timothy sykes logo

Penny Stock Basics

Why Trading Isn’t a 9-to-5 Job

Timothy SykesAvatar
Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 9/8/2021 13 min read

Is a 9-to-5 job your worst nightmare? Today I want to talk about how you can get out of the 9-to-5 mindset. And why trading isn’t a 9-to-5 job…

So many people complain about their full-time jobs. You slave away all day at a job you don’t love for a boss who doesn’t appreciate you. Sadly, you’re not alone. More than half of Americans report they’re unhappy with their jobs.

Now’s the time to change that. The entire world is sheltering in place and economies are paralyzed. Use this time to find work you enjoy. Learn how you can turn a passion into a career.

The nationwide quarantine is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve your situation. Stop making excuses.

Ask yourself … How badly do you want to move beyond the 9-to-5 job norm?

My students want it more than anything. They put their entire lives on hold to become traders. They worked their butts off. So it’s no wonder several of them report breaking their single-month personal records.* They’re crushing this volatility. 

What do these students have in common? They don’t trade from 9-to-5. Instead, they know…

Studying Is a Full-Time Job

Tim Sykes studying and trading
© Millionaire Media, LLC


I can’t emphasize it enough. The top students in my Trading Challenge dedicate their lives to studying.

One of my top students, Tim Grittani, studied his butt off. He managed to turn his $1,500 trading account into over $10 million.* How?

He studied. A lot…

He found the strategies that work for him and honed in on them. His results blow me away. I’ve been trading for over 20 years and never seen anything like it.

Grittani started his trading journey years ago. Since then, I’ve created so much more content to help new traders. It can be overwhelming, but you can start with…

[*These results are far from typical. Always remember all trading is risky and never risk more than you can afford. These students dedicated time and effort to develop exceptional trading knowledge and skills.]

Your New 9-to-5 Job: Building Your Knowledge Account

Post image

Get my weekly watchlist, free

Sign up to jump start your trading education!

© Millionaire Media, LLC

As a trader, you have two accounts: your trading account and your knowledge account. You have to build your knowledge account before you start trading. Here are some resources…

Totally new to penny stocks? Access my FREE penny stock guide here.

You can get my book “An American Hedge Fund” for free. I explain my trading journey and what I learned from managing my own hedge fund. Then, move on to “The Complete Penny Stock Course” by my student Jamil to learn every penny stock pattern I teach.

I also have over 1,300 videos on YouTube and endless free content on this blog. But if you want a full trading education, you need to watch every lesson in my 6,300+ video library. Every day I make a new video lesson about the market conditions and highlight the best plays of the day. Make your education your new 9-to-5 job.

My newest millionaire student* watched every video three times. In case you’re wondering, it takes 1,500 hours to watch the entire video library three times. That’s dedication.

Want to better understand how to trade in a volatile market? Check out my newest NO-COST “Volatility Survival Guide.” It focuses on how to trade through the current market and the patterns that are working right now. The guide is about two hours, with trade examples and incredible lessons from StockstoTrade’s lead trainer Tim Bohen.

Next Level: The Trading Challenge

Still thirsty for more knowledge? Apply for my Trading Challenge. In addition to the video library, my Challenge students get three live webinars a week from my top students and me. You can be part of an incredible trading community.

Click here to apply today … but only if you’re ready to work.

My Trading Challenge is far more than a 9-to-5 job. How committed are you to building a better life? That’s what you have to decide.

To my knowledge, no one has ever watched all the content I have to offer. If you have, message me.

Sadly, I know most people only spend an hour or two studying and then treat the market as their own personal lockdown casino. No wonder 90% of traders lose.

The best traders study the past to understand the current market. Then they sit on the sidelines and only trade when setups fit their trading plans and strategies.

You don’t have to be handcuffed to your computer screens. That’s the beauty of trading. Leave the 9-to-5 job mindset behind and get into the…

Retired Trader Mindset

One of my favorite sayings is to act like you’re a retired trader. 

I live a very busy life. Last year I traveled to over 30 countries helping Karmagawa build schools in developing countries. I don’t always have time to watch the market if there isn’t a good play. That’s why I make a daily watchlist.

👉 Get my FREE weekly stock watchlist here.

I wait until a play is so good, I have to come out of retirement because I can’t miss the opportunity. If there isn’t a good play, I enjoy life. Don’t force something that isn’t there. 

Those are the only trades you should be taking. Ignore all the other noise and focus on good setups.

So, what’s a good setup? Well … that’s different for everyone.

Some people like buying breakouts … others like buying morning panics. There’s also buying the first green day. Then there’s shorting — the first red day, promotions, and overextended stocks.

There isn’t one ‘right’ way to make money in the stock market. It depends on a lot of factors. A good setup is different for every trader.

Top Student’s Favorite Set-Ups

© Millionaire Media, LLC

All my top students approach the market differently. They had to study and work to find their strategies and become self-sufficient traders.

My six-figure mentors Tim Lento reports closing in on $500,000 in profits.* He’s primarily a swing trader. When stocks go supernova, he shorts them with small size and holds them for weeks.

I’m not that patient, but the strategy works well for Lento — he doesn’t watch the market all day like he has a 9-to-5 job.

He trades only when his strategy presents itself. He’s patient until it fades to his price target. If he constantly watched his trades, he’d struggle to stick to his plan.

Learning to stick to your trade plan is what separates the good from the great traders.

Another student, Jack Kellogg (Jackaroo on Profit.ly), reported $800* on April 16 and called it a day by 11:02 a.m. Eastern.

In the Challenge chat, he said he had a good day and was leaving to keep his profits. I’m proud of his maturity in the last few months. He’s only 21 years old but trades and acts like a veteran trader.

Personally, I’m usually done after the morning session. I don’t like to stick around until midday because the opportunities disappear. I know what works for me, and I don’t let other people interfere with my trading plan.

If there isn’t a play, that’s fine. There’ll be one tomorrow or the day after.

By sticking to this mindset, I’ve locked in over $80,000 in profits so far this year.* All of which I’ll donate to charity.

(*Please note: these results are not typical. My students and I spent years developing exceptional trading skills and knowledge. Always remember trading is risky. Never risk more than you can afford.)

Small Gains Add Up

When you’re learning to trade, especially if you have a small account, you have to focus on two things … Cut your losses quickly and lock in singles.

Small gains add up.

I’ve made over $5 million trading stocks, but my average gain is only $1,754.*

Swinging for home runs is a time bomb. It’s only a matter of time before you blow up. And you’re likely learning the wrong lessons.

Use proper risk management. Don’t be greedy.

Understand the mentality of taking singles. I’m being real with you. That’s what I’m all about. 

I could just brag about how I can make $2,000 in a day … but how does that help my students? Instead, I’m fully transparent. I let my students see every aspect of my trade.

I outline my risk levels and always state my trade goals. See for yourself — here are all my verified trades. Also…

You don’t need to trade with a huge account. Most of my students start with only a few thousand. Once they hit consistency, they slowly size up.

watchlist banner

Take my recent Comstock Holding Companies Inc. (NASDAQ: CHCI) trade for example…

I spent $16,500 to buy 6,000 shares at $2.75. I sold at $3.10 for a little over 10% and locked in $2,100.*

$16,500 is a lot to some people, so reduce the size by 10. That’s 600 shares at $2.75 for $1,650. A 10% gain would be $200.

Again, the key to trading is locking in small gains  — over and over.

(*Please note: my results are not typical. I’ve spent years developing exceptional skills and knowledge. Always remember trading is risky. Never risk more than you can afford.)

Trading Is Counterintuitive

The best traders in the world can pull in billions of dollars in a few short weeks. There’s so much upside potential IF you become the best.

But 99.9999% of you won’t be the best. I’m not the best — nor will I ever be.

As traders, we have to realize that and take the money where we can. Which is why I love penny stocks

The competition is pathetic. If you take advantage of this lockdown and study your butt off, you can build your knowledge account. You can prepare. Don’t think about this like a 9-to-5 job where you take orders from a boss.

You could study forex, options, or large-cap stocks … but you’ll have so much more competition.

Too many well-funded and highly educated traders are in those other niches. You’d be competing against the best of the best. Why would you do that to yourself?

It’s like playing basketball and going up against Michael Jordan. Why?

For your ego? Let me break the news to you now … if you go up against the best traders in the world, you’ll likely lose.

Meanwhile, my students are learning consistent patterns in a less competitive niche. Sure … making a few hundred might be laughable on Wall Street — but it’s good money to me.

The 9-to-5 Job Wrap

Trading isn’t a 9-to-5 job. I don’t want you to think of it as that kind of work. And I especially don’t want you to practice it as a full-time job.

Forcing yourself to trade all day will cause you to lose money. Instead, study the market like it’s your job. You can never be too prepared. You’ll never learn everything about the markets. Your education never ends.

And don’t come out of retirement until there’s an opportunity so good you can’t possibly ignore it. Find the patterns that work for you and only trade them.

Are you willing to do what it takes? I hope so. I’m always looking for more self-sufficient students. Apply for the Trading Challenge today.

Comment below if you promise to study your butt off to make the most of this lockdown! I love hearing from my dedicated readers.

How much has this post helped you?

Leave a reply

Author card Timothy Sykes picture

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”