Turning Bar Mitzvah Money Into Millions
With few exceptions, new traders are greedy.
My top student Tim Grittani wasn’t greedy. He only wanted to be self-sufficient. (A great mindset to have.)
Me? I was greedy. Okay, maybe not greedy. But I was focused on the money …
I wanted fast cars and wads of cash.
It’s funny how things change …
Recently, I had the opportunity to reflect on my life and trading career when I was interviewed on the TV show “Great Day Louisiana” in New Orleans.
I had a moment of clarity. Self-reflection brought perspective.
I hope it inspires you. I hope it breathes life into your dreams.
Reaching for the Stars
I believe that, as a trader, you have to work hard every single day to reach your goals…
But day in and day out, it can sometimes be hard to maintain motivation. That’s why every now and again, it’s good to look back and see just how far you’ve come.
Recently, while visiting my old college stomping grounds, I had a moment of clarity.
I have a long history with NOLA: I was a college student at Tulane when I made my first millions. So, it was great to be featured on this show and remember how far I’ve come both as a trader and a human being, thanks to my hard work and dedication.
My Big Breakthrough in the Big Easy
In the interview, host Jacqueline Mazur starts by saying, “Most people don’t turn their bar mitzvah money into millions of dollars through stock trading … but in fact, that is exactly what self-made millionaire and Tulane graduate Tim Sykes did.”
I talk about the evolution of my trading, starting with how I began in high school using my bar mitzvah money. My parents granted me access to the cash. They figured it was my money and that I’d at least learn a big and powerful lesson if I lost it.
But I didn’t lose it.
I was obsessed with finding great stocks, and my hard work paid off. I began to find some winning trades and continued my career in college at Tulane. I researched stocks at night and traded any time I could.
I’ve always had an obsessive personality, so even while enjoying all that New Orleans has to offer, I kept trading. I had some very successful trades — and started a hedge fund — all while maintaining my course load.
In spite of the fact that I didn’t have a mentor or proper trading education, I worked hard and learned from my mistakes. I ended up making over $2 million by the time I graduated.
Time Changes Everything
Through the years, my goals as a trader have changed drastically.
Sure, I’ll admit it: at first, I was in it for the money and all that comes with it. But over time, I found — as do many traders who find success — that the excitement of amassing more and more possessions has diminishing returns.
Don’t get me wrong … I like my cars and definitely enjoy the finer things in life. But over time, my world view has expanded.
I’ve always had a passion for travel, and my trading money gives me access to the world. In seeing the world, I’m beginning to learn how much impactful work I could do with my money to help make it a better place.
I don’t do anything halfway. So when I started to get involved in charity, I did it in a BIG way. At this point, I’ve donated $4 million. I’ve helped build schools and helped those in need. And I’m deeply involved in environmental causes.
Through it all, I’ve maintained my status as a trader and teacher. I continue to help emerging traders learn the skills they need to become self-sufficient. And with my 2+ million followers on social media, I try to inspire others to do good in the world.
What I’m Doing Now
These days, I’m on the road most of the year. I just marked the milestone of visiting 120 countries.
You might find me filming in Seychelles to save the reef or flying around the world to promote the work of my charity Karmagawa.
A far cry from being a Tulane college boy … but that’s where it all started.
I’ve gone from being a Tulane student trying to fit in trades whenever and wherever I could to being a successful trader and mentor to my students. I have the freedom to travel the world and the ability to donate to great causes.
Don’t think for a second I’m slowing down. I haven’t come close to achieving all my life goals. I still work hard at trading and teaching.
And just like any other human on the planet, I still have a lot of room for improvement. I strive to keep learning every single day.
But I’ve come a long way from where I started.
I hope you’ll see that, if you’re determined and you work hard toward your goals, anything is possible.
You might not know exactly where your trading journey will take you … but if you stick with it, incredible things beyond just great trades can potentially happen. The world can open up in ways far beyond your wildest dreams.
— Tim Sykes
Editor, Penny Stock Millionaires