Friday, 17 April 2020

Investment Vs Speculation Vs Gambling

By Sunil Sahdev

Many people do not differentiate between the following terms when they invest their hard-earned money in different asset classes, particularly in stock market and often get confused between;

1. Saving

2. Investment

3. Speculations

4. Gambling

We often use the word savings and investment interchangeably, while both are different and both are necessary to secure our future. Saving is done for purchases and emergencies while investment is being done for creation of wealth. I have heard from most of the people that they are savings for their retired life, we need to understand that if we are saving for our retired life we need to invest that money to create wealth. We need to allocate the money wisely between saving and investment, it depends upon behavior of each individual and allocation can be made accordingly. In general, we shall allocate equivalent of three to six months expenses for savings and any excess over it should be allocated for investment.

There is a razor thin differentiation between investment and speculations, in reality it depends upon our own behavior as an investor to differentiate between investment and speculation. Investment and speculative deals are generally done for real assets.

Investment can be defined as “The employment of funds to acquire certain assets after due diligence for mid to long period of time, with the objective of wealth creation and additional income in future”.

Speculative investment can be defined as “The employment of funds to acquire assets for shorter duration of time to take advantage of fluctuations in prices of underlying assets”.

However, Gambling can be defined as “The employment of funds for entertainment/fun with the chances of return depends upon probability of certain situation or events”. For example, deploying funds on horse racing can be defined as gambling.

Key differential of investment vs speculation vs Gambling is:

1. Risk Analysis and Risk appetite: Investor will generally rely on the fundamental analysis of financials and other factors which can affect the price of the asset class and their decision to invest in particular asset is based upon certain fundamental values associated with the asset. Investors do have long term risk and return perspective. While speculators generally rely on the flow of the wind without analysing any fundamentals. Speculators do take higher risk for expects higher returns in short period. Gambler risk entire capital on bet and relay mainly on luck. They are the highest risk takers and ready to lose original investment also.

2. Price of the asset: Investor does not look at the price of the asset rather it looks at the asset itself to determine the decision to allocate some money now to get some money back later on. Investor does not get influenced by daily fluctuations of the asset price, because his/her allocation of money decision is based on the intrinsic value of the assets rather then price. Speculators look at the price of the asset to allocate the money and they do get influenced by the daily fluctuations of the price of the assets, aim of the speculator is to get some quick reward. Gambling is based upon odds and bets are placed only on assumptions.

3. Time Horizon: Investors allocate money for a particular asset for longer period while speculators allocate money for shorter period, on the other hand gambler place bet for immediate gain.

4. Leverages: An investor allocates money from its own resources for investment while and speculators may also rely on borrowed money to allocate. This is applicable mainly to assets belongs to equity market. Gambler generally allocate their own money and place bet for entertainment or fun.

An individual’s approach towards investment identifies the individual either investor or speculators. If an individual is investing without fundamental analysis, only on the basis of market sentiments and certain news, for a shorter duration can be defined as speculative investor. An Individual who invests with proper fundamental analysis for longer period of duration can be defined as investor.

In conclusion, Investor will get stable return over a long run and I advise all my readers to invest wisely after proper analysis of the company to secure their hard money for fairly good chances for creation of wealth. If you are a speculator, make sure your entry and exit to the market is at right time and always be ready to higher risk of loss of original investment in worst circumstances. Gambling should be avoided always and in most of the cases gambling is not legal also.
Source: via twitter

Quote for the day

"The single biggest difference between financial success and financial failure is how well you manage your money. It's simple: to master money, you must manage money." - T. Harv Eker