Day Trading Can Be Addictive

by Daniel Goodman

I am a professional day trader, so I am not going to tell you that day trading is gambling, because it’s not! However, if you don’t treat it like a job, and don’t take it seriously, then yes, you are gambling. And this can turn your life upside down, very fast! The rush of making $5,000 in a matter of a minute, can be extremely addicting! 

February 13, 2021 – Day trading can be very, very addicting! However, that doesn’t exactly mean that day traders are addicts. I myself am an addict. This March I will be sober six years. My drug of choice was alcohol. My name is Daniel, and I am an alcoholic. I started day trading when I was about 18 months sober. So needless to say that I already had my work cut out for me when I started to trade stocks. I was jumping into a very addicting way of making money. Already being a recovering addict, didn’t make my job any easier. 

Someone who has no addictive behaviors or does not have an addictive personality, can become addicted to day trading. What does that mean? Well, to be very blunt, you can become addicted to gambling through trading. The rush of making $5,000 in a matter of a minute, can be extremely addicting! A lot of people work very hard every month to make $5000 in a month, you just made it in a matter of minutes. There is also the downside as well. You can lose $5,000 in a matter of a minute. If not controlled or taken seriously, this is gambling. It’s the same rush you get when you’re in Las Vegas rolling the dice or watching the next card come out at a blackjack table. 

I am a professional day trader, so I am not going to tell you that day trading is gambling, because it’s not! However, if you don’t treat it like a job, and don’t take it seriously, then yes, you are gambling. And this can turn your life upside down, very fast! I personally went down that road, and it was awful. I replaced my alcohol addiction with gambling in the stock market. What kept me going, was that I knew that I could overcome my demons and not gamble with stocks. I found out very quickly that I was good at this. So after a little over two years, and a loss of six figures, I finally was able to consistently be profitable. It wasn’t easy, I promise you that! 

The hardest part for me to conquer was the big G word … GREED! This is where the extreme discipline comes in. This is also almost impossible to overcome if you are an addict! When you are an addict, it’s never enough. Never enough alcohol, drugs, sex, food, and in this case, money! Day trading is surrounded by greed! It’s the main reason people day trade. You are striving to make a week’s salary in one day, in a matter of minutes to an hour. Or at least once you’ve crossed that threshold, it’s extremely difficult to go back. It’s the greed that keeps people going. That being said, greed isn’t always a bad thing. Greed can motivate and give one ambition! However, greed and addiction is a recipe for destruction! 

Another major hurdle to overcome was the P word … PATIENCE! If you are an addict, patience usually is NOT in your vocabulary. You MUST be patient to be a successful day trader. You have to wait for the right time to execute your trade. When I was craving a drink, I definitely was not willing to wait around for the bar to open. So I would find the closest liquor store to get my fix. Same goes with trading. You are so eager to make more money and feel the rush, you are going to jump into a trade at the wrong time, just so you can fill your void! Just like greed, you MUST conquer your ability to be patient.

Another huge hurdle, is emotion! If you can’t control your emotions, you will get crushed, and as an addict, we LOVE drama. And drama stems from emotion. When you are in a losing trade, your emotions can take over and you start making the wrong decisions. Actually, more like BAD decisions! I’ve thrown my  laptop across the room. I’d say that was a bit emotional. And of course that is the worst kind of emotion, anger! Anger makes people do things they regret. Such as going all in with your account to make all your losses back in a single trade. And 99 out of 100 times, it’s not the correct trade.

That of course is called gambling! If you are having a bad day trading, you need to get up and walk away. Even if its for an hour or less. However, the smartest move would be to close your laptop for the day. 

None of this is easy. Not even for the NON addict. Everyone goes through learning lessons before being successful in something. Unfortunately for the addict, it usually takes a bit longer to achieve them. Mainly because our colleagues, friends, and family told us for years that we had a problem. But we didn’t listen. At least, that’s my story. 

The bottom line is, if you already have an addictive personality; with drugs, drinking, gambling, etc., or just get addicted easily, think twice about jumping into day trading. Conquer your addictive demon first before you open up a brokerage account. Day trading is a job. You have to wake up in the morning like you are going to work. And you have to be disciplined with your work. It’s just like any other job. If you don’t get a good nights sleep, not focused, or hung over, you are not going to perform at your best in any job. Whether it’s day trading, being an attorney arguing a case in court, a doctor getting ready to do surgery, or a car salesman driving around with customers trying to get them to buy the brand new Ferrari. It’s all the same.

Day trading itself can be very addicting, especially if you are looking for an addiction. And as I mentioned earlier, yes you can become addicted to day trading even if you don’t have that type of personality. What separates the winners from the losers in day trading, is if you can control your emotions, not be greedy, have patience, and treat it like a job. Which goes with any business on this planet! This is not a game of luck, this is a game of skill. And of course, most people try different jobs or career paths throughout their life. So if day trading is not for you, please move onto the next opportunity! If you feel that day trading IS for you, please trade wisely my friend! 


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