I first did an interview with Andrew Warner of Mixergy back in August 2008…since then he’s become the Larry King of the online world interviewing startups and web superstars like Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and famed author Seth Godin….and I’ve gotten crazier and more obsessed with teaching and transparency, growing my trading account from $25,000ish in 8/08 to its present altitude of $115,000ish (yes, that’s 4.5x my initial investment in just over a 1.5 years), now with , 4 and to inspire you to share your financial product experience openly to help cut through all the BS out there.
You can check out this whole interview and transcript on Mixergy…I’d copy the the entire transcript on here, but it’s 15,000+ words long so for now you can see our whole video interview which runs over an hour long, some funny notes from Andrew’s transcribers and some of the text of the interview below.
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The only thing Timothy Sykes wants more than your attention is your money. He wants to find a way for you to notice and remember him, because if you do, you’ll eventually agree with him that he’s a great stock picker and you’ll buy one of his programs so you can learn how he does it. That’s why he says so many outrageous things.
It’s schtick. It’s intentional. And it’s working. Last year, he earned $1.3 million from his blog.
In this interview, he talks very openly about how he gets people to notice him and pay up. Then he tells you how you can do it too. Well, I don’t think he really believes you have the heart to do it too, but he showed you how it’s done anyway.
3 random notes on this interview
1. Tim talked so fast and was so shocking in this interview that 2 of my transcribers refused to finish typing up what he said.
2. Tim talked so fast and was so shocking in this interview that 1 of my transcribers begged for more work like his interview.
3. Noah Everett’s Mixergy interview was my most complimented work. Many readers thanked him for being so open. Tim’s response? “haha nice, same numbers as my blog…who monetizes better :)”
Some of the chat transcript:
Hey, everyone. It’s Andrew Warner, founder of Mixergy.com, Home of the Ambitious Upstart. And I got Timothy Sykes back here on Mixergy. I recently attended. You tell me if I’ve got this right. This is what brought this second interview on. You saw that I did an interview with another entrepreneur, a guy who founded TwitPic. He said on Mixergy that he earned over a million dollars in profit. The whole blogosphere seemed to go nuts for him, for how much money he was making. And here you are, a guy with just a blog, who’s blogging on the side while trading, making 1.3 million last year, and nobody’s giving you any respect. You said, “Andrew, let me on. Let me tell people my story.” What do you think? Did I get that right?
Interviewee: Yup. That’s about right, and I want to point out the fact that it’s 1.3 million, all based on a measly 3,000 daily visitors. So if I had TwitPic-like traffic, I would be a billionaire. These guys are wasting it. They are incompetent.
Andrew: And you’re still trading while you’re doing this. It’s not like you’re a hundred percent blogger.
Interviewee: This is why I don’t have time to shave or fix my hair, or do anything because I’m trading. I’m researching. I’m blogging. I’ve got video watch lists. I’ve got DVDs. I’m just a full-service provider.
Andrew: All right, Tim. I’ve got to tell you, I put on my vest today. I put on a nice shirt. I said, “I’ve got Timothy Sykes on. This is a guy who’s a trader. He’s probably going to come on with this suit, look good. Instead, I see a beard, the hair that wasn’t combed. And what are you wearing?
Interviewee: I took a shower last night to prep for this video. I got my bathrobe. This is my lucky bathrobe. You might have seen it in Wall Street Warriors. I trade with it. I had a decent trade today, but then one stupid trade. So it didn’t bring me luck today, but it usually does. You know, I’m up. I’m up quite a bit in my trading accounts. So you know, I’m real. I don’t need to put on a vest, although that’s a nice vest. If I had it, I would wear it. But I don’t.
Andrew: All right. All right. Fair enough. Let’s get into the story here. Here’s what I’d like to do with this interview. I want to get the story ark. I don’t want to get the, “I’m selling stuff. TwitPic can eat me. Everybody else isn’t catching up to me.” I love that part of your attitude too, but, you know, and your message. But I want to know how you got here.
Interviewee: Hey, you don’t want that? You can hang up now. Bye.
Andrew: I want to know how you got here. We’re going to get to more details on where here is, how you’re making this money, but how did you get here? You weren’t a blogger professionally. Let’s go back to what got you to start blogging.
Interviewee: So, picture Forrest Gump, and mix in penny stocks, and CNBC, and that’s my life. I basically turned $12,000 into 2 million while in college, just trading penny stocks. Luckily buying penny stocks breaking out back in 1999-2002. Then 2003 I started my own hedge fund, senior year of college, was the number one ranked short buyers hedge fund manager ’03 to ’06. But I never really had a strategy that was that scalable. So I started trying to get press to try and grow my business. Didn’t really do very well doing that, but it got me on CNBC. I was in the Trader Monthly Top 30 Under 30. While I was on CNBC, this TV producer was watching me. He created Wall Street Warriors. It’s a hit TV show now in 14 countries, so I was in that show, in 5 to 6 episodes of season one. So that got all these people emailing me, like, what are penny stocks. I want to turn a few thousand into a few million, blah, blah, blah. And as a hedge fund manager, I couldn’t respond to any of them. I was like, you know, I want to. I’m getting literally 50, a hundred, 200 emails a day, just from people asking questions. And as a hedge fund manager, you’re not allowed to tell about your strategy with anybody who’s not a high net worth individual. So I said, “Screw this”. My hedge fund really wasn’t doing much of anything, because I’m trading these small cap names. So I changed my business model. I took advantage of what I’ve learned from the TV show…
Interviewee: from the TV show, what people were emailing me and what they wanted to know. So I wrote a book called ‘An American Hedge Fund’. And then it was like, ‘How do I promote this book?’ So I started a blog, timothysykes.com. The book and the blog started then I created the DVD bit.
Andrew: And now we’ve got to slow it down. What we did until now is just catch us up.
Interviewee: That was it
Andrew: The first site that you launched. Now we’re going to go really slowly to understand how you went from there to here. First site you launched, my understanding, because the same guy who built up your site, Adarsh, built up my website. He said when he first was your site you were on droople?
Andrew: Joomla? What did that look like?
Interviewee: I had a family friend build my site for $5K. You know, I didn’t know anything about blogging. I had like all these little slides and stuff. I was just trying to promote. And then Adarsh luckily Pallian saw my site and he’s like, he’s like, ‘Man, the website stinks, man. You need a better one.’ And so, yeah. Good luck to your Mechanical Turks trying to put that accent on paper. But that’s really what he sounds like and that’s really what he said. So he designed my new site for a cut of the profits. And so we actually went through 5 or 6 different versions of timothysykes.com. We learned what was needed. This was back in November of 2007. And then I launched .com which is
Andrew: Again, I gotta slow down even further. We gotta take it step-by-step because I got an hour to fill and I need a lot of detail so we can use this stuff.
Interviewee: It was all, it was Pallian’s idea then we just listened to our readers about what we wanted and I had some fame; thanks to the TV show, thanks to turning a few thousand into a few million. But it was very questionable whether I could build it up because right before I had started blogging the reason why my hedge fund didn’t do well was because I realized that I had not, I didn’t have a very scalable strategy and I had gone for it. Invested in this little ticketing company called Cygnus eTransactions and it basically just blew up in my face. My hedge fund lost 30%. And lots of people think I just lost all my money, but I didn’t. I just lost 30%. But a 30% drop is enough of a momentum killer to ever. You know, my hedge fund was never going anywhere after the 30% drop in basically a year. So I had credibility issues when I started my blog. Right when I started my blog I said, ‘Let me get my credibility back.’ So I went back to my initial $12,415.00 bat mitzvah roots and I said, ‘I’m going to repeat the feed. I’m going to turn a few thousand into a few million again and you’re going to be able to see every single trade.’ So that’s was the basis of the blog. Where I went back to $12,000.00 and I would just build it step-by-step and write about single step. And after two years, I’ve turned $12,000.00 into roughly $116,000.00. Every single trade detailed in over 2500 blog posts.
Andrew: And one of the viewers in the live audience is asking, ‘What percentage of the $1.3 million that you earned with your site is from educational product sales?’ They want to know what percent comes from your profits from trading. The $1.3 is just from the website. He’s blogging out how he’s building up his trading fortune.
Interviewee: Yeah. I mean I trade but again I don’t have the scalable strategy $12,000.00 into $117,000.00 is very respectable. I think a lot of people would want it. But again it’s only $100,000.00. I’ve made 13 times that just teaching other people. This is kind of an interesting concept and I was dead-on about it. I can make 6, 7 maybe even 8 or 9 figures per year teaching others how to make 3, 4 or 5 figures because 90% of traders lose money. And the people who teach trading are frauds; they’re marketers; they’re not real traders. They would never show up on this interview with this hair or a bath robe because they’re always afraid of what they have to hide. You know, people would find out, ‘Oh, what’s your track record? Uh . . . (cough) (cough) I don’t’ have it. Buy my DVD.’ That’s what the industry is full of. And that’s also why I created.
Andrew: We’re going to get to whatis. Your website. I’m making a note to come here to that.
Interviewee: Bring it. Because I have a problem. Once I say the workI can’t say any other word than for another 15 minutes.
Andrew: I will say the wordfor you. We’re going to come back to it. We’re going to get into this first.
Interviewee: Okay, okay.
Interviewee: okay, okay..
Andrew: okay. So going back to this story. You then had an article written about you in The New York Times where, if I’m understanding this right, where you said, ‘This is what I’m going to do. I’m going to blog my way toward success and I’m going to tell everybody here how I’m doing it and so on.’ And that’s where Adarsh found you. Right?
Interviewee: Yeah. It was Reuters and it said, ‘Failed hedge fund manager tries again on the internet.’ And you know, I’m not afraid of bad press. And that’s basically what I was. My hedge fund did not do very well. We basically broke even after three years but that’s not exactly great especially after the previous success I’d had. So yeah. That story got around.
Interviewee: I go into this believing I can convert anybody because I can explain my strategy and will answer any question, I have been doing this for 12 years. One of my favorite stories is about this guy named Michael Goode. He had this blog called Good Value, ‘goodevalue.com‘ and out of the blue, this again goes with my hate marketing, out of the blue I see a Google alert with my name, it says ‘Timothy Sykes is full of BS‘ is the name of his blog post. He explains why, like 7 points, why he thinks I am full of BS. He never had a DVD or anything. He just said, ‘This is probably why he is full of it’. So we had a whole long conversation, you can still see the posts. I might have been 40 comments long. I said, ‘I will convert you’ and overtime he gradually has been converted. He has all my DVD’s. He is a ‘s Lifetime Member which costs $2,000 and he is up over $120,000 with my strategy. It is not a strategy to get rich quick and this is the main thing and you see all these commercials, you hear frickin pennystockchaser.com, have you heard of them? They are advertising on Howard Stern now. They are a frickin stock promoters. So there is all of these people that claim big riches on the internet in these trading strategies. This is not a get rich quick strategy, this is a make a little money here and there based on the opportunities out there that are based in the hype and manipulation that exists in the penny stock world. But it all came down to me responding to that blog post and now Michael Goode is not just one of my top students he is also one of my top affiliates and he is also moderating my chat rooms because it’s worked for him within two years or a year and a half he has literally learned everything I have and he is making it and we are working together, so it’s great.
Andrew: This is interesting, Chris Dritt has actually found that post and it’s called, ‘Timothy Sykes is full of Bull Shit‘ and he linked to it in the comments, thanks Chris.
Interviewee: That’s it.
Read the rest of the chat HERE