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[Table] IAmA: I am Timothy Sykes: Ask Me Anything

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Date: 2014-04-22
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Questions Answers
So you've managed to be in the green during the years when any idiot could throw darts at a dart board for stock picks and derive gains. What happens when a bear market comes along? LOL I love my haters/doubters, why are u all so inept? I do BETTER IN BEAR MARKETS, I'M A SHORT SELLER YOU MORON! LOLOLOLOLOL.
You also manage less than $4M and only have $1M in your trading accounts right now. I wouldn't trust a lot of the people I know with more than that in their accounts for advice (and neither would they, that's why their money is managed by others). So, what exactly is it that makes you qualified to give advice for long term success for other investors to follow you? I could trade with $20 million and probly make $10-15 mil/year but then i wouldnt be able to teach which i love more.
Do you know the success rate of all of your subscribers as a whole, including the ones that didn't stick through your "program", do you have any stats? Not just the two millionaires? U can see alll my students trades, add up the profits, go fetch, Link to profit.ly
LOL I love my haters/doubters, why are u all so inept? I do BETTER IN BEAR MARKETS, I'M A SHORT SELLER YOU MORON! LOLOLOLOLOL. As a sell-side analyst who has worked on Wall Street for several years and has met analysts and portfolio managers at the largest hedge funds and investment banks in the world, I'd like to ask everyone reading this a question: would you entrust your life savings to a guy who talks like this? Do you think the people at Goldman Sachs or Third Point talk like this? The good thing is i dont manage other people's money, all i do is teach lessons i've learned over 15 years...ignore my rules at your own risk, nobody forces u to learn them...
How did that hedge fund you started work out? I was the #1 ranked short bias hedge fund for 3 years and then tried investing as i got too greedy...overall made 2%/year over 4 years, still #1 ranked in my category, see details Link to tim.ly i accept your apology for your laziness.
I do BETTER IN BEAR MARKETS. Have you traded in a bear market before? Because to me it looks like you started trading shortly after the crash. i could trade with $20 million and probly make $10-15 mil/year. Then why not put more money into your trading account, it's not like holding more than half your in assets in cash is somehow going to improve your awesome performance? but then i wouldnt be able to teach which i love more. If you love it so much, why don't you offer it at a more discounted rate than $1200/year per person? For that much money most people could buy all the best investing books on the shelves. Are yours somehow better than everyone who has come before you? As well, at $1200/year, if you only have 10k in your account, that's 12%/year. For 12% a year you could hire some of the best money managers in the world, or even for a flat rate fee, you could find at least a half-decent financial planner. What advantages do you offer over those people? u can see alll my students trades, add up the profits. After factoring in relative risk, and performance relative to the market, how does this fare? I mean if all your students at so successful why not display that front and center on your page, I'm sure it'd draw in more customers and there would be more faith in your advice. Your own success and the success of a few hand picked students isn't a lot to go on. How do you become a better sprinter, do you ask the world's fastest sprinter, or their coaches? Do you judge these coaches based on the performance of the most skilled students (who likely had an innate ability to begin with), or do you assess them based on the sustained increase in performance across the board, relative to other coaches? Generally the guy with $500k in his bank account is going to have an easier time making 1M than the guy with $5k in his account is. I'm not hating on you, I'm just asking why some of this data hasn't been gathered to show just how successful your students have been, relative to the rest of the people in the markets they've been trading in. go fetch. Are you aware of what selection bias and survivorship bias are? Also have you considered offering a full refund for people who have blown up their account after buying your books? Where do you see your investment future headed with these sizable gains so quick in your short career? Do you think your performance will compare to that of Berkshire Hathaway, or the Medallion Fund in the long term? Yes i've traded bear markets, i made my 2nd million dollars 2000-2002, u have a long comment but u didnt bother researching me so i have no time for lazy people, sorry!
In the wake of Flash Boys, if you could recreate the market to your specs how would you want it? Single exchange? No maketaker? No darks? Trading pauses? Cancel fees? No Internalization? People whine too much, i could care less about HFTs.
Why does google have more scam accusations than success stories when I search your name? Because i expose scams and those scammers spread lies...already sued one penny stock promoter and won, but their skillset is spreading misinformation on the internet so it works well to smear me...but they couldnt stop Link to tim.ly or Link to tim.ly and as i create more millionaires, more people will realize i'm 100% right...until then let the haterade flowww.
I love how so many of the people asking questions here are ~5 hour old accounts...Got a bunch of your students pumping and dumping your AMA too? I just sent the link out to everyone we dont give a crap about reddit, stupid hater.
My question keeps disappearing for some reason. ??? On a $15,000 account, what position size ($) would you risk, max, and what % gain target would you shoot for to minimize risk in partial fills/no-fills? I know this depends greatly on volume. I answered it in long before, no time for double questions.
You are quite the heartless prick. You publicly laugh at all the traders when your short brigade tanks a stock price. Has anyone recognized you in public, walked up and threatened you? Nah actually everyone who meets me is very thankful for my tireless work and EDUCATION...anyone who hates on education deserves to be poor.
Do you want to eventually settle down with a wife and have kids and get out of the spotlight?? And do you ever get tired of the fame? Of course but i never get tired of trading/teaching.
What indicators do you use to find earnings/contract winners? What news sources do you read through? How do you find them? Go watch Link to timothysykes.com
2pac or biggie? Eminem.
If you're so fucking rich why do you need to sell shit? Why did you make this AMA? To get more customers. Those who can't do, teach. Link to www.timothysykes.com
You're a typical lazy, inept hater, u accuse before u do research, sad.
Tim, big fan, love the instagram photos. Quick question, why not use options to position for trades (assuming they are availalbe in a particular name at all), rather than long/short? I've had problems getting margin approval (long story) even though i make six figures a year, so buying calls and puts is where im at right now. thoughts? Less serious question, "on a scale of Moses to Hitler" (Andy Samburg quote), how Jewish do you consider yourself? Favorite brand of coffee? Favorite toy? My stocks arent usually optionable, oh how i wish they were :) i dont drink coffee and no time for toys.
TIM SYKES. If you had a son or daughter, which majors would you want them to study? STEM field? Liberal arts? Other. Pic related: Link to i.imgur.com. College is useless, I'd want them to live and learn in the real world.
How was the conversation with Wolf when you guys ended the little Twitter war? What caused that whole mess? It was me probing whether he was a stock promoter or not and i'm confident that he's just a naive newbie.
Are you familiar with BullsOnWallstreet? What do you think of their trading education, chatroom, and hedgefund? Yah, nice guys but i dont know their teachings/track record, try to get them to post publicly on profitly.
What % of your income is from trading, what % from subscribers/dvds/marketing etc.? Link to mixergy.com
Hi Tim, what advice would you give a new trader with a very small account ~$500. on the best way to grow the account over time? Focus on volatile stocks and realize my top student started with just $1500 and turned it into $1.71 million in 3 years...anything is possible if u study and work ahrd.
Tim, what is the tech analysis software you use in all of your video lessons. Is it thinkorswim? Its Etrade PRO but I don't recommend them -- I only use them as I'm superstitious and have made too many millions of dollars with them over 15 years...Otherwise I'd recommend Link to stockstotrade.co as it has great scanning/screening tools too.
Tim, as happy as I've been with my Silver sub so far, I was a day trader for four years in forex and am a bit burned out on it. But I do love swing and positional trading and have really fallen in love with options over the last six months. Right now I am thisclose to buying Tim Longterm. Do you get a lot of optional stocks in the TL program? Cool yes timlongterm has more optional stocks.
How did you become interested in the stock market? Read Link to timothysykes.com
How has your self-made wealth changed your lifestyle? Yes i live very well now :)
Where do you see yourself in five years? Depends how many millionaire students i can create.
Was trading stocks your first career choice? I never thought about careers, i just made a ton of $ when i was young and liked doing that so i wanted to do it more.
Tim, I've been a silver sub for about three weeks now and have made some nice trades and done well so far, including a sweet +13% on ARTX (would have made more if I'd waited for it to break support). But I haven't seen any of the big-spike penny pumps happening so far. How often do you see them happening? Cool, big spike penny pumps were every day in dec, jan, feb...they'll be back but u just missed the busiest season in 15 years.
How would you invest / what would you buy for $100 ? I'd buy a good sushi lunch for that amount, it's too low for stocks.
How much does it cost to become one of your students? Go look Link to timothysykes.com prices rising soon too so i'd lock in current prices for life if i were u.
I should've clarified, how much is it to become one of your millionaire challenge students? Depends, we offer different options, gotta apply and be accepted first anyway.
Differences between the Tim Sykes Challenge and the silver membership? See Link to timothysykes.com
Do you regularly give talks/seminars at colleges and universities. Would you ever consider coming to a smaller university to give a lecture on stock trading and smart investing? Yes hit up Link to timothysykes.com
What do you think about forex? I just started larning about forex, because here in méxico there is not much information about penny stocks; and As i said before I want to make the amount to take you challenge. Too low odds of success for me to care.
How backed up are your email responses for trader challenge requests? And what is the difference between silver and being accepted into the challenge. And by differences i'm referring to benefits. 75,000 emails or so.
Thoughts on fspm? Below technical resistance so its irrelevant.
When you were growing up Tim, in your teens, did you look into the future and want to be wealthy? Was it a dream of yours to be where you are today or did you decide so much later on? Always wanted to be wealthy, thought i needed to go to a good school & get job on wall street to make it happen.
When you first started out.. How did you handle the stress when you weren't trading? I'm having some crazy up days $12k+ and then when I make a shitty trade and lose $3k I wanna throw something... No stress if u stick to rules...i didnt have rules at first and that was stressful...i didnt have a mentor either...luckily for u with me in the picture u now have both :)
Dear Tim, I have a dream of making an automated trading machine out of your system, I have experience and the trading floor access. In your opinion, why shouldn't it work ? (I can automate: market research, stock picks, technical indicators, risk management, money management etc.) Do it up, i'm sure it would work I just havent had the time and I'm more interested in teaching people to be self-sufficient.
When did you start trading? Go read Link to timothysykes.com and stop being so lazy.
Would you accept a deal to start being your student? I sent an email but i'd like to know what do you think, if the answer is not, it's ok; but i want to know what do you think; No time for deals, only looking for dedicated students.
Any plans to expand the conference / speaking opportunities for you and your other gurus? I loved the Vegas event and think there is a large opportunity for smaller, regional Saturday events. Thoughts? Ha nah in person events are a biatch, focus on online teaching is better.
I have to ask how often do you check twitter for hot news/tips? Also have you heard of Mark Gomes he is more like long term investor. I can't do margin on my ira so lose out on a lot of opportunities when trading. Gotta let the funds settle. I could care less about news/tips, I'm ALWAYS searching for good patterns though.
Amazing call on artx I'm now number 1 in my finance class stock game Nice!
I'm 23 years old, looking for stock investment options. What type of stocks should I be looking at with about $500 to spend? Nothing, forget about investing with $500 and learn trading, watch these free videos Link to tim.ly
On a $15,000 account, what position size ($) would you risk, max, and what % gain target would you shoot for to minimize risk in partial fills/no-fills? I know this depends greatly on volume. I am more aggressive in my trading when my account is small, I'd use 30-50% per play but watch the play like a hawk...for example I shorted ARTX yesterday at 4.50, today it dropped to 3.90...if i had $15k I would've shorted 1,500 at 4.50 and tried to cover at 4ish today to lock in $750 profit...then rinse and repeat and gradually grow the account.
How much money do you have in your checking account right now? I dunno exactly, a few million last time I checked.
How often do you take money out of your trading account to spend? monthly, quarterly, annually or as needed? Annually.
Hey Tim I am a big follower of yours on twitter and am considering purchasing your news letter. I got lucky and got in some marijuana stock in November and pretty much didn't look at it until February when I sold. I quickly found out how lucky I was afterwards by not taking profits on other stocks I had purchased. I was looking for another 10 bagger and quickly realized how rare it is for that to happen. My question for you is what type of percentage gains do you look for before securing profit? Nice, normally i go for 10-30% gains, watch Link to tim.ly
What is the best product on your site to strictly see your stock picks? The best bang for my buck? My newsletters at Link to timothysykes.com but picks do little good without knowledge/education behind WHY I am trading them.
Last one from me. I know you say to not be long before ERs but what do you think about Facebook with their upcoming ER ? Last time they jumped $10 but with the WhatsApp acquisition their stock has fallen back to where it was before last ER. Don't guess on earnings.
You say college is useless, and I agree. What do you think should change in the education system to make it more relevant? I'm doing EXACTLY what i think more teachers and their students should be doing.
What's the douchiest thing you've ever seen? Too many characters needed, basically any Wall Street/Murray Hill party/event.
What would happen if too many people caught on to your short sale strategy? What strategy would you then adopt? I was hoping that would happen when I first got into teaching so I could get more sleep! Sadly only a few people take the time to learn...I also buy and am up 100% in 4 months in 2014 mostly buying too.
Where can I find more information about the event in Harvard? Just moved to Boston. U cant it sold out within minutes but we'll have it recorded for ya!
Thank you for the AMA and your reply. I bought your DVDs recently, but haven't finished. What ratio would you say your income is based on, trading vs. teaching? I ask because I think I would prefer teaching, but I need to learn first. So should I be learning to teach, or learning to just invest personally? Teaching vs trading is something like 10-1...the cool thing is EVERYONE wants to be rich, the sad part is not many are willing to study hard to get there.
Hey TIM, I am a Pennystocking Silver member for about 2 months now and have been trying to figure out what is the maximum size position you can take when long on a stock? How do you know when to buy 100 shares or 100,000 shares? I have been making sure not to buy more than 2% of a stocks daily trading volume, I think I heard that in one of your DVDs, is that accurate? There is no set maximum or minimum, every play is different...just gotta be comfortable and understand your risk/reward BEFORE making the trade and then stick to the rules during the trade.
Any recommendation to control overtrading? Btw I am flying all the way from Miami to Boston to be at Harvard on saturday, someday not too far I will be one of your top students :) As I say in my Link to timothysykes.com DVDs, I try to think of myself as a retired trader who only comes out of retirement for the perfect setups when I know I'll feel guilty missing...otherwise I'm retired ALL the time, understand?
In An American Hedge Fund you mention that you met a trading coach at a large hedge fund you were interviewing for. Later you said you bought all his books. Would reccommend his books/ mind sharing his name? It was Dr. Ari Kiev, sadly he died, but he's written some great books, use Google.
Besides your book that I enjoyed, do you have a few other books you would recommend? Yes go read Link to investimonials.com
How did you know to short it since it gapped down right at open? I shorted yesterday, see my video lesson I sent out mid-day yesterday too.
How long do you think BIOF will stay up before it will start going down? and what is holding it so far? Irrelevant chart pattern, gotta focus on Link to tim.ly patterns if you want better odds.
Tim! Which actress do you think is the hottest? I like Scarlett Johansson a lot! (and thanks for changing my life!) Nobody can compete with my girlfriend :)
Make sure she reads that post ;) I will :)
Who would win in a fight you or superman(supertrades)? Superman, he's strong and fit, I'm overworked and out of shape.
Here's my question: What is your favourite stock? Also you should come into this chat: Link to webchat.freenode.net. It is the official unofficial chat for /wallstreetbets -- a sub which adores your trading style. Thanks for taking the time. Link to tim.ly
Hey Tim, huge fan, ive watched ALL of your DvD's expect for the how to read SEC filings. And i've been following your exact strategy for finding stock picks that you showed in your TIMfundamentals part deux DvD but i never find the same one's that you trade, for example ARTX did not come up on my watchlist. Did you change your strategy on finding stock picks? If so, what's new? Link to profit.ly
Have you ever considered world domination? Nah thats boring, my focus is world education.
I haven't read all about the challenge information yet, but how much is the amount I have to bring in ? Different for everyone first u need to apply and get accepted Link to tim.ly
Can you make a gif animation of you flying to da moon and post it every time you tell us your stock picks? Sure I'll put it on my to do list.
Tim I am I college student and I started trading this year mostly because of your story. I have bought into the company TWD (tweed marijuana inc.) Do you have any suggestions for me? Ps, they're all just haters. Cool, the companies don't matter and TWD's chart is a mess, focus on Link to tim.ly patterns.
Right on, is the Vegas conference going to be a DVD also this year or is that the video you are talking about? BTW can't wait for the conference this year hopefully its the best one yet. Nah brand new DVD going over all the basics.
I'm low on funds so more newsletters or getting equity feed? About the same price so just pick one Data is cheap, good information from newsletters is more useful, use Link to tim.ly sale while its still on.
Hey Tim, I was accepted to your challenge but was unaware about needing $7500 to begin. Any way around that? I think what you do and how you help people is great. I'm guessing you have someone answering your emails so I thought this was the best way. Thanks. Gotta invest in your financial education, my program is a steal given the value of what u learn...skimp out on everything in life, but not education.
To start off, you are my biggest inspiration for trading stocks. That being said, in the future I would love to trade with you like Tim G and your other students in the Maldives or other crazy places you go. I currently trade my own strategies and am making pretty good money. Do I need to become one of your challenge students to hang out/trade with you? Yup Link to tim.ly students get first dibs on everything.
Hi Tim, TimAlerts subscriber here, When you started out with $12,500 what was the lowest your account went to in the beginning, did your ever drop below $10,000 ? Go and look at the first 1,000 blog posts on Link to timothysykes.co i tracked EVERY trade.
Hello Tim, Big fan here & Silver Subscriber! Been watching a lot of your videos and I've read your book. I live in Denmark, so a lot of brokers won't accept me as a customer. Only broker I can find is SureTrader. What do you think? Cool i use suretrader they have shorts every now and then.
Do you lift? I used to, no time now.
Tim! I've been following you now for a while and have learned a great deal from you! I live in Boston and would love to come see your talk! Is there ANY WAY I can get a ticket?? Cool, sorry my Harvard talk sold out within minutes, but it'll be recorded.
What trading platform do you use? Read Link to tim.ly multiple brokers.
What is the best path i should take if i want to be sitting beside you on your next yacht adventure? Apply at Link to tim.ly then study your butt off!
Do you watch game of thrones? If not you should get on it. Yes its great, wish I had more time to watch them all a second time.
What do you think about the wild west of cannabis stock trading and do you think that it stands apart from the internet .com boom since it is ACTUAL product as opposed to a dozen guys in an office? Are they good for long term investments aside from possible law retractions being an obvious danger? Just the latest stock market sector craze, little different from nanotechs, 3d printing oil, gold, ethanol, alternative energy...pump and dump, NOT longterm holds.
How long will your 60% off newsletter be on? I want to buy it but my money is locked up in the market and will take about a week for me to have enough to get it. tia Just a few days more we cant have Link to tim.ly sale last forever!
Thanks for doing your AMA Tim! I currently am a TimAlerts subscriber and saving money to start trading some day as a (succesfull) European student of yours. I saw you are going to speak at Harvard in a few days, will there be a video of it afterwards? Cool yes my Harvard speech will be recorded!
Why are they not longterm holds? because its the early stages of the industries development? Theyre mostly scams and pump and dumps, development my ass LOL.
Any plans on doing a seminar anywhere on the West Coast some time soon? Yes hit up Link to timothysykes.com to be added to the earlybird list.
Question - how did you manage to post losses of almost 40% in '06/07 when the market was doing so incredibly well? I'm a short seller for one and second read Link to tim.ly I detail my losses in depth.
Timothy. My mentor. Why your loosing trades show profit in your page ? 4/10 MDBX $23.25 $22.1 $4365. Tell me how you enter at 23.25 and exit at 22.1 making $4365 in profit please. You have to teach me this magic !! It's called short selling you incredible nitwit.
How much money do you make in a year from your DVDs, trading challenge, and subscriber alerts? Link to mixergy.com
I lost 70% on SPLI, 40% on ERBB, and, 40% on MYEC, and 30% on MINE, should i hold? Sorry to hear, they can always come back, but I wouldn't bet on it...gotta learn my Link to tim.ly rule #1 cut losses quickly.
I'm a college senior. Would you recommend me working at an investment bank or tech startup? Do both, make connections everywhere.
What characteristics do you look for when people apply to your "Tim Challenge?" Dedication, ability to follow instructions, hunger for immense wealth.
How many cars do you have? I have 2, a Lamborghini and Porsche.
Is e-gear hard to drive? I have a automatic setup on my cayman s. Nah its easy.
Can you annotate a chart of any instrument with price action or indicators? Yes.
Tim, you have mentioned you have students from outside the US. Have you recommended them any brokers in particular or do you happen to know witch they use? Trading the OTC seems to be a common problem for us folks outside the US. Any input on this would be appreciated. My preferred Link to tim.ly all accept international customers.
Hi Tim, NEWBIE. What brokerage account do you recommend? Thanks Read Link to tim.ly
Actually didn't know that. Thank you for your time Tim. YES!
Can my girlfriend borrow $500 to adopt her dog? Nope.
Hey Tim, I am a Pennystocking Silver subscriber and newbie to trading, and have been studying your teachings for about a month. Thank you for doing this AMA. In your book you say that the most valuable classes you took in college were micro and macro economics. I am an econ major and am curious as to how you apply econ theory to trading. Why do you value those classes so much, and what is the most important economic concept you apply to trading? Cool always important to know supply/demand, that basically sums up all of penny stocks.
Last updated: 2014-04-26 15:42 UTC
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[Table] IAmA full-time Bitcoin day-trader, blogger, and explainer. I was a pro TCG player. Here until Midnight EST. AMA!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2014-02-20
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
Let's say someone was looking for a stay at home computer job, would you recommend doing what you do? Is it something you can hop into, or is it something a lot of time must be put into before considerable income comes? You handle risk and pressure well, and you don't let your emotions guide your decision-making. Professional Poker and TCG players often develop this skillset.
You have experience working with stocks, bonds, derivatives, foreign exchange, or other financial instruments. If you have a strong mathematical background, that would also likely fulfill this.
You can invest significant capital into trading while remaining financially secure if it all suddenly vanishes.
You are capable of constantly monitoring a situation, waking up in the middle of the night if an alarm goes off, etc. It requires serious dedication.
You are good at keeping up with news, understanding market psychology, and "feeling" shifts in attitude and perception among other market participants.
Of those, I'd be most cautious if you don't meet no. 3. Going bust is a real possibility--day-trading a volatile commodity is inherently extremely high-risk. Nos. 2 and 4 are the easiest to learn or force through routine. No. 1 requires a person who approaches things in an emotionally detached manner. No. 5 is something that comes with investing enough time.
Second question: I'm answering this after that big block of text because this answer will come off like a get-rich-quick scheme. Yes, you can hop into it very quickly, and you can start making very high profits very quickly. I put in a small initial investment to test the waters, and made 10% on it in a few days. If you have the right skillset, composure, and resources, yes. It is a potentially very lucrative and exciting stay-at-home job. It is not for everyone, though.
As much as it would be beneficial for me (being in the industry and all), to tell everyone it's easy and that it will help them provide for themselves I feel that people need to know the real risks that are involved. Regardless, that's all a little irrelevant. We're not playing the house, and we're not flipping coins. We're playing other investors, and we're making actual decisions. You keep saying things like "98% lose money" and "Go onto any FOREX forum, and you will see from the users posts that they pretty much all lose money" but you don't back it up. Cool, yeah, it's a zero-sum game with a rake: a little more than half of the players will lose. That's expected. They'll probably complain about it, too, huh?
Retrospect can have a very positive effect. Got any real account trading statements I can have a look at? Let's see how fast you can come up with excuses not to show me ;) I only have and need one: I have chosen not to disclose my personal valuation for privacy reasons. Same reason I've had all along. I instead publicly disclose my trades, as they happen, on my website. The posts are timestamped, and the ones that are the start of a position contain the price I entered at. Go check the posts, then go check the charts, then go check my archive. But feel free to continue to arbitrarily call my credibility into question--that makes your argument better!
What leverage do you use? In Australia the leverage is typically 100:1, perhaps that's why your not seeing how risky I deem it to be. First, our argument so far has had nothing to do with risk. Second, I told you I am leveraged 2.5:1, two posts ago. Third, you realize I'm trading Bitcoin, not ForEx, correct? And that no one in their right mind would offer 100:1 leverage on Bitcoin due to its volatility?
What's your last year's hourly salary? A year ago I was finishing up college and extricating myself from the TCG business I'd co-founded. I took very little in take-home pay over that period, but kept part ownership of the continuing business. Money isn't just about the number on your bank account--it's also about residual future income.
How many hours a week are you typically on a computer? On a computer, probably 50-55, if you add in time I spend on my phone, I'd say 65-70. Day trading takes constant watchfulness. I imagine it's like an easier version of taking care of a baby.
What are your favorite to sources of news besides waiting for it to get to the front/hot page of /Bitcoin when it's several hours old? I have an IFTTT for /BitcoinMarkets and /Bitcoin that notifies me early on about some posts.
What's the weirdest thing about your mom? She started a bookselling business online in her 50s and makes more money than me.
Or.
She's a little old lady who loves gadgets and technology.
What are your thoughts on Dogecoin and other bitcoin competitors? Do you think any have staying value? LTC.
DOGE.
NXT.
VTC.
Coins that offer something different or that have a strong community to them can be valuable prospects.
LTC is the first-mover scrypt coin - DOGE has the most non-techies interested in its success and is spreading quickly as a result - NXT is a cool generation two coin that has a lot of features BTC doesn't have - VTC is ASIC-resistant
Ok, let me spell it out to you. The retail forex market only makes up 5% of the total forex markets liquidity. The other 95% is from hedge funds and institutions. Therefore, 99% of the retail market losing their money is very possible, as that only makes up 4.95% of the whole market. Is it possible that 4.95% of the market generally loses? Yes. How is that infeasible? Nope. That's a false equivalence. It is possible that 4.95% of the market loses. It is not feasible, that, say, 99% of people with blue eyes lose. What, exactly, in empirical terms, is the difference between retail investors and hedge/institutions that causes this INCREDIBLE disparity? Would you care to respond to my above empirical argument that demonstrates that a zero-decision system is flipping a losing coin? Do you consider it feasible for 99% of people playing a 45-55 game to lose?
Are there options and/or futures markets for Bitcoin? Not really yet, but there will be more prominent ones soon. I hear about a new one pretty regularly, it seems, but nothing that seems truly legitimate has come out. I'm certainly excited for them, though.
Eventually, once Mr. Lawsky and co. get things sorted out, I'm certain we'll see a big-name investment bank start offering them.
From the time you started trading until today, what is your overall percentage return? In USD, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 300% over a little more than 2 months.
In BTC, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 425% over a little more than 2 months.
Using my average per-coin buy-in price, if I had just bought-and-held, I would have lost about 27% of my initial investment value.
Ben, i told you I'd be here and asking about Hearthstone first. If there's one class that needs a bit of tuning, up or down, which is it and why? I think Mage needs basic, class-level tuning. I'm not sure what needs to be done exactly, but I don't like what the Mage class power does to gameplay. I've thought some about how different it would be if it could only hit minions, and I'd want to know if Blizzard had tried that out. The Mage power is too versatile, and over the long-term I think it will prove to be problematic.
What's your favorite card? Lord Jaraxxus is my favorite card. He has a truly legendary feel to him when you play him, but your opponent can still win, even though he's very powerful.
So, where do you think we go from here? I'm currently short, but I don't expect to be so for a lot longer. I don't think we'll get past 550. I also don't expect this drop to hold on for a really long time.
I haven't seen a good, substantive rationale for what the MtGox situation really has to do with Bitcoin price. Yes, it looks bad, it certainly doesn't help with our legitimacy, but is it really worth the incredible price declines we continue to see? I don't think so. I think we are seeing these impressive declines because the price on MtGox (which is a reflection of trust in MtGox relative to Bitcoin price, not just Bitcoin price) has been declining heavily. I don't expect it to continue forever, especially not with things like the Winkdex and the accompanying ETF launching.
MtGox is basically dead to me, for now at least. The sooner everyone stops paying attention to it, the sooner we can all get back on track, which I, for one, will be quite happy about.
Do you think that it's a good thing for a game when the developers of that game discourage certain playing styles (e.g. mill decks or decks that try to win in unconventional manners) whether in hearthstone, MTG, or other TCGs? It can be. I don't want the developers metaphorically over my shoulder outlawing strategies, but I don't mind if the strategies that are "less fun" for your opponent (Draw/Go, Mill, or Hard Combo from MTG, for example) are also less powerful. Most players prefer a game where the best decks are also among the most fun, because it means that they are playing against fun decks more often. Clearly the 2-cost 3/3 will be played most often. If you fix this by making both 2-cost guys 2/2s or 3/3s, or by making one a 2/3 and the other a 3/2, then you've done something--but it's not that interesting. If you instead make the 2-cost 2/2 have text that says "While you control the 3-cost 3/3, this gets +2/+2" and you give the 3 cost 3/3 text that says "While you control the 2-cost 2/2, it has Taunt" you now have more complex cards that reward players for doing something other than just playing the best stand-alone card.
Which do you think is a better option to encourage diversity in TCGs; improving/buffing cards/decks that hardly see any play versus weakening/nerfing cards that are overwhelmingly played? This is obviously a very simplistic example, but I hope it makes the point. Games are more fun when you give players more relevant choices: buffing and nerfing cards tends not to do that as well as promoting synergies does.
Where/what is the actual money behind bitcoin? If it does exist. You might need to rephrase your question for me to understand what you're asking. If you're asking why a Bitcoin has value, the answer is the same as any other good: because someone is willing to pay it.
If you're asking why someone is willing to pay that amount, my answer would be utility.
I just got started on Bitfinex (using your referral link) and am a little intimidated. What types of trades would I recommend I try as a beginner? From there, just keep careful watch, and see what happens. Be neutral and objective toward your own hypothesis, just like in science. Don't be biased by your hopes, be focused on the reality.
So far I've only done a liquidity swap offer to try it since it seemed (nearly) risk free. Have you done any liquidity swap or is it too low in profit? If I'm not going to be able to check my computer for a day or two, or I'm uncertain of what's going to happen the next few days, I do use the liquidity swap function. It's actually very profitable, relative to traditional investments. And you're right, it is low-risk. I'm a fan. Good job selecting it if you were intimidated--that's a good place to start. As far as actually starting trading, do science. Start with a hypothesis. If you were up at 5 AM today when MtGox published their announcement, a good hypothesis might have been something like: "This announcement is going to be a blow to their credibility, and might panic the markets. We'll probably drop by some amount as a result." Invest based on it, figure out around what price you want to take profits, and at what price you'll cut your losses and get out. Stick to those determinations unless something substantive changes. The time you tell yourself you can afford to not close your position because it will "rebound" back to where you want is also the time you lose your shirt.
Is it true that you like Balloons? No, I <3 them.
Lol to the question about your mom... Ben, from my understanding Bitcoin is anonymous, does this mean that you can avoid taxation when receiving payment? Bitcoin isn't anonymous. That's actually a common misconception. It's actually pseudonymous, like Reddit. You end up with an online identity--a wallet address--that you use with Bitcoin.
If I walk up to you on a street corner and buy Bitcoin with cash, then I'm pretty much anonymous. If I buy it from a large institution like Coinbase or some other company, they will have records of the address my Bitcoin was bought for. As a result, you can trace them down, generally speaking.
As for avoiding taxation, that's a general no.
What do you think Bitcoin's biggest hurdle is and how do you think it can be overcome? Are there any misconceptions about Bitcoin that you think people have? The biggest hurdle for Bitcoin to overcome is governments. Governments have a variety of reasons not to want an alternative currency. We seem to have done pretty well on that front here in the US, but for other countries (China) that is not the case. Past that, the other major hurdle is something I consider an inevitability: consumer adoption. Business adoption has begun in earnest, consumer adoption hasn't. It will when enough businesses take Bitcoin to give it sufficient utility for the average customer.
What trading platform do you use to daytrade Bitcoin? What is the standard margin that Bitcoin brokers offer? what's the typical ask/bid spread? I primarily use Bitfinex.
Very few Bitcoin brokers currently offer leverage, Bitfinex offers 2.5:1. Over time, I anticipate it will become more like current Forex, where 10:1 or greater leverage is common.
It varies by exchange depending on their fees. Huobi charges 0% fees, so their spread is generally tiny. Some exchanges can be as wide as 1.5%. Typically, I see spreads between .5 and .7%.
Do you invest in any other type of cryptocurrency? if so, which is your favorite besides bitcoin? I currently have no other holdings, but I've held DOGE and LTC at points and am considering VTC and NXT. DOGE is probably my favorite, because if the community can keep this up for a little longer it will snowball into amaze.
Can you trade me a Jace? TMS WWK, TMS FTV, Beleren, MA, or AoT?
Beleren. M10, M11, LOR, JVC, JVCJPN, or Book Promo?
M10 and if not possible then M11. Sure.
I've been reading your blog for quite some time and especially like your summaries for recent events. Keep up the good work! Do you use strict stop-loss orders for your trades? When do you decide to close a trade? Especially in situations where you can basically see you profit/loss grow by the minute. When is enough? Do you have a longterm bitcoin investment you don't touch or do you use everything you have for trading? I do use relatively strict stop losses, but they're not stop loss orders. My conditions usually aren't just the price hitting a certain point, but instead it sustaining for a brief period, or hitting it with a certain volume, or with a certain amount of resistance to retreat. I don't want my stop loss to be triggered by some idiot who dumps 300 BTC and temporarily drops the price 15, but only ends up really dropping it 3. I am very strict with myself about this, though, generally speaking--if I can't trust promises I make to myself, what good am I?
Let's say for example you have a sum x dollar and a sum y bitcoin on your trading account. How much % of x or y do you risk at every trade? I've seen a formula for the max. amount of investment and read numerous times that traders shouldn't risk more than one or two percent of their "bankroll". Do you generally have dollar and btc or just one of them at any given time? 100% of funds in every trade, so long as all funds are easily moved into the position. Common exceptions are lack of liquidity and funds being on other exchanges. My reasoning for being all-in all-the-time is that it's a profit-maximizing move. It is also risk-maximizing. My risk tolerance is infinite; most people's isn't. Only ever one. Generally BTC if I'm long, dollar if I'm short. I prefer to double-dip, as otherwise it would be in contradiction to the 100% plan. I use everything I have for trading. Again, profit-maximization, infinite risk tolerance.
I decide a closing price when I'm near either my stop loss or my profit aim. I place a limit order or multiple limit orders wherever I need to. I avoid market orders whenever possible. Enough is when I hit my goals or my loss tolerance. I decide these at the start, but I frequently re-evaluate them as news and market conditions develop.
What is a typical bid/ask spread for Bitcoin? It depends what exchange you're looking at, but generally .5-.7%.
What's the best way to popularize Bitcoin among the masses? Add your own but would love your thoughts on: -microtransactions developing nations -gift economy (tipping) I would suggest just running around shouting "You get to be your own bank" is probably the best way.
In all seriousness, though--we don't need to try. It's going to happen on its own from now on, as the news media slowly starts to pick up the story. People will start appearing on TV talking about it with more and more frequency. Things like the Dogelympic teams are great PR and help boost it up, as well, of course, but in general it's just going to follow the adoption curve of every other technology.
If it picks up in a few developing nations that have stable internet, it will be a massive revolution for them. Self-banking can do a huge amount of good for an economy like theirs. We might see reports on that. If a major newspaper decides to run a permanent paywall like what the Sun-Times tested recently, that could be big as well. The slow PR from tipping on Reddit is another way, to be honest. Every bit helps, but the cryptocurrency community is now large enough that we're going to do a significant amount of organic, word-of-mouth style growth.
Do you think that a magic game could beat harthstone? If they do a good job, absolutely. They have to focus on the right things. It needs to be mobile-available, easy to pick up and play, and fun.
Is there a good crypto currency to get in on now, before it explodes like bitcoin did? There are plenty of options. Check out coinmarketcap.com. Fair warning, there are plenty of horrible things there--treat it kind of like penny stocks. I like BTC, LTC, DOGE, NXT, and VTC.
Also, why is it such a pain in the ass to buy them with actual money? Like you have to have bitcoins to buy other crypto currency. It's such a pain to buy them with USD because no one has made a good system to do it on, like Coinbase. If you think there's a desire, go do it!
Well the way I look at it, is how the hell else would you be able to buy them? Not everyone has piles of bitcoins lying around and I really don't want to spend $600+ on a single bitcoin just to buy some other currencies. Ah, I see the problem! You can buy fractions of a Bitcoin using Coinbase--I think .01BTC (~$6) is their minimum.
The March 2013 appreciation was from American and European investors and November 2013 was mainly from Chinese investors. Which group of people do you think will be the next to buy (I hate using the word invest when talking about bitcoin) bitcoin for investment purposes? American institutional and hobby investors. That is, Wall Street and people who pay attention to Wall Street.
Which do you think will be a better long term (~5 years) investment, Bitcoins, Litecoins, Dogecoins, Fetch Lands, Shock Lands, or Original Dual Lands? Does it change for ~10 years? Either Bitcoin or Fetch lands for 5 years. For 10 years, Bitcoin. I'd be worried about the 10-year view for paper MTG.
Ive been mining Bitcoins for years now, i have a good sum im my wallet but i never plan to use them. Does this make me a bad person? Approximately yes.
Ben, I should've simultaneously copied and pasted all of my questions from the Spreecast over to here but here are a few... It seems like the conspiracy crowd has really latched onto the idea of Bitcoin as being a discreet form of currency. If Bitcoin is backed up by the internet why would people choose having a currency that's being tracked over say cash, gold, different commodities? Having a currency be tracked has negatives and positives, but it's overwhelmingly positive for the average consumer. Because it's tracked, you don't need to pay someone to move your money for you. There also are no chargebacks, which means merchants aren't getting scammed and passing those costs onto consumers. Theft costs everyone money. It's also very fast--transactions confirm in just 10 minutes, regardless of size or where it's going. Transferring dollars from here to China is very difficult--transferring Bitcoin? Just as easy as from anywhere else to anywhere.
My job is a mix of voodoo, intuition, science, and news. In USD, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 300% over a little more than 2 months.
No, just gambling. In BTC, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 425% over a little more than 2 months.
Anyway, how have the profits been from start to finish compared to the market? Using my average per-coin buy-in price, if I had just bought-and-held, I would have lost about 27% of my initial investment value.
Are you willing to disclose how much you have in your trading portfolio/what kind of profit you turn both % and $ wise? In USD, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 300% over a little more than 2 months.
In BTC, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 425% over a little more than 2 months.
Using my average per-coin buy-in price, if I had just bought-and-held, I would have lost about 27% of my initial investment value.
What would you say is the easiest method of shorting bitcoin or any other coin? For shorting Bitcoin or Litecoin, check here.
For other coins, there isn't really a good way yet, to the best of my knowledge. A few exchanges have plans to add short-selling, but Bitfinex is really the only one I know of that has.
What did you have for breakfast today. Didn't breakfast, was delicious.
Hey Ben, I know next to nothing about Bitcoin. I went to /bitcoin after seeing this AMA on your FB, and I noticed that everyone is going apeshit over "Gox". I have no idea what that means or why everyone is so sad/angry/suicidal. MtGox (which originally stood for Magic the Gathering Online eXchange) was the first prominent Bitcoin exchange. They've been going through some rather rough times lately, some of which I was an early cataloguer of here. In short, everyone is freaking out because the exchange may be insolvent. It's not really a big deal to Bitcoin as a whole, but it's certainly an obvious blow to credibility. In my view, people are primarily upset because MtGox has been a part of Bitcoin for a very long time, and it can be hard to let go of what we're used to. I expect that they will either fix the issues or will go out of business officially very soon.
Please explain what happened.
Tell me every artist in your iTunes. Daft Punk, detektivbyrån, Kid Cudi, Matisyahu, The White Panda.
Spotify for life, yo.
Follow up question, what % are you in BTC vs Fiat and when you are on the losing side of a trade do you find your self dumping in more to get right or do you pull the cord Unless my positions are on different exchanges or in different coins, they're all always 100% of what I'll put into that trade at entrance and exit. As a result, I end up with a binary choice: stay or reduce/close. I very rarely reduce position size, nearly always preferring to just end the position instead.
Last updated: 2014-02-25 04:57 UTC
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