Tim Sykes: Penny Stock Trader, Reality Star and $3 Million Blogger

Timothy Sykes is somewhat of a controversial character. He’s a big-mouthed, cocky, young, Jewish former stock trader that has annoyed more than a few Wall Street folk. But, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find a kid with a few million in the bank and a very intriguing story to go along with it.



The Penny Stock King

Tim’s legend begins in 1994 at his Bar Mitzvah where he received $12,415 in gift money. What did he do with all the money? Why, what any 13-year-old boy would do- invest it in penny stocks, of course.


His unusual investment famously turned Tim into a millionaire two times over, and in his senior year at Tulane University (where he studied philosophy), he started his own hedge fund, Cilantro Fund. It went on to become the #1 ranked short bias fund by Barclays for 3 years and, Tim was named Trader Monthly’s “Top 30 Under 30” in 2006.



But, just as quickly as the party started, it abruptly came to an end when his hedge fund eventually lost 35% of its worth, and he started to gain an unfavorable reputation in the finance world. As Randall Lane, editor-in-chief of Trader Monthly put it in an email to Sykes in 2007:


“While you’ve been busily self-promoting, your track record this past year for yourself and your investors has been pitiful.”


Tim decided to tone down his Mr. Media reputation by publishing a best-selling trade tell-all book, An American Hedge Fund, and starring in the reality TV show, Wall Street Warriors.



But despite his brash reputation, Tim has built some serious credentials over the past few years that have put him back on the fast-money, trade-secrets path, that can’t be ignored.


The $3 Million Blogger

Tim’s calling card is his “screw you” philosophy on the restrictions of the hedge fund industry. He believes that “nobody in finance admits to their mistakes” and he is open about the industry which he says makes him different. This has led him to build an empire on revealing trade secrets to the public.


His most recent ventures include, Profit.ly, a community of over 15,000 traders who share their performance and trades openly to help each other learn & improve and Investimonials.com, a community of over 25,000 investors & traders who have reviewed over 15,000 financial products like brokers, blogs newsletters, websites, financial movies & commentator (think Yelp or TripAdvisor but for finance, which, according to Tim, is sorely lacking in transparency).


Another piece of Tim’s empire is the aptly named TimothySykes.com. The blog generated an astounding $3.3 million in revenue in 2011 through profitable blogging tactics that he shares here.


Lessons to be learned from this 20-something penny stock trader turned self-made millionaire blogger? A big mouth and brutal honesty can potentially turn your Bar Mitzvah money into a trade secret kingdom. Too bad most of us aren’t 13-year-olds with $12k Bar Mitzvah money to invest. We might have just missed our window.


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