One of the world’s most popular traders and stock trading educators, Tim Sykes is well-known for his bold personality and impressive track record of penny stock returns…
The Early Days
Born on April 15, 1981, Timothy Skyes belonged to a middle-class family and he’s most-famous for having earned his fortune day trading penny stocks while going to college at Tulane University.
Sykes’ passion for the stock market began in 1999. At that time, the stock market was hot, with stocks soaring higher than at any other time over the previous decade. Some of the best-performing stocks gained thousands of percentage points that year, closing the year at record highs.
It was during that time that Tim Sykes’ parents allowed him to take $12,415 of his Bar Mitzvah gift money from friends and family to try his hand at penny stock trading. They honestly believed he would lose it all and figured it would be a good life lesson for him to learn. But instead, by the beginning of 2000, he had already turned the $12,415 into $123,000. Less than a year later, he earned another $700,000.
Tim Sykes’ Hedge Fund
Sykes was doing so well with the penny stock trading that he was able to start a short bias hedge fund called Cilantro Fund Management during his senior year in 2003 with $1 million of his own money. Ultimately, he earned $1.65 million from his initial investment of $12,415.
Trader Monthly honored Tim Sykes in 2006 by including him in their “30 Under 30” of new and successful traders on the market. However, Sykes later came under fire when Randall Lane felt that he misled the public by claiming that Cilantro Fund Management was the “the number one long-short microstock hedge fund in the country, according to Barclays.”
His insinuation that the well-known British Barclay’s Bank provided the rating rather than the actual research company from Iowa called The Barclay Group caused Lane to regret the pick later, naming it one of their worst picks ever.
Wall Street Warriors & New Projects
After appearing in several episodes of the documentary Wall Street Warriors, Sykes gained popularity with the general public and went on to launch his personal blog, TimothySykes.com, which is dedicated to teaching penny stock trading.
Later that year, he self-published his autobiography, An American Hedge Fund: How I Made $2 Million as a Stock Operator & Created a Hedge Fund. The book documents his day-trading experience in college and how he later became a wealthy hedge fund manager.
In 2008, Sykes created TIM (Transparent Investment Management) to recreate his initial investment efforts by starting all over again with $12,415 and turning that into $2 million while documenting every move he made on his website.
Sykes began Investimonials, which is a website dedicated to gathering user evaluations of financial services and brokers, as well as books and videos in 2009.
That same year, during an interview with Forbes, Sykes said, “The key to success-publishing and trading-is simply being open and honest. Who would have ever thought brutal honesty would be such a revolutionary concept-only in the joke that is the “trading business.”
Sykes’ self-proclaimed “Brutal Honesty” has landed him in one controversy after another with high profile celebrities. Sykes accused basketball star Shaquille O’Neal of starting a pump and dump scheme. He later accused Justin Beiber of doing the same.
The Launch of Profit.ly
In 2011, Sykes co-founded Profit.ly, which presents stock trade data online. “Profit.ly is focused on showing all trades, something that has never been done before,” Sykes said. “This serves two purposes: creating public track records for gurus, newsletter writers, and students and allowing everyone to learn from both the wins and losses of other traders to benefit the entire industry.”
Additionally, Profit.ly sells a growing library of Tim Sykes courses, available on both DVD and in digital format.
Sykes’ Charity Work
Despite his controversy, Sykes has generously given to charities such as the Boys and Girls Club and the Make-a-Wish Foundation and through his Tim Sykes Foundation. He also donated a generous $1 million in 2017 to Pencils of Promise to assist the building of twenty brand new schools in Ghana, Laos, and Guatemala.
Sykes went on to co-found Karmagawa, which is a charity that is dedicated to protecting natural resources, helping animals, and helping people in need around the globe. The charity produced a documentary on the state of the coral reef called “50 Minutes to Save the World.”
Today, you will find Sykes enjoying his money traveling all over the world, investing in philanthropy, and meeting some of the world’s most exciting people.