What about trading your way to a living?

Trading? What is trading? Trading is about buying and selling things. A trader – someone that trades – is a person who first seeks out things to buy, and thereafter seeks out individuals or firms that will buy what he or she has just acquired, obviously for a profit. Traders are everywhere and have been part of society since money first came into being. In fact, some of the richest people in the world are traders. On the ‘rich’ side of the trading world, there people such as Warren Buffet (one of the richest people in the world) that buys and sells shares and other financial ‘goods’. There are also very rich and successful traders who buy and sell commodities such as iron ore, coal, oil, grains, rice, live cattle, cotton and similar products. In fact, several global markets have been established to facilitate trading in these types of products. Similarly, there are specialist traders in products such as weapons, technology and just about anything that someone else will want to buy.

But, as with anything in life, it takes time to become a successful trader in the global products that we have described above. In any case, there are very well-established and highly competitive markets that exist to facilitate this type of high-end trading (such as the stock and commodity markets that exist around the world), and to break-in to these markets is very difficult. But outside of these established, often global markets, there are thousands of opportunities to buy and sell goods in your own neighbourhood. Individuals, and even firms, are throwing away many items on a daily basis that other individuals or firms may be willing to buy. Let’s consider some examples;

  • A local family in your neighbourhood has decided to upgrade their bed and they are selling their old bed to make way for the new bed. Somewhere else in the city someone needs a bed, not necessarily a new one – just an affordable one. This second family would be happy to buy the second-hand bed from the first family. But the two families do not know about the other – this is where a trader could come in to buy the bed from the one family and sell it for a small profit to the other family.
  • Elsewhere in the city, another family has been storing boxes of old paperback novels in their garage that they have been reading over the past few years. These boxes of books are getting in the way and they are keen to get rid of them – they would be happy to have some take these boxes off their hands, even for free, just to get rid of them. And you novels and books have a second-hand value – someone else will be willing to buy these books, but they don’t know about them.
  • A firm in an industrial area near your suburb buys components that come in very nice plastic or wood containers or crates. Once the firm has unpacked the containers/crates they are stored at the back of factory and are taking up space. The firm would be happy for someone to remove these containers/crates and may even be willing to pay someone to do so.

These are all examples of situations that are happening a thousand times, every day of the year. Now, what a trader would need to do is to find these buying opportunities (of individuals and firms wanting get rid of stuff) and negotiate a deal with them. Then it is up to the trader to find other people who will be willing to buy these same goods from them and to put ‘a deal’ together’. To do this, you do not have to have matric!

What skills do I need to trade?