The news has been filled lately with stories about the rogue group that caused chaos on Wall Street with its buying frenzy of stock in companies like GameStop or AMC Theatres, which had been losing value.
These stocks saw their value briefly super-inflated, causing some traditional Wall Street firms to lose money while producing a windfall for day traders.
Day trading, as opposed to long-term investment strategies, is designed to provide a short-term payoff. One group that has been following the story closely is the state’s gambling addiction treatment provider, 1800GAMBLER. There are concerns some may see this as “easy money” and get into debt trying to make a quick profit.
Jennifer Davis-Walton, director of West Virginia’s 1800GAMBLER program, said her helpline has had an increase in calls lately from people who believe they have become addicted to day trading.
“Callers tell us once they have an initial loss, they borrow money to trade more to make up for it, and it becomes a vicious cycle,” she said. “Many are using apps that give them constant push notifications urging them to spend more, and finding it hard to disengage.”
While day trading may not produce problems or lead to addiction, Davis-Walton said it’s important to pay attention to signs you may have a problem, and reach out for help if you do. Signs your trading may be problematic include:
- Lying to friends or family about your trading, or how much you’ve spent
- Borrowing money, or using money you need for other purposes, to continue trading
- Spending an inordinate amount of time trading, or thinking about trading
- Vowing to quit trading or trade less, but continuing anyway
- Finding your family is upset about the amount of time or money you spend trading
Davis-Walton urges anyone who wants to stop or decrease their trading or gambling to call 800-GAMBLER, where they can get immediate assistance.
Callers to 800-GAMBLER speak with a helpline counselor based in Charleston, and they are referred to one of the network’s more than 60 specially trained gambling addiction counselors. They receive a free two-hour consultation.
Funds are available for those who do not have insurance to pay for additional treatment.
More information is available by calling 1-800-GAMBLER or visiting www.1800gambler.net.