Update on trading like Tim Sykes: $101,000 in profits

If you are not familiar with my history with Tim Sykes, I suggest reading The truth about Tim Sykes from a former critic, followed by my Update on trading Tim Sykes’ system, and Making money by buying stocks on my watchlist. I first started trading like Tim Sykes in June of 2006. I had initially been skeptical of his system but it was hard to argue with his performance. Before I bought his book and DVD and subscribed to his TimAlerts (I am now a lifetime subscriber), I first read every single one of his previous blog posts and I examined every single of his previous trades since he started blogging in November 2007 (his trades are verified on Covestor). If someone wishes to learn from Sykes and does not wish to buy his DVDs, I heartily recommend reading his blog posts to study all his previous trades.

From the very beginning I was successful trading based on Sykes’ alerts and using his strategy for my own trades. I have now surpassed $101,000 in total profit using his strategy. In terms of my total trading account, this is not a huge amount (I have a multi-hundred-thousand dollar account), but considering that I rarely use very much capital to trade in Sykes’ style and the trades are short-term, I have most of my trading capital available to trade my other trading strategies.

Below are a few stats on my trades this year and last. Like what you see? Why not check out Tim Sykes’ DVDs? I recommend Pennystocking Part Deux and TimFundamentals Part Deux (I own both). I don’t recommend TimTactics.

Total profit in 2009: $53,323.78

Watchlist longs (stocks I buy based on my own watchlist): $1,765.69
Weighted average profit margin: 1.45%

Other self-initiated trades: $26,689.68
Weighted average profit margin: 0.95%

Trades based on TimAlerts: $21,314.40
Weighted average profit margin: 1.65%

Total profit in 2008: $48,224.60

Self-initiated trades: $30,991.11
Weighted average profit margin: 3.92%

Trades based on TimAlerts: $17,233.49
Weighted average profit margin: 1.10%

(Note: the above chart does not include my profits from my watchlist longs, currently at $1765 since June 2009)

Biggest winners 2009

Here are some of my best trades this year.

ALAN    Short    12550    5/14/2009    $1.012    —  Cover    5/14/2009    $0.605
Profit: $5,104.96    40.21%
Stockpreacher pump, shorted into biggest volume around 1, exhausted all IB borrows quickly; was up from 0.48 previous day; goal was to cover around .60
ALAN    Short    44500    5/14/2009    $1.009    —  Cover    5/14/2009    $0.734
Profit:  $12,217.48    27.21%
As above, in other acct, messed up big time; hit buy instead of cancel, and bought 9300 at 1.03 right as I achieved my full position (this is reflected in the average prices; so I really only took 36k shares from 1.01 to .63)

SPNG.ob    Short    20000    6/12/2009    $0.177   —  Cover   6/15/2009    $0.125
Profit: $1,041.20    29.43%
had death drop from .28 to .08, shorted (with tim) on bounce on a Friday, covered after almost 30 straight minutes of slow drop next Monday morning

SMTX    Long    2613    6/30/2009    $0.752    —  Sold    6/30/2009    $1.142
Profit: $1,019.07    51.86%
Stockpreacher pump, three separate buy orders all partially filled at .68, .755, and .78; sold near hod of 1.19 (little volume there; was significant volume at 1) and then immediately went short with all 4k shares IB had
SMTX    Short    4313    6/30/2009    $0.970   —  Cover    6/30/2009    $0.905
Profit: $280.00    6.69%
Stockpreacher pump, shorted quickly to get shares (IB only had 4k shares), shorted when up 40% from .68
SMTX    Short    35750    6/30/2009    $0.978    —  Cover    6/30/2009    $0.899
Profit: $2,831.40    8.09%
Stockpreacher pump, got plenty of shares shorting with best ask in other account; very aggressive position; an hour later only 220k shares had traded; Stockpreacher losing his mojo; covered 10k after a few hours, covered rest 2 hours before close when big size on ask started getting eaten

OPXA    Short    1000    9/9/2009    $4.459    —  Cover    9/10/2009    $3.874
Profit: $585.10    13.12%
Tim shorted 30 minutes after me; up from 1.50 to 5.65 the previous day on what was really a small subset of results from phase 2 MS drug trial, shorted when down 20% on day but broke below morning’s lows (not absolute lows, but lows with volume at 4.50), averaged into position; looked to hold overnight, but couldn’t resist covering into drop below lods 30 minutes before close
OPXA    Short    1000    9/9/2009    $4.459    —  Cover    9/9/2009    $4.184
Profit: $275.10    6.17%
Tim shorted 30 minutes after me; up from 1.50 to 5.65 the previous day on what was really a small subset of results from phase 2 MS drug trial, shorted when down 20% on day but broke below morning’s lows (not absolute lows, but lows with volume at 4.50), averaged into position; covered 1k so the position wouldn’t be all my account overnight
OPXA    Short    2000    9/9/2009    $4.459    —  Cover    9/9/2009    $4.111
Profit: $697.20    7.82%
same as above, covered when TimAlert cover hit as it tanked a bunch
OPXA    Short    2000    9/9/2009    $4.459    —  Cover    9/9/2009    $3.969
Profit: $980.20    10.99%
same as above, covered more when it broke $4 and then bounced … was down 30% on the day then so I doubted it had much more; looked to hold 1k overnight

XSNX.ob    Short    35000    9/10/2009    $0.202   —  Cover    9/10/2009    $0.156
Profit: $1,612.10    22.82%
Stockpreacher / Beacon Equity pump from .12, shorted right at highs of .21 and 10k again after Tim Sykes alerted

Biggest losers 2009

Here are some of my worst trades of 2009.

CBOU    Long    19500    7/20/2009    $4.951    —  Sold    7/20/2009    $4.800
Profit: -$2,944.50    -3.05%
TimAlert, he shorted @ 5, I thought he bought, so I bought; oh crap. Then I shorted but at crappy price (4.78) which added $900 to my loss

GVBP.ob    Short    18500    9/14/2009    $0.396    —  Cover   9/15/2009    $0.633
Profit: -$4,395.42    -60.06%
TimAlert, true pump and dump, were shares available at IB sho Tim shorted into +40% morning spike, I took the rest of the available shares; covered when Tim covered

OPTT    Short    5000    10/14/2009    $7.695    —  Cover    10/14/2009    $7.970
Profit: -$1,375.00    -3.57%
shorted 4 minutes after open on red, first down day after one 50% up day, had faded last hour of previous day, hit a lod of 7.56 and then quickly jumped green and I got out as quickly as I could

Biggest winners 2008

Here are some of my best trades from 2008.

USS    Short    7000    7/29/2008    $4.030    —  Cover    7/29/2008    $3.336
Profit: $4,852.77    17.20%
USS    Short    3000    7/29/2008    $4.027    —  Cover    7/30/2008    $2.725
Profit: $3,904.17    32.32%
I made up for my earlier loss by shorting this supernova.

GFET    Short    22100    8/11/2008    $0.300    —  Cover    8/12/2008    $0.231
Profit: $1,521.78    22.99%
up 300% on no news; shorted during morning panic, didn’t spike back up; held o/n

COIN    Short    11500    9/4/2008    $5.592    —  Cover   9/5/2008    $5.363
Profit: $2,628.26    4.09%
shorted on breakdown of 5.80 resistance level in afternoon; crappy entry due to BSOD on computer; added on bounces

VM    Short    4600    9/22/2008    $3.293    —  Cover    9/22/2008    $2.864
Profit: $1,974.96    13.04%
huge one-day spike in last minutes of previous day, companies with similar spikes OMN, RTK, NGD all tanked pre-market, so I shorted at open; covered as it got close to 2.75 from before the spike and big bidders appeared at 2.82

SIL    Short    32000    9/24/2008    $3.321    —  Cover   9/25/2008    $2.685
Profit: $20,368.00    19.17%
shorted a bunch on green to red after noon, shorted more on attempted break of 3, covered many times, shorted more on bounces; held full position overnight; covered as it dropped

VLKAY    Short    100    10/28/2008    $192.990    —  Cover    10/30/2008 $143.735
Profit:   $4,925.50    25.52%
shorted more on short squeeze; covered prior to forced buy-in

Biggest losers 2008

Here are some of my worst trades from 2008:

USS    Short    5000    7/28/2008    $4.500    —  Cover    7/28/2008    $4.935
Profit:  -$2,176.25    -9.67%
This was an accidental trade due to placing my limit order too low at ThinkorSwim to reserve shares to short.

COIN    Short    4200    9/4/2008    $6.000    —  Cover    9/4/2008    $6.263
Profit:  -$1,102.92    -4.38%
Shorted at break of 6.00 on TimAlert; got whipsawed out and covered as it bounced to 6.25 (Tim and others held)

WRSP    Short    7073    9/19/2008    $1.359    —  Cover  9/24/2008    $1.683
Profit: -$2,296.53    -23.90%
shorted on second up day from .7 to 1.1 … didn’t wait for first down day to assure getting shares, averaged up; covered in next couple days when volume died; later spiked to 1.90

VLKAY    Short    100    10/27/2008    $109.990   —  Cover   10/30/2008    $143.735
Profit: -$3,374.50    -30.68%
Up 100% on massive short squeeze; Volkswagen ADR; Previous big bump month ago on short squeeze led quickly to drop off; was first big up day; should have waited until next day to short; gapped up next day

Disclosure: No positions in any stocks mentioned in this post. I receive a commission for every DVD bought through my affiliate link to Sykes’ web store. To see more details on my relationship with Sykes, please see my disclosures. I have a disclosure policy and you can find all my disclaimers there as well; those disclosure & disclaimers are incorporated by reference into this post.

GFET Short 22100 8/11/2008 $0.300 $6,620 8/12/2008 $0.231 $1,521.78 22.99%

22 thoughts on “Update on trading like Tim Sykes: $101,000 in profits”

  1. Jamal, why don’t you say what you really feel. lol

    Yeah congrats buddy, I meant to mention that yesterday whenI noticed the 100k cross. Luckily for me I have been here for a lot of that, great learning experience.

  2. I’m short 600 NANO @ 9.09, not sure how this is going to turn out. Not happy it broke old HOD, and looks to be consolidating as I type.

  3. Jamal

    it’s proof that risk management is key to longterm success.
    Every trader I know screws up bad from time to time.

    maximizing your wins and minimizing your losses in many wins is more important than accuracy.

  4. Yeah, +250.00 on NANO, covered at 8.68 or 4.6%. Not a bad trade, entry could have been a bit better but I went in when 1mil shares had traded and it still spiked a little higher.

  5. Hey reaper I was wondering what online broker I should use to short. So far I’ve found 3 brokers that have no minimum price for shorting, but do say “Short stocks selling for less than $5.00 a share will be held at 100% of the current market value or $2.50 a share, whichever is greater.” I assume this means that I must have $2.50 extra to cover each share I buy on a penny stock. This is not as large as a problem for me as availability because I have heard it is very difficult to borrow penny stocks.

    1. from the FAQ:

      Q: What brokers do you use?
      A: My main broker is Interactive Brokers (often shortened to IB or its ticker IBKR). I also use SogoElite (although I am not enamored of their platform or the speed of trading with them, they offer good borrows on stocks to short). I also have a tertiary account with ThinkorSwim that has its trades verified by Covestor. That account had no trades prior to 9/29/2009. 90% of my trades are with Interactive Brokers. Their platform is great, their commissions are cheap, and fills on trades are fast. Furthermore, IB allows me to short more stocks that I want to short than any other broker, including penny stocks and OTC BB and Pink Sheet stocks. My only complaint is that Interactive Brokers has horrid customer service.

      Q: How much does Interactive Brokers cost?
      A: Commissions are $0.005 per share. Data fees are separate. If you pay over $30 per month in commissions the fees for level 1 data feeds are waved. Otherwise that is $10 a month. I pay $15 per month for Nasdaq Totalview and $2.50 per month for Pink Sheets level 1.

      Q: But isn’t that costly to pay per share commissions? Why not use a broker that allows per-trade commissions?
      A: While I pay much more in commissions on large orders than those with per-trade commission structures (such as $10 per trade at Thinkorswim), it is still cheaper for me to use a per-share commission structure, because along with that I get direct market access. Almost all brokers that have a flat-fee commission do not grant the trader direct market access. So that trade for 10,000 shares will first be matched with other orders at the broker and then be sent to the market. This means that execution will be slower. For a fast-moving stock, a delay of even a second or two can result in the stock moving a few cents. So that cheap commission may cost you a lot more than you think. Furthermore, Interactive brokers has all sorts of complex order types that other brokers do not, such as iceberg orders (the ability to hide the size of a trade), discretionary orders, and IB has a great record of getting very good, quick fills. Simply put, I would be a much worse trader with any broker other than IB.


    1. Josh – I said above multi-hundred-thousand-dollar. I don’t know exactly because I’ve had a ton of brokerage accounts and I always moved money into and out of my accounts. But pennystocking is not a very scalable strategy, so I would not have much more profit if I’d been trading with $1m. There are relatively few good opportunities in this niche where a trader can easily swing a $100k+ position. I don’t even trade as large as I should because I like to reduce my return volatility and I am not greedy. I only keep my brokerage account so large because of my super-secret trading strategy.

  6. Is your ‘other strategy’ mechanical or discretionary? In either case, how much time has to be put into it on a daily basis? Research, backtesting, or the trading itself.

    I know its a secret but surely those questions don’t reveal much 😉 I do want to tinker with non-penny stock strategies in the future, if I have the time and ambition.

  7. Reaper how much did you start trading with 6/18/08? what roughly did your account balances from 6/18/08 – 8/18/08 (the fist two months)?

  8. Michael:Congratulations.I like hearing what you have to say and an inspired by your trades and honesty.Do you give watchlist every day,have only checked infrequently?Would like to ask more questions if permitted.Michael.

  9. Hey Reap,

    Long time TimAlerts subscriber here.. unfortunately haven’t made too many trades with him.. (still gathering capital).

    Anyhow.. just noticed your ‘biggest losses’ of 2009.. I’m sure you know this but if you still held on (god knows the ups and downs between then an now.. but)
    If you did..

    CBOU = $8.63 = profit of $71,955 on 19500 shares.
    GVBP.ob = $0.18 = profit of $3,996 on 18500 shares.
    OPTT = $6.93 = profit of $3825 on 5000 shares.

    Almost your 2 years of alert profits on 3 stocks you played 🙂


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