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Book Review: An American Hedge Fund

Timothy Sykes and his self made publishing company, BullShip Press, has kindly sent me a preliminary version of his new book "An American Hedge Fund".  For those of you who don't know the name Timothy Sykes, you may recognize him from the various TV appearances on CNBC – WallStreet Warriors.

An American Hedge Fund is a story of how Tim Sykes received $12,000 in gift money at the age  of 18, started trading the stock market aggressively, and ended up with a stock portfolio valued at over $1.65 million before the age of 22.  How did he do this?  He basically became obsessed with studying stock market patterns during the dot com days. With some luck, skill and determination, he became a millionaire through trading highly volatile tech stocks.  After building a healthy net worth, his story evolves into the successes and failures of starting his own hedge fund.

What is the book about?

  • With enough determination and a bit of luck, it is possible to make a living/fortune from trading stocks.  The book takes you from Timothy's first trade to the very trade where his portfolio value reached over $1 million.  The story then evolves to his journey in starting a hedge fund.
  • For those of you thinking about starting a hedge fund, it is very challenging getting traction for startups with a smaller capital base.  At least it is in the US.

What I liked?

  • I really enjoyed the story behind the book.  It really shows the day to day thoughts of the young trader.  The book takes you on the emotional highs and lows through winning and losing in the markets.
  • I appreciated was that the story included some of Timothy's trading flaws.
  • Along with that, I enjoyed some of the disclosure he has given on the hedge fund industry which is typically hush-hush.

What I didn’t like?

  • Although the point of the book wasn't to show "how" to trade, to me though, some detailed strategies would have made this book better. 

Who should read this?

  • Anyone who enjoys reading stock market success/failure stories.  This book can be inspirational to those who are just starting out or experienced traders a like.

Final Thoughts:

  • I recommend this book for it's entertainment value.  It was truly fascinating to read about how the young teenager turned his $12,000 into over $1.65 million in 3 short years.
  • If you're interested in purchasing "An American Hedge Fund", you can find it on Amazon for around $20CAD.

Stay tuned for tomorrows post where I have interviewed the super trader Timothy Sykes himself.

If you would like to read more articles like this, you can sign up for my free newsletter service below (we will not spam you).

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.

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • FourPillars October 1, 2007, 8:17 am

    Good review. I like your format for these reviews – I might have to “borrow” some of your ideas for my own reviews….:)

    Mike

  • FrugalTrader October 1, 2007, 9:13 am

    Hey FP, thanks for the feedback! Yes by’, feel free to borrow all the ideas you want. Let me know if I can help.

  • FourPillars October 1, 2007, 10:12 am

    Help eh?? Well for starters you can read the books and write the reviews for me – that would help! :)

    Mike

  • cash advance October 1, 2007, 1:04 pm

    Great Review man and I always like to listen Timothy Sykes’ advices. Great person with great knowledge thanks for the whole stuff. And I am 100% agree with your this point, “Anyone who enjoys reading stock market success/failure stories. This book can be inspirational to those who are just starting out or experienced traders a like.”

  • FatboyJim October 1, 2007, 1:06 pm

    Hey FT,
    Strange coincidence that you would happen to review this book right now; just this past weekend I found (while looking up the movie Wall Street on IMDB) and watched the full 6 episodes of Wall Street Warriors, and found Tim to be by far the most interesting character they followed. I’m very interested to read the interview tomorrow, especially if there is an update on what happened with the hedge fund Tim was trying to get off the ground. I’m also interested to see if the opportunities that Tim used to grow his initial account (short-trading small- and micro-cap tech stocks) are still available in the market today.

    By the way, I’m pretty impressed that you’re bagging all these great interviews with the likes of Derek Foster and now Tim Sykes. Congrats!

    Cheers,
    FJ

  • FrugalTrader October 1, 2007, 1:25 pm

    Hey guys, glad you enjoyed the book review. FJim, tomorrows interview should answer your questions.

    Stay tuned!

  • the Wealthy Canadian October 1, 2007, 6:46 pm

    Hey FT, good review. I’d never heard of him before and unfortunately, now I’ve got one more book to add to my to-read list.

  • Timothy Sykes October 2, 2007, 12:25 pm

    To correct my critics:

    1. My track record that ‘documents my failures’ shows that even with my mistakes, I’m still up 60x my initial investment a few years ago….and that’s after-tax!

    2. I called my publishing company BullSHip Press to cut through all the BS, not add to it

    3. Once you read my book, you’ll see I’m painstakingly honest about all my successes and failures. But when I post a message to short JRJC at 42 on EliteTrader (from which all my haters seemingly stem) and then cover at 39 within an hour, you’re damn right I’m going to brag about it.

    4. My ‘cheesy DVD’ is 6 hours of all my trades (good and bad), experiences, lessons, and hundreds of stock charts analyzed in detail. If you look at my fund’s total returns, I have only made 1%/year since 2003, but…….as you’ll see in the DVD, it’s all due to one failed investment . Without it, I’m up about 30%/year and I’m not even a disciplined trader. You can learn from my successes and my failures, because lucky for you my failures will help you avoid many common pitfalls

  • Nabloid October 18, 2007, 2:30 am

    I’m going to have to watch Wall Street Warriors!

    Sounds like an interesting book and I would love to do a review! Tim sounds like a controversial figure but I think its hard to discount everything he’s done because of one bad investment. Nobody’s perfect, not even a man who turns ~$10,000 into $1.65 mill in a few years.

  • Ed S. November 25, 2007, 11:45 am

    Ok, I just recently learned of this guy,Tim Sykes, and have visited the web site he set up and watched a few of his idiotic appearances on various news outlets such as CNBC. This is HILARIOUS.

    Tim, if you are reading this, listen up:

    Much of what I’ll say is redundant but you know NOTHING about what you claim to know about. You are a rank amateur who has learned enough surface information about an industry so as to come across as being knowledgeable enough about it to teach to others. The only people that take you seriously are complete newcomers to this game that know next to nothing, because to a complete amateur you sound like you know what you are talking about. You have learned enough about trading to pretend and claim to have traded and that’s about it.

    Trading your parents money via an online retail account is not a fund, but is laughable. Your story is just that, a story. “I turned my 12k bar mitzvah money into 2 million”. It reads like bad spam I get in my inbox but the journalists eat it up like cake. Your web site is hilarious because you are an enormous idiot and I will continue to visit it for free laughs. I wonder if you know how stupid you are or if you have truly convinced yourself that you have learned something valuable enough to write about?

  • FrugalTrader January 27, 2008, 9:25 am

    The negative spam comments in this thread have been deleted.

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