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Is it Gambling?

I just had a “healthy” discussion with a co-worker about what “is” and “is not” considered gambling. I was labeling a number of things gambling that my co-worker disagreed with me on.

First, read the definition of gambling. I like the 2nd definition Webster gives, “To take a risk in the hope of gaining an advantage or a benefit.” With that definition I was labeling investing in the stock market as gambling.

I really don’t see how you can’t label investing in the stock market as gambling. The whole point of the stock market is buying a stock low and selling it high. And taking that statement and matching it with the definition I gave for gambling and I think you HAVE to call it gambling. You take a risk when you buy a stock with the hope that you make a profit by selling the stock for more then you paid for it.

Anyhow, it made for a fun discussion.

4 replies on “Is it Gambling?”

I think it depends on your definition of risk. With investing, you should be doing some research and choosing stocks with favorable risk. In casinos, the house always has the advantage, so you are choosing between bets with unfavorable risk. With that said, I still consider investing a gamble since the amount of time and money it takes to do the proper research exceeds the potential income (at least for a small-timer like me).

There is also risk in deciding how much education is worthwhile – financial costs/returns, personal satisfaction, social benefits. A very big subject.

Marriage & family have risks – does that mean it’s gambling ? Buying a home (condo, vacation home, building lots, farm/ranch) have various risks – gambling ?

Companies make countless decisions about which and how much technologies and other resources will advance their objectives. I remember some who ‘gambled’ on Super Bowl advertising – others ‘exploit’ it successfully. College & pro athletic teams make hi-risk decisions several times every year – do we think they are ‘gambling’ ?

Job changes, moving, travel, insurance, leaving the house in the morning – everything has risks and unintended consequences. Not everything is gambling.

For the short term, everything’s a gamble. In the long run, we’re all dead. There’s lots of room in-between for profitable investments – even in the stock market.

Do you think Arlington is ‘investing’ in the Cowboys, or ‘gambling’ ?

Buying a house. Risk. Getting married. Risk. Advertising. Risk.

The point here is that risk isn’t bad, but it’s present in just about everything we do.

“Investing” in the Cowboys. Not a risk…. 🙂

Erik

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