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Trading Psychology

Sitting on the Fence? Time for Tough Love

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 1/6/2023 14 min read

It’s time for some tough love. Especially for anyone sitting on the fence about me or what I teach. In today’s post, I’ll make it easy for you…

Every once in a while I get an email or a DM from someone saying, “Tim, I don’t know why I should pay to learn from you. Why does a millionaire need to charge to teach people to trade? And why are you sending me so many emails?”

Then they go on to say something like, “Maybe you’re only a millionaire because of the DVDs and courses you sell.”

That’s complete BS. First, I share all my trades on Profit.ly. Every single one. I was a millionaire from trading before graduating from college. You’ll find details in my book “An American Hedge Fund.” (It’s free.)

Second, I donate 100% of my trading profits to charity. If I traded for myself (instead of prioritizing students) I could make even more. But I trade so students can learn how to grow a small account.

Finally … I have ZERO time for someone who’s having a mental battle about whether to be my student. You haven’t even gotten to the studying part and you’re already questioning me and my motives? You need some tough love.

This one’s for you…

Sitting on the Fence? Let Me Make It Easy

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If this were a sales letter I’d try to get you to join one of my programs or buy one of my products. I’d take “I’m sitting on the fence” to mean you need convincing. I’m not gonna do that.

Let me make it easy for you with a dose of tough love…

Don’t do it. Get off the fence. I have ZERO time for unsure students.

It’s Not About the Money

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When you join one of my programs or subscribe to one of my newsletters it’s an investment in YOU and in YOUR future. The money makes students take their studies more seriously. Once you’re financially invested, it’s “Oh, wow, I need to actually study to make this worthwhile…”

So when I send emails, write blog posts, and create free YouTube videos

tweet about blatant pumps, post on my Facebook page, and send out watchlists

… make trade commentary, send trade alerts, give webinars, and answer questions…

… host conferences, mentor students, and help develop software like StocksToTrade

I’m NOT pushing hard to get your money. I’m pushing hard to make you a good trader. And I’m…

Looking for the Most Dedicated Students

People have offered me far more to learn trading than the cost of any of my DVDs, alerts, or educational programs. I’ve had offers higher than the price of all my products combined, times two.

Why would I turn down that kind of cash?

Too many people think money is the most valuable asset. It’s not.

Time Is the Most Valuable Asset

My life is FULL. You won’t find anyone who works harder than me. From the moment I wake up until I fall asleep, I teach, work on charity, and work with my team to create killer content.

I don’t have time for BS. I don’t have time to hand-hold people who don’t have a burning desire to learn.

Here’s a little tough love…

If you’re unsure, have a bad attitude, or you’re disrespectful in the community … you’re out. If anyone reading this is unsure about what I teach and whether it’s valuable … don’t apply to my Trading Challenge. Don’t waste your time. Or mine.

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” — Bruce Lee

Get Real and Don’t Waste My Time

Don’t waste my team’s time. And don’t waste another second of my time. Sorry to be a dick. I gotta be real.

Some people say, “Tim, you’re so mean. If you were just nicer about everything you wouldn’t have lost this customer.”

Tough love time: Buh-bye. You don’t understand. You’re not customers to me … you’re students. There’s a big difference.

The Difference Between Customers and Students

Let’s be very clear about this. My team works their butts off. If you’ve purchased something and you’re not satisfied, you can contact my team and they’ll take care of you. They’ll work with you as a customer.

But here’s the deal…

You pay me to teach you the strategies I used to get rich. You pay me to teach you everything I’ve learned in 20+ years.

My job is to teach you the best patterns I know. I’m here to teach you the truth about promoted penny stocks and the nuances of trading. I’ll burn into your brain the importance of cutting losses quickly. But I want to make one thing very clear…

Students Earn Success

If you go to college, you’re a customer when you set foot on campus. You’re a customer when you get lunch at the student union building or buy textbooks. When you pay for a parking space on campus you’re a customer. Even your tuition, on some level, makes you a customer.

But the second you walk into class, you’re NOT a customer. 

You’re a student.

Your professor doesn’t give a crap if you pay out-of-state tuition. She doesn’t care if you were the top student in high school. And she could care less if you had to work until 2 a.m. to earn enough money to pay for classes.

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You still have to show up to class and do the work to pass. You want an A? Study. Stop acting like an idiot. Your professors won’t give you an A just because. They’ll give you a little tough love and say, “Do better. Be better. EARN the A.”

With trading, it’s even more important. Every minute you don’t study means missed opportunity. Or worse, a decimated account because you weren’t prepared.

Think of me as a professor of harsh reality. Earn success like ALL my top students. Tough love didn’t hurt them, it helped.

My Students’ Success Helps YOU

When my students become successful it helps you in the long run. Yes, I love the testimonials and I want the most knowledgeable people. But the reason it helps you is because they help me teach. They give back to the community.

Here are a few examples…

Roland Wolf

Roland studied 17 hours per day for six months. Four years later he still prepares for five or six hours per day. Now he’s made over $1 million. (Check out this recent BIG announcement about Roland.)

Matt Monaco and the 30-Day Bootcamp

Matt has made over $250,000 and he’s now a Trading Challenge chat room moderator. It took him three years of studying and trading small to prepare for this hot market. Matt helped me create the recently released 30-Day Bootcamp.

(The 30-Day Bootcamp is getting rave reviews. Dedicated post coming soon. This guide is potentially life-changing.)

You want to get rich trading penny stocks? You better toss your bad attitude and start studying like Roland and Matt. (If you’re brand new, start with this free penny stock guide.)

Too Much Information

Some people ask, “Why am I getting so much information? Why are there so many emails?”

Everything I send you can increase your knowledge account. Whether it’s my 30-Day Bootcamp, “The Complete Penny Stock Course,” blog posts, or 6,000 plus video lessons

Information you receive from me helps build the foundation.

And yes, when students like Roland and Matt have success and help teach it’s even MORE information. But that gives YOU more choices for honing in on your strategy.

I can’t promise you’ll get rich. But I know that building your knowledge account is part of the equation.

Do me (and yourself) a favor: don’t apply for my Trading Challenge if you’re unsure. That’s the beauty of being real. But it’s also the reality of me needing to weed through BS, toxic, negative, and LAZY people who waste my time.

All the content I create and information I put out is useful. Remember, I’m being real in an industry full of fakes. So if you’re unsure, if you’re not dedicated, if you have issues with me sending information, then we’re not gonna get along. The tough love will be too much for you.

All that information is a way to…

Weed Out the Weak

My track record with students stands on its own. I don’t say that to brag but to get you to wake up. Because I just keep having more six- and seven-figure student successes. And now even an eight-figure student success in Tim Grittani. How is that possible?

Because I’ll do whatever it takes to weed through the entire world of lazy and disrespectful people. I’ll gladly pass on people who don’t get it to find those who are truly dedicated. And I’ll use tough love whenever necessary to get students motivated.

Let me make this 100% clear: not everyone gets accepted to my Trading Challenge.

Trading Challenge — It’s Not All Rainbows and Leprechauns

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Ready for another dose of tough love? There’s no pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow. If you want to live in fantasyland … have fun. Enjoy. Go watch Netflix.

But if you want to get rich trading penny stocks, you better buckle down and study. Again, people offer me a lot of money to get in my Challenge. You don’t just get accepted — you have to have an interview with my team. Why is that?

If I’m so desperate for money, shouldn’t I just accept people who are willing to pay a lot? I’ve had people offer me tens of thousands (in one case six figures) to join my Challenge. But if they have the wrong attitude, it’s not worth my time. I’m not interested in that.

You pay, specifically, because it makes you more vested in your education. When you’re more vested, you become a better student.

Tough Love and Why I Teach

When I got started, I had to learn the hard way. And I admit I was a little bit lucky. My early days of trading came in a hot market. Not quite as hot as what we’ve seen the past 100 days, but close.

A lot of traders made a lot of money in those heady days. But when things shifted too many of them failed to adapt. Boom and bust. Too many uneducated newbie traders will do the same thing this time around.

My goal — my duty — is to be the mentor I never had. But here’s more tough love … I refuse to waste time on people who are disrespectful, sitting on the fence, or not willing to study. Period.

This video explains why I teach in more detail…

Why I Teach & the Three Most Important Lessons

I want to make it easier for students — so you don’t have to go through the same ups and downs I experienced. But no matter what, you have to remember…

Trading Is a Battlefield

This is a battle to beat the odds. Again, most traders lose. That’s the battle I’m fighting every day. So if you’re unsure … join the majority of traders who are confused and don’t want to invest their time or money on education.

When you change your mind, come back to me with a better attitude. You might think that’s funny, but I’ve been through this before.

In 2014, I tried to warn the potheads that their weed stocks were all pumps and that they’d crash. They all ignored me. Read the whole story here: “Buying High: How to Get Rich on Pot Stocks.”

When the weed stocks all crashed, half of them came back to me, hat in hand…

“Sorry, I should have listened to you.”

My tough love is to protect you. It’s not a question of arrogance or me being disrespectful to ‘customers.’ It’s me being the best teacher I can be. Tough love is part of it. Stop sitting on the fence. Get off my fence. Buh-bye.

Tough Love for Dedicated Students

One more dose of tough love…

For those of you who are dedicated, thank you. But don’t expect me to be your friend. I’m not. If you want a friend, buy a dog.

I’m your drill sergeant preparing you for battle. It’s my duty to do everything I can to prepare you. Sometimes that means tough love. Sometimes that means me being harsh. You might think I’m a dick. So long as you study and follow my rules, you’ll thank me later.

Now go study.

What do you think of this post? I’m curious, even though it won’t change my tough love teaching style. 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”