What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

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khram
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by khram »

MrCheapo wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 8:41 pm
ebaron wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:53 am I have always had an interest in financial gambling (i.e. gambling using the financial markets, instead of casinos or racetracks). I day trade futures, holding positions for at most 20 seconds. I treat it as exciting entertainment. Is there a general guideline on the maximum percentage of my disposable income I should spend on such entertainment? Gambling is addictive, so I'm planning to set an nonnegotiable fixed percentage limit.
I'm going to go against the mainstream bogleheads here and say "it depends on the opportunity". For example last year the black-swan events of COVID and Oil price going negative created amazing opportunities. I bought Disney at $80 (now over $180), Starbucks at $40 (now above $100) and so on. I bought over 150 stocks like that to spread the risk around.

Yes, they were gambles, but to me the odds were very much in my favor. Would I buy any individual stocks now? Not really, they are all very over-priced.

So I say gamble away when a black swan even happens.
And how long did you hold it for? There's a difference between taking a gamble and maybe losing some money and gambling away your money for entertainment. You could still make money, but this is definitely GA territory.
babystep
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by babystep »

Zero. You asked. :D
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by nisiprius »

(dupe)
Last edited by nisiprius on Sun May 02, 2021 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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typical.investor
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by typical.investor »

ebaron wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 8:03 am
Doctor Rhythm wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:06 pm You may already know this, but just as a reality check to a new forum member: your post brands you as a real outlier, not just on this site but in general. Plenty of people come here with get rich quick ideas, speculation plans, or a false sense of their financial savvy. They are often motivated by greed or fear, but not by the surge of dopamine in the reward center of their brain. Yours is the first post I’ve seen that raises a red flag about addiction or compulsive behavior. Not saying you are or will become an addict, but your post made me and others suspect it. Please seriously consider the advice to stop trading for excitement or seek professional (medical, not financial) advice.
What if my gambling has been very profitable? Surely, that is not a problem since I am not losing any money from my gambling habit.
Nice. Can't argue with profit.
ebaron wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 8:03 am We are living in exciting times, with a record number of people trying out financial gambling especially in the stock market.
Sure, but understand what gambling is. At some point you will get the dopamine reward for not just winning your gamble, but just being close. Perhaps a stock you thought about buying jumped and you will get a rush even though though you picked one that didn't.

So maybe you are winning now, or maybe you are not being honest about actual performance, but in any case, the real problem is when the thrill of playing is sufficient and you will keep playing even if you aren't getting the good returns. Then it's just an expense buying a thrill.

So the maximum amount is how much your budget allocates for entertainment reduced of course by what your other forms of entertainment cost.
Last edited by typical.investor on Sun May 02, 2021 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Exchme
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by Exchme »

No one has really commented on the point that the OP holds his positions for "at most 20 seconds" and does it "for excitement". That ain't investing, or even speculating, it's just casino gambling and the continued dopamine hits are highly addictive. So I'm with the crowd that says "zero" and stop immediately before full blown addiction happens.
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by Northern Flicker »

ebaron wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:53 am I have always had an interest in financial gambling (i.e. gambling using the financial markets, instead of casinos or racetracks). I day trade futures, holding positions for at most 20 seconds. I treat it as exciting entertainment. Is there a general guideline on the maximum percentage of my disposable income I should spend on such entertainment? Gambling is addictive, so I'm planning to set an nonnegotiable fixed percentage limit.
Zero.
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by barnaclebob »

5% of your portfolio underperforming by 20% is the same as letting Edward Jones manage 100% of it.
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by leeks »

Exchme wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 10:00 pm No one has really commented on the point that the OP holds his positions for "at most 20 seconds" and does it "for excitement". That ain't investing, or even speculating, it's just casino gambling and the continued dopamine hits are highly addictive. So I'm with the crowd that says "zero" and stop immediately before full blown addiction happens.
+1
This is really different than the contingent of Bogleheads who use a small portion of their portfolio for individual stock picks (that they typically buy and hold).
finite_difference
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by finite_difference »

5%, and, if you lose it, 5% of new contributions.

Don’t rebalance into your financial gambling slice. Otherwise all your funds will go to zero.
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by Marseille07 »

ebaron wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:53 am I have always had an interest in financial gambling (i.e. gambling using the financial markets, instead of casinos or racetracks). I day trade futures, holding positions for at most 20 seconds. I treat it as exciting entertainment. Is there a general guideline on the maximum percentage of my disposable income I should spend on such entertainment? Gambling is addictive, so I'm planning to set an nonnegotiable fixed percentage limit.
Here's what Mr. Bogle said:
Life is short. If you want to enjoy the fun, enjoy! But not with all of your hard-earned resources. Specifically, not with one penny more than 5% of your investment assets. At most! Have the fun of gambling, but not with your rent money - and certainly not with your retirement assets nor with your funds for your college education.
My percentage isn't 5% but I follow the same idea. No rebalancing in/out of funny money.
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by bwalling »

ebaron wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:53 am Gambling is addictive
If this is true for you, you shouldn't engage with it at all.
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by 260chrisb »

ebaron wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:53 am I have always had an interest in financial gambling (i.e. gambling using the financial markets, instead of casinos or racetracks). I day trade futures, holding positions for at most 20 seconds. I treat it as exciting entertainment. Is there a general guideline on the maximum percentage of my disposable income I should spend on such entertainment? Gambling is addictive, so I'm planning to set an nonnegotiable fixed percentage limit.
This is entertaining to say the least! Exactly who are you setting this nonnegotiable fixed percentage with? :confused Hmmmm......
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by dziuniek »

There's levels to gambling with your fun money.

What %? That depends on risk for me.

I feel more comforatable throwing 5-10% of my portfolio into 3X leveraged ETFs than 1% of my money into scratch-offs.
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by Somethingwitty92912 »

ebaron wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:53 am I have always had an interest in financial gambling (i.e. gambling using the financial markets, instead of casinos or racetracks). I day trade futures, holding positions for at most 20 seconds. I treat it as exciting entertainment. Is there a general guideline on the maximum percentage of my disposable income I should spend on such entertainment? Gambling is addictive, so I'm planning to set an nonnegotiable fixed percentage limit.
I’d like to take the hard fast approach and say zero. Now hear me out.

Well disciplined behavior is a common trait among bogleheads. Most of them would say no more than 3-10% of your portfolio in this sort of endeavor. I’d say zero for the following reasons.

Studies show losses hurt 3x worse than an equivalent gain.

There’s better things you could be doing with your time, healthier things.

Loss eversion

Addiction

Let’s say you are more lucky than you are good, but don’t know any better. This could lead to a catastrophic loss down the road.

5 or 10% of a 10k portfolio is like okay whatever, of a million dollar portfolio it’s like ouch. So, as your wealth accumulation moves forward so can the compounded pain of loss.

Go learn to paint, go do wood working, go program a game, go workout, go love your family. Money is infinite life is temporary.
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by London »

Ok, I’ll be the contrarian.

This money can be viewed as entertainment money. Whether you like travel, Broadway shows/ Comic-con, or whatever; everyone spends money on entertainment. Folks here act like some pursuits are more worthy than others but it’s really all the same. We’re all trying to entertain ourselves in life. If OP likes day trading as entertainment, go for it.

I would personally separate this from my financial strategy used for the future. Only OP will know what he/she can afford. Stay within that boundary and it’s like any other expense. If OP happens to make money, great. If not, at least they were entertained.
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by MrCheapo »

I still own them. But it was a gamble because if the science (vaccine) had not come through or the technology (zoom) had failed some of these stocks could have gone bankrupt.
khram wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 8:49 pm
MrCheapo wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 8:41 pm
ebaron wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:53 am I have always had an interest in financial gambling (i.e. gambling using the financial markets, instead of casinos or racetracks). I day trade futures, holding positions for at most 20 seconds. I treat it as exciting entertainment. Is there a general guideline on the maximum percentage of my disposable income I should spend on such entertainment? Gambling is addictive, so I'm planning to set an nonnegotiable fixed percentage limit.
I'm going to go against the mainstream bogleheads here and say "it depends on the opportunity". For example last year the black-swan events of COVID and Oil price going negative created amazing opportunities. I bought Disney at $80 (now over $180), Starbucks at $40 (now above $100) and so on. I bought over 150 stocks like that to spread the risk around.

Yes, they were gambles, but to me the odds were very much in my favor. Would I buy any individual stocks now? Not really, they are all very over-priced.

So I say gamble away when a black swan even happens.
And how long did you hold it for? There's a difference between taking a gamble and maybe losing some money and gambling away your money for entertainment. You could still make money, but this is definitely GA territory.
MrCheapo
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To those saying zero amount ...

Post by MrCheapo »

To all of those of you saying zero, what about black swan events?

I agree that the it should be zero but every 5 or 10 years a black swan event occurs.

In 2001 it was the tech crash (QQQ traded at $20, now $360).
In 2008 it was the sub-prime melt down (price of investment properties were cut in half in CA)
In 2020 it was COVID and $0 priced oil.

So I'm not talking about every year or even every decade events, but I'd be hesitant to say $0. But clearly these event created unique opportunities.

In fact my wife and I did an experiment. In March last year when the stock market collapse due to COVID she invested in 3 Vanguard funds (SP 500, Small Cap and Mid Cap) I chose depressed sectors to invest in (Oil, hotels, banks etc.) She's up 60% as of now. I'm up 120%.
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by Teague »

I'd look at it a bit more broadly and ask the acceptable combined amount of gambling and recreational drugs. Let's limit that to legal ones including alcohol, since discussion of anything illegal is prohibited in this forum.

You're really buying the same thing - little hits, or releases, of dopamine and other neurotransmitters in your brain - so the two expenses are fungible in a way.
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khram
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Re: To those saying zero amount ...

Post by khram »

MrCheapo wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 10:28 am To all of those of you saying zero, what about black swan events?

I agree that the it should be zero but every 5 or 10 years a black swan event occurs.

In 2001 it was the tech crash (QQQ traded at $20, now $360).
In 2008 it was the sub-prime melt down (price of investment properties were cut in half in CA)
In 2020 it was COVID and $0 priced oil.

So I'm not talking about every year or even every decade events, but I'd be hesitant to say $0. But clearly these event created unique opportunities.

In fact my wife and I did an experiment. In March last year when the stock market collapse due to COVID she invested in 3 Vanguard funds (SP 500, Small Cap and Mid Cap) I chose depressed sectors to invest in (Oil, hotels, banks etc.) She's up 60% as of now. I'm up 120%.
What you're describing is respectable, even if still risky. This sounds completely different from the OP, which states:
I day trade futures, holding positions for at most 20 seconds. I treat it as exciting entertainment.
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Re: To those saying zero amount ...

Post by MrCheapo »

khram wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 3:21 pm
MrCheapo wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 10:28 am To all of those of you saying zero, what about black swan events?

I agree that the it should be zero but every 5 or 10 years a black swan event occurs.

In 2001 it was the tech crash (QQQ traded at $20, now $360).
In 2008 it was the sub-prime melt down (price of investment properties were cut in half in CA)
In 2020 it was COVID and $0 priced oil.

So I'm not talking about every year or even every decade events, but I'd be hesitant to say $0. But clearly these event created unique opportunities.

In fact my wife and I did an experiment. In March last year when the stock market collapse due to COVID she invested in 3 Vanguard funds (SP 500, Small Cap and Mid Cap) I chose depressed sectors to invest in (Oil, hotels, banks etc.) She's up 60% as of now. I'm up 120%.
What you're describing is respectable, even if still risky. This sounds completely different from the OP, which states:
I day trade futures, holding positions for at most 20 seconds. I treat it as exciting entertainment.
Not really. It was a gamble that I could have lost a lot. History will write that the vaccine discovery, success and rollout were incredibly fortuitous. It could easily have gone the other way, particularly if mutations had started earlier.
chris319
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by chris319 »

Limit your funny-money allocation to a specific dollar amount rather than a percentage of your portfolio.

If it's a percentage of your portfolio, as your portfolio grows so will your funny-money allocation. If it gets to be a substantial amount and you lose it, you'll be crying.

Keep it at, oh, I dunno, $500 per month? You can have plenty of gambling thrills and chills on that.

What do you plan to do with the gambling profits, if any?
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by SmileyFace »

ebaron wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 8:03 am
Doctor Rhythm wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:06 pm You may already know this, but just as a reality check to a new forum member: your post brands you as a real outlier, not just on this site but in general. Plenty of people come here with get rich quick ideas, speculation plans, or a false sense of their financial savvy. They are often motivated by greed or fear, but not by the surge of dopamine in the reward center of their brain. Yours is the first post I’ve seen that raises a red flag about addiction or compulsive behavior. Not saying you are or will become an addict, but your post made me and others suspect it. Please seriously consider the advice to stop trading for excitement or seek professional (medical, not financial) advice.
What if my gambling has been very profitable? Surely, that is not a problem since I am not losing any money from my gambling habit. We are living in exciting times, with a record number of people trying out financial gambling especially in the stock market.
How about an update.
What was your decision back in October when you started this thread on your limit? How much have you won or lost since October?
(Many are responding to last years question no realizing time has passed).
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by slyfox1357 »

London wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 8:14 am Ok, I’ll be the contrarian.

This money can be viewed as entertainment money. Whether you like travel, Broadway shows/ Comic-con, or whatever; everyone spends money on entertainment. Folks here act like some pursuits are more worthy than others but it’s really all the same. We’re all trying to entertain ourselves in life. If OP likes day trading as entertainment, go for it.

I would personally separate this from my financial strategy used for the future. Only OP will know what he/she can afford. Stay within that boundary and it’s like any other expense. If OP happens to make money, great. If not, at least they were entertained.
+1

and this 1000% - "everyone spends money on entertainment. Folks here act like some pursuits are more worthy than others but it’s really all the same".
A 10k vacation and a 10k losing gambling jaunt yield the same results -> an entertainment factor (subjective - but to each his own) and a 10k funds drawdown.
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by Thesaints »

There are two types of gambles: those made for the pure enjoyment of the gambling process (think blackjack table in Vegas), but that can't possibly provide you with a meaningful profit. And those where the enjoyment is secondary, but that offer the potential of meaningful profit.

The answer to the OP question depends on which type of gambling he has in mind. If it is the first type, the answer is "Any amount you don't mind losing". If it is the second type, the answer becomes "Any amount that, if you lost it, would leave you with an acceptable capital".
khram
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by khram »

slyfox1357 wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 4:27 pm
London wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 8:14 am Ok, I’ll be the contrarian.

This money can be viewed as entertainment money. Whether you like travel, Broadway shows/ Comic-con, or whatever; everyone spends money on entertainment. Folks here act like some pursuits are more worthy than others but it’s really all the same. We’re all trying to entertain ourselves in life. If OP likes day trading as entertainment, go for it.

I would personally separate this from my financial strategy used for the future. Only OP will know what he/she can afford. Stay within that boundary and it’s like any other expense. If OP happens to make money, great. If not, at least they were entertained.
+1

and this 1000% - "everyone spends money on entertainment. Folks here act like some pursuits are more worthy than others but it’s really all the same".
A 10k vacation and a 10k losing gambling jaunt yield the same results -> an entertainment factor (subjective - but to each his own) and a 10k funds drawdown.
Except gambling addiction is very serious, and destroys lives. There are some people who are addicted to travel too, and will make stupid financial decisions to do so, but I don't think it destroys lives as quickly (or at least, it's easier to do without leaving your home). Gambling with $1000 may be okay. But if you're one of those with no self-control, it can become gambling everything you have. It's safer not to go near that bridge.
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by HootingSloth »

I have a friend with an addictive personality who started trading on Robinhood. He told me that it was a great entertainment value, win or lose, so what was the harm. He recently showed me that he put 90% of his portfolio into dogecoin.
khram
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by khram »

not sure if serious

check out https://www.reddit.com/r/problemgambling/ for many stories

what could go wrong with dogecoin? when it hits $2-3, the handful who bought in early will sell their millions off, and everyone who invested their hundreds and thousands will be left with pennies.

also some risk that robinhood restricts dogecoin trading if it goes high enough

and playing around with fun money sounds different than what the OP said.
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by runninginvestor »

If you are married, ask your spouse how much you can lose before they get angry. Then don't do more than that.
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by HootingSloth »

khram wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 8:08 pm not sure if serious

check out https://www.reddit.com/r/problemgambling/ for many stories

what could go wrong with dogecoin? when it hits $2-3, the handful who bought in early will sell their millions off, and everyone who invested their hundreds and thousands will be left with pennies.

also some risk that robinhood restricts dogecoin trading if it goes high enough

and playing around with fun money sounds different than what the OP said.
Sorry if I wasn't clear. My point was that my friend started out in a place where he was just "investing" "fun money." In not too long a time, he had instead put almost his entire net worth into something that is very likely to go horribly wrong. It is not a path that I would recommend anyone walking down when they say they find it "addictive" as the OP has said.
khram
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by khram »

HootingSloth wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 9:21 pm
khram wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 8:08 pm not sure if serious

check out https://www.reddit.com/r/problemgambling/ for many stories

what could go wrong with dogecoin? when it hits $2-3, the handful who bought in early will sell their millions off, and everyone who invested their hundreds and thousands will be left with pennies.

also some risk that robinhood restricts dogecoin trading if it goes high enough

and playing around with fun money sounds different than what the OP said.
Sorry if I wasn't clear. My point was that my friend started out in a place where he was just "investing" "fun money." In not too long a time, he had instead put almost his entire net worth into something that is very likely to go horribly wrong. It is not a path that I would recommend anyone walking down when they say they find it "addictive" as the OP has said.
Ah, my mistake. I think we were agreeing then. :)
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by bltn »

Watty wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 11:14 am One thing to realize is that one of the worst things that can happen is that you get lucky and do well when you "play" with a small amount and win big.

The problem is that you are then likely to bet much bigger amounts until you lose big.

This happened a lot to people during the Dot Com bubble and people even did things like take out home loans just to invest the money.
This is an excellent point. The worst thing that can happen to a gambler is a big win. This event reinforces the gambling behavior, and the gambler persists until there is a big loss, or more.

The term financial does not make financial gambling any wiser than that done in a casino. Gambling is entertainment and money spent on entertainment is spent.
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Re: What is the maximum amount I should spend on financial gambling?

Post by Sandtrap »

ebaron wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:53 am I have always had an interest in financial gambling (i.e. gambling using the financial markets, instead of casinos or racetracks). I day trade futures, holding positions for at most 20 seconds. I treat it as exciting entertainment. Is there a general guideline on the maximum percentage of my disposable income I should spend on such entertainment? Gambling is addictive, so I'm planning to set an nonnegotiable fixed percentage limit.
It might be worthwhile exploring one's self and the root of various addictive behaviors that most all of us have.

There's a tendency amongst some with high intelligence, and reasoning, and education, etc, etc, to be able to parse and justify things so well as to make it plausible and acceptible, if not positively beneficial, to self and others.

*dislaimer: Of course these things have exceptions and opinions vary widely based one one's "self", background, ethos, etc, etc, etc.

Proceed carefully and in moderation after much deliberation.
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