Today in Awful Ideas: Day Trading With Your Retirement Fund

Are you panicked to the point of irrationality about the unpredictable ups and downs of the Dow Jones Industrial Average? Are you as far as one could possibly get from a "Wall Street insider," yet still overconfident in your ability to beat the market? Are you unable to control your urge to do something, even something stupid, when you begin to feel the slightest bit of discomfort? If so, you may be qualified to join America's hottest horribly ill-advised financial trend: day trading with your retirement money.

"Day trading" is kind of like real professional stock trading, but done by people with no idea what they're doing who are motivated by pure adrenaline-driven desperation. (To be fair, this describes much of real professional stock trading as well. But professionals have much more money to lose.) The LAT reports that all types of ignorant, itchy, pie-eyed Americans are courting disaster following their dreams by putting their 401(k)'s at risk in the day trading game. Though most experts advise the average investor to "buy and hold" in order to avoid being wiped out by their own hubris, there are also persuasive voices such as this on the other side of the issue:

Richard Schmitt, an adjunct professor at Golden Gate University in San Francisco and a former retirement plan consultant, has come out with a book called "401(k) Day Trading: The Art of Cashing in on a Shaky Market in Minutes a Day." The book, published in October by Wiley Trading, has a list price of $49.95.

"I've seen so many people make their 401(k)s into 201(k)s," Schmitt said of day trading. "This gives you the opportunity to make it into an 801(k)."

An adjunct professor at a third-tier school hawking an overpriced get-rich-quick scheme with clever slogans? Don't miss this opportunity to prove that you are the exception to the merciless rule of mathematics, middle class almost-retirees!

We'll just leave this here.

[LAT. Photo: Shutterstock]