Digital Nomad Lifestyle

2 Epic Travel Hacks for Forex Trader Digital Nomads

Hey guys. Just wanted to share 2 great travel hacks that I learnt about and personally used if you’re a part or full-time forex trader, and want to enjoy the digital nomad lifestyle. These tips cover being able to trade higher leverage, get hedging and non-FIFO if you currently don’t have these benefits, and also, how to stay long term in another country. I will also be sharing with you a travel hack that lets you get onward travel proofs for cheap free!

Julian Wong on my first diving trip

Me, my armpit hair and my beautiful wife. Thailand offers great internet connectivity! Even out at sea on my first scuba-diving trip, internet connectivity was good enough for me to get work done between turns while waiting!

Why Be A Digital Nomad?

“Laptop lifestyle”, “Romance foreign chicks”, “Stretch every dollar”, “Visit amazing beaches of the world”, “Travel the world” – ’nuff said?

There was a period of time where I regularly alternated my stay between my home-country Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), and various cities and towns in Thailand. I’m not a beach bum by the way.

Edmund Ng Digital Nomad Straits Times

Shoutout to my buddy Edmund who got a capsule feature on an online newspaper for his Digital Nomad lifestyle.

There’s so much more to life, and I guarantee you, you would have so much “fuller” days to look back on, once you get a chance to look back on your Digital Nomad lifestyle, once you’ve started it. If it ain’t better, it’s different.

For those who trade Forex (and/or also Binary Options), being a Digital Nomad (and this depends on the broker) also allows you to tap into leverage options, trading assets and trading facilities that may not currently be available to you! (read to the end of this post on how to get these special trading privileges!)

If you’re from a country with seasons, some digital nomads I know swap gloomy too-cold winter months for warm sunny months on or by the beach in Asia. Others avoid the Asian Monsoon by skipping to another country’s spring. And of course, there are some of us Asians who’ve had too much of 40 degree celsius endless summers and would gladly trade that for 10-15 degree temps! And there are also some I know who’re just sick and tired of “normal” life and want to have the bragging rights to say they own a pig farm in Philippines, or a Mango plantation in Thailand!

Travel Hack #1: How To Get Long Stays in a Foreign Country and Get Onward Travel Proofs for as Low As $5 FREE!

First of all, apply for a tourist visa. Depending on the country, tourist visas allow you to stay anywhere between 30 days and 180 days – and if you read the T&C, there’s often a clause that says you can extend your stay for a small fee. Even though some countries allow for Visa-free travel, applying for a tourist visa will often allow you to stay for a longer period of time (at least twice the duration).

Not enough? Many digital nomad friends I know use one of these 3 routes:

  • Visa Runs (cheapest!)
  • Student Visas – learning a local language (mid cost)
  • Entrepreneur Pass (can be quite expensive sometimes)

But the first thing you’ll need upon arrival, is a proof of onward travel. No country is keen on having people who over-stay their welcome or be a liability to the host nation, i.e. if they run out of cash or end up working illegally. It’s not uncommon for a country to ask to see proofs of supporting your own travel, by asking you to flash your cash, cards, travellers cheques, etc. The longer you stay, the more you’re expected to carry on you. Then, there are also a bunch of countries who stereotype backpackers and will readily lump you into that stereotype if you look like one – and possibly refuse your entry. Your best option? Get a proof of onward travel that’s just a few days away – and you still get stamped a visa on arrival for a month! Not bad ‘aye?

How to Get Onward Travel Proof for Free

I’ll have to admit, that I find it silly to withdraw and exchange a large amount of currency when cashless transactions are so common nowadays (Visa Paywave, Wechat Pay, AliPay, etc) – just to prove to old-fashioned customs officials that I have the means to finance my stay.

Thus, I do this alot myself. I write on the arrival card I’m only there for 4-7 days, and get a legit onward travel proof – with the help of….. (drum roll)… Expedia!

Did you know that you can cancel flights booked via Expedia’s US website for free within 24 hours? (honestly it’s more like 36 hours).

This needs to be done on a computer and not through the mobile app or mobile-friendly website.

Expedia’s Best Kept Onward Travel Proof Hack!

Here’s how you do it.

  1. Visit Expedia.com.
  2. If you get redirected to your local expedia site (i.e. expedia.com.sg), or prompted to visit your local site, just close and ignore it, and go to the US version of the site. Expedia Onward Travel Proof TrickSelect Expedia USA Global Site
  3. Search for your intended travel date that’s a few days away from your arrival. (Tip: It could just be to a nearby country so the fare that you’re going to be refunded with is cheap too!)
  4. Look out for the listings which say “Free Cancellation within 24 Hours”. Expedia Free Cancel Within 24 Hours
  5. Complete the booking and download your Travel Itinery. This is so you can show the immigration official when asked. Free Cancellation Expedia within 24 Hours Onward Travel
  6. Once you’re through the gates, go to the “manage your booking” page in Expedia to cancel your booking. In some cases, you’ll need to call in to cancel. I use skype-out credits or a calling card so it’s cheap to call USA. Voila! Now you can plan your trip out the very last day of your VISA validity!

Doing it this way is FREE, and totally searchable when you’re checking in at the departing countries’ airport, or at the arrival country’s immigration  if they ask you for a date of return. Much better than to pay these “onward travel” dummy ticket issuers on onward travel sites $5-12 each, which may turn out to be total scams who don’t respond.

How To Do The Visa Run/Border Run?

Let’s quickly go through these options. If your tourist visa has run out, you can go to a neighboring country, and then return for another tourist visa, or a visa on arrival of another block of 1-6 months (depending on country). Some things you need to know is, does the country you require a minimum number of hours, or days – elsewhere, before you return? Please read the respective embassy’s page! If you’re close to a land border to another country, you can do a border run via bus or train.

Visa Run Phuket Myanmar

Popular border runs include the Bangkok(Thailand)-Poipet(Cambodia) border run, and the Alor Setar(Malaysia)-Sadao, Dannok(Thailand) border run. The latter can be done fairly comfortably and quickly via 45min train ride from the Alor Setar airport.

Another thing you need to check, is that some countries give you less days’ visa on arrival when coming via a land border, vs travelling by air. The Thailand side of the poipet border (Aranyapathet), almost always stamps you for just 2 weeks instead of a month (by air). However, some of these developing and third-world countries often can make exceptions for a small fee (USD $15-20).  I do recommend that you go through an agent (which border-run agencies usually can arrange for a small charge) rather than doing it yourself as not every customs agent reacts so well to bribes. By the way, why not also spend time in the country you’re skipping off to, than hurrying back?

How To Get Long Stays Overseas With Student Visas?

In countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines or Thailand, you can often enroll for a language course that stretches over 1 year, that costs you only US$600-900. Not a bad amount to pay if you don’t like the hassles of flying in and out of country to stay longer. Do note that you need to meet a minimum attendance.

Flunking tests is not a problem – but you’ll sometimes be asked to change language schools if they don’t want their passing rate KPI to be affected. In many cases, they’ll even mark you present for a tip.

Btw… Foreign Language classes are a great place to meet English-speaking friends in a foreign land!

If you do plan to go to Singapore, things are pricier…so don’t be surprised if an English course will cost you US$2000 for a course that occurs over half that duration – being a very compliant country, they won’t help you fake your attendance or results either.

It might be interesting to note that Vietnam also as a 1-year temporary visa that costs only $1000 which doesn’t require you to study. It’s simply that! That makes it a great option for you fall back on if you want to explore Asia, but sometimes just want to take an extended break without going anywhere.

What’s An Entrepreneur Visa Pass and How To Obtain It?

Usually Entrepreneur Visa Passes offer you the most flexibility. In many cases, you’re instantly awarded (nearly full) citizen privileges – such as being able to enter and exit the country without having to fill arrival or departure cards, or apply for visas, and you can even take the priority fast-track immigration queue.

Some countries’ entrepreneur pass (i.e. Thailand’s Thailand Elite Program) also include X amount of airport transfers per year in a BMW 5 or 7 series, or Mercedes E or S Class. In Thailand, you can also pay some extra to extend these privileges to your immediate family – great if you’d like your kids (if any) to experience a foreign land.

Thai Elite Visa

However, for these perks there is a price to pay. Some of these entrepreneur passes require property investment, investment in a local business, or pay a membership fee (Thailand). Depending on country, this could set you back $15,000 to $200,000. Frankly, unless you have tax benefits to justify this decision, this is too committal for “digital nomad purposes”.

For Traders Only: How To Get High Leverage, More Trading Facilities and Asset Availability Even If Your Country is Regulated?

If you have been frustrated with not being able to trade binary options, or not being able to trade Forex with EAs because the leverage is too low, or you aren’t allowed to hedge, this the meat and potatoes of this blog post!

Did you know that many brokers today do not actually require a work permit or long-term visa proof to grant you trading privileges so long you’re not in a trading-regulated country? (I.e. USA, Canada, Europe, UK)

Getting high 1:500, 1:1000 leverage, no First-in First Out (FIFO) limitations, Hedging, is EASY-PEASY!

Let’s face the facts – These silly regulations by the CFTC, ESMA, CYSEC, FCA are dealing big hits on broker’s businesses by restricted the customers they can accept. And even if they can keep accepting the same customers, by not being able to offer the trading privileges and facilities customers are used to, don’t you think some traders will be cheesed off?

Nowadays, there are many brokers that ONLY REQUIRE you to show a proof of address that you’re residing outside countries where trading is regulated and restricted to extend to you features not available to those in the regulated areas! It’s true! You can even check with live-chat on this.

Easiest Proof of Addresses To Obtain That Are Accepted By Most Forex or Binary Brokers

  1. Post Paid Phone Bill  – The easiest proof of address to get is a post-paid phone bill. If you’re renting a place – even if it’s just a service apartment or airbnb, set up your automatic bill payment on credit card and you can easily have the bill sent to the address of the place. You can cancel your bill arrangement when you no longer plan to live in that country.
  2. Utility Bill/Internet Bill – If you rent an entire place, you can sometimes arrange to have the bill in your name rather than the owners’.
  3. Bank Statement – This may be difficult depending on country – but there’s no harm in trying your luck! You’ll be surprised that many banks in foreign countries are foreigner-friendly when it comes to opening bank accounts. Here’s a tip: Local banks often offer a lower minimum deposit  compared to the international banks like HSBC, Citibank, OCBC, UOB – but in countries where the local banks say you can’t open an account, try the foreign ones for the final answer.

Unfortunately, I am not able to provide you names of brokers who do this, because they do not want to be known to do so, as it’s a grey area.

How To Get The Forex Trading Privileges of Non-Regulated Countries RIGHT NOW Without Waiting Till You Set Up Your Digital Nomad Life Overseas?

However, if you don’t want to have to wait till 3 months from now spent in a foreign land, and want to start trading right away, I can actually offer you links to 2 really good Forex Brokers right now that also extend the full slew of trading facilities and features to you – even if you’re in Canada, Europe, UK!

They way these Forex brokers do so legally, is that they have multiple entities. When you deposit money, it goes to the CYSEC/ESMA/FCA-regulated entity for instance, but they give you trading privileges via the off-shore entity. More are more big-name brokers in the Forex industry are also going this route, so that they can openly accept people in more countries. I expect that maybe Binary brokers will also follow suit?

Click on either of these brokers below to get started!

Brokers That Can Offer You High Leverage Even Before You Become A Digital Nomad!

Recommended Broker: Fullerton Markets

Quick Honest Fullerton Markets Review: Fullerton Markets is NOT a regulated broker. I’ve met the boss, Mario Singh, who is well-known as a Trade Analyst on CNBC, ABS-CBN, and Bloomberg, and in case you didn’t know, they are actually the biggest broker in Asia due to their large B2B dealings with private fund managers (made possible by their fund safety features).

On top of that, because of their Trustee-Insurance and Segregated Accounts, they offer even more funds security than regulated brokers. Just to name a case. Hallifax Securities (Australia) went bust and couldn’t pay the investors who invested with them. This cannot happen with Fullerton Markets, client funds go to a custodial account and receive insurance from Lloyd’s of London. You can check out their policy details HERE. They are a STP broker, and their variable spreads and execution times are among the best. EA trading and PAMM trading is available to ALL countries they accept. Maximum leverage is 1:500. Their Copypips platform offers traders like me the best of both worlds – it is well stream-lined and all I need to do is work on my own account’s position sizing, and they will proportionally open the correct size trades on client’s accounts at the server level. You can read more about PAMM trading on my Forex Managed Accounts Page. I will be starting to offer my trade signals on their CopyPips platform very soon. Open Your Live or Demo Here!

Recommended Broker: FX Primus

Quick Honest FXPrimus Review: FX Primus is regulated under CYSEC, FSCA, VFSC. I currently am a PAMM master at FxPrimus, a.k.a. Primus Markets. What I like about them is the quick execution, and low commission for ECN trades. Their variable spreads also beat many broker’s ECN commission+spread rates. They also offer swap-free accounts. After starting a PAMM account here (info on my PAMM Page), I find my same FireYourBossV2 system more profitable here than on FXTM due to the lower spreads, and no swap. As a trader an IB, after being ripped off by other brokers, I feel that FXPrimus provides great conditions to both traders and IBs alike – by being able to pay me good volume conditions while still offering clients the most competitive spreads. Leverages here goes up to 1:500 for PAMM but for personally-traded accounts, it can go up to 1:1000 (you’ll need to request via live chat). Because they have several entities, which offer restricted or unrestricted leverage, if you want all the trading perks, be sure to sign up using their Vanuatu entity using this link (this is an un-shortened link to ensure you arrive on the right page):

Click Here to Sign Up ==> http://www.fxprimus.com/open-an-account?r=39429445&regulator=vu

Final Words

I’d be enamoured if these advices help you out – either toward pursuing your Digital Nomad dream, or in enabling you to getting those great trading facilities and privileges previously only able to those outside of Canada, UK, and Europe. Do let me know how things go in the comments. Or if you have any questions, I’ll try to answer to the best of my ability. Finally, if you’re visiting some of the places i’ve stayed, let me know. Might be able to give some good tips or even a meetup!

 

About the author

Julian Wong

Dad of 3 Kids. Son of floor-traders/broker parents. Born with ADHD and Aspergers which makes me "emotionally retarded" (according to my wife), but that also gives me special abilities in pattern recognition. Been involved in financial derivatives since 16. Enjoys playing tennis. Sings like Josh Groban. Aspiring to DJ in large music festivals.

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