Which is more profitable, trading or investing?
Trading is like going to the roulette table. If you get lucky you can make a lot of money in a short period of time. For example, if you put $100 down on a number at a roulette table, you can make $3,200 in a single role, which is what keeps people coming back to casinos.
Investing is like buying a casino. The odds are in your favor, so while you will not win every bet and there may be some days when you lose money, if you wait long enough you’ll create a positive return. This return will be fairly predictable over long periods of time.
With trading, the longer you do it, the more money you will lose. There is a reason that casinos will give big winners a free night in their hotel. They know that if you come back and play some more, you will eventually lose most of what you win and possibly more. The odds are in their favor and you winning is just dumb luck. Eventually, things will turn the other way.
With investing, time is on your side. If you buy into a great company, something could happen to cause the stock price to decline shortly afterward, but as long as the company keeps making higher earnings, eventually the price will rise if you keep holding the shares. If you buy several great companies, while something may happen to one, the others will increase in price and more than make up for your loss on the one.
So the answer to your question, you can make money very quickly trading and the amount you can make trading in a few weeks could take you many years if you were investing instead, but the odds are against you. If you invest instead, you’ll make far more money in the long run, plus you’ll be assured of making money instead of maybe making money. If you’re interested in learning more about how to use time to reduce your risks when investing, I suggest you check out The SmallIvy Book of Investing. In there I provide a strategy where you concentrate your holding to increase returns, but invest for long periods of time to reduce your risk. As your portfolio grows, you then shift money into mutual funds so that you can hold onto your gains.
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Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice. It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA. All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.