Daniel Laplana doesn’t like to sit still. The longtime Miami resident loves to travel the world, play sports, explore wilderness hotspots and enjoy all the stellar dining and nightlife that his adopted hometown has to offer. And as much as he likes to play hard, Laplana, 30, also likes to work hard. He runs a highly successful technology venture studio that requires some globetrotting and more than a little bit of high-stakes investment. So perhaps, with such a peripatetic and performance-oriented lifestyle, it shouldn’t be surprising that he’s so keen on foreign-exchange (FX) trading.
This reporter catches up with Laplana in a rare moment of downtime. He’s detailing some of his recent travel—“I just got back from a couple weeks in Turkey and Greece—long enough to really immerse myself in those cultures,” he says. His passport has been stamped in more than 55 countries. And during the pandemic, he’s made a concerted effort to lean into his love of hiking, lacing up his boots and visiting legendary national parks like Yosemite, Zion and Yellowstone. And the lifelong athlete—Laplana was good enough to play Division 1 soccer at George Washington University—has gotten serious about tennis, playing competitively for the past five years.
Laplana works hard to sustain this action-packed lifestyle. After six years of hard work, he and his brother’s business venture—where they take equity in and then support tech start-ups with growth potential—has blossomed. “The first years were honestly pretty tough,” he admits. “But now we’ve amassed a portfolio of over 50 companies, probably a portfolio of over a $100 million and about 300 employees across ten different countries.”
Looking to expand and hedge his investments even more, Laplana says he got into FX trading about four years ago. “It seemed like a smart way to diversify my portfolio and my strategy since I’m so heavily invested in private companies and venture capital,” he says. “Obviously the key to success is building a Kevlar shield to protect yourself against downturns like we’ve seen in the past two years. So I decided to diversify a little bit.”
Not the sort of guy to do anything without doing his homework first, Laplana spent time developing and researching and testing out his strategies in the FX market. Some investors in this space have tactics guided by market fundamentals while others focus on technical variables; Laplana is most certainly in the latter camp. “I have more of a value investing, old-school [Warren] Buffet mentality,” he says, noting how he saw a potential long-term opportunity in the US dollar strengthening against the Euro and other currencies. “Let’s just say it’s worked out in my favor,” he says without fanfare.
Laplana brought his same rigorous approach to picking a platform for his FX trading and ultimately settled on OANDA. “I did a cost-benefit analysis when I was getting into the space,” he notes. “And OANDA was by far the best platform—the most efficient, with the best customer support and the best spreads.”
Because he’s on the go so often, Laplana is a power user of the OANDA app, which allows him to track the market, dive deep into the data or make trades no matter where he is—whether that’s an airport lounge, a tennis club or a trailhead parking lot. “The core functionalities work really well,” he says. “And I’m saying that as someone who makes apps for a living.”
When asked to explain why he’s attracted to FX trading, Laplana’s answer is a mix of highly calculated economic fundamentals and the emotional appeal of the potential upside. “It’s the largest liquid market there is,” he says. “And no doubt it can be volatile. There’s a thrill with that volatility—more volatility sometimes means larger gains - but higher risks too.
Opinions are that of the interviewer and interviewee, and not of OANDA Corporation. Interviewee’s experience is not representative of all account holders or traders.
Past performance is not indicative of future results.
For educational purposes only, not to be considered a recommendation or financial advice.
Leveraged trading in foreign currency contracts or other off-exchange products on margin carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for everyone. We advise you to carefully consider whether trading is appropriate for you in light of your personal circumstances. You may lose more than you invest. We recommend that you seek independent financial advice and ensure you fully understand the risks involved before trading. Trading through an online platform carries additional risks.
OANDA Corporation is a registered Futures Commission Merchant and Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and is a member of the National Futures Association. No: 0325821. More Information is available using the NFA Basic resource.