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Tips And Tricks To Get You Through The Hard Times

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 1/4/2023 7 min read

We all have our ups and downs and yes, it’s true, every trader goes the through the hard times every now and again…especially the past few years for short sellers who haven’t adapted to this crazy market like my top millionaire trading challenge students and I have (you must adapt in changing markets…or perish)!**

And it’s how you pick yourself up from your losses that help you become who you were meant to be. So, it’s important to know that this is completely normal and an inevitable part of any trader’s career, in fact, it’s a REQUIRED part of your education as every great trader MUST learn how to deal with losses, and over time, how to minimize them.

One of the things I strive to impart upon my millionaire trading challenge students in the Tim Sykes Millionaire Challenge Team is that if you can improve your constitution so that you can weather the hard times, you’ll ultimately become a stronger trader with greater career longevity.

All the same, getting through the hard times can be challenging. So, these tips can be useful in helping you survive the tough times so that you’ll hold on until things brighten up again, career-wise.

1. Let yourself wallow, briefly. Did you have a terrible trade, or maybe a week of terrible trades? That sucks, and you deserve to take a moment to feel sorry for yourself. Actually, it can be very helpful to take a short break to really let yourself wallow. Bring on your “poor me” best. It’s important to let it get out of your system so that you don’t begin to form an association with trading bringing you misery. Giving yourself this permission to wallow for a brief amount of time (a few hours, days or even weeks at most) can make it easier to return to your regime of millionaire habits once you’re through.

2. Take a break. In addition to letting yourself wallow, indulge yourself in a little break. Maybe it’s a few hours, or maybe a few days or weeks; everyone is different. Sometimes, a bad streak of trading can be the result of trader burnout or just being so overworked that you can’t see things straight anymore. A little distance can help.

Take a little time off and even consider going into paper-trading using this software…but also do something that you know will make you feel good, whether it’s spending time with family, going for a run, or just finishing your to-do list. When you do come back to your trading, you’ll have a fresh perspective and renewed energy. This will make you a better trader over time and in the long run; remember that your journey of mastering trading is going to be a marathon, not a sprint.

3. Consider that it could have been worse. No matter how bad things have gone lately, they could have been worse. That’s true in most parts of life, and trading is no exception…especially if you learn to follow my rule #1 and cut losses quickly!

Say you had three bad trades in a row and lost money. Someone else, right now, might have made five bad trades in a row and lost double the amount that you did. You could have gambled your house away. You could have lost an arm. Listen, the fact is, it might feel like this is the end of the world, but in the vast scheme of things…you’ll survive. It could have been worse.

4. Think about what is good in your life. A little gratitude can go a long way. You’ve wallowed and let the negativity out of your system. Now, it’s time to focus on the positive. Things might be going wrong at the moment professionally, but it doesn’t mean your life is all bad.

So what is going well? Focus on the things you’re thankful for, like family, your mentor, people who inspire you, your health, your pets. Whatever is good in your life, take a moment to acknowledge it and be thankful. It really can be a powerful way to maintain motivation in the face of adversity.

5. Remember your successes. Sometimes when you’re going through a hard period in your trading, it can be easy to fall into the “I’m a failure” trap. Not only is this boring, but it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe you’re destined to fail, it’s more likely that you will.

To keep from going down that rabbit hole, take some time to remember your successes. Look back at things that you have done right and times that you’ve made money as a trader. Consider this: are you doing something different now that is not serving you? Remembering your successes and trying to get back into that mindset of success and plenitude can help bring you back on track.

6. Circle back to the mistake and learn from it. OK, you’ve taken some time to mull it over, to vent, and to get back on track. Now, circle back to that mistake, or what is going wrong right now in your trading career. Are you able to identify a cause for the hard times? To a certain degree, there are just leaner times than others. But be honest: have you become lazy in your trading? Are you trying to make trades when you simply don’t know enough about the market?

If it’s a matter of needing a stronger foundation, consider my Tim Sykes Millionaire Challenge program. It’s proven successful for many students who weren’t finding much success on their own. The program gives them what they need to progress from amateur to successful penny stock trader.

7. Learn something FROM EVERY LOSS. Make use of tough times as a trader by learning from them. If you determine that your bad luck streak is really just trader burnout, then resolve to know when to quit for the day and take more breaks. If you realize that you simply don’t know enough, back off and learn about the market more before attempting trades.

Learning from these tough times can make them valuable so that you can avoid them in the future.

8. Seek out guidance. A good network is one of the secrets to success as a trader, and it can also help you get through hard times. Lean on your network, including your family, professional peers, and mentor, during hard times. This can help in a number of ways. First, you’ll find how very normal it is. When you admit you’re having a tough time, you may hear inspiring stories of how other people moved past their tough times.

You can also gain perspective. Speaking to your mentor during hard times can help get you back on track because they’ve probably been through it and can offer assistance. They can also offer advice for what you might be able to do differently.

9. Get back on the horse. Ultimately, you’ve got to get back to trading with your enhanced perspective and lessons learned…even if you want to paper-trade or take smaller positions until you get your confidence back.

If something isn’t working in your house, you fix it and move on with your life. Do the same in your trading. Deal with it and let it happen, but don’t let it hold you back or make you quit. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, after all…and the worst mistake you can make is letting anyone loss ruin your journey and future by quitting…remember this is the most important trait you need to become a millionaire so get used to it!

Everyone is bound to experience some hard times as a trader. By heeding these tips and tricks, hopefully, you’ll be able to get out of your rut sooner so that you can continue on a trajectory toward financial success.

How do you deal with tough times as a trader? Leave a comment and let me know, and let others know as we’re all in this together and we can help each other out by sharing our experiences!

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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”