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An Interview with Trader and Author Timothy Sykes

Yesterday I wrote a positive book review on Timothy Sykes newest project "An American Hedge Fund".  As his story is quite amazing, I was interested in interviewing Mr. Sykes to get some of the inside scoop.  Thankfully, Timothy has taken some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions.  If you have questions for Timothy, leave them in the comments and i'll see if I can get him to swing by.

Anyways, without any further delay, below is the interview: 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I'm a 26-year old startup hedge fund manager who's been blessed by 3 major events: 

  1. Turning my $12k Bar Mitzvah Gift money into $2 million.
  2. Getting too cocky and losing $700k of that on one stock.
  3. Starring in the TV show Wall Street Warriors, enabling me a massive audience to teach about all the risks and rewards involved in trading and hedge funds.

Why did you start trading?

To get rich quickly! Actually back in 1999, I was a tennis player who got injured so I couldn't do what I loved and I saw the stock market heating up so I thought I'd give it a try.

What is your favorite stock trading strategy?

Playing the price momentum in Penny Stocks! Surprisingly, it’s much easier than the rest of the stock market—probably as the result of most people staying away from it. Very misunderstood market, a great many of opportunities daily.

What is your favorite stock trading indicator?

Breakouts and breakdowns. I like to keep it simple so I buy stocks when they’re breaking out and shot sell them when they breakdown. Sometimes simple isn’t so stupid.

How do you trade today's volatile markets?

Today’s markets aren’t very volatile, people are just made to think that way by all the media looking to influence people into needing constant information. What’s the S&P up this year, 5%? Boooooring. People have been brainwashed all in the name of content.

If you were to start all over again, would you do anything differently?

I’d never get involved with a long-term investment, I wouldn’t risk so much every time, I’d focus more on learning various strategies much earlier in my career, I wouldn’t jokingly talk down to my mom on national TV, and I wouldn’t have spent so much money on trying to attract capital to my fund.

What advice would you give to traders just starting out looking to make a living from trading?

Be cynical, trust nobody, bet small, takes your losses quickly, read all 300 of the finance books listed on my website at www.timothysykes.com

What do you currently do full time?

Running my fund and nurturing my budding career in financial journalism

Why did you decide to write a book?

Thanks to the 700+ airing of my TV show, I was getting 50-100 emails/day asking me all sorts of questions that the show didn’t cover—I got tired of responding to each person individually so this book is everything I’ve been through and what I believe in. Also, I see many BS finance books that are sugarcoated—I definitely didn’t want to fall into that category so I was painstakingly honest. I come off somewhat flawed, but maybe I am and maybe people can learn from that. Getting rich isn’t easy—it sucks your life away because you have to put more hours into this than you ever imagined being capable of—people have to understand that and I hope I can show them that.

Thanks Timothy for taking the time to be interviewed!  I look forward to following your career.

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FT About the author: FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • The Financial Blogger October 2, 2007, 8:07 am

    Thx for this Interview FT!
    I agree with Timothy; there are so many financial books that are not ever written by millionaires… I could you really trust them?

    I will definitely read his book. At least, I know that he made it to the top. He must have discover something we didn’t ;-)

  • Ed Rempel October 2, 2007, 2:39 pm

    Hi Timothy,

    This may sound like a strange question, but how do you know your success was not luck? Market efficiency theorists (if you believe them) claim that a certain percentage of investors will beat the markets just based on luck. Of course, whoever happened to be lucky is the one that would than be able to write about it.

    I guess the real question is – How repeatable and consistent are your methods?

    Ed

  • the Wealthy Canadian October 2, 2007, 3:25 pm

    Good question, Ed. I was wondering the same thing. How do I know that if I follow the same methods exactly that I will have the same success? Or what confidence can be provided to investors into your hedge fund? Even a roulette player can win $2M and then lose $700k.

    I’m sure the book will be inspirational, I just wonder if you’re selling a dream or a possibility.

  • Xias October 3, 2007, 3:03 pm

    I have the same concern as well. Short-term strategies seem increasingly unpredictable. I can see making that kind of money during the height of the tech boom..but now?

  • FrugalTrader October 4, 2007, 11:57 am

    Guys, this is the answer that Tim emailed me:

    “Well it could be randomness that I’ve profited from time and again, but I
    think the odds of that go down each time I take another profit. And my
    fortune was built on the backs of tens of thousands of small profits so the
    chances of it being purely random are very low. Also, as you’ll read, I’m
    not even that good of a trader. I see the patterns, which, by the way,
    still exist in all their glory, long after the tech bubble, and I try to
    take advantage of them. I’m a horrible timer and I ALWAYS enter too early
    as I always get too excited about taking another large gain so I shoot
    myself in the foot by getting overexcited and overtrading. The patterns
    I’ve had the most success with are chart patterns like CHNR, JRJC, SCON,
    ZVUE, CRDC, CPSL. You see the huge rise and usually a quick fall. Same
    pattern for the past 9 years, just with many mutations.

    My book doesn’t have any charts because I don’t want people playing this
    pattern without knowing all the risks involved and that’s why I’ve created
    a 6 hour instructional DVD (more information at http://www.timothysykes.com) It’s
    not a pattern for the faint of heart, but hopefully I can teach people
    about what’s worked for me and what hasn’t so they can at least be better
    prepared.

    I have the same concern as well. Short-term strategies seem increasingly
    unpredictable. I can see making that kind of money during the height of the
    tech boom..but now?

    Everyone thinks there isn’t as much volatility any more–I can’t understand
    it. Look at those charts of the tickers above, they’re greattttttttt!

  • the Wealthy Canadian October 5, 2007, 4:27 pm

    You’re right those are some nice patterns.
    Wow! Wish I would have seen CHNR on Sep24?

  • John Milby October 25, 2007, 7:32 pm

    These attacks on Tim must stop; his book is truly original and great and he serves as an inspiration to all young investors.

    FYI I did some digging into these message board claims and I found Tim merely reposted his thoughts, the stock’s longs were pretty incensed. Funny thing is Tim was absolutely correct with his posts. Great, great guy

  • HK October 27, 2007, 12:33 am

    Howard,

    You’re using my name under false pretenses. I take offense to that because I enjoyed Tim’s book very much. It is very inspirational and you sir are a liar because he did not lose money trading. If you had read the book, you would know that

  • WhoaNelly December 24, 2007, 7:57 am

    This has got to be the biggest joke I’ve ever heard. I like your blog but I am shocked and disappointed in you for actually “interviewing” this nobody and actually liking his book. First of all $2 million is not hedge fund money, in fact even for the flunky financial “advisors” that work in offices on top of Chinese restaurants, $2 million under management is pocket change. Small start-up hedge funds start with at minimum $50 million and usually much more. Second, there is no stock trading strategy that he has, his strategy is essentially buy a penny stock and pray that it goes up a lot. The fact that he lost 35% of his entire capital on one stock is proof enough that he has no strategy and is not a real money manager. I’m willing to bet anything that Little Timmy has virtually none of his gains left. Like others have said, he’s essentially a typical moron just playing roulette, gets lucky and thinks he has some “system” even after he loses it all. What a moron.

  • Timothy Sykes December 25, 2007, 2:34 am

    I’m so sick of the lies being spread about me, I just gotta respond.

    1. Quite a few people like my book with nearly 4 dozen comparing it to “Reminiscences of a Stock Operator” and thats just so far in 3 months since its release. And one of those brave souls happens to be the DJ Newswire.

    2. Actually most hedge funds have under $100 million under management and the majority of those have under $10 million. Shut your snobby mouth that $2 million isn’t a lot of money. Never claimed to be big time, if you’d read my book, you’d understand just how ridiculous your statements are.

    3. To say I have no strategy is simply ludicrous. I invite you to my website where I detail all my trades daily. Or maybe check out my 6 hour instructional video “PennyStocking” where I detail all my strategy’s variables!After earning 130x my money within 5 years, I got too cocky and got away from my core strategy–that is what caused the 35% drawdown. you haters love taking the facts and twisting them, thats why I’m gonna repeat my feat of turning $12k into $1.65 million, detailing every step of the way. 2 months in and I’m up 25%.

    I’m going to succeed just to spite you. You have no idea how determined I am so thank you for helping make me more determined. This is no longer about $, its about the journey and to cut snobby, lying, dishonest people like you down to size and show everyone how great this game really is, despite the negativity coming from soulless people like yourself.

  • FourPillars December 25, 2007, 1:26 pm

    FT, I think I will submit this thread to the Golden Blog award committe for the “most entertaining thread” award… :)

    Mike

  • FrugalTrader December 25, 2007, 1:52 pm

    FP, it is definitely the most controversial comments thread that i’ve read in a long time. :)

  • Timothy Sykes December 25, 2007, 3:36 pm

    It shouldn’t be that controversial — if you look up the IP address of all “my haters”, you’ll find it’s one guy in South Carolina. He uses multiple aliases to make it seem like my book isn’t good and that I have a lot of haters. My guess is he was hired by Traitor Monthly Magazine (the only people I’ve ever had a beef with), but the idiots forget that controversy sells so I should be thanking them!

    Check out his Blogsmith page, he’s written a small book attacking me and my book:

    http://www.blogsmith.com/profile/1390356/

    Trader Gav documented it:

    http://www.tradergav.com/2007/12/03/timothy-skyess-hater/

    Uglychart.com here:

    http://www.uglychart.com/2007/12/02/anti-timothy-sykes-spam/

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