People are surprised when I tell them I do stocks and currency trading whilst traveling the world on a budget. These two don´t go together, traders are usually greedy bankers, who will pay 500 GBP for a single bottle of champagne, and have more money than sense. So the guy with tattoos, a beard shabby clothes and a tent in his backpack isn´t really the stereotype… But I think this is one of the best things to do whilst on the road. Let me explain why.
Location independence is a hot topic nowadays. Many people aspire to travel the world and work from anywhere at the same time. The wikipage gives you a good idea of what it is about, in short, people travel and earn their money from any location in the world (working mainly as freelance writers, photographers, affiliate marketers, web designers, web developers, graphic designers, programmers). The funny thing is that trading isn´t even on the list of jobs mentioned by wikipedia. Makes me feel special 🙂
Here´s why I think trading is a good location independent job:
- it´s only you who´s doing it. No team to manage, no customers, no property to maintain, nothing.
- all you need is internet access. You don´t even need a laptop (compared to blogging and other forms of location independent jobs)
- you decide when, how much time and effort you put in, not your customers or other circumstances (the only demand you manage is your spending, or your drive to earn money)
- with a few well planned trades, I can earn enough for the whole month.
- you don´t have to spend much time trading to earn for a budget travel lifestyle
- and of course, you can still do all the other stuff (blogging, webdesign, ebooks etc)
Of course, it has it´s downsides too:
- you need a bigger sum of money to get started (than for example starting a blog, ebook or some kind of e-product)
- it´s riskier – you can gain, but you can loose your money too (ok, there´s some of that with a business or ebook, but there you won´t lose beyond the initial investment to make the product)
- you should only trade with money you are prepared to lose. Otherwise you´ll be betting your future on a few risky trades, and get too emotionally attached. Emotional attachment is a big no-no when trading.
What fors of trading are there? There´s many forms of trading, I won´t into all the details, but I focus on these:
- stocks trading
- currency trading
- options trading
Involves buying and selling stocks of certain companies. This is the safer way of trading. Let´s say you have 5000 GBP you want to invest into something. One of the options is to buy stocks of companies, that you think will grow in price (per share) in the future. Amazon.com is a good example. With this, you have two options – long term growth or short term trading (speculation). Long term basically means, you buy stocks of a company and don´t do anything, just watch them (hopefully) grow. Then at some point, you sell them at the higher price (in a year, two, five) and take the profit.
Short term speculation involves studying the progress or behaviour of stock price of a company over time. If you see a pattern, you can plan to, for example, buy a number of stocks when the price drops, but you expect it to grow again next month. When your expectation materializes and the price grows in a month, you sell, and take in the profit. Or the opposite. When the price is high, you sell, and you expect the price to drop in a few weeks. Once this happens, you buy the same amount of stocks back, and the difference between sell and buy price per share, times number of shares, is your profit.
Currency trading (FOREX trading – Foreign Exchange trading) This is the riskier type of trading. It involves buying or selling pairs of currency (EUR/GBP, USD/CHF, GBP/JPY etc). The price of currency pairs changes rapidly and a lot during the day, so you can open and close a trade much faster than with stock trading. But there are also many factors that influence the price of a currency pair, and it´s hard to follow all of them (if not impossible) – like price of oil, politics, economical situation in a country, whatever the national bank decides to do etc.
What FOREX traders do is study chart patterns, and use certain types of patterns to estimate future movement. Rest is the same as with stocks – you buy or sell at one price, aiming to buy or sell at another price, to gain profit. As currency price changes a lot, this can happen within minutes or hours. A good website for this is http://www.etoro.com.
Because currency trading is much riskier, I don´t do trading myself. Instead, I choose other traders who do a better job than me on http://www.etoro.com and invest in them by automatically copying all their trades (whether they gain or lose). I invest in several traders, spreading my risks. So far, I have gained 10% in a month, so a good result, without actually doing any work.
Options trading I haven´t started this one yet, just applied for an account, so can´t comment from my own experience. It´s somehow similar to stocks trading, but more risky and they are more complicated to trade (more stuff to learn before you start). An option is a contract to buy or sell stocks in the future, rather than the actual order. Investopedia explains what options are really well with this Elvis example 🙂
How do I do it? As mentioned before, I put some money into http://www.etoro.com and am copying some traders. I´m currently testing this, so haven´t invested much, but so far it´s going good. I´ll give it a couple more months, if the results are positive, I´ll increase my investment.
With stocks trading, I was lucky enough to have a good number of stocks from my last company, where I worked, so that gives me a good base to trade. I have sold some of those, and now keep an eye on random companies that have a sudden change in stocks price, then do research about them and make my decision, whether to buy or not. I usually trade over weeks to a couple of months.
If you would like to learn more about trading, currency trading and how to do it while traveling or on top of your job, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, I´m happy to share more.