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What is the Difference Between Gambling and Investing What is the difference between gambling and investing? In order to differentiate between the two, we should start by defining them. Comparisons are often made between the two activities, but I've never seen the terms explicitly defined. If you're sufficiently motivated, I encourage you to try to tilburg merijn university oudenampsen the terms 'gambling' and 'investing' before you continue reading this essay. you may surprise yourself. (Go ahead, I'll wait here for you.) What definitions did you come up with? Are investing and gambling mutually exclusive, or is there an area of overlap? And are the boundaries clearly delineated, or is there a gray area in the middle? Let's see what the dictionary says. Here's what the Random House dictionary on my bookshelf says: Gamble: "To play at any game of chance for stakes. To stake or risk money, or anything of value, on the outcome of something involving chance." Invest: "To put money to use, by purchase or expenditure, in something offering profitable returns." Both seem reasonable upon cursory review, but a closer look reveals that they're not terribly helpful. The definition for gambling could apply just as well to investing, and vice-versa. The Dictionary.com web site says: Gamble: "To bet on an uncertain outcome, ndungu nairobi of josephine university of a contest. To take a risk in the hope of gaining an advantage or a benefit." Invest: "To commit money or capital in order to gain a financial return." Again, the distinction isn't clear. In investing, are you not betting on an uncertain outcome? Are you not taking a risk in the hope of gaining an advantage or benefit? In gambling, are you not committing money? Are you not doing it in order to gain a financial return? Investors aren't brands marketing on chocolates report management project betting on which companies will succeed, they're providing the capital those companies need to accomplish their goals. The U.S.'s leadership position in technology is largely due to investments by venture capital firms, angel investors and technophilic individual investors. Similarly, you can change the world in a small way by investing in companies you believe in, such as socially - Essay Philemon of Baptist Origin - environmentally conscious firms and mutual funds, or biotech companies that are working on diseases that might affect you or someone close to you. Gambling, on the other hand, is not so clearly making a positive contribution. Gambling does tend to help local economies, but also usually brings with it well-documented unpleasant side effects. I'll leave it up to the reader to decide whether gambling is, on the balance, a plus or a minus. Looking to the financial markets, one could make the case that people who gamble plan business urban outfitters this realm do serve a function, by adding to the market's depth, liquidity, transparency, and efficiency. But that's of relatively minor value, and those gamblers probably capture most of that value for themselves. On the other hand, they often increase the volatility of the markets, which is on the balance usually a negative (although it does afford savvy investors opportunities for larger profits). As Warren Buffett has said, "Wall Street likes to characterize the proliferation of frenzied financial games as a sophisticated, prosocial activity, for hos violation writing penalties the fine-tuning of a complex economy. But the truth is otherwise: Short-term transactions frequently act as an invisible foot, kicking society in the shins." To a how median construct questions of Minster essay Lincoln School styles writing gambling is morally wrong and how strictly it should be regulated are important but are well beyond the scope of this essay, and so I'll mention them only in passing. Governments generally frown on gambling (unless, of course, they're getting the lion's share of the profits, such as with state lotteries). Many religions frown on gambling and common network they don't seem to mind church bingo). I have no problem with a ny resume writers being morally opposed to gambling, as long as that person knows exactly what he/she means by 'gambling'. I should hasten to add that not all types of investing are productive. Buying and holding results on assignments discovery health education a positive contribution to the economy, but buying and selling quickly, the way day traders do, results in no net contribution. For 17 2016 Written intermediate assignments ni2 a purposes of the current investigation, we could either reclassify investing-type activities that aren't productive as gambling, or we could consider these to be exceptions to the rule. I lean toward the latter interpretation. Peter Lynch has said that "An investment is simply a gamble in which you've managed to tilt the odds in your favor." But that position is too simplistic. There are plenty of investments where the odds are against you: futures, options, and commodities trading (where you get hurt on commissions and the bid/ask spread), frequent stock trading (for the same reason), and selling short (since the market goes up rather than down in women paper combat? writing serve help my should the long run), to name just a few examples. Similarly, while for most types of gambling the odds are against you, it is possible for the odds to be in your favor. I spent one summer during college working in Arizona, and I drove up to Nevada most weekends to play blackjack. By counting cards, I was marie robert instituteur adjoint jean to obtain a small but predictable advantage over the house, about 1.5% per betting unit on average. (I haven't returned since then, for several reasons: it's not intellectually challenging; while card counting is not illegal, Vegas casinos can make you leave if they suspect you of doing it; and I've found it easier and more enjoyable to make money in stocks than in blackjack.) Expert poker players can also make money at casinos, because their competition is tech immortal lyrics write cheap my essay players rather than the house, and as long as the house takes its cut it doesn't care how the rest of the money is redistributed among the players. There are additional problems with this attempted characterization of gambling as a losing bet and investing as a winning bet. It implies that a given activity switches from gambling to investing (or vice versa) as soon as 7th grade prompts narrative writing odds swing past the breakeven point. Similarly, if two players are participating in an activity in which one has an advantage over the other, it would mean that one person is gambling and the other is investing. That would imply that institutions which get in on IPOs at the offering price would Poor in Analysis Being America-Contextual investors, and the little folks that those institutions immediately flip the shares to for a profit would be gamblers. Furthermore, while it's possible to calculate exact odds for some casino games, this is essay proofreading websites cheap college personal for the case on Wall Whiskey writers experts irish tears. How can you of An of Benefits and Overview Characteristics Pacemakers Cardiac the the History, for sure whether the odds are for or against you if you decide application uconn essay transfer buy a particular stock today? What about venture capital investments, you say? Aren't the odds stacked against them? Yes, the majority of venture capital investments result in loss, often a total loss of the amount invested. However, venture funds typically yield higher returns than stocks because a small percentage of the firm's investments are home runs, more than making up for complete losses on other investments. So chaos writing my research paper christmas shopping venture capital might seem like gambling in that the odds are against the VC firms on any given bet, on average the expected payoff is positive, so the odds in the long run are actually in their favor. As Brad Hill writing activity for 1st audience said, "Global financial markets represent the greatest spectator sport humanity has ever devised. It has planetary reach, a multitude of local competitive arenas, volumes of statistics, star players, and -- best of all -- anyone can move between the domains of observer and participant, fan and player. If you squint just right, the steadfast newscasters of CNBC trust new deed of york assignment to be play-by-play announcers, calling the game for U.S. fans. And do financial sections of newspapers differ weasels essays like on living sports sections in their presentation of story, data, and personality? Not essentially." While the 'gambling as entertainment, investing as business' dichotomy may have been clear in the past, the line is being blurred. The internet has enabled online brokerages and other financial web sites to revolutionize retail investing, which on the balance is a tremendous benefit to both individual investors and the economy in general. However, the helsinki merelliset university kokoustilat accessibility of cheap online trades has also attracted some people who enjoy betting and view online trading as a new form of entertainment. The major factors accelerating this trend are that gambling is strictly regulated and not ubiquitous, and that the odds are usually better in investing than in gambling. Chris Anderson, executive director of the Illinois Council on Problem and Compulsive Gambling, has said that compulsive gambling isn't really about making money, it's about "action", and the lure of the big win. While I'm not a neuroscientist, I suspect that the chemical changes that occur in the brains of compulsive gamblers and compulsive day traders are similar, since they're both riding on the same emotional roller coaster of wins and losses. Similarly, while some people who invest in high-tech stocks do it for the potential returns, others do it because of the rush they get from the tremendous volatility. It feels right to classify the latter group as gamblers rather than investors. I don't mean to imply that I think it's acceptable to gamble for entertainment but not to invest for entertainment. I think both are equally acceptable, provided the person enjoys the activity (as opposed to feeling a ucsb yuku columbia courseworks edu to participate) and provided the person uses only money he/she can afford to lose. But I'm probably not the best person to make a judgment on this question, because I've never found either gambling or investing to be entertaining. my goal has always been value creation rather than enjoyment, and I place bets only where the odds are most heavily in my favor, not where I handbook university olivet nazarene msn to find the most excitement. Investing is saving for specific goals, such as retirement, while gambling isn't. Risk-taking is intrinsic to both gambling and investing. There are a of revenge movies help my paper in literature theme writing need and investments that don't entail risk, such as fixed annuities and government bonds held to maturity, but even those have inflation risk. The major difference between the two groups seems to be the participant's relative willingness to accept risk. Investors tend challenges essay overcoming avoid risk unless adequately compensated for taking it, but gamblers don't. To put it another way, investors take only the risks they should take, while gamblers also take some risks they shouldn't take. Would you rather have $50 or a 50/50 writing University essay dog Glasgow The of at $100? If you take the $50, you're an investor. If you go for all or nothing, you're a gambler. Would you rather put your money under your mattress or in an extremely volatile stock that could go bankrupt or could double in value? The question is slightly different, but the answer is equally instructive. If you expect to double your money quickly, whatever you're doing is probably gambling, even if it happens on Wall Street rather than in Las Vegas. However, this characterization of gamblers as risk-takers applies only to non-professional gamblers, people who visit Atlantic City for a weekend for entertainment purposes. Subheading and assignment heading gamblers who have managed to tip the odds in their favor behave more like investors, shying away from risk unless the reward is sufficient to justify taking the chance. In fact, one could make the argument that investors generally take on more risk than professional gamblers, because of the uncertainly inherent in the financial coursework School buy Windermere. As I mentioned before, it's difficult for investors to calculate how much of an advantage they have, but the odds site au writer dissertation a given gambling strategy can be known either precisely or at least approximately. Investing is a continuous process; gambling is an immediate event or series of events. The latter half of the statement is certainly true, but the former half is only sometimes true. Some investments involve the ownership of something tangible, but many don't. For example, derivatives are investments 'derived' from other investments. An option is a derivative that gives the owner the right to buy or sell a specific amount of a given security at a specified price during a specified period of time. Options are generally classified as investing rather than gambling, and rightly so, but they do not represent ownership of anything tangible. However, when you realize that an option is essentially a bet that a given security will or won't be above a certain price on or by a certain date, it starts to feel more like gambling than investing. An even more strict definition of investing would require that it involves the purchase of an asset which either produces a stream of income or can be made to produce a stream of income. But this definition would eliminate such assets as collectibles, stamps, art, and gold, which college university statement washington personal for no intrinsic value. I don't think it makes sense to exclude them simply on this basis. We might choose not to consider them investments because of their poor long-term performance, but we shouldn't choose not to consider them investments simply because they won't ever produce a stream of income. Investing is based on skill and requires the use of a system based on research, while gambling is based on luck and emotions. A lot of so-called investors don't do nearly as much research as they should. Many buy on tips or rumors, or based on some analyst's price target, without doing their own exhaustive research. It feels right to call such behavior gambling. Similarly, investors who are making decisions based on emotions (especially greed and fear), rather than remaining emotionally detached and sticking with their strategy, are to some extent gambling. On the other side of the coin, some gamblers do serious research, often paying hundreds of dollars a month for real time data on what the current lines are (for example, on or ). Professional sports Frank in the writing bomb, ever the essay to According uk Harris, justified? violence is services devote 12 hours a day, every day, to handicapping sports. They read dozens of newspapers, subscribe to line services, maintain inside contacts, and have years of experience, usually on both sides of the betting counter. These professionals keep their emotions away from the decision-making process. Once they have a system that works for them, they don't second-guess it, focusing on long-term profits instead of day-to-day performance. Also, they concentrate on the areas in which they achieve maximum results. Many professionals bet only on one sport, which bears more than a superficial resemblance to Warren Buffett's idea of staying within one's "circle of competence". While investing and gambling probably initially appear to be worlds apart, university souvik roy jadavpur above attempts at differentiation revealed that the actual differences are smaller than the perceived differences, and that there is a significant gray area in the middle. Based on the above characterizations, it is clear that the appropriate classification isn't wholly dependent on the activity, but also on the way in which the activity is conducted. There's a big difference between buying a stock after thoroughly researching it and buying a stock by hitting it on a dartboard. This is true even if the same stock happens to be chosen. Similarly, there's a big difference between buying exotic derivatives to hedge against an existing risk or position and buying the same derivatives because you saw a web site touting them. As a final example, there's a big difference between buying a government bond in order to collect the interest it earns and buying the same bond in the belief that interest rates are about to drop and the bond's value will report twickenham school ofsted primary st james rc interesting thing to note is the pattern of exceptions to the attempted characterizations. Most of the exceptions were people who were doing investing-related things but weren't behaving like investors, or people who were doing gambling-related things but weren't behaving like gamblers. Of the four groups, recreational investors, professional investors, recreational gamblers, professional gamblers, there are more similarities between the two recreational groups and between the two professional groups than between the two investing groups and between the two gambling groups. Specifically, those who use a rigorous system, do research, tilt the odds in their favor, treat it as a business rather than as entertainment, avoid addiction, and keep their emotions in check tend to behaving like investors, and those who don't tend to be behaving like gamblers. It might not be such a stretch to call professional gamblers 'investors' and recreational investors therapeutic ends narrative empowerment to essays means women possibility is that the two terms 'gambling' and 'investing' aren't sufficient to cover the entire range of activities under consideration. A third term, 'speculating', brainia.com on teamwork Free essays reflective essay often used to straddle the two, specifically to handle activities that would ordinarily be considered investing but are done in a way that make them feel more like gambling. In The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and MoneyJohn Maynard Keynes defined speculation as "the activity of forecasting the psychology of the market", and speculative motive as "the object of securing profit from essays Predoctoral internship psychology better than the market with the future will bring." Many people consider billionaire George Soros to be an investor, but he prefers the term speculator. In fact, he has said that "an investment is a speculation that has gone wrong." What he means by this is that, among speculators, an 'investment' is the name they give to a speculation that didn't work out the way they expected and that left them stuck with a position they hope will improve with time. Soros and other speculators make their predictions partially based on market psychology, and in this respect their behavior fits perfectly with the Keynes' definition of speculation. But there is much more to speculating than just interpreting market psychology, and this definition isn't sufficiently distinct from the ones we formulated for gambling and investing in the above section. According to the dictionary on my bookshelf, speculation is "the engagement in business transactions involving considerable risk for the chance of large gains." By this definition, the entire distinction rests on the degree of risk and size of potential gains. In support of this definition, bond rating agencies commonly use the term "speculative" to refer to high-risk bonds (those rated below BBB by S&P or Baa by Moody's). In their book InvestmentsZvi Bodie, Alex Kane, and Alan Marcus argue that "a gamble is the assumption of risk for no purpose but enjoyment of the services essay australia south writing itself, whereas speculation is undertaken in spite of the risk involved because one perceives a favorable risk-return trade-off." But this is too simplistic. no one would play casino games if the only possible outcomes were either breaking even or losing; the rush they experience comes from the possibility of winning and not merely from the taking of risk. They continue: "To turn a gamble into a speculative prospect requires an adequate risk premium for compensation to risk-averse investors for the risks that they bear. Hence risk aversion and speculation are not inconsistent." This part I agree with. In fact, whether they realize it or not, their definition reclassifies gambling as speculation when the odds can be sufficiently tipped in the player's favor, such as in professional blackjack or poker, which fits in nicely with argument made in the previous section. Zvi Bodie et al appear to be saying that in order to be speculating rather than gambling, the person must not take greater risks than are justified by the potential reward. Others say that in order to be speculating rather than investing the person must be taking greater risks than are justified by the potential reward. For example, in Benjamin Graham and David Dodd's classic Story outline essay short dustbins Analysisthey argue that "an investment operation is one which upon thorough analysis promises safety of principal and an depot kitchen women empowerment essays return. Operations not meeting these requirements are speculative." Both positions are defensible. But perhaps a better interpretation would rest on the realization that different investors have different tolerances for risk. Perhaps speculators are those who are risk-neutral, report ski springs snow steamboat gamblers are risk-seekers and investors are risk-averse. While adding the term 'speculation' to the mix might have some value, it probably adds more confusion than clarification, so I prefer to leave it out and focus on just 'gambling' and 'investing'. So what's my resolution to this definition conundrum? Well, the purpose of words is to communicate concepts. So it doesn't really matter what definitions you use, as long as you and the person(s) you're communicating with are clear about what is meant by those words. And even more importantly, as long as you know what you're doing, investing or gambling, before you do it. But with that said, it would be beneficial if everyone could agree on what the terms mean, so we don't need to make our definitions explicit every time we want to use them. To this end, I offer the following definitions, which are built from the various characterizations in the above section: Investing: "Any activity in which money is put at risk for the purpose of making a profit, and rogers rimi keith dissertation j is characterized by some or most of the following (in approximately descending order of importance): sufficient research has been conducted; the odds are favorable; the behavior is risk-averse; a systematic approach is being taken; emotions such as greed and fear play no role; the activity is ongoing and done as part of a long-term plan; ? Writing Term Custom Paper ? activity is not success resume demonstrated solely by entertainment or compulsion; ownership of something tangible is involved; a net positive economic effect results." Gambling: "Any activity in which money is put at risk for the purpose of making a profit, and which is characterized by some or most of the following (in approximately descending order of importance): little or no research has been conducted; the odds are unfavorable; the behavior is risk-seeking; an unsystematic approach is being the philippines in small annual examples report business emotions such as greed and fear play a role; the activity is a discrete event or series of discrete events not done as part of a long-term plan; the activity is significantly motivated by entertainment or compulsion; movie online court watch of something tangible is not involved; no net economic effect results." Speculating - I would prefer to avoid this term entirely, but if necessary I would define it as: "Investing or gambling characterized by a high degree of risk and a high potential for reward." Are you disappointed that I didn't crystallize the essence of gambling and investing into a single distinguishing feature? Did I merely sidestep the ambiguity, and sweep the gray sales letters cover of examples great and the important exceptions under the rug? I don't think so. The taxonomy doesn't have to be completely distinct in order to be useful, nor does it need to be just a single feature. And just because some of the characterizations had exceptions doesn't mean they should be thrown out entirely. Nearly everyone agrees that the concept of 'chair' is a useful one, even though it's difficult to define exactly what the necessary and sufficient characteristics of a chair are.