By Brandon Wenerd
Kunal Desai is living a life that most people can only dream of — He jet sets around the world with his squad and is lucky enough to call exotic beachfront hotels his home office.
Kunal has made over a million dollars trading over the course of his short career. In fact, he just had a monster day a few weeks ago, netting $40,000 in three days.
Read this exclusive interview with Kunal to get an idea of what it takes to live the dream and balance life between trading while travelling.
I first started trading in college. It was a crazy time in the market, as it was towards the end of the tech bubble. It wasn’t the easiest time to learn, but it did get me hooked! I was drawn to the excitement of trading and the source of constant opportunities the stock market provides. During those times everyone was getting rich; you would see stories of some plumber quitting his job to go trade stocks — it was so exciting! The excitement was palpable, and I would just think, “that could be me someday!” Like many youngsters, I just assumed that I would be a millionaire. I had no clue how much work it would really take to get there. Well, the market exacted its tuition from me in the beginning, just like it did to everyone else. The market is filled with the smartest and most talented people in the world. You can’t just turn on your computer and make money. It’s a profession no different than becoming a doctor or lawyer. I realized that I needed to bring that type of focus and commitment to it, and that’s when things started to turn around for me.
After college, I worked in sales. I got a job as a headhunter. This was a huge learning experience for me and really propelled my career as a day trader. When you have to go get a real job and climb the corporate ladder, it teaches you a lot about how to work, show up on time, talk to people, etc. It helped show me the real meaning of ‘hard work’ as well, and just how hard it was to make $1,000 in a week. I needed to learn the value of money and see how hard most people work to get what they want. That helped inspire me to also study harder in my trading so that one day I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.
I ended up making $40,000 in three days, which was my best three-day run ever. I didn’t really see it as a big week as this was years in the making. Every year I learn and work my butt off to get better each day. I have a lot of process goals on how to improve every single day. That week was just the culmination of years of work and building my skills. Then when I saw the right moment to really hit it I was truly ready to take those profits.
There are two types of analysis for stocks. One is a fundamental analysis, which is where you dig into the company’s background and financials to make a decision (this is what Warren Buffett does). I tried that when I was younger, but when you’re starting off making 10% a year on $1,000 that strategy won’t do much for you. The other thing that I learned over the years was that stocks on a short-term basis (1-90 days) move on momentum, news, supply & demand. That’s what’s commonly referred to as ‘technical analysis’, which is what I use. I search for stocks near inflection points on a technical level that is either about to explode or have potential to take off some time soon. I usually also look for some type of news or sector catalyst, and when you marry those things together you have the recipe for momentum.
As a trader, I am constantly improving my game through study and self-evaluation. Every year I exponentially improve not just as a trader but also as a businessman and coach. I’m working right now with performance coach Ben Newman, and we are working on literally supercharging my energy and brain levels for peak performance like an athlete. At the end of the day, that’s really what trading is — a game of skill and endurance.
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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in December 2017 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.