The Traveling Trader

The Traveling Trader

Trading draws people in with promises of wealth and freedom. While the lifestyle provides plenty of opportunities, traders need to remain focused to succeed.

Who doesn’t want to travel the world and meet new people? A new city every week. New cultures and new histories. And plenty of food to delight your senses. The life of a traveling trader offers a unique experience.

But is it everything we believe it to be? We sat down with professional trader Merlin DeSantis on living the life of a traveling trader.

Starting off in Trading

Merlin happens to be one of the lucky few to succeed before trading. As a Montreal entrepreneur, Merlin started and sold several businesses. By his early 20’s he amassed enough wealth to be able to delve into trading. A few of his friends suggested he try Forex.

With plenty of places to start, Merlin went online to consume as much material as he could. Most of the time, he spent reviewing charts. Luckily, Merlin’s hefty capital allowed him to learn to trade without going bankrupt along the way.

Seeing the World

Trading offers traders a chance to explore the world and meet new people. But Merlin saw it as more than just a chance to travel.

Merlin saw an opportunity to bring forex trading to real life. He travels to places that coincide with trading ideas. It allows him to immerse himself in the culture and really understand how forex impacted daily life. Through living in the countries he trades, especially in the large cities, he develops an intuition for the trades.

He allows his trades too often dictate his travel. Most trips last a month at a time. He spends a week or two in a city.  Trips always start with booking an Airbnb downtown. This allows him to branch out and meet people in everyday life.

Merlin connects with other traders through social media, including Instagram. One of his favorite activities is to check out the local shopping malls. Twice a week he takes a chance to make his way to the large commercial centers. He looks at which stores were empty and which ones full. Entering the stores, Merlin would talk to owners to get a sense of why their businesses performed the way they did.

By actively spending time looking at the latest trends, Merlin gains a tangible sense of commercial activity.

The Best Parts

It goes without saying that with travel comes the chance to eat your way through the city. Like many travelers, Merlin takes every chance to try new foods at least once. He’s had the opportunity to eat everywhere from East Asia to Western Europe.

When available, he’ll spend time at the beach. Because of the disparity in purchasing power, every once in a while, he avails himself of a Villa. This lets him live a life of pure luxury, at least for a short time.

Despite what you might believe, the tourist centers aren’t great places to visit. They’re often extremely crowded and don’t let the traveling trader spend their time efficiently. More often you’ll find Merlin off the beaten path, trying out more local ventures than tourist traps.

The older places let him sit for a moment and gain a sense of history. He looks at places that existed for thousands of years juxtaposed against modern society. Places like Istanbul have extensive histories that are almost jarring against a modern backdrop.

Don’t Let Your Guard Down

While trading and traveling can be fun, it’s important to maintain discipline. Many traders fall out early because they get caught up in the lifestyle. Even the best traders succumb to living life and losing focus.

Merlin made clear that he devotes around three hours per day studying charts. Trading gives you the ability to travel. That means it must stay at the forefront. You need to treat it like a business and not a luxury.

Best Advice

Even with a fun lifestyle, not everyone wants to live life forever. Many of the traveling traders happen to be in their early 20’s. Merlin eventually wants to settle down and start a family. Still, he thinks it’s important to try it out the younger you are.

And that isn’t easy. Most traders struggle for years to become profitable. The best way to shorten the learning curve is by finding a mentor or successful trader. You don’t have to copy their trading strategies. But, they can offer invaluable advice where to start.

Final Thoughts

Being a traveling trader doesn’t have to be a lonely venture. While travel itself can be cumbersome, it offers a unique chance to meet new people in different cultures. No matter where you go, there’s a trading community to be had.

Scandinavian Capital Markets Hosts IB Conference in Johannesburg

IB Conference in Johannesburg

With a focus on trust, security, and transparency, Scandinavian Capital Markets brings it’s unique approach to South Africa’s Forex industry.

After a successful summit in London back in May hosted by FinanceFeeds, Scandinavian Capital hopes to continue the trend this November. Attendees were able to take an active part in learning about the changes in the industry.

Takeaways from the London Conference

Participants got to hear a lot about the new waves of technology hitting the markets. Discussions took place on artificial intelligence and quantum computing’s potential impacts on the industry.

Yet, for all the feel-good optimism, there was a noticeable lack of meeting current client needs. Traders continue to pay costly fees for this technology. But, they (and the developers) lack a true understanding of the inner-workings and how to exploit its benefits. Traders and investors debated the question of turning over trading to a machine.

Many understood that while clients enjoy experimenting with the new technologies, they aren’t beholden to broker platforms. Still, many retail traders have yet to improve their potential with technology. This leaves the door open to growing the base through better products and services.

Investors Turn Towards South Africa

Many brokerages hope to replicate the results of Australia in South Africa. The similarities in regulations, along with a mature banking industry make the environment ideal. At the moment, the industry remains dominated by a large IB network. These master IB’s deal with both trading and investment portfolios of large clients as well as smaller towns.

Still, the country faces the same ethics challenges as other countries. They rely extensively on trust between the IBs and the brokers. Any problems with the broker roll up to the IBs. This has led to a few unsavory cases. In one instance a brokerage pushed out IB’s with recurring commissions. They then pilfered the clients, cutting out the IB.

These trust issues make it difficult for the b-book dealing desks. IBs hold little trust as they have little control of their business.

The Johannesburg Conference

Directly addressing these issues, Scandinavian Capital hopes to bring their culture and trust into the market. Their focus on trust is rooted in cultural and personal experiences.

The conference centers on the key themes of:

  • Commissions for IB’s
  • Spread markups
  • Execution quality
  • Availability of all asset classes on an A-book basis
  • How to execute trades fairly
  • Providing clients the right tools via the trading platform
  • Avoiding irresponsible firms in the retail sector

Register Now to Reserve Your Spot

The schedule for the conference on November 16th is as follows:

10:00 Welcome Coffee Reception

10:30 Opening

Welcome speech and presentation about Scandinavia’s premier Forex brokerage – Scandinavian Capital Markets by Michael Buchbinder, Managing Partner

11:30 Panel Discussion

The panel discussion will feature global leaders from the Forex and multi-asset trading industry across all sectors. Learn the essential perspectives from Forex expert Stephen Nefdt, asset management specialist Nick Sproule and professional trading platform developer Richard Goers about the new direction in the Forex business.

Panelists will discuss how you can modernize and move forward for a profitable and cutting-edge future in electronic trading.

Additionally, these esteemed leaders will debate how to meet the needs of modern IBs, who need a transparent and trustworthy brokerage partner and want to be treated as a strategic partner rather than a source of multiple deposits.

The panelists also will discuss how to structure a top-quality, client-focused multi-asset trading solution for South Africa’s retail client base via important strategic IB’s across the country.

12:30 Lunch and Valhalla Experience Presentation by Francis Hunt

14:00 Networking and Open Microphone

Participants will meet over 50 leaders from across South Africa, who were selected from every sector of Forex business to make meetings relevant and efficient.

15:00 Closing remarks from Andrew Saks -McLeod, founder at Finance Feeds, co-organizer, and moderator

September 16: The London Opening Range Breakout Strategy Lead

The webinar will take place from 17:00-18:00  CET.

In this webinar participants will cover the London Opening Breakout Strategy.

Specific topics to be covered:

– Origins of the London Opening Breakout (LORB) Strategy

– Trading Legends who have used Breakout Strategies

– Advantages of Trading the London Session

– The Strategy Rules

– Using Average True Range (ATR) for Profit Targets

The session will be presented by Dan Blystone. Dan spent many years in the trading industry in Chicago before founding He is currently Senior Market Analyst at Scandinavian Capital Markets.  

Forex Education for Pro Traders: How to Trade using Fibonacci

If you missed the webinar from September 2 with our Senior Market Analyst Dan Blystone “How to Trade using Fibonacci” we prepared for you the recording. The next webinar with Dan will be held on September 16. Check our Webinars section for further updates. 

This webinar explores the world of Fibonacci mathematics and how it is used in trading. Topics covered: 

Origins of Fibonacci

Who was Fibonacci the man? Discover how he learned Hindu-Arabic numerical systems in his travels and later published his findings in the Liber Abaci.

Fibonacci Number Sequence

 Uncover the mysterious series of numbers known as “nature’s secret code.”

The Golden Ratio

Dive into the heart of the subject with the number 1.618. The magic number goes by the name Phi or the Golden Ratio. We look at some examples of how this ratio appears in nature, architecture, fine art, biology and even in the financial markets.

Fibonacci Retracement Levels

How do Fibonacci retracement levels work on a price chart? Learn how to leverage the mathematical relationships between numbers in the Fibonacci series of numbers. Find new ways to incorporate the levels into trend trading strategy.

Fibonacci Extensions

Understand Fibonacci extension levels and how to define profit targets within a trend trading strategy.     

Watch the full video of the webinar here:

Price Action Trading Strategies with Dan Blystone

We had a great time on August 26, 2019 at the webinar “Price Action Trading Strategies.” It was a good investment of your time to join Dan Blystone and improve your trading skills. 

If you couldn’t make it to the live show, we have a recording of the webinar.

Price action trading is a term that you frequently hear among traders. It is popular due to its simplicity and applicability across different markets and timeframes. This method of trading uses pure price movement on a chart, with minimal use of complex technical indicators such as oscillators.

Watch the video to get more insights.


Q&A with Francis Hunt

Scandinavian Capital Markets is building a forex Valhalla. The focus of Scandinavian Capital Markets Valhalla experience is the person, not the profit. Other brokerages see traders as numbers on a spreadsheet’s profit center to be milked dry. 

The Valhalla experience, on the other hand, is all about the human side. It starts with treating clients like partners. The entire Scandinavian Capital Markets team works as one to serve them better to help them achieve their goals. Valhalla was designed to help make traders win.

More than just icing on the cake, being located in Sweden allows Scandinavian Capital Markets to provide a high-end experience to clients. The cultural aspects of Stockholm – the food, the spas, the people – are unmatched anywhere in the world.  Sweden offers respite and reinvigoration, just like those ancient visitors to Valhalla. 

Scandinavian Capital Markets is committed to engaging with clients that want service and quality for sustainable business. Imagine flying business or first class to Stockholm, booking an appointment at a nurturing, Swedish spa, and ending your day with a meal at a high-end restaurant and full night of restful sleep. Imagine laying your head on the pillow and knowing your business day ahead finds you working with a team of committed partners, ready to listen and plan with you. Imagine you are once again made whole – you can trust, you can rise again.

Earlier this year, we spoke with Francis Hunt about his Valhalla experience. Francis versatile and experienced trader with over 30 years of experience. As the founder and director of The Market Sniper, Francis and his team use the company’s Trading Metamorphosis Program to help traders from any level and background become successful and financially independent.

Below is our conversation with Francis about his time in Stockholm as one of the first participants in SCM’s Valhalla Experience.

What did you think when you were initially invited to the Valhalla Experience? 

Cautious. There are no free lunches. If people want to get in touch and they want to spoil you and want some of your time, there’s almost invariably another motive involved. So I was cautious if I’m to be totally frank.

Once you realized it wasn’t a scam, what sort of expectations did you have about the Valhalla Experience?

I enjoyed the whole experience immensely. You can become jaded and just reach the point where you want to make money in a business. But so far, all the best intentions seem to be there and the guys wish to execute in that way in a business in terms of their brokerage. So broadly impressed: good people and had a great time. 

What was your favorite part of the experience?

There were a number of aspects. I enjoyed Stockholm. We were fortunate we were going, you know, in the run-up to summer. We had really good weather. It was nice and lovely accommodations. I think Rod Stewart was passing by the same motel at the same time. So I’m really grateful for the quality of accommodation. We had a good chats, and it was nice just to see the place. 

What surprised you what was unexpected about the Valhalla Experience?

I have to say probably Sweden just isn’t one of those places that I might necessarily have gone because I’m a sort of a sun seeker. So I was pleasantly surprised by the weather and by the geography and affluence. It’s was an interesting area and people.

Is there anything else you really enjoyed about the experience?

It was nice to meet Nathaniel, as well as Michael and Arif. It was very interesting to learn about the aspects of Socializing and how that works [in marketing]. So it was intellectually interesting. It was emotionally pleasing, and the people were pleasant. I felt well looked after, and I appreciated that – the guys showed great form. We enjoyed taking them out for a reciprocal dinner when they came our way just to thank him.

Any last thoughts?

I think it’s very smart that Scandinavian Capital Markets has positioned itself on the doorstep of the EU. That they are of Europe while not being bound by Europe, and are therefore not beholden to the EU restrictions. I think there’s some good strategic structural planning and leveraging the legitimacy, like the credibility of the Volvo – the safe call of the Scandinavian markets while being outside of the choking restrictions of the EU. 

Francis Hunt Talks About Valhalla

Gone are the days of risky trading partnerships and shady brokers. The future of Forex casts aside dishonesty and subterfuge in favor of transparency and integrity. Thanks to Scandinavian Capital Markets, Forex traders can feel safe, protected, and supported as they become a part of the Valhalla experience.  While other brokerages might treat their clients as numbers on a spreadsheet or as a profit center to be milked dry, the team at Scandinavian Capital Markets works as one help traders achieve their goals. The Valhalla Experience enables everyone to be a winner, by providing a high-end, concierge-level trading experience.   

By way of introduction into this new era of Forex trading, Scandinavian Capital Markets invited some of the top names in Forex trading. With opportunities to spend one-on-one time with Scandinavian Capital Markets founders Arif Ahmad and Michael Buchbinder, these lucky individuals are able to see how Scandinavian Capital Markets differs from the average Forex brokerage. From dinner with the team to tours of the office, and much needed r-and-r amongst the restaurants, spas, and sights, Vahalla participants get a bird’s eye view of the inner workings, and future aspirations, of Scandinavian Capital Markets. 

Meet Forex Expert Francis Hunt 

With over 30 years of experience, Francis Hunt prides himself on teaching his trading methodology and building a supportive community of like-minded traders. In fact, Francis established as an educational company designed to provide retail traders & investors with a proven, rule-based, approach to trading while also helping them foster a deeper understanding of markets and price behavior function. 

Because Francis understands the need for positive reinforcement in the often lonely, and sometimes hostile, the world of Forex trading, he was uniquely qualified to understand the intent and effort behind the Valhalla Experience. Earlier this year, he sat down with us to share his insights and observations about the Valhalla Experience.

The Macro View

For Francis, trading captured his interest at a young age. After watching his father suffer a long commute from Johannesburg to Pretoria as a state employee, Francis quickly understood that he did want to follow a similar trajectory. “Even though my father gained a high level of seniority at his job I always felt I wanted to do something different,” he says. “After all, we always think we are smarter than our fathers.”

That search for something “smarter” lead Francis to the markets. He found himself fascinated with the notion of leverage and developing an understanding of the greater game at play. He investigated how systems worked from the top level and focused on how the pistons of the global economy vacillate between the flows of trade. “I like the idea of being someone who has a macro view,” he says. “And when it comes to the Forex Market, it’s helpful to approach things from a high-in-the-sky perspective so that you can see all the terrain and watch out things play out.”

Improving Experience for Independent Investors

Dr. Richard Smith, founder of TradeStops, explains his vision on how to improve the trading experience for independent investors.


Dr. Smith’s story will help you to understand why humans hate to lose and will continue to play the game of trying to break even. Why does behavioral finance matter? What is needed for a new era retail investors and capital markets?

At Scandinavian Capital Markets, we care about the success of each retail investor who works with us either by opening a managed accounts or trading for themselves. One of the ways we demonstrate our commitment to our clients is through education. We aim to provide them with the best information on risk management and give them access to a pool of experienced professional forex traders and money managers.

Managing risks is not just about understanding math and numbers. It is about having the right information and the right system of decision-making based on the narrative and the indicators. Watch this 10-minute talk by Dr. Richard Smith, founder of TradeStops, who explains his vision on how to improve the trading experience for independent investors.

Scandinavian Capital Markets has all the ingredients necessary to create an excellent experience for its clients, retail investors, institutional brokers, money managers, and professional traders. Please Subscribe to our YouTube channel to ensure you get access to all of our latest videos.

If you want to join us in making a forex a better place please, talk to a relationship manager at: We are open to business proposals from institutional brokers, money managers, and professional traders.

Changing the Course of Forex Industry: Best of the London Thought Leadership Conference

Our mission is to provide the very best possible Forex trading experience to institutional brokers, money managers, and professional traders. For years, avarice and excess dominated the Forex industry. It was a place where the select few controlled – and deceived – the many. Now there is a better way. Self-serving dealers are now a thing of the past. It’s no longer du jour to be a shrewd dealer or crafty brokerage owner. The Forex industry is evolving by bringing together fair players, trustworthy brokers, educated traders, and experienced money managers.

On May 7th, Scandinavian Capital Market, together with Financial Feeds, Fintech, finance, and trading industry news sources, hosted a Professional Trading Thought Leadership Conference in London as part of a crucial step to supporting and triggering a fundamental change to the Forex industry. Conference participants included decision-makers and trading heads from London’s finest, high-net-worth wealth management institutions. Institutional FX firms were also there, as well as portfolio management companies, hedge funds, non-bank market makers, and wealth management companies with long-established client bases. Proprietary trading houses, prime, and similar interested also took part. In a series of videos titled “Changing the Course of Forex Industry,” we will publish short films, interviews, and talks from the London Professional Trading Thought Leadership Conference.

Please Subscribe to our YouTube channel to ensure you get access to all of our latest videos. If you want to join us in making a Forex a better place, please, talk to a relationship manager at: We are open to business proposals from institutional brokers, money managers, and professional traders.