Write every day project – Day 1

Photo Credit: Zen Pencils

Post Quality Rating: C-

For a guy that has had “be a writer” on his to do list, I do an almost awe inspiring little amount of writing. I’ve read hundreds of articles and books on writing and let me save you some time, in the end they all basically boil down to “If you want to be a writer, write.”

I’ve come and gone in fits and spurts, and the new years “reboot” seems as a good a time as any to rekindle the routine.

I’ll commit to writing the first thing in the day, spending 15 minutes to an hour each at at 4:30-4:45AM. Topics will vary but of course be centered on my main passions and hobbies:

  • Finance / typically day trading focused
  • Fitness
  • General Productivity
  • Writing
  • Making – particularly focused on my current biggest interest, cabinet making

The thought is that by pushing “something” out every day it will be like a snowball rolling down hill and ideally a few weeks and months the quality and value will build.

Good news dear reader, I will “grade” each post at the beginning, while you may or may not agree in the end, you will at least be able to recognize if I perceive the post as having value.  Notice above this post garners a “C-“.

Had this post been longer I would probably give it an even lower grade, but since it takes only a few moments to read and introduces the project I think a middle of the road grade is appropriate.

Thank you for reading.




What I Learned from Living with a Navy SEAL via @the100MileMan

What I Learned from Living with a Navy SEAL

Do Something Hard Every Day:

Get up early EVERY day, it sucks for five minutes, then you instantly think, “I got a leg up on the competition”

Don’t Put Off the Little Things—Just Get Them Done:

So much about being happy and feeling productive is momentum, the more little things you get done, the more big things get done.


I eat the same stuff almost every day and wear almost the same sets of clothes every week. Focus on this that matters, ideas, health, family, not material bullshit.

Say No to Stuff:

I put my life into four buckets: I sleep seven hours a day. I take three hours for myself so I don’t resent the people I’m closest to. I work for about eight hours. And I set aside six hours for hygiene and all the other random stuff that comes up.

I had “sort of” done this, but by no means so structured, totally co-opting this. Plus it fits great into a Kanban/Trello board productivity method.

Have a Plan:

NOBODY does this, well except peak performers.  I try and fail constantly in making plans, but the process is what is important, before you do ANYTHING, ask yourself. “What is the plan?”

Living with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet by Jesse Itzler

Rich Roll Podcast #266 David Goggins

Review of #traderchecklist Instructional DVD by @timothysykes & @thehonestcroock Chapter 12

Click here to get Timothy Sykes Trader Checklist 100% for FREE.


Table of Contents for Review of TraderChecklist


GREAT chapter!! Mark is a solid trader and I think his “Pre Flight Checklist” was the inspiration for Sykes to finally put his system into the “Sykes Sliding Scale”. This two hour webinar by Mark takes you from beginning to end of detailing his system as well as its actual implementation. I really like the way he organized it and it was obviously well thought out.

Croock starts by detailing how diligent you have to be in following a system, then proceeds to actually building a watchlist using his “Pre Flight Checklist”. I really liked the metaphor of an airplane pilot double checking and triple checking criteria before actually taking off.

Reminded me of a very solid book: The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

Something no one wants to hear but is very important, so much of being a trader is repeating the same process 5-10-50 times a day. It is not sexy but it’s that due diligence that creates consistently profitable traders. I didn’t count but I think Mark says “It’s just wash, rinse, repeat” several times during this chapter. It may not be alluring but it’s the truth. Whether it be the “Pre Flight Checklist” or the “Sykes Sliding Scale” you need to develop a system that works for you and stick with it and refine it ad nauseum.

This chapter is for sure a MUST re watch. I’ve seen less valuable content on $200-500 DVD’s and this chapter is just a portion of the FREE content in Trader Checklist.


Mark Croock Pre Flight Checklist
#1 Criteria to get started
     -Big % gainer
     -Former runner
     -StocksToTrade – Yahoo finance – Finfiz – thelion.com Nasdaq.com
#2 Check stats
     -Shares outstanding
     -# of shares short
Good description of the behavior of low float stocks
Good discussion on repeating the due diligence EVERY time.
Finviz screener for big gainers. >10%
     -Sort by volume
Process of building list of tickers, quickly scan at first.
     -Start with big list, then whittle down
     -Check multiple sources, finviz, StocksToTrade, Yahoo finance, etc etc.
     -Ignore low volume
#3 Catalysts
          -earnings winner – Potential Buy
          -contract winner – Potential Buy
          -technical breakout – Potential Buy
          -Hot sector –  – Potential Buy – trends, Ebola,weed etc
          -Pump – Potential short
          -Buyout rumors – guessing game – no edge. IGNORE
          -Speculative and “potential” news, usually an Ignore
#4 Where is longer term and short term Support and resistance
     -Basic technical analysis
     -Multiple time frames.
     -Avoid long term “bag holder” charts, long kiss goodnight.
MOST CHARTS ARE NOT TRADEABLE, learn to recognize this through repetition.
Breakdown of NVCN – Rinse and repeat methods already mentioned.
Avoid beat down stocks
Watchlist building – good thinking through of potentials
     -writing out thoughts
Really like the idea of writing out plans/ideas
Good breakdown of balance sheet
Good example of my “ghetto fundamental analysis” quick cash check, burn rate etc.

Review of #traderchecklist Instructional DVD by @timothysykes Chapter 11

Click here to get Timothy Sykes Trader Checklist 100% for FREE.


Table of Contents for Review of TraderChecklist


Whoops I didn’t realize till finishing the last post that this segment was only five minutes long. Otherwise I would have just built them into one post, but oh well.

While short this chapter is very useful for new to intermediate traders. Basically it is centered around a mid day stock offering by EVOK. Many traders get confused about these offers and scream “PUMP AND DUMP” etc. Sykes does a very solid job of quickly explaining that while shady and disgusting these types of offerings happen every day in the land of shit penny stocks. Sooner you understand this and accept it the better. Always trade low priced stocks cautiously.

MUST WATCH chapter for new traders or current or former traders that have become “bagholders” at any time in their career.


EVOK Late date crack

3:15PM Friday afternoon ATM

Rodman and Renshaw

Good description of this type of financing.

Trade these stocks CAUTIOUSLY.

Review of #traderchecklist Instructional DVD by @timothysykes Chapter 10

Click here to get Timothy Sykes Trader Checklist 100% for FREE.


Table of Contents for Review of TraderChecklist


Nice quick chapter that summarizes the day after Chapter 9. Basically a recap of how the stocks ended up trading after the Trader Checklist analysis the day before. Some very useful trading psychology discussion is included as well. Its very general but nice to hear post mortem how Sykes was thinking and how he works through these types of trades.

I liked the points about avoiding pre market trading unless the setup is just too juicy to skip, as well as the difference between a “convincing” breakout and a “lame” breakout (with examples).

While quick this was a good chapter, I think it was a solid idea to go over the trades from the day before and Sykes sprinkled in enough Trading Psychology to make this chapter high in value.


Mid day recap – Daily review




User testimonials and trade recaps

TSRI Recap – Earnings winner

Avoid pre market trading when possible.

Discussion of when and how to buy morning dips

Good basic support/resistance technical analysis discussion

DELT – Dip buy

Convincing breakouts vs lame breakouts

DELT recap – trader checklist – hindsight

Discussion of “robot thinking” Trader Checklist is still just a guide. Not written in stone.

Good psychology discussion on DELT

Level 2 discussion

Review of #traderchecklist Instructional DVD by @timothysykes Chapter 9

Click here to get Timothy Sykes Trader Checklist 100% for FREE.


Table of Contents for Review of TraderChecklist


Very solid nitty gritty chapter here. And especially for those new to trading or new to actually preparing at night. One of the best overarching themes of Trader Checklist is spending the time and doing due diligence to locate the best trades. So many unsuccessful traders just show up at the market open with no plan or theme and just start putting on random trades. They then proceed to get frustrated and most likely chopped out of even good setups.

This chapter is an hour long insight into Sykes building his watchlist. Rating stocks for their potential and really thinking about how and why to trade them. Not only is this useful since you actually see him using the Trader Checklist real time. I think the greatest lesson is watching him work through his process of selection, at times agongizing over making a plan.

I truly and firmly believe in “No plan, no trade”. Especially as a newer or intermediate trader you have to “put in the reps” each night or early morning. Its boring, slow and at times annoying. But you will never find success or get to the next level without doing this work. NOBODY, no matter what they say on Twitter shows up at 9:29AM, makes a couple trades and calls it a day at 11AM WITHOUT doing the work of scanning and planning.

This chapter gives a good insight into Sykes putting in this effort each and every night. Great lesson on the process of the Trader Checklist, but even better lesson on work ethic. I’ve followed Sykes since about 2007 and he has literally NEVER missed a day building a watchlist in roughly 9 years.

Great overall chapter and for sure should be flagged for re-watching.


After hours STT

Building a watchlist


Discussion of penny stocks versus “real stocks” and price movement

Look at price/patterns/volume and catalyst not what the company is or does.

Percentage gainers – watchlist
-from today or the day before.

High volume can create choppiness

DELT breakdown

Good listening to though process through potential watches and trade plans.

Multiple timeframe breakdown – useful

TOPS – breakdown

Risk to reward discussion

Little bit of SEC digging

Lots of good Trader Checklist examples

Again a good use of the SSS is cutting down a watch list to a manageable number.

GRPN PEIX ALIM – earnings winners

PEIX basic technical analysis

Breakdown of earnings winners – checklist style

Breakdown of Supernovas – checklist

SPU trader checklist

Review of #traderchecklist Instructional DVD by @timothysykes Chapter 8

Click here to get Timothy Sykes Trader Checklist 100% for FREE.


Table of Contents for Review of TraderChecklist


Another shorter chapter, right around 30 minutes. I try and keep these reviews honest and not just “rose colored”. So this was probably my least favorite chapter. Though while it did not have much value for me, I think it would serve very new traders well. Most of chapter was reviewing and “hindsight trading” a couple trades that Sykes made that day. He retroactively completed the SSS sheet on trades after closing them out.

This has some value I think to kind of get in the mind of how to approach a trade setup, but for me it was not that engaging.

Best value was in reinforcing the idea of using the SSS to whittle down the number of stocks you watch. I really think that is one of the most powerful parts of this model, while obvoiusly not perfect it creates a framework to get you down to a manageable list of stocks.

Good thing is it was quick so you can pick up the solid tips without spending a ton of time on this chapter.


STT – SSS post market open.

SPU – GRPN recaps

MFT discussion

Detailed discussion of SPU, before, during and after trade.

Double back to SSS analysis on GRPN EVOK PEIX MDGS

SSS – Trader Checklist on SPU in hindsight

User testimonials

EVOK recap

Float rotation discussion

GRPN recap and breakdown

Lot of doubling back on setups.

SSS helps you refine down to less tickers to follow.

Tough to short earnings winners/delayed spikes

Review of #traderchecklist Instructional DVD by @timothysykes Chapter 7

Click here to get Timothy Sykes Trader Checklist 100% for FREE.


Table of Contents for Review of TraderChecklist


Quick but good chapter. Actually while I normally think more is better I think brevity in this case in a positive. Sykes goes into actually implementing the SSS in 4 different stocks. It is a capture from pre market back in July so the actually tickers do not really matter. What is valuable is hearing and seeing Sykes thought process and how he actually weights each criteria in the 7 categories.

The Sykes Sliding Scale is not an exact science but it is a solid method to help decide whether a stock is a solid trade setup for YOU. And what I really like is it helps rank all the potential trades of the day. I prefer to focus on as few stocks as possible and watching Sykes go through examples is very helpful to refine this process.


Pre market watchlist building with StocksToTrade

Use pre market as a guide

Earnings discussion and time based chart stamping in StocksToTrade


S13-G Filing

Bad sushi, beat down stocks
-not always worth buying just because they are cheap

Trader Checklist Demo with PEIX


7/28/2016 Examples

PEIX – 56 on the SSS nothing amazing setup wise


MDGS – 67

MDGS not ideal but good example of showing “weighting” of potential plays and which to focus on

Good example of thought process in flux.

GRPN – 61

Hypothetical on GRPN – 73

Review of #traderchecklist Instructional DVD by @timothysykes Chapter 6

Click here to get Timothy Sykes Trader Checklist 100% for FREE.


Table of Contents for Review of TraderChecklist

“Why is the sky blue, I don’t know, I’m sure some scientist knows?”

Timothy Sykes

Overall a very solid chapter, I start with the quote above because I think while funny it is one of the most useful points of this chapter. Sykes used this quote when discussing news around low priced stocks. It came from the fact that he was pushing never anticipate earnings or news or other announcements, trade the reaction to them. So many new traders get stuck on guessing games and lose because of it. If you trade in anticipation of events so often you will get shook out before the trade has a chance to work. And in the end even if you are right you may end up losing. If you are watching this DVD or interested in it you are a TRADER, trade the price action, you are not a GUESSER.

This content alone was worth watching for an hour.

Other than that there is a lot of discussion about time of day and your personal schedule. Sykes like to refer to himself as a “retired” trader. I have a similar mindset in that I call myself a “part time trader”. Him and I both might be strapped into a trading platform 9+ hours a day but we are focusing on ONLY trading the best setups and not trying to trade anything and everything. Obviously I’m biased but I think this is the best approach.

Very good chapter, I like that he wrapped up on a couple hypothetical SSS setups and how the simple spreadsheet can serve as a guide. Very solid watch and really a potential rewatch.


A: At what “time of day”

Don’t become a slave of the markets

First and last hour, best times

Sometimes mid day plays but more often than not, there is nothing or very little

Quit chasing the scraps and wait for the best setup

Overnight trades are solid setups/especially under PDT

Overnights are risky because of potential news etc.
-buying good news O/N is solid setup
-Shorting ugly charts O/N is a solid technique as well
-International news and overall markets can effect overnight postions

Consider your schedule and to do list each day

NEVER feel bad if real life gets in the way of trading.

Wait for trades to come to you instead of constantly “fishing” for plays

Make trading work for your schedule.

Be careful setting profit dollar goals

Think of yourself as a “retired” trader or “part time trader”
-instead of milestones focus on the process and getting consistent

Avoid pre market unless something VERY interesting. Use pre market as a guide

Shorting early sometimes is the only approach, because of share availability, but consider size and squeeze potential

Use chat/twitter etc as “idea generation” never follow, never believe

Prepare pre market, start researching 9AM AT THE LATEST, more like 8AM

Recap of student profits and testimonials

Paper trade if you are new

Don’t be a slave to trading, trading should offer freedom

R: Reason/Catalyst
-News and other catalysts are a guide, but NEVER get to biased.
-Contracts/earnings etc

Good discussion of contracts and earnings and how stocks react to them.

But never guess on earnings, trade afterwards and the reaction

Very good advice on only trading the reaction to news and earnings etc, guessing ahead of time has NO edge

Trade the movement, not the anticipation, never hold and hope.

You don’t need to dig into the news and filings that much, cursory glance and react

Don’t revenge trade, a miss is a miss

Discussion of “buy on rumor, sell on news”

E: Market Environment

3 out of 4 stocks follow the market.
-Dont fight this, follow it

Have zero expectations and you will not be disapointed

Low float runners hot (summer 2016) but at some point they will quit working, but keep trading them until then.

“Who is to stay August won’t be better” 😃

“Why is the sky blue, I don’t know, I’m sure some scientist knows”

Trade what is working “NOW”, right now low float runners, soon it will be something else.

55:35 First SSS example and breakdown

profit.ly/sss simple online spreadsheet to test

Examples and breakdown for 0-100 scale

Criteria stay the same, but what goes into them will change

Some final market commentary, be reactive not predictive

LX21 and Croock videos coming up

Review of #traderchecklist Instructional DVD by @timothysykes Chapter 5

Click here to get Timothy Sykes Trader Checklist 100% for FREE.


Table of Contents for Review of TraderChecklist

Really starting to get more into the nitty gritty of what the SSS is and how to apply it to penny stocks. In this chapter Sykes goes over the “E” in PREPARE fully and starts explaining the second “P”. The E is for “Ease of Entry/Exit” and the P is for “Past Performance”. This is good info because he explains the concept of “former runners” and the idea that many tickers repeat their runs over and over. Something newer traders may not realize is traders will pile into tickers they recognize. 99.999999% of momentum traders are creatures of habit. Whether they be long or short biased, when a familiar ticker shows up on scans there is a good chance there will be lots of activity in that stock that day.

Jumping back to the “E” this is why Tim repeats himself over and over that you should only trade the stocks with volume that day. And also why there is value in filtering your list down to only the percentage gainers. If there is no volume TODAY, do not trade it. You do of course need to think about the average daily trading volume, but we are day traders or short term swing traders, we only care about what is happening today and at most this week. I know so many new traders that get “trapped” in a low volume stock that they recognized a pattern in. Sure pattern recognition is very valuable and part of your growing process but the pattern is worthless unless you can get in and out when YOU want to.

VERY good chapter, one of the best so far. Good content and as I mentioned in the opening sentence this part was 100% trading related content. If you are new this is a solid chapter to rewatch. Also it’s the first appearance of the “bad sushi” analogy. I’ve known Sykes a long time and he loves analogies, though most of the ones he makes are misses, the “day old sushi and cheap stocks” is one of his best!


E: East of Entry/Exit (1-10)

Daily trading volume and position size
Speed of movement, be sized and prepared for slippage / implication of chasing
Borrow availability, SSR

Size needs to be related to daily volume – THAT DAY not average
Avoid being more than 1% of daily trading volume

Most think small amounts are a handicap, they can actually be an advantage

Find your niche

Shorting is difficult.
-Lots of details and explanation of shorting

You must consider how hard it is to short, implications and hassles
-You can waste a lot of time watching and researching a ticker then find out there are no borrows

Buy ins – T+3

P: Past Performance/History of Running (1-10)

-Former runner?

-Long term chart – MTF

-Crow – long time chart death, most spikes will get sold into

-Same with Shorts, often pile into any spike on the short side

-Discussion of tax loss selling at end of year

-Look for past volatility
-Momentum chasers come in, short sellers can came in Traders remember tickers

-Past performance guides traders to be better prepared for current and future spikes

-Track shares outstanding and float

-Calculate market cap – Shares outstanding * stock price

-“float rotation”

-Buying low float runners is solid strategy “supply and demand”

-Sykes considers low float < 5M

-Watch market cap in relation to float

-Sellers will come in if valuation is too high
-good reason to watch big % gainers only

-More discussion of low floaters

-Trading low floaters is fine, but hard and you have to be VERY fast.

-Valuation discussions

-Risk to reward, recognize climate of shorting versus buying

-big movers tend to move big again, slow movers tend move slow

-avoid boring stocks





-Discount sushi analogy



-Reverse Split description and detail – explanation