By Stella Goh – Market Data Analyst | 23 March 2018
Investing in stock market is just like gambling.
Some people fear of investing by thinking that way. It will depend on the perception of how we feel about it. The problem arose when most of the people treated investing in the stock market like a casino, wish to win big, especially the novice investors should not assume this way.
So, what do you think about it? It was a myth that stock market equates to gambling which spread on the internet a few years ago. There are some similarities between investing and gambling which may confuse us.
Both investing and gambling involve risk. You need to put your capitals at risk to get returns from your investment or gambling. Both of the investors or gamblers should have their risk tolerance before they start to invest or gambling. They must know how much they are willing to lose. However, the risks that took by stock investors are much more on fundamental-based and calculated. The risk is manageable by using strategies of diversification across various types of assets. Just like what Warren Buffet said, “Do Not Put All Eggs in One Basket.” At the same time, gambling is as easy as flipping a coin. The players will either win or lose, with nothing in between.
Ownership And Information
Investors who purchase a share from common stock mean that they are acquiring the part ownership. More importantly, investors still can get a small fraction of profits that they have invested when the company is giving out dividend back to the investor. To get benefits from investment, investors must gauge the company and its profitability. The earnings from the business are ever changing; investors must analyse the company by using charts, fundamental analysis, news and some company’s metrics to estimate the future earnings of a company.
However in gambling, you do not have any ownership, and nothing useful information can be obtained that give you an edge on the gambling table.
Zero Sum Game
In investing, It was entirely different from gambling due to it can help the companies to generate more profits by increasing productivity and develop new products which may change people’s lives.
On the other side, gambling is a zero-sum game. There will be no values created because the money is transferred from a loser to the winner all the time. Therefore, investing helps to generate wealth for long-term for investors.
Time Horizons For Trading and Gambling
There was a significant difference exist between trading and gambling. Gambling is a probability event that you are either a loser or winner and there is no middle ground in between.
However, for investing, investors may receive dividends from the company when they have purchased shares from them. In the stock market, the price of your stock fluctuates from time to time so you may experience paper gain or loss. However, you may be still able to get dividends for each quarter as long as you hold the stocks. Investing on the valued stock will have a higher chance of rebound back or even going higher than initial buying price.
In gambling, the value of the money does not grow even the bet size or pool of money increase; it stays the same.
On the other hand, the value of the stock will grow because the value of the company will increase whenever there is innovation created or new asset bought.
The differences between investing and gambling are how society will perceive them. Investing played a significant role in today’s economy; due to people invest in improving their life in future. Investors nowadays favour companies that will enhance people’s experience and contribute to social life security.
On the other hand, gambling brings negative connotations. Gaming business may help to stimulate the economy. However, it had adverse side effects like attracting illegal triad activity.
By the way, there are still a lot of people thinking to get rich quick in the stock market and confuse trading with gambling. Please remind that investing and gambling have some similarities, but they had few significant differences between each other. Gambling can be considered as a short-lived entertainment for fun while investing in stock is to improve future lives.
Insightful and informative. Well said.