Stock Trading: The New Gambling Addiction - Claude Kramer - E-Book

Stock Trading: The New Gambling Addiction E-Book

Claude Kramer

3,99 €

  • Herausgeber: BookThug
  • Kategorie: Ratgeber
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Veröffentlichungsjahr: 2020

Investing doesn't seem like a type of gambling, but lately some traders have been trading like compulsive gamblers. Certain traders suffer from family and social difficulties; others even have problems with the law when they resort to criminal activities to continue financing their transactions. Trading has not yet been classified as a gambling disorder, but in many cases it shares crucial similarities with gambling. A few years ago, the New Jersey Council on Compulsive Gambling stated about trading: "It will be the gambling addiction of the millennium, no doubt." With the pandemic, the isolations and the expansion of the stock market activity, the forecast has been more than fulfilled. Many sports gamblers, trapped in their homes and with some extra cash thanks to government stimulus checks, found in day trading a dangerous new way to gamble.

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Seitenzahl: 36


1. Is Trading a Socially Accepted Way of Gambling?

There are “classic” gambler types: casino gamblers in any of its variants, be it black jack, roulette or slot machine players, poker players, and also sports and horse races gamblers. We’ve seen these types of characters in books, movies, TV shows and, of course, in real life. Because gambling is a common and fun activity where you can win money, but it’s also a very common and serious addiction that can lead to tragic situations such as losing all your material possessions, money, house, car, losing your family, marriage, friends or social life, and ultimately putting your life at risk.

All of that gambling activity doesn’t seem to have much to do with trading in the stock market, which is considered as a more serious activity where skills are involved. Trading is socially considered much more as a way of investing than a way of gambling. Traditionally, trading in the stock market was not associated with compulsive behaviors, although it has always been known that it was a high pressure activity, and with an exceptional adrenaline related to the loss and gain of money that the practice implies. As the activity expands, the number of retail traders also grows and the negative consequences that many of those traders experiment become more and more evident. Lately, attention has begun to be paid to the possibility of considering excessive trading as a type of gambling addiction.

We all have that image of the stock market floor as a crazy packed place with a bunch of men shouting while talking over the phone. The activity has changed a lot with Internet, in the first place, but also with smartphones, zero commission apps like Robinhood and the unusual leverages they allow. The era of communication has lead us to very fast processes, with thousands and thousands of stimulus, a greater access and also many more ways of comparing ourselves and our performances, showing off or just watch live how some Internet celebrity wins a million dollar in a good trading day.

The idea of fast money is sure tempting. Who wouldn’t take a chance to multiply his money? And it is even more tempting when you have the chance just a few clicks away, in a game-like experience. For example, anyone in the world (eighteen or older) can download a trading app, put a few dollars in it and start trading in any international market. It is within anyone’s reach.

Is trading a socially accepted way of gambling? When does trading turn into an addiction? Studies indicate that stock trading is more attractive to young educated males, and when it comes to gambling-like behaviors in trading, studies show that these individuals had a huge desire for social success. For them trading started as a hope for winning money, and as long as emotions and excitement were involved, the “sensation seeking” lead them to continue trading even when it was causing damage. But how bad can it become? Well, pretty bad. Besides the obvious financial consequences, also excessive traders faced family, marriage and social problems, and in some cases they even had trouble with the law, when they used illegal activities to continue trading.

Trading, even in its most excessive and compulsive type, hasn’t yet been classified as a gambling disorder. But both trading and gambling share some similarities, as we’ll review in the following pages. It seems that the negative effects of excessive trading haven’t been paid enough attention. Can excessive trading be considered as a gambling disorder? To answer this, it’s necessary to understand how our brains work and when its reward seeking system leads us to compulsive or addictive behaviors.

2. A Scientific Study on Trading Addicts

In the study “Excessive trading, a gambling disorder in its own right? A case study on a French disordered gamblers cohort”1, the authors describe 8 cases of patients from a gambling disorder unit in France, who were excessive traders. Even when the sample is small (8 cases cannot be considered a “population” suitable to draw statistics), the description of the cases and the analysis from the psychiatric point of view can be considered as an important contribution to a possible definition of a specific disorder.