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Penny Stocks-Timothy Sykes Millionaire Challenge

An In-Depth Follow-up to the XNET Short Squeeze

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 10/15/2021 10 min read

I recently talked about the growing frequency of short squeezes, using the XNET short squeeze as an example.

I want to clarify something from that post … not all shorting is bad. Some of my top students and I have made millions shorting pump and dumps and other penny stock runners.

Here’s the big question: when’s the right time to short?

The XNET Short Squeeze Aftermath

We’ve seen a lot of short sellers getting involved in the market lately. These newbie shorts think that starting out shorting will help them find success quicker. After all, Tim Grittani and I made a lot of money shorting these scammer penny stocks.

But we didn’t start out as short sellers. We made our first million in profits from the long side, and oddly enough, we both tend to be more long biased.

(These results aren’t typical. Grittani and I each spent years developing exceptional skills and knowledge. Always remember trading is risky. Never risk more than you can afford.)

Now, there’s still a case to be made for short selling stocks. XNET will eventually drop. It’s not worth this 200% move. But that’s a risky mindset — and I never try to predict the top.

In fact, XNET spiked again after hours on October 30 after the company announced a $100 million fund to invest in blockchain technology. In less than an hour, it ran from $5.15 to $6.25. And today, October 31, it’s still holding near its highs pretty well. So maybe there’s another leg higher around the corner. I honestly don’t know. I’m merely waiting for the chart to tell me what to do.

the xnet short squeeze
XNET 5-day, 1-hour chart — courtesy of StocksToTrade.com

Shorting does have its place, but you have to be careful. Let me give you an example of a good short…

CNET Sympathy to XNET

So CNET spiked Friday morning from $1.19 to a high of $2.

the xnet short squeeze
CNET 5-day, 5-minute chart — courtesy of StocksToTrade.com

Why did it spike?

First, it’s somewhat related to XNET. They have similar ticker symbols, and it’s a Chinese stock.

Also, in the past, CNET and XNET have both gone supernova.

It’s comical how stupid some penny stock traders are with their strategies. When one stock starts to get riled up, any stock remotely similar can start to move. If you check social media, chat rooms, and message boards, everyone hyped CNET as the next XNET.

And guess what? It worked pretty well. CNET spiked from $1.50 to $2 in the first hour of the trading day on substantial volume. But this is a good case of when you should be Check out my verified trade here. I sold 1,000 shares at .10 and covered at .53. People asked me why I covered so quickly. Frankly, I’m scared of short selling … it’s up for all the wrong reasons. It’s up 100% on thin air. All because it’s a former runner and sounds like XNET.

When you short something up for the wrong reasons, that can be a good trade. With XNET, even though it’s up a lot, a case could be made for the long side.

Why XNET Wasn’t a Short

Yes, XNET was a short squeeze, but it had some catalysts behind the run. XNET is in the bitcoin space. Bitcoin ramped up last Friday and continued over the weekend. Also, the company is tied to China, and China’s in the news a lot these days.

So this XNET run isn’t a total stretch. Anytime there’s an underlying factor for a run, short sellers need to be extra cautious.

Tim Grittani learned this lesson the hard way with his largest loss ever on Lakeland Industries, Inc (NASDAQ: LAKE).

Here’s kroyrunner on his epic loss: Humbling week for me. Started “swinging for the fences,” played WAY too big, didn’t cut losses. After first big loss started pushing to “make it back.” Don’t take size and entry/exit prices literally. Many of the trades got smashed together into one postion by profitly

Here’s what happened … During the fall of 2014, there was a large sector run surrounding Ebola. The companies had an underlying reason to spike, but Grittani started shorting too early and too aggressively. Since then, he’s learned from his mistakes and recently passed $8 million in total trading profits.

Shorting in This Market

Remember, I’ve made millions of dollars shorting. A lot of my top students have made millions of dollars shorting. What I want to warn against is over-aggressive shorting or shorting too early.

That’s part of the reason I think shorting is so tough right now. To find shares to short, you have to be up early to locate the shares with your broker. If you wait until the market opens, it can be challenging to find shares of these low-float runners.

Historically, you could short early and accept a little pain on the upside before the inevitable crash where you could take profits. The problem is, it’s impossible to judge how high these stocks will go.

Remember BIMI? I bought this ticker at $2.55 and sold it into the $3s. Check out the trade details over on Profit.ly.

I was thrilled with my 20% gain. But the next day, it hit a high of $12! And even now, if I were still holding two weeks later, it’s in the high $4s.

the xnet short squeeze
BIMI daily chart — courtesy of StocksToTrade.com

Growing Short Squeezes

These squeezes are fantastic news for longs and excellent news for patient shorts too. BIMI was a good short when it went from the $1s to the $11s. SES might have been a giant short squeeze from $2 to $27 … But look…

the xnet short squeeze
SES daily chart — courtesy of StocksToTrade.com

It faded back down to $5. So don’t necessarily say: “Tim Sykes will never short again!”

Just short later. If there are no shares to short, that’s fine.

Again, I talk to so many traders … There are so many short-selling chat rooms and shorts who like to trade together. They post trades together, and it feels very sketchy.

I often call short sellers the new promotors. They don’t talk about the whole story, and they want everyone to think a certain way. I think it’s kinda funny how the entire dynamic flipped.

Long the Short Squeezes

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margin account. Unless you really, really know what you’re doing and need a margin account for Short selling carefully — especially after a 1000%, 2000%, or 5000% gain — is possible. But as a newbie, you can’t average up, and you can’t let your losses run.

It’s a scary time to be a short seller. But if you’re a long-biased trader, you can make 500% riding the short squeeze.

These squeezes are great for longs and tough for shorts … at least the over-aggressive shorts.

Recent Tweets, Comments, and Trades from Students

With so many short squeezes lately, there’ve been a ton of opportunities!

From the Trading Challenge Chat Room

From October 28:

9:38 AM GarrisonMorgan: Sold 500 shares of $CNET @1.67 from $1.52. Nice little $76 profit on $1000 account

10:04 AM alii: $CNET sympathy china stock with $XNET?

11:34 AM shotime: Bought 500 $CNET @ 1.79

9:34 AM southbay: all green on $XNET

And even more from October 30:

10:54 AM dead_bonsai: out $XNET 400 +$76 big sell orders at 5.10 would rather eat breakfast than wait for more profits

10:57 AM AL_: All $XNET shorts: “GET OUT. GET OUT NOW”

10:58 AM MoonShot: in $XNET 4.97, out 5.09, 5.19, 5.27

11:33 AM markcroock: $XNET btw is dangerous short all it takes is another comment from Chinese gov etc and this thing can fly again

12:22 PM RD52: In $XNET @5.09 out 5.15. 600 shares. Took forever.

12:29 PM Trade4us: $XNET noticing that on each bounce the low is higher

More Comments from the TimAlerts Chat Room

10/28 7:16 AM TradeHunter710: $CNET perking no news I can find

10/28 11:29 AM CKP111: $CNET behaves a bit like $TROV

10/29 11:53 AM twist89: $XNET short 4000 at 6.01, covered into morning panic and last 1000 shares at 4.78 because I don’t like how strong that bounce was…$4500 profit. Solid day

10/29 3:30 PM Dajarka: $XNET in 6.27, out 4.7

10/30 9:40 AM BiYuYo: is $XNET getting squize?

I Love When Student Share Charts on Twitter

[Please note these results are not typical. These traders have exceptional knowledge and skills that they’ve developed with time and dedication. Most traders lose money. Trading is risky. Do your due diligence and never risk more than you can afford.]

What do you think of all the recent short squeezes? Comment 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

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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 (205) 851-0506 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”