Timothy Sykes

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Timothy Sykes
Tim Sykes.jpg
Born 1981
Orange, Connecticut
Residence Miami Beach, Florida
Alma mater Tulane University

Timothy Sykes is an American stock trader, entrepreneur, and penny stock expert.[1][2] He is best known for turning his bar mitzvah money into over $1 million by day trading in-between classes at Tulane University.[3][4]


In 1999, while still in high school, Sykes took $12,415 he had received in bar mitzvah gift money and began day trading penny stocks.[5] He would turn this initial investment into over $1.65 million before the age of 21.[6] After being ranked the #1 short-biased hedge fund for 3 years by Barclay Group (no relation to Barclay's the bank), Sykes began focusing on investing rather than trading and his fund posted losses of more than 36% between January 2006 and July 2007 (while the overall market was up 25%) and Sykes shut down his fund.[7]

Sykes attended Tulane University and graduated in 2003 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy and a minor in business.[8] While at Tulane, Sykes routinely skipped class to day trade.[9]

In 2003, during his senior year, he founded Cilantro Fund Management LLC, a short bias hedge fund.[10][11] BarclayHedge (no relation to Barclay's the bank) named Cilantro Fund Management LLC the #1 ranked short bias fund from 2003–2006.[12] In 2006 Trader Monthly named Sykes one of the "Top 30 Under 30" traders in the market,[13] although the author of that list later called Sykes their "most embarrassing by-product".[7]

Sykes released An American Hedge Fund: How I Made $2 Million as a Stock Operator & Created a Hedge Fund in 2007.[14] The book chronicles Sykes' rise from a college student day trading penny stocks to the early-20s multimillionaire hedge fund manager and the lessons learned throughout.[15]

In 2008 Sykes decided to recreate his initial investing success by again starting with $12,415.[16][17] He named the attempt Transparent Investment Management (TIM).[3][18] After two years, Sykes turned the initial sum into $90,368 and was the #1 ranked trader on Covestor.[19][20]

In 2012, Sykes created "Miss Penny Stock" a financial beauty pageant to a representative for his brand and company.[21][22]

Teaching and other projects[edit]

Sykes currently works as a financial activist and educator, with more than 2,000 students spread over 60 countries.[23][24]

In 2009, Sykes launched Investimonials.com: a website devoted to collecting user reviews of financial services, videos, and books, as well as financial brokers.[25]

Sykes co-founded Profit.ly in 2011, a social service with more than 20,000 users that provides stock trade information online.[26] Sykes said the service 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.”[27]

In December 2013, CNN Money featured Sykes and his student Tim Grittani on the website's homepage.[1] Under Sykes's guidance and coaching, Grittani turned $1,500 into over $1 million in 3 years.[28] Grittani was Sykes's second student to earn over $1 million following Sykes's strategies.[1][28]


Sykes was featured in the TV program Wall Street Warriors, which aired on MOJO.[29] He writes for AOL Finance and TheStreet.com.[30][31]

He has appeared as a guest on CNBC, CNN, Neil Cavuto (Fox), ABC's 20/20, CBS Sunday Morning, Oprah and Friends Radio, and others.[32][33][34][35][36]

Notable stories[edit]

Sykes has also exposed various pump and dump schemes, including two which implicated major celebrities.[37][38]

In 2009, Sykes publicly accused soap-sponge company SpongeTech of being "a blatant pump and dump" scam.[39] The New York Post would later pick up on Sykes' suspicions and run a story about the accusations.[40] Both Sykes and The New York Post would be sued by SpongeTech. A week later SpongeTech's CEO was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and obstruction of justice.[39][41]

In 2010, Sykes drew attention after exposing Shaquille O'Neal's involvement in a "pump and dump" scam with NXT Nutritionals Holdings.[37] The controversy surrounded O'Neal's paid endorsement on a mailer to potential NXT investors, and the stock's 76% crash a month after.[37]

Sykes later criticized Justin Bieber and his involvement in a similar pump and dump scheme involving Bieber's partnership with Options Media Group in 2011.[38][42]


  1. ^ a b c Yousuf, Hibah. "Trader turns $1,500 to $1 million in 3 years". CNN Money. 
  2. ^ de la Merced, Michael (December 8, 2006). "Culturally, Hedge Funds Go Public". New York Times. 
  3. ^ a b "Timothy Sykes Will Not Be Stopped, Gosh Darn It". New York Magazine. November 1, 2007. 
  4. ^ Neal, Jeff (March 13, 2009). "Interview Central: Timothy Sykes, Part 1". Forbes.com. 
  5. ^ "Wanted: Fund Manager, No Experience Necessary". Business Week. March 5, 2006. 
  6. ^ "Young Manager Profile". Alternative Universe. March 27, 2007. 
  7. ^ a b Randall Lane (2010). The Zeroes. page 155: Penguin Group. ISBN 978-1-59184-329-0. 
  8. ^ "Timothy Sykes' LinkedIn Profile". LinkedIn. 
  9. ^ Toren, Adam (October 25, 2011). "Young Entrepreneurs: "Quit being such babies!" Tim Sykes Tells it Like it Is". YoungEntrepreneur.com. 
  10. ^ "US magazine toasts star traders aged 30 or younger". Reuters. July 27, 2006. 
  11. ^ Joe, Michael (May 8, 2012). "Two students win Sykes Award recognizing nontraditional abilities and interests". Tulane.edu. 
  12. ^ Thomassen, Lucilla. "5 Things You Should Know about Tim Sykes". TopTenPK.com. 
  13. ^ Barber, Andrew (August 2006). "30 under 30". Trader Monthly. 
  14. ^ Sykes, Timothy (2007). An American Hedge Fund: How I Made $2 Million as a Stock Operator & Created a Hedge Fund. BullShip Press. p. 235. ISBN 0979549701. 
  15. ^ Chatzky, Jean. "An American Hedge Fund". Oprah.com. 
  16. ^ "Wunderkid is Back". Investment News. November 12, 2007. 
  17. ^ "'Wall Street Warriors' TV Star Timothy Sykes Sets Up New & Transparent Challenge". PR Web. November 1, 2007. 
  18. ^ Kuhn, Eric (May 6, 2008). "From Bar Mitzvah Thousands to Bar Mitzvah Millions: Tim Sykes Launches New Site". Huffington Post. 
  19. ^ Sykes, Timothy (November 2, 2009). "How To Turn $12,415 Into $90,368 In 2 Years [A BLUEPRINT]". TimothySykes.com. 
  20. ^ Goode, Michael (December 10, 2009). "A first look at auto-trading Tim Sykes using Covestor Investment Management". GoodeTrades.com. 
  21. ^ "Stock up on girls". The New York Post. 
  22. ^ La Roche, Julia. "Penny Stock King Tim Sykes Is Hosting A Beauty Pageant Where Girls Will Parade Around In Bikinis And Cocktail Outfits". Business Insider. 
  23. ^ "Party's Over for Hedge King". New York Post. September 21, 2007. 
  24. ^ Warner, Andrew (January 29, 2010). "How A Self-Promoting Blogger Makes $1.3 Mil A Year And Still Gets No Respect – Timothy Sykes". Mixergy.com. 
  25. ^ Kincaid, Jason (November 25, 2009). "Investimonials Wants To Be Your Guide To Quality Financial Products". Tech Crunch. 
  26. ^ "Best Advice I Ever Got: Timothy Sykes". Inc. June 1, 2011. 
  27. ^ Anderson, Tom (September 15, 2011). "Profit.ly Mines The Masses For Stock-Trading Gold". Forbes. 
  28. ^ a b "Veteran Trader Timothy Sykes Creates Two Millionaire Students, Proving the Average Joe Can Outperform Wall Street’s Big Boys". Reuters. 
  29. ^ "Hedge Funder Tim Sykes Bombs Out On Wall Street". Gawker. September 21, 2007. 
  30. ^ "CrunchBase Profile". CrunchBase.com. 
  31. ^ "The Street Profile". TheStreet.com. 
  32. ^ Koba, Mark. "Sykes: Late Week Contest Stock Picks". CNBC. 
  33. ^ "Tim Sykes on CNN". CNN. 
  34. ^ "Tim Sykes on Neil Cavuto". Neil Cavuto. 
  35. ^ "Timothy Sykes Interview 20/20". 
  36. ^ "Tim Sykes on CBS". CBS. 
  37. ^ a b c Veneziani, Vince (March 3, 2010). "Tim Sykes: I Dare Shaq To Take Me To Court!". Business Insider. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  38. ^ a b Cunningham, Brandon. "The Curious Case of Justin Bieber and Options Media Group (aka PhoneGuard)". Motley Fool. 
  39. ^ a b "SpongeTech CEO Arrested For Fraud A Week After Suing Short-Seller". Business Insider. 
  40. ^ "Not Spongeworthy". New York Post. 
  41. ^ "Bill for Spongetech fraud: $52 million". Crain's New York. 
  42. ^ Peterson, Kim. "Justin Bieber's penny-stock trouble". MSN Money.