If you follow Bulls On Wall Street on Instagram, the first thing you’ll notice is the quotes. It’s the usual smattering of vague, Wolf Of Wall Street-esque inspirational /motivational sayings about being hungry for success. Stuff like “You can’t fall if you don’t climb but there’s no joy in living your whole life on the ground.” And “Your small talk doesn’t interest me and my big plans.” And “A river cuts through a rock not because of its power but its persistence.”
You get the point. Look beyond those for a second. Bulls On Wall Street founder Kunal Desai is living a life that most Bros 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. He also teaches his tactics via Bull On Wall Street. In fact, he just had a monster day a few weeks ago, netting $40,000 in three days.
We caught up with Kunal to get an idea of what it takes to live the dream and balance life between trading and mentoring. Here’s what he told us:
How did you get into trading stocks?
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 some day!” 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.
What was your background before getting into day trading?
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.
Tell us a little bit about your lifestyle as a day trader. Heard you travel all the time?
I don’t travel in a traditional sense of just going place to place. I love getting to know people and immersing myself in foreign cultures. When I travel I tend to stay for at least a month. Last year I traveled to several countries in South America, Central America, and Asia. I love exploring new places! As a trader, I can work from anywhere in the world. So I’ll often wake up and trade for several hours, then enjoy the area for a bit before settling in to teach in the evening and work my 2nd shift as a mentor.
Earlier in January, you made nearly $30,000 in two days from trading. You said it was the best trading week in your life. What were your keys for such a big week?
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 each 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.
What do you look for when it comes to picking winners?
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 are 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.
When it comes to some of the stocks you pick, are there certain trends that you look for that you like to capitalize on? Are there certain things that you prefer over others when it comes to looking at industries as a whole?
Aside from looking at the charts, I like to see momentum in a stock. When the market is showing a lot of interest in a stock, it will often undergo large price increases, providing opportunities for skilled traders to make a lot of money. This increased interest from the market is usually due to a fundamental catalyst of some type – something that catches everyone’s attention – like a new product or strong earnings. Often when a stock is up a lot and trending, people don’t want to buy it since we are all trained to see things from a retail perspective, i.e. “cheap is good”. However in the world of trading, things that are moving up and have strong trends tend to continue to the upside and downside. Right now oil stocks have been in play due to the huge drop in oil prices, so that has attracted huge trading volume. That’s a situation where I use my patterns in technical analysis to time both my buys and sells oil stocks.
I made a video here showing how I do it:
What do you see as a huge emerging industry for stock trading?
I think the advent of the Internet has allowed regular folks so much access to information that used to only be available to the wealthy, and trading is the same way. I think in this next phase financial technology will be huge. There is potential to supply professional-level tools (the same tools that fund managers use) to small-time traders. Actually, another project that I’m currently working on is just that —professional-level trading software for the retail trader.
What do you see as your next goal, what do you see for yourself next?
As a trader, I am constantly improving my game through study and self-evaluation. I pass on that personal growth and improvement to my students and subscribers by sharing what I’ve learned and telling them what’s worked for me and what hasn’t. I plan to continue growing as both a trader and teacher, providing the quality education my students have come to expect while striving to innovate and improve. 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. That’s what I want to be helping my students with as well. I don’t just teach my students about stocks, I teach them about success in general. It’s about teaching them how to be the greatest individuals they can be and to train their brains to peak performance. I have so many students who have gone on to be successful in fields outside the stock market, and they still credit me with being a great mentor! That’s what we are really trying to do — build men and women into being the best possible versions of themselves. If they can do that, they are going to be great traders.
How much success have your students seen?
I’ve taught several thousand students, each with different skills, goals, and expectations. Many of my students have gone on to trade full time, achieving their trading goals. Many more trade on the side in order to supplement their income. As a part of my flagship course, the 60-Day Bootcamp, I require a business plan from every student in order to evaluate their individual needs and goals and to help formulate a plan to achieve them. That’s one of the best parts of my classes; I have many of my old students come in and teach them and show what worked for them. I have tons of students who now have their own websites, blogs, and trading services. These are the things I want to continue to see with my students. Becoming a great trader is part of the equation, but I also want to know that they can be successful in all of their future endeavors as well.