Stock Trading And Video Games

One of the natural transitions for a video game fan as a teenager is to morph into a stock trader.  Traditionally stock trading, rather than investing, has a time frame in the days-to-weeks range rather than months-to-years perspective.

Video gamers, however, may find that they have a more "natural fit" if they focus on shorter-term trading such as daytrading or swing trading (1 to 4 day trades).  The reasons include several factors:

  • Natural fit occurs when people take what they have enjoyed and extrapolate those lessons learned in their careers.  Video gamers have a very short-term perspective, even if they are playing games which are part of a larger multi-day framework.  An example is focusing on game-by-game for skills in a sports video game, yet understanding that each game is part of an online season
  • Physical speed is an advantage in micro-time frame trading.  Many software packages for stock trading permit some degree of competitive edges if one is quick on the keyboard
  • Fast decision making skills in the "macro" sense for short-term trading also are rewarded by the software companies.   Making on-the-fly adjustments to one's intraday portfolio (money management, risk parameters, position sizing, exit strategies when profitable and initial stop loss parameters) get rewarded and can help the trader "win" if he/she is quick with the decision making
  • Many of the advantages that a video game player has can be deemed competitive edges over older, non-gamer market participants.  By recognizing hidden treasures, much like an "Easter Egg" in a video, the journey toward "victory" is much more natural for a gamer

Being a video gamer, of course, is no guarantee of success in the financial markets.  It is simply an indicator that you may find a more natural starting point due to similarities between short-term trading and video gaming.  Longer-term investing's mindset and approach often is at conflict with that of a successful video gamer, especially in younger equities market participants.

Thanks to David W. Schamens for some suggestions and his thoughts.