Trading Stocks as a Hobby

patsnation1000

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Do you think med schools will think Im trying to become a doctor for money if I list trading stocks as a hobby as Ive been day trading since I was 18 and spend a lot of time with it? It helps me pay for my expenses as well. Will it look bad I did this instead of work a job?
 

DrStephennmnm

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Do you think med schools will think Im trying to become a doctor for money if I list trading stocks as a hobby as Ive been day trading since I was 18 and spend a lot of time with it? It helps me pay for my expenses as well. Will it look bad I did this instead of work a job?
A hobby is something your passionate about. It'll look really bad if you list making money in your free-time as your passion
 
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DrStephennmnm

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Hahaha . Only ppl who don’t actually know how to do it and how much work goes into it call it gambling . You realize that there are actually careers that are built on that ?
To be fair I'm pretty sure there's a lot of work that goes into gambling as well that's based in part by skill and not luck. People may also take gangling as a career just FYI
 

M&L

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To be fair I'm pretty sure there's a lot of work that goes into gambling as well that's based in part by skill and not luck. People may also take gangling as a career just FYI
Guys come on , as someone whose previous career was in finances , I take offense in that . Day trader is a JOB. Technical analysis is a skill . Obviously you don’t know anything about it - we are future/current doctors . It’s ok . But have enough respect to other professions please . Just because you don’t know about it and you don’t know how to do it doesn’t mean it’s not a thing .
 
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M&L

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Do you think med schools will think Im trying to become a doctor for money if I list trading stocks as a hobby as Ive been day trading since I was 18 and spend a lot of time with it? It helps me pay for my expenses as well. Will it look bad I did this instead of work a job?
I would explain though why you liked it - for example , you liked doing technical analysis because you liked seeing how technical indicators helped you visualize potential movements of prices , etc .
 

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If you are suggesting that your passion is trading individual stocks thinking that you can consistently outperform the market, that is risky for two reasons. First, it may suggest to some that making money is your primary passion, which could backfire. Second, it suggests that you think that you can outperform the market without inside information, which may strike some as arrogant/ignorant. Of course, if you are investing in broad-based funds and are seeking to conservatively grow your Investments over time, that is a different story. In the CV-19 era, I hope that you were sitting on the sidelines or selling short.
 
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HuskyMD85

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You need knowledge in how to invest in stocks, ETFs, bonds, etc for your retirement!!! Medical school, and almost all majors (other than business and finance) do not teach students what to do with the money they earn. Investing and saving for retirement is an important part of your career (this is from the perspective of a physician near retirement!)
 
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M&L

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You need knowledge in how to invest in stocks, ETFs, bonds, etc for your retirement!!! Medical school, and almost all majors (other than business and finance) do not teach students what to do with the money they earn. Investing and saving for retirement is an important part of your career (this is from the perspective of a physician near retirement!)
Exactly . Let’s all normalize financial literacy .
 
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DrStephennmnm

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Guys come on , as someone whose previous career was in finances , I take offense in that . Day trader is a JOB. Technical analysis is a skill . Obviously you don’t know anything about it - we are future/current doctors . It’s ok . But have enough respect to other professions please . Just because you don’t know about it and you don’t know how to do it doesn’t mean it’s not a thing .
What are you arguing at me for lol? You're the one putting gambling down, I didn't say anything to bring down day trading or finance. I was more or less pointing out the hypocrisy of your original post.
 
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Obnoxious Dad

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Guys come on , as someone whose previous career was in finances , I take offense in that . Day trader is a JOB. Technical analysis is a skill . Obviously you don’t know anything about it - we are future/current doctors . It’s ok . But have enough respect to other professions please . Just because you don’t know about it and you don’t know how to do it doesn’t mean it’s not a thing .
Have you heard of the efficient market theory? As a day trader, you'll make money in a rising market. You'll lose your behind in a declining market unless you are just lucky or are trading on inside information. The former geniuses at Merrill, Lynch and Lehman Brothers can tell you all about it.
 
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mathdad

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What about coding? I write open source libraries in various programming languages for analyzing equity and derivatives time series data. I also actively manage my own portfolio. I never considered listing either of these until I saw this post. To me it almost feels like asking if I should list that I pay my bills on time or take my daughter to daycare every morning. It just feels like such a regular part of my everyday life.
 

HumanAfterAll

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What about coding? I write open source libraries in various programming languages for analyzing equity and derivatives time series data. I also actively manage my own portfolio. I never considered listing either of these until I saw this post. To me it almost feels like asking if I should list that I pay my bills on time or take my daughter to daycare every morning. It just feels like such a regular part of my everyday life.
that sounds cool. list that
 
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Tenk

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Careful there's some people like @M&L who might take some serious offence to such a comparison
I mean day trading can be a profession. So can poker. The only way they are a profession though is when you win.

A lot.

Otherwise you’re just a loser and an addict. Just another double standard for our society.
 
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M&L

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I mean day trading can be a profession. So can poker. The only way they are a profession though is when you win.

A lot.

Otherwise you’re just a loser and an addict. Just another double standard for our society.
thank you for saying this. this clarification is more comfortable for me. My first career was in finance, and some of the comments here are so unprofessional it makes my blood boil.
 
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jambro

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Day trading is basically gambling and I’m not sure I’d put it down, unfortunately.

also, over a long enough period basically no one beats the market. This includes companies with quants with PhDs who analyze stuff as a full time job with virtually infinite resources. So after taxes especially, really check to see that you’re not losing money.

finance is a passion of mine but I invest in index funds because the statistics show that’s the surest way to make money in the market. I still didn’t put it down in my application though.
 
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jambro

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Have you heard of the efficient market theory? As a day trader, you'll make money in a rising market. You'll lose your behind in a declining market unless you are just lucky or are trading on inside information. The former geniuses at Merrill, Lynch and Lehman Brothers can tell you all about it.

There’s no guarantee you’ll make money in a rising market either though. When you trade it’s worse than a 0 sum game - it was either good for you or good for the person buying from you, and then you will pay taxes. This is always true. Nothing to say you’re not on the wrong side of the trade even with generally rising valuations
 

Ganon

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Apparently I’m a “super lucky gambler.” Learn something new every day!

To everyone reading this: physicians are notoriously bad with finances. This is one thing you should definitely invest some time into learning about!
 
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jambro

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To anyone who is actually concerned about finances: please don’t spend your time trading on the stock market thinking you know something that Wall Street doesn’t. Over a 30 year period less than 1% of hedge funds beat the market after their fees, and youre probably not better than them.

live below your means, invest in low cost index funds, and don’t sell when things get scary. You’ll do better than the vast majority of people, including those who spend hours day trading every week.
 
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Isoval

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I disagree that the money is a problem.

I think you should list it, but whether you place it in “hobby” or “employment” is up to you.

I think saying this looks bad because it “looks like you’re in it for the money” is akin to looking at an engineer and saying they didn’t go teach math instead because they’re in it for the money.

Come now. You’re allowed to make money. Frankly, assuming OP doesn’t see being a doctor as a cash cow, it should be very apparent that the primary motivation for becoming a doctor is not, in fact, money, in essays.

No matter who you are, money ranks somewhere in the decision list to become a doctor. It’s probably not very high, but it’s there. I wholly think anyone who says otherwise is lying or in denial. Would you still be a doctor if instead of 300k your job prospects were 50k (and your debt remains the same)? How about 25k? Everyone has a price, and it’s disingenuous in my opinion to act as if medicine is independent of money.
 
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jamaica jan sun princess

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All stocks are gambles.

Gamble or investment? If you randomly buy stocks willy-nilly, sure it's a gamble. If you research the industry and company before purchasing a small portion of it, that's an investment. Same with going to graduate school, picking job A over job B, etc. I probably have a different perspective than many here since my bachelor's degree is in finance though.
 
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Tenk

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Gamble or investment? If you randomly buy stocks willy-nilly, sure it's a gamble. If you research the industry and company before purchasing a small portion of it, that's an investment. Same with going to graduate school, picking job A over job B, etc. I probably have a different perspective than many here since my bachelor's degree is in finance though.
You are gambling that one day, week, month, year, decade, etc the stock you buy today will be worth more then than it is now.

Sure there are stock options like index funds that have less risk but no stock is no risk. This is why smart people diversify their investments. They know they are gambling and it’s better to gamble on multiple hands than put everything down on black.
 
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M&L

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I think we all need to just agree to disagree. Ppl like me and @jamaica jan sun princess , who have background in finance , think of it as a legitimate occupation , that involves a lot of technical and fundamental analysis , skills, and ability to evaluate risk effectively . While ppl from non- finance world think of it as gambling . I really hope that we all have enough respect for each other to stop this conversation, since it’s not going anywhere , and no longer serves the purpose to help OP.
I really hope That MODERATORS will SHUT it DOWN.
 
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LizzyM

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You are gambling that one day, week, month, year, decade, etc the stock you buy today will be worth more then than it is now.

Sure there are stock options like index funds that have less risk but no stock is no risk. This is why smart people diversify their investments. They know they are gambling and it’s better to gamble on multiple hands than put everything down on black.

I have to disagree, although I stand by my recommendation that this not be included in the AMCAS application. If I invest my money in a business, let's say someone I know is opening a factory or a restaurant, am I gambling or making an investment of capital in a business? I do hope that the business is successful and I want to be sure that there is a good business plan in place, I've done my due diligence before handing over the money for a share of the company. If you go in as a silent partner in your father-in-law's factory, are you gambling or investing?
 
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BeLikeH2O

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LOL. OP is a day trader and is not a cerfified financial manager. He buys and sells puts and calls through option trading. He doesn't buy stock and hold on to them as a day trader. He bets that a company price will go up or down using charts and market indicators. We get that. However, trading is not investing. The trading is intesne during earning season. OP, if you want to list this as your EC, part time job, ,hoby or what ever, it's up to you. But I would listin to LizzyM. If not, than place your bet!
 
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ReturnToMed

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I would avoid it. As someone who went from finance to med, people are gonna give you a rough time about it because they don't want people just in medicine for money. Regardless if it helped pay your bills, I would avoid it. Medicine is not a fan of finance, especially academics.
 
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Newyawk

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As is already apparent, “day trading” has extremely negative connotations. Money hunger aside, your future school may not be happy to hear that youve been staring at a computer screen between the hours of 9-4 every working day during college.
 
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Tenk

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I have to disagree, although I stand by my recommendation that this not be included in the AMCAS application. If I invest my money in a business, let's say someone I know is opening a factory or a restaurant, am I gambling or making an investment of capital in a business? I do hope that the business is successful and I want to be sure that there is a good business plan in place, I've done my due diligence before handing over the money for a share of the company. If you go in as a silent partner in your father-in-law's factory, are you gambling or investing?
To me it is still gambling. But now we're just arguing semantics.


There are plenty of other fallen unicorns although that one is the most famous in recent years. Just because you invest money in a business (even one that people are pouring millions of dollars into) does not mean you will make money. In fact, you might lose it all, just like a gambler in a casino.

I don't day trade. I do invest in the market pretty much entirely in index funds. I also REALLY enjoy blackjack. I get the same feelings looking at my stocks rise (and fall) as I do when I see when a dealer busts or they have a jack and an ace (because who the hell actually buys insurance?).

Now, that aside, this is all a bunch of semantics. I totally understand your point. There are key differences between investing in the stock market and playing blackjack. The most important one is that as long as you are in it for the long term the risk of investing in index funds approaches zero whereas the risk of gambling in a casino is set the same and posted right in front of you. The reward, however, will always be astronomically higher in a casino than the market and that's why people go there. But this thread wasn't about investing in index funds and waiting 30 years, it's about day trading.
 
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hamstergang

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Ppl like me and @jamaica jan sun princess , who have background in finance , think of it as a legitimate occupation , that involves a lot of technical and fundamental analysis , skills, and ability to evaluate risk effectively .
This can all be true and yet it still be gambling. To me, it sounds like the source of disagreement is that you're viewing gambling as just randomly making bets whereas the definition of gambling doesn't preclude a skill element.
 
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NITRAS

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I would explain though why you liked it - for example , you liked doing technical analysis because you liked seeing how technical indicators helped you visualize potential movements of prices , etc .

I’d be careful. The vast majority of day traders lose money. The ones that make money, usually don’t beat the market.

Why would you do a job that only a small percentage are successful?

Financial literacy is important, but day trading is not usually a tool for success. The majority are in it for a “get rich quick” scheme.
 

<L>

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As is already apparent, “day trading” has extremely negative connotations. Money hunger aside, your future school may not be happy to hear that youve been staring at a computer screen between the hours of 9-4 every working day during college.

on the other hand, it's good preparation for the realities of modern clinical practice.
 
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<L>

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Sorry, nothing else to contribute, just felt the need to post this.

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LizzyM

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I read this as “trading stocks as a baby”
My dad put my name on a raffle ticket when I was a baby. (That was gambling. ) I won. He bought stock with the money and put it in my name. That was not gambling. I held it for >50 years and it paid a nice quarterly dividend. Of course, that is the opposite of day trading.
 
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