Gambling versus Day Trading
Gambling is the act of placing a bet. What’s involved is a system of win-or-lose odds. Odds is the mathematical likelihood that an event will or won’t occur. Odds are the key to the gambling process. On the contrary, day trading, or intraday investing, involves maneuvers in a much more controllable system. The system itself influences results—and this does not mirror the gambler’s dependence on hazardous numerical odds.
A casino gambler who decides to try day trading might construe the profession as betting. That assumption could actually be horribly true, if he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Ask any professional day trader whether he sees himself as a gambler, and most likely he’ll respond with this question, Are we talking about when I was an amateur, or now that I’m much more experienced?
I will return to that question later in the chapter.
When players stride through a casino, they all have the same chance of winning or losing at any machine or table. They all want to beat the odds. Sure, some players are seasoned, and their skills at prediction are keen; they win somewhat more than the rookies. But even so, they’re just betting, they’re just casting their fates to the wind, because in gambling, the risk is uncontrollable, it’s unswervingly 50-50. With every single hand or roll of the dice or pull on a slot machine, the fulcrum is pure, simple chance. The payouts may vary, but what it boils down to is they walk away either beaming, ...