Most of us are familiar with the concept of gamblers spending lots of time at a casino or racetrack. However, more and more gamblers are spending time performing short term stock trading online, and this is a dangerous trend which is affecting many lives throughout the country.Perhaps some of these individuals start out as stock investors who refuse to dwell on the long-term prospects and instead focus their efforts on short-term price movements. This is facilitated by the increasing use of the Internet in modern life, the fact that more people are taking control of their own retirement investments, and the fact that many media outlets spend a great deal of time covering the price and movements of various stocks.To this we can add late-night infomercials and unscrupulous companies who promote courses and seminars on some supposedly brilliant trading methods. All it takes to become a member of the seminars and memberships is to invest a few thousand dollars of your hard-earned money, thus adding to the investments and retirement accounts of the founder of these seminar companies.There is a nonprofit organization known as gamblers anonymous which has developed a series of questions that can help you or your loved one determine whether compulsive gambling is really the issue involved. The more of these questions you answer yes to, the more likely you are to have a problem with compulsive gambling and not simply investing.These questions include the following: have you ever missed school or work because of gambling pursuits? Has gambling negatively impacted your family live? Have you tried to pay off debts or other financial obligations by winning money through gambling? Have you ever gambled until you had lost every single dollar you had? Have you ever had to borrow money in order to keep gambling? Have you ever lost sleep gambling, or have you used gambling as an escape from your problems?If you answered yes to any of these questions, or if you otherwise believe that you or a loved one may have a problem with compulsive gambling, you should seek help immediately before things get worse.