Let’s get right into it: I found Tim Sykes in the summer of 2016 and at first like most people, I was skeptically. After doing my research I concluded he was the real deal and joined the TimChallenge program in late June, 2016. I knew nothing about trading prior to hearing about Tim and his service but I was immediately attracted to it. I knew trading was something I wanted to get into from the moment I saw it. I knew a little bit amount the stock market from owning a mutual fund as a child into adulthood but that’s about it. I quickly learned the mutual fund I owned was pretty bad so I used those funds to start trading with.
I started with a 6k E*TRADE account (with backup capital if needed) and began trading, this was a mistake. I was very lazy when I first started my journey. I had barely watched any of the DVDs or video lessons before I placed my first trade. I remember one of my first trades, I went in blind on a pump n dump with no idea what was going on. I live on the west coast so the market opens at 6:30 am. I remember waking up at 6:15 am and heading straight to my computer with little to no preparation. Most of the time if I didn’t have a day trade available I would sleep in till whenever I felt like getting up.
Soon I realized I had start getting more serious. I started watching the DVDs and began to increase my knowledge but still the losses rolled in. Losing day to losing week to losing month, it would not stop. I remember at one point I took 14 loses in a row! I knew something had to change or else I was on my way to blowing up my account to zero. By this time, I could keep my account (that was 6k now down to 2k) afloat by trading with only 100 share position sizes. Commissions did hurt me a lot but it was much better then losing hundreds of dollars a trade. This was also when commissions where $10 an entry and exit so $5 like it is now would’ve been a sweet deal!
I was now 9 months into my journey, 4k plus in losses, had finished all the DVDs and almost all the video lessons and webinars and I still felt like I wasn’t getting it. I even put in another 4k into an Interactive Brokers account to get another fresh start with 6k between both my accounts. I then had my first profitable month in March 2017 but soon gave it all back the next month in April. I continued to improve my process and wouldn’t give up even when I thought about quitting multiple times.
Then in my 12thmonth as a challenge student, had my second profitable month in June, 2017. For once I had more wins than losses and I had found setups and a system that worked for me. I had made almost $400 that month but it was the most pivotal money I had ever made. I continued to improve my process of shorting over-extended crappy stocks and dip buying panic selling and the rest is history. I’ve had a profitable month ever sense with each month bringing more improvement to myself as a trader. I now wake up at 5:30 am pacific time with a watchlist already made from the night before. I know what I am trading and why I’m trading it. There isn’t a trade I’m taking that doesn’t have a trade plan with it.
1. Track your trades: if you want to be in the top 5-10% of traders, tracking your trades here on Profit.ly is not enough! I track mine in an excel spread sheet and it has brought me the most valuable insight into my trading and what works best for me. Create for yourself a trading journal, spreadsheet, whatever is going to get you an in depth look at your trading, do it!
2. Get your life in order: if you think you’ll have a clear and efficient trading strategy with a messy, undisciplined life style you are poorly mistaken. Ask yourself, how much serious debt are you in? Do you have kids, a wife? How much savings do you have? How much money can you really afford to lose if any at all? Are you eating healthy, exercising daily? What else are you doing to improve your life? You’ve probably heard it hundreds of times from other traders but you can’t trade with next month’s rent money! All the answers to these questions give you a type of life that helps or hurts you as a trader and you need to know these things to best set yourself up for success in the markets. I’m a 22-year-old college student with little expenses and no debt, a good amount of savings, still lives at home to save more money, eats healthy, exercises 4 times a week: I’m in the best possible shape I can be in to pursue trading as a career. Have a hard look in the mirror and know what shape you are in.
3. Act like you’ve done it before: I learned this from the legend himself, Lx21. There is a level of self-belief you have to have in yourself to succeed in the markets. There is nothing wrong with celebrating the wins and the milestones but you should already believe you’ve been there, done that. I just crossed the PDT but I’m not jumping out my pants excited. I’ve imagined being here before, this is what I’m supposed to do as a profitable trader. There isn’t any surprise to what I have done because I truly believe I’ve already done it.
4. Work and patience: if you aren’t where you want to be in your trading, you haven’t put enough work in. The number of hours you put into a craft matters. You might feel like you’ve put so much work in but if you aren’t where you want to be then it hasn’t been enough yet. You have 24 hours a day like everybody else. Putting in enough hours to be in the top 5-10% of traders takes time! If you love trading enough and really want to succeed you would be prepared to do this for the rest of your life. Watch every video, listen to every podcast, read every book, whatever it is that could potentially speed your learning curve, put time into it. Time takes time, keep putting in the work even when the results aren’t there right away.
5. Books are where they keep the secrets: I will go as far to say that I have learned more from reading books than my entire college education. The things you can learn in books, specifically in trading, for the cost of the book is incredible. I’m shocked by the amount I have learned just from simply reading an hour a day. Most people are too lazy to read which is fine by me because that gives me an educational advantage over them. There are things I’ve learned from books that I couldn’t have possibly learned from anywhere else.
I wish you the best in your trading journey. Thank you for reading this longer than expected blog post!
Follow my journey through twitter as well: @traderkylec