Compulsive Gambler or Disciplined Investor? Better Check Yourself, Before You Wreck Yourself!

@drutter, my new Blurt BFF and a total asset to the community here, always comments on my posts in the most thought provoking and interesting of ways. He always inspires me to correspond with him sharing more in my own thoughtful and often silly way; cause heck, that's just me.

In my recent post, asking the Blurt community if it's time to take profits in oil, he left me a comment that is worthy of being a blog post on it's own. You can see my post here and @drutter's extended comment below.

That is a great story! And you are a great friend as the hardest thing for anyone to do with a hot hand is walk away before they lose it all. So that in it's own right shows a high degree of discipline and intelligence; even for your friend just to bring you along because he knows he can't control himself.

I think I bought my first stock at age 19, so I guess that makes me now a twenty year experienced trader/investor as now I'm 39, and I've been able to leverage this skill to help myself (semi) retire at age 25...if that even makes sense. My father did the same at 35 years old when I was four; but that was after a short career as a professional stock broker.

He quit his job about six months before the crash of 87 after winning awards and becoming a Vice President of the company. He was being pressured by his firm to sell stock to anyone and everyone, knowing the market was due for a crash. Morally he could not do it, so he just retired and has traded for himself ever since.

So combined my father and I have about 60 years of investing experience. I used to lean on him much more in my early twenties and now it's the other way around. But it's fun having a close fun relationship like this with him, sharing investment ideas and so on.

As far as my last article, I totally see where you may have gotten the idea that I invest a bit like your friend at the blackjack table. The truth is I actually needed to work on myself to be more like him! Which is very strange, as it usually is the other way around.

By nature I'm very conservative! (oops I think I just lost a follower and gained an extra down vote on hive! lol) But by definition of the word conservative, it means to "conserve" what you already have; and that has always been my natural approach to investing and money management. A very risk adverse approach.

That being said, in my early investment days I was always early, and still am in regards to my timing. I would buy too early sit on a loss waiting for it to turn around, then once it did, I would sell too early instead of letting it run and really make out. I'd cut my earnings short while I spent too much time in the trade. A very conservative thing to do. I've got a profit! Sell! And there is nothing wrong with that. In this regard I was a very disciplined trader and frankly too risk adverse.

So, over the years I had to go against my gut and actually be more like your compulsive gambling friend to find a better or more successful balance for myself. Taking on more risk and letting it ride a bit longer while maintaining a disciplined approach has really been a net benefit for myself as a trader/investor.

Now this is probably one of the most unusual things, and it often goes the other way around. Your average trader loses money, dances on the train tracks picking up pennies waiting to get run over, while they are giddy and high as they watch their account go up. Then shit themselves and sell for a loss as they get caught in a correction or worse. All of this is emotional based compulsive gambler stuff, a sure fire way to be a net loser in the markets.

So in conclusion, like many things in life, balance is key. Hope this article has helped someone trying to figure out their own emotions when it comes to investing/trading, and when to hold'em and when to fold'em when playing these volatile and risky markets.... And a special thank you to @drutter for inspiring me to write such an article.


Photo Credit: Michał Parzuchowski,

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