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Stock/Option "trading", I mean, gambling

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

Postby Fund Manager » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:34 pm

tbone3443 wrote:I thought long and hard about this before making this decision, and I came up with a strategy that effectively tries to take away money from investors who think they can predict the market, using certain option strategies, which I have not seen anyone else doing (at least publicly). There is some principal risk of course, but it is tiny, and much less risk than if one were even just to invest in the broad indexes. I have found it impossible to stay away completely from the markets, as that is where most of intellectual curiosity lies.


This is classic self-delusion of gambling addiction. Unless you are Fischer Black or Myron Scholes who were awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for their revolutionary option pricing models, the probability of your statement being correct is zero.

tbone3443 wrote:Sure, I am saying “it is different this time” and anyone reading my posts would think I am crazy and that I should stay away from Wall Street completely. But this time it feels different, completely different. I am still sure I CANNOT beat the markets by predicting the direction of securities, but I think I can use time and patience to take money away from those who think they can.


Again, this self-delusional statement has been shared by almost every gambling addict.

To avoid another painful relapse, please refrain from ALL gambling activities.

Good luck, friend.
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Re: Stock/Option "trading", I mean, gambling

Postby betterchange » Fri Mar 13, 2020 11:38 am

tbone3443 wrote:Thanks NewSunRising, I really appreciate your response. I did put such a small amount in my account that it wouldn’t matter if I lost it all, which is not likely based on what I am doing. A relapse for me is if I add more new money to my account, or if change my (conservative) strategy, which I am determined not to do. The last 3 months have seemed to destroy the gambling monster I had inside me-to me, it seems like he is gone. I don’t feel the need to “get my money back” or anything like that. I think most would say I am niave to the evils of the gambling mind and what it can do to trick you to get back in the game, but after this 3 months, I do feel like a new person. Time will tell.


How are things since tbone? Have you managed to avoid the gambling problems, or needed to go back to abstinence?
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Re: Stock/Option "trading", I mean, gambling

Postby tbone3443 » Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:42 pm

Thanks betterchange. Things have been good. I will not deny the urges sometimes, but I have not “gambled” in the way that I have gambled in the past. FundManager is right. I know that one can not consistently “beat the market” using options strategies. I have taken a graduate level courses in options theory and know the Black Scholes model well, so I know how efficient option pricing models are. What I have done is basically a different way of investing in the stock market over the long term, with the use of options in a (I think) unique way to try generate income. I have not “traded” stocks/indexes, etc since I last posted. Interestingly, I have found that other addictions that I have had (alcohol being one) have diminished greatly as well. I think meditation has helped a lot and I realized through meditation that I in the past used all of my addictions simply to escape my own mind. Finding the root causes of ones addiction is essential, and I have found much more constructive ways of occupying my mind.
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Re: Stock/Option "trading", I mean, gambling

Postby betterchange » Sat May 09, 2020 10:11 am

Hi tbone,

Thanks for your detailed reply. I agree with some central points you've made there - especially about finding the root causes of behaviours. Underlying issues are more and more an interest of my own, in relation to addictive behaviour. I really believe they can cause or escalate the problems of addictions.
It's interesting you say you are now operating without addiction problems, I hope that can be so for you. I'm sure many would say it's risky, especially on here. I've never fully given up some trading/gambling either, though it's been heavily reduced by myself over the years. I wouldn't say I've quite beaten all of the gambling demons, but I have lengthy periods when I don't gamble these days (including at present), something I could never do in the past when I have funds available (I do now, but just don't gamble from choice currently). I think being able to know when you can accept a behaviour choice is so key. And looking at why you are making a decision clearly (not on impulse for comparison). Maybe your point about now thinking very 'long term' is also a key issue. It's a form of abstaining, in comparison to the quick-fix of addiction we all know so well.

All the best
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Re: Stock/Option "trading", I mean, gambling

Postby tbone3443 » Sat May 09, 2020 8:46 pm

Thanks betterchange, really good post, and I think you are right on point. Understanding the root causes of your behaviors is so important. I think that the vast majority of people would disagree with me, but I believe that addicts like myself don’t have to 100% abstain from any associations with their addictions. It has only been 6 months or so, but I have found that, as I a past alcoholic who used to drink perhaps 20-40 drinks a week, with usually at least several times a month getting “bombed”, that I can now drink a few drinks a week with no desire at all to get significantly intoxicated. I also have seen for the last 6 months or so that I can have my money at a brokerage, and not trade/gamble, but simply invest for the long term. I will not deny urges sometimes with both alcohol and trading/gambling, but I have so far been able to keep it under control.

I think the only way though that an addict like me can be successful in keeping it under control though is if one understands the root causes of why they are addicted. For me, mindfulness meditation has been key to my understanding. It has convinced me that what I think of as “I”, the conscious me, is different from the part of my brain that simply wants excitement or escape. Part of my brain (perhaps you can call that the gambling demon) was literally hijacking my logical mind and consciousness , and taking over my motor functions to get me to impulsively hit the buy or sell button for excitement though dopamine injections. The part of the my brain that wanted continuous excitement/dopamine, which necessitated bigger and bigger risks over time, grew with my continued usage. I know on some level that trading/gambling was NOT going to make me money, but I was completely out of control because I could not control that part of my brain from “its” desire to get dopamine. Similarly, the part of my brain that wanted to escape by numbing my brain with alcohol needed more and more alcohol over time to do the job, and that part of my mind grew too. It is a downward spiral that has to be stopped.

Knowing why the parts of your brain are doing what they are doing helps, and taking away their power over “you” is everything. And once its power is diminished, that part of the brain shrinks (the brain is plastic, and I think that part of the brain actually physically shrinks) and becomes less effective, and reverses the trend. It will always be there, but I think one can make it dormant and ineffective for the rest of your life. I know all of this may sound strange, but at least in my case it has helped me to start living the life I have always wanted to, and my happiness has increased many fold.
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Re: Stock/Option "trading", I mean, gambling

Postby betterchange » Sun May 10, 2020 9:48 am

Some very interesting ideas, and I agree with pretty much all of that to some degree tbone.
I suppose we should caveat (as many here I'm sure would suggest) the risks of 'slippage' of course. Though time is a good indicator, and the longer you have shown any control over your behaviours the more it can be avoided, in terms of slippage. It's also interesting you were able to control drinking too, something of an addiction (though less severe) for me too. In fact, my drinking is pretty much my worse addiction than gambling these days - though I still have some control in drinking, whereas gambling at my worst I had none at all.

Just out of interest, to control (in either/both addictions) did you find that something else changed a lot in other aspects of life? For me I believe root causes have been (as a rough list): stress/work, stress/kids, relationships, anxieties generally...at least that's a fair estimate. Some of these areas I've worked on, independent of gambling/drink. I still believe fully contented people (without some other issues in life) don't as often fall into addiction problems.
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Re: Stock/Option "trading", I mean, gambling

Postby tbone3443 » Sun May 10, 2020 10:28 pm

Thanks betterchange. Yes, this will be a life long struggle, and slippage is always possible. No matter if you close your brokerage account or eliminate alcohol from your house though, these are addictions you can fall back into within days or hours, or even minutes, because of the ease of opening a brokerage account and because of the proximity and ease of finding alcohol. So IMO, it is much more important to change your brain than to shut down completely your associations with the stock market or alcohol. You are right, I think time is important because I think there is exponential decay factor in ones addiction (a half life) so the more and more time that goes by, the less and less chance of slippage.

I think the only thing that changed in my life last year was an alcohol related event. Last fall, I had one of the worst drinking experiences of my life where I drank myself into unconsciousness and blacked out and the next morning I woke up thinking I did something really bad and that my wife was going to leave me because of it. I had a massive hangover. Turns out I hadn’t done anything wrong other than pass out early on a Friday night, but that was it for me. I knew something had to change in my life from then on, and that led me to meditation and the linking of my gambling and alcohol addictions. It has also helped my with anxieties and stresses that you mentioned (I suggest a book called “The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer).

The best of luck to you with everything! Lets check back with each other at a later time and see how things are going.
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Re: Stock/Option "trading", I mean, gambling

Postby betterchange » Tue May 12, 2020 2:56 pm

Yep, will be good to compare success (or failure) to any degree. I think you're doing better on the drinking side for sure at present. I haven't yet quite had that success, though I do partially control my amounts. (Just aside, it's a shame the alcohol forum is very quiet on this site, not sure why).

As for gambling, I'm still a trader/gambler. It's simple as that. But, I don't 'gamble' in the way I used to that's for sure. Looking to abstain within trading practice, such as taking long views instead of short trades, can still help IMO. I am a lot more able to have lengthy periods I don't play, and that's something I never achieved before (when funded). Abstinence is a key concept for many of us, but I do think it is a flexible concept, or can be.

Thanks for the book suggestion too, will check it out. I also use some meditation (though I dislike the term mindfulness personally). I like to examine those approaches mentally too, but not looked at that specific book before.

All the best and we can compare notes later like you say. 8)
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Re: Stock/Option "trading", I mean, gambling

Postby tbone3443 » Tue May 12, 2020 3:39 pm

Thanks better change. I think the term “mindfulness” meditation is just something I, and others, use to differentiate between just closing your eyes to get yourself in a relaxed state (regular meditation) and meditation to try to understand what is going on in your mind. I think there is a large distinction, but both things can have a positive effect.

One more thing. My attitude towards drinking after that blackout didn’t stop abruptly, although I knew something had to change. After that night, I was scrubbing through youtube videos about alcoholism and for days/weeks watched everything I could about the subject. I did get confirmation that I had a serious drinking problem, but I also came across a story about someone who went from my condition to never DESIRING a drink ever again. That person (a well known comedian) said she read a book called “The Easy Way to Control Drinking” by Allen Carr. I listened to it (a fairly short audiobook) and It has changed my life more than any other so far. This also may sound crazy, but after listening to that book, I have not had the desire to have even one drink in the last 6 months or so (although I have a few drinks-but not more than 2 or so in any short time period-due to what I consider are societal pressures to drink). I know this is a gambling forum, but I think the addictions are linked in some ways, and stopping or controlling drinking can help with gambling addiction IMO. If you have what you think is a drinking problem, or if you even just don’t want to drink as much, I would start with that book first. Listening to it was an incredible experience, and I just wish I had read it a few decades ago. Again, good luck!!
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Re: Stock/Option "trading", I mean, gambling

Postby 1wiserman » Tue May 12, 2020 10:18 pm

Hi Guys,
Interesting discussion. I had one beer tonight with some fried chicken. Years ago I never drank one beer, it was 15 beers. Never was an alcoholic, but pretty close to the line. Know all about horrible hangovers and alcoholic girlfriends and that kind of trouble. Just pretty much outgrew it I guess. I never quit drinking, but just gradually slacked off by not going to bars, Atlantic City, Vegas, etc. I got into heavy drinking when a young kid in US Navy and it took me years to understand how to really drink I guess.
Gambling started same way. Played a lot of poker in US Navy at sea and over the years the action got heavier and heavier until about 8 years ago when casinos showed up in my area when it got out of control. Used to win a lot and lose a lot more. We all know that story. I have been able to scale way down and play only craps, but never quit. Sometimes did not play for weeks, but always went back.
I saw the true compulsive players and understood them. I heard about the suicides and hard luck stories. I guess the love of competition and action keep me going back. If you have a real problem gambling one needs to stop completely. It is a dangerous activity and one has to be aware of that. Years ago I quit drinking completely when gambling. That was a good thing for me. Just my take from an old country boy out of E. Tennessee.
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