Timothy Sykes is a travel "addict" and a high-roller with plenty of cash to splash, but it wasn't always that way.

The stock trader and teacher, who is based at Miami Beach but calls himself "homeless", built an empire out of a few thousands dollars and is now dedicated to showing others how to live a similar lifestyle.

"I wasn't born with money, I started with few thousands dollars ... I challenged myself to make a million dollars and I did it," Mr Sykes said on his Instagram page — which has more than a million followers. And the key?

"Always dream big ... f**k haters."


In a bid to motivate others, Mr Sykes' Instagram account is plastered with images of bundles of cash, fancy sports cars, private jets, exotic locations and beautiful women.

He even took out $US1 million from his bank just to take photos of it, and then deposited it back into his account.

Many of the 36-year-old's travel snaps show him with laptop in hand — even on the edge of waterfalls and cliffs. That shows just how devoted he is to "living the dream".

Mr Sykes is currently a teacher and mentor to more than 6000 students in over 100 countries via his online trading academy, and he is also dedicated to charity work.

"I would say I'm a full blown travel addict as I average 15-20 countries visited per year," he told news.com.au.

"I spend roughly 75 per cent of my time on the road having adventures and visiting the many charities I donate to as my charity foundation, The Timothy Sykes Foundation, now has 40 schools built or in development around the world. My goal is to build over 1000 in the coming years."

Now that's what we like to hear.

Over the years, Mr Sykes managed to turn $US12,000 ($AU15,500) into $US4.7m ($AU6m) while living the dream. So what's his secret to earning so much while travelling?


"I trade stocks nearly every day and earn roughly $US5000 ($AU6500) per week at that trading from wherever I am in the world and then I also make more money from teaching others my process too," Mr Sykes told news.com.au.

"It is most definitely the dream job, but I've also been doing this for nearly 20 years now and I have to say it takes a lot of time and effort studying before getting to an income level like this.

"But I'm proud to help shorten my students' learning curve as my latest millionaire student became a millionaire in less than two years whereas it took my first few millionaire students and myself nearly four years."

He says the secret lies in cheaper — and riskier — stocks.

"I trade low-priced stocks that are pretty much looked down upon by everyone in the world as they move very fast and they're scary if you don't know the rules of the game," he said. "So over the past 19 years of trading, I've learned the rules and how to spot the scams from the quality companies and now I teach those rules to others too."

When it comes to getting rich, he has this general advice.

"Focus the vast majority of your time on becoming an expert in a subject you love as no matter what subject it is, experts are always well paid and then you can have the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want without worrying about money or bosses or debts," Mr Sykes said.

"But you must become an expert first and that takes years of hard work and study ... getting a mentor helps cut down the learning curve too and that's why I love teaching so much.

"Thanks to this new technology (the internet) you can learn pretty much anything you want with online video lessons, guides and tutorials and then the whole world is open to you as I have been so fortunate to discover."

Mr Sykes is passionate and has no time for the lazy or those that try to question his success. His Instagram account is fascinating and includes these statements:

"I sometimes post obnoxious cash photos to inspire you to study hard."

"Why am I in China? Because I can."

"I just wanted to show you what a million dollars looks like ... this is my office, I work from bed. Who wants it?"

"While most of you are too lazy and negative to ever earn this much money in a few years like my top #millionaire students have (just being honest), some of you do have this potential that you just need to unleash and #education and #perseverance along with getting a mentor is key."

He even posted this as an April Fool's joke last year, showing him opening his hotel room fridge, filled with cash, and was surprised by the response, with many believing him.

Inspired yet?


So what's been his favourite place so far?

"I'm writing this from Japan as I'm here all month to celebrate my upcoming 37th birthday in a few days as I love sushi, the culture, the history and the people here in Japan ... it's so different from America/Europe and it's fascinating!" he told news.com.au.

And how about the best experience?

"My favourite experience was when my friend and I were climbing Mount Fuji a few years ago and we severely under packed and underestimated how cold it gets during the off-season," Mr Sykes said.

"We were fumbling our way down the mountain in the middle of the night with no warm clothes, no food or water. Fortunately the locals like to climb the mountain at night to see the sunrise from the top so one kind Japanese man saw our sorry state and gave us food, water and helped us get warm in his car before driving us nearly an hour to the nearest bus station and giving us money for a bus too!

"He didn't speak any English, but he was just a generous man and that about sums up why I love Japan so much."

And what about the less amazing experiences?

"My worst experience was in Mexico where I had a big group of friends joining me to visit several of my charity's schools," he said. "We had two events in one day along with trying to catch a sunset at a nearby resort that had a great view and sometime during the day my backpack with two laptops, three phones, so much of my every day supplies and something like $8000 cash went missing.

"To this day I don't know whether it was lost or stolen. The cash and tech equipment aside, I have more than 8000 published blog posts on my website and probably about 100 or so blog post drafts were on those laptops and thousands of photos and videos were on the lost phones.

"So, it really set me back business-wise as I wasn't organised enough to have most of my content backed up."

And what are his plans for the future? Travel, and lots of it, of course.

"Yes, I'm weird like that because most people only can travel a little before missing home, but even though my family is based in Miami Beach, I'm basically homeless as I can only stay in one place for a short period of time before I have an urge to travel some more," he said. "Now that my charity is building schools all over the world, I love visiting those communities and meeting with the locals and families and seeing what else I can do to help them."