I went to Gambler's Anonymous

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by dnaj65000, Nov 23, 2003.

  1. For the first time in my life, I went to a local GA meeting. I was pleasantly surprised at how welcoming the members were to me and took the inititive to introduce themselves. Of course coming from a stock trading background I didn't feel at ease being there. However, the GA booklet includes a paragraph that says, and I quote, "DON'T GAMBLE FOR ANYTHING. This includes the stock market, commodities, options, buying or playing lottery tickets, raffle tickets, flipping a coin or entering the office sport pool."

    So after reading that, I felt a bit more at ease being there although my feelings told me that it wasn't quite right. I think the biggest red flag that was raised for me is that GA are for those in pain and want to stop gambling. I for one, do not want to stop trading. So right there, I knew it wasn't exactly suited for someone like me.

    While I was there, I did to draw a parallel between discipline in trading and discipline to stop gambling. It stuck me to feel that you actually draw strength and accountability when you share stories in a supportive environment. It dawned on me that it would be an excellent concept if the Anonymous program was modified for traders. I imagine a room of fellow improving traders meeting and telling the group how they were able to stick to their trading rules and getting support for that.

    Modifying the introduction, it would be like:
    me: "My name is Ray."
    group: "Hello Ray"
    me: "I am a disciplined trader. My last undisciplined trade was on August 1st, 2003"
    group: *clapping*

    :p Sounds kinda funny but I think it might work.

  2. Take out the *clapping* and the cheesy introductions and it just might work :D

  3. Quoted from the GA booklet:

    What is the dream world of the complusive gambler?

    This is another common characteristic of complusive gamblers. A lot of time is spent creating images of the great and wonderful things they are going to do as soon as they make the big win. They often see themselves as quite philanthropic and charming people. They may dream of providing families and friends with new cars, mink coats and other luxuries. Complusive gamblers picture themselves leading a pleasant gracious life, made possible by the huge sums of money they will accrue from their "system". Servants, penthouses, nice clothes, charming friends, yachts and world tours are a few of the wonderful things that are just around the corner after a big win is finally made.
    Pathetically, however, there never seems to be a big enough winning to make even the smallest dream come true. When complusive gamblers succeed, they gamble to dream still greater dreams. When failing, they gamble in reckless desperation and the depths of their misery are fathomless as their dream world comes crashing down. Sadly, they will struggle back, dream more dreams and of course suffer more misery. No one can convince them that their great schemes will not someday come true. They believe they will, for without this dream world, life for them would not be tolerable.

    This passage in the GA book hit home. I don't know if you guys agree with it, but I certainly do about the philanthropic and "system" comments.
  4. How is this different from anyone who starts a business or has a plan to accomplish anything? I suppose we should all skulk back to our cubicles, put our savings in money markets and not hope for anything. <p>
    The upside is that such a person certainly can't be accused of 'gambling.'
  5. MBfromLA


    Hi Ray, I have a suggestion to you. I'm 27 and yes, at some point i have considered GA for myself as well, most of the trades i've lost on are the once i didn't have stops on. And this is what i did, I went ahead and ordered a big customer made stop sign, yes the once you see on the streets, and hang it right above my trading station. There we go,, since that,,combining my working trading system with discipline i'm averaging 250$ a day for 5 months now. If you have any comment or questions please email me at job858@yahoo.com ..... :p
  6. Well I see some folks on this thread who have some kind of problem associating trading with gambling. For one I appreciate the guy who started this thread and his comments. For the naysayers, here are some more things to think about:

    Definition of gambling: risking money to make more money?

    Trading not gambling because of your sophisticated, proven approach? Do you know that there are successful, professional poker players with systems more complicated than your trading system?

    Not gambling because there is no "house" advantage? Commissions, spreads... you start out losing every time...
    why would you do that... because you believe you will beat
    the odds...
  7. Well, he's putting down a chunk of money and there's no guarantee he'll get it back.. That's gambling.

    The thread starter is not saying it's bad, he's just pointing out some connections. It is you who associate "gambling" with "bad". But as you know, there are good bets, and there are lousy bets...

    Good gambling is taking the good bets and passing on the lousy ones. That's what trading is all about for me.
  8. Take your loser system and stick it up your nose.:p
  9. pspr


    Speculation is having the odds in your favor.

    Gambling is having the odds against you.

    If you don't use a trading system/method that has a proven record of having the odds in your favor then you ARE gambling.
  10. I couldn't agree more. I do not think gambling is bad. I do not think day trading is bad. I am equally impressed at the discipline and skill that a good poker player or day trader has in being successful at his chosen game. There are similarities between trading and gambling and keeping your mind open and trying to learn from them is more productive than trying to ignore it.

    Here's an interesting exercise for those who are willing to (perhaps) take a hit to your ego.

    1. Were you ever late or skipped work or school due to trading?
    2. Has trading ever made your home life unhappy?
    3. Did trading affect your reputation?
    4. Have you ever felt remorse after trading?
    5. Did you ever trade to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
    6. Did trading cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
    7. After losing did you feel you must make another trade as soon as possible and win back your losses?
    8. After a win did you have a strong urge to win more?
    9. Did you often trade until you got a margin call?
    10. Did you ever borrow to finance your trading?
    11. Have you ever sold anything to finance trading?
    12. Were you reluctant to use trading capital for normal expenditures?
    13. Did trading make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
    14. Did you ever trade longer than you had planned?
    15. Have you ever traded to escape worry or trouble?
    16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance trading?
    17. Did trading cause you to have difficulty sleeping at night?
    18. Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to trade?
    19. Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by trading more?
    20. Have you ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your trading?

    If you answer yes to at least 7 of these questions, you could benefit from learning how complusive gamblers struggle to solve their addiction and draw relationships to your trading.

    #10     Nov 24, 2003