Saturday, February 9, 2008

Is Daytrading Addictive?

The NY Times asked this question a couple of days ago. In light of some of the other "highs" they compare trading to, I'd have to say no, trading is not addictive.


Simply put, if given the choice, I'd much rather be stoned and having sex than trading.

Meanwhile, our brains are not "hard wired for making money." That had to be one of the dumbest, and most depressing things I've read about humans in awhile.  Our culture is hard wired to obsess about money and glorify money and it tries with all of its might to make us follow along.

13 comments:

tapeworm said...

alcohol isn't addictive to everyone either

One of his findings was that brain images of drug addicts who are about to take another hit are indistinguishable from those of traders who are making money and about to place another trade. “That tells us pretty confidently that if you make money and make money again,” Mr. Zweig said, “it is very similar to a chemical addiction and it becomes very hard to let go.”

i'm not sure how anyone can argue that this isn't true in many cases...this isn't opinion here...it probably doesn't apply to most cases, but most people who smoke weed don't become drug addicts either

tapeworm said...

the only part i would argue with is that those people they studies probably had a similar reaction in their brain when they were losing money

The Lonely Trader said...

But, seriously, why does it matter? Why should it matter to us? I had a thought while I was surfing my favorite blogs -- including this one -- that I could just stop reading all that neurofinance stuff and Steenbarger's comments on psychology and just get to work...and I would be none the worse for it.

I honestly believe that most of the people who read this blog know what they need to do -- we don't need to worry about whether we are "expert" traders, or whether we fit into clinical definitions of addiction in our trading -- I would say the odds are that the overwhelming majority of us aren't.

My impulse is to leave all this for the high profile institutional and prop firm traders, and just stick to my own homegrown way of developing my own strategies for staying steady under pressure.

I dunno...but after reading all of this stuff, I get tired of it. I think a lot of people are just saying the same thing, over and over again, but dressing it up in technical jargon when all they have to say is "Hey milktoast, you just shit a ton of money, take some time off and figure it out or you're done!"

But maybe I'm missing the point...

Bluedog said...

I'm not an addict. I could quit anytime. :P

-BD

tapeworm said...

i had a daytrader knock on my door at 3am....he was trying to sell me a dvd player, and a bunch of tools

that fucking bastard hadn't showered in 3 days...up all night, trading different markets, and hocking his shit at the pawn shop

now tell me again that daytrading isn't addictive

The Lonely Trader said...

Tapeworm, was that your "brother in law"?

tapeworm said...

it was actually me knocking on DT's door...of course he wouldn't answer to a derelict like myself

so i called him gay and left

The Lonely Trader said...

You see? I would never fall for that a second time...

Dinosaur Trader said...

tapeworm,

You're lucky I didn't answer... I had a loaf of bread and I was ready to unload it on you frisbee style, one piece at a time.

Last person who knocked on my door at 3am got 3/4 a loaf of Wonder before I took mercy on them.

-DT

The Lonely Trader said...

Hey, balled up that stuff catches fish in the pond at the golf course like you wouldn't believe. Wonder bread is very mysterious.

Dinosaur Trader said...

Once, in college, I made a condom out of Wonder bread.

-DT

(note to readers: To "get" this joke, you will have to read the post about Spree, regarding MtM and the twisted minds who run that blog.)

tapeworm said...

once, in community college, i didn't wear a condom...my cock looked like soggy wonder bread (rye)

The Lonely Trader said...

Like I said, it catches fish...