The stock market is legalized gambling. Las Vegas has lights, entertainment, food, and gambling. Wall Street has stocks. What’s the difference? If you buy stocks you’re gambling.
Some religions prohibit gambling of any kind. Poker, blackjack, roulette wheel, slot machines, but not marriage. It’s all gambling, though; a process whereby a game is played for money. If you win the game, you win money. If you lose the game, you lose money.
Few religions prohibit the buying and selling of stocks in the stock market. You buy the stock of a particular company. The game is waiting. If you win, the stock goes up, you sell, you win money. If you lose the game, you sell the stock for less than you paid, you lose money.
The stock market is legal gambling.
The book, Chance, A Guide to Gambling, Love, the Stock Market and Just About Everything Else reviews the world of probability as an attempt by humans to understand the uncertainty of the universe.
Gambling? It’s entertainment with a monetary purpose. The stock market? The entertainment value is poor, but the monetary purpose is the same.
Love? It’s worse than gambling, more fun than the stock market, less profitable than either, yet with repercussions for life endangerment that go beyond mere chance.
By gambling, people invest in a game knowing that the end result may be more money than originally invested, though often less. People invest in stocks for the same reason. The former is sanctioned or illegal (or immoral), while the former is sanctioned and legal.
Investopedia considers such a perspective to be a myth.
In the stock market, investors are constantly trying to assess the profit that will be left over for shareholders. This is why stock prices fluctuate. The outlook for business conditions is always changing, and so are the future earnings of a company.That cannot be considered an exact science.
Gambling carries more entertainment value, though the desire for a large payoff is an underlying motivation. How does that differ from buying stocks? Investopedia’s definition doesn’t hold water. Gambling, on the contrary, is a zero-sum game. It merely takes money from a loser and gives it to a winner. No value is ever created. By investing, we increase the overall wealth of an economy. As companies compete, they increase productivity and develop products that can make our lives better. Don’t confuse investing and creating wealth with gambling’s zero-sum game.Money changes hands in both transactions. While the value of a stock may rise, it does so when someone else is willing to sell their stock at a profit. The value goes down when the buyer offers a lower amount.
Investopedia’s #3 Myth is interesting. It states that “Fallen Angels Will Go Back Up Eventually.” Experienced stock owners know that to be false and are willing to cut their losses on bad stocks.
Gambling is different. No matter how often you lose, no matter how much money is lost, sooner or later you’ll win.
That’s why it makes sense to continue to double the stakes with each loss.