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Success Stories

Discipline, Perseverance, and Crazy Pumps

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 4/18/2022 8 min read

Tim Lento’s Million-Dollar Milestone: Key Takeaways

  • The chance cable TV encounter that started Tim Lento on the road to million-dollar profits*…
  • How he spotted a social media pump that made him over $432K on a single trade*…
  • Key lessons from a short seller on passing a BIG trading milestone…

I’m excited to announce a new millionaire Trading Challenge student named Tim!

To tell you the truth, having two millionaire students named Jack (Jack Kellogg and Jack Schwarze aka Jack #2) was making me nervous.

I’m kinda happy that there are more millionaires in the Tim camp of the Trading Challenge community now — myself, Tim Grittani, and most recently, Tim Lento.

Joking aside, this milestone announcement is extra special. Lento, who you may know as a Challenge chat moderator, was actually one of my earliest students. He discovered me before I even created the Challenge!

Now, he’s passed $1 million in trading profits.* Keep reading to learn how this longtime short seller did it.

Tim Lento: An Early Adopter of the Trading Challenge

Lento discovered me in 2006 — before the Trading Challenge even existed.

He’d just started pursuing his MBA. He happened to see me on the TV show “Wall Street Warriors” while hanging out with friends who had cable.

That’s when he started following my blog and my trades. (I post ALL my trades publicly.) When he saw my results, he started to get extremely interested in stock pumps.

He followed me the entire time he was in school. Then, when he graduated in 2009, he decided to pursue trading full time.

Bag-Holding, Mistakes, & Exploding Accounts

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Lento, who focuses on short selling, had saved up $25,000 so he could start his day trading career over the PDT.

It wasn’t as easy as he thought.

He admits that he did “everything wrong,” including one of the biggest newbie mistakes — holding and hoping.

Lento made it about a year as a full-time trader. But ultimately, a catastrophic loss all but drained his account. Left with about $3,000, he had to get a day job.

A Necessary Attitude Adjustment

It was a blow to have to get a “real” job. But the big loss and lifestyle change forced Lento to shift his mindset about trading.

He joined my Trading Challenge and started studying while working full time.

Because his schedule was limited, he narrowed his focus to a single strategy: OTC pumps. He started trading again with a smaller account — about $12,000.

He got in trouble for trading while working. His employer told him to stop. He didn’t and ended up getting fired!

Luckily, his account was beginning to move in the right direction.*

He still experienced a few big losses, but overall his trading had changed in a profound way.

Lento now had better focus and understood what worked for him. He was finding consistency by sticking to one strategy and not diverting.*

Tim Lento’s Favorite Trading Resources

Lento’s a huge fan of the DVDs “PennyStocking Part Deux” and Tim Grittani’s “Trading Tickers.” He says he rewatches them every few years.

It’s easy for traders to lose sight of their goals. And for him, rewatching these DVDs helps bring things back into focus.

Hosting Trading Challenge webinars also helps him continue to learn. It forces him to study past trades and stay on top of what’s going on in the market.

He’s also inspired by the Trading Challenge community.

Lento believes that the ever-expanding body of educational resources and mentors involved in the Trading Challenge seems to be helping students find success faster.

For example? Jack Kellogg, who exploded in 2020. Jack’s now up over $8 million in trading profits*…

Tim Lento’s Trading Strategy

From the beginning, Lento has mainly been a short seller. He mainly focuses on OTC pumps. But pumps have shape-shifted over the years, so he’s had to adapt.

Years ago, pumps started with emails or mail flyers. But things are different now.

Most pumps are born on social media or in chat rooms these days.

In fact, Lento’s last two big trades were the result of outsmarting a social media scam.

The scam involved attractive women contacting traders through a messaging app. They’d flirt and make suggestions that they had insider knowledge about particular stocks that were about to explode.

They were probably fake accounts and probably chatting with hundreds of traders. But enough people fell for it…

The stocks would go up for a short period then inevitably crash.

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Recognizing these as pumps, Lento would take the difference between the high of the day and the crashes.

It resulted in some insane wins, like his $432,242 profit on Sentage Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SNTG).*

These sorts of scams are few and far between, but he’s ready when the opportunities come along…

Regardless of how a pump plays out, Lento looks for stocks that have gone parabolic. He uses the moving average as a guide. If a stock gets too far from it, he knows it’ll likely pull back in the next few days.

If the pattern doesn’t work out, he gets out of the trade. He’s not right all of the time, but as you can see from his Profit.ly stats, he’s got a roughly 80% winning average*…

Parting Words

If there’s one thing Lento wants to pass on to new traders, it’s the importance of discipline and focus.

“You have to get over that feeling of ‘I have to trade all the time.’ You have to be disciplined, stick to your strategy, and know in the back of your mind that trades will come when the time is right,” he says.

He suggests using spreadsheets and tracking your trades to figure out what strategy works best for you. Then, have the discipline to stick to it and CUT LOSSES QUICKLY quickly when needed.

Remember, trading is a marathon — not a sprint. Tim Lento’s journey has been long, and it’s had its ups and downs. But he’s stayed focused and stayed true to his process throughout the years. Now, he’s got an incredible milestone to celebrate. Congratulations to another Tim millionaire!*

Will you follow Lento’s lead and find a strategy that works for you and stick to it? Leave a comment below … and be sure to congratulate him on his milestone!  


*Results are not typical and will vary from person to person. Making money trading stocks takes time, dedication, and hard work.  Most who receive free or paid content will make little or no money because they will not apply the skills being taught. Any results displayed are exceptional. We do not guarantee any outcome regarding your earnings or income as the factors that impact such results are numerous and uncontrollable.

It takes years of dedication, hard work, and discipline to learn how to trade. Individual results will vary. Trading is inherently risky. Before making any trades, remember to do your due diligence and never risk more than you can afford to lose. I’ve also hired Tim Lento and Jack Kellogg to assist in my education business.

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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”