Online stock market gamblers: profile and social costs



Several studies have shown that the probability of making money on the stock market by buying and selling stocks within the same day (day trading), or over short periods of up to two weeks, is as much of a gamble as rolling the dice.

This practice, which is quite widespread among people who possess an online stock trading account, is therefore similar to a game of chance and can lead to the same compulsive gambling problems as conventional gambling activities. Moreover, it is easy to borrow money for the purpose of buying stocks, there is no investment limit, orders can be sent from wherever an internet connection internet is available, and stock market players generally project the image of someone who is educated and well-informed.

Individuals at risk for compulsive online trading are not necessarily at risk for conventional gambling problems.

This study analyzed the responses of one hundred (100) participants to a questionnaire on their online stock trading habits and developed a stock market problem gambling index (ICJE-Bourse) based on the Canadian Problem Gambling Index (CPGI).

We showed that traders with a high ICJE-Bourse score had a greater tendency to engage in very short-term trading, to trade speculative stocks such as low-value stocks or derivatives, to borrow to trade, to short sell, and to feel excitement at the idea of trading. However, we found that individuals at risk for compulsive online trading are not necessarily at risk for conventional gambling problems.

Main researcher

Philippe Grégoire, Université Laval

Summary

Research report

Call for proposals

Deposit of the research report: November 2015