I had pre-ordered Tim Sykes‘ An American Hedge Fund a while back, I received it late September and finally got around to reading it all this weekend.
Tim is the trader who started Cilantro Fund Partners LP from capital he made on the market. He started trading the $12,415 from his Bar Mitzvah and turned it into $1.65 million between 1999 and 2002, managed his short bias hedge fund from 2003 to 2006 and starred in the TV documentary Wall Street Warriors on MOJO.
Tim’s book was very entertaining. It is loaded with anecdotes about his life, his trading and his decisions. With the trades and the decisions, he took pride in highlighting the good but took no shame is also highlighting the bad. It make the book a great insight into his life and his passion, the stock market.
I did not always agree with Tim’s underlying message on how SEC regulation on hedge fund publicity and advertising can prevent small guys from succeeding. Although it is nice to help smaller players, I think the SEC does have a key role in protecting the general public and the field of investors. But it took nothing away from the book. The last chapter alone, “Lessons Learned”, is a goldmine of facts Tim learned the hard way and is now sharing with the readers.
I would recommend the book to anyone interested in the market. Do not look for precise recipes for success shorting Pink Sheets and Bulletin Board stocks but keep an open mind and you will learn plenty from a fellow trader.
0 thoughts on “Tim Sykes’ An American Hedge Fund”
Update to the Sykes saga. He has been reported to the SEC for posting on message boards attacks against a company he made a short recommendation against on thestreet.com
How he swindled that side into giving him a podium is anybody’s guess. I imagine he fancies himself ala Jim Cramer, but where he tries to match Cramer in terms of bluster and self-aggrandizement he lacks Cramer’s obvious deep well of knowledge and ability to educate about the markets which is something Sykes cannot do. I hope Cramer knows Sykes used his site and then bashed the same pick on Yahoo and Raging Bull message boards immediately after to reinforce the chances of success for his short recommendation.
This kid is the sleaziest thing to hit the financial media in a long time and that is saying something.
Just say NO to Tim Sykes.
And if you haven’t already seen his now classic laughing stock of Wall Street series of emails published on TraderDaily.com go look them up. They are excruciatingly embarrassing.
Interesting the Tim/Jim analogy… If anyone has links or more info on these allegations from Norman Lunden, I’d be interested.
For the ’30 under 30′ party story at TD, check:
I read Sykes mediocre hedge fund book since I knew him at Tulane, and like him as a person. However, the book is an empty and uninspiring story about how Sykes became a self-absorbed irresponsible stock trader. This book is NOT a “classic” and story is NOT “Rocky-like”(as author Sykes claims). This book is basically like a blog of an average person who got lucky trading stocks and then his luck ran out (which it really should be – blog and nothing more).
Beware of all the phony glowing reviews for Sykes Book. Its the good ole boy network in high gear where authors/investment advisers use the buddy system to give fake good reviews to each other.
Sykes put the term “stock operator” in title in order to confuse all future book searches for Jesse Livermore’s excellent story (Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, by Edwin Lefèvre (1923)). This cheesy trick might help book sales, but needless to say, Sykes has nothing in common with the great trader Livermore.
Sykes comes across like a hyper/immature/video game player-type Trader, which worked for him for a few years; then the law of averages caught up with him. His “return to the mean” continues during the past two years; and his very poor investment strategies are DOWN -37% since Jan 2006. His continuous bad performance throughout 2007 shows that he does not learn from his mistakes; and readers can only cringe while watching Sykes slow motion demise.
I also read Tim Sykes book, and it was not worth $20. It is basically about a guy who was very lucky while gambling with stocks, then his luck ran out..
..now he needs to make money by being a book/dvd salesman…
I READ SYKES WORTHLESS BOOK AND IT HAS NO SUBSTANCE. THERE ARE PLENTY OF OTHER BOOKS THAT COVER THE SAME SUBJECT MATTER FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE A RIGHT TO EVEN AUTHOR A BOOK ON THE SUBJECT.
THIS WORTHLESS BOOK IS JUST AN ATTEMPT AT COMING UP WITH A CATCHY TITLE TO GENERATE HITS ON A SEARCH ENGINE. SAME OLD TIRED INFORMATION PRESENTED.
SYKES IS A FAILED HEDGE FUND MANAGER, NOW BECOMING A SNAKE OIL BOOK SALESMAN. BOOK NOT WORTH $20.
Re: Sykes amateurish hedge fund book:
Is it more sad or amusing when someone’s young ego spurs them to write a book when they possess neither literary skill nor talent? Sykes has commented elsewhere that his goal to become “a great teacher, not a great investor” but in this sad excuse for a tutorial he proves to be neither as his amateurish errors practically drive him from the market, credibility (what little he had) completely shredded. Perhaps, however, it’s not truly his fault: let’s face it, when it comes to imparting wisdom from Wall Street it is simply not possible that a raw twenty-something simply has much to say.
Not that Sykes doesn’t try however. In perusing the “comments” portion of Amazon book reviews, he’s certainly not reluctant to chime in and offer a defense at nearly every turn. Find me ONE other author at Amazon that feels so compelled to argue his own incompetence.
Tim Sykes should end his determined quest to become a media personality as his grating manner and decidedly non-telegenic looks suit him far better to shine shoes.
Ok, I just recently learned of this guy, Tim Sykes, and have visited the web site he set up, read his book , 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?
Timothy Sykes is a hypocrite.
After I discovered severe corruption at Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, I wrote a fully documented message detailing the allegations, which I posted on Syke’s website.
In a very short time, my message was deleted. When I contacted Sykes, his excuses ran the gamut from “the file size was too large” to “the message doesn’t fit the theme of our website” to “you don’t write good enough”.
Timothy Sykes is not a prophet who exposes “manipulative forces at work in companies, the media, ANALysts, etc.” as he proclaims. Timothy Sykes is a liar who probably works *for* the manipulative forces as a facade of opposition.
If you would like to receive a copy of my message about corruption at Eurostat that includes graphics, please contact me.
Jeffrey W. Bowyer