A few weeks back we interviewed none other than stock trading whiz kid Tim Sykes as a retort to Amit Chatwani’s (author of Damn It Feels Good To Be A Banker) epic slamming of all things Tim in our previous interview.
Needless to say, the financial world exploded in the ensuing weeks and the Sykes/Chatwani rivalry needed to be put on the back burner…. until now! Not sure if I can really play this into a post-election segue at all, but Tim did recently release a music video so now’s as good a time as ever, right?
Here is our interview for your enjoyment:
In retrospect, was being on Wall Street Warriors a good career move for you, or did it just put a big red bulls-eye on your back?
It turned out to be the single best decision of my life—my entire publishing biz model wouldn’t exist without it. After all, the main source of inspiration for all my projects was the thousands of emails I received from viewers who wanted to know more about trading and hedge funds. It takes a hit TV show to get you to understand how full of shit everyone in this joke of an industry is and how confusing it is for most investors/traders. So, teaching people without the BS and showing everyone how it’s not only possible to survive but to thrive in trading, a “profession” in which 90% of players fail, is not only big/easy business, I’m actually helping people too.
Have you slept with any of the CNBC on-air staff? You better be friggin’ honest with me, Sykes!
I don’t kiss and tell, but for the most part all the female biz reporters are either a.) ugly/butch or b.) just work too damn much so there’s no way for them to be hot. I won’t say their names because I respect them, well, some of them. The only one I don’t respect is Maria Bartiromo — as I posted — not only is she a stuck up bitch, a horrible business author, but she’s grotesque to look at. CNBC wins the prize over the SEC as the greatest manipulators—although banning short selling in financials was rather masterful.
Your book, An American Hedge Fund, has sold well. Give us a little insight into publishing. Is there any money in it? Do you or Amit from Leveraged Sell Out actually make any money publishing?
Inside of a year, I’ve sold just over 6,000 copies, which in publishing circles means I’m approaching bestseller status. BFD, I’m more interested in the profits. In rejecting a $35,000 advance offer from Wiley and ignoring bookstores completely, I chose the path less traveled—the get-your-book-out-in-3-months-high-margin-no-respect-work-your-ass-off-promoting-self-publishing biz model. It’s worked out nicely as my profits have already doubled Wiley’s offer and it’ll continue paying dividends forever although I still can’t get no respect, not that I really care.
Amit might sell a few thousand copies, but judging from his current PATHETIC #2,000ish Amazon ranking (40-75 books/week) just one month after publication, it’s an outright bomb. He and his publisher screwed up bigtime by introducing the book 2 years too late, right when it’s the ABSOLUTE worst time to be a banker. All, if not most, of their key demographic are getting laid off/worried about getting laid so they’re not in a celebratory mood to poke fun at their “wonderful” profession. Instead, they’re spending their $ on booze, coke and hookers and crying themselves to sleep at night (ironically same as the good times) whispering to themselves/hookers before they pass out “I coulda been somebody…”
Not to mention Amit will probably never make back his probable $100k-ish advance and if he does, we’re talking $2-3/book and 50 cents/book in paperback. Sure, he might be able to write another book, but the world is full of failed authors. This is why I wrote the post “Damn It Feels Dumb To Be A Published Author”
You seem to thrive on controversy. Over the last few years you’ve had a few public battles. I think they’re entertaining, how do you view them?
Again, I’m not embarrassed nor ashamed of my mistakes so I detail/fess up/celebrate them because they’re all part of the journey. Without mistakes/errors in judgment, you really don’t learn so I’m just as proud of my failures as my successes. Of course, it helps that I’m now a seasoned/jaded trader who feels little to nothing (welcome to Wall Street suckas) so when people think this stuff actually gets to me, I like running my mouth and seeing how they react—kinda like picking on midgets, mental midgets. I know it’s immature, but I’m desperate for entertainment because Hollywood’s got shit.
Oh yeah, and there’s no such thing as bad press in publishing—when I got skewered by Page Six, it was my best week sale-wise.
Is there anything you bought that was a complete waste of money but bought it because you could?
I didn’t get this jaded/conservative overnight, for a while, I was definitely irresponsible with my spending. BMW 745Lis, ridiculous vacations, attracting models with bottles, and fine dining were my main sins—no true big ticket items, again, because I’ve never wanted to put any serious dents into my trading capital as I refuse to use any leverage. I’m still big into fine dining and travel, but I’ve become a master Jew/deal seeker.
What’s with you and Dealbreaker and Gawker? They give you a pretty hard time. Did you sleep with one of their girlfriends or something?
Nah, they both love me. And I love them. Seriously, it’s all in good fun.
Last but not least, it seems like Logan aka Amit from “Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Banker” got your goat with his “Who the fuck is Timothy Sykes?” comment. Were you in a bad mood the day of your response or do you have a real problem with Logan (aka Amit) and investment bankers?
Other than investment bankers being the most egotistical-eternally-coked-out-useless-soulless-unoriginal-people in the world, I don’t have anything against the scumbags. Amit/Logan, is wittier than most, but his failure in the publishing world is representative of how incompetent most of these pricks really are outside their joke of a profession.
Investment bankers make a big deal about where you went to school. How important is your university education when it comes to trading?
School counts for shit in trading…unless of course we’re talking trading classes, which some colleges are now offering. But I’d pick somebody with 4 years working on a trading desk or with a solid track record over any untested Ivy Leaguer whose only proven they can memorize/use family connections well to make themselves look good.