Investing in a Caravan
As you approach the 15,000 - 18,000 denar mark, you can begin to consider investing in a caravan. Although expensive, they soon return profits on the investment within a few (in-game) weeks. In addition, you can speak with your caravan to ask for hints and tips about where to trade specific items for a profit. The longer your caravan operates uninterrupted, the more the profits will increase. It is important therefore that you ensure the trading routes it takes are kept safe and secure. You can do this by patrolling the region to eliminate any raiders, looters or bandits, and also by keeping an eye on the political situation in the local area to intervene where possible to maintain peace.
To invest in a caravan, you will need at least 15,000 denars and an available companion to lead and protect it. You shouldn't pick just any random companion, either; you'll want one with strengths in trade skills to ensure maximum profits. You can use the encyclopedia tool in-game by pressing [N] to search for suitable companions. Although Trade is the skill that you should prioritise for maximum profit, you should also consider companions with skill in Tactics for an increased chance of winning battles that you're unable to attend, Steward to provide the caravan with more guards, and Scout to enable the caravan to see potential threats sooner, allowing them to flee in time.
Once you have at least one companion with desirable traits and enough denars, go to any major settlement in an area that you're familiar with to speak with a merchant. You can purchase a caravan from most merchants, though the prices will vary between 15,000 - 18,000 denars depending on who you speak to. After purchasing the caravan it will take a few weeks before you begin to see profits. These can be tracked in the Clan menu under 'Finance'.