Studies show by the Gallup Polls that about 54% to 67% of Americans are invested in the stock market at any given time. This means that the percentage of people that try their "luck" in the market within their lifetime is probably around 75%, but that is merely a guess.
Most people that get into the stock market to trade as far as the general population is concerned typically get in for the wrong reasons. Here are some of my main reasons I believe the general public gets into the stock market.
- It's an easy way to make money
- you can work from home or anywhere
- you don't have to do to much, just make the right decisions (buying or selling)
- you can let your money work for you
- you can be rich
- you don't need a college degree or higher-level education
I am sure there are plenty of other reasons. The big one that comes to my mind is the psychological ones such as they make assumptions that it is an easy way to make money. After all, what good is your money if it is just sitting in the bank getting 1% interest?
The stock market does have a lucrative way to pull people in. First off you don't need to have a college or even a high-school education. Anyone can get into it if they have the capital requirements. It is something that requires very little experience to get short term success.
For example, you could get lucky by purchasing a stock - it goes up - and you were successful. It is one of the few industries that something like that can happen in. Other things, such as playing a guitar takes practice. Before you are even to be successful at playing a song, you need to learn many intricate things like chords, finger positions, etc. You can not just buy a musical instrument and expect to be successful next day. With the stock market - you can get lucky and get that short term success or psychological euphoria.
This psychological mindset becomes very appealing to beginning traders who gain great initial success. Unfortunately, for long-term success it is very unlikely and in order to be successful in the long-run in the stock market, you too have to practice, study, and put the time and effort in. In fact, many stock market professionals are extremely hard working people. The people who do not put their time into the market and do their own homework (people who only follow tips and other people) are rarely successful in the long-run. Yes they may make some money here or there, but just crumbs.
Do not get wrapped up in the instant gratification of stock market success and assume you will be successful for a long time if its easy for your currently - especially if you have been trading for less than a year. The market is setup to take your money! Be careful if you are new to trading and investing. Be prepared to put your time and energy into it if you want to be successful in it. It will be the most expensive education you will ever have!