Finding a Portable Income in Finance

Question: Do you have any ideas or resources to help my husband start a portable business? He has a background in finance.


Why yes… yes I do.

Finance is an excellent background for a portable business.

What should someone be looking for in a portable business? Essentially, you want a way to make money that can be managed without necessitating in-person contact. A computer and internet should be all you need.


Babies are portable, too: Working at a restaurant in Port Vila, Vanuatu

Here are the six ideas that come to mind.

1. Investing in Real Estate

2. Consulting

3. Day Trading

4. Ebooks

5. Website + Affiliate Program

6. Network Marketing


Investing in Real Estate

I’ve written a post on the subject in the past here.

Real estate, in our experience, tends to be a better supplemental income than a full-time one, because it will take some time to build up properties or flip homes to make enough to live off of.

We just started doing hard money lending in addition to owning rental homes. In this particular scenario, we are lending $35,000 for one year. We make $400/month in interest. We get the money back at the end of the year. If the loan can’t be repaid, then we own the house (worth much more than $35,000). No repairs to be done, no management company to deal with. Pretty hands-off set up. 

Instrumental to success in this area is to find a good real estate agent. They’ll be the ones who are finding and recommending properties for you, crunching the numbers, and getting renters and buyers.

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Renovating a rental in Florida

When we first started investing in real estate, we had no experience and had read zero books. We just tried it. We’ve made a lot of mistakes and frankly lost money as well as earned it, but we’re getting better at knowing what numbers we want and what kinds of risks we’re willing to take.


DSC01511If you have a steady clientele already in whatever financial field you work in, it would be easy to become portable, especially if you are a lone wolf. If you have employees and a physical location, you will need to figure out how to pare down and get independent of all that. Perhaps it will require learning to outsource. Perhaps it will require selling your brick and mortar business and starting from scratch (Jacob did this just before we got married.) You mentioned a job selling insurance. Why not consult your clients and sell insurance from anywhere in the world from your mobile phone? These days, Skype allows for anything from counseling sessions to music lessons over the computer. Why not financial consulting as well? I follow several international financial experts such as Diane Kennedy, Doug Casey, Lief Simon, and others online. You might want to check out their business models.

Day Trading

I know the least about this subject, (although I’m interested in becoming more proficient,) but I do know one traveler who funds his travels through day trading. Check out his site—and his product—here:


Ebooks are the bread and butter of the funding of our travels.

The Jump Manual is the greatest seller. It is a vertical jump program on how to jump higher. It sells about 300-500 copies per month. In addition, Jacob also offers vertical jump coaching separate from the program, and has personally trained athletes around the world. He built his offline reputation from his online reputation first.


At the UBA championships in Atlanta

MyEbookMaster is our solution to making money with ebooks. It is a one stop shop for ebook creation. In one place, you can create, market, sell, and deliver your ebook, as well as access an affiliate program at the same time. It also comes with content protection and consulting on getting started. It is simple enough to use that even a six year old is selling her book on there (I believe her book is about how to clean up poop.)

Ebooks can be written on any subject, but “how tos” are the most popular. In the financial industry, this could be anything from “how to incorporate a business in the state of Delaware” to “how to get started investing in stocks” to “how to lower your taxes in 2013.” For a preliminary look into how popular the subject is you’re thinking about, check out Google’s Keyword Tool, which will let you know how many searches there are on that topic in a given month. The higher the searches (and the lower the competition) the better for you.

You could even hire a ghostwriter to write an ebook on any subject for you, if you felt there was a market for it.

Establish yourself as an expert, get some testimonials, and have a great sales page. You’ll be on your way.

Website + Affiliate Program

If you are an expert on any sort of financial subject, you can start a website about it, then sell products associated with that subject that are made by other people. Amazon has an associates program for that very reason; however, they only give 4%. I recommend taking a look at, whose vendors can give up to 75% of each sale.

Starting a website can be overwhelming. WordPress is the go-to for most beginners, and there are lots of tutorials online. If you prefer, you can also look into hiring someone pretty cheaply from the Philippines or India to get it set up for you.

Then your job becomes to increase your traffic—the amount of people coming to your website—by implementing search engine optimization and social media, and to increase conversion by testing to see which product and sales letter sells the best.

If you get a list from email sign ups, you can do what is called “launch” other products, which means you develop a relationship with your customer base, send an email out to your list using an affiliate link, and make a cut off of the sale. Some folks make their annual income entirely off of launching other people’s products.

To see the affiliate website for Jump Manual, visit

Network Marketing

Network marketing has a poor reputation in some circles, but the truth is it’s a great school in learning how to do business. It’s how Jacob got his start. He sold Prepaid Legal, which is a pretty good product and one we still use today.The more people you recruit to sell the product, the more money you make. And you can recruit people wherever you are.

For a multi-level marketing company involving financial products, look into Primerica.

For an easy system to manage your customers from wherever you are in the world, check out our network marketing customer relationship management system here: Visit Lighthouse to watch the video


Choose any of these ideas, and it is going to take time. It’s going to take committing to an hour—or hours—every day. The learning curve can be high for being successful at online business. To be honest, although I’ve learned a lot, I don’t know if I would have been able to stick with it on my own without having someone around who had the vision. And keeping your eye on that goal is important. Internet business is tough. If you work nine to five, at least you know you’ll get a paycheck at the end of the week. In this field, you can work 80 hour weeks and not see the results for months.





But—and here’s the motivation—when the money does come, it comes automatically, when you’re sleeping or on safari or playing with your baby. And that’s pretty fun.

There are many families today on the road who are making this work. I’m planning on profiling them to provide inspiration that it is possible for any family. Don’t let the word “can’t” block your dreams. There is a way. It might just take some time, and maybe even some failure at first, to find out what that way is.

Thanks for the question! One of the reasons I started this website was hoping to find a way to give back and help others achieve a mobile lifestyle. Here’s to finding a portable income—the most fundamental element to living a free and independent life anywhere in the world.

Kalli Hiller

Article by Kalli Hiller

Kalli Hiller is a voluntary vagabond who, with her husband Jacob, has traveled full time for the last eight years.

Kalli has written 371 awesome articles for us.

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