A couple of months ago I was sent the book “An American Hedge Fund” by Timothy Sykes. “Timmay” is an interesting character and he wrote a great story about his phenomenal success with trading microcap stocks from 1999-2002. What I liked about his story is that it is honest, maybe too honest (when I see him on CNBC now I wonder how much he has had to drink). When it comes to trading, Timothy created a nice niche in the microcap world and the book chronicles his trading successes as well as the many mistakes he made. Timothy’s trading style and appetite for risk is much different than my own, in fact, many of the stocks he was shorting I was long, but we both made money.

I saw a review on AMZN that criticized Timothy as a “failed trader” and had to wonder what the reviewer defined success as. If turning $12,500 into $1.65 million over a three year period is not success, I don’t know what is and neither does the AMZN reviewer.

Although Timothy has vowed not to reveal the actual trading methods that earned him such success, anyone with half a brain can figure out what he was doing. If you are looking for a “how to make millions” book, this isn’t it. But if you are looking for an amusing story sprinkled with a lot of good trading wisdom you should purchase this book.

Some good messages from the book:

“I had been completely correct in my thinking, but I was too impatient. I tried to cheat the pattern by getting in early and instead the market taught me a valuable lesson: you can’t cheat the market so wait for the market to tell you how to act”

“The key was simply waiting for the right opportunities to present themselves”

“It was definitely better to get out early than to be unable to get out after a large price drop”

“You cannont rely on speculation for steady earnings because the game doesn’t work that way. Opportunities come and go. The key is to remain nimble enough to be able to take advantage of situations when they arise.”

If you enjoyed classic books like “Reminiscences of a Stock Operator” and “How I Made $2 Million in the Stock Market” I think you will like this book too.