go!

Who Is Takashi Kotegawa?

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Here’s what we know: Takashi Kotegawa was born on March 5, 1978, in Ichikawa, Chiba, Japan.

He started trading stocks on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in the bear market of 2001.

Despite his massive net worth, he stays humble. He doesn’t buy fancy cars or eat lavish meals. He rides a bike and likes to eat ramen.

One thing he did splurge his savings on … a top-floor apartment that he bought for 400 million yen (over $3 million at 2023 exchange rates).

Takashi’s also known in the Japanese trading community by his chatroom username “BNF.” And he earned the nickname “J-Com man” after one of his most famous trades…

In 2005, he made millions on a single trade in J-Com Holdings after its IPO on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

I don’t usually advise my Trading Challenge students to buy IPOs. They have no chart, and are too unpredictable. But this one was special…

A trader at Mizuho Securities accidentally sold 610,000 shares at 1 yen each instead of selling one share at 610,000 yen. Ouch.

The huge sell order sent the stock price crashing. And Takashi saw an opportunity.

He bought 7,100 shares while the price was down. But he wasn’t the only one. The low price caught the attention of other traders and investors. A buying frenzy followed…

Takashi sold part of his position into the bounce and held some shares overnight. By the end of the trade, he had made more than $17 million!

Buying panics and selling into the bounce is my favorite strategy…

Takashi’s approach can be influenced by market conditions and news events, making adaptability a cornerstone of his trading style.

What about his other strategies? Seems they’re as obscure as the trader himself…

What Do We Know About Takashi Kotegawa’s Trading Strategies?

There aren’t a lot of specific details or news articles about Takashi Kotegawa’s trading strategies. We know the big J-Com trade Takashi Kotegawa is known for was partially based on luck…

But he also uses an effective swing trading strategy. He employs advanced trading tools and algorithms, giving him an edge in a competitive field.

Unlike me, he doesn’t share every trade publicly or share much information about how he made his millions.

But he has become a mentor to a generation of traders who are still studying his success. Apparently, he thinks it’s easier to make money in bear markets than in bull markets. He looks for short-term rebound plays in stocks that are down.

Some describe Takashi Kotegawa’s trading style as divergence day trading. He uses indicators like Bollinger Bands®, relative strength index (RSI), volume ratio, and the 25-day moving average. He likes to buy stocks that are at least 20% below the 25-day moving average and profit from the bounce.

But he doesn’t treat all stocks the same…

Since the markets constantly change, he adapts the percentage he looks for based on the overall market and individual industry or sector. He gets a feel for how stocks in different sectors move and how fast they rebound.

Like all day traders, he likes to capitalize on momentum.

In this video, a reporter claims Takashi is a former video game champion and “a gambler at heart.” Yet, he stays disciplined and allegedly has a 60% win rate.

Like me, he cuts losses quickly. But he has more patience and lets his winners run. He’ll hold positions for up to a few days.

The Importance of Having the Right Trading Mindset

Tim Sykes holding An American Hedge Fund in Italy after creating his top penny stocks list
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Takashi Kotegawa has the right trading mindset.

A trader like Takashi doesn’t just wing it; he requires knowledge and skill in analysis to make informed decisions. He also requires strict risk management and discipline, ensuring that he stays in the game for the long haul.

His style requires emotional control and mental toughness; they help him navigate the ups and downs without losing focus.

To me, it doesn’t seem like he’s focused on gains. For one, he doesn’t show off his wealth or spend his cash on flashy cars or big purchases.

And he doesn’t carry around large amounts of cash. His concern is its presence would hurt his ability to make smart trading decisions — in penny stocks or other securities.

He prefers to focus on price action, charts, market sentiment, and hot sectors.

Want to learn more about day trading penny stocks? Get my FREE guide to trading penny stocks here!

What Does a Good Trading Mindset Look Like?

A good trading mindset is a growth mindset. In the context of trading, it’s the belief that you can develop your talents by studying hard, making sound trading plans, and seeking advice from successful traders.

Traders with a growth mindset achieve more because they realize success takes lots of hard work. By working hard, they improve their results and strengthen their belief that it’s because of hard work. It’s a self-reinforcing cycle that pushes you to keep working hard and getting better each day.

The great thing about a growth mindset is it makes you see that talent isn’t everything. Raw talent gives you a head start, but you’ve gotta put it to work to succeed.

The same goes for people with average trading skills. If you keep studying hard, you’ll improve your skills and become a self-sufficient trader.

The Bottom Line: What Can You Learn From Takashi Kotegawa?

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In a lot of ways, Takashi Kotegawa has a similar mindset and strategy to my own.

He cuts losses quickly, doesn’t focus on money, and looks for patterns that repeat and that have worked for him in the past.

He even likes to buy stocks when they’re down and profit from the bounce. It’s similar to my favorite pattern — the morning panic dip buy.

Here’s another video on that pattern:

But the major differences? He trades with a massive account and takes huge position sizes.

That and the lack of details about his approach makes it hard for new traders to learn from or replicate. And after the market crash in 2008, it’s rumored that Takashi left the stock market and started to invest in real estate.

So we may never know the details of how this famous trader made his millions.

But he’s a trader, not a teacher…

Trading Challenge

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I, on the other hand, love to teach. I didn’t have a teacher when I started trading. I had to learn from my losses and dumb mistakes to meet my trading goals. It was frustrating.

Now it’s my job to teach students everything I’ve learned from my 20+ years of experience trading penny stocks. I’ve made over $7.4 in profits over my career, and I share all my trades publicly to help other traders learn.

I’ve also made thousands of video lessons and I give weekly live trading and Q&A webinars for Trading Challenge students, Plus, students get access to archived webinars and a community of traders and experts in my Challenge chat room.

Takashi’s journey can serve as inspiration for other traders and investors, showing what’s possible with the right strategies and mindset. But it’s up to you to learn these lessons yourself.

I have 31 millionaire students and all of them have come from my Trading Challenge online course. If you want to learn the combination of patterns and strategies I use — apply today.

Do you aim for small gains like me, or try to rack up big wins like Takashi Kotegawa? Let me know in the comments … I love to hear from my readers! 


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Comments (1)
Author imageTimothy Sykes
Hey Everyone,

As many of you already know I grew up in a middle class family and didn't have many luxuries. But through trading I was able to change my circumstances --not just for me -- but for my parents as well. I now want to help you and thousands of other people from all around the world achieve similar results!

Which is why I've launched my Trading Challenge. I’m extremely determined to create a millionaire trader out of one my students and hopefully it will be you.

So when you get a chance make sure you check it out.

PS: Don’t forget to check out my 30 Day Bootcamp, it will teach you everything you need to know about trading.

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