When people first discovered that I had
borrowed $25,000 in student loans to fund a new day trading career just out of
high school, they thought I was crazy. They certainly assumed I was beyond the
point of no return when they heard that I lost the full $25,000 in the first month.
But having moved to the US from Venezuela with
nothing when I was young, I knew success was going to require hard work and
risks. I was employed full time at a bank while also being a full-time college
student – all while learning how to day trade: essentially, make money from
buying and selling stocks online.
But my ultimate goal wasn’t fame or fortune.
It was freedom.
As long as I can remember, I always wanted to
do things differently. For example, I never saw the point of wasting an hour,
twice a day, in rush hour traffic getting to and from work. That’s 20 days of
sitting in traffic every year. Over 10 years, I would be wasting nearly a full
year commuting! Instead, I wanted to be in control of my own time and have my
Roughly five years after I began my day
trading career, I’ve achieved that freedom. I’ve visited more than 80 countries
and lived in 12 of them; I have travelled to all seven continents. I also speak
and understand nearly nine languages. The $25,000 plus in loans I took on
learning to trade, meanwhile, I paid off years ago.
I vividly remember the time I was in Ethiopia
and saw pictures of the stone forest in Madagascar in a travel magazine. I was
so inspired that I bought a flight that same day and arrived at the famous
stone forest a few days later. This was the freedom I’d strived for.
Day trading allows me to buy and sell stocks for
an hour or two each day, from anywhere in the world. My website, Wandering Trader, allows me to offer training to other travellers interested in
learning the skill. Regardless of origin, whether they are from the United
States, Brazil, Africa or Colombia, I have seen people from all walks of life
learn how to trade and become successful. I have trained bikers, doctors,
painters, even a mechanic. One member of the Wandering Trader family took his
whole family to Italy for a month, solely on his day trading income.
But getting here wasn’t easy. The life I
originally led was far from this dream. After graduating college, I worked out
a flexible schedule so I could watch the market from 9 am to roughly 1 pm and
go to work from 2 pm to 11 pm. On weekends, I would study market dynamics and
Then, on a three-week vacation to Argentina, I
realised day trading while away from home was easier than I anticipated. All
you really need is a computer, a reliable internet connection and a good
trading strategy. This is how I would achieve the freedom I was looking for. The
moment I returned to work, I gave my two weeks notice.
Travelling around the world while day trading
has taught me a great deal about myself and life in general. For example, I
used to be one of the most stubborn and impatient individuals on the planet.
Learning how to day trade and adapting to the norms of other cultures while travelling
has taught me to be a more flexible person.
The more I travel, the more I also see that
many people around the world want the same things, regardless of where we are
from. Everyone I meet wants to improve their life situation. Everyone wants to
reach their dreams. This could mean having a better home or having a better
means of transportation. At the core we are all striving to improve.
Some important things to keep in mind
Day traders need reliable Internet access,
available in most countries around the world. The only place I’ve had trouble
is in parts of Africa; a good rule of thumb is if an African country doesn’t
have access to the ocean, where the internet cables run underwater, it won’t
have good Internet.
Being a day trader is a lonely profession.
This is one of the reasons I decided to train others; to create a close-knit
community of traders.
Being a day trader is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
Becoming a consistent and profitable
trader takes a lot of hard work, patience and discipline. It also requires
strategies that mitigate risk; trading with a
plan where we win more than we lose and our winners are bigger than our losers puts the odds in our favour. Trading only an hour or two day
allows us to maximize our time in the markets and limits our losses by
not holding overnight positions. Very often there can be a major news event
that can send the market into a tailspin when I am away from my computer.
The idea is to always minimise risk and maximise rewards. But with day trading, we have to accept
that losing money is part of the game. The idea of course, is to make more money than you
lose. And if you do, the world can be your workplace.