It’s not surprising to hear that stressful jobs can lead to dependencies. High pressure situations can drive people towards “coping mechanisms,” which can often be drugs or alcohol. That, of course, is not the healthy solution, but it is a common one, to say the least. One field that is especially known for its tense ups and downs is finance. Stock market advisors often experience high highs and low lows, just as they may when they use. And now, one prominent former trader is speaking out about the trend.
Matthew Jay used to manage hundreds of thousands of Wall Street dollars on a daily basis and that lifestyle led him down a dark, destructive path. He has shared his dependency journey on YouTube and surprisingly became a viral sensation for his honest portrayal of addictions within finance. So much so, that he was featured in a lengthy interview for NPR.
Noted NPR host Jim Zarroli conducted the conversation, which shed light on how prominent addictions are among day traders. Jay (who went by a fictitious name for the broadcast) admitted to abusing substances, but also warned how day trading can tap in to gambling compulsions.
“I began to really like risk,” Jay explained. “I like to just know I have opportunity that’s potentially there. So even, like, losing is, like, still like a high. Winning’s a high. There is always that craving for stimulation when you play with stocks.”
Zarroli brought up how many trading apps now lead everyday people to experience these same roller coaster emotions. Accessibility to quick buys and sells within the market can certainly set off endorphins and lead to behavior like drinking. The Robinhood site was called out specifically, for the ease it offers when it comes to making trades.
“Apps such as Robinhood certainly encourage people to do risky trading,” host Zarroli explained. “And he says these days Matthew’s hearing from more and more day traders who got in over their heads. In many ways, these day trading apps have that same hypnotic effect that people report when they sit in front of a slot machine.”
As you might expect, Jay took a financial tumble because of the addictive temptations. Thankfully, through support, he’s been able to leave Wall Street behind and is now part of the real estate industry. He did finish the interview, though, with a word of warning for people eager to jump into the market for fast money.
“Yes there may be people who can make money day trading,” he concluded. “But the reality, he says, is that most people are going to lose.”