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4 Things to Watch in 2021 — Part 4: What’s Working for YOU?

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 4/17/2022 14 min read

One of the weird things about being transparent is that I talk to a lot of traders. Maybe more than any other trader in the world. I don’t say that to brag. I say it to help you understand why just knowing what’s working isn’t enough.

When I talk to traders, I see where they’re having problems and where they’re doing well. And I see that what’s working for one trader doesn’t always work for another. Yes, you should try to figure out what’s working now. (Keep reading for more on that.)

But ultimately you must…

Look for What’s Working for YOU

What’s working for you? If I asked my top students that question, I’d get a variety of answers. Every single person reading this will have a different answer.

Some people like buying morning panics, some like short selling pumps. Others like first green day OTCs. Look to patterns that work for you.

Again, going back to part 2 of this series, don’t try to predict. If you say “We’re gonna see short squeezes, hot biotechs, and hot OTCs in 2021, so that’s what I’m gonna play…”

(Catch up on the rest of this series. In part 1, I cover the trading mindset. Part 2 digs into 2021 predictions. And in part 3, you can learn a smart approach to your everyday trading.)

Guess what? Who KNOWS what’s gonna happen in the future? Who knows which sectors will overperform or underperform? Predictions set you up for disappointment.

You have to find what’s working. And you have to figure out, specifically, what’s working for YOU.

Focus on What’s Working

I get this question a lot … “How do I figure out what works best for me? Can’t you just tell me what to do?”

NO! Stop! I can’t tell you what you’re good at. All I can do is show you the patterns and strategies I’ve learned over the years.

So the way to figure out what works for you is to first figure out…

What’s Working Now?

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Keep in mind that I adapt to the market. What’s working today might not work tomorrow. And what works for me might not work for you. This is so important if you want to stay in the game long term. You must adapt to the market over time.

So part of figuring out what’s working now is to study other traders. The more consistent they are, the better. What am I trading? Which patterns are working for me? How about Roland WolfJack Kellogg, or Kyle Williams … are their favorite patterns working for them right now?

OK, what about Tim Grittani, Tim Lento, or Michael Goode? What’s working for them now? And, more importantly, how is it working?

Then, as you come to grips with what’s working now, try to figure out what works for you.

Focus on What’s Working and Track It

You have to be focused on what’s working and keep track of it.

A lot of my top students use spreadsheets to track different strategies and patterns. I don’t because I remember these patterns. I’m not a spreadsheet person. You can choose whatever you want.

If it will help you to use spreadsheets, then do it. I especially encourage you to do it if you can’t narrow down your pattern or strategy. Some people think one setup is their best — only to later find that the data tells a different story. They realize they’re more consistent with another pattern.

Track Setups

So track it. You don’t even have to trade a pattern to gather data. Tim Grittani is a perfect example. He sets up criteria and then tracks a setup over time to see if it’s worth pursuing.

Too many people want instant gratification. Want to know how Tim Grittani has been so successful?* By being meticulous.

(*These results are not 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. Always do your due diligence and never risk more than you can afford to lose.)

Track Your Trades

See what your winning percentage is … Track your average win and loss. Keep track of your biggest win and loss. But do it with every trade and every pattern.

That might mean taking a lot of very small trades for a while. You won’t know what you’re good at and what works best for you until you’ve tested.

Test everything. Track everything. Then pay attention to what the data tells you.

Sometimes I wish I was patient enough to do that. Meanwhile, I’ll just keep trading…

Patterns That Keep Working

I can’t promise my patterns will keep working. Again, I don’t predict the markets. But I can say the patterns I trade have been happening for 20 years.

Just remember that pattern is only one of the seven indicators I look at. You must learn to consider all seven. With that in mind, I’ll keep watching for…

Morning Panic Dip Buys

Every day I look for morning panic dip buys. Look at all my watchlists and you’ll see stocks where I’m looking for the panic. (Sign up for my weekly watchlist here.)

Morning panics have worked since last year. They’re not all exactly the same. And to trade them well takes practice. But it’s one of the simplest patterns out there. When penny stocks get overextended, they tend to come down. When they get WAY overextended, they come down hard. And when everything is right, they bounce like a ball.

But that doesn’t mean you can just buy any panic. Don’t try to catch a falling knife. Instead, learn how to dip buy morning panics effectively. Then start small and practice.


I still love buying breakouts. They don’t always work, but there have been some solid breakouts recently.

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Beware of chasing. Sometimes the breakouts I buy are multi-day or multi-month. Other times I buy an intraday breakout. (See above regarding seven indicators. When I buy a breakout, the pattern is NOT all I’m thinking about.)

First Green Days OTCs

First green day OTCs are a perfect example of adapting to the market. They’ve come in waves this year. Sometimes they’re good overnight holds. Other times it’s much better to sell into the close.

In early December 2020, it was working well to hold overnight. But a month prior, they were better to sell into the close. They didn’t gap up the next day. Then, toward the end of December, sometimes they didn’t gap up again.

Again, look at what’s working right now in any single day, week, or month.

StocksToTrade Breaking News Plays

I’m always looking for STT Breaking News Chat plays because they’ve worked for me. Understand that part of the reason they work so well for me is experience.

(Quick disclaimer: I helped design and develop StocksToTrade. I’m also a major investor.)

I know a lot of these stocks from trading them in the past. I’ve traded different sectors and different kinds of markets. It all comes into play. What I love about the Breaking News Chat alerts is they help me filter out the noise. I know something is at least worth looking at if they alerted it.

Note that this doesn’t mean I trade everything they alert. I don’t. But the number of winning trades I’ve taken after their alerts is undeniable.* I’m talking probably half of my winning trades in 2020.* So for me, it’s been a game-changer.

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

Patterns to Avoid

Along with patterns to learn, there are patterns to avoid.

Some patterns take longer than others to learn or find consistency with. That’s why I teach my students to find what works for them by testing small. Then, once you have a pattern that works, you can start working on other patterns.

But there’s one pattern I think every new trader or anyone with a small account should avoid right now…

Aggressive Short Selling

Aggressive short selling has been dangerous for a lot of people this year. And it doesn’t matter how crappy or sketchy the companies are. Huddie, is one of my top students. To date, he reports profiting approximately a quarter of a million dollars primarily from Short selling has been difficult. Even for short sellers who claim they’re making a lot…

First, they’re not showing all their losses. Second, they’re not showing the risks they take or the stress they experience.

Random Patterns

Don’t trade random patterns. Random patterns will only frustrate you and lead to pain. Avoid random patterns.

Hopefully, that’s clear. But let me remind you one more time … Don’t trade random patterns.

How to Make 2021 Your Breakout Year

I can’t promise 2021 will be your breakthrough year. A lot is determined by your work ethic and self-discipline. As always, I have to ask…

How bad do you want it?

How much time and effort are you willing to put in to find what’s working for you? Trading isn’t rocket science. But to be successful you need a combination of knowledge, discipline, and experience.

My top tip for how to make 2021 YOUR breakout year is…

Whatever your level, wherever you are in life, take advantage of one or more of these…

Trading Education Resources

I get questions from people all the time asking how they can learn to trade. What you should know is…

My team and I put together a wide variety of resources. From free, to no-cost, low-cost, or a monthly subscription. And for the most dedicated, there’s the Trading Challenge.

In other words, you get to choose. But do yourself a favor … Whatever your situation, don’t make excuses.

FREE Trading Education Resources

This is a great place to start if you’re brand new to penny stocks and need more information. Penny stocks have a bad reputation. Take advantage of these resources to see why I LOVE them.

FREE Penny Stock Guide

If you’re new and want to learn more about penny stocks start here.


At the time of writing, I have over 1,400 videos on my YouTube channel. And they’re all free. Like this one…

Prepare for 2021 Now With 21 Tips for Penny Stock Trading

Everyone interested in trading penny stocks should watch these videos. Take notes and learn. There’s so much information there if you’re willing to focus.

An American Hedge Fund

Download a copy of my best-selling book for no cost here.

Low-Cost Trading Education Resources

Ready to invest in your education but not ready to go all in? That’s OK. Check it out…

The Complete Penny Stock Course

It blows my mind that more people don’t read this before they start trading. “The Complete Penny Stock Course” is basic, but that’s the point. My student Jamil wrote it and included ALL the basics so you won’t miss anything. Get it. Read it. Take notes.

30-Day Bootcamp

This is the next step up. You get all the basics in 30 video lessons, including worksheets and quizzes. Plus, you get “The Complete Penny Stock Course” book AND my “Pennystocking Framework” DVD as bonuses. Start the 30-Day Bootcamp today.

Monthly Plans on Profit.ly

We have monthly plans for different budgets. Check out Pennystocking Silver and TimAlerts here.

Trading Challenge

All my top students come from the Trading Challenge. If you’re ready to immerse yourself, apply for the Trading Challenge here.

Tools for Traders, By Traders

StocksToTrade is the scanner I use every day. StocksToTrade Breaking News was a game-changer for me in 2020.*

Ready to find what’s working for YOU in 2021? 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

* 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”