A Look At The Difference Between Investment And Gambling

by Guest Contributor

Difference Between Investment And GamblingInvesting in the stock market and gambling at a casino are often compared and deemed to be very similar ventures. Both the difference between investment and gambling involve risk and choice in hopes of future profit. Investors and gamblers have to decide how much they are wanting to risk.

Some traders typically risk between 2% and 5% of their capital base. Long-term investors often spread their money across different investments in order to try and minimize potential losses as a form of risk-management.

Risk-management in gambling is also proficiently sought after by professional gamblers. They look at whether odds are in their favor before they make a bet. A key comparable principle in both gambling and financial investing is to minimize risk while maximizing profits.

Difference Between Investment and Gambling 

However, there is a huge difference between investing and gambling when it comes to stopping losses. In gambling, particularly in sports gambling, there are no loss-mitigation strategies due to the activity being so speculative.

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Stock investors however can set up stop losses on a stock investment which is the simplest way to avoid unnecessary risk. If stock drops 10% below its purchase price there is an opportunity to sell that stock to someone else and still retain 90% of the risk capital.

However, if you put a bet on that states that Tottenham Hotspur Football Club will come first in the Premier League, you cannot get any money back if they come second. You will lose everything you’ve put on, which isn’t the case when it comes to stock investment. Gambling is mainly to do with pure chance, and there are a lot more loss-mitigation strategies when it comes to financial investments.

Time is another difference when it comes to comparing financial investments and gambling. Gambling is a time-bound event whereas financial investing can last several years if not longer. Some companies that pay dividends even reward investors that have purchased shares in the companies for risking their money.

As long as you hold onto their stock, companies can pay you money. But when you’re gambling, you either win or lose your capital – there is no in-between.

The way both investors and gamblers play the odds and try to look for an edge to help enhance their performance is a huge similarity between them. When it comes to gambling, particularly games such as blackjack and poker, players often study behavior, mannerisms and patterns in order to gain useful information which will help them when it comes to their own betting.

Stock investors study trading patterns by interpreting stock charts in order to accurately predict where the business might be going in the future. However there is a difference in terms of how much information is available to both investors and gamblers. Information is valuable when it comes to both sectors, but stock and company information is always readily available and in the public domain.

Unsurprisingly, there is a limited amount of information when it comes to gambling. Sitting down at a poker or blackjack table in a casino gives you next to no information other than whispers about whether the table is hot or cold – all of which is relative to the other tables in the room. Essentially, gamblers go in almost blind other than from the information they can read and know about the players around them.

Although the idea that investing and gambling are somewhat similar isn’t untrue, there are far more differences that similarities when it comes down to aspects of information and time. Both involve risk and revolve around maximizing profit, but in general, investors have a much better chance at success than gamblers.

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About Guest Contributor

This article was written by a guest author. For more information about this author, please see the bio information listed in the article. If you would like to write an article for Money Q&A, please visit our Guest Posting Guidelines page.


Guest Contributor has written 234 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.


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