If you're not on facebook (http://www.facebook.com/yourtradingcoach) then you would have missed this recent Q&A:
Question: (in response to a repost of this old article: http://www.yourtradingcoach.com/trader/trading-psychology-from-a-9-year-old/)
I saw this in your recent article, "And I certainly believe that the career of a trader does provide significant benefits for society (a subject for another future article perhaps)".
May I know where to find your article that talks about whether "the career of a trader does provide significant benefits for society"?
I never got around to writing this article. The comment was a prompt to see if people wanted it. You're the first person in 4.5 years to ask, so it's not happening. But I'll try to summarise my thoughts now:
It's quite common to hear people state that "trading is a career that offers no value to society". But these people have a very narrow definition of "value". Forgetting all arguments about the value of liquidity (which is added to by every market participant) to enable markets to operate efficiently to minimise big-business risk and transaction cost (with onflowing results of lower costs for consumers)… and forgetting as well the value which is added to society through the voluntary transactions made with my trading profits, in supporting the lifestyle of myself and my family and through further investing… the much more important thing in my opinion is the non-monetary aspect, of showing yourself and others the power of following your dreams and living in accordance with the path you're drawn towards rather than just getting a 9-5 soul-destroying office job just because someone else thinks that is what is expected of you.
The argument of trading offering no value is usually provided by failed traders as a rationalization for their own failure.
But each to their own. If they want those 9-5 soul-destroying jobs for themselves, they're welcome to them. I won't ever be arrogant enough to tell someone else what they should be doing with their life. How can I ever know what's best for them. It would be nice if these people offered traders the same courtesy!
Also, see this article for five reasons you should pursue financial independence. It's not trading related, but they're all great reasons. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/money/5-reasons-to-pursue-financial-independence.html
So to summarise, for me the important factor is not so much the benefits to the market system (which are significant), but rather the personal growth aspects of becoming all that you can be while following your passion. Adding value to your life, through achieving financial independence, adds value to society as a whole.