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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.
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.
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.