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Stock/Option "trading", I mean, gambling

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Re: Stock/Option "trading", I mean, gambling

Postby tbone3443 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:01 pm

Today I will hit one month and 26 days with no gambling. It is amazing how much more time I seem to have during the day because my mind is not constantly distracted by thoughts about trading. I get a lot more things done during the day and have a lot more time to focus on things that really matter-friends and family. Had a minor urge today (I dont know if they will ever fully go away) and thought it would be helpful to come back on the site and read the past posts here to help. I hope everyone is doing well.
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Re: Stock/Option "trading", I mean, gambling

Postby chilaxis » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:04 am

Well done tbone on hitting 1-month plus without trading/gambling!

And I really appreciate your words of advice a few posts before and sharing from your experience.

Unfortunately I wasn't as successful at controlling my impulse over the past two weeks. I have indeed relapsed due to the urge to short the Dow. Feeling so gutted that I couldn't control my impulse :( :( :(

1. I couldn't fight my impulse and re-opened my trading account.
2. Traded. Started off slowly, 1 trade every 3 days - then at the end of it, 7 trades a day, taking on more and more leverage and my account grew.
3. Profited $26K in a little over two weeks, with various level of risks taken.
4. One lapse of 'discipline' by trading too big a size yesterday (8 lots) shorting the Dow futures to revenge trade, lost -$26,300 within a day as it climbed from 26133 to 26450.

I am truly at my wits end.

Nett outcome: In two weeks - lost a further -$300, plus 80 hours of time and energy which could have been better applied at work, business, family. All these trading while still holding onto a $65K debt. How stupid am I to keep thinking I could trade my way out of my debt :( :( :(

Feeling like Mahoney.

Need to refocus my priorities and start again.

Day 1 - Gambling Free
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Re: Stock/Option "trading", I mean, gambling

Postby tbone3443 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:01 pm

Chilaxis,

Thank you for your honesty. That is a good step.

I have relapsed dozens of times throughout my life time, after in each case having some kind of breakdown and saying I would never ever gamble again. That is normal, and I don’t think any recovering gambling addict has not gone through what you are going through now. What counts is getting to your “last” relapse. I am hoping I am there, and hoping you are too.

Our psychologies are so similar, and I understand what you just went through. IMO, the thing you should realize was that it was actually worse that you initially profited $26K in those first two weeks. Im sure your confidence level shot up, and you were likely calculating how much you were going to make in your next trade and not even thinking about the downside of a losing trade. That is when I usually had my biggest loses-right after big wins. But I can say with conviction that your initial $26K profitable trade was lucky, that’s it. It wasn’t skill. You may disagree, but I feel strongly about this. Think about your thoughts before you shorted the market and lost back the $26K-you were probably feeling pretty sure about that trade initially, but it didn’t work out. Doesn’t that tell you something?

I remember when I first started online sports betting many years ago. I lost a lot more than I won, but initially I thought I was sure to win more than 50% of time. I was able to completely quit sports betting when I finally realized I could not win over time. But that attitude did not roll over into the stock market where I thought I could use my brains to beat the market. Over time my logical mind realized I couldn’t beat the market either, but my gambling mind convinced me that I could. I learned later that my mind was doing that really just to get a dopamine injection by being "in the actiion" of the market.

I have had to lose my ego to stop-the ego that says you are less of a person because you cant figure out how to beat the market. It doesn’t mean you are not smart if you cant beat the market. Do you realize Warren Buffet has not beaten the market over the last 10-15 years? What does that say? Im sure we also both have heard of supposedly “brilliant” hedge fund managers who cant do it either. Virtually no one can. The reality is, is that if you don’t have the fastest high frequency computers, or if you don’t have inside information, you most likely have to get lucky to beat the market. And if you are not trading to beat the market, then you are just doing it for the thrill of trading, which is the obvious indication of an addiction.

I hope you can do something every day that I have been doing for the last 1 month and 28 days of being gambling/trading free. When you wake up, tell yourself what you are thankful for. I know it may be hard at this moment of your life, but I would try it and see if works. It may be one thing you are thankful for,-it may be 10. I can think of a few things for you. You have a family and children (many people including me, don’t have children (in part BECAUSE of my addiction). You have an income/life that would allow you to have assess to $26K to trade. Think about most of the people in this world without anything in their bank account living day to day trying to pay bills,or about the people in a much worse debt situation than you. You should be thankful to have grown up in the world that has allowed you to get what you do have. Be thankful for your health. Be thankful that you have not gone “full Mahoney” and crashed and burned in the end and got to the point where you hit rock bottom with no access to funds and had to go to jail. Im sure there are a million more things for you to be thankful for. I always recommend mindfulness meditation, but I understand that is not for everyone. When you get a chance, watch this video. It is an amazing story of a very successful attorney, Michael Burke, whose gambling addition led him to steal clients money and lose millions in the casinos, leading him to a prison term. He was very smart, and thought he could beat the casinos (just like we think/thought we can be the markets), but of course he couldn’t. The House/Markets always win, and you CANNOT gamble your way back into financial prosperity or happiness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04CMay2kZG0 You are not there yet, and you CAN turn it around. May “this” Day 1, be your last Day 1 !! Good luck!!
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Re: Stock/Option "trading", I mean, gambling

Postby chilaxis » Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:08 pm

Tbone, thank you for your advice and encouragement.

I tried getting up and feeling thankful for what I have in the morning and it does make me feel less urge to trade. It was a good tip.

I aim to focus on work and family today - and leave trading in the past.

I've booked to see a financial counselor later this month to learn how to best manage and clear my $65k worth of credit card debt, and will try to sort it out using regular income rather than using trading. It's going to take a while to get myself out of this hole :(, but I hope this will be a lesson I learn for the rest of my life.

Day-3 - Gambling Free.
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Re: Stock/Option "trading", I mean, gambling

Postby tbone3443 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:19 pm

Great chilaxis, Day 3.

Excellent that you are going to see a financial counselor. That $65K in CC debt probably looks like a giant mountain in front of you, but it isnt. It is a series of rolling hills that can be overcome. If you stick to your plan and don’t gamble/trade, that $65K in debt in the years ahead will be gone completely. Think about about how proud you will be of yourself, and how much better your life will be in the future with $0 credit card debt and having cured your addiction.
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Re: Stock/Option "trading", I mean, gambling

Postby tbone3443 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:57 pm

I still get urges, sometimes very strong ones like this weekend. With the announcement of the Fed buying US treasuries on Friday, my gambling mind brought me to the conclusion that the stock markets were going to go to new all time highs. My heart started racing, I started getting excited, and I started calculating all the money I would be making because I just “knew” what was going to happen.

Somewhat proud of myself as I stopped myself after closing my eyes and understanding exactly what my brain was doing-something it has done thousands of times in the past, in an attempt to get me to gamble/trade yet again. Today, my brokerage account is still empty, and I am happy, and focused on my normal job. My logical thinking mind won over my gambling mind, unlike it has so many times in the past.

If I had been wrong (no new highs in the stock market), it would have led quickly to a feeling of lack of self worth and depression, a lack of belief that I did it AGAIN, and also and itch to “get my losses back” which I would have been obsessed with doing.

If I was right, that would ironically have been WORSE. It would led me to believe that yes, I really can figure out and predict stock price movements, and make money if I just use discipline. There is no way I would have stopped but would have continued to trade, which would have had me “slowly” ending up with a feeling of lack of self worth and depression, etc, I would no doubt have traded bigger and bigger to get the same high, until I not only lost my profit but also my initial deposit in a highly leveraged blowout, after having lost time doing what should have been productive work in my normal job.
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Re: Stock/Option "trading", I mean, gambling

Postby NewSunRising » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:54 am

Well done tbone !

There comes a point in our recovery when we gain clarity . The gambling fog that kept us repeating the same destructive behavior seems to lift . As I reached this stage of my recovery , I remember being mortified by some of the warped thinking I accepted as truth when it came to justifying my gambling .

The ability to recognize the tactics of the addiction is a very powerful weapon indeed .
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Re: Stock/Option "trading", I mean, gambling

Postby tbone3443 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:46 pm

I have been writing a lot lately but it is really therapy for me. Thank you NewSunRising for the encouragement and I have learned a lot from you. The last few days have been tough. Of course the market took off today to the upside, and the gambling addicted part of my brain was screaming at me saying something like “see, you were right, you can predict the stock market, better get money to your broker before the market continues higher, do it now, NOW! Buy S&P 500 calls before the market breaks out to new all time highs and its too late”. I closed my eyes and meditated, and it seemed to help, as I thought about all the times this has happened before and the terrible end results.

I think what I have to do is avoid any contact during the day with what the financial markets are doing-the numbers moving up and down are like a drug dealer enticing me to buy their drug of the day. Time to shut down all media during trading hours, and hope this passes. I am just past 2 months which I think is just about the longest I have EVER gone without making a trade.
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Re: Stock/Option "trading", I mean, gambling

Postby chilaxis » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:42 pm

Hi Tbone, well done at getting to 2 months and a record abstinence from gambling/trading!

In contrast to what you did, I couldn't resist the temptation to short the DOW as it rose. And sure enough it rose higher. Another setback to the tune of $4332.

Feeling this is spiraling out of control.

You are right, at the read of finance news or stock charts, it will trigger my impulse to trade. Will need to find a way to avoid it.

Restarting at Day-1.
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Re: Stock/Option "trading", I mean, gambling

Postby tbone3443 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:09 pm

Chilaxis, I have been there, and I understand.

I think what you are doing (and what I have done in the past) is the equivalent of betting on the horses, with the hope of a huge payoff on an underdog horse, in an effort to pay off your debt the easy way, and not the hard way (working it off). I think you have to understand that, even if by some miracle you had a very profitable trade to help you pay some or all of your debt, you will not have solved the underlying problem of why you are acting in such a destructive way. If you don’t understand why you are doing this, then your mind is going to continue to try to make you think you can win at this game-but you cant, and we have to accept that. Wall Street in part exists to consistently take savings away from people like us, and they know how to do it well.

Good luck on Day 1. I am rooting for you.
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