A few months ago I agreed to read and review An American Hedge Fund by Timothy Sykes. I’ve been a bit remiss in writing the review, but am finally ready to share my thoughts. The best way I can describe Tim is that he’s a character. He is a young ambitious guy, but he’s got some over-the-top ideas that I hope don’t do him more harm than good.
His creativity in regard to the stock market and growing assets is fantastic. He wrote his book to give ordinary people a peek into the life of a day trader. Tim made many mistakes while he was growing his $12k+ Bar Mitzvah money into over $1.65 million. (Incidentally, he’s working on repeating that feat just to prove that he didn’t just get lucky.) And he’s not hiding those mistakes. He’s telling the world about them.
I liked the book. I really did. I think it could have been even better with a stronger editor, though. The story is inspiring, but at the same time Tim spares no criticism of himself and the mistakes he made. What I think the book lacked is a bit of the “how-to” that I expected from it. I really enjoyed Tim’s story, and feel that adding some practical tips along with his story would have been a big benefit to the book.
But there are many haters of Timothy Sykes, and I think that un-fan-club was created out of three main ingredients:
1. Tim has been pretty successful. He’s had plenty of downs, but he’s made a good bit of money and is living his entrepreneurial dream. That’s created some jealousy.
2. Tim has a no-holds-barred attitude about stock trading, and wants to blow the industry wide open. What does that mean? To Tim it means getting over the stiff, boring reputation that money managers have developed, and making ordinary people realize they can get into the investment game and they can make money. He wants to teach regular people how to play the stock market, making it fun and potentially lucrative.
3. Tim has a tendency to go overboard to get to #2 above. I’ve talked with him several times about some of his ideas, the things he’s written, and the things he says. I worry sometimes that he could damage his long-term credibility by being too over-the-top with some of these things. I think that a little bit of moderation could serve him well in the long run.
So these three things have created a small group of people who spend their days going from website to website, trying to discredit Tim, writing under multiple aliases. They leave negative comments about him and try to get people on the anti-Tim bandwagon. But you know what? All they’re really doing is creating more publicity for him, and as a result, helping his efforts. After all, buzz created by haters is still buzz! And Tim thrives on buzz and knows how to channel it and expand it. So hate on, haters.
… because Timothy Sykes has guts and I do respect that in him. I do respect his honesty about his industry, his stock trading performance, and his commitment to build an empire on his terms and with his vision.
I recommend reading An American Hedge Fund. It’s a fun story and a pretty good read. While you may not learn how to trade penny stocks by reading the book, it’s certainly worth it for the entertainment value and the peek into the life of a young day trader.