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Penny Stock Basics

Scams, Rules, and Why I Teach-Timothy Sykes Trading Strategy

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 4/18/2022 12 min read

Let’s get into scams, rules, and why I teach. If you want to get rich quick … sorry, I’m not the right teacher for you.

But if you’re willing to ditch the sense of entitlement and work hard, you might be able to make things happen.

I get a ton of awesome comments on my videos, lessons, and public trades that say things like, “I’ve tried Tim’s strategies and saw better trades…”

For example, @blacjjul had this to say:

I love hearing that!

But there are also plenty of comments where traders complain that they haven’t made money yet even though they’ve been religiously following my techniques … for a full three weeks. Or a month, maybe two.

The problem with expecting to master trading so quickly? It’s symptomatic of “get rich quick” thinking. It takes time … you’ve got to be patient! Or as I said in a recent tweet:

To really find success in trading, you’ve got to be thinking in the long term. It takes time to build up a foundation of knowledge and experience.

Long-term trading success isn’t about making money. It’s about mastering smart trading techniques that can be replicated over time.

Of course, if you decide to learn from newbie traders or so-called gurus who claim that you can make millions within a year, you won’t get this kind of transparency.

Prove It

To anyone who claims to be an expert teacher who will get you rich quick, what I have to say is this: prove it.

Where are their public trades? Where’s the transparency?

I’m extremely public about my 20+ years of trades … and my profit statements, income tax returns, audits, and so on.

FULL TRANSPARENCY. That’s the name of the game. I share EVERYTHING. Even the trades where I lose money, because there are important lessons to be learned from losses.

I’ll always share how much risk I took.

I’ll always share my realized profit.

I’ll always explain my entry and exit points.

I list commentary and lessons on every trade. Why? Because it helps my students learn about trading in a real-life way. For example, after my commentary on a recent trade, Profit.ly user cbowens94 had this to say:

“I really want to thank you for sharing this; as I just finished learning the 7-step framework in the orientation and this video was a great follow up. I’ll learn the cheaper way by studying your rules, videos, webinars, etc.”

Would you rather trust someone’s screenshot “proof” of profits?

Plenty of other traders only cherry-pick their winners and share those publicly.

They’ll only show the end result of the trade.

Without full transparency and commentary, you won’t actually learn anything except how to be a follower.

Why I REALLY Trade

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I don’t really trade to make money anymore. I primarily trade to teach.

This is an important distinction for anyone who wants to judge my trading strategies solely based on my recent track record.

I purposefully trade with a small account so that I can be on a similar level with my students. I want to motivate them to work hard — because hard work can pay off.

Students like @StevenT60511933 aren’t scared to work hard:

But I’m also not just a trader. I make a lesson out of every trade. My key purpose with my trades is to use them to teach my students. I also help build schools. And I love to travel — I’ve been to over 100 countries now.

That’s to say: my trading isn’t “optimized.” For me, trading is all about being able to show my students the process.

Is Tim Sykes a Scammer?

Here’s another comment I see on videos and social media: “Is anyone convinced Tim Sykes isn’t a scammer?”

If you need proof that I’m not a scammer … go watch the 1,000 videos on my YouTube channel. If I were a scammer, it would be a pretty long con to create all those lessons.

Profit.ly user QuattroEd has been learning from my lessons:

“Picking up so much by “actively” listening – Tims a Jigsaw puzzle teacher- he drops bits everywhere! pick them up and put them together! luv ya Tim- changing my life”

… and so has Profit.ly user crazywillows, in response to a recent lesson/webinar:

“Thanks Tim, picked up an answer to a question I’ve had in my mind that I missed during the webinar, always important to rewatch these as we sometimes get caught up in the moment and don’t always hear what is going on…”

I don’t know how to be a scammer. All I know is how to teach what I’ve learned over the past 20 years. I teach my students to focus on the rules, start small, and build from there. You may start off with small profits, but you can scale up as you grow. But you have to find consistency first.

@BeckyBr33198000 gets the idea:

Follow My Rules … See What Happens

Instead of talking about whether I’m a scammer, go ahead and see what happens if you study my methods and watch my videos.

See what happens when you follow my rules, like rule #1: cut losses quickly. I brought it up on Twitter recently:

Don’t miss this video on cutting losses quickly.

See what happens when you look at top percent gainers and follow the patterns that play out over weeks, months, and years.

See what happens when you take the time to learn the market mechanics before you actually start risking your hard-earned cash.

I think you’ll find it’s laughable that people could possibly think it’s a scam.

Don’t Trust So-Called Gurus

Even with everything I just said, I get why people might have doubts. If you don’t know me (yet), I see why you might be wary. A ton of penny stock teachers are scammers, or at least they’re inflating their actual skills.

Very few of them have a 20+ year track record.

They don’t post the details of every trade publicly, like this.

Also … a ton of them will fail.

There’s also a lot you don’t know about how they’re trading. They’re also not usually trading with a small account. They might be trading with a big account or paper trading. They don’t prioritize the process. Don’t learn the hard way.

For example, @Belle_say_hey learned some things the hard way, but is taking all the right steps now:

Scams, Scams Everywhere

These so-called gurus might be touting binary options, they might be promoting crypto scams. There are even some imposters of me who have tried to approach people to open Bitcoin wallets.

If you get a message like that, it’s DEFINITELY not me, BTW. I will NEVER contact you and ask for things like money or account access. Neither will anyone from my team.

Also … I don’t really deal with Bitcoin. All the sketchiest people I know are into Bitcoin, and it’s not for me. Even though this tweet was from February, not much has changed:

Sadly, trading isn’t the only sketchy industry I’m involved with. I’ve also noticed plenty of scams in the charity industry, too.

I got into charity because I wanted to … but the charity world has even more sketchy people than penny stocks. Once again, though, I believe in transparency. We really have donated $4 million through our 501(c) charity. We show all our invoices. It’s the real deal.

Keep it Real

I guess I choose sketchy industries … but I’m not sketchy. All you have to do to be different in these fields? BE REAL.

I’m actually trying to change the penny stock world. I’m actually trying to change the charity world. And I’m trying to change the teaching world.

It’s not about money for me. I donate to charity and I have enough money for everything I need and want.

I try to teach what I’ve learned by donating and being real. I don’t understand why people can’t be real. A lot of gurus out there haven’t been working anywhere near 20 years … so how much do they really have to offer?

When I trade, I post commentary and a lesson on it…every time. This opens up discussions that help my students learn!

For instance, after posting about a recent trade, Profit.ly user AaronHardee was able to learn from the experience too:

“Bought 100 shares @.5859 of GHSI 7 days ago it was my first ever purchase have been holding since noticed small news and started up trend when I bought it so have given it time to break and it keeps me watching and learning with skin in the game whole training…excited to see the big spike today! But also feel like I learned I was early and should have let it play more before I first bought since it dipped right after.”

Reality Bites … I Bite Back

It can be hard to know who to believe and who to turn to.

There are plenty of people who claim, “Tim Sykes is a scam.” But in the scheme of things, it’s a pretty small portion of the population. You never know the motivation behind trolls. Often enough, it’s people who are jealous or are trying to knock you down to get ahead themselves.

Bad strategy.

Honestly, I’m thankful for my haters and self-serving penny stock promoters. They’re duplicitous, but they challenge me to do better and to find ways to make new opportunities.

As for me? I keep doing what I do with as much transparency as possible. Just look at the reviews of my book … people do get it!

I’ll keep teaching and trading. You’re free to follow my rules. See how it all works out if you don’t follow them.

I have plenty of students who started out not believing me. They blew up their accounts and then came back saying I was right … and some have gone to become extremely successful traders.

I’m not here to say I told you so. I just want you to learn. Hopefully, my teachings in the Trading Challenge, on YouTube, and via my public trades can help speed up your learning curve.

Profit.ly member RPhTrader wrote to let me know that my lessons are helping him make sense of the market:

“Thanks Tim! Watching your videos really puts the charts together for me in terms of trades. I also appreciate how you go over the simple things about the website that newbies wouldn’t figure out on their own.”

This is what fulfills me and why I teach, and it can help you. So take advantage of it!

[Students’ results aren’t typical. These students put in the time and dedication and have exceptional skills and knowledge. Most traders lose money. Always remember trading is risky. Never risk more than you can afford.]

What do you think of these “get rich quick” so-called gurus? Leave a comment and let me know.


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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

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* 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 (205) 851-0506 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”