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    Q: #148. Is investing in the stock market considered gambling?

By: Steve Shirley

    A: I do not believe this to be true in most cases, although I do think some people can turn it into gambling.

     Historically, the stock market has been the best way to invest money, consistently increasing in value over time (an average of about 10% a year). When a person invests in a company, they generally do so after researching and analyzing it and determining that they are well managed, have good profit margins, a good reputation, good yields, etc... While it is possible that a person might lose money, that is rare if the investment is in a company with these attributes. And, even if the investment does lose money, rarely do they lose the WHOLE investment.

     This is in sharp contrast to gambling. When you gamble, if you lose, you lose EVERYTHING. It is win or lose it all. Historically, gambling is a losing prospect in probably 99% or more of the cases of those who do it. It preys upon the misfortune of others, and it is almost always an attempt to get rich quickly which the Bible calls evil (Prov 28:20,22).

     Generally, those who invest in the stock market are doing so to have their investment grow over time. Investing one's money is a Biblical concept (See: Mt 25:14-30).

     This being said, however, I do believe some can turn the stock market into gambling when they buy and sell stocks very rapidly (often several times in the same day) in an attempt to make money quickly (called day trading). Very few make money doing this, and it is more like gambling than investing. For more on gambling, please see my study: gambling.

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