Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Investing In The Stock Market = Gambling

(I was saving this post for a lull in my routine. A good time to post it before football starts.)

I get asked by a lot of people who find out about my fantasy play, "Isn't that gambling?"

Legally, no. But if you look at the definition of gambling, then the answer is yes.

Don't take my word for it. Jeff Ma, the former MIT blackjack team player, recently wrote a column on Huffington Post discussing the same topic.

He defines gambling as "risking something of value on an uncertain outcome for potential gain."

Now his article goes on to discuss strategies that reduce exposure to risk, such as time horizon and money management.

But he makes it very clear that investing in the market IS gambling - just as much as blackjack is gambling.

I would argue that the markets are more "rigged" for the individual investor than any poker or blackjack game. You are dealing with syndicates of investment bank and high frequency traders - who all have superior technology & access than your Aunt Betty.

I guess the point here is that fantasy sports (& sports betting) may have a stigma attached to it, but it can be just a successful investment as anything you might see on CNBC.

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