I'm a "Speculator " !

Yes, I’m a “ speculator “ , is really hard to differentiate and draw a dividing line between “speculator and investors “ as both words being used interchangeable from time to time ,depending on the situation one were in.

Sometimes I noticed that people buying certain stock in anticipating the price will move up soon ,, buy when price dropped eventually , he suddenly became an “investor “ that claiming to hold the stock for long term. Hence we say in Chinese : 投资 投机 只是一线之差

But in late 18s or early 19s century, most of the books define “investors “ as “speculators “.

“ Quote from Online Etymology Dictionary

1590s, "view mentally, contemplate" (transitive), back-formation from speculation. Also formerly "view as from a watchtower" (1610s). Intransitive sense of "pursue truth by conjecture or thinking" is from 1670s. Meaning "to invest money upon risk for the sake of profit" is from 1785. Related: Speculated;speculating.

The word speculate evolve from “ view or observe from watchtower “ to Pursue truth by conjecture thinking “ then to “ invest for the sake of profit “.
If our ultimate goal of investing is to make money or profit from the market … then I would say , we all are a “speculators “ to some extend .

I like to read classic books and have few to share , e.g :

1) The Psychology of speculation by Henry Howard Harper, published in 1926
2) The Fact about Speculation by Thomas Gibson, published in 1923
3) Why You Win or Lose : The Psychology of Speculation by Fred C Kelly , published in 1930

Although these books are having title of “speculation “ ,, but most of the discussion or highlight are on investment and fundamental analysis . Understanding Psychology impact and using of statistic being frequently mentioned in these books.

You may find the words like “ Margin of Safety “in page 45 book 1 or “Intrinsic value “ ( page 29 book1 ) , also page 18 and page 5 in book 2 as well as element and important of “time “ in any investment cycle ( page 107 ).

You may also take note that these books were being published well before the two books written by our “Father of value investing i.e : Benjamin Graham ) , Security Analysis (in 1934 ) and Intelligent Investors (in 1949).

The words of “value , margin, cycles “ widely used in these books , so don’t judge the books by it’s cover that these are purely books on “speculation “ . One may gain much wisdom from these classic books , also remember that “ history repeat itself “.  We may learn from the “old crisis “ and understanding the psychological impact on these events , try to avoid the mistake and hopefully to minimize the lost .

Allow me to quote few sentence from these books , which I think still related in today’s investing world.

1) Speculation (investing ) is truly an unbeatable game , but it is not unbeatable business . ( if we think that buying of security is act of buying a business – added by me)

2) The idea of operating successfully for “quick turn” in security market is another delusion.

3) Those who would make money speculating (investing ) should first understand that it require as much caution and business acumen as any money making enterprise , plus s some knowledge of the psychological handicaps also the rare faculty of maintaining a complete mastery over one’s impulse, emotions and ambitions under the most heroic test of human endurance .

I enjoy reading these classic books and try to pick up the points which is still valid and related to today's investing world . Again, don't judge a book by it's cover and learn as much as possible from all investment ideas with open minded . Same apply for investing methods , be it Fundamental Analysis (FA) or Technical Analysis ( TA) ,, so long as we could have decent return or beating the market eventually by using any of these methods .

Cheers !!  So , are you an “Investor “ or a “ speculator “ ?

My next blog is about : I am a " free rider " ! ... stay tuned ..

Another great book to share if you read Chinese : a book by German's great investor :  Andre Kostolany: Germany's Stock Market Guru.

For value investors , we basically heard about story of great investors like : Warren Buffett , Benjamin Graham , Peter Lynn , John Templeton, John Neff ,Jim Rogers etc… but sometimes reading stories from different kind of investors or " speculators " is also quite fascinating and we may gain some knowledge on it. 

Famous quotes from Andre Kostolany :

1) Psychological create 90% of market. 

2) "Never run after a bus or a stock. Just be patient - the next one will come along for sure."

3) " We must be well-trained, calm, sometimes to be cynical, to ignore the mass hysteria, which is a
prerequisite for success."


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