The Dangers of Chasing Quick Gains in the Stock Market

What comes easy goes away easy

vishnu bharath
3 min readFeb 7, 2023

The saying “Everybody wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die” holds true in many aspects of life, including the stock market. In the stock market, everyone wants to make money, but no one wants to wait. The temptation to make quick profits can often lead investors to make impulsive and short-sighted decisions.

In the stock market, patience is often the key to success. Many successful investors have built their wealth through a long-term investment approach, where they hold onto their stocks for an extended period of time. This allows them to ride out the ups and downs of the market, and benefit from the long-term growth potential of their investments.

However, the fast-paced and information-rich nature of the modern world has made it increasingly difficult for investors to wait. With instant access to market news and stock prices, it’s easy to feel the pressure to make quick gains. This often leads investors to engage in speculative and high-risk investment behaviors, such as day trading or short-term trading.

A person hurt after chasing cheap thrills

While these strategies may result in short-term gains, they are not sustainable in the long-term and can lead to significant financial losses. In contrast, a long-term investment approach has been proven to provide better returns over time, while also reducing the risk of significant losses. Some of the key risks of looking to make quick gains in the stock market include:

  1. Increased risk of losses: Speculative and high-risk investment behaviors, such as day trading or short-term trading, can result in significant financial losses. The fast-paced and volatile nature of the stock market means that quick gains can quickly turn into losses, leaving investors with substantial losses.
  2. Lack of diversification: When looking to make quick gains, investors often put all their eggs in one basket. This lack of diversification can significantly increase the risk of losses and leave investors exposed to significant financial risks.
  3. Lack of knowledge: Quick-gain-seeking behaviors often involve making decisions based on limited information or speculation. This lack of knowledge can lead to poor investment decisions and significant financial losses.
  4. Market Timing: Timing the stock market is an extremely challenging task, and even experienced investors struggle to get it right. Those looking to make quick gains in the stock market may try to time the market, which can be a risky and ineffective strategy.
  5. Emotional Decisions: The pursuit of quick gains can lead to emotional decision-making, which can cloud judgement and lead to poor investment decisions.

In India, out of the 45.24 lakh individual traders in futures and options (F&O) in the financial year 2021–22, only 11% made profit, shows a report by Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

The average loss made by the 89% loss makers stood at Rs. 1.1 lakh during FY22, whereas the average profit for traders with their P&L in green was at ₹1.5 lakh. The report shows that the top 1% and top 5% active profit makers accounted for nearly 51% and 75% of the total net profit earned by all active profit makers, respectively.

You can access the full report here.

In conclusion, while everyone wants to make money in the stock market, not everyone is willing to wait. The key to success in the stock market is to adopt a long-term investment approach and be patient. By taking a disciplined and informed approach to investing, you can build a strong and sustainable portfolio, and achieve your financial goals over time.