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Trading Psychology

Are You Following The Right Mentor?

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 3/3/2023 6 min read

There are so many people worth looking up to in the world of finance, investing, and trading.

For example, the principles Dave Ramsey teaches are excellent if your goal is to get out of debt and save for retirement.

If you earn a high-income and are seeking modest returns then the long-term investing strategies that Warren Buffett teaches are tried-and-true.

But what if you don’t earn a high income, and you’re looking at trading as a way to better your life and improve your financial well-being?

Here are the questions you should be asking before you choose a mentor…

Is Your Mentor Teaching You A Strategy You Can Trade?

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I became a multi-millionaire trader by my early 20s.

And in my early days I would have some monster winning days. It wasn’t unusual for me to rack up $5,000 to $10,000 (or even higher) in profits on any given day.

But once I transitioned from full-time trader to full-time student, I understood that trading big didn’t help my students.

In fact, early on in my trading career I focused on being a short-seller. A strategy that today would get most traders with a small account murdered.

You need DEEP pockets to be a short-seller. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you.

Can you make money from being a short-seller?


In fact, a few of my millionaire students thrive off the strategy.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s suitable for everyone.

If you’re just learning, and are trading a small account then you want to focus on survival. You want to keep your losses small while you’re learning.

That’s why I like to teach strategies like this one, because you don’t need deep pockets and it’s not overly complicated to manage your risk.

Is Your Mentor Teaching Or Asking You To Follow Alerts?

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Alerts are okay for learning.

But if that’s all you’re getting it’s a problem.


Because it makes you dependent on their alerts. I have helped over 30 traders become millionaire traders, I can tell you that none of them rely on me for their trade ideas.

For example, just last Friday one of my millionaire students, Mark Croock nailed a five-figure options winner on puts he bought in the ticker symbol BITO. 

I don’t even trade options.

You see, I teach a process. Not just how to trade patterns and catalysts…but also how to manage risk, stay focused, and disciplined.

I specifically tell traders who join my program to become their own traders. And to find what works for them.

I’m proud to say that two of my students have surpassed me and have made 8 figures in trading profits.

Is Your Mentor Transparent?

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There are so many traders on social media posting big gains. But what about their losses?

Do they ever lose?

It looks impressive if you’re on the outside looking in.

But how does it feel like when you’re a subscriber. And you see these clowns posting their big gains on social media and you know for a fact they never called out the play or even traded it?

It’s sad.

That’s why I like to be fully transparent.

I post all my trades here.  

I’m one of the few people who is not afraid to tell you if my trading sucks. I want you to see the good and the bad.

Not only that, I post videos that go over my trades and teach what I did right and wrong.

Is Your Mentor Looking Out For Your Best Interest?

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Remember Zak Morris and Atlas Trading?

He paraded on social media telling folks he was helping them make money by giving them stock picks.

It turns out he was using his followers as liquidity for his pumps.

There are so many shady chat rooms who use their members to create pumps so they can later dump shares on them.

On the other hand, every dollar I make in the market gets donated to charity.

Moreover, I trade a small account.


Because that’s where I found that most people need the most help. I have enough money to trade bigger, but what good does it do you?

If your goal is to build a small account, doesn’t it make sense to learn from someone who has built a small account and has turned it into millions. And is trading a small account now, to show you how he trades and manages risk?

Ironically, I get made fun of online for this. They say Tim Sykes trades so small, he can’t trade with the big boys. Blah blah blah.

Meanwhile, I’m the one who has mentored over 30 students into millionaires.

I could keep going…but I think you get the picture.

But if you want more, I recently uploaded a video on YouTube talking about why big traders don’t like me and how it’s great for you.

How much has this post helped you?

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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”