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How A Full-Time Dad Trader Stays Positive

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 11/14/2022 5 min read

What would you do if you blew up your trading account?

Would you give in to despair, head slumped in front of your screen, sell your gaming laptop, swear off trading, and walk away…

Or would you look inside for the spark that excited you in the first place?

Could you dig deep to push past the feelings of self-doubt and use your mistakes to improve your skills?

Tim Grittani stood at these crossroads in 2011 as a young trader who just joined my Millionaire Challenge, 

The challenge wasn’t figuring out how to turn his trading around…

It was how to cultivate the right mindset that keeps you going.

Every trader faces naysayers and haters along the way.

Sometimes it’s from an online troll.

Sometimes it comes from friends or family.

More often, it comes from self-doubt.

You must be willing and able to shrug off the emotional weight and keep working to improve your skills.

And I can’t think of anyone who’s done this better than Tim.

He’s earned over $13.5 million in trading profits, and has faced plenty of ups and downs over the years.

Right now, he’s balancing two new-born infants during the day while building trading algos at night.

At our trading conference, Tim told traders how he created and maintained a positive attitude.

His tips may be simple, but they are invaluable.

And here are a few key points to write on sticky notes that you can keep around your desk.

You’re in Good Company

millionaire students
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Tim isn’t the only one who blew up his account.

In fact, many successful traders go through several accounts before they hit their stride.

Now, that’s not something I want for you or anyone.

I make it a point to teach my students how to avoid this while still improving their skills.

But let’s face it…

We all struggle from time to time.

Know that you’re not alone.

It happens to EVERYONE.

That huge drawdown you took?

It happens.

Fat-fingered a trade?

Been there. Done that.

How we handle these situations is far more important than they are.

What’s Your Process

Tim Sykes checking his top penny stocks list in Italy
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Tim asked the group a simple question…

What’s your process when you make a mistake?

Developing a structured method to analyze trades helps keep emotions at bay.

Sometimes, trades fail because we screw up. Others fail because that’s what happens.

We correct the problems we cause.

When trades fail on their own, there’s little to be done now.

However, keep tracking your trades and analyzing the data.

You’ll be surprised how many opportunities and trends you find when you take a step back.

Set Time Aside

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With two young babies to take care of, Tim doesn’t have the luxury to day trade markets like he used to.

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t study the charts.

Right now, he’s on a quest to build algorithms that automate his trading, freeing him up to spend more time with his family.

While he’s seen some success, his manual trades are still better.

The key here is that Tim still finds time to work on trading.

He spends a few hours plowing through charts, looking at setups, and dissecting the news every night.

Most traders that take my Millionaire Challenge can’t dedicate themselves full-time to trading.

That’s totally fine.

We all lead busy lives.

However, successful traders regularly schedule blocks to focus solely on trading.

Studying isn’t just about the quantity of time you spend. It’s about the quality.

Don’t Get Discouraged

Student Who Has Made $10 Million
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Markets go through easy periods and they go through rough patches.

Right now, volatility and chop make even the simplest setups more difficult.

Know that things can and will change.

Just because you hit a string of losing trades or can’t find any setups doesn’t mean you’re a bad trader.

These things can and will happen no matter how much experience you have.

If you find trading has become exceptionally stressful, then take a break.

Come back when you’re refreshed and ready to go.

Trading should be fun.

With a positive attitude and the right mindset, you’ll go further than you could ever imagine.


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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”