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Lessons From Students

What Hard Work Means to Traders

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 12/22/2022 6 min read

Work = Profits

You get out of trading what you put into it.

I didn’t conjure my 7-Step Penny Stock Framework out of thin air.

Years of study and testing went into its development.

Trading is no different than any other skill.

Do you think Tom Cruise just pops up one day and pulls off his death-defying stunts?

World Cup star Lionel Messi toiled for years to become the champion he is today.

Detailed study isn’t just about looking at charts for patterns.

It’s about understanding why they work and how they form.

This article is a great example of how my millionaire student Tim Gritanni hit a $200,000 winner through hard work.

Now, you’re probably wondering what exactly I mean when I talk about ‘studying hard.’

While everyone is different, a few common themes apply to us all.

Anyone can incorporate them, whether you work a full-time job or trade for a living.

Quality over Quantity

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Do you think Tom Brady became the best quarterback in NFL history by just throwing pass after pass?

When Tom worked on his game, he made sure that every movement mattered.

And he never took the fundamentals for granted.

I watched some of the best traders I know all get owned by Intelligent Living Application Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ILAG) in October.

It’s one thing to lose a trade. That happens to everyone.

It’s another to lose big because you ignore basic risk management fundamentals.

Every action has a purpose.

Most of us have limited time to spend on any activity, let alone trading.

So, make the time you spend count.

Schedule regular blocks of time where you can focus on a lesson with no distractions.

It doesn’t matter if this happens at night or the weekends.

And it doesn’t need to involve real money trading at all.

Heck, Mariana didn’t make a single real money trade for an entire year. Today, she’s one of my youngest and only female millionaire students.

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Our celebration in Italy at the end of 2021 with Mariana on the left.

Making excuses about why you can’t find the time is easy.

I have students that come to me from all walks of life.

The successful ones make it happen.

Take it Piece By Piece

Learning how to trade is like drinking from a firehose.

There’s a ton of information that can feel overwhelming.

You don’t have to learn everything at once.

Chop concepts into small pieces.

For example. If you want to learn how to read level 2 data, I created a whole DVD series for my Millionaire Challenge students.

Take one DVD at a time.

Heck, spend the entire month on level 2 data until you feel comfortable.

There’s nothing that says you have to know how to do everything by a certain date.

Cutting up lessons into digestible chunks makes it easier to absorb and ask targeted questions.

Plus, I have hours of content on every topic, covering it from multiple angles. So if one explanation doesn’t resonate with you, try another.

Traders who try to crunch everything at once never get good at anything.

That’s why I talk about my 7-Step Penny Stock Framework so much and setups like the morning panic dip buy.

Just those two ideas alone are enough to keep you occupied for months.

Pay Attention to Your Surroundings

tim sykes and mariana $1 million trading milestone
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I kept this intentionally broad to cover two key points.

First, headlines matter.

Penny stocks live and die by promoters and news releases.

I teach my students how to read filings, analyze statements, and know whether a headline is material or irrelevant.

Second, stocks like to trade together.

I’m not just talking about the broad indexes like the S&P 500.

I’m talking about periods like early 2021 when penny stocks, OTCs, and meme names all went on multi-day runs.

I’m talking about droughts like this past summer when most names went one and done.

I’m talking about oil and gas names running after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Markets have an ebb and flow to them.

You don’t need to be a CFA to understand what’s going on.

Just a little common sense.

Stick With it

what you need to know before start trading
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I have millionaire students that got there within a couple of years.

I have millionaire students that took a decade.

Everyone’s journey is different.

At times, it gets frustrating.

You need to find it within yourself to push through the bad so you can reach the good.

And I want to help you get there.


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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”