You must do the things you think you cannot do.

- Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, November 20, 2009

Timothy Sykes' Pennystocking Leaves Metaphorical Bad Taste In Mouth

Be careful--if you want to use these videos for educational purposes, the author recommends you don't. If you use the video as he suggests, for entertainment purposes, you will be greatly disappointed. Despite reviews on the internet, I think you will be disappointed with Pennystocking by Timothy Sykes no matter how you use it.

Before getting into the content (poor, albeit what he does include is largely commoditized by the internet--blogs, chart sites, informational/educational sites; all mostly free), I want to get into the price and a concept I think many beginners--assuming you want to succeed--should learn: beware the "guru" who tries to sell you his knowledge as he will be a draw on your account. Ask yourself how much of your account goes towards "overhead," which includes newsletters, books, educational/motivational dvds, software, websites, computer setups, etc. The higher the percentage, the greater the percentage you will have to make back in order to break even. When similar material is available free (or relatively inexpensive) on the internet--often of similar or better quality--you have to ask yourself, "What am I paying for?"

You are paying for Timothy Sykes name and the publicity he picked up from his (luck) trading during the dot com boom. The $300 or $400 price on the DVD could not possibly be going towards the meager tidbits of information he gained during his more successful (i.e. lucky) days of trading. Even he says, at the end of DVD 2 of Pennystocking:
"A lot of newsletter writers and DVDs they want to inform you, but they don't want you to be completely smart, because you would have no need for their products. [...] I don't have much to offer. You better get smarter than me, because I have nothing else."

I am guessing his eventual $500,000 loss and his hefty gains in the psuedo-education industry are not enough to persuade people against this purchase; perhaps his inclusion of a "Mainstream Publishing" section in his video will make you question the video's point. Also, a section on learning from his mistakes? Not quite as useful as a guide on how to profit in the marketplace (his guide boils down to a certain pattern that tends to appear, at least successful, in bull markets).

As I stated before, $300+ is a lot to make on a video that can be found (albeit without Timothy Sykes and with slightly different--arguably better--content) for FREE, or a fraction of the cost, online. The information presented in his video is a near-commodity covered up by "proprietary" lingo like: supernova, stairstepper and other garbage that has previously been named! He'll show you tons of charts, but without much more than a continuous babbling of fairly useless information and bad jokes. If you're a beginner, perhaps you will glean something from this. But, as said previously, you can get the same content in a book or from youtube for a fraction of the cost (and from someone less egotistical and self-promoting).

Back to overhead: If you have a $4,000 account you will be spending the equivalent of 10% on this DVD! And, if you are anything like the average rookie, you will need to purchase other services. Timothy Sykes even highly recommends learning "advanced" technical analysis, which he does not show you in this video. Is he going to present that information to you for free? Or at another hefty price? (It's the later, folks).

Perhaps the convenience is all worth it. Even if it is sub-standard information given by a sub-par trader (and just because you turned $12k into $1.2m during a BULL MARKET, does not mean you are a good teacher!) who tells you he partied the night before recording, you get it all in one place. I see it as a large (in)convience cost, but would not even recommend using it as a primary source if borrowed from a friend or purchased used for $29.99 (a more reasonable, if not still inflated, price). It just isn't that good.

Here are some wonderful quotes directly from the mouth of Timothy Sykes:

"Take advantage of everything." (Yes, especially those desperate for wealth).

A moment of self-clarity that seems to go over Timothy Syke's head: "I was like, 'Wow! I'm a freaking genius.' Little did I know, I was just in the right place at the right time."

"This is not a complete guide, just to push you in the right direction." - Yes, a $397 push.

(Disclosure: I have no vested interest in Timothy Syke's or any of his products. Furthermore, I have only watched his Pennystocking DVD, which as of today goes for $397, and have not used any of Timothy Sykes' other products, although I have read the first 80 pages or so of his book, An American Hedge Fund. I believe I have stayed within the law presenting the information above, but if I have not, please give me the heads up. I am but a small site. Then again, I'm guessing any publicity is probably good publicity for Timothy Syke's and his mini-empire).


  1. After reading the book (borrowed from the library called internet ;-)) I can safely say this guy is addicted to money, status & gambling and is the last person you'd want to have running a hedge fund. The SEC rules saved a lot of people a lot of money in his case I'm sure.

    He's a salesman. Not an investor. That's my take on him :)

    PS: His book is basically hype propaganda for his website which in turn should get people trading the "wild west" pinksheets?!

  2. the hucking of his cds etc are a burr, but how do you argue with his 1 ranking on Covestor? the pump and dumps also seem to portray definite patterns for a daytrader, they gain like a rocket for a few days and then plummet. ive never seen patterns so discernable.if you use stockfetcher, there is a scan:i tried copying it to here.let me know if there is interest , i will type it. perhaps im wrong , but the only system i would recommend to a new trader is to follow sykes, its simple, buy one cd, learn, perhaps one great drawback is the lack of ease finding shorts on some of his stocks.hey , you want to meet a real huckster, look at the price of the connors stuff, 5,000 for an rsi2 system.

  3. heres a site from a sykes disciple, trades are shown by video, interesting and very informative,
    he says sykes stuff works

  4. i posted the above two, while i watched two of sykes cds and study his method through sites like the above and looking at charts etc, i have not yet tried his method, i have even begun a database of pump and dumps thinking if a stock pays a promoter once, wont they do it again. well see if that works.again though if a newbie would ask, i would tell him to buy pennystocking part deux, perhaps first study sykes site, and see if he likes the method, can you cheat Covestor and its rankings?this all could be a manifestion of my personality, when i began to handicap horses years ago, i was convinced that trainer moves were the way to beat the game. i gave up since my database skills were never good. is there a rationale behind stocks and horses?

  5. FXprop Trader, I agree with your take.

    Thank you for posting Anonymous. I guess if a new trader wanted to give Sykes a try, why not suggest they skip the DVD and jump right to TimAlerts? The idea behind the system is fairly easy, but I do not think a new trader could execute such a trade using the information provided in the video.

    Having a small account is also going to be a hinderance. Sykes recommends using 5-10% of an account per trade. If you're using his original account size of $12k most of the trades he posted on his homepage are not going to net much profit at all, especially after commissions. Plus, with daytrading rules, it's likely to take you quite a bit of time to make back the service/dvd fees.

    Sykes has learned to be like those on Wall Street who he badmouths. He'll mislead you when it benefits his bottomline (which happens to be fairly big in the merchandising department).

    You could be right. A simple system for beginners. But I cannot really suggest using his TimAlert system, and based on the video I watched most people are going to need something more. I have followed pennystock traders like The Market Kid before, and think he's great (he's also free), but you will not receive the same specified responses as I assume Tim sends out.

    I just know there are better quality introductory DVDs and books out there.

  6. how can you neglect the number one on Covestor?
    isnt that a feat? sure he's off the wall with the selling, but Covestor! any other sellers you know
    being ranked or audited?

  7. That doesn't mean his Pennystocking DVD is good.

    This is a review of his Pennystocking DVD. Perhaps some of his other stuff is good. I really don't know.

  8. i guess i got caught up in the whole of sykes,i have tim raw and pennystocking two, tim raw has little merit or substance, im still watching pennydeux, your correct though, i have heard many of his cds are of little value,some ramblings , recommending books etc.when you think about it , he has a number of them out there, suppose you buy one of them that has little value,do you buy another or condemn his whole work? so you didnt like pennystocking and i didnt find any value with timraw. i wont buy anymore.

  9. i thought about your review, i hope i didnt mislead someone about the sykes method, i dont know which cd would be best to learn sykes method( and at almost 400 , i would not push anyone to buy any individual cd) my knowledge of it has been gleaned from his blogs, and others like reapers,again i have two cds but i would not recommend TIMRAW . i guess the reader will have to search the net and do his own DD

  10. I think you brought up many good points and questions that others will be interested in. A great continuation of the conversation I was hoping to start by posting the review.

    Also, after looking at Reaper's website, I too would suggest anyone interested in these methods to check him out. Interesting stuff.

    Thanks for your comments.

  11. "Having a small account is also going to be a hinderance. Sykes recommends using 5-10% of an account per trade. If you're using his original account size of $12k most of the trades he posted on his homepage are not going to net much profit at all, especially after commissions."

    -good point. he often does trade those quick scalps on big board stocks. I remember reading his blog in 2007 and 2008. There was never as much issue if I remember correctly with short borrows too. I think the strategy may be decaying already as more people play it. You have to admit though he is a much better trader than he even gives himself credit for. 700% in couple years with something like over 80% win loss. his risk management isn't even that great usually.