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Trading Tips-Tim Sykes Penny Stock

The 2 Biggest Trading Risks Right Now

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 1/4/2023 10 min read

Are you losing time and money by taking two of the biggest trading risks in the market right now? Hint: they’re not what you think.

Most traders think the biggest risks in the stock market are things like crashes and losing money on trades. But honestly, those things aren’t as scary as most traders make them out to be.

As I’ve learned from my 20+ years of trading penny stocks, it’s possible to find consistency in any type of market. When the financial crisis of 2007–2008 hit, I was profitable because I adapted my strategy.*

In 2020, I’m up over $931K in profits because I’ve adapted to the volatile market conditions.*

Losing money on trades is always a risk … you’ll never change that. However, you can manage it by being disciplined about cutting your losses. It’s something every trader needs to learn.

The two biggest risks traders face right now aren’t as obvious. Familiarize yourself with them — and know what to look out for and how to stay safe!

(*Please note: My results, along with the results of my top students, are far from typical. Individual results will vary. Most traders lose money. My top students and I have the benefit of many years of hard work and dedication. Trading is inherently risky. Do your due diligence and never risk more than you can afford to lose.) 

Trading Risks to Avoid #1: Scams

Tim Sykes pointing at you.
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There’s a ton of opportunity in the market this year … and smart traders are taking advantage of it.

For instance, take a look at my new student David Martinez. After just two weeks as a student in my Trading Challenge, he decided to make his very first trade — and made over $15K in profits.*

‘Home runs’ like that are far from typical. Singles are far more common. But it does demonstrate the potential in this crazy volatile market.

Unfortunately, scammers also see an opportunity in the current market…

… to take advantage of newbie traders

Scams come in all shapes and forms in the stock market…

Trading Risks: Imposters

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Some scammers are outright pretending to be me (or my top students) and trying to steal money from people like you.

I’ll never slide into your DMs and ask for money. Not for an ‘investment opportunity,’ not to tell you about my new options scheme, not for crypto.

Always double-check the account name. I’m @timothysykes on both Instagram and Twitter, and my account is verified on both platforms.

Stay safe! Check out this video for specific tips on how to avoid these imposters:

Trading Risks: Fake Gurus

Other scammers go about their bottom-feeding in sneakier ways. Some are ‘furus’ — aka fake gurus. They love to claim that they’ve got the stock market all figured out.

They call me a dinosaur and say they have an ‘easier’ alternative to my teaching.

Usually, these are the types of traders who only post screenshots of their ‘wins.’ They don’t tell you everything like their position size, entry, exit, and risk…

I’m totally transparent. I tell you everything about every trade

If anyone tells you trading is easy…

… or that you can get rich quick if you just follow their alerts…

… be very wary.

I want to believe the best in people. I care about people. That’s why I donate so much to charity!

But you can’t put your faith in just anyone in the stock market. There are too many shady people out there.

Not sure if you’ve encountered a fake guru? Here are some tips for identifying them:

Trading Risks: Twitter Pumps

Another sneaky scam? Promoters who want to give you free advice. They’ll ‘alert’ you about a stock that they claim is going “to the moon!”

Once again, be wary. They could be (and likely are) pumping up a stock for self-serving reasons.

Do NOT blindly follow alerts. You can look at alerts and learn from them — but don’t trade solely based on them. Always do your own research and trade based on the rules that work for you.

Self-sufficient trading is the only way to go if you want to be in the penny stock game for the long haul.

How to Avoid Trading Scams

Wanna find consistency in the stock market and avoid scammers? Educate yourself. Knowledge is power.

When I started trading, there weren’t really any educational resources for the trading style I was drawn to.

So I created my Trading Challenge to provide the community, education, and mentorship I didn’t have when I was starting out. Are you serious about trading? Consider applying.

If you’re not ready for that level of commitment, there are other ways you can start today. My student Jamil wrapped all the basics of my strategy into a single book that should be on every trader’s desk: “The Complete Penny Stock Course.”

I also have another brand-new program that’s getting rave reviews — my 30-Day Bootcamp.

With this program, you can work at your own pace. So you don’t have to do it in 30 days. Some traders do it in two weeks, others take a few months.

It takes you from the most basic trading concepts to advanced trading techniques. And it’s perfect for beginners but also a good refresher for experienced traders.

These resources are all tremendous lifesavers. Yeah, they cost money, but they give you knowledge that can save you time and money over the long run. And when you invest in something — like your education — you tend to value it more and make the most of it.

Don’t follow the wrong people or try to use trading to get rich quick. Those are trading risks you shouldn’t take.

Trading Risks to Avoid #2: Risking too Much Money

Proud teacher moment: my top students are killing it.*

As of this writing…

When you see results like this, you might be tempted to adopt a ‘go big or go home’ mentality. You might start thinking, ‘These guys look normal. I can catch up.’

Bad idea. Here’s what you might now know: these guys have dedicated years to refining their strategies.

You’re noticing them now because they have flashy profit charts. But there were long months and years where nobody cared because they were only trading with small accounts.

Be willing to put in the time and effort to get to where they are.

How My Top Students Manage Risk…

All of my top students started in the Trading Challenge. They studied my strategies, but eventually, they adapted them and developed their own unique approach to trading.

But that’s not all they have in common. They’re all smart about cutting losses.

Sure, they’re still human. For instance, Jack Kellogg was off his game for a few weeks and lost about $25K. But he saw it as a wake-up call. He got back on track. And now, he’s recovered all of his losses and then some.*

But in general, none of them take losses of more than a few thousand dollars. Their average losses are more like $300 or $500.

I’m no mathematician, but when your average gain is a few thousand and your average loss is a few hundred … that can add up over time.

A word to the wise? Don’t trade huge positions. Any one trade can be wrong. No matter how good it looks, how much research you’ve done, how much you did right — you could still be wrong. 

Using leverage or aggressive short sellingyou don’t have to do these things.

Instead, start small. Take it slow. Remember: big things have small beginnings.

Recognize that any one trade can blow you up. If you remember that, you’ll stay safe.

Avoid These Trading Risks…

Trading is inherently risky. So why make it harder than it has to be?

Following misinformation can cost you time and money. Be very wary of fake gurus and scammers.

And betting too big can seriously burn you. Remember, it only takes a single trade to blow up your entire account.

You’ll never do everything perfectly. If you have a loss, learn from it. I have. Check out my book, “An American Hedge Fund.” In it, I talk about my biggest loss ever. It hurt my confidence for a year or two — but it also crystallized my rules. It snapped me into discipline.

This is why I teach and write blog posts like this. I want to help you cut through the BS and make the stock market less risky and stressful. My goal is to help traders like you realize your full potential and pursue trading without unnecessary obstacles!

Do you understand these two trading risks? How will you stay safe in the market? 

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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”