Is Day Trading Gambling?

As a day trader, I was told many times that it was just gambling. This is a common misconception of people who look at day traders without knowing anything about them. For people who believe this, I would tell them that there are a lot of day traders who are just gamblers. Those day traders’ careers are short-lived. The average professional day trader is just that – a “professional”. To make my point I would ask those same people who believe day trading is gambling one simple question: If day trading is just gambling, how do people make careers out of it?

Day traders spend a lot of time doing research on stocks. They process a lot of information before each decision. They read, watch and listen to news on stocks. Successful day traders having winning-to-losing trade ratios of over 65 percent. Gamblers are usually betting in situations where the odds are less than 50 percent. The average professional trader has access to so much information.

Trading platforms typically give traders stock quotes and stock charts. The faster and more reliable the stock quotes and charts are, the more chance of success a trader has. Traders usually get news from various public sources on the internet or on business television. A professional trader will probably spend upwards of 1-2 hours every day on dedicated research; however, they are constantly researching while they are making trades. The amount of information a typical professional trader has to process is staggering. What makes it more amazing is the speed in which he or she has to process all of this information while staring at his or her trading screen.

If day trading was just gambling, traders would not have to put in this much time, effort, research or practice to make a career out of it. Traders would not have 10 to 20 year careers. Career day traders treat trading as a professional career. They are disciplined, regimented and professional. Traders that come in to gamble usually don’t last in trading very long. Some may start gambling but then realize the potential and so put in the effort to make day trading a long and prosperous career.

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Photo By Mark Menzies

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