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Book Review: An American Hedge Fund by Timothy Sykes

Book Review of "An American Hedge Fund" by Timothy Sykes

The Positives

  • Great read for a trader, or anyone aspiring to be a trader or start their own hedge fund

  • The book stresses the important discipline of trading, I don't think the importance of discipline can ever be stressed enough for any career track

  • The book is written from the perspective of a small hedge fund, this is unique. 80% of hedge funds have under $50M in assets yet all of the press and well known stories is about the huge funds in London and NY

  • Many people criticize Tim's book, some go as far as to say that he doesn't have the right to write a book because he wasn't successful enough. Rubbish. First of all learning from other failures is always important and Tim admits part of the value of the book is learning from his mistakes. Second, I believe everyone has the right to write a book and I would dare any of his largest critics to write a more interesting or unique store of how they got to age 25 .

  • He is open and honest in this book, which is reare in the very close vested world of hedge funds. Most hedge fund professionals are known for living by the mantra "loose lips sink ships."


  • The book is more about trading than a hedge fund, the meat of the book is about his personal journey and battle against the discipline of emotions involved in trading

  • I can't help but think that if his message is discipline why didn't he climb back on the horse and refine his own abilities to be more disciplined and perfect his trading or work for a larger trading house or hedge fund?

  • As a review on what happened with his hedge fund launch it would seem like the 3 big mistakes to learn from were investing in the ticketing company, lack of trading discipline, and not building a full hedge fund team or third part marketer to promote his fund.

Overall the book was an easy quick read and pretty interesting if you are currently a trader or looking at starting your own fund. I don't think it is of the same quality of Running Money but I did get latched on to it finding myself reading it during my lunch breaks and rides home from work.

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- Richard

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Ben S. said...

I read Tim 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 Lef√®vre (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 into a worthless snake oil salesman.

Richard Wilson said...

Ben, I have seen you post this same comment on other blogs reviewing his book. It is possible that others are posting fake reviews of Tim's book but I have never met with and never even heard of Tim Sykes before reading his book last month. In fact if you read my comment above I question his personal actions of not continuing to pursue a trading position within a large hedge fund to overcome the challenges he faced in the past. I welcome any type of comment to anything I write in my blog but spamming every possible review of his book across the internet with this same message and saying that my review above is phony and "glowing" is inaccurate and misleading.

If you wouldn't mind commenting further could you explain why I would be motivated to write a phony review for someone I had never met, how my review is glowing when I question his latest carer move and why you spend so much effort talking down Tim and his writing?

Anonymous said...

This guy really seems to hate Tim, he's posting reviews from different aliases everywhere, but Tim busted him:


Richard Wilson said...

It is not the best book in the world and it is surely nowhere near the worst. I still think it's a good read for any trader or want-to-be trader...

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