Chat with trader 05-10-2022 00:02 64 Views

Does Day Trading Add Value to Society?

Let’s be real here, Day Trading can be exciting and fulfilling, but does it add value to society?

I have been day trading for more than 7 years. When I started in this business there were only 5 Fast and Furious movies and Bitcoin was at $13. 

2020 and 2021 were two very interesting years for traders in the stock market. We had more and more people drawn to the market after losing their jobs or because they were part of the “Great Resignation,” when they decided to quit their corporate jobs and fly solo to explore what they can do for themselves without the iron grasp of big corporations. 

Never before have elements such as passion, fulfillment or contribution to society been such important considerations for evaluating career choices. Never have I gotten so many emails or comments about, “Is day trading fulfilling, and does it add any value to society?”

For me, as a former traditional 9-to-7 job escapee who jumped ship to start a full time career as a day trader, this was definitely an interesting question that really got me thinking over the last couple of months.

In this article, I want to have a critical discussion about day trading with you guys. Let’s evaluate everything, comparing my former 9-to-7 career vs. day trading. I will be grading them based on three main questions. Which is fulfilling, financially or spiritually, and most importantly which path adds more value to society?

Let me tell you, not every job is getting straight A’s in this test, what a shame. 

By the end of this article, you will be able to decide whether this journey of day trading is worth it for you to get into.

Personal Background

So a little bit of background about me. Before getting into a full-time day trading career, I definitely had a whole range of different jobs and career experiences. I have been a part-time dishwasher at Tim Hortons, I’ve worked in mall food courts, and I’ve sold movie tickets at AMC Theaters…

Okay, just kidding. I wasn’t that cool. We only have Cineplex in Canada, so besides part-time retail jobs, I’ve also worked full-time as a graphic designer and VFX artist.

After going through all of these broad spectrum of positions and definitely a very different pay scale, I would say there are three pillars that you should take into consideration when evaluating your job, and whether a career is worth it for you to enter or keep. This definitely applies to day trading.

These three pillars are, financial compensation, self-fulfillment and value added to society. 

Three Pillars of Worthiness

Financial Compensation

Let’s talk about the first pillar, financial compensation.

Needless to say, this is definitely THE FIRST THING everyone thinks about when they are introduced to day trading activities. It's the number one reason why people are drawn to the stock market in the first place, and it's why people even want to learn about trading. They want to make money and expand their income potential.

I would argue this is likely an important pillar for evaluating any career outside of day trading as well, especially for a fresh college graduate, who is drowning in student loan debt. Yes, I'm describing myself when I was 21. 

Former Career

In terms of evaluating my former career based on the first pillar of financial compensation, my former career started out low but gradually became better over time as I gained more experience and networked in the field.

However, it just was not stable, and there is definitely a ceiling on the earning potential. Out of a scale of 1-10 for financial compensation. I would give my former job in VFX a 6 out of 10. 

Around the same time I started working in VFX, I started learning to day trade, and it was my part-time hustle starting in my early twenties. I was drawn to the exponential growth that’s possible.

I was young, and I figured I only had so little to lose financially, but what I had was time. I had the time, especially in between my VFX contract jobs to really learn to trade. I would just be paper trading or trading with a very small account of risk such as $10 or $50.

Current Career

Fast forward many years later, and all the hard work has paid off. Because of trading, along with all my savings from my job, and living frugally, I was able to quit my 9-to-7 job, pay off all of my student loan debt and purchase my first home in 2016. 

Learning to day trade has helped me reach financial independence. I no longer need to worry about whether a film production decides to extend my contract, or whether my boss would grant me a $2,000 raise. 

When you are day trading full time, your earning potential is no longer capped by the amount of hours you work, but by whether you have the skills to capitalize on market opportunities. For that reason, for the financial compensation pillar, I will give day trading a 10 out of 10.

In my opinion, just evaluating based on this first pillar, day trading definitely trumps my former 9-to-7 job. 

Value Added to Society

Now, let's move on to evaluating the next pillar of career satisfaction: Value added to society. Let’s start off with day trading this time. Does trading add any value to society? 

I have a feeling my opinion may lead to some heated debates. Let’s be real; there is a zero percent chance that day trading adds any value to society. Let's be honest here. The act of buying and selling securities assets within minutes, hours, or sometimes even days or weeks does not lead to any productivity and does not truly provide any substantial capital for company growth. 

You could probably argue that trading helps with price discovery, but the funds are in and out of various securities, basically just riding price fluctuations. As traders, swing traders or day traders, we treat these stocks as vehicles, not truly as investments for value growth long term that could help stimulate the economy.

Yes, it is true that Wall Street, the big hedge funds, have been doing this for decades. With the rise of popularity in retail trading during the pandemic, it was the first time we were seeing some meaningful discussions debating whether retail trading is just as “evil” as the big hedge funds. 

I think it's important to make a distinction here between retail and hedge funds. It was only in 2020 and 2021 that we saw retail investors and traders finally have the comparable buying power to move stock prices. As seen in big short squeezes like GME(Gamestop) and AMC (AMC). 

As I’ve seen the growth of my Youtube channel starting in 2020, there’s no doubt that there are more and more retail investors and traders pouring into the market. It's the first time I've seen so many comments calling traders bottom feeders who do not contribute anything to society.

Take a moment to think about this, was adding value to society really the goal of this whole retail movement, or was it simply to even the playing field, so you and I, retail traders and investors can finally get a substantial piece of the pie of the first pillar, financial compensation? 

What are the same people who called retail traders bottom feeders doing, watching a trading video about AMC and GME? Are they not trying to make more money themselves? Everyone wants their meme stocks to go to the moon and make more money, right? Is it so these companies can add more value to society? Or so the retail investors or traders can make more money?  

I don’t have perfect answers to any of these questions, but on a scale of 1-10 when evaluating the true value added to society, I’ll give day trading a 0, and my former career in VFX an 8. 

Personal Fulfillment

The third pillar we’re evaluating is personal fulfillment.

I’d like to acknowledge that, being concerned if your current career is fulfilling or adds any value to society is extremely privileged. I certainly recognize that, and if you are in a similar situation, I hope you could reach the same realization too.

In the past, I have been a broke immigrant kid in high school. All I wanted was a part-time job to make some lunch money. I wasn’t concerned about whether I was passionate about if my position as a dishwasher at Tim Hortons really added value to society.

I was definitely concerned with whether I could take some free Timbits home for my family though. Just one of the perks of working at Tim hortons. The ugly hairnets were worth the sacrifice.

It's the same thing with my former career in VFX. Right out of college, I was struggling to pay the expensive rent in Los Angeles. I wasn't in the situation to be concerned about my personal fulfillment back then, and I just wanted to be able to keep the floors I put my mattress on.

Over the years, I did slowly work up to my full-time salary. Sure, one could argue that my job in VFX was way more productive and contributed a lot of more to society… since I was creating movies and TV shows for everyone’s entertainment and so big corporations like Disney and Paramount could make more money on merchandise, but hey, that's a conversation for another time. 

Like I mentioned in that video, I was extremely unhappy working my job, including the long hours, dark dark work environment and the negative and sometimes even hostile culture in the industry. I remember thinking that I had never made so much money while being so miserable at the same time. For that, I would give my former career a grade of 2 on personal fulfillment.

Consider this, is it really worth sacrificing your mental and physical health to keep doing a career that could pay quite well and perhaps contribute more to society?

Answer this question for yourself. Don’t let someone else answer this for you. For me, it was not worth it. 

Other Careers

Now, let’s take a step back and look at a few other common careers, teachers, engineers and doctors.

I respect teachers a lot. My very own mother, Mama Humbled, was a teacher, and I also know she did not get paid enough. She is one of the many teachers who are passionate about teaching kids and helping to shape the future adults of tomorrow. They’re very fulfilled personally and definitely add a lot of value to society. 

But guess what, in expensive cities like Vancouver or San Francisco, unfortunately, they do not make enough to afford to live there. Many teachers I know have to live quite far away from the metro area and find the two hour commute into work extremely draining on their physical health.

On the other hand, we can take a look at doctors or engineers. I respect what they do, and yes they deserve to get paid a lot. I also know many people who only got into these fields for the money and not because they are passionate about or fulfilled by their career.

So how do we resolve this? It seems so difficult to find a perfect career that truly satisfies all three important job satisfaction pillars: financial compensation, value added to society and personal fulfillment.

In my opinion, what you do as a career does not have to be the only way to achieve all three of the pillars. It would be great if it does, but the reality is, that is rarely the case. If your current job excels in one or two pillars, it’s worth it to find other outlets outside of your job to fulfill the missing pieces.


While day trading started out as the missing financial compensation for my former 9-to-7 career, it gradually became more and more fulfilling personally. Like I had mentioned in a previous video, day trading changed my life. It helped me reach financial freedom and made me a better person inside and outside. 

Where the act of day trading lacks value to society, we as traders can make the personal and important decision to give back with our money and our time. Both of these are something I strive to do regularly in my personal life, outside of trading and outside of social media. 

Day trading could be a very rewarding career, if you are one of the many working hard for this journey, and once you’ve reached the top, don’t forget to send the elevator back down.

Don’t feel like reading? Watch the video.


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