DOCUMENTARY CHANNEL – Sunday 8 November, 8.30pm
Connor Woodman gave up a lucrative career in finance, sold his flat and set off traveling around the world. Why? It was not a case of burnout or just an excuse for an extended holiday. Far from it! His aim was to take £25,000 of his own money and buy and sell goods as he traveled from country to country. He wanted to trade in its purest form, the way millions do every day, and have done for centuries. Instead of being behind a computer screen, buying and selling things that cannot be touched, he wanted to be out in the field, buying coffee direct from a plantation, wine from a vineyard or jade straight out of the ground, taking it to a suitable market and selling it for profit. His aim is to make some serious money, but if it goes wrong, he could lose the lot. When Woodman announced he was quitting his job and selling his flat and the reactions he received were not as he expected.
“A lot of people that I worked with just didn’t get it. I think family and friends were concerned, because I was selling my flat, which was my one investment. I’m very good at advising other people what to do with their money, but I’d always just put money into property. So selling my flat was selling my nest egg, to go off and gamble it on trading around the world. I think it seemed a bit crazy to some people. But I wouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t thought I’d make money out of it,” says Woodman.
Over six months Woodman travels through Africa, India, China, Asia and South America, buying and selling everything from camels to chili. The adventure starts in Sudan where Woodman wants to test himself against some of the toughest traders in the world. His plan is to buy camels in Sudan and take them up one of the world’s oldest trade routes along the Nile to Egypt. He plans to cut out all the numerous middlemen in the trade, but things go terribly. For his second trade, he was advised there are good profits to be made from buying Zambian coffee and selling it in South Africa. Is international trade harder on the ground than it is on a computer and is there a profit to be made? Find out on the fascinating four part documentary series Around The World In 80 Trades, premiering on the Documentary Channel, Sunday 8th November at 8.30pm.