I was contacted recently by a person who wishes to remain anonymous and whom I will call Louise* for the purposes of this text.

Louise explains that her husband is a successful businessman who retired several years ago after making his fortune.

“Since then, he has decided to take care of his investment portfolio himself,” she says. He found that those who managed his investments were not aggressive enough. »

Her husband’s way of being “aggressive” is to day trade.

Day trading is the buying and selling of stocks or currencies in the same day with the aim of making a quick profit. It’s not investing, it’s speculation.

I advise everyone against day trading, or even trading at all.

According to a study by researchers at UC Berkeley, “the vast majority of day traders lose money and a large number persist despite a long streak of losses.”

And so, every day, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Louise’s spouse locks himself in his office and tries to earn money.

“He doesn’t play golf anymore,” she said. If we have to go to the doctor, the dentist, to the restaurant or on a family visit, he obliges himself to bring his computer to follow the stock market price. We had a lot of discussions about it…”

Her spouse is still convinced that he has found THE way to have spectacular gains.

“He keeps telling me, ‘I’m done, I’ve found… Soon, I’ll only spend an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening…’ I’ve been hearing that for at least five years. »

Since he started on this path, his spouse estimates that he has lost more than 70% of his money. “That’s a few million he can’t afford to lose anymore,” Louise said. I’m starting to think he’d better play at the casino. »

Louise wonders how to help her spouse before all her savings are used up.

Sylvia Kairouz, a professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University and an expert in compulsive gambling, reports that 2% of adults in Quebec bet online and about 1 in 10 bettors day trade.

This would mean that almost 140,000 people are betting online and almost 14,000 people are day trading in the province.

While gambling can affect everyone, people with higher incomes can usually play longer before realizing they have a problem, she says.

“The person who makes $1500 a month, if they lose $500, they’re going to hit rock bottom pretty quickly. But the person who makes $10,000 a month, if they lose $500, it’s not going to affect them. At least not in the short term. »

“The logic is, ‘I missed my shot this time, but I know I’ll make it next time.’ The player falls into the logic of redoing himself, of winning a large amount to absorb all his losses. He is no longer able to get out of this spiral that pulls him down. »

What are some ways to help someone addicted to day trading?

The most important thing is to maintain communication with the player and avoid taking strong or accusatory positions, even if our instincts tell us to do so, says Sylvia Kairouz.

“The player doesn’t need that. And he can always reject arguments, make his point, etc. Ultimately, it sends him back to his solitude, to his logic that doesn’t work. »

A better approach is to put the person in front of the facts. “We can show him the amounts of money lost. Try to have a discussion, but without judgment. »

She also recommends that players or loved ones call the Gambling Helpline and Referral and speak to a professional who can provide long-term follow-up.

“It’s a great resource. They will help people and give them tools. Because it is quite possible to get out of it. »

I asked you last week who are the people you admire.

“I am Leonardo da Vinci, writes Jacques, for this sentence: “Simplicity is the supreme sophistication.” »

Sylvie writes: “I greatly admire Ms. Cora Tsouflidou for her tenacity, the hardships she had to overcome successfully, her generosity, her business sense, her boundless energy. She’s an amazing businesswoman! »

Readers also said they admired Jacques Brel, Baruch Spinoza, Winston Churchill, Jane Goodall, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein and… Christian Dubé, the Minister of Health. Well hello.

The Gambling Help and Referral line can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 514 527-0140 in Montreal, 1 800 461-0140 anywhere in Quebec, or by anonymous chat on the line’s website.