Markets

Are You Investing or Speculating?

Here's how to tell the difference ... and when it's actually OK to speculate in the stock market.

Do you feel hesitant to put more of your money in the market because it feels like a gamble? Even seasoned investors can get nervous about investing their hard-earned money, because all investments come with risk.

And for most people, the thought of losing the money you worked hard to earn is far more painful than the chance of possibly earning more.

But here’s the thing: If you’re investing wisely, you can mitigate your risks through the right strategies, like appropriate asset allocation and diversification. You still risk experiencing temporary losses, but it’s not the same as taking your cash to the blackjack table.

Some people, though, treat investing that way. They throw money into the market without a plan, without a strategy, and without the proper safeguards in place to protect against unnecessary risks.

In other words, they don’t invest at all. They speculate, and they often experience wild swings and major losses in their portfolios as a result.

About the Author

Taylor Schulte, CFP

Founder and CEO, Define Financial

Taylor Schulte, CFP®, is founder and CEO of Define Financial, a fee-only wealth management firm in San Diego. In addition, Schulte hosts The Stay Wealthy Retirement Podcast, teaching people how to reduce taxes, invest smarter, and make work optional. He has been recognized as a top 40 Under 40 adviser by InvestmentNews and one of the top 100 most influential advisers by Investopedia.

Most Popular

Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
How to Know When You Can Retire
retirement

How to Know When You Can Retire

You’ve scrimped and saved, but are you really ready to retire? Here are some helpful calculations that could help you decide whether you can actually …
January 5, 2022
The 12 Best Tech Stocks to Buy for 2022
tech stocks

The 12 Best Tech Stocks to Buy for 2022

The best tech-sector picks for the year to come include plays on some of the most exciting emergent technologies, as well as several old-guard mega-ca…
January 3, 2022

Recommended

Stock Market Today (1/19/22): Nasdaq Closes in Correction Territory
Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today (1/19/22): Nasdaq Closes in Correction Territory

After a choppy trading session for stocks, all three major benchmarks ended the day in the red.
January 19, 2022
Stock Market Today (1/18/22): Bond Yields, Goldman a One-Two Punch for the Bears
Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today (1/18/22): Bond Yields, Goldman a One-Two Punch for the Bears

The 10-year Treasury yield hit a two-year high and Goldman whiffed on its Q4 earnings report, sending 10 of 11 sectors into the red Tuesday.
January 18, 2022
Why Women Need to Take a More Active Role in Their Financial Futures
Women & Money

Why Women Need to Take a More Active Role in Their Financial Futures

It’s a mistake to let someone else make all your decisions or take care of everything for you. You can start taking control of your finances by review…
January 17, 2022
Is the Stock Market Closed on MLK Day?
Markets

Is the Stock Market Closed on MLK Day?

Both the stock markets and bond markets will have Monday off as the nation honors civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
January 15, 2022