“There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate. When he can't afford it, and when he can.” -- Mark Twain
Before you put your first dollar to work in the stock market, decide on whether you want to speculate or invest. Both types of behavior require some form of risk-taking, but the nature of each is vastly different.
Speculation is about a moment in time. It’s based on faith, popular fads and the illusion of easy money. It's characterized by quick wins, copious displays of bravado, lots of guts, and is often fueled by FOMO -- fear of missing out. Examples of speculation at its best include the Dutch tulip craze of 1637, the Internet stock bubble of 2000, casino betting and the explosion of cryptocurrencies. Successful investing, on the other hand, is never about a moment in time, but rather about a PROCESS over time. It’s far slower and less glamorous than speculation. In fact, it can take years to master. It’s fueled by patience, skill, and access to information -- rather than luck or impulse. Early on, it might even require you to go against the grain, avoid the obvious, and hold fast to your convictions while the market is tanking. Examples of investing include going to Medical School, allocating society's taxes to education, committing to a challenging marriage, setting up a winery, or foregoing a lavish lifestyle in exchange for a bigger retirement account.
Speculating and Investing are polar opposites. They don’t mix well, and they usually can’t co-exist for too long.
So, before taking that leap into markets, slow things down…Think hard… And make a choice between becoming a Speculator or becoming an Investor.
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