investing = gambling?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by stubbornkelly, Aug 13, 2002.

  1. stubbornkelly

    stubbornkelly
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    I've read much conflicting information about gambling in general, some of it using the same Scripture to support different positions. Whether or not gambling is a sin isn'tthe real issue I'd like to address, though.

    Investing, in my mind, is gambling. I think we can all agree that "playing the market" is definitely gambling, and I'll include that, but I'd say that having holdings in mutual funds is also gambling, since your rate of return is but a bit more stable than that of any particular stock. As we've seen lately, 401(k) and IRA balances can dwindle to nothing just as readily as a stock price.

    I have the standard retirement plans - 401(k), Roth IRA - but aren't I gambling by investing my money in mutual funds and stocks, or even more stable investments? Or is that an "acceptable" form of gambling? If we can conclude that investing is gambling at all?

    Most of the articles I've read giving Scriptural bases for or against gambling (although none of the pro articles have concluded that it's okay to just gamble away everything, or to become a slave to a gambling addiction) focus primarily on lotteries, gaming, or horse racing -- those sorts of things. But I've not been able to find much on investing as it relates to gambling, at least not from a Christian perspective.

    Just curious as to how any of you understand investing. Is it gambling? Or simply being a good steward?
     
  2. Helen

    Helen
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    Hi Kelly,

    Good question(s). I think in investing, you become part owner of something. I own stocks in a number of companies and although the stocks have certainly gone down lately, my share in ownership of the companies (as small as it may be) has stayed the same.

    In gambling I own nothing. I am, there, trying to get something for just about nothing.

    I think there is another point to consider as well. In gambling, there are planned odds that you will lose. In investing, what company is out to lose? They may lose in the long run, but that was not to get your money!

    Bonds are issued for specific causes: utilities, schools, etc. Voters approve them for the improvements they think are worth it. In buying those bonds, people are agreeing that those improvements need to be made and have agreed to help finance them. They get a return on the LOAN of their money. That return varies, but the fact that the money was loaned and not gambled is really different.

    At least, that's how I see it.
     
  3. ormond

    ormond
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    Gambling!!!

    MLM
    Loan (long life)
    Lotto
    Poker
    Tournament
    Golf
    Bowling
    Sport
    Horse racing
    Stock Market
    Option Market
    House real state
    MobileHome
    Car insure
    Backgammon
    everthing
    gamble gamble!! = God is nothing money worthy!

    But None gamble
    Land share
    Build House
    Farm work
    Bicycle (or solar Car..)
    Family (love you kiss)
    Pray for go away Satan
    More children
    Dream (Earth)
    Love animal, pet
    everthing love
    NO GAMBLE!! = God is enjoy and heaven!!

    Bro R
    :rolleyes:
     
  4. NateT

    NateT
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    Another thing to remember is that in investment you have a lot more control over your money. If you are wise you will take the time to learn about financial terms and how you can use those to see if a company is doing good or not.

    There is a need to define some terms though, you said "investment" and also said "play the market" and to me it sounded if you are making them synonyms. They should never be thought of as the same thing. I heard a guy from A.G. Edwards once, when he was asked for tips on trading stock, he said "don't do it. invest instead."

    If you invest, you planning on staying in for a longer term, 2 - 5 years or more. If you play the market you ride the ups and downs and will more than likely lose.

    I think the key is, that with investment we can make smart decisions. That is if we take the time. My boss told me that he read that most of us spend more time shopping for clothes than we do planning our investments...that's scarry.

    Just some thoughts.
     
  5. stubbornkelly

    stubbornkelly
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    Apologies if I sounded as though I think them synonyms. I do not. Trying to time the market is certainly gambling, and in a negative sense!

    Some very interesting thoughts on this. Thank you. Personally, I do own some company stock, but generally keep my money in mutual funds, about 75/25, in favor of stocks. I'm young, I can afford the risk. [​IMG]

    Helen, I think your point about ownership in a company is extremely relevent, as is the one about there not being any planned negative odds, whereas in a game of roulette, you know the odds are against you, and you (may) play anyway.

    This whole thing started because I hear so many people refer to their rate of return as their "interest rate." Ack! :eek: I mean, it does sometimes feel like that, since over time your return on investment is going to stay fairly consistent, but they're very different animals! That got me started thinking about risk and return, which brought me to the idea of gambling.

    I don't have any moral problems with investing (I'm glad you pointed out the distinction, whereas I wasn't thinking that far), even if by some it could be considered gambling.

    Investing certainly isn't about trying to time the market, or to make a quick buck, which I see makes all the difference in how we name it. No wonder all I could find about gambling was Vegas related, and investing was under "stewardship."

    [​IMG]
     
  6. ChristianCynic

    ChristianCynic
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    How about investing in a race horse? You are 'part owner' of the horse, seeking a positive return on your investment, which will only come if the horse is well-trained, has no disease or injuries, and is a winner which makes a lot of money for gamblers.
     
  7. Helen

    Helen
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    Been there done that, Cynic! I was part owner of a broodmare ranch years ago in Lancaster, California. It's a rich man's sport, buddy. It's not one where you win as an average person.

    It was great working with the foals, though! And I loved to be there during the foaling. Why was I involved? Because I loved horses and I loved the challenge of working with them. And if we got a good yearling entered in the Del Mar sales that was an incredible victory (it happened twice was all).

    I looked at a horse magazine not long ago. For what a ranch charges for a stud fee and board for a mare to stay there for breeding is more than what we bought our whole ranch for in the late sixties. It's outrageous. You have to be incredibly wealthy to get seriously involved in the first place and there is no such thing as a consistent winner at the track that I have ever heard of.

    You know what's funny? With all that time with the horses, I only went to see a race once. I didn't like it at all...

    I think most people who own and work with horses do so because they love them.

    If other people are going to bet and lose all their money, that, to me, feels very divorced from mucking out stalls, picking out hoofs, working the young ones, and loving the open air work.

    I had a full time job for part of the time I was there and was a full time student the other part of the time. You just don't want to count on horses to make a living!
     

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