Gambling

A lot of people consider the stock market as a gamble, pure gamble and totally random chance. It's interesting that most people who work for corporations that do any amount of retirement savings, guess where they have their 401Ks? You guessed it, in the stock market.

Granted, they are in the form of mutual funds or some type of fund that places their money to some degree in the stock market - futures, bonds, t-bills, currency, stocks, etc. So, if the stock market is a gamble, then why would you risk your whole retirement (401K, pension, etc.) on the stock market?

The stock market plays on people's fear and greed, right? Don't supermarkets, shops, stores do something similar? The stock market, another way I see it, is supply & demand. When there is too much supply, the price drops. When the demand is great, the price rises.

I know people who actually also buy things (or not) on the premise of fear and greed. For fear that you won't have enough, so instead of buying what you may need for a couple weeks or even a month, you buy enough to last you for 2 yrs. Or, because it was a great sale, though you only needed a couple, you ended up buying 2 dozen so you can save money, or perhaps use the extra money you saved for something else.

Now being a person that is pretty frugal about many things, I find people are often very wasteful and frivalous. Why does a teenager need a Verizon Droid? Do you really need to spend $200 on the phone plus an extra $30 for the data package on top of whatever it costs for unlimited texts and minutes? If fact, do most people REALLY need that amount of stuff in one phone?

As someone who has a fairly simple, inexpensive phone, I really don't see the point in all that. Yes, it does require that I plan ahead - use a little forethought. No, I cannot text and drive. I prefer to be not driving when I'm texting so I can pay attention to where I'm going and be a defensive, rather than unsafe, offensive driver.

Is someone having a fancy phone greedy? I know a lot of people who share similar beliefs/values who have really fancy phones, even if they cannot afford to do other things, they have a fancy phone. Is that greedy?

The Bible doesn't say it's wrong to have nice things. Afterall, some of the wealthiest people are mentioned in the Bible, like Solomon, King David, Boaz, Joseph, Abraham, Job to name a few people. Having riches and wealth is not sinful, rather, do those things possess you?

If any of us were to lose our day jobs, could you survive? If so, for how long? What would you do? Think out of the box. Change your paradigms. Even for me, trading/the stock market has been such a love of mine since I was a child, so for over 30 yrs, I've had my hand in the market. Sometimes it's worked. Other times it hasn't. Why? Ignorance, stupid mistakes, over confidence, lack of discipline.

Just like anything, if we have proper training and can execute properly with the right time, most anything can be successful. Trading for a living in the stock market is also very statistical, if you have the appropriate conditions.

In my case, if I follow my trading plan and strategies, 80% of my trades will be profitable with small to large profits. 20% of the time, they will be costing trades from small to medium costs. Those are excellent odds and far better than gambling in Vegas.

In Vegas, their model is tested and true. Though they may make 4-5% net, in the end, that rakes in billions of dollars each year. They play on people's greed. The lottery also plays on people's greed.

Even people I know who are in financially horrible conditions continue to buy lottery tickets in hopes they will win. Of course, if you don't play, you can't win. I wonder if over the years the money that is spent on lottery tickets went towards educating in a small business or a trade, would that have allowed for the generation over period of time some really decent money?

The money I spent to learn to trade wasn't done willy nilly. Yet, people insist to call it gambling.

I also went to school for a number of years in engineering to learn to be an engineer. That did not make me a successful engineer just because I had my degree, but, without the degree, most companies would not have given me a job as an engineer. The salary I started out in the early 90s was really sucky. It would actually put me at poverty level with a family of 3 in 2010.

Is it a gamble to remain employed with someone and have no other means to generate income? Afterall, why do employers keep a person? because of their degrees? seniority? their contributions? lack of seniority? likability? marketability? liability? For every company, management team, it's different. No one is indespensible. Even if you're a part of the management team that lays off or fires people, who knows if your head is on the chopping block in the near future.

I worked for a Fortune 100 company and frankly, I still don't get why they keep some people and let some other people go. One could surmise a whole bunch of things. I remember one time there was an all employee meeting. This one guy, a PhD, received numerous awards for his contributions to the company. At the next layoff, he was one of the people they laid off. It wasn't a whole department, rather (it appeared to me) it was people singly chosen from various departments to be let go.

Is it a gamble to think your job is secure? So what if you've worked for the company for 10 yrs, 20 yrs, 30 yrs. Yes, there are the blessed people who get to see their retirement as they planned after X number of years, but those are getting to be fewer and far between.

I'm sure the majority of people with Enron or WorldCom or Lehmann Brothers didn't envision what happened would happen. Greed? Yes, but the people who were entirely invested in those companies also probably did so blindly. Many of the bigger publically traded companies have funds for their own companies. How many people are TOO heavily divested in that single company that if things went awry, you're up sh**creek? Isn't that a gamble to not be aware?

The stock market, at least the regular equities markets do usually trade in fairly predicable patterns. That's why those of us who are technical analysists can predict with some amount of certain. However, we do know that at any given point in time, ANYTHING can happen and you need to be prepared for those things with every single trade.

This past week, as I took my kids to camp daily, there was a lot of driving. Thankfully, with the 3 of us in the car, I could take the HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lane. It was rather frightening to drive in that lane as the other lanes were crawling. Most of the time, I was either driving at the speed limit or under, yet, it was zipping past all those cars. Doing the best I can, my spidey senses were on high alert as I watched for cars that might want to dart out in front of me. Thankfully, only a couple cars did and there was plenty of time for me to slow down or they did it after I had passed.

Was I gambling? In a sense, "Yes". In a sense, "No". I was as aware as I could be, drove white-knuckled, and approached everything with caution without causing others to be unsafe and irritated with me. I used my "expertise" as a seasoned driver of more than quarter century, as well as prayed, asking for God's protection, as I proceeded forward in life.

My kids and I made it to our destinations repeatedly, safely. Thank you God for Your protection and guidance!!! I mean that in all sincerity. Maybe He had angels surround our car and kept other cars at bay? I don't know, but I do know that He kept us safe and made our journeys pleasant and uneventful.

So, in my interim of being off trading, I'm going to allow God to show me where there is still resistance in my life that doesn't please Him, or, if I've made trading an addiction or obsession, that during this period, that freedom from that bondage would be made. It may take me away from trading forever, or just temporarily. I don't know.

All I know is that if God is not in whatever I do and does not go before me, then I don't want to do it.
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