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Stock Trading as a Game

June 21, 2024 • Posted in Animal Spirits, Individual Investing

What happens to retail investor performance when brokers make trading apps game-like (gamification)? In his June 2024 paper entitled “Gamification of Stock Trading: Losers and Winners”, Eduard Yelagin examines how traders react to injections of gamification in mobile trading apps offered by major U.S. brokers. For each app update, he reviews developer notes about its purpose to identify whether it is trading gamification or a bug fix. He then employs execution price clues to identify concurrent buying and selling by retail investors (who are most likely to use mobile apps) associated with those updates. Using information for 1,419 mobile trading app updates from 17 major U.S. brokers and concurrent trading data for 1,404 stocks during 2018 through 2021, he finds that:


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