Trading times : Motive for Trading

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As we have seen , people call themselves, long term investors, short term investors, intra-day traders, swing traders, position traders , momentum traders and what ever, depending on the positions they have on different stocks.

Except in a secular bull market, many of us are in the Red. There are people switching from quick losses to slow motion losses  (read short term term investing to long term investing ) and vice versa. Whatever be , hardly anyone calls himself an ‘universal donor’ kind of trader , though that could  be exactly what he achieves. It is  a kind of public service to provide liquidity to the market, unfortunately it is all done inadvertently and they get absolutely no credit for this Yeoman service. There are people who continue to keep trading in this mode. So, what is the motive ? Is ‘money making’ the only motive to be in the market ?

As I see there could be many other motives to deal in stocks quite unrelated to making money. Some that I can think of:-

Peer pressure . It is so cool to talk about stock market , particularly among men. Ladies are catching up fast in everything from cuss words and  drinking to gambling ! 

Intellectual Stimulus. Trading is very challenging. There is so much to understand , so much to conquer. Fundamental Analysis is full of ratios  to study and  numbers to digest and Technical analysis is a world of charts hiding in a few lines on the charts, the entire gamut of human emotions Fear and Greed. It is a fascinating world telling a different story every day, every hour. Some people just try to predict the markets ,just for the thrill of “I told you so” feeling. Just as hill folks love to predict weather , analysts love to predict the market moves.

Snob value . Surprisingly , the ability to lose big money has as much snob value as the ability to spend money. I lost a lakh today has more snob value than to say I made 500 bucks today.

Gambler’s thrill . When you risk something big and you are waiting for the outcome , there is that adrenaline rush which is so addictive. Stock market is some place where you can get the thrill by putting away just that amount you need to get that kick; too less makes it all too pedestrian and too much can destroy your Capital. 

One can think of many other motives. Once I heard a fellow officer saying with a rather dreamy look, “can’t wait to quit ….. post retirement, this is all I am going to do…” When asked , if it would be online, he was shocked.

“Why would I do that ? Look, a man can’t sit at home all day, running errands for the lady. The idea is to go to a brokerage , a trading place, join a gang of punters , talk crap, eat and drink junk food and just enjoy the bonding and go back home in the evening fully  refreshed.”

Those days, the trading stations were mostly ‘men only’ place .

As for me, I am more fascinated by the tools of the trade rather than the trade itself. The kind of software and database you have today is absolutely phenomenal. When you sit at a terminal, you have minute to minute data on your screen, even while you are listening to some great songs on you-tube and chatting with friends on social media. Once in a while I have a game of chess going on in one tab. At the end of the day , it is +1000 or -500, who cares ? It all evens out and the day is well spent and mostly pays for itself.  Mutual Funds and a few steady stocks along with some debt instruments beat the inflation comfortably.

Next is … Tips and Tricks !  

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