Tim Sykes is best known for taking $12,415 in high school and turning it into $4.4 million through trading stocks by his 34th birthday. Now, he makes most of his money teaching others how to do the same through his online course.
Being aware of the stereotypes surrounding “self-help” guys, Sykes likes to be extremely transparent about his financials. He shows every single trade he’s made to show exactly how he’s made his money and makes his yearly tax returns available to the public.
With the advent of social media lifestyles, there’s been an explosion of self-described gurus promoting what appears to be a successful lifestyle online to gain a following and then selling those followers self-help products. While Sykes is also known for his lavish Instagram photos, he says he owns everything he posts, while most are fakes using social media to exploit people for profit.
Now he’s calling those fakers out.
“It’s never been easier to fake this stuff,” Sykes told NextShark. “And there are suddenly thousands of gurus who can help you make millions. You have all these people on Instagram who are selling their “millionaire lifestyle” to sell coaching products or training courses and they post pics with their lambos and ferraris.”
However, what we don’t know is that a majority of these photos are fake. Sykes says that a majority of these people are simply renting those cars — sometimes even just for the hour to take the photos.
“I post pictures with my Lambo and Ferrari because they are actually my cars.” Sykes said. “When I recently bought my new Ferrari I even allowed cameras to follow me to the dealer and film me paying cash for it. I do this because I’ve worked hard to truly earn these cars. I didn’t come from a rich family. I want to show others that they can do the same.”
It’s the same concept when it comes to luxury houses too. Many people like to make it seem like they own luxury homes when they’re really just renting, according to Sykes.
“Luxury houses are the newest trend. Everybody wants to rent a mansion so they can put it on their Instagram. Watch out for the get rich quick scammers all over Instagram who rented a house for a day just to take pictures and video!”
When it comes to photos of cash, many are doctored or stolen, according to Sykes. Sykes has personally experienced this when he caught rapper Shad Moss, popularly known as Bow Wow, uploading one of his photos to his Instagram earlier this year:
He also called out entrepreneur-turned-artist Matty Mo, who made $50,000 in one weekend selling stacks of cash on Instagram.
“He’s taking advantage of the internet using his artistic trickery. Maybe that really is art, but to me, that’s a coward’s way of making money,” Sykes said.
Sykes cautions that you cannot believe everything people share online. He gave us a few tips so that you don’t fall victim to a faker.
“Make sure they post proof as in audits, income tax returns, etc. Seriously, you have to be aggressive here.
“You’ve really got to look at the numbers and not get distracted by the sexiness of all the material stuff that probably isn’t theirs. All of my trades are public information as well as my audited records. I am 100% transparent so that when I’m posting pics, for example at my home in Beverly Hills, viewers can quickly see it’s the real deal!
“NEVER trust likes/dislikes — they are often manipulated to make marketers/sellers look good or bad. Instead rely more on PERSONAL messages/testimonials that can be linked back to actual people with social media accounts. I just started creating a list of my students here.
“Watch out for the get rich quick scammers all over Instagram who rent a house for a day just to take pictures and video! I’ve seen people do this with everything: homes, cars, yachts, even planes and helicopters. It’s rampant on IG right now!”