I own 7 stocks. My average holding period is about 2 years. I am on the exact opposite side of the aisle as day traders. Value investing simply fits my personality. I like to do in-depth analysis and I don’t mind going against the grain. So, when Tim Sykes offered me the chance to review his book An American Hedge Fund: How I Made $2 Million As A Stock Operator and Created a Hedge Fund, I was skeptical that I would be interested enough to finish the book. I was wrong. Tim’s story of his massive stock gains, his day trading roller coaster rides, and his entrance into the hedge fund industry was fascinating. The book is like a soap opera for people who like finance and investing.
The basic story is this… Tim took a $12,000 Bar Mitzvah gift and built it to $1.65 million over the next few years. Then he went on to create his own hedge fund, but struggled to find investors, and learned the rough inner workings of the hedge fund industry. Since hedge funds operators are limited in what they can say about how the industry works, Tim decided to expose everything that he learned by closing his hedge fund the day his book came out.
The book is unique because of Tim’s openness and honesty. He takes the reader on an emotional tour of the highs that come from large short-term gains, and the struggle to deal with losing large amounts of money on other trades. Tim struggles to balance college classes with his stock trading, and finds that his trading obsession makes it difficult to fit in as a “normal” college student. He discusses his stint as a reality tv star, and his nervousness about appearing on CNBC.
If you are looking for a good read – something that is as engaging and interesting as a fictional work but also educational and biographical, check out Tim’s book. It is an open, honest, and fresh look at the worlds of day trading, hedge funds, and Wall Street finance. I highly recommend it.