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Tim Sykes - An American hedge Fund

I just heard Tim Sykes, the start-up hedge fund guy from Wall Street Warriors, has written a book and it's coming out in October. I think it's called "An American hedge Fund" or something like that.
I was checking out the forums at the Elite Trader.com website and I heard about it.

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Tim Sykes annoys me. I remember in the "Wall St Warriors" movie where he whined because he got out of his "perfect fade" trade too early and missed out on a couple thousand bucks, then proceeded to brag to his buddies that "up $50,000, down $50,000, it doesn't matter to me."

I definitely won't be reading this book.
His website is at Timothy Sykes
anyone knows the current status of his fund ? Sounds like he's been milking his old success for far too long

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif] Timothy Sykes, author of the upcoming novel, An American Hedge Fund, was born in Orange, Connecticut in 1981. He studied Philosophy and Business at Tulane University while turning his $12,415 Bar Mitzvah Gift money into a fully audited pre-tax sum of $1.65 million from 1999 to 2002 before founding his hedge fund, Cilantro Fund Management, LLC in 2003. He went on to graduate with a B.A. in Philosophy from Tulane in 2003. He is also the benefactor of a Tulane University Scholarship, "The Timothy Sykes Day Trading Award for the Talented" that is a unique award in that it is open to all Tulane students, faculty, and alumni.
In 2006, Timothy's fund was ranked the #1 Short-Bias Fund by Barclays for 2003-2006 and he was named to Trader Monthly's "Top 30 under 30", a list recognizing the top 30 investment professionals under the age of 30. In 2007, he became the first guest to bring female models on CNBC to show off the beauty of stock charts. (View the clip under the "TV" heading)<!--"''"-->

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif][FONT=times new roman,times] While industry regulations prevent him from discussing his life's work in any detail, he recently debuted on the speaking circuit alongside industry legends Steve Nison and Larry McMillan. He stars in the television documentary, "Wall Street Warriors" on INHD and is frequently interviewed and quoted in the media. He has been featured in Reuters, CNBC, Businessweek, CBS Marketwatch, Fox News, Forbes.com, Hedgefund.net, Hedgeco.net, Institutional Investor, Gawker.com, Dealbreaker.com, Salon.com, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, The New York Times, The New York Observer, Trader Monthly, Realhoboken.com, Dealbook, Alternative Universe and Absolute Return Magazine
I found a review of his book for what its worth. It may be an interesting read if you look past his attitude :D

AAPL - Book Review: An American Hedge Fund by Timothy Sykes - BloggingStocks

Book Review: An American Hedge Fund by Timothy Sykes

Posted Sep 10th 2007 2:23PM by Eric Buscemi
Filed under: Books
Despite working as a financial journalist, the last thing I want to do is curl up over the weekend with a book on finance. After reading hundreds of press releases, analyst notes, financial news articles, industry websites and blogs over the course of the week, I am loathe to read something long-form about finance on my own time. I prefer Neil Gaiman or Chuck Palahniuk, personally. But when I was contacted by Timothy Sykes, who had what seemed like an interesting hedge fund story to tell, I made an exception and decided to give it a shot.

Sykes's book, An American Hedge Fund, is an interesting autobiographical tale of his trading life to-date. It's only around 250 pages long, mostly because Sykes is only 26. That's not to say he hasn't been trading a while -- he begins the book by chronicling how he began trading while in High School, using the library's Internet connection to research his picks.

The book is not a typical "how-to" guide to becoming a millionaire, although Sykes does detail some strategies that got him where he is today. More interesting, perhaps, is that he is able to set aside his ego and detail his trading flaws and the colossal failures they led him to make, which occasionally gives the book a "how-not-to" feel. Although Sykes's trading style, which focuses heavily on day trading risky micro-cap companies and on short selling, is worlds away from my comfort zone, which is much more large-cap value oriented, that doesn't mean I didn't learn and appreciate from seeing how his mind and his trading desk operate. I may have appreciated his technique more due to the stark contrast to my own.

What is most interesting about Sykes's style is watching it change over his career. Sykes's trading career spanned some of the most interesting market swings in recent history. He began trading during the Internet boom, learning about momentum and hype, he continued through the Dot Com bust, learning how to short, and he successfully made it through the financial aftermath of 9/11. He doesn't give the reader an immense amount of data to digest, skipping macroeconomic lessons and long-winded trading theories for the trial-and-error approach that made him successful. Reading An American Hedge Fund is following Sykes on his journey and appreciating his ability to capitalize on, a journey that can teach the average investor a lot about the way the market functions and how hedge funds operate.

Finding an informative book about the financial world is easy -- finding one that is interesting to read is not. An American Hedge Fund manages both effortlessly. Skyes's book is simultaneously an autobiography, a how-to guide, a motivational manual and a defense of his industry; and most importantly of all, a captivating read. The only fault is that it does not seem finished, but from a trader that has not yet hit 30, how could it be?
I am not interested in Sykes style of investing or his approach to "risk management"; but here is another comment from the bloggingstocks site by Mike Fagen:

"Just finished reading Sykes mediocre hedge fund book. Its an empty and uninspiring story about Tim Sykes, a self-absorbed irresponsible stock trader. This book is NOT a "classic" and story is NOT "Rocky-like"(as author Sykes claims).

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 Lefvre (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 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 -36% since Jan 2006. His continous bad performance throughout 2007 shows that he does not learn from his mistakes; and readers can only cringe while watching Sykes slow motion demise."
His website is at Timothy Sykes
anyone knows the current status of his fund ? Sounds like he's been milking his old success for far too long

Total return for Sykes/Cilantro Fund is 3.8% since inception (3/2003), compounded annual return = 0.8%, and annualized Sharpe Ratio = -0.09.

It looks like Sykes luck has run out, and is now Down -37% since Jan 2006. His investors would have done better by keeping their money in an interest bearing checking account. So Tim Sykes is milking his "TV fame" with a book as a way to make money...

Audited Return Statistics (3/2003 - 8/2007) Source: HedgeFund.net

<TABLE id=Table1 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=2 align=center bgColor=#ffffff border=1><TBODY><TR align=middle><TD class=HP_table_header>Year To Date: </TD><TD class=HP_table>-11.22%</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Total Return Since Inception: </TD><TD class=HP_table>3.88%</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Highest 12 Month Return: </TD><TD class=HP_table>47.95%</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Lowest 12 Month Return: </TD><TD class=HP_table>-37.08%</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Average Annual Return: </TD><TD class=HP_table>7.87%</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Average Monthly Return: </TD><TD class=HP_table>0.25%</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Highest Monthly Return: </TD><TD class=HP_table>15.6%</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Lowest Monthly Return: </TD><TD class=HP_table>-18.69%</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Average Monthly Gain: </TD><TD class=HP_table>4.17%</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Average Monthly Loss: </TD><TD class=HP_table>-4.3%</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Profitable Percentage: </TD><TD class=HP_table>53.7%</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Compounded Annual Return: </TD><TD class=HP_table>0.84%</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Compounded Monthly Return: </TD><TD class=HP_table>0.07%</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Longest Losing Streak: </TD><TD class=HP_table>7</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="96%" align=center border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=heading>Risk Analysis(3/2003 - 8/2007)</TD></TR><TR><TD> </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=2 align=center bgColor=#ffffff border=1><TBODY><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Sharpe Ratio (Rolling 12): </TD><TD class=HP_table>0.1</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Sharpe Ratio (Annualized): </TD><TD class=HP_table>-0.09</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Sortino Ratio (Annualized 10%): </TD><TD class=HP_table>-0.57</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Sortino Ratio (Annualized 5%): </TD><TD class=HP_table>-0.28</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Sortino Ratio (Annualized 0%): </TD><TD class=HP_table>0.06</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Sortino Ratio (Rolling 12 10%): </TD><TD class=HP_table>-0.1</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Sortino Ratio (Rolling 12 5%): </TD><TD class=HP_table>0.15</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Sortino Ratio (Rolling 12 0%): </TD><TD class=HP_table>0.48</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Standard Dev. (Monthly): </TD><TD class=HP_table>5.97%</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Standard Dev. (Rolling 12): </TD><TD class=HP_table>27.94%</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Downside Dev. (Annualized 10%): </TD><TD class=HP_table>15.28%</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Downside Dev. (Annualized 5%): </TD><TD class=HP_table>14.57%</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Downside Dev. (Annualized 0%): </TD><TD class=HP_table>13.84%</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Downside Dev. (Rolling 12 10%): </TD><TD class=HP_table>22.08%</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Downside Dev. (Rolling 12 5%): </TD><TD class=HP_table>19.15%</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Downside Dev. (Rolling 12 0%): </TD><TD class=HP_table>16.28%</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Sterling Ratio: </TD><TD class=HP_table>-0.16</TD></TR><TR><TD class=HP_table_header>Calmar Ratio: </TD><TD class=HP_table>0.1</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
Mike Fagen should have seen the movie "Wall Street Warriors". We did show the movie at Baruch couple months ago. Very entertaining. :D

Ahhh Google alert--great tool, glad it led me to your message board! I saw you guys were holding a screening of my show, you shoulda invited me, I live a few blocks away!

As for my book, many people are quick to rip on my numbers, my personality, my haircut, my blah blah blah. All I can say is that I didn't write this book for the money to milk my fame--on the contrary, thanks to the success of my TV show, I have been inundated with questions from fans wanting to know more about trading and hedge funds. So, I wrote this book for them. It's not a 'How-To-Get-Rich Quick' Book, it's not about how I made a billion dollars (obviously), it's simply all my experiences, all my trades told in story form so you can hopefully learn a little more about the stock market and hedge funds, at least from my perspective. Some people would say my fund is too small to even be worthy of a book--that's nonsense. Not everyone is a master of the universe and contrary to popular belief, some of the strategies these billionaires use, aren't right for small investors who are in a much different position in life (for example, some of whom are willing to take on more risk, in pursuit of higher rewards in the short-term)

As you'll discover, this is no sugarcoated memoir, I'm just so tired of not being able to detail exactly what I've devoted my life to. And yet for some reason, some people in the investment community are loathe to read about strategies outside their realm of comfort and experience. I think that's sad. The markets are constantly changing and we need to be prepared to learn about any and all strategies that have had success or failure in the past so we can learn when to use or avoid them in the future.

Trust me, if I had to pick, I wouldn't have chosen to limit myself to being a Penny Stock day trader / short seller, but that's where I've been and the lessons I've learned along the way are applicable to traders and investors alike. Not to mention that when you make $1 million before your 22nd birthday, you're gonna have a pretty crazy life that fun to read about :)

Author, An American Hedge Fund
Great idea - I will email you to arrange the details. I found your presence on the Warriors series very lively and entertaining.

Thanks--some people aren't fans, but you can't please everybody. I now understand that what's needed to get young people interested in finance is someone who's willing to take a little heat for their beliefs because we need to stir debate and break up this industry regulation-induced status quo!

Author, An American Hedge Fund
Tim Sykes


I'm glad you posted on this board. I found you very interesting on Wall Street Warriors, that's why I brought up the topic of your book.

Welcome to Quantnet. Thanks for the kind PM.

Personal reservations aside, I think most people agree that you succeeded at a very early age and have more experience than most of us here when it comes to investing. Making that much money when you were 18 is nothing short of spectacular. Replicating that kind of success in today market is another story and I'm in no position to give opi on that.

Thanks to Paul that he brought to our attention the "Wall Street Warrior" series and the book. I personally watched the whole series and found it really interesting. I like the pace and the characters to say the least. An excellent introduction to many Wall Street different roles. You aren't camera-shy, are you ? ;)

By the way, is there season 2 for the series ? We bought the first DVD set from B&N (last one in store) to show during our movie night. I believe Baruch also purchased it to add to the library DVD collection.

So if you can arrange to come over Baruch and give some talk, that would be fun. This reminds me that we only saw the first DVD of the set during the movie night. Maybe we can have another movie night to see the second DVD, then you can comment on it ;)

We can all head to a bar afterward.

Hope to see you around here
But Cilantro has suffered major losses, and in his new book, "An American Hedge Fund," Sykes slams the market, writing: "I would like to thank the thousands of inept corporate management teams, shady brokers, boiler rooms, stock promoters, market manipulators . . . for your endless scheming and undying greed without which my fortune would never have been possible."

THIS IS FUNNY!! The Guy's Strategy is Short selling For crying out loud!!!! He shorts stocks of small, possibly shady companies, that are overhyped and overvalued and eventually fall in price. He's not "slamming" Wall Street per se, he's explaining his strategy.

Danny, why are you so hostile to Tim?
I hardly ever see this type of response on Quantnet.

OK, lots of questions to answer:

1. Looks like I'll be speaking to you guys the night of Oct. 19th at 7pm--mark it down, I'm excited. Only spoke once before, but I hold nothing back so it's gonna get crazy.

2. Page Six did misinterpret my strategy for overwhelming ego, but that's just it--nobody understand alternative investment strategies and that needs to change! Anyway, to get in that paper, you need to either be a real celebrity or look like a fool. Guess which one I am! Oh well, book sales are up a little---I hope you guys read it and let me know what you think, I mean it to be as fun and educational as possible and several people have said it brings 'Reminiscences of a Stock Operator' into modern times.

3. Beats me why Traitor Monthly rescinded their invite--I wasn't that pissed about not going, just the fact that I'd been planning it with them for a week and then one day before the event they change their minds. My guess is they were dealt some bad weed that weekend from their drug dealer named Tim and they decided to take their anger out on all other Tim's. But that's just speculation.

4. I don't mind people hating on me, I let it all out there because that's seemingly the only way young people are motivated to get into finance. Thanks to this TV show, I have rather thick skin so it doesn't really matter as long as I inspire a few people and teach them that my success isn't luck, but hard work. That said, in this market environment, without using any leverage (I've never been comfortable with it), it'd be difficult to make 140x your money quickly.

5. I don't hide from my losses as everyone on Wall street does (maybe that's why I have so few investors!), but I really think we need to be more open about our gains AND our losses if we are to ever learn from the past, instead of just randomly picking investments at random points in time based on some macro trends that have probably already been factored into pricing.

6. Season 2 of WSW will air soon, but with all new characters.

Author, An American Hedge Fund

Thank you for answering the questions.

As part of watching Wall Street warriors at Baruch, we had an exercise for which we had to decide whom we would trust our money to invest. I think you'd be pleased to know that quite a few people chose you!
Personally I didn't, but now I might change my mind. :)