How to make money trading while traveling as a digital nomad [Epic Guide]

Online trading is a great way for digital nomads to make some extra money. But it’s far from a stable source of income. The market doesn’t always present trading opportunities, so online trading should be seen as a side hustle. Since you’re a digital nomad you’re probably online 24/7 anyway, so why not check your charts a couple of times a day and make some extra cash?

Online trading can be very lucrative if you play it right and cherry pick your trades. In this guide I’m going to show you exactly how to do that.

Note: Please don’t fall for those “Make $5000 a day with this system” scams. You don’t have to pay for courses or information. Everything you need is available for free. Like this guide!

If you’re looking for a more stable source of online income please read my step-by-step guide on How to make money blogging to fund your travels.

What is trading?

The essence of trading is buying low and selling high with the goal of making a profit. Trading is different from investing. If you’re an investor you’re trying to build wealth over an extended period of time by buying and holding assets.

trading-buy-low-sell-high

A trader wants to outperform the investor by frequently buying and selling assets at the right time. For retail traders it’s never been easier to participate in the markets and use the fluctuations in these markets to their advantage.

What do you need in order to make money as a trader?

It’s actually quite easy to start trading. The only things you need are:

  • Some money to trade with
  • A broker and trading platform
  • A trading plan (risk management, strategy and discipline)

The first two shouldn’t be a problem. The trading plan and strategy are the most important and that’s what I’ll be focusing on.

Signing up with a broker

Assuming you already have some money to trade with, I’ll skip right to the part where you signup with a broker. There are A LOT of brokers out there. Some specialize in certain assets like Forex, Stocks or Crypto, but there are a couple of brokers that allow you to trade almost anything from one platform.

I’ve tried and tested a couple of these brokers and the one I like the best is eToro.

Use this link to signup with eToro for free…

3 Reasons why I love this broker:

  1. Well regulated and millions of active traders
  2. Huge amount of assets to choose from (stocks, currency, crypto, etc.)
  3. Social trading features and copying other traders

Here’s a YouTube video that’s shows how cool eToro is:

I’m planning on doing an in-depth review on eToro soon. Let’s do a walk through of the signup process.

Step 1: Signup

Click this link to create your free account. Fill out your details or simply connect with Facebook or Google.

etoro-signup

Step 2: Complete profile and get verified

Now you’ll have to complete your account. It will save you time when depositing and withdrawing in the future. Just click the button and follow the steps.

Also eToro needs this information to stay compliant with regulations so it’s in both parties interest that you provide the information requested.

etoro-complete-profile

Step 3: Fund your account

eToro offers a lot of different ways to fund your trading account, like credit card, PayPal or wire transfer). Just click on the Deposit button, choose the amount (minimum $200) and choose your payment method.

etoro-fund-account

That’s it, you’re all set up. Take some time to explore the platform. Click on Guide to get a tour and use your Virtual account to practice trades. You can also visit their Trading Academy.

etoro-guide

Now let’s get to the nitty gritty of this guide… the trading strategy.

My winning trading strategy

When I first started out I tested a lot of different trading strategies using all kinds of exotic indicators and stuff on my charts to predict what the price would do next. The problem was that most of these trading strategies only worked in certain market conditions and were really complex.

Trading naked without indicators

Finally I stumbled upon a super simple trading strategy that focuses on price reversals from historical support and resistance levels. These areas where price has “bounced off” before which makes it likely it will happen again in the future.

Support and resistance

To make this strategy work you first have identify and mark support and resistance levels. I prefer to trade currencies (Forex) and crypto, but it works for all assets.

To do this you search for the asset you want to trade on eToro. For example EURUSD and click on Chart.

etoro-chart

Next click on the icon to expand the chart:

expand-chart

Okay now it’s time to draw the support and resistance areas. Remember these are the obvious areas where price “bounces off”. Basically these are the zones where buyers and sellers are located and where price is likely to reverse.

Zoom out your chart a little in the daily time frame by scrolling, so you get a nice overview. Now you’re need to mark the areas where price bounced at least 2 times. You can use the Horizontal line tool for this.

chart-support-resistance

After you’ve drawn the support and resistance lines, your chart should look something like this:

chart-support-resistance-lines

Support zones act as a bottom where price bounces back up and resistance zones act as a top where price bounces back down. As you can see in the chart support zones usually become resistance zones once they are broken and vice versa.

support-resistance-bounces

Notice that these zones are often close to big round number in price. These are also known as psychological levels. Like 1.2000 or 1.2550.

Rules for support and resistance:

  1. Bounces are not exact, so the lines mark zones rather than fixed price points
  2. Recent data is always more important, so pick the latest bounces if your marking zones

How to spot market indecision in support and resistance zones

After you’ve marked your support and resistance zones you can go hunting for trades. Unfortunately you can’t just wait for price to reach a support or resistance zone and enter a trade in the other direction.

As you can clearly see in the charts, price can just as easy break through and never bounce. So we need some kind of confirmation that price is gonna bounce instead of breaking through. And the first step in that confirmation is indecision.

Who’s in control of price?

The market is a constant battle of buyers and sellers (bulls and bears). Buyers move price up and sellers move price down. If the bulls/buyers are in control they’ll make green candles on your chart that have higher highs and higher lows. And if the bears/sellers are in control they’ll make red candles on your chart with lower lows and lower highs.

bulls-bears-battle

What we’re looking for is a change in those candles that are forming that indicated the market is indecisive and is getting ready to reverse.

We’re looking for indecision candles that look like this:

indecision-candle

You see how the bears we’re in control of price, making red candles with lower lows and lower highs? Eventually they reached a support zone where bulls were located and price stalled.

That little candle I highlighted is an indecision candle. It indicates a probable reversal and maybe a transfer of power between bears and bulls.

But you need one more step before you can enter a trade…

What do we have so far?

We have a preceding trend with bears in control of price:

preceding-trend-bears

We have an indecision candle forming on a support zone which is a strong indicator that the market might reverse:

indecision-on-support

When to enter your trade

Now all you need is a confirmation of the reversal and that’s where you enter your trade. And that magical moment is when the high on the indecision candle gets broken. Let me show you the exact entry point in this example:

break-high-indecision

Right there is where you should enter

Right here the next candle breaks the high of the indecision candle. And as you can see price moved up, so you would have made a nice profit. 🙂

You can place orders that execute automatically when your selected price is hit. Please check this guide on how to place these orders.

When to exit your trade and take profit

A good trade is planned out and consists of these 3 components:

  • Entry
  • Exit (take profit)
  • Stop loss

So far you know how to spot and when to enter your trade, next step is to plan your exit. This is where you take your profit. What works best for me is putting my take profit target just below the next resistance when I’m buying (going long) or just above the next support when I’m selling (going short). Like this:

etoro-take-profit

You can set take profit targets that execute automatically when your selected price is hit. Please check this guide on how to place these orders.

How and where to set a Stop Loss to protect your capital

No trading system is 100% accurate and therefore you will have losing trades. That’s perfectly fine as long as your trades have a good risk vs reward ratio (more on that later) and you cut your losers short.

A stop loss is basically an insurance policy that will close your trade when it’s moving in the wrong direction. You want to give your trade some breathing room, but at a certain point you need to close it to avoid bigger losses. This is where the stop loss comes in.

The best place to put your stop loss is just below the support zone when you’re buying and just above the resistance zone when your selling. Like this:

etoro-stoploss

You can set stop loss targets that execute automatically when your selected price is hit. Please check this guide on how to place these orders.

Trading strategy summary

With this trading strategy you’re like a sniper. You’re hiding in the bushes waiting for the right conditions to strike. You mark your possible reversal zones beforehand, wait for price to stall in or on a zone, see if an indecision candle forms and shoot when it gets broken in the other direction. Boom head shot! 🙂

Risk VS reward

Trading with good a risk vs reward ratio is probably one on the most important things in trading. Its the key to becoming a profitable trader. Like I said, no system or strategy is 100% accurate. But guess what? With a proper risk vs reward ratio you don’t have to be right all the time. Far from it.

Have a look at this awesome math:

Win rateMinimum RRR to break even
25%1:3
33%1:2
40%1:1.5
50%1:1
60%1:0.7
75%1:0.3

As you can see you only have to be right 50% of the time if your risk vs reward is 1:1 to break even. So even if you have a small edge you’re making money on your trades.

If your risk vs reward is 1:2 you only have to win one in three to break even. Anything above that and you’re profitable.

I try to look for minimum 1:1 RRR. This means if my take profit target is $200 I won’t set my stop loss deeper than $200. If that means the stop is not going to be below a support zone when buying or above the resistance zone when selling, I’ll pass on the trade and look for a new set up.

Ideally I want a 1:2 RRR. This means if my take profit target is $200 I won’t set my stop loss deeper than $100.

Example: Facebook stock is at $200. Support zone is at $190 and next resistance is at $315. I expect it to go up so I enter at $200 with a take profit at $300 and a stop loss at $150. With this trade I’m risking $50 to make $100. Which is a RRR of 1:2.

Remember: You’re cherry picking trades. Nobody is forcing you to enter, so you can look for the best setups.

Trading with leverage

With leverage you’re borrowing money from eToro to open a bigger position with a smaller amount of invested capital. When you open a trade you can see the leverage shown as a multiplier.

Example: If you trade without leverage and open a trade for $1,000, you’ll win or lose $10 for every 1% the price moves up or down.

Now if you open a trade for $1,000 use x100 leverage, the value of your position will be $100,000. In this case 1% of $100,000 equals $1,000 so for every 1% move you’ll win or lose $1,000.

Check out this article about trading with leverage.

Be careful with leverage. Your wins will be bigger, but so will be your losses.

Which time frame to trade

I like to trade on the 4 hour time frame. This way I only have to check my charts only a couple of times a day. It’s kind of a trade off. The higher the time frame the better the signals, but the less signals you’ll get.

Draw your support and resistance zones one time frame higher than the one you trade on. So if you trade on the 4 hour, draw your lines on the daily time frame. If you trade the 1 hour, draw them on the 4 hour.

Trading the news

Always check the economic calendar before opening a trade based on the trading strategy I’ve given you. News can create erratic price spikes and take out your stop loss in the blink of an eye.

My advice is to keep out of the market when big news is about to come out.

On the other hand you can use news to your advantage, by betting on a certain outcome. I’m planning on doing a post covering this tactic.

Social trading: make money by copying the best traders

This is where eToro really stands out. They created a system called CopyTrader that allows you to simply copy other traders.

I think it’s an awesome feature and it’s profitable as well. eToro states that 78% of all copied trades were closed in profit.

Plus it’s really transparant. You can see each trader’s portfolio, risk score, and track record. Social trading is something you can do on the side. Reserve a part of your capital to copy some good traders to diversify your money.

Who knows, maybe you’ll become a trader that other people want to copy. eToro will actually pay you when you’re a so called Popular Investor.

Read more about social trading…

Conclusion

Making money by trading the markets as a digital nomad is a great side hustle with the potential of growing into a nice income.

For me trading has grown from a hobby project into something I take very seriously now. I made a lot of money this year shorting Bitcoin for example.

Use this link to signup with eToro for free…

And if I can do it I’m positive you can do it too. I’m planning on updating this guide and I’ll probably create some more articles that will cover each part of my trading strategy in depth.

Don’t forget to share if you liked the content. And please use the comment box. I would love to hear your thoughts and questions about online trading.


Warning: 65% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.